|Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #22
Exegesis Digest Tue, 03 Mar 1998
Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 13:27:45 -0800
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #21
From: "Roger L. Satterlee": but artists find
> ways to adapt and flourish inspite of these changes. The real problem, as I
> see it, is that most astrologists still trash other abstract arts...go
I have found one to many astrologers who trash numerology and when asked why there response is 'Well, how can something be accurate when it lumps people into 9 categories........=P~~
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:40:33 +0000
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #21
> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 10:36:26 -0500
> From: "Roger L. Satterlee"
> If one excepts that Astrology is an Art, and the astrologist an
> artist, we need only sort out who's art is most acceptable to whom. Van Gogh
> could have been a poor operator of brushes, I would'nt know exactly,
> and he sometimes put the paint in his mouth instead of the on the
> canvas, but I like his work in general...The same is true concerning
> the work of Dane Ruhdyar.
That astrology is an art has been asserted often, and so that assertion is now an issue with which we must eventually grapple, I suppose. It has also been observed that the designation of an activity as an art is something done poorly and invalidly all too easily. I would suggest that may be the case here.
What is an art? Well, there has been some indeterminate amount of effort and energy expended on the attempt to define this concept. The primitives of most definitions are some form of statement of skill, or of creativity, and things get rather nebulous from there quite quickly. I think that most attempts to define art are all too specific even at their fundamental level, and so speak more of how various activities that are called art are used and regarded at any given time and place, than what they may have in common at their roots. For instance, we hear that any art must have some universal applicability in order to be valid; and then we are told that someone lives their life as if it were art, when the defining aspects of that art are the most unique and specific attributes thereof.
So I think that the assertion that astrology is an art serves mainly to beg the questions that remain before us.
> Technology has a away of putting artists out of work during the
> introduction period of a new one, like photo portraits-vs-portrait
> painters, and juke boxes-vs-local bands of live musicians,
> etc,...but artists find ways to adapt and flourish inspite of these
> changes. The real problem, as I see it, is that most astrologists
> still trash other abstract arts...go figure...:)
The photographer and the painter are both artists in similar but different mediums. The juke-box is like a musical museum where the works of musicians are on display for a price.... musicians who are more likely to be acclaimed as artist than the local live musician, who may also be just as good an artist by the same criteria though not as well recognized as the ones whose records we play.
I would venture to air a pet peeve here: we are astrologers who practice astrology, and those who would avoid accepting (owning?) this common designation by the use of 'astrologist', or 'astrologian', or 'geocosmologist', or any other fancification or obfuscation don't stand quite as tall in my eyes as those who do not. I think this practice is also all too transparently obvious to the lay public, and does not well serve either us or our profession.
No personal denigration intended, of course.
> There is only one transition important to astrology in
> general...that being that it is finally being more recognized as an fine art and
> less as a poor science...:)
I would suggest that the idea that astrology is a fine art contains a certain hubris, and further misses the point. Perhaps it would be appropriate to inquire if that is indeed the object of the idea in the first place.
> Each successful artist in the astrological community either
> participates in a popularized school of thought or writes a book and
> so forth in an attempt to create his own school and
> following....this is as it should be. Artists are different than
> scientists concerning the sharing of information due to the nature
> of the *information*--it's is seldom certain what is worth
> communicating or how to communicate *it*.
Art and science address different aspects of the same activities and interests. There was a time when medicine was called an art. Many more people died in the hands of the practitioners of the art of medicine than do in the hands of the practitioners of the science of medicine. The fewest of all die in the hands of the physician who practices the science of medicine as an art. These are the concerns when the activity of interest entails consequences of life and death. I cite this here on the chance that astrology might be such an activity.
In fine arts, it is very clear that each activity is founded on some fairly well practiced science. The master artist is also a master of the science of the discipline as well; one is a master of both or a master of neither.
In music, it is absolutely necessary to understand the theory and the science thereof, as well as the mechanics of application in order to achieve mastery as an artist. The science of music in the west underlies what it was able to become as a result of the efforts of J.S. Bach. Before he developed the well-tempered tuning, the scope of musical creativity was so severely constrained that it did not change materially for millennium; afterward the art of music exploded to become a major force in the life experience in the west.
In the east, there is a different situation. Music is an inherent part of spoken language and so intrinsically has a more integral existence of its own with the life experience. As such, it was not sufficiently separate to warrant independent development and the masters of music were required to have a fundamentally different science; its development does not parallel that of music in the west. In the east, music and poetry are closely aligned and the science behind these is not mechanical or physical, but psychological and cultural, indeed, cosmological.
Both the east and the west have a profoundly important science of music.
How is astrology different from these other human activities?
> Astrologers are participating in something akin to magic, and
> like magicians they are slow to divulge the trick...unlike magians, we
> astrologers usually have no idea how our tricks work...:)
And this is exactly the problem. It has been observed that a sufficiently mature technology (skill? art?) is indistinguishable from magic. I've heard it said that the difference between science and magic is that science concerns itself with the connection between the action and the result, and magic does not. I would suggest that a practitioner who is forced for lack of knowledge to be a magician would not quibble at the opportunity to become a scientist instead if it improved his/her ability to practice.
In short, the assertion that astrology is an art is, in my view, a rather feeble attempt to dodge the responsibility placed on the practitioner to strive for what improvement of skill and understanding is possible. It is obvious that the master astrologer is also an artist, but this doesn't necessarily confer the status of art on astrology. Even if astrology is accepted as an art form, it must have a science, and a technology, and etc to support it.
Because no art can exist without a science and a technology, it is useless to pursue the assertion of astrology as an art in the attempt to avoid the issue of the science and technology of astrology. Therefore, I continue to claim that a refusal to address these issues is appropriate only to the practitioner who would remain at the skill level of operator.
The notion of astrologer as magician has some merit and is a separate issue, but is also one that presumes some level of knowledgability beyond that of operator level skill. Contained within the notion, however, is a deeper idea that has profound importance, I think: is the astrologer as artist practicing as an astrologer or as a psychic?
Shall we address this issue?
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 3 Issue 22
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