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THE RENAISSANCE

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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 4097 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 10:11:23 am »










                            The Rising Popularity of ASTROLOGY Brings Increased Attacks



                                                          Growing Popularity





   
By the early sixteenth century, astrology had reached the heights of its popularity.

Popes such as Julius II, Leo X, Adrian IV and Paul III viewed astrology favorably.

Even a certain mistrust of astrology, as exhibited by Pope Gregory XIII, did not prevent the casting of his natal chart, now preserved in the Vatican Library.

Catherine de Medici, regent and ruler of France, was said to have been unwilling to take a step without first consulting her astrologers, who included the famous Michel de Nostradamus.

Nostradamus and the Italian astrologer Luca Gaurico were responsible for one of the most famous Renaissance astrological predictions, the death of King Henri II of France in a tournament in 1559. In the final joust the king's opponent's lance shattered and the splinters penetrated his face and head causing a painful death.




Nostradamus in his Centuries had written,

"The young lion will overcome the older one, in a field of combat in single fight:

he will pierce his eyes in their golden cage; two wounds in one, then he dies a cruel death."

Century I, Quatrain 35.
   



Another notable example of astrology's eminence during this period was the coronation of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

The time of the ceremony, noon on January 15, 1559, had been carefully elected by the astrologer John Dee.
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Bianca
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2008, 10:12:42 am »




                         






In this chart, 4 degrees of Gemini rises and so Mercury is the ruler of the ascendant.

Mercury is dignified by triplicity as the day ruler of the airy triplicity because he is in Aquarius. He is also strengthened and appropriately placed in the 10th house of kings and authority.

The Moon, while peregrine (without essential dignity) and in the 12th house, is in a partile (exact to the degree) sextile of Jupiter, the Greater Benefic and a partile trine of the Part of Fortune.

The fact that several negative factors are present in the chart, for example, Mercury is combust and afflicted by Saturn and Mars, illustrates a truism of electional astrology:



A perfect election is rarely possible, particularly if you have a powerful client with a deadline!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 10:14:32 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 10:15:40 am »









While the use of astrology was already widespread among its traditional clients - kings, nobles and the wealthy, its popularity gained a tremendous boost with the invention of printing. Inexpensive almanacs flooded from the printing presses of Europe. Almanacs typically contained a calendar, showing the months and days of the week, astronomical events like eclipses, and planetary aspects as well as astrological predictions.
   
In the mid-seventeenth century, the famous English astrologer William Lilly issued an annual almanac, entitled Merlinus Anglicus (the English Merlin) with an estimated annual circulation reaching 30,000 copies. The total number of almanacs printed in England in this period exceeded the number of Bibles, and it is estimated that one third of all English households had astrological almanacs.
 
William Lilly also found his almanacs to be a potent advertising tool. Lilly was seeing nearly 2,000 clients each year at the height of his popularity in the mid 1600's. While still attracting the rich and titled, Lilly also served less affluent clients. Over a third of the querents in his workbooks, preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, are listed as ancilla (female servant). Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1971), p. 319.

As would be expected, querents frequently inquired about their romantic prospects, or about their financial and business outlooks. But as can be seen in his magnum opus, Christian Astrology, Lilly used the techniques of horary astrology to deal with a broad range of questions relating to all twelve houses of the horoscope, including health, the truth or falsity of rumors, buried treasure, the sex and number of children, illnesses, marriage, wealth & finances, which spouse would die first, dreams, career & position, friends and witchcraft.
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2008, 10:18:26 am »









                                                 Growing Attacks on Astrology






Yet as the popularity of astrology grew, so did criticism against it.

The Catholic Church became uncomfortable with the spiritual, magical nature of astrology to the
extent that it might contravene established doctrine. More specifically, the Church voiced concern
over the perceived implication that, if in fact the stars absolutely determined all actions, then astrology denied man's free will.
   
One of the most famous works condemning astrology was Pico della Mirandolla's Disputations against Divinatory Astrology published in 1496, which detailed problems with astrological theory and technique and condemned the denial of free will that Mirandella saw in current astrological practice. Interestingly enough, the date of Mirandolla's death was predicted accurately by a Renaissance astrologer.

Anthony Grafton, Cardano's Cosmos (Harvard, 1999) page 51.




As this antagonism gathered force, astrologers had to contend with direct persecution by church authorities. In 1586, Pope Sixtus V issued a papal bull condemning magic and all forms of divination, including horary, electional and natal astrology.

The Italian astrologer Jerome Cardan was arrested and held under house arrest by the Inquisition under suspicion of violating Sixtus' bull.

