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Aspect doctrine in ancient astrology
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente

I'll start here

Quote:
your interpretation of Manilius, which latter I believe is wrong again; and this is still not personal


I don't believe for a moment that anything you're saying or any of your comments are personal. I totally believe you that you're not being personal and that you hold a valid disagreement, and perhaps a much more informed one. I hope nothing I have said suggests to you that there's anything personal here, in many ways that's actually more important than anything we're discussing. I completely respect your position and your scholarship on all these issues.

Really, a problem for me (not for you), is that I somewhat lack the fire to get into these things now. I'm a little bit jaded because I find that these discussion take a huge amount of energy and time and ultimately don't go anywhere. I think it's fully possible for multiple people to read and understand the same texts but come to different conclusions because they place emphasis in different parts of the text or else they feel that the author places different emphasis there.

I'm very wary of opening up yet another discussion on houses, especially knowing that at this point in time I'll be alone in defending one side of the argument, when multiple people likely jump in to defend the other. I don't have the time nor the attachment to my own view to get into it.

I'm not trying to cop out of this, just being realistic about my own energy levels for this kind of discussion.

Nevertheless, I'll comment on a couple of the things you said out of respect for you, but I fully expect that at the end of this all you will still be of the same opinion you are. Read my points then as not being an attempt to convince you or anyone else, but to be an entirely personal exegesis of the text - I am happy for this to say more about me than it does about Manilius or what he used and for everyone to simply disagree with me, give me a fool's pardon, or completely ignore me. All this to say "I don't want to fight about or get into this". I am not an expert at latin or greek or the history of astrology - I'm not an expert on anything at all. I'm just a person who has no pretensions to be some name in the astrological community nor gain a following, nor be a leading name in the scholarship of astrology. I'm just someone interested who seems to read the texts and get a different interpretation. I'm not worth arguing with Razz

I'll highlight a couple of points in my next posts.
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Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Could you elaborate on this? I am really curious how you can reconcile the evidence I cited with your view or what compelling reasons you have to dismiss this evidence, based on a close reading of the original text (not a translation), backed by a comparison with the word usage of other early Hellenistic authors and best scholarship available, as not strong enough.


I don't doubt it. Perhaps it's my raging ego and naive ignorance?

Nevertheless, when I read Manilius I don't see the strength of connection that implies that Manilius meant to describe to his readers that house systems are, by their nature, defined from the zodiac signs, and rather than that they divorced from it. The evidence in favour of their being a secondary layer or level not defined by the zodiac includes the fact that in the one section where Manilius goes to some length to define the houses he does not reckon their beginning from the 0 degree of the sign. In fact he describes explicitly as being from the cardinal points. Now I take this as being his deliberate intention for the houses, and all other statements or references to the houses to be placed within this context. He also uses imagery, when explicitly defining the houses, which suggest that the houses are stationary for a given locale, and that the zodiac revolves through the houses - this is so even in your rendition of the translation. Book II lines 856 onwards are the ones I've tried the most to render an intelligible translation from the Latin - keep in mind my comment about being no Latin scholar.

The gist (not literal translation) I got from my own muddled understanding of the Latin (see above about being no Latin scholar) was more like "every sign, no matter what the shape, is infected by mundane divisions; the place rules the stars gives the dowry (or the good or bad); each (sign?) revolves and sends and receives powers to and from the sky"

I'm no Latin expert as you can see. But from this reading, and elsewhere, I do still get the sense that the houses are conceived of as another layer, not that of the signs, and that the signs (and stars) move through these divisions, with power or good and bad being determined by these places and influences being sent to and from the signs and places. But they are nevertheless distinct, almost like two separate layers, one moving, the other stationary.

This idea seems to remain firmly in place when Manilius describes the houses. Manilius bakes into his visual imagery the idea of climbing from the ascendant to the MC. Manilius has defined the Horoscope just immediately before this as being the cardinal point itself. He divides up the space between horoscope and MC and says this quarter signifies youthfulness. Nowhere in reading that section do I get the sense that he means by "horoscope" anything other than the point of the ascendant, certainly I don't think he means sign. Do you?
In the same way, when he immediately moves onto the houses, he seems to use the same kind of language to divide up the mundane sphere, houses are described also as deriving from the same term he used for a horoscope point. He seems to allow for the house to be named after this horoscopic point.

