Matheseos Libri VIII


matheseos_libri.jpgJulius Firmicus Maternus (280-360 A.D.) was a Sicilian lawyer from the upper nobility who retired from his career in order to devote himself to science and literature. He wrote Matheseos Libri VIII around 330 A.D. and dedicated to his friend, the consul Lollianus Mavortius. The material used for this book is mainly from Greek astrology sources. 



The first chapter represents a letter written by the author to his friend Mavortius, Governor of the entire East. Mavortius was an intelligent and learned person who had lots of discussions with Julius Firmicus on many subjects, one being astrology. A big part of this letter is treating the conflict between astrologers and their opponents. To all the questions rose by those who deny astrology Julius Firmicus answers by showing that people can’t control anything in life, that Fate (represented by planets in his system) governs everything. He was a fatalistic astrologer who believed people can’t change their inherent destiny. 



Here you can find a wide range of astrological subjects. The author writes about the signs, the exaltations and falls (he considers a planet is more fortunate in exaltation than in domicile), the Egyptian decans and terms, matutine and vespertine planets, duodecatemoria, houses, aspects, antiscia etc.

Matutine planets are those which rise before the Sun (oriental), vespertine are those which rise after the Sun (occidental). The duodecatemoria is a technique based on the degree a planet have in a sign to compute another position which will reveal the whole essence. But, there is a problem because the algorithm is erroneous. You can find the good one here.

The aspects between planets are analyzed like whole sign aspects, without orb, giving much importance to the direction from which are formed: a right aspect is made from the back of the sign (dexter), a left aspect is in front of the sign (sinister).



The first pages from Liber Tertius present Thema Mundi, the chart for the birthday of the Universe. This doctrine, writes Firmicus, comes by Mercury itself who transmitted to other intermediaries. Thema Mundi is a chart with all the planets in domicile at 15 degrees. I believe at least in this moment is much more mythology that science.


After that, you’ll find the explanations for the planets and luminaries in houses. I think the interpretations are quite delightful and a big part of them are matching with reality. The analyses always takes in account if the chart is diurnal or nocturnal, thus if the planets are in sect their effect is considerable better. Also, in many cases, the author introduces new aspects (very often the Moon), analyzes more than position in house, for example:


"Mercury located exactly on the ascendant in signs in which he rejoices, in a daytime chart, makes philosophers, teachers of the art of letters, or geometers […]or men skilled in sacred writings. Often he makes orators and lawyers, especially if in this house he is in his own sign or in other voiced signs. If either the Sun, Saturn or Jupiter are in aspect with Mercury in this house, he will make great men crowned with wreaths for being famous in sacred matters. […]But if Mars is in opposition or in square aspect or together with Mercury on the ascendant, the native is attacked by a variety of continual evils."

The Beginning of Wisdom


the_beginning_of_wisdom.jpgRabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (1089-1164 CE), born in Spain, was a Jewish astrologer also known as a poet, scientist and Bible commentator. In astrology the most appreciated books wrote by Ibn-Ezra are The Beginning of Wisdom (1148 CE), The Book of Reasons, The Book of Nativities & Revolutions.


The Beginning of Wisdom is an introduction to astrology, similar with Abu Ma’shar’s The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology, a book written with almost 300 years before. Presents in 10 chapters the basic notions of astrology, without to give many details. This edition is translated and annotated by Meira B. Epstein and edited with additional annotations by Robert Hand. It is an assurance that you read the original text, with an appropriate translation and useful annotations.


In Chapter 1 the author presents briefly the most important constellations and how the fixed stars are distributed.


In Chapter 2 are presented the 12 astrological signs and their characteristics like: short or long ascension, the influences on the weather, the countries and animals ruled, the letters attributed in the Hebrew alphabet, the planets dignities or degrees power (dark, medium, bright), the figures made by fixed stars which appear on the constellations, for example:


"In the first face [of Aries] ascends the figure of a radiant women [probably Andromeda] and the tail of the Sea-Fish that resembles a serpent [Cetus]",


the characteristics of the people born under those signs (separated by faces), for example:


"One born in the first face [of Taurus] will be short, with large eyes and thick lips, and he has a mark on his neck and another on his genitals. He is generous and his friend are many and he enjoys all kind of pleasure".


