Abd-Allah Meyers wrote:
Dear Ms. Hamilton,
The following article by Ms. Deborah Holding has been useful to understand the underlying philosophical differences between Hellenistic and Mediaeval astrologies concerning Trigons:http://www.skyscript.co.uk/triplicities.html
The paradigm of the four Elements as explained by Aristotle apparently was not the basis of the Trigons of Hellenistic astrology, although Aristotle lived before its 'codification'. Thus, attempts to apply the Aristotelian doctrines retroactively from a Mediaeval or Renaissance perspective to Hellenistic astrology are not adequate to comprehend e. g. Dorotheus' Trigon rulerships.
This is true. Medieval astrology is not Hellenistic astrology. Many concepts had changed in the centuries between the two. For example, let's suppose that Valens did designate the trigons to be "airy" or "earthy," and so forth. J. Lee Lehman reminds us in Classical Astrology for Modern Living
(p. 34) that he was a Stoic. The Stoic system applied only one quality to each element:
There is additional confirmation that Valens used the Stoic elements in Project Hindsight's Book IV of his Anthology
. (Translated by Robert Schmidt, 1996) On page 7 of the translation Valens refers to air as "ice-cold and opaque," opposite fire which warms it. In a note comparing Aristotle's elements to the Stoic, Rob Hand comments in part: Notice that the Stoic sequence agrees with the order of the elements in the signs and the Aristotelian order does not! Could it be that the use of Aristotelian elements with the triplicities was an error?
Later astrology labeled air as "hot and wet." Does it make sense that a cold dry planet like Saturn belongs to a hot and wet 'air' trigon? Saturn is lord of one sign of the air triplicity (Aquarius) and exalted in another (Libra). We have then to return to the specific definitions of the Stoic elements to understand how they can relate to the trigons. And when we analyze these meanings we can see that they cannot be accurately applied in two different zodiacs when based on the observation of sign energies and traits by astrologers.