I concede it's possible he means for the zodiac sign, but if so, he never actually suggests as much. Sure we can argue that this was so widespread everyone knew what he meant, but actually the evidence against that idea is much stronger. I think it much more likely that there was no firm idea in his mind about what the housesystem was than that there was such a widespread agreement everyone knew what he meant. Certainly you would imagine that the zodiac would be something everyone knows about but he still takes time to explain it. Aratus and Geminus and so on all describe the zodiac in great detail - disagreeing with that or that expert in doing so. They say nothing at all of the houses. In fact Manilius is the first explicit account we have surviving of the houses at all, and it's only a century or so away from some of these experts. Valens does take time to describe the houses in a more technical manner and never describes whole sign houses.

In fact, for me, what it boils down is being asked to believe that because these authors will occasionally refer to the house as being a sign that in fact all their technical descriptors of how to calculate the houses is just metaphor and poetry, and actually they meant the entire sign all along - why on earth don't they just say so. It would be a great deal easier than talking about this or that cardinal point. Because a massive problem here isn't so much the ascendant it's the MC. Manilius tells us very explicitly in a number of different ways (noontime, the division of east and west etc.) that he means to define his houses by the meridian, not just the tenth sign. Indeed he explains, when introducing the cardinal points (Book II 788) that the cardinal points are fixed and receive the signs as they pass by. He describes the houses in much the same manner.

If they are fixed and receive the signs that pass by and if the houses are the same, then bluntly the houses cannot be defined by the signs themselves. Now it's entirely possible, and I happen to believe, that when Manilius talks about the signs receiving the power of the houses and so on, that actually what this means is that the houses are quadrant houses but that the signs partake of the power of whatever house they contain. Valens seems to imply a similar thing.

What this means is that when they later refer to the 'sign' as being the house, this is not meant to mean that the house begins at 0 degrees of the sign, but rather that the sign contains the house and so is influenced and has the power of that house.

So for me when Manilius defines a house system has being static, and that the zodiac passes through the houses and influence one another, that this is indeed how he wants us to imagine the house system. That he later refers to it as a sign is just practical evidence of his point about giving and receiving back to the sky etc. and so the 11th sign, in this example, can be imagined as the 11th house not because the 11th house begins at 0 degrees of that sign, but rather because that sign typically contains the 11th house cusp and is coloured or influenced therefore by 11th sign 'energy' to use a modern phrase.

I am clearly not alone in imagining that Manilius imagines the houses to be distinct from the signs and for the signs to pass through them and be coloured by the signification of the house.

Whilst I'm no expert in Latin or Greek, the same is not true for Bouche Leclerq.

Now this may not be true for you Levente, so I don't mean to imply that it is, but a growing phenomenon I have observed is this sense that we knew almost nothing about the Greek or Latin authors or their astrology until the Project Hindsight movement. Of course this isn't the case. Ideas like the cardinal points being like cattle prods and being like pivots and so on existed long before Schmidt or Project Hindsight. Bouche Leclerq discusses all of these things. Sure, scholarship has progressed, but it is interesting to me that Bouche Leclerq sees the houses, and quotes Manilius in particular, in a very similar way.

In Chapter IX he says, after discussing the Horoscope/ascendant point:
(translation mine, apologies if rudimentary, blue text is my insertion, p.257 Astrologie Grecque)
Quote:

It is this point [i.e. the horoscope] that the division of the circle of the geniture begins, the circle which is the zodiac itself, but endowed with an autonomous 12-part division superimposed on those of the signs and communicating to each of its compartments (loci) specific properties which can be combined afterwards with those of the underlying signs, but are prima facie independent. The signs had their place fixed once and for all, whereas the places of the circle [compartments, which he tells us are loci, so I'll translate as places for convenience] measured according to the horoscope, were moving, in respect to them [i.e. in respect to the signs], for each geniture. But, on the other hand, mobile in respect to the divisions of the zodiac, the circle of the geniture is fixed in respect to the Earth. It is like an unmoving building in which turns the zodiac and the entire cosmic machine.


BL explicitly, in a footnote, highlights this very section of Manilius when discussing the houses, the very same section that Goold begins with "in any geniture every sign is affected...".
Later BL uses the metaphor of "une charpente" to describe the houses, which connotes a sturdy, solid, wooden skeletal frame around which a house, or typically at least the roof, would be constructed.

