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How many Astrological Methods do we need?
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CJ



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 38

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the issues are a modern debate as some seem to be saying here. Al-Kindi favored a total determinism based on stellar rays, while Abu Ma'shar preferred a kind of synchronization (contrary to an earlier assertion I'd say Arabs in particular were forced to theorize and justify because of the religious context they were operating in). While the modern approach may pay lip service to symbolism, in reality it seems to favor techniques that are most compatible with a Newtonian world view (transits, asteroids) and would probably be ready to toss out symbolism if a physical causation would be found. On the other hand from extreme subjectivity it's not far to say that it's all just a placebo effect (as some skeptics have also tried to prove).
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved my reply from the 'Primary directions in William Lilly vo. 3' thread to this thread because I felt it would be better in its place over here.


Gjiada wrote:
In every case I believe that there is no right method.

This has always been my problem with primary directions. I've calculated several systems of them (different keys and different reference frames) and applied them to my chart. I manage to find events/important periods for the same direction in different methods even when they are years apart.

Would this mean that they all work Confused ? I never wanted to reject the primary directions immediately but this makes the choice of a system very difficult. The choice then will be based upon theoretical preference for a system rather than upon experience. However I experience choosing a satisfying theory as a very difficult issue.

Edit,

However my practise in general is not that dramatically as I described.
Since years I have been using 365.25 : 361 as key and directing only MC andAsc with satisfying results.
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CJ



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
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Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy wrote:
I moved my reply from the 'Primary directions in William Lilly vo. 3' thread to this thread because I felt it would be better in its place over here.


Gjiada wrote:
In every case I believe that there is no right method.

This has always been my problem with primary directions. I've calculated several systems of them (different keys and different reference frames) and applied them to my chart. I manage to find events/important periods for the same direction in different methods even when they are years apart.

Would this mean that they all work Confused ? I never wanted to reject the primary directions immediately but this makes the choice of a system very difficult. The choice then will be based upon theoretical preference for a system rather than upon experience. However I experience choosing a satisfying theory as a very difficult issue.


My 2 cents is I have myself somehing of a philosophical problem with systems that alter the natal chart such as progressions and directions (not that I've tried them to some extent of course). If they do that they should at least be consistent in my view and alter the natal chart permanently. I don't think it's purely my opinion as at least De Vore's encyclopedia also sounds a bit skeptical about them.
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penny seator



Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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Location: California, USA

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: How many Astrological Methods do we need? Reply with quote

3D wrote:
It has been bothering me for quite some time that we astrologers seem to need so many different and at times contradicting methods and techniques to arrive at (often also contradicting) results
...
Why canít we agree on certain universally accepted standards? Are the countless techniques/methods a smokescreen to divert from our inability to achieve the results what we sometimes claim? Are astrologers just individualists? ...
Renť



I like to think that different ways of dividing cosmos with, say different zodiacs, are like different ways of cutting an apple when you are interested, not in eating the apple, but in seeing how an apple is made--when you're interested in finding out what an apple is. Different cuts reveal different views. Yet all show the same apple.

Some ways of dividing the apple may work better than others to reveal the apple--its essence, its nature, its dynamic structure, its purpose or what it might be used for--and different ways may reveal different aspects, perhaps for different purposes--things that might be discovered with observation, experience and contemplation. Some ways of cutting are more systematic and structured than others and, as such, are more likely to reveal the apple's structure and living system. Some might be ways to get the color and feel of apple-ness, or the smell, or an impression that speaks apple to ones who like to work that way. Some might chop the apple willy nilly in what may be a vain hope of trying to catch more than a glimpse of the apple's deeper, hidden structure.

There are only so many useful and revealing ways to cut an apple. I suspect the law of diminishing returns sets in at some point. At that point, it pays a whole lot more to look deeply at the basic ways of cutting--ways that reveal the basic structure of the apple. I think to really get to know apples, it pays to stick with one or a few basic ways and use them consistently to look a lot of different apples. That way, by cutting a lot of apples in the same basic way you really have a standard to compare one apple to another, you really get to know apples, and you become highly skilled at making comparisons and finding similarities and distinctions among them.

