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Lilly's Considerations
compiled by D. Houlding
Book II of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus
translated by David Pingree
Compiled by Deborah Houlding
The Babylonian Astrolabe: the Calendar of Creation, by Rumen K. Kolev
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bonatti's 146 considerations
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 1713
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: bonatti's 146 considerations Reply with quote

hi there,

i am reading thru this book -2nd time this time ben dykes translation. i probably ought to have asked questions earlier on, as lots of comments from bonatti mystify me, but i will start where i am now on the 70th consideration and if anyone can attempt to explain what bonatti means by this, feel free to comment.
"and this is that you see in questions or the beginnings of th ings whether the "lord of the conjunction of prevention" which was before the question..... what is the bold type supposed to refer to? thanks!
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Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

"conjunction" and "prevention" refer to the New Moon and Full Moon prior to birth, respectively. The closer syzygy was routinely investigated already in the 2nd century, especially in natal astrology, so that must be the reason why Bonatti mentions them; coniunctio and preventio are, however, John of Seville's renderings for Arabic ijtimā‘ and istiqbāl whose astronomical meanings are simply 'New Moon' and 'Full Moon'.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, thanks levente - that is most helpful! - james
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irisalbus



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is something I was curious about, too.
Does "Lord of the conjunction" mean the Lord of the whole chart made for the exact date of the New Moon preceding birth? As if it was the Lord of the geniture in a natal chart?
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Tzadde



Joined: 07 Apr 2011
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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although probably I should let Mr. Laszlo respond, I dare say no, it is not like that, you simply behold the Sign where the conjunction happens and then pick the Lord of that Sign.
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james_m



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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tzadde,
thanks for chiming in! this is why questions on material is so relevant - the info/knowledge appears open to interpretation and not so cut and dry..
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I tend to agree with tzadde. I think the lord of the pre-natal syzygy is considered and not the lord of the geniture of the pre-natal syzygy. However, the lord of the pre-natal syzygy could be the domicile, exaltation, triplicity or term depending on how they are configured to the pre-natal syzygy itself.

Pre-natal syzygy = pre-natal lunation = pre-natal new moon (conjunction) or whole moon (prevention) whichever is nearer. I myself prefer the term pre-natal syzygy (though some might disagree!). Observe that pre-natal whole moon = pre-natal full moon (some astrologers prefer the term whole moon rather than full moon because whole moon is usually meant for when sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart whereas full moon is visually observed within a certain orb of of the sun-moon opposition.

The question we should ask ourselves is the reason Bonatti puts this injunction in his 70th consideration before judgment when we do not see this being practiced by horary astrologers (as confirmed by Bonatti himself!). We do look into the pre-natal syzygy in natal charts but this injunction is meant for horary (and probably electional) charts. Why does Bonatti put so much weight on the pre-natal syzygy so as to mention it as a “secret” that many are not privileged to? I will try to answer this question (may be partially!) in this post.

As we all know, the Moon is the most important universal planet to look into in mundane, natal, horary and electional (especially in dealing with electional magic). The theory is that whatever is promised by the Sun and the other five traditional planets will only be manifested if the Moon allows it to be for she is considered the agent of destiny. We are also aware that there are hierarchies of astrological effects. Horary and electional charts do not usually supersede natal charts and natal charts do not usually supersede mundane charts. As we will see later, these two concepts can be used to understand Bonatti’s injunction in his 70th consideration.

In mundane astrology, the changeable destiny commences at the point where lunation occurs (new or whole moon). So, every lunation (new or whole moon) brings new prospects of “destinies” that can be delineated (where appropriate) using the chart of the lunation itself and it is applicable for the following two weeks (before another lunation occurs). So, we have a two week mundane prediction for these lunation charts. Some astrologers would argue that the chart of the new moon gives the lunar monthly prediction but both the charts of the new moon and whole moon must be used for the second half of the lunar month. The ruler(s) or dispositor(s) of the lunation is universal (same for all location) and therefore, one should also use the ascendant ruler of the lunation chart to make a more specific prediction that is location specific. Do remember to include parans of fixed stars!

