Exegesis Issue #12

Exegesis Digest Fri, 03 May 1996 Volume 1 Issue 12


Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 17:34:59 +0000
From: "Francis G. Kostella" <fgk@ix8.ix.netcom.com>
To: exegesis@astrologer.com
Subject: Exegesis moves to the Metalog Listserver

Hello All,

Exegesis has just moved to the Metalog Listserver. What this means to you is that you no longer need to send your postings to my email address, instead, you send them to:


At the end of the day, all of the current messages are bundled up into a new issue and mailed out to all of the subscribers in Digest format.

To subscribe or unsubscribe you contact the Metalog Listserver directly. Had you subscribed by email you would have received the following "hello" message:


Welcome to the Exegesis Discussion Group.

Exegesis is a group for discussion of the theory, philosophy, history and cultural implications of astrology. Its purpose is to unflinchingly examine the foundations of astrology within a group context.

>From Webster's...

ex-e-ge'sis, n.; pl. ex-e-ge'ses, [L., from Gr. _exegesis_, an explanation, from _exegeisthai_, to show the way, to lead, to explain; _ex_, out, and _hegeisthai_, to lead, guide, from _agein_, to lead]

1) the exposition, critical analysis, or interpretation of a word, literary passage, etc., especially of the Bible. 2) in mathematics, the process for finding the root of an equation. [Obs.]


Organizing Principles: Theories of astrology, both historical and modern, with an eye towards examining new or hybrid theories. Philosophical foundations of the tradition. The ethics, politics, and culture of astrology. Contradictions in the ideas and practice of astrology. The relation between physical and symbolic aspects of astrology. ...and other ideas that fit the PURPOSE, above.

Who should consider participating: Those who feel that the current state of astrology is somewhat muddied and in ferment and who would like to attempt to bring, in some small way, some clarity and coherence to the field by means of a group dynamic. This is by no means certain, and may well fail, but the risk is perhaps worth it. Those who seek the chance to participate in group discussion of the foundations of astrology and are willing to test their views and ideas in front of others. Those who feel that such a group can potentially provide a fresh perspective on the issues confronting astrology as a field of study, and who are willing to actively engage their peers in discussion and debate. Those who are willing to tackle the difficult issues without flinching or feeling threatened; a certain degree of ego- strength may be required here!

Some Limitations: In order to keep the list from becoming another version of other lists (and this is not intended as criticism of other lists), the following subjects would be considered off-topic, as there are many other, and more appropriate, forums for their discussion:

Astrology as psychology, counselling or therapy. NewAge philosophy [sic] and beliefs. Specific branches of astrology: natal, mundane, horary, etc., the intent is to deal with ALL of astrology, as well as we are able and not to focus on one particular branch. Advocacy of specific modern schools or subdivisions of astrology. Problems and concerns of the professional astrologer as they relate to the operation of one's professional practice and client issues.

The Proposed Charter for the Group:

1. Subject: Theory, history, philosophy and culture of astrology. 2. Limits: No personal attacks or evangelism. 3. Hopes: Please be as thoughtful and forgiving as you are able. 4. Dreams: Let us form a unique focal point for astrological topics on the internet. When the history of astrology in cyberspace is written, let this place be seen as the seed for a thousand important flowerings. 5. Reasons: You have all of these amazing thoughts and experiences, share them. Nobody else will do it, it is up to you.

Back Issues:

Visit the Exegesis Homepage at:


Exegesis is moderated by Francis G. Kostella (fgk@ix.netcom.com)

To post a message to the list, address it to:


To unsubscribe, send a message to listserver@astrologer.com and in the body of the message type:

unsubscribe exegesis end

For other listserver commands, send the command "help" to listserver@astrologer.com


Hats Off and Many Thanks to Dermod for setting up Exegesis at Metalog. Visit Metalog on the Web at : http://www.astrologer.com.

You can still contact me directly at fgk@ix.netcom.com.




Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 08:58:20 -0500
From: K R Perlow <gadfly@ctc.ih.att.com>
Subject: For Exegesis

I'd hoped to get involved here sooner, having cajoled Fran to get this list started in the first place. Fran's idea for exegesis grew out of the arguments on the epistemology of astrology that have been raging on alt.a--I admit to having been a major perpetrator, but I have given it up. It is clear that the resident bullies revel in their ignorance, and like most fanatics cannot admit even to themselves that they have been hoist by their own petard-- certainly not publicly (in private e-mail to me L Frederick File very respectfully bowed out, noting that he did not have enough of a grounding in philosophy to continue, in case anybody is curious about where he disappeared to). But *this* is the kind of forum for philosophical investigation of astrology that I've been looking for anyway.

I was born in New York at 12.30 pm EST 26 Sep 1948--all my planets are above the horizon, with Jupiter conjoining the ascendant in Sag. He's watched over me well lo these many decades. My Neptune house--the house of addiction-- is the 9th, hence my perpetual quest for meaning. Sun sq Uranus, Uranus trine Mercury--if you've seen me on the net, you've seen that.

Anyway, my understanding of astrology has a wholly hermetic flavor--it derives from the harmony of the spheres. Just as the ratios of the Pythagorean musical scale tail off into fractional tones after about 8:9, I work with only the major resonances--opposition, conjunction, trine, square, and sextile. The problem with quintile--and quincunx, semisquare, et al--is that they do not overlay evenly onto the signs, which to me is of paramount importance. Thus, the only aspect smaller than sextile I have considered is bisextile, and I just haven't seen much in it. It is important--indirectly--in cradles and other such planet groupings that can occur.

As for orbs, I'm very strict--5 degrees max, and that's for the moon, and then that's mostly to account for potential error in birth time. It only takes a few cycles of musical pitch to turn a consonance into a dissonance, and likewise with planetary aspects. I take that concept even further-- aspects that are very exact but are confounded by sign crossings, e.g., 29 Ari sq 1 Leo, seem to me to have an "out-of-tuneness" about them. A friend with a grand cross with such a pattern has had such a hard life-- the squares and oppositions are always so salient, a persistent screeching in her ears.

I find it curious to consider that studies about musical intonation were as influential as those in astronomy at exploding the great cosmic armillary of neo-Platonism and giving birth to modern science. Baroque music was as much an experimental science at the turn of the 17th C. as alchemy. The basic problem was that the Pythagorean scale, venerated by the Hermetics, generates some intervals--especially thirds--that sound bloody awful. Alas, and this proved the case in astronomy too, the grand order was more complex mathematically than the model would allow. Kepler tried in vain to place the 6 planetary orbits (other than the moon) as exact inscribed or circum- scribed circles about the 5 Platonic solids. He discovered the law of elliptical motion (equal areas in equal times) instead.

So, I keep hoping to find a wholly new way of looking at charts, to discover a completely different dimension--the irrational numbers, the equal temper- ament--that makes the patterns jump out all the more. And as a recusant Hermetic myself, I assume that if I can only be focused enough to attain the highest level of melancholy, which is at the very core of the microcosm, the patterns may be revealed to me and I will be able to converse with the angels.



Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996 their respective authors.

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