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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Sidereal practitioners: do you use qualities of the signs?

 
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:57 am    Post subject: Sidereal practitioners: do you use qualities of the signs? Reply with quote

Hello people!

I have a question that I was constantly pondering about lately, but at first I intended to research the issue before asking. However, being the lazy person that I am, I decided to ask immediately.

Do you use the qualities of the signs in practice? By that I am referring to:

1. Seasonal qualities: moveable (equinoctial and tropical), solid, common/bi-corporeal
2. Elemental qualities: fire, water, air, earth
3. Vocal qualities: vocal, semi-vocal, mute
4. Productive qualities: fruitful/fertile, more fruitful than barren, more barren than fruitful, barren/sterile

...and so on.

If you do use the qualities, to which signs do you assign these qualities, and how do you use them?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Quote:
Do you use the qualities of the signs in practice? By that I am referring to:

1. Seasonal qualities: moveable (equinoctial and tropical), solid, common/bi-corporeal
2. Elemental qualities: fire, water, air, earth
3. Vocal qualities: vocal, semi-vocal, mute
4. Productive qualities: fruitful/fertile, more fruitful than barren, more barren than fruitful, barren/sterile

Larxene, thanks for asking.

The standard qualities from ancient authors such as vocal, mute, fruitful, barren, etc. apply to the sidereal signs. Sidereal astrologers such as myself familiar with Hellenistic and classical translations would say that these are incorrectly applied to the tropical zodiac. Astrologers of the Fagan sidereal school don't use those qualities in their work.

Concepts related to polarity and the triplicities must be adjusted to the sidereal zodiac. I have articles on my web site explaining those adjustments. They are not the same in the sidereal zodiac. http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm

The three modes (now termed cardinal, fixed and mutable) may not have been originally related to seasons according to Robert Schmidt. These will be found to be incorrect if researched in the tropical zodiac, meaning they don't work the way they are theoretically supposed to.

For example, my family nickname is "the embodiment of change", but my tropical chart has a fixed T-cross involving five planets: the Sun, Moon and ascendant lord included. In the sidereal zodiac my planets are in mutable and cardinal signs. I'm very good at beginings, and poor at carrying projects through to the end. New interests always attract my attention, and I tend to become easily bored with routine.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Sidereal practitioners: do you use qualities of the sign Reply with quote

I agree with Therese that calling the quadruplicities 'seasonal qualities' is, to some extent, begging the question. Anyone seeing them in that light would be unlikely to apply them to a sidereal zodiac.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
The three modes (now termed cardinal, fixed and mutable) may not have been originally related to seasons according to Robert Schmidt.


Can you provide a reference for this please?

Thanks

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
Can you provide a reference for this please?

Mark, here is the quote from Robert Schmidt on the three modes or qualities. (I have inserted [...] the contemporary terms into Schmidt's quote for those not familiar with Hellenistic terms.)

"...The question, then, becomes whether the founders of Hellenistic astrology had seasonal considerations in mind when they coined these terms. We often take it for granted that they did, but this could just be the continuing subliminal influence of Ptolemy on the tradition.

"Now, the terms solid and double-bodied are not obviously related to the seasons at all. From a Hellenistic perspective, I do not like to characterize the double-bodied images as "mutable," since the term easily changeable is applied, by some authors at least, to all of the tropical images except for the Goat-Horned [Capricorn], and all the double-bodied ones except for the Twins. So what about the designation tropical, which in Greek simply means "liable to turning"or "liable to change"?

"A good place to start is with the Hellenistic astrological interpretation of planets in such images. The authors are fairly consistent in saying that the events associated with a planet in a tropical [cardinal] image [sign] tend to break off prior to completion or reverse themselves; those associated with planets in solid [fixed] images tend to come to completion with permanent result; those in double-bodied [mutable] images also come to completion, but digressively..."

Robert Schmidt: 18 March 2009 on the ACT Astrology Forum
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Therese,

Thanks for that.

I see you have used that quote a few times before on Skyscript.

If you want to cite this informal forum post by Robert Schmidt as support for your position that is up to you. However, I think its only fair to present the contrasting viewpoint set out in a forum post here on Skyscript by Deborah Houlding the last time this topic came up. Unlike the quote from Robert Schmidt you have provided us with Deborah Houlding actually cites an astrological text (prior to Ptolemy) to support her viewpoint.

Deborah Houlding wrote:
Quote:
Therese, when asked about the quadruplicities in the other thread, your justification was Robert Schmidt's post in the Act forum, which you refer to again here. The link is:
http://actastrology.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=101

I read it at the time but passed over it because it was meandering off-topic, and it presented informal personal opinion from another forum. But if it is going to be referred regularly as a sort of "last word" I have to say that I don't believe Robert Schmidt would have expected that. The post is highly speculative and I see many weaknesses in the proposals he presents. For example, he suggests that Hellenistic astrologers might have merely continued the subliminal influence of Ptolemy by pointing to the seasonal relevancy of the definitions of tropical, solid and double-bodied, so he asks us to consider that the term tropical may have had another sort of origin, and that "the terms solid and double-bodied are not obviously related to the seasons at all". This leads him to propose that Ptolemy transposed such ideas to make arguments in favour of the tropical zodiac.

We don’t have many accessible works predating Ptolemy’s that explain the basis of these principles, but we do have the Astronomica of Manilius. This states clearly that the reason that the ‘double signs’ are given this term is because “linking season with season, they possess double powers” (2.174ff.). He gives a similarly clear explanation about how the tropical signs are so-called because they “turn the four seasons of the year” (3.622ff.). Manilius predates Ptolemy by about a century and a half and presents older material in versified form - we cannot attribute this to the subliminal influence of Ptolemy. So I don’t think we can consider that a viable proposal has been put forward to counter that of every ancient and traditional text which offers an explanation of these terms – all express agreement in principle that they derive from seasonal associations. We have nothing really, to give us good reason to reject that.

