Friday, March 27, 2015


Flamin' Nora (as we used to say in Yorkshire), not again! The Ophiuchus issue. What brought forth a re-play of this - it has whiskers on it? Slow news day ? That's hard to believe.

Seemingly something in a newspaper in the UK, or maybe the BBC - not certain, but something recently annoyed my favourite Sun sign astrologer sufficiently for him to get his Mars on and tell 'em what's what and what isn't.

Are you Ophi-curious? See Jonathan Cainer's piece HERE.

Unlike Fox News I shall attempt to really be fair and balanced and provide a slightly alternative view from UK astrology blog Astrotabletalk, HERE.

What I think, as if anybody cares, is that nobody, even the most erudite of astrologers, of any stripe, knows what astrology really is. How it's possible to feel certain about that, and all it entails, has to rest with what each individual finds most persuasive, relying on their own life experiences, and those of others. While this will not tell the hows and whys of it, it will give confidence that there is, for whatever mysterious reason, some validity in the most basic parts of astrology's claims.

As mentioned several times in these posts, my own interpretation/theory of astrology is that it's all about the cycles. Cycles of time in space. The planets and the 12 zodiac signs act as markers in time and space, separating possible "atmospheres" of different sorts, differences which affect us on earth, as we come into earth's atmosphere from the womb, continuing to affect us and our body/mind chemistry all through our lives, as we experience, to varying degrees, other atmospheres and mixes of atmospheres as they cycle along, mixing, colliding easily or with difficulty. Something like that, anyway.

The standard 12 sign zodiac, and its astrological elements (Earth/Air/Fire/Water) and modes (Cardinal/Fixed/Mutable) has worked for me, in my life and experiences - not always, and not always exactly, but pretty nearly so, enough that I retain belief that "something is going on". Therefore, I'd support the astrologers who do not wish to incorporate a 13th sign.

Barry Goddard's point, at Astrotabletalk, about using Ophiuchus in a divinatory sense, if that's what strikes an astrologer as being important, can hardly be argued against. Not being of a divinatory persuasion myself, I'm not qualified to say more.

I don't see any great objection to treating that part of the 12 sign zodiac which covers Ophi's realm as another questionable area such as, say, the Via Combusta (if an astrologer or astrology fan sincerely cannot bear to ignore Ophiuchus altogether).

PS - I scribbled a bit about this old issue in January 2011 when it had surfaced (again) - see
Sun signs, Ophiuchus and all that jazz


mike said...

I fear that extant astrology is following the path of our obsessive-compulsive, attention-deficit culture, infatuated with shiny do-dads that are distracting, rather than contributing to functionality. The bigger picture that was previously more clearly viewed is now fuzzed-over with ever more fancy, miniscule add-ons. It's much like the apps available for our electronic, digital toys. As of Oct. 2014, 675,000 native apps for the Apple iPad ( ). How many apps does one need?! LOL!

Much can be lost to exemplified detail:
"KISS is an acronym for 'Keep it simple, stupid' as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. The phrase has been associated with aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson (1910–1990). The term 'KISS principle' was in popular use by 1970. Variations on the phrase include 'keep it short and simple', 'keep it simple and straightforward' and 'keep it small and simple'."

Twilight said...

mike ~ I agree 100%. :-)
Henry D. Thoreau had it sorted out:

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. [Walden]

LB said...

Twilight ~ As part of the Pluto in Virgo generation, ideally, I think living simply includes a mindful awareness of details that matter.

If not, we might be mistaking simplicity for superficiality and a lack of depth that limits our potential as well as our fuller understanding. It could also be used as an excuse for our denial or laziness, when we lack patience or expect things to be *easier* than they actually are.

IMO, the study of astrology is complex, layered and deeply mysterious (at least to some extent), not at all simple ~ it's a bit like trying to know the mind of God (or whatever intelligent force one believes in).

That doesn't mean there isn't some value or truth at the simpler levels of astrology too, just that there's usually more going on than meets the eye . . . humans can be complex.

I've gone years at a time without dabbling in astrology and in truth, my life was much simpler. When I returned to it to gain a better understanding of myself, I found all of the 'extras' helped a great deal!

