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Skyscript Astrology Forum

astrology as an oracle

 
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San Josť, Costa Rica

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: astrology as an oracle Reply with quote

Since "Nativities & General Astrology" is not the place for this discussion, I decided to gather my comments together here. Nothing has been changed except the order of some paragraphs.

Personally I prefer the word "oracle" instead of "divination" to describe Astrology. I think Astrology works for the same reasons that any other oracle (geomancy, cards, i-ching...) works. But we need to know in what way Astrology is different, and this is where the use of the "celestial apparatus" comes in and differentiates Astrology from other oracles.

All oracles are essentially mathematical binary modelling devices. Astrology is a tool, or a "device", so I could define is it as a "divinatory device". But "oracle" suggests a conrete act and context characterized by the utterance of words and the construction of contextual meaning through the protocolary manipulation of the symbolic components of the device.

My preference is probably due to my personal experience as a psychological astrologer: What is it that I do? I am an oracle, I utter meaningful messages or "advice", I bring out the meaning in the form of words, I see the meaning, grasp it, and then find the words that contain it best.

The astrologer "says" or "utters", he or she is "a sayer". The act of doing astrology is ultimately a linguistic act, an utterance that contains the answer the soul of the client is looking for (in both horary and natal).

Divinity does not speak directly in an oracle, the utterance requires a translation, an interpretation, performed by someone else or by the person asking the question. This interpretation is never "passive", and corresponds to the astrologer's construction of meaning during a reading. The role of the astrologer (or at least one aspect of it) is that of a translator.

Probably for the person who practices astrology only for himself or herself, this "utterance" is not a part of it, so "dvinatory art" or something similar may resonate more, but I personally feel the purpose of all astrology (or more accurately: the work of an astrologer) is to find the linguistic answer, the translated message, the utterance of meaning, "the word".

The idea is not an oracle in the ancient (or greek) sense, but what an oracle can be to us today, understanding that our psychic constitution today is different from that of the past. Instead of passively voicing or channeling something external to the astrologer, there is a conscious or deliberate cooperation between the personalities of the astrologer and the client so that "meaning" finally appears in the form of "a presence" (the light, the deity). Ultimately the weight falls on the linguistic ability of the astrologer, hence my preference for the word "oracle" (meaningful voicing... or utterance of the constructed meaning = the interpretation).

more thoughts on Astrology as an oracle by Michael Erlewine here:

http://actastrology.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8

Juan
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Geoffrey



Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 380
Location: Scottish Borders

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: astrology as an oracle Reply with quote

Juan wrote:
....understanding that our psychic constitution today is different from that of the past.


Would you care to expand on that statement? In what way is our psychic constitution different?

Is this a cultural difference? If that is so then it is arguable that astrology only 'works' for a particular culture - and our current Western Culture is quite different to the culture in India, for example, or that which Hellenistic astrologers would have lived.

Is this due to evolution? Humans are not the same as they were back in Hellenistic times....? Again, this would imply that astrology which might have worked back then would not work today - or perhaps in a different way?


Quote:
Instead of passively voicing or channeling something external to the astrologer, there is a conscious or deliberate cooperation between the personalities of the astrologer and the client so that "meaning" finally appears in the form of "a presence" (the light, the deity).


You appear to be saying that instead of inspiration or intervention from a 'divine' agency or daemon, it is a cooperative and extra-ordinary communication between astrologer and client on a 'super-conscious' level that creates the 'divine' aspect of astrology. Is that the case?

Geoffrey
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San Josť, Costa Rica

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geoffrey wrote:
Juan wrote:
....understanding that our psychic constitution today is different from that of the past.

Would you care to expand on that statement? In what way is our psychic constitution different?

There are no longer gods or deities talking to man, that would be today a symptom of mental disturbance, and the "passivity" that you mention necessary to allow another entity to talk through us would be a sign of emotional weakness conducive to fragmentation and dissociation. Likewise no sane person today would trust the "utterances" of such perturbed individuals. I see in this not just cultural differences but the evolution of human consciousness: we are today more entrenched in ourselves, more critical and abstract, with a much stronger sense of individuality.

Astrologers adapt their astrology to the culture in which they live, they keep what works and discard what doesn't, as one does with any tool or toolbox. There are cultural adaptations but also individual differences: some are more skilled than others in the use of a specific tool.

The "mechanism" or "reasons" why astrology works are the same today as they were in hellenistic times as long as what we are all still practicing today is Greek Horoscopics. But since we have changed as individuals and as a society, some astrological practices such as the calculation of the length of life or the time of death may have become meaningless, useless, or obsolete.

Quote:
You appear to be saying that instead of inspiration or intervention from a 'divine' agency or daemon, it is a cooperative and extra-ordinary communication between astrologer and client on a 'super-conscious' level that creates the 'divine' aspect of astrology. Is that the case?
Geoffrey

Yes. I guess it all depends on what one uses Astrology for, what do we think is the role of the astrologer. All astrological indications (the answers given by the oracular device) must pass through the filter of the actual context or reality in which the question was made, and it is through the creative and cooperative interaction with this contextual reality that the astrological information can be translated into a vital, effective or satifying answer. This answer is the message that the astrologer has translated, or given form to (constructed), and appears in the form of "meaning" which is experienced as light. This light or meaning is then "seen" and experienced as a transcendental presence.

Juan
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