|Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #089
In This Issue:
From: "Dennis Frank"
Exegesis Digest Sat, 26 Oct 2002
From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #86
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 23:54:27 +1300
> >Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 12:23:47 -0500 (CDT)
> >From: Dale Huckeby
> >Subject: [e] Re: dialogue & trialogue
> >Dennis and I, too, differ about synchronicity. I think those who use
> >it tend to perceive it as an explanation when actually it's a request
> >for an explanation - these two things go together but we don't know why.
Many astrologers, I agree, cite sychronicity as an explanation without explaining why it is. Their intuitive recognition suffices for them. It's clear to me why synchronicity & synchronization go together.
> >The drama in Dennis's metaphorical high-speed photo is the sense of
> >aptness, but I think this sense of aptness is misleading, that a better
> >guide to whether or not a celestial factor and a terrestrial factor go
> >together is that they be observed to do so (regardless of whether or
> >not we think they should) over and over again.
Ideally, I would prefer this too. But I believe this preference is due to our education. Science taught us that only repeatable things are reliable. We need to transcend this view, due to its inherent limitations. An event is categorizable with others if classifying criteria are used - typically one or more qualitative features. Populations of events are then countable in the traditional manner, allowing scientific treatment via quantitative analysis. But, as Rudhyar often pointed out, astrology is based on events that are qualitative in experience, and unique in their overall quality composition. Adopting a reductionist approach seems therefore unwise.
> >>The obvious physical foundation is a biological clock with more than just
> >>3 hands.
> >Three hands? Are you referring to daily, monthly, yearly?
> >>Regarding point 2: "motivational pattern" is my equivalent of what you're
> >>talking about. It's the organic regularity that corresponds to the
> >>celestial regularity.
> >>I agree that is a suitable way of describing it. Perhaps somewhat
> >>minimalist, inasmuch as it leaves recognition of the archetypes tacit.
> >>In my theory, the archetypes `cause' those inner promptings. . . .
> >I'm a minimalist kind of guy. If you're using "archetype" as Anthony
> >Stevens uses it in *Archetypes*, perhaps. In his account babies have
> >an evolved capacity to respond to and flourish in the presence of a
> >certain set of behaviors or type of being. That's the mother archetype.
> >In an orphanage he describes early in the book, each baby fixated on
> >a particular caretaker and wanted to be handled, fed, and loved by that
> >person (who almost invariably reciprocated). He described it, more or
> >less literally, as falling in love. If you want to call whatever the
> >baby has been genetically programmed (via evolution) to look for and be
> >receptive to "the mother archetype", I have no problem with that.
What else would you call it?? But I find the aftermath of Jung's use of the term in psychology to be unsatisfactory, particularly inasmuch as it contributed to sloppy thinking by astrologers in the '80s.
> >>If you liken your `motivational pattern' to a web of simultaneous inner
> >>promptings, only some of which enter into consciousness at any moment, then
> >>each node or nexus in that web represents each astrological archetype (in
> >>respect to how it is operating in the context of that time & place).
> >The pattern in motivational pattern doesn't refer to different transit
> >rhythms but to the (possible) complexities of a single one. That is,
> >I would refer to the motivational pattern of Saturn transiting hard-angle
> >Mercury as a single conceptual entity. Naturally, it won't occur by
> >itself, and if you consider where Saturn is in relation to each of the
> >natal planets, where Mars is in relation to each of the natal planets,
> >etc., all at the same time, then each motivational pattern can be seen as
> >a node or nexus in a web. Again, I have no problem with you referring to
> >that as an archetype, although I have no such urge myself.
Hmm, but avoiding the label just begs the question of what produces each node/nexus in the pattern. Why would one want to refrain from embracing the opportunity to identify the fundamental agent?
> >>The symbol
> >>functions to induce the same meaning in each viewer. It is a medium for
> >>sharing communal meaning. Expert opinions seem to differ on whether the
> >>sign is functionally equivalent to the symbol. From where I stand, the
> >>bipolar relation between symbol & archetype is the main item of structural
> >>significance in the psyche.
> >I think we can go in intricate circles discussing what symbols are, when
> >the relevant question for me is how they function in astrological usage.
> >I think they mislead the astrologer and subvert empiricism.
I gather that the field of semiotics emerged by virtue of a growing agreement by various distinguished academics, not just philosophers, that certain functional uses of language required clarification - if not discovery. It may not be easy, and it may seem obscure, but I'm inclined to now accept that fresh insights are possible when this perspective is brought to bear on our field of endeavour. I do agree that the use of symbols by astrologers is often delusional and self-defeating.
