|Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #32
Exegesis Digest Sat, 01 May 1999
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 22:54:12 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #31
> >As above, so below seems to encapsulate the premise of the astrological
> >belief system. Vehicle for transmission of ancient wisdom, embodying
> >consensual perception, cited by many for millennia; or a statement of
> >faith, a mere superstition?
Somewhere in between, I would think. The problem that we run into in creating these choices is that we assume we have sufficient understanding of the ancients to make those choices meaningful. That assumption is rather porous, I think. What we wind up doing in these cases is overlaying our own schisms of view on the matter at hand, and then ascribe them as definitive. In my view, we truly do not understand enough about the ancients to even begin to make these choices.
> >Let's analyse its implications: first, a heaven/earth polarity; second, a
> >pattern common to both; third, a synchronicity of signs above and effects
> >below. To the generic observer these implications derive from both
> >consciousness of unity (the world, cosmos, one's entire surroundings,
> >pattern of the whole) and also from consciousness of duality (sky/earth,
> >world/me, event/experience, coincidence). So when we experience an event,
> >the inner/outer simultaneity produces a psychological state structured in
> >the most primal way by both the unitary and the dualistic capacities of our
> >Empirical observation of the signs in the heavens corresponding with events
> >on earth proved sufficiently frequent and widespread to generate a
> >paradigmatic consensual belief system in ancient times, of which we have
> >mainly inherited Ptolemy's description. Presuming it was not the collective
> >projection of delusions, and the weight of collective verification means it
> >is real, how to explain this correspondence?
That, of course, is the subject of the current Exegesis thread.
> >OK, a wee digression now, to provide some list context:
> >Exegesis v4#19, Andre Donnell wrote "my own interest in what William has to
[snip my exchange with Andre]
> >to recognize them as important. Yet, they remain silent! Why is this? Can
> >anyone explain?" Yes, I can. That's how paradigms work. Ever noticed how
> >keen industrial robots are to get a new, improved set of operating
> >instructions? Does your computer leap up and bark joyfully at you when a
> >new generation of Windows is launched? Astrologers are just as
> >indoctrinated by their programming; like scientists, they hug their belief
> >system as if it were a security blanket.
There is a reason why they do this. The admission that one is vulnerable to mistakes is tatamount to lowering one's shield in battle. Only the king can do this because he is protected on all sides, or is so strong and dangerous his foe dares not approach. It is one's reputation that is one's livelihood in the professions, and any tarnishment thereon is a chink in the armour. You will notice that Linus Pauling got away with lots of stuff otherwise regarded as quackery, simply because of his stature; Linus was a king. Few of the rest of us are royal.
In science, the best of results are exposed to withering fire from all about, by and large. This serves to vet the findings and demonstrate the prudence of all involved. Due diligence in all scientific protocols is only the ante to the table; stakes start with peer reviewed published works, and winning the pot is when one's work supports other (usually later) accepted work. Most scientific paradigms (hate the use of that word!!!) are vigorously defended by those who have identified with them, and they change most often with the change in generations of workers... a pretty slow process, but a dependable one.
Astrologers.... well, all most of them know is what works for them, and many of us have been battered about the head and shoulders by the priests of scientism (and that is different from science, although many scientists are also priests) as being ignorant savages in a world of enlightenment. No wonder most of them are not disposed to address the problem before us. I recall the lady, whose name I can't think of at the moment, who founded some astrology research organizations (ISAR was one), and she is now... well, she shows the effects of her lonely battles, yet she hangs in there and has her own list.
Fortunately, we do have some recent leading lights doing good research: Project Hindsight is one of those, and when that project is finished we will have as definitive a library of old writings as we are every likely to achieve. Eventually we hope to have a solid answer for the late Carl Sagan, bless his misguided soul, but it will take the sort of work being done here and elsewhere to get there. I think it's reasonable to expect that there will be only a few of us that are both capable and willing to do what needs to be done for astrology, for that's the example we find set for us in other venues and other times. Astrology and astrologers await our achievements.
