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Notes From Cyril Fagan
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Graham F



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark
The Chaldean order point is a good argument for the arrangment of the zodiac other than seasonally, I agree. And I also agree that the "top" is, in this scheme, the domain of the moon, and that the Sun has been sort of "fitted in", with the lunation cycle largely justifying this, as you say.
But surely, if we look at the zodiac in that way, we're back to seeing that the division should be between Capricorn and Aquarius (the deepest point of Saturn rulership), and between Cancer and Leo (the highest point of rulership by the lights)? So a tropicalist should surely apportion the first sign following the vernal point to Venus not Mars (as should a siderealist, because the Chaldean argument holds for both). So still, the only justification I can see for the Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn setup (putting the VP at the beginnings of those signs, rather than at their ends as the Chaldean order would imply for the North, at least) is surely seasonal/sidereal/N hemisphere, but 2000 years ago.
Graham
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
Thanks Mark
Quote:
The Chaldean order point is a good argument for the arrangment of the zodiac other than seasonally, I agree. And I also agree that the "top" is, in this scheme, the domain of the moon, and that the Sun has been sort of "fitted in", with the lunation cycle largely justifying this, as you say.


Thats my best guess just now yes.

Quote:
But surely, if we look at the zodiac in that way, we're back to seeing that the division should be between Capricorn and Aquarius (the deepest point of Saturn rulership), and between Cancer and Leo (the highest point of rulership by the lights)? So a tropicalist should call the first sign following the vernal point Taurus, not Aries (as should a siderealist, because the Chaldean argument holds for both. So still, the only justification I can see for the Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn setup is seasonal/sidereal/N hemisphere, but 2000 years ago.


Well ultimately, its all just symbolism. The solar or tropical zodiac is certainly that. I must have missed something crucial in your argument I think as I dont really follow your point about why tropical Taurus would be the first sign after the vernal point. Confused

As a tropicalist I obviously want to start with a cardinal sign but certainly not Capricorn. Sidereally, I accept it may be quite different. One of things I find a bit odd in modern western siderealism (Fagan school esp) is the constant insistence that the seasons are irrelevant to a sidereal zodiac. My problem with this is not because I am some fanatical tropicalist trying to argue the ancients were all really tropicalists. The concept would have been meaningless to them. However, I repeatedly find references to what seem to be seasonal factors changing how the signs or constellations were viewed in ancient astrology.

I therefore think the nature of sidereal Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces and Virgo are different today because of the fact the equinoxes and solstices are there. I dont mean in the narrow, climatic sense. But rather in the sense that it gives all these signs more power through their closer association with the natural seasonal rhythms on earth.

But I suppose people will say a tropicalist would say that!

In the case of sidereal Sagittarius we have the additional point in its favour that we now know the galactic centre is located there which coincides the the Mula Nakshatra. Interestingly, the earth is pointing to the galactic centre from the southern hemisphere.

I think the orbital period argument is a good one for retaining the traditional sign rulerships. Its what seems to have motivated ancient thinking. But where do you start the sidereal zodiac today? I think that is really a question better left to siderealists to discuss.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
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.

You mean, of course, than Cancer is north of the equator, not the ecliptic (as all the signs are on the ecliptic)? But I'm still not sure how you suppose the northern declination of Cancer to have led to its being assigned to the Moon -- could you clarify that bit?

(Personally, I think a symbolic link between the semi-aquatic crab on the one hand and the Moon with its connection to tides, etc, on the other, seems a more likely reason.)

Quote:
In the case of sidereal Sagittarius we have the additional point in its favour that we now know the galactic centre is located there which coincides the the Dhruva Nakshatra.

I think you mean Mula rather than Dhruva, right? (Dhruva, possibly related to the English words 'true' and 'trow', is the Sanskrit name of the pole star.)
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
I'm still not sure how you suppose the northern declination of Cancer to have led to its being assigned to the Moon -- could you clarify that bit?


Yes of course I actually meant the celestial equator. Thanks.

Porphyry in his Cave of the Nymphs links living in the northern hemisphere to the signs north of the equator. In particular Cancer. He then goes on to link the proximity of the Moon to us on earth being more appropriate for the pole closest to us (the assumption being nakedly northern hemisphere orientated).

