Harvey Weinstein fired: aversion, nodes, eclipses and quincunxes

This week’s news from Hollywood centered around the firing, on Sunday 8 October 2017, of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for sexual harassment by the company which he founded.  According to the NY Times:

“The sexual harassment allegations uncovered by The Times stretched back decades and came from actresses as well as former employees of the Weinstein Company and Miramax, the previous company that Mr. Weinstein and his brother founded.”

Weinstein was born in Flushing, Queens, NYC on 19 March 1952, time unknown. Here is his natal chart cast for Noon with average planetary positions for the day. It is noteworthy for demonstrating the power of the Hellenistic concept of “aversion” in the interpretation of a chart.

Harvey Weinstein Natal Chart for Noon
Features of this chart which stand out are:

  • Sun at the end of Pisces in partile inconjunct with the South Lunar Node at the end of Leo.  The Sun disposes the South Node, which lies in the terms of Mars, a planet associated with male libido. The Sun is also in a wide (or whole sign) inconjunct with Pluto in Leo.
  • Mars (male sexual desire) very strong in Scorpio mutually applying to square Pluto (intense emotion, powerful hidden forces) in Leo. In mythology, Pluto’s lust prompted him to abduct Propina (the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone) and take her to Hades where he pleasured himself at her expense.
  • Mercury (modes of thinking) in Aries (ruled by Mars) mutually applying to oppose Neptune in Libra (egalitarian relationships) and closely applying to quincunx Mars in Scorpio.
  • Jupiter in Aries in partile opposition to Neptune in Libra.
  • Venus in Pisces rules Libra, which is inconjunct to Pisces.
  • Venus and the Sun in Pisces are in aversion to Jupiter and Mercury in Aries, to the North Lunar Node in Aquarius, to Pluto and the South Lunar Node in Leo, and to Saturn and Neptune in Libra.
  • Mars in Scorpio lies in aversion to its sign Aries where Jupiter and Mercury are located. Thus, Mars has little say in how Jupiter and Mercury behave, especially with regard to their opposition with Neptune in Libra, another sign which is in aversion to Scorpio where Mars resides in this chart.

In Hellenistic astrology the modern quincunx (inconjunct) relationship is referred to as “aversion” and occurs when planets occupy signs that are 30 degrees or 150 degrees apart, and thus unable to “see” each other. Interpretive key words and phrases for the configuration of planets in “aversion” include:

  • out of awareness
  • not visible
  • not seen
  • out of control
  • unregulated
  • poorly integrated or unintegrated
  • turned away from
  • averse to
  • unconnected
  • not communicating
  • hidden from each other
  • controversy, separation or exile by peers (Paulus of Alexandria)
  • “While the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

When the planet is in aversion to a sign that it rules, then the ruling planet is unable to manage the affairs symbolized by that sign or any planets residing therein. Paulus of Alexandria tells us that a planet in aversion to its own domicile indicates controversy, separation and exile because that planet cannot “see” its home sign and is thus unable to manage the affairs signified by its sign in a way that benefits the native.

In Weinstein’s chart, the Sun is averse to Leo and thus unable to manage the affairs of Leo as well as Pluto and the South Lunar Node therein. In other words, whatever Leo, Pluto and the Lunar Nodes signify in his chart remains unintegrated with the part of his personality represented by the Sun.

In addition, Venus in Pisces, being inconjunct to Libra, has little say over how Saturn and Neptune behave in her home sign Libra, which is associated with intimate relationships. Being averse, Venus is unable to regulate what goes on in her own Libra home, leaving Saturn and Neptune free to do whatever they feel like. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Weinstein’s career has certainly been eclipsed this fall, so let’s look back to the most recent solar eclipse of 21 August 2017 to see how it played out in his chart.  Here is Weinstein’s natal Noon chart with the August solar eclipse superimposed.

Interestingly, the 21 Aug 2017 solar eclipse occurred exactly quincunx Weinstein’s natal Sun, which rules Leo where the eclipse took place, and also closely conjunct Weinstein’s natal South Lunar Node. The following in an interpretation of this configuration from page 74 of the Eclipse Interpretation Manual by Rose Lineman:

“Self-centered tendencies surface during the period these aspects are effective. They reveal egotistical attitudes associated with the natal south node which have created handicaps in the past and presently conflict with positive experiential potentials described by the natal north node. The self-awareness fostered by these aspects contributes to the capacity to develop selfless attributes that promote personal growth and reinforce constructive solar eclipse activity. Events that manifest under this configuration stem from selfish action which the individual perpetrates or action of which he or she is the victim.”

According to Lineman, when a transiting solar eclipse hits the natal South Lunar Node, we can expect activation of the following:

  • self-centered tendencies
  • egotistical attitudes which have created handicaps in the past
  • events that stem from selfish action which the individual perpetuates

Obtaining sexual satisfaction at the expense of women in one’s employ certainly qualifies. There are many other interesting connections between the August solar eclipse chart and his natal chart, but I will leave those for the reader to explore.

Further Reading:
Steven Birchfield: Aversion or the “Inconjunct”: Dignities, Strengths, and Weaknesses – a closer look


Original material in this post is copyright Anthony Louis 2017.


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Shooting in Las Vegas

On Sunday 1 October 2017 at around 10:05 pm a gunman opened fire from one of the top floors of the Mandalay Bay Casino onto a crowd attending a nearby concert, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 400. In violent events of this type, such as this mass shooting, one often finds Mars (weapons, violence) and Pluto (immense dominating power) to be active, and so they were:

  • Transiting Pluto turned stationary direct on 28 September 2017, forming an almost exact square with the Ascendant-ruler of the Las Vegas incorporation chart.  Here the 1st house ruler is the Moon, which symbolizes the masses.
  • Transiting Mars perfected a trine to transiting Pluto several hours before the shooting.
  • Transiting Mars perfected a sesqui-quadrate to natal Mars about 3 hours after the incident.

According to astro.com, Las Vegas was incorporated on 16 March 1911. Here is the natal chart of Las Vegas (time unknown) cast with the Sun symbolically on the MC with the tropical zodiac and Placidus houses. Surrounding the inner wheel of the city’s incorporation are the transits for the beginning of the incident.