> >After a decade of waiting and
> >minimal progress in the astrological community, I had to write a book to cut
> >this particular Gordian knot (The Astrologer and the Paradigm Shift, 1992).
> >Bill also wrote "I fancy my contribution as an attempt to establish the
> >parameters of the foundation upon which we can endeavor to construct a
> >workable general field theory of astrology." Likewise me for my book, and
> >this contribution. End of digression.
I must read the book.
> >Since the signs were perceived to be generated by the Sun, Moon & planets
> >and much human experience results from cause & effect relations, we can
> >understand why the original and most popular explanation was causal. Even
> >today there is residual merit in this view: various cascading mechanisms of
> >influence from the Sun and Moon and (marginally) planets have been
> >discovered. See "Cycles of Heaven" (GL Playfair & S Hill, 1978), the
> >astronomer Dr Percy Seymour's "Astrology: The Evidence of Science" (1988)
> >and "The Scientific Basis of Astrology", not to mention "Supernature",
> >"Lifetide" and various other of biologist Lyall Watson's wonderful books.
I must assume that you are using the term "signs" in its generic sense. The Signs of the Zodiac are a specific matter. The mechanism of cause and effect is a reasonable assumption absent any indication that it is not. Again, the Abbot speaks. That it certainly is not the only possible connective mechanism is acknowledged, but the simplest assumption should be tested first, if possible (or feasible).
> >However physical processes are characterised by built-in time lags, so this
> >mechanistic approach is really a red herring.
I have used the term mechanism in a philosophic sense, and have never attempted to define what it might be. I don't understand what you mean by a "mechanistic approach". This view of my position has been put forth before, and it seems to me that it represents the implication that I have set close boundaries or limits on the essence of the effect that (the practice of) astrology addresses.
The question is often asked: why (or how) does astrology work? What is sought here is some insight into the *effect* that man has noted in his study of the stars. In fact, the study of the stars is not a bad translation of the word astrology. When I use the term mechanism, I'm referring to what causes (creates? generates?) that effect.
> >The key must be found in the moment of synchronicity. Perhaps this is the
> >theme of Geoffrey Cornelius in "The Moment of Astrology". Seeing it
> >recommended a couple of times in the website archive, I went looking for it,
> >but it turns out to be unavailable in this country either commercially or
> >via the national library interloan system, though it's only 5 years old!
Synchronicity is a rather ambiguous term to use to name a means of connectivity. It simply refers to effects that are contemporary. The assumption that events that are contemporary must also be linked in some way begs the question of how they are linked, I think. Perhaps a better way of saying it might be "common temporal embedment", implying that there is a common source, or other type of link.
In general, I suggest that there is far too much use of vague and meaningless terminology attending the discussion of the nature of astrology.
I must say that I found Cornelius to be rather insubstantial. His axiomatic question is why successful natal horoscope interpretations can be given from horoscopes erected on faulty data: the right reading from the wrong chart. Haven't we all done this, at some time or other? Well, I think not really. The wrong chart is going to give the wrong information and an attempt to fit this to the client might edify the client, but it doesn't achieve what would be possible with the right chart. Cornelius assumes that this is a valid phenomena, and I reject that assumption. An astrologer who is giving a useful reading from a wrong chart is relying on something other than astrology to do so, and while it may be perfectly valid, appropriate and wonderful, it is not astrology.
Cornelius has been hailed by a school of astrology that assumes the only valid approach to an investigation of astrology is through arcane and obtuse philosophical discourse, or at least so it seems to me. My view is if it takes all that to elucidate a truth, then the truth is apt to be very specific and local, and so lacking in general or universal relevance.
> >Any way I came across a nice piece of his (from which the following quote is
> >excerpted) at the TMA site
> >(http://www.mountainastrologer.com/cornelius.html), his address to UAC '98.
