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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Precession Correction in Tropical Astrology?
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject: Precession Correction in Tropical Astrology? Reply with quote

During a recent discussion on the mundane forum the subject of precession correction for tropical charts came up. I felt this issue fitted better on the general forum so I have decided to revisit the topic here.

This is a fairly common controversy in discussions about solar return charts. However, it also impacts on other areas of predictive astrology such as transits. This issue seems most relevant to natal and mundane astrology. In mundane astrology a radix chart can be hundreds of years old so if the effects of precession are relevant they would be very significant in such charts when looking at transits.

There seems to be three basic takes on this issue. Firstly, one can reject the technique as philosophically inconsistent with the tropical zodiac. Secondly, one can insist that only precession corrected charts should be worked with in tropical astrology. Thirdly there is the view that both kinds of chart can be valid.

Rejecting Precession corrected tropical horoscopes

A good example of the arguments against precession corrected tropical astrology is found in this piece from the Astrodienst ( Astro.com) website.


Quote:
5.Do you offer precession correction in transits or solar return charts?
No we don't. Because we do not consider the method logical and consistent in itself. Tropical astrology uses a frame of reference which moves with the rhythm of the Sun-Moon-Earth system. The technique of "precession correction" breaks this system trying to introduce a notion of "natal birth marks in absolute space". This is false on several levels:
The reference frame it introduces is not absolute, it translates and rotates with the (fast) movement of the solar system within the galaxy. A transiting planet does never return to the point in absolute space where it once was.

The concept of "return charts" and of transits altogether is - on a deeper level - a symbolic concept rather than a physical concept. It should therefore be applied in a consistent symbolic system and not in an inconsistent potpourri of systems. If you want to get around precession, we recommend to do "sidereal" astrology with one of its unprecessed reference frames. We don't think it makes sense to mix incompatible systems.


Similarly, Mary Fortier Shea, the author of Planets in Solar Returns (1992) is strongly opposed to the use of precession corrected Solar return charts. Here is a selection from one of her web articles:

Quote:
Can you precess a tropical solar return?
Tropical charts are geocentric and based on when the Sun crosses the equator at the equinoxes or reaches its nadir or zenith at the solstices. Precession is sidereal, star oriented technique based on zero-point Aries in the sky. The two systems are totally different and separate. To precess a tropical chart is like mixing apples and oranges. It makes no sense to do this and generally the charts make no sense either. Tropical charts should not be precession corrected. Mary Fortier Shea


I suspect the vast majority of traditional astrologers like myself uphold this view too. The notion of precession correction for tropical charts is very recent and to the best of my knowledge finds no support in the astrological sources from the Persian, Arab, Medieval or Renaissance period.

Hence I made the following comment on the mundane forum on this topic:

Quote:
Personally I have no problem with people preferring sidereal over tropical astrology. However, as I see it the idea that 'precession correction' somehow represents an improvement over normal tropical astrology is a result of muddled thinking. Its noteable that many of those most passionate in advocating 'precession corrected charts' for tropical charts are already siderealists anyway. Is that a hint? As I see it this is often a trojan horse argument to undermine the tropical zodiac. The tropical zodiac doesn't require 'correction' and this implication is rather insulting to many tropical astrologers who get perfectly good results without any need for such tinkering. IMHO Tropicalists that go along with this kind of argument are applying a confused methodology.


Since making that post I have actually, noticed that quite a few siderealists don’t support precession correction of tropical charts either!


For example, Martin Gansten, the author of Primary Directions: Astrology's Old Master Technique and a siderealist has stated here on skyscript: .
Quote:
’’Precessing tropicalists just want to have it both ways.’’


Equally, Papretis, a siderealist and once regular poster on Skyscript has commented:

Quote:
Personally the logic behind the precession corrected return charts appeals little to me. Either it's pure tropical returns, or sidereal returns. If astrologers have found the sidereal / precession corrected returns charts to work, that may hint about the validity of the sidereal zodiac in general.


I think that point makes perfect sense which is why I don’t use precession corrected charts for tropical astrology. If you are concerned about the effects of precession on the tropical zodiac surely the logical position is to adopt the sidereal zodiac? Otherwise why continue to persist with a zodiac that is un-precessed? I like many others have found solar returns and transits work perfectly well in the tropical zodiac without any need to ‘correct’ them. However, I suspect that process is easier with a traditional methodology that does not seek to delineate a return chart in isolation or examine natal transits on their own.

