skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

Astrology, Divination and Enchantment
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Astrology, Divination and Enchantment Reply with quote

There’s already been a mention of this article in the fate and free will thread.

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/enchantment.html

It touches upon a lot of issues concerning the philosophical, scientific (and spiritual basis) of astrology. I find myself in agreement with most of the points Patrick has raised. One exception is the point at the beginning where he says “almost no one seemed interested in doing what I wanted to do, namely to think about astrology.” Anyone who has read some of these forum posts will understand why I disagree with him on that, and in a way it’s contradictory to his theme about disenchantment arising where we try to rationalise something too much!

It’s a very interesting exploration of a number of important issues. But has he got it right? And if so, where does it leave us? What do you think of Patrick’s comment “astrology is best considered, in all its essentials, as a ritual and a tradition”?

And is it illuminating or frustrating to read this kind of analysis of the issues where no alternative explanation has been clearly proposed? In short, has this article increased your understanding of astrology or made you decide to just give up trying to understand it at all?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Astrology, Divination and Enchantment Reply with quote

Quote:
It’s a very interesting exploration of a number of important issues. But has he got it right? And if so, where does it leave us? What do you think of Patrick’s comment “astrology is best considered, in all its essentials, as a ritual and a tradition”?


I wholeheartedly agree with his observations.

Here are some thoughts I wrote elsewhere together with a more recent observation which seems to touch on all this:

Synchronicity is the expressive interdependence of objective events among themselves with or without the subjective participation of the observing psyche. It is evocative of the Hermetic axiom: 'as above so below but after another manner.' The astrological symbolon of the noumenal world mirrors the flow of life on earth and reflects back to us the truth of our lives imprinted deep within our souls. Liz Greene said in an interview: 'I also think the planets signify. I don't believe they impel, compel, dispel, or 'do' anything. They are simply signatures.' Or in the words of Gottfried Leibniz: 'The soul is the mirror of an indestructible universe.'

The process of interpreting a horoscope is not unlike the alchemical opus in which the differentiation and integration of the unconscious is achieved within the psyche of a particular individual. There is a ritual component to the interpretive process that transcends the human encounter between astrologer and client and enriches both through their mutual exploration of and participation in the unitive archetype of the zodiac. 'The present is saturated with the past and pregrant with the future.' (Leibniz)

Synchronicity is an acausal connecting principle. I do not think it is so much a matter of rituals having the potential to cause synchronicities to occur as it is of synchronicities having the capacity to remind us of the rituals we would like to create. To extend a concept borrowed from Leibniz: God has constructed the universe in such a way that corresponding mental and physical events appear to occur simultaneously provided we have the capacity to perceive them from that perspective.

I would assert that 'ritual has the potential to evoke an open awareness of synchronous exchanges between the eternal present and the ephemeral
present.' It is not synchronicity that is evoked but an awareness of it. I would assert that at the quantum level there is no distinction between cause and effect.

If an experience of synchronicity also provides one an encounter with the archetype of the Self then this encounter may give rise to an enriching experience of archetypal numinosity.

I had a dream on Saturday night which I related to my meditation group on Sunday afternoon (about a dozen people). The dream I had clearly indicated that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger would become the next pope. It was not, unfortunately, an astrological prediction! But as one astrologer with whom I also shared my dream recently wrote to me: 'I imagine that your serious involvement with astrology over the years will have made you capable of insight that others may not have -- because your thoughts are in harmony with planetary movements.'

To me, if it does so at all, this is how astrology 'works.' Thema Mundi!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A follow-up...

Quote:
By the way, what I have said about Neoplatonism also applies to more recent spiritual systems such as Anthroposophy, and certainly sexier and more chic versions such as that of Ken Wilbur. The latter - aggressively monist, hierarchical and teleological - is at least as rationalising and disenchanting, and comes with considerably more ego investment on the part of its elite, namely the Spiritual Expert.

1. "I had this amazing experience! I was flying… and the voice said … and then this Light …"
2. "Hey babe, no problemo: level five, dimension four, third door on the left-hand path. You should check out my new book sometime…"


This observation seems especially relevant. *Some* astrologers seem to believe their own publicity -- especially the ones who promote themselves as 'direct,' 'honest,' 'caring,' 'humble,' 'conscientious,' and 'empowering,' but often act like vicious rottweilers whenever their sense of propriety is confronted by the unpleasantly gauche assertiveness of lesser mortals (impertinent little guttersnipes!). It would be hilarious if it weren't so transparently disingenuous. Astrologers cannot 'empower' anyone, astrologers can only listen and witness.

My own perspective is that all astrologers (myself included) are profoundly delusional. When we recognize and work with our delusions, we transform them and discover the wisdom hidden within them. But we cannot summon the future, we cannot remake the past, the present moment is the empty space in which we dwell....