> >"Perhaps Carl Jung can help us. He is probably the most important single,
> >intellectual influence for astrologers in the 20th century. Whatever you
> >make of him, the bottom line is that if anyone has given a conception of
> >astrology that is workable for the modern age - one we can fall back on and
> >use to justify ourselves at parties when we're arguing with hard-nosed
> >rationalists - it is Jung. His discussion of astrology as synchronicity -
> >"an a-causal connecting principle" is the key here. His discussion
> >prefigures the question I have raised with you. Is astrology a divination
> >practice (like Tarot cards or tea leaves), and, therefore, dependent on an
> >act of imaginative creation rather than objective facts that are established
> >in nature (tables and chairs; atoms and molecules)? If so, should it be
> >considered subjective? In other words, are the understandings I get through
> >astrology actually my own subjective creations?
That Jung is probably the single most important influence on astrologers in modern times is sadly true, I think. The result is that astrology comes to be viewed as a subset of Jungian psychology, and I suggest this is very denigrating to astrology. We're looking at the stars here, folks, not the psyche!!!
The definition of astrology as a system of divination is one that has been long established. The only use for astrology, until modern times, as been for the purposes of prediction. The assumption that prediction requires an act of imaginative creation is not supported in the tradition. The question of the truth of this assumption is a matter of supposing that we in modern times have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in all relevant regards. Those who would make such assumptions eventually wind up licking eggs off their faces. One of the strongest truths in science is that nothing is really known, only strongly suspected; every time we say we really know something, it turns out most egregiously that we don't!!
> >Jung could have given a very pat explanation of astrology on these lines,
> >i.e., any results occurring in astrology are due to the nonrational
> >breakthrough of archetypes at certain moments - pure synchronicity. However,
> >as his letter to the French astrologer Andre Barbault makes clear, although
> >much that occurs in astrology can be classed as synchronicity, it would be
> >misleading to approach all of its phenomena in this way. Our categories of
> >causality, synchronicity, and symbol are only our mental categories of such
> >things; "nature is not so simple," says Jung. "The way things actually are
> >defeats any conclusive attempt to catch Nature in our boxes and categories."
> >[from Jung, Letters V2, 1975] I think you will see why I quote these views
> >of Jung in support of my suggestion that as a realistic way of proceeding we
> >should allow a double conception of astrological reality, rather than trying
> >to unify the whole thing and find a single perspective or "explanation" to
> >cover all its phenomena. However, remember the thrust of my argument, which
> >is that our practice of judgment from horoscopes, and the results we get
> >when we make those judgments, constitutes divination, and involves a
> >profound dimension of psychic creativity." ( from "Is Astrology Divination
> >and Does It Matter?", G Cornelius, 1998)
Cornelius is perceptive in his inclusion of the quote from Jung, as it expresses an insightful acknowledgement of our inability to really understand these subjects. All we can do is speak of what we think we know about them.
The modern assumption that divination requires psychic ability (or creativity) is founded more on the preachments of the temples of scientism than on any solid foundation. They say that there are things that you can't do, that are impossible. One of these is to read the future by use of a mechanism. That the alternative is through psychic means is grudgingly granted by these people, in view of recent findings at Duke University, et al. Beneath this level of exhortation is the church, which would arrogate all things of this nature to itself, although we now tend to ignore this more than in the past.
I have read horary charts, tarot cards, and other systems strictly by the tradition and without any attempt to interpret on my own part, and it's really strange how close many of these come to the essence (if not the appearance) of the matter at hand. I've done this in a way that could be duplicated by an algorithm, hence by a computer, and had some striking successes. I'm far from the only person to have done this. Although I do not repudiate the reality of the psychic/spiritual realms, I do not confuse their influences in at least these regards.
