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Valens: equal houses not whole signs
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Zoidsoft wrote:
Quote:
Can you prove that Valens trisected the angles because of a source that comes before him?


Well if we are to believe Valens' own words then yes! In The Anthology Valens himself states that he acquired the technique of trisecting the angles in a chart from the work of an earlier astrologer called Orion.


I should have been more specific because we already know that Valens used partial divisions of the angles and at least used them in some context (to see how busy a planet is based upon the "goad" meaning of kentron, etc). What I'm interested in here is can we prove that Valens used divisions based upon angles to the degree for topics and that this source comes from someone predating Valens. At issue here is whether the angles set up the topics by making the signs have terrestrial significations or whether the topics can have terrestrial significations by themselves apart from the signs (and when this latter manifestation came to be). I think that the most natural beginning started with counting signs as topics and that at some point later on these two ways of counting merged into one.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
We have to ask why Hand and Schmidt would propose something so unlikely - and for this I do think it is necessary to bear in mind that Schmidt was translating Valens sequentially, with sometimes a matter of years between his publication of one volume and the next.


While he did translate sequentially and there were developments as he went along, I seem to remember that he said that he read the entire corpus first before he started translating.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Mark wrote:
On the other hand in describing houses derived from the Lot of Fortune Valens does seem to be relying on a purely whole sign perspective.


Not according to Valens Bk II. 37, (Schmidt translation pp.79-80):

Quote:
It is needful then, to examine the lots more precisely and to the degree. For often times, the lot falls out in a certain zoidion by the platic consideration, but by the consideration of degree in another zoidion. This results from the degrees of the lights and the Horoscopos, when [they] are found either at the end of beginning of the zoidia.
.


I think the context here is off. In some lot calculations, only the sign is noted (such as the lot of change (tropeh)) which would be counted from the Moon to the Sun and an equal amount from Leo by day or from the Sun to the Moon and an equal amount from Cancer by night. In such cases what degree of Leo/Cancer do you use? Well they were counting signs in those cases.
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of the problems of a "presentist" view of the past, can we start with first principles and demonstrate that Valens actually used houses extensively in many of his chart interpretations?

A cursory glance at 2.21 suggests that chart angles were critical to his delineations, but this isn't exactly identical with a worked-out house system. He used both radical houses simultaneously with houses derived from the part of fortune set to the first house. In the latter sense, the derived 10th and 11th houses were central to his character descriptions.

The following is a brief summary of the 14 horoscopes given in 2.21 (provisional Riley translation.) Here are the houses he mentioned-- and some of them are derived after the position of the P of F, not the radix chart. So far as I can determine, the "Place of Accomplishment" was the 11th house from the part of fortune. Most of these were for distinguished men, but some had ignoble origins and others had good origins but a later fall from grace. Two (#6 and 14 had religious offices.)

1. MC, 5th Place of good fortune, Place of Accomplishment (11th from P of F), 11th Place of Good Daimon.

2. "at an angle" (ASC), "just preceding an angle," 11th Place of Good Daimon.

3. "Just preceding an angle" (MC), "at an angle (DSC)", "relative to the Ascendant."

4. "preceding an angle (MC), "at an angle (DSC), "at MC" (derived from P of F), "Place of Accomplishment."

5. several planets "preceding angles", MC relative to the P of F.

6. "an angle" (DSC) , MC, MC relative to the P of F

7. 11th Place of Good Fortune, MC, MC relative to the P of F, Place of Accomplishment

8. MC relative to the P of F, IC

9. "preceding angles" (MC, ASC), MC

10. Place of Accomplishment

11. "at angles" but in opposition (MC, IC), Place of Accomplishment, Preceding an angle (ASC)

12. "at angles" (ASC, MC), Place of Accomplishment, "preceded angles (IC, DC)

13. (no houses mentioned)

14. [For a "eunuch, a distinguished priest of the goddess.]9th Place of the God, Good Daimon (11th)

To summarize, we find one or more angles (and presumably angular houses) mentioned in the majority of the horoscopes: planets noted are either "at" them or "preceding" them. The 11th house is mentioned frequently (though sometimes derived from the P of F) and there is one mention each of the 5th and 9th. Interestingly the priest of the "goddess" (#14) does not seem to have had anything of note in the 3rd house.

Most of the houses are not mentioned by name, although we can infer angular houses (at an angle) or cadent houses (preceding an angle.)

Valens indirectly ascribes misfortune to the 6th and 12th houses with his "preceding an angle" statements. Case #2: "Lot of Fortune and the exaltation in Gemini, just preceding an angle (hence the beginning of his life was humble".) However, preceding an angle is generally OK if a planet is in the 9th house (case #4.)

