In the past couple of posts I’ve been looking at ‘prohibition’ in horary. Going through some old charts, I came across this horary from Masha’allah. The querent who is apparently quite ill wants to know whether he will live or die. I reproduced a close approximation of Masha’allah’s chart from the description in Ben Dykes’ translation in the Works of Sahl & Masha’allah (2008).
I usually begin with the 12th part of the Ascendant. Here the Asc in 14 degrees Virgo has its 12th part in Aquarius, the 6th whole sign from the Ascendant, which is consistent with illness being on the querent’s mind. The ruler of Aquarius, Saturn, lies in the 8th whole sign from the ascendant, as is fitting because the question is about whether he will die.
Masah’allah tells us to determine which planet signifies the querent. The ruler of the Ascendant is Mercury, but he is in the 8th house and cannot behold the Ascendant sign, that is, Mercury is in aversion to the Ascendant. Masha’allah also mentions that both Mercury and the Moon are void of course (not perfecting any major aspect before moving into the next sign). Had Mercury not been void of course but rather applying to another planet at the moment of the question, he would have considered that other planet as a possible significator of the querent, especially if it beheld the Ascendant.
Because of the status of Mercury in aversion to the Ascendant, without essential dignity and void of course, Masha’allah next looks at the Moon to see whether she is a more suitable signifier of the querent. In this chart the Moon aspects the Ascendant sign from the 9th house and is in better condition than Mercury, so the Moon becomes the querent’s signifier. (In addition, the Moon in Taurus is exalted.)
Next Masha’allah follows the chain of dispositors, starting from the Moon. Luna in Taurus is disposed by Venus in Pisces, which in turn is disposed by Jupiter in Taurus. Because Jupiter is the heaviest planet in this sequence and is not disposed by Saturn, who is even heavier, the chain of disposition ends with Jupiter. This is favorable and likely indicates that the querent will not die.
We must, however, examine the future aspects of Venus. We can see that Venus will apply to square Mars and to sextile Jupiter. The square to Mars would be bad news because Mars rules the 8th house of death. If Venus perfects the square to Mars before she can perfect the sextile to Jupiter, the querent will surely die. Fortunately Venus will sextile Jupiter (in the ephemeris) before she can square Mars, so Jupiter functions to “prohibit” the death that Mars would bring.
Another interesting feature of this chart is the nature of the “pushing” that takes place. “Pushing” simply means that the faster applying planet conveys or hands over its agenda, significations or disposition (“management”) to the slower planet to which it applies by major aspect. It is then the task of the slower planet, the one being aspected, to attempt to carry out the agenda of the faster planet. There are special categories of “pushing” which involve a planet occupying one of its own dignities or a dignity of the planet it is apsecting.
If the applying planet aspects any of its five dispositors (by domicile, exaltation, triplicity, term or face), then it also “pushes,” conveys, hands over or delivers its own nature to its dispositor. For example, in this chart Venus applies to sextile Jupiter; and Venus being in Pisces, the domicile of Jupiter, means that Jupiter is a dispositor of Venus. Thus, Jupiter, who is in charge of Pisces, will act as if he himself had Venusian qualities because he is responsible for what Venus is doing in his home sign Pisces. It is as if Jupiter absorbs some of the nature or virtue of Venus when she transits through a region of the zodiac to which Jupiter lays claim.
If the faster applying planet itself is dignified, it can deliver some of its own power (dignity, ability to express its own nature in its purest form) to the dispositor to which it applies. In the same example of Venus applying to sextile Jupiter, Venus is exalted in Pisces, so when she aspects Jupiter, she is pushes or delivers to him her dignity of exaltation, which she experiences in Pisces, to her dispositor Jupiter who absorbs the exalted status of Venus into his own condition. Again, because Jupiter is in charge of what happens in Pisces, he is responsible for what Venus is doing there, however weak or powerful (dignified) she may be, and Jupiter utilizes the dignity of Venus in his own behavior in the chart. If the Queen of England were to visit your home, you would likely feel special (exalted) for having hosted royalty in your humble abode.
Because the Moon signifies the 1st House querent and his vitality, the agenda of the Moon is to go on living. The Moon conveys its agenda to Venus via the square aspect and thereby asks Venus to pick up the gauntlet and work at keeping the querent alive. Venus, in turn, appeals via a sextile to Jupiter for assistance in maintaining the viability of the querent. Jupiter happily obliges because Venus is making the request from his domicile Pisces and, additionally, Jupiter occupies Taurus, the domicile of Venus, so that Venus and Jupiter are mutually receptive and more than happy to be scratching each other’s back.
The Moon will leave Taurus, where she is exalted, and enter Gemini to perfect a square to Venus who is exalted in Pisces, which is ruled by Jupiter. The Moon is carrying with her the light of Jupiter in Taurus, so Venus gets kind of supercharged by the benefic light of Jupiter whom Venus receives in her domicile Taurus. The square from Moon to Venus perfects while the Moon is in the first decan of Gemini, ruled by Jupiter.
Next Venus applies to Jupiter and, by doing so, conveys or “pushes” the Moon’s desire to live onto Jupiter who receives Venus from his domicile Pisces. This super-benefic Venus, a natural benefic which receives the light of Jupiter in Taurus, conveys her nature, and the power of her exaltation, to Jupiter who becomes a kind of super-benefic in the process of receiving this doubly exalted Venus and prevents the death from taking place.
As an aside, I should mention the concept of “not-reception” which Benjamin Dykes discusses in his presentation of the works of Sahl. To paraphrase a passage from Sahl:
There are places in the zodiac where neither reception nor recognition of the applying planet occurs. Suppose, for example, that the Moon is applying to aspect a planet which has no dignity in the place where the Moon is located. In other words, the planet being applied to is not a dispositor of the Moon in any of the five dignities (domicile, exaltation, triplicity, term, face). In such a case the slower planet does not recognize the Moon and does not receive it because it is aspecting the slower planet from unfamiliar or foreign territory.
A corollary of this idea has to do with the Moon, or another planet, applying to an even slower planet from the sign of the slower planet’s fall. For example, suppose the Moon is applying to aspect Jupiter while the Moon is transiting Capricorn, the sign of Jupiter’s fall. Because the Moon occupies a sign which Jupiter despises or regards as foreign, Jupiter is likely to reject any advances made by the Moon — a situation which Sahl refers to as “not-reception” to distinguish it from reception proper, namely that reception occurs whenever a planet aspects one of its lords (dispositors).