Question to Traditionalists: The Sect.

May 25, 2023 at 06:16 (UT/GMT)
Question to Traditionalists: The Sect.
This is a question for people dealing with the traditional/Hellenistic astrology specifically: Do you think the light sect is quite crucial in interpreting the chart? What I´m asking actually is: Is it tangible for you, after dealing with many charts, that the sect has a serious impact on the interpretation?

I´m asking this because, as I´m looking on both sides, Hellenistic and Vedic, I´ve realized that some Lots on the Hellenistic side are used indeed in Vedic, but of course Vedic does not have the concept of sect, and thus the formulae for such Lots are not changed. For example, from a video that I´ve watched for an Indian astrologer, he explained the concept of LoF, but nothing was mentioned about changing the formula for night births. Thus, the formula for LoF is always the day formula.
Recently also, I´ve been watching a video for some Arab astrologer who uses Vedic for his work (and with tropical, not sidereal calculations) and the video was about timing marriage time, and makes a mention about the Lot of Marriage (which is listed here on Astro-Seek as Marriage of Men I: ASC+Venus-Saturn); Interestingly, not only he didn´t say anything about changing the formula for night charts, but also he didn´t specifically say it is for men or women but he was giving a general guide about the Lot and specifically just one formula to work with.

I´ve mentioned in some other threads that some traditional astrologers also make use of the sect in interpreting the mother and father houses (4th and 9th, or 10th) in which the role is reversed for night charts. Personally, I´ve always used the Vedic approach of fixing the 4th to the mother and it seems to work just fine whatever the sect of the chart is (except, I remember, for one case where my interpretation about the mother was befitting the father of the individual but I don´t recall if her chart was day or night chart).

This concept as implications as well in astrocartography, where Hellenistic or Western astrologers in general seem to put emphasis on the sect of the chart to designate the benefics and malefics and arrive at the decision of the most proper destination. Yet, when I checked this topic from the Vedic perspective, actually the whole discussions revolves around the shift of the houses and how the role of the planets in the natal chart would transform, with no mention about the sect of the chart.

Thus, I want to ask people who dealt with this concept and interpreted charts already: Do you think the sect of the chart has a tangible effect in interpreting the chart in general? I know some techniques (e.g. finding the Hyleg) do make use of this concept in its core and it is essential (and honestly, not sure how useful this technique is), but is it so for other interpretations (e.g. transits, ZR, firdaria)? How much different the interpretation would differ, you think, if things were done without considering the sect?

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May 25, 2023 at 06:36
(Libra) Mike Seis
I am far from being a traditionalist, but I know the concept of cults, I studied them, and honestly it did not seem to me that it worked in a conclusive way in practice.

In my system there is a concept similar to sects, but it is only the theoretical basis that serves to determine the regencies. In practice, no formula or house is changed because of the time of birth. It works well for me that way, but perhaps there are those who find fundamental subtleties in it.
May 25, 2023 at 10:38
(Leo) TJTJTJ » Mike Seis
what is your system?
May 25, 2023 at 12:46
(Taurus) hyepark3
Hello, TJ!! :1:

I wanted to share something with you regarding the significations of the ´mother´ in astrology. I came across this information in a lesson from someone I consider my teacher. (Even though I haven´t taken formal courses nor certified by him, I still think of him as my teacher. He has been incredibly generous to give his lessons to me, and I´ve learned a lot from him. I don´t think anyone else really cares, but I felt the need to mention it because I ´m not sure if I can call myself one of his In this part of his lesson, he discusses the historical references behind assigning different meanings to each house, including the association of the ´4th house with mother.´ What makes his lessons particularly fascinating is that he includes direct excerpts from important texts by many authors, such as al-Andarzaghar, Umar, and Sahl.I don´t intend to persuade anyone to adopt this perspective, but I believe it can help some of you see or understand the historical account of how such association was established.

I hope some of you find this hlepful. :1:

From Essentials of Astrology by Steven Birchfield A.M.A.

The Fourth House

In Hellenistic astrology the 4th house was the house of foundations, and the place of home and the parents who bear the burden of the beginning of the native’s existence. The 4th also signifies what he himself can support through the land such as his own children and wife. This place also signified the finality of death and the cessation of existence, when the native is no longer supported by his foundations and falls to the grave as his final resting place.

