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Rudolf Steiner and the Zodiac
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:15 pm    Post subject: Rudolf Steiner and the Zodiac Reply with quote

Rudolf Steiner and the Zodiac
And questions for Tropical Astrology

I’ve been studying Rudolf Steiner’s writings, and these have provoked some interesting thoughts about the zodiac and astrology.

In Steiner’s clairvoyant vision the zodiac is extremely ancient. Steiner says that the names of the various regions of the zodiac came as a result of the human form being projected out into the cosmos, and as such is related to the “circle of animals” we see today. The starry constellations (under different names which described parts of the human body) were the prototype of the human body, and this was clearly understood eons ago. in other words Steiner explains the extremely ancient source of Melothesia.

According to Steiner the human body was formed in relation to the energies in the spatial areas of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. There isn’t “empty space” out there, but a universe filled with spiritual beings doing their work to aid evolution. These beings moved in from the cosmos initially in the areas we now identify as the four solid or fixed constellations of the zodiac: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This would be the source of the importance of these four constellations through eons of time. Each of the four forces (Cherubim) came with two companions which formed a total of 12 constellations.

According to Steiner, each constellation is a reflection of spiritual beings of a unique type which radiate specific types of energy toward the earth. So for sidereal astrologers who are sympathetic to Steiner, this gives at least a partial explanation for the specific energies of their signs. (There is a relationship here to India’s ancient nakshatras which were said to be associated with specific deities. So India has preserved the concept of actual beings as the source or protectors of various areas of the constellations.)

The question then becomes: What is the source of tropical sign influence if it remains unchanged through the centuries as tropical astrologers seem to believe? And if tropical sign influence does change through the centuries, then aren’t we back to the sidereal zodiac?

No doubt this dilemma was the motivation for David Roell (may his soul rest in peace...) to come up with an idea that may seem fantastic--that the tropical zodiac actually lies under our feet in the earth. The article that discusses this concept in on the Internet. (http://www.astroamerica.com/mccormack-front.pdf)

This article is the forward to Dave’s publication of George J. McCormack’s book: A Textbook of Long-Range Weather Forecasting (2012). This book gives case histories of the importance of planets in relation to the solstice and equinox charts and MC/IC among other factors. (I’ve just received this book and have only quickly scanned it so far.)

Dave says: "The tropical zodiac is based on the Earth-Sun relationship, specifically, declinations and seasons...This structure means the Tropical Zodiac is not of the sky, nor in the sky, but expresses the relationship between Earth and Sun....

“Astrology is Earth-based: The Tropical Zodiac has nothing to do with the sky. Never has, and never will. Presumably the Zodiac was projected into the sky at some point as a reference...”
(end quote)

(A projection of the calendar into the sky is exactly what Robert Powell believes happened as he explains in The History of the Zodiac, but Powell's book is a different topic.)

This brought to my mind a suggestion that any events related solely to the earth (mundane astrology) should use the rising and falling declination energies in relation to the hemispheres, but for ensouled human beings the influences that matter to us come from energies in areas of space and are sidereal (as clairvoyantly gifted Steiner says). For example, the energies that come from the constellation of Leo will remain in Leo for the duration of our human experience and are different from the unique energies of the other 11 constellations. (These would be the 30 degree constellational signs of sidereal astrology, but to quote Steiner’s references on this would take too much space and go off topic.)

I don’t know if tropical astrologers have given deep thought to the origin of observed tropical traits, but I’d be interested in opinions. My own view (as I’ve posted on Skyscript in various places and on my web site) is that observed tropical sign traits simply have a sidereal (constellational) source and so must change through the centuries. These traits could have nothing to do with declination energies which are always opposite in the two hemispheres during any season of the year.
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Graham F



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Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote :
Quote:
The question then becomes: What is the source of tropical sign influence if it remains unchanged through the centuries as tropical astrologers seem to believe? (...)
Dave (Roell) says: "The tropical zodiac is based on the Earth-Sun relationship, specifically, declinations and seasons...This structure means the Tropical Zodiac is not of the sky, nor in the sky, but expresses the relationship between Earth and Sun.... 

“Astrology is Earth-based: The Tropical Zodiac has nothing to do with the sky. Never has, and never will. Presumably the Zodiac was projected into the sky at some point as a reference...”

