skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

The nature of the sun and ancient astrology
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1209
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
Rest assured Deb , you have nothing to fear. My take on the astrological community...

Sad, but so very true.... Astrology is so very broad that it needs each of us to be a spokesman for the puzzle piece that speaks to us. Maybe some day we'll all come together, and the puzzle pieces will form a beautiful and complete mandala. (All right....maybe not in my lifetime...)
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm


Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Deb-- on both counts.

Therese and Margherita, thanks for your useful information.

One point that might be worth teasing out from some of the sun definitions (breath, soul, intellectual light) is the distinction between the sun as the ball of fire moving predictably around the ecliptic; and the sun as "the universal god manifested in the sun." (Campion, Astrol. & Cosmol. 89-90.)

Sometimes in Antiquity we get the concept of light as existing prior to and independently of the sun, and it is this light that is intended in the primary esoteric spiritual sense. (Wright, Cosmol. in Antiquity 110-113,cf. Genesis 1-2, John 1 in the Bible.) The "ether" (aither, aether) existed above the near-earth atmosphere, and was the home of the gods, the source of religious beliefs. It was particularly associated with the air (intellect) and fire (animation) elements when it wasn't given its own status as the fifth element.

Similarly, to a lot of ancient people, the seat of life itself was in the breath (Genesis 2 again) which is probably why our words "inspire", "spiritual", and "respiration" have the same root. This belief predates the Greek idea that that the ether was the source of divine "breath" given to animate humanity.

Jupiter, incidentally, as the fertile, supreme, philosophical, all-father god of Greece and Rome, was originally a weather god. He brought the crucial autumn rains, but also thunder and lightning. Possibly this made him a less suitable astrological candidate than his son Apollo or his earlier prototype: the Titan Helios. Apollo was already the god of prophecy (i. e., communicating the gods' will) prior to becoming associated with the sun.

The astronomical sun of daily life, time-keeping, astrology, and weather could be either beneficial or harmful. But the esoteric light and air qualities, associated with the gods and a supernatural heavenly sphere, could be only beneficial. But how to import these etheral qualities into astrology?

Of the planets, the astrological sun, alone or in combination, was the most logical choice. And so far, so good. We know about the sun as the source of life from science class. The ancients would have understood how plants respond to light and die when kept in persistent darkness, as well. So a literal and esoteric meaning could be conjoined, although not without some slippage between different meanings attributed to the sun prior to the codification of its attributes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnd



Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 35

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
The Sun represents our ideals as these illuminate the soul,our assumptions,conscious or not.
We all have a set of general assumptions and motivations.The traveller scratches his head at the idea of becoming a Monk,the business man cannot grasp what motivates the junkie.
We are a big mess of contradictions,it is the Sun that brings them together to bring some coherence in life,just like the physical Sun uses gravity to pull other planets.
If the ASC sign is weak,like the dispersive gemini or pisces,it won`t be easy to realize the Sun`s nature,especially if it is a demanding Sun,like Leo,with its heroic ideals
my 2 cents
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4955
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possibility that I dont think has been raised here yet concerns whether the view of the sun in the ancient astrology may at times have reflected heliocentric pagan religious thinking in ancient culture. Certain pagan beliefs were heavily focused on sun worship such as the cult of Sol Invictus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus

The Mithras cult also seems to have been centred on a Sun God. Thus even without an explicit adoption of a heliocentric cosmology in mystical spiritual terms the sun often had special associations.

Some sources go even further though. An excellent example of such heliocentric thinking comes from Emperor Julian (aka Julian the Apostate). Julian lived in the 4th century (331/332CE –363CE). Julian sought to reverse the advance of Christianity in the Empire and attempted a synthesis of various pagan traditions (neo-Platonism, Stoic asceticism, Goddess worship etc), with a particular emphasis on a universal solar cult.

Like the Stoic Emperor Marcus Aurelius before him Julian was a scholar and cultivated person, an emperor who was also a philosopher and an author.

From a passage in his texts he even appears as a forerunner of Copernicus more than eleven centuries earlier! He believed that the planets revolve around the Sun, following circular orbits in well-defined distances. This passage (from the Hymn to King Helios) reads:

Quote:
“For the planets round about him (the Sun), as though he were their king, lead on their dance, at appointed distances from him pursue their orbits with the utmost harmony; they make, as it were, pauses; they move backwards and forwards (terms by which those skilled in Astronomy denote these properties of the stars)”


Emperor Julian was destined to be the last and greatest champion of the ancient Pagan faiths. Julian's death in battle in his early 30's leading his armies in Persia finally closed down the option of an ongoing pagan Roman Empire.

From the death of Julian onwards the position of those holding pagan beliefs in the empire gradually deteriorated. The emperors who came after Julian were Christian, they made the Church supreme, dismantled pagan religious traditions and eventually persecuted those still upholding pagan beliefs in the Empire.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting points, Mark.

