|Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #72
Exegesis Digest Mon, 20 Sep 1999
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 13:24:11 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: solar system chaos
In this piece I'll comment on the remainder of my scanned relevant sections from Seymour, reference below. He refers to the (apparent?) discrediting of heliocentric alignments found by RCA radio research engineer John Nelson more than four decades ago. Astrologers routinely have cited these findings in order to enhance the credibility of their own practices. Nelson's work gave rise "to some more substantial investigations into the links between planetary configurations and solar activity. In the 1960s, another scientist, Paul Jose, working for the US Air Force, was able to find a link between the maximum of solar activity and the movement of the Sun about the common centre of mass of the solar system."
"The work of Nelson and Jose was carried further by J. B. Blizard and H. P. Sleeper, both of whom undertook projects on solar-activity prediction on behalf of NASA. Blizard's work, undertaken in 1969, is particularly important to the theory of solar activity which I have developed over the last few years. She showed that when planets are in conjunction or opposition, as seen from the Sun, then there are violent storms on the Sun. The fact that some violent events on the Sun are associated with square positions of the planets, as seen from the Sun, puzzled Blizard. She concluded that no physical explanation was reasonable. This was because she was using equilibrium tidal theory in her work. Equilibrium tidal theory assumes that the height of the tide is directly proportional to the tidal tug of the planet. Her work was indicating that some form of resonance was occurring between the planets and the Sun. If the Sun, at certain times in the solar cycle, had magnetic oscillations the natural frequencies of which were equal to the tidal frequencies of some of the planets, then resonant amplification would occur. Close to resonance squares between certain planets would then play a part; in other words, when the tuning between the magnetic vibrations of the Sun and the tidal tug of the planets is close then angles of 90 degrees also become important. My own theory shows how this can occur."
"Contrary to popular belief, the Sun is not fixed at the centre of the solar system. The planets, especially the larger outer planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, move the Sun very slightly around the common centre of mass of the solar system. According to the theory I have developed, the changes in this movement of the Sun result in changes in the overall pattern of heat convection in the convective zone of the Sun. The convective motions are responsible for the generation of the solar magnetic field, and the changes in these motions result in a change of direction of this field. The evidence to support this part of the theory comes from the correlations discovered by Paul Jose."
"Since the Sun's equator is moving faster than the rest of it, the magnetic lines of force of the Sun get wound up into structures that resemble magnetic canals as the solar cycle builds to a maximum. In I845 the Astronomer Royal, George Biddell Airy, worked out a theory for hypothetical water canals running right around the Earth parallel to the equator. He showed that such canals could greatly amplify the tidal heights due to the Sun and Moon. I applied Airy's canal theory to the magnetic structures on the Sun. As a result of this work I was able to show that these structures make it possible for all the planets in turn to have an effect on violent outbursts of magnetic energy on the Sun. They do so because as the lines of force are stretched, so their periods of vibration change, and they are successively in tune with each of the tidal frequencies of the planets, starting with Mercury and ending with Neptune. In other words, the magnetic canals resonantly amplify the weak tidal tug of the planets, but the dominant planet at each stage of the solar cycle will be different. If the 'tuning' of the solar magnetic field lies between the periods of two planets, then square configurations of these two bodies will give rise to violent activity on the Sun. At other times conjunctions and oppositions will give rise to similar events. This theory is thus consistent with the findings of Blizard."
"Already in the last century it had been noticed that solar activity modulates the magnetic field of Earth. We now know why this is so. The Sun's magnetic activity modulates the solar wind, and it is this modulation which eventually modulates the magnetic field of the Earth. It is thus not surprising that the basic frequencies of the solar cycle manifest themselves in the variations of the geomagnetic record as obtained by geomagnetic observatories on the surface of the Earth. This is clear from the work of the geophysicists Robert Currie and F. de Meyer. Their mathematical analysis of long runs of geomagnetic recordings has also revealed that the response of the geomagnetic field to the modulations of the solar wind is far from simple. In other words, it has been found that not only are the basic frequencies also multiples of these frequencies (these multiples of the basic frequency are called harmonics) in the record, and each well-defined frequency is flanked by several other very closely related frequencies."
