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AP - Choosing the Lord of the Geniture - personal examples

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Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:09 pm    Post subject: AP - Choosing the Lord of the Geniture - personal examples Reply with quote

31 Aug 2003


I just started to do my natal chart and had some trouble figuring out which planet should be the Lord of the Geniture. There are three candidates, with varying degrees of essential and accidental dignity.

Saturn – Essential: Own Sign, +5. Accidental: 10th house, +5, direct, +4, oriental, +2, not combust, +5. Essential: +5. Accidental: +16

Jupiter – Essential: Own sign, +5, own term, +2. Accidental: 8th house, -2, direct, +4, oriental, +2, not combust, +5. Essential: +7. Accidental: +9

Mars-Mutual reception by sign:+5, own face,+1. Accidental: 2nd house, +3, direct, +4, occidental, -2, not combust, +5. Essential: +6. Accidental: +10

I suppose I should use Saturn as Lord of the Geniture, because it has the most points total, 21, but two other planets have more essential points. Jupiter and Mars have the same number of total points, 16. Jupiter has the most essential points, but it is in the 8th house, while Mars has the second most essential points and is in the 2nd house.

Which one would you pick?



Please post the chart data. It's a lot easier for me to figure it out that way. If there is a privacy issue involved, please send me the data via e-mail.



Sure. My birth data is March 6, 1482, Utica, NY, at 7:50 AM.

Oh, it just SEEMS like 1482, it really was 1959.



First let's go to an authority: "I am clearly of this opinion, viz. The planet who hath most essential and accidental dignities in the figure, and is posited best, and elevated most in the scheme, that he ought to be the Lord of the Geniture."
--William Lilly, Christian Astrology pages 531-532.

The key words are "posited best and elevated most." In John Frawley's words, if there are two choices, pick that planet that can act. So a planet in the 12th house with lots of essential dignity might be less desirable that a planet with much less essential dignity, but is conjunct the MC.

In your case, I wouldn't consider Mars for several reasons mainly because he only has dignity by face. Some astrologers claim that a planet in mutual reception cannot be peregrine, therefore mutual reception is an essential dignity. This never made sense to me as mutual reception seems more like an accidental dignity (if it helps at all)not an essential one. How much help is Mercury in Pisces to Jupiter in Virgo?

That leaves Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is in the 8th house, and that is an accidental debility. Planets in the 6th, 8th, and (particularly) the 12th have a hard time acting unless there is a tight aspect to a strong planet or, better yet, a tight aspect to a dispositor, or strong reception. Jupiter is in his own sign. There is no planet that is exalted in Sagittarius. The triplicity ruler of Sagittarius in the daytime is the Sun, but this is of little help since the Sun is in the 12th and peregrine. The reverse is probably true; Jupiter may help the Sun. Jupiter is in a partile trine to Mercury, but Mercury is weak and also in 12. Still in rulership we must consider Jupiter, if there is nothing else.

But there is something else. Saturn is in rulership, and is close to the MC and angular. He is the most elevated planet in the chart. I don't see that Saturn has any stiff competition for the job.

A quick example of "getting out" of the 12th is George W.please Bush's chart. I hope I haven't mentioned this before on this board, but if I have, skip this next: the President has a 12th house peregrine Sun in Cancer. The question naturally arises: "Why does such a weak, secretive Sun seek the limelight?" It's a fair question.

The answer is that the dispositors of that Sun -- the Moon (rulership), and Jupiter (exaltation)-- are both in aspect to the Sun. This in effect, "plugs in" those two planets to the Sun. Jupiter rules his 9th house (foreign affairs) and, if you're a Democrat, you might note that the Moon rules his 12th house of self-undoing and Jupiter exalts it. Secrets, Terrorists, and enemies, are also 12th house meanings. Time will tell.



Thanks Tom. I was pretty sure about Saturn being the Lord of the Geniture, but with two other planets having more essential dignity I wanted to be sure.

So you can see that I have a lot in the twelfth, but other than Venus, each of them has something there to help them out. Well and maybe the Sun too. It has mutual reception by exaltation, but it's to another planet in the 12th house too. And Mercury’s "helper", Jupiter who it's trine to in Sagittarius is in the 8th house. How bad is that?

