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Is There Room for 'innovation' In a 'Trad' Only Approach?
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

All I can say for sure is that there is a rich depository of traditional as well as modern techniques available to choose from like never before in history. Needless to say, the extension of the Internet contributes to this a lot. (Potentially) every modern astrologer and (presumably!) every traditional astrologer will be mixing elements from both strands in their practice, to varying degrees. If we don't mind being a little eclectic, I feel that we really no longer need to label ourselves as one or the other – or we are both at once! With this in mind, I once said to Mark that I would be as much a classical astrologer as a modern one - he strongly denied the “classical” part, however. I can see by now why he wouldn't classify me as such – but what I really meant to express was that I am interested in old and new astrology alike, and have a way of drawing from all of astrology's history as I see fit.

More practically speaking, I'd like to share with you some of the difficulties and questions I encountered when I first tried integrating the Hellenistic with the modern approach. They may or may not reflect the experiences of others on the forum. (Hey, let's hear from you folks!)

May I humbly present:

The Sternbach Programme for Revolutionizing Astrology Exclamation Idea Rolling Eyes

The first of my question has to do with so much of traditional astrology being based on the classical planets' dual rulerships. It's no exaggeration to say that, trying to apply the olden techniques, you quickly get stuck if you don't acknowledge Saturn as the Lord of both Capricorn and Aquarius, etc. This does by no means exclude use of the outers but to integrate them with the traditional astrological approach, a number of questions would have to be satisfactorily answered.

If we accept Saturn as the secondary ruler of Aquarius, for reasons of symmetry, don't we need to consider Uranus as a secondary ruler of Capricorn just as seriously? I have provided a number of reasons for this assumption awhile ago in an exchange with Mark; those of you who wish to review it, scroll down to the end of this page:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8075&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=240
A similar case could be made for Neptune as co-ruler of Sagittarius, and Pluto as co-ruler of Aries.

Moreover there is no agreement among modern astrologers as to the outers' exaltations and falls. I have discussed one reasonable scheme on a thread with Lee Rutland just recently.
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8340

We need to further understand how the outers relate to traditionally important divisions such as sect, “malefics” and ”benefics” (with some personal “modern” reservations regarding the concept), and the scheme of the Aristotelian qualities/elements.

We should further consider the concept of the cosmic state of a celestial body in general, and compare the classical theories with modern-times empirical observations - as the latter are sometimes difficult to explain based on the classical theories. For that matter, how do the outers' influences modify a planet's cosmic state?

I can elaborate on any of these topics if James asks me to do so. No doubt, there is plenty of room for discussion and innovation in all of this! Lala Happy

I was somewhat startled to find out that so much of Hellenistic astrological procedure seems to be all about determining the strength of a planet according to some calculus... How much the ancients would have benefited from our modern computer programs! They could have finished much of their work within a split-second!

Larxene has just raised the interesting question what the Triplicity rulerships mean qualitatively. (Sorry, I don't find the reference.) Now, personally I'm not convinced they mean all that much, but I find this concept to be another one worthy of exploration.

I would extend this question to other elements of traditional astrology as well. I.e., I would like to see the Arabic Parts defined philosophically rather than fatalistically. What possibilities do they imply? So as to be of more value in contemporary counselling practice.

In conclusion, if we “modernists” want to integrate the elements of trad' astrology, yet cling on to our typical syncretistic approach, we need to grasp what these elements would mean on a qualitative level.

Michael

Before I forget... We shouldn't neglect to study and re-evaluate *all* of classical astrology's predictive techniques in the context of contemporary experiences and possibilities!
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james_m



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Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks michael,

i suppose it depends on how one defines innovation. i think a computer is an invention, but any invention is typically built on innovative ideas. computers do at least 2 things simultaneously for astrologers - they remove the responsibility of doing the math required for doing astrology, and also free an astrologer up from the time consuming work that would have been required to get the data they would have been interested in applying - which you point out in your comments.