> >>Signs are cultural artifacts that represent symbols, I think. However, it
> >>is true that some symbols are equated with their signs. Example: Saturn,
> >>the archetype, is recognised intuitively once one learns the signs that
> >>signal its manifestation in particular circumstances. Crystal, wall, bones,
> >>etc. . . .
> >This is where the problem arises for me. I DON'T think Saturn stands
> >for, in any valid and useful sense, crystal, wall, and bones. I prefer to
> >observe what typically happens at 6-7 and 28-29, for instance, and infer
> >what motivational force is consistent with those developments, rather than
> >employ a scattershot of words and images that supposedly equal Saturn in
> >some sense. The latter can be and typically are used to account for a
> >wide range of events that are otherwise unrelated, not part of a natural
Clearly subjective aesthetic considerations make us different in this respect. I was originally inclined to adopt your empirical stance, probably due to my scientific education and innate scepticism. What changed? To rationalise it, perhaps my right brain defeated my left! More precisely, it put in it its appropriate place; which is not the rule-maker of the psyche - rather, it is the servant.
De-conditioning was required (to transcend education) but I eventually discovered that intuition is a truer guide to what's real than reason or logic. Recognition of the astrological archetypes is intuitive, once learnt, it seems to me, much like driving a car. Actually a better analogy is recognition of faces. Babies learn this real early. Pattern recognition is the basic modus operandi of the right brain, apparently.
> >>The symbol translates the individual experience of the archetype into
> >>communal code. It is a vehicle for sharing meaning.
> >This is what YOU mean, and my problem with it is that I don't think
> >astrological symbolism is valid. I still don't know what Patrice means,
Well I hope he agrees with my description, but I won't hold my breath. I don't mind acknowledging that I have been so disgusted with the incompetence of those writing in the astrological media that I wondered if the symbolism itself was mere fantasy. I spent some years in the mid-'80s checking out the possibility. I found that the strongest evidence to support this view lay in the historical record of astrologers. Is there a baby in the bath-water? Despite the disinformation both past & present I decided that there actually is.
> >Postmodernism as I've seen it is an intellectual fad, not a rigorous
> >discipline. The authority of physics is hardly historical, since it has
> >changed and continues to change over historical time. It's authority
> >is that it works. More to the point, physics is part of the conceptual
Rocket science. That was my point, mere technology.
> >web called modern science that has been remarkably successful in not only
> >describing the phenomenal world but in making predictions that actually
> >work out. Quantum physics, despite violating our intuitive sense of
> >how things are, has been hugely successful in precisely this sense.
Yeah, yeah, big deal. A discipline that gives a scientific priesthood the esoteric answers that they are trained to look for. Terrific. Ask people to tell you how much this enriches their lives by giving you specific examples.
> >If we say that we are right in that astrology works, and that therefore
> >this entire web of highly successful understandings of nature is wrong
> >and must be redone (fat chance!), that in my mind is the tail (one
It is not either/or, it is both/and.
> >particular knowledge-seeking field) wagging the dog (all of the other
> >knowledge-seeking fields whose ideas fit together). I'd rather say
> >that it is astrology that needs to change to fit the rest of the world,
> >rather than that the rest of the world must change to fit astrology.
Surprise, I agree with you here!
> >>It seems to me that the scope of astrology vastly transcends the scope
> >>of physics. That's how I see it, from the vantage point of having both
> >>graduated in physics & become an astrologer in the distant past. But,
> >>of course, my comprehension of astrology differs from the general public's,
> >>the general astrologers' understanding, and that of yourself & Patrice.
> >>To me the scope of astrology looms in approximate inverse proportion to
> >>the current capacity of most astrologers to grasp it. People have no
> >>other way to explain their unique nature, and few other ways to learn to
> >>use time in an evolutionary sense.
> >I don't think it transcends the scope of the entire intellectual edifice
> >of which physics is but a part. I'm pretty much a proponent of novelty
> >and newness, but I don't carry it to the point of thinking New Age razzle-
> >dazzle is superior to existing science and deserves to overthrow it. It
Surely you don't believe I do?? I would've hoped that by now you'd know me better than that.
> >seems to me the bottom line is how we _do_ astrology, not the intellectual
> >pyrotechnics we produce when we discuss it, and in that sense, as in your
> >earlier Hiroshima example, you seem to me to be defending rather than
> >transcending astrology's _ancien regime_ paradigm. You've offered some
Actually the Hiroshima example was, for me, an illustration of my (unique?) approach to the subject. Other astrologers always give me feedback to the effect that such an approach is highly unusual. Even Nick Campion does not exhibit such fidelity to the facts. I remember publishing a critique of his (otherwise extremely good) Book of World Horoscopes in 1989 that detailed at least half a dozen wrong national charts, with specifics to prove each case. It is very rare for astrologers to be diligent in establishing precise data for events, getting the chart right is too hard for many, researching major world events is done by few, and the accurate correlation between event meaning and planetary alignments achieved by just about nobody. Traditional astrologers certainly never did. Goddam William Lilly even got the execution of King Charles I wrong by 2 hours. A major public event in the city where he lived attended by a large crowd, including people he knew, who reported the time it happened. Pathetic.
