In one respect the computer monitor is superior to the planetarium dome. A horoscope is an ideal snap-shot of the heavens, a view which no human eye or camera could ever scan, for it encompasses the half of the zodiac and the semicircle of the places below the horizon as well as those above. Capturing the entire horoscope requires a field of view, which in turn necessitates cutting the zodiac, as it were, and displaying it so that one end appears on one side of the replicating surface and the other on the other, as in the familiar two-dimensional map of the entire earth.
Even if it did, Hence the unnatural appearance of the horizon and the meridian. What then follows? No predictions accompany the basic standard horoscopes which archaeologists and papyrologists have recovered, so perhaps you ask the astrologer to interpret it for you verbally for a further fee? Or perhaps some time later you take it to your astrologer, the same or another, and ask: what does this mean for me now?
In any event, to ask what something means implies that you and your astrologer agree that the configurations of a horoscope mean something, just as clouds frequently mean rain and smoke usually means fire. But you and your. To determine what your horoscope indicates another appropriate word , the astrologer does not just make an inspired guess; rather, he refers the elements of your horoscope to a semiotic system of relationships and meanings which in principle is both stable and public.
By stable I mean that the relationships and meanings are not subject to random or arbitrary change; by public I mean that the relationships and meanings are in the public domain.
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No shifting the goal-posts, especially not by the astrologers at dead of night. I describe of course an ideal of stability and public accessibility; in practice, as we shall see, the reality on the ground was quite different. My point here is one of form, not substance. The question is not whether astrology as a matter of fact succeeds or fails in its predictions, for along with most moderns I take it that astrology generally fails and that its occasional successes are matters of mere coincidence.
Rather, my concern is with horoscopic astrology as a system of signs, a language of sorts with its grammar and semantics. That indeed was precisely how St. He worried not so much about what it meant as about the demonic speakers with whom one was ineluctably drawn into conversation merely by speaking it. But more of this in a later chapter. In the present chapter we are going to start looking at the structure and semantics of the language of genethlialogy, the rules by which meaning was generated from the astronomical configurations of a horoscope.
And rules they are, not facts or pseudo-facts. Where do we find these rules? In the astrological handbooks, of which a number survive, transmitted copy to copy in manuscript form. They date from the early first century ce to the late fifth. We shall look at them as a class of technical literature in a later chapter. Here they serve simply as the quarry for our source material.
Furthermore, it would be pointless to do so. Within practical limits, it If you doubt my epithet, dip into it and see. For in truth neither a particular school nor a particular master predominated. What I hope to represent is the basic ancient consensus on the main rules of genethlialogy.
Since we are treating genethlialogy as a language, there are two general questions we need to bear in mind. Firstly, is it a coherent language, or does it mire its users in contradictions and illogicalities? In sum, is it comprehensible, or is it nonsensical even on its own terms? Secondly, is it an effective language? Does it let me efficiently say what I mean? Let me give an example. Suppose that as your astrologer I have determined that when you were born Mercury was in Virgo and Virgo was at that moment below the eastern horizon and due to start rising in an hour or so.
You are a businessman. I then tell you that you have made a smart career choice and your prospects are excellent. Our general questions, then, are — first, does the system as a whole enable me to generate answer after answer like this one on the same general grounds but for different configurations, and, second, does the system enable me to do so expeditiously? What signifies something good, and what signifies something bad? Since the celestial bodies signify not only by their individual selves but also and more fundamentally through their spatial relationships, let us start with Which aspects are favorable and which unfavorable?
Normally, opposition and quadrature are negative, unfavorable aspects, trine and sextile are positive, favorable aspects. Accordingly, in an interpretation an astrologer can confidently assume negative implications for bodies in opposition or quartile aspects to each other and positive implications for bodies in trine or sextile aspects to each other.
There may be special circumstances or overriding factors to moderate, cancel out, or even to reverse the normative meanings, but the meanings themselves do not change. My second answer would address the reasons why astrologers might have agreed to treat one pair of aspects as favorable, the other as unfavorable. In other words, what is the source of this language convention, or is it purely arbitrary? Put another way, an astrologer cannot justify the values of the aspects in the same way that a chemist or physicist can justify the ordering of the elements in the periodic table.
In fact they will not be real reasons at all, but rather rationales which work mostly by manipulating association and analogy. Ergo trine and sextile good, opposition and quartile bad. But they can never justify the meanings attributed to its terms and relations. In the end all that can be said is that the meanings are so and not otherwise simply because astrologers have agreed that they are so and not otherwise.
However, in practice the places were usually treated as equal arcs measured back from the ascendant. Although each place acquired its own individual name, they were also identified by reference to the centers. Thus, the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth places could themselves be called the ascendant, the lower midheaven, the descendant, and the midheaven. The four places counter-clockwise from each of the cardinal places, namely the second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh places were termed epanaphorai, and the four places clockwise, namely the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth, were termed apoklimata.
Although for the most part theoretical astrologers analyzed the human life into the same set of twelve components and assigned those These are all relatively early, inter-dependent sources, summaries of whose teachings are preserved in manuscripts still extant. I translate below a passage from one of these manuscripts as transcribed in CCAG 8.
Some say it foretells conception. The ascendant [no. The epanaphora of the ascendant [2, —6] discloses the things that attend a life. The third place [6—] they called that of brothers, the fourth [—3] that of parents, the fifth [3—] that of children, the sixth [—12] that of bodily defects, the seventh [12—] the place of marriage, and the eighth [—9] that of the end.
Through these eight places they examine the whole life of the native. The oktatopos is certainly the simpler and more straightforward of the two schemes. Since no single source or cluster of sources furnishes either a definitive nomenclature or a definitive classification of the components of a human life, it would be best to complement the passages above with a simple list of the principal life components for each place, together with the names other than those which merely reflect these components of the places — see table 4.
First the places are related to each other by aspect; and aspect, in particular aspect to the first place qua ascendant , determines relative importance and power. In addition, all four cardinal places nos. The fact that they are in quartile aspect to each other has to be overlooked, since otherwise the sinister implications of quadrature would vitiate the entire system. Second, some of the places have an independent bias towards good luck, others towards bad luck. This raises the importance of the third, fifth, ninth,.
Here is what another early Greek astrologer, Dorotheus of Sidon mid-first century ce , has to say about the ordering of the places in both importance and desirability:7 The following are the good places in their order of importance: the first is the ascendant [place no. Those are the good places. The bad places are the second [no. The remaining two places, the sixth [no. The circle of the places is the most arbitrary of the major astrological constructs. It is therefore the most in need of an appropriate analogy So on what criteria do we choose one place or another as the first?
Surely the proper starting point is the place where celestial bodies rise to birth note how the master metaphor is slipped into place , namely the ascendant. The ascendant dominates the horoscope. As part of the same metaphor, midheaven, the place no. Here a different metaphor or, rather, a different set of associations comes into play. The underground in ancient thought is not only the place of the dead but also the source of new life, especially of vegetation which literally rises from the ground.
It is also the source of metals and of wealth generated from the precious metals, gold and silver, as also of buried treasure. Consequently the places deep underground are not at all sinister. So the womb is a potent underground, and that is why the underground places are the sites of the human family as it constantly regenerates itself. Wealth comes from the world below.
In sectoring a life and isolating its components those who devised the circle of the places could not help also defining a normative life for the culture of their times. Of what does a life consist? Even the most cursory look shows that the template of the twelve places implies a person of some substance and status, someone who as the saying goes has a life, someone above mere subsistence level, someone of more consequence than a It has to be admitted that astrology, at least the sort of astrology found in the handbooks, was not generally for the riff-raff.
By and large, only men had the sort and degree of agency in their lives that the scheme of the places implies. Conclusion Before moving on from the astrological places to the zodiac and its signs, as we shall do in the next chapter, I want to conclude with an analogy to another form of ancient divination, the Roman practice of auspicy, observing bird flight, and augury, listening to the cries of birds. These practices — they are really two parts of the same activity — required the definition of a site in which bird flight and bird calls could be observed and heard.
