Thursday, 17 April 2014

Astrology - Or how the Moon is in Uranus

My dear friends,

As long as you still experience the stars as something "above you", you lack the eye of knowledge - Friedrich Nietzsche

First off I'd like to say that your path to riches/success in love/happiness is not to be predicted by the movement of the stars and planets. It never has been the case. It remains to not be the case. The Moon is definitely not in Uranus.

However I am not here to ridicule anything. As you may have gathered in my previous posts I am not one to mock, but to learn. Ridicule is dismissive and non-productive. It belies arrogance and ignorance. These are not worthy attributes of keen minds. To dismiss something out of hand, because of cultural influence, is to be closed minded and foolish. Although I must say that just a cursory search on the internet with the term "Astrology" certainly mitigates some of my point.

I don't believe in Astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're sceptical. - Arther C. Clarke

Astrology was the first Science of humanity and therefore the foundation upon which all scientific thinking has been extrapolated from. It sits before physics and far older than mathematics.

If we break the word down into its components,

Astro = Star
Logos = Words

Star-Words. And as we explored on a previous post, Words are Thoughts. So it could be said that Astrology = Star-Thoughts. Now that doesn't mean the stars have thoughts (I know I shouldn't have to spell this out) but that it is our thoughts on stars.

Imagine, if you will a time before science. A time before philosophy was a concept let alone a subject of discussion. Where nothing was known and everything had be learnt for the first time. Modern humans were not mere brutes in pre-history. They would have had their equivalents of Einstein and Newton, Rembrandt and Raphael, Men and Women who saw the world and wanted to understand it more. But where to begin? What can be studied when nothing had ever been studied before?

The simple answer was, what you can see. There was no numeracy nor literacy. All you had was the ability to observe and make a picture of what it was you saw, throwing in a bit of creativity and imagination. The most easily seen and measured things in the world of ancient humans were the celestial bodies. Seems simple enough, but consider this, to understand what the sun does in the sky requires 1 year of daily observation and recording, at least three times daily, sunrise, noon and sunset. Same as the Moon. Knowing what these bodies do and how the world changes depending on their relative position might give you some valuable insight. E.g. when should one plant the crops and harvest them? When are the rains due? Are we to expect pestilence again? Practical questions given practical answers.

Now throw in the 5 planets known to the ancients (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and you can see how, very quickly your simple study has taken on a very complicated hue. Then throw in the stars and constellations and their relative positions to each other and you have a subject of near infinite variety and interpretation. 

A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right call himself a physician. - Hippocrates

As I have said already, the Sun itself requires 1 year of continous observation just to understand what it does in the firmament. How is a single person to observe and record the movements of the cellestial bodies? Of course they can't. A single Precession of the Equinox takes greater than 2000 years, so the only way the knowledge could be maintained was through the establishment of priesthoods or cults. These groups would often perpetuate the study of a particular celestial body with little to no contact with the other priesthoods.

Through many years of observation and recording, patterns began to emerge, anthropocentric patterns, but patterns nonetheless. When certain events were occurring in the heavens, human events appeared to coincide. A rich and creative mythology was formed which persists to this day. The Hermetic Tradition is worthwhile looking into as the saying "As above, so below" is of direct relevance to this understanding of Astrology.

The major cults of the ancient world were the Solar Cult, the Lunar Cult and The Cult of Saturn, but there were many, many more besides. These cults are the progenitors of many of the modern religions today. Their stories and beliefs having been co-opted often for the purposes of recruitment into the early churches.

A striking example of this is the importance of 25th December. Here is a list of the deities purported to have been born on this day in particular (Years are approximate):

Horus 3000 BCE
Osiris 3000 BCE
Attis of Phrygia 1400 BCE
Krishna 1400 BCE
Zoroaster 1000BCE
Heracles 800 BCE
Mithra 600 BCE
Tammuz 400 BCE
Dionysus 186 BCE
Jesus Christ 5 BCE

Possibly all coincidence, but all of their stories share many similarities and themes. Most were born of a virgin, performed miracles, were persecuted and killed on a cross, only to be resurrected 3 days later. How can this be? Well very simply these men were all representative of something. Something very important to the ancient and modern world alike. They were all Sun-Gods. The light of the world, God's only Son (Sonne/Sun). Jesus does not have a monopoly on these terms.

In the northern hemisphere December 21st is the Winter Equinox, the day in which the Sun rises at its most northerly point, (this also happens to be exactly beneath the constellation of Cygnus which contains the asterism known as the Northern Cross). At this point the Sun's relative position does not change for three days, so the Sun "dies" under the sign of the Cross. On sunrise on the 25th December, the Sun moves one degree to the South. The Sun is reborn, promising the days of cold and darkness are numbered and new life is professed.

Please understand that I am not questioning the validity of any belief system, I am merely pointing out things that many religious scholars already know. It is well understood that the Bible contains no actual dates of Jesus' birth, but we can infer a lot. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not Nazareth, because his father Joseph had to return to his place of birth for a census. We know when the Romans conducted their censuses, which were NEVER in winter for obvious practical reasons. So Jesus, the historical figure, could not have been born in winter. The reason December 25th was picked by the early church was a pragmatic one, fuelled by a necessity for mass conversion of ancient civilisations.

This is a larger topic than I would like to discuss right now so I will leave it there.

I'm a typical Capricorn. I'm hard-working, loyal, sometimes stubborn, and I don't believe in Astrology. - Jonah Peretti

Just finally I would like to point out that whether or not you accept astrology in any capacity or not, it is a very important part of human history and dismissing it out of hand will only open you to exploitation by those who do understand it. Just look at almost any corporate logo, company name, marketing campaign and you will see Astrological symbols and archetypes. It is all pervasive, whether you like it or not. Understand it's place in the cultural psyche and if you choose to ignore it, then so be it.

Yours in the stars,

the Filosofer


A little light relief for a return to to blogging. Thank you so much for being patient. I will endeavor to blog with greater frequency in future.

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