Upholding Precession Corrected Charts Exclusively

It would be unfair of me not to concede that many modern tropicalists do advocate precession corrected charts.

A well known contribution supporting this view in tropical astrology is Marc Penfield’s Solar Returns in Your Face (1996).

The astrologer Kevin Burk supports using precession corrected tropical charts with the following comments:

Quote:
There are two types of Solar Returns: Precessed and Non Precessed. Precessed, or Precession Corrected Solar Returns take into account the precession of the equinoxes when calculating the position for the Sun in the Solar Return. (For a more detailed explanation of Precession, see the article on the Tropical Zodiac vs. the Sidereal Zodiac in Chapter 1.) Precession Corrected returns come from Western Sidereal astrology, and although many Western Tropical Astrologers (myself included) tend to view most information from the Sidereal school with a great deal of skepticism, Precession Correction seems to work very well indeed. The actual amount of precession is negligible: about 4 seconds of arc per year. But since timing is everything in Solar Return charts, the older we get, the greater the difference in the houses and angles of the Precession Corrected chart. Kevin Burk


In regards precession corrected transits one supporter appears to be Robert Hand. In his now famous book ‘Planets in Transit’ (1976) Hand states:

Quote:
"Most astrologers are aware that the vernal equinox, otherwise known as the first point of Aries, does not remain stationary with respect to the fixed stars but moves backwards through them at a rate of approximately 50.25 seconds per year....The problem for us is....that the timing of transits taken in the two zodiacs begins to differ as a person gets older...this problem almost immediately begins to affect return charts...In other words, one should treat the natal positions of the planets as if they were fixed stars....many astrologers agree that at the very least, determining the positions of the natal chart corrected for precession helps significantly in timing events".


Robert Hand also states
Quote:
‘my own experience has been that in timing an event the corrected positions are more accurate than the uncorrected ones’ Planets in Transits, p30.


Admitedly, these words were written 35 years ago. Since that time Robert Hand has completely changed his personal approach to astrology since writing these earlier books. In particular there followed his involvement in Project Hindsight and his extensive study of medieval and Hellenistic astrology. It would be interesting to know if Mr Hand still upholds this view on precession corrected charts today.

Supporting Precession Corrected and Non-Precessed Charts

The third approach in tropical astrology supports the notion that both precession correction and non-precessed charts can work. Depending on ones point of view one could see this perspective as tolerant and inclusive or indecisive fence sitting.

Two leading astrologers that seem to accept the notion that precession corrected and non-precessed charts can work are Celeste Teal and Anthony Louis.

For example, in her book Identifying Planetary Triggers Celeste Teal states:

Quote:
"The two charts are actually in agreement. It is as if one has the advantage of two eyewitness accounts or two expert opinions on an issue. Sometimes, what may not be accentuated in one account is highlighted in the other. An optimum solution is to calculate and use both return charts."


Equally, in his book ‘The Art of Forecasting Using Solar Returns’ Anthony Louis states:

Quote:
As mentioned previously, there exists a controversy among astrologers about whether to adjust the Solar return chart for precession. Neither Volguine nor Morin precessed their charts, yet some modern authors believe that precession is the only way to calculate an annual chart and that tropical non-precessed returns are simply invalid
.

Unlike Celeste Teal though Anthony Louis suggests the reason modern astrologers often have have difficulty working with un-precessed charts is more related to the loss of traditional astrological principles which have been abandoned. Especially, the modern astrological tendency to read a solar return chart in isolation rather than in the context of the nativity and other indicators such as profections and primary directions.

I hope this rather long initial post has introduced this topic properly. I would now like to invite other members to give their comments on this controversial topic. As this is quite a divisive topic I think we need to know the type of astrology you practice ie principally tropical or sidereal? and do you use precession corrected charts or not for tropical solar returns and transits?

