Sloppy Guido

Recently I’ve been reading through Ben Dykes translation of Guido Bonatti’s Treatise 6: On Questions.  As I read these ancient texts, I like to put up the charts for the case examples on my computer.  In the previous post I wrote about two examples Bonatti used (transfer and collection of light) for which the chart he describes could not have existed in his working lifetime.  The planets simply did not align as they do in his examples at any time during which Bonatti was practicing astrology in the 13th century CE.

Nonetheless, Bonatti says that the question underlying the chart for the transfer of light was posed to him by one of his clients.  Ben Dykes estimates that Bonatti was born in 1207 CE, so the client who asked about his uncle’s goods (the transfer of light example) would have consulted Bonatti when the astrologer was but 5-years-old.  If Bonatti had simply invented the chart to illustrate a point, he should have said so.  Instead, he says that it is a real chart for an actual question.  On the other hand, maybe Guido was an extremely precocious child and he was indeed doing horary consultations at age 5.  After all, Mozart was already a gifted musician at the same age.

I next turned my attention to Bonatti’s chart for “perfection by joining” (Dykes, p. 356).  According to the text, this chart has an Ascendant at 13 Taurus, Venus at 7 Gemini, Sun at 12 Gemini, and Moon at 9 Aries.  The question is about whether the querent will obtain some landed property (a 4th house matter), and Bonatti says that the Sun rules the quesited, implying that Leo is on the cusp of the 4th and Aquarius is on the Midheaven.

Bonatti wrote his book around 1277 CE, so I worked backward in time, looking for a chart that fit these conditions.  The earliest date prior to 1277 in which a similar chart occurs is June 1, 1255 at 3:04 AM LMT in Florence, Italy.  (I used Florence because Bonatti worked in this part of Italy.)  Prior to that, there is a similar chart on May 31, 1247 at 3:09 AM LMT in Florence.  I did not search for charts prior to 1240 CE.  When the Sun is in Gemini and mid-Taurus rises, it is a few hours before sunrise in Italy.  It seems a little odd to me that Bonatti was taking questions at 3 AM, but maybe he and his clients were night-owls.

The next odd thing about these charts is that if the Sun is in Gemini and 13 Taurus is rising in Italy, then Cancer is on the 4th cusp and Capricorn is on the Midheaven.  In fact, it is not until about 23 Taurus rises that the MC switches to Aquarius and the IC to Leo.  This discrepancy may simply be due to a copyist error, mistaking 23 Taurus for 13 Taurus.  Or maybe Bonatti was so bleary eyed, calculating charts by candlelight at 3 in the morning, that he mistook 23 for 13.

Here are the two charts I came up with (between the years 1240 and 1277 CE) that roughly fit Bonatti’s description of his “Perfection by Joining” example:

bonatti dual

In both charts Taurus rises, so Venus signifies the querent.  The quesited property is signified by the Sun, which ruls the 4th cusp of real estate.  Venus applies to conjoin the Sun in Gemini, suggesting that the querent will get the property.  In addition, the Moon in Aries (in an earlier degree than Venus or the Sun) applies to sextile both these planets in Gemini.  The Sun in Gemini receives the Moon in Aries (the Sun’s exaltation), so there is a strong reception as the Moon sextile Sun perfects and brings the matter to fruition.

I am still left with the lingering doubt about whether Bonatti was simply inventing hypothetical examples to illustrate the theory or whether these were actual charts prompted by real clients who asked horary questions.  I much prefer real world examples to see how or even whether the theory works in practice.

 

All original material on this blog is copyright Anthony Louis, 2017.

 

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Bonatti: Will I get my dead uncle’s goods?

Guido Bonatti (? 1207 – ? 1296 CE) published his famous compendium of astrology around the year 1277 CE.  In Treatise 6 On Questions he gives the example of a horary chart for a question posed to him by one of his clients, Will I get my uncle’s goods?  The uncle had apparently died childless, so the querent had an apparent claim to the inheritance as his nephew and next of kin.

