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Traditional Astrology For discussions on Traditional Astrology only. (Note: Typically, traditional astrology is defined as using techniques developed prior to 1700 by astrologers from the Hellenistic, Persian, Hebrew, and Renaissance eras. In general, it relies on Ptolemaic aspects (sextile, trine, square, opposition and conjunction) though there may be some exceptions, and always excludes modern planets (Neptune, Uranus and Pluto,) as well as any asteroids. The focus is less on what would be considered modern psychological chart interpretation and more on prediction. Members who wish to explore a combination of traditional and modern ideas should feel free to start a new thread in an appropriate forum for further discussion.)


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Unread 04-22-2018, 10:56 PM
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The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

F

[I]I already posted it on skyscript, but I will post it here as well - http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10059

First, the Old Astrologers set up the birth chart of the world as following - The Ascendant and the Moon at the 15th degree of Cancer, the Sun at the 15th degree of Leo, Mercury at the 15th degree of Virgo, Venus at the 15th degree of Libra, Mars at the 15th degree of Scorpio, Jupiter at the 15th degree of Sagittarius and Saturn at the 15th degree of Capricorn. The degrees are preserved by Firmicus Maternus and some of them by Paulus Alexandrinus.

They assigned them such, because of the order of the spheres, the twelve images that underlie them and the summer solstice at the 15th degree of Cancer. Thus they put the ascendant and the Moon at the summer solstice in the middle of Cancer and Saturn and the descendant at the winter solstice in the middle of Capricorn. Aries and Libra are clearly equinoctial, while Cancer and Capricorn are clearly tropical.

They assigned the rest of the domiciles and spheres of influence the same for the rest of the signs in the order of the seven-zone sphere of Nechepso and Petosiris.

Then they or their successors put the exaltation of the Sun in Aries at the Midheaven, for there the day starts to increase over the night at the 15th degree and spring commences, the sign is of the royal triplicity, trine to Leo and is quadrupedal. They put the exaltation of the Sun at the 19th degree for that is the number of the years of the Sun which itself is derived from the Enneadecaeteris. Each star has its depression at the point in opposition to its exaltation. The depression shows adherence (3 degree range) with the exaltation of Saturn.

Then they put the exaltation of the Moon in Taurus for it is sextile to Cancer and: since the moon, coming to the conjunction in the exaltation of the sun, in Aries, shows her first phase and begins to increase her light and, as it were, her height, in the first sign of her own triangle, Taurus, this was called her exaltation, and the diametrically opposite sign, Scorpio, her depression. - Robbins, F. E. (1940). Tetrabiblos (Vol. 435). Loeb Classical Library.
Venus and Mars “depress” both luminaries because the sun has its exaltation in Aries and its depression in Libra, where it causes the day to become shorter. The moon has its exaltation in Taurus and its depression in Scorpio, where it causes the cosmic disappearance of light. - Valens, V. Anthologia. Translated by Mark Riley.
They put the exaltation of the Moon at the 3rd degree, for there, in relation to the exaltation degree of the Sun, the Moon shows her first phase and becomes increasing in light. This became known as the concept of the loosing of the bond in chapter 38 of the Thesaurus in Antiochus of Athens. Similarly, Valens does not allow the Moon as Predominator if he is under the beams (15 degrees range) or in Scorpio. The depression shows the cosmic disappearance of light.

Then they put the exaltation of Saturn in Libra, for there the day starts to decrease to the night at the 15th degree and autumn commences, the sign is of the same triplicity as Aquarius. They put the exaltation of Saturn at the 21st degree of Libra for there Saturn strikes the Sun with a ray within 3 degrees, which is destructive unless a benefic intervenes. The depression also shows presence with the Sun, which is worse.

Then they put the exaltation of Jupiter in Cancer, of the prolific triplicity, trine to Pisces, also watery, at the longest day and where he strikes with a ray the Sun and the Moon. The latter lead to the increased range for striking with a ray - with the Moon of 13 degrees (average day speed), present in Porphyry. The depression shows presence with Mars.

Then they put the exaltation of Mars in Capricorn, for there the day is shortest at the 15th degree and is sextile to Scorpio and square to the Sun. They put the exaltation degree at the 28th for then the malefics besiege a 7 degrees range in Aries, which led to the origin of the concept of containment which requires 7 degrees according to Antiochus. Jupiter does not intervene for the square ray of Mars. The depression also shows the same affliction for the Sun.

Then they put the exaltation of Venus in Pisces, for it also is nocturnal planet and is also sextile to Taurus. Furthermore She is a morning star there and Pisces is a prolific sign compared to Virgo. They put the exaltation degree at the 27th for then it is 12 degrees away from trine ray of Jupiter. The Moon and Venus are moved by 12 degrees from their original placements and are 18 degrees away from the spring equinox. The rays that are considered intervening in the length of life are 12 for Jupiter and 8 for Venus (related to the Egyptian years).

Then they left the exaltation of Mercury in Virgo at the 15th degree, for it is the original Thema Mundi placement, and only there can the Sun be in its domicile. Mercury has no sect so it does not have its exaltation in sextile or trine. Mute Pisces is opposite it.

Balbilus uses the 129 years of the planets along with the 128 exaltation degrees with his time lord technique. The Egyptian years of the Moon are derived from a phase, and the years of the other 5 stars are derived from their relation to the Sun, as was the rationale for the exaltation signs and degrees.


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Unread 04-22-2018, 11:03 PM
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

My comment - it seems to me that the exaltation degrees are somewhat obsolete concept today - unless one reverses an Aries 15 zodiac for the Southern Hemisphere (or just disregards it) and even then, there seem to be apparent inconsistency with the constellations that underlie them.

The domicile rulership is not predicated on the tropics (why the Moon and not the Sun), but the exaltations clearly are. It still works with a tropical zodiac, but I have to remind that this was clearly conceptualized in a zodiac with an equinox after Aries 1 - most likely 15, as were the earlier antiscia - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/foru...9&postcount=14
Apparently, Eudoxus thought the vernal point was at 15 Aries. I would not go with Schmidt's theory (although this gives some evidence for his theory) though, because there are records that say he rejected Babylonian astrology and you have to make a lot of assumptions to say he could have been founding Hellenistic astrology. One objection that can be brought up against all this though is that early Hellenistic astrology developed largely using Babylonian Aries 8 and 10 equinox points and 15 appears largely absent.

It could have been just an idealization. The hitherto unknown rationale for the exaltation degrees of the planets further confirms Chris Brennan's suspicions that the scheme integrates some Hellenistic concepts too well - making a Babylonian origin less likely - http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2...-in-astrology/ .

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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Why there is no reply in this very good thread?
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Unread 12-31-2018, 08:22 AM
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

It's just dumb and with no evidence. However, there is actual evidence before Ptolemy that the exaltations are based on epicyclical theory - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/foru...410#post925410

If it is epicyclical, then it is sidereal, whether epicycles are true or not. I was told that Babylonian records of stations (obviously connected with epicycles) were discussed here - http://www.hempen-verlag.de/the-inte...S9THDohcdXliUI , but I do not have the money to buy this thing right now. If someone can get this, can he please tell me the contents of pages 427 to 429. I hope it discusses more than Pliny, Valens and others.

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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Okay, this is still good thread actually. And then? Ptolemy remodifying that rationale of the exaltation signs and degrees?
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Aye P, we need you here in trad board. Please don't quit suddenly from this forum.
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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Aye P, we need you here in trad board. Please don't quit suddenly from this forum.
Sorry what?
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

I mean don't suddenly inactive in this community, as we don't have any translator of ancient text except (maybe) you
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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Originally Posted by petosiris View Post

It's just dumb and with no evidence. However, there is actual evidence before Ptolemy that the exaltations are based on epicyclical theory - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/foru...410#post925410

If it is epicyclical, then it is sidereal, whether epicycles are true or not. I was told that Babylonian records of stations (obviously connected with epicycles) were discussed here - http://www.hempen-verlag.de/the-inte...S9THDohcdXliUI , but I do not have the money to buy this thing right now. If someone can get this, can he please tell me the contents of pages 427 to 429. I hope it discusses more than Pliny, Valens and others.
I'm buying the book - looks interesting
and
when book is delivered
I shall tell you the contents of pages 427 and 429
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Talking Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Just to adding from VV's book:

"Each star has its depression at the point in opposition to its exaltation"
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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I'm buying the book - looks interesting
and
when book is delivered
I shall tell you the contents of pages 427 and 429
Cool. If there is conclusive evidence for the stations, then it would be tied with the epicyclical hypothesis I mentioned which has a lot of evidence in the Hellenistic tradition. If confirmed, it could mean that Mars at the first degrees of Aquarius is stronger than at the first degrees of Capricorn according to the apogee, which would be a theory worthy of investigation.
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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Just to adding from VV's book:

"Each star has its depression at the point in opposition to its exaltation"
Yes, and many authors including Valens treat of the other points of the zodiac proportionally, for example Aries and Libra are the middle of the exalting and depressing semicircles of Mars, so Mars is middling in strength there according to (its distance from the) exaltation. According to Balbilus the consideration of signs other than exaltations and depressions are by sign, not by degree (an approach that I follow), but most authors like Dorotheus, Valens and Hephaistio use the actual degrees of the whole zodiac, so for example 28 Aries and 28 Libra are the turning points of Mars.

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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

There is some debate as to whether the exaltation degrees originated in ancient Egypt (see Joanne Conman's article on this) or in Babylon-- both prior to the development of Hellenistic horoscopic astrology. I posted references about this on your Skyscript thread, but if you need more information on the Babylonian argument, let me know and I will dig up some.

Both of these arguments are based on archaeological evidence that long predates the Hellenistic authors.
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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Cool. If there is conclusive evidence for the stations, then
it would be tied with the epicyclical hypothesis I mentioned
which has a lot of evidence in the Hellenistic tradition.
If confirmed, it could mean
that Mars at the first degrees of Aquarius
is stronger than at the first degrees of Capricorn
according to the apogee, which would be a theory worthy of investigation.

I received amazon notification by email
that the book has been dispatched and is in transit
shall update when received
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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There is some debate as to whether the exaltation degrees originated in ancient Egypt (see Joanne Conman's article on this) or in Babylon-- both prior to the development of Hellenistic horoscopic astrology. I posted references about this on your Skyscript thread, but if you need more information on the Babylonian argument, let me know and I will dig up some.

Both of these arguments are based on archaeological evidence that long predates the Hellenistic authors.
If you read the OP
notice that petoriris has provided link to that skyscript thread
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F

[I]I already posted it on skyscript, but I will post it here as well -
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10059
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Talking Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

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Originally Posted by petosiris View Post
Cool. If there is conclusive evidence for the stations, then it would be tied with the epicyclical hypothesis I mentioned which has a lot of evidence in the Hellenistic tradition. If confirmed, it could mean that Mars at the first degrees of Aquarius is stronger than at the first degrees of Capricorn according to the apogee, which would be a theory worthy of investigation.
For right now though, we need to trust VV's assessment/statement.
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Unread 01-06-2019, 05:18 AM
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I received amazon notification by email
that the book has been dispatched and is in transit
shall update when received
Bezos is an unreliable greedy dude.
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Unread 01-06-2019, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waybread View Post
There is some debate as to whether the exaltation degrees originated in ancient Egypt (see Joanne Conman's article on this) or in Babylon-- both prior to the development of Hellenistic horoscopic astrology. I posted references about this on your Skyscript thread, but if you need more information on the Babylonian argument, let me know and I will dig up some.

Both of these arguments are based on archaeological evidence that long predates the Hellenistic authors.
I haven't read a worse academic article in a while. If the Babylonian is based on stations then it may have been simply adapted to epicycles later. No one ever mentions an Egyptian or fixed star connection - firmicus attributes them to the Babylonians and everyone from the first and second century except Ptolemy mentions epicycles.
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Ptolemy appears to be an exception. Bouche Leclercq says that Ptolemy is like a lawyer who knows he is going to a lose a case. He says that the exaltation of the Moon probably comes from the horns of the Bull, and that Ptolemy does not mention the degrees because he would not be able to explain them.

However, I have an alternative explanation for why Ptolemy would not mention the degrees. If the epicyclical hypothesis is correct, Ptolemy as an advanced astronomer would know that:
1) they may not be a correct planetary model
2) even if they are correct, they would be based on the planetary motion, which is sidereal, not tropical - that would necessitate the change of exaltation degrees every 72 years
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Sorry-- which article do you mean? Joanne Conman's on Egyptian hypsomata? What didn't you like about it, or are you referring to something else?

Interesting, though, that Petosiris and Nechepso were believed to have transmitted an Egyptian tradition. There are good reasons to question this, but Valens thought of them as Egyptian. The earlier Asclepius, if intended to be the god, was a re-casting of the Egyptian healer god Imhotep.

If you want to follow along in Chris Brennan, Hellenistic Astrology, pp.73-76, he has a good summary of Hellenistic astrologers who thought their work had Egyptian origins. This includes the Thema Mundi. Brennan (p. 230) notes that one reason for Cancer rising in this chart might be because this month started the Egyptian calendar.

On pp.245-6, Brennan gives a rationale for the exaltations similar to yours, but cites Rhetorius, Ptolemy, Porphyry-- and Robert Schmidt.

Egyptian observation of fixed stars was well known in ancient times, as the decans stars (rising every 10 days) were the basis for their calendar. Today we're not sure what precisely many of those stars were, but there is no doubt, from archaeological evidence, that they recorded fixed star positions for millennia prior to the Hellenists.

On the case for a Babylonian origin for exaltations, see: Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, 1988, "Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology, J. American Oriental Society: 108: 51-62. (Also her 2004 book, The Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture.)

Starting on p. 53 of her article she gives examples from planetary omen texts that date to the second millenium BCE.

Brennan seems a little skeptical that these exaltations could fit in so well with other essential dignities, but Jones and Steele discovered further evidence that the Babylonians were also using terms by the 4th century BCE, which predates Hellenistic astrology. (2011, "A New Discovery of a Component of Greek Astrology in Babylonian Tablets..." ISAW Papers 1 (available on line.)

Ptolemy, as you know, refers to the different Babylonian vs. Egyptian terms, and says he prefers the Babylonian.

One thing Brennan doesn't seem to do is distinguish between the idea or concept of the exaltations, vs. where exactly by sign (and degree) they occur in the horoscope. This is an important distinction, because all kinds of themes in astrology went through periods of diversity before becoming more codified.

The later domiciles were apparently arranged around the pre-existing exaltations.
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Quote:
Sorry-- which article do you mean? Joanne Conman's on Egyptian hypsomata? What didn't you like about it, or are you referring to something else?
Yeah, no written support, just playing with Stellarium is not enough. The same should be said of my op, we are all acting like morons.

Quote:
Ptolemy, as you know, refers to the different Babylonian vs. Egyptian terms, and says he prefers the Babylonian.
I am not sure you understand the irony, but we only have evidence of the ''Egyptian'' terms being present in Babylonian tablets. It appears the Hellenistic sources are not very reliable when it comes to historical transmissions and accuracy.

Quote:
The later domiciles were apparently arranged around the pre-existing exaltations.
The domiciles are arranged around the seven-zone and have little to do with the pre-existing exaltations. As Brennan notes, they stand well on their own. But now I personally think that the trine and sextile stuff is just a mere coincidence. Each star has two domiciles, so the chance of there being some configuration is not that negligible. And even if true, I do not see it is as enough of a justification for the exaltation signs and especially the degrees - it does not explain s.

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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Quote:
The point square with the exaltation and preceding it is called northern; the point square and following it is called southern. For example: the sun is exalted in Aries 19°, and the point square with it and preceding is Capricorn 19°. If the sun is found there, we say it is ascending north and the exaltation is exalted. From Aries 19° to Cancer 19° it is descending north. From Cancer 19° to Libra 19° it is descending south. From Libra 19° to Capricorn 19° it is ascending south. - https://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt...s%20entire.pdf
That is what I call the epicyclical theory. Fixed stars and aspects do not explain anything.

See also - https://www.astrologyweekly.com/foru...postcount=5779

I do not see how the authors could have treated them as metaphorical elevations, as Ptolemy says ''so-held''. He is hiding something by not mentioning degrees, south and north.

Last edited by petosiris; 01-06-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Unread 01-06-2019, 08:03 AM
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

Here is a Pliny quote:
''The other Cause of their Sublimities is, for that in other Signs they have the Absides elevated highest from the Centre of their own eccentric Circles. Thus Saturn is in the greatest Height in the 20th Degree of Libra, Jupiter in the 15th of Cancer, Mars in the 28th of Capricorn, the Sun in the 29th of Aries, Venus in the 16th of Pisces, Mercury in the 15th of Virgo, and the Moon in the 4th of Taurus. The third Reason of their Altitude is not taken from their Circles, but understood by the Convexity of the Sky, for that these Planets seem to the Eye, as they rise and fall, to mount up or settle downward through the air.'' - https://ia800703.us.archive.org/3/it...00plinrich.pdf

He then mentions ascending north and south, and descending north and south, same as Vettius Valens.
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Unread 01-06-2019, 09:14 PM
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

I don't get your point on Conman's research. The majority of archaeological studies do not have parallel contemporary written records to rely on. Surely a hieroglyphic data table is itself a type of written record.

See, for example, these resources: https://terpconnect.umd.edu/~tlaloc/.../cfaar_as.html

https://www3.archaeoastronomy.org/

It is pretty standard in archeoastronomy to use programs to calculate star positions in ancient times. (And I'm talking here about the legit research, not the ancient astronut crowd.)
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Unread 01-06-2019, 09:23 PM
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Re: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

The domiciles arranged around the exaltations in the following way:

Sun exalted in Aries (Aries trine Leo)

Moon exalted in Taurus (Taurus sextile Cancer)

Mercury exalted in Virgo (Virgo square Gemini, the only non-harmonious aspect)

Venus exalted in Pisces (Pisces sextile Taurus)

Mars exalted in Capricorn (Capricorn sextile Scorpio)

Jupiter exalted in Cancer (Cancer trine Pisces)

Saturn exalted in Libra (Libra trine Aquarius)

While one could make a chicken-and-egg problem out of this, in debating which came first; the archeological evidence supports the greater antiquity for the exaltations.

The exaltations and domiciles mesh on a variety of levels.
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