The Constitutional referendum in Turkey 2017

The 16th of April 2017, the people of Turkey will vote on sweeping changes to their constitution giving their president unprecedented power. Proponents of the “yes” campaign, say the proposed “Turkish style” presidential system will ensure the country no longer risks having weak governments, and insist the stability will lead to a long period of prosperity. The Yes campaign of course is proposed and is backed by the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (surprise surprise?)

Voting is taking place between 07:00 (7 a.m. – 0400GMT) and 16:00 (4 p.m. – 1300GMT) in Turkey’s eastern provinces of Adıyaman, Ağrı Artvin, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Hakkari, Kars, Malatya, Kahramanmaraş, Mardin, Muş, Ordu, Rize, Siirt, Sivas, Trabzon, Tunceli, Şanlıurfa, Van, Bayburt, Batman, Şırnak, Ardahan, Iğdır, and Kilis. These provinces consist of 38% of the countries area but represents only 23% of the population.

For the rest of the country, ballot boxes opened at 8 a.m. (0500GMT) and people would be allowed to vote until 5 p.m. (1400GMT).

The reason for the time difference is that the sun rises and sets earlier in the east of the country than in the west.

I therefore have cast the chart for the opening of the polls at 07:00 but will use the capital as the location.

The Ascendant is 13° c 35’ (Taurus). Lady of the Ascendant is Venus (representing the people of the nation) in her exaltation Pisces in the 11th house; a very strong position being oriental and direct.

An interesting note is that the Midheaven falls in the 9th (the Law) and the moveable sign of Capricorn. The proposition being voted on of course is a change in the law! The 10th whole sign is Aquarius. Both the 10th by counting (Aquarius) and the 10th by division (Capricorn) are the signs ruled by Saturn. However Saturn in Sagittarius falls in aversion to its domicile in Capricorn. It is therefore a poor significator for the law. I would look rather to Mars in the Ascendant which is the exalted ruler of Capricorn and also sends his aspect co-present with the degree of the Midheaven in Capricorn.

Very simply in this chart, the lady of the Ascendant, Venus holds a partile aspect with Mars in her domicile, receiving him and pushing her dignity on to it. There is nothing that could have been a stronger “yes” in the chart. But there is a second testimony equally powerful. We see that the Moon (universal significator of the common people) joined to Saturn.

For better or for worse, it would be difficult for me to see how this chart could not be indicating anything other than a resounding yes vote for the Constitutional amendments.

 

13:25

16.04.2017

 

Addendum 14:11 by Steven Birchfield

One comment from  Behiye Kayran in Turkey was very significant, and that is that Venus has always been the significator of Islam. And we see it strongly receiving the constitutional amendments. On the other hand I just noticed in my chart that the Moon (common people) actually joins the Sun first (the opposition). However because the Sun falls in the the weakest part of the heavens in the 12th …. and the strength of Venus is more powerful and strong than that of the Moon I would have to say it is going to pass although it is clear there is a split between two divisions of the people…. those that are secular (the Moon) and the Islamist’s (Venus).

The American Presidential Election and why we wouldn’t make a Prediction on the outcome using birth times of the Candidates.

It seems a day hasn’t passed since the start of 2016 when there hasn’t been some news coverage regarding either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, other than the time taken up with the Brexit outcome here in the UK.

Things on the Internet are now starting to heat up especially since the first head to head between Trump and Clinton on the 26th September.

Friendships have been lost either personally, or on Facebook over outcomes. Words are hurled over the Internet about others astrological takes on the outcome and, at times, it seems as though the small astrological community is at war with itself. (As we can see in the Libra Ingress chart a microcosm/reflection of the state of the nation)

Much of the animosity and finger wagging centres primarily on that most vexatious issue of unknown, or verified birth times for Hillary Clinton where times range from 8:02 am to 8:02 pm; as well as 10:48 am and yet another birth time of 02.18.

I copy the following from ISAR which is available on FB and other sites:

BREAKING NEWS!!! Hillary Clinton’s birth time has been found

ISAR ASTROLOGY·SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2016

According to astrologer Marc Penfield, both the Cook County and State of Illinois record divisions last week verified a time of birth as recorded for Hillary Rodham that took place on October 26, 1947. If correct, it is not the commonly used birth times of approximately 8:00 am or 8:00 pm.

Marc will be on the closing Presidential Election panel 2016 ISAR Forecasting Symposium on Sunday, October 16, 5 pm (PST). He will reveal the Democratic contender’s time of birth then, and the process he went through to find this KEY missing astrological link for forecasting the 2016 USA Presidential Election.

So now, we have even more suspense building up to the most exciting astrological event of 2016!

Hope to see you onsite in two and half weeks! #isar2016 #astrology

This led to the following comments on the Politics & Astrology FB page:

Marc Penfield’s time he claims to have sourced is 02.18am. This certainly has a ring of déja vu about it. Zayin Cohen was originally reported as giving a time of 02.18am back in 2005 and ADB recorded this. He claimed to have accessed Hillary Clinton’s time of birth through a contact in the Chicago Records Office who sourced her birth certificate for him. It was then reported on astrology groups like the Noel Tyl site. However, I corresponded with Zayin Cohen a few weeks ago. Zayin Cohen then claimed the time he had actually found was 02.08am not 02.18am. He said it was incorrectly reported on ADB and elsewhere. However, with the death of Louis Rodden it never got resolved. Like Marc Penfield, Zayin Cohen claimed to have an anonymous source in the Chicago Public Records office. He has long said he cannot give out the certificate or details of the official as this is illegal. But I have been in contact with Patrick Watson today and he showed me evidence of a FB conversation with Zayin Cohen back in August when he was informed by Zayin Cohen that the right time was actually 01.18am not 02.18am. I am trying not to throw out accusations here but Zayin Cohen is clearly giving out conflicting times. So was the time on the birth certificate always really 02.18am which has been corroborated by Marc Penfield? In which case why is Zayin Cohen now altering his time? Did Marc Penfield really source this directly or is he just using the time that was widely attributed to Zayin Cohen earlier which he now himself disputes? Or maybe Zayin Cohen is playing games with us and the time was always 02.18am. Presumably, like Zayin Cohen, Marc Penfield will not be able to produce a scan of the birth certificate for legal reasons.

Leaving aside birth times for Hillary Clinton, there is also a modicum of doubt to be raised regarding Donald Trump’s Rising Sign.  23 seconds into the AA rated birth time of 10:54, the Ascendant moves from Leo into Virgo. So there is more Virgo in that minute than Leo.  When I mentioned this fact during Hakan Kirkuglus’s talk at the AA Conference, Michael Lutin shouted and said how I could I be so stupid – of course Trump is a Leo, you just have to look at him. Well that is the common perception, but from a Traditional perspective, if Trump did have Virgo rising it would explain the multiple marriages and strong family ties and good relationships with his ex-wives even more than the fixed Leo Ascendant/Aquarius 7th house. So to my mind there is doubt about both candidates and their Ascendants and therefore their personal house relationships.

There is no definitive “birth time” for the Republican and Democratic parties.  So what could be used to call this election?

A traditional mundane method was always to look at the Aries Ingress and if needed, the other Ingresses of the quarters dependent on the Rising sign of the Aries Ingress. If a fixed sign rose, that chart was good for the year. (This is indeed the case with the UK Aries Ingress 2016).  If a mutable sign, the chart was cast for both Aries and Libra Ingress’ and if a Cardinal sign rose, then each quarter you cast a new chart.

Taking Washington DC as the Capital for America, the Aries Ingress for 2016 had the mutable sign of Sagittarius on the Ascendant. The lord of the Ascendant, Jupiter, is also in a mutable sign together with the mutable ascendant emphasising the need to look at the Libra Ingress. The Libra Ingress chart has Scorpio rising and is valid for the period covering the election to the actual Inauguration of the Presidential Candidate on the 20th January 2017.

In the UK with the Brexit vote, Mark Cullen the Moderator on Skyscript, put together a fairly comprehensive list of methods used by various astrologers to make their predictions. Of those 16 in his sample who correctly voted leave, 4 used opening of the Polls along with other techniques.

Maybe this method would shed some light on the potential outcome of this most bitter of elections?