"I like to call it (the avoidance of this emptiness) the dirty little secret of humanity. It's the emptiness, the abyss, that's right in the middle of every human being...just waiting for some recognition of it." (Adyashanti)

"We have this state of oneness with the Beloved and it is really a condition of love. But with what are you united? With nothing -- with a black hole. God is nothingness...when you have the union with the Beloved alone in meditation you are united with nothingness. But this nothingness responds, it's a feedback, it loves you absolutely and utterly...But in the moments of oneness where I said there is a complete fulfillment, God is everything but nothingness, it is a complete fullness...Fullness; take away fullness from fullness, fullness alone remains." (Irina Tweedie)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Piper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

Although Patrick Curry is obviously very learned, his article doesn’t have much substance and it’s very hard to get any traction on whatever ideas he is trying to get across. If I was new to astrology, this is the sort of thing that would tend to make me want to give up understanding astrology at all. After reading it, I can’t recall anything he said that was useful about fate, destiny, or free will. His ideas are all over the place and I wonder if he even knows what he is talking about.

Deb, you say he’s making a point about disenchantment resulting from too much rationalization. Is he really? Try to peer through the haze of confusion. His example of ultimate disenchantment is the man in the New Yorker cartoon who says to his wife: “Of course I love you. I love all women!” Is this supposed to be an example of rationalization, or even disenchantment? It’s more akin to a mystical riddle, which is both disenchanting and enchanting at the same time. And funny.

I don’t think science has disenchanted anyone, because science itself is in so many way wonderfully enchanting. Look at the pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. Look at the drawings of dinosaurs. Anything interesting in science is enchanting.

We live in a world of enchantment. Who is Curry to distain advertising, music, or cinema? I really do not agree with whatever cultural elitism Curry is trying to project.

To think that astrology is ritual is way off the mark, and dismally disenchanting in the truest sense. Gauquelin, whom Curry tries to trivialize like a confirmed skeptic, was adventuresome, brave, tireless in his research, loved what he did, and made monumental breakthroughs for astrology. The man has been an inspiration for me. Curry, on the other hand, seems to be satisfied with the complacent comforts of astrological “ritual” and by his own admission an insufficiently ambitious program for the “best ideas for astrology,” for which he is very understandably apologetic. I can understand why he mentioned at the outset that he should have a car waiting outside the door, preferably with the engine running.

KennethM
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
His ideas are all over the place and I wonder if he even knows what he is talking about.


Quote:
I really do not agree with whatever cultural elitism Curry is trying to project.


Quote:
I can understand why he mentioned at the outset that he should have a car waiting outside the door, preferably with the engine running.


You too funny! Laughing Laughing Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

I think he raises some very good points and agree with quite a few of the things that he says , eg. “ Education, at heart, involves not imposing your ideas but helping people to realise theirs, albeit in a way that enables them to be able to share and discuss those ideas as widely as possible.”

But at the end of the day I’m not really sure whether he helped clarify or add to the confusion. As I’m left wondering about this, I’m thinking it probably added to the confusion.

Quote:
“… there is a special class of questions such as, 'Where is my cat?' which do not seem to involve either ethics or, in the usual sense, advice. Note, however, that such questions are still not predictive.”


I’m not sure about this. Why ask the question if the outcome wasn’t considered important, if there wasn’t some fear attached to the cat’s safety and its whereabouts, and whether they would see it again or not? Finding the answer to “where is my cat” through the process of divination helps lead the querant to a certain destination.

Whether the querant chooses to visit that destination or not being a matter of free will, conscious choice or choice made as a result of their conscience.

Quote:
“…divination is only possible in a mythic world, which is precisely an enchanted place.”


Interesting. So we devine using Nature –the Nature of something in relation to the Nature of something else – is Nature a myth or is it real? It’s certainly still a place of enchantment as there’s magic in those natural moments where certain things meet (at least I still think it is).

To be able to predict those moments on occasions doesn’t take away from the magic or the enchantment, this comes alive during one’s experience of the moment … until experience enters the picture, it’s all talk no action. For example, using simple powers of observation it may be quite predictable that when I wander past a certain garden I’ll stop to smell the flowers, being able to predict this doesn’t disenchant or detract in any way from the magic experienced at that precise moment.

Moments fade and so do memories, to be replaced or reinvigorated by new moments. And a consideration I don't think he mentioned but I think is probably relevant is what language is used when trying to communicate what we find so that others not versed in astrologese or mythology may understand it … it’s layer upon layer upon layer.

Quote:
“I am not trying to ban prediction; but I will say that it is not essential to astrology …”


Outcomes are a natural part of life and isn’t endeavouring to arrive at a better understanding of life what astrology’s about? As well, if one’s so inclined, sharing those understandings.

We can veil predictable outcomes under the guise of offering advice, and we can use the guise of advice to veil an inability to make predictions (determine outcomes). But, if we say predictions are not essential to astrology what are we really saying? Are we saying that outcomes do not form part of the essence that is astrology, or that outcomes are not essential to the practice, ie the astrologer? Or is this simply confusion between what mode of communication is used at a given time in relation to the purpose to be served?

