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Solar months technique

 
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Mari



Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 57
Location: Paris

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Solar months technique Reply with quote

Ben Dykes recently published a second, complete, translation of Abu Ma’shar’s On the Revolutions of the Years of Nativities. This time he translated from the original Arabic and says that the second translation contains pieces and even techniques missing in the previous one.

And here's what caught my attention: "Abū Ma’shar’s complex method of monthly revolutions and profections is fascinating and the most complete available" https://bendykes.com/product/pn4-on-the-revolutions-of-the-years-of-nativities/

In his interview to the Astrology podcast (http://theastrologypodcast.com/2019/08/09/abu-mashar-on-solar-returns-with-benjamin-dykes/) Dykes says that Abu Ma'shar himself used the solar months as his monthly predictive technique.

I checked my previous Dykes' translation and I only find it in Appendix C: pseudo-Ptolemy's Centiloquy and Al-Ridwan's comments to it, page 211, aphorism 87:

Quote:
"But the solar month is from the changing of the Sun from the degree in which the nativity was, into the degree corresponding to it in another sign"


Al-Ridwan:

Quote:
"Indeed the times of the solar month are different: and they are from the ingress of the Sun into the minute in which it was at the hour of the nativity, up to where he reaches one like it in the following sign from it"


(Just to be clear and to avoid different interpretations: a person with Sun at 10°20 Ari would get 12 monthly predictive charts every year - when Sun enters 10°20 Tau, 10°20 Gem and so on. That's also how Dykes puts it in his interview)

I can't find any more of it in the previous translation and it doesn't look like "a complex method", so I suppose it's in the new translation. Has anybody had the chance to read already? Is it way more explicit and detailed in the new translation?

But also: did you ever see this technique in other sources? Where does it come from? Is it somehow based on the Hellenistic tradition or is it a purely Arabic technique? Do you use it? Do you know any astrologers who use it?

Many questions here Sick

I'd be very grateful for any additional source or quote!
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mari wrote:
Quote:
Ben Dykes recently published a second, complete, translation of Abu Ma’shar’s On the Revolutions of the Years of Nativities...

And here's what caught my attention: "Abu Ma’shar’s complex method of monthly revolutions and profections is fascinating and the most complete available"

In his interview to the Astrology podcast Dykes says that Abu Ma'shar himself used the solar months as his monthly predictive technique.

I checked my previous Dykes' translation and I only find it in Appendix C: pseudo-Ptolemy's Centiloquy and Al-Ridwan's comments to it, page 211, aphorism 87:

Quote:
"But the solar month is from the changing of the Sun from the degree in which the nativity was, into the degree corresponding to it in another sign"
Al-Ridwan:
Quote:
"Indeed the times of the solar month are different: and they are from the ingress of the Sun into the minute in which it was at the hour of the nativity, up to where he reaches one like it in the following sign from it"

I can't find any more of it in the previous translation and it doesn't look like "a complex method", so I suppose it's in the new translation. Has anybody had the chance to read already? Is it way more explicit and detailed in the new translation?

I'd be very grateful for any additional source or quote!

Mari, I’ve had this book on Solar Revolutions for awhile. There are many details about monthly returns in the text itself and in Ben Dykes’ Introduction. It’s a big book: 714 pages with an Introduction of 144 pages.

I think by 'a complex method' Ben is referring to the interaction of the solar return chart and annual Profections, and how they interact with each other and with the natal (root) chart. Ben talks about the three ascendants of these charts and how they have to be balanced together for predictions. If we then add the monthly rotation of the ascendant through the annual chart, we get even another set of planets in houses to be considered. It does get very complicated. To understand all this it’s necessary to take time to study the text.

Ben Dykes would place the quotes you noted in the medieval period which he places between ca. 1100 AD-1400s AD. (Traditional Astrology for Today, p. 10) whereas the Arabic period is earlier, ca. 750-ca. 950 AD (p. 7).

Quote:
But also: did you ever see this technique in other sources? Where does it come from? Is it somehow based on the Hellenistic tradition or is it a purely Arabic technique? Do you use it? Do you know any astrologers who use it?

