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Vedic Astrology - critically examined - article

 
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Location: vancouver island

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Vedic Astrology - critically examined - article Reply with quote

http://www.astro.com/astrologie/in_vedic2_e.htm

this is an article that mark shared on another thread today or yesterday that i thought was quite good for a number of reasons, but especially his comments near the end of the article that could apply to any astrology and not just 'vedic'... it is written by Dieter Koch. i wonder if he is any relation to the guy that started koch houses?

here is a quote from the last few paragraphs -

"Astrologers are a very practical people. Many of them shy away from theoretical questions or consider "theories" in general as something unrealistic that has nothing to do with real life. Even if their ideas obviously make no sense they will not easily abandon them but may respond with statements like: "But practice shows that it works ..." Also so-called "Vedic" astrologers quite irrationally refuse to accept the above facts. They insist blindly on the venerable age of the astrological tradition, on their personal practical experience, and on the authority of their gurus.


Is such "practical experience" to be taken seriously? I would strongly advise against it. "Vedic" astrologers consider themselves (or their tradition) far superior to western astrologers when it comes to astrological forecast. But such claims do not stand a serious test. With forecasts for Indian or American presidential elections, "Vedic" astrologers fail as often as Western astrologers. 50 Also as regards the question of the correct zodiac in natal horoscopy, whoever loudly refers to his "experience" should be distrusted. As long as no statistical proof of astrology has gained general recognition, astrologers should talk about their "experiences" with due caution and modesty. Also, for anyone who truly seeks knowledge it is not recommended to treat differing views with disinterest or to limit one's interest only to teaching the enlightened knowledge of one's own tradition. Unfortunately, astrologers and astrology schools – not only the Vedic – tend to such sect-like behaviour. "

i find this quite philosophical in nature and really relate to what this fellow says. i think the part i bolded can be applied to any type of astrology and not just 'vedic' astrology.. i find his comment about astrologers being a 'very practical people' harder to understand actually, especially in light of what he says! perhaps that is some tongue in cheek with that comment.. i would be more inclined to say astrologers are very much like ordinary people in that they carry the same typical insecurities that most people do, and are typically good at masking them too!
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello James,

I opened a thread on the news forum a while back which effectively developed into a full discussion on this topic of how 'Vedic' Indian astrology really is. Dieter Koch himself also participated.

I suggest reading that thread first:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6425&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I will hold off any further comments on the issue of 'Vedic' astrology at present as I think I may be just repeating points I previously made on that thread.

Regarding your attempt to widen the scope of the article I think there are some important differences between western traditional practitioners today and Jyotish or Indian astrologers. Not just in technique but in cultural and philosophical stance.

In general the west has little time for authority figures and puts individualism on a pedestal. India in contrast is a communitarian society where family traditions and respect for elders count are pivotal. In Hindu culture many people see astrology tied in to core religious beliefs.
Western astrology may have had teachers that acquire 'guru' like status to their followers but its a very different use of the term to the Indian concept of Guru-Chela.

Moreover, western astrological teachers who acquire a cult following stem as much from modern as traditional astrology.

As for the attitude to traditional texts as our source of astrological authority there is always the danger that kind of outlook puts blinkers on people and closes off creativity. However, I think that tendency is less pronounced because of our highly sceptical attitude to 'authority' in the first place.

The west has been through the cultural experiences of the renaissance, reformation and enlightenment. Following that we have had the experience of increasing secularisation and the gradual replacement of religious values by secular and scientific ones over the last century. In recent decades the challenge to the status quo has extended to gender, race and sexuality. Institutions such as the family or marriage have had to adapt to these changes. Due to the decline of Christianity and liberal immigration policies we also see increasingly multi-faith and multi-cultural societies. We therefore live in highly individualistic societies in the west where human rights now enjoy an unrivaled place in our history.

All this makes it much more difficult for a western astrologer to treat traditional texts as some kind of unquestioned authority. Much as some would like to we cannot simply, turn the clock back to ancient Greece or the middle ages to find a pure unadulterated astrology. Moreover, even in these previous eras astrologers constantly debated, argued and critiqued each others views. Look at Valens or Morin commenting on the astrologers they disagreed with!

