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!


Unknown said...

Reading your blog makes it blindingly clear how little I actually know about astrology-the subject can be mind-numbingly complicated and confusing when approached without a teacher.

This bit about over positivity is applicable to all of the occult sciences these days, unfortuantely. Nobody wants to call a duck a duck, these days. Very few, anyway-there are still islands of sensibility out there.

You're going to have another student once this shopping season is over!



Christopher Warnock, Esq said...

Cool! I'd be happy to have you as a student!

Anonymous said...

A long time ago, Rob Hand said that their business totally died whenever Mercury was Rx (his software business at the time). After that, I made it a point to always buy my astrological software when Mercury was Rx, because I knew if I needed help in setting it up or had questions, I would get their undivided attention on the phone. BTW, I never had any problems with the software bought during Rx Mer.
Even before I was fortunate enough to discover 'the real Astrology', I had thought the negative effects of a Rx Mercury were ridiculously exagerated.
PS..I remember reading a long time ago that an astrologer had found that many of the space flight take-off charts had a Rx Mercury. She associated this with the acquiring of new information/science etc. I can't speak to that theory, but it obviously shows that it's not the catastrophic condition that moderns have made it out to be.

Unknown said...

This is an excellent article and dead on target with how the moderns think, I am so very happy I moved away from modern and work with Traditional, so much more accurate and I agree much more predictable.

I do not pay much attention to the Retrogrades anymore as I know within my Native chart Mercury is benevolent, so when a Retrograde comes I tend to look at where the Sun is and as you stated Christopher, which house it sits in, within the specific casting of a chart.

I know when I did do modern astrology, all of my clients had no idea what I was talking about, it was all fluffy. Yet, when I moved into truly learning and understanding the Traditional my readings and predictions were and are on target with what is being looked at specifically. The new agers run on a VC Moon or Retrograde and with that nothing would ever get done.

It is just a matter of opening up your mind and seeking beyond the norm of what one is taught to find the truth.