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Darth MI  Darth MI is offline
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How did Greeks view feminine and masculine? Much of Scorpio and Capricorn description in modern astrology would be masculine not feminine.
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Originally Posted by Barkey Foreman View Post
How did Greeks view feminine and masculine? Much of Scorpio and Capricorn description in modern astrology would be masculine not feminine.
If you look at any modern textbook that goes through the characteristics of the signs, you'll find that they too describe the Earth and Water signs as feminine. Modern Astrology has a real problem with this because they can't explain why that should be so. I think it's one of the reasons that Mars got shifted from his rulership of Scorpio, because Moderns couldn't reconcile such a masculine planet with a feminine sign (though the substituted Pluto is hardly a vestal virgin).

The answer to your question and the modern confusion is that all traditional astrologers, right up to Lilly and co, made a clear distinction between the planet and the sign it ruled. The Hellenistic system placed great emphasis on diurnal (day) and nocturnal (night) births. The Moon, the ultimate significator of the feminine ruled the night, the Sun, the ultimate significator of the masculine ruled the day. The Moon's sign of Cancer, and her exaltation in Taurus meant that Water and Earth signs were seen as feminine (though it's quite possible that the Moon was given Cancer because it was the cardinal water sign and already seen as feminine).

The Moon had two other planets in her nocturnal sect. Venus as the benefic of the sect and Mars as the malefic of the sect. No one ever claimed that Mars was a feminine planet but Scorpio was seen as his domicile by night. It's his preferred house because it's a nocturnal sign and he's a member of the nocturnal sect.

Capricorn as an Earth sign is also nocturnal. Each of the planets, other than the two lights, rules two signs. One is a diurnal sign, one is a nocturnal sign. So Saturn, who is a diurnal planet (and was recognised as a triplicity Lord for the Fire and Air signs) has his main rulership in Aquarius, a diurnal sign. His nocturnal sign (and thus of lesser importance to him) is Capricorn

Both signs have a masculine ruler and sadly when Alan Leo took it upon himself to re-write sign meanings, he blended the characteristics of the ruler with the characteristics of the sign, so masculine traits rubbed off on Scorpio, In the case of Aquarius added confusion came from the assignation of rulerships to Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto. One of the consequences was that Mars and Saturn lost their preferred domiciles. At the time there was a strong belief that further planets would be found to have a 'perfect' set of rulerships, twelve signs and twelve(astrological) planets. That never materialised and indeed never will, as there are now a host of dwarf planets and asteroids that are known of and several of these are claimed by one Astrologer or another to have sign rulership.

No modern Astrologer can give you a satisfactory logical explanation of the rulerships that doesn't eventually mire itself in phrases such as 'Pluto is more like Scorpio than any other planet', usually preceded by a statement such as 'In my opinion'. I've even seen a claim by one quite prominent Astrologer that Pisces has become more 'neptunian' since classical times as a means of 'proving' that Neptune rules Pisces, not Jupiter.
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Hermetic Lots


As well as the lots of Fortune, Spirit, Exaltation and Basis,here was a set of lots derived from either Fortune or Spirit. These involved the use of the remaining planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The Lot of Eros is based on Spirit and the position of Venus

The Lot of Victory is based on Spirit and the position of Jupiter

The Lot of Eros gives an indication of your ability to make voluntary associations and friendships. The Lot of Victory says something about your gratified expectations and successes.

Three Lots derived from Fortune are:

The Lot of Courage which uses Fortune and the position of Mars

The Lot of Nemesis which uses Fortune and Saturn

The former relates to your boldness and strength but also to plotting and evil doing Nemesis shows hidden negative factors and weaknesses

Finally there is;

The Lot of Necessity which uses Fortune and Mercury. It relates to restrictive and difficult situations and shows something about your ability to adapt to adverse circumstances.

As with Fortune and Spirit, the Lots based on Fortune tend to show how you react to outside circumstances and the Lots based on Spirit tend to show what you bring to those situations and can use to deal with them.

For you the Lots are:

Eros Sagittarius Second Place - ruler Jupiter
Victory Gemini - Eighth Place ruler Mercury
Courage Cancer - Ninth Place ruler Moon
Nemesis Cancer - Ninth Place ruler Moon
Necessity Virgo - Eleventh Place ruler Mercury

Eros and Victory are both averse to the Ascendant. Eros is in a succedent Place and it's ruler is in the Eleventh Place, also succedent. However Jupiter is Retrograde and in it's Detriment, it is also out of Sect. The Lot is also closely squared by the Sun, ruler of the MC. So there is a reasonable basis by place but the condition of it's ruler is not good. It is angular to Fortune (opposition) so I suspect that your main success here will be in the realms of a marriage partner and just possibly in terms of income. Given that Saturn and Mars sextile Eros, there may well be difficulties in achieving that success.

