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6048RE: Re: [neoplatonism] Calling all astrologers!

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  • Goya
    Oct 7, 2013
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      Hi Denis,

      As Marilyn has pointed out, Porphyry seems to working with a model in
      which what's important are the four *kentra*: horoskopos, mesouranEma,
      dusis, hupogeion (terminology may vary), which divide the circle of the
      zodiac at positions 9, 12, 3 and 6 o'clock respectively. Porphyry seems to
      subscribe to the majority view that it's the horoscopos, or place at which
      the zodiacal signs arise over the Western horizon, that's key for
      determining one's subsequent life.

      The idea seems to be that the souls start off in the *anastros sphaera* at
      the border between the intelligible and sensible worlds. When the
      revolution of the All (= the outermost sphere) presents a zodical sign
      that's to the soul's liking, it enters the world of generation though that
      sign (or perhaps degree of that sign?). Now if a soul choses the life of a
      man in enters through that zodiacal sign; if it chooses the life of a dog
      it must enter through a different sign, I presume (or a different degree
      (moira) or minutes of a degree (lepton)?. In that case, the *paraklisis
      tEs stigmEs* might be that which accounts for the transition between and
      human and animal sign or degree In other words, it may simply means that
      the point (stigmE) at which the zodiac appears over the horizon "deviates"
      in the sense that it changes, coinciding now with one sign, now with
      another (as the celestial sphere continues its east-west rotation).

      Complicating matters, for better or for worse, is the fact that when
      Proclus appears to allude to this passage (In Remp. II, 318, 4-7) he
      immediately goes on to talk about the *sphaera barbarika*, an alternate
      system of Graeco-Egyptio-Chaldaean astrology that deals with decans,
      *paranatellonta* (constellations that rise at the same time as a zodiacal
      sign) and *anaphorai* (times it takes a sign to rise). Proclus informs us
      that if Ajax gets the 20th position for choosing lots in the Republic,
      Porphyry explained this *hOs ara kata tas anaphoras tOn tous bious
      horizontOn khronOn eikostEn eikhen taxin hE tou Aiantos hautE psukhE*,
      which could be translated as "this soul of Ajax, then, received the
      twentieth place in accordance with the risings of the times that determine
      lives". If anybody can tell me what this means I'd be happy to buy them a
      drink or three.

      Last thought: could paraklisis have something to do with the difference
      between the *anaphorai*/rising times of the various signs, a subject of
      much debate among pro-barbarian and pro-Greek astrologers?

      > 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, wrote:
      > Mike,
      > 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.
      > Marilynn
      > On Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 3:23 PM, Goya wrote:
      > Friends,
      > 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
      > ἑλομένη
      > κυνὸς βίον
      > ἔρχεται ἐπὶ
      > τόνδε τὸν
      > ὡροσκόπον· ἡ
      > δὲ ἀνθρώπου
      > κατὰ τὴν
      > παράκλισιν
      > 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
      > Paris-Villejuif
      > France

      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
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