Inner wheel: Las Vegas Incorporation Chart with Sun on MC
Outer wheel: Gunman open fire on concert near Mandalay Bay

LV shooting

As you can see, at the time of the shooting the transiting Ascendant was stimulating natal Pluto in the natal 12th house of hidden enemies. Natal Pluto is opposed by transiting Saturn, an aspect which usually indicates conflicts with authority figures.

Transiting Pluto, which is near the 7th cusp, has just made a station in square to natal Moon, the Ascendant ruler of the Las Vegas incorporation chart. The Moon is a symbol of the masses and large groups of people. Transiting Pluto also opposes natal Neptune in the 1st house of the Las Vegas Chart.

Transiting Mars has just perfected a trine to transiting Pluto (which made a station three days earlier).  Transiting Mars also applies to sesqui-square natal Mars in 06 minute of arc; this aspect perfects at 1:16 AM, just 3 hours after the start of the incident. Natal Mars conjoins the cusp of the natal 8th house of death and is also in an out-of-sign conjunction with natal Uranus.

Jupiter, which rules the incorporation MC, opposes transiting Uranus (sudden disruptive events) in the 10th and almost exactly squares natal Uranus in the 7th of open enemies.


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The Birth Chart of Vettius Valens

The second century CE astrologer Vettius Valens in his Anthology  left us one of the most important books extant about the theory and practice of Hellenistic astrology. Replete with  many dozens of sample charts of individual clients, Valens makes available to the modern astrologer many techniques that had been previously unavailable prior to the translation of his text into English during the past few decades.

In a critical edition of Valens writings, the scholar David Pingree noted that one of the most commonly utilized charts was cast for the date 8 February 0120 CE and suggested that, like many astrologers of the period, Valens was likely to use his own chart to illustrate the ideas in his text.  Many others who have studied Valens agreed that there is a high likelihood that Valens was born on 8 Feb 120.  His birthplace is known to be Antakya, Turkey (36° 14′ 40″ N, 36° 12′ 04″ E).  He traveled to Alexandria to further his knowledge of astrology and remained there to practice the art.

Here is how Valens describes the chart which scholars assume to be his own (from the Mark Riley translation, bold mine).  Here Valens is discussing the annual profections of this chart:

Book IV:

“/165P/ Let us take an example so that we may make an intelligent beginning: sun, Mercury in Aquarius, moon in Scorpio, Saturn in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra, Venus in Capricorn, Mars, Ascendant in Virgo. We are investigating the 35th year. I divide <35> by 12, for a result of 24, remainder 11. We note which stars are separated by 11 signs: we find 11 signs from the Ascendant and Mars <in Virgo> to Saturn in Cancer; additionally 11 signs from the moon <in Scorpio> to Mars, or from Venus <in Capricorn> to the moon. All of these transmissions are effective in the 35th year. Whatever predictive force each star has, it will predict appropriately, good or bad, in the transmissions which we have outlined in the preceding discussion.
Whenever there are many transmissions, it is necessary to take into account whether benefics or malefics predominate. Award the prize to whichever group does predominate. If neither does, the year should be judged as varied and changeable.
To find the overall influence in any nativity, it will be necessary to count the years from the sun, the moon, and the Ascendant, and if the count ends at an empty place, then they <sun moon Ascendant> will be transmitting to the rulers of these <empty> signs. These three figures have great influence, whether the transmission is to benefics, to malefics, to the angles or operative places, or to places not at the angles.”

The early Hellenistic astrologers most likely used a sidereal zodiac, so I experimented with several ayanasmas and came up with the following chart, which corresponds with Valens description.  Note that he was born just after sunset on a Sun day during a Sun hour, the first hour of the night.

This chart is cast in the sidereal zodiac (Raman ayanasma) for 8 February 120 CE at 6:27 PM LMT in Antakya, Turkey.  The chart data is the same as given by Valens in his Anthology:

  • Sun and Mercury in Aquarius
  • Moon in Scorpio
  • Saturn in Cancer
  • Jupiter in Libra
  • Venus in Capricorn (Venus would be in Aquarius in the tropical zodiac and in the sidereal zodiac with a different ayanasma.)
  • Mars and Ascendant in Virgo

Valens does not specify the degree of the Ascendant, but in Book VII when he discusses “conception” charts he mentions what may be his own chart when he writes (Mark Riley translation, bold mine):

Book VII:
“For example, so that my readers may understand the determination: Hadrian year 4, Mechir 13/14, hour 1 of the night; the moon in Scorpio 7°, the Ascendant in Virgo 7°.  Since the moon is found to be in the hemisphere beneath the earth, I take the degrees from the Ascendant to the moon; this is 60°. To each 30° I assign 2 1/2, for a result of 5 days. I add this to the mean factor (273), and the result is 278. The conception was that many days ago. /51P/ I count back <278> days from the hour of birth; the conception day is Pachon 11.
Alternatively, I subtract the 5 days of the distance <from the Ascendant to the moon> from 92, for a result of 87. (The mean factor is 273, which leaves a remainder of 92 when subtracted from 365 days.) If we add 87 to Mechir 14 and count this off from the birth date, we come to Pachon 11.
If you calculate the degrees from the moon to the Descendant, i.e. Pisces 7°, the total is 120°. Take 2 1/2 for each 30°, for a total of 10 days. Now if I subtract this from the maximum factor (288), the result is 278. If you count this amount back from the day of birth and calculate the moon, you will find it to have been in the Ascendant at the delivery.”

In this section Valens is calculating the hypothetical conception chart for someone born during the first hour of the night (as he was) and who has Moon in Scorpio and Ascendant in Virgo (as he does). If this is indeed his own birth chart, then Valens is telling us that his Ascendant lies in the 7th degree of Virgo and his Moon lies in the 7th degree of Scorpio.  These values are very close the the chart calculated above, which has the Ascendant in the 4th degree of Virgo (rather than the 7th) and the Moon in the 6th degree of Virgo (rather than the 7th as mentioned in the text).

