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What a comment sherlock

Posted by Wroskopos on April 20, 2010

I was searching for The introduction to the science of the judgments of the stars by Sahl Ibn Bishr, and found the Holden translation in the linked site (most of you are probably fairly acquainted with it).
Proceeding to read the comment, its author was wondering about the difference in the house system in use between ancient Greek horoscopes and medieval Europe ones.
I had a “what the hell…?” moment when I read this:

Why was this issue not tackled by the Greeks? Because they lacked numerical representation that would enable them to perform the necessary calculations. If all they had were “Roman numerals”, consider the problem of dividing MCCCXLVIII by XXIII (848 / 23 = 36.87) using such a crude symbol set.

To the author of that comment: That was priceless! You gave me so much material to laugh for years to come, that I simply can not thank you enough. I will try with this post, to pay a tribute to your “brilliance”. If only we had more of you, nobody would be depressed. I hope you read the rest of this post though I am afraid that it will frustrate the solitary brain cell you have (I will compensate by adding pictures, OK? ). For reasons of readability I will call you John in the following:

First of all John, Greeks used…Greek letters and notation (I know it strikes you as odd using their own language and numerals but they did). Roman ones were implemented relatively later (after the Romans established their empire) and Greek still dominated for some time as the ‘educated language’ so, it continued to be in use between scholars. You could have suggested there was use of hieroglyphs and it would have a basis, but Roman? Anyway…
So far, we have retrieved knowledge concerning the science of mathematics, with evidence that goes back to Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks (in chronological order in relation to historical relics and sources). I will skip the Indians and Chinese that themselves also did well with mathematics – besides their also “crude” symbols – as they are not known to have exert significant influence to the Greek sciences.
Babylonians could solve quadratic and cubic equations, calculate exponents and even had a first form of Fourier analysis (roughly: one can break down certain complex functions into simpler known trigonometric functions). I think it is safe to conclude they could also multiply and divide.
And it is truly safe to conclude that, as proof that humanity knew multiplication and division dates as far back as the Sumerians who preceded the Babylonians. Sumerians could solve quadratic and cubic equations, too as they were able to find volumes and areas of basic geometric shapes. They used (mainly) cuneiform script and John, this is even “cruder” than what poor Greeks had to use.
Next we have the Egyptians, from whom little is left but there too we know they could do linear equations and fractions, composite and prime numbers, so I think it is yet again rather safe to assume they also could divide and multiply – fractions are in essence a division. They used hieroglyphic or hieratic symbols but surprisingly John, they managed coping with fractions and even astronomical measurements.

All those civilizations interacted, knowledge was exported and imported through the ages and the countries and I must tell you John, I think Babylonians seem a tad better than Egyptians (in mathematics) as they had more accurate results in their calculations. I am sure you can attribute it to Egyptians using an even harder (cruder) to depict numerical system but if I may say so, we have not found as many relics from Egyptians as we have from Babylonians so it is unwise to be harsh about their level of expertise.

Last in chronology (seemingly – judging by the very little that is saved) but not least in value, came the Greek. Like you wrote John, they had that “crude” system that should have hindered them. Yet, Greeks mastered the sciences and division is practically exactly what they did, though very little is saved or found as direct originals (here we should thank mostly the Arabs that copied and saved some of the vast knowledge of ancient Greeks).
I am sure you find this hard to believe so please, allow me to elaborate. Ancient Greeks traveled the – educated – world to study and they communicated ardently as well. It is rather simple to deduct that – at the very least – they had learned multiplication and division by other civilizations, all of them using different “crude symbol sets”. However:

Greek mathematics was much more sophisticated than the mathematics that had been developed by earlier cultures. All surviving records of pre-Greek mathematics show the use of inductive reasoning, that is, repeated observations used to establish rules of thumb. Greek mathematicians, by contrast, used deductive reasoning.

This level of mathematical analysis attained by Archimedes, Euclid and others is far in advance of anything recorded by the Babylonians or Egyptians.

