Re: Stargazing

Date: Sun 15 Feb 1998 - 20:34:22 EET

Me: > Beyond simple sun-signs, the important features in RW astrology are the
> angles which the planets subtend to each other and the division of the

<<Remember that the planets go through the same houses too>>

     Right. Indeed this is the main point of dividing the houses in the first
place. Because the houses divide up in different ways for every individual
(with a few exceptions) you get a lot of complexity to play with. The problem
is that this only works because of the effects of latitude. While Yelm's path
does vary relative to the background stars because of both the rotation and
tilting of the sky dome, it doesn't vary relative to the observer (because the
positions of the Dawn and Dusk Gates are fixed), so every individual has
'houses' which look identical.
     It occurs to me that this is *not* true of Shargash and the other
Southpath planets. It might be possible to devise a means of creating unique
houses for a given birthday based on Shargash's position in the sky or
putative position in the Underworld. It wouldn't vary by latitude, as it does
on our world (although in some ways that might help) but it may at least
introduce a further level of complexity, which I think is to be desired. I'll
get back to you when I've tried to do the sums...

<<The presumption seems to be be that there are no "latitude effects" in
Glorantha, but one never knows... This is one of the things I wanted to pin
Greg on, but haven't managed to. There are two separate issues, here, in
fact: latitude effects per se, and those caused by parallax. By actual
latitude effects I mean those caused by living on a curved world (which
Glorantha isn't), or an _apparently_ curved world (which it is -- see Wonky
Light thread _passim_, ignoring the more plaintive cries
of pain it caused).>>

     The variability in RW astrology comes from the fact that the sun's
apparent path in the sky varies with season and latitude. If you're born at
the equator or at one of the equinoces, the sky is divided into twelve exactly
equal segments or 'houses'. The further you go from these points, the more the
ecliptic moves above or below the horizon, and the relative size of the houses
for somebody born at that location/time changes as a result. There are lots of
different ways of calculating this, coming up (of course) with contradictory
results with each other, but AFAIK the Gloranthan ecliptic always holds the
same relative position to the observer regardless of his position and the
particular season. If it doesn't - and as you say, you never know - then we're
in business. Although it would imply that Glorantha has an Arctic circle,
which is a new one on me.

<<The Red Moon, though, may or may not exhibit parallax, or may just appear
at the size and position the She happens to feel like, for any given location
of an observer (or hell, in general!).>>

    My understanding is that the Red Moon exhibits an apparent parallax, in
that She is lower in the sky the further you get from Her. But this does not
vary in a nice trigonometric fashion, or even in the same way in every
direction. Presumably She dips below the boundary of the Upper Sky at the
Glowline, and since the Glowline isn't circular and the boundary *is*, it
follows that nobody has a hope in hell of working out Her altitude.
<<> Many of the Gloranthan planets also subtend interesting angles with each

Not sure what you (or astrologers) mean by this.>>

    The angular separations (astrologers call them 'aspects') between two
objects on the ecliptic. There are nine Major Aspects, of which opposition,
conjunction and square are the most obvious ones. The point about Glorantha is
that some of the planets have periods which are exact multiples of each other,
making their relative motions fairly predictable. Fortunately, there are
exceptions, and you might be able to throw the change in position of the
Southpath in to complicate matters a little. After all, it isn't as if we want
the result to actually look like RW astrology, we've got to take advantage of
Glorantha's unique features and figure out other ways of doing things. It
might help if I know more about the inner workings of Chinese and Hindu
astrology (as opposed to just the results they produce with the Year of the
Rat and all that); that might give me more ideas - anybody out there know

Forward the glorious Red Army!


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