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Equal House System in Renaissance Astrology?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Martin! Clarity always helps. (This is one of those Skyscript messages I print to keep as a memory jog.)
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese thanks so much for that message, you really managed to pull everything together very concisely and I think its' really helpful to put things kind of back on track as it were.
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:

Seems like there is different form of traditional astrology out there that no one knows about.


You are not noone.

Having already proven the point by example using Valens, and the very same source you yourself provided (Geminos), I'll now include the opinion of the historian of Greek Astrology, Bouche Leclerq.

The translation is mine, so apologies if it reads a bit rushed, and the highlighted text is mine.

L'Astrologie Grecque, pp.259-260
Quote:

it is necessary to make an excursion into the domain of geometry, a domain common to astrologers and astronomers, in order to pose the problem which has tormented more than anything else the astrologers capable of understanding it, and does more than anything else to discredit the run of the mill from the true “mathematicians”: the problem of the ascensions of the signs of the Zodiac, the solution of which regulates the position of the centres i.e. the angles and the places in respect to the degrees of the Zodiac.
The first astrologers ... considered the Zodiac as a circle which was sufficient to divide into four equal quadrants in order to have the positions of the horoscope i.e. the ascendant and of the occident i.e. the descendant or the points of intersection with the horizon, and of the superior and inferior culminations i.e. the MC and IC, or the points of intersection with the meridian i.e. note these are points with the meridian circle. But those who were capable of putting some precision in their measurements and having a touch of geometry realised that the Zodiac, turning around an oblique axis at its plane, was almost never divided in equal quadrants by the horizon and the meridian.
...
Similarly, the position of the centres i.e. the angles was wrong, and with it the distribution of the places, if one persisted in believing that the horizon and the meridian always divide the Zodiac in four equal parts.


It's worth pointing out that if you think the nonagesimal is at the MC, or that the whole sign 10th is the culminating sign, then you are one of the "run of the mill" that Bouche Leclerq refers to, and who Geminos criticises, and who Valens advises against.

This isn't that there's some "different astrology that noone knows about", this is that you are, at this point, quite wilfully choosing to remain ignorant about a topic that actually many people both today and in ancient times were quite aware of.

Quote:
Can anyone help me construct quadrant houses from the Lot of Fortune?


Apples and pears. Nothing culminates from the Lot of Fortune. Notice that the disagreement is on the 'culminating sign'.



Quote:

Actually, that is frequently not the case, length of life included for example:

Quote:
After examining the Ascendant, it is necessary to investigate MC and to determine its ruler; then examine the Descendant and IC in the same way. If <their> are not found at the angles, the rulerships which follow the angles must be examined; if the stars are not in those signs either, the signs which precede the angles must be inspected. (Even if such positions do not possess a great deal of influence over activities and do not allot the maximum length of life, they are nevertheless active.) - Valens, Riley - http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/vettius%20valens%20entire.pdf



Petosiris, serious question, do you actually read the sources you yourself provide? Valens says absolutely nothing here that suggests he thinks the 10th whole sign is always the culminating sign which contains the MC. Why are you providing this an example - what do you think it's demonstrating?

Let's get specific then, in the previous Book which sets the context for the one you quoted from:
Book III 2, Riley, p.29
Quote:
First of all, fix the degree-positions of the Ascendant, MC, and the other angles. Then it is necessary to take the distance in degrees from the Ascendant to IC (moving in the order of the signs), to consider one third of that total distance to be the “operative” degrees in the configuration of the angles, and to consider the stars in these degrees, whether benefics or malefics, to be powerful. Consider the rest of the degrees in order up to IC, as well as the stars in them, to be “inoperative” and impropitious. The points in opposition to the Ascendant and to the other angles will fall into the same pattern with respect to operative and inoperative degrees and the stars in <the> will be powerful. It is therefore obvious that there will not always be 30° at an angle, but sometimes more, sometimes fewer


I do not know what you think you're quote is demonstrating, but here Valens clearly lays out what we now refer to more commonly as the Porphyry method of house division which, to be explicit, divides up the quadrant formed between the degrees of the Ascendant-Descendant axis with the degrees of the MC-IC axis and trisects them. We know this is not the nonagesimal that he means, and is in fact the astronomical degree of the MC (the culminating point) because he draws our attention to how 'obvious' it is that will therefore not always be 30º for a given angle (which there would be for whole signs or equal signs for that matter).

I do not know why you are imagining that the mistakes that certain astrologers made were somehow all part of some secret mystical approach, and that their failure at mathematics made them somehow insightful, instead a more germane solution is that certain astrologers made astronomical mistakes and Geminos is highlighting the problem to help others not make this mistake, and Valens is an example of someone who is aware of the problem and doesn't make the mistake.

