ScientificBasisofAstrology

ScientificBasisofAstrology - Km: mm: 5: N2 gs @0— mo mm...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–11. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 10
Background image of page 11
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Km: mm: 5: N2 gs @0— mo mm on an ow am mm mm Eta mEEuocoU 338m uBaauSEmmD nocmomifio 33382 < meZmamzH 2280 "5 828an Bmz < a: SE 09532 Megan 2C. monwuflm Mo 8::3/ 2; EC. no awofiobm‘e‘ mwmouflzom «o 3:350 353% zwowobm/w mo 855 Sam BEL oocumom can SEEM yo uwflbmz < Egobw< we Eme 2? $20590V mo obsode EH wwoqofimxx 5:502 no mmfi; oz<mDomH mam u: .SEL acummmomgom 0895 5ng 25A 2F me NEH DZ< Z<2 meghmm MDOOAAEQ “H Hm<m 202.0 DDOMHZH >232 chx 3 owmntmu Q @582 < “mofimmm mEmEEU .2 .3 n.“ M, « «WW11«NWK«W&w/WM . I MWMW‘ eia'awwMW/VAMWW’KlwWV . , « «My. W(WWMWWWV ,mammyw 33 62:23:” ozoumm CE: .>.Z JEO> 392 {Shaw wv “mam tbmiaaanEWQ HE Eun mutuE< we mafiam vBED 2: E @355 ShoEom Emcuum 3 cadmium” 65 .9283. «0 E0958 .3 «3.30 E bmnoocmzafim conmzpsm 323%. .oz 25 M225 3380 wo has: 858a 5 “Exam ummsotmuh mm 8% 8wqu maoumvm >9 © EwEEoU 3.50985 SnQ “an Eon 3 mcmfi© EmtES comafimnfik According to the astrologists, each sign of the zodiac governs a part of the human body. . Astrological man. Wood engraving, Paris, ]491 .—Photo Garnter The Structure of Astrology What do you think of astrology? In my opinion it is a very great, very beautiful lady who comes from a time so distant that she cannot fail to hold me under her spell. I can see no finery or elegance in the purely physical world to match hers. Moreover, she seems to me to have in her possession one of the highest mysteries of the world. A pity that today, at least for the uncouth, a whore has been enthroned in her place. ANDRE BRETON Astrology is as old as man, and has existed since man has been capable of thought. His earliest thoughts concerned magic, and the earliest magic involved the sky, as the mysterious formations of the prehistoric menhirs testify. And when, four thousand years ago, the astrologer-priests climbed to the top of their towers to foresee the future of their country and their king, astrology was already a very old concept. Today the year 2000 is knocking at the door. All around us the world has changed, but astrology is still there, exactly the same but stronger than ever. It represents a significant problem which cannot be ignored. It is an object of study for the economists, and all their conclusions concerning it are in agreement. “If its place in society is to be assessed by the number of printed words devoted to it, then it is certainly more important than that allotted by our society to astronomy and mathematics,” Jean Porte, an official in INSEE, has written. “Its budget exceeds both that of scientific research and that of the steel industry,” an— 60 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY other economist has reported. “There are 30,000 astrologers or affiliated members in France, and they all earn a good living,” according to a third, “and their clients come from all levels of the population. The position is the same abroad.” Today astrology is a flourishing industry, and its popularity is assured. “What do you associate with the words ‘The influence of the stars’?” “I think of astrology and the signs of the zodiac.” “Do you believe in astrology?” “Yes and no . . . there might be something in it.” “Do you know what your sign is?” “Of course. I was born in August, so I am a Leo.” “How did you find that out?” “By reading the horoscope in the newspaper for fun. You must admit they sometimes get it right. . .” The above is an interview with a man in the street chosen at random during a public opinion poll. One final statistic: according to the most reliable estimates, thirty out of a hundred people believe in astrology and thirty think there is “something in it” and know their signs and those of their acquaintances. There are therefore only forty out of a hundred people who do not believe in it at all, and even among these there are some who are not always quite sure. In the light of the incontestable accuracy of these figures, the question arises whether this robust survival from the past is attribut- able entirely to human stupidity. Or perhaps the popular intuition is right and the scientists are wrong to reject astrology out of hand without going into the matter? At all events, it deserves an objective analysis. What are the rules of the astrological game, the record of its progress? When was it born? What are its real origin, its history, its successes and