Coincidentally, both practices postulated a south-facing observer although not always in augury. I am not suggesting that Graeco-Roman astrology consciously drew on Roman augural theory and practice or even that contemporaries were aware of the analogy. We saw that it is a notional band on the celestial sphere extending some 68 on either side north and south of the ecliptic.
The ecliptic is the annual path of the Sun around the heavens. By convention and for metrological purposes it starts at the vernal equinox, which is one of the two points where it intersects the celestial equator. The celestial equator is also a great circle — one may think of it as a projection outwards into space of the terrestrial equator — and it too divides the celestial sphere into two equal hemispheres, one to the north and the other to the south.
The celestial sphere rotates in appearance once a day, its axis of rotation passing not only through the terrestrial poles but also through the celestial poles, those points around which the stars on a clear night appear to revolve. Remember that the zodiac with its twelve signs is also revolving, but because of the obliquity of the ecliptic it turns like a wheel very badly out of alignment above, chapter 3, section 5.
At the vernal equinox the Sun crosses from south to north of the equator and at the autumn equinox from north to south. The twelve signs of the zodiac are equal in length, so each of them occupies a sector of As already noted in chapter 3 section 1 , Greek astrologers for some time continued to use older Babylonian schemes which placed the vernal equinox at Aries 88 or , though the Greek — and modern — astronomical norm of Aries 08 eventually prevailed.
We shall not concern ourselves here with the Babylonian schemes except when unavoidable. Consideration of latitude, in other words how far north or south of the ecliptic a planet happens to be, plays little part. We shall look at some significant exceptions in due course. In this chapter we shall look at the zodiac and its signs as a selfcontained system, postponing to the next chapter consideration of the.
In looking at the internal relations of the zodiac, we are looking at things which do not change. Aries is in trine aspect to Leo and will always be so. Taurus is a female sign yes, female , and that too will not change as long as the convention which alternates gender odd-numbered signs male, even-numbered female persists. What does change — and changes quite rapidly — is the position of the zodiac and thus of its twelve signs against the fixed circle of the twelve places.
As the signs revolve through the places they acquire and shed in succession the associations and significance of every place. Those meanings, which concern the stages and components of a life, we surveyed in the preceding chapter. From that initial similarity let us now look at the differences. Hence the view and the diagram of the view have an east side to the left and a west side to the right and vice versa for southern hemisphere viewers who will be looking northwards.
What, then, of north and south? The logic of both view and diagram puts south in front of the observer and north behind; hence they cannot be represented in the diagram at all, since it lacks the necessary third dimension. In the two dimensions actually viewed the axis at right angles to the east—west axis is an up— down or zenith—nadir axis, not a north—south axis. So far we have been speaking of the four cardinal points and the two axes in the terrestrial sense.
When we turn to the zodiac and its representation figure 5. Similarly east is towards the left and west towards the right. Note that I do not speak of an east side and a west side, for east and west are always relative, and no part of the celestial sphere is the east or the west in an absolute sense. The same of course is true of the terrestrial globe. Only in views and representations of parts of either sphere can a side be termed the east or the west. Celestially, east and west are first and foremost directions of motion.
Most of the other significant facts about the zodiac and its signs also have to do with the annual journey of the Sun in sequence through them. Figure 5. From there the Sun climbs northward through Aries, Taurus, and Gemini to the summer solstice at the start of Cancer From the summer solstice he begins to descend through Cancer, Leo, and Virgo to the autumn equinox at the start of Libra , and thence on down through Libra, Scorpius, and Sagittarius to the winter solstice at the start of Capricorn Our first division of the zodiac is accordingly into four seasonal quadrants see figure 3.
Spring — vernal equinox to summer solstice: Aries, Taurus, Gemini. Summer — summer solstice to autumn equinox: Cancer, Leo, Virgo. Autumn — autumn equinox to winter solstice: Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius. Winter — winter solstice to vernal equinox: Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. Most people now construe the solar journey in temporal rather than spatial terms.
Indeed, they do not think of it as a journey at all, but rather as an annual cycle, the cycle of the four seasons with their official starting dates at the equinoxes spring and autumn and solstices. Note how the equinoxes from this point of view are considered moments in time rather than points in space. In fact they are both, and the change is merely a shift of emphasis. For Ptolemy Tetr. The third set is the most interesting for those like us wanting to see how ancient astrologers built significance into their system.
The logic goes somewhat as follows. The celestial emblem of this fact is the two fishes of Pisces. Astrology does indeed carry an excess of reasons, but they are not necessarily pseudo-causal reasons. The underlying metaphor is not a recent one. It was current in Greek and Latin and thus in the thinking of Greek-speakers and Latin-speakers. Yet for all their lifelessness dead metaphors do much more of the heavy lifting in language and in thought than do their living and lively siblings.
As the Sun journeys northward, day after day he appears higher and higher in the noontime sky; likewise lower and lower as he journeys south. As he does so, he draws up vegetation from the earth, bringing it to ripeness, and then burns and desiccates it with the heat of summer so that it withers, collapses, and dies.
Yet paradoxically this destruction wrought by the Sun is as beneficial as it is inevitable. As the Sun inscribes his celestial journey on the earth in the waxing and waning of the seasons, so the ancients inscribed the story of a You ascend towards a summit and you descend from it; you descend towards a nadir and you ascend from it. From the height of good fortune there is nowhere to go but down — add a dash of hubris and you enact the classic tragic plot — and from the depths of bad fortune there is nowhere to go but up — if you survive the fall. The Sun in Capricorn enjoys that guarantee of renewal; we do not.
He is merely utilizing the fundamental categories of Greek physics, standardized by Aristotle almost half a millennium earlier. Matter in our mutable sublunary world instantiates in different combinations two pairs of opposite In combination these opposites produce the four terrestrial elements: fire hot and dry , air hot and wet , earth cold and dry , water cold and wet.
At the same time he applies the same two pairs of contrary qualities to the stages of the life cycle which he divides into four and associates each with the predominant seasonal quality: the first stage with the moisture of spring, the second with the heat of summer, the third with the dryness of autumn, and the fourth with the cold of winter. He also ties in the four quarters of the earth and the winds which blow from those directions.
This is not as straightforward as it might appear. Yes, we can link the hot winds of summer to the south and the cold wind of winter to the north, but we have to suppress, as Ptolemy does, the inconvenient fact that that in summer the Sun is in the north celestial hemisphere while in winter he is in the south. There is such a thing as too much meaning. Increasingly, though, metaphor and word play take over.
Instead of dividing the zodiac into sectors, as with the seasonal quadrants, one may relate them by aspects. A sign is in bissextile aspect to the sign which is two signs ahead of it and two signs behind it, in By alternating gender around the zodiac, the fundamental zoological polarity of male and female is accommodated, thus creating two hexagons, one of male signs, the other of female signs. Obviously the lead sign, Aries the Ram, has to be male. An even more fundamental polarity, pervading the entire cosmos, is that between light and darkness, day and night.
This polarity can be structured into the zodiac by alternating signs, as with the gender polarity. No prize for guessing correctly that the male signs are the day signs and the female signs are the night signs. Another solution, less patriarchal, is to assign light and the day to the northern signs Aries to Virgo and darkness and night to the southern signs Libra to Pisces on the grounds that days are longer than nights when the Sun is in the former and night longer than days when he is in the latter.
Yet a third solution alternates pairs of contiguous signs Pisces and Aries day signs, Taurus and Gemini night signs, and so on. All three schemes are presented by Manilius Astronomica 2. Yes, in the real world fishes do indeed belong in water, but a scorpion has no business in joining them there, and a water-carrier no business in exchanging water for air. Note also how the schematization puts a celestial imprimatur on the social constructions of gender: men are hot and dry, women cold and wet — that is what the configurations of heaven intend.
As a final example of imposing meaning on the geometrical patterns of the zodiac and its signs, let us return to the seasonal quartering formed, as in figure 3. The pairs are formed not by diametrical opposition for example Taurus does not command Scorpius but by chords at right angles to the equinoctial diameter Taurus commands Aquarius.
An alternative schematization draws the diameter not from one equinoctial point to the other but from one equinoctial sign to the other. In this scheme Taurus commands Pisces, not Aquarius, and the equinoctial signs neither issue nor receive orders. The metaphor changes to sight from imperative speech. The rationale for these two schemes is length of daylight. Signs in which day is longer than night boss around signs in which the opposite pertains; signs with equal daylight eye each other with wary regard.
