northanger (northanger) wrote,

vulgarization of astrology

expanding from last post, two trends that probably demoted Astrology: making it accessible and making it silly. and it involves politics. googled an interesting phrase: vulgarization of astrology. vulgate:

c.1600, Latin translation of the Bible, especially that completed in 405 by St. Jerome (c.340-420), from M.L. Vulgata, from L.L. vulgata "common, general, ordinary, popular" (in vulgata editio "popular edition"), from L. vulgata, fem. pp. of vulgare "make common or public," from vulgus "the common people" (see vulgar). So called because the translations made the book accessible to the common people of ancient Rome.

Latin, or The Empire of a Sign

Debates on the "vulgarization" of the Bible were broadly conditioned by the perceived relationship between translation and heresy: while some saw translations accessible to uneducated people as carrying an inevitable risk of error, others emphasized the right of all men to know the scriptures, recalled that error is usually the fruit of ignorance, and pointed out that heresies had nearly always been generated by the learned, not by simple men of the people. In these discussions, Latin was seen as a means for defending the Church's authority and control over the faithful…

John Gadbury: Politics and the Decline of Astrology

During the latter part of the 17th century, as Crown, Parliament and Church struggled to reach a settlement, political opinion polarised into two opposing camps - the Whigs and the Tories - which formed the basis of the confrontational party political system still with us today. The Tory party supported the interests of the monarchy, the nobility and the Anglican Church, while the Whigs represented the growing middle class of merchants, industrialists and untitled landowners.

only two links mention vulgarization of astrology

The Scientific Revolution's Axiomatic Rejection of Magical Thinking:
The Case of Astrology in England (1600 — 1700)
David Kemp, 2003


With regard to the first issue, Keith Thomas, the prominent historian of early modern English history at Oxford University, has done a thorough job of recording in great detail the rise and fall in popularity astrology experienced during the seventeenth century in England, and such evidence as he has found will be cited here in such forms as records of astrologers' caseloads, almanac publication data, and the prevalence of ridicule and satire [Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (New York: Scribner, 1971)]. In discussing the conclusion that astrology's vulgarization contributed its downfall, Thomas has chosen not to focus on the negative effects of a massive vulgarization of astrology, but instead to discuss its decline in terms of a proactive attitude on the part of English society, specifically in the form of an excitement and hope for the future generated by the century of advancements and discovery. Thomas concludes that, in the final sense, the cause for astrology's decline was not due to any tangible empirical evidence, but resulted from a general faith in the scientific method, and in doing so he directly opposes Malinowski's theory that religion and magic need to be replaced by concrete and practical technology. He writes that "the change which occurred in the seventeenth century was thus not so much technological as mental."

•    •    •    •

…While [Thomas] does suggest that new technologies may have contributed slightly to a decline in the use of magical remedies, he points out that for the most part the problems previously addressed with the help of love-potions or astrologers acting as detectives or meteorologists were not eliminated by new and improved cosmetics, police tactics, or methods of weather prediction, but by the hope that the same scientific methods that led to some improvement in these areas would one day devise final solutions to all such problems…

•    •    •    •

It will be mainly through the rhetoric of the scientific elite then that we will see that it was the case that the massive popular vulgarization of astrology reported by Thomas soured the scientific community's opinion of astrology to the point where it was not considered worth the effort to attempt any real empirical examination of it.

•    •    •    •

The Vulgarization of Astrology in England

The root cause of astrology's loss of prestige in the seventeenth century had less to do with its critics than from the damage done to its reputation by opportunits and abusers. Criticism of astrology has historically been born out of a fearful reaction to a little understood system that threatened the human freedom of will, however, because its rise in popularity at mid-century was accompanied by the proliferation of this new breed of charlatan practitioners starting in Tudor England, criticism can also be seen as a symptom of its perceived vulgarity. Beginning in the Tudor period, astrology was no longer a science of learned, but became an open unregulated profession.

•    •    •    •

Kemp's critical points: astrology was dismissed on non-empirical grounds and that astrology was never empirically invalidated.

I want his credibility.
I want people to know he's lying before they hear what he says.

enemy of the state

The Cambridge History of Science
Volume 3, Early Modern Science (2006)
Edited by Katharine Park, Lorraine Daston

Astrology, H. Darrel Rutkin (pp. 541)

{560} Although I have traced the outlines of the process whereby astrology disappeared from the domain of legitimate natural knowledge as defined by the learned, some of the biggest questions still remain. In particular, why was such a promising astrological synthesis uprooted during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? In addition to natural philosophical motivations, part of the answer must also lie in the political domain, where the role played by astrology — still vital in the seventeenth century — lost its importance in the eighteenth. Likewise, astrology increasingly became the brunt of biting satire at this time, as in Jonathan Swift's vehement attack on the real astrologer John Partridge under the fictional guise of another astrologer, Isaac Bickerstaff [+][+]. This seems to have reflected and reinforced the increasing vulgarization of astrology and its demotion from the world of elite to popular culture.

It Happened Tomorrow

Panel discussion includes H. Darrel Rutkin @ 0:40:55

Lin + Lam
It Happened Tomorrow: Probabilities, Predictions and Prophecies
Saturday, September 11, 2010 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Lin + Lam produce research-based projects that examine how individual and national subjectivities are mediated and defined. Paying close attention to materiality, site, and the specificities of different medium, the collaboration is a productive integration of their individual strengths and backgrounds. Trained in architecture, H. Lan Thao Lam also uses photography, sculpture, and installation to probe the construction of history and lived places. Informed by documentary and experimental film, Lana Lin's art projects interpret different cultural contexts, raising questions about translation and the processes of identification.

