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Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
27: Propitious and Impropitious Periods, the Length of Life calculated from the Angles, and signs following the Angles.

This section seems to promise a method to calculate the length of life, but there isn't enough detail in the section to *actually do the calculation*, or a worked example from which this can be reverse engineered. Not providing examples is very unlike Valens. In every preceeding and succeeding section, there are example horoscopes. So maybe this section is an interpolation too?
Or the result of bad editing later on. Valens wrote on papyrii scrolls and these would need to be read in order. It might also be that Valens broke off his 'current' theme to write on another because he had something he wanted to write down (maybe a new method he'd heard of). Later on the scrolls were taken in the order they were found but not necessarily in the order he intended. That's the 'joy' of trying to make sense of an ancient writer.

Later on in Books III and IV he begins to look at those length of life calculations and other forecasting methods in more detail.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
some fragments I understood,

01. Use rising times of each sign (What is this? How to determine this?) and the cyclical period of each star to determine the periods of good and bad fortune
The rising times, or ascensions are the times taken for a sign to rise over the horizon at a particular location. They vary with latitude. I'm sure you're aware that quadrant house systems break down at the polar regions; this is because some signs will never rise, or others never set at a particular time of year. The rising times used would be those applicable at the time of birth. (If you want your own rising times, I can give them to you but they would be tropical, rather than sidereal).

Valens will have a list of rising times for each Clima (Klima) or latitude. From memory, I think these stretched as far north as the province of Britannia and as far south as India (or at least those areas that were on trade routes)

The cyclical periods of the stars were established cycles covering a number of years. These fell into three categories for each planet. A greater cycle, a mean cycle and a lesser cycle. The lesser number of years, was the one most used and features in Zodiacal Releasing.

Saturn = 30 years - every 30 years there are 29 conjunctions of the Sun and Saturn (and 29 years is the Saturn return)

Jupiter = 12 years - there are 11 conjunctions with the Sun every 12 years

Mars = 15 years - there are 7 conjunctions with the Sun every 15 years

Sun = 19 years - there are 19 years in the Metonic cycle

Venus = 8 years - There are 5 Venus conjunctions with the Sun, taking retrograde and direct conjunctions separately. Traced out they form a five pointed star.

Mercury = 20 years - In 20 years there are 63 conjunctions with the Sun.

Moon = 25 years (309 New Moons in that period)

Originally Posted by RohanMenon

02: When calculating length of life pay attention to the signs of Moon and Ascendant, and signs where their rulers are located.

03: The stars which are at the ascendant begin to rule over the first period of life (ok good. But how long is this period?).The planets at MC, DESC, IC (in that order?) rule over the subsequent periods (again how long is each period? does this come later in the book?)
Yes, the ranking is ASC, then MC, then the opposition to the ASC (the DSC) and then the opposition to the MC (IC) This ranking is standard and Lilly uses it.

The periods of rule are likely to be as above.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
etc etc. The main idea here seems to be to rank all the planets in order of prominence (so planets in ascendant come first for e.g). Somehow rising times of signs are also mixed into this ordering.

Still there is no clear algorithm that can be applied to a given horoscope

Very frustrating. Still, in the end I doubt I'll use any scheme other than Zodiacal Releasing, so it is ok that some schemes are unclear.

Given that the Clima (from which we get the English word Climate) vary, the Ascendant and Descendant may take more or less time to rise, so Valens is modifying the system to allow for that. As far as I can see there's no identification of threatening periods, unless he takes a malefic in an angle as providing the threat. But such a system could be used to look at periods of life. Obviously there are problems if you don't have any angular planets, and I think that is why Valens isn't making much of that method.

In my case, I have both malefics in the Ascending sign, with Saturn, the out of sect malefic, conjunct the Ascending degree. So I should not have survived for long, on the interpretation above. In fact, I nearly died in the first hour of life, so perhaps there's something in it.
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