For annual mundane prediction, we use the Aries Ingress chart. Many modern astrologers look into the chart when Sun is exactly 0 degrees Aries but the ancient astrologers look into the lunation chart that occurs immediately before the ingress and uses this lunation chart to predict the destiny of the coming year (again the idea that the moon must be somehow involved!) – see Abu Ma’shar and Ptolemy. Similarly, when judging the greater 20 year cycle of Jupiter-Saturn, ancient astrologers did not use the moment Jupiter conjuncts Saturn exactly, rather they look to the Aries Ingress of the Sun that immediately occurs prior to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. By extension shouldn’t one use the lunation prior to the Aries ingress that occurs prior to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction for determining the destiny of the coming 20 years?

The pre-natal syzygy is referred to in many techniques in natal astrology. One good example is the determination of hyleg. There are five “points” of hyleg that can take up the function of hyleg and they are the Big Three (Ascendant, Sun and Moon) and the pre-natal syzygy (being the “composite” of Sun and Moon) and also Lot of Fortune (being the “composite” of Ascendant, Sun and Moon). The pre-natal syzygy also gets a looking when considering profession, parents, spiritual consideration, etc. There is one area not mentioned by many astrologers i.e. that one should look into i.e. the relationship between a native’s natal chart and the mundane charts. If a natal chart is strongly connected to the lunation chart, his destiny is going to touch the “many” (remember that the moon represents the public!). If a natal chart is strongly connected to the Jupiter-Saturn chart, Ingress chart and lunation chart, we have a native who is going to affect the public in a MAJOR way. It is as if the world has chosen this native as instrument to fulfil certain parts of destiny indicated in the mundane charts. This is a partial reason for the ancients using the natal charts of Kings in order to predict the destiny of his Kingdom or the mundane generally. The fact that he is King, shows that his natal chart is very much connected to the mundane world – and hence, looking into his natal chart is also like looking into the mundane chart somehow. Similarly, the mundane planetary transits seem to affect the King more than others. Why? Because his chart is connected to the mundane chart in the first place. So, we could also observe the mundane planetary configurations to predict the King’s life (without having to know the King’s natal chart) because of the believe that his natal chart is strongly connected to the mundane chart! The ancients understood that the predictions made from the universal significators apply to only those whose natal charts are strongly connected to the mundane charts, and these are usually the Kings, Emperors, etc.

Now we come to Bonatti’s injunction in his 70th consideration. If a horary (or even electional) chart is strongly connected to the mundane chart, in his case the pre-natal syzygy chart, then the chances of a positive outcome is increased. Why? Because the query or election is made in-line with the greater destiny (the mundane destiny) which usually supersedes lesser destinies (natal, horary or electional). Other astrologers have already mentioned that an electional should be made that does not contradict the natal chart because natal is above electional. Bonatti actually adds that if the query/electional is made in-line with the mundane chart, positive outcome is easier.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to have an election made with a chart that is in-line with both natal AND mundane charts (pre-natal lunation, ingress, etc.)? Even if it is a horary, if it happens to corroborate with both natal and mundane charts, the positive outcome is greatly increased because the greater “currents” (mundane and natal) usually supersede the indications shown in the horary/electional (which represents the lesser “current” of destiny). Bonatti mentions checking with mundane chart (pre-natal syzygy) and not natal chart because the astrologer would not have a very accurate natal chart of the native (unless the native has an accurate time of birth which was rare at his times unless you are of royalty).
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irisalbus



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tzadde wrote:
Although probably I should let Mr. Laszlo respond, I dare say no, it is not like that, you simply behold the Sign where the conjunction happens and then pick the Lord of that Sign.


