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

Notes From Cyril Fagan
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Sidereal Astrology
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: California, USA

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Notes From Cyril Fagan Reply with quote

In the 1970s I cut my sidereal teeth on the Cyril Fagan school of astrology. Today followers of Fagan’s approach to astrology term themselves “Sidereal” with a capital “S” to distinguish themselves from others who happen to use the sidereal zodiac. Since Kenneth Bowser has recently obtained rights to Fagan’s writings, I thought that including a few notes here on Skyscript from early publications would encourage others to purchase these writings when they are again available.

The concept of noting tropical observations to explain sidereal signs actually originated with Cyril Fagan himself who believed that a tropical astrological zodiac was fundamentally a Greek mistake. In other words, such a zodiac doesn’t really exist in his view. With the exception of a few degrees at the end of tropical signs and a few beginning degrees of sidereal signs, the sidereal sign underlying each tropical sign is the previous sign in the natural zodiac. Thus, sidereal Pisces is in the same sky area as tropical Aries, and so forth.

It’s possible that younger converts to the Fagan school have never seen his original writings as they are very difficult to find. In my library I even have the very rare Symbolism of the Constellations, published in 1962, manually typed and spiral bound, well before the age of the personal computer.

Recently I’ve come under criticism for using tropical observations of zodiac signs to help define the underlying sidereal signs. So my first quote here is Fagan’s own words on this subject:

"It will be noted that in so far as the delineations in Western textbooks are based solely on valid empirical observation, siderealists have no fault to find with them. Such delineations will be found to give general satisfaction. The root of the confusion is therefore not in the delineations, but in the associated zodiacal symbol and its ruler.

"Unfortunately most authors not content to merely record their empirical observations attempt to embellish them with interpretations drawn from the supposed zodiacal symbol (crab, centaur, or whatever) and its ruler, and it is this that creates all the confusion.


"But the influences of the tropical signs must never be identified with their namesakes in the sidereal zodiac. [signs bearing the same name] To do so is to fall foul of the homonymous error. Those who dispute the validity of the sidereal zodiac are usually beguiled by the homonymous fallacy."
The Solunars Handbook, Clancy Publications, Inc., 1976, p. 27

Fagan clearly says here that sidereal and tropical signs of the same name are distinct from one another. Observational tropical traits align with the rulerships of the underlying sidereal signs, something I've noted for more than 35 years. It’s possible that those born after Cyril Fagan’s death in 1970 are completely unaware of this statement of Fagan’s and many other statements he made which were published in the 1960s and 70s.

Very unfortunately modern authors of books on India’s astrology (Jyotish or Vedic) have made the precise error that Fagan warns against. This is causing great zodiac confusion and placing an erroneous slant on India’s astrology.

In coming days I’ll note other significant statements made by Cyril Fagan, the founder of western Sidereal astrology.
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
RodJM



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

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for that post Therese, makes interesting reading no doubt!
After spending years pondering on Ptolemy's views of astrology and its heavy influence in modern western astrological thinking. I've been asking myself, have most of us been "barking up the wrong tree" so to speak?

I'm still in the midst of observation and natal chart character and mundane interpretations based on the sidereal system at the moment, and probably will be for quite some time. Its my way of saying "the acid test of day to day reality".
I was also unaware that some astrologers differentiate themselves by spelling sidereal with a capital "S" as opposed to non capital spelling. As far as I'm concerned, its the one zodiac and spelling it with either is neither here nor there...
This is probably because there are not many, if any at all, sidereal astrologers in my part of the world, although the internet certainly redefines those borders somewhat.

If one is interested, some of Cyril Fagan's books can still be found online via Book Repository site.

I look forward to your further posts on this fascinating topic. Smile
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Rod. I checked the Book Repository, and there are two books listed there that are available in reprints: Primer of Sidereal Astrology and Zodiacs Old and New. Amazon also has those two books.

Sometimes it pays to be in the elderly age group! One of Fagan's books, Astrological Origins, is listed used for $119 and new for $415 (!!) on Amazon. That book sits happily in my bookcase, and I'll be posting some quotes from it a little later. The price I paid for Astrological Origins in the 1970s? $2.95 U.S. dollars. 224 pages
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm


Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Cyril Fagan on Novien Charts Reply with quote

Today most astrologers are familiar with harmonic charts, and the 9th harmonic or navamsa has been used in India for centuries. However, Cyril Fagan chose to give this chart the singular title of "Novien," and called planets in this chart "novienic equiivalents." Fagan believed this 9th harmonic chart should be calculated from Taurus wheras tradition in India has always calculated the chart beginning with Aries.