failures? Is what survives today worth anything scientifically? Is it worth a great deal or nothing whatsoever? In any case, what exactly is astrology? Definitions of it are easy enough to find: “Astrology is the art of predicting the future through observation of the stars.” (Larousse) “It is the longest illness ever to have afflicted reason.” (Bailly) <4» ,WWA wax,» § § The Structure of Astrology 61 “It is a very great lady who has come from the beginning of time.” (Breton) “Astrology is quite simply the art of predicting the future.” (Robert Amadou) “The longest lasting and the most universal religion in the whole epoch of humanity.” (Berthelot) Astrology is a science, a royal art, the opposite of a science. It has a superior quality, for the few only. It is a folly, the outcome of an infantile process of thought. On the one hand it may be called monstrous pride to believe that human destinies could possibly be connected to the motions of the planets and, on the other, a lesson in humility through the discovery that we are totally dependent on those motions. Whence all these contradictions? At least they demonstrate that astrology is not as simple as all that. The following pages are there- fore devoted to a survey of the game of astrology, from which we shall see how relevant it is to the present day. 1 A BRIEF MODERN SUMMARY OF ASTROLOGY We shall follow the practice of modern astrologers and refer to the subject which they teach as “modern astrology.” But we should remember that although this may on occasion borrow the terminology of nuclear physics, behavioral psychology or modern psychoanalysis to defend or explain itself, it actually relies, in arriv- ing at its daily forecasts, entirely on the inexhaustible source of the ancient T etrabiblos of Ptolemy (second century AD). Whatever its form, modern astrology is still Greek astrology built on a Chaldean hypothesis. An account of its growth will be given later on, and we need not go into it at this point. It should suffice to provide a brief “astrology for beginners” of the kind a student might read for a comparatively unimportant exam. The material will therefore be presented in table form, together with the way it is used. We will in general make use of the formulae of a contemporary astrologer who is very well known without being original in his teachings. In this way we shall avoid charges of ignorance as regards the present—day splendors of this doctrine, or 62 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY of basing our observations on the cheerful hoaxes of men like Francesco Walder who, though renowned for his weekly horoscopes in a woman’s magazine, is also capable of explaining the difference in character between two parrots by reference to their dates of birth. It should be emphasized, however, that this side of astrology is also part of modern astrology, whatever some people might claim. 1 THE SOLAR SYSTEM Although astrologers no longer concern themselves with it, the reader may find it useful to know how their theories relate to the sky. The world of astrology is the solar system, consisting of the sun and the planets orbiting around it. To this should be added the moon, Earth’s satellite. We should have an idea of the relative distances between the different members of the solar system. They are, in order of distance from the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth with the moon orbiting around it, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. If we imagine the solar system reduced in size one billion times, the sun would be in the middle, a sphere 41/2 feet in diameter. Sixty yards away would be Mercury, a small disk 5 millimeters in diameter. Venus would be next, a disk 12 millimeters in diameter and 108 yards away, and 150 yards away Earth would be a disk of identical size. At 225 yards there would be a smaller disk, Mars. Then would come the large planet of Jupiter, which on this scale would be 5 inches in diameter and 780 yards away; then Saturn, 4 inches and 1400 yards. Finally, at the end of the solar system after Uranus and Neptune, the planet Pluto, 1/2 inch in diameter and 31/2 miles from the sun. These distances, which are considerable in rela— tion to those on Earth, are very small compared with those of the stars: in fact the nearest star is seven thousand times further away from the sun than Pluto. 