Ben Dykes translation (p. 358) gives the following data for the question:  Ascendant at 16 Scorpio, Mars at 20 Scorpio, Venus at 12 Libra, and Mercury at 17 Pisces.  Unfortunately, there is no date between 1100 and 1400 in which the planets occupied these positions simultaneously, so either Bonatti made an error in calculating (or mis-remembered) the chart or there are typos in the Latin manuscript (which is not uncommon in manuscripts copied by hand).

The only chart in the three centuries which I investigated (1100 – 1400 CE) that closely resembles Bonatti’s description occurred on March 15, 1211 at around 9 PM in Florence, Italy.  (I chose Florence because Bonatti lived in this area of Italy; I do not know where the actual chart was cast.)  We do not know Bonatti’s year of birth, but he probably would have been a young boy or at most a precocious teenager in 1211.  It is not possible to get a chart with Mercury in this position relative to Mars and Venus during these three centuries, but on March 15, 1211 the Moon was roughly in the position attributed to Mercury in Bonatti’s text. Moon and Mercury both begin with ‘M’, so a copyist could easily have confused them and introduced an error into the text.

Here is the only chart I could produce in the three-century span that more or less fits Bonatti’s description:

Bonatti uncle

The querent (Scorpio Ascendant) is signified by Mars in Scorpio.  The querent’s uncle is the father’s brother (3rd from 4th) which is the 6th house.  The dead uncle’s goods are the 2nd of the 6th, which is the 7th house ruled by Venus in Taurus.  Venus applies to oppose Mars, which brings the querent and quesited together via an aspect of opposition.  Furthermore, Mars lies in the detriment of Venus, and Venus lies in the detriment of Mars.  Venus receives Mars only by Face, the weakest dignity of all.  Mars does not receive Venus in any of his dignities.  There is little to suggest that the querent will get the uncle’s goods.

But wait!  The Moon in Pisces has recently separated from a sextile to Venus in Taurus, and Pisces is the exaltation of Venus, that is, Venus received the Moon in her exaltation.  The Moon next applies to trine Mars, and the Moon at 22 Pisces lies in the triplicity, term and face of Mars, which is the equivalent of Mars receiving the Moon in a major dignity.  Thus, the Moon transfers the light of Venus to the planet Mars, indicating that the querent will indeed receive his uncle’s goods (which would otherwise have been denied by the opposition of Venus to Mars without reception).  Or as Bonatti puts it, Venus “committed her disposition” to the Moon, who took the Venusian disposition and committed it to Mars.

Bonatti adds that the planet which transfers the light (the Moon in this chart from 1211 CE), being in the 5th house of legates, ambassadors and envoys, indicates that someone would intervene to bring the matter about.  Because Bonatti erroneously believed that Mercury transferred the light (which was impossible because such a chart did not exist in his lifetime), he got hung up on Mercury ruling the 8th cusp (allies of the 7th house partner).  If in fact the Moon transferred the light, then the intermediary would be a 9th house person, like a lawyer or member of the clergy.

dignities

Addendum:  I was also unable to reproduce Bonatti’s example of collection of light (Dykes, p.360) at any time between the year 1000 and 1500.  Bonatti apparently published his text around 1277, and the Latin edition which Dykes translated is from about 1491.  Bonatti gives these positions for collection of light: Sun at 14 Gemini, Jupiter at 15 Sagittarius, and Saturn at 18 Aries.  There is no date in this 500-year span in which these positions coincide in the tropical zodiac.  In addition, when Saturn is in Aries and the Sun in Gemini, Jupiter has Retrograde motion and is moving away from Saturn rather than toward it.

Thus, either Bonatti was sloppy in his calculations of charts, his copyists were fairly incompetent, or he simply made up examples that never took place in the real world (the medieval equivalent of today’s “fake news”).  The last possibility is disturbing because it raises the question of whether we can trust Bonatti’s findings if, to illustrate astrological principles, he was simply inventing imaginary examples that never took place in reality.  He says that these were actual questions asked of him by his clients.  Could Bonatti have been a clever con artist?  Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Dante placed Bonatti in Hell with his head put on backwards.

