I am borrowing Paul's description of how like-engirdening, equi-ascensional and commanding and obeying images interact as "sympathetic", just to save space. I am not sure if there is a conventional name for this group of relations, so for the moment I am going to use "sympathetic" to describe all three of them together. If there is a word that describes these kinds of relationships I would like to know! This word may change when Mr. Schmidt revises the translation, considering everything that has transpired since the first translation of Paul back in 1993.
In the new round of Intensives Mr Schmidt has been doing, he has suggested that these concepts may be a way of "intensifying " testimonial relationships in a similar manner to how the confines work as the neighboring concept for the figures and bodily conjunctions. I am not sure if he was offering this as conjecture or something he was very confident about, but the concept make a lot of sense to me. These "sympathetic" relationships deal with whole images and testimony requires figural perfection, which may take place over the span of several portions (degrees) in the planets' respective images. It would make sense that confines may not be a big enough range to catch the testimony of some of the faster moving planets or even a Zeus-Kronos testimonial perfection. And since testimony is not a figure per se, it would be appropriate that we would need to use something other than confines. There can be several testimonial relationships for a specific planet in a chart and it would help to have another way to focus on specific ones that might sharpen the focus of our delineations. It is always nice to have a "sympathetic" witness after all.
I am not going to list all of the image-pairs out, since most of you have access to these lists elsewhere. What I would like to mention briefly are the like-engirdening and equi-ascensional images that are unconnected by figure. There are 7 pairs that are unconnected (in aversion) and yet have this kind of "sympathy". I would like to suggest that this does not mitigate the impact of an aversion (lack of visual relationship) between the images, as Paul seemed to suggest when he said that they have the" power of a diameter". They are not in any kind of figure (aspect)and I would be concerned about describing the delineation as similar to a diameter (especially since the delineations for diameters vary!). Valens kept writing that they are really not as bad as some other writers would indicate ( I think that is because he had diametrical oppositions in his own chart, but I will save that for another day!). I was very concerned about Paul's implication that these relationships were a mitigation, in some way, of an aversion, especially when I was studying the chart examples in Vettius Valens (more below). Here are the 7 pairs that are unconnected by figure (aspect):
Ram - Fishes
Twins - Goat-Horned one
Crab - Archer
Virgin - The BalanceLike-Engirding
Ram - Scorpion
Bull - The Balance
Goat-Horned One - Water Pourer
Mr. Schmidt's suggestion that these special relationships are applicable for testimony relations would not include these seven, since there are no figures between them and therefore no testimony. I was happy to see that this might be why Valens still considered these images in aversion, when he was delineating domicile lords of various planets or lots or other factors in a chart. Paul's "sympathetic" relationships and his description of a power of the diameter was not something Valens seemed to be considering (at least not as far as aversion goes). For example, Book II, chapter 41 (Vol. 8 of the Greek Track of Project Hindsight), p.19, Valens wrote about Chart L87,VII (dated to about noon on July 9, 87 CE by Neugebauer in "Greek Horoscopes"):
"Similarly also, the lord of the Whole Moon is in aversion." (The Whole Moon or the prenatal lunation was in the Goat-Horned One and Kronos was in the Twins).
These two images are unconnected as far as traditional figures are concerned but are equi-ascensional and would be considered to be "sympathetic" to each other according to Paul. Bringing back Mr. Schmidt's idea of tying these conditions to testimonial relationships, this example in Valens would not seem to countradict this idea. There is no figure between these signs, so no testimony. Plus I am not sure
, but I don't think testimony is used between planets and lots or between planets and pre-natal lunations (I am still reviewing my old notes from the '1990's about this). Valens does
mentions aversion between lots and their domicile lords or as in the example above, the prenatal lunation and its domicile lord.
So back in the late 1990's, it was my contention that Valens did not recognize these sympathetic relationships mentioned in Paul, because of the example above (and others). But now since a finer distinction has been made between figural (aspects) and testimonial relationships, I am realizing that Valens might have recognized these relationships, but it was just not applicable in the examples he was providing. And I am thrilled to have a distinction in which I can use these image relationships and not dilute or distort the aversion (blindspot) issue, which I have found to be very insightful when studying people's charts. But I still need to find out how these "sympathetic" relationships may provide some kind of assistance to the native, even when there is no "sight" involved between the chart factors. Since sympathy can mean a shared feeling or affinity, maybe the native can gain some kind of "awareness" or "intuition" about the issues involved that is different than situations where the chart factors have some kind of visual relationships???