skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
A Correct Prediction: the NYC buiding strike, 1991
by Robert E. Zoller
Book II of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus
translated by David Pingree
Compiled by Deborah Houlding
Astrology and Cosmology in Early China: Conforming Earth to Heaven, by David W. Pankenier
Reviewed by Gill Zukovskis

Skyscript Astrology Forum

Progress vs The Golden Age
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 3952
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Progress vs The Golden Age Reply with quote

In discussions here on Skyscript I am often struck that while threads often focus on a specific issue or technique underlying this is often a more fundamental set of philosophical assumptions.

I have noticed this kind of issue especially in discussions regarding modern versus traditional astrology here on Skyscript over the years. While I am in danger of reifying the issue between over -simplified polarities I do think there is some validity in this kind of description. Modernist astrologers tend to put implicit faith in the 'newness' and innovation of contemporary astrology. There is often the assumption that ancient and medieval astrology is 'outdated' and no longer relevant to us today. Another common assumption is that traditional astrology is pre-psychological and therefore trapped in a more fatalistic , event focused perspective. At the other extreme traditional astrologers can typify modern astrology as a diluted or corrupted version of an earlier 'golden age' where astrology had attained a higher level of technique and philosophical self consistency. However, there is no consensus when this 'golden age' occured. Various periods are selected to epitomize this period. For example, Classical astrology, Persian/Arabic, Latin medieval astrology, Renaissance or Early modern astrology. There is often an implicit faith that older techniques are preferable to anything developed in the modern era.

Does anyone else recognise these kinds of attitudes? Do we accept these kinds of assumptions are built on myths? If they are what are the implications for how we view other approaches to astrology? Ultimately is this an issue of subjective taste and temperament rather than any objective criteria?
_________________
''Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them"

Epictetus


Last edited by Mark on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
GR



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 439
Location: USA

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: The Myth of Progress vs The Golden Age Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

Mark wrote:

Does anyone else recognise these kinds of attitudes? Do we accept these kinds of assumptions are built on myths?


Yes and Yes.

Mark wrote:

If they are what are the implications for how we view other approaches to astrology?


For those mired in the present, there's an opportunity here to get in touch with the roots of the practice and philosophy underlying astrology, and a way to see a truer image of what can be called the "mind-body dichotomy", and a realization of destiny and volition that removes the simple-minded 'fate vs free will' binary.

For those of us lost in the past, a need to remember that we are in the here and now, modern people framed in the image of the modern post-monotheistic (maybe better to say post-Great Religions) technological world and influenced by the underlying metaphysics of that world, whether we like it or not.

Mark wrote:

Ultimately is this an issue of subjective taste and temperament rather than any objective criteria?


I think trying to force an absolute onto the matter of objective vs subjective is the low road to nihilism, and if anybody does I hope the Deer of Doom! gets them. Very Happy

Gabe
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1381

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the battle between an intense subjective personalism due to the influence of modern popular psychology – favored by the majority of those interested in modern astrology, and a supposed objective rational methodology favored by the majority of traditionalists – who are more influenced by the procedures and aims of modern science than they usually care to admit. The modern astrology crowd looks for everything the individual could possibly think and feel, whereas the traditionalist seems to want to put the pesky individual and his or her experience off to the side, with occasional references to him or her when it's time to make a point. Moderns: Subject first, procedure second. Traditionalists: Procedure first, subject second. Modern astrologers as Lunar-Venusian, with the traditionalists as Solar-Saturnine.

Progress? Doesn't modern psychology promise that? We are assured that we can progress from pain and confusion to a state of HAPPINESS. The pharmaceutical companies are there at our side to assist. So are the hordes of suspiciously happy smiling Internet astrologers, loaded down to a pleasant ineffectiveness with asteroids and ever watchful for the chance to apply a Sabian symbol.

The Golden Age? Logic and reason are easily drawn to such an idea. Things work as they should during such times. People understand during a Golden Age – heaven for those who prize reason. Reflecting on such times brings out the soft dreamy side of even the toughest traditionalist, the awareness of such a side undoubtedly being a source of humiliation for him or her.

