Magi Bear Witness

According to the gospel of Matthew, after Jesus is born, wise men arrive the East, following a “star”.  Of course, the term, “star”, must be broadly construed, pertaining to the superlunary domes, as opposed to the sublunary planes.  The motions of superlunary beings represent ‘something’ to the magi, corresponding to ‘something’ in their sublunary situation.

They read the “star” as a sign of a birth of a king.

The magi are “magical” is so far as this: There is no direct cause whereby a divine superlunary being activates, moves, arranges or manipulates ‘something’ in our sublunary realm.  Yet, causation appears to be present.

In Comments on Fr. Thomas White’s Essay (2019), “Thomism and the New Evangelization”, available at smashwords.com, one finds a parallel with primary and secondary causation.  Primary causation entails God’s Will and Presence.  Secondary causation pertains to God’s creatures.  Creatures exhibit secondary causation, without compromising the primacy of God.

The “magic” at the heart of modern and premodern astrology re-articulates a foundational distinction in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas.

How do these indirect causalities operate?

Here is an image from a Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form.

The indirect causality of astrology, as well as of primary and secondary causes, is captured by the four statements embedded in the category-based nested form.

Let me consider astrology.

An actuality2 occurs our sublunary world.

Its normal context3 and potential1 pertains to the superlunary sphere.

Here is how that looks.

But, aren’t there two actualities?

There are events on earth.  There are events in the heavens.

One belongs to actuality2.  The other is held by potential1.

So, how does the modern astrologer, like the magi of old, offer the newborn Christian a gift?

Recently, a particular set of celestial events unite modern and ancient astrologies.  Modern astrology considers the influence of celestial bodies that cannot be viewed with the naked eye, such as the dwarf planet, Pluto.  Premodern astrology considers planets visible to the unaided eye, from Mercury to Saturn.

The notable event is the conjunction of Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn on January 12, 2020.  This particular conjunction is one step in a minuet involving Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, dancing on the dividing line between Capricorn and Aquarius.

Here is the nested form for this celestial event.

The zodiac sign of Capricorn serves as a normal context3.

In the previous blog, I consider the imagery of Capricorn in light of the first singularity.  Capricorn associates to the manifestation of civilization in southern Mesopotamia after the first singularity.  Surely, such a claim fits with the standard mythic connection between Capricorn, sovereign power and order.

Several weeks have passed since the conjunction.  I may now look back and assess how the sublunary realm2 appears to manifest the potential of this conjunction between Saturn and Pluto1.  Saturn is the titanic god of time, itself.  Pluto rules over the stark duality of death and rebirth, along with all its resonances, such as darkness and light.

I ask the following question in the middle of March 2020.

Is there an event that brings, to light, an incident that says, “Your time is up.”?

Such an incident would conform to the anticipated actuality2.

There is a candidate.

Earlier, doctors in the city of Wuhan sound warnings.  On January 12, 2020, they are suppressed and ordered to sign self-effacing documents.  Why?  The city prepares for a pre-lunar new year banquet.  The feast will be the send-off for millions of its citizens, who plan to return to their hometowns and villages to celebrate the new-year holidays.  This is the year of the rat.

Nine days later, on January 21, 2020, government authorities place Wuhan and adjacent cities under lockdown.  Wuhan surrenders to a plague.  The disease rapidly spreads throughout the world.  Eight weeks later, quarantines and lockdowns occur in South Korea, Italy, France, Spain and the United States of America.

Here is my assessment.

Surely, there is no instrumental or material cause acting between the normal context3 and actuality2, as well as between the potential1 and actuality2.  Direct causality is the stuff of modern science.  Disciplinary languages, mechanical and mathematical models, as well as measurement and observation are imbued with the character of actuality2.  But, actuality2is not all there is.

I cannot smell, taste, touch, see and hear a normal context3 or its potential1.  Yet, I sense their relevance.  I cannot observe or measure them.  Or can I?

I can observe and measure the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.  Isn’t that real?

Yes, but I cannot bring the conjunction1 into relation with actuality2 without a triadic relation.  A normal context3 is needed in order to bring the potential of the superlunary event1 into relation with the actuality of a sublunary event2.  A sublunary event2 emerges from (and situates) the potential of the superlunary event1.  The fall of Wuhan, and all its sequelae2, emerges from (and situates) the potential of the Pluto-Saturn conjunction1, in the normal context of the sign of Capricorn3.

This nested form belongs to modern astrology.  It touches base with the views of ancient astrologers, such as the magi, the wise men in Matthew’s gospel.  It parallels primary and secondary causation, familiar to medieval and modern scholastics.  There is more to the world than the category of secondness, the realm of actuality.  Humans cogitate in the way of the category-based nested form.  Both modern and ancient astrologers offer the newborn Christian a gift, an insight that bears witness to a relational structure, common to all and endowed by our Creator.