These antiscia provide additional bases from which the planets can attack or support one another. We shall return to the antiscia in chapter 7 on the interpretation of horoscopes since Firmicus uses the scheme to explain why an apparently brilliant horoscope led to an actual life with serious set-backs.
We shall see this most clearly when we come to the planets, which are in fact anthropomorphized gods or proxies for them and thus beings who can reasonably be thought to act and feel like humans. But it is worth noticing how the same distinction between friend and foe is imposed on the less tractable material of the signs.
How after all does one decide whether a Ram likes or dislikes a pair of Twins, a Lion likes or dislikes a pair of Scales, and an Archer likes or dislikes a Watercarrier? And behind those puzzling questions of the criteria of love and hatred lies the deeper puzzle of why love and hatred should be battling it out in the heavens at all. To the second question there is an easy, true, and not very interesting general answer: the pioneers of astrology in the ancient world projected the characteristics of humanity and its cultures onto the heavens and then used these projections to explain and justify the way we are as individuals and societies.
All the interest, though, lies in the detail. As a case study let us see how Manilius addresses both questions. Manilius was a poet — rather a good one, though that is virtually impossible to convey in translation — which means that his answers to questions of the second sort are imaginative and far from superficial. Imaginative, in a less flattering way, are his answers to questions of the first sort where it is more a matter of ingenuity in versifying mathematical sophistry.
In the middle of a long passage on the friendships and enmities of the signs Manilius 2. The likes are easily explained as entailments of the trine aspect in which Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius stand to each other see above , and the assumption that The dislikes spring from the fact that in alternating triangles nos. From this we may reasonably infer that all members of one of the triangles collectively detest all members of the other triangle. Who prevails? As usual, there are loose ends to be tied up. If you find this incomprehensible and awful, do not blame the translator G. Goold and do not question your own good judgment.
From so many configurations of signs come beings opposed to each other, and thus variously and thus often is enmity created. For this reason nature has never created from herself anything more precious or less common than the bond of true friendship. And throughout the long history of mankind, ages and centuries so many, amid so many wars and the motley strife even of peace, when misfortune calls for loyal support, it scarce finds it anywhere.
Yet how great is the sum of villainy in every age. How impossible to relieve the earth of its burden of hate. Never far from the minds of thinkers and poets in the late first century bce and early first century ce were the horrors of the death throes of the Roman republic and the civil wars which attended its final collapse and the later struggles for supremacy among the would-be successors of the assassinated Julius Caesar. In the dozen or so lines which follow Manilius shows us vignettes of the old anarchy, its deep hatreds, transitory alliances, and betrayals.
However, the empirical falsity of the model should not over-much concern us. Ancient astrology, I contend, retains value as an imaginative Yet his very niceness exposes him to betrayal by his trigonal colleagues, Leo and Sagittarius. He is by nature a gentle sign, exposed to the harm that falls on gentleness; he is devoid of deceit, and his heart is as soft as his fleecy body. If I have spent rather a long time on the friendships and enmities of signs, it is to give a sample of what I find of abiding value in ancient astrology and an answer — there are others — to the question I shall pose in chapter 9: why bother with it today?
The sign of Leo longitude — is so named from the constellation Leo with which in antiquity it more or less coincided. Leo, like several other zodiacal constellations and signs, had his origins in Babylon whence he was imported into Greek astronomy and astrology. Animals have always stalked emblematically down trails of metaphorical association. Of course some signs had more potential than others: just how much metaphorical freight can a Crab or a pair of Fishes or a pair of Scales carry?
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Early in the fourth book of his Astronomica 4. Professionally, Manilian Aquarians 4. They are dowsers water-diviners ; they design water-driven mechanisms; they engineer artificial lakes and canals; they build coastal villas on man-made promontories;14 and they construct aqueducts, those masterpieces of Roman civil engineering and mainstay of urban civilization. The linking of the signs to various occupations and professions was not peculiar to Manilius. It was actually quite commonplace.
One might say indeed that the ancient zodiac furnishes a comprehensive inventory of the work activities of Graeco-Roman society — a fact which has not escaped the notice of social historians.
For Manilius G. Goold —1 16 lists occupations and character types, predominantly the former. For Firmicus Maternus J. Rhys Bram —22 has a separate index for occupations alone: at a rough count, they number about To judge from the frequency of citation, the stars seem to indicate banditry and business as the most common careers under this letter of the alphabet.
The author is Petronius, his novel is called the Satyrica, and he composed it for oral delivery by a professional reciter trained to represent many different voices some time before his death in 66 ce. The speaker is Trimalchio, a rich ex-slave of deplorable vulgarity whose wealth can command the attention of his dinner guests to his pretentious ramblings. The topic turns to astrology, or rather is directed that way by a dish with delicacies representing the twelve signs.
Now it becomes a Ram. So anyone who is born in that sign has a lot of flocks and a lot of wool, a hard head, a shameless forehead, and a. So men who kick with their heels are born then, and oxherds and people who feed themselves. In the twins two-horse teams are born, and pairs of oxen, and pairs of balls, and people who plaster and whitewash both sides of a wall. I was born in Cancer the Crab. In the Lion gluttons and bossy people are born; in Virgo women and runaway slaves and chain-gangs; in Libra butchers and perfumers and anyone who weighs something out; in Scorpio poisoners and murderers; in Sagittarius squinters, people who look at the veggies but make off with the bacon; in Capricorn victims who because of their troubles grow horns; in Aquarius innkeepers and pumpkin-heads; in Pisces cooks and public speakers.
So the globe turns like a mill and always does something bad, so that men are either being born or perishing. Here are brief summaries of the four most important which I have chosen to omit. The decans are of Egyptian origin; they have Egyptian names and are in fact Egyptian gods of mixed anthropomorphic and theriomorphic appearance. On the original role of the decans in Egyptian astronomy see Parker list of decan names p.
Each sign is divided into equal twelfths of two-and-a-half degrees, and each of these twelfths is allotted to one of the signs in the usual order. The first twelfth of a sign belongs to the sign itself. Thus the first twelfth of Aries belongs to Aries, the second to Taurus, and so on; the first twelfth of Taurus belongs to Taurus, the second to Gemini, and so on. On the dodekatemories see For astrological purposes the human body has twelve members or pairs of members , each of which, from head to feet, is allotted to one of the twelve signs in their customary order.
Thus Aries gets the head and Pisces the feet. Apart from their application in astrological medicine iatromathematics , these relationships are important metaphysically, in that together they define a cosmic Man or vice versa they conceptualize Man as a microcosm of the macrocosm. For the complete scheme see e.
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Goold xlvi, on Manilius 2. The subject is treated at some length by Manilius 4. Ptolemy Tetr. So far in the system we have made the acquaintance of two circles, the circle of the twelve places chapter 4 and the circle of the zodiac with its twelve signs chapter 5. In both circles the relationship of every sector to every other sector remains the same: the first place is diametrically opposite the seventh place and likewise Aries opposes Libra to all eternity. Of course the circle of the zodiac does rotate once a day against the background of the fixed circle of the places so that every sign occupies every place in succession, but that is the extent of celestial change and variety.
In chapter 3 section 2 we were introduced to the planets with the metaphor of the seven hands of a clock moving independently against the background of a clock-face calibrated to the twelve signs of the zodiac. The hands of an ordinary clock do not all turn in the same plane. The minute hand passes in front of the hour hand, and the second hand in front of the minute hand.
So it is with planets. Depth in space was of little practical concern to astrologers. What mattered was the motion in longitude forward and backward, eastward and westward. The complicated passages of the seven planets from sign to sign generated most of the celestial facts on the basis of which horoscopes could be cast. This means that they were considered agents, in the same sense that human beings are considered agents: they could act and be acted upon in ways comprehensible to us, at least in principle.
These motions, the ancients assumed, were In either case the motions could properly be thought significant to humans at the still center on earth around which the divinities wheeled, given that we mortals, in the shared possession of reason, are kin to the gods. Table 6. In the first column are the deities with their Latin names. For the five planets proper, these of course are still their names.
