Is this proposed technique an invention of the author? Exactly what older material did the author use to propose this method (and what translation was used and where can I get the entire piece)? Why on earth is this author telling me that this is the "only" way to do something?
I didn't use to be this picky. When I first begin learning astrology in the 1970's, I accepted just about anything anyone said. I read whatever came my way, attended lectures, read articles and lumped every new technique right next to the last one. I mixed and matched and experimented with intepretation. Whatever felt most comfortable to me and seemed to work stayed in my toolkit. Anything I personally didn't relate to fell by the wayside.
Jump forward 15 years. I was just finishing my MA when I got involved in a new endeavor called Kepler College. Helping with the effort to figure out how astrology could be presented in an academic environment, begin to change how I looked at my own astrological knowledge and practice. After Kepler was open and classes began, this change accelerated to warp speed. I wanted more. Where did this method came from? who practices it? were there any controversies around it? And I wasn't alone in this craving for knowledge. It didn't take long before Kepler faculty members and I codified our curiosity by proposing 8 questions to consider when presented with any technique:
1. Historical context - what are the origins of the method
2. Known major variations
3. Connects to what other methods
4. Who uses the method; resides in which schools or lineages
5. Tweaks done by speaker/author
6. Strengths and weaknesses of method
7. Does not work with....
8. Controversies surrounding the method
I could never give up the richness this approach have given to my astrological practice. And so I ask that anyone giving a lecture, or writing an article or book, let me see the path you took in choosing one method or approach over another. I promise to do the same.