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Tropical zodiac and the Southern hemisphere
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 519
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
From a brief check myself the main difference in planetary lists regarding the luminaries between the Mesopotamians and Greeks seems to be that while both listed the luminaries together the Greeks usually start with the Moon (See Plato's Timaeus or Aristotle's On The Heavens (De Caelo) ) while the Babylonians seem to list the Sun first. Would you agree?


According to Nillson: Geschichte der griechischen Religion, the Babylonian order began with the Moon, followed by the Sun – just like the Greek series. The old Babylonian order was Moon, Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars. Saturn and Mercury were reversed in later times.

So far, I haven't heard of any Babylonian model that starts out with the Sun. What is your source here?

Regarding the Pythagorean system, B. L. van der Waerden (in: “Die Astronomie der Pythagoreer”) believes its original version to be heliocentric, in fact. The version with the central fire (and a “Counter-Earth” directly opposite to our planet) as depicted by Philolaus (which I referred to above) is nowadays generally assumed to have been created either by himself or by one of his contemporaries in the late 5th century BC.

BTW, you gave a really interesting list of references – much appreciated.

Michael wrote:
Quote:
Copyright by Michael Sternbach. There seems to be no research into this view other than my own.


Mark replied:
Quote:
In that case my sincere congratulations for some genuinely original and highly insightful research.


Thanks Mark. Your words are truly encouraging.

Mark wrote:
Quote:
I would suggest getting an article out on this asap. You deserve the full credit for this. I hate to say it but there are some totally unscrupulous types out there who will happily acquire such pioneering theories and pass it off as their own.


Boy, have I personally experienced this before! - Nevertheless, I was happy to answer your query also because an article of mine on this will be published very soon. It contains some of the most relevant results of 21 years of research and shows the connections between the domicile scheme and different models of the solar system within a wider context. Nothing that can be imitated on the fly! In fact, consider what I have said regarding it on Skyscript so far as nothing more than a “teaser”. - But thanks for your concern.

Michael wrote:
Quote:
But if you do insist on doing me something good in return, please consider giving me a late answer to the request I quite miserably ended my "Zodiac with 24 sectors" thread with. I have hope that you as a Valens-wise astrologer could help me here... This issue is quite important for my further research


Mark replied:
Quote:
I'm sorry Michael. I think you may have an inflated idea of my Valens credentials. Much as I like hellenistic astrology I am no authority on him. I think both Deborah Houlding and Curtis Manwaring have had a go at answering your query over on the traditional forum. Beyond them there are about 4 inactive but highly knowledgeable members on Skyscript who may just be able to assist you. There are a few academics off this site that occur to me too. I will send you a private message with some people worth contacting by PM here.


Wow, what a fantastic list you have sent me! Thank you so much. I am sure it will be of great use. Expect my reply by PM.

Of course, if any of you Valens tigers out-there happen to read this, please feel perfectly free to answer aforesaid query all by yourself! It would be much appreciated. Smile

Quote:
However, do bear in mind this is a very obscure topic and your answer may neither come easily or fast.


Good to know. I already started doubting that grey mass between my ears!

Best wishes
Michael
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternach wrote:
Quote:
So far, I haven't heard of any Babylonian model that starts out with the Sun. What is your source here?


I was reading the book Astrology in Mesopotamian Culture: An Essay By A. E. Thierens. Thierens seemed to imply some old Assyrian planetary lists did this but it may just be my misunderstanding of what he was saying. I think he cites the ancient historian Diodorus Siculus from his Bibliotheca Historica for this.

However, I may have simply misunderstood him regarding the order of luminaries. Equally, its quite an old book (1935) and the author was not an academic authority but rather more an astrologer and occultist who studied the research of others. He does have a rather irritating habit of seeking to fit modern astrological interpretations on to ancient Mesopotamian astronomy and astrology.

What does seem clear unambiguous is that the Babylonians always seemed to treat the luminaries as qualitatively different from the five planets.

Considering how much the Greeks borrowed from the Babylonians in both astronomy and astrology it would certainly be consistent if the hellenistic approach to planetary lists was identical to the Mesopotamian one.

Wouldn't the rationale be different though? The Greeks seem to develop the idea of planetary spheres. I am not aware of the same concept in Mesopotamian thought.

Mark
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 519
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

It's a little hard for me to imagine that any astronomically experienced culture would set the Sun closer to the Earth than the Moon because it would be fairly evident from the observation of solar eclipses that this assumption is incorrect.

