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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Southern Hemisphere & the Essential dignities

 
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Southern Hemisphere & the Essential dignities Reply with quote

I have just been reading Maurice McCann's book on the aspects in traditional astrology ''The Sun and its aspects' .

The book contains an excellent series of articles but it has one controversial suggestion in relation to southern hemisphere charts. In particular he suggests we should reverse the dignities. For example the Moon In Taurus would be in fall rather than exaltation according to McCann in a Southern hemisphere chart.

His reason for arguing this goes back to Ptolemy in the Tetrabiblos where he quotes him relating the reason that the Sun is exalted in Aries is because of the seasonal onset of spring.

What do you think? I am interested to hear from anyone who has done lots of southern hemisphere charts. I personally haven't. Does this idea make sense to anyone else? Has anyone tested out McCann's suggestion?
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry the correct title for Maurice McCann's book is ''The Sun and the aspects''.

I perhaps need to give a bit more detail on McCann's ideas. Following Ptolemy McCann makes a case for reversing the essential dignities in southern hemisphere charts. This argument is linked fundamentally to the position of the Sun and the other planets in relationship to it.

McCann points out that Ptolemy lived in Alexandria, about 31 degrees North). Thus in setting up his rulerships, Ptolemy acknowledges that in the Summer months the Sun in Cancer and Leo is closer to 'our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and warmth'- 'our' meaning the Zenith in Alexandria. He gave the Sun rulership of Leo because Leo is a masculine sign. The next most important planet, the Moon, is given the rulership of Cancer, a feminine sign.

The rulerships are therefore based on the Sun's furthest declination North (actually just over 23 degrees). McCann then ponders what might have happened if Ptolemy had lived in Sydney, Australia (just over 33 degrees South) - there the Sun's at it's hotest when in Capricorn and Aquarius. So on that basis Ptolemy would have given the Sun rulership over Aquarius (masculine) and the Moon rulership over Capricorn (feminine).

The remaining planets are given rulership through a combination of aspect and distance from the Sun. In the North, Saturn the most distant (for Ptolemy) is given rulership over Aquarius by opposition to the Sun in Leo and is given rulership over Capricorn by opposition to the Moon in Cancer.

Jupiter, the next planet in gets rulership of Sagittarius by trine from the Sun in Leo and rulership of Pisces by trine from the Moon in Cancer. Likewise, Mars rules Scorpio by square to the Sun in Leo and Aries by square to the Moon in Cancer. Venus rules Taurus and Libra by sextile to the luminaries and Mercury the remaining planet gets rulership of Gemini and Virgo the remaining signs.

If this system is transferred to the Southern hemisphere, McCann suggests that Ptolemy would have given Saturn rulership of Leo and Cancer, Jupiter would rule Gemini and Virgo, Mars would rule Libra and Taurus and so on. By the same principle exaltation, fall and detriment would be reversed. However, McCann is not arguing that the meaning of the signs themselves should change.

The question McCann poses to all traditional astrologers is should the essential dignities be reversed for the Southern hemisphere?
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deeptiman



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 76
Location: S„o Paulo-SP brazil

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:55 am    Post subject: Ingress chart of Aries in Brazil Reply with quote

Hi ,the ingress chart of Aries shows that to revert dignities based on hemispheres don't make any sense:March,20,2005 9:34a.m. Brasilia- Brazil-47w55;15S46
Look,Saturn ,lord of 10 house is in Cancer -and currently,there's one of the major crisis of history reaching the government in Brazil.Saturn in Cancer is very bad,even in south hemisphere!
Gerson
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Deb
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: England

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

We had quite a detailed discussion on this some time ago, but I canít find it now so maybe it has rolled off the forum (it may have been in the old forum).