It seems Greeks did some good job with their “crude” symbols: they calculated (with the best accuracy than anybody else for centuries) the number π, conics and their sections, spherical geometry, Infinite Series, gave us the Euclidean geometry, and they also proved numerous mathematical concepts, from the Pythagorean theorem to the existence of Irrational Numbers and gave the precursors and foundations of most modern mathematics, including integrals and calculus, and Number Theory.

You do not have to take my word for it, luckily I can refer you to A manual of Greek mathematics by T.L.Heath, where you can see that apparently Greeks could divide and furthermore their system is alike what we still use today.
Using whole signs had nothing to do with their difficulty to do simple divisions like the one you mention. Division was practically every ancient Greek scientist’s middle name! And I believe one can hardly conceptualize any of the other 3 great civilizations having any problem with division that would hindered them into constructing new house systems.
A different reason seems far more likely to existed than incompetence in simple calculations. Many have already published opinions on the matter if you want to find out more John. The subject is still open to educated opinions and strokes of scientifically or historically founded inspiration.

Greeks were so at ease with mathematics, they liked to play with them (only mathematicians will laugh with this joke but, oh well…):

We know that Eudoxus studied the classical problem of the duplication of the cube. Eratosthenes, who wrote a history of the problem, says that Eudoxus solved the problem by means of curved lines.

I should have addressed your use of the word “crude” that I find ἀτάκτως ἐῤῥιμένη and a misnomer but I guess it is a matter of taste. Instead, I will quote something funny that will hopefully help you realize the house system in use by ancient and Hellenistic astrology was not forced due to divisional issues and therefore we should look elsewhere to find why they chose to use whole signs; as the ancient mathematicians were quite efficient with mathematics. According to wikipedia:

Fermat was not the first mathematician so moved to write in his own marginal notes to Diophantus; the Byzantine scholar John Chortasmenos (14th/15th C.) had written “Thy soul, Diophantus, be with Satan because of the difficulty of your theorems” next to the same problem.

and the same abstract according to another source (I have no idea why they use different names for the scholar):

Fermat was not the first mathematician so moved to write: in his own marginal notes (scholia – σχόλια) to Diophantus on the same problem (II.8), the Byzantine mathematician Maximus Planudes had written “Thy soul, Diophantus, be with Satan because of the difficulty of your other theorems, and of this one in particular”.


In Measurement of a Circle, Archimedes gives the value of the square root of 3 as lying between 265⁄153 (approximately 1.7320261) and 1351⁄780 (approximately 1.7320512).

Do you still believe the ancient Greeks used whole house system because they had troubles with dividing numbers?

PS. By the way John, I think you miscalculated your Roman numbers (MCCCXLVIII = 1348; not 848) and I have a feeling that you learned both your history and your maths in Oregon’s “kidipede” (definitely not a recommended site, therefore no link).

A few more References
Egyptian fractions
History of mathematics
Sieve of Eratosthenes (Greek)
Diofantus (Greek) and Fermat’s last theorem
Greek mathematicians
Greek Math
Fourier Series

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

Posted in ENGLISH, Fun & Mean, Science & Astrology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The kind of client you are makes the astrologer you should get

Posted by Wroskopos on April 4, 2010

When in search for astrological insight, people are in loss of where to look in order to find a “good astrologer”. Usually a friend or chance dictates the astrologer who will delineate the client’s chart. A recommendation, or an advertising in a magazine, or an article about astrology that attracted our attention will point us to an astrologer.
It is hard to find a good astrologer but how do we classify “good”? A good theoretical knowledge and years of successful field experience should do it, no? Well, not exactly.

In 20th century, psychology became the absolute hype. The absolute fashion, the “it” thing to give us the most essential answers about the only thing we ended up caring for: ourselves. Being sad was renamed to being depressed and from a natural experience it was deemed a psychological disorder. Being rationally worried was renamed to having anxiety and stress.
The predominance of psychology spread its influence in many science and arts, affecting the Art of Prediction as well. Like what happened with psychiatry, astrology didn’t escape exaggerations and the focus on personal sentiments overcame a balance between events related astrology and inner reflections in a chart. What we ended up mostly having nowadays, is the most egomaniac and emotion-centered astrology in ages. Is that bad? Not really, a product is the result of a need. Many customers crave exactly that aspect of astrology, it would be perhaps short-sighted to dismiss that.

