January 31, 2015 by admin
Reception by malefic planets in astrology is an often misunderstood concept, a lost treasure of bygone ages. Until new translations arrived in recent years, planetary reception was locked away in old, arcane texts. Reception is worth mastering, as it can transform your horary judgments, casting light like the proverbial Philosopher’s Stone.
One use of reception is helping planets avoid the evil of malefic planets. Astrology today uses the concept of mutual reception, such as when two planets are in each other’s domicile. The reception we are discussing is one-way, just half of mutual reception. Understand: every planet is always in dignity of one or more planets, but it is only being received if it also aspects those planets. Put another way, by being in another’s sign, exaltation, or two minor dignities, a planet is being received by those who rule those dignities, provided the receiving and received planets are in aspect.
Here is where reception gets useful: when a planet is being received by malefic planets, astrology says that the malefic’s evil is abated. This works in horary as well as natal astrology. If you were born with Sun in Capricorn conjunct Saturn (you party animal), have no fear. The Sun is being received by Saturn into Saturn’s domicile, so you will be spared the worst of Saturn’s depredations. This would also hold true if we saw this combination in a horary; let’s say that you are the Sun, about to conjoin the job of your dreams in the form of Saturn. Saturn signifying the job might mean that the job is Saturnian and oppressive, but because the Sun is visiting Saturn in Saturn’s own home, it will not harm you and may even help. Because Saturn is in Capricorn, his own domicile, he is inclined to be on his best behavior.
Charlie Hebdo Shooting: No Reception by Malefic Planets
What happens when a malefic does not receive the planet it aspects? Things can go seriously bad. At the time of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, the Moon in Leo applied to remake the opposition of Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo. Jupiter and the Moon were not being received by Mars, who was free to do his worst.
Incidentally, this is why the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Cancer, where both planets are badly placed, is especially destructive. Neither planet receives the other and the result is evil multiplied.
“…if a good planet were in the house of a bad one (or in its exaltation), [the bad one] receives [the good one] and restrains its own malice from it…” (Judgment 2, Sahl Bin Bishr. The Fifty Judgments, trans. Benjamin Dykes., Appendix A of The Book of the Nine Judges, Cazimi Press, 2011)
Aspects of Malefic Planets in Astrology
Sahl then goes on to say that a trine and sextile to a malefic planet works the same way as reception, in that a soft aspect abates the malefic’s trouble. However, Dr. Experience, as Culpepper liked to call her, disagrees. An easy aspect (and a conjunction) to a malefic might just indicate that its evil happens with ease; without reception, a soft aspect to a malefic planet does not necessarily help and can hurt.
A planet received by malefic planets is more protected. An example is Moon in Aries square Mars. Normally, Moon square Mars can contribute to an incendiary personality and health difficulties. Because the Moon is in Aries, she is received by Mars into his domicile and therefore she is protected from his worst manifestations. The native is still feisty, but an outburst of temper will not ruin his life.
In a few days, we will see Mercury retrograde form a harmonious sextile aspect to Saturn. Mercury is in Aquarius, so it will be received by Saturn, who is the domicile ruler of Aquarius. This helps ensure that their combination is favorable. Now, there are potential issues with Saturn being in Sagittarius, the detriment of Mercury, but that is a different subject for another day, covered nicely by the Starlight Knight blog for those interested in the dark corners of reception.
January 28, 2015 by admin
Venus squares Saturn in Sagittarius on January 30, with both planets at 3 degrees of their respective signs. Venus in Pisces is not received by Saturn, making their connection difficult. If she had been received by Saturn, it would have mitigated his malefic nature and spared Venus some of the less pleasant interactions with the Great Malefic.
Wherever Venus in Pisces graces your horoscope, she encounters Saturn’s limitations three signs away. Pisces is a sign of the boundless sea. Its deity is Okeanos, the eternal, ever-fertile ocean which encircles the earth. Saturn, too, rules the sea: undrinkable, destructive, life-denying. Venus desires pleasure in the transcendence of limitations, while Saturn is the “pass-not” Pillars of Hercules. William Lilly writes that Venus and Saturn are natural enemies, because Saturn is the natural enemy of pleasure. That troubled relationship becomes evident at the time of Venus square Saturn, as the square is an aspect of tension.