> >nice thoughts about biological clocks in some of your previous posts,
> >but I don't see those insights affecting how you actually _do_ astrology.
> >How we do astrology as a result of our philosophical analyses is what
> >I'm interested in.
Like Rudhyar, I use astrology as a language. His interpretive style was too traditional & esoteric for me though. At any time the sun/moon/planets make a configuration. I have ended up using only multiples of 30 & 45 degrees as significant aspects. Some such transits are in the sky at any time, & I read them as endowing qualities to that period of time. Each planet manifests its archetypal affect modified by the archetypal nature of the sign it is currently in, and each blends its archetypal nature with that of those it aspects in the manner characteristic of each aspect. That is to say, to me signs, aspects & planets all have an archetypal nature. That I call them archetypes may just be verbal abbreviation, or conforming to what I saw as the most credible part of the way leading astrologers were describing the components of the horoscope back when I was learning the language. Not sure, & it doesn't matter as they are labels of convenience. The main thing is that the operational configuration is readily interpreted by means of the right keywords linking into phrases. That's the utility of the language. The discipline of the interpreter is required to emphasise those currently most `influential', the selection criteria being partly the relative exactitude of aspect, partly the number of aspects made by each nexus. When a moment is examined (rather than a time period) the picture becomes more specific as it usually represents an event, and the configuration usually aspects the local horizon and/or meridian, making a more complex reading. Nonethless, application of the interpretive language is in principle just as simple.
> >>The planetary rhythms have become endogenous. More they compel the psychic
> >>system to organize itself "astrologically", ie as planetary forces (energy),
> >>zodiacal forms (structure)... This is a meaning of "matrix". And this is
> >>the PARACELSIAN theory. [Patrice]
> >This is the only (minor) point on which we differ. I don't think the
> >planets have compelled this organization, rather that life has _used_ the
> >planets to organize itself.
I also prefer this view. Any apparent compulsion was traditionally seen as fate, or the gods. We might wonder if those experiencing the compulsion felt it coming from without, or within. In my opinion urgings come from within and typical circumstances come from without. If you find yourself in a compelling situation and didn't choose to be there, that's fate.
> >>It means that the internal organization has several poles of
> >>differentiation, and when it comes a planetary transit, lived as
> >>"impressional", just an effect of the astronomical signal on the living,
> >>psychic, matter, the representation mind of the astrologer interprets
> >>or translates it as a certain meaning.
> >I would say it's the internal clock that has an effect, that the planet
> >merely resets it and originally existed as a periodicity that life was
> >able to use as a "temporal template".
This view seems afflicted by a rather terminal inadequacy: it fails to incorporate, or even to acknowledge, the dimension of quality. The temporal cues of the planets are not merely triggers, identical, neuter.
To conclude, I'd like to revisit the issue of apparent planetary compulsion/organization. I see life as having evolved in attunement with the temporal environment, and imagine there are biological coordination systems of which currently know cellular clocks are just the most easily identified. The psyche obtains unconscious timing cues and qualitative developmental promptings from these internal sytems, I suspect. This is the picture of the `planets within', the microcosm, put into scientifically accessible terms.
This "internal organization" (Dale's phrase) seems analogous to, say, a bicycle's gearing system. When you free-wheel, you exercise your choice to disengage (the drive power and) the gearing system. This analogous to exercising your free-will to flow for a time rather than striving or meshing with circumstances. When society presses demands upon us, or gets hectic, many of us disengage. Its often a good option for our future health & success. Sometimes circumstances won't let us do this. That's fate. Sometimes I have been in this situation and been well aware of the current planetary configuration seemingly applying compulsion. The correlation between real-life circumstance & one's expert reading of the local cosmos tends to impress one (particularly when one seemed on top of things, in control, confident of managing the tasks and demands of one's current circumstantial requirements). Perhaps then it is not an either/or scenario, and complementarity is what applies. The cosmos may seem to apply compulsion, when our cultural environment presents us with some. Our internally organized attunement to the cosmos may gear us up for the demands of the time, or we may not cope, and consequently seek time out.
End of exegesis Digest V7 #89
[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]
Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-2003 their respective authors.