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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Traditional vs. Modern Astrology Debate
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Chris Brennan



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 188
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Traditional vs. Modern Astrology Debate Reply with quote

This past weekend I organized a live debate in front of an audience between an astrologer named Eric Meyers and myself on the topic of modern versus traditional astrology. This was at a monthly meeting of the local astrology group that I organize here in Denver, Colorado. I just released the recording of the debate online for free, so I thought I would share it here because I think that many members of the Skyscript forum will find it interesting. Here is the link:

http://theastrologypodcast.com/2014/06/16/modern-vs-traditional-astrology-debate/

I look forward to hearing what everyone thought of the debate!
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Paul
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1402

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A really fascinating debate if only due to it being something of a stereotype debate - you can almost imagine the kinds of arguments that would be made by each camp, and indeed they are made.

At times I felt the debater for the modern viewpoint knew one thing first and foremost "I disagree with traditional astrology" and had far less clarity on the specifics of what he disagreed with.

I think the future of astrology lies with merging of modern and traditional, but until we get there it seems we're destined to run into the same arguments over and over. Perhaps a debating platform, although dynamic and offering opportunity to explore both sides of the argument, may not always be the best way to approach these problems. I think one of the fundamental issues with debates like these is a reluctance or unwillingness to try to see the other side, as obviously their goal is to defend their own side.
Perhaps it would be mutually beneficial to simply observe what happens in a consultation with both sides and try to recognise that there is value to both approaches without needing to adopt value-judgements of one being "more evolved" or "less evolved" and simply recognising that value is determined by the client finding the session useful or not.

It was a pity that Eric Meyers resorted to sloppy arguments about flat earth believers and I found it unsettling and indeed worrying that someone with a psychological background (as we're so often informed during the debate) would hold views amounting to rape victims needed a life lesson - I struggle to imagine any way in which such a view would be beneficial or healing to an individual within an astrological consultation with someone who holds these views.

But thanks for uploading this Chris, it's interesting to hear the back and forths and the points raised by both sides and see where the divide is for many people.
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Becca



Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Posts: 57

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My, what a fantastic debate!

I didn't catch all of it. I only recall snippets. But I came away reminded of the aphorism, "We can't teach an old dog new tricks", because sometimes I think that this is what we are trying to do in regards to 'delivering' traditional astrology to a primarily modern audience in this day and age via a medium like Astro.com, for example.

All in all, it was lovely to listen to.

Ciao,
Smile


PS: Lookin' good in your black and white threads there in the pic, Chris - tres chic Wink
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Konrad



Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 668

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done in remaining composed here, Chris. Next time a moderator would be a good idea, I would have liked to have heard more from you.

I agree with Paul, it seems a lot of what Eric demonstrated was that he knows very little about Traditional Astrology. Interesting that he brings up Mercury in fall in Maya Angelou's chart too especially when considering her early life and a dirunal Mars setting. I found Eric had very little substance to his arguments, and seemed a little afraid to face up to the fact that "shit happens".
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Chris Brennan



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 188
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
Well done in remaining composed here, Chris. Next time a moderator would be a good idea, I would have liked to have heard more from you.



Yeah, not assigning someone to be the moderator was a real mistake on my part in organizing this, because then I ended up trying to play that role myself, as well as the role of one of the people debating. That is one of the reasons why I ended up holding back a lot more than I might have otherwise, since I wanted it to be a level playing field, although in doing so I kind of allowed it to get a little bit out of hand when he started dominating the conversation. This is the first time we have done one of these events here in Denver though, and I think that it will provide a good model for similar discussions in the future, with a few modifications.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2710
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chris,

if it is any consolation as a result of you having to wear two hats, you came across a lot better then he did.. i have only listened to the first hour, but overall it is painful to listen to! i am hoping when i get a chance to listen to the rest of it, it will be better, but i kind of doubt it.. i think having a moderator would have been extremely wise too. it would help to find someone who is more versed in traditional astrology as opposed to someone only familiar with modern and not traditional.. bottom line - you come across much more effectively then him! i liked what paul had to say earlier in this thread as well..
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 944
Location: Pulaski, NY

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric Meyers, this is your figment of your imagination calling. Iím not really here, but just a projection of your consciousness. Note to self: please start studying ancient astrology so we (Sybil that is) can become fully awake.

When we passed through the waters of forgetfulness (lethe) we forgot that one of our projections (Aristotle or one of the other middle Platonist projections) said that fate should be demoted from an efficient cause to a material cause. As such, choice exists through the remaining possibilities that are necessary but not sufficient in and of itself to bring about what we forgot about the choice of why we are here in the first place.
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Southern Cross



Joined: 10 Jan 2014
Posts: 49

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a really interesting debate. I also like the idea of getting different approaches of astrology together. I think Chris Brennan did a really good job.
That said it seems counter productive now to do a public Eric Meyers "bashing" here. It leaves a bad feeling.
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Paul
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009
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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southern Cross wrote:
That was a really interesting debate. I also like the idea of getting different approaches of astrology together. I think Chris Brennan did a really good job.
That said it seems counter productive now to do a public Eric Meyers "bashing" here. It leaves a bad feeling.


I agree Southern Cross, especially as he's not here to defend himself. I did find some of what he said a little disappointing with regards astrology, and shocking with regards a counselling setting though.

