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William Lilly's Aspects-Long and Short Signs

 
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: William Lilly's Aspects-Long and Short Signs Reply with quote

I am just starting to grapple with Lilly's idea that zodiac signs of long and short ascension change the nature of the aspect involved. I apologise if I am covering old ground for a lot of you but I haven't really noticed this issue before.

The signs of long ascension are (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere): Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,Scorpio, and Sagittarius. When planets apply to a sextile from within signs of long ascension, the sextile acts as a square, and when they apply to a square, the square acts as a trine.

The signs of short ascension, again, in the Northern Hemisphere are: Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini. In these signs, squares act as sextiles, and trines as squares.

In the Southern Hemisphere, these signs are reversed, i.e., our signs of long ascension are their signs of short ascension, while our signs of short ascension are their signs of long ascension.

In essence Lilly believed that major aspects occurring in signs of long ascension were stretched to the next larger major aspect, and that aspects occurring in signs of short ascension were shrunken to the next smaller major aspect. Thus, for example, in the northern hemisphere, a square between a planet in Cancer and one in Libra might act more like a trine, and a square between a planet in Capricorn and one in Aries might act more like a sextile. In Lilly's chart of the houses of Mr. B (Christian Astrology, p. 220), the Moon at 19 Virgo was square Saturn at 21 Sagittarius "(yet out of signs of long ascensions) did much to facilitate the matter."

As I understand it the astronomical basis for this is due to the obliquity of the Ecliptic at 23.5 degrees to the Equator, some signs lie north and others south of the Equator. When the Earth rotates, signs of short ascension ascend quickly while signs of long ascension rise slowly.

Marc Edmund Jones said that an emphasis on signs of long ascension in a horary chart indicate a course of development that is more solid and unhurried. An emphasis on signs of short ascension can show rapid development, impulsive action.

I'm not sure if this idea of Lilly's is linked in any way to mundane aspects which relate more to right ascension than zodiac degrees?

Have any of you folks tried these idea out in your charts?


Last edited by Mark on Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sue



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Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I like to see - a northern hemisphere astrologer who is aware that there is a southern hemisphere. And this isn't the first time you've done that. Keep up the good work. Smile

As for your question, I haven't yet looked at this issue but it is a good point. It seems a bit complicated though. I will have to think about it.
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sue,

Well it is rather hard to avoid the Southern Hemisphere it is half the planet! Plus I don't want to offend any Antipodeans I haven't even met yet! Did I mention I was born on Australia day?

I guess Northern Hemisphere bias is worse in Horary as most people posting here are in North America or Europe-so their charts are too. In natal or mundane for example, we are more likely to see Southern Hemisphere examples so I think its less of an issue.

I am assuming this approach to long and short ascension signs was an idiosyncracy of Lilly but I may be wrong.

I would have been interested in Deb's opinion on this as she is a real Lilly/ 17th cent expert and would no doubt have an interesting perspective to share.

However, as she is on holiday for the next couple of weeks I guess I will need to wait.

If even you think its complicated it must be an obscure horary technique!

Mark
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark

To give you my thoughts and to save me some time, Ill extract some comments I made to a student for an off the syllabus question about this issue. I also suggest that this demonstrates an association with mundane aspects. This is one of those oft-ignored points that Ive been meaning to research further for a number of years, but I still havent gotten around to checking traditional references in enough detail to talk with any kind of certainty about this, so take these only as my tentative thoughts. Unfortunately I dont know of anyone else who has done an informative study of this issue either.

-------------

If you have a copy of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus, check out verses 1-3 at the beginning of his 5th book. Here the signs of long ascension are called straight signs, and the signs of short ascension are called crooked. The reason is that the straight signs rise at a more upright angle to the horizon, whilst the crooked signs rise more obliquely. Consequently this older definition of the signs as straight and crooked has been used in different ways for example, a malefic on the ascendant in a crooked sign might suggest some physical defect in the body.

