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Intercepted signs/planets/houses in horary

 
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Tanit



Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 1117
Location: California, USA

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Intercepted signs/planets/houses in horary Reply with quote

Hello all,

I am hoping some of you can shed some light on these issues, either via experience or texts, etc. I keep seeing intercepted signs especially in important houses and I am not sure what to do with them. I ran across this discussion on the traditional use of intercepted signs in classical astrology, but I am wondering how you all have experienced its relevance (or irrelevance) in horary:
http://www.skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4804&sid=c1884ade4174a12b497700d003f6c559

A horary I saw online said something about one situation giving way for another. For example, a 7th house with an intercepted sign might show one doctor replacing another in an illness horary. Or in a love horary, you might expect the same for a partner of the querent. Is this the general interpretation most of you use?

One particular quote in the thread above had me confused:
Quote:
474. WHEN HOUSE FORMED OF TWO SIGNS. When a house is formed of two signs, if these are about equally represented, the lords of the signs are also the lords of the house, if both are in aspect; if only one is in aspect it becomes the more important, while if both are inconjunct, that is superior which has the greater number of dignities. The victory must always be given to that one which has the highest number of degrees in the house.


Does Al Biurni mean that either of the planets (the primary ruler or the intercepted ruler) that has the future aspect and is most greatly dignified takes the cake? I'm not sure what he means by highest number of degrees either. Actual degree number? I would assume the cusp ruler would at least be the initial road being taken by the querent.

As far as intercepted houses, which, I am assuming, are houses that are enclosed by an entire sign, I have only seen one mention of it indicating things like someone in hiding, or an inclosed space.

Anthony Louis says that planets in intercepted signs "have trouble expressing themselves." He lists it as a debility.
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dr. farr



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 276
Location: los angeles, california usa

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The variety of conflicting "rules" of what intercepts mean and how they should be interpreted was always a confusing issue for me in the past: with Whole Sign it never becomes an issue because it never happens, which helped me a great deal to obtain a clearer understanding of the macrocosmic influences reflected in the chart.
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Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
474. When a house is formed of two signs, if these are about equally represented, the lords of the signs are also the lords of the house, if both are in aspect; if only one is in aspect it becomes the more important, while if both are inconjunct, that is superior which has the greater number of dignities. The victory must always be given to that one which has the highest number of degrees in the house.

Does Al Biurni mean that either of the planets (the primary ruler or the intercepted ruler) that has the future aspect and is most greatly dignified takes the cake? I'm not sure what he means by highest number of degrees either. Actual degree number? I would assume the cusp ruler would at least be the initial road being taken by the querent.


Hi Tanit

I’ll give you my opinion on what Al Biruni meant, and my personal opinion of how necessary this is in practice; but please bear in mind that I can only speculate on what Al Biruni is trying to say because we don’t have any judgements of his that would illustrate exactly how he determined signification. Other members might have other views, and this could turn into a very interesting discussion.

I’ll break his quote down to examine its meaning as I understand it:
Quote:
474. When a house is formed of two signs, if these are about equally represented, the lords of the signs are also the lords of the house, if both are in aspect; if only one is in aspect it becomes the more important

By saying “if these are about equally represented” I believe that unless the second sign covers at least as much space as the sign on the cusp, then the first sign-ruler becomes the main governor of the house by default. That is not to say that the 2nd-sign ruler wouldn’t be considered, but that it would not be given as much importance. What follows appears to apply to situations where the second sign is about as as big (or bigger) than the first, as a way to judge which of the two sign-rulers should be given most importance.

The image below shows a 1st-house which is more or less equally split between Cancer and Leo, so we can use that as an example. Al Biruni’s houses would have been more equal (towards 30°) than the ones I cast in my locality, but we can still use this to demonstrate the principle.

If both the Moon and the Sun were in aspect to the ascendant we would consider them as equal partners in the signification, but this chart has the Sun in square to the ascendant and the Moon is inconjunct (sem-sextile: too weak to be considered in ancient astrology), so in this example, we would discount the Moon in favour of the Sun. Even though the Moon rules the sign on the cusp, most older authorities expected that the ruler of a ’place’ ought to have the means to express authority over that place, so without an aspect to the ascendant, the planet’s ability to govern the ascendant is diminished. Hence the ability to aspect the ascendant is often seen to be a stronger claim to governorship than the evaluation of dignity rulership (for the older authors).



AlBiruni_cont wrote:
…if both are inconjunct, that is superior which has the greater number of dignities. The victory must always be given to that one which has the highest number of degrees in the house.


To judge this, you need to refer to Al Biruni’s passage 494 and 495: ‘The Order of Precedence’ and ‘The Ruling Planet: Al Muten”

It is too much for me to type out – the gist of it is that the essential dignities have a scale of virtue, which allows 5 points for sign, 4 for exaltation, 3 for triplicity, 2 for term and 1 for face. This logic forms the basis of Lilly’s ‘scoring table’ which is detailed on this link - http://www.skyscript.co.uk/dig5.html#liltab so if anyone is unfamiliar with the principle and doesn’t have Al Biruni’s text, the concept can be understood there.

That passage, again, expresses the view that when judging by the strength of dignities, if there is any sense of equality, preference will always go to the planet in aspect.

The final comment “The victory must always be given to that one which has the highest number of degrees in the house” is, I believe, just a way of saying that when determining the superior planet which rules the greatest number of dignities, the winner is the one which rules the most degrees of essential dignity (as explained in 494ff.)

