Traditional Science, Quantum Physics, and Simulated Worlds

In my last article, it may have seemed like I was against science or at least against modern science. That is far from the case. I like science a lot. If it were not for science, I would not be at my computer writing this article. The natural world is an extremely fascinating place, and I am glad that there are people researching and teaching us about it.

What I do have difficulty with is the modern philosophy surrounding science. Science, or the study of the natural world, has been around at least as as far back as we have written records, and most likely had been around long before that. I have written articles discussing Traditional Science and how it is different than Modern Science, but in a very real sense, science is just science. If an atheist scientist, a Christian scientist, a Muslim scientist, or a Jewish scientist mix the same chemicals together, they will all get the same results. Eratosthenes of Cyrene was able to calculate the circumference of the Earth as far back as the 3rd Century B.C.E., and his calculation was in error by about 10 to 15%, depending on the value of the stade, the ancient unit of measurement he used. Yet, in 2012, when the modern scientist, Anthony Abreu Mora, used Eratosthenes’ formula with more accurate data, his result was in error by only 0.16%.

Rather than using the terms Traditional Science and Modern Science, it would probably be more accurate to say Traditional Philosophy and Modern Philosophy. It is from philosophy that the rules for how science is practiced and the beliefs about what science can tell us are derived. The philosophy surrounding science has undergone vast changes over the centuries.

Traditional/Platonic Thought

Let us start by looking at Traditional Philosophy as transmitted to us by Plato. While this philosophy is often called Platonian, Plato did not claim to be its originator. Plato said that he was transmitting what he had learned from his teacher, Socrates, who in turn said that he was transmitting wisdom from his own teachers.

Traditional Thought

In Traditional thought, as transmitted by Plato, there is Fundamental Truth. This Truth lies outside of the world. We learn about Truth through revealed knowledge and through our intuition. Revealed knowledge is knowledge that is given to us from outside of the world. An example of revealed knowledge is the astrological axiom, “as above, so below.” This came from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus. The intuition referred to is not the lunar faculty that is often called intuition in the modern world, but the solar faculty that comes from our Heart.

When investigating the natural world, or engaging in scientific inquiry, it is permissible, and indeed, desirable, to use knowledge of Fundamental Truth obtained by revelation or intuition in interpreting the results of such inquiry. On the other hand, it is not permissible to use the results of scientific inquiry as knowledge of Fundamental Truth. If the results of scientific inquiry conflicted with knowledge of Fundamental Truth, that was to be expected. Fundamental Truth belonged to the perfect world of the Divine. Scientific inquiry merely revealed facts about the imperfect world of flux and change.

Aristotelian Thought

While Plato claimed to be merely transmitting knowledge from his teachers, his student, Aristotle departed from his teachings in significant ways.

Aristotelian ThoughtWhile Aristotle still believed in Fundamental Truth, according to his teachings, the natural world was intertwined with that Truth to a significant degree. The enmeshment of the two in this philosophy was so great that one should expect scientific inquiry to reveal the same information that was obtained through revealed knowledge and intuition. Because of this, if the results of research and observation of the material world conflicted with what was thought to be known about Fundamental Truth, this could cast our knowledge of Fundamental Truth into doubt. Knowledge could flow in both directions. Reason was the way in which we could arbitrate differences between our scientific knowledge and our knowledge of Fundamental Truth.

Christian Philosophy

Christian philosophers in the Middle Ages largely adopted Aristotelian philosophy.

Christian Philosophy

The main difference was that in Christian philosophy, conflicts between our knowledge of Fundamental Truth and scientific inquiry were to be arbitrated by Church doctrine and dogma rather than reason. This is why Galileo came into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. It was not just that the heliocentric model of the solar system challenged Church doctrine, but also that Galileo attempted to give his own interpretation of the Bible based on his findings.

William of Ockham and Nominalism

A few centuries before Galileo, William of Ockham developed the philosophy known as nominalism.

Nominalism

William of Ockham denied the existence of Fundamental Truth, except for the existence of God, and he also denied that science could tell us anything about God. By the same token, the study of God could tell us nothing about the material world. In effect, Ockham’s philosophy placed an impenetrable barrier between the study of the Divine and the study of the natural world.

Modern Scientific Thought

This brings us to the current state of modern scientific thought.

Modern Scientific Thought

In the Modern world, the generally accepted academic model is that scientific inquiry is the beginning of knowledge. There is no recognition of revealed knowledge or tradition. Intuition is considered untrustworthy. The rules by which scientific inquiry can be conducted are quite strict.

It is also widely believed that we can derive truth from scientific inquiry using reason. This truth does not rise to the level of Fundamental Truth, and further inquiry may, and often does, change what we believe to be true.

Quantum Physics

A good example of how scientific inquiry has changed what we believe to be true is in the discipline of quantum physics. For a few centuries after the Enlightenment, there was general consensus as to the mechanics of how things operated in the world. This consensus is now known as Newtonian physics or classical physics, after the famous scientist, Isaac Newton. The problem is that it has now been discovered that Newtonian physics do not work everywhere or all the time. When things get very very small, very very large, or very very fast, the laws of Newtonian physics get thrown out the window.

The most famous experiment in the field of quantum physics concerns the nature of light. This experiment was designed to test whether light was made of particles or if it was a wave, and involved sending light through two slits. If light was a wave, it should go through both slits, and if was made of particles, the individual particles would go through one slit or another.

Light Slit ExperimentThis experiment yielded strange results. If no one measured the light passing through the slits, light would act like a wave and go through both. If someone did measure each of the slits, light would seem to change into particles, each of which going through one hole or another. It seemed as if light would know whether or not it was being measured, and would change its properties accordingly.

This spawned the field of quantum mechanics or quantum physics, and it seems that the more they research in this field, the stranger and stranger things become.

