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Book III of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus
translated by David Pingree
Notes on Dorotheus III: the haylāj, Kadhkhudāh, and terms of life
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J.B. Morin on Combustion and Cazimi
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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PFN wrote:

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In my opinion, after this quotation of Morin, the problem is less about if combustion happens or not, but about the notion of power itself, held by the authors before him. When a planet is combust, it does not cease to exist, the ancients knew this much. But they said it had no power and that's the source of confusion. What power means in this context is the key question.


There could be clues in the power of ancient kings and rulers. The absolute power of ancient rulers (represented by the Sun) is well-known. They literally got away with murder. Their word and whims dictated. But they needed assistants, those who took charge in various areas. Those men were very powerful, but also very weak – they were under the thumb of the ruler and could be eradicated at any time by a displeased ruler simply because of false gossip and the schemes of others. But as long as they were in the ruler's favor they could carry on their tasks – and, through the power given them, make life a living hell for others beneath them. Whether they had power depended completely on the ruler.

Is this the ancient astrological model?
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Deb
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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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In astrology that planet still functions, according to Morin, and to a point, Lilly agrees.

Quote:
" ... the significator of the Querent combust, shows him or her in great fear, and overpowered by some great person." p. 113 CA


But it always depends upon context. There are other places where Lilly refers to combustion as the surest indicator of death (I'll come back and add a reference later). From what I can see the other earlier authors took a similar approach - using combustion as descriptive of anything from the power to keep things hidden, to the loss of power as the planet enters and emerges from a process of renewal. Also remember that combustion is part of a cycle and not a complete event in itself.

Sorry this is dashed!
Deb
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johannes susato



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:

But it always depends upon context. There are other places where Lilly refers to combustion as the surest indicator of death (I'll come back and add a reference later).

Waiting I found not yet death, but this, Lilly, CA, p. 300 (Aphorismes and Considerations for better judging any Horary Question. 23):

"Beware in all Judgments, when the Significator of the question is either Combust, or on Opposition to the Sun, he will then signifie nothing of the matter, no good, nor is he able to bring any thing to perfection."

Johannes
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johannes susato



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And still another, Lilly, CA, p. 301, 35:

"In all Questions, know there's not so great an affliction to the Moon, as when she is in conjunction with the Sun; the ill aspects of the Infortunes doth much afflict her, but none so powerfull as her Combustion."
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johannes susato



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilly, CA, p. 256:
"The Lord of the ascendant and of the Figure Combust, doe undoubtedly declare death, unlesse there be some reception between the Sun and them, such a chance happening, and the Moon proving fortunate, after all hopes of escape, a little hopes remaines."
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johannes susato



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

this is my last one - Lilly, CA, p. 257:

". . . : it's a powerfull argument that the sick party will dye, when at time of his first Question to his Physitian, you find the Lord of the ascendant Combust in the ascendant."

This quotation and the third above approve your statement exactly, I think.

Johannes
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Tom
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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But it always depends upon context. There are other places where Lilly refers to combustion as the surest indicator of death (I'll come back and add a reference later). From what I can see the other earlier authors took a similar approach - using combustion as descriptive of anything from the power to keep things hidden, to the loss of power as the planet enters and emerges from a process of renewal.


I think it also depends on the type of astrology we're working with at the moment. Lilly's references to death as quoted by Johannes are all related to horary. Morin is, at this point, only discussing natal astrology.

If we're asking a question about life or death, it makes sense if the significator is overwhelmed by the fiery power of the Sun, that the answer is death. Or if the significator of quesited is burnt up by the Sun, it makes sense that the thing asked about will not occur.

It is not so simple dealing with nativities. We cannot say the native has no mind if Mercury is combust, and never will have one, or that if the Lord of the ASC is combust that the native is dead. If the meaning changes from chart to chart, is there a way that the astrologer can determine in which charts the planet is rendered powerless and in which the native keeps things hidden? Or do the various authorities simply stick to one delineation in all or nearly all cases?