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Twelfth-parts in horary – a Sirius example from Lilly

Ever since reading about the use of 12th parts in horary, I have been impressed by their usefulness.  Recently I was reading Lilly’s example (CA392) about a dog that went missing.  The querent asked Lilly where in London to search in order to find the dog.  Here is Lilly’s chart, set for a Saturn day during a Mars hour:

Missing DOG

The closest I could come with a modern computer to reproducing this chart (keeping 21 Scorpio on the MC) is with the following data: 8 September 1648 NS, 4:03:16 pm (16:03:16), London, UK.  The modern chart with Regiomontanus houses looks like this:

Dog regio

I added Sirius (the Dog Star) to the chart for obvious reasons.  Sirius lies at 9 Cancer 13 at the time of the horary inquiry.

The Ascendant at 15 Capricorn 46 is ruled by Saturn and has its 12th-part at 9 Cancer 12, almost exactly conjunct the Dog Star Sirius in the 6th house of small animals.  The querent is concerned about his dog who has disappeared.  The star Sirius is close to Mars, perhaps indicating the dog’s impetuous spirit.  The ruler of the 12th part is the Moon, a natural signifier of fugitives and wanderers.  The sign of the 12th part of the Ascendant is Cancer, which governs the 7th cusp, so perhaps an acquaintance of the querent will play a role in the dog’s recovery.

The querent wanted to know what part of the city to search to find the dog.  Lilly reasoned as follows:

  • The 6th house rules small animals (like dogs) and has Gemini on its cusp.
  • Gemini indicates a direction West by South.
  • Gemini’s ruler Mercury signifies the dog and lies in Libra, a Western sign in the 8th house, which is in the southwest part of the heavens.
  • The Moon, natural signifier of fugitives, lies in Virgo, a southwest sign, near the cusp of the 8th house.  The Moon is just leaving the 7th house, which is western, and heading south toward the MC.
  • Therefore the querent ought to search to the West and somewhat South.

The outcome:

On the Monday following the Saturday question, an acquaintance of the querent happened to be in that part of London when he noticed the querent’s dog tied up under a table.  He then sent the dog home to its master.

This sequence of events is probably shown by the Moon (the missing dog as well as the 7th house acquaintance of the querent) perfecting its sextile to Mars (exalted ruler and almuten of the Ascendant) in 30 minutes of arc, indicating a short period of time.

The Moon’s most recent aspect to a visible planet was a square to Asc-ruler Saturn in Taurus.  The Moon then advanced to enter Virgo (after squaring Uranus, which is probably when the dog ran away).  The Moon’s next aspect to a visible planet is its sextile to Asc-almuten Mars, which indicates the dog’s return to its owner.

With the Moon (the fugitive dog) on the 8th cusp, approaching combustion and applying to the Sun in the 8th, we might wonder why the dog isn’t dead.  I think the answer lies in the fact that Mercury rules the Virgo 8th cusp of death and thus the Lord of Death receives the Moon in death’s domicile and exaltation and bound (all in Virgo), indicating that Death treats the Moon as an especially honored guest in its realm.

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An interesting 3-card tarot reading

The following reading, which illustrates the usefulness of astrological associations in tarot, was done using the Llewellyn Classic Tarot deck.  The querent is a high school senior who asked for a general reading about what issues were currently most important in her life.  We decided on a 3-card reading and she drew the following cards:

  1. Two of Wands
  2. Seven of Wands
  3. Nine of Swords

Here is the spread:

There is a predominance of Wands (cards 1 and 2, associated with the element Fire), which symbolize enterprise, initiative, expansion, adventure, travel and goal-directed activity.

The Two of Wands often represents someone making an important decision about their future, often involving travel to a new location or beginning a new season of life (symbolized by the red and white blossoms on the flag).  The Golden Dawn associates the Two of Wands with Mars in fiery Aries, an initiatory Fire sign.  The Seven of Wands (associated with Mars in fixed and fiery Leo) shows someone stubbornly defending their position against opposing forces.

