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Aristotle's Elements and the Zodiac: Astrologers' Error?
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margherita



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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

Having said that Greenbaum is fully aware of this issue as she points out in her book:
Mark


To be more precise Medieval and Renaissance astrologers, the most beautiful minds of their age, give their explanation about the order of the signs, but obviously nothing we can compare with the two lines note of Schmidt or Hand with the fantastic explanation that Ptolemy gives dryness as main quality of the Air.

p.s. " Taurus (earthy) is "unprolific, semi-vocal, mute, common, incomplete..." as Deborah Houlding explained in another thread refers more to the constellation than to the sign...

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Mark
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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Mark, isn't this playing havoc with sect and nocturnal/diurnal triplicity rulerships? Those were such a solid part of Hellenistic astrology. And if you take all the moist signs, for example (Libra, Taurus, Pisces, Sag), these signs have hardly anything in common with each other via observed traits. They are from four different triplicities! So I really can't see this working with the zodiac signs as we know them. (Tropical or Sidereal)


Hi Therese,

I was merely highlighting what Ptolemy said on the qualities relating to signs not necessarily advocating them! Ptolemy seems more interested in linking the quality of signs to their domicile rulers rather than by triplicity.

The general rejection of his approach in the later astrological tradiition possibly reflects some of the objections you have raised. In practical terms I have found the Galenic associations to work quite well in temperament analysis in charts. As for the problem with triplicities that is true although triplicities are fundamentally something that pre-date any association of qualities. In that sense any system of qualities (Aristotelian or Stoic) was a later accretion on to an earlier Babylonian tradition which created the triplicities.

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Though I've done some research and thinking on the Stoic elements, I reserve judgement as to whether they belong with the trigons in the psychological sense, though they may work with lunar cycles and weather prediction. I haven't studied the correlation enough to come to a conclusion, except that these elements do tend to agree with planetary lords and exaltations in the signs.


There are various references in hellenistic astrology that seem to demonstrate that the original organization of the zodiac into four astrological triplicities came from the four winds or directions in Babylonian omen astrology.

Maria J. Mateus in the Summer 2009 issue of The Geocosmic Journal. Titled “The Geographical Astrology of Babylonia,” extensively discussed the four winds and directionality in Babylonian omen astrology. Mateus states:

Quote:
“A Babylonian tablet (BM 36746) dating to sometime after 400 BC, groups the zodiacal signs with winds and lands in this manner:

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius- North Wind-Akkad
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn- South Wind- Elam
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius- West Wind- Amurru
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces- East Wind- Subartu


As Maria Mateus states:

Quote:
"The earliest Greek source, associating the winds with the triplicities, is in the Isagoge of Geminus (written ca. 50 CE), wherein he states that the doctrine comes from the Chaldeans. His wind arguments correspond with that of BM36746, indictating that the Hellenistic triplicity scheme is, in fact, Babylonian in origin and based upon a schematization logic that probably predates the use of the zodiac, since these associations appear in monthly groupings of older omens in the same way they appear as zodiac signs...” (p. 74)


Here is a free link to the whole excellent article: http://mariamateus.squarespace.com/portfolio/academic/

This tradition can be seen as the direct ancestor of contemporary astrological techniques such as Ptolemy’s system of astrological geography which assigns triplicities to quarters of the world and sectors within these seems to be just a refinement of an ancient Bablyonian tradition found in ancient Mesopotamian omen texts. Hence lost property questions in horary rely on the same system of assigning directions to each triplicity.

It also appears that the idea of planetary rulers for each triplicity originated in Babylonian astrology too. In particular Babylonian astrology assigned a particular planet to each direction or wind. This also linked to the zodiacal triplicities.

These ideas are referenced to by Ptolemy in the Tetrabiblos. For example in his chapter II concerning mundane astrology Ptolemy states:

Quote:
Now of the four triangular formations recognized in the zodiac, as we have shown above, the one which consists of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius is northwestern, and is chiefly dominated by Jupiter on account of the north wind, but Mars joins in its government because of the south-west wind. That which is made up of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn is south-eastern, and again is governed primarily by Venus on account of the south wind, but conjointly by Saturn because of the east wind. The one consisting of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius is north-eastern and is governed primarily by Saturn because of the east wind, and conjointly by Jupiter because of the north wind. The triangle of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces is south-western and is governed primarily, because of the west wind, by Mars, who is joined by Venus as co ruler on account of the south wind. Tettrabiblos , Book II, Chapter 3..


