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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Exaltations: Key to Sign Domiciles?
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for saying that michael. the parallel with harmonics is a good one, lost on those who lack the imagination or ability to escape the 'either - or' prison that is so pervasive in any rigid ideological framework - typically politics or religion, but apparently same deal for astrology depending on the practitioner.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Therese wrote:
Quote:
There's always the zodiac question, which it seems the majority of tropical astrologers continue to ignore. It's common sense that a planet can't be exalted in two different zodiacs, the tropical and sidereal.


Why not? Whatever you can see or measure in the sky must have meaning on Earth. As above so below. So different zodiacs could relate to different levels of the individual self.

The idea that more than one chart could be applicable shouldn't be hard to grasp for somebody who knows Harmonics.
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Michael Sternbach
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Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
thanks for saying that michael. the parallel with harmonics is a good one, lost on those who lack the imagination or ability to escape the 'either - or' prison that is so pervasive in any rigidly ideological framework - typically politics or religion, but apparently same deal for astrology depending on the practitioner.


Exactly, James, I observe plenty of ideological bias even or especially amongst people who uphold a scientific or academic approach. Although science itself provides so many examples for seemingly mutually exclusive perspectives being equally valid.

One of my favourite examples being the different models of the orbital shells of the atom used in Chemistry. Each of them is useful for describing and calculating certain chemical reactions, but less apt for others. Their validity therefore depends on the context, and I think in astrology we are facing an analogous situation.

Maybe there will be a new theory of the atom one day uniting the features of all the current models, based on an enhanced understanding. I believe that underlying the complexities of nature, there is actually simplicity. However, to get there, we need a holistic understanding that does not deny but rather embraces the different perspectives.

Maybe there will also be a unified theory of astrology in the future that explains how the different kinds of Zodiacs, Houses, celestial bodies etc all relate to each other.

To contribute to such a model to whatever possible degree is my great endeavour. It also seems to be Therese's which I welcome although we arrive at somewhat different conclusions.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of today's perception of tropical Gemini, it seems like a poor match to place a Neptunian association (exaltation) with that sign. But the perception of signs has changed through the centuries, and today's view of tropical Gemini is more mentally Mercurial than in the past. (Sidereal Gemini doesn't have the same mental expression as tropical Gemini.)

Virgo was always considered to be Mercury's primary sign while Gemini was its secondary sign. But today astrologers are suggesting alternative rulers for tropical Virgo (even asteroids) because it doesn't seem so Mercurial to them. It's interesting to compare what Ibn Ezra (1148 C.E.) says about Gemini and Virgo:

Gemini: "In its share of people are the kings, the magnates, the heroes, the magicians, the sorcerers, and those with the icons and amulets [Also in its share are] all things of play and music, and hand craft and all delicate things." (p. 34)

Virgo: "In its share among people are the middle ones [translator's note: presumably neither common nor aristocratic], and writers, and the learned ones, mathematicians, geometers, women, eunuchs, and those whose art brings laughter (comedians)." (p. 48-49)
Avraham Ibn-Izra, The Beginning of Wisdom, translated by Meira B. Epstein, Arhat 1998.

It's easy to see here the association of Gemini with the hands while Virgo is given the mental attributes of Mercury.

A note on Neptune from Larousse Concise Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology, 1965, pp. 245-247:

Neptune (Poseidon) liked transforming himself and others, such as changing men to women and vice versa. Poseidon grants miraculous powers....therefore when anything extraordinary or inexplicable happened the Greeks used to exclaim, "Oh Poseidon, your cunning!"
-------------------End Quote------------------

Also there is a close mythological link between Neptune and the Gemini twins (the Dioscouri). If we remain only with today's perception of signs, we're missing important facts from the historical picture. It's only when we investigate the historical background of the signs and constellations that we begin to realize how different today's view of zodiac signs is from the past.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Thu May 07, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day and Night Halves of the Zodiac and Dendera

In April Waybread recommended Joanne Conman's book, Ancient Egyptian Sky Lore: Rethinking the Conventional Wisdom (Decan Wisdom Books, 2013). Thanks, Waybread! I've been reading this book in the last week.