Saturn-Pluto conjunction and Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction in Capricorn, 2020: Resonances with the First Singularity

The gospels tell of magi, astrologers from the East, following a star (or maybe a planetary alignment).  Today, a similar phenomenon occurs.  Starting at the end of 2019, Saturn and Pluto enter conjunction in the constellation Capricorn.  Then, Jupiter enters the same constellation, coming close to Pluto later in 2020.  Astrologers watch wide-eyed.

Imagine the possibilities.

Saturn is the planet of civilizational systems.  Time eats its own.  The deep state runs, no matter who is in charge.  Then, it runs out of Time.

Pluto is the planet of death and birth, destruction and renewal.

Jupiter is the god of sovereign and worldly order.  His decrees are like bolts of lightning.  He rules the pantheon.  He enforces the laws.

Then, there is the constellation of Capricorn, the house of government.

Pictured as a goat, I imagine the constellation opening its doors to planners, workers, scientists and sensible thinkers. These people climb mountains, one step at a time.

But, the ancient image of Capricorn is far more curious.  The constellation has the head and torso of a goat.  It has the abdomen and tail of a fish.  For this reason, it is called the “sea-goat”.

This is the representation that I would like to discuss.

The ancient Greeks have a playful explanation for Capricorn.  Pan, already half-human and half-goat, finds himself in a tough spot.  Other gods transform into animals in order to escape the predicament.  When Pan tries, oops, he turns into half-goat half-fish.

Even further back in time, the Sumerian civilization has a god, Ea, who brings the arts of civilization to humans.  During the day, he comes on land.  Then, at night, he retires to the water.  Does that sound chimeric?

Now, I make a dramatic play, by asking, “Could both Ea and Capricorn stand for some event that the ancients forget, yet remember in their divine images?”

An interesting answer comes from Razie Mah in An Archaeology of the Fall and The First Singularity and its Fairy Tale Trace.

The bi-modal god, Ea, and the sea-goat, Capricorn, stand for the formation of the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia, around 7800 years ago.  Over the next three thousand years, the Ubaid becomes the Uruk and the Uruk becomes the Sumerian civilization.

So, how is the Ubaid culture both on land and in sea?  How is it half-goat and half-fish?

The Sumerian language provides a clue. It is a linguistic isolate.  It does not belong to any family of languages.

Why is this so?

It is a creole.  A creole forms when two disparate cultures are thrown together.  Trying to get along, they produce pidgin, pieces of language, that are sown together into a new language by later generations.  A creole fits the image of a chimera.

How did this happen?

During the Developed Neolithic, say nine or ten thousand years ago, the Persian Gulf is dry land.  A wide river valley holds a narrow gorge, carrying the flows of the Tigris, Euphrates and other rivers.  Two separate Mesolithic cultures settle the two habitats.  One comes from northern Mesopotamia.  These folks are farmers and stockbreeders.  They settle the valley.  Here is the goat.  The other comes along the coast, probably from the East.  These folks have reed boats and live off the marsh.  They settle the gorge.  Here is the fish.

Around eight thousand years ago, the ice age ends and the current interglacial begins.  The sea levels slowly and powerfully rise.  Sea water fills the gorge, then submerges the surrounding broad valley. These two cultures are thrown together.  Each culture loses its hand-speech talk.  The resulting creole, Sumerian, is the world’s first speech-alone language.

Yes, the Ubaid emerges from both land and sea with a new way of talking, speech-alone.  All their Neolithic and Epipaleolithic neighbors still talk with a combination of manual-brachial gesture and speech (that is, hand-speech talk). The semiotic differences between speech-alone talk and hand-speech talk are huge.  Speech-alone talk potentiates civilization in southern Mesopotamia.  Speech-alone talk spreads on the wings of mimicry to adjacent hand-speech talking cultures, then flies to all corners of the Earth, seeding unconstrained social complexity along the way.

Our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Two gods stand at the threshold.  One dwells in Sumerian myth.  The other lingers in the heavens.

The end writes the beginning.  The beginning writes the end.

Todays’ astrologers watch as Saturn and Pluto come together, then Jupiter and Pluto, as well.  They join in the House of Capricorn.  What do the heavens portend?  Astrologers strain to imagine the possibilities.  Here, is another one to consider.  Capricorn resonates with the first singularity, the potentiation of all civilizations.  In this constellation, the planets align.


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.3 BAJ

[Reason itself does not require grace. Or does it?

Since I, seat of choice3V, contextualizes the heart2, and since the heart is contextualized by the mirror of the world3H, then reason may (inadvertently) open the person to the influence of grace through the horizontal normal context.

Reason may change the heart2 just enough that the person’s intuition1H may feel grace-filled inspiration.]


Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 2.3 BAF

Summary of text [comment] page 88

[The vertical axis is not unaffected.

The vertical axis intersects with the horizontal in the single actuality containing ‘my choice2V and something2H’.

The single actuality of ‘my heart2’ parallels ‘what I see2’.

‘I, seat of choice3V’, encounters new ‘possibilities inherent in something that I may choose1V’.]