Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #093

In This Issue:

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #91

Exegesis Digest Wed, 30 Oct 2002

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #91
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 21:34:20 +1300

 > >>>>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
 > >>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.
 > >
 > >I don't think my antipathy for such keywords is a matter of aesthetics.
 > >It's a matter of logic. The plasticity in the way we use words - noun,
 > >adjective, adverb, different senses - to connect celestial and terrestrial
 > >factors, and the plasticity in the wording of our description of the
 > >event itself, means that symbolism has the same "function" as a multitude
 > >of factors. We can use any chart, so long as we think it's the right
 > >one, to account for the event. And we can make any event, again so long
 > >as we think it's the right one, fit that chart. I'm not against right-
 > >brain thinking, as long as it doesn't involve throwing out left-brain
 > >thinking. I think that in my Uranus/Neptune research I was emphasizing
 > >the right brain in looking for and seeing a pattern in history, "the
 > >same thing" at 171-year intervals, and the left brain in seeing the
 > >implications of doing it that way. (You inadvertently contributed to
 > >that research, by the way, or did I already tell you that?)

I don't recall you doing so. A minor quibble here. Implications seem to me more right brain than left, inasmuch as they intuitively relate things to a wider context of prior knowledge. Spelling out the implications in a communication process is certainly a left-brain function.

On the substantive point, I think we differ not on diagnosis of the problem but on our preference for the solution. Astrologers, in my opinion, need to upskill in their use of the language of astrology. Poor interpretation comes from inadequate recognition of the keywords that characterise the archetypes, as well as failure to grasp the technique of using the language to synthesise component meanings into an overall picture of the situation. It seems to me you are blaming the tool itself, rather than their use of it. You must know the old saying `it's a poor work-man who blames his tools'.

 > >>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.
 > >
 > >This seems like a deprecation of logic in order to justify a practice
 > >that you apparently can't justify logically. As I suggested above, the
 > >right brain and the left brain are best used together.

I fully agree, to both points.

 > >The symbol is a vehicle for shared meaning. With symbolism that shared
 > >meaning is the illusion of knowledge. Our historical predecessors have
 > >shared and passed down the means of creating this illusion. That doesn't
 > >seem like evidence to me. There's a baby in the bathwater, but it isn't
 > >symbolism. Symbolism is the bathwater. The baby is the empirically
 > >discoverable relationships the bathwater obscures.

I suppose I mostly agree to all this, but again beware the reductionism.

 > >You're more substantive than most, and certainly more rigorous, but much
 > >of the work you cite approvingly strikes me as fringe science whose most
 > >obvious attractions are newness, incompatibility with existing science, and
 > >apparent compatibility with various New Age-ish idea systems, including
 > >astrology, that are deprecated by mainstream science. That's the general
 > >source of my IMPRESSION that you think science needs to change to fit
 > >astrology, not vice versa.

Ok, fair enough. I'm always keen on progress & stale thinking leaves me cold.

 > >Okay, you see your uniqueness in terms of your rigor. You are in fact
 > >far more rigorous than the average traditionalist, but you are no less
 > >traditional than they in terms of the logical structure of your approach
 > >to interpretation, including the fact that it IS an interpretation and
 > >not an observed regularity. Your Uranus-MC Hiroshima-bomb interpretation
 > >was also traditional in that the connection between the two was purely
 > >verbal, and in your (characteristic of the traditional paradigm) inability
 > >to see that because YOU described the event and the symbolism you were
 > >in a position to MAKE them fit each other, as I pointed out in detail in
 > >Exegesis 4:43.

I don't accept this reasoning, although I understand your objection. Firstly, I do not believe that astrologers have completely failed to grasp the archetypal meanings of the components of the horoscope. Generally speaking, their grasp is partial. Secondly, the fact that I have discovered more than one major world event with this exact configuration makes the correlation repetitive and accessible to empirical discovery in your own terms.

 > >First, I don't think signs exist except as a measuring device, so from
 > >my perspective there's nothing there to have an archetypal effect. Second,
 > >I don't think each planet has an archetypal effect, either. If that term
 > >has any meaning, it's in reference to the RHYTHMS that correspond to the
 > >various planetary periods, not to any imaginary effect, archetypal or
 > >otherwise, that the planet itself has. I speak of the characteristics or
 > >nature of a given rhythm (not planet) or aspect, and it seems to me you're
 > >simply using "archetype" as a profound-sounding synonym for such terms.

Seems a reasonable appraisal of the situation. Archetypes are hypothetical, and have been since the ancient Greeks invented them. They are just as ephemeral as theories. The concept is pure metaphysics, and it is purely a matter of taste whether you like the concept, as it is for all metaphysics.

 > >Keywords linking into phrases is a characteristic traditionalism. The
 > >utility of language is that it can be used this way and in many other ways,
 > >which doesn't mean that this is the most fruitful way to use it.

True. Only if the description seems accurate when applied will the method impress people. That's why the incompetence of astrologers in their use of the language is a self-imposed handicap to public acceptance.

 > >>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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.
 > >
 > >Aspect exactitude as an arbiter of significance is also traditional, as
 > >is the reduction of astrological practice to the analysis of charts, as
 > >is the perception of astrologically meaningful events as point-in-time
 > >events (which facilitates the use of charts for everything as a preferred
 > >mode of analysis). In all this you are not only traditional but moreso
 > >than most astrologers.

