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The nature of the sun and ancient astrology
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waybread



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Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: The nature of the sun and ancient astrology Reply with quote

This thread spins off from these two, on Uranus and on the sun in traditional astrology:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8075&sid=70ebb872d931a35271766a1a55b8d88d

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=60949#60949

If a moderater prefers to move this thread from "philosophy and science" to "traditional" that's fine, although I envision something more philosophical and scientific, rather than a focus on techniques.

My principal fascination with traditional astrology is in looking at the origins of horoscopic Hellenistic astrology. Your milage may vary! My own involves looking at the classic (pun intended) Greek and Latin texts, as well as contexts of the environments in which Hellenistic astrology emerged. Key themes include:

1. The Egyptian and Mesopotamian theological and astronomical background; and potentially, allied streams from Persian, Jewish, and Indian sources.

2. The Greek philosophical and scientific background prior to and coinciding with horoscopic astrology.

3. An idealist approach, as to how the early astrologers would have understood the sun, given their cultures, locations, habitats, and climate. (Idealism is a philosophical position that explanation is based upon understanding people's thoughts in the contexts in which they lived.)

4. How might the above considerations inform our understanding of astrology today?

Out of such a discussion, I hope that broader-based understanding of the methodologies of traditional astrology can emerge.

Also, I hope that the focus need not be too time-centred, as Hellenistic astrology was foundational to the astrologies that followed it.

We cannot get very far into Antiquity without realizing that the astrological sun had various, and sometimes even seemingly contradictory meanings. It could mean a cosmic soul, on the one hand; or an explanation as to why a man could be arrogant in character and employed as a middle-manager, on the other. The astrological sun could follow from worship of ancient gods, or derive from the hot, rainless, summer-dry season in which the ancient astrologers lived.

I hope you will share your ideas and information!
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We cannot get very far into Antiquity without realizing that the astrological sun had various, and sometimes even seemingly contradictory meanings. It could mean a cosmic soul, on the one hand; or an explanation as to why a man could be arrogant in character and employed as a middle-manager, on the other. The astrological sun could follow from worship of ancient gods, or derive from the hot, rainless, summer-dry season in which the ancient astrologers lived.


Hi Waybread

Can you explain this more? Can you provide examples of a contradictory nature of the Sun?

Also, what conclusions do you derive from this?

I would also add that although many make observational connections between the 'worship of the gods' and the nature of the planets, there are no Hellenistic astrologers (according to Demetra George) who explicitly make that connection - this appears to be a more modern way of deriving meaning. That isn't to say that earlier cultures have not done so, but just that there doesn't appear to be this connection within the Hellenistic tradition. So I wonder, are we examining the sun in ancient astrology by which we mean hellenistic, or do we mean the Sun in pre-Hellenistic astrology?
Although the era prior to horoscopic astrology is interesting in providing context for many ancient techniques (such as combustion etc.) I am not sure that this alone will reveal to us "broader-based understanding of the methodologies of traditional astrology " - unless of course we focus primarily on that which makes its way into the Hellenistic tradition itself?


I am not sure from reading your opening post here whether you are chiefly examining Hellenistic astrology, or the eras before Hellenistic astrology. Or perhaps you are not separating the two?
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
Key themes include:

1. The Egyptian and Mesopotamian theological and astronomical background; and potentially, allied streams from Persian, Jewish, and Indian sources.

2. The Greek philosophical and scientific background prior to and coinciding with horoscopic astrology.

3. An idealist approach, as to how the early astrologers would have understood the sun, given their cultures, locations, habitats, and climate. (Idealism is a philosophical position that explanation is based upon understanding people's thoughts in the contexts in which they lived.)

4. How might the above considerations inform our understanding of astrology today?

Out of such a discussion, I hope that broader-based understanding of the methodologies of traditional astrology can emerge.

Also, I hope that the focus need not be too time-centred, as Hellenistic astrology was foundational to the astrologies that followed it.