Simulated Worlds

Let us put the confusing world of quantum physics aside for the moment and talk about simulated worlds. Modern technology has reached the level of sophistication that we have created game worlds that mimic the world we live in. In some of these worlds, activity takes place even during times when no human is actively participating in the world. It is conceivable that these games could reach the level of advancement that the characters in these games become conscious.

simulated world

This has led to the hypothesis that the world we live in may actually be a simulated world made by more advanced beings. For reasons that I have to admit that I do not fully understand, if we are able to create a simulated world in which the characters are conscious, we are more likely than not to live in a simulated world ourselves.

In the simulated game worlds that we create, in order to save computer memory, the world takes shape as characters interact with it. For example, light would not have to take on definite properties until it was measured, which is exactly what happens in the experiment discussed above. This would also explain many other things that have been discovered in quantum mechanics.

The World Illusion

This brings us full circle to Traditional/ Platonic Thought. Traditions throughout the world, East and West, teach that the world we live in is an illusion, and that the Real World exists outside of it. Many spiritual traditions teach ways to escape the World Illusion.

The rules of modern science do not allow us to consider these Traditional teachings, but the rules of Traditional Science not only allow us to consider them, they require it. It could be said that this shows that the methods of modern science will indeed lead us to Truth, but I do not know that this is exactly accurate. In Traditional teachings, those who seek after Truth earnestly and diligently will find it. The path to Liberation is open to all. It is not the methodology of seeking that is the key, but the intention and desire.

Interestingly enough, many proponents of modern science seem to ignore what is being discovered using their own rules.

William of Ockham and His Razor, The Religion of the Modern Scientific Establishment

In a series of articles I wrote several years ago, I proposed that the practice of astrology would be best served by grounding it in the framework of a traditional science. In this series of articles, I suggested that the study of astrology be grounded in essentialist metaphysical philosophy and thealogical principles. But doesn’t that involve religion? Yes, it does. I would argue, however, that the current establishments teaching and governing the modern sciences are also operating out of a religion; a very different religion from the ones that the practitioners of traditional sciences were grounded in, but a religion, nonetheless.

What is Religion?

The Oxford English Dictionary definition of religion is:

1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

   1.1 A particular system of faith and worship.

   1.2 A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

The Miriam-Webster definition of religion is:

1 a : the state of a religious
   b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
       (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

By these definitions, however, particularly the Oxford one, one could argue that some Eastern traditions, such as Buddhism, do not qualify as religions. It may also be hard to include many Ancient and Classical “pagan” religions, traditions, and philosophies under this definition. Even within modern Christian denominations, there is a heavy debate with respect to whether Christianity should be based upon “faith” or “works.” Those denominations centered on “works” may have trouble with the Oxford definition, while those centered on “faith” may have trouble with the Miriam-Webster one.

While a precise definition that would encompass everything that most of us would consider religion is difficult, I propose that a working definition for the purposes of this article could be: a set of shared fundamental beliefs about what is true that are not derived from empirical evidence or observation.

What is Science?

Unlike the case of religion, the Oxford English dictionary provides a workable definition of science that is usable for this discussion:

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

This definition is large enough to encompass the Traditional Sciences, such as alchemy and cosmology, and the Modern ones, such as chemistry and physics.

The Relationship Between Science and Religion

EuclidWhile proponents and practitioners of the Modern Sciences tend to claim that their beliefs about what is true are based entirely on observation, experimentation, and rational analysis derived from observation and experimentation, such a claim is impossible.  Even in the very logical and rational discipline of Geometry, one must begin with fundamental beliefs which cannot be tested through observation or experimentation.  For example, we believe that a straight line which extends infinitely long in either direction can exist. There is no way that a human being could ever test this belief, yet without this belief the study of Geometry would be impossible. In around 300 B.C., the foundational textbook for Geometry, Elements, which is attributed to Euclid, identified 10 fundamental beliefs that formed the basis for all of Geometry.

There is no discipline in any modern or traditional science that does not at its source rely upon untestable beliefs.  Even the existence of the world we live in must rest upon a belief. In his famous thought experiment, René Decartes concluded that if a demon had captured him and set about to deceive him and to create and place him in a illusory world, he would have no way to uncover that deception. The popular science fiction series, the Matrix, is based on such a scenario, with conscious and intelligent machines taking the place of demons. The only conclusion he could reach with any certainty was “cognito, ergo sum,” or in English, “I think, therefore I am.” The reason he could feel certain of this was that if he was thinking, there must be something doing the thinking. Thus the only thing he could be certain of was his own existence.

While I believe that there are many flaws in Cartesian philosophy, his thought experiments demonstrated the limits of knowledge that we can obtain with experimentation and observation. On some level, the starting point of any scientific inquiry will be a set of untestable beliefs. That is unavoidable. The difference between Traditional and Modern scientists is in the set of untestable beliefs that they accept and that form the foundation and allowed boundaries for further inquiry.

Types of Reason

In order to guard against the uncertainty of the information obtainable through our senses, Enlightenment philosophers have extolled reason as the way to obtain knowledge of truth. The most basic type of reasoning is deductive reasoning. An example of this type reasoning is as follows:

  1. All cats are animals.
  2. Fluffy is a cat.
  3. Therefore, Fluffy is an animal.

FluffyIf the premises are true, and the logic is correct, we will invariably come to a sound conclusion. The difficulty is that the knowledge we can obtain from deductive reasoning is limited in scope.

Another form of reasoning is inductive reasoning, which is the derivation of general principles from specific observations. Most empirical sciences regularly employ inductive reasoning. For example, we have observed many cats that give birth to live kittens, and we have not observed any that lay eggs; therefore, we are allowed to conclude that mother cats give birth to live kittens and do not lay eggs. It is possible that someday, someone will observe a cat that lays eggs, but we can consider that possibility highly unlikely. Inductive reasoning is less certain than deductive reasoning, but it is still allowable.

Deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are staples of both modern and traditional sciences, and neither of these types of reasoning require the need to turn to beliefs that are not self-evident or fundamental in scope, such as the theoretical possibility of a straight line or the existence of the natural world.

The difference between the rules of practice for the modern and traditional sciences is in how to handle matters that are not amenable to either deductive or inductive reasoning, and how to decide between competing hypotheses with respect to explanations as to the nature of things or how the world works. When there are competing hypotheses in these matters, it is human nature to come up with “ad hoc excuses” to save a theory, many of which can not be tested, and so there must be criteria by which to judge and decide between them.

In these cases, practitioners of traditional sciences turned to traditionally accepted metaphysical principles and to revealed knowledge to sort between competing theories. Now, a reader could argue that it was traditionally accepted that the Earth was the center of the Solar System, and that this was proven to be wrong. The problem with this argument is that when the geocentric model of the Solar System was prevalent, traditional knowledge had already been broken. Aristotelian principles represented a major break from tradition, as did Christian philosophy. Admittedly, having a broken tradition severely limits our ability to revive traditional science, but I believe we can still proceed cautiously, so long as we act with humility, honestly admitting to the level of certainty that is possible to us.

Inference to the Best Explanation and Occam’s Razor

Whereas practitioners of traditional sciences would turn to traditional doctrine and metaphysics to examine matters not amenable to deductive or inductive reasoning, most modern scientific disciplines handle such matters by employing what is known as abductive reasoning, or “inference to the best explanation.” This practice does not attempt to achieve certainty, it purportedly only seeks to determine the most likely explanation for a given natural phenomenon.

According to accepted practice as taught by the current scientific establishment, the best explanation is one that is testable, has the widest scope, is the simplest, and is conservative in that it adheres to already established theories. The first difficulty with this form of reasoning is that by definition, it will only consider theories that are testable. Now, of course, for a theory to be examined by science, traditional or modern, it must be testable, and it is perfectly logical and acceptable to confine one’s research to that which can be tested; however, there is no basis other than belief to consider a testable theory better than an untestable one.   Of course, it makes sense to guard against “ad hoc” excuses for theories, especially if these excuses turn the theory from a testable one to an untestable one; however, there are traditional teachings, such as the proto-element of Aethyr, that make no claims as to be testable by material means.

Even more problematic is the requirement of simplicity. At first glance, this would seem to be a good criterion, and it is known as “Occam’s razor,” after William of Ockham, an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher who lived between about 1287 and 1347. It is commonly thought that this doctrine teaches that all things being equal, the simplest explanation is most likely correct. I am not sure how such a doctrine could be verified, but it seems reasonable on the surface. Of course, this also begs the question as to what is meant by simplest.

William of OckhamThis is where the problem lies. It could be said that the simplest explanation is the one that involves the fewest assumptions. That seems logical as well. There is more, however. The most famous version of the doctrine of Occam’s Razor comes not from William of Ockham himself, but from a later philosopher, John Punch in 1639, which states, “Non sunt multiplicanda entia sine necessitate,” or in English, “Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity.” This doctrine has been expanded to exclude anything but observable natural phenomena from consideration as possible explanations.

It is said that with respect to the scientific method, Occam’s razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result; the fact that the scientific establishment teaches this practice at all speaks to a system of belief. This belief system rules out any explanation that can not be tested empirically out of hand, and it heavily favors explanations that are purely material.

The Problem

Ordinarily, I would not concern myself with the belief system of anyone else, but in the modern West, many practitioners of science claim to be the sole arbiters of truth, and the words “according to science” are treated with the same reverence as “from the mouth of God.” While there are some who will admit to the limitations of their field, there are others who will make proclamations about matters that are outside the purvue of any science, traditional or modern, such as the existence of God, the soul, or Free Will.

Furthermore, when information obtained through scientific investigation is transmitted to laity, there is no distinction between information obtained through direct observation, deduction, induction, or “inference to the best explanation.” All of these are treated as if they have the same reliability.

The situation becomes more complicated with respect to  those who do not accept the doctrines of the modern scientific establishment. Sensing, correctly, that their beliefs will not be given fair consideration, they often abandon reason altogether. Lay people who do believe in the doctrines of modern scientific establishment will respond by attacking those who do not, without real understanding of what science can tell us and what it can not. These debates within the laity are argued with the fervor of debates surrounding theology.

A current example of such a debate can be found surrounding what is commonly referred to as “the Mandela Effect.” The Mandela Effect got its name from the fact that there are many people who claim to have clear memories that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the late ’80’s or early ’90’s, even though he later became President of South Africa and lived until 2013.  In addition to this rather major discrepancy, there are many minor ones, such as movie quotes and names of children’s books. There are people who believe that these discrepancies have been caused by a change in the timeline or a shift to an alternate universe. There are others that believe that these discrepancies are simply tricks of the mind or false memories.

If one researches this online, it is impossible to get any objective view on the subject. Those who believe it is a change in the timeline claim to have “proof” based on the possibility of alternate timelines as proposed by quantum mechanics, and they point to research in quantum mechanics currently being performed by CERN as a possible cause of the shift in timelines. Those who do not believe that there has been a change in the timeline claim that the theory has been “debunked” because of known and predictable vagaries in our memories.

The reality is that the Mandela Effect has neither been “proved” nor “debunked.” I do not even know how it could be tested. It may be caused by a change in the timeline; it may be false memories. The truth of the matter is that despite the confidence by which people make their claims, no one really knows.

Summary

In this article, I have discussed how, despite claims to the contrary, the teachers and proponents of modern science base their teachings in a system of beliefs. Some of these beliefs are unavoidable and fundamental, like the belief in the existence of our reality, while others go beyond the scope of science’s domain.  I have examined three types of reasoning, deductive, inductive, and abductive, and discussed how the allowance of abductive reasoning reveals a belief system, and how these forms of reasoning tend to be treated as if they were equal when findings based on them are conveyed to the laity . I have also discussed how this practice creates a culture of discord among laity as shown in the controversy surrounding the “Mandela Effect.”

