The Philosophy of Astrology

Scorpio sign

The Scorpio is the phoenix, the bird that burns and rises from its ashes, renewed and rising up. Alike is the sign, filled with cycles of destruction and rebuilding anew.

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Cancer sign

According to Eratosthenes, Hera placed the Cancer constellation in the sky while Hercules, with all the animals by his side, fought a Hydra.

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The Four Elements

2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Thales proposed to base the entire material world on one element, water. Anaximander, on the other hand, proposed a theory called Apeiron, meaning limitless or infinite. Another Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, claimed that fire was the element of the world. Xenophanes believed that all matter in the world was a combination of two elements: water and earth. The philosopher Empedocles originates the idea of all matter being a combination, in different ratios, of four elements: water, earth, air, and fire. The Pythagoreans believed that the element of the world is the number, and therefore the world can be explained mathematically. Democritus believed that each of the four elements has an undividable base unit, which he referred to as an atom. Then, a question was asked: what geometrical shape do these atoms have?
Professor Yakir Shoshani (Material and Spirit, 2008) teaches us how the mathematician Theatetus places five equilateral bodies with equilateral polygon faces. Plato uses this mathematical result and determines that each of the four elemental atoms is one of four equilateral shapes found by Theatetus (The fifth shape found by Theatetus is called a Dodecahedron, with 12 faces, but this shape does not apply to the four material elements, rather it builds the extraterrestrial bodies). Plato relates the cube to the earth element, a shape with six square faces. Fire is related to Tetrahedron, a pyramid shape with three equilateral triangle faces. The element of air was described as the shape of an Octahedron, a shape with eight equilateral triangle faces. The water element is the Icosahedron, a shape with twenty equilateral triangle faces. As the faces of the elements are triangles, one element can transform into another. According to Plato, the materials can be simply explained using equilateral geometrical shapes, numbers, edges, and points. Fire, water, air, and earth are Plato’s way to relate materialism and shape/form, expressed in his explanation of the creation of the world in his book Timaeus, the geometrical form purifies sense and mind. The geometrical forms is the perfect, ideal shape as it is defined by mathematics. The sum of a triangle’s angles will always result in 180 degrees. Imahotep realizes the importance of the equilateral triangle five thousand years ago, by building the pyramids of Giza. Each triangle in the pyramid reflects an element of the Zodiac, just as the four elements are represented in the four faces of the pyramid.

Shapes/forms and Patterns, Astrology as Epistemology.

Aristotle, in his book about the de-anima (book three, chapter five), presents a metaphor concerning light. Light enables colors, but it does not replace them nor sight itself. Light has no concrete content, but without light, colors can’t exist. Astrology holds a structure preceding the material elements we recognize with our senses. The stars and Zodiac signs are a type of theoretical construct. They are platonic ideals, cleaned of material dimensions of time and matter. Astrology is formalization void of material or emotional content like the source. The Zodiac and the planets, in our Plato/Pythagorean approach into a conscious scaffolding.
The astrological formalization derives from the fact that the movement of the planets around the sun over the Zodiac cycle creates a geometrical and mathematical explanation (so thought Plato). Man can then translate this math into spiritual dynamics.
Formalization is a type of soul/spirit, an understanding that decides on the order of things, an order which is the direction that makes us aware of things and events around us. Philosophers call this formalization in a universal name – “universal/ axioms”. Plato called them ideas. The idea of the ball isn’t the ball itself – there’s a football and a basketball. There’s also a baseball and a tennis ball. They differ in size and volume but are all balls. They all take part in the idea that we’ll call “ballness”. Despite the differences in each type of ball, we all know them as balls. If so, then they have a shared origin. The ball as an idea is eternal and conscious. A tennis ball such as in a tennis game we watch has concrete substance. This ball is temporary, unique, and material, but we know it also by its ballness that doesn’t particularly relate to its unique shape. Plato coined an idea called “Chora”, and in the model of creation presented in Timaeus, the process of material creation is ingraining the geometrical shapes befitting of the four elements (the equilateral bodies) in the mathematical ideas in that same “Chora”. The stars and Zodiac act as shapes and turn into consciousness in the philosophical plane. The reason is that they themselves are a representation of geometrical and mathematical order. They hold within the principle of reduction, that becomes the shared origin of as many states and properties as it can. The private event won’t exist as a private event without the shape that allows it to be registered in our minds. In astrology then, there exists a philosophy of generalization. The private/temporary is dependent on the structural, general, and eternal.

