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Dignity and Combustion
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Yukionna



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 128

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Dignity and Combustion Reply with quote

Hello,
I'm fairly new to this board and to classical astrology. In August I started with Zoller's Diploma Cource, and I'm reading Bonatti's 'On basic Astrology'. That's about all so far.
I'm interested in the issue of Combustion as I have a 27 Degree Libra Sun with a 0 degree Scorpio Mars in 5. Mars is Triplicityruler of my CancerAC, so the question of whether it is able to realize my primary motivation came up, hence my interest with the topic.
I red through the threads on this board on combustion, and I understand it's a highly controversial topic which denies any conclusion. I'm ok with that, I have no intend to start dragging dead cows out of the water.

What confuses me though was that several times it was suggested that good essential dignity might be able to ward off the burning effect of the sun. Or that a Sun in detriment or fall might not cause much damage. I thought so myself for a while, but it's two different pairs of shoes, isn't it? Essential dignity only tells us whether the planet is a good or a bad guy. It doesn't say anything about its strength, and combustion is all about that, at least as far as I know and understand. Likewise a Sun in detriment is a qualitatively weak Sun, a disharmonious Sun so to speak, it's not about muscles. So essential dignity should have no influence at all? At least not as far as 'physical' strength and the power to act are concerned? Or is there something about detriment and fall that I misunderstand?

And thanks to all for this interesting board, it's a great source of information (and of amusement as well sometimes..)

Best,
Yuki

Ps, please bear with me if this is a 'typical' beginner's question. I'm a bit embarrassed about it, but no risk no fun..And I really do want to understand this 'burning issue'.
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epurdue



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Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to see dignity as strength, but now I see it more as condition. Essential dignity shows a planet's inherent condition. It's like a person who is generally healthy or sick. Even essential dignity can be mixed, such as a planet can be in its own terms and at the same time in detriment. In those cases you have to take the whole picture into consideration.

With being dignified and in combustion, it's like a healthy person getting hurt. It does negate the essential dignity, but being hurt is being hurt. Perhaps they'll recover from that affliction easier.

I understood this better from doing horary. For example, let's say a person is asking about whether they'll get a job and the person's and the job's significators are dignified, applying, and aspecting well. They're getting the job, but the person's significator is combust. One could say (since this is all hypothetical) that the person will get the job, but management will be overbearing - but the job will go well.

So take both conditions into consideration.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Yuki

Welcome. Yours is an "out of sign" aspect or combustion. Lilly wouldn't consider your Mars combust at all, but he is in the minority on that one. There is an idea that a planet in its own sign or exaltation is not considered to be combust the Sun as it "rules" the Sun or is essentially stronger than the Sun, so if Sun and Jupiter are conjunct in Sagittarius, Jupiter is not combust.

As you observed there are varying opinions on this and other issues. Since you have paid for a course, I would advise seeking your answers as taught by the course and once you complete it, then look around for adjustments in your thinking. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy with all the opinions that are available.

Tom

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zoidsoft



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:00 am    Post subject: Re: Dignity and Combustion Reply with quote

Yukionna wrote:
Hello,
What confuses me though was that several times it was suggested that good essential dignity might be able to ward off the burning effect of the sun. Or that a Sun in detriment or fall might not cause much damage. I thought so myself for a while, but it's two different pairs of shoes, isn't it? Essential dignity only tells us whether the planet is a good or a bad guy. It doesn't say anything about its strength, and combustion is all about that, at least as far as I know and understand. Likewise a Sun in detriment is a qualitatively weak Sun, a disharmonious Sun so to speak, it's not about muscles. So essential dignity should have no influence at all? At least not as far as 'physical' strength and the power to act are concerned? Or is there something about detriment and fall that I misunderstand?