Hi Waybread,

I must state I think this all sounds incredibly ambitious for one discussion thread! Each topic sounds like the subject for an academic thesis let alone a thread. While its certainly interesting to study pre-hellenistic cultural myths and attitudes and the relation to contemporary religion , philosophy and climatology I do think you need to be able to demonstrate a direct connection with specific references in hellenistic astrology. Otherwise I do fear that this thread is at risk of spiraling into unsubstantiated speculation.

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
We cannot get very far into Antiquity without realizing that the astrological sun had various, and sometimes even seemingly contradictory meanings. It could mean a cosmic soul, on the one hand; or an explanation as to why a man could be arrogant in character and employed as a middle-manager, on the other. The astrological sun could follow from worship of ancient gods, or derive from the hot, rainless, summer-dry season in which the ancient astrologers lived.


The notion that a planet can be a natural significator of several things simultaneously is common in hellenistic astrology. In the Tetrabiblos , Ptolemy frequently references these. For example in hellenistic and later sources the moon is a natural significator for The mother, women in men's charts, the body, the instinctual mind, the home etc. Some of these associations still exist in modern astrology too dont they?

I often explain to non-astrologers that our planetary symbols are rather like transliterating Chinese characters into English. Different translations can render quite different versions of the same text since characters can have multiple meanings. The art of astrology is surely to be able to decide which interpretation is most suitable in the context of the person seeking astrological advice.

So while from the outside looking in the differing associations of a planet as a natural significator may seem confusing in practical terms it is much less so. Still, we also have to consider the role of planets as accidental significators either by house placement or rulership.

It would be fair to state that most astrologers in the tradition gave greater weight to accidental significators. The Perso-Arabic astrologers came up with a rather neat compromise on this since they looked at each question on a 3 tier basis which examined the accidental significator, natural significator and specific lot covering the issue. For example in an issue regarding children they would look at the 5th house ( by planetary placement +rulership), the natural significator (Jupiter) and the lot of children.

The astrologer who criticised the idea of natural significators the most systematically came right at the end of the traditional era in the figure of the French astrologer Jean-Baptiste Morin (1583–1656). Morin strongly argued for the superiority of accidental over natural significators. Indeed he heavily criticised the use of planets as natural significators in horoscopic work. He gave particular focus to planets by house placement over house rulers.

Mark
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waybread



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Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, since threads tend to take on a life of their own, and I thought it best to be inclusive rather than exclusive in an OP, I cast a wide net. If sub-topics interest nobody, they will be ignored, and no harm done. Many thread topics on this forum are ambitious!

I agree (or am in no position to argue with) most of what you say in the rest of your post.

Paul, I can't say that the sun itself has a contradictory nature, but we do find it signifying seemingly disparate concepts in ancient astrology.

Is the sun a benefic or malefic, for example? Ptolemy (I.5) says that the sun has both natures. He pins this on sun-planet relationships here, but later, he thinks that latitude has a lot to do with the sun's effects and that Africans were "burnt" or "baked" by the sun (bk. 2.) He notes that heat can become oppressive. This is why I brought in the concept of the climatic sun.

If you were living in Egypt 2000 years ago, you would clearly be aware of the power of the summer sun to shrivel any vegetation that was not under irrigation (or possibly amenable to limited dry farming methods) even though you might associate the sun with the soul and kingship. Hopefully everybody recalls that the Mediterranean region has a long hot dry rainless summer, and a cool rainy winter. So at times the climatic sun acts in a life-destroying way. To get here, we can also look at how Greek writers since the 8th century BC wrote about mid-summer weather. Climatically the sun is at its most destructive in Alexandria, Egypt in the afternoon in mid-summer and early autumn.

The sun is more clearly a malefic in Vedic astrology. We also get a hint of its malefic nature with planets that are combust or under the beams; or the sun's own sign of Leo being barren. (Firmicus Maternus I.8.2.) FM 3.5 also itemizes how the sun can work for good or ill in a horoscope.