Due to the time changes across America, the first State to open its polls is the New Hampshire state of Dixville Notch at 00.00 on the 8th November 2016.

There are two ways we could look at this chart for Incumbent and Challenger; one way is to take the 1st for the current Ruler and the 7th for the challenger, or the 10th for current King and 4th for challenger or opposition.

We will look at both ways, although the actual significators using whole house signs doesn’t change.

opening-vote-us-elections-2016
We will start with the 10th/4th axis.    The 11th is for the supporters of the current King and the 5th for the supporters of the challenger.

The 10th is ruled by Mercury, who is under suns beams, his supporters are the Moon (also the common people). The challenger is Jupiter and his supporters are Saturn.

Taking Mercury to represent the incumbent party; Mercury has no rulership in 23° Scorpio and cannot see the 10th sign of Gemini from the 3rd sign, which simply means it is blind and cannot effectively manage the affairs of the house Gemini represents.  We find Mercury just on the edge of Sunbeams moving out of the harmful rays. As Mercury leaves the rays of the Sun he applies to his ruler Mars, wanting to give his authority and management of 10th house affairs to Mars which is in its exaltation. However before Mercury can exit from the rays of the Sun, the application is frustrated as Mars leaves Capricorn into Aquarius. This does not bode well for the incumbent party.

Jupiter representing the Challenger or opposition party has authority as participating triplicity ruler in Libra. Jupiter is applying to Saturn giving his power and authority to Saturn to manage Jupiter’s affairs [this is called the committing of his disposition], which Saturn accepts because Jupiter is in the sign of Saturn’s exaltation [reception]. Also, Saturn has authority in Sagittarius as participating triplicity ruler of Fire. Saturn in the 4th is angular and has the strength to carry out the business of Jupiter.

Jupiter is operating out of the turned 11th house from the 4th. This is the house of Good Daemon and Jupiter is said to rejoice in the 11th.  Saturn is also indicator of Jupiter’s Seconds or helpers. Saturn is bang in the middle of Jupiter’s sign, giving his aid and assistance to Jupiter.

The Moon as indicator of the Incumbents Seconds is tucked away in the 6th of sickness and labour. She can’t see her house and is in the sign of Saturn.  Her next application is to Mercury, indicator of the current ruler.  She perfects this aspect with a square, showing some difficulty.  If we take the Moon to represent the people, it shows they are in slavery, sick and not very effective. The Moon takes the light of Mercury to Venus by Sextile. Venus in this chart disposes of Jupiter as he disposes of her. So there is some reception between these two planets.

Venus cannot see Mercury to give him her aid.  The women are turned away from helping the Incumbent.

Taking the Rising sign of Virgo for the Incumbent and the 7th for the challenger, we have the same planets as significators.  All that has changed is their house positions.

Mercury is now in a cadent sign but can see the Ascendant sign.  However, his power to act is weak as he is still blinkered by the Sun who rules the 12th of enemies.  The Sun is blinding him to what is going on?  Jupiter on the other hand is in his participating triplicity rulership, oriental and strong.   Jupiter can see neither Ascendant nor Descendant, but, through his application to Saturn in an angle, Saturn reflects Jupiter’s light to his house, Pisces (called rendering of light).  In this changed situation in assigning different houses, Saturn is the means whereby he Jupiter can manage the affairs of the 7th.  Jupiter can also see his other house, the 10th sign from the Descendant (Sagittarius). The same comments apply to Jupiter’s relationship to Saturn as mentioned in our first scenario (10th/4th axis).

If you look at this chart using house divisions, so the 10th cusp is Taurus and the 4th Scorpio, Venus is still in aversion to her sign (can’t manage).  Mars can see his sign of Scorpio by sextile.   The Sun (reputation, honours) is in the 4th by division.  Mars, the ruler of Scorpio, is exalted in Capricorn at the time of this event!

opening-vote-us-elections-2016_regi

No matter how you view this chart for the opening of polls, it appears to give the victory to the Opponent.

Turning now to the Libra ingress chart:

libra-ingress-2016

Traditionally the first thing to locate was the Lord of the Year of the Ingress chart.

The first consideration is to determine what planet will represent the people of the nation.

“You will also look, for the rustics and their condition, from the Lord of the Year and its place,”

(From the “Revolution of the Years of the World” by Māshāʿallāh translated by Benjamin Dykes PhD)

The ascendant of the chart always represented the people of the nation as did the Moon.  The Lord of the Year was found from one of the lords of the ascendant (ruler, exalted ruler, triplicity ruler, or term ruler) or even the sect luminary.  In this chart we have chosen Mars as Lord of Year since he is the lord of the Ascendant Scorpio. We do this in spite of the fact he is cadent from the ascendant in the 2nd house. The reason for this choice is that in fact all the rulers including the sect luminary, the Sun, fall cadent of the ascendant.

This very accurately describes the state of the people in America going into this half of the year.

Chapter 12: When the Lord of the Year is cadent

If the Lord of the Year were cadent from the Ascendant, not aspecting the Ascendant (in the eighth, sixth, second, or twelfth sign), then he will be in need, and therefore weakness will befall him, because he fell in a place removed from the Ascendant:

(From the “Revolution of the Years of the World” by Māshāʿallāh translated by Benjamin Dykes PhD.

Both Mars and the Moon representing the people are in aversion to the Ascendant.  The people feel out of touch and powerless to act. The Martian types are in conflict and also out of touch with their national identity. For both significators there is a sense of helplessness, weakness, division, contention and fear. Note that the Moon’s application to the opposition of Mars further indicates the very obvious division of the nation.

The incumbent Ruling Party is shown by the Sun as ruler of the 10th sign/house. (Note: the Sun would not necessarily always be the significator of the ruling party if another sign were on the MC). Their opponents are indicated by Saturn as ruler of the 4th sign/house.

To discover the successor belonging to the current ruling party, we look to the second triplicity ruler of the Sign on the 10th. This gives us Jupiter as the Nocturnal Sect Ruler of Fire.

Jupiter is under Sunbeams, out of sight in the 12th sign. This suggests a weak successor who cannot be seen. This relates perhaps to Hillary not being so visible on the campaign trail. Obama has been actively campaigning on her behalf. Naturally the Sun being in Libra is in detriment and in the cadent 12th; the King is no longer strong.   Hillary’s recent health problems and public collapse could also be indicative of this weak Jupiter.

To assess the condition of the opposition, we will take both the actual sign ruler (Saturn) and the diurnal triplicity ruler of Air – again Saturn. So Saturn indicates the opposing candidate.    There is no other planet to consider as they (the opposition party) have put up their challenger.

Neither significator of the people (Moon & Mars) applies to join either candidate, again indicating the disconnectedness and “hatred” by the people for the two candidates. It appears in the history of the American Elections that no two contenders for this crown have been so reviled by their countrymen.

So how to discover the outcome?

We look at the individual strength of both significators and the actions between them.

As noted, Jupiter is combust, in the 12th and applies to Saturn from Saturn’s house of exaltation (Libra) and his house of joy.

As we saw in the other charts we looked at, this handing over of power is a very distinct action between the two because it indicates Jupiter handing the management of everything she is and represents, to Saturn who receives her gift!

Saturn standing alone is stronger than Jupiter, being free of sunbeams, and able to manage the affairs of his house of Aquarius.

The conclusion is that Saturn is the winner.

By Sharon Knight and Steven Birchfield 29.09.2016

Musings of an Astrologer

Musings of an astrologer

The methods used in mundane delineation are old and with their entrance into Europe in the 12th and 13th century via Spain some have been significantly revised. One of the last and perhaps most popular of the medieval Persian astrologers to use these techniques with real results was Abu Ma’shār.

