Wednesday, December 16, 2009
2 Riffs on Retrogradation & Single Planet Mundane Prediction
Riff #212-B "What is the Obsession with Retrogradation?"
From a traditional perspective the complete and total modern obsession with retrogradation as the APOCALYPTIC END OF ALL CIVILIZATION!!!! is rather odd.
Granted retrogradation is an affliction, but combustion is probably worse, as are being in detriment and fall. Plus we have about 20 other things that can go wrong with a planet.
Yet, I never have clients calling me up saying, "Oh, dear, Mercury is in Pisces and is both in detriment and fall, help, help, HELP!" or "I could really feel the effects when Venus went into combustion this time, it was awful"
So what's up here? First of all, everybody does modern psychological astrology, particularly if they have no idea they are doing it. Ask an astrologer what type of astrology they practice and if they say, "astrology" rather than Vedic, traditional, etc., then they are a modern astrologer.
Modern astrology is psychological and has social work and therapy as its template. You don't go into a therapist and have them say, "Oh man, only 30% of my patients recover" The therapist is upbeat and gives you a chance to benefit from the therapy, even if statistically the chances are against you.
In addition, modern astrology is very New Age, in other words, set up to always put on a happy face. After all there is no fate, we can have anything we want and all we have to do is think good thoughts and all our dreams and desires will be fulfilled.
So, for a modern astrologer nothing in the chart is bad, Venus in Pisces, means sensitive and loving, Venus in Aries, straightforward in love. Whereas a traditional astrologer is going to say Venus in Pisces is exalted and very strong and positive, while Venus in Aries is afflicted by being in detriment and negative.
So everything is positive in the modern system, but clearly negative stuff happens out in reality, so there was a hole in modern astrology. A hole filled by two imports from traditional astrology, the void of course Moon and retrograde Mercury. Since these are the only negative things in all of modern astrology, they have to carry the weight of all existing negativity and now in common parlance have become catastrophically disastrous and the END OF ALL EXISTENCE!!!!
Retrogradation has begun a relentless creep as well. We now have "shadow" periods before and after retrogradation that are VERY, VERY BAD! Where originally retrograde Mercury meant "don't sign any contracts" it now means "DON'T DO A BLESSED THING!" Where only retrograde Mercury was of concern, now any planet retrograde is EXTREMELY WORRISOME.
Which brings us to the second point
Riff #446-C/77 "The Affliction or Fortunation of the Natural Planetary Ruler Has an Unpredictable Effect on the Things Ruled"
Ok, so what if Mercury (or another planet) is retrograde or otherwise afflicted, what does this mean?
The standard modern answer is "RUN FOR THE FRIGGIN HILLS!!"
A more nuanced modern response would be that since Mercury rules contracts or travel or all the other stuff he rules then you should avoid doing them when Mercury is retrograde. Logically this would apply to all afflictions of Mercury, but modern astrologers aren't aware of any other afflictions.
Now let's think about this. Mercury rules communications, for example. Does this mean when Mercury is retrograde that the whole Internet shuts down? No, I guess not!
"But my car, computer, travel plans, always have problems with Mercury retrograde!"
Ok, anecdotal evidence, fine. But what specifically is going to go wrong when Mercury is retrograde?
"I don't know"
Hmmmm, that's odd, since when I do a horary I can predict pretty clearly what's going to happen.
Bottom line, if you can't predict with it, you don't know what's really going on.
And to oppose that anecdotal evidence, plenty of the 6 billion people in the world have no communication, travel, contract problems with Mercury retrograde. Plenty have the best contracts, travel, communications of their lives when Mercury is retrograde.
Traditional astrology has to take a more nuanced view because we are focused on accurate prediction. Certainly if Mercury rules a significant area of your chart, or ends up in a horary or other chart, when he is afflicted, then yes, that will affect you personally, but there has to be more than simply being afflicted since that's the same for all 6 billion people on the planet!