But I'm talking simplistic groups here. Group A and Group B. Types. The funny thing is – it works. Confused
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 402
Location: Europe

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very appealingly put, Kirk, and Gabe, and what an interesting topic, Mark!

Kirk, historically speaking I personally think that any suggested dualism between traditional, objective-rational and modern, subjective is a simplification when it comes to the direction taken by western astrology.

There was a strong drive under the influence of the Scientific Enlightenment to divest astrology of its then-suspected spurious accoutrements and strip it down to its basic predictive and diagnostic techniques on a firm footing. A strong current of this rationalism persisted from the late 17th through to and throughout the 19th century, and met with an evolutionary intensification in the early to mid 20th century with the increasing drive towards an astrology founded on statistical research, although the empirical research methodology was popular as far back as Goad's astro-meteorological research of the late 17th century.

Scientific Astrology was all the rage in early-to-mid 20th century Europe and highly popular in parts of the British and American astrological communities also. Hence the British Association of Scientific Astrologers and its American counterpart that later morphed into the American Federation of Scientific Astrologers.

Yet simultaneously, from the late 18th century onwards, other astrologers were attracted to magical thinking, to secret societies, and to all kinds of esoteric thought; and these currents developed in parallel to the scientific rationalist current in the 19th century and have retained a following to this day.

Then from the dawn of the 20th century there was also the movement specifically towards psychological astrology, another trend that persists to this day, in parallel to both the others mentioned above. Psychological astrology in itself covers a broad span from popular sun sign psychology to highly sophisticated psychoanalysis, with or without reference to mythology.

And fourthly we have seen a strong revival and reappraisal of pre-enlightenment astrological techniques, from Hellenistic through to Renaissance, in the past 35 years or so in particular, and the movement to rediscover their underlying rationale and reject much of the technical simplification carried out during the Enlightenment as being misguided and based on ignorance.

I would argue that western astrology today is therefore a multi-headed beast, if you'll pardon the image. Exponents of traditional astrologies, psychological astrology and statistical research-founded astrology would all, I think, view their points of outlook upon astrology as being rational, albeit based on different rationales from each other.

PS: I think that Mark hits the nail on the head in his opening suggestion that different approaches suit different tastes.

Kirk is equally correct to observe that some are more inwardly focused than others, some more event-focused. The majority of traditional astrologers perhaps prefer the event-focused approach.

But an inwardly-descriptive astrology can be as objectively formulated by empirical observation as an event-focused one. There is a danger of nebulousness, subjectivity and conceptual intangibility with all forms of psychological description and psychoanalytical theory, but I also think that it is very possible for human beings to observe human psychology in its variant forms very closely and clearly, and even to compare those observations with astrological placements and arrive at a rational psychological astrology.

In summary, I do not see event-focused and psychological astrology as being mutually exclusive or contradictory, or the latter as being necessarily less rational an approach than the former. I think both are valid generically. The devil is in the detail. If psychological astrology is based on empirical observation and / or statistical research, it might reasonably be expected to be accurate more often than if it is based on apriori deductions from traditional mythology in attribution to very minor celestial bodies discovered and named by astronomers many centuries after the corresponding myths.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 3952
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Kirk, historically speaking I personally think that any suggested dualism between traditional, objective-rational and modern, subjective is a simplification when it comes to the direction taken by western astrology.


That is typically diplomatic of you Philip. One has to question though what test of 'objectivity' are we using here? According to empirical science I am not aware of any school of astrology that can be demonstrated objectively using the paradigm of statistical replication in trial tests. Doesn't this then leave us all in the same boat of subjective experience? Another meaning for the word though could be to suggest traditional astrology is more logical, rational and systematic within its own frame of reference. Its probably true that this approach is more heavily emphasized in traditional astrology. However, its not absent from modern astrology. Modern schools such as Huber, Uranian or Noel Tyl do teach their students a recognisable system with its own set of internally self consistent rules. Equally, there are many modern astrologers who have little or no interest in psychological astrology who focus on event orientated prediction.