I will have to check on my sources when I get home (currently checking email from a coffee house in the Four Corners area) but I would suggest that the sun is a more important **early** god in places without a dependence upon unpredictable rainfall for their agriculture; whereas the supreme god is more likely to be a god of rainfall, thunder, and lightning in places dependent upon Mediterranean winter rains. Examples of the former would be Egypt; the latter would be the early Greeks with Zeus (aka Jove) and Israelites with the God whose unspeakable name (Hebrew yod-hey-vav-hey) came out as Jehovah. One has to wonder how the planet Jupiter became associated with the "All-Father" given the obvious pre-eminence of the sun in the sky. I think it was because of the significance of rainfall to the non-riverine Mediterranean societes.

By late Antiquity, there was so much syncretism that we begin to lose these early meanings and connections.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4955
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
I will have to check on my sources when I get home (currently checking email from a coffee house in the Four Corners area) but I would suggest that the sun is a more important **early** god in places without a dependence upon unpredictable rainfall for their agriculture; whereas the supreme god is more likely to be a god of rainfall, thunder, and lightning in places dependent upon Mediterranean winter rains. Examples of the former would be Egypt; the latter would be the early Greeks with Zeus (aka Jove) and Israelites with the God whose unspeakable name (Hebrew yod-hey-vav-hey) came out as Jehovah. One has to wonder how the planet Jupiter became associated with the "All-Father" given the obvious pre-eminence of the sun in the sky. I think it was because of the significance of rainfall to the non-riverine Mediterranean societes.


Hello Waybread,

I'm sorry but I am not really clear what practical implication you think any of this has for the nature of the Sun that has passed down to us in hellenistic astrology? Confused

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 480
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote: Apr 12, 2014 10:55 am
Quote:
One possibility that I dont think has been raised here yet concerns whether the view of the sun in the ancient astrology may at times have reflected heliocentric pagan religious thinking in ancient culture. Certain pagan beliefs were heavily focused on sun worship such as the cult of Sol Invictus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus

The Mithras cult also seems to have been centred on a Sun God. Thus even without an explicit adoption of a heliocentric cosmology in mystical spiritual terms the sun often had special associations.


In fact, Giordano Bruno's strong support for the Copernican heliocentric system was directly based on the Sun's prominent role in ancient Hermetic Gnosis (see Frances A. Yates: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark-- just another fly-by message as I check my email from a public library while traveling. I was trying to suggest that today it seems very natural for us to situate the sun at the metaphorical center of astrology, even with our geocentric model. I am not sure that the founders of ancient astrology always did this. Their supreme god-king and All-Fathers were generally more like Jupiter, with the signal exception of the Egyptians. The Babylonian sky god Marduk (I believe) evolved into Zeus and thus Roman Jupiter: both as a planet and as a god who thundered and gave or withheld rain. (Cf. the Hebrew concepts of God in the OT.) One would think that if the sun were all-supreme, to the ancient Hellenists, as it was in Egypt, that the god Zeus would have been the sun god, but this doesn't seem to be the case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RodJM



Joined: 02 Feb 2014
Posts: 82
Location: Tasmania!

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
I was trying to suggest that today it seems very natural for us to situate the sun at the metaphorical center of astrology, even with our geocentric model. I am not sure that the founders of ancient astrology always did this.


Hi waybread,

Just as well! I get annoyed no end when I see western astrologers downplaying the sheer power of the Sun as symbolised in astrological charts. Glad to see the importance of the Sun as the creator of life and thus existence... period! No sun = No life, its a no brainer..
The founders of ancient astrology had limited perception of reality of existence as we now know it today. How could they have it any other way? They only did what they could at the time.

All of there philosophies, concepts and any other views about life and existence will always be limited by what they observed in their part of the world, in their time and the way they compared human behavior characteristics in their populations with physically observed astrological phenomenon.

Remember, these are civilizations that thought the earth was flat! Laughing
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Konrad



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 682

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
Just as well! I get annoyed no end when I see western astrologers downplaying the sheer power of the Sun as symbolised in astrological charts. Glad to see the importance of the Sun as the creator of life and thus existence... period! No sun = No life, its a no brainer..
The founders of ancient astrology had limited perception of reality of existence as we now know it today. How could they have it any other way? They only did what they could at the time.


One could argue that we are no closer to, and perhaps further away from, any sort of grasp of "reality" today. Being able to measure the effects of something to a minute level does not equate to an understanding of it.

