View Full Version : Diurnal and Nocturnal

09-09-2005, 17:34
Interested audiences (ok, mainly astrid O and me) want to know how to interpret nocturnal and dirunal. I hope you dont mind, but I did a search and copied and pasted what has been previously posted. If there is anything to add that would be great.

From:Im a leo and need a reading
The second comment also draws on the idea of planets being in the right section of the chart - being 'in sect'. There are three diurnal or day planets that enjoy being above the horizon during daylight. The Sun is the first and your Sun is high in the Sky and in Leo as well. The second is Jupiter, which is close to the IC, almost as far away from the Sun as it can get, and the third is Saturn, also close to the IC. Saturn is less malefic when above the horizon - and Saturn in your chart is not a force for good.

There are three nocturnal planets, the Moon, Mars and Venus. All three would be better below the horizon in a day chart but all three are actually above it. I'd probably take this as an indication that you don't easily fit into expectations rather than you are unfortunate because of it (though I can see that not fitting into expectations could be unfortunate in some cultures). Mercury can take on either sect, day or night but there's clear evidence that Mercury as Morning Star (as in your chart) was seen as a more 'masculine' placement. Simply living the lifestyle that you do represents something of a challenge to traditional views as to how you should behave as a woman. I'm sure you will get a lot of support from the female members of this forum who would rightly (from our cultural view) applaud your stance.

From:A very sad case
I have made use of the difference between Day (diurnal) and Night (nocturnal) charts.

This is a Day Chart (the Sun is above the horizon). Some planets work more easily in Day time compared to Night. Saturn is a diurnal planet so in a day chart it is best above the horizon (which it is in this case) and best in a dirunal sign (Fire or Air) which it is. This situation where a planet is in a chart of its own sect, placed according to sect and in a sign of its own sect is called Hayz.

Other planets work better at night - Mars is a nocturnal planet and works best below the horizon in a day chart. Unfortunately here it is the most elevated planet. The Arab Astrologers would prefer Mars to be in a Masculine sign (Fire or Air) but it is in Taurus. This suggests that Mars energy will have difficulty being used.

Diurnal planets are Sun, Jupiter and Saturn. Nocturnal planets are Moon, Mars and Venus. Mercury is generally neutral.

Can you find someone's time of birth by using these methods or does the placement have significance, or both?

Pls note that this is not directed at Minderwiz (well, solely) but the quotations I found above certainly interested me (and astrid O :)).

09-09-2005, 18:37
Please forgive the astrologically incompetent, but does this mean that for a person born in the daytime (i.e. me :D ) the nocturnal planets are expected/desired to be below the horizon? And the reverse for someone born at night?

How can you tell where the horizon is in a natal chart? (no doubt this is a stupid question, but I really want to know so am asking

10-09-2005, 05:07
Well, the first question can go to someone else.

Correct me if im wrong, but the horizon is shown my the ascendant and descendant. I'm a nocturnal birth, my sun being about 11 degrees below the descendant, hence I was born after sunset.

10-09-2005, 09:38
Well it all gets very interesting when you start to look at it. For instance with Saturns associations with endings, wanning, cold. Its hard for me to imagine Saturn as diurnal qualitied (expect where its seen at top of the heap/above board)...while Cancer is noctural yet its part the hot spot in terms of South;Sun. Not only are planets Diurnal or Nocturnal but the zodiac signs and of course which side of the road your planets reside..and there are four quadrants. It can be tricky...can't get thrown off by a "Am" or "Pm" connotations necessarily or day or night visually.. a 1am birth.. its considered a Noct...5 pm birth is Dirun.

But what does it all mean?. Well, one way is to think of the Diurnal/Nocturnal might be like how we think of elements. Moon is considered water, dark related. In the sign Aries would be seen as some difficultly as Aries is fire, dry, light, outgoing...water dampens fire. Mars in Aries..a bit better, albiet pushing the envelope of fire with fire. Yet the contradiction is that the Moon, Aries, and Mars are all Nocturnal...which is to say somewhat "Yin" associated.

Consider Sun in Leo. Per the Diurnal/Noctural standpoint Leo is (Noc), Sun (Diur), 3rd house (Noc). and not a great combination for the Sun. But if you think of the popular Leo connotations; firey, dramatic, lively, Sun is Leos "planet"/light....far from Nocturnal. Yet, Leo is technically below the horizon anyway...does better as big fish/small pond...above horizons suggests larger fish/ponds and issues that might overwhelm Leo more personal tendencies. Yet a balanced leo utilizing its aquarius (Diurnal/above horizon) axis would seem to do well nonetheless.

