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The Direction of the Zodiac
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
Posts: 251

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

Okay so I'm right there on board, following you exactly. So if the "Lunar"/dexter path is considered the "right" path, that is, "not sinister", why does it move against the signs? In what way does it move against the signs? It instinctively feels like we are blending two differnent models that may not be compatiable, but nonetheless it may be a noble thing to attempt to do. The main problem is that the "lunar" egobased movement in the one model is against the signs, and in bailey it is "with" the signs. Are you sure that in classical astrology the "solar" direction is sinister, this seems off-note considering the classical associations with the Sun and divinity? You mentioned Robert Hand as a source for this. What source might that be?


Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kevin. I'm feeling my way here, too, and am not proposing that this theory is the answer, or even a likely candidate for same, to the original question posed by this thread. Like you, I wonder if the sinister/dexter and involution/evolution models are genuinely compatible. Even if there is not a one-to-one, point-for-point correspondence, my thought is that there might at least be a nexus or intersection here which could help us to grasp why esotericism holds this particular view of involution/evolution (with respect to the order of the signs).

What I'm thinking is that the Bailey "atoots" (borrowing that wonderful term from Zoller) concept of spiritual evolution -- to any extent that we can correlate it with classical aspect-ruler relationships and dexter motion -- has to do precisely with the ego retracing its steps (recapitulating, or moving backward) through the solar experience of manifestation (involution) on its return to Spirit. In other words, it moves "against the grain" precisely because it is processing and assimilating its prior experience on earth. The Sun, in this way of thinking, would concern itself with a more or less straightforward process of HAVING experiences; the Moon, with "metabolizing" and assimilating them to Spirit.

In terms of your question, "In what way does it [Moon] move against the signs?", I would say that this refers to another order of spiritual expression and level of reality altogether -- one that can be described in astrological terms, but not applied in a literal way. Rather, one would approach the signs in terms of their essences and archetypal natures (what they are in spirit, before they have "condensed" even into their etheric forms as twelve celestial templates). In other words, the process of involution/evolution would -- if the esoteric idea is correct -- concern itself more with the ideas underlying the signs, than their linear positions in our astrological charts. Since there is no way to ascertain a person's level of spiritual evolution from a horoscope, alone -- and since even the idea that there is such a thing as "spritual evolution" is a disputed point -- it seems to me that we are dealing with such high levels of abstraction that they have philosophical merit, but little to offer in the way of practical application.

My source for the discussion of dexter and sinister is Robert Hand (citing Bonatti) in Hand's small volume, Whole Sign Houses: the Oldest House System, published by Arhat in 2000, pp 7-8.
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

I appreciate you attempting to align these two worlds actually. It is something that can be fruitful, and something that I attempt to do with some frequency. (Its seems our minds works somewhat in concert here). But I must begin with primary principles and work upwards and when primary principles are in conflict we have to go even further down. For instance your idea that "sinister" is a "solar" direction seems to come in conflict with the summation I find on this website under the article on aspects.

Quote:
The terms generally convey something of the ancient and widespread belief that the direction 'right' is manifest, strong and linked to diurnal qualities, while 'left' is hidden, passive and nocturnal.


This description certainly seems to set the "dexter"/right direction to be solar or at least diurnal and the "sinister"/left direction to be lunar, or at the very least "nocturnal". How do we align these descriptions with your opposite attributions? With the sinister being "hidden", this assumption seems more in line with Bailey's interpretation of it also being the journey of the adept. Also, here the two terms are exclusively presented as aspect interpretation alone, giving physical and manifesting quality to diurnal rising of signs and planets, i.e. dexter direction, and manifestation is not really a sign of Spiritualization over Involution. Does Hand directly attribute "involution" to the "sinister" direction?

Here is the article if you have not seen it: http://www.skyscript.co.uk/gl/dexter.html

Sincerely, Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 349
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, I agree that attributing the sinister direction to the Sun's half of the circle does seem to be counterintuitive. It is not my attribution, however, but Hand's (citing Bonatti, as in my post, above). The present discussion concerning ways in which sinister and dexter directions might -- might -- correspond to the issue of involution and evolution came about as a result of my own ruminations. This tentative theory occurred to me while reading Hand against the backdrop of our recent discussion of involution/evolution, with respect to the order of the signs. Hand, himself, draws no such correlations (at least, insofar as I am aware).

