Do Degrees Matter in Astrology?

I have have slowly, over the course of a few years, come to the conclusion that degrees don't really matter in astrology except when used as a measuring tool or when introducing stars into the equation, and that they are in fact responsible for the subject's many incongruities, such as variable orbs, degree aspects, and unequal houses. Dividing a sign into degrees, dwads, decans, and so on, seems intriguing at first, but what it really does is entertain fanciful notions and makes astrology much more complicated than it really is. In my many years of personal observation, I have been unable to prove convincingly that a tight degree aspect between any two planets is stronger than a wide one. The type of energy exchange (sign aspect) seems to be far more important, and this is readily obvious when doing synastry. Sometimes a tight aspect(within a few degreees of orb) does seem more intense than a wide one, but at other times there seems to be no noticeable difference. It's more likely that the difference in intensity is due to other factors or basic planetary exchanges between two charts. Also, who is to lay down the law as to how many degrees between two particular planets is needed to produce an effective aspect -this has always been a contentious issue among astrologers. Degrees have also been responsible for dissecting the so-called birth chart(another amorphous construct) into a plethora of different house systems.

The truth is degrees don't really matter or are highly exxagerated -they are a man-made marthematical invention. The only thing that truly exists are planets and signs. Planets are obvious, but signs are spatial concepts, of which God has apparently chosen twelve. Yes astrology is a divine system that surpasses mathematical or scientific scrutiny. It is based on a perspectual or individual view of the heavens and its divisions and markers(planetary bodies) and is therefore more of a spiritual discipline than a material one. There are two basic spheres or planes: the apparently flat earth physical plane upon which we live, and a rotating heavenly torroidal field(or semi-dome) which contains the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. The heavenly dome or sphere is tilted somewhat (23.5 degrees) from the Earth so that where the dome's equatorial plane intersects with the Earth's equatorial plane(equinox points) is where the zodiac begins or ends. True astrology is based on the seasons(tropical) rather than the stars(sidereal) which is why I do not accept the vedic premise. The Earth plane or ecliptic is then divided into twelve equal spaces(beginning at the vernal or spring equinox) to produce the twelve signs. Zodiac signs are not only spaces, but energies, aspects, and houses all at the same time. They are the clothes or characters the planets wear as they move through the zodiacal ecliptic. As the planets always move, their zodiacal positions will depend on the native's time and place of birth. The Earth plane itself(its eastern horizon) is also affected and becomes your Ascendant or Rising Sign(where the Sun rises), and it's opposite point is known as the Descendant(where the Sun sets). The highest point in the heavens (where the Sun culminates) is called the Midheaven or Zenith and the lowest or opposite point is the I.C. or Imun Coeli. These four points supposedly form the "cross" or basis of your so-called birth chart, but some astrologers use only the Ascendant for the houses and treat the Midheaven as a planet.

The Ascendant degree at birth is normally used to begin the Houses or spaces of your chart, but this was a relatively recent invention(800's AD). Ancient astrologers used the whole sign as the 1st house no matter what degree the Ascendant was in. It was hard enough to get the Ascendant sign right(which relies on an accurate birth time) much less the degree. So if Aries fell as your Ascendant ALL of Aries was your 1st house regardless of the degree. All of Taurus then became your second house and so on. Signs and houses(and aspects) were all interchangeable. As far as we know, however, houses did not come into popular use until around two millennia ago and perhaps even later. After the fall of the Roman empire in 476 AD, astrology fell to the Arabs or Muslims who made considerable changes to it, such as developing orbs and almutens and different house systems. It was then readopted by Europe and the Americas where it underwent further modification. So what we practice today in the Western world is an adulterated form of astrology with lots of unnecessary baggage. Only recently, in this 21st century, is the simple beauty and wisdom of astrology being restored, notably with the readoption of whole sign houses made popular by Robert Hand. But this is not enough. If whole sign houses are the truth, then we must go the inevitable step further and reintroduce whole sign aspects as well which would largely eliminate the use of degrees. Both these steps and others will finally clean up or liberate astrology from its Medieval shackles.

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