"I am proposing that these arise in the following way. The modulation of the geomagnetic field by the solar wind also manifests itself in the solar daily magnetic variation. This particular type of fluctuation of the Earth's field consists of periods of twenty-four hours, twelve hours and eight hours. If these frequencies were 'pure' then they would appear as narrow lines in a scan of the geomagnetic record. When one is tuning a radio receiver by turning the tuning knob, one passes through the 'lines' associated with different radio stations. However, even in this case, the lines have a finite width, in that it is possible to pick up a station, though not very clearly, on either side of the line associated with it. The lines of the solar daily magnetic variation also have finite widths, which are produced as follows. The daily distortion of the magnetosphere by the solar wind can be considered to be a special type of magnetic wave (called a transverse Alfven wave) propagating around the Earth and concentrated mainly in the ionized gases of the Van Allen radiation belts which surround the Earth. Since these belts resemble doughnuts, they have finite thickness with different inner and outer radii. Since the Alfven speed (the speed with which these waves travel) depends on the density of the gases and the strength of the field, and since both these quantities change with distance from the Earth, the angular speed of these waves will spread about the angular speed with which the Earth is spinning on its own axis with respect to the Sun. This will give rise to a finite width for the basic solar daily magnetic variation and for each of the harmonies associated with this variation."
"We have already seen that certain planetary configurations have an effect on the solar cycle, and that, through the agency of the solar wind, these effects manifest themselves in the geomagnetic record. I am further proposing that the tidal tug of the planets has another, more direct, effect on geomagnetic variations. Since the mean planetary days are very close to the mean solar day, some of the many waves propagating through the Van Allen radiation belts will have the same angular speed as the planetary tides (due to gravitation), and, as a consequence of resonance, they will become phase-locked to these tides. I like to think of this as the magnetospheric equivalent of a laser. The distortion of the magnetosphere by the solar wind is doing the pumping, whereas the planetary tides are causing coherent phase-locking of some of the Alfven waves. There is a very well-known and well-researched variation of the geomagnetic field, which is connected with the Moon and is known as the lunar daily magnetic variation. The Moon does not only cause tides in the oceans, it also causes tides in the atmosphere, including the upper atmosphere, which consists of ionized gases. The electric currents generated in these gases by the tidal tug of the Moon give rise to associated magnetic fields, and these give rise to the lunar daily magnetic variation. Although the tides in the upper atmosphere are responsible for the major part of this variation, there is a small contribution from the electric currents generated in the salty water of the oceans by the oceanographic tides. The amplitude of the lunar daily magnetic variation is modulated by the phases of the Moon and by the solar cycle, but the basic period is very stable."
"Over the last few years a new branch of applied mathematics has been developing very rapidly. This field of research is called chaos theory and it has applications in a wide variety of fields - physics, astronomy, meteorology, biology and economics. For many years scientists in a variety of fields have been using mathematical models in their attempts to predict all sorts of phenomena, from planetary motions to economic developments. In order to solve the many mathematical equations that crop up in such models, in a reasonable length of time and within the constraints placed on them by the computing and calculating techniques available, it was necessary to start with the simplest assumptions. The simplest of all the many assumptions that one can make is that the effects produced by certain causes are always directly proportional to the causes. In other words, the response of any system to an outside influence is directly proportional to the amplitude of the influence, so if the amplitude is doubled the response would be twice as large, and if the amplitude is reduced by 40 percent then the response will be reduced by 40 per cent."
"Technically this type of response is called a linear response, and one that does not conform to this principle is called a non-linear response. If a system has a completely linear response then one can predict its future development with absolute certainty."
"However, it has recently become clear that hardly any system, in the real world, conforms to the linear approximation. This means that systems which we have considered to be completely predictable have times when their behaviour verges on the chaotic, or is completely chaotic. It should be made clear that the use of the term chaos in this context differs from its normal use. Generally the term chaos is taken to mean a lack of order, which could arise from random events that have no pattern either in the frequencies or in the times of their occurrence. In the present context chaos arises when the main effect of a given cause generates side-effects which alter or interfere with it. We can illustrate this by considering the simple pendulum."