So in the medieval period it became known as the place of the parents and grandparents, and all ancient people of the direct line of ancestors; it was the native’s city and home, and all immovable things which are in the ground or above ground: like buildings, roofed dwellings, cities, houses, and the like; as well as hidden treasures, and whatever is buried or underground. In addition it signified secret things or things hidden, and prisons, and the incarcerated, and the end of all matters.

At the outset of the medieval period the 4th signified both parents as it did in Hellenistic astrology. We first read that it was the house of the father in Umar’ (Omar Tiberiades) and he places the significations of the mother in the 10th house. At first glance this may sound rational since the 10th is the 7th from the fourth and is easily understood as the spouse of the father. However in other sources such as al-Andarzaghar & Sahl, they and their sources do not give the 10th as the place of the mother.

In the 4th chapter from Sahl’s Book of Nativities he is teaching about the matters of the 4th house and he calls this chapter, “Chapter 4: On the matter of fathers & mothers”. So right off both parents are attached to this house. It isn’t until “Chapter [4.5]: On examining the matter of the mother & her condition”, that he discusses the mother. But significations of the father and mother were not taken from the ruler of the 4th! Significations of the father were taken from the Sun (by day) or Saturn (by night); and the mother’s significations were taken from the Moon (by night) and Venus (by day). In chapter 4.11 Sahl finally gives delineations of the fourth house starting with what Māshā´allāh taught. For example he writes,

“…then look at the lord of the fourth. For if it was in the Ascendant, the native will be the master of his family, and their livelihood will be from him, and he will be charitable to his parents, and an authority to them. 3 Now if an infortune looked at it, hardship will afflict the parents in relation to authority.”

Sahl’s “On Nativities”, The Astrology of Sahl B. Bishr Volume I Translated and published by Benjamin Dykes PhD.

In all of these delineations it only specifies “parents” rather than them individually as mother and father. And in al-Andarzaghar we read similar statements like the following,

“…the Moon or Venus regarding the pivot of the parents claims the nobility of the mother.”

Book of Aristotle in Persian Nativities Vol I and translated & published by Ben Dykes. It needs to be pointed out that when Ben first translated the Book of Aristotle, David Pingree had attributed this manuscript to Māshā´allāh. However Ben is now convinced that this book is in fact the long lost book of nativities by al-Andarzaghar.

Regarding the pivot of the parents, it is referring to the Moon or Venus aspecting the 4th house. And al-Andarzaghar uses the Hellenistic traditional Sun and Moon for the father and mother as well as the Part of the Father and the Part of the Mother for indications.

‘Umar was part of the team to translate Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos into Arabic. The attribution of the 10th to the mother could very well come from a misunderstanding in Ptolemy’s text. In Book III of the Tetrabiblos in the section on siblings it is translated,

In the Ashmand paraphrase:

"The place, whence inferences are drawn respecting brothers and sisters, is to be considered as being applicable only to children of the same mother, and it is consequently, agreeably to nature, presumed to be the same as the maternal place; viz. the sign occupying the mid-heaven; or, by day, that which contains Venus, and, by night, the Moon."

In the Robbins translation it is somewhat different:

“…when it is a question of blood-brethren alone, from the culminating sign, the place of the mother, that is, that which contains by day Venus and by night the moon; for in this sign and that which succeeds it is the place of the children of the mother, which should be the same as the place of the brethren of the offspring.”

And in Schmidt’s translation we read the following:
“As for the topic of siblings ... that which concerns only children of the same mother would more naturally be taken from the culminating twelfth-part (sign) of the maternal place, that is, from the place containing Aphrodite (Venus) by day and the Moon by night.”

