On the Origin of the Term Essential Dignity

© 2006 Curtis Manwaring

Robert Schmidt says that the reason we use the term "essential dignity" is because of the Arab translation of "axiomaticos", which he says has a number of meanings, among them:

  1. To deem or find worthy.
  2. To seek, petition or to beg.
  3. To claim or maintain something. (Schmidt says that this is sometimes translated somewhat misleadingly as "self evident" which is the source of the English word "axim".)

Because this word "axiomaticos" can refer to planets of the domicile, exaltation or confine (terms or bounds), it was associated with those 3 in different senses:

1) When it finds worthy, it is of the exaltation. The Greek word here is "hupsoma" which literally means "height", as if to lift up on a pedistal.

2) When it begs or petitions, this is the domicile relation. This is because the Greek word "oikodektor" means one who gives ear to. So a planet in the domicile of another petitions or begs... It asks the domicile lord for assistance.

3) When it is providing evidence for itself ("axiomatic") it is acting of the confines (otherwise known as term or bounds). Here the Greek word is "hoirion" which is where we get the English word horizon from, but has the meanings of boundary, standard, ... Here something is posited or claimed and the planet must abide by the rule that is set. We have a residue of this in English when we say something like: "This is what I mean by ... in terms (hoiria) of"...

Schmidt says that when this word was translated from Arabic to Latin, it was translated as "dignified" which is the selection of one 1 of the 3 potential meanings, which is very misleading.

Because the distinctions between the different planetary / zodiacal relations was blurred, it eventually led to the idea of Almuten. By this time in the astrological history, much of the hellenistic conception was lost. Any sense of the planets forming alliances and political agendas (sect), making consessions and deliberating with other planets in the service of heimarmene to arrive at the proper "fate" of the native was lost.

The triplicities (trigons) and decans are another story... Of course, this does not really tell where they came from, but shows how the hellenists reconceptualized Egyptian, Mesopotamian, etc... ideas.

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