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Unread 10-18-2019, 08:04 PM
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The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Hello all, I wanted to post this thread as a discussion about the use the sidereal zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology.

The reason I'm posting this in the traditional forum is because recent reading has led me to consider a sidereal zodiac may have a place in the practice and study of Hellenistic and Persian Astrology. My intention isn't to dredge up the tropical vs sidereal debate, but raise a possibility for discussion and research. I'm not attempting to say that sidereal is original and better, therefore anyone who is using the tropical zodiac in applying traditional techniques is doing it wrong. I just ask that you hear me out.

So my area of focus is Hellenistic and Persian Astrology. My favorite authors are Abu Ma'shar, Masha'allah, and Abu ali. I've been using the tropical zodiac for years at this point. I've explored the whole sidereal thing, but focused on the tropical zodiac because my interests lie with traditional astrology. I kind of dismissed sidereal as being more applicable to modern sidereal astrology (ala Cyril Fagan) or to Vedic Astrology i.e. not compatible with traditional techniques.

However reading Abu Ma'shar and others closely, I'm starting to reconsider this.

Abu Ma'shar, when discussing his own birth chart, used a sidereal zodiac. Anthony Louis actually has a blog post about this. Masha'allah as well used a sidereal, rather than tropical zodiac. Abu Ali, I'm unsure about, but since he followed Masha'allah I have a hunch that he may have as well. It isn't until later on that more astrologers than not switched over to using Tropical almost exclusively.

What's even more interesting is that Valens, when talking about the signs, links fixed stars to their interpretation. He was clearly taking the stars that rose in or with the zodiacal constellations into account when talking about the signs. What's more is that his chart calculations are all sidereal. When we look at the decans, we also find that they were tied to certain stars, or groups of stars.

When looking at the tropical zodiac, I think it's interesting that Ptolemy created it, but it didn't immediately pick up steam. As mentioned before, the Persians were still using a sidereal zodiac, despite being aware of precession.

Once again, the point of this isn't to argue that the tropical zodiac is somehow invalid. The point that I want to make is that a sidereal traditional astrology isn't exactly out of the question. It seems to me that for those who are inheriting the astrology of the Persians and Greeks, the use of a sidereal zodiac isn't something that can be easily dismissed. The Persians especially knew about precession, but still decided to use a sidereal zodiac. My question then becomes why? Is there something about the fixed stars that fall within the sidereal signs that makes the connection worth maintaining?

I have yet to really test the sidereal zodiac out with a lot of charts, but I at least want to raise the possibility that for modern day students of Persian and Hellenistic astrology, using a sidereal zodiac might be something that's one the table and has decent backing in the tradition.

A for the last time, I don't mention this to start a debate about the merits of the sidereal zodiac vs the tropical zodiac. I'm more curious discuss the potential use of a sidereal zodiac for Hellenistic and Persian astrology. What are your guys thoughts on this?


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Unread 10-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

In

SOLUNAR HANDBOOK
Fagan says under the title
DANGEROUS TO MIX METHODS
That many seasoned astrologers find the correct delineations of a nativity
or the interpretations of a return chart, no simple task.
The reason for this is there are two distinct and separate systems of interpretations
which, with the passage of time, have become intertwined and intermingled
thus causing contradiction and endless confusion.
So before attempting any serous delineation
the astute student should first acquaint themselves with the fundamental difference
between these systems and their respective merits
and be able to disentangle them.

These two systems may be termed (a) the genethliacal and (b) horary systems.

In the horary system, in its original pristine form, no planet exercised any intrinsic influence.
They were neither benefic nor malefic.
Their significances were derived solely from the mundane houses over which they ruled.

In the genethliacal system each planet has its own permanent intrinsic influence
which is unique to itself, not being shared by any other member of the planetary family.
In this system the nativity or return chart is judged and delineated
solely on the planets relative intrinsic strengths, in the mundane sphere (on their closeness to the angles)
no attention whatever being paid to the rulerships of the planets over the houses.