Difficulties, disappointments, and sordid elements of pleasure arise at this time. That which we expected to bring love and enjoyment will instead bring restriction and sorrow. Beautiful dreams are hatched only to be shattered. Dream bubbles have a fated encounter with hard reality.
Below are a few ways in which Venus square Saturn can manifest. If either planet makes a close aspect to a planet or angle in your horoscope, the likelihood of Venus and Saturn acting in your life increases.
Venus Square Saturn in Your Horoscope
Venus in the first, Saturn in the tenth: Venus now lends seductive glamours; Saturn says: “Leave it and go to work!”
Venus in the second, Saturn in the eleventh: Money comes easily now but remember your friends.
Venus in the third, Saturn in the twelfth: Speak gorgeous words of temptation if you must but do not believe them yourself.
Venus in the fourth, Saturn in the first: Your home is an undersea grotto full of beauty and magic. Don’t forget your oxygen tank.
Venus in the fifth, Saturn in the second: You dream of romance, pleasure, and even children, but can you pay when the bill arrives?
Venus in the sixth, Saturn in the third: Work on improving health but avoid dark thoughts that drag you down.
Venus in the seventh, Saturn in the fourth: Good for romance; start thinking about living arrangements.
Venus in the eighth, Saturn in the fifth: Loans come through, debts are paid, but kids and real estate require funds.
Venus in the ninth, Saturn in the sixth: Travel and learn for pleasure, but watch your health.
Venus in the tenth, Saturn in the seventh: Work and pleasure blend more than usual; does your significant other know?
Venus in the eleventh, Saturn in the eighth: Fun with friends but debts or short funds put a damper on enjoyment right now.
Venus in the twelfth, Saturn in the ninth: Release from a long imprisonment possible now, but don’t necessarily expect enlightenment or justice.
January 24, 2015 by admin
Venus in Pisces, Her Exaltation
Venus dances into Pisces on January 27* and will remain there until February 20*. Her presence will affect primarily those with planets in Pisces, but she will bring beauty, romance, seduction, and love into all horoscopes, depending on the natal house containing Pisces.
Venus has a natural affinity for the sea. As Ovid wrote of the goddess of love:
“I [Aphrodite] should find some favour with the sea, for in its holy depths in days gone by from sea-foam I was formed, and still from foam I take my name in Greece**.”
(Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 521, trans. Melville)
This year’s transit of Venus through Pisces is especially auspicious. She is occidental of the Sun, and during this part of her cycle she moves closer to the earth, with the closest contact at her inferior conjunction. Venus’s proximity strengthens all matters of love and pleasure. She is much more amorous when occidental than when oriental. Also, she will be far from the Sun during her transit through Pisces, unafflicted by his beams. This is uncommon, as Venus is always within about 45 degrees of the Sun. We have a rare opportunity this year to experience Venus at once beautified in Pisces and unobscured by the Sun.
Venus and Mars
As Venus passes through Pisces, she will draw ever nearer Mars, to whom she is highly attracted. As a pair, they represent romantic love contrasted with the traditional marriage of convenience. Recall that historically, marriage was no place for romance, so Aphrodite and Ares’ passion was by definition illicit. Venus and Mars will conjoin in early Aries. Until they consummate their attraction, their flirtation in playful, dreamy Pisces will intensify.
Venus makes a stressful square aspect to Saturn on January 30*, which will be covered in greater detail in a separate article. After January 30*, it is smooth sailing for Venus on the Pisces seas.
Exaltation Degree of Venus in Pisces
Each planet has a special degree somewhere in the sign of its exaltation where it is “super-exalted” and highly potent. Venus’s magic reaches its apex in the degree of her exaltation, 26-26.59 degrees of Pisces, which Venus transits on February 17*. Here her influence is most elevated and perfect. This is an auspicious day on which to borrow her glamour for makers of talismans or those seeking favorable elections for love.
Love symbolized by Venus in Pisces waxes and wanes like the sea tides. It is at once inconstant and enchanting, a spell that captivates because of its transience. Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne called her
The sweet sea, mother of loves and hours,
Shudders and shines as the grey winds gleam,
Turning her smile to a fugitive pain.
Mother of loves that are swift to fade,
Mother of mutable winds and hours.
A barren mother, a mother-maid,
Cold and clean as her faint salt flowers.
(from “The Triumph of Time,” Poems and Ballads)
Natal Venus in Pisces
Natal Venus in Pisces gives an appreciation for art and beauty, even sentimentality. Unless she is afflicted, her exalted position lends one a certain purity of feeling.
Aleister Crowley, in Your Place among the Stars, wrote of natal Venus in Pisces:
The native dissolves himself into the beloved, making a true union, and the greatest sorrow that can be experienced by a person with this position is when the beloved fails to appreciate his devotion to the full. Venus in this sign is not particularly fastidious; she is too ready for the pleasure the yielding gives to others. In some respects this is the highest possible development of Venus. (p 310)
Venus in Pisces is not in the least intellectual; she is intuitive, and this intuition is the outcome of her extraordinary nobility. Her willingness to pay the price, however great, gives her the privilege of a knowledge almost divine in its immediateness. (p 311)
*All times and dates are for Pacific Time. To see these dates in Universal Time, visit the Swiss Ephemeris for 2015.
**Aphros means “foam” in Greek.
January 21, 2015 by admin
The horary chart is below:
Expect a change in 3.5 days, so Tuesday, January 20, though not necessarily an improvement [NG: True; the cold symptoms are waning as of 1/20, now just fatigue and chills. Delightful.]. A more favorable turn of events may occur on Thursday, January 22. The cold is likely an exacerbation of an existing chronic state of a choleric/sanguine nature, and may in fact be the return of old symptoms brought about by my naturopathic remedy.
Showing Our Horary Work
In my experience, using horary astrology for illness related questions poses a special challenge, because a really good analysis of any chart requires both horary skill and subject matter understanding. I am not a health practitioner (the public should count itself lucky), and therefore lack some of the traditional vocabulary of disease and treatment. That said, we should celebrate what we can do, and determining the course of the disease is well within our powers.
First, the sources tell us to analyze three key factors; the Ascendant and its ruler (these represent the querent), the Moon, and the sixth house and its ruler, which describe the disease.
The Ascendant is fixed, one indication of a long-lasting disease. Jupiter in Leo is in its triplicity and retrograde, and conjoins the ascending degree. Recall Lilly’s comment on pages 251-2 of Christian Astrology: the involvement of a retrograde benefic suggests a slow recovery with the possibility of a relapse. I suggest this is especially true when the benefic is in a fixed sign. My suspicion, based on previous episodes, is that this illness is a flare-up of a long-standing sanguine/choleric imbalance, as indicated by Jupiter. A retrograde benefic can also be the temporary return of old symptoms as part of a long healing process.
Venus on the seventh house cusp applies to oppose Jupiter in about 3.5 degrees, and he receives her into his triplicity and term. She rules the tenth house of remedies/treatment, suggesting a possible benefit from medicine, but with difficulty and slowness (opposition between two benefics from fixed signs). Venus brings old Jovial symptoms about through the remedy.
The Sun rules the Ascendant and is in the sixth house, at 26.5 degrees of Capricorn. A planet placed in its decan/face suggests that the situation is not great, but hardly desperate. It is written that a planet in its own face is like a man on his own threshold; not really honored in his house, but not homeless. The Sun in Capricorn is a fair picture of a cold; an ordinarily hot and dry planet finds itself in the incompatible, cold/dry sign ruled by the Sun’s enemy, Saturn. The Sun is in the last few degrees of its sign; it will shortly move into the hot and moist sign of Aquarius where the Sun is in its detriment. Lilly says that the imminent change of sign indicates that the disease will improve or alter in so many degrees as remain in the sign. Here, 3.5 degrees could be most likely days or weeks. I chose days, since a cold is typically measured in days or weeks, and the Sun is in a fast-moving cardinal sign (CA 267-8).