< grin > (somewhat overstating the case)

 > >>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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.
 > >
 > >When a MOMENT is examined it's because we already know what the event
 > >is and when it happened, otherwise we wouldn't know which moment to
 > >examine. When we know what happened, and when it happened, and write the

Hey, not so fast. What about electional astrology? I look at future moments frequently, sometimes a number every day. That's the beauty of an astroclock, you can scan and assess entire periods and look at their best moments in a couple of minutes of real time max. I've been living according to decisions made on this basis ever since my request for such a thing eventually resulted in the appearance of the first one (from AGS software back in the late '80s). It's been a great help.

 > >description of both the event and the symbolism (which means they can't
 > >help fitting each other if the astrologer is reasonably imaginative), we
 > >stack the deck in favor of the appearance of validity. Before the fact,
 > >however, that particular moment and that particular event DON'T stand
 > >out. All moments seem significant and all events can be made to fit the

For you this may be true, but wrong to generalise accordingly. Selection of auspicious moments and weighing their merits is the whole point of electing a good time to do things. That too is traditional, of course. Alexander the Great founded several cities on that basis.

 > >symbolism, an embarrassment of riches which requires (in terms of the
 > >traditional paradigm) that we not try to predict but limit ourselves to
 > >accounting for the event after the fact (while not seeing that we could
 > >have accounted for any event with any chart). And all of this, which
 > >I have previously described as necessary blind spots, is characteristic
 > >of the traditional paradigm.

Any chart? You mean traditional astrologers didn't bother to ascertain the time an event actually happened? Much truth in this, I agree, which is one respect in which I have been the opposite of traditional.

 > >We deal with quality when we discuss the nature of, say, the Saturn
 > >age cycle. My point is simply that the planet Saturn is not the source
 > >of this quality. The source is evolution, resulting in biopsychological
 > >processes with a particular wavelength. What I mean by "a particular
 > >wavelength" is that the motives I associate with this rhythm come to the
 > >forefront at regular intervals, and recede into the background in between.

Too minimalist for me. You seem not to accept that the planets represent psychological drives that derive from an archetypal motivation. Little though I have been impressed with the astropsychology school, I do accept their central doctrine.

 > >This rhythmicity, this wavelength, is what differentiates one structure
 > >of the psyche from another, for instance the ego from the id, or Maslow's
 > >esteem needs (7 1/3 year rhythm) from other need-structures. But the

You mean you still take Freud seriously??

 > >planet that resets a given clock/rhythm, if I'm correct in thinking this
 > >happens for more than just diurnal rhythms, does not itself impart any
 > >quality to it. The quality is already there, imparted by evolution.

Yes, I can accept that the quality is made an accessible experiential factor in life by virtue of evolution. You still need the archetypal hypothesis to get it from its place of origin into the evolutionary process.

 > >If evolution started over from zero, but the planetary periods remained
 > >the same, I assume biopsychological processes with wavelengths of 7 days,
 > >3 months, 5 1/2 months, 3 years, 7 1/3 years, etc. would evolve, but
 > >they wouldn't be the same processes we have now.

I feel neutral about that. I see merit in both the pro & con positions.

 > >>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.
 > >
 > >Your analogy is not a happy one in all respects. I don't think these
 > >rhythms can be disengaged. I think certain issues will come to the
 > >forefront during the 1 to 2-year period of the Saturn Return, REGARDLESS
 > >of what we do about them. Different issues, or discomforts, will come

I agree to the latter point but want to clarify the former. I do disengage, often. But that does not make the rhythms go away or stop their internal function within me. Are you aware that entrainment of biological clocks is relative, not absolute? I have read that when free-running the period wanders somewhat. Experiential exposure to the diurnal cycle is required to achieve coordination. When people live in caves the moon takes over from the sun as primary determinant of bodily processes.

 > >to the forefront at 5 1/2 month Mars intervals, again regardless of
 > >what we do about them. The "what we do about them" part is where free
 > >will comes in, in my present opinion. External events that impinge
 > >upon us, such as losing a job, breaking a leg, or in a more general sense
 > >finding ourselves in a given social climate, tend to be filtered through
 > >these rhythms. If an athlete breaks a leg during his Saturn Return he
 > >might take it as a challenge to overcome, or he might abandon his trade.

Think I agree with the general point being made.

 > >Grant Lewi felt that free will was maximized during the Saturn Return.

I'm a counter-example to his theory. After a decade of maximising my freedom of choice, in which exercise of my free-will was consciously fostered in a manner both prudent and adventurous, my Saturn return saw me become captive to my prior choices. A sobering experience.

 > >I'm inclined to generalize this to all hard-angle transits, to say that
 > >during these periods we feel a need to make changes or decisions, and
 > >that what we decide determines our "fate" until the next turning point
 > >in the cycle. In between hard-angle transits we tend to coast along,
 > >continuing in the pattern (in the terms of that rhythm) laid down during
 > >the most recent hard-angle transit in that cycle.

Yes, I do agree to this general picture.



End of exegesis Digest V7 #93

[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]

Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-2003 their respective authors.