It's the apple theory of astrology.

I think of the Hindu story about the blind ones--us--placing our hands on different parts of the elephant. To one of us, an elephant is like an elephant tusk. To another, it's like a tail, to another like a wall of elephant hide.

Thanks for the string,

penny seator
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JanieAxtell



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: How many methods do we really need? Reply with quote

I've spent the evening reading all four pages and found this to be a wonderful discussion of the state of current astrology. Of course the answer to the question is obvious, as many as are needed for the purpose at hand.

I've been "doing" astrology for forty years now, maybe a bit more. I've learned but never use a number of excellent techniques which would serve purposes other than my own. My own bias is away from horary, although that serves best to pay the rent. (And how to pay the rent while doing astrology, is often the first question.)

Further, my own personality bias is away from the classic asteroids. They are wonderfully useful in delineating the muck and mire some of us wade through, the affairs, the embezzlements, the drunken parties. (Has anyone looked at these for Bernie Madoff and associates? If so, I don't want to know. Icky.)

Sometimes I have attacks of guilt over not sticking with Vedic, but if you are good at vedic, soon people from Bangladesh will want you to arrange marraiges! Still it's a superb predictive system, and tells me far too much of what I don't want to know. This attitude first emerged because I started when I had 20 years to go on a rather nasty Saturn gig. I dealt with it. We Capricorns do deal with Saturn, but I did not want to know about twenty years in advance!

So my core methods, the ones I actually use, are based solidly on modern astronomical underpinnings and this is both useful and mystical to the extreme. (Have you noticed that since Einstein, science has claimed that everything is energy, that time is curved, that large systems can be modified by something as delicate as a butterly wing? What's not to love!)

Home at last!

The truth is that we share a sky that is constantly shifting, only a small part of which is mapped. This sky won't stay up there where it belongs either. Cosmic rays penetrate right through the earth! Thus even the stars that never rise where one lives, will have their effects -- getting at us through the soles of our feet. For most of us, there are also stars that never set, whispered about in occult circles but not fully delineated anywhere.

All that energy pouring onto and through the earth from the shifting sky lights up our lives in kazillion ways. (Notice my skill at technical language here.) No way that array could fit into any one or even a few methods.

Thus particular astrologers may do very well with a consitent single method set, but astrology-as-a-whole needs many methods and is growing new reliable methods as we type here.

Love to you all,

Jane Axtell

p.s. Thanks for the inspiration. April's article for the Omega Directory was written tonight and linked current science with Chaucer.
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dr. farr



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Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to you for sharing your honest and interesting thoughts and experience.
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amelia



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 347
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Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve read through this thread on a couple of occasions but needed a little more time to post as because it seems to cover a number of questions and I wanted to address them all. Iíll try to pick up on what others have said but apologies if I miss crediting someoneís comments.

The thread question seems to cover at least 5 questions:
How many techniques in astrology as a whole can work?
How many and which techniques does any individual astrologer need?
What happens when the technique calculations conflict?
What if the interpretations under one techniques conflict?
Given the answers to the above, if and when can the astrologer be wrong?

How many astrological techniques as a whole can work?
I think when many people hear the expression Ďas above, so belowí they visualise a line with the heavens above it and the earth beneath with one mirroring the other. Maybe they see things on earth in a number of levels but they see the sky as a single whole. I donít see it like that, I see it as the description of something like a fractal, with the patterns endlessly repeating, through both the heavens and through the planet.

So from this perspective, when it comes to what an astrologer should look at I would conclude that the multitude of potentially interpretable points: i.e. inner planets, outer planets, signs, houses, fixed stars, asteroids, parts, midpoints, etc. all may have something to offer; that they are all in some way reflecting the pattern of the next level up or down in the fractal scheme of the universe

Indeed, I believe that divination is possible using pretty much anything, or at least anything that has the capacity to change, not just astrology, if we so choose, (it is merely a case of learning to read the chosen subject matter and applying the knowledge consistently - but see note 1 ).
or As Rene says
Quote:
a way to bypass all those methods is switching to sky omen reading. Intuition pure, no need for calculationsÖ..