But I agree we should try to not make any personal commentary on him - and apologies for already having done so to an extent.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Location: Pulaski, NY

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southern Cross wrote:
That was a really interesting debate. I also like the idea of getting different approaches of astrology together. I think Chris Brennan did a really good job.
That said it seems counter productive now to do a public Eric Meyers "bashing" here. It leaves a bad feeling.


I hope you didn't misunderstand my clever tongue in cheek statement. I was actually in agreement with Eric Meyers. I'm not a stoic and the statement I made was in favor of free choice. But I said it in a way that the ego will have a hard time understanding.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. So for those of you who couldn't see the deeper side of what I said above... let me break it down for you so there is no misunderstanding:

Quote:
Eric Meyers, this is your figment of your imagination calling. Iím not really here, but just a projection of your consciousness.


Eric said that everything in the world is an extension of our consciousness, therefore I don't really exist. That is a true statement. Of course, "Eric Meyers" doesn't really exist either (we are both a collection of ideas and molecules invented by our egos which is also true).

Quote:
Note to self: please start studying ancient astrology so we (Sybil that is) can become fully awake.


This is my only "jab" because someone who is evolved will be able to look at all angles and not feel "threatened". Since neither "Curtis" nor "Eric" is fully real, it is a note to self (whatever that may be). The other subtle thing about this statement is that it brings into question volition or will. What is the boundary to "I" and when does my "free will" impinge upon his "rights"? If we are the same consciousness then the I is simply struggling with itself.

Quote:
When we passed through the waters of forgetfulness (lethe) we forgot that one of our projections (Aristotle or one of the other middle Platonist projections) said that fate should be demoted from an efficient cause to a material cause. As such, choice exists through the remaining possibilities that are necessary but not sufficient in and of itself to bring about what we forgot about the choice of why we are here in the first place.


This is where classical philosophy can actually support evolutionary astrology. Material causes are a significant demotion against the idea of fate being written in stone. Instead such causes only show the possible from which an individual will have to choose. The only thing that is fated astrologically is the planets motions and positions. For instance Mars in the 7th house doesn't have to mean divorce, but allows for a wide range of all sorts of possibilities. The last statement which is a sentence which will have to be read several times for most actually means that the evolutionary approach is most useful for answering the why question. Think this is contrived? Think again, because I wrote this over 4 years ago:

http://www.astrology-x-files.com/x-files/evolutionary-astro.html
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Tom
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't listened to this. I'm sure that many find these things valuable and for that reason they should continue. On a personal note, I find them pointless. No one changes his mind, and one side usually spends more time correcting the other side's misinformation than he does making his argument. So what should be a presentation of two opposing ideas becomes a series of "gotcha" statements. Cuteness counts for more than scholarship.

I have noticed something over the years about trying to explain traditional astrology to a modern. It's a lot like trying to defend astrology to a skeptic. It's eerily similar in fact. Usually the skeptic/modern is loaded with misinformation if not outright ignorance, that he touts as definitive, so the traditionalist/astrologer has to waste time correcting him over and over and over. The skeptic/modern loves to engage in "hit and run" argumentation often consisting of piling one falsehood on top of another with no link between statements. It is impossible to have a conversation that runs that way. A moderator would help, but if the moderator constantly had to reject the false statements that the skeptic/modern astrologer believes so strongly, it would not be a lesson learned, but grounds for charges of bias.

I suggest, in addition to adding a moderator, that the debaters stick to a single topic, just like a real debate. "Resolved, traditional astrology is overly fatalistic." for example. This would force both sides to narrow their focus and supporting their arguments with facts and logic would carry a lot more weight.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 944
Location: Pulaski, NY

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
I suggest, in addition to adding a moderator, that the debaters stick to a single topic, just like a real debate. "Resolved, traditional astrology is overly fatalistic." for example. This would force both sides to narrow their focus and supporting their arguments with facts and logic would carry a lot more weight.


I regard fate as a sort of failsafe for when consciousness fails us (which is constantly I'm afraid). How many of you are aware of your heartbeat? Consciously control it now. See how laborious that is? Much simpler that it's on autopilot because if you forget, you're dead. Much of this world is like that and if we're here for a reason, then part of that reason involves a choice to take on limitation (as the myth of Er suggests). These limitations are like training wheels and the level of "Saturn consciousness" that Eric talks about, which I prefer to call the concrete particular, are necessary for the other levels to exist. If we are all just one fractured by the Dyad into several egos, then the Aristotelian cause and effect idea suggests that there must be a reason.
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Tom
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Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First the fatalism bit just popped into my head as it is a standard charge. There are all sorts of topics. That was my point.

Secondly the anti-traditionalists are using the word fatalistic a whole lot differently than Curtis is. They believe that traditionalists believe that traditional astrology maps out our lives on a course from which there is little variation possible. They like to think of themselves as free of all those things that hold back lesser people.

Fate in their view is, "You will have four children two husbands and serve a prison term." That's not traditional astrology. Fate in the real world usually involves things that are beyond our control and many things are. For example a person born with diabetes, is fated to live a certain way. They think we see all people and all life's events like that.

But as I said, there are all sorts of topics, if anyone wants to participate in these exercises.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 456
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This debate reminds me of a remarkable observation I just read in Classical Astrology for Modern Living by J. Lee Lehman: If a traditional astrologer would call the natal chart "the way of least resistance" rather than one's "fate", it would in most cases make little difference - because people tend to keep functioning in always the same habitual patterns rather than making the effort to exercise the freedom of choice they basically have. Sick
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