In England, a Protestant country, astrologers were periodically hauled before church courts, although astrologers in London, like William Lilly, appear largely to have escaped prosecution.
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2008, 10:21:24 am »










                    The Great Conjunction of 1524 AND Astrology Reaches Its Height & Declines







The Great Conjunction of 1524




In February of 1524, Renaissance astrologers reported that there was both a Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn and a conjunction of all the ancient planets in Pisces. The reaction to this significant astrological event is an interesting example of the confluent trends in Renaissance astrology.

The availability of printing allowed for wide publication of the many diverse views regarding the effects of the conjunction. Since the conjunction took place in a water sign, many prognostications focused on the possibility of flooding.

Some more sensational predictions asserted that there would be a world wide deluge on the order of Noah's Flood.
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2008, 10:22:55 am »





                       
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2008, 10:25:02 am »










Other, more sober analyses predicted an abundance of rain and snow.

Indeed it appears that it was a very wet and rainy year according to a day-by-day meteorological diary kept by a Bolognese astrologer.

Lynn Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science,
Volume V
(New York, Columbia, 1941)
page 231.


There was also much controversy among astrologers over the propriety of using the Great Conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter as a predictive technique. This practice was criticized as an Arabic technique, improperly replacing the older Ptolemaic use of eclipses.

A number of astrological treatises on the conjunction of 1524 took the opportunity to decry not only the reliance on Great Conjunctions, but also the use of solar revolutions, neither of which was set forth in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. Nevertheless, despite a certain trend to Ptolemaic practice, most astrologers continued to use the techniques handed down from Arabic astrology.

We should note that modern astrological software reveals that the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter took place on January 30, 1524 before all of the seven planets were together in Pisces. On February 13, 1524 Mercury entered Pisces and all of the traditional planets were in Pisces, except for the Moon in Gemini.

On February 20, 1524 Venus entered Aries with the Moon in Sagittarius.
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2008, 10:26:49 am »









                                    The Height and Subsequent Decline of Astrology







Along with the revival of classical knowledge of art and literature, the Renaissance saw the rebirth of classical philosophy and science. We have already noted the effects of the revival of Ptolemaic astrology. Astrology also had an important part in play in the Renaissance rediscovery of Neo-Platonic and Hermetic philosophy. Marsilio Ficino's translation of the Corpus Hermeticum attributed to the sage Hermes Trismegistus stimulated much research and writing into esoteric subjects like astrology, magic and alchemy.
   
Astrology in the Renaissance was acclaimed as the Queen of the Sciences, capable of providing an explanation for the birth, growth and decline of all things in the Material World. The Zodiac and the planets, the Celestial World, provided a key link in the Great Chain of Being, acting as the essential intermediary between the Divine World of Platonic Ideas and Angels and the Material World, composed of the four elements of air, earth, fire and water.

Astrology provided a window into a Cosmos filled with beauty and harmony, where spiritual correspondences united all things in existence. The beauty of the Renaissance world view is apparent, not only in its architecture, paintings and literature, but in its astrology, as exemplified by the writings of such astrologers and philosophers as John Dee, Robert Fludd, Cornelius Agrippa and Marsilio Ficino.
Yet astrology entered an abrupt decline as the beginning of the seventeenth century ushered in the Enlightenment. Contrary to the beliefs of some modern authors, astrology was not so much disproved in the early 1700's, but rather went out of fashion. The primary cause for the decline of astrology was the increasing acceptance of a mechanical theory of causality.

By denying the existence of the realm of the spirit, the study of astrology, a spiritual science, became untenable. Where in the Renaissance science and religion did not essentially disagree, the Enlightenment begat a conflict between the scientific and spiritual that has continued to this day.
The lack of a unified schema of knowledge has produced a societal schizophrenia where biologists cannot talk to theologians, and mystics are dismissed by philosophers. Renaissance astrology represents the highest development of not only astrological theory and technique, but of an astrology that was not estranged from all of the other branches of knowledge.

The study and knowledge of Renaissance astrology increases the accuracy and scope of our modern astrologies, but its ability to unify both mechanical and spiritual causality, to heal the breach between science and religion, is perhaps its greatest legacy.



http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/astrologyinrenaissancemain.html
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 10:29:30 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2008, 10:33:36 am »










"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics":



                          Histories of Mathematics and Astrology in Early Modern Europe





Nicholas Popper


Princeton University

Francis Bacon's 1605 Advancement of Learning proposed to dedicatee James I a massive reorganization of the institutions, goals, and methods of generating and transmitting knowledge. The numerous defects crippling the contemporary educational regime, Bacon claimed, should be addressed by strengthening emphasis on philosophy and natural knowledge. To that end, university positions were to be created devoted to "Artes and Sciences at large," rather than to the professions. High salaries would render lecturers "able and sufficient," undistracted from their task. Most famously, he argued that teaching of the "operatiue studie of many Scyences" should involve sophisticated technical education. The study of natural philosophy demanded not only books, but globes, astrolabes, and other "instrumentals." Most significantly, yielding reliable and meaningful knowledge from experiential gleanings required a rigorous system of deductive reasoning.