Thanks

Mark
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Last edited by Mark on Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Juan



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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is from a post I wrote May 22, 2007 1:51 pm, found here:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2441

Quote:
Working "sidereally" does not require the use of any of the different historical sidereal zodiacs. A precession-corrected chart (such as a solar return), for example, is strictly sidereal. Some astrologers have the notion that precession-corrected charts are a mixture of sidereal and tropical. This notion is the result of identifying the word "sidereal" with "a sidereal zodiac", failing to see that a precession-corrected chart is based on a sidereal zodiac the starting point of which is the moment of birth (time) and the position of the ecliptic at the moment of birth (space), and forgetting that the usual ayanamsa displacement in space is a function of a difference in time.
Software programmers are sometimes to blame for the confusion. Some programs calculate precession-corrected charts or returns but present the positions tropically, others offer the calculation of "sidereal" progressions "without bija", i.e., using the tropical year as parameter. Both are in my opinion mathematical absurdities that result from the habit of artificially separating the time and space dimensions of precession.

A couple of days ago I provided Mark with a link where this is explained in more detail:

http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/essays/sidereal.html

Since this article refers to several other aspects of accounting for precession in astrological work, I will quote directly the parts more relevant for this discussion:

from part 6:

Quote:
In principle, "precession-corrected" (tropical) positions and "truly sidereal" positions are exactly the same, the difference being only the point in time that is chosen as fiducial:

1-) precession-corrected positions (usually) use the radix as fiducial

2-) sidereal positions use September 11, A.D. 221 as fiducial

NOTE: This date refers to the Fagan/Bradley sidereal zodiac, which I use as example in this exposition.

In other words: a "sidereal astrologer" uses the tropical zodiac of the year 221 as fiducial, a "tropicalist" who works with precession-corrected positions uses the time of the radix as fiducial. Both are "precession-corrected" tropical positions, the only difference is the amount of time or of accumulated precession which results from the fiducial or starting point chosen. Both are sub-sets of a purely sidereal (or quasi-sidereal) reference frame.

Astrological measurements can be either tropical or sidereal, independent of whether one uses a tropical (or sidereal) zodiac or not. That this is often not recognized is another example of how much astrologers are controlled by a purely spatial abstraction at the expense of the more realistic, dynamical model that includes both space and time.

Confusion is created by the habit of associating the word "sidereal" with a specific sidereal zodiac of some astrological tradition or school. "Sidereal" is a system of reference to measure movement, and is independent of any of the traditional zodiacs used by astrologers, sidereal or tropical. The question of sidereal or tropical is not simply a question of what traditional zodiac one uses, but a question of how one wants to measure time.

If one subtracts the precession accumulated from the time of the radix to the tropical positions of a specific date, one is effectively using a sidereal zodiac with its zero point defined as the position of the equinox at the date of the radix. The tropical position of 0 Aries when a person is born is considered fixed in a quasi-inertial or "fixed" reference frame, and precession is counted from that day on. A precession-corrected tropical solar return is a strictly sidereal construct based on a sidereal reference frame the starting point of which is the radix.

Another way of saying it is that a "tropical" precession-corrected return represents positions in a sidereal zodiac the starting point of which is the vernal point of the radix, while a purely "sidereal" return represents positions in a sidereal zodiac the starting point of which is the vernal point of September 11, A.D. 221 (in the case of the Fagan/Bradley zodiac).

"Sidereal" is by convention a "fixed" reference frame, against which the precessional motion is observed and measured. The astrological concept of "a radix" is almost the same thing: something "fixed" in time against which one charts everything that happens in time. From this perspective, precession-corrected (=sidereal) solar returns and transits appear to be a logical way to proceed, since the birth chart is conventionally considered "fixed" in time and space.

This is the principle behind the use of a sidereal reference frame. What zodiac (tropical or sidereal) one chooses to represent the positions is irrelevant form a mathematical or calculation standpoint, unless one gives special weight to purely astrological considerations, such as where the zodiacal signs should begin or end, a consideration that for many astrologers (including myself) is of little interest.

A "fixed" sidereal reference frame is no different than what is assumed about the moment of birth or the birth chart, the concept of "radix", the radix moment having a different weight than all the others and used as the common reference frame for all. The radix space and time coordinates are the basic reference frame in horoscopic Astrology.

Is astrological analysis (or, for that matter, the analysis of a human life) a question of anything against anything or is it by necessity structured around certain "privileged" or meaningful events?