I am going to include Robert Schmidt’s footnote to this chapter from his translation of Ptolemy,

“I have translated this phrase(1) quite literally, and it is a clear reference to the 10th place relative to the place of the mother (that is, the place of Aphrodite and the Moon). We have frequently found that Valens uses similar language when referring to derivative house systems relative to the lots. However, much of the later tradition has thought to insert an ´and´, making it read ‘…the culminating place and the place of the mother’, which would not make much sense. Furthermore, there is no evidence of [the word] ‘and’ in the manuscript tradition. Robbins properly omits the ‘and’ but takes the words ‘the place of the mother’ to be an apposition for the culminating place, although he confesses that this does not make much sense either. But the text is quite clear as I have translated it. Children are associated with the 10th place(2), and it is very consistent to look to the 10th place relative to the mother for the children of the mother.

It seems likely that the later practice of associating the mother with the 10th place is entirely derived from a misreading of this passage. In our translation to date, none of the early house tabulations independent of Ptolemy contains any mention of the mother in connection with this place. Furthermore, the Hindu tradition does not make that connection either. Therefore, the later identification of the mother with the 10th house should be viewed with considerable suspicion.”(3)

(1)That is the sentences concerning the place of the mother specifically.
(2)As they are in all of the early medieval texts as well! To summarise what Robert Schmidt said here, his understanding of the Greek leads him to understand that Ptolemy was never talking about the 10th house as being the mother. So children of the mother are not the 10th from the 10th, but rather the 10th place from either Venus (by day) or the Moon (by night) because in Hellenistic astrology the place of the mother was not a particular house but the place (or sign) where either the Moon or Venus were located.
(3)Tetrabiblos, Book III translated by Robert Schmidt pg.19

In translating ´Umar’s Three Books on Nativities, Ben Dykes has also brought this same fact to the readers’ attention that most likely the attribution of the 10th to the mother comes from a misunderstanding of this particular chapter in Ptolemy by the Arabic translators.
(Footnote 270 (p. 56) Three Books on Nativities by ´Umar al-Tabarī, Persian Nativities Volume II, translated and edited by Benjamin Dykes PhD)

I have always had a problem with the 10th being the place of the mother since conceptually the 10th is our actions (praxis) and the 4th the culmination or final result of our actions in the world. In my teaching I have decided to drop the signification of the mother from the 10th and use instead the methods in Sahl. This will be a book I highly recommend to my students as it is one of the best medieval compilations of techniques to date.

The first Lord of the triplicity of the fourth house signifies fathers; the second one, cities and lands; the third, the end of matters and prisons.
May 25, 2023 at 19:10
(Leo) TJTJTJ » hyepark3
Thanks for the elaboration - this explains a lot. One thing though I find weird here is the association of prison to the 4th (while typically it is given to the 12th, not sure if this is only in Vedic but my impression is for both, Vedic and Hellenistic).
Anyway, this eliminates the issue of the house of the mother for day and night charts and it seems no change should be taken (which I find correct). However, what about the lots, specially non-Hermetic ones? Or, what about other techniques, like astrocartography? Does the sect really play an important role? As I´ve stated, Fortuna (i.e. lot of Fortune) which typically has 2 versions, one for day and one night, in Vedic is used BUT with only one version regardless of the sect.
I think I will run a test on night charts of people I know and consider this concept of LoF and see if it fits their story. I just need time…
May 26, 2023 at 17:54
(Taurus) hyepark3 » TJTJTJ
Hi, TJ! :1:

At last, it´s Friday night here!!! :75:

The concept of ´sect´ is relevant in various aspects/dimensions.
But, first, on the use of ´lots´, in Reversing the Calculations for Nocturnal Nativities, I´m still a student, so I´m not qualified to give my opinion. However, ´delineating charts with lots positioned differently-incorrectly(?)´ is very confusing and leads to incorrect results in the practice of classical astrology, especially the lot of fortune and the lot of spirit. :63:

My teacher, in his lesson on ´The Lots´, writes in his conclusion on this topic,

"My recommendation to the astrology student is that you should test both and I think if you apply the correct signification of the lot itself you will quickly see that the original calculations, i.e. to reverse the diurnal formula in a nocturnal nativity, give consistent and accurate results."