Also notice (p.361) how Lilly uses the Moon or significator in a sign of long ascension to suggest only one thief, as opposed to a sign of short ascension suggesting more than one - I presume this is because a sign of long ascension will dominate the ascendant in the average period of rising (2 hrs anciently called a temporal period), whereas the ascendant is shared by more than one sign during the same period for the signs of short ascension, therefore becoming symbolic of plurality.

The idea that a sign of long ascension is suggestive of slower movement and delay seems to be supported by Dorotheus in v3 where he says that if they rise on the ascendant with a malefic we can expect slowness and trouble. But the basis of why the influence of aspects are expected to be moderated when both planets are either in signs of long or short ascension is more to do with the angle that is visibly observed between the two planets.

Because the ecliptic cuts the equator at an angle, causing some signs to rise very obliquely, its possible to, say, have an aspect between two planets in signs of long ascension that are in square according to zodiacal degree, but if you looked at the two planets in the sky you would assume that they were aspecting by trine, because they might be more like 120 apart when measured by your eye. This is where it all gets a bit complicated because since the meaning of an aspect is presumed to be revealed by the shape through which the planets are connected, some authors felt that the shape that could be visibly perceived between them was more (or at least as) important as the connection by zodiac degree. So even in the 2nd century text of Antiochus we are told that there are three ways to determine an aspect
1) According to the relationship of the signs
2) According to the actual degrees
3) According to what he calls temporal differentia, which considers the affect of ascension.

This third type of aspect was later called an aspect in mundo, or mundane aspects. These kinds of aspects are measured in right ascension and they are easy to recognise in non-proportional chart forms because they are maintain the relationships of the house cusps. For example, any planet close to the IC will be in a mundane square to a planet close to the asc or desc, even if by zodiacal measurement they are closer to a sextile or trine.

The rough and ready rule of considering two planets in aspect by long or short ascension as being distorted aims to relate to this, but its not at all reliable unless one of the planets involved is also on or near the ascendant (and even then its not necessarily reliable as it doesnt consider the affect of latitude, or how the distortion shifts over time). Just looking at how they appear on the chart form is a more reliable way of reckoning this, but the only truly reliable way is to calculate the distance between the planets by oblique ascension.

An example of where it works is shown below in the two charts that are cast for the same time. Look at the separating square between the Sun and Moon. In the proportional chart form (at the top) which gives equal space to each degree of the ecliptic, you can see how they look like they are in square. But in the non-proportional chart form, which makes the houses equal, the square between them looks more like a trine it shows a closer connection to the concept that the cusp of the 9th house should naturally trine the ascendant. Since the Regiomontanus system of houses that Ive used aims to divide the sky into equal divisions of what you would see if you looked at it, it gives a better indication of how the planets would look if you went outside and observed them in the sky.


The fundamental issue that this subject brings up, is whether the nature of aspectual contact is more reliably revealed by the shapes we perceive them to make in the sky, or by the zodiac as an astronomical measuring tool? I think that most of the great philosophical astrologers of the past would have argued that the soul perceives divine intent through the images that we see (Kepler in particular wrote a great deal about how the eye is the instrument through which the divine intention of the Creator is received). Plus the basis of aspectual meaning was anciently derived from the meaning of shape, so it is hard to dismiss the significance of this. But most astrologers today are much more concerned with the appearance of planets on chart forms than they are about the appearance of planets in the sky, so I cant see this ever coming back into mainstream practice.

I personally ignore the rule as presented (ie significators in square by long ascension = trine) because its not reliable. Im inclined to believe that there is a lot more value to mundane aspects but I have to admit that since I've never investigated them properly I dont use them myself in horary work.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much Deb,

Wow! That was certainly worth waiting for. So much to think about in that post. Its fascinating to see how ancient the idea of mundane aspects is. I see your point about Lilly's idea being a bit too 'rough and ready' to deliver accurate data on the aspects involved. Although the symbolism of signs of long ascension slowing things and short ascension indicating a speedier outcome seems worth exploring. Equally, the idea of signs of short ascension indicating multiple rather than single persons involved in a horary.

Mundane aspects is a subject that really interests me. Until you referred to it in combustion thread I had never even heard of the idea.