The symbolical link between the concept of "sidereal" (i.e. fixed in time and space) and the concept of "radix" provides the framework to understand the different possibilities; one can categorize the types of events being compared --i.e., birth against anything else, a human biography, a process, or simple unrelated events. For example, one can think of:

1-) precession-corrected positions when one date or chart is seen in reference or with respect to the other (the radix)

2-) tropical-only positions when both are seen comparatively in reference to themselves only (in equal or "democratic" terms, giving the same weight to the 2 moments)

3-) a traditional sidereal zodiac when both are seen in reference to something else that includes both. The traditional sidereal zodiac is especially useful when one is comparing 3 or more independent dates or charts.


and from part 7:

Quote:
A precession-corrected transit can be defined as the time when a transiting planet crosses exactly the same point *in the natal ecliptic* at which a natal planet was when you were born. The ecliptic at the time of the transit has moved with respect to the ecliptic at the time of birth (at a rate of approximately 47" per century). The ecliptic at the time of birth is considered fixed in the space of the fixed stars, but the natal planets are referred to this ecliptic plane and not the stars...

In other words, the original natal positions are not "sidereal" to start with, but tropical. Then, this tropical ecliptic is frozen in inertial space, and the transiting planets are measured with respect to this fixed ecliptic of birth. Transits are measured not with respect to the sky of the fixed stars, but to the ecliptic of birth...

Juan
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since Juan didn't explicitly mention it his approach is basically sidereal. However, like many siderealists he suggests tropicalists adopt precession correction.

Mark
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dadsnook



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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used precession-corrected Solar Returns for over 35 years. I also use Fagan's PSSR approach for the chart angles in daily charts BUT substitute transiting planets for progressed planets.

I should also note that I do not use signs, either Tropical or Sidereal, in the interpretation of Solar Returns and daily charts. This is due to alternative interpretive methods which work well as a system. A book is close to being completed and published which addresses this method which I have found so effective over several decades.

The details are not important for this discussion. What I contribute is the view that precession correction works, that signs are not what they are cracked up to be when using p.c. (perhaps it screws up the signs in some way), and that transits in Solar Returns and in daily charts are effective.

Dave

PS. I don't feel comfortable with given Sidereal sign meanings. Tropical sign meanings work well in natal (and, by definition, in progressed charts) but not in precession corrected Solar Returns, in my opinion. Midpoints also work well in these charts.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Precession Correction in Tropical Astrology? Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
The notion of precession correction for tropical charts is very recent and to the best of my knowledge finds no support in the astrological sources from the Persian, Arab, Medieval or Renaissance period.

This is an interesting question. One Renaissance astrologer who explicitly recommends using sidereal revolutions/returns is Giuntini (Junctinus), who says that this method is used by 'some astrologers'. I know the quotation has been discussed on Skyscript before. However, Giuntini may actually have considered a sidereal zodiac more valid (similar to the way in which Placidus and others favoured topocentric longitudes in theory but used geocentric ones in practice).

From the Perso-Arabic era we have, for instance, the Book of Aristotle, which uses the sidereal year (365 days 6 1/5 hours, quite close to the modern value). But then it is often problematic to label authors from this era as siderealists or tropicalists, as they typically define the zodiac with reference both to the seasons and to the constellations.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
This is an interesting question. One Renaissance astrologer who explicitly recommends using sidereal revolutions/returns is Giuntini (Junctinus), who says that this method is used by 'some astrologers'. I know the quotation has been discussed on Skyscript before. However, Giuntini may actually have considered a sidereal zodiac more valid (similar to the way in which Placidus and others favoured topocentric longitudes in theory but used geocentric ones in practice).



Ahh the problem with any generalisation like this is that there is always an exception somewhere! I will leave more knowledgeable members like Margherita Fiorello to discuss the specific point of what Giuntini (Junctinus) may have been proposing.

More generally, it does surprise me that the discussion on precession correction is often limited to Solar returns. If this approach is valid it should be discussed regarding transits too. I am assuming it would have a neglibible effect on symbolic predictive systems like primary directions, secondary progressions or solar arcs which equate a few minutes or a days motion from the nativity for a year in the life of a person.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
From the Perso-Arabic era we have, for instance, the Book of Aristotle, which uses the sidereal year (365 days 6 1/5 hours, quite close to the modern value). But then it is often problematic to label authors from this era as siderealists or tropicalists, as they typically define the zodiac with reference both to the seasons and to the constellations.


