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Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Parable 
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Frank 013 wrote:
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RT: I am not just talking about conscious beliefs, but also about unconscious connections and intuitions of cosmic reality.
Ok, my mistake… I thought you were trying to make Christianity reasonable, this one statement allows you to make any connection you wish without needing evidence. Until you can prove that there is an unconscious connection to the UNIVERSE (and whatever definition you are using for that) this whole “theory” is just your own personal claim. Which is fine, but does not separate it from any other religion by very much. Later
Of course there is an unconscious connection to the universe. Our DNA has evolved over four billion years within the regular cyclic patterns of the cosmos.

An example of such an unconscious connection is that rats are more active when the moon is down. Frank Brown, Professor of Biology at the University of Illinois, proved this was entirely independent of their conscious awareness of the position of the moon, so must be hardwired into the rats' genes. It has an obvious evolutionary benefit in enabling avoidance of predators. Similar examples abound, as discussed by Michel Gauquelin in his brilliant courageous pioneering book The Cosmic Clocks.

The resonance between human culture and the long term cycles of the cosmos is simply another physical scientific example of such an unconscious connection.



Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:31 pm
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Interbane wrote:
RT: "That the series of apparent allusions to precession in the Bible do in fact refer to precession is not falsifiable, but I argue the reference to precession is the most coherent, plausible and parsimonious explanation." Actually, the most parsimonious explanation is that there is no reference at all. You're connecting the dots and calling it real.
The implication of your view is that Christianity is entirely a delusory fantasy with no purchase on reality whatsoever. I know this is your atheist agenda, born of the polarisation between modern thought and American fundamentalism. However, on the supposition that Christianity is based on reality, it is vastly more parsimonious and elegant to hypothesise an ancient awareness of precession as a basis for a rational mythopoetic vision of time than to continue with the demonstrably false beliefs present in the medieval power structures of the church. Your agenda, the elimination of religion, simply ignores the essential central place of spiritual identity in human life. The alternatives are to "make up dots" as traditional Christianity has done with its false theories of heaven and hell, or to "connect the dots" by looking for how the Biblical story reflects an actual cosmic reality. My claim is that this latter path provides a basis for a coherent and powerful narrative explanation of the nature of reality.



Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:47 pm
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RT: "The implication of your view is that Christianity is entirely a delusory fantasy with no purchase on reality whatsoever."

Not at all, I'm sure there is much that is real. Such as those who wrote the books, references to names and places. There is so much room for a false accounting of history from the people who wrote the book that I trust none of it as completely true. In short, I don't view it as a true/false dichotomy. The very obscurity here casts a shadow on any reference to the bible, including yours. Basing your conjecture on such loose footing is folly.

RT: "Your agenda, the elimination of religion, simply ignores the essential central place of spiritual identity in human life."

No, I would say that the thing you call spirit does not need religion. I would also say that the truest expression of what spirituality is isn't supernatural. We may not yet be able to understand it, but we are getting close. The path to understanding is not looking backward into myth, but looking forward into scientific and mainly philosophical progress.

RT: "The alternatives are to "make up dots" as traditional Christianity has done with its false theories of heaven and hell, or to "connect the dots" by looking for how the Biblical story reflects an actual cosmic reality."

This reminds me of my friend who was laying in bed one day watching television and wanted the remote. It was a bit far away on his desk, and he couldn't reach it from the bed. His ultimate concern at the time was laziness, and he didn't want to leave the bed. So he stretched out onto his hands with nothing but his feet on the bed and yardstick in hand to reach the remote.

You're not so much connecting the dots as you are stretching things way beyond practicality. Rooted by your ultimate concern at one end, your reasoning leads you further and further away, bit by bit. It is your ultimate concern that is fundamentally flawed, and if you'd just follow your reasoning alone things would be incredibly easier.