Quote:
Wouldn't the rationale be different though? The Greeks seem to develop the idea of planetary spheres. I am not aware of the same concept in Mesopotamian thought.


Right, it seems that the concept of concentric planetary spheres was introduced by the Greek mathematician and astronomer Eudoxus of Cnidus (408-355 BC).

There is still academic debate concerning the question whether the spheres were generally thought of by the ancients as having material existence or were considered to be immaterial / etheric in nature, or even mere mathematical abstractions.

There is no doubt, in any case, that concentric spheres are of unabated great significance in terms of archetypal psychology and meditative contemplation.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have checked out the Loeb edition of the Bibliotheca Historica of Diodorus Siculus. However, it doesn't appear to support what A. E. Thierens wrote:

Diodorus Siculus writes regarding the 'Chaldeans':
Quote:
And under all the stars hitherto mentioned the moon, according to them, takes her way, being nearest the earth because of her weight and completing her course in a very brief period of time, not by reason of her great velocity, but because her orbit is so short. They also agree with the Greeks in saying that her light is reflected and that her eclipses are due to the shadow of the earth. Diodorus Siculus from his Bibliotheca Historica II:XXXI


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Diodorus_Siculus/2A*.html

This seems fully consistent with the normal approach of hellenistic astronomy.

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
It's a little hard for me to imagine that any astronomically experienced culture would set the Sun closer to the Earth than the Moon because it would be fairly evident from the observation of solar eclipses that this assumption is incorrect.


I think the main objection to your theory as it stands is that it seems to assume the astronomical lists of planets are synonymous with the way astrological thinking went. If your trying to prove an origin of domicile rulerships you need to go further. You need to find a basis for this in astrological literature.

There is fairly good evidence the two approaches were often at odds. For example, Greek astronomers adopted the tropical zodiac based on 0 Aries centuries before it became widely adopted in the later hellenistic astrology.

Regarding planetary orders in astrological literature Dorian Greenbaum and Micah Ross write:

Quote:
Several different planetary orders circulate in astrological literature. The Role of Egypt in the Development of The Horoscope by Dorian Greenbaum and Micah Ross p151-152


I dont have time to quote from that article at present but I think you do need to study it. It challenges assumptions made by David Pingree regarding straightforward hellenistic planetary orders in astrological literature.

Mark
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 519
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote: Apr 14, 2014 7:17 am
Quote:
I think the main objection to your theory as it stands is that it seems to assume the astronomical lists of planets are synonymous with the way astrological thinking went. If your trying to prove an origin of domicile rulerships you need to go further. You need to find a basis for this in astrological literature.


I agree. It would really be fascinating to find historic evidence that the Thema mundi and the domicile scheme were indeed derived from ancient models of the planetary system. I think the assumption is sound, though.

But what I find more important is the fact that these two most basic astronomical / astrological perspectives are linked with each other - and in ways that are metaphysically relevant. Personally, I give a little more emphasis to this than to the question how it came to be historically.

Furthermore, it's quite conceivable that the Thema mundi as well as the domicile scheme have their origin in a more ancient, still unknown astrosophical lore and were not fully understood any longer by the time of Ptolemy & Co. This would explain why Ptolemy, in explaining the domicile scheme, needs to resort to what are obviously Aristotelian-based rationalizations.

Possibly, the domicile scheme was originally a pattern printed on a Frisbee that ancient alien kids left on the Earth when they returned to their planet and that was later found and worshipped by the ancients. Laughing

Quote:
There is fairly good evidence the two approaches were often at odds. For example, Greek astronomers adopted the tropical zodiac based on 0 Aries centuries before it became widely adopted in the later hellenistic astrology.


Again, while it may be difficult to prove that my ideas are reflecting the historical origin of astronomical / astrological concepts, I look at such things also in terms of their causa finalis, so it is of secondary importance how exactly they came to be.

There are actually a number of esoteric schemes that went through quite a dramatic evolution over the centuries (such as the kabbalistic Tree of Life). In this respect, the occult sciences are not very different from their “official” siblings.

Quote:
Regarding planetary orders in astrological literature Dorian Greenbaum and Micah Ross write:
Quote:
Several different planetary orders circulate in astrological literature. The Role of Egypt in the Development of The Horoscope by Dorian Greenbaum and Micah Ross p151-152


I dont have time to quote from that article at present but I think you do need to study it. It challenges assumptions made by David Pingree regarding straightforward hellenistic planetary orders in astrological literature.


