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Skyscript Astrology Forum

How important do you consider the Signs?
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In your astrological delineations do you regard Signs as:
Important, primary considerations in chart delineation
50%
 50% 
Secondary (or minor) considerations in chart delineation
50%
 50% 

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dr. farr



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 276
Location: los angeles, california usa

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:51 am    Post subject: How important do you consider the Signs? Reply with quote

How important a role do signs play in your astrological delineations? Do you consider signs active, important elements or rather secondary, passive or background components in the chart?
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Olivia



Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 866

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Steven. The planets are our primary actors, but how would you judge dignity, etc. without signs?

We need the signs. If you mean in the modern sun-sign sense, I don't take it that much into consideration by itself (Sun in Leo on the MC would definitely grab my attention as a major player, and things like that, of course). But it was only about a hundred years ago that people stopped being described as saturnine, jovial, etc. types, and started being described as a Cancer or Aquarius and so forth.

Descriptively, I find more value in planetary types, and of course, temperaments, than I do in sun signs. The reason that jovial type might be jovial is because they have Jupiter rising in Sag. It's pretty unlikely that it's solely (or at all) because they have the sun in Sagittarius or Pisces - especially if it's in 6 or 8, or somewhere else where it's not going to be prominent.

We really can't do without the signs, though - at least not unless you're into cosmobiology, or the like, but most of us here follow some form of traditional astrology. Would anyone want to discount the difference, say, between Mars in Aries and Mars in Cancer? I wouldn't.

I wouldn't want to discount the angles, or the houses, or even the aspects, either, though aspects are probably the last on my list - but they can still make a big difference. And we can go on to add things like fixed stars and lots - astrology is all of a piece in one way.

But even someone as modern as Charles Carter (though I will say that Carter's techniques were far more precise and researched than most of what passes for modern astrology now) said that if he had a choice to know which sign or which planet was rising in a person's chart - he'd rather know the planet.

Anyone disagree?
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epurdue



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 327

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the thing. Modern astrology has taken signs way into the other extreme. I know most professional modern astrologers are more nuanced than that, but once you start getting into amateur astrology, signs take over and planets move into the background. I'm sure the reason for this is that anyone with a 3rd grade education can find their Sun sign, but anything above that requires a chart to drawn up, and most people can't read a chart.

Like Steven says, it's not what is more important, it's about striking a balance.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That's the thing. Modern astrology has taken signs way into the other extreme.


Clearly planets are the primary players in any delineation. Signs are one of many factors that mitigate the influence of planets such as aspects, houses, sect, synodic phase etc. It is certainly possible to contemplate an astrology with planets and no signs but not vice versa. However, in terms of traditional astrology it is really impossible to dissect the signs/dignities from an astrological delineation so I do find this question rather artificial.

What intrigues me more is the odd exception in the tradition (such as Valens or Ibn Ezra) where the signs seem to be described in some detail and acscribed psychological characteristics on their own.
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epurdue



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 327

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkC wrote:

What intrigues me more is the odd exception in the tradition (such as Valens or Ibn Ezra) where the signs seem to be described in some detail and acscribed psychological characteristics on their own.


It's a consideration and not a stand-alone technique. At least that's how I look at it.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's a consideration and not a stand-alone technique. At least that's how I look at it.


I am sure your right about that. However, that is not my point. I am just emphasizing that these two astrologers go into some detail into the delineation of signs beyond the standard list of qualities. I have seen people stating on Skyscript that traditional authorities never do that. Still, its undeniable it is a very long way from modern sign based astrology.
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johannes susato



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 1464

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkC wrote:

However, in terms of traditional astrology it is really impossible to dissect the signs/dignities from an astrological delineation so I do find this question rather artificial.

At least one authority would not agree with your opionion that this question were rather artificial, Mark: Johannes Kepler, in his DE FUNDAMENTIS ASTROLOGIAE CERTIORIBUS, Thesis XLIX (German translation: Von den gesicherten Grundlagen der Astrologie, S. 46; English translation ???), is very critical as to the assignment of the signs as domiciles of the planets for example, or as their own dominions.

But personally I agree with you and cannot imagine to look at a chart without considering the signs they being fundamental for all essential dignities and debilities of the planets.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
At least one authority would not agree with your opionion that this question were rather artificial, Mark: Johannes Kepler, in his DE FUNDAMENTIS ASTROLOGIAE CERTIORIBUS.


With respect I think you have taken my comment out of context. I was commenting on this in relation to traditional astrology. Was Kepler really a traditional astrologer? I would say most definitely not! He ultimately rejected just about all traditional astrological conventions such as signs, dignities, houses, and aspect theory. That is not to deny Kepler was a genius or an important figure in the history of astrology. His approach to aspects was eventually very influential and contributed to the ultimate replacement of moeity-orb theory. Even Lilly discusses Kepler's Quintiles etc in Christian Astrology.
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dr. farr



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 276
Location: los angeles, california usa

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my poll question I have not asked about relative importance between signs and planets (or between signs and other chart elements) I have merely asked how important do you consider signs in delineation-how much weight or significance do you attribute to their testimony-a lot or a little? It's the same as with my question about how you regard the importance of stars: not whether you regard them as are more or less important than other chart elements, but rather how importantly you regard their testimony- how much weight do you accord their testimony, a lot, a little, or not at all.
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johannes susato



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 1464

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, we agree, I think, that Kepler as an astrologer is based on tradition (see his judgments of Wallenstein's chart for example), even thouth his view is surely 'a little' beyond that what we call tradition.