There are many other considerations to look at but Diurnal/Nocturnal is yet another way of figuring out the various qualities, potential strengths, and weakness.



Diurnal planets - Saturn, Jupiter, Sun.

Diurnal signs - Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces


10-09-2005, 11:42
Wow! Dezroo, that is soooo helpful, Thanks HEAPS. So, does that mean my Moon in leo in 5th house isn't such a bad fit after all? I had thought having my moon in Leo was an "uncomfortable" contradiction. But, if the Moon is a nocturnal planet and Leo is a nocturnal sign, then it is a better "fit" than I had once thought. edited to say: My sun is in Pis in 12th house, above the horizon, a diurnal birth. With Moon in leo in 5th house, below horizon.

When you say a" balanced leo utilizing its aquarius axis, (above the horizon) would seem to do well..." do you mean, one who has one's merc above the horizon, in a sign like aquarius?

10-09-2005, 16:31
information of nocturnal and diurnal venus and mercury are referenced @ http://www.khaldea.com/ (near the bottom of the page) along with a great deal of other information.

10-09-2005, 18:58
For those of you who want to pursue this in more depth there is an excellent short book by Robert Hand, titled 'Night & Day' published by ARHAT, priced $10.95

Firstly, you can tell at a glance whether it is a diurnal or nocturnal chart. In a diurnal chart the Sun is above the horizon - that is it is in houses 12 to 7 inclusive. For a nocturnal chart the Sun is in houses 6 to 1 inclusive.

It's not clear historically whether this system based on Sect(ion) or the chart in which the Sun lies, is an alternative to the dignities by sign, or a complementary one.

Generally a planet is stronger - in the sense that it is more able to fulfill it's role, if it is in a section of the chart that matches its character - with the exception of the two malefics, Mars and Saturn because we would like them to be less malefic.

Jupiter and the Moon are quite straightforward - Jupiter is a diurnal planet because its characteristics are Hot and Moist (the Sun strengthens it's heat in a Day chart but at night it is colder than it would like to be. In a day chart it's warmth and moisture encourage growth (of all things) - in a night chart it cannot do this as easily.

The Moon is cold and wet (much more wet than cold) it is best in a night chat - where its reflective and nurturing powers can work.

At this point it is worth adding a further distinction - placement. Because Jupiter is a diurnal planet, it should be above the horizon during the day - this strengthens it still further and below the horizon at night. Thus Jupiter in say the 5th house in a night chart is a little bit stronger than Jupiter in the tenth.

Similarly the Moon is stronger in a nocturnal chart if it is above the horizon (12th through to seventh). And in a diurnal chart it should be below the horizon. Clearly it is possible for the Moon to be above the horizon in a day chart or below in a night chart, as anyone who has seen the Moon during the day should realise. So if you have a nocturnal birth with the Moon above the horizon it should emphasise the Moon in your chart. Even if it is below the horizon in a nocturnal birth, the Moon is still the Sect ruler - that is the Moon rules night charts and should be treated as stronger than the Sun.

For the Two Malefics, the situation is partly reveresed. Mars is Hot (very Hot) and Dry and therefore is more dangerous during the day, when it's heat can be harmful (the impetuous, agressive, ignoring danger Mars). So Mars functions better in the chart (from the point of view of the native) if it is cooled down. Mars therefore is treated as a nocturnal planet - the cool of night reduces its intensity. Virtually the same reason is put forward for making Mars ruler of Scorpio - it is cooled and moistened and thereore more amenable. So interpret Mars at night as a more focussed and controllable agression which will do less harm.

Saturn is very cold and dry. Saturn at night is thus even colder and therefore more dangerous - it introduces fear of action, melancholic thought, imprisonment in structures (real or of thought). Saturn during the day is warmed up and threfore brings out it's best - the disciplined, planned, steady progress - learning from experience, etc. Think of a lizard, at night it is totally reduced to inaction, in the day it warms and basks in the Sun.

The same point applies in terms of placement for Mars and Saturn. Mars is better in a night chart, it is better still if it is above the horizon in such a chart (and below the horizon in a day chart).

I'll deal with Mercury and Venus separately because their situation depends on where they are relative to the Sun.

I'll end here on one last point about position. There is a third element (though the weakest) to sect. A diurnal planet functions better in a traditional masculine sign (Fire or Air) and a nocturnal planet functions better in a traditional feminine sign - (Earth or Water) - though there is some dispute about this in the case of Mars, where the Greeks took Mars as a masculine planet and wanted it in a masculine sign.

