Commixture of the Intrinsic and Accidental Qualities of a Planet

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.

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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].

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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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe#cite_ref-20

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_life_of_Marilyn_Monroe

http://www.biography.com/people/marilyn-monroe-9412123

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.

Under the Sky of Antioch

Marcus took the papyri and went to visit his teacher. His enthusiasm for learning the cosmic science made his pace faster than usual. He was looking forward to another heavenly dwelling at his master’s place. Whenever he met his teacher and heard that man’s wise words about life and astrology, Marcus was filled with indescribable joy and happiness. He loved astrology so much and the heavens granted him one of the most wonderful teachers of his time: Vettius Valens.

Finally he arrived. The master was sitting in his chair and observing some charts shrouded with his deep thoughts about the celestial influences and the life of the person whose chart he had in front of him. Marcus enjoyed the silence of his teacher, he didn’t want to interrupt him in his contemplation.

“You know Marcus” the teacher finally broke the silence, “each life is filled with good and bad things, some people enjoy more of the good things in life, some less; but even the former are not spared from the griefs of life”.

Marcus was enjoying these wise insights of his master and was writing every single word inside his heart. He was feeling every letter coming from his master’s mouth. He didn’t want to say anything, knowing that in that way he can disrupt the wonderful chain of thoughts coming after the deep contemplation of his master; he was only affirming the words of his master with a simple movement of his head.

After several minutes the master took his head off the chart, put it away on the table and asked his student:

“Tell me son, do you want to learn something in particular today?”

Marcus was young astrologer who had tremendous obsession with learning this art. Recently he wanted to know about the topic of marriage since many people were asking him to predict that particular side of their lives.

“Tell me something about the topic of marriage master, about the relationships and everything that is accompanying them” Marcus finally spoke.

“Oh my boy, you are asking not an easy thing, prediction of marriage and the analysis of relationships, are among the most complicated subjects; but not unattainable for those who are serious in learning the cosmic science. The thing is complex not because of the fallacy of the art, but because the relationships in which people are involved are so multifarious, that sometimes the astrologer must take many things into account to predict the whole dynamic of a person’s relationship life”, the teacher replied.

“I understand my master, but still, my soul is filled with desire to learn more and more” replied Marcus.

“I know your desire, and without such kind of desire one cannot achieve anything in life. I will tell you my observations. First, my son, you need to look at the 7th sign from the Ascendant sign, since that is the Place of Marriage. Then you need to observe The Light-Bringer (Venus) since that is the planet most responsible for things related to marriage unions. You will watch out in which sign reckoned from the ascendant this planet falls, also the planets in the same sign and the rulers of that sign.”

“Master, can you present me these things with an example? Since the example is most assured way of learning the new subjects” asked Marcus his teacher.

“Of course, I will give you an example too, but let me first elaborate all the principles necessary for judging the marriage union. You need to know that the old masters of this art, like The King Nechepso, Timaeus and the most elevated Hermes, all had slightly different opinion as to which places in the birth chart ought to be counted as operative and non-operative” the master started his wise talk. “This must become clear to you from the beginning of our learning. According to the King Nechepso, the Pivots or the angular signs reckoned from the ascendant, and the signs following them are said to be operative and planets in these signs perform better. The third sign from the Pivots, or the cadent signs, according to the King are non-operative and the planets here perform with difficulty, since some of these signs are turned away from the native, especially the 6th and 12th signs in which planets do not aspect the ascendant.

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Figure 1: Nechepso scheme

But according to Timaeus and the most elevated Hermes, there are 7 Places that are operative. These are the 4 Pivot signs, the 9th sign, 5th sign, and the 11th sign. So the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 12th are non-operative.”

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Figure 2: Hermes scheme

“Master, can you elaborate what ‘operative’ and ‘non-operative’ means? Are the non-operative signs bad?” asked Marcus.

“No. It is not a matter of good or bad, but it is a matter of performance. Planets perform better in certain places (houses) and are finding difficulties performing or exercising their potential in other places.”

“Is it a matter of strength?”  Marcus wished to know the matter even more deeply.

“You can say so but the word ‘strength’ does not apply to the whole concept either. So it is not that planet in operative place is doing good for the native, nor the planet in non-operative place is doing bad for the native with the mere presence there. It is more a matter of creating circumstances for planet’s performance” replied the master.

“Which school will we follow master?” asked Marcus a bit confused as every student approaching the subject.

“We will use our heads and the context, my dear student. I have sympathy with what King Nechepso elaborates not only in this regard to the operative places, but also in regard to some other astrological teachings. But one starting to dwell in the heavenly places, learning this cosmic science, must know what the ancients said, where they agree and where they disagree. After knowing what they thought, he then may choose whether he will follow them or not. But my experience thought me that they were very wise and rarely made mistakes in their elaborations.”

“I understand master, please continue”.

“If you find Venus in tropical or bicorporal sign, and if it is in one of the operative places explained above, especially if the person is born at night, then these men are promiscuous and often have more than one marriage. Especially if Mercury or Mars are in conjunction or aspect to Venus, then the sexual passion is accentuated and these men are lovers of boys.”

“I apologize for interrupting you my master” Marcus stopped his master with his talk in order to ask him something he didn’t understand, “but why ‘especially if the person is born at night’?”

The master smiled as he was sympathetic toward the curious nature of the student, and also confirming his clever question.

“The day is allotted to the Sun, Saturn and Jupiter. The night is allotted to the Moon, Venus and Mars. Mercury can go with the day or night planets according to the context of the chart. So, Venus being of the night party, performs better when the person is born at night. This means that Venus possess more voice and right to be heard in the Cosmos, for good or bad, for moral or immoral things related to her. Let me explain this to you with an example, come near me to see this chart”

Marcus walked to the teacher to see the chart.

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Figure 3: Joy and Sect of Planets

“As you can see” continued the teacher, “the day planets Sun, Saturn and Jupiter, rejoice being above the horizon. When the Sun is above the horizon it is day time, when it is bellow it is night time. The night planets Moon, Venus and Mars, rejoice being on the opposite side of the Sun. When it is night, then the Sun is below the horizon and the night planets Moon, Venus and Mars rejoice being above the horizon, on the opposite half of the Sun. Then they operate better. When it is night, the Queen of the night – Moon has dominion and her fellow-members of the party (i.e. Venus and Mars) as well. This is why Venus in a night chart, it is said to exercise her potential more powerfully.”

“Oh I understand now, my master” replied Marcus excitingly, with joy in his heart.

“You need to distinguish two things here. The one is being of the sect in favor principle, where a day planet operates better in a day chart and night planet in a night chart; and the other is rejoicing principle, where the night planet whether in a day or in a night chart, rejoice being in the opposite half of that where the Sun is placed. Of course, day planets rejoice being in the half of the Sun.”

“So being of the sect in favor and rejoicing principles. I understand” replied Marcus.

“It is now time to give you an example” said the master.

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Figure 4: Emperor Hadrian’s Chart

“This is the nativity of the great emperor Hadrian. There were rumors spread that he was a lover of young men, and that he maintained a sexual relationship with Antinous, who was deified after his death. Hadrian never fully recovered from the loss of this young man. Remember, I told you earlier that the position of Venus is very important? As we can see in this chart, Venus is in a bicorporal sign, the 2nd sign from ascendant operative for King Nechepso and non-operative for Hermes. We said that if Venus is in a bicorporal and operative sign, the native will seek to be engaged in many relationships. If Mars or Mercury are associated with Venus, the native may be lover of boys. The cosmic science never goes wrong, my dear student. We only need to observe carefully and apply the principles. Notice also that the chart is a night one, and here Venus and Mars possess even more rights to do whatever they are allowed to do by the Cosmic hierarchy of events. The nature of the sign is also important. There are signs that are more associative with the passions and those who are less. Pisces are one of the passionate signs, and the conjunction of Venus and Mars in this sign, accentuates the licentious side of this man even more.”

“But master, isn’t Mercury making a sextile to Venus from a licentious sign Capricorn, accentuating this side of his nature even more”?

“You are right, the close sextile of Mercury and Venus, in licentious signs, with Mars in association with Venus, adds further testimonies. Well spotted my son, well spotted. But all this because Saturn as master of the sign on the east is included in this configuration. He is in a licentious sign and in the 12th Place which does not regard the ascending sign. All these things add to his personality. It is generally true in all cases that Mercury in aspect with Venus involves and unites the native with those who are young and of a lower class. Antinous was certainly of a lower class then him, some say he was a slave but some say that he was a free-man when Hadrian met him for the first time.”

“Which are licentious signs?” asked Marcus.

“As in many of the matters, there is diversity of opinions among the authors. But Capricorn, Pisces, Aries, Taurus appear more consistently, while some add Leo and parts of Libra.”

“So, the signs ruled by or where Venus and Mars are exalted?” noticed Markus.

“Yes, indeed. These two planets are associated with the lust more than other planets.”

“Master, some say that emperor Hadrian – besides his liking of young good-looking men – was involved in adultery with married women. Some even doubt that he maintained intimate relationship with Trajan’s wife Photina, and this is why she stood behind him when he acquired the throne. What is it in his chart that shows this side of his relationship life?” asked Marcus.

“We already examined his promiscuous nature. The superior aspect of Saturn and Mercury with Venus, without the aspect of Jupiter on either of them, chilled out or made for the contamination of the marriage. Saturn as the master of the east and Sun as the master of the west, are not in aspectual connection. Also, whenever the Moon is under the rays of the Sun, this is not good for marriage. So count the factors one by one, then give the judgment. It is well known that the marriage with his wife Sabina (Trajan’s relative) was a political arrangement of Trajan’s wife Photina, in regard to political success and as such it was good, but with regard to mutual support the marriage was not useful. She didn’t even want to have children with him. Jupiter often acts as a savior either of the marriage, or of the controversies inside the marriage. In this case Jupiter does not aspect the conjunction of Mars and Venus, nor does Jupiter aspect Saturn and Mercury in the superior position to these two. This is why the rumors about emperors’ licentious actions were not neglected by the public. The fact that Mars and Venus are aspecting the MC trigonally, coupled with the fact that Jupiter does not aspect the configuration, made for all the rumors to be spread more widely throughout the public.”

Marcus was listening with joy in his heart and tried to remember all the observations of his master. He was feeling like he is in heaven, talking with some divine creature who knows the secrets of the Cosmos.

“So the main reason for the adultery, is shown in his chart by the presence of Mars and Venus together in licentious sign?” asked Marcus.

“It is shown by many factors my son, not one. You need to look at the chart as a whole. But the above mentioned by you, adds to the picture. The presence of Venus in a passionate sign which happens to be her exaltation, and with Mars here, shows that the native was successful in gaining the object of his passions”.

“Will the Lot of Marriage give the similar indications?” asked Marcus.

“Count this lot: for men find the distance from Sun to Venus, and for women from Moon to Mars. Then project this distance from the ascendant degree; the place where the projection falls will be the Lot of Marriage. In the chart of the emperor Hadrian we find the Sun in the 9th degree of Aquarius and Venus in the 13th degree of Pisces. From 8° Aquarius to 12° Pisces there are 34°. Counted from the ascendant which is found in 1° Aquarius, we come to 5° of Pisces. So the Lot of Marriage in his chart falls in the 6th degree of Pisces or in the second sign from the Ascendant. In male charts you will especially look at the position of Venus, and in the female charts you will especially look at the position of Mars, since they are Marriage-bringers. All things said above, about the co-presence of Venus and Mars in same sign, and the aspect of Saturn and Mercury, the absence of aspect of Jupiter, are now accentuated, since the Lot of Marriage falls in this same licentious sign with Venus and Mars. You should always weigh the testimonies, my child, and never rush in your judgments. A wise man who hears rumors about his wife having a secret affair from one person, will not rush to act; he will ask a second person and a third person. If all confirm the same, then the rumor is more likely to be true. But again, the man will need evidence. Give your judgments very carefully!