And here is the dilemma of your poll-question, dr. farr! Even if a sign itself and per se had no great value in delineation for some of us, yet it is the deflector for the determination of the rulership of the houses and the planet's essential dignities and debilities - and thus the signs are indispensable in classical astrology and delineation as nearly all writers in this thread have stated as yet.

PS: Mark, can you give a quote of the "moiety-orb-theory" or call an ancient author, please? As yet for me the moieties of orbs are only the halves of the orbs of two applying or separating planets as Lilly or Dariot state. Or is the moiety-orb-theory only a modern 'problem'?
I hope you, dr. farr, will accept this out of poll question please?


Last edited by johannes susato on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Olivia



Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 866

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steven wrote an article about orbs including older sources, Johannes. You can find it here.
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johannes susato



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
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Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the link, Olivia! Very Happy
[I had hoped to find some more of the "theory" of the moieties. It seems there is none and "half orbs" were an "invention" of contemporary autohors unwilling perhaps to read what is written (and meant as Steven says) by the ancients].
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely you haven't made this conclusion because no one gave you quotes or references on the same day you asked for them (?)
Moiety in essence means 'middle' and it refers to the middle region (middle half) of the orb which goes all the way around the planet - front and back (and top and bottom too, it being circular). This is what Dariot and Lilly refers to and it's not the invention of modern authors who are unwilling to read up on the matter - I wonder why you would say such a thing?
Anyway, sorry to say, I don't have time to contribute to forum discussions at this time, and I think I would feel unwilling to add more than I am currently stating in response to such a comment. I will say that I have corrected several credible authors who have published comments to suggest that Lilly differed from older authors in his use of orbs. Lilly does not, for example, say that Saturn only has a 9° orb as I have seen published in highly reputable books, giving it a moiety of only 4˝° - but states that it has 9° before and 9° after its body - making 18° in total. The moiety of this is 9° which extends 4˝° forwards and backwards to be added to the moiety of the other planet. It has not yet been clearly established at what time the use of moiety became popular, although there are some interesting early references. It had clearly found favour by the time of Dariot.

---------------

Re: Kepler - although he challenged some of the underlying principles of astrological technique, the examples I have seen of him *using* astrology appear to demonstrate a fairly traditional, conventional approach - house signification and all. So as a theorist he was challenging, but as a practitioner I don't believe he was particularly innovative.
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This was specifically the conclusion reached by renaissance astrologers. It was not necessarily what was meant by the earlier medieval astrologers like Abu Ma'shar


I agree - which is why the known use of orb is currently older than the known use of the moiety approach - which doesn't make 'moiety' or 'half-orb' the invention of modern authors, but I'm not sure what Johannes meant by that; maybe I missed his real point (?) But it doesn't seem to me that the use of moiety is a misunderstanding of the technique described by Abu Ma'shar and his contemporaries, because several authors give various accounts of how orbs can be calculated, apparently clearly aware that different theories existed and were applied in practice by different authorities. Dariot, for example, only describes the moiety approach as one option - I don't think his own examples even show this was the approach he used himself. Earlier authors generally took a more static approach, which is what I now apply for myself - hence we can have the situation where Saturn can fall within the Moon's orb whilst the Moon fall's outside Saturn's smaller orb. Ibn Ezra describes this and it is very useful in horary for situations where we need to see who is capable of exerting an influence on whom.

Lilly's charts seem to show that he did apply the moiety theory, although by his own admission, at the time he wrote CA he was taking a practical but somewhat 'rough and ready' approach to orbs.

Back to signs - I felt unable to respond to this poll for the reasons you mentioned, and it was the same reason why I couldn't respond to the fixed stars poll - these things are very important at the times when they become important (which isn't all the time).
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lilly's charts seem to show that he did apply the moiety theory, although by his own admission, at the time he wrote CA he was taking a practical but somewhat 'rough and ready' approach to orbs.


Not all of Lilly's contemporaries followed him in applying the moiety theory as some appear to have still been using fixed orbs in the way you describe suggested by Ibn Ezra.

For example here is Richard Saunders:

Quote:
The Menographick Aspect is, when two planets do behold each other, and yet the distance between the Centre of both their Bodies doth not differ from a perfect Aspect above the Semidiameter of one of them, and yet it must exceed the Semidiameter of the other of them ... if Venus were in the 4th degree of Cancer, and the Moon in the 12th degree of Aries: here the difference from a perfect Aspect is 8 degrees, which is less than the Moon her Semidiameter, and more than the Semidiameter of Venus, so that the Moon by her beams toucheth Venus, but not Venus the Moon, and therefore in that respect, the configuration between them is not so perfect.


'Menographick Aspect' -A new term for glossary perhaps? Very Happy
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