And as Tom says
Quote:
...if there is more than one astrological way to skin a cat then it is the scientific viewpoint that may need to change, not astrology


How many and which techniques does any individual astrologer need?
Central Scrutinizer said, (half-joking half seriously?) we need
Quote:
an ďinfinityĒ.
Well, in a way I think thatís right, though obviously any individual cannot use and therefore need that many!

Let me explain. A number of people, notably Kirk, have commented in the thread that it is
Quote:
about the astrologer as much as the stars,
I agree but from a slightly different angle, i.e the astrologer is not outside the system, but is a part of it. The ďobserverĒ problem or perspective is the key.

Rene says
Quote:
the best technique is the one with the best affinity to your mind.
Letís take that a step further. We often appreciate that we encounter charts in our work that repeat themes (E.g. Olivia says maybe different astrologers attract different sorts of clients? And noted how she sees a lot of Saturn opposite Mars charts in her work), and some acknowledge that this must derive from the relevant astrologerís chart. It is just a matter of extrapolating these themes to appreciate that the type of astrologer we become and the techniques we use are also a product of our own charts.

So every astrologer will have their own mix of techniques and emphasis that they put on each one. These will be different from the next astrologer. This is how it should be, because each astrologer is a different. individula. Exactly which are used will be determined by the astrologerís own personality and therefore of course reflected in their individual horoscope. A strong Saturn will probably give a preference for traditional techniques, on the other hand a prominent aspected Mercury in Virgo may wish to explore a million asteroids.

Similarly the number of techniques will be what the astrologer is comfortable with, which will come from his/her nature/chart. Maybe where more intuition is shown in the astrologerís chart, less techniques are required, where the nature/chart is more grounded, more techniques.

Central scrutinizer used the example of Noel Tyl, who
Quote:
uses (mostly) transits and solar arcs, with a nod for the progressed Moon
. Iím not familiar with much of Tylís work so canít judge how effectively that works for him, but given my argument above, there will be some people for whom that minimalist approach will work.

Furthermore, just a series of random techniques tacked on to each other probably wonít give good results- Letís imagine an extreme case: astrologer decides he likes to use the traditional planets but then tacks on Eris and Sedna and a handful of asteroids that begin with the letter R and some selected midpoints which include those to Neptune. I donít think the universe is that random. As Rene says it,ÖÖÖ
Quote:
should be rationally explainable, not arbitrary or contradictory


At this level, therefore I would be cautious about criticising the techniques that others use just because they donít appeal to me. However my comments on the next two questions will qualify that a little.

What happens when the techniques conflict?
The examples in the opening post are perfect illustrations of the problem. Although, it is notable that in all the examples the issue is about points of reference rather than conflicts between techniques themselves. However, that is semantics, it doesnít solve the problem.

What is important is that the existence of two different calculations does not automatically mean that at least one is fundamentally wrong.

I like the business example in the opening post. It is a perfect analogy.
Quote:
If you get two different results for the same business, then at least one of them has to be wrong.
Actually, no. Accounting can be as mystical an art as astrology. Wink The key is to understand how the results were computed, what assumptions underlie the methods used and what the impact of changing those would be. If you just look at the end number without understanding the derivation you can be deceived.

Similarly with the conflicting reference points. Using my original argument, the universe is overflowing with levels of information, the key is understanding precisely what and how that information is being transmitted in each case. Both reference points may be valid, but they may be telling us something subtly different. The fifth house may therefore be a slightly different concept when equal houses are used to when Placidus is used. Not completely different of course, just subtly. The universe may be providing two lots of similar but not identical information; I think we must understand the astronomical derivation and astrological purpose of our chosen method to use that method to its full capacity. Eddy says something similar regarding the tropical and sidereal zodiacs.
Quote:
The mathematical/astronomical facts stirs the human mind which subsequently expresses itself through symbols ÖÖA view could be that both zodiacs have their value but that the emphasis on them should be much less than usual. The symbolism stems from an era when both systems coincided and precession was unknown. What one can do is to research the origin of the techniques and meanings of the signs (through the exaltations for example) and try to find out what was meant by the symbolism.


