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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 05-10-2020, 10:40 PM
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The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

Just something that I've been thinking about lately, but something that I believe is absolutely essential to getting astrology to "work".

Astrology isn't like most things one studies. It's vague and at times outright contradictory. You read a traditional text which tells you what to look for, you apply it to a chart and all too often it falls flat. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes we're too eager to see astrology work, so we cherry pick things in the chart that stick out to us.

I think our biggest hurdle is finding a middle ground between swimming in contradictions and cherry picking things to satisfy our biases. I think this quote from Abu Ali is as close to a magic bullet as we can get. This is from the Ben Dykes translation in Persian Nativities 1:

Quote:
In whatever is signified, this must chiefly be noted: if it has only one testimony, it is routine; if two, it will be stronger, if three complete, only if the Lords themselves or the significators are strong and not impeded.
Focusing on the first part of the quote, I think the idea of collecting testimonies is essential to not fooling yourself. Seeing something over and over and over again in different ways. Let's say someone has Mercury in Leo and the Lord of their Ascendant in Pisces. Are they fixed and resolute or fickle and constantly changing? Let's say they also have the Moon in the Ascendant, very close to an angle and opposite Mars. Since all pertain to changeability, we would deviate to the latter interpretation. But what if they instead have Saturn rising in a fixed sign conjunct Jupiter? Then we'd go for the former interpretation, modifying it and saying they stick to their word and can generally be trusted.

This is where all manner of bounds, decans, fixed stars, 12th Parts, and Lots can really come in handy and begin to shine. Let's say a person has Saturn in Aries in the 2nd house (a sign of financial troubles), but also has Jupiter ruling the Asc and Lot of Fortune, conjunct an angle while being in the bound of Venus and conjunct a benefic fixed star. That's way more positive testimonies than that one Saturn testimony.

I'm rambling at this point and I know I'm not saying anything new, but I think it's important to keep this in mind when delineating any chart or when learning traditional astrology in general. All too often people will see that they have a "bad placement" and freak out, ignoring the fact that one indicator doesn't really mean much. For other people (like me), they treat this like a hard empirical science with strictly binding conditional statements (If you see x, then y), which ignores the compositional nature of astrology. For some people this is obvious, but it definitely is an underlying assumption in traditional texts that often goes unspoken. Speaking from experience and long hours of frustration, learning this quickly will save you a lot of trouble.


Last edited by sworm09; 05-10-2020 at 10:43 PM.
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Unread 05-11-2020, 04:31 PM
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Re: The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by sworm09 View Post
Just something that I've been thinking about lately, but something that I believe is absolutely essential to getting astrology to "work".

Astrology isn't like most things one studies. It's vague and at times outright contradictory. You read a traditional text which tells you what to look for, you apply it to a chart and all too often it falls flat. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes we're too eager to see astrology work, so we cherry pick things in the chart that stick out to us.

I think our biggest hurdle is finding a middle ground between swimming in contradictions and cherry picking things to satisfy our biases. I think this quote from Abu Ali is as close to a magic bullet as we can get. This is from the Ben Dykes translation in Persian Nativities 1:



Focusing on the first part of the quote, I think the idea of collecting testimonies is essential to not fooling yourself. Seeing something over and over and over again in different ways. Let's say someone has Mercury in Leo and the Lord of their Ascendant in Pisces. Are they fixed and resolute or fickle and constantly changing? Let's say they also have the Moon in the Ascendant, very close to an angle and opposite Mars. Since all pertain to changeability, we would deviate to the latter interpretation. But what if they instead have Saturn rising in a fixed sign conjunct Jupiter? Then we'd go for the former interpretation, modifying it and saying they stick to their word and can generally be trusted.

This is where all manner of bounds, decans, fixed stars, 12th Parts, and Lots can really come in handy and begin to shine. Let's say a person has Saturn in Aries in the 2nd house (a sign of financial troubles), but also has Jupiter ruling the Asc and Lot of Fortune, conjunct an angle while being in the bound of Venus and conjunct a benefic fixed star. That's way more positive testimonies than that one Saturn testimony.

I'm rambling at this point and I know I'm not saying anything new, but I think it's important to keep this in mind when delineating any chart or when learning traditional astrology in general. All too often people will see that they have a "bad placement" and freak out, ignoring the fact that one indicator doesn't really mean much. For other people (like me), they treat this like a hard empirical science with strictly binding conditional statements (If you see x, then y), which ignores the compositional nature of astrology. For some people this is obvious, but it definitely is an underlying assumption in traditional texts that often goes unspoken. Speaking from experience and long hours of frustration, learning this quickly will save you a lot of trouble.
That's practical and helpful guidance, thanks
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Unread 05-11-2020, 04:57 PM
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Re: The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

in other words
you may be highlighting that
nothing may be "set in stone"
because
we are "collecting testimonies"
for example
angular placement:
any planet on ascendant is sufficiently strongly placed
to act to realise its significations
and so
we can deduce that
assuming the chart in question is reliably timed
any planet on ascendant
has strong ability to act

however
the exact nature of that influence

when we are using traditional methods

is dependent
amongst other factors
on

whether it's a night chart or a day chart

for example
Mars the "lesser malefic" on ascendant
in a night chart
is in sect
therefore has more ability to act for agenda of the native
than
Mars the same "lesser malefic" on ascendant
in a day chart
not in sect
acting against the interests or agenda of the native

these very basic Hellenistic traditional testimonies
detect important nuances
from the outset
regarding interaction of the seven classical planets
in a particular natal chart
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Unread 05-11-2020, 11:01 PM
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Re: The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

Multiple facets of the chart pointing to the same interpretation is incredibly valuable. We don't always find this, but when we do it is really helpful.

I think we can also check our working interpretation by looking for contrary evidence. So we've got a couple of testimonies pointing in the same direction, but does anything else in the chart say something different?

When the contrary evidence pops up, is there a way to reconcile it? Or maybe a person is trustworthy in one area of life (such as financial matters) but untrustworthy in another (such as marriage.) Do the involved houses or lots give us clues? Ideally the chart allows us to delineate a general personal quality more specifically according to topic
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Unread 05-14-2020, 10:33 AM
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Re: The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

Unless one is content with generalities
which are fun, but unreliable
then posting a chart is the way to gain answers regarding testimonies
because
Planetary testimonies vary
dependent on
for example
- whether chart is nocturnal or diurnal
- as well as dignity/debility of the planet in question
- House location of the planet in question
- Whether or not other bodies are with the planet in question
- The aspects of the planet in question
and so on
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Unread 05-29-2020, 02:50 PM
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Re: The Importance of Testimonies in Traditional Astrology

*


Sharon Knight on Traditional Predictive Astrology

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvMGpvkYNU8
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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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