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Number Symbolism and the Sidereal Zodiac
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margherita wrote:
Quote:
do we know Greek quotes about these 3 gates or just what Varro says? I'm a little lost now...


I think you may have missed one of my posts which I was updating when you posted last night? I quoted from that book discussing the Pythagoreans? In particular I referred to the Greek astronomer and Pythagorean-Platonic mystic called Heraclides Ponticus (c.390 BCE – c. 310 BCE). Heraclides seems to have been been the direct source of the idea of 3 soul gates mentioned by Varro. As Heraclides lived in the 4th century BCE it makes the idea of 3 soul gates quite ancient. Heraclides seems to to have been important influence not just on Varro but Cicero and Macrobius too.

If you are curious to investigate this further I would suggest the paper "Heraclides' Three Soul-Gates: Plato Revised" (1993), by Harald A.T. Reiche on JSTOR. It seems to examine the topic in some depth.

Here it is:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/284327?uid=3738032&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103946334453

Unfortunately, I haven't read the paper myself yet simply because of the cost involved in downloading articles from JSTOR.

Margherita wrote:
Quote:
In every case on August 24, October 5, November 8 Romans worshipped the Gods of the Underworld in a place called mundus. And on February they celebrated Parentalia, in honour of their ancestors. The festival ended on February 21, with Feralia, a celebration to Manes, the Roman spirits of dead.


Very interesting. What particular classical sources would you recommend where I could get more information on these traditions in Ancient Rome?

Mark
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unfortunately, I haven't read the paper myself yet simply because of the cost involved in downloading articles from JSTOR.


Hi Mark,

Did you see the notice on that page? Looks like JSTOR are providing free registrations for all which includes online access to some articles, and that is one of them (unless I'm mistaken).
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margherita



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

Very interesting. What particular classical sources would you recommend where I could get more information on these traditions in Ancient Rome?


Unfortunately not Sad Yesterday I called a friend of mine who knows everything about ancient Rome and I asked her if she knew some days connected to death and the months you mentioned.

p.s. yes, some papers can be read for free on Jstor but they cannot be dowloaded.

margherita
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Quote:
Did you see the notice on that page? Looks like JSTOR are providing free registrations for all which includes online access to some articles, and that is one of them (unless I'm mistaken).


Thanks! Amazingly, I somehow missed that. Confused Clearly, too obsessed with astral mysticism to touch base with such practicalities!

The article looks fascinating but I have little time to study it at present.

I see JSTOR are offering a monthly, membership that allows downloads. I think I might consider that considering the forest of articles I want to download from JSTOR.

Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This idea of soul gates seem to give and give. The more I look into it the topic more prevalent it seems to be in ancient thought. Not just in Graeco-Roman belief but in Mesopotamia, Egypt and India too.

Much of this seems to relate to the annual solsticial cycle of the Sun in the constellations.

There is a direct parallel for Porphyry's ideas in Indian astrology. Indeed its so close its obvious one culture influenced the other. I would say its likely to have been an export from the hellenistic world to India but its an intriguing question. In Indian religion and astrology we find the idea of the Devayana or Path of the Gods and the Pitriyana or Path of the Fathers (aka Men). As with Porphyry the idea relates directly to the summer and winter solstices. I find it really intriguing such an idea of solar, seasonal mysticism to be so prevalant in a culture which uses a sidereal zodiac. In India the idea transcends astrology. The annual solar cycle can be seen as a spiritual metaphor for the cycle of rebirth and the fate of beings either moving towards light (Devayana) or the darkness of further human rebirth (Pitriyana).

I found the following short piece by David Frawley on another forum:

Quote:
In Vedic thought, much like that of the rest of the ancient world, the Sun represents the supreme light, the God of Gods, and the Supreme Self, Purusha or Atman whose body is the entire universe, and who dwells in the hearts of all beings.

The outer Sun was regarded as the visible face and presence of the deity from which came not only light in its outer forms but also light in its inner forms as life (prana), intelligence and consciousness. The Sun was regarded as sending forth the Divine consciousness and energy into the world, not just merely material forces.

The winter solstice as the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere represents the rebirth of the Sun or the birth of the Sun child or child of fire, who can carry us across all darkness to the eternal light.

Vedic thought divides the year into two halves, that between the winter and summer solstice, which was called the 'Devayana' or the Path of the Gods, and that between the summer and the winter solstice or the 'Pitriyana' or Path of the Fathers. The former is the northern course of the Sun when the days are getting longer and the Sun is appearing farther north in the sky. The second is the southern course of the Sun when the days are getting shorter and the Sun is appearing farther south in the sky. The northern course of the Sun beginning with the winter solstice is considered to be more auspicious at an astrological level.

