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Dignity scoring: astrology software, MR by lesser dignities
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject: Dignity scoring: astrology software, MR by lesser dignities Reply with quote

The thread headed "Will This Lawyer Prove To Be Any Good?" in the horary forum raised the issue of how astrology software calculates dignity scores, and includes instruction on customising the scores in Solar Fire.

With regards to Janus, I have been informed that when you are in the Horary Module screen, you can press the F2 key to get a breakdown of the dignity scores. Iím still waiting to hear if these settings can be customised.

It appears that, by default, both Solar Fire and Janus allow 3 points of dignity for a planet in mutual reception with another by triplicity (so presumably 2 points for a planet in MR with another by term and 1 point for MR by face).

I have never allowed dignity points for planets in MR by the lesser dignities. Lillyís ĎTable to Examine the Strength & Debility of Each Planetí, given on p.115 of Christian Astrology, states that a planet in its own sign or in mutual reception with another planet by sign is awarded 5 points of dignity; also, where a planet is in its own exaltation or in mutual reception by exaltation it receives 4 points of dignity. But his table doesnít say that points are awarded to a planet in mutual reception by triplicity, term or face; only that the points are attributed to planets in their own triplicity, term or face.

The specific mention of mutual reception for sign and exaltation, and the omission of it for scoring the lesser dignities also occurs in the texts of Ramesey (Chap VIII) and Coley (p.88 ).

My assumption is that mutual reception by the minor dignities, though helpful in respect to aspects between the two planets involved, is not powerful enough to allow a planet to be considered as more dignified in a general sense.

Obviously software programmers have taken a different view to me on this so Iím interested to hear the opinions of other members and to learn of any other traditional references that could be relevant to this issue.

What do you do?
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Obviously software programmers have taken a different view to me on this so Iím interested to hear the opinions of other members and to learn of any other traditional references that could be relevant to this issue.

What do you do?


Solar Fire 5 has a dignity/almuten editor that allows the user to define dignity scoring parameters. [Go to theUtilities drop down menu ->dignity/almuten editor -> userdata file pops up. Select the file you use and the editor pops up] I do not give any points for mutual reception period. I look to the mr to see if either planet is helped by virtue of the mr. I don't see how mr by sign such as Jupiter in Gemini (detriment) and Mercury in Sagitarius (detriment) are helpful since neither planet can help the other since they are both weak. I like the metaphor of two drunks trying to help each other home. It is some help, but not much The same would be true by exaltation e.g. Venus in Aries - Sun in Pisces. Venus is in detriment and the Sun is peregrine. So I grant the mr nothing. For the record I also consider peregrine planets to remain peregrine even if they are in mr.

The other side of the story is that Bonatti supposedly said something like reception removes all evil. But does it grant strength?

Back to the program: the user can make adjustments to the scoring and invent his or her own system should the user choose to do so.


I also have Janus 3.0 but rarely use it. If you go to either traditional or horary modes and click on the set parameters button (horary) or parameters button (traditional mode) on the right a dialogue box pops up or frame if you will, and the user is allowed to set certain parameters. The user can chose to use or not use certain scores, but not alter them. Janus offers less latitude than Solar Fire when it comes to settings. For example, in addition to the dignity/almuten editor, SF has an Arabic parts editor that I use quite a bit, but Janus has its list of parts, albeit fairly extensive, but the user can't add ones he or she might want to use that aren't on the list.


Tom
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The other side of the story is that Bonatti supposedly said something like reception removes all evil. But does it grant strength?


I seem to recall Bonatti saying something about a debilitated planet being unable to retain the virtue being offered to it and therefore having to return it. He particularly mentions a planet that is combust or retrograde cannot retain virtue. If I understand him correctly, he is saying that when a planet offers its virtue to another planet, and the planet being offered virtue is retrograde or combust then the planet offering the virtue benefits from retaining the virtue it had offered to the other planet.