Still, many would suggest traditional texts provide a purer well to draw inspiration from and an anchor to prevent astrology becoming merely an egoistic free for all. This is the danger the hyper-individualism of modern astrology runs. While traditional astrology can be accused regarding its sometimes excessive attachment to the old, modern astrology is focused on anything new at the expense of more established ideas to an extreme degree. Hence in North American astrology it often seems the way to make your name is to write a book on a new aspect, planet, house system, or to develop some brilliant new and innovative technique. Such innovators often dont bother to check what the tradition before them taught as this is dismissed as belonging to a past era so its astrological ideas must be equally outdated. Similarly, the personal experience of that astrologer carries more weight than the centuries of tradition behind him/her. In contrast while even traditional astrologers may decide to disagree with a particular technique or idea in the tradition its not as fundamental as seeking to reinvent the whole tradition. Moreover, such personal disagreements can be taken as idiosyncracies of that particular astrologer.

We see such debates echoed in religions between the conservative and liberal wings. In general the conservatives seek to retain a core set of beliefs/practices while the liberals go off in a variety of directions dictated by personal ideas and experience .

In Christianity one could could contrast Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. However, the same trend is found in other religions. For example Sunni vs Shia Islam or Theravada vs Mahayana Buddhism. In each case the more liberal wing keeps dividing in an amoeba like fashion while the conservative wing tries to retain a solid core of established ideas and practice.

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


Last edited by Mark on Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very interesting article. But I think Koch makes quite a bold statement when he assumes that the modern tropical interpretations of the signs would be the eternal and unchanged ones and the old sidereal descriptions would be the changeable ones. Might it not be the other way out? Wouldn't rulerships and dignities really be a lot of better method to compare zodiacs than the possibly changing sign descriptions?
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james_m



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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi mark,

thanks for the link. i will take a look.

i don't see where i was turning this into a conversation about the downside of traditional astrology! i made a flat statement on all astrology! for someone who was going to hold off saying something, you sure said a lot!!

papretis,

koch seemed to base many of his comments on sid verses tropical from the vedic sources which seem to support a tropical verses sidereal zodiac.. he implied that if one is going to practice 'vedic' then forget about practicing with a sidereal zodiac! that is what i got from the article.. curious how others see it..
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James -M wrote:
Quote:
i don't see where i was turning this into a conversation about the downside of traditional astrology! i made a flat statement on all astrology! for someone who was going to hold off saying something, you sure said a lot!!

I only said I was holding off on the specific topic of 'Vedic' astrology again! Very Happy

James I guess you were not even conscious of the way your words might be perceived negatively by others here. However, I think many traditionalists might regard your comments above as implying criticism whether it was your explicit intention or not. Especially, the passage you chose to highlight. While it was quoting Dieter Koch on Jyotish you implied it had a wider application in astrology..........I think more traditionally focused astrologers might see that quote directed at them. Moreover, you do have something of a track history of challenging traditional astrological ideas across the forums. So that kind of perception is much easier to assume in your case. However, whatever your actual intention its all fine with me as it spurred an interesting topic!

Mark
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi mark,

i got round to reading the thread you shared.. varuna had a lot to say, but i didn't follow it all. i got from varuna he likes an 'iconoclastic' approach. i happen to also. i find a slavish type veneration for anything difficult to understand, whether it be in astrology or religion. and yes, i think one can draw a lot of parallels between astrology and religion in that they are belief systems that some adopt without much question.. some folks find something they like, or think works and they stick with it without question.. maybe they do question it, but the outer certainty they express makes it appear as though they don't.

while i am not above poking someone in the eye if i think it might wake them up- and happy if someone wants to do the same with me - i liked what dieter koch said in his article.. perhaps some astrologers don't believe astrology needs to be considered philosophically or within the cultural context of the time, especially given how they are living in today's world. i think the moment one tries to adopt an approach based on the past, especially the distant past it is impossible to really get inside it as it is impossible to transport oneself back to the time when it fully made sense.

the quote i like to offer here is from heraclitus - 'one can't step into the same river twice as the river has moved on', or something like that..of course heraclitus predates plato and aristotle who have been all the rage for the past few thousand years..

i see parallels in the music world as this is something i am directly involved with.. there are some musicians who want to play a 'traditional' type of jazz based on the past which they feel was a pure type of jazz unadulterated by rock music that began in the 50's 60's... however how does one ignore the cultural music one grows up with in order to put themselves back in an era prior to the one they live in?

at any rate the people that are receptive enough to consider dieters ideas are better able to hold a degree of detachment towards what they do.. i think that is what i was mostly focused on.. i am not sure how many 'impractical' astrologers' would necessarily bother to consider these ideas, but i would like to be wrong and find out that many actually do and that they were much more 'practical' then i realized..

