|Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #3
Exegesis Digest Fri, 08 Jan 1999
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 22:13:31 -0800
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #1
> Thanks, for the lucid, and fair, treatment of my perspective...what a
> gift you have for clarity and stamina...:) The *objective* component of
Thank you, sir! I hope you are right, because if we can succeed in what I am about here, it will require both on all our parts. I am looking for no less than the way to the answer of The Problem of Astrology: What works and why; does astrology in fact have its own basis in reality, and what are the mechanisms involved.
That answer will allow us to understand much about the practice of astrology; for starters, it will allow us to separate what is the result of the phenomenon astrology reflects and what is something other that uses the language of astrology. And of course there is much, much more.
> astrological phenomena--the "indirect mode of play" as you put it, I have
> simply come to call "Nature" (meaning all the activities of the living
> cosmos). Because I am not omniscient, I suspect it is much too complicated
> an interweaving of *causes*, whatever, for me to properly objectify...too
> much to label and try to control for as in statistically defined separation
> of what-goes-with-what. My personal quest seems to have been a matter of
It has long been a part of the traditions that have arisen around spiritual/psychic practices that if one has a functional ability, one risks it by too much analysis. The usual exhortations are: "Don't think about it!!" and "Don't try to fix what ain't broke!!" A fundamental reason for this is that we simply do not have the tools, or do not see how to use them if we do, to successful address these issues; we are told by those who purport to know that we indeed have the tools and would be well served by learning how to use them, but it seems that requires more effort and commitment that most westerners are disposed to put forth.
That you have something that does work for you is more than reason enough to choose to stay with it, for many do not have what you have and would if they "somehow could". What is the old saw about these things?... those who can, do; those who cannot, teach; those who cannot teach, criticize. < grin > Obviously, you are one who can and does. I would invite you to stick around and make comments as you see fit, assuming this discussion continues.
> finding a *direct mode* of involvement which is inclusive and not exclusive
> of others--and this out of sheer necessity, a means to some sense of well
> being that is least dependent on something arbitrarily contrived. I have
> always sought a perspective that is capable of tolerance, capable of moving
> in and out of another's symbolically organized experience and not simply
> being a cold, lonely, indirectly involved, outsider. I am an intrusive soul
> I guess but the aim here was to acquire an almost practical *appreciation*
> of individuals--a more direct experience of the person who is both
> facilitated and (as well) handicapped by the medium of his/her persona. I
All horoscopes have the same components, and this is the astrological expression of our basic oneness of being, which allows us to experience one another as accessable separate realities. All that is in potential within each of us we suppose is expressed in another somewhere, and we learn of ourselves and expand our own universes to the extent we can enfold within ourselves our experience of those other people. This is a fairly precise statement of how we grow up capable and able to "bond" with others, such that our community takes on the characteristic of an extended family. We *learn* how to do this if we have the opportunity, and those of us who do not are fortunate to have such constructs as astrology available to craft another way.
> cannot be attracted to the distraction of *objective* astrology--this use of
> words does seem to be an oxymoron, but only incidentally so like "jumbo
> shrimp". Objective astrology is only the persona of astrology...the soul of
> the thing is a nameless participant in nature. Objective astrology refined
> to the nth degree would still be like the well defined details of mythical
> Olympus, which helps us to identify/organize its assembly of gods, whatever.
Understood. I presume you are referring to the construct that is astrology as *objective* astrology. I guess I'm not convinced that the notion of persona versus soul is useful although it seems descriptive, but it's clear that they are consistent with your point of view.
What you are saying here, I think, is that astrology only exists as it is practised or put to use, such that the soul of astrology is made manifest. The construct that is (objective) astrology is only the "face" of astrology, or am I misreading you. If I am not, then I would suggest that there is very much more than just a face there. I would assert that therein we will find the essence of astrology which generates the soul.
> Perhaps unfortunately for the astrological mechanists, the most objective
> form of astrological research will always involve the *guess my sun sign*
> type of challenge. Astrology's strongest expression is that of the natal
Perhaps sunsign astrology is the most common form of lay astrological research, but I cannot for the life of me see how it could ever lead to an understanding of the mechanism involved.