If a planet is in a chart of its own sect, placed according to sect and in a sign of its own sect, then it is said to be in Hayz - a condition akin to being in its own sign. Thus Jupiter, in a day chart in the ninth house in Leo is in Hayz.

11-09-2005, 01:58
Paradoxx, thanks for the link!!

Minderwiz, well, that pretty much sums it up for us...we may not even need to buy that book now. :D Thanks ever so much for this. That's a lot of information, and I hope it will be okay to formulate some questions from it, should any arise...The Mars business has me a wee bit confused, but I think that is only due to the Greeks wanting it as a male planet. (it is a feminine planet, yes?)
edited to say, I think I will be referencing this post for a long time to come!! There is so much in here that I was needing to know, but had no clue how to even ask the question!!

Thank you all for so much help. :D :D :D

11-09-2005, 04:40
Yes thank you.

Just to clarify though...when one has a diurnal chart, planets such as mars should be on the opposite side, and saturn included? This is the question similia raised and it seemed to complicate the answer. So a nocturnal chart would have mars and saturn above the horizon (basically opposite of the hemisphere)?

11-09-2005, 12:18
according to this website http://www.astrology-x-files.com/astro-concepts/sect.htm Mars is preferred opposite the sun because of the excessive 'hot and dry' quality needs to be cooled down as opposed to Saturn and its 'cool and wet' quality needing to be warmed up.

The article explains optimal dirunal and nocturnal positions as well as some other favoriable positions (i.e. Mars in a masculine sign, nocturnal, near the midheaven is mentioned).

11-09-2005, 19:04
Anyone interested to expande on how the diurnal/nocturnal effects the interpretation of aspects or placements?.

If Uranus and Pluto were conjunct in 12th house...in a night birth?....or Mars just one degree below the asc and Sat on the dsc....day birth?. In a daytime birth I read that Saturn is better above the horizon...but Mars for day is better below horizon?. Mars here is on the diurnal side of the chart and just one degree below the asc. Mars/Saturn opposition then becomes more problematic. Uranus/Pluto are nocturnal but placed diurnally....so for a night birth..how does that effect that conjuction interpretively per the diurnal/noctural view?. I don't know if it would be complicating things or if its necessary at this point to include the signs..but for now I just did the planets in question.


13-09-2005, 00:01
Thanks for your info all, it was really interesting.

This is a little bit of a tangent, but I noticed in my chart, that my moon is higher placed in the (day) sky than my sun. Would you also take the angles/degrees into account when looking at these sorts of things?

13-09-2005, 03:52
Hi similia Angles and degrees..my previous post is looking into just that, by way of aspects, as I am interested in how all this fits in with interpretion. In any case I don't know if thats a part of the Diurnal/Nocturnal method of looking at things?..someone else might be better equipt to answer that one.....just to confirm you are day birth?...What house is your sun and moon?.


13-09-2005, 08:31
Thanks Desroo.

:mad: I've changed this three times :D I can't figure out where I am LOL
I'm getting astronomy 101 lessons from Wizzle in chat, but we have not got very far yet as I am exhasperating....

Sun in Aries, Moon in Pisces, Taurus is Rising sign. So somewhere around 10th, 11th, 12th house... *shrugs*

It just struck me as odd that the moon was above the sun. Guess I may need astronomy 101 also...

13-09-2005, 11:40
I am not sure how the dirunal/nocturnal view differs from (or maybe it is in fact from the d/n view) the idea that planets below the horizon are more focused on personal, "me" affairs and interests...planets above the horizon are more impersonal, "you, us, or we" affairs and interests....one sees the details, little picture, the other see the landscape and larger strokes.

The qualities in relation to moon below horizon would be more emphasised in the personal/me/local view....while a moon above the horizon would be associated with the qualites yet more indivdualistic. A certain detachment or rational would be in order (and especially in the 10th) the concerns for or adherence to the affairs and interests that are of the world..that effect or impact the individual. Moon 10th would need very much....(and if reiterated by the rest of the chart)...to be IN (make its mark more likely) the world ....success and comfortable away from original homestead or roots in some way..physically or otherwise.

The intuition/moon would still work but placed above the horizon is more bombarded with outside stimuli and the persons own inner goings on as well. Moon below horizon can perhaps shut it out or be disconcerned with it althoger so less outer bombardment it can focus. On the other hand moon below horizon has to deal with the "strings attatched" that come with connection to the affairs that rule the houses of its sphere. Moon in either place can show an aversion to the affairs of the opposite horizon. So balance is the key.

Once you get to know your chart better things will get clearer.
In any case re-read if you like the post by Minderwiz....should help!


14-09-2005, 05:26
Just catching up on the thread - my computer monitor failed on Saturday, and despite getting another, work has reared it's ugly head!

There is a significant difference from the modern psychological view of the inner focus of planets below the horizon and the traditional diurnal /nocturnal view. Placement above or below the horizon is interpreted according to the sect of the planet. Mars below the horizon works well in a diurnal chart - that's where the nocturnal Mars should be. However in a nocturnal chart (Sun below the horizon) Mars should be above the horizon - i.e. it comes out at night as a nocturnal planet should do. Mars' interpretation depends on where the Sun is.

In terms of the outer planets there is a clear problem. There is no traditional sect allocation to these three. It's possible to speculate - Neptune could be classified as Cold and Wet and would be a nocturnal, because of it's depths Pluto might be viewed as akin to Mars - best placed nocturnally. Uranus possibly more diurnal. However this is an area that could be debated without resolution.

I meant to add some comments on Venus and Mercury - Venus is seen as a nocturnal planet being slightly cold and slightly moist (there are ancient texts that see Venus as slightly Hot). Venus is the least nocturnal of the nocturnal planets (Jupiter being the least diurnal of the diurnal planets). The Greeks seem to have seen little change in Venus from night to day, except that diurnally placed Venus is a little less ladylike and much more the liberated woman - Diurnal Venus is Diana the huntress, Nocturnal Venus is Aphordite.

Mercury can take sect according to it's placement - its the only neutral (and neuter) planet. It tends to fit in with the planets around it.

One last point for now - One of the reasons why the ancients placed such an emphasis on sect was that it influenced the calculation of the 'lots' (now referred to as the Arabian Parts but originally developed by the Greeks). The only one of these commonly used now is the Part of Fortune.

In a diurnal chart this is calculated as Ascendant + Moon - Sun but in a nocturnal chart the formual is changed to Ascendant + Sun - Moon. The position of the Sect ruler (Sun by day, Moon by night) is the value subtracted from the other light.

The Greeks and Arabs had a host of such calculated points ruling issuse like, marriage, divorce, children, Sons, Daughters, death, etc. All of those using the sect ruler changed according to whether it was a day or night birth.

Modern Astrology tends to use such things as mid-points, yet these are really only a variation on the ideas of the Greek lots.

14-09-2005, 07:36
Well...thanks for clarifying.! :)..So its all very interesting!. Interpretively then, how does a day birth Moon above horizon lets say in Virgo differ from Moon/MC/virgo below horizon night birth. I guess what they have in common is that they are both out of sect?. A night birth is better with moon above horizon ...and day birth with the moon below horizon...am I on the right track?. Would the out of sect bring out more of the less desirable qualities of the placement?. Or does it mean that the qualities are somehow weakened?.


14-09-2005, 07:53
Deszroo, you have asked the right question. How does one turn all of this rule-stuff into an altered interpretation? It is a good question to ask, just as every question is good in that it shows that one is learning and stretching their limits. As always, I'm afraid for those beginning their studies that topics of this type can actually slow down or even stop their progress.

I guess my advice would be to explore the topic, if you get it or almost get it that follow it. If you don't get it, put it aside until it comes back into your practice. As for myself, I do not use these approaches which is why I have not contributed to this thread. Good luck and don't stop asking. Dave

isthmus nekoi
14-09-2005, 09:29
Actually, Dave's post is related to what I wanted to ask you, Minderwiz - in your experience, how much weight do you give these methods? Do you use them to augment a more modern/psychological approach, or are they more primary to your interpretations?

15-09-2005, 04:57
We aren't simply applying rules here - we are looking at placement and position.

If I asked Dave why he laid emphasis on placements in the angles, he wouldn't answer in terms of rules but emphasise chart placement as a concept and that certain places allow the expression of planetary energy in a very direct and full way and that other placements do not.

If we take the Moon, using deszroo's query - the answer would be that the Moon naturally is stronger at night than it is in the day (and vice versa for the Sun). Night time is lunar, day time is solar. You find this in the belief systems of virtually all civilisations in one form or another.

the lunar 'force' (or what ever you wish to call it) is stronger at night and therefore in a chart for a night birth we add greater weight to the interepretation of the Moon, than we would do for a day birth. The idea that the Moon might be stronger than the Sun is a difficult one for the modern Astrologer, when so much is now placed on the Sun.