(A projection of the calendar into the sky is exactly what Robert Powell believes happened as he explains in The History of the Zodiac, but Powell's book is a different topic.) 

This brought to my mind a suggestion that any events related solely to the earth (mundane astrology) should use the rising and falling declination energies in relation to the hemispheres, but for ensouled human beings the influences that matter to us come from energies in areas of space and are sidereal (as clairvoyantly gifted Steiner says).

Thanks for bringing this up again, I think the idea of that tropical astrology seems more fitted to mundane affairs, and sidereal to "incarnated souls" is quite plausible, and would seem to correspond to what I've noticed. I touched on this question in the thread on "astrology as pseudoscience", which was then continued on a new thread "the origins of the tropical zodiac" :
Quote:
Despite my interest in sidereal astrology, the elegance of the classical tropical approach, the emphasis on the annual cycle of light, and perhaps the greater cultural resonance attracted me to look again at tropical. I noticed that in mundane work, comparing related charts straddling long periods of time, significant and appropriate "coincidences" just didn't show up in sidereal, because of precession not being taken into account. 

For example (sorry, Mark, about the multiwheels), if you look at the 9/11 attack, the 1993 WTC bombing, Pearl Harbour and the Sibly chart (to a lesser extent, any chart for 4th July 1776) together, you get a couple of striking line-ups (particularly on the 4th July Saturn). You get alignments tropically which you don't get sidereally, and which are even more focused when you also look at the 9th harmonic chart (a hangover from Indian, to look at the H9 as a sort of second base chart). Ditto for the charts for the recent Paris attacks + preceding (September) LE + SE + foundation of the 1st Republic (widely used, not just by me and Wolfgang, as the founding chart for France post the Revolution, though others are also used, as Mark has pointed out).

Reading the article by Roell that you mention, and one by Robin Heath here on Skyscript, was one of the things that got me thinking about this – and also questioning whether the tropical rulerships are correctly aligned with the solstice/equinox cross (the antisicial/contra-antiscial axes).
Quote:
Roell must surely also be right that we need to look beyond textual evidence for the origins of the zodiac : there must have been an oral tradition long before things got written down, and ancient peoples have left us other clues, in iconography (and images of the four fixed signs as cornerstones of the zodiac recur well into the Christian era), in ancient monuments and in the landscape. His "theory of the Earth's primary zodiac", while still very sketchy and not drawing out its own full implications, ties in nicely with the line of thinking of Robin Heath in "The astronomy and astrology of the solar hero myth" here on Skyscript : 
http://www.skyscript.co.uk/sunheath.html 

Viewed from where I live in Lyon in France, at the equinoxes (both of them...), the sun rises behind Mont Blanc. It's very striking and beautiful. The pre-Roman peoples settled here must surely have noticed this, and they may also have associated Mont Blanc, and other landmarks on the horizon, with particular gods, spirits or principles, as we know ancient peoples did. Stone structures like Stonehenge, or Carnac in Britanny, are now generally accepted as being arranged to pinpoint alignments at the equinoxes and solstices (perhaps for other purposes too). A particular area of the horizon could have become associated with both a certain spirit or god (later, a saint, as in the various St Michael's Mounts, etc), and with a certain time of the year when the Sun rose in that area, and subsequently with the part of sky seen to be rising over that area in the evening, probably initially at the full moon. 

If they divided the horizon into six bands and associated each sixth with a god, which later became a planetary god, it's probable they would have used the same associations for the same area when the sun was heading up to the summer solstice and down to the winter solstice – and when they projected these "rulerships" onto the sky, and more precisely the ecliptic band of sky, they would have got a zodiac, something like an "Earth's primary zodiac". 

It would have been a symmetrical zodiac, the same segment of horizon (and hence of ecliptic rising over it) getting the same "ruler" on the way up as on the way down, as it would be if we placed the VP at 30° Aries/0° "Taurus" (or 30° Libra/0° Scorpio) in the rulership scheme, and not one step out of phase, as the Aries-based zodiac requires.

It turns out that Ptolemy proposed just such a scheme in his chapter of Tetrabiblos "The Houses of the Planets", where he makes the rulserships scheme symmetrical with the antisicial (solstice) axis :
Quote:
17. OF THE HOUSES OF THE SEVERAL PLANETS. 
Since of the twelve signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and of warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, that is, to the luminaries, as houses, Leo, which is masculine, to the sun and Cancer, feminine, to the moon. In keeping with this they assumed the semicircle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar, so that in each of the semicircles one sign might be assigned to each of the five planets as its own, one bearing aspect to the sun and the other to the moon.

