Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #45

From: "Roger L. Satterlee"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #43

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #42, #43, #44

Exegesis Digest Mon, 07 Jun 1999

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 10:02:38 -0400
From: "Roger L. Satterlee"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #43

From: Metalog
To: exegesis
Date: Thursday, June 03, 1999 4:38 PM
Subject: Exegesis Digest V4 #43

Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 06:41:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dale Huckeby
To: Exegesis
Subject: Hiroshima, Uranus/MC & Symbolism

< snip >
 > >
 > >All this is relevant to William's quest for a mechanism because
 > >symbolism enables us to "verify" things that aren't true, thus
 > >creating a spurious range of applications that astrologers assume
 > >a metatheory of astrology must account for. The bottom line is,
 > >if we can't demonstrate the existence of _regular_ correspondences
 > >between celestial and terrestrial factors we have no basis for
 > >prediction, and thus no way to differentiate sense from nonsense.
 > >Trying to explain facts that don't exist means looking for a
 > >mechanism that doesn't exist. Not only is it a futile endeavor,
 > >it obscures the possible existence of a real mechanism capable
 > >of explaining facts that actually do exist. (If you want to know
 > >what kinds of facts I think _do_ exist, see my response to Rog.)
 > >I think the blind spot induced by symbolism is partly the reason
 > >you failed to remember, and evidently to comprehend, some of my
 > >arguments, and why William has been unable to see, in a couple of
 > >Andre's and my responses, a proffered mechanism.
 > >
 > >Dale
 > >
 > >------------------------------

Dale, I have looked back over V4#'s 41, 42, & 43 and did not find your "response to Rog"...I guess I missed something. I have been out on the road almost all day everyday the last two weeks obsessively spinning valleys and jamming over the hills of the Finger Lakes Region of NY on my road bike. I guess my mind has turned to mush from the lack of cigarettes, but one gets a lot of uninterrupted solitude when peddling over 100 miles a day, and I found that my ideas of "prediction" have been recently reduced to a very narrow focus--my survival instincts Vs the unpredictable motorists...:) Fortunately or unfortunately I have no thoughts about astrology when playing in traffic, but I look for a lot of subtle signs and signals and try to grasp a 360 picture of every moving or potentially moving object...at all times...I even have to keep track of territorial birds of the fields (hovering over my head--their shadows on the pavement) as even these will attack a cyclist. Anyway...the drivers that fly by me, just inches off my elbow at times, remind me that I cannot know what is going on inside those vehicles, but I must know what they are most likely to "do" next. My notions of fate and free will are reduced to the assertion of my own will over the traffic pattern...:) All things symbolic seem reduced from symbol to signs and signals...but the "art" of existentialist/road warrior prevails...:)



Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 23:11:24 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #42, #43, #44

Cynthia recited:

 > >It reminds me of a story (yawn) Glenda Jackson once told of Laurence
 > >Olivier. Performing his umpteenth Macbeth on the London stage, he happened
 > >to have given a magnificent performance this one particular night.
 > >Immediately after the curtain fell, he ran to his dressing room and locked
 > >the door. Everyone clamoured at his dressing-room door, singing his
 > >praises...'never was such a wonderful performanc seen' etc. He refused to
 > >open the door to anyone. Finally, Glenda cajoled her way in, and said:
 > >"Whatever's the matter? You have singlehandedly redefined the way Macbeth
 > >will be played in future!" Olivier, holding his head in his hands and
 > >nearly tearing out his hair, responded in a hoarse cry: "Yes...but I DON'T
 > >KNOW WHY this performance was so wonderful, and if I don't know what made it
 > >so wonderful and unique, how can I ever reproduce it?"

Marvelous story, even after hearing it several times! This is an important statement about a part of the human condition, I think.

And then Andre said:

 > >Hi all,
 > >
 > >Dale - nice to see you writing. Dennis, Bill, and Cynthia - I wish I [snipped with great reluctance to save bandwidth]
 > >
 > >Thanks,
 > >
 > >Andre.

I wrote Andre immediately upon reading this and asked permission to edit it for some yet-to-be-determined purpose.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the finest posts I've had the pleasure of reading. I haven't any idea yet of what should be done with it, but it clearly needs to be prominently archived for ready reference. In fact, as I write this, I think I just might post it in it's entirity on my website. Accordingly, the URL is: http://www.olypen.com/wtallman. Having already obtained Andre's permission, I may well have it up there tonight.

