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ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy

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Author Topic: ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy  (Read 8735 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2007, 07:34:26 am »

                                          M Y S T I C A L   A S T R O L O G Y

A very different approach is seen in an influential system of correspondences constructed by the Sufi Master, Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, who was born in Murcia, in the Arab Spain of Al-Andalus, in 1165 and died in Damascus in 1240 CE (a life-span that pre-dates Yeats’s [1865-1939] by 700 years almost exactly). Ibn ‘Arabi’s exposition is one of mystical symbolism rather than practical astrology, using the Mansions to organise a chain of being from the uncreated first cause through levels of celestial manifestation and the elemental world to man and the process of hierarchy itself. The cosmos expounded gives a theoretical explanation of the tropical system of the Zodiac, placing the Towers of the Zodiac in the Sphere of the Starless Sky, above that of the Sphere of the Fixed Stars, and below the Sphere of the Divine Pedestal and the Sphere of the Divine Throne. Effectively he, therefore, gives the equinoxes precedence over the precession of the stars, and ties the First Point of Aries to the Vernal Equinox, which is seen as closer to the first movers than the ‘fixed’ stars.

According to Titus Burckhardt’s summary of Ibn ‘Arabi’s ideas, drawn from a variety of his works in Mystical Astrology According to Ibn ‘Arabi, the true start of the Mansions appears to correspond with the Moon’s Ascending Node (see the Draconic Cycle), but for symbolic purposes it is aligned with the Vernal Equinox. Ibn ‘Arabi gives a series of correspondences with Divine Names or Attributes, as well as the hierarchy of creation and the alphabet and, with respect to the alphabet, asserts that ‘It is not like people think, that the Mansions of the Moon represent the models of the letters; it is the 28 sounds which determine the lunar mansions’ (Burckhardt, 35). (See the Ibn ‘Arabi Society’s site for more detail, and Burckhardt.) The sequence given here appears in The Revelation of Mecca, but the names of the Mansions are not given, so I have taken them from Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, which follows a looser convention of transcription.
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