When his works were translated into Latin, the translators and religious censors working with the translators were faced with some very real problems. The first was the lack of practical knowledge of the application of these techniques. They were first of all scholars, translating texts whose subject matter was totally outside their experience. As far as I have been able to see, not a single one was in fact a practicing astrologer. The second and probably the most critical, was the philosophies on which these techniques were based. In order to translate these texts and to receive acceptance by the religious authorities, compromises had to be made. Most often it was the text that was compromised. This particular problem was discussed by both Richard Lemay and Charles Burnett; both have written and given lectures on the corruption of certain Arabic texts when they were translated and transmitted into Europe. I’m not going to go into the details of these translation practices here, but it is quite well documented now that the original Arabic texts are being translated and compared to the same Latin translations. I can refer you to these articles though and particularly one by Dr. Charles Burnett:

“The Strategy of Revision in the Arabic-Latin Translations from Toledo: The case of Abu Ma’shār’s On the Great Conjunctions” by Dr. Charles Burnett in the publication, “Les Traducteurs au travail: leurs manuscrits et leurs methods”, ed. J. Hamesse, Turnabout, 2002, pp.51-113 and 529-540.

And,

“A Group of Arabic-Latin Translators working in northern Spain in the mid-12th century” published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1977, pp.62-108

Most of the current consensus is documented in articles in obscure journals, publications and University lectures. But I can assure you the evidence is quite authoritative!

Now the reason I’m beginning with this point is because it had a great influence in what later astrologers would have to rely on – which in many cases was not the original practice. But thanks to certain scholars today, such as Charles Burnett and Michio Yano (among others), we are gaining manuscripts and translated texts which reveal what was corrupted and where and when! I’ve personally devoted the last couple of years to these texts and practices and with the support and cooperation of scholars; (in particular I can thank Dr. Michio Yano and the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa in Tokyo, who more than graciously obliged my studies by supplying me with texts) I’ve been trying to restore these techniques and the full picture of what these things entailed.

Now, having said this, I can lay no claim to having a complete or full understanding of these things. I do have certain convictions about these things and having struggled with these texts, am convinced that there is more than simply meets the eye. Mundane astrology was one of the matters of which Abu Ma’shār claimed “was a secret of science”. This is a theme running throughout Abu Ma’shār’s works. Abu Ma’shār was fond of secrets. He was quite fond of speaking in riddles and metaphors. For instance, in discussing the relationship of Jupiter and Saturn to war, he refers to the square of these two superiors as “The Fortitude of the Sword.” Secrecy was a necessary part of Abu Ma’shār’s astrological practice. He worked for the secular and religious authorities from Egypt to Persia and India. It is to be assumed that he was exposed to or came in contact with secrets, both personal and political in the course of his work. We are not surprised when we read the following anecdote in Lynn Thorndike’s article, Albumasar in Sadan, which is the only biographical treatise ever written about Abu Ma’shār by his student Abu Ṣāʳid Schadsan, which was corrupted into Sadan in Latin.

«Abu Ma’shār said that when a native’s 2nd house is impeded at birth and its ruler also unfortunate, the native never prospers. When asked why he never mentioned this in his writings, he said: “The sage who writes down all he knows is like an empty vessel. Nobody needs him and his reputation declines. He should keep some secrets to himself and communicate them only to his closest friends.»

When you look at the written evidence alone, it is very clear that few, if any Medieval Western or Arabic authors give exhaustive expositions. As Robert Zoller wrote in a yet unpublished article,

“Certain parameters are given (in these texts) and the reader is left to figure out the rest himself. The reader is likely to conclude that none of these authors really knew how to predict. However, two facts mitigate this conclusion: 1) there are numerous reports of astrologers successfully predicting the death of this or that native. 2) The common experience of contemporary practitioners of this Medieval Astrology is that such predictions can, in fact, be made. 3) Errors in prediction can come from numerous causes, but incomplete or faulty knowledge of the proper technique is certainly a cause of error.”

Now these things are true, and for anyone spending any amount of time in these original texts, it becomes very obvious! I appreciate that there are people out there who are not rejecting some of these original concepts but instead are making sincere efforts to use them. However, as has been the case of the last thousand years, the foundations are still not recovered so that often those efforts are much the same as a “craps game” and the odds are very small that we can restore a functioning method by chance alone!

Thus I have to start at the beginning! In order to make heads or tails of these ancients methods, then we have to understand something of the foundation philosophy. In Abu Ma’shār’s case, his methods reflect the basic philosophy that the first thing to appear in universal political and social matters is the prophet and “the law” of the Prophet. Because of changes in ‘religion (philosophy)’ there arise new dynasties and kings.

«Since we have already provided in the first Part the means to know the matters that needed explanation concerning prophets, their Shariahs (Laws), and the like, let us mention, in this second Part, how to know the matters of dynasties and kings, and let us begin in this chapter with how to know the change of dynasty from one nation to another, and to which nation it comes, since the rank of kings follows that of prophets.»

Now the ancients’ use of conjunctions is very much built on this foundation! It was not just any conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, but it was especially those conjunctions which occurred at the beginning of a shift of the conjunction into a new triplicity. This is where it becomes very difficult. I struggled for a long time with this conception because 1) all of these astrologers used a theoretical conjunction based on the mean motions of these two planets and 2) these ‘mean’ conjunctions do not occur in reality! The whole of these considerations is based entirely on a ‘theoretical’ conjunction! Were they aware of this fact? Absolutely! In the introduction to this chapter On Conjunctions in his text book, Kūšyār Ibn Labbān writes;

«[1] Many people of this art have another method in general judgment. It is by means of the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn. The Persians are the wisest of them in their conviction, and the most devoted to bringing together happiness and misfortune through it, according to their claim, from the conjunctions of these two planets. They set in motion each one of Jupiter and Saturn with their mean motion and they lay down the following scheme – the two ‹planets› make twelve conjunctions in each triplicity and sometimes thirteen conjunctions; what is between two conjunctions is roughly twenty years. They fix chronology by it from the conjunction occurring at the beginning of a triplicity to the conjunction occurring at the beginning of another triplicity.

[2] If this method were correct for us, we could spare much trouble in worrying about the equations of the planets and their correction. When there is dependence on the corrected positions of the two ‹planets›, the number of the conjunctions of the two ‹planets› in the triplicities could not be grasped, neither could the days and years which are between the conjunctions nor the ascendant of the time of the conjunction of the two planets be obtained, because of the slowness of their motion and because of the difficulty of inquiring into their conditions which are dependent on precise observation.

[3] Thus they made the ascendant of the year in which the conjunction occurs the ascendant of the conjunction, and they judged what things are caused by the conjunction from this ascendant, just as judgments are made concerning the other things that happen from the ascendants of beginnings of these ‹happenings›. When we are true to ourselves we know that this ascendant is artificial, but we follow the people in their opinion, and we are polite to them in associating ‹with them› and we support them concerning their belief, and we do not think it utterly impossible that a conjunction of the two spheres of the orbs of the epicycles of two has influence in the world. Thus we choose from their sayings what is closer to ‹our› thought and what is more inclined to analogy. »

In this text we’re made to understand a couple of things; first that these astrologers were quite aware of the fact that the physical positions of Jupiter and Saturn had nothing to do with their conceptual positions through their ‘mean’ motions. Second, that the actual degree of the conjunction had nothing to do with the casting of the chart of the conjunction and that they used the ingress chart of the year of the conjunction. In other words, these astrologers willingly and knowingly used an ‘ideal’ conception to make delineations. As I said I had a very hard time coming to terms with this thought. By profession I am a Civil and Structural Engineer. I deal with physical laws and mathematics on a daily basis. For me to accept this conception was certainly a trial for my ‘scientific’ sensitivities. However, come to terms with it I did! The main reason in coming to terms with it was the fact that this is not the only place in astrology where an ‘ideal’ conception lies at the roots of delineation! The zodiac in its beginning and end is an ‘idealised’ conception! The signs are not nicely distributed in handy 30° increments! Aspects between planets are an idealised concept based on the totally natural human attribute of vision. The dwads or dōdekatémoria are 2½° conceptions that idealise the physical relationship of the Suns ‘mean’ motion and the moon’s ‘mean’ motion! The various lots are mathematical constructs based on longitudinal positions and their relationships. So there are many such ‘ideal’ conceptions. All of these things made me realise that perhaps there was a lot more to astrologers like Abu Ma’shār; especially with regards to ‘influence’ of the astrologicals.