We have no more time, my dearest Marcus, but listen what I will say to you for the end of this class. If you have proven that you do by word and deed and through the traditions handed down to you by me, and if you apply your natural powers of analysis, and if you make it your goal to carry out your operations with all the precision, viz. when you visit the many nations and climes of the world and when you display your talents there, then you will make me worthy of undying fame, and you yourself will be glorified among the people as worthy of this heavenly art. You, having laid a foundation with the abundance of your learning, will attain the status of treatise writer yourself. For you have the nature, the energy, and the self-mastery necessary for this, and you possess the illuminated, mystic initiation into this art, having found the sacred and holy entrance to it. I urge you by the previously mentioned oaths to guard this art and to hide it from the unworthy or the uninitiated, and never to act contentiously against them. For it is better for you to be silent and be defeated, rather than to win victory while showing disrespect for divine matters. Share this knowledge with those who are capable of it. In so doing, you will glorify both me and my science, and you will benefit yourself and show yourself to be diligent and a lover of beauty.

May your wishes be fulfilled if you keep your oath. I have finished.”

Sources and Final notes:

The charts given in this text are modernized in round wheel and with glyphs that most probably (at least not all) existed back in 2nd century AD where the fictional story takes place.

Great deal of this fictional discussion between Valens and Marcus is based upon the principles given in Anthologies, Book II, chapter 38 “Marriage, Wedlock, and Happiness. Various Theorems and Configurations” as translated by Professor Mark T. Riley.

The source of the chart of Emperor Hadrian is Hephaistio of Thebes (5th century AD), as given in his second book of Apotelesmatics. The same chart can be find in Neugebauer and Van Hoesen’s Greek Horoscopes on p.90 chart No. L 76. Of course, the longitudes of the planets are in discrepancy with those given in Hephaistio. I followed the longitudes Hephaistio recommends for the reason that in this article I do not aim to do a scientific or statistical research, but to apply the principles Hellenistic astrologers used in a story-telling manner. As it is most likely that the chart Hephaistio gives circled around the early AD ages, I decided to use it as such, not as the reconstructed version of Neugebauer implies.

Hephaistio already represents an analysis of this chart in his book. However, I tried not to rely on that analysis for the simple reason that I didn’t want to imply some views Hephaistio [Antigonus or someone else] had as being in agreement with Valens’ astrology just because we today put them in the simple category of ‘Hellenistic astrology’. Also, he touches the subject of marriage very shortly.

Even though the dialogue between Marcus and Valens is fictional, many of the subjects and passages discussed are based on Valens’ Anthology with slight improvisations on my side, which I think are not in conflict with Valens. Marcus is several times mentioned in Anthologies (toward the end of book VII, in the beginning of book IX, and again later in book IX [see the last paragraph above for which I used Riley’s translation]).

The interpretation of the strength of the planets as a notion of ‘exercising their potential’ I took from Robert Schmidt as it is given in his comment on the chapter of operative places in Definitions & Foundations (The Golden Hind Press, 2009). The interpretation of the planets in same sect as being ‘members of a same party’ is also something which Robert Schmidt introduced to the astrological world in regard to the interpretation of the principles of Hellenistic astrology.

For the quotes of aphorisms from Anthologies inserted here and there throughout the text, I used the translation of Professor Mark T. Riley.

About the story of Hadrian and Antinous, you can read more here.

I want to give my immense thanks to (in alphabetical order) Chris Brennan and Gorizza Svorzan for their advices and supervision of the text.

Example from Valens

Another example: sun, Mercury in Gemini, moon in Capricorn, Saturn, Mars in Aquarius, Venus, Ascendant in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio. This man, though born a slave, entered a noble family, attained political offices, and enjoyed honors. The rulers <Saturn Mercury> of the triangle of the sun <Gemini Libra Aquarius> and of the Lot and the exaltation were found in their own domains and in aspect with Jupiter. Mars, Saturn, and Mercury were unfavorably situated and so reduced his means and made him financially embarrassed. [Riley p.37]

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This is interesting example in many respects. It is the chapter where Valens gives examples after he wrote elaborately on Prosperity and eminence factors in a chart. We see here how Valens gives a chart of a person born slave but later becoming free man through the marriage [probably] because he says ‘entered a noble family’, and then later again the twist of fate put him down in the society.
We see that Sun is in 12th, which in itself is one indication for slavery in birth chart. Moon can easily be in the 6th by division but because we don’t have the exact chart parameters, we can’t judge that. If so, then Moon will be another indication for slavery. Lights in 6th and 12th bring slavery.

The first thing for prosperity, Valens analyzes the two triplicity Lords of the Sun as a Light of the Time. He found Saturn and Mercury in their own signs (Aquarius and Gemini respectively), in the same time being triplicity lords of Lot of Fortune (airy triplicity).
I am not sure why Valens says ‘and of exaltation’ since exaltation calculated by sign falls in Taurus.

The interesting thing is to notice how Valens puts weight on the ‘essential dignity’ of the planet, saying that the respective rulers were in their own domains and in aspect to Jupiter. Jupiter is on the stake (on a Pivot) in regard to Saturn but doesn’t aspect Mercury. In the later sentence Valens says that because of the ‘unfavorable situated’ Mars, Mercury and Saturn, he had financial breakdown. Contradictions? Valens is cryptic in many places in his book it is not only here. Now, Saturn and Mercury were favorably situated in regard to essential dignity, being in their own domiciles, but in bad houses (8th and 12th respectively). So even though he gained something (notice that the Lord of Fortune is with Fortune), the bad position of the rulers by house, kept him humble in regard to his livelihood.
If this is not a typo [objective probability], or any other error in the transmission of the text, then I think that Valens deliberately gives us these charts in such a cryptic manner, in order to make us think. But our brain hurts from so much thinking over his obviously very cryptic text!

Valens’ Anthology: Comparison of the Greek Chapter Titles and their Translations

In this post I aim to make a comparison of the Greek editions of Kroll and Pingree with the two English translations of Mark T. Riley and Roberth Schmidt. In some places I will also add some other translations of the titles of the chapters (as I did here with Bezza’s Italian translation of the 2nd chapter of Book I). I will also add some comments after each chapter where I will elaborate on some of the Greek words and discrepancies of the 2 Greek editions and their translations.

Book I

Chapter 1

Greek Title: Περὶ τῆς τῶν ἀστέρων φύσεως

Transliteration: Peri tēs tōn asterōn phuseōs.

Riley: The Nature of the Stars.

Schmidt: Concerning the Nature of the Stars.

Comments: ‘peri‘ is preposition with meaning ‘concerning’, ‘about’, ‘for’ and in certain cases need not be translated just as Riley did above. In many cases it is up to the intuitive approach of the translator. ‘Asterōn’ is genitive plural form of astēr, with meaning ‘star’. The noun ‘fuseōs’ is of the meaning ‘origin’, ‘birth’ , ‘nature’, ‘quality’, ‘property’, and comes from the verb fuō I grow.

Chapter 2:

Greek Title: Περὶ τῆς τῶν δώδεχα  ζῳδίων φύσεως

Transliteration: Peri tēs tōn dōdeka zōdiōn phuseōs

Riley: The Nature of the Twelve Zodiacal Signs

Schmidt: Concerning the Nature of the Twelve Zōidia

Bezza: Della Natura Dei Dodici Segni

Comments: Words ‘phuseōs’ and ‘peri’ I already explained above. ‘Zōdiōn’ is genitive plural of the third declension noun ‘zōdion’ (to zōdion) with meaning zodiacal sign. Dōdeka is 12.

Chapter 3:

Greek Title: Περὶ ὁρίων ἑξήκοντα

Transliteration: Peri horiōn heksēkonta

Riley: The 50 Terms

Schmidt: Concerning the Sixty Boundaries

Comments: I am not sure why Riley has ’50’, it is probably an error. Kroll’s edition has only ‘peri oriōn’ and Pingree adds ‘heksēkonta’. Word ‘horiōn’ is declension of the neuter noun ὅριον with meaning ‘boundary’, ‘limit’. It is a word for what we today know as ‘term’ in astrological sense. Schmidt in his earlier translations translated this word as ‘bound’, and in his newer translations (cf. D & F) uses the term ‘confine’.

I made a handy tables of these terms and their description given by Valens in a PDF format which you can download from here.

Chapter 4:

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπου

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou

Riley: Finding the Ascendant

Schmidt: Concerning the Hōroscopos.

Comments: Again, Riley’s translation is a bit improvisatory. Schmidt transliterated the genitive singular form of the noun ‘hōroscopou’ in its nominative form ‘hōroscopos’. In his newer translations he translates hōroscopos (i.e. the ascendant) as The Hour-Marker.

Chapter 5:

Greek Title: Ὡροσκοπικὸς γνώμων (Kroll 5)
Περὶ μεσουρανήματος (Pingree 5)

Transliteration: Horoskopikos gnōmōn.
Peri mesouranēmatos.

Riley: The Gnomon of the Ascendant

Schmidt: Concerning the Midheaven

Comments: Kroll and Pingree differ here and so Schmidt and Riley. Riley follows Kroll and Schmidt Pingree. Schmidt skips the title ‘Gnomon of the Ascendant’ and Riley puts number in front 5K which means ‘the fifth chapter according to Kroll’. In the next chapter he puts 6K; 5P which means ‘6th chapter according to Kroll and 5th according to Pingree”. Schmidt just follows Pingree’s order.

Mesouranema is neuter noun with meaning mid-heaven or zenith.
Hōroskopikos is adjective meaning ‘pertaining to the hōroskopos (i.e. ascendant).
Gnōmōn literally with meaning ‘one who knows or examines’ was erected column used for measuring the altitude of the Sun and other astronomical observations.

7K; 6P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀναφορᾶς τῶν ζῳδιων.

Transliteration: Peri anaphoras tōn zōdiōn.

Riley: The Rising Times of the Signs.

Schmidt: Concerning the Ascension of the Zōdia

Comments: From here on I will use Riley’s nomenclature referring Kroll as ‘K’ and Pingree as ‘P’ in numbering the chapters. Since the other words I already explained above, only the word ἀναφορά [anaphora] requires clarification. Anaphoras is genitive singular of the feminine noun ‘anaphora’ which means ‘coming up’, ‘rising’, ‘ascent’.

8K; 7P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀκουόντων καὶ βλεπόντων ζῳδίων.

Transliteration: Peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn.

Riley: Listening and Beholding Signs.

Schmidt: Concerning the Zōdia that See and Hear.

Comments: The root of akouontōn is akouō (I hear, I listen) which is root of the English term ‘acoustics’. Akouontōn and Blepontōn are holding the same forms in 3rd person plural present participle and  imperative. Blepontōn comes from the verb Blepō which means ‘to see’.

9K; 8P.

Greek Title: Σύνοδοι καὶ πανσέληνοι ἀπὸ χειρός.

Transliteration: Sunodoi kai panselēnoi apo cheiros.

Riley: A Handy Method for New and Full Moons.

Schmidt: Synodic Conjunctions and Full Moons, Roughly…

Comments: Sunodoi is plural of sunodos with meaning New Moon, and panselēnoi is plural of panselēnos with meaning Full Moon. Cheiros is genitive of cheir with meaning ‘hand’. The genitive form cheiros means ‘by hand’, with the preposition ‘apo’ meaning ‘by’ or ‘from’ accompanying the genitive case.

10K; 9P

Greek Title: Περὶ ἑπταζώνου ἤτοι σαββατικῆς ἡμέρας ἀπὸ χειρός .

Transliteration: Peri heptazōnou ētoi sabbatikēs hēmeras apo cheiros.