> >He later advocates some extensive reframing: "A much more radical move is
> >needed: to recognize that the very structure of what we do in interpreting
> >horoscopes depends not upon the influence of the heavens upon the seed, nor
> >upon some objective "time-quality" stamped out by the heavens, not even by
> >synchronistic co-occurrence in objective time. It depends on the significant
> >presentation of the symbol to consciousness. The moment doesn't determine
> >significance for us - we assign significance to the moment." An excellent
> >article, in the fine English tradition of Dennis Elwell, Charles Harvey and
> >John Addey. Probably the most elegant defence of the Rorsach ink-blot
> >approach to astrology that you'll ever get. I remain unconvinced by the
> >thesis, even while being impressed by his advocacy.
Dennis, that is very fine! "Probably the most elegant defence of the Rorsach ink-blot approach to astrology that you'll ever get." ROFLMAO!!! I heartily agree.
Needless to say, I was unimpressed by the book as well.
> >The point at issue here is I think the same one Bill Tallman was getting at
> >when he asked if the astrological effect happens whether someone is in the
> >event or moment to experience it, or not. I know that theory is governed by
> >aesthetic preference in the formative stages, so I am merely expressing mine
> >when I assert that the effect is indeed inherent in any moment in which time
> >manifests on this planet's surface. I have a rationale, albeit speculative:
> >I believe there exist archetypes of nature that generate and shape natural
> >forms and processes. The good news is that these are readily amenable to
> >consensual recognition. Kepler wrote how he used them to recognise
> >planetary harmonics and discover the equations of the planetary orbits, and
> >the Nobel Prize-winning physicists Pauli and Heisenberg both wrote about
> >this in support of their existence.
Yes. The subjective reality of these archetypes is perhaps generated in the most basic consciousness of the brain stem, which is often typified, or actually called, the reptilian brain. It is said to involve itself in food, sex, battle and flight. These are the most basic considerations for physical survival, I would suggest. It would be interesting to see if these archetypes all fall in one or another of these categories. It is also said that this part of the brain does not recognize process, and therefore not time itself; all is in the eternal now.
> >At this point it would be a good idea for readers who are still with me to
> >look up influence in the dictionary. For those without one handy, here's a
> >summary: [(Latin) fluere, to flow] "the power or virtue supposed to flow
> >from planets upon men and things: a spiritual influx: power of producing
> >an effect, esp. unobtrusively". Here is evidence of the profound effect of
> >the ancient causal doctrine on subsequent civilisation. Also worth noting
> >is the spiritual component, the flow/flux factor, but most of all that word
> >unobtrusively. Occult means hidden. So rather than imagine invisible rays
> >or forces, we can theorise a hidden factor in the moment of coincidence that
> >produces the perception of synchronicity. Something that is multi-faceted:
> >natural archetypes, manifesting in the flow of time.
Yup. Influenza or the "flu" comes from the stars, don'tcha know. < grin > Hey, there were those who went around preaching this back in the big epidemic of 1918/19. Didn't do astrologers much good, I suspect.
I would suggest that there are many manifestations of cause and effect that are not sequential in time, and so aren't especially apparent as such. In fact, common embedment can be classified as a form of cause and effect, but not the sequential sort we commonly recognize.
A word about "occult": It used to be that there was almost universal agreement that "there are somethings that mankind was never meant to know". My view is that this was propogated by religious institutions bound on retaining their political power, but that's another matter. If someone had knowledge of something that was not commonly known, then that someone was to be feared, for that knowledge could be a power to do harm (or evil in some form). We still, and perhaps are doing a periodic rediscovery of the fact, regard information as one of the most potent possessions. What, though, do we do with the information we have? I suggest that the answer to that tends to set our views of what the idea of "occult" really means.
The fact is, there is no implicit definition of that which we do not know. If history provides any example, we can say that yesterday's magic (occult) is today's science. We don't really need to assume that the effect that astrology addresses must needs be entirely, or at least fundamentally, subjective in nature. I do think, however, that there has to be some subjective component of the meta-effect that astrology addresses.
