On Meaning of As Above, So Below
© 2012, Dec 20 Curtis Manwaring
There is another potential dimension to the use of keys that is reflected in philosophy (that of Plato, Aristotle, etc) and the difference between the ideal and the real (eidos and hule as Schmidt would say). Most of the stuff coming out of Aristotle seems to fit well with the real/natural world and represents the world of "Tuche" (fortune). From this we get Ptolemy and the interest in natural phenomena. From the side more forgotten is the ideal (Platonic) of the world where the year is ideally 360 days, a month ideally 30 days, the apparent diameter of the Sun and Moon 1/2 degree to which the 2 sects side by side make up one degree in the zodiac / one day of ideal solar motion. From this, we get a world that approximates the ideal, but imperfectly.
This is not necessarily a matter of what is right. It can be simply a matter of 'as above, so below' where the ideal is above in the realm of Nous and the real is in the realm of tuche (fortune) of this world. It sets up expectation, vs what is and potentially leads to a moral/ethical understanding of what is right or what should be. Schmidt has said a lot about this in his reconstruction of the "System of Hermes".
When I brought up the symmetry of ascensional times, it was to point out that this only works in a tropical zodiac which suggests that this part of the logic is tropical.
There is another dimension to this that Robert Schmidt mentioned years ago that is largely misunderstood by astrologers today (the popular "as above, so below"). In the platonic sense, one could take below to mean "hule" (or matter), and above to mean "nous" (or form). In this latter case, the "above" doesn't mean the physical stars, but the noetic ones (in other words the essence of "starness"; what is it that makes a star, a star?). The realm of Nous contains the natures of planets, motions, numbers, etc... Whereas the "below" represents the physical earth. The realm of Nous is not visible because its "objects" come closer to the realm of Mind.
The tropical zodiac in the nature of it's measurement participates in the nature of Sameness (rather than Otherness) and most appropriately belongs to the realm of Nous and has limits. Schmidt said that the planets participate in the nature of Otherness in regards to their motion, because their motions are irregular (as stated in the Timaeus) and limitless.
It occurred to me (Schmidt probably thought of this first and didn't tell me) that when dealing with the ideal year of the Egyptians of 360 days, that what we are measuring belongs to the realm of Nous. Several of the Hellenistic time lord techniques use this method of counting years, but some notably don't such as the Lunar Quarters, Lunar Monomoiria, and the 9 years of the Moon methods which use the 365.24259... days/year measurement (the misnamed solar year from a platonic perspective). What do these latter methods have in common? Schmidt says that the Moon is the most "Dyadic" of all the planets and was assigned the leader of the nocturnal sect and participates in the realm of the "Other" which is more closely aligned with Hule (or matter) and the principle of limitlessness.
Matter doesn't like to conform exactly to the Sameness of Nous which is why you need real numbers to represent it. Integers participate in the nature of Sameness and have orderly (limited) operations.
When modern scientists try to get at the "truth" they measure as precisely as possible (unwittingly participating in the Dyad/Otherness). The modern view of "Hule" or matter representing "the truth" mimics Descartes view who said that the only thing that can be measured is extension such as "miles per hour" (what Schmidt calls extensive magnitudes). Other measurements such as the saturation of color, intelligence, brightness of light are intensive magnitudes which participate in the realm of the Other and limitlessness. When Einstein discovered general relativity, speed became an intensive magnitude (usually miles/second) because it became dependent upon the realm of the Other (space in using light-years) and mass. Objects approaching light speed develop intensive magnitude measurement issues and generate a red-shift when moving away from the observer. Astrologers should be careful to pay attention to which realm they're dealing with.