It is curious to me that my own reading of Manilius, and indeed others, seems to be the same as what BL describes here. That the houses and signs are independent, the houses static, the signs moving through them not defining them, but passing influence from one another.

Anyway I don't expect to change anyone's views, as I say, but just help answer the question of why on earth I would be so outrageous as to not imagine that referring to the 11th house as a sign means he imagined the houses as beginning with 0 degrees of the sign (exaggeration mine). As I say, I am not going to fight on this, my thoughts are a work in progress, and I'm happy to be given a fool's pardon or thought an idiot if it comes to it.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Importantly we have the signs moving through the houses, not forming them.


In whole signs, you also have signs moving through the places, maybe that is why it was called dodekatropos because there are in all, twelve turnings of the zodiac around the cardinal points. For one nativity, Leo is the Hour-Marker, for another Scorpio. Although identical with the houses, they do turn around.
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Paul
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Quote:
Importantly we have the signs moving through the houses, not forming them.


In whole signs, you also have signs moving through the places, maybe that is why it was called dodekatropos because there are in all, twelve turnings of the zodiac around the cardinal points. For one nativity, Leo is the Hour-Marker, for another Scorpio. Although identical with the houses, they do turn around.


Which is why I focused so much on the static quality of the houses and the relationship to the statically described cardinal points.

You cannot have a house system that is both static and defined by signs moving through them. My post has multiple points which coverage on my conclusion - they have to be taken together.

Imagine 0 degrees Aries risies, the beginning of the whole sign 1st is coincident with the horizon. 15 degrees later the WSH first is now over the horizon. At 29 degrees it’s sitting more or less on top of the ascendant, which is how he describes the 12th. A minute or so later the first house jumps back down to the horizon.

This is a lot of things but it’s certainly not an unmoving static house system with signs moving through them.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is static in terms of signs.

Quote:
Imagine 0 degrees Aries risies, the beginning of the whole sign 1st is coincident with the horizon. 15 degrees later the WSH first is now over the horizon. At 29 degrees it’s sitting more or less on top of the ascendant, which is how he describes the 12th. A minute or so later the first house jumps back down to the horizon.


At the first degree, the Ram rises. At the last degree, the Ram rises. Therefore the life, appearance and siblings of the individual will partake of the royal, semi-infertile, semi-vocal, running (posture in Manilius) and quadrupedal qualities of the image. Does that sound better to you? Manilius has information on that.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
It is static in terms of signs.

Quote:
Imagine 0 degrees Aries risies, the beginning of the whole sign 1st is coincident with the horizon. 15 degrees later the WSH first is now over the horizon. At 29 degrees it’s sitting more or less on top of the ascendant, which is how he describes the 12th. A minute or so later the first house jumps back down to the horizon.


At the first degree, the Ram rises. At the last degree, the Ram rises. Therefore the life, appearance and siblings of the individual will partake of the royal, semi-infertile, semi-vocal, running (posture in Manilius) and quadrupedal qualities of the image. Does that sound better to you? Manilius has information on that.


That is not static, that is highly dynamic.

Static suggests lack of movement. When a sign rises up the "position" of the whole sign first shifts, the rises with the primary motion.

See my quote from bouche leclerq who clearly reads Manilius in the same way and explicitly separates that the signs move and the houses do not. Houses being signs suggest either all the signs are static or all the signs move. It can't be both. Signs of cousre move by primary motion. Ergo, not the houses he talks about.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Static suggests lack of movement. When a sign rises up the "position" of the whole sign first shifts, the rises with the primary motion.


Not if you think of it in terms of images. There is one image of the twelve that is rising, and there is one image of the twelve that is culminating. Then all stars present with the image/place partake of the angularity and qualities of the same. I gave an example with the Ram.

I do believe that if you look at the ''signs and houses'' as images, then the adoption of whole signs would not look as astronomically ridiculous.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I've said before, several people can read the same text and get different conclusions. None of my posts hold enough pretense to imagine they'll change anyone else's viewpoint. This is really just me explaining my viewpoint - I fully expect nobody else to follow it or agree with it and I'm ok with that. I am of course happy to hear anyone else's viewpoint out.

