My Candidates for the Three Zodiacs

I posted this for the ACT Astrology forum on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 4:28am.

[In the late 1970s, astrologer Charles A. Jayne and Michael Erlewine founded A.C.T. (Astrological Conferences on Technique) as an alternative to the standard lecture format. ACT events involved a panel of invited astrologers who discussed issues of importance to astrology with one another in front of an audience. The audience was always invited to participate, subject to moderation, and there was always a moderator. ACT panel discussions appeared at many major conferences including the AFA (American Federation of Astrologers, UAC (United Astrology Conference), and others. ACT panelists are by invitation only and the topics are created and moderated by well-known astrologers.]

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Imagine my surprise to find out that there’s a discussion group on my favorite hobby-horse in astrology: the three zodiacs, or, as I usually put it, the three heavenly rotations.

I’ve been kicking these ideas around for about six or seven years, and while these ideas are in various stages of being cooked (half-baked, quarter-baked), the arrival of this group more or less tells me it's time that my ideas get aired in print.

A bunch of the material upon which I’ve based my ideas has been bodily and irresponsibly lifted from Dear Mr. Robert Schmidt. I’m fully aware that I will probably be making comparisons and drawing analogies across borders that shouldn’t be crossed. Also, if I misquote Bob, well, consider the source: I may very well be in multiple danger of misquoting him.

If revealing oneself to be a fool is living dangerously, then I’m treading on dangerous ground, so here goes:

Mr. Schmidt has made a classification of the classical planets using both the various kinds of opposites posited by Aristotle, and the use of Plato’s axiomatic concept Same/Other. The Sun is the most Same-like, followed by Saturn and Jupiter as planets that are more on the side of Sameness, rather than Otherness. Mars and Venus are grouped together as planets that are more on the side of Otherness, with the Moon as the most Other-like. Mercury is placed in the middle: neither overbalanced with Sameness or Otherness.

It’s been too long since I’ve been able to refer back to Bob’s lecture where I first heard this, most notably the P*H*A*S*E Talk Lecture known as “The Same and the Other.” I know that Saturn and Jupiter belong to the realm of the Mathematicals, Venus and Mars belong to the Realm of Life, and Mercury belongs to the realm of Logos -- of consciousness. What realms the Sun and the Moon inhabit, sadly I no longer can summon back into memory. There are even assignments of the three outer planets: Uranus is Sameness in aversion to Otherness, Neptune is Otherness in aversion to Sameness, and Pluto is A-Logos in aversion to Logos — unconsciousness in aversion to consciousness.

This brings me to my own particular hair-brained thesis: there are seven primary heavenly rotations, and assumedly, seven corresponding zodiacs. Of the seven, I am convinced that I’ve only properly identified three of them:

1. The sidereal rotation is the rotation of the Moon.

2. The diurnal rotation is the rotation of the Sun.

3. What we call the Tropical rotation, the rotation referred to by Hipparchus, is the rotation of Mercury.

Do I know exactly which sidereal zodiac is the “true” lunar one? No I don’t. I don’t know which ayanamsha needs to be used. I am fairly convinced that the Tropical Zodiac we all know and love is the proper mercurial one, but I’m not sure if the geocentric zodiacal degrees of the planets should be used, or the topocentric ones. I have a candidate for the proper diurnal zodiac, which I will introduce later.

The evidence I use to indicate why each rotation or zodiac belongs to which planet is sparse and flimsy, but I admit I have been assuming the correctness of my assumptions when delineating natal charts. Anyway, I have a candidate each for a Lunar astrology, a Mercurial one, and a Solar one.

While it appears to have had an inter-mixture of Greek influence, I regard Jyotish as a fair candidate for a lunar astrology. How does a lunar focus on Jyotish influence how one delineates charts? One of the delineations Bob Schmidt uses for the Moon is things that “Come into being and pass away.” When you look at a dasa in Jyotish, it seems to me that what the dasa is telling you is what is growing and decaying, what is waxing and waning, what is coming to be and passing away.

Ancient Greek astrology is the obvious candidate for a mercurial astrology. Heck, the art and study are called Astro-logos. Logos is language, logos is speech; logos is also an “interweaving,” and a “laying to rest”; but that’s another topic altogether. When you look at a time lord system in Ancient Greek astrology, it seems to me what the time lord is telling you is what the cosmos is thinking to itself, and by extension, saying to you.

Now we come to the candidate for the solar astrology, a candidate that may surprise you and about which I know the most, from research and private practice: Chinese astrology, most particularly the Four Pillars Chinese system of divination.

How in heck can Chinese astrology be Solar? How in hell can Chinese astrology be same-like? Isn’t Yin and Yang, the axiomatic concept of the Far East, the most other-like of principles??

Yes, it is. Yin/Yang is a very Other-like principle. I won’t try to prove that; anyone wanting to know more, kindly listen to Bob Schmidt’s lectures, you won’t regret it. But hear me out.

The Four Pillars Chinese astrology, which is the one that uses (among other things) the Year of the Rat, Year of the Ox, etc., properly only uses the position of the Sun to tell you everything. Some books will tell you that the lunar calendar should be used to determine the Animal Zodiac Year. They are wrong. What you folks probably don’t know is that everybody has, not just one animal, but four, which are provided by the axis and rotation of two of our heavenly rotations. There are not only animal years, there are also animal months. If the animal Year is the axle-of-the-wheel of the tropical rotation (divided up differently than our Western zodiac), then the animal Months are the spokes of the wheel. The diurnal rotation provides the axle and spokes for the other two Chinese zodiac animals: the Day Animal and the Hour Animal.

Just to let you know, Barack Obama’s animals are as such: his Year is Ox, his Month is Sheep, his Day is Horse, and his Hour is Rooster.

What determines what the animals are? This is not asking how they get measured, it’s asking what effect, if any that can be discerned, determines that you’re born in, say, a Rat year?

Chi flow, the flow of living energy through your body, is what determines the animals you are born with. The Year of the Rat is a Gall Bladder year, the Year of the Ox is a Liver year. Make no mistake: I’m asserting that the position of the Sun has, in some form or another, a cause-and-effect relationship on the person, assuming that we can prove that Chi, as an energy, exists, and that its flow in the body can be appropriately measured.

Every student of acupuncture knows that each of the twelve acupuncture meridians has its peak two-hour period of functioning. These are the periods where the Chinese animals lie. Barack Obama is born in the Rooster hour because his time of birth corresponds to when the Kidney acupuncture meridian is most active.

Here is why I say that the Four Pillars Chinese astrology is basically solar: each of the acupuncture meridians has specific emotions attached to it. It’s the specific emotions of the appropriate acupuncture meridian that make a person born in the Year of the Rat, behave like a Rat. Also, in addition to giving the person in the Chinese chart their emotional “hot buttons,” the Chinese chart also gives the native the specific flavors of intention they have. If the Greeks say that there are twelve different kinds of Fate in a chart, not just one, the Chinese say that a nativity will choose from ten different kinds of Intention in a chart; ten different ways a person can aim their mind.

Emotions are something that are almost always within your conscious attention. Intentions are, if anything, even more so. It would make sense to me that an astrology using the Sun as the entire marker would delineate those qualities of a persons soul that are the most under his or her conscious control. The Four Pillars do just that.

Do I think that the Four Pillars show character and emotion better than the Western Sun Signs? Yes, I do. In fact, the Four Pillars are like a super Sun-sign, a Sun Sign or steroids, or at least on Cosmic Growth Hormone.

At this point, I have a model for three astrologies, based on three of the (I’m assuming) seven heavenly rotations: one that shows what comes-to-be-and-passes-away, one that shows what the cosmos is saying to itself, and one that shows the native what his emotional and intentional biases are.

I’m only laying out a thesis here. I’ve proven nothing, and I admit that. I haven’t even properly laid out what Same and Other mean. When Robert Schmidt speaks of the Same and the Other, he says that it might not even be correct to refer to the Same and Other as “two” principles, because Aristotle says that the Same and Other are prior to number.

I close with two highly irresponsible questions: if Same and Other are prior to number, then maybe there is something so primary in the classical planets that, just perhaps, they are prior to number as well?

And so might be the zodiacs belonging to them?

Ko Hashiguchi • 425-919-2169 • Ko@asianastro.com