"It has always been assumed that the simple pendulum, with a mass at the end of a piece of string, is a good example of a linear system. If the pendulum is displaced from its equilibrium position, then the force acting on it will be directly related to how far it has been displaced. This is strictly only true if the displacement is small in comparison with the length of the pendulum. Such a pendulum will have a natural period of swing. If we start to push the pendulum regularly, with a period equal to its natural period, then resonance will occur, and the amplitude of the swing will gradually increase with time. As the amplitude builds up we get to a situation in which the pendulum is no longer a linear system. When this happens the pendulum no longer has a simple period of swing, as harmonics of the basic period also begin to be present. The presence of these harmonics can at certain times reduce the amplitude to a value where it is once again valid-to use the linear approximation. If we continue to apply the external push, then there will another increase in the amplitude, and the process will be repeated. During the times when harmonics are present it becomes virtually impossible to predict the motion of the pendulum, and even relatively small changes in the initial starting conditions will give very different results. This means that there is a limited period of time in which we can predict the motion of a pendulum with a given set of starting conditions. Although the system is one which can be described as deterministic, in that we know the equations that describe its motion, nevertheless there are limits to the length of time in which we can, with certainty, predict what it will do. This limit has been called the predictability horizon. Is there a predictability horizon that is relevant to astrology?" (p104-109)
This final question looks like a red herring. There may well be such a thing in principle but it is not ascertainable in practice. However chaos does seem to be the appropriate gremlin to blame for prediction failure, due to the complexity of human culture, not to mention the complexity of the human psyche, despite the apparently tiny amount of chaos evident in the cycles of the solar system. Seymour proceeds to make the case as follows...
"The late John Addey, widely held by many astrologers to be the greatest British astrologer of the twentieth century, is the recognized founder of harmonic astrology. Using the data collected by Gauquelin, he shows that certain types of personality are associated, not with a particular harmonic of the Moon or with one of the planets, but with a set of harmonics which is related to the geocentric motions of these bodies. To illustrate his theory, Addey points out that there are two distinct types of sportsmen: one corresponding to the third harmonic of Mars and the other corresponding to the fourth harmonic of Mars. The presence of harmonics in the data points very clearly to a non-linear response that one would expect at, or near, resonant conditions. If this is indeed the case, then our responses to the magnetic music of the spheres would, on certain occasions, tend to be chaotic. The first-order mathematical model for biomagnetic tidal resonance does not at the moment allow precise calculations of the predictability horizon for this aspect of astrological forecasting, but the initial indications are that it will be roughly of the order of eleven or twelve years, which is close to the average period of the sunspot cycle."
"The failure of astrological predictions is often trotted out by the critics of astrology as an indication that there can be no valid scientific basis for astrology. The theory of deterministic chaos shows that there could well be other reasons for this failure. A few years ago the Royal Society organized a discussion meeting on predictability in science and society. One of the speakers at this meeting was the distinguished mathematician, Sir James Lighthill, FRS. In his lecture he introduced the idea of a predictability horizon: "I feel fully justified, therefore, in repeating that systems subject to the laws of Newtonian dynamics include a substantial proportion of systems that are chaotic; and that for these latter systems, there is no predictability beyond a finite predictability horizon. We are able to come to this conclusion without ever having to mention quantum mechanics or Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. A fundamental uncertainty about the future is there, indeed, even on the supposedly solid basis of the good old laws of motion of Newton, which effectively are the laws of motion satisfied by all macroscopic systems. I have ventured to feel that this conclusion would be of interest to a discussion meeting on predictability in science and society. For example, there might be some other discipline where practitioners could be inclined to blame failures of prediction on not having formulated the right differential equations or on not employing a big enough computer to solve them precisely or on not using accurate initial conditions; yet we in mechanics know that, in many cases where the equations governing a system are known exactly and are solved precisely, nevertheless, however accurately the initial conditions may be observed, prediction is still impossible beyond a certain predictability horizon." [Lighthill]
"This is something which, I think, astrologers, and their critics, should keep in mind. The application of chaos theory, to physics, meteorology, astronomy, biology and economics has made it quite clear that failures in attempts to predict the outcome of certain situations can arise from non-linear effects generating chaotic behaviour. Thus the failure of astrological predictions does not necessarily mean that causal mechanisms in this area do not exist, but it could indicate that the response of individuals to external cosmic factors is non-linear. This is just what one would expect near resonant conditions." (p113/114)
("The Paranormal: Beyond Sensory Science", Percy Seymour, 1992.)
