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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?


Last edited by sworm09; 10-18-2019 at 08:06 PM.
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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.

Last edited by sworm09; 10-19-2019 at 11:51 PM.
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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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