The legacy of this colossal proposal has earned Bacon honored status as devisor of the scientific method.1 But Bacon's educational reform extended [End Page 87] beyond the methods of producing and transmitting knowledge. To facilitate more efficient "vse and administration" of the knowledge produced by his system, he also demanded a searching examination of the history of learning. This history would provide a mirror enabling his contemporaries to deploy the fruits of his method, by considering how learning in the past had been used successfully or ill-advisedly. Producing this history was the ambition of the Advancement, for he explained: "no man hath propounded to himselfe the generall state of learning to bee described and represented from age to age, as many have done the works of Nature, & the State civile and Ecclesiastical."

He continued:
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2008, 10:34:38 am »










"And yet I am not ignorant that in divers particular sciences, as of the Iurisconsults, the

Mathematicians, the Rhetoricians, the Philosophers, there are set down some smal memorials of the

Schooles, Authors, and Bookes: and so likewise some barren relations touching the Invention of Arts,

or usages. But a iust story of learning, containing the Antiquities and Originalls of Knowledges, & their

Sects; their Inventions, their Traditions; their diverse Administrations and Managings; their Flourishings,

their Oppositions, Decayes, Depressions, Oblivions, Removes, with the causes, and occasions of them,

and all other events concerning learning, throughout the ages of the world; I may truly affirme to be

wanting."2
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2008, 10:36:43 am »










Bacon thus positioned himself not only as a Father of Modern Science, but also a Father of the History of Science.

Following Bacon's suggestion, I will examine the "small memorials" of the history of mathematics—and particularly the mathematical art of astrology—in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. My conclusion, however, will not bear out Bacon's claims. Despite his frustration, Bacon was only one of many early modern scholars appraising the role of mathematics within history. And he devoted less energy than others to mapping its origins and tracing its transmissions between communities. In fact, Bacon's 1605 proposal for a history of mathematics was already out-of-date. Discussions [End Page 88] of the history of mathematics had been rife on the continent and in England throughout the previous century.3

The evidence that Renaissance scholars inherited was sprawling and inconclusive. Several genealogies for mathematics could be found within classical Greek, Latin, and patristic references. One lineage claimed mathematics began in ancient Assyria, where the priestly caste, the Chaldeans, practiced a form of mathematics that seemed a corrupt admixture of philosophy, medicine, and religion, and relied heavily on observation of the heavens. Other scholars traced the origins to Egypt, claiming that the field developed to survey lands frequently flooded by the Nile. The real problem for ancient, late antique, and medieval scholars had not been the origins of mathematics, but what exactly mathematics were. For some, the term strictly referred to the quadrivium: geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music. But for others, mathematics' origins amongst the Egyptians or Chaldeans inextricably linked it to forms of astrological divination, augury, and necromancy that were unsavory to both Latin and Christian traditions. Mathematici were included alongside ghastly lists of Magi, Brahmins, Aruspices, Genethliaci, and other diabolic practitioners of idolatrous magic. These might or might not be distinguished from mathematici such as Pythagoras and Euclid, who were considered philosophers, or from useful practitioners such as Archimedes. The term itself was a source of unending confusion. A mathematician in Aristotle's time, as later generations acknowledged, did geometry and arithmetic; but, by late antiquity, Augustine and Jerome could complain that nativity-readers were vulgarly called mathematici. This confusion and distrust spread in turn to later historical understandings of [End Page 89] mathematics, and justifies considering the Renaissance histories of magic, mathematics, astrology, and astronomy, as deeply interwoven.4 
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2008, 10:37:37 am »











Renaissance scholars devoted serious attention to delineating the various kinds of mathematics. To help distinguish the licit from illicit, the question of origins was given a new priority in the years leading up to 1500. The debate originated with Pico della Mirandola's considerations of the orthodoxy of astrology, that most controversial of mathematical arts. Against the backdrop of a late Quattrocentro Italy bursting with astrological prediction, Pico set the grounds for debate in two considerations of the history of magic.5 The first, his Apologia, defended a rigorously narrow range of pious magic. This tract answered the papal condemnation of twelve of his famous 900 theses.6 In defense, he wrote, "I put forward magical theorems, in which I show Magic to be twofold. One side is supported by the work and authority of demons, and consists of things, by my faith, execrable and portentous; the other is nothing other, when it is well explored, than the absolute consummation of natural philosophy."7 Pico went on to claim that natural magic was necessary for faith, since it alone allowed one to distinguish miracles from simple extraordinary events. Pico did not, however, offer much support for modern practitioners of the magical arts. With few caveats, he defended the thesis that, "All the magic, [End Page 90] which is in use amongst the moderns, and which the Church has rightly banished, has no firmness, nor truth, nor support, because it is manipulated by the first enemy of truth."8 In defining contemporary magic as diabolic, Pico suggested that a legitimate natural magic had been corrupted, lost, or, he suggested, enclosed within the ancient Jewish tradition of cabala—orally transmitted and secret wisdom—that Pico firmly supported and to which he claimed unique access. Pico's dismissals of modern astrology enabled him to advertise himself as the lone point of entry to this alternative tradition that would lead to the recovery of an unimaginably potent ancient knowledge.