The actual directional associations seem to have changed in hellenistic astrology from the original Babylonian/ Geminus description but there is no doubt that the principle of triplicities linked to directions remained.

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Margherita

Why are you quoting me above? I am not clear why you have done this as your comments dont seem addressed to me. Confused

Mark
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margherita



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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Hi Margherita

Why are you quoting me above? I am not clear why you have done this as your comments dont seem addressed to me. Confused

Mark


True.... mine was a general thought....

But I even wanted to highlight the fact that here it's not just Greenbaum or Schmidt who tried to explain the order of zodiacal signs, as someone can understand reading this thread...

It's obvious that commentaries have the only reason to explain controversial things, and in fact they are extremely long. I say for sure that this chapter has been commented several times and in great detail.

How can someone can really think that everything interesting about Tetrabiblos - we don't have commentaries to Valens I believe- it is filled in the 50 pages of Schmidt translation?

p.s. maybe in another thread we could talk about Ptolemaic chorography, it's a nice subject (moreover we can be free of "Schmidt says")
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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
p.s. maybe in another thread we could talk about Ptolemaic chorography, it's a nice subject


Indeed I agree its very interesting. I have been talking about doing this for a couple of years! Although I would like to explore the subject of astrological geography throughout ancient and medieval astrology. Moreover, I am interested in other associations for nations and countries beyond that of just Ptolemy. This fits in perfectly with my enthusiasm for mundane astrology.

Your comments on Schmidt/Valens make me reflect that astrologers tend to gravitate to either Valens or Ptolemy and often find the other correspondingly less interesting. I think we can all see where your sympathies lie. Wink Maybe I am unusual in finding both figures intriguing. They do provide such an interesting contrast. I will say though that as my understanding of traditional astrology has deepened my appreciation for Ptolemy has grown with this. He can be hard work following at times but ultimately you come to respect his profound and systematic thinking. On the other hand any practical astrologer can relate to the utility of Valens and the numerous ideas and techniques he has to offer us. Plus his more spiritual and less naturalistic outlook is a refreshing contrast. I made this point rather extensively before in an old thread arguing his notion of the Sun as 'the light of the mind' offers us a totally different world view to Ptolemy.

Mark
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:

Chris, could you possibly post what you've found? It has seemed to me that the Stoics thought on more of a cosmic scale that can't easily be applied to the astrology of personality and temperament.



I'm planning on publishing the results in a paper at some point in the near future, so I will let you know when that is available.
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margherita



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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Mark"]
Quote:
p.s. maybe in another thread we could talk about Ptolemaic chorography, it's a nice subject
Moreover, I am interested in other associations for nations and countries beyond that of just Ptolemy. This fits in perfectly with my enthusiasm for mundane astrology.


Ptolemy is more interesting because we know why he arranged countries like that. Other less, but just because we don't know which method they follow...in every case I'm open to everything if it is more than "X says" or "Y says", but I know you are not like that...

Quote:
Your comments on Schmidt/Valens make me reflect that astrologers tend to gravitate to either Valens or Ptolemy and often find the other correspondingly less interesting.


do you know why? Because Valens is isolated.

Ptolemy is 10000000 times more interesting not really for what he wrote, but because for 1500 years and more there were astrologers- the most erudite and learned scholars of Europe- who commented and explained and gave examples... It's not really Ptolemy who is interesting- but what it is around him. Tons of books and examples and readings...

Honestly I don't care almost anything about the Stoic order of the elements because astrology is reading charts Smile

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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Mark, isn't this playing havoc with sect and nocturnal/diurnal triplicity rulerships? Those were such a solid part of Hellenistic astrology. And if you take all the moist signs, for example (Libra, Taurus, Pisces, Sag), these signs have hardly anything in common with each other via observed traits. They are from four different triplicities! So I really can't see this working with the zodiac signs as we know them. (Tropical or Sidereal)

Though I've done some research and thinking on the Stoic elements, I reserve judgement as to whether they belong with the trigons in the psychological sense, though they may work with lunar cycles and weather prediction. I haven't studied the correlation enough to come to a conclusion, except that these elements do tend to agree with planetary lords and exaltations in the signs.