The Sun お日さま

Even though the Moon is the most important planet for our day to day lives, the Sun is the most important planet for our very existence. All warmth, light, and energy springs forth from the Sun. While the Sun temporarily yields power to the Moon at night, she is the dominant Luminary for those born during the day.

The Janya of the Sun: Sai Raya

Sai Raya dollIn the Filianic Tradition, the Janya, or Great Angel, that is associated with the Sun is Sai Raya. As I discussed in the article about the Moon, in this Tradition, Sai Raya, the Janya of the Sun, Sai Candre, and Sai Rhavë, the Janya of Saturn are associated with the Feminine Trinity, respectively, the Mother, the Daughter, and the Dark Mother. The other four Janyati are associated with the material elements.

In the Filianic Creation Mythos, the Mistress of All Things created the world because She had “no solid place that Her feet might rest upon.” The Mythos of God the Mother, 1:2, Authorised Version, The Gospel of our Mother God. She created a golden world of laughter and delight, and of the creation of Maid, it is written,

And at the edges, where the waters had been parted, they lay still and shallow; and there She cast Her gaze. And She saw an image of Herself, all suffused in the light of live and energy. And she laughed. And as She laughed, the image rose up from the water and stood before Her. And this was the first of Her daughters. And she was filled with love for Her, and therefore was the first creature of Spirit.

The Mythos of God the Mother 1:9-10.

Our Mother’s Love

In the Filianic Tradition, the Mother is All Loving and All Forgiving. After we were tricked into turning from Her, she rescued us from the trickery and destruction brought about by the Snake. When Her Daughter descended to the Nether Regions to bring light to the places in the world and in our souls where the Mother’s Light could not reach, She broke through the Gates of Hell to rescue Her Daughter, and in doing so all of the demons and those trapped in the Nether Regions were freed to return to the Light.

One of my favorite sutras in the Gospel of Our Mother God describes this love:

Take heart, My children, take joy and courage in our Mother.

For She that created you also loves you, even to the end of the age.

Take heart, though you have turned from Her.

For She has not forsaken you, neither are Her eyes filled with anger.

And Her hands that shattered the gates of Hell shall not harm you; that have broken Hell’s foundation shall be lain on you in gentleness.

Therefore hide not yourself from Her, and put aside the tangled weeds of thought that strive each with the other.

For of all things, love is the simplest.

On Our Mother’s Love.

The Sun and Spirit

In the Filianic Creation mythos as quoted above, humans were created as a reflection of Our Mother and as the first creature of Spirit. The Spirit is the part of us that is One with the Mother and with all of creation. It is common in the Filianic tradition for people to greet and depart saying “rayati” in honor of the Sun within each person. The glyphs for each of the Traditional planets is a combination of one or more of three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World. The glyph for the Sun is a circle proceeding from a single point, and thus represents our connection with the Source. I find it interesting that the Chinese character for the Sun, 日, is the same symbol in a rectangular form.

Solar GlyphThe Sun in the sky is a microcosm of the Supernal Sun, as is every hearth fire and the Heart in every person. Our true Heart is of course not the same as our physical heart, but the Sun is associated with the physical heart as well.

In astrology, it is often thought that the Sun represents our ego and our individuality, but this is not entirely accurate. The twelve signs of the zodiac represent the twelve major Archetypes of humans. The Sun in our charts represent the nature of our Spirit, or the part of us that sprang from our Mother in pure archetypal form. So, the Sun represents who we are at the deepest level. This is why Sun Sign descriptions work to a certain extent even though our souls are far more complicated than Sun Sign Astrology allows for. At some level, the Sun Sign will always shine through, even for those born at night, even for those whose Sun is hidden in the deepest recesses of their charts.

Pride and ego are representatives of the False Sun. Instead of allowing the pure archetype to flow from our Spirit, we start to believe that this archetype is our smaller individual self and we glorify our individual self.  By doing so, we become separated from our Source, and ironically, we become unable to truly shine, because “the little sphere is severed from the great.” The Sermon of the Apple Seed. A good mediation to help with pride and ego is from the Canticle of the Mother,

Of mine own self I can accomplish nothing;

Only so far as Thou art acting through me;

How dull my soul is, like the ashes of a fire;

Yet pierced through with Thine eternal rays,

Is she not radiant as the noonday sun?

 

Astrological Associations of the Sun

Sect: Day

Rules Leo

Fire Leo

Exalted in Aries

In Detriment in Aquarius

In Fall in Libra

Daytime Triplicity Ruler of Fire

Temperament:

Spring – Hot and Wet

Summer – Hot and Dry

Autumn – Cold and Dry

Winter – Cold and Wet

Day of the Week: Sunday

Orb: 17° (Moiety 8.5°)

Colors: Orange, gold, white, red

Plants: Roses; all plants with a pleasant smell and good savor, particularly those with yellow or reddish flowers; saffron; ginger; cinnamon; barley; marigold; rosemary; orange and apple trees

Animals: Lions; horses; bulls; goats; starfish; eagles; peacocks; swans

Metal: Gold

Stones: Hyacinth; chrysolite; adamant; rubies

Solar Intellect

In the article about the Moon, I discussed how Lunar Reason and Lunar “Intuition” are different than our Solar Intellect. So what is our Solar Intellect? As I discussed in the previous article, all of the planetary powers spring from the Sun, including our Intelligence or Consciousness. The Solar Intellect is the part of us, each one of us, that knows and can recognize Truth. We can recognize it as the part of us that sings inside when we hear Truth and that cringes when we hear falsehood.

