Chaos Theory/ Universal Model


NINTH HOUSE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE  <<Click to Skip To Page 
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Redefining the theoretical ground of astrology in terms of chaos theory,
written in 1993 and published in the NCGR Journal, Spring/Summer 1999.

The patterns of the sky have always been a source of wonder. And in
response to life's mysteries we have searched for answers in those
ever-changing patterns. Even the seemingly insubstantial clouds, wisping
and gliding their way across our vision, are heavy-laden with secrets
- secrets that are revealed to us when we are ready to see them. In our
modern society however, the most obvious features of our world tend to be
taken for granted or entirely overlooked as we go about the daily business
that is life. We are accustomed to things here on Earth because,
after all, this is where we live. But these obvious features contain
truths as profound as any occult wisdom. In recent years some bright minds
have taken a fresh approach to the old problems of science - problems such
as prediction - and started a revolution. Their discovery of the processes
that govern nature's design in such everyday forms as the curl of smoke
from a chimney or the shape of a leaf, has been called one of the most
important realizations of this century. For some of us, it comes like a
memory already known.

Astrology is the most comprehensive of subjects, and I try to keep abreast
of developments that could impact me as an astrologer. So it immediately
caught my eye when I came across a book about a 'new science'
- a discipline being born out of the study of complex dynamical systems.
The proponents of this new science confine their efforts to describing the
behavior of complex systems, but as I read it dawned on me that they are
also describing that ancient modeling system called astrology.

This emerging science, chaos theory, is not just a theory, but a whole way
of perceiving reality. In short, we now know that simple, predetermined
laws can have vastly complex effects. Complexity in nature is the result
of holism and huge numbers of principle factors interacting. In nature the
same basic shapes are repeated everywhere: the veins in a leaf resemble
the branches of a tree, and the branches resemble the whole tree.
Turbulance follows the same simple rules. When a dynamical system such
as a mountain stream flows, branches and bifurcates, its growth is governed
by mathematical workings - eddies form within eddies and swirls form within
swirls to an infinite degree. The complex forms arising out of the system
are the result of 'iteration' or feedback of the system into itself. This
process of iteration in nature creates beautifully complex forms that are
strangely redundant in that they possess 'self-similarity' - they appear
the same at different scales.

The word being used to describe this multidimensional self-similarity
is 'fractal'. The term was coined from the latin 'fractus' meaning
fractional, or fragmented. Fractal images, those endlessly repeating,
incredibly detailed shapes of haunting beauty generated from relatively
simple mathematical formulas, are only mathematical abstractions. But
fractals are representative of real-world processes. And the concept of
'self-similarity at many scales' is emerging as the new paradigm for
complexity in nature. When you deal with fractals, you are dealing with
parts of parts of parts, and these parts feed into each other to create
a complex multiplicity ranging from the infinitely big to the infinitely
small. Ever notice how a moss-covered rock looks like an aerial view of
a landscape? This is a direct result of fracticality. Take a few pieces
from a head of cauliflower or broccoli and pull them apart. Notice as
you do so how they produce smaller and smaller self-similar shapes, each
in itself a tiny replica of the whole.

With the advent of fractal geometry and the concept of self-similar
dimensions, we have gained a theoretical model for 'astrological
correspondence' and the acausal principle of 'synchronicity'
(meaningful coincidence) - both concepts being outgrowths of holism.
Astrology is a cosmology of unity; unity of cosmos and self, self
and circumstance. And whenever we draw a correlation between the
celestial and the terrestrial, or between coincidences, it is simply
an expression of this wholeness.

The ancients intuited the self-similarity of fractal-scaling as the
'mechanism' of astrology: macrocosm/microcosm; the one above becomes
many below. Every lesser was understood in terms of the greater, and
every lower in terms of the higher. The late Dane Rudyar once called
astrology the 'algebra of life', but regarded as the practical
application of self-similar processes, astrology could more aptly
be called the 'fractal geometry of life'. There is fractalization
at work in every level of astrology, and the horoscope is our attempt
to understand the relationships existing within the dynamic processes
of our universe.