When I have given talks in Australia most astrologers there seemed happy to acknowledge that they were working with northern hemisphere symbolism. Itís more than the fact that most of the populated regions are in the northern hemisphere, or that this is where the development of astrology occurred. There is a global overview that recognises the Sunís influence over the whole earth as it is tied into the northern hemisphere seasons. I have pinched a passage from Bernadette Bradyís article Fixed stars: why bother? to demonstrate:

Quote:
Every year planet Earth greens in the north and the south at the same time. This of course is the summer for the north and the winter for the south. This, according to biologists, gives the biosphere a type of breath. The earth breathes in CO2 and gives us more oxygen at this time, but in the winter (summer for the south) the greening stops and the earth's breath goes the other way.


This greening is reflective of global fertility and creativity, so from an Ďearth perspectiveí as well as from a northern hemisphere one, I believe it is appropriate to maintain that the Sun is exalted in Aries, takes reign in Leo, and that all the other dignities that are tied into the Sunís cycle are upheld.

However, I accept that we need a lot more research to fully understand the natural effects of planets in zodiac signs as they apply to the southern hemisphere. It doesnít seem to be a problem for astrological approaches that are mainly divinational, but I can see that it is for attempts to use astrology as a mirror for cycles of behaviour.
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: Australia

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I have given talks in Australia most astrologers there seemed happy to acknowledge that they were working with northern hemisphere symbolism.


Well, not this Australian. If I really believed that the only way I can practice astrology is by accepting only a northern hemisphere form of symbolism I would give it up tomorrow. I expect more from my astrology than this narrow range of focus that ties symbolism to the seasons. The truth is most Australian astrologers have not thought about it in any great depth and donít really want to because we have been taught, and are used to, a very basic form of astrology that tries to simplify things by saying A = B. To me it is along the lines of Mars = Aries = 1st house. Now we have Aries = spring so all the key words for Aries come from oneís idea of spring in the northern hemisphere and stop at that. This is a very narrow way of looking at astrology. Surely, there is more to Aries than that. If anyone really believes that Aries does equal spring then they would have to accept that astrological symbolism doesnít work in the southern hemisphere. I know it does. This sort of seasonal symbolism limits the deeper imagery behind the signs. Sun in Aries should be Sun in Aries regardless of whether it is in a northern hemisphere chart or a southern hemisphere chart. If Aries really was tied to the idea of spring then surely we would expect that people with Sun in Aries who were born in the southern hemisphere would exhibit different characteristics because of the Aries/autumn influence. I havenít seen any evidence of this. How can we accept a principle of microcosm/macrocosm but accept symbolism for Aries that relates only to the northern hemisphere? Dare I paraphrase John Frawley and suggest that we do not say ĎAs above so below but only in the northern hemisphere.í It does not make cosmological sense to limit our understanding in this way.
Not all ideas of the Sun being exalted in Aries come from the idea of spring. But this symbolism is what permeates astrology leaving it difficult to untie the two. As I said, it is a very narrow focus and it basically suggests that all astrology starts and ends with Ptolemy. If I see Sun in Aries in a southern hemisphere chart, I know I am looking at an autumn chart. The symbolism isnít going to be about spring but it will still be about Aries. If you read Macrobius or Firmicus Maternus and their ideas of the Thema Mundi youíll find symbolism that does not relate specifically to the seasons. According to Macrobius, Aries was called the first, (although he rightly points out that there is nothing first or last in a sphere), because at the beginning of that day which was the first of all days Ė that is, the day which is called the birthday of the universe Ė Aries was in the middle of the sky; and because the middle of the sky is the summit of the universe, Aries was considered the first of the signs, since at the first dawn of light it appeared to be the head of the world. This, of course, would put Cancer on the ascendant, a winter sign for those of us who live south of the equator. According to Macrobius, planets rule the signs they rule because thatís where they were at the beginning of creation.

Quote:
There is a global overview that recognises the Sunís influence over the whole earth as it is tied into the northern hemisphere seasons.

Iím not sure I understand you here. How you see this quote from Bernadette as an example of the Sunís influence over the whole earth being tied to the northern hemisphere seasons? The global overview is recognising the Sunís influence over the whole earth as occurring in both hemispheres at the same time regardless of season and is not tied specifically to the northern hemisphere seasons. The greening happens in Cancer, which is summer for the north and winter for the south. Then the opposite happens around Capricorn, winter for the north and summer for the south. To me this quote just shows that the seasons are irrelevant in certain cases.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:27 pm    Post subject: Southern Hemishere & the Essential Dignities Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. Especially Deb and Sue for going into such detail.