In #43, Cynthia said:

 > >Bill wrote:
 > >< ...I submit that any real investigation of astrology has to recognize that
 > >tools can be used ritualistically without their having any real power in the
 > >process. One can go through all the motions, and then when the consultation
 > >begins, disregard the horoscope as an astrological tool and do something not
 > >connected to the tradition of astrology." >
 > >I couldn't agree more, Bill. This is extremely upsetting to me, especially
 > >when in my own readings some insight creeps in that does not seem to reside
 > >in the chart until I consciously ferret it out. And, by God, I won't stop
 > >till I find it. Strange as it may seem, I refuse to accept that I cannot
 > >compartmentalize the ratiocinative (which I, and I believe you, argue is
 > >what is "connected to the tradition of astrology") from the "other",
 > >subjective elements that comprise my consciousness. Yet I fully appreciate
 > >that this is the trap set for the demystification of the anti-rational: its
 > >utter co-optation by either the scientism that abhors and fears it, or by
 > >that lay spiritualism which is so ready to ambush anything science cannot
 > >define and appropriate for and to itself.

A perceptive statement of the current cultural situation: scientism vs. lay-spiritualism. Neither of these positions have merit beyond their reflection of the popular miscomprehension of what they are thought to represent. The fact that this is not readily recognized results in the assumption that an individual embraces, and therefore is embraced by, one or the other of these positions. What a tragic state of affairs!!!

It should be fairly easy to recognize that each of these presumably diametrically opposed positions are actually definable (although not very sound) points of view, and so should be available to the individual to choose as appropriate; but it is not. It seems that each of these positions hold characteristics that support the assumption of exclusivity, and so they attract those people who find themselves more able to identify with one or the other position, who then use this identification as a bulwark against any contact with that which they might have a little more difficulty comprehending.

The result is that very many people, perhaps a significant percentage of the population, are found to be rather firmly set in the concrete of one of these positions, presumably never to lay eyes on the other. In consequence, we get warfare within the coin of which each of these are the opposite face. The battles take place in all sorts of different places, but none more destructively than occur within the mind of a single individual.

I suggest we recognize that we invented this duality. If we do, perhaps we can see that they are just tools of perception, to be wielded as appropriate, not weapons of the destruction of human potential, as is, I would argue, presently the case.

Why do I bring this up in the context of our discussion? I do so because that apparent dual persists in threatening to clog progress here. Both of these points of view have value, if they are reduced to the real foundation upon which they rest.

 > >On the other hand, astrological practice is a discipline that is
 > >congenial to the intrusion of those "in-" words: insight and intuition,
 > >and, as in any other discipline, it is arguably what we mean when we say
 > >about an Astrology student, "she has a knack for reading a chart." (And it
 > >is often noticed well before the rookie has even learned those nasty
 > >rulerships which you mentioned, Dennis, you discarded and studiously avoid.)
 > >Similarly, we would say an exceptional carpenter has an inborn talent for
 > >working with wood.

When I made the suggestion about the investigation of astrology, I did not intend to suggest that a strict objective use of the tradition is the only appropriate methodology. I have, in fact, suggested elsewhere that the psychic use of the horoscope as a mandala may well be just as valid, but I here submit that it is so only when it is seen in the same context as we here view the whole of astrology.

Indeed, the "knack for reading a chart" is a well-recognized phenomenon, and one that I personally find very valuable. We use the concepts of insight and intuition as if they were not a part of any rational process, and I think we are wrong in doing so. I could hold forth on this subject for a few more kilobytes of bandwidth, but suffice it to say that they are well understood as one of the most important parts of the scientific process. If this is so, we have no grounds to reject them here.