> >Now perception results from interpretation via the brain/mind of signals
> >from the eyes. To some degree we see what we expect (or want) to see,
> >because our expectations are influenced by memory and our interpretations by
> >our understanding of ourselves and the world. The organic operation of the
> >right brain integrates input with prior context so we can know what is
> >happening. This process seems to include input from the personal
> >subconscious and collective unconscious. "My thesis, then, is as follows:
> >In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly
> >personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even
> >if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a
> >second psychic system of a collective, universal and impersonal nature which
> >is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not
> >develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms,
> >the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give
> >definite form to certain psychic contents." (p60, "The Portable Jung")
> >Jung's diffidence here about the personal unconscious, relegating it to
> >appendage status, leaves me rather bemused.
Well, perception involves more than the eyes, although the eyes provide (at least for h.sap.) the dominant sense. I won't go into a dissertation on this, though. There is, however, some amount of apparent support of Jung's views in the recent findings of neuroscience.
> >We now need to consider any generic factors that structure our vision. For
> >a start we normally reference things we see to a local horizon, so this
> >forms a generic frame of reference. We see day follow night and other
> >natural time cycles regularly repeating themselves in relation to both this
> >and that other collective frame of reference, the zodiac. Our relations
> >with others are constantly energised via interactions with them after they
> >approach our vicinity on the plane formed in our mind by the apparently flat
> >earth. Half the cosmos is hidden from us by our perception of this plane
> >stretching to the circular horizon: we directly perceive one hemisphere
> >above this plane. The other seems hidden by the Earth, but we learn to
> >imagine it in our mind via a pattern reflection: as above, so below.
So, we have the plane of the horizon as the axis of awareness, and the duality of above and below, as expressed by the meridian, as the axis of experience. The axis of awareness polarizes self/other and the axis of experience polarizes subjectivity/objectivity. But notice that the axis of awareness describes the basic attributes of experience, which all involve interaction between the self and that which is not the self; the axis of experience describes the basic attributes of awareness, which sorts out that which exists in its own right (is an object) and that which is the product of brain/mind activity.....
> >So, in our cognition of the moment, we integrate all awareness of our
> >surroundings in context with our intent, expectations, memory, etc.
> >Courtesy of Rudhyar, the horoscope has evolved to become a map, not just of
> >a moment, but of our generic experience of same. The sphere of the cosmos
> >around us collapses into the circle of the zodiac, and the bisecting
> >horizontal plane into a linear axis called the horizon. Anciently,
> >astrologers divined the meaning of the event from the collapsed diagram, but
> >then they decided they could answer a question from the diagram of the
> >moment it was posed. No longer an event chart, the yet-more abstracted
> >horoscope lost its basis in reality and became fully oracular. So again the
> >crux: is there a real effect in the moment, which the horoscope maps or
> >models? Or is it merely a divinatory artifice for the interpreter to
> >project personal fantasies onto, in order to maximise the flow of money by
> >telling the client what they want to hear? What's really going on? Given
> >that there is no longer any prospect of societal support for planetary
> >causation, can we provide a credible alternative?
One type of use does not invalidate the other. That Rudhyar expanded the use of the horoscope to represent the subjective as well as the objective reality of the native does not preclude any other use of a horoscope. Your description of our experience as described in a horoscope is pretty much modern Rudhyarian tradition.... well, Rudhyar was an occasional mentor and always a source of shining philosophical optimism, so I probably am not the person to speak on behalf of the average modern astrologer.
The horoscope was expressedly intended to gain insight into the nature of the moment, and it's use in nativity was somewhat incidental, as I recall. I suspect that the tradition of horary is at least as old as that of genethliacal use. The point here is that we don't know how the horoscope provides the insights it does in either horary or natal astrological practice. I think it is not useful to assume that one is valid and the other invalid with no understanding of the mechanisms involved, nor do I see any basis for the assumption that the two are mutually exclusive. The astrological practice is that the moment is important for whatever reason and somehow the nature, or essence, of that moment can be discerned from a study of the celestial configurations of that moment. That is the whole story. How that study is conducted, described, utilized, etc. is consequential, and that is how it must be regarded until we know more about the nature of the astrological effect itself, until we have some real understanding of the mechanisms of that effect. *Then* we may have enough understanding to make these determinations.
