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.

14 November 2010

Octatopos (Eight Houses Horoscope)

The development of horoscopic, mathematical astrology is of a relatively late historical date. Up until the end of pre-Christian era mathematics and astronomy were relatively undeveloped so the methods of calculating mundane houses were equally imprecise and not always accurate. The more precise calculations occur, roughly speaking, in Ptolemy’s time. It is believed that the astrology of mundane houses, the mundane division of zodiac and ecliptic, was developed in the early Hellenistic period. The first division, from which all the others, more complex ones were deduced was the mundane quadrant system which is in theory also known as “the system of centre” or “cardines system.” Hence, the first mathematical horoscopes comprised the four mundane parts of the chart divided by the four celestial points. The first point is that of the ecliptic which arises above the horizon in the moment of the astrological interrogation, the second occupies the point of the meridian’s (the longitudinal arc which passes through the observer’s zenith) intersection with the ecliptic, the third is at the ecliptic’s setting point and the fourth is situated in direct opposition to the second, i.e. on the degree where the second half of the meridian intersects the second half of the ecliptic. At that time, the first point was called “horoscopos”, the second is also known today as “medium coeli”, the third was termed “ovois”, in Latin “occasus” and the fourth is today’s “immum coeli.” The first horoscopes functioned for a short period of time within the framework of the four mundane points and this is mentioned in an old hermetic work, in the chapter XXIV where it’s written: “On the four quarters of a person and how you can discern the four ages of man from his birth. The beginning is the horoscope (ascendant). From this point up to medium coeli is the eastern, masculine quarter and it signifies the first part of life. From the degree of the MC to occasus is the feminine and meridional quarter which signifies the middle part of life. It is also called southern, meridional quadrant. The third quarter is from occasus to the lower meridian and it is a masculine one which symbolizes the first part of the old age. The last quarter from IC to ascendant is northern and feminine and signifies the ultimate, decrepit old age.” (“The History of western Astrology”, Jim Tester, ‘Prosveta’, 1996. Belgrade). The early astrology performed for a very short period of time within the boundaries of these four quarters so the areas of life were distributed according to the natural symbolism of the planets which we also recognize today. The planets substituted houses as we know them today in their essential symbolism. In the same book it is further stated that: “If the Moon is in the ascendant, and Venus in the setting quarter, and Mars on the MC, then a child of a slave woman will be born or of some other person from a lower social status…” It is interesting that, based upon this principle, we could analyze all kinds of horoscopes even today, quadrants signifying different parts of life and planets symbolizing all the rest. This primary and great influence of the planets survived in what we term today their ‘natural rulerships, in contrast to their mundane dispositions. Venus signified marriage, the Moon physical fitness and vitality, the Sun the active principle of influence and dominion, Mars warrior spirit and inclination for work and productiveness, Jupiter expansion, money, beneficence, Saturn restrictions, old age, etc. By a simple analysis of the relations among the planets within the four quadrants the chart was judged.


After quadritopos, octatopos emerges in Hipparchus’s time, the mundane system of eight houses which was constructed by a simple division of each quadrant into two parts so that every cardinal point comprises two houses, one which arises before it in the direction of primary motion and another which arises after it. The significations of these houses remained constant until this day, meaning that the interpretation of a horoscope ended with the 8th house. The areas of life which are today assigned to the 9th, 10th, 11th and the 12th were signified by the relevant planet’s natural symbolism and its analogue house according to the Chaldean order. Saturn started the sequence (the ascendant, its natural rulership according to astronomical order) and ended it as well so every planet ruled one house except Saturn which ruled two, considering his ontological symbolism tied to the beginning of time, birth and death, depending upon  belief. This system, in my humble opinion, wasn’t at all the result of undeveloped mathematical astrology but the consequence of a logical decision of astrologers not to connect mundane houses to zodiacal signs, but to the planets, which is actually correct if we bear in mind that the zodiac symbolizes the timeless which serves as a conceptual framework for the planetary movement, symbolizing time. Mundane houses, as their name testifies, are worldly, and as such, temporal. If it weren’t so, time wouldn’t be a constant in the formula for their calculation. Hence the perfect logic of the first thinkers which connect mundane houses to the planets starting with Saturn and ending the circle with him as well. Mundane houses are essentially moveable but apparently fixed framework in which, just the same, the essentially immovable zodiacal sphere appears to be moving. By positioning planets according to Chaldean order in the diagram’s quadrants (the first ones were such) octatopos becomes perfectly clear. Even today, practically, you can change your natal chart into this mundane form with all the possible variations regarding mundane systems. In that time, about two centuries BC, the entire sign of the ascendant represented the first house. The 1st half of the second sign was a border between the 1st and the 2nd  houses which ranged up to the IC, representing the beginning of the 3rd (the fourth sign from the ascendant) and it extended up to the first half of the 5th sign where the 4th  house  began, ranging up to ‘occasus’ which designated the beginning of the 5th house, all the way up to the first half of the 8th sign from the ascendant where the 6th house emerged. From the 10th sign, covering it and the first half of the next sign, the 7th was to be found. From the second half of the 11th sign up to the ascendant, the 8th house was located. The 3rd  house of octatopos, (the 4th of today), signified travelling and brothers, for example. The 7th signified things pertaining to marriage and rulership/influence. The house was simply brought into connection with the symbolism of the planets according to their Chaldean order so the 4th house of the octatopos signified everything pertaining to solar domain, since the Sun is the 4th planet in this order (the father, but the worldly status as well). The 5th carries the same meaning as today, since it is Venus’s place in the circle, the 6th belonged to Mercury, hence medical science, diseases but the intellect as well, the 7th belonged to the Moon so it signified marriage and to a certain extent, profession, the 8th signified secret enemies, death, the greatest miseries in life, in accordance with the symbolism of Saturn. The second house carried Jupiter’s symbolism – money, beneficence, livelihood, etc. The vestiges of octatopos can be found in traces in some later astrologers’ works which mainly used the system of 12 houses. One such example is encountered in the 8th book of “Matheseos Libri” (Firmicus Maternus) in the chapter “On the 8 houses” where he terms the 1st house vita (life), the 2nd lucrum (gain), the 3rd fraters (brothers), the 4th parentes (parents), the 5th filii (children), the 6th valetudo (health), the 7th coniunx (spouse)  and the 8th mors (death).


Especially interesting examples of octatopos vestiges can be found in Culpeper’s “Judgement of Diseases" from the Decumbiture of the Sick where he writes about the decumbitures comprising eight houses, as opposed to the, then far more widespread, decumbiture of the 16 houses (hexakaidekahedron). He states that the octatopos system was used by Hippocrates and Galen. A decumbiture chart is drawn for the moment of disease’s inception, the occurrence of the first symptoms or the first visit to the doctor’s, that is, the first examination. The first house starts at the degree and  minute of the Moon’s location at that time. The first, as well as every subsequent house comprises 45 degrees measured from the initial Moon’s position in the zodiacal order so every house in fact represents a half of a lunar phase. The beginning of the 3rd house, i.e. the 90th degree from the initial lunar position represents the 1st critical point which should be carefully analyzed according to the aspects and potential contacts with the rulers of the 8th or the 4th house, the Moon’s change of speed, the change of latitude or the relation between Moon’s degree and some important fixed star. The second critical phase begins at 180 degrees distance from the Moon’s initial phase, and the third after another 90 degrees of arc. If the disease doesn’t end until the lunar return, it changes from acute to a chronic (long-lasting) one and then octatopos decumbiture chart assumes solar position as its primary point of reference in the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Solar decumbiture is interpreted in the same way as the lunar one, but now the Sun becomes the primary object of inquiry.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

11 August 2010

Conjunctions With the Sun (Under the Sun’s Beams, Combustion, Cazimi)

The story about the conjunctions with the Sun is as old as  astrology itself. However, cazimi (“zaminium” in Persian) is not especially emphasized as a unique situation and qualification by the many early astrologers. Ptolemy discusses in detail all the possible aspects with the Sun and the theory of the heavenly sphere in his “Almagest”, but the only thing he holds fast to in his “Tetrabiblos” are the heliacal positions. In Book the First, Chapter XVII, he states: “It appears, therefore, by the whole of what has been already delivered, that the effective influence of the stars must be considered as arising not only from their own peculiar natures and properties, but also from the quality of the surrounding signs, and from configuration with the Sun and the angles; all which has been pointed out. The influence of each planet, however, is strengthened chiefly when it may be oriental, swift and direct in its proper course and motion--for it has then its greatest power: but, on the other hand, it loses strength when occidental and slow in motion or retrograde; as it then acts with smaller effect.”(“Tetrabiblos”, Claudius Ptolemaeus, AstroLab, Zemun, 2002). Ptolemy’s theory of the epicycles served as a model for the explication of the variations in speed  and direction of the apparent motion of the planets. In this system every planet was assigned one epicyclical circle which moves simultaneously with the referential, big circle called deferent, in the direction west – east. When a planet is situated in the outer half of the circle then it is farther from the Earth, swift and “adds to its  motion.” When it is situated in the inner part of the epicycle, it is closer to the Earth, moving apparently in the opposite direction because of which its speed decreases (the first station  and retrograde motion). Pondering on this, Ptolemy emphasizes the importance of these epicyclical positions three or four times in his book, which influence not only the speed, but also the visibility of the planet regarding the solar diurnal points. This brought forth synods, the planetary conjunctions with the Sun, but also another thing, the qualification of the same. Later in astrology this topic is more thoroughly expounded through the different kinds of conjunctions with the Sun. The question is, why 17 degrees, 8.5 degrees and 17 arc minutes define such three possible situations. 17 arc minutes represent the supposed radius, that is, the half of diameter pertaining to the visible solar disc, so the arc distance between the 9th and the 18th degree longitude from the Sun in both directions (heliacal setting – application and heliacal rising – separation) comprise minimum and maximum values which are required for the planets to lose, that is, acquire visibility on the sky before and after  the conjunction with the Sun. This longitudinal space is called “under Sun’s beams” whereas the space between 8.5 degrees to 17 arc minutes within the same zodiacal sign represents “combustion”, which in fact, designates the half-orb of the 17 degrees. In horary astrology the qualification of these situations depends upon the context of the question. In medical questions the application with the Sun is the worst possible signification except in the cases when the signifier of the sickness gets combust, because the proximity to the Sun weakens the force of the planetary manifestation. In other kinds of questions the conjunctions with the Sun don’t have to have a negative meaning because sometimes they symbolize the situations which are still to be developed and elucidated. In love questions combustion, most often, signifies unification, the beginning of a relationship, a marriage, a wedding etc. whereas the conjunction is further qualified through the disposition of the zodiacal position, the aspects of the other planets and the Moon’s motion and disposition. This is of special importance in the charts of engagements, marriages, meetings, etc. In the natal astrology the combustion is far more complicated for interpretation and depends upon several factors: the house in which the combustion occurs (disposition), the house ruled by the Sun and the house ruled by the combust planet. The early astrological writers examine especially the conjunctions rendering a planet visible in the sky and those hiding it entirely. The difference  is even made between the morning and evening rising from the Sun’s orb. On the psychological level, the combustion needs to be interpreted according to the planetary natural signification. The decan in which combustion happens is also of great importance as are all close aspects with the planets from various directions (sinister and dexter aspects) because the combustion doesn’t carry the same weight regarding all the zodiacal directions. It is usually worse if it is afflicted by a planet from the earlier zodiacal degree. Since the Sun is a diurnal light it is logical that any connection with it, conjunction included, is more significant in diurnal charts. How great it is and what kind of significance we’re talking about depends upon aforementioned factors. Diurnal and nocturnal planets have different qualitative manifestations which depend upon the part of the day when the chart is created, hence it is not the same if Mars aspects the combustion in a  diurnal or a nocturnal chart, from the right or the left side, including disposition or without it, from its domicile or triplicity or the opposite of that. That is, there’s no absolute qualification of the combustion in a natal chart. Often, combustion can indicate the uniqueness of some situation or a person (if it is a natal chart) when separating conjunction follows after heliacal conjunction preceding the birth, whose degree of longitude falls exactly on some factor of the radix horoscope. The inferior planets are far more often in the vicinity of the Sun according to the nature of things, hence it is of great importance for Mercury and Venus when they are at their maximum distance from the Sun because they gain in quality and strength, whereas the superior planets possibly suffer a lot  more during the combustion because of the rarity of such astronomic situation. The time when combustion culminates and presents the maximum of its negative effect is usually shown by firdaria, mundane or aphetic period of the combust planet or the planet which is in a close aspect with the conjunction, especially if it is the ruler of the conjunction and if at the same time a new heliacal or half-heliacal cycle of the respective planets is in effect (retrograde transiting points and the degrees of the first emergence of the planet after its invisibility).

The usual cazimi, Belgrade, August the 15th 2007.  17:30 Mercury’s latitude (north, 1 degree 45 arc minutes)

Mercury’s transit, Belgrade, May the 9th 2016. 16:57 Mercury’s latitude (south, 0 degrees 5 arc minutes)

By taking 17 arc minutes as a measure for cazimi we may pose a question what that means regarding the planetary positions in the sky? This is relatively easy to check by a glance to the sky, that is, by some astronomical program which simulates the visible sky in a given moment above a certain position on Earth, where we can easily discern that the planet is located within the solar disc when it is 17 arc minutes or less distant from the perfect longitudinal conjunction. However, it is not always so. It can happen that a planet falls into this area even if it is half degree  distant from the Sun in zodiacal measurement. This is possible only if it is very close to the ecliptic because the ‘heart of the Sun” is nothing more than the centre of its visible body, crossed by the line of the apparent motion. Again, we may pose a question whether for the determination of cazimi only longitude is sufficient or we still need the latitude as well? Discussing the aspects in the aforementioned part of “Tetrabiblos”, Ptolemy also states that: ”The same rule obtains both in respect to bodily conjunction and to any other of the aspects before described; except that, in the application and separation of the bodily conjunction, it is also essential to observe the actual latitudes of the bodies, in order to receive and consider only such a transit as may be made in the same parts of the zodiac. But in the application and separation of aspects merely, the same attention is not requisite, since all the rays are uniformly converged into one focus, that is to say, into the angle of the earth, and meet there alike from every quarter.” Here Ptolemy, by reviewing conjunction, qualifies the same with latitude also, not only with longitude. This example with latitude is most obvious in solar eclipses which happen when the new Moon is posited within the range of 10 degrees from the intersection of the lunar and  solar paths (the Moon’s node) that is, ecliptic, when the Moon is without latitude and visually covers the entire solar disc. The Moon is the only heavenly body which can cover solar disc in this manner, considering its apparent size because of its proximity to the Earth. No other planet can do the same even in the case of  its zero latitude. The confirmation of latitude’s importance we find in Bonatti’s work as well, who mentions it explicitly  in connection with the “zaminium” when he states in his “Liber Astronomiae” that “the heart of the Sun” implies the existence of 16 arc minutes of longitudinal and latitudinal conjunction which is a situation far more rare to be found than one might suppose. In fact, it is extremely rare. This fact implies the dilemma of whether  cazimi is sufficiently qualified only by the conventional minutes of longitude or it is necessary to qualify it additionally with latitude as well. My personal experience leads me toward considering latitude also because the usual cazimi didn’t always provide the expected results (positive outcomes and the qualifications which are in theory usually connected with this conjunction). Cazimi in horary charts is an absolute, beneficent indication, which, unlike the other two conjunctions with the Sun, is not analysed considering application or separation which follow. If the question refers to getting  the descriptive information about someone or something, everything coming before or after cazimi is irrelevant. In love questions cazimi symbolises reconciliation, the survival of the relationship, its firmness temptations notwithstanding, hence, the future outcome if the question is the result of some crisis. A simple and clear positive indication. Cazimi is an absolute situation. The combustion and proximity to the Sun are not, these are relative and change in time according to application or separation. Cazimi is the only absolute constant beneficence. The specificity and rarity of the qualified cazimi are best depicted by the so-called transits (transiting conjunctions) of the inferior planets Mercury and Venus, which happen averagely 13 times in 100 year in the case of Mercury, that is, every eight years averagely in the case of Venus. The first historically recorded astronomical observation of Mercury’s transit dates back to 1631. made by the French astronomer P. Gassendi. This special kind of planetary eclipses, when the planets are placed between the Earth and the Sun, thus becoming visible on the solar disc in the manner of minuscule circles, are, astronomically regarded, the true cazimi situations because the planets then have minimum latitude and are almost exactly on the ecliptic, on the same degree of longitude with the Sun. However, this kind of conjunction implies the situation in which a planet is posited between the Earth and the Sun “imitating” the occultation (eclipse) which doesn’t occur because of the planet’s size. The usual conjunctions of the inferior planets with the Sun posit these planets behind the Sun from the Earth’s perspective. Transiting conjunctions are interesting because they fulfil both of the preconditions for a real cazimi: the visibility on the solar background and minimum latitude. The fact that the conjunctions with the Sun are derived  from the heliacal cycles of the planets which date back to the oldest astrological era of the first visual astrology, leaves us in the dilemma of whether their existence necessarily requires the actual heavenly situation which we may easily discern by observing the sky or the conventional 17 arc minutes are all that is needed.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

07 July 2010

The Pillar of the Worlds (Perennial Cosmology)

"As above, so below", is the wording of the famous hermetic maxim from "Tabula Smaragdina". Although often and lightly cited by the many who, more or less seriously, occupy themselves with astrology and other related disciplines, the sentence is rarely subjected to a serious  interpretation of its crucial meaning. The meaning of this maxim lies within the so – called axial symbolism of the hermetic cosmology according to which the whole created cosmos is depicted through the vertical relationship of different  degrees of existence and manifestation which are linked by the same law of the "primary movement" (Primum Mobile). The universe is strictly hierarchical and man holds the middle position on this vertical line, thus implying the existence of the worlds above and below his position. The famous maxim depicts the universal truth that the Earth represents the reflection of the higher transcendental  worlds, and that the worlds below the Earth are its reflections which become increasingly more ‘corrupted’ forms of the former ideal the lower we get on the axis of existence. The axis of the worlds, around which the earthly, human sphere revolves is, according to the original law, unchangeably directed toward the cosmological north, beginning in the point of the northern tropic, according to metaphysical astronomy/astrology (Capricorn’s solstice) also known as "the Sun’s gate" or the "the gate of cosmos", while the opposite point in the summer solstice is termed "the gate of generation", that is, "the path of the fathers", leading from the north towards cosmological south (existence). In hermetic astrology, the axis itself is symbolized by the Sun, by its central heavenly position, whereas the southern gate (the beginning of Cancer) has a connection with the Moon, the first sphere dividing man from the higher worlds. The pillar around which the worlds revolve is only a conceptual expression which describes the primary light - beam of divine emanation, or, stated in Biblical terms, the beam of Genesis. All the worlds in the hierarchy of existence are created with  the purpose of God’s revelation to himself,  from the absolute transcendence, over the level of angelic, to human – transient and corruptible below which are all the rests of the creation (the sub - manifested and the chaotic). One of the obligatory  implications  deriving  from the astrological cosmology concerns the "necessity" of the immutability of its cosmos  consisting in the 7 traditional planets of the visible  sky. The main characteristic of the modern astrology is precisely the altered cosmological structure, ranging up to its absolute negation. The traditional astrology is inseparable from this notion because it was believed (until 19th century) that it represents the link between human and angelic spheres. Roger Bacon, English philosopher from the 13th century, also known as "Doctor Mirabilis" in his "Opus Majus" stated that the angels: "Represent spiritual substances which we designate as intelligences and angels because  intelligence is the name of the nature, and an angel is the name of the function". The Platonists perceived angels as those natures of existence which take part directly both in God’s mind and in the comprehension of heavenly essences (the quality) of things. On the axis of the worlds these intelligences are "above"  the  human position, exempted from the carnal and the suffering which characterizes man’s position in cosmos, likened to the stars irradiated by primordial light. The angelical, according to cosmological notion,  is a concept which designates the function of intelligences, that is, their "radiating" nature toward the realm of man and toward everything which is situated "below" them in the cosmological hierarchy. In Judeo-Christian religious tradition angelic worlds are divided into three spheres: the sphere of lower degree of constitution which corresponds to purification and to which all the angels, archangels and principates belong,  then comes the sphere of the intermediate degree of illumination corresponding to the empires, virtues and forces and last, the sphere of  the perfect angelic constitution which consist of the worlds of cherubim, seraphim and the throne. In the summary overview of cosmology, the angelic corresponds to the ocean "above the heavens" or, in the words of Picco de la Mirandola from "Heptaplus": "The highest constitution’s repose is only for thinking, it is properly symbolized by the waters situated above the heavens, that is, above all  the actions concerning the worldly (cosmological), be they  heavenly or earthly, and they praise God incessantly, with a perpetual song. Since the intermediate line is ascribed to the workings of heaven, its best symbolical representation is the firmament, that is, the sky. The final constitution, although by its nature situated above everything, even above the heavens, still governs everything which is below the heavens. Since it is divided into principates, archangels and angels, all their actions concern exclusively the realm below the Moon." (“The Song of the Cosmos”, Arthur Versluis, IP ESOTHERIA, 2005, Belgrade, Serbia). Five centuries after this renaissance philosopher, Titus Burckhardt  in "Mystical Astrology" states that the seven planets of the traditional cosmos are intermediaries between the Earth and the heaven of the fixed stars, leading us to the conclusion that they mediate between man and the angels. Ibn Arabi, whose thought is the subject of Burckhardt’s book, wrote on this: "Man supersedes the other basic species just because he is moulded by the God’s two hands. Because of that, his species is nobler than any other produced by the elements, which means that man possesses dignity more superior than both the earthly angels (ghosts) and heavenly angels which inhabit the seven heavenly spheres  consisting of fine elements, while the superior angels are better than human kind." ("Mystical Astrology According to Ibn Arabi", Titus Burckhardt, Fons Vitae, 2001, Louisville, USA). The angels of the seven heavenly spheres correspond to the creation of the seven traditional planets whose spheres reflect the fine reality of the first (lower) transcendence, between the higher transcendence and the ephemeral cosmos of time and space. Saturn is thus brought into connection with Cassiel, Jupiter with Zadkiel,  Mars with Samael, the Sun with archangel Michael, Venus with Anael, Mercury with Raphael  and the Moon with Gabriel. Hence, astrology was created and given to man and it functions only in his part of the cosmos, in the centre of the axis of the worlds whose purpose is the ascension toward the absolute transcendence and overcoming of the cosmos, in the final instance.  Any  change in the number of the astrological planets disrupts this order and "takes away" the angelic  role from  astrology.

Modern astrology lacks any kind of cosmology, in it (purposefully or not) all the cosmological spheres, planetary principles and the elements of the manifested cosmos are made equal, for if this weren’t so, neither could Uranus, the mythical heaven of all the stars (all the potentialities of the creation)  be reduced to a single principle of temporal manifestation in human cosmos, nor could mythical Neptune, from the lower level of the elemental manifestation, be "exalted" into the angelic sphere, that is, onto the level of the astrological planetary principle. The most dangerous thing was done (un)consciously  when Pluto, the mythical god of the underworld,  was "exalted" into the human cosmos, disrupting irreparably the cosmic  hierarchy. In a certain way, this was a great magical intervention on the level of astrology. Owing to the "destruction" of the cosmic ladder, which caused, as a consequence, the dislocation of the worlds of the transcendent, temporal and sub-manifested, the human cosmos becomes infested with something that cannot be found in time and space, because neither the summary of the archetypal sphere of zodiac can be reduced to a planet, nor the heaven above this cosmos can be lowered into it. That modern astrology is magic is proved not only by the reversal of the cosmic axis ( for how else can we explain the equation between the sub-manifested world of mythical Pluto and the transcendental world of the all-encompassing Uranian  firmament  with the functions of the 7 planets of traditional cosmos of time and space) but also by an idea expressed by Alistair Crowley, one of the founders of modern astrology: ”Since the substance is one, singular and self-conscious, it cannot manifest itself in any way while in this particular state. It would be absurd to investigate the reasons of her appearance in any other state, because the reason lies not in the quality belonging to this singularity ... the dualistic principle of its manifestation, magnificent as it is, reaches the boundaries of  the human mind, because the mind in itself is dualistic, our conscious being consists of the subjective and the objective." ("Astrology with the studies of Neptune and Uranus", Alistair Crowley, IP Esotheria, 1990, Belgrade, Serbia). Up to this point, everything is fine, in accordance with traditional cosmology and there’s nothing new in the disclosure of the dualistic principle of existence, but in the following statement we can discern the magical principle of unnatural intervention: "It is possible to dissociate this duality and to unify it again in a mystical manner ..." a direct and unambiguous magical implication of Crowley’s  Uranian astrology. It aims at a forced joining of particular principles of manifested cosmos, situated beyond the transcendental, in order to arrive at the throne on the top of the cosmic axis via shortcut. Astrology, as an integral part of traditional culture, functions according to the principle of sympathy implicating the indestructible bond between the 7 planets of traditional cosmos and the whole nature. By transporting these bonds into his own life and the world surrounding him according to a proper model, man becomes the "redeemer of the nature", thus  fulfilling  the assigned role of the mediator between the cosmic worlds. In this manner he returns into the state of heavenly balance and gets closer to the archetypal sphere of the Zodiac. The increase in the number of the planets in the astrological cosmos distances man from the centre, thus making the purpose of astrology in his life unclear and blurred.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

06 June 2010

Astrology of the Simple View (Astrology of the Pre-Zodiacal Era)

Long before the emergence of the solar zodiac, during the 2nd millennium BC a Babylonian magician-priest was interpreting heavenly omens daily, based only upon the impression the heavenly phenomena  left on him. Not bound by an imperative of any kind of mathematical or astronomical calculations, he could draw his conclusions based upon the feeling stirred up in him after he had observed the sky. The only thing he wrote down were the phenomena of the colours surrounding the discs of the Sun, Moon and the five planets in the moment of their heliacal stations. In those days, a  day began with the sunset, and the first half of the day belonged to the night, in accordance with the primary lunar astrology of the ancient times. Only some 1000 years later the Sun gets the primary importance, when its apparent path becomes a focal point in astrological subject (the emergence of the solar Zodiac). Before the era of the zodiacal astrology (the 2nd half of the 1st millennium BC), the only “tool” of the interpreter of heavenly omens were his eyes. The transition between the day and night, more accurately two hours before the sunset and 2 hours before sunrise represented the “working hours” of the astrologer because the heavenly phenomena are most clearly visible in these intervals. His work would usually start late in the night, a few hours before sunrise, in order to “catch” the first halo of the solar light on the eastern horizon and observe its development all the way up to 20 minutes  before the actual sunrise, until all the colours of the spectra emerge in the solar visual circle. Any change in the rhythm of their emergence and any deviation from the usual intensity of the colour represented an omen for the next 24 hours, that is, for the second half of the day (depending upon whether the observed phenomenon was a sunset or a sunrise). The subject of inquiry was also the Moon, especially the first lunar crescent (the first visual appearance of the Moon after every conjunction with the Sun). The colour of the first lunar crescent was observed, its altitude in the sky, whether it was followed by some planet or a star, etc. The periods of heliacal rising or setting of every planet were also carefully observed.

The remnants of these first astrological “methods” can still be found, chiefly in Ptolemy’s work where he writes about the colours of the eclipses, comets and the meaning of atmospheric signs. Light halos, and bundles of light which follow most of the solar and lunar eclipses, have special importance. Halos containing dark and tawny nuances bear evil, Saturnian symbolism which portends death, disease  and poverty. Clear halos, the ones in which the white colour dominates carry beneficent Jupiterian symbolism of prosperity and fertility. Red circles symbolize conflicts, wars, disputes and destructions in accordance with Martian colour. Venusian symbolism is contained in yellow circles of light and they signify peace accords, marriages, progress, conciliations and gains, depending upon the kind of a question. If the eclipse is surrounded by the light of undefined colour or by the light containing various colours, then Mercurial symbolism is present. The size of the halo and the size of the “light staff” is of primary importance because the bigger it is, the greater the influence of the respective planet on a question or an event. While observing  sunrise and sunset it is important to see if the Sun on the horizon is surrounded by clear heavenly space, without clouds in its vicinity, or if the space around it is intensively coloured, or it is red and accompanied by clouds because the first situation portends lovely and clear day, the second indicates strong winds which will blow from the direction of the most intensive colour or the direction of the accompanying clouds. Rain and storm are indicated by dark and ashy solar halos. Ptolemy keeps the story about first lunar crescent in his astrology and we can notice that when we read the part of his text where he writes about the observation of the Moon three days before and three days after new Moon, but he extends the rule on the rest of the phases as well. A thin and clearly visible Moon in the moment of the observation is a sign of a nice and clear weather. If the Moon is in its waning or waxing phase and its invisible part is partially visible and if the visible part is at the same time reddish, then this is a sign of strong winds which will blow from the direction of the inclination of the lunar sickle or the direction of the clouds which cover lunar disc in the moment of the observation. Lunar halos are especially observed. A clear halo of light which is gradually fading toward its rim is a sign of a nice weather. If the Moon is surrounded by two or three of these halos then, probably, the week of the respective phase will be marked by rainy storms. Winds are indicated by yellowish and disrupted halos, blizzards by the foggy and thick ones. Although Ptolemy applies visual astrology mainly in weather predictions, the instructions from the earliest period of the Babylonian astrology indicate that this method was applicable on all the questions in the sense that the heavens can be consulted in this manner whenever a question comes to our mind. The colours following the heavenly phenomena bear crucial meaning so when we bring these colours into connection to the respective planetary symbolism, it is easy to obtain a simple answer to any kind of question. “Is she going to come back to me?” –  Yes, if the question is followed by a glance toward the Sun setting in a clear and whitish horizon or is in that same moment, accidentally, followed by the setting Venus, clearly visible behind the solar disc (hence Venus as an evening star). The answer will be negative if the Sun is followed by Mars, or the setting is bloody red in colour, or the question is posed in the moment when the Moon is surrounded by red halos.  The variations are numerous but the principle is simple, it is only important that our field of vision is sufficiently clear and wide.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

01 May 2010

Why Precisely Aries? (The First Zodiacal Sign)

“Of the four seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, spring exceeds in moisture on account of its diffusion after the cold has passed and warmth is setting in; the summer, in heat, because of the nearness of the sun to the zenith; autumn more in dryness, because of the sucking up of the moisture during the hot season just past; and winter exceeds in cold, because the sun is farthest away from the zenith. For this reason, although there is no natural beginning of the zodiac, since it is a circle, they assume that the sign which begins with the vernal equinox, that of Aries, is the starting point of them all” (Claudius Ptolemy, “Tetrabiblos”)

The natal chart of Creation, Thema Mundi, is probably the most ancient of all astrological hypotheses, very consistent in its structure, established over a long period of time and accepted by the oldest authorities in astrology like Firmicus, Paulus Alexandrinus, Macrobius. Regarding this eternal controversy about which point of the ecliptic should be taken as a starting point, Macrobius said: “They say, when that particular day began, which was the first of them all and thus properly named the birthday of the world, Aries was in zenith and since zenith is, as it always was, the apex of the sky (mundane meridian in the Sun’s primary motion) so Aries was likewise considered the first among them, the one representing the forehead of the world when the light was born. And they state the reason why these 12 signs were assigned to the powers of various gods. For, they say that in that particular diagram of the world, while Aries, as we said, was occupying zenith, the sign of the horoscopos (Ascendant) of the world being born was Cancer, embracing the Moon. The Sun was ascending next with Leo, Mercury with Virgo, Venus with Libra, Mars was in Scorpio, Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Saturn was wandering in Capricorn. Thus it came about that they said for each of these to be the lord of that particular sign which it was believed to had been occupying when the world was being born. The ancients assigned to the lights only the signs, one to each of them, which they then occupied, Leo to the Sun, and Cancer to the Moon. Beside these, to the remaining five stars however, alongside the signs they occupied, the ancients added another five so they may start a new sequence at the end of the first. We said earlier that Saturn, as the last of them all, was in Capricorn, so the second division put the formerly last one in the first place and Aquarius, following Capricorn, was also given to Saturn. To Jupiter, which preceded him, Pisces were assigned...”

The problem regarding the starting point of the zodiac is as old as the zodiac itself. It was not only Ptolemy  who pointed out the relativity of this rule, but also the astrologers before and after his time. So for instance Rhetorius, the astrologer living at the end of the 5th century AD highlights the fact that even after its thousand’s years existence some astrologers still take the sign of Cancer as its starting point because this sign stood at the Ascendant of Thema Mundi, whereas others mark the initial point of the circle in the fixed sign of Leo which belongs to the Sun, the central planetary sphere. However, by far the greatest number of astrologers of old (and contemporary ones) take the Aries as the starting point of the zodiac because after passing the point of the vernal equinox, the Sun begins its transit toward masculine, northern and higher heavenly hemisphere. Following this simple astronomical fact Aries was designated as a sign of the exaltation for the biggest and visibly the most important heavenly object, the Sun. In accordance with the fact that the real astronomical year starts in spring, Aries is in its primary signification a symbol of all the beginnings, pioneer enterprises and novelties. In horary, when Aries contains a relevant significator it will symbolize just this, a new or an initial situation or circumstance. In its highest signification this sign, as a part of the cardinal quadruplicity, symbolizes the creation of all the conditions in this world, especially those which refer to sudden events. In space, it designates east and great depths in borderline areas, like depths in the eastern parts of the great waters or depths in the caves on the east slopes of the mountains, volcanic craters, etc. If  a significator representing the quesited or an event occupies this part of the Zodiac, it will designate a person of a choleric temperament, very impatient and rash, of slender  but muscular body, medium in height (unless the significator or the cusp of a relevant house is in a close aspect with a planet or a star of different quality), with a long face and broad forehead, and narrow, pointed chin. The eyebrows are often very prominent, as well as hair which is thick or curly. The upper part of the body is conspicuously more developed than the lower part (narrow hips). It is a sign of bestial (animal) group. The person signified primarily by this sign is rash, very quick, of a strong voice and conspicuous gesticulation, often tactless and brusque.

In other kind of significations Aries symbolizes new settlements in urban areas, new parts of the city, outskirts, unknown places. In rural areas it symbolizes small, hilly areas with pastures, pens, deserted and depopulated places distant from inhabited areas and recently ploughed land. In a house or apartment it refers to the ceiling, but also to the walls, especially those to the east  and all sources of heat, stoves and fireplaces. In the questions regarding weather conditions it symbolizes  moderately warm, dry and clear weather. Aries rules east, but in geographical division of Claudius Ptolemy it comprises the north-western quadrant of the inhabited world, that is, it symbolizes the British islands, France, Scandinavia, Germany  and all the Slavic lands all the way to Urals and Carpathians. Outside Europe it symbolizes Syria, Palestine and Israel although this region is primarily signified by the earthly triplicity so Aries is present just as a secondary significator. In the rest of the world Aries rules all the borderlands and eastern parts of the continents. Belgrade, Naples, Florence, Verona, Utrecht, Padua, Bergamo are some of the cities under the primary rulership of this sign. Aries also signifies sharp edges and angles of all objects.

In medical questions Aries refers to the diseases in the head, problems with eyesight, epilepsy, all the diseases of the brain, migraine, toothache, the loss of hair and its weakness, problems with skin on the head. It never indicates diseases with mortal outcome, unless the main significator of the illness occupies the 1st degree of a sign referring to the 1st  lunar mansion. In the dual classification of the elements Aries belongs to fire, that is, to heat and dryness.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

31 March 2010


Ecliptic, the apparent yearly path of the Sun, represents the central part of the zodiacal circle dividing it into two equal parts regarding the northern, that is, southern heavenly sphere. This big heavenly circle, by its central position relative to the zodiacal background, symbolically depicts the hierarchy of astrological cosmos  which is rooted in Platonist notion of cosmic hierarchy consisting of 14 spheres, 7 of them being situated above and 7 below the central Sun. According to the cosmological system of astrology, the Sun doesn’t occupy central position regarding only the 6 visible heavenly bodies, but also regarding the heaven containing stars, which we recognize today  as visible constellations, then regarding the heaven which contains no stars which we designate as Zodiac and lastly, regarding the two highest spheres of cosmic hierarchy, the sphere of  Divine Pedestal and the sphere of Divine Throne. These four superior spheres are directly connected to the three lower spheres, the so called planetary spheres, which are astronomically determined by their distance to the Earth, that is, by the amount of time required for their heavenly revolution. These three lower, supra-solar spheres belong to Saturn, Jupiter and Mars which are known as superior, masculine planets in traditional astrology. In the sub-solar sector (which is below the Sun) the three superiors find their counterparts in the three inferior planets – Venus, Mercury and Moon. Below the Moon are situated the lowest spheres of elementals (the ontological elements of the universe) – fire, earth, air and water which, by symmetry and number, correspond to the four highest spheres of the Fixed stars, Zodiac, Pedestal and Throne. Zodiac is the 12th sphere in the order of  heavenly hierarchy and it represents a part of transcendental heaven, situated entirely beyond the visible cosmos of time and space in which the planets and the stars of the visible constellations move. This spherical form is purely symbolic because it signifies the transition from astronomical toward metaphysical cosmos and integral cosmology. The heaven without stars, the heaven of 12 zodiacal towers is, hence, not the equivalent to the part of the visible sky which is covered with  zodiacal constellations. In relation to them, zodiac symbolizes the virtual determinant of  heavenly space from which all the possible human conditions are derived; in relation to these conditions the particular signs represent archetypal principles. This sphere of the first superior heaven is the primum mobile of the notional universe while the spheres of the stars and planets (visible cosmos) and the elemental spheres of our planet are subject to the laws of time and space.

The divergence between the two big heavenly circles, the heavenly equator and the solar cycle (ecliptic), symbolizes the violation of balance in the order of manifestation of the cosmos. The four heavenly cardinal points (equinoxes and tropics) thus determine zodiacal  elemental quadruplicity  representing  the essence of differentiation through which the  universal principles of superior heavens manifest in spatial – temporal universe. These four universal tendencies, the four ontological elements of fire, earth, air and water, manifest through twofold qualifications of hot and cold, that is, dry and wet. Hot and cold are active qualities, which are diametrically opposite. They also manifest as expansive force (hot) and the force of contraction (cold). These two forces of creation and existence determine the two passive qualities, dry and wet. Transmitted to the four  heavenly cardinal points, cold corresponds to the solstices  and hot to the equinoxes; that is why cardinal signs  (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) follow each other according to the principle of absolute contrasts. Aries is hot and dry and hence, fiery, followed by Cancer which is cold and wet, i.e. watery.

Zodiac is thus divided according to the elements, but also according to the three modalities: cardinal, fix and flexible (mutable). The modalities symbolize the three states of spirit and its three spatial orientations: the orientation of the fall into spatial - temporal cosmos and the dimension of depth (cardinal signs), the orientation of expansion and the dimension of breadth (fixed signs) and the orientation of  return toward the source and the dimension of height (mutable signs). This trinity of the spirit is superior to the elemental quadruplicity of the nature. Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) refer to the development of all  the qualitative conditions pertaining to this world. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)  go beyond this world symbolizing upward orientation of the spirit and the timeless dimension of human existence, whereas synthesizing, flexible signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) represent the linking of spiritual and physical levels of cosmos.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

09 March 2010

Lunar Principle in Medical Horary Charts

Moon, the only constant in all kinds of horary charts, is of utmost importance in medical horary charts from the beginnings of horary astrology up to the period of her blossoming in the 17th century. In classical decumbiture charts of this period the accent was put on the comparison between Moon’s positions and radical factors of the chart at the interval of every 22,5 degrees of longitude in progress, that is, at every degree of change regarding its luminosity during its passage through the zodiac. Hexakaidekahedrons or the sixteen figures of the Moon were deduced from the division of the zodiacal circle into sixteen parts. Ptolemy calls them “turning points” of the Moon, which represent quartile points related to nodal axis. These points constitute a tetragon in which the first one pertains to the new Moon, and the remaining three are connected to the rest of the lunar phases. From these lunar tetragons the method of  “sixteen houses of decumbiture chart” was deduced. In their essence 22,5 degrees represent the fourth part of every lunar phase. The degrees of aphesis, or athesis degrees, represent another zodiacal qualification of lunar symbolism. These degrees designate the arch measured between the Sun and the Moon according to its phases and half-phases, i.e. degrees of augmentation/diminution or any change of its luminosity and brilliance. The degrees are the following: the exact conjunction with the Sun (new Moon), then 12th, 45th, 135th, 168th, 180th, 192nd, 225th, 270th, 315th and 348th degree from the Sun. In practice, when some planet, point or an angle are found exactly on these degrees, they are considered to be emphasized because these degrees carry the same symbolic meaning as the close aspects with the Moon itself. The degrees pertaining to the waxing lunar phase are far stronger than those pertaining to the waning lunar phase(which follows the full Moon) according to the nature of things, but all of them are able to strengthen and accentuate any astrological factor they are connected with. In horary charts the occurrence of one of these degrees can signify change or turning point in a certain situation.

The Babylonian legacy of lunar astrology is extant in the works of medieval Arabian astrologers like Al Biruni and Abu Ma’shar. The original usage of lunar astrology was dedicated to calendar purposes so one month could be divided in several ways, and the two most common were divisions into four, that is, three parts. Nowadays, the most familiar to us is the fourfold division, comprising 28 days in a month. 27, or 28 star groups which the Moon travels through in its sidereal cycle of 27,5 days are known today as lunar manzils (lunar mansions, stations). Although originally connected to sidereal zodiac, lunar mansions eventually became fixed within the tropical zodiac. Originally, lunar zodiac was deduced from the sphere of fixed stars in accordance to the Moon’s average, daily motion which is 12 degrees 51 minutes of heavenly circle. A number of these lunar mansions became relevant in medical horary questions. So for instance, Al Sharatain, the first lunar mansion, is a degree carrying malefic symbolism, signifying serious threats to bodily integrity through injuries inflicted by sharp objects, weapons or by fire. If the Moon or the primary significator of the sick is located on the 1st degree of Aries, its strength will be considerably depleted. The second lunar mansion, Al Butain, beginning at the 13th degree of Aries can signify stomach and intestine diseases. Malefic signification is also assigned to the 6th lunar mansion, Al Han’ah, which points to a very serious disease if the Moon or the primary significator of the sick are found at the 5th degree of Gemini. The 8th lunar mansion, Al Nathra, beginning at the first degree of summer tropic (1st degree of Cancer) symbolizes the hospitalization of the sick. It also has ill signification in questions pertaining to eyes or eyesight. The 10th lunar mansion, Al Jabhah, beginning at the 26th degree of Cancer is exceptionally bad and indicates a serious unbalance pertaining to phlegmatic humour (water element). This lunar mansion is emphasized in people with extrasensory abilities as well as in those with psychological problems. The 11th lunar mansion, Al Zubrah, is one of the most beneficial in medical horary charts if the sick person is a male; however, it has completely opposite, maleficent significance in the case the sick person is a female. This lunar mansion begins at the 9th degree of Leo. The 18th lunar mansion Al Kalb beginning at the 9th degree of Scorpio indicates heart or brain diseases if the Moon or the primary significator are found at this degree in a horary chart. The 23rd lunar mansion, Al Bulah, beginning at the 13th degree of Capricorn signifies quick recovery because of the lucky choice of treatment and medicine if the Moon, the significator of the sick or a significator of a physician, treatment or medicine are found at this degree. The following, 24th lunar mansion, Al Sa’d al Su’ud, beginning at the 26th degree of Capricorn is one of the most maleficent. The 25th lunar mansion, Al Ahbiyah, has a significance very similar to the one ascribed to Al Bulah because it symbolizes a good physician and good, successful medical treatment. This lunar mansion begins at the 9th degree of Aquarius. The last lunar mansion, Al Batan, beginning at the 18th degree of Pisces, has extremely maleficent symbolism in medical horary charts.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

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)