(It is possible that the final comment means something else. Masha’allah talks about giving priority to the planet that is nearest to the end of its own sign, but I don't think that is meant here)

With regard to my personal experience, in horary I took the decision years ago to judge by the ruler of the sign on the cusp, and not to get bogged down with all the intricacies of deciding which planet is strongest in that place when everything is considered. The reason was partly because the details of the ‘correct’ way to decide this vary so much depending upon which authority we refer to; and also because my mission as a horary astrologer was to have an understanding of the symbolism in my head and my heart - so that when I look at a chart I want to see instantly what I need to know, and start working with the symbolism fluently. So I mostly appreciate the techniques that have a clear and understandable logic, which most elements of horary do. This approach has worked perfectly well for me in horary. I'm not sure it would work as well in other branches of astrology, but in horary we are often looking to obtain reliable signification - the test is that I expect the planetary ruler to acurately describe the thing it is supposed to signify, and I am critical about this needing to be reliable every time. So all I can say is that I'm happy with the results I get.

With respect to dr farr, and anyone else who might ask why I don't then simplify it further and judge by whole sign, my answer would be that I consider the angles and house cusps to be amongst the most important, influential, and symbolically loaded elements of horary, so the contacts to them, and the descriptive details that they add are vital. I agree with some of your initial comments, which suggest that we can read a symbolic 'shift' when a planet moves from one sign to another, and this can often relate to a change of circumstance regarding what is signified by that house.

I can also see the logic of considering the almuten when it is actually in the house itself, or in aspect to it, even though I don’t currently feel inclined towards that approach myself. With regard to Lilly’s techniques, I noticed that his older horaries tended to make use of almutens, but over time he seemed to drop that and judged with the main emphasis given to the sign-ruler of the cusp. An example of a chart where he placed a strong emphasis on the almuten is the horary about Master B’s houses, (CA p.215) where he uses the Sun to mainly signify the person he is trading with. The reason is because it is the Almuten of Aries (on the 7th cusp), and it is actually placed inside the 7th house, and it physically described the man, and his significator was applying to it, which made the Sun a planet of especial interest. With all those factors combined I think he made the right decision - but he still looked at Mars as the cusp-sign-ruler too, and pointed out how using that as a significator also brought out relevant aspects of his judgement.

Basically, I don’t like the approach to horary judgement to get too twisted or convoluted – I don’t think it is necessary – but it is good to understand the logic, to see it at work in some of the older charts, and to understand when it can add value to a judgement (like the examples you gave above where the second sign-ruler can represent another party who takes over from the first).

It’s an interesting question - hope you get some more contributions to give you alternate views too,

Deb
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johannes susato



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 1464

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a real pleasure, to see a quotation I made in the middle of October last year now so deeply interpreted by you, Deb!

Especially your interpretation of the highly astonishing last part of Nr. 474 is fascinating.

My conclusion of sentence Nr. 474 was very simple then:
Quote:
As an intercepted sign will always have the highest number of degrees its lord will always be lord of the house teaches Al Biruni.


But rereading it now I still think sentence Nr. 474 has two parts:
The first concerning signs, equally represented, and
the second concerning signs, not equally represented.

Quote:
"474. When a house is formed of two signs, if these are about
[1.]
equally represented, the lords of the signs are also the lords of the house, if both are in aspect; if only one is in aspect it becomes the more important, while if both are inconjunct, that is superior which has the greater number of dignities.
[2.
not equally represented:]
The victory must always be given to that one which has the highest number of degrees in the house."

Given my interpretation is wrong. How do you think then are the teachings of Al Biruni as to a house formed of two signs, if these are NOT equally represented?

Given my interpretation is right, then this teaching of Al Biruni would be very unusual in our view.

There is also the possibility of philological haziness in the translation or a haziness in the tradition of the arabic original text.

Johannes
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Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Johannes

Apologies, I didn't pay much attention to the link in the top post, so I didn't realise that the statement had already been scrutinised.


To answer your question directly, I'll requote from above:

Quote:
I believe that unless the second sign covers at least as much space as the sign on the cusp, then the first sign-ruler becomes the main governor of the house by default.


But your opinion on the last remark is as good as mine really. I expressed what made most sense to me, but I think we can only be left with opinion until we see similar statements or worked out examples. Masha'allah says something along similar lines in his judgement 'On a sickman' (in Reception) but in some ways it is very different to this, so that doesn't help to clarify what was meant here. (EG., in that chart the ascendant was in the last degrees of Leo, but Masha'allah only talked about which was the stronger significator - the Sun or the Moon; he didn't consider the relevance of Mercury - what we have, is a similar expression of the need to consider aspect and dignity)

One thing I don't think the passage is relevant to though, is the notion of a sign being intercepted within the house, because this is only discussing 2 signs in a house not three. I am assuming that intercepted is meant as Lilly defined the term in CA p.37: "intercepted; for so we say when a sign is not upon any of the cusps of houses, but included between one house and another. " I wasn't careful to point that out in my earlier post. Also, I don't recall any notion of an intercepted planet being 'trapped' or unable to express itself in any of the traditional texts I've read.

I wonder if intercepted signs within houses would have concerned Al Biruni anyway - as I said earlier, in his region the houses would tend to be much more regular than ours in Europe anyway, so maybe this didn't present itself at a practical level. (I could be very wrong though, because I haven't checked this out).

Quote:
There is also the possibility of philological haziness in the translation or a haziness in the tradition of the arabic original text.

Exactly.

Best regards
Deb
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