Tom
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is not so simple dealing with nativities. We cannot say the native has no mind if Mercury is combust, and never will have one, or that if the Lord of the ASC is combust that the native is dead.


Maybe it depends on whether Mercury is being used as a universal or accidental significator. With Mercury as universal significator combustion possibly isn't able to weaken, conceal or eliminate the native's mind. But if Mercury happens to be the accidental 7th house ruler, combustion may well have the power to weaken, conceal or eliminate the spouse or business partner. Similarly with other houses, of course.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for adding the refs Johannes!

I can understand why nativities can seem to make the matter more complex but I think that Kirk has a point. I haven’t found any essential difference in approach that sets, say, Sahl’s use of combustion in mundane or natal astrology apart from what he applied in horary. But he approaches natal interpretation with the same symbolic analysis of external influences that we take in horary. So for example, a planet can signify a physical journey, and the element of combustion is one of the factors that helps to describe that journey. But it is important to recognise the status within the process as a cycle, because there is a big difference in a planet that is moving towards the Sun, and a planet that is newly combust but not yet visible. It is also important to look at the first contact of a combust planet as it separates from the Sun because that sets an important theme too. Also, the approach differs between inferiors and superiors (but I need an article to explain in full).

David McCann did a study of combust Mercury in the charts of writers many years ago, and concluded that the condition said nothing about intellectual faculties. But I did notice that the writers he selected were all ‘deep thinkers’, and I am tempted to think that the element of being ‘hidden’ portrays a sense of internalisation. This also fits in with the pattern of the cycle, because it is like a new Moon rather than a full Moon effect. The lunar cycle is the best way to understand the meaning of combustion as the point at which planetary phases begin and end, because it’s the one planetary cycle that we still all use quite naturally. People born on a New Moon are not emotionless souls, but they might have a certain kind of emotional naivety or quite the opposite! They can also be quite emotionally 'dark' in that they don't easily express their emotions easily or communicate superficially. I am sure we are talking about very subtle shifts when we are using the planets as significators of personality traits.
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Tom
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think that Kirk has a point.


Kirk does have a point and so does everyone else. That's the problem with combustion. At least that's the way I see it. Ideas surrounding combustion remind me a bit of the nodes. Everyone has a different opinion.

After I posted the remark Kirk quoted I thought better of it as most planets in any condition have a variety of meanings and there are ways of precisely determining what they mean in many cases. I suppose combust planets should have some latitude in that area as well.

I think there is a difference in that the various delineations of combustion are extreme. Hidden is a long way from powerless. Overpowered is a long way from dead. But the traditional authorities did and modern writers do tend to use extremes in their examples. We're supposed to tone them down.

As for cycles, Morin, who is the reason for starting this thread, would have said the planetary cycles begin and end with their conjunctions to themselves. He believed a planet returning to its natal position underwent something of a renewal. I don't know exactly what he thought of lunations. I'll have to look.

Morin is also tough to pin down on horary versus natal as he didn't think much of horary astrology. Most, if not all, who practiced both used the symbolism similarly. At least the ones that I read seem to do it that way. It's just that horary has something closer to a finality to it. Horary deals with a particular question and a combust significator is pretty important in that it can practically determine a question by itself. Once the question has been answered, we move on to something else. My point is that it is a little tougher to impart such a finality or near finality on on a birth chart. And that only goes to the fact that horary astrology unravels a question, but natal has a more complex task in that it attempts to unravel a life.

I do like Morin's idea of part of the person represented by the combust planet is hidden. That makes more sense to me symbolically as well. I wonder if it works.

Tom
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:

I can understand why nativities can seem to make the matter more complex but I think that Kirk has a point. I haven’t found any essential difference in approach that sets, say, Sahl’s use of combustion in mundane or natal astrology apart from what he applied in horary.

People born on a New Moon are not emotionless souls, but they might have a certain kind of emotional naivety or quite the opposite! They can also be quite emotionally 'dark' in that they don't easily express their emotions easily or communicate superficially. I am sure we are talking about very subtle shifts when we are using the planets as significators of personality traits.


