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Equal House System in Renaissance Astrology?
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Mark
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternabach wrote:
Quote:
Could you give me the references for Noonan, Dykes, and Brennan, please?


Sorry Michael I missed your question further back in this thread.

George C. Noonan supported the idea Ptolemy was using a variant of equal houses in his book Classical Scientific Astrology. This was one of the first books to discuss traditional astrology to a popular audience.

Benjamin Dykes spends a considerable amount of space at the beginning of his book Introductions to Traditional Astrology discussing early house systems. Dykes only makes a passing comment that he considers it likely Ptolemy was using a variant of equal for length of life calculation at least. He also briefly discusses Dorotheus of Sidon, and Nechepso and Petosiris. The Octopos or 8 sector system is also discused.

Dykes is evidently a follower of Robert Schmidt's theory that quadrant systems were originally developed as planetary strength indicators rather than discrete house systems. He therefore also suggests that the Porphyry system, Octopos system and the Dorotheus idea of extending the influence of the ASC 30 degrees were all variant methods of assessing planetary strength. Dykes seems to be seeking to expand the scope of Robert Schmidt's theory on Porphyry houses being strength indicators to include Dorotheus and the 8 sector Octopos.

Robert Schmidt's theory first appeared in his Introduction to a translation of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos Part III in 1996. This was part of the Project Hindsight publications. This section was headed: House Division, Planetary Strength, and Cusps in Hellenistic Astrology

You can still read the piece online on Curtis Manwaring's website:

http://www.astrology-x-files.com/houses/schmidt-houses.html

Schmidt's theory has become very influential and most of the American astrologers who worked or studied with Schmidt such as Robert Hand, Demetra George, Joseph Crane , Curtis Manwaring and Chris Brennan all adopted his theory.

However, here on Skyscript Deborah Houlding has made some very strong arguments on the traditional forum in the last few years which seriously question this whole theory. She has offered textual references that raise questions on whether early astrologers may have instead saw these techniques as fully viable house systems not just tools to assess planetary strength. It has to be acknowledged Schmidt's theory was proposed at a very early stage of rediscovery of hellenistic astrology.

Getting back to Ptolemy , Chris Brennan has argued Ptolemy was actually using whole sign houses in his Tetrabiblos. His argument relies heavily on Robert Schmidt's translation of the Tetrabiblos into English and subtle lingustic differences in the way Schmidt translates the Greek text in contrast to his predecessors such as F.E. Robbins.

http://www.hellenisticastrology.com/2011/12/08/did-ptolemy-use-whole-sign-houses/

Mark
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Brennan's article, I found this phrase interesting:

Quote:
What we are left with then is a very concise text that sometimes takes certain concepts for granted. House division may be one of them.


The lack of definition in a concise text could also be due to multiplicity of them and the writer implies- use whichever and what I wrote still applies



Quote:
while at the same time he has a tendency to not employ houses or Lots for topical purposes,

Because there were so many variants that they did not matter ?

PD
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 456
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
George C. Noonan supported the idea Ptolemy was using a variant of equal houses in his book Classical Scientific Astrology. This was one of the first books to discuss traditional astrology to a popular audience.


Interesting hint, Mark. Just by taking a look at Amazon's text sample it appears that the book may be worth purchasing for me. Even though I'm already quite familiar with the more basic aspects of traditional astrology, I get the impression that Noonan has some remarkable thoughts on the topic to share.

Quote:
Benjamin Dykes spends a considerable amount of space at the beginning of his book Introductions to Traditional Astrology discussing early house systems. Dykes only makes a passing comment that he considers it likely Ptolemy was using a variant of equal for length of life calculation at least. He also briefly discusses Dorotheus of Sidon, and Nechepso and Petosiris. The Octopos or 8 sector system is also discused.


This made me wonder, is there any evidence suggesting that Dorotheus extended this 30° "orb" of the ASC (in which direction, BTW?) to a complete house system? And what's the current opinion on Nechepso's and Petosiris' use of houses?

Quote:
Dykes is evidently a follower of Robert Schmidt's theory that quadrant systems were originally developed as planetary strength indicators rather than discrete house systems. He therefore also suggests that the Porphyry system, Octopos system and the Dorotheus idea of extending the influence of the ASC 30 degrees were all variant methods of assessing planetary strength. Dykes seems to be seeking to expand the scope of Robert Schmidt's theory on Porphyry houses being strength indicators to include Dorotheus and the 8 sector Octopos.

Robert Schmidt's theory first appeared in his Introduction to a translation of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos Part III in 1996. This was part of the Project Hindsight publications. This section was headed: House Division, Planetary Strength, and Cusps in Hellenistic Astrology

You can still read the piece online on Curtis Manwaring's website:

http://www.astrology-x-files.com/houses/schmidt-houses.html


Thanks for the link. I actually have the whole Project Hindsight series somewhere, but since moving places, I haven't been able to figure out in which one of so many boxes the booklets are hiding! Confused

Quote:
Schmidt's theory has become very influential and most of the American astrologers who worked or studied with Schmidt such as Robert Hand, Demetra George, Joseph Crane , Curtis Manwaring and Chris Brennan all adopted his theory.

