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Thoughts on "Will I..." questions

 
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Robert Bailey



Joined: 03 Oct 2016
Posts: 17
Location: Canberra, Australia

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:52 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on "Will I..." questions Reply with quote

Hi all

Just had a very interesting question from a client that sparked off a lot of deep thoughts about fate vs free will, and I'm curious how other practicing horary astrologers grapple with that issue.

In summary, the client asked "Will I stay with my current employer in 2017?" Note this is a subtly different question from the usual "Will I keep the job?" type of question asked by those fearful of getting fired or made redundant, because it introduces the volition of the client. It's not just "Will something outside of my control happen to me?" - it's more "Will I get sacked or resign or find a new job?" So the free will of the client is involved.

Now the chart had fixed signs on all the angles, no indications of being fired or dismissed (e.g. malefic aspects to the Lord of the 10th) and no real indication of changing jobs (e.g. Lord 1, 10 or the Moon about to change signs).

So my first thought is, "The answer must be Yes, she will stay with her current employer." But then I thought, what if the client decides to be difficult and quit their job just to prove me wrong? Laughing

Where I ended up landing was, I told the client "Look, the chart shows that things are going to stay as they are currently, and I can't see any indication of you getting fired or dismissed unexpectedly. So you will stay with your current employer, unless you choose to leave of your own free will. But you will find it difficult to actually do that."

The whole concern with this is, I didn't want to appear to be giving a non-committal BS answer; "You will stay unless you decide to go" would probably sound like something that you don't need an astrologer to tell you! So I framed the judgement as the situation being difficult to change, but not impossible. That's where the bold section above comes in.

I guess as a Christian I tend to view the whole fate vs free will thing through the lens of Thomas Aquinas, i.e. that fate can be overruled if you have a strong willpower and divine aid. But I'm conscious there are a myriad of views on this.

I'm curious to hear any anecdotes or input from other practicing horary astrologers about how you deal with these issues. Would you have approached this differently to me? Any examples of other funny questions that raise these issues?

Best wishes and happy new year to you all!

RGL Bailey.
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Wade



Joined: 20 Jul 2013
Posts: 64
Location: San Francisco, CA

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Thoughts on "Will I..." questions Reply with quote

hi Robert -- hope you're well, and happy Solstice to you!

Robert Bailey wrote:
In summary, the client asked "Will I stay with my current employer in 2017?" Note this is a subtly different question from the usual "Will I keep the job?" type of question asked by those fearful of getting fired or made redundant, because it introduces the volition of the client. It's not just "Will something outside of my control happen to me?" - it's more "Will I get sacked or resign or find a new job?" So the free will of the client is involved.


I'd argue that the free will of the client is always involved, irrespective of the precise wording of the question. it's common to get hung up on how a client worded his or her question to the astrologer, as it's undeniable that there's a power and message veiled behind the words we choose (and don't choose). but when the heart is laid bare in front of the Cosmos, desperately seeking an answer to a problem that's vexing the soul, it's hard to imagine that the Universe is constrained by our own ability to perfectly voice what's weighing on our hearts.

it's not about the question itself. it's about the moment. it's about the connection between client and Cosmos, with astrologer as intercessor. very often, when consulting horary for myself, I don't formulate a question -- I just hold the issue in my mind and meditate on it as I pull up my software. when clients come, I no longer ask what their question is. instead I ask them open ended questions. "Tell me about your situation. What information do you currently have, and what information do you need to move forward? Who is involved, and who ought to be involved? What is your objective in resolving this?"

I know that my practice has improved tenfold as a result of this change in communication -- not because the client gives me better information than before (although they do, because open ended questions make that possible), but because my heart is oriented differently than it was before. it's more open, less rigid. the whole process is more organic, less mechanical. the client and my understanding of astrological symbolism come to the forefront of the consultation instead of an assumption that my client should be able to properly convey his/her problems. some clients have even come to me after a conference presentation I've given, grab me by the arm and just start tearing up. I have no idea what's on their mind, they can't find their voice, but it doesn't matter -- the Universe guides us both through it as she collects herself and I ease her into the consultation setting.