So despite associations of the sun with the life force and even soul (which often meant "personality") I find it interesting that when the sun is in Leo (even allowing for precession) we find some non-benefic things taking place, such as seasonal drought in the places where astrology evolved. (Cf. the happiness with which the rising of Sirius was greeted in Egypt.)

worship of planetary gods.
Can you give me the Demetra George reference? I find it surprising. See FM 1.6, or a whole lot of Manilius. The "good daimon" and Fortuna were not abstract concepts, but deities. The thema mundi was understood as sacred in origin. Two house joys are called "god" and "goddess". Valens's citations of Petosiris for his techniques refer to them as "mystical."

There is a really interesting passage in Valens 7. preface about the mystical nature of astrology. Chronocratorships are "unassailable and sacred", notwithstanding their utility as techiniques. He gives the analogy of a man who struggles to a mountaintop to worship at a temple: "This man would consider his climb to have been of no trouble or toil, and he would worship with gladness, imagining that he is associating with the gods in heaven. Those who follow our directions have this same experience, and I adjure them by the sacred circule of the sun [and other planets and the zodiac] to keep thiese matters secret....May it go well for those who keep this oath and may the aforesaid gods grant them what they wish...."

What appears to be secular methodology to us was probably an "as above, so below" worldview to Manilius, Valens, Firmicus Maternus, and the Arab editor of Dorotheus.

Indirect evidence that the planets were understood as gods in Antiquity comes from the concerted effort of church fathers to eradicate this notion medieval astrology. (McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe.)

The best analogy I can draw is of American evangelical Christians today, who believe in a personal God who takes a keen interest in their ordinary daily lifes. The daily lives consist of the usual trivia, but their belief in a personal God transforms the trivia.

Paul, what I am getting at is historical explanation, or the concepts of genesis and evolution. Antecedants inform what follows. Hellenistic astrology did not emerge ex nihilo. As you know!
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I clarify something? This thread is about the philosophical understanding of the Sun in ancient astrology, right? Not the Sun and ancient astrology, as I now notice the header reads. The latter would be too big a theme to generate a focused discussion IMO.
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Paul
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Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread I still think I'm a bit confused about what this thread is for, I think I understand why you were trying to cast a broad net here, but I'm not quite sure what the approach should be now - are we focusing on the symbolic use of the sun by astrologers in the tradition, in the hellenistic era only, or are we focusing on what we ourselves think ancient observers of the sun might have made sky myths about the sun and speculating how this infiltrated astrology? I suspect you mean to at least incorporate all of these, but what is the main focus? I had thought, prior to the creation of this thread, that you were going to examine what symbolism traditional astrologers ascribed to the Sun, Hellenistic in particular? Is this still the main focus? In other words are we still focusing on what actually survived and is documented by astrologers, or are we focusing more on the realm of myth and assumption about how this may have influenced astrology?

I think I can't say a whole lot about the topic if it is principally focused on pre-Hellenistic sky myths.

Quote:
Paul, I can't say that the sun itself has a contradictory nature, but we do find it signifying seemingly disparate concepts in ancient astrology.


I'm not sure that we do, or, at least, to rob Mark of his anecdote, any more different than say the Moon symbolising the body and also women generally. Often the key criterion is the context in which we are using the planet. Clearly if we wish to, for example, use the sun as a significator for people we might say it is disparate to associate it with the King as well as a father in a diurnal chart, but the key role here is in being a figure of authority or leadership, and Kings and fathers are just examples. In another context we are concerned with the Sun as a healing or benefic influence but in still another we see how it can be harmful. I do not necessarily see this as disparate concepts, and rather as a recognition that the sun casts a wide net with regards its symbolism, which isn't so much disparate as it is dependent upon context.

Quote:
Climatically the sun is at its most destructive in Alexandria, Egypt in the afternoon in mid-summer and early autumn.


Right but are we saying that this is the main focus of this thread? Our assumptions about what pre-Hellenistic (8th century BCE) authors said about the astronomical Sun, or are we more concerned with what astrologers within the tradition (hellenistic or otherwise) say about the astrological sun?
Because whilst the Sun may be most destructive in Alexandria in the afternoon in mid-summer and early autumn (I agree with you here) I am not sure that this tells us much about the conditions in which the Sun, astrologically, is malefic. Is it only malefic, according to hellenistic astrology, in the afternoon in mid-summer? No. In fact the Sun in mid-Summer, in Leo, is said to be better dignified.

