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Signs and compass directions

 
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AquarianEssence



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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Location: Michigan, USA

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Signs and compass directions Reply with quote

I've had this question for years and have never come across an answer or even anyone else questioning. The cardinal compass directions given by Lily make sense, Cancer being north, Capricorn south, Aries east and Libra west. But after that it makes no sense at all. Leo would be north-west, not north-east or north by east as it is often listed, for example. Leo always follows Cancer so it can't suddenly jump before to be in Gemini's place, which Lily says is west by south. If Cancer is north (as it reasonably should be), then the beginning of Leo would be NNW, mid Leo NW, Virgo WNW and Libra west. So, can anyone tell me what the reasoning behind Lily's assignment is? Deb has Lily's info posted here: http://www.skyscript.co.uk/wit.html

Kind Regards,
Connie
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Konrad



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because he isn't counting them in the order of the houses. Look at each of the cardinal directions, and you will see that the cardinal direction is surrounded by the sign next to it in the order of the zodiac and the one opposed to that sign. For example, Aries is east, Taurus as a member of the southern trigon is south by east, and Scorpio, the opposite sign and a member of the northern trigon is north by east. I would have to consult my texts to see if he is following the older traditions here. From what I do remember, the trigons were significators of directions, he may just be extrapolating the signs to include in that.
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AquarianEssence



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Konrad. Now I understand but don't understand his logic at all. Yes, he generally gives fire to east, earth to south, air to west and water to north. But, that is based on the 4 cardinal signs. He follows logic when he says that the 1st 6 signs are northern and the last 6 are southern, yet contradicts that when he assigns specific directions to each beyond the 4 cardinal points. The assignments by house are logical and in order of the signs. If a significator is at the end of Aries and soon crosses into Taurus, are we to judge that the person is generally heading east and moves toward the south east instead of moving toward the north from east? Further, his sign directions just don't work in any chart I have looked at, although the descriptions of the places connected to signs often gives insight.
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Konrad



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a student of Lilly's, so I can't comment. If you have the Book of the Nine Judges[\i] then look there. I recall a very detailed method of finding objects. Perhaps that methodology could shed more light on this subject.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AquarianEssence wrote:
He follows logic when he says that the 1st 6 signs are northern and the last 6 are southern, yet contradicts that when he assigns specific directions to each beyond the 4 cardinal points.

The division of the (tropical) zodiac into 6 northern and 6 southern signs isn't to do with the compass directions as such; it is just an astronomical fact that half of the ecliptic lies north or the equator and the other half, south of it. The division related to the compass points, on the other hand, is symbolic and goes back, as Konrad says, to Mesopotamia, where it related to the triplicities.

Beyond that, I'm afraid I can't comment on Lilly either.
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AquarianEssence



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both. I don't have the book but will look for it. Martin, it just seems that astronomical facts would be the rule of thumb, with both the Mesopotamians, who relied more on the visible sky, and Lilly, who didn't have to depend so much on looking outside his window before casting the chart, but still needed the chart to represent the astronomical facts if he did look.

Thanks again.
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Konrad



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can look at my copy and give a summary of its methodolgy of directions. I can't do it until Monday though.
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AquarianEssence



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Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Konrad. That's very gracious of you. I look forward to it.
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Mark
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Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The origin of the notion of triplicities linked to directions is Babylonian in origin and is linked to the idea of the four winds. At that time one planet was associated with each of the winds or directions/triplicities.

There are essentially three traditions of directions linked to triplicities in the early literature.

Aries-Leo-Sagittarius
Direction: Northern (Babylonian/Geminus), Northern (Ptolemy), Eastern (Paul of Alexandria)

Taurus-Virgo-Capricorn
Direction: Southern (Babylonian/Geminus), Southern (Ptolemy), Southern (Paul of Alexandria)

Gemini-Libra-Aquarius
Direction: Western (Babylonian/Geminus/Valens), Eastern (Ptolemy), Western (Paul of Alexandria)

Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces
Direction: Eastern (Babylonian/Geminus), Western (Ptolemy), Northern (Paul of Alexandria)

From what I have been able to gleam in the ancient Babylonian view the original associations of the winds/triplicities and their ruling planets were:

North Wind -(Jupiter)-Aries-Leo-Sagittarius
South Wind-(Venus)-Taurus-Virgo-Capricorn
East wind-(Mars)-Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces
West wind-(Saturn)-Gemini-Libra-Aquarius

I have written about this issue on the forum before but I am afraid I dont really have time to get into it at the moment. When I do I will post more background. Lilly and the earlier medieval tradition largely adopted the tradition of astrological directionology stemming from Paul of Alexandria.

However, Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos was available and was considerably more sophisticated in its approach to astrological geography and directionology than any of its contemporaries. Over time this only added to the general confusion on the topic in the astrological community.

Looking at the associations of countries for example Europe was assigned to the triplicity of Aries-Leo-Sagittarius in Ptolemy's scheme fitting the north wind in his scheme. In contrast most of his contemporaries and successors assigned Persia and the east to the Aries-Leo-Sagittarius triplicity. Many of Ptolemy's associations for countries were adopted even though his general scheme of directionology was not as a whole.

Mark
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:


Looking at the associations of countries for example Europe was assigned to the triplicity of Aries-Leo-Sagittarius in Ptolemy's scheme fitting the north wind in his scheme.

Mark


According this diagram

http://www.labirintoermetico.com/07Geomanzia/corografia_tolemaica/qualita_venti.jpg

not really north, but NW.
In the same way:
Eastern Europe and Middle East to NE, Southern Asia to SE and Africa to SW

margherita
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AquarianEssence



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Location: Michigan, USA

Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all. Konrad, thank you for the excerpt from Hermann's The Search for the Heart. In Chapter II.3.2 he says that Jirjis gives Virgo to the south and Leo to the east, which I recognize from Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. So, it seems the answer to my question is that Lilly's directions come from Ptolemy.

Margherita, thank you for the image. This too, comes from Ptolemy, Book II, chapter 3: Of the Familiarities between Countries and the Triplicities and Stars. It looks like I had the answer to my question in my library all along.

I had spent some time a while back, attempting to understand Ptolemy's associations and the more I look at them, the less he seems like a geographer and map maker. Overall, it appears he is judging based on his judgment of the signs and how they fit the people's morality and lifestyle. He gives the east to the fire signs, calling it the northeastern triangle. Yet, he gives the eastern signs to the northwest quadrant and rulers, Jupiter and Mars in their occidental aspects. Why would he see the Sun's favorite signs as occidental and where did Mars come from? This doesn't fit Egyptian terms or those that Lilly used. If he is using triplicity rulers Sun should be involved and I'm sure it would be seen as oriental because Sun falls in the west. Did he give fire to Mars originally? So, directions and countries are

Aries East (England, the furthest north)
Leo East by North (Italy, south of England)
Sagittarius East by South (Spain, furthest south of the 3)

Although E-W don't fit the compass, this agrees that Leo lies next to the northern sign, Cancer, and Sag lies next to Capricorn in the south. But Italy is not more north than England and the latter is certainly not east. It also agrees with the fact that the most southern country in my examples, is the furthest south in his directions. My problem with this layout, as a geographer, he should not assign east to the countries furthest west of the inhabited world.

The 2nd quarter is called, appropriately, southeastern and is given to the earth element he calls the southeastern triangle. He sees Venus and Saturn in Oriental aspect to derive east, I think. If he had not changed the triplicity rulers of his ancestral Egyptians, he may have come up with a system that makes more sense to me. He would have given Venus and Moon this triplicity. Then the two northern hemisphere earth signs could have been NE and WNW, as they should be. Directions and countries are

Capricorn South (India furthest south and east)
Taurus South by East (Persia northwest of India )
Virgo South by West (Babylon further northwest of India, west of Persia)

In contrast to fire, east and west match but here the southern hemisphere doesn't fit, except for Capricorn, unless he is seeing an imaginary equator at his division of latitude into hemispheres. Taurus and Virgo are both closer to Cancer than to Capricorn. But, I suspect he is basing this on an imaginary equator running through the latitude line of his division into quadrants.

If we were to overlay a chart on this part of the world and situate it so Aries is in the NW quadrant, Air would be across from it, where he has earth, so again, this doesn't make sense, compass wise. But, there is one way it could. If you view the norther hemisphere of his world, as if that line of latitude is the horizon then when Aries sets in the west, Libra rises in the west, etc. The southern hemisphere would be like the northern hemisphere of the chart, that which is unseen. Is that what his reasoning is? The problem with this layout though, is there is no north or south, basically. They are both out of sight, below this new horizon.

