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Positions of fixed stars in the sidereal zodiac

 
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Positions of fixed stars in the sidereal zodiac Reply with quote

Are the positions of the fixed stars now the same as their positions in Ptolemy's or Valen's time, when using the sidereal zodiac?

If so, can someone provide me with a sidereal star catalogue or something so that I can investigate fixed star positions 2000 years ago?
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Konrad



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
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Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene,

I'm sure you have Anonymous of 379. Why not use that?

Otherwise, the Ecliptical projections don't change all that much in the Sidereal zodiac, some case a few minutes, others, like Sirius, around half a degree since 0 AD.
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Quote:
If so, can someone provide me with a sidereal star catalogue or something so that I can investigate fixed star positions 2000 years ago?


Have you read Ptolemy's Almagest? That was the most extensive star catalogue in the ancient world by far. Books VII and VIII cover the motions of the fixed stars, including precession of the equinoxes. They also contain a star catalogue of 1022 stars, described by their positions in the constellations. There is a good translation available by G.J Toomer.

http://www.amazon.com/Ptolemys-Almagest-Ptolemy/dp/0691002606

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ptolemys-Almagest-Owen-Gingerich/dp/0691002606

Its by no means an easy read for the non-mathematically inclined amongst which I definitely count myself. Nevertheless, this book had an immense impact on the ancient and medieval world. In many respects the high status astrology held in the medieval period was a reflection of the influence of this book by Ptolemy and his decision to also write on astrology. The Tetrabiblos was taken seriously due to the reflected light it enjoyed from Ptolemy's Almagest.

I accept the book is a bit pricey now but I think its well worth the investment for anyone serriously interested in ancient or medieval astrology and astronomy.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1153
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Quote:
Are the positions of the fixed stars now the same as their positions in Ptolemy's or Valen's time, when using the sidereal zodiac?

If so, can someone provide me with a sidereal star catalogue or something so that I can investigate fixed star positions 2000 years ago?

Fixed stars always remain in the same sidereal degrees over the centuries. But first you have to choose your ayanamsa, that is you have to choose which sidereal zodiac you are using. Many of the stars mentioned in ancient texts are co-risings, and depend upon the locale of residence.

Larxene, I'm not sure what you mean by "investigating fixed star positions 2000 years ago." Are you talking about their positions in longitude? How stars were used by astrologers?

If you are wanting a list of stars in longitude, even in DOS software, it was possible to generate a list of ecliptical longitudes for stars in any sidereal zodiac. I expect most astrological software today can give you a list of stars in a sidereal zodiac. For my own use, I've taken a list of over 700 stars from Anne Wright's website (originally from Michael Erlewine) and adjusted them to the sidereal.

Using star longitudes from ancient astrological texts as such is problematic, as those positions originate from various sources and can be from different periods of time in the same text. They are also subject to copyist errors. I've made a precise study of star longitudes from the ancient texts that we have been translated so far. Some longitudes are tropical and some sidereal.

Working with Ptolemy' star catalog is an advanced study for specialists. His catalogue and its relationship to Hipparchos' catalogue is extensively discussed in Gerd Grasshoff's The History of Ptolemy's Star Catalogue (Springer-Verlag, 1990). But this is really not a subject that most astrologers would find interesting.
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad,

Yeah I do, but if I remember correctly, it lists 30 stars only? I am just concerned that it may not list the stars that I want to check up on. Also, I'm not sure whether the positions are correct...


Mark,

The Almagest might be what I'm looking for, but I'll think about it...it may be too pricey for me right now.


Therese,

Yes, I want a list of fixed star longitudes, not their co-risings. What is DOS software?
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Quote:
Yes, I want a list of fixed star longitudes, not their co-risings. What is DOS software?

DOS is only remembered by those of us "of a certain age." DOS was the operating system computers used before Windows was born. You could only run one program a time, and originally there was no Internet. There were no graphics, video or audio, and no mouse. Only text and a keyboard, and either a green or amber text screen.

I have Solar Fire 5.1, and I see that it will print a list of fixed stars. My old NOVA DOS software printed a list of 300 fixed stars in any order we wanted. I printed the list in zodiacal order. If you print a list of stars, I'd advise using the Krishnamurti zodiac as that is the closest zodiac to the star positions in Liber Hermetis, Chapter 25. The zero ayanamsa date for Krishnamurti is 291 C.E. I see that I have an old NOVA printout of tropical stars for 300 C.E. which gives positions very close to those in Liber Hermetis 25.

So any modern astrological software should give a list of approximately 300 fixed stars. If you don't have the correct software or don't know anyone who does, I may be able to scan a copy of my list for you.

Therese
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Konrad



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
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Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Konrad,

Yeah I do, but if I remember correctly, it lists 30 stars only? I am just concerned that it may not list the stars that I want to check up on. Also, I'm not sure whether the positions are correct..


Yes, that's right.

I have managed to make a PDF of all stars greater than the 3rd magnitiude using Rumen Kolev's program. It lists them in the Babylonian Fixed Zodiac (Aldebaran at 15 Taurus), the Babylonian Tropical Zodiac and the Ptolemaic Tropical Zodiac.

If you PM me your e-mail, I will pass it onto you.