If you can break down what these terms mean then you can make better sense of them, rather than just using them as nominalistic technical terms. What is actually happening to a combust planet (metaphorically)? It is becoming invisible and it is burning up. It is also part of the cycle of orientality and occidentality which is a cycle of birth to death. What does it mean for a planet to be in it's own places? (Sign, exaltation, etc) The theory is that a planet it any of it's own dignities (Schmidt would differentiate these as they each mean different things because dignities is actually a selective translation of the Greek "axiomaticos" that doesn't capture the whole sense of the original concept) has resources that it can use to protect itself from the Sun (being in a covered chariot is one of them). From Schmidt:

Quote:
Axiomaticos - means to deem or find worthy, but also means to seek, petition or to beg. And the third construction is to claim or maintain something. Sometimes translated somewhat misleadingly as "self evident" which is the source of the word "axim".

Because this word "axiomaticos" can refer to planets of the domicile, exaltation or confine, it was associated with those 3 in different senses; when it begs or petitions, this is the domicile relation, when it is providing evidence for itself "axiomatic" it is acting of the confines, when it finds worthy, it is of the exaltation. When this word was translated from Arabic to Latin, it was translated as "dignified" which is the selection of only one 1 of the 3 potential meanings.


So Mars in Scorpio is supposedly able to protect itself in some ways while going through the process of death/rebirth... What happens to the planet is not quite a one to one correlation of what happens to the native.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curtis, could you, please, give us some more details about Schmidt's views on planets being axiōmatikos, possibly with sources? I'm afraid I don't really understand from this short judgement how he sees the factors of domicile, exaltation and confine work, though it's a really exciting issue. And as only shards of his insight have been communicated to the astrological society, I guess, many of us would be pleased to hear a little bit more about this question.

Thanks,

Levente

Perhaps it would be illuminating to subscribe his new course and in the same time I'd better stop whining but I'm afraid miserably I can't afford something whose rounds cost the half of a good salary here. So a bit more greasy crumb would be up to a feast. Confused
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Paul
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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukionna

I tend to differentiate between essential and accidental dignities by considering essential dignity relevant to the 'essence' of the thing itself, and accidental dignity being related to how that thing finds itself, or what its power to act is.

I agree with others who have suggested considering what actually happens in the sky, namely the planet is burnt up by the light of the sun and becomes invisible. It also helped me in thinking of this in terms of horary. Imagine someone asks about their expensive ring that's missing. Imagine that Venus was in Taurus - it is a ring that has domicile, the essence of the ring is one of good quality, it is expensive. If it were in Scorpio or Aries it would be a ring that is 'wasted' or falling apart, not of good value. Planets in fall or detriment are like corrupted, sick, fall apart planets. So lets imagine our venus is in Taurus, its essence is good. However let's imagine that it is combust the sun. It would exactly indicate the situation, it is an expensive ring (domicile) that is lost, it cannot be seen (combust).
The point being that the essential quality (pertaining to its essence, whether strong and healthy or corrupt and wasted) is shown by the 'essential dignity' and the circumstance and power to act that it currently has is shown by the 'accidental dignity'.
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Yukionna



Joined: 19 May 2010
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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the subject.

It seems my understanding of the dignities and debilities was quite flawed.
I saw essential dignity more as a kind of character trait (of the planet, not of the native, and only as a figure of speech). A basically do-good kind of thing.
It does seem to be about 'character, but it's also about the planet being in good condition and of good health..and the healthier the planet the better it can cope with adversity, such as combustion.

I find the matter of axiōmatikos difficult to understand, but this last comment rather inspiring:

So Mars in Scorpio is supposedly able to protect itself in some ways while going through the process of death/rebirth...

Yuki
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Olivia



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm struggling with that one, too. And I've read more than one author who cites Mars as a special case - it becomes stronger in combustion. Presumably on account of it being hot and dry to begin with?

I'm not certain, and unfortunately my eyesight isn't what it once was, so I can't look it up for you. But if I didn't imagine it, I expect someone here has sources to say yay or nay to that one.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivia wrote:
Quote:
....I've read more than one author who cites Mars as a special case - it becomes stronger in combustion. Presumably on account of it being hot and dry to begin with?


