*** The Basics of the Hermetic Astrolabe Astrology Art Device***
The Hermetic Astrolabe is a unique synthesis of Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Hindu/Vedic Astrology Art, inspired by an original Babylonian Astrolabe. These systems, although deeply interconnected, have never been brought together in one image and I have made it my quest for the past couple of years to realize this vision.
It has Artistic, Educational and also Practical value for Astrology Art and theory enthusiasts and all lovers of the sky.
The Listing is for 1 large unframed canvas print (see sizes in options), carefully rolled and shipped in a tough plastic tube.
If you want to know more about this work, keep reading.
*** The Idea ***
It all started with a question: “What is Astrology?” and the search for an answer to this question lead me to uncover the hidden history of this wonderful creation of the human mind.
What I have learned in these last few years that I spent researching this question is that Astrology is ultimately born out of love and fascination for the skies and a deep desire to know and understand the Universe that we are living in and to find one’s place and meaning in this vast Universe.
Astrology is ultimately Man’s Quest to bring order into the apparent chaotic workings of the Universe.
Does such an order truly exist? Or is it all chaos? Or maybe even a blend of chaos and order? I’ll leave that up to you to decide when you look up at the starry sky at night.
*** The Journey ***
This extravagant, eclectic and unique map of the heavens takes us on a journey through the different ways our civilization has viewed the stars through the ages.
The Platonic Year of the Precession of the Equinoxes
We start our journey with the Great Platonic Year of the Precession of the Equinoxes, that lasts ~26.000 years.
This Great Year is related to the Precession of the Equinoxes, due to Earth’s wobble around its own pole axis, that makes the Vernal point or 0° Tropical Aries move backwards on the ecliptic .
The Platonic Year (named after Plato who described it in his dialogues) bears the signs of the ages that our civilization has passed through in the last 14.000 years, and features 12.000 more years to come. It can be used for identifying civilization-wide trends in history, especially by using the smaller divisions (dodekatomoria) of ~180 years.
As we are approaching the end of the Pisces age (ruled by spiritual and warm Jupiter) that saw the birth of Christianity and rise of modern civilization, we are getting ready to enter the fabled Aquarius age, ruled by wise and cold Saturn, that heralds the dawning of an age of enlightenment and rationality that will last 2 millennia.
The Babylonian Astral Calendar
We continue our journey by going through the Babylonian Calendar of the Solar year established close to 5000 years ago, and the first 30 degree division of the ecliptic that resulted in the original zodiac with 12 signs. At that time there was no difference between Tropical and Sidereal longitudes.
Additionally, they divided the sky that rose each morning on the horizon in the East, before sunrise, in 3 paths, each path being assigned to either Enlil, Anu or Ea, the original Trinity of the gods, that divided the world among themselves. In each of these paths rose 12 constellations that were under the rulership of these three gods, 36 constellations in total that became known as Decans, or decanates. Their Astrology was omen based and they kept records of hundreds and hundreds of years of astronomical phenomena that they then used in predictions.
The Mysterious Egyptian Decans
The Egyptians adopted the Babylonian Astronomy and this 12 signs/36 constellations division of the skies, but instead of looking for 3 groups of constellations that rose together at dawn, they looked for particular groups of stars that rose every 10 days after the rise of Sirius, the Dog Star, whose rise marked the flooding of the Nile and the start of the Egyptian Year. The complete identification of all the asterisms (star groups) that belonged to each Egyptian decan may be forever lost (since their number, name and allocation differ in various sources), but what we know for sure is that they started with the rise of Sirius, whose Decan I’ve marked on the map since it’s one of the most consistent decanic allotment. The Egyptian year had 360 days (10 days/decan) to which they added 5 epagomenal days (intercalary days), each epagomenal day being the birthday of a God, as follows: 1st Day – Osiris, 2nd Day – Horus the younger, 3rd Day – Set, 4th Day – Isis, 5th Day – Nephthys. These days were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, and are marked with a decan of their own (Intercalary). The legends say that the God Thoth (Greek Hermes) won the 5 days (1/72 of the Moon’s light) on a game of draughts with the Moon Khomsu, when Ra forbade Nut to bear the 5 gods. By winning the 5 days from the Moon through cunning, Thoth was able to help Nut give birth to the 5 gods.
