All of this post is intended for folks with some knowledge of or interest in astrology, so we recommend that general readers ignore it.
Well, this is interesting. Our Planet is misaligned slightly, such that every year at midnight on the Spring Equinox, the Stars are in slightly different positions than they were the year before. It’s a predictable movement, called the “Precession of the Equinoxes.” Because it takes about 70 years for the Stars to shift one Degree (with is 1/360th of the Circle), we don’t much notice this day to day. However, if we’re looking at phenomena that span several Centuries, we might indeed notice it.
We speak of Midnight on the Spring Equinox, because that’s when we can see the Stars – assuming there are no clouds. To be technical about it, we need to look at the moment of the Spring Equinox, which could occur at any time of day. Most of the jiggling is caused by Leap Years, but there are other jiggles as well.
You can do astrology hundreds of different ways, but there are two main schools of Western astrology, “Tropical” astrology and “Sidereal” astrology. In Tropical astrology, one Degree of Aries occurs when the Sun crosses the Equator heading north, on its way to the Tropic of Cancer. So it’s not “Tropical” as in hot weather with downpours every afternoon, but “Tropical” as in the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, two lines of Latitude that are 23 degrees and 27 minutes north and south of the Equator, respectively. Tropical astrology watches the planets as they move relative to the Earth.
Sidereal astrology on the other hand, watches the planets as they move relative to the Sun. For instance, Mars never actually goes backwards, that would be silly. But when we watch Mars from our Perspective on Earth, it appears to go backwards every couple of years, because as we go around the Sun we pass it up. The classic example is passing another car on the freeway. If you’re just watching the other car, it looks like it starts to go backwards as we pass it. If we assume the the Earth goes around the Sun, then it seems silly to look at things relative to the Earth. However, Earth is where we live, so looking at things relative to the Earth is the same as looking at things relative to us.
In Sidereal astrology, because of Earth’s misalignment, the Stars and Constellations are constantly shifting their position relative to the Spring Equinox. Sidereal astrology assumes that we should define the Signs based on the Constellations they’re named after. So we can map out the Sign Cancer, for instance, by when certain planets pass certain Stars. Tropical astrology is based instead on Linear Time. In Tropical astrology the Sign Cancer is defined as the first 30 days after the Sun gets to 27:23 of north Latitude – the Tropic of Cancer. If in Tropical astrology we just renamed the Sign Cancer to be called “July” instead, it would make a lot more sense relative to the weather (though of course it would be Confusing relative to the wall calendar) and we wouldn’t confuse it with the Constellation Cancer and the Sidereal Sign.
Terminology aside, it’s always Both/And. Both Tropical and Sidereal astrology contribute important information to our understanding, and their contributions are different. The more Perspectives we can use, the wider our understanding, so Tropical and Sidereal astrology should Celebrate one another rather than Competing with one another.
Sabian Symbols are readings for each Degree. They were channeled in 1925 by Elsie Wheeler, a California psychic. Here’s some history…
I use Tropical astrology and always have, so I can’t speak for Sidereal astrology (in fact, even the above my be misconceptions on my part!), but Tropical astrology (and the Astrobuss blog) relies on the Sabian Symbols a fair amount. In Sidereal astrology, one Degree refers to 1/360th of the Sky – roughly the width of a finger held at arm’s length. In Tropical astrology, one Degree refers to one Day of the Year. When Marc Jones hired Elsie to do the readings, he was a Tropical astrologer, and I don’t think he instructed Elsie about the difference between a Degree as a portion of the Sky and a Degree as a portion of the Year.
So when Marc asked Elsie what she saw relative to Taurus 25, we don’t know whether she was viewing the Sky and Stars, or a Day in mid-May. It’s been 90 years since Elsie Channeled the Sabian Symbols, and since the Stars move 1.3 Degrees relative to the Spring Equinox in that time, it’s possible that some or all of the Symbols – whenever Elsie was thinking about the Sky rather than the Year – should be shifted by 1.3 Degrees. The Stars move forward relative to the Equinoxes, and the Equinoxes move backward relative to the Stars. This is not a new question…
So when Elsie Channeled 24 Taurus as a Warrior with human scalps in his belt and 25 Taurus as A vast public park, the Star Capulus, signifying Aggression, was in 24 Taurus. Capulus is now in 25 Taurus. So if Elsie was looking at Capulus when she was reading 24 Taurus, we can make a good case that we should be looking to 24 Taurus and a Warrior for our interpretation of the Sedna-Mars Initiation. But if she was looking at the Day in mid-May, we should choose 25 Taurus and Park. To be safe, we’d just choose Both/And. All Elsie had to go on was the phrase “24 Taurus.” It’s easier to read someone’s mind than to read the Ethers, and Marc may have known about Capulus, but he had shuffled the cards, and he could not see which Degree was being read.
What about other Stars and Degrees. If we take several Strong Stars and compare them to their Degrees in 1925…
- Algol (Female Passion) in 26 Taurus
- Zosma (Victimization) in 11 Virgo
- Menkar (Arising into Consciousness) in 14 Taurus
- Facies (Violence) in 7 Capricorn
We get some indications that Elsie was looking at the Sky, but it’s not consistent.
So, Capulus aside, there’s no strong evidence either way, but there is a strong indication that the Stars have significant impact apart from the Sabian Symbols. So rather than try to Precess the Sabian Symbols, I’d recommend just adding major Stars to your astrological toolkit, as a separate process.