Victory is also in a succedent house and it's ruler Mercury is the Domicile Lord of Fortune. Indeed Victory and Fortune are in the same Place. Mercury's condition is not good, so I don't see you doing well in bringing efforts to bear successfully on issues that you face. This placement rather reinforces your situation as being one of trying to deal with issues but with no major hope of regular success.

Courage and Nemesis are both ruled by the Moon, the Sect Light. They are configured to the Ascendant by trine but are averse to Fortune. The Moon is strongly placed in the tenth but is Peregrine. You can exercise boldness but rather like the Moon it is very changeable. I think it's more likely that you try and influence things in a nocturnal way - you may be very good at plotting. The Moon is not a malefic, so if you 'do evil' it will be more from error than design. The ninth is the Place of overseas travel and exile, so you might find youself, exiled, either voluntarily or due to circumstances overseas. Any ninth place activity runs a risk of not working out for the best. I think with the lot of Courage there, you may learn to exercise your attempts to influence the environment mostly in those circumstances that you see the possibility of misery or unhappiness. That might sound obvious but not everyone has Courage and Nemesis together. To end on a more optimistic note on these two. Both Venus and Jupiter are configured to the Lot. The former by trine and the latter by sextile. They may not be strong in degree but they will bring some relief.

Lastly the Lot of Necessity is in the eleventh place. It is configured to the Ascendant and it is conjunct Jupiter and in opposition to Venus. The fact that both benefics 'see' it and both Malefics do not, signifies that you will be able to cope with difficult situations. You won't like it and it won't be easy, given Mercury's poor state. But I think you will manage and that is likely to be because of friendships or a sponsor of some kind. Someone who sees something in you and is likely to help. Your other main weapon is likely to be your mind and ability to communicate.
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Larxene  Larxene is offline
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Re: Masculine and feminine signs


Hello Minderwiz,

Your explanation of the gender of the signs is interesting. However, I think it is more likely that the masculinity and femininity of the signs were based on Greek philosophy. I am not sure what philosophy it was based on, but let me venture a guess. It could have been based partly on Stoicism's ideas, specifically that of active and passive principles.

The Stoics viewed the soul (which is close to our modern concept of "mind") to be a corporeal substance. What distinguished the soul from the body was the principle on which the soul operates. The soul is dominated by the active principle, while the body is dominated by the passive principle. The body was simply matter; things that occupy space but on their own, do not move and have no structure. The soul was the part of us that animates the body, providing it with motion and structure, and giving the body the ability to reason and think (i.e. intellect).

The Stoics believed that the fire and air elements are dominated by the active element, making them more related to the soul; to sentience and intelligence. On the other hand, the earth and water elements are heavy and tend towards inactivity; thus they are filled with the passive principle.

Now if we observe the signs, all the fire and air signs are masculine, while all the water and earth signs are feminine. Perhaps there is a connection here between masculine and active, feminine and passive.

One thing I noticed is that your explanation has a loophole; the Sun's domicile and exaltation are both in fire signs...so why are the air signs masculine?



One way of explaining why Mars has a domicile in a water sign is through Ptolemy's rationalisation of the elements. In Ptolemy's universe, every element has two qualities: hot or cold, dry or wet. Fire is hot and dry, Water is cold and wet, Air is hot and wet, Earth is cold and dry.

Similar to the elements, the planets also have two qualities. The main idea with these qualities was that when both qualities are moderate, the planets produce benefic effects. Conversely, excess in one direction creates malefic effects. This is similar to the Theory of Four Humours in Greek medicine that began with Hippocrates.

So, according to Ptolemy, Mars is malefic because he is excessively dry (his other quality is hot, as one can imagine). Thus, Mars was given a domicile that was opposite of his nature, to 'balance' his qualities. The opposite of hot and dry is cold and wet, a water sign.

Similarly, Saturn is given a domicile that is opposite of his excessively cold nature (the other quality being dry), that of Aquarius, because Aquarius is hot and wet.

Hence, Saturn is said to prefer Aquarius over Capricorn and Mars prefers Scorpio over Aries. There is another reason for why they prefer these signs, and that has to do with the fact that in Capricorn and Aries respectively, they have to 'share' the domicile with the exaltation lords (Mars and Sun respectively), and they cannot do as they like with the sign, whereas in Aquarius and Scorpio, they alone have rulership of the signs.

