In his text Vettius Valens tended to do zodiacal releasing (aphesis) from the Lot of Spirit or the Lot of Fortune. Theoretically there is no reason why we can’t begin the releasing from any of the twelve signs to study the development of their significations over the life of the native, according to this technique.
Many other time-lord systems, such as profections, routinely begin at the Ascendant, so I decided to experiment with aphesis from the Ascendant, which is the crucial house (place) in the Hellenistic tradition. Previously I had studied zodiacal releasing in my own chart from the various Hellenistic lots and found that it produced significant results, but I had never done the aphesis from the Ascendant.
Here is my birthchart:
As you can see, it has Libra rising, so I decided to do zodiacal releasing from Libra. This is a day chart, so it is of the diurnal sect. The members of this section are the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury (because it rises before the Sun). The members of the night sect, which theoretically should be more problematic in my life, are the Moon, Venus and Mars.
The most memorable and difficult period of my childhood occurred in the summer of 1953 when I was turning from 7 to 8 years old. My mother, who had a heart value problem, died suddenly and unexpectedly in the middle of the night of 29 August 1953, that is, very early in the morning of 30 August 1953.
Here is the ZR for that period:
With Libra rising, the beginning period of my life is ruled by Venus as time-lord. Libra/Venus has a period of 8 Hellenistic years of 360 days each, so that Venus ends her rule and passes it over to Scorpio/Mars at the end of her 8-year term on 23 July 1953. A month later my mother dies after the lord of the time has shifted from Venus to Mars on Levels 1, 2 and 3.
Mars will rule for the next 15 years as the lord of the major period (Level 1) and will rule for 15 months on Level 2 (until October of 1954). Because Mars is the malefic of the nocturnal sect in this day chart, the red planet has the potential to be especially malefic.
On the evening of 29 August 1953, a few hours before my mother’s death, the rulership of Level 3 shifted from Mars/Scorpio to Jupiter/Sagittarius, and Level 4 shifted from Leo/Sun to Jupiter/Sagittarius.
Interpretively, the activation of Scorpio activates its ruler Mars (the malefic of the opposite sect). Mars occupies my natal 9th house (which is the 12th of the 10th of my mother). Mars also squares the Sun by whole sign, and the sun rules the 11th of the death of a parent (8th of the 4th).
The activation of Leo on Level 4 toward the end of August also activates the 11th of the death of a parent. When Sagittarius is activated on the night of 29 August, it stimulates Mars in Gemini by opposition. Jupiter which rules Sagittarius lies in the 1st, which is the 4th of the end of life of the 10th house mother.
Hellenistic astrology also looked at the chart from the point of the Part of Fortune as the Ascendant. In this case, with the Part of Fortune in Virgo, Gemini (where Mars resides) becomes the 10th house of the mother, Sagittarius becomes the 4th house of home and parents, and Leo becomes the 12th house of grief and misfortune. In addition, the houses that are angular to the Part of Fortune are quite prominent and active when they are stimulated during zodiacal releasing.
Based on this personal example, it does appear that zodiacal releasing from the Ascendant can meaningfully describe the course of one’s life. It is also quite striking how well the natal chart adjusted for the Part of Fortune acting as the Ascendant describes the events that occurred. To illustrate this last point, here is the chart with the Part of Fortune moved to the Ascendant:
As you can see, when Mars is activated, it acts in the 10th house from Pars Fortunae, which is the house of the mother. Because the lordship of time has passed from Libra to Scorpio, the 3rd house is activated, which is the 6th of illness of the mother. When Leo is activated (Level 4), it brings grief to the native (Sun rules the 12th and occupies the 1st). Finally when Sagittarius is activated, it stimulates malefic Mars in the 10th of the mother from the 4th place of home, family and endings.