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Scion  Scion is offline
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You're very welcome!

Thanks for making all those terrific books available in an organized fashion.
Top   #41
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gnostic planetary archons?


I just read a book about the gnostics, and it spoke of those archons...

but nothing linking them up to the planets?

When and where did this happen?
Top   #42
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Well... It's a bit more complicated than saying, "On X date the X temple linked X archon to X planet."

We're still not completely sure when or how exactly the idea of the 7 planetary spheres led to the Gnostic hyper-literal reading of the planets as gatekeepers or wardens that kept the pneuma bound opn earth and divided from the Pleroma. There's almost defintiely Babylonian influence (as there is with most astrological traditions) and planetary worship being held over in heterogenous traditions. I can recommend a couple articles about Gnostic cosmogeny and the relation between specific archons and the 7 planets, but it varies between traditions.

And many traditions besides gnosticism treat the planetary spheres as obstacles or entities, and in essence most of what we think of as astrology derives from what I'd describe as a metaphysics of impediment, where what we acquire as we incarnate is not power but encumbrance. A little bit like the doxctinre of Humors. Saying that someone was choleric was a way of describing an essential imbalance rather than their "fiery" virtue.

So I'm not sure how to answer your question. The source is pre-Gnostic, very likely derived from planetary worship. The idea of the planets as controlling spirits which must be navigated during the ascent, ditto. There are LOTS of things you can read, but I'd need to know where you want to focus...

There's a nice table at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/7609942/Gn...s?autodown=xls

... but know that in order to streamline all the data that the choices are idiosyncratic. Nevertheless, an attractive resource that's worth checking out for a symbolic overview.

A couple articles worth checking out; all are available at Jstor:
The Identity of the Archons in the "Apocryphon Johannis"
A. J. Welburn
Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 241-254

Jewish and Christian Astrology in Late Antiquity: A New Approach
Kocku von Stuckrad
Numen, Vol. 47, No. 1 (2000), pp. 1-40

Reconstructing the Ophite Diagram
A. J. Welburn
Novum Testamentum, Vol. 23, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1981), pp. 261-287

On the Origin of the World (CG II,5): A Gnostic Physics
Pheme Perkins
Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 36-46

Gnosticism: A Study in Liminal Symbolism
Ingvild Sælid Gilhus
Numen, Vol. 31, Fasc. 1 (Jul., 1984), pp. 106-128

and one of my all time favorite articles on the subject:
Animal-Headed Gods, Evangelists, Saints and Righteous Men
Zofia Ameisenowa
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 12, (1949), pp. 21-45
Top   #43
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Well, of course I knew it had to be at least a bit more complicated than that. You never get a straight answer studying this stuff, right?

I really appreciate the complete detail in your response, as always Scion. How long did it take you to get all this information in your head? Did you go to New York Western Mystery Schools College?

This all works out because an in-depth look at astrology was my next area of study to tackle in getting answers about this beast called Tarot...who knows how long reading all your links will take.. as it took me a good hour just to actual read this whole thread...

what other traditions treat those poor planets as obstacling entities? just what makes them dare place so much blame on them? (if one of your links has the answer, just mention which)

I'm famililar with what you say about humor imbalance, it's how chinese medicine and acupuncture still operates today, by real actual acupuncturists (not your doctor who got a certificate in a 1 day course to shock you with little currents of electricity). They use that crazy 5 element system though, you know, the one with "wood" "metal" and no .."air." Too much yin or yang in your body.. all that stuff.

With respect to the planets, though, somehow their energy over time is building up like toxins in my body? Is that what you are saying?

Will Master Cleanse get Mars's influence outta me?
Top   #44
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The excellent references in this post show how lucky we are to have resources that were not available to the original GD members. Very few of those members became really proficient and knowledgeable about the historical roots of astrology—which got its modern impetus from Project Hindsight in the late 1970s and 80s. Their knowledge of the decanates was pretty scanty compared to what we know now. The few actual tarot readings we have (from Mathers, Yeats, Crowley and Horniman) do not refer to the significance of the decanates as part of their card interpretations. Today we take the GD approach to tarot to far more depth then most of those early GD initiates ever did.

The books of Sephariel, Zadkiel and Raphael (along with Zadkiel's 1852 reprinting of William Lilly's 1647 An Introduction to Astrology) were the main sources for GD members in interpreting their own charts.

To utilize the rich treasure trove of historical astrological material that we now have at our fingertips is an advancement on what most of the GD members ever had access to or applied in their own readings. I see it as a chance to take the GD tradition even further than they conceptualized.

