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The old Greek concept of sympatheia asserts that all forms and processes in the universe are in sympathetic or resonate relationships. The Stoic Hellenistic philosopher Posidonius (1st century BC) is credited with the doctrine of “cosmic sympathy” which lead to the Phyatooregan concept of a “Music of the Spheres” The Phythoregans assigned musical values to the stars and planets, then related those values to all aspects of living. These doctrines are available today in the ancient art of astrology. Astrological birth charts are a musical notation of our personal Resonance with the universe at the moment of our birth.
The recent field of “harmonic astrology” is an example. In astrology the visual relationships between planets in the night sky are called aspects. Harmonic astrology gives each aspect a sonic value based on the musical overtone or harmonic series. Tones in the harmonic series follow the simple numerical sequence of 1/1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5…………n. The relationships between these numbers can be assigned to tones in an auditory modality and planets in a visual-spatial modality. It would be appropriate to refer to the ratios as visual harmonics in the night sky. When the planets move into these ratios special energies are created. The closer these energies are to the source or fundamental tone ie: 1, than the more influential they are.
Lets say Venus and Saturn are within 3 deg. of each other at the time of birth. 3 deg. is the distance astrologers call an orb. An orb is another astro-sonic term for entrainment. It is the the distance at which the two planets will pull each other into a mutual oscillation. This forms the ratio of 1/1. In music this represents a fundamental tone. The fundamental is a generator of overtones and creates a strong Resonance. Therefore the qualities of Venus and Saturn are merged into one tone and this tone becomes dynamic in ones life.
If two planets, Jupiter and Mars are 180 degrees apart in the 360 degree circle of the zodiac, they form the visual ratio 180/360 = 1/2. 1/2 is the musical interval of an octave. In astrology the relationship of180 deg. is called an opposition. Viewed from an ancient harmonic perspective the octave was called diapason. Diapason, literally translated, means “through all” or “through the whole”. Viewed from a sonic perspective this relationship takes on a newer and more refreshing meaning than its traditional astrological terminology.
The next ratio 2/3 creates the musical interval of a fifth. Thie fifth traditionally represents the spirit of harmony in music. It is associated with the cosmic relationship of Yin and Yang and Shiva and Shakti. In astrology a planet at 120 deg. divided by a planet at 180 deg. is 120/180 which reduces to the ratio of 2/3. This relationship is called a trine in traditional astrology and represents harmony.
A plantet at 90� related to a planet at 120� produces the musical interval of a 4th or 3/4. In traditional astrology this is called a square and is considered a difficult aspect. The relationship between the fifth and fourth is the basis for much of the worlds music. The fifth and fourth work together like yin and yang. I imagine the negative connotation of traditional astrology concerning this aspect is based on its tendencies to be unstable and naturally wanting to seek the fifth. However it must be remembered that the fifth can easily go to the fourth. This makes for some interesting thoughts for astrologers.
Astrologers used to be occupied with observing the night sky. Charts and numbers were a method or notating their observations. One has to watch the planets every night and “feel” how they vibrate and pass through different harmonic relationships. Saturn, Jupiter, Moon, Mars, and Venus are easily observed on a clear night. I enjoy watching them from streets of Manhattan. I may be walking down Fifth Avenue (no pun intended) and look up, something New Yorkers have forgotten. And to my surprise at the end of Fifth avenue I see Jupiter in the night sky. I will stop and absorb Jupiter with my eyes. I hear Jupiter through my visual impressions. I believe my eyes are tuning into the light waves which are than being transposed inside myself to Sound Waves.
Sometimes when I come to Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street I look to my left and to my surprise I see Mars. I let my visual attention go to Mars. Than I gradually allow my awareness to encompass the feeling of Mars and Jupiter in relationship. Suddenly the concept of harmonic astrology is a real feeling inside of me. I am resonating with the source rather than a lot of lines on a chart. However on cloudy nights I can go back to the charts and get more excited because the lines suddenly take on a new meaning. They now resonate with my experience.
I believe this is what the ancient Chaldeans were able to achieve. Chaldean astronomers are said to have been keeping records on the movements of stars and planets for 490,000 years! Berosus, a Chaldean astronomer responsible for the birth of Greek astrology, settled on the island of Cos and taught there until he was a hundred and sixteen years old. The late first century B.C. Roman writer Vitruvius wrote of Berosus and the Chaldeans, “It must be allowed that we can know what effects the twelve signs, and the sun, moon and five planets, have on the course of human life, from astrology and the calculations of the Chaldeans.”
The Chaldeans did not separate themselves from the heavenly bodies in their observations. They felt the planets through sympatheia. This later lead to the hermetic axiom “as above, so below” which encapsulates the correspondence between the macrocosm and microcosm. Charles Muses believes the “crown jewel of Alexandrian through was the doctrine of the ordered interrelatedness of all things, by the power of what was then termed sympatheia. …..To render this far-reaching thought into our analytic, scientific terms requires the sophisticated concept of holistic systems governed principally by the affinities (or antipathies) generated by resonances (or anti-resonances) in waves of some sort, i.e., in time space periodicities”.
The world view at the peak of Chaldean civilization was a lot different than ours. To say they were primitive or superstitious is a great misunderstanding. Instead of expressing themselves in the calculus of numbers they choose the language of myth and symbols. What is left of their discoveries has been passed on to us through the archetypical symbols of astrology. The direct experience of being with and feeling the stars and planets, the source of so much knowledge, is reawaking today.
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