And what about the Full Moon/prevention? In this case, is the sign of the position of the Moon to be considered?
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Iris,

there are more answers to your questions, depending you want a general one or a special one illuminating Bonatti's theory.

Answering generally, I agree with Tzadde and partly with James (Astrojin) on the fact that the prenatal syzygy is a degree in the natal chart that should be observed, and when it comes to its lord, the domicile ruler is to be understood, as innumerable examples from Greek astrologers prove, especially Valens, who in several charts uses the domicile lord despite being in aversion from the sign of the syzygy. (BTW Valens, following Petosiris, also devises looking at postnatal syzygies and even preconceptional ones; all these are later extended to other types of charts.) At least this is the way how early astrologers apparently understood it. I would also add that up to the time of Abū Ma‘shar (mid-9th century) there is no trace of auxiliary charts like separate charts, say, for solar revolutions or prenatal epochs.

You asked which position should be taken in case of prenatal Whole Moon (to adopt James' consequent usage of terms). Al-Qabīṣī, discussing the Ptolemaic technique named animodar in the Middle Ages, addresses this problem by giving the different opinions of Valens, Ptolemy and certain old astrologers, of whom Valens had allegedly claimed the position of Moon is to be used. It sounds logical, and althought I haven't seen Valens saying this explicitly in the Greek version of his Anthologies, his examples clearly show this approach and so do some of other authorities like Zeno's astrologer (surviving in Rhetorius, al-Qaṣrānī and "Palchus"), the compiler of 5th century inceptions (found reworked in "Palchus") and Eutocius. (It's not impossible that these political and inceptional charts from 464 to 488 are due to Eutocius from whom Rhetorius cites a natal chart from 497; this would also explain the problem of transmission of charts to Arabic authors.)

Nevertheless, Ptolemy poses two bits of problem to later astrologers: firstly, his understanding of rulership gives rise (or at least impetus) to the almuten system, also reflected by many Arabic and Medieval authors; secondly, in the description of his animodar technique he gives preference to the luminary above earth when the nativity is preventional, inspired by Nechepso. This latter ambiguity allows some speculations as al-Qabīṣī reports.

To give the Bonatti-specific answer, the story is more complicated. I'm dubious if we can attribute anything to Bonatti but a copy from the pseudo-Ptolemaic Centiloquy, that is, from the apparently late 9th century forgery titled The Fruit of Ptolemy by Aḥmad ibn al-Dāya, where it's found as Aphorism 97. (See Holden, Five medieval astrologers, p. 86.) It would be hard to tell how Bonatti understood it exactly but it's fairly straightforward in the case of Ibn al-Dāya himself as he reveals in the "commentary" of this passage, still untranslated to modern languages. In this he says the lord of the Whole or Full Moon is to be understood the almuten of the ascendant of the previous lunation; and for this doctrine he refers to his Aphorism 65, in whose "commentary" the invention of the usage of syzygies in interrogations is credited to Ṣāliḥ ibn al-Walīd (died before 896), Ibn al-Dāya's most admired master. Ibn al-Dāya and/or Ibn al-Walīd heavily depended on the doctrines of Abū Ma‘shar, especially his theory on conjunction which is discussed in some of his works and which was developed with borrowings from Ptolemy and Sassanian astrologers, so curiously enough, the instruction given by Bonatti ultimately stems back to general or mundane astrology, not to the common practice of Roman era astrologers.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

astrojin wrote:
Many modern astrologers look into the chart when Sun is exactly 0 degrees Aries but the ancient astrologers look into the lunation chart that occurs immediately before the ingress and uses this lunation chart to predict the destiny of the coming year (again the idea that the moon must be somehow involved!) – see Abu Ma’shar and Ptolemy.


I have a remark since I feel what you write is not exactly true.