If you want to understand the GD system as they worked it you should read all the "Knowledge Papers" available in Regardie's GD compendium and in collections by Zalewski, King and Gilbert.
Top   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManifestDestino
Will Master Cleanse get Mars's influence outta me?
One of the GD "Knowledge Papers" deals specifically with this issue. Sorry, I can't remember which one off the top of my head.
Top   #46
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ManifestDestino 
Esoteric Astrology!!


I've been doing lots of thinking about the discussion in this thread.....

I read the interview with Benjamin Dykes linked here and I liked it quite a bit. I've got more questions now-

What is the exact difference between modern psychological astrology and medieval esoteric astrology?

I get modern astrology has no connection to its roots. It focuses too much o sun signs, and uses weak, unfounded ties with indian religion and modern science..

but isn't there and basis to using psychology with astrology, especially in Tarot readings? Aren't lots of tarot readings about the choices we make and the motivation for making them? Don't the cards, and the astrological correspondences they have, give us information on these choices?

Does esoteric astrology do this in a different way than modern astrology? I understand the main arguments against modern astrology and agree with them, but they have to be doing some things right, for some of the "psychological" horoscopes/evaluations I have read have been quite accurate for me. I paid 10 bucks for a chart on astrology.com about 5 years ago when I knew NOTHING about astrology, esotercism, what have you.. and it seemed like a completely accurate profile of my mind and impulses that a psychologist would have created after numerous sessions with me. Prompting me to further investigate its discipline, and those like it...

Of all the wonderous resources and books posted in this thread, what should I read first in understanding esoteric astrology? I don't know where to begin! My main knowledge of western astrology is from various internet sites and The Idiot's Guide to Astrology. I've hear names like Agrippa and Lily thrown around- do I just read pick up whatever I can find they have written and start reading? Then read the GD knowledge papers? What can I pick up that I'm going to understand at least half of? I'm trying to not only save money (which is nice with the free resources here). But time!! Reading takes hours, and I want to read a lot....and I need to know where to start.. and do this.. efficiently..

Also, Scion, I can't get into JSTORE, i'm not a library.. I looked at the ways to get into their website.. and I don't go to college and the only thing in my area that has an "account" with them is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art... any tips?
Top   #47
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Wow, lots to answer in there.

First thing, and the easiest way to efficiently answer most of your questions: you must go right now and buy a copy of John Frawley's The Real Astrology immediately and read it cover to cover. The best price I can find online is a1books.com for about $19. Frawley answers almost every one of your questions intelligently and with enormous wit and brio. Highly highly recommended. The downside is that it really is a passionate rant of a book by someone who knows their material thoroughly. His subsequent books are much more hands-on practical texts, as is Barclay's horary book and some of the other titles I mentioned above. But go buy Frawley right now. He is what you're looking for as far as simple, direct answers to the basic questions in entertaining, inspiring prose.

If you're wanting to really get a handle on it, you absolutely should read Agrippa & Lilly at some point; both are available online for nothing, but there are much friendlier books on traditional astrology that will ease you in. Now, as for the rest of your points, the only way to answer you is to state personal opinion, and I imagine this is going to yank some cranks. So with that caveat...

A short answer while you're waiting for your Frawley: modern psychological astrology is barely related to traditional astrology beyond an overlapping symbol set. A bit like comparing Flaubert in the original French and Swiss enema instructions because they both use the Roman alphabet. The differences between traditional and sunsign astrology are deep and systemic and intentional. Traditional astrology focuses on planets and reception, sunsign astrology is focused on the zodiac and moods. Even the idea of "psychological astrology" is bizarre, because psychology is a VERY recent, completely fabricated myth pattern, and astrology derives from a much older worldview over a much longer span. And no, it isn't a literalist view of rocks in the sky "sending rays" that yank us like puppets... neither is it just "psychology writ large" although that's a broader convo. It is a fundamental belief in the connectedness of everything. So (as Zoller puts it somewhere) it isn't that Mars "makes" me angry, it is that Mars IS my anger; they are entangled and inextricable.

As for modern astrology getting things right... it's easy to get things right if you're viewing everything through a self-help lens: people LOVE to talk about themselves ad nauseum... just repeat mushy generic platitudes that apply to large populations and you're golden. If they agree, you're a genius, and if they don't it's because they're "in denial." Brilliant no? One of the reasons modern astrologers get so freaked out by horary and elective is that it actually produces concrete verifiable results. Likewise moderns love to invent comets and planets and angles and faux-Sabean horseshit that bear no relation to any tested system or any legitimate tradition. In the New Age, anything goes... you can discard anything that's too "hard" and anything in print is as valid as anything else. Sloppiness über alles. Ravenwolf is equivalent to Agrippa. Arrien is as valid as Crowley. Enema instructions equal Flaubert. Immediate expertise, just lower the bar till its on the ground.

