A Practical Guide to Traditional Astrology
Published by Arhat Publications, first time in 1997 and then in 2007 (second edition), this book presents some astrological techniques from the late Hellenistic and Medieval periods. Joseph Crane, the co-founder of the Astrological Institute, also wrote Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy, a book which treats the same subject, but in a more detailed and comprehensive manner.
Chapter 1. Traditional Planetary Dignity and Disposition
You will find here explanations for different aspects that appear when dealing with planetary dignities, such as every important planetary disposition (domicile rulers, exaltation, fall, triplicities, terms and faces), the meanings for dignity and disposition or the planetary sect influence (more about that here). There are two tables, at pages 2 and 10 with all dignities, very clear.
About triplicities is good to know that there are two systems: one linked with Dorotheus of Sinon and the other with William Lilly. The last one is better known to us and is using only 2 planets (one for day, the other for night). The first system was used in a more interesting way: one should divide his life in 3 parts and assign a triplicity-planet for each third. A quotation will make things clear:
"For example, I want to find out about relationships throughout my life. Since I was born at night, I would look at the night triplicity ruler of the 7th House sign of Aries, which is Jupiter. That`s the first third of life. I would continue with the Sun, which is the diurnal ruler of the fire signs. For the last part I would locate Saturn, the participating ruler for the fire triplicity, in my chart". Isn’t that interesting?
Then, you can read about terms, faces, peregrine planets and the main dispositor. The main dispositor or Almuten is the planet "in charge of the affairs of a planet or a house". Is the most powerful planet (who has more dignities) in that place, but not necessarily the domicile ruler! For example, in day chart the Sun is the Almuten for 15 degree in Aries, not Mars! Because the Sun is in exaltation, is the triplicity ruler and also in his face!
In Chapter 2. Angles and Houses is presented the Whole Sign Houses system and a brief meaning for each house. About his experience with the Whole Sign Houses system Joseph Crane says that he has been encouraged but not overwhelmed by the results.
Every planet has a favorite house (planetary joy): Mercury – H1, Moon – H3, Venus – H5, Mars – H6, Sun – H9, Jupiter – H11, Saturn – H12. Also houses can be likened with life periods: H1 – first part of life, H10 – the prime of life, H7 – old age, H4 – death. In the final part of the chapter one can learn to compute planetary periods, named Firdar or Alfridaries. About this unusual technique (house associated with life-time periods and Alfridaries) I tried them but didn’t get satisfying results.