After the birth of the Gods, we move forward in our journey to the actual constellations that have sparked the imagination of every major civilization, including our own. We trace the path of the Sun along the ecliptic and we discover the 12 ancient constellations. Above and below the ecliptic we find other constellations and stars that rise and set with the zodiacal constellations. Every star and constellation has its own story for us to discover.
We then move forward to the wise Hindu sages that defined the 27 Nakshatras or “Lunar Domiciles” based on important asterisms on or close to the ecliptic, whereby they followed the Moon through each of its Domiciles and read the fates of all men. This is the core of Vedic Astrology, but Astrology in the East had developed on a path of its own. Chinese and Vedic Astrology are lunar based sidereal astrologies, but they also had touch points with tropical Astrology at various points in time from their contacts with various other cultures.
Western Tropical System
We arrive at last to the Tropical system that was to become the cornerstone of modern day Astrology. Even though it’s story starts more than 5000 years ago, it is only when the Astral theology of the babylonians and Egyptians met with the “Greek Miracle” of thinking and reasoning that Astrology truly became a language of the stars. The Greek Philosophers of V-II century B.C. absorbed babylonian astronomy and by meshing it with their core philosophies (Pythagorean, Platonic, Stoic, Neo-platonic etc.) Horoscopic Astrology was thus created. Horoskopos = Hora (time) + Skopos (observer). The Greek philosophers imported core Babylonian astronomy and astrology principles (12 sign zodiac, triplicities, exaltation, domiciles, decans, terms, significant stars etc.) and brought their own innovations to the table like the Whole Sign Houses, Aspect doctrine, Lots, planetary relationships, planet/sign/domicile configurations etc. and truly defined the foundation for the Astrological language that we used to this day in the western world.
Our journey ends here, and if you have reached this point by now you probably already realized the eclectic and evolving nature of Astrology over the past millennia. It is continually changing over time, but only through understanding its roots would we be able to see where it’s going. It does not belong to any one culture, no one is right or wrong or has the final word… we are all journeying through and to the stars.
*** The Technical Sheet of the Hermetic Astrolabe Astrology Device***
The Hermetic Astrolabe is constructed based on an eclectic yet historically accurate combination of astrological systems that have been brought together in the same image probably for the first time ever.
It features the following systems:
– Precessional dates by degree for the Great Platonic Year of 26.000 years (for the study of civilizations over great time periods).
– Babylonian/sidereal dodecatomoria (2,5 degree divisions of a celestial sign, according to the ancient babylonian division of the skies)
– Babylonian/Sidereal Zodiacal system (+ Anu/Enlil/Ea division of the sky and monthly calendar/babylonian 36 decans) – Ayanamsa 15Tau
– Egyptian Decans (theoretical model) (approx. 10 degree division of the skyes, with each decan ruling over 10 days)
– Greek Sidereal Decanates (Liber Hermetis) (10 degree divisions of the Constellational Zodiac, alloted to greek/egyptian gods)
– Graphical Constellations
– Ecliptic (Path of the Sun, as seen from Earth’s Perspective)
– Manually positioned bright and important Stars (each star was positioned on the celestial background according to exact latitude and longitude).
– Padas – Hindu Astrological Division system of the Nakshatras
– 27 Nakshatras (lunar mansions)
– Tropical Zodiac – Fagan/Bradley Ayanamsa
– Essential Dignities (Exaltation, Depression, Domicile & Fall, Triplicities)
– Tropical dodecatomoria (2,5 degree divisions of tropical signs)
– Tropical decans (10 degree divisions of Tropical Signs)
– Egyptian terms or bounds (Vettius Valens) (irregular divisions of the Signs, ruled by the 5 classical planets of antiquity)
– Planets in their original position in the Thema Mundi
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Thank you, and may Hermes guide our steps to wisdom.