However, wealth does not seem to be ascribed to the second house even though Valens typically mentioned wealth and poverty.

Case #4 is interesting, where the Place of Accomplishment (11th from the P of F) is the same as Mars in Pisces in the radix 8th house. Without mentioning the 8th Valens stated that Mars in the Place of Accomplishment "gave to him property from plunder, stealing, and violence, property which after his death was plundered most abominably."
Which accords just fine with malefic Mars in a house dealing with both death and inheritance.

Sorry, Valens fans, but I got the feeling that he pretty much pulled case #5 up after his knowledge of the native's outcome. #5 had 4 planets in the 3rd, Mars in the 12th, and the P of F in the 6th, but with "stars of the same sect" in "operative places" and his derived MC (10th house) relative to the P of F, he rose from poverty and servitude to a position of trust.

There is nothing in this one section about house cusps or degrees here (other than those indirectly inferred to calculate lots) and no basis for assuming other than a whole sign method. If one is going to apply two house systems to one chart, they would also need to have consistent cusps, as lots could easily fall on one side of an in-sign cusp or the other. None of which are mentioned.

Which is not the case elsewhere.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another problem with using equal houses within the context of oikodektor (guest - host) relationship comes from the idea of witnessing and testifying, that the planets can see and then report back what is seen in various places. For example, from Riley translation book 2,pg 31:

Quote:
Venus sextile to the sun in the morning sky indicates that the father and the native will be charming and distinguished. /68P/ If Venus is configured in Good Daimon or in Good Fortune, the native will be thought worthy (by women) of the purple and of golden ornaments.


Notice that Venus can never be sextile to the Sun by degree. This is indicating sextile through sign relationship; then the context goes on to say if Venus is configured in Good Daimon (11th) or Good Fortune (5th)... To use a degree based paradigm here would break the witness / testimony relationship because each planet casts 7 rays and is able to see in those topics. Then the domicile / exaltation lord calls to witness...
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. So now one that might support Deb's position (Book 2 pg 34 Riley translation):

Quote:
Jupiter square with Mars is strong, if one is in the Ascendant and the other is either at MC or in <the> Good Daimon. This configuration will be stronger than that of trine, especially if a tropic sign is between.


This one seems to imply that a square is possible between one in the ascendant and one in the 11th. But we should have a look at the Greek here. The reason being that sometimes sextiles are regarded as squares when the signs involved happen to be those of long/upright ascension.
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Eric L



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Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoidsoft wrote:
The reason being that sometimes sextiles are regarded as squares when the signs involved happen to be those of long/upright ascension.
Is this common to early Hellenistic astrology? I always thought that it was one of the things unique to Ptolemy and everybody else did aspects the normal way.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow the bottom half of my last post disappeared. (I suggested that the Greek needs to be consulted here)

I think you will find the same principle in Paulus Alexandrinus where sextiles become like squares when they involve signs of upright ascension and trines become like squares when the signs involved are signs of crooked ascension.
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curtis, Deb, or.... somebody?

Have you cast some of the charts in Vettius Valens? Has anybody? I just spent an interesting and puzzing few hours working on the 1st and 12th charts in book 2.21 (Riley provisional translation) with the dates given in Neugebauer and Van Hoesen, Greek Horoscopes, p. 81. (available on-line as a Google book.) I used the chart construction techniques deployed at Astrodienst, which are probably different than Valens used ca. 150 CE, but even allowing for Valens's lack of birth locations, questions about the aptness of the Gregorian calendar, and Valens's arithmetic rising time calculations, I found some discrepancies with both Valens and Neugebauer & Van Hoesen compared to Astrodienst.

[N & VH give dates for all 14 horoscopes in this section, incidentally, ranging from 50 to 109 CE.)

N & VH gave these two charts (1st and 12th) dates of Oct. 25, 50 CE "about 4:00 am" and May 1, 61 CE "about sunrise."

I couldn't get these dates to agree with Valens's delineations, but one day earlier seemed a decent match, with very crudely rectified times. So I got: Oct. 24, 50 CE 5:15 am LMT, and April 30, 61 CE at 5:00 am LMT.
(Without knowing the birth locations I fudged with #1 for Alexandria and #12 for Athens.) Also, N & VH either rounded some of their calculations or used a different method than Astrodienst, because several planets were a degree different than I got, but a couple were more serious discrepancies.

(For anyone interested in trying, unfamiliar with Valens's terms, the Place of Accomplishment is the 11th sign (or house?) from the part of fortune, and the exaltation of the nativity is the number of signs (or houses?) from the sun to Aries in a day birth and the moon to Taurus in a night birth.)