For my money, the idea of using psychology in divination or insisting that divination is a synonym for counseling seems vaguely skeezy and unethical. If it wasn't then why aren't Tarot readers going and getting certification as therapists and counselors before accepting clients? In fact, it is actually illegal to present yourself as a qualified therapist if you are not trained. To say otherwise is flat-out irresponsible. I realize this is an unpopular view, but actually I believe the hideous psychologization of EVERYTHING during the me-generation is a zeitgeist that's ending, not beginning. Bottom line, traditional astrology produced verifiable results for 1000s of years, modern sunsign astrology provides empty cliches and platitudes that can only exist in the subjunctive... unprovable and unproven. BECAUSE THEY ARE DESIGNED TO DEFY INVESTIGATION.

Personally, I think this is why a lot of Tarot (and astrology) right now is about "self-help" and "personal growth," because it requires no verification and it makes everyone feel like an instant expert, while leeching them of rigor and vigor. Lowest common denominator mastery: another crappy byproduct of the 70s psychologization of the cosmos. Gnosis in a can. Vile. Blecch. Not that you can't use the cards for that, but it's a bit like cutting pie with a bonesaw. How many clients come to you to get an "affirmation" and how many want to know if they're gonna get the raise? I ask you. My favorite side effect of this is folks insisting they read "intuitively" because they can decipher meaning from scenes depicting interpretations based on an astrological system that follow certain rules. Being ignorant of that system doesn't make it vanish, any more than studying a scenic picture and recognizing tropes equals intuition.

So a fundamental difference is function: traditionally an astrologer who couldn't predict things and identify favorable elections wouldn't work very much. It was a job for which you were paid, and providing crappy info to nobility could get you killed. People didn't come to you to be told they were misunderstood and had inner beauty. They expected practical, verifiable solutions. Predictions. WHY ELSE WOULD THEY PAY? The modern trouble with predictions (the bedrock of traditional astrology) is that you can actually get things wrong which is anathema to the huggy, groupthink psychobabble that is the oxygen of sunsign astrology. How can everyone be an expert if most people don't get results? Sunsign astrology coopted a symbol set that worked for several thousand years, so it does stand to reason that the symbols themselves are useful, even if there misapplied. A child can still make music he first time they pick up a horn, but it's not going to be virtuosic. Lots of people sing in the shower, but they don't get PAID to do it. So again, it comes down to function, are they studying astrology because the Judo class at the Y was full or because they want to actually learn something? Is the goal comfort or results?

Grrr. I'm getting pissy but I have to get to bed for a meeting tomorrow morning. I think I answered some of them. But I'm happy to mouth off more.

Buy Frawley's book; you won't regret it. He's hilarious and very well informed.

Hold off on Jstor; when the time comes I can help.

More later,

S
Top   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by similia
Here's that scan from Crowley's Book of Thoth. A nifty little discovery and something that will be useful as we get more into the planets.
Crowley credits the discovery on the drawing itself to GH Frater DDCF (Deo Duce Comite Ferro - 2nd Order motto of Samuel Mathers).

I believe the reason for this neat symmetry might be to do with a scheme that has every hour of the day ruled by a planet, in Ptolemaic order from the outside in - Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon.

The Sun ruled the first hour of Sunday and in the ensuing 24 hours the whole sequence was traversed three times (21) plus three planets more, so the first hour of Monday was ruled by the Moon. First hour of Tuesday, three on from the Moon, gets us to Mars (mardi) and so on.

The fact that we move three times round the circle plus three more steps for each day automatically generates that nice symmetrical seven-pointed star.

Now the question is: was the hourly scheme invented before they named the days; was Monday called Monday (or its Greek, Latin, Chaldean etc predecessors) because its first hour was ruled by the Moon? Or was the scheme retrofitted? If it was, then we still have to explain why it works so well :-)

Quote:
It's a little amusing that Sun-sign astrology was introduced my a man named "Leo"
Presumably a pen-name conceived with that in mind. OTOH, I do know a financial advisor called Buck Pound. "Yes, Pound is my real name," he has explained more than once. "Buck is a not terribly imaginative nickname I have had since childhood." So these coincidences do happen.

Curiously there is a consistency in the deities the planets are named after; whether Nordic, Greek, Roman or (I believe) Hindu; Friday always belongs to a goddess and Thursday to the god connected with riches.

Terroin
Top   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franniee
I believe it is Sir William Herschel - the astronomer who discovered Uranus in 1781.
Yes, for a while there, astronomers and the officials who decide these things were going to break with classical tradition and call the planet Herschel after its discoverer. Its symbol still recalls the capital H.

If that tradition had been followed Pluto would have been called Tombaugh and Neptune Le Verrier, Adams or Galle.

I'm glad they didn't :-)

T
Top   #50




 


 


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