He also says that a planet can only receive virtue by the lesser dignities when there are two being offered, e.g. by triplicity and face, etc. Otherwise, the minor dignities are not strong enough on their own. Also, if a planet that receives another is seriously debilitated then it transfers that debility onto the planet it receives.

Solar Fire, in its default state, does not appear to take account of any of this in its point scoring and gives points for conditions that can actually be quite debilitating. It also does not deduct points for a planet in detriment, fall or peregrine. To use Tom's favourite 'drunks' analogy, why give points to planets that may be more of a hinderance than a help? As Tom says, you can edit the software to your own specifications. But even then there are limitations. I agree with him that it is best to look at the chart and judge each individual case on its merits. You can only edit the program to a point and the scoring system probably should not be relied on too much.

Sue
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I agree with him that it is best to look at the chart and judge each individual case on its merits. You can only edit the program to a point and the scoring system probably should not be relied on too much.


Exactly. To the best of my knowldge there is nothing in CA that says anything like "Well Venus is a 4 but Mars is a 7 so Mars is stronger and therefore ..."

The numerical values are guidelines, not absolutes. Judgment is based on more than numbers or else the computers could do it for us better than we can do it ourselves.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, but I am interested in clarifying the intended meaning of Lillyís instruction, especially since I imagine this was used to establish the default settings of software programs.

It seems strange that two of the main producers of software offering horary modules (and possibly others I am not aware of), should interpret the meaning of the table differently from how the information is literally presented. I am wondering how widespread their interpretation of the information actually is and whether other astrologers who have calculated scores according to this table (most traditional astrologers have at some time) tend to agree or disagree with them.

They may have used a different source but as I pointed out earlier, similar tables in Ramesey and Coley follow the same format as Lilly. To me this would argue against the possibility that Lilly was abbreviating his information or assuming that his students would recognise MR by the lesser dignities as deserving of points, simply because he stated that it was relevant for MR by sign or exaltation.

Letís take it as read that itís not a good thing to assume these dignity scores contain a full answer in themselves. I would still like to be clear about how they should be calculated according to this table (a copy is on site here )

Iíd say no points should be allowed for planets in MR by triplicity, term or face. Does anyone disagree? If so, why?
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Fire does not appear to have used Lilly's rules to create their default settings and I am not sure on what basis they set up their dignities table. It is not like any other that I have seen. They do not give points for MR by triplicity, terms or face but they also do not give points for MR by rulership or exaltation. They do not subtract points for planets in detriment or fall. They also give some strange points to planets in houses. For example, they give 12 points to a planet in the 1st house and 9 points to a planet in the 4th. I am talking about the default settings only. The program will allow you to set up your own points system to match those of Lilly. Your concern is a very valid one though because if people are not all that familiar with the program or with Lilly's table they will take the default dignities table in the program for granted. I think there is an extensive explanation in the manual on how to set it up with your own scores. However, if you are a beginner with the program or with horary it can lead to some confusion.
From what I have read of various authors I would most definitely agree that no points be allocated for MR by triplicity, terms or face.
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They do not give points for MR by triplicity, terms or face but they also do not give points for MR by rulership or exaltation.


I thought they did give points for MR by triplicity. Kirk wrote in the 'lawyer' thread:

Quote:
The file in the horary report in SF seems to factor in mutual reception, which apparently follows Ptolemy. This same file appears as 'Essential Dignities (Ptolemy)' in some of the page objects used in creating pages. This chart has a Sun-Mars triplicity MR (using Mars as the day water Triplicity ruler), so it is given the 3 points for Triplicity. Mars gets 5 for Ruler, 1 for Face and 3 for the Triplicity MR to total 9. I believe you can change it. I have created my own essential dignity files which I use on the pages I have created.
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This got me confused but I think I have it sorted now. Kirk is right when he says that the default horary page gives scores for MR by triplicity etc. However, when you go into the dignities editor, the default scores are quite different and are as I described them. Changing the scores in the dignities editor will not change the default scores on the horary page. You actually have to create a new page using the new essential dignities file you have created, which is what Kirk said he has done. The default essential dignities file does not exist in the dignities editor and I haven't yet searched for it within the program. So unless you create a whole new essential dignities file and then a new horary page setup using that file you will always get the default table that Kirk described. It is not as complicated as it sounds if you know your way around Solar Fire. I don't know where SF got their default essential dignities table from although they do call it the Ptolemy Essential Dignities Table.