Riley: A Handy Method for the Seven-Zoned System [or the Sabbatical Day]

Schmidt: Concerning the Seven-Zoned [Sphere or Sabbatical Day], Roughly…

Comments: hēptazōnou is genitive of hēptazōnos (seven-zoned [system])

11K; 10P.

Greek Title: Περὶ οἰκοδεσπότου ἔτους.

Transliteration: Peri oikodespotou etous.

Riley: The Houseruler of the Year.

Schmidt: Concerning the Ruler of the Year.

Comments: oikodespotou is genitive form of οἰκοδεσπότης (master, steward of the house, house-ruler) from oiko (house) and despotēs (despot, master).
Etous is genitive form of etos (year).

12K; 11P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀρρενικῶν καὶ θηλυκῶν μοιρῶν.

Transliteration: Peri arrenikōn kai thēlukōn moirōn.

Riley: Masculine and Feminine Degrees.

Schmidt: Concerning Masculine and Feminine Degrees.

Comments: arrenikōn is genitive plural of arrenikos (male, man-like, masculine), and thelukōn is genitive plural of thēlukos (female, woman-like, feminine). Moirōn is genitive plural from the noun moira with meaning ‘portion’. It is equivalent to what we today astrologically use as ‘degree’. Schmidt in his later translations consistently uses the term portion for translation of this very pregnant with meanings Greek word.

13K; 12P.

Greek title: Περὶ φωτισμῶν Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri phōtismōn Selēnēs.

Riley: The Visibility Periods of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lights of the Moon.

Comments: phōtismōn is genitive plural of phōtismos with meaning ‘illumination’, ‘light’.
Selēnēs is genitive singular of Selēnē which is the name for the Moon. The word Valens uses here (phōtismos] is interesting because the usual word used for ‘appearance’ or ‘helliacal rising’ is φάσις [phasis]. Schmidt translated the word phōtismos (in gen pl phōtismōn) literally as ‘light’ or ‘lights’, but Riley translated it as ‘visibility’.

14K; 13P.

Greek Title: Περὶ κρύψεως Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri krupseōs Selēnēs.

Riley: The Invisibility Period of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Concealment of the Moon.

Comments: The word krupseōs comes from krupsis which means ‘hiding’, ‘occultation’, ‘disappearance’, ‘concealment’. It is also used to denote something hidden, mysterious or secret. Here obvious has the astronomical connotation of the invisibility of the Moon.

15K; 14P.

Greek Title: Περὶ τριταὶας ἐβομαίας τεσσαρακοσταίας Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Peri tritaias ebdomaias tessarakostaias Selēnēs.

Riley: The Third, Seventh, and Fortieth Days of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the 3rd, 7th, and 40th day of the Moon.

Comments: ‘tritaias’ literally means ‘on the third day’; ebdomaias ‘on the seventh day’; tessarakostaias ‘on the fortieth day’.

16K; 15P.

Greek Title: Ἀναβιβάζοντα ἀπὸ χειρὸς εὑρεῖν.

Transliteration: Anabibazonta apo cheiros heurein.

Riley: A Handy Method for Finding the Ascending Node.

Schmidt:  To Roughly Find the Ascending [Node].

Comments: Anabibazonta is participle of the verb anabibazō (sometimes read as anabibazdō) with meaning ‘to make go up’, ‘to ascend’. Astronomically and astrologically of course, it refers to the ascending node (North Node), and this is why Schmidt has it in parenthesis, since the original wording does not specifically points out to ‘node’.

17K

Greek Title: Αλλως συντομώτερον.

Transliteration: Allōs suntomōteron.

Comments: Riley only put ’17K’ but didn’t write a title, whereas Pingree and Schmidt do not have separate chapter for this chapter in Kroll.  Riley has ‘Another more concise method’ in parenthesis but it is not separated from the rest of the text nor it is stressed in bold like the other chapters.

‘Allōs’ here stands for ‘another’ and suntomōteron for ‘short-cut’. The chapter or rather ‘sub-chapter’ would read as ‘Another short-cut [method]’.

18K; 16P

Greek Title: Περὶ εὑρέσεως βαθμῶν καὶ ἀνέμων τῆς Σελήνής.

Transliteration: Peri heureseōs bathmōn kai anemōn tēs Selēnēs.

Riley: The Determination of the Steps and the Winds of the Moon.

Schmidt: Concerning the Finding of Steps and Winds of the Moon.

Comments: heureseōs is genitive form of heuresis with meaning ‘finding’, ‘discovery’.
Bathmōn is genitive plural of bathmos with meaning ‘step’, ‘degree’, ‘interval’.
Anemōn is gen pl of anemos with meaning ‘wind’.

19K; 17P

Greek Title: Ἱππάρχειον περὶ ψήφου Σελήνης ἐν ποίῳ ζῳδίῳ.

Transliteration: Hipparcheion peri psēphou Selēnēs en poiō zōdiō.

Riley: A Hipparcheion Concerning the Calculation of the Sign of the Moon.

Schmidt:  After Hipparchus, Concerning the Calculation of the Zoidion of the Moon.

Comments: psēphou is genitive singular form of psēphos. Psēphos is a pebble used for reckoning, counting.

20K; 18P

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ ψήφου Ἡλίου καὶ  τῶν ε΄ἀστέρων.
Transliteration: Peri psēphou Hēliou kai tōn 5 asterōn.

Greek Title (Pingree) Περὶ ψήφου τῶν ἄλλων πλανωμέρων.
Transliteration: Peri psēphou tōn allōn planōmerōn.

Riley: The Reckoning of the Sun and the Five Planets.

Schmidt: Concerning the Calculation of the Other Planets.

Comments: Again, Kroll’s edition and Pingree’s edition differ here. Riley follows Kroll and Schmidt Pingree. Hēliou is gen sg of Hēlios which is the name for the Sun.

21K; 19P

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ συμπαρουσίας καὶ συγκράσεως.
Transliteration: Peri sumparousias kai sunkraseōs.

Greek Title (Pingree): Περὶ συγκράσεων ἀστέρων.
Transliteration: Peri sunkraseōn asterōn.

Riley: The Combinations of the Stars.

Schmidt: Concerning the Commixtures of the Stars.

Comments: Kroll’s translation roughly would be “Concerning the co-presence and commixture”, and Pingree’s just as Schmidt translated it. Riley’s is also based on Pingree’s edition.

22K; 20P.

Greek Title (Kroll): Περὶ σχηματισμῶν κατὰ πλείους.
Transliteration: Peri schēmatismōn kata pleious.

Greek Title (Pingree): Τριῶν ἀστέρων σύγκρασις.
Transliteration: Triōn asterōn sunkrasis.

Riley: The Combination of Three Stars.

Schmidt: Commixture of Three Stars.

Comments: Kroll’s title is a bit non logical here. Rough translation of it would be “The configurations concerning more [planets]”. Both Riley and Schmidt follow Pingree.

23K; 21P.

Greek Title: Περὶ σπορᾶς.

Transliteration: Peri sporas.

Riley: Conception.

Schmidt: Concerning Conception.

Comments: All agree on this chapter.

24K; 22P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἑπταμήνων.

Transliteration: Peri heptamēnōn.

Riley: Seven-Month Children.

Schmidt: Concerning Children Born in the Seventh-Month.

Comments: heptamēnōn is gen pl of heptamēnos (a seven month’s child).

Book II

Greek Title: Οὐεττίου Οὐάλεντος Ἀντιοχέως ἀνθτολογιῶν βιβλίον δεύτερον.

Transliteration: Ouettiou Oualentos Antiocheōs anthologiōn biblion deuteron.

Riley: The Anthologies of Vettius Valens of Antioch: Book II.

Schmidt: Second Book of the Anthology of Vettius Valens of Antioch.

Comments: Here it is the difference of the title of Valens’ book in the two English translations. Riley titled it ‘Anthologies’ in plural, and Schmidt ‘Anthology’ in singular. It is true that anthologiōn refers to genitive plural of anthologia.

Chapter 1:

Greek Title: Περὶ τριγώνων.

Transliteration: Peri trigōnōn.

Riley: The Triangles.

Schmidt: On Trigons.

Comments: Here for the first time we see Schmidt not translating the preposition ‘peri’ as ‘concerning’ as he did in book I. If he followed his earlier style, he would have translated it as ‘Concerning Trigons’. Trigōnōn is gen pl of the noun trigōnos.

Chapter 2:

Greek Title:  Τριγώνων διακρίσεις καὶ οἰκοδεσποτῶν καὶ συνεργῶν καὶ αἱρέσεων Ἡλίου Σελήνης ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός.

Transliteration: Trigōnōn diakriseis kai oikodespotōn kai sunergōn kai haireseōs Hēliou Selēnēs hēmeras kai nuktos.

Riley: The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Triangles, the Houserulers, the Helpers, and the Sects  of the Sun and the Moon—for Day or Night Births.

Schmidt: The Differences of the Trigons, and Rulers, and Co-workers, and the Sects of the Sun and Moon by Day and by Night.

Comments: This is one of the longest title in the Anthologies. Diakriseis from ‘diakrisis‘ means differentiation, discrimination, separation, etc. Oikodespotōn is gen pl of oikodespotēs with meaning master, ruler, etc. Riley had translated it as ‘Houseruler’ and Schmidt just as ‘Ruler’, of course in plural form.
The word sunergōn which is actually gen pl of sunergos (or sunergēs) is quite interesting one. The verbal form is sunergeō with meaning ‘to co-operate’, ‘to work together with’, ‘to help in work’; and this is why Riley translated it as Helper (in plural form ‘helpers), and Schmidt as Co-worker (in plural form as ‘co-workers’).
The word so important for Hellenistic astrology ‘hairesis‘ (sect) here is given in gen pl form haireseōn. Hēmeras kai nuktos are with meaning ‘by day’ and ‘by night’ respectively.

Chapter 3:

Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου τύχης καὶ οἰκοδεσπότου.

Transliteration: Peri klērou tuchēs kai oikodespotou.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune and its Houseruler.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Fortune and the Ruler.

Comments: klērou is gen sg of klēros (lot). Tuchēs stands for Fortune and oikodespotou is gen form of oikodespotēs (ruler or houseruler).

Chapter 4:

Greek Title: Περὶ τοῦ λαχόντος τὴν ὥραν ἤ τὸν κλῆρον ἀστέρος.

Transliteration: Peri tou lachontos tēn hōran e ton klēron asteros.

Riley: The Star Which Holds the Ascendant or the Lot.

Schmidt: Concerning the Star Allotted the Hour or the Lot.

Comments: Here we have the aorist participle lachontos coming from λαγχάνω (obtained by lot) which Schmidt translated it better in my opinion (Allotted). ἢ (e) is conjunction with meaning ‘or’. Hōran is accusative form of hōra with meaning ‘hour’. We all know what ‘asteros’ stands for, it is the Greek word for a star or planet.

Chapter 5:

Greek Title: Κακοδαίμονος τόπος· πολλὰ σχήματα.

Transliteration: kakodaimonos topos polla schēmata.

Riley: The <XII> Place of the Bad Daimon. Many Configurations.

Schmidt: The Place of the Evils Spirit – Many Figures.

Comments: Kakodaimōn has the meaning of ‘possessed by an evil genius’. Kakos is adjective of meaning ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ and daimōn is noun for spirit or genius. It is common Greek name for the 12th Place (topos) from the ascendant. Schēmata is nom/acc plural of schēma with meaning ‘figure’, ‘shape’, etc. Astrologically is used in notion of planets forming a figure (aspect).

Chapter 6:

Greek Title: Ἀγαθοῦ δαίμονος τόπος· πολλὰ σχήματα. Ζητητέον καὶ ἀκουόντων καὶ βλεπόντων ζῳδίων.

Transliteration: Agathou daimonos topos. Polla schēmata. Zētēteon kai peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn.