I do think Kirk comparison to planetary energies is interesting . Its something I have mentioned before myself. I would agree that in general the traditional approach is often more Saturnian and Solar and the modern approach more Lunar and Venusian (or Neptunian). However, it is probably fairer to view these as extreme poles within contemporary astrology ( however it is practised) rather than something dividing modern and traditional astrology. As students of astrology we should have more insight than most that one size doesn't fit all. In modern terms this can be expressed in concepts such as Left/Right brain emphasis or Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. However, through astrology we have the wonderful symbolism of the planets themselves to understand our different outlooks and perspectives.

One might therefore expect a more Saturnian astrologer to be seeking confirmation in rules and historical evidence. A more lunar astrologer would rely more on intuition. Good astrology surely relies on seeking a synthesis wherever we start off. The strongly intuitive astrologer may find traditional principles useful to develop more structure. Equally, a traditional astrologer may need to cultivate a more intuitive, less ruled bound approach after learning the basic approach to delineation. Ultimately, though no matter how hard we try we all have an inherent personality with its default predispositions. For example, I personally love astrological history and studying texts of astrologers from the classical or medieval era. Is there not a danger that in suggesting our chosen type of astrology is superior we are simply indulging our natural preferences or tastes?

Quote:
Yet simultaneously, from the late 18th century onwards, other astrologers were attracted to magical thinking, to secret societies, and to all kinds of esoteric thought; and these currents developed in parallel to the scientific rationalist current in the 19th century and have retained a following to this day.


I would assert this has always been a core component in astrological thinking from its inception which we can see in Hermetic magical texts, Arabic/Persian astrological magic, Picatrix, Ficino, Agrippa etc. More basic than that though is the philosophy of astrological symbolism which in a non-causal way can connect personal events, psychological states, governments or weather conditions. Jung gave the workings of astrology the respectable scientific sounding title of synchroncity. I just prefer to acknowledge that astrology is all ultimately based on magical thinking. This is why IMHO it totally fails to fit into the straightjacket or hamster wheels of modern empirical science. The attempts to completely rationalize astrology and make it respectable have all failed for that reason in my opinion. This doesn't mean it doesn't work. It does. However, trying to replicate it 100% of the time is tricky since as the old Native American sage said in the movie Little Big Man 'Sometimes the magic doesn't work'. Taking this perspective the astrological Holy Grail of the predictive technique that always works is doomed to failure. If we factor in the dimension of human free will and volition that is even easier to accept.

If one adopts this view ( and I accept many will not here) the astrological approach we adopt is the one that resonates most with our consciousness at that moment so it can be made to breathe and take life. Looking at it this way astrology is simply a means to an end it is not the end in itself.

Why do many astrologers reject this kind of view? I think principally because unlike systems such as Tarot, I Ching or Runes astrological charts can be presented in terms of planetary cycles and quite specific timings. One can therefore make a mundane prediction for the USA 50 years from now based on planetary cycles. One also can look at an astrological text from 1000 years ago and test out the astrological predictions by seeing the planetary cycles. There is generally no such record of the shuffle of the cards or toss of the coins. The argument is that in these systems where we interpret the macrocosm in the microcosm the outcomes are inherently unique and non replicatable. On the other hand in a system like astrology where the microcosm is seen through a symbolic tool based on the macrocosm we can see in William Lilly's judgements the rules he followed and how he reached his conclusions. However, I question how radically different the processes are here. I have used all the divination systems described above and the process feels quite similar to astrology to me. For example in Runes you work with a series of Runes that have symbolic meaning. The meanings can be altered slightly depending on how the Runes are cast. Sound familiar? Plus the astrologer or Rune caster is the mediatrix between the tool being used, and the client/world. We interpret the symbols following the rules of our system and using our consciousness apply them to the situation at hand. Perhaps if someone had recorded a book full of Rune readings or I Ching readings in the past in the way Lilly did Horary the similarities would be even clearer. While this argument is fairly easy to make for horary astrology many still question its relevance to natal astrology. After all this time is not subjectively chosen by the astrologer in the way a Tarot reading may occur. However, unless you support the crudest form of causal astrology its hard to explain the relevance of a natal chart to an individual without appeals to holistic connections between the birth moment and destiny. Most astrologers would probably agree a chart simply reflects a moment it time. It is not describing literal causation at work. Hence I wonder if we had a tradition of Rune, Tarot or I Ching consultation at the moment of birth we might not obtain similar useful insights. Its true astrology is unique in its endless possibilities for timing and prediction as an unfolding pattern throughout a life. That doesn't change the fact that our symbolic way of understanding the planets and stars as energies is based on magical, non-causal thinking.

