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.

09 January 2011

Lost - Found (The Early Rules of Horary Astrology on Missing and Stolen Objects)

A horary chart for this kind of question can be constructed both for the moment we discover that an object is missing and for the time when an astrologer hears or reads the question posed to him. The simplest way to predicting whether the missing or stolen object will be found or retrieved is by delineating the luminaries. If in the chart of a question or an event the Moon in a nocturnal or the Sun in a diurnal chart closely aspect their rulers the object will be returned to its owner. If the Moon is found in a sign together with that signs’ruler, and the Sun aspects the Moon or the sign’s ruler, the object will be found. The missing or stolen object will also be found when the dodecatemorion of the Moon’s sign is found on the degree of the ascendant or of the mid heaven. Similar situation is given if the Sun is found in the sign of the Moon’s dodecatemorion, or in the sign where the Moon’s ruler is placed, or the Moon in a nocturnal and  the Sun in a diurnal chart closely aspect an oriental planet (the one rising before the Sun on that day.) A positive indicator is also if the Moon or the Sun closely aspect the lot of fortune. The object will be found as well when the Sun or the Moon are placed on the ascending degree of a horary chart. If the Sun is located on the ascendant in the moment one finds out the object is missing, a positive indicator that the object will be found or retrieved is if the Moon  is simultaneously  transiting through  a sign ruled by a benefic in the radix chart of the owner. 

That the object will not be found or retrieved is shown by the following indicators in the chart: the full Moon in the chart of an event or a question, the Moon at the end of the 7th house or on the cusp of the 8th without aspects with the Sun, the Moon in Via combusta, both the luminaries under the earth, the Moon at the end of its monthly cycle, going into the applying conjunction with the Sun.

Another way to delineate these charts is by analyzing the four cardinal points. The missing object is signified by the ascendant in the chart of the event, the mid-heaven signifies the owner, descendant belongs to a potential thief and the lower meridian describes the location of the object. If the benefics are placed in the sign of the ascendant or closely aspect the ascending degree the object will be found. The lower mid heaven will describe the location of the missing object according to the nature of the sign: water signs will indicate the nearness of water, moisture or  water pipes, air signs will indicate altitude in some way, earth signs show floor and lower parts of  furniture, fire signs symbolize walls and the proximity of the source of heat and light. The symbolism of a sign can be substituted by a close aspect of the Moon or the lot of fortune with some planet so the location of the missing object can also be sought by delineating the symbolism of a planet, not the lower mid heaven exclusively. If the Moon is placed in the last third (face) of a sign, this indicates that the missing or stolen object often changes its location.
That the object is stolen is shown by the following indicators:both luminaries closely aspecting the ascending degree (the thief is someone from the household or a near relative). If only one luminary aspects the ascendant then the thief is not a family member, but it is a friend or an acquaintance. If both luminaries are found to be in aversion or in the sign following the sign on the ascendant the thief is a stranger. The description of  the thief is obtained from the sign of the 7th house and the planet posited in it. If the 7th doesn’t contain any planet, then the thief is described by the 9th because it is a house of the Moon’s mundane detriment. As the last option, there remains the 12th house. If it is also empty, then the thief is shown by the planet the Moon is applying to. If the Moon is void of course (no immediate aspects) then the thief will be shown by the planet the Moon last separated from. Jupiter symbolizes tall, robust, handsome and bright appearances, people with thin hair or high forehead or pronounced whiskers. Saturn indicates someone  with dark, thick hair and dark skin, markedly thin or small, possibly a man of a different race or ethnic background. Mars symbolizes slim, middle statured, muscular and very aggressive man of rough manners. His face is markedly oval or with a prominent jaw. Venus will indicate the thief of an attractive appearance, potentially a woman or a man of distinguished style and polite manners. Mercury describes younger people, slender built, agile, tending to baldness. If there’s a luminary in some of the mentioned houses, then the appearance of the thief is delineated according to the planet in a close aspect with that luminary. If such a planet isn’t there, then the Sun will indicate a big man of a round visage and very big, round eyes, and the Moon shows a handsome man or a woman of a round, markedly pale face. When a benefic closely aspects the thief’s significator, it is highly likely that he belongs to the upper classes of  society or comes from such a family background. The malefic signify the contrary, lower social classes. Mars often signifies a younger male below the age of 40, Jupiter is a male between 40 and 55, and Saturn is an older man. Equally, a younger person will be described by an oriental significator, and an older person will be indicated by a  retrograde, stationary or an occidental significator. If the significator of a thief  is placed in the same sign with the Sun, it indicates a man who has already committed theft and this theft is not his first. If the malefic do not behold the lot of fortune, the theft is committed for the first time in his life. In the charts indicating theft, Mars in a close aspect with the Moon or the ascendant often shows violent burglary whereas Jupiter or Venus show someone entering the house without the intention to steal, but later succumbes to the temptation of a beautiful or costly object.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

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