 > >When I quoted Kristeva:
 > >< Beyond the...inscribing gesture...is an affective force which...cannot be
 > >signified, for it cannot break through the threshold of signification and
 > >cannot find any sign...to designate it. >
 > >..I was, obviously badly, using semiotics to describe Astrology's
 > >marginalised status, as well as those aspects of practice that are
 > >themselves marginalia and are a bad fit with the scientific paradigm. But,
 > >actually, I really liked what you wrote, Bill, even though it wasn't at all
 > >what I was trying to say; in fact, I wish I'd written what you wrote, though
 > >in another part of my argument, or perhaps as an eloquent addendum! < smile >
 > >You asked if I was trying to say that:
 > >< ...between the construct that is astrology, the effect that it has been
 > >developed to understand,and our experience of both the effect and the
 > >intellectual construct there is significance that has its own independent
 > >existence?... >

Yes, here is a rather neat example of some of the problems we face in this discussion group. Your understanding of the issues is couched in the terms, concepts and constructs, of your competency; this is entirely to be expected. The problem is that most of those terms acquire a semi-technical usage, which builds up a repertoire of narrowly, yet valuably, meaningful descriptive/definitive/etc block-quotes, such as you provided here. For you, they have appropriate significance because you understand their context, etc. For the average guy out there, like me, their frame of reference is occluded and so the language becomes, at least potentially, abstruse.

I find myself fascinated by situations like, for instance, Jung faced when he had to make it very clear that he was talking about stuff for which the terminology did not yet exist; watching the process was a unique window into his training and therefore his interior conceptual furniture. In his case, it was up to him to invent the terminology and then define and explain it. Here, we are constrained to use that which is most readily accessible, else others are left wondering what they missed.... and when that happens, that is almost always where they stay, left behind while the juggernaut of discussion rolls onward.

 > >What prompts me to use this example from language teaching is something
 > >you wrote, Bill, recently:
 > >< "The question is where does language arise in the development of the brain >.
 > >The data implies that it does so with the development of the cerebrum, but
 > >that is far from conclusive, I think. What does seem true is that the
 > >astrological effect affects us a process, because it involves change, which
 > >requires process to take effect." (ED. V4#38) >
 > >If I were to first describe what my perspicacious student has learned,
 > >scavenge a few insights from semiotics (the morphology of language practice,
 > >i.e., the word as sign, ideological construct), and then apply it to the
 > >discourse of Astrology, what might I discover about Astrology and its
 > >mechanisms? Firstly, he, my student, encounters a meaningful
 > >phoneme/morpheme, and a particularly complex one. His knowledge of English
 > >is sufficiently advanced that he grasps its meaning and potential use in
 > >context. It is precisely because he grasps all this that he knows that he
 > >is immediately restricted, on at least two fronts: within the register of
 > >the syntax that is inviolable --constructed as it was in some unnamed period
 > >of the history of the language--and also, by convention of use, or
 > >traditional usage, if you prefer.

Yep, exactly so.

 > >Do these architectonics, rife with restriction, tradition, and
 > >(astronomical) syntax, seem familiar to anyone? Or should I really stop
 > >drinking those tropical fruit juices?

Keep on drinking those tropical fruit juices, I would say; they're good for you!! What you are saying here, I believe, is that you are not only aware of the language constraints, but you are conversant with the technical issues contained therein.

 > >I like this parallel; I think that if I follow it through, it might be
 > >useful to our common enquiry. I think, further, that it speaks to something...

The point I'd like to make is this: it may not always be obvious to any of us what to make of your parallel exploration, but my sense of the situation, including my take on you as a person, tells me that you may very well come up with some important insights not available from any other perspective. So you keep on keeping on! (Try translating that out of the US English idiom!! < grin > ).

And then Dale said:

 > >In Exegesis 4/38 Dennis Frank says:
 > >>Incidentally, I asked Dale if he would moderate his refusal to

[snip a very good example of an earnest discussion of investigation methodology that perhaps moves the project, perhaps doesn't; only hindsight will tell]

 > >between Uranus/MC and world-changing events is either stubbornness
 > >on your part or an inability to transcend the current paradigm.

Here again is an excellent example of different disciplines trying to come to some common agreement about the use of a methodology. This is a very real problem. Both Dennis and Dale have put substantial amounts of effort into an investigation of astrology, but they are both constrained by their backgrounds and experience in their disciplines, not to mention the inevitable inherent difference in individual point of view. Both of these gentlemen are intelligent and obviously quite capable, so what's the problem?

Would Cynthia say the problem is a difference in language? Might it be that there is, whether extant or not, no perceivable (and I'm gonna turn green when I use this word... ugh!!) "metaparadigm" within which these differences can be connected? Would it be useful to search for one, assuming that one existed? If none was found, would it be useful to expend the effort to develop one?