It's very interesting, then, that Jim Eshelman, the owner of the only Western Sidereal forum on the internet (Solunars) has said that in testing the navamsa calculated from Aries and the novien calculated from Taurus, he has found the Aries calculation more appropriate and descriptive. However, here in part is what Fagan says about the Novien chart:

"Another useful way of determining whether the time of birth is radix (correct) is by noting the novienic equivalent of the Moon. Should it fall in a sign that is natally occupied by a planet, then the native's disposition and way of life will partake of the intrinsic nature of that planet. For instance, should the novien fall in a sign that holds the natal Jupiter, then the native will be in a perpetual state of good humor, be fun loving, gay and optimistic. [Yes, "gay" did used to relate simply to happy feelings, and not so long ago at that.]

"But should the sign hold Saturn, then the native will be constantly morose, dispirited, mean, complaining and somewhat antisocial. And so it is with the rest of the planets. The reverse of this is likewise significant: namely, when the novien of a planet interchanges with the natal Moon, or with one of its noviens."
("The Noviens," Astrological Origins, Llewellyn Publications, 1971, p. 179.)

Many years ago I found (like Jim Eshleman) that the 9th harmonic planetary overlaps with the natal chart that Fagan talks about are far more accurate counted from Aries rather than Taurus. Fegan most likely didn't have time to check enough birth charts in those days before software was available to compute horoscopes in only a few seconds.

Fagan also speculates:

"These few examples [Queen Victoria, Lord Nelson and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] of the significance and potency of the noviens give us a hint as to the manner in which they were interpreted in bygone days. Probably because they were not observed, the Sun in the constellations and the effects of such were almost completely by-passed in favor of the greater effects on disposition and destiny of the Moon and its noviens."

That is, of course, a fairly big speculation! Fagan wrote that the Navamsas appeared to have had their origin in ancient Egypt, as they can be related to Egyptian phonetics. (Astrological Origins, p. 172)
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
Quote:
I'm still in the midst of observation and natal chart character and mundane interpretations based on the sidereal system at the moment, and probably will be for quite some time. Its my way of saying "the acid test of day to day reality".

Just within the last few days I read a comment of Fagan's that if several planets are found in a sign of the zodiac, the sign itself can more or less disappear in favor of planetary symbolism. I can't find the reference this evening (it's very late...), but will look for it later.
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
Fagan believed this 9th harmonic chart should be calculated from Taurus wheras tradition in India has always calculated the chart beginning with Aries.


A former member here on Skyscript (Dr Farr) who is now active on another forum recently shared his experience that many decades ago he met with a group of Jaimini adepts near Ponmudi Forest in Kerala. He was intrigued to discover they were still following the ancient tradition of using the Pleiades (Krittka) as the fiducial point of the Nakshatras not Ashwini. I accept that is a somewhat different point from starting the 12 sign zodiac with sidereal Taurus but I thought it might be of some passing interest here. Especially, when you consider that Indian practitioners take the beginning of the Nakshatras as the start of the sidereal zodiac too.

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
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
I checked the Book Depository, and there are two books listed there that are available in reprints: Primer of Sidereal Astrology and Zodiacs Old and New. Amazon also has those two books.

Sometimes it pays to be in the elderly age group! One of Fagan's books, Astrological Origins, is listed used for $119 and new for $415 (!!) on Amazon. That book sits happily in my bookcase, and I'll be posting some quotes from it a little later. The price I paid for Astrological Origins in the 1970s? $2.95 U.S. dollars. 224 pages


I dont think Fagan's Astrological Origins has been republished has it? It was published by Llewellyn Publications in 1971 I think.

Which is a shame since whether you agree with him or not Fagan is always thought provoking. I managed to get a copy of the hardback first edition of Astrological Origins about 5 years ago for only about £25 including p&p from a US seller. Sounds like I got there in the nick of time! The price seems to have dramatically shot up recently. I wonder if Ken Bowser's recent book has stirred more interest in siderealism?

I recommend ABE books if you are looking for a second hand copy. It lists book sellers from across the world.

In terms of solid historical research I must admit I always thought Rupert Gleadow was the more reliable historian in the sidereal movement. Gleadow's The Origin of the Zodiac (1968) is still well worth reading although academic research has obviously moved on somewhat in the intervening decades. It still easy to pick up a cheap edition of this as Dover publications still keep it in print.

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
Martin Gansten
Moderator


Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 1258
Location: Malmö, Sweden

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
A former member here on Skyscript (Dr Farr) who is now active on another forum recently shared his experience that many decades ago he met with a group of Jaimini adepts near Ponmudi Forest in Kerala. He was intrigued to discover they were still following the ancient tradition of using the Pleiades (Krittka) as the fiducial point of the Nakshatras not Ashwini. I accept that is a somewhat different point from starting the 12 sign zodiac with sidereal Taurus but I thought it might be of some passing interest here.

