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Figured I'd split this off from the Real Magick posts and give it it's own thread. I am really hoping others will add to what I've written so far. I'll be busy transcribing some of the copious notes I've taken on Western Astrology eventually. I've even pondered if there is a way I could arrange my notes, exercises, etc in such a way that one could use them as a "learn-by-doing" home-study course for fellow curious TTBs. I've searched around on the web and everyone who teaches Western traditional astrology is asking for several hundred dollars to teach it . Unfortunately I don't have that kind of money so I'm having to go the DIY route. I will say this...western astrology has got to be one of the most mind-knumbingly complex subjects I've ever attempted to teach myself. I've had college courses that were many times easier than this. Sheesh... Oh yeah... Wait till I start posting notes (different thread) on how to do Western Geomancy (yeah...the western equivalent to Feng Shui). **************** NOW...ON to the Transferred Notes from the other thread: **************** This comes from some of my earliest notebooks while studying astrology, theurgy, etc. Note: It helps to temporarily set aside Chinese 5 element theory while learning this and try to learn this system on it's own terms without interference from other concepts or systems. *********** The following (If I recall correctly) was first proposed by Empedocles in the 5th century b.c.e and arranged in final form 150 years later by Aristotle. The Primary Qualities (The active pole) 1. Hot = Electric a. expansive b. centrifugal c. active d. subtle e. luminous f. radiant 2. Cold = Magnetic a. contractive b. centripetal c. static d. dark e. heavy f. dense Both of the above are the ACTIVE qualities This is the ENERGY pole The interplay of the 2 Active qualities gives rise to a new Pole. The Passive Quality Pole. These are: 3. Moist a. fluid b. cohesive c. molds easily d. adaptable e. generated primarily from Cold 4. Dry a. hardness b. resistence c. rigidity e. generated primarily from Hot The 2 Passive Qualities give rise to FORM This is the FORM pole *********************** The interplay of the 4 poles (2 active, 2 passive - that is, energy + form) give rise to the 4 elements Fire = Hot + Dry (non-molding) Water = Cold + Moist (molding) Air = Hot + Moist (molding) Earth = Cold + Dry (non-molding) In more modern terms we might say Fire = Temperature Water = Cohesion Earth = Solidity Air = Motion ***************** Properties of the Elements Fire a. masculine (yang) b. electric c. active Water a. feminine (yin) b. magnetic c. passive Air a. masculine (yang) b. electric c. active Earth a. feminine (yin) b. magnetic c. passive And finally: QUINTESSENCE 1. Quintessence is the common (transcendent) substrate or background/foundation (my note: non-dual unity?) of all the above four elements. Quintessence itself is not an element. Big note on the prior: The Elements are not "things" (except maybe nominally for language purposes). They are actually descriptions of the process of Change. That is...they are "phases" of change. Do not re-ify the elements. Hard to do (in my experience) so I find it helpful to remind myself constantly the Elements are describing phase changes, not "things" per say. ************** Believe it or not the above I just listed is one of the most important foundations for beginning to understand the logic that was behind Western Astrology (and still is to those willing to suspend modern scientistic materialistic beliefs) and why it was considered one of the classical Hermetic Arts (co-equal with Theurgy and Inner Alchemy). Hint to the above statement: "As above, so below".