Distortions due to the Astrological “12-letter Alphabet”


One of the banes of modern astrology is the adoption of the 12-letter alphabet which equates planets with signs and with houses. In such a system there is no difference in signification, for example, between Mars, Aries and the 1st House. This type of thinking ignores the long history and development of horoscopic astrology since its birth in ancient Hellenistic times. As a result, modern astrology sometimes twists astrological symbols to become gross distortions of what they originally signified.

The original universal horoscope in Western astrology was the Thema Mundi which had Cancer rising in the 1st place (topos), and Aries at the Midheaven. The 12-letter alphabet considers Aries rising as the first sign of the universal horoscope and locates Cancer in the 4th place and Capricorn in the 10th place (which is where Aries appeared in the Thema Mundi).

Recently I’ve seen several references to Taurus being a “hedonistic” sign. The reasoning appears to be that Taurus equals Venus, the planet of sensual delights, so that Taurus is thus a sign in constant pursuit of sensual pleasure. By the same faulty reasoning, Venus is thought to equal money because Taurus falls in 2nd place in the Aries-rising chart, even though Taurus occupies the 11th place in the original Thema Mundi of Western horoscopic astrology. Here is a typical “modern” astrological delineation of Taurus based on the 12-letter alphabet, which ignores tradition and substitutes a modern misunderstanding as the basis for delineation:

Taurus is an earth sign, and it’s ruled by love-and-money planet Venus. This gives those born under this sign an immense connection with sensuality and earthly pleasures. As such, they can be big lushes – sipping fancy cocktails, wearing gorgeous outfits, knowing the best chef in town. Their favorite drug is MDMA, because they’re constantly chasing ecstasy. Few people can luxuriate like Taurus! However, with such expensive tastes, it can be easy for them to rack up a high balance on their credit card or a debilitating hangover.” (Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/vbxpv9/taurus-worst-traits-zodiac-sign)

If we contrast the above delineation of Taurus with that of a traditional astrologer, say William Lilly, we find that Taurus meant something quite different in the 17th century. Lilly writes (CA 538) that if the significator of manners in a natal chart falls in Taurus, then the native is “laborious, for the Oxe or Bull is represented by Taurus.” In Lilly’s time, “laborious” meant “devoted to labor, hard-working and industrious” (See https://www.etymology-online.com/laborious).

Again in England’s Prophetical Merline Lilly discusses a horary question from a woman who asked whether she should marry a much older man for his money?

A Gentle Woman desired to know is she should have an Aged Man; yes, or no.

Lilly studies the chart and determines that the man inquired after, signified by the 7th house and its ruler Jupiter, must be “worldly and cautious, for Jupiter being in Taurus, the emblem of labour, doth insinuate so much.” Here again, Lilly views the Earth-sign Taurus the Bull as hard-working, industrious, worldly and cautious, partly because the bull is an animal of labor and spends his days sweating and plowing fields under the hot sun. This is hardly the modern 12-letter image of Taurus as the hedonistic, pleasure-seeking lush who spends his or her day in pursuit of ever more sensual delights.

Woman asks if she should marry the old man for his money.

Lilly interprets the chart as follows. Mercury signifies the woman querent, and Jupiter signifies the old man whom she might marry. Mercury is separating from a sextile to Jupiter, so their significators are not applying to any type of union.

Mercury lies in Cancer, the exaltation sign of Jupiter, so the old man is hot to get married to this younger woman. Mercury (the woman) will next square Mars in Aries. The Moon separates from a square to Jupiter and next applies to sextile the Mars in Aries, so the woman has the hots for some younger man, perhaps a soldier. Unfortunately, the Moon lies in the 6th and Mars in the 8th, and there Mars does not receive the Moon or Mercury in any of his dignities, so this young virile soldier has no interest in her.