Riley: The <XI> Place of the Good Daimon. Many Configurations. The Hearing and the Beholding  Signs Must Also Be Investigated.

Schmidt: The Place of the Good Spirit – Many Figures.

Comments: Agathou is gen sg of agathos with the simple meaning of ‘good’. It is interesting that this adjective is also used in notion of ‘capable’ which associate with this sign regarded as productive to good things as gains, realization of hopes and ambitions, and where planets operate well.
[Zētēteon kai peri akouontōn kai blepontōn zōdiōn] as addition to the title was put in parenthesis in Pingree’s edition and Schmidt decided not to translate it, while Riley did translate it. Zētēteon is accusative of the nominative adjective form Zētēteos with meaning “to be sought”. Akouontō and blepontōn forms of the verbs ‘to hear’ and ‘to see’ I already examined above in the comments of the first book.

7P:

Greek Title: Μεσουράνημα.

Transliteration: Mesouranēma.

Riley: <The X Place>—Midheaven.

Schmidt: The Midheaven.

Comments: Now the situation is reversed, Pingree’s edition has chapter that lacks in Kroll. This does not mean that the text is missing, it is just that this short chapter in Kroll’s edition is part of the previous chapter No. 6. The next chapter in Riley will be numbered as 7K; 8P.

7K; 8P

Greek Title:  Θεοῦ Ἡλίου τόπος τὸ προμεσουράνημα, Θ΄ἀπὸ ὡροσκόπου· πολλὰ ἔχει σχήματα.

Transliteration: Theou Hēliou topos to promesouranēma, 9 apo hōroskopou polla echei schēmata.

Riley: The IX Place of the God Sun, just before MC. The Ninth Place from the Ascendant.  It Has Many Configurations.

Schmidt: The Place of the God of the Sun, the Pre-Midheaven, 9th from the Hōroskopos – It Has Many Figures.

Comments: As I explained above, the word ‘mesouranēma’ stands for the mid-heaven, the preposition ‘pro’ here stands for ‘in front’, ‘prior’, and just means ‘before the MC’ or as Schmidt translated it ‘Pre-Midheaven’. This is an allusion of the primary motion of the heavens where the 9th sign culminates before the 10th sign, just as the 12th pre-ascends the ascending sign.

The part ‘theou hēliou‘ requires further explanation. Theou is gen sg of theos (God, Diety) and would translate as ‘of God‘. Hēliou is also gen sg of Hēlios and would translate as ‘of Sun‘. So Schmidt translated the phrase literally “Of the God of the Sun”. However, it is not unusual, whenever there are two consequent words in genitive case, one of them to be translated in English as nominative/acc and the other as genitive. Riley here translated as “of the God Sun”.

8K; 9P.

Greek Title: Ὄγδοος τοπος θανάτου· παντοῖαι θεωρίαι.

Transliteration: Ogdoos topos thanatou. Pantoiai theōriai.

Riley: The VIII Place of Death. Various Views.

Schmidt: The Eight Place, Of Death – All Sorts of Regards.

Comments: Ogdoos means eight, topos is place and thanatou is gen sg of thanatos with meaning death. Pantoioi is plural form of pantoios with meaning ‘of all sorts’, ‘of all kinds’, ‘manifold’, ‘various’, etc. Theōriai is plural of theōria, noun that really does not require explanation. Robert Hand put footnote besire the word ‘Regards’ in Schmidt’s translation that they are not certain what this means. I don’t know on which part of the title they were not sure, probably on the clause ‘many views’, that is, ‘various regards’. It seems that Valens here presents different views on this topical place, views of the other authors, or he just speaks about the manifold meanings of this place.

9K; 10P.

Greek Title (Kroll): Δεύτερος τόπος.

Transliteration: Deuteros topos.

Greek Titke (Pingree): Δυτικός τόπος.

Transliteration: Dutikos topos.

Riley: The <VII> Place of the Descendant.

Schmidt: The Setting Place.

Comments: Kroll’s ‘deuteros’ with meaning ‘second’ is an error. Pingree’s edition has ‘dutikos’ with meaning ‘western’ or ‘setting’ in adjective form, or ‘westerner’ in noun form. It is used in astrology for the 7th topical place/sign from the ascendant.

10K; 11P.

Greek Title: Ἕκτος τόπος Ἄρεως.

Transliteration: Hektos topos Areōs.

Riley: The VI Place. The Place of Mars.

Schmidt: The Sixth Place of Ares.

Comments: Hektos stands for ‘sixth’. Areōs is gen sg of Arēs which is Greek name for planet Mars.

11K; 12P.

Greek Title: Πέμπτος τόπος· πολλαὶ θεωορίαι.

Transliteration: Pemptos topos. Pollai Theōriai.

Riley:  The V Place. Many Theorems.

Schmidt: The Fifth Place – Many Regards.

Comments: Pemptos is ‘fifth’. Topos, pollai and theōrai we already examined in the above chapters.

12K; 13P

Greek Title: Τέταρτον ὑπόγειον.

Transliteration: Tetarton hupogeion.

Riley: The IV Place—Lower Midheaven.

Schmidt: The Fourth, Subterraneous Place.

Comments: Tetarton, from tetartos, means ‘fourth’; and hupogeion is acc from hupogeios with meaning ‘underground’, ‘subterraneous, ‘under the earth’, ‘the nadir’ etc. Astrologically it refers to what we today know as IC.

13K; 14P.

Greek Title: Τρίτος τόπος Θεᾶς Σελήνης.

Transliteration: Tritos topos Theas Selēnēs.

Riley: The III Place. The Place of the Goddess Moon.

Schmidt: The Third Place of the Goddess of the Moon.

Comments: Tritos is ordinal adjective with meaning ‘third’, topos is place. Theas is gen sg of the noun Thea with meaning Goddess. Selēnēs is gen sg of Selēnē which is the Greek name for the Moon.

14K; 15P

Greek Title: Δεύτερος τόπος καλεῖται Ἅιδου πύλη.

Transliteration: Deuteros topos kaleitai Haidou pulē.

Riley: The II Place, Called the Gate of Hades. The Place Rising After the Ascendant.

Schmidt: The Second Place – Called the Gate of Hades.

Comments: Deuteros is ordinal adjective meaning ‘second’.  Kaleitai is present indicative middle or passive of ‘kaleō’ to call or I call.

Haidou is genitive singular  of  Haidēs the place of the departed spirits, the grave, death, etc. This word is very pregnant with meanings, mythology and philosophy. Polē literally means ‘gate’, ‘door’, and in mythology is often used alongside Hades as here. πύλαι Ἀΐδαο the gates of the nether world.

15K; 16P.

Greek Title: Τόπων ὀνομασίαι ἐννέα.

Transliteration: Topōn onomasiai ennea.

Riley:  Nine Names of the Places.

Schmidt: Names of the Places.

Comments: Pingree puts ‘ennea’ in parenthesis. Ennea means nine and I think this is why Schmidt didn’t translate that word because there are no 9 Places but 12. Onomasia is name and onomasiai is plural. So I agree with Schmidt with his intention not put ennea (nine) in this title.

16K; 17P.

Greek Title: Τριγωνικαὶ ἀστέρων διακρίσεις πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν ἤ δυστυχίαν· τριγωνικὰ καὶ ἐξαγωνικὰ καὶ διαμετρικὰ σχήματα.

Transliteration: Trigōnikai asterōn diakriseis pros eudaimonian e dustuchian trigōnika kai eksagōnika kai diametrika schēmata.

Riley: The Trine Influences of the Stars on Prosperity or Poverty. The Configurations of  Trine, Sextile, and Opposition.

Schmidt: 17. Triangular Judgments of the Stars in Relation to Happiness or Misfortune – Triagonal and Hexagonal and Diametrical Figures.

Comments: Trigōnikai is plural of trigōnikos with meaning triangular. Asterōn is gen pl of astēr with meaning a star (planet).
Diakriseis which is a plural form of the noun diakrisis is a word used in judicial sense with meaning ‘judicial decision‘. It is also a word used for discrimination, interpretation, diagnosis, etc. Pros is preposition with meaning ‘in relation to’, ‘towards’, etc. It is often used with the accusative case pointing out to the object in the sentence. Eudiamonian is accusative case of eudaimonia with meaning prosperity, happiness, or good fortune. The conjunction ‘e’ means ‘or’. Dustuchian is accusative form of the noun dustuchia with meaning ill luck, ill fortune. Trigonika, eksagonika and diametrika refers to the aspects or figures (schema) of trigon (trine), hexagon (sextile) and opposition (diameter).

17K; 18P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπου τοῦ τῆς τύχης κλήρου (Kroll).

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou tou tēs tuchēs klērou.

Greek Title: Περὶ ὡροσκόπων <τοῦ> τῆς τύχης κλήρου (Pingree)

Transliteration: Peri hōroskopou tou tēs tuchēs klērou.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune as the Ascendant.

Schmidt: Concerning Hour-Markers of the Lot of Fortune.

Comments: Kroll has hōroskopu as gen sg of hōroskopos, and Pingree hōroskopōn as gen pl. Schmidt as always, follows Pingree. Riley’s translation is interesting because the word hōroskopos in the form of hōroskopeō is connotative of ‘mark by its rising the time’ or being in the ascendant as Liddel and Scott’s lexicon say. In that case hōroskopōn as participle of hōroskopeō may be connotative with the Riley’s translation and Pingree’s correction.

18K; 19P

Greek Title: Περὶ ὑψώματος Ἡλίου καὶ Σελήνης πρὸς εύδαιμονίαν.

Transliteration: Peri hupsōmatos Hēliou kai Selēnēs pros eudaimonian.

Riley: The Exaltation of the Sun and Moon. Their Effects on Prosperity.

Schmidt: Concerning the Exaltation of the Sun and Moon in Relation to Happiness.

Comments: Hupsōmatos is gen sg of the neuter noun hupsōma with meaning ‘elevation, height’. Astrologically refers to the sign in which planet has its Exaltation.

Eudaimonian is acc sg of the feminine noun eudaimonia, word very pregnant with philosophical meanings. Generally refers to happiness and prosperity in life. You can read more about this word and the concepts behind it on this Wikipedia entry.

19K; 20P

Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου τύχης kαὶ δαίμονος πρὸς εύδαιμονίαν καὶ ἀποτροπὴν πράξεων.

Transliteration: Peri klērou tuchēs daimonos pros eudaimonian kai apotropēn prakseōn.

Riley: The Lot of Fortune and Daimon. Their Influence on Prosperity and the Outcome  of Actions.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Fortune and of Spirit in Relation to Happiness and the Prevention of Actions.

Comments: klērou is gen sg of klēros (lot). Tuchēs is also gen sg of tuchē (fortune) and daimonos is gen sg of daimōn (spirit). Daimōn is one of the most meaningful words in Hellenistic ‘theosophy’. On most basic level simply means ‘god’ or ‘goddess’, or ‘deity’; but it also represents the power of the Deity, or the Divine Power. This is why Schmidt came out with the idea that the Lots represent the power of the Planets more visibly manifested in our daily lives. I plan to open separate entry for this word only in near future.  Another interesting word in our study here is apotropēn since both translators have translated it very differently. Apotropēn is acc sg of the feminine noun apotropē turning away, aversion. I don’t know why Riley translated it as ‘Outcome’.

20K; 21P

Greek Title: Περὶ <τοῦ ια΄> τόπου τῆς τύχες πρὸς εὐδαιμονίαν.

Transliteration: Peri <tou ia [iota + alpha + tonos]> topou tēs tuches pros eudaimonian.

Riley: The 11th Place <Relative to the Lot> of Fortune and its Influence on Prosperity.

Schmidt: Concerning the Place of Fortune in Relation to Happiness.

