Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #36

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #35

Exegesis Digest Thu, 13 May 1999

Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 19:02:03 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #35

Andre Donnell said:

 > One of the peculiarities of Gauquelin's findings, as I recall, was that the
 > crests occurred in the cadent houses, not the *angular* houses as would have
 > been predicted by traditional house-based astrology. Many years ago I read an
 > attempt to reconcile the two views:

What occurred to me was that one would actually expect them to be placed in Cadent Houses. My thought was that in Angular Houses, we would find the individual involved in the development of the qualities of a champion, in Succedent Houses we would find the process of maturing and assimilating those qualities, and in the Cadent Houses we would find the results: the winning of championships. The idea here is that the chart should not show that developmental process, but show that the ability to be a champion was already a part of the individual, such that the result (cadence) was the ability to win. Is this convoluted, or does this make sense?

 > Dennis Frank said:
 > I agree. I have gotten a feeling like pushing the river when interpreting a
 > chart, later found to be wrong, to a client. The last point is a bit harsh,
 > perhaps. Incompetent astrologers vastly outnumber the rest of us, and
 > against my natural inclinations I have decided that tolerance must prevail.
 > Sure they project like crazy and indulge themselves in the most outrageous
 > fictions, but so do most of the lecturers on the astroconference circuit.
 > To err is human.
 > Heh heh. I have had the same feeling, but I shall not so deftly distinguish
 > myself or "us" from the ranks of the incompetent! It seems to me implicit in
 > the nature of the birthchart that we must *all* project: that we can only
 > discern 'reality' through the particular lens of our birthchart pattern - that
 > is, supposing that astrology really has the major impact on our cognition that
 > astrologers seem to suppose. I have said before and I say again, astrology only
 > describes *part* of the person. If there *is* an independent reality (universal
 > mind, whatever), and we *are* able to perceive it or agree about at least *some*
 > features of it, then this is evidence that we *are* at least partially
 > independent of our charts (that in this respect of apprehending a common reality
 > we are *not* different), and that therefore birth charts are partial
 > descriptions. Well, so maybe some project less than others after all!

Let me again hasten to say that there was no intention to denigrate any practice. My statement was that any practice that achieves results satisfactory to all parties is quite alright with me. Indeed, I have found myself often having sudden "nonastrological insights" during a consultation, and more often than not, I am happy to say, they were useful. I most certainly did not intend to imply that those who were not strict traditionalists were less competent astrologers. As for my own abilities, well... you don't see my books alongside Noel Tyl, et al, do you? I fancy that I was adequately competent for the small but steady practice I had.

The point is: If it does not depend on a initial reading of the celestial sphere (erecting a horoscope), whatever else it may be, it is *not* astrology. Astrology is the study of the stars, not the psyche, not the nature of the moment, not the state of the world, etc. It might, and has, effectively addressed all those things and more, but it is *not* a study of any of them.

I've heard people describe the horoscope as a mandala upon which they psychically meditated, and were able to "read" for a client therefrom with little direct input from the tradition of astrology. The question here is: is this an astrological practice, or is it a psychic practice? The answer is probably: somewhere in between. I use this example because it describes fairly clearly the dilemma I perceive. The issue is very simple: if we don't get it from a study of the celestial sphere, for that is what astrology is, then we aren't practicing astrology. If this is in fact the case, then let's recognize this and decide to drop the pretense that we're doing astrology in the first place.

Unfortunately, this may well be very difficult to do. It is entirely reasonable to suppose that one can actually read a horoscope psychically *and* be practicing astrology at the same time. After all, we are affected by the astrological effect, are we not? What is required is to have some direct awareness of how the effect affects us, and to be able to make some useful sense of this awareness; one presumes that a study of astrology enhances and organizes that ability. This, I suggest, is what some number of astrologers actually do in their practices. There are, of course, those that use the tradition rigorously, etc. In sum, there is likely to be an admixture of these as well as other aspects of astrology at work.

But we are not practicing astrology here. We are attempting to discover what we may of the essence of astrology itself. At least, that is my choice of expression of the concept of "exegesis". Therefore, I submit we must rest solidly on the assumption that astrology, as we know it, is a construct of lore and tradition that is intended to discern what significance the configurations of the celestial sphere may have for the earth's biosphere (at least). In short, the essential assumption of astrology as a construct is the that the effect it addresses has objective existence. Whatever else we do here, at least in this thread, until convincingly demonstrated otherwise, I suggest we retain this assumption.

How, then, do we deal with this apparent confusion that is observed to arise from many practices? Simple: we recognize that there are two distinctly different perspectives of astrology, much like the view of the interior of a precious stone through different facets. The initial thrust of the thread was an investigation of astrology as an objective effect, and that will continue to have merit. The problem with this approach is that there doesn't appear to be a lot of useful or meaningful data available, or if there is we don't see how to use it. Hopefully, the contributions of those presently in this discussion will make that less true.

The other approach appears to have much more data available; in fact, it seems to me that the data available from the subjective approach (our experience of the astrological effect), in the absence of any convincing data from the other (scientific) approach provides support for the conclusion that there *is* no objective existence of the astrological effect. I would like to refute this conclusion, and I'll work to do so until and unless one or the other idea is compellingly demonstrated to the exclusion of the other.

This is what I propose: That we recognize that there are two aspects to this thread, and that the methodology and language of one is probably not appropriate for the other. Let them both go forth simultaneously, with perhaps some header indication of which part is being discussed. Let us all watch both of these parts of the thread, contributing as we can meaningfully do so, and see if anything from one part can contribute to the other part. I think this will be the most efficient way to proceed.

Once more: The original thread was in search of the objective existence of an "astrological effect" and is probably best served by a scientific approach; this now constitutes one aspect of this thread. Let us now recognize a second, no less important, aspect, that treats with the results of that effect as it affects us; this approach will amost certainly deal primarily with subjective material. And let us see how these two aspects can serve, rather than refute, one another.

Incidentally, the real fun will come when we try to interpret the insights from one aspect such that they will be meaningful to the other!!




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