As Mercury made another ingress into Capricorn today and thereby contacted the Aries Point, where the personal becomes political, while Mars in Capricorn forms a semi-sextile to Chiron in Aquarius (modern science shooting themselves in the foot) and a sextile to Jupiter (broadcasting) in Pisces (confusion, myth) the media has been abuzz with a MYTH that purports that all the horoscopes are wrong due to the wobble in the Earth’s axis that causes the precession of the Equinoxes. This scientific fact however is not unknown to astrologers as these so called experts proclaim. They seem to overlook the ‘tiny’ detail that astronomy branched off from astrology during the scientific revolution or Age of Enlightenment (oh, aren’t we enlightened???). What they are actually talking about is the difference between the sidereal and the tropical zodiacs.
Here’s a lengthy excerpt from Dane Rudhyar’s (foremost pioneer of modern astrology) free e-book “Astrological Timing – The Transition to the New Age” that explains this celestial phenomena pretty well:
Stars, Constellations and Signs of the Zodiac – 1
There is perhaps no topic around which as much confusion and as many possibilities of interpretation have arisen as that referring to the cycle of the precession of the equinoxes and to the twelve “Ages” which constitute twelve sections of such a cycle. Even the exact length of the cycle is uncertain, as it probably varies; besides, two somewhat different cycles seem to be involved, one dealing with the motion of the equinoxes, and the other with the motion of the poles of the Earth. Above all, especially of recent date, a basic controversy has arisen concerning the very nature of the zodiac; and we are confronted today with two schools of astrological thinking, one favoring the tropical zodiac, the other the sidereal zodiac. The tropical zodiac refers to the twelve signs of the zodiac, the sidereal zodiac to the twelve constellations. And to make the confusion worse, the signs and constellations bear the same name (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc.) though these names refer to two basically different entities and two even more different mental approaches to the concept of “zodiac”, indeed to astrology as a whole — and I should add, to essential human values.
In this chapter I shall not try to go into the many aspects of the controversy or to be too technical, even if this leads to some over-simplification. I shall attempt to explain the over-all situation in terms of what is the main purpose of this book, i. e. an elucidation of what is confronting mankind today — an elucidation which seeks its supporting evidence from both the historical and the astrological fields. I am perfectly aware that in so doing I shall displease many people who will inevitably find fault with some of my statements and my interpretations.
Most of the data used in modern astrology are produced by calculating the positions of celestial objects with reference to two basic circles of motion: the earth is rotation in its equatorial plane, and the apparent yearly path of the sun, the ecliptic. The latter is interpreted today as referring to the orbit of the earth in its yearly revolution around the sun; while the plane of the earth’s equator is made to extend infinitely in space, becoming thus the “celestial equator”. The planes defined by the celestial equator and the orbital revolution of the earth do not coincide. They are inclined in relation to each other at an angle of approximately 23°5′. Thus they cross one another; and the line of intersection between the celestial equator and the ecliptic define two opposite points which we call the spring and fall equinoxes. In terms of zodiacal longitude, these two points are said to represent respectively longitude 0° (Aries 0°) and longitude 180° (Libra 0°).
However, the relation between the two basic circles or planes of motion, equator and ecliptic, has been proven not to be fixed. First, the angle between the two planes is periodically changing, varying as it does within approximately 212 degrees limits — such variations having a probable cycle of about 40,000 years. Secondly, if we consider the ecliptic fixed, we shall see that the equatorial circle has a twisting, sliding motion around it — which results in a gradual displacement of the line of intersection between the two circles or planes. Actually the earth-orbit changes form gradually; but the variations in eccentricity, and in the position of the “line of apsides,” determining the shape and direction of the orbit, are slow and of relatively small magnitude. They do affect, however, the cycle of precession of the equinoxes.
We are aware of the path of apparent yearly motion of the sun in the sky by observing the different stars which appear at the horizon, week after week, before sunrise and after sunset. In other words, we can plot the yearly path of the sun on the background of the “fixed” stars; thus giving it also a fixed character (if we ignore the very small motions of the individual stars in cosmic space). If therefore the line of intersection of equator and ecliptic very slowly changes place, it follows that when the sun reaches this line in its motion along the ecliptic, its position at the moments of the year called “equinoxes” also changes from year to year in relation to the fixed stars.
This fact is put in concentrated form by saying that the place of the equinoxes changes every year with reference to the fixed stars. The change is slow, a little over 50 seconds of arc a year, or one degree in less than 72 years. Thus, the equinoxes return to the same point of the ecliptic, and (theoretically at least) to the same star, after some 25, 868 years have elapsed. This period, divided by 12, gives us the duration of any of the twelve precessional Ages. We are apparently now in the Piscean Age, and as the motion of the equinoxes is “retrograde” (i. e. in a direction opposite to that of the sun and the moon) the next Age will be the Aquarian Age.
Stars, Constellations and Signs of the Zodiac – 2
Constellations vs. Signs
The stars which can be taken as indicators of this periodical displacement of the equinoxes are naturally those found near the ecliptic; and these stars — indeed all stars — have been grouped for millennia into “constellations”. The names, sizes and boundaries of such constellations have differed in various civilizations; but some definite parallelisms can be established between variously defined constellations if one does not go too far in making the comparisons.
Evidently, either the tendency to group stars into constellations to which, more often than not, the names of animals were given corresponds to a world-wide human desire. It may very well be a projection of the concept of animal “totems” — so basic in archaic tribal societies — upon the celestial sphere. Even in Greek mythology we see human heroes or personages of special significance glorified into constellations in the sky — somewhat as the Catholic Church canonizes its saints and gives them “feast days” in the ritual of the sacramental year.