1 THE ECLIPTIC AND THE ZODIAC The astronomers compare the sky around us to a giant sphere, with Earth, reduced to the negligible size of a point, at the center. The ecliptic is the full circumference of this sphere, which the sun covers in one year, at the rate of about one degree each day. new Wm»,mwwmwmmma< / rnerWW/zwz IWWW/I‘WW v The Structure of Astrology 63 Of course, this motion is only an apparent one. In fact it is Earth which orbits round the sun in the same period of time. But astrologers are only interested in apparent motions and, in any case, at the time when astrology was born no others were known. In this heavenly sphere the planets and the moon follow the same route as the sun. They all move inside a zone which does not extend further than 8 degrees either side of the ecliptic. This circular belt of 16 degrees is called the zodiac, and has been divided into 360 degrees by the astronomers. The astrologers split up this 360 degrees into groups of 30 degrees each. These are the celebrated signs of the zodiac which are so important in astrology: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. The sun enters Aries, the first sign, on the 2lst of March, the Spring equinox. It enters the second sign, Taurus, on the 2lst of April. Hence a familiar definition: if you were born between the let of March and the 20th of April you are an Aries. The further away from Earth they are, the more slowly the planets appear to move along the signs of the zodiac. Thus the moon takes twenty—seven days to go through the twelve signs, whereas Pluto takes 250 years to do it. Moreover, as seen from the Earth, the planets appear to undergo “changes of speed,” and sometimes even seem to go backward. But this again is a question of appearances. In fact, the planet pro- gresses uniformly in its orbit. “It is the year—long journey of Earth which puts these twists into the planets’ perspective against the back— ground of the distant constellations,” explains Couderc. “And the speed of Earth is regulated with the speed of the planet to decide its apparent progress,”—which is what interests the astrologers. 1 THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC The signs of the zodiac are the cornerstone of astrology. If he knows the sign he was born under, a person can learn much about himself from it. We therefore take this opportunity to set down for the reader the various signs and their meanings. (The text in quotation marks has been taken from the work of Andre’ Barbault: Defense et illustration de I’astrologie [A Defense and an Illustration of Astrology].) 64 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY The ecliptic is a great circle of the celestial sphere traced by the course of the sun in a year. The plane of the ecliptic is inclined from 23° to 27° from that of the celestial equator. It is therefore not perpendicular to the line of the poles around which the earth rotates in its daily movements. The point where the ecliptic cuts the celestial equator IS called point gamma. The sun passes point gamma on March 21, the vernal equinox. The zodiac is a belt of the ecliptic 8" wide. The planets follow this path. The zodiac is divided into twelve signs of 30° each. If you were born between March 21st and April 20th: 1 ARIES “Under the rule of Mars: spontaneity, warmth, aggressiveness, elation, enthusiasm, strength, passion, courage, a spirit of initiative and enterprise, a zest for conquest, novelty and adventure. Full of vivacity but lacking in self-control or perseverance. Impulsive, rash, and inclined to outbursts of temperament. An original and explor- atory mind. Politically an advocate of force, an extremist.” The Structure of Astrology 65 If you were born between April 215! and May 20th: 1 TAURUS “Under the rule of Venus: stable, well-balanced, calmly con- fident, strongly sensual, with a powerful appetite for life, simplicity, serenity, a slow tempo. But occasional rages and violent reactions. Faithfulness, steadfastness, industrgtiobstinacgf,(stubbornness, grudge- bearing, patienqé. A practical and realistic mind, common sense. Firm, faithful and iealous in his feelings. Politically, peaceJoving, protective toward the interests of his class.” If you were born between May 2152 and June let: 1 GEMINI “Under the rule of Mercury: versatile character, flexible, light, youthful, ‘clever, subtle, (skillful, ingenious, gifted with know—how and very adaptable. But often unstable, anxious and complicated. A smart type, shrewd, cunning, having special skills, yenturesome, sparkling, Witty, excitable, nervous. A lively, quick mind. In love matters likes to flirt or play games, or forms an intellectual bond. Politically, a theoretician or propagandist.” If you were born between June 22nd and July 22nd: 1 CANCER “Under the rule of Moon: a-slow—moving character, sensitive, emotional, impressionable, easily swayed, delicate, dreaming, ma— ternal. Shy, pensive, self~eflacing, retiring, childish, melancholic, at- tached to memories, the past and his family. Inmlove tender, family— oriented, a “mother hen.” Politically unrealistic because over- imaginative.” WW»¥}A¢MS Aw.” . a , 66 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY If you Were born between July 23rd and August 22nd: 1 LEO “Under the rule of the sun: at strong character, forceful, Strong- willed, conscientious, idealistic, radiant, striking, abundant, power— ful, virile, commanding, full of authority, having an ambition which achieves its aims, egotiSm, pride. A lucid, clear, logical mind. In love matters, big-hearted but not free from selfishness. Politically, gets to the top posts.” If you were born between August 23rd and September 22nd: 1 VIRGO “Under the rule of Mercury: Simple nature, modest, retiring, sober, reserved, prudent, patient, with an eye to the future, precise, well-ordered, regular, clean, scrupulous, alsogeccentric. Practical, methodical, and with administrative ability. An :Ob‘serjv‘want, analytic, critical intelligence. In lovewmatters, undemonstrative, serious, in~ clined tO celibacy or a marriage based on good sense. In politics, practical, reasonable, a supporter of order and organization.” If you were born between September 23rd and October 22nd: y L I B R A “Under the rule of Venus: balanced. andmoderate, withuawsernfise of proportion, harmony, appreciation of shades of meaning. In char— acter, uncommitted, ,gonciliatory, peaceful, indecisive. Qualities Of friendliness, courtesy, sociability, mildness, kindness. A mind with a gift for comparisons, standards and harmony. In love, refined, well~ disposed, understanding,. Politically, moderate, between the two extremes, fair, conciliatory, enduring.” The Structure of Astrology 67 If you were born between October 23rd and November 21st: 1 S C 0 R P I 0 “Under the rule of Mars and Pluto: “anuinstinctive nature, yiglent, passionate, undisciplined, rebellious,{;1flmperi visit hard, aggressive, sometimes full of hatred, but also anguished'fid obsessive, morbid. An instinctive mind, a ‘nose’ for the good, curiosity. Ln‘mloyemgb- “H'sessetjwpymsgir, suffering outbursts of passion. Politically, “favors violence, is extremist, aggressive, fiercely militant, combative.” If you were born between November 22nd and December 20th: 1 SAGITTARIUS “Under the rule of Jupiter: thoughtful nature, reasonable, tend- ency to good works, conciliatory, trustfululqyal, generous. Per- Ngimawsjye, perceptive intelligence, more, philosophical than practical. iln love, a calm, honest and straightforward sentiment; if thwarted, “free and far-ranging affections. Politically on the Side of the under— dog, can be tolerant and conciliatory, or rebellious and in conflict.” If you were born between December 21 st and January 19th: 1 c A P R I C o R N “Under the rule of Saturn: uncommunicative nature, enclosed, reserved, sober, disciplined, calm, reflective, patient, cold, detached, ambitious, with distant objectives. A rational mind, Objective and wrigorous. A geometric, abstract spirit. In love, calm and detached but faithful; a celibate. In politics, ambitious.” If you were born between January 20th and February 18th: v A Q U A R I U 5 “Under the rule of Uranus: a light and airy naturehvibrant, ethereal, sensitive, emotional, and idealistic. Lacking in spirit, but 68 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY sel£7§WaMcrificing and able to devote himself to a higher cause. A free- ranging, up-to—the-minute mind, interested progress, reform, new ideas. In love, independent, Whimsical, friendly. In politics often a progressive and in favor of reforms.” If you were born between February 19th and March 20211.- 1 PISCES “Under the rule of Neptune: a nature which seethes and bubbles with concealed passions; fluid and unstable impressions, indefinable sensations and emotions. Inclined to fantasy, evasivegess,Mper- sensibility, impressionability, indecisiveness, uncertainty; compassion, devotion, self-sacrifice. A poeticmind, intuitive, sensory and pene— trating. In love matters, sensual or mystical, self—sacrificing and dedi— cated. In politics, produces visionaries, leaders of popular move- ments, or adventurers.” 