Its certainly the case that this point was effectively a non-issue to most hellenistic astrologers. I am sure the adoption of the tropical zodiac proposed by Ptolemy was neither as rapid or as uniform as is normally assumed. Moreover, Persian and Arab astrologers had extensive contact with the sidereal astrology of India.

Ultimately, though this is a rather different topic. What I am seeking to explore here is the issue of astrologers who clearly work within the framework of the tropical zodiac but apply precession correction to Solar returns and transits.

Mark
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Eddy



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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark, I removed my 1:17PM post and integrated it in my 11:52AM post. So although this post is earlier, it is a reaction to your 12:45PM post. You may consider it a post working as a primary direction, positions from an earlier moment becoming effective later.
I did it because I think that my sometimes sharp views might put off others and put a restraint on people with an investigating mind, while I rather should be encouraging such minds in a constructive way. Moreover I can be very changeable in my views myself sometimes. Anyhow here are some remains of the previous posts.

Have a look this animation http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Movies/proper.html of the motion of the stars of Ursa Major / the Big Dipper during 200,000 years.

And as some technical addition, the following may help for people to support and/or adjust the method that appeals most to them. §2.7 of
http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swisseph.htm#_Toc283733503

The sidereal ecliptic isn’t fixed to the stars but moves too http://www.astrosociety.org/education/publications/tnl/45/globe3.html

Furthermore the tropical fixedness may have its problems too, but I'll have to read more astronomical work on this to grasp the mechanical aspects of precession. At least one can conclude that nothing is really fixed.


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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eddy,

Some very good points there. Although you have kind of raised the stakes a bit here! I was hoping to avoid a full on tropical vs sidereal debate. My scope is more limited to questioning the logic and philosophical self consistency of using precession correction on tropical charts. I hope I haven't opened up a Pandora's box on this. Shocked

Mark
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dadsnook



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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Why precession correction for Solar Returns? Why tropical? Reply with quote

First, it seems that we need to keep in mind that precession corrected Tropical Solar Returns make an obvious point --- the ACCUMULATIVE shift from the natal position to a future year significantly changes the S/R chart's angles and the Sun's house position. This should make comparison of the two types of S/R charting easy.

Second, using a Tropical framework seems to me to be important for my interactions with the general astrological community. Here in the US it seems that there are more "astrologers" who are not comfortable when discussing much beyond natal and progressed charts and methods. This is probably due to the interest level of the general public who make some effort to get into astrology but don't go far beyond the "early studies" level --- and has less to do with those who are more serious and capable and with whom one can discuss most areas of astrology. As a teacher, one has to work with what the students bring with them.

Relative to the first point, I should add that there is more than one approach to interpretation of p.c. or Sidereal S/R charts. I do not follow the more-popular tropical interpretation methods that are akin to the practices of J.B. Morin, but follow the angular focus of Siderealists such as Fagan. Dave
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Eddy,

Yes although I think Juan is making a distinction between 'Sidereal astrology' and measuring the time in sidereal space between a tropical radix and and a later moment in time. In this instance the fiducial point is tropical.

Quote:
Juan states:
Confusion is created by the habit of associating the word "sidereal" with a specific sidereal zodiac of some astrological tradition or school. "Sidereal" is a system of reference to measure movement, and is independent of any of the traditional zodiacs used by astrologers, sidereal or tropical. The question of sidereal or tropical is not simply a question of what traditional zodiac one uses, but a question of how one wants to measure time.

If one subtracts the precession accumulated from the time of the radix to the tropical positions of a specific date, one is effectively using a sidereal zodiac with its zero point defined as the position of the equinox at the date of the radix. The tropical position of 0 Aries when a person is born is considered fixed in a quasi-inertial or "fixed" reference frame, and precession is counted from that day on. A precession-corrected tropical solar return is a strictly sidereal construct based on a sidereal reference frame the starting point of which is the radix.

Another way of saying it is that a "tropical" precession-corrected return represents positions in a sidereal zodiac the starting point of which is the vernal point of the radix, while a purely "sidereal" return represents positions in a sidereal zodiac the starting point of which is the vernal point of September 11, A.D. 221 (in the case of the Fagan/Bradley zodiac).

