Astrology definition oxford

Samarasiṃha and the Early Transmission of Tājika Astrology

Is anticipating someone's reaction, composing a recipe, devising a marketing strategy or reading an x-ray divination? Such false assumptions are based on a misunderstanding of the act of divination. He points out that it is widely accepted that Babylonian astrology was divinatory as it involved the reading of omens. Since that time, astrology never actually changed but merely adapted to fit in with the prevailing paradigm. But even Cornelius does not claim that the entire field of astrology is divination. He proposes categorizing astrology into natural and divinatory astrology.

He accepts that astrology has some objective phenomena that are amenable even to our present day science. He argues that this objective astrology of nature can co-exist with subjective intuition. It is true that Astrology is defined as divination by Meriam-Websters online and by the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Though some publications are by the same publishers, only those where the wording has substantially changed, suggesting different contributing authors, were considered. Not one of the current dictionaries in 'English English' include the word divination in their definition of astrology. As the first three arguments are based on unverified opinion that are not supported by the dictionary definition of divination, the only argument that counts is point 4. The counter argument is that divination is a subordinate term for astrology - a hyponym.

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It would be like defining a swan as a white bird - a swan can be categorized under white birds, but a white bird is not an adequate definition for swans in general. Astrology can be divination, but it is not correct to say that all astrology is divination. Divination is not sufficiently comprehensive for astrology. Astrology is not widely defined as divination by expert sources Though standard definitions vary with astrology defined as an art, study, practice, method, system and divination, 'study' seems to be the predominant dictionary definition.

In addition, scholars and astrologers rarely label the field of astrology as divination.

As Cornelius concedes in his lecture advocating astrology as divination "Lecture after lecture and book after book, I almost never encountered the word "divination" in relation to astrology. Divination is too contentious and misleading as a definition. The use of the term divination to define astrology is controversial and this is most notable within the astrological profession as per Cornelius's comments. Divination is also open to misunderstanding and confusion.

It is customary to define topics from a neutral point of view and ideally without confusing or specialised terminology. Since there are alternative independently verified terms for astrology, why not use a term that at least corresponds to how the profession defines themselves? Divination is one of several models and is not the claim of most astrologers. This is explained in the Wikipedia Astrology page under mechanisms.

Divination fails to address all branches of Astrology. Many areas of astrology such as Natal Astrology, Psychological Astrology or Locational Astrology are not primarily about prediction or forecasting, though it is arguable that future potential represents a forecast. However some parts of astrology are either explicitly down to natural forces or do not involve any form of forecasting. Natural astrology is the study of the correlation between natural phenomena such as the tides, weather astro-meteorology , seismic activity and Solilunar and planetary cycles and sunspots.

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The Celestial Sphere

Example Sentences Learn More about elixir. Synonyms for elixir Synonyms catholicon , cure-all , nostrum , panacea , theriac Visit the Thesaurus for More. Melton presents the astrologer as a fraud who trades in fake learning and empty results. This is a casebook. Casebooks are all that survives from early modern encounters between medical practitioners and their patients. Some were produced by astrologers, others by physicians. They derive from a range of intellectual traditions, and they share a common purpose: to document medical encounters.

It raises questions about how many early modern practitioners wrote casebooks, and how and why they kept them. Like other sorts of early modern life writing, they often take the form of lists rather than narratives.

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A brief history of ancient astrology by samten wangchuk - Issuu

Others draw on scholarly conventions of note taking and commonplacing. They need to be considered as artifacts of and instruments in healing dynamics. One of the astrologers mentioned by Melton is Simon Forman, probably the most popular astrologer in Elizabethan London. Forman quarreled with the London College of Physicians, and his reputation included equal measures of quackery, demonic magic, and womanizing. His casebooks for — record roughly ten thousand consultations, mostly in his hand, occasionally written by an assistant.

Napier kept casebooks from until his death in , written by both himself and assistants. The richness of this material is matched by its inaccessibility. They are astrological records written in rushed handwriting and cryptic notation. Drawing a figure, or chart, mapping the positions of the stars for that moment, the astrologer recorded his judgment and, in some cases, a prediction, remedy, recommended course of action, payment, or outcome.