The next column lists the original Greek deities with whom the Latin deities were equated when the two cultures met and merged. The impetus to identify the five with those particular gods undoubtedly came from Babylon, as did the alternative divine identities, given in parentheses for Mercury, Venus, and Mars.
These alternatives were introduced somewhat later than the principal identities although still quite early in the history of astrology , and they were never Table 6. They played little or no part in practical genethlialogy. The same is true of the descriptive names in the third column, which Franz Cumont argued, from their occurrence in certain theoretical works, were intended as neutral, untheological terms coined for scientific ends.
In the fourth column are the days of the week over which each planetary god presided, the week itself having its origin at about the beginning of our common era. The order is explained as follows. The first hour of the first day Saturday in antiquity belongs to the most distant and senior of the planets, Saturn. The next hour is assigned to the next planet, Jupiter, and so on in descending order of distance. The sequence is continuously repeated, with the result that the twentyfourth hour of the first day falls to Mars and the first hour of the second day, and thus the presidency of that entire day, to the Sun.
The rest of the week follows in the familiar order, though the planetary sequence is obscured in English by the substitution of equivalent Germanic gods for the Latin originals preserved in the Romance languages the French weekday names are here given in parentheses. The planets acquired their personas from the Greek gods whose manifestations they were.
Primarily, though, the Sun carries the persona imputed to the Sun god — which is of course a tautology, indicating only that in the ancient world the Sun was divine. Likewise the Moon. To introduce our cast of planets, I have chosen Vettius Valens, an astrologer writing between and ce, whose work, the Anthologies, is preserved in its entirety. In heaven, as on earth, precedence matters. Of the parts of the body, the Sun rules the head, the senses, the right eye, the flanks, the heart. The Moon, who has her being from the reflection of sunlight, thus acquiring a spurious light, indicates human life at birth, the body, the mother.
Of the parts of the body she governs the left eye, the stomach, the breasts. Saturn makes those born under him petty, malicious, careworn, self-disparaging, solitary, deceitful. He causes humiliation, laziness, inactivity, hindrances, long drawn out litigation, reversals, secrets, oppression, fetters, griefs, accusations, tears, loss of parents, captivity, banishment. He makes. He brings things to completion; he makes high reputation, distinguished status, executives, custodians, step-fathers.
Of materials he governs lead, wood, and stone; of the parts of the body, the legs, the knees. Of illnesses he is indicative of those that come about through coldness and moisture. He causes violent death in water, by strangulation, in prison, or by dysentery. Jupiter indicates begetting and offspring, desire, love, alliances, acquaintances, friendships with great men, abundance, salaries, large gifts, good crop yields, justice, rulership, political participation, honors, important religious positions, arbitration at law, credit, inheritances, brotherhood, partnerships, adoptions, security of good things, deliverance from bad things, release from chains, freedom.
Of the parts of the body he governs. Of materials he governs tin. Mars indicates violence, wars, plundering, uproar, excess, adultery. He also brings about murders, mutilations, bloodshed; attacks of fever, ulcers, blistering, inflammation; imprisonment, tortures; masculinity, perjury, error, negotiations on bad terms; those who work with fire or iron, artisans, masons.
He makes military commanders. Of the parts of the body he governs the head, the fundament, the genitals. Venus is desire and erotic love. She indicates the mother and the nurturer. She causes. She is the giver of weights and measures, of abundance, of work-places, of giving and taking, of laughter, hilarity, She is the giver of public assistance originating from the womenfolk of the imperial household; she is the [sc. Of the parts of the body she governs the neck and throat, the face, the lips, the organ of smell,.
Of materials she governs precious stones and many-colored adornments; of crops, the olive. Mercury indicates education, letters, argumentation, logic, brotherhood, interpretation, embassies, numbers, calculations, geometry, commerce, youth, play, theft, community, messaging, service, profit, discoveries. He is the giver of discernment and judgment. He is in charge of brothers, younger children, and the skills of advocacy and banking; he also governs temple-builders. There then follows a passage explaining that Mercury allots different professions and destinies according to his ever-changing positions on the zodiac and his aspects to the other planets.
He governs giving and receiving, for he is the god of the common weal. Valens has already sketched an answer in the case of Mercury which he elaborates at the end of his first chapter. As always in astrology, the variables are so numerous that a loophole can always be found to reconcile an outcome to a horoscope after the event.
But remember that what is good and positive for a benefic is normally the opposite for a malefic and vice versa. Valens does not explicitly name the benefics and malefics, though in most cases it is fairly obvious from his descriptions which is which. In all sources to the best of my knowledge Jupiter and Venus are benefics, Saturn and Mars malefics.
The Jupiter—Saturn distinction is the more obvious. The moral opposition of Venus and Mars, benefic against malefic, is in ways surprising, especially in the male-dominated societies of antiquity. The simple gender opposition — women under Venus, men under Mars — is entirely understandable. Indeed, the two planetary deities have endured as prime gender emblems to this day. Jupiter is the just ruler, fostering respect for the laws, right social relationships, and the prosperity which good political rule brings to all, not least the ruler; Mars is the anarchist who subverts the rule of law, plundering and murdering his way to power and the ruin of the commonwealth.
Mars enchains; Jupiter Mars is hatred; Jupiter like Venus is love, but unlike Venus he is male. Saturn, especially, has his positive side. Nor did he entirely lose his leadership role. The Babylonian tradition which made him the ruler of the night, as the Sun is the ruler of the day, was dimly remembered in Greek astrology.
What then of the two luminaries, the Sun and the Moon? Again, the consensus is not quite what one might expect. The Moon is benefic; the Sun, like Mercury, is intrinsically neither benefic nor malefic. The beneficence of the Moon is unproblematic, but why would the Sun, who is indisputably the leader and orchestrator of his planetary colleagues be morally ambivalent?
The To some, especially idealists in the Platonic tradition, the very idea of celestial bodies working evil was repugnant, and in consequence an astrology which postulated planetary malefics as necessary causal agents of evil and suffering was ipso facto unacceptable. Unlike the other five planets, they are visibly extended objects, not dimensionless points of light. In appearance they are disks, each approximately half a degree in angular diameter.
From their two-dimensional appearance Greek astronomers correctly inferred that they are in fact spheres. They also figured out that the Moon is smaller than the earth in volume and the Sun many times larger. The mean distance of the Moon from the earth was established at 59 earth radii, quite close to the actual value of However, it would have to be a very special form of fire with the property, nowhere encountered on earth but ubiquitous in heaven, of moving always and only in a circle. In contrast, the Moon has readily visible features in the form of lighter and darker areas, so speculation about her topography as an earthlike and possibly inhabitable body was not unreasonable.
The Sun is the ultimate source of light and heat, of day and night, of the cycle of the seasons, and thus of life and growth. Less obviously, the Moon governs the tides and the female menstrual cycle. Her phases, from new moon to full moon and back to new, furnish the most dramatic of the measures of time. Arguing from the undeniable effects of the luminaries the astrologers by analogy postulated causal agency for the other five planets.
This was the route taken by Ptolemy in the Tetrabiblos 1. Astrology is not the sleep of reason but reason hyperactively spinning its wheels. His orbit, the ecliptic, is the median planetary path, from which the others may deviate, but never he. In depth of space he is midway between earth at the center and the sphere of the fixed stars at the outer limit of the universe.
Visibly he orchestrates their dance,9 and by inference from appearances he is the principle of intelligence behind it. Astrologically, the Moon is concerned above all with physical being and growth, in plants, animals, and humans. She is thus the primary governor of agriculture and animal husbandry, of the very means of human life itself.
Although essentially benefic, the Moon has her negative side. The Moon herself guards the frontier, for she is Persephone too, Queen of Hades, which some thought lay not in an underworld but in a liminal zone above. All planets direct or indicate Fate, but the changeable Moon seems to personify its fluctuations. Popular in late Graeco-Roman times were narratives of the descent and return of the soul from the sphere of the fixed stars down to earth and back again. These accounts were meant to be read literally as actual soul-journeys in which the descending soul acquires from each planet in succession the constituents of its mortal being and surrenders them at death in reverse order as it ascends back to heaven.
