Hellenistic Astrology


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LeiifA  LeiifA is offline
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Newly Released


Chris Brennan recently released a Hellenistic Table of Planetary Rulerships . It can be found at:

http://www.hellenisticastrology.com/...hips-table.pdf

I copy and pasted one together for my own studies but this is much clearer and all in one place.
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LeiifA  LeiifA is offline
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Are you taking a look at latitude?

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Originally Posted by LeiifA View Post
In digging around the forum my wife came upon a short thread regarding aspects and latitude. It seems that latitude may need to be considered for conjunctions and oppositions but not so much for other aspects. Am I reading that right?
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Originally Posted by LeiifA View Post
Are you taking a look at latitude?
Within this thread, I'm not doing that, until and unless I com across a good text which suggests that latitudes were taken into serious account when judging aspects.

Latitude relates to a position North or South of the ecliptic, which is itself inclined to the Earth's equator. The use of latitude enables us to plot the position of a planet in the same way that we can plot the position of a point on the Earth's surface. Just as two cities can occupy the same longitude on Earth but be 'vertically' separated by a considerable distance, so two planets can occupy the same ecliptic position (by sign and degree) but be vertically separated.

The best example is the Moon and the Sun. At a New Moon the Sun and Moon occupy the same ecliptic degree but that does not put them in the same latitude, if they are in the same latitude as well (which by definition is 0 degrees), then we get a solar eclipse

Virtually all Astrologers treat a solar eclipse as more significant than a New Moon, which illustrates your point about Conjunctions having more significance with latitude.

The same argument can be extended to any two planets sharing the same longitude and latitude, or between planets with the same latitude and ecliptic degree relationships that form an aspect. In practice most Astrologers don't seem to bother much with this, apart from the eclipses, unless they are looking at Primary Directions.That doesn't mean latitude is unimportant (as the lunar example shows) but simply reflects the bulk of practice, rightly or wrongly.

Obviously that's a very brief account and thus is open to quite a few challenges but I don't really want to go into the complexities in this thread because I've no evidence that Hellenistic Astrologers treated it as being of great importance (or indeed of any importance, except for the eclipses).

Edited to add:

By the time of Hellenistic Astrology, Greek scientists had already proved that the world was a sphere and accurately measured it's size and the length of a year. They had the mathematics to carry out accurate measurement of celestial motions. But the practice of Astrologers seems not to have reflected this. They used tables for the placement of planets in the zodiac and these could be out by two degrees or more. So a planet placed at one degree of a sign could easily be in the preceding sign.

Not till Ptolemy was there a mathematics of astronomy that became adopted by Astrologers rather than the reliance on measurements dating back to Babylonian times. This is probably Ptolemy's greatest contribution to Astrology.

See:

http://www.projecthindsight.com/articles/astronomy.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeiifA View Post
Chris Brennan recently released a Hellenistic Table of Planetary Rulerships . It can be found at:

http://www.hellenisticastrology.com/...hips-table.pdf

I copy and pasted one together for my own studies but this is much clearer and all in one place.
It may be only me being tired but I see no difference in the degrees (1 degree here and there makes no case) with the Skyscript table (Ptolemy). He also didn't list the detriment and fall, which I use a lot but he did add the co-ruler, which is good. The rulers... the triplicity rulers... Dorothean? Venus having the water triplicity by day is Dorothean as far as I remember. May be some kind of compilation between the Skyscript one and this one would be perfection. LOL

P.S. I do think this is the Dorothean table at a second glance.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronia View Post
It may be only me being tired but I see no difference in the degrees (1 degree here and there makes no case) with the Skyscript table (Ptolemy). He also didn't list the detriment and fall, which I use a lot but he did add the co-ruler, which is good. The rulers... the triplicity rulers... Dorothean? Venus having the water triplicity by day is Dorothean as far as I remember. May be some kind of compilation between the Skyscript one and this one would be perfection. LOL

P.S. I do think this is the Dorothean table at a second glance.
You are right about the Dorothean/Egyptian system but I think you are also right about being tired as he doesn't list co-rulers at all,

He does list :

Domicile (Sign) rulers as per the original system,
Exaltation rulers as per the original system
Triplicity (Trigon) rulers as per the original system, using a cooperating ruler
Bounds/Terms rulers as per the original system (Egyptian or Dorothean)
Face (Decan) rulers as per Chaldean order (starting with Mars in the first Face of Aries)

Ptolemy found (by his account) or created an alternative set of Terms or Bounds and these became very popular in Lilly's time. Hence they are the ones listed in Christian Astrology. Ptolemy also created a two ruler system of Triplicity rulers, which did make Mars the ruler of the Water Trigon by Day and Night and that too is found in Christian Astrology.

Although the Hellenistic Astrologers did use 'Exile' and 'Depression' for Detriment' and 'Fall' respectively, these don't seem quote as negative as they became in Mediaeval times, which isrobably why they are missing, though it might simply be because they can be easily derived by taking the opposite signs to a planets Domicile or Exaltation. The scoring system used by Lilly is also Mediaeval in origin.

Skyscript gives both Ptolomeic and Egyptian systems, though I think the latter set are buried away in an article, if I remember correctly.
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Originally Posted by Minderwiz View Post
Within this thread, I'm not doing that, until and unless I com across a good text which suggests that latitudes were taken into serious account when judging aspects.

Latitude relates to a position North or South of the ecliptic, which is itself inclined to the Earth's equator. The use of latitude enables us to plot the position of a planet in the same way that ...
Again, Thanks for the reply. You said "Within this thread". Does that mean you do look at it elsewhere? If so, how far apart do they need to be before the aspect is weakened?

My other question along these lines is in regard to declination vs latitude and parallels. I understand that latitude is related to the ecliptic and declination is related to the equator. The image link is a screen grab of some of this mornings data at 9:43 in NY:

http://i1354.photobucket.com/albums/...pse845a88f.jpg

Parallels are related to declination. Why not latitude? When we look into the sky and 2 planets are conjunct will they be in the same place with latitude or declination? Maybe a conjunct isn't the best as I have a feeling with conjunct its both. What about a square, will they both pass at the same altitude in the same declination or same latitude?

I will send my data in the next day or 2 as I am trying to pin down a certain event that may help with understanding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeiifA View Post
Again, Thanks for the reply. You said "Within this thread". Does that mean you do look at it elsewhere? If so, how far apart do they need to be before the aspect is weakened?
I have no present intentions to look at the issue in a fresh thread, though you might find with a search that latitude has come up previously. Most astrological practice makes use of the Ascendant as the zero point of a particular chart and the Ascendant is determined by the Horizon, not so much the Ecliptic, though it is of course the point where the great circle of the Ecliptic cuts the circle of the Horizon which (apart from a location on the equator) is not a great circle but topocentric. The horizon at any point is parallel to the equator. Horoscopic Astrology is horizon based for a particular location and the chart shows the horizon as the Ascendant/Descendant axis.

Planets, like the Moon, have cycles where they move from being North of the ecliptic to being south of the ecliptic, with nodes just like the Moon. These could be used in a similar way to the Moon's cycle but few Astrologers use them. They would however be worth looking at if you're really interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeiifA
My other question along these lines is in regard to declination vs latitude and parallels. I understand that latitude is related to the ecliptic and declination is related to the equator. The image link is a screen grab of some of this mornings data at 9:43 in NY:

http://i1354.photobucket.com/albums/...pse845a88f.jpg

Parallels are related to declination. Why not latitude? When we look into the sky and 2 planets are conjunct will they be in the same place with latitude or declination? Maybe a conjunct isn't the best as I have a feeling with conjunct its both. What about a square, will they both pass at the same altitude in the same declination or same latitude?

Latitude can mean that a planet shown in your chart as being just below the horizon is actually above it if you go out and look.

