Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #9

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #8

Exegesis Digest Wed, 01 Mar 2000

Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 23:01:05 +1300
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #8

[Bill Tallman wrote:] I suggest that we differentiate the activities
 > of science and real life inappropriately, and that in doing so, we lose a
 > valuable level of insight into what is really going on in our lives.

Not sure who "we" refers to here. If astrologers, I wonder at the suitability of the generalisation. Perhaps you could expand on this to clarify the point, Bill? I may well readily agree, but I'm finding it too obscure.

 > Only those people who can accept this view will find pan-cultural
 > portability useful, and they will be a tiny minority. What we are talking
 > about is so far beyond the realm of most people's experience that they
 > would find our concerns ludicrous, and that "sad truth" tells the truth with which
 > we must also deal: the world's population simply cannot use what is not
 > immediately applicable, by and large. They either acquire what they lack
 > or they do without, and very few are able to invent what they need at this
 > level within the constraints of time and opportunity that describe their
 > lives. So they turn to those who are supposed to supply that need and they
 > expect the product assembled, tuned and ready for use; knowledge 'kits' and
 > directions for assembly and operation are discarded and ignored, for they
 > haven't the time, the inclination or the ability to find them valuable.
 > Hence, religion is the common source, whether it be based on the spiritual
 > tradition of a person or people, or the practice of a craft that is found
 > dependably capable of supplying what is wanted. And we who engage this
 > material here are regularly called upon to be the priests and prophets they
 > wish to visit. Do we tell them there are no answers, that they must seek
 > their own, knowing that what they find will be of use only to them and
 > probably only for a short time at that? Do we simply avoid being put in
 > that position? Of what use to the public at large is any of this? How do
 > we answer the charge that we are simply abdicating the active search for
 > what we seek by defining it as nonexistent?

I sympathised with the general drift of this passage, but you lost me in the final question. What are we defining as non-existent? To the first question, I have no hesitation in answering no. I give my clients answers, usually carefully qualified and conditional. That is to say, I outline the archetypal context, suggest likely options and comment on their respective merits, then give my advice on the best way to handle the circumstances.

 > I suggest we are well advised
 > to make our metaphysics as accessable to the common man as we
 > can, because what we use now is what we will have to offer others
 > when they ask.

Indeed. I have felt constrained by this priority since I first got into astrology. "If it's not bullshit, this esoteric mumbo-jumbo is gonna have to be translated into everyday language if it is to be of much use to people!"

 > The short answer, then, is that it is not necessary to explain what does
 > not exist. Somehow this sounds like the sort of answers I've heard
 > from a certain type of scientist.

Hang on, I didn't mean to suggest that. I'm not sure what you thought I was suggesting does not exist. I guess it was the archetypal unique quality of each zodiacal degree. Well, I see this as a useful working hypothesis. It would be premature to doubt its existence merely because astrologers have not managed to develop a consensus on the meanings.

[myself] We can agree with Hipparchus,
 > and define the zodiac with respect to the vernal equinox of the
 > northern hemisphere, anchoring its structure on the 4 corners of the
 > world. We can recycle the traditional logic that provides it with a
 > further substructure derived from the solunar relationship cycle,
 > and recycle the traditional metaphysical matrix of elements and
 > modes that gives it 12 equal archetypal phases.
 > Pan-cultural export of this notion has always been a matter of
 > taste and limited only by religious conformity.
 > I get the impression that the current assumption is that any extant
 > astrological tradition must by definition be invalid. If this is so, I'd
 > be interested in discovering the logic applicable here.
 > Would it not be more effective to seek to discover why that tradition
 > exists? I must admit I don't see how something that has lasted as long as
 > the astrological tradition can be entirely without any real basis.

Actually, that's what I thought I had been doing, and I share your sentiment, whether it be hunch or bias. However I also share Dale Huckeby's scepticism of the habits, beliefs and practices of astrologers. I suppose the best answer to the final point is the power of myth.

 > I suspect that no further work has been done following Addey
 > because no one has seen how to proceed. It might be that this is no longer
 > necessarily so, in which case it might be something worth discussing here.

