追查象徵意義形成的過程非常錯綜複雜，需考量各種文化、哲學與社會記述集結而成的線索。關於七顆「古典」行星，由於年代久遠，研究人員不得不採納有限又零碎的資源1。然而，天王星、海王星和冥王星這三顆土星外行星（the trans-Saturnian planets）是近代才發現的，還有大量公開可得的資料，因此才讓調查得以順利進行2。
The Discoveries 發現
威廉．赫雪爾（William Herschel）在西元一七八一年發現他命名的「喬治之星」（Georgium Sidus），也稱「赫雪爾」或「赫雪爾行星」（Herschel’s planet）4，繼波德（Bode）和約翰．柯西．亞當斯（John Couch Adams）提出建議後，「天王星」的名稱直到西元一八五○年才受到認可。西元一八四六年，於爾班．勒威耶（Urbain Leverrier）宣布發現海王星，但後來亞當斯也共享這份榮譽。克萊德．湯博（Clyde Tombaugh）於西元一九三○年在羅威爾天文台（Lowell Observatory）發現冥王星，占星家一度將這顆行星命名為羅威爾冥王星（Lowell-Pluto），以便區別假定的冥王星（韋米斯冥王星Wemyss-Pluto）5。其中天王星是三王星中唯一能以肉眼所見的行星 6。
Naming of the New Discoveries 新發現的行星命名
天王星與海王星是依據以古典神祇為行星命名的慣例而命名。天王星（Uranus）又稱烏拉諾斯（Ouranos），後者是希臘的天神，也是克洛諾斯（Cronos）之父。海王星（Neptune）則是取名自羅馬諸神中的小神，同時合併克洛諾斯之子波塞冬（Poseidon）的傳說。然而，冥王星（Pluto）則是根據一些建議而命名的，包括以帕西瓦爾．羅威爾（Percy Lowell）的妻子為名的康絲坦斯（Constance），以及火神 ——祝融星（Vulcan）。但最終的名稱乃是來自於英格蘭牛津郡一位11歲女孩的提議；據說布魯托（Pluto）是她最喜歡的迪士尼卡通角色，但實際上似乎是迪士尼以這顆行星的名稱來為卡通狗命名的 7。
威廉．里利（西元一六○二至一六八一年）撰寫的《基督教占星學》（Christian Astrology）在十七世紀中晚期被視為占星學的入門指南10，因其內在價值堪稱占星學的教科書，而且自出版後的幾個世紀已受到許多人的認可。約翰．沃斯代爾（John Worsdale）曾寫道：「約翰．帕特里奇（John Partridge）先生和威廉．里利先生的著作，比這個國家出版的所有其他著作都更有價值」，同時譴責加德伯里（Gadbury）、科利（Coley）及西布利（Sibly）是「抄襲者」和「冒牌貨」，這意味著，不僅是他崇敬整個十七世紀的占星學，包括後來作者所提供的參考書目或資料來源也經常引用里利的著作 11。
The Historical Context 歷史背景
十七世紀的占星家將自己視為藝術家，這也反映在他們出版作品的書名上，例如：《基督教占星學》、《微泛占星：占星學手冊。占星藝術簡易教學》（Mikropanastron: Or an Astrological Vade Mecum. Briefly Teaching the whole Art of Astrology）14、《占星藝術大全要領》（Key to the whole Art of Astrology）15。十九世紀，西布利採取更加普遍，又或許更安全的方式來命名他的著作：《占星天體學的全新完整實例說明》（A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology）；或《預測未來與意外事件的藝術》（ the Art of foretelling future Events and Contingencies）16，並稱占星學為天體學（Uranology）。如前所述，沃斯代爾的書也涵蓋了如天體哲學（Celestial Philosophy）或生時天文學（Genethliacal Astronomy）的觀點；他還自稱是天文學家，而非占星家。不只是書名的性質發生變化，其內容也反映出當時漸進的趨勢。
The Rationalisation of Astrology 占星學的合理性
伴隨改革而來的是傳統知識體系的消散與衰退。由於堅持對前人的理論和原則進行質疑以符合當時的科學理性精神，占星系統及其象徵意義也開始出現了「變化；即任何事情都不能被視為理所當然，也不能凌駕於新的研究法則之上。占星家將這點銘記在心，並開始質疑已存在幾個世紀的理論原則。但他們似乎無法理解科學家在實驗時有多嚴謹，更別說要去應用這樣的科學方法。此時任何經不起「理性」考驗的都會被捨棄。舉例來說，根據拉斐爾（Raphael, R.C. Smith的筆名，西元一七九五至一八三二年）的說法，界（term）與外觀（face）這些先天尊貴（essential dignities），只是為了解釋未知行星的影響而創造的：「他們（古人）持續沒來由地遵循某些影響，經常將部分影響歸於錯誤的原由，……因此，現今的經驗才導致我們否決界與階段（Phases）的理論」，如他所說的兩個三分性主星，以及掌管星座日夜間行星的法則就像是「古代遺留下來的迷信」，是「多餘且失真的」17。我們也發現這樣的主題在後來不斷出現，例如「在『卜卦』占星學中作為神秘行星（天王星）的替代品；古老的傳統不是遺失，就是變得腐敗和扭曲，以至於占星學不再被稱為科學，而只是一種占卜方式」18。
除上述原因之外，隨著如威廉．里利、約翰．帕特里奇（John Partridge，西元一六四四至一七一四年）與約翰．布克 (John Booker，西元一六○三至一六六七年)等占星學指標性人物的殞落，口述傳授的傳統也跟著消失，因此，占星學子比往日更仰賴大師們的著作，但是卻也因為無人解釋或指導，學生們只能自行領會。其中較有經驗的出版者明確表示，相信自己的理解而不參考他人是值得認可的：「…暫時放下托勒密（Ptolemy）來發展一些獨創性。在他（A.J. Pearce皮爾斯）的教科書中少一點前人的觀點，多一點的獨創性會更能被接受，因為我認為托勒密已無用武之地22。」
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto:
An Investigation into the Sources of their Symbolism Part 01
Sue Ward (Written 2002)
The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the methods used to evaluate and classify Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, in astrological terms, and to discover whether those original findings have been modified or changed with experience and later study. It will be demonstrated that the symbolism currently in use remains materially the same as those first tentative steps, and that that symbolism was drawn largely from one ideology.
Tracing symbolic derivation is complex and convoluted: account needs to be taken of the various contributory threads accreted by cultural, philosophic, and social considerations. In relation to the seven ‘traditional’ planets, researchers have had to use limited and fragmentary sources because of their antiquity.1 With the trans-Saturnian planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, however, investigations are facilitated by their recent discoveries and by the large volume of published material that is available.2