I think 'fiducial point' may be a little misleading here. The nakṣatras are counted from Kṛttikā in several contexts (e.g., descriptions of the sequence of daśās) even in quite late texts. And indeed, the so-called Jaimini tradition does seem to be very late: Pingree estimates that its defining text was composed in South India some time in the 17th century.

Quote:
Especially, when you consider that Indian practitioners take the beginning of the Nakshatras as the start of the sidereal zodiac too.

It would probably be more correct to turn that around and say that when the nakṣatras are counted from Aśvinī, it is precisely because the zodiac begins with Aries (and the two frames of reference have been adjusted to get a common zero point).
_________________
http://www.martingansten.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1173
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting note from Dr. Farr, Mark. Thanks. Yes, I've seen his name on Jim Eshleman's Solunars site which I scan every now and then. (And thanks, Martin, for adding clarity to the nakshatra topic.)

No, Astrological Origins hasn't been republished. Otherwise someone wouldn't be trying to sell it on Amazon for over $400! However, there are parts of that book that are out of date and basically disproved. Still, Cyril Fagan was an exciting and forward looking astrologer.

Quote:
In terms of solid historical research I must admit I always thought Rupert Gleadow was the more reliable historian in the sidereal movement. Gleadow's The Origin of the Zodiac (1968) is still well worth reading although academic research has obviously moved on somewhat in the intervening decades. It still easy to pick up a cheap edition of this as Dover publications still keeps it in print.

I also like Gleadow's books, and he disagrees with Fagan on some important points. I'll have to try to find time to quote some of these differences on Skyscript. I have Gleadow's two books in original hardback, purchased in the 1970s. (They were both originally published in 1968.)
_________________
http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/LostZodiac.htm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
I think 'fiducial point' may be a little misleading here. The nakṣatras are counted from Kṛttikā in several contexts (e.g., descriptions of the sequence of daśās) even in quite late texts.


Ok. I seem to recall he mentioned the Pleiades explicitly.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
And indeed, the so-called Jaimini tradition does seem to be very late: Pingree estimates that its defining text was composed in South India some time in the 17th century.


I must admit I wondered about that bit myself. Especially, if one is claiming antiquity for this particular approach. However, I am only the messenger here nothing more.
_________________
‘’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: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
RodJM wrote:
Quote:
I'm still in the midst of observation and natal chart character and mundane interpretations based on the sidereal system at the moment, and probably will be for quite some time. Its my way of saying "the acid test of day to day reality".

Just within the last few days I read a comment of Fagan's that if several planets are found in a sign of the zodiac, the sign itself can more or less disappear in favor of planetary symbolism. I can't find the reference this evening (it's very late...), but will look for it later.


Ok, thanks for that info Therese.
I've always felt what Fagan says about that too, trying not to be subjective here as I fall into that group. If the several planets are in conjunction for example and depending on what the planets are, this would go a long way to explaining some of the contradictions I find when interpreting based on "traditional" understandings of the zodiac sign themes and characteristics.
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 363

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese
Thanks for the quotes from Fagan. I'm also lucky enough to have a copy of Astrological Origins.

I've tried testing the novienic equivalent of the Moon, as per the quote you give, and where an exchange of this type exists, I must agree that so far a slight majority seem to support an Aries start for the count. It's a close thing, and subjectivity must enter into it when talking of character etc, so I'll look at more when I have time.

If an Aries start indeed turns out to be the most reliable with tests like like this, makes you marvel at the coincidence: 2000 years ago, Aries was clearly and logically considered first simply because it contained the Spring equinox.

So we'd be saying the sidereal ("permanent") zodiac just happens to start with the same sidereal sign that happened to contain the VP when it happened that astrology, in roughly its present form, was becoming fully developed, and when tropical and sidereal were not yet clearly distinguished.

Christians could say that, of course, that was THE reference epoch for all time, but it would be reassuring to have something structurally elegant, fitting into to the symmetrical layout of the rulerships. I suppose "because Aries is the exaltation of the sun" might do, but can we be sure that that doesn't also have a seasonal origin (which would be its most likely explanation, though Fagan and others have various theories)?
Anyway, plenty to investigate, and thanks again!
Graham
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RodJM



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

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham F wrote:

If an Aries start indeed turns out to be the most reliable with tests like like this, makes you marvel at the coincidence: 2000 years ago, Aries was clearly and logically considered first simply because it contained the Spring equinox.