Above, the logic provided by Lighthill and Seymour give us good reason to conclude that expectations of correct astrological or any other type of prediction of human affairs are unrealistic enough to be best seen as faith.
As to the earlier section of Seymour's theory, above, it seems to go substantially further than any other thus far in outlining causal links between planets and people in scientific terms. Resonance between the bodies of the solar system produces harmonic geomagnetic effects, establishing a mechanistic channel for the action of the number archetypes. Cosmos-generated harmonic resonance in biological systems has been documented in various species, but not enough to constitute compelling evidence of any deterministic link other than to Sun, Moon & Earth. Modulation by other planets remains sufficiently subtle an apparent influence as to not yet provide substantial support to astrologers.
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 23:14:00 GMT
From: Bill Sheeran
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #70
Hi Bill A lot has been snipped from your last post, but I don't think I'm quoting anything out of context.
> >Why is there no solid
> >primary evidence for the theoretical soundness of astrology? Because no one knows what to look for. Or perhaps we are all looking in the wrong direction.
> >But the practice of Authoritarianism is by far not limited to discussions of
> >astrology; it is, in fact, one of the most rampant and debilitating that
> >exist, or so I think. Perceived truths have a habit of solidifying into highly resilient dogmas. Today's heresy is tomorrow's truth and the future's doctrine. When the central dogmas in a culture emerge in coincidence with the preclusion of a discipline or activity such as astrology, one should possibly question the value of attempting to validate astrology in terms of those dogmas. Tools such as reasoning and logic are not dogmas, but rules as to what it takes for something to be considered real are.
> >A rejection of "Determinism" on the grounds that
> >science has toppled classical physics from its supreme position is now used
> >to support the contention that astrology cannot possibly do what it
> >advertises, because to do so would be an example of "Determinism", which
> >Science has now "proven" not to exist. I would argue that modern astrological determinism (in the west) is a perspective which has been highly influenced by the prevailing notion of mechanistic determinism which flourished in the 17th-19th centuries. What modern astrology advertises needs to be revised in light of a more expanded perception of order and process, one which includes the presence of the indeterminate.
> >Another such buzz word is Post Modernism, the venue of Post Modern
> >philosophy. Almost all that has been put forth as relevant here is that
> >there exists a need to "deconstruct"..... well, it would seem that the need
> >applies to anything that existed during the period of Modern philosophy,
> >whatever that is. Or so it appears to me, and I think I see like views from
> >some of the others on this list. Post modern sensibility has not been imposed by a group of philosophers. Instead, the philosophers are attempting to make sense of an identifiable shift in western culture, one which showed itself in the arts, architecture, literature and so on long before it emerged in either science or philosophy. It is, to use another buzz word, an emergent property of humanity's cognitive capacity. Western cultural perspectives have not been deconstructed - they've fallen apart under the weight of their own inertial mass. It's very hard to maintain the extension of enlightenment ideals into the present in an unadulterated form when the world has shrunk to the extent that it has courtesy of air travel and the communications revolution. The selection pressure for an evolutionary leap in how we perceive things is massive at the present time. Astrology is a culturally grounded phenomenon. It is clearly going to evolve just like everything else, or go extinct if it is no longer of any value.