Instead the doctrine of malefic nature of the Sun is usually in regards its combustion of other planets, which has more to do with the brilliance of the Sun overpowering and revitalising the other planets - they die into the sun's light to be reborn and cleansed. Whilst Ptolemy might make some analogies to Africa, I'm not sure that we should set up some chain of logic that the reason that the sun is malefic is because of Africans being burnt, even if this analogy made sense to Ptolemy so as to convey that the Sun isn't always gentle.

Quote:
We also get a hint of its malefic nature with planets that are combust or under the beams; or the sun's own sign of Leo being barren.


Right but all the fire signs are barren but this is often more to do with their outward nature as well as their dry qualities, as opposed to the fact that the Sun finds itself in domicile dignity in Leo. You cite Firmicus here, but presumably he is not reaching the same conclusion you are because of the same reasons you do? I have a copy at home so I will check these references over the weekend as I get more time. As you know I am studying a masters at the moment so I not only don't have much time to hunt down references, but often feel guilty when I do!

Quote:
So despite associations of the sun with the life force and even soul (which often meant "personality") I find it interesting that when the sun is in Leo (even allowing for precession) we find some non-benefic things taking place, such as seasonal drought in the places where astrology evolved. (Cf. the happiness with which the rising of Sirius was greeted in Egypt.)


Right but again I need to ask, are we focusing on what astrologers themselves say of the Sun, or what you yourself observe about the Sun in ancient times? All planets, the sun included, are considered well placed when in their domiciles and their benefice is considered to be more stably placed, whilst the planet has access to its own resources. So whilst you may observe malefic things happening in parts of the world when the Sun is in Leo, do Hellensitic astrologers themselves make the conclusions you do, that the Sun in Leo is malefic because [insert reasoning]? Because I cannot think of any to hand, but perhaps you have some source?

Otherwise what are we suggesting here? Is it that there appears to be a disparate set of meanings associated with the Sun compared to what astrologers note and what you notice, or is it in the signification that the authors themselves give to the sun?

Quote:
Can you give me the Demetra George reference?


All I'll say is if I can I will, it was wrong of me to cite Demetra George here as I cannot quickly get where I have read this and don't want to pour time into finding it. I'm fully happy to totally recant that statement if you like.

Quote:
The "good daimon" and Fortuna were not abstract concepts, but deities.


I'm not sure I follow. What deity is good daimon - or, to put it in the wording that I had used, what planetary god is good daimon whereby worship of that planet drove our astrological signification according to a Hellenistic author (as this was the point I was making).

I suspect we mean different things by 'the worship of gods' driving planetary meaning if you cite that Nechepso and Petosiris were revered with a mystical quality as offering a counter argument, or indeed sacred qualities to astrology. This is all, for me, utterly different than the point I was making.

Quote:
Indirect evidence that the planets were understood as gods in Antiquity comes from the concerted effort of church fathers to eradicate this notion medieval astrology. (McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe.)


Right, and this is more along the lines of the point I was making myself. I think we have crossed our wires somewhere.

Quote:
Paul, what I am getting at is historical explanation, or the concepts of genesis and evolution. Antecedants inform what follows. Hellenistic astrology did not emerge ex nihilo. As you know!


Quite right, but is this thread entering into the realm of assumption and speculation as to what those origins are? Or are we more concerned with that symbolism which we know to have survived into the Hellenistic era, with focus not on what we speculate but on what Hellenistic astrologers themselves actually say? I think this is probably the area I am most confused with.

And for that matter are we 'allowed' to go beyond the Hellenistic era?
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Instead the doctrine of malefic nature of the Sun is usually in regards its combustion of other planets, which has more to do with the brilliance of the Sun overpowering and revitalising the other planets - they die into the sun's light to be reborn and cleansed.