I am trying to be very cautious in my approach and follow John Frawley's advice, but he stops being specific about what I should do after I calculate my temperament, which I see as Cold and Moist = phlegmatic. He says to progress the chart and look at solar and lunar returns. Then if something is indicated as a possibility, to look for transits as the triggers to these events.

But he doesn’t give any examples to work through or much else to go on. Is there a book out there that gives traditional theory and practice on doing natals? I'd like to read one or more if I could

And I am no way, no how confident that I have mastered horaries and elections. So maybe I should just stick with them for a while.

I read Frawley's first book, The Real Astrology. I just wished he gave more examples of bad advice and bad practices that he's seen in modern astrology instead of just complaining about it in a general way.



There is only so much you can put in a book. You might want to get John's book, The Real Astrology Applied. It is a collection of articles he's written (many of them are updated)either in his magazine "The Astrolgoer's APprentice" or other astrological journals.

After the temperament, the next thing you do is to determine the significator of manners and the wit of the native. The Significator of manners is the planet that most engages Mercury and the Moon. This can be very tricky, but the Significator of manners is how the native demonstrates his temperament.

Doing a quick look at your chart, your significator of manners might be Mars. Moon's next aspect is to Mars and Mercury and Mars are in a mutual reception. Do you come on in a Mars in Gemini way? If so, that's it.

Wit is not a cosmic IQ test. It is closer to "How you use what you've got." In your case the Moon seems somewhat stronger than Mercury so your mental approach is more imaginative than strictlly logical. In other words less linear thinking than rational. This does not mean you're irrational, only thatyou approach problems with imagination rather than dry logic.

All of this is found in Christian Astrology. A traditional natal delineation is far more involved than a modern one. To listen to a modern astrologer we are all messed up because we had such brutal childhoods that we would have been better off being raised by wolves than by those monsters who brought us into the world. I suppose that is true for some, but not many.

I'm still learning how to to a traditional nativity. There is a ton of work invovled, but the results are wellworth the effort.



I have John’s other book, The Real Astrology Applied, but I am want to finish up his first one before I tackle that one. I have skimmed it though and that’s how I found out about the Lord of the Geniture and how to figure out temperament.

It would be great if I could get my hands on the old copies of his magazine too.

I think that you are right about my Significator of Manners being Mars. When you say, “Do you come on in a Mars in Gemini way?”, do you mean do I shoot my mouth off a lot? Yes. Do you mean that I have a caustic tongue? Yes. Do you mean that I am mentally aggressive, that I ask a lot of questions, that I am the one person who always has his hand up in class, and that I butt my head into all sorts of subjects? Yes. That also can be the Aries rising too, I guess.

I don’t know about the Wit of the Native though. First, I don’t see how my natal Moon is stronger than Mercury. True, Mercury is in the 12th house, while the Moon is in the 11th. But the Moon is peregrine, while Mercury at least has the mutual reception to Mars going for it, and the partile trine to Jupiter. On points alone, Mercury wins out. But it is in the 12th house, and if what you’re looking for is "How you use what you've got”, Mercury would surely lose by being secluded away in the 12th. What are the other choices? What exactly are we looking for?

And the description doesn’t fit either. Just read my posts here. I am nothing if not logical, by the book and linear. Now that’s not to say I don’t have imagination, but I try to approach problems with logic and facts, but maybe I’m kidding myself.

How do you know when you’ve found the Wit of the Native? How do you go about determining it? See? Logical.

Maybe this makes sense. A LOT of the time I will think of the right thing to do, and then completely ignore it and act on my emotions. Deb knows more about this, but please for my sake, you don’t have to corroborate that!

I don’t have the last part of CA. I downloaded the first two books from some web site. I guess I should break down and buy a hard copy of it. I know Lilly was a great man and all, but, wow, that guy can stretch a sentence out like no one. You know, it seems that they have translated Bonatus and Ptolemy into English. Someone ought to do that for Lilly.



I was afraid what I wrote would come out wrong. This isn't an "either or" proposition. And I didn't mean to imply that you aren't logical. What having a stronger Moon means is that one has a good imagination and the approach to mental work leans that way rather than the strictly 1 + 1 = 2 approach. Having Mercury very strong and the Moon weak can mean one is too rigid in their thinking. I work with people like that: think Engineers.