Since dexter and sinister aspects owe their existence directly to the order of the signs -- with and against, itoots and atoots -- it seemed to me that there might be an esoteric correspondence, above and beyond issues of classical sign rulership. I don't argue for or against that position, it is simply an idea that struck me in the course of my reading.

Thank you very much for providing a link to the article.
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

I think your intuitions beautiful and clear. I am thankful for them. What do you make of the opposite assignment of "solarity" to dexter directions in the article posted? They do seem to contradict Hand (Bonatti) don't they?


Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 349
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think that in aligning dexter aspects with diurnal motion, the article does contradict what Hand says in his book. At least the atoots and itoots correspond! Very Happy
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

How do the "itoots" and "atoots" correspond? (I'm sorry I just don't follow Zoller's terms well. They have no derivation as far as I can tell, and the "a" and "i" mix in my mind.) In the article dexter is manifesting, but in Zoller it is Spiritual and hidden.


Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you, in the article diurnal is manifesting. I didn't mean to bring Zoller into it at all, except that I find his terms, itoots and atoots, so charming that I like using them (even if he made them up). I only meant to say that in the article, manifestation is in the order of the signs -- itoots. Sorry, I was unclear about that.
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Kevin



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Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

It makes me laugh that you find them appealing and that they somehow irritate/confuse me. That's just the way it is in life and life is wonderful. Your Hand reference had me searching around for Bonatti information and then I suddenly realized that the same book by Zoller contains his translation of Bonatti's work on the Parts. So perhaps there is a connection, though if it is prominent in Bonatti I would suppose that this would be the very first thing he would turn to as an explanation. Perhaps Bonatti's dexter/sinister - lunar/solar directions was an unconscious influence. I think you have really touched on something though. In reading through the internet I also have come upon the sense that Scorpio/8th house lying "sinister" inconjunct to Aries/1st and Virgo/6th lying dexter inconjunct to Aries/1st may also have something to do with these associations. With the 8th house signifying death, that certainly sounds "sinister" to me, but not so "solar" really.

Not to confuse things further but Bailey had this to say about Virgo/Leo and the two paths. There seems for her to have been a time when Man commonly moved with the signs, now moving against them, something she equates with the fall:

Quote:
I would like to pause here and make one point somewhat clearer in connection with the passage of human life around the zodiac. This progress or passage falls into three major divisions:
1. The passage or progress of humanity around and around the zodiac from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus, until in Virgo-Leo (for these two signs are regarded esoterically as inseparable) the mass movement releases the individual to a life of self-conscious progress and a changed mode of progression around the wheel of life. This lies far in the past.
2. The passage or progress of the individual man which runs counter to the mass advance; the individual at this stage proceeds clockwise from Aries to Taurus, via Pisces. His life is then and for long ages predominantly anti-social in the spiritual sense; he is selfish and self-centered. His efforts are for himself and for his own satisfaction and personality enterprises, and this becomes steadily stronger and stronger. This is the present situation for the masses.
3. The passage or progress of the reoriented man from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus. In this final stage, he returns to the same directed method, rhythm and measure of the earlier mass movement but this time with changed and changing attitudes of selfless service, a personality dedicated to the service of humanity and with a voluntary reorientation of his energies so that they are directed towards the production of synthesis and under standing. [262] This will be the situation in the future for the masses.



Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your points are well taken. Yes, the Scorpio/8-Aries/1 situation sounds as if it might, indeed, pertain to the subject of this discussion.