From the planets, says Macrobius, the descending soul acquires each of the attributes which it will exercise later. Commentary 1. Stahl — the untranslated Greek terms are original to Macrobius, embedded in his Latin text. An alternative narrative of descent and ascent restricted the stations of acquisition and surrender to the two luminaries. In the version given by Plutarch in his essay On the Face in the Moon see note 8, above the mind is the gift of the Sun and the soul, as the animating principle, the gift of the Moon.
From the source of light and warmth and thus of life itself, he has become the source of burning heat which desiccates and consumes. But the life he destroys is physical life. The rational mind he liberates. Mercury, as befits his mercurial character, keeps faith with neither. Note that these alliances do not replicate the division between benefics and malefics. In chapter 5 we saw how an artificial system of alternating male and female signs was imposed on the zodiac, with the bizarre result that a male Ram necessitated a female Bull. For the planets common sense prevailed over structure and balance.
Five of the planets are ineluctably male, though the group could be reduced by making the changeable Mercury bisexual hermaphrodite. The remaining two, the Moon and Venus, are ineluctably female. To redress the imbalance, astrology resorted to the interesting expedient of allowing the planets, in defined circumstances, to modify their gender. To some extent, I think, it recognizes the reality that gender is more than just a physiological given. Gender, to put it in postmodern terms, is also constructed and conditioned culturally.
The basic gender of a planet was thought to be a function of the predominance of dryness male or wetness female. Gender could be modified or reinforced by any of three factors: 1 The sign of the zodiac occupied: male signs masculinize, female signs feminize. They make men headstrong, rash, possessed of masculinity; women they make undignified, shameless, rash, insubordinate, male in sexual orientation. Feminized planets. The moral: enhancement of femininity good, enhancement of masculinity not so good, masculinizing the female and feminizing the male bad.
Seemingly contradictory characteristics are located and explained by reference to location on the grid. As so often, the structure is binary: nativity of a boy or girl? From our point of view, it is the construction of the character grid itself that is of interest, not the absurd predictive purposes to which it was put. Note finally, that the grid has normative as well as descriptive intent. It plots out not only the way things are in human gendering but also the way they should and should not be.
What philosophical cosmologists saw as a beautifully orchestrated dance seemed to the astrologers at best the maneuverings of an imperial court — as on earth, so in heaven — and at worst all-out war. Power was what it was all about; and power was a function of place, of being in the right place with well-placed allies and disadvantaged enemies. The planetary houses, exaltations, and humiliations are displayed in table 6.
The older of the two systems is that of exaltations and humiliations, which is now known to be of Babylonian origin Rochberg-Halton 53—7. Note that the humiliation of a planet is diametrically opposite the exaltation. The system of houses clearly shows Greek structural logic at work. The intent is to allocate all the signs of the zodiac among the planets without remainder.
The problem of course is that seven is not a factor of twelve. The solution is to allocate one sign to each of the two luminaries and two to each of the five other planets. Leo was assigned to the Sun and Cancer to the Moon. The five signs forward from Leo were then assigned to the five non-luminaries in order of distance from the earth nearest to farthest , and the five signs backward from Cancer to the same five in the same order. The non-luminaries thus have both day-time houses Virgo forward to Capricorn and night-time houses Gemini backward to Aquarius.
Why these particular allocations? Antiochus CCAG 1. He starts with the fact that the planets are paired in their exaltations and humiliations cf. In each pair the exaltation of one is the humiliation of the other: Table 6. We say that the Sun is the store of fire and light and the lord of day and that Saturn is cold and indicates darkness; so where the light of day is exalted, there darkness and night are humiliated and the cold is warmed [and vice versa].
Again, why where Jupiter is exalted, there Mars is humiliated, and where Mars is exalted, there Jupiter is humiliated? We say that Jupiter is the overseer of the breath of life and of abundance and that Mars is the overseer of death; so where the breath of life increases, there the quality of death is lowered [and vice versa]. Again, why where Venus is exalted, there Mercury is humiliated, and where Mercury is exalted, there Venus is humiliated?
We say that Mercury is the lord of reason and Venus the overseer of desire and sex; so where reason increases, there the desire and pleasure of sex is lowered [and vice versa]. Again, why where the Moon is exalted, there no one is humiliated, and where the Moon is humiliated no one is exalted? We say that the Moon is the fortune of the whole, and whom fortune exalts no one humiliates and whom fortune humiliates no one exalts.
The houses cf. We say that the Sun and the Moon are the luminaries of the universe and that Saturn is the lord of darkness: thus light always opposes darkness and darkness light. Again, why are the houses of Mercury opposite the houses of Jupiter [and vice versa]? We say that Jupiter is the overseer of assets and prosperity and Mercury is always the lord of reason: thus reason always opposes and despises the desire for assets, and prosperity is opposed to reason [sic!
Again, why are the houses of Mars opposed to the houses of Venus? We say that Venus is the overseer of all desire and enjoyment and pleasure and Mars of all fear and war and wrath. So the enjoyable, the desirous, and the pleasurable is opposed to the fearful, the wrathful, and the martial.
Greek astrology spawned a plethora of other devices by which, for good or ill, the powers of the planets relative to each other might be Part of what you got for your money was greater detail in the calculations and more elaborate astrological trimmings. But you also got a more elevated and imaginative rhetoric.
The Egyptian men of old who lawfully studied the heavenly bodies and learned the motions of the seven gods, compiled and arranged everything in perpetual tables and generously left to us their knowledge of these things. From these I have accurately calculated. For thus the way of astrological prediction is made straight and unambiguous, that is consistent. Farewell, dearest Hermon. And the divine and light-bringing Moon, in her first quarter, had covered in Taurus thirteen degrees and a thousandth part of a degree; in the sign [house] of Venus; in her own exaltation; in the terms of Mercury; in a female and solid sign; like gold; mounting anabibazousa the back of Taurus;19 in the second decan called Aroth; its dodekatemorion was shining on about the same place in Scorpio.
From the roadways, men and women are converging on one of the little cottages. They, like their ancestors before them, are gathering to help in an important family occasion. Later, others will arrive to join the celebratory feasting. The old ones know the time has come. Have not the dark lines called alawela met at the piko?
Be silent. A beloved senior of today tells of her girlhood experience:. My aunt was a pale keiki [midwife]. I was the back helper. I sat in back of the woman about to give birth. When a pain began, I put my arms tightly around the woman and pressed down in front. See alawela, preceding chapter. Pukui, whose grandmother, grandfather, aunt, and uncle were all kahuna pale keiki:.
False labor pains were given an explanation of empathy. Pukui explains. Other birth preparations varied by region, by rank, and by era. This was a large rock believed to have great mana spiritual power to aid childbirth. There family members with knowledge of midwifery gathered to help in the birth process.
Others congregated outside: some, in the old days, to chant; some to prepare food; some to run errands for the pale keiki. Though birth chanting might have ceased, family members still prayed for a successful birth and a healthy baby. The father, whose ancient role had been prayer and ritual feeding of the gods, later addressed his pule prayer to God, and helped prepare the food for human consumption. Often a trained member of the family was attending obstetrician.
Pukui recounts:. But when her last baby was born, her eldest son took charge. By then he had been trained to be a pale keiki. Everyone in the family had a good understanding of childbirth. Birth was discussed as freely as the weather. Again, to quote Mrs. If this was reddish, the baby was a boy. If it was brownish, a girl was coming. When labor pains began, the mother was encouraged to walk to and fro. As these early pains progressed, the mother might he given a warm drink made.
Cold water was forbidden. The mother-to-be bathed herself. No enema hahano was given. From then on, she was given little food, lest she become aneane nauseated. Meanwhile, another family member may have gone into action. Pukui recalls that:. Then he picked the rest with the left hand, praying to Hina, the goddess of medicine. The leaves were never mixed up. Those picked with the right hand were given to the mother to eat. Family members kept the mother-to-be company. They were sensitive to more than her physical discomfort.