From past experience a lot of the arguments about houses being revealed to be signs all along really rest on the words for sign being sometimes used for the houses. But to really imagine that these authors meant to take 0 of the sign involved really means to ignore so much else of what they about the houses. That doesn't sit right with me.

Petosiris, I understand the point you're trying to make, I just don't think that this is the point that Manilius is making, he's describing static qualities derived from the cardinal points themselves and the signs simply pass through them. The image of "une charpenetrie" that BL employs is a good one. That's pretty much like how I read Manilius as describing - the houses are these static frames - the cardinal points according to manilius are also like supports and he employs this kind of sturdy, weight holding imagery to describe them. Then describes the houses as also being static and defined from them.

There would be absolutely no point to add in all this if he just meant the image of the sign and house are equivalent etc. He discusses the motion of the signs and clearly sees them as actually moving - the houses do not. I understand the point you're making, but I just dont' see Manilius as making that point, that is not how I read him as wanting to describe.

Ultimately though I'm not trying to convince you, nor anyone else, I'm only trying to make my own viewpoint on it comprehensible if anyone is curious, and it appears Levente was curious.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
From past experience a lot of the arguments about houses being revealed to be signs all along really rest on the words for sign being sometimes used for the houses.


Quote:
There would be absolutely no point to add in all this if he just meant the image of the sign and house are equivalent etc.


I am not sure if you know, but the Latin and Greek authors did not use the word sign (as mark) for the ecliptic divisions, but the word zoidion (image or living being) or signum (as image). The phrase you use ''image of the sign'' is therefore redundant. Signs and houses are very poor translations (if they can be called that) of images and places. Images are important semantic consideration since we are not talking about some abstract division or 30 degree portions, for example equal houses, but the constellations.

It is preposterous to argue that the rising or culminating image can mean any number of degrees spanning two images. It refers to the images of the zodiac. When the Crab is rising, the Ram is culminating, the Goat-Horned One is setting and the Scales are anti-culminating. The Twins are pre-ascending the Crab and the Lion is post-ascending the Crab.

When Dorotheus and Hephaistio tell us that a moist or quadrupedal image pre-ascending the Setting image (6th zoidion in Hephaistio 2.13) causes disease, we know (contextually) that they would not consider x number of this image and y number of that image in the equal or quadrant house, but the one whole image that has wholly set, with not a single degree above on ''the Descendant''. To reiterate, whole signs do not look astronomically foolish when we also make the distinction of the zodiacs. I am pretty sure that Manilius' zodiac is stellar.

If the star of Zeus becomes angular on the Ascendant, why should not any of the twelve constellations be judged angular as well? Can one cut an image in portions with it remaining singular and whole? Can one say that the last degrees of the Crab and the first degrees of the Lion are rising together, and to judge the Ascendant as partaking of two contradictory qualities, when in reality, not a single portion of Lion had risen? Only one image is rising at a time.


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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:

I am not sure if you know, but the Latin and Greek authors did not use the word sign (as mark) for the ecliptic divisions, but the word zoidion (image or living being) or signum (as image). The phrase you use ''image of the sign'' is therefore redundant. Signs and houses are very poor translations (if they can be called that) of images and places. Images are important semantic consideration since we are not talking about some abstract division or 30 degree portions, for example equal houses, but the constellations.


Yes I am aware of this, I'm not sure what I was trying to convey with my wording at 2.30 in the morning. I think I was trying to find some word to represent something which could, conceivably, be either a sign or a house, but then try to demonstrate that the two are not equivalent.

Quote:
It is preposterous to argue that the rising or culminating image can mean any number of degrees spanning two images.


Who has suggested that though? I just want to be clear on what we're saying here. I am suggesting that Manilius says that the 10th is demarcated by the meridian. I said that Manilius says that the cardinal points receive each of the signs as they pass by. When describing the 10th house he uses similar phrasing, and talks of an arc sweeping up as attaining its height etc. and uses the term locus to describe it. Not signum.

Similarly when discussing the 9th he doesn't describe signs. He could of course, but he doesn't. He instead describes midday and the 'stars' which follow it which slope downward. He entirely uses astronomically relevant visual clues here to sort of model an apparent spatial representation of the primary motion of the stars and planets as they appear to rotate around the observer. He refers to things as 'climbing' and then reaching midday, or when something reaches its culmination and so on - it's clear he means the midheaven. He describes then both the 10th and 9th as being divided not by a sign, he could use that term, he does not, but by the same kind of wording he uses when describing the cardinal point. Midday is not a sign, it is a moment.