I observed that the author considers Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn signs changeable (cardinal) "because the time changes in it". This classification is an argument for the use of the tropical zodiac, because it keeps the relation with seasons which is not happening for the sidereal zodiac.

The chapter ends with some considerations about the nature of the fixed stars.


In Chapter 3 are presented the significations of the houses. Interestingly, is presented the system in which for every triplicity ruler (day, night and co-ruler) are assigned different matters specific for the house. For example: 


"The tenth house […]. The first ruler of the triplicity indicates the mother; the second indicates one’s rank; and the third indicates one’s profession".


The annotations made by Robert Hand presents the same system used by Alchabitius, which assigned for each triplicity ruler different attributes of the house.


In Chapter 4 are presented the planets from a traditional point of view. You can find their nature, the metals, animals, places on earth, plants, occupations, body parts, diseases they rule, the physical characteristics they give when oriental or occidental, the Firdar years.


Chapter 5 presents the situations when a planet is considered in a position of strength or weakness. Also, eleven ways which harm the Moon. These considerations can be found in many traditional astrology texts like The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology.


Chapter 6 is similar with the former chapter but presents the powers of planets in respect with the Sun showing how the difference in degrees from the Sun’s position increases or decreases the planet’s force.


Chapter 7 presents 30 circumstances, based on aspects, in which a planet can be: application, conjunction, co-mixture, aspect, separation, solitary motion (void of course), feral, transfer of light, collection of light, return of light, conferring of influence, conferring of rulership, conferring of nature, conferring of two natures, directness, distortion, prevention, returning of good, returning of harmful, cancellation (refranation), the case of three planets in one sign, loss (frustration), deprivation of light, pleasantness, recompense, reception, generosity, similitude, besiegement, authority. 


Chapter 8 has 120 astrological aphorisms which are used mainly in horary. I give you two examples which are for general use: 


"27. Every planet, whether benefic or malefic, if it is in its domicile or domicile of exaltation, will always indicate good"

"108. When planets are in opposition aspect , they are like two people fiercely fighting with each other".


In Chapter 9 are presented 97 lots of the planets and houses. Those of you interested can find the computation formulas and some explanations for the most important ones. Also you can find there the lots which will tell the things that will become more expensive or cheap (water, wheat, barley, peas, beams, honey, cotton etc.).


In Chapter 10 are some rules for directions, but not the one we use nowadays.





Conclusion. It is a very similar book with Abu Ma’shar’s The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology. It is a book which presents briefly many techniques used by the Arabs in that period.


I do not recommend the book for the people who just want to learn astrology because there are books written by modern astrologers which present and explain the same things. This book is for people who want to study astrology more profound.

Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living


planets_in_transit.JPGRobert Hand, the author of some well-known books like Horoscope Symbols, here, Planets in Composite, Planets in Youth, Whole Sign Houses or Night&Day: Planetary Sect in Astrology, published Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living for the first time in 1976.


In 2001 he published a revised and expanded second edition which covers a period of 25 years of astrological practice and makes us happy. Happy because it is a joy to read a book where a vast practical experience, a profound understanding of astrology and an impressive capacity to express ideas and thoughts clear and bright are harmoniously blending producing a classic book of astrology and, in the same time, a standard for the upcoming astrologers. 


It is a book divided in two parts: the first one filled with theory has only 44 pages (3 chapters), the second one covering the interpretations of transits has 482 pages.


In the 1st chapter Interpreting Transits the author presents a list with the difficult and easy transits and explains the significance of aspects by numerology, assigning for each aspect a number (ex. square = 4 because 90 = 360/4).


In the 2nd chapter Timing Transits Robert Hand gives 6 rules to help us find more precise the time when the events generated by transits happen. I think Rule 3 is quite interesting:


"When a number a transits describe an event, the time of the event will be closest to the time when the average orb of all the transiting planets approaches to zero."