It's a fact that Ptolemy in the description of his mundane astrological system (which was inspired by the Ancient Egyptians, that is, Nechepso and Petosiris) endorses the usage of the closest syzygy to the vernal equinox but I'm dubious if this technique, which seems more to be a theoretical deduction, was ever used in the "ancient" times. Most of the mundane astrology is credited to Sassanian astrologers, namely to Buzurjmihr, who, uninfluenced by Ptolemy but influenced by Zoroastrian and Indian notions of huge time-periods, developed the theory of conjunctions and Aries ingresses, and as a result, historical and political astrology. Political astrology as a descendant of both natal and inceptional astrology existed, however scarcely, in the Roman times, it was even exercised later as Arabic astrologers show but as event charts and not along the Ptolemaic method. Nevertheless, later historical astrologers did use the Aries ingresses as many examples from Māshā’allāh, al-Kindī, Abū Ma‘shar, al-Ḥasan ibn Mūsā al-Nawbakhtī and al-Sijzī show. Of course, Abū Ma‘shar tried to reconcile the two traditions but I've seen no trace of a chart using preequinoctial syzygies instead of real ingresses.

Theophilus of Edessa (late 8th century) seems to be the first who is aware of this difference, since in the preface of his untranslated Collection on Cosmic Inceptions introduces both Ptolemy's method and that of the Persians, who exclusively used the Aries ingress as a starting point, referring to Valens, Dorotheus and others, but explicitly endorses the use of the Persian system for a capital city, while allowing the Ptolemaic method a minor role. Maybe later astrologers, like Abū Ma‘shar, followed his instructions more or less.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente wrote:
Quote:
Political astrology as a descendant of both natal and inceptional astrology existed, however scarcely, in the Roman times, it was even exercised later as Arabic astrologers show but as event charts and not along the Ptolemaic method. Nevertheless, later historical astrologers did use the Aries ingresses as many examples from Māshā’allāh, al-Kindī, Abū Ma‘shar, al-Ḥasan ibn Mūsā al-Nawbakhtī and al-Sijzī show. Of course, Abū Ma‘shar tried to reconcile the two traditions but I've seen no trace of a chart using preequinoctial syzygies instead of real ingresses.


Interesting discussion. Beyond Ptolemy it seems there was more universal adoption of sign/triplicity associations for parts of the world in Roman Empire astrology based on astrological geography rather than using the pre-lunation quarter. Ptolemy does refer to using the degree of the the ascendant, Moon or failing that the Sun for a foundation chart for a city. This might explain some of the opaque traditional associations cities have to signs or even specific degrees of signs.

There could be another angle here. Calculation of an ingress chart requires a considerable degree of astronomical precision. Arguably this only became practical for astrologers with the increasing astronomical sophistication of later Persian and Arab astrology. Most hellenistic astrologers would have not had access to the kind of data that allowed such accuracy. In contrast a pre-lunation chart was easier to calculate.

Levente wrote:
Quote:
Most of the mundane astrology is credited to Sassanian astrologers, namely to Buzurjmihr, who, uninfluenced by Ptolemy but influenced by Zoroastrian and Indian notions of huge time-periods, developed the theory of conjunctions and Aries ingresses, and as a result, historical and political astrology.


Its true that most of the mundane tradition of medieval astrology seems to derive from these later sources. Still, there is evidence of political astrology through astrological geography going back to ancient Babylonian sources.

http://rambambashi.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/tonight%E2%80%99s-lunar-eclipse-seen-from-babylon/

This tradition is continued by the Greeks and Romans who attributed parts of the world/countries to particular triplicities and within those individual signs. This outlook survives to this day when astrologers comment England or Germany are associated with the sign of Aries.

Another dimension of mundane astrology passed down to the medieval and renaissance that is definitely not Sassanian/Persian in origin is the tradition of comet lore. Looking at medieval ideas the astrological sources seem to be exclusively hellenistic or Roman in origin.

Mark
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astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
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Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

To Levente:
I am astrojin and my name is not James. James and astrojin are two different people! I posted a reply to James.