Comments: The iota + alpha + tonos given in an angle brackets in the Greek versions is how the Greeks represented the numbers. Iota representing the tenth and alpha the one, it gives the number 11. I don’t know why Schmidt didn’t translate this, knowing that the title would have had more sense knowing the subject of the chapter.

21K; 22P.

Greek Title: Τῶν προκειμένων κεφαλαίων ὑποδείγματα.

Transliteration: Tōn prokeimenōn kephalaiōn hupodeigmata.

Riley: Examples for the Preceding Chapters.

Schmidt: Illustrations of the Chapters Above.

Comments: Hupodeigmata is plural of the neuter noun hupodeigma with meaning ‘illustration’, ‘picture’. Kephalaiōn is gen pl of kephalaios with meaning ‘head’, ‘chief’, etc., but also means ‘chapter’ as a chapter in book, or summary of something previously said.

22K; 23P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἐνδόξων καὶ ἐπισήμων γενέσεων· τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ καὶ περὶ ἀδοξων καὶ ἐκπιπτόντων.

Transliteration: Peri endoksōn kai episēmōn geneseōn, to de auto kai peri adoksōn kai ekpitontōn.

Riley: Notable and Distinguished Nativities. Also Ignoble and Debased Nativities.

Schmidt: Concerning Estimable and Notable Nativities, and, with the Same Considerations, Concerning Disreputable Nativities and Those That Come to Naught.

Comment: Endoksōn is gen pl of endoksos held in esteem or honor, of high repute.
Episēmōn is also gen pl of episēmon distinguishing mark, those people who are notable or remarkable. Geneseōn is gen pl of genesis which is the Greek name for the nativity or birth chart. Adoksōn is gen pl of adoksos inglorious, disreputable.

23K;24P.

Greek Title: Περὶ κλήρου δάνους.

Transliteration: Peri klērou danous.

Riley: The Lot of Debt.

Schmidt: Concerning the Lot of Debt.

Comments: Danous is gen sg of neuter noun danos with meaning loan, debt.

24K; 25P.

Greek Title: Κλῆρος κλοπῆς.

Transliteration: Klēros klopēs.

Riley: The Lot of Theft.

Schmidt: The Lot of Theft.

Comments: Klopēs is gen sg of the noun klopē with meaning theft.

25K; 26P.

Greek Title: Κλῆρος ἑνέδρας.

Transliteration: Klēros enedras.

Riley: The Lot of Deceit.

Schmidt: The Lot of Treachery.

Comment: Enedra is word for trickery, treachery, deception, etc.
Riley found it necessary to add a subtitle in this chapter which reads as “Ignoble and Debased Nativities” that is not implemented neither in Kroll nor in Pingree. Since the theme of Lot of Deceit or Treachery brakes off suddenly and Valens speaks about totally different subject, I think that Riley did good with separating the text with a separate subtitle.

26K; 27P

Greek Title: Τῶν προκειμένων τόπων ὑποδείγματα.

Transliteration: Tōn prokeimenōn topōn hupodeigmata.

Riley: Examples of the Previously Mentioned Places.

Schmidt: Illustrations of the Above Places.

27K; 28P

Greek Title: Περὶ χρόνων ἐμπράκτων καὶ ἀπράκτων καὶ ζωῆς τοῦ ἐκ τῶν κέντρων καὶ ἐπαναφορῶν.

Transliteration: Peri chronōn empraktōn kai apraktōn kai zōēs tou ek tōn kentrōn kai epanaphorōn.

Riley: Propitious and Impropitious Periods. The Length of Life Calculated from the Angles  and the Signs Following the Angles.

Schmidt: Concerning the Propitious and Unpropitious Times of Life from the Pivot Points and the Post-Ascensions.

Comments: Empraktōn is gen pl of empraktos within one’s power to do, effective, active.
Apraktōn is also gen pl of apraktos unprofitable, when no business is done, holidays, restful, period of inaction, etc. We can easily notice the root praksis (doing business, action) here. Chronōn is gen pl of chronos, time. Zōēs is gen sg of zōē with meaning life, existence. Kentrōn is gen pl of kentron, angle (Schmidt: Pivot). Epanaphorōn is gen pl of epanaphora, referring to the signs following the angles. Probably Riley should have put ‘calculated’ in parenthesis if he was about to follow the Greek title.

28K;29P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀποδημίας ἐκ τῶν Ἑρμίππου.

Transliteration: Peri apodēmias ek tōn Hermippou.

Riley: Travel, from Hermippos.

Schmidt: On Being Away from Home, from the [Writings] of Hermippus.

Comments: Concerning the name ‘Hermippus’ Schmidt adds this comment to his translation: “Presumably an astrologer by that name, although there is an extant Byzantine dialog between a Christian and an astrologer with that title”.

The noun apodēmia literally means ‘going/being abroad’, ‘life in a foreign land’.

29K;30P.

Greek Title: Περὶ ἀποδημίας

Transliteration: Peri apodēmias.

Riley: Travel.

Schmidt: Concerning Being Away From Home.

Critodemus on Violent Death

There exists a fragment compiled in CCAG (catalogus codicum astrologorum graecorum) from the pre-Valens astrologer by name Critodemus who Valens quotes in his Anthology. The fragment is on violent deaths and which factors in the chart are causers of violent death. The chapter also contains the principles for examination of the manner of death.

Here I will make a list of these pointers, using the original Greek text found in CCAG 8, 4 and Schmidt’s translation of the chapter named “General Figures of Violent Death” found in the book-compilation: ‘The astrological record of the early sages in Greek’. After giving the list, I will give an example of violent death.

  1. Calculate the Lot of Destroyer (Asc + Moon – Lord of Ascendant reverse by night)
  2. When Moon sees the Lot of Destroyer, causes violent deaths.
  3. It is worse if the Moon is in sign with limbs cut-off.
    [this is a controversial topic as to which of the signs are with limbs cut-off? This is obviously related to the constalletional images of the corresponding signs, but the list varies from author to author. Schoener lists Aries, Taurus, Leo and Pisces, of which Leo appears to be without the limbs cut off. So, I suggest to skip this one, but just have it in mind for your own edification].
  4. When the Lord of the prenatal lunation is in aversion to the sign of the prenatal lunation, AND it is contemplated [regarded] by malefics.
  5. When the prenatal lunation is regarded only by malefics.
  6. The first triplicity lord of IC  or the 4th whole-sign house, is in bad house and is regarded by malefics without intervention of Jupiter and Venus.
  7. Find the Lot of Death (Asc + 8th Whole Sign – Moon by day and night without reversing).
  8. Examine the planets regarding the Lot. If only malefic/s regards it, it causes violent deaths.
  9. Moon enclosed in a sign with Saturn and Mars, causes violent deaths.
  10. Mercury when distant 24° from the Sun, causes violent death, Venus does this when distant 28° from the Sun.
  11. Examine the 3rd, 7th and 40th day of the Moon. When 40th day of the Moon should be found with malefics, causes violent death.
  12. Look at the Nodes. When Ascending Node is in the 8th Place, with Mars, Saturn and Mercury regarding it, causes violent death. In such cases, either native’s head is cut off, or they are impaled. If Sun testifies, these nativities are wounded in the eyes or the feet.
  13. Descending Node in 8th Place with Jupiter, Venus and Mars there, causes violent deaths, those whose head is cut off.
  14. Lord of Lot of Fortune and Lord of 8th are opposite each other, they cause violent death.
  15. Mercury opposing the Whole Moon and contemplated by malefics causes violent death.
  16. Moon in 4th in sign of Mars, without benefic planets regarding, causes violent deaths.

Manner and Places of death

–          Look at the bound (term) lord of the 7th whole sign. If it is malefic and under the Sun’s beams, it causes death by guile and treachery.

–          And if it is out of Sun’s beams, signifies those who are put to death openly.

–          If this bound lord is malefic and stationing or ascending, it destroys with injuries, drugs and wounds.

–          If this bound lord is in signs of human shape, and contemplated by malefics, it causes death from men.

–          If in watery signs, from water.

–          If in signs of animal shape, from animals or heights.

–          Saturn ruling the 8th house and witnessing it and benefics do not intervene, death by water. And if Saturn is in watery sign, in rivers or seas, but if in earth-like sign, on mountain or desert.

–          Sun as Lord of 8th house and in someone else’s sign, while Sun and 8th being afflicted, gives death from heights.

–          Mars ruling the 8th house (read whole sign, or Place) and the 8th house afflicted, gives death by robbers, beasts or enemies. But if Mars is witnessed by the Sun, gives death from crucifixion by the people or multitude, or kings or decapitation or making them to fight with animals.

–          Venus as Lord of 8th and she and 8th place afflicted without Jupiter intervening, gives death from women or too mooch vine.

–          Mercury as Lord of 8th place and it and 8th afflicted, gives death from slaves or writings.

–          Jupiter as Lord of 8th and afflicted alongside the 8th, gives death by kings and leaders.

–          Lord of 8th not looking at the place (in aversion) and in someone else’s sign, gives death in foreign land. And if it looks at that place and is in its own place, trigon or exaltation, these things will happen in his own fatherland.

–          Benefics only contemplating the 8th Place, without Mars and Saturn, they cause pleasant death.

Example

I will now give an example of how to use these rules. I will examine the natal chart of Sharon Tate.

The procedure of examining natal chart with a set of rules, is that one of collecting testimonies for y/n. The more testimonies in one direction, more assurance will give for the definitive judgment of the astrologer.

Let’s start with examining the rules.

Image

1. First calculate the Lot of Destroyer with the algorithm given above. Sharon’s Lot of Destroyer is found on Ascendant.

2. Moon sees the Lot of Destroyer which in this case happens to rule. Even though she rules the Lot, we will follow the rules given even though I am not sure if in this case Moon would indicate this [violent death]. (y)

3. Moon is not in the signs with limbs cut-off on the list above. (n)

4. Prenatal lunation is Full Moon in 0° Cancer. Moon is not in aversion, but it is contemplated by malefics. (y/n/)

5. Prenatal lunation (in the natal chart?) is not regarded only by malefics. Jupiter is here. (n)

6. First triplicity lord of 4th is Venus in bad place (8th) and without contemplation of Jupiter – the other benefic.  (y)

7. Find the Lot of Death using the 8th sign instead of the cusp of 8th house division. Sharon’s Lot of Death is in Sagittarius.

8. Only malefics are regarding the Lot. Mars is with the Lot and Saturn is regarding it from opposition. Remember that the Pivots (angular signs) from some place are most energetic. Jupiter is in aversion and Venus is too weak to help. (big Y)

9. Moon is not enclosed in a sign with the Malefics on both sides, but she is kind of enclosed tetragonally by the two malefics, Saturn is in superior square and Mars in inferior square. Saturn is Lord of 8th, so Lord of Death is in superior square to the Lord of Life (Moon ruling ascendant). (Y)

10. Mercury is not 24° distant from the Sun and Venus is not 28° distant from the Sun. (N)

11. Approximation in calculating the 3rd, 7th and 40th day of the Moon is the following. On the 3rd day, Moon is in the sign next to that in which she falls in natal. On the 7th day she is in the sign in square to the one in the birth chart. On the 40th day she is in opposition to the sign in which she is found in natal chart.
On the 7th day, Moon being found in Sagittarius, is hurt by natal Mars and Saturn, and by Saturn in that chart of the 7th day. Mars already ingresses in the next sign.
On the 40th day, Moon being in Pisces, is in square to Saturn and Mars in natal, and in square to transiting Saturn, Moon is being combusted under the Sun’s beams. (Y)

12/13 Descending Node is in 8th Place with Venus, Sun and Mercury, contemplated by Mars and Saturn (Y).