In A History of Horoscopic Astrology (AFA Inc. 1996-2013) James Holden writes:
Quote:
Another of Abumasar’s books is a general treatise on the Revolutions of Nativities or what are now called solar returns...Still another book of his with a similar title but a different test is known in Latin;...These would seem to be the oldest books on solar returns known in the West...(p. 120)

So it does seem that the solar return as we understand it today along with monthly revolutions were invented by Persian astrologers in the Arabic period. Both the solar return and the monthly chart as well as annual profections were transmitted to India as the Tajika system of prediction known as Varshaphal. Details are here:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10695

The monthly charts of the solar return were tested in the 20th century by western siderealist Donald Bradley (Garth Allen) who found these charts ineffective compared to the 40 day charts which he named the ennead.
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10659 (First two messages)
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Mari



Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 57
Location: Paris

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Therese! Thank you for a such a substantial answer!

And for confirming that there’s indeed a lot of information on this « monthly solar returns », it’s good to know, looks like I will really need to buy it. Meanwhile if you are willing feel free to share or discuss any highlight or maybe any salient specifics of this technique in Abu Ma'shar’s system. Or maybe someone else who had already read the book too would like to discuss it, who knows…
So far it looks pretty much new and underdiscussed, so to say…

Quote:
It does get very complicated.


Indeed! I have a previous translation of Abu Ma'shar by Ben Dykes and it was already complex and complicated enough Smile))) Now I realize that this translation is augmented by some 400 pages, oh dear! As if Abu Ma'shar wasn’t already very scrupulous about a slightest detail Smile) Just wonder how these monthly revolutions embed into the whole system, I safely suppose that they still somehow follow the same examination, as the radix and the revolution chart? Probably within monthly profections frame?

Quote:
So it does seem that the solar return as we understand it today along with monthly revolutions were invented by Persian astrologers in the Arabic period


Interesting. Still what intrigued and appealed to me is that the rationale of this « monthly solar returns » is at least Hellenistic compatible, or I’d say Hellenistic in its spirit (if not by word). The Sun steadily marking a sign per month (and thus evenly dividing the year into 12 months) is not without reminding the whole idea of monthly profections.

The whole Hellenistic astrology in general is very much about the Sun and the Moon and their relation to each other. Valens apparently even calculates the Solar return (the yearly chart) by taking into account BOTH the Sun and the Moon factor:

« After we calculate precisely the positions of the stars on the birth date in the current year, we will find the Ascendant as follows: while the sun is still in the natal sign, we examine where the moon was then and when the moon will come to the exact same degree where it was at the nativity, and we call that point the Ascendant »
(Riley’s translation)
« And we will say that that degree marks the hour » (Schmidt’s)


This is basically a Lunar return chart cast for the time when the Sun is in its radix sign (which is even more interesting because the Sun is supposed to be leading factor in a SOLAR return). So these « monthly charts » (needless to say that the whole idea of a month is related to the Moon) determined by an exact position of the Sun (rather than the Moon) seems to be like a mirrored approach to the solar yearly chart (with the exact Moon position).

So that’s why I was wandering…and I still am. About how it all developed.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mari,

I was wondering if you would be checking into Skyrscript again! I think since you have a particular interest in monthly solar returns, you will have to buy the book. No doubt Abu Ma’shar’s text is going to be the classical text on solar returns, and another book is not likely to be written that contains so much detail. I think it’s necessary to read Abu Ma’shar’s own thoughts on his techniques, and these take up many pages and meanderings.

Quote:
Meanwhile if you are willing feel free to share or discuss any highlight or maybe any salient specifics of this technique in Abu Ma'shar’s system.

I’m not an expert on this period in astrological history, and have found it difficult to grasp all the concepts Abu Ma’shar discusses. Several times I’ve placed the book back on the shelf as too much to digest at one time. So I do think your only option is to buy the book and then plan to spend many hours in reading and study.

Quote:
Just wonder how these monthly revolutions embed into the whole system, I safely suppose that they still somehow follow the same examination, as the radix and the revolution chart? Probably within monthly profections frame?

Abu Ma’shar constantly combines the revolution and profections, and sometimes it’s difficult to decide which technique he is talking about. I honestly don’t have time to sort this out. My primary reason for spending less time on Abu Ma’shar is that I’ve found the 40 day chart (rather than the monthly chart) to be so effective that I’m not especially interested in the 12 monthly charts. Add to the 40 day chart the quarter (decan) charts of 10 days each, and we have a capsule photo of what is important in those 10 days which is smaller than the 30 day monthly period. These 10 day charts can be very dramatic and precise!