Because of this attitude I dont think astrology can really be improved by constant innovation or attempts to verify its techniques through statistics. In that respect I see the notion of progress in astrology as a myth. I do think the views and attitudes of past masters are very helpful to study. As in all fields some thinkers were more profound and successful than others. However, we cannot live in a 'golden age' in the past. The only place we can practice our astrology is in contemporary society and the only time we do it is here and now.

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

Epictetus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 402
Location: Europe

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark!

Very interesting points of yours.

That there was magical thinking in the earlier history of astrology also is not in doubt. What I was really trying to point out is that astrology in post-scientific enlightenment times has followed a number of distinct directions in parallel to each other, and that therefore any suggestion that modern astrology is only psychological astrology is simply incorrect. And I do think that there seems to have been a series of revivals of that magical thinking from the late 18th century onwards, under a host of different particular influences.

Even if you contend that all astrology is basically magical and not scientific, and even if we exclude the later statistical research developments of the 20th century for now, there is a marked distinction between the approach of the post-Enlightenment astrologers who sought to establish astrology as a science and leave all forms of magic out of it, and those who had more of a mystical view of the subject, possibly linking it to ideas of planetary spirits or incorporating it into ritual magical practices (on which subject I must confess to minimal knowledge, having never gone down any such path myself).

I think that the marked drive towards heliocentric astrology that was briefly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is also symptomatic of the enlightenment ethos. It made a comeback in the 1970s-80s too under the influence of a few other American astrologers.

There is a difference between the empirical approach of observing consistent trends without necessarily subjecting them to statistical analysis, something that is almost impossible for some of the psychological dimensions of astrology and very difficult for the event-oriented ones in view of the fact that if I understood you correctly, Mark, you have just pointed out yourself, albeit possibly in a slightly different application, which is that there are so many different astrological factors involved that every moment in time is astrologically unique.

I think that a non-statistically driven empirical approach to astrology is commonplace in practice. If astrology were strictly magical and only a form of divination, text-books of delineations would make absolutely no sense at all.

Coming back to statistical research into astrology, I don't personally share your view that such research is doomed to failure in all areas of the subject. I think there is a core of natural science in astrology, in addition to the magical dimension, and that the statistical research to date has only scratched the surface of what is possible. In France, there has been a strong movement of statistical astrological research throughout the 20th century and beyond, from Paul Choisnard's earliest work to the last publication of the late Suzel Fuzeau-Braesch. In the United States, too, it has its notable advocates such as Judith Hill. And let's not forget Pat Harris, editor of the UK's 'Correlation', and those who have submitted research throughout the life of that journal.

Perhaps in the 1970s statistical research into astrology was more popular overall than it is today in the UK, with giants like John Addey still hard at work in those days. I think that the image of this approach took a few major knocks as a result of the savage exposés by Dean et al, and astrologers' appetite to try along with it. But I don't think it is by any means dead in the water, even if it is not to the taste of more than a small fraction of astrologers. I think again personal taste is a relevant factor here.

I'm sorry for sounding such a laissez-fairiste relativist, but my abiding contention is that there is value in different approaches to astrology, including the divinatory approach and the scientific approach.