He gave a very detailed explanation of this, in his lesson on ´The Lots´, including excerpts from previous historical accounts and various authors. But for now, I´ll just post the excerpts of the conclusion and only some portion of his lesson. :1:

I hope it helps. :1:

From Essentials of Astrology by Steven Birchfield A.M.A.
Lesson I.7 – The Lots

The Conclusion of the Matter (pg.33~34)

The question of which is right and which is wrong? Do we switch the diurnal formula for a nocturnal chart or not? Do we calculate the lot using degrees of ascension instead of degrees of longitude? My own experience with the lot of Fortune and using it in practice convinced me that the correct formula is to reverse it for nocturnal nativities and the correct method of calculation is to use the degrees of the ecliptic (degrees of longitude).

Again, as Robert Hand clearly points out in his footnotes to Valens’ Anthology, the historical record confirms that such writers as Vettius Valens and Ptolemy had to interpret a written text that was often enigmatic at best. In the case of the lot of Fortune, while the original writers do give instructions, the ambiguity in the root texts gave rise to completely different reinterpretations for the calculations.

In his translation of Abu ‘Ali al-Khayyat’s “The Judgement of the Nativities” James Holden takes a rather critical look at Ptolemy. In my examination of the historical record, I think this “critical” look may have been also true of the professional astrologers that followed Ptolemy through the Persian Era and into Medieval Europe. While all had a deep respect for Ptolemy (particularly for his astronomical tables), it is really a limited realm that one finds that later astrologers emulate Ptolemy in all things. They do not emulate his doctrine concerning the triplicities. They do not use the table of terms he says that he found which in his opinion was more rational. They advocated the lots and the 12th parts, something Ptolemy refused. They also do not follow his advice to keep the diurnal formula in a nocturnal chart! I do not think Ptolemy was a “fraud” but I do see him as a compiler and scientist. In recent translations of ancient manuscripts by modern contemporary University scholars, I have found some times while historically and factually correct, some of their astrological comments lack an understanding that is only found in the practice of the art and therefore there are some misunderstandings easily to be recognised by the student familiar with the classical art.
Likewise, I think Ptolemy was a scholar and sometimes his judgement lacked a complete understanding of astrology and his judgement reflected his own understanding based on his purely rationalistic & materialistic perspective.

Contrary to the understanding of Placidus and Negusanzio the lots were calculated in degrees of longitude because the calculation is a mathematical proportion of the operations of the two significators they are derived from. In the case of the lot of Fortune, it is from the Sun and the Moon, whose operations are in the ecliptic not the equator! That is the nature and conception of the lots!

The need for my research into the lots was born of comments I received in discussions
concerning, especially, the lot of Fortune. In general, most comments were of the nature that the natives could not relate to the lot of Fortune in their nocturnal charts. But if one follows reason, then to say it is due to switching the formula may just be ‘jumping’, a bit prematurely, to a conclusion. To come to any conclusion requires eliminating other causes that could just as equally exist. It could be true of course, but it could also be true that one’s expectations and understanding of the lots led them to a wrong conclusion. It must be remembered that the majority of the writers we had earlier say very little about these lots and there are even fewer examples, especially in the reformist era. We are seeing things much different in texts we are now privy to like in Vettius Valens, Dorotheus, al-Andarzaghar & Sahl. There are outlined specific guidelines in using the lots and if one is not aware of them then it is also possible to misinterpret their significance. There are, for example, specific conditions that render them operative in the chart and determine how great that operation is. It is also possible that people’s comprehension of what the lot of Fortune is and what the lot of Spirit is could be incomplete or faulty. But to answer these questions, it is necessary to examine closely the historical record and test our understanding.

What I particularly want to avoid is casting aside something because it does not fit within our modern preconceptions and personal prejudices. If we do, then we are making astrology subjective to the practitioner and well, that is essentially, what all of modern “enlightenment” has accomplished already – the doctrine of “there are no absolutes”!

My recommendation to the astrology student is that you should test both and I think if you apply the correct signification of the lot itself you will quickly see that the original calculations, i.e. to reverse the diurnal formula in a nocturnal nativity, give consistent and accurate results.



-Reversing the Calculations for Nocturnal Nativities(pg.23~25)

However, there exists more than one thought on how to calculate the lot of Fortune. The disagreement is not a new matter but also found in early Hellenistic practice.