> >Now, we are adjured to "deconstruct" astrology, presumably because astrology
> >existed in the time of Modern philosophy, with no intention to "reconstruct"
> >astrology afterwards. This spells "destruction" and wanton destruction at
> >that, as far as I am concerned. I think it is very important to take a hard look at what we think astrology is, given the fact that we have a pre-modern subject wearing modern clothes. Demonstrating the validity of astrology is impossible if we don't take all the layers of clothing off the emperor (maybe that should be empress). It's not that astrology has no clothes - it's that she is weighed down by them. If that process is called deconstruction, then I'm all for deconstruction. The essence of astrology lies underneath its surface appearance. We clothe it in the latest fashion. I don't have a problem with that per se, but if we don't have any sense of what the body looks like, the clothes will be ill fitting. And the clothes which the Greeks used, or the Babylonians or whoever are equally ill fitting today, whatever about their appropriateness in the past.
> >Then there is the issue of "free will", which is said to be threatened by
> >the validity of astrology. Free will is not threatened by the validity of astrology. It is however contrary to the tenets of hardcore astrological determinism, itself quite a rare belief system in the past (prior to mechanistic thinking). Perhaps the Stoics came closest, and their Roman fans.
> >In the areas of interest where
> >science has not found application, philosophy still serves to formulate
> >hypotheoretical structures for the purpose of guiding further investigative
> >action. A very potent weapon in the arsenal of philosophy is logic, which
> >has been extremely well developed in recent times. It is logic that allows
> >the work of philosophical investigation to interface with science, for logic
> >and mathematics have common roots; as logic serves philosophy, so
> >mathematics serves science. It gets very interesting when philosophy (the study of what we can't know) interfaces with science (the study of what we don't know). Philosophical speculation on the logic and methodology used in the grand project of science (and its limitations) is a most illuminating subject for study. The most interesting areas for contemplation are those where such limitations become highly problematical.
> >All areas of the
> >human experience are valid areas of philosophical inquiry. The basic idea
> >is to see how these areas are ordered to comprise the entire human
> >experience itself, that is, how they are related themselves and what is
> >created by that (those) relationship(s). What has changed is the
> >appropriateness of unfounded assumptions, I think. This tends to eliminate
> >large segments of cultural and social reality; in the west, this tends to
> >include religion in its institutionalized forms. I'm by no means anti-science or anti-maths, but I think that both are based on unfounded or a priori assumptions. However, this philosophical truth is largely ignored within science and maths without leading to too many negative consequences (yet).
> >In general, then, it is
> >even more incumbent on philosophy than it was in the days of Socrates to
> >*ask questions*. It is important, vitally important, to recognize that
> >asking questions is not the same thing as engaging in skeptical rejection. I agree completely. In order to ask questions in a constructive and creative way, one needs to be able to think. But most people aren't taught to think at school (it's too subversive). Instead they are taught how to learn, which is a different matter altogether. Thinking is subversive, which is why intellectuals are always first up against the wall in periods of revolutionary fervour.
> >Science cannot by itself either support or detract from astrology,
> >nor can philosophy. It is people who do those things, and they do so all
> >too often through the misuse and abuse of these two intellectual tools.
> >Astrology is the home ground of astrologers, and it is theirs to defend; I
> >would suggest that those tools are just as available to astrologers as
> >anyone else. Agreed. I also think that if astrologers interfaced with the appropriate disciplines (especially cognitive science) that it can contribute much to alleviating the areas which remain fog bound for science, which is handicapped by a blindness to its own limitations.
> >I intend in the near future to acquire a complete array of the work of
> >Project Hindsight, as it seems to me that it is the only viable work being
> >done at the moment. As Bill Sheeran noted, Schmidt certainly does not lack
> >for credentials. I have followed their work on the periphery, not having
> >the opportunity to effectively decide whether I wanted to be actively
> >involved. At first, scholarly translations were being done from various
> >cultural venues, and they were being made available for a small fee for
> >testing. I don't know whether that is still the case, but it now appears
> >that one of those venues has yielded a successful astrological structure.
> >In any case, I will certainly acquire all that is to be had in that regard,
> >with the intention of applying it myself on some number of cases where
> >excellent data is available to me. You will find Schmidt's work very stimulating, especially his thoughts on conceptualising astrology. They are somewhat idiosyncratic, but worthy of attention.