I would go even further, and say that the principle of combustion, though often described as a damaging effect, is less about the Sun overpowering and much more about it revitalising. Certainly this being reborn and renewed theme (as planets come out of combustion) is evident in the works of Paulus, Firmicus and other Hellenistic authors. It is made explicit in the later works of medieval philosophers. The notion is that all planets get the spark of their creative energy as they join the "heart" of the Sun when they are cazimi, and their influence matures and strengthens, to peak as they come to the Sun's opposition; thereafter it declines, like a battery wearing down. So when planets return to the Sun, the Sun is not actually destroying anything - they return "worn out". Reunion with the Sun reactivates with another charge of the solar spark. I wrote about this at length recently in an article published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine, (Dec/Jan 2014) emphasizing that the Sun's theme is creativity, and even the principle of combustion is really about regeneration, not destruction. (Yes, it is also a light too bright to look upon; and too much of that essentially creative energy does have the power to destroy).

The other point to bear in mind - though this is more evident in later works, is that the planets are not really seen as being separate from the Sun, but each is seen as a particular agent of the Sun's power. Each receives its energy via the celestial light that emanates from the Sun, but each planet "colours" it in its own unique way. Every way we explore the deeper principles of ancient and early medieval astrology, we come to a greater understanding that the Sun is absolutely the heart of the whole celestial scheme.
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb, if you want us to focus on philosophy, that's fine: perhaps someone could clarify how they wish to delineate "philosophy," which to me means a broader topic than the one I outlined in the OP!

As you all know, philosophers do not align on a definition of their own field, but generally it concerns (1) inquiries into the nature of knowledge, reality, and meaning; with (2) particular branches including ethics, logic, esthetics, and so on. Sometimes astrologers use "philosophy" in the sense of (3) an extensive, articulated body of work, like stoicism or neo-platonism. Others seem to mean "philosophy" in the less apt sense of (4) "methodology", meaning methods plus theory. We could also use it in the sense of (5) meta-narrative, discourse, or worldview. And many more, besides!

The above complexity suggests why I didn't emphasize the word philosophy! I have no objection to it, however, if someone cares to define it for purposes of this discussion of the sun.

I stated my particular interest as astrological origins. What are the understandings of the sun in Hellenistic astrology, and how did they develop? Put differently, what are their understandings of the sun, and why are the the way that they are?

Sometimes we have to think historically, culturally, or even environmentally to answer such questions. So to come full circle, somethimes a "philosophical understanding" derives from surprisingly non-philosophical roots. To cite one perspective called cultural materialism (no, not the anti-spiritual, Madonna-ish popular, or hard-core Marxist definitions!) ideas derive from people's material circumstances. These might be their climate, crop cycle, or way of life.

Perhaps to explain the Hellenistic sun, we would also have to consider specific philosophical beliefs or mystery cults.

Whatever people care to contribute to my bolded questions in this post, would be interesting to read. Surely astrology encourages us to think in terms of complex systems, focused upon particular questions.

Deb, is your article on line without a subscription? I don't really want an entire subscription to TMA, and getting a single issue to me would take a while if it's not on-line (I don't see this issue up yet on their website, and I live in a remote area in the Canadian Rockies.)

Consequently I probably shouldn't comment on your second post; except to ask whether, in a nativity or horary question, a moment in time may not allow a combust planet to "come out the other side." I wonder, also, whether you would postulate an evolutionary "solarizing" of astrology in Antiquity. The Babylonians went by the moon's pathway, not the sun; and it is hard for me to explain away passages like the following from FM 4.5.1 if we don't see the sun as malefic at least some of the time:

"If the Moon is moving toward the Sun and is in any kind of aspect to him, the natives will be miserable and unfortunate, victims of dangers and every kind of demotion. Sometimes they will be spastics or contorted with afflictions and illnesses; others will be epileptics, deprived of reason, or insane."

This might be a "lunacy" understanding of Luna, yet the moon moving towards the other planets except Saturn yields at least some conditions under which the native might turn out OK, or even become rich and famous.
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I by no means deny the ancient belief in the sun's revitalizing powers! I have a lot of interest in astrology's Egyptian roots, for one thing. But to me this looks like only one theme, and others show the sun in a less vivifying light. (Again, Deb, I don't have your article, and may contentedly munch on shoe leather later, when I do.)

