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profections from the Lots
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astroart



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Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:27 am    Post subject: profections from the Lots Reply with quote

In CCAG VIII.1 p. 242 in a text attributed to Rhetoris is a very interesting passage:

Ει δε μελλεις ζητειν το και ειδος ποιει ουτως περι πατρος μεν διεκβαλε τους ενιαυτους από του κληρου του πατρος, ει δε περι μητρος από του κληρου της μητρος τους δε ενιαυτους διεκβαλε από Ηλιου και Σεληνης και ωροσκοπου και μεσαυρανηματος και Τυχης κληρου προς ο προηρησαι ζητημα, ει δε καλως ποιεις, και από εκαστου κληρου.


In my translation:

If you are looking for the future events, this is done as follows: for the father count (διεκβαλε ) the years from the Lot of the father, for the mother from the Lot of the mother and also from the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Medium Coeli, Pars of Fortune and every other Lot.

In my opinion this text is not translated by James H.Holden in his book Rhetorius the Egyptian, 2009. A text, corresponding to the above quote can be found only in the booklet compiled by Robert Schmidt : Companion to the Greek Track, The Golden Hind Press, 1994, page 13:

And after these things make the distribution of the year. Do it according to the species as follows: For the Nativity, extend the years from the Horoscopos, Midheaven, Sun, Moon and Fortune. For the father, from the Lot of the Father, or likewise for the mother, or from each place, or from the Lot of the Year, or from Hermes.

Unfortunately, Robert Schmidt don't give his source for this text.
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astroart



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Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Hellenistic and Byzantine astrology we do not find a specific term for profection, but in some cases еxpressions as ζοδιον της εναλλαγης (sign of the year) and οικοδεσποτις αυτου (the ruler of the year) have been used. In any case in the quoted text is clear that Rhetorius meant the annual profection.
But here arises another more important question- how to make an interpretation of the issues related with the profected sign from any specific Lot? In a text preserved in Vat.Gr.191 on folio 242v-248v is an intriguing interpretation of Arabic horoscope in a didactic manière and dated to the second half of the ninth century. This text is preserved only in Greek translation and is entitled Ὑπόδειγμα γενέσεων καὶ ἐναλλάγης ἀπὸ φωνῆς Ἀλεῖμ ὑιοῦ Ἱσᾶακ τοῦ Ἰσραηλίτοῦ or Example of natal and return chart according to Aleim the son of Issac the Jew. The Italian translation of the text can be found in Giuseppe Bezza, Arcana Mundi, 1995, pp.906-936.
When Alem, the author of the text, analyzed the topic of father, he says the following:

ὃμος ὁ περίπατος δείξει τινὶ χρηστέον ποιοῦμεν οὗν τὸν περίπατον τοῦ κλήρου τοῦ πατρός, εὑρίσκομεν κατὰ τὸν κ κρόνον καταντὤντα εἰς τὸν τετράγωνον τοῦ Ἄρεως καὶ τὸν τοῦ ᾑλίου διάμετρον, ὅπερ συνᾴδει τοἵς ἐλαχίστοις τοῦ Ἑρμοῦ ἔτεσιν καὶ δεἲ παρατηρεἲσθαι τὸν τοιοῦτον καιρὸν ἀπό τε θερμασίας καὶ ξηρότητος καὶ ζημίας, ἀλλ’ ἔστιν ἐλπὶς σωτηρίας διὰ τὸ τὸν Δία εἰναι ἐν τῷ αἰγοκέροτι καὶ τὴν ἀριστερὰν τετραγωνικὴν ἀκτἴνα είναι ἐπ’ αὐτοἴς κατὰ τετράγωνον.

In my translation:

In the same way, the direction (περιπατος !) also offers some usefulness: let therefore to perform the direction of the of Lot the father and we see that at the twentieth year it is in the square of Mars and the diameter of the Sun and that is in agreement with the lesser years of Mercury. It is therefore necessary at that time to preserve oneself from the heat, from the dry, from losses: but there is hope of salvation, as Jupiter is in Capricorn and with respect to it, in the radius of left square.
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Last edited by astroart on Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
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astroart



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Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the reconstruction of the natal chart interpreted by Aleim:

[/img]
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Petr



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Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fertile work Dimitar.
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margherita



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Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, Dimitar.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice catch, Dimitar! It's also interesting that although profection from lots seem genuinely Rhetorius's, the direction of lots may be a result of misunderstanding.

The Greek text you quoted from CCAG 8.1: 242 is "Rhetorius's" Epitome IV 21.11 (per Pingree), found in chapter 21 of ms Paris, BNF, gr. 2506 (ms B) and chapter 112 of ms Venice, BNM, gr. Z. 335 (coll. 645, ms H). Schmidt translated the following chapter in CCAG 8.1: 243-248 into Companion to the Greek Track, pp. 11-14, under the title The Byzantine Synthesis in Rhetorius. Here actually two similar texts are translated: the left column in "Rhetorius's" Epitome IV 22 (again per Pingree) as it is found as ch. 22 of B and ch. 113 of H, whereas the right column is a reworked version found, inter alia, as chapter 218 of B and chapter 229 of H. Epitome IV itself was composed in 884, and how it is exactly related to Rhetorius is obscure since his name isn't mentioned anywhere in the text.

A similar reference to profections appears in another text attributed to Rhetorius by Cumont and Pingree, which is within chapter 54 (fifth consideration) of Epitome III (in ms Paris, BNF, gr. 2425, or ms R). It is edited in CCAG 8.4: 122.26-28 and translated by Holden on p. 38: "and if he [i.e., the native] has a father and a mother, cast the years from the Lot of the Father and (the Lot) of the Mother, and thus look at the years of the parents." (I slightly modified the translation.) Epitome III was composed in 505 or later, and an earlier version of this chapter translated to Latin is found in De triginta decanis (aka. Liber Hermetis) 16.44 (translated by Robert Zoller on pp. 60-61 of vol. I), where it belongs to the seventh consideration. The "Rhetorian" material of De triginta decanis can be dated to 480.

It seems, however, that Rhetorius also taught that profections of lots should be examined together with transits to the natal and profected positions. Epitome IV 24.5 (from ch. 24 of B and ch. 115 of H), edited in CCAG 2: 187.30-188.2 and translated (falsely) as the first sentence of chapter 100 of Rhetorius by Holden on p. 149 says: "Always, when investigating the lifetimes of the parents, cast the years of the child from the Lot of Parents, and look at the (planets) beholding according to their natal position or according to their transit, and from this say the year (of life) of the father or of the mother." (I again modified the translation slightly.) It is in fact the sixth sentence of chapter 100 of "Rhetorius's" compendium (or rather, "Rhetorius's" Epitome III), which is found (still unedited) as lines 12-15 on f. 134 of R, the only witness of Epitome III, which is the fullest text of "Rhetorius" available, and which is (mostly) used for Holden's "Rhetorius" translation. (There are quite a few more texts attributed to Rhetorius by scholars or scribes, most of which are omitted from Holden's "Rhetorius". For example, the following one, which is one of the very few direct allusions to Rhetorius in mss.) Luckily enough, we have a less indirect extract from Rhetorius, found as ch. 221 of B and ch. 232 of H, and edited in CCAG 2: 212.30-213.1. This still untranslated text runs as "Rhetorius says: in investigating the topic of parents, you must always cast the years from their lots, and see the sign in which (the counting of) the year stops and also see the (planets) beholding according to their natal position or according to their transit."

It appears that already Dorotheus had dealt with transits to the lots of parents: see the Arabic Dorotheus 1.15.12-14, which isn't preserved by Hephaestio. Another testimony for Dorotheus is in "Rhetorius" Epitome III 48.23 (CCAG 1: 162.22-27, Holden p. 29), translated in De 36 decanis 37.3, Zoller vol. II, p. 114). This latter piece of information is repeated in a more generalized form in "Rhetorius" Epitome III 102 (lines 17-19 of f. 137v of R, inedited), which is virtually the same as "Rhetorius" Epitome IV 25.1 (edited in CCAG 2: 188.26-30, translated by Holden mistakenly as the first sentence of chapter 102 on p. 150); perhaps a version is found in De 36 decanis 22.6-7 (Zoller vol. I, p. 74), but this doesn't mention the transits. Still, there is no evidence that Dorotheus profected or directed the lots, save for Liber Aristotilis 3.4.7 (p. 110 of Dykes's translation); this uses the word tasyīr, an equivalent of Greek aphesis "releasing", which can refer to both profection and direction. According to Dykes (Carmen astrologicum, p. 88, n. 127), Sahl, who relied on the same original as Liber Aristotilis, most likely the Bizīdaj, read this passage as if it refers to a sort of primary direction, but this may well be a confusion, perhaps originated from the Bizīdaj, which used "Rhetorius" to illuminate a passage in Dorotheus.

Finally, there is a curious method using a special hīlāj, its direction and its kadkhudhāh described in al-Khayyāṭ's K. al-mawālīd 19 (tr. Dykes pp. 274-275) as well as by Māshāʾallāh (inedited and untranslated, but substantially the same as al-Khayyāṭ), which is in turn attributed to Dorotheus in Ibn Abī al-Rijāl 4.14, but this is highly spurious. Perhaps it's also some kind of Persian material, eponymously attributed to Dorotheus.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also great to see that you refer to an actual case example, which brings astrological technique even closer. Astrological literature is loaded with stuff mostly or exclusively of theoretical value, which becomes apparent easily if actual examples are compared with theory. I feel that if we want to know what astrologers of the past actually did we need to drift a little bit away from theories and examine real examples instead.

Speaking of examples, even though it has neither profection nor direction from the lots of parents, you may find interesting to read a horoscope dated to 12 September 972 by Pingree. It's inedited, unfortunately, but there are three mss available online, which make the paleographical task less tedious. The mss are: Paris, BNF, gr. 2506 (ms B), ff. 82v-84 (ch. 235), copied to Paris, BNF, gr. 2424, ff. 93v-95v (ch. 160), copied again to Paris, BNF, gr. 2420, ff. 62-64v (ch. 160).
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, many thanks to both Dimitar and Levente for this very interesting discussion (which unfortunately I am too busy to contribute much to at present -- I'm saving the posts for later study, though)! I'd just like to make the perhaps obvious point that directions of lots (or rather, a lot) are mentioned by a fairly early source, namely, Ptolemy. Perhaps this makes the direction of other lots in the tradition a little more likely.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin, it's great you've drawn attention to Ptolemy for if the idea to direct lots was really a misunderstanding, it was probably him who gave the idea, possibly by re-conceptualize the lot of fortune as the "lunar horoscope".

The case of lots isn't as straightforward as we'd like to see. Apart from the obscurities of the correct formula to use by day and by night, which are originated from Nechepso (analyzed in Heilen, Hadriani genitura, II 1160-1177), there is some evidence that the lot of fortune (and, consequently, at least the earliest lots like daimon, love, and necessity) was conceived by Nechepso and some of his followers as a place/sign, not as a degree (like a planet):
1. Nechepso calls (Valens 2.3.1, repeated in Valens 9.2.8 ) the result of the calculation "the resulting place (ὀ ἀποβὰς τόπος)".
2. Valens (2.16) lists the four primary lots together with the places in a chapter called "the name of the nine (but actually eleven) places". Here only the places of planetary joys (and the MC) are enumerated, which are the ones bearing ancient names. This and other features suggest quite an early origin.
3. Valens (and Manilius, by the way) use a whole-sign place system starting with the lot of fortune.
4. Firmicus Maternus (6.32 and elsewhere) calls the lots "places", using the same word (loca) as for topical places.
5. There are a few Hellenistic lot formulas that are based on places. Since no "cusps" are mentioned for the places, then a calculation is only possibly by signs.

Apart from Ptolemy (who only implies it), the only authors explicitly mentioning a calculation by degrees are Manilius (3.186-200) and (possibly influenced by him) Firmicus Maternus (4.17.1-4), who also describes how to calculate only by signs. (There is also some obscure reference to degrees in Valens 9.2.5, originated from either Nechepso or Petosiris.) By the time of Paulus (23, see also Olympiodorus 21-22), 378 CE, a degree-based approach seems to have been accepted.

The actual horoscopes referring to degrees of a lot are also but a handful: Hor. gr. 138-161 (GH 138/161), 150–250b (P. Oxy. 4277; partially preserved), 250–300a (P. Oxy. 4284), 319.XI.18–19 (Greenbaum and Jones, P.Berl. 9825: An elaborate horoscope), 338.XII.24 (GH 338), 373.V.16 (Kellis 1 in de Jong and Worp, A Greek Horoscope from 373 A.D.; unknown formula), 392.VII.10–11? (Kellis 2a in de Jong and Worp, More Greek Horoscopes from Kellis (Dakhleh Oasis)); and beginning with 428.IX.8 (GH L 428 [emperor Zeno?], from "Rhetorius") basically all remaining Greek horoscopes give the degrees.

Of course, in the remaining 60+ cases the exact degree positions are neglected for the planets too, but there are two exceptions: Hor. gr. 75.VII.19 (GH L 75) is cited by Valens four times, and although the planetary positions are given twice, degrees aren't given for either the lot of fortune or of daimon; Hor. gr. 81.III.31 (GH 81), closely following the same interpretation of Nechepso as Petosiris (Valens 9.2.7) and Ptolemy, namely, using the same formula for day and night, gives degrees for the planets but not for Fortune, and also ridicules those who switch the formula by night.

These pieces of evidence suggest there were some differences in how lots were regarded, therefore I think it'd be too hasty to claim that they were simply calculated by degrees and that's that. And if an author conceived lots as special topical places, this very author can't have directed lots. Dorotheus is likely an author of this sort.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your points are well-considered and stimulating as always, Levente (and I know you are very knowledgeable about lots!). But I think it is often possible to interpret the available evidence in terms of varying degrees of exactitude co-existing within a single astrological tradition rather than opposing views and changes (intentional or through misunderstanding) to that tradition. Sometimes I think it's partly a matter of an individual scholar's temperament: some are more predisposed to perceive differences, others unity or continuity.

Personally, I don't see a problem in regarding a lot as both a place and a point/degree (just like the ascendant itself), and I don't see the 'cusp' issue as a problem either -- 'equal cusps' (as we would call them today) are certainly part of the conceptualization of the places in several Hellenistic sources. (Intriguingly, Firmicus -- I'm writing on the fly and citing this from memory, but it's in his account of the places -- equates 'place' and 'sign', but not in the way proponents of whole-sign houses do today: he counts 30-degree segments from the ascendant degree and calls them both signs and places.)

None of which, of course, proves that people directed lots prior to Ptolemy. I just don't see it as conceptually problematic.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
I don't see a problem in regarding a lot as both a place and a point/degree (just like the ascendant itself), and I don't see the 'cusp' issue as a problem either -- 'equal cusps' (as we would call them today) are certainly part of the conceptualization of the places in several Hellenistic sources.

Martin, the "several Hellenistic sources" are actually two extant ones (Valens and Firmicus), but I basically agree that it's not a problem. Personally, I'd rather not use the word "problem" here: contradictions and inconsistencies will constitute a "problem" (a hurdle, an obstacle, something to be resolved) for an astrologer if it's perceived by them as such. Zeno's astrologer, for instance, used two "house-systems" for Pamprepius's nativity (whole signs and another one based on quadrants, which is perhaps either "Porphyry" or "Alchabitius"), extant at the end of "Rhetorius" Epitome III, apparently without being bothered by the fact that the two systems are inconsistent. (In this case, the definitions for a planet being angular, succedent, or cadent are different and therefore not overlapping, which is how I mean "inconsistency".) And this is a practical example where inconsistencies are far more likely expected to be resolved than in theoretical treatises, in which reports on inconsistent streams of the tradition can be simply copied beside each other.

A problem regarding lot calculations may surface when a degree-based calculation yields different result than a sign-based calculation. For example, if the ascendant is 20 Aries, the Sun is 5 Aries and the Moon is 25 Taurus, than a degree-based calculation gives 10 Gemini whereas the sign-based calculation still results in Taurus. This is an inconsistency that an astrologer may want to address; which is a practical issue. All my point is, however, is that we need to examine the sources closely enough to see whether our previous knowledge is correct or requires reconsideration, because there are too many things taken granted that in fact aren't self-evident at all. Of course, different interpretations may arise then, and sometimes we also have to accept the fact that no final conclusions can be drawn.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Martin, the "several Hellenistic sources" are actually two extant ones (Valens and Firmicus), but I basically agree that it's not a problem.

Once more I'm writing in a hurry, but I would definitely include Ptolemy as a third source. I think there are later examples, too, but those are the three main ones I had in mind.

I agree about there being inconsistencies, and I think the fact that they are often found in a single author or work probably tells us something. Not exactly sure of what, but something. Smile
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Once more I'm writing in a hurry, but I would definitely include Ptolemy as a third source.

I think Ptolemy is a special case since he sets up sectors to assess the fitness of candidates for releaser, not to recommend a degree-based topical system, but otherwise I completely agree with you, Martin.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
I think Ptolemy is a special case since he sets up sectors to assess the fitness of candidates for releaser, not to recommend a degree-based topical system, but otherwise I completely agree with you, Martin.

I think that may be overstating the difference between Ptolemy and the others, as he unambiguously uses the conventional terminology of the places (the 11th is the Good Daemon, the 9th is the God), but I'm glad we agree in other respects!
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petosiris



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Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valens also uses the same terminology for Porphyry houses in Book III and for equal houses in Book IX as he does for whole signs. Personally, I think he would use quadrant houses if he has the degree of the Ascendant and MC, but that is going a bit off topic.

Fascinating discussion indeed. I both agree with Martin Gansten that Ptolemy used degrees and directed the Lots and with Laszlo that others focused more on them as a topical place. As in binding meanings or ''powers'' in the signs. For the Ancients rarely (?if at all?) mention their bound lord, ray or close conjunctions unlike they do with the planets.

There is something very strange about Nechepso and Petosiris. They constantly talk and emphasize places and configurations by sign, but despite that they are the originators of ray-casting length of life, which obviously requires degrees. Why are they working with degrees, but not using or emphasizing them in this case is probably in favor of the theory that the Lots were originally places.

And Valens does mention calculating the Lots by degrees while talking about Nechepso. That means they had the degree of the Lot, yet they likely did not use the degree, but the place.
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