The very mistake that you yourself are making here.
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Last edited by Paul on Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Apples and pears. Nothing culminates from the Lot of Fortune. Notice that the disagreement is on the 'culminating sign'.


He is saying that the X sign culminates from the Lot of Fortune. Clearly hard to explain via the current presentist position of seeing it as ignorant and mistaken, academia notwithstanding.

Quote:
Petosiris, serious question, do you actually read the sources you yourself provide? Valens says absolutely nothing here that suggests he thinks the 10th whole sign is always the culminating sign which contains the MC.


Paul, can you stop making ad hominem arguments and read my quotes which clearly say that the X sign is the culminating sign and that the four angles are taken by the ascendant, nonagesimal and the points opposite those.

Just because you are quoting something irreconcilable with many statements of the Anthology begs the question which one is the correct one. Clearly Valens, Dorotheus and others employed both. Valens also defines equal houses later in the Anthology, which taken as his practice would make him quite the schizo.

Anyways, running in circles is not my type of favourite activity. One can examine the available literature and see that it is incorrect to use the quadrant MC for the purposes of Hellenistic astrology, and this has its own astronomical validity when examined via the nonagesimal, because although Martin avoids the word culminating (preferring ''highest'') for the zenith, it can be applied to it as well. That is all I can say on the topic.
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Paul
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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petosiris

Quote:
which clearly say that the X sign is the culminating sign and that the four angles are taken by the ascendant, nonagesimal and the points opposite those.


It says nothing of the sort. Can you double check your quote, at this point I’m willing to imagine you copied and pasted the wrong bit. Otherwise just highlight what you think each sentence means and where you think he’s saying any of the things you think he is.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
although Martin avoids the word culminating (preferring ''highest'') for the zenith, it can be applied to it as well.

Yes, I prefer to use words in their established sense. I find that it facilitates communication. For some reason you seem to prefer the opposite, not unlike Humpty Dumpty:

Quote:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

If you really want to make a case for enlarging the astrological sense of the verb 'culminate', the best way forward might be to go to the Greek sources and try to locate passages that use the verb μεσουρανέω (or perhaps some synonym which escapes me at present) in a sense that clearly does not mean 'culminate' in the generally accepted sense. They may be there; I don't know. But the established meaning of the English term is as I and others have stated in this thread (as any dictionary will tell you).
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
petosiris wrote:
although Martin avoids the word culminating (preferring ''highest'') for the zenith, it can be applied to it as well.

Yes, I prefer to use words in their established sense. I find that it facilitates communication. For some reason you seem to prefer the opposite, not unlike Humpty Dumpty:

Quote:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

If you really want to make a case for enlarging the astrological sense of the verb 'culminate', the best way forward might be to go to the Greek sources and try to locate passages that use the verb μεσουρανέω (or perhaps some synonym which escapes me at present) in a sense that clearly does not mean 'culminate' in the generally accepted sense. They may be there; I don't know. But the established meaning of the English term is as I and others have stated in this thread (as any dictionary will tell you).


And you, better than Paul, know that they (the Greek sources) applied the term (midheaven) to the X sign and the nonagesimal. You also know that the Indians also call the X sign a kentron. My problem with this thread is why people are disputing that in the first place.

My problem with the ''established communication'' is that it rejects whole signs linguistically, but without any concrete argument. Without calling the X sign culminating and an angle, there is no way for one to accept whole signs, he will see the quadrant division as more ''astronomical'' and the like misdirections.

You probably noticed that Paul rejects whole signs and thinks that it is a mistake and confusion on part of the authors simply because it is not ''culminating'' in his own brain. Do you also think the authors were that stupid to confuse the zenith with the quadrant MC, or do you think they simply meant the first?

If I tell you, ''use the X sign for occupation just because whole signs tell you so'', I am not making much of an argument compared to, ''the X image is culminating in the sense that it is at the nonagesimal''. As a quadrant user, perhaps someone will be able to see it as a valid and coherent system that way?

In this sense, ''culminating'' was established method of communicating the sign that is culminating from the rising sign - that is the X sign.
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Konrad



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
I have not looked at the Greek texts, but I am confident that one will find the word zoidion there.


Dear Petosiris,

Normally, yes, but in this instance no. Valens uses τα κεντρα και τας τουτων ἐπαναφορας ta kentra kai tas toutōn epanaforas ('the angles and those following them') in the first instance. In the second he wrote: δυσεως, προδυσεως, ἐπικαταδυσεως duseōs, produseōs, epikataduseōs (literally 'the Descendant, before the Descendant and after the Descendant'). Riley has provided the rendering sign, and Pingree τόπον in the first part.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
petosiris wrote:
I have not looked at the Greek texts, but I am confident that one will find the word zoidion there.


