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Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice

by

Gary Warren Price, QHP, DMA, PhD Astrologus


March, 2000

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Preface
Astrology has its roots in Hellenistic Egypt and subsequently declined in the 17th Century. By the
time the 19th century arrived we see a more modern approach to Astrology having been reinvented
with new rules. The purpose of study of Medieval Astrology is to correct this deficiency and to
restore astrology to its proper place in modern society. Part of the reason for the reinvention of
the wheel was due to the passage of time and cultural and social differences, which had occurred.
Medieval Astrology is an ancient tool, which provides modern man a physical as well as spiritual
means of growth and communication with nature. Some may feel comfortable referring to this as
the creator while others may feel the modern term of collective unconsciousness more suitable.
While not attempting to put forth a dogmatic religious argument it is necessary to point out that most
religions attempt to do the same thing but from a different point of view.
Other mystery schools, such as Rosicrucians and Freemasonry, have attempted to answer questions
concerning the mysteries of life and death and allow initiation of the member as a means to seek
further knowledge and growth and to become one with the divine or the creator. In doing so, these
organizations are usually rich in astrological symbolism, but in my experience, this has been mostly
symbolic and while this may satisfy the appetite of most people from different walks of life, it may
not provide enough complete instruction to the initiate who seeks further meaning. It is the purpose
of this text on Medieval Astrology to correct this deficiency and allow those who seek to unlock the
secrets of nature to do so.
The instructions contained herein are divided into several parts:
Firstly, calculation of the horoscope is required. While many will decide to use computer
programs to do their computations (and this is strongly encouraged), small rectification tips
are included, although it is not within the scope of this text to include full rectification
procedures.
Secondly, having been given information regarding the Figure of Heavens; i.e. date, time, and
place of birth, it is assumed that the native in question is living or has lived at some point, past
the age of thirteen years. However, for the sake of completion it will be necessary to judge
the horoscope to determine if the native is currently alive and if so, how long the native might
live. From this, if our suspicions are sufficiently aroused we can also know if the person in
the chart is alive. Possibly we have been presented us with a horoscope of someone who has
already passed away (as some of those who deny the existence of astrology might do in order
to try to play an evil trick or fool the practitioner).
Suggestions are made should we suspect that the native would not live past the age of thirteen.
Also included are methods of judging the nativity and knowing what events will come to pass
with technical details (such as triplicities, terms, faces or decans and methods of directing)