Hi Therese,

I have had more time to reflect on this and comment on your above statements. First off I think any systematization of signs into qualities is going to work more effectively in some ways than others.

Secondly, as I understand it most of the evidence shows the quadriplicities (modalties) were far more important than the triplicities in ancient astrology for establishing any kind of personal disposition or motivation. These signs are often described generically as being similar in effect even though they come from all four triplicities!

I don’t know why you feel Ptolemy’s system is flouting sect. The domicile planetary rulers can still be seen to have their signs of diurnal and nocturnal expression. In Ptolemy’s system it makes sense Aquarius is the ‘joy’ of Saturn as a diurnal planet in its diurnal sign of rulership. The same applies to Mars in Scorpio or Venus in Taurus. Regarding domicile rulership I suggest that Ptolemy's system is the only one that actualy successfully matches signs and the qualities of their ruling planets.

Ptolemy’s assignation of qualities to signs is a clear attempt to fit the qualities to the signs and their domicile planetary lords as well as the planetary detriments. On that test Ptolemy’s system is a 100% success and works much better than its rivals. Look at Taurus. There we have a moist nocturnal sign with the nocturnal , moist planet Venus as its domicile ruler. The dry planet Mars is logically in its detriment in that fertile moist, sign. In Scorpio we have a dry , nocturnal sign with the nocurnal, dry planet Mars as its domicile ruler. I could go on....

Compare this to the Stoic system. There we have a moist planet (Venus) which according this theory is ruling a dry sign! Mars is in detriment in Taurus but why if this is a dry sign? It’s the same problem in Scorpio with a dry planet (Mars) ruling a wet sign. Venus is in detriment in Scorpio but why if Scorpio is a wet sign?

From the point of view of domicile rulerships anyway this makes no sense. Actually Galens system has the same kind of problems in Taurus and Scorpio. Hence we have dry, hot Mars ruling a cold wet Scorpio or moist Venus ruling cold and dry Taurus. Neither the Stoic or Galenic approach are that effective in matching the quality of domicile rulers to their signs.

What about exaltations then? Arguably, these pre-date Hellenistic astrology and any attribution to them would have been an attempt to incorporate the later Greek philosophy of qualities on to them. All three systems throw up problems:

Ptolemy’s system-The main difficulty here is the exaltation of Saturn in a warm, moist fertile sign Libra while dry, hot Mars is exalted in the cold sign of Capricorn. Since these are both malefics it could be argued the moist and diurnal nature of Libra reduces the dryness of Saturn while the cold , nocturnal nature of of Capricorn reduces the heat of Mars. The idea of cold dry Saturn being in fall in the ‘dry’ sign of Aries doesn’t seem to fit that well.

Galen’s system-Again there is a problem with a cold , dry Saturn exalted in Libra. The warm , moist nature of Libra could be seen to mitigate the cold, dry nature of Saturn. There is also the issue of the moist Moon exalted in a cold and dry Taurus. Actually, I wonder if Galen is the origin of the notion that the Moon is moist and cold rather than moist and warm as Ptolemy suggested?. In terms of planets in fall we find the moist Moon in fall in the cold wet sign of Scorpio.

Stoic system-We have the incongruity of a moist Moon being exalted in the ‘dry’ sign of Taurus. Its seems especially odd that the life giving , moist Moon is exalted in a dry sign! Equally, in terms of planets in fall we find the moist Moon in fall in the moist/wet sign of Scorpio.

Whatever system of triplicity rulers you use there are obviously a mixture of good matches and clear clashes depending on which sign a triplicity ruler operates from.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, before I reply to parts of your post I'd like to return to the planets for a moment. Do we have general agreement as to the qualities assigned to each of the planets? Such as Saturn is cold and dry...etc....

Could you list the generally accepted qualities associations for the planets? I've been steeped in Jyotish symbolism where one element is given to each planet, which isn't the way of western astrology. I just want to have a reference we can agree on for the planets because I'll need it for discussion.