Valens in chart #1 gave Mars to Scorpio, but N & VH and I got 27/28 degrees Libra. Valens gave the P of F to Aquarius. N & VH didn't mention it, but I got Capricorn. These affected some of what he wrote about the chart.

In chart #12, Valens and I both got the moon in Aquarius, but N & VH put it a 6 degrees Cancer. Then Valens and N & VH put Saturn in Cancer (the latter, at 2 degrees,) but the Astrodienst chart showed 29 Gemini 44. A rounding error, possibly, but one that would result in different chart interpretations. Interestingly, the Astrodienst chart gave the MC in Capricorn, but Valens called the Aquarian moon and P of F angular, so he may have simply counted houses (or 90 degrees) from the Taurus ascendant to locate the MC in Aquarius.

I ran these charts using whole sign, equal house, and Porphyry houses, and whole sign gave the best fit with Valens's delineations. Possibly with further chart rectification and replication of Valens's methods, equal houses would work better.
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

p.s.-- None of the above is to deny the probability of Valens using a different house system elsewhere in the Anthologies. He seemed to compile a lot of materials from different sources.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoidsoft wrote:
This one seems to imply that a square is possible between one in the ascendant and one in the 11th. But we should have a look at the Greek here. The reason being that sometimes sextiles are regarded as squares when the signs involved happen to be those of long/upright ascension.

There is no mention of anything like that in the passage quoted. The Greek just says: Zeus Arei tetragōnos – ean ho men hōroskopē, ho de mesouranē ē agathodaimonē, ischuron. Literally: 'Jupiter square to Mars, when one is ascendant-ing, the other midheaven-ing or good-spirit-ing, [is] strong.' So this seems, to me, a clear indication that planets may be square by sign/degree while in houses that are in a mutual 3/11 relationship. Thanks for bringing this up, Curtis.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Curtis, Deb, or.... somebody? Have you cast some of the charts in Vettius Valens? Has anybody?


Yes. But I'm not sure if anybody has actually done it with the method Valens said he used and with the ayanamsa / offset (if tropical) of 8 degrees Aries for the vernal point. Something one should do to try to confirm positions as stated in the text.
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, Curtis. Yet Valens is pretty clear about whether a planet or lot is in a particular sign, in "the ascendant" or "preceding angles", or a few of the other houses, and there is only so much moving around one can do with the chart and still get the best fit with what he wrote.

Where Valens talks about the exaltation of the chart in relation to the sun and "Aries" it might make a difference if he meant 0 or 8 degrees in chart #1 (2.21). But if my ascendant (18 Libra) is reasonably close, then he probably meant a whole sign counting scheme regardless, because we still have to get the exaltation in the 11th house. With "errors" compared to Astrodienst in the P of F, I suspect that a lot (no pun intended) depends upon how he calculated the ascendant. He certainly had various methods to choose from. Someone with more patience than I have could probably work out which technique he used, or whether he simply erred.

I wonder if these charts were from Valens's own files, or whether he got them from an earlier source, given the dates.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
zoidsoft wrote:
This one seems to imply that a square is possible between one in the ascendant and one in the 11th. But we should have a look at the Greek here. The reason being that sometimes sextiles are regarded as squares when the signs involved happen to be those of long/upright ascension.

There is no mention of anything like that in the passage quoted. The Greek just says: Zeus Arei tetragōnos – ean ho men hōroskopē, ho de mesouranē ē agathodaimonē, ischuron. Literally: 'Jupiter square to Mars, when one is ascendant-ing, the other midheaven-ing or good-spirit-ing, [is] strong.' So this seems, to me, a clear indication that planets may be square by sign/degree while in houses that are in a mutual 3/11 relationship. Thanks for bringing this up, Curtis.


There is a problem here though matching to equal houses. It would make sense if say Cancer was rising and the MC is in Pisces, then Aries could be in the good spirit due to the trisection of the angles being larger in that area (having more than 30 degrees). But if using equal houses, then perfection of the aspect between Mars and Jupiter would necessarily push the one in the horoskopos to the gate of hades.
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Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoidsoft wrote:
There is a problem here though matching to equal houses. It would make sense if say Cancer was rising and the MC is in Pisces, then Aries could be in the good spirit due to the trisection of the angles being larger in that area (having more than 30 degrees). But if using equal houses, then perfection of the aspect between Mars and Jupiter would necessarily push the one in the horoskopos to the gate of hades.

Agreed: a square to the degree from a planet in the 11th equal house would necessarily fall in the 2nd. Personally, I don't think equal houses are meant here. But even with equal houses, there could of course be a square by sign between a planet in the 1st and a planet in the 11th.
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