Prescriptions, payments, and consultations to which the astrologer traveled were recorded in separate notebooks. Astrology provided a formula for recording systematic records. As I have proposed elsewhere, a more fruitful set of questions might focus on why the astrologers recorded systematic information and what these records reveal about the dynamics of healing.

The patient did not necessarily believe in astrology; rather, the astrologer had to establish his authority and to negotiate a judgment about the nature of the disease and the possible therapies for it. The astrologer and his patient negotiated an exchange of trust for true judgments.

Casebooks were central to this dynamic. With pen and paper, the astrologer located each patient within the cosmos and signaled his authority to do so. It soon became clear that before we could answer these questions, we needed a better understanding of the history of medical record keeping in early modern England. To identify casebooks, I also needed to define them. When written by physicians, surgeons and apothecaries, they contain records of medical consultations.


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Astrological casebooks are related, but distinct. They record medical questions alongside consultations about, for instance, marital fortune and the identity of a thief. The Sloane Collection contains many more, catalogued as medical observations, cases, case notes, and diaries. I trawled manuscripts classified as medical and astrological notes, limiting my study, with one eye on Forman and Napier, to England and stopping in After this date medical records became more common and formulaic.

I identified thirty-six sets of medical and eleven sets of astrological casebooks. This represents the work of a small fraction of the English practitioners circa to We do not know how many others wrote casebooks. Some may have recorded particular cases of note, others a full series of their daily practices.

We know, for instance, that William Drage, an apothecary—physician known for his medical work on witchcraft, recorded fourteen hundred medical cases from to at least These are lost. Some were written by unknown practitioners, others record only a few dozen cases. The intractability of these papers prompted me to see them as artifacts of medical practice as much as records of once meaningful information.

Combined with evidence for medical record-keeping habits in printed medical works, and reflexive comments by practitioners about their practices, it is possible to identify some basic trends across the period. Before summarizing these trends, it must be noted that casebooks, by definition, were written by literate practitioners. Some had received more formal education. Roughly half are in Latin, half in English, with some using both languages.

This project encompasses literate practitioners; it is not restricted to learned physicians.

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Only one woman appears among the scores of practitioners discussed in this article. Within learned medicine, the case had been a recognized problem since antiquity. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries European medical writings increasingly detailed narratives of particular cases and particular cures, especially if they were unusual in some way.

The second stage has interested historians of knowledge; the first stage documents the role of writing, either at the time or from memory later in the day, in the medical encounter.

Mercury in Astrology - Meaning Explained

The processes of producing medical records are the subject of this article. To understand these processes, we need to study their products. They were trained, for instance, to collect commonplaces, not cases. In the English context, these narratives could be expanded to encompass the wrangling over medical politics in the s and s. Proponents of Helmontian medicine drew a lineage between Hippocratic record keeping and their methods. After the Restoration, medical records featured in the efforts of the College of Physicians to reinvent itself as a learned society.

Jewson, as far as I am aware, did not reflect explicitly on the nature of the medical record. They were systematic and quantifiable. Bedside medicine produces narratives about individuals; hospital medicine produces cases, which constitute collections of observable data. To make best use of casebooks, we need to understand that they are historical artifacts as well as documents of past practices. Conventions for recording casebooks drew on changing forms of writing practices across a range of social, practical, and disciplinary arenas.

The English casebooks with known provenance were written by practitioners ranging from literate artisans to university-trained physicians, partaking in widespread changes in writing practices that began in the sixteenth century with the increased availability of paper and shifting forms of literacy and scholarship. Before considering these, it is instructive to compare the modes in which astrologers and physicians produced written records. Astrological and medical casebooks are both serial records of practice.

Conceptually, astrology and medicine were predictive arts, founded in the reading of signs, whether celestial or somatic.

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Moreover, the use of horary astrology was generally frowned upon by learned physicians. All forms of astrology required written computations. Astrologers needed to work on paper, while medical practitioners did not.