I think so. In fact, I think that an effort in that regard might, if successful in any extent whatever, produce results significantly beyond the immediate area of concern. The development of (that unspeakable word!!!) might result in some understanding of how such things in general can be developed, especially as they might be applicable to our current discussion. Suppose we have a defined threadlet that explores why Dennis and Dale are having trouble coming to an agreement, at least in principle.


The word "paradigm" is a semitechnical term developed for use in the exposition of the mechanics of the Latin language. It literally means; "to say through", and refers to the practice of reciting the conjugative and declensional suffixes of Latin verbs and nouns; a practice traditional to the learning of the language presumably since time immemorial. I find the use of the word in its current context distasteful and elitist, for it presumes to announce that the user is casually and intimately familiar with Latin, a condition that now appropriately equated with academic learnedness in some one of the hoary old disciplines where truth is eternal and requires the use of a dead and unchanging language to dependably convey it.

The invention of the word "metaparadigm" which literally means "to say beyond through" is even worse than the musical term "hemisemidemiquaver", which is legitimate musical usage even if it sounds ridiculously redundant. The quaver is a quarter note, which gets the beat in the common 4/4 time signature, and so the (see above) is merely a 1/32 note... the kind that Paco de Lucia plays for two and a half hours in his concerts... < grin > . Real musicians say "thirty-second notes" because that's what they mean, not (see above). Would it be too much to ask that there be a much plainer and more descriptive term than (that other word) developed so that guys like me know what they're talking about?


 > >All this is relevant to William's quest for a mechanism because
 > >symbolism enables us to "verify" things that aren't true, thus
 > >creating a spurious range of applications that astrologers assume
 > >a metatheory of astrology must account for. The bottom line is,
 > >if we can't demonstrate the existence of _regular_ correspondences
 > >between celestial and terrestrial factors we have no basis for
 > >prediction, and thus no way to differentiate sense from nonsense.

In principle, it seems evident that if one cannot demonstrate the basis for the validity of a practice, one ought not use that practice.

I agree about the dangers of the use of symbolism. Symbols as a study is a profoundly important discipline, but the use of any symbol set outside the closely defined parameters of its validity is meaningless. This is not to say that much may be discovered by tentative applications outside those parameters, but I mean *tentative*, not determinative.

 > >Trying to explain facts that don't exist means looking for a
 > >mechanism that doesn't exist. Not only is it a futile endeavor,
 > >it obscures the possible existence of a real mechanism capable
 > >of explaining facts that actually do exist. (If you want to know
 > >what kinds of facts I think _do_ exist, see my response to Rog.)

By "facts", do you mean the assertion of undemonstrated correspondences? I would caution that a failure to demonstrate is meaningless; it only speaks to the protocols and methodology. What is needed is a positive demonstration of an exclusive finding, and that can serve, if properly used, as the basis for determining falsification. In short: one cannot "prove" a negative.

 > >I think the blind spot induced by symbolism is partly the reason
 > >you failed to remember, and evidently to comprehend, some of my
 > >arguments, and why William has been unable to see, in a couple of
 > >Andre's and my responses, a proffered mechanism.

I can see proffered mechanisms. I have yet to see a demonstrated mechanism. I still wait; fortunately while doing so, I continue breathing and all that sort of thing.

In #44, Cynthia said:

 > >>>>People have always
 > >>>>agreed that social reality must be a vehicle for collective wisdom. [snip]

 > >>From a multi-dimensional perspective, I beg to differ, Dennis (speaking
 > >strictly out of my "bi-polarly" disorder(ed) mind! yuk!yuk!)! In my
 > >opinion, the group mind of any human collective is equivalent to a mob
 > >mentality which seeks to perpetuate sameness everywhere by annihilating
 > >difference. Catherine Belsey, in Critical Practice, put it this way:

Unfortunately for those of us who would seek the ideal essence of humanity, Cynthia is right here, which can be and is constantly demonstrated tragically all over the world.