One source that picks out Mars for special treatment in regards combustion is the 4th century Roman astrologer Firmicus Maternus:

Quote:
". . . To sum up, however, it should be stated, that nearness to the Sun is harmful to all planets. Certain astrologers, however, claim that Mars is favourable when setting, when he is overwhelmed by the rays of the Sun, for in being subservient to the Sun he loses his natural malefic qualities." Firmicus Maternus, Mathesos , Liber Secundus VIII, Matutine and Vespertine Positions, 2.


Its not clear if Firmicus really endorses this view. Even if he did I dont think the implication is that Mars is really strengthened by combustion. Rather the inference seems to be that the weakening effect of combustion on Mars lessens its malefic potential. Why Mars and not the greater malefic Saturn too? Perhaps as you state its similar nature to the Sun being hot and dry. This may also reflect the assumed sphere of Mars in the Ptolemaic scheme which placed Mars in close proximity to the Sun. As Ptolemy states:

Quote:
''The nature of Mars is chiefly to dry and to burn, in conformity with his fiery colour and by reason of his nearness to the sun, for the sun's sphere lies just below him.'' Tetrabiblos Book 1.4

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margherita



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Rather the inference seems to be that the weakening effect of combustion on Mars lessens its malefic potential. Why Mars and not the greater malefic Saturn too? Perhaps as you state its similar nature to the Sun being hot and dry.


I agree; on the other hand Venus and Moon being moist are more damaged from the combustion.

Anyway I - like Curtis- consider that if a planet is in its domicile, it's preserved from combustion.

margherita
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

levente_laszlo (osthanes) wrote:
Curtis, could you, please, give us some more details about Schmidt's views on planets being axiōmatikos, possibly with sources? I'm afraid I don't really understand from this short judgement how he sees the factors of domicile, exaltation and confine work, though it's a really exciting issue. And as only shards of his insight have been communicated to the astrological society, I guess, many of us would be pleased to hear a little bit more about this question.


It's from my notes from several years ago at one of Schmidt's lectures. I didn't get the chance to question him on which sources do this. It is my understanding that this interpretation is pretty much across the board from several texts where this term is found and that this became the standard translation sometime between the early medieval era and Bonatti. One should judge from the context in which axiōmatikos is found because sometimes it is used in reference to the terms, sometimes domicle and sometimes exalatation. In the case where axiōmatikos refers to exaltation, "dignified" is a relatively good translation, but where the bounds or domicile lord is really the issue, then Schmidt thinks that the translation "dignified" is misleading. This is one of the reasons why he doesn't like to use an almuten, because such an addition of apples and grapes, whose esse and not similar in kind, therefore can not produce "grapples" as an essence that we are already familiar with. As such it would be a fabrication divorced from the original construct. Such an addition obliterates any potential distinction you can have to understand what is happening in the original metaphor from the Hellenistic era. I don't necessarily agree that the concept of almuten isn't useful, but I do think that it wasn't the original intent of the Hellenistic writers.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

margherita wrote:

Anyway I - like Curtis- consider that if a planet is in its domicile, it's preserved from combustion.

margherita


There is a problem however. In Schmidt's organization of the PNA (Preliminary Natal Analysis), a planet that is under the Suns rays is "hidden" and therefore can't "get up" or rise to the challenge. This is probably limited to context (maybe the selection of Kurios for example). A planet may be protected from the effects of the Sun's rays, but one should not think that the native would necessarily be protected from the effects of this combustion in all respects. What is good for the planet is not necessarily good for the native.

