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anafora and catafora

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Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: anafora and catafora Reply with quote

these terms are from - Mathesis: Ancient Astrology Theory and Practice - jean rhys brum translation.

doing a google search it is not completely clear what these terms mean so i thought i would toss it out to see if any of the hellenistic specialists can explain these terms for me. thanks!
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Levente Laszlo

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Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anafora = succedent house
catafora = cadent house
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Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks levente!

you know, this book is kinda fascinating. i'm only into it for 100 pages. here is what i find the book reinforces:
sect consideration very strongly.
planets on angles - ditto.
moon phase and what it is applying and separating from which is also rolled into whether it is diurnal or nocturnal.

other stuff like 6th and 12th being unfavourable houses is strong. understanding this in the context of whole sign houses is probably essential.

i have another question which is not about a term so much as the evolution of astrological thought. i wonder about the nature of signs in aspect relationship to one another verses aspects operating independent of the signs.. to me this is a real source of curiosity and perhaps for any other folks out in astrology land who have planets in aspect relationship from late in one sign to early in another.. for example, i have planets trine one another by aspect but by sign they aren't.. one has to make a decision about what system they are going to go with. thoughts anyone?
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Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello James,
Yes, one of those that generates lots of discussions (and arguments) in astrology is the whole sign house vs. quadrant and of course, whole sign aspect and out of sign aspect. Many astrologers (I suspect) use a combination of both in some manner or form.

I like to think that in this case, we have two modes of “connecting” one made by the signs (= houses, as we are considering whole sign house) and another made by the planets.

The signs (or houses) can connect with one another through aspect. If two signs “see” each other (through aspecting each other by whole sign), then if there are planets in these two signs, the planets automatically see each other. It is as if these two houses have their windows open and are aligned so that the planets in them can directly see each other. The two planets then, can affect each other (depending on their nature).

If two signs are connected via whole sign aspect but there is only one planet in one of the house, then the planet can see the other house but what does he see? He only sees the house (an empty house). The empty house however, cannot affect the planet (for it is a planet that affects another planet). Hence, we have the theory of planet affecting another house and another planet that are connected by whole sign aspect but a house does not affect a planet in another house. A house can still “affect” a planet residing in it but this is not aspect! So much so, that even planets in a house are not considered as having aspectual relationship but residential or conjunctional or co-presence!

The houses that do not see each other (houses whose windows are not aligned to each other) automatically make the planets in them also not seeing each other. However, the houses could still be connected via other senses (hearing and touching) like equal rising, antiscion and like engirding and so are the planets in them.

All of the connections of the planets mentioned above are due to them being in houses that have connections between them. Now, the planets could also make connections to other planets even though they are located in the houses that do not see each other. I see it as the planets “talking” to each other but not seeing each other because they are located in the houses that do not see each other. The analogy here is that the planets are talking to each other through mobile phone and to connect via mobile phone you must have a strong signal that connects them (after all, if the planets are located in houses that do not see each other, they both in enclose buildings which require strong signal). What is this strong signal? It is the orb between them i.e. we should allow only small orbs. So, if two planets are in close trine by degree (say one planet is Leo 28 deg and another in 1 deg Cap making the distance between them 123 degrees which is a trine by degrees with orb of 3 degrees), they can still “talk” to each other even though the two signs do not see other because they both have mobile with strong signals connecting them!

We would expect that the connections between planets made by whole sign aspect have different outcomes than the connections made by planets that are connected by degree aspect (but not by whole sign). I must admit that I do not find much difference in practice but out of sign aspects do require very close orb (I myself use three degrees except for moon).

Imagine those planets that are connected by whole sign aspect AND degree aspect i.e. they aspect each other closely. They do not only see each other but they are also talking to each other! The outcomes should be even “stronger” whatever that means!
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Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks astrojin,

2 ways of connecting with an historical hierarchy built into them that i question. perhaps i need to make this conversation in the general astrology section..

it seems to me one either goes with the ancient idea of aspects as nothing nothing more then sign relationships, or one explores aspect relationships based on imperfect geometrical relationships which introduces the idea of how much of an orb one uses. a trine is either 2 signs in the same triplicity, or it is a circle divided by 3 that can be less then perfect.