Thanks,
Therese
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

I was merely highlighting what Ptolemy said on the qualities relating to signs not necessarily advocating them! Ptolemy seems more interested in linking the quality of signs to their domicile rulers rather than by triplicity...

There are various references in hellenistic astrology that seem to demonstrate that the original organization of the zodiac into four astrological triplicities came from the four winds or directions in Babylonian omen astrology.
(....)
These ideas are referenced to by Ptolemy in the Tetrabiblos...

The actual directional associations seem to have changed in hellenistic astrology from the original Babylonian/ Geminus description but there is no doubt that the principle of triplicities linked to directions remained.


Mark, this was a great post summarizing winds, triplicities and directions. I have nothing to add except to say that Pingree also has made extensive notes on this topic. I do have the Geocosmic Journal with Maria Mateus' article. It's the article I read first before all the others in the Journal. Anyhow, thanks for the summary!

Therese
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mark, before I reply to parts of your post I'd like to return to the planets for a moment. Do we have general agreement as to the qualities assigned to each of the planets? Such as Saturn is cold and dry...etc....

Could you list the generally accepted qualities associations for the planets? I've been steeped in Jyotish symbolism where one element is given to each planet, which isn't the way of western astrology. I just want to have a reference we can agree on for the planets because I'll need it for discussion.

Thanks,
Therese


Hello Therese,

There is controversy on the essential nature of the planets. In particular regarding the Moon, Venus and Mercury. Ptolemy assigned the Moon as mildly benefic and life supporting due to its moist and warming nature. Although this depends on its solar phase and the light ie warmth it has collected from the Sun. However, the Moon has generally been regarded as cold and moist in medieval and renaissance astrology. We can obviously have too little warmth from the Sun (New Moon) or too much (Full Moon).

Regarding Venus the ancient astrologers mostly described Venus as moist and warm while the Persian/Arabs and later medievals described it as cold and moist. All are agreed it is moist but not whether hot or cold. As an inner planet whose nature was altered by solar phase so much Dorian Greenbaum proposes regarding it as broadly warm and moist when oriental of the Sun and cool and moist when occiedental of the Sun. Of course solar phase is much more complicated than this but Greenbaum was proposing a pragmatic rule of thumb for astrologers in temperament analysis.

Mercury is variously described in texts as dry, moist, cold and warm! However, astrological literature seems unified in agreeing that the nature of Mercury is common or changeable. Following the lead provided by Ptolemy on the nature of Mercury changing due to solar phase Greenbaum suggests it can be regarded as broadly warm and moist if oriental ie rising before the Sun and cold and dry when occidental of the Sun.

Getting back to your basic question since I am principally discussing Ptolemy's system of qualities assigned to zodiacal signs I think it is probably best to offer a quote from Tetrabiblos. Ptolemy refers to the basic nature of the planets in Book I, Chapter 4:

Quote:
The active power of the sun's essential nature is found to be heating and, to a certain degree, drying. This is made more easily perceptible in the case of the sun than any other heavenly body by its size and by the obviousness of its seasonal changes, for the closer it approaches to the zenith the more it affects us in this way.

Most of the moon's power consists of humidifying, clearly because it is close to the earth and because of the moist exhalations therefrom. Its action therefore is precisely this, to soften and cause putrefaction in bodies for the most part, but it shares moderately also in heating power because of the light which it receives from the sun.

It is Saturn's quality chiefly to cool and, moderately, to dry, probably because he is furthest removed both from the sun's heat and the moist exhalations about the earth. Both in Saturn's case and in that of the other planets there are powers, too, which arise through the observation of their aspects to the sun and moon, for some of them appear to modify conditions in the ambient in one way, some in another, by increase or by decrease.

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.

Jupiter has a temperate active force because his movement takes place between the cooling influence of Saturn and the burning power of Mars. He both heats and humidifies; and because his heating power is the greater by reason of the underlying spheres, he produces fertilizing winds.

Venus has the same powers and tempered nature as Jupiter, but acts in the opposite way; for she warms moderately because of her nearness to the sun, but chiefly humidifies, like the moon, because of the amount of her own light and because she appropriates the exhalations from the moist atmosphere surrounding the earth.