And if one is unable to divine the Nature or the truth of what’s asked/presented, then essentially how can they advise on it?

Quote:
“You can’t use prediction to ‘prove’ anything about astrology.”


Does ‘proof’ lie in the workings of astrology, or the ability of the astrologer to synthesise and translate those workings?

Does proof reside in the observation of something, the dissection of it, or the interpretation of it? Or all three?

If I wanted to prove the breeding pattern of ducks, do I observe them or dissect them? And what does it mean?

And if one can’t ascertain a finite proof, does this mean it’s invalid? That Nature doesn’t work or have meaning? Or is this simply an attempt to impose human limitations on something that’s beyond the limits of human understanding?
If a person is yet to attain mastery over self, then where does the expectation arise from that they have mastery over something that extends way beyond self ...

Quote:
“Finally, isn't every question about the future really one about the present.”


I agree. The past and future both being wrapped up in the present.

And if we had perfect recollection of what had come to pass combined with absolute clarity in the present, then determining the future might be a little simpler.
I don’t know that determining the future detracts from the present, unless someone is seeking to escape from the present and therefore not fully wanting to participate in the moment.
So if the future remains imprecise or veiled from perception, perhaps it’s for good reason … namely that one is meant to actually participate in and experience the present, the gift that is this moment in time.

Quote:
“Scientific progress is a fraction, the most important fraction, of the process of intellectualisation which we have been undergoing for thousands of years.”


A fraction being a division that finds its meaning when related back to the whole from which it's been divided. It’s counterpart(s) being …

Quote:
”Hence, it means that principally there are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play, but rather that one can, in principle, master all things by calculation. This means that the world is disenchanted.
….what disenchants is the belief that we can, in principle, master all things by calculation. Pythagorean numbers are still an instance of such calculation!”


Disenchantment occurring with what can be the illusion of surface appearances? Perhaps necessitates an effort to dig deeper. What of “numbers should be studied for their intrinsic value,” (Plato)

The deeper one goes the more enchanting it becomes … for example, listen for the rhythm while counting the beats of a heart.

If someone tries to calculate them at the same time it could become disenchanting, the concentration required for calculation distracting attention away from the deeper fundamental beat. And then what happens when all this is staring at you through a technological screen … not once divided, but now twice divided from the natural rhythm of life.

Quote:
”The point is this: astrology is neither a spiritual system nor a scientific one. Nor, by the same token, is it a theory or a belief. It is no more a set of 'laws', of any kind, than a soup is a recipe; and it can no more be boiled down to such laws than a soup can be back into its ingredients.”


And what if astrology comprises all of the above and then some?
And how does this negating it as a spiritual system correspond to the earlier statement:

Quote:
“This is a living spiritual nature, and it only comes in actual places and moments. Even the classical myths we still know bear traces of this ancient chthonic spirituality …


Re:

Quote:
...astrology is best considered, in all its essentials, as a ritual and a tradition.
The tradition guides the ritual, and the ritual renews the tradition. Both are divinatory,[13] and the kind of divination specifically involves the stars and planets. So the relevant categories, in order of decreasing inclusiveness, goes:

ritual/tradition > divination > astrology.


How does this order of “decreasing inclusiveness” correspond to the earlier suggestion that divination is not essential to astrology?
Doesn’t astrology include both ritual/tradition and divination amongst other things such as philosophy, language, scientific discovery, astronomy, numbers etc?

How about astrology >ritual/tradition > divination ?

Or to keep it happy (although to me this still looks a little too self-sufficient):

....................... Astrology
................. / .................... \
.. ritual/tradition ...-... Divination


Andrew:

Quote:
“I would assert that 'ritual has the potential to evoke an open awareness of synchronous exchanges …”


I agree … but:

Quote:
“Astrologers cannot 'empower' anyone, astrologers can only listen and witness.”


… can only listen and witness?
Perhaps I’m not quite understanding what’s meant here, but this would seem to eliminate any astrologer’s ability to advise, to actively participate in the consultation process, to share. Seems to suggest that astrologers only observe rather than participate.

Empower? Doesn’t this point to how we choose to employ our powers to another’s benefit? Speech is a power. Communication can be empowering. Just being there for someone else in their time of need can also empower them.

Choice. Everyone has it. But not everyone knows what to do with it all of the time. When in doubt, leave it out? Or when in doubt, ask? I'm inclined to think what gives rise to a question creates room for empowerment.
Astrologers can empower by bringing something new that’s of value into their clients’ awareness, this increase in awareness empowering them in their choices. Whether the client chooses to use the advice offered or ignore it is up to them – free will.
But before one even opens their mouth to offer any advice, isn’t the simple act of being there for someone and actively listening to them in their time of need empowering? A burden shared being a burden halved?