a few days ago i stumbled onto something that in a funny sort of way connects back to my initial question here.. the word is 'bid'ah'... it refers to any innovations made in religious matters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidah

i see parallels in astrology, music and religion, that go back to the individuals unique relationship to any of these areas of study. astrologers can be very specific about what it is they want to pursue.. my question really hinges on the person, as opposed to the specific techniques and why they might or might not use them. i am mostly interested in understanding how someone would be willing to 'exclude' something based solely on the time it was discovered, or used.. the outer planets would be one example of this, but there are many others too. how to integrate the outer planets in sign rulership concepts is obviously a modern approach that could be discussed separately.. what i really want to understand is the thinking that might be going on, in making a decision to exclude certain topics..

perhaps i can give a personal example. i don't work with asteroids, or any of the tno's - trans neptune objects.. i don't discount that someone will make some connections involving these bodies, but i just don't use them. i have essentially made a decision to not include data connected to this in my own approach to astrology. it is not that i am opposed to innovation, but mostly that i want to stay focused on what i am familiar with that i believe works for me! i suspect it is the same for those who are unwilling to use some of the tools that i couldn't do without. they are happy to set limitations for themselves and to work within the realm they believe works for them.

really my question is a desire to understand what the basis is for rejecting newer ideas. i can answer this myself up to a point, but was hoping for some feedback from others whereby i might get more insight into this. i think that i have and it goes back to what a person believes bears fruit astrologically. if one thinks they get more knowledge or insight with a particular technique then they otherwise would, then they will use it!
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,

I'm not sure how many traditional astrologers would agree that they are neglecting or invalidating modern additions to astrology.

I think what it boils down to is that as human beings we can only deal with a limited data set in processing charts or anything else, for that matter. Confused

Fortunately, it looks like important themes in a native's life can be seen reflected in their chart in various ways on different levels. Let's say, it's something holistic, or holographic.

Bottom-line, I don't think you need to include Hidalgo in order to touch on a major theme in delineation. He may add another nuance to the overall picture, to be sure. But you will always have to make a trade-off somewhere, if you don't want to, or can't, dedicate hundreds of hours to one single chart...

I think that the trans-Saturnians potentially alter a chart more fundamentally, or add profound insights to a delineation. But regarding them, it seems that many traditional astrologers include them at least to a degree.

By the same token, we might ask why modern astrologers generally don't include once so prominent an element like the fixed stars any longer?

I hope these thoughts would be somewhat more in line with your thread's query! Smile

Michael
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.k., I thought about it some more.

There may be some astrologers making the assumption that in olden days humanity was somehow closer to the metaphysical Fountain of Truth. Thus, the older/more original something is, the better.

By contrast, some modern astrologers may join the general trend thinking that the more modern something is, the better it must be almost by definition. As it's the culmination of an long ongoing progress.

Personally, I think there is some truth to both schools of thought.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
There may be some astrologers making the assumption that in olden days humanity was somehow closer to the metaphysical Fountain of Truth. Thus, the older/more original something is, the better.

By contrast, some modern astrologers may join the general trend thinking that the more modern something is, the better it must be almost by definition. As it's the culmination of an long ongoing progress.

Personally, I think there is some truth to both schools of thought.


Hi Michael,

I actually discussed just this same point a few years ago in a thread entitled Progress vs The Golden Age I opened in the philosophy forum:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5612&sid=b043a65592a599d674860997319310ef

That I why I feel the original question posed by James only highlights one half of this issue.

Mark
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james_m



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Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

michael and mark

you both raise a good point about how this question is one sided in not addressing why modern astrologers would be unwilling to explore traditional astrology. thanks for bringing that up.. since i don't consider myself a part of that group! - i was more motivated to ask the other side of the question, but it is a valid observation to make.

it is hard to know just what others are doing astrologically other then by having conversations about this here. i suppose it doesn't matter to many others, but i continue to be curious as to why someone would only be receptive to certain approaches and not others. i have outlined some of the reasons why i would be this way, both in terms of being receptive and not being receptive.. thanks for sharing your ideas here and feel free to ask or find an answer to the diametrically opposed question too!
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the link. I could do not more than glance over it, but what I saw so far all looks vaguely familiar. If we have anything to say regarding the other side of the trad/modern debate I'm sure James won't mind us dumping it on his thread. Tongue Out Laughing

Hi James,

Seriously, I don't mean to derail your thread. I find your topic interesting and would like to explore it together with you. However, it seems, I'm not quite sure yet as to the exact nature of the conflict you are wrestling with.

