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Historical chart presentation
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:40 am    Post subject: Historical chart presentation Reply with quote

I'm trying to establish better information about trends in horoscope imagery - specifically: when did it become fashionable to present charts in the 'proportional' format, rather than the 'standard' format applied historically?

The images on the left in the picture below show that, even though they were creatively stylised, historical charts expected to have the 10th house crowning the chart, the 4th house acting as its foundation, with the space between them equally divided (whichever house system was used).

The fashion of presentation has changed so dramatically in recent times, that on astro.com it is not even possible to create a chart in the "standard" format. So I'm trying to get more informed on when and why this change in presentation style occurred.

Does anyone have any examples of horoscopes published prior to 1800 that show the chart image in the proportional format?

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Ouranos



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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Deborah,

The graphic change of the birth chart took place at the beginning of the 20th century.
If today, the circle, which defines the representation of man with regard to the Cosmos, has supplanted the square in the graphic representation of the astral chart, it is undoubtedly to underline the undeniable evolution of Man and humanity, which sees itself as an integral part of the universe.
Human beings integrate themselves physically, always more, in the Universe, as they integrate, always more, the Universe in their immediate environment... and in it.
https://coursdastro.ovh/carte-du-ciel.php
--------------

"Among many possible variants, the representation due to the Frenchman Paul Choisnard (1867-1930) is the most commonly used. It places the native at the center of a wheel formed by the zodiac. The native sees the zodiac rotating around him, which, paradoxically, amounts to favoring a heliocentric vision, that is if you would draw the Earth opposite to the Sun on the Wheel."

The circle of the wheel inscribes in projection the twelve signs of the zodiac defined by their longitude from the vernal point. In this ecliptic projection the signs have equal lengths. The houses, drawn with the Earth by the diurnal movement and linked to the latitude of the place, appear on the other hand frankly unequal in this representation, because of the angle of 23d 27′ between the celestial equator and the ecliptic: the MC-FC axis no longer seems to form a right angle with AS-DS (as it actually is). However, Choisnard's representation allows the aspects of the planets to be correctly visualized. That is the proportional representation. And I have not seen this representation prior to that but who knows, astrology is like playing in a sandbox!

The axes structure the chart and symbolize the way in which the subject undergoes the influence of the stars. The horizontal line personally characterizes the native. Conversely, the vertical line connotes light, openness to the social and to what is apparent.
One can conceive that this symbolic representation of space translates a fundamental structure of the human mind, conditioned by the observance of a duration (that of day and night), of an evolution (from birth to death) and a particular setting: that of a spherical planet which imposes a horizon and whose rotation induces a series of events which unfold over time in the image of human destiny."
"Qu'est-ce que l'astrologie" by Daniel Kunth and Philippe Zarka (available at cairn.info)
------------------
Also interesting this article below

http://cura.free.fr/2015/1004horos2.html
Patrice Guinard that you know of on Cura presents some interesting ideas on what would be a better representation of the wheel and a clarification on why he now refutes the calculation of the eight ontological houses, which he presented in 1993 at La Sorbonne and at CURA in 1999, but presented as provisional.

Best to you,
Ouranos
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Historical chart presentation Reply with quote

That's such an interesting question, Deb. I don't have an answer offhand, but some additional thoughts. One is that this ties in with the transition from the square format (which, despite the variations you show, was the overall standard for a very long time) to the circular. This happened very late, with the square format surviving at least into the mid-19th century, perhaps later. (Not that a circular format necessarily has to be 'proportional', that is, prioritize the ecliptical system over the equatorial.)

Another thought is that the question ought to be extended historically to before the period of the printed book and geographically to continental Europe and, if possible, the Arabic-speaking world. (In India, the southern style has a square chart where the positions of the signs are fixed, but other regions all have the ascendant at the top and the 10th house on the right. This matches the style of Indian maps, which are drawn with the east at the top, just as European and Arabic charts are based on the Egyptian-style maps where the south is at the top. It all depends on what direction you're facing.)

My guess would be that the 'proportional' style turns out to be a 20th-century invention, possibly French. But so far it's just a guess.

Edit: I see that Ouranos beat me to it, but I'll leave the text above unchanged.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Historical chart presentation Reply with quote

Actually, what Ouranos says about the aspects could be a clue: at what time did astrologers begin to draw aspect lines in the charts? A grand trine, for instance, would look wonky if drawn inside an old-style chart.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Historical chart presentation Reply with quote

I wanted to make one more comment, on the word 'proportional', which I think is misleading (hence the quotation marks). Any horoscopic chart, just like any map of the world, will necessarily be distorted in some way. This is an inevitable result of attempting a two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional reality. So a chart of the more modern sort will do justice to the interrelations of the zodiacal signs (and any aspect lines/figures) while distorting the perpendicular relation of horizon and meridian; a traditional chart will do the reverse.