Therese,

Why would the the Liber Hermetis star catalogue be measured in Krishnamurti when that is 6 minutes from Spica as 0 Libra and was developed in the last century? If the Liber Hermetis zodiac was hinged to Spica, and that is a dubious claim in itself, wouldn't it be more likely to be Spica at 0 Libra?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
Quote:
Why would the the Liber Hermetis star catalogue be measured in Krishnamurti when that is 6 minutes from Spica as 0 Libra and was developed in the last century? If the Liber Hermetis zodiac was hinged to Spica, and that is a dubious claim in itself, wouldn't it be more likely to be Spica at 0 Libra?

I didn't mean to say that the Liber Hermetis stars were hinged to Spica or any other star. Krishnamurti was just my choice when I made my star list due to experience with the navamsa chart...meaning I've settled on that zodiac as the most workable so far. It just happened that many positions in Liber Hermetis were very close to Krishnamurti. For example:

[Libra] "In naught degrees and 6 minutes Spica rises, a brilliant star in the nature of Mercury and Venus..."

"In naught degrees and 26 minutes Arcturus rises, a brilliant star..." (Liber Hermetis Part II, Golden Hind Press, 1993, p. 24)

With Krishnamurti Spica is at 5 minutes of Libra and Arcturus at 28 minutes. But, like I said, those LH positions could be pure coincidence.

I'd like to have a copy of the PDF list you mentioned if you'd like to share it.
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Konrad



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
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Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I didn't mean to say that the Liber Hermetis stars were hinged to Spica or any other star. Krishnamurti was just my choice when I made my star list due to experience with the navamsa chart...meaning I've settled on that zodiac as the most workable so far. It just happened that many positions in Liber Hermetis were very close to Krishnamurti. For example:

[Libra] "In naught degrees and 6 minutes Spica rises, a brilliant star in the nature of Mercury and Venus..."

"In naught degrees and 26 minutes Arcturus rises, a brilliant star..." (Liber Hermetis Part II, Golden Hind Press, 1993, p. 24)

With Krishnamurti Spica is at 5 minutes of Libra and Arcturus at 28 minutes. But, like I said, those LH positions could be pure coincidence.


But for those two, there are countless others that are more than a degree off from Krishnamurti. Either the star catalogue is hinged to something else entirely or the catalogue is less than precise.

Quote:
I'd like to have a copy of the PDF list you mentioned if you'd like to share it.


Of course. I will send it to you now.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
Quote:
But for those two, there are countless others that are more than a degree off from Krishnamurti.

No doubt that is true. Now I'm curious to see the list I made years ago of comparative longitudes. I'll have to find it as it's filed somewhere in my office. Maybe I'll report back if I can find the list. I don't have time to make the list all over again.

Quote:
Either the star catalogue is hinged to something else entirely or the catalogue is less than precise.

I'd say it's less than precise! LH 25 seems to be a collection of data and fascinating tidbits of information from diverse sources. For example for the 5th to 7th degree of Scorpio..."is the Uranoscopus, i.e., the one looking at the sky." (p. 27)

"From the first degree to the fifth the degrees are lucid. They make astrologers [and] astronomers, always having hope in God." (p. 27)

I've seen the early degrees of sidereal Scorpio occupied by key planets in a number of astrologers' charts. (Check out your own chart.) Liz Greene has 5 Scorpio on her ascendant. Isabel Pagan had Mercury at 7Sco43. Kim Farnell has Mercury at 4Sco53. (all Krishnamurti) Perhaps the early degree area of sidereal Scorpio is one of several favored places for Mercury in the birth charts of astrologers or astronomers.

But the origin of much of the material in LH 25 is a mystery as is the zodiac (or zodiacs) used for star placements.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A note on Gerd Grasshoff's The History of Ptolemy's Star Catalogue:

This is a very useful book for anyone interested in the study of the stars. Aside from an in-depth discussion of the relationship between Ptolemy and Hipparchus, (a discussion for the academic specialist), there are tables in an appendix of all of Ptolemy's stars: longitude, latitude and magnitude, and their comparison with the true positions (tropical zodiac for longitude, 1028 stars).

It's very easy to convert longitudes to any other zodiac. All you need to do is add the degree difference to the -128 BCE tropical positions in the table to obtain your chosen zodiac longitudes. This was a very expensive hardback, but here in the U.S. there are some inexpensive used copies on Amazon beginning at $20 USD.
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Therese,


Oh, THAT DOS. Smile Sorry, Gen Y here. I've seen pictures of it though. It reminds me of the Command Prompt in Windows XP and later versions.

Yes, please send me the list when you can. I'll PM you my email.



Hi Konrad,

That sounds interesting. PM-ing you my email now.



Thanks to everyone for giving decent suggestions! At the moment, I'm making use of the website Constellations of Words for the longitude of the stars in the J2000 Epoch and then estimating their prior positions via the Precessional Estimate of 1/72 degree per year.

Since the website also gives the star positions in the J1900 Epoch, it made me infer that the fixed stars do not precess at the same rate. Some of them move further, some move less, although the difference isn't great.

Therese and Konrad's lists will be a great help for me to compare my estimations with.
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