Serapio wrote,
“Fortune frequently becomes Spirit. That is, when the light of the sect is on the confines of a star contrary to the sect; or in accordance with the masculine and feminine, as when Helios is in a feminine image by day, and Selene in a masculine one by night; and when the light of the sect is not easterly in the hemisphere that pertains to the sect. And if both the lights chance to be in the hemisphere under the earth, and [if] they have the other [conditions] in an unfamiliar manner, Fortune is taken from the light that overcomes or from the light that is leading to the one that follows.”
SERAPIO 228, 10-16

We see that he presents certain qualifiers that indicated if the sect light should be used or not.

Valens as well, while his diurnal calculation had no disagreement between all subsequent authors, presents an important qualification for nocturnal charts,

“However, for a nocturnal nativity, as often as the Moon is above the earth (that is, up to the point where it sets), one should take from it [the Moon] to the Sun and an equal amount from the Hōroskopos; but after the Moon’s setting, from the Sun to it. For to say, ‘on which account it has entirely entrusted the circle to the Sun’ seems to mean this.”

This text from Valens clearly states that the diurnal formula for the lot of Fortune should be preferred whenever the Moon has set in a nocturnal figure. The problem with Valens saying this is that nowhere in his Anthology does he follow this method. As Robert Hand points out in Project Hindsight’s translation, instead, he follows the practice of these earliest sages by reversing the diurnal formula, i.e. the nocturnal formula, even whenever the Moon is below the horizon in a nocturnal nativity! We have no examples from Serapio as well or any other astrologer, using his qualifiers.

In the 17th century and the advent of modern scientific reasoning, as I mentioned earlier, Ptolemy became the favoured source.

William Lilly thus writes in the 17th century,

“Some have used to take Part of Fortune in the night from the Moon to the Sun; which if you do, you must then make the place of your Sun your first place, and add the Ascendant as in the former method. Ptolemy, day and night takes it as above directed, with whom all practitioners at this day consent.”
Page 144, Book II – “Christian Astrology” - by William Lilly

According to Lilly, all the practitioners of his day agreed to adopt Ptolemy’s method of calculation.

Lilly, in explaining certain characteristics of the lot of Fortune, also explains,

“Whether your Figure be by day or night, observe this Method; for how many degrees the Sun is distant from the Moon, so many is the Part of Fortune from the Ascendant; but because this may not be thoroughly understood by every Learner upon a sudden, let him observe this general rule, the better to guide him.

If the Part of Fortune be taken upon a New Moon, it will be in the Ascendant. If upon the 1st Quarter, in the 4th house. If upon the Full Moon, in the 7th house. If upon the Last Quarter, in the 10th house.

After the change, and before the 1st Quarter, you shall ever have her in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd house. After the 1st Quarter until the Full Moon, in the 4th, 5th or 6th house. After the Full Moon untilthe Last Quarter, in the 7th, 8th or 9th house. After the Last Quarter, either in the 10th, 11th or12th house.”

These characteristics are a particularly relevant observation on the part of William Lilly echoing Ptolemy. It has been pointed out to me by proponents of this method of calculating the Part of Fortune that this character description goes far in unfolding the symmetry and harmony of the Part of Fortune and justifies using exclusively the diurnal formula.

However, Lilly also makes a statement that causes me some suspicion. He continues,

“…but I am little hitherto satisfied concerning Part Of Fortune its true effects."

One might suspect that Lilly had not gotten consistent results or obtained results he may have not have anticipated using the lot of Fortune, which is what I personally would expect to be true if you do not reverse the formula in a nocturnal nativity.

Outside the commentators and adherents of Ptolemy’s work, it would appear that most astrologers chose the nocturnal formula [the reversed diurnal formula]. Dorotheus, Vettius Valens, Hephaistio of Thebes, Paulus Alexandrinus, Firmicus Maternus, Māshā´allāh, Abu Ma’shār and so on to Bonatti, all advocated and used the reverse formula! The only late Arabic era astrologer I have found who advocated Ptolemy’s method was Ibn Ezra. Al-Bīrūnī does not give an opinion but simply states,