It is not that he's describing images here when he discusses these things.

I'm not sure where we are missing one another here, so just trying to clarify this. What I believe, not explicit in the texts, so just an inference, is that the influence (for lack of a better word) being sent to and from the houses to the signs kind of creates something like sense that provided a given sign contains the cusp or starting point of the house that this sign is coloured by that house and has the influence of that house, and in that way a given sign which contains the 11th house cusp, would be alike to the 11th house in terms of the influences it now is coloured by.

I just want to be clear on what I'm saying so when we disagree we can legitimately disagree with what each of us thinks rather than miscommunicate.

Quote:
When the Crab is rising, the Ram is culminating, the Goat-Horned One is setting and the Scales are anti-culminating. The Twins are pre-ascending the Crab and the Lion is post-ascending the Crab.


Is this a quote from someone? I'm not sure what you mean here. Of course it's simply not true that when Cancer rises that Aries culminates. If this is a direct quote from someone it would be good to get the author. That's just not an astronomically sound proposition to make generally.

EDIT to add
Perhaps, if this is just coming from you, this is a typo or some confusion, perhaps you mean when Aries rises Capricorn always culminates? When the equinoctial points rise it means the ecliptic is rising due east and so there'll be 90 degrees to the solstice points, the same is not true of course when the solstice points rise. Houseman suggests Manilius wasn't aware of this fact so I'm not sure if this is a quote from Manilius or someone else or just your own example.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Who has suggested that though?


I am pretty sure that was suggested in this thread - http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8308

I usually don't like pointing people.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Houseman suggests Manilius wasn't aware of this fact so I'm not sure if this is a quote from Manilius or someone else or just your own example.


Wait, are you saying that Manilius was not aware of a distinction between the quadrant MC and the zenith (called MC in Hellenistic astrology)? He must then had a double personality to also be proficient in quadrant house systems. I am not going to have this discussion again, explaining why the 10th sign (the image of the highest ether in the middle of the sky) was referred to as Midheaven.


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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Quote:
Who has suggested that though?


I am pretty sure that was suggested in this thread - http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8308


Petosiris

If you're going to bring up points from completely different threads please reference it so we know what you are referring to.

If this is quote of mine, please quote me, otherwise I don't know what the context is that you mean and I am not going to read 10 pages of another thread to try to guess what context you have in mind. It would be easier just to quote the relevant part.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
petosiris wrote:
Quote:
Who has suggested that though?


I am pretty sure that was suggested in this thread - http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8308


Petosiris

If you're going to bring up points from completely different threads please reference it so we know what you are referring to.

If this is quote of mine, please quote me, otherwise I don't know what the context is that you mean and I am not going to read 10 pages of another thread to try to guess what context you have in mind. It would be easier just to quote the relevant part.


No, it was not you. Martin Gansten argued that the references to zoidia may have referred to equal houses at the last two or three pages.
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Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Paul wrote:
petosiris wrote:
Quote:
Who has suggested that though?


I am pretty sure that was suggested in this thread - http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8308


Petosiris

If you're going to bring up points from completely different threads please reference it so we know what you are referring to.

If this is quote of mine, please quote me, otherwise I don't know what the context is that you mean and I am not going to read 10 pages of another thread to try to guess what context you have in mind. It would be easier just to quote the relevant part.


No, it was not you. Martin Gansten argued that the references to zoidia may have referred to equal houses at the last two or three pages.


Ok it may be easier to just stick to what’s being said here or at least wait and see if Martin joins this discussion.

It’s worth repeating myself again, I’m only giving my two cents, not anyone else’s and I’m only trying to communicate that opinion not convince anyone else of it. In other words, when we conclude with disagreeing, which we inevitably will, then at least we know what we all disagree on. I think sometimes we assume we know, the only value these discussions have for me is the opportunity to hear and communicate different ideas. I’m totally up for that as long as time permits, but ultimately we’re both likely to walk away not convincing one another, I’m not going to even bother trying. I think everyone who posts here has a genuine disagreement based on their understanding of the texts. Sometimes things really are just that simple.
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