Strength and weakness in astrology.
There are two concepts that are important in western astrology: essencial dignity and accidental dignity. This is the renaissance vocabulary and it is not the best, but is probably the best known version of the concept, so I will stick with it (no need to every astrologer to adopt their own nomenclature just to prove a point!).
Why is this problematic? First because several astrologers commited the crime of giving a number of “points” to each dignity. When arabic astrologers said that rulership is 5, exaltation is 4, we are in a very qualitative ground, one is bigger than the other. As we say today, they are ordinal numbers.
An example is degrees of education. A college degree is inferior to a masters that is inferior to a PHD. But that doesn´t mean that we can give points to each degree: “oh, the average education in the US is 4,72, and in Japan is 5,3”. Neither can we sum the numbers up, divide them, etc. And that was made with the essencial dignities.
Much worse was to give points to accidental dignities and then try to sum accidental and essential dignities as if they were the same thing! That´s I vigorously invite students to completely ignore the table found on Christian Astrology. It is the kind of thing that, first of all, was never used, and it is filled with conceptual errors.
Essential dignities are connected with quality. For instance, in the horary of a trial, the essential dignity of the parties is related to the quality of their causes, meaning that the planet with most essential dignity is usually the right one. Unfortunately, as in real life, this doesn´t mean, in any way, that the most dignified planet will win!
In contest charts where a judge is not an important factor, like in sports, in which the judge only makes the rules to be followed, the planet with most accidental dignity will always win! He may be a “bad” team, but he got the strength! Essential dignity will make a “good” team, but maybe they are all facing a terrible diarrhea from the breakfast, or their best player is torn because his mother has died. Good team but horrible performance.
This is a really important point, in astrology as in every other scientific field: in our material world, of generation and corruption, accidental dignity usually beats essential dignity any time! Always keep an eye on that!
Thermodynamics vs Kinetics
In a previous life, I was a chemist. In Chemistry, two fields and their disputes can summarize the study of the Physical properties of Chemical reactions: Thermodynamics and Kinetics.Thermodynamics studies reactions in the state of equilibrium. Kinetics studies reactions outside of this state.
In the equilibrium, thermodynamics can say all kinds of important things about the reaction, like the efficiency of the reaction, the energies involved, etc. So much was the success of this kind of theory, that it impeded the development of kinetics for more than a century. The problem obviously is that thermodynamics is the science of reactions in the equilibrium… and only exists the equilibrium when the reaction has ended.
To not extend the matter too much, we can say that thermodynamics studies chemical reactions in a state of perfection that is not the reactions we see in real life. In real life, reactions that thermodynamics say that should happen don´t happen unless the chemist use some helping like catalysts, pressure or heat. This study would be true if reactions were perfect.
But Kinetics studies reactions in the real life. In the real life reactions that should happen don´t necessary will happen and we need to study that. There is another parallel in economics. Economics studies markets always in the state of equilibrium, and like thermodynamics, ignores the states in which the system falls out of equilibrium. So, the markets are always in state of perfect efficiency, unlike real life, where there is problems of distortion in every real market. The economical theory is pretty bad to understand crisis in the system, as the previous crisis shown very clearly. All the models to predict the amount the risk the banks had fall completely wrong because the premises of a system in equilibrium.
Matter and form
The Greeks had the model of Matter and Form. The matter of something, like dogs, is their essential thing that made them dogs, their dogness. But their dogness can manifest in a very big number of actual dogs, the form of this dogness is materialized in a specific form. As the essence is spiritual, we usually disqualify the “form” part, because, after all, it is not essential! Big mistake, because, as in dogs, every dog has the same dogness, but a poodle and a Pitbull are very different in their manifestation of this dogness.
Modern Astrology is a “thermodynamic” field. Besides others problems in technique, their focus on spiritual achievement has made astrologers completely disregard the concept of “strength” of significators. There is no problem in say “psychological” things about my “relationship with money”. But to make predictions in astrology we need an approach that allow us to know the strength in the mundane world. And the concept of the strength of rulers of houses, etc, is one that students who began with modern astrology have a really hard time to understand.
In a next article I will discuss further why modern astrologers are quick to always dismiss any concept of strength in astrology.