The shift from one to the other could be related to the interpretative shift from the planets and the houses they occcupy (central to traditional astrology) to the signs and aspect angles emphasized from the time of Alan Leo. Despite the infamous back-and-forth between Lilly and Gadbury on the characteristics of Scorpio, earlier generations of astrologers didn't describe natives or situations primarily in terms of signs or aspects the way most modern astrologers do, but rather in terms of the planets and their influence by angularity etc.
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is great information Ouranos - thank you for taking the trouble to add that!
At least now we have a date to pin on the noticeboard, and say "any advances on this?"

Here is an image of a chart drawn in his preferred style - published after his death in 1930, from Philip Grave's Astrolearn site at
https://www.astrolearn.com/paul-choisnard-tribute-revue-belge-dastrologie/

It seems his earlier charts were not in that style - see the second image from 1903.

A goof point made by Kevin Burke (in my Facebook thread), is that the development of computer software increased the drift towards this fashion. He says:
Quote:
The first computer-generated charts almost certainly used the proportional format. And everything produced by ACS in the 70s and 80s has become the default for present day astrology because that's what most present day astrologers learned with




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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The shift from one to the other could be related to the interpretative shift from the planets and the houses they occcupy (central to traditional astrology) to the signs and aspect angles emphasized from the time of Alan Leo. Despite the infamous back-and-forth between Lilly and Gadbury on the characteristics of Scorpio, earlier generations of astrologers didn't describe natives or situations primarily in terms of signs or aspects the way most modern astrologers do, but rather in terms of the planets and their influence by angularity etc.


Very much so - couldn't agree more!
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Ouranos



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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deborah,

Thanks for the info from Philip Graves. The design is how I learned to cast charts manually before the era of computers.

On Wikipedia, they say that the charts Choisnard drawned were established in spaced planetary orbits, according to the model of the Greek astronomer Anaximander (system of the world and cosmic intervals -650). Blaise de Pagan gives examples in his 'Théorie des Planètes' published in 1657... which I have not found.
One thing we know is that Choisnard got interested by astrology after 1890.

Paul Choisnard suppressed the orbits, and the distances, by crushing the planetary aspects into a single circular orbit. A distortion of Tycho Brahe 's system, accompanied by a return to the geocentric conception of Ptolemy , without his maps. The Ptolemaic geocentrism based on the cosmic intervals of Anaximander for the representations appearing in his Mathematical composition, published in 1804 in Paris, translation of the abbot Halma.

One thing attributed to Anaximander was the design of a gnomon with adjustments from a place to another because of the difference in latitude. And he did this on a slightly rounded metal surface. In his time, the gnomon was simply a vertical pillar or rod mounted on a horizontal plane. Sounds like the beginning of a 2-D plane here.

Whether this can be validated remains to be seen but it certainly is interesting for lovers of our Art!
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my Facebook page Anthony Louis has added a couple of new examples from F. Ch. Barlet (pseudonym of Albert Faucheux) born October 12, 1838 at 1.35 pm (13:35), in Paris; died in 1921.

The earliest (so far) was published 1905. All the early examples found so far come from French astrologers. Tony speculates that Barlet must have learned the chart style from one of his teachers in the 1850s or 1860s when he was studying astrology (in France).
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Ouranos



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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some reserve with Charles Barlet although he was the eldest of Choisnard.
I have a PDF copy of one of Barlet's pupil Abel Haatan (pseudonym of Abel Thomas) author of the "Traité d'astrologie judiciaire" (Paris, Chamuel, 1895) and the charts in his book are all in the square format.

Barlet was one of the first members of the French branch of the Theosophical Society, which he left at the same time as Papus in 1888. Also member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor founded in London by Theon. As he died in 1921 so it is very possible that he knew about the work of Choisnard.

1905 so far seems to be more reliable as you mention.
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Michael Sternbach
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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouranos wrote:
Deborah,

Thanks for the info from Philip Graves. The design is how I learned to cast charts manually before the era of computers.

On Wikipedia, they say that the charts Choisnard drawned were established in spaced planetary orbits, according to the model of the Greek astronomer Anaximander (system of the world and cosmic intervals -650).


Hi Ray,

I think I located the article that you are referring to. I found a French version only.

https://de.frwiki.wiki/wiki/Paul_Choisnard

It indeed makes several interesting statements pertinent to this topic, although in a somewhat convoluted fashion.

For one thing, it claims that, until the end of the 17th century, astrologers were not permitted to draw the charts of living people in any other than the old "Pythagorean square" style, in keeping with a Catholic mandate. Whereas for non-Catholics (astrologers? Nativities?), it was alright to use the "Pythagorean wheel" instead.

Quote:
Blaise de Pagan gives examples in his 'Théorie des Planètes' published in 1657... which I have not found.


Blaise de Pagan's book can be accessed via:

https://books.google.ch/books?id=dYM_AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=blaise+de+pagan+theorie+der+planeten&source=bl&ots=vswWZix9jY&sig=ACfU3U1z1E4m1At-mTiKNfQRaNEaID-y9A&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4iZ-sidn4AhV3gv0HHXp4BacQ6AF6BAgTEAI#v=onepage&q=blaise%20de%20pagan%20theorie%20der%20planeten&f=false

However, at a glance, it does not seem to contain any horoscope charts per se.

It would be very interesting to find some examples of such charts depicting the full geocentric system as a horoscope chart.