If two planets in conjunction at the same ecliptic degree and minute have different latitudes then they will appear in slightly different places in the sky, if you go out and look. One will be higher in the sky than the other.

When it comes to other aspects such as a square you have two problems. Firstly the difference caused by latitude and secondly the difference caused by the horizon. Different ecliptic degrees rise at different points on the horizon, that is the rising degree is not always due East. In fact the only two degrees to rise due East are 0 Aries and 0 Libra, the two equinoctial degrees. Thus even if two planets were exactly on the ecliptic, and in perfect square, they might not look it in the sky.

For a much more detailed account, you could try Martin Gansten's book on Primary Directions.
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Correction


I wrote the above post late last night and my brain wasn't quite functioning correctly. I inadvertently wrote that the horizon was parallel to the equator. It isn't, so I have given myself a metaphorical slap on the wrist.

I should have said that the Topocentric Horizon is parallel to the Geocentric Horizon, that is a great circle that passes through the centre of the Earth, some 6,000 km below the point on the surface of the earth. The Geocentric Horizon is the one used in Astrological calculations, because it is a great circle. Although there is an obvious discrepancy between the two, that discrepancy is minute in terms of the literally astronomical distances involved.The Geocentric Horizon is inclined to the Equator, depending on the position of the geographical location being used.

Something I also should have mentioned, though it's strongly implied in the thread is that Hellenistic Astrologers certainly took the declination of the Sun into account. When it lies North of the Equator then there's Spring and Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The termDeclination was not used and there's no reference to the declination of other planets during traditional times.

I've also mentioned the use of latitude in the lunar cycle which was also used but as far as I can tell, not with reference to lunar aspects.

I did find a reference to latitude in Dorotheus, with reference to aspects generally but we have little of the original Greek version, but later versions from Persian translations of the Greek and which is known to be interpolated by later writers. I'll try and follow that one up.

You mentioned parallels of latitude, these were certainly used in medieval times and if the reference to Dorotheus is authentic then also are implied in Hellenistic times. The maximum latitudes are small compared to declinations

Mercury 7.0 degrees
Venus 3.4 degrees
Moon 5.15 degrees
Mars 1.9 degrees
Jupiter 1.3 degrees
Saturn 2.5 degrees

Uranus has a maximum latitude of 0.8 degrees and Neptune 1,8 degrees. Pluto has a maximum of 17.1 degrees and so can be out of the 'traditional zodiac'.

I can find nothing on orbs used and I'm not sure there ever were any. Clearly the theoretical maximum difference in Latitude of traditional planets would be 12.15 degrees assuming Mercury and Moon were involved and at their extreme and opposite latitude.

The Dorotheus possibility and other early medieval writers put two planets with opposite latitudes out of application to an aspect. But middle and later medieval writers did not support that and took an opposition to involve opposite latitudes as well as opposite signs. Using an example from Gansten, Venus at 20 Scorpio and with a latitude of 2.14 degrees South casts it's opposition to 20 Taurus with a latitude of 2.14 degrees North. The two squares are at 20 Leo and 20 Aquarius with 0 latitidue (that is on the ecliptic). The two sextiles have a latitude of 1.07 degrees South and the two trines 1.07 degrees North.

From this it's clear that aspects apart from Conjunction and Opposition are going to have latitudes that are well within their maximum possible. Nevertheless from Medieval times there was an interest in aspects with latitude when considering primary directions.
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Hi Minderwiz,

That certainly covered the subject. Appreciated. I will try and keep any additional questions on the Hellenistic subject.

The only additional thing that has come up is the fact that Delphic Oracle and Aphesis seem to give different results. They seem to be a day off and I can't see why. Which do you think is more accurate? Have you seen the same thing? I was tinkering around and went off my Fortune with both my birth chart time and some adjusted a bit away from that.
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Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
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I checked the issue with Chris Brennan and he says that he's unaware of any references, other than the one I quoted from Dorotheus. So I think for the time being it's safe to assume that latitude played no significant part in the Astrology of the Hellenistic period.
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