We also see this 'balancing' of natures in the concept of Sect in Hellenistic Astrology. Saturn is allied to the day sect, while Mars is associated with the night sect. Ptolemy says that this is because the heat of the day moderates Saturn's cold, and the moisture of the night moderates Mars's dryness.
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Thanks for your post - I enjoyed reading it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene View Post
Hello Minderwiz,

Your explanation of the gender of the signs is interesting. However, I think it is more likely that the masculinity and femininity of the signs were based on Greek philosophy. I am not sure what philosophy it was based on, but let me venture a guess. It could have been based partly on Stoicism's ideas, specifically that of active and passive principles.

The Stoics viewed the soul (which is close to our modern concept of "mind") to be a corporeal substance. What distinguished the soul from the body was the principle on which the soul operates. The soul is dominated by the active principle, while the body is dominated by the passive principle. The body was simply matter; things that occupy space but on their own, do not move and have no structure. The soul was the part of us that animates the body, providing it with motion and structure, and giving the body the ability to reason and think (i.e. intellect).

The Stoics believed that the fire and air elements are dominated by the active element, making them more related to the soul; to sentience and intelligence. On the other hand, the earth and water elements are heavy and tend towards inactivity; thus they are filled with the passive principle.

Now if we observe the signs, all the fire and air signs are masculine, while all the water and earth signs are feminine. Perhaps there is a connection here between masculine and active, feminine and passive.

One thing I noticed is that your explanation has a loophole; the Sun's domicile and exaltation are both in fire signs...so why are the air signs masculine?
Your may be right about the Stoic interpretation as it seems that Stoicism was the main philosophy influencing those early creators of Horoscopic Astrology. I don't think we can know for certain either way but I certainly wouldn't challenge you there.

One of the problems is that the elements were not part of the orginal system - that described by Schmidt as the System of Hermes. Certainly the Trigons were the same but would be referred to not as the Fire signs but as the Trigon, Aries-Leo-Sagittarius. The elements didn't come till Valens in the second century.

So it may well be that the gender of the signs came first, Brennan surmises that they might originate in Pythagorian numerology. As such the would predate the Stoics who might well have absorbed the ideas into their own view.

If Brennan is correct in his surmise, then the Air Signs would be Masculine, simply on a numerological basis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene
One way of explaining why Mars has a domicile in a water sign is through Ptolemy's rationalisation of the elements. In Ptolemy's universe, every element has two qualities: hot or cold, dry or wet. Fire is hot and dry, Water is cold and wet, Air is hot and wet, Earth is cold and dry.

Similar to the elements, the planets also have two qualities. The main idea with these qualities was that when both qualities are moderate, the planets produce benefic effects. Conversely, excess in one direction creates malefic effects. This is similar to the Theory of Four Humours in Greek medicine that began with Hippocrates.

So, according to Ptolemy, Mars is malefic because he is excessively dry (his other quality is hot, as one can imagine). Thus, Mars was given a domicile that was opposite of his nature, to 'balance' his qualities. The opposite of hot and dry is cold and wet, a water sign.

Similarly, Saturn is given a domicile that is opposite of his excessively cold nature (the other quality being dry), that of Aquarius, because Aquarius is hot and wet.

Hence, Saturn is said to prefer Aquarius over Capricorn and Mars prefers Scorpio over Aries. There is another reason for why they prefer these signs, and that has to do with the fact that in Capricorn and Aries respectively, they have to 'share' the domicile with the exaltation lords (Mars and Sun respectively), and they cannot do as they like with the sign, whereas in Aquarius and Scorpio, they alone have rulership of the signs.
I used to hold the very same view and you'll find posts by me arguing exactly the same thing. However one of the great things about Hellenistic Astrology is that more and more texts are being translated and we're beginning to learn a lot more about it's origins. I do hasten to add that there's an awful lot we don't know and may never know.

The trouble is that Ptolemy was a reformist and his views, which you summarise exceedingly well, were not a reflection of the majority of Astrologers of his time. Indeed he might well have been a solitary outlier. The best explanation I've seen is that given by Firmicus Maternus and other Hellenistic Astrologers; that the rulerships were derived from the Thema Mundi' With Cancer on the Ascendant and Sun, Mercury Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn ruling the signs in zodiacal order - which gives Mars, the rulership of Scorpio and Saturn the rulership of Capricorn. Take a 'mirror' image for rulerships of the remaining five signs and Mars also gets Aries and Saturn also gets Aquarius.