Lilly also advised the woman that the presence of malefic Saturn in the 8th, the house of the old man’s money, with Saturn peregrine and in Aries, the sign of its fall, meant that she would have problems getting at his money. It turned out that even though the old man owned property, there were legal claims against it and she would not fare well financially if she were to marry him. Nonetheless, Jupiter (the old man) in Taurus the Bull meant that he was very hard-working, industrious, cautious and worldly, like a bull pulling a plow all day, working hard in the fields. In addition, because the elderly man’s signifier is expansive Jupiter in Taurus the Bull, Lilly describes him as fleshy and full-bodied with an oval face and dark brown hair.

The old man’s significator was Jupiter in Taurus the Bull, so Lilly described him as hard-working, fleshy and full-bodied with an oval face and dark brown hair.
(Image from https://numpaint.com/products/brown-bull-paint-by-number/

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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7 Responses to Distortions due to the Astrological “12-letter Alphabet”

  1. Cash says:

    I was wondering if Anthony could answer an astrological puzzle only Cardano could purloin but I would need to show my info. Is this something I can do?

    Abstract: When one undertakes research on probability theory, a confrontation with dispositionalism is almost unavoidable. Here I outline a novel argument against probability theory, while things like remaining open to possibilities can be the deciding factor, everyone is responsible for their own spiritual growth. The search within themselves and work toward governing their daily behaviors is particularly efficient. However, others prefer a more purposeful approach demonstrating that competition should not be costly. Dispositionalism refers to the tendency to assign responsibility for the behavior of others to their inherent characteristics. Capacities, abilities, and casual powers with its newly acquired evidential weight can influence the present by implementing astrological midpoints. Midpoints are mathematical relations between two interstellar planets. Finding the symmetry of binomial coefficients analyzed from actual winners is a progression in mathematics and processes directed at games of chance. Here the claim is, although they might seem quite unequivocal and clear, these terms do pose a problem, at least when one wants to analyze dispositionalism and probability theory in terms of a relationship dynamic.

  2. Cash says:

    PowerBall: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
    MegaMIllions: Tuesday, Friday

    Lottery Astrology: WinningTimes software uses Koch and 1 degree orbs Asteroids and Transneptunians correlates against database of winners Natal vs Transiting

    “Cash” Born March 12th 1975 Saint Louis MO 2:15 AM
    Current Place Clarkdale, AZ

    IF: March 4th has a high score of 390 at 6:22 AM Friday all lottery astrology says never go past the high score, where should the ASC be connected prior to the drawing?

    What is the best purchase time and day prior to a peak score?

  3. Aaron Zauber says:

    I enjoyed this post, Anthony! My natal Jupiter is at 10 degrees of Taurus… and I am a hard worker!

    Your knowledge of astrology is astounding to me. Purely amazing. Thanks for continuing to write these blogs for us!

    • Thanks, Aaron, for the feedback. William Lilly would be proud of you for your industriousness and hard work. Like a bull plowing the fields, the slow steady labor eventually pays off in a good harvest.
      Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoy these posts.

  4. Cash says:

    How could the iconography be so different in Chinese astrology?

    The question then is how you will approach these opportunities with conviction, obligation, and grace. Kathleen Powers describes a similar condition necessary for a win in her 2008 book: Using Astrology to Find Your Luck: What works? She asks the simple question “Are people born lucky?” The non-directive analysis of energy is particularly important to this study. However, others prefer a more purposeful approach demonstrating that playing should not be costly. Iliya Bluscov in his 2012 book: Combinatorial Lottery Systems, presents strategies for economical game playing and optimizing playing numbers. Filling out play slips is not particularly efficient or is manually choosing lucky numbers. Powers’ research of natal charts with earth elements are statistical winners of jackpots, data does not support water signs as an indicator of a win. According to Lois Rodden in her book, Money, How to find it with Astrology, earth signs have the character of materializing wealth and so do water signs.

  5. Pingback: Distortions due to the Astrological “12-letter Alphabet” - Charm Wish PR

  6. Cash says:

    Is it possible: ESG astrology, transits tarot, psychedelic: midpoint neptune – sun?

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