Also, you missed the meaning in my expression. I'm saying there are a bunch of dots. You connect these dots with a line. The dots are objective reality, the line is your creation. The line is not a part of objective reality. The power of the mind to find different ways to draw different lines between the dots is called pattern seeking. Another example of pattern seeking is by our ancestors, noticing that some people die after eating a certain plant. The dots(people dying) are real, the pattern is only in the head of the observer. Patterns are the lines between the dots and aren't part of objective reality. They are a method of visual and temporal understanding possessed by humans.

Between two of our ancestors, given the option between believing in these patterns and not believing in these patterns, which do you think would likely survive? The answer is the one that believes. Thinking you see the stripes of a tiger and not believing this are likely to get you killed. So it is evolved into us to not only see patterns, but to believe them. This is what makes it so difficult to see that the lines between the dots aren't objectively real.



Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:37 pm
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Penelope
It damwell does separate it from other religion!!


I should have been more specific…

RT’s conjecture is not testable and is worded so that it evades the burden of proof. So like most other religions, RT can freely make claims without the hassle of dealing with the inconsistencies in the historical record.

But you are correct it does not inspire fear, or force agreement…

yet.

Once people start claiming that they know what the UNIVERSE wants that will inevitably change.

Later


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Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:02 am
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Quote:
RT
An example of such an unconscious connection is that rats are more active when the moon is down. Frank Brown, Professor of Biology at the University of Illinois, proved this was entirely independent of their conscious awareness of the position of the moon, so must be hardwired into the rats' genes.


I don’t know anything about this study, but unless he moved the rats to another time zone all that study really shows is that the rats have a very stable internal clock, which really proves nothing about their knowledge of their relative position to the moon.

And even if that is true (I could accept that the effect of the moons gravity could be affecting the rats) how do you justify them knowing about the rest of the UNIVERSE which is not detectable through gravitational pull.

Quote:
RT
The resonance between human culture and the long term cycles of the cosmos is simply another physical scientific example of such an unconscious connection.


Which culture?

Western culture or all of them… and did the cosmos back up during the dark ages?

You don’t really need to answer these questions, once I understood your “unconscious guidance” claim the rest just seems… well… lets just say you lost me there.

Later


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Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:21 am
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Interbane wrote:
the thing you call spirit does not need religion. I would also say that the truest expression of what spirituality is isn't supernatural. We may not yet be able to understand it, but we are getting close. The path to understanding is not looking backward into myth, but looking forward into scientific and mainly philosophical progress.
Progress needs to build on precedent. Myth often contains deep insight into the human condition and an unconscious reflection of its material situation. The idea that we can start afresh with some purely rational model is a recipe for disaster, arrogantly ignoring the incremental lessons of the past and the complexity of human nature. The aim should be to retain old institutions but modify them in the light of modern knowledge. I agree with you that supernaturalism is obsolete, and I am offering a path to purge religion of supernaturalism as an incremental reform.
Quote:
You're not so much connecting the dots as you are stretching things way beyond practicality. Also, you missed the meaning in my expression. I'm saying there are a bunch of dots. You connect these dots with a line. The dots are objective reality, the line is your creation. The line is not a part of objective reality.
I am happy to explore this claim further, although I am not sure what you mean here by practicality. My hypothesis is that Milton's cosmology in Paradise Lost involves an unconscious reflection of a deep and subtle cosmic reality, and that the scale and nature of the described planetary relationships are a useful model of the leading figures in the book. The facts as I presented them above support this claim.