 > >Once the rational (read collective wisdom) becomes an ideological discourse
 > >(read social reality), it harbours a coercive projection which
 > >"exerts both a real and an imaginary relation to the world--real in that it
 > >is the way in which people really live their relationship to the social
 > >relations which govern their conditions of existence, but imaginary in that
 > >it discourages a full understanding of these conditions of existence and the
 > >ways in which people are socially constituted within them." (p.57)

If only this wisdom were available to young people in their time of turbulence, one would hope it might make a difference. I would hope that it would have for me, though I know not. What is being said here is that most, perhaps almost all, people live their lives according to a set of considerations they don't understand, and the one thing that is most dangerous to any of them is the suspicion that not only do they themselves not understand, neither does anyone else!

All throughout history, the recognition of this has produced countercultures that believe themselves in possession of some truth that exempts them from this condition. In fact, virtually all of these are the result of some one person's recognition that no one, including the self, understands what is going on; the subsequent counterculture is then founded on the answers for the self that person develops, which are only applicable to that person. When generalized, illusion creeps in and understanding slowly disappears. Eventually, enough true understanding has fled that the counterculture is appropriate to define or be assimilated by the mainstream culture.

And, yes, this is very relevant to astrology.

 > >The group mind may include consensus as one of its developed attributes, but
 > >it is not founded on it. And, if anything, what was agreed upon was that
 > >survival, not wisdom, be protected by social reality constructs, which led
 > >to the diminution in status of wisdom of any kind. Had we indeed used
 > >natural models for our definitions of reality, we might have developed more
 > >humane social models, gathered more wisdom than information, and become a
 > >kinder, gentler race altogether. Security and survival go hand-in-hand, I
 > >suppose, to the detriment of more socially enlightened ideals.

Demonstrably so, unfortunately. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny; what is true of the species is also true in some way of the individual, because of the nature of the development of each. Elsewhere (V4#35) I did a thumbnail sketch of the functions of the brain as they might be perceived as the mind. I made the point that, whatever else might be the case, we still rely on the brainstem for survival in extrema, and so the bottom line imperative is indeed survival. The question is, could we have developed better ways of using a division of labor in this regard? There is an obvious answer, and it is "yes".

Socrates was after just this subject and it lead him to hemlock, and therein lieth the lesson. We can indeed invent better ways, but the individual will always put individual interests ahead of common interests to the extent they are seen as issues of survival. I would gladly entertain an argument in this regard, for I deem it profoundly important.

In fact, it is probably one of the most valuable issues an astrologer can address with a client. The question is: what constitutes survival? If that can be adequately answered, the client has a very good chance of recognizing their situation in their environment (mostly other people, of course), and benefiting thereby. It gets them, hopefully, on the way to a place of Taoistic self-awareness, such that they can seek their own inherent fit in (the nature of) things.

 > >I certainly agree, however,that since the advent of the leviathan,
 > >Science (and I here do not refer to all "scientific paradigms"), "human
 > >society discounts the validity of subjective knowledge."

Science has done pretty damn well by us, I think. The leviathan is Scientism, or the worship of Science as a religion and scientists as the priests thereof.

 > >Implicate/Explicate...okay, I can follow that; I've actually read at
 > >least two articles about it in TMA.

David Bohm would be pleased, I think. He'd be even more pleased if his work was really understood.

 > >>One of the
 > >>>interesting ideas that has circulated around this is that it is only the
 > >>>Explicate which is described by Einstein's equations and are hence bound by
 > >>>the speed of light as a constant. That means that the Implicate is not so
 > >>>bound.
 > >Reminiscent of Kristeva's "affective force" which is displaced, floating in
 > >and about discourse, but not legitimated within or by it (Astrology as
 > >unauthorized discourse). Thus Astrology author(izes) itself.

The idea I was pointing at was that *if* the "astrological mechanism" is a matter of pure significance, then it may well propagate faster than light.

I might take this opportunity to point out here that I am perfectly willing to accept that the "astrological mechanism" might be of a nature that we cannot recognize as physical/objective/etc. I can conceive of the possibility that the "astrological mechanism" lies within that realm that Aldous Huxley's dad once referred to when he said: Not only is the universe stranger than we know, it is stranger than we *can* know (paraphrase, of course... or was that J.B.S Haldane who said it... can't recall). Unfortunately, contemplation of this possibility puts one dangerously close to the notion that "there are some things that mankind was never meant to know (about)". At this point, I do not accept that assertion.

