Thursday, January 15, 2015

Plato's Timeaus, Charts for Down Under and Thanks to Gandy Dancers

Somehow I went from the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand and Sophie Duchess of Hohenburg to the bombing of Valparaiso Chile by the Spanish Navy in 1866.  Wikipedia rocks.  When I did the chart for the bombing of Valparaiso I realized I had finally stumbled into an opportunity to figure out the puzzle of charts for the southern hemisphere.  Like just about every other puzzle in astrology, I find myself in disagreement with the vast majority of astrologers.  I know there are folks somewhere out there who see this as a matter of what is actually happening in the sky.  For instance, I can’t find it right now but I saw an Australian blog a few years ago showing people in bikinis knee deep in the surf waving merrily in their red Christmas hats with white tassles.  They discussed how the zodiac of the northern hemisphere is a mirror of the zodiac experienced by people living on the southern part of the globe, or flipped.  Another supporting blog that I can't find declared that inhabitants of the southern hemisphere are disrespected by the charts in popular use among astrologers.  I agree with these people.
Astrodienst, the free and wonderful astrology service that I use every day, does not generate a chart that reflects the flipped, or mirror image, of the ecliptic that people living in the southern hemisphere see.  I have not made an extensive search, but it appears that the vast majority of the astrology community thinks these charts are accurate and see no need to show the Sun coming up on the right side of the chart as it does on the right side of the horizon for those facing north to observe the ecliptic. They seem to be unaware that the ecliptic is above the equator in the southern hemisphere at the same time it is below the equator in the northern, or if they are aware they think it has nothing to do with the zodiac.

I have waited several years to discuss this aspect of astrology.  After posting the videos about what the zodiac means to me I am ready to show how the zodiac appears from ‘down under’ and how to read my charts for the southern hemisphere.  I hope, as I make more searches, to find other people who have reached similar conclusions.  Meanwhile, I will be using hand drawn charts from the Astrodienst data, but presented as seen by people who orient themselves from the Southern Cross instead of Polaris, who see the Sun coming up on their right as they face north instead of south to follow its rise to the midheaven each day.

I have no problem with doing things my own way, but I know it makes people who are unfamiliar with astrology wonder who is right, MP the crackpot, or the hundreds of astrologers who say otherwise.  I can only say this is the account of the zodiac that consistently adds up for me.  It has been presented at least since the time of the earliest Rig Vedas as a wheel with equal sections.  The constellations are easy to locate without abstract reasoning, but they don’t satisfy me as an explanation for the equal sections of the zodiac.  As far as I can tell, Plato’s account of celestial mechanics (I have not studied Aristotle) is concerned with describing heaven, while every other writer that concerned themselves with astrology after Plato was satisfying a public demand for predictions or recipes for predictions.  While much of Timeaus does not make sense to me, I still go back to it because it concerns itself with the relationship between the equator and ecliptic more than any other ancient account except maybe the Rig Vedas.  I say ‘maybe’ because though I have picked out relevant quotes, I have not studied the Rig Vedas.

So I have gone back and found the section of Timeaus that keeps coming to mind as I consider how to present a cartographic format for the southern hemisphere that I consider to be more respectful and reflective of heaven as seen from Valparaiso, Chile or Perth, Australia.

The nature of the light and the heavy will be best understood when examined in connexion with our notions of above and below; for it is quite a mistake to suppose that the universe is parted into two regions, separate from and opposite to each other, the one a lower to which all things tend which have any bulk, and an upper to which things only ascend against their will. For as the universe is in the form of a sphere, all the extremities, being equidistant from the centre, are equally extremities, and the centre, which is equidistant from them, is equally to be regarded as the opposite of them all. Such being the nature of the world, when a person says that any of these points is above or below, may he not be justly charged with using an improper expression? For the centre of the world cannot be rightly called either above or below, but is the centre and nothing else; and the circumference is not the centre, and has in no one part of itself a different relation to the centre from what it has in any of the opposite parts. Indeed, when it is in every direction similar, how can one rightly give to it names which imply opposition? For if there were any solid body in equipoise at the centre of the universe, there would be nothing to draw it to this extreme rather than to that, for they are all perfectly similar; and if a person were to go round the world in a circle, he would often, when standing at the antipodes of his former position, speak of the same point as above and below; for, as I was saying just now, to speak of the whole which is in the form of a globe as having one part above and another below is not like a sensible man.
                                         Plato’sTimeaus:  Senses
                                        Translation B. Jowett

Once again thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to read the Our Sky blog.  Lately I think of people willing to put up with these difficult posts as Gandy Dancers.  The only dancing here is a collective push to get an ancient language back on track.