Quote:
Remember, these are civilizations that thought the earth was flat! Laughing


Ah, they really didn't. You might want to read up a bit on that.
_________________
http://www.esmaraldaastrology.wordpress.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Rod-- actually some of the ancient Greeks figured out that the earth was round: the "flat earth" idea is kind of a myth that we moderns have about people in the past. The Greeks miscalculated the actual size of the earth, but they knew it wasn't a big pancake when they saw the masts of outbound ships disappearing below the horizon, learned that daylight varied with latitude, and so on.

They also knew the sun was big and important, but for ancient agriculturalists living in a dry or seasonally-dry climate, water was terribly important to their celestial calendars, as well. The Egyptian calendar was pegged to the onset of the Nile floods-- it wasn't strictly solar. Rain was crucial to the ancient Greeks: see, for example, Hesiod's Works and Days that preceded the development of horoscopic astrology.

People in hot desert or seasonally rainless countries (like Babylon, parts of India, the Mediterranean, Persia, and Egypt) are well aware of the sun's destructive capabilities in ways that people who live all their lives in temperate climates can't imagine.

The ideas that water signs are the "fruitful" signs for planting (whereas sun-ruled Leo is "barren") and that the supreme father-gods (with whom the planet Jupiter was identified) might be a weather god rather than a sun god seem instructive.

This is why I am reluctant to read our modern science-class knowledge or medieval northern European sensitivities back into Hellenistic astrology and its forerunners. We do have to try to understand seasons and celestial objects as the ancients understood them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4955
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
The Greeks miscalculated the actual size of the earth, but they knew it wasn't a big pancake when they saw the masts of outbound ships disappearing below the horizon, learned that daylight varied with latitude, and so on.


Actually, the calculation made by Eratosthenes (c. 276 BCE–c. 195/194 BCE) was remarkably close to the actual circumference of the earth.

http://www.windows2universe.org/citizen_science/myw/w2u_eratosthenes_calc_earth_size.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8On7yCU1EjQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cbIWMv0rI


Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
RodJM



Joined: 02 Feb 2014
Posts: 82
Location: Tasmania!

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
Just as well! I get annoyed no end when I see western astrologers downplaying the sheer power of the Sun as symbolised in astrological charts. Glad to see the importance of the Sun as the creator of life and thus existence... period! No sun = No life, its a no brainer..
The founders of ancient astrology had limited perception of reality of existence as we now know it today. How could they have it any other way? They only did what they could at the time.


Konrad wrote:


One could argue that we are no closer to, and perhaps further away from, any sort of grasp of "reality" today. Being able to measure the effects of something to a minute level does not equate to an understanding of it.


Really? before an argument clarifying what "reality" is, we should define the meaning of the word so as not to promote ambiguity. Semantics will invariably come into it.
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spock



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 51
Location: Evansville, Indiana

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The nature of the sun and ancient astrology Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
This thread spins off from these two, on Uranus and on the sun in traditional astrology:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8075&sid=70ebb872d931a35271766a1a55b8d88d

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=60949#60949

If a moderater prefers to move this thread from "philosophy and science" to "traditional" that's fine, although I envision something more philosophical and scientific, rather than a focus on techniques.

My principal fascination with traditional astrology is in looking at the origins of horoscopic Hellenistic astrology. Your milage may vary! My own involves looking at the classic (pun intended) Greek and Latin texts, as well as contexts of the environments in which Hellenistic astrology emerged. Key themes include:

1. The Egyptian and Mesopotamian theological and astronomical background; and potentially, allied streams from Persian, Jewish, and Indian sources.

2. The Greek philosophical and scientific background prior to and coinciding with horoscopic astrology.

3. An idealist approach, as to how the early astrologers would have understood the sun, given their cultures, locations, habitats, and climate. (Idealism is a philosophical position that explanation is based upon understanding people's thoughts in the contexts in which they lived.)

4. How might the above considerations inform our understanding of astrology today?

Out of such a discussion, I hope that broader-based understanding of the methodologies of traditional astrology can emerge.

Also, I hope that the focus need not be too time-centred, as Hellenistic astrology was foundational to the astrologies that followed it.

Questions one through three concern the history of astrology, and although I claim no special expertise in that area I'd be interested in any insights you or others might have to offer. For four, however, I'd have to say, "Not at all." It's one thing to trace the evolution of astrological thinking and practice. That's essentially history of science, and is fascinating in its own right. But questions such as, What's true about astrology? and What's true that might conceivably be called astrology but hasn't been discovered yet? and How can we best go about discovering such things? can't be usefully pursued on the basis of what astrologers used to believe or, for that matter, what most of us believe now.
_________________
Article: After Symbolism
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right, Mark, about Eratosthenes-- it was Columbus who under-estimated the size of the spherical earth.

Hi Spock--

I appreciate your thoughts on my OP question #4. I guess it depends upon how one views the matter of explanation in astrology. Why do we do somthing this way and not that way? History gets at the "why" questions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated