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Hellenistic use of the Sidereal Zodiac
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Phil



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 51

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me this thread was productive and I appreciate everyone's input. I thank you. I think a takaway, for another time, stems from the fact that Paul's original question

"whether or not Valens used a sidereal zodiac" is different than the question he poses later:

"whether Valens was concerned mostly with dividing the ecliptic sidereally or from the equinox, more so than what attributes he applies as a result."

This is because, in my humble opinion, the attributes of the signs, where those signs get their "power" from, is critical in defining a "zodiac". It's not just the names or locations of those signs. This point is underscored by Graham in his question:

"Perhaps Paul's original question, as Phil and Pankadjubey have both suggested, should have been "Would Valens have used a sidereal or a tropical zodiac if he were alive today?" Or in 2000 years time? So would he still be predicting fiery and stifling heat in Leo in 4000? If yes, he's a tropical astrologer, if no, he's sidereal."

To me Graham hits the nail right on the head.

Martin's conclusion,

"Going back to Paul's original question, it seems clear that Valens did not equate the equinox with 0 Aries, but rather viewed it as a point falling somewhere in the sign Aries. In other words, he was not a tropicalist in the Ptolemaic or common modern sense."

leaves this beginner wanting more. How would the folks in this particular forum treat, as Graham alludes to, the sun in Regulus in winter? Or a cardinal sign at the end of a season? Was the pre-equinoctial Aries really "watery", or is this an artifact, like some corners of signs being described as "useless"? You get the point. The subtle difference in the phrasing of Paul's original question makes all the practical difference in the world. But I guess that is for another thread...

Looking forward to learning further from you guys,

Phil
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Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 363

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil wrote:
I think a takaway, for another time, stems from the fact that Paul's original question
"whether or not Valens used a sidereal zodiac" is different than the question he poses later:
"whether Valens was concerned mostly with dividing the ecliptic sidereally or from the equinox, more so than what attributes he applies as a result."


To me it's exactly the same question, so I have to agree with Martin's closing remarks.
If you divide the ecliptic always from the VP, you're working with a tropical zodiac. If you choose some relatively fixed marker (a star, a galactic coordinate, or simply a precessional offset from some particular date when you consider that "the two zodiac coincided"), then you're using a sidereal zodiac.
What attributes you apply to those divisions is another issue. In practice, most Western and Indian astrologers, tropical or sidereal, use basically the same attributes (notably, and crucially, rulerships and exaltations). The differences in attributes between tropical and sidereal are very often less than those between different schools or styles of each (a modern Westerner wouldn't use terms, faces etc, but a traditionally-minded one, tropical or sidereal, might well).
There are indeed differences, as you pointed out: I've noticed that tropicalists often look first at the elements (lot's of Air signs, etc), siderealists do this less; and paradoxically, tropicalists use more psychological or other qualities suggested by the constellations or their mythological associations (Libra associated with balance or justice, Sagittarius with aiming far, Aries with barging in, Pisces swimming both ways, etc). Siderealists, particularly some Indian ones, seem more inclined to an almost mathematical interplay of rulerships and relationships of planets, with much less reference to the qualities of the signs. Certain planets, rather than certain signs, are seen to be dominant, and rather than someone being "a typical ascendant Leo", you'd be more likely to hear of a "distinctly solar type", I think. But I recognise that some tropical astrologers, particularly traditional ones, work more like that too.
Perhaps more in another thread some time, as you say.

Graham
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varuna2



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 320
Location: Lemuria

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil wrote:


How would the folks in this particular forum treat, as Graham alludes to, the sun in Regulus in winter? Or a cardinal sign at the end of a season? Was the pre-equinoctial Aries really "watery", or is this an artifact, like some corners of signs being described as "useless"? You get the point. The subtle difference in the phrasing of Paul's original question makes all the practical difference in the world. But I guess that is for another thread...

Looking forward to learning further from you guys,

Phil


Speaking for myself, and at the risk of digressions, I reject the premises of the questions, since I must in order to use a star-based frame of reference; those premises involve the notion that the signs must be based on the seasons.

I currently believe that the heart of leo, regulus, is also a primary contributor to the influence of what is giving magha nakshatra its characteristics. The ancients used the words 'star' and 'constellation' interchangeably.

The Sun in Regulus in winter would not change whether it is summer or winter. One might ask Australians, who use fixed stars, about this. The season likely does influence the qualities of the birth or event, but this would only be another layer of interpretation. Therefore, Sun in Regulus in winter: Power, authority, fall from grace, etc.

Or: http://www.astrologerpanditji.com/page834.htm

Seasons are local and vary and not universal.

There are 2-7 seasons listed in different vedic texts.

3 seasons: possibly intended in rg veda 1.164.2 and 48; Satapatha Brahmana 3.4.4.17 & 11.5.4.21; Kausitaki Brahmana 11.7

5 seasons: Tandya Brahmana 12.4.8 and 12.2.3; Satapatha Brahmana 2.2.3.14 and 2.5.2.16 and 3.1.4.20 and 3.1.4.5; Aitareya Brahmana 1.1; Taittiriya Sanhita 4.3.3; 7.1.10; 7.2.6; 7.3.8; 7.4.5

6 seasons: Mentioned in various Jyotisha texts and Brahmanas; Taittiriya Sanhita 4.4.11; 7.2.1; 7.3.10; 7.4.3; 7.4.7

7 seasons: rg veda 1.164.3,15; Satapatha Brahmana 6.6.1.14 and 9.3.1.19

I do not believe that the astrology 12-fold division is as new as is believed by many in the west (rg veda 12-fold divisions and 8 and 12 adityas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80dityas). Therefore, the confusion of Valens does not concern me, because I believe the 12-fold division of space and star-reading existed millennia before him. This is also why the regulus in a different season with the Sun does not seem strange to me, since it has always been shifting with local seasons and their conceptions, unless trepidation theory is true and not precession theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grue_and_bleen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume#Induction

Therefore, I cannot associate seasons with signs nor with cardinality. Maybe the infant hellenists ("O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you." - Timaeus) confused the thema mundi with the seasons, or maybe it was from associating signs with kendra houses in the equivalent of the kalapurusha, or maybe cardinality was intended to be applied to the kendra/cardinal houses.
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 1215
Location: Delhi

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was Hippocrates a Physician or a Surgeon?
http://www.neurospineclinic.com.au/history-neurosurgery.html
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varuna2



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 320
Location: Lemuria

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Tautologies Are Fun! Reply with quote

I think it was Jung who was listening to the conversation of two very educated patients at an insane asylum. When the one insane person stopped speaking in an in-depth way about a complicated subject, the other one would start speaking, and each one was speaking on a completely different subject.

Jung questioned one of them about the disconnect in their conversation since their conversational input was clearly unrelated, and they said this is the normal state of affairs for all human conversations, and it bothered him because he was never sure they were not correct about that...
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Phil



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 51

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha thank you Varuna. You hint at two important points that are relevant to but transcend our Valens discussion when you note that "I reject the premises of the questions, since I must in order to use a star-based frame of reference", and then add the excellent (and humorous) story about two of Jung's patients.

One, our first principles color how we see everything else. And two, that's ok - it's the human condition.

If more people realized this, there'd be a good deal less contention on these forums, IMHO.

Ok I'm way out of here...I can hear Paul and Martin typing that this thread is done even as I type this.

Until next topic, it has been fun, and I thank you again.

Phil
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2897
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol phil! my sentiments too on the highlight of varuna's post!
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 1215
Location: Delhi

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was really funny was that when a sidereal presumption was made on sidereal forum all the siderealists jumped in to prove that it was a tropical issue Smile

It proves that many of us are basically au contraire. LOL
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 86

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider all sidereal stars with 2.11. and you will understand why all responses in this thread are short of historical accuracy. Regulus was not hot because of the summer. Some naturalistic astrologer thought that the days around Regulus were hot because of the fixed star. At some point in the Hellenistic tradition, a fully naturalistic conception of astrology developed that tried to explain everything through the weather, humors and winds (and thus rejected lots and numbers).

Ptolemy, who is usually thought a tropical astrologer, actually thinks fixed stars make ''day by day intensification of the weather''. See his book Phases of the Fixed stars or the relevant chapters in the Tetrabiblos if you doubt my claim.

Quote:
Now the sign of Aries as a whole, because it marks the equinox, is characterized by thunder or hail, but, taken part by part, through the variation in degree that is due to the special quality of the fixed stars... - Ptolemy, translation by Robbins http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Ptolemy/Tetrabiblos/home.html


Basically Ptolemy's cosmology or astrology is non-available today. Even his meteorology is unavailable, not because of climatic change due to some Milankovitch cycle, but simply because it is unscientific.

He says that the region of the Praesepe is stifling, that the Hyades (of the ''temperament'' of Mars) is ''fiery, producing thunder and lightning'', he thinks that the Pleaides and the Preasepe are of the nature of the Moon and thus they produce earthquakes. By the way, the third decan of Scorpio produces earthquakes as well, because he is aware of ''A Nebula behind the Sting of Scorpius'' elsewhere.

Thus the 2.11 chapter is neither applicable to the sidereal nor tropical zodiac, to the first because the non-wandering stars actually do not influence the weather, and to the latter, because Ptolemy actually thought that fixed stars influence the weather. There is some irony in the whole story, really.

Ptolemy also mentions from time to time the ''shapes'' of the images, alluding to Capricorn and Aquarius being moist. The stars are cold and moist there, so it fit well with the winter.

A lot of times you will hear a tropical astrologer say that the ancients lived in the Northern Hemisphere, so the other hemisphere problem is irrelevant. Rightly they say that we should not impose our thinking on the possible error of the ancients with the seasonal considerations. Oh, yes, but they thought that the constellations influenced the weather and following this logic we should continue to use the constellations for marking out the year and the seasons, that is by adopting a sidereal zodiac.
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