View Full Version : Orbs: "How low should you go?"
06-06-2010, 10:53 AM
I'm currently exploring the idea of 3-5 degrees for all aspects or is that being too strict? It's just that I hate the idea of over-interpreting. I understand that most astrologers give an 8 (maybe 10) degree orb with oppositions, squares, and conjunctions. But I am starting to ponder whether or not an 8-10 degree orb is on the over interpret realm.
What is your philosophy on orbs?
06-06-2010, 06:44 PM
William Lilly gave each planet its own orb, instead of each aspect. Here's a good article:
06-06-2010, 06:48 PM
So.. if you're using a program that doesn't allow you to set an orb for each planet- it looks like 7 degrees is a good one to choose.
06-06-2010, 08:17 PM
I didn't think about that, delilah. I did run into a similar problem when one of my programs wouldn't let me increase an orb past 15 degrees. But, in the end, you can just "eyeball" the aspects using the orbs of your choice...
06-06-2010, 10:53 PM
This is still rather a hot topic on here, but generally, sun &moon it's 10' orb, the rest for hard aspects ie: conj, square, opp I use 8', sextiles and trines I use 6' and quincunxs max 3'
06-07-2010, 03:42 AM
I'm currently exploring the idea of 3-5 degrees for all aspects or is that being too strict?
No, but I think it does depend on what you're doing.
Orbs are a classic example of misunderstood ritual, where the meaning has been lost entirely, sort of like how people light a Yule Log or hang Mistletoe but don't even have a clue why. It's just something you do.
Lilly and others had to use outrageously wide orbs. They had no choice. They didn't have clocks. So, a birth time could be off by as much as 30 minutes, and wide orbs would cover that.
Even when they had clocks in the early 1600s, the clocks didn't have minute hands. All you had was the hour hand. And clocks were expensive, so only the wealthy had them.
Their ephemera weren't all that accurate either. I mean it took them 200 years to figure out that something was pulling on Saturn, and then another 100 years to figure out something was tugging on Uranus, and then another 80 years to figure out something was perturbing Uranus and Neptune.
Obviously, when you lack the accuracy, wide orbs are common sense.
In this day and age, with hyper-accurate clocks and an accurate ephemeris, there's no excuse for it, especially when you can't justify the actions of the aspects.
I'm from Missouri, so you have to show me where the Moon at 10* orb triggers an event.
For Ptolemaic aspects in natal charts, I use 5* for Sun/Moon and 3* for planets, then 1* for minor aspects (semi-sextiles, semi-squares, sesquiquadrates and parallels).
Progressions/Solar Arcs, max 1* orb for all.
Transits, 2* for Ptolemaic and 1* for minors.
When I use Raphael's method of mundane chart interpretation, or Lilly's method of horary, then I use the orbs they recommend, still, I never seen where an 8* orb for the Sun or Moon ever came into play in mundane charts.
You can create orbs for individual planets if you have Solar Fire (which is probably the best program out there -- certainly heads over Kepler).
You edit the aspect set, then select advanced, then you can manipulate the planet orb ratios individually.
06-07-2010, 03:45 AM
I pretty much agree (in practice) with Hazard (his first post) and BobZemco in this matter.
06-07-2010, 09:41 AM
when using divintion with astrology, I use like solar arcs 1' approaching, 1' exact and 1' departing.
Now astro.com uses a much wider orb, possibly something like 5° or even 10° that’s why when you use the free transit forecast service a transit goes on for months and months. BUT common sense should tell you when the transit is ‘exact’ then it’s at the strongest. Some astrologers swear by 1° approaching produces ‘events’ some say the 1° exact, some say 1° off for triggering events. I personally look to the exact and 1° off for ‘timings’ especially the retrograde hit (backwards hit)
06-07-2010, 02:27 PM
Some astrologers swear by 1° approaching produces ‘events’ some say the 1° exact, some say 1° off for triggering events. I personally look to the exact and 1° off for ‘timings’ especially the retrograde hit (backwards hit)
If that's the case, I'd add or subtract 30 seconds of birth time and then recheck the aspects.
06-07-2010, 03:49 PM
Very good post Bob- That was very informative. And eternalautumn- Thank you for the link.
Does anyone know if the ancients used low orbs when using whole signs back in the 1st-2nd century BC (Hellenistic)? I think if Ptolemaic used 3-5 orbs I don't see why they didn't either.
06-07-2010, 05:54 PM
Hazard: Hellenistic astrologers didn't really use orbs, at least not at first, and at least not to my knowledge. They used aspects based on the relationships whole signs had with each other, i.e. Aries is sextile Gemini, square Cancer, etc.
06-08-2010, 03:29 AM
+Vedic astrology still uses aspect by signs (especially the Jaimini branch of jyotish)
+I also frequently make use of aspect by signs especially in delineating the Parts and Lots (particularly in decumbiture and other astro-therapy charts, which is my field of activity)
06-08-2010, 04:15 AM
Orbs have nothing to do with "accuracy"
The orb is said to be the area of the planets influence, the areas where its energy is the strongest. So at the orb, its not as strong as a conjunction or aspect within the moeity is (half the orb).
Each planet has a different orb set, because each planet has different strengths, so their area of influence will be different based on the strength of said planet.
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