> >Order has collapsed, and now chaos as well, and we are left with complexity,
> >so it seems. This does not mean that we should uncritically accepted
> >indeterminacy and opacity as fundamentals in our life. Complexity is a
> >dynamic process, between the realms of order and chaos, in which both
> >cohesiveness and renewal is sought, where life is lived as close to the
> >edges of chaos (source of renewal) as can be found adequately sound in
> >support of robustness. The struggle of life is for a consistency in that
> >dynamic medium.... a state of being "piece-wise continuous", perhaps.
> >Indeterminacy and opacity are the default states that inevitably lead to
> >death; life struggles for cohesiveness and clarity in that context. I would argue that order and clarity are also default states that inevitably lead to death too. If a system is to evolve, it needs to be open to the indeterminate. Unpredictability is a fundamental and necessary aspect of life. whether it be the decay of radioactive material (one can't predict when the next beta particle will be released), or the random mutation events which according to conventional genetics contribute to the process of biological evolution by ensuring diversity, etc.
> >As above so below does not mean that there are things above that mankind was
> >never meant to know. It's not a question of whether or not we are *meant* to know things. The issue is whether or not there are limits to what we can know. As J.B.S.Haldane said (I think it was him) "Life is not only stranger than we know; it is also stranger than we can know".
> >We *can* understand (eventually) the entire functional
> >complexity of the brain and how it is the manifestation of (itself
> >manifests?) the mind, ..... snip This of course is a subject of intense debate among cognitive scientists.
> >We *can* accept and pursue an understanding of the reality of
> >astrology without fearing that it will take us over and we will sacrifice
> >said soul on the altar of a valid and effective >>physically based <
> >astrology. An issue here is whether or not one can fully separate the physical from the non-physical. Some (both physicists and metaphysicists) would argue that the physical emanates from the non-physical. *If* the physical is a secondary state of the non-physical, it would suggest that a full understanding of physics and astrology necessitates engaging with the non-physical. This doesn't mean we all have to become mystics, but it does raise the question of the significance of human consciousness (i.e. the astrologer) in what we call astrology.
> >Philosophy will guide, but science will demonstrate, the reality of
> >astrology, regardless of the opinions or whims of any one of us. And astrology will eventually expand the horizons of science, although as that process unfolds, the subject will be hijacked and assimilated under an assumed name.
All the best,
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 09:18:15 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: feedback on Ex4/68
Context, provided by Bill Tallman quoting myself quoting Seymour:
> >"John Bell, who died in 1990, was one of the leading theoretical physicists
> >whose work has highlighted the problems of quantum reality. He was able to
> >show mathematically that if quantum theory is valid, then, under >>>certain
> >circumstances, < it is possible for two subatomic particles to keep in
> >touch with each other, even when separated by large distances, in a way
> >that seems to imply a form of communication that is faster than light."
> >"Bell's theorem basically shows us that if quantum mechanics is valid (and
> >all physical experiments have so far failed to reveal that this might not
> >be so), then measurements made on two particles will >>>always < be
> >correlated, no matter how far apart they are. [snip]
Which is it: under certain conditions, or always?
Is this a case of an expansive assumption?
I seem to recall spotting this discrepancy when I read the book, Bill. I suspect we can only guess at the answer to your first question. However it is worth noting that in the first quote Seymour is referring to a mathematical `proof' apparently produced by Bell, so the finding here is theoretical. In the second quote Seymour refers (perhaps) to conclusions drawn from experimentation to test the theory, so his finding here is interpretive. Perhaps, therefore, the dichotomy reflects two somewhat different periods of history of physics. Perhaps the former is an earlier, cautious, formulation. Most authoritative commentators that I have read support the latter, universal, case.
As regards your second question, the answer seems to be yes. Presuming you mean logic extrapolated while assuming such extrapolation is valid. The grounds that warrant this assumption have never been clear to me.
Bill Sheeran wrote the following response to this from me:
> >Intuition seems to be the capacity via which mind (and presumably brain)
> >accesses aspects of our cosmic environment that the 5 senses cannot.
> >Psychic ability is not necessarily limited to intuition, I suspect, but if
> >we use the old term 6th sense to include both, that's really what I mean.