I realise that this is contradicted by the rest of Ptolemy's work, where he simply assumes that the VP =0 Aries = start of the house of Mars. The VP was indeed in early Aries sidereally at the time, so this is understandable ; but as Paul replied to me 
Quote:
I don't think it's a central tenet of the tropical zodiac that we refer to Aries as the first sign of the zodiac for all eternity but rather in recognising the importance of the sun's declination and the points on the ecliptic at 90º intervals along its axis which serve as the turning points of the sun and its declination and the symbolic relationship this has to our understanding of time and its meaning.
 
I agree, and if the key to the tropical zodiac is the sun's declination, then the horizon is at least as important as the stars, if not more so, as Roell claims: those points at 90° on the ecliptic are also points at various degrees along the horizon depending on the latitude. And the rulerships could have derived from associations of certain directions or landmarks, where the sun rises at certain times of year, with various gods or spiritual principles, later or simultaneously (or indeed earlier) linked with corresponding proportional sections of the ecliptic.

This is reflected not only in very ancient megalithic monuments like Stonehenge etc, but also in the construction of our churches, and particularly of the major cathedrals. For example, the nave of Chartres Cathedral is aligned with sunrise on the summer solstice, others with the equinoxes, the winter solstice, and a range of dates between. There was thus an association of sunrise at a certain point on the horizon, with a certain date and a certain saint – and the saints largely took over places and dates associated with pre-Christian deities.

So I think that could be the tropical origin of rulerships, which might well be older than sidereal, so the transfer may have gone from earth to sky as Roell and Powell suggest. This hypothesis requires, of course, that we don't block at whatever date we can find a written record for : Roell insists on the probability of a long oral/mnemonic tradition predating any documents we might have, and I think he's probably right. I also think that if the horizon and the sun's declination are the keys to the tropical zodiac, the original associations/rulerships would probably have been symmetrical about the solstice axis, but that's not how tropical astrology has developed.

Graham
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Graham, for your thoughts and links to other discussions. I don't want to get sidetracked into discussions of rulerships which have already been covered in other Skyscript topics. The central concept here is whether two different sets of measurements (equatorial/declination/tropical and ecliptic/starry/sidereal) should be used for different types of astrology.

When I first read David Roell's thoughts on the tropical zodiac, my first thought was, "This guy is crazy." But after studying Steiner and reading Robert Powell's books, I began to think that Dave had discovered something very important for astrology. (However, Dave himself may have believed that the sidereal zodiac was a fiction and quite useless.)

So I am perhaps making a big switch myself here, and beginning to consider that the declination measurements are those to be used for mundane affairs. Previously I was using the sidereal zodiac for everything--following ten years as a tropical astrologer and an excellent early tropical education from London's Faculty of Astrological Studies. And that followed by many tropical and Vedic classes and workshops over the years, plus an astrological library that covers just about everything.

Therese
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Pier



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Therese and everyone

This very interesting quote of R. Steiner that you unearthed echoes something quite significant which is written right into Parasara, his Hora Shastra, in his chapter about the Rasis, or Signs. I ve been commenting this passage heavily in my astro classes :

Chapter 4, 1.2

"The Imperceptible Vishnu, Janardana, is the Figure of Time, Kalarupa, whose limbs become unconscious as the Rasis, beginning from the Ram etc"

This is the Ernst Wilhelm translation which has the added benefit of pointing out that the limbs of Vishnu become unconscious as the Rasis. (Which is not in the Sharma or Santhanam translations.) So the Rasis, and the limbs, meaning the body, are not associated with deities, no animus, they are unconscious, unlike the Grahas, planets.

So if R Steiner mentions here the constellations, this is another indication that the Hora Shastra relates to sidereal signs, just as R. Steiner does.

There is another tip that Parasara means sidereal signs. When he comes to the computation of Ayana Bala, one part of the Shad Bala, he requires one to ADD the ayanamsa to the degree of the planet to calculate Ayana Bala.

///The starry constellations (under different names which described parts of the human body) were the prototype of the human body, and this was clearly understood eons ago. in other words Steiner explains the extremely ancient source of Melothesia.///

This clearly means that our body was made up from constellational "material" (so to speak), or if we like, is imaged from the zodiac Rasis, and not the other way around. And Parasara says much the same.
This is decidedly not a materialistic point of view.