The problem I have with this, and I'm not alone with this one, is that Libra should be logically the first purely because the spring equinox occurs in the southern hemisphere and you could go on to say the Sun is gaining strength so we could conclude the Sun is exalted in Libra, at least from the southern hemisphere perspective.
If we are going to start using seasonal arguments to support claims of Aries Sun being exalted, then it makes no sense whatsoever to us down here in the southern parts of the Earth.
This is a phenomenon whereby modern western astrologers still clearly can't come up with a sound argument to satisfy all zodiacal interpretations anywhere on the Earth.
Unless this is settled, then modern western astrology is doomed to conjecture and lost in a quagmire of false realities.
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 363

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod
I absolutely agree. I gave it as a possible reason for the choice of Aries as the exaltaion of the Sun because astrology was developed in the Northern hemisphere, but I would be, let's say, disappointed if that was all there was behind the exaltations.

I don't think seasonal considerations should enter into sidereal astrology (except that the meanings of the pairs of nodes, of which in practice only the Moon's are traditionally used, should theoretically be reversed).

I've always thought that in theory tropicalists should reverse the meanings in the Southern hemisphere, and the fact that most don't seems to me to be major flaw in the reasoning underly tropical astrology. I find arguments about, e.g. the fact that the "greening" of the earth in Spring is more pronounced in the N. Hemisphere unconvincing, as the tropical cycle is primarily about light, not vegetation (there's probably more green in winter than in Summer in the Sahara, anyway). Some say the tropical zodiac works best, in practice, without reversal, others say with, which looks as though we all manage to find what we're looking for.

Graham
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham F wrote:
Quote:
I've always thought that in theory tropicalists should reverse the meanings in the Southern hemisphere, and the fact that most don't seems to me to be major flaw in the reasoning underly tropical astrology.


As a northern hemisphere tropicalist myself I hope you dont object to my commenting here in the sidereal forum? I have looked into this subject a lot. Maybe as I was born on Australia day. Laughing

First of all it needs to be acknowledged that the domicile rulerships are a comparatively late development. We dont find them in Babylonian astrology at all. While we owe the zodiac to the Babylonians the domicile rulerships seem to have been very much a hellenistic development.

Although Ptolemy sought to rationalise astrology and use seasonal analogies for the domicile rulerships the idea is probably taken too far in his work the Tetrabiblos. The seasonal zodiac shifts ie equinoxes or solstices are still fundamental for tropicalists to calculate the beginning of signs but these occur in both hemispheres simultaneously. The exclusive focus on northern hemisphere climatic issues to explain sign rulership is certainly problematic for tropicalists. Many tropicalists make such naive arguments without considering the implications for southern hemisphere astrology. I know because I used to do this myself!

However, there is a non-seasonal justification for the zodiac rulerships (sidereal or tropical) which is astrological but not seasonal at all.

This relates to the speed or velocity of the planets and their distance from the earth (in ancient thought). This can be seen in the Chaldean order of the planets.

The ancient geocentric view would see the planets in the following order from earth: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

We see the Moon as the swiftest planet and closest body to the earth and Saturn as the slowest and furthest away body. The question remains why was the Sun assigned a sign next to Cancer? This seems fairly obvious in terms of the fundamental nature of the lunation cycle to astrology. Maybe there was a hemispheric bias in assigning the Moon to Cancer. Cancer is a sign north of the ecliptic so they probably perceived it made more sense to assign the Moon to it there than in a sign (or constellation) south of the ecliptic. Once the Moon was assigned a domicile everything else fell into place.

So I suppose it could be argued both tropical and sidereal astrology have an inherent northern hemisphere bias in how the domicile rulerships were originally assigned. Sidereal astrology is not completely immune from this criticism.

Siderealists could marshall some additional points though. For example, even in geocentric astrology the Sun was seen as literally the king of planets and the constellation of Leo long had royal association with its alpha star Regulus the 'King Star' of the Babylonians. The latter point obviously doesn't help tropicalists so much to resolve the question!

Once you assign the Moon to Cancer and the Sun to Leo you can see clear aspectual relationships between the signs.

I cannot do better than give the link to Deborah Houlding's article on this:

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/rulership.html

While the southern hemisphere issue appears a theoretical objection to the tropical zodiac I am not aware of any working astrologers who actually think it works better reversed.

Although as an attention grabbing point I guess this could give such an astrologer prominence. In the marketing culture of the 21st century being the only astrologer to use a 13 sign zodiac or a reversed tropical zodiac could get you more attention in the media.

I have made a point of studying numerous southern hemisphere charts with a heavy sign emphasis and the traditional zodiac seems to work well while reversing the signs seems to totally conflict with the dominant natal characteristics. If there are any southern hemisphere astrologers reversing the tropical zodiac they must be very few and far between. I have discussed this with Latin Americans, South Africans and those from Australia and New Zealand. We literally just had a thread on this topic on the General forum so I will say no more on that here.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:22 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Sidereal Astrology All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
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