A lot of people are going to say that these methods are too complicated and there are too many factors to consider. This has always been the complaint over Abu Ma’shār’s techniques in natal astrology. I’ve heard individuals say if we practiced what he taught it would take months to delineate a chart. First of all that is not true although it cannot be done overnight either. Secondly I marvel that people spend years in educating themselves in secondary schools and universities and if we hear of a doctor, lawyer, engineer or any other professional getting ‘certified’ without that kind of education then we are sceptical about their ability, and for good reason. Yet when it comes to the complexity of delineation, well we so easily accept ‘hobby’ astrology. As an engineer and I am working on a complex building project it takes me weeks to months to calculate the static forces that affect that construction and arrive at a structure that will handle the various forces that affect all buildings. I didn’t learn this as a ‘hobby’. Why people would expect delineation of a natal or mundane chart to be a simple 1-2-3 process when it contains so many relational and proportional elements is beyond me! An individual is a complex being! A society and culture is complex and more importantly the variables that contribute to the rise of cultures, societies and nations and religions are complex. I should expect that the methods of determining outcomes would also reflect to some extent the complexity of the system it describes. I have often marvelled at how similar my profession is to that of an astrologer where we have to demonstrate with the conceptual language of mathematics the relationships existing between so many variable physical factors!

To explain a little of the levels of this complexity with regards to the ancient’s methods of delineation let me try and put it into a schematic but I am going to work backwards from the simplest element. We have the individual and we are told by several of the ancient texts that that individual must be seen in the context of his mundane situation! How can you predict long life and riches to a man whose home is invaded and bombed by a rival nation or ethnic hate or political machinations? The natal delineation must be seen in the context of other greater ‘universals’. This native is a member of a cultural nation. What happens to that nation is predisposed also to ‘greater’ universals.

Steven Birchfield A.M.A.

The Classical Astrologer and Family Planning

Today, huge amounts of time and money are spent on genetic research, pre-natal medical counselling, and direct medical intervention such as fertility treatment to help couples who, for one reason or another, have difficulty in conception. While we may like to think of this as an enlightened modern pre-occupation, it is not by any stretch of the imagination. The desire to unlock the mysteries of procreation has occupied man for a long, long time!

In the past, the astrologer employed in the courts of the ruling class and nobility was the first and most important figure upon whom a ruler or noble would depend for counsel to ensure a primogeniture to whom the reins of power or authority would pass.

The traditional or classical astrologer had to be proficient in not only natal delineation, but he had to be skilled in the Arts of Questions[1] and Elections.[2] It was not enough that the astrologer could delineate the possibility of children from the subjects’ nativity, but the question of a successor was so paramount that his aid and direct participation was sought to find the best moment for the act of intercourse to result in the successful generation of a child; and in most cases the desire for a male child. The ancient classical and medieval astrologer, by all accounts, was expected to not only arrange things so that a child of the requisite sex was conceived but also, it was expected that the child would be born at the proper time. This was tantamount to nothing less than a type of astrological genetic counselling!

In his role as ‘family planner’, the astrologer would first delineate the natal charts of the couple, see if child birth was possible, and perhaps see anything that might hinder conception. A couple might also come to him with specific questions which were presented in the form of «interrogations» or horary questions. We can see several of the typical questions that were anticipated in the text of the 9th century Arabic astrologer, Sahl Ibn Bishr.[3]

«… if a man or a woman has asked whether or not he or she will have a child, look at the Ascendant; if there were benefics in it, or if the ruler of the Ascendant was in the Ascendant or in the tenth or in the eleventh or in the 5th, and Jupiter was in the best house from the Ascendant, a child will be born to him; and if the ruler of the Ascendant was in the Ascendant or in the 4th or in the 7th and Jupiter was in a good place from the Ascendant, a child will be born to him with some delay after [the time of] his own question. But if you have found a malefic in the Ascendant or if it aspects it by opposition or by square aspect, and the ruler of the Ascendant was in a bad place, and Jupiter was cadent or in the house of death or under the Sun beams, it signifies few children, and who will live only a short time if there are any…»

« …if the question was about some woman, whether or not she is pregnant and whether or not she will bear a child or whether it would be fortunate for her or not, look at the ruler of the Ascendant and the Moon, which are the significators of children. If you have found the ruler of the Ascendant and the Moon in the house of children, and if the ruler of the house of children is in the Ascendant free from the malefics, say that she is pregnant; and if the ruler of the Ascendant and the Moon have given, i.e. if they have committed, their own disposition to any planet in an angle, there will be a pregnancy, and all the more so if it was received; and if they were joined to a planet cadent from the Ascendant, it signifies loss, and the pregnancy is in vain; and even more so if the Ascendant was a mobile sign or if there was a malefic in an angle, or if the Moon was joined to a malefic, because all of these signify loss…»

« …if you have been asked whether she will bear a male or a female, look at the ruler of the Ascendant and the ruler of the house of children; if they were in masculine signs, there will be a male in her belly; and if they were in feminine signs, there will be a female in her belly; and if one of them was in a masculine sign and the other one was in a feminine sign, look at the Moon’s sign and at the planet to which the Moon is joined; if the Moon was in a masculine sign and was joined to a masculine planet, she will bear a male, but if the Moon was in a feminine sign or was joined to a feminine planet, she will bear a female. And know that Mercury, when it is oriental, i.e. when it is behind the Sun, will be feminine, if God wills!»[4]

He would then «elect» the most auspicious time for conception to occur.

«When you want to elect an hour for intercourse, i.e. when you want to have intercourse with your wife, so that you can beget a male child, let the Ascendant and its ruler and the Moon and the ruler of the house of children be in masculine signs or in a masculine quadrant of the circle in the hour of intercourse, and in that hour you should not put any planet but a masculine one in the Ascendant and in the sign [house] of children. And if you want it to be a female, let these significators be in feminine signs and in a feminine quadrant of the circle…»[5]

 

Next, the astrologer/physician would cast a chart at the time of conception to determine the length of the pregnancy and find out how long the woman would carry the developing child! The ancient astrologers/physicians believed that fertilization  occurred at the time of insemination. They did not know that conception was a process that involved the fertilization of an egg by the male sperm. They simply assumed that the woman’s womb was a protected environment where the man’s «seed» would develop into an infant! Their idea of conception was formed largely from watching plants. It was not until the microscope in the 18th century that physicians learned what true conception was and it was not until the 20th century that physicians learned that true conception might not occur until days after coitus, therefore, it is difficult to credit astrological dicta.

One of the older extant texts containing the astrological instructions for determining the term of a pregnancy and the time of conception can be found in the writings of the Greek astrologer Vettius Valens![6]

It is difficult in such a short synopsis to go into all the details of the method for calculating the term of the pregnancy. In general it is based on the conception that the degree of the sign in which the Moon is at the time of the infusion of sperm will be the degree of the ascendant in the nativity and that the degree that was ascending at the time of conception will be the same degree as the Moon in the sign it will be posited in the nativity!

Vettius Valens writes,

«The Moon at birth will indicate the hour of conception in respect to the zoion[7] in which it took place,[8] while the hōroskopos of conception will have as many degrees as the Moon has at birth.»

It is later quoted as the 51st aphorism in the Centiloquium.[9]

«Make the sign occupied by the Moon at the time of birth the ascending sign at the conception; and consider that in which she may be posited at the conception, or the opposite one, as the sign ascending at birth.»

The method postulates that there are three terms of the pregnancy;[10] a least, a middle, and a greatest. The difference between each term is fifteen days. Which term was chosen depended on the position of the Moon in the chart of the conception. The least term is 258 days which was when the Moon was in the degrees of the descending sign above the horizon. The middle term was 15 days more than that, or 273 days and was attributed when Moon was in the ascendant. The greatest term was 15 days more or 289 days, when the Moon was in the degrees of the descendant below the horizon.

Let us say for example, 10º Cancer is rising, then, 10º Capricorn is setting. The conception is that between the setting degree (the least term) moving in the order of the signs to the eastern horizon[11] (the middle term) there are 180º, which are the equivalent of 15 days. Therefore, 30º equalled 2½ days, which can be further divided. 2½ days is 60 hours so 1º was equal to 2 hours. Likewise, from the Ascending sign continuing to move below the horizon in the order of the signs towards the west, those 180 º also equalled 15 days.

