The Troubles of a Certain Mr A & the Predictive Technique of Firdaria

In conjunction with other classical predictive techniques, the Firdaria is brilliant. Rather like the Dasha periods in Hindu astrology, the Firdaria assigns periods of our lives to various different planets in keeping with the Chaldean order of the planets as follows:


Continuing on with the case study of ‘a certain Mr A’  (28 June post), we learn that his current ‘daunting difficulties’ started to really manifest in 2010-2012 when he entered in his Saturn/Venus Firdaria.

Saturn is always ambitious, striving to bring achievement and success into our lives through hard work. Mr A’s Saturn is highly successful in this regard – being in its sign of rulership, Aquarius (and also in its own terms). Indeed when Mr A entered his Saturn Firdaria in 2004, I can only imagine that he really began to enjoy the fruits of his labours.

In the Saturn/Venus Firdaria, Saturn’s ambitions are funnelled through Venus, whose job is to provide money and/or relationships and self-worth. Because Venus (26 Aries) is in the terms of Saturn, she willingly provides all the help that she can to Saturn – but unfortunately because she is in detriment (or damaged), it should come as no surprise that she provides Mr A with a fiery (Aries) and damaging (Venus in Aries) relationship in connection with the place where he does all his hard work. I can only imagine how at this time, such a relationship fanned the fires of his own feelings of self-worth. I can also imagine that it might even have added to his status at work.

However in late 2016-2017, Mr A will experience his Jupiter/Mars Firdaria.

According to the Liber Hermetis, Jupiter in Aries (in sect and in good condition) suggests a ‘powerful leader’, a ‘victor in battle’, and a ‘trusted councillor’. This not only sounds fantastic but also worth all the hard work. However when we remember that all this bounty is to be funnelled through his Mars in Pisces (which in the earlier post we found suggestive of ‘working as a slave’, having ‘little regard for danger’, and throwing himself into ‘violent situations’ where he ‘looses his mind’ with the ‘excitement of it all’), we are not so optimistic.

When we further discover that his Mars in Pisces is in the terms of Venus in his natal chart, we have reason to fear that the fiery relationship forged during 2010-2012 will now come back to haunt him. This serious potential for disaster during this period is further highlighted by Jupiter (21 Aries) being in the terms of Mars.

Mr A would be well-advised to take action now to put damage control measures into place. Further, he should keep a watchful eye on avoiding ‘violent situations’ during which he might ‘lose his mind’ with the ‘excitement of it all’. If he fails to do so, then (as Robert Zoller suggests) that Venus in detriment ‘might have at first seemed to fulfil its promise’ but ‘then it will destroy what it has given’ (and more).

The troubles of a certain Mr A and idea of pre-destination

imagesDirecting by triplicity gives a quick and easy thumbnail sketch of one’s entire life.

The idea is to look at the main luminary and it’s three classical triplicity rules (by element) and examine not only their ‘condition’ use classical rules but also the areas of life they govern; the 1st triplicity ruler governs the first 1/3 of your life, the 2nd triplicity ruler governs the second 1/3 of your life and of course the 3rd triplicity ruler governs the final 1/3 of your life. There are no hard and fast rules regarding when one moves from one life phase to another but generally the first transition occurs around aged 30 years and the last transition about aged 60 years.

The following is a quick case study for a certain Mr A who, now in the second 1/3 of his life, has met up with some daunting difficulties which when using classical astrology, are all too apparent in his natal chart:

  • Triplicity ruler for the mid-part of Mr A’s life is Mars which is at 10 Pisces.
  • Mars is in the terms of Venus and out of sect, because it is in the hemisphere of the Sun rather than the Moon where it preferably belongs.
  • According to the Liber Hermetis, an out of sect Mars in Pisces will lead to being ‘subordinates of great men’. It also suggests that Mr A will ‘work as if a slave’ and will have ‘little regard for danger’, throwing himself into ‘violent situations’ where he ‘looses his mind’ with the ‘excitement of it all’.
  • According to the Liber Hermetis, Mars in the terms of Venus suggests that although he ‘will have many lovers and beautiful daughters’, Mr A will ‘lose money’ and ‘find it difficult to commit to a relationship’.

Now I realise that all of this sounds much too fatalistic to appeal to 21st century ideas of ‘freedom of choice’ and ‘psychological growth’. However it does indicate that at some level our lives are pre-destined and at the moment, I’m at a loss on how to suggest it might be otherwise.

Predicting with Medieval Astrological Techniques – Directing by Triplicity

Directing by triplicity gives a quick and easy thumbnail sketch of one’s entire life.