> chart as a kind of symbolic representation of the individual person. I
> believe that an appreciation of a more global version of astrological
> *events* is by comparison the absolute weakest form of astrology--the least
> likely to yield useful applications of charts. A person, however, is like
Yet that is exactly how astrology was first used, or so evidence suggests. Might I suggest that mundane astrology is least likely to be useful to you, given your involvement with astrology so far? I think that, while this view is common at the moment, until we really see what's going on, we'll not be able to confirm or refute it; so it will remain a matter of personal opinion and not subject to resolution.
> the universe reduced to something almost conceivable--an existence we may
> experience both indirectly and sometimes very directly..."in the image of
> god" makes sense, to me, in this way. If astrology ever finds itself in the
> classroom of universities again, it will do so by this more literary,
> philosophical, psychological, perhaps religious, but in essence the human
> artistic approach--the connecting of the intuitively informed unconscious
> and the groping willed intellect...and rightly so, for it has always been
> exactly that...:)
I think you are confusing astrology and philosophy, or astrology and psychology. Astrology is neither of these, although part of its tradition has evolved from common sources or roots. The language of astrology finds convenient and useful application in these matters, but that doesn't mean that astrology itself will do so.
The sticking point that we come back to time and again is that the positions of the planets of the Solar system is *the* basic substance of the astrological construct, and that is a matter of objective, undebatable and uncompromisable reality. Astrology is not centered on human existence, it is centered on the configuration of the heavens; literature, philosophy, psychology and religion are human centered and those configurations are barely incidental thereto.
The horoscope of a moment in time and space is not subject to human whim; you can debate house systems and other technical concerns, but the ephemeris never changes, regardless of how much one might wish it to do so.
> I can confirm your suspicions from my own experience right here on this
> list! Gauquelin was, even by that time, being hounded for his work, and it
> seems to me I recall that he was really trying to regain his professional
> reputation. He suicided in the 80's ('86?) because a) he had lost it all,
> b) he was about to be exposed as having padded his work... either/or?
> both/and? Don't know.
> I was not aware of this.
That he suicided is a matter of fact. It is said, though I really don't know the source, that it has been discovered that his data base was in fact biased, although not in the manner originally thought. It was asserted that his standards for choosing his data base was biased, and I thought that was laid to rest. It seems now that there was another more serious compromise of protocol, although I don't know the particulars.
> Was it clear to you that he was that familiar with Ptolemy? I don't recall
> that he ever mentioned this in any of his work, and if he didn't know the
> Ptolemy citation then he would have no reason to claim any confirmation.
> I have not read more than a small selection of Gauquelin's published
> works, and heard him speak at two conferences, both in the early 70s. He
> never mentioned Ptolomy's work at, so far as I can remember. He (M. G.)
> was supposed to be an academic and scholar, and certainly should have
> been aware of his antecedants. He missed making a big point, in my
Gauquelin was not a researcher. He was a statistician, and had a personal issue with astrology. According to his writings, he was a very able practitioner when he was a young boy, but was at some point convinced that astrology had no basis in fact and that he was commiting fraud. Perhaps that helped him to seek out the role of statistics, or some such notion. It was only when he had already developed a career as a statistician that he again addressed the matter of astrology, and he did so only from the point of view of his competency. It can be argued that it was in his favor that he was in fact not an astrological scholar, or perhaps a scholar at all.
> I've thought about this point some more. I would have to define what it
> is we are trying to decide, and I'm not sure what that is. Is the [snip]
> Without specifying questions like these, statistical tests cannot give
> you anything useful.. You have to ask the right damned question!
> (pardon my French).
And that is exactly my point.
> I think we must be much more specific, and modest, in our expectations
> of how to verify or confirm or validate .... astrological phenomena.