The average modern customer of an astrologer wants to hear about one’s psychological traits and the psychological impact of an incident rather than know what the incident will be. Is rare to find a customer who asks about hard cold facts like it used to happen in the far past. Is therefore, not a surprise or a coincidence at all, that we often see astrologers having some psychology studies and degrees, or astrologers presenting themselves as “life coaches”.
Once upon a time, astrology was factual. Back then it also was a science.

Is there anything wrong about this? Wrong and right are philosophical concepts, far too complex to be analyzed here. The fact astrology took a psychological turn, can be an addition to sociological theses as an aspect of 20th century industrially progressed societies but, it doesn’t necessarily render modern astrology a “bad” thing.
It would be an oversight not realizing things happen for a reason and the emotion-centered astrology is the product of the needs humans had in the last century. Many clients needed to know how a transit or natal position would affect their inner world, their sentiments and feelings. In their search for answers in “why I feel like this?”, “why am I feeling that bad/such a loser/so depressed/so unhappy/ so angry/so without HOPE?”, psychological astrology was one of the most common *tools* we could use to get the desired answers in the search of ourselves.

How is all this connected to what kind of astrologer one should find?

There are two main kinds of good and valuable astrologers you can find, the scholar and the phychologist. Their ethics and approaches differ:

1. The traditional scholar. She is very mercurian (a dignified mercury), she studies and then studies more and likes FACTS, proofs and is direct. She is cold comparing to the following category of astrologers and prefers truth than elaborate lies. Even if that truth makes you feel bad, is still the truth and is unethical to hide it.

2. The psychologist. She is tender and seems caring and considerate and will go in depths analyzing every petty or important FEELING you may experience. Facts are too mundane for her, if a fact is detrimental it is unethical to disclose it to the client. You will get a lot of compassion and understanding and probably accurate insights of your feelings that could be of help to your pshychologist.

To give a gross example of delineation from each type, let’s accept a possible future incident “client’s beloved dog dies in a hideous car accident”. Let’s assume that both our astrologers are very good and see the incident in the chart.
The 1st type will say something like “your dog will die next month and it will be a violent death but you will overcome it”.
The 2nd type will say something like “next month you will experience intense emotions, even shock but you will overcome it”.
It doesn’t matter which prediction is the better one – we can not dismiss either as objectively bad; only subjectively. One judges that by one’s personal preconceptions. For me, who are into traditional, factual, event, “objective” astrology, to tell me how I will feel without telling me why I will experience those feelings, is blurring the picture and hiding ; it is unethical. My feelings will not create that particular event, it is the event that will determine my feelings. In short, give me the CAUSE, not the psychology please.
For someone else, the vivid cold event prediction of the 1st type, can be a most unwelcome interpretation of no use except creating unwanted and detrimenting panic.


Ideally an astrologer should mix discretion with Art and is hard to find a clear demonstration of the aforementioned 2 types; it is usually a mix. In every astrologer though, you will notice a certain disposition in the kind of readings they prefer doing and how they address them. In the modern times, you will find far more astrologers of the second kind, their mix being 30% facts- 70% emotion analysis. Kindness and understanding with all the truth and all the facts is an ideal conception – it is too tough to find the golden middle ground. Some areas are too hot to go into, death being one of those areas yet, some clients want to learn how and when they die while most hate even the mention of death.
No matter how typically good the astrologer is, what matters in the end, is how the client feels about their readings. What the client expects and wants is what sets the kind of astrologer they should get. They should find the astrologer that complies to what deep inside you are after. The judge of a reading is the client. Let’s see how two imaginary clients approach the readings.

Mary says: I got a reading from an astrologer of the 2nd type, I left the counseling with contempt. I didn’t need a self-appointed shrink, I would have gone to a real shrink if I wanted that. I wanted facts, I wanted to know about what happens in the future and all I got was generalizing about how I feel and the emotional paterns in my chart. Who cares about that – jee are there are people who are so dumb they can’t understand themselves? And what makes her think I am one of those? How insulting. What a waste of my time and money!