As long as I've taken two quadrants I might as well finish. The 3rd quadrant is northern Asia, the NE quadrant, and appropriately calls it the northeast. He leaves Mercury out as a triplicity ruler and sees Saturn and Jupiter in oriental aspect. Directions and countries are

Libra West (Bactria, now northern Afghanistan, near NW India)
Gemini West by South (Armenia further north and west of Bactria)
Aquarius West by North (Oxiana, at north Afghanistan border, north of the other two)

Gemini and Aquarius seem to be reversed, since Gemini is closer to the eastern sign, Aries, and northern sign, Cancer, with Aquarius midway between east and south.

Finally, the 4th quadrant is given to water, the southwest quadrant and fittingly, what he calls the southwestern triangle. He gives rulership to Mars and Venus in their occidental aspects. Like air, the direction name for the triplicity fits the geographical direction of the quadrant. Directions and countries are

Cancer North (Africa, obvioulsy south)
Scorpio North by East (Syria, fittingly is northeast)
Pisces North by West (Phazania, now Fezzan, SW Libya, north part of Africa, west of south and west of Syria)

To summarize he has the east and west both in the north, both north and south in the south, northeast and northwest are reversed but southwest and southwest are on the right sides. It's as if he has his right and left correct in the southern half but has them reversed, mixed up like my left hand husband and son do, when addressing the northern half. Was he left handed, I wonder? My husband was so funny at our wedding. He kept lifting right, then left, back to right, back to left hand trying to figure out which hand to give me. Everybody laughed.

Mark, I will take some more time with material from the Babylonians and Sumerians. It seems like I ran across winds somewhere in Enuma anu enlil. I wonder though, if when the ancients translated the even more ancients if they might have misunderstood a reference to which direction the wind was coming from for which direction it was headed. A Southwest wind heads Northeast. Also, when I read a reference to Leo being east, I believe it was Babylonian or Sumerian and was based on the fact that Leo rose with Sun on the vernal equinox during that time. So, of course, that makes sense. But if we are basing our astrology on the tropical zodiac then Aries is always east at sunrise the day of the equinox, not Leo.

Thanks again, all of you for your help.
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AquarianEssence



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Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just plotted the ecliptic on a world map and I see that Aries, indeed covers the longitude degrees of the UK and western Europe. As I saw Taurus covering Egypt and the middle east, I was reminded of the story of Moses leading Isreal out across the Red Sea and later destroying the golden calf. Now, he gives earth to that SE quadrant so at least Aries and Taurus fit the passage of the Sun along the ecliptic. But then he looses me because he gives Gemini to roughly the right area but only in the higher latitudes, the NE quadrant. Then he back tracks and puts Cancer back west in Africa instead of 90-120E. I think a better system would have been to keep following the ecliptic then devise a sensible method of assigning the signs to latitudes. For example, keeping the northern signs north of the equator, Virgo might be the first 30°North, which would put Africa under Aries and Virgo. Might that fit their nature and history? Following this further, the key area of Egypt and the middle east would be under Taurus and Leo. the later surely fits the sphinx. Both figures have played a major role in the history of that part of the world.

In Mesopotamian astrology, Saturn rules the south wind with mid-winter, Jupiter the east and spring, Mars the north and mid-summer, Mercury the west and autumn. I don't follow the logic though because neither Jupiter or Mars rule air. I think of north as cold too, not hot or mid-summer. He doesn't rule a summer month either. The westerlies are the prevailing wind from 30-60°N. But Ptolemy divided his hemispheres in a way that the prevailing winds wouldn't be divided correctly. His line is too far north.

There is confusion even in the Babylonian writtings, it seems. Ninurta-Mars was called Summer Solstice and Saturn according to this essay: https://books.google.com/books?id=dLkUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=babylonian+astrology+winds&source=bl&ots=bniWK4YjQg&sig=Wj5Oph_m-N7Ph7ayxznEekD3ios&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KCuKVJzQAYqRyQSxwoGwCQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=north&f=false It is probably a confusion due to the fact that further north is colder yet when Sun is furthest north in the northern hemisphere, it is warmest. In that regard, north is warm like the south, so one might say north is south without thinking. I may be in the minority but I constantly have to double check myself when viewing a chart and placing that in the sky in my mind. North is under the horizon but is really just behind me, if I stand so that I can see the ecliptic and have east on my left. North is both behind me and on the other side of the earth, except it isn't. South is on the other side of the earth from where I stand. Confused
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