“This is the method of calculation [the diurnal calculation] adopted by Ptolemy for the part of fortune which he never altered [for nocturnal nativities], but others proceed in this way for diurnal nativities while for nocturnal ones they put the Moon in the first place, the Sun in the second; and the ascendant in the third, whence necessarily many disputes.”
¶475 - - “The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology” - - by al-Bīrūnī – translated by R. Ramsay Wright, M.A. and published by Ascella. .......................................................
May 26, 2023 at 18:24
(Taurus) hyepark3 » TJTJTJ
And regarding other considerations:

(1) Sect is closely related to the quality of ´maintainability.´

One member of the Korean community posted:

The answer would depend on how the questioner defines ´significant impact´... If you´re asking whether ´sect´ has a significant impact in terms of impeding the achievement of a goal, I´d say no.

´Sect´ alone doesn´t deny, reject, or deprive people of anything. Rather, under other favorable conditions and configurations, it doesn´t have a significant impact on achieving your goals.

However, if I were to define ´significant impact´ as having a long-term effect, then I would say it does have a significant impact.

´Sect´ would be highly influential in maintaining any achieved goal. For example, let´s say I became a celebrity (whether an entertainer or an actor). If I perform well for a while and then experience a downfall after a scandal, it must be because of the planet which has ´the quality of being out-of-sect,´ especially if the significator planet responsible for the fame was out-of-sect.

The bottom line for being ´out-of-sect´ is that in life, there is no problem with reaching => achieving the goals that natives set or are led to set,
but if you apply it to a long-term situation in your life, which is not about whether or not you achieve your goals => you are at a disadvantage.


on this quality of being in-sect / out-of-sect, one of my Korean teachers wrote an article about it. The subject was about ´how to make use of out-of-sect planets´ what are the characteristics of being ´out-of-sect´, are they entirely bad? Or, if other conditions of the planets are good, do they manifest in positive ways too?

A planet out of sect is usually considered unstable and lacks consistency. Also, when the circumstances give pressure on the matters which the planet manages, the planet tends not to be able to handle the matters moderately, but to lead to extreme behavior of the native, which represents that planet´s corrupted quality.

However, he suggests that sometimes, an out-of-sect planet can use its out-of-sect quality, especially if the planet is dignified and well placed(in good and strong houses - becomes a busy planet, meaning gets many chances to perform)- there are cases when out-of-sect planets become the signification for the native´s profession, this shows that the native´s title cannot be guaranteed - unstable, but he may able to move or make changes whenever he wants.

Some examples are athletes or musicians whose prime career period is short, like 10-15 years. The characteristics of those professions suit the quality of being out of sect, but the degree of wealth and recognition they can accumulate could be among the highest. If we think about the opposite cases, if all of the planets are in-sect, that person may be more suited to stable professions, like coach or professor.

Investments can be thought in the same way too.

I think this was a good demonstration about what out-of-sect planets´ qualites are like, and how they function. :1:
May 26, 2023 at 19:08
(Taurus) hyepark3 » TJTJTJ
Some other comments I received regarding ´sect´:

(2)One of my Korean teachers remembers Benjamin Dyke once explaining the fundamental principles of classical astrology by connecting the seven-planet JOY concept to the concept of sect(Day or Night)...

It´s clear that if you take ´night and day´ considerations out of Hellenistic astrology, you lose more than half of your concrete judgments.(although the sect is not necessarily limited to night and day- other considerations include hemisphere/sign/quadrant..)


(3)My other Korean teacher commented,

Being in-sect is not a requirement for making overall condition of the nativity good, but it can serve as a sufficient condition.
Lately, I have been reading Benjamin Dyke´s translation of Mathesis.

For example, in a daytime chart with the Sun in the 1st house and Saturn in the 5th house, he explains that a configuration of a waxing Moon conjoining Saturn signifies success and honor.
On the other hand, in a night chart, the same configuration is said to be a configuration of downfall and poverty.

This demonstrates the concept of sect. the concept of sect.

I understood that in a daytime chart, when the Moon is waxing and conjoining Saturn, it indicates that there is no significant harm.

In this manner, ´sect´ can be utilized to assess whether some configuration of planets in certain sect are either harmful or not harmful.