Dear Petosiris,

Normally, yes, but in this instance no. Valens uses τα κεντρα και τας τουτων ἐπαναφορας ta kentra kai tas toutōn epanaforas ('the angles and those following them') in the first instance. In the second he wrote: δυσεως, προδυσεως, ἐπικαταδυσεως duseōs, produseōs, epikataduseōs (literally 'the Descendant, before the Descendant and after the Descendant'). Riley has provided the rendering sign, and Pingree τόπον in the first part.


Yes, I just looked at the text and saw it is not there. I deleted that part. Sorry for the confusion. It could mean both in that case.

Nechepso refers to the tenth zoidion in Valens 7:5 likely referring to the MC? Riley explicitly refers to it as the MC, although I am not seeing that part in the Kroll edition? How would you read that passage Konrad - whole sign houses or quadrants?

Perhaps Riley thought that following the delineations concerning the transits to the MC, naturally Nechepso considered the tenth sign <MC>. The fragment refers to signs and places interchangeably.
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Konrad



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Konrad wrote:
petosiris wrote:
I have not looked at the Greek texts, but I am confident that one will find the word zoidion there.


Dear Petosiris,

Normally, yes, but in this instance no. Valens uses τα κεντρα και τας τουτων ἐπαναφορας ta kentra kai tas toutōn epanaforas ('the angles and those following them') in the first instance. In the second he wrote: δυσεως, προδυσεως, ἐπικαταδυσεως duseōs, produseōs, epikataduseōs (literally 'the Descendant, before the Descendant and after the Descendant'). Riley has provided the rendering sign, and Pingree τόπον in the first part.


Yes, I just looked at the text and saw it is not there. I deleted that part. Sorry for the confusion. It could mean both in that case.

Nechepso refers to the tenth zoidion in Valens 7:5 likely referring to the MC? Riley explicitly refers to it as the MC, although I am not seeing that part in the Kroll edition? How would you read that passage Konrad - whole sign houses or quadrants?

Perhaps Riley thought that following the delineations concerning the transits to the MC, naturally Nechepso considered the tenth sign <MC>. The fragment refers to signs and places interchangeably.


Can you give either the Kroll edition page number or the Pingree edition page number for the section you mean since there are various versions of Riley's PDF available, and some have different page numbers?
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Konrad wrote:
petosiris wrote:
Konrad wrote:
petosiris wrote:
I have not looked at the Greek texts, but I am confident that one will find the word zoidion there.


Dear Petosiris,

Normally, yes, but in this instance no. Valens uses τα κεντρα και τας τουτων ἐπαναφορας ta kentra kai tas toutōn epanaforas ('the angles and those following them') in the first instance. In the second he wrote: δυσεως, προδυσεως, ἐπικαταδυσεως duseōs, produseōs, epikataduseōs (literally 'the Descendant, before the Descendant and after the Descendant'). Riley has provided the rendering sign, and Pingree τόπον in the first part.


Yes, I just looked at the text and saw it is not there. I deleted that part. Sorry for the confusion. It could mean both in that case.

Nechepso refers to the tenth zoidion in Valens 7:5 likely referring to the MC? Riley explicitly refers to it as the MC, although I am not seeing that part in the Kroll edition? How would you read that passage Konrad - whole sign houses or quadrants?

Perhaps Riley thought that following the delineations concerning the transits to the MC, naturally Nechepso considered the tenth sign <MC>. The fragment refers to signs and places interchangeably.


Can you give either the Kroll edition page number or the Pingree edition page number for the section you mean since there are various versions of Riley's PDF available, and some have different page numbers?


Kroll - page 293 7.5.17-18. It is the page before the end of Book VII, around the middle. Thanks.

http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/vettius%20valens%20entire.pdf

I wonder why Riley translates this at page 137 as:
Quote:
In every case the phases of the moon waxing from new to the quarter must be observed, particularly in the X Sign <MC> (as was mentioned)
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Without calling the X sign culminating and an angle, there is no way for one to accept whole signs, he will see the quadrant division as more ''astronomical'' and the like misdirections.

You probably noticed that Paul rejects whole signs and thinks that it is a mistake and confusion on part of the authors simply because it is not ''culminating'' in his own brain.

No, to be honest, I've noticed nothing of the sort. From my point of view, it seems to be all about you wanting to use the word 'culminate' in a non-standard sense, and I don't really see the point of that. Perfectly good arguments can be made for using the 10th sign and the nonagesimal degree (that's another problematic term, by the way, but let it be for now -- presumably we all know that it is used nowadays to refer to the 270th rather than the 90th degree) without claiming that they are culminating = at the highest point of their own diurnal motion. You can argue both that they are at the highest part of the ecliptic at birth and that they are in a superior square to the ascendant; isn't that enough?

Quote:
Do you also think the authors were that stupid to confuse the zenith with the quadrant MC, or do you think they simply meant the first?