Now, the Moon (or any other nocturnal planet) does not have to be below the horzon - indeed in a nocturnal chart, the 'proper place' for the Moon is ABOVE the horizon (and the same for the other nocturnals). The Moon on the MC (which is as high above the horizon as you can get) is a highly positive sign in a nocturnal birth (and the same would be true of the Moon conjunct the Ascendant in a nocturnal chart. We have two distinct but related placements here. The Moon is stronger because the birth is at night and the Moon is stronger still because t is shining at the time of the birth. This isn't rules, it's elementary observation of the sky. The third factor of the Moon in Virgo would be taken as a further increase in the Moon's strength in the chart because Virgo is a 'feminine' sign and the Moon is a strong feminine symbol. However the prime factor is whether it is a night birth, followed then by is the Moon shining - the sign is the weakest of the three. Given Dave's general wariness of sign, I would think that he could happily play with the first two factors which are independent of sign and just ignore the third. I suspect that many of the original users of this approach probably didn't place that much emphasis on sign.

Now I must admit that, whilst I've been aware of the concept for some time, I've only recently started to make use of it. Also given that the literature we have is fairly vague on how this fits in to the systems of essential and accidental dignities, there isn't a simple manual on how to use it in a full interpretation.

What I could try and do is to post Hand's interpretation of Hitler's birth chart, using the nocturnal / diurnal method and we could perhaps compare that to some of the points that were made in the thread


as that also contains a link to Hitler's natal chart.

If you think it would be a good idea then I'll go ahead and we could look at how the interpretation works in a practical example.

15-09-2005, 05:03
I tend not to use modern psychological interpretations at all now. I don't rule them out but I find I have less need of them using traditional approaches.

In the case of diurnal/nocturnal I've only just begun to try and take account of these factors and I've found them to be useful - What I'm not sure of (and no one is yet) is how they fit into the sign/house/planet approach that we have grown used to.

The work of Project Hindsight is moving us towards a greater understanding of traditional techniques and which might have a genuine basis but many of the ancient texts don't give reasons for methods. Either these were passed on verbally or may have been lost in the mists of time (and therefore of questionable value)

15-09-2005, 05:30
Minderwiz, using a chart to illustrate how one might change the empahsis on a planets place and interaction in a chart would certainly be helpful for everyone. I was concerned about everyone getting "rule-bound" in their responses instead of dealing with making it work for them. Your quite right in that it is all about placement -- and that does parallel what I use in my chart work, the consideration of those things strongly placed as a means of setting up a focus for understanding the whole chart. If the others would like to engage in looking at an example chart I would be happy to join in. Dave

15-09-2005, 05:59
Thanks Dave!

15-09-2005, 09:16
Here are two sites below (first one I think is familar to some here)...they in a general way give some insight diurnal/nocturnal planet and sign. (All you have to do it put in the related sign-planet in your browser and it should come up for you). Seems like out-of-sect lights or planets are part of some chart analysis but have lite mentions and taken into consideration as an added factor to others factors (dignity, detriment, etc). Perhaps due to as Minderwiz has mentioned about no simple manual on full interpretions and such...(but I'll keep my eyes open for that five leaf clover;).




15-09-2005, 10:20
~just wanted to explain how this came up. :)

I had the idea to try to figure out Margaret Cho's birthtime(I wanted to do her chart as an educational thing, but her people won't get back to me with her actual birthtime ;) ), given all of the info we are able to find out about her (which is actually quite a lot as she is VERY open :D ) anyhoo, I wondered about her being a night birth or "nocturnal" birth, just based on what I "know" of her, and we needed to start somewhere as far as a birthtime for her was concerned. This is how the whole subject got brought up...two newbies on what might amount to an astrological wild goose chase (or maybe a "needle in a haystack" type search.

16-09-2005, 01:51
I'll post the Adolph Hitler interpretation as a new thread and we can have a chat over the methods used. Then if anyone wants to try it with a different chart we could take it further.

I'll do the thread as a new post, which will allow anyone wanting to make a general comment or ask general questions to carry on posting in this thread.

isthmus nekoi
16-09-2005, 01:56
I'd love to see this thread, thanks Minderwiz! Unfortunately, I don't know if I'll have much time to comment as I'm adjusting to school etc. I'm sure it will be a great read though!

16-09-2005, 05:15
Now, the Moon (or any other nocturnal planet) does not have to be below the horzon - indeed in a nocturnal chart, the 'proper place' for the Moon is ABOVE the horizon (and the same for the other nocturnals).

So THAT is the reason why I've felt that my 12th hs Moon is lording above the rest of my chart.... Sitting there quietly in Pluto's lap like nobody's business.