Apologies for the confusion.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Solar Fire does not appear to have used Lilly's rules to create their default settings and I am not sure on what basis they set up their dignities table.


I believe they relied heavily on Lee Lehman's interpretation of dignities, as they relied heavily on Bernadette Brady for information on fixed stars. The answer might be in Lehman's book Essential Dignities or her Classical Astrology for Modern Living. I'll try to figure this out over the weekend.

Tom
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Sungem



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Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Solar Fire does not appear to have used Lilly's rules to create their default settings and I am not sure on what basis they set up their dignities table.


Would you like me to contact Graham Watson of Solar Fire again on Monday and ask the question?
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this less than helpful explanation in the help file of Solar Fire:

Quote:
This object lists the traditional essential dignities of the displayed points in the chart. The scores are normally calculated according to the default dignity scores stored in the file essdig.alm, which reside in Solar Fire's system directory. Optionally you may select the name of another dignity scoring file to use instead.


In other words, the traditional scoring system is in the essdig.alm file, but no source is given. I checked all over and cannot find a single source or reason for my assertion that Lee Lehman is Solar Fire's source. So forget I said it. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't.

I was about to offer the possibility that Robert Zoller influenced Janus, but I can't find anything to support that either. So where did they get their information?

Janus has a support group on Yahoo. I think I belong to it, but every time I send a message it is returned as rejected by the moderator and the moderator refuses to answer my e-mail asking why. I'll try again.

Sungem if you know someone who can help, by all means try. My curiosity is getting the better of me on this one.

Tom
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Graham Dawson



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Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
In other words, the traditional scoring system is in the essdig.alm file, but no source is given. I checked all over and cannot find a single source or reason for my assertion that Lee Lehman is Solar Fire's source. So forget I said it. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't.


The default settings (ie. the scoring system used in Essential Dignity tables contained in the file "essdig.alm") in fact comes from Robert Hand. The main reason for this was to provide continuity for users of his old DOS Nova program.

However Lee Lehman was influential in how the essential dignity scoring options were determined in Solar Fire. We took on board her knowledge of essential dignities in the design of our almuten/dignity editor, as well as referring to the work of others such as Robert Zoller, so that we could provide for all possible schools of thought on this issue. Lee Lehman also contributed to our determination of the Hyleg calculations in Solar Fire - and perhaps that is where Tom saw her name mentioned explicitly.

Consequently Solar Fire can be customised to suit pretty well any scoring system. This flexiblity even allows different scoring systems to be displayed and inter-compared on the same output page - which would be very useful for any astrologers wanting to do their own research on different scoring systems. But of course the down side of providing such a degree of flexiblity is that this means having to provide more options to the user, and this leads to a greater possiblity of misunderstandings arising - some of which have lead to this very discussion thread.

Ideally, what we would like to be able to do is to provide a range of dignity definition files to users which have been pre-set to commonly used scoring systems. For example, we could perhaps add to Solar Fire a file called "LillyDig.alm", with options preset to Lilly's scoring system, or alternatively we could provide instructions on exactly what options to choose in order to replicate Lilly's system. Of course this pre-supposes that there is a single school of thought on how Lilly scored dignities.

Deb wrote:

Obviously software programmers have taken a different view to me on this so Iím interested to hear the opinions of other members and to learn of any other traditional references that could be relevant to this issue.


