Abu Ma’shar discovers astrology

In the previous post I presented a reconstruction of Abu Ma’shar’s birth chart calculated by modern computer by adjusting the start of the zodiac to give almost exactly the same natal chart which Ma’shar uses in his writings.

To check the validity of this chart I decided to look at the method of distribution, that is, directing the chart by primary motion and studying the bound (term) of the directed Ascendant for a particular time in life.  Ben Dykes tells us in Persian Nativities III that Abu Ma’shar “was initially an astrology skeptic, but around the age of 47 he is said to have been introduced to astrology by the famous al-Kindi.”  Ma’shar went on to become one of the leading astrologers of his time, and his works continue to influence how astrology is practiced today.

Here are his distributions from ages 20 to 55, as calculated by Janus software (mean solar arc rate):


As you can see, when Abu Ma’shar was in his 40s, his directed Ascendant was in Gemini and specifically in the Saturn bound of Gemini from ages 44 to 51.  At age 46 year 5 months the directed Ascendant met up with the trine of Saturn, so that Saturn was a dominant time-lord when al-Kindi introduced Ma’shar to astrology.  The following points are noteworthy about this direction of the Ascendant (see chart below):

  • The bound of Saturn in Gemini coincides with the entry into Ma’shar’s Alcabitius 3rd house of mind and communication.
  • Saturn rules Ma’shar’s 9th (astrology, teachers, higher learning) and 10th (career) Whole Sign houses.
  • Natally his Saturn lies in Aquarius, which modern astrologers associate with their art.
  • Natally Saturn is Rx (retrograde), suggesting that its effects are likely to manifest later in life.
  • Saturn disposes Ma’shar’s Daemon or Lot of Spirit (at 28 Cap 35), which is associated with finding one’s direction in life.  Saturn also lies in his Alcabitius 11th house of the Good Daemon, where it conjoins the 11th cusp.
  • Ma’Shar’s MC (career) lies in Capricorn and is closely conjoined by Jupiter, the ruler of his Alcabitius 9th house (astrology).  The cusp of the 9th lies in the bounds of Saturn.


About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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