1 THE DIURNAL MOTION AND THE TWELVE HOUSES Earth turns on its polar axis every twenty-four hours, and this is called the diurnal motion. Because of this rotation of the earth, all the stars appear to travel across the heavenly sphere in the course of a day. For instance, if the sun takes 365 days to cover the zodiac, it takes 24 hours to cover the whole sky from one sun— rise to the next. The astrologers, in taking into account the alternation of day and night, decided to treat the span of a day like that of a year in miniature. And just as they divided the zodiac into twelve signs, so they divided the diurnal motion of the stars into twelve parts, which they called the Houses. Each planet in the solar system crosses the twelve Houses in 24 hours, or rather, appears to do so. The Houses are numbered I to XII, in a reverse direction from the diurnal motion Of the planets, beginning at the Ascendant (the point of the zodiac which is rising at the time of the birth under consideration) . Astrologers attribute a ‘special importance to the Ascendant: in a scheme of birth, the sign in which the Ascendant appears is as % t E ,2 g t é 'fl‘vummmm‘mn/WM/Afi m I Wflmmy’wmam (WWWWWWWMMV, MWMW” . wemww w c .4. The Structure of Astrology 69 For any given time and place, the astrologers divided the celestial sphere, like an orange, into twelve sections known as the twelve Houses. The stars which most interested them were close to the ecliptic, and it was there that the boundaries of the twelve Houses were most significant. The most important boundary areas, called the “cusps” of the Houses, are the points where the ecliptic meets the horizon at the Ascendant (Asc.) and Occident (Occ.), and with the meridian at the sun‘s zenith (Z) and nadir (N). The Ascendant. where the ecliptic begins to rise above the horizon, is the point from which the Houses are numbered in decreasing order. In this order, the daily movement of the celestial sphere makes a complete rotation of the zodiacal belt through all twelve houses in a period of twenty—four hours. fWWht/xW/MW 70 FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY important for the interpretation as that in which the sun appears; these two signs mingle their influences. If, for instance, you were born on the 15th of April, the sun is in Aries, but if your Ascendant is in Cancer, then in your case the warm and impulsive character of Aries will be tempered by the dreamy, “stay at—home” nature of Cancer. That will make you, according to the rest of your scheme, either a domestic tyrant or an affectionate head of the family. The calculation of the Ascendant is a complicated business, and we refer the reader to a specialized work for further details. 1 THE SYMBOLISM OF THE HOUSES The meaning attributed to the twelve Houses of astrology: First House: The personality of the subject. Second House: Money, fortune, goods, possessions. Third House: The subject’s social world, brothers and sisters, rela— tions, neighbors, education, communications, travel. Fourth House: Parents, hearth and.home. Fifth House: Pleasures, amusements, games, love, creativity, children. Sixth House: Known as “the Hospital of the zodiac.” Chores and obligations; work, health. Small animals. Seventh House: Marriage and partnership. Lifelong opponents, declared enemies. Eighth House: Death; inheritance from others’ deaths. Ninth House: Religion, philosophy, long journeys. Large animals. Tenth House: Profession, career, vocation, awards and honors. Eleventh House: Friendships, and other kinds of help and support. Twelfth House: called “the Hell of the zodiac,” Ordeals; secret enemies; snares and ambushes, illnesses, and various misfortunes. A planet is described as “strong or dominant” if it is in an “angu' um museum“ mm. , wmmww WWWHW The Structure of Astrology 71 lar House,” that is, the lst, 4th, 7th, or 10th House; “moderately strong” when it is in the 2nd, 5th, 8th, or 11th House; and “weak” if it is in a “cadent House,” that is, the 3rd, 6th, 9th, or 12th. 1 THE SYMBOLISM OF THE PLANETS In astrology, the symbolism of the planets is as detailed as that of the signs of the zodiac. We should note that for the astrologers all the members of the solar system are treated as planets, even the sun and moon. Here is what each planet will yield to you if they are “strong” in your horoscope (for instance, if they occupy one of the following “angular Houses”: 1, 4, 7, or 10). The Moon governs childhood, digestion and menstruation. It bestows a sensitive nature, emotional, impressionable, easily influenced, dreaming, whimsical, poetic, idle, weak. Dispositions: an affinity with food, clothing, children, animals, water, and small Objects. Events: offspring, home, family life, journeys. Mercury governs adolescence, the nervous