John says: I went to the 1st type and she was cruel and annoying. She even told me which of my parens dies first! I didn’t want that! It scared me, I just wanted to know why I feel so terrible since last year, why I am so sensitive and depressed and how to overcome this. Who cares if I buy a car next year – I want to know my true self. I will never go back, she tried to sound compassionate but she didn’t really care how I felt, was more eager to show off her expertise than to care for her customer!

If Mary and John switch astrologers, they will both get the counseling they want. They both will be happy with their astrologer. Before you reject astrology, try to get a reading from an astrologer that suits your needs and personality better.
If at the end, you do not find someone to satisfy you, then it may be time perhaps, to start learning astrology and find your own answers, the way you want them.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Will the operation go smoothly?

Posted by Wroskopos on March 31, 2010

I had a dental appointment (is interesting many I know are having teeth issues at this time), concerning an oral surgery for a tricky extraction. After years of fighting a losing battle with my teeth, this matter was of importance so, astrology on the rescue and I asked whether this time the operation would proceed smoothly (I am a known escapist from dental appointments) and whether it be successful.
Naturally, I was biased to get a “yes all will go well”, expecting some complications but at least the surgery would take place and at most I should have to cope with medicine.
Let’s see what happened, as this was a hell of an appointment.

Dental appointment horary


The querent (myself) is signified by the first house, its ruler Venus and Moon. The chart is radical for a couple of reasons: ruler matches my natal one and Moon is in perfect conjunction to my natal Sun. How is the querent’s condition? Venus is in her detriment, in the 7th house of doctors (in medical Horaries), is in the hands of the doctors and not in great condition, the angularity offers accidental dignity but essentially is debilitated.
First house also signifies the health of a patient, here as Venus is detrimented, so is the health. Is not a lethal condition but we know our querent is ill. Being in the term of Saturn speaks of a chronic condition which again is true.
Venus is also the ruler of 8th house of surgeries, it doesn’t give us much more info. It makes sense it share ruler with the ascendant and it made some sense being a detriment.
The ascendant is in Via Combusta:

Concerning Horary charts, the ascendant on Via Combusta renders the Querent on unlucky terms. May just be scared and expecting a disaster or can pretty much already experiencing that disaster, especially if his significator planet also treads the burnt way.

Dead on as it later proved.

How about the illness itself? This we get by the 6th house and its ruler Jupiter. A strong domicile Jupiter, this illness is not a weakling but at least, the ruler is in mutable sign, it comes and goes and it may change for better or worst soon. As I was in the “worst” for weeks, this seemed a nice attribute, much better than having the illness in a fixed sign (which would have meant the disease was here to stay). What is even better, is Jupiter really likes Venus, he adores her, seeing her from exaltation. This is another good indication as it means the illness is friendly and therefore lenient towards the querent.
What else catches our attention is the exalted Sun inside the house of ill. An extremely hot Sun, in a hot cardinal sign, often points out to acute fevers or acute inflammations. There is inflammation but Sun is also almuten of 7th house and given the outcome, it had more to do with the surgeon than anything else and you shall see how that worked in what eventually happened.
I usually do not bother with outer planets but, there are exceptions. When the outer planet is positioned so as to trying hard to get our attention, like right on the cusp of a relevant house or in direct combination with the main significators. Here Uranus is like really nudging us to take him in mind. He is positioned on the cusp of the house we inquire for; the 6th house. Uranus is a disruptive planet, there always is a sudden and unexpected change, sometimes out of the blue discord and separations. This is exactly what happened in the end but, at the time of delineation I considered it a very good indication for an extraction – a sudden pulling out – of a tooth.
So at this point I am left with the impression that alright, I am detrimented (and everyone that has experienced teeth pain knows how detrimenting that can be), that the extraction will take place, that something sudden and upturning might happen due to Uranus and that the procedure will happen but afterwards I will have some inflammation issues. I wish…