> >People with a natural sense of timing probably use it instinctively. If you
> >go with the flow you seem to get more receptive to subtle environmental
> >cues. The cosmos is within as well as without, and the horoscope freezes
> >the pattern common to both macrocosm and microcosm in the moment of
> >synchronicity. The symbols we insert into the diagram identify the main
> >structural components of that pattern that impinge on our perception,
> >although we also insert some that are non-perceptual, and some readers may
> >even entertain themselves with the insertion of imaginary factors.
> >We thus attempt to decode the moment, to access deeper meanings than those
> >that our 6th sense conveys. To the extent to which these are consensual,
> >they have become relatively objective and will therefore carry more social
> >weight. If these are derived from the archetypes of nature, they will seem
> >a reservoir that conveys eternal wisdom to anyone capable of tuning in. The
> >real reservoir is the realm of potential, and the morphogenetic fields,
> >archetypes and holomovement are just aspects of the transmission process. Presumably this means that astrology is an example of a reception process. I agree with this, but wonder what it implies about the astrological phenomenon. Does it mean that astrology is a massive illusory construct with an air of realism which has resulted from a few millennia of projecting significance onto celestial movements, whereas in fact it is merely a vehicle for attuning to information accessible via the holomovement/morphogenetic field or whatever? And that in this respect it is no different from checking out the patterns of blood spots on the livers of sacrificed sheep?
I wonder about this myself. And my wonderings lead me ever more towards the notion that at its heart astrology is divination, whatever about its outer clothing.
And yet the Saturn Return is the Saturn Return, and it doesn't require an astrologer to bring it into "effect". There do seem to be simple regular temporal patterns which coincide remarkably with qualitative shifts in experience. This would seem to indicate that astrology is not just divination. Maybe that is why it is such a successful divinatory system (in terms of its longevity) - because it resides at an interface between two reference frameworks for attempting to perceive and map order in the scheme of things. That is, for want of a better way of describing it, the left brain and right brain modes.
It's quite understandable that ancient folk would see the celestial movements as the source of order, because the most orderly and reliable aspect of experience are the diurnal, lunar and annual cycles. And these provide a real temporal structure to our lives. It has a very grounding impact, one which allows an understandable complementary projection of qualitative order onto the heavens. Unlike astrology, divination using sheep livers does not benefit from any complementary authority such as that vested in the celestial motions due to their objective function in delineating order in time. I think it is now quite extinct as a practice. [Bill]
Haruspex = one (among the Etruscans) who foretold events from inspection of entrails of animals (according to my Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary). Going back to the first paragraph of your response above, Bill, I'd be more inclined to see astrology as a method of reception and decoding archetypal information contained in moments and time periods. Practitioners apply the method via interpretive process. My singular use of method here, of course, masks a very plural reality!
I would agree that "astrology is a massive illusory construct with an air of realism which has resulted from a few millennia of projecting significance onto celestial movements" but suggest that is but part of the `truth'. And "in fact it is merely a vehicle for attuning to information accessible via the holomovement/morphogenetic field", but very poorly used by most astrologers. I disagree that "it is no different from checking out the patterns of blood spots on the livers of sacrificed sheep". No body of theory or method of haruspicy survives to enable a comparison, so far as I know, so any assumption of similarity is unwarranted.
Tarot or I Ching or any other method of divination may also be used to read aspects of a moment, or signs of the future, if the diviner has the ability to engage some kind of cerebral resonance with the archetypes of nature sufficiently to mediate a real process of information reception and decoding. But this insight may not seem valid to others, however much it may impress the recipient. The analogous subjective/objective polarity sure does also apply to astrological practice, but the language of astrology is nonetheless evolving into a vehicle of relative objectivity.
To some extent we divine cosmic trends when we interpret a horoscope, I agree, but seems to me there are archetypal features of an event that can be analysed as latent potential (as Rudhyar kept emphasising). Mere divination also fails to include context and other elements of the general scheme, the philosophic structure of the horoscope as microcosm, the use as model of the psyche, so I feel it is too reductionist to be suitable as a label for astrology.