system, and the respir- atory system. It bestows an adaptable nature, flexible, skillful, clever, ingenious, subtle, delicate, changeable, variable, unstable, versatile, malicious, and sly. Dispositions: representatives, middle— men, dealers, translators, mechanics, small businessmen, intel- lectuals. Events: study, journeys, business, material interests. Venus governs the first stage of adult life, the evacuatory and geni- to—urinary systems. Bestows a lively nature, gay, graceful, courte— ous, gentle, sensitive, elegant, attractive, loving, frivolous. Dis— positions: an affinity with the recreational aspect of earthly life, with art and esthetics. Events: the pleasant things of life, grati— fication, love affairs, worldly success, happiness, luck. The Sun governs young adulthood (20 to 30 years), the metabolism, the circulatory system, eyesight, heart, and brain. It bestows a proud nature, magnanimous, aristocratic, powerful, generous, open, sometimes arrogant. Dispositions: an affinity with culture, objects of value, parades; high posts. Events: a social role, ofl‘ice, honors, fame, a lofty position. Mars governs the beginning of maturity (40’s), the muscular system, FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY compulsive behavior. Bestows an energetic nature, robust, :ourageous, manly, aggressive, active, frank, impulsive, tyran— nical. Dispositions: an afiinity with iron, fire, hard, sharp, pointed and dangerous objects. Events: strong feelings and conflicts, enmities, traps, waste, loss of goods, lawsuits, operations, accidents. ter governs maturity (50’s), the liver, blood stream, stresses the important needs of life, greediness, carelessness. Dispositions: in affinity with men, animals, and plant life, wood, parades and shows, churches, banking and restaurants. Events: life’s happy :vents; well—being, comfort, success, wealth, status. rn governs old age, the skeleton and the skin. Bestows an in- roverted nature, reserved, cautious, patient, reflective, calm, leep, well-balanced, serious, faithful, melancholic. Tendency to )e pessimistic, self-centered, solitary. Dispositions: an affinity vith the soil, minerals, insects, laboratories, libraries, monasteries, )laces of retreat, mountains. Events: responsibilities, celibacy, lisappointments, failures and sacrifices; losses, bad luck, un~ lappiness, rejection, mourning, illnesses, death. ms governs tension, swellings, intake and output. Bestows a tharacter which concentrates systematically on the means to the ttainment of a position of importance and privilege; assertion tf character, independence, originality, eccentricity, cynicism, xcessiveness. Social life: belonging to an elitist organization of ueople with special skills, progress, innovations, engineering, ndustry; commercial associations, capitalism, imperialism, fas— ism, dictatorship. ‘une governs an inability to differentiate confusion, and a tendency 3 exaggeration. Bestows a highly sensitive and highly emotional haracter, impressionable, with many facets, diffuse, uncertain, nprecise; given to good works, dedication, masochism, fantasy, vasion, utopianism, idealism. A sensitive, intuitive, ultrapercep- ve mind. Social life: involved in popular movements, anarchy, emagogy, scandal, chaos, revolution; syndicalism, democracy, acialism, communism. i governs the shadows and the invisible. It expresses the demonic n m” «ammwmm .. m E . 5 E i g The Structure of Astrology 73 side of life and draws on deep aggressive instincts, Freud’s death—wish. It is concerned with great ordeals and disasters, deaths, agonies, sacrifices. It has some affinity with unorthodox fields: the art of the medium, clairvoyance, occultism, symbolism, psychoanalysis, speliology . . . and subjects like sexuality, espion— age, secret societies, Nazism, the atomic bomb. NOTE: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered respectively in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and obviously have no place in ancient astrology. But, as has been shown, astrologers have found no difficulty in conferring attributes on these planets which are no less detailed than those of traditional planets. A modern planet requires a modern significance: for instance, Uranus : fas- cism, Neptune : communism, and Pluto : the Nazis or the atomic bomb. It is remarkable that the astrological observations concerning Pluto are so precise when one realizes that this planet was dis— covered less than 40 years ago, and that the astronomers have still not calculated all its physical characteristics! 