PS: Alphee Lavoie is both an horary astrologer and a statistical researcher into astrology. I think he might be a very interesting gentleman to interview with regard to his philosophy of astrology.

PPS: Mark, you wrote that most astrologers agree that there is no literal causation involved in astrology. This is probably true today. But it certainly wasn't 100 years ago. Astrology was couched very much in the language of causality in the 19th century and for much of the 20th century (perhaps not so much the parts of it under the influence of theosophy and other esoteric movements, but I'd dare say the majority in any case). The increasingly popular application of Jungian synchronicity theory to late 20th century astrology and the (unrelated, but approximately simultaneous) revival of very much older forms of astrology such as traditional horary, combined with the rise of the anti-astrology scientific sceptical movement in the 1970s and 1980s, have changed attitudes a lot in these respects. But I think even today you will find dissenting voices out there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 3952
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Philip,

Just spent the last hour plus doing a reply only to to be logged out! I will definitely get back to you but it will have to be later in the week now.
Deeply frustrating!

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

Epictetus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
GR



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 439
Location: USA

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Just spent the last hour plus doing a reply only to to be logged out!


Notepad, Mark, Notapad! Smile

Gabe
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 402
Location: Europe

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

I'm so sorry you lost your reply. What I usually do is CTRL-A then CTRL-C the message before pressing send just in case the session has timed out. Then it will still be in the Windows clipboard. If you don't use Windows there may be some alternative way to copy the text first.

I appreciate the opportunity to share this very interesting discussion with you and look forward to your response later in the week, but I hope that others will also chip in meanwhile.

By the way, I have begun somewhat leafing through sources in the attempt to verify my latter claim about the change in the modal philosophy of how astrology works during the later 20th century. It was my abiding impression but impressions can be error prone, so I think some research is in order to examine the matter at hand. But you'll probably recall what John Hazelrigg had to say in 1900 from the Broughton / Green / Hazelrigg / Adams topic on the other board, Mark, which was of quite a strongly causal bent I think you'd agree.

So far things are looking pretty much in conformity with my previous impressions when I check late 19th century sources; and I hope it is acceptable within the theme of the topic for me to share a couple of pertinent extracts forthwith. However, as far as the early to mid 20th century is concerned, I really need to pin down more sources, and I am suspecting that the situation will be less clear-cut, but I'm moderately confident that the causal model will still have the majority outside theosophical circles at least.

Firstly from the late 19th century I took the third chapter of Alfred Pearce's 'Text-Book of Astrology' Volume 1, 'Planetary Influence', from 1879. This I believe was one of just two chapters from the first volume of his first edition that was altogether axed for the second edition of 1911. He begins:

Quote:
The term influence is synonymous with flux, being derived from influo, to flow in upon; hence by the influences of the planets, is meant simply a flux, or flowing forth of some ethereal fluid from them to the earth.
.

He notes:
Quote:
Astronomers tell us that Jupiter has the power to draw the earth many hundreds of miles out of her course.


Later he states:
Quote:
The philosophical law of all coincidences is that when two phenomena always coincide they are either connected in the relationship of "cause and effect", or are the "effects of a common cause".


On the influence of planetary aspects he contends, regarding:
Quote:
the effects produced by the planets when at certain definite angles only... electrical action appears to be deeply involved
.

Eight years later, in introducing the first volume of his journal "The Astrologer" (1887), P. Powley endeavours to present a detailed causal model of horary, natal and predictive astrology, which is really worth quoting in whole, but to avoid it taking up too much space in this topic I'll just take a few highlights:

Quote:
...This universal sympathy is neither more nor less than the powerful influences of the heavenly bodies, and is the first cause of every anxious and ardent thought to which the mind is subject, or upon which the mind dwells with eagerness, and desires, if possible to know the result....