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which are no more than designations of at what time certain events will take place.
Methods of directing go from very broad and general to particular. Computations of primary
directions are not included. However the student is encouraged to seek further sources, which
are recommended herein to undertake this task. Secondary progressions are not considered
as it has been found that these prove to be of little value in Medieval Astrology. The student
may wish to experiment further on his or her own with these and determine whether or not
he or she wishes to include this technique in their practice.
Finally, Solar returns and a discussion of selected Arabic parts used in Medieval Astrology is
considered. While Arabic parts are useful, I consider these adjuncts to this practice as tools to
gain further insight to the nativity. Some students may not wish to use them and how much
of one thing or another the practitioner decides to include in their practice is left exclusively
up to the student of astrology.
I hope you enjoy using this textbook as much as I have preparing it. With this I wish the student
success in their endeavors and trust this textbook will provide a quest for further study.
I would like to thank Hideaki Shuseh Kokubu, QHP for his hard work on the Horary chapter of
this text and for countless hours he has spent doing and organizing translations. Additionally, there
are countless other necessary labors he has contributed which without them it would have made the
production of this book impossible.
Gary Warren Price, QHP, Astrologus
March 2000, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Table of Contents
Preface
i
Table of Contents
iii
1. Introduction and Review of Computation of the Natal horoscope.
1
2. Computing the Almutem of the Houses and their Significance.
3. Computing the Hyleg, Alcocoden, and Almutem of the Horoscope and their
Significance.
4. Preparation for Judgement.
15
a.
Status of the Native in Life.
-b.
Profession of the Native.
-c.
Considerations concerning the Path of the Individual in Life
should the Birth Time be unknown.
-d.
Spiritual Concerns of the Native and Ninth House Matters.
-5. Directing the Horoscope.
a.
The Significance of New Moon-Full Moon Births.
-b.
The Significance of Translation of Light in the Natal Horoscope. - c.
Directing by the Ages of Man.
-d.
Directing by Planetary Periods and Sub-periods, otherwise
known as Firdaria with illustrated example given.
-e.
Examining the Part of Fortune and Determination of the
Financial Fortune/Misfortune of the Native.
-g.
Directing by profections and profection of the houses.
-i.
Sign by Sign Profections.
-ii.
Profections by Degrees.
-6. Revolutions
a. A Simplified Method of Computation
-b. Solar Returns and their Significance for the Year in Question.
-c. An Introduction to Lunar Returns.
-7. An Introduction to Horary Astrology
a. Introduction and Considerations before Judgement.
-b. An Example Horary Question.
-Appendices
Appendix I - Tables of Terms and Essential Dignities
-Appendix II - Tables of the Years of the Planets
-Appendix III - Arabic Parts.
-i.
Part of Hyleg
-ii.
Part of Daemon (spirit)
-iii.
Part of Faith
-Index
-Glossary
-Bibliography and References
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Chapter One
Calculating the Horoscope
In calculating the Natal Horoscope, I have adopted the Alchabitius House system although Placidus
or Regiomontanus may be employed should the student not be able to obtain Alchabitius tables.
An ephemeris is necessary as well as the appropriate Table of Houses. I recommend the Noon
ephemeris. However, I have also found the Midnight ephemeris to be useful, particularly the
Rosicrucian Ephemeris.
Collect your data such as the date, time and place of birth. Should the time of birth not be
known the project can only be continued once rectification is made or the project will have to be
abandoned. Save your unrectified interpretation for spiritual counseling which is covered in Chapter
Four (Section d.) under Spiritual Concerns of the Native and Ninth House Matters and for those
interpretations which are determined from the previous new and full moon prior to birth. These
topics are covered separately in later chapters. In the former, the time of birth is still required; but
in the latter, the time of birth is not required as no house system is employed.
It is not within the scope of this text to present rectification techniques, however the resourceful
student will no doubt be able to search material, which is readily available. Minor techniques for
slight adjustments to the birth time of the nativity will be demonstrated later on in the textbook. You
may find an atlas useful, however Internet access provides convenient details concerning latitude and
longitude around the world.

An Example

The birth date selected for this example is: February 26, 1957, 6:40 PM; Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Lat.
22N38, Long. 120E42. This chart has been rectified after having been given the original birth time
as around 7 PM.
Step 1: Convert time of birth to Greenwich Mean Time: Hours/Minutes/Seconds
Given Birth time:

Zone ( East = [ - ]; West = [ + ]


Daylight Savings Time Adjustment
GMT of Birth:
GMT date:
Place of Birth:

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40

00

Adjustment

PM

- 8 00 00

0
00
00
10
40
00
AM
February 26, 1957
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Step 2: Find the local sidereal time at birth.


Sidereal time at Noon GMT
22
24
Interval from Noon (AM = [ - ])
- 1
20
Result
21
04
Acceleration on the Interval (AM = [ - ])
- 13
00
Sidereal Time at Greenwich (birth)
21
04
LET (Longitudinal Equivalent In Time) (+E)
08
01
LST (Local Sidereal Time)
29
05
Minus 24 Hours
- 24
00
Sidereal Time at Birth
5
05

