Why chris brennan is wrong

socrates

Well-known member
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https://tonylouis.wordpress.com/2023/02/11/the-house-wars-of-astrology/

See also the poveda paper here for more evidence brennan is wrong

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https://brill.com/view/journals/ijdp/4/1/article-p1_1.xml

Why brennan is totally wrong

There is no reason to believe a different system of places to be presupposed here than elsewhere in the text, any more than a different system of calculating planetary longitudes: it is simply the case that the demand for accuracy on both counts is greater in the context of life-span prognostication than in many others, so that more detailed information is presented. Furthermore, as will be shown below, calculations by degree at least occasionally – and possibly often – underlie even examples where those degrees are not explicitly listed.

In some cases it is evident that some other system than whole-sign places is intended, but less certain whether that system is equal or quadrant places. Such an instance is found in the second book of the Anthologies, not in connection with longevity or any special-purpose technique, but as part of a general discussion of aspects (emphasis added):

Jupiter squaring Mars, when one is in the ascendant and the other is in the midheaven or in the Good Daimon, is strong.46
For two planets occupying the first and eleventh places (ascendant and Good Daimon) by the whole-sign method, forming a square either to the degree or even by sign alone is in fact impossible.47 If equal places are used, two planets so placed can form a square by sign but not by degree; the latter is possible only when using quadrant places (see fig. 7–9).

muchacho

Well-known member
From a purely practical perspective, if you want consistently accurate results and not the usual hit and miss, it's actually very simple. Firstly, you have to use the sidereal zodiac and not the tropical zodiac. This is where both are wrong. Secondly, you have to use both the whole sign system and a quadrant system at the same time. The whole sign system for house meanings and a quadrant system of your choice for planetary strength (I prefer Placidus). If you should decide exclusively for one system, you'll get it wrong. This is where both are partly right and partly wrong. You'll see this clearly when you work with higher latitude charts. Just my 2 cents.

AlterAntiscia

Brennan could possibly be wrong…

Although I do remember reading the bit that sounds like Valens explaining an ancient variation of the quadrant houses, I somehow don’t believe it is a real variation of quadrants…. He is referring to something else.

The tropical zodiac works best…
People have been known to switch to sidereal to read the lunar mansions.

If reading horoscopes from the early centuries like the 1st century for example, refer to sidereal for more accurate readings (like for the examples in valens)

Abu Mashar suggests using whole signs as well as a quadrant system for prediction in his solar revolutions books.. obviously because the cusps are calculated differently

What I’ve found is Placidus cusps can be very accurate in prediction.. but whole signs is still necessary to assess the natal.

I personally like to have the cusps from placidus float within the whole sign houses like the ascendant floats within the whole sign 1st house, not as a cusp marking the beginning of the house. It starts to make more sense to me this way…

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Shanti

Well-known member
I like Janus hybrid chart wheels with quadrant houses inside and whole sign outside.
(see below) One can have them without terms and decans if one wants for greater clarity.

I have got a crush on Alcabitius lately. Placidus houses tend to get too big for me, especially
in my high latitude living.

Here is David Byrne's chart in that format. With Alcabitius. Alcabitius is a time based system with
the time it takes for the ascendant to reach MC by primary motion is divided by three.
(similar to Porphyry, but Porhyry just divide the ecliptic).

David Byrne's Mercury ruled by the Virgo ascendant is in critical degree in 8th house with whole sign and Alcabitius.
His mindset seems complicated, and he says himself that he is sort of autistic.
Placidus gives a 9th house placement for Mercury. Which one could make a case for as well, as Byrne was born in Scotland and
moved to US as a kid.

( I am a great fan of Talking Heads and David Byrne)
But he is a complex personality indeed, as the drummer Chris Frantz autobiography tells.

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JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Brennan could possibly be wrong…
Chris Brennan is correct
in refuting Deborah Houldings whole sign house denialism claim

THE FOLLOWING VIDEO PROOF VALIDATES CHRIS BRENNAN
by showing actual screenshots from ancient astrological texts
from Ancient Greek, Arabic & Latin
that were translated into English by Eduardo Gramaglia & Ben Dykes

Astrologer Deborah Houlding makes the claim
that no historical astrologer defined, discussed, recommended or said
that he was using whole sign houses.
What is relevant is what Deborah Houlding said.
And she said whole sign houses did not exist prior to the 1990s
.