The student may proceed to delineate any horoscope or return chart by either of these methods
separately
and obtain excellent readings, free of contradiction and confusion.
But
should the astrologer attempt, as does the vast majority of astrologers
to interpret a horoscope or similar chart by a mixture of both methods
the astrologer cannot fail to land in a morass of muddle and incongruity.
Claudius Ptolemy was obviously the first to lead the western world astray in this matter
for in his Tetrabiblos, which has been the standard authority since the 5th century A.D.,
both systems are unabashedly and indiscriminately mixed together
all of which inclines towards the idea that
before drawing any firm conclusions
we need to study and practice the use of Sidereal for Persian
as well as HELLENISTIC astrology
Quote:
Originally Posted by sworm09 View Post
Hello all, I wanted to post this thread as a discussion about the use the sidereal zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology.

The reason I'm posting this in the traditional forum is because recent reading has led me to consider a sidereal zodiac may have a place in the practice and study of Hellenistic and Persian Astrology. My intention isn't to dredge up the tropical vs sidereal debate, but raise a possibility for discussion and research. I'm not attempting to say that sidereal is original and better, therefore anyone who is using the tropical zodiac in applying traditional techniques is doing it wrong. I just ask that you hear me out.

So my area of focus is Hellenistic and Persian Astrology. My favorite authors are Abu Ma'shar, Masha'allah, and Abu ali. I've been using the tropical zodiac for years at this point. I've explored the whole sidereal thing, but focused on the tropical zodiac because my interests lie with traditional astrology. I kind of dismissed sidereal as being more applicable to modern sidereal astrology (ala Cyril Fagan) or to Vedic Astrology i.e. not compatible with traditional techniques.

However reading Abu Ma'shar and others closely, I'm starting to reconsider this.

Abu Ma'shar, when discussing his own birth chart, used a sidereal zodiac. Anthony Louis actually has a blog post about this. Masha'allah as well used a sidereal, rather than tropical zodiac. Abu Ali, I'm unsure about, but since he followed Masha'allah I have a hunch that he may have as well. It isn't until later on that more astrologers than not switched over to using Tropical almost exclusively.

What's even more interesting is that Valens, when talking about the signs, links fixed stars to their interpretation. He was clearly taking the stars that rose in or with the zodiacal constellations into account when talking about the signs. What's more is that his chart calculations are all sidereal. When we look at the decans, we also find that they were tied to certain stars, or groups of stars.

When looking at the tropical zodiac, I think it's interesting that Ptolemy created it, but it didn't immediately pick up steam. As mentioned before, the Persians were still using a sidereal zodiac, despite being aware of precession.

Once again, the point of this isn't to argue that the tropical zodiac is somehow invalid. The point that I want to make is that a sidereal traditional astrology isn't exactly out of the question. It seems to me that for those who are inheriting the astrology of the Persians and Greeks, the use of a sidereal zodiac isn't something that can be easily dismissed. The Persians especially knew about precession, but still decided to use a sidereal zodiac. My question then becomes why? Is there something about the fixed stars that fall within the sidereal signs that makes the connection worth maintaining?

I have yet to really test the sidereal zodiac out with a lot of charts, but I at least want to raise the possibility that for modern day students of Persian and Hellenistic astrology, using a sidereal zodiac might be something that's one the table and has decent backing in the tradition.

A for the last time, I don't mention this to start a debate about the merits of the sidereal zodiac vs the tropical zodiac. I'm more curious discuss the potential use of a sidereal zodiac for Hellenistic and Persian astrology. What are your guys thoughts on this?
__________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-D...eature=related Hippocrates Let food be your medicine: let medicine be your food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchhSIVwMdY Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else. VETTIUS VALENS FREE http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/...s%20entire.pdf

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Unread 10-19-2019, 11:48 PM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
In

SOLUNAR HANDBOOK
Fagan says under the title
DANGEROUS TO MIX METHODS
That many seasoned astrologers find the correct delineations of a nativity
or the interpretations of a return chart, no simple task.
The reason for this is there are two distinct and separate systems of interpretations
which, with the passage of time, have become intertwined and intermingled
thus causing contradiction and endless confusion.
So before attempting any serous delineation
the astute student should first acquaint themselves with the fundamental difference
between these systems and their respective merits
and be able to disentangle them.