FDR had a much stronger Moon than his Mercury and he wasn't illogical or irrational. He was more visonary in his approach, whether one liked his vision or not. Hell I have a much stronger Moon than Mercury, too, for that matter. It is just that one's approach to problems can be imaginative. This is a broad brush stroke, not an absolute.

I said your Mercury was weaker than the Moon because Mercury is generally not too happy in fire signs, and your Mercury is in the 12th, while your Moon is elevated. We would have to take into consideration that the Moon is in an air sign as well. If I recall, Mercury is occidental and the Moon oriental, too. I only took a quick look.

There is no planet of the wit. It is a general thing depending on various factors including direction, speed, and placement of the Moon and Mercury. Like I said, this isn't a cosmic IQ test. Lots of famous people have a pathetic (your's isn't one of them) Mercury and "dull" isn't what we would think of them. Patton's Mercury is in Sagitarius and in the 6th. Einstein had Mercury in Aries conjunct a nasty Saturn. Curiously, he was once asked about being smarter than everyone else he replied that he wasn't really any smarter, he just had a greater imagination. No one would call Albert Einstein "illogical," without having their own Mercury checked.

>>I know Lilly was a great man and all, but, wow, that guy can stretch a sentence out like no one. You know, it seems that they have translated Bonatus and Ptolemy into English. Someone ought to do that for Lilly.<<

As John Frawley says, "Lilly is not Shakespere." He wasn't university educated either. Long sentences was the style of the day. If you think Lilly is difficult try Ptolemy. Ptolemy is dull to the point of near unreadability. And I'm told Placidus was worse. Morin used long sentences, too and in Latin. Lilly though, is very human, and this is what I enjoy most about his work. Stick with it; after a while it becomes easier and more enjoyable. I find CA more entertaining than almost all modern texts, not to mention more valuable. Most of the traditional and medieval writers are less than scintillating. Ibn Ezra is an exception. He was an excellent writer. In the later period, Culpepper is a lot of fun.

The idea of "translating" Christian Astrology has been around for a while, but there are probably only a handful of astrologers (and no one else could do it) with enough knowledge of the book and its historical context to be able to make a good job of it, and even then there would be disagreements.

Frawley wrote an excellent article in the last Astrologer's Apprentce (You can buy back issues from him: www. with a contemporary interpretation of one of Lilly's horaries taken from one of Lilly's other works. Although John didn't use these words, it seems as though he believes Geoffery Cornelius misunderstood Lilly in his book "The Moment of Astrology." I'm not getting into the details. I only want to point out that translating such a work from early modern English to contemporary English isn't as easy as it might seem at first blush, although it will probably happen some day.



Take it easy. I didn’t say that what you said was wrong. First, I agreed with you that Significator of Manners was most likely Mars.

Are the only two candidates for Wit of the Native always Mercury and the Moon?

I haven’t heard that Mercury is not well placed in a fire sign. It is in mutual reception with Mars in Gemini. My Moon is in an air sign, Aquarius, but it is peregrine. And yes, the Moon is oriental, while Mercury is occidental.

I guess my question is in order to find the Wit of the Native, do you always look at both the Moon and Mercury and see which one is stronger?

And about how to understand Lilly, my biggest problem with his is the long sentences. I agree that it’s probably not good to change his words, since he was the master and he chose his words carefully.

What I do though is I take his long sentences and break them down into smaller parts. A lot of what he says is in the form of this. He’ll say in order to signify something or the other, you can have THIS or THAT, and THIS or THE OTHER THING and SOMETHING ELSE. And the problem is all the or’s & and’s. I think that to signify something he usually means that you have to have more than one sign for it, usually two different planets or aspects, and that each part can be shown in a number of ways.

I think I will take one of Lilly’s longer sentences and see if I am reading it correctly. I’ll make a separate post out of it, since it doesn’t belong to this thread.



>>Take it easy. I didn’t say that what you said was wrong. First, I agreed with you that Significator of Manners was most likely Mars. <<

If I sounded like I was uptight or being abrasive, it wasn't intended that way and I did notice what you said about Mars.

>>Are the only two candidates for Wit of the Native always Mercury and the Moon? <<

I only lightly touched on this subject. It is fairly involved -- too involved to go into in a single post. I'll try to explain it as best I can.