This was part of a composite concept "fitness relative to the lights" (a planet that is visible and direct in motion). Fitness relative to the zodiac includes "being in one's own chariot" which is a separate area and separate consideration. Then there is "fitness relative to the horizon" which is a terrestrial concept: in this case whether the planet is angular succeedent or cadent. In this way the organization looks at planets at the level of the stars/zodiac (primum mobile), at the level of the planets (lights) and then at the level of the earth (sublunary sphere).
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This was part of a composite concept "fitness relative to the lights" (a planet that is visible and direct in motion). Fitness relative to the zodiac includes "being in one's own chariot" which is a separate area and separate consideration. Then there is "fitness relative to the horizon" which is a terrestrial concept: in this case whether the planet is angular succeedent or cadent. In this way the organization looks at planets at the level of the stars/zodiac (primum mobile), at the level of the planets (lights) and then at the level of the earth (sublunary sphere).


I was pleased to see this important distinction in Robert Schmidt's translation of Antiochus. I have never been comfortable with the notion that essential dignity can make a planet completely immune from the effects of combustion. To me the two ideas are like apples and pears. For example, the new Moon in Cancer may be in its domicile. However, it also cannot be considered without examining its synodic phase in relation to the Sun.

This topic of combustion seems to endlessly fascinate astrologers as it comes up repeatedly here on Skyscript. While its important to acknowledge the hellenistic contribution to the notion of combustion or under the beams there are older Babylonian and Egyptian antecedents for the concept that make it amongst the most ancient in astrology. This point reminds me of a very interesting post made by Deborah Houlding several years ago that still seems highly relevant here:

Quote:
It would be misleading to consider the Greeks as the originators of the concept. The symbolic interpretation that we apply to a combust planet was firmly established in early Babylonian astrology and oriental star lore. It’s probably the oldest and one of the most consistent astrological principles – that a planet (or star) loses its strength and power as its visibility is lost in the Sun’s light, that it is stripped (and purified) through conjunction with the Sun, and that as it emerges from the conjunction its reappearance symbolises the tentative renewal of vitality and a new cycle of experience.

The earliest existing nativity is a Babylonian cuneiform text recording a horoscope drawn on the 29th April 410 BC. This mentions Mercury as invisible because it had ‘set’, (ie., entered its heliacal setting, where it cannot be seen by day or night because of its closeness to the Sun). Where planets had set, they were not considered capable of exerting an influence. The Egyptian integration of the symbolic principles of ‘combustion’ can be identified as early as 1278 BC by reference to an inscription found upon the tomb of Seti I, but it probably extends much further back in history. The inscription, (which states that as a star dies it is purified in the house of Duat, from where, after 70 days of invisibility, it is reborn), was used by Neugebauer (The Exact Sciences in Antiquity), to show that the 70-day ritual used in Egyptian funeral rites was based upon the 70-day period of invisibility that Sirius endured when it ‘set’ into the Sun. The re-emergence of Sirius coincided with the summer solstice and the annual inundation of the Nile during the period of the development of the calendar, so was used as a signal to start the New Year festivities.

The ancient Egyptian astrological perspective differed from that of Hellenistic Greece because by comparison there was much less emphasis upon the planets in favour of the stars and constellations. But the principle of death, weakness, lack of strength and inhibited freedom that is traditionally ascribed through combustion perpetuates a viewpoint that appears to originate from their philosophy. At the moment it looks that way, though earlier undiscovered or unexploited references may well exist elsewhere.

Since the use of the symbolic significance of union with the Sun predates the development of the zodiac, there is of course the argument that in its original form ‘combustion’ derives from observational astrology in which sign cusps play no part.

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###



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Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you haven't seen my post at the other current combustion thread – and these threads will get separated over time – I'm interested in the idea of the Sun in natal charts being affected by the combust planet and taking on its qualities. That would entail treating combustion as a two-way street and not just dominance by the Sun

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5789&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I'm thinking more and more that I should have started another thread.
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Yukionna



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Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirk wrote:
If you haven't seen my post at the other current combustion thread – and these threads will get separated over time – I'm interested in the idea of the Sun in natal charts being affected by the combust planet and taking on its qualities. That would entail treating combustion as a two-way street and not just dominance by the Sun


That's a rather interesting point. It appeals to me, as my Sun is weak essentially, and Mars is dripping with dignity. Should be different somehow from a combustion where it's the other way around.
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