•    •    •    •

Comprehensive and sly, "Change Encounters" {} is a new project by Lin + Lam, developed over the course of the duo's 2009-10 Vera List Center at the New School Fellowship and now making its debut. Conceived in response to the Vera List Center's focus theme "Speculating on Change," Lin + Lam have collected an array of cultural and historical predictive devices and artifacts from popular culture, historical sources, and scholarship—including original interviews with professionals from diverse backgrounds—and arranged this archive into an interactive website. It Happened Tomorrow offers multiple perspectives on the nature and process of change and speculation and is accessed through a random number generator based on the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching, one of the oldest books in the world and a predictive device still in use today.

The event takes its name from the title of René Clair's 1944 film It Happened Tomorrow, a comedy about a journalist who wishes for the ability to predict the future in order to get a jump on breaking news. A desire for precognition has influenced human behavior across history. The capacity to aspire to a different future is, as anthropologist Arjun Appadurai writes, critical for those striving to overcome dire conditions. Can this capacity be learned and shared? What enables future thinking that is not a product of denial, defense, or fantasy but is constructive to change? For contemporary forecasting on the current recession and repressions, professionals from a number of fields join Lin + Lam and present their perspectives on how the future is imagined and created.

•    •    •    •

Speculating on Change

Each year, the VLC identifies a topic of urgency and resonance that becomes the subject of various public programs – Speculating on Change is the annual theme for 2009-2010, in response to the Obama call for "change we can believe in." The discussions probe perceptions, descriptions, measurements, and meanings of change that inform collective action, whether political, scientific, or cultural. Speculating on Change also entails projection, prognosis and risk, and embodies the fluid and divergent time space continuum of contemporary existence. The programs are tied to the previous cycle on democracy as an eternally deferred state. Both program cycles received the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Astrologer's Role as a Consultant

A Red Cross planning committee came up, some years ago, with eight qualifications defining the consultant and the essential character of her function. The consultant is a person: (1) who is sought after for help; (2) who helps others to help themselves; (3) who has a broad knowledge and an objective point of view; (4) who has specialized training and skill; (5) who is adept at creating a climate for desiring help; (6) whose advice may be either accepted or rejected; (7) who is neither a doer nor an operator; (8) who must have adequate time to do an educational job. These specifications apply remarkably well to the person who is being consulted on the basis of his astrological knowledge and skill interpretation.

•    •    •    •

To say, "Oh yes, Saturn is now moving over your Venus square Mars," is no consolation.

•    •    •    •

Modern persons have become accustomed to consider psychoanalysis or psychiatric healing a long and costly process; but they still expect astrological consultants to bring them solace, hope, and faith in themselves in an hour or two. The consultants are under pressure to discover at once magical factors which will free the mind from anxiety and cause everything to turn out well — and very soon. This is, of course, an impossible situation; it arises from the fact that most people still consider astrology as a mysterious art able to cure all kinds of anxieties and uncertainties.

It is useless to ask this of astrology. Astrology is a technique of understanding and a discipline of thought thanks to which a person can get a new outlook on her entire life and a more objective and structured understanding of the place and function of her most important life experiences and crises. Astrology can transform a seemingly meaningless crisis into a process of catharsis, prelude to rebirth at a higher, more inclusive level of existence. It can tell whether a client is at the beginning, middle, or end of certain cycles — and whether or not it is wise to push ahead at once or to wait for a more opportune and significant time.

Anima Mundi - The Astrology of the Individual and the Collective
Charles Harvey

Charles Harvey was one of the most influential and innovative figures of late 20th century astrology. In the seminars in this volume, the clarity of his thought and the depth and inclusiveness of his vision are expressed in a way which is accessible yet subtle and profound. These seminars explore not only the ways in which individuals influence, mediate, and are shaped by the groups and collectives to which they belong, professional and national, but also the ways in which nations evolve according to inherent astrological patterns which, rather than merely echoing history, actually create it.

We are all individuals striving toward the fullest possible expression of our unique personalities, yet we are at the same time participants in - and sometimes victims of - larger collective forces which we need to understand if we are to make sense of our place in the cosmos and claim any right to individual choice as well as an individual contribution to the larger unity of which we are a part. In this relatively unexplored sphere of astrological research, Charles Harvey was unquestionably a leader, and the material in this book will be disturbing, exciting, and illuminating to both students and seasoned astrological practitioners.

The Book of World Horoscopes

In this part the author presents his vision about mundane astrology from which I would like to mark 5 interesting quotes:

1. A short history of the evolution of mundane astrology, pointing out the moment when national charts became the most important instrument

2. The relation between mundane astrology and the collective mind as is seen from Plato to Jung

3. The problem of choosing the right horoscope, the significant moment and the difference between natural and judicial (divinatory) astrology

4. How to choose the right time in mundane astrology

5. The importance of clear, precise sources

can i say "vulgarization of climate change"? hard not to think about parallels. something everyone should know if humans are a major factor, but then that would include a prescriptive component, which generates resistance. VLC's democracy as an eternally deferred state brings up a lot of stuff. hopefully this helps me segue to agape, national charts, a surprising prototype, and the 13th amendment.

Tags: anima mundi, bickerstaff, deferred state, it happened tomorrow, lin+lam, magical thinking, rudhyar, vera list center, vulgarization, vulgarization of astrology, world horoscopes

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