Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #019

In This Issue:

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #18

Exegesis Digest Tue, 05 Feb 2002

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #18
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:21:36 +1300

Lorenzo wrote:
 > >Omina are a direct expression or indication of the will of the gods, the
 > >message the gods are sending, and as such they hold their place and
 > >import in the other forms of Mesopotamian divinatory practice, such as
 > >exispicy, oniromancy, lecanomancy, libanomancy and aleuromancy. < snip > The schematic functional organisation of
 > >this material is the same as in the other divinatory practices:
 > >left-right, above-below (beware!), and other sequences following the
 > >order of body parts, as well as colours: white, black, red, yellow. This
 > >shows the dependence of the astral omina on the literary form of other
 > >forms of divinatory practice in the Mesopotamina scholastic tradition.

The point is well-made. Omens, however, have but a peripheral relation to modern astrology. I guess the closest modern equivalent would be major hard aspect configurations forming in the sky. For instance, the millennium complex which was considered to peak in August 2000 with that solar eclipse. Those who promoted it as an omen for years in advance were proven wrong by the fact that nothing sensational happened. Of the dozen or so countries that the path of the eclipse crossed, only Turkey suffered a major crisis. Treating astrology as an omen-provision system is a waste of time. People who do so are simple-minded. They do not realise how indeterminate the world is.

 > >A system will, in other words, work well within itself, until there is
 > >either an information over-load, or a contradiction of fact. To save the
 > >system for the sake of the system is a very heiractic form non-thinking,
 > >something the modern western mind almost instinctively finds repulsive.
 > >Perhaps it would be best to let the system, in this case, astrology
 > >(whatever that might be taken to mean) collapse. And then see what
 > >develops out of that. Perhaps that is what happened in Hamburg in the
 > >1920's.

Yes. That's the attitude I've always had. In practive, of course, it never collapses. Eventually I figured out why: the function of a paradigm (Kuhnian sense intended) is to preserve the collective belief system, thus making it available to new adherents. In any age or period, astrologers teach or publicise it. Students, intrigued by the possibilities, learn it. The traditional meaning of paradigm is `learn by example'. The master says "this is what you do, and this is how you do it". The student obeys. It is a rare student who doubts the master, and to go even further and question the master so as to discredit the belief system is to abort the process. Progress is thus prevented by the true-believer syndrome.

 > >It is of course a truism of historical cycles that a culture or society
 > >which is hell-bent on preserving its past (a form of fundamentalism) is
 > >already in a state of advanced corporeal decay, producing much C2O. The
 > >ordour of sanctity, or comforting insights, is sometimes not necessary.

CO2. An ossified society need not be rigid, though it usually is. Modern astrology is inherently flexible because the doctrine is attached to no social system that enforces adherence. Post-modern astrologers tend to celebrate their freedom to choose by using a smorgasbord of traditional and modern interpretive techniques. Often these are mutually-contradictory but it doesn't matter because most of them aren't smart enough to spot the contradictions.

 > >However, I think I should add that ancient and mediaeval and Renaissance
 > >and 17h century astrologers never go into great explanations of the
 > >mythology of the gods or planets. The names are simply cyphers, and I
 > >think that none of them were particularly interested in 'tales about the
 > >gods,' which their culture, and I think especially of any astrological
 > >development or text after the first century BCE, held to be old wives'
 > >tales. Nonetheless there was a use of astrology by some of the more
 > >fundamentalist Hermetic authors, but here we are engaged in a very
 > >segregated expression of polythieistic theurgy.

Good point. Hermetic astrology seems to be functional. The goal was personal transformation, even if the means were flawed and the associated concepts rather delusional. The only link between `planetary function' and associated god/goddess is the underlying archetype.

 > >The emphasis on 'mythology' is directly traceable in the modern
 > >astrological schools to the influence of romanticism and nationalism in
 > >the 19th century. Other expressions of this same phenomenon are the Nazi
 > >party, the New Age Movement, Neo-Pagans, and other such not flotsom.

Flotsam. Historically, I presume you are correct, but if romanticism hadn't made the ancient myths popular then one might expect them to have been influential in the 20th century anyway. How could one describe the essence of planetary meanings without reference to historical precedents?

Mars, for example. It evokes the warrior archetype immediately, because we have been educated to make that correlation. Warriors can then be cited as manifestations. The most ancient and historically influential of these are warrior gods.

Dennis Frank


End of exegesis Digest V7 #19

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