Since the beginning astrology was never either a block of consistent techniques or it was founded on the same philosophical background.
The art of the astrologer is – like in Plotinus reading signs in the book of the sky?
Looking at stars like they would be fonts, the ones who know their grammar, recognise the future from the groups they form. ((Plotinus, Enneads, III,1,6))
In 1477 Marsilio Ficino will write:
The sky is sign of many events, without being the cause.
That the sky can show many events without causing it, it’s evident from the fact that evil, without any order, can derive from very good and ordered realities. So these things are foretold according celestial positions, intended as signs and not as causes, not differently from other events, that don’t happen because of birds, but they are read by augurs and haruspices as shown by birds. (( Marsilio Ficino, Scritti sull’astrologia (cura Ornella Pompeo Faracovi) Milano: Biblioteca universale Rizzoli, 1999.))
Or maybe astrology is a part of astronomical knowledge, a sort of “practical astronomy” which investigates on the effects of the stars as a book of some fortune declared beginning from its title.
THAT a certain power, derived from the æthereal nature, is diffused over and pervades the whole atmosphere of the earth, is clearly evident to all men. Fire and air, the first of the sublunary elements, are encompassed and altered by the motions of the æther. These elements in their turn encompass all inferior matter, and vary it as they themselves are varied; acting on earth and water, on plants and animals.
The Sun, always acting in connection with the Ambient, contributes to the regulation of all earthly things: not only by the revolution of the seasons does he bring to perfection the embryo of animals, the buds of plants, the spring of waters, and the alteration of bodies, but by his daily progress also he operates other changes in light, heat, moisture, dryness and cold; dependent upon his situation with regard to the zenith.
The Moon, being of all the heavenly bodies the nearest to the Earth, also dispenses much influence; and things animate and inanimate sympathize and vary with her. By the changes of her illumination, rivers swell and are reduced; the tides of the sea are ruled by her risings and settings; and plants and animals are expanded or collapsed, if not entirely at least partially, as she waxes or wanes.
The stars likewise (as well the fixed stars as the planets), in performing their revolutions, produce many impressions on the Ambient. They cause heats, winds, and storms, to the influence of which earthly things are conformably subjected.
And, further, the mutual configurations of all these heavenly bodies, by commingling the influence with which each is separately invested, produce a multiplicity of changes. The power of the Sun however predominates, because it is more generally distributed; the others either co-operate with his power or diminish its effect: the Moon more frequently and more plainly performs this at her conjunction, at her first and last quarter, and at her opposition: the stars act also to a similar purpose, but at longer intervals and more obscurely than the Moon; and their operation principally depends upon the mode of their visibility, their occultation and their declination. (( Tetrabiblos, I, 2))
In this case the study of the stars and their motion, especially of the Sun which is predominant in influencing life on Earth, puts together without any possibility to divide them, physic and astrology.
The question, which divided astrologers in two different groups, and often mixed several different approaches in strange ways, is not a theoretical one, because implies which techniques inside astrology could be used and which not, which are “true” and which not.
An example of the fact that the question has deep consequences can be “the Southern hemisphere experiment.“
What about the birth charts of all the millions of people who are born in the Southern hemisphere? If astrology depends on the physical motion of the planets, especially of the Sun, we should do some interesting considerations on the base of some very beautiful articles written by Joe Fallisi for the International Congress of Venice organised by CIDA in 1997 and published in CieloeTerra site, Maradona e l’emisfero australe and the one by Lucia Bellizia, L’emisfero sud.
It’s evident that casting a chart for a native of the Southern hemisphere implies turning upside down everything we are accustomed here, it means celebrating Christmas in summer and starting school with spring (or they start in their autumn with Easter? I don’t know) because seasons are reversed. Better said, what is different is the fact that while here in Europe we start spring when the Sun crosses the Aries point (one of the two intersections of the equator with the ecliptic; the other, opposite, is called Libra point ), on the other side of the Earth autumn starts.