It's been a long time since I've read Bailey, but I do remember the paragraphs you so kindly reproduced in your post (above). Frawley deals with the fall of humanity astrologically, as well, albeit certainly not in connection with theosophy! Such a fall could well pertain to the redirection of one's path through the zodiac, in terms of involution and evolution.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Bailey material is its wealth of detail, coupled with its internal consistency (regardless of what one thinks of the material, itself). In the appendix to Bailey's The Unfinished Autobiography (Lucis Trust, 6th printing, c. 1987, p. 248), the Tibetan states (through Bailey) that "A.A.B. [Alice A. Bailey] knows nothing about astrology; she cannot even set up a chart, nor could she tell you the names of the planets and the houses which they rule. I am, therefore, entirely responsible for all that appears in this book" [A Treatise on the Seven Rays, of which Esoteric Astrology is one volume) "and all my books, except...The Light of the Soul." This makes the detailed astrological material within the Bailey works all the more remarkable.
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

Yes, the internal agreement of Bailey with its own detail is remarkable and compelling to read.

So if we put this all together. The manifesting and individualizing character of the dexter direction is one of spiritual involution, following the lunation of Ego, its varying states in accordance to the rising and setting of signs, is the path of humanity. This would include, retrogrades and the creation of the houses (Asc/MC), and it carries with it the "weight" of matter.
While the hidden, Solar/Saturn, sinister evolutionary direction of the zodiac is the path of the adept, perhaps unlocking the meaning of the 8th house. (Is it "death" that confuses these two directions, at one level a feared thing, at another the symbol of transformation)? Until there is further information, that is all that I can put together. I'll have to find that Bonatti reference that Hand leans on. If you find something let me know. It is very good to have your input.



Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, I think you've summed up the indications very well. When it comes right down to it, there is probably no way for us to be certain about the precise astrological mechanisms associated with involution and evolution -- while astrology alludes to and describes those conditions, it seems to me that the most we mortals will be able to say about such ultimate issues is that "it is as if..."

Hand doesn't go into a great deal of detail about Bonatti in the book we've been discussing. He (Hand) defines sinister and dexter aspects relative to the solar and lunar "halves" of the zodiacal circle, presents an associated diagram (the one I verbally described in an earlier post), and goes on to quote Bonatti regarding the logic of "malefic" and "benefic" aspects (using this same diagram to illustrate Bonatti's points). Beyond stating that the translation is his own, Hand does not specify which work of Bonatti's he is quoting; it might be Tractatus II, On the Ninth House, which Hand credits in a footnote on page 6.

It's good to have your input, too, and I'm very glad that you raised this issue about involution and evolution relative to the order of the signs in esoteric astrology -- it has led me to correct an earlier error in my memory, and to think in a more cogent way about this subject, and more. Yes, if I learn anything new or come across something interesting in this area, I'll be sure and let you know -- and please let me know if you do, as well.
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Kevin



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
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Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astraea,

Well, I have just ran into this reference to The Timaeus, which in this person's summation deals directly with the directions of the zodiac, ascribing to dexter, the Monad and to sinister the Duad, following in general I suppose, Zoller's distinction. I don't have a copy of The Timaeus with me so I'll have to check this out. Perhaps Bailey contends that the evolution of the adept has to follow the Involution of Spirit, much as you suggested before, exploring the Duad.

Quote:
In conjunction with the concept of fate we must also consider the inherently mingled philosophical "cosmology" model as described by Plato in his work "Timaeus".[8] In his Classic we are introduced to two essential motions that would later become an underlying rationale in understanding the content and strength of a house.

In his work Plato tells us that soon after the creation by the "Demiurge" (or the Creator - God), he created what are known as the "Circle of the Same" and the "Circle of the Other". The Demiurge made the "circle of the Same" to correspond to the celestial equator and so it corresponds to the diurnal motion, which creates day and night. When looking at the Zodiac it is the direction that the Houses/Signs travel (clockwise motion). The "circle of the Same" is similar in nature to the Monad [9] and "sameness" and is regular and unchanging. The Demiurge then set the motion of the planets on the "circle of the Other" to revolve in contrary motion to that of the motion of the "Same". This is what we know as planetary movement, that is, when looking at the Zodiac the planets move in a counter-clockwise direction. This was done to match the natures of the motions of these two circles to the contrariety between the Monad and the Dyad.[10]



Sincerely, Kevin
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 349
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is interesting! I don't know enough about Plato to comment, but he does seem to be talking about the same thing we've been discussing (or at least a close relation). Thank you for posting that, Kevin -- you've given me more food for thought.
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