Look at the main luminary (if you were born at night, this is the moon and if you were born during the day, it’s the sun) and its 3 triplicity rulers and their condition in your chart. The first triplicity ruler covers roughly the first 3rd of your life – the 2nd triplicity ruler the second third and of course the 3rd triplicity ruler governs the last part of life.Unknown

Note that there are no hard and fast rules as to when you’re moving from one life phase to another – but usually by about aged 30 years of age you should be transitioning to the 2nd triplicity ruler and about aged 60 years you move into the last phase.

Note also that this method gives a sketch regarding the ‘self’ (i.e. how the native looks at the way his/her life progresses). If we wanted to look at his/her impact on the wider world instead of how he/she perceives herself then we would use the Lord of the Ascendant instead of the main luminary.

How this might work using Madonna’s chart:Celebrity0051

  • Diurnal chart = Sun as main luminary.
  • Sun in Leo = fire = triplicity rulers as follows: Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn
  • First 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by her Sun which is in Leo, it’s sign of rulership – EXCELLENT.
  • However this Sun is in the 12th house and so cadent – hence it loses power to make a significant impact on her environment.
  • Not only that but the Sun at 23 Leo does NOT plug into (i.e. make an aspect to) any of the angles in her chart (ASC/DSC or MC/IC) and hence has even more trouble producing real effect in Madonna’s life.
  • The Sun makes aspects to both Saturn and Jupiter but there is no reception so neither gives help to the Sun.
  • Further, the Sun is at the ‘bendings’ of the chart (i.e. in square aspect to the nodal axis – 24 AR/24 LI) and this puts the Sun under a good deal of stress in not a very helpful way. NOT SO GOOD.
  • Overall, this suggests that the 1st third of Madonna’s life is characterized by a good deal of show-man’s ship (Sun in Leo is the consummate actress) but not as much success as she might want. However according to the Liber Hermetis, the Sun in Leo (in sect and free from affliction) does suggest ‘the native is noble and rich, ‘generous and honoured by all’. PRETTY OK.
  • The 2nd 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by Jupiter at 26 LI in the 2nd
  • Although not in exaltation or rulership by sign, Jupiter is strong by Face and Term – it does PRETTY GOOD even if out of Sect – which according to the Liber Hermetis – ‘makes fortunate men, or those who have been decorated, those who lead constant lives or those who are high priests, or overseeing women, or protecting them’. Updating this to 21st century understanding – ‘those who benefit women or women issues or those who are connected to high profile positions that have a bit of glamour’. OK = THIS MAKES SENSE!.
  • The 3rd 1/3 of Madonna’s life is ruled by Saturn, which is retrograde in Sagittarius in the 4th house (home and family). Although Saturn neither rules, nor is exalted – nor in detriment nor fall in Sagittarius, we have a sense that it is not happy. Saturn likes to achieve things in a concrete sense and in Sagittarius, the focus is more philosophical than practical.
  • Also Saturn placed at 19 degrees 9 minutes of arc in Sagittarus just misses out being in its own face and terms – although this is not bad in and of itself, it is likely to reflect a sense that in later life Madonna narrowly fails to achieve all she wants to achieve. Being in Retrograde (moving backwards across the sky) does not help. This suggests a sense of wanting to return to former glories but being unable to do so and because this Saturn is not plugged into the angles, there is the added sense that she can no longer make the impact in the outer world that she might once have done. NOT SO GOOD.
  • Not only that but Saturn is out of Sect (not in the same hemisphere as the Sun) – The Liber Hermetis says this suggests errors of judgement, fear of failure, frustration, and the need to be overcontrolling. That focus on philosophy at the expense of practicality may well lead in Madonna’s view, to poor results. NOT SO GOOD.

IN SUMMARY – Madonna’s early life is likely to be the most successful in terms of her feeling like she is really expressing herself and achieving what she wishes to achieve. Later she will feel somewhat successful in having been of benefit to women and women’s issues – as she will have a achieved a high profile position that comes with a ‘bit of glamour’. In later life, she is likely to turn to more philosophical than practical concerns but this is not likely to give her the sense of contentment or achievement she seeks. Instead it is likely to breed a sense of frustration that in turn is likely to tempt her to be overcontrolling.

It’s going to be a Phlegmatic Couple of days

PhlegmaticWith the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Scorpio (cold/wet) it’s going to be a Phlegmatic couple of days.

You may recall that humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen – it’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. It’s not so much that the humour (in this bace Phlegm) causes the related temperament (in this case, Phlegmatic), but more that it in some way resides in it – pervading the whole of the surrounding energy – invading the whole of your perceived day.

Often we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the more balanced between the four humours – the better and so when we experience a humour/temperament in its pure form, it feels uncomfortably ‘out of control’.

