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charliestars
10-13-2014, 06:23 PM
Something does not quite seem to add up here. In his Tetrabiblios in chapter one section 22 Of places and degrees there seems to be a bit of a contradiction.

On the one hand Ptolemy is stating that “it is reasonable to reckon the beginnings of the signs also from the equinoxes and solstices, partly because the writers make this quite clear, and particularly because from our previous demonstrations we observe that their natures, powers, and familiarity’s take their cause from the solstitial and equinoctial starting-places, and from no other source.

As I think I understand it, Ptolemy is suggesting here that the signs are fixed to the equinoxes and solstices, but then he goes on to further state....

“For if other starting-places are assumed, we shall either be compelled no longer to use the natures of the signs for prognostications or, if we use them, to be in error, since the spaces of the zodiac which implant their powers in the planets would then pass over to others and become alienated.”

I could be mistaken due to my lack of knowledge on the subject but it seems to me he has contradicted himself there.

How is it possible to fix the beginnings of the signs to the equinoxes and then NOT expect the spaces (which I assume contain the constellations/signs)of the zodiac which implant their powers in the planets NOT to pass over to the others (signs) and become alienated.

Surely he was aware of precession by then, having written this about 250 years after Hipparchus.

Is there anyone who could please cast some light on this for me ??

Charliestars

greybeard
10-13-2014, 10:00 PM
I think you have misunderstood.

First he says that we take the equinoxes and solstices as our starting points (which means the tropical zodiac)...

And then he says that if we use some other starting points the "signs" thus generated would not correspond with the signs of the tropical zodiac.

Signs and constellations are not now and never have been equivalent. Both are arbitrary constructs of man's mind. The Big Dipper (also known as the Great Bear and the Plough) is a "constellation". It is rather unique among constellations in that the main stars composing it are in fact related: they occupy the same region of the sky and are of about the same age. This is not the case with most constellations, which consist of unrelated stars often not even in the same region of the galaxy. The Big Dipper constellation is solely a product of man's imagination, a giant cosmic pictograph.

The signs are mathematical constructs. They begin at an arbitrary point of beginning and proceed along the ecliptic in even 30-degree segments. The constellations from which they take their names (and astrological significance) do not and can not correspond exactly to this mathematical division of the sky. Constellations, imaginary as they are, are of varying forms and sizes.

If you believe that the so-called sidereal zodiac (take your pick of half a dozen flavors) is the "only true zodiac" and that the tropical zodiac is "false" because of the effects of precession, it is simply a demonstration of your lack of understanding of both signs and the effects of precession.

I personally have no quarrel with the sidereal zodiac (although I am a dyed-in-the-wool tropicalist). My only complaint is when the siderealist claims that his and his alone is "the one true zodiac because it takes precession into account," which is patently untrue. Depending on your point of view, it is the tropical zodiac which "takes precession into account."

Ptolemy is saying that the "nature, powers, and familiarity’s [of the signs] take their cause from the solstitial and equinoctial starting-places, and from no other source." In other words, the "meanings" of the signs derive from their relationship with the equinoxes and solstices. He is treating the signs as independent of the constellations, their significant ties being to the cardinal points of the ecliptic instead.

If we take the starting point of the zodiac as that point opposing Spica (or any other ayanamsa), then our signs "have slipped" and according to Ptolemy are invalid because the signs are no longer tied to the equinox of date.

charliestars
10-14-2014, 09:10 AM
Hi Greybeard

Thank you for the reply, your point certainly deserves a lot of careful consideration.

I am however 100% fully up to date with what causes precession and I am fully aware of the effects it has on the zodiac which has been the cause of much debate between tropical and sidereal astrologers, and is certainly not one that I am qualified to entertain as of yet by any stretch of my imagination.

I am also well aware that the actual constellations do not mach up precisely with each of the 30* divisions of the ecliptic. I have come to realize though (my personal opinion) that the ancients never intended to fit each of the already established constellations perfectly within each of the 30* divisions of the zodiac, in fact I think it would be quite absurd to think that it was what they intended to be done.

I am able to see however how they divided the ecliptic into 30* divisions and then named each division with the constellation that appeared within it. To me at least, that would be far more plausible. Yes I am also aware that the constellations we all know today are not the same ones that were around thousands of years ago. I do wonder sometimes though to what extent they have really changed when I see the Sphinx, which clearly once (in my opinion) was carved into the shape of a lion gazing up at Regulas, the heart of the lion.

I think if Ptolemy was treating the signs as independent of the constellations he could have been a little more clear about it, dont you ? He sure would saved everyone a lot of trouble if He was and I bet you he is somewhere right now having a good laugh about it all.

“For if other starting-places are assumed, we shall either be compelled no longer to use the natures of the signs for prognostications or, if we use them, to be in error, since the spaces of the zodiac which implant their powers in the planets would then pass over to others and become alienated”

One space passing over to another would compel us not to use the natures of the signs. hmm I am still not convinced.

