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Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
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Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
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Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
Minderwiz, some help? where did the "sometimes full and sometimes empty"come from? and what does that even mean?
This is a night chart. The most favourable planet in the chart is the benefic of sect, Venus. The most unfavourable planet in the chart is the out of sect malefic, Saturn.

At the place of accomplishment is aspected by both of these planets at the same time, the outcome will be variable - sometimes good, sometimes poor. In Hellenistic Astrology, planets are not always active. so it's very possible that sometimes Venus is active but Saturn isn't (outcome = good) but at other times, Saturn is active and Venus isn't (outcome = poor). If both are simultaneously active, we would need to look at the chart to see which, if either, might dominate.

Modern authors might try to blend the two meanings and come up with the situation always being mediocre (as both planets are active at the same time),

Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
What do I need to learn to solve this confusion? What questions do I have?

1. What is the philosophy or theory behind the Lots? (doesn't need to be absolutely correct, I just need a working model so I can apply thinking to it)

2. Given a specific placement of each Lot (in place X, aspected by Y and Z, in place A relative to Fortune) I need a methodology (simple is good) to anylyze the effects in a *concrete* manner.

I have the beginnings of such an approach by combining Minderwiz' hints (see his earlier post on how the various places starting from Lot of Fortune give information about how fortune affects each natal house) with what Valens says with respect to a specific chart. More on this later.

Back to question 1. What is the theory or philosophy of the Lots?

Chris Brennan has an excellent paper [1] on the 7 Hermetic Lots that seems, at first glance to answer question 1 about the philosophy or theory behind the lots.. While not based primarily on Valens, he has some excellent points in the paper work that might be useful to summarize here.

From the paper
"The end result of this attempt to reconstruct the theoretical rationale underlying the calculations of the seven Hermetic lots is the discovery of a highly complex and subtle conceptualization of the natures of the Lots of Fortune and Spirit."

Sounds like what I need to learn. Let us get started.

(More to come. I'll be working through the paper paragraph by paragraph, and when done will correlate what I learned with what Valens says and see if they mesh. )

[1] The paper is at
Chris' paper is a good starting point. It's also worth remembering that the original use of Lots, was to allot property in a Greek city state (Polis). The use spread even to using Lots to allocate positions in the cirty administration, though it was not used for positions requiring expertise (such as generals). Plato had reservations about this use, pointing out that allocation by lot didn't necessarily lead to the best people appointed to the jobs. He suggested that as well as the allocation by Lot, there should be prayers to Zeus and Good Fortune (my italics).

That was some three hundred years before Hellenistic Astrology began, yet even then there is some connection between allotment and Fortune.

Manilius' Astronomica is one of the earliest texts we have (first century CE) and that simply mentions a Lot of Fortune, as do the snippets from Nechepso, Petosiris and other early Astrologers.

But even back in Plato's time (early fourth Century BCE), there was a connection between personal daimons and allotment. In the Myth of Er (Plato's Republic) souls choose their forthcoming life by lot order, and that choice involves receiving a personal daimon (a being that Valens also believed in and refers to).

The two principles of chance (tuche) and some guidance from the gods, which might be for good or ill or even withheld on the whim of the god permeated the culture in which Astrology began to flourish. So it's not surprising that the concept of Lots made its way into that newly born Astrology.

By Valens' time (Second century CE) more Lots had been introduced. You've already come across the Lot of Exaltation and you will meet the Lots of Eros and Necessity. By Paulus' time there were at least the seven hermetic Lots and other Lots for specific purposes (Valens mentions Lots for marriage). By the turn of the millenium, Arabic Astrologers had over 100 Lots for all sorts of things, often to do with trade (there was a Lot of Barley, for example). If I remember correctly, it was Al Biruni who complained about the multiplicity of Lots. But by Lilly's time, only Fortune remained in regular use, and that is still the situation today. Perhaps that's not surprising because we too, as a culture, are addicted to lotteries!
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