As far as prospects for creating an understanding of "planetary causation", it is nowhere near clear that this is not possible. The temples of scientism cast us out beyond the pale, and society follows that dicta. The problem is that those temples are subject to the changes in scientific understanding, especially if they are seen as useful to society... witness our current technological culture. Well, that's probably one of the main supports for the temples of scientism; nevertheless, historically, science itself has prevailed.
> >We can, actually. Rudhyar's comprehensive description of the horoscope as
> >model of the psyche needs to be refined and integrated with the traditional
> >view of the horoscope as map of the event. It should be noted that mundane
> >horoscopes have survived from the time of Alexander's conquests, so we must
> >transcend the myopic Jungian focus on our inner selves. The archetypes must
> >be identified in their manifestation in nature to the extent that this
> >proves possible, in order to validate both natal and mundane interpretive
> >traditions. Rudhyar perhaps did not emphasise this enough. Jung, to his
> >credit, did point out the origin of the number archetypes in nature. It has
> >been the lack of follow-through on this profound insight by all bar one of
> >his followers that has retarded the formation of a multi-disciplinary
> >consensus. Even Rudhyar seems not to have fully grasped or utilised the
> >comprehensive explanatory power of the number archetypes.
Yes!!! Down with strictly Jungian psychological astrology, which would have astrology as a subset of psychology!!!!!! Stepping off the nearest stump into the quagmire....
What you are proposing is that these archetypes exist objectively in our environment, and can actually be discerned. To me, this necessarily follows from their existence in the subjective reality. If they didn't exist as realities in themselves, how would we have acquired them? Again, I can't argue a mainstream position here, so my views should not be taken as representative.
Rudhyar had his own very specific agenda. He saw himself as the representative, or handmaiden, of the avatar of the coming age. His whole focus was on the potential evolution of mankind now and in the times to come, and he wanted (rather desperately at times) to get the message out that this was coming, that this could be an occasion for mankind to discover much about itself both individually and collectively, so that it could make the move to another level of... well, the word that was not used all that often was "initiation", but that was pretty much his vision. So, he was looking into the future, almost entirely.
> >So what specifically do we need in the way of archetypes from nature, in
> >order to "save the appearances" of astrology? Most obviously, the planetary
> >archetypes, conceived as deriving from the orbits rather than the bodies of
> >the planets. The number archetypes, with descriptions of their primary
> >effects in shaping the physical universe and human society. Then there are
> >sphere and circle, line and plane, spiral and helix. It can readily be seen
> >that the numbers 3 and 4 structure space/time, there being 3 spatial
> >dimensions and a time dimension. 4 cardinal directions, or 6 if you include
> >up and down. 4 elements, or states of matter if you are a scientist. 3
> >gives us reproduction, the genesis of family and social relations of the
> >child. Sex is 2, of course. The trinity also arises from duality in time,
> >when the past/future polarity is conceived in relation to now:
> >past/present/future. It also arises in debate, when thesis and antithesis
> >produce synthesis.
Ah, the Greeks would have loved you, Dennis! The fact is, I think, the Greeks discerned some very importat insights; their problem, as may ours also be, was/is that they couldn't see how to use those insights. In modern times, understanding is often a function of the development of technology; a bigger, more expensive microscope allows the discovery of even smaller particles (and now not even a country as wealthy as the U.S. can afford the cutting edge microscope). What is clear, however, is that number itself manifests in nature, although not as simplistically as the Greeks supposed. Mathematics continually strives to evolve in order to account for that which is discovered, and so we have fractals (fractional dimensionality) and both chaos and complexity mathematics.
I strongly suspect that some mathematical work somewhere will come to predict an unknown effect, and it will be the one we are looking for, or at least part of it.
