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The Hermetic Lots
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:39 am    Post subject: The Hermetic Lots Reply with quote

Hello All,

At the encouragement of Deb I have started up a new thread on the 'Hermetic Lots' as our discussion on fixed stars in the natal forum had drifted into this issue. The term 'Hermetic' refers back to the mythical sage Hermes Trismigestus who was the legendary founder of the astrological tradition according to many early astrological texts.

First of all what are the Hermetic lots?

As defined by Paulus and Olypiodorus the 7 'Hermetic lots' are as follows

1 Lot of Fortune. You calculate it for those born by day from the degree of the Sun to the degree of the Moon and an equal amount from the ascendant, but the reverse for those at night.

2 Lot of Spirit. You calculate it for those born by day from the degree of the Moon to the degree of the Sun and an equal amount from the ascendant, but the reverse for those at night.

3 Lot of Eros. You calculate it for those born by day from the Lot of Spirit to the degree of Venus and an equal amount from the ascendant, but the reverse for those at night.

4 Lot of Necessity. You will calculate it for those born by day from the degree of Mercury to the Lot of Fortune, and an equal amount from the ascendant, but the reverse for those at night.

5 Lot of Courage, which you will work out from the degree of Mars to the Lot of Fortune, and an equal amount from the ascendant for those born by day, but the reverse for those at night.

6 Lot of Victory. You will count for those born by day from the Lot of Spirit to the degree of Jupiter, and an equal amount from the ascendant, but the reverse for those at night.

7 Lot of Nemesis. You will count for diurnal births from Saturn to the Lot of Fortune, and an equal amount from the ascendant, but by night the reverse.

Note that the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit are the only Hermetic lots which count from celestial body to celestial body, while the rest of the hermetic lots count from a specific planet to either the Lot of Fortune or the Lot of Spirit, or vice versa.

The definition above follows the approach described most fully by Paulus Alexandrinus and Olypiodorus.

I first noticed this topic being discussed by Joseph Crane in his book Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy in his chapter on the lots. Dorian Giesler Greenbaum discussed the subject extensively in her article in Culture and Cosmos ‘Calculating the Lots of Fortune and Daemon in Hellenistic Astrology’, Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum, Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 11, no. 2, Autumn/Winter 2007. Robert Schmidt has discussed this concept in depth during his Project Hindsight Conclaves and recordings of these workshops are available from Project Hindsight. Chris Brennan brought out an article in The Tradition on the Hermetic lots last year (The Tradition journal, issue 2, spring 2009) He has now issued the article free online:

http://www.chrisbrennanastrologer.com/Brennan-Theoretical-Rationale.pdf

In his article Chris points out that while the Lot of Eros and Necessity are mentioned in other Hellenistic sources and authors, such as Valens and Firmicus for example, they both seem to employ a completely different method of calculating these two lots that does not involve Venus or Mercury at all, but instead just the distances between the lot of Fortune and Spirit. See Valens, Anthology, ed. Pingree, Book 4, Ch. 25: 13 & 16; Firmicus, Mathesis, Book 6, Ch. 32: 45-46

I wonder if any members have any any views on these lots and/or experience of working with them? Clearly, the Lot of Fortune and Spirit are found throughout astrology in the classical world. However, the remaining 5 Hermetic Lots are probably less commonly known or used.

Mark
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Clelia Romano



Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 353
Location: São Paulo

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pasted an copied the later post Mark wrote on Lots. Just to begin from the scratch.

Clélia


quote="MarkC"]
Quote:
O, I think most people have a romantic idea of Brazil! I live in a kind of city that never sleeps: lot of traffic, violence, pollution...:-(


Yes I was aware of that. Sao Paulo is a sprawling Metropolis. Plus I saw the movie City of God so I am aware Brazil has considerable levels of poverty and large disparities in the distribution of wealth. Shocked Sad

Quote:
But there are places outside town, for example Campos de Jordão, a city in the countryside, where you can see the sky so dark and the stars twinkling: no people, only the bugs singing. It is amazing. Out there I feel like the sky is something alive.


Something that many city dwellers across the world have lost. Sad

Quote:
Okay, I was not sure what you was referring to. But only Base is constructed with the 2 Lots, isn´t it?