Guess it depends on what sort of value is placed on another person’s participation and time. And while some things offered can be easily over-valued, or under-valued, there’s also those things offered freely which are priceless.

Deb:
Quote:
But has he got it right?


I believe right for him according to where he was at in that moment of time - I don't know that it has to be right for everyone. I tend to see understanding as an evolutionary growth process and am not sure that this sharing of ideas for the purpose of opening discussion (to borrow from his intro) necessitates the imposition of a judgement call … so I’m happy to hang suspended for a while. Very Happy

Quote:
Where does it leave us?


Open to discussion, consideration, and opportunities for growth in understanding. And I think putting forward such opportunities helps build bridges across divides.

Quote:
And is it illuminating or frustrating …?


Always illuminating to see others share their ideas … how can someone’s efforts to share be frustrating? Frustration can have a way of stifling or ending discussion which diminishes opportunities to share and learn ... until it breaks loose, that is.

Quote:
… made you decide to just give up trying to understand it at all?


No, one article doesn’t have the power to determine my making such a choice … what's this talk of resignation?
And while we do what we do without necessarily fully understanding all that goes in to why we do what we do there’s room to learn more, I think! Very Happy

Best wishes,
TS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TS,

I do not believe that it is possible for one person to empower another person. One might attempt to offer suggestions or construct circumstances that allow others to excel or to experiment and improvise, but empowerment embodies ideas of arrogance and servitude. I refer to 'The Myth of Empowerment,' by Dana Becker:

http://www.nyupress.org/product_info.php?products_id=3642

To listen and witness is the vocation of the astrologer: to be present with the person to whom one offers the gift of interpretation in the spirit of service, the receipt and acknowledgement of which benefits oneself as well. So the astrologer is there as one who performs a service, not as one who procures outcomes or otherwise attempts to consolidate power.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am continuing to read "Familiar to All: William Lilly and Astrology in the Seventeenth Century" by Derek Parker and am amazed at the extent to which that era differs from our own. At one point Parker quotes Raleigh:

"And if we cannot deny but that God hath given virtues to spring and fountain, to cold earth, to plants and stones, minerals, and to the excremental parts of the basest living creatures, why should we rob the beautiful stars of their working powers? For, seeing they are many in number and of eminent beauty and magnitude, we may not think that in the treasury of his wisdom who is infinite, there can be wanting, even for every star, a peculiar virtue and operation; as every herb plant fruit and flower adorning the face of the earth hath the like. For as these were not created to beautify the earth alone and to cover and shadow her dusty face but otherwise for the use of man and beast to feed them and cure them; so were not those uncountable glorious bodies set in the firmaments to no other end than to adorn it but for instruments and organs of his divine providence, so far as it hath pleased his just will to determine?"

I think this is the sense in which 'enchantment' is present: Lilly lived and worked in a world which accepted astrological influence as natural and not seriously to be questioned. A certain re-enchantment of the world will be necessary for astrological influence to once more be accepted as anything other than complete nonsense. I see the divinatory approach to astrology as helping to engender that re-enchantment: the strictly scientific cannot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andrew,

Quote:

”I do not believe that it is possible for one person to empower another person.”


I can appreciate this, but I disagree.
We reside within a body, which resides within the larger body of a community, which resides within the body of the world, which resides within the body of the cosmos etc ... to not be subject to the powers that be is to reside beyond them, and while we contain energy and substance we exert some level of influence in energy and substance.

Power is simply energy. How that energy is employed (put to work) empowers, overpowers or disempowers. The Sun’s energy is power (solar power). This energy empowers plants to grow, too much of it overpowers growth, too little disempowers growth.

The Sun shines upon us and from within us.
To my way of thinking to deny the Sun’s energy and the different ways in which this energy gets employed simply denies the existence of the Sun. I guess that would be delusional (of the Moon?).

Quote:
“My own perspective is that all astrologers (myself included) are profoundly delusional.”


Lol –I don’t know that all astrologers are mentally deranged (delusional), I've encountered quite a few who are not functioning to the profound detriment of self.

Quote:
“… but empowerment embodies ideas of arrogance and servitude.”


Sure, I agree with this. But there’s two sides to the same coin. Positive – Negative. Negative embodies positive, just as positive embodies negative.

And if we shut down or deny the positive application of energy because of fear attached to its associated negative … what are we actually doing? Escaping from the pain of the present, of actively participating? And what’s motivating the decision to shut it down, what’s the wish … a focus on an ending that draws attention away from the responsibility of actively participating in the present moment, ie.

Quote:
“But we cannot summon the future, we cannot remake the past, the present moment is the empty space in which we dwell....”


Hmm, look within the gap. Connect and/or disconnect. The power to direct one's personal will ... I believe intent is important here.

Power and how that energy is controlled, directed and dispersed is what gives rise to empowerment (constructive) or disempowerment (destructive).