I hope these can give you some ideas of what kind of qualities ´different sect conditions´ have in the chart, and how they manifest and influence the overall configuration/quality(?) of the chart, and how they should be considered in making judgements. :1:
May 26, 2023 at 21:57
(Leo) TJTJTJ » hyepark3
Thank you for the text. This is an interesting reading.

Seems they emphasize the importance of the sect, while to my knowledge, in Vedic, they don´t use them and still the reading would be quite reasonable - but in Vedic probably there are more tools at disposal (e.g. techniques or divisional charts).

The thing is, as I´m reading into both sides, Hellenistic and Vedic, I try to approach things in terms of "techniques" - meaning: This works like that (so if a technique uses sects, I will, if a Vedic technique doesn´t, then I won´t).

Here, on astro-seek, in the list of the Arabic Lots, you might notice many of the lots actually do not have the remark of reversing the formula for night births. This also baffles me whether it is a given to reverse them or they are just taken like that (like the case with lot of marriage used by Vedic practitioner). It is also interesting that I don´t find any talk about "Detriment" planets in Vedic texts (that I´ve encountered so far). Seems such concept, like the sect, is not there in that system. When it comes to this, I´m inclined to use Vedic techniques because they are kind of quick and simple (and give out good results).

As the text implies, it needs lot of work and testing (needs time, which I´m lacking at the moment).
May 29, 2023 at 16:40
(Taurus) hyepark3 » TJTJTJ
Hi, TJ! :1:

Here´s an excerpt from my teacher´s lesson, and I think it might answer your question. :1:

(In my opinion, when it comes to utilizing lots, it´s best to learn from a teacher who already has a lot of experience with clients. Several of my teachers have told me that only about 40 of them show consistently valid results, and I think that´s more than enough to start with. :1: )


From the Lesson I.7 – The Lots by Steven Birchfield A.M.A.

I.7.2 – Lots in Natal Astrology

There are a couple of problems surrounding the lots however. Firstly, different astrologers had different names for some of the lots. The lot of Spirit for example was also called lot of Daimon, the lot of the absent, & the lot of Religion. The lot of illness was called the causative lot and the lot of injury. Even sometimes in the same chapter they would change the name and sometimes this makes it very difficult to follow just what lot is being used. For example in Dorotheus when talking about the lot of livelihood, he suddenly starts talking about a lot of assets (Dykes translation) or property (Pingree translation). There is no description of how this lot is derived and one is left to scratch their head if this is the same lot or another lot.

Secondly several astrologers like Rhetorius, Hephaistio, and al-Andarzaghar mention and
demonstrate many lots but do not tell the reader how they are described and extracted! Often some lots have slightly different descriptions. For example if I said use the lot of death and its ruler in this sign signifies this or that. Which lot of death? Critodemus tells us the lot is extracted from the Moon to the eighth place by day or night and an equal amount from the ascendant. Dorotheus tells us it is extracted from the Moon to the eighth then cast it out from Saturn. Dorotheus’ description is what was passed on in the historical record. Thus we are often left speculating about which lot the astrologer is using. The historical record is full of lacunas and many possible scribal errors.

Abu Ma’shār, more or less at the pinnacle of Medieval Persian astrology in the 9th century, categorizes most of the lots by his time into a very specific order. In his text book, The Great Introduction to Astrology, he explains the reason for extracting the lots and then gives a long classification and subsequent description of their extractions. He ends by describing lots that do not fall within his categories.

According to Abu Ma’shār,
Know that the authenticated lots which the Ancients of the people of Persia, Babylon, and Egypt used according to what we found in their books are ninety-seven lots, and they are of three kinds. The first kind are the lots of the seven planets, the second kind are the lots of the twelve places, and the third kind are the lots belonging to other things not mentioned in the twelve places. These are the lots that are necessary in (certain) places in nativities, revolutions of the years, questions, and beginnings.

The number of the lots of the first kind is seven, one for each of the stars that are fast in motion (planets). Every lot is called by the name of its planet. All the Ancients among the learned astrologers agreed on the manner of extracting them. But some recent scholars from among those to whom many of the natures of the planets are hidden, differ from the Ancients in extracting the lots of these seven planets. We shall mention this in its (appropriate) place.