I can also see though how two different interpretations of that underlined piece, can both be correct and cause endless debate over the matter with no certain resolution at the end of it all.

Do I believe in the sidereal or tropical zodiac, the thing that has shifted me in favour of the sidereal zodiac is my nature as a person. I do not have a Capricorn nature and for the longest time I did not pay much attention to astrology because I knew when I read what character traits Capricorns possessed they were way of the mark with me and I certainly was not going to make myself into one. I do however possess strong Sagittarian character traits which are undeniable. When I discovered that this was my sidereal sign and then continued to discover the character traits of a Sagittarian, I was shocked at how accurately it all described me and this naturally led me to want to learn more about what the subject has to offer.

I absolutely respect the tropical astrologers and do not deny in any way what they believe because I am sure that among them are people just like me who know what character traits define them and know which ones do not. I also think that phenomenon deserves a closer study because clearly there are people who's character traits match up with the tropical and then their are others who's character traits match the sidereal.

I thank you for your view on this matter Greybeard and it is always interesting hearing from you.
Kind regards
Charlie

JUPITERASC
10-14-2014, 10:12 AM
I think you have misunderstood.

First he says that we take the equinoxes and solstices as our starting points (which means the tropical zodiac)...

And then he says that if we use some other starting points the "signs" thus generated would not correspond with the signs of the tropical zodiac.

Signs and constellations are not now and never have been equivalent. Both are arbitrary constructs of man's mind. The Big Dipper (also known as the Great Bear and the Plough) is a "constellation". It is rather unique among constellations in that the main stars composing it are in fact related: they occupy the same region of the sky and are of about the same age. This is not the case with most constellations, which consist of unrelated stars often not even in the same region of the galaxy. The Big Dipper constellation is solely a product of man's imagination, a giant cosmic pictograph.

The signs are mathematical constructs. They begin at an arbitrary point of beginning and proceed along the ecliptic in even 30-degree segments. The constellations from which they take their names (and astrological significance) do not and can not correspond exactly to this mathematical division of the sky. Constellations, imaginary as they are, are of varying forms and sizes.

If you believe that the so-called sidereal zodiac (take your pick of half a dozen flavors) is the "only true zodiac" and that the tropical zodiac is "false" because of the effects of precession, it is simply a demonstration of your lack of understanding of both signs and the effects of precession.

I personally have no quarrel with the sidereal zodiac (although I am a dyed-in-the-wool tropicalist). My only complaint is when the siderealist claims that his and his alone is "the one true zodiac because it takes precession into account," which is patently untrue. Depending on your point of view, it is the tropical zodiac which "takes precession into account."

Ptolemy is saying that the "nature, powers, and familiarity’s [of the signs] take their cause from the solstitial and equinoctial starting-places, and from no other source." In other words, the "meanings" of the signs derive from their relationship with the equinoxes and solstices. He is treating the signs as independent of the constellations, their significant ties being to the cardinal points of the ecliptic instead.

If we take the starting point of the zodiac as that point opposing Spica (or any other ayanamsa), then our signs "have slipped" and according to Ptolemy are invalid because the signs are no longer tied to the equinox of date.



Cyril Fagn PRIMER OF ASTROLOGY gives reasons why it is Ptolemy who was misunderstood :smile:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=QO4x3xSDfVIC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=ptolemy+terms+are+not+sidereal&source=bl&ots=xUjoIKeG4P&sig=dbaP7JeptgGSz071AcE__mh5m4g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1xI8VPClCMbY7Abu64DwBA&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=ptolemy%20terms%20are%20not%20sidereal&f=false

Kaiousei no Senshi
10-14-2014, 07:05 PM
One space passing over to another would compel us not to use the natures of the signs. hmm I am still not convinced.

The basic problem is that if we allow, for example, Aries to take place in the dead of winter, then the significations and nature of Aries that arises from its indicating the beginning of Spring are no longer valid. Not only does Aries lose it's "spring-ness" significations, but it would not be a cardinal sign any longer, nor would it serve as the exaltation of the Sun.

So, Ptolemy says the signs ought to be fixed to the solstices and equinoxes because those do not deviate from their own natural cycle.

JUPITERASC
10-14-2014, 09:25 PM
The basic problem is
that if we allow, for example,
Aries to take place in the dead of winter,
then the significations and nature of Aries
that arises from its indicating the beginning of Spring are no longer valid.

Not only does Aries lose it's "spring-ness" significations,
but it would not be a cardinal sign any longer,
nor would it serve as the exaltation of the Sun.

So, Ptolemy says the signs ought to be fixed to the solstices
and
equinoxes because those do not deviate from their own natural cycle.