No one has denied the existence or importance of the equal & quadrant house systems

Martin Gansten is also questioning the existence of WSH,
but he is far more careful in his posts at Skyscript.

Skyscript.co.uk :: View topic - Deb Houlding and whole sign houses

At any rate, the following video confirms their existence
with Greek, Arabic, Persian
& Latin translations of texts AND charts
Thanks to Bulgarian astrologer Dimitar Kojuharov

- who found it & had it translated
- shows the only surviving horoscope of the Sassanian/Persian empire.
- it is for the coronation of king Khosrow I Anushirvan
from 531 AD & only whole sign houses were used.

Fiodor Gruzinev published Andrusar Ibn Zabi Al Farukh's book
which was found by

the 16h century Danish count - astrologer Heinrich Rantzau.
In this book, titled “..Специалният начин за тълкуване на хороскопа..”
- "..The Special Way of Reading the Horoscope.."

Arabic astrologer Andrusar Ibn Zabi Al Farukh
explicitly advocates the use of whole sign houses.

Translation from the book from native Bulgarian.
Gruzinev finished the book in December 1964
& it was circulating in secrecy
due to the communist regime suppressing Astrology.
After the fall of communism, the book was officially published in 1993 in Bulgarian.
- also quote main teacher Robert Zoller who explicitly taught to use both quadrant & whole sign houses.
He knew Latin & translated parts of 13th century Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti.

Whole sign houses has been the main system in India historically
- remains so to this day
and
astrologers who practice Indian Astrology do not even use the MC.
Yet, unlike Deborah Houlding who engages in whole sign house denialism
Jyotishis do not engage in quadrant house denialism

Although I do remember reading the bit that sounds like Valens explaining an ancient variation of the quadrant houses, I somehow don’t believe it is a real variation of quadrants…. He is referring to something else.

The tropical zodiac works best…
People have been known to switch to sidereal to read the lunar mansions.

If reading horoscopes from the early centuries like the 1st century for example, refer to sidereal for more accurate readings (like for the examples in valens)

Abu Mashar suggests using whole signs as well as a quadrant system for prediction in his solar revolutions books.. obviously because the cusps are calculated differently

What I’ve found is Placidus cusps can be very accurate in prediction.. but whole signs is still necessary to assess the natal.

I personally like to have the cusps from placidus float within the whole sign houses like the ascendant floats within the whole sign 1st house, not as a cusp marking the beginning of the house. It starts to make more sense to me this way…

IleneK

Chris Brennan is correct
in refuting Deborah Houldings whole sign house denialism claim

Astrologer Deborah Houlding makes the claim

that no historical astrologer defined, discussed, recommended or said
that he was using whole sign houses.
What is relevant is what Deborah Houlding said.

And she said whole sign houses did not exist prior to the 1990s.

...
Yet, unlike Deborah Houlding who engages in whole sign house denialism
Jyotishis do not engage in quadrant house denialism
If you follow Houlding's subsequent postings on this matter you would know that much of what you have so extremely described of her is not so, JA. As usual, the matter is much more nuanced.
Here it is, if you are interested?

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
If you follow Houlding's subsequent postings on this matter you would know that much of what you have so extremely described of her is not so, JA. As usual, the matter is much more nuanced.
Here it is, if you are interested?

If anyone interested - response is to OP thread title
Thanks - as usual opinions differ

.

IleneK

If anyone interested - response is to OP thread title
Thanks -
as usual opinions differ

.
Just clarify, my comment is not an opinion. My comment is that you can read what Deb Houlding actually says in her own voice [no opinion, just the facts of what she says] if you want to be informed of the truth of what she says.
PS I follow Chris Brennan way more than Deb Houlding. I admire and respect both of them.

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Just clarify, my comment is not an opinion. My comment is that you can read what Deb Houlding actually says in her own voice [no opinion, just the facts of what she says] if you want to be informed of the truth of what she says.
PS I follow Chris Brennan way more than Deb Houlding. I admire and respect both of them.
CLARIFICATION
my comment is not an opinion - it refers to professional astrologer zagata's video
at :

.