If we count back 278 days from 8 February 120 CE, as Valens suggests, we arrive at 6 May 119 CE as his date of conception. According to Valens, on this date the Moon should lie in the Ascendant of the 8 February 120 birth chart.  Here is the conception chart calculated in the sidereal zodiac (Raman ayanasma) according to Valens instructions:

As you can see, the Moon in this conception chart lies in early Virgo, which the the Ascendant of the nativity.  In addition, the Ascendant of this conception chart lies in Scorpio, which is the sign of the Moon in the nativity.

What about Valens’ Midheaven degree? On page 105 of Riley’s translation the following passage, which may relate to Valens’ own chart, appears:

p.105: “An example: Mars, Ascendant in Virgo, moon in Scorpio at IC, MC in Taurus. It is necessary to investigate the 34th year. 34 divided by 12 gives 2, with a remainder of 10. The transmission can go from the moon to Mars, since they are both at angles <10 signs apart>, and from the Ascendant and Mars to Taurus (i.e. to MC). During this period the client worked abroad, was a friend of great men, was in mortal danger because of a woman, and suffered cuts and bleeding. Other transmissions were operative at this time, but they did not reveal the <particular> crisis.”

If this passage does relate to Valens’ chart, then it tells us that he has Mars and the Ascendant in Virgo and the Moon in Scorpio (which most scholars agree on).  What is new is that it indicates that the degree of the MC lies in Taurus and the IC lies in Taurus where the Moon is located.  If such is the case, the Valens could not have been born much after 6:27 pm LMT because the MC would shift into Gemini, making an Ascendant in the 7th degree of Virgo impossible at his birthplace. Specifically:

  • The MC enters Gemini at 6:29:20 pm LMT in this chart.
  • The ASC shifts back to Leo at 6:09:22 pm LMT in this chart

Thus, Valens must have been born during the 20-minute interval between about 6:09 pm and 6:29 pm LMT.  I chose a time close to 6:29 pm LMT for the chart to keep the MC in Taurus and the ASC close to the 7th degree of Virgo reported in the text.

Further reading:

Gregory Rozek has a discussion of the Rx planets in Valens’ chart at http://gregoryrozek.com/en/valens-and-retrograde-planets/

Chris Brennan gives an overview of Valens contributions at http://www.hellenisticastrology.com/astrologers/vettius-valens/.  On this page it states that “If Valens was born on February 8, 120, then he also included his own conception chart in the Anthology, which was on May 13, 119 CE.”  This latter date may be a typo because Valens instructs us to subtract 278 days from the 8 Feb 120 CE birth day, which takes us to 6 May 119  (as opposed to 13 May 119).  In addition, the Moon on 13 May 119 was in Sagittarius and not in Virgo as the text indicates.

Here is the same chart showing the Rx planets and a table of information about the chart, calculated by Solar Fire:

Valens cht points data

Valens SF


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An interesting horary

I had posted this chart in a horary group in Facebook but thought it might be of interest to others, so here it is with some additional comments about the use of 12th-parts and of the lord of the hour from the method of Masha’allah.

Where are the missing prescription sunglasses?

On a recent Saturday my wife told me she was unable to find her prescription sunglasses which she had worn the day before. She uses them for driving or otherwise being out in bright sunlight. We both searched the house and the car and they were nowhere to be found, so she asked me to cast a chart to horary find the missing glasses. Data: Orange, CT USA, 12:08 pm EDT, 23 Sep 2017. It is a Saturn day during a Mercury hour. Below is the chart with Regio Houses.


My wife is the querent. Her rulers are Jupiter (Sag rising) and the Moon (co-ruler of querent). The missing possession is shown by the 2nd house of movable goods: Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. The “modern” planet Pluto is Rx in Capricorn in the 2nd house and describes the missing item.  Both Pluto and Capricorn are associated with dark places, and sunglasses essentially shield the eyes from the sun, creating the equivalent of a dark place. The fact that Pluto in the 2nd is Rx suggests that the item will return. In addition, my wife’s co-ruler Moon mutually applies to sextile Pluto Rx in the 2nd, suggesting the return.

The 12th-part of the Ascendant lies at 18 Capricorn 17 in the 2nd house. This makes sense because her intention (shown by the 12th part) is to find a missing movable possession which she hopes will return to her in the 1st house (Saturn, ruler of the 2nd, lies in the 1st.  Interestingly, Mercury (ruler of the 7th, me, her husband) at 18 Virgo 29 is in partill trine with the 12th-part of the Ascendant at 18 Capricorn 17, and she hopes that I will be able to help her find the missing glasses by means of astrology.

Saturn (the glasses) lies in the 1st house and is disposed by Jupiter, ruler of the 1st. I took this to mean that the glasses would return to her, but there is no applying aspect between Jupiter or the Moon (the querent’s rulers) and Saturn (the glasses). However, Saturn lies in Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter) and Jupiter lies in Libra (the exaltation of Saturn), so there is a mutual reception between 2nd ruler Saturn and 1st ruler Jupiter.

The 4th house can indicate the location of the missing item. The 4th cusp is ruled by Jupiter (the querent’s ruler also) which occupies Libra in the 11th of friends. Jupiter is disposed by Venus which rules the 11th cusp, so the glasses could be with a friend.

We had visited some friends the night before, so I suggested that she call to see if she left her glasses at their house. Sure enough our friend found the glasses on top of the sideboard in the dining room. Initially my wife was reluctant to call our friend because she was convinced that the sunglasses were in our home. She couldn’t imagine having worn her outdoor sunglasses in our friend’s house the evening before. In fact, she was surprised when our friend told her he had found her glasses, as probably indicated by Jupiter in the 11th of friends mutually applying to oppose Uranus in the 5th of fun times with friends. This opposition perfected in 1 degree 5 minutes, which equates to an hour and 5 minutes after the time of the question (12:08 pm), that is, 1:13 pm, which is about the time she made the phone call to our friend.

The Moon’s trine to Neptune probably shows my wife’s inattention or forgetfulness in mislaying the glasses. In addition, because a retrograde Neptune (which is not used in traditional horary) lies in the 4th Whole Sign house, it could signify the returning missing glasses, in which case the Moon’s applying trine to Neptune in under 1 degree could symbolize her locating the glasses within about an hour.  Furthermore, the Moon applies to sextile the Part of Fortune in the 2nd of movable goods. Many traditional authors regard Fortuna as as an indicator of missing possessions.

I’m still a little puzzled about why there are not clearer indications via an aspect between significators about the return of the glasses.  It must be that the mutual reception between Saturn and Jupiter, with 2nd ruler Saturn placed in the 1st house, is sufficiently strong evidence of their return.  In addition, the hour ruler Mercury is quite strong conjunct the MC and applies to trine Saturn in the 1st, which is an indicator of their recovery. Futhermore, the Sun and Moon are both above the horizon, and the Sun sextiles the Ascendant from the 10th Regiomontanus house.

She asked the question at 12:08 pm and called our friend within 2 hours of asking the question. I was unable to cast the chart right away because we were busy doing something. Unfortunately I did not note the time when she called our friend and located the missing glasses, but it was most likely between 1 pm and 1:30 pm.

The Lord of the Hour

Masha’allah makes use of the Lord of the Hour to find hidden or misplaced things. In Ben Dykes translation of Masha’allah on horary, he writes about the discovery of a hidden or lost thing (italics mine):
“If someone were to ask you about a lost or hidden thing, whether he would find it or not, look at the Ascendant, to its Lord, and the Lord of the hour. If the Lord of the Ascendant and the Lord of the hour were in angles, he will find his thing. But if they were in the dark domiciles—that is, in domiciles which do not aspect the Ascendant—he will not find it. And if the Lord of the hour or the Lord of the Ascendant were in the Ascendant, his thing is already with him, and not lost. But if one or both of them were in the seventh, he will find it after several days. And if the Lord of the hour or the Lord of the Ascendant aspected the Sun, he will find it. And if the Moon aspected him, it will be better; and wherever the Lord of the hour is, there will be the things.”

In this chart, the Lord of the hour is Mercury, which is angular (conjunct the Virgo MC). Mercury aspects the 1st house by a Whole Sign square, and it applies to trine Saturn (2nd ruler) in the 1st house within about 3 degrees. The Moon in Scorpio applies to sextile the Lord of the hour in Virgo.

Interestingly, Masha’allah also says that if the hidden thing is in the house, then the astrologer should look to the sign on the Ascendant to determine the place where it is located: air signs = the roof; fire signs = walls; water signs = the foundation of the house; and earth signs = the floor. In this chart, fiery Sagittarius rises, suggesting that the sunglasses are near a wall.  I had initially read Jupiter, ruler of the 4th, in Libra (an air sign) to mean that the eyeglasses were on a shelf or tabletop in the house of a friend. In fact they were found on top of a sideboard which was situated against a wall of the dining room.

Further use of 12th-parts:

Out of curiosity I calculated the 12th parts of the 2nd house cusp (movable goods) and 4th house cusp (hidden or buried valuables):

  • 12th-part of 2nd cusp at 2 Cap 14 = 26 Capricorn 56. Note the Asc-ruler Jupiter (the querent) applies by partill square to this 12th-part of the 2nd house cusp. Jupiter in Libra is also received by Saturn, ruler of this 12th-part, in Saturn’s exaltation. This is an indication that the querent will quickly locate the missing item. Jupiter also rules the 4th cusp of buried treasure.
  • 12th-part of 4th cusp at 20 Pis 56 = 11 Scorpio 11. Thus, the 12th-part of the 4th cusp of hidden treasure is in partill trine with both the Moon (co-ruler of the querent) and the Regiomontanus 12th house cusp, which symbolizes hidden places and locations distant from the home. This appears to indicate that the querent (Moon) will locate the missing valuable in a place outside the home.



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The Sorrows of Young Werther and Zodiacal Releasing

After reading the previous post, which is a translation of an article from Argentina about zodiacal releasing, several people have asked me to provide an example of the method in practice. I decided to look at the life of the German author and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who is perhaps best known for his Faust which has inspired countless operas and other works of art. Interestingly, Goethe begins his famous autobiography with a description of his own natal chart.

According to astro.com, Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 at 12:30 pm LMT in Frankfurt am Main. The Frankfurt city archive states that he was born “between 12 and 1 o’clock,” so a birth time of 12:30 pm LMT is within 30 minutes of his actual birth time. In his autobiography Goethe says that he came into the world at midday, as the clock was striking twelve; this comment about the clock may have been written more for dramatic effect than historical accuracy.

  • At Noon he would have an Ascendant of 17 Scorpio 38, a PF of 24 Taurus 20, and a Lot of Spirit of 10 Taurus 56.
  • At 1 pm he would have an Ascendant of 28 Scorpio 28, a PF of 5 Gemini 46, and a Lot of Spirit of 21 Taurus 11.
  • We can be certain the his Ascendant lies in Scorpio and his Lot of Spirit in Taurus.
  • His Lot of Fortune lies in Taurus before 12:30 pm and switches to Gemini after 12:30 pm.  Thus, his “peak” periods will lie in fixed signs before 12:30 pm and in mutable signs after 12:30 pm.

Here is the whole sign chart for 12:30 pm LMT.


This is a day chart, and Mercury rises before the Sun. Thus, the members of the day sect are the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury.

  • Jupiter is the benefic of the sect in effect and thus the most beneficial planet. Because Jupiter lies in Pisces, the mutable signs are generally favorable for the native.
  • Mars is the malefic of the contrary sect and thus the most problematic planet. Because Mars lies in Capricorn, the cardinal signs are the most difficult.
  • The Part of Spirit is definitely in Taurus, ruled by Venus, so we will begin zodiacal releasing from Spirit in Taurus.

Goethe became a literary celebrity by the age of 25 as a result of his novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther), which was written in just six weeks in the period from January to March, 1774 and published on 29 September 1774. The novel is about a sensitive young artist who becomes involved in a love triangle and ends up committing suicide to resolve the matter. The book had a powerful cultural impact which rocketed Goethe to super-stardom as a popular author by the age of 25. According to wikipedia:

“The Sorrows of Young Werther turned Goethe, previously an unknown author, into a celebrated one almost overnight. Napoleon Bonaparte considered it one of the great works of European literature, having written a Goethe-inspired soliloquy in his youth and carried Werther with him on his campaigning to Egypt. It also started the phenomenon known as the “Werther Fever”, which caused young men throughout Europe to dress in the clothing style described for Werther in the novel. … The book reputedly also led to some of the first known examples of copycat suicide.”