I am sorry as a new member I hadn't realised this had come up for discussion some time ago on the forum.

Sue's response seems the logical argument to me for retaining the traditional dignities in Antipodean charts. In other words challenge the direct link to seasonal symbolism from Ptolemy as our sole source for the dignities. Geoffrey Cornelius points out the limitations of a view of Astrology too locked into Ptolemaic thinking in his book ''The Moment of Astrology''. So I guess there is plenty of precedent for this with Horary which has no Ptolemaic authority.

I am taking it from what both of you are both stating that you are perfectly happy from your experience with the dignities in traditional order for Southern charts? In particular from Horary charts which seems a good acid test of the matter on a pragmatic rather than a philosophical basis?

Ps Thanks Sue for all those traditional references. I hadn't heard of Macrobius before..Thanks!
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: Australia

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

I accept the traditional dignities because I do not rely on the seasons for my symbolism and can find plenty of reason for them to remain the same. Of course, what I said above is another way of looking at things but not the only way. If we really want to be genuine about our astrology we should not take anything for granted and should push ourselves to seek understanding in a way that feels right for us.

Having said that, I think it is possible that there are cases where the differences need to be recognised between the two hemispheres and their seasonal opposites. I am thinking particularly of temperaments here. I have not researched it as yet but it is definitely on my list of things to do. It may be that there is no difference and it needs to remain as it is but it certainly needs some thought.

Cheers
Sue
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Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 363

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: reversal of meaning for nodes in Southern hemisphere? Reply with quote

Hello Sue and all
I've just scoured the forum for something about reversing dignities in Southern hemisphere, and finally found it! I tend to agree with Sue, that a tropical astrologer should do so, but since I've always been more interested in sidereal, I've never had to worry about it... until now, when I realise it could also apply to the nodes, as these are defined in relation to the path of the sun: the north node is when the moon goes "up, above" the sun's path, and the south node goes "down under". In traditional Western astrology, the NN is generally considered, I think, to be somewhat like an unpredictable Jupiter and can be benefic, while the SN is more like an unpredictable Saturn and is usually malefic. In Indian astrology, the NN is usually the more malefic, more like a headstrong Saturn, while the SN can be spiritually benefic but is more like Mars. Bob Makransky (can't remember where, maybe in his book "Thought Forms") emphasises the NN going up over the sun's path, so says it is more lunar, while the SN goes below and thus the moon steps aside, so to speak, allowing the sun to dominate.
So (leaving aside any questions about possible exaltations etc for the nodes) does anyone think these symbolisms should be reversed in the southern hemisphere? Or even that the Indian meanings could reflect a very distant southern, or at least equatorial, origin?
I would have thought that the problem is the same whether in tropical or sidereal context.
Many thanks for any ideas.
Graham
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Graham,

Gosh this thread brings back memories! It was my very first post on Skyscript after I joined in 2005.

Just for your information I am afraid our former moderator Sue Toohey passed away several years ago. A very sad loss.

You might be interested to know I opened another thread on this topic which got a much larger response here.

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5135&start=0

As your question is fairly narrow in focus and seems to relate to sidereal astrology you might want to raise this on the Sidereal forum rather than the Traditional forum. It might also fit on our General forum.

best wishes,

Mark
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Graham F



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 363

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: lunar nodes in southern hemisphere Reply with quote

Thanks Mark
In fact, I'm sure most sidereal astrologers will just say "no", as they haven't had to think about this problem of reversing for Southern hemisphere. And the nodes are most used in traditional (or Indian) astrology, rahter than modern.
So I would really just like to ask if any traditionally-biased tropical astrologers who DO prefer to reverse the rulerships for Southern hemisphere, would ALSO consider it reasonable to reverse significations for the nodes (of course, some of the significations are similar for both nodes anyway).
Sorry for slow reply, my account was deactivated for a bit following a change of e-mail.
Graham
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