1 THE SYMBOLISM OF THE ASPECTS OF THE PLANETS The “aspects” are the angles formed between the stars, as seen from Earth, and considered two by two in the zodiac. Their angular distance is calculated on the ecliptic. Astrologers attach a particular importance to certain of these angles, above all those of 0 degres, 60 degrees, 90 degrees, 120 degrees, and 280 degrees. The follow— ing meaning is attributed to them: Conjunction: (when there is no gap between the planets, and they are side by side in the zodiac): the influences of the two planets are mingled; hence a favorable interpretation with good planets (Venus, Jupiter), and an unfavorable one with bad planets (Mars, Saturn). ' The sextile (an angle of 60 degrees between the stars) and the trine (angle of 120 degrees between the stars) are both beneficent aspects. The quarter (angle of 90 degrees between the stars) and opposition (angle of 180 degrees between the stars) are both harmful aspects. 74 FlVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY SUN / MERCURY The Aspects The circle in the diagram represents the ecliptic. The sun is shown on the same degree of the ecliptic as Mercury, that is to say, in conjunction with Mercury. Venus is 60° from the sun, in sextile. Mars, at 90° from the sun, is in quarter. Jupiter, at 120° from the sun, is in trine. Saturn, at 180° from the sun, is in opposition. These are the principal aspects used in astrology. Since really accurate aspects are very rare, astrologers permit, in a scheme of birth, a latitude of a dozen degrees for the aspect to be still valid. This is what is meant by an orb. For instance, an angle of 117 degrees instead of 120 degrees is still a perfectly acceptable trine. 1 THE ASTROLOGICAL SCHEME Let us imagine that at the exact moment of birth a photograph of the astrological sky had been taken. The planets would each have a place in one of the signs of the zodiac, the Houses would be WWWM "W «mw‘w-Ww-w‘w M g The Structure of Astrology 75 set out beginning from the Ascendant, and the planets would be at particular angles between them. This would be the birth chart (also called, wrongly, the horoscope). The task of the astrologer, when he has calculated and arranged all the astronomical elements of this chart, is to decipher it and to make clear all the signs of fate which are contained in it. In an astrological scheme, everything is contained in the signs, the aspects, the planets, and the Houses. Astrologers deny that one has the right to judge the destiny of a “native” on the basis of one factor alone; this would be an unimaginable heresy. Thus the planets “take on the character” of the sign they are passing through, and add their own symbol to it. For instance, Venus in Taurus (a sensual, amorous sign) will give good results, for Venus usually governs this sign. But if Mars (the planet of war) is in Cancer (abode of the dreaming moon), it will produce a bad forecast. Likewise when the moon crosses the sign of Scorpio (a sign of Mars), for this sign, as has been shown, is of an aggressive character, and does not fit well with the calm and imaginative aspect of the moon. Their encounter produces lamentable results, and woe to the poor human who has “the moon in Scorpio.” Here are some details of this unfortunate situation described by André Benbault: Moon in Scorpio. This is one of the basic elements of the female “vamp,” possessing a destructive attitude (the Praying Mantis type: Duchesse de Montpensier), and of the masochistic woman who seeks self-destruction in love (Marie Vetsera, the heroin of Mayer- Iing’s play), or merely of the erotic woman (A. de Noailles). The man is more or less attracted to one of these female types, or may only feel fear of women (Louis XVI). Or he may be prey to more or less obsessive fantasies (Berlioz), have a morbid imagination, or be at the mercy of an aggressive drive releasing violent passions which may be acted out (Goering) or sublimated (Racine, Mauriac).1 Destroyers, sublimated or fearful or aggressive, or prey to fan- tasies . . . what a choice and what a variety! But the planets do not only occupy a sign. They also and at the same time dwell in a House. Thus, if Venus in Taurus is also ‘Traité pran’que d’astrologie, p. 145. "WM, FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF MODERN ASTROLOGY Eth House, she will bestow numerous and happy offspring; xth House she will bring agreeable employment, or delight- animals; in the seventh House, a beautiful woman or a ; husband, etc. All these declinations are favorable. should the aspects which the planets receive and send out tten. These too affect the symbolism of the whole. Venus . aspect, in the fifth House, will perhaps provide numerous , but they will cause many worries by their wasteful habits. '. is in the sixth House and receives an unfriendly eye from .