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Re: [astrology-25] Link to information about Sidereal and Tropical differences

From: Eric S.
Sent on: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 9:17 AM
Thank you for your serious consideration of Sidereal astrology. Your post is very helpful and points out a good solution to the problems with calculating the signs and interpreting their meanings. I never realized that a one-degree error accrues over the course of a typical Tropical lifetime. Thanks for pointing that out.

I see the Sidereal system as a return to the ancient formulas, as far as our concepts of planetary and house meaning and influence. Without any scholarly research, I had pictured the old astrologers, before Ptolemy, as seeing the individual stars as the source of a particular energy. When a planet ventured toward a star, the early sky watchers would make predictions using the archetypes developed over eons of observation. Under the influence of the fixed stars, the planet would resonate with the power of the star's transmission, and astrologers would duly note the effects such a combination would have on humans, plants and animals.

For example, when the ancients would see Venus approaching Alderaran, they would forecast a good harvest. Later Astrologers assigned a "zone" around Alderaran, called it the red eye of a bull and with other stars, drew a pictograph of a bull around it to make it and other nearby stars easier to locate and name. They drew constellations for other stars, and linked them into a elliptical plane for better organization. I think that the 13 (including Ophiuchus) constellations were designed like this, as signposts to these important stars. They checked every night to confirm the positions of the planets, according to the motions they observed. Along comes Ptolemy who codifies the movements into an ephemeris, so we don't have to look into the night sky, we can predict planetary positions mathematically. This worked great during his lifetime, but within 70 years, as you point out, the system he devised was already off by one degree, and growing worse ever since.

By returning to Sidereal, we can successfully use the traditional characteristics given to planetary placements, because the planets will be designated to the houses they actually occupy in real time. Just think of how it throws an astrologer off to not correctly be able to identify even the Sun sign in eighty percent of his or her case histories!

One of the major consequences of using Tropical astrology is that, because the fundamentals are off, you have to scramble around, looking for any extemporaneous evidence to line up your interpretations with what is obvious. The sign archetypes should be the fail-safe starting points of astrological analysis. Think of how we have to compound and confound our information because of the confusion the Tropical error causes. Some astrologers have altered the meanings of the signs to fit their own empirical evidence from their clients, or have to second guess themselves at every turn. Tropical astrology forces you to stretch the archetype to fit the person, a lot of extra work!? Thanks for your input.

One universe, one system

On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM, Stephen Campbell <[address removed]> wrote:

Thank you Eric, sincerely, for the link to Western Sidereal I found some answers in the Frequently Asked Question section I just finished reading.

How does the actual practice of western sidereal astrology differ from tropical astrology?

The main difference is, of course, the zodiac.


There are two main points of departure: timing, and the problem of tropical versus sidereal sign meanings.


In the first case, because tropical reckoning ignores precession, a timing error accrues with age that becomes an entire degree by age 72.


If a transiting planet reaches a natal planet in tropical zodiac reckoning for someone who is 58, one might assume that the effects will be felt immediately. But generally, nothing happens.


By tropical reckoning, transiting Saturn will conjoin?natal Saturn, say,?on October 8, 2004. But forty-eight minutes and 58 seconds of precession will have accrued since birth by the fall of 2004.


In terms of sidereal reckoning, transiting Saturn will conjoin?natal Saturn exact to the second of arc on election day.

The sidereal astrologer would say that Mr. Bush will experience transiting Saturn conjoined to its natal place not on October 8, 2004 but on November 2, 2004, almost 25 full days later.


Second, the sidereal position is that trait characteristics derive from the archetypal and original zodiac: the zodiac of the stars. An archetype is invested with meaning because it is original and self defining. It exists regardless of our awareness or beliefs. This issue addresses the matter of whether trait characteristics are carried by the sidereal signs or the tropical signs. In other words, which one is invested with legitimacy? They can't both be right.


As the tropical signs precess farther and farther away from their sidereal namesakes, the most glaring issue between tropical and sidereal reckoning is thrown into bold relief. The meanings of the tropical signs have evolved to compensate for the problems of precession as the signs have slowly moved out of the territory of the constellations that was their original venue. Sidereal astrology restores the crispness of the sign traits to their original venue which was usurped by the adoption of the tropical zodiac in the West. The sidereal position is that if someone has the Sun in tropical Scorpio but sidereal Libra, only the Libran traits are considered valid.

Kind regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Seligson
Sent: Dec 28,[masked]:31 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [astrology-25] Link to information about Sidereal and Tropical differences

Robert hand, by the way, is a very hard-line Tropicalist, and is not a fair judge, since repudiating Tropical astrology, would in his case, put his entire lifetime of work into doubt. To get the Sidereal story go to Ken Bower's website,

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