Abu Ma’shar also used ‘distributions through the bounds’ in combination with the solar return chart, profections and monthly returns.

Quote:
Still what intrigued and appealed to me is that the rationale of this « monthly solar returns » is at least Hellenistic compatible, or I’d say Hellenistic in its spirit (if not by word). The Sun steadily marking a sign per month (and thus evenly dividing the year into 12 months) is not without reminding the whole idea of monthly profections.
(...)
So that’s why I was wandering…and I still am. About how it all developed.

I believe the consensus is that the solar return chart grew out of the use of profections in Hellenistic times. There was a need to be more specific about periods of time than simply advancing the ascendant one house in the natal chart for each year of life. This is most likely the primary rationale for the development of the annual chart and its derivatives.

Your quotes from Valens and the Sun-Moon relationship no doubt reflect thoughts (and perhaps experimentation?) behind the eventual development of the solar return chart. But I believe that Hellenistic profections are the main precursor of the the annual chart.

Oh, now the most important key point about revolutions: The Zodiac! Ben Dykes tends to ignore this issue, but when it comes to timing the annual chart, whether or not to apply precession is critical. As far as I know only western siderealists of the Fagan school have studied this issue, and their verdict is that only the sidereal return is accurate.

In most cases the tropical and sidereal returns will be dramatically different when it comes to the angles of the chart and also the position of the Moon. Not minor considerations! What is the use of all these combinations of charts if the annual chart itself is wrong?! We know that in Abu Ma'shar's time both tropical and sidereal tables were used, so this issue wasn't settled during the Arabic period.

Many years ago after much research I personally settled on the sidereal zodiac and the Krishnamurti ayanamsa. So I place all ancient texts within the sidereal zodiac.
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astroart



Joined: 08 Mar 2009
Posts: 148
Location: Varna, Bulgaria

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am agree with Therese that only sidereal solar really works! Before 830 AD the Persian and Arabic astrologers used a sidereal solar, after the translation of Ptolemy in Arabic they began to calculate the solar return according to Ptolemy instructions, namely on the basis of the tropical year.

See for example a solar return chart for Adolf Hitler based on the sidereal zodiac and the place of birth. The solar is calculated according to the official birth time from the birth certificate or 18:30 h LMT. The solar is calculated for the year of death of Hitler (click on the image to see the image in full size):



The Mercury is a ruler of the yearly profection and ruler of 8th house in a solar chart. And Saturn as a planet in the sign of yearly profection (Gemini) is also activated. Saturn is ruler of the ascendant in the solar chart.

Saturn is in a square aspect to Mercury (whole sign aspects) and to Venus. Venus is a ruler of ascendant in natal chart and also is the ruler of 8th house in natal chart (whole sign house system).
Mars is in a first house and in opposition to Moon -ruler of the Lot of death. In the natal chart Mars is ruler of the Lot of death.



I think that everything is clear.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I learned from Mark that Tom has stepped down as moderator of the Traditional forum. This means that sidereal comments can now be included on the forum.

Astroart wrote:
Quote:
See for example a solar return chart for Adolf Hitler based on the sidereal zodiac and the place of birth. The solar is calculated according to the official birth time from the birth certificate or 18:30 h LMT. The solar is calculated for the year of death of Hitler.

The Mercury is a ruler of the yearly profection and ruler of 8th house in a solar chart. And Saturn as a planet in the sign of yearly profection (Gemini) is also activated. Saturn is ruler of the ascendant in the solar chart.

Saturn is in a square aspect to Mercury (whole sign aspects) and to Venus. Venus is a ruler of ascendant in natal chart and also is the ruler of 8th house in natal chart (whole sign house system).

Mars is in a first house and in opposition to Moon -ruler of the Lot of death. In the natal chart Mars is ruler of the Lot of death.

Since both tropical and sidereal tables were used in Abu Ma’shar’s time it would be interesting to look at both the tropical and sidereal solar returns.