IleneK

CLARIFICATION
my comment is not an opinion - it refers to professional astrologer zagata's video
at :

.
You are the one who invoked the notion of opinion in your reply to me, as in:
Thanks - as usual opinions differ

I pointed us out of the arena of opinion that you invoked and into the world of facts.

Well-known member
Gosh. I think it's presumptuous to make definitive statements about "which house system" when so few Hellensitic astrologers gave any indication of how they actually determined house cusps.

We have to keep in mind that most ancient astrologers did not write books preserved for posterity. We don't know what all those other astrologers were using. A device called an astrology board seems to have been common, but nobody left written records about it sufficient to interpret their use with any certainty.

I attribute the whole signs thesis to Robert Hand, who published a monograph on it.

Some years ago, I spent a lot of time going through the horoscopes in Valens, Anthologies, with the help of Neugebauer and Van Hoesen's monograph, Greek Horoscopes. (JA, if you haven't read this, you should. ) Basically these two scholars of the history of science went through all of the horoscopes available in ancient literary (vs. archaeological) sources, and cast all of them. They found that the planetary positions indeed highly correlated with data given for the horoscope natives.

I also found that Valens calculated Fortuna by sign only and not by ascendant degree.

Valens discussed several methods for determining house cusps, so I think he was aware of them, but the only way I could get his nativities actually to work out was by using whole signs.

Ptolemy (Tetrabiblos) really disliked houses and has few mentions of them. He indicates one method in which the cusp is 5 degrees in from the beginning of a sign (not widely used today.)

Porphyry (3rd century CE) houses may or may not be attributable to Porphyry, from late Antiquity.

Well-known member
BTW, probably most ancient astrologers used the sidereal zodiac. The tropical zodiac was widely understood, but the two systems didn't diverge widely until late Antiquity.

Well-known member
JA, try not to view us opponents. Hellenistic astrology is an interesting topic and we're all trying to understand what actually happened.

Frankly, I don't have the patience to listen to long (and often tedious) podcasts or YouTube videos where I can't just cut to the portions that interest me. Perhaps you could kindly cite the actual texts and paraphrase the salient points of the debate. Repeating them (3x s0 far) isn't helpful.

There is a fair bit of evidence that the circular zodiac was in use in Hellenistic times. The Greeks conceptualized the sphere as the perfect shape-- and as the shape of the cosmos and the earth. There is evidence that they and the Egyptians conceptualized their 2-dimensional landscapes as representations of the heavens. Several round preserved horoscope boards and sketches have been discovered. So this gets at the problem of how best to symbolize the spherical heavens on a flat surface.

I've put the debate a little differently. There is too little information extant on ancient house systems to know exactly what ancient astrologers were using in ordinary practice.

Which makes whole signs really the default house system. It is the only one that doesn't require some sort of calculation for the house cusps.

Valens clearly knew about other house systems. I just couldn't get his horoscopes to work out using any system other than whole signs.

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Gosh. I think it's presumptuous to make definitive statements about "which house system" when so few Hellensitic astrologers gave any indication of how they actually determined house cusps. We have to keep in mind that most ancient astrologers did not write books preserved for posterity. We don't know what all those other astrologers were using. A device called an astrology board seems to have been common, but nobody left written records about it sufficient to interpret their use with any certainty. I attribute the whole signs thesis to Robert Hand, who published a monograph on it.

tell that to the OP

Some years ago, I spent a lot of time going through the horoscopes in Valens, Anthologies, with the help of Neugebauer and Van Hoesen's monograph, Greek Horoscopes.
as have multiple others
such as Benjamin Dykes astrologer scholar who reads several ancient languages

(JA, if you haven't read this, you should. ) Basically these two scholars of the history of science went through all of the horoscopes available in ancient literary (vs. archaeological) sources, and cast all of them. They found that the planetary positions indeed highly correlated with data given for the horoscope natives.
I also found that Valens calculated Fortuna by sign only and not by ascendant degree.
Valens discussed several methods for determining house cusps, so I think he was aware of them, but the only way I could get his nativities actually to work out was by using whole signs.
Ptolemy (Tetrabiblos) really disliked houses and has few mentions of them. He indicates one method in which the cusp is 5 degrees in from the beginning of a sign (not widely used today.)
Porphyry (3rd century CE) houses may or may not be attributable to Porphyry, from late Antiquity.

