AsterPro Library of Credible Astrology
3. Elements of Astrologic Analysis


Page as of Oct. 14, 2001

Elements of Astrologic Analysis
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Premise Analysis

"Premise" is one of the more difficult words to define in any language.  It
refers to the substance and foundation of a concept, proposal, belief,
philosophy . . .  If something makes sense, one can say that it has a sound
premise.  One can also say that something with a sound premise is defensible.
In an elusive and controversial field such as astrology, premise can be
equated to credibility.  If the premise of a theory or analysis is
defensible, then the results derived from its usage may be credible.
However, if the premise is shaky or indefensible, then nothing defensible can
be derived from it.

As obvious as these tidbits may be in general, the more obvious fact is that
astrology is suffering from a huge "credibility gap."  This is somewhat
paradoxical, for people who pursue astrology are first sensible human beings.
They are normally bestowed with a wonderful "common sense."  Yet when
subjected to astrologic theory and techniques in books, articles, and
software, the same persons seemingly put their common sense to sleep, as if
silently admitting that common sense and astrology cannot coexist.  They
should trust their common sense, for if there is a conflict, rather than
coaxing common sense into retirement, they should dismiss the offender as
nonsense.

"Premise Analysis" is a way in which common sense and astrology may be
reconciled.  Of course, the underlying assumption is "there is something to
astrology."  Given the underlying assumption, Part-II of this book is devoted
to the examination of astrologic techniques and theories.  Premise Analysis
is utilized to accept or discard techniques without paying particular
attention to the results obtained through their use.  The justification is:
if the premise of a technique does not make sense, neither will the detail,
nor the conclusions derived from it.


A View of the Forest

Even the most simple of astrologic charts, Natal Chart, involves 13 energy
sources (Ascendant, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
Neptune, Pluto, North None, and Midheaven) in 12 signs (Aries, Taurus,
Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius,
and Pisces), in 12 houses, and 5 major aspects (Conjunction, Trine, Square,
Opposition, Sextile) or none.  These combinations generate (13*12*12*6)
11,232 variables which astrology must interpret.

Actually the 11,232 is a "bare-bones" figure, for traditional astrology also
includes 32 Arabian Parts, of which "Part of Fortune" or "Pars Fortunae" or
"Fortuna" is the most popular.  Also included is the Parallel aspect, which
forms when the geocentric longitude of two planets are within the orbs of a
conjunction.  It is interpreted as a conjunction.  There are also several
other aspects of secondary importance: the mildly favorable 30-degree semi-
sextile, the mildly unfavorable 45-degree semi-quartile, the mildly
unfortunate 135-degree sesquiquadrate, and the 150-degree quincunx that,
although it is interpreted as mildly favorable, is considered as paradoxical,
since it operates through inharmonious (eg, water and fire, or earth and air)
signs.  If one adds to this close to 100 Mid-Points developed by Dr. Ebertin,
then the view of the natal forest is about complete.

The full view also includes Quintile (144, 108, 72, 36, 24, and 18-degree)
aspects introduced by Kepler, and Mundane aspects that are measured in terms
of differences in signs.  For example, the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in
Virgo are two (Cancer-Leo-Virgo) signs apart and are said to be in a mundane
sextile to one another.  Astrology also includes concepts such as Combust
(when a planet is closer than 5 degrees to the Sun), Cazimi (or "in the heart
of the Sun," which refers to a planet within 0 degree and 17 minutes of the
Sun's longitude), and Abscission or Frustration that occurs when a planet
simultaneously forms an aspect to two other planets: the aspect that
culminates first is said to generate an abscission of energy that frustrates
the later aspect.  There are more of these concepts.

Transits and a Panorama

A forest can be viewed from an airplane or from a space shuttle, the latter
providing a wider panorama.  In comparison to the view from an airplane,
which a natal chart represents, "transits" is the view from the space
shuttle.  If the focus of an astrologic study is an event in a person's life,
Transit Analysis (or Transits for short) is the technique that should be
used.  The term "transits" refers to the geocentric positions of the (day-to-
day) planets on the date and time and location of the event.

Transit analysis begins with 11 transiting entities, the Sun through North
Node, in 12 signs, in 12 houses, which form among themselves 5 major aspects.
This combination generates 7920 transiting variables.  The analysis looks at:
1) the general impact attributable to the interaction of 7920 transiting
variables, and 2) the combined influences of 7,920 transiting variables on
the 11,232 natal configurations of a particular individual.

The influences derived from (1) apply to every person.  This is the part one
reads as predictions in newspapers and magazines.  The predictions are
categorized by 12 house affairs as seen from the perspective of each Sun-
sign.  For example, if five transiting planets are passing through (i.e.,
transiting) Capricorn, as in January 1992, the predictions for the Sun-sign
Capricorn for January 1992 would interpret their influences from the
perspective of the 1st house.  For Cancer, the planets would be seen as
agitating the 7th house affairs, for Aries the 10th house affairs, for Libra
the 4th house affairs . . .  That is, predictions for Cancer would place
Cancer as the sign of the 1st house.  The five planets in Capricorn, the
opposite sign of Cancer, are then seen transiting Cancer's 7th house.
Therefore, the predictions for Cancer would contain positive or adverse - in
January 1992 generally adverse - statements about marriage, intimate
relationships, business partnerships . . . These predictions apply equally to
all persons with the Sun or the Ascendant in Cancer.

The analysis in (2) involves about (7920 * 11232) 90 million variables.  One
can see why astrology is sometimes envious of the task, DNA structures,
confronting molecular biologists.

The Puzzle of Astrology

The panoramic view presented so far is still a two-dimensional picture.  The
other dimensions of the astrologic puzzle come in the form of:

a) Which Zodiac (Tropical or Sidereal)?
b) Which Coordinates (Geocentric or Heliocentric)?
c) Which House System (of about a dozen: Equal, Placidus . . .)?
d) Which Cusps (Solar, Natal, Location, and/or Transiting)?
e) Which Analysis (Transits, Progressions, CartoGraphy, Returns)?
f) Which Astrology (Western, Hindu, Chinese, Aztec...)?

As if this mind-boggling scenario is not adequately rich in variables,
popular astrologers want to add to it asteroids, imaginary planets (i.e.,
planets "waiting" to be discovered), and other inventions so that "you
understand yourself and the world even better," they say.  Even enemies of
astrology could not devise a better strategy to drive credible astrology into
oblivion.