Robert Bailey wrote:
Now the chart had fixed signs on all the angles, no indications of being fired or dismissed (e.g. malefic aspects to the Lord of the 10th) and no real indication of changing jobs (e.g. Lord 1, 10 or the Moon about to change signs).

So my first thought is, "The answer must be Yes, she will stay with her current employer." But then I thought, what if the client decides to be difficult and quit their job just to prove me wrong? Laughing


there are many different ways you could see the beginning and end of cycles. changing signs for planets + angles are definitely key, so good catch there. so is planetary phase (think new Moon vs full Moon vs old Moon, and how that might translate to planets and their relationship to the Sun). regardless of what approach you take, you should be able to see in the chart if the client is on the brink of change, whether the impetus comes from within ("I quit!") or without ("you're fired!").

Robert Bailey wrote:
Where I ended up landing was, I told the client "Look, the chart shows that things are going to stay as they are currently, and I can't see any indication of you getting fired or dismissed unexpectedly. So you will stay with your current employer, unless you choose to leave of your own free will. But you will find it difficult to actually do that."


can I ask why you said it would be difficult for the client to leave? was it because you didn't see any indications of change, or something else in the chart?

Robert Bailey wrote:
The whole concern with this is, I didn't want to appear to be giving a non-committal BS answer; "You will stay unless you decide to go" would probably sound like something that you don't need an astrologer to tell you! So I framed the judgement as the situation being difficult to change, but not impossible. That's where the bold section above comes in.


I get your point. if I'm honest, though, I think you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. that isn't a BS answer to me -- I think it's a pretty fair answer, actually. "I see no external forces driving you out of your current employment situation." but hopefully you are looking beyond the yes/no bit, and trying to find out why you're being approached about this in the first place. is the job unfulfilling, and resulting in your client clinging to doubt and frustration? or is there office gossip, as may be shown by the Moon and Mercury in the chart? is a malefic angular, showing envy or anger or malice or heartbreak? or is something else entirely underneath it all? insurance concerns because her son has just fallen ill and she can't afford his medical bills without the insurance? most of the time, if someone's coming asking to ask if they'll be with their current employer for the next year, there's something heavier driving the question.

Robert Bailey wrote:
I guess as a Christian I tend to view the whole fate vs free will thing through the lens of Thomas Aquinas, i.e. that fate can be overruled if you have a strong willpower and divine aid. But I'm conscious there are a myriad of views on this.

I'm curious to hear any anecdotes or input from other practicing horary astrologers about how you deal with these issues. Would you have approached this differently to me? Any examples of other funny questions that raise these issues?


I think it's fair to suggest that this question, and all horary questions, ultimately rest on the premise that the client retains moral agency.

sure, there will always be situations/events that are unavoidable. I use a metaphor sometimes -- if I put you in a vehicle going 100km/hr through a tunnel, and there's a brick wall some 10km ahead, you have enough time to slow down and avoid the collision. conversely, if you choose not to slow down, there will be a breaking point where collision is unavoidable, and the best you can do is prepare for impact. (over time I think we get better at sensing when situations are locked + loaded vs when there's still some room to maneuver.) but in both cases, we never lose freedom of will. it is our freedom of will that got us in that car in the first place, and moral agency has never been surrendered. we always have choice, even if the choices ahead of us aren't what we'd hoped for.

anyway, all this was just to say -- if you focus less on the wording of the question, and instead choose to focus your consultation on the heart of the situation itself (i.e., job related stress/issues/fears/doubts), the whole issue of fate vs. free will fades away and you enter into a field of possibilities.
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Robert Bailey



Joined: 03 Oct 2016
Posts: 17
Location: Canberra, Australia

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Wade

Thanks for this detailed and thoughtful reply!

I am grateful for the suggestion to take a more open-ended approach to horary consultations - that is an interesting approach and something to consider.

I like your brick wall analogy, that is very close to my own views on fate. You always have free will, and in some situations you have a lot of room to make choices. But in other situations you may find yourself penned in by your circumstances, so although you have free will, your choices are much more limited than they appear on paper.

You asked why I judged leaving the job would be possible but difficult. This is basically because the chart had no sign of a change, and the fixed angles showed that change was unlikely. But because I am not strictly deterministic in my views on fate, and this particular situation allowed her a lot of room to make her own choices, I told the querent "You can leave your job, but it will be difficult" rather than flat out no.

For example, in this chart the Moon was in the detriment of Lord 10, so it was pretty clear she hated her job. However, the chart also had the Tail of the Dragon in the 2nd, Lord 11 and Lord 2 peregrine, and Lord 1 in the domicile of Lord 11. So she has money problems, is paid poorly, and she very much appreciates the money she gets from her employer. In this situation, sure she could quit whenever she wants, but it would be irresponsible to do so, because she has money problems and needs the money from her job to survive. So her free will is limited by her circumstances - hence my judgment that leaving is not impossible, but difficult.

When a chart is strongly negative, but the querent has a high degree of control over the situation, it seems to me to be too deterministic to say "You will certainly do X." Instead, because the situation allows a lot of room for the client to make a choice, you say "Circumstances will make it difficult for you to do anything other than X." That way, you acknowledge the role of free will, without dismissing the indications in the chart or the role of fate in our lives.

I also certainly agree we need to get the heart of the matter, and I view this as one of our primary roles as horary astrologers. Clients come to us for all sorts of reasons, sometimes they may not even know themselves precisely what it is they want to know, and the chart will help to reveal the truth of what is going on.

Excellent stuff Wade, thanks again for taking the time to write back. Eager for more views from other forum members!
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 849
Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, part of the problem I have with horary and other types astrological forecasting, is that I don't believe in a fatalistic, deterministic universe. I prefer to disengage astrology from fortune-telling. Traditional methods, as you imply, do not depend upon a belief in astral determinism. It is an important part of astrology's history, but then, so is Christianity. I prefer to suggest to the querent/horoscope native that it appears likely or unlikely that something will happen.

I also dislike the "free will" vs. determinism binary. Free will is never absolute, and in many circumstances it is highly circumscribed or conditional upon other phenomena. As a woman, I have a lot more "free will" to exercise, living in Canada, than I would living in Afghanistan. An African American today can exercise more free will today than his ancestors could in 1850. I prefer the term "moral choice."

This reminds me of how the Muslim editor of the pagan astrologer Dorotheus placed a kind of gloss on some of the deterministic pronouncements in the text. Which now includes phrases like, such-and-such will happen---God willing. Because in the 3 monotheistic faiths, really, God always controls whether something happens or not. The God who created the heavens can change their meanings at will. For some biblical proof texts on this point, see:

Isaiah 47:13-15

James 4:13-15

Maybe, also, because I am no expert in horary astrology, I don't have a lot of confidence in making a true prediction. I think it's safer to indicate what I think or how I read the chart-- not what is bound to happen.

p.s. Wade and Robert, I'd love to get your insights in the "pray before reading" thread I started on the science and philosophy board.


Last edited by waybread on Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I guess as a Christian I tend to view the whole fate vs free will thing through the lens of Thomas Aquinas, i.e. that fate can be overruled if you have a strong willpower and divine aid. But I'm conscious there are a myriad of views on this.


I should probably read Thomas Aquinas. But obviously, a medieval cleric would see a whole lot less "free will" in his universe than I would see today. In 13th century Italy and France, most people were born, lived, and died in the social class and occupations of their fathers. (Ok, so Dad was a nobleman and son Thomas became a cleric, but the church of that day was highly class-conscious, as well.) The feudal system had only a narrow middle/merchant class, with limited opportunities by the average person simply to create a more liberating society.

So rather than saying that fate can be overruled with strong willpower and divine aid, I am more likely to question the entire concept of fate to begin with. In the 21st century we have potentials to be creative or different from our parents, in ways that a medieval man could not have imagined.

Wisdom from my refrigerator magnet: "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."
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Breeze



Joined: 16 Oct 2016
Posts: 153

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi friends,

I am muslim.

I really find it quite confusing when it comes to fate/ destiny and free will and horary.

As a muslim, what I can say is that everything we go through in life is destined by God i.e. it is determined by God and nothing can be changed at all. And as human beings, it is we, who make this destiny to take place in actual life by taking actions which is our free will.

And Quran says , our destiny depends on the efforts we spend.

In my religion, it is only God who knows what will happen in the future. It is a sin to say that one knows what will happen in the future. So, this really confuses me about horary. You see, it is only God who knows what will happen, however it is possible to say what will happen by horary even I call it "prediction".

Here is the most confusing part for me.

I am running my own business. I erect charts like " will I sell this or that ". The anwser is just on the chart. It is a big fat "no" . Although the chart says no, I still push, because it depends on my effort and everything is at His will.

When I got divorced 4 years ago, the astrologer said that I wld have financial issues if I got divorced. Yes, I am having financial diffulculties, and especially for this last 2 years. What shd I do be doing actually ? Shd I only depend on alimony, and not bother to work - as even I work, the result is the same i.e. Financial diffuculties ? What the astrologer said at that time , still sometimes makes me feel hopeless.

I do not know ...

I will be really happy if I have any insights about above.

Best regards.
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Robert Bailey



Joined: 03 Oct 2016
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Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread -

Thanks so much for your fantastic contributions! I particularly enjoyed your Bible quotations. The one from James was fascinating as the writer basically instructs us to always say "If God wills" when discussing our plans or goals for the future, which is identical to the Muslim custom of saying "insha'Allah" in the same context. Interestingly I've actually been practicing this in my private life for many years now, and it does help to psychologically orient yourself towards God. The quote I use in my signature block also hits upon the same point.

I really appreciate you contributing your views on free will, it has sparked off a lot of thoughts for me. I like your stance that fate doesn't exist, but our free will is necessarily limited by our circumstances. I suppose that one could argue that fate is nothing more than these limitations! That is certainly a view that I have some time for.

Breeze -

You are clearly grappling with the apparent contradictions between your faith and the philosophy of astrology. I've struggled with this too in my own Christian faith.

Firstly, regarding the religious prohibition on saying that you know the future. I would say that any astrologer who says that they know for sure what will happen in the future is a liar. Horary can give us some idea of what will happen in the future, but it is definitely not 100% reliable, as any practicing horary astrologer knows only too well! The best we can do is draw inferences from what we see in the chart based on our intellect and our traditional techniques, and we will often misinterpret what we see. Sometimes astrology can reach pretty close to the truth – Bonatti says that the difference between an astrological judgement and the truth is sometimes so close that the difference is “almost imperceptible.” But Bonatti’s point is that the difference is always there! If we are honest about the imprecise nature of astrology, our human fallibility, and recognize God's role in all things, we can hopefully avoid the sin of professing to know the future.

Now to your second point, about the horary astrologer telling you that your finances will suffer after your divorce. You asked whether it matters if you work or not, given the astrologer’s prediction.

In response to this I’d say two things. Firstly, as people of faith we must not think that the planets are causing events or forcing us down a particular path. That would be idolatry and is unacceptable.

The alternative is to view the heavens and the earth as intimately connected through chains of spiritual correspondence. In this model, what we see in the chart is reflected or mirrored by events on earth, and vice versa. There is no causality in the modern scientific sense, just an intricate and unified hierarchy operating as one connected whole. This is the model that I follow.

So the planets are not making your financial situation bad; they are just showing us through the chart the various influences that are causing your situation. It follows that if you work hard to improve your circumstances, you can influence this situation too and your finances might improve, if God wills it. And if you make these efforts, they will show up in subsequent horary charts - so your actions will be reflected in the stars and your destiny will be changed. So I entirely agree with your quote from the Koran: our destiny does indeed depend on the efforts we spend.

Secondly, I’d like to note that horary judgements are usually only valid for a limited period of time. The time that a horary judgement remains valid depends on the exact question asked – sometimes my clients are quite specific with the timeframe, e.g. “Will my finances improve next year?” which gives us a very clear time limit. But if there is no specific timeframe mentioned, we can usually expect the judgement to expire at some point in the future.

I hope that this gives you some comfort. I am sorry to hear that the astrologer you mentioned has left you feeling hopeless. I think this is a sign that they may not have been practicing the art in a responsible or ethical fashion. Let me tell you now that you definitely have the ability to improve your situation, if God wills :-)

Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful and heartfelt contributions, it has been a very inspiring and thought-provoking discussion for me.

Best wishes
Robert.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, thanks for your generous reply.

I think that one of the problems for members of many faith communities is that their denomination pretty well states how its members are supposed to understand God, who gets to speak for God, what rituals and ethics code this God expects, and generally what is the meaning of one's life. Within such frameworks, you may be able to decide whether to be an orthodox fundamentalist or a relaxed and permissive liberal. But if you stretch your denomination's envelope too far, you essentially opt out of the denomination: maybe into a different one, or maybe out of a faith community altogether.

While a faith community confers all kinds of advantages to its active members, I think it tends to channel thinking into particular doctrinal routes that can severely limit one's ability to get a more panoramic perspective.

By no means am I saying you do this!

Just that if, for example, one recites the Nicene or Apostles Creed every Sunday, as a purported matter of belief; that limits alternative understandings of God as something other than the trinity and a particular version of biblical history. Perhaps you've heard the joke, "The God in whom I don't believe is Catholic." (Or Anglican, what-have-you.)

One problem with astrology for believers, it seems to me, is that it was established (a) by pagans who thought the planets were gods or their omens; and it was (b) reinforced by a highly deterministic pagan Stoic astrology in pagan times. The result was a belief that, yes, the planets (as gods or their manifestations) do cause events to happen, and there isn't a darn thing we can do about it. Other than Adjust. The whole purpose of astrology then, (which seems entirely consistent with Breeze's post) is to let clients know what it is they have to accept and face stoically.

My understanding of the history of astrology in Christianity, is that it has been situated between the one pole of grim acceptance of an Inviolable Fate, and the other pole of the concept of free will/moral choice.

My reading of the prohibition against astrology in the Catholic catechism is that it is based upon the first commandment, hearkening back to ancient times when the planets were understood as other gods. But more modernly, if everything is pre-destined, as in Stoic astrology, there is no point in behaving nicely. If you show up in life as an SOB; hey, man, it's in your horoscope. Conversely, a church that sees its mission as shepherding SOBs to their eternal salvation can't possibly countenance astral determinism.

Maybe the stars and planets can be time-keepers: the big celestial clock and calendar. But in Christianity, I don't see how the cosmos can be free of the Creator's ultimate control; or serve as causal factors in the individual's need to perfect his/her piety and virtue.

(to be continued.)
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(continued from my previous post)

..... which is why I subscribe to a choice-centered astrology. You're probably familiar with the phrase, "The stars impel, but they do not compel."

Basically, we can see each data-byte in the horoscope as having certain attributes and parameters. There's a bit of overlap between some of the data-bytes (hot, cold, wet, dry, and so on.) But each data-byte has its own distinctive set of characteristics and defining limits.

The question, then, is whether a data-byte set of attributes and limits is broad and inclusive, or so narrow that only one outcome is possible. If the latter were correct, and the horoscope looks bad, then your goose is cooked, if there is only one narrow outcome available.

The study of astrological rulerships, however, suggests that each planet, sign, house, and so on, has a range of attributes that are still consistent with its core meanings. Venus, for example, rules romantic love, the goddess moon, decently good luck, expensive jewelry, a woman, possibly Mom, hair dressers, and perfume. The third house might mean your brother, your neighbourhood, short-distance travel, or a primary school classroom.

And we get to choose meanings in advance of rotten-seeming transits or progressions. Saturn hitting the MC in 6 months time might look like job loss; but in advance of that happening, we can work hard (Saturn) to shore up our position, visit our parents more frequently (M-IC axis,) undertake some needed repairs to the house (Saturn opposite IC,) volunteer to take on more responsibility (Saturn) in our profession MC,) and so on.

My experience has been that, in deliberately enacting more empowering, less harmful activities that are consistent with upcoming planetary positions, we are less likely to get T-boned by their unwanted effects.

I think in this way, there is opportunity for all kinds of Christian moral choice (aka free will) while still acknowledging that astrology actually works. Or we wouldn't be here on this site.
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Robert Bailey



Joined: 03 Oct 2016
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Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fascinating post Waybread. I really enjoy reading what you have to say!

It's amusing that this topic has veered into a discussion of Abrahamic religions vs astrology, because I'm actually working on an essay for an astrology course I am taking that touches upon these issues too. So it's rather timely as I have been dwelling on these concepts a lot over the past few days.

I think at this point it's probably a good idea for me to admit that I am probably not entirely consistent with my views on fate, religion, astrological determinism, etc. I think this is why I enjoy discussing these topics, because it helps me to explore these issues and hopefully at some point I will reach a position where my philosophy of astrology is more air-tight than it is at the moment.

I actually came to religion after first discovering traditional Western astrology - you could say astrology pointed me to my faith. In this I was very much influenced by John Frawley and to a lesser extent Robert Zoller, both of whom are immensely influential traditional astrologers and both profess the Christian faith, albeit in different modes and with differing degrees of orthodoxy.

I did discuss my practice of astrology with my parish priest, who on hearing this asked me, "Is astrology pulling you towards God, or pushing you away from Him?" I said it was definitely pulling me towards God, to which he smiled and said, "Well it can't be all that bad then, can it?"

I sometimes joke that it is quite possible for an astrologer to be a Christian; you just have to be a bad one! While that's a bit unfair, I think there is some truth in the notion that Christian astrologers are going to be either unorthodox in their beliefs or stretching the boundaries of their faith, to a lesser or greater extent. And if I was to go before some kind of Church trial I'm sure they'd brand me as heterodox at the very least! But thankfully this has not happened to me, so I continue to show up on a Sunday from time to time.

Look at Bonatti, for example; when you read his Book of Astronomy you encounter a man who is very enamoured with astrology and goes to great pains, especially in Treatise 1, to try to argue that in practicing astrology he is not doing anything unorthodox. I think Bonatti would be very saddened to know that Dante had placed him in hell in his Inferno (although he would probably rationalise that Dante's reasons may have been political, given Bonatti was on the opposite side of Dante in the Guelph/Ghibelline divide).

Bonatti's efforts to present himself and his art as orthodox and acceptable to the Christian faith are not entirely successful; some of his arguments are not particularly consistent, and would not stand up to a rigorous examination by someone of a philosophical bent. But his job was to be an astrologer, not a philosopher or theologian, so perhaps we can forgive him for not always presenting entirely cogent arguments about his philosophy of astrology. The important point is he is trying! He gets an A for effort, basically.

Likewise I hope people reading this thread can offer me the same generosity! As I said my views are not fully crystalised, which is why I really enjoy these kinds of discussions. By the time I go from student to professional I hope that I have landed somewhere a bit firmer philosophically than my current vacillations.

On to the more astrological content of your post, where you talk about the ability to mitigate the stars' influence by using foreknowledge of events to come.

Rather than ramble on with my own thoughts, here's some quotes you may find interesting. First, here's the section of St Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica where he discusses the issue of fate and free will:

Quote:
“The majority of men follow their passions, which are movements of the sensitive appetite, in which movements of the heavenly bodies can cooperate: but few are wise enough to resist these passions. Consequently, astrologers are able to foretell the truth in the majority of cases, especially in a general way. But not in particular cases; for nothing prevents man resisting his passions by his free-will. Wherefore the astrologers themselves are wont to say that 'the wise man is stronger than the stars', forasmuch as, to wit, he conquers his passions.”


Bonatti makes a very similar point to yours at numerous places in Treatise 1 of his Liber Astronomiae. For example:
Quote:

"... if some evil (which is going to come, according to the stars) would threaten some man, and he knew the future evil beforehand, he will see how evil it is, and of what kind the evil was, and he will oppose himself to it. For Ptolemy says in his Centiloquy, 'The best astrologer is able to avert many evils which are going to come according to the stars.'"


And later:

Quote:
"... if someone's nativity is known, or his universal question is had (or even a particular one about some matter which he wished to know), you or some other astrologer could see what ought to happen to him from that matter. Whence if harm would threaten him, he could avoid it; and if it promised wealth for him, he could get it, and it would be useful for him."


Finally, I'll just link to a really interesting horary judgement by a fellow denizen of Skyscript, Felipe Oliveira.

http://traditionalmedicalastrology.org/horary-mystery/

Here's a judgement where the stars promise great success, but because the querent doesn't take action, nothing comes of it.