 > >The following could only have been expressed by two men, or women
 > >masculinized out of their femaleness (or someone with a rampant Mars):
 > >>The macho approach [snip]
 > >>>a potential adversary.

Yup. Unfortunately, it is not only true sociologically, it's true biologically as well. That does not mean that we are unable to modify the way we respond to this, it means that it still takes some amount of effort to do so. This is another version of what Socrates went to his table for. Perhaps one of the things we might be able to accomplish, if we can get astrology sorted out enough to be acceptable, is some idea of how to develop a better way.

 > >Hey, don't even think 'oh no, that feminist thing again'! You guys broached
 > >it, and created the alleged "mechanistic paradigm" by the way. As someone
 > >who worked as a business editor and ghostwrote speeches for CEO's, my
 > >anima/animus got all tied up with my pantyhose, too. I like the phrase
 > >"operating program", though, in a wistful sort of way; it's like an old
 > >goose-step that's comfortable until you pull a tendon, and finally realize
 > >there's nothing natural about walking that way! (smile) Are there any women
 > >on this list, by the way? When I joined, Susan posted but I haven't seen
 > >her since.

Cynthia, do you ever wear three inch spikes? How about two inch spikes? And about your pantyhose........

 > >My favourite part of this entire post is:
 > >>[soapboxmode=1] [snip soapbox oratory]
 > >>>[soapboxmode=0]
 > >I agree wholeheartedly, and not being a holy wise man just yet, am afraid I
 > >do judge my fellow astrologers, particularly those who conjoin words in
 > >their titles like "psychic Astrologer"--ewww! Less like coitus than
 > >interruptus, I think!

Heh. Well, for us that's probably true. However, sadly enough for astrology, there are some number of people out there for whom psychic astrology is at least as good as, if not better than, sex, or so I suspect. To continue the metaphor, perhaps the level of qualification of acceptable partner in each case is probably unhealthy. I think that it is up to us to set the definition of the level of acceptable qualification in (at least) one of those cases. Interesting metaphor....

 > >Yes, Bill, "astrology must demonstrate sufficient interface with related
 > >disciplines", but how to do so without swallowing the baby whole? Also,
 > >gentlemen, be careful with deconstruction. You both correctly define its
 > >ideal end: to lead away from destruction, but like the famous "talking
 > >cure" of the therapeutic couch, it can lead to nowheresville, the vicious,
 > >navel-gazing polemic of the narcissist. (Of course, that never happens to
 > >me! Though if it did, no one on this list would humour me for
 > >long...right?)

Horrors, banish the thought, Cynthia. But I don't snip this because it cannot be too important to emphasize awareness of the dangers of deconstruction. One can imagine that there are some number of people that can take apart a pocket watch without destroying any of the parts. I would submit that there are far fewer people who can put on back together again as it was originally, much less do so and improve on it.

And then Cynthia.... well, never mind:

 > >Andre, to EVERYTHING you posted: YES, YES,...YES...OH YES! When I go to
 > >heaven, I want to have your mind. I wish to bear your children. You are
 > >actually familiar with William James! I can stop posting to Exegesis now,
 > >because you've said everything much better than I ever could.
 > >I'm going to smoke a cigarette now...
 > >Cynthia
 > >(Say Good Night, Gracie...Good Night, Everyone)
 > >--
 > >"Lord, help me to be celibate...just not now." (St. Augustine)

Ummmm... well, lessee... the fare from Quebec to New Zealand is.... ahhhh, yes.

I cannot begin to match Cynthia's passionate paean to Andre's post, but I can, and have already indicated that I do, share her opinion of that post. I recommend that it be reread with care by everyone on this list. It is a masterpiece of exposition. Again, Andre, five gold stars!!! Andre? Andre? No, no, that doesn't go to Quebec....

