Robert Hand on partiles & atoms


Q: Christeen Skinner, who I interviewed a little while ago, mentioned that we don’t have three-dimensional software; saying architects have it, so that if they’re designing a building they can see the building that they’re working on. Maybe – taking up what you’re talking about – we need software that shows us an expanse in time…

A: Strictly speaking that would be four-dimensional. I’m sure she’s referring to the fact that we don’t really deal with latitude and declination, and their relationships to the mundane sphere. The tradition does this. In the Renaissance it did  this more and more, but the Greeks didn’t ignore the issue. They did have a rationale for not dealing with it, and that is, that the planetary position is not the body of the planet, but the degree in which it lived. That is that the planets illuminated degrees. Now the latitude would affect the intensity of that illumination, but what does that mean that the degree is being illuminated?

The word ‘partile’ in modern English, comes from the Latin ‘partilis’ which is a direct translation of the Greek word moirikos ‘according to the degree’. And – this is the interesting point – it doesn’t mean within sixty minutes (as moderns would think it means); it means they are in the same degree – or the equivalent degree of the sign, so if you had a trine from 13.59 to 14.01 that is not partile. If instead you had a trine from 13.01 to 13.59 that is partile, because they are both in the fourteenth degree — 0 is the first degree so 0.44 is the second degree of 1 and so on.   This idea that the Ancient Greeks was rather a quantum view, taken from Greek physicist Democritus aka the father of the “atom.”

Following that idea, the zodiac then is made out of a hierarchy of quanta (the actual term is morion — allotment, or lot, as in ‘a lot of land’ or ‘a person’s lot in life’. In fact, the word for degree – ‘moira’ is a derivation of that) and these degrees or moria are what John Addey accused them of being – little boxes.

The Greeks would have said, ‘Yes! We know they’re little boxes! This is the way they are supposed to be! Because the universe is not a continuum; it is a series of discontinuous quantities!’

Well, guess what folks!  Several thousand years later, that is what string physics is telling us. Now this is not to say that a thing cannot be in more than one morion at once, because there is a hierarchy : degrees get integrated into faces, and they get integrated into bounds, and they get integrated into the signs, and once again we see another example of the atomic idea of atoms grouping together to make things.

© Garry Phillipson 2000

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