> I am not the descendant,
> I beg your pardon please,
This clue is a wordplay with the with an antonym for scion — descendant. Descendant is also used to hide this literal clue by association with the Ascendant!
> And I refuse to be grafted
> on any old degree.
For each degree there is only one antiscion.
> If you can count backward,
> that’s the way you find me best.
An antiscion can be easily found by subtracting the position of the planet from 29 deg 60 and then looking for the mirror position in the Cancer/Capricorn axis (for example all antiscia of Cancer are found in Gemini). This is what is meant by “counting backwards”.
> And while you’re at it,
> you’ll know what I’m against.
If you have found the antiscion you also have the contra-antiscion which is opposite it.
Next riddle in a day or two!
Here is the “official” answer.
“The Timekeeper” answered it correctly. 🙂
> Nomads name us
> as we circle
> through the day.
The nomads are the planets.
We are the planetary hours and
we circle through the day.
> Sometimes we fast
> sometimes we feast.
The planetary hours are based
on the time between sunrise and sunset
and sunset to sunrise.
In winter the days are shorter and so the daytime hours “fast”
In the summer the days are long and so the daytime hours “feast”
> and it always is another
> that rises in the east.
The planetary hour that rises
is always the planet of the day.
For example on Monday the first
planetary hour is ruled by the Moon.
> We have our own measure
> to the mechanics dismay.
> Tell us who we are
> we will not go astray.
As each day has its own length
It would be a mechanics nightmare
to try to build a mechanical clock
based on the planetary hours! 🙂
Even so they are regular
and predictable but in their own way!
They don’t go astray.
>We are like fruit
Take the flesh away from fruit, a pit is left.
>Hollow-cheeked we stand,
Hollow is also a reference to “pit”
> as an archaic
> bounding of a spring.
“puteal degrees” is an archaic expression for the same idea.
Puteal is a boundary to a well to prevent people from falling in.
> Those who meet us
> find themselves on a stair
> that cannot carry weight.
A pit is the opposite of a stair. The one helps one in ascending.
The other brings a quick descent. Another word for “degree” is “step”. A step is also part of a stair and so only a step that doesn’t carry weight can have the effect of a pit!
> Who are we?
Pitted or puteal degrees
Here is the “official” answer:
As Marybeth and Herman so nicely describe, it is fall
>It’s not who I am
>but my condition
>that is here the theme.
A planet in fall is in the sign opposed to where it is exalted.
Exaltation and fall are conditions. Either of strength, or as here, weakness.
>Those that I welcome
>are not in my esteem.
The sign where a planet is in fall does not esteem it,
nor do any other planets that receive it in the sign of its fall.
>It is their weakness
The planet is weak.
>With me they meet no favour,
>for they have lost their Eden
>and cannot climb away.
Just as exaltation is a condition of enthuastic love,
fall is a condition of being loathed.
>What am I? Tell me. Say.
Lea gave a rhymed answer to this riddle
which is quite good. Here is the answer in prose.
>The heavens lie before me,
>but usually not as a sphere.
Usually an astrologer will look at a chart of the heavens.
This is two dimensional and not a sphere.
> I’m constantly moving,
> roving here and there.
Not only does the astrologer move around
his or her eyes also rove around the chart.
>I always need a day,
>can always use an hour.
To be able to do any accurate astrology
a date is necessary and usually available.
The exact time is also very helpful but not always given.
>By now you should know me.
>You’ve seen my starry eyes.
I am a stargazer. Or should be.
>Can you tell me who I am?