Barry's post about the 13th sign was very interesting.:) I don't know what to make of it, though I did enjoy reading his perspective.

mike ~ I appreciated your point about excessive technology designed to make our lives easier. It's part of the "progress trap".

Twilight said...

LB ~ There are always two sides to any viewpoint. :-) You point out the other one here, as it relates to life in general.

Re astrology, yes it truly does depend on each individual's take/guess on exactly "what astrology is". That perception will likely direct the seeker to one extreme or to the other (simplicity/complexity) or somewhere in the middle, which is probably where most land.

LB said...

Twilight ~ As far as astrology goes, your comment's last paragraph sums it up nicely. I agree:)

I offered the rest as a complement to the Thoreau quote you included about the value of living simply.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, I suspected so. :-)
Nice balance!

mike (again) said...

I haven't read this book, but the inference is that the astrological basics may require a re-think:

"A New Research Project Testing All of the Major Western Astrological Techniques Used Today
13,000 people in 80 categories were analyzed using:

The Zodiac's Signs, Quadrants, Elements, and Modes, the 9th Harmonic of the Zodiac, Planetary Aspects, Planets on the Axis Points, Planetary Motion, Midpoints, and more...
Many major discoveries were found:

Unmistakable statistical evidence that the positions of the planetary bodies of our solar system are indicators of a person’s character traits and life events.
A model of how our solar system represents our consciousness.
The solar, lunar, daily, and inter-planetary cycles all follow the same pattern.
The interpretations of Libra and Aquarius have been mistakenly reversed.
The value of the rising sign has been overestimated since it has a highly uneven distribution through the signs.
9th harmonic charts yield incredibly important information.
The 36th harmonic is the dominant planetary aspect pattern."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmmm that sounds to be an interesting book - I've skimmed only the link (thanks) but will read all properly in the morning.

Libra and Aquarius reversed? That doesn't make any sense to me, but interested to know how that conclusion was reached.

What the heck is the 36th harmonic?
Astrodienst =

"Using the 36th harmonic chart, one can immediately see which planets form 10°-angles (360 : 36 = 10), since all of these planets will stand in conjunction."

I thought 8 degrees was max for conjunction.

I don't really understand harmonics in astrology - other than in very broad terms.

If these results are from questionnaires, I'd like to know what questions were asked - and how they were framed.

Guess I should buy the book. I'll read more about it first.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've now had a better look, at the review and at the author's website with more details from a drop-down menu. It appears his findings come from famous people's charts - I think -
nearly 13,000 people in 80 different categories or study groups were analyzed, from actors to musicians to writers.

So no questionnaires - just what we know about those people from publicity.

Not sure how much one can be sure on that part of it. Went on to find out more about the "9th harmonic chart". Found an explanation of that here:

Went next to and pulled up a 9th harmonic chart for moi. If I've done it correctly it gives me

Sun 0 Sagittarius, Moon 12 Scorpio,
Merc 17 Cancer, Venus 29 Virgo etc.

Asc is 19 Scorpio but I think one has to tweak things somehow to find house positions. Haven't bothered with that yet.

I get that awful fancy "board-game" feeling about all of this, mike!
Yet it's interesting that we had already found a little undercurrent of Scorpio in my normal chart. Hmm.

LB said...

Interesting, mike!

My 9th Harmonic is pretty interesting too. My Nodes reverse and the North Node in Aries is exactly conjunct the AC, with Saturn, Mars, Part-of-Fortune and asteroid Karma all conjunct the South Node in Libra (which is conjunct my natal NN, Venus and Sun in Libra.)

Also in the 9th Harmonic chart, Ceres (which is exactly conjunct the Galactic Center at 26 Sag) is conjunct the MC and forms a Grand Trine (actually, a Kite) with the NN-Ascendant in Aries and Mercury-Uranus conjunct in Leo.

No wonder I'm fired up and alternate between clarity and confusion!

mike (again) said...

Previously, I thought I had a working understanding of harmonics, but hadn't delved beyond the definition. I had assumed the chart obtained via harmonics was essentially identical to interpreting aspects from the natal chart, but in a graphic, user-friendly fashion. Reading various posts on the internet informs me otherwise. allows for all ten harmonics on one page using the "harmonics" option type of chart. I can see the patterns from one harmonic to the next, specially if the harmonic is a multiple of another (2nd, 4th, 8th harmonics...3rd, 6th, 9th harmonics). I'm a bit flummoxed with the extra, floating planets and aspects they make to the clusters within each harmonic type.