17
00
17
00
04
08
12
00
12

Having found Sidereal time (5 hours 5 minutes and 12 seconds) as the correct time we now are able
to proceed to the Table of Houses to erect the Figure of Heavens.
Using the Table of Houses we do not find Kaohsiung, Taiwan; but we do find Calcutta, India at
22N33. The Rising Sign is 17 degrees of Virgo 45 minutes. Interpolation of the rest of the houses
will also need to be done. While the angles are sensitive and need to be calculated exactly, the other
houses can be left in their approximate state, as they will not be used for critical calculations at
this stage. Please note that when doing Southern latitude horoscopes it is necessary to reverse the
signs once the signs are calculated with a Northern Latitude table. Those who wish to explore
interpolation and calculations of houses further are recommended to consult any good beginners
astrological text.
Having done this, it is then necessary to calculate the Planetary Positions. I recommend you place
all the planets in the wheel only after complete calculation of the Planetary Positons as you may
find several planets in the same sign, thereby not leaving yourself enough room to draw these in the
respective house.
Planetary calculations
Planetary calculations can be made from any good ephemeris from the month, day and year in
question. These texts are based on Greenwich Mean Time, whereas the Local Sidereal time at birth
has been based on the location of the Natives birth.
The quick calculation method without the use of cumbersome diurnal proportional logarithms is
done as follows:
In the charts, find the position of the Sun before birth (in this case its position was found to
be 6 hours, 37 minutes and 48 seconds of Pisces).
At the birth date (noon), the position is found to be 7 hours 37 minutes and 7 seconds,
therefore the Sun has traveled 1 degree 0 minutes and 19 seconds during a 24-hour period.
Now we ask ourselves this question. If the Sun travels 1 degree 0 minutes and 19 seconds in

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a 24 hour period, how long does it take to travel in 22 hours 40 minutes? (This is 1 hour and
20 minutes short of the time at noon on the 26th of Feb 1957 or 10 hours and 40 minutes
GMT)
By ratio and proportion using any good calculator which computes degrees-minutes-seconds
one can readily see that the position is 7 degrees 34 minutes of Pisces which is only 1 minute
off from the computer program calculation employed by us.
The rest can be done with the remaining planets while remembering to subtract for planets
retrograde instead of adding to the position on the day prior to birth. This will be seen in
most cases with Mercury. As we move outwards to the slower moving bodies, the calculation
becomes easier and less critical.
Example:
Suns position on the day in question at Noon:
7d 38m 07s
(Tuesday-day of Mars)
Suns position before the day in question at Noon: 6d 37m 48s
Difference:
1d 00m 19s
Calculations:
(1 degree 00 min 19 seconds) x (22 hours 40 min) = (0 deg. 56 min. 57.94 sec.)
24 hours
(6 deg. 37 min. 48 sec. ) + ( 0 deg. 56 min. 57.94 sec ) = (7 deg 34 min 45.94 sec.)
(Note - Rounded up to 7 deg 35 minutes of Pisces).
The Moons position is found in exactly the same way: Its motion during this period in 24 hours is
found to be 11 degrees 51 minutes 58 seconds between Capricorn and Aquarius (remembering to
add 30 degrees to Aquarius on the 26th at noon). The result is 2 degrees 26 minutes, 54.78 seconds
of Aquarius which is rounded up to 2 degrees, 27 minutes.
Having found our Planetary positions, it is necessary to place these in the wheel along with the Part
of Fortune. The Part of Fortune will be needed at a later time for further calculation including the
Almutem of the Figure, which will be explained in greater detail later.
It is important to state here that the Sun and Moons position must be reversed if working with
nighttime charts. In the case of daytime charts the formula is: [Ascendant] + [the Longitude of the
Moon] [the Longitude of the Sun]. For nighttime charts, the reverse holds true. In Lillys Christian
Astrology this has not been done, however in medieval astrological works this is so and therefore will
be used here. In our case, this is a nighttime birth (Sun below the horizon) and the Part of Fortune
has been determined to be located at 22 Libra 53 minutes in the natives financial house. This is
remarkably near the fixed star, Spica that is located at 23 Libra 14 minutes and this is noted in this
case for the financial success of the native to which I can personally testify. Having labored thus far
we now proceed to Part two of our calculations in the next chapter.

