Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #33

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: commentary on octagonal house division (3)

Exegesis Digest Tue, 20 Jun 2000

Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 20:46:01 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: commentary on octagonal house division (3)

[Refer to CURA website http://cura.free.fr/02domi-e.html for references and Gauqelin map]

 > The lesson of the octotopos was not forgotten in the
 > Renaissance: Tycho Brahe exposes in 1573 a system of 8 houses of 45
 > degrees divided from the first vertical.[25] The octotopos is also used in
 > medical astrology by Cardan, by Thomas Finck (1561-1656) in his
 > Horoscopographia (Schleswig, 1591), by the pioneer of English astrology,
 > Christopher Heydon, in his private journals,[26] and by Nicholas
 > Culpeper (1616-1654) who associates it with the lunar cycle and the
 > theory of the " critical days " (7th, 14th, 21th and 28th of the lunar
 > cycle).[27] More recently, Doctor Hans Michel of Nuremberg presented a
 > system of 8 houses based on the work of the geophysicist F. Lehner.[28]

All this is good supportive evidence for a considerable tradition. I regret that no logical or metaphysical reasoning from these users is available to explain why they chose to use it. The theory of critical days originated with Hippocrates. But note that you are merely citing the new & full moons plus waxing & waning squares for Culpepper, no octagonal days!

Patrice commented: "You're right here. I could remove Culpeper." He said his intention "was to find historical antecedents, even if they don't suit very well". Given the extent to which primary sources were deliberately destroyed by both Christians and Moslems for religious reasons, any theorist researcher can certainly be excused for trying to use what is available.

 > The zodiacs can be defined like geocentric and structuring
 > cycles of the planets, whose zodiacal signs represent the successive
 > phases: annual cycle for the Sun, "monthly" cycle for the Moon, 12 years
 > cycle for Jupiter (essential in Chinese astrology), 165 years cycle for

Yes, important point. The zodiac manifests in our experience not merely via the solar transit of its definition. Planetary sign positions are an independent source of (hypothetical) experiential learning, and, unlike the Sun, there are no seasonal manifestations of these that are opposite in the southern hemisphere. Sign meanings are not as compromised by Ptolemy's tradition as people think!

 > The domification is a cutting of the celestial sphere, of the
 > various phases of its daily rhythm, apparent rhythm due to the rotation
 > of the earth on itself. It conceptualizes the space-time rooting of the
 > organisms on Earth < snip >

This seems a reasonable premise.

 > The earth rotates, from West to East, in 24 sidereal hours, so
 > it seems to move, for this period, from East to West, the whole of the
 > celestial sphere, including the privileged actors of the solar system
 > which are the planets, the star which maintains them in its field of
 > attraction, and the terrestrial satellite. The apparent daily movement
 > of these stars fits in a sinusoidal wave of 4 phases < snip >

A reasonable mathematical postulate, perhaps.

 > The daily movement of a star crosses eight successive phases
 > which delimit eight space portions, eight specific, diurnal fields
 > (positive, open), then night fields (negative, closed), according to
 > their localization above or below the horizon:
 > - 1. The star rises and passes the Ascendant.
 > - 2. It rises in the East toward the meridian (at the left side
 > of an observer turned towards the South).
 > - 3. It reaches maximum elevation (culminating on the meridian
 > at the Midheaven).
 > - 4. It sinks toward the western horizon.
 > - 5. It sets past the Descendant.
 > - 6. It drops from the western horizon to the meridian.
 > - 7. It reaches minimum elevation at the lower meridian.
 > - 8. It rises from the lower meridian toward the eastern horizon.

These certainly are 8 qualitatively unique phases of diurnal motion relative to a locality, but they have no implicit equality of duration.

 > The curves highlighted by statistical search of "the Gauquelin"
 > illustrate this distribution. Indeed, except their doubtful interest as
 > for their project to validate or invalidate astral reality, they show
 > that the distribution of the angular native positions of certain planets
 > of individuals who excelled in specific activities presents a
 > characteristic curve, and in particular for Mars in the soldiers and the
 > sportsmen, for Saturn in the scientists and Jupiter in the politicians.

No, it is not really characteristic. The distributions sometimes seem similar, but the peaks are usually in a different place, and of different relative magnitudes.

 > In spite of the exuberance of literature referring to the work of the
 > French astro-statisticians, rare are those which only considered what is
 > in my view the only true discovery, unconscious, of this work, namely
 > the inscription of the eight astrological houses in the whole
 > curves.[39] With the graph which follows, extracted from one of the
 > first works of Michel Gauquelin,[40] I added the limits of the 8
 > sectors, such as they result logically from the layout of the 16
 > segments of the curve.