this idea of houses 'seeing' or not another house is interesting.. on a simple level i understand the logic, but on a deeper level what is it really based on? so much of it seems to hinge on how central the idea of 12 signs/houses are and whether a sign/house is directly connected thru prime numbers-2,3,4, and 6 - to this focus on 12. the 6th, 8th and 12th houses and really the 2nd house too, don't have any immediate connection to the ascendant based on this exclusiveness.. at any rate this idea of 12 being the most significant foundation and a division by only 2,3,4, or 6 being 'houses that can see one another' continues to fascinate me. i like to entertain the idea that ancient astrology wasn't capable of precision so the idea of orbs was never an issue, but i don't think that is actually true. i think they did have the ability to examine exact degree relationships. maybe i am wrong on this. this emphasis on 12 seems more philosophical or religious based. if this theory is true these ideas of houses seeing or not seeing one another is based more on a philosophical or religious position then from a purely logical one.

thanks for articulating your thoughts here astrojin. i suppose my main thrust in this is this : what is the real rationale for this idea of houses either seeing or not seeing one another? is it purely mathematical, or is it philosophical, or religious based on the focus on the number 12?

back to the book - page 106 rhys brum -towards the bottom of the page - jupiter and mercury in the fifth house, both by day and by night....'
i am rightly or wrongly assuming these sections of this book are focused on conjunctions by sign of these 2.. it occurs to me that one can't have a mercury in the 5th by day if indeed one is using whole/house sign with mercury never more then 26 degrees away from the sun. does anyone want to try to unravel this one for me?
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Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Signs that see one another and signs that do not, the reason why. This is one of those concepts in astrology that we have not been privileged to (at least for certain). Granted that there are some theories but we cannot be certain of them.
There are a few paradigms to this aspect theory viz. number mysticism, sacred geometry or elemental agreement (Aristotelian/Ptolemian). Sometimes one is actually the consequence of the other.

Let us do a thought “stroll down history lane” (well, although this is only imaginary, it could have happened for some of them are based on history!):
In the beginning (when time has no meaning!) there was nothing (abyss, chaos,…), and then there was Big Bang, and then the dinosaurs came and went…OK Fast forward…
When humans opened their eyes into the world, the passage of time is unmistakable. I think the cycle of the days and nights were the first to be observed, when the sun is out, it is night and when the sun can be seen, it is day [aha! The concept of sect!]. They must have used the sun to track time during the day (“Could we meet tomorrow when the sun touches the tip of that coconut tree?”) and also to track for days (“This will take three sun cycles”). The cleverer one would have suggested using the shadow to track time during the day… If the sun is the celestial body to be used during the day, it is only logical that the moon be used at night. Now the moon is certainly interesting as it also changes shape. Hence, it is logical to assume that the first calendrical system was lunar (synodic cycle, not sidereal lunar cycle). I can imagine a student asking his master, “How long shall this take master?” and the master then answered, “Oh, only forty moon cycles” or “I am busy. Please return when the moon is full”.

And then the humans change their lifestyle from hunter gatherer to agriculture. By this time, their collected wisdom of celestial observations would have been more comprehensive. However, now they have to track the season (or in the case of Egypt, the flooding of the Nile river) which is vital for the success of agriculture. Somehow, they found that the seasons are very much related to the cycle of the sun with certain fixed stars (which is actually a roundabout way to track the sun around the ecliptic which is the real reason for the seasonal change because you can’t see the ecliptic but you can see the fixer stars!). So, there was a time when aldebaran heralds the dawn when the beginning of spring is near and so on and so forth. The ancient Egyptians were luckier because they had the brightest star in the sky (Sirius) whose cycle coincided with the seasonal sun and hence, with the flooding of the Nile.

The Babylonians had already a complex omen type astrological system which included number-mysticism. They would have discovered that of all the stars in the sky, five were “wandering”. So, the number seven (two luminaries and five wandering stars) is the archetype of mystic number. They would have immediately observed “sevens” everywhere in nature. The days were named using these seven planets (hence, we have the week), and four of these weeks coincided roughly with one lunar cycle (especially on the nights that the moon were visible) and seven days coincide with the critical phases of the moon.

Conjecture on the 12 and the aspects:
Some time in history the ancients (most probably ancient Babylonians), needed to divide the day so that time can be told more precisely. In ancient times, decimal points were unknown and not used (they were not discovered yet!). If you were to divide anything, it is logical to divide into numbers that are easily represented by fractions. You would then choose a number that can be divided by as many whole numbers as possible. Do you divide the day by two? No! Too imprecise (it will result with 6 hours + 6 hours). Do you divide by three? Still too imprecise (4 hours + 4 hours + 4 hours). Eventually they decided on twelve. Twelve is the smallest number that can be divided by so many numbers viz. 2, 3, 4 and 6. This means that twelve can be divided into four different ways and you get smaller fractions [2/12 = 1/6, 3/12 = 1/4, 4/12 = 1/3, 6/12 = 1/2] with ONE as the numerators! In fact, 12 is used in many counting systems e.g. 12 items in a dozen, 12 dozens in a gross, 12 inches in a foot, etc.
So, we have 12 hours of the day and (by analogy) we have 12 hours of the night. These hours are the long and short hours depending on the season. Each hour is assigned to one of the seven planets which are the planetary hours! This is actually the daily motion of the sun. By further analogy, we should have 12 divisions of the annual motion of the sun. And this coincided roughly with 12 cycles of synodic moon.