14. Lord of Lot of Fortune and Lot of 8th is one = Saturn. (N)

15. Mercury does not oppose Whole Moon. (N)

16. Moon is not in the 4th sign. (N)

We have several big ‘Yes’ here, and bear in mind that some indications are more powerful then the others, so the likelihood that she would die violent death is rising in percentage. Critodemus doesn’t mentions here, but in the chapter in Anthology, where Valens examines violent deaths, chapter which is based on some of these rules, he continuously notices Moon in 8th sign from Fortune in nativities who died with violent death. Sharon has Moon in 8th from Fortune.

Examining the manner of death, we would notice that the bound lord of the 7th place is Mercury, found in the 8th place of death, under the Sun’s beams and in a sign of a human shape (Aquarius). This gives indication that the native would die violent death caused by men, which was the case, she died by the knife of the Manson’s women.
Critodemus says that the native would die due to treachery or guile if the bound lord is placed under the Sun’s beams. Guile and Treachery are natural significations of Mercury, and in a way she died because of a guile of Mercurial type. I mean, the guile of fate, to put it in this way. Namely, Manson’s family didn’t go in that house to kill Sharon Tate, they didn’t know which celebrity is receding in that house, their aim was about to kill a celebrity, no matter who that celebrity would be. The house was often rented by celebrities, and in this period of time it happened to be rented by Sharon and her husband – the famous Roman Polanski who was traveling in this time, while Sharon was in the house with her friends. This was pretty much of an ill fate for Sharon and she was at the wrong place at a wrong time. The death indicated by the bound lord of 7th Place being under the beams of the Sun, would probably give indications of the ‘secret’ death in her home. That is, the death was not public, was not on the city square or something.

As you can see, these rules given by the ancient sages are relevant and used by skillful astrologer can give indications for the type of death of the person whose chart is under examination.

Disclaimer: One should not predict death if one doesn’t know what is doing here. The time of death, and the manner of death should be predicted if only the person who is interested in doing this for their own chart, is knowing the consequences of such an analysis and is fully capable of receiving the answer which the astrologer would provide. Astrologer should always bare in mind that while Astrology is a true Art, astrologer can err and such an err can cause a despair in someone’s life. So, be careful whenever you are analyzing the time and manner of death in prediction. While exercising the techniques of a person who is already dead, in hindsight is not probably as harmful, predicting death publicly for a person be it unknown or someone who is celebrity, is a sign of a lack of wisdom.

Forecasting death through Descendant

“..ὅταν δὲ περὶ θανατικῶν ἢ μεταβολῆς ἢ σκυλμῶν, ἀπὸ τοῦ δυτικοῦ”
[transliteration: ‘hotan de peri thanatikōn hē metabolēs hē skulmōn, apo tu dutiku’]
{translation: ..for [matters] concerning death or change or trouble, [forecast] from Descendant}.

This is from Book IV of Valens where he speaks about the transmissions or the ‘profections’ as we know them today.
He says that transmissions starting from Descendant are pertaining to times relating to danger, troubles, death.
It is interesting that rarely people today connect the setting place with death, but Hellenistic astrologers did connect the setting place with death. The same regard to this place is still holding practical value in Hindu astrology today. They call 2nd and 7th Place – Maraka Sthana or death afflicting place, and the time-lordship of the lord of Maraka Sthana is considered to bring the time of death. For example, when Lord of 7th rules the Dasha period, if all things are equal, this lord can cause death.
I think we should re-examine this place and ponder more on the original doctrines of the Hellenistic astrologers and try to use them in our practice. Look for the profection of Descendant over critical places, or sensitive points profecting to descendant, but since this will repeat in 12 years interval, look for repetition of testimonies in other time-lord techniques.

As an exemplification of the previous quote, let us check the chart of Jackie Kennedy. She died on 19 May 1994 when was 64 years old.

Image
The profections of the Ascendant in her 65th year of life, or 64th birthday, are to the 5th sign Pisces. Now we move all places 5 signs forward. The death-indicating place (Descendant) moves to 11th sign Virgo where Mars is positioned. Mars is Lord of Ascendant and hence the profection of Descendant to Mars is highly sensitive, since Mars is determined toward rulership of the overall disposition of the native: body, soul, character, life. This is one indication of dangerous period, especially because Mars as natural malefic, from 11th is in opposition to the profected ascendant in Pisces. Saturn is in a Pivot from profected ascendant and is overcoming [being in 10th sign from it] the profected ascendant. Remember that Pivots (angular signs from) are very important in any case study. So, we can expect dangerous year, but we could not announce danger to life yet, it is too soon from these testimonies only.

Now we would use some long-term time lord technique like Decennials. On the right side of the screen, you can notice that in 1993, Jackie entered Mercury Decennials period on major level and this is problematic due to the reasons that Mercury rules the 8th – also place of death. Mercury rules the months also, Moon the days and Sun the hours. We can see here how the Lord of the Place indicating Death (8th), is distributing to itself, to Moon and Sun. Moon and Sun are the source of life, so the Lord of Death by virtue of ruling the 8th, is handing over to the Lords of Life naturally. Moon is the body and Sun the Life itself, the organ of mental perception, of consciousness if you like.

In the month of her death, Saturn already made an ingress to the sign of profected Ascendant (Pisces), which makes this period of time really dangerous to her life, because Ascendant and its profections represent the length of life (according to Valens again) and both malefic is transiting it. Profected Ascendant is the Esse (being) of the native for that particular year, or the disposition of her body and soul if you like. We can see from all this that the times are dangerous to her body and life.

The word Ousia in Valens’ Anthologies

Each star is the ruler of its own essence (OUSIAS) for its sympathies and antipathies and mutual feelings in relation to the cosmos, and they have the authority for their commixtures with one another in accordance with application, separation, superiority, containment, spear-bearing, hurling of rays, and approaching of the masters.
(Vettius Valens – Anthology, book I, p.7, translated by Robert Schmidt, The Golden Hind Press, 1993).

Each star is the ruler of its own “element” (OUSIAS) in the universe with reference to <the stars’> sympathy or  antipathy or mutual influence. Their <aspects> are blended according the their “applications”or  “separations,”their “superior aspects”or “blockages,”their “attendance,”their “ray-shooting,”or the  “approach”of their masters. (Vettius Valens – Anthologies, Book I, p.2, translated by Mark T. Riley).

The word Ousia has very interesting history of translation and usage. There existed manly two translations of this word into Latin: essentia and substantia. In 4th century AD, Augustine was arguing that the word essentia as usually translated into English with participle “being-ness” should be used only for God because He only has the fullness of the being of which the word essentia refers or may refer. For all other individual beings, the word substantia need to be used. Boethius after Augustine accepted substantia as translation of ousia and from there everything went on the same path, every later author used this translation because the earlier author used it (Sachs).

Martin Heidegger was probably the first one who pointed out that the word substance is bad translation for the word ousia. He argued that the word ousia means Being and not substance. Joe Sachs finally made a translation of this word with thinghood;thinghood of things in the world is never reducible in our speech to any combination of qualities, quantities, relations, actions, and so on: that ousia or thinghood must be a separate category”(Sachs).[i] In other words, the thinghood of a thing is what makes that thing a thing, the cat-ness of a cat, dog-ness of a dog, the being-ness of the being.

This is the understanding of the ontology in Plato and especially Aristotle’s writings, but what kind of importance this inquiry into the ontological meaning of ousia has for our purpose of getting closer to Valens? My aim for understanding Valens is not only of an astrological background, I want to understand Valens’ world view, his cosmos, and his philosophy. I am aware that the time in which he lived is quite a syncretic one. This is the time when many gnostic schools, many hermetica and mystery schools emerged, and many binding of philosophies also. This is why getting closer to his mind is quite a difficult task.
He was highly read man, this is obvious by the many astrological and literature (in general) references he gives in Anthologies. This is why I am enthusiastic to read everything possible from that period and earlier, to try to get into the mind of those people who lived back then, who had the desire for knowledge, who had the curious mind to investigate and to what they had in disposal for this task.

Let’s get back to investigating the word ousia. Ousia is feminine present participle of εἶναι (to be) and is equivalent to the English word being or being-ness. Before Plato, the word “ontos’ was in usage to represent “really”, “actually”, “in fact”. Plato (?) coined the term ousia from the stem ont – plus the abstract noun ending – sia.[ii]

Heidegger in his Introduction to Metaphysics, approaches the problem of Being through the grammatics of the same. The word Being has as a precursor the infinitive form ‘to be’. This form of the verb is then transformed into substantive. “The character of our word Being, as a word, is determined, accordingly, by three grammatical forms: verb, infinitive, and substantive. Thus our first task is to understand the meaning of these grammatical forms”.[iii] The point Heidegger makes here, and why he goes into many details investigating the grammar of certain term is to investigate that which comes first: the noun (substantive) or the verb, a ‘pseudo-question’ as Heidegger points out, much discussed in the linguistics.

Of the ancient philosophers, Parmenides (early 5th century BCE) was one of the most interested in investigating the being. Einai is the infinitive verb translated into English as ‘to be’. The present participle of einai is to on, or in Parmenides’ dialect to eon. For Parmenides, the being (to on) is timeless, changeless and all talks about it is ‘opinion’ (doxa) and not the truth about the ‘being’.[iv]

Getting out from this little digression, let us now get back to Valens’ passage.
Schmidt has translated the word ousia (which at Valens, is given in its singular genitive form ousias) with the English word “essence”, and Riley with the English word “element”. Could we apply Sachs’ translation of ousia in this context as thinghood: “each star is the ruler of its own thinghood”?

Now Schmidt translated the whole sentence somewhat differently then Riley:
Schmidt: Each star is the ruler of its own essence for its sympathies and antipathies and mutual feelings in relation to the cosmos.
Riley: Each star is the ruler of its own “element” in the universe with reference to <the stars’> sympathy or antipathy or mutual influence.

The Greek word used here for cosmos/universe is κοσμος in accusative singular κοσμον.
The word Κυριος is used for Lord/Master:
Each star is the master [the one who has supremacy over] for its own thinghood in the cosmos”..
for its sympathies and antipathies and mutual feelings/influence, and they have the authority for their commixtures with one another [their aspects are blended] in accordance with application, separation, superiority [superior aspects], containment, spear-bearing, hurling of rays, and approaching of the [their] masters..”

And then Valens gives explanation of that thinghood for every separate planet:

The Moon is set down as ruler of foresight (pronoia, providence),  the Sun of light, Kronos of ignorance and necessity (ananke), Zeus of opinion and crowns of office and will (prothumia), the star of Ares of action and troubles, the star of Aphrodite of love and desire and beauty, and the star of Hermes of law and custom and fidelity. Which very stars, [if they are dispensers] of their own effects… [here lacuna exist in the original text]. (Schmidt)

We can see here that every planet has its own thinghood (ousia).
Every stars dispenses its own effects (apotelesmata) produced by their own thinghood (ousia). That is, their effects are produced by what they are, what is their thinghood IN the Cosmos, or the ‘Cosmic Soul’. So, Moon by its thinghood in the Cosmic Soul produces effects of pronoia, providence; Sun of light, Kronos of ignorance, etc.

The point is, or at least how I understood this passage, that every planet has its own being-ness, its own ‘to be’ (to on), its own thinghood in the Cosmic Soul, as in matter of fact all things have, and they produce their own individual effects (apotelesma/αποτελέσμα) which are, as Valens says, comixtured by the configurations with the other planets and which (effects) emerge in human life or the events that happen in this sub-lunar or human level of the Cosmos.

But question arises here, how can something be ruler or master of its own something-ness? The thing is the thing itself. I am a being, I am not a ruler of my being, I am just as I am – a being and I exist in the thinghood of my being-ness. Why to say I am a master of my thinghood? Does Valens wants to point out here that the planets are masters of the properties of their own thinghood, or the apotelesma/effects/outcomes of the thinghood? We should not make mistake that thinghood (ousia) and properties are one and the same. A being has properties, the dog can be black in color, the blackness is a property of that dog, but its thinghood is just being a dog. The dog is not a master of its own dog-ness. The dog simply IS.