The sky, for ancient societies, was the great symbol of order and creative activity. Stars and planets were seen as the bodies of gods. The sky as a whole represented the “world of formation”, the world of creative gods and hierarchies of divine minds; and the whole concept of celestial constellation has, I feel certain, a mythological origin. This does not take anything away from its meaning, for myths are extremely potent factors in the evolution and formation of human consciousness; and modern science itself contains a number of myths, which now are referred to as premises, postulates, or perhaps “universal constants”, the constancy and universality of which — I repeat — is a matter of belief, even if the values to which these “constants” refer are based on proven facts — but facts in our present earth-environment, which does not mean always and anywhere.
However this may be, the great problem concerning the twelve zodiacal constellations — groups of stars found on either side of the ecliptic — is the determination of their boundaries. Not only have these boundaries presumably been changed, time after time, but according to various occult traditions, their number has not been always twelve. H. P. Blavatsky claimed that originally there were only ten. Besides, several civilizations had “lunar zodiacs” divided into 27 or 28 “mansions” before they had “solar zodiacs”. There is no real reason to believe that our zodiacal constellations should all be of equal size (i. e. covering each 30 degrees of longitude) and when the International Astronomical Union in 1928 sought to remedy the uncertainty of boundaries by defining these by celestial circles, parallel and perpendicular to the celestial equator, the result was quite puzzling.
What we call a zodiacal sign in astrology is something entirely different in principle from a constellation of stars. A zodiacal sign is simply one-twelfth of the ecliptic — that is, a 30-degree section of the apparent yearly path of the sun (the earth’s orbit in the modern heliocentric system). A zodiacal sign belongs to the tropical zodiac, while the twelve zodiacal constellations belong to the sidereal zodiac. Both unfortunately bear the same names. The tropical zodiac is measured in terms of degrees of longitude, and it begins at the point where the sun crosses the celestial equatorial plane in a northward direction at the spring (or vernal) equinox.
At the spring equinox the sun has longitude 0°, and also declination 0° (“declination” measures the distance of any celestial body north or south of the celestial equator). This means that at the spring equinox the sun sets exactly at the west, that day and night are of equal length, and that the days are growing longer. At the fall equinox the sun has longitude 180° and also declination 0°, but then it is crossing the celestial equator in a southward direction. The days and nights are of equal length, but now the nights are growing longer.
Stars, Constellations and Signs of the Zodiac – 3
As already said, the line of intersection of the ecliptic and the equatorial planes changes progressively because of a particular earth-motion — a kind of wobbling motion somewhat similar to that of a top — which alters the direction in which the polar axis is oriented. This polar axis as a result, points in the course of time to different “pole stars”; it describes a circle in space in about 25,000 years. At one time a star of the constellation Cygnus was the pole star (about 16,400 B.C.); at another time it was Wega (12,700 BC). At present, Polaris, in the constellation Ursa Minor, is our pole star, and the north pole will point to it more closely than ever next century. In due time, around 13,000 A.D., Wega will again become our pole star.
In describing the gyrating motion of the north pole, one has to speak of pole stars, because if we want to become clearly aware of this motion, it has to be referred to some relatively fixed point in the sky. The stars do move, but their motions are relatively so slow that for rough practical purposes we call them (unfortunately, I believe) “fixed stars”. The planets, by contrast, move quite fast in the sky; so that primitive man, contemplating the night pageant of the sky, called them “wandering stars”. It is for the same reason that in trying to establish and to measure the slow movements of the equinoxes it was necessary to refer the change to a seemingly “fixed” frame of reference.
This means that when the sun now is at longitude 0° (i. e. crossing the celestial equator from south to north, and sunsets begin then to move toward the north-west) it does not point to the same “fixed star” that it did at the time of the spring equinox two thousand years ago. For this reason we say that the sun is moving by retrograde motion from one star-group (i. e. constellation) to the next star-group. For instance, it is said (unfortunately) to enter, or to be near entering, the constellation Aquarius — while what is “entering” this constellation is not the sun, but instead the vernal equinox-point. Because of this we are said to be at, or near, the beginning of the “Aquarian Age”.
There was a time when the sun at the vernal equinox was pointing to the separation between the constellations Aries and the constellation Pisces; that is to say, at the spring equinox of that time, the earth, the sun and the boundaries between the constellations Aries and Pisces formed a straight line. When that happened, the sign Aries (the 30 degrees of longitude just after the spring equinox point) and the constellation Aries coincided — and the confusion between zodiacal signs and constellations of the zodiac did not exist. The problem is, however, to discover when this happened — and it is a problem that cannot be solved on any astronomical or astrological basis alone, simply because we have no way of knowing precisely where the boundaries between the constellation Pisces and Aries should be located. This, simply, because such boundaries are man-made and we have no way of knowing who established them, when or for what purpose. One can talk forever about when the Egyptian or Chaldean year started, what star they considered to be the most important one for this or that purpose, when this or that astrological system of symbolism (like the concept of “planetary exaltation”) was adopted; but, however fascinating a subject of enquiry this maybe for archeologists and ethnologists, this refers only to old traditions all involved in mythological concepts, the key to the interpretation of which are probably lost or not understood as the men of the period saw their meaning.
Courtesy of http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/ – Rudhyar Archival Project
The good news is that this ‘puzzle’ may actually gain astrology much more popularity – the magic of the Aries Point.
7 of Swords reversed from the Thoth Tarot
Tarot card of the day is the “7 of Swords reversed”, which refers to improper application of the intellect in general, extreme exaggeration (such as publishing and broadcasting this myth), torment by an overactive mind filled with negative thought, ineffective editing of our mental track record and cutting out too much (as per example the principles of astrology).