I wont go into a different uses of a tropical zodiac here just to keep the focus of the discussion.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pierre wrote:
Quote:
"The Imperceptible Vishnu, Janardana, is the Figure of Time, Kalarupa, whose limbs become unconscious as the Rasis, beginning from the Ram etc"

This is the Ernst Wilhelm translation which has the added benefit of pointing out that the limbs of Vishnu become unconscious as the Rasis. (Which is not in the Sharma or Santhanam translations.) So the Rasis, and the limbs, meaning the body, are not associated with deities, no animus, they are unconscious, unlike the Grahas, planets.

It's very interesting that Parashara's text (BPHS) begins the discussion of signs of the zodiac (Rasis) with mention of the 12 limbs of the body. This emphasis seems to have been lost or had less importance in early western astrology. The emphasis in Parashara seems to reflect the ancient understanding of the relation of the body of man to the 12 constellations. However, Steiner would say that the Beings in the areas of the constellations are working with dedication and awareness as they pour their energies toward earth for the benefit of humanity's development.

But, Pierre, I think you are meaning to say that the rasis (as "unconscious") are of less importance than the planets which reflect the consciousness of human beings?

Therese
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Pier



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Therese

The limbs of Vishnu are unconscious, whereas the deities are associated with the planets. We would perhaps not say rasis are less important, but that they are more locations, body parts, where the energy is expressed.

So not only many deities are animating the planets, but also avatars are born thru the grahas, sometimes to increase the influx of energy and speed up man's developement, and Parasara, in the true fashion of Samkhya philosophy discuss those. For instance Krishna, the dark one, is the god (or semi-god) moon. Properly speaking he is not an avatar here, I forget the name of the avatar.
So rasis and grahas have different purposes. But yes, the 12 rasis seem an important features of the zodiac,, there are no 11 or 13 rasis...
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Pier



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and Therese those beings that come to help mankind, that Steiner mention are the avatars, that Parasara names.
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Graham F



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
So I am perhaps making a big switch myself here, and beginning to consider that the declination measurements are those to be used for mundane affairs. Previously I was using the sidereal zodiac for everything--following ten years as a tropical astrologer


I believe a number of Indian astrologers do just this - use sidereal for natal readings and personal horary, and tropical for mundane. M.C. Jain is an example, though not a good reference, as according to Roell he simply copied Raphael, but I think there are others.

I was very interested to note Piers' reference to the ayanamsa being mentioned in BPHS, regarding ayana bala. I checked (in English) and this is indeed true, not just in Wilhelm's translation. So I think this must be the only reference to the ayanams in either Parasara or Varahamihira. Interesting that despite this, Wilhelm now favours tropical for Indian astrology (or did when I last read some of his writings).

Graham[/quote]
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Pier



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Graham

For the last few months I ve been using sidereal for natal readings, which was a huge shift for me once again. But when analysing health with the vargas, esp. the trimsamsa D30 (not the 5 Lords trimsamsa) the tropical seems clearer....

And yes for Ingress charts, the tropical seems better in practice.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
Quote:
I was very interested to note Piers' reference to the ayanamsa being mentioned in BPHS, regarding ayana bala. I checked (in English) and this is indeed true, not just in Wilhelm's translation. So I think this must be the only reference to the ayanamsa in either Parasara or Varahamihira.

For those who don't know what the term ayana means, it has to do with equinotical strength. From BPHS (Santhanam translation, page 277):

"Add ayanamsa to the planet (for which ayana bala is required) and find out the Buja (distance form the nearest equinox."

We are finding uses for declination measurements in both the west (ingress charts) and India. But what is the logic for the observed traits of the tropical declination zodiac? Are they simply sidereal after all? What about David Roell's statement that the declination zodiac has no natural relationship to the sky of stars? In contrast the sidereal zodiac has no relationship to either seasons or the equator and declination.


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Graham F



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Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote
Quote:
We are finding uses for declination measurements in both the west (ingress charts) and India. But what is the logic for the observed traits of the tropical declination zodiac? Are they simply sidereal after all? What about David Roell's statement that the declination zodiac has no natural relationship to the sky of stars?


