Exegesis Volume 2 Issue #21

Exegesis Digest Mon, 5 May 1997


Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 23:19:14 +0000
From: Francis G. Kostella
Subject: PTSB: yea or nay? I say nay...

Through a long sequence of seemingly unrelated events I recently found myself looking up some information in Geoffrey Cornelius' The Moment of Astrology and while doing so I found myself fully engaged (yet again!) and I've put off more pressing things to study that book again. Now, I like this book a great deal, and each time I open it I recharge my interest in working with astrology. In fact, the whole reason I bother to do any astrology on the internet, the reason for the existence of Exegesis, and the reason I continue to interact with others, as opposed to simply using astrology to do some navel-gazing, can be overtly traced back to encountering this book and finding the ideas there challenging and exciting. Over the last few years I've had to do a lot of study to verify (and sometimes test) the ideas in "Moment", and each revisit reveals new vistas. I wish I could say something like, "The ideas were initially shocking! Shocking I tell you!".but they were not. In fact, they seem simple, and nearly obvious, at this point.and maybe my own concerns with theory left me open to plausible alternatives. Who knows? In any case, I thought that a few of the threads in "Moment" might be worth discussing, as folks who haven't read it might get a taste of it, and those of us who have read it could stop patting each other on the back for having read it and share the results of any new applications got from reading the book.

As I've said, I find new material each time I stick my nose in the book, but one theme has struck me from the start, and is still, to my mind, the centerpiece to the work. Briefly, Cornelius suggests that Ptolemy's "theory of seeds and beginnings" is the assumption that we all accept uncritically, yet it repeatedly leads us to the most blunders and mistakes in all of astrology. In short, since we believe that charts are only valid for the beginning of a thing (person, nation, concept, etc.) we need to build tottering rationalizations to support this concept. For example, the common defense of the twins problem is to suddenly use a degree of precision we'd never use otherwise to find the difference that makes a difference. I'm sure we can find other examples. On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence of astrology that works without needing the "theory of seeds and beginnings": horary, solar charts, "divine" charts, and "wrong" charts that work. And I image there are plenty of other examples.

Proposition: Since PTSB (Ptolemy's Theory of Seeds and Beginnings) does not apply to every instance of chart-making, and since PTSB otherwise does not gain astrology ANY advantage whatsoever, we should toss PTSB out of any theory of astrology.

How does that strike people?



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