If stars are just signs in the sky written in a language we need just to know the grammar, and we can agree with Morin that:
We should admit that astrology was not invented by human beings, at least about what pertains to its main principles, and in the same way the division of the Primum Caelum, by its nature very easy and uniform, in twelve dodecatemoria of different nature, which correspond to the nature of planets. Or the division of the mundane space in twelve houses, of different nature too. These things are in fact above the intelligence of the human mind, and in fact they were infused by God in Adam, from whom they arrived to his posterity through Qabbalah. ((Morin, as quoted in Lucia Bellizia))
If we are skeptic about the fact astrology was infused in Adam together with the soul, and prefer a more rational approach to the question, natural philosophers as Cardano and Campanella solved the question, considering the possibility of turning upside down the zodiac for Southern births.
In fact qualities of the seasons depend on the Sun and its motion on the ecliptic: heat will increase in spring, dryness in summer, coldness in autumn and moisture in winter ((see Bezza, Le virtù della Luna)), it’s this that makes zodiacal signs, the combination of these qualities.
This was obvious for Ptolemy’s followers, because in Tetrabiblos signs are nothing else than portions of the ecliptic, and qualities of the signs depends on the Sun: Aries is just the first 30 degrees after the start of the Spring, Taurus the second 30 degrees and so on…
It’s the same Morin who quotes – shocked- in the book 15 of Astrologia Gallica the solution found by Girolamo Cardano in his Comment to Tetrabiblos and then Tommaso Campanella, “the great corrupter of the sciences” 🙂
Morin in fact – I should say – is the kind of astrologer who spends his time correcting others’ mistakes, without thinking to his funny own ones, as some modern traditional astrologers 😦 it should be the Jupiterian influence.
I marvel that Cardano has fallen in his Commentary with these words : ‘From this it finally follows that in the southern half (of the World) Capricom will be the domicile ot the Moon and Aquarius of the Sun. Pisces and Sagittarius of Mercury. Aries and Scorpio of Venus. Taurus and Libra of Mars. Gemini and Virgo of Jupiter. and Cancer and Leo of Saturn.’
but Campanella, the great corrupter of the sciencees which I would like to have stated as a caution to those who take delight in his books that are full of novelties) amplified Cardans error in his astrology book I. Chapter 3. Article 3, where he offers this:
‘The early astrologers, only considered our latitudes: and therefore the Spaniards who established colonies beyond the tropic of Capricorn have need of a new astrology.’ Moreover, in Chapter 6. Article 3. he says: “It is not a symbol for the Planets, with certain Signs of the Caelum but to those who dwell beyond the equator, equidistant with us from the equator, to have the domicile of the Planets in an opposite location—and the domicile of the Sun is in Aquarius, the domicile of the Moon in Capricorn, of Saturn in Cancer and Leo, and the domiciles of the rest of them as above.’ (( Jean-Baptiste Morin (cura James Herschel Holden), Astrologia Gallica Books 13, 14, 15, 19 (American Federation of Astr, 2007).))
So following the traditional approach indicated by Cardano and Campanella for Southern hemisphere births we could invert the table of dignities, or which is the same inverting signs: saying that a native is born in Aries but with a Sun in its fall or born in Libra it’s exactly the same.
Let’s give a quick look to Diego Armando Maradona, the famous soccer champion taken from Fallisi’ article: I believe there is no example which can show better if turning or not the chart.
This is the usual chart:
Scorpio is rising at the Ascendant – but Scorpio we know makes people tall, because we know from Centiloquium that
52. The lords of the genitures of men of tall stature are in their sublimities, and their horoscopes in the beginnings of signs: but the lords of their nativities who are of short stature, are found in their falls: together with this, enquire whether the signs be of right or oblique ascension.
and Scorpio is a sign of long ascension, at least in the Northern hemisphere.
It does not fit with Maradona appearance as we know,
Mars, ruler of the Ascendant is in fall in Cancer in the ninth house. So the ruler of the Ascendant is in very bad condition; here between the three planets which indicates profession – Mars, Venus, and Mercury- Mars is the only planet oriental to the Sun, while the peregrine Venus is vespertine in the first house, and the MC is in Venus terms, so both of them, Mars in fall and the peregrine Venus have some words to say about activities .
It’s hard to think to a soccer champion like Maradona, true?
Or like some astrologers say Mars in Cancer pushes the native to overcome his limit, because every sign turns into its opposite, but this does not sound so traditional to me…..