The basis of the exaltation-domicile pattern illustrated at the beginning of this thread is the day-night division of the zodiac. What I'm finding most fascinating about Conman's book so far is the importance given to these day (diurnal) and night zodiac divisions in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. I believe that Conman is suggesting that the origin of this division can be traced back to Egyptian antiquity and the use of rising and setting decan stars.

The Dendera linear zodiac is divided into two based on the two halves of the zodiac. Conman points out that the night side of the zodiac, Aquarius though Cancer, is pictured on the east side of the hypostle hall. The day signs, Leo through Capricorn, are pictured on the west side of the same hall. The signs are pictured with their traditional ruling planets. Triplicity lords also seem to be represented as Jupiter, the night triplicity lord of the Aries trigon, is pictured with Aries, and Mars, the primary triplicity lord of the Cancer trigon, is pictured with Pisces.

So I see the Dendera linear zodiac as emphasizing the importance of the day-night division of the zodiac for astrologers in antiquity. For me, this suggests that the trans-Saturnian planets would be correctly aligned with night signs of the zodiac. This relates to the night signs being "east," and the day signs being "west." (There is more on direction in Conman's book.)

But that is another topic and relates to inner (east) and outer (west) states of consciousness. Elsewhere on the sidereal forum I posted a note on the symbolism used in Astrological Geomancy where the Sun's diurnal symbolism [The Sun rises in the East] (Fortuna Major) related to inward victory: happiness, success, fulfillment of desire, fortune, money. Somehow in the future I think we'll better understand this related symbolism.

Conman's book isn't easy reading, so I'll be reviewing sections in the next week or two to be sure I understand what she is saying.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu May 07, 2015 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, thanks for the feedback. I wish Conman's book weren't so focused as a critique of the literature, and were more simply presented as an overview of Egyptian contributions to astrology, with a literature review chapter or two. But it is an academic book, unlike the more fanciful New Age "Egyptian astrology" books out there.

There is also evidence of exaltations from very ancient times in Babylon: the planets' so-called "secret places." But it seems that the Egyptian evidence is older. Hard to say whether there was any cultural diffusion between Egypt and Babylon on exaltations, or whether these were independent developments.

Ptolemy was familiar with both systems.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

There is also evidence of exaltations from very ancient times in Babylon: the planets' so-called "secret places." But it seems that the Egyptian evidence is older. Hard to say whether there was any cultural diffusion between Egypt and Babylon on exaltations, or whether these were independent developments.

I'm puzzled as to how Egypt could be the source of planetary exaltations when Conman tells us they didn't have constellations, only decan stars and asterisms. Cyril Fagan claims that the exaltations of planets originated in 786 B.C. in Calah, when the new temple of Nabu (who is Mercury), was opened by the King of Assyria. But Rupert Gleadow (who, like Fagan, was a siderealist) wrote that even 200 years later the Moon was still not spoken of as being in Taurus. Gleadow suggests the zodiac was not in use at that early date. (The Origin of the Zodiac, Castle Books, 1968, pp. 170-171)

I don't suppose you could summarize for us Conman's reasons for suggesting the exaltations might have originated in Egypt? I think we would all be very interested in what she says.
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waybread



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from her article, Joanne Conman, 2006-2009, "The Egyptian Origins of Planetary Hypsomata," Discussions in Egyptology, 64:7-20.

If you don't have access to a university library, probably your local public library could get a copy for you via Inter-Library Loan. The journal publisher or document delivery service would probably sell it, but not cheaply!

There is a debate about the ancient Egyptian constellations. What they did use, however, were decans stars and asterisms as a celestial calendar. The identity of many of these is unknown, although different researchers have postulated different candidates. Conman gives a list. The Dog Star Sothis or Sepdet (Sirius) was the main one. These stars predictably rose just before the rising sun every 10 days; and at opposite it at sunset every 160 days. However, they were not necessarily stars in the zodiacal constellations.

