I want to direct this question to everyone, but it is mainly Dave that has sparked this question, so I'm hoping that he will give me his two cents. I was looking through the ophiuchus thread, and this quotation caught my eye:
I don't use signs as interpretive tools for the most part, nor do I use rulerships that are based on signs. THIS APPLIES TO TROPICAL AND SIDEREAL SIGNS, as I consider them as low-level "helps" in understanding astrology -- and those who follow my work know that my interpretations are of very high caliber. So, lets just say that I have a low opinion of "signs."
I think I had two main questions, but I'm sure others are to follow:
1) How did you come to dislike and not use signs
2) How can I find out more about learning and using this type of astrology? Many references seem to only use tropical astrology, because as you said, it was easier to learn and understand at first.
Anyone welcome to chip in
Ross G Caldwell
I'm a siderealist, although I'm not much of an astrologer like Dadsnook.
I also don't use the signs much, except insofar as they are poetic embodiments (imagery developed over thousands of years) of seasonal qualities in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere.
I'm explaining it more on the other sidereal astrology thread in this forum.
Within several days I will be doing a Solar Return series of charts for one of our AT members -- I will do this using precession-corrected Tropical positions, but the methodology will show how S/Rs can be progressed from one year to the next to give us a cyclic set of angles and planetary contacts that we can read day-by-day.
35 years ago I was learning astrology and I incorporated everything that the books told me about -- planets, signs, houses, aspects, rulerships. I also looked at every methodology that sprang from the natal chart; different types of progressions, gender prediction prior to birth, key cycles, solar arcs, mid-points, planetary containments, Uranian, karmic/past-life, all kinds of stuff. I found that some methods worked and others were (in my experience, bunk). The astrology tools that were reliable in my experience were:
** phase relationships
** planetary containments
** solar arc and secondary progressions
** equal arcs
** precession-corrected Solar Returns and Lunar Returns based on angularity of the planets
** mundane or political charts
In terms of natal charts, I found that these components were useful (in the following order of importance): Angular planets, aspected planets, planets and their mid-point structures, houses, and lastly signs and rulerships. I think that my dim-view of "signs" was due to two root causes: 1) with mid-points I found that I could do interpretations that were accurate without regard to houses and signs and rulerships, and 2) I was exploring sidereal techniques within three years of starting astrology and nobody could demonstrate the validity of sign meanings as being correct/applicable to one zodiac over the other. Since "signs" weren't essential to approaching high levels of accuracy in my astrological work, I dropped them for the most part. I find they can be used in natal charts but aren't necessary -- but they often work well in mundane charts.
I have "weeded out" many of the book-promoted practices that I encountered over time. Those who have followed my Planet-Series threads here in the astrology forum have had numerous examples of how I use "phase relationships" (as promoted by Rudyhar and Marc Robertson in the 70's) to great effect. This methodology permits one to quickly look at a chart and develop four or five sentances that essentially frames the person/chart. From this, one can go on to fill in the details using any other astrological tool. I also use some equally simple approaches to understanding Mercury and Venus relative to how they work with the Sun in ones chart -- these are different forms of phase relationships that I have developed.
My "predictive" work (I call it "event definition" as a more accurate term) involves precession corrected solar returns. It became clear to me that there exists a solar cycle coupled with the Sun-Earth-Seasonal cycles, that is like a biorhythm, that is highly definitive as to how we express our natal-chart planetary patterns. Each Solar Return chart advances the Sun's house position by about 1/4 of the chart's circle. This relates to the 1/4 of a day that we add to our 365 day orbital cycle about the sun. This can also be seen by looking at the midnight Sidereal Time at New Years for each successive year -- it increases by some six hours or so.
Technically, this results in a Solar Return's chart angles advancing by 5/4's of a circle each year (not just 1/4). This angular advancement can be proportioned out, math-wise, for any number of days or for each day, resulting in the MC moving about 1.25 degrees per day. The angular movement contacts natal planets once (sometimes twice) each year, contacts transiting planets and the prior year's solar-return planets. When you know how to interprete these factors you find it easy to predict the energy's that each individual will seek to experience on any given day.
Because this is a "cycle" that repeats itself every 9 months and two weeks (isn't that the human gestation period?) we know that what is promised by an acute/significant solar return pattern on your birthday will come again nine months later -- hopefully when its promise can be realized. We can also expect that some four months and three weeks after an acute solar return that the angles will be reversed and that we will have an oppositional type of challenge to what the S/R promised. Of course, if a S/R does not have anything "angualr" or acutely energized on our solar return date, there may be other dates where several cycles will converge and we can experience great energies on those days. The books don't tell you about these circumstances because so many "authors" just keep on doing what they do and writing about what they learned from other "authors" over and over again. Who does the research? Not many.
I would suggest that those just coming to this list might want to review the Planet-Series threads. While I have covered solar returns in the past here, I will shortly be doing so again for an AT member in Oregon. You can all follow along when I start that review. Once that is done, I may offer a .pdf file of a small book that I have roughed out that shows how all of this is done. Dave
Thank you both--I'll look through that thread and the series since I wasnt really able to follow along when it was taking place.