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Zodiac with 24 sectors
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Perhaps you could explicitly define what you mean by the term 'modern' in the context of Indian astrological practice? I am not entirely clear what the term means in this frame of reference.

I would say from the latter half of the 19th century, when Indian astrology began to be practised by new groups of people (influenced by English Theosophists). If I may quote my own article on 'Modern Astrologers' (Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism):

Quote:
The modernization of western astrology led by Alan Leo explicitly strove to transform the ancient art from mere ‘fortune-telling’ – punishable under British law – into a vehicle of esoteric spiritual symbolism; a further step, from esotericism towards depth psychology, was taken by the next generation, notably by the American Theosophist Dane Rudhyar (1895 – 1985). The Indian modernizers, by contrast, were happy for astrology to retain its customary predictive and prescriptive functions; the modernization process here related chiefly to shifts in the medium and intended audience of astrological instruction – from traditional oral teaching within particular hereditary groups, based on Sanskrit sources, to the use of widely available printed manuals in English and the Indian vernaculars – and, to some extent, to technical innovations.

The practice of displaying the varga placements of the planets in separate charts is, I believe, older than the practice of reading those charts separately.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Really interesting! So the Yavanajātaka attaches this kind of images to all the horas... In ancient times, were these used for general interpretation of the natal chart (as opposed to the more specialized applications of the horas in later times)? Or for what purposes?

Is anything known about the origin of these images?

Was this type of iconography also in use for other zodiacal subdivisions (apart from the horas and, as far as I know, the decans/drekkana)?

I believe it's mainly these two, though I seem to recall some iconographical descriptions of the navāṃśas as well; and the ṣaṣṭyaṃśas are given specific names that could be called iconographical ('carrying a staff', etc). There is an old article by Pingree, 'The Indian Iconography of the Decans and Horâs', in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 26, No. 3/4 (1963), pp. 223-254.
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Quote:
The practice of displaying the varga placements of the planets in separate charts is, I believe, older than the practice of reading those charts separately.


Can I ask you to expand on this point please? By suggesting varga charts are a 'modern practice' are you simply discussing their use for separate delineation in distinct charts rather than the practice of actually using them as a support to interpretation of the ASC chart?

Mark
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm still hoping that Curtis, Deb or somebody else versed in Valen's astrology would shed some light on the issue of the winds and the steps. How, exactly, were these calculated and interpreted?

Thanks in advance to anybody who can help.
Michael
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Can I ask you to expand on this point please? By suggesting varga charts are a 'modern practice' are you simply discussing their use for separate delineation in distinct charts rather than the practice of actually using them as a support to interpretation of the ASC chart?

I feel a bit guilty about hijacking Michael's thread; that wasn't my intention. Briefly, as I understand the use of vargas in traditional Indian texts, they qualify the way a planet works in the horoscope; they are not meant to make up separate horoscopes complete with their own house placements, aspects, etc. I believe that the practice of drawing separate varga diagrams (for most vargas -- some, like the horā or triṃśāṃśa, had no such diagrams because the divisions were not related to zodiacal signs) probably began as a simple way of representing the varga placements of all planets at once; and that the presence of such diagrams led to the practice of reading them as separate, derived horoscopes.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Hello,

I'm still hoping that Curtis, Deb or somebody else versed in Valen's astrology would shed some light on the issue of the winds and the steps. How, exactly, were these calculated and interpreted?

Thanks in advance to anybody who can help.
Michael


Please see the Riley translation of Valens online, page 178:

http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/Vettius%20Valens%20entire.pdf

There is at least one important difference between the Riley translation and Schmidt's. Riley translation says that:

Quote:
"If any have the same wind as the apheta that they will be related and associated, especially in their own chronocratorships".


It is not very clear what that means taken by itself, but Schmidt spoke at length about the "nautical metaphor" and how the winds tied in with eminence considerations, the trigon lords as managers of the wind, etc. The Schmidt translation has this instead:

Quote:
"For if some stars should be running with the same wind as the apheta, they will be congenial and sympathetic and especially in their own times".