Bill: "Hypothetically, morphic resonance may have then helped to consolidate astrology as a key form in which the archetypes of order make their presence felt in consciousness. (Could it be that the Saturn Return is actually a consequence of morphic resonance? That its reality has been created out of a habit? Maybe.)" In Sheldrake's terms, probably so. I'm more inclined to see any morphic resonance effect as supplementary to a primary effect of the Saturn archetype. By which I mean human development is structured by Saturn (and other) cycles.
Bill then refers "to the point Geoffrey Cornelius keeps making about the primary schism in astrology - that between the astrology of signs (divination) and the astrology of causes (Aristotle/Ptolemy)." Well, much ado about nothing? So what if some see the planets as signs and some see them as causes? All we need do is explain that the planetary archetypes seem to be activated by the planetary cycles synchronously as they seem to cause effects in life on Earth. The perception of the planets as signs of the archetypes seems reasonable, as does the apparently causative influence dramatised by synchronicity. Rather than adopt the traditional (primitive) attitude that a polarity must force an either/or choice upon people, why don't astrologers copy physicists and adopt the complementary (both/and) approach?
Bill later moved into an interesting new territory: "What is very interesting in this regard is that another bifurcation (in mathematics) happened in 1892 with the publication of Henri Poincare's Celestial Mechanics. This was the first text to mention what has now become the mathematics of chaos. So once again, a crucial development in mathematics (just as with Newton) is linked to the contemplation of celestial motions. Astute astrologers will recognise 1892 as the year of the first Pluto/Neptune conjunction since 1398 (or around then). The rebirth of chaos."
Dale Huckeby has been working along a similar line of enquiry, so I was hoping he would disengage lurk mode and comment on this. The 1892 correlation seems impressive, but the lack of one for 1398 rather spoils the effect, as no doubt you are aware. Wasn't the Renaissance beginning then? Check out the dates for the first translations of key Arabic/Classical mathematical texts. Didn't Aristotle, previously unknown to Europe, supplant Plato suddenly as a result of this? But if this didn't happen till after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 it will be no help to your theory.
Bill asks: "What form will astrology take in the current era, when culturally there is now an unprecedented openness to ambiguity, unpredictability and the breakdown of the subject-object divide (inter-penetration with context)? The conscious embracing of chaos in a way brings us full circle to the days when chaos was dominant, rather than our understanding of order. It induced fear and was denied or battled against. Today, we don't suffer the same existential anxieties, and we do possess a wealth of knowledge and understanding to shore up the desire for existential security. We feel secure enough to actually look at chaos in the face."
As to your initial question here, Bill, it is evident that market forces have provided the answer. The humanistic approach pioneered by Rudhyar has proven too sophisticated for most punters to master, and a postmodern approach in which astrologer and client tell each other stories has prevailed. The intriguing thing is that no embarrassment at their inadequacy is felt by those performing in this manner, indeed the telling of stories is regarded as permissible and normal in most of the helping professions. Freud and Jung provide the perfect excuse.
As regards chaos, we all embrace it in reaction to a previously excessive regimented order in society. There is widespread pan-generational tacit agreement that it provides liberation from social constraints and more choices and opportunities to use individual free-will to proceed down new paths. This reduction of repression now normally involves people being more intuitively and instinctively motivated by the astrological archetypes (rather than consciously via learning astrology or using the advice of a competent astrologer). People will only transcend this cosmic-marionette phase if the current free-market social darwinism is replaced by an economic system that gives them time and security enough to allow personal evolutionary development, via learning how to decode their inner selves and gain consequent self-understanding, as Rudhyar envisaged.
Bill concludes.. "This new sense of order in all its complexity, which has been percolating through in many fields of endeavour during the best part of this century, has important implications for astrology in the next century. It's hard work bringing them into focus though!"
True, it's not hard to see why most astrologers avoid trying. There are suitable vehicles for such progress however, such as the archetypes of nature, and further documentation of trans-disciplinary commonalities will be fruitful. The focus for any new sense of order, Bill, ought really to be the globalising of culture, most prevalent - dominant now - this past decade. Models of order that have gained consensual adherence in various fields earlier this century will only be relevant to the extent that they manage to re-emerge in this broader context.
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 72
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