This all seems to be fairly consistent with St Thomas Aquinas, perhaps with a little bending or stretching. We can see what is coming, and we can resist it, or take advantage of it, or avoid it. So some things, like circumstantial factors in the world around us, or our own physiological or psychological tendencies that we inherit from birth, appear to be fixed - but our response to them is our own. Perhaps this is the real benefit of astrology?

Running out of time to continue this post, but I hope this was interesting to you Waybread.

Thanks again for this valuable discussion! I intend to comment in your thread about prayer before judgement too, if I can find the time (God-willing Laughing )

Best wishes
R
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 849
Location: Canada

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert, thanks again for your kind words. You've clearly thought about the issues a lot more than I have, but, hey-- I'm retired and snow-bound for the moment, so I have both the time and the interest to discuss the sorts of questions you raise. What I don't have is knowledge of Thomas Aquinas, so I will show my ignorance here. I did spend a little time reading up on him, though.

What strikes me about TA, as pre-digested on-line, is how truly binary his thinking is. God-man [sic]. Matter-spirit. Good-evil. Body-soul. Sin-virtue. Will-reason. The post-modernists sort of exposed this one: binaries as invented, not merely observed.

Then these binaries hinge upon a solid doctrinal orthodoxy particular to the Catholic church and some Protestant denominations. Original sin. The devil as a real, not metaphorical, actor in human history. Salvation through Jesus. The distinction between the Bible and TA's Catholic orthodoxy seems clear if we consider that both Judaism and Catholicism have the same story of Adam and Eve, but Judaism does not teach Original Sin as some kind of corollary. But whoa-- no Original Sin, then equally there is no corollary need for redemption through Jesus. So the whole notion of sin seems central to TA's work.

I find the theodicy of predestination and divine punishment to be deeply troubling. But again, it hinges on a highly sectarian view of the problem of evil.

I find TA's beliefs about women to be deeply troubling. For sure, he was a man of his times, notably a time when few women were educated and were defined principally in terms of their ability to produce sons. But for today??

Where this gets me, is thinking that TA's thought is a hypothesis that I do not require.

Since this thread is posted on the horary board, let me say, simply, that in my more general beliefs about God, I find the predictive aspect of astrology to be its most troubling. There is nothing in the Bible that precludes character analysis. Indeed, that whole concept would have made no sense to an Old Testament worldview. Prognostication is another matter. It is forbidden generally in several OT passages; and astrology is specifically mocked in Isaiah 47:12-14. The NT is comparatively silent on such matters, although star lore shows up in some of the gnostic gospels.

Today the catechism of the Catholic church is pretty clear about astrology: it is expressly forbidden in Part 3, Sec. 2, Article 1, III:2116 as a violation of the first commandment: "You shall have no other gods before Me." The reasoning seems much like that in Isaiah 47:12-14.

I don't have a particular problem with this, since I am not a Christian, let alone a Catholic; but how someone can rationalize being a Catholic astrologer is beyond me.

For a long time after I studied genethliacal astrology, however, I refused to get into horary astrology. To me, people make choices in life, and those choices influence future outcomes in our lives. Due to some major disagreements on another forum about the ethics of death/length of life prediction, however; I decided that I should at least learn horary to some degree. Since I have to learn by doing, I began reading horary charts for people, although not at an advanced level.

However, I still believe that length of life is up to God to determine, and that death prediction is unethical. IMHO I still think anyone engaged in astrological prediction needs a huge dose of humility and a best-guess response to a query. Because at some foundational level, predictive astrology is second-guessing God.

OK, OK. So what about medical diagnoses and weather prediction? Science predicts all the time-- but generally based upon established laws and observations. It no longer depends upon religious creeds for its fact-finding and interpretations. Astrology has never had science's level of research to back it up. Even so, oncologists and meteorologists tend to predict in terms of probabilities, not absolute certainty. "Most people with your condition live one to two years." Or "there is a 60% chance of precipitation tomorrow.

There is another legendary/historical figure of relevance here: Dr. Faust.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Robert-- It's me again.

Maybe you just caught me in a contrarian mood today. (Not unusual.)

