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Notes From Cyril Fagan
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Bogdan574



Joined: 06 Nov 2013
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


Just like in The Divine Comedy. That is how Dante ascends into heaven!
Moon - breakers of vows
Mercury - seekers of fame and glory
Venus - intemperate lovers
Sun - wise intellectuals
Mars - heroes and martyrs
Jupiter - just rulers
Saturn - the contemplatives

Sorry, about that. I'm a bit of a literature and history buff. Very Happy

Quote:
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.


Speaking of which Mark, do the signs and planetary rulerships change at all in the southern hemisphere? That's something that seems rather worth knowing.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bogdan574 wrote:
Quote:
Just like in The Divine Comedy. That is how Dante ascends into heaven!
Moon - breakers of vows
Mercury - seekers of fame and glory
Venus - intemperate lovers
Sun - wise intellectuals
Mars - heroes and martyrs
Jupiter - just rulers
Saturn - the contemplatives

Sorry, about that. I'm a bit of a literature and history buff


Hi Bogdan,

Nice quote. Where exactly is that in the work? These ideas of souls journeying through the planetary spheres before birth or or at death are very ancient. Interesting to see it continuing into the middle ages.

Quote:
Speaking of which Mark, do the signs and planetary rulerships change at all in the southern hemisphere? That's something that seems rather worth knowing.


Like nearly all tropicalists I dont reverse the planetary dignities for the southern hemisphere. Its certainly not because I haven't considered the issue.

On the thread on the General forum I gave the link to I showed various southern hemisphere nativities. I think its pretty clear reversal just doesn't work.

While I take my zodiacal boundaries from the equinoxes and solstices (as Aratus 3rd century BCE did) I think trying to use the local climatic analogy too far is a mistake. Ptolemy uses such arguments but they do seem somewhat misleading. The logic of the domicile rulerships doesn't seem to require such arguments.

You could argue the whole astrological tradition is northern hemisphere biased. The Babylonians saw Jupiter in exaltation in Cancer ( the constellation where the Sun reached its highest northerly declination) North is generally 'good' and south less favourable. Its not just the nodes. Planets in latitude above the ecliptic are generaly seen as more favourable than those below it. Its hard to think astrology would have developed such traditions if it was southern hemisphere located.

Mark
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Last edited by Mark on Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bogdan574



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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
Hi Bogdan,

Nice quote. Where exactly is that in the work? These ideas of souls journeying through the planetary spheres before birth or or at death are very ancient. Interesting to see it continuing into the middle ages.


It's from Paradisio, the final book of the Divine Comedy. After cleansing himself of sin in Purgatorio, Dante ascends into all the spheres of heaven. It is based on comsological views at the time. They cover the seven traditional planets, the fixed stars, the primum mobile (first sphere sent into motion by God), and the Emperium (the throne of God that exists beyond the universe).


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RodJM



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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:


Like nearly all tropicalists I dont reverse the planetary dignities for the southern hemisphere. Its certainly not because I haven't considered the issue.

On the thread on the General forum I gave the link to I showed various southern hemisphere nativities. I think its pretty clear reversal just doesn't work.

While I take my zodiacal boundaries from the equinoxes and solstices (as Aratus 3rd century BCE did) I think trying to use the local climatic analogy too far is a mistake. Ptolemy uses such arguments but they do seem somewhat misleading. The logic of the domicile rulerships doesn't seem to require such arguments.

You could argue the whole astrological tradition is northern hemisphere biased. The Baylonians saw Jupiter in exaltation in Cancer ( the constellation where the Sun reached its highest northerly declination) North is generally 'good' and south less favourable. Its not just the nodes. Planets in latitude above the ecliptic are generaly seen as more favourable than those below it. Its hard to think astrology would have developed such traditions if it was southern hemisphere located.