However, if an astrologer jumps from one method to another, e.g. from Placidus to Equal houses, without truly understanding why they are so derived, then, maybe they become bad astrologers? For whilst both reference systems might work, they will tell us something slightly different and we should not just assume they are exactly inter-changeable in meaning.

An another example would be the problem of multiple mundane charts. For example letís use, say, Gemany: we could use a unification of states chart or a Weimar republic chart as long as we understand exactly what occurred on the date in question and how that is shown in the chart. Assuming that all charts for a country are the same and interchangeable is the mistake, not the fact that there is more than one.

In fact, I think most good astrologers already do research their choices and then internalise their method and its derivation sufficiently so that they can make the right deductions.

However, there may be a danger, when seeing another astrologer working confidently with another reference point, that we just jump to the other method. I am not sure we should do so without fully understanding and integrating the source of our new technique into our overall astrological philosophy. Keep this integrity in mind is, I think, key to developing our individual skills.

However, we should still not be complacent about the techniques. Returning to the business analogy: sometimes people use a business unit figure to make a decision it wasnít designed for. Similarly, though there may be meaning in all techniques or points of reference that does not mean we are automatically attributing the right meaning to one or more those astrological reference points or techniques.

And, there is no way to solve such problems but to research them- comparing large numbers of charts using the two conflicting references. However, this is a role for a small number of those with research time and money and we should not let this possibility distract the majority of us too much from getting on with using our chosen method. We need only be open to the research results when they come.

What if the interpretations under one technique conflict between astrologers?

I think, then, we do have to look at the possibility that one or other of the astrologers must be wrong. Not the technique, in this case, but the astrologer. I recall 4 astrologers giving predictions of the 2000 US election at a conference in SF. Only one was correct, the one that used asteroids. Did that make me rush home discard my other techniques and take up asteroids? No. I assumed that the others were wrong because they made errors or because they read what they wanted to see, not because the techniques were fundamentally wrong. And so to the final question.


Wrong techniques or wrong astrologers

I gave the 2000 election example above where 3 out of 4 astrologers were wrong. That doesnít mean those astrologers are always wrong ( and all credit to them for even voicing their predictions), but it is important to recognize that we astrologers maybe diviners but we are not, ourselves, divine. There are as many ways and reasons an astrologer may be wrong as there are ways he/she may be right.

First let's deal with the problem that, if each astrologer uses techniques best suited to their own birth chart this does run the risk that an astrologer takes the approach Rene warns against
Quote:
itís right for me, so what?
. If this is truly the attitude, this canít be good. Shocked

Next, returning to the business analogy: sometimes in the business results someone just messed up the calculation/missed something out! Sometimes the astrologer just makes mistakes.

However these may not be the fundamental problems as I will explain.

The fact is, individually, we donít have access to a single universal truth. We donít even know what the universe is for. It is impossible for any one astrologer to be right all the time; to do so they would have to know everything and no longer be human. The difference between being human and being the universe seems to be that individually we only get our viewpoint to work with.

But to be less negative, letís look at it from the alternative perspective. Eddy mentions
Quote:
astrologers who discovered afterwards they had been using the wrong chart when explaining it to a client. However everything seemed to have fit and the client left satisfied.


There are two options. First the client wasnít quite as satisfied as the astrologer may think. Iíve had two proper consultations, (with the right chart), one when I was learning astrology from a competent but not well known astrologer and one a few years ago from a well known one. Neither was completely off track but on the other hand Ė neither really got to grips with what I would consider were the real issues in my chart. I went away from both thinking Ďhmmmmmmmmmí. Not enough to complain, satisfied that they were Ďgenuineí enough and not taking my money on false pretences but not very impressed either. I am sure they both thought they had a Ďsatisfiedí client. And I am not afraid to complain about bad service like some. So right chart or wrong chart, I suspect the satisfaction with many astrologers is not as good as they think it is.

The other option is that the result was part of the universeís plan. [Can of worms declared open!!!].

Einstein. Usian Bolt. Ghandi.