Ptolemy did not observe Australian skies
and
did not factor in
that Aries for Southern Hemisphere
heralds Autumn :smile:

Kaiousei no Senshi
10-15-2014, 12:18 AM
That is a separate discussion, Jup.

charliestars
10-15-2014, 07:00 AM
Hi Jupiterasc

That is certainly an interesting point to consider, at least for me. When you say he did not consider it, would you go so far as to say he was aware of it or unaware of it ? It seems to me that he should have at least been aware of the fact that Aries heralds Autumn for us here because in his Tetrabiblios he makes mention of people in the far south. Maybe he was aware of it but was not quite sure what to make of it ??

Konrad
10-15-2014, 07:05 AM
Ptolemy did not observe Australian skies
and
did not factor in
that Aries for Southern Hemisphere
heralds Autumn :smile:

Nor did he consider people living on the Equator. The crux is, do you consider the signs to derive their meanings from the seasons or from the stars. Both have their problems, and Ptolemy has done nothing but confuse the issue.

JUPITERASC
10-15-2014, 01:11 PM
Hi Jupiterasc

That is certainly an interesting point to consider, at least for me.
When you say he did not consider it, would you go so far as to say he was aware of it or unaware of it ?
It seems to me that he should have at least been aware of the fact that Aries heralds Autumn for us here
because in his Tetrabiblios he makes mention of people in the far south.
Maybe he was aware of it but was not quite sure what to make of it ??

Newton was Supervisor of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.
Newton was known for his book The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy (1977).
In Newton's view, Ptolemy was "the most successful fraud in the history of science".

THE CRIME OF CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY by NEWTON http://www.jwstudies.com/Newton_Crime_Ptolemy.pdf

WAS PTOLEMY A FRAUD? DEFENCE BY GINGERICH http://www.caeno.org/pdf/Gingerich_A%20defense%20of%20Ptolemy.pdf


FURTHERMORE

Robert A Powell has explained thoroughly
in "History of the Zodiac"
an in-depth exploration of the origins of the Babylonian Zodiac
and its location in the ecliptic
that the division of the ecliptic into tropical astrological signs
was originally a derivation of Euctemon's tropical Calendar of Seasons (432 B.C.)

AND SO

the device currently described as 'The Tropical Zodiac'

was originally used by astronomers as a calendar

(and not 'a Tropical zodiac')

from which the first day of Spring (or Vernal Equinox) was inferred

- the twelve 30º demarcations of which thereafter

were intended as simply demarcations of the twelve months of the year

(and not intended to be construed as 'star signs of The Tropical zodiac').


QUOTE

"...dividing the solar year into twelve equal months commencing with the vernal equinox
in which each solar (tropical) month is named after one of each of the twelve signs
based on the Vernal Point
and developed at Athens by the astronomers Meton and Euctemon
which was gradually merged over the centuries with Hipparchus astrologically orientated map of the sky which had also based itself on the Vernal Point

As time passed, the original calendar months merged with
and/or were replaced
by the twelve signs of the zodiac...' DR ROBERT POWELL



Hipparchus 190 BC – 120 BC compiled a catalogue of 850 stars
and then compared his catalogue with star catalogues of two earlier observers Timocharis and Aristillus
which detailed observations covering the previous 150 years.

Timocharis and Aristillus had created their own different methods of keeping track of the sky:

Hipparchus realized
that in order to compare data
and/or
discuss observations with others
- as well as pass accurate observations to later generations -
there was a need for a common or conventional map of the sky :smile:

i.e.

The most fundamental point on a map is the “Origin” – the (0) location.

Hipparchus then selected the Vernal Equinox
as the Origin for his map of the sky
and fixed it at 0º Aries
even though he did observe
and also recorded
that the Vernal Equinox was drifting very slowly westward
(being at the time of Hipparchus at approximately 12º Aries or thereabouts)

Hipparchus noticed as well
that all the stars seemed to continually change their places with reference to his Origin (0) point
– the Vernal Equinox -
but he offered no written explanation.

Hipparchus and others undoubtedly conjectured that an explanation was that our Earth must have moved
- but all clearly refrained from mentioning that officially -
for fear of the old testament-style biblical organized religion retribution
which, almost two thousand years ago
- would have punished them with death/exile/ for challenging the Status Quo

charliestars
10-16-2014, 06:45 AM
Hi JupiterAsc

Newton was Supervisor of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.*
Newton was known for his book The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy (1977).*
In Newton's view, Ptolemy was "the most successful fraud in the history of science".*

THE CRIME OF CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY by NEWTON*http://www.jwstudies.com/Newton_Crime_Ptolemy.pdf

WAS PTOLEMY A FRAUD? DEFENCE BY GINGERICH*http://www.caeno.org/pdf/Gingerich_A...%20Ptolemy.pdf

Thank you, I have downloaded the filles, looks like an interesting read.

Kind Regards
Charlie