Mark


I agree largely with your views on this Mark,

The only issue I have is when tropicalists use climatic references in the case of the Sun to boost the argument for its rulership, exaltation, detriment and fall and justifying it by the strength of the Sun's rays.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
While I take my zodiacal boundaries from the equinoxes and solstices (as Aratus 3rd century BCE did) I think trying to use the local climatic analogy too far is a mistake. Ptolemy uses such arguments but they do seem somewhat misleading. The logic of the domicile rulerships doesn't seem to require such arguments.

I absolutely agree with this last sentence. But if local climatic analogies are misleading (and again, I whole-heartedly agree), then why define the zodiacal boundaries from the equinoxes and solstices in the first place? I don't mean to sound confrontational; I really want to know if there is some other, non-climatic rationale for using tropical definitions. The ancient sources that do use them, including Aratus, all seem to focus a great deal on the weather/climate.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
I absolutely agree with this last sentence. But if local climatic analogies are misleading (and again, I whole-heartedly agree), then why define the zodiacal boundaries from the equinoxes and solstices in the first place? I don't mean to sound confrontational; I really want to know if there is some other, non-climatic rationale for using tropical definitions. The ancient sources that do use them, including Aratus, all seem to focus a great deal on the weather/climate.


I had a feeling this kind of argument was coming my way at some point. Its fair enough. This is the sidereal forum after all!

I suppose it could be argued I want to have my cake and eat it here. In other words use the tropical, seasonal, parametres for the zodiac yet take a different tack on domicile rulerships.

Let me be clear I dont think major seasonal shifts like the equinoxes or solstices are irelevant. As someone working with the tropical zodiac it would be very weird if I did. On a planetary basis these mark a major distinct change for all life on earth. Just about every civilisation in human history has given major attention to these shifts.

Cyril Fagan used to argue that the Greek zodiac was always 'tropical' and I think he was right. No scholar has subsequently contradicted his view. We can argue about the nomenclature. However, they did not have a fiducial star. They calculated the start of the zodiac as a default of 0, 8 or 10 degrees from the vernal point. The beginning of the zodiac was therefore calculated based on the VP. They seem to have believed the vernal point was fixed in space and permanently located at one of these degrees within Aries. However, there was clearly confusion where the VP was and no coherent understanding of precession. When they did perceive the VP moving it was often based on trepidation theory rather than the take of Hipparchus/Ptolemy.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
I really want to know if there is some other, non-climatic rationale for using tropical definitions.


Its really an issue of perpective on what significance we give the solstices and equinoxes. I draw a distinction between the major seasonal shifts across the entire planet (equinoxes & solstices) and localised weather/climatic factors. Overall these are astronomically key points in the Earth's annual orbit of the Sun. So its not just about climate/weather as you keep suggesting but fundamentally the astronomical relationship between our planet and the Sun. To me that is a very clear, valid basis to begin a zodiac.

Plus I dont see why we need to put all our eggs in one basket. Just because I use a tropically calculated zodiac doesn't mean I need to become a monomaniac and seek to impose a seasonal interpretation on every astrological concept.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
The ancient sources that do use them, including Aratus, all seem to focus a great deal on the weather/climate.


I fully concede some ancient sources do use local climatic or northern hemisphere analogies to support their astrological thinking. Ptolemy is a good example. Similarly, quite a few modern tropical astrologers do this too. In the context of modern 21st century understanding I think that position is a mistake for those upholding the tropical zodiac.

Stepping back from the prejudices of a northern hemisphere perspective these shifts present a clear unambiguous way of measuring the beginning the zodiac across the whole planet. Hence you dont find tropicalists debating where our zodiac starts in the way sidereal ayanamsa are disputed.

The frequent references to the importance of the key seasonal shifts in ancient sources is a challenge for siderealists too. Modern siderealism discounts such references as irrelevant today. However, that seems at odds with the mind set of many of the older sources from which we derive our astrological tradition. Even if someone rejects the tropical zodiac I dont think they should automatically rule out the significance of the equinoxes and solstices in a sidereal sign. It was clearly, something the ancients gave attention to.