Here is a quotation affirming
1. the same approach in nativities and hroraries and
2. an (and what kind of) effect on combusted planets.

Ibn Ezra, The Beginning of Wisdom, Epstein-Translation, p. 129, The eighth chapter [contains] all the judgments for the nativity, for revolutions and for inquiries, and they are one hundred and twenty:

"17) When the benefics and the malefics are in a bad place or combust, they indicate something inferior, and they do neither good nor evil because of their weakness."

Johannes
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS I went hunting for Edward Grant's book as suggested by Deb. Hardbond editions can be found in the $300+ US range. There was a used paperback for about $55 US and I ignored it as I thought it was too high. Then I found editions as high as $600+ so I decided to buy the paperback - too late. Probably someone on Skyscript beat me to it. Shame.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile
I have had those sort of experiences, but (my philosophy is) if you are meant to have the book, another opportunity will present itself. It is a good book, but not $300+ good. Not to a Taurean anyway. Unless you can sell it on for $400+ and then that’s fair enough.

Quote:
As for cycles, Morin, who is the reason for starting this thread, would have said the planetary cycles begin and end with their conjunctions to themselves.


This links in to a point I made earlier about Morin living at a time when our perspective of the cosmos was shifting dramatically. Although he rejected heliocentricity, astrology at that time was changing, so it is much harder to recognise the influence of planetary phases in 17th century works. I think he was grappling with the remnant of the philosophy as we are.

Quote:
But the traditional authorities did and modern writers do tend to use extremes in their examples. We're supposed to tone them down.


Also, there is – in general – a big difference between descriptions of planets which are combust, and those which are combust, and also unfortunate in other ways.
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
This links in to a point I made earlier about Morin living at a time when our perspective of the cosmos was shifting dramatically. Although he rejected heliocentricity, astrology at that time was changing, so it is much harder to recognise the influence of planetary phases in 17th century works. I think he was grappling with the remnant of the philosophy as we are.
This reminds me of a remark of Jim Tester in 'A History of Western Astrology' on page 234/235 where he compares Kepler and Morin.
Jim Tester's 'A History of
Western Astrology wrote:

Kepler and Jean-Baptiste Morin are almost complementary to one another as thinkers. Kepler in a sense wants to look back to a Neo-Platonist, or rather Neo-Pythagorean world of number-forms and solid mathematical figures, all fitting into a harmony that made sense of the whole: a view of the world as has been said Ficino and Pico would have wholy sympathised with. Morin wants to look forward - in very much his own way - into the next age, to produce a logical, coherent whole into which astrology fits with (corrected) modern scientific ideas and practice as part of the whole pattern, which includes a proper form of divination. But Kepler belongs to the future, and his training and experience and even ways of looking at problems are modern. Whereas Morin's whole background - his his geocentrism, his anti-Cartesian, anti-Gassendi 'science', his alchemy and astrology - keeps him firmly facing backwards He could not avoid belonging to the past any more than Kepler could avoid, even had he tried, belonging to the future.
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Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned this some time back on another thread (it didn't go over well), but I do think that Morin had a bias against combustion due to his natal chart. With Venus and Jupiter combust, and Mercury if one counts out-of-sign planets, Saturn heading into combustion, and the Moon just breaking away from under the Sun's beams, I can see an innate resistance on his part to the idea of weakness or dependency (As in my post above: power depends on the king). It all involves a very busy 12th house in his chart. With Aries rising and a crabby and insecure Mars in fall in Cancer trine the 12th house Sun and planets I think we're dealing with a major part of Morin. His biography with its arrogance and battles looks like a good fit. He didn't like combustion, but he sure seemed to want to stand on his own and rule.

We like to separate ourselves and other astrologers from our astrology in order to be able to peer in safely, but we are very much a part of it. To a large extent astrologers are astrology. Of course we should look at what Morin had to say about combustion, but I think we should also keep in mind that we are possibly seeing him dissociating himself from weakness and dependency and presenting a faulty argument because of it. At the very least, it makes the topic even more interesting. Smile

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/morinchart.html
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