|Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #28
Exegesis Digest Thu, 11 May 2000
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 20:08:00 -0500
From: RAB WILKIE
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #2
Me Exegesis Digest Mon, 08 May 2000 Volume 5 Issue 26
Me Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 11:02:25 +1200
Me From: Janice & Dennis
Me Subject: commentary on octagonal house division (1)
Me People develop a personal orientation to north, south, east & west, Me that reflects what is probably a universal cultural orientation. This Me orientation of the psyche is continually reinforced by diurnal motion, Me for everyone. But is there any evidence that we have a psychic Me orientation to the midpoints of the four quadrants?
Yes, a primal biopsychic orientation, if we take embryology into account. At conception or shortly thereafter, the fertilized ovum begins dividing and new cells migrate and differentiate in association with one pole or the other, top (head) or bottom (root), and then according to zones of specialisation along the main axis of development (spine), and to left/right, front/behind.
This orientation is obviously not a planar frame of reference but includes that in a complete 'Seven Directions' plan in which a main axis has precedence. There are four cardinal directions but these are an outgrowth from the axial dynamic of Above & Below (zenith & nadir), which in turn stems from the seed/ source/center.
This is the whole cosmological sphere of reference, which astrology seems to have forgotten since becoming obsessed with the ecliptic.
See also neurolinguistic studies regarding the significance of directions in relation to thoughts and eye-movements, the Qabalistic 'Cube of Space', and its spheroid ramifications as propounded in "The Cosmic Doctrine" by Dion Fortune; and the cosmographies of various (ancient) cultures in which three Worlds are described -- the mundane Middle Realm, plus upper and lower Realms pertaining to Heaven and the Underworld -- as being interpenetrated by the Axis Mundi/World Tree.
The ecliptic plane is interesting because it represents a sphere of reference different from the personal and the terrestrial, which in human experience have precedence. Much thought has been given to the way in which the solar sphere interacts with these other two spheres, and much confusion has followed.
To disentangle astrological systems, we need to start at the beginning again, with the personal sphere of reference, or even better, with the archetypal or inner seven-fold plan that is not oriented externally. Instead of East-West and North-South there is Left-Right and Behind-Ahead, and instead Zenith-Nadir, there is Above-Below. The simple fact of physical embodiment bestows these referents.
When this personal sphere becomes oriented with an external sphere, through cultural entrainment, several variations can result depending on what one's culture takes as its primary referent. Often this has been a solar phenomenon such as sunrise or sunset, but other events, including non-solar (and even non-celestial), have been used to anchor the personal sphere in the cosmic by marrying, for example, the Front direction to Sunrise or Noon.
In many cultures, however, the celestial pole had precedence, either as the direction to face or to rely on as anterior truth, since the whole of heaven was dependent upon this unmoving arbiter and source. And of course the whole of heaven included all stars, planets, and the ecliptic, which were regarded as subservient to the polar Heart of Heaven. While the Milky Way was often given at least as much attention as the ecliptic.
The celestial pole was the summit of the World Mountain, whether Olympus or Meru, and the abode of the gods who controlled or manifested in all directions, including those associated with the ecliptic and zodiacal zone.
The World Mountain was, and still is, the terrestrial sphere within which the personal human sphere abides. And now we know that terrestrial sphere abides within the solar, the solar within the galactic, and so on -- an hierarchical series of nested spheres of reference. However, the personal sphere is one that has evolved into greater significance relatively recently, having emerged from between two others, the terrestrial and one I have not mentioned, that of locality centered on the 'omphalos' or 'navel' of the world, the most sacred site of a culture or nation.
To a large extent, the omphalos of greatest concern and interest has now shifted to each individual's own belly button. Yet in the current astrological context it is a button that is pressed primarily into planar service, and to a plane clearly askew relative to both personal and terrestrial spheres. Which wouldn't be so disoriented and confusing if the ecliptic plane were understood in terms of our prior and once more familiar planes and their spheres of reference.
Ask most astrologers today where the zenith is, and they'll reply that it's the Mid-Heaven (MC). (And that the nadir is the Lower Heaven (IC)). Ask then, what's directly above their head, and you get a blank look or a shrug.. "Oh some stars, I guess"; because their planar paradigm does not take the whole sky into account, only a narrow tilted band of the celestial world. And they probably do not even recognize it as part of a sphere, with an axis and poles that differ from our other main spheres of reference, (by 23.5 degrees from the terrestrial, and by varying angles from the local depending on latitude).
Who these days knows the uncarefully guarded 'secret of the Dragon"? (The exact location of the north pole of the ecliptic -- around which the celestial pole circles, designating different North Stars for successive epochs).
Astrological tradition as we now know it is a rather small chip off the old cosmological block, and as a result of this dissociation and overspecialisation has become fairly ignorant about the larger perspective from which it comes. Which anthropologists, geomants, archaeologists, poets, historians, ethnographers, architects, feng-shuists, and even some astronomers seem to know much more about.
Wondering about octo and dodo house-systems is all very well, but when these are viewed as adjuncts to the more essential seven-fold sphere, they will begin to make more sense as alternate, and blendable, ways of dividing an equatorial plane.
Anciently, cosmographers were keen about circles and stone-rings and their geometry. That a rope radius was handy for cutting six equal arcs of a circle might have had something to do with 12-fold divisions..
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 5 Issue 28
[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]
Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-1999 their respective authors.