I didn't know that! As I said I have only started seriously looking at lots very recently. You are clearly correct. The Hermetic Lots are not purely based on Lots. However, they rely on working with a planet to a Lot. So you need considerable trust in the Lot of Fortune and Spirit to start working with them. My slight anxiety probably relates to my naturalistic sympathies which is why I study fixed stars. Of course its all symbolism. However, it seems one place further removed from celestial reality in the Hermetic lots and two places further removed in the Lot of Base. Shocked

The other slightly confusing thing is the different Lot traditions even in the classical era. Hence Valens has a different system (excluding the Lot of Fortune and Spirit). Its less transparent if we just look at Brennan's article as he is restricting his thoughts to mostly Paulus and Olypiodorus. Still, I dont think these differences are irreconciliable myself. However, If you start incorporating medieval Lots too its gets really messy with various methods to calculate Lot of marriage, Mother etc. After years of 'dabbling' and looking at sources all over the tradition I have decided to focus my efforts on classical astrology for now. My adoption of whole sign houses as significators of areas of life was a key element in that process.

I do think we need a sense of proportionality here. In her article in Culture and Cosmos Dorian Greenbaum shows research that out of about 300 extant charts from the Hellenistic tradition, approximately 91 calculate the Lot of Fortune (in one form or another), and 33 employ the Lot of Spirit, thus making them by far the two most widely employed lots. Lets explore the other lots but I do think we should not lose the central importance of these two Lots.

Mark[/quote]
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librafeng



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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ,Mr MarkC.

According to Mr zoidsoft,Mr Schmidt haes made some Correction to the formulas of Hermetic Lots.

for example:

Lot of Eros:

[Day] Lot = Asc+ Venus - Spirit
[Night] Lot = Asc + Spirit - Venus
Schmidt's Correction: Lot = Asc + Venus - Spirit

because,the ASC is so sensitive to the time.
in the "night" formula.the asc will be doubled and the lot will be much sensitive to the time.

so Mr Schmidt think that day and night charts should own the same formula of the Hermetic Lots.

as actual use,i temporarily do not find the effect of the Hermetic Lots(except POF and spirit)

because my lot of Victory(lot of jupiter) fall in my 1st house(and 11th from POF) and its lord saturn is in sect and fall in my natal 10th and is in his exaltation.besides it can see the jupiter(also in my natal10th).

but i do not own much money or become a rich man.

maybe getting in touch with astrology(especially Hellenistic Astrology) is the gifts that the GODS give me.

librafeng
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Clelia Romano



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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paulo Felipe Noronha wrote:
Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:01 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the 7 Hermetic lots, I've read Brenan excelent article, and my personal opinion is that I find very interesting that those lots concerning difficulties in life are taken from Fortuna (physical), while Spirit stands for those of fortunate and elevational nature (which makes clearer why the helenistic sources links Spirit with career).

The fact that Fortuna aligns with night, hence darkness, and represents the material, and originate the Lots derived from malefics + Mercury, and that the others stands for Spirit, representing light and the achievements of importance in ones life, is actually very enlightening.

Also, it highlights an interesting symetry where we see

Venus
Jupiter
Sun/Moon (1 domicile each)

and

Mars
Mercury
Saturn

all in all, by reading the article, it seemed to me that the Hermetic lots makes a pretty "perfect" system.
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Clelia Romano



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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark and Paulo:

I have a tendence to agree with Mark: I don´t like points created by maths;-)

We still have a hard job working with planets, houses, dignities, etc: Parts demand much more points to be delineated, and they don´t have the same face value the planets have. They are constructed by men´s minds.

I have experience working with the Fortune, Spirit, Base and Acquisition, and I use them according to Valens ´meaning.

The only lots I trust completely and I am not able to work without them are Fortuna and Spirit.

regards

Clélia
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

librafeng wrote:
Quote:
According to Mr zoidsoft,Mr Schmidt has made some correction to the formulas of Hermetic Lots. So Mr Schmidt thinks that day and night charts should own the same formula of the Hermetic Lots.


Yes. In the footnotes to his article Chris Brennan sets out his reason for disagreeing with Robert Schmidt's view that we should not be reversing the Hermetic lots. I assume Robert Schmidt is only discussing the 5 additional lots and not the lot of Fortune or Spirit. There seems little doubt that all hellenistic sources advocated this reversal of Lot of Fortune/Spirit calculation with the exception of Ptolemy.