And while it embodies ideas of arrogance, as well as ignorance, intolerance and a whole array of other potentially negative applications, it also embodies ideas of humility, appreciation, growth, creation, motivation, movement and the positive/negative attitudes of servitude, eg. employing power positively in service to something or someone other than self, that extends beyond “self-service” or “selfish-service”.

If arrogance (which to me is simply an expression of the defensiveness protecting a highly sensitive ego, the defensiveness arising from insecurity which can have its roots in a number of different things) and the imposition – or enforcement – of servitude upon others has the upper hand in how that energy is controlled, directed and dispersed by the individual then this gives rise to disempowerment … the polar opposite of empowerment.

I personally don’t believe that it’s healthy for the negative application of such energy to eclipse, dominate or eradicate its positive application and that ultimately some balance gets restored. If the world can shift on it’s axis, so can humans – collectively and individually.

Power. It’s uses and abuses. Everyone under the Sun has it. How do they employ it? To what or who’s benefit, or detriment? Because when you employ something (a single energy) or someone (who embodies and acts as a result of a combination of energies) it gives rise to increased responsibility.

Children are being empowered and/or disempowered and/or overpowered every day by their parents, their teachers, their school friends etc.

Employers empower their employees through promoting them, promotion involving increased responsibility and reward. They disempower employees when they act in a way that’s to their employees detriment, eg. sacking them. Whether someone is employed, promoted or sacked is subject to another person’s ability to empower them or disempower them.

Astrologers are empowered through their clients who commission their services to act in their best interests and advise, guide, counsel - to illuminate something that will empower the client in his/her choices.
Astrologers disempower their clients if they attempt to make the choices for them.
And astrologers are disempowered if they abdicate responsibility of care in their actions and attempt to manipulate, disguise or falsely represent the limitations of what they can offer, as are other service providers.

If what you say has the power to influence another’s thinking – which in the position of counsel it does - and this is part of the service one provides then I’d think there’s an ensuing responsibility attached to how one employs the power of speech.
For every action, there’s an equal and or opposite reaction … to not participate in this dynamic, one would have to keep their mouth closed.
But then that contradicts the aforementioned principle of active participation in the moment, the all of the moment as much as the emptiness. And if one doesn’t want to participate in the moment, in any moment … then isn’t that shutting off the life force which runs contrary to purpose?

It’s a loop … to be or not to be, eh? Well, while one’s living I guess there’s a responsibility to be … to actively participate.

Quote:
“not as one who procures outcomes”


Everyone procures outcomes, for others and self. When they cease to procure outcomes they cease to exist. Each breath one takes procures an outcome - life.
There's positive and negative ways to procuring something, the positive applying a duty of care ... in breathing being conscious of one's breath.

Quote:
“or otherwise attempts to consolidate power.”


Again, back to the use of power.
With the consolidation of power comes the responsibility to share it … otherwise it has a way of building up and exploding, or rupturing.

Quote:
"And if we cannot deny but that God hath given virtues to spring and fountain, to cold earth, to plants and stones, minerals, and to the excremental parts of the basest living creatures, why should we rob the beautiful stars of their working powers?”


At least that’s how I currently understand it, we're not separate to God's creation and the powers (energies) that work within it … and I’m always open to someone shining the power of their light to illuminate such things further.

Thanks for the book recommendation … was there a reason for this one in particular?

Cheers,
TS.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Piper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Canada

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After some further reflection, I’ll try again with this topic.

Although Curry introduces potentially useful concepts, they are not developed in a satisfying and useful way. The concepts he uses are drawn more from spirituality and religion rather than science and psychology. Spirituality is more concerned with traditional knowledge based on beliefs, and science is more concerned with rationally formulated knowledge. Just for now, we'll assume that astrology occupies a middle ground between religion and science and draws from both studies.

In contrast to Curry’s insistence that science and spiritual enchantment are antithetical, and there is no such thing as a “science of enchantment,” I will attempt to stretch the concepts he uses all the way from the spiritual/religious to science to show parallels and connection between the two. I find this to be much more potentially useful than Curry’s view of exclusive isolation. After all, science is genuinely enchanting to those who value it. Evidence of scientific enchantment can surely be witnessed in photographs from the Hubble telescope or artists’ renderings of dinosaurs. You cannot claim that only some values are enchanting and others are not.

I will try to put “hooks and handles” on Curry’s concepts so they can be moved about between religion, science, and astrology. The concepts to be discussed are enchantment, myth, divination, and ritual.

Enchantment is a peculiar sympathetic moment that is powerfully connected to a specific person, place, or thing. That moment is charged with fascination and significance. In my own system, Environmental Cosmology, I describe this person, place, or thing as a “host,” and I use the term “projection” to describe the process that we are here calling “enchantment.” Environmental Cosmology draws its inspiration mainly from science, engineering, and psychology, and much less from spirituality and religion.