Pico did not construct a thorough account of the fall of magic in his Apologia, but he did towards the end of his life in his Twelve Books Against Divinatory Astrology. Unpublished in Pico's lifetime, this tract was compiled from his remaining manuscripts and published in 1496 under the close supervision of his nephew, Gianfrancesco. This younger scholar was notoriously unsympathetic to the astrological arts and the publication cemented the family anti-astrological reputation by comprehensively critiquing the philosophical, theological, and rational grounds for astrological divination.9 In the Twelfth Book, the elder Pico dismantled the historical data with which proponents of astrology supported their claims. Two of his points were particularly effective. According to Cicero, the Chaldean astrologers claimed to found their art on 470,000 years of observation. Since this claim set the beginnings of observation roughly 466,000 years before God created the universe, Pico noted, it was extremely unlikely.10 Following Ptolemy, the greatest ancient authority on both astronomy and astrology, he instead allotted relatively modern origins to astrology, an effective means of diminishing its legitimacy. Second, Pico argued that astrology's Chaldean origins did not indicate venerable antiquity. Rather the birth of astrology formed a significant part of Babylon's notorious corruption of true religion.11 Pico's devastating exposé grounded astrological criticism for the next century. [End Page 91]   
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2008, 10:38:31 am »









Pico's critical genealogy of Chaldean magic was not universally accepted. In the last years of the fifteenth century, two substantial works challenged Pico's claims. The first came from Polydore Vergil. An arch-humanist, Vergil argued with Erasmus over which of them had invented the modern genre of collections of sayings, and wrote a hefty history of England that discredited Geoffrey of Monmouth.12 In his 1499 De inventoribus rerum, Vergil devoted the eighteenth chapter of the first book to the origin of mathematics. He began with the proposition, expressed most famously by Proclus, that the Egyptians were the first to practice mathematics. Vergil, however, did not subscribe to this theory. Instead, he turned to the first-century Jewish general and historian, Flavius Josephus.13

According to Josephus, Adam received all knowledge available to man, wisdom he taught his son Seth. Seth's progeny, Josephus wrote, 
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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2008, 10:39:25 am »


















discovered the science of heavenly bodies and their orderly array. Moreover, to prevent their

discoveries from being lost to mankind and perishing before they became known—Adam having

predicted a destruction of the universe, at one time by a violent fire and at another by a mighty

deluge of water—they erected two pillars, one of brick and the other of stone, and inscribed

these discoveries on both; so that, if the pillar of brick disappeared at the deluge, that of

stone would remain to teach men what was graven thereon and to inform them that they had

also erected one of brick.
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« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2008, 10:40:28 am »










"It exists to this day," Josephus claimed, "in the land of Seiris."14 Vergil held Josephus in the utmost respect, and he first referred to this passage to prove that the Hebrews had invented letters, despite Greek and Latin claims to the contrary. He then used it to prove the Hebraic origins of mathematics, and finally to trace the origins of astrology. Vergil also followed Josephus in his postdiluvian histories, claiming that the mathematical arts were [End Page 92] recovered in Assyria, and that the Jewish Patriarch Abraham, an Assyrian, transported them to Egypt 430 years later. Assuming that the "science of heavenly bodies" required mathematics, Vergil yoked the history of star-gazing to the history of mathematics, and installed astrology within a sacred lineage opposed to Pico's diabolic genealogy.15

Pico too had cited Josephus's assertion that Abraham disseminated knowledge in Egypt. But for Pico, this learning amounted only to the mathematical observation of the heavens necessary to formulate a divine calendar; a form of licit, human knowledge similar to the interpretations of nature necessary for sailors, farmers, and physicians. Indeed, Pico claimed, idolatry and astrology had received a nefarious twin birth when the Chaldeans overextended this science, confusing celestial objects with divine entities. Both Pico and Vergil accepted astronomy—and therefore mathematics—as a practice of the ancient Hebrews, but Pico strenuously insisted that all arts that attributed divine agency to natural objects were corruptions of this accepted, Hebraic knowledge. His critique pursued a reformation of natural, non-revealed knowledge. 
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