The zenith (= the point exactly above your head) doesn't really come into it. Did Hellenistic astrologers confuse the meridian with the nonagesimal? Yes, I think they quite often did, along with a number of other misunderstandings. There were some outstandingly brilliant mathematicians around two thousand years ago, but most people had an understanding of mathematics that barely corresponded to current primary-school levels. No doubt this included many astrologers -- just look at the embarrassingly simple operations that authors like Valens or Paul of Alexandria take pains to explain to their readers.

There is no escaping the fact that quadrant and equal divisions are both used in Hellenistic texts. Personally, I think the evidence for actual whole signs is a lot scantier, and that many passages usually taken to refer to whole signs may really refer to what we call equal houses (because 'sign' was also used to designate any segment of 30 successive degrees). But that's a different can of worms.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Personally, I think the evidence for actual whole signs is a lot scantier, and that many passages usually taken to refer to whole signs may really refer to what we call equal houses (because 'sign' was also used to designate any segment of 30 successive degrees). But that's a different can of worms.


Can you show a place where image refers to any segment of 30 successive degrees that are not associated with the zodiac?

Also doesn't academia also say that the majority of authors use whole signs, and can only do that, for most ''horoscopes'' do not even mention a degree of the ascendant?

Quote:
You can argue both that they are at the highest part of the ecliptic at birth and that they are in a superior square to the ascendant; isn't that enough?


Actually it is not descriptive enough, otherwise no one (instead of everyone) would have called that point culminating. Perhaps it is better to differentiate culminating throughout day and culminating at birth, isn't that better? Then the quadrant MC is the culminating point throughout the day, but the nonagesimal is culminating at the moment of birth, which is the chart basically.

Jupiter can be at the nonagesimal while the Sun is at the quadrant MC, and although the Sun is clearly at the highest it can be throughout the day (noon), Jupiter can be much higher than the Sun, thus I would argue superior in astronomical sense. I would say that Jupiter is culminating rather than the Sun, and I would be more correct in reality than the one who thinks the Sun is culminating while Jupiter declining. Clearly the star of Jupiter would be the highest god at the time, and not at all declining.
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Konrad



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
Konrad wrote:
petosiris wrote:
I have not looked at the Greek texts, but I am confident that one will find the word zoidion there.


Dear Petosiris,

Normally, yes, but in this instance no. Valens uses τα κεντρα και τας τουτων ἐπαναφορας ta kentra kai tas toutōn epanaforas ('the angles and those following them') in the first instance. In the second he wrote: δυσεως, προδυσεως, ἐπικαταδυσεως duseōs, produseōs, epikataduseōs (literally 'the Descendant, before the Descendant and after the Descendant'). Riley has provided the rendering sign, and Pingree τόπον in the first part.


Yes, I just looked at the text and saw it is not there. I deleted that part. Sorry for the confusion. It could mean both in that case.

Nechepso refers to the tenth zoidion in Valens 7:5 likely referring to the MC? Riley explicitly refers to it as the MC, although I am not seeing that part in the Kroll edition? How would you read that passage Konrad - whole sign houses or quadrants?

Perhaps Riley thought that following the delineations concerning the transits to the MC, naturally Nechepso considered the tenth sign <MC>. The fragment refers to signs and places interchangeably.


Petosiris, thanks for the particular reference. Yeah, Riley has added in the MC himself, Nechepso only mentions the tenth sign. I think it is pretty clear that Valens is using whole signs in every section apart from the couple where he explicitly describes Porphyry houses and then equal houses. For me, some of the strongest evidence is found when he talks about houses from Fortune (as he does in 7:5) as I find it a huge leap to say that he was counting them in equal houses, particularly since he had ample opportunity to introduce equal houses and never does in any of his practical examples. It is much less of a convoluted argument to assume he is using what he apparently presents to us in his example charts from the beginning - whole sign houses.

I think a big issue in all of this is that Valens is not the most clear writer for a modern person to read as he uses different terms to mean, presumably, the same thing. In that chapter you cited alone, he calls the 10th place three different names - κορυφή, μεσουράνημα and δέκατον ζῴδιον ('the top', the midheaven, and the tenth sign). However, when I look at how he was received by the later tradition, I am quite comfortable thinking that he was counting houses in signs from the ASC, but that he gave some importance to the MC degree proper.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Konrad, I fully agree with what you are saying.

I am ok with people rejecting this approach as being out of convenience (simply having planets in signs and rising sign) or ignorance of quadrants, but I find it a bit disturbing that Dr Martin Gansten (because I value his superior linguistic knowledge, so I hope this error is due to simple preference or bias for houses and primary directions) says that evidence for whole signs is scantier than for equal houses (this being a historical and linguistic rather than practical matter). Perhaps Martin can clarify his can of worms he opened with his last post, because it is the first time I hear that zoidion can refer to 30 degrees regardless of the ecliptical boundaries, in the Hellenistic tradition.
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