astrologer and scholar Levente László new translation project
for ancient Greek astrological texts
discusses some of the translations he has completed so far.
Levente a classical philologist from Hungary
recently launched the Horoi Project
which is a crowdfunding project to translate ancient astrological texts that survive

from the Hellenistic and Byzantine astrological traditions:

BTW, probably most ancient astrologers used the sidereal zodiac. The tropical zodiac was widely understood, but the two systems didn't diverge widely until late Antiquity.
Siriusly

You are the one who invoked the notion of opinion in your reply to me, as in:
Thanks - as usual opinions differ
OBVIOUSLY THE FACT IS PEOPLE DO HAVE OPINIONS

I pointed us out of the arena of opinion that you invoked and into the world of facts.
however
the world of facts highlights

at
https://www.astrologyweekly.com/for...y-chris-brennan-is-wrong.145713/#post-1219165

JA, try not to view us opponents. Hellenistic astrology is an interesting topic and we're all trying to understand what actually happened.

Indeed

Frankly, I don't have the patience to listen to long (and often tedious) podcasts or YouTube videos where I can't just cut to the portions that interest me.

multiple others DO have the interest to do so

Perhaps you could kindly cite the actual texts and paraphrase the salient points of the debate. Repeating them (3x s0 far) isn't helpful.

the videos are of interest to many

There is a fair bit of evidence that the circular zodiac was in use in Hellenistic times. The Greeks conceptualized the sphere as the perfect shape-- and as the shape of the cosmos and the earth. There is evidence that they and the Egyptians conceptualized their 2-dimensional landscapes as representations of the heavens. Several round preserved horoscope boards and sketches have been discovered. So this gets at the problem of how best to symbolize the spherical heavens on a flat surface.

I've put the debate a little differently. There is too little information extant on ancient house systems to know exactly what ancient astrologers were using in ordinary practice.

plenty of information provided by professional astrologer zagata's video on the topic
at :

Which makes whole signs really the default house system. It is the only one that doesn't require some sort of calculation for the house cusps.
Valens clearly knew about other house systems. I just couldn't get his horoscopes to work out using any system other than whole signs.

.

muchacho

Well-known member
JA, try not to view us opponents. Hellenistic astrology is an interesting topic and we're all trying to understand what actually happened.

Frankly, I don't have the patience to listen to long (and often tedious) podcasts or YouTube videos where I can't just cut to the portions that interest me. Perhaps you could kindly cite the actual texts and paraphrase the salient points of the debate. Repeating them (3x s0 far) isn't helpful.

There is a fair bit of evidence that the circular zodiac was in use in Hellenistic times. The Greeks conceptualized the sphere as the perfect shape-- and as the shape of the cosmos and the earth. There is evidence that they and the Egyptians conceptualized their 2-dimensional landscapes as representations of the heavens. Several round preserved horoscope boards and sketches have been discovered. So this gets at the problem of how best to symbolize the spherical heavens on a flat surface.

I've put the debate a little differently. There is too little information extant on ancient house systems to know exactly what ancient astrologers were using in ordinary practice.

Which makes whole signs really the default house system. It is the only one that doesn't require some sort of calculation for the house cusps.

Valens clearly knew about other house systems. I just couldn't get his horoscopes to work out using any system other than whole signs.

I watched both podcasts in full. It's absolutely worth watching. Brennan totally demolishes Houlding's historical argument. However, Houlding has a point about the higher latitude issue at the very end which Brennan sadly didn't address because he wanted to focus on the historical argument only. I think Brennan made an effort to keep it as neutral as possible but couldn't hide his annoyance at having to address the same old arguments again and again. And Houlding seemed equally annoyed at whole sign houses still being presented as the original house system.