All special. But very few in each of their fields attain that sort of level. Yet most astrologers seem to assume they are the Einstein or Bolts of their profession. We should start from the premise that we arenít, but we donít . MarkC comments
Quote:
I have met a couple of really arrogant astrologers.
I have to say 'lucky you, only a few' Cool Ö.But, seriously, astrologers can be arrogant because they never get to know how wrong they are and they chose to forget, in the context of their astrological practice, the limitations inherent in their own charts!!

What I am trying to say is that we are only human and consequently our work is to a greater or lesser extent (depending on our own charts' potential) flawed.

Sometimes we will have transits (or whatever) that mean we are more likely to be wrong than right. Some of us are destined to be wrong more often than others. And sometimes we will be right when the chart is wrong- for in the end the universe get's to choose. Sometimes it may be part of the grander universal plan that the client sees a bad astrologer, or has a bad reading Ė maybe the universe does not yet want them to understand something fully.

So what does this have to do with the techniques we use? Well I think, rather than getting ourselves in a knot about whether Ptolemy or naibod is correct, we might be better off understanding how our work may be affected by our own in built limitations, because the small difference caused by the different reference point is in many cases going to be overshadowed by the limitations of the poor little human astrologer.

[The worms have now left the can]

That does sound a little too fatalistic, I admit. So here is the positive. I donít mean, that we should just accept that since we are flawed we can just use random techniques. Like everything, we should try to do our best with what we have been given.

I think we do need to develop our own philosophical construct for our astrology. Our techniques must be consistent with this not, as Rene already said, arbitrary. And we need to have faith in the overall efficacy of the astrology ( though we may question individual techniques as we learn- see note 2).

So, I believe that the best we can hope for is that we take the time to understand why we use the techniques we choose, we are able to balance our faith in those techniques with a healthy dose of scepticism, we keep learning from the feedback of the charts we see, and from sufficiently valid research, and maintain an even healthier dose of humility about our own infallibility. Remember, we can be right 999 times yet on the 1000th time be wrong. That is the nature of the human experience. MarcC refers to St Paul's seeing 'through A Glass Darkly' in Corinthians 13. I agree. Until we become the Universe we only ever see part of the equation(s).


Note 1
I caution against reading the half life decay of your granite countertop though, unless you have a really fancy geiger counter and a lot of time Wink

Note 2
MarkC says
Quote:
I believe the astrologer has to have total faith in their technique.


I am not sure this is always necessary. When I was studying, and was first introduced to the idea of progressions etc. my reaction was Ďa day/degree for a year; you have got to be kidding, rightí. But since I had to submit assignments and do exams, I just plodded along using it as instructed, and found it actually worked. The faith came after the evidence. The Universe seemed to want me to use progressions. Faith in astrology, yes, and in what one is trying to achieve, yes, but if what one is trying to achieve is to test the technique, then I think scepticism may be ok.
[/quote]
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4180
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Amelia,

Just wanted say what a thougtful post. Thumbs up

Not only have you read the entire mega thread but you even cite most of the participants in it. Shocked

I will not do a reply to you at this point as I probably need time to re-read the entire thread again myself. As you can imagine it will take a while...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Mark
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''Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them"

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JanieAxtell



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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Location: Tucson, AZ, USA

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a general response to Amelia's concern about if and when an astrologer can be wrong.

I've been doing this astrology thing, sometimes professionally and sometimes only personally for over forty years now. I have a thorough acquaintance with being wrong, and from the beginning too.

However there are ways in which competent astrology is always right, unless the astrologers bias is unusual regarding the matter at hand.

Consider the 2008 Presidential election in the United States. I tend to be skeptical about predicting these since our major parties work very hard to front thoroughly winning candidates. Then, after the choice, all kinds of schemes are put into motion to devalue the other candidate. Some of these are quite novel -- neither the other party nor a bystander astrologer expects them. This means that even with energetic support available for the new tactic, the astrologer cannot be sure whether that energy will be exploited in this particular way.

Thus I'm reluctant to predict presidential election outcomes and usually don't do so. However I made an exception in 2008. So many excellent astrological methods for this purpose had crashingly failed that only one seemed untested. That method, used alone, suggested McCain would win, so I made a test prediction and was resoundingly wrong to my delight.

The most reliable method of all has been "pick the candidate with the worst afflictions" but even that fails.