These stars and planets were given times of maximum power, that can be mapped onto our zodiac degrees. The planets' power didn't extend to an entire sign, but rather, to a specific degree of a sign. (For the precise degrees, Conman cites Dorotheus of Sidon, Carmen Astrologicum. Have you got a copy? Jupiter=15 Cancer, Mercury=15 Virgo, Saturn=21 Libra, Mars=28 Capricorn, Venus=27 Pisces.

The oldest known lists of decans dates from coffin texts of around 2000 BCE. Conman also used the Carlsberg papyri 1st & 2nd centuries CE) as sources.

Conman used some astronomical software, starting with Sirius, to try to identify bright stars that best matched up with the 10-day interval. The exaltation degrees seemed to match up well with decans stars at these degrees. They seem to have a mathematical relationship to one another of 7 or 20 decans as intervals.

Conman thinks that Egyptian exaltations probably diffused to Mesopotamia.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Waybread. Yes, I have Dorotheus. I do have star charts, and I can check the Dorotheus degrees. I know that in the zodiac I use Sirius is just at 20 degrees of Gemini.

It looks like I'll be looking into Inter-Library loan. In her article does Conman list the possible exaltation decan stars she obtained with her software?

Can you tell me about Jstor? I'm not familiar with it. I assume that academic articles are available through Jstor. Is there an annual fee?
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Michael Sternbach
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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese,

Did I get you right? You cannot tell me off the top of your head which nakshatras are ruled by Rahu?

Perhaps somebody else here could chime in then?

Thanks.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Therese,

Did I get you right? You cannot tell me off the top of your head which nakshatras are ruled by Rahu?

Perhaps somebody else here could chime in then?

Thanks.

You've got to be kidding. The lunar mansions have been in my memory bank for 35 years. They click into place every time I look at a chart. I wanted to be helpful and gave the link to all the lunar mansions including tropical boundaries. Also they are listed in many Jyotish sites if you do a web search. Is it too much effort to clink on a link?
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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Fri May 08, 2015 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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waybread



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, sorry I didn't think to mention these-- they're embedded in her table 1. It also occurs to me that if you can locate Conman (via her book publisher) she may send you some reprints on request.

Basically she had some astronomical software that allowed her to account for precession going back to 2000 BCE. I'm confused, now, though, because under the "Zodiac Decan Hypsoma" column, the degrees are different than the ones cited in the text. Maybe there's some allowance for precession... or these might have been special prayer dates.

Mercury=Arctutus
Saturn=Hadar
Enif,Sadalsuud, Mars
Almach=Venus
epsilon Perseus=sun (??)
Capella=moon (??)
Sirius-Jupiter
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Michael Sternbach
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Posted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
You've got to be kidding. The lunar mansions have been in my memory bank for 35 years. They click into place every time I look at a chart. I wanted to be helpful and gave the link to all the lunar mansions including tropical boundaries. Also they are listed in many Jyotish sites if you do a web search. Is it too much effort to clink on a link?


I found it. Thanks.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread, guess what?! I was looking for something in the spiral bound section of my bookcase and found Conman's article. I have no memory at all as to where the article came from, and no memory of reading it. It's attached to an interview with Conman from 1910 by "The New Times Holler." I assume the article has been sitting on my bookshelf since 2010. Old age memory is no fun at all, or should I say there is no old age memory?!
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waybread



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Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, Therese-- I haven't developed a good filing system for my history of astrology articles-- no place to put them in our current file cabinets, and no space for a new filing cabinet. (I prefer working with paper copies: very old-fashioned.) So forgetting and "rediscoveries" happen frequently.

My interest just now is in the thematic development of houses (vs. the more common debate on the oldest house system,) which to me seems very Egyptian. Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the expertise to work on this properly, but I find it fascinating, nonetheless.
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waybread



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, I just realized that when in doubt, it doesn't hurt to try the obvious. I just googled Joanne Conman, and found that she has a website now, where some of her articles are posted. http://www.joanneconman.com/
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