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Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
Student of Astrology
Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
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Schmidt's system....I think

This post is more for me to get my perception straight, though it might possibly serve as a reference point later on, And I'm sure I'll need to add to it in later posts.

There's no clear statement of this, as far as I know, in the original Henllenistic texts. Instead it's Robert Schmidt's ideas of how to assess a planet, in Hellenisitic terms, and more to the point it's my attempt to understand what he's saying. Some of the measures are still used and will be familiar others are 'alien' to say the least.

So here goes.

He uses three clear steps in assessment

1. The fitness of the planet (for its business) that really boils down to how strong it is.

2. It's energy - even if it's fit for purpose it might not actually do much, alternatively if might be weak but attempt to do something.

3. It's Completion - basically can it actually see the job through the job being specific to the individual chart, though in line with the planet's underlying principle).

Each of these is judged on three criteria

1. With reference to the Horizon- basically it's House placement in terms of angular, cadent and succedent. This is familiar territory to most Astrologers today.

2. With referemce to the zodiac - that is is it in a 'friendly' sign or not. This is less familar territory once we get past Sign rulership and possibly exaltation but for those who have followed my Horary threads, the remainder will still be familiar.

3 With reference to the Lights[, that is to the Sun and Moon (especially the Light of the Time (Sun by day and Moon by night). At least one of the criteria here is likely to be familiar but some of them may appear definitely odd and at the moment I only have a hazy idea of one of the criteria.

So taking Jupiter and Saturn in Ronia's chart as examples.

Fitness (for its business)

With reference to the Horizon - Jupiter is in the fourth House so it's angular, and as such very fit for to carry out its business whereas Saturn is in a Succedent House so it's not quite as fit for well placed for business.

With reference to the Zodiac. The criteria here is: a) is it in one of it's own dignities (Ruler, exaltation, Triplicity, Bounds of Decan, or b) is it in a dignity of one of the other planets in its sect. Both Jupiter and Saturn are diurnal planets, as is the Sun, so if either of them are not in one of their own dignities, they will still be 'fit' if they are in one of the dignities of the other two planets. Finally if it's in a dignity of Mercury and Mercury happens to be in the same sect for this particular chart then that too will count as being 'fit'. Jupiter is in Aries, the Sign of Mars (nocturnal) but in the exaltation, triplicity and decan of the Sun, so it's 'fit' because it's in at least one of the dignities of a sectmate. Saturn is in Leo, so it too is in a dignity of a sectmate and therefore fit (it also happens to be in the Sun's Triplicity but we don't need to go that far, it's alread qualified).

With reference to the Lights - Jupiter is Direct (and direct and retrograde motion are a product of Jupiter's phase relationship with the Sun) and Jupiter is rising. Of these two a modern Astrologer would recognise Direct and Retrograde motion but is not likely to place much emphasis on whether Jupiter is rising or not. Saturn to is Direct and it too is Rising It will be seen in the Eastern sky either before sunrise or after sunset)

So both planets come out of the 'fitness analysis as able to do their business (whatever it is)

Energy Level

With reference to the Horizon, this is whether they are in an angle of a quadrant house chart. The Hellenistic term is goaded but angular will do. Schmidt allows a 5 degree margin for a planet that has passed the angle and is now in a cadent house. Using this criteria, Jupiter is in the third House of a quadrant House system and Saturn is in the eighth so neither is 'energetic' relative to the Horizon. Hellenisitc Astrologers used a quadrant house system to assess planets for their length of life calculation and virtually nothing more till the late Hellenistic period. So this energy test may be one we downplay. However as it's one that modern' Astrologers do place a great deal of emphasis on, I think we'll keep it in place.

With reference to the Zodiac - this too is familiar to the modern Astrolger. To be energetic here the planet needs to be in it's own triplicity (Hellenistic Astrologers used the term 'Trigon' or 'Triangle'. Jupiter in Aries is clearly in a Fire Sign and it too rules a Fire Sign, so it is in it's Triplicity. Saturn is also in it's Triplicity. This will come as very out of place to a modern Astrolger who sees Saturn as anything but Firy. The are qute right in that and Hellenisitic Astrology does not see Saturn as secretly Firy. However each Triplicity has three rulers and those three rulers must be of the same sect as the Triplicity. Fire is a diurnal Triplicity and the tree diurnal planets are Sun, Jupiter and Saturn. Saturn is termed a Participating or Co-operating Triplicity Ruler. All the other Triplicities have such rulers.

With reference to the Lights - the test here is whether the planet is in a change phase of it's phase cycle with the Sun. These are whether the planet stations Direct or Retrograde or makes a helical rising or setting during the seven days before and after the birth. Neither planet does make such a change.

So each planet only scores 1 out of 3 here on energy.


With reference to the Horizon - This is judged from it's House position relative to the Lot of Fortune. Now this is something that no modern Astrologer would use or even think of using. Nor for that matter would William Lilly in the Seventeenth Century but it is something that Hellenisitic Astrologers made a fair amount of use of. The thinking being that if the Ascendant ruler was weak, at least there might be a chance that the Lord of the Lot of Fortune could in some way deliver enough luck to make up for the weak Ascendant ruler. This is not an alien concept if you're into Hermetics or some form of propitiating the gods but if your're a modern scientist you might poo poo the whole idea.

The Lot of Fortune lies in Ronia's tenth House. Saturn in the eighth actually sextiles it and even better, Vettius Valens, the second century Astrologer says the ninth House from Fortune is a very important place (and the radical eighth is the ninth house from Ronia's Lot. Jupiter in the fourth is opposite the Lot and so is angular to it. being angular or pivotal relative to Fortune is a good indicator. So on this criteria Jupiter comes out best but Saturn is not far behind at all. Saturn may see 'luck' make up for his eighth House natal position.

With reference to the zodiac - This is one that the modern Astrologer will easily accept. It is which quadruplicity is the planet in. Jupiter is in Aries, a cardinal (for the Hellenisitc Astrologer a 'Tropical Sign') Cardinal signs indicate the ability to get things going but not necessarily to see them through. On the other hand Saturn is in Leo a fixed ('solid) sign and fixed signs are seen as indicating an ability to see things through, even if they are initiated by someone else. So Saturn scores more highly on this one but Jupiter has some ability to get things going. Being in a Mutable ('bi-corporeal') sign is worst.

With reference to the Lights. This comes down to the relationship to the Moon. The Moon in Traditional Astrolgy is seen as the planet that has most effect on what goes on here on Earth (one only has to look at the tides to see that). If the Moon is applying to a configuration within 13 degrees then this is a good sign that things will be completed. The Moon separating up to 13 degrees is not as good but at least promises something. The Moon separated from the planet (in no configuration by degree)promises little or nothing. Saturn is in an applying conjunction from the Moon (degree aspects can cross sign boundaries) So Saturn also scores here (and quite highly as the Moon is close). Jupiter is in a separating square from the Moon, so something is 'promised' for completion but not as good as Saturn.

That's not the end of Scmidt's planetary analysis, there are two further stages, looking at whether the planet is modified by benefic or malefic influences and what 'joy' it gets from its sect position. I'll look at those after I've gone through the PNA for Ana - which will give me time to reflect on at least one of the criteria which is not clear to me.
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