I start to think that astrologers more clearly on the traditional side of the spectrum may be in a better position to answer your query. My own outlook is different from theirs.
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Larxene



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Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
I am mostly interested in understanding how someone would be willing to 'exclude' something based solely on the time it was discovered, or used...what I really want to understand is the thinking that might be going on, in making a decision to exclude certain topics...


Well, the first reason is of a practical nature: to prevent information overload. There is only so much information I can integrate in my mind at any given time. For me, everything has to fit and be a consistent part of a whole. Like a jigsaw puzzle, every concept contributes to a part of the picture and they are harmoniously connected to other concepts. My experience is that, the more information you add into your system, the more complex the system becomes, and there is greater possibility of finding inconsistencies. These inconsistencies, they are like puzzle parts that cannot be connected to any part of the picture. They stick out like a sore pinky, so to speak. One inconsistency breaks the picture into two. Another contradiction makes three parts. When there are too many parts, my head explodes......metaphorically. The reason is simple. It is easier to remember things that are connected to each other, than it is to remember two separate things. Extra RAM is also needed to rationalise clashing situations.

Aside from that, another reason is the elegance of the system. I find the simplicity of the Hellenistic variation of the tradition to be elegant and beautiful...whole sign aspects, whole sign houses, cutting the zodiac into half to explain the aspects, annual profections...these things are symmetrical and hence, elegant. Some other elements are more complex and assymetrical, and yet even those systems have their own beauty. Zodiacal releasing, monthly profections, etc fall under this category. Then there is the strongly philosophical basis for many of the concepts, which again appeals to my aesthetics.

I do not solely exclude techniques based on time either. Right now, with regards to fruitful/barren signs, I am working with the Hellenistic versions as well as with Lilly's version. The reason I am trying to integrate Lilly's version is because he gives reasons for why signs are fertile or barren, which makes his system more rationally consistent as a whole (the first point), although there are still some inconsistencies.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

larxene,

i think systems only look elegant until we start to use them! astrology has lots of elegant looking systems until they get put to the test of just how meaningful they are in the present, as opposed to past tense.. we can always look back on events and rationalize how whatever the technique we like is seen to be operating effectively.. doing the same in the present by making a type of prediction on the future is messy..

for those searching or seeking perfection - i think it is a vision that gets broken down the more one works in astrology. but we keep on searching anyway!

i think we have to limit our tools and find the ones that work for us to the best of our abilities.. maybe their is another better tool for assessing the moment and the future, and back-testing it is necessary.. it has to work in the present though and i think that is generally when the nice gloss of a particular technique wears off quickly. this is my own experience.. i think i am a realist as much as i am an idealist.

i was reading on the content of an astro conference in seattle that i wasn't aware of, but that passed just last month - not that i would have gone anyway - but i thought it would have been interesting to hear it.. i think it relates to some previous conversations i have had here at skyscript on the issue of traditional and modern astrology and how astrology is moving into another realm that goes beyond the way some may think of the definitions of these terms... it goes with what i feel i am addressing here, but maybe i am being too generous in saying this!

"R. Hand – Toward a Post-Modern Astrology
The revival of traditional astrology has led to something that is not completely traditional astrology, nor is it exactly like any other contemporary form of astrology. As a likely successor to the astrology of the 20th century, it seems reasonable to call it Post-Modern Astrology. It represents a blend of what is most important and useful in traditional astrology (Eastern and Western) with the goals and aspirations of 20th century Western astrology. In this lecture I will describe one possible view of what this astrology will be like and how it will differ from both 20th Century (modern) and traditional (pre-1700) astrology."

http://norwac.net/main-conference-schedule/

the last time i heard that term 'post-modern' used by someone, it was in a context where i might as well have been told, it was a form of insanity or something quite evil and negative.. i don't know why i came away with that impression but alas i haven't heard from them since! they may have found some other outlet to express their wrath by labeling someone other then just me 'post-modern' LOL!

part 2 for larxene

regarding my question on rolf harris's chart and your comment

Larxene wrote:

I don't know about other non-outer traditional astrologers. For me I see it in Mercury/Venus in Aries, in the 3rd and Jupiter in 5th in detriment. The 3rd is an ambivalent house. Sometimes it is favourable, sometimes not. (Interestingly, Vedic astrology considers it to be a bad house.) I can't explain my reasoning at the moment. It's just intuition, from reading Maternus's text.


i want to share what my astro friend marjorie orr had to say recently on diagnosing charts when we find out more, after the fact.. this is taken out of context but is a good summation - "I don't think a chart is ever useful for specifically diagnosing any condition but it can contribute to our wider knowledge once we know what the condition is."

working my way from the outside in, i note the close sun/uranus conjunction in square to saturn in capricorn the ascendant ruler which is located in the 12th whole sign house.. it would seem to me that harris had cultivate a more individualistic and independent way towards life that would be at odds in some strong respect towards the cultural norms he would have grown up in. i am mostly saying this given this close square of saturn - uranus, while his sun in aries forms a close conjunction with uranus as well..

there are 3 quick considerations for me off this chart after this..probably the most significant of the 3 is mercury's position at the midpoint of both lights and conjunction both as well. mercury is ruler of the 5th and 8th house. he made much of his livelihood as a child entertainer as i understand it. this would bring him into contact with young people and as i have read - kept him away from his family and own daughter.. mars in pisces is ruler of all the aries planets and the 10th and 3rd houses. it is in square to jupiter in gemini which overall is a combo of planets in bad celestial state in an angular house position capable of producing tangible results off these same energies. i see mars rising in pisces as potentially problematic and made worse by the square to jupiter.. 3rd is the venus in aries square pluto in cancer which i think can point to unhealthy relationship dynamics involving issues of power and control of an unhealthy nature..

perhaps if i was to add one other consideration, it would be neptune in the descendant which happens to be directly opposite the part of fortune. this to me suggests relationships where their is a lack of boundaries and the potential for problems given this missing sense of boundaries.

i don't think any 1 of these considerations might have been enough to create the end result, but collectively i think they add up to point in this direction.. would i have been able to see this beforehand? i doubt it, but there you have it. i thought it would be fair to share my thoughts on this chart, since you had been kind enough to do so.. cheers!
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

Our recent private communication may have provided us with some clues to shed further light on this topic. Leery

I had brought up a parallel development in the martial arts world where you can see, on the one hand, the modern styles that emphasize an eclectic approach as well as individualistic innovation; on the other hand, the classical styles that proud themselves to carry on unchanged a tradition of several centuries' standing...

However, sooner or later you typically find that what has been advertised as "traditional" or "original" is in fact not more than about 100 years old and originated from a blending of several more ancient systems. In the process, these systems were altered dramatically, and to a degree deprived of their spiritual and/or martial essence.

But this is only gradually becoming evident due to the ongoing efforts of a handful of pioneering researchers who are making more of the ancient texts and information accessible, and moreover explore the ancient teachings practically in their relevance to our modern world. Interestingly, these meticulous researchers typically don't announce to have recovered, or to be teaching, a really original system of martial arts. They don't deny that they are creating new systems by incorporating useful elements from earlier times with more modern approaches - while skipping over those parts that can't be decoded yet or don't appear to make sense in a contemporary context.

James, in analogy with the aforesaid, I think part of what you are struggling with is the apparent negligence of traditional astrologers proclaiming the revival of the classical system - as a closed and complete framework! When in fact so many sources have not yet been explored (let alone with a degree of historical accuracy), and when so much about the practice of the ancients remains difficult to decipher and ambiguous. Not to mention the clear differences in philosophical outlook between earlier and contemporary man, and the list goes on...

So, in light of to this, those astrologers would perhaps be wise to call themselves something like “traditionally oriented modern astrologers.” Confused If this just weren't so cumbersome!

Do you think, I'm touching base?

