Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

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Symbols appear on each and every tarot card - visual signs that convey meaning. Some of them are highly individual and personal, others time-honored and traditional. Some are easy to understand, others difficult and multivalent. In this forum, we want to study symbols from different decks, traditions and cultures together using books, websites, lwbs and our own intuition.
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Jo Ann
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Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Jo Ann » 17 Nov 2018, 00:50

Why is Aquarius not water?

Explain:
Rulership, Detriment, Exaltation, and Fall
for instance:
Moon:
Exalted in Taurus
Rulership in Cancer
Fall in Capricorn
Detriment in Scorpio

I just can't figure this out. And I think i am gonna have a hard time with numerology too.
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Michael Sternbach
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Michael Sternbach » 17 Nov 2018, 19:35

Okay, we are going to deal with this one step at a time.

Bear in mind that a planet could be said to represent a set of functions. If a planet is in its exaltation, this generally means that the respective function is, well, functioning well.

By the same token, if a planet is in its fall, that can indicate an area the individual is struggling with.

There is no generally accepted exaltation scheme that includes the 'modern' planets from Uranus on. But this is the scheme that I personally work with:

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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Michael Sternbach » 17 Nov 2018, 21:26

Regarding the graph in my previous post, please just ignore the two 'head phones' for now. They are the Ascending and the Descending Lunar Node respectively. They are not planets, and most Western astrologers wouldn't think of them as being exalted in any particular sign. We may consider them place holders for planets yet to be found, but it's better you simply don't pay any attention to them. Seriously.

As far as the seven traditional planets (more precisely, the two Luminaries and the five planets visible to the naked eye) are concerned, this exaltation scheme is extremely ancient and goes back to the days of the Sumerians.

Now a planet is in its fall in the sign opposite the one of its exaltation. It's that simple!

Okay, let's look at an example. Let's say, Venus in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. As Venus has to do with romantic love and beauty as expressed in art, the sign Pisces with its characteristic idealistic and visionary tendencies will provide a nice background for this planet.

Opposite Pisces, there is Virgo, which is the sign of Venus' fall. We associate 'the virgin' with traits like being rational, analytical, and a bit of a prude. Not the kind of field where Venus would thrive, under most circumstances. (As usual, reality is a bit more complex than this, but let's keep things simple for now.)

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Jo Ann
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Jo Ann » 18 Nov 2018, 01:47

Even keeping it simple, it is just too much astrological information for me. But thanx. i am still trying to get the personality of all the constellations and planets and stuff straight. I think i may have made some in roads to the minor arc's astro stuff.
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Michael Sternbach » 18 Nov 2018, 07:30

Well, it's there now for you to reread as many times as you wish. :)

And BTW, in astrology, we are usually dealing with signs, not constellations.

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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Nemia » 18 Nov 2018, 15:55

In astrology, the constellations of the zodiac are called signs. But of course they're still constellations that you can watch.

Aquarius is a difficult-to-see constellation, and it's called the Water Carrier. Obviously, he can't be Water, because why should he have to carry water if he was himself a Water sign? He's outside of the Water but carries it.

http://www.astronomytrek.com/aquarius-t ... r-carrier/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarius_(constellation)

Nearly all the constellations around him are associated with Water, but he himself carries water. And he's an Air sign - the fixed Air sign since Aquarius time is the time when the winter is winteriest ;-)

You can easily understand the zodiac if you look at it as expression of the four seasons. In each season, there are three signs: the first sign comes when the season is fresh and new and still carries some parts of the last season - early spring when the nights are still cool, early summer when the weather hasn't settled yet into heat, early autumn where you still get summery days, early winter when the coloured leaves of autumn haven't disappeared yet. But the new season is so powerful that it wipes away the traces of the earlier season.

The signs of these early seasons are called cardinal, like the word for hinges in Latin - they rush through the door.

Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are the cardinal signs that bring in a new season.


Then comes the second sign of each season. The season has settled now and shows its picturebook characteristics. That's why the signs ruling the season are called fixed signs. The main stars of their constellations are called royal stars, and these four fixed signs appear in the corners of the World card because they symbolize the four directions in their clearest form. That's also the reason why people from fixed signs are a bit stubborn - they know ONE season, they have ONE opinion, they like things to be clear (or what they call clear).

Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are fixed signs. Aquarius is especially interesting - how can an Air sign be fixed? But with all his brilliant intelligence and insight and vision, Aquarius sticks to his ideas.


The third phase of each season means that we start feeling the next season already. Spring is heating up towards the summer, we say good-bye to summer when the first leaves change colour, we feel that winter is in the air towards the end of autumn, and at the end of winter we see the sunlight more and more and the leaves are returning.

These are the mutual signs. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are flexible, understand that each coin has two sides, and they're able to build bridges.

Once you get the zodiac and the seasons as you know them sorted in your hand, understanding each sign is really easy. You know the elements very well through your tarot work.

Think of the three Fire signs - Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Aries is cardinal Fire - he is like the flame rushing up. Leo is fixed - like the steady heat of a summer sun. And Sagittarius is mutable Fire - like the glowing embers of the fire that is ready to become ashes and still gives intense warmth.

Combine the elemental characteristics with their position in the wheel of seasons - and the signs become much easier to grasp.

Aquarius really has nothing in common with Water signs - he is all brilliant, pure winter night when the stars sparkle and visions come up. If Leo is the fixed summer sun, then Aquarius is the absolutely clear winter sky, cold and sparkling.