I would certainly like to read the article. How is it available?

Thank you for your thoughts.

Michael
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
I would certainly like to read the article. How is it available?


I will send you a PM on that.

Mark
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Location: Switzerland

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

O. k., I see that the order of the planets among ancient astrologers was not such a cut and dried matter as one might think.

However, the geocentric models that I am referring to (for convenience, let's call them the Platonic and the Ptolemaic model) were the two most widespread ones; the founders of the Thema mundi and the domicile scheme must have been familiar with them. In the case of Ptolemy, we can be certain of this as he was the one who introduced the planetary system named after him.

Thanks

Michael
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naomibennett9



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Austin, Tx

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Southern hemiphere horoscopes Reply with quote

I have traveled frequently to So. Am, meeting astrologers and doing charts. I specifically did this to answer this question for myself.

My experience showed that the signs do not reverse themselves below the equator. They are are same north or south on our globe.

However, viewing the star constellations up in the sky is a different experience. The constellations are upside down. They are not reversed, but they are inverted.
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Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 366

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to wake this long thread up again, but I recently found an interesting perspective on it, in a book published in French by C. Kerneďz in 1937, Le vrai visage de l'astrologie (the true face of astrology).

Kerneďz had also published a number of books on yoga and the philosophy behind it, and introduced yoga into France. He has a French Wiki page: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant_Kerne%C3%AFz

In astrology, he was essentially a tropicalist, emphasising the permanence of seasonal characteristics associated with the signs. He takes it for granted that the signs and rulers should be reversed in the southern hemisphere. (As an aside, so do I. I know many or most contributors here find that the northern hemisphere zodiac also works in the south, but I think this is probably, in the rather neat words of Nixx, best explained by "confirmation bias due to previous cognitive conditioning". There are plenty of others out there on the web saying reversing works better; water goes down the plughole in a different direction and, as Paul pointed out in a recent thread on straight and crooked signs - a tropical, not sidereal phenomenon - those simply are reversed in the southern hemisphere, there's no getting away from it.)

The interesting thing about Kerneďz's argument is that in this book he seems to know quite a bit about Indian astrology, and sees the sidereal 12-fold zodiac as working much better in the tropics, and gradually fading in its efficacy as you go north or south. He sees the opposite occurring withe tropical zodiac - it works better outside the tropics, gradually fading as it moves towards the equator. (He also states that many astrologers in north India use the tropical zodiac. This is interesting and new to me; I don't know if it is true, or was when he was there in the early 20th century.)

For me this has a particular appeal, as I was born 1° from the equator and while I have always found tropical astrology appealing in its structural elegance, I've been told some complete rubbish based on signs and rulers, both about character, physical/health matters, and predictions, by everything from Astroflash back in the early 80s and various textbooks or Solar Fire auto-analysis, to a highly respected and and published traditional astrologer. The parts of the latter's analysis that were based on house position, aspects etc with the natural significations of the planets di work better.
When I discovered sidereal, it all made much more sense. I agree with Mark that siderealists also have to deal with the problem of reversal: if you use different significations for the nodes, these should presumably be reversed according to hemisphere. (In fact, and although India is of course north of the equator, in many ways the usual Indian interpretations of the lunar nodes are, in some respects, reversed as per traditional Western astrology: the NN is "bad", the SN has some good qualities, at least in respect of spiritual advancement.)

And yet, I've also seen very convincing tropical configurations for charts for outside the tropics (in solar revolutions, for example, in harmonics, and in transits over long periods in mundane astrology) which simply don't appear in sidereal. So I find Kerneďz's hypothesis interesting and quite convincing.

Graham
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james_m



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Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi graham,

thanks for reinvigorating the thread and sharing Kerneďz's viewpoint.. that is interesting.. i also agree with nixx's general view about confirmation bias being something that probably happens a lot in getting people's viewpoint on just about anything, but astrology as well..

i feel i have always had an open view on the relevance of either zodiac, perhaps as i view so much of what we 'believe' as a subjective type matter that can never be fully proven.. i think the folks who work in both zodiacs have an advantage in some respects, but the amount of work to devote to learning and knowing how to use the sidereal, or to learn the indian system of working with sidereal seems especially labour intensive.. i found it interesting Kerneďz's viewpoint on some or many in northern india practicing tropical.. i wonder how much merit there is in that nowadays? i kinda doubt it, but i don't live or interact with indian astrologers to know.. thanks for the post..
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