The Moon and Mercury are the significators of the mind. Very roughly, the Moon is the non linear part of the mind and Mercury is the linear part. It is kind of like the "right-brain" left Brain" thing contemporary psychiatrists talk about. By themselves and their condition, the astrologer can tell us something about how the native's mind works; its strengths and weaknesses. FDR is a good example. He had a vision for the country and worked to accomplish that vision. The vision is the Moon and the nuts and bolts of the plan, if you will, is Mercury. Some people are better at nuts and bolts than they are with vision, and vice versa. Both are necessary to accomplish anything.

The significator of the manners is the planet that most engages Mercury and the Moon in the chart. Any planet can be the significator of the manners, but only in rare circumstances would we pick the Sun or Moon. There is some disagreement over this last statement. It is the way I was taught, though.

The "engagement" can take place in any of the following ways: aspect, reception, mutal reception, disposition. The significator of the manners can and frequently is more than one planet. Janis Joplin has Saturn and Jupiter as her significators. That chart is worth a seperate look to explain this more fully.

The idea then is to find the planet or planets that express the mind and by extension will express the temperament. In this way we get a pretty good look at the inner workings of the native. Transits and directions by and to this planet or planets will take on extra significance during the life.

I'll give you a couple of details to work with:

1) First choice is any planet in the ascendant. If there is one in the same sign as the ASC, your work is done. You've found the significator of manners.

2) If no one is in the ASC look for a planet that aspects both Mercury and the Moon. This happens less often than we would like. If you find one, again your search is over.

3) At this point we look for other engagements like reception etc. In Joplin's chart, Mercury and the Moon applied to Jupiter and Saturn (I don't know which applied to which off the top of my head). Jupiter and Saturn were in mutual reception thereby completing the connection, and each planet was on a different side of the chart. Saturn was on the ASC side (Janis' depression), Jupiter on the DSC side ("I love to go to parties and I like to have a good time"). You can see the push and pull of her life pretty clearly with this information.

CA volume three goes into this in detail. Good luck with it.



I think it is really interesting the way you explain the relevance of both Mercury and the Moon over the mind. Nowadays we tend to associate Mercury with the mind and the Moon with the emotions but I’ve become strongly aware of how the Moon traditionally ruled the ‘mind’ subjects – writing, grammar, messages, communications, etc. Gauquelin also pointed out the Moon’s connection with writers. I’ve been struggling with this, but your explanation has made perfect sense of it.



I get all my good stuff from John. The Real Astrology Applied page 105 "The Moon as Mind." Also Lilly himself kicks in: "So if Mercury be more strong then Moon, ... he that is then born, in him reason shall principlly overmaster his other extravagant passions. If Moon in this kind be more strong than Mercury, as many times it happens, the affections and other inferioour faculties do easily prevaile above reason." CA p. 543-44

Lilly is being his usual blunt self, but some of us do not necessarily believe that computers are more desireable than compassion. Also, my personal experience with "reason (read: engineers)" is such that I've seen stupidity elevated to near Divine intervention just becuse it was written that way in the specifiction. If we don't get our imagination from the Moon, from where does it come? If someone tells me Neptune, you'll ruin my upcoming vacation.

As Frawley states in the above cited article, Mercury rules servants; He makes a rotten master. I think it is a Norse myth that Loki (Mercury) is wisely chained to a rock by the other gods. The world ends when Loki escapes and rules.

Let's keep Mercury in check. Like our computers, Mercury is a tool, not an end.



tom, Having looked at my chart, you may notice that mercury is fairly trine moon. moon 18Leo, Merc 21 aries. But Mercury is combust the sun, so ... like what would that say? for example?



Dear Dragon
Before Tom answers, let me tell you what I know so far.