Here is the relevant part of Chris Brennan's article:

Quote:
Robert Schmidt of Project Hindsight has recently questioned whether the calculations of the Hermetic lots presented in Paul were originally meant to be reversed, in a private workshop on the topic, however this position does not appear to be supported by the extant Hellenistic texts. In point of fact, in the Olympiodorus commentary the reversal of the lots is explicitly demonstrated. See the Olympiodorus commentary, ed. Boer, pg. 50: 6-15; trans. Greenbaum, Late Classical Astrology, pg. 105. cf. Benjamin Dykes’ translation of Guido Bonatti, Book of Astronomy, vol. 2, pg. 1047, fn. 593.

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Clelia Romano



Joined: 31 Mar 2008
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Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

Quote:
According to Mr zoidsoft,Mr Schmidt haes made some Correction to the formulas of Hermetic Lots.

for example:

Lot of Eros:

[Day] Lot = Asc+ Venus - Spirit
[Night] Lot = Asc + Spirit - Venus
Schmidt's Correction: Lot = Asc + Venus - Spirit

because,the ASC is so sensitive to the time.
in the "night" formula.the asc will be doubled and the lot will be much sensitive to the time so Mr Schmidt think that day and night charts should own the same formula of the Hermetic Lots
as actual use,i temporarily do not find the effect of the Hermetic Lots(except POF and spirit)

because my lot of Victory(lot of jupiter) fall in my 1st house(and 11th from POF) and its lord saturn is in sect and fall in my natal 10th and is in his exaltation.besides it can see the jupiter(also in my natal10th).


but i do not own much money or become a rich man.


maybe getting in touch with astrology(especially Hellenistic Astrology) is the gifts that the GODS give me.

I´ll not discuss about the formula of the Eros´s lot, but as for the financial significator you can´t look only to the Lot, since the Lot can signify other kind of things linked to the body, for example.

The Lots can be used together with other forms of delineation.

best

Clélia
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
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Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

When I first studied astrology, I didn't even bother to study the Lots with the exception of Lot of Fortune (like Ptolemy!) and I used Ptolemy’s formula (who did not reverse the formula for night chart). Later, when I studied traditional astrology I started to reverse the formula and found that (at least to my experience) they work better. In addition, I also experimented with the other Lots. Among the seven Hermetic Lots, I have experimented only a few of them based on others work e.g. Lot of Fortune (for the determination of wealth as outlined by Firmicus Maternus and Bernadette Brady), Lot of Spirit and Lot of Fortune (together with Lot of Exaltation and Lot of Basis for the determination of Eminence as outlined by Vettius Valens and Antoine Garth), Releasings (aphesis) (from Lot of Spirit for timings of profession and career and from Lot of Fortune for timings of general health and well-being as outlined by Vettius Valens)and Releasing from Lot of Eros for timings of relationships (as outlined by Chris Brennan). All of these techniques seem to work on many client charts that I have.

In my early studies of the Lots, I did a lot of work on the so called (for lack of better term) planetary Lots i.e. Lots that have the algebraic formula Asc + Planet1 – Planet2. Geometrically this means that if I were to turn all of the planets of the birth chart simultaneously so that Planet2 is aligned exactly on the ascendant, the position of planet1 is the Lot. This is the way that the ancients think because first, they revered geometry, second, the Lots were created before algebra and third, even after algebra was introduced in the West, the paradigm of mathematics was geometry until it was later proven that all of geometrical problems (and more) could be solved algebraically.

I wanted to study the effects of these planetary lots to nativities before going to the other types of Lots. I ignored Lots that do not begin with ascendant because I think that a personal Lot to the native must somehow include ascendant (hence, I ignored Ibnu Ezra’s Lot of death i.e. 8th house cusp + Saturn – Moon). In my early studies I also ignored Lots that use other than planets for Planet1 and Planet2 because if another Lot is used, one or two planets might be added twice or cancelled and if a house cusp is used, I would have to worry about house system. [However, as mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, I now used Lot of Eros as outline by Chris Brennan for they seem to work in my practice. I still do not trust the Lots that use house cusps though].

There are seven traditional planets and if you only use the planetary Lots i.e. Asc + Planet1 – Planet2, you would have 42 Lots. With the hundreds of Lots generated by the Arabs, it is unavoidable that the same Lot could have different significations e.g. in Paulus – Olympiodorus text, the planetary Lot with the formula [Asc + Jupiter – Moon] are the Lot of Woman Friend (Nocturnal), friendship of a Man (diurnal) and male Children (diurnal). So, if you are born during the day, the planetary Lot [Asc + Jupiter – Moon] represents both friendship of men and male children. If this Lot or its Lord is afflicted in a diurnal natal chart, would it affect male friendship or male children or even both? Well this problem is not unique to the Lots for the planets themselves may mean many things (as universal and accidental significators). This is probably why astrologers need to see all of the significators and decide for themselves which to use and given emphasis to (problem of significators and their hierarchies).