These two systems may be termed (a) the genethliacal and (b) horary systems.

In the horary system, in its original pristine form, no planet exercised any intrinsic influence.
They were neither benefic nor malefic.
Their significances were derived solely from the mundane houses over which they ruled.

In the genethliacal system each planet has its own permanent intrinsic influence
which is unique to itself, not being shared by any other member of the planetary family.
In this system the nativity or return chart is judged and delineated
solely on the planets relative intrinsic strengths, in the mundane sphere (on their closeness to the angles)
no attention whatever being paid to the rulerships of the planets over the houses.

The student may proceed to delineate any horoscope or return chart by either of these methods
separately
and obtain excellent readings, free of contradiction and confusion.
But
should the astrologer attempt, as does the vast majority of astrologers
to interpret a horoscope or similar chart by a mixture of both methods
the astrologer cannot fail to land in a morass of muddle and incongruity.
Claudius Ptolemy was obviously the first to lead the western world astray in this matter
for in his Tetrabiblos, which has been the standard authority since the 5th century A.D.,
both systems are unabashedly and indiscriminately mixed together
all of which inclines towards the idea that
before drawing any firm conclusions
we need to study and practice the use of Sidereal for Persian
as well as HELLENISTIC astrology
That's definitely a unique way of looking at charts, but also one that might clear away a lot of confusion.

I'm curious as to what this might look like in practice. Let's say for instance we have Mars in the 7th House ruling the 1st. If we were to apply Fagan's distinction between systems to traditional (Hellenistic, Persian) interpretation, that means that we have Mars doing two separate things: (1) being Mars and signifying everything that he naturally signifies (2) being the ruler of the 1st in the 7th. Considering (1), Mars in the 7th is angular, and thus his natural significations (fighting, violence, etc.) are incredibly powerful for the native. However Mars is also in detriment (if we're using whole sign houses), so these things would be attended by some difficulty and hardship. Mars' basic significations would be modified by being in detriment. Then so on and so forth, focused entirely on what Mars signifies naturally rather than what the 7th House means. Moving on to level (2) however, we would consider Mars only as the ruler of the 1st, not as Mars. As such we would note what it means for the ruler of the 1st to be in the 7th, and note how the condition of detriment contributes to the meaning of having the ruler of the 1st in the 7th.

If I'm understanding Fagan correctly, if we are to adapt his distinction to traditional interpretation techniques, at no points should interpretations of (1) and (2) cross. It seems by that logic we have two distinct levels of significators that should be kept far apart to avoid confusion: (1) natural significators and their interactions with each other (for example, only interpreting Mars within the context of marriage if he is configured with Venus in a male chart, NOT because he's in the 7th), (2) accidental significators determined only through house rulership and their interactions with each other.

I ask because Fagan's distinction may pose a potential problem if we are to apply it to traditional technique, as he eschews houses altogether, while houses (and the similar Lots) are a key part of traditional interpretation. I think the only way to make it work is two keep both, but interpret them separately for clarity.

Not trying to take things off topic, just trying to clarify in case someone stumbles upon this thread.

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Unread 10-20-2019, 02:31 AM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Thanks for bringing up the subject sworm. I've always felt the way you came to believe, in that both are fine schools and both worthy of study. As a matter of fact I wish I had studied the Sidereal / Vedic before Tropical, because once we get on one path alone, its very hard to open our minds to other systems of thought. But it is possible of course, thanks to people such as yourself doing the educating and opening the door.


Since Fixed Stars always got my attention, it was only natural to see the Sidereal positions of the heavenly stars yet when I use a Vedic chart (in a very limited way for example), I don't use the fixed stars only with tropical charts application.



My favorite online site for reference with the Fixed Stars is Anne Wright's Constellation of Words, and she gets into the Lunar Mansions.


https://www.constellationsofwords.co...ons/Aquila.htm


Thanks again, I'll be reading more then commenting here I'm sure.
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Unread 10-20-2019, 01:29 PM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by sworm09 View Post
That's definitely a unique way of looking at charts, but also one that might clear away a lot of confusion.

