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Technical question: Collection

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Joined: 17 Jun 2005
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Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:01 pm    Post subject: Technical question: Collection Reply with quote


Let me cite Lilly first on Collection of Light in CA p.126, italics mine :

"Matters are also brought to perfection, when as the two principal significators do not behold one another, but both cast their several aspects to a more weighty planet than themselves, and they both receive him in some of their essential dignities; then shall that planet who thus collects both their lights, bring the thing demanded to perfection..."

Is reception said above a true requirement for a legitimate collection, or is it just an improvement but not required?


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Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


The definition of reception that I like is the one given by Bonatti (which of course taken from the Arabic astrologers...):-

In short, if A aspects B in AND A is in B's domicile, then B receives A i.e. B gives reception to A. Understand the same when A is in B's exalted sign or when A is in two of B's lower dignities (term and triplicity, term and face, triplicity and face) AND A must aspect B.

Aspect = seeing, reception = giving reception = giving virtue (as in our example B receives A = B gives reception to A = B gives virtue to A).

In horary astrology when significator of querent and quesited (let's say A and B) are in applying aspect to each other and later perfected that aspect - matters are perfected. Now we can go in many complexities as the aspect must be perfected in the same sign as they were when they were applying (or not!), refranation, bla bla... but let's keep things simple for the sake of this exercise.

If they were no applying aspects between A and B, matters will not be perfected unless translation or collection of light occurs (which gives hope for the perfection of the matter seeeked). There are also other ways matters can be perfected but again let's just keep this simple...

If A does not aspect B but A aspects C (which is a more ponderous planet - as Lilly would have put it - i.e. slower moving planet) and later B aspects C, C becomes the agent that connects A and B.

An analogy: A wants certain things done and requires B to do it. A can't see B in the near future as there is no applying aspect between A and B (aspect = see) so A then sees (aspects) C - hoping that C could help him. When later B aspects C, C then gives the matter to B to be resolved and hence you have perfection of the matter.

Now comes the twist. When A aspects/sees C, A must give the "matters" to be resolved to C so that C can later give it to B - which in astrological language is - A must receive C or A must give reception to C or C must be posited in A's dignity.

When later B aspects C, C then must give the matters to be resolved to B which - in astrological language - C must receive B or C must give reception to B or B must be in C's dignity.

In conclusion (at least in my opinion), the receptions are required. With variations in the meanings of receptions by different authors plus some astrologers do not even consider receptions, you'll definitely see different responses to this post.

The same goes for translation of light...
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Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thank you for the clear and detailed explanation about reception but I already knew it when I posted the question. Let me clearify it better this time. My primary concern is whether BOTH planets MUST receive the collecting planet (the slower one) in their dignities in order to call the phenomenon a "collection of light".

I pose the question after reading Deb's excellent articles on Reception lately and "The Moon: Transmitter of Influence" most recently.

I of course don't imply to overlook the importance of reception *in any case* in horary as well as in the case of 'collection', but after reading Deb's latest article (The Moon..), I understand that reception is not a strict requirement for the perfection of a matter in translation and this also applies to collection as long as other requirements are met, such as the translating planet (in the case of translation of light) or the collecting planet (in the case of collection of light) is within moiety of the other two planets in the trio.

I feel that even application of one of the two planets to a third collecting planet is not necessary; that is, one of them may be separating as long as it is within orb and the other planet applies and perfects with the collecting planet before the other (separating) planet becomes completely separated from the collecting planet in terms of orb.

Deb, please correct me if I misunderstood this.

Furthermore, although Lilly defines collection only by application and does not bother giving various other possibilities or versions for the collection, Maurice McCann does, in

"Example 3: Retrograde Mercury ruler of the ascendant at 7 degrees Cancer and Venus ruler of the 2nd house of the quesited at 4 degrees Leo are not in major aspect to each other since they are in adjacent signs, but Jupiter retrograde at 5 degrees Scorpio will receive a trine from Mercury and a square from Venus therefore collecting their light and bringing the planets together so that perfection will take place.

The usual description of a collection of light which has been handed down throughout the ages is that when the two significators do not aspect each other, but both aspect a more weighty planet than themselves and they both receive it in some of their essential dignities, then that planet will collect both their lights and bring the thing asked about to perfection.

Example 3 above does not conform exactly with this description but since the cosmic laws or rules are based on major aspects, then Mercury even though at a later degree and a lighter planet than Jupiter, is still applying by trine to Jupiter, therefore fulfilling the cosmic law. Whether or not the planets are in each others essential dignities is irrelevant as an absence of essential dignities cannot overrule the power of the major aspects."

So, if this is true as McCann put, I understand that there are several ways for a collection and the requirement of 'reception' does not apply in strict sense.

I would like to have your and others' feedback from practical standpoint.

I have the sense that it is good to have reception but reception is not mandatory as far as the perfection of the matter is concerned! Is it?

Cheers and thanks for patience,

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Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sigma

I donít have time for more than the briefest answer as Iím packing to go on holiday. I believe that Lilly would have recognised collection without reception, providing that the collecting planet can be identified as an assisting planet rather than an afflicting one. My feeling (as regards to Lillyís understanding of this), is that we cannot rely upon collection to help unless the collecting planet has both the inclination and power to help, and this is something that reception helps to ensure.

Unfortunately Lilly doesnít demonstrate many examples of collection in his charts in CA, but Christopher Warnock has just published a new CD called ďLots of LillyĒ which includes 50 books by and about Lilly. I havenít received this yet but this should have enough charts for us to start to establish clearer understanding of how Lilly used techniques like this in practice. (Of course, that still only tells us about what he did and it might be the case that an astrologer like Bonatus applied a much stricter set of conditions).

With regards to Mauriceís example of collection involving a retrograde planet, I donít see any controversy over that since both planets are applying to Jupiter even though one of them applies by retrograde motion.

I hope this helps although Astrojin is right in saying that different astrologers are likely to have different views on this.

BTW, when more details are available about the Lilly CD I'll add them here. In the meantime if anyone is interested you can email Chris at - from what I understand the cost is very reasonable.
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Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

Brief but right on spot! Thank you very much for your help.

To Astrojin: Thank you again.

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Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested, I've just posted a notice giving full details of the Lilly CD in the 'News & Notices' section of the forum - at
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