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On The Principles Of Astrology?

© 2001-2017 John J. Falone

Currently, there are over thirty astrological systems in use, about a dozen of which have gained the most popularity among astrologers. No doubt, you have encountered systems such as Vedic, Chinese, Esoteric, Karmic and the most popular standard, Western astrology. Within these systems are even more variations of the housing systems such as Equal, Arabic, Placidus, Koch, Regiomontanus, Campanus, Meridian, Morinus, Solar, Natural, Porphyry, Topocentric and Monthly. 

This mind boggling array of systems, and methodologies within those systems, would lead most people to conclude that astrologers are at odds on most every count. If they were so divided, however, astrology would have disintegrated long ago. There is ample geologic evidence found painted on cave walls carbon dated 36,000 to 52,000 BC. We have an unbroken historical record of astrology from Babylonian times with absolute dates ranging to 4,000 BC. What other form of science has survived millennia virtually intact? From this we can see that there is some very powerful glue that binds the many systems, techniques and methodologies of all astrological disciplines.

Such a binding force can be found in the very essential principles of astrology. These principles are made up of the Zodiac, a wheel comprised of 12 constellations and the planetary bodies that were added to the system as they were discovered. They now number 12 when the Nodes are calculated. The basic principles of astrology for the last 4,000 years have proven to be virtually invincible. From this granite foundation of knowledge, every conceivable spin off has been attempted, some better than others. 

It is not within the scope of this introductory document to expound upon the principles for they are many and their explanations are a deep subject. Suffice it to say that astrology is founded upon sound principles that have stood the test of time and millions upon millions of charts successfully used to plot the celestial blueprints of the human condition, its trials and its fortunes. However, we can elucidate some aspects of this subject.

The principles of astrology are based upon a fundamental set of symbols that represent every major area of life, the cyclical patterns of which are designated by observable, celestial markers. These markers are comprised of essentially 12 constellations and 12 planets if one counts the moon nodes. The following is a very brief foray into the structure and quality of the housing system. Then we will look briefly at the planetary meanings that overlay and mix, as it were, the same essential ingredients or qualities moving through the housing system.

The 12 houses used by the majority of astrologers is quite familiar to most casual observers and is called the Zodiac. Astrologers needed to locate the movement of the planets. To do this, they needed a fixed set of markers against which the relatively rapid planetary movement could be tracked. The 360 degree circle, universally accepted to this day, was invented based upon the Earth's orbit around the sun. Why are there not 100 degrees in a circle? Because ancient astrologers knew the Earth returned to the same position in its orbit in approximately 360 days. Why are there 12 houses of 30 degrees each and not 10 houses of 36 degrees? Because the Moon cycles repeat 12 times in the Solar count.

Most of us are aware of the fact that there are hundreds of constellations, the grouping of which are debatable to be sure. So why did astrologers choose the twelve constellations they now use. It was the mathematics of proportions described above that narrowed the field of view to fit the 12 sectors of 30 degrees. The plane of the ecliptic further defined that field of view once astrologers determined that the planets had a narrow range of movement in the latitudes or what we term the declinations. Remember, the purpose of the fixed stars is a backdrop against which to locate the moving planets.

Now that the celestial sky was divided into 12 sectors of 30 degrees and narrowed by the plane of the ecliptic, it was a matter of choosing what fit into that mathematical scheme. The question may be asked: If the constellations were chosen by convenience, then how can astrologers claim that these constellations are a factor in their science of human psychology and prediction? The answer is simply in the cyclical stages of life. 

Just as the fetus develops from an egg, progressing through recognizable stages known as "phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny," so too, once you identify the stage of development of a system at any point, the rest will follow. We do not have to know why, we just have to know the cyclical process of life. Thus the "signs" explain a sequential process of life in a recognizable pattern. Thus, life on earth has seasons of growth and return to seed and everything in between. "As Above, So Below."

Generally, these patterns of archetypal cycles were used in various forms by all astrologers. It did not really matter what system was used, it is the predictable recognition of the cycles of life that form the glue that binds all basic astrology. The next consideration is the use of the planets. Once the backdrop was fixed and ordered into a clock representing the movements of Earth, astrologers now had a way to accurately locate the planets within the celestial clock comprised of phases of human experience.

Since the 12 constellations marked every phase of the human experience, it could hardly be expected that the planets would signify something other than what the "Signs" would designate. Therefore, each planet and its cyclical movement was scrutinized based upon a corollary of the type of human drama and the position of the planet in the backdrop of the Zodiac dial. Things began to get really interesting. 

Each planet, through millions of hours of observation were meticulously plotted as to the position and quality of influence. Over time, it was determined which planet was affiliated with which phase of the life cycle already determined by the housing system. For example, it was determined that Mercury governed the mind and communication as does the 3rd House of Gemini in the Zodiac.

Therefore, each planet was noted as having an energy that resonated with each phase of a corresponding constellation. Perhaps this seems redundant, but it served to reveal astoundingly accurate information by creating another dimension of depth to the understanding of the very deep subject of human nature. So astrologers agreed that a planet sharing or signifying the qualities of the same phase of life as a constellation would "Rule" that sign. 

Thus, astrologers say that the Sun "Rules" Leo and Uranus "Rules" Aquarius. The planet rules the sign rather than vise versa because the planets move and motion has power in this dimension. To a skilled astrologer, this was celestial artistry whereby the Zodiac was the Palette of colors and the Planets, the grand brushes that would mix and blend the colors of life to create a picture of the innate qualities of a soul born into that celestial painting.

The system described above revealed amazing predictive powers to an accomplished astrologer. However, human nature was still far deeper and more complex that 12 signs and a handful of planets could explain in detail. Astrologers wanted to know more, they wanted more detail, more resolution, as it were. They were soon to discover exactly what they hoped for. As the built their body of observed knowledge, a most remarkable pattern began to emerge from the charts they used to note the positions of the planets.

Astrologers began to see angular relationships between the planets. By drawing lines to connect the planets from the center of the circle and measuring the degrees separating the planets AND observing the events around them as well as those whose birth records were known, it became clear beyond doubt that these angular relationships bestowed an observable effect upon man's consciousness.

Moreover, the laws of geometry in physics applied to the laws of consciousness on this plane. Therefore, two planets, 120 degrees from each other formed a part of an equilateral TRI angle or a Trine angle. This is the strongest of angles in physics and in astrology. One builds the strongest bridges using this angle.

Eventually, it was recognized by astrologers of all systems that the angles that the planets formed on the day of a birth or the day of a battle, or of a royal visit, would yield powerful, accurate data. It was seen that planets in opposition to each other and square to each other caused great stress and obstacles to overcome. When the angles changed to a beneficial angle, so too would man's experience follow suite.

We will leave this chapter at this point for we have accomplished our goal in discussing the basics of astrology that most all astrologers agree upon. After that, things are not so simple and agreement of the details of the many systems are encountered with less frequency. However, the foundation herein discussed is broad and deep. It is the glue that binds, the foundation of empirical knowledge and the reason why the science of astrology has survived for thousands of years.

These fundamental associations cannot be disputed and, as such, form the principles that unite all astrologers.


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