There is a clearly an opportunity for an enterprising astrologer to re-promote this neglected technique across all branches of astrology in the way Bernadette Brady has revived 'visual astrology' in her work with the fixed star parans.

For anyone interested in this subject here is an article from Kenneth Bowser on the subject of In mundo or mundane aspects which appeared in the Mountain Astrologer in 1996:

http://www.westernsiderealastrology.com/articles/aspects_in_mundo.pdf

It appears Western Siderealists do use Mundane aspects and consider them stronger than Zodiacal aspects. This seems an area where Tropical Astrologers can learn something of real use from their Sidereal counter-parts.

I find it interesting that the most accurate method of prediction, from the natal chart, according to many traditionalists are so called Primary Directions which work on similar principles utlising right ascension. If these techniques are as accurate as many traditionalists claim it does seem somewhat odd that these principles are not applied to other branches of astrology such as natal work.

Incidentally, does anyone know if Solar Fire 6 calculates Mundane aspects?
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granny_skot



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Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would short and long ascension become less an issue the closer to the equator you get? for instance at 34N, my chart houses are not quite equal, but with in a few degrees of equal, where as if I move the location north some houses shrink, some increase in size? is this a similar issue?

(I've been playing iwth relocation charts as I have been thinking about relocating)

Granny
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="MarkC"]
Quote:

I am assuming this approach to long and short ascension signs was an idiosyncracy of Lilly but I may be wrong.
Mark


Mark,

This idea about long and short ascensions is quite old. Ptolemy refers to it in the Tetrabiblos (p. 283, Loeb edition): "And sometimes, also, among the signs that ascend slowly the sextile aspect destroys, when it is afflicted, and again among the signs that ascend rapidly, the trine" [kills because it acts like a square, Ptolemy is implying].

This occurs in Ptolemy's discussion of determining the length of life and appears to be referring to the method of primary directions that he espouses. A good discussion of Ptolemy's ideas can be found at http://www.astrotexte.ch/sources/others/houses.pdf#search=%22HOUSE%20SYSTEMS%20PLACIDUS%20TRANSLATED%20BY%22

Dorotheus appears to be referring to this tradition when he discusses straight and crooked signs.

I must confess that when I first read Lilly's account of the houses of Mr. B in which he used the Moon square Saturn as signifying that he woud get his beloved houses, I was skeptical. It seemed designed to make the chart come out the way he wished. Subsequently I came across horaries where a similar principle applied, that is, in which a square in signs of long ascension acted to perfect the matter. With hindsight, I now believe that Lilly was viewing the square in signs of long ascension in light of Ptolemy's discussion. In other words, even though the square exists along the ecliptic, when viewed in light of the mundane positions of the two planets and the angle by which the earth would have to rotate so that the mundane position of the 2nd planet would match that of the first planet, we are dealing more with a trine relationship.

In horary this is compelling because the future movement of the planet correlates with the outcome of the question.

Lilly asked the Mr. B's houses question on April 10, 1634 NS at about 6 PM LMT. The Moon was at 19 Virgo in the 11th House (Regio) and Saturn was Rx at 21 Sagittarius in the 3rd. Saturn ruled the 4th of real estate.
At 6 PM the Moon had already traveled 36% of its semi-arc from ASC to MC, whereas Saturn had traveled only 23% of its semi-arc from IC to ASC. Clearly the Moon was well past a square (in mundane position) to Saturn and was applying to a trine (in mundane position) to Saturn.

Around 0:06 AM on April 11, 1634 NS Saturn would rise on the ASC and the Moon would be about 28% along its semi-arc from MC to DSC. This is almost an exact mundane trine, which perfected shortly after midnight (a little more than 6 hours after Lilly posed the question).

Lilly then blended the delineations of the two views of the Moon/Saturn aspects. The ecliptic square meant that he had a hard bargain and did himself harm with regard to money, but the approaching mundane trine meant that in the end he would get his cherished houses.