The final card is the Nine of Swords, associated by the Golden Dawn with Mars in airy and mutable Gemini.  The woman on the card lies in bed, looking worried and distraught.  She touches the red blossom with her right hand and holds her forehead with her left.  Behind her is the image a a bird being pierced in the heart by a sword.  The planet Mars is associated with all three cards.

  1. Two of Wands (Mars in Aries)
  2. Seven of Wands (Mars in Leo)
  3. Nine of Swords (Mars in Gemini)

I said to the querent that the theme of the reading has to do with taking the initiative about what she wants to do with her life.  She may be in the midst of making an important decision, which may meet with opposition and which she will need to defend staunchly (7 of Wands).

The planet Mars pervades the reading, so there may be issues of strife, anger and separation in the air.  The final card could suggest that she is worried about making the right decision or that someone in her life is worried and upset by the initiative she plans to take.

The young woman revealed that she and her mother were currently in conflict about her desire to attend a university in another state, which would cause a significant separation from her mother who strongly preferred that she attend a local college and commute to classes from home.  Her mother was having a very hard time letting go and allowing the querent to separate and leave home.  On the positive side, the Nine of airy Swords suggests that her mother’s worries are more products of her mind and imagination rather than something bad that would manifest in the real world.

complete tarot cover

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An interesting horary chart

I  also posted this in a horary group in which I participate and will update this post once the outcome is known.  The chart and dignity table are from the Janus 5 astrology program (a recent update).

Question: The querent is a private tutor who was helping one of his clients prepare for an important exam. As the time of the exam approached, he was worried that his student was not well enough prepared to pass the exam.  A couple days after the exam the student contacted him to say that the exam was very difficult and he thought he had failed.  The exam was still being graded, and the results would not be available for at least another week, so the querent asked a horary question, “Will he pass the exam?” (which he had just taken).
Date 24 October 2017, 4:13 pm (16:13) EDT, Orange, CT, Asc = 20 Pisces 34.

Pass exam

It is a Mercury day during a Jupiter hour, and Jupiter rules the Ascendant. Jupiter is combust and Mercury is under the beams and both lie in the 8th house (loss), so planetary conditions are not very favorable at the moment of the question.

The 12th part of the Ascendant lies at 6 Scorpio 48, where it conjoins the 8th cusp and Jupiter and is combust the Sun, reflecting the querent’s concern that his student will fail. The dispositor of the 12th part is malefic Mars in Libra, the sign of its Fall.

Saturn, which conjoins the MC, is of the diurnal sect of the chart and has dignity by term and face, suggesting that the exam will be quite challenging and will require hard work if he expects to pass.

I took 7th ruler Mercury to represent the querent’s client (the student). The 9th from the 7th (radical 3rd), also ruled by Mercury, signifies the client’s knowledge and preparation. Mercury has dignity only by term (bound) and is under the sunbeams, so the student is not well prepared and will have difficulty displaying what he does know. In addition, Mercury is disposed by Mars, which lies in an angular house in its sign of detriment and is the malefic of the contrary sect of the chart.

If we take the 10th to represent success, then Mercury (the student) lies in the 8th (loss) and is separating from Jupiter (lord of the 10th), suggesting that he will not pass the exam. The Moon is separating from a sextile to Jupiter and applying to sextile Mercury, a translation of light, giving some hope that he could pass, but the Moon lies in her own detriment and occupies the Fall of Jupiter and none of the dignities of Mercury, so it’s a long shot.

Finally, Mercury in Scorpio (the student) is in in a sign opposite to the Part of Fortune (in Taurus) and in aversion to the dispositor of Fortuna (Venus in Libra), so sheer luck is not on his side.

dignity

I’d appreciate any thoughts about this chart. The outcome will be known in about two weeks. Frankly, I’m hoping that my analysis of this chart is mistaken and that the student will pass the exam.

Addendum: The 12th parts are also called dodecatemoria. The Babylonians used them at least as far back as the 5th century BCE. Masha’allah describes their use in interrogational astrology in his essay On Hidden Things. Since I started trying Masha’allah’s method, I have found 12th parts (especially of the Ascendant) to be extremely helpful in horary charts.
This site does a traditional chart and lists the 12th parts:
https://horoscopes.astro-seek.com/traditional-astrology

Outcome:

The student got the results on 31 October 2017.  He passed with the minimum passing grade.  One point less and he would have failed.  It seems that the Moon, though in Detriment, had just enough strength by accidental fortitudes to transfer the light from Jupiter to Mercury.  It probably also helped that Venus, the dispositor of the Part of Fortune, is highly dignified and is posited in the 7th house which signifies the student.

I was assuming that the Moon is the sign of its Detriment was extremely powerless to help, but perhaps detriment has more to do with the quality of the Moon than with its power to act.

Further Reflections (7 Nov 2017):

This chart has been bugging me because I couldn’t understand how the Moon could be so effective in translating the light from Jupiter to Mercury, indicating that the student would pass the exam.  After reviewing some Hellenistic ideas, I think I found an explanation.
The Moon lies in the domicile of Saturn, the exaltation of Mars, and the triplicity of Venus.  While Saturn has some dignity and is domicile ruler of the Moon position, Saturn is averse to Capricorn from its position Sagittarius and thus unable to help the Moon very much.  Mars is without dignity and in detriment in Libra, so it can’t help the Moon.  Venus, however, which disposes the Moon as triplicity ruler of its position in Capricorn, is quite dignified in Libra and fortifies the Moon in Capricorn with a square from Libra.  Venus lies in an angular house and is also dispositor of the Lot of Fortune.  The Moon is succedent and occupies the house of joy of Jupiter.  These conditions appear to give the Moon just enough positive impetus to indicate a passing grade.  To summarize:

  • The Moon is peregrine and in detriment, and thus not inclined to do much good for the querent.
  • Being without dignity in Capricorn, the Moon must rely on its dispositors (by domicile, exaltation, triplicity, term or face in Capricorn) for help if she wishes to accomplish anything.
  • Domicile ruler Saturn and exaltation ruler Mars are not in a position to help the Moon, which leaves Venus as the next potential ally.
  • An angular Venus in her own domicile Libra disposes the Moon via the dignity of triplicity.
  • Lilly scored dignities as follows: domicile 5 (100%), exaltation 4 (80%), triplicity 3 (60%), term 2 (40%) and face or decan 1 (20%).  Thus, triplicity has just enough dignity to get him over the finish line but not enough to come in at 1st or 2nd place.
  • Venus is especially positive because she also disposes the Part of Fortune.
  • Venus fortifies the Moon by “overcoming” Luna (a Hellenistic concept) with a square from Libra to Capricorn.
  • The Moon has strength to act because it is just leaving the angular 10th and entering the succedent 11th, which is the joy of Jupiter (the benefic of the sect of the chart).

 

 

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Could Donald Trump have Virgo rising?

In the 2016 presidential elections many astrologers were surprised that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. Part of the problem in making an astrological prediction was that we did not have a verified birth time for Mrs. Clinton. In addition, Donald Trump was born so close the the change of signs from Leo to Virgo on the Ascendant that it was hard to be sure which was his true rising sign. For Hellenistic astrologers especially, the correct ascending sign is crucial to making an accurate prediction.

Preceding the election, I used an 8 AM time for Clinton and a 10:54 AM time for Trump (from his birth certificate). When asked directly, Hillary Clinton usually says that she was born at 8 PM, but astrologers doubted her. Donald Trump was born at Jamaica Hospital in Queens where his birth time was recorded as 10:54 AM, which gives a Leo Ascendant. A mere 13 seconds later, at 10:54:13 AM the Ascendant shifts into Virgo, so it is entirely possible that if the hospital staff rounded to the nearest minute (10:54 AM) that Trump may have a Virgo Ascendant.

For the sake of argument let’s assume that Trump was born at 10:54:13 AM or a few seconds later so that his Ascendant would be in Virgo. His Whole Sign chart would look like this:

TRUMP

In this Virgo rising chart, Trump’s zodiacal releasing from Daimon at the time of the 2016 election would look like this:

ZR

He is in a 25-year-long Cancer period on Level I, which began in 2000. This activates his fortunate 11th house which contains 10th-ruler Mercury as well as Saturn, Venus and his Lot of Exaltation. Because Jupiter, the benefic of the day sect, lies in Libra, it too is activated through the square with Cancer.

At the time of the 2016 election Trump was in a Gemini period on Level 2. Gemini is his 10th house of career, and its ruler Mercury is already activated by its placement in Cancer in square to benefic Jupiter. The Moon, which rules Cancer, lies opposite Gemini.

This pattern of zodiacal releasing from Spirit is certainly consistent with his winning the election.

Next consider his Solar Return in June of 2016 about five months before the election:

SR

It is interesting that in his 2016 Solar Return the Lot of Spirit lies exactly on the Midheaven.  In addition, Mercury (ruler of the natal 10th of career) conjoins the Lot of Exaltation in Gemini, the solar return 11th of hopes and wishes and the natal 10th of profession.

Lastly, let’s look at Trump’s firdaria (Al-Biruni) in a Virgo rising chart:

firdaria

During the year of the campaign Trump was in a Mars/Jupiter period. He entered a North Node period in June of 2016.  In the Virgo rising chart, the North Node lies in the 10th house of career conjunct the natal Sun, which seems fitting for the period in which he ascended to the presidency. Here is Trump’s square chart with Virgo rising to illustrate this point:

square

It is also noteworthy that in a Virgo-rising chart, Trump has impulsive Mars in dramatic Leo in the 12th house of self-sabotage. Even his supporters might agree that his impulsive lashing out often works against his best interests.

Another interesting point: if Trump were born at 10:54:27 AM (which rounds to 10:54 AM as on his birth certificate), he would have 00 Virgo 03 on the Ascendant.  In November of 2016 during the presidential election, the fixed star Regulus (“the heart of the Lion” aka “the little King”) would have been exactly conjunct his natal Ascendant.

Clearly, this speculative chart does not prove that Trump has Virgo rising, but it does illustrate that a Virgo Ascendant is a distinct possibility.

 

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A note on planetary hours in horary and electional astrology

Horary astrologers are familiar with the advice of William Lilly (1647):

“All the ancients that have wrote of questions do give warning to the
astrologer, that before he deliver judgement he should consider whether the
figure is radical and capable of judgement. The question then shall be taken
for radical, or fit to be judged, when the lord of the hour at the time of
proposing the question, and erecting the figure, and the lord of the ascendant
or first house, are of one triplicity, or be one, or of the same nature.”

Other than this “consideration before judgment” astrologers of the Lilly school rarely take into account the planetary hour or the day ruler as part of their delineation. In Hellenistic times such was not the case.

For example, in the 5th century CE the general Leontius of the Eastern Roman Empire led a rebellion in an attempt to usurp the throne of Emperor Zeno.  To assure success Leontius planned his coronation with the aid of astrologers who calculated a favorable electional (katarchic) chart in July of 484 CE.  Emperor Zeno was not happy and sent his army to confront the usurper.  After four years of conflict, the forces of Zeno triumphed over Leontius who was captured and beheaded in 488 CE.

According to Neugebaur and Van Hoesen in Greek Horoscopes (p. 147), the electional chart for Leontius’ coronation was set for the first hour after sunrise on a Wednesday (a Mercury day during a Mercury hour) with the following planetary positions according to the tables of the epoch:

  • Horoscopos (Ascendant) at 23 Cancer
  • Sun at 23 Cancer
  • Moon at 7 Scorpio
  • Mercury at 19 Leo
  • Venus at 26 Gemini
  • Mars at 20 Cancer
  • Jupiter at 5 Cancer (possibly a copy error, modern calculation is 15 Cancer)
  • Saturn at 15 Scorpio
  • Fortuna at 17 Scorpio (possibly a copy error, modern calculation is 7 Scorpio)
  • Daimon in Aries (at 10 Ar 18 by modern computer)
  • Lot of Exaltation in Aries (at 19 Ar 12 by modern computer)

The following chart is a close approximation to the data provided.  I cast it in the sidereal zodiac (Lahiri) with the Sun just above the Ascendant.  Although it is technically an electional chart, we could also view it as a horary in which Leontius asks something like, “Will my effort to lead a rebellion and become the new Emperor meet with success?”

Neugebaur and Van Hoesen go on to translate the original comments about the chart:

Most likely the astrologers who cast the chart thought they had elected a time that guaranteed success. The Sun is strong on the Ascendant and applies to benefit Jupiter. The  Moon, ruler of the Ascendant, is in mutual reception and in trine with Mars, god of war.  Moon also applies immediately to conjoin the Part of Fortune in the 5th Place of Good Fortune.  The Lot of Spirit/Daimon is conjunct the MC, and the Lot of Exaltation occupies the 10th house at 19 Aries, the degree of exaltation of the Sun, and exactly trines Mercury in Leo in the 2nd which is the 10th house from the Lot of Fortune.

Unfortunately, the hour ruler Mercury (ruler of the 12th of sorrow and undoing) squares malefic Saturn in Scorpio.  Saturn rules the 8th house of death of the radical chart, and Mercury rules the 8th house of death in the turned chart with Pars Fortunae on the Ascendant.  The two rulers of death in square aspect is not a good omen.  Saturn ruling the 8th of death and occupying Scorpio, the domicile of violent Mars, could symbolize a violent death.  The Moon’s next planetary aspect is to conjoin Saturn (stationary, turning direct), ruler of the 8th of death.  In addition, benefic Jupiter is combust the Sun, and Mars (god of war) will soon be under the sunbeams and eventually combust the sun, suggesting an inability to fight effectively as leader of the rebellion.

The failure of the chart to indicate success was also attributed to overlooking the importance of the planetary ruler of the day and of the hour, which is Mercury on both counts.  Mercury always lies within 28 degree of the sun, and in this chart is almost at its maximum elongation from the sun, which the ancient author says is a position of “passivity.”  Once Mercury reaches its greatest elongation, it will begin to approach the sun and will turn stationary Retrograde on 8 August 484.

Dorian Greenbaum translates Olympiodorus’ comment about this chart as:  “but they [the astrologers] did not pay attention, first, that the presiding and managing [planet], Mercury, had fallen into misfortune (εἰς πάθος). For it was at its greatest [distance] from the Sun, which brings about violent death, and it was aspected only by Saturn.”  [The ‘presiding‘ planet rules the day and the ‘managing‘ planet rules the particular hour of the day.]  Reading between the lines, it seems as if the planetary rulers of the day and hour can act as general signifiers of the matter at hand (much as the Moon does) and therefore their condition in the chart has a bearing on the outcome of the question.

Interestingly, on the date that Mercury turned stationary retrograde (8 Augsut 484) Emperor Zeno’s army defeated the rebel army of Leontius who, according to wikipedia, was “forced to take take refuge inside the fortress of Papurius, where the insurgents held out for four years. In 488 the fortress fell through treachery; Leontius was put to death, beheaded at Seleucia on the Calycadnus, and his head was sent to Zeno.”

Had the astrologers paid attention to the lord of the hour in this chart, Leontius might have been spared beheading.

In another instance, I recently consulted with a colleague at a horary chart she did regarding what had happened to brother of the querent’s boyfriend.  The question was asked on a Mars day during a Mars hour, so there was a strong emphasis on Mars.  It turned out that the young man had cut himself in a suicide gesture which led to his being hospitalized.  Again the ruler of the day and of the hour gave an important clue as to the outcome, implying that horary astrologers need to pay more attention to the presiding and managing planets at the time of the question.

Finally, I noticed in a Horary Astrology group on Facebook that a question was asked on 6 October 2017 shortly after sunset: “Will my partner get his surgery done today?”.  The horary chart is cast for the first hour of the night, which is a Mars hour of a Venus day, but the “presiding” ruler of the night hours on Friday is Mars (a general signifier of surgery) and thus Mars is  both the presiding and the managing ruler at the time of the question.  The following list of planetary hours for the location of the chart on 6 October makes this clear:

HOURS

 

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