It was time to see how the doctor scores in the chart. Is he a charlatan? Is he good? Doctors are always the 7th house in medical Horaries. Mars, ruler of the Aries 7th house is positioned in the 10th house, gaining accidental dignity by angularity but is peregrine. Beyond that, he is term, face and detriment of Saturn. Too much malefic in his dignities but it could also mean a serious person. Being peregrine is a debilitation but he gains some dignity being in mutual reception with Sun in Aries. So, our surgeon seems decently ok. Mind you he is a visiting surgeon, not my direct dentist who had made the appointment, being peregrine seems appropriate.
Then why is Venus applying a square to him? Is there going to be tension between us? Definitely. Even with Mercury refrains the direct forming of the aspect, we bypass this as it is not directly related to our question. What is that Mercury doing inside the cusp of 7th house? Mercury is a co-significator for the doctor and sees Venus from detriment. Again is peregrine and angular. Combining what we have for the surgeon, he is Mars (exactly the planet assigned to surgeons) and Mercury. A short, slim man, around my age, authoritative (given the many Saturn dignities). I got the impression he would be an agile small man with some strict authoritative attitude.

End of matters is the exalted but retrograde Saturn in the 12th house of his joy. I took it to mean I would have to go back to finish the surgery or its aftermath and that part, was point on. End of matters favors me as I rule it but, deeply dislikes the doctor.
So far, the chart makes sense and does not talk of disaster. A few negating points fit pretty nicely the procedure I would have to go through. In this chart, it is Moon that gives the real answer.

Moon is in Libra, not peregrine as she is in her Face but is in the 12th house of self undoing and subconscious. Alright, this could mean deep inside I am very against this operation or simply scared and the inner me wants to get out of the situation. Nothing truer concerning dental appointments. 😀
Here comes Tradition though! There is no bigger “NO” in Horary derived from aspects, than the opposition of Moon to Sun. And here, in this chart…That opposition is the one and only aspect Moon currently applies.
The answer to my question whether the operation happens and goes smoothly, is given right here, by this aspect and is a loud and clear NO. The operation either won’t happen, or won’t go smoothly at all.
As Moon is in a Cardinal sign, it is going to take action to prohibit the situation and my subconscious will play a part in it. And so it did.
The fact Pluto is connected in the major aspect that gives the outcome, forming a T-square, might be an indication that even modern concerning the planet, it might be an interesting point to take in consideration.


The surgery never took place. The visiting surgeon demanded to know too much personal information of mine, going as far as to ask my whereabouts, how I “cope with life” financially and was overall out of line and extremely aggressive. He refused to perform the surgery, he yelled and screamed in hysterical condition, he slammed his desk and in the end he was yelling for someone to call the police (!!) in fury and desperation (nobody was paying attention). Yes, I did a lot of thunderous yelling as well, proving the Venus Mars square almost an opposition.
Moon played its part perfectly. I subconsciously wanted out of the procedure and I truly grabbed the opportunity of aborting when the surgeon presented the option. Judging back, I am happy I escaped, if that person lost his temper in a manner much belittling him as a male (maybe I have old minds but males should not squeal in high pitched voices), what would he do if a complication happened during the surgery?

As things turned out, looking back at the chart, I would expect to see Moon in Via Combusta and Moon Void of Course as well as a mutual reception from Fall between my significator and the surgeon’s.
Can you see more indication of that strife in this chart?

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Raping personalities with astrology

Posted by Wroskopos on March 6, 2010

In the world of astrology there is nothing worst than a biased delineation with sole purpose to defame an individual.

History, culture and socialization dictates our way of thinking through building the blocks of our moral system, nothing new in this. An astrologer, a historian, a reporter, anyone really, is a grid of concepts, beliefs and opinions that are built on judgments and prejudices. We analyze and our brain assigns attributes (judgments) to beings, items and situations.
We are bound to use our own terminology (that may look ok to us but might insult someone else). We are also bound to have certain preconceived approaches to subjects. That too is human and acceptable, if not downright expected.