The more I read the ancient authors, the more it seems clear that they viewed the sky in 3-dimensions and did not limit themselves to the 2-dimensional view of the ecliptic.

Tony
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tony,

Thanks for your input. Ptolemy does seem a more likely direct influence on Lilly than Dorotheus of Sidon. Although Dorothean ideas will have influenced the Arab sources he relied on. I think in mundo aspects is a fascinating subject, not just for horary but in all branches of astrology. It clearly offers scope for natal , mundane and predictive astology too.

The chart you calculated out in mundo from Lilly does seem to have worked out almost exactly from a zodiacal square to an in mundo trine. An impressive piece of calculation by the way! However, Lilly's approach to signs of long and short ascension does seem a bit 'rough and ready' as was stated earlier. Nevertheless, it would be fascinating to see how many times Lilly's use of this technique co-incided with an exact in mundo aspect.

Incidentally, have you found any good software for calulation of in mundo aspects? I am still struggling with Solar Fire 6 to see if I can do them!

Mark
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

Regarding primaries and in mundo aspects, Ed Falis has a bit of free software that calculates both zodiacal and mundane aspects. His website is:
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze6qirr/myindex.html
You need to download the original program and then download and install the update. I've checked his calculations by hand and against other programs and they look accurate.

If you use Solar Fire, there is a feature called the Placidus Mundoscope, which is under options Harmonic Charts (F6), then Z-Analogue Diurnal Arc. It converts the diurnal arc position into a proportional zodiacal longitude so that you can compare positions and see if in mundo aspects are in effect. The equivalent zodiacal positions are meaningless; they are just markers for the dirunal arcs. Here is the SF explantion:

"Z-Analogue Diurn Arc - Zodiacal analogue of diurnal arc. The diurnal arc of each point is expressed as a longitude. Points which do not cross the horizon during their diurnal rotation are omitted and are not displayed. 0 Aries corresponds to rising across the horizon, 0 Capricorn to culminating, 0 Libra to setting across the horizon, and 0 Cancer to anti-culminating. This chart is also known as a Placidus Mundoscope."

If you have Alan Leo's book on progressions, look at his discussion of Venus in Annie Besant's chart (pages 272 and 286). Her data as used by Leo are Oct 1, 1847 NS 5:29:09 PM LMT London England - ASC 5 Aries 03, MC 01 Capr 54, Venus at 11 Libra 01 Rx in the 7th house. Leo points out that Venus has a latitude of -8:14 (South) and a declination of -11:56 (South), so that even though Venus appears zodiacally to be above the cusp of the 7th House, with such south latitude it falls by mundane position below the 7th cusp in the nocturnal part of the chart. This is clearly seen in the Z-analogue diurnal arc or Placidus Mundoscope chart. Her Venus at 11 Libra zodiaclly squares her Moon at 12 Cancer, but by mundane position the moon is applying within 5 degrees to sextile Venus. One can also see that her Venus at 11 Libra opposes by mundane position her Saturn, which zodically lies at 7 Pisces in the 12th house.

Using SolarFire you can also design a page that lists the Placidus Mundoscope positions of each planet for easy comparison.

Tony
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MarkF



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Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony,

That must be on the newer versions of SolarFire. I have version 5.0.9 and it doesn't have that Placidus Mundoscope feature in it.

Are there some other signs that we can see in a regular flat Solar Fire view that would point to an aspect that is stretched or shrunk down? Are the houses being scrunched up like in Lilly's house chart a sign that a square may be read as a trine??
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="MarkF"]
Quote:

That must be on the newer versions of SolarFire. I have version 5.0.9 and it doesn't have that Placidus Mundoscope feature in it.
Are there some other signs that we can see in a regular flat Solar Fire view that would point to an aspect that is stretched or shrunk down? Are the houses being scrunched up like in Lilly's house chart a sign that a square may be read as a trine??


MarK,

I'm using version 6.0.29 of SolarFire, which does include the Placidus Mundoscope that makes it easy to spot "streched' aspects. Let me try to answer your question about other ways to spot aspects on the ecliptic that are "stretched" or "shrunk". This phenomena occurs because we are projecting a 3-dimensional picture of space onto a 2-dimensional chart.