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Chapter Two
Calculations and Considerations prior to Judgement (1)
Having erected the horoscope the next step is to compute the Almutem of Houses. Lilly defined the
term as Almuten which is also correct. In Christian Astrology, he points out that any planet which
is Almutem upon the cusp of any house is powerful in the horoscope. (1)
Almutem or Almuten is translated as the winner and therefore is calculated by giving a certain
number of points to each house ruler and then scoring them to see which one is the stronger. In
this way we can easily see which planet has Rulership over the affairs of that house. The Almutem
should be considered as primary ruler of the house then the as the ruler of the house by sign. We
will also need to consider the Almutem of the Horoscope, which will be shown later.
Before calculating however, it is necessary to know the triplicity rulers.
Fire has the Q by day, V by night, with W as participating ruler.
Air has W by day, by S by night and V as participating triplicity ruler.
Water has T by day, U by night, and R as participating ruler.
Earth has T by day, R by night, and Uas participating ruler.
If calculating a nighttime chart, we merely reverse the priority of rulership; i.e. give the nighttime
ruler primary significance, then the daytime ruler, then the same participating ruler. This will be
important when discussing methods of directing the horoscope by triplicity in the chapter on
directions.
The next step in our computation is to find the Almutems of the Houses. At this stage it is not
necessary to find the Almutem of the Horoscope. In our example 17 F 45 rises, therefore we give
points to five items: the sign ruler, exaltation ruler, triplicity rulers, term rulers and decan rulers.
When speaking of term rulers, it is important to keep in mind that we must use the Egyptian terms
when calculating these points. There are three sets of Tables of Essential Dignities that we have
available. One is the Egyptian terms mentioned by Ptolemy, the second is Ptolemys terms, and then
there is the table noted in Christian Astrology by Lilly (2) which is said to be Ptolemys terms but has
been slightly modified. My recommendation, should you not wish to accept the above statement,
is to use the ones you feel comfortable with. However I suggest that Lillys terms and triplicities be
saved for Horary questions since he was a Master Astrologer in this area during his time. The other
set of Ptolemys terms will also be used and is explained in another following chapter.

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These Tables of Terms and Essential Dignities can be found in Appendix One of this textbook.
Using the Egyptian terms (Appendix One - Table One) we now give 5 points to the Sign ruler,
therefore S gets five points. The exaltation ruler is also S and gets four points. The triplicity rulers
of earth in a nighttime chart are R T U respectively and get three points each. The term ruler is
j which gets two points. Finally, the decan ruler is T which gets one point. The Almutem of the
House is therefore Mercury, as it has scored nine points. So it becomes not only sign ruler of the
ascendant but Almutem of the First House, which gives it more significance in the figure.
We are then able to gain detail as to the meaning of this planet, located in the sixth house, conjunct
Venus in Aquarius. As the first house is significant for not only the physical well being of the native,
but also the natives primary motivation, we can gain further insight as to the driving force of the
native in life. We do the same calculation to each house, discovering the Almutems of the Houses and
reading them in the same way. In this case, S is strong by triplicity and is therefore is not peregrine
or void of essential dignity, although its location in the sixth house is not necessarily a good omen.
However it does have aspect to benefic Venus and a trine to ; in the second house of moveable
possessions.
In this way, we already are starting to get a picture of the destiny of the native. However, prior to
judging the nativity in whole, it is necessary to compute the Minor Dignities. For example, we must
determine which planets are in Hayz (3) (as noted by Lilly is also known as Haym). This will be more
fully explained in the section on judging the nativity, however to find it, look for the Masculine Planet
above the earth in a diurnal sign (by day), or Feminine Planet below the earth, in a nocturnal sign (by
night). Minor Dignities are discussed more fully in due course. However, it is worth pointing out at
this point that the Masculine Planets are the Q V W, the Feminine Planets are R T U, while S can be
either depending upon which planet it is with as Hermes is considered a hermaphrodite. The diurnal
planets are Q j W, the nocturnal planets are R T U and S is either again for the reason just noted.
The Benefics are Q1 j T R (waxing) and the Malefics are Q W U R (waning). We also have two
other Minor Diginities, which are Elevation and Proper Face (not to be confused with decan/face).
These terms will be fully explained in the section on judging the nativity.
To summarize: Calculate the Almutems of the Houses along with the Part of Fortune initially, start
noting which planets are Benefics and Malefics initially and in which houses they fall. This will give
you an overall picture before you start as to the life and destiny of the native.
In our next chapter we move on to calculating the Hyleg (and what to do should the chart not have
a Hyleg), the Alcocoden (to be explained as well) and in this way, we are able to slowly build up the
picture necessary prior to judging the nativity.
(Footnotes)

Due to the Suns excessive heat, it can at times be considered malefic and will have to be
determined according to the horoscope in question.
1

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