Michael
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james_m



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Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi michael,

yes, i think you are touching base here!

i think the comments you make with the parallel to the martial arts is a good one. the same thing happens in the music world which is another reason this topic is dear to my heart. there are musicians who claim to be playing bop music from the 50/60's era and the natural descendants of this music. in fact, it is impossible to do this as anyone who has grown up in this era, or even since the advent of rock and roll from the 60's especially - can't remove themselves from the influences of these sounds.. it is impossible for these other sounds to not have some type of connection to your musical acts today.. now, we can say that those who play bop today are doing it in their own modernized way, but some of them would resent being told this too! no, they are doing it in the most authentic way, according to them, by venerating the bird instead of valens or ptolemy.. said deal, but in the jazz music world, instead of astrology..

but, regardless of all that, the fact is that trying to isolate one particular style of (jazz) music and saying you are only going to focus and play that style of music without having grown up in the cultural context of where and what that music was coming out of - to me it seems quite foolish.. however - people do it!
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Larxene



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Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, we cannot completely remove ourselves from our own contemporary environment. In that sense, we are all 'modern' astrologers, in the sense that we exist within an era that we currently call 'modern'. It is simple to prove that our situations have changed, for example, we can just show how dependent the current culture is on computers and smartphones.

At the same time, 'modern' has another connotation to it, that is, it refers to the astrological techniques that have been invented or extrapolated (and sometimes greatly stretched) from older techniques within, say, the last few centuries. While we cannot totally practise astrology the way the Greeks or Arabians did due to the differences in our environment, we can still assert that we are practising the techniques created during their time, to the best of our abilities and our understanding, while making small innovations here and there as a form of adjustment, whether to compensate for the lack of clarity in the ancient texts, or to account for the current situation we find ourselves in.

In essence, traditional astrologers are like archivists. They preserve what was available in the past, as best they can. But no matter how well you preserve things, in the end, many will undergo some degree of dissipation. Ultimately, we are only capable of making use of what is extant.

Traditional astrology as it currently stands is incomplete, and may remain so for a long time to come, just like many other articles of history. So some degree of innovation may be helpful in filling the gaps. For instance, in Mathesis, Maternus kept insisting that the details of events forecasted 'are according to the nature of the signs', but that important chapter on the characteristics of the signs is 90% missing. Surely it will not magically appear on my desk one day; I need to do something about the void.

However, in the first place it is readily obvious that we need to adapt traditional techniques to modern society. There are things and ideas that are present in today's world that may be not present in the past, so some degree of adjustment is prudent. However, ideally, as 'traditional' astrologers, we should not invent or innovate techniques in just any way we like. That is perhaps the fundamental difference. Coke Light is still Coke, but it appeals to the increasingly health-conscious societies.

In reality, invention is really hard. Most of the the time, we innovate. An example of a technique that looks like an invention at the moment (but may actually have some traditional precedent) is Sun sign astrology. I have not seen any text that delineates personality based on the Sun's position in the zodiac so I assume, for now, that it is an invention.

An example of a 'small' innovation based on tradition would be something like this. According to Ptolemy's method on finding profession/actions, only three planets are considered: Mercury, Venus and Mars. The reason is probably because in most cases only these planets are capable of undergoing a heliacal phase (and I think Ptolemy was greatly concerned about phases?). The Moon is also capable of undergoing a phase, but in this case, it moves too fast, rather than too slowly, as with Jupiter and Saturn.

However, I have noticed that when Jupiter or Saturn is in the sign of the MC, or they behold the sign of the MC, the natives tend to perform work that contain some elements related to these planets. So when these planets are involved, I include them in my delineation, especially if none of the three planets signify actions.
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james_m



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Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:

At the same time, 'modern' has another connotation to it, that is, it refers to the astrological techniques that have been invented or extrapolated (and sometimes greatly stretched) from older techniques within, say, the last few centuries. While we cannot totally practise astrology the way the Greeks or Arabians did due to the differences in our environment, we can still assert that we are practising the techniques created during their time, to the best of our abilities and our understanding, while making small innovations here and there as a form of adjustment, whether to compensate for the lack of clarity in the ancient texts, or to account for the current situation we find ourselves in.



the way i see it larxene, astrologers work with the tools they have available to them, but the main one is observation and the ability to make a connection between the chart and what is happening in the life of the person who the chart belongs to. this is the same for any astro chart - horary, or mundane or etc and doesn't just apply to natal. it is observation that is the basis for concluding how astrology works.. we may be handicapped by the tools we use too and some might argue that a person is using the wrong tools to diagnose what is taking place within the life of the person whose chart it is. so for me 'observation' and the ability to make connections is the basis for astrology, whether it be old or new or however one defines it.. this in itself is not new!! someones ability to perceive in an unique or innovative manner might appear new though..