Mark wrote:


James I guess you were not even conscious of the way your words might be perceived negatively by others here. However, I think many traditionalists might regard your comments above as implying criticism whether it was your explicit intention or not. Especially, the passage you chose to highlight. While it was quoting Dieter Koch on Jyotish you implied it had a wider application in astrology..........I think more traditionally focused astrologers might see that quote directed at them. Moreover, you do have something of a track history of challenging traditional astrological ideas across the forums. So that kind of perception is much easier to assume in your case. However, whatever your actual intention its all fine with me as it spurred an interesting topic!

Mark
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GR



Joined: 14 May 2005
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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

I don't agree with the "impossible" part of your comment. Difficult, yes, there's no way I imagine that someone can just cast away the modern world that has shaped them, but I think you are not appreciating the wonderful elasticity of the human mind to imagine a different perspective and take in that world view. In fact this is essential when looking at past thinkers, or even a "simple" task as closely reading a book.
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dragonqueen



Joined: 22 Jun 2013
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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.astrologykrs.com/Article.html

I was impressed by the authors articles.I and a relative of mine have Júpiter in 9th and 5th and we are both overweight

Read also about the myth that Saturn is na evil planet

, according to my research is perhaps the most wealth giving planet, even before Venus and Jupiter. The misconception of Saturn aka 'Shani', was manipulated by those who didn't understand astrology too well. Everyone who wants to learn astrology leans it their own way, without ever respecting and knowing deeply about the original text of astrology; which are simple and understandable. Some astrologers always want to make things complicated or make a simple elephant into a zebra; this is why so many people are in fear of planet Saturn.

Saturn is not to be feared for any reason. The planets you should be fearful of are Mercury, Venus and Mars, as they rule our everyday life, while Saturn rules our broader outlook on life. Saturn represents the boss, grand parents and the servants, it also represents our Karmic back log. The position, sign, and nakshatra in which Saturn sits in your horoscope tell a great deal about how your life will be in terms of wealth, education, family and marriage. In the original form Saturn rules the 10th and 11th house, they are the houses of career and incoming gains, now what other planet rules such important aspect of our lives in these days as everyone is running after a stable career and gains. Venus is a signifactor of marriage, wife, romance and luxury life which can be related to wealth but the liquid wealth is controlled by Saturn and Jupiter.

A weak Saturn occurs when it's in the sign of Aries and Cancer, which are ruled by Mars and Moon (enemy of Saturn) in astrology. A weak Saturn causes problems for the house it sits and the houses it aspects since Saturn aspects the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 10th house from where it sits.

e.g. if Saturn is in the 3rd house, it will aspect the 3rd, 5th, 9th and 12th house from where it sits, and if it's sitting in the sign of Aries or Cancer in the 3rd house in a certain degree, it will make life of the native quite hard in terms of education, relationship with siblings, communication, children, fortune, and spirituality. Saturn is about delaying things, since it moves very slowly: 2.5 years in each sign. When Saturn is in a weak sign but a good house it becomes neutral, as in it may delay certain things but it will deliver them fur sure after mid-life, but if Saturn is in bad house, bad sign, and bad Nakshatra then it will delay or permanently delay certain things for life in a native’s life. Saturn is excelled in the sign of Libra, but that, too doesn't mean it will give good results all the time, because if Saturn is in the 7th or 1st house in any horoscope it will still delay the process of marriage for the native.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi gabe,

thanks for commenting! i liked what you said about the elasticity of the mind and the strength of one's imagination to adopt a different world view. one thought i have which i believe is directly connected is that everyone is connected to the deep past thru something vital in all of us.. those that are interested are capable of tapping into it. i think most people are too caught up in the demands of their daily lives to even consider accessing this though.

i think it's wonderful those interested in astrology are being given the opportunity to read astrological literature from the deep past to broaden their understanding of how astrology may have been practiced a long time ago. ultimately i see astrology as a 'creative' art. mimicking how others 'do it' or 'did it' can only go so far. to me this is the most interesting aspect of studying astrologers of the past - understanding how the creative process would be unique to each astrologer, instead of thinking everyone practiced the same form of astrology. as mark pointed out earlier - many of these astrologers would not have agreed with how some of their fellow astrologers of the time expressed themselves astrologically. they would have been accused of not following the tradition, lol.. ultimately for me 'the tradition' is fluid and a changing art or it is something gotten from a book and dead without the human touch to bring it to life.
thanks for sharing!

GR wrote:
Hi James,

I don't agree with the "impossible" part of your comment. Difficult, yes, there's no way I imagine that someone can just cast away the modern world that has shaped them, but I think you are not appreciating the wonderful elasticity of the human mind to imagine a different perspective and take in that world view. In fact this is essential when looking at past thinkers, or even a "simple" task as closely reading a book.
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