Well, I fail to see the logic. Sector 7 is much large than the others, being about double sector 8 in the extent of arc (angular measure). Why assume that Gauquelin drew his graph correctly? Not to mention his ridiculous decision to graph 16 points rather than 12. If he wanted more precise depiction of the distribution, he should have done 24 points. If he wanted to illustrate a comparison with houses, that is. Now if your intent is to assume G. wanted to avoid houses (probably correct) and emphasise the apparent 4 peaks in his distribution, I agree you have done so. Logic? To dramatise reality, perhaps. OK. But this gives you asymmetric houses because the reality is thus.

Patrice commented: "I'm not sure you're right. Graham Douglas has made the same relation between 8 houses set and Gauquelin's curves. Now my inspiration has been completely foreign to Gauquelin's works. In fact I concede to you that Gauquelin could have drawn other graphs with his material, if he had taken more points for instance."

 > Eight sectors, the four angular zones and the four intermediate
 > ones, fall under a design which could find its explanation in the
 > terrestrial magnetism.[41]

I have seen reference to a diurnal fluctuation years ago, can't remember the details.

 > I thought that the shift compared to the
 > Angles which appears for sectors 1 and 3 could come owing to the fact

Actually sectors 1,3 & 7; only 5 coincides with the axes, producing the asymmetry I was referring to.

Patrice commented: "I know (and I've seen!) this asymmetry. The illustration by the Gauquelin's work is not essential to my purpose, and is only approximate."

 > that Gauquelin sampling contains a majority of approximate hours, often
 > up to half an hour, and that the "natural" tendency of the parents was
 > to declare with the marital status a birth hour posterior to the real
 > one. However it seems to me now that the latitude of the sampling
 > (northern temperate zone) is also concerned, and that it is necessary to
 > call into question their angular location (see infra: The domification).

Peak 5 is the problem anomaly that cannot be explained by usual late noting of birth times.

 > < snip > In addition to the fact that these distributions systematize,
 > in my view, a null and void system of the Houses, that of the
 > dodekatopos modelled on the zodiac [47] and whose elements follow one
 > another in the opposite direction of the diurnal movement, they refer to
 > an exteriority. How the objects of the sensory world could appear in the
 > chart? Kepler, detractor of the classical theory of the Houses, points
 > out that "The sky does not give to the man his practices, his history,
 > his happiness, his children, his richness, his wife (...)" [48]

As I understood it from Rudhyar, these sectors of the psyche dispose people toward typical arenas of experience in their interaction with their (physical and social) environment. And I do not read Kepler's quote as rejecting houses as arenas of mundane experience, even if you are correct in your assumption that his words intended that meaning. I'm inclined to interpret his words literally. I did not get any of those things from the sky either!

 > The Houses cannot indicate plans of individual realization
 > external to the consciousness; they do not refer to external objects,

It seems to me feasible that they provide interactive venues for experience with components of the environment, as well as being interior components of the psyche characterised by attitudes. I have never seen this dual function of the houses as a problem. One may see the houses as rooms within the residence of the psyche. We enter each room with a typical innate attitude, in order to have its typical category of mundane experiences, which are provided by the world outside us.

 > but to psychic states, interior incentives. The differentiation of
 > symbolic space system presupposes various fields of organization of the
 > impressionals. The astral Houses are for the consciousness the modes of
 > subjective apprehension of its environment, the relational textures
 > which it distinguishes in its environment. They translate the way in
 > which it perceives its relation with what surrounds it, the way in which
 > it feels implied in the world, its mode of existential insertion, its
 > mode of being-in-the-world. Thus each one built his space through one or
 > the other of these astral reinforcements.

I agree with all this, but see no reason for it to exclude the social/environmental interaction.

Patrice commented: "For me it's just a consequence, it should be just a consequence. In fact it is here the same problem with the astrological planets, as I wish to define them only through the concept of impressionals. If we do more implications, we want too much from astrology. And we reach predictional astrology. As these predictions generally fail, and they do really fail, astrology is discredited by modern thought"

Not sure if I really understand his objection, but it seems to reflect a basic philosophical difference between us. I have since queried Patrice about his use of these octoad-derived houses. Apparently he has indeed been using them in interpretation, since the 1980s.

My feeling about his thesis thus far is that the historical case is surprisingly strong, but the theoretical case is tenuous and unconvincing.

Dennis Frank


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