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Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
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Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
Similar to my study notes thread on Lilly's Christian Astrology, these are my jottings on my feeble attempts to master Valens's approach to Hellenistic astrology.

My selfish motive in starting this course of study was adding Zodiacal Releasing as an additional predictive technique to my toolkit (I primarily use Solar and Lunar Returns + Transits). During a thread conversation with Minderwiz, ZR came up, and Valens, and hints of other time lord techniques all of which sounded intriguing, so I thought I'd learn those too.
You're taking on a lot with this set of study notes, given that Lilly is still in progress. There's a fair amount of similarity between Lilly and Morin. They operated in the seventeenth century and shared the same astrological heritage, though there are differences in their approach to it.

Valens is a whole new ball game. He was writing about 1,500 years early from a tradition that had been effectively lost for Lilly and Morin. Their only knowledge of it came from Ptolemy, who is not a mainstream Hellenistic Astrologer, though a towering figure in the history and practice of Astrology. Their other main sources were the Persian and Arabic texts that carried on the tradition after the fall of the Roman Empire and the marginalisation of the Byzantine Empire, which had a long term fight for survival on its hands.

Both thought the Arabs and Persians were a source of error, neither realised the extent to which those medieval writers actually carried on the Hellenistic legacy.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
3. I use Sidereal (Fagan Bradley) for my personal practice, though I'll be using Whole Sign Houses. Not sure if Valens uses Tropical or Sidereal, but there may not have been much of a difference in his time.
Unlike Lilly Valens doesn't seem to give actual charts.

4. I'll skip the 'calculations of planet positions' parts of his book.They seem to use strange months like Mechior (spelling?) which I can't make any sense of. I suspect for the charts I want, modern software tools should give me the precise position of ascendant, the precise rising degree and so on. I think this should be fine, but if anyone really thinks working through his calculations is useful, let me know.
Valens wouldn't know what you meant by a sidereal zodiac, or a tropical one, for that matter - the zodiac he worked with was virtually indistinguishable from either the modern tropical zodiac or a sidereal zodiac (though the fairly large numbers of ayanamsas, would have introduced a degree or so difference). There was only one zodiac in which the equinoxes occurred in March and September and the Solstices in June and December and the constellation of Aries resided in the sign of Aries.

As you get into the work you will find that Valens actually gives a very large number of charts. Unlike Lilly he just gives the planetary positions by sign and the Ascendant position, the latter allowing you to reconstruct the chart because with Whole Signs, the Ascending sign is the first house. Mostly he doesn't even give a date and time. You have the chart and you can use it to follow his point.

Valens used the Egyptian calendar of his day. You can find conversions but you can still follow the principles of his charts from the planetary positions quoted.

It's interesting, if you have the time (and I confess, I haven't had that luxury) to follow how he sets up a chart and determines the Ascendant and MC, bearing in mind that he had no computer, no logarithms, no, algebra, (all not yet invented) but some tables.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
5. Other than the above I plan to work through every single page of every single volume, and incorporate any techniques I find, and test it on a representative sample of charts (all of which will be logged here)

To start off, here are some *very* useful resources I've discovered to 'prep' for Valens study

1. This thread right here on this forum. where our own Minderwiz analyses a few charts with Hellenistic Techniques. I'm not sure I follow the Schmidtisms in the analysis, but I could get my head around the basic concepts, even Zodiacal Releasing
That thread was my first attempt to make sense of what I was reading and learning and certainly is wobbly in the early parts. Robert Schmidt was one of the key forces behind Project Hindsight, an attempt to translate and analyse ancient texts. As there was not much out there, apart from some translations by James Holden, they had to work almost from scratch and teach themselves classical Greek. Therefore there are errors in their early work. The most criticised was the claim that the Hellenistic Astrologers only uses sign based aspects. They didn't, they had degree based ones as well.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
2. Free Software. Morinus Valens - available from . Installed easily on my Windows *and* Linux machines, and gives L1 - L4 breakdowns of Zodiacal Releasing for a given natal chart, and also a battery of other techniques I'm not familiar with.

Fwiw, I took a quick look at a couple of 'turning point' dates in my life, just for the fun of it, and the ZR symbolism is so perfectly on the dot and accurate *to the day*, it completely freaked me out (and this is from Lot of Fortune, using Fagan Sideareal, I didn't test with Tropical, fwiw). Very impressive, and very motivating.
I do have a copy of Valens, but I had difficulties installing it. Not sure of the reasons but I suspect a clash somewhere or other. I do have Delphic Oracle, which is a paid for program (though not exorbitantly so) which is excellent for ZR and many other Hellenistic and Medieval techniques.

ZR from Spirit is perhaps more widely used than ZR from Fortune. The reason being that the Lot of Fortune is concerned with what fate deals you. How you are affected by the environment and external forces. It became more used to look at health and well being, as issues related to those greatly influences the success or otherwise of your life.

The Lot of Spirit shows how you are able to influence the world around you. How your own efforts can change your life. For that reason it has relevance to your Career and your attainment of social position.
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