In 1983 I toyed with the idea that superposition of harmonics in a circle may elucidate the strength of orbs. The basic premise being an equivalence between circle and archetypal cycle( rather a big ask!!!). Simple procedure: draw a large circle and mark with a small cross or dot where each harmonic placed a node. Oh, I should have mentioned, there is another basic premise, which I seem to recall underlay Addey's work, even if it was tacit. You have to subscribe to the concept of standing waves on a circle, another big ask, and, I suspect, a rather curly one. Seen any lately? Addey seems to have tacitly assumed they get generated in the zodiac and diurnal cycle, both. Anyway, you choose an origin on your circle, mark your conjunction, mark again and opposite for the opposition, again and also 120 degrees around each side for the trine, etc. I colour-coded them, out to the novile, I seem to recall. I expected that concentrations of nodes in particular regions of the circle might indicate qualitatively complex degrees, rich in harmonics, and, by implication, probably more influential.

 > The mediumistic approach seems to have yielded something useful, and I
 > suggest we are better advised to seek to understand why this is so; the
 > Sabian symbols don't agree with any of the earlier work, at least any of
 > which I am aware, so there's no compelling reason to expect that any
 > subsequent consensus will agree either. None of these appear to have any
 > discernable connection to a geometry of harmonics.

I have always been keen on the concept of the Sabian symbols, and open-minded to their psychic origin. I share with various astrologer-friends a certain amount of striking empirical natal verification. But the only correlation with sign archetypes that ever really impressed me was the `Gaian midheaven', by which I mean the two degrees adjacent to the cusp of Capricorn. The pope & indian chief, guru and hierarch, so similar in social status yet so fundamentally different in social function. Sagittarian shepherd and Capricornian ruler.

 > Obviously you have made a substantive contribution, Dennis, and the extent
 > to which you have made portions of it available here are inherently
 > worthwhile, regardless of any other contribution, or lack thereof. I would
 > suggest that no effort on anyone else's part relieves you of your purpose
 > for being involved here.

I appreciate these thoughts, Bill, thanks. No matter whether one feels that one is onto something, and providing novel and/or useful explanations that are personally satisfying, there always come those periods when one wonders if the messages are getting through to others, or are one's efforts all just a waste of time...

 > The building of such an edifice is assuredly still required, but an edifice
 > requires material from which it can be constructed, and we still don't have
 > any material that would meet any appropriate criteria in this regard. In
 > fact, we don't have any material at all unless we can accept some part of
 > the tradition, because we have as yet been unable to substantiate any of
 > the new approaches as being an acceptable replacement.

What are the appropriate criteria? Apart from that, I agree. I have tended to accept parts of the tradition, for several reasons. Firstly, pure pragmatism, in acknowledging the considerable consensus that has existed, and still does. Secondly, my intuition advises me that elements of the tradition ring true.

 > I think we are still at the data gathering stage, and will be until what we
 > have has been systematically explored. Hence, Project Hindsight.
 > Incidentally, for those who don't know, Hand is no longer involved in PH,
 > and the project has been removed from the ARHAT umbrella and made part of
 > another foundation created by Schmidt, et al.

Astropolitics, evidently. Fun to lecture on, I have found, and even more fun to practise. Do continue to keep us posted, but disinterring myriad ancient techniques to add to the pile of irrelevant modern ones isn't going to advance us. Discovering some profound cosmic wisdom, principle or insight, that transforms our current understanding, is what will do it. PH has never given me any inkling that this likely.

 > Astrology, as we know it, consists of the application of a traditional
 > craft, the basis of which is for all intents and purposes unknown. We
 > practice it because we get useful results and so are disposed to continue
 > to do so, by and large. The issue is that we don't know why what we do
 > works, and this is generally unacceptable in an era when we are used to having this
 > kind of knowledge in any acceptable profession. At the core of this issue
 > is the apparent fact that there is also very little generally accepted
 > essence of that tradition; as a result of all this, we appear to be unable
 > to see how to proceed.
 > We cannot simply throw it all out and start over, because if we did, we
 > would have nothing but an idea that in itself is not generally accepted,
 > that is, that astrology itself has any objectively valid existence. We
 > have, then, to choose to address what we have in the tradition, or
 > effectively turn and walk away. As far as I can see, this is the state of
 > the astrological situation.

I concur with this assessment, with, perhaps, the proviso that it not be interpreted as too limiting. Certain fundamentals seem worth retaining from the tradition, and the rest is disposable. We are free to redefine what we retain, and also to adopt any new elements that seem relevant and consistent. I notice use of the term "objectively", trailing its usual tacit fish-hooks. Given that the astrological tradition is just as thoroughly metaphysical as any modernised theory of astrology, how might either be deemed to be "objectively valid"? Rhetorical question, really. The question is how to attain relative objectivity in our arena!

Dennis Frank


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