I think that further investigation in this direction would be of high importance for understanding the cosmological and philosophical principles of our Art. This is why learning philosophy, sociology, history, are all necessary branches for dwelling deeper and deeper into the mind of our ancestors who practiced this Art and approached it practically but theoretically as well.

I will be investigating more of this in the future and will come back, hopefully, with more information of the subject. I am excited about learning these beautiful subjects, which are not only helping me to understand the whole subject of astrology, but also, helping me on a practical level for becoming better astrologer. Both instances are very important for me.


[i] Joe Sachs, Aristotle: Metaphysics, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosphy.

[ii] Anthony Preus, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Philosophy, Lanham, Scarecow Press, 2007 pp. 67-68.

[iii] Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics  New translation by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000, pp. 55-60 (notes omitted).

[iv] Anthony Preus, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Philosophy, Lanham, Scarecow Press, 2007 pp. 67-68.


Valens and Division of Places

There is a long lasting debate whether Hellenistic astrologers used Whole Sign house system in horoscopic delineations or they used divisions too. Most of the scholars nowadays agree that Hellenistic astrologers most likely used WS house system for topical delineations and they applied divisions, or dynamic house system for strength of a planet delineation or some other specific techniques like length of life delineation.

The Perso-Arabian astrologers who inherited the vast Hellenistic astrology tradition were also, most probably, not in consensus regarding this issue. Masha’allah most likely used WS for topics and Abu Ma’shar and Umar al-Ratabi used divisions. I use the words “most likely” since there is no consensus among today’s authorities, nor hard facts which would lead us to either direction to conclude regarding any particular author of the tradition (of the Late Antiquity) that he used WS or divisions. The examples they give are sparse and even though some very good pointers in them lead us to conclude that they used WS for topics, as we will see from this example from Valens, we no longer can be sure if this was really the case.

The argument which I will try to make with this example of Valens is also not 100% assertive for any kind of conclusions, but I really want to leave space and open mind for interpretation of the kind I am offering here. We all have our favorite house systems and even presumptions regarding this, which I don’t think would ever lead to any astrological convention and consensus regarding the problem. There will always be disagreements and quotations from different authors which would fill the gap of continuity in the system we follow. It is good to have this in mind before entering the explanation of Valens’ example.

In book V Valens continue the explanation of the Profections (transmissions) he began in Book IV. In book III he already gave his explanation of the divisions, something which we today call “Porphyry house division“. Many astrologers today agree that what Valens applied in that chapter is division of strength of planets and not of topics.

To make this exploration clearer I will add a brief explanation of what is the topical vs dynamic approach. The scholars and astrologers today who apply WS as topical approach, say that planet in 4th Sign, but in 3rd house division, will bear the significations, the topics of 4th house (parents, home, inheritance, heredity, etc) but the strength of the planet is weaker since it falls into the 3rd house division [falling from an angle]. Namely, that planet would bear the topics of 4th house, but because of its falling from an angle, the loudness of her significations in life would not be so straightforward as if the planet would have been in 4th division as well.
The second type of astrologers say that no matter if a planet is in 4th sign, if that planet is in 3rd division, that’s it, it will bear the topics and significations of 3rd house (siblings, neighbors, journeys, etc).
The third type of astrologers would mix both approaches. They would say that this planet has significations and topics, both: that of the 4th house of parents, home, etc; and that of 3rd house, that is, that of journeys, siblings, etc.

These are the 3 main groups regarding the house system approach.

The first type of astrologers make the arguments that in the beginnings of horoscopic astrology, the house system that was used was WS, and that the adding of divisions as topic significations is an aberration of the true horoscopic astrology practiced in the beginnings of this Art.

The third type of astrologers do not agree with this, they say that the divisional approach is not an aberration of the original doctrine but evolution and quite a good one, of the WS system, which is workable, logical and there is no err in using it as such.

The second group are most often modern astrologers. I haven’t seen traditional astrologer using such approach, without taking into account the placement by sign. This is why I neglect further discussing that approach in this post.
[Edit: I must admit that I have seen some very good astrologers who are using more of a medieval-Renaissance astrology in their practice, using this second approach with pretty good results].

Now, the question arises ‘are we sure that Hellenistic Astrologers did not use divisions for topic delienation?’.

As I said, I do not aim to answer this question here, since it is above my current familiarization of the subject; but I want to point out some sections in Valens which would make us re-consider our attitudes toward the subject, I hope.

In chapter 2 of Book III “The Significant Degrees of the Angles“, Valens gives, as I said, what we today know as the Porphyry house system of divisions. Valens says that he takes this from the book of certain Orion. He wants us to calculate the distance from AC to IC and divide that distance into 3 equal parts. The stars in the first division, from AC toward IC, would be powerful and operative (chrematistikhos), the second division will be average in operation, and the third division will be non-operative and also the stars there would be weak, wicked, base, bad (φαῦλον). The same goes for the divisions from the other angles.

It is clear that Valens here speaks about dynamic interpretation of a planet in certain division, since he speaks of strength.

But then in the end of the chapter Valens says:

It is necessary to calculate likewise from MC, and to consider the first third of the distance between angles as operative, the second third, following MC, as of average influence (thus it was called Good Daimon by the ancients), and the last third, up to the Ascendant, as afflicting and inoperative. The Places in opposition to these will have the same force. Orion expounded all this in his book. [Riley p.91]

We see here that Valens applies the name “Good Spirit” to the division also. This is a weak argument in regard of using the divisions as topics, but leaves open room for speculations.

Having said this, lets now move on to the book V.

In chapter 9. “The Reason Why The Same Results Do Not Happen at 12 Year Interval” Valens gives, what is most likely, his own birth chart and says how some things were not explainable by the method of transmission of planets through the places without considering the axis of IC-MC and its falling into 11-5 or 3-9 places for example.

Our situation is as complex: we must attend to our studies and come to the art of forecasting as if we were traveling by many roads. For many thousands of events happen to men, events which cannot be grasped through the use of one method or star, but through the use of many. Knowing that twelve Places are indicative for each nativity and that very many configurations can be derived from these Places and from the nature of the stars, we must observe the position of the angles and the interchange of the Places. Often two Places fall together in one sign, or a presumed angle really just preceeds the <true> angle. This also occurs with the events indicated by the Ascendant.

Valens here says that when, for example, the MC angle does not fall at the Peak Place (10th sign by counting), but in let’s say 9th sign, then the transmission of the stars (profections) should follow that route.

An example: Gemini in the Ascendant, MC in Aquarius when calculated by degree. This X Place includes the Places relevant to action, to rank, and to children. It also includes the Places of Foreign Lands and of the God, since it is found (when calculated by sign) in the IX Place from the Ascendant, and the transmission operative from places 4 and 5 signs apart acts from it to the Ascendant, while the transmission operative from places 9 and 10 signs apart acts from the Ascendant to it. In the same way the sign in opposition to Aquarius (Leo, which is IC) includes the Places relevant to buildings, estates, and parents, and the Places of the Goddess, brothers, and strangers; the transmission from places 3 and 4 signs apart acts from the Ascendant to it, while the transmission from places 10 and 11 signs apart acts from it to the Ascendant. Let the same calculation be made for the other signs, particularly for those of long rising time, because in those signs, MC would be sextile <to the Ascendant>. In short, if we calculate the Places and the distances between stars by degree <not just by sign>, we will not go astray.

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In this example Valens asks us to calculate the MC by degree. As we can see the MC falls in 9th sign and not in 10th which would be the Peak Point, or the 10th sign counting from ascendant. Now, Valens says to us that this MC in 9th sign would have BOTH significations: that of action, rank and children (10th) and that of foreign travels, God etc (9th). The transmissions (profections) from Asc to 9th sign and to the MC would bear BOTH significations, since in the first case we count by signs, and in the second case, we count by divisions! Try to count 9 by sign, starting from Asc being the first. You will come to 9th sign where MC falls. Now try to count 10 by counting not through signs, but through the divisions, you will again stop at 9th sign but 10th angle.
Now, I know that Valens applies this only for the angles and not for the other divisions, but, what if the commingling of the significations is also applicable for the other places? We see in the photo above that through Porphyry kind of divisions 5th division falls into the 4th sign, could we commingle both significations for that case? Valens advises us that we would not go astray if we calcualte the places by the degree! What if a planet is in 28°Virgo where 5th division falls? Can we apply it as having significations of BOTH topics of 4th and topics of 5th? Valens says to us that he was forced to apply the MC-9th (or MC – 11th) significations of commingling, since when doing transmissions he saw that some results are wrong, do not give the proper significations applied to them by the ordinary transmission. We will see in the next example he gives of his own horoscope, where he says that the person from the chart (most probably, himself) in that year when the transmissions reached the peak point, he went to foreign country, and this is most explainable if the transmissions are done not to the peak place but to the MC which falls into the 9th sign.

Since we are already here, let us move on to that example.

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An example: Mars, Ascendant in Virgo, moon in Scorpio at IC, MC in Taurus. It is necessary to investigate the 34th year. 34 divided by 12 gives 2, with a remainder of 10. The transmission can go from the moon to Mars, since they are both at angles, and from the Ascendant and Mars to Taurus (i.e. to MC). During this period the client worked abroad, was a friend of great men, was in mortal danger because of a woman, and suffered cuts and bleeding. Other transmissions were operative at this time, but they did not reveal the <particular> crisis.

We do know that Moon is at Scorpio, but we do not know exactly at what degree.
So for the sake of the example let us put it anywhere. The point Valens makes here is that he says that BOTH Mars and Moon are at angle. Now, Mars is in 1st sign and 1st division.
But the Moon is in 3rd sign and IC falls here. Now if we make the transmissions with the reminder of 10 and count it by sign, we would not arrive at Mars’s sign, but in the sign preceding Virgo, that is Leo. But, if we count by divisions, we would come from an angle to an angle, that is, from IC to AC where Mars falls. In the same manner, if we count 10 signs from Virgo and Mars we would not come to 9th sign and MC, but to the Peak Place at Gemini. But Valens says that this is not explainable, instead, using the transmission counting by divisions, would come to the 9th sign where MC falls. The “mortal danger because of woman” is most probably delineation of the transmission between Moon and Mars. “Worked abroad” for Mars, Ascendant-9th-10th transmission”, etc.
We have many questions opened here. I know that many would argue that what Valens meant here is applicable only for the angles and not for the intermediate divisions. I just want to point out the “why not” factor.
I was told by students of Zoller’s Diploma Course of Medieval Astrology that he used profecting by houses instead of signs, and that he was highly criticized for this usage, as not being “According to the tradition”.
Could we recognize an embryo of this approach in Valens’ Anthology?
The arguments for this are, as I said, not so strong, and the interpretation of these passages can go either way, but if we do not re-question often time our attitudes we hold toward the tradition of our Art, we could get stuck into the place of obduracy, inveteracy.
I do not set anything into stone here, just throwing some thoughts for reconsideration. 😉

Valens on Giving and Receiving

For the reason mentioned above, the Lot of Fortune and Daimon have great influence on undertakings and their outcomes.The former gives information about matters concerning the body and concerning the work of hands. Daimon and its ruler give information about spiritual and intellectual matters and about the activities of giving and receiving. It will be necessary to examine the places and the signs in which their houserulers are located and to correlate their natures, in order to learn the type of activity and fortune and the quality of activity <to be expected>. (Vettius Valens – Anthologies, translated by Riley Book II, 35. Bold letters are mine).

Today we hear from the new age-rs that one needs to give in order to receive, to let the universal flow of energy to flow through his being and to out-pour (some call it “out-flowing”) this to the people around him and (bla-bla-bla) etc.

