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Degrees: masculine-feminine, light-dark, void, pitted etc.

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Dima Gur

Joined: 12 Dec 2014
Posts: 66
Location: Israel

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 11:43 pm    Post subject: Degrees: masculine-feminine, light-dark, void, pitted etc. Reply with quote

Do any of you ever use the degree types described by Lilly (and others)?
I've studied the topic as of late, and it caught my attention.

Deb Houlding's description of degree types:
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Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dima Gur,

The only logical explanation I have found of the meaning of these degrees is that they must have been related to the 'luminosity' of the stars (planets) going over these degrees for the Ancients. What they could actually 'see' from their standpoint since they had no telescopes.
For example, Finnish scientists at the University of Helsinki discovered by examining calendars from ancient Egypt that the Egyptian, at the time of the pharaohs, had already noticed that the brightness of Algol, visible to the naked eye, varied according to a precise cycle. This cycle has been recorded for centuries in calendars intended for prediction and religion.

Marco Fumagalli "The stars of the degrees of azemena" on the website of Giuseppe Bezza.

"The Ptolemaic nebulae of the zodiacal belt almost entirely constitute the catalog of degrees of azemena, from the Arabic zamānat, chronic illness or inseparable disease. These are degrees of the zodiac considered harmful for the body, and in particular for the eyes, since their longitude corresponds to that of nebulae or small asterisms [10] .
([10] For the correspondence between the individual degrees of azemena and the nebulous zones of the zodiac, cf. the Table of degrees of azemena , at

These degrees are present in the texts of Antiochus [11] ,
([11] CCAG VII, p. 111, On the degrees of infirmity in signs , translation by G. Bezza,

of Rhetorius [12]
[12] (CCAG VIII / 4, pp. 186-190, General configurations on infirmities and diseases , translation by G. Bezza,

and of the Anonymous of 379 AD [13]
([13] CCAG V / 1, pp. 194-211, Lucid, passionate, harmful and rescuing stars , translation by G. Bezza,"

In Bezza's article 'Dark Sky' he says

"Ptolemy himself ( Alm. VIII.4) explains that the configurations of the stars occur in three ways: the first with respect to the luminaries and planets along the belt of the zodiac; the second with respect to a given horizon of the earth, when they are in one of the four corners; the third with respect to the celestial bodies and the horizon at the same time, when they rise, culminate or set together and when the same amount of temporal hours are distant from the meridian, or when they are on the same hourly circle.)"
Something to keep in mind when looking at these degrees.

"The main observer of the "deep sky" in the 17th century was Giovanni Battista Hodierna, Sicilian presbyter, physicist, naturalist, astronomer and architect. A pupil of the Galilean school, Hodierna observed the sky with one of the first telescopes, perhaps given to him by Galileo himself, and collected his observations in De Admirandis Coeli Characteribus (1654), the first systematic cataloging of nebulae in the ancient sense of the term, thus including some small asterisms. It can be said that Hodierna occupies a privileged place in the history of celestial observations that affect astrology: in fact, he has a new instrument that slightly enhances sight while maintaining the ancient attention to the appearance of the sky.

His classification of the nebulae is of great interest: he divides them into three categories, according to their appearance to the naked eye and to the telescope:

• the Luminosæ , like the Pleiades : the eye already distinguishes some stars and the telescope shows many more of them;
• the Nebulosæ , such as the Præsepe [16] : the eye perceives only a nebulosity without distinguishing stars, which appear only with the telescope;
• the Occultæ , like the Andromeda galaxy : the eye sees only a faint spot and not even the telescope can resolve it into stars."

In a post on Forum, here follows a discussion on the subject

"-Pitted Degrees, also known as "pits", "depressions", "holes", "deep degrees" and "degrees of diminishing fortune"; regardless of strength or weakness, dignity or detriment or debility, affliction, benefic or malefic, planets in them are neutralized (at least partially) or "blocked" (usually relative degree of influence or to time of manifestation of influence)

-these elevated or pitted degrees have no orbs (unlike the critical degrees)-the planet must be in the exact degree

-the influence of these degrees extend equally throughout the entire degree: a planet posited at the 59th minute of the degree is influenced by it as much as a planet posited at the 1st minute of the degree

-I have followed Ibn Ezra in the listing of these degrees; this because the Ankara tradition followed these, as well as early Renaissance authors (Agrippa); this list is at variance in several of the degrees with that of Al-Biruni: however, the 2 lists match in the great majority of degrees listed."

"-actually I have not found indications of variable effects of pits and peaks as related to sign, in the historical literature, nor in what I learned about this subject from the oral Ankara (Old Turkish) tradition. However, in addition to pits or peaks (or critical degrees which in effect are almost identical with the elevated degree), each degree of the zodiac also has other "properties" connected with it (according to the old-time concepts), such as what we would now call "yin" or "yang" properties ("male/female" degrees), light or dark or mixed qualities of light, and also degree/planetary qualities/connections, known as the "degree monomoiria"-these additional influences play a modifying role, in addition to the pit or peak modifying influences (for those who wish to make a "deeper" evaluation of the less-obvious chart factors)"
"-the pitted degrees might have a relationship to the "partes damnande" of Manilius ("Astronomica", 14 AD), which in turn reflected astrological concepts from as early as 200 BC. Manilius listed 102 "partes damnande" (but did not mention pitted degrees as such); he also mentioned a number of "elevated" degrees. However, we don't begin to see a similar list of pits and peaks in the Greco/Roman astro literature for several centuries: by early Arabic astrology times, complete lists of these degrees have become well known and considerably used in astrological delineation: they continued to be used through the time of Bonatti, even into early Renassaince times in the West. By the Enlightenment (Lilly's time) these lists had become changed and largely abandoned. Really, only the critical degrees continued to be widely considered. It is my understanding that contemporary Arabic astrologers, following the old ways, still make use of pits and peaks in many types of astrological delineation.

This "celestial topography" does not seem to be based upon any kind of a theory, nor to derive (like the hermetic aspects do) from geometrical/numerological considerations.
Perhaps (like the association of degree areas with the exaltation and fall of planets) it is based on (very ancient) empirical observations (and maybe "experiments"), or perhaps it is based on direct perception (gnostic experiential perception) of the Cosmos by adepts in ancient times: whatever, the concept was "just there" (in Greco/Roman astrological practice) in "full bloom" at least 1700 years ago....

-I am not aware of any thorough explanations online, although there are lists of these degrees
-the explanations about them are in the books: the commonly available books by Ibn Ezra and Al-Biruni, Abu Mashar and the less commonly available books by Antiochus, Al-Kindi, and also in other books which are rare (like those of Maximus and Thabit ibn Qurra); they are also mentioned by Guido Bonatti and William Lilly in their books, but are not elaborated by those authors very much at all.
-a handful of neo-Hellenists and Traditionalists make at least some use of them: however, the great majority of even the Traditionalists don't use them (many have never heard of them)
-Modernist astrologers never use them
-Like the ancients, I consider them to be major modifying/conditioning influences in ANY horoscopic analysis, natal, mundane, event, medical, horary; probably less than 1% of astrological practitioners share this outlook."

Let me know if you reach any conclusion on your research.
You can also read a post I did (tentative on the azimene degrees ) with the chart example of Christopher Reeve.

Very Happy
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Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removed - already mentioned
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Dima Gur

Joined: 12 Dec 2014
Posts: 66
Location: Israel

Posted: Thu May 26, 2022 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ouranos,
I'll have to go over your post again, it's packed full of useful info.
It's interesting those degrees were used way back, in Hellenistic times.
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