Let’s get some basic astronomical and physical concepts ironed out.
First of all motion is relative. If Car A is going 50kph and Car B is going 45kph. Than Car B is moving backwards at 5kph relative to someone looking at it from Car A. And someone sitting in Car A experiences the car itself as standing still. Even though to anyone outside the car, it’s not standing still at all.
That is a basic concept of physics. Now let’s apply it to astronomy. If you are standing on the Sun (with your super-duper heat shield, of course) – the Sun is standing still for you, and everything else is moving around it. That like being in Car A; it makes Car A stand still and Car B and the rest of the world move. If you are instead standing on the Earth, its the Earth that stands still and everything else moves around it, similar to being in Car B. If you stand somewhere else, somewhere in outer space, you see that everything is moving. It’s like standing on the road and seeing both Car A and Car B moving. The Earth is moving around the Sun and the Sun is moving around some other stars and the whole thing is circling around the galaxy, and the whole galaxy is… “etc.”
It’s not that geocentric astronomy is “wrong” it’s just geocentric, centered on the Earth. Heliocentric astronomy is not “right” it’s just heliocentric, centered on the Sun. And non-centric astronomy is probably only a philosophical concept, since it’s not possible not to be somewhere within the universe you observe. It’s not wrong for the person in Car A to feel like his steering wheel is not flying around at 50kph. It’s correct, relatively speaking.
All motion is relative.
Now, in astrology we are concerned with life on earth. Therefore it is geocentric. The astrological symbolism of the Sun very strongly suggests that ancient astrologers / astronomers knew that the Sun was, from one perspective, a truer “center” of the planets. But that is not very important because we don’t live on the Sun! We live on Earth. The math of astrology is practical astronomy. It is astronomy in its practical relevance to an observer on Earth. It is intentionally geocentric because it is meant to examine how celestial time proceeds from an earth-based vantage point.
In geocentric astronomy / classical astrology there are three principles to consider: space, planets, and the earth.
Space is the area through which the planets move. There are two types of space: sidereal and tropical – stellar space or earthbound space. So many cultures had two measurement systems, one for the stars (for example ancient India measured space by 27 stars segments), another for the “signs” (12 of them) of earthly space.
Planets are the visible points in the sky that move through space.
The Earth is the thing we are standing on. It has two important poles: above/below and east/west. Based on the four extremes of those poles there are four quadrants of the “sky” (the earth’s local space). Reflecting the two poles into each of the four sections, each section acquires three distinct divisions (one for the pure quadrant and two for the quadrant mixed with each pole). Thus altogether the Earth’s sky possesses 12 sections. We call these houses.
Now, as to how they are moving… we are standing on the Earth – so we cease to perceive that it is spinning on an axis and rotating around the Sun, just like a person inside a moving car does not perceive the dashboard and chairs to be moving. Instead of seeing the Earth moving around the Sun, we see the Sun as another “planet” that moves through space. Instead seeing the Earth spinning on it’s axis we see space itself (containing in it the moving planets including the Sun) spinning around the Earth.
In classical astrological geocentric astronomy, the Earth is the fixed reference point. And all of space revolves around us, moving through the twelve divisions of our sky, as the planets additionally move within space.
- Vic DiCara