> >One cosmos, one Sun, one Earth, one head. 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 brain
> >hemispheres, 2 thumbs. The real bonus is when we realise the number
> >archetypes 1 & 2 are all we really need to explain the synchronicity evoked
> >by the saying `as above, so below', but this returns me full circle to my
> >first paragraph like the worm Ourobouros, so a good time to close.
Hmm... it would be interesting if unity and duality did encompass all of reality.
Some comments: I have elsewhere discussed some possible insights into h. sap's role in the astrological effect, and asserted that there is indeed a valid practice one could call "psychic astrology". Perhaps that will become relevant in a later discussion.
It has been proposed that the orbits of the planets are the source of their "influence", that they establish cycles of process here on earth from which the sorts of understanding made possible by astrology come to exist. This may well be. I would suggest, however, that it is also the various configurations of the planets that have power in the astrological effect. There is excellent evidence for this.
This suggests that there is indeed some direct connection between these two processes in the solar system, and the nature of reality here on earth. We can imagine that the solar system does subtly shape the electromagnetic (gravity?) field of the earth, such that certain phenomena occur and/or are influenced thereby. That we don't see this mechanism doesn't mean it does not exist; indeed, it may be discovered as a quantum effect. That's my bet.
I say, let's do good science and see what we come up with. As Dennis and Andre have both implied, we've had enough rattling of old bones and tying of Gordian knots.
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:29:18 -0400
From: "Cynthia D'Errico Clostre"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #31
I can't tell you how much I am enjoying Exegesis. I'm new to your list so I will just jump in with a comment regarding G. Cornelius. I read "A Moment of Astrology" (Penguin Arkana) a few years ago and must say that it at once coincided with the philosophical flywheel of my practice and also cogently expounded what I had experienced as I practised this ancient art. It's been a few years but I recall that Cornelius examined the privileging of the temporal basis of astrological practice as an assumption that diverted attention from the intuitive moment of "significant presentation of the symbol to consciousness," or as he named it, "psi" (p.132). As a result, he argues, the discarding, rather than the embrace of, inaccurately timed charts was to diminish the value of the observer/astrologer upon the observed/event. (The event here understood as the res assigned significance by the observer, not, as I understand Cornelius, the temporal event as commonly understood.) His forensics of horary astrology was used to advantage in this regard. The facile compartmentalization of Knowledge upon which scientism (epistemology) and pattern recognition depend would necessarily exclude astrology as both I and Cornelius understand it. Dennis Frank (...I think: I'm a little confused as to who has written what!) wrote, referring to the astrological effect as discussed by Wm. Tallman: "...the effect is indeed inherent in any moment in which time manifests on this planet's surface." Perhaps "effect" and "time" need to be further dissected in terms other than "whether someone is in the event/moment...or not." As consumers of the discourse which threatens to reduce astrology to science, perhaps we should deconstruct the very terms we use (coercive determinants?) so as to avoid assimilation and metaphysical closure, or should I say, closure of the metaphysical? Luce Irigaray, a renegade deconstructionist critic of Lacan's put it so: "the fact that [the dream] can be interpreted only as a 'rebus' should have persuaded the 'reader' to turn it in all directions and positions and not favour one type of inscription that would already prescribe a meaning to it: a linear (chronological, my addition), teleologically horizontal or vertical displacement over a surface as yet unwritten, which it brands by cutting it up according to rules of repetition and recurrence, obeying processes that already paralyze the 'body's' system of gestures within a given graphic order,etc." (p. 30, Irigaray). It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to broach my philosophy of astrology in a public forum, so I apologize if this seems abstruse; I'm very rusty and my background is metalinguistics/semiotics (as if you can't tell: grin)! Regards, Cynthia -- "Nearly the entire history of writing is confounded with the history of reason, of which it is at once the effect, the support and one of the privileged alibis." Helene Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 32
[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]
Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-1999 their respective authors.