At present we have no positive knowledge of the particular means by which those most astounding influences operate, but, from recent observations, it appears most probable that both electricity, magnetism, and gravitation, all play their respective parts in the matter, and although these three mighty forces are one trinity, yet they differ somewhat in their operations, and, undoubtedly, are the sole agents used in the accomplishment of these phenomena, which have been observed by the astrologers of all ages and nations, to operate differently on different individuals, according to the difference of their respective horoscopes at birth. These mighty influences are operating through all space, wholly imperceptible, except by their effects, and thus, apparently unaccountable, were it not attributable to celestial agencies.... Foreknowledge is produced in a demonstrable way, according to a certain chain of causes which for ages past has been found to produce a corresponding chain of effects....

A great number of people, through ignorance on the subject, look upon [astrology] as a sort of fortune-telling, secret magic, or mysterious art, but, let us here remark, Astrology has nothing in common with these things, or any crafty art whatever; it deals not in mystery, for mystery and truth are for the most part in enmity with each other.


I hope that helps if only in typifying the kinds of views of astrological phenomenology to which I was referring previously, views of a genre that today is hardly to be found any more.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mattG



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 345
Location: Greenwich UK

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my take on the question. How many traditional astrologers really are traditional astrologers? By that I mean do we really share the beliefs and world view of the writers we study. Firmicus Maternus, I see from the article on this site, was a fatalist. Has anyone told a client that they are a good person but awful things will happen to them, there is nothing to be done and they will just have to be stoical about it? I seem to remember a trad workshop where the facilitator suggested that if a house ruler was in a bad state then try to say something nice about the triplicity rulers instead.

By "chance" I came across this from Maimonides. "In the same way that we say that God delivers his miracles through the angels,so do those philosophers say that all things that happen on earth are brought about by the spheres and the stars. They also say that the spheres and the stars have a living soul and intelligence. All these things are true..." Ibn Ezra may well have read this but does anyone believe it today?

Even if we apply magical thinking it would be hard for a modern to really think like a medieval.

So is traditional astrology just another technique to try like Sidereal, Huber or Heliocentrics?

Matthew

ps - quote is from Correspondence between the Rabbis of Southern France and Maimonides about Astrology trans. Meira Epstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
epurdue



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 326

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think most contemporary astrologers do think modern in many ways. I know many use outer planets.

Personally as a traditional astrologer, I try to immerse myself as much as possible in that worldview. I hesitate to say medieval since I also use Greek, Renaissance and Arabic sources. However your quote by Ibn Ezra isn't that odd to me.

I think the issue there is the difference between physical causes and spiritual causes. I lean more toward the latter, but that's something that don't tell clients about.

As far as being fatalistic, there are ways to handle that with clients. All counseling requires a certain finesse, so I wouldn't tell a client "you are screwed and there's nothing you can do." Actually finding the most dignified ruler for something, such as triplicities, is a valid traditional technique. It's a way to steer the client in a direction that WILL work. As an astrologer I just try to tell them the truth about the chart, but I don't beat them over the head with it. All of us have ups and downs, so ignoring the downs just isn't honest - or at least not honest enough for me. I haven't made anyone cry yet! Besides there's always the possibility I interpreted the chart wrong.

Also, you have to remember that astrologers centuries ago just like astrologers today are philosophically all over the map. Some are more fatalistic than others. Once you get into the Arabic period and later, there was more of a tendency to see free will as something you have in your mind, so astrology tended not to get in that area as much though there was a bit of that. However you don't have control over many events that happen to you, and astrology excelled in predicting those kinds of things.

So for the most part, they believed that you had free will, but you couldn't control all the events in your life. Plus, since all of us are born in a certain culture, environment, and so on, we tend to follow habits which are also predictable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1381

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot depends on who is being counted as an astrologer. The people that we see involved in the Internet discussion flair-ups – are they truly dedicated and well-educated astrologers or mostly just people who are interested in astrology and have learned a bit of it? They can easily be divided – they divide themselves – into the groups A & B, modern and traditionalist. They quickly fall into position in even the most seemingly innocuous topics. The more philosophically developed and truly dedicated Astrologer-Philosophers appear to be more reticent and cautious, often having something built in that prevents them from so quickly jumping into the fray. They aren't nearly so involved in Internet discussion groups.