With this abundance of material focused upon Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and the high number of astrologers who implement these planets, it suggests that their symbolism is certain and established. The latter is true in that the majority of astrologers accept the symbolism of these planets as substantially definitive. There are also those who employ them in a limited way, and fewer still who do not use them at all. The latter two groups have become larger with the increasing popularity and application of astrological systems predating astrology’s fall from favour during and subsequent to the Age of Enlightenment (1650 – 1800).3 By the time, of Pluto’s discovery in 1930, there were similar divergences of opinion, although there is little astrological literature from those who did not hold to the use of the new planets
William Herschel discovered the planet he named ‘Georgium Sidus’ in 1781, which also became known as ‘Herschel’ or ‘Herschel’s planet’.4 Following suggestions by Bode and John Couch Adams, the name ‘Uranus’ was accepted only in 1850. In 1846 Urbain Leverrier announced Neptune’s discovery, but joint credit has since been given to Adams. Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory discovered Pluto in 1930. For a time, astrologers styled this planet Lowell-Pluto to distinguish it from the hypothetical Pluto (Wemyss-Pluto).5 Uranus is the only one of these that can be seen with the naked eye.6
Naming of the New Discoveries
Uranus and Neptune were named in accordance with the tradition of naming planets according to classical pantheons. Uranus, or Ouranos, the Greek god of the heavens and father of Cronos. Neptune was a lesser god of the Roman pantheon who absorbed the legend of Poseidon, son of Cronos. Pluto, however, was named following a number of suggestions, including ‘Constance’ from Percy Lowell’s wife, and ‘Vulcan’. The name came from an 11-year-old girl in Oxfordshire (England) and it has been said that Pluto was her favourite Disney character, when it appears that Disney named the cartoon dog after the planet.7
The fact that astronomers had named these planets, naturally without any reference to astrological symbolism, did not deter astrologers. Having brushed aside all objections in the cause of synchronicity, they proceeded to draw upon the myths associated with these gods for their symbolism. In the early days following Pluto’s discovery, some resisted its name:
Unfortunately astronomers have given it the unsuitable name of Pluto, a name which had already been given to a different hypothetical planet (ruling Cancer). To avoid confusion it is necessary in astrological circles to refer to the original Pluto as Wemyss-Pluto8 and to the Lowell planets as Lowell-Pluto.9
Some of the published material relating to these planets is examined and compared to the accounts of their symbolism presently accepted by astrologers. This is done to identify similarities, or otherwise, between the published findings of the earlier astrological authors and those of more recent years. In so doing, the impact made by early observations of the ‘influences’ of the trans-Saturnians on current thought can be approximated, and any changes made by later observers noted.
While research of the private papers of published astrologers would prove fruitful in discovering the development of their opinions, it was their published works that had impact on the astrological community at large, particularly students. Those students carried forward and transmitted those ideas. It is not assumed that all astrologers agreed with these published accounts, but such accounts would impress upon their readers and thus affect later practice.
The sources used for this paper include works published soon after the discoveries of these planets, the most important (and the least prolific) being those that followed the discovery of Uranus. As the first incidence of a new member of the solar system, it provides an insight into how that affected astrological authors. Since the existing astrological symbolism had been developed over millennia, eighteenth-century astrologers were faced with finding a way of addressing a blank sheet. Methods of ascribing symbolism to Uranus will be compared to those used for Neptune and Pluto.
The writings of authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are explored to find development of early opinions following a century of experience of Uranus. Those authors known to have been influential through to the middle years of the twentieth century are highlighted because this period marked a renaissance for astrology. A growing number of students were attracted to it and books of instruction proliferated. As will be shown, the symbolism of Uranus and Neptune was becoming established and the possibility of more planets being discovered was anticipated. This material, then, will demonstrate the method that would be applied later to Pluto.
Modern sources include works recommended for students by some of the major schools of astrology. These were not chosen because the symbolism they promote is universally accepted, but because of the numbers of students who are, or have been, exposed to it through these schools. (Many of these works are addressed specifically to students who have little or no previous knowledge of astrology.) Such students will, necessarily and understandably, present fewer challenges to the accepted body of knowledge precisely because they have no information with which to compare what they are being taught. From this it is deduced that the symbolism promoted in those published works will have had, and will continue to have, a wide influence on astrological practice.
Certain almanacs and magazines are also referred to because within their pages might be found less formal discussions and airings of views. Their more frequent publishing also provides an interesting monitor of the way opinions were developing, at least, in print.
Christian Astrology by William Lilly (1602-1681) is used as a general guide to the astrology of the mid to late seventeenth century.10 The reason for this is its intrinsic value as an astrological textbook, acknowledged as such by many at the time of its publication and through the centuries following. John Worsdale writes: “The Works of Mr. John Partridge, and Mr. William Lilly, are of more value than all others that have been published in this Kingdom;” whilst castigating Gadbury, Coley, and Sibly as ‘pirates’ and ‘impostors’, indicating that he was not simply revering the astrology of the seventeenth century as a whole. Those later authors who provide bibliographies or sources often refer to Lilly.11
Little published evidence can be found of those who resisted the incorporation of the new planets into the established scheme. The question of whether the new discoveries should be accepted as having astrological symbolism at all might be inferred from such resistance, but there is no specific evidence. Their resistance was at odds with the trends of the time making it difficult to find a publisher. It should be noted that many of the astrological authors were Theosophists who had the great advantage of access to the Society’s own publishing house.
The Historical Context
The background against which the discoveries of the trans-Saturnian planets took place was of wide-ranging political, social, scientific, and economic changes and advances. ‘Progress’ and ‘science’ being the watchwords of the period. Uranus’s discovery occurred towards the end of the Age of Enlightenment (1650-1800) and within the Industrial Revolution (1700-1950). Neptune was discovered when Great Britain was at the height of its power and influence and when travel and communications generally were undergoing radical change. Pluto’s discovery coincided with the World Economic Recession, which began in 1929, when the booming confidence and self-assuredness of the industrialized nations crashed along with the Wall Street Stock Market. The mood of the times was impressed upon astrologers as much as anyone else, and it was from these events, inventions, and achievements that part of the symbolism of the trans-Saturnian planets was drawn.
When astrology fell into disfavour in the Age of Enlightenment, the educated person was no longer inclined to take it up as a serious study. Astrology came under the scrutiny and criticism of the Church no more – an indication of the decreasing influence of astrology; fewer of the nobility availed themselves of its assistance, and the ridicule heaped upon it sounded its death knell. Astrological literature diminished after 1700 as did the astrological content of the previously, hugely popular almanacs. The end of the seventeenth century marked the beginning of the decline of astrology; it had “lost its intellectual vitality and respectability“.12 Previously, in England, the astrologer gained status and reputation through the publishing of almanacs, which provided an effective advertising platform. Through the early years of the eighteenth century, astrological content diminished as the famous astrologers died, with no-one to continue the work.13 With its loss of status within the scientific community towards the end of the seventeenth century, came the drive to reform astrology in order for it to regain respectability and to fit into the new scientific model. In the face of Establishment derision and scientific advances, the astrologers attempted to revive interest in, and respect for astrology.