Life - a Free will or a fixed Game?

There exists a contradiction between foretelling the future and free will. If God already knows everything we are about to do, all of our choices, then maybe we don’t have free will. If something has to happen and it is inevitable, we are void of freedom. It is similar to film tape, where each frame has been predetermined, such is our lives. Knowledge of the future beholds a paradox: A result cannot precede the reason. We can only know or experience something after it has happened, but a future event has not yet occurred… therefore, if we can see a future event using astrology, it derives that that event has and has not occurred simultaneously. Moreover, if the prediction is correct, the future actually becomes the past… How can this situation possibly be? In the movie “Matrix” (1999), Neo asks the Oracle after dropping the vase, “How did you know?”, to which the Oracle responds: “Oh, what’s really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn’t said anything?”. In a deterministic world where life is a fixed and sold game according to the states of the positions of the stars, we are not responsible for our actions, as no man controls his actions. In a world where everything is predetermined, there is no sense for concepts like good or evil. Astrology in its formalistic form holds options and does not put our lives in a single direction. We can understand this from the structure of the Zodiac itself. The Sagittarius brings a variety of options such as travel, education, sports, and even horseback riding. Each sign brings a different set of options giving us a range of free choice. Astrologically, what is set in stone is not the event itself, but the shape (the sign or the planet in a specific time frame). This is because it’s bound to its mathematical order. The private event is open to our choice. It houses both determinism and free will. A mathematical formalistic determinism that bounds between stars and human consciousness. We have freedom of choice as a result of the options within each planet and sign. The choice that we make is bound within its general idea of its shape. We simplify from the event its story, allowing us to put ourselves on the general timeless plane. The signs turn in our consciousness to the determinism of shape, a type of basic plan in our minds. The signs are birthrights, void of content that grants our plans a shape, pattern, and frame, a type of contextual connection. You can symbolize it using a river, its flow directs us to a certain direction, but as we flow the waters shape the sides of the river and create different patterns from within the main flow. These patterns are our freedom of choice. The flow generates the river, which generates the flow. We are in a state of open and closed, in a combination of form/shape and content, eternal and temporary, choice and predetermined outcomes.
Separating between form/shape and content, eternal and temporary, event and idea, the construction on which the idea is based on, is extremely important. Its role is to grant us the free choice, to keep it Jewish, and to not lock it behind determinism (that takes away responsibility). The rationalist will argue that astrology has a twilight zone that slips away from discussion about either nor , what happened and what has not… but this twilight zone is a type of twilight that is between shape, idea, form, and the actual event. In the words of Gersonides (1288-1344, in his book “The Wars of the Lord”), it is the zone between the possible and necessary. This zone is necessary to keep our free will.
The astrologist, explaining the astrological map, brings the idea presented in the movie “Minority Report” (2002). In this movie, John Anderton, played by actor Tom Cruise, is chief of a futuristic 2054 police, serving in the pre-crime department (based on the story of Philip. K. Dick.), and its role is to prevent future crime. The information on the future crime is generated by a psychic named Agatha, who floats in a pool and predicts future crimes. Anderton realizes that part of the psychic visions have other possible minority reports (the assumption that something might happen but there is no guarantee of it) that adds another explanation to the one in Agatha’s visions. Astrology holds within this sort of minority report, of a different possibility to the future.