The Schmidt translation makes it more clear that planets running in the opposite wind "rock the boat" so to speak and that is why such planets are considered malefic to the apheta.
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoidsoft wrote:
Quote:
Please see the Riley translation of Valens online, page 178:


Hi Curtis,

The Riley translation only appears to be 172 pages long. Confused

Mark
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Konrad



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Page 61, Mark.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason my downloaded version has 493 pages, but I noticed a lot of duplicated content. Not sure how this happened.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Curtis,

thanks a lot for your help!

But quite frankly, I'm still not getting how exactly Valens calculated what step a particular planet falls into.

It's important for me to get this right for reasons of research.

If it's not too much to ask, could you give me a step-by-step example using a modern chart?

Very best regards
Michael
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Michael,

This might be completely irrelevant and way off the mark in answering your question but regarding 24 sectors around the zodiac I wonder if this might originally go back to Mesopotamian rising and setting non-zodiacal constellations similar to the decans?

I came across a section in an ancient historical text describing Chaldean astrology which got me curious. In particular Diodorus Siculus (90BCE-30BCE) in his Bibliotheca Historica. Regarding Chaldean astral beliefs he states:

Quote:
Beyond the circle of the zodiac they designate twenty-four other stars, of which one half, they say, are situated in the northern parts and one half in the southern, and of these those which are visible they assign to the world of the living, allow those which are invisible they regard as being adjacent to the dead, and so they call them "Judges of the Universe''.


Mark
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very quick comment - planetary hours.. i don't know if there is a connection, but 24 sectors reminds me of 24 hours.. how was that integrated in the distant past? when did someone come up with the concept of an hour? it might have some connection or not.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James_M wrote:
Quote:
very quick comment - planetary hours.. i don't know if there is a connection, but 24 sectors reminds me of 24 hours.. how was that integrated in the distant past? when did someone come up with the concept of an hour? it might have some connection or not.


Yes. This kind of connection was already discussed earlier in the thread.

I had been wondering about the origin of planetary hour rulers and an association with the rising time of certain constellations at night. That would fit the idea that half the constellations were invisible. Alternatively, this might refer to the heliacal rising of certain constellations spread over the year. This might have centred on certain bright stars rather than full constellations.

Either explanation would be somewhat similar to the 36 Egyptian decans. But I haven't heard of Mesopotamian astrology utilising such a concept. Still, I am not really knowledgeable enough on the topic to reach any conclusions on this. Probably best to hold off on any further wild speculation until some reliable sources can be checked out.

Mark
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Konrad



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 24 stars either side of a 12-star central belt sound like the Paths of Anu, Enlil and Ea. They were 3 sets of 12 constellations - one north, one south, one east - that heliacally rose in each month of the year according to Astrolabe B. They did not treat the zodiacal belt exclusively as the central belt however - the paths were based upon either Declination or Azimuth depending on which modern scholar you read.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Konrad,

I guess Diodorus Siculus (90BCE-30BCE) could have seeking to summarise the Mesopotamian cosmology through a rather distorted Greek lens. In particular the ancient Babylonian MUL.APIN division of the sky into the so called 'Three Stars Each' lists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUL.APIN

I was under the impression the Babylonians stopped working with this system about 300BC? Still, Diodorus Siculus could be recounting a distorted Greek cultural transmission of the idea.

Mark
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Konrad



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well according to Rumen Kolev's most recent research, the Astrolabe B predates MUL.APIN and contains the constellational calendar revolving around the Paths I mentioned.

I don't know about the Greek author you mentioned, I was referrng to your comment:

Quote:
I wonder if this might originally go back to Mesopotamian rising and setting non-zodiacal constellations similar to the decans?


The Astrolabe lists the rising of constellations only and the number 36 comes from the 3 rising in each of the 12 months. Kolev likens these to the 36 Hermetic Overseers in his book.
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