Dr. Meninges Asks:

“Manly P. Hall, in his book The Secret Teachings of All Ages makes the following statement: ‘The other system of astrological philosophy is called the heliocentric. This posits the sun in the center of the solar system…Geocentric astrology, as its name implies, is confined to the earthy side of nature, while heliocentric astrology may be used to analyze the higher intellectual and spiritual faculties of man. The important point to remember is that when the sun was said to be in a certain sign of the zodiac, the ancients really meant that the sun occupied the opposite sign and cast its long ray into the house in which they enthroned it. Therefore, when it is said that the Sun is in Taurus, it means (astronomically) that the Sun is in the opposite sign to Taurus, which is Scorpio.’ Can you please explain why from the heliocentric view the Sun is actually in the opposite sign from the one it is placed in under the geocentric hypothesis?”

Kevin Answers:

Dr. Meninges,

I can’t speak for the rest of the teachings in the book, but the information on Heliocentric astrology is absolute bunk.

Let’s start out with the information that is actually correct: heliocentric versus geocentric. Astrology generally uses a geocentric system that places the Earth at the center and plots the positions of the planets as viewed from the Earth. Heliocentric astrology, instead takes the astronomical perspective of the Sun being the center of the solar system, and bases the positions of the planets from this perspective. That is the sum total of the correct information Mr. Hall provides.

Let me first question Mr. Halls definition of “ancients.” The idea that the Sun was the center of the universe never even occurred to the “ancients.” Ok—to be fair, it was first introduced in ancient Greece, but the theory didn’t take hold or become widely accepted until Nicolaus Copernicus presented it in 1543 in his work, De revolutionibus orbitum coelestium. The “ancients” did not practice heliocentric astrology. Heliocentric astrology is entirely a modern contrivance.

Now, the idea that the Sun is in the opposite sign than we think it is, is also garbage—but here, at least, I think I know where Mr. Hall became confused. When you look at a geocentric chart, there’s something rather significant missing: the Earth. “Good grief, you’re right,” I hear you cry! “Where is the Earth in the chart?”

Well, the Earth in the chart is exactly opposite the Sun. If the Sun is in Taurus, then the Earth is in Scorpio. The Sun doesn’t move through the signs—the Earth does. Since we’re viewing the planets from the Earth, and the Earth is orbiting the Sun, it appears to us that the Sun is moving. I’ve even seen some Astrologers who take this into account, and when interpreting Sun placement, refer to the “earth-Sun dyad.”

As far as Heliocentric charts go, I can’t offer you many specifics, since I don’t work with them. Theoretically, Heliocentric charts would not include the Sun, but would instead include the Earth; I don’t believe this is the case, however. Heliocentric charts involve a number of complicated astronomical calculations and conversions so that the heliocentric positions of the planets can be expressed in terms of geocentric longitude (sign placement). The heliocentric positions do differ from the geocentric positions, and I do know that many astrologers find heliocentric charts interesting. Since I’m not one of them, I can’t offer any more insight into the matter.

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