"Sidereal" is by convention a "fixed" reference frame, against which the precessional motion is observed and measured. The astrological concept of "a radix" is almost the same thing: something "fixed" in time against which one charts everything that happens in time. From this perspective, precession-corrected (=sidereal) solar returns and transits appear to be a logical way to proceed, since the birth chart is conventionally considered "fixed" in time and space.


I look at this very differently. Fundamentally, I would suggest the tropical zodiac is internally self consistent. It doesn't need 'topping up' for precession correction by reference to a completely different astronomical framework.

The 'fiducial' for the tropical zodiac is created by the Sun and its equinoxes and solstices. This is the real fiducial point for tropical astrology not the background of fixed stars. I find it illogical to argue the tropical zodiac needs precession correction for the movement of planets against the background of sidereal space. Precession correction is only required if you wish to work from a sidereal perspective and incorporate the effects of precession on the tropical zodiac. From a tropicalist perspective I am left wondering though why bother? If you think non-precessed charts create distortions doesn't it make much more sense to work sidereally in the first place? From a philosophical and astronomical perspective this seems like an ugly hybrid of two totally different systems to me. I will therefore call it the Frankenstein Monster of predictive astrology. Smile Perhaps this explains why many of the people here arguing for precession corrected tropical charts (Juan, Steve etc) are already siderealists?

I would be interested to here from more tropicalists though. Especially those that use precession corrected charts.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to hijack Mark's thread, and I definitely don't want to get embroiled in another tropical/sidereal debate; but I hope I may be excused for making one brief point in response to this:

Eddy wrote:
If you won't use the tropical ecliptical positions then abandon the whole idea of the ecliptical reference frame. The use of it simply makes no sense anymore.

Regardless of one's personal stance on the underlying philosophy of astrology, it is a matter of historical fact that the earliest definitions of the zodiac were sidereal. In other words, the people who invented the 'ecliptic reference frame' (which obviously made sense to them) were not tropicalists. Indeed, the tropical zodiac doesn't seem to have caught on in earnest until several centuries after Ptolemy.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Eddy/Martin,

Please guys lets not turn this into another tropical vs sidereal zodiac ding dong. I didn't create the thread to criticise sidereal astrology. My problem is with those applying precession correction to the tropical zodiac. My disagreement is just as much with tropicalists that support this as with siderealists.

Thanks

Mark
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Eddy



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Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very difficult to ponder on this subject without focussing on the sidereal/tropical difference. Although my once chrystallised views seemed to pop up again this morning, I don't really know.
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5156
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's very difficult to comment on this subject without focussing on the sidereal/tropical difference.


Ok. I dont want people to feel like I am trying to impose an intellectual straightjacket to this topic. I noticed you deleted your previous comment supporting the Astrodienst (Astro.com) quote. Maybe you could expand on that? The symbolic argument they use is easy enough for anyone to follow. However, maybe you could pad out the astronomcal/mathematical point a bit for us?

Thanks

Mark
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‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No it wasn't that I had the feeling that you were trying to impose views Mark, but I think I was a bit too biased on a subject that in my case actually is subject to inner doubts of mine lately. I was a bit abrupt to clear most of my post. Sorry, not so decent of me.

The Astrodienst link was still in my first post and §2.7 expands on the subject. I had mentioned this argument of theirs:
Astrodienst wrote:
This method is geometrically sounder than the traditional one, but still it has a problem. For, if we want everything referred to the ecliptic of a fixed date t0, we will have to choose that date very carefully. Its ecliptic ought to be of special importance. The ecliptic of 1950 or the one of 1900 are obviously meaningless and not suitable as a reference plane. And how about that 18 March 564, on which the tropical and the sidereal zero point coincided? Although this may be considered as a kind of cosmic anniversary (the Sassanians did so), the ecliptic plane of that time does not have an ”eternal” value. It is different from the ecliptic plane of the previous anniversary around the year 26000 BC, and it is also different from the ecliptic plane of the next cosmic anniversary around the year 26000 AD.
For an individual and his/her transits it wouldn't be such a problem but perhaps it would for comparing individuals as in synastry, because we don't know which fixed date to choose. But I don't know how precession correction users cope with this.
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