In an earlier era, relatives chanted encouragement. Pukui tells how, in her youth, seniors responded to a specific signal of emotional distress. If it was at all possible, this person was summoned immediately. But if this could not be done, then a family member went outside for a stone. Here is the person you wanted to see. I knew it would be safe as long as the tree grew. Pukui explains:. Sometimes she hung on to another helper. In some homes, she would hold on to a rope that hung from a roof beam. The mother squatted on layers of tapa or mats, so if the baby slipped out fast it would not hit the hard floor.
Both of us, the woman and me. Draw the breath. In between the pains, my aunt would talk softly to the woman. Be patient Even in this active labor, the mother-to-be was expected to endure her pain in silence. No Hawaiian mother dared to scream unless she wanted to make herself the talk of the whole neighborhood. Pukui states. However, there were ways to ease the pain. Herbal medicines were sometimes given. Pukui recalls accounts of her family seniors:. I was told they gave all the credit to certain gods.
These gods came to their assistance and gave the labor pain to anyone they [the pale keiki ] chose. In the next room was a lazy relative. A healthy, able-bodied man. Just lazy. While others helped with the birth, he just lay in bed. My uncle, the kahuna pale keiki, first prayed to Haumea, the goddess of birth. Then he directed the pain to that lazy brother-in-law of his.
The poor fellow began to moan and groan. He moaned until after my sister arrived. My mother felt no pain at all! Nalu can also mean nasal discharge. Push hard! The head emerges. The eyes are seen in the world! The child is born! Baby boy or girl? The sex is all-important, for this child is the hiapo, the first-born. A boy will belong to the paternal grandparents; a girl to the maternal ones.
Quickly, the pale keiki makes the announcement. A boy! The paternal grandparents rejoice. The branches of the tree are green again! Into this happy and well-staffed obstetric scene, there now enters the family member who functions as a kind of O. Pukui describes his post-natal duties:. He gagged him just enough to disgorge the birth fluid in the mouth. Hawaiians believed if this was not done at birth, the child would have severe headaches and sinus trouble later in life.
A sharp knife and thread were used after Western materials were introduced. In some areas, new borns were bathed. Almost from the moment of birth, the infant had been shielded from the cold with tapa. Practitioners dealt with a reluctant placenta in various ways: There was lomi massage. There was gentle working back and forth of a poi pounder on the abdomen. The woman herself might stand up to facilitate expulsion. Or, in excessive delay, the following procedure might be employed:. Pukui does not believe the lacerations were ever sutured.
Now let the mother rest. She has been bathed with warm water. And as long as blood appears, she will be isolated. Or, perhaps the long, attached cord bears tiny, dark dots on it. The placenta carelessly disposed of could bring harm to the child. So went the varying and regional beliefs. She has been safely delivered of a healthy child.
Her labor has been uncomplicated. Not all women were so fortunate. Emergencies and birth complications happened. They were dealt with by means spiritual, medicinal, manipulative, magical, and, in one case described later, surgical. How the footling presentation was handled, whether craniotomy was ever done 13 — on these we have no information.
We do have remembered accounts of other labor difficulties:. There were births too-long delayed. The remedy, delaying or not, was clearly outlined. Says Mrs. The belief was that if it were not, the child could not be born alive. For one member of Mrs. Many of our family traced their descent from one of the gourd daughters. When her labor proved difficult, a gourd was set near her head and prayers were said, asking the venerable ancestress to come to her assistance. Relatives rubbed her abdomen with the leaves and gave her limbs a brisk lomilomi [massage].
The baby soon came, alive and healthy. The awesome tragedy of still-birth, real or apparent, called for measures founded on supernatural beliefs, nurtured by myth and legend. Legend tells of a shark god, Kalani, who was born in miraculous fashion from the eye of his human mother. He was put in a wooden calabash bowl of water, and there he lived until he grew large enough to be put into the sea. Many years later, the legend formed a part of the following event, related by Mrs.
Grandfather put the dead child in a large calabash — a gourd, because the mother was a gourd descendant. A family member had been told in a dream that the child must be named Kalani after the shark god. He had disregarded the dream. He thought the name was strange and unsuitable. Later, if the child became ill, ashes were always mixed with any herbs used for treatment. Maternal deaths were sometimes expected well before actual labor. The prediction might come after the pale keiki had examined the pregnant one and found her pelvis too small or badly formed for child-bearing.
Or, a relative might learn in dream or mystic sign that the mother-to-be would die. But if the woman was physically ill-suited for labor, the coming death was accepted as inevitable. If, of course, the infant survived. Caesarian delivery of a living woman was apparently unknown. Pukui tells the story:. As soon as her husband realized she was dead, he cut her abdomen open and lifted out a living child. When the boy was about 17, he sailed to the U.
Of the ultimate childbirth complication, the emergence of an abnormal infant, we know little. If the child or aborted fetus resembled fish, or lizard, there was little emotional trauma. Thus, with prayers and ritual, the small form was given back to its spiritual forebears. We have little information on infants born with other congenital abnormalities. Of the club-footed child, Mrs. Pukui recalls only that he was accepted, and that lomilomi was used in an effort to correct the malformed foot.
Pukui remembers no accounts of grossly deformed new-borns. One of the feasts for the first-born was a genuine party. Only removal of the obstruction, with ritual and prayer, made the pathway safe and the trip or errand possible. No project should be started until preliminary rituals to the gods — and courteous overtures to the participating humans — had cleared the way. It cleared the way for him and for all future siblings. To the mother, in seclusion because of the blood-tinged walewale, were brought parts of the pig the father had begun to fatten soon after the child was conceived.
This was the one time the mother was allowed to eat pork, the food ordinarily forbidden to women. There is no certain explanation for the lifting of this important kapu. The symbolism. The mother offered the aka spiritual essence of the food to the deities, and then ate the ritual dishes. Physically, she purified herself with a bath.
Socially and religiously, purification might be absent; it might be the modest ritual of kapu kai the ocean bath accompanied by prayer , or it might be an elaborate ceremony. Rank ordinarily spelled out the differences. Intercourse had been strictly forbidden as long as the lochia showed blood.
With the lochia white or clear, intercourse was neither kapu nor an affront to the gods; it was socially discouraged and disapproved.
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She should rest. Awaiting her if, as Mrs. Directions for insertion mention dipping porous cloth or cotton in the liquid. Evidently, both remedies were still in use after introduction of manufactured fabrics. After the gourd remedy was used, the vagina was flushed out with milk of a young coconut, and intercourse was forbidden for three days. We have no information on post-partum depression.
Haertig began. For example, the vertical squatting position maintained the same body and muscular alignment we get today by having the woman lie on her back and put her feet in stirrups. With only one exception that I know of, 20 the pale keiki limited himself to external examination and manipulation.
Keeping the hands outside the birth canal and refraining from manual dilation of the cervix or other internal manipulation certainly minimized chances of infection. Joseph B. Telling her what to expect and how to cooperate with the pale keiki made good sense, obstetrically, and from a psychiatric standpoint. The unknown is feared; knowledge imparted calmly can head off fear. Little things, hardly noticed before, suddenly become big and upsetting. Back in the days when ether was used in delivery, these feelings used to come spilling out. In Western thought, we could say this allowed the woman to enter labor with peace of mind.
As the client had told it:. And I felt their hurt. There was a coldness between us. But just before I went to the hospital, my parents and my brother and sister all came to me. Then we forgave each other for all the hurts and unkindness. And then they took me to the hospital. All the burden was gone. The obstetrical patient is better able to bear pain. The patient headed for the operating room is a better surgical risk. The prayers are a case in point.
For a religious person — as Hawaiians were and are — prayer can ease and relax. More than that, it can provide a feeling that a higher power is standing beside one, imbuing one with strength. The prayers of the pale keiki and the family were a genuinely supporting force during labor and delivery. Loneliness can often be a part of labor. Frequently in the final stages of labor, women feel they are terribly alone; almost abandoned. In the modern hospital, nurses maybe in and out of the room, yet the woman feels deserted.
Without husband, sister, mother — somebody really close — the woman may, in fact, be emotionally deserted. If we use only 20th Century, Western reasoning we can speculate that the patient was already partially hypnotized by the kahuna pale keiki, or perhaps in an earlier era, by the chanting. At this point a committee member brought up the inevitable question about the transfer of pain. Certainly, the Hawaiian kahuna, in either the healing arts or sorcery, was an expert in suggestion and counter-suggestion.
