12 July 2010

Astrology and Linear Algebra

There was a small exaggeration in my last post on Science (3 July) and I said religion and science are never mixed in my mind. There was actually one event of religion and science mixing. What happened was I was trapped in a situation with no graceful exit. It was after a Society Exploration Geophysics convention in a city several hundred miles away. I was flying home. I was sitting in the coach section reading my copy of Manly Hall "Secret Teachings of All Ages". Next to me was a stranger, a professional colleague, which was fairly obvious as he was reading a book about measuring the magnetism and gravity fields of Earth. Nobody but a geophysicist is likely to ever read such a book.

After we had read our books for a couple hours, I asked him if he was a geophysicist. (As if I was pretending that you do not know after two hours what book the person sitting next to you in coach is reading.) Me too. Then he asked me what I was reading. I told him "metaphysics" and I showed him the cover. He asked me if there was any Astrology in the book. I told him there was. He told me he was an Astrology student when he was not working as a geophysicist. I can not usually handle such conversations with any skill and usually exit from them as quickly as possible but there we were sitting right next to each other for another forty minutes and we were going to talk about it.

So I improvised. I told him that my view on Astrology was it was like a complete valid vector basis set which spanned the space of human experience. If you do not know much Calculus, that is like a higher dimensional generalization of what x and y do for a two dimensional plane in Cartesian coordinates in high school analytic geometry. (x,y) is the basis set--the two numbers are independent and any point in the plane can be specified by a unique pair; we say x and y span the two dimensional plane. Mathematicians can take this to any number of dimensions to infinite series and infinite sets.

I told him the Astrological representation to me was like just about any other system in Manly Hall's book: Kabbalah, Alchemy, Freemasonry, Hellenistic Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, &c-- any of these systems provide a valid basis set which spans human experience in this universe--although Astrology was not one that I knew much about or was motivated to use.

Some people are really into it. I know a woman who owns 500 books, and 475 of her books are on the subject of Astrology. I know a man who I once gave a small number of Astrological chart details and he inverted the data for the day and time and longitude of the subject's birthday which blew my mind. He said, "it is just a clock, man." So I do not doubt there is a power there and I can respect it, but it is not one that I choose to use.

So we ended up having a nice conversation in spite of my lack of interest in Astrology. I have since done a few things with the Astrological system. Some Tarot workers consider Astrological data in construction of Tarot card interpretations. We are recommended to use a signifier or marker card which derives from our horoscope. The details are not really important here, but I am an Aquarius according to the Astrologers which means I should use the Knight Swords for my signifier card. Except this does not seem to work so well for me.

When I go to the fourmilab your sky website and put my birth information into the sky map widget the Sun is not in Aquarius. The Sun is in Capricorn because all the zodiac constellations have precessed a month since the standard Astrology star ephemeris was built. So I performed an experiment. I decided the ephemeris is obsolete and I am Capricorn. The proper signifier card for me as a Capricorn is the Knight of Pentacles. And as a matter of my own factual experience, since I started using the Knight of Pentacles for my Tarot signifier card about two years ago, my Tarot readings make much more sense and are far more informative than they were when I was using the Aquarius card.

This proves absolutely nothing but I found it interesting. Another thing which the fourmilab sky map is good for is to get a second opinion on this Age of Aquarius business. You can see the sun moving across Pisces and into Aquarius exactly as they map the constellation boundaries. According to their data we don't even really get close to Aquarius for another hundred years and we are all still unambiguous Pisces people. There may not be a single person alive on the planet right now who will be alive when the Age of Aquarius arrives.

1 comment:

nishajain said...

Hey thanks for wonderful post. I am pisces too http://youtu.be/usbPTf1nzoc Sun is considered the leader among all the planets in Vedic Astrology. It is the significator planet for authority, leadership, courage, and elders. The lucky or unlucky position of Sun will have a strong impact on your life

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About Craig

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Houston, Texas, United States
I have been living in the lovely neighborhood of Spring Branch in the great city of Houston since late in 2005. I started out with the idea of making this blog about my life in this neighborhood. That did not last long. Right now I am posting every five days on the alternating topics of literature, philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics. This project has been ongoing since July 27, 2010 and I believe it will continue for at least a few more months.