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Questions on the valens text -riley translation
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3608
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deb and astrojin, thanks again for helping me out here.. i find it confusing and i appreciate your note on the bottom astrojin as that sounds confusing too..

deb - do you think place of accomplishment only applies to the lot of fortune house design for the 11th, or do you think it applies to houses, signs more generally?

deb, astrojin or anyone - do you think valens of the hellenistics would have made a distinction of precedes on a planet in the same sign as the ascendant, or do you think it only would have applied if it was out of sign/house? i am thinking whole sign houses here if that helps... perhaps an example would be best... lets use obamas chart... aquarius rising, jupiter in aquarius, verses saturn in cappy... are both preceding, or would you say only saturn is preceding due the sign position? curious... thanks!
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
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Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello James,

You have asked a difficult question to answer here! Valens uses the whole sign house system (?), so when he says in the zoidion (sign) or in the topos (place/house), they are equivalent (depending on context). So, if the text reads "in the sign/house/place that precedes the pivotor angle of the earth", it means the cadent of the 4th house i.e. the third; if the text reads "in the sign/house/place that succeeds the angle of the west", it means the eighth houses and so on and so forth.

The problem comes when he uses the term precedes (or succeeds) relative to another planet which does not have to be in a different sign e.g. when he discusses example charts concerning spear-bearers (doryphory). I guess you just have to read within the context (and keep posting questions to get other more experienced hellenistic astrologers to respond - and sadly, I am not one of them!).

Quote:
deb, astrojin or anyone - do you think valens of the hellenistics would have made a distinction of precedes on a planet in the same sign as the ascendant, or do you think it only would have applied if it was out of sign/house? i am thinking whole sign houses here if that helps... perhaps an example would be best... lets use obamas chart... aquarius rising, jupiter in aquarius, verses saturn in cappy... are both preceding, or would you say only saturn is preceding due the sign position? curious... thanks!

Oh yes! They are very different. Ascendant is Aquarius with Jupiter in Aquarius means that Jupiter precedes the ascendant point (or the horoskopos) but Jupiter is still in the first place/house in the whole sign house system. Hence, Jupiter gives much benefit as he is the great benefic in angular place/house.

Ascendant in Aquarius with Saturn in Capricorn means that Saturn precedes the angular sign which means that Saturn is cadent or in the sign/house that precedes an angular house. It is interesting to note that Saturn (Lord of Ascendant i.e. the native himself) is in the 12th house in its own domicile which suggests that he would stay far from his birth place (or race/culture that he was born) especially if it doesn't aspect the main luminary (which in this case, the ascendant lord does not aspect both luminaries - which could also mean separation with one of the parents) - but we can never be sure of Obama's chart!
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3608
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

astrojin, you are a kind soul.. thank you.. i will try to retain your comments while i continue to read the text.. i like what you had to say on the interpretation applied to obama's chart and while the obvious distinction between sign of the ascendant and place of jupiter and saturn are evident, what i am really trying to understand is if valens is making a distinction between a planet still in the ascendant sign - like jupiter in obamas chart, but also has preceded the ascendant... i suppose a simple way to put this is this: is the ascendant the whole 30 degrees or 1 degree specifically? perhaps you are right, and we need to find a hellenistic expert to answer this definitively.. thanks for your help either way...

here are a few other passing comments in the valens text which i am trying to understand clearly.. statements like see page 50 last paragraph" if saturn beholds the setting venus" .. does this imply if saturn is in some type of aspect relationship to venus which would include, conj, opposite, square, sextile and trine? i am guessing this is what it means, but i would like some feedback from someone who might have a better grip on the material from this era..

or, page 52 2nd paragraph at 113P "whenever mars and mercury are estranged from venus " - meaning? i am going to guess venus is not in the same sign as mercury or mars or in a traditional aspect to venus, excluding the semisextile or inconjunct, but i don't know if this is what is meant..

all feedback welcome..
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't add more than Astrojin and agree that we have to look at the passages in context, so it's always best to give references where you can. You seem to be on the right track with your understanding of the last two remarks.

Quote:
" if saturn beholds the setting venus" .. does this imply if saturn is in some type of aspect relationship to venus which would include, conj, opposite, square, sextile and trine?


- the word 'behold' is usually only indicative of aspects, not conjunctions and sometimes it is used for antiscia connections too. The problem is that we don't know how loosely Riley has translated the original Greek. Without checking that I would normally assume that one of the traditional aspects is meant. Be aware that the phrase "the setting Venus" is most likely referring to the synodic phase of Venus - entering or being under the Sun's beams where it is invisible and inoperative (described as 'set' or 'sunken') rather than being in the 7th house and setting over the descendant.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks deb!

i wouldn't have immediately thought of the setting of venus in that context.. i am now wondering about which part of the synodic cycle and how much of it that would be? here is a link that has a nice visual description of synodic the synodic cycle of venus.
http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-venus-synodic.htm

setting is then also taken to mean when venus is no longer seen in the sky? does it still apply to the simple idea of setting, as in western hemisphere? this reminds me of the idea of a planet lost in the suns beams.. i am wondering what kind of orbs are thought relevant for interpreting these ideas and putting them to use?
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James

I'll be offline for a while, but a quick response on this. It is the idea of setting into the sunsbeams. Most ancient astrologers took 15 to be an idealised measure of the distance involved, based on this being the traditionally noted extension of the Sun's rays (ie, its traditional orb). Later references vary, some say 12, some say 17 but I think it is safe to use 15 as this appears to be the most consistently applied over the whole of the tradition. It will help a lot if you can take some time out to get a good idea of the synodic phases because they establish many important planetary principles and infiltrate the reasoning behind many Hellenistic interpretational comments that you find in Valens. No ancient text is an easy read but one of the best sources for explaining the ancient approach towards phases in detail is Dorian Greenbaum's Late Classical Astrology; Paulus Alexandrinus and Olympiodorus, published by ARHAT. It is the Olympiodorus expanded commentary and the additional scholia by later commentators that make this work particularly useful. Or, you could just nip over to Melbourne Australia for the upcoming FAA conference, where I'll be giving a presentation about this Smile

Cheerio for now
Deb
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3608
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks deb!

maybe if i get in my row boat now, i can make it to aussieland in time for the event, lol.. it is a long row though..

i have that book on my list of books to buy as it has been recommended to me a few times.. went to buy it straight from arhat but they are out of it and reprinting it at present.. they said they would get hold of me when it is done.

i agree that understanding the synodic cycles of the inner planets would be quite helpful to know, given your previous comments on this thread.. when does your book come out? maybe you want to do a sales pitch for it here, lol.. i will probably wait and buy it when it comes out either way!

have a rewarding experience at the conference.. i wish i could be there!
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Location: vancouver island

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks again for the help offered here.. i finished the book last night... much of it is about how to figure out the length of life.. i would have been happy to just read volume 2 which discussed astro in a way that i could immediately relate to, but i was happy to familiarize myself with the whole book regardless..
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