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.