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when a malefic is significator

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Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 52
Location: Adelaide, SA

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:50 am    Post subject: when a malefic is significator Reply with quote

I'm currently working through my initiation into medieval and need to ask one of those really 'so silly it's probably obvious' sort of questions.

When calculating anything, be it hyleg, alcocoden, signfier, rank etc etc the texts always say to disregard a signifier which is afflicted by a malefic and move onto the next. But what if the signifier is a malefic? If the signifier is saturn for instance and is not afflicted by mars, then should you use this? Or if it is saturn but afflicted by mars, disregard?

I would really appreciate any insight. So far in my reading of the texts I haven't come across an explanation of how to treat a potential signifier when it is of itself malefic. Confused

many thanks
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Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 167
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ann,

This is what I was taught (for natal astrology): (a) each technique recommends different things when encountering malefics, so be careful what each one says; and (b) carefully delineate malefics by nature, state, and location to see what harm they actually do.

The malefics tend to be destroy or inhibit conventional goods like health, wealth, good social relations, ease in life. If they are strong and in really good condition (e.g., angular and in domicile) then they can perform good things, but with difficulties and hard work. If they are strong and in a really bad condition, then they are specially empowered to be destructive. Usually a cadent malefic in a bad state will have a weak power to effect only bad things, but sometimes you might be surprised: Bonatti says that a cadent Mars will prolong wars. Why is that? It seems (and this is what Zoller thinks) that a strong Mars can win quickly and decisively; but a weak and evil Mars will drag things on.

Given all the differences in planets' natures, strengths, and zodiacal states, the trick is to find the best planet in each case who can do the job. But be careful, because not every technique rejects malefics or even planets afflicted by the malefics.

In some cases, you might reject a significator because the technique has you go through a checklist. That's the case in delineations like the financial significator: if a candidate on the list is afflicted by a malefic, you move to the next one. But the hyleg and alcocoden calculations don't work this way: you would not disregard Venus as a candidate alcocoden because it is afflicted by a malefic. Rather, if Venus is the alcocoden, the malefic will simply take away years from the native's life. A malefic alcocoden will give years.

In other cases, you have a batch of rulers (say, for a house), and you have to discover which is the best planet to achieve what you want. Here the old astrologers tended to give a "best-case" scenario and a "worst-case" one. Ideally, the best planet will be a powerful ruler (domicile or exalted), a benefic, in domicile, free from combustion, oriental, etc., etc.. Worst case would be a malefic ruler, combust, detriment, occidental, retrograde, etc.

But there are lots of middle cases, including malefics as rulers: if you are looking to see what ruler will realize the affairs of the a house, and you have to choose between a succeedent malefic, unafflicted in a great state versus a cadent benefic in detriment, the malefic wins. This would be a case of a malefic as a significator of a house. Suppose the native's Ascendant is Scorpio, and Mars is in Aries in the 5th house. Mars is strong and in domicile, so he will be Martial and active, but leaning toward productive things. In the 5th house, it might mean the native enjoys athletics and entertainments where there is personal risk. That could be a good and beneficial thing. If it were in Libra in the 12th, watch out because the native will be self-destructive or be afflicted by secret enemies or other threats of confinement.

To address your example of Saturn and Mars: any malefic by itself may be able to do good things; but malefics afflicting each other are bad for both. What exactly it means in a given case depends on what you are delineating.

I'd recommend the Baldwin translation of Morinus's Book 21 of Astrologia Gallica ($11), available from the AFA. The last 2/3 of the book are chock full of these kinds of examples, with lots of attention paid to the malefic-benefic distinction. It's item M1348 - 014 (there are two translations, I like this better).

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,
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Joined: 17 Dec 2003
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Location: Adelaide, SA

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Thank you so much for your time.

What I was tackling at the time was the 'list' for identifying the financial signifier as per Zoller's course. Your response has helped me greatly

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