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Astrology and the Cabala

 
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 466
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:16 am    Post subject: Astrology and the Cabala Reply with quote

Hi Matthew,

I took the liberty to move our interesting discussion regarding Kenneth Grant and astrology to a new thread. I feel that a deep exchange about the cabala couldn't quite unfold so well on the former thread "What are the outer-planets outside of" - or else, God forbid, could bring that thread seriously off topic!

mjacob wrote: Mar 31, 2014 11:41 pm
Quote:
Kenneth Grant was a follower of the western occult tradition with its roots in the qabalah. This emphasises the numbers 12, 7 and three. Sepher yetzirah is clearly related to seven planets and 12 signs then 3 other higher spheres

Grant attempted to assign these three spheres or sephirot to the outer planets

More if you wish


Yes, would please explain this in more detail!

Thanks
Michael
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Mjacob



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
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Location: Kent - England

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A brief initial reply. Here in Britain the Golden Dawn in the late C19th led a revival of the occult or esoteric tradition and included some prominent members. The notorious Aleister Crowley was connected. He studied all occult disciplines including astrology and is almost certainly the ghost writer of Evangeline Adams. His or her work included the then outer planets. Not Pluto at that time.

The tarot was also a big concern for them. They spent much time making a schema of the tarot, qabalah and the planets.

In time I rejected the tarot connection but did study it

Some Golden Dawn members were disappointed and said "you promised us the secrets of the universe and all we got was the Hebrew alphabet"

The tree of life diagram shows malkuth at the bottom, the realm of the earth and four elements. Next up is Yesod the Moon. As in astrology she is an intermediary. Next up in line is tifareth the sun surrounded by the planetary spheres.

This is seen as a map for spiritual progress. Occultists wanted to cross the abyss to the three supernals. They attempted to assign these spheres to the outer planets

My hypothesis is that modern astrologers ideas about the outers could have their origins in Magick more than Jung

I do not have the keys to the kingdom yet and only came to astrology in order to find a more efficient means of fortune-telling but have come to opine that it is has the potential of revealing truth and I did not see that when I was part of the "Occult Revival" another Grant book and one worth reading to learn more

Matthew
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Mjacob



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
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Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The subject of time or the lack of it in spiritual development is an old one. A long time since reading Siddharta but does he watch the river and contemplate the water cycle and in a single instant see time as being without end or beginning. Hesse put it better than

Jung started to think on those lines too I think

He may have got in my phone. I tried to spell spiritual and it suggested epithalamion
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matthew

That's interesting. I looked up Crowley's version of the Tree of Life in his "Liber 777" and found that, for the most part, he follows a traditional scheme in assigning the planets to the sephiroth but links Uranus to Daath, Neptune to Chockmah, and Pluto to Kether. I wonder what Golden Dawn-type hermeticists are going to do when further planets will be accepted in astrology... Confused

What does Grant's schema look like?

Matthew wrote:
Quote:
Sepher yetzirah is clearly related to seven planets and 12 signs then 3 other higher spheres


Do you mean, these elements are related to the Tree of Life in the book Sepher yetzirah?

Your list contains 22 elements in toto which is the number of the paths on the Tree of Life. Is there any connection to be seen?

While such considerations are certainly interesting for metaphysics and magic, do you know any astrologer who could convincingly translate these correspondences to something useful in astrological practice?
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Mjacob



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Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will look again but for the moment a short reply to acknowledge. At present there is a divide between astrology and Magick. Crowley's followers today do not bother to elect times for their work with astrology in the main. Astrologers aspire to science and do not appeal to anthropomorphic (?) gods of the planets.

In medieval times there was not such a divide. Occult philosophy and natural philosophy were both based on the understanding (if indeed I understand it) of the same world view.

The transition of knowledge of esoteric ideas between the occultists in the C20th to the astrologers may have taken place informally.

In former times some astrology was permitted like weather prognostication and decumbiture. Sacramental magical acts to planetary gods based on electional charts must have happened. When Picatrix was translated for example someone must have tried it out but evidence was rare. I did come across a reference in rabbinic literature to qabalah and spells but no longer have it. It is the secret tradition after all and is hard to find evidence.

Only later in the renaissance do we see more explicit expressions but I digress - no outer planets yet. Nevertheless all had to adapt their thinking when the Ptolemaic hypothesis was questioned and abandoned
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Mjacob



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Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am revising Grant but you remind me of daath (can't do umlaut)
More to follow

The order of planets seem to go normally in one scheme but the outers go binah Uranus, hokmah Neptune and Pluto at the crown but Dr Dee's glyph atop
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Mjacob



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Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mjacob wrote:
I am revising Grant but you remind me of daath (can't do umlaut)
More to follow

The order of planets seem to go normally in one scheme but the outers go binah Uranus, hokmah Neptune and Pluto at the crown but Dr Dee's glyph atop


My first foolish thought was that upper supernals were ordered by the discovery dates of the planets but that is wrong. It must be distance from the sun. I thought at the time that they should have made two more spheres in the first place for say Uranus and Neptune and gave Pluto to da'ath. As a mnemonic I fancied that when lying in the bath your head was malkuth, binah and chokmah the two taps and da'ath the plug hole

If the supernals are decided by superior orbit then it is the inferior spheres that need reordering. The sun at the lowest sphere of the solar system is malkuth but what of the moon. Poor old levannah is a mere satellite of earth has no part in this new hypothesis and no more signification than any rock orbiting another planet
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Mjacob



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Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
While such considerations are certainly interesting for metaphysics and magic, do you know any astrologer who could convincingly translate these correspondences to something useful in astrological practice?