The phlegmatic energy is, as you might expect with the Sun and Moon both in watery signs, wet and perhaps a bit dreary. This is because it is connected with the Jungian Function of ‘feeling’ and that suggests not only getting bogged down in your feelings but also your inability to access the opposite Jungian Function of ‘thinking’ and hence hence rationalise it all away.

Best advice when dealing with such energy is for the moment to take pesky feelings with a grain of salt – acknowledge them – and then pack them away until you feel more able to deal with them in a couple of days. There probably isn’t much you could do about them anyway because chances are, at the moment you’re feeling a bit dull in the sense of being ‘under the weather’.

Today is a Phlegmatic/Sanguine Day

humorsWith the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon moving into Libra (hot/wet), the next two days Phlegmatic/Sanguine days.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. The idea is that there are four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world with shared qualities resulting in certain physiological and psychological manifestations:

Fire Hot/dry Yellow Bile Choleric
Earth Cold/dry Black Bile Melancholic
Water Cold/wet Phlegm Phlegmatic
Air Hot/wet Blood Sanguin

It should come as little surprise that humoural theory found its way into astrology most notably with Ptolemy – and so the astrological sign Cancer is associated with Water (cold/wet) and Libra with Air (Hot/Wet).

In his 16th century translation of Galen’s Art of Physick, Nicholas Culpeper very helpfully complied descriptions of combined temperaments advising that the condition of the Phlegmatic/Sanguine is ‘so-so’neither very liberal nor very covetous not very idle nor much employed – neither very merry not very sad; rather more fearful than valiant.humor theory

So-so – neither this – nor that – sums up the prevailing energy of the day and this is because the Sun which is by nature hot/dry is now in the opposite – cold/wet and the Moon which is by nature cold/wet is now also out of sorts being hot/wet instead. For those familiar with astrology, you will know that Cancer and Libra are in square aspect with each other (90 degrees away) so today might rather feel like trying fit that square into a round hole – frustrating – but only so-so.

The Astrological Fortunes of Richard III

IShakespeare's Richard IIIn the times of William Shakespeare, the ‘stars’ were always a force with which men must reckon. There’s no doubt that in those days, the world was viewed as ‘fated’ – and whether this was a reflection of the ancient cosmos where the gods pulled all the strings or an inherent recognition of what Carl Jung would later posit about the covert operations of the unconscious, we will never know.

But we do know that the idea of ‘fate’ as shown in the ‘stars was woven oft through his work:

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,

Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky

Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull

Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.

(All’s Well that Ends Well, 1.1.209), Helena

Having just finished reading Shakespeare’s play Richard III, I wondered how Richard was ‘fated’ to stack up?180px-Richard_III_of_England

Ptolemy identified six levels of fame/success:

  1. Kings & Princes

Both luminaries in masculine signs and at least one of them to be found in an angle. This alone is pretty good. However – as well, they (both) be attended by a doryphory (including rays)  composed of all five planets – then this is REAL GOOD. In addition this rank is helped if the planets in the doryphories are also in the angles or configured with the MC.

  1. Chieftain

The Sun only masculine with the Moon feminine and only one of them in an angle. If both, however, have good doryphories as described above, then the person will reach chieftain level, with the power to judge life and death. NOTE – a good doryphory has  benefics in good shape or on angles (or ruling them).

  1. Governor or Commander

If the natal chart has the luminaries as for a Chieftain but the doryphories do not involve the angles, these people will not be invested with sovereignty, but will reach eminence.

  1. Civil Leader

If neither of the luminaries be in the angles, but both have good doryphories which are in the angles or ruling the angles, they will have a leadership role in their community. Councillor, President of a club, Mayor of a small town and so on.

  1. Undistinguished

If however, neither luminary is in an angle (Sun still masculine and Moon feminine), and the attending planets are not involved with the angles by placement or rulership, then the person will lead a humble life.

  1. Lowest Level

If neither luminary be found in a masculine sign, nor in an angle, nor attended by any benefics they will live lives of “quiet desperation” and obscurity.