Enchantment is a protected “wrinkle in time” where a transformation can occur. It’s a time that is religiously or scientifically associated with a chant, verse, law or constant that is entrained by the practice of ritual or experiment, which I’ll discuss later.

Enchantment is a very complex process but it amounts to participation in a definitive moment of discovery, inspiration, or identification. There is a mechanism of enchantment by which a person is impelled by an urge to form an attachment to a suitable (or unsuitable) host and release an outworn attachment (through disenchantment) from a previous host. A moment of enchantment is potentially a step towards a goal of maturity and competence.

In religion, the idea is to identify with a “blessed” (literally bleeding, accidental, or sacrificial) host. In science, hosts (subjects) are exposed to a controlled test situation or set of experimental protocols to promote the discovery process. In astrology, hosts are generally the meaningful people with whom we interact in daily life. By our association with the hosts, we eventually incorporate or adapt some feature of the host personalities as our own.

The step process of enchantment and disenchantment infers both constructive and destructive actions. Depending on how it is done, the destructive component can be seriously harmful or toxic (perhaps in religion, we’d call it “evil”).

The successful incorporation of enchantment requires the exercise of free will and the visualization of a new desired goal or destination (destiny). If free will is not exercised and no projection is made during enchantment, then the result of the enchantment is “fate.” Free will and destiny can be resigned to fate. That is where fate is accepted as an outcome without a goal, purpose, or destination in mind. Because the outcomes of enchantment can be so harmful, enchantment needs knowledge to work well. In religion the principle of avoiding harm is based on the law of karma (the “golden rule” -- don’t do something to someone else that you wouldn’t want them to do to you).

Myth is the fund of knowledge useful to the enchantment process. Depending on how you think, the knowledge behind the myth may be acquired either through traditional observation, recording, and sharing, which is the common practice in religion, or through the rational formulation of ideas into natural laws, theories, and information sharing, which is the common practice or method in science. Myth provides the history, language, and context of enchantment. Myth documents the various hosts of enchantment, and the circumstances, limits, and consequences in which the hosts/enchantments might be encountered.

Religion, science, and astrology each have a fund of knowledge and tenants that can be applied to the pivotal moments of enchantment. Finding and negotiating these pivotal moments of enchantment requires skill.

Divination is the art or intuition of using the knowledge instruments of religion, science, or astrology, first to recognize the patterns described in the shared knowledge of myth, and then to apply the necessary understanding and actions. The objective of either spiritual divination or scientific prediction is to help reduce potential choices to those that are more likely to produce outcomes that will successfully create a more desirable world without harmful consequences.

The expectation is that divination will show us where the enchantments will occur and that the enchantments can be successfully negotiated. The skill of divination cannot easily be accomplished without practice.

Ritual is the process of applying the knowledge of myth and the methods of divination to negotiate enchantment constructively and minimize harmful consequences. Ritual is the rehearsal or acting out of a transitional process for specific events. Some of rituals can be timed to occur within the “halo” or “orb” of a significant known transitional event, such as birth, marriage (sex), death, going to war, or returning from war. Other rituals are practiced to help prepare for the more accidental and singular occurrences of enchantment.

Ritual prepares us to use the most effective knowledge, prayer, mantra, or instruments of inquiry in order to meet the demands of each enchantment. The rituals help us to remain in a free and consciously aware state, guided by a purpose, to make the best choices when enchantment is encountered.

There is much more to this topic than can be covered in this short posting, but I’ve used some of the concepts I’ve developed in Environmental Cosmology to try to put enchantment, myth, divination, and ritual into context and perspective. I’d like to hear what others think.

KennethM
www.encosm.net
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will start with this quote from the introduction of Thomas Moore’s ‘The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life’ (1996), p. xi:
Quote:
On almost every page of this book I feel as though I have to defend the absurdity of what I’m writing, because the particulars of enchantment are simple in comparison to the complexities of modern life, and because the principles of enchantment are so directly opposed to those of modernism. Enchantment is tinged with play and eros, for example, elements that are suspect in a culture of extreme ambition, and it always implies an escape from logic, one of the prized tools in a society bent on understanding. Still, I keep in mind the enigmatic and yet oddly noble words of the early Christian theologian Tertullian: “I believe because it is absurd.” Enchantment is often colored by at least soft hues of absurdity, which is only a sign of its saving distance from excessive rationality.


Kenneth,
I had a strongly negative reaction to your post. You took enchantment, that magic which takes us out of ourselves and expands us, and turned it into very dry and stale bread:
Quote:
There is a mechanism of enchantment by which a person is impelled by an urge to form an attachment to a suitable (or unsuitable) host and release an outworn attachment (through disenchantment) from a previous host. A moment of enchantment is potentially a step towards a goal of maturity and competence.

Then you tell us how to successfully (and rationally) harness enchantment...
Quote:
The successful incorporation of enchantment requires the exercise of free will and the visualization of a new desired goal or destination (destiny). If free will is not exercised and no projection is made during enchantment, then the result of the enchantment is “fate.”