To cut a long story short, we fast forward to the time when the ecliptic was already established and the circle of the zodiac has 12 equal divisions. How do we find common connections between the divisions? Well, it depends on how we divide them and still maintain whole numbers. How many ways could we divide the number 12? As mentioned above – four different ways viz. 2, 3, 4 and 6 while still maintaining whole numbers of the fractions! So, these divided divisions would have familiarity with each other (resulting in aspects!!!). Hence, we should divide the circle of 12 into only these four numbers.

If we divide a circle into 2, we have one opposition. Divide a circle into 3, we have two trines. Divide a circle into 4, we have two squares (relative to a sign). Divide a circle into 6, we have two sextiles (relative to a sign). The fact that these divisions also produce sacred geometry is a bonus (a trine is one side of a triangle, a square is one side of a square, a sextile is one side of hexagon – as is explained by some Hellenistic astrologers). However, using ONLY polygons to explain aspects is not comprehensive as an opposition is not a side of a polygon and a semisextile while is one side of a 12 sided-polygon is not considered a traditional aspect!

What is more interesting is that, using the number division above, we ended with seven different aspects!!! Two sextiles, two trines, two squares and one opposition, the total being seven (the mystical number again!). Seven planets, seven aspects, seven conducive houses, seven phases of the moon, …

Already there a system of assigning “good” and “bad” numbers (made famous or discovered/invented by Pythagoras). Two (the first even number) is not considered a good number as it divides successfully (number of strife). So, when we divide a circle by two we get opposition and opposition is not considered a good aspect. When we divide a circle by four we get a square, perhaps this is why a square is half “bad” because it is a further division of two from two. Three is considered a good number and hence, so is trine (which is the division of a circle into three which also gives the triangle). Sextile is half good, perhaps because it a division of two of the three (six).

The ancients also devised a clever symmetrical system of domiciles where the seven planets could rule the 12 signs by allotting one sign to each luminary and 2 signs to each of the five planets. AND It just so happen that the signs trine to the luminaries on each side are ruled by Jupiter, sextiles by Venus, squares by Mars and oppositions by Saturn. The natures of the planets coincide with the nature of the numbers. So much so, that Ptolemy uses primary qualities of the planets (hot, cold, wet and moist) to actually give reason for the beneficence and maleficence of the planets. Modern astrologers seem to prefer to say that the aspects get their meanings from the planets but we cannot be sure that this is so even though they happen to coincide!

Another conjecture: If opposition is of Saturn, square is of Mars, trine is of Jupiter and sextile is of Venus, what about conjunction. As mentioned elsewhere, conjunction is not an aspect. However, we could say that co-presense represent the act of union, hence it is the nature of sun and moon who unite on every new moon. What about Mercury then? That little loki, that little devil who could be male or female, day or night, good or evil, is definitely hard to pin down. After all he does represent contest and keeping things in motion (no stability!). He is the true devil for he is the only planet that exalts himself!
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Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi astrojin,

thanks for sharing. i like looking at this question from a historical angle and think the history has a lot to tell us why traditional astrology used the aspects they did and didn't include the more modern ones that kepler would be associated with some. looking at harmonics - like john addey highlighted - is interesting too if one thinks of how indian astrology (what it used to be called prior to the word vedic coming along) is actually very old and how they have all these divisional charts built off numbers and a chart being divided by these numbers most of the time.. reading rhys braum translation of firmicus maternus, i note the use of the 12th divisional chart being recommended if someone wants to understand the way a planet will work better..

to me it all says that astrology evolves and isn't static. it is based on the culture and the times that it is born into. it will change as the perspectives or philosophy of a society changes.

there is something attractive about simplicity. having less aspects to work with is attractive, or at least i can see the attraction. but on the other hand i can see why some astrologers would want to go further too.

thanks for giving me your rendition of a rationale for the use of classical ptolemaic aspects.
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