In the seventeenth century, astrologers had considered themselves artists, and this is reflected in the titles of their published works: Christian Astrology, Mikropanastron: Or an Astrological Vade Mecum. Briefly Teaching the whole Art of Astrology,14Key to the whole Art of Astrology, 15 for example. In the nineteenth century, Sibly, taking a broader and, perhaps, safer approach, entitles his work, A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology; or the Art of foretelling future Events and Contingencies and he styles astrology ‘Uranology’.16 Worsdale’s book, as noted previously, also covers both perspectives as Celestial Philosophy, or Genethliacal Astronomy and he entitles himself an astronomer, rather than an astrologer. It was not, however, just the book titles that altered in nature, but their content, too, reflecting the progressive trends of the time.
The Rationalisation of Astrology
With the reforms came the dissipation and degeneration of the traditional body of knowledge. The astrological system and its symbolism began to be changed in order to fit into the scientific rationality of the age that insisted upon the questioning of the principles and theories of their predecessors. Nothing could be taken for granted, or regarded as above the new laws of investigation. Astrologers took this to heart and went about questioning principles and theories which had been in place for centuries. However, they seemed not to understand, much less apply, the rigours that the scientists referred to in their examinations. Any principle that did not stand the test of ‘reason’ was discarded. For example, the essential dignities of term and face were, according to Raphael (R.C. Smith, 1795–1832), only invented to try to account for the effects of unknown planets: “continually finding certain effects to follow, the cause of which was unknown to them [the ancients], would frequently attribute partial effects to fallacious causes, … Hence the theory of the ‘Terms’ and ‘Phases’, which the experience of the present day leads us to reject“, as he does the principle of the two triplicity rulers, and the planets’ day and night rulership of the signs as, “a relic of ancient superstition” and as “superfluous and void of truth“.17 We find this theme repeated later, “substitutes were used to supply the place of the mystic planet [Uranus] in ‘horary’ astrology; the old traditions were either lost, or had become so corrupted and distorted that Astrology could no longer be called a science, but rather a mere mode of divination.”18
Contrary to their new-found scientific principles, no evidence was ever produced for these exclusions, justification being provided by that other scientific principle of ‘experience’. Even that was never demonstrated, although by rejecting the day and night rulerships of the planets (the crucial principle of sect), they paved the way for the inclusion of the new planets into the scheme. The rationality of the five planets having two signs of rulership each, when the Sun and the Moon had only one sign of rulership each, was questioned. They concluded that a solar system of ten planets and two luminaries was required for their new system. The solar and lunar sects and the principle of essential dignity, (both explained later) lie at the root of the astrological system; once it had become rootless, astrology could be bent this way and that to suit the operator and the ‘scientific’ mood of the times. In so doing, the astrological scheme lost its potency and reliability: errors were made in an increasing number and predictions became less specific.
Accuracy and reliability are maxims of science, so this lack needed to be rationalized, too, and it was attributed to several causes. None of these was held to reflect on the new scientific astrology – the ancient astrologers and their system caused it:
What our forefathers, as Astrologers, lacked in deficient astronomical knowledge, through which much of what they said was regarded through a superstitious eye only, is more than replaced in modern times by advanced scientific knowledge.19
An incomplete solar system was also held to account for these errors:
When we consider how much this planet [Uranus] must have baffled the judgment of the ancient Astrologers; and when we reflect also, that there may be other planets equally powerful, beyond his orbit, as yet undiscovered, we cannot help remarking the extreme ignorance and folly of those persons, who require from the Astrologer what they expect from no one else, infallibility.20
We see here an example of how it became possible to work with an unreliable system and still claim rectitude. The astrologer cannot be held responsible, they say, for planets that have not yet been discovered, but are, nevertheless, the cause of errors in astrological judgement. This attitude is encountered again when exploring the influence of the Theosophist astrologers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
A complete system will result in an accuracy far beyond the achievements of the past, they say, even though they have not accomplished it, and which becomes the responsibility of future astrologers:
The fact that there are planets in our solar system which have not yet been discovered by science seems of the greatest importance to the astrologer. For how many doubtful points and errors in theory might not these three secret planets account, if they could be re-discovered and tested as we have tested Uranus, and as Neptune the mysterious is now being tested? So long as planets, and much more their esoteric natures, remain hidden, we must sorrowfully confess that we are only groping on the threshold of the true Astrologer, and that we have not penetrated to the inner shrine.21
The conviction that only the discovery of a further three new planets was needed for them to possess ‘Astrological Truth’, is not only simplistic, but absolves them of any obligation to accuracy. The evidence shows that these ideas persisted even after the discoveries of Neptune (as the preceding quote demonstrates) and Pluto. Far from resolving the problem of unreliability, these discoveries raised further questions, which were answered with references to the natures of the new planets themselves: apparently, it was not possible to understand these planets fully because their natures were those of mystery and unpredictability.
