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Primary Directions Entirely by Hand with Prepared Tables.

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Joined: 15 Dec 2011
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Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Primary Directions Entirely by Hand with Prepared Tables. Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I have been lately doing some natal charts and predictive techniques by hand using my ephemeris and table of houses. By doing that I discovered another reason why, when it comes to using quadrant divisions, I love Porphyry Very Happy.

When it comes to doing primary directions entirely by hand though it is another matter. I saw that there are other topics in the traditional forum for calculating directions and if Tom the moderator would like to move this one, then by all means.
I just think it is important that there is a topic which does not deal with the complex trigonometrical calculations yet allows the practitioners to take advantage of this most powerful technique without using a computer or even a calculator if possible.

Among the authors I have read, I have found Rumen Kolev and Regulus Astrology to be too technical for a reader who would prefer not to deal with the formulas. On the other hand I have found Martin Gansten and Joao Ventura to describe the technique in a more accessible language. Today I finished reading Martin's book for the third time. I also reread Joao's articles. That happened after I reread Kolev's booklets and Regulus Astrology and gave up again. Again, I realize someone must do the calculations, be it a person or a computer, but I would like to have the necessary tables to calculate entirely by hand. I use Delphic Oracle and Morinus for directions and Distributions but it is always useful to be able to do it yourself.

So what is needed if one does not know how or would prefer not to use trigonometry? I should say that I am interested in the ancient type directions: type 1 - to the Asc/Dsc; type 2 - to the MC/IC; and type 3 - Ptolemy's proportional method.

The most useful book I have found is Rectification of the Horoscope (Practical Lessons, Tables, Illustrations) by Robert DeLuce published in 1930. It teaches in a plain language the first 2 types of directions - to the horizon and to the meridian (it also teaches solar arcs but I digress). The book is written in the form of lessons and has questions at the end of each.
The text is just 15 pages and then come the invaluable tables. Each is explicated and exemplified. Included are:

tables of the Sun's apparent sidereal time and equivalent right ascension,
tables of the ascensional difference/AD for all latitudes in 1 degree increments, with the declination on the left side,
tables of right ascension with north and south latitude from 0 to 6.

What one needs to add to these are the declination and latitude of the planets. Unfortunately the 2 ephemeris books I bought all those years ago only offer the zodiacal longitude of the planets (I had no idea back then that declination and latitude were important and had much less heard of primary directions). To my knowledge, only Raphael's Ephemeris offers declination (and most likely latitude as well). The ones that cover 1950-2050 are very expensive though. So one can search for online ephemeris or use a computer program. I discovered that Janus offers pretty much everything. One can include declination, latitude, right ascension (and the usual longitude, sidereal time, day of the week, etc). One can also select the location and time zone, but I prefer to leave it to London GMT midnight, to match my ephemeris.

In addition to this one needs to add an international atlas in order to get the terrestrial longitude and latitude. I saw some very cheap second hand copies in amazon or other websites.

As for other resources, Robert Zoller mentions Erich Kuhr's tables as well those by Simmonite. The two other topics on this subject in the traditional forum mention Cielo e Terra's tables of oblique ascension for N 40, 45, 50 and 55 and also the book Modern Almagest by Robert Fitzpatrick.

So having the terrestrial longitude, latitude, correct time of birth, erected natal figure + the declination, latitude, right ascension and ascensional difference of the planets and points is enough to calculate at least type 1 and type 2 primary directions entirely by hand and even without a calculator.

What about the interplanetary directions of type 3? One needs to calculate the Meridian or Horizon Distance - MD and HD. I may be wrong in understanding Martin's book but one should be able to at least calculate the Diurnal and Nocturnal Semiarcs DSA and NSA of the zodiacal positions of the planets by calculating when these degrees of longitude will be on the angles, then figuring out how much time has elapsed since birth and what part of its Semiarc the promissor has moved and match that with the proportion the significator has traveled in its Semiarc.
Or just use Joao's elegant solution:

Diurnal Semi-Arc = 90 + AD
Nocturnal Semi-Arc = 180 Diurnal Semi-Arc

Thus, having the above data one could calculate the all 3 types of traditional directions.

When wanting to include the latitude of the body of either the promissor or significator or both though, I am not sure I know how to do that.

Any ideas, suggestions or corrections would be much appreciated.
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