The ancient sun seems so important in the diurnal passages for people in astrology's ancient world, but the sun seems less significant in the more southerly and drier places, who focused more upon the annual cycles of drought and water: namely autumn rains, and the Nile or Mesopotamian floods.

So my interest (and everyone else's may differ) is in (1) what are these meanings of the sun, and (2) where did they come from? How can we explain the sun sometimes described as malefic?

I thought astro-meteorology might be one area for me to contribute some thoughts, because although this field is kind of an astrological step-child today, but its cultural astronomy predated horoscopic astrology. It gives us some sense of the Hellenists' basic awareness of the solar calendar.

A good article on this by classical studies scholar Daryn Lehoux (2004) is "Observation and prediction in ancient astrology," Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci. 35:227-46. (He's got an interview at Skyscript and a book out as well, though I've not read it yet.) Lehoux lists over two dozen ancient authors who discussed astro-meteorology, principally through the use of parapegmata, or weather calendar instruments that were based on tracking the star calendar. "We have here a tradition that would have been familiar to pretty much anyone in antiquity...," Lehoux wrote.

This is the type of thing I mean by "context".

Ptolemy wrote not just Tetrabiblos and the Almagest, but also an extensive geography book on the known world, and Phaseis, which provided data for parapegmata. (Which hopefully addresses part of your concern, Paul, about making too much from slight passages in Tetrabiblos.)

So I wondered, how might the astro-meteorological sun and Leo play out, such that it offers some background on how the horoscopic sun and Leo were understood?

Ptolemy certainly knew that the sun was troublesome to mortals in hot summer climate zones, just as the Greeks knew it experientially since Hesiod (7th century BCE) wrote about "the season of weary heat" 50 days after the summer solstice. (I also think this might be one reason why Virgo was considered barren: not because she was virgo intacta, but because her month was also in the summer-drought period, predating the onset of autumn rains.)

Ptolemy wrote (2.11): "sign of Leo as a whole is hot and stifling; but part by part, its leading portion is stifling and pestilential, its middle part temperate, and its following portion wet and destructive. Its northern parts are unstable and fiery, its southern parts moist." (We get something similar for Cancer. But he gives the sun and Leo a more beneficial face in his astro-geography section.

In the ancient Greek religious scheme of things, Zeus (Jupiter) was a rain god, not a solar god, and to him the Greeks attributed fertility of their crops and the paternal creative principle. (which we get a hint of in Tetrabiblos 1: 4.)

So perhaps we can understand the ancient sun as astrology's founders would have experienced it on a seasonal basis, as having a malefic as well as a benefic nature.

A very different tack might involve considering the metaphysical sun developed in some branches of Greek philosophy and mystery cults.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
I stated my particular interest as astrological origins. What are the understandings of the sun in Hellenistic astrology, and how did they develop? Put differently, what are their understandings of the sun, and why are they the way that they are?

I apologize for not having the time or energy to carefully read and consider all the thoughts in longer posts in this thread and others. I've excerpted Waybread's sentences since they emphasize the point of this thread.

It seems to me that the answer to that question isn't at all complicated as the Sun's significations are repeated in texts from the Hellenistic era up to Lilly's time. Or are these significations of the Sun too elementary in our times when astrologers are acclimated to complex psychological explanations combined with supposed archetypes and somewhat muddled mythology? (God bless the more basic traditional revival!)

To speculate that the Sun meant more to Hellenistic astrologers than what has come down to us in texts seems rather futile to me. Beginning with Robert Schmidt's Definitions and Foundations (2009):

Antiochus: "Helios rules over the breath (pneuma) and its movement, and the paternal and ruling person." (p.74)

Porphyry: "Helios rules over life-breath and its movement and the perceptive soul in us and a paternal or dominant person." (p. 75)

Schmidt commentary: "The Greek word helios is different insofar as it can refer either directly to the Sun as a celestial body or to the Sun god Helios. Similarly, the Greek world selene can refer either directly to the Moon as a celestial body or to the Moon goddess Selene. This probably means that in these two cases the deity is identified with the celestial body." (p. 77)

