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2686Re: [steiner] Theosophical Astrology

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  • Pierre Gringoire
    Apr 5, 2004
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      > Some people say it was Ptolemy who first ascribed these to 3 zodiac signs
      > each, others that he was just repeating a tradition he found in the astrological
      > treatise is in the library of Alexandria.


      This is interesting for a number of reasons.  Ptolemy does not deal with the temperaments directly, although I suspect this is due to the fact that the temperaments (or humours) were common knowledge in the Second Century AD and therefore not in need of explanation.  The temperaments are however connected with the Triplicities.  Ptolemy addresses this subject through building up from the division of the signs into masculine and feminine, diurnal and nocturnal:


      "Again, in the same way they assigned six of the signs to the masculine and diurnal nature and an equal number to the feminine and nocturnal.  An alternating order was assigned to them because day is always yoked to night and close to it, and female to male."


      He then goes on to ascribe a masculine quality to Aries "as the male likewise rules and holds first place".  But he is clearly reciting from derived knowledge.


      "Some, however, employ an order of masculine and feminine signs whereby the masculine begins with the sign that is rising, called the horoscope."

      (all from p69)


      Then, through having established this alternating order, each of the 'triangles' then comes to be composed of the same type of sign, e.g.:


      "The first of these, which passes through Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, is composed of three masculine signs...

      "The second triangle, which is composed of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, is composed of three feminine signs..." (p83-84).


      What is notable about Ptolemy is that all this is presented in the form of a calculation; there is no 'psychological' or inner aspect to his astrology.  There are no concepts remotely like 'melothesic' or 'unregenerate' man, to which the reader can connect astrology to the inner life.  Perhaps this is why, because Ptolemy set the tone for much of the traditional astrology that came later, so much of what is written provides the reader with no means to find their way back to the origin of the concepts presented.  The alternation of the temperaments in the manner described above is one such example of this.

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