However, here on Skyscript Deborah Houlding has made some very strong arguments on the traditional forum in the last few years which seriously question this whole theory. She has offered textual references that raise questions on whether early astrologers may have instead saw these techniques as fully viable house systems not just tools to assess planetary strength. It has to be acknowledged Schmidt's theory was proposed at a very early stage of rediscovery of hellenistic astrology.


As much as I appreciate Robert's great achievements in making the ancient texts more accessible (I had a short but gratifying exchange with Ellen Black back in the 90s), I also enjoy Deb's efforts to demonstrate that we should be careful not to draw hasty conclusion especially in regard to the intricate topic of the houses.

Michael
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
Interesting hint, Mark. Just by taking a look at Amazon's text sample it appears that the book may be worth purchasing for me. Even though I'm already quite familiar with the more basic aspects of traditional astrology, I get the impression that Noonan has some remarkable thoughts on the topic to share.


I dont want to mislead you Michael. I am not sure the book is all that extraordinary. But it was remarkable in a time when traditional astrology was an eccentricity. Personally, I think Noonan's book on Fixed Stars and Judicial astrology is his book I would prefer to have now.

Martin Sternbacjh wrote:
Quote:
This made me wonder, is there any evidence suggesting that Dorotheus extended this 30° "orb" of the ASC (in which direction, BTW?) to a complete house system? And what's the current opinion on Nechepso's and Petosiris' use of houses?


I think to answer that question would require a very careful study of the Carmen Astrologicum. I cannot find my Dykes book just now so cannot find if he cites a reference in the Carmen Astrologicum. I just scanned my translation of the the Carmen Astrologicum by David Pingree but couldn't find the section Dykes was referring to. As I recall Dykes suggest's Dorotheus indicates the influence of the ASC could be extended 30° in zodiacal order. So just like equal houses. I thought that might please you! However, the book does have quite a lot of interpolations from Perso-Arabic astrology (the references to God are a clue!) so we need to tread carefully.

Ben Dykes doesn't suggest this could be the basis of equal houses. He was really interested in discussing it as an alternative tradition of how to assess planetary strength that extended beyond the Whole Sign ASC sign. As I suggested Dykes (in that book at least) is aligned to Schmidt's theory that anything non-whole sign in ancient astrology must be a planetary strength technique. He ends up making the quite radical suggestion that people explore the 8 sector Octopos of Nechepso as a planetary strength indicator to supplement whole sign houses.

However, I think many people will be thinking along the lines you have indicated. As I suggested in my previous post in this thread if this idea of Dorotheus isn't an explicit reference to equal houses it certainly seems like an astrological predecessor of it. Now that Deb Houlding has demonstrated Valens was utilising equal houses (amongst others) this is an intriguing area for further research.

Martin Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
As much as I appreciate Robert's great achievements in making the ancient texts more accessible (I had a short but gratifying exchange with Ellen Black back in the 90s), I also enjoy Deb's efforts to demonstrate that we should be careful not to draw hasty conclusion especially in regard to the intricate topic of the houses.


Yes I think we all enjoy Deb's contribution here! I think you have summed up her position perfectly.

Martin Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
What is the current opinion on Nechepso's and Petosiris' use of houses?


I think that is too complicated a question to answer in this context. It really deserves a separate thread. In particular the whole Octopos system and whether it was a house system or not. I think there have been a few threads on this already actually! I will see if I can find a link for you.

Mark
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 456
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Quote:
This made me wonder, is there any evidence suggesting that Dorotheus extended this 30° "orb" of the ASC (in which direction, BTW?) to a complete house system? And what's the current opinion on Nechepso's and Petosiris' use of houses?


Mark replied:

Quote:
I think to answer that question would require a very careful study of the Carmen Astrologicum. I cannot find my Dykes book just now so cannot find if he cites a reference in the Carmen Astrologicum. I just scanned my translation of the the Carmen Astrologicum by David Pingree but couldn't find the section Dykes was referring to. As I recall Dykes suggest's Dorotheus indicates the influence of the ASC could be extended 30° in zodiacal order. So just like equal houses. I thought that might please you! However, the book does have quite a lot of interpolations from Perso-Arabic astrology (the references to God are a clue!) so we need to tread carefully.


This pleases me indeed! I think I should get a copy of Ben Dykes' Introductions to Traditional Astrology then for the references to Dorotheus.

Michael wrote:
Quote:
What is the current opinion on Nechepso's and Petosiris' use of houses?


Mark replied:
Quote:
I think that is too complicated a question to answer in this context. It really deserves a separate thread. In particular the whole Octopos system and whether it was a house system or not. I think there have been a few threads on this already actually! I will see if I can find a link for you.


Thanks Mark, looking forward to the links. Your assistance is much appreciated.

Michael
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