Ultimately, though I am not an absolutist about this. I find the logic of the tropical zodiac compelling and it seems to very work well in the charts I have worked with. However, I am open to the possibility that other astrologers more in tune to the logic of a sidereal zodiac could derive equally good results in that way. My take on astrology is essentially a divinatory one.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't want this to get all confrontational/defensive (again)... But yes, you do seem to me to want to have your cake and eat it too, though not exactly in the way you mean. On the one hand, you want ancient Greek definitions of Aries as beginning 8 or 10 (and you could have added 15) degrees from the equinox to count as tropical; on the other, you claim that we won't 'find tropicalists debating where our zodiac starts' (an argument you have used before). This is self-contradictory. If all those definitions were tropical, then clearly tropicalists did disagree on where their zodiac started.

Pace Fagan (who has not been so much contradicted as ignored by scholarship), the Greek conception of the zodiac was as much sidereal (fixed in relation to the stars) as it was tropical (fixed in relation to the seasons). Who said a bona fide sidereal zodiac has to have a named fiducial star? As you say, most of the ancients were unaware of precession or favoured the trepidation theory; and this continued long after Ptolemy. Today we all need to decide which parts of the ancient descriptions of the zodiac we think essential: the seasonal ones or the constellational ones. No-one can have both.

Quote:
I draw a distinction between the major seasonal shifts across the entire planet (equinoxes & solstices) and localised weather/climatic factors. Overall these are astronomically key points in the Earth's annual orbit of the Sun. So its not just about climate/weather as you keep suggesting but fundamentally the astronomical relationship between our planet and the Sun.

It's really not me suggesting it, you know; it's the classical tropicalist authorities. That's why I was interested in your alternative take. I have to say, though, that once you take climatic changes out of the equation, those 'key points' don't seem all that 'key' to me. However, to each his own.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Martin,

I will not have any time to reply to you for several days as I am facing a really hectic period over the next week. I just wanted you to know I wasn't ducking a reply to you.

I honestly wasn't seeking to adopt a confrontational or defensive stance. So I dont really understand what your comments are based on here. I certainly dont want our discussion to deteriorate into another tiresome tropical-sidereal ding dong either.

To be fair though you did more on less invite me to defend why I adopt the position I do and I was simply doing that. That includes my historical understanding of the hellenistic solar derived zodiac. I'm sorry if you take offence at that. As Martin Luther said 'Here I stand; I can do no other''.

regards,

Mark
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Konrad



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Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Today we all need to decide which parts of the ancient descriptions of the zodiac we think essential: the seasonal ones or the constellational ones. No-one can have both.


I disagree here , Martin. We can have both, and I do. I have mentioned on this forum before, I use the Equinox as the marker, and treat Fixed Pisces as the equivalent to what you and Mark would both consider Aries. I keep the four-footed, mute, human etc. as constellational significations and the rulerships (minus the bounds and the Decans) as based upon the Tropical Cross. I am liking both the rationale and the results I have so far.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been on a vacation of sorts for several days, so while the conversation between Martin and Mark takes a hiatus, I'll pick up some messages that have had delayed replies.

Martin 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. 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.

In his books B. Suryanarain Rao (B. V. Raman's grandfather) continued to list the nakshatras beginning with Krittika (Tauri: Alcyone) and ending with 28: Bharani. So along with the 27 equal lunar mansions beginning with Ashrvini in Aries, this list was still alive and well when Rao wrote his books. B. Suryanarian Rao was a contemporary of Sri Yukteswar. They were born and died a year apart from each other; Rao died in 1937.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
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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.