As I suggested, I think this may be related to associations of local horizon with sunrise at certain times of year:
Quote:
A particular landmark or area of the horizon could have become associated with both a certain spirit or god (later, a saint, as in the various St Michael's Mounts, etc), and with a certain time of the year when the Sun rose in that area, and subsequently with the part of sky seen to be rising over that area in the evening, probably initially at the full moon.


For example, cathedrals dedicated to Our Lady / Notre Dame (Moon?) are apparently often aligned to local sunrise at the summer solstice (and most cathedrals seem to be constructed on previously sacred sites, tapping into the same "energies"). I think it's more useful to think of a site (and it's alignment to the horizon and thus to the solar cycle) as being dedicated to a particular god/planet/saint/spiritual principle, rather than explaining the influence of that spirit.

Graham
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
Quote:
For example, cathedrals dedicated to Our Lady / Notre Dame (Moon?) are apparently often aligned to local sunrise at the summer solstice (and most cathedrals seem to be constructed on previously sacred sites, tapping into the same "energies").

But this type of association would belong to a specific geographical area and a specific locale. There is nothing general linked to psychological traits for all of mankind in these sacred sites, though of course there could be the influence of spirits, especially nature spirits. There are definitely noticeable energies associated with sacred sites. I remember the aura of Stonehenge many years ago when we were still allowed to walk through the circle and meditate if we wished.

Quote:
I think it's more useful to think of a site (and it's alignment to the horizon and thus to the solar cycle) as being dedicated to a particular god/planet/saint/spiritual principle, rather than explaining the influence of that spirit.

This is what Steiner would explain as a materialistic view "out of touch with reality" (as he calls it). This sort of detachment from "reality" begins when the intellect overshadows intuition and an earlier kind of primitive "knowing" through parts of the body (shown by procession through the constellations). (This is Steiner's explanation that I am just reading now.)

In fact what we regard today as superstitions of the past may be where truth actually lies. Ensouled spiritual beings give life and vitality to the stars and constellations whereas intellectual constructs of astrology are mental only and can be essentially lifeless. Hellenistic astrology (which was later adopted by the tropical community) appeared near the end of the age of Aries, the processional age of the head. (according to Steiner)

Steiner makes the interesting statement in discussing the processional age of Aries: "Head knowledge is very different from earlier forms of knowing...it is really of very little value for spiritual purposes."
"The cultural epochs and the passage of the equinox" in Astronomy and Astrology, Rudolf Steiner Press, 2009, p. 228

So the question remains: "What is the source (or sources) of observations of characteristics of tropical "signs" that relate to the human being?" David Roell apparently believed they were inherent in the earth. But I doubt that the majority of tropical astrologers would agree with Dave.

An interesting note by Steiner (and somewhat off topic) is that he says the current Age of Pisces is related to the feet, the starry constellation of Pisces always having that association. If we consider the mania for travel and movement in our culture today, it seems apparent that the Age of Aquarius is not yet upon us. (It would be inaccurate to assign psychological traits of tropical signs to the processional ages as they are star related.)

Steiner does say that the decanate rulers are sub-influences of the Ages. Thus today we are under the sub-influence of Saturn, the first decanate of Pisces, along with the Jupiter influence from Pisces. These influences would also apply to individuals born under sidereal Pisces.
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Graham F



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Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thérèse wrote:
Quote:
But this type of association would belong to a specific geographical area and a specific locale.


No, the proportional position of sunrise on a given date, in relation to total range from WS to SS (i.e. to the tropical year) would be the same, even if the actual position and angle of alignment differs with latitude. If you build your summer solstice church dedicated to Our Lady at 30° N it won't have the same angle to true East as at 50°N, but it will still tap into the energies and symbolism of the SS, on the same date.

Quote:
There is nothing general linked to psychological traits for all of mankind in these sacred sites, though of course there could be the influence of spirits, especially nature spirits.


Things like St Michael's Mounts could easily be seen as linked to psychological traits, via the qualities of the saint (or the earlier spirtis which he colonised).

Quote:
This is what Steiner would explain as a materialistic view "out of touch with reality" (as he calls it). This sort of detachment from "reality" begins when the intellect overshadows intuition and an earlier kind of primitive "knowing" through parts of the body (shown by procession through the constellations).


I just meant that I feel it's better to see the planets as one manifestation of a principal which can also manifest in lost of other ways (as above, so below), as reflected in the various traditional correspondences whihc were unquestioned in medieval and early Renaissance times.