The short answer would be no. In astrological practice if you mean counselling people then metaphysics may have no place. On the other hand what of an astrologer who, say considers horary to be mere divination but uses terms like "tool for growth" , "upper octave" or other terms related to mysticism?

Astrology based on Jung is widely practised. Jung's work (correct me if I go wrong here)included a work on alchemy, and dreams were important to him. I understand that "Seven sermons to the Dead" was not published because it was too much like mediumship. This did not fool his Swiss neighbours who thought him a witch

It is not unfair to hope that they should understand the foundations of their art and if they intend to progress spiritually after they tire of writing books about asteroids and your pets then they need to know where they are from before they know where they are going.

In any case you imply that metaphysics is remote from astrology. I would see it as part of us thus the tree of life diagram is often pictured superimposed on the picture of a man probably called Adam Cadmon. Years ago I intuited a connection between the tree of life and Jacob's Ladder.

The angels both ascend and descend all at once in the present. Agrippa got there before me writing of the symbology of the number ten. For the modern mystical magician the tree provides a route map for the divine essence to return to the source in a race to the top.This seems like a gnostic idea to me. There is no path down the tree for any immanent God.

I want to compare the ideas behind the two disciplines but returning to the theme that started this what benefit is there to using the outers and ignoring the inners? Is this useful in practice?That is what I want to find out
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Mjacob



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Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at my unread philosophy bookshelf I come across The Age of Belief. Of Augustine it says among the problems recurring where those that Aristotle Plato and Plotinus and as today confront JP Sartre, Bertrand Russell and Heidigger....What are things? Are they at all. What is totally out of time? What totally inside?How can Man's free will co-exist with God's providence

The latter cannot be ignored by astrologers,I contend
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthew wrote: Apr 02, 2014 9:44 pm
Quote:
The sun at the lowest sphere of the solar system is malkuth but what of the moon. Poor old levannah is a mere satellite of earth has no part in this new hypothesis and no more signification than any rock orbiting another planet


This sounds like you are trying to reorder the Tree of Life according to the heliocentric system?

Matthew wrote: Apr 03, 2014 8:57 am
Quote:
Astrology based on Jung is widely practised. Jung's work (correct me if I go wrong here)included a work on alchemy, and dreams were important to him. I understand that "Seven sermons to the Dead" was not published because it was too much like mediumship. This did not fool his Swiss neighbours who thought him a witch


Yes, Jung wrote books on alchemy. His view of the psyche was largely based on various esoteric sources. His "Mysterium Conjunctionis" is replete with astrological symbolism. He was even looking at his patients' natal charts, but didn't write about practical astrology. However, Jung strongly inspired modern astrology via authors like Dane Rudhyar and Liz Greene.

Matthew wrote: Apr 03, 2014 8:57 am
Quote:
In any case you imply that metaphysics is remote from astrology. I would see it as part of us thus the tree of life diagram is often pictured superimposed on the picture of a man probably called Adam Cadmon.


I didn't mean that. From my perspective, practical astrology is totally based on metaphysics, and indeed a kind of applied form thereof. But it is not always adequate or easy to talk a great deal about metaphysics with average clients. Needless to say, among astrologers, metaphysical attitudes and outlooks vary.

Matthew wrote: Apr 03, 2014 8:57 am
Quote:
I want to compare the ideas behind the two disciplines but returning to the theme that started this what benefit is there to using the outers and ignoring the inners? Is this useful in practice?That is what I want to find out


Who on Earth is suggesting to ignore the inner planets?!
Not sure if I am getting you right here... Confused

Matthew wrote: Apr 03, 2014 9:07 am
Quote:
Looking at my unread philosophy bookshelf I come across The Age of Belief. Of Augustine it says among the problems recurring where those that Aristotle Plato and Plotinus and as today confront JP Sartre, Bertrand Russell and Heidigger....What are things? Are they at all. What is totally out of time? What totally inside?How can Man's free will co-exist with God's providence

The latter cannot be ignored by astrologers,I contend


I agree, there are many open philosophical question that touch on astrology - and vice versa!

Michael
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Mjacob



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael
You make me order my thoughts on a number of things so I must consider with care. But first the point about ignoring the inner planets was not important. I am not suggesting that we re order the lower sephira but merely making a rhetorical question . In any case modern esotericists fetishise the tree of life diagram. It is no more real than the chart is a reflection of the solar system. It is just a geometric form.

In answer to a previous question the golden dawn people came up with new colour correspondenses. The tradition follows the medieval when colours were not known. Eg a naranj was a Persian fruit long before the colour orange entered our word hoard. A Kabbalist can therefore define what planet or sign orange belongs to whereas a Lilly adherent is limited by tradition
More later
Matthew
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