...using one’s conscious abilities:
Quote:
Because the outcomes of enchantment can be so harmful, enchantment needs knowledge to work well.


The rational has no place in enchantment and the beneficial result of enchantment is the displacement of a will that is comfortably in control. Enchantment takes us outside of ourselves and places us under the spell and power of something beyond us. Now we’re getting closer to the play and eros that Moore mentioned. Control through knowledge and the belief that we can be victorious through understanding find their match, and defeat, in enchantment. We are in the territory of images and imagination. Your sentence - “Evidence of scientific enchantment can surely be witnessed in photographs from the Hubble telescope or artists’ renderings of dinosaurs.”- interests me. You are here pointing at the products, the images, which result from the scientific methods and procedures. You are not finding enchantment in the scientific methods themselves. And it does take artists to create the images of dinosaurs!

Interestingly, in traditional astrology the Moon and Venus are most closely associated with enchantment—and both are feminine, receptive symbols. Receptivity is a word worth pondering: An openness to the mystery of a softly-lit landscape which quickly dims with the passing of a cloud; Melting into the beauty of a face. If I fall madly in love with that face, well, good-bye to self-control and firmly directed will-power. Reflecting on Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as representatives of enchantment which are meant to shake and shatter us, dissolve us, and melt us down to bare elements might teach us something of their place in astrology.

Moore begins the book’s chapter ‘Astrology’s Truth’ with this sentence:
Quote:
If you want a brief course in enchantment, go outdoors on the next clear night and look up at the sky.


It's that simple. And yet it isn't.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kenneth,

Quote:
“After all, science is genuinely enchanting to those who value it.”


There is perhaps a moment of enchantment when expectant parents first see their baby on an ultrasound (science).
However, that moment of enchantment is little compared to when they feel the baby’s first movements, or first encounter it face to face.
And considering this further, perhaps it’s not so much enchantment, but fascination. Enchantment is a state of being … fascination is captivating, an attraction that arouses interest or curiosity and this is of the intellect.

Enchantment is a personal experience that’s felt and embraces a moment of deeply personal significance. Science is fascinating, and it’s an intellectual fascination that distances itself from the reality of personal experience, of being and feeling, unless it can be communicated in a way that embraces meaning without invading or detracting from it.

Considering this further, science externalizes that which lies within, and in doing so subjects it to the cold, harsh light of analysis that disenchants as it clinically invades the sanctity of the magic of being in the moment, this experience being one which occurs within.

I tend to think science, in and of itself, is one of those things where you can’t have your cake and eat it as well.
The fascination with the moment scientific discoveries become apparent transforms into something else as the personal significance of that moment is digested … and it frequently gives rise to indigestion, largely because of the language used to communicate it.

Science as an intellectual division of the whole organic process of life remains cold, dehumanizing and a frequently invasive analysis of a series of parts unless related back to the whole being in a way that’s personally significant and meaningful.

In this light, I do agree that Science, in and of itself, is antithetical to spirituality. Science is external. Spirituality is internal – its deeply personal.
Science is a tool. The application requiring skill, the art being in how its communicated in relation to an individual.

And the art of human communication entails the language of human myth, the universal language that depicts the experiences of mankind.

Divination bridges the divide between science and myth, bringing the two together in relationship to a human being that is of personal significance, the totality of the experience being one that can give rise to enchantment rather than an intellectual fascination devoid of personal meaning.
Science involves a division of parts in relation to thinking.
Divination is the synthesis of those parts that embraces both science and myth in relation to being.

Astrology or science? The practice of astrology embraces science, yet the practice of science divides itself from astrology. Why?

I believe people need the experience of being in the moment, the enchantment of eating cake! It brings the recipe that is science to life.

Cheers,
TS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS - To add: 'enchantment' is non-negotiable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There’s some very interesting views in this thread. I particularly enjoyed your first post Andrew, but I’m struggling to capture a way to expand what you say in an intelligent manner. My viewpoint is rooted in the acceptance that all living matter is invested with creativity, and that creativity gives us an inherent potential to recognise meaning that lies outside our own personal experience. As a traditional astrologer who is very aware of the rituals I employ, I’m comfortable with the notion that the astrologer conducts the orchestra in astrology. But it goes beyond the feeling that it is only through me that my astrology becomes activated and has a meaning; I also accept that the universe is activating and interpreting me - if the power lies in the creativity energy that we all share, it is everywhere – outside as well as inside (above as well as below). And that would give astrology something that we can best describe as objective reality; and yet at the same time I realise there is nothing truly objective about any of it. I think I might need another 10 years to develop this in a way that makes sense to anyone, including myself.

With regard to Kenneth’s comment:

Quote:
After all, science is genuinely enchanting to those who value it.