BTW, Manilus does not fix the equinox in the first degree of the signs. The conclusion of his third book is very interesting for anyone following the discussion of the equinox placement and the signifance of seasonal influence in the ancient definitions of signs. I won't copy it all out. It starts at 3.666, which is p.217 in the Loeb edition.

Deborah Houlding: 29th February 2012 , Skyscript Astrology Forum


Incidentally, what ever happened to the ACT Hellenistic Astrology forum? Robert Schmidt seems to have disappeared as moderator ages ago.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These appeals to authority and counter-authority in the form of old forum postings seem less than productive to me. The way I see it, Robert Schmidt (who, interestingly, was arguing against a tropicalist understanding of these terms in spite of being a tropicalist himself) has a good point which is worth examining on its own merits.

Granted that a few quite early authors (though none of them, apparently, practising astrologers) have interpreted the terms tropikos, stereos and disōmos as relating to seasonal qualities, I'd still agree with Schmidt that the latter two are rather strange terms to choose if the idea of those qualities is what you wish to convey -- and the first (tropikos) is not necessarily seasonal either (though it can be), but just means 'related to turning'. If I wanted to express that June is a month when the seasons don't change, I don't believe I would say 'June is a solid month'.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

As Robert Schmidt has translated a number of the Hellenistic texts, and has a better overall grasp of those texts than anyone else, I'll go with his opinion on the quadruplicities. At any rate the final word will eventually be decided by research. Sadly, astrologers don't want to look in that direction. It seems to be much easier for them to endlessly discuss theory. That way they don't have to look at the facts that may be staring them directly in the face.

Yes, Robert Schmidt has been silent for a long time. I know at one time he was having serious health problems, but I don't know what his current situation is.
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RodJM



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton said:
Quote:
At any rate the final word will eventually be decided by research. Sadly, astrologers don't want to look in that direction. It seems to be much easier for them to endlessly discuss theory. That way they don't have to look at the facts that may be staring them directly in the face.


Have you been reading my mind or something? took the words right out of my mouth.. Laughing
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod wrote:
Quote:
Have you been reading my mind or something? took the words right out of my mouth..

All sensible people tend to come to the same pragmatic conclusions, don't they?! Leery
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RodJM



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Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Rod wrote:
Quote:
Have you been reading my mind or something? took the words right out of my mouth..

All sensible people tend to come to the same pragmatic conclusions, don't they?! Leery


Thats one of the things that struck me, the first time I came across Skyscript forums, so much academic styled commentary about who said this and who said that etc.. from a historical perspectives, is all good and fine BUT, does it actually work for all human personalities anywhere in the world and is it really directly observable in today's global reality?

Those old fathers of traditional western astrology were basing everything from observations of the populations in there part of the world, in there time in history, with the the population having a "smaller" consciousness as a result of dietary practices and limited diversity of the gene pool available at the time of conception of the individual. Today's global population has a much improved and diverse "beginning" of life from the moment the first breath is taken and thus the initiation of the natal chart. There is such a thing as evolution!

As all of us on here know already, people grew up, lived there whole lives in small communities with relatively short lives compared to the stark contrast of today's populated world and extended life spans.

Also, the expanded awareness of today's global population is directly a result of the spread of information which is (especially noticeable from the invention of the printing press for example) in its many shapes and forms from the day you are born. Something folks in those times, medieval and ancient worlds could never have imagined in there wildest dreams. This will have a dramatic effect on how we observe human behavior patterns.

This is one of the main reason why I don't bath myself in loads of "old school" traditional views on western astrology. Astrology is by and large a progressive "Science".
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Phil



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Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what might mislead people about using a non-tropical zodiac, and I’m glad to see Therese and Martin clarifying things. The symbolism most in the west are familiar with is tropical. Throw out the solar cycle, and the symbolism must change.

Therese discusses above how polarities and triplicities must be adjusted to a sidereal zodiac. That makes sense, since, e.g., Pisces being the first sign would imply the odd and even numbers of signs are shifted by one from the western scheme, and so too should be masculine and feminine character, or polarity.

So now, talking about mode, it seems we’re not talking about “cardinal”, “fixed”, and “mutable” as most people in the west describe and understand them, fully entwined as this understanding is with the changes of the seasons.

Instead, if we are dealing with a set of modes -- tropikos (= “related to turning”), stereos, and disōmos -- that are not related to seasonal change, where do we look for the deep, intuitive descriptions of these modes that we are used to? If mode is not seasonal, as you say, fair enough. Then what is it?

What does a “related to turning” sign mean to someone, as opposed to the rich seasonal understanding we obtain from calling it a “cardinal” sign in the traditional western sense?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil wrote:
Quote:
Therese discusses above how polarities and triplicities must be adjusted to a sidereal zodiac. That makes sense, since, e.g., Pisces being the first sign would imply the odd and even numbers of signs are shifted by one from the western scheme, and so too should be masculine and feminine character, or polarity.

Phil, I'm not sure you're clear on polarity in the sidereal zodiac (at least as I've definied it in relation to solar and lunar qualities.) Pisces doesn't become the first sign of the sidereal zodiac. Rather, the traits of tropical Aries belong to sidereal Pisces, the 12th sign. This is a difficuilt (Uranian) swtich to make, which is why there are articles on my web site related to the symbolism of:

the Sun (male) and Moon (female): http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/apolar1.htm

[b]and Sign Polarity:
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/amalefe2.htm

and the triplicities: http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/aatriplicities2013.htm

and an older article on the trigons which may be a real brain twister: http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/atrigon3.htm
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