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned one Lot signifying different things. There is also another problem of when one thing is governed by Lots of different formulae e.g. the Lot of Father. This is more serious problem because we really have to decide which formula to use (or even maybe different formula for different occasions).

There is one thing interesting that I need to mention concerning the Planetary Lots i.e. their motion. The motion of the Planetary Lots along the signs of the zodiac is as fast as the motion of ascendant itself. Conversely, the motion of the Planetary Lots along the houses is as slow as the motion of the phase between the two planets used in the formula of the Lots (Planet1 and Planet2). Hence, the motion of the Lots is slower when moving from house to house (speed is almost the same as the speed of the phasing of the 2 planets) and faster when moving from sign to sign (speed is similar to ascendant). These statements are true for all Planetary Lots that are not reversed due to the sect of the chart. For those Lots that reversed according to the chart sect like Lot of Fortune, these statements are true except at the change of sect (day change to night or vice versa). This is probably why John Frawley insists on using the non-reversal Lot of Fortune for he believes that the Lot of Fortune is just another tool for representing phases of the Moon.

So we have a nice symmetry between planets and Planetary Lots in terms of motions. The planets change their house positions every 2 hours (approximately, on average and they ingress all of the houses during the course of a day) but they do not move fast along the zodiac. The fastest is the Moon which changes its zodiacal sign every about 2+ days. Conversely, the Planetary Lots change their sign positions every 2 hours (approximately, on average and they ingress all of the signs during the course of a day) but they do not move fast along the houses. As an example, Lot of Fortune changes houses quite slowly, i.e. it stays approximately in the same house for the whole day or night (depending on sect). Lots that are not reversed due to sect would stay in the same house (on average) for the whole day and night until the phases between the 2 planets change to effect the change in house positions.
An epiphany: The Ancients: “We have the planets, signs and houses. The planets move slowly along the signs but quite fast relative to houses. Let’s create points that move quite fast relative to signs but slow relative to houses. Enter the Lots” - well this probably didn’t happen but it could!

These motions of the planets and planetary lots can be important when delineating them directly. We shouldn't emphasize the house position of a lot as much as we wouldn't have put so much emphasis on sign position of a planet. Oh, my Lot of Fortune is in the tenth house - I'll be rich! Well almost all people born on the same half day would have Lot of Fortune in the tenth house. Of couse, any astrologer would have looked into other things as well...
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astrojin



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Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,


Quote:
About the 7 Hermetic lots, I've read Brenan excelent article, and my personal opinion is that I find very interesting that those lots concerning difficulties in life are taken from Fortuna (physical), while Spirit stands for those of fortunate and elevational nature (which makes clearer why the helenistic sources links Spirit with career).

Fortune represents that which the world impacts on us and Spirit represents that which we impact upon the world (well, roughly speaking!). Maybe the ancients feel that to get the benefic things in life, it must come from us (connected with spirit). However, the bad things can still come and vist us whether we want them or not (connected to Fortune).
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librafeng



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Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your posts,astrojin.

very illuminating!

always enjoy your posts and articles.
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epurdue



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Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was never really clear how to use them practically. I mean conceptually the Lot of Necessity is a bit more vague than the Lot of Marriage for Men.
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yuzuru



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Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clelia said:
Quote:
have a tendence to agree with Mark: I don´t like points created by maths;-)

We still have a hard job working with planets, houses, dignities, etc: Parts demand much more points to be delineated, and they don´t have the same face value the planets have. They are constructed by men´s minds.


I strongly disagree. Parts, houses, signs, even planets, none of them have really a natural signification and are all constructs of men´s minds. Attempts by modern astrology (and this comes since morinus, or even ptolemy) to make astrology scientific or to fit some sort of "natural philosophy", always have striped astrology of important elements.

To Astrojin:
I relate very much to what you said, my experience has been very similar. You can´t do proper delineation of a natal theme without reference to the particular part or lot. Just a few points I would like to comment.