Taking it further, possibly my most controversial claim is that the Bible refers to precession of the equinox as a structure of time. In my essay Precession of the Equinox in Christian Revelation I note that Chapter 21 of the Book of Revelation says of the holy city new Jerusalem: ‘The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every precious jewel; the first course of stones was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.’ An old tradition, discussed in standard Christian commentaries, sees the twelve jewels as a cosmic symbol representing the twelve constellations of the zodiac in reverse, starting with Pisces and ending with Aries. In asking whether any natural phenomenon equates to this mysterious image, the intriguing fact is that the precession of the equinox uses the zodiac signs in reverse order, with exactly this start point at the time of Christ. You may wish to read this essay to see how I join the dots with a line that is plausibly part of objective reality.
Quote:
The power of the mind to find different ways to draw different lines between the dots is called pattern seeking. Another example of pattern seeking is by our ancestors, noticing that some people die after eating a certain plant. The dots (people dying) are real, the pattern is only in the head of the observer. Patterns are the lines between the dots and aren't part of objective reality. They are a method of visual and temporal understanding possessed by humans. Between two of our ancestors, given the option between believing in these patterns and not believing in these patterns, which do you think would likely survive? The answer is the one that believes. Thinking you see the stripes of a tiger and not believing this are likely to get you killed. So it is evolved into us to not only see patterns, but to believe them. This is what makes it so difficult to see that the lines between the dots aren't objectively real.
Sorry Interbane, your example here undermines your argument. The pattern of death by poison or tiger is most definitely real and not just dreamed up in some arbitrary way. Your argument that the patterns I discern “aren't objectively real” is exactly like a person saying a flash of movement in the long grass is 100% definitely not a tiger.



Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:23 am
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Frank 013 wrote:
RT is not saying that the writers were inspired by god, but I was wrong about what he was saying… I thought he was saying that Jesus somehow (within a falsifiable framework) knew about advanced physics and astronomy and hid this knowledge into the biblical text. It turns out that he is actually saying that Jesus and the writers of the bible were in-tune with the universe and were unconsciously guided by the universe into putting the information into the biblical text. Which to me is the same as saying that the writers were guided by the Holy Spirit. Had I known that the base of his premise was un-testable I would never have wasted so much time with the historical information, because now with the universe guiding people unconsciously there is no demand for him to show that the ancients had the advanced knowledge he is claiming is hidden in the text. Using the unconscious guidance line RT is free to make any association or claim he wishes without having to deal with the burden of proof. Which as I said in another thread is fine but is the same as any other religion in that regard. And with that I really have nothing further to add. Later
Frank, in fact I am saying something quite close to your phrase “Jesus somehow (within a falsifiable framework) knew about advanced physics and astronomy and hid this knowledge into the biblical text.”

Knowledge of precession is not “advanced physics”. In 140BC the Greek astronomer Hipparchus noted that the star Spica was not where it should be according to then ancient star charts, and calculated a roughly accurate estimate of precession. Further, the pyramids of Egypt have viewing tubes from the centre which were originally pointed to stars such as Alpha Draconis, but which shifted off this line due to precession. It is speculated, for example by Graham Hancock, that there was extensive ancient knowledge of precession, given the continuity of Egyptian and Chaldean civilizations going back thousands of years, in a climate and culture where worship of stars was central. How much knowledge existed we cannot know since the Christian destruction of the library at Alexandria and other repositories. The Egyptian priests kept their knowledge secret, so most of it is lost.

You mock mytho-poetic approaches, and your use of the scientific term 'falsifiable' applies a narrowly empirical lens to what are inherently speculative matters. However, there is more testability of these claims than you acknowledge. Finding an equivalently plausible explanation for the twelve jewels story seems to me unlikely. Religions such as Mithraism had rituals which seem to celebrate the precessional theme of the shift from the Age of Taurus (4000-2000BC) to the Age of Aries (2000BC – 0).

The Mithraism wiki states:
Quote:
It has been proposed by David Ulansey that, rather than being derived from Iranian animal sacrifice scene with Iranian precedents, the tauroctony is a symbolic representation of the constellations.[4] The bull is thus interpreted as representing the constellation Taurus, the snake the constellation Hydra, the dog Canis Major or Minor, the crow or raven Corvus, the goblet Crater, the lion Leo, and the wheat-blood for the star Spica, the name of which means "spike of wheat". Ulansey suggests that the two torch-bearers represent the two equinoxes, and that their crossed legs represent the two intersection points of the zodiac and the celestial equator that define the equinoxes. Ulansey argues that the tauroctony is an astronomical code symbolizing the precession of the equinoxes: the movement of the cosmic sphere, discovered by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, which caused the spring equinox to move out of the constellation of Taurus (thus ending the "Age of the Bull").