In the modern world, we are taught to distrust our Inner Light by both the worldview proposed by those who promote modern science and by those who teach a literalistic and rigid approach to religion, particularly in the Abrahamic faiths. This has caused much turmoil in the world. While these two approaches appear to be at odds with one another, and indeed, there is often bitter conflict between them, they really are two sides of the same coin.

The Solar Intellect can also be clouded by those who practice various forms of “New Age” spirituality. While the rationalists of science and the literalists of religion focus solely on the material, sublunary world of flux and change, “New Age” spirituality tends to focus heavily on the Lunar and the Lunary Sphere. A wise friend of mine often says, “those who say that they are ‘spiritual, but not religious’ are usually psychic, not spiritual.”

I believe that there is One Truth; however, that Truth is beyond our ability to express in human language. As in the famous quote from the Tao Te Ching, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the True Tao.” Religion, science, and spiritual practice are our attempts to explain and touch the Truth within our human limitations, so they can speak to Truth, but they can not be Truth. In a similar vein, the word philosophy means “the love of Wisdom,” because a person can not be taught Wisdom itself. Even so, there is a part of all of us that can recognize Truth, and that is our Solar Intellect.

The Moon お月さま

The Moon is by far the most important planet with respect to our day to day lives. She is the closest planet to Earth, and she governs all of our everyday affairs. She is a Luminary in her own right and is second in power only to the Sun. She is the dominant Luminary for those born at night.

The Janya of the Moon: Sai Candre

Sai Candre dollIn the Filianic Tradition, the Janya, or Great Angel, that is associated with the Moon is Sai Candre. In this Tradition, Sai Raya, the Janya of the Sun, Sai Candre, and Sai Rhavë, the Janya of Saturn are associated with the Feminine Trinity, respectively, the Mother, the Daughter, and the Dark Mother. The other four Janyati are associated with the material elements.

In the Filianic Creation Mythos, after the Fall and the separation of the world into the seven colors and Day and Night, we were no longer able to look upon the brightness of the Mother, so She gave birth to a Daughter “that was not separate from Her, but one with Her, and the child of Her Light.” The Mythos of God the Daughter 1:6, Authorised Version, The Gospel of Our Mother God. When the Daughter was fully grown,

…the Mother of All Things took Her to a high place upon the earth, saying: To You I give the governance of all of these things. You shall command the movements of the waters, and the wind shall be Your servant. The seasons of the earth shall you control, and all the times and seasons in the lives of My creatures. Every soul on earth and in the heavens shall be given into Your care, and the highest stars of the firmament shall know You as their Sovereign. For all of these things must be put from Me; for they can no longer look upon My brightness.

The Mythos of God the Daughter 3:1-5.

In the Filianic Tradition, it is the Daughter that is close to us and governs everything on Earth.

The Moon and Motherhood

The Moon is associated with motherhood and with mothers. While Sai Candre is associated with the Daughter in the Filianic Trinity, that association is with respect to the Solar Mother. As we are not able to look upon the Solar Mother, it is the Daughter that fulfills the role of the Mother for us on Earth. When we become mothers or mother figures, ideally, at least to a certain extent, we allow the Archetype of the Mother to flow through us, and this is a Divine Function.

The Lunary Sphere

In the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, the Lunary Sphere is the closest to the earthly or sublunary sphere, and is the realm of dreams and images. Of the Heavenly Spheres, this is the one that has the most direct impact on our material existence. I believe that this is how our thoughts impact our world. Our thoughts and the images we see all become a part of the Lunary Sphere, which then impacts the sublunary sphere, where we live. In the Feminine Scripture, it is written,

Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air.

For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you.

Thoughts of beauty and things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making her fair to look upon and graceful in her movements,

Uniting her with the universal music of eternity and gathering about her the servants of the Janyati.

But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to the tings of clay burden the soul with heavy chains.

My children, I speak not in pictures, for truly these things are; and to be seen by all whose eyes may pierce the veil of illusion.

The Moon: Body and Soul

In popular astrology, it is said that the Sun represents our individuality, and from a mundane perspective it might look that way, but I think that this a misunderstanding of the true nature of the Solar. It is the Moon that represents our individual souls. The glyphs for each of the Traditional planets is a combination of one or more of three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World. The glyph for the Moon is a double crescent, and thus represents the soul in its pure form.

Lunar GlyphThe Moon also governs our physical bodies as they are the earthly houses for our souls. In Chinese characters, which are known as kanji in Japanese, many of the kanji for body parts contain the radical, or part, which represents the Moon, 月. Some examples are 胸, mune, chest, お腹, onaka, stomach, 背中, senaka, back, and 心臓, shinzou, the physical organ of the heart.

Astrological Associations of the Moon

Sect: Night

Rules Cancer

Water Cancer

Exalted in Taurus

In Detriment in Capricorn

In Fall in Scorpio

Nighttime Triplicity Ruler of Earth

Participating Triplicity Ruler of Water

Temperament:

New – Hot and Wet

1st Quarter – Hot and Dry

Full – Cold and Dry

3rd Quarter – Cold and Wet

Day of the Week: Monday

Orb: 12° (Moiety 6°)

Colors: White; violet; silver

Plants: Lettuce; cabbage; poppy; all trees or herbs with round, shady, great spreading leaves; mandrake; melon; onion

Animals: All animals that live in the water, such as frogs, otters, snails; weasels; all sea fowl, such as ducks and geese; owls; tortoises

Metal: Silver

Stones: Selenite, moonstone, all soft stones; crystals

Lunar Reason and Intuition

Both the Sun and the Moon are Luminaries, and thus subsume all of the planetary powers, not just their own. The Sun is a reflection of the Supernal Sun, or the Creatrix, and thus all of the other planetary powers spring forth from Her. The Moon is the mediator between the Sun and the Earth, and thus is the mediator of all of the other planetary powers as well.