In this article, I am not talking about interpretations on known proven criminals, even though they too carry a natural bias as we are directed by what we know. For example, a delineation of Hitler’s birth chart is bound to focus around any criminal tendencies that might be shown in his nativity.

I am not talking either, about a honest delineation that presents all arguments of the chart, then deciphers where the most indications lie. If – say – a chart has 5 indications of genius, 10 for insanity, 3 of humanism, is not out of reach to interpret the chart as that of an insane person that is also quite clever. The wrong way would be to focus on the minority of evidence and claim this chart is a sane philanthropist’s. Then again is only human to err.

What I am talking about here are the deliberate lies.
The intentional misinterpretation of nativities. The selective “amnesia” of the full meaning of an aspect or a planet position or a fixed star. The partial and biased interpretation of otherwise normal charts as monstrous derogatory conceptions.
When one goes to lengths in faking a delineation, focusing solely on negative notions of a natal chart, deliberately avoiding to mention the full meanings or – even worst – modifying and discriminating at ill will the meanings, in a manic attempt to debase an individual.
That, is NOT astrology. Is a premeditated and unfounded rape of someone’s personality and reputation.

And is downright hideous.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Where is he?

Posted by Wroskopos on March 5, 2010

A simple and clear question of locating a person’s current whereabouts. We do not care about the querent, or feelings or future actions. This means we will directly address the quesited’s significator, its dispositor and the moon. There is no need to check irrelevant factors. Glory in simplicity.


The querent gets the first house in Sagittarius and its ruler Jupiter fits our querent having a Sagittarius ascendant herself.
The quesited is assigned the 7th house. His ruler is Mercury, which again fits as he is a young man.

Where is our significator (Mercury)? In the 5th house of fun and creativity. What kind of entertainment does Taurus stand for? As the earthy domicile of Venus is connected with beauty, grace and pleasure in a more tangible way, food and throat. Banquets and music and dancing and paintings.
So, he is somewhere having fun. A dancing or music hall – a public banquet is less likely but not out of the question. Could be a country picnic.
POF (Part of Fortune) – the most important Lot for lost items/people, is also in taurus and 5th house.
Alright so, he is having fun, that is a good indication.

Mind you this is querent’s 5th house; not the turned 5th house. The chart speaks in terms our querent will understand, it is her chart and made the question for herself, the location will be judged by how she sees it.
Turning the houses, Mercury is in his own 11th house of friends and large social groups.He could be socializing on the internet for example (if we go after a rather modern approach). We need more indications to pin the exact location and make sure picking the 5th house was the right choice.

Let’s fine-tune this by using Venus as she disposits by rule, term and face our Mercury. She has just stepped back in retrograde motion into Pisces, her exaltation. A very wet sign and Venus is a cold and moist planet.

What is Moon doing? She is conjunct 12th house cusp, in detriment in Scorpio. Gets worst, Moon is right on the “accursed degree” on Serpentis. Is this bad? Moon also shows the querent’s sentiments or mind if you prefer the term. Being on the cusp of the 12th in this case, shows the querent fears something really bad has happened but, not a bad outcome on its own.
Moon tells us something more: She too is cold and moist and Scorpio – like Pisces – is also a wet sign and both signs often stand for stagnant waters.

Now we are getting somewhere. Mercury is disposited by a cold and moist planet, moon is also cold and moist, both are in wet signs.

Adding the information of the sign Mercury is, the person we inquired for a location, is in a recreation area that is wet and very cold, possibly stagnant waters, having fun. Is rather unlikely he is in a wet banquet or in a wet and cold art exhibition (not much fun there). A cold and wet opera house is an also unlikely option. A wet-shirt beach competition with barbeque would be a viable option if we had not get the many “cold” indications.
Mixing “discretion with art” directs us to chose the obvious that connects all indications: what is cold and wet and stagnant waters with dancing and/or music and fun?

Mind that all along, all we were after was a location and its attributes. We didn’t ask for action so we had no need to take aspects in consideration.


Upon return he contacted our querent, confirmed he was ice skating in an open, public ice ring and added it also was raining lightly hindering the nearby band.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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