Mercury in general is found at certain times alike to be drying and absorptive of moisture, because he never is far removed in longitude from the heat of the sun; and again humidifying, because he is next above the sphere of the moon, which is closest to the earth; and to change quickly from one to the other, inspired as it were by the speed of his motion in the neighbourhood of the sun itself. Tetrabiblos, Book I, IV, translated by FE Robbins.


A key point about the quality of the planets is how the benefics and malefics vary. Jupiter and Venus are naturally benefic and have a moderating, fertilising, life supporting nature. For Ptolemy, the Moon is moist and warm and therefore a mild benefic too when in an appropriate solar phase. Moisture and warmth are seen as life supporting qualities. However, an excess of any quality can be destructive. The malefics -Saturn and Mars are naturally destructive because of their excessive qualities. In certain phases to the Sun their destructive potential is increased. Hence Mars after opposition to the Sun is excessively dry. Equally, Saturn after solar opposition is excessively cold. Hence these planets are generally preferable in their oriental phase ie rising before the Sun. The Sun itself can operate either in a malefic or benefic way depending on a planets phase to it. Hence a planet can form a trine to the Sun or have its power totally removed during combustion. Looking at Jupiter we can see the difference between the traditional and moderns outlook. For moderns Jupiter often indicates excess while for traditionalists it is the planet of moderation. Traditionalists would only see more excessive qualities likely with a debilitated Jupiter.

To summarise Ptolemy's position outlined in the Tetrabiblos I have put the primary quality in bold

Sun-Hot and dry

Moon-Moist and Warm (heat derived entirely from phase to Sun).

Saturn -Cold and moderately dry

Mars -Dry and burns (dryness is the major quality according to Ptolemy)

Jupiter-Warm and moist

Venus-Moist and warm

Mercury-Changeable! Moist and Dry. It totally depends on solar phase

I accept my attribution of the dry quality to Gemini and Virgo is oversimplistic. I think one can make a case that since Gemini is a diurnal sign its nature is warmer while Virgo as a night sign is cooler. Gemini forms a sextile to the Sun while Virgo is in the neighbouring sign to the solar sign Leo. Virgo forms a sextile to the Lunar , nocturnal sign Cancer. Jupiter which is warming and moist is in detriment in Virgo and in Gemini. Moreover, Venus is in fall in Virgo. This would seem to support a cool dry nature to the sign of Virgo. As Venus has no major debility in Gemini this makes me think Gemini a moister nature than Virgo and its diurnal nature would incline to more warmth. A support to this position is Greenbaum's point about Mercury and solar phase. To recap she suggests an oriental Mercury is warm and moist while an occidental mercury is cold and dry. The oriental phase is generally seen as the more masculine/diurnal and the occiental more feminine /nocturnal. Hence it seems logical to link Gemini to the oriental phase of Mercury and Virgo to its occidental phase.

While these are the basic definition of the planets Ptolemy later indicates how the quality of the planets is modified by their solar phase. Ptolemy's approach is therefore dynamic not static. We are required to look at the solar phase of planets in each chart.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, an extensive reply! And a reminder that my memory wasn't fooling me when I recalled (vaguely) that the traditions varied. I cannot recall everything I've read, and have to go pull my books from the bookcase for re-reading. Then I have to juggle the Jyotish tradition along with western authors and keep them separate in my mind.

After a little review I realize that I prefer the Arabic view on the planets and their qualities. It seems that the Arab assignments of qualities to the planets were well settled in place, and may not have much relationship to Ptolemy. There is also much mention of temperament attributes in the literature.

Therese
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:52 am    Post subject: Valens and Aristotle: Elements and Qualities Reply with quote

The wonderful thing about internet forums is that in the process of discussion we can chart our understanding of concepts and note changes in our thinking. For the time being I've reached several conclusions:

Valens: I believe we can make a fairly solid case for Valens introducing Stoic philosophy and principles into his astrology, including the Stoic elements. However, this does not seem to have gone very far and basically seems to have died out with Valens. So, no, I don't believe the Stoic elements as they were understood correlate well with astrological triplicities today. But they do explain Valens' approach to the zodiac and perhaps other parts of his astrology.

Aristotle's Elements: fire, earth, air and water: At this time I cannot see how these can easily be correlated with the triplicities in either zodiac because they conflict in too many ways with the ruling and exalted planets associated with the signs. So I reject them in both zodiacs.