Mithra6 wrote:
Quote:
I think most contemporary astrologers do think modern in many ways.

It's hard to find an astrologer who hasn't been influenced by the Freudian suspicion of Mother's influence and lurking sex, or the eternal Jungian quest for an authentic Self. Most everyone in current Western culture seems to be ready and willing to make some sort of psychological comment. We have been taught to stare within (and get stuck there). Most accurately, we have been taught to stare into others with the belief that we can analyze and understand them with applied reason. Yes, we are pretty much all psychological astrologers these days.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 3952
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The more philosophically developed and truly dedicated Astrologer-Philosophers appear to be more reticent and cautious, often having something built in that prevents them from so quickly jumping into the fray. They aren't nearly so involved in Internet discussion groups.


Interesting idea. Is this based on any evidence though or is this just a theory? I mean how can you be sure this silent group of astro-philosopher-kings is out there if they remain largely silent?

My own experience makes me a bit sceptical. I am active in an Astrology Association and have spoken to astrology groups. Most students of astrology are looking for something really practical. What they largely want is an astrology that will help them understand their relationships, family and friends better. That is probably how many of us enter astrology. I have often been frustrated by how few students of astrology are really interested in the WHY? question at all.

I also regularly organize events with professionals. Professionals are obviously a mixture of types. However, I dont see very many interested in deeper philosophy. Not least as astrology can be very time consuming as an occupation in itself. Most seem to adopt an agnostic or mysterian position to such big issues. Maybe its another example of British pragmatism or the relativism that predominates in much of modern culture.

Still there have been very interesting books by by English astrologers such as The Cosmic Loom by Dennis Elwell or The Moment of Astrology Geoffrey Cornelius. Maybe continental Europe has more of the thoughtful, reclusive astrologers you describe. For example, Guiseppe Bezza's Cielo e Terra. In Britain and the USA the trend towards academic opportunities for astrology students, in recent years, with institutions such as Kepler, and Lampeter have opened up more opportunities for astrologers to reflect on such issues more deeply.
_________________
''Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them"

Epictetus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1381

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I mean how can you be sure this silent group of astro-philosopher-kings is out there if they remain largely silent?


I beg your pardon? Some of them are queens, you know. Mad Largely silent, but not completely so. They make themselves known through occasional writings, conference appearances or Internet postings, or are referred to by those who've met them or have learned from them.


The Internet provides easy access with plenty of readers, so many of those that we are calling astrologers are merely enthusiasts/hobbyists/dabblers with opinions who want to make a big noise if they are crossed. Skyscript is a little different with it's presence of well-known professionals and authors. I don't have facts or figures to prove anything, but I think it's possible to get the feel for who we are dealing with.

I think that a good number of 'professional' astrologers are those who, frankly, didn't want to be secretaries or insurance salesmen. They are the 'Hey! I'll be an astrological consultant' crowd. They may see the need to be knowledgeable and usefully productive in their line of work, but that doesn't necessarily make them deep thinkers, scholars or serious searchers. You will find them at conferences and workshops because astrology is their line of work. I personally see them as being more concerned about marketing their services than going beyond the occasional reflection on fate and free will. When we get in a hot debate we may in truth be getting all worked up over something written by a fugitive salesman who has a professional interest in his preferred astrological occupation.

So who are we talking about when we talk about astrologers? A whole bunch of folks, many (most?) of whom aren't interested (or interesting) enough to have much influence on astrological thought. I see most publicly prominent astrological discussions as being among followers rather than leaders.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 3952
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I see most publicly prominent astrological discussions as being among followers rather than leaders
.

Thats why we are so spoiled on Skyscript. Some people dont know how fortunate they are. For example newbies arguing horary with Deb Laughing

I do think I know the kind of people you are referring to. One person that comes to mind is Dorian Greenbaum. There is little denying that careful, erudite academics do not gravitate to internet forums.

Anyway, I better get back to replying to Philip and doing some more Astro dabbling....
_________________
''Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them"

Epictetus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated