Mercury in Leo: July 26 2008

July 25, 2008 by  

Mercury will enter the fiery sign of Leo on Saturday, July 26, thereby entering combustion. This is a harmful state where a planet is a little too close to the Sun (about 8.5 degrees on either side), and is afflicted by the Sun’s extreme heat. Mercury will stay combust until about August 6th. Read on for the best ways to use Mercury in Leo.

Half-Voiced Mercury in Leo

Leo is one of the half-voiced signs; halfway between being fully vocal and totally mute. It is therefore not the best sign for Mercury, who loves to vocalize and communicate. Also, Mercury tends to not do as well in the bestial signs, of which Leo is one. Mercury brings the gifts unique to humanity: speech, commerce, reading and writing, etc. Being in an animal sign is not exactly his best location, nor being in a fixed sign like Leo. Mercury likes movement and action, and the fixed signs are a little too staid for his fluid nature.

That said, Mercury in Leo is a pretty good placement: half a voice is better than none for Mercury, whose normally smooth speech may change to growls or purrs in Leo. While it is not Mercury’s finest moment, it is still a sign where Mercury can express itself reasonably well. Also, the “bound” or part of the sign, 11 Leo to 17 Leo, is ruled by Mercury, so there is some affinity between this cold and dry planet and Leo, the hot and dry sign! At least they share one quality, that of dryness.

This brings us to an important observation of Mercury in Leo. This is not the most emotional placement. It does not mean that a Mercury in Leo native has no empathy; it just will not come from this planet-sign combination. The dry quality gives a lack of sentiment – an overabundance of moisture increases it. Mercury is not a touchy-feely planet. It is the rational, organizational part of ourselves that is not naturally at ease with feelings. The heat of Leo might give passion or enthusiasm, sometimes mistaken for emotion, but the inward, receptive soul of the native will not be touched when he expresses passion.

Mercury in Leo Secrets

Combustion essentially hides a planet from view in the rays of the Sun. Mercury in Leo, combust, is thus doubly heated – once from the Sun and once from its sign. The combination gives us secret and heated communications, which are none too eloquent, but drive their point home. One growl from the lion is unmistakable in its import. If you wish to talk to someone secretly, or to do something hidden, now through August 6th may be the best time to do so. This is especially true if Mercury rules your horoscope.

[Want to learn more? Visit the Gryphon Astrology Blog Archives, with our best articles organized and easily accessible!]

What the Parents of Barack Obama Could Not Have Known: Obama’s Horoscope

July 4, 2008 by  

The Parents of Barack Obama: Did They Know He May Have a Royal Chart?

Everyone, including the parents of Barack Obama no doubt expected Obama to reach the highest levels of public service. The question now is whether Barack Obama has what it takes, astrologically speaking, to become the next president of the United States.

In the old days, parents of potential kings would have astrologers tell them the “kingship potential” of their children. The notion that Barack Obama’s parents have done something similar is a joke, of course, but if the parents of Barack Obama had asked about the kingship potential of Obama’s horoscope, here’s what an astrologer might have told them.

Does Barack Obama Have a Kingly Horoscope?

Again, assuming that the parents of Barack Obama provided an accurate birth time, for Obama’s birth certificate, we have Obama’s horoscope. Only if Barack Obama does have a kingly chart can he win the election against someone whose chart is less “royal.” We will use William Lilly’s criteria of “Dignity or Preferments” to determine whether Barack Obama’s chart is royal, and therefore promising the presidency.

The Parents of Barack Obama: Did They Know He May Have a Royal Chart?

Royal Criterion 1: The Sun and Moon, their aspecting planets, the ruler of the midheaven (the house of honor and glory), and any planets in the midheaven should be in their own signs or exaltations.

Obama’s Horoscope: The Sun is in the regal sign, Leo, which is favorable. However, it is also under the horizon in the malefic sixth house. The Moon is not in a strong dignity, and neither are the two planets that aspect the Moon, Mercury and Jupiter. The ruler of the 10th house is Mars in Virgo in the eighth house, again not favorable, and there are no planets in the 10th house. The overall evidence is relatively unfavorable.

Royal Criterion 2: The above planets should be angular (in the 1st, 7th, 10th, or 4th houses).

Obama’s Horoscope: Of the five planets above, only the Moon is angular, and it is in the fourth house, which is the lowest part of the horoscope, and therefore not strongly associated with glory or attainment.

Royal Criterion 3: Any of the above planets, including the angles, should be conjunct one of the Royal stars (Aldebaran, Hercules, Regulus, Spica, Lucida Lancis, and Cor Scorpionis).

Obama’s Horoscope: The closest we get is the Moon within about 6° of Aldebaran; Lilly tells us to stay within about 5°, so this is stretching it.

Judgment: Barack Obama does not have a particularly royal chart. This will not necessarily prevent him from winning the presidential election in 2008, so long as his opponent has a chart that is less royal than Obama’s. We will look at John McCain’s horoscope next week and then compare the two charts to see who has a better chance of winning the presidency in 2008.

Planets in Your Horoscope: Jupiter Retrograde on April 6, 2007

March 13, 2007 by  

stladislaus.jpg

Jupiter goes retrograde for a few months at a time, as it is such a slow-moving planet. Any planet is somewhat afflicted by backward motion, since the idea is that it is against its nature. If you’re planning anything Jupiter-related, you will want to wait until August 8, when Jupiter goes direct again.

As an example, if Jupiter rules your fifth house of creativity, and you are waiting for the right time to start your novel, doing it while Jupiter is retrograde is probably not the best time. To a lesser extent, Jupiter-type activities are not going to be at their best either. Court or legal activities in general, or the pursuit of higher knowledge or education, is probably not the thing to begin at this time.

Throughout most of Jupiter’s retrogradation, Saturn will continue its trine to Jupiter. This is another negative influence on Jupiter, since Jupiter is the planet of expansion and good, while Saturn is the planet of restriction and limits. As a result, here’s yet one more reason to postpone (or accelerate) activities having to do with Jupiter. If you absolutely must act during this time, take heart in the fact that Jupiter is still passing through its own sign, Sagittarius, and as a result, will enable you to get positive results regardless. It’s just that it won’t be quite as glowingly wonderful with the two parking brakes represented by Saturn and the retrograde motion.

–If you are interested in the effects of Jupiter retrograde on your natal chart, you may wish to get a private natal reading with Nina Gryphon.  Details are at Nina’s astrology readings webpage.

The Seven Planets and the Seven Deadly Sins

March 10, 2007 by  

Portrait of Young Man

The weakest planet in a natal chart will typically show us to which of the classical “Deadly Sins” one is the most prone. For many of us, we will have more than one such planet, or at least a very bad planet connected to peregrine planets which can be easily influenced by their bad friends. Let us look at Justin Timberlake’s chart again:

Justin Timberlake Horoscope

Earlier, we looked at his natal Sun, and determined that it was very afflicted due to its position in Aquarius, the sign of its detriment. Also, it was afflicted because it was in the sixth house of illness, a traditionally malefic house. The trine to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra was probably not helpful, not the least because Jupiter and Saturn are in the fall of the Sun. However, I do not think that the Sun is the biggest problem for Timberlake. I would bet that his biggest challenge is his Mercury in Pisces in the seventh house of partners and other people. Because the Sun is stashed away in a cadent house, it cannot act very strongly. So it may be a baddie in this chart, but it cannot exercise its influence.

However, Mercury is in its detriment and fall in Pisces, and it is angular, so it is well able to cast its negative influence over Timberlake’s life. No other planet seems particularly able to help it, or keep it in check, certainly not by aspect, though it may experience some help from Jupiter, due to their mutual reception (triplicity and sign). The challenge here is that Mercury is the only angular planet in Timberlake’s chart, so it will pop up again and again in all areas of his life. Most likely, it will describe Timberlake’s partners, and we can assume that his relationships will not be particularly easy as a result.

Taking a big picture view of the chart, Mercury’s deadly sin is envy. Seeing it in the seventh house gives us the sense that there is a strong tendency here to constantly compare oneself against other people, and focusing on what others have that the native does not. The reception with Jupiter, ruler of the fifth house, shows that this tendency is what drives Timberlake’s creative side to some extent. In that sense, it is a positive and productive expression. However, Mercury being as weak as it is here will not give us a great artist, though it certainly may produce a successful one. The royal star Regulus on the Ascendant does not hurt in this respect.

We can do this with any horoscope, so here’s the list of the deadly sins associated with each planet. When the planet is weak, the associated sin will most likely be an important obstacle that the person will have to surmount.

Saturn — greed

Jupiter — gluttony

Mars — anger

Sun — pride

Venus — lust

Mercury — envy

Moon — sloth

—Readers who are interested in a natal reading from Nina Gryphon may contact her via her reading requests form.

Astrology 101: Help, My Planet Is Afflicted!

March 8, 2007 by  

stmichael.jpg

I get enough questions on some of the terms and expressions I use casually in my blog posts, that I thought it would be helpful to start an occasional column explaining some of the terms. Last week, I got a very good question asking about the meaning of affliction, like when I say a planet is afflicted.

There is no particularly scientific definition of this, but a planet can really be afflicted in three major ways. It can be weak by sign placement, it can be afflicted by aspect (to another afflicted planet, pretty much regardless of the type of aspect involved), and it can be afflicted by placement in a negative house or by retrogradation.

If you look at your own horoscope, you’ll find that your planets are usually afflicted by one or maybe two of the above factors. The more of the above factors are present, the tougher it will be for that particular planet to behave well in your chart. For example, if you have a very afflicted planet ruling your 11th house of friends, you either have few friends, or there will be something wrong with your friends.

Typically though, you will see that while a planet may be afflicted, another positive factor helps it out. As an example, we can look at the chart below, which is the horoscope for Justin Timberlake, the pop star:

Justin Timberlake Horoscope

He has a somewhat afflicted Sun, because it is in the sign of its detriment Aquarius, and it is in the malefic sixth house of illness, and it is not helped by the negative reception from Jupiter and Saturn (which are in the sign of the Sun’s fall, Libra). Even though it is exalted, Saturn is still Saturn, and Jupiter is not strong enough to lend a particularly helpful hand here. This might point to Timberlake experiencing long-term health issues later in life, especially since the Sun rules his first house of the body and the overall vitality.

Tomorrow, I will talk about the types of difficulties associated with each planet, and use Justin Timberlake’s chart to discuss some of the difficulties associated with his planetary afflictions.

—Readers who are interested in a natal analysis of their horoscopes (afflicted planets and all), may contact Nina Gryphon via her reading requests page.

Weather Astrology: Deadly Storm Kyrill

January 19, 2007 by  

L’Orage

Recently, I have been exploring and learning more about astrometeorology, or the art and science of predicting the weather using astrology. When I read about hurricane Kyrill, which hit northwestern Europe a day or so ago, I cast a special seasonal wind chart to see whether any indications of the violence and extent of the storm could be found. I was shocked at the extreme intensity shown in the horoscope.

The horoscope for Kyrill is set for Frankfurt, Germany, one of the many areas hit strongly by Kyrill. The chart immediately preceding Kyrill’s development into a hurricane is set for Mercury’s ingress into Aquarius, since Mercury rules the winds.

Kyrill Horoscope

Mercury is a key planet of our interest in this horoscope, but it is not doing a whole lot, sitting in a cadent albeit malefic house, and having just entered an air sign, which might give some increased wind. Mercury also rules the all-important fourth house cusp, so we might have an inkling of some wind during Mercury’s transit through Aquarius, but it’s certainly not very strong just from this testimony.

This is one chart where close aspects by the outer planets seem to act very much like fixed stars (1° or so); I suspect that this is a very good use of the outer planets, treating them like fixed stars: when they are conjunct something important, we pay attention, otherwise we can ignore them. Uranus is near the ascendant, but it’s probably too far to make a big difference at this location. Note that if the chart gets moved south of Frankfurt, Uranus will be much closer to the ascendant and hence more influential. Uranus is supposed to bring a northern wind, one that is violent and destructive. More interestingly, we see the tight Mars-Pluto conjunction right on the midheaven. Planets that are on the midheaven will often show newsworthy weather. Mars conjunct Pluto is an extremely violent and volatile combination, bringing Western wind that is quite intense and deadly.

I’m always interested in the influences of the proper fixed stars, and this chart has some very unpleasant Mars-type stars on important points. The violent star Al Hecka is conjunct the fourth house cusp, and it gives violence and the danger of accidents. Mars in the 10th house, the same one that is conjunct Pluto, is conjunct the fixed star Acumen, a star in the sting of the Scorpius constellation, which is violent and unpredictable.

For a complete prediction, and to have been able to predict this hurricane beforehand, we will have wanted to look at multiple charts for the season, but because this is a blog, we have to be a little bit more abbreviated. Even so, you can see the intense and dramatic testimonies for a gale force wind in the horoscope for Mercury’s ingress into Aquarius.

Special thanks for showing me the techniques of astrometeorology go to a top authority on the subject, Carolyn Egan of Rhode Island.

Electional Astrology: Best Time to Cut Hair for Fullness

September 24, 2006 by  

Electional Astrology - Horoscope for Cutting of Hair - Ghirlandata

If you think electional astrology has something to do with political elections, you are not alone. However, you are also wrong. Rather, electional astrology has to do with astrologically choosing just the right moment to do something for a desired result. Many people have the moment for the start of their weddings astrologically elected, with different purposes in mind. For example, someone may want a lasting marriage, another person may want lots of kids, a third person wants to dominate their spouse, etc. For each of these needs, the ideal horoscope would be different, of course. An important factor is that we have to take the natal horoscope into consideration when electing. If we see in the natal horoscope that the person is inclined to take a passive approach to life, we might want to construct a marriage horoscope to help them grow some backbone.

As you can probably imagine by now, electional astrology is pretty time-consuming, and hence, it can get expensive, depending on various factors. One important factor is that you have to analyze the natal horoscope before starting the electional process. This is why I always give my electional clients a cost estimate, so they do not get sticker shock later! But it is most definitely worth the cost, especially if you are starting a business or getting married, or undertaking another major venture.

Just to give you a taste of how electional astrology works, I elected a horoscope for cutting hair. The goal is to have the hair grow back very thick and lush, a veritable tropical jungle on your head (note: this would be a very bad time to wax your legs, for instance).

First, you can read on my website the rules for electing a horoscope for various needs, including the cutting of hair, as written by William Ramesey, a 17th-century astrologer.

Electional Horoscope for Cutting Hair

You will notice we got rather lucky in being able to find a chart that satisfies Ramesey’s rules for the cutting of hair for thickness.

We have:

1. Ascendant in a fertile sign

2. Moon applying to oppose the Sun, so still increasing in light for an increase in hair

3. Ascendant and the Moon are free from the aspects of malefic planets

And we did Ramesey one better; Jupiter in Scorpio, a fertile sign, trines the ascendant, further increasing the hair growth. Jupiter is squared by a nasty Saturn, but we tucked Saturn away in a cadent house, so he is unable to do a lot of damage. This chart is set for New York, NY, and you have about a five-minute window on each side to start the haircut (elections are only for the start of the matter, not the entire haircut in 10 minutes).

If you happen to get your hair cut at this time as an experiment, let me know how your hair grew back. My email address is nina@gryphonastrology.com.

Astrology of Eclipses: Lunar Eclipse of September 7, 2006

September 5, 2006 by  

Lunar eclipse astrology - castle by the sea

The upcoming partial lunar eclipse on September 7th at 15 Pisces promises to have interesting effects. As someone with an interest in mundane astrology, I am always on the lookout for eclipses and their effects, though I have not blogged about them extensively. NASA has a truly excellent eclipse page.

According to traditional rules, eclipses have significant effects in the locations where they are actually visible. The lunar eclipse of September 7th will be visible in western Africa, most of Asia, western Australia, Eastern Europe and Russia. Of these locations, we can expect heightened activity in northern Egypt, the Republic of Georgia, and/or Turkey, all of which are traditionally under the sign of Pisces. Additionally, some modern countries who have horoscopes with contacts to 15 Pisces include Russia, India (the lunar eclipse is right on the Medium Coeli in New Delhi), and China.

When will the effects of the lunar eclipse be felt?

Egypt, Republic of Georgia, Turkey and Russia – begin between September 7 – 17, 2006, strongest between September 17 and October 1, 2006

India – begin between September 17 – 27, 2006, strongest between October 1 – 15th, 2006

China – begin between September 27 and October 7, 2006, strongest between October 15 – 29, 2006

How will the eclipse manifest?

Because the eclipse is in a double-bodied sign (Pisces), the greatest activity will occur with rulers of the affected lands, and their governments, also any people in power in general. We can expect this to be the case especially in India, where the eclipse is right on the MC in New Delhi.

The eclipse is primarily ruled by Jupiter, which is Lord of the Eclipse (since it is in Pisces). Jupiter causes everything to increase, usually good things such as wealth, livestock, peace, and fertility. He increases fame and power of the mighty and of religious leaders and organizations. William Lilly says “New Customs or Priviledges are conferd on the people; New Corporations, new Honours, &c.” However, because the lunar eclipse is in the second decanate of Pisces, it will bring “death to some Prime man of Princely discent.” Also, the lunar eclipse is on the fixed star Achernar, in the constellation of Eridanus, the river. Achernar is benefic, again ruled by Jupiter, for public office and fame, while the constellation Eridanus is Saturnian, and can bring danger by water.

Also, an eclipse in the watery triplicity can bring illnesses and plagues among the common people (and this is a very moist eclipse, ruled by Jupiter, a moist planet in Scorpio, a moist sign, and the eclipse itself is in Pisces, a moist sign), warlike rumblings, and floods. Specifically, there may be harm to plants and aquatic life.

Astrological chart of lunar eclipse of September 7, 2006 set for New Delhi, India

Ye Astrology Quizze: Parte the First – Answer and Parte the Seconde

July 14, 2006 by  

The astrology quiz.  A phoenix.

Dear Readers,


Here is Thomas’s answer to the first question of ye quizze. We hope you enjoy it and spend some quality time going over his answer. There is much to be learned here! Question Two is here as well, for the impatient.

—Nina AKA GryphonBoth c. and e. are correct.

Now to Mr. X. It is very tempting when assessing temperament to make a list of hot, dry, cold and moist and draw ones conclusion from the qualities that have the most points. But beware! The general condition of the planets must first be considered before a well-founded judgement can be made.

Which planets come into consideration in Mr. X’s chart? We have the Sun, the Moon and Jupiter as Lord 1 plus Sagittarius as ascendant. Saturn and Mars give some colour through aspects made either to the Moon or the Sun.

Five planets in this chart are peregrine, including the Sun. The Moon is in its triplicity. Jupiter is in its term. Both the Moon and Jupiter are in detriment.

The strongest planet in this chart is the Moon (see endnote 1 – Ed.). She is the Lady of the Geniture. But let us go through the reasoning. First this is a night birth and so the Moon has a stronger influence than the Sun. The Moon is also angular and in the first house. Don’t be confused by her being incepted. Inception is not a debility. It just means that Capricorn does not have a cusp. A planet in its triplicity is also strong. Being in detriment means that this Moon is not nice. She is in fact a nasty sort of Moon. So she will not give a well formed body. Mr. X is not handsome.

Although Lord of the first house, Jupiter cannot be Lord of the Geniture. Jupiter is cadent and combust and therefore very weak.

Mercury and Venus are angular but they are both peregrine and so are too weak to be Lord or Lady of the Geniture.

Now we are ready to assess the qualities. The Ascendant is hot and dry Sagittarius. Its ruler Jupiter is in warm and moist Gemini and being oriental has a bit more hot and dry. But Jupiter is also combust so the moisture is being evaporated so to speak. We have hot and dry with some moisture.

The Sun is in warm and moist season sextile to hot and dry Mars in Leo. Mars is occidental so yet drier. We have warm with some moisture but here also a tendency to dryness.The Moon is in cold and dry Capricorn. She is in her third quarter and so is even colder and drier. She is trine to Saturn in cold and dry Taurus. Saturn is occidental and therefore even colder but with a bit of moisture. Saturn receives the Moon in its exaltation as the Moon receives Saturn in its domicile. We have a very cold and dry Moon as Lady of the Geniture, angular and in the first house.

The native is strongly melancholic with some choler a tad of sanguinity.

Who is Mr. X?
He is the cabaretist Karl Valentin (pronounced Fah-len-teen)
Pictures of him may be found at the following link. http://www.karl-valentin.de/

Endnote 1 [by Nina Gryphon, your friendly blog editor]

I am of the opinion that a peregrine planet must always be preferred
to an essentially debilitated one (here, the Moon in detriment). As John Frawley put it, putting a debilitated planet in charge is like “giving the mafia keys to the country.” It’s much better to go for a cadent peregrine planet than an angular malefic. I wouldn’t bring in the idea of receptions as reasons to ignore potentially helpful planets. The point of finding the Lord of the Geniture is to be able to give practical, immediate advice to clients in which direction to go; advising anyone to follow that Moon would clearly be irresponsible.


Mercury is the most practical Lord of the Geniture for Valentin. The conjunction with Venus in a water sign on the Descendant gives him an artistic connection with audiences. Note that Mercury is conjunct the (bright) fixed star Alhena, which brings artistic renown. Yes, it’s in the Moon’s sign, but that’s life – lots of good Lords of the Geniture are in bad planets’ signs. The point is that we aren’t looking for the perfect planet here, but rather the best we can get. An angular Mercury conjunct Venus in the 7th with a good fixed star is not at all a bad thing.

Note also the prenatal eclipse – the eclipse Venus/Merc conjunct the natal Sun, highlighting the importance of the Venus/Merc natal conjunction.

Ye fecunde Questione:

What is moitie and how important is it?

a. Moitie is a fixed star in the constellation of Ophiuchus also known as X Oph. It is of the nature of Mercury and it is described by Ptolemy the younger as dividing in halves so depending on the context it may have some relevance.

b. Moietie is not a what, it is a who. Philippe de Moitie was an astrologer who lived during the reign of Henry IV. His only surviving manuscript, “Oublie les Orbes” (Forget Orbs) has been sadly ignored.

c. Moitie is French for half and refers to the radius of an orb of influence ascribed by many authors to the planets. Each moitie varying from planet to planet. Lilly, for example, gives the Sun a moitie of 15-17, depending on which he remembers. Moitie is actually equivalent to the modern orb which curiously has wandered from the planets to the aspects. Whatever. Both moitie and orbs can be safely ignored as it is more important to consider whether one planet “beholds” another. Planets in the same sign behold one another even if one is in the 1st degree of the sign and the other in the 29th. Planets in two succeeding signs, for example, do not behold one another. So a planet in Aries does not behold one in Taurus. They cannot aspect one another.

d. Moitie is what happens to an aspect when two planets are in signs of long ascension. It means “stretched.” So what usually is a square is in this case a trine. This is important when needed.

The Guardian Daemon

May 21, 2006 by  

A fascinating traditional concept is the notion of the entity assigned to be keeper of our soul, whose single task is to guard it against harm, and to aim us, in our imperfect incarnation, toward our destiny. The entity, of course, is the Guardian Angel, or as it was known to the ancient Greeks, the Guardian Daemon (this word did not used to have the negative meaning it carries today; rather, it meant “spirit”). You might think of the popular Lindberg image of the white-robed female angel hovering protectively over a small girl and boy crossing a precipice. However, while protection is an important part of the Daemon’s function, its most important role is to ensure that our souls gain the maximum benefit from our life.
In Platonic theology, souls are assigned their lives before they are born, a process involving both choice and chance, since each soul receives a lot to stand in line and gets to choose a life from innumerable ones spread before it. The lot represents chance, while the choice of life represents the free will to choose our life prior to birth. At least partially, a soul chose a particular life for a reason, in order to experience a particular set of circumstances. The Guardian Daemon ensures that the soul meets its objectives and, most important, gains something by the experience.

Not all Guardian Daemons are equal in effectiveness, since not every soul learns their lessons fully or completely during their sojourn on earth. This is not due to one Guardian Daemon being inferior to another, but rather to the quality of the soul’s perception. For some people, the Guardian Daemon shouts in their ear, while for others, he may as well be shouting across a busy street. Astrologically speaking, this is all in the strength or weakness of the receiving instrument, or the soul in question. Iamblichus, in “On the Mysteries,” writes that the Guardian Daemon may be found in a chart, by looking for the Lord of the Geniture, since that is our strongest planet and our best card. However, he cautions that the planet itself is not the Daemon, but rather provides a means to the Daemon.
I am inclined to see the overall strength of the Lord of the
Geniture as our willingness to follow the Guardian Daemon’s promptings. A powerful Lord of the Geniture indicates that the person can hear clearly; a weaker Lord of the Geniture shows some fuzziness in the reception.
Too, every person’s Guardian Daemon is different in nature. It is said of Socrates that his Guardian Daemon had a constraining nature, whereas for most people the Guardian Daemon incites to action. For most of us, it is when we do not listen to our Guardian Daemon’s promptings, we tend to become mere lumps of clay. For the very tiny minority of souls like that of Socrates, the Guardian Daemon must actually restrain the soul from pouring out its divine essence too quickly, and from expiring too soon to give the rest of the world any benefit of its wisdom. It is as though the vast majority of mankind was walking uphill to achieve wisdom at the top of the mountain, while Socrates walked downhill and told of those he met about what he saw at the top. Our Guardian Daemons must push us upward, while that of Socrates had to act as a brake so that he did not descend the mountain of knowledge without conferring any benefit on the rest of us.

How, then, do we find the Guardian Daemon and his nature in the chart? Manilius, in his Matheseos (IV.XVIII) suggests we take the Part of the Spirit (the formula is opposite that of the Part of Fortune, so Asc + Sun – Moon) and observe what planets aspect the part. The role of the Guardian Daemon is to bring out the best in us, so far as our natal charts allow it. I would thus look for the Lord of the Geniture (the planet with the most essential and accidental dignities in the chart) as a way to communicating with the Guardian Daemon.

By doing things in accordance with the planetary nature of our Lord of the Geniture, we naturally emphasize our best side and leave our weaknesses by the wayside. If our Lord of the Geniture is Venus in Libra in the 7th, we can expect that we need to cultivate Venusian relationships to be at our best. Perhaps the guidance from the Guardian Daemon will come through our relationship with others. The planet that is Lord of the Geniture is the overall “flavor” of the Daemon, while the house placement shows in which area of our life he can best manifest.