While Sai Mati (the Janya of Mercury) is Pure Intellect, which springs forth from the Solar Intellect, this is mediated to us through Lunar Reason. It is through Lunar Reason that we are able to sense and understand the material world. One of the fallacies of the so-called Enlightenment has been to elevate Reason above all else, which is elevating Lunar over Solar. Reason is good and important, but her proper role is that of servant rather than mistress.

Most Modern astrologers and astrological texts associate the Moon with intuition, but in Modern English, the word intuition is used in many different ways, which leads to a great deal of confusion. Pure Intuition, or tuition from within, is a function of our Solar Hearts and of Pure Intelligence, which is the Intelligence at the Center of all of Creation. At a very deep level, all of us can recognize the Truth in our Hearts. Yet, in the material world in the Late Iron Age, there is much that separates us from our Heart and from the Truth. Ideally, we would have a living Tradition to lead us to back to our True Heart and to the Truth, but that has largely been lost in the Modern West.

Just as the Moon mediates all other Solar Functions, the Moon also mediates our ability to connect with our Solar Intellect. At its highest level, this is the nature of Lunar intuition, and this can be used to help us navigate through the remnants of Tradition that are left to us in this day and age. The term is also used, however, for the faculties to sense subtle forces outside of the five senses as well as to sense the Lunary Sphere just above ours. As with Lunar Reason, these faculties are useful, but just as with Lunar Reason, it is best to use them cautiously and humbly, and as our servant, not our mistress.

Asteroids, Lilith, Eris and the Divine Feminine

In working with the Divine Feminine in astrology, many astrologers make use of bodies and points outside of the Traditional planets, such as Eris, Asteroids, or Lilith. I find this practice rather problematic on philosophical grounds, not just as an astrologer, but as a Filianist and devotee of Dea.

I can fully understand feeling the need to find more support for feminine expression within the framework of Western astrology. In the current system, the feminine is treated as synonymous with nocturnal, and in planetary expression is limited to the Moon and Venus.  Furthermore, in modern patriarchal culture, the feminine associations for the Lunar and Venusian principles are devalued and tend to be considered solely in their relation to men. The Lunar principle is often seen as only representing the Mother role, specifically as the Mother of sons, and the Venusian principle is considered as representing the erotic. The Venusian concern for beauty is ridiculed and considered superficial by those who consider themselves feminists, and is viewed solely as a way to attract boyfriends and husbands. Is it any wonder that those seeking the Divine Feminine would seek to look outside this system?

While I do understand why astrologers would look outside the system, I think that this practice concedes too much, and it leads to difficult symbolic and philosophical places.

Asteroids

Asteroids are bodies in the solar system too small to be considered planets. Most of them are found between Mars and Jupiter. Many of the larger asteroids are named for female deities, such as Vesta, Ceres, Juno, and Pallas Athena. Ceres is the largest, and she has been recently promoted to the new classification, dwarf planet. There are many theories for how asteroids formed. A common recent theory is that Jupiter prevented these bodies from coalescing into a planet.  This theory is interesting philosophically in that it seems very much in line with the Patriarchal Revolution.

From what I can tell, most of the associations for these asteroids are positive and affirming; however, all of these associations can be found within the traditional 7 planets, without the need to search for them floating in the asteroid belt.

asteroids

Vesta

The asteroid Vesta is said to be the significator of the hearth fire and our center. However, it is the Sun that is the true hearth fire. Every hearth fire in every home is a microcosm of the Supernal Sun. Our center or our True Heart is a microcosm of the Supernal Sun as well.

Ceres

Ceres is large enough that she is now considered a dwarf planet, and her name is the Romanization of the Greek deity, Demeter. The story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone is one of the great Myths of the death and resurrection of God or Dea. This Mythos is shown in the Wheel of the Year and astrologically in the rhythm of the Solar/Lunar cycle, or the phases of the Moon.

Juno

Juno is seen to represent matters related to love, marriage and commitment. Juno, or Hera in the Greek pantheon, is one of the many female deities that has been named “Queen of Heaven.” She had responsibility for the heavens, the earth, the seasons and the weather. These associations are far too important to be relegated to an asteroid, and they rightly belong to the Moon and Venus.

Pallas Athena

Pallas Athena is said to represent matters of wisdom, intellect, creativity, and skill. The goddess for whom she is named was seen as agent of civilization in Greece. Yet, all of these associations are part of Mercury. Mercury represents Intellect on all levels. Even in the current Western system, Mercury is considered feminine as well as masculine.

As I have said, all of the traits that have been assigned to these asteroids are nice, but they all belong to the Seven Traditional Planets. I consider it a much better, and more empowering, practice to look for the Divine Feminine in the Seven Traditional Planets than in small bodies between Mars and Jupiter that may have been prevented from forming a planet by Jupiter.

Lilith

The qualities that have been assigned to the above four asteroids are positive, and my only issue with them is that I believe they belong to the Seven Traditional planets, not to asteroids. Lilith is an entirely different matter.

The folklore surrounding Lilith is dark and gruesome. In this folklore, she was Adam’s first wife before the creation of Eve. She was supposedly cast aside for failure to submit to Adam and then turned to a demon that killed children.

adam and eveThe story of Lilith does not appear to be true Mythos but a part of Midrash in the Judaic Tradition. Midrash are stories used to provide backstories or explain contradictory information in the official cannon. It seems that the Midrash concerning Lilith was used to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the two Creation narratives. The first Creation narrative says:

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 NRSV.

This seems to imply that men and women were created at the same time. In the second Creation narrative, Eve was created second from Adam’s rib. According to Midrash, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, and Eve was created after Lilith was cast aside.

There are feminists who have taken Lilith as an empowering symbol, but I think that is unnecessary and dangerous. Whether the demon Lilith exists or not, the symbols we use and imagine have real consequences. They become a part of our Image Sphere.

In astrology, there is an asteroid named Lilith, and Lilith is also used for a point that is called the Black Moon, which is the lunar apogee, or the point where the Moon is the furthest from Earth.