Certainly, modern obstetrics has demonstrated that childbirth can be virtually painless under hypnosis. But, yes, it was done by hypnotism. Not every pale keiki knew how to place the pain onto another. Just the skilled kahuna. The Hawaiian culture was expressive, rather than repressive.
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Then, why interdict. The culture embodied no rites, such as puberty trials by torture, that glorified the ability to bear pain. Did the social prohibition against screaming in labor really express disapproval of showing weakness in a natural physical process? Because of good body conditioning or hypnotic techniques, was labor ordinarily not too painful, so that the scream became the noticed exception? And so make it bearable? As Dr. Haertig has observed, not so much as a psychiatrist but from previous obstetrical experience,.
I have seen women who gave no indication they wanted to scream. No indication they were fighting it. If you fight the pain, it becomes worse; therefore you fight it harder and it becomes more intense. Fear pain, and it is apt to increase; accept it, and you become more able to bear it. This is merely speculation. Haertig and Mrs. Pukui agreed. The consistent presence: the family members. Kin took care of kin. The consistent lack: any expression, incident, or practice that indicated the mother felt that childbirth was an overwhelming emotional experience. Rather, giving birth was a natural, expected physical process.
Pukui points out,. The feeling that childbirth is an important event, but not a profound and stirring personal experience, is much in evidence today. One woman, in early middle-age and close to her cultural origins, explained,. But my daughter thinks it was a dramatic, emotional, really stupendous experience.
The past, nearly total family involvement with pregnancy and birth seems to have undergone widespread change with the passing years. Her first four children were born in the old way Mrs. Pukui described. In the hospital I had just the doctor and nurse, and somebody putting something on my nose when I had a pain. The whole time I was in the delivery room, I just prayed to God and shut out what was happening there.
Among clients today, the Hawaiian father — especially the younger one — is usually uninvolved with pregnancy and birth arrangements. This, observes one social worker, apparently occurs with upward social mobility of the family. We have no statistics. Is there a way to involve the father? To instill greater responsibility in the unwed — or reluctantly married — young father-to-be? Most importantly, is there a way to build a foundation of solidarity through the sharing of the total pregnancy, labor, and delivery process?
Our psychiatrist consultant believed there may be:. Not primarily as a way to anesthetic-free birth; it allows great freedom of choice in this respect. But as a method which, from the seventh month on, makes the husband a needed, intimately concerned, helpful partner in the birth-preparation, labor, and delivery process. The husband is an active participant as his wife learns the breathing, muscle-relaxing techniques of the method. He becomes, in fact, her coach, and is committed to this responsibility.
This may be a maturing experience for a young or irresponsible man. For example, we can inform, but we should not urge, the uninterested, uninvolved husband or putative father to enroll in the preparatory course. There must be some interest, some willingness to become involved.
And I would guess that other family members also do some sharing when the breathing-preparing exercises are practiced at home. The safeguards and provisions for emergencies that modern. But the Lamaze method comes as close as possible to making childbirth a shared family matter. Legendary woman in labor who died just as the head of her baby emerged. Traditional method of family therapy in which wrongs and grudges were confessed, reparation arranged and forgiveness was mutual. See Vol.
The People of Old. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, Stones took an important role in Hawaiian cultural beliefs. They often went beyond symbolic representation and took on powerful qualities of their own. Stones could be imbued with mana or supernatural powers, could mate and breed smaller stones, be a form of the gods, or love and become attached to a human. Kaaiakamanu, D. Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value. Honolulu: Pacific Book House, Navel cord cut.
If he was a royal child, he was taken to the heiau [place of worship] to be consecrated, and there his navel cord was cut, and the drums sounded to announce his birth. Whether the placenta was carried to the temple or a longer navel cord was given a second ritual cutting is not clear.
For a description of a more elaborate ceremony, see Malo, D. Hawaiian Antiquities, Bishop Museum Press, pp —7. Handy, E. Craighill, with M. Pukui and Katherine Livermore. Bishop Museum Bulletin Black nightshade. When the placenta was buried under a tree, the tree became the property of the child. Prayers in the present day are sometimes addressed both to the Christian deity and the ancient Hawaiian ancestor-gods. Footling - presentation of the fetus with one or both feet prolapsed into the maternal vagina.
Craniotomy - cutting the fetal head in pieces to make delivery possible. All gods had many duties and took many guises. She kept herself separate from her husband There was bound about her abdomen While undergoing On the eighth day she returned to her husband, the discharge [ walewale ] having by that time ceased to flow Hawaiian Antiquities, pp Malo fails to differentiate between the initial blood-tinged walewale or lochia and the longer-occurring lochial discharge.
The Rev. Caplan, Gerald, M. Emotional Problems of Early Childhood. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Published as Psychological Aspects of Maternal Care. New York: Grune and Stratton, Inc. Guttmacher, Alan F. Pregnancy, Birth, and Family Planning. New York: Viking Press, Halford, Francis J. Honolulu: Univ. Jelliffe, Derrick B. Possession of Mrs. Rutland, Vt. Tuttle Co. Tabrah, F. Eveleth, M. W hen the baby was born, the pale keiki examined its body, hands, feet, and head to see if there were any things that needed correction, and to foretell what sort of a man or woman the child would grow up to be.
We quote our kumu and co-author. The month of birth carried its significance. Were there birthmarks on the tiny body? It signified only that mother or grandmother had been careless; she had not brushed flies quickly away. It was the dark but flat mole, the ila, that carried a message of prediction. Not so much by color or size; it was the placement that conveyed meaning. Indeed, the position of a mole might contradict the portent implied in the month of birth.
Kings would be his associates, and he would be a favorite of the chiefs. If, after delivery, the baby turned to face its mother, it would always love her. Perhaps sired by spirit rather than mortal. Perhaps the child had some part of the body kapu, sacred to a god.
This was a back so dear to the volcano goddess, that if she took possession noho , the back became hot. So hot, Mrs. Other versions tell that it is Haumea, ancestress of the Pele line, who takes possession. Another child might have a kapu mua, with the front of the body so sacred that others must stand only at a distance. Or, the entire child might be sacred to one or more gods. Such consecration led to a boyhood of restrictions:. When the youth had gone through the final ceremony of training This absence or thinning of the foreskin was a sign, Mrs.
His kino lau body form was that of lord of the sharks. But for every baby, the dropping of the umbilical cord stump piko meant an omen-in-the-making. If it dropped off within a few days, this meant the child would be prone to hunger pangs. Disposal of the cord provided a way to seek wish-fulfillment. Was long life and good health for the youngster the primary desire? Then drop the cord in the ocean. But never leave the piko where a rat might eat it; the child would then grow up with the thievish qualities of a rat. The pig was, after an, a symbolic form of the great god Lono.
And even then as it happens today! As soon as the umbilical cord stump dropped off, the baby was given complete baths. The little mouth and tongue were also cleaned with soft tapa later, with cloth. If splotches appeared, the liquid from a just-broken stem of a green kukui nut might be gently rubbed on tongue and mouth tissues. Perhaps, says Mrs. The unfortunate woman who broke the ruling was put to death. There was a way to keep the wet nurse under surveillance.
Wrote Kepelino:. When the child was satisfied and had been taken on the lap of a carrying nurse, then she might clothe herself. Nursing women ordinarily do not menstruate. Most women believed the infants should be the same sex. A certain bond, almost a sense of relationship, often existed as the babies grew up.
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They had shared the same life-giving source. Then the woman tied both vines together and wore them day and night until her milk flowed. Then, with her left hand, she took the other vine and hit her left breast as she prayed to Hina. Spring water was used, so the breasts would flow like springs. The sweet potato vines gave a sap that looked like milk. Sometimes the woman was also given the juice of raw, grated, sweet potatoes to drink. It looked milky, too. Haertig explained.
Whipping the breasts lightly with the vines provided this stimulation. Overcoming difficulties in milk flow is to a great degree a self-suggestive process. There must be the feeling that the milk will, indeed, flow. Moreover, the culture freely allowed women other than the mother to nurse a baby. When the baby was about four months old, breast feedings were supplemented — but not by mouth.