Rod, I found the Fagan quote I must have been thinking of. Here it is:

"For the benefit of new readers it is now proposed to give a brief interpretation of the sailient characteristics of each of the zodiacal constellations [sidereal signs] when the Sun is passing through them. These readings must, in the nature of things, be quite general, and are based on the assumption (a) that the sun is fairly strongly placed in the horoscope and (b) that it is devoid of any configurations whatsoever, for should it be in major aspect to any planet it is obvious that the interpretations must be modified substantially..."
("Attributes and Rulerships," The Solunars Handbook, 1976, p. 27)

In my experience if planets happen to be in the 10th house in square aspect to the ascendant, it's the 10th house sign that can be more visible to other people rather than the sign in which the Sun is placed. Also, as Fagan suggests, planetary aspects can take priority over sign attributes. Sometimes a sign simply manifests a type of energy that is only perceptible when living or conversing with a person. This makes sign research extremely difficult unless one follows a profession relating to a sign whose ruler is prominent. Planetary interaction is always stronger than sign attributes.
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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
Quote:
If an Aries start indeed turns out to be the most reliable with tests 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.

You've mentioned that more than once, Graham, but I question whether Aries was the first sign of the zodiac "simply because it contained the Spring equinox." If astrologers looked at the sky back then they would have seen the equinox against the stars of Pisces rather than Aries. The zodiacal sign of Aries is something else altogether.

As constellations are measured today, the first star of the constellation of Aries is five or six degrees into the sign of sidereal Aries depending on the ayanamsa. Each zodiacal degree is equal to 72 years of time. So at the time the zodiac appeared in Mesopotamia the equinox was already against the stars of Pisces. The argument that Aries was the first sign of the zodiac because that was the location of the spring equinox at a certain period in history may be faulty.

Anyone who has looked at a star chart will note that a large section of the consellation of Pisces, including the Alpha star, Alrisha, (the Knot) fills up the first half of Ashvini, the first lunar mansion of Aries.

There has been speculation by Robert Schmidt and others that only one individual or a small group devised what we know as Hellenistic astrology which is the foundation of astrology as we know it today. I see another possibility: that astrological principles were held secret in the temples, perhaps in Egypt, and were only released at a certain time in the Hellenistic period.

One of our principle metaphysical sources, Edgar Cayce, mentioned in a reading that the twelve zodiacal signs (in approximately 10,500 BCE) represented spiritual progression in the temples. One person was told that she had completed all the 12 steps of the zodiac which was rare at that time. So it's possible that we may simply be re-discovering a zodiac that has existed from ages far beyond recorded history. If nothing else, this is an interesting speculative possibility.

I believe it's possible that in some way the sidereal zodiac is fixed in place in relation to the stars or a quasar or some other cyclic point in a way we don't yet understand. This includes the possibility that Aries has always been the first sign of the sidereal zodiac, and has always represented the head of the human being, the other zodiac signs following in order: Taurus, the throat and neck, Gemini, the arms, Cancer, the breast, etc.

Then there's the antiquity of the Thema Mundi Really, we are live in a historical period when we can only ask questions and guess at the correct answers.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Hello Martin,

I will not have any time to reply to you for several days as I am facing a really hectic period over the next week. I just wanted you to know I wasn't ducking a reply to you.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no need to develop this any further. I asked a simple question and got an answer; I didn't find it particularly compelling, but then I wasn't expecting to. There's a reason I'm not a tropicalist, after all.

Quote:
I honestly wasn't seeking to adopt a confrontational or defensive stance. So I dont really understand what your comments are based on here.

Just something in your tone here and there, but perhaps I was misreading you. Let's just leave it.
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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
I disagree here , Martin. We can have both, and I do.

Yes, I was half-expecting you to say that. Hybrid solutions are possible, of course, and I know you have tried several; but they are (naturally) different from a tropical/sidereal zodiac as generally understood.
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Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Yes, I was half-expecting you to say that. Hybrid solutions are possible, of course, and I know you have tried several; but they are (naturally) different from a tropical/sidereal zodiac as generally understood.


Well, I haven't tried several at all. Before I used the Sidereal for everything but Releasing from Spirit. This is the first time I have taken what see as the spirit of both systems and fused them together. Of course, it is different from the zodiac as generally understood now, but that was the point: you said we all have to choose a side - Tropical or Sidereal - we don't. There is another possibility.

Out of interest, and this is not just directed at you, what is the rationale of the Sun ruling Sidereal Leo? I couldn't see one hence me rethinking what it is I am actually doing.
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