‘ planets, the little animals will be unbelievably disagreeable, : will be somewhat disreputable, perhaps involving gambling he rare case where the “illusion” of Neptune is included) tthels. . . . ently, the total picture is very complicated, and it requires r care to formulate, from the birth under consideration, a which is both complete and takes into account all the of the problem (and also finally turns out to be accurate!). it art of astrology is to keep track of all the combinations ts, signs, planets, and Houses. us take an interesting historical case (and one which, oc— in the past, will have the advantage of not being proved fter the event), and see how an astrologer would interpret istance, why, according to Barbault, was Henri III emotion— least well adjusted of all the French kings? urn is in VII and in double square with a moon-Venus oppo- (the latter in exile), and this opposition is also in minor dis— e with the sun. Section VII is therefore “touched” at the same 5 the three symbols. This delicate and intelligent prince had remely sensitive character which had been damaged by an of mother love. At eighteen, when he was acclaimed as a nd had some reputation as a Don Juan, despite his honors, 'es, and the adulation of the court, he suffered from the sad— nd motiveless regret of a discontented man. There was one ove in his life, Marie de Cléves, and he was loved in return, e married the Prince of Condé. That was the downfall of who sought oblivion in the strangest excesses: his homo- tendencies came to the fore, he was seen dressed as a 1, painted like a whore, dressed in all kinds of finery, and boys. . . . However, he had not renounced his love: in his 1 Poland he dreamt of marrying Marie, but on his return to -, she died (Saturn in VII is master of VIII and is the aspect The Structure of Astrology 77 of Venus in the VIIIth sign). Then his great grief broke like a storm, and he suffered collapse, despair, disgust. Emerging abruptly from his apathy he decreed, in his despair, commemorative cere- monies, dressed his court in mourning, and even wore a costume embroidered from head to toe with small death‘s heads. . . . At twenty-three he married Louise de Vaudemont-Lorraine who would always love him; but this love was to be unrequited and the union sterile. In his twenty—fifth year, with the authority of Catherine, the barrier which separated him from homosexuality and the partial domination of his “darlings” was to collapse. . . .2 It is not our intention here to produce a treatise on astrology. We will only remind the reader that astrologers, besides the predic- tions which are worked out from the birth charts, also claim the ability to foresee good and bad times, from the astral motions which they observe subsequently. They are therefore interested in the transits of the planets, that is, their passage over a place of particular importance in the chart, and in the yearly horoscopes which they call the revolutions of the sun. At each anniversary a new horoscope can be calculated, and will provide a forecast for the coming year. In this way the death of a person and his manner of death can be predicted, by observing an exceptionally malefic convergence in a year which is astrologically ill-omened. Let us see, for instance, why Napoleon’s career ended tragically on May 5, 1821, the day of his death in Saint Helena. An astrologer can easily explain it to us: “The moon was transiting his planet, situated in Section VIII, which is Venus 7 degrees from Cancer; and this moon was in a manner transporting and relaying unto Venus the opposition which Uranus and Neptune were sending against the planet at 3 degrees from Capricorn in Section VIII.” 3 The Emperor really had no chance of getting out of it! That, then, is modern astrology. But where did this astrology come from? How did it develop? What is it worth? It is essential to learn about its history before going further, toward the true mysteries and the true discoveries. zlbia’. p. 301. “Ibid. p. 315. ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course ENGL 1101 taught by Professor Banville during the Fall '08 term at Georgia Tech.

Page1 / 11

ScientificBasisofAstrology - Km: mm: 5: N2 gs @0— mo mm...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 11. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online