Ye Ninthe Daye of Christmas: Ye Quizze

Ye ninthe Daye of Christmas:

What is retrograde?

  1. Nothing at the moment. But if you are patient, ten days from now, Mercury will be most obliging.
  2. Retrograd is a city high in the Carpathians, apply to Yercurem Tours for a detailed brochure.
  3. The word is derived from the Latin, back (retro) stepping or walking (gradus). It describes what a planet does when it is not stepping forward from degree to degree
  4. Rubbish! Retrograde™ is a softdrink very popular with traditional astrologers. It contains all sorts of good things like cholernuts, szsygy for that extra prickle and loads of scions, both the left- and right- turning kinds.

22 thoughts on “Ye Ninthe Daye of Christmas: Ye Quizze

  1. My dear Thomas!

    Number 3 is half right!

    The word retrograde is indeed derived from the Latin, back (retro) stepping or walking (gradus) as you say, but in fact the retrograde is the name of a particular dance step that a planet performs whilst executing the hora or roundel (circular dance similar to the conga) during the course of its measured tread along the Ecliptic.

    Depending upon the planet’s individual style and weight, the retrograde can either be preceded by the short shuffle, shimmy shake, or jitterbug when in inferior conjunction, or the stationary stomp of a superior planet in opposition which can last for several days. (When in detriment Venus has been known to perform the cancan, but this is generally frowned upon.)

    After the shimmy shake or the stomp are completed, the retrograde is then executed with the sudden pauses and reverses of the Bolero for planets in northern declination, or the hiatus, suspension and refranations of the Tango for those in southern declination. All of which of course cause the planet to move against its regular direct motion.

    The above dance style has currently become very popular on T.V. programs around the world, and puts a whole new meaning to the title of “Dancing With The Stars”. 😉

    With partile paso dobles,
    Detrimentia (Dame. C.E.)

  2. Happy to see that the dear Madame Detrimentia is better. A Dame CE can be named “dear” ? Or maybe I should use another word, as we have in Italian for some office, hardly to say.

    Mercury will be in his station on the 12th January. The epycycle of inferior planets make me crazy. There is always something I miss, anyway retrograde phase is hard for Mercury.

    The sky will turn awful, did you notice? I tried
    an election for a friend and no way to find a proper date in spring ….


  3. I mean the right answer is No.2. “Grad” in in most Slavonic languages means “City or Town”. Belgrade is originally Beograd = White City.
    When town`s administration is very conservative and leads to past the town is called “Retrograd” or “Retrograde”.
    I hope this information will be well accepted in astrological community.


  4. Revered Dame Detrimentia,

    Of course you are right, but I didn’t want to make the answer too difficult. 😉

    yours ever,

    PS Venus doing the can-can is not to be missed. And Saturn doing a shimmy shake is a scream.

  5. Hello Margherita,

    How one addresses Dame Detrimentia depends on your gender.

    for males, ‘revered’ is a good start, but any imaginative and polite appellation will also do.

    for females, ‘gloriously excellent’ will do nicely. Although Dame Detrimentia may have further required appellations. I suppose the best is to apply to her directly. Begin your letter with the ‘gloriously excellent’ and she will understand.

    Perhaps you should book a tour to Retrograd at this time. I am told that that is the season there. Most beautiful and astonishing.

    best wishes,

  6. Hello Trojan,

    Ever visited Retrograd? Dr. Nostuabuk rhapsodizes every time he hears the name!

    And yes it is very helpful to know the meaning of the word in its original language. 🙂

    best wishes,

  7. @Thomas
    Many thanks for the help with a proper appellation. “Glorious excellent” is just the miminum for a Dame like Madame Detrimentia, I agree.
    Will you f on with riddles? In Italy Christmas end with the Epiphany, so to be perfect you should arrive to this date.

    @ Trojan
    About “grad”in our school they teach that after the Soviet Revolution Russian leaders changed all the “burg” – I think it is a German word, isn’it? in the names of cities like St. Peterburg with “grad”; so the city built by the Emperor Peter became Pietrograd and then Leningrad.

    This should be because the magic of words. Every sound can evoke many things and a different sound means a different power. Ancients knew this very well- for example in Medieval litanies. Gregorian chant was codified in MiddleAges but it comes directly from Ancient Greek chants.


  8. My Dear Margherita

    My full title is of course ‘Most Learned, Most Wise, Most Wondrous, Illustrious and Glorious Dame Detrimentia, Counsellor Egregious of the British Empire’, but as dear Thomas has pointed out, the salutation can vary depending upon the sex or rank of the supplicant.

    I find any complimentary form of address such as ‘Revered Detrimentia’, ‘Illustrious Detrimentia’, ‘Peerless’ or ‘Most Learned, Most Wise and Glorious Detrimentia’ as per my correct title most acceptable.

    I also take kindly to being addressed as ‘Most Beauteous’ or ‘Most Exquisite Detrimentia’ but being of a naturally shy, retiring and modest disposition, this only by a select few.