The number of the lots of the second kind – these are the lots of the twelve places, which are wellknown and used, and on which the Ancients agreed – is 80 lots… The lots of the third kind are ten lots.

Part VIII, Chapter 2 of The Great Introduction to Astrology by Abu Ma’shār, translated by Keiji Yamamoto and Charles Burnett Brill 2019.

In the 11th century, al-Bīrūnī however critically points out that,

“…others have introduced an excessive number of methods of casting lots at nativities.”

He went on to say,

“478 This matter of casting lots is a very long one, so that one might think there is no end to it. For instance there are those which are cast at the turn of the year (the entry of the Sun into Aries) on worldly matters and affairs of empire, and those which are cast at conjunctions and oppositions of the moon to elicit prognostications as to weather, as to success of ventures, and other horary questions.”

§476, «The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology», by al-Bīrūnī and translated by R. Ramsay Wright, 1934

Actually Abu Ma’shār’s list of 97 lots falls short of the 145 lots that Olympiodorus has in his commentary to Paulus’ Introduction. And I have not mentioned the specific mundane lots that included lots for most commercial commodities of their time period, that according to al-Bīrūnī numbered well over 50 lots and several lots dedicated to horary.

At the entrance of astrology to Europe you have astrologers like Ibn Ezra and Bonatti who faithfully reproduce Abu Ma’shār´s summation of the lots. As astrology developed in Europe the lots fell more and more out of use. I blame this partly on the Renaissance and the growth of scientific reformation. You will notice that of all the ancient authors, Ptolemy alone, only used the lot of Fortune and nowhere mentions lots again. When talking about other places and degrees used by the ancients (like the lots and twelfth parts)

Ptolemy critically writes,

“These matters, as they have only plausible and not natural, but, rather, unfounded, arguments in their favour, we shall omit.”

Tetrabiblos by Ptolemy, Book I chapter 22 translated by F.E. Robbins.

In other words if it didn’t fit his science then he ignored it. With the advent of modern scientific reasoning, Ptolemy became the favoured source. This was also Jean-Baptiste Morin’s attitude in the 16th century and in his astrological work, Astrologia Gallica. In the 17th century and because of this pseudoscientific bias the lots quickly disappeared from astrological texts and from delineation. This was also to be the rationale of not only the Renaissance astrologers, but post-modern astrologers as well. The only lot that seemed to survive was the lot of fortune. The attitude towards the lots can be best summed up by the words of William Lilly, who wrote,

“There are many other Parts which the Arabians have mentioned frequently in their Writings, of which we make very little use in this Age.”

Page 145, Book II – “Christian Astrology” – by William Lilly

When reading about this part of astrological history I am often reminded of the words of
Galadriel in the movie version of The Lord of the Rings when she laments concerning the
history of the Ring,

“Much that once was is lost and none now live who remember it… some things which should not have been forgotten were lost…history became legend and legend became myth…”

Unfortunately from this time period up until the last 30 years, the lots were for the most part seen as myth and fantasy having no place in a “rational scientific” astrology. Thankfully because of the recovery of many valuable texts this is no longer the case. However there is still a lack of real understanding of the lots and their role in classical and traditional astrology; and more importantly their role in delineation.

Currently I am working on a collaboration paper dedicated to the examination of certain
techniques found in the recent translation of Abu Ma’shār’s, On the Revolution of the Years of Nativities. In testing certain techniques it became very clear that without the lots many example charts did not show the significations we were looking for. The whys and wherefores we are going to discuss in the paper so I am not going to give any spoilers here. It was clear though that the lots definitely have their role in delineation & prediction.

There are several lots that you will have to be familiar with and most likely will often use. Following is a list of the most common lots we will use when we come to delineation:
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May 29, 2023 at 18:46
(Leo) TJTJTJ » hyepark3
Thanks for this valuable text.
These essential lots are listed here on AS - I think i will try to work on them with my chart and charts of people i know and see what they yield.
May 29, 2023 at 18:55
(Leo) TJTJTJ » hyepark3
Just realized the table doesn´t include a description for the lot, like what it is supposed to yield. so it´s going to be a bit hard to understand the purpose of these lots just by their name i guess

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