Knowing many people and their charts, I don't think that combustion means the same thing in natals as I learn it means in horary. Cazimi (planet being up to 17 minutes from the Sun) certainly does have an effect and that's very positive one. Btw. I know one astrologer with Mercury cazimi. In Aquarius. "Thinking has always been the easiest thing for me" he said once. It was very interesting when two of us looked at one chart together. By the time I saw what was where, in what kind of relation it was to something else and was just getting ready to start thinking , he already had an answer to the man's most important question. (Situation like this would have made me miserable 10 years ago; now I just know that I need time and can sincerely admire my good friend and be proud of him)

As for Mercury and Sun, I noticed something else. When they are in the same sign, and the closer they are the better, the individual expresses his essential nature and what he really means or meant much clearer than when they are in different signs - that is to say - when Me and So are in the same sign, they have a connection, something like you have a direct line with whoever is the boss and you're able to start dealing with the situation with less obstacles. When they are in different signs, you have the situation in which they don't see each other and thus there can be misunderstandings to clear before one starts getting things done or communicating with people properly. The latter can be a challenge for an individual to sort his thoughts out, sometimes an additional impulse for creative expression in mercurial fields. Those having Sun and Mercury conjunct usually seek challenge somewhere else in their life, because they don't have this kind of problem, but that's another story. It doesn't mean they can't be say, writers, it's just that whatever they want to say comes easier and they have less chance to be misundderstood. And this is visible in their style which is more direct.




When I look at a chart for purposes of illustration, I usualy don't spend a lot of time doing in-depth analysis. So what I say about Beth's Mercury - Moon can rightly be characterized as a bit superficial. Lots of other factors can and will play into the meaning. Secondly, and most importantly, I hope what I write, when it's worthy of some attention, is used as a guide not as the last word. It's a beginning only.

Beth's Mercury and Moon are trine, as she says, and Mercury is combust, and moving into combustion, to boot, as Mercury is very fast in her chart. The Moon is elevated and her next aspect is to the ASC and Mercury's last aspect is to the ASC. So all the mental faculties are in harmony with the ASC and show a nice balance, except that Mercury is combust.

Beth told us that she is a physicist (very Mercury) and we know of her interests in mytholgy since she's told us so, and that subject is not associated with the hard sciences. So the interests are not all one-sided. Mercury's combustion would cause me to give the edge to the Moon in strength. More myth and magic perhaps, than physics in her life.

Combustion does invite a lot of controversy. Is a planet combust if in a different sign from the Sun? How serious an affliction is it? Is it an affliction at all. Morin, my favorite iconoclast, thought it meaningless. If Mercury is combust or burned up, does that mean our native has little or no rational capacity? I won't accept that, but I would accept that the self expression, would be front and center in the life and perhaps obscure the presentation of what it is that Mercury represents in her chart.

This chart may be one where we would consider the Sun as the significator of the manners. He is in tight aspect to both Moon and Mercury, rules the Moon and is the exaltation ruler of Mercury, and is in the sign of his own exaltation not to mention angular. This is a very strong Sun. So the Sun would or could somehow obscure what it is that Mercury represents in this chart.

As for combustion not meaning much in a natal chart, I'm not persuaded by the arguments of Morin (he cites his own chart) or others. However, I'm not the last word on this or any other subject. There does seem to be good arguments for not considering planets in rulership to be combust. William Lilly has Venus in Taurus in tight conjunction with the Sun, and ruling the 2nd house. He did pretty well for himself financially.

On the other hand King Charles I of England had Mercury in Sagittarius combust (ugh) ruling the 11th (Parliament) and his troubles with Parliament led ultimately to his execution. His part of death is ruled by Mercury being positied in Virgo and is conjunct Mars (violent death) He also had a serious stuttering problem. [May 11, 1602 NS, 2:04 AM LMT Diseworth;UK 52 N 23/ 001 E 57]

Now two examples prove precisely nothing. I offer them as examples only and hope some readers will work with them from this point.



well to give some substance to your arguements, I got into Physics because of my love of astrology. Astrology, led to astronomy, led to Physics... Also I was raised on Aesop and greek mythology and another impetous was my disgust that Gallileo was persecuted for being correct and disproving the philosophies of the ever evil Aristotle... sigh... by the way, in college one of my profs said something disparaging about Astrology one time and I used the same argument on him I used on you. "If there is an order to the universe, there is an order to the universe and Astrology makes sense. If not, then all the rules we've come up with to define the physical world are nonsense..." this is also the Prof that I was the TA for. I did a lot of his Astronomy classes for him. =)

I do wonder at times about my expressive abilities. I feel like I know what I'm saying why can't anyone else see it? sigh..
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