Zodiacal Releasing from Spirit:

To study Goethe’s career we look at the Lot of Spirit, which lies in Taurus. The first 8 years of his life are ruled by Venus which then turns over chronocraterhip to Gemini/Mercury for a period of 20 years. Goethe’s rise to fame as a novelist occurred during this Gemini/Mercury period. In the 12:30 pm birth chart the Part of Fortune lies in Gemini, making this period one of intense activity and accomplishment in professional matters. Here is the tabulation of releasing from Spirit:

Goethe ZR

Level I:  

In 1774 Goethe was in a 20-year Gemini/Mercury on Level 1 in releasing from Spirit. In the 12:30 pm LMT chart, Gemini contains the Part of Fortune, making this an important “peak” period.  Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, occupies the 10th house of career and public standing. Interestingly, the time-lord Mercury squares Pluto in the 1st house; and Pluto is part of a grand water trine linking Jupiter in Pisces in the 5th (romance, merriment) and Neptune in Cancer in the 9th (publishing, higher learning) so that these parts of his chart are activated during the Gemini period.

Level 2:

On level 2 Goethe is in a Taurus/Venus period from 20 March – 15 Nov 1774. During this time Goethe has just finished writing his novel and is in the process of getting it published, which occurs on 29 September 1774.

On level 2 Goethe enters a “Loosing of the Bond(LB) Sagittarius/Jupiter period from 15 Nov 1774 – 10 Nov 1775. During this time Goethe achieves rock-star fame for his novel about young Werther.  His young readers begin to dress like Werther and there are a number of copycat suicides, which causes the authorities to ban the Werther style of clothing in some regions and to ban the sale of the book entirely in others. This is a period of major transition in Goethe’s professional life: astro.com mentions that “by 1775, Goethe was famed and invited by the Duke of Saxe-Weimer to join his court. Goethe only intended to stay a few months, but remained there the rest of his life” — clearly a major turning point occurred in Goethe’s life during this Nov 1774 – Nov 1775 LB period.

Level 3:

The book is published on 29 September 1774 during a Virgo/Mercury period on level 3. This is a “peak” period because Virgo is square to the Part of Fortune in Gemini. Virgo activates his natal 11th house which contains the degree of his MC, the Sun and Venus — the ruler of his Lot of Spirit. Robert Schmidt remarks that when the sign containing the ruler of Spirit is activated, it often involves finding one’s life work or vocation. The Sun rules the 10th house of vocation and Mercury occupies the 10th, so there is a strong emphasis on career advancement at this time.

Level 4:

The book is published on 29 September 1774 during the few days of a Capricorn/Saturn period on level 4. Capricorn activates the 3rd house, which is the 8th of death from Fortune. Mars occupies Capricorn and is the malefic of the contrary sect. One effect of the book was the suicide of several of his young readers, which is not was Goethe intended. Saturn, which rules this period, lies in Scorpio with Pluto and is in square to Uranus in Aquarius — again possibly symbolizing the unexpected deadly effect the book would have on some readers. Capricorn is also the 6th house of ailments from Fortune.

There is a lot more to the symbolism which we could unpack, but let me stop here to avoid overwhelming the reader with too much detail.

I think this is an excellent example of the power of zodiacal releasing from Spirit and the nature of a Loosing of the Bond period in the life of a famous cultural icon.

Interestingly, if Goethe were born prior to 12:30 pm LMT, his Lot of Fortune would have been in Taurus and the Nov 1774 – Nov 1775 Loosing of the bond period in which he became quite famous would have occurred during the releasing from Fortune rather than Spirit. Perhaps we could use Zodiacal Releasing to help rectify the chart.

Valens on the Lots of Fortune and Spirit:

This is what Valens has to say in Book IV about these two Lots (Mark Riley translation, italics mine):

  • “I will now append this truly powerful method: to begin the vital sector with the Lot of Fortune and with Daimon (which signify the moon and the sun). Universally speaking, the moon is fortune, body, and spirit, and when it sends its emanations to us from its position near the earth, it causes appropriate effects, since it rules our bodily constitution. The sun is the cosmic mind and divinity. It arouses men’s souls to action through its own energy and love-inspiring nature, and it becomes the cause of employment and progress.”
  • “So, if we are investigating the chronocratorships with respect to bodily existence, such as critical points of illnesses, hemorrhages, falls, injuries, diseases, and whatever affects the body with respect to strength, enjoyment, pleasure, beauty, or love affairs, then we must begin the vital sector with the Lot of Fortune. Whenever the <first> chronocratorship ends, at that point we calculate the sign, the stars in conjunction or aspect, how the stars are configured with respect to the overall house-ruling star of the vital sector’s chronocratorships, and whether the rulers of the Lots are at angles or not.”
  • “If on the other hand we are investigating employment or rank, then we will begin the chronocratorships with Daimon [Lot of Spirit] as the apheta. We will make our determination according to the benefics or malefics in conjunction or aspect with it.”
  • “Note that if the Lot of Fortune or its ruler are badly situated, the Lot of Daimon will distribute both the bodily and the active qualities. Likewise Fortune will make the distribution of both qualities if the Lot of Daimon or its ruler is unfavorably situated, and the same is true of the controls and the house-rulerships.”
  • Whenever Daimon and Fortune are found in the same sign, we will derive forecasts of bodily constitution [Lot of Fortune] from that very sign, but the forecasts of activity [Lot of Spirit] from the sign immediately following. “

Clearly Goethe’s popularity and fame as a result of his novel about young Werther is a matter of employment and rank (Lot of Spirit, Sol) rather than of bodily existence and pleasure (Lot of Fortune, Luna). Thus it seems that the Loosing of the Bond in 1774 was more likely have been related to the Lot of Spirit than that of Fortune, which suggests that a birth time between 12:30 and 1 pm LMT is more likely. If he were born before 12:30 pm LMT, then both Fortune and Spirit would have been in Taurus and the releasing from Spirit, according to Valens, would start from the next sign Gemini.

An interesting aside:
If we look at Goethe’s solar return in 1774 for the 12:30 pm LMT birth time, we find that in the return Sagittarius rules the Ascendant and Jupiter lies at 16 Taurus 03, which is the exact position of the natal Part of Spirit in his 12:30 pm birth chart. The book was published in September of 1774, which was the start of a Jupiter profection year as well, so Jupiter was highlighted as both the ruler of the SR Ascendant and as the lord of the year in his annual profections.
The ruler of the natal Lot of Spirit in Taurus is Venus, which in the solar return lies in Leo (his natal 10th) in the 9th house of publishing and closely trines the Solar Return Ascendant withing 3 degrees.  Mercury, which rules his natal MC, is making a station and turning direct in Leo (his natal whole sign 10th house) in the 9th house of publishing in the Solar Return for the release of his novel about Werther in 1774.  Here is the SR chart.

Goethe SR cht


ADDENDUM (29 Sep 2017) — some observations by Martien Hermes:

In the FB Zodiacal Releasing Group, Martien Hermes made the following insightful observations about Goethe’s Loosing of the Bond from Gemini to Sagittarius (the Bowman) at the end of 1774. Martien discusses the chart from the point of view of the Lot of Fortune marking the ascending sign. Here is the chart followed by Martien’s  comments:
Goethe from PF

“We see the loosing going to the Bowman where we find the Moon and Jupiter, more importantly however is the fact that the ruler of the Bowman – Jupiter – is the Fortune-10th. Often an important indicator of success, and ‘sudden’ success is probably indicated because of the loosing of the bond. Furthermore, Jupiter is of the sect in favor, and opposed by Venus (a triplicity ruler of the sun, and the exaltation ruler of the Fishes, where Jupiter itself is), which is a bonification as stated in Schmidt’s book Definitions and Foundations. Again, an aversion kicks in, also suggesting an important break/change in this scenario. How? Period ruler Mercury is in an aversion with Jupiter, the now new ruler of the major period because of the loosing of the bond. A sudden change, and as we can see in this example, for the better.” — Martien Hermes.

Martien Hermes is the author of the well-received 2008 book in Dutch on zodiacal releasing from Spirit: Goede tijden, slechte tijdenPrognose met zodiakale Aphesis van het Pars Daimon. Moderne carrières en biografieën in beeld gebracht met Hellenistische Astrologie. [Good times Bad Times. Prognosis with zodiacal Aphesis of the Pars Daimon. Modern careers and biographies as viewed with Hellenistic Astrology.]  Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is not an English translation of this work. However, there is a Dutch-language review of the book online in PDF format at http://home.kpn.nl/ligteneigen3/aphesishermes.pdf.


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A brief overview of Zodiacal Releasing

I came across this blog post about Zodiacal Releasing on the Argentinian site Cosmoazul and asked the author, Alex, for permission to translate and repost it here. Alex kindly consented so here is his 2012 article about Aphesis.  Any mis-translations are purely my own. I have added subheadings, not in the original, to make different sections of the text easier to identify.


Zodiacal Releasing – Vettius Valens

By Alex at COSMOAZUL in Argentina

03 MAY 2012


Vettius Valens (8 Feb 120 – 175 CE) was a Hellenistic astrologer born during the 2nd century CE in Antioch, which is modern-day Antakya.  Valens is the author of several texts written in Greek, called the Anthology, which consists of nine books composed between 150 CE and the time of his death. The most complete and extensive treatise on astrology that has survived from that time, the Anthology has been translated in a joint effort called Project Hindsight, which deals with Hellenistic astrology – the form of astrology that developed in Egypt and the area surrounding the Mediterranean after the conquest of Alexandria and the primary source of all Western astrology as we know it.

Valens was a contemporary of Ptolemy, who was an Egyptian by birth and Roman by adoption. Ptolemy was the author of several works, the best known of which is the Tetrabiblos; he was the first to reconceptualize astrology in terms of Natural Philosophy. The curious thing about Ptolemy is that despite writing about astrology, he was not a practicing astrologer. His work is considered as the completion of Aristotelian physics at a sublunary level. Ptolemy’s work cannot be considered representative of Hellenistic astrology since, apart from being a theoretical revisionist, he rejected much of the astrological tradition which he inherited. Phases of the Fixed Stars was another well-known work of Ptolemy in which he deals with the prediction of the climate by means of astrology.

Vettius Valens, for his part, is the one of the best representatives of the astrology of his time. In his work he cites a large number of astrologers who would never have been known but for him. Valens traveled extensively in the Middle East, pursuing the sources of astrological knowledge and thanks to his work and detailed writings, served as the basis for many Arabic Arab astrologers of the Middle Ages who translated part of his works into Persian.

In this presentation I would like to highlight one of the techniques described by Valens in his fourth book about the different systems of “chronocrators” or “time lords”, known as Zodiacal Aphesis or Zodiacal Releasing.

Chronocrators: Lords of Time Periods

The term “chronocrator” refers to any celestial body or point in the zodiac that is an indicator of time or a period of time. The word is known from the periodic conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn every 20 years, which is known as the Great Chronocrator. The technique of Zodiacal Releasing is described by Vettius Valens as one of the most precise and powerful and is attributed to a Hellenistic astrologer named Abraham. The time lords or Chronocrators are the Western equivalent of the Hindu Dasa system, in which the planets serve in turn as regents of a given period of time, usually including a series of sub-regents serving under the principal one for shorter periods of time.

Some of these methods are general, investigating life as a whole, whereas others are more specific and deal with particular topics.

Releasing or Aphesis

“Releasing” is a term that applies to general methods of Time Lords, where a significant point is set free from its position in the chart and moves through it in one way or another. In methods like the primary directions, the released signifier moves through successive degrees of the natal chart in a continuous arc, whereas in the Zodiacal Releasing technique the signifier moves from one sign to the next in discrete jumps.

The nature of the significator determines the type of information that is revealed by a given time-lord system. Zodiacal Releasing typically uses the “Arabic parts” or Lots as signifiers whose signs become points of departure. Valens typically uses either of the two main Lots of Hellenistic astrology, that of Fortune and that of Spirit, but in principle there is no reason why the sign containing any other Lot could not serve as a starting point for releasing.


The position about the transits in ancient times was that for an event to happen, a planet in the transit had to be a chronocrator for the period of time and the questions that were posed. In other words, a planet making or receiving the transit had to be a time lord in order to give testimony regarding the life of the native and to be able to be heard. In part, this approach can explain why certain transits do not produce events on some occasions, that is to say, why the planet is considered “mute” for not manifesting itself in any evident way.

Planetary Periods

The periods obtained under this method of zodiacal releasing can be subdivided up to 4 nested levels, representing years, months, days and hours. This allows you to determine very precisely on what day and at what time the particular time lord goes into effect and for how long.

The planetary periods used in Hellenistic astrology are a kind of recurring cycle involving a reference planet (usually the Sun) and the planet in question. On a given date, for example, the Sun will be in one degree and Mercury in another. The next time Mercury occupies the same degree and the Sun is also in its original location relative to Mercury, a Mercury cycle ends (20 years in this example).

All the planets have periods during which they give testimony regarding the life of the native and these periods are derived from the so-called “minor years” of the planets, also called cycles of recurrence. In this regard, it is necessary to take into account that the length of these years is not as we know it today but rather the Egyptian year of 360 days. Thus, the duration of the “minor years” of the planets is:

  • Sun 19 years
  • Moon 25 years
  • Mercury 20 years
  • Venus 8 years
  • Mars 15 years
  • Jupiter 12 years
  • Saturn 30 years

Thus, the Moon takes 25 Egyptian years (of 360 days each) to return to the same degree it had in relation to the Sun, Venus take 8 years in “recurring” with the Sun, etc. At the time a chronocrator reaches the end of its period, the chronocratorship is said to “pass” to the next sign in zodiacal order.

Subperiods as one-twelfth of the higher-level period

Now, the primary or dominant period of the planets was considered the most important and gave the general overview of that time in the life of an individual, but in order to fully understand the different possible variations within that general time frame, the primary period was divided into subperiods equivalent to 1/12 (one twelfth) of the length of the general period. This value likely derives from considering the two luminaries as principals in the sky, the apparent lunar motion being 12 times that of the Sun. By the same reasoning, one can understand why the Lot of Fortune (Moon) and the Lot of Spirit (Sun) are taken as the primary starting points for this technique of Zodiacal Releasing.

For Vettius Valens, the Lot of Fortune was the key for analyzing and studying matters related to the body, physical happiness, health, financial stability, etc., while the Lot of Spirit was taken into consideration for the things that one does, for example, work, employment, career, etc.

The Lord of the first period is the ruler of the domicile of the sign where the Lot or specific point is located. Thus, if the Part of Fortune lies in the sign of Leo, then the first 19 years of the person’s life will be ruled by the Sun, after which “chronocratorship” would be passed on or delivered to Virgo, administered by Mercury for the next 20 years.

The subperiods follow the same principle as above but their duration is in months, preserving the ratio of 1/12. This means that if the Sun is the regent of the first 19 years, it will also be the sub-regent of the first 19 months, after which it passes to Mercury during the next 20 months due to its regency of Virgo, then Venus the next 8 months due to Libra, etc.

Thus, the periods known as the “minor years” of the planets are the values used in the Zodiacal Releasing to determine the duration of the epochs or general periods of life, with the exception of Saturn. In classical astrology Saturn rules both Aquarius and Capricorn, and if the Lot or point in question lies in (or passes to) Aquarius, its duration will be 30 years, but it will be reduced to 27 years if it lies in Capricorn.

Egyptian years of 360 days

For the major or general periods, these values are taken as years of exactly 360 days. In the subperiods, a month of 30 days is 1/12 of the year of 360 days. To reach the third subperiod level (days), the monthly value is divided by 12. In the case of Mercury, for example, its subperiod is 20 months and the sublevel period would be 1 / 12th of that, which calculates to 50 days. The last sub-level or Lord of Time of 4th level, would take the 50 days and calculate 1/12 of it, which gives a result of 4 1/6 days, that is, 4 days and 4 hours.

An explanatory table would appear as follows:

Four Levels of Time Periods

Planet First & Second Levels


Third Level Fourth Level
Sun 19 47.5 days 3 days 23 hours
Moon 25 62.5 days 5 days 5 hours
Mercury 20 50 days 4 days 4 hours
Venus 8 20 days 1 day 16 hours
Mars 15 37.5 days 3 days 3 hours
Jupiter 12 30 days 2 days 12hours
Saturn (Aquarius) 30 75 days 6 days 6 hours
Saturn (Capricorn) 27 67.5 days 5 days 15 hours


Loosing of the Bond (“La pérdida de la atadura”)

For the second level subperiods, which utilize the planetary periods as months, a complete cycle through the 12 signs of the zodiac takes 17 years 7 months (in 360-day years). Since the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Saturn have periods longer than that, the 6 signs that they govern will have more than 12 subdivisions. When dividing these 6 signs (Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn and Aquarius), after twelve subperiods have been completed, instead of with the sign that served to initiate the subperiod, the releasing jumps to the opposite sign and continues from there. For example, when Cancer as a major period is subdivided, the first subperiod is Cancer and the twelfth subperiod is Gemini. The thirteenth subperiod instead of going back to Cancer is, instead, the opposite sign Capricorn. Aquarius is the fourteenth subperiod, Pisces the fifteenth and so on until the end of the 25 year cycle of Cancer under the Moon.

In Leo this occurs when the second level period changes from Cancer to Aquarius; in Virgo, when it changes from Leo to Pisces; in Capricorn, from Sagittarius to Cancer; in Aquarius, from Capricorn to Leo; and in Gemini, from Taurus to Sagittarius.

The time or moment that this jump happens is called the “Loosing of the bond”” and marks a significant point in the cycle.

With this technique one must keep in mind that the years to which each planet refers do not correspond to current dates. As was previously mentioned, this technique makes use of the 360-day Egyptian year. If one begins a period on 1/1/2012 in Cancer, instead of ending the period after 25 years as the Moon indicates, the Leo period would begin on 8/22/2036 instead of 1/1/2037. This occurs because Zodiacal Releasing uses a year of 360 days and not the solar year of 365.25 days. The months are exactly 1/12 of a year of 360 days or exactly 30 days, which corresponds to the duration of the signs as 30 degrees within a 360° wheel. If one does the calculation mentally, one can ignore the difference because it would take 70 years to accumulate an inequality of 1 year. One would maintain a one-month lag for every 5 years and 10 months.

To convert an ancient Egyptian year of 360 days to the current calendar year of 365 days is very simple. Just multiply the number of 360 days per year by 360 to get the result in days, then divide that result by 365.25 to get the number in normal years (365.22422 for a better approximation). A problem may arise when dealing with leap years and the uneven months of our calendar, but nothing that cannot be solved by a couple of calculations.

The Hellenistic Lots

In Hellenistic astrology the Lots (Arabic Parts) were a very important component of the original system. The most widely used were the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit. The most common Lots are found by taking the ecliptic arc between two planets and projecting an equal arc from the Ascendant. The Lot is the other end of this arc. For many Lots, the calculation differs for daytime or night births. Unlike the planets which each have several meanings, the Lots are very specific and specialized: Lot of death, marriage, father, disease, prosecution, trial, etc. A Lot represents the power of a planet in a specific sense. The system of Lots generated by taking one of the planets in relation to each of the remaining six classical planets represents the distribution of the multiple meanings of that planet in different places of the chart, in this way the planetary meanings can be studied separately.

The Lot of Fortune is found taking the ecliptic arc from the Sun forward in the direction of the signs to the Moon and projecting an equal arc from the degree of the Ascendant. For a nocturnal birth, the ecliptic arc of the Moon is taken forward to the Sun and projected from the Ascending degree. Of course, for these calculations it is necessary to have a natal hour as exact as possible to determine the right degree of the Ascendant. Another method is to invert the direction of projection that extends from the Ascendant in the opposite direction. Either way it gives the same result.

The Lot of Spirit is calculated by taking the ecliptic degree from the Moon forward in the order of the signs to the Sun, and then an equal arc is projected from the degree of the Ascendant. For a night chart, the arc is taken from the Sun to the Moon and projected from the Ascendant.

Thus, one can see that the algorithm for the Lot of Fortune in a diurnal chart is the same as that of the Spirit for a nocturnal nativity, and vice versa. It can also be seen that there is a direct relationship between one Lot and the other, and in fact their positions are symmetrical to each other with reference to the Ascendant-Descendant axis. This reveals to us that under a birth during the New Moon, the Lot of Spirit and Fortune are both on the degree of the Ascendant and they are on the Descendant for a birth during a full moon.

The Lot of Fortune singles out the meaning of the Moon’s fortune and represents the total allocation of good or bad things that befall us as physical organisms or biological entities, or that enter into our human lives independently of our actions. Thus, Zodiacal Releasing can be used with this Lot to investigate one’s health and injuries of the body as well as the result of the actions we take in response to what happens to us or that we suffer. The Lot of Fortune is also called the Lunar Ascendant and is used to establish an alternative system of whole sign houses different from the natal houses (unless Fortune is located in the Ascending sign, in which case they would be equal). For this, the first house is the sign where the Fortune is. Hellenistic practice studies the Lots or Arabic Parts in the system of houses of the Fortune.

On the other hand, the Lot of Spirit isolates the meaning of the Spirit of the Sun, and refers to the power of the Sun to rise or awaken us to action. Zodiacal Releasing from this Lot can be used to study one’s work or career and the outcome of actions carried out as a result of conscious choices or the exercise of one’s will in general.

The importance of the 10th sign from the Lot of Fortune

In this technique the most important consideration is the location of the sign representing the epoch or time period, and whether it is angular, succeedent or cadent from the Lot of Spirit or Fortune. This is particularly important for releasing from Spirit because it denotes the periods of success, distinguished appointments, recognition, fame or notoriety that happens when the Aphesis reaches the tenth sign from the Lot of Fortune. Another important consideration is the state of the domicile of the Time Lord in question. Valens used the word “chrematistikos” which in Schmidt’s translation means “busy” or “speaking”. Thus we find periods that are naturally busier or that say more things than others. Signs in particular may not have much to say unless a “malefic” is involved. Valens said that the malefics are more powerful than the benefices. Perhaps the lack of knowledge regarding the psychological causes behind this is the reason for such an assertion.

With this technique one can divide life into climes of each planet according to its nature.

Thank you,



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Some useful free resources for traditional astrologers


Several people have asked me recently for links to free resources about traditional astrology. Many student astrologers can’t afford commercial programs, and fortunately there is much available online for those who wish to experiment with  traditional techniques.

My favorite free programs for traditional astrology are:

  1. Morinus freeware Traditional:  https://sites.google.com/site/tradmorinus/morinus (I think there may have been some copyright problems with the font used and this may no longer be available.)
  2. Traditional Morinus revised by Elías D. Molins: https://sourceforge.net/projects/morinus/ (This is freeware, generously provided by Elías to the astrological community.)
  3. Planetdance:  http://www.jcremers.com/?id=Home&lan=en  (This program from the Netherlands is a real gem.  (I think only the computer program does Zodiacal Releasing.  Sadly the android app does not have this feature.)
  4. ZET Lite (v.9): http://www.zaytsev.com/downloads.html  This freeware program does a lot of useful calculations.  It provides a list of firdaria (both Hand and Zoller methods) and allows for a wide range of houses including whole sign and Draconic.
  5. Curtis Manwaring’s program Aphesis at http://www.astrology-x-files.com/downloads.html.  You can download either the Apple or the PC verision (aphesis.zip).

For calculating charts online:

  1. https://horoscopes.astro-seek.com/ has a good traditional option.
  2. https://www.astro.com/

For Zodiacal Releasing:

  1. Curtis Manwaring’s program Aphesis at http://www.astrology-x-files.com/downloads.html.  You can download either the Apple or the PC verision (aphesis.zip).
  2. http://nataltransits.com/timelord.html to calculate zodiacal releasing online.
  3. Planetdance:  http://www.jcremers.com/?id=Home&lan=en  (This freeware program from the Netherlands is a real gem.  (I think only the computer program does Zodiacal Releasing.)

If you know of other free resources, please post them in the comments below.



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