We haven't actually taken any particular view in this matter. The default settings in Solar Fire are not intended to reflect our view - rather they are there because we believed that they were likely to be preferred by the biggest proportion of users, according to our knowledge at the time. In fact we have no definitive way of determining this. To do so would require a series of major polls to be conducted - and perhaps with the help of the internet this would be more feasible than it has been in the past. But in the meantime we rely on the feedback that we do get, including from sources such as this group. So thanks for the feedback!

If any users have questions about dignities, almutens and how they are scored, feel free to contact us via our technical support email address or tech support options on Solar Fire's help menu.

Graham Dawson
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Sungem



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Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thanks to Graham for responding again to a request for clarification. For those who may have missed it, the following are Graham's instructions for editing the default essential dignities file in Solar Fire:

Quote:
To edit the scoring system in Solar Fire, choose Utilities / Dignity/Almuten Editor, and when prompted to open a dignity/almuten file, choose "Essdig.alm" from Solar Fire's main folder (not from the Userdata folder). That is the file that contains the default settings for dignities scores in Solar Fire. (Then use the F1 key if you need further help on the various options).


My bolding since Sue has pointed out a potential trap for the unwary:

Quote:
Changing the scores in the dignities editor will not change the default scores on the horary page. You actually have to create a new page using the new essential dignities file you have created, which is what Kirk said he has done. The default essential dignities file does not exist in the dignities editor and I haven't yet searched for it within the program. So unless you create a whole new essential dignities file and then a new horary page setup using that file you will always get the default table that Kirk described. It is not as complicated as it sounds if you know your way around Solar Fire.


(Full details of Graham's instructions can be had on the link Deb posted at the beginning of this thread.)

For those reading this who may be unaware, Graham is one of the original creators of Solar Fire and a director of Esoteric Technologies which produce it, see:

http://www.esotech.com.au/aboutus.html

Cheers,
Sungem
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Graham,

Itís only 10 years ago that I was publishing loud criticisms of astrology software developers for failing to provide any support for traditional techniques - so I know you have been listening, and working very hard to move us so far forward in such a short time.

Quote:
Ideally, what we would like to be able to do is to provide a range of dignity definition files to users which have been pre-set to commonly used scoring systems. For example, we could perhaps add to Solar Fire a file called "LillyDig.alm", with options preset to Lilly's scoring system, or alternatively we could provide instructions on exactly what options to choose in order to replicate Lilly's system.


Itís good that you are prepared to consider this. My feeling is that many of your users will assume the dignity scores are based on Lillyís table, at least in the horary module, so to preset the options to his standard, or to provide options to replicate it, would be very useful.

This is especially so since students on the horary courses which teach Lillyís methods are often tested on their ability to Ďscoreí the dignity or debility of planets according to his instruction. If they find that their own calculations donít match with those that the software offers, they are bound to get confused.

Quote:
Of course this pre-supposes that there is a single school of thought on how Lilly scored dignities.


Although Lillyís table is generally straightforward, there are points that could be argued, so providing options would be a good solution. This includes such points as the definition of Ďpartileí and Ďbesiegedí, whether combustion applies out-of-sign, whether to include a 5 degree orb for house cusps, and of course the benefits of mutual reception by minor dignities. But if by default you adhere strictly to Lillyís formal definitions, and provide options for any alternative schools of thought, I think it is possible to please everyone. Well almost everyone - I realise a software developerís lot is not necessarily a happy one Confused

Thanks for giving us this detailed explanation.

Deb
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sigma4



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Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Graham and other interested fellows,

When I take a natal chart and look at the aspect analysis report of Solar Fire, I see average number of incidence is given for each aspect for obviously a comparison, which is fine and important.

I wonder how these average figures were calculated.I mean, are they computed for thousands of randomly generated horoscopes for a, say one or a few centuries interval?

I am keenly interested in this because I have recently started to do a decent research on my own and need to know if those averages are *statistically reliable* for a comparative study.

Thanks in advance for reply.
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