On an inner level, the Sun is prana or the life-force. It creates time at a biological level by its movement through the spine and the nervous system. The northern course of the Sun or path of the Gods corresponds to the movement of prana up the spine and the southern course of the Sun or path of the Fathers to the movement down the spine. When our inner consciousness is awakened, one can take the Divine fire or Kundalini force up the spine, opening all the chakras and expanding into the light of the Supreme Sun of the inner Self or immortal Prana in the crown chakra of the head.

The winter solstice is a powerful day for any spiritual practices, Yoga, mantra, meditation or pranayama. It is a time in which we can connect to the Divine light that manifests through the Sun, our local star, and shape the course of our lives for the coming year.

An ancient solar religion of light and enlightenment once prevailed over the entire world. We can find aspects of it in various religions, native traditions and spiritual paths. Even the Yoga Tradition regards Hiranyagarbha, the golden solar embryo or seed of light, as its original teacher. Christmas itself was originally such a solar festival, but the actual day of the solstice has more power for inner practices.


http://www.grahamhancock.com/phorum/read.php?f=8&i=12589&t=12589

This is a from the contemporary Indian spiritual teacher Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote:
''The path of light leads to the world of Brahma, the Brahmaloka, Moksha, or liberation from the karmic bonds of reincarnation; whereas the path of darkness, sometimes called the path of man, leads to the world of the Chandra, the moon, Samsara and the world of births and deaths.''

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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
''The path of light leads to the world of Brahma, the Brahmaloka, Moksha, or liberation from the karmic bonds of reincarnation; whereas the path of darkness, sometimes called the path of man, leads to the world of the Chandra, the moon, Samsara and the world of births and deaths.''

Martin wrote in the following post:
Quote:
The path of the gods is connected with the northern course of the Sun (the entire six months, not just one month/zodiac sign), the Sun itself, and attaining Brahman; the path of the fathers/ancestors is connected with the southern course, the Moon, and rebirth

According to Paramahansa Yogananda (and probably other spiritual masters), these passages and similar passages are only using celestial symbolism to represent the spinal path of evolution and whether Kundalini has been raised to the crown chakra (Light or "Heaven," Brahma, the northern course of the Sun) or kept coiled in the lower chakra leading to continued re-birth (darkness or the "path of man," the southern course). This symbolism isn't meant to be taken literally.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
There is a direct parallel for Porphyry's ideas in Indian astrology. Indeed its so close its obvious one culture influenced the other. I would say its likely to have been an export from the hellenistic world to India but its an intriguing question. In Indian religion and astrology we find the idea of the Devayana or Path of the Gods and the Pitriyana or Path of the Fathers (aka Men).

In India this is not really an astrological idea (you write later that it 'transcends' astrology, but to my knowledge the two are not generally connected), and it is far older than Hellenism. You may want to look at these Upaniṣadic passages: Bṛhadāraṇyaka 6.2.15–16, Chāndogya 5.10.1–8, Kauṣītaki 1.2, Praśna 1.9–10, 5.3–5. (I would not recommend Frawley et al. as scholarly sources.) The path of the gods is connected with the northern course of the Sun (the entire six months, not just one month/zodiac sign), the Sun itself, and attaining Brahman; the path of the fathers/ancestors is connected with the southern course, the Moon, and rebirth. The same material is reworked in many texts, including Bhagavadgītā 8.23–27.
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Graham F



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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote:
Quote:
The path of the gods is connected with the northern course of the Sun (the entire six months, not just one month/zodiac sign), the Sun itself, and attaining Brahman; the path of the fathers/ancestors is connected with the southern course, the Moon, and rebirth

It's interesting and curious that in astrology the symbolism seems to draw on the same elements, but in some ways reversed. In tropical astrology, the Northen course of the sun (in the Northern hemisphere) leads "up" towards the place of the Moon, and both the Moon's and the Sun's places are actually in the southern path, already leading "down" towards the winter solstice. (Fagan maintained that tropicalists should consider the southern course as starting with Leo, but this clearly has not caught on with those actually working tropically.)

In sidereal, I think it's fair to say that the symbolism of the rulerships also suggests a going "up", towards the Cancer/Leo cusp (often called the lunar half), while in the solar half the movement is symbolically "down" from that cusp to the Capricorn/Aquarius cusp.

Thanks for the references to the Upanisads. I agree that it's best not to rely on Frawley.

Graham
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