He states:

Quote:
And since Cancer is nearest to us, it is very properly attributed to the Moon, which is the nearest of all the heavenly bodies to the earth. But as the southern pole by its great distance is invisible to us, hence Capricorn is attributed to Saturn, the highest and most remote of all the planets.


The idea of directionology linked to signs is very ancient. The Babylonians linked the triplicity we assign to the water element today to the direction of north.

Cancer is also the soul gate for the incarnation of men. As the sign of the Sun's greatest elevation, Cancer was considered nearest to the highest point of heaven - thus the constellation was recognised as 'the Gate of Men' through which souls descended to Earth from heaven.

The Moon symbolises the body and physical incarnation. We see this in the World Horoscope known as the Thema Mundi, described by many ancient astrologers, where Cancer is the ASC sign and the Moon is rising in Cancer. In addition, the Lot of Fortune in ancient astrology represented our fated destiny at birth and was known as the lot of the Moon.

Porphyry very directly links this soul gate in Cancer to the solar solsticial cycle. Cancer was of course the sign of the summer solstice then irrespective of zodiac when the ancient astrologers developed the domicile rulerships.

I think the perspective of the ancients framing our tradition was often a good deal more mystical than many secular moderns like to acknowledge. Rather than repeat my comments here I refer you to my numerous posts on the subject of soul gates on the ongoing thread entitled: Number Symbolism and the Sidereal Zodiac

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
Personally, I think a symbolic link between the semi-aquatic crab on the one hand and the Moon with its connection to tides, etc, on the other, seems a more likely reason.)


I dont see why a lot of factors couldn't work together to support the idea. The Stoic notion of cosmic sympathy linked the tides of the earth to the movements of the Moon millennia before western astronomers and physicists examined the issue.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
I think you mean Mula rather than Dhruva, right? (Dhruva, possibly related to the English words 'true' and 'trow', is the Sanskrit name of the pole star.)


Yes. I did mean Mula. I had been reading something on Dhruva and obviously muddled the two when posting. I have altered that bit of the post.

Thanks

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification, Mark. I see how Porphyry linked Cancer and the Moon through the concept of 'proximity' (albeit of two very different kinds). Whether the originators of the rulership scheme many centuries earlier thought along the same lines is, of course, an open question. I agree that more than one line of thinking may have been at work. (Does anyone know what colour Mesopotamian crabs were? Whitish?)
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Graham F



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
I must have missed something crucial in your argument I think as I dont really follow your point about why tropical Taurus would be the first sign after the vernal point.

I should better have said "the sign ruled by Venus", rather than Taurus, perhaps (I corrected this almost immediately).

My point (it was Fagan's as well: Therese points out that historical scholarship has superseded some of Fagan's historical arguments, but he was talking about structure and internal logic as well) is that if you've got a symmettrical scheme, like the rulerships as per the Chaldean order as you pointed out, you shouldn't upset the symmetry without knowing why.
Quote:
The ancient geocentric view would see the planets in the following order from earth: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

If we accept, as you suggest, that for good reason, the sun is fitted into one of the moon's places (a sort of positive moon), then this Chaldean order goes from near to far and from fast to slow, with one side a mirror image of the other (as in antiscia/contrantiscia), with one side going "up" to the fastest planet, the other going "down" to the slowest.

Surely the best place to put the mirror (the division between halves of the zodiac) is where we get a symmettrical reflection, i.e. between the two Satrun signs and the two lights signs (vertical axis), and halfway between those two poles for the horizontal axis (i.e. between the Mars and the Venus ruled signs).

It seems to me that your explanation re the Chaldean order simply makes my original point (posted in the thread on number symbolism), but on a more sophisticated level:
Quote:
The structure of the zodiac would clearly make it start either with Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. Take anyone off the street who knows nothing about astrology except maybe his sun sign and show him a diagram of the zodiac showing only the rulerships. Then ask him where he would put the start of the cycle - I'll bet he'd say one of those four, probably either Aquarius or Taurus, because the symmetry of the structure is clear.