Richard III

  1. Sun in Libra (in fall) in a masculine sign succedent in the 11th house – OK – but could be better – the 7th house Moon in Taurus is in a feminine sign but it is angular and exalted) so overall this is pretty OK.
  2. This might get him to Chieftain level if the doryphories of one or both of the luminaries is strong.
  3. The doryphory is an interesting technique focusing on the ‘retinue’ of helpers either of the two lights or luminaries (i.e. sun or moon) have in their ‘train’. The more planets in the retinue, the more helpers and if additionally those helpers were themselves strong the more help they could give. Imagine yourself a feudal lord trying to raise an army to fight a foe – the more rich/strong neighbours (i.e. able to raise their own armies) you have supporting your cause, the more likely you were to succeed.
  4. Note that when considering if a planet throws a ‘ray’ into the doryphory, benefics (Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and the Sun) can only do so by sextile or trine and the malefics (Saturn and Mars) can only do so by opposition or square.
  5. Richard III’s solar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his sun at 17 Libra) is as follows: Because the sun’s retinue PROCEEDS him, we look to other planets in either Libra (18 -30 degrees) or Scorpio:
    1. Saturn in Libra (exalted) and succedent
    2. Mercury in Scorpio
    3. Venus in Scorpio (in detriment) yet angular
    4. Jupiter in Aquarius (retrograde) throws a ray into Libra by trine
  6. Richard III’s lunar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his moon at 28 Taurus is as follows: Because the moon’s retinue FOLLOWS her, we look to planets either in Taurus (29-30 degrees Taurus) or Aries:
    1. Mars in Aries – strong by rulership but not angular
    2. Jupiter casts a ray into Aries by sextile
  7. A solar doryphory of four planets isn’t bad – but none of these four are in rulership by sign or term – and although Saturn is exalted, Venus is in detriment (alternative) – but she rules the DSC angle (Taurus). Mercury is reasonable shape and also rules the MC angle. Likewise Jupiter is in reasonable shape in Aquarius and rules the IC angle – so overall pretty good
  8. A lunar doryphory of only 2 planets is not so good – But that Mars is so powerful (albeit also retrograde) that it alone could win the day – not to mention that it is the chart ruler because Scorpio is rising. This means Mars rules this angle. Mars is further empowered by being in reception with the Sun (the Sun is exalted in Aries so that Sun in Libra- charming and strategic – gives all it has to Mars. Being retrograde does not impede its power but will effect the outcome in the sense that this power is never really under control.
  9. Overall, this gets Richard III to chieftain level – but not to King – and that shouldn’t be surprising because although he was crowned king, it was only because he killed off or pushed aside all others entitled to wear the crown. He held the throne for only two years before being toppled himself by Henry Tudor (who’d been smart enough to remain in France whilst Richard was bumping folks off), whose claim to the throne was much stronger.

Love’s Alchemy & the Alchemical Marriage

MercuryIn alchemy, the female mercurial principle symbolises the mutable aspect of natural processes, their fluidity and changeability.

Hence ‘he/she’ (Mercury is oft pictured as hermaphrodite) is known to alchemists as the White Queen.

According to Johannis de Monte Raphim (Deutsches Theatrum Chemicum, Nuremberg, 1728):

“The process laboratory-workers wanted to rule him (Mercurius) and force him into (the) process. But he constantly escapes, and if one thinks about him, he turns into thoughts, and if one passes judgment upon him, he is judgment itself.”

Mercury is prized by alchemists because, as the result of ‘his/her’ own divided nature, ‘he/she’ unites opposites. Keeping in mind that the alchemical process is all about separation, purification, and reunification, we begin to grasp the benefits of Mercury. Keeping in mind that Mercury is poisonous however, we can also begin to understand how (as Johannis de Monte Raphim warns us) it might all go terribly wrong.

Mercury = psychopomp = guide between the unconscious and the conscious.

The aim of the alchemical game is to bring up all the dross and impurities (as shown by your natal chart) to the surface (consciousness) so that you can deal with them. How else will you be able to assemble them, purified, back together again?

For example, the heroine of Love’s Alchemy, Judith Shakespeare, has a Mars/Saturn conjunction in the 12th house in Scorpio.

Mars/Saturn contacts are dangerously flammable:

Mars = passionalchemical symbols

Saturn = fear & inadequacy

Whilst her Mars/ Saturn contact operates unconsciously, Judith’s long-term personal relationships will be disastrous. Initially she is highly passionate (Mars). But as her Saturn kicks in (as it must with any form of commitment), she becomes increasingly cold toward her lover and potentially even violent.

Enter Mercury to facilitate the active dialogue and transference which is at the base of all therapeutic work.

With Mercury, Judith’s Saturn can help Mars become more considered and less impatient whilst her Mars can help her Saturn achieve his carefully conceived plans. It’s fairly obvious then that if Judith is to be successful in her alchemical transformation, she must find someone in whom she can confidently confide.

She and I are both hopeful that someone will be Master Francis, the character who is meant to play the King to her Queen.

Because Mercury, or the White Queen, is so fluid, she needs an active force to define and shapes her – this force is the male principle of sulphur known to alchemists as the Red King.White Queen

The union of Red King and White Queen is often called the alchemical marriage. In illustrations, it is depicted as courtship and sex. Sometimes they are garbed, as if just starting to be brought together, offering each other flowers. Sometimes they are naked, preparing for consummation of their marriage that will eventually lead to an allegorical offspring, that all important elixir, the Philosopher’s Stone.

Does Judith want to find the Philosopher’s Stone?

You bet!!

Will she be successful?

That remains to be seen.



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