Let’s now apply our astrological microscope to the disease itself, indicated by the sixth house and its ruler. A cardinal sign on the sixth house cusp indicates a fast-moving disease (CA 248) that is cold and dry (earth sign). Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which typically produces lingering illnesses, though this is somewhat modified by Saturn’s oriental position, very swift motion (over 5’ a day right now), and mutable sign. So, it’s a nasty cold, but not as lingering as it could be.
The Sun applies to sextile Saturn, and is received by Saturn into his domicile. The reception will continue as the Sun moves into Aquarius, since Aquarius is also ruled by Saturn. Reception is especially helpful when a significator aspects a malefic, because it makes the malefic abate its malice. The Sun, in aspecting Saturn, will escape Saturn’s malign influence because it is being received into Saturn’s domicile like an honored guest into a mafioso’s lair. There might be a crisis in the disease when the aspect is exact, on Thursday, January 22.
The Moon is in a mutable sign, suggesting a medium duration to the illness; it won’t be over very quickly, but neither will it stick around for eternity. The Moon’s last aspect was a square to Mars, suggesting I caught the illness while traveling. In traditional thought, Mars is one of the planets of travel. Mars rules the ninth house and is placed in the seventh house of “over there.” The Moon applies to sextile Mercury and Venus, followed by a trine to Jupiter. This indicates recourse to a remedy (sextile to Venus) and benefit from it (Moon’s received trine to Jupiter). On Saturday, I took some homeopathic Phosphorus, and have had a dramatic increase in energy ever since.
One more relevant point: William Lilly has a nice section in Christian Astrology on applying the principles of horary astrology to illness. Page 280 indicates the nature of the disease when shown by the Moon in Sagittarius conjunct, square, or opposite Mars:
“I daily find by experience, the sick party his Blood is overheated by some inordinate exercise, that he burns extremely, sometimes the malignancy of the pestilent Fever is such, he is twice or thrice let Blood [NG: Did not do that yet!]; they are besides many times offended with the Hand and Foot-gout [NG: Not yet], or Itches or breaking out [NG: Not that either], and sometimes with sore Throats [NG: Yes to that], and at other times sharp Rheums offend their Eyes.”
Lilly’s analysis sums it up; I had spent much time walking outside in cold and damp Portland (Mars in a cold/wet sign) last weekend and got a cold/sore throat. Not bad for a 400-year-old, William Lilly!
Update (Jan 29, 2015):
The Sun moving into Aquarius removed some of the most acute symptoms of the cold, but I still was tired and got intermittent chills/fevers. The sign change didn’t produce the biggest change. It wasn’t until the evening of January 22, as symbolized by the Sun sextile Saturn (Sun being received by Saturn, so creating a harmonious relationship with The Great Malefic) that I first felt normal. It’s been a big improvement ever since.
January 19, 2015 by admin
Illness focuses the mind on the essentials; nutritious food, a hot drink, and a comfortable bed or couch become key, while everything else recedes into the background. Having suffered from a cold these last few days, I focused on the above life-saving factors while recuperating. Illness has been a great excuse to get caught up on my reading and sleep. Nonetheless, being sick is no picnic, and in between sneezes, I had only one question on my mind; when will I get better? For much of my life, I have suffered from colds, flus, and similar maladies that lasted for weeks or months despite trying all possible remedies, so I naturally worried this cold, too, might turn into one of these familiar germ marathons (shudder). I asked a horary question to determine how long I would be ill. Read the horary question about the illness, judgment, and follow-up information here.
My approach to horary has changed a little over the past few years. Now, whenever I encounter an unusual horary question, I research the suggested interpretive techniques in traditional sources before analyzing the horoscope, often taking notes. Here is what I found: While the traditional texts have some material on the duration of illness, it is often intertwined with other issues, such as determining whether the patient/querent will survive. The texts thus require close reading and annotation to tease out the relevant information, which I will share with you.
The sixth house chapters of horary texts are a sobering reminder of the fragility of life and health in most of human history. Texts like Ben Dykes’s translation of The Book of the Nine Judges, and William Lilly’s Christian Astrology (a book especially rich in indications of the duration of disease), while I sit in my 21st century study, I feel doubly fortunate: I don’t have to worry whether this particular illness will kill me, and I can easily cast a horary on this relatively trivial issue. Neither of these comforts were available to most querents of horary astrology throughout history.
Below are some of my paraphrased and reorganized gleanings of horary texts for determining how long an illness might last; may these prove useful to you (though I hope you have few occasions to use them!). Then, I will share my own horary on illness (see Part 2 of this post) and show how I put the principles into practice.
1. William Lilly, Christian Astrology (“CA”), p. 247-8: Diseases signified by Saturn are long and regulated by the Sun [NG: for timing purposes]; diseases signified by Jupiter, Mars, and the Sun are shorter and regulated by the Moon [NG: again, timed by the Moon], Venus shows illnesses neither long nor short, Mercury diseases are “divers and inconstant,” [NG: variable and intermittent], Moon diseases are “such as do again revert,” [NG: illnesses that are episodic and recurrent].
2. CA 248: A fixed sign on the sixth house cusp shows a long illness difficult to remove; cardinal signs show a short one; while mutable signs show a medium disease that changes and may recur. [NG: The Moon’s sign should be analyzed the same way as the sixth house cusp, in my experience.]
Last degrees of a sign on the sixth house cusp shows the disease nearly at an end, or about to alter in some way.
The domicile ruler of the sixth “of evil influence” [NG: perhaps a malefic or debilitated benefic] and placed in the sixth, shows an enduring, serious illness. Conversely, a fortunate planet in the sixth shows an illness that will not kill and will soon be cured.
Saturn ruling the sixth, and placed in a fixed sign, “he extremely prolongs the Disease.” This is also true if he is slow in motion or retrograde. If he is in a cardinal sign, in his own term/bound, or swift in motion, then he will not be so evil, nor will he prolong the disease.
A cardinal sign on the sixth house cusp and/or the Moon cardinal, and “no impediment otherwise appearing,” the disease will last a short while.
Common signs on the sixth house cusp (except Pisces, which acts as a cardinal sign) “do more long continue any infirmity.”
3. CA 249: If the Moon applies by difficult aspect to the ruler of the Ascendant, the disease increases, and is not yet at its worst at the time of the question. The same is true if the ruler of the sixth house applies to square or oppose the ruler of the Ascendant, or if the ruler of the sixth house is in the eighth or twelfth houses. “The party sick must be more afflicted ere his Disease leave him.”
An unfortunate planet in the sixth moving from one sign into the next shows the disease will soon change. The number of degrees before the change of signs determines so many days, weeks, or months, depending on the sign.
Ruler of the sixth house retrograde, combust, in the eighth or twelfth houses, conjunct, square, or opposite Saturn or Mars, or ruler of the fourth or eighth house, it shows “much infirmity, a long continued and sudden alternation of the Disease from better to worse, if not Death itself”
4. CA 249-50: Saturn, Mars, or any unfortunate planet in the sixth house shows great danger, but if the planet is well placed or essentially dignified, it is not very harmful, and “the Disease is happened casually and suddenly, than upon any prepared matter in the Body beforehand.” Similarly, a benefic planet in the sixth that is not the cause of the illness, the disease will not become permanent or chronic.
The ruler of the sixth house in the Ascendant, and the ruler of the Ascendant in the sixth, the disease has been going on for a long time, and will continue to do so until one of the significators leaves its current sign [NG: This is a helpful hint as to the timing of diseases in general; a significator’s change of signs very frequently shows a change or improvement in the illness and so is relevant to my original question.]
Ruler of the sixth house square or opposite the ruler of the Ascendant in the azimene degrees, the disease is incurable.
Ruler of the sixth in the Ascendant shows the disease will continue but the pain eases.
Ruler of the sixth in a cadent house, the disease is neither serious nor will last a very long time.
Diseases not easily curable are shown by malignant planets in the sixth house, or the ruler of the sixth in the sixth, eighth, or twelfth house.
5. CA 250-1: Good signs of health and recovery for the ruler of the Ascendant and the Moon: Neither is conjunct, square, or opposite Mars or Saturn, or any badly disposed planet; both are direct, free from combustion, swift in motion, not peregrine [NG: out of their domicile, exaltation, triplicity, terms, or faces], nor in their fall or detriment; neither are in the sixth, eighth, or twelfth houses, nor in aspect with their rulers.
The ruler of the Ascendant afflicted by sign placement, retrogradation, being peregrine, combust, or in fall/detriment, querent may be cured, but will soon relapse or even die. If Saturn rules the Ascendant, in his own dignities [not peregrine], slow, diminished in light [NG: perhaps relative to the Sun], retrograde, shows an illness that lasts a long time.
6. CA 251:Ruler of the Ascendant swift in motion, entering into another sign or house (as long as it is not the sixth or twelfth house), the disease will quickly end.
The ruler of the Ascendant not afflicted, swift in motion, in a good aspect to a fortunate planet, the querent will quickly be able to overcome the disease.
All the significators of the illness in fixed signs indicates a long time before the disease is cured, and it will be with difficulty.
7. CA 251-2: A malevolent planet applying to the ruler of the Ascendant, or the Moon slow in motion and in aspect with the ruler of the Ascendant, slows the cure and prolongs the disease.
A fast cure is promised if the Moon is swift, or is conjunct a planet that is oriental, direct, and swift. If the Moon is conjunct a retrograde or occidental planet, the cure is slow.
Both the Sun and Moon in cadent houses, disposed by unfortunate planets, shows a very serious illness, but if fortunate planets participate, the person will be cured, though the illness is chronic and grave.
Ruler of the sixth house combust, retrograde, in fall/detriment, in the eighth house, conjunct, square, or opposite Mars or Saturn, and the Moon also applies to conjoin, square, or opposite the ruler of the eighth house [NG: most likely, the more of these factors are present, the more certain one can be of the judgment], the illness “will never leave the sick party till death.”
The Moon or ruler of the Ascendant conjunct, square, or opposite a retrograde benevolent planet, the person will recover slowly, with some possibility of relapse.
8. CA 267-8 “How long ere the sick recover.” Count the degrees between the ruler of the Ascendant and the aspecting benevolent planet (if applicable). Cardinal signs indicate days, especially if the significators are angular and swift in motion. Mutable signs can be days, weeks, or months, depending on the rest of the horoscope and the nature of the disease. See if the Moon is swift or slow in motion, and her sign.
Cardinal signs and angular houses show days; mutable signs and succedent houses show weeks or months, fixed signs and cadent houses indicate months or years.
When the ruler of the Ascendant moves into a new sign where it has essential dignities, the sick party recovers or feels a noticeable improvement [NG: not clear if we are meant to count the degrees until the sign change, or check the ephemeris for the actual day of the change of signs]
9. ‘Umar, 6.9. [This section and the next are from The Book of the Nine Judges, translated and edited by Benjamin Dykes, pub. 2011 by the Cazimi Press.] “On the nature of the disease.” The Ascendant and the Moon in cardinal signs indicate death or health [NG: depending on other indications] more quickly. The Ascendant fixed indicates death after a lengthy illness [NG: again, assuming the horoscope supports a conclusion of death]. The Ascendant and the Moon in mutable signs indicates health, if they are fortunate; if afflicted, they show “a hastened death.”
10. Dorotheus, 6.6 “On those growing ill.” Cardinal signs indicate an acute illness, mutable signs show an illness of medium duration, and fixed signs “afflict with a steady and long-lasting disease.”