Today and Tomorrow are Phlegmatic Days

With the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Pisces (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:

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

Often we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the more balanced between the four humours – the better but the bad news is that with this energy, there is no way to achieve balance.

The good news, however, is that this is not the cold shower as when we had Sun/Cancer – Moon/Scorpio combination. With Jupiter as the traditional ruler of Pisces, the water feels much different than with Scorpio, the traditional ruler of which is Mars.

As you might imagine the energy ruled by Mars is martial – or warlike. But unlike Mars in Aries (which it also ruPhlegmatic-Pictureles) where the energy is fiery and bright, the energy in Scorpio is dark and dangerous because water cools down fiesty Mars – hence the cold shower.

But now the Phlegmatic energy is different because instead of Mars, we have Jupiter involved – and his traditional astrological job is to bring worldly wealth and priestly wisdom.

Hence this is a moist, wet – dreamy kind of energy – the kind that is best used for learning great lessons and making pleasant plans.

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 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.


Making Money through the Part of Fortune – Case Study for Ms Y

part of fortuneBy special request, the following analysis for ability to make money for Ms Y:

In summary, to make lots of money you want:

  • One of the rulers (sign or term) of the Part of Fortune strong in the chart (by rulership or exaltation).
  • One of rulers in an angular house (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th) preferably conjunct the angle).
  • The primary ruler (strongest of the rulers) also making tight aspect to an angular Part of Fortune.
  • Another the rulers also making an aspect to the Part of Fortune.


  1. The Part of Fortune for Ms Y is 2 Cancer 37 = ASC – Sun + Moon by Day.
  2. The Moon rules 2 Cancer 37 by sign and Venus by term.
  3. In chart of Ms Y, Venus at 20 Taurus 48 is strong in rulership in Taurus. TICK (or at least at first it would appear) !
  4. Venus is conjunct Jupiter in Taurus and receives Jupiter as it is in the terms of Jupiter. Since it is the job of Jupiter to bring fame and riches, this is very Good. Note that Bonatti suggests that Venus in Jupiter’s terms will ‘marry someone from her own blood and will have many children and will be wealthy’.
  5. Venus however is out of Sect and also combust (within 8 degrees of arc with the Sun) – this is not good – and suggests that whilst trying to bring material pleasure to Ms Y, this Venus will often struggle – in other words – the finances of Ms Y will not be stable leaving her with times of dearth as well as plenty. Worse, however is that being combust will definitely inhibit/weaken the performance of Venus. Best that Ms Y not count her chickens before these eggs hatch.
  6. Venus is not angular so not a TICK there – however neither is it cadent so along with being plugged into the angles (Sextile to the MC at 22 Cancer) it is an effective force (for good or bad) in the life of Ms Y.
  7. Venus does not make any aspect to the Part of Fortune so no TICK there.
  8. The other ruler of the Part of Fortune is the Moon at 14 Aquarius in the 4th house in the terms of Jupiter.
  9. The Moon is Aquarius is not particularly happy. Neither is it particuarly unhappy. No TICK.
  10. The Moon is in an angular house (4th house) but not in the sign of the 4th house cusp – hence its angularity is called to question. No TICK.
  11. The Moon does plug into the angles (by trine to the ASC at 16 Libra) – so it is effective (for better or worse) in the life of Ms Y.
  12. The Moon takes no aspect to the Part of Fortune – hence no TICK there.
  13. The Almuten of Substance for Ms Y is Mars.
  14. Mars is high in the chart in Leo in the 10th It is questionable how angular it is (not being in the same sign as the 10th house) so that’s pretty good but it could be better. Mars is neither in rulership by sign nor term so not so good. However, it is not damaged either and is reasonably happy there. OK.
  15. Can Ms Y make pots of money? No.
  16. Can Ms Y make a good living? Yes – provided she takes precautions during times of plenty to make adequate provisions for leaner times. With Venus out of Sect and combust, her flow of finances will never be reliable or steady. Unfortunately her Almuten of Substance while not really hurting her, doesn’t exactly come to the rescue.wheel of fortune

Love’s Alchemy – Stage I – The Purification process or Calcinatio

Alchmey‘So as above then as below’ is a basic tenet of all occult work.

That inherently there is both good and bad in all things created is a tenet underlying the work of alchemists and Jungian psychologists alike.

Put these two tenets together, and you get an incredibly elegant step-by-step formula on how to create ‘gold’ from your unperfected self.

The heroine, Judith Shakespeare, of my new novel, Love’s Alchemy, has long been interested in both psychology and alchemy. Whilst still a teenager, she’d concluded that it was possible to change, perfect, and redeem  Picture 1herself by marrying psychology with alchemy through astrology.

Jung (himself a competent astrologer) believed that the ‘great work’ or magnum opus of alchemists was akin to the process he coined as individuation – whereby one deliberately works against the natural order of things to create the ‘Self’, an internal structure that will provide a ‘feeling of standing on solid ground, on a patch of inner eternity which even physical death cannot touch.’