    With benefic condescension,
    Detrimentia (Dame. C.E.)

  9. >Supplicant

    My dear Margherita,

    An illustrious and superior personage such as myself naturally outranks the lesser orders (you lot) and so anyone approaching me would be in the inferior position of supplicant, or petitioner.

    A supplicant is someone who ‘requests’, or begs favour. Nobody tells Dame D what to do. They request!

    Imperiously yours,
    Dame Detrimentia 😉

  10. Dear Altair,
    as a repressentative of Yercurem tours, Retrograd, I have to thank You for advertising our lovely country.

    Retrograd is visited frequently by famous Personalities of fame.

    We not only have Winged Messenger person come again and again, we also have frequent visit of lovely Woman, winning award of beauty.

    As well sometimes great war heroes and people of holy place pay visit to see our tourist attraction.

    I only can recommend you seeing for yourself.

    Edgar O. Retr
    Yercurem Tours ltd.

  11. @Caroline:
    Well, I don’t know a lot about this 😦
    I just did some researches for my “medieval music page”, I was especially interested in Litaniae Sanctorum so I asked a little more about Gregorian chants to an Italian Professor in a Conservatoire.

    The legend says that Pope Gregorius wrote his books of chants covered with a veil; under this veil a Dove was whispering to the Pope’s ear what he should write.
    Others say that Gregorian Chant comes from Byzantine Church, which took it from the old Greek Tradition. In fact Greek chant was a monody too.

    Anyway if you need I will ask more information.

  12. Dear Margherita,

    The 12the and laste Questionne will be on the 5th of January. On the 6th the first serious article of the year, “Algol and Pluto, two Astrological Hobgoblins” is scheduled.

    It is a pleasure having you looking in and participating in ye Quizze! 🙂

    best regards,

  13. Dear Edgar,

    I was wondering when you would contact us. 🙂

    Would it be possible to add a welcome bottle of Retrograde® for all Altair Astrology readers who book a tour with your company? That would be most satisfactory.

    yours sincerely,

    PS Dr. Nostuabuk would be very happy to accept the all expenses paid luxury tour. Most generous of you. 🙂

  14. Dear Thomas Altair

    Yercurem tours ltd. would be proud to give invite to good Dr. Nostuabuk.
    We think he will bring famous Dame Detrimentia C. E. which is world famous here.

    Bottle of Red O Grade is included in luxury tour package, of course. (White not recommended here, no Grade, sorry)

    For timing we suggest January 13th 2239, is good for meeting two outermost influential personalities, world famous, meeting here again at that time.

    One being a bit leaden, but otherone very friendly personality. Will be event to be remembered for hundreds of years.

    Edgar O. Retr
    Tour Manager

  15. Dear Edgar,

    Dr. Nostuabuk accepts your invitation, although he had hoped for an earlier date. The Most Learned, Most Wise and Glorious Detrimentia, Pearl of Generosity deigns to accept your invitation. She should be able to fit you in, as her appointment book is quite full. Should she not manage I am sure that sometime in the year 2378 might also be possible. There is also a small opening on the 11th-15th of January this year. You might want to consider it. Why postpone the pleasure of such a memorable event? As a personal favour to you I will of course immediately confer with her Illustriousness to see if this is at all possible.

    yours sincerely,

  16. Mr. Thomas,

    Our next slot open for Dame would be 2279, 7th of May I am so afraid.

    If she wants to make a holiday and meet these two Gentlemen in 2378, 18th of February, we will have to refer her to colleague Mr. D. Recit elswhere.


  17. The Most Learned, Most Wise and Wondrous Dame Detrimentia thanks Mr. Retr of Yerucrem Tours for his kind invitation to take tea on The Great Conjunction of 7th May 2279 and graciously deigns to attend with her companion Dr Nostuabuk.

    As the two bodies concerned will not perfect paralytic of declination on the day, it is unlikely that Dr Nostuabuk will occult Her Illustriousness, and so kindly check nearer the time to see if they can rise together in right ascension or not. Otherwise both elderly bodies concerned may have to use the elevator.

    R. Cratchit
    (Social Secretary to Dame Detrimentia C.E.)

    P.S Dr Nostuabuk takes two lumps please.

  18. Dear Margherita,

    Many thanks for the elaboration and if you do come across anything further I would be very pleased to hear it (probably offlist is best as Dr. Nostuabuk is not too keen on chanting in the ranks) 😉


  19. Dear Caroline,
    surely we could do.

    In the meantime I opened a new section in my blog at the address

    (I hope Thomas forgives me for the link but this page needs readers, it seems that astrologers don’t love medieval and Renaissance music ).

    Still it’s a pity because musical instruments are depicted in the images of constellations, like the Lyre or Gemini. And between my files I have a PhD. dissertation about music in Liber Astronomiae, i.e. the picture version of Albumasar’ s Great Introduction.

    And now I will check Thomas new riddle…


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