And finally (whew!), Dale said:

 > >In Exegesis [4/40] Rog wrote:
 > >that I wrote:
 > >>>"[..]If Saturn
 > >>>and the Moon can be seen conjoined on the horizon, is Saturn really
 > >>>almost 20 degrees further from the Asc (or Dsc) than the Moon, or is
 > >>>there a flaw in the logic that implies that it should be?
 > >
 > >to which he replied:
 > >>I have never been able to find any convincing argument for a
 > >>mechanical model of astrological "influence". Granted I'm just an
 > >>average person, not at all an academic one, but every bit of
 > >>questioning leads to physical nonsense and a much more intriguing
 > >>psychological model for the existence of astrology. Yes, I mean
 > >>astrology is truly all in our head, heart, and hands...a very
 > >>human creation.
 > >
 > >Well, Rog, I guess you just wanted to talk about mechanism, and
 > >you picked a good target. Although the issue wasn't raised in
 > >the post you're quoting from, you're nonetheless correct in assuming
 > >I advocate something akin to a mechanism. I doubt, however, that
 > >mechanism as I understand it is much like whatever you were reacting
 > >to in your earlier [4/4] reference to "the imaginary *mechanism*
 > >of the *astrology-makes-me-tick-like-a-clock* astrologers." I think
 > >the mechanism _you_ envision has repugnant implications for humans
 > >but doesn't exist, yet that doesn't mean a mechanism can't exist that
 > >allows both for clocklike predictability _and_ individuality and
 > >free will. It's just that it's been difficult to imagine how that
 > >could be possible.

This whole exchange is almost classic in its representation of one of the problems that will continue to arise here. I don't think I've yet seen as concise an expression of these two apparently opposing views. Both Rog and Dale are to be commended for their remarkable clarity here.

 > >Imagine, then, that while no specific event or outcome regularly
 > >coincides with, say, the Saturn Return, there nonetheless appears
 > >to be a similarity of experience from person to person. I think this
 > >is more likely (or at least more convincingly) the case for those
 > >astrologers who don't visualize their return as having happened last
 > >Wednesday or last week, but as a year or two period. A few astrologers
 > >have suggested that what is predictable about the Saturn Return is
 > >our agenda. I think they're perceptive but submit that "motivational
 > >pattern" is better, as our agenda is to a considerable extent a
 > >reflection of our motivational state. It's what we _want_ to do or
 > >have happen.

A Saturn Return has some definable orb of influence and so is going to be in perceivable effect for some space of time. The focus on time of exact transit is obviously not relevant in the case of a Saturn Return. I don't know, and have actually never met, any astrologers who would put a precise time on a Saturn Return!!! The very thought of that is laughable, sorry... Are there really astrologers out there who would do something like that?

What might be relevant is if a Moon/Mars square went exact when the Moon transited exactly opposite the position of the Natal Saturn when the Saturn Return was in effect. At that point, last Wednesday might well be relevant. Depending on accepted orb, the effect would be potent for a matter of hours as a result of the Moon's rate of travel. It could be that, given that other matters in the client's life were at risk, such a configuration might be well worth watching.

I would also suggest that the most powerful configuration in this regard would be if it also matched parans, with the Moon/Saturn Opposition on the Meridian.

This is all a matter of degree of "influence" if you will. Motivational pattern is a more than acceptable description of the phenomenon. I would further note that all we can do is describe, we cannot define; we will never be able to define until (unless) we discover the "astrological mechanism" whatever it turns out to be.

 > >I suggest that different transit cycles correspond to different
 > >parts of the psyche, each of which comes to the forefront for a
 > >relatively brief period at hard-angle intervals, and then recedes
 > >into the background during the much longer periods in between.

Classic, Dale. Ready for a dictionary of terms.

 > >During these relatively brief periods we're more likely to become
 > >dissatisfied or uncomfortable and therefore motivated to change
 > >things. During the Mars Return, for instance, if there are latent
 > >dissatisfactions with our daily routine, I think this is when
 > >they're most likely to bother us enough that we feel that we have
 > >to _do_ something. The Mars transit, however, doesn't indicate
 > >_what_ we will do, only what area of life we're dissatisfied with.
 > >It doesn't and can't contravene free will.

Here, I would like to make a statement that I've already made elsewhere about the nature of free will. Free will is an optimum state of freedom from compulsion. To achieve that state requires a great deal more effort and accomplishment than virtually anyone in our milieu is willing to recognize. Free will is probably synonymous with spiritual mastery, and the closer one is to one, perhaps the closer one is to the other. So I would suggest that there are gradations of free will, and I suggest that this be objectively recognized and factored into the discussion here. We tend to speak of free will as something we either do or do not have, and this is, I submit, one of the more unproductive, if not outright dangerous, assumptions extant.