You are supposed to imagine a ball of violet light and this is supposed to be this energy which you need to inhale into your body and to exhale out to the people around you.

These new age-rs think that they have outgrown the old wise people like Seneca & Co, “they were good, but not good enough to know the quantum wisdom of creating your life from the beginning to the end, everything is in your power, and hence you can give and receive according to the power of your mind and visualization. Nicola Tesla used this power of imagination, Albert Eisenstein, and now it is your turn to become great”. In short, “give me your money and I will tell you that you will become great”.

For Valens, even the giving and receiving was predicted in the natal chart. If you have a good, old malefic upon your Daimon (Spirit), in bad shape, you will have problems in this area of life and that’s it. You can visualize and imagine how everything is wonderful in your giving and receiving, but you will only get to sleep after that, I’m not sure if you will get something out of that.

What is Giving and Receiving? It is simple like the title, it is to be able to give and to be able to receive on balanced amount. These are polarities, so if one of the two predominates, problems aroused. You need to give and be able to receive, you need to receive and be able to give. You can’t have the one and underestimate the other. I mean, you can: but you’ll have problems.

Valens uses these words in 8 occasions throughout his Anthology. He says that Lot of Spirit is related to giving and receiving, Mercury, 2nd house and Venus.

Spirit and Mercury are related to the intellectual matters.Spirit is related to intellect, undertakings related to career and etc. Mercury similarly has to do with merchantry, business – works of that kind, and hence the giving and receiving related to Mercury too. 2nd house is also related to possessions and things needed for our livelihood, hence giving and receiving related to the 2nd. Venus is connected to giving and receiving, NOT because modern astrologers think that Venus represents money (Jupiter is natural significator of money) and values, BUT because Venus represents Gifts, and hence giving and receiving of gifts.

So, if some of these areas is impeded, the giving and receiving in that area will be particularly hardened.

As I said, Venus represents more a giving and receiving related to gifts, 2nd to possessions and money, Mercury to merchantry and business, and Daimon in all together. Daimon is the lot of the Sun – the Life Force and hence its special importance in our lives and our beings, especially in giving and receiving matters, because what is life if not balancing the amount of giving and receiving with other people?! Having impeded Daimon denotes that you’ll have problems in giving and receiving in greater part of your life activities: intellectual, career, substantial and etc. Valens calls it “the intellectual place”. In other words, it affects our Thinking, and how we think really matters, not because we can move mountains with our thoughts, but because this is how we gain perspective on things.

One of the most famous Stoics has interesting thoughts on the giving and receiving:

Among the many and diverse errors of those who live reckless and thoughtless lives, almost nothing that I can mention, excellent Liberalis, is more disgraceful than the fact that we do not know how either to give or to receive benefits.  For it follows that, if they are ill placed, they are ill acknowledged, and, when we complain of their not being returned, it is too late for they were lost at the time they were given.  Nor is it surprising that among all our many and great vices, none is so common as ingratitude.
(Lucius Annasus Seneca. Moral Essays. Translated by John W. Basore. The Loeb Classical Library. London: W. Heinemann,1928-1935. 3 vols.: Volume III.)

It is said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but once I was on a very interesting course were we were thought that in all interactions with people, whether they are business or private associations, balance of giving and receiving must to exist. If someone gives you a precious gift, you were supposed to contribute not necessary with money or substance, but with helping the person in some other way.

These people thought that greatest part of the problems in ones life is in the inappropriate amount of exchange, and if one learns how to contribute or compensate, then he will have less problems in life.

Sure, there is truth in this. But in my own experience, even though one knows all these things, and tries to practice them, some inner flow of destiny is pushing the person toward people with whom he will have an unfair amount of exchange (in the promised time of lfe), or the person from the other side will think that the amount is unfair, and yet again the natal promise of the birth chart is manifested.

What I’m saying here is that I’m of opinion that you can learn something, you can control your reactions, but again, the fate will bring you interactions with people with whom you will end having problems in matters related to exchange. This is something bigger, stronger then our knowing, and no matter how hard you try to get out of it, you will still get it. This is my observation of life through astrology,and I think Valens would agree with me, and indeed he does, when he says that even our taking bath is predetermined.

OK, back to the giving and receiving in Anthology.

It is particularly interested to analyze the original Greek words which Valens uses in his book.

Τε τας δοσεις χαι τας ληψεις (te tas dosis kaitas lipsis).

Δόση (dose) in singular, in modern Greek means “Dose” or “Installment”. It is a word used in healing matters, as to how much of a medicine the patient needs to receive. This is a noun which comes from the verb δίνω (dino = Give). In ancient times probably meant “the act of giving” or “the object of giving”.

Ληψεις (Lipsis = Acquisitions) in modern days, is a word often used for “Downloads” as downloads on your PC from internet. In modern greek there exist the compound word “δοσοληψία” (=transaction [dosolipsia]) from “δόση” and “λήψη”, which is most close to our examination of “giving and receiving”.

So this “giving and receiving”, or “givings and receivings” in plural, in Valens’ time was related to making transactions, not only of money, but also as an act of intellectual sharing, exchange of acquisitions, possessions and even gifts. As a “dose”, denotes how many or how much you will exchange and how much you will download, or receive from the other side.

Working Examples

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The givings and receivings of this person are related to Friends (Spirit in 11 sign) who are helping him in his career (MC is here). Most of his undertakings were related to foreign countries because the ruler of Spirit (Jupiter) is found in 9th sign, alongside Venus and Mercury. Jupiter is also ruler of 2nd.

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The givings and receivings of this person are related to his mother with whom he is particularly close. But he gains also from his father’s estate. The ruler of 4th of parents and of Spirit is in 5th in its own sign.

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The givings and receivings of this person were source of troubles with friends. Because Spirit is in 5th, and 5th is related to friends, and both malefics were found here. The inappropriate amount of giving and receiving (sometimes giving much more, sometimes receiving much more) were the source of quarrels with friends and co-workers, because both malefics also rule the 7th. Valens in describing Mars is telling us that he denotes “quarrels among friends.

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The givings and receivings of this person are related to foreign country, where she also found a rich man. Spirit was found in 9th with the Sun in its own domicile.
This person also get precious gifts from her paternal aunt, represented with Venus on MC in its own sign. She helped her to find career path and to succeed in life.
Venus is ruler of 6th (sister of her father), but also Moon as exalted ruler of 6th is found in 1st in its own decan, showing the affinity of her aunt toward her. Both these planets are showing the help from her aunt.

Conclusions

The acts of giving and receiving are cornerstone on which the people’s interactions are based. The greatest part of life problems have the act of giving or the act of receiving, or fair/unfair exchange as a basis. There exist many schools who think that by practicing this art of giving and receiving, and getting good at it, one can escape having problems of that sort in life. My position is that this can help, but not in a great measure. There exist fate, an underlying principle working beneath the human interactions. You can become better at it, but you can’t change what is promised. The problem is that we think that everything is in our control, when indeed, only our inner life is in our control, and we can collect and develop wisdom, we can develop the rational side of the mind and learn to act in more knowledgeable way, but we can’t change this underlying flow of energy which is called fate, and which exist in all our undertakings, all our relations. This is the same fate which the new age-rs think that they invented it and which you can change and shape according to your wishes. This flow of energy is called Fate, and it can be found in every little detail of our life. In the battle between Her and your Mind, you loose even before the match begins. Try to change it and you will roll the ball of Sisyphus up on the hill. I will leave you with a quote of the master Vettius Valens:

Some are fated to have unwanted experiences and to be unable to act as they desire. Some seem to be under the power of others; even though they are free, they are punished by a bad conscience. Some travel abroad or sail, and are held somewhere on an island or in deserted places, or they do service in temples or sacred places. (Riley, book V, p.96)

And the funny thing is that those who succeed are celebrating as their mind did it all, when in fact it was fated to happen, and they even didn’t knew that. There fore they look at  those who don’t succeed with disgust, as they were unable when in fact, for them it was not fated to succeed.

Sources

Vettius Valens – Anthologies, translated by Mark T. Riley.
Lucius Annasus Seneca. Moral Essays. Translated by John W. Basore. The Loeb Classical Library. London: W. Heinemann,1928-1935. 3 vols.: Volume III.

Which system of Operative Places did Valens used?

Valens used the system of King Nechepso.

That’s it?
I will explain why I think this to be so. I laughed very hard noticing how Valens plays games and make jokes with us (the readers) in the beginning of his Book III. People around me thought I’m watching some comedy movie and I was reading Valens instead!

Yes, the ancients were a jokers, like the one in Batmen. They were so cryptic in their writings which is sometimes very funny and very frustrating in the same time, knowing that some other laugh is waiting you around the corner after many nights spent in frustrating effort to understand some particular text.

Antiochus rapports to us that according to the King (Nechepso), the four angles and their post-ascensions are places conducive to business (chrematizo).
Riley translates this (chrematistikos) as “Operative” Place in his translation of Valens’ Anthology.

But it seems out that Antiochus follows certain Timaeus (which seems to be Dorotheus’ usage of Operative Places too) and use the four angles, 5th, 11th and 9th as operative.
Rhetorius follows Timaeus too, but Serapio follows the King.

It is logical. Valens speaks about certain Timaeus (if he is the same) with not so beautiful words:

Timaeus, Asclation, and many others have said the same. These men were carried away by the beauty of words and by reports of marvels, and
they did not produce works which fulfilled their promise, nor were these works completeand lucid, but rather they left their readers in the lurch many times and at all times were warped, begrudging, withdrawn, and deceptive. They never travelled oneroad, but they piled scheme on scheme and wrote
books which could be prosecuted because they are proofs of fraud, not of truth.
(Vettius Valens – Anthologies, Book IX, p.151, Riley trans.)

But he credited Nechepso with great honors calling him “divine” (same page 151).

Now we append the topic of propitious and impropitious times, about which the King and Petosiris spoke in riddles. (p.130)

But aren’t you the same, Mr. Valens – one of my favorite astrologers, speaking in riddles to us???
Was it so hard to tell us straight and clear which are those “operative places” of which King Nechepso speaks, just in the same way as Antiochus and Serapio wrote in their treatises?!

OK, let me explain you why I think that Valens uses the Nechepso’s system of places conducive to business (I’m not speaking in riddles, I just use ‘places conducive to business’ and ‘operative places’ as synonyms).

In book III, Valens will introduce a technique for calculating length of life, very similar to what we today call “primary directions in zodiaco”. But in the first chapter of book III he explains the aphetas and aphetic places, i.e. where the apheta (Sun or Moon) would be operative and where is not operative so we would be advised to use the other light, or horoskopos and midheaven if both are non-operative.

He advises us to use the light of the sect, but then he gives us a list of comparations of the lights in certain positions, and which light should we use as a “predominator”, or “apheta” (releaser).

The list in short goes on like this:

Sun in 1st / Moon in 12th = Sun wins
Sun in 11th / Moon in 10th = Sun wins
Sun in 7th / Moon in 8th = Sun wins
Sun in 8th / Moon in 7th = Sun wins (aha!)
Moon in 1st / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 2nd / Sun in 9th = Moon wins (aha!)
Moon in 10th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 11th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Sun in 4th / Moon in 9th = Sun wins
Sun in 5th / Moon in 9th = Sun wins
Moon in 5th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 9th / Sun in 9th = Horoskopos predominate.
But Valens, just say it: 9th is non-operative according to the system you use!

As we can see, Valens would use the Sun as apheta in 8th.
No big deal. He would also use the 2nd. No big deal.
Nechepso and Serapio used it. Maybe Antiochus too, since he clearly says that he knows about it.

So, no need to be cryptic uncle Valens, no need 🙂

Sources
Vettius Valens – Anthologies, translated by Mark T. Riley.
Vettius Valens – Anthology, book III, translated by Robert Schmidt (The Golden Hind Press, 1994).

The image is from the site sicb.info