In the northern hemisphere, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius take longer to rise over the horizon than do the other six signs due to Earth's tilt relative to the ecliptic. These six signs of the summer and autumn months north of the equator all take longer than 2 hours to rise. The opposite signs (of short ascension) in the northern hemisphere are the signs of the winter and spring months, which all take less than 2 hours to rise.

If you are as old as I am, you will remember the princess on Howdy Doody, Princess Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring. Summer/Fall refers to long ascension, and Winter/Spring to short ascension for the northern hemisphere.

Because of the obliquity of the ecliptic, planets in signs of long ascension take longer to complete a semi-arc than planets of short ascension. In the Houses of Mr. B example from Lilly, for example, Saturn in Sagittarius in the 3rd house had crossed the IC at 4:08 PM on April 10 and will cross the ASC at 0:07 AM on April 11, almost 8 hours later. Jupiter in Gemini in the 9th house, had crossed the IC at 4:27 AM on April 10 and crossed the ASC at 8:15 AM on April 10, which is a span of less than 4 hours. (These times can be found in the "star parans" report option in Solar Fire.) In this case Saturn in a sign of long ascension took about twice as much time to traverse the span from the IC to the ASC (houses 3, 2, 1) than Jupiter in a sign of short ascension.

Lilly took the Moon at 19 Virgo ecliptically square Saturn at 21 Sagittarius to be an indicator of perfection (he would get the houses, though with difficulty) because both the Moon and Saturn are in signs of long ascension (summer or autumn signs in the northern hemisphere, the opposite in the southern hemisphere). What gets "streched" is the time it takes for the planet in a sign of long ascension to rise on the horizon and thus traverse its semi-arc to the next angle.

I don't know if there is a quick way to eyeball the chart to decide about stretching and shrinking. If the two planets both in signs of summer/fall months in the northern hemisphere, the aspect is being "stretched" in terms of the time it takes them to complete their semi-arcs. If the two planets are both in signs of winter/spring months in the norhtern hemisphere, the time is takes them to complete their semi-arcs will be reduced and hence the aspects will be "shrunk". If one planet is of winter/spring and the other is of summer/fall, then the time differences in ascensions tend to balance each other out.

To summarize for Ptolemaic aspects in the northern hemisphere:

For planets in summer/fall signs, sextiles can act like squares, squares can act like trines, and trines can act like oppositions. (Add 30 degrees to the zodical aspect to get the "stretched" equivalent.)

For planets in winter/spring signs, trines can act like squares, squares can act like sextiles, and opposititions can act like trines. (Subtract 30 degrees from the zodicacl aspect to get the "shrunken" equivalent.

Do the opposite in the southern hemisphere.

I have not tested this in natal delineation. It does seem to apply in horary charts. An implication for natal astrology might be that being born south of the equator would give a different quality to the same zodiacal aspect that one might have in the north. For example, Moon in Cancer square Mars in Libra would have some characteristics of a trine for the northern person and of a sextile for the person south of the equator.
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tony,

Thanks very much for the software link and suggestion on Solar Fire 6.

Thats an intriguing point about whether this changes the nature of aspects in the southern hemisphere.

I plan to go through Christian Astrology and check out all of Lilly's chart examples of this approach.

Mark
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TonyLouis



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Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Aspects and long or short ascension Reply with quote

I posted some more ideas about this topic on my blog at http://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/when-is-a-trine-not-a-trine/
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stanstar



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Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted a chart recently "Will I get the Job?:" its near the top of the current list. Johannes suggested that I had a square from Moon in Cap to Saturn in Scorpio and he bless his soul said that that square was in fact a trine because of long ascension. Cap is of short ascension and Scorpio of long ascension,do they mix and still make a trine?

Stan

PS it will be interesting to read what Tony Louis mark and Deb say.
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johannes susato



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Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably not so much a soul problem but mor one of sight, Stan, and already corrected in the other thread - thanks for that.
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