But let's deconstruct the passages you quoted. Don't you find them the teeniest bit self-serving? Beating the planets at their own fatalistic, deterministic game apparently depends upon the subject's wisdom and self-restraint, which few men are able to obtain. Kind of a sardonic view of humanity, don't you think? Especially when we consider that Jesus inclusively welcomed all kinds of sinners and little children?

It does seem very modern, however, in that some 20th century astrologers classified their clients into 3 categories: the bestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial. (Sorry, my little joke.) As with Aquinas, the astrologer doesn't often know, particularly in a "blind" nativity reading, how emotionally mature the querent is.

But how far does this apply to horary? If the querent merely wants to find the missing cat or learn whether Ms. Wonderful will agree to have a drink with him after work, does the querent's level of wisdom and virtue really enter into it?

The Bonatti/Ptolemy quotation seems comparable to Lilly's note, that if an unwanted outcome is expected, nevertheless fore-knowledge will allow the querent to mitigate some of its worst effects.

But then what does this tell us? That fatalism only goes so far? That Fate makes a special dispensation for clients of really good astrologers? That if Fate were real, we couldn't possibly mitigate anything?

Yesterday I mentioned the Stoic philosophers' influence on Hellenistic astrology. But really the Greek idea of fate is far older: the Three Fates. Well, if a god or gods decree something, an ordinary mortal would have no hope of messing up that decree by doing something different. But what about Christian "free will"?

Part of the problem, it seems to me, is the whole binary trap. Fate vs. humans. Planets vs. human outcomes. I don't have a more holistic view of the cosmos worked out, yet alone a complex model replete with feedback loops. But just the possibility that some maven with foreknowledge could alter an anticipated inevitable outcome suggests that the planets in some small way either offer a wide range of possible outcomes; or even respond to human initiative.
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moonbright



Joined: 21 Jul 2015
Posts: 81
Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert:

This is a very interesting question and I’ve been mulling it over since you posted it. (I’m not a quick thinker Smile )

I think that I avoid the whole fate vs. free-will debate most of the time. If I was advising someone about what was in their chart I think I would be prone to saying something like “act until you can’t” unless there was something strongly prohibitive in the chart - a warning of sorts. This has less to do with my philosophy, if I have one, than it does with the nature of my personality I believe.

The greater issue for me, I find, is how to deliver bad news. I have found this challenging in horary and would, at times, find it virtually insurmountable in natal (at my present level of understanding).

For instance, I ran somebody’s chart through Christian Astrology and there was nothing there. No money, no career, no apparent chance of a career (a botcher!), no long term relationship and therefore no family, being “a captive”, which I interpret in modern terms as lacking agency in one’s life, and then a violent death. How exactly do you communicate that to someone?

“I’m sorry, Mr/s. So-and-so, but this life’s a dud. You might as well take your chance with reincarnation and set your violent death in motion. Good luck with that. That will be $200 please.” Sounds rather Python-esque. Confused

Lilly says:
afflict not the miserable with terror of harsh judgment; in such cases, let them know their hard fate by degrees;


but I’m not sure that makes me feel any better.

Thanks again for posting the question.

Cheers.
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Breeze



Joined: 16 Oct 2016
Posts: 153

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Robert,

First of all, I wld. Like to say I am so sorry for not being able to thank you for your response for my previous comments.

Quran says " It is We (God) who created the ground and sky and anything between them.

I think that the planets are NOT responsible with the things in our lives and that the planets are simply a projection of our lives.

Based on the above, the correlation between planets and mundane life just might be God's own way to able us, may be just to be cautious, may be patient, may be hopefull with our current/ future lives or may be just to make us think of some other usefull actions different rather than what we wld do if we do not look at the heavens.

So, I think looking at the heavens is just like looking at the weather forecast i.e. we cld. Look at the heavens and we cld either leave home with or without an umbrella which is free will.

With regards to an astrologer predicting future with 100% accuracy...

I had a "no" answer for a previously erected chart (predicted by a well-known astrologer) last April. Months after that chart, I erected another chart about the same issue (also predicted by an astrologer ) which gave a very clear explanation as to why the outcome was a "no" for the 1st chart.

Looking at that 2nd chart, the outcome will always be a "no" as per the very 1st chart. (What is going in mundane life also seems to be confirming the 2nd. Chart). God knows for sure...

Best regards.
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