For me, if such an awful signifactor does exist as Lilith would represent, I think it would be best to stay far, far away from it. I certainly would not embrace it as a source of empowerment.

Eris

Eris was discovered on January 5, 2005, and is a little larger than Pluto. This created a great deal of controversy, and eventually led to a new classification known as dwarf planet. Pluto was demoted and the asteroid Ceres was promoted. Since that time, two other bodies have been added to this classification. The mythology surrounding the name Eris is unsavory in a manner similar to Lilith. She is the goddess of discord, and in some stories gave birth to demons such as Algos (pain and sorrow) and Dysnomia (lawlessness).

There are astrologers who are using Eris to represent the Female Warrior.  However, just as I would never embrace Lilith, I have no desire to embrace Eris. Mars is the Warrior and can represent Warriors of either gender.

Summary

In an effort to discover the Divine Feminine and find astrologically empowering symbols, astrologers have turned to asteroids, dwarf planets, and the apogee of the Moon. While the asteroids’ symbols are mostly benign, they are redundant with the associations found in the Traditional 7 Planets. The symbolism surrounding Lilith, either the asteroid or the Moon’s apogee, is dark and frightening and best avoided, and the same can be said for the dwarf planet, Eris.

I think that the Divine Feminine can be found within the regular Tradition and within the Seven Traditional Planets, not just in the Moon and Venus. I see no need to cede the realm of Tradition to patriarchy, and I think it is safer and more empowering to reclaim Tradition than it is look for sources outside of Tradition.

Sleeping Beauty and the Three Faces of Saturn

Like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty is an iconic fairy tale. In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Classification of Folk Tales, Sleeping Beauty stories are given the classification number 410 and there are at least twenty-two of them throughout the world. I found the French version, which was collected by Charles Perrault, of particular interest.

Saturn, the One Not Invited

In the Perrault version of Sleeping Beauty, seven fairies were invited to the christening of a long awaited princess so that they could give her gifts. As an astrologer, whenever I see the number seven in a story, I immediately look for symbolism with respect to the seven traditional planetary powers. Each of these fairies were given place settings of pure gold, set with diamonds and rubies.

There was also one old fairy who was not invited. According to this version of the story, “She had not left her tower for fifty years, and people believed that she was dead or under a spell.” This description is a classic representation of the planetary power of Saturn. In the material realm, Saturn is the Greater Malefic, and represents the passage of time, as well as isolation, death, and difficulties or curses. Saturn is rarely invited, yet comes into our lives whether we want her or not. While the King made her a place at the table, he did not have a gold place setting for her, and she was insulted.

sleeping beauty christening

When it came time to give the little princess her gifts, one of the fairies held back, suspecting that the older fairy would attempt some mischief. The rest of the fairies gave their gifts.

The youngest gave her the gift that she would be the most beautiful person in the world, the second that she would have the mind like an angel, the third that all of her actions would be admirable, the fourth that she would dance perfectly, the fifth that she would sing like a nightingale, and the sixth, that she would play every musical instrument to perfection.

I believe that the traditional planetary powers are the seven main aspects of the Divine, and that as microcosms of the Divine, humans as Axial Beings have reflections of these powers within ourselves.  I also believe that humans have Free Will, and thus, we can express these powers in an ordinary material fashion, and in their highest and lowest forms. I also believe that each human has a True and a False Self, and that we can manifest True and False versions of all of the planetary powers.

The gifts of the six fairies represent the highest or True versions of their respective planetary powers. Some of the gifts are quite clear. The “mind like an angel” is the gift from Mercury, the ability to “play every musical instrument to perfection” is the gift from Jupiter, and certainty “that all of her actions would be admirable” is the gift from Mars. The other three are a little less clear, however, I would say that the ability to “sing like a nightingale” is the gift from Venus, the ability to “dance perfectly” is the gift from the Moon, and that “she would be the most beautiful person in the world” is the gift from the Sun.

sleeping beauty spindle

Then it was the old fairy’s turn, and she “declared that the Princess would prick her hand on a spindle and die.” After that the fairy in hiding said,

Do not worry, King and Queen, that your daughter shall die: it is true that I do not have enough power to undo entirely what my elder has done. The Princess will prick her hand on a spindle; but instead of dying, she shall only fall into a deep sleep that will last one hundred years. In the end, a king’s son will awaken her.

This is the Saturn principle at its highest. In the material world, Saturn is indeed a malefic. Because we are mortal, in a sense, every life is a tragedy. Suffering and death are always with us. Yet, I believe that there is a higher reality, and True Saturn is the gift of transcendence and Enlightenment. Rather than dying, the princess will sleep and be awakened into a new and better reality.

The Ogress

In the next part of the story, the princess does succumb to the curse and sleeps for a hundred years, and a king’s son does undertake a bold adventure to find her. This represents the Soul’s search for the Spirit, and I may write about this at a later date. In the Perrault version, however, the waking of the princess is not the end of the story. There is a second part.

sleeping-beauty_ogressIn the second part of this version, the prince and the princess must marry in secret, because the prince’s mother was “descended from ogres” and seemed to have an appetite for children. They live together in secret for more than two years and have two children together, a daughter named Aurora, meaning “Dawn,” and a son named Jour, meaning “Day.”

After two years, the prince’s father dies, and he becomes the king. At this point, he discloses his marriage and his children. As the king, he is obliged to go to war, and he leaves his country and his family in the care of his mother.

His mother takes this opportunity to order that the children one by one and then the king’s wife be cooked and served to her with a mustard sauce. Rather than complying with this horrid order, the head waiter hides the children and the wife away and served the ogress other meat telling her that it was the children and the wife.  The ogress discovers the deception and attempts to kill them herself in a huge vat filled with toads, vipers, snakes, and serpents. The King returned just in time to see what was happening, and the ogress was so enraged that she threw herself in the vat and “was devoured in a moment by the loathsome creatures she had put there.” After that, the “King could not help but be grieved, since she was his mother, but it was not long until his beautiful wife and children brought him all the comfort he needed.