So depending on where the Moon was posited, above or below the horizon, then a certain number of days and hours was added to either the least or middle term and that was the length of the pregnancy.

In our example then, if the Moon (for simplicities sake) was at 25º Taurus, then we could find the length of the pregnancy by counting the number of degrees between the descending degree of 10º Capricorn (280º longitude) and subtract that from the degrees of the Moon at 25º Taurus (55º of longitude). Since 55º is smaller than 280º, I add 360º to 55º, which is 415º. Now I can subtract; 415 – 280 = 135º. I can then divide that by 30º, which gives me 4 which a remainder of 15º. Each of those 30º divisions is equal to 2½ days, which gives me 10 days plus 15º, or 10 days and 30 hours,[12] or simply 11 days and 6 hours. This then would be added to the least term of 258 days giving 269 days and 6 hours as the term of the pregnancy.

Just as simply one could of course calculate the degrees between the Ascendant degree and the Moon and subtract the equivalent days from the middle term of 273 days.

I hope the reader realises this is a very simplistic overview of the technique. One finds much more complete instructions in Guido Bonatti’s text book, Liber Astronomiae Tractatus Decimus called, Trutine of Hermes on the Causation of the Length of Pregnancy. This of course, is not the only medieval text discussing the Length of Pregnancy. Dominicus Maria de Novarra[13] wrote an entire manuscript on the subject and found in the Biblioteca Paletina. There are several others from this period also.

What can I say as an astrologer? Does it work? I don’t know as I do not have enough experience in this particular ‘field’ to be able to judge one way or the other. That is the purpose of this short article, to expose this teaching in order to encourage further inquiry!

I do think it is fair enough to speculate in this regard and we should not just dismiss off hand such speculation. For while we may with no certainty say the method does or does not work, it was most certainly a major part of the medieval and classical astrologers ‘bread and butter’.

If such a method was effective and in fact widely practiced, then our predecessors were a long way ahead of us today in their medical ‘technology’ because such a method would be entirely without any deleterious side effects that are always present to some degree with our modern drug, hormone and surgery treatments! It would be an entirely natural solution!

[1] Horary astrology – casting a chart for the moment of an important question and determining the outcome from identification and particular circumstances of the significators of the querent and question

[2] Electional astrology – the art of determining the most auspicious moment to do something through examining the astrologicals at certain times

[3] The Arabian astrologer later known in the West as Zahel (or Zael), a Jew, who served as court astrologer to the governor of Khurasan in the period 820-822 A.D. and later to al-Hasan ibn Sahl (d. 850/851), the vizier of Baghdad during the reign of the caliph al-Mamūn (reigned 813-833). Among the 18 books that are attributed to him to have written, five were translated into Latin by 12th century translators in Spain.

[4] The Introduction to the Science of the Judgments of the Stars, translated from the 12th century Latin text by James H. Holden

[5] Ibid

[6] Vettius Valens was a young contemporary of Ptolemy. Valens tells us himself that he was conceived on the 13th of May 119 C.E. and born 9 months later on February 8, 120 C.E. His death is a little more uncertain but he is presumed to have died in the time period 173 – 175 C.E. in his 50’s. His major literary contribution, called the Anthology (Anthologiae) is probably the most massive and comprehensive picture of Hellenistic astrology that exists and not only includes detailed natal methodology but also 125 charts of apparently, Valens own «clients». The Anthology was a major reference work for Byzantine and Medieval Arabic astrologers.

[7] That is, sign

[8] That is to say, that the Moon in the nativity is the same as the hour, or ascendant degree, of the conception.

[9] This work, as the name implies, is a compilation of 100 astrological aphorisms. It was also known by the name Liber Fructus or Book of Fruit and often attributed to Ptolemy. However, this attribution has become very doubtful since a majority of the aphorisms deal with horary, which is a subject Ptolemy appears to disdain and ignore totally in Tetrabiblos. Modern scientific historians also cast much doubt on this attribution and suspect it was rather an ambitious Medieval Arabic writer’s work in the 9th century and assuming Ptolemy’s authorship in order to lend greater authority to his own writings!

[10] I.e. from conception to birth

[11] I.e. the ascending degree

[12] 1º = 2 hours

[13] Dominicus was the student of Marsilio Ficino, the great Florentine Platonist and advisor to the Medicis. He was also reputed to have been friend and associate to Copernicus.

Mundane Astrology and the Croatian Elections – Part II

In Part I some important testimonies were established. 1.) A testimony concerning the length of the rule for the period of the current president. 2.) The testimony concerning the theme of change for the country from the revolution of the Year in Aries. 3.) The testimony concerning the very poor state of the general populace and how that state is the cause of the ruler’s state.

Now because the angles of the Revolution of the World Year in Aries were in common signs[1] and the Lord of the Ascendant was in a common sign, then especially there is yet one important revolution of this year; i.e. the Libra Ingress. And falling in the Aries Ingress just prior to the Libra Ingress is a conjunction of Mars/Saturn which had a special signification to political events.

I anticipate that the question most would ask is why we would want to consider the conjunction of Mars and Saturn? These conjunctions fall into the 2nd group of principles as explained by Abu Ma’shār. The first principles, as stated earlier is the change of the conjunctions first when it returns to Aries and then the shift of triplicities indicating dynasties, religions and prophets. Abu Ma’shār writes concerning the 2nd principle group:

[23] The second is proper to the sum of the parts of those universal , like the property of the indicators of the conjunction of the two malefics in Cancer, and the conjunction of the two superior in each of the signs, for the condition of chiefs among leaders and nobles in that transit.

The Mars/Saturn conjunction is going to give testimony concerning chiefs among leaders and nobles. More specifically,

…Mars is one of the superior planets and has a strong indication for kings and dynasties at its conjunction with Saturn… and, even if its conjunction with Saturn does not have such power over changes as that of the conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn, its indication is one of the things one needs when calling witnesses, commensurate with what the conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn indicates…

Again we need to return to the principles of Saturn and Mars. I looked at these two planets to determine the length of a rulers rule. And once again we can say that when they join they are going to indicate what changes can occur to rulers and their rule. Historically they indicated rebellions and upheavals in politics. Which is why the worst case scenario of Mars/Saturn conjunctions was when their conjunction fell in Cancer because Cancer is the fall of Mars and detriment of Saturn; both are very malefic in this sign generally speaking. But Rebellions don’t have to always be violent. When a majority decide enough is enough they can cause a revolution.[2] Mind you revolutions just mean turning and going the other way. And in modern western countries for the most part these revolutions are done at the ballot box. The call word of every opposing candidate seems to be “change”.

Croatia_conj Mars-Saturn 2014

Croatia – Mars/Saturn Conjunction 2014

 

What is it we want to understand from this chart? Particularly, this chart will tell us the nature of the conjunction’s indication from the planet which has predominance over the principal positions. In other words, what kinds of change are in the works? Will the change be violent? Will it be generally a good and useful or bad and failed change? What is the nature of the change?

What are the principle positions? 1) The Ascendant 2) Lord of the Ascendant 3) Degree of the conjunction 4) Lord of the Conjunction and 5) the chart luminary. Now based on the number of testimonies in these places and the strength of that testimony then no other planet but Mars would qualify as the predominant planet. And the day and hour rulers (Moon and Mercury) testify to Mars and Venus (nocturnal benefic) confers her testimony to Mars.

So what can we say about the nature of the conjunctions indication? It will be the nature of Mars in his preferred domicile and in sect. Change, confrontation and conflict are principle natures and being in sect and in his strength then those states of being will be productive, with Mars very violent nature being mitigated and moderate.

Having judged the nature of its indication then we have to see where this conjunction falls in the Revolution of the World Year in Aries.

Bi-wheel of the Aries Ingress and Mars/Saturn Conjunction

Bi-wheel of the Aries Ingress and Mars/Saturn Conjunction

We immediately see that the conjunction occurs in the place of the Moon in the Ingress chart. The Moon of course is general significator of the common people. And this is the 3rd house[3] which in mundane astrology signifies the practice of the laws and religion as well as the consideration of matters in the practice of doctrine and law and faith. It was seen as the house of “opinion and fighting amongst sects concerning doctrine and law”[4]. It is the 7th from 9th and signifies partners, conflicts and contentions of religious men and law makers.

So I say then, that “change” is coming because of the harm falling on the common people; because of arguments and unjust imprisonment and bonds; damages and afflictions from unjust practice of the law; the ruin of villages and towns and the forced migration of their people, and the lack of resources.[5] All of which are ultimately destroying the people’s wealth and livelihoods.

The testimony that is being strengthened in these current considerations is that “change” and “rebellion” if you will, is a strong motivation of the common people.

Croatian Libra Ingress 2014

Croatian Libra Ingress 2014

The next chart and the one most relevant to the election is the chart of the Libra Ingress for 2014 as the election will be held in this half of the year. Therefore we are told that the LOY of this chart will participate in the significations that began in the Aries Ingress.

I judge that the LOY of this revolution is the Moon because she is the nocturnal triplicity ruler of the Ascendant and is in the Ascendant and is the chart luminary. She is also Lady of the Day and the Hour. Mercury falls in aversion to his domicile and exaltation. There is no other planet as worthy to be the LOY.

I judge that in this chart the significator of the current ruler is Venus since the Midheaven falls in Taurus and she sees her domicile from the Ascendant. In this chart we can now look at the significator of the opposition and the rulers’ opponent. Scorpio is the sign on the IC but its ruler Mars falls in aversion. I judge that Saturn found in Scorpio is the opposition ruler.

I also find this supports the major political parties involved; the more liberal social democrat/left wing parties (Venus) and the conservative centre-right parties (Saturn).

At first glance it would seem that the LOY is joining Venus except that Saturn casts his ray to 19° Virgo and cuts off the Moons joining with Venus. This is, in my opinion, the clearest testimony that the people give their testimony and power to the opposition instead of the current ruler.

I find it significant that Saturn is aspected by this very intense Jupiter, in its nocturnal triplicity, rising oriental of the Sun and superior to Saturn in the 10th from Saturn. I also find it interesting that Jupiter is in Saturn’s triplicity and bounds and in the house of Saturn’s joy![6]

Sunrise chart 2nd round Croatian elections 2014

Sunrise chart
2nd round Croatian elections 2014

This last chart I am going to consider is the sunrise chart on the day of the election. The reason I am choosing this particular time for the election is because in our astrological lore, sunrise and sunset were the two times ancient astrologers would look at the heavens for portents. When I look at this chart what struck me first is the heliacal rising of Saturn. In the Libra Ingress this I judged was the significator of the opposition so to see it is very significant. I also note that before this day is done the LOY, which is the Moon, will first conjoin with Saturn from Saturn’s exaltation and she confers her testimony to him and he receives it.

Judgment is about understanding the testimony from several indicators. I have made my judgments based on many different indicators and charts. The preponderance of testimony tells me that there will be a new President in Croatia. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will be the next (and first woman) President of Croatia.

[1] I.e. mutable signs

[2] Aristotle described two types of political revolution: 1.) Complete change from one system to another; 2.) Modification of an existing system. The Oxford dictionary states that a revolution is: The overthrow of an established order which will involve the transfer of state power from one leadership to another. So a revolution can simply be the removal and replacement of a government and its leaders. Of course the revolutions that stand out in history are those that were violent and sweeping. However the whole idea behind a democracy was to establish a means whereby the people could bring about “revolution” without the bloodshed and total anarchy often following such upheavals. Unfortunately in today’s democracies, they only give the appearance of bringing revolution and change. In most cases the faces change but the powers remain the same.

[3] Interestingly Rhetorius places Banks in the 3rd. “The third house is called the house of the Moon, Goddess, overshadowed, authoritative, [and] metacosmic. It signifies the topic of foreign things, that of dreams and religious observation, and banking and friends and brothers and the Queen.” Cf “Rhetorius the Egyptian” Translated from the Greek by James H. Holden and published by American Federation of Astrologers Inc. I would imagine what is meant is “money lenders” since at that time in history there was no institution known as a bank.

[4] We find these significations in many medieval astrologers in delineating the houses in mundane astrology such as Saul, Abu Ma’shār and Ibn Ezra.

[5] I.e. the significations of the Moon joined to Saturn in the Ingress chart.

[6] I.e. the 12th house

Mundane Astrology and the Croatian Presidential Elections 2014/15 – Part I

It has been a while since I have written anything. There are many reasons for this but the main reason being I have had to concentrate on health issues. It is remarkable that when our physical being is “in tune” then often our “mental” or “soul” finds the appropriate partner to be more successful and complete. The opposite is also very observable and true, that when the body suffers then often qualities of the soul are diminished. There is a strong symbiotic relationship between the two, i.e. the qualities of the soul[1] and the body. Quite understandably every person is a unique composition where the balances or imbalances are going to have an outcome that may be fallaciously recognised as a general characterisation when it is rather quite specific and personal.

This article is about mundane prediction and delineation; before the fact rather than hindsight astrology we find so prevalent today. I have been told by certain popular and respected astrologers that the mundane techniques of our astrological forefathers, like Abu Ma’shār and Māshā´āllāh, are not relevant today because they delineated events concerning dynasties and kings and the political world is not the same today so those techniques cannot be used today.

This objection is wrong on many points. There are still families, dynasties and religions “ruling” this world. And regardless the political systems, the concepts laid down by these forefathers are still valid, even if their applications may have to vary. For example, when discussing the meanings of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions when they shift triplicities, we are told by Abu Ma’shār that they can indicate the rise of a new religion and prophet(s).

[21] In the presence of one of these times that we have defined, one looks at the horoscopes of those times, and the location of the celestial bodies’ in them, and all their natural and accidental conditions <which result> from their essence and from <their relation to> the Sun and the sphere, and one discovers (1) the nature of their indication from the planets which have predominance over the principal positions, and (2) the time of it according to what the indicators point out. Then one looks at the indications of these six principles.

[22] This is divided into three divisions. The first is proper to universal states, like the property of the indicators of great Beginnings indicating universal matters like floods, dynasties, religions, and the like at the time of the conjunction of the two superior <planets> in Aries and their conjunction when they shift from one triplicity to another.[2]

While Professor Dykes was working on his second book of World Astrology, I was in contact with him and we were discussing the “mean conjunctions” and how they were calculated.[3] In comparing our notes and calculations I was made acutely aware of one particular triplicity shift in history. In 1603 there was a shift of the mean conjunctions into the fire signs, starting at 00° Sagittarius 33’ 51”.

That is actually a pretty relevant shift when you consider the theory behind the importance of the shifts of triplicity indicating universal beginnings of important “religions”. This particular era found many brilliant minds building the arguments and philosophical underpinnings of Democracy and what has become, in the words of several historical writers, a word which has acquired “a universally sacred character” and given “the notion of democracy a moral and almost religious content”. In this era were the minds of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Montesquieu (1689-1755), Voltaire (1694-1766), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-88), David Hume (1711-76), and Adam Smith (1723-1790). And one, foremost among these “prophets”, was John Locke (1632-1704).

Abu Ma’shār gives in his instructions some interesting information:

“We say that if the conjunction occurs in the fiery triplicity, it indicates power for the eastern people, and that the strongest of their signs is Sagittarius…”

Of course that is very relevant at the shift, which was to Sagittarius, since the political power was in Britain and “eastern people”[4] were to be the colonists.

2.) “As for the time of the appearance of the indications, the fiery triplicity indicates three conjunctions after the return of the conjunction to the sign of the triplicity to which the conjunction shifts;”

But he also adds this qualifier,

“It is possible that the times of the indications are different: according to this scheme, the indications of the shift to the fiery triplicity occur after 9 conjunctions from the time of the shift…”

This is very interesting as the appearance of the indications of this “new religion” would appear in the 9th conjunction after the shift which was to 1782! Quite remarkably, only 7 years later the newly formed American Congress began its duties and the first president took up his position.[5]

These are things with no relevance for today? I hardly think so. Over the past several years I have been using these techniques with regards to particular world events; From the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 to the general elections in Britain in 2011. I have not published everything. Certain predictions in the course of discussions on astrology forums have been documented. I have to make perfectly clear here that at no time have I done this to “make a name” for myself. Our art is supposed to help others, not glorify oneself. This is why I have not published much of my work. This particular post is therefore probably only the second time I have, through a public media, made known this work.

The following prediction and delineation concerning the outcome of the Presidential elections in Croatia was published on the East European Traditional Astrology forum “Astrološki dijalozi”, December 29th 2014 and January 2nd 2015 respectively.

On 29.12.2014 I stated the following:

“Been looking at some charts and contemplating the election in Croatia…. I really know nothing of the politics involved so my opinion is a purely astrological one…. I will be glad to explain how I came to it when I get things written up. My first impressions are that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will win this vote. The charts I have been considering are the Aries Ingress, Libra Ingress, Mars/Saturn conjunction and lunation prior to the election as well as the sunrise chart of the Election Day.”

I guess you can call this Part 1 of my judgment concerning the elections in Croatia. I am not trying to be longwinded but I thought it important to explain my judgment[6] and what it is based on. As I understand there have been some who make predictions that are not explained and from what I understand of the conversations their judgments and predictions are quite speculative and perhaps not based in much astrology. I am not here to judge anyone else but to just render my judgment as best I can using the Astrology that I practice. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong and won’t be the first time I have not totally understood what I was seeing.

I will start my judgment with two charts; 1) the chart of the revolution of the year in which the ruler accedes, and 2) the chart of the ascension of the ruler. You will no doubt notice that for the first chart I have chosen to cast the chart of the Ingress for 2010. I have my reasons but the main one is simply because his acceding to power occurs only 1 month before the Ingress and falls just after the pre-ingress lunation (new Moon). Therefore I have deemed the 2010 Ingress more relevant to the length of the rulers rule rather than the Ingress for 2009. This is my judgment call. I could name other astrologers from the past, like Mashā´āllāh, who understood the need to do likewise, so I am in good company on this call.

Figure 1 Croatia_Aries Ingress 2010

Figure 1
Croatia_Aries Ingress 2010

Now Abū Ma’shār would have us use this chart in this way:[7]

“…one looks at the revolution of the world-year in which the ruler accedes, and then one looks at Saturn.”

One might well ask, why Saturn? Why not the Sun? The answer is a very important philosophical cornerstone that is based in something very old and probably coming from the Persians.

“…. Related to the superior planet furthest from the world of generation and corruption, i.e. to Saturn, is the indication for matters of Beginnings…”

Saturn indicated all “lofty” beginnings; a rulership, a kingdom or dynasty, a new religion, etc. You will find this doctrine also in Māshā´āllāh, Saul, Umar and others. In these sources you will find that Saturn signified the current and lawful king.[8]

So what does Abu want us to do with Saturn? In the chart of the Revolution of the Year we find Saturn in the Ascendant. We are to see what domicile it is and who the lord of his domicile is. In this case Saturn is in Libra and Venus is the Lady of the domicile. Both are in cardines so he would have us see how many ascensional degrees there are between Venus and Saturn. In effect directing Venus to Saturn and we are to count 1 year for every 30°. I have already done the calculations and there are 160 ascensional degrees between them and dividing this by 30 we find that it is 5 years.

Now the other chart in this process of discovering the length of a rulers rule is to look at the actual chart of the rulers acceding to power. In this case the ruler assumed his rulership on the 18th of February 2010 and I have included this chart as well.

Figure 2 Croatia_Josipovic accedes 2010

Figure 2
Croatia_Josipovic accedes 2010

Now Abu would have us do something a little different in this chart, but no less very profound and significant.

“As for <discovering> the measurement of their periods from their accession, it is found from the distance between Mars and its lord…”

Why Mars? Again this is based in a philosophical cornerstone of these ancients which is stated as follows,

“Related to the third of these planets in order, i.e. to Mars, is the indication for wars, strifes, and the like, being, as it were, the decline to the final ends of things, because the ends of things indicate destruction of their orderly arrangements after their perfection, and corruption of their regularity.”

Mars signified the end of things. So we were to do with Mars just as we did with Saturn, i.e. look at the domicile it is in and who its lord is. In the ascensional chart we find Mars in Leo and the Sun conjunct the cardine of the MC in Aquarius. And in the same way we judged from Saturn and its beginning so judge we here of its end with Mars and count the ascensional degrees between Mars and the Sun and give 30° to every year. There are 153 ascensional degrees between the Sun and Mars which once again is 5 years.

The last testimony he suggests is to direct the Midheaven, as we would do in a nativity, to a malefic that would cut off the years of his rule. We are to judge one month for every degree. The Midheaven will come to the square of Mars in 59°. Once again we end up with 5 years because 59 divided by 12 is just shy of the 5 years (5×12=60).

When reading up on Croatia’s government and election process I was surprised to find that the term of President is 5 years! So I was rather convinced that he[9] will only serve one term.

This second part in my notes is about the Croatian election based on the Revolution of the World-year 2014.

Figure 3 Croatia_Aries ingress 2014

Figure 3
Croatia_Aries ingress 2014

I notice in the revolution of the year (see Figure 3) that the Ascendant and Midheaven are close to changing signs and the signs are common (mutable). We have 28° Virgo 51’ marking the ascendant and 28° Gemini 37’ marking the Midheaven. The Sun is also setting, handing over his dominion to the Moon. I also note that the Midheaven[10] moves into the Moons domicile[11]. Themes are important to note. In this case I am noting the theme of endings and change. The Lord of the year is Mercury because of his testimony in the ascendant and his testimony as the other luminary’s[12] term lord and he is in a strong place being the 7th by counting.[13]

Since Mercury is also the significator of the king[14] then the state of the king is because of the state of the people.[15] This is something important to understand for the year and further readings of charts, i.e. how the fate of the king is bound to the fate of the people.

We should note the zodiacal state of Mercury. Mercury is the only planet that has one sign as both its detriment and fall. The sign of Pisces as Mercury’s detriment represents a threat to the people’s (and therefore the king’s) being and operative ability. It signifies very clearly the peoples (especially the common people) inability to gain through livelihood, their poorness and their being brought low. Its descension (fall) indicates their sorrow, prison, and distress; it is the place of their worthlessness relative to their own interests; they hate their situation, and are restricted. This state of being is particularly intense in this year because Mercury is oriental, direct and free of the Sun. By division Mercury is cadent and being carried away from the angle, however it is very interesting that Mercury has a strong helper from among the cabinet of the ruler (11th house/sign). Mercury is applying[16] to Jupiter in its exaltation and by division in the strength of the Midheaven and the 11th by counting. Because Jupiter will receive Mercury from a strong place, it will lift Mercury from its detriment and depression.

Jupiter I would deem is a very powerful “noble” in some position of the current government. Jupiter being occidental in a feminine sign leads me to believe this is a powerful woman.

The state of the “commoners” is also underlined by the Moons conjunction with a retrograde Saturn in the sign of her descension, Scorpio!

Another indication of the people’s bad situation can be seen by Mars in its detriment in the 2nd and destroying the fruits of the people’s livelihoods while the coffers of government are overflowing.[17] This is all setting the stage for the events of the rest of the year.

[1] Ptolemy attributed the rational mind to Mercury and irrational mind to the Moon.

[2] Part I, Chapter 1 of The Book of Religions and Dynasties (On the Great Conjunctions), Ed. and Trans. Keiji Yamamoto, Charles Burnett, Volume 1: The Arabic Original (Leiden: Brill, 2000)

[3] This is an entirely other subject which I cannot go into here. But Professor Dykes goes into very good detail in his World Astrology II. To understand these principles I highly recommend this book. It is well worth the investment if you are interested in mundane astrology.

[4] On the eastern seaboard of what would become the United States, the four distinct British regions were: New England, the Middle Colonies, the Chesapeake Bay Colonies (Upper South) and the Lower South.

[5] The First United States Congress, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, first officially convened on March 4, 1789.

[6] My “judgement” was that I predicted, contrary to popular opinion, that Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović would be elected the country’s first woman president.

[7] Chapter 5 in Part II of Kitāb al-milal wa-d-duwal – The Book of Religions and Dynasties

[8] Also I strongly recommend reading Ben Dykes introduction in his newest translation contribution, Astrology of the World II.

[9] I mean Josipovic, the current Croatian President.

[10] The Midheaven is the place of the sun’s strength and power which is also a masculine sign, Gemini.

[11] Cancer is a feminine sign and house of the “feminine” luminary.

[12] I.e. the Moon

[13] Please note I am using whole sign houses. The term, “by counting” was used by the Medieval astrologers to indicate they were using whole signs and “by division”, indicating mundane divisions of the quadrants.

[14] I chose the ruler of the 10th over the Sun because Mercury is in a better “place”, the 7th and 10th from the 10th, rather than the Sun falling in the 8th place.

[15]And if you knew this in a revolution of years (that the Lord of the Year was the same as the significator of the King), know even the significator of the king from the Lord of the Year, and know his condition from the condition of the rustics.” Cf. Mashā’āllāh’s, “Revolutions of the years of the World” Chapter 19

[16] It is applying to but not yet joined to Jupiter, so technically Mercury is not yet pushing his authority to Jupiter. However I note that it will.

[17] This judgement is based on the 11th being the treasury of the government with Jupiter there and testified to by the Sun which is in its exaltation Aries and in the 8th of taxation and debt which opposes the peoples resources, the 2nd.

Aversion or the “Inconjunct”: Dignities, Strengths, and Weaknesses – a closer look

One has to practice the classical concepts to understand their significance in real terms. Aversion is not a “corruption” of the planet. It is rather a weakness. We must examine the distinctions; what is the difference between “weakness” and “misfortune and corruption”? One thing I have noticed in my studies and practice is that the ancients made clear distinctions between the quantity of the signification produced and its quality. These terms would seem somewhat self-evident; however, it is common to find these terms erroneously mixed. In the simplest terms, quality tells us what kind and quantity tells us how much. Abu Ma’shār for example in his Introduction to Astrology makes this distinction between quality and quantity.

The fourth chapter, on the good fortune of the planets, their power, their weakness and their misfortune . . .

Here the astrologer is outlining two distinct categories of evaluation. One is the fortunes and misfortunes. This is his qualitative judgement of what kind. The other is of the power and weakness of the planets, which is a quantitative judgment of how much.

Let me try to explain this in another way. Electricity has a remarkably accurate analogy to astrology. The principles of electricity involve different factors that produce an effect. Voltage (V) is like the essential dignity of a planet. It describes the quality. There are several type quality batteries. You have 24V, 12V, 9V, etc. where the voltage describes the quality. Then you have current or amperes (A) that directly influence the output or effect. This is analogous of a planets phase to the Sun, or if it is in the chart sect or not etc. The effect of that battery [or planet] is its ability to use its full potential, i.e. seen as the light from a light bulb that is attached [effect or Watts]. A 12V battery with a current of 65 amperes (a typical car battery) will produce 780 Watts (voltage x amperes = watts). That is its effect. Likewise a planet in its domicile (the 12V battery), oriental of the Sun (if a superior planet), and in sect (the optimal 65A current) produces an optimal effect (Watts) that we determine from the essential nature and determination of the planet.

The normal car is the “domain” of that battery, designed specifically for that environment and its demands. If I take that same 12V, 65A battery and place it into a different environment like a diesel truck, it may produce enough to perform once but the strain placed by the higher demands of the environment will immediately corrupt and ruin the battery. A diesel truck may require a 24V 85A (2040 W) battery for example. This is similar to a planet posited in a sign where it is peregrine, or in a sign that happens to be its detriment or fall.

If we place on that 12V battery resistance in the form of lights or a heater, that resistance (or impediment) is measured in ohms (Ώ). The introduction of a new factor changes the total effect. If the light produces a resistance of 3 ohms then the total effect is now calculated Voltage/Ohms x Amperes = Watts (effect). In our example then the voltage, 12V, is divided by the resistance, 3 ohms, and multiplied by the amperes = 12V/3Ώ x 65A = 4 x 65 = 260 W. You can see the significant reduction compared to the original potential of 780 watts. This is how various factors impede a planet, i.e. joined to a malefic. This is resistance.

None of these extra factors changes the essential dignity of the battery. It is always a 12V battery. Changing either the current or resistance, however, will change the effect. If the current [amperes] is reduced or increased, the effect will be either stronger or weaker not its dignity. If we increase the resistance [ohms], it also reduces the effect because its quality is directly affected. Neither current nor resistance is the same as voltage! These are three individual and distinct variables!

Now as long as that battery is full (like a car battery is charged by the regulator and generator of a car), then its effect is constant, meaning that it can produce 100% of its effect at all times (like an angular planet). If that battery should have an under specified alternator or generator with perhaps dirty brushes it does not keep the batter properly charged, its effect is less constant and somewhat weaker (like a succedent planet). If the alternator/generator is defective and producing far below the specific requirement then the battery eventually will empty itself of charge and it may not even start the car consistently or barely cause the motor to turn over (like falling cadent). This measurement has nothing to do with essential dignity because the battery is still a 12V battery, but rather it is a measure of how much of the quality (12V) is available to be transmitted and how constant. Just as a battery that is flat can be “jumped”, so can the planets. If I series connect another fully charged 12V battery to the flat battery then that flat battery will produce consistently enough to be useful. This is much like what happens if you have a cadent planet that is aspected by its ruler or a benefic from a trine aspect in an angle!

What I am trying to illustrate is that many things that are often called essential dignities, are not in themselves essential dignity. Current (amperes) and resistance (ohms) is not the same thing as the quality of the source (voltage or its essential dignity). It is all three of them together that determine an outcome or effect (Watts) and the effect is not the same as dignity! The judgement of the planets is a science and cannot effectively be boiled down to a simple table because these factors are each the function of a variable. While Voltage (quality) and Amperes (quantity) both affect the outcome (Watts), the relationship of quantity has a very special role.

If you consider the equation for the outcome, we find that the misfortunes and corruptions directly affect the quality and not simply by ‘subtraction’ – it divides. It does not affect the means or quantity! These are some very real variables that have a specific result.

Now all of this is a very simplified analogy since there are many variables that determine both quality and quantity. In the case of aversion, it affects the rulers’ ability to produce an effect for the particular domicile it falls in aversion to! It is not a ‘joy’ in the sense the ancients used but it is a condition that has a direct effect on the domicile and the resultant house it rules!

Now a practical demonstration of this consideration is found in the

chart of ex-tennis star Jimmy Connors.

Jimmy Connors September 2, 1952 10:30 AM CDT East Saint Louis, Illinois, USA 38° N 37' 28" – 90° W 09' 03" 27° Libra 28’ rises

Jimmy Connors
September 2, 1952
10:30 AM CDT
East Saint Louis, Illinois, USA
38° N 37′ 28″ – 90° W 09′ 03″
27° Libra 28’ rises

The Sun in the 11th is a strong position for the Sun in this diurnal chart! It does indicate reputation and success. However, that reputation and success is marred by separation, controversy and exile (this is what Paulus tells us a planet in aversion to its domicile signifies). Moreover, Lilly following the ancients tells us that a planet falling cadent of its domicile, so that it does not behold it, is indicative that the planet is “ill-disposed” to signify those matters.

Based on that signification, I would have to say that while this native receives reputation and success in his profession, there is some aspect of that which brings him into controversy and even exile by his peers and professional associates. The Sun, ruler of the 10th, is in the 11th in aversion to Mercury ruler of the 11th in the 10th! At some point in this natives’ profession he is perhaps in exile to his professional peers because of controversy.

What I found when I read a couple online biographies was this:

Connors was denied a shot at the Grand Slam because he was banned from the French Open that year after signing to play in World Team Tennis. Because the Association of Tennis Pros (which Connors refused to join) and the French officials opposed WTT, the entries of WTT players were refused.

These significations are not some intangible potential, but actually signify real people, things and events! It is also interesting to see that this ban and exile came during his Mercury Firdar when Saturn (exalted ruler of the 12th and 1st) was the participating distributer!

So to say that just because a planet falls in aversion to one domicile but not the other is not an impediment is quite untrue! As I said before the consequences concern the house to which it is in aversion and if that house is normally a profitable house to the native, it can often have some dire consequences to the outcome!

Steven Birchfield A.M.A.