Interesting comment I read that the ninth harmonic is representative of later years of life...the fruit (9th harmonic) from the tree (natal chart). All aspects shown in the 9th harmonic chart are indicative. I'd have to say that my 9th harmonic seems appropriate, as I have only a couple of "easy" aspects and plentiful squares and oppositions. Oddly, some of the same aspects in my natal chart are in the 9th harmonic chart, but different signs. Oh, pain, no gain...LOL.

I'll read a couple more essays and see if they assist my understanding, but at this time I don't think I perceive much utility. But, I shouldn't discount something only because I don't understand the method (though tempting).

mike (again) said...

Some interesting comments regarding harmonics here:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks for the extra thoughts and information, and link.
I can't get my head around the logic of harmonics. Like you, I thought the system was simpler than it appears to be, and to be used as a complete system instead of along with the standard western method of interpretation. I didn't see it as being something to use in tandem with the standard method - at all.

For me, even if there's something in it, it makes things too messy, provides too many other variables to contend with - and might just be a way of making something mean something that isn't actually there, unless harmonics is used on its own as a complete system, ignoring the standard method entirely.

But, again, like you say - it shouldn't be judged without sufficient information.

LB said...

I've been thinking about the 9th Harmonic since last night. Like you Twilight, I can't quite get my head around it either, though I know there's something there. Maybe it's beyond my complete understanding.

And like mike, the chart does seem to say something important about who I am now as compared to who I once was. In this latter part of my life, I find I'm more passionate about what matters and also more assertive. What it says about my relationships is interesting too.

On the subjects of charts, I refer to my Draconic chart quite a bit.:)

Twilight said...

LB ~ I've read around a bit more today - still foggy on harmonics and their value though.

Astrologer Donna Henson has a good piece on the topic:

Maybe one way to look at it is that using harmonics becomes akin to looking at something (in this case a natal or other type of astrology chart) through a very strong microscope.

Now...looking through a strong microscope at anything, anything at all, while it might be surprising and even wondrous, wouldn't tell me anything I'd need to know in order to live my life.

It's interesting, but also surprising that John Addey's original theories on harmonics in astrology haven't been much developed since he first wrote about them in the 1970s.

LB said...

Thanks for the link, Twilight. More food for thought.

I see your point. Or maybe looking through a microscope has value only if we integrate our insights as part of a larger whole, without losing sight of the big picture.

If not, it's kind of like going to church and focusing on dogma to the exclusion of the larger message.

mike (again) said...

I, too, have been dabbling into harmonics today. The Donna Henson article was informative and had some interesting points...thanks. I appreciate the notion that ALL of the natal planets have a relationship with each other, not just the obvious-by-aspect ones, and this is best viewed via harmonics. Several other articles I read and Henson's seem to suggest that each harmonic chart should be superimposed on the natal chart to determine orbs of influence-aspect and where particular harmonics aggregate at chart points. However, I haven't found any site that provides harmonic overlays to the natal chart, only each harmonic visible at one time.

I've long noticed that there seem to be power-points in my chart that, in themselves, are empty and devoid of planets and mysterious vortices of energy. Likewise, there seem to be certain planets that tend to be more influential toward change (or trigger points), so I'll have to digest this some more.

I agree with your "microscope" comment, Twilight, but harmonics seems to have the added benefit of revealing information at the 1X and macro level, too. But, what do I know on day two of my harmonics' exploration...LOL!

Twilight said...

LB & mike (again) ~ This is a subject for ongoing investigation, I guess.
What struck me, reading your comments, was that in mixing our usual methods (12 signs and 12 houses) which have multiple variables of their own, with the harmonics system is rather like trying to reconcile details which come in two different languages, and one of the languages isn't very familiar, if familiar at all, and with nuances non-compatible with one another.

I feel the two systems ought to be kept separate. That's just a gut feeling - and I'll echo mike's - "what do I know?" :-/

LB said...

I understand, Twilight ~ you're entitled to your feelings. I also understand how important it is to honor our instincts. In that way, we're very much alike!

Twilight said...

LB ~ :-) Yes.