What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

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What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Labyrinthus » Thu May 13, 2010 6:58 am

Is there any documentation on which system Crowley, Mathers, Fortune etc. used in their astrological work?
(Sidereal vs Tropical)
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby danica » Thu May 13, 2010 8:28 am

Labyrinthus wrote:Is there any documentation on which system Crowley, Mathers, Fortune etc. used in their astrological work?
(Sidereal vs Tropical)


Crowley used Tropical , about other two mentioned I'm not sure, but - if they used Sidereal we would know :), so my gues is - Tropical also.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 13, 2010 9:14 am

Sidereal Astrology (the Western system - not to be confused with various Asian systems) didn't come into existence until the 1940s. (That should simplify things!)

Mathers was experimenting with a quasi-Sidereal zodiac (about 5° off), but that doesn't seem to have reached any practical astrological level. (It did affect his theories on Tarot and similar things.)
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Labyrinthus » Thu May 13, 2010 12:10 pm

I believe the Hindu sidereal method would have been well understood by Crowley and friends.

I am sure Ptolomy had a reason for his method and instruction. Too bad he didn't go to the trouble to explain himself a little more clearly.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 13, 2010 1:12 pm

Labyrinthus wrote:I believe the Hindu sidereal method would have been well understood by Crowley and friends.

Please don't confuse Hindu astrology with Sidereal Astrology. (The latter is the proper name of a Western system that functions almost unrecognizably different from Hindu astrology.

I am sure Ptolomy had a reason for his method and instruction. Too bad he didn't go to the trouble to explain himself a little more clearly.

Ptolemy was a siderealist. Is that what you mean?
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Labyrinthus » Thu May 13, 2010 3:17 pm

I think all astrologers were siderealists over 2000 years ago because the effects of precession would not have factored in in sufficient degree to make it worth bothering with.

I am under the impression that it was under direct order from Ptolomy that the tropical method developed.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 13, 2010 3:40 pm

Labyrinthus wrote:I am under the impression that it was under direct order from Ptolomy that the tropical method developed.

Sorta / kinda / not really :D It was a Medieval misunderstanding of Ptolemy that created the Tropical zodiac.

Ptolemy was born around 90 AD. At his birth, the Sidereal longitude of the vernal equinox was 1°48' Aries. By the time he died, about 70 years later, it had regressed to 0°50'. He wrote that the vernal equinox was at 0° Aries, which was a correct astronomical fact.

However, "the vernal equinox is at 0° Aries" was misunderstood as "0° Aries is at the vernal equinox" - a very different thing!
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Labyrinthus » Thu May 13, 2010 3:58 pm

That is good info/data. Thanks.

I will factor that into my future evaluations of this hypothesis.

I recall reading the exact words of Ptolomy in Tetrabiblos?, maybe?... one of his books, anyway... it looked to me like if the exclamation point had existed then it would have followed his instruction to 'freeze the positions'... something like that... it has been nearly ten years since I was looking into it. I am not real sure of any of it now because it has not been of interest to any in my circle of friends... but if that changes I may pursue the matter further.

In the meantime I find that universal aspects alone are sufficient to make very accurate predictions and so relative position against the sidereal or tropical constellation are not so critical.

Though... I would like to get to the bottom of all this some day.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 13, 2010 4:04 pm

My next book will give a block of data that, in any logical and objective world, would put the entire question to rest forever. (I don't expect it to, but, y'know, what one can say...) Hopefully it will be out before the end of the year.

In any case, if by "aspects" you are including transits, these are subject to precession. By the time one is 36 years old, half a degree of precession has accrued. That's enough to significantly offset the time when a slow-planet transit is within orb, not to mention the exact day of its hit. You need to work in an aprecessional (sidereal or pseudo-sidereal) framework to get accurate timing of transiting aspects.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby HPK » Thu May 13, 2010 4:06 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Labyrinthus wrote:I believe the Hindu sidereal method would have been well understood by Crowley and friends.

Please don't confuse Hindu astrology with Sidereal Astrology. (The latter is the proper name of a Western system that functions almost unrecognizably different from Hindu astrology.

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That is absolutely right. Vedic Astrology is... more something like sadhana. But I am in one more thing interesred. Is it possible to find anywhere Rituals of Sat Bhai Order? I found very little information about them, but there is, oit seems, influence of Vedic Astrology on them ... or at least on their degrees and teachings. Thanx for every information.

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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Labyrinthus » Thu May 13, 2010 5:25 pm

"In any case, if by "aspects" you are including transits, these are subject to precession. By the time one is 36 years old, half a degree of precession has accrued."

Usually I just use global, real time transits for global near term outcomes... hmmm but now and then I do consider a present transit to a natal Arabic Part. And then ... I do like to dig in to the eclipse positions now and then. That would definitely be affected.

Heh... I just thought of a good way to put this to the test. Kindof a lotta work though...how bad do I want it? So many experiments, so little time.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Arretos-Thauma » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:36 pm

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Does anyone know a good book on Western Sidereal Astrology? I have found several on Hindu Astrology, but only one that seems to cover the Western version.

Primer of sidereal astrology (Moray series)
by Cyril Fagan (Paperback)

Anyone know anything about this book?
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Seraph » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:10 am

Hey, on this particular topic (and only a slight digression) - something's been bugging me about astrology for some time now:

Why are the Tropical signs of the Zodiac so very wrong? The constellations (given in the ephemera) don't match to the actual constellations (in the sky). For instance, Scorpio is only about 5* of sky, the planets move through around 20 odd constellations in the sky, and no mention is made of the fact that Ophiuchus occupies more of the plane of the ecliptic that Scorpio does. The last time the sun actually entered Aries on the 22nd of March was in 260BC - mostly the "accepted" dates of around 20-22nd of each month are wrong by 12-14 days or more.

What gives? Why is it that you can only do Astrology by looking in a book, and not by looking at the sky?
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:33 am

Seraph wrote:The constellations (given in the ephemera) don't match to the actual constellations (in the sky). For instance, Scorpio is only about 5* of sky, the planets move through around 20 odd constellations in the sky, and no mention is made of the fact that Ophiuchus occupies more of the plane of the ecliptic that Scorpio does.

That's a relatively modern view of the constellation boundaries, and one not created by astrologers. Astronomers have redrawn those lines many times over the centuries.

Ancient cultures that have given us the zodiac - especially Egypt - used 30° divisions. One of many exaples of this: In the circular zodiac in the ceiling of the temple at Denderah, immediately before Leo is a goddess holding a bow, like a crescent Moon. Now, when we look at Leo in the sky, the structure of the head, mane, etc. is probably the most cionvenient structure - but those first stars, forming most of the mane but also shaped like a crescent, are actually in Cancer! (Not according to modern divisions, but definitely according to the definitions of the people who gave us the zodiac.) And that structure actually was shown on the Denderah zodiac diagram as coming just before Leo.

The Babalonians had a more equatorial system - their input to the zodiac per se was relatively small. And on their agrarian boundary stones, where we see some of the earliest appearances of what we today know as the four Kerubic figures, we not only see a bull (Taurus), lion (Leo), and eagle (Aquila), but a creature with the body from the waist upo human and, below that, a scorpion. This figure did mark the convergence (more obvious at the equatorial juncture) of Ophiuchus and Scorpio as the fourth creature. However, that didn't survive into an ecliptical system, the zodiac proper.

The last time the sun actually entered Aries on the 22nd of March was in 260BC - mostly the "accepted" dates of around 20-22nd of each month are wrong by 12-14 days or more.

More like 25.

What gives? Why is it that you can only do Astrology by looking in a book, and not by looking at the sky?

Because most people can't look at the sky.

I remember a time in the late '70s, at an astrology conference in Southern California, when several of us were outside talking and noted the half Moon in the sky. I stared a bit, looked at the shadows etc., did a quick check against the angle of the setting Sun, and said idly that we were probably 15 minutes from the Sun-Moon square. Somebody whipped out their calendar and it turned out I was not quite right - it was more like 17 minutes! Though I was partly lucky, there was also some skill involved, and people around me were praising. The main point of the story, though, is that nobody else standing there (with one probable exception) could have done that, and they knew it. They weren't that used to looking at the sky.

More broadly (and realistically), most astrologers can't name five constellations in the winter nighht sky - which should be trivial for them.

On the other hand, visual observation of the sky doesn't give us fine enough detail. Though I'm pretty good at the above sort of stuff, I rely on the book and the computer for 99%+ of all my astrological work, because that's the only way I can get accurate enough information. (I'm writing this the very minute that Mercury - today conjunct my natal Jupiter and Uranus, and currently a third to a half of a degree from them - is precisely square the Midheaven. No way could I get any of those facts from looking at the sky!)
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Seraph » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:59 am

That looks like a really well thought out answer there, Jim. Thank you, other people into astrology had taken my confusion as a slight on their favourite system and got defensive on me! :)
So again, thanks muchly for that. I've got to go now, but I'll digest it for a bit - there was a very related question I had, but no time currently to write it out thoughtfully :)
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby deleted » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:33 am

Tangent - Just FYI - There's an interesting new application for Droid-style phones. You point your phone in any direction in space, and on the screen, it graphically shows you the stars and planets as they currently exist in that direction complete with labels. If you point it where the Sun is, or should be if it's night, the screen shows exactly what constellation the sun is in, and Tahuti standeth in his splendor at the prow (though he also walks to the stern to check things out).

It is an absolutey fascinating way of checking the astrological "weather" in real time, and it fills a bit of a void for people who live in cities where lights are too bright to ever see the skies clearly at night. Mostly, it's hazy here, and I can only make out the planets. The phone fills in the rest like a hand-held, animated, and annotated telescope.

I don't have it yet myself, my brother-in-law does, but when my current cell contract is up, me likey... Me likey lots.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Mephisto » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:03 am

Frater LA wrote:Tangent - Just FYI - There's an interesting new application for Droid-style phones. You point your phone in any direction in space, and on the screen, it graphically shows you the stars and planets as they currently exist in that direction complete with labels. If you point it where the Sun is, or should be if it's night, the screen shows exactly what constellation the sun is in, and Tahuti standeth in his splendor at the prow (though he also walks to the stern to check things out).

It is an absolutey fascinating way of checking the astrological "weather" in real time, and it fills a bit of a void for people who live in cities where lights are too bright to ever see the skies clearly at night. Mostly, it's hazy here, and I can only make out the planets. The phone fills in the rest like a hand-held, animated, and annotated telescope.

I don't have it yet myself, my brother-in-law does, but when my current cell contract is up, me likey... Me likey lots.


This is certainly news to me! As a student of both Astrology and Astronomy, this should prove to be a handy tool indeed. And it just so happens I'm in need of a new phone. Thanks for the info! :D

Jim wrote:I remember a time in the late '70s, at an astrology conference in Southern California, when several of us were outside talking and noted the half Moon in the sky. I stared a bit, looked at the shadows etc., did a quick check against the angle of the setting Sun, and said idly that we were probably 15 minutes from the Sun-Moon square. Somebody whipped out their calendar and it turned out I was not quite right - it was more like 17 minutes! Though I was partly lucky, there was also some skill involved, and people around me were praising. The main point of the story, though, is that nobody else standing there (with one probable exception) could have done that, and they knew it. They weren't that used to looking at the sky.

More broadly (and realistically), most astrologers can't name five constellations in the winter night sky - which should be trivial for them.


I've run into the same problem. Most astrologers display a real ignorance of the actual heavens. While I myself can't claim the ability to pick out Casseopeia from Bootes (without a star chart, at least), I saw the need for actual observation from the start. One can draw up charts all day long, and make the most minute studies of astrological theory--but one gains a deeper apprehension of the planets when one sees Jupiter in Pisces, for instance, and meditates on his rays. In fact, outside observation has been (for me, at least) an excellent way of apprehending the true natures of the spheres.

On the other hand, visual observation of the sky doesn't give us fine enough detail. Though I'm pretty good at the above sort of stuff, I rely on the book and the computer for 99%+ of all my astrological work, because that's the only way I can get accurate enough information. (I'm writing this the very minute that Mercury - today conjunct my natal Jupiter and Uranus, and currently a third to a half of a degree from them - is precisely square the Midheaven. No way could I get any of those facts from looking at the sky!)


Exactly. The trick is to balance the technological with the experiential.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby Seraph » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:10 pm

Frater LA wrote:Tangent - Just FYI - There's an interesting new application for Droid-style phones. You point your phone in any direction in space, and on the screen, it graphically shows you the stars and planets as they currently exist in that direction complete with labels. If you point it where the Sun is, or should be if it's night, the screen shows exactly what constellation the sun is in, and Tahuti standeth in his splendor at the prow (though he also walks to the stern to check things out).

It is an absolutey fascinating way of checking the astrological "weather" in real time, and it fills a bit of a void for people who live in cities where lights are too bright to ever see the skies clearly at night. Mostly, it's hazy here, and I can only make out the planets. The phone fills in the rest like a hand-held, animated, and annotated telescope.

I don't have it yet myself, my brother-in-law does, but when my current cell contract is up, me likey... Me likey lots.


It won't work. The relationship between observable constellations and the ephemeris is very loose. Astrology doesn't match up with astronomy very well.
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby deleted » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:19 am

I'm performing my own experiment with the Fagan-Bradley sidereal system.

You should try it!

http://marklipson.com/jastro/ Set the pull down menu at the bottom right for "Fagan-Br."

Try your own natal chart and those of your parents. It kept my sign the same and changed both of theirs in a way that made our relationships make much more sense than Tropical. Personally, I found it at least as accurate as the Meyers-Briggs in describing us and our relationships. In fact, it acted much like a further commentary on it. Anyway, I'm convinced, and it's the system I will use the rest of my life.

Enjoy!
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Re: What Astrological System Did Crowley Use?

Postby danica » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:41 am

Arretos-Thauma wrote:Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Does anyone know a good book on Western Sidereal Astrology? I have found several on Hindu Astrology, but only one that seems to cover the Western version.

Primer of sidereal astrology (Moray series)
by Cyril Fagan (Paperback)

Anyone know anything about this book?


93, Arretos-Thauma,
you can find a lot of recommendations for good books on the subject here > http://solunars.net/index.php
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