Yet reading inauguration charts for the fate of the new presidency works quite well in broad terms. This means that we can see what the presidency MUST be about. That in turn can lead to an absurdly correct prediction. And example is the 2001 Inauguration chart which predicted foreign war. Al Gore just didn't have the personality to say, "bring it on," so Bush, an enthusiastic and cheerful warrior, got the job.

This is an example of both the limits of astrology and how easily we get many matters wrong. Pointing to final outcomes doesn't work terribly well since in most matters the energies are too complex and the personalities too many for a good estimation.

What we can do is understand what must happen and approximately when. It wasn't just astrologers who knew certainly that any president in office now would be dealing with an economic emergency. Further the inauguration chart shows an unusually authoritative era. Economic emergencies produce strong authority, so we observe from history, so again, this awareness wasn't confined to astrologers.

Still this is what I see astrology as good for -- desriptions of the energies at hand, and for balance, descriptions of whatever virtues the personal astrology says are present to deal with them.

In the end we all die. On the way, if we are fortunate, we age and lose our youthful good looks. In life, it's not so much this shared outcome that matters. Except for this end game, the patterns we see will from time to time be overwhelmed by patterns we don't see, perhaps cannot see, but still somewhat feel.

My observation is that what we can see remains valuable, well worth the efforts we make. That's why I still do astrology after all this time.

Love to you all.
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dr. farr



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Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I very much agree with the point of view expressed in JanieAxtell's well expressed posting.
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
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Location: Netherlands

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the elaborate post Amelia. Since I've been writing a lot these days I'll have to keep it short. But one remark.
amelia wrote:
First let's deal with the problem that, if each astrologer uses techniques best suited to their own birth chart this does run the risk that an astrologer takes the approach Rene warns against
Quote:
itís right for me, so what?
. If this is truly the attitude, this canít be good. Shocked
I've read many times people criticizing the "It's right for me" approach or "It works for me". Sometimes it indeed sounds annoying, especially when it seems illogic in our eyes. However isn't this what we all do? If astrology can be measured like a science, then it should be easy to find out which works or which doesn't. This isn't the case though and after exchanging thoughts in a discussion we go our own usual ways again (so do I). Slight variants but of the same order is "It works for my clients/They are satisfied" and "Ptolemy or Kepler or Alan Leo used it, so it must be good." In each case we get acquainted with a technique, feel good with it and stick to it. While that's the amazing part of it, it's also the part that causes the most discussion and difficulties when techniques collide. I have the quiet hope for one core of truth on which we all agree and which works for everyone in any kind of astrology.
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JanieAxtell



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Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy wrote:
I have the quiet hope for one core of truth on which we all agree and which works for everyone in any kind of astrology.


I suppose the core of truth is the primary observation that the sky leaks through the earth, affecting it all including us, in ways that shift with the condition of the sky -- and that leave imprints for the future.

Techniques are another matter. Techniques are inventions, even when ancient to the point where origens have been forgotten. Consider the wheel. Europeans took it for granted, but when the Americas were discovered, no wheel. Thus an invention, not part of any universal core of truth.

Like the wheel, our invented means of sorting and describing the celestial effects are useful. Like the wheel, they are somewhat culture bound.

There is another limit that can be seen through comparisons with other knowlege-obtaining-and-sorting inventions. Consider just three, the microscope, the telescope, the x-ray picture. As a culture we would not abandon any of these, but the same people do not use each of them -- even though they all produce visual information.

If as we think astrologers all do the same thing with the same information groups, we might a single system. However that's not quite the case. Horary, mundane, and natal astrology use sometimes dissimilar rules for solid reasons. (To post examples would expand this beyond the time and space available.)

Using "returns" for predictive purposes, if successful, abandons some rules, adds others.

Vedic astrology differs from western methods in many ways, but it takes up different tasks in a different culture.

I'm not an expert on Chinese methods, which don't even share the zodiac and have more elements than we use -- but even I notice that, again, they are accomplishing a different set of goals.

So if you are looking for a universal truth (set of methods) you must stay within some territory, and that's not likely for the personality types who practice any version of our art.

Still, I admire idealists and wish you the best of your quest.

Jane Axtell
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