Welcome to the Natasa Karalic Koprivica's Horary Astrology Blog. This Blog is dedicated to the art of Horary Astrology as it is exemplified in works of ancient masters such as: Claudius Galen, Ibn Sahl, Masha'allah, Ibn Ezra, Guido Bonatti, Richard Saunders, John Gadbury and William Lilly. If you are interested in topics related to Natal, Electional and Mundane Astrology, we are invite you to visit Traditional Astrology Blog.

15 February 2010

Iatromathematical Decumbitures (The Early Rules Concerning Medical Horary Questions)

Unlike decumbitures (medical horary charts) which were chiefly promoted by the English astrologers of the 17th century like Nicholas Culpeper, Richard Saunders and William Lilly, Dorotheus’s iatromathematical charts concerning sickness are distinctive because of their specific mundane location of the sick and his physician in the chart, which could be constructed for the moment of the inception of the medical examination and establishment of diagnosis, the beginning of treatment, the moment when the sick meets the physician for the first time, the moment when the physician first heard the news concerning sickness, etc. Contrary to the English school of the 17th century, these first rules assigned physicians (which were often astrologers as well) to the 1st mundane house and the sick to the 10th house. This manner of locating is, most probably, the consequence of logical reasoning which assigns the active role to the physician and the fact that his medical knowledge and skills, in a  certain way, hold sway over sick person’s destiny. The 10th house of the chart is assigned to the sick, because he is the subject of the question and the aim of the physician’s action (the direct relationship between the ascendant and the zenith). In the 7th house we search for the cause of the sickness and the imbalance in  bodily humours because the western point is the natural position of Moon’s rulership according to the Chaldean planetary order. The further we go into astrology’s past, the more we encounter this symbolical connection between the luminary of the night and the body, i.e. vitality, because the Moon is the Earth’s nearest heavenly body and the first to separate her from the higher heavenly spheres of supralunar cosmos. For this same reason, the part of Fortune, the point bearing lunar symbolism, is by some ancient authors designated as a symbol of an incarnated soul and that is why the role of an alternative ascendant is often attributed to this point, whereas the part of Spirit, point bearing solar symbolism, denotes immaterial vertical connecting man with timeless, transcendental spheres. For this reason the part of Spirit, unlike the part of Fortune, doesn’t play a significant role in matters of health and vitality. The western horizon is brought into connection with the diseases also because it is a point on a horizon where the Sun sets and looses the strength (visibility) of its  diurnal rulership, symbolizing thereby the loss of vitality and the end of life, whose beginning is found on the point of eastern horizon. The fourth, last mundane point, imum coeli or nadir(depending upon the mundane division system) signifies  the final outcome of the matter, that is, either the recovery or the death of the sick. In accordance with these general guidelines, if the benefics are located in the 7th house of the chart, it is  believed that the sick would recover quickly, without the prolonged and serious treatment. However, if that benefic is afflicted by a malefic located in the sign occupying the 1st house, it was a sign that the physician was causing damage to the patient who would recover if the physician didn’t tamper  with the treatment.

If the Moon is separating from a benefic in the moment of the question or the beginning of the examination, it is a positive sign of recovery. The Separation from Mars signifies a high temperature, agony or surgical intervention which has to be undertaken, but also  amputation and scars inflicted by the medical treatment. It is very bad if the Moon is separating from Mars in its waxing phase after the first crescent (the third day after the last conjunctional syzygy) until the full Moon, including this phase also. It is better if the Moon is waning while separating from Mars. The separation from Saturn designates protracted and chronic sickness so the matter should be additionally judged in the context of the meridian axis’s condition. Additional complicating factor is given if the waxing Moon is found in a fixed sign below the horizon. Equally, the Sun below the  horizon is not a good omen.

Decumbiture chart should be compared with the natal chart of the sick person. If in that comparison the Moon lands in the sign containing one of the malefics  in the natal chart, or the ruler of the 6th house, or the Moon of the horary chart gets into the 6th house of the natal chart, the prognosis won’t be good. The seriousness of the illness is also signified by the position of the horary Moon in the 12th house of the natal chart. If the Moon occupies signs ruled by benefics in the natal chart or is in aspect with them, it is believed that the sick person will recover. The sickness will be long and serious if the Moon aspects its natal position by a sinister square aspect or lands in a sign of a natal chart containing the first triplicity ruler of the lower merdian (nadir) especially if this ruler is debilitated or afflicted by its mundane position/position on a malefic fixed star or by aspects.

The course of the illness is checked when the Moon is 10 and 40 degrees distant from its initial position and at these points one should analyse its aspect with other factors of the chart, but equally also with the transiting planets of the moment. If at these points the Moon aspects the benefics, the sick person will recover, but if the contact is made with the malefics, it is a very bad omen indicating death.

Surgical interventions shouldn’t be undertaken when the Ascendant and Moon occupy the signs of Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn or Pisces, when the Moon is close to the Sun or in opposition with it, if the malefics aspect the sign occupying the 1st house or the Moon when the operation is due to begin. It is positive if the Moon is waning  but is distant enough from the Sun (at least one sign), when the malefics follow the Moon zodiacally , and Venus/Jupiter aspect the ascendant or the Moon in the chart for the inception of  surgery. The Moon and the ascendant of the surgery chart should not occupy the sign related to the body part which is due to undergo surgery.

It won’t be good if the Moon is waxing on the epicycle (Ptolemy’s geometrical model which tried to explain the variations in speed, directions and distance of the luminaries and planets based upon the movement of imaginary planetary circles within the bigger, referential circle called deferent) and is  located in the sign of the iatromathematical chart containing the Sun or Mars. This is a certain indicator of death which will probably ensue when the Moon forms a square or opposition aspect with its initial position.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

07 February 2010

Considerations Before Judgment

Most of the authorities in horary astrology stressed the importance of fulfilling certain preconditions for judging horary questions. The most famous among them, as to the number and quality of these rules included in his work and astrological theory was, certainly, Guido Bonatti (1223 – 1300) the Italian mathematician and astrologer. The first rule established by Bonatti, regarding considerations which precede the judgment of a horary chart, concerned the assessment of spontaneity of the question posed to an astrologer, as well as the sincerity of the querent, regarding the matter inquired about. Equally, Bonatti stressed, almost obsessively, the need for profoundness and contemplation regarding any horary question – this concerned the querent primarily. However, even the fulfilment of these requirements was sometimes not enough to render the question fit for horary judgment. The second precondition concerned something Bonatti termed “sympathy of the heavens (superior cosmological spheres and heavenly bodies)”. Based upon this premise, on e can conclude it is quite possible that some horary chart doesn’t “open itself up” for judgment (for some unknown reason) despite the spontaneity of the question, seriousness of the situation which brought the question forth and sincerity of the querent.

Bonatti’s  second  consideration  concerns  the astrologer, the interpreter of the horary chart and it states that the astrologer is due to estimate whether the querent approaches the issue earnestly and thus  “deserves” the attention of the heavens. Bonatti also recommends some special preparations for the astrologer, before he commences the judging of horary, which comprise prayer or contemplative concentration on a horary question through some kind of isolation and tranquilization.

According to Bonatti, the matter of the horary question should never be a “trivial thing” or a matter of the querent’s “emotional whim”. According to his own admission, many came to consult him just in order to test him or to make fun of him. Because of this, Bonatti contrived a number of rules which serve the purpose of assessing the sincerity of the querent and the so-called “radicality” of the question. The word “radix” (radical) originally means “the root”, distinctive, primary, essential. If the chart reveals that the question isn’t radical, this means that it isn’t firmly rooted in the mind of the querent or that the querent isn’t serious enough, or he is light-minded and his question is without any grounding in reality.

The indicators showing lack of radicality of a horary question, according to Bonatti

The primary indicators showing the lack of radicality of a question concern the ascending degree and the planet (hour ruler) of the horary chart. The ruler of the hour or the ruler of the ascendant located at the very end/beginning of a sign or at the boundary between two signs are the first hints indicating the lack of radicality of the question. Bonatti didn’t state precisely which degrees (out of thirty pertaining to every zodiacal sign) are to be taken as indicators showing the lack of  radicality, but we may assume he had in mind the 29th, 30th and the 1st (ordinal) degree of every sign. There is one more possible interpretation of this rule, which originated because of the imprecise calculation of the ascending degree in 13th century, when Bonatti lived. The ephemerides and the tables of mundane houses were neither very precise nor reliable back in those days, especially in the case of signs of short ascension (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini). When these signs are concerned, the “sensitive” interval of ascension shift from one sign to the other is, in fact, between the 26th of the preceding and the 5th degree of the following sign. In the case of the signs of long ascension (from Cancer to Sagittarius) this sensitive interval is considerably narrower and is situated along the longitudes which Bonatti presumably had in mind when he mentioned them as indicators showing lack of radicality in a horary question. There is also a third kind of interpretation of the rule pertaining to the early/late ascending degrees and it concerns the observations that the question is too early/too late to be judged. This is not originally Bonatti’s idea. John Partridge, the English astrologer from the 17th century, was the first to explicitly assert that if the first few degrees of any sign are on the ascendant, the matter is not yet ripe for judgment. Several other English astrologers of this period, including John Gadbury and Henry Coley, interpreted the early/late degrees on the ascendant as indicators of “knavery and stupidity of the querent” and the absence of spontaneity. Gadbury, for instance, interpreted it as a hint that the querent had already posed the same question to some other astrologer and is now only testing the current one. Coley suggests the same, whereas Partridge thinks that only the late degrees rising convey such a message. This leads us to another consideration which stresses the necessity of posing a particular question only once, which means that there’s only one horary chart relevant for a particular question. By posing the same question more than once, the horary chart loses its focus, conveys contradictory information and becomes useless for proper judgment. William Lilly, specifically, interpreted the late ascending degrees as a potential indicator of the querent’s age, when, in the case of a match between the querent’s age and the number of the late degrees ascending, the degrees ascending may be taken as an indicator of radicality (and not of the lack thereof, as is suggested  in the writings of the majority of the older authorities on horary).

The situations of uncertainty regarding the sign ascending Bonatti used to solve by taking the ruler of the hour into account. If, for instance, the ascendant falls between Pisces and Aries, and Jupiter rules the hour, he chooses Pisces because of the domicile rulership of Jupiter in this sign.

Another, very important rule about radicality is the comparison between the ruler of the hour and the ruler of the ascendant according to planetary/triplicty affinity and according to the sign on the ascendant.

One of the more popular considerations of radicality of the question, first mentioned by Claude Dariot (a lesser known astrologer from the 16th century) is the rule about the condition of the 7th house which is, most probably, deduced from the XIV aphorism of the pseudo - Ptolemy’s Centiloquium which reads: ”The astrologer plunges himself into many errors, when the cusp of the 7th house and lord thereof are unfortunate or afflicted.”. This is also one of the Lilly’s considerations which he wrote down in his “Christian Astrology”. Beside this 7th house rule, Lilly also took into account two rules laid out by Bonatti (early and late degrees on the ascendant and the hour ruler of the question), then the rule about the affliction of the Moon in the late degrees of a sign, especially when in Gemini, Scorpio and Capricorn, Vacua cursus (Void of course of the Moon) and other relevant significators, which implies the absence of the applying aspect before the change of a sign, or, up to 5 degrees in the following sign, as well as the position of the Moon in the Via Combusta (burned path) between the 15th degree of Libra and 15th degree of Scorpio. After the assessment of the conditions of the Moon, important consideration indicating the lack of radicality contained the condition of Saturn, especially if it is retrograde and placed in the 1st mundane house, near the ascendant. The ruler of the ascendant combust, as well as the equality between negative and positive testimonies in a horary chart are the rules Lilly also mentions regarding considerations before judgment.

In the times of the first katarche horary astrology the comparison with the natal chart was the first and primary rule. From this, another potential rule springs up, regarding considerations before judgment. Astrological practice, indeed, often shows that the important horary questions “sire” charts in which the most important factors  and significators  overlap exactly with natal chart factors. Therefore, although it ‘functions’ independently, a horary chart for some important questions can be submitted to comparison with natal chart in order to ascertain the sincerity of the querent.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

01 February 2010

Will the Money Arrive on Friday? (An Example of a Horary Chart Analysis According to the Rules Laid Out by Masha’allah)

The question was asked by myself on December the 12th, at 19:47h in Ruma, Serbia and it concerned the arrival of the money, representing a tuition fee for private English language classes.

My significators are the Sun in the 5th house in Sagittarius and the Moon in the 1st house in Leo, the sign on the Ascendant. The significator of the money owed to me is Saturn in Libra in the 3rd house, the ruler of the 8th  (other people’s money). The first step is to ascertain which significator will be used as a primary one, the Sun or the Moon? The Sun aspects the ascending sign, so it is qualified to provide primary testimony in the matter inquired about, and the Moon will be made a sharer in its work and add its testimony.

The Sun doesn’t apply to Saturn, ruler of the quesited matter – its first application is to Mars in the 1st by trine. However, Mars neither receives the Sun in any of its dignities in Sagittarius nor is it the natural significator of money. Moreover, Mars is a natural malefic, in this case also slow in motion and peregrine – this signified trouble and didn’t provide much hope of perfecting the matter inquired about, especially because Mars didn’t apply to some other planet to which he would commit Sun’s disposition (the applying opposition to Jupiter never perfects, because Mars turns retrograde) so he remains the ultimate receiver of the Sun’s disposition.

Then I looked at the Moon, the secondary significator. It is on the 30th degree of Leo. According to Sahl Ibn Bishr, the strength and virtue of such a planet are already in the following sign (Virgo, in this particular case), where the Moon gains essential dignity of triplicity. The Moon applies to Mercury by trine, and Mercury receives the Moon in its domicile, exaltation and term, which means Mercury is willing to fulfil the matters committed to it by the Moon. Mercury is well-disposed, being in its term(Egyptian set), in its sect(occidental in a nocturnal chart) in the profitable 5th house which, among other things, also signifies children. But, Mercury doesn’t decide on the outcome of the matter either, as he applies to some other planet, and in this case, it is Saturn, the ruler of the quesited! Saturn receives Mercury in its domicile, allowing for a reliable transfer of virtue from the Moon to Saturn, thus bringing perfection – though by a square aspect.

And so it proved. The money arrived on Friday, the timing being clearly shown by the application of the Moon to Mercury, and then Mercury to Saturn, altogether a bit less than four degrees.

Author: Cor Scorpii

Masha'allah's Method in Short

In this article we will investigate the method handed down to us by Mâshâ’allâh with regards to horary judgment. As all of the later astrologers – famous or not – more or less follow his instructions, it is very interesting to read Mâshâ’allâh’s own text, especially as he illustrates them with quite a lot of intriguing examples. If any book deserves the prefix ‘The Bible of…’ it is this text ‘On Reception’ with its sparkling clarity and instructive and effective horary method. One can read this book time and time again, and still discover new insights and inside views on the art of horary astrology. Here I will outline Mâshâ’allâh’s general method of delineating horary charts, elsewhere I will apply his rules to a contemporary horary.

Mâshâ’allâh’s Method in Short

1. Do we work primarily with lord of the 1st house or with the Moon? Which one is stronger?


«That is, you will begin looking at the lord of the Ascendant. If it aspects the rising sign, this will be the one [to use] because of the strength of its testimony. Therefore, [you will begin] working by  means of it, and the Moon will be made a sharer with the lord of the Ascendant in whichever place the Moon may be.»

If the ruler of the Ascendant makes an aspect by sign (beholds) to the Ascendant, use the ruler of the Ascendant. It is naturally the more powerful. If the ruler of the Ascendant does not aspect the Ascendant by sign, then see whether it is making an application to another planet which does aspect the Ascendant by sign.

«But if the lord of the Ascendant does not  aspect  the rising sign either by itself or by another planet to which it gives light, then it will be impeded and evil. For this rea- son then work by means of the Moon just as you have worked by means of the lord of the Ascendant.»

So, if the ruler of the Ascendant is not fit, then one should look at the Moon and subject it to the same kind of analysis as the ruler of the Ascendant. If neither the ruler of the As- cendant, nor the Moon qualify as significators according to the criteria above, then one should see if another planet re- flects their light to the rising sign.


«And if the lord of the Ascendant does not  aspect the rising sign, you should look at whether it is being joined to a planet which does aspect  the rising sign from its own place and gives its own light to the rising sign.»

So if the lord of the Ascendant falls in aversion, then look and see if there is a planet transferring its light to the Ascendant. That is achieved by one of two ways: a) the significator of the Ascendant is itself applying to a heavier planet that aspects the ascendant sign or b) a lighter planet than the significator of the Ascendant is separating from the significator of the Ascendant and beholding the rising sign.

If either of these conditions happens, we can work with the ruler of the ascendant.

If the ruler of the Ascendant nor the Moon see the ascendant nor have their light reflected, and thus cannot qualify as significators according to the criteria above, then one should see which of them, i.e. the Ascendant ruler or the Moon, will be first to leave the sign it is in. This stands to reason; because when that significator does, it is then changing from aversion to the rising sign, to an aspect to the rising sign.

That one becomes the primary significator of the querent and one should see what application that planet first makes upon entering the new sign. Mâshâ'allâh demonstrates this in his 2nd example of an ill person. In that case he chose the Moon to work with first because she would be first to leave her sign even though both the Moon and lord of the Ascendant aspected the rising sign and the Sun was stronger in testimony by being angular.

So this rule applies also, when both significators see or aspect the ascendant, but both are void in course. Mâshâ’allâh is however not much concerned with void planets:

«For the number of degrees that exist before the Moon or the ruler of the Ascendant leave the sign they are in, indicates the tardiness and inactivity of events while that planet is void in course.»

They do not necessarily indicate whether or not a matter will be perfected, it simply shows ‘tardiness’. How much tardiness or how long of a delay is shown? As many degrees as are left in the sign the significator is in.

[Both rulers used]

Perhaps one other thing should be mentioned here. It is possible to work with either the lord of the Ascendant or the Moon in any question, but regardless of which one we work with, both share in the final outcome of the matter.


«But  they should be sharers in everything, nor  does either of them possess anything separately  without its partner. And likewise if one of them should gain an advantage and the other should suffer harm, the one which has gained the advantage will necessarily enter into possession over that other planet and over the matter sought for according to the quantity of the harm to its partner.»

In other words, which ever of the two indicates a good outcome rules over the matter but will be somewhat limited in its final outcome because of the damage done to the other planet which will limit the goodness indicated by the other!

Sahl Ibn Bishr[2] seems to allude to the same thing – but in the context of afflictions to the rulers – when he says:

«This is an exposition of the stable angles; and the testimonies of the stars on their effects on  the earth are three, from which things are sought, i.e. the ruler of the ASC and the Moon and the ruler of the thing; if two of them shall have been free from the aforesaid evils, i.e. the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the thing, two parts of the thing will be perfected; [and] i.e. if one of them is safe, a third part of that thing which was wanted will be perfected. That is, if there is one testimony, he will have a third part; and if there are two testimonies, he will attain two parts of those things that he has sought; and if all the testimonies are conjoined, and if the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the thing and the Moon are safe from retrogradation and combustion, safe from the evil planets, and safe from fall or cadency, he will attain everything that was  sought; and if they are received with their own  testimonies, and the one that receives them is also received, it will increase the good of it. Know, therefore, those questions that are conjoined and that agree in all things!»

Earlier, Mâshâ’allâh says that if for example the lord of the Ascendant does not see the rising sign and is not joined to a planet(s) that does; nor  does  it  immediately  join  with  a planet upon leaving its sign, then it indicates its harm. If on the other hand the Moon at the same time indicates good, then the outcome will be good but it is moderated by the degree of harm to the lord of the Ascendant! So while it is true we are going to work with specifically one of these two significators, i.e. the lord of the Ascendant or the Moon, they are always partners in signification, and in order to get a complete perspective of the outcome, we must examine both!

The main point though here, is that both significators of the querent give a combined picture of the outcome and both are necessary in judgment.

Portrait of Masha'allah - Author Heinrich Vogtherr (c.1546) (taken from ccwe.wordpress.com)

2. To which planet is this ruler of querent joined?

Whenever this first joining is immediately to the ruler of the quesited, the matter is perfected. It doesn’t matter if this planet is malefic or benefic, in dignity or not, and reception is not required. This is the most straightforward method of perfection.[3]

3. When there is no joining of relevant rulers

Then see whether planets are in the ascendant and/or the house  representing  the  matter  sought.  But  Mâshâ’allâh warns:

«However, the outcome of a matter and its prohibition does not happen according to a planet  which is in the Ascendant but happens in the name of the lord of the Ascendant, or in the name of the Moon, and according to the stars to which they are being joined, and the joining together, reception, and the rendering of the reception of these stars.»

So, if the Moon or the lord of the 1st  house apply to a planet in the house representing the matter, or planets in this house apply to the ruler of the first house or planets in the ascendant, we have perfection.

Mâshâ’allâh tells us that a planet in the ascendant or in the house of the question has a share in the outcome. If a planet in the house of the question commits its disposition to a planet in the Ascendant and the lord of the ascendant is not harmed, then we have perfection. This is especially the case if that planet in the ascendant has some authority there by having dignity in the sign it is in. The rulers thus situated will perfect the matter under the following conditions:

•  If the application from a relevant house is to a fortune, the matter will be perfected, whether or not that fortune receives it, and it need not have any dignity in that house.
•  If the application is to a malefic planet which has dignity in that place, the matter will be perfected and reception is again not necessary.
•  If the application is to a malefic planet which has no dignity in that place, and it receives the lord of the Ascendant, or the Moon, the matter will be perfected.
•  If the application is to a malefic planet which has no dignity in that place, and it does not receive the lord of the Ascendant, or the Moon, the matter will be destroyed.


«If the joining together is from the opposition or square aspect, there will be some difficulty, delay, and effort in the matter. But if the joining together is from the trine or sextile as- pect, the matter will be without effort and without hard- ship. It happens in a similar  manner in [the case of] a bodily conjunction. And understand that if the planets which have dominion over the matter are in [one of] the four angles, they dis-pose of the matter, hasten, arouse, and perfect it. But if the querent should ask you about the good or evil in which he may be, or [if he should ask you] what fu- ture he should expect afterward, and you find the plan- ets which have dominion over the matter in the angles, the matter will be  one that endures whether good or bad. Also, examine the joining together of planets which are in the angles, their reception and the giving of support through this of your affair, if God should will.»

4. If the querents significator does not make its first application to the lord of the question, and neither in or from houses ruling the quesited, but rather to some other planet

Mâshâ’allâh instructs us to look at the first and immediate application of that (second) planet (the one applied to). If this second planet does itself make an immediate application to the lord of the question, all is still well.

A series of such applications culminating in a received application to a benefic will perfect the matter. The only exception to this is cases of life and death in which a benefic happens to be ruler of the eighth house and where in addition there is no reception between the benefic and the sig- nificator of the querent; the querent will die of his illness.

The main point is that each planet, as it applies to another planet, commits its disposition to that planet. The applying planet ‘pushes’ its disposition onto the second planet so to speak. Then the second planet may in turn ‘push’ its disposition onto yet another, or it might reject the disposition because of lack of reception in which case the matter is destroyed.

So whatever planet is last in this chain of applications is very important in determining the outcome of a question. Sahl called this planet the ‘receiver of the disposition’, and it decides ultimately whether the matter will be perfected or not. Careful analysis of this planet informs us of how this success or lack thereof will come about. Any affliction of this planet can destroy the matter, even if it was perfected and the promise seemed fulfilled.

So, when relevant rulers do not apply to each other, observe which planet(s) is joined to the Moon or lord of the ascendant. This planet can and will perfect the matter, but only under the following conditions:

a. If the planet applied to is a fortune, and it is in an angle, or in a strong place, the matter will be perfected, and re- ception is not necessary (although always desirable). The indication ‘strong place’ refers however to four things:

•  Strong through essential dignity
•  strong in sect
•  strong by phase to the Sun
•  Strong by house position

So it is not simply dependent on whether or not a planet is angular or succedent. A planet can be cadent, but still be in a strong place, being one of the others!

b. If the planet applied to is a malefic, and it receives the applying planet, the matter will be perfected.

c. But If the planet applied to is a malefic, and it is not the lord of the quesited, and it does not receive the lord of the Ascendant (or the Moon), and that malefic does not commit its disposition to another planet, then the matter will not be perfected; the malefic then destroys the matter.

d. If the planet applied to is a malefic and it commits its disposition to yet another malefic which in turn receives the planet handing over the disposition lord of the Ascendant, the matter will be perfected.[4]


The definition of reception by Robert Hand is:

«Reception exists when a planet applies toward one of its dispositors according to the five  essential dignities, or the dispositor applies toward it. The received planet commits disposition to the receiving planet, which simply means that the receiving planet takes on the responsibility for handling or arranging (the original meaning of ‘to dispose’) the affairs of the received planet.»

I have a bit of a simplistic, but in my mind, efficient manner to check reception. In Dutch, this is called an ‘Ezelsbruggetje’ a ‘Donkeys bridge’, meaning a simple way to get a grip on a complex concept. Here it is; whenever a planet (A) applies to another one (B), I always check if (A) is in ‘something’ of (B). This ‘something’ being a sign, part of a sign or degrees belonging to (B). If so, there is reception. If then (B) is also in ‘something’ of (A), the applying planet, then we have mutual reception.

The only thing to be added here is that Mâshâ’allâh only used receptions involving sign-rulership or domicile, and exaltation. Abu Ma’shar adds:

«The strongest of these is the Lord of the House or of the exaltation. The Lord of the term or  triplicity or decan are weak unless two or more of them are joined. One of them may receive the other also by aspect  without  application, although the reception  by application is stronger.»

So, later astrologers also considered a reception by at least two of the lesser dignities, as a strong reception. We will likewise do so here.

These rules Mâshâ’allâh applies to three issues and illustrates them with several examples. First, he illustrates an 8th house issue of whether a person who is ill will die or not; second, 2nd  house and 8th  house issues concerning substance acquired or not; thirdly, the 10th   house matter of Kingship, whether acquired or not, which can nowadays be applied to issues concerning career. I would encourage  the  study of these charts in his book.

Author: Martien Hermes


[1] Masha’allah (800). On Reception – Edited and  Translated with commentary and appendix by Robert  Hand. ISBN: 0-9662266-2-3. Page 20, especially in the 2nd   paragraph

[2] Holden, James H., M.A., (2003); Sahl Inn Bishr –The  Introduc-
tion to the Science of the Judgments of the Stars – Translated from the Twelfth Century Latin Version. Phoenix, Arizona. Page 28

[3] Translation and collection of light are two other methods that can join   relevant   significators   and    perfect   the   matter,   however Mâshâ’allâh does not explicitly mention them.

[4] Mâshâ'allâh actually says:

“If that malefic commits its disposition to another  malefic which in turn receives lord of the Ascendant, the matter will be perfected.”

In all of his examples, it is the reception of the planet handing over disposition that is essential and not just the reception of the Lord of the Ascendant.

(This article is taken from "The Foundations", issue 1, Winter Solstice 2006. by  Steven Birchfield and published with his permission)