> Here are a few examples:
> 1. The sun comes and most people get up and go to work, or at least
> become more active, and eat something for nourishment. This is a common
> astronomical phenomenon and an almost universal response. Is it
> astrology? Well, I have lived for a time with the Eskimos (now the
> Inuit) and their daily rhythyms are more related to the actual sun-time
> than mine was. At 2:00 a.m. one morning in late June, they were out
> playing baseball while I was trying to sleep. Just a question. :-)
This would suggest that House systems that are symmetrical aren't realistic, wouldn't it? And it might suggest that a diametric horizon is not as useful as it might seem. Clearly, these are matters that speak to the heart of the matter here.
> 2. Remember the bloody clams in Kansas? they open their valves in time
> with the tides as if there were an ocean in Kansas. Has this been
> re-confirmed? Is it a fact, or merely a chance observation? If it is a
> fact, is it an example of astrology?
In my original "i've-relocated-and-i'm-back" post, I posed this very question in more general terms. Is the phenomenon that astrology mirrors limited to some level of life form? Does it in fact require life to manifest? So, yeah, those bloody Kansas clams are very much to the point here!
> 3. It takes a fairly consistent fraction of a 30-year cycle to initiate
> the training for a career, build experience and get the credentials,
> then work for success. This seems to fit in the Saturn cycle. Is this
> just a coincidence, or is there some genuine effect of Saturn such that,
> if one initiates the building of a career at the wrong point, failure is
> fore-ordained. Can you find an astrological effect in this? Is it really
> true that persons with Saturn in the 7th House fit this cycle better
> than those with Saturn in the 1st House (see Grant Lewi, Astrol. for the
> Millions). With our modern, more flexible educational system, does it
> matter less now than it did in 1930 when the educational system was much
> more rigid?
I think you are drifting away from the core issue into matters of astrological lore, such that will not be confirmed or refuted except by massive statistical efforts. The core question is: *if* the astrological phenomenon exists, how is Saturn involved? To the extent this can be answered, perhaps we can see how to understand the astrological lore regarding Saturn. So, no, I don't think this serves the search for the astrological effect, at least at this point.
> I don't want to belabor the question: I still think we have not made it
> clear just what sort of correlation with astronomical phenomena we would
> consider a manifestation of astrology. And until we have done that, we
> cannot test the purely observational regularities to see which ones need
> explaining. This was already discussed in the preceeding mailing but I
> think the conclusion needs more work.
Good lord, no!!! You are *not* needlessly belaboring the question!!!! It is a regular return to touchstone issues like this that will serve to keep this discussion on track. The fact of the matter is, I assert, we have *not* even begun to discuss what constitutes a manifestation of the astrological phenomenon.
And now we come full circle to my original question: is life (as we know it) a prerequisite for the manifestation of the astrological phenomenon? Mary Downing (hello Mary wherever you are... < grin > ) thinks it is not, and I agree. But there is a difference here in how we understand that manifestation, and I think it is critical to be clear about this.
The astrological phenomenon is a (we can assume) matter of physical reality that is generally affective. What it means to the various things or beings that are affected is a separate issue, and I think we must assume that it must mean different things. Thus, the phenomenon affects physical nonorganic matter (as we are able to perceive it) differently than it does organic matter, differently than it does life forms, and differently than it does self aware, tool wielding, h. sap.
Now, a fundamental issue in these discussions will be the matter of applicability: if we are talking about the effect as it impacts any of these other aspects of the terrestrial universe, are we talking about astrology? Are we going to limit astrology only to the effect on h.sap? I would suggest that if we do so, we will be unable to progress beyond our current level of understanding, at least for the present. On the other hand, if we are willing and able to apply the astrological construct to the effect as it affects these other wider considerations, I think we stand a good chance of increasing our understanding, and that is always a good thing, whether or not we progress in other ways.
Another place to start: Does anyone recall that a radio engineer claimed that radio propagation goes to hell in a handbasket when the Sun and Jupiter were at right angles? Does this mean a Sun /Jupiter Square? What does that mean astrologically, anyway? Life and growth at cross-purposes? Intention and opportunity never showing up at the same time? What are the more comprehensive archetypes involved here? What does radio propagation have to do with all this? What else does a Sun/Jupiter Square affect? Can an examination of this effect lead to a recognition of something else that is a part of this configuration?
Can we look at current neuroscience to see if something can be perceived there? Etc., etc..
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 3
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