I'm curious as to what this might look like in practice. Let's say for instance we have Mars in the 7th House ruling the 1st. If we were to apply Fagan's distinction between systems to traditional (Hellenistic, Persian) interpretation, that means that we have Mars doing two separate things: (1) being Mars and signifying everything that he naturally signifies (2) being the ruler of the 1st in the 7th. Considering (1), Mars in the 7th is angular, and thus his natural significations (fighting, violence, etc.) are incredibly powerful for the native. However Mars is also in detriment (if we're using whole sign houses), so these things would be attended by some difficulty and hardship. Mars' basic significations would be modified by being in detriment. Then so on and so forth, focused entirely on what Mars signifies naturally rather than what the 7th House means. Moving on to level (2) however, we would consider Mars only as the ruler of the 1st, not as Mars. As such we would note what it means for the ruler of the 1st to be in the 7th, and note how the condition of detriment contributes to the meaning of having the ruler of the 1st in the 7th.

If I'm understanding Fagan correctly, if we are to adapt his distinction to traditional interpretation techniques, at no points should interpretations of (1) and (2) cross. It seems by that logic we have two distinct levels of significators that should be kept far apart to avoid confusion: (1) natural significators and their interactions with each other (for example, only interpreting Mars within the context of marriage if he is configured with Venus in a male chart, NOT because he's in the 7th), (2) accidental significators determined only through house rulership and their interactions with each other.

I ask because Fagan's distinction may pose a potential problem if we are to apply it to traditional technique, as he eschews houses altogether, while houses (and the similar Lots) are a key part of traditional interpretation. I think the only way to make it work is two keep both, but interpret them separately for clarity.

Not trying to take things off topic, just trying to clarify in case someone stumbles upon this thread.
Certainly Fagans distinction works for Hellenistic and/or Persian traditional

IF
as you have said
both are utilised for delineation

while to maintain clarity
both are interpreted separately
__________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-D...eature=related Hippocrates Let food be your medicine: let medicine be your food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchhSIVwMdY Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else. VETTIUS VALENS FREE http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/...s%20entire.pdf
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Unread 10-21-2019, 02:23 AM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

If you take a look at Martin Gansten's website you'll see that he advertises himself as a traditional astrologer using a sidereal zodiac. In his page on tropical and sidereal he mentions a 16th-century Italian astrologer who advocated using sidereal positions for solar revolutions.


So, it seems that there was at least one traditional astrologer after the Persians who used a sidereal zodiac. I would suspect then that there might have been others, but they were certainly in the minority.



Certainly, an investigation of using a sidereal zodiac in traditional astrology would be interesting.
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Unread 11-19-2019, 04:33 PM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by sworm09 View Post
As mentioned before, the Persians were still using a sidereal zodiac, despite being aware of precession.

The Persians especially knew about precession, but still decided to use a sidereal zodiac.
Hi sworm09,

Those statements are nonsensical.

The correct statement would be someone used tropical despite their awareness of precession. A person aware of precession might intuitively use sidereal, not tropical.

I don't care what the Greeks or Persians did because it doesn't matter.

What matters is what the Sumerians, Akkadians and Elamites did.

Sargon of Akkad consulted his astrologers before he invaded and conquered Sumer ~2350 BCE. That was during the Age of Taurus. It would really shed some light on things if we had that chart. The kings of Uruk, Lacash, Kish and Ur used astrology too during the Age of Gemini right before it transitioned to Taurus. Anyone of those charts would serve the same purpose.

If I was born in space, I'd probably use the sidereal zodiac, but since I was born on Earth, the tropical zodiac makes sense.

The tropical zodiac is intrinsically tied to Earth, just like we are. Our whole lives revolve around the four seasons.

Why do you think the zodiac exists in the first place?

To let farmers know when to start clearing fields, when to start prepping fields, when to plant certain crops, when to harvest certain crops, and for animal husbandry, when to change pastures or grazing lands, when to put the males with the females to make baby animals and when to shear sheep or slaughter animals for meat.

So if you're a farmer, the sidereal zodiac is totally freaking useless.