Hitler's Natal chart, Sidereal and Tropical (Cuspal lines = center of 30 degree equal houses):



Astroart has pointed out some of the important planetary configurations of the sidereal chart, including the Lot of Death. If we include the relationship of the solar return chart to the natal chart (as Abu Ma'shar does), the picture is even more dramatic. We can include these houses:

8th: from earliest times the 8th has to do with dire misfortune including death.

7th: A house linked to the death of the body from Hellenistic times, as opposite the 1st, house of life.

4th: The end of the matter including the process of death and funerals. (Deborah Houlding's The Houses: Temples of the Sky, p. 69 and other sources). (I have always seen an active 4th house at times of a person's death.)

Hitler's 1945 Sidereal Solar Return (SR Asc. and planets on outer wheel, natal chart on inner wheel.)



Since Hitler committed suicide within days of his 1945 solar return, this is also the monthly chart as discussed by Abu Ma'shar. The most angular planets are the solar return Moon in the 7th in square aspect to natal Neptune and Pluto on the cusp of the 4th house. Checking the natal chart we see that both Neptune and Pluto are in the 8th house. In the case of this chart, using Uranus as co-lord of Aquarius (the SR ascendant sign) is significant since SR Uranus is transiting Taurus and conjoins the natal 8th Neptune and Pluto. Uranus is also in the Moon’s lunar mansion, which points to the 7th house SR Moon.

An example of how the annual chart works together with the profection (as Astroart pointed out) is that Saturn, the classical lord of the Aquarius ascendant in the solar return, is transiting the 1945 Gemini profection.

Since the profection is Gemini, the 1st/7th house polarity is emphasized by transiting Saturn and Rahu in the 1st with SR Ketu transiting in the profected 7th in a Venus mansion (natal 1st and 8th lord) conjoining the natal Moon-Jupiter-Ketu stellium, also in the Venus mansion/star. Thus transiting Ketu strongly activates the natal 8th lord. As Venus is also the ascendant lord, this points to a death by the person (1st): suicide.

Both the SR Moon and Sun are in Ketu's mansion/star, and it's transiting Ketu that is activating planets in the natal 1st/8th lord's mansion (Venus).

For comparison, below is the 1945 Tropical Solar Return for astrologers who would like to study the chart. Due to precession, the tropical SR occurs the day before the sidereal return. In this chart the most angular planets are Mars in Pisces opposing Jupiter in Virgo. The Ascendant lord of the solar return is Mercury conjunct Venus in the 11th house.

Since Libra is the natal ascendant sign in both the tropical and sidereal charts, Gemini is the 1945 profection in both charts.


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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Recently I learned from Mark that Tom has stepped down as moderator of the Traditional forum. This means that sidereal comments can now be included on the forum.


'Whoa there!' Hold your horses Therese! That is not what I said to you in our PM conversation. I said the current policy would stay for the time being until the issue of a new moderator was decided. That still remains the case. So please desist from posting sidereal charts generally unless you are making an historical point as astroart clearly was. The policy on sidereal charts can be reviewed by a new moderator but until s/he is appointed the existing policy remains.

Even if we do allow it the kind of post in the future what you indulged in above is unlikely to ever be permitted here. In other words comparative analysis of techniques to show the perceived superiority of one zodiac over another. You should know better by now Therese. If we open the floodgates to that kind of partisan posting it will ruin the forum. Your making the best case I have seen for retaining the line Tom established here.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1492
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Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, because Abu Ma'shar's text is being discussed, and in his time both tropical and sidereal tables were being used, I think it's pertinent and timely to illustrate the comparison. (Following up on Astroart's post.) I think you are over reacting to my post. I didn't intend to carry this point further. But it is important that all astrologers be aware of timing issues in solar returns. That's just the name of the game in the 21st century.

Tropical astrologers such as Robert Hand and Marc Penfield correct for precession in solar returns. They do this in the tropical zodiac (keeping tropical signs but using the sidereal year for calculation) after considering the timing of events. So is the real question one of precession rather than zodiacs?

Ben Dykes' translations are opening new doors of thought and discussion. It's an exciting time for astrology. Please notice that I didn't carry that topic further after one post, and left the door open for tropical replies by posting the tropical chart. If I was going to reply further to anyone's post, I planned on moving my reply to the sidereal forum.

If you prefer, Mark, I can move my post that offends you to the sidereal forum and delete it here. Would you like me to do that?

Perhaps others might like to react to this topic?
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