Teucer of Babylon (appendix in James Holden's Rhetorius The Egyptian (AFA, 2009):
"The Sun's nature is hot and dry, intellectual light, the housekeeper spirit, the ruler...It signifies the king, the father, the ruler, the elder brother and honor...." (p. 200)

Vettius Valens (Schmidt translation, Project Hindsight 1993):
"The all-seeing Sun then, being truly fire-like and the light of the mind, the organ of perception of the soul is significant at the birth for kingly office, hegemony [leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others], mind, practical wisdom, outward form, motion, height of fortune, public registration, action, popular leadership, judgement, father, mastership, friendship, persons of high repute, the honor of images, statues, and crowns of office, arch-priests of the fatherland..." (p. 1)

(For brevity, I've eliminated parts of the body given to the Sun.)

Hellenistic astrologers used the Sun in birth charts to judge kingly office, high reputation, honor and the like. The Sun was also related to what might be called "the light of the soul." This probably meant that we contact the wisdom of our souls (as opposed to normal more earth-bound thought and knowledge) through the spiritual energy and light of the Sun. For modern astrologers, this may be an important suggestion when delineating the position and aspects of the natal Sun.

I find it very interesting that based on a personal inspirational experience, Jeffrey Wolf Green has chosen Pluto as representing "Soul" in his system of Evolutionary Astrology. The Zoroastrian fragment I've mentioned elsewhere listed Pluto as the co-inhabitant of Aries, the sign where the Sun is exalted. Pluto also falls to Aries in the normal astronomical arrangement of planets. Please see the diagram and explanation here on Skyscript (first two posts): http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8089 (Outer Planets and the Zodiac)

Therese
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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that post Therese - very useful. I have a list of similar quotes from later authors, but since they date from the early medieval period all they demonstrate is the continuation of that theme.

Waybread, you asked earlier for more info about my TMA article on combustion and phases. It is not available online, but I have heard from Tem Terrikatar that a digital edition of that particular issue may be placed online soon as a free example of what TMA subscribers can expect, since they only have a few print copies left.
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

​I should say that living in a Mediterranean country for me it's quite obvious the reason why the heart of the Summer, the astrological Leo, could be a very hard time because of the excess of the dry and the hot.
I visited London several times during August in the past and it is not the same weather, trust me!
The central days ​​of Summer from July 24th to August 24th were known to the Romans as Canicula, ​​the days of the Dog Star, Sirius, and they were the days Sirius was rising with the Sun.
According wikipedia, Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." ( Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813.)
We can say that it was Sirius which is a malefic star, not the Sun, but they obviously share the same kingdom, let us say like that. ​
​A​nd according Ptolemy the Sun is anareta when the Moon is hyleg ". For in general we must not admit any planet, either to destroy or to aid, that is under the rays of the sun, except that when the moon is prorogator the place of the sun itself is destructive" Quadr, III, 10.

Finally a personal note. Sometimes it could seem that I'm in perpetual disagreement with Deborah Houlding, but it is not the case Smile I like her very much, and I very often quote her as a source, she is one of my fav astrologers.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto Margherita - I wouldn't want to be in a group of astrologers who all agree anyway (no doubt they would all be following someone else's opinion and not thinking for themselves! And you may not have noticed that when I disagreed with you last time, I later admitted that you were right, I was wrong).

But to be clear, I would never suggest that the Sun cannot act like a malefic or that a planet under the Sun's beams is not in a bad state; or that the opposition of the Sun and Moon is not loaded with negative associations. It will be a good thing when I can point you to my article so you can understand the points I make in a clearer form - hopefully it will be available within a few weeks).
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margherita



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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
It will be a good thing when I can point you to my article so you can understand the points I make in a clearer form - hopefully it will be available within a few weeks).


I really look forward to read it as for all your articles.
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Mark
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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see you back here Margherita. I always enjoy your input.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
I wouldn't want to be in a group of astrologers who all agree anyway


Rest assured Deb , you have nothing to fear. My take on the astrological community...



Mark
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