I don't think it's materialistic to say that that "thing" up there doesn't primarily "influence" us, but is rather a "case in point" of a more subtle presence, a sort of metonym through which we can get to know that more diffuse presence. (Setting aside, of course, the measurable material influences of gravity etc on tides etc).

Graham
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Lazarus



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Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fullest and most convincing treatment of the Tropical Zodiac in terms of why the signs manifest the qualities they do manifest would be (to me at least) found in Dane Rudhyar's text The Pulse of Life, in which everything is understood from a profound cyclical point of view... On a side note, however, I do not believe that we are doing anything more than intellectually/conceptually based work with astrology when we are focusing on single factors in a chart to yields some kind of definite meaning about a person. What I mean by this is that good divination of any kind relies upon confluence (multiple testimonies about a single factor) and this is the purpose of things like Lots, 12th parts, significators (Karakas), sub-charts, etc. Traditionally in Jyotish an astrologer will also practice various forms of omenology, palmistry and face reading and even Nadi reading. What this allows one to do is to focus the mind so that extraneous noise is blocked out and the intuition can be accessed. True divination is really just a method of focusing one's mind in a way that reveals hidden information regarding a specific person or circumstance etc. Therefore it is really arbitrary which Zodiac is used because what is most important is confluence. I myself have delineated charts with both Zodiacs and found that the results were good either way. The more we emphasize the Planets over everything else the less this or that particular Zodiac will matter and it really barely matters once we begin to look for confluence rather than emphasizing the fact that Aries rises in Tropical and Pisces in Sidereal or what have you. Character traits are rather superficial in the grand scheme of things and much of astrology today has become more of a conceptually motivated practice rather than one that seeks the Truth of the matter. Thus we find all these different schools of astrology obsessively trying to determine the "spiritual/karmic purpose of one's incarnation" and one's "past lives, etc" all which tends to be sugar coated in superficial language which does nothing more than to add to one's identity structure and inflate the ego and the sense of I that comes with it. Knowing your past lives really has nothing to do with Truth, with the Divine, with Moksha. I am not familiar with Steiner's doctrines but it really matters very little if there are beings who work through the physical constellations to help us in our evolution. I don't see how knowing this or any other fanciful modern occult theories (and believe me I know a lot of em and find them fascinating and even believe some of them myself) will help one to become liberated. It all has its place in the grand scheme of things but at a certain point it is ridiculous to focus too much on this or that person's theory of the universe etc. Forget single factors, like this or that sign, and look for confluence. Good divination allows one to access deeper layers of intuition and to give the client or person the information they need in that moment.

On a final note I will say that I prefer the Tropical zodiac for the simple reason that I get the seasonal influence while reading a chart. I believe the cyclicality of time as we experience it through the seasons is a very important part of our existence and thus using the Tropical zodiac allows me to see the seasonal influence, which is undoubtedly different from the constellational influence on a person (however the sidereal zodiac is not the same as the constellational zodiac). I do not, in any way, believe that one is superior or inferior to the other.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't typically read the Philosophy & Science forum, and this is just a note in the margin of the ongoing discussion, but, as Skyscript has few active Sanskritists, I feel a certain responsibility to clarify a minor point:

Pier wrote:
This very interesting quote of R. Steiner that you unearthed echoes something quite significant which is written right into Parasara, his Hora Shastra, in his chapter about the Rasis, or Signs. I ve been commenting this passage heavily in my astro classes :

Chapter 4, 1.2

"The Imperceptible Vishnu, Janardana, is the Figure of Time, Kalarupa, whose limbs become unconscious as the Rasis, beginning from the Ram etc"

This is the Ernst Wilhelm translation which has the added benefit of pointing out that the limbs of Vishnu become unconscious as the Rasis. (Which is not in the Sharma or Santhanam translations.)

There is a very good reason for this point not being present in the Sharma or Santhanam translations, namely, that it is not there in the Sanskrit text to begin with. The phrase mistranslated by Ernst Wilhelm is undoubtedly निबोध त्वं nibodha tvaṃ, which does not mean 'unconscious': it means 'know thou' (in the imperative, that is, a command -- brought out, incidentally, in the Sharma translation).

If the above is representative of Ernst Wilhelm's level of Sanskrit learning, I'd recommend staying clear of his translations.
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