Now let’s reverse the chart, according Campanella and Cardano, in the method rediscovered by CieloeTerra, the traditional Italian astrology association.
The chart is cast with Explorer, the Italian software in use in the Italian CIDA: in practice planets and houses cusps are simply reversed, but the author of the software put the Ascendant on the right to stress the fact it is a chart for the Southern hemisphere.
While with Morin method now in use in practice we add 12 hours to the Sidereal time and then reverse the cusps corresponding to the new time, here simply we don’t reverse the cusps and we have:
So at this point Taurus is rising, and Taurus, a sign of short ascension, makes natives short. The ruler of the Ascendant is Venus, in the first house.
Taurus is well known for being a lover of food, women, and all Venusian pleasures, in Tommaso Campanella words, from Fallisi article:
makes men prone to pleasures, sophisticated in choosing food, elegant in dressing and recreation, like Neapolitans.
And it would be a coincidence, but there is no Naples without Maradona, and Maradona without Naples, it’s difficult to explain what was Maradona for Naples for people who don’t know Italian things.
In my opinion here it’s easier to see the ruler of activities.
Planets keep their position in respect with the Sun; so Mars, now is in its exaltation in Capricorn, is still oriental to the Sun. The cusp of MC, now falls at 9 Aquarius, Saturn domicile, so Mars, oriental to the Sun and in its exaltation is in aspect with the ruler of the MC: there is no doubt that in the reverted chart, Mars is very explicative.
While recommending again to read the articles in bibliography below, we can come back to Morin. Strongly convinced that signs are immutable in any part on Earth, and that signs, as parts of Primum Caelum, are formally of the same nature among themselves because they are of the same stuff as the entire Caelum, which is homogeneneous, ((Astrologia Gallica, XIV, 7)) he gives an example chart in the 15th book.
Francisco Gomez Cortez, born on the 4th of the month of October in the year 1627, called the day of St. Francis, at the rising of the Sun at Olinda Pernambuco.,8 degrees on the other side of the equator. He was inclined to painting. arithmetic, music, dances, and the gladiatorial arts; and yet he followed the military calling from his youth. He has many yellowish marks on his face, hands, and body, which are called Jewish signs: he also has reddish hair; and he had a quarrel with someone whom, while not wanting to, he nevertheless killed.
how Morin explains the military attitude of the native considering that Libra is rising in this chart?
His propensity was to arithmetic, writing, painting, music, and dancing since Venus ruler of the ASC is in the domicile of Mercury and joined to it . These things however, would no have been if Venus had not been ruler of the ASC; therefore Libra is the domicile of Venus and Virgo is the domicile of Mercury But if they had been inverted in the southern part (of the World), Mars would have been the ruler of the ASC in a domicile of Jupiter, from which the iiwlination given above could not have been produced as is sufficiently plain from the nature of the Planets, which agree with their Signs, as is proved with reasons in its own place, in addition to the experience that is very well known to all astrologers.
In addition he followed the gladiatorial and military (profession) since Mars, ruler of the 1st house (this is not true, because Libra is rising…..). which is the house of character on account of Scorpio in the 1st and then ruler of the 7th, (in Aries, the Ascendant according Cardano method) which is quarrels, and Mars is in the 8th conjunct the Eye of Taurus, a bright and violent fixed star of the natue of Mars….Finally. hecause this native had reddish hair and had freckles on his face, hands, and body, he had that from the Sun in the ASC in trine to Mars, ruler of the 1st (again, Venus is the ruler of Libra which is rising at the Ascendant, not Mars) joined to the eye of Taurus, a fixed Martian star, in trine to the ASC, then from the square of the Moon to Saturn and the Sun on the Ascendant. Everything therefore agrees…
Maybe, but how much it would agree better with an Aries Ascendant?
As always comments and opinions are well accepted,
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND NOTES
Giuseppe Bezza, Commento al Primo Libro della Tetrabiblos di Claudio Tolemeo: con una nuova traduzione e le interpretazioni dei maggiori commentatori (cura Giuseppe Bezza), 2° ed. (Milano: Nuovi Orizzonti, 1992).
Joe Fallisi, Maradona e l’emisfero australe
Lucia Bellizia, L’emisfero sud
Giancarlo Ufficiale, Appendice all’emisfero sud.