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If we measure its distance longitude for the year A.
Since Regulus is a fixed star, nailed, as it were, to R on the ecliptic, why has its longitude increased in a mere interval of years by 2d 47'? Obviously this does not make sense, the inference being that Regulus is not a fixed star at all.
The answer is, of course, that Regulus is a fixed star and has not changed it position, but the fiducial of the "tropical" zodiac--the vernal equinoctial point, has retrograded along the circle of the ecliptic by 2d 47' in these years, such retrogression being caused by precession, thereby increasing Regulus' longitude by that amount.
On the other hand, siderealists do not measure longitudes from the ever receding vernal point, but from a fixed point on the ecliptic, which is the fiducial of the "sidereal zodiac. Reckoned from this point, the longitude of Regulus is Leo 5d 06', and this was its longitude in the time of the Pharaohs as it will be its longitude for many millennia to come.
From this we learn that there is only one zodiac, but two different ways of measuring longitudes in that zodiac; the tropical and the sidereal.
To talk therefore of the tropical and sidereal zodiacs is fallacious, leading to increasing confusion and misunderstanding. Such a loose way of talking has led to the present conflict among astrologers.
A better caption would be "Tropical Versus Sidereal Measurements in the Zodiac," which would immediately clear away much of the confusion. Ulansey's Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: According to modern astronomy--in which of course the earth is seen revolving around the sun once a year and rotating on its axis once a day--the precession of the equinoxes is conceived of as a slow wobble in the earth's rotation on its axis.
This causes the earth's poles to move very slowly with respect to the rest of the solar system, tracing a circle in the sky over a period of 25, years. This movement of the earth's axis and the poles results also in the movement of the celestial equator onto the celestial sphere.
And the earth's equator, because it is defined in a circle on the earth ninty degrees away from the poles, obviously [also] has to change its position relative to the fixed stars accordingly as the position of the earth's axis and pole changes.
All of the elements of this modern understanding of the precession of the equinoxes were also part of Hipparchus own understanding of the precession with, however, one crucial difference.
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This crucial difference is that whereas today the precession is understood as a movement of the earth, for Hipparchus because he was operating under the ancient assumption of a geocentric cosmos in which the earth was absolutely fixed in space and everything went around it, the precession could only be understood as a movement of the structure of the entire cosmos, rather than the earth.
There is only one Circle of the Ecliptic, and hence only one zodiac the ecliptic being, or as it were, the 'backbone' of the zodiac'. Because a circle has no natural beginning, different points on that circle have, over the centuries been held to constitute 'the beginning of the zodiac.
The fundamental difference between the two is that they each commence at different points on precisely the same circle, namely the Circle of the Ecliptic, which is divided into equal parts, called 'degrees of longitude. At present, the starting point of the popular or tropical 'zodiac' is about 24 degrees in advance of the sidereal counted clockwise.
So in order to change from the tropical to the sidereal, all that one has to do is subtract these 24 degrees from all tropical longitudes, thereby altering them into sidereal measurement.
The process is quite elementary, with nothing mysterious about it. But to come down to details, let us consider some facts. From time to time, in the ancient Greek world, astronomers would choose different starting points as the beginning of the zodiac.
In virtually all these cases they chose as the starting point, one of the four seasonal points, principally the vernal-equinoctial, which is transited every year about March 21 Gregorian.
This was preferred because they were convinced that the equinoctial and solstitial points were the only ones in the heavens which never altered their positions. In their view these points were fixed in the firmament for all time. In one Greek version, the zodiac commenced at a point 15 degrees to the west of the vernal equinoctial point abbreviated hereafter 'V.
In another version, the zodiac was held to commence at a point 12 deg. This latter position was considered as being permanently fixed in Aries 12 deg.
In the version of the zodiac known to scholars as "System A" which originated with the Babylonian astronomer, Naburrinu as a sidereal zodiac the V. P was believed to be permanently fixed in Aries 10 deg. It was not until about B.
This was their fatal error, an error that has vitiated western astrology ever since the beginning of the Christian era. The monumental and textual records of ancient Babylonia and Egypt agree that this fixed point was about one degree to the east of the fixed star, Spica "Ear of Corn"thus giving its fixed or sidereal "starry" longitude as Virgo 29 degrees.
This version of the zodiac comprised 12 equal zodiacal constellations, each containing precisely 30 degrees of longitude. It commenced with Libra as the first constellation and ended with Virgo as the 12th.
The position of the planets, luminaries, comets and the like, was measured, frequently by the unaided eye or by astrolabes, from one of the Normal Stars N.Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet.
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