The fact that Ptolemy did mention using previous lunation prior to Aries ingress says something of what the astrologers before him were doing. I simply mentioned Ptolemy and Abu Ma'shar because Ptolemy's work is considered one of the earliest recorded astrological corpus and Abu Ma'shar as the somewhat late medieval/arabic astrologer. The ancient calendars (Hunter-Gatherers, Babylonians, even Semitic) have always been mostly lunar (luni-solar calendar follows suit due to agriculture) and hence, the concept of new year (whatever that means) in ancient times does start at new moon (with variants of which new moon should one declare as new year) - which of course, questions the use of whole moon.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is definitely Persian but as Robert Hand correctly stated in one of his lectures, it was definitely not easy to actually correctly determine the exact degree and minute for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Hence, the use of prior Aries Ingress of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction as demarcating the following 20 year cycle (or even the great mutation period depending on which Jupiter-Saturn cycle we refer to). In fact, even in Arabic medieval times, they were still arguing over the exact period of solar year [they were still using simple arithmetic to calculate the start of new year or Aries Ingress by calculating the period since the last Aries Ingress - see for example Ibnu Ezra's Sefer Ha' Olam]. Mark [hello Mark] is right about the relatively simpler calculation involved in determining lunation. My argument was, if one uses the prior lunation in establishing new year (prior lunation to Aries Ingress), one should also use prior lunation of the prior Aries Ingress of Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in order to establish new great year cycle [not that the ancients actually did this!]. I guess what I am trying to say here is that the concept of new year must start at new moon (which is what the ancients, astrologers or otherwise did]. The only problem here is which new moon? Is it the modern concept of new moon where new moon = dark moon = moon conjuncts sun exactly (like the Chinese and Indian calendars) or the first appearance of the sliver moon (like the muslim calendar).
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi astrojin,

i want to thank you for your earlier post where you offer a broader context of astrology to think and consider that is typically forgotten. that was golden what you had to say and regardless of the in's and outs to bonatti's considerations, your post is one consideration that more astrologers would benefit from contemplating as i see it.

on another note, i was reading a thread that was recently brought forward from 2005 and found some of the comments, especially the opening one from debbie really brilliant and in line with some of my own thinking. i only read page 1, but loved the interchange and mostly related to kirk in the conversation.. this is the thread for anyone mildly curious. it does and doesn't relate to this thread in so far as the broader context of what we are wanting to understand in astrology is something worth considering.
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=930&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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james_m



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Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another mystery to me in some regards -

"the 110th consideration is that you look to see in nativities and in universal questions, whether the ascendant is scorpio: because he whose ascendant it was, will not have fortune(good luck) in the roman church, on account of cancer, the exaltation of jupiter, who naturally signifies clerics, which will then be the 9th house, which signifies the church; and jupiter is the enemy of mars, who is the lord of the ascendant."

if anyone can unravel the logic of this - feel free. does the same go for aries rising and family/home matters too? and etc. etc..
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Tzadde



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Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
jupiter is the enemy of mars, who is the lord of the ascendant."

if anyone can unravel the logic of this - feel free. does the same go for aries rising and family/home matters too? and etc. etc..

Now that you said it, I had a revelation: I actually know someone with Aries Asc who is homeless! In childhood he was adopted (born in UK), then lived on his own, without marriage, without a real home (up to a point in his life, he lived in a rented house, so not his own house) then moved from Michigan (where he had a job) to California, where he became jobless and homeless.

I wasn't convinced that he has Aries Asc, because his birth time was rectified, but now... I can tell it might be true.

You know, Capricorn and Cancer are opposite to each other; they are the exaltations of Mars (war) and, respectively, Jupiter (peace). They are enemies in regard to this opposition. Just like Sun (light, warmth) and Saturn (darkness, coldness), with Aries-Libra axis or Leo-Aquarius... Mercury (mind, reason) and Venus (pleasure), with Virgo-Pisces...
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