## Prediction Techniques and the 2012 Election

The daily countdown to the Presidential election has started in earnest. It's the season of prediction, so of course astrologers are feeling right at home. Since the Presidential Panel in May at UAC 2012 to the latest commentary in blogs, newsletters and the Huffington post, astrologers have used a wide variety of indicators to determine how the candidates will fare. Below I have highlighted a few of the more interesting columns that present a variety of techniques, from modern to ancient, Western to Vedic. Although most predict President Obama will win, no one thinks it is going to be an easy path.

## Ptolemy's Digression, Part 2

Ptolemy’s Harmonics

The Harmonics [12] is probably earlier than the Tetrabiblos.[13]  Although Ptolemy is well known for his astronomy and astrology, he was also one of the ancient sources for theories of harmony.
The work studies this universal field of knowledge for which music and geometry are considered subsets. Much of the material in Harmonics is exclusively concerned with music, including setting up exact number ratios for the different modes.

The Harmonics Book III applies his previous exposition of intervals, scales, and ratios to ethics and psychology, and to astronomy and astrology. Unfortunately, some of Book III has been lost to us. In Chapter 9 of Book III, Ptolemy presents the astrological aspects and their ratios to one another. Curiously, in this presentation Ptolemy does not use degree numbers for the aspects. Instead, he considers the twelve zoidia as discrete units and the whole number relationships between them that yield moriai and epimoriai. This discussion might have fit better into the Tetrabiblos Book I, within his treatment of the qualities and relationships between whole zoidia.

## Reading a Chart Using Hellenistic Methods

Here’s a chart example to demonstrate many of the major themes of the Hellenistic tradition of astrology.  In this essay I refrain from outright interpretation and simply discuss how one would see a chart according to the Hellenistic tradition. I choose a person well known to many Americans as both or either a politician and an entertainer.

Rush Limbaugh, according to some (Democrats), was the de facto leader of the Republican Party, yet he has never held elected or appointed office.  He is an influential talk-radio host and self-proclaimed spokesperson for the conservative cause.  He has been a national figure for the past twenty years.  He has helped steer many a political cause, his depictions of liberal politicians can be devastating, and he is not particularly beloved by women.  Yet even some liberals find him an entertaining guilty pleasure.

Let’s take our time with what we have here. First of all we’re seeing his astrological chart using whole sign houses, the original house (or “place” topos) system. In the next image of his chart, to make the contrast more clear, I have deleted the Midheaven degree, which in the ancient tradition was mostly used for predictive purposes. I have included the Ascendant that always falls somewhere in the first house or place.

## 3-minute Vocabulary: Sect

The concept of Sect comes to us from Hellenistic times. It is a concept that fell out of use for many years, but is being rediscovered as more and more astrologers are re-examining ancient techniques. Sect can help you determine the the qualities of a planet, whether for good or ill, and its effect in the chart.

Depending on whether it is a daytime or nighttime chart, sect tells you which of the classical planets (Sun and Moon, and the planets Mercury through Saturn) have the upper hand. It also provides clues as to which planets will be more helpful or more problematic in the chart.

## Ptolemy's Digression, Part 1

Ptolemy’s Digression: Astrology’s Aspects and Musical Intervals
Statement of the Problem

This essay addresses a problem in the development and continuity of astrology: how do astrologers, past and present, account for the astrological aspects? Aspects are the means by which a planet or position (Ascendant, Lot of Fortune) has contact from another planet or other planets. Once an astrologer has designated planet or a position to answer a question posed to the astrological chart, aspects to the designated position provide information to answer a question and determine an outcome.

## Features of Hellenistic Astrological Techniques

Features of Hellenistic Astrological Techniques
Joseph Crane

Here I address not the historian and scholar of the Hellenistic world, but instead I address the person who is trained in modern astrology and comes to this astrological tradition for the first time.

There are several issues that one who is familiar with other astrological traditions must confront immediately.  For some people, it would be easier to learn Vedic or Chinese astrology, which appears sufficiently different from custom to require any adjustments.

No Outer Planets: all of a sudden the natal chart looks more barren and appears to give much less information.  This means that we have to find more information from the visible planets than we are used to finding.  There is one consolation: during this course we will look at some additional positions in the birth chart: fixes stars and lots.  The natal chart will not seem so barren for long.

Tropical Zodiac: this is a complicated issue, especially since the constellations and tropical signs were roughly aligned during the first and second centuries C.E., a period of time that gave much astrology to the world.  The pictorial dimensions of the twelve signs of the zodiac stem from utilizing the constellations, not tropical signs, for astrological purposes (although there is evidence for the Hellenistic use of sidereal positions). But if we confine ourselves to the tropical zodiac,  essential issues like symmetries of rising times and times above the horizon, which correspond to symmetries to the Aries/Libra and Cancer/Capricorn axes respectively, and the use of ascensions for predictive purposes will not be compromised.

Whole Sign Houses: these may be familiar through Vedic astrology.  According to this house system, the first house or place was the entire sign of the Ascendant and the eleven others proceeded around the zodiac.  This was the first one used and, in my view, has a compelling and enduring intellectual attraction.  Astrology’s subsequent use of quadrant system for houses is an accident of history and not necessarily a positive development in the field of astrology.  Although many people are habituated to quadrant house systems, during this course students are required to cast charts in a whole sign system. I suspect that several students will continue to use whole sign houses after they have completed this course.

Whole Sign Aspects: The Hellenistic tradition does not use aspect orbs as do modern astrologers, nor are there planetary orbs as used by medieval astrologers.  Using sign-to-sign aspects unconditioned by orb does not create an unwieldy amount of information. Instead, there is a strong limiting factor: the aspects that are most critical are from a benefic or malefic to a significator for a particular issue.  One does not use all aspects from each to each planet, nor do we find complex aspect configurations as we do in modern astrology.

Planetary-based Predictive systems: Modern astrologers are accustomed to using predictions based on transits – mostly transiting outer planets when they form aspects to fast-moving natal positions like the angles and the luminaries.  Ancient astrologers also used transits but did not emphasize them.  Instead, profections by year and by month can give detail to prediction for shorter amounts of time.  What is unusual to the modern student of astrology, however, is the prevalence of planetary lords or chronocrators to depict shorter or longer periods of time in a person’s life.  The interpretation of this time is based on the intrinsic natures of the planets involved and how they are placed in the natal chart.

There are chart factors from the Hellenistic tradition that are less demanding to the modern student and add to natal astrology.  These are considerations of planetary sect, orientality and other configurations with the Sun, lots and fixed star positions, triplicity lords and compound dispositors.  Having made the adjustments outlined above, the student may find these considerations of lasting importance in their understanding and use of astrology.
By Joseph Crane, MA, BCIA

Here I address not the historian and scholar of the Hellenistic world, but instead I address the person who is trained in modern astrology and comes to the ancient Hellensitic astrological tradition for the first time.

There are several issues that one who is familiar with other astrological traditions must confront immediately.  For some people, it would be easier to learn Vedic or Chinese astrology, which appears sufficiently different from custom to require any adjustments. Here are a few:

No Outer Planets: all of a sudden the natal chart looks more barren and appears to give much less information.  This means that we have to find more information from the visible planets than we are used to finding.  There is one consolation: Hellenistic astrology uses some additional positions in the birth chart: fixes stars and lots.  The natal chart will not seem so barren for long.

## The two lights

The Sun and the Moon have been known as the two Lights for a very long time. In Hellenistic astrology, it was advantageous for the Sun and the Moon to have attending planets, just as any earthly royalty should have a court. Early on, it was recognized that the cycle of this pair was extremely important.

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