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6047RE: Re: [neoplatonism] Calling all astrologers!

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  • vaeringjar
    Oct 7, 2013

      Marilynn, this is probably a wild shot in the dark, and my understanding of even modern astrology is very limited, but could paraklisis be a term for declination? Just also following up on your notion that it might refer to a planet and that horoskopos here most likely refers to the placement of the ascendant. But then I am not sure what the declination of  a planet would have to do with the ascendant.

      Could kata here mean "in opposition to"? But what does stigme mean? Opposite the ascendant is the descendant, but was the descendant even included in ancient astrology? Is that all Porphyry is saying here, "opposite the descendant"? Stigme = descendant? That is not likely, is it? Not sure what it would have to do with any particular planet either...

      All the above probably be a hopeless mess! Sorry if it is.

      Dennis Clark

      ---In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


      I studied a lot of astrological texts but never came across this term paraklisis. However, I just did a search and found one mention of it in an astrological fragment attributed to Orpheus. The context is a series of interpretations for the ascending zodiac sign (the horoskopos), and more specifically the "dual-bodied" signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). This work looks like katarchical rather than genethlialogical astrology. If the paraklisis (whatever that is) comes to be in one of these signs which is ascending, it carries heat and either reverses disease or brings it back.  So it indeed seems to be a technical astrological term, though not widely recorded, and probably refers to a particular planet. Planets have certain designations based on where they are in the zodiac and chart (some rejoice, some are dejected, and so forth). Given that the passage refers to some of these other designations, I think it's a planet (which includes the sun and moon).  Perhaps it is the planet that is associated with one of the kentra (four pivot points) because paraklisis has that swerve around feel to it. In Porphyry's passage, horoskopos may be the ascending sign, as it is typically referred to rather than modern "horoscope" which is used generically for the whole chart. I only bring this up because the horoskopos is related to birth and the beginning of life, while its opposing point (where the sun sets) is associated with death. 


      On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 3:23 PM, Goya <goya@...> wrote:


      As I try to translate the fragments of Porphyry's "On what depends on us",
      I'm seriously hindered by my ignorance of ancient astrology.

      In one passage, Porphyry writes as follows:

      Ἤδη οὖν ἡ μὲν
      κυνὸς βίον
      ἔρχεται ἐπὶ
      τόνδε τὸν
      ὡροσκόπον· ἡ
      δὲ ἀνθρώπου
      κατὰ τὴν
      τῆς στιγμῆς
      ἐπὶ τόνδε·

      In case the Greek doesn't come through: EdE oun hE men helomenE kunos bion
      erkhetai epi tonde ton hOroscopon. HE de anthrOpou kata tEn paraklisin tEs
      stigmEs epi tonde.

      My tentative translation: then the soul that has chosen the life of a dog
      goes toward a specific horoscope, while the soul that has chosen a human
      life goes toward this other horoscope, *kata tEn paraklisin tEs stigmEs*.

      The context: Porphyry interprets Plato's Myth of Er in the Republic in
      astrological terms. He distinguishes two choices: first, the soul chooses
      a general type of life (man/women; human/animal); these choices are
      indicated by the signs of the zodiac. Second, the soul chooses a specific
      type of life (soldier, sailor, hunting-dog or lap-dog): these are
      indicated by the constellations.

      My problem: I don't know what *kata tEn paraklisin tEs stigmEs*. means.
      The term paraklisis has a half-dozen occurrences acc. to the TLG, but LSJ
      has no entry s.v. It must derive from *paraklinO* and hence mean something
      like "deviation", but what the "deviation of a point" might mean, I have
      no idea. Any and all help greatly appreciated.

      Best, Mike

      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76

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