This seems to me to be common sense, all the more so when you add the information about the Chaldean order. Common sense isn't always right, but I think it needs to be acknowledged and considered. Why have a skewiff zodiac? The only reason I can find is that that the VP was near the beginning of sidereal Aries when Western astrology was becoming fully developed, and Ptolemy decided to put it at 0° Aries and "freeze" it, so to speak - but it wasn't there before, and it's not now. The "freezing" (i.e. adoption of a tropical zodiac) seems to me be a perfectly valid thing to do, but not in the place where it just happened more or less to be.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham F wrote
Quote:
If we accept, as you suggest, that for good reason, the sun is fitted into one of the moon's places (a sort of positive moon), then this Chaldean order goes from near to far and from fast to slow, with one side a mirror image of the other (as in antiscia/contrantiscia), with one side going "up" to the fastest planet, the other going "down" to the slowest.


I used the term 'Chaldean order' for convenience because its quite well known and carries on into renaissance astrology. However, it wasn't strictly accurate. What I really meant was the order of the celestial spheres. After the Earth these start with the Moon and move outwards towards Saturn in the sequence I gave. In particular: Moon-Mercury-Venus-Sun-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn.

Graham F wrote:
Quote:
Surely the best place to put the mirror (the division between halves of the zodiac) is where we get a symmettrical reflection, i.e. between the two Satrun signs and the two lights signs (vertical axis), and halfway between those two poles for the horizontal axis (i.e. between the Mars and the Venus ruled signs).


But that is exactly what we already have in the traditional domicile rulerships is it not?

Here is the diagram of sign rulerships from Deborah Houlding's article on the topic I gave a link to earlier.



The fact that the Moon was the first celestial sphere after the Earth was I think an important consideration in starting the domicile scheme with the luminaries. The importance the ancients placed on Cancer is seen in that scheme and also by its placement as both the ASC and Moon in the Thema Mundi. I dont think this system was simply about the role of Cancer as the Solsticial sign. The role of the Moon in the philosophy of celestial spheres was also pivotal.

Mark
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Graham F



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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote:
Quote:
Surely the best place to put the mirror (the division between halves of the zodiac) is where we get a symmettrical reflection, i.e. between the two Saturn signs and the two lights' signs (vertical axis), and halfway between those two poles for the horizontal axis (i.e. between the Mars and the Venus ruled signs).

Mark wrote:
Quote:
But that is exactly what we already have in the traditional domicile rulerships is it not?

Exactly!! That is my point! So why not (in tropical astrology) line up your solistices and equinoxes with the pattern? And in sidereal, why "start" the cycle with a sign one third the way up one side?
I guess we'll have to leave it there, I really don't see how to make the point any more clearly (than you've just done!). Never mind!
Graham
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham F wrote:
Quote:
Exactly!! That is my point! So why not (in tropical astrology) line up your solistices and equinoxes with the pattern? And in sidereal, why "start" the cycle with a sign one third the way up one side?
I guess we'll have to leave it there, I really don't see how to make the point any more clearly (than you've just done!). Never mind!
Graham


Hello Graham,

I am not trying to exasperate you! I updated my post while you were writing so you might want to see it.

On a tropical/seasonal basis where one chooses to start/end the year/zodiac is a subjective issue. Is it spring, mid summer, autumn or mid-winter? The tradition suggests Aries and I choose to follow that. However, the important principle for me is the idea of cardinality. By the time the Greeks created the domicile rulerships the notion of Aries as the first sign was hundreds of years old. So although the philosophy of sign rulership stems from the luminaries the entire zodiac philosophy is based on an Aries beginning point. Clearly, though, the Greeks gave a lot of thought to an alternative scheme of their own in the Thema Mundi starting with Cancer.

It cannot be denied the two traditions are not an entirely comfortable fit at times

Domicile rulerships are only one kind of traditional dignity since as you know as we have have exaltation, triplicity, bound and decan rulers. The exaltation and bound rulerships appear to be Babylonian in origin so these predate the domicile rulership scheme.

Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought readers here might be interested in this thread on the General Forum discussing the issue of the Tropical Zodiac and The Southern Hemisphere.