The many discoveries of heavenly bodies and the proposals put forward by respected astronomers of hypothetical planets, (one being Vulcan, whose existence was eventually disproved), gave them ammunition with which to fight the battle of rationalizing astrology. At no time was it ever mooted that the new system itself was faulty, or that the unpredictability and mystery of the new planets was caused by their lack of action or influence.
Concurrently, astrology’s secularization continued and its philosophy forgotten, thus it became increasingly difficult to understand certain principles, which subsequently were jettisoned to be replaced by personal opinions and the new planets.
Quite apart from the foregoing, with the deaths of the leading lights of astrology, such as Lilly, John Partridge (1644-1714), and John Booker (1603-1667), the oral tradition was lost. Students of astrology, more than ever before, had to rely solely upon the written works of the masters. With no-one to explain or to guide, the student was left very much to his or her own devices. The more experienced among them, those who were published, made it clear that it was acceptable to trust to one’s own understanding without reference to anyone else: “… dropped Ptolemy for once and developed a little originality. Less of the former in his [A.J. Pearce] Text-Book and more of the latter would have been more acceptable, for I consider Ptolemy used up.“22
‘Originality’ became the prerequisite for good astrology, no longer would astrologers refer to the past and its authorities of those millennia. Only personal understanding and experience, and intuition had value within the new system.
- Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon; also styled the Ptolemaic planets, referring to Claudius Ptolemy, c. second century AD.
- So called because their orbits lie beyond that of Saturn.
- These are often referred to, in chronological order, as ‘hellenistic’, ‘medieval’, and ‘traditional’. Each relates to an historical period, ‘traditional’ relating to the early modern period. All form part of the western predictive tradition.
- He named it Georgium Sidus after his patron King George III. Some called it the Georgian planet, for example, John Worsdale, Celestial Philosophy, or Genethliacal Astronomy (London, 1828), p. 57.
- Discussed later.
- Even at maximum visibility, Uranus is at the extreme of visibility for the naked eye.
- Lisa R. Messeri, ‘The Problem with Pluto: Conflicting Cosmologies and the Classifications of Planets’, Social Studies of Science, 40/2 (April, 2010), pp. 187-214.
- Maurice Wemyss (Duncan McNaughton 1892-1973), astrologer and postulator of many trans-Neptunian planets.
- Alan Leo, The Art of Synthesis (London, 1936), p. 123.
- Lilly, Christian Astrology.
- John Worsdale, Celestial Philosophy, or Genethliacal Astronomy (Lincoln, 1828), p. vi. As also, Sepharial (Walter Gorn Old), The Manual of Astrology (London, revised ed. 1962 of 1828 original), who quotes Lilly as a sourc, p. 75.e. The Astrologer’s Magazine (August 1890), vol.1. no. 1, p. 15 provides a horary from Christian Astrology : ‘If Presbytery shall stand’. (When compared to the original judgement it is clear that there are a number of errors and omissions in the magazine version.)
- Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (Middlesex, 1971), p. 424.
- Bernard Capp, Astrology & the Popular Press: English Almanacks 1500 – 1800 (London, 1979), p. 238.
- John Partridge (London, 1679).
- Henry Coley (London, 1676).
- Ebenezer Sibly (London, 1813, 11th edn), p. 53.
- Raphael (Robert Cross-Smith, 1795-1832), A Manual of Astrology or the Book of the Stars (London, 1828), p. 134.
- Alan Leo, Astrology For All: Part I (London, 1904), p. viii.
- Moreland Hickman, ‘Some Early English Astrologers’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, vol. 1, no. 7 (February 1891), p. 157.
- Raphael, Manual of Astrology, p. 72.
- Alan Leo, ‘The Seven Planets’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, no. 22, vol. 2 no.10 (May 1892), p. 516.
- George Wilde, ‘Are the Astrological Rules which Denote Fame Reliable?’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, Vol. 1. No.3 (October 1890), p. 62.
翻譯：Hueimin Lin/Julie Ho｜編審：Maki S. Zhai
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