I can quite agree with what Kirk and TS have written, and yet it seems to me that one of the valuable points of the article is its reminder to cherish the feeling of enchantment wherever and whenever we find it. Those who work in the sciences and are genuinely enchanted by the marvels of science are getting it right. No one becomes a genius without a true appreciation of their subject; and yes, I do believe enchantment can be experienced anywhere, as much within science as without it.

As Curry explains, disenchantment isn’t about knowing everything, it lies in the belief that everything could be available if we were inclined to pursue it, reducing the value of the sought-after prize. All of our most enchanting myths, legends and fables put the hero through obstacles and the need to overcome impossible tasks, where the disenchanted will give up along the way.

The problem is that most of us devalue the marvels that surround us in our everyday environment. For example, in a bygone age the tale of two individuals standing at different parts of the country, yet able to communicate at will, would have described them as magicians, and any tools they used would have been described as powerful amulets or valuable artefacts. Nowadays I wouldn’t have a mobile phone if you paid me – they are everywhere and a constant interruption to focus. But I still marvel at the fact that our ability to communicate so freely over continents, even in mediums such as this, is awe-inspiring and a constant reminder of the ‘magical’ creative source that drives mankind to apply ingenuity to surmount the odds.

The point I am making is that I don’t believe we can lay the blame for disenchantment at the evolution of science, the motivation of science, or at those who seek to understand, explain, or even rationalise. Disenchantment, for me, is all about losing the urge to do battle with one thing for the sake of another worth fighting for, or to fail to appreciate the full value of something purely for what it is, or to lose the sense of inspiration that something once gave us. It’s a human problem, and sometimes just the natural consequence of growing bigger than the thing we once looked up to. Where it lingers it is stifling to creativity, so the problem of being disenchanted is as pertinent to scientists (or anyone else for that matter) as it is to astrologers. But it can’t be avoided by the refusal to analyse or understand, because if there is one thing enchantment persuades us to do, it’s to look at something more closely.

Hence no one, not even astrologers, can hope for a state of permanent enchantment, unless they suspend their own mental and emotional growth. But if the subject that enchants you is big enough, mysterious enough and fascinating enough, you can live a lifetime in it. I think astrology is one of those subjects.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have come across as being anti-science. I want to clarify that that is not the case. However, I have acquired an unfair and unrealistic bias against the rational mind which I must discard.

Scientific studies can, and do, lead to moments of enchantment. Kenneth’s telescope and dinosaur examples demonstrated that well. I think of the logical and rational mind as a tool which we need, but the tool at times is dissolved, dislocated, released, in order for something larger to come through. It’s an ongoing exchange of focus, erratic and unpredictable. Scientists and astrologers, and everyone else on Earth, often suffer from the same affliction: too much Saturn, too many boundaries. The idea of enchantment gives me the feeling of shifting, flux, movement, and of distance. Above all, I see enchantment as a moment which takes us beyond ourselves. The following is something that grabbed my thoughts today and which looks at movement through and away from the birth chart. It may be way off topic; hopefully it ties in as well as I believe it does.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In my previous post I quoted Thomas Moore on play and eros. We all have heard that play is good. The 5th house popped into my mind today: the house of play, pleasure, romance—it sounds to me like a house of enchantment. Venus has her Joy there. The other day I wrote that Venus is often associated with enchantment. (Never be rude to an enchantress, if you know what’s good for you.) The 5th house trines the Ascendant, so what about the other house that trines that point?

The 9th is the house of religion, philosophy, dreams and visions, and astrology. It’s the house of this topic thread. It’s the house of the Sun’s joy. The tarot card ‘The Sun’ is usually illustrated with one or two children, which gives us a symbol of simplicity, essence, living in the present moment and yet growing into some future state which already exists deep within. Now imagine the birth chart drawn with an arrow on the Ascendant, and the 5th and 9th house trines flowing toward it from either side and shooting out through the arrow and away from the limited confines of the chart. The pleasure of the 5th and the philosophy of the 9th lead us out of our daily routines and habitual perceptions and into a larger space.

We can also consider the sextiles to the Ascendant of Jupiter’s Joy in the 11th and the Moon’s Joy in the 3rd. They also give me a sense of outward movement through the Ascendant and away from the chart, but possibly not as strongly as with the 5th and 9th trines.

The Joys of Saturn in the 12th and Mars in the 6th are dissociate to the Ascendant and don’t allow us through that gate. That’s not to say that they are entirely bad and hindering, but this could shed some light on ‘malefic’. However, Saturn may keep the scientist’s nose buried in the things he is weighing and measuring, and a Saturn overdose could be keeping the astrologer’s face in a book looking for the correct rules and authoritative voices which have passed down to us through time. Mars is possibly too much “Me”, too much action produced by and for personal experience, to allow us to travel much further beyond ourselves.

And Mercury, the trickster, mischievous imp, symbol of logical processes, and traditional planet of astrology, has its Joy at the gateway. Enchanting!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated