Sunday, June 14, 2009

Astrology & the Fractal Nature of Reality

I recently had a series of posts on my discussion group Spiritus Mundi regarding the question of timing in horary questions.

I agree that philosophically "As Above, So Below" that the timing SHOULD be in the chart, but my experience is that it is clearly there maybe 40%-60% of the time. Clear enough that is, that you can see it and predict it in advance, not look back and twist the chart around to fit the known results.

Part of the problem is some confusion, I think, over what it is we are doing when we look at a chart. The standard way to approach the chart is an analytical method: we break the chart down into its component parts and try to determine what each component means. "Moon in the 1st means X" "Part of Fortune conjunct the Ascendant means Y"

Analytical chart delineation basically involves the application of more or less strict and invariant rules to the chart at hand. Meaning comes from the individual factors in the chart and eventually one could create a expert software program to replicate this type of analysis.

However, my view is that the process of chart delineation is synthetic, not analytic, which is to say that ultimately we try to see through the chart to grasp the underlying holistic pattern that it is expressing.

Ok, what do I mean by synthetic? This is a process, not of breaking down, but of observing all of the relevant factors in the chart and seeing how they fit together. The meaning derives from the interaction of all of the parts, not from each part having its own invariant meaning. The Moon in the 1st, for example, can mean 15 different things, depending on the context, that is to say depending on the other factors in the chart. This is one of trickier parts of traditional astrology to master, for example being retrograde is considered an affliction, except in a lost item question if the quesited significantor (significator of the lost item) is retrograde this is positive because it is an indication that the item will be returned.

This synthetic process is why we look at multiple chart factors, why we do not rely on a single factor for our prediction. Each chart reflects a situation and each situation as we know from Hermetic philosophy is a ordered patterning. It is this connected pattern that we seek, that we try to glimpse through the chart.

Our search for timing rules that are invariably applicable to every chart, therefore, may well be fruitless. It may simply be that the factors that combine to produce the exact timing are so complex that they are frequently unpredictable as a practical matter. This may be a result of the dual existence of Fate and Free Will. It is indeed odd that the overall patterning or patterning at certain levels is highly obvious and predictable, but the patterning at intermediate levels is so complex as to defy exact prediction. This is reminiscent of fractal patterning as you zoom in or out on a particular part. Ultimately this combination of highly patterned events and unpredictability plus Fate and Free Will is the nature of Reality. Trippy indeed!

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