Quote:
Releasings (aphesis) (from Lot of Spirit for timings of profession and career and from Lot of Fortune for timings of general health and well-being as outlined by Vettius Valens)and Releasing from Lot of Eros for timings of relationships (as outlined by Chris Brennan). All of these techniques seem to work on many client charts that I have.


Unlike you I don´t have a lot of trust in aphesis. Despite the propaganda I have seen little predictive effect.

Quote:
I still do not trust the Lots that use house cusps though

I also don´t trust them. None of the classical parts use house cusps.

Quote:
There is also another problem of when one thing is governed by Lots of different formulae e.g. the Lot of Father
.
In my experience there is a classical part that is really repeated all over tradition, and "alternative" lots that are not worthy the time. For instance, for marriage, the most important lot is the one from Hermes, I don´t see value in the alternatives lots of valens, etc.

The commentary on the position of the parts by house is also important because we often see "insightful delineations" as "oh, his part of marriage is on the 7th house" :-)

There are some secrets on the delineation of the parts that can only be understood by looking at the real charts (I comment this because so many people talk about the parts, but few seem to actually use them). For instance, I don´t believe that the usual practice of seeing the dispositor of the part is of so great a use. Aspects suffered by the parts are usually of much greater value.

To Mark:
In an old ISAR conference, and in a number of the Apprentice, John Frawley proposes a method for delineating the seven hermetic parts, using the myths of the fixed stars.

The little I used of this method, I can´t say that it "work" as the delineation are always a little vague, but I confess I like the method.
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yuzuru



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
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Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clelia said:
Quote:
have a tendence to agree with Mark: I don´t like points created by maths;-)

We still have a hard job working with planets, houses, dignities, etc: Parts demand much more points to be delineated, and they don´t have the same face value the planets have. They are constructed by men´s minds.


I strongly disagree. Parts, houses, signs, even planets, none of them have really a natural signification and are all constructs of men´s minds. Attempts by modern astrology (and this comes since morinus, or even ptolemy) to make astrology scientific or to fit some sort of "natural philosophy", always have striped astrology of important elements.

To Astrojin:
I relate very much to what you said, my experience has been very similar. You can´t do proper delineation of a natal theme without reference to the particular part or lot. Just a few points I would like to comment.

Quote:
Releasings (aphesis) (from Lot of Spirit for timings of profession and career and from Lot of Fortune for timings of general health and well-being as outlined by Vettius Valens)and Releasing from Lot of Eros for timings of relationships (as outlined by Chris Brennan). All of these techniques seem to work on many client charts that I have.


Unlike you I don´t have a lot of trust in aphesis. Despite the propaganda I have seen little predictive effect.

Quote:
I still do not trust the Lots that use house cusps though

I also don´t trust them. None of the classical parts use house cusps.

Quote:
There is also another problem of when one thing is governed by Lots of different formulae e.g. the Lot of Father
.
In my experience there is a classical part that is really repeated all over tradition, and "alternative" lots that are not worthy the time. For instance, for marriage, the most important lot is the one from Hermes, I don´t see value in the alternatives lots of valens, etc.

The commentary on the position of the parts by house is also important because we often see "insightful delineations" as "oh, his part of marriage is on the 7th house" :-)

There are some secrets on the delineation of the parts that can only be understood by looking at the real charts (I comment this because so many people talk about the parts, but few seem to actually use them). For instance, I don´t believe that the usual practice of seeing the dispositor of the part is of so great a use. Aspects suffered by the parts are usually of much greater value.

To Mark:
In an old ISAR conference, and in a number of the Apprentice, John Frawley proposes a method for delineating the seven hermetic parts, using the myths of the fixed stars.

The little I used of this method, I can´t say that it "work" as the delineation are always a little vague, but I confess I like the method.
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In an old ISAR conference, and in a number of the Apprentice, John Frawley proposes a method for delineating the seven hermetic parts, using the myths of the fixed stars.


See The Astrologer's Apprentice No. 22 "On the Architecture of the Soul."

I believe all issues are available as downloads in pdf format. Write here for details:

j@johnfrawley.com

Tom
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 478

Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

To steven,
Quote:
I think it is a project I am going to finish when I get up to speed again. It's been sitting for a while in a pretty rough format of over 300 A4 pages. A lot of new material also has been recently translated and I need to go through this material also. Good delineation tips in the Book of Aristotle for example that Ben translated and published not so long ago.

I am sure that many of us are with me when I say that we eagerly await your book!
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