I think that the ogress mother in this part of the story signifies the third face of Saturn, or False Saturn. The old, uninvited fairy represented ordinary, material Saturn, or death, loss, and hardship. The ogress was intentionally cruel and vicious. In this version, after finding the princess, the prince turned king must fight one more battle before coming into his power and having a happy ending. This battle is against his False Self at its worst, False Saturn. Even though he knew about his mother’s potential for cruelty, he negligently leaves his family and his country in her care as he goes off to war. The False Self only has the power we give it. With the help of a kind soul in the form of the head waiter, his family is spared until he returns. False Saturn destroys herself when recognized for who she is, and they all live happily ever after.

A Feminine Sun? Gender and the Planets

In the current system of Western Astrology, the planets are assigned gender. The Moon and Venus are feminine, Mercury is both masculine and feminine, and the Sun and the rest of the planets are masculine. As with the case of the gender assignment of the elements, the gender assignment of the planets has a long pedigree, and is rarely, if ever, questioned.

Where did these gender assignments come from?

AmaterasuWhile many historical cultures assigned gods and goddesses to the planets, the gender of the planetary deities is far from uniform. The Norse Sun deity, Sunna or Sol, was feminine, as is the Sun deity in Japan, Amaterasu. In the German language, it is still common to refer to the luminaries as Frau Sunne and Herr Mond. In the Vedic tradition, all of the planetary deities are masculine.

The gender of the planets in the Modern Western system has been passed down to us in the seminal ancient astrological textbook, the Tetrobiblios and seems to be derived from the gender of the corresponding god or goddess in the Greco-Roman pantheon.

A Problematic System

I think that this planetary gender assignment is problematic in terms of its influence on popular culture with respect to ideas and beliefs about femininity, and about masculinity, for that matter. I do not think it adds much, if anything, to astrology on a practical level.

One of the first things that one notices is that the planetary gender assignments are not even. There are 4 masculine planets, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with only 2 feminine planets, the Moon and Venus.  Furthermore, the dominant luminary is assigned to the masculine gender and the subordinate luminary to the feminine gender. This is clearly a system heavily influenced by patriarchy, which is understandable, as Greco-Roman culture was highly patriarchal.

I think that there is an even deeper problem, however, in that it codifies very rigid gender roles that are present to this very day. Not even ardent feminists question the gender assignment of the luminaries. Instead, many of them seem to try to elevate the Moon over the Sun, which is a much greater upset to astrology and metaphysics.

The truth of the matter is that all people, regardless of gender, have all of the seven traditional planets in their chart and in their psyche. There is no way to tell a person’s gender from her Nativity Chart. An astrologer may argue that the planetary gender is mere symbolism and that the symbolism does not apply to actual human gender. Perhaps that may be the perception of an experienced astrologer, but the symbolism most certainly influences lay perception of human gender, and I sincerely doubt that even experienced astrologers are immune.

20180518_173853The current system limits the feminine to the Moon and Venus. Even though Mercury is both masculine and feminine, popular imagery almost always uses a masculine form for Mercury. By the same token, this separates the Lunar and the Venusian from the masculine. One may say that everyone has both masculine and feminine parts, and this is sometimes taken as a truism in modern psychology. I do not believe this to be the case, however, and if there is any truth to it, I do not think it applies to the planets in our charts.

In all of the years that I have practiced astrology and studied my own Nativity Chart, I have never seen any of the planets in my chart as masculine, not even my Mars in Aries. When I personify my Arian Mars, I think of her as Helga the Viking. I do not think that when I am interpreting the chart of a man that his Moon or Venus represent his supposed feminine parts. I think that a man will express his Moon and Venus in a masculine manner, just as I express my Mars in Aries in a feminine manner.

A Proposed Solution

I am a Traditionalist, and for the most part, I believe that traditions, particularly long established ones, should be preserved. On the other hand, I do believe that it is sometimes necessary to adapt traditions to the Modern Age, and that it is often advisable to adapt traditions that are clearly rooted in patriarchy.

As a Filianist, I use feminine language and imagery for God or Dea, and I also use feminine language and imagery for the Janyati, the great angels or Divine Sources behind the Planetary Principles. This is because Filianists do not see the Janyati as separate from Dea, but as the seven main aspects of Her. I would imagine that this is the reason that the planetary deities in the Vedic tradition are all masculine. In the same way, the Judeo-Christian traditions assign each of the planets a masculine Archangel.

I think that planetary powers are actually beyond human gender, the luminaries in particular. I think that the physical planets are as well. One of the difficulties is that English has no neuter pronoun for humans or for Divine powers, so without gender, it is hard not to see the planets as remote or mechanical. For this reason, I think it makes sense to use all feminine language and imagery or all masculine language and imagery. This emphasizes the full range of planetary expression to both genders.

There are times in which it becomes necessary to differentiate genders in a chart, particularly in horary (question) charts. In those cases, I believe that it is appropriate to use Mars for the male gender and Venus for the female one. I do not agree with this use for the Sun and the Moon. I think that the Solar and Lunar Principles are too high to use for human gender. I do agree with the use of the Moon for the mother when it is appropriate. I think that the mother role, which may sometimes be performed by a man, is a reflection of a High Divine Archetype, and thus may be represented by a luminary. I think that the father role of guide and disciplinarian, which may be performed by a woman, is adequately represented by Saturn.

While I see the Divine Principles behind the planets as feminine, when working with Nativity Charts, I tend to view all of the planets as the gender of the native, unless I am looking specifically at a issue that relates to gender. I really think that this makes the most sense overall. It allows me to personify the planets and give them life, while at the same time it avoids creating confusing or limiting perceptions about gender on an internal or external level.