i have suggested here at skyscript that the use of midpoints has a lot in common with the greek or arabic parts.. they are not the same, but they share some things in common.. is the idea of midpoints new? not really.. i think an examination of midpoints is something more easily done with the use of computers then it would have been in hellenistic or even medieval astrology for example. so, in a sense the use of midpoints has some precedent in the past, but also something to offer us today, in spite of there being no immediate connection to the use of midpoints in the deep past. i don't really know how one would categorize this, other then modern astrology, but i think it doesn't matter, or it matters only in so far as a person would automatically dismiss or accept it based on the time of when astrologers did or didn't use the technique/tool..

Larxene wrote:

In essence, traditional astrologers are like archivists. They preserve what was available in the past, as best they can. But no matter how well you preserve things, in the end, many will undergo some degree of dissipation. Ultimately, we are only capable of making use of what is extant.


it is an interesting point you are making and one that i have made to suggest that 'traditional astrologers' is a term that was adopted somewhere in the 1990's to describe those astrologers who were actively seeking astrological texts from the past that were previously unavailable to astrologers from the 1970's for example.. this process is still ongoing, as the texts from project hindsight, or holden translations and etc. etc. have all become more readily available only in the past 20 odd years! 'traditional astrology' seen in this context is very 'modern'.. i especially like and agree with your last statement in the above paragraph..

Larxene wrote:

Traditional astrology as it currently stands is incomplete, and may remain so for a long time to come, just like many other articles of history. So some degree of innovation may be helpful in filling the gaps. For instance, in Mathesis, Maternus kept insisting that the details of events forecasted 'are according to the nature of the signs', but that important chapter on the characteristics of the signs is 90% missing. Surely it will not magically appear on my desk one day; I need to do something about the void.


i think it will always be incomplete. the gaps and how to fill in the gaps continues to be the challenge of present day astrologers! obviously you recognize this and the need to fill in the gap missing in the works of mathesis! good luck in this regard!!!

Larxene wrote:

In reality, invention is really hard. Most of the the time, we innovate. An example of a technique that looks like an invention at the moment (but may actually have some traditional precedent) is Sun sign astrology. I have not seen any text that delineates personality based on the Sun's position in the zodiac so I assume, for now, that it is an invention.


that is interesting conjecture on your part.. i think most astrologers, especially 'traditional' minded astrologers view this as a watering down of astrology into 12 segments of the year and making a connection to those different seasons and stages of the year.. ironically or not - this is what got me interested in astrology.. the question to my mind was this "is there a connection between the time of the year a person is born, and some of the personality traits they display?' my answer remains the same and is answered to a good degree by sun sign astrology.. if one acknowledges the importance of the sun in astrology, i think there is some real wisdom in this too. i wouldn't use it for the basis for everything, but i think the position of the sun in a natal chart is extremely important.


Larxene wrote:

An example of a 'small' innovation based on tradition would be something like this. According to Ptolemy's method on finding profession/actions, only three planets are considered: Mercury, Venus and Mars. The reason is probably because in most cases only these planets are capable of undergoing a heliacal phase (and I think Ptolemy was greatly concerned about phases?). The Moon is also capable of undergoing a phase, but in this case, it moves too fast, rather than too slowly, as with Jupiter and Saturn.

However, I have noticed that when Jupiter or Saturn is in the sign of the MC, or they behold the sign of the MC, the natives tend to perform work that contain some elements related to these planets. So when these planets are involved, I include them in my delineation, especially if none of the three planets signify actions.


i like your thinking here. i think you are right about ptolemys concern for planetary phases, but he might have also been trying to capture the more personal inclinations, as opposed to more general inclinations of a generation born with saturn or jupiter in the same sign.. however, i agree with you of the importance of planets beholding the sign of the MC as having some bearing on a persons profession.. i see this with planets on the angles and the inclusion of the outer planets well.. uranus on the angles shows up an inordinate numbers of astrologers charts.. how does one get this via ptolemys system only? one needs to make a connection between what they are willing to consider on an astrology chart and what they see in the life of the person they are considering..

larxene - thanks for sharing your thoughts here and for this conversation!
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