In Pisces, nature is thawing, waters are streaming, and the preparation and excitement before spring make us dreamy and full of longing. That's Water, that's going with your feelings, feeling change within, taking leave of the old year... like many cultures do.

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are Water signs, motivated by feelings. Aquarius is really very different. He is motivated by insight and intelligence.

Well, that's at least how I understand the signs, I don't call myself an astrologer, just a watcher of stars and nature.

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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Nemia » 18 Nov 2018, 16:05

Oh this is already too long but concerning rulership etc - first of all, concentrate on the rulership.

The seven planets of traditional astrology wander along the zodiac, i.e. the path that Sun, Moon and certain constellations travel. (you know where the zodiac is in your area - it's the path of the moon and sun, and the same constellations wander on that path).

If you don't know the planets yet, get to know them, read some mythology, look at the planets in the sky, that really helps.

Red, fiery Mars - where will he feel happiest? Not in cool, rational Virgo or pragmatic, peace/loving Taurus. He feels happiest in fiery, strong Aries - and that's why he is called the ruler of Aries.

Detriment, exaltation and fall are variations of the basic idea how planets "feel" in a certain place in the skies. Once you have the rulers of each zodiac sign in your head, it's easier to understand how the other planets will "feel" with them. Exaltation means the planet is an honoured guest - detriment means the planet can't do much because it's in the sign opposite to its "home" where it rules - and fall means it's totally powerless because it's on the opposite side of its exaltation.

I think rulership is most important to understand. You use it in tarot all the time. Mars rules the Tower. Mars also rules Aries so there is an affinity between Tower and Emperor.

Don't let it confuse you. It's worth studying, it makes the whole world more meaningful and beautiful when you see a net of correspondences everywhere :-)

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Michael Sternbach
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Michael Sternbach » 18 Nov 2018, 19:20

That is a very good and comprehensive explanation you have given, Nemia! Answering a lot more than 'two questions', as a matter of fact. :icon_e_biggrin:

My only objection would be that signs are synonymous with constellations. Signs are equal segments of the ecliptic (the apparent course of the Sun around the Earth during the year), each measuring thirty degrees. It is customary to regard Aries as the first sign, which starts at the position reached by the Sun at Spring equinox. By the same token, the three other cardinal signs Cancer, Libra and Capricorn begin at the positions of the Sun at Summer solstice, Autumn equinox and Winter solstice. Thus the connection of the zodiac to the four seasons, which you have explained well.

The constellations are a different story, though. They are of unequal size, some measuring significantly more or less than thirty degrees. There are also not exactly twelve of them touching the ecliptic. They were used for naming the signs at a time when the latter more or less coincided with the constellations, roughly 2000 years ago. However, this is no longer the case, due to precession.

Currently, the Sun is at the end of the constellation of Pisces at Spring equinox. But we consider it to be in the sign of Aries nonetheless. For in astrology, we almost exclusively use the so-called tropical zodiac, as opposed to the constellational zodiac, and there are good reasons for that.

However, the existence of two different zodiacs (actually even more, if you take the various sidereal zodiacs into account, mostly used by Indian style astrologers) frequently leads to confusion and occasionally to BS 'news' like the alleged discovery of a thirteenth sign etc.

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Jo Ann
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Jo Ann » 20 Nov 2018, 19:17

Nemia, very helpful, gonna print the two posts and put them in the book i have.

Michael. I am ignoring the headphones. starting with a simple chart helps. printed that out already.

also, the 13th constellation is a myth?? wow.

was an amateur astronomer for years. but it is hard for me to get my scope in and out of the house and seasons have been to wet. Also I can't see well enough to collimate the mirrors. Mike still can. I was thinking of getting a computerized (crap can't remember what its called) to put on my stand to automatically move the scope to where i want it to view.

oh well. would love to search for asteroids, but the camera stuff cost is out of this world. my scope is strong enough to photograph them which is nice if it could.

forgot what else i was going to say, cuz i went off on a telescope thing tangent for a few moments.
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Re: Two Questions that I would like to have Answered

Post by Michael Sternbach » 24 Nov 2018, 10:46

Jo Ann wrote:
20 Nov 2018, 19:17
Nemia, very helpful, gonna print the two posts and put them in the book i have.

Michael. I am ignoring the headphones. starting with a simple chart helps. printed that out already.
Let me know if you need any help with that.
also, the 13th constellation is a myth?? wow.
Well, there are indeed thirteen to fourteen constellations touching the ecliptic (depending on how fussy you are), but the signs are twelve equal divisions of the ecliptic. Thus, they each measure one twelfth of the zodiac or 30 degrees, whereas the constellations range from 18 degrees (Libra) to 48 degrees (Virgo). The constellations just happened to be more or less in the same places like the signs at the time the zodiac was set up.
was an amateur astronomer for years.
That makes two of us. I was one in my teenage years. Watching the planets through my small refractor was quite the feeling.
but it is hard for me to get my scope in and out of the house and seasons have been to wet. Also I can't see well enough to collimate the mirrors. Mike still can. I was thinking of getting a computerized (crap can't remember what its called) to put on my stand to automatically move the scope to where i want it to view.
It's called 'tracking'.
oh well. would love to search for asteroids, but the camera stuff cost is out of this world. my scope is strong enough to photograph them which is nice if it could.
What type is it? What is it's diameter?
forgot what else i was going to say, cuz i went off on a telescope thing tangent for a few moments.
Feel free to say it when it comes back.

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