Brennan and Dykes have a paper which strongly argues that the planetary Joys are the basis for the elements coming into Astrology. With Mars Joying in the Sixth house, it's a nocturnal planet. Saturn joys in the twelfth which makes it a diurnal planet. Put the fire signs at the top of the chart, Air on the Ascendant and Water on the Descendat and finally Earth on the IC and you end up with Mars as a Water planet and Saturn as a Fire planet, both of which were reflected in the early tripartite triplicity rulers in Hellenistic and later Arabic Astrology. For the Air Triplicity, that would be Saturn and Mercury (as day/night rulers and Jupiter added on as a diurnal planet as the supporting ruler). Air thus is diurnal in nature


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene

We also see this 'balancing' of natures in the concept of Sect in Hellenistic Astrology. Saturn is allied to the day sect, while Mars is associated with the night sect. Ptolemy says that this is because the heat of the day moderates Saturn's cold, and the moisture of the night moderates Mars's dryness.
Just to reiterate the point I made earlier, if (and its by no means proven) the Joys show the basis of sect - and they do show Saturn, Jupiter and the Sun above the horizon and Moon, Venus and Mars below the horizon then Ptolemy's claims are dubious. The 'Joys' theory has the benefit of resting on Astrology, rather than outside 'medical' ideas.

Now one of the reasons I love Hellenistic Astrology is that we don't know much about it but we're discovering more all the time. You'll find posts by me in the past which based the rulerships of Mars and Saturn on the ptolemaic case that you've argued above.

The loss of most of the texts in Greek meant following the fall of the Western Roman Empire meant that for a very long time, Ptolemy reigned supreme in Astrology, as his was one of the few texts translated into Latin. Certainly by Lilly's time Ptolemy was taken as the yardstick of good Astrology and Lilly rejected much of the old Hellenistic views as he thought they were Arab/Persian imports rather than the original system of Astrology.

Thanks again for your post - I hope you stick around and inject some more ideas and ask some more questions.
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Yeah, I am familiar with the observation that the elements were not present until Valens, and also the problem with Ptolemy. I just thought I had to mention it for the benefit of Barkey. Thus, I said it is one way of explaining it, though not necessarily THE way.

I am here mainly for this thread. It seems you are familiar with Schmidt's rendition of the Hellenistic texts, so I came to assimilate some information


EDIT:

I would not be surprised if the Pythagorean theories had affected the art. If I remember correctly, aspect theory was based on that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene View Post
Y

I am here mainly for this thread. It seems you are familiar with Schmidt's rendition of the Hellenistic texts, so I came to assimilate some information
Don't look to me as an expert on Schmidt I have a general outline of his ideas and I've listened to one or two of his interviews and web based stuff. I'm saving up to afford his Project Hindsight translations, though I'm aware that these have been overtaken by later views. My main aide is actually Delphic Oracle when it comes to Schmidt as Curtis Manwaring based in on Schmidt's 'System of Hermes'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene

I would not be surprised if the Pythagorean theories had affected the art. If I remember correctly, aspect theory was based on that.
Actually, I think it's more likely that they were based on Greek Optic Theory' (from where the idea of 7 rays are derived), plus their view that an equal sided figure should be capable of being inscribed in a circle (the original aspect patterns LOL) The seven rays of course correspond to left and right trines, left and right squares,left and right sextiles and an opposition.

I refer to the optical theory because 'aspect', which means to view of see, is a direct translation of the original Greek.
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Ah right, the intromission theory and emission theory. My bad. But I think I remember something about the theory of numbers and harmony. That is, even though aspects were developed based on optical theory, the 'good' and 'bad' aspects categorisations were influenced by numerology of some kind.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larxene View Post
Ah right, the intromission theory and emission theory. My bad. But I think I remember something about the theory of numbers and harmony. That is, even though aspects were developed based on optical theory, the 'good' and 'bad' aspects categorisations were influenced by numerology of some kind.
There is also the claim that if you divide the zodiac into two halves along the O Leo to 0 Aquarius, then in both halves the signs ruled by Mars square the relevant light the signs ruled by Saturn oppose the relevant light, the signs ruled by Jupiter trine the relevant light and the signs ruled by Venus sextile the relevant light. So harmony/disharmony might flow from the benefics and malefics
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Larxene  Larxene is offline
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Yes, there is also that manner of understanding the aspects. Opposition is more malefic than square, and trine is more benefic than sextile, so that's probably the reason why Saturn is the Greater Malefic, Mars is the Lesser Malefic, Jupiter is the Greater Benefic and Venus is the Lesser Benefic.

So perhaps the favourability of the aspects were determined based on the configuration of the planets's domiciles with regards to the lights' domiciles.
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