A Third Way---Aristotle's Qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry: I'm surprised that these haven't been given more attention by astrologers. They seem to present the best correlation with triplicities when ruling and exalted planets are taken into consideration. These qualities are the basic components that combine to make up the elements, and each has its own distinct personality, so to speak.

The problem that Ptolemy presents is that he has made the qualities seasonal, related to climate, temperature and weather. This wasn't the primary meaning of Aristotle's qualities. So I believe we have been left with a jumbled understanding of the four qualities according to Aristotle. I'm not a scholar of Aristotle's principles and philosophy, but it's possible to obtain something of a student's understanding of his four qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry. I will try to put together a post on that topic in relation to the zodiac.

Therese
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Petr



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Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A Third Way---Aristotle's Qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry: I'm surprised that these haven't been given more attention by astrologers. They seem to present the best correlation with triplicities when ruling and exalted planets are taken into consideration. These qualities are the basic components that combine to make up the elements, and each has its own distinct personality, so to speak.



They are exceptions.
It is necessary to study the Morin. Work eastern authors. Attention to the axis of the old rulers.

Morin - Astrologia Gallica Book Thirteen
F.Schwickert and Adolf Weis - Cornerstones of Astrology
Чандра Лал Сингх - Основите на древната астрологическа традиция(Джоъотиша Кундли Кханд)
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Valens: I believe we can make a fairly solid case for Valens introducing Stoic philosophy and principles into his astrology, including the Stoic elements. However, this does not seem to have gone very far and basically seems to have died out with Valens. So, no, I don't believe the Stoic elements as they were understood correlate well with astrological triplicities today. But they do explain Valens' approach to the zodiac and perhaps other parts of his astrology.


Its an interesting historical topic but not a very practical one I feel. A so called Stoic approach to the signs simply doesn't work that well. Not unless we want to change the essential nature of the planets. Look at the planetary domicile rulers, detriments, exaltations and fall in the signs of Taurus and Scorpio. The Stoics said Earth is dry and Water wet. In this system we find 'moist' Venus ruling a 'dry' sign. Mars the 'dry' planet finds its detriment there. The 'moist' Moon is exalted in this sign. Scorpio rulerships and debilities pose the same kind of problem.

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Aristotle's Elements: fire, earth, air and water: At this time I cannot see how these can easily be correlated with the triplicities in either zodiac because they conflict in too many ways with the ruling and exalted planets associated with the signs. So I reject them in both zodiacs.


I agree they create real problem. Trying to combine elemental division of the triplicities with an Aristotelian attribution of the qualities is an impossible balancing act. Look at Galen's system which became the mainstream in medieval and renaissance. It is even less successful than the Stoic system cited above in matching the planetary rulers of similar quality to the nature of the signs.

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A Third Way---Aristotle's Qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry: I'm surprised that these haven't been given more attention by astrologers. They seem to present the best correlation with triplicities when ruling and exalted planets are taken into consideration. These qualities are the basic components that combine to make up the elements, and each has its own distinct personality, so to speak.


Well we do have a system presented by Ptolemy. Very Happy

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The problem that Ptolemy presents is that he has made the qualities seasonal, related to climate, temperature and weather. This wasn't the primary meaning of Aristotle's qualities. So I believe we have been left with a jumbled understanding of the four qualities according to Aristotle. I'm not a scholar of Aristotle's principles and philosophy, but it's possible to obtain something of a student's understanding of his four qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry. I will try to put together a post on that topic in relation to the zodiac.


The 'problem' you identify with Ptolemy has another description...the tropical zodiac! As you are a committed siderealist I didn't really expect you to come round to Ptolemy's way of thinking. Moreover, lets not forget Aristotle was not an astrologer so one shouldn't necessarily expect an exact match with any astrological system.

Ptolemy's system is broadly influenced by Aristotle but doesn't adopt a simplistic approach of trying to pidgeon hole each sign into a hot, cold, wet and dry perspective. In Ptolemy's system there is more of a continuum within these. Hence while the sign of Leo is hot, Sagittarius is warm. I have been working on a two quality description of all the signs using Ptolemy's system which is extremely successful in matching the quality of the planetary rulers and the nature of the signs.

Mark
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‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
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