Mother or grandmother placed grated, raw, sweet. Had not the infant in the womb thus received nourishment from his mother? And in the very beginnings of gods and myths, did not the earth-mother goddess Haumea give birth through this spot? The old ones yet chanted the account:. Her children came out through the brain. Medicine for a fussy, a colicky, or a constipated baby might be given by way of the mother. Or, the baby could be treated directly. Pukui recalls:. Grew taproot in Kahiki,. Spread rootlets in Kahiki,. Not necessarily Tahiti. Less specifically, a time and place in the very distant past.
Grew stalk in Kahiki,. Bore leaf buds in Kahiki,. I have come to get your leafbuds for medicine for the child is named. After the teeth erupted, youngsters were given sugar cane to peel with their teeth and chew. A five-year-old was given chunks of dried squid to chew on. Go ahead. Bite, bite! Infancy was the time to mold the bodies of favorite children. Pukui describes it:. Ears that stuck out were pressed back against the head, and when the baby was laid down, care was taken that the ears did not fold forward.
Sometimes the outer corners of the eyes were pressed inward toward the nose to make the eyes grow larger. People thought a flat seat was ugly. This was the shaping of the head. The back of the head must be broad and rounded, rising to a rounded peak; the forehead should be low and sloping. Such was the ideal. The infant chiefess escaped this beauty treatment. This was left on to dry and stiffen. Special care was given the genitalia of both boys and girls so they would grow up sexually attractive and capable.
In her own case, lomi was combined with an Hawaiian method of traction. My grandmother treated me. She buried me in sand up to my waist. Then she slipped her arms under my armpits, as she stood behind me, and firmly, but slowly, pulled me up. Every night, before I was put to bed, she rubbed my back with warm kukui nut oil. She kept up the treatment until I was five. It means changing the way a thing grows to make it grow as you want it. The Hawaiian child, however, did not lack warm body contact. Indulgent adults carried youngsters around by the hour, Mrs.
Pukui recalls. From this came the many Hawaiian phrases that affectionately call a child a lei. Grandmother or mother would often croon to the baby while she massaged him. Really, it was something that looked like hair. The disease was very rare. Only a few babies had it. The kahuna had to detect it within a couple of days after birth.
After that, the little veins disappeared. A boy who had it would grow up to be sterile, or else sire babies that would die in infancy. Treatment concentrated on prevention. The kahuna prescribed the proper herbs. The mother began eating them immediately so the baby would get them in her milk. Later, the child would drink herb teas. Pukui concludes. Preceded and followed, in ideal therapy, by pule prayer. Pukui relates. Medicinal herbs. All these were important to the welfare of a beloved child. But no aspect of baby care was more vital than protection from psychic harm. An offended spirit or a baleful sorcerer could call down upon the little ones illness, crippling, or death itself.
Both preventive and corrective measures must be employed. So, too, must hair and nail cuttings be hidden. If a child became sick, perhaps his name was unsuitable. Perhaps a vengeful spirit was bothering the child, or had even taken possession noho of him. Then rituals must be done to exorcise the spirit. Or, why not make the child seem so unappealing that the spirit, disgusted, would depart? But perhaps an even better route to protection was to prevent wicked spirits from ever becoming interested in the baby. Thus, the gentle voice of the most doting family senior never voiced admiration of the baby.
As she molded the little body to even greater perfection, Grandmother answered foolish and dangerous compliments with, "Pupuka! Granting that neither natural ills nor supernatural harm cut short the young life, certain milestones of development awaited the child. One of these was ukuhi, weaning. Pukui was herself weaned in the old ritual. Later, she heard and watched the procedures:. A family senior or a kahuna sat facing the mother and the baby.
If the child grasped the stones and threw them away, the ritual was successful and the baby was ready for weaning. There were variations in the ritual. Some families placed a pet cock, white — the color of milk — near the child.
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Other families used two lele bananas because lele means "fly away". In yet another variation, flowers were put in a calabash bowl of water. If the child grasped the flowers, he was ready for weaning. Now and then, a mother took a baby puppy and nursed it. The practice was not common. There was, somehow, a magical link thus forged between infant human and infant dog.
Pukui tells. The spirit of the dog would guard the child and bite any evil spirit sent to harm him. Babies who were not the first born hiapo were also sometimes given to a relative who asked for them. The giving of the child was a solemn contract made binding in the era before writing by a formal, spoken promise. I give you this child, intestines and all.
As our kumu explains:. In my case, I was given to my grandmother, but my mother also continued to take care of me. She and grandmother and other family seniors would all talk things over and decide what was best for me. The hiapo did not really leave his parents unless the grandparents had moved to another island. From babyhood, the Hawaiian keiki was part of a close-knit social structure of many persons. On the baby rested many maka kilo watchful eyes. Especially if the baby was the hiapo, observation would be close, and family discussion heavy with thought. Quick-witted and alert?
Amiable and happy? Or bad-tempered and fussy? The gravest of all questions was: Would this baby remain healthy, and safe from natural and preternatural harm? Would he live through this crucial first year? The Feast of the Fullness of the Year was a merry first birthday party with feasting and fun that might go on for an entire week! True, material gifts were brought, but they were not presented to the child.
For among the relatives gathered were poets, chanters, and dancers. It was to these composers and performers the material offerings of food, mats, and tapa went. The mele s would be forever the gift-given property of the birthday child. The child would someday be taught his birthday mele s. He would later be given little tasks. He would learn, through lessons taught and attitudes perceived, of responsibility. Long before he could understand speech, he would sense that his family members might be at one time at ease; at another time distraught; happy or sad; amiable or irate.
He would feel no pressures of toilet training. And when he could toddle after the older children, then he would learn that they went away from the house to take care of nature. Little boys and girls both went happily without clothing until they were somewhere around five. Again, we must remember that "age" was approximated by physical size and task-performing ability. The little boy ceased to be considered a lewalewa or "dangler" his penis "dangled" and began to wear the malo loin cloth.
For the baby, there was the touching and laughter of pahipahi or "hand-slapping. He could gather stones, sift sand through small fingers, rattle shells and, a little later, explore quiet sea pools for darting fish and scuttling crabs. By four or five months, he knew the feel of cool ocean water on warm baby skin. Often he could swim, dog-paddle fashion, before he could walk. As he grew and became an expert swimmer, he could join in kaupua, diving for half-ripe gourds.
Indulgent elders made balls of hala fibre, or shaped a piece of wood into a make-believe poi pounder. There were no dolls, perhaps because images were akua or gods. Or, as Mrs. Pukui explains,. The babies were dollies. Stones had all sorts of possibilities. With enough small, round pebbles or seeds, a child could pana kini kini shoot marbles. Or, add a larger "king" stone to the little ones, and play a Polynesian version of "jacks. A child could run and lele leap in endless games. Run fast enough and you leap right off the ground! Or, with less daring, use the koali morning glory vine or kaula, and swing or jump rope.
Tired of leaping and running? Or get some small gourds and spin tops. Or, just kuwala, turn somersaults. Other games had the fun of hiding. This suggested death. Literally, "straddle stone. Literally, "hiding ghost. Hide a shudder-inducing, rotten object and the child who was "it" could chant, "Kahi, kahi kupa, no wai, no wai ka lima, hawahawa? Gather, gather, dig; whose hands, whose hands are dirtied? Like hiding games, this must be done only in daylight and away from the house. For a kite was also associated with death.
Some games had the wonderful silliness of making funny noises. Moa was one. Get some green, spiky twigs from the moa chicken plant and twine them all together. Now each child pulls a twig. Your twig broke? Then crow like a rooster! In years to follow, the Hawaiian child would play games of strength and aggression, games that tested skills, games with the added thrill of a wager, word games, and riddles. In all these amusements, the feeling he sensed as a child would continue on in adult life. It was good and necessary to play. Get the work done. Then play. This, almost literally, was done. With dedicatory rituals to Lono, the boy joined the family men to eat, ritually feed the family gods, and listen to the talk of men in the hale mua.
Never again until ancient food kapu were ended would he eat in the company of women.