Therefore, I suggest that a means of qualifying the state or nature of free will in any given situation is profoundly important to a development of a useful astrology.

 > >In fact, free will
 > >is emphasized in this perspective, because the hard-angle transits
 > >correspond to the periods when we're most likely to want to make
 > >changes, the times we're most likely to use our free will to decide
 > >what to do. In between transits we feel less of a need to change
 > >(in terms of that part of the psyche) and simply continue along
 > >the line laid down during the last hard-angle transit.

This has given me some pause. It seems to me that there is a discrepancy between our definitions of free will, although I'm not sure how that could be at first glance. < sits thinking > Well, yeah, I guess there could be after all. Hmmmm......

Okay, if that is the case, then a discussion of free will is a very important priority here. I say this because the fate versus free will argument is at the root of the problem of astrology... Make that the Problem of Astrology; it needs to be identified and defined to some degree, especially for the purposes of this discussion.

 > >If this possibility has been difficult for astrologers to imagine,
 > >I think it's at least partly because most of us expect astrology
 > >to do so much more than can be accounted for by this scheme. They
 > >want to know why the taxi they were riding in crashed, why their
 > >favorite uncle died, why the firm they work for went out of business,
 > >why the bomb went off when it did, and much, much more that I think
 > >has nothing to do with knowledge of any kind of natural order and
 > >everything to do with having a bag of magic tricks that gives us the
 > >illusion of knowing anything we want to know, whether or not it's
 > >knowable. And I think astrology as natural order is susceptible to
 > >explanation from the ground up, from material affect to immaterial
 > >impulse, but I'll get into that in a response to some of Bill's
 > >remarks.

Again, Dale, about as concise a statement of that part of the Problem of Astrology as could be made. What people expect from their astrologer is fully dependent on what the astrologer advertises is available. This is pretty much a truism, but deeply important nevertheless.

One can ask the question: How do people think they can understand these things? Obviously they want to do so. Do they really think that an objective fully satisfying explanation is dependably available at their friendly local Astrologer, who stocks a wide variety of answers and guarantees a person custom fit for everyone? Does anyone on this list know of any astrologer who has this sort of practice? Where do they get the idea that this is even available? Or is this sort of thing even a consideration, a concern?

The conventional wisdom is that one goes to their priest or pastor, or one goes to their shrink, or to their local neighborhood bar where the font of wisdom holds forth behind the bar, rag in hand and favorite beverage at the ready. Is there any other common archetypal source of answer that anyone can think of? I will assume that there is not, for the purpose of this argument.

In each of these three cases, some part of the answer is that these things are imponderables, that to whatever extent is possible, they should be accepted as a part of life and then one should go one. But ahhhh... yes, there is another archetype and it's typical that a male wouldn't think of it right off.

Women share a mutual support relationship in these things, because for them, it is the current state of their emotional mechanism that is important, and the answers can await another better time. The question is this: is astrology a part of this kind of relationship? Can any of the ladies out there on this list answer this?

For the moment, though, let's assume we've covered the bases here. It doesn't look to me that there is *any* source of this sort of knowledge out there. Why, then, do they expect it from an astrologer? And of course, the answer is very simple: it isn't astrology they're look for, it's the psychic reader who will elucidate the entire relevant map of kharma of all concerned, so that all the questions are either answered, or definitively placed out of bounds (for this lifetime at least).

That is our problem. There is no other source of this sort of information, as far as most people are concerned. There are qualifications in these regards, but they lie outside the bounds of this discussion. This is, I submit, what we have to address before we can turn that sort of expectation around.

The problem is: it is *not* that simple, as we will quickly discover as we begin to discuss this. At this point, I guess I can only wish us well, and exhort one and all to keep plugging away at this.

We've got a number of issues on the floor now, and perhaps it would be good to identify them so that the posts clearly address one or the other of them... just a thought. At some point, I think that will really become necessary, but perhaps not yet. It would be good, I think, if someone sorted all this stuff out and put up a faq in this regard. I cannot do better than recommend Andre's *monster* post as a reference guide.

Lotsa stuff going on! Several people here have told me privately that they recognize this and have made reference to the fact in other venues. We have something going here: let's keep it rolling!!!




End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 45

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