Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #45

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #43, 44

Exegesis Digest Mon, 14 Aug 2000

Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2000 22:33:31 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #43, 44

Bill Tallman wrote:
 > In general, only those that lie in the 'path of the sun' undergo perceivably
 > relevant change. I think I recall astrological speculation on the meaning
 > of supernovae, etc., so the operative attribute is any sort of relative
 > movement or change on the part of the celestial body.

I think I agree, if you mean apparent, temporal, change. Any scientist would deny this, of course. If you mean something else, please clarify.

Perhaps I should be more cautious about my intuitive agreement. I assume you meant the changing phase relations, in the cycles of the Sun, Moon & planets relative to the various divisions of the frame of reference (signs of the zodiac). These changes are mathematical. From an experiential point of view, the changes that are "relevant" are the consequent (apparent, hypothetical) activations of the associated archetypes. These emerge in (natural and social) process(es), and tend to be detectable in the quality of the moment and/or nature of the event.

Recognition is relative to the observer, detection to the detective. People may experience Saturn if they hit a brick wall, but few will recognise it. Who becomes conscious of Venus while making love? Labelling the archetype can distract one from the essence. Detection of astrological archetypes is rarely an experiential exercise. Perhaps that is why astrologers would rather assume they are always at hand somehow, wafting in the air (or textures in their cosmic wallpaper) rather than carrying out a reality check with their capacity for observation.

 > Now we are talking about anthropology/sociology/psychology. Is your
 > assumption that astrology is a subset of one of these studies?

No! What I have seen of those 3 fields almost makes astrology look sophisticated by comparison. Particularly psychology, which seems more of a hopeless mess the more one familiarises oneself with it. Actually, the proliferation of sects and (mutually-incompatible) belief systems therein, plus the blind-faith motivation, makes striking parallels with Christianity and astrology both.

Rab Wilkie wrote:
 > Has anyone here scrutinized the claims of The Magi
 > Society?

Yes, I did some months ago in response to a friend's email query. I gave their website the once-over with my built-in bullshit detector, and sent this verdict: "School-boy macho posturing, combined with traditional in-crowd exclusivism."

Claiming a secret Asian pedigree is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so you might have thought these Blavatsky-clones would get more mileage with the standard new-age strategy of channelling a discarnate entity from your favourite fixed star. Perhaps their target is a niche-market of nostalgia freaks.

Just in case you think I might have been too quick to judge, I did advise my friend (also an astrologer, a professor of psychology, a corporate team-builder back in the '80s before it became fashionable, and a practitioner of Chinese 5-element astrology in Taiwan for some years) to contact them and query their sources. He did so, politely & very briefly citing his own studies. They responded, but failed to answer his questions. The tone of the response was a classic blend of holier-than-thou bluster, one-upmanship, and evasion, thus confirming the accuracy of my intuition.

Getting back to Bill's comments earlier, readers with time on their hands would find this site http://www.magiastrology.com/ interesting from an anthropological and sociological perspective. De-jargonising astrology is a noble endeavour, rendering it more accessible to people, but the juvenile entrepreneurs find themselves launching their own jargon. Is their language more user-friendly? The authors hide behind their cloak of anonymity, wanting to appear a priest-hood, yet laudably seeking to modernise astrology for the masses. Patronising, banal text, yet interesting topics with some novel slants and feasible interpretive logic.

In lesson 4 they present a new chart design that they claim incorporates celestial latitude. Astrology needs latitude? They're not the first to make this claim, but reason seems lacking.

If the changing qualities of passing time derive from the activation of astrological archetypes by changing phase relations (the stance popularised by Alexander Ruperti in "Cycles of Becoming"), why does everyone relate this to the longitudinal frame of reference? The zodiac is a band, but its transverse dimension has never acquired even a semblance of consensual meaning. The best that can be said for the `magi' wannabes is that their innovative enterprise is not totally misguided. Anyone with real intellectual ability would have endeavoured to address the qualitative basis of latitude, at least pointing out the need for postulating it, if not intuiting any plausible reason for theorising particular qualities that derive from planetary or lunar positions north or south of the ecliptic. The lack of any tradition or body of opinion along these lines suggests to the pragmatist that one need not bother.

Dennis Frank


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