Similarly, Christianity explicitly marked itself as the new age of the fish – with its Ichthys slogan. I do not know to what extent these cosmic correlations were conscious and deliberate or accidental coincidence. However, for Christianity, the most plausible explanation in my view is that Jesus himself was instructed in precessional lore, enabling him to understand the cosmic structure of time and the likely path of the coming Pisces-Virgo Age. I know this idea of zodiacal ages is emotionally repugnant to scientific culture because of its associations with mysticism. However, there is considerably more rigor in this precessional model than is generally acknowledged.

The existence of these clear correlations at the centre of religious doctrine may not satisfy your skeptical “burden of proof” given your atheist prejudices, but they certainly do provide a more scientific and naturalistic explanation for Christianity than church conventional dogma.



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Frank:

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But you are correct it does not inspire fear, or force agreement…

yet.

Once people start claiming that they know what the UNIVERSE wants that will inevitably change.


Buddhism, for instance, does not try to make converts and has been in existence for longer than Christianity. It hasn't changed yet.

Theoretically, You may study the philosophy behind it if you are so inclined or not.

As Interbane has said, we humans do try to make 'patterns'. That doesn't mean that there are no patterns. When there is no 'dogma' these Buddhist patterns of thought 'aphorisms' make very satisfying study (if one is that way inclined).

Buddhism is not strictly a religion, I am told, more a philosophy, but it does propose the idea of 'Brahma' the force behind everything.

So far as I can see, it goes a long way towards 'Reconciling Religion and Evolutionary Biology'. - Which I have just noticed is not this thread. However, your quote, Frank is in this thread.....so I have replied on here.


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RT: "Sorry Interbane, your example here undermines your argument."

There were two arguments. One is that we see false patterns, the other is that though the dot(a tiger) is real, the pattern we see is a method of human understanding.

Give me an example of a correlation between the bible and the cosmos that is not explained by ancient astronomers putting their findings in text.

RT: "You may wish to read this essay to see how I join the dots with a line that is plausibly part of objective reality."

The line you draw will only be a method of human understanding and isn't objectively real. There is no metaphysical tether between footprints in the sand, though we are able to understand a creature made them in passing.



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Frank 013 wrote:
Quote:
Penelope: It damwell does separate it from other religion!!
I should have been more specific…RT’s conjecture is not testable and is worded so that it evades the burden of proof. So like most other religions, RT can freely make claims without the hassle of dealing with the inconsistencies in the historical record. But you are correct it does not inspire fear, or force agreement… yet. Once people start claiming that they know what the UNIVERSE wants that will inevitably change. Later
My claim is that this precessional theory of the evolution of culture is entirely consistent with the historical record. I have been rather reticent to push this framework simply because astrology has such a bad reputation as a false belief. However, having jumped in the pool I do need to swim, and am happy to expand on this framework.

For example, as we now move from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, the theory would postulate a movement in the world's organising principal from what astrology claims is the central Piscean theme – ie belief – to what is claimed as the central Aquarian theme – knowledge. The development of science supports this contention. Science has led the world to a 'pregnant' state, nearing the cusp of a transition to domination of knowledge over belief. The frustration experienced by atheists and others who focus now on knowledge is that the world is just not yet ready to be organised on the basis of knowledge, urgent and necessary as such a change is. The beauty of knowledge is that it cannot force agreement – that is something only belief can do.

This cosmology would also suggest that at the middle of the Age of Pisces, in about 1000 AD, the world was entirely dominated by belief. This looks to me to be a consistent and accurate theory of history. I have thought a lot about how it might work scientifically, and can point people to further material including on www.bautforum.com if there is interest.
Frank 013 wrote:
Quote:
RT: An example of such an unconscious connection is that rats are more active when the moon is down. Frank Brown, Professor of Biology at the University of Illinois, proved this was entirely independent of their conscious awareness of the position of the moon, so must be hardwired into the rats' genes.
I don’t know anything about this study, but unless he moved the rats to another time zone all that study really shows is that the rats have a very stable internal clock, which really proves nothing about their knowledge of their relative position to the moon. And even if that is true (I could accept that the effect of the moon's gravity could be affecting the rats) how do you justify them knowing about the rest of the UNIVERSE which is not detectable through gravitational pull.
Frank Brown did another study (on oysters) which addressed precisely your time zone question, explained below. Apologies for responding at length, but this seems really interesting to me as a challenge to current dominant thinking. At http://www.bautforum.com/890964-post60.html I state
Quote:
An extraordinary chapter in Gauquelin's The Cosmic Clocks discusses the empirical research of Frank A. Brown Jr., Morrison Professor of Biology at Northwestern University, Illinois. Brown conducted a series of laboratory experiments in which various animals were deprived of any external stimulus to measure the response of their body clocks.

“A rat was kept for months in a closed cage with constant light, temperature and pressure. There was no way for the rat to know if it was night or day, whether the moon was above or below the horizon. When Brown and Terracini recorded the rat’s physical activity, they found clear peaks in activity corresponding to the moon’s position: the rat was more active during the hours in which the moon was below the horizon, and quietest when it was above the horizon… The above experiment has been duplicated and confirmed.” (cited by Gauquelin, p.85, from ‘Exogenous Timing of Rat Spontaneous Activity Periods” Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biological Medicine, CI, No 3 (1959) 457).

How can this be explained? There is a clear evolutionary adaptive advantage for a rat to be active when the moon is down in order to avoid predators who hunt by sight. Given the lack of sensory stimulus in the experimental conditions, it appears the rat senses the position of the moon in an unknown way – either by a ‘tidal’ sense of the moon’s gravity or some magnetic influence. My postulate is that the rat’s DNA, having evolved within the moon’s constant orbit and having been circled by the moon some fifty billion times since the dawn of life, is attuned to the rhythm of the moon. The alternative hypothesis, that it is solely an internal clock within the rat, is refuted by the next experiments:

“Brown was recording the activity of hamsters… At first the rodents synchronized their activity with the rising and setting of the sun, which was probably their natural rhythm before they had been confined to their cages. Then, suddenly, the 24 hour rhythm changed to a new, slightly longer rhythm, one that lasted 24 hours 50 minutes. This period corresponds exactly to the length of the lunar day… Their pattern of activity switched through the study, first following one and then the other of the two celestial bodies – without their ever knowing the position of either in the darkness of their experimental lodgings.” (cited by Gauquelin, p.85, Propensity for Lunar Periodicity in Hamsters, op cit, CXX (1965) 792). Here we have a further extraordinary example of how the tides of the ocean caused by the moon also exist within a mammal – and presumably would also exist in humans.

My final example: “Brown had some live oysters sent in closed, darkened containers from Long Island Sound to his laboratory in Evanston, 1000 miles from the sea… At first the oysters kept to their natural rhythm, opening and closing themselves to the rhythm of the tides washing Long Island Sound. But after about 15 days Brown noticed that a slippage in the rhythm had occurred. The oysters now opened up at the time the tide would have flooded Evanston, had the town been on the seashore – ie when the moon passed over the local meridian. The oysters had abandoned their rhythm tied to actual tides and responded to an exclusively lunar rhythm.” (cited from ‘Persistent Activity Rhythms in the Oyster’, American Journal of Physiology, CLXVII 1954, 510).

These three examples illustrate how animals are adapted to the gravitational rhythms of the moon. Brown notes that “definite hostility met anyone who as much as suggested that one might search for subtle celestial influences” (Gauquelin p. ii). Gauquelin (p86) says Brown offers an explanation that the rhythms are external, with these three experiments taken together showing that internal clocks of the organisms were not sufficient to obtain the observed results.


The oyster and hamster examples above directly address your 'internal clock' question. The rest of the universe is not relevant as it is too far away to have such rhythmic effects on the earth. This cosmology is restricted to the solar system, including the weak deep slow effects of the gas giants.

Quote:
Quote:
RT: The resonance between human culture and the long term cycles of the cosmos is simply another physical scientific example of such an unconscious connection.
Which culture? Western culture or all of them… and did the cosmos back up during the dark ages? You don’t really need to answer these questions, once I understood your “unconscious guidance” claim the rest just seems… well… lets just say you lost me there. Later


You are too harsh on the 'unconscious guidance' point, where I may have worded things unclearly. Are you familiar with the Marxist idea of economic determinism of base and superstructure? Marx claimed that history is determined by the economic base, and that ideas are nothing but a superstructure that is unconsciously caused by the base. So my view of the cosmos as base and ideas as superstructure is not so new as you seem to think. Yes, the cosmos did “back up during the dark ages”. On this precessional model, the Age of Aries (principal 'I am') was replaced at the time of Christ by the Age of Pisces (principal “I believe”). As the fanaticism of faith purged the world of the pagan “I am” approach to culture, it naturally found itself bereft, enabling the dark ages when belief was entirely dominant. My view is that Christ incarnated the full cycle of the Great Year, but that only the Piscean part (and secondarily a Virgoan part) of his message has been understood in the present age. As we move towards an Aquarian Age it is possible to see the Aquarian message in the Gospels, and for this knowledge-based approach to spirituality to gradually find cultural traction.



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Interbane wrote:
Give me an example of a correlation between the bible and the cosmos that is not explained by ancient astronomers putting their findings in text.


http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/w ... astes.html



Last edited by Thomas Hood on Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:41 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
. . . as we now move from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, the theory would postulate a movement in the world's organising principal from what astrology claims is the central Piscean theme – ie belief – to what is claimed as the central Aquarian theme – knowledge.


Robert, where are you getting these "central themes" from? Is there a source for them on the Internet? I'd like to see all twelve.

Tom



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RT
You are too harsh on the 'unconscious guidance' point, where I may have worded things unclearly.


Well here is my problem…

You say that there is a connection between Venus and Satan and that this connection was intended by the writers of Jesus’ time. The connection is through the traits of Vanity and beauty.

Satan had not yet been described this way at that time; he was merely God’s prosecutor. It wasn’t until several generations after Jesus was supposed to have died that the change was made.

When I brought this to your attention you basicly said that that it was not a problem because the UNIVERSE directed Satan’s ultimate description.

Am I getting this right?

Quote:
RT
Yes, the cosmos did “back up during the dark ages”.


Than my question would be why?

Does the cycle only follow Christian nations?

Because the rest of the world (the bulk of the world) was moving along just fine at that time, Asia and the Middle East were making forward progress during those years; North and South America were moving forward as well.

Doesn’t the cosmos keep track of those cultures?

Later


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Thomas Hood wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
. . . as we now move from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, the theory would postulate a movement in the world's organising principal from what astrology claims is the central Piscean theme – ie belief – to what is claimed as the central Aquarian theme – knowledge.
Robert, where are you getting these "central themes" from? Is there a source for them on the Internet? I'd like to see all twelve. Tom
On a quick google I found the 12 themes of the signs at http://www.astroprofile.com/signs.htm. These are standard archetypal descriptors for example in Sakaoin and Acker's Astrologer's Handbook.



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Robert Tulip wrote:
On a quick google I found the 12 themes of the signs at

http://www.astroprofile.com/signs.htm

These are standard archetypal descriptors for example in Sakaoin and Acker's Astrologer's Handbook.


Yes, I see:

Aries I am.
Taurus I have.
Gemini I think.
Cancer I feel.
Leo I will.
Virgo I analyse.
Libra I balance.
Scorpio I desire.
Sagittarius I understand.
Capricorn I use.
Aquarius I know.
Pisces I believe.

I associate Pisces with the mystical and intuitive.

Tom



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