There are many ways in which the astrological model reveals its
self-similarity:

The patterns of time and space regarded as fractal are the basis for
such techniques as directions and secondary progressions where the
progressed planets are viewed as indices of life unfoldment. In other
words, the daily motion of a planet is seen as the (smaller-scale)
fractal of its motion over the course of a year.
The astrological houses are the 'diurnal scale fractal' of the zodiac,
which is the same 'set' on the 'annual scale'.
In geodedic equivalents, the planet Earth is envisaged as a fractal
zodiac where zero degrees of Aries corresponds to zero degrees
longitude at Greenwich.
The decanates of each sign contain all the others of that self-same
element.
And the largest fractal of any real practical use in astrology,
the astrological age, is a fractal of an even larger-scale feature,
the precessional period or great year.
Aspects, or 'harmonic syndromes' are the fractalization of the
heavens - 'inscriptions of the polygon within the sphere'. What
are aspects but fractions of a circle?
No matter how you slice it, the shape of the whole comes through.

Jung called number the 'archetype of order' and in systems such as
astrology order takes the form of an unfolding. Harmonic charts are
created by dividing the signs into miniature zodiacs - and then
tinier zodiacs within these zodiacs. The Zodiac itself represents
a dynamic continuum - the cycle of life - wherein each sign can be
seen as a stage in a complex developmental process. The Zodiac is
a fractally symbolic representation of the perpetual Cycle of the
Seasons - starting with the initial 'push' of Aries, and on through
the the signs, finally reaching maximum entropy in Pisces, only to
begin the cycle again - the ever-iterating universe.

The current model being used to describe the generally predictable
form of a system is the 'attractor'. For example, a mountain
stream is generally predictable in that water will flow by taking
the course of least resistance. But the paths of the individual
water molecules within the stream are unpredictable. The attractor
(the generally predictable form) is made up of smaller-scale,
self-similar yet unpredictable features. Similarly in astrology,
each planet, sign and house contains within itself a multiplicity
of self-same components. The planets, signs and houses are
'archetypal attractors' - generally predictable forms wherein
we find the fluctuating chaos of unpredictable details. They may
take forms as seemingly diverse as Neptune's rulership of both
'ships' and 'wine', but astrologers recognize both as different
facets of the same jewel - they are self-similar manifestations
of the same deterministic 'whole'.

Likewise, the birth chart is an attractor set by the state of
the planetary configurations at birth. But as these patterns
unfold over time they are subjected to the chaotic feedback of
the environment. Even identical twins sharing the same DNA will
often turn out quite differently because the DNA molecule will
take a slightly different course in the development of each child.
There is always enough background chaos and feedback to ensure
that 'identical' twins are never perfectly identical. The same is
true of so-called 'astrological twins'. There is always enough of
a difference in environment to ensure that they develop their own
identities within the large-scale determinism of their birth
patterns.

In nature, order coexists with randomness. Astrology, like chaos
theory, is deterministic and it is not. Both of these systems are
operational ways of reconciling the perennial antipodes of fate
and free will. We are born at a certain point in space-time, and
being self-same with that moment in time and space, carry its
qualities with us through life. But what we do with those qualities
is up to us. We are given the rules by which the game is played;
the strategy is our own.

With this in mind, it is easy to see the predicament astrologers
find themselves in when they demand precise answers from a birth
chart. One is able to predict with certainty the large-scale
features of an upcoming Neptune transit -.eg. that it will serve
to dissolve existing structures and attitudes. But exactly what
(smaller-scale) form this dissolution will take is open to the
individual and the details of circumstance.

Once we become aware of the self-similar processes at work in the
universe, our overall perception of the world changes. And this
allows us to look at some of our tired old problems from a whole
new perspective. The arguments over the house systems, for example,
could be resolved by acknowledging that each is simply a different
perspective - like taking a photograph from first one angle and
then another. The various house systems in use are just different
ways of looking at the same structure. As with the Mandelbrot set,
we select and then zoom-in on a portion of it, revealing ever more
intricacies and nuances. There are many ways to divide the fractal
sky, and each division contributes to our understanding of the whole.

As modern science evolves its frame of reference in an effort to
unify its theories, we find it becoming less mechanistic and more
holistic. And to this end science will slowly and surely come to
embrace the very principles that have always informed astrology.
Like the systems they study, scientists are being thrown back on
themselves. They are discovering that the universe is, as the word
denotes, a Unity.

copyleft 1993-98, Michelle Jacobs

To me this simply confirms that the universe and all that therein
does exist came from an unamism.  One.
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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Refen
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 14:50:40

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  2. Dennis Zaibel
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 09:28:15

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    Reply

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    Dec 06, 2011 @ 15:54:51

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    Dec 02, 2011 @ 15:56:44

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  5. sunn
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 07:12:40

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