A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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I've just published a 4-page article from the September 2022 edition of the Skyscript Newsletter, which explores the originating principles of planetary exaltations, with a particular concern for the degrees of fall.
This highlights some corruption - or deviation - in the early tradition, which will be of interest to researchers.
I'm not about to change my own custom and practice at this point, but I'm remaining alert to the point raised on the final page about how the fall positions might be resting on different principles than commonly assumed.

The article is currently available as a free flip-book read or a standard PDF file. I plan to turn it into a web page in a week or two when I should have a little more time.

If anyone else notices other sources supporting this approach, it would be good to collect the details here.

Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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Hi Deb, just wondering, in the translated text you have:
Deb Houlding-Firmicus-Exaltation & Fall - text.png Deb Houlding-Firmicus-Exaltation & Fall - text.png Viewed 2978 times 72.28 KiB
Mars break the pattern of swapping Exaltation/Fall degrees with its counterpart; I expected to see his Fall at 15 Cancer as in the table.
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Is the text re:Mars as it appears in the Latin and so a possible textual error? I was just looking at the Dykes translation and he follows Rhys and Holden although he includes a footnote:
Most of the degrees [of Exaltation and Fall] are standardized; but looking at more sources and original accounts (like the poem of Dorotheus) shows that some of these exaltations are "around" these degrees, or are in different degrees. See for example the version by Teucer in II.10.2 below.
The Teucer bit says "the height of the Sun around the 19th portion, the dejection of Saturn around the 20th portion" . I have seen this "around" wording before, unfortunately it doesn't add or delete anything re: your point about them swapping the degrees. It's odd all three translations follow using the same degree for both Exaltation and Fall if the Latin text says otherwise.

Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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Yes it should be at 15° to follow the pattern.
The Latin text translates as I have it above, but my article draws attention to the accompanying table which doesn't agree with the text - as if two different minds have been involved. See the diagram below which shows how it appears in the Latin text - it can be found in its full context on this link.

The yellow highlight shows the text translation. But drop down to the table that is meant to demonstrate and you see that the exaltation of Mars is listed as 28° (green highlight) but the fall is listed as 15° (orange highlight). So in the table it is fallen in the same degree where Jupiter is exalted and vice versa.

It definitely seems like there has been a lot of confusion in the transmission of this point. We see the temptation for translator-amendment where, for example, James Holden declared the values in his manuscript as wrong because they disagreed with what he found in Dorotheus or elsewhere. We can only imagine how many hands along the way have done likewise. But whoever compiled that table was demonstrating too much internal logic for it to be simply dismissed as copyist errors.

You are right - many of the ancient authors seem cagey about the specific degrees, and use terms like 'around the degree of'. I've noticed that myself. I have a theory that these degrees originally related to prominent fixed star positions, which might explain that hesitancy, the whole thing being rooted in Babylonian wind symbolism. For now it is just a suggestion - I'll report back on that when I can express it with the full logic.

I don't really know what to make of these fall positions myself - so I'm just pinning this to the noticeboard here, in case it comes in useful to anyone else.

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Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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I don't really know what to make of these fall positions myself - so I'm just pinning this to the noticeboard here, in case it comes in useful to anyone else.
Yes, the only use I recall seeing of them, other than a planet being at their best or worst, is Valens description of a planet changing its “wind” and “step” while moving toward or away from its “height” (Book 3.4) Initially I thought it might be connected to eminence factors but now inclined to think it is more a behavioural indicator.

There is some logic to the idea a planet would be at its very worst when it is in the degree of its enemies very best, maybe something to watch for.

Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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This is very interesting, thanks for re-sharing this Deb. Does anyone have experience using the specific degrees of exaltation/fall? I've only used exaltation/fall through signs. I wonder if I'm missing out on something here...

I have a related question I hope someone could answer. If someone has a planet in fall but it's co-present with its exaltation ruler (I.E. Mercury in Pisces co-present with Venus) then is co-presence of the exalted ruler sufficient to mitigate the planet in fall and eventually raise it up? I know the correct answer in theory but I'm more asking if anyone has seen this play out in any charts they've analyzed. If so, how did this actually manifest?
Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri

Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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I would argue that no planetary condition negates another condition, but it instead it colours the situation - so the two factors need to be combined in the judgement (for example, the planet in fall is struggling, but benefit from another planet can suggest a direction where the affliction is eased). This is going to play out differently in every chart according to context. To me it is not so relevant that two planets are merely placed in the same sign, I would be more interested in how and when they make contact, or if there is something significant in how they are separating from each other, etc.

Re: A Slip-Up with the Falls (?)

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Deb wrote: Mon Sep 04, 2023 5:50 pm I would argue that no planetary condition negates another condition, but it instead it colours the situation - so the two factors need to be combined in the judgement (for example, the planet in fall is struggling, but benefit from another planet can suggest a direction where the affliction is eased). This is going to play out differently in every chart according to context. To me it is not so relevant that two planets are merely placed in the same sign, I would be more interested in how and when they make contact, or if there is something significant in how they are separating from each other, etc.
Thanks for your answer. This is how I perceive it too, a planet in fall is going to be damaged no matter what, but the situation can be helped if the dispositor is exalted. I always understood it as a "rags to riches" type dynamic.
Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri