I am pondering on this quote by Ptolemy:

“The distinguishing of these matters is useful for being able to judge every turn [how they change] that the commixtures [sunkrasis] take on every occasion. For, it is easy to see that since the productive [part] of the power of the stars in a certain sense alters its course by means of such conditions of season or age or angle, and in congenial [oikeios] conditions they have a quality which is more unmixed and an actualization which is stronger (for example, in hot conditions those which are productive of heat have this nature, in cold conditions those productive of cold), while in the opposite conditions they have a quality which is mixed and an actualization which is weaker (as those productive of heat in cold conditions and those productive of moisture in dry conditions and in the others similarly according to the proportion of the quality commixed with the mixture. [Ptolemy – Tetrabiblos, Book I, trans. by R. Schmidt, p.26]

Ptolemy here speaks about the commixture of the intrinsic qualities of the planets with the accidental qualities of the planet [conditions at which it is to be found] by their position relative to the Sun or to the horizon (probably to add, condition by position in a given sign and sect status because these too add to the mixture of the qualities).

For example Venus is warm and moist and being west relative to the Sun would speak of ‘quality more unmixed and an actualization which is stronger’ because planets when west relative to the Sun are more feminine. Venus having excess in wet (as the Moon) is thus a feminine planet and stronger in production because of the duplication of her intrinsic nature.
Venus in occidental quadrant relative to the horizon will speak of the same. But Venus intrinsically warm and moist, feminine and nocturnal, being east relative to the Sun, or east relative to the horizon (eastern quadrants) would speak of ‘quality which is mixed and an actualization which is weaker’.

Ptolemy says “according to the proportion of the quality commixed with the mixture”. That is to say, the proportion will be counted by the separate factors. For example, planets being east relative to the Sun are more masculine, so Venus being feminine in nature already makes commixture. Adding to this Venus to be in oriental quadrant relative to the horizon, will make the masculine qualities to preveil and thus the proportion of commixture even greater. Being in masculine sign would make for Venus to possess more accidental qualities that are opposite to her intrinsic nature, and Ptolemy says that this is kind of weakening factor of the planet, being without strength [asthenēs, literally ‘feeble’, ‘sickly’].

Venus being intrinsically more moist, in a night chart is so to speak ‘unmixed’ because of the night’s moisture, and here her actualization is stronger and her benefic productiveness greater. Mars’ maleficence of excessive dryness is ameliorated by night’s moisture too. Here we have the ‘weakening’ factor, but the weakening factor that actually weakens the excessive maleficence of this malefic planet. It is opposite by day, where Mars is in its full maleficent potential of producing its hotness and dryness [so the question arises whether the weakening factor is interpreted quantitatively or qualitatively, or both]. For further clarification on this matter, see this excellent article by Steven Birchfield.

The same goes for Saturn, who is excessively cold, and thus we would like to see him in a day chart because the hotness of the day warms the cold nature and excessiveness of this malefic planet.
Jupiter being more warm, also fits with the qualities of the day for expressing its full beneficent potential.
Moon being intrinsically moist, is the true queen of the night where the moisture prevails.
Mercury as always, varies. When east realtive to the Sun (says Ptolemy) he is going with the day planets and when west relative to the Sun, with the night planets. Later astrologers would want us to count more factors for final decision [like quadrant and sign consideration].

This is why Dorotheus [Umar or other later editor] advises us to do the same delineation of the commixtures whenever we analyse the status of Venus [concretely in marriage cases]:

“If the lot of marriage is in opposition to Venus or in opposition to the ascendent or in a bad place, or Venus is also in a masculine sign and with this is eastern, then, because the feminine signs are of the portion of the night and Venus is of the portion of the night, most [of what was predicted for] one who was born thus will remain till the end of his life except for his wife. Because the diurnal planets rejoice in the East and the nocturnal planets rejoice in the West, what I told you of this is secure.” [Book II.4]

We notice how important these considerations really are. They contribute to our judgment of the status of certain planet. It is not only about the aspects [configurations] between the planets as modern astrologers apply in their practice, it is also very much important to count the factors of the figures relative to the Sun, to the horizon and the commixture of the intrinsic and accidental qualities of the planets. The conditions in which the planet is found will directly influence the productiveness of that same planet. This is something we need to take care of whenever we look at a chart.

Let us check these matters in a birth chart.


This is the chart of Marilyn Monroe ranked as AA on astro databank. 

Let us consider her Venus [check the conditions in which she is to be found]. As we said, Venus is intrinsically warm and moist planet, feminine and nocturnal. Whenever she is to be found in such conditions, her productiveness will be greater. On the contrary, her productiveness will be less.

If we count the proportion of the commixture of the intrinsic qualities of Venus with those in which she is accidentally found, we will notice this:

– She is east relative to the Sun, where planets are more masculine [commixture, since she is feminine planet and rejoice as inferior being west relative to the Sun]

– She is in occidental quadrant [unmixxed]

– She is a night planet in a day chart [commixture]

– She is above the horizon by day [commixture, that is, not in her proper light]

– She is a feminine planet in a masculine sign [commixture]

4 out of 5. Her condition is very much mixed with the accidental qualities and this according to Ptolemy weakens the planet’s productiveness.  In addition to this, Venus is in detriment [where according to Serapio planets ‘turn bad’] and cadent [where planet’s find it difficult to deliver their promise].

So we have pretty much weakened Venus. We would expect that whenever she would rule the times, life would not go easy, she would need to make an extra effort to achieve something, there will be hard times ‘finding herself and her life work’ because of the aversion to the MC sign which she rules [aversion is quite a weakness of the planet in relation to the topic which is shown by the sign to which this lord is in aversion. That planet can not govern with ease the topics of the sign which she rules].

We find Venus ruling the firdar from 1936 till 1944 [10 years old – 18 years old].


Biographers testify that this was a pretty much bad period in her life. She was sexually assaulted, raped at the age of 11 (in 1937). Shortly before this period, in 1935, Monroe entered the orphanage Holygrove and subsequently in the years to come will change many foster homes.  In 1942 she married James Dougherty (at the age of 16). This marriage didn’t last too long [officially divorced in 1946 but non officially years before]. Some speculate that Jim married her [even though he was reluctant at first] in order she not to be sent in the orphanage once again.

You can read about her life story on Wikipedia:




Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, 2001 by Donald Spoto.

Having a bad period is not only a matter of a rulership of a natural malefic planet, benefic in poor position can also bring bad period when ruling the times (and vice versa). Whenever we approach some Time-Lord [whether through Firdar or other technique we use for delineation of the times] we must investigate that planet thoroughly: her position by house, by sign, relative to the Sun, relative to the horizon, aspects that planet receives, sect status, the signs which it rules and whether it is in aversion to them, etc. The sum [or proportion, as Ptolemy put it] will tell us how good or how bad the period will be.

One thought on “Commixture of the Intrinsic and Accidental Qualities of a Planet

  1. If you apply a method of quarters of minor planetary periods starting from last lunation, you will get Mars ruling the period when she was sexually abused at age 11. Mars is very strong malefic in her chars being out of sect of favor, in diurnal hemisphere, in term of Mars and in decanate of Mars, and in 8th house. Additionally Mars/8th house/Pisces combination accentuate victimization theme.

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