Houlding's point in her podcast was that there were no traditional astrologers in the West that used whole sign house system and that whole sign houses is some kind of new fad in the astrological community, starting with Project Hindsight. Brennan's point in his rebuttal was that the ancient astrologers actually used a number of house systems, namely whole sign, equal and some quadrant versions.

I think it's an important discussion to have. But I would prefer to focus on practical matters. Because if what is proposed doesn't work consistently and reliably in daily practice, then the historical argument becomes irrelevant (except for mere scholars and historians).

uranianplutonian

Account Closed
Deb
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2023 11:59 am

As mentioned, I won’t be watching the 7 hour review of my 60 minute conference talk.
Good boundaries

I made it a policy years ago to have minimum involvement with Chris Brennan’s work (that way, I can get on with my own work, based on what the primary sources and informed academics say, and not have to assume that the purpose of my time is to fact-check the work of someone else).

I took this decision after noticing a tendency that if someone mentions the same point as Chris, he assumes they take that point from his work, or he becomes enraged if they don’t reference him in that place.

Hence, I simply give him and all his work a wide berth– his postings are blocked on all my social media accounts, I haven’t read his book, and I don’t listen to/watch his podcasts
(even though I know I am missing some good stuff there, because he does have a genuine talent in acting as a show host, and has had some great guests).

So I don’t know how he managed to generate 7 hours of criticism – a few points have drifted back to me and I’ll answer to each and every point put to me here, in this thread. So if anyone has any – as yet – unanswered concerns about anything he has brought attention to (regarding my comments in my conference talk), put the query here and I’ll respond.

The amount of time she's probably having to spend to explain herself. I can't imagine. I like Chris, and he has good content, however it seems like a power play of who's right and who's wrong. Seems he just went at her for expressing a different Astrological view than him. And he's getting paid for it too... Not a good look.

Vulcan

Active member
I don't think Houlding's characterization of Project Hindsight is entirely fair, they did have a medieval track with translations (which personally I got the most out of), Robert Zoller was the original Latin translator but left early apparently. That said I do think there is a kind of false narrative that the Hellenistic era was some kind of golden age, the astrologers had to do it as a day job, they were under attack by skeptics and under surveillance by the state (horoscopes of Emperors were prohibited). By contrast the Persians were court astrologers and had a lot of resources and spare time.

uranianplutonian

Account Closed
Deb
Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2023 11:59 am

Good boundaries

The amount of time she's probably having to spend to explain herself. I can't imagine. I like Chris, and he has good content, however it seems like a power play of who's right and who's wrong. Seems he just went at her for expressing a different Astrological view than him. And he's getting paid for it too... Not a good look.

More excerpts from this same post by Houlding:

1) Re- the early reference to the use of signs for houses

Orisis, you wrote:
 Quote: Just check 01.38.00 Koch mentioned wsh in his book Horoskop und himmelshausern

This point is explored in more detail in Tony Louis’s blogpost:
My follow-up comment on that shows why I don’t label this a primary source definition (because it is a modern commentary on ancient technique), but it is interesting nonetheless as one of the earlier accounts to talk about the issue.

As made clear in my presentation, I wasn’t aiming to give a complete account of every single modern-day reference ever – I made it clear that I was talking in general terms about the information that was being taken note of in the community of astrologers I was involved with. I would still maintain the same point - that seemed to start more effectively with James Holden, which influenced the PH team and then really took off from there.

Incidentally, if new knowledge comes to light or is discussed in more detail as a follow up, that is viewed as an updated or more informed exploration, not evidence of someone “lying”. What person in their right mind would label this 'a lie'?
She makes a good point here.

I think it’s important we get both sides.
When I read Houlding’s posts, she seems like a reasonable woman who is being attacked for expressing a different Astrological view.

If I were in the same position, I’d hope people would hear me out as well. She’s having to fight for her reputation and credibility as an Astrologer now for petty reasons. Not cool.

I still like Chris, however I hope he lets this go. It could backfire otherwise and hurt his reputation. I don’t want to see either of them, Brennan or Houlding, have to deal with negative publicity.

Oh the world we live in…

uranianplutonian

Account Closed
I want to point out that I’m not taking sides.

What I seek is truth, respect, and fairness, for all Astrologers. Everyone deserves truth, respect, and fairness, despite their view(s) in life.