That's also true if you're a soldier, because slogging around in the rainy spring and cold winter is not really conducive to winning battles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sworm09 View Post
I have yet to really test the sidereal zodiac out with a lot of charts, but I at least want to raise the possibility that for modern day students of Persian and Hellenistic astrology, using a sidereal zodiac might be something that's one the table and has decent backing in the tradition.
You should probably read the works of Kyosti Tarvainen.

He's a mathematician and specifically a statistician. He has proven traditional astrology combined with the tropical zodiac is superior. What he said was, the p-value for the tropical zodiac is 0.0005 and 0.2 for the sidereal zodiac.

http://correlationjournal.com/issues/vol31-1.php

What that means is tropical is 400x more accurate than sidereal, or put another way, a sidereal astrologer might actually get 1 out of 400 charts right.

Whatever the Greeks and Persians used doesn't matter if it doesn't work.
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Unread 11-19-2019, 07:02 PM
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Re: The Sidereal Zodiac in Hellenistic and Persian Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by leomoon View Post
Thanks for bringing up the subject sworm. I've always felt the way you came to believe, in that both are fine schools and both worthy of study. As a matter of fact I wish I had studied the Sidereal / Vedic before Tropical, because once we get on one path alone, its very hard to open our minds to other systems of thought. But it is possible of course, thanks to people such as yourself doing the educating and opening the door.


Since Fixed Stars always got my attention, it was only natural to see the Sidereal positions of the heavenly stars yet when I use a Vedic chart (in a very limited way for example), I don't use the fixed stars only with tropical charts application.



My favorite online site for reference with the Fixed Stars is Anne Wright's Constellation of Words, and she gets into the Lunar Mansions.


https://www.constellationsofwords.co...ons/Aquila.htm


Thanks again, I'll be reading more then commenting here I'm sure.
To be transparent, the use of fixed stars within a traditional context is what really made me strongly consider this. The question I began to ask is "Ok, I'm using fixed stars in tropical signs that have absolutely nothing to do with the signs that they're in." Spica being in Tropical Libra now is a pretty striking example of this. There's a marked disconnection there. I think anyone who makes frequent use of the fixed stars would eventually end up running into the same apparent conflict.
And Constellation of Words has been a constant reference as I've been trying to figure this whole issue out. Amazing site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drsendero View Post
If you take a look at Martin Gansten's website you'll see that he advertises himself as a traditional astrologer using a sidereal zodiac. In his page on tropical and sidereal he mentions a 16th-century Italian astrologer who advocated using sidereal positions for solar revolutions.


So, it seems that there was at least one traditional astrologer after the Persians who used a sidereal zodiac. I would suspect then that there might have been others, but they were certainly in the minority.

Certainly, an investigation of using a sidereal zodiac in traditional astrology would be interesting.
Gansten was actually another huge reason why I even considered using the sidereal zodiac outside of the use of Vedic techniques (which I know absolutely nothing about). Discovering that other people had kind of stumbled upon the same line of thought (especially over on Skyscript) turned this into a serious line of inquiry for me. I'm still not sure where I stand on it, but I'm really starting to consider the possibility. My biggest question now is if the system of dignities and debilities (as used until modern times) can be transferred to a sidereal zodiac without any harm.

For example, for what reason would Saturn have to rule sidereal Aquarius? Haven't we lost something by dropping the seasonal association of Aquarius with winter in the Northern Hemisphere? For what other reason could Saturn rule Aquarius? For some of the zodiacal images, rationalizations for domicile rulerships can be made, but others run into problems outside of a seasonal connection.

As far as personal investigations go, as with a ton of things in astrology, BOTH zodiacs seem to work, but in different ways. I find that both zodiacs (when applying traditional techniques) seem to say the same thing, but in different ways. To myself personally however, I find that natures of the signs gain a marked level of vibrancy and intensity when one applies Hellenistic and Medieval techniques to nativities. The dignities and debilities appear to have much greater vibrancy. The bounds especially seem to hit with a much greater punch, at least in my experience. Having a planet in the bound of Jupiter vs in the bound of Mars seems to show itself with a level of intensity that I haven't experienced with the tropical zodiac......but alas....I still find myself not being able to just discard the tropical zodiac. Something is there with both, and that's the confounding thing to me.

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