Form, Figure, Induction, and Sherlock Holmes

It’s important to understand the figures of speech of the plan of the stars in astrology. Form contradicts linearity. It can combine two events, distant from each other in chronological terms, by granting them a combined meaning. The structure of the Zodiac and the solar system is circular and bears repetitive patterns. The combination of form and circularity explains the example of a woman beaten by her father in her childhood, finding herself to be in the same situation with her partner years later. In this example, the formalism is the dimension star of Mars, the idea of violence, and the time is explained by the pattern. Time, according to the clock, is linear, but in the astrological-formalistic conscious, it is an eternal pattern that repeats itself. This aspect supports a type of determinism in astrology, and the way to get rid of it is by creating psychological consciousness. Often childhood events sink into a type of eternal memory. The word “form” ties together the Zodiac, the astrological patterns, and the world of math. A number is a form without content, and so it manages the order clearly and orderly, but does not determine what sort of specific content it brings. It is possible to say that in its cosmological side, astrology is mathematical, and on its other side, it’s spiritual. The underground parking lot of the Scorpio can take on a different value, such as an investigation room. If so, we must break the event out of its shell, reveal its true origin, the formalistic idea. This point is important to distinguish the difference between the necessary and the possibility that took hold in the previous debate. The astrological structure is inductive and not deductive. Deduction forces the conclusion, while induction claims it likely. In more material astrological words, we go from details to the general, and so each Zodiac is inductive. Each set of events has a formalistic categorical shared origin, but not everyone has to be part of it. We contrast, in this case, Sherlock’s opinion as he tells Watson: “The only thing worthy of mention, in this case, was the special way of thinking that led from the outcomes to the reasons, which allowed me to crack the case…” Holmes is of course clearly deductive, as his investigation methods lead him from the results to the motives. Astrology does not accept this forceful deduction but rather accepts induction. This is where our free will comes through. Induction, if so, is open and denies the closed off deduction. Behind each choice is a principle, a shared plane, even if we are not aware of it.

A Three-Way Junction: Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology

The basic formalistic idea of astrology holds a meeting point, a sort of junction of ways between the religious, philosophical, and psychological planes. This junction derives from the mathematical sense of astrology, which deems it eternal and void of content. Time comes into consciousness due to our feelings, experiences, and events. The discussion between the eternal and temporary is what brings up the context of the religious plane. This form meets the three planes with relationships. Astrology holds that murkiness which is an important aspect of our spiritual character. The astrological form has contradictions; therefore it is difficult to categorize things as black or white, in each human’s thoughts and emotions. In astrology, we accept this murkiness not as confusing but as liberating, instead of red or yellow, we can decide on orange. The colors will still stay, but not with the same intensity. This liberation counters the criticism of the twilight zone, as it is the basis of free will. This frame of mind will only support the idea of free will, like the message of God as he reveals himself to Moses as a flaming bush, and says “I’ll be as I’ll be”, hinting at the free will aspect and liberty of God. This reveal occurs after the Israelites free the Egyptian determinism. The same occurs in the story of the tree of knowledge; it is a representation of the many options and free choices of man. Our free choice is deep within the Zodiac’s ideas and frames that guide in the same general direction in each time frame. “Let there be light”, clearly represents the preference of light (knowledge) over dark, and the understanding of human consciousness to be the ability to understand and choose. It is not starlight, stars are only created on the fourth day, the light of the first day is a gift of God, brought to teach us free will.

Polarity in the Zodiac

The twelve signs in the giant cycle around us, called the Zodiac, are actually mathematical fields in the astronomical plane. Each sign is a twelfth of a circle, 30 degrees. The earth moves around the sun over these signs. It is an orderly repetitive cycle of mathematical harmony. Math simplifies, but we decorate it with mythology to connect this mathematical plane to human sense and understanding. Astronomy allows this mathematical plane to exist for millions of years. The signs, standing in front of each other in polarity, create tension. Aries – Libra, Taurus – Scorpio, Gemini – Sagittarius, Cancer – Capricorn, Leo – Aquarius, Virgo – Pisces. The polar signs represent completion and serenity. Peace of Libra, War of Aries. Chaos of Pisces, Order of Virgo. The completing opposites translate the linear motion into a cycle (similar to Ezekiel’s vision where a snake, an eagle, a bull, and the face of a man, all represent the cross of the Zodiac ingrained in the cycle). It is a bi-directional flow between each pair of signs, generating a contradiction paradox. So we experienced 9/11, the chaos of Virgo and the polar Pisces’ dissolve. This geometrical frame of mind does not stay only in the Euclidean plane but also in the psychological and spiritual planes, both in the individual and in the group. The philosophical role of these opposites is to mediate between the linear and the circular. Man becomes the carrier of an endless, intense idea represented by the archetypal Zodiac signs. The ancient Pharaohs came to this realization, and built the Sphinx with the face of a man (Aquarius) and the body of a lion (Leo). The sphinx is the completion of the geometry of the Zodiac and the three pyramids. These represent the four elements, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. This fact relieves astrology of western logic and rationality. Not everything has to either exist or not exist. Philosophers call this “The avoidable third law”. The polar structure is an expansion of free will. It steps away from Aristotle, his logic and his scientific ideas. It also liberates us from Descartes, and his famous quote “I think, therefore I am”, where he separates between body and mind. The structures of the signs unify mind and body without any separation and each sign has its psychophysical essence, which binds between a spiritual sense and a body part. In Sagittarius, it is space and the liver. The Astrologist is a type of hacker that reveals the cosmic code and hardware of astronomical math. It is not some horoscope gibberish, but a type of pattern, frame, a basic material that is able to be understood.

Astrology and Judaism

In the philosophical plane, the twelve signs are representations of “The One”. The idea of the unification derives from the mathematical and geometrical structure of the signs. This unification is hidden in the idea of completing opposites and it is within the orderly and repetitive math of the planetary cycles. The zodiac reflects its eternal cycle. In each sign there are three thirds, measured accurately. Astrology is always in counting. Each sign has its elemental parts (Fire, Air, Water, and Earth). The plane of unification comes through the idea of reduction in each sign. Reduction brings unification and serenity. The bible meets prophet Ezekiel in chapter 1 with a mystical event that describes the honorable godly throne. It is an astrological description, and it presents: “The sky opened, and I saw mirages from God… Four animals… A figure of a man. And four faces, to one… face of a lion on the right, bull on the left, eagle on the front, and they move to the face of a man, again and again…” The face of man represents the signs Aquarius, Taurus, and Leo, and the Eagle represents Scorpio. The expression is the idea of dialectic, a flow of tension between two directions of the signs we have mentioned. Only God rules the stars. In the biblical description in the chapter of Joshua: “’Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.’ And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, for the LORD fought for Israel.” We here are witnesses of a rare godly intervention, where he stops the cycle of the Sun and Moon. Here is an in deterministic plane of transition, god helps Joshua fight the cycle. This intervention lets us know the astrological plane is under control of the creator. We must always remember, the stars are but subcontractors. They are godlike, but not God. Ravitsky writes, (Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism 1997) That the state of Israel has Godly supervision, without the mediation of the laws of nature or the supernatural. “The land was not handed over by the Zodiac, but by God, without any reduction by inventions of Zodiac!”. God rules over the land without any limitation, according to the Torah, and Gersonides believes the planetary order is a consciousness, and therefore represents the idea of Godly supervision over man. Philosophy binds between human’s mathematical consciousness to unification (Monotheistic belief), where if each numeral conscious had its own hidden digit of one, it would imply that to know it, we would always use one as a scaffolding for the continuation of the infinite chain of numbers. In simpler words, in order to be aware, we always rely on God… The math of astrology is also deep within each sign as a field of 30 degrees, divided into thirds, different in each sign. Each third holds 9 degrees. Each degree has of course an analytical explanation. But that relies on the expertise of the astrologist. For us, if astrology is a mathematical representation of the cycle of the Earth and surrounding planets, then math of course holds within it unification and multiplicity, finite and infinite, eternal and temporary, psychology and philosophy, without separation. It is undoubtedly the only view of many aspects that allows us to face astrology, without failing its doubts of questions and paradoxes, that it presents us due to the belief in one God while still believing in 12 signs, along with the paradox of determinism and free will.

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