I am really, highlighting it because of some very interesting comments by Michael Sternrbach where he has set out a case for the the domicile rulerships and solar and lunar halves of the zodiac based on the order of the celestial spheres.

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=88162#88162

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, I wonder if you could copy here your April 7 reply to Michael from the Southern Hemispehre topic--the reply which includes the rulership diagram? The subject is equally pertinent to both sidereal and tropical astrology, and your reply incudes the necessary quotes from Michael.

I've had to be away from the computer for the last days, so have some catching up to do.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Therese,

Yes I agree the topic is of relevance to all astrologers irrespective of zodiac. The only difficulty I see is that Michael Sternbach isn't posting here so his replies will still be on the other thread. I think this is a legitimate topic for the traditional forum myself.

Here are the quotes from the other thread:

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
For one thing, you could simply take Firmicus' Thema mundi and assign its sign rulers in their given order to the celestial spheres. This order (Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn) was in fact commonly used by pre-Ptolemaic astronomers. Perhaps, it even served as the model for the Thema mundi?


That is a nice insight about the Thema Mundi (Horoscope of The World)



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

Which ancient astronomers have you found setting out the luminaries together?

The Thema Mundi does seem very old. Later Roman sources such as Macrobius and Firmucus Maternus mention it. Vettius Valens in the 2nd century CE also discusses it in reference to the zodiac signs. The first astrologer we have a record of discussing it appears to be Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus (d. 36 CE) who was the personal astrologer and advisor of the Emperor Tiberius (b.42 BCE–d.37 CE).

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
However, a more sophisticated approach, taking into consideration the whole domicile scheme, will reveal that its solar hairesis (Leo to Capricorn) shows the planets in their true heliocentric order:
Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.
On the other hand, its lunar hairesis (from Cancer backwards to Aquarius) shows them in the Ptolemaic / Chaldean / geocentric order:
Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

Inbetween Venus and Mars, in the first series, however, planet Earth is missing (since it's what we are standing on!), in the second series it's the Sun that is left out.




Brilliant! I am in your debt. Up to now I have never been able to really get a handle on the idea behind the concept of solar and lunar halves of zodiac. I understood the aspectual dimension of each luminary to signs but I confess I hadn't really thought out how both the solar and lunar halves of the zodiac related to the traditional order of the celestial spheres.

Your explanation makes perfect sense. It seems blindingly obvious the way you present it but I confess its escaped my notice before now. Have you come across any ancient sources explicitly giving this explanation for the scheme? Alternatively, any academic research setting out this view? I find it very interesting.

Thanks

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Mark. It may be another day or two before I can add a comment or two to this conversation.
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Bogdan574



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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese says:

Quote:
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.


I suppose this is where our differences lie. You accept a lot of tropical astrology. I do not. In fact, I'm even trying to free myself from its old ways of viewing and judging people, and trying to start completely afresh.

I read the Fagan quote. It's interesting because he seems to contradict himself. His own notes of (at least) the Moon signs, as well as the notes and statistics gathered from other sidereal astrologers who followed him (Gleadow, Jim Eshelman etc.) point to the sidereal signs being very different to their succeeding tropical signs (Tropical Gemini to Sidereal Taurus, Tropical Leo to Sidereal Cancer etc.).

I can't speak for every person who has made their observations - from my experience the similarity between sidereal signs and their tropical succeeding signs are similar only on a skin deep level. Beyond that, they are very different.


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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
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.


I have similar premonitions. I am also concerned over how we can scientifically validate astrology (in it's ability to predict future events and help clients regarding personality and personal problems). And also, how we can use the scientific method to build on and refine astrology until it works much better.

I support the statistics of Papretis and those taken on Soluners the most, but even those merely point to a promising direction.

Because unfortunately right now astrology doesn't have the greatest track record. I'm ashamed to say Carl Sagan was right when he said that astrology used a lot of precise math but also a lot of fuzzy thinking.

If we can't make astrology scientifically valid with constant, specific, and repeatable results, it won't be of much use.

And we'll be doing the ancient Egyptians a great shame.
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