Quote:
One thing we know is that Choisnard got interested by astrology after 1890.

Paul Choisnard suppressed the orbits, and the distances, by crushing the planetary aspects into a single circular orbit. A distortion of Tycho Brahe 's system, accompanied by a return to the geocentric conception of Ptolemy , without his maps. The Ptolemaic geocentrism based on the cosmic intervals of Anaximander for the representations appearing in his Mathematical composition, published in 1804 in Paris, translation of the abbot Halma.


I am still trying to locate this one online.

Quote:
One thing attributed to Anaximander was the design of a gnomon with adjustments from a place to another because of the difference in latitude. And he did this on a slightly rounded metal surface. In his time, the gnomon was simply a vertical pillar or rod mounted on a horizontal plane. Sounds like the beginning of a 2-D plane here.

Whether this can be validated remains to be seen but it certainly is interesting for lovers of our Art!


For sure! Smile

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Ouranos



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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Michael!

I am surprised that the Earth is not Square after all the charts we have seen in that format.
It might also be a testimony of 'places' over angular distance between the planets before Kepler.
I remember when I met Manik Chand Jain in India, I was discussing whether or not I should consider a 13 degree angular distance between Jupiter and Neptune in my chart and he looked at me and said: 'It does not really matter. The placement is more important."
Moiety get out of this body!
--------------
Post-edit: After roaming through the book of Blaise de Pagan (old French), it seems that he is discussing the geometric theory behind what should be the representation on the sphere (identified as G point in charts p. 12 and 25) or seen from the Earth.
Second Post-edit:
As for the perfect chart depicting the full geocentric system, no software has fully elucidated the many pieces of the puzzle we need to put together to get a consistant view of the sky, whether it is in the circle or the square.
Think for example of a software who would be able to animate a natal chart will all the required parameters... in Primary Directions. In 30 seconds, you would have all the dates of major directions over a lifetime.

Guinard has his own view of what it should look like. Agreeing or not, he is stirring the pot
"As a result, the new chart, necessarily composite given the representation in two dimensions of what should be in three, brings together four tracking systems: the apparent planetary positions with respect to the horizon (measured by the altitude , but not yet figurable in current software), the orthogonal projections of the planetary positions on the ecliptic (Zodiac), the angular distances between planets (characterizing both the aspects between two planets and the figures between several planets), and the equal delimitations of the eight astral houses from orthogonal angles. It synthesizes all the elements necessary for interpretation, corresponds better to the visible celestial reality than those offered by current programs and software, quaternary nature of astrology , as I have constantly endeavored to show for over 20 years."
http://cura.free.fr/2015/1004horos2.html Pascal Guinard
-----------
Sorry if my comments go in all directions sometimes but this Forum gets me so excited to share my ideas and be challenged by expertise from other astrologers. I cannot thank you enough for everything I have learned since I registered with Skyscript. That must be my Venus/Pluto conjunction.
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What gems can be mined when astrologers get enthusiastic about sharing info with each other Ouranos! Smile

I keep thinking about this comment in Michael's post.

Quote:
For one thing, it claims that, until the end of the 17th century, astrologers were not permitted to draw the charts of living people in any other than the old "Pythagorean square" style, in keeping with a Catholic mandate. Whereas for non-Catholics (astrologers? Nativities?), it was alright to use the "Pythagorean wheel" instead.


Part of my brain continues to wonder about that as I work on other things - the other half of my brain is telling it to pay attention and focus - too many "other things" to focus on. But I am totally brain-split now ... which half of my brain is going to win .... ? Seems only a matter of time before I'm going to need to drop everything and start following that new vein ... LOL!
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Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For one thing, it claims that, until the end of the 17th century, astrologers were not permitted to draw the charts of living people in any other than the old "Pythagorean square" style, in keeping with a Catholic mandate. Whereas for non-Catholics (astrologers? Nativities?), it was alright to use the "Pythagorean wheel" instead.


I'm sorry to say it, but this is pseudo-historical nonsense. The Catholic Church regulated a lot of things on astrology, but the drawing of charts was never one.

Regarding chart representation. I do know of a 17th century circular representation close to the modern model. But I'm still searching for the source. I'll let you know when I find it.
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Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lribeiro wrote:
Quote:
For one thing, it claims that, until the end of the 17th century, astrologers were not permitted to draw the charts of living people in any other than the old "Pythagorean square" style, in keeping with a Catholic mandate. Whereas for non-Catholics (astrologers? Nativities?), it was alright to use the "Pythagorean wheel" instead.


I'm sorry to say it, but this is pseudo-historical nonsense. The Catholic Church regulated a lot of things on astrology, but the drawing of charts was never one.


No need for apologies, Iribeiro. I just translated and summarized what is written in that article which Ouranos brought to to our attention. I make no claims whatsoever regarding its accuracy. It does sound a bit weird...

Quote:
Regarding chart representation. I do know of a 17th century circular representation close to the modern model. But I'm still searching for the source. I'll let you know when I find it.


Would be great to take a look at that. Hope you will find it. Smile
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Last edited by Michael Sternbach on Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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