The alchemists start with the elusive ‘first matter’, or Prima Materia in Latin. This is the most confusing concept in alchemy and even alchemists find it difficult to define it. Luckily, however, in regards to astrology determining the Prima Materia is easy; it’s your birth chart ! Like alchemists with their Prima Materia, your goal is to take each piece of your natal chart apart such that it can be purified, transformed, and reunited again into a perfect whole.

The first part of the process commences with the ‘Black Phase’ or Nigredo and the first stage of Nigredo is known as calcinatio.

Calcinatio is a fiery, burning process governed by Aries/Mars during which the dross is burned off to purify rather like the process during which diamonds are formed.

Psychologically, this is accomplished by frustrating your natural desires and passions (i.e. deliberating frustrating your EGO) so that you no longer are able to get your own way). It was never going to be easy to recognise (much less eliminate) your childish beliefs that everything wrong in your life is the fault of someone else.

As you become increasingly unable to blame others (i.e. project your own frustrations outside yourself) and are forced to look inside for the answers, you are literally stewed in your own ‘juices’ – frustrated and trapped – until the fire that lit your anger burns itself out.

alchemy lab 7Hence this stage in the alchemical process is often depicted as wolves with their paws cut off (instincts frustrated), serpents devouring themselves, lions eating suns, or the King being boiled alive

Needless to say this is a dark time of life and is often characterized by feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and depression – as you finally give up your egoistic struggle and slow down long enough to take that all important look inside.

Judith addresses The Black Phase or Nigredo in the first few chapters of Love’s Alchemy when because her Mars is so strong (with Scorpio rising, Mars is her chart ruler which is then also found in the zodiac sign of Scorpio which it rules by sign and triplicity), she finds herself more trouble than she’s ever known.

Like I said, this never was going to be easy.

Want to know your astrological life expectancy?

europe~medievalAncient astrologers used a technique involving the Hyleg and Alcoccoden to determine the life and vitality in a chart

It’s not so much predicting how long you will live (and it most certainly does not predict the timing of your death) but about how much ‘juice’ is in your ‘battery’ at birth.

Clearly someone with lots of battery could die young due to an accident. Likewise someone with not so much battery could, with the help of modern science, live to a ripe old age.

Hence today, the technique speaks more to the quality of life rather than actual length of life.

The following recipe for astrological life expectancy is by Bonatti using the chart of Queen Elizabeth I:


  1. If the Sun is in the 1st, 11th or 10th in a masculine or feminine sign, then it is the Hyleg. Her Sun is in the 8th house so move to the next step.
  2. If the Sun is in the 7th, 8th or 9th in a masculine sign (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagitarrius, Aquarius), then it is the Hyleg. Her Sun is a feminine sign (Virgo), so the Sun is not the Hyleg.
  3. If the Sun is not the Hyleg, then move to the Moon.
  4. If the Moon is in ANY angular house (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th ) or a succedent house (2nd, 5th, 8th, or 11th) and in a feminine sign (and ANY of the four rulers of her degree (Rulership, Exaltation, Triplicity and Term) aspect her then she is the Hyleg. Note that feminine signs include Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces.
  5. Elizabeth’s Moon is in Taurus in the 3rd house (Placidus) but because it is within 8 degrees of the cusp of an angular house (the 4th ) then it is considered in that angular house.
  6. Her Moon is angular and in a feminine sign (Taurus). However it is un-aspected (we do not look to the modern planets of Uranus, Pluto, or Neptune) so the Moon is not the Hyleg.
  7. Elizabeth was born after the full moon but before the next new moon, so her chart is Preventional. (Note that if she had been born after the new moon but before the full moon, her chart would Conjunctional and we would have looked first to her ASC).
  8. Hence we look first to her Part of Fortune which is at 19 Leo. As it happens, her Jupiter at 20 Sag forms a trine with her Part of Fortune and is in reception with by term, triplicity, and face.
  9. Her Part of Fortune is the Hyleg and it forms an Alcoccoden with Jupiter.
  10. Because Jupiter is in rulership of Sag (very strong), then using the chart below we start with the length of life of 79 years.
  11. However because Mars (a malefic) is aspecting her Jupiter by an opposition (7 degrees), then we must subtract 15 years (based on the lesser life of Mars in chart below) plus another 40.5 months (based on the middle life of Mars in chart below).
  12. Hence the life expectancy for Queen Elizabeth is 60 ½ years.
  13. Since she died when she was 70 years old, she beat her own odds by 9 plus years


Moon Mercury Venus Sun Mars Jupiter Saturn
Lesser 25 20 8 19 15 12 30
Middle 66.5 48 45 69.5 40.5 45.5 43.5
Greater 108 76 82 120 66 79 57

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