Also note that the effect of an outer-planet transit will be timed by an inner planet (Rule 1) and transits on midpoints are very important (Rule 4). Hand is an astrologer who uses midpoints extensively and is happy with the results.


After those valuable advices the author proposes another innovative aspect: the precession correction of the natal planets. The idea is that we should treat natal planets like fixed stars and make the proper correction due to the precession of the equinox. Even is not more than 1 degree for a planet in 70 years, this can help in timing transits. But the most important difference will be on Solar Returns where the position of planets in houses and even the Moon position will change dramatically. The question is: if we use the Tropical zodiac why to see natal planets like fixed stars? I mean that in the natal chart I place natal planets not on the sidereal signs based on the morphomaton (the constellations formed by fixed stars which can be seen on the sky), but on the tropical zodiac, in relation with the vernal point. Why not to keep the relation (longitude) with the vernal point if I used it at first? My opinion is that the correction of the natal planets due the precession is not sustained by good arguments. The tropical zodiac means the relation with the vernal point and we can’t change that relation for the planets of our solar system when the time passes.


In chapter 3 Case Study: Nixon and Watergate the author uses transits to analyze the events happened in 1972-1973.


In chapter 4-13 you can find the interpretations for the planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) transit through houses and in aspects with the other planets, the Midheaven and the Ascendant.

The aspects made by planets in transit are analyzed in a dual manner, taking in account what planet is in transit, for example Mercury transit square Venus natal has some interpretations and Venus transit square Mercury natal has different interpretations. It is a very good approach which we don’t find in every book on transits.



Conclusion. It is probably the best book on transits ever written. It is comprehensive, clear and… real! The explanations for every aspect are fitting with the reality and the author practical experience gives results. Also, you can notice the psychological approach because every transit delineation contains the feelings you may experience and your possibilities to act. It is not a fatalistic approach, he supposes you have free-will and tries to guide you in making the best choice and being aware of what is happening. My evaluation is 9,6

The Progressed Horoscope


the_progressed_horoscope.jpgAlan Leo, born in London in 1860, was a man who had different unsuccessful jobs (draper, grocer, salesman etc.) in his early life and was a member in an occult society. Only from 1890, at his thirties, he really became involved in astrology, writing the Astrologer’s Magazine and selling horoscopes with great success. Among astrologers he was remarked like a deep thinker and not one who read many astrological books. He published The Progressed Horoscope for the first time in 1905.


In the Preface the author affirms that after many years of astrological study, based on experience:


“I abandoned all adherence to the various systems and methods of directing advocated by the different schools […]. I gradually found myself adopting a system in which the progressed horoscope (note: secondary progressions) formed the centre”


This testimony comes from an astrologer with great success to public, mainly obtained by doing predictions for the readers of Astrologer’s Magazine. Taking in account that he chose secondary progressions as the best system I think we can put it in the top of the most efficient predictive techniques.


Part I. The Progressed Horoscope

In the first chapters the author writes about the relation between fate and free will, a subject which will be always be present between astrologers.He believes that heredity, environment and character are the three great factors in human destiny, but the character is most important and becomes destiny. He is not a fatalistic astrologer, but one who believes in free will and gives advices for how to avoid mistakes when the progressed horoscope don’t give results because people use their free will.

Then the author writes about the primary and secondary progressions and explains how to calculate them. Of course, nowadays this part becomes useless because we have software to do that.


Part 2. The Effects of Directions

This part is composed from five chapters where are presented the interpretations for the mutual aspects between Sun, Moon and the planets, the progressed Moon through houses, the progressed Ascendant through signs and the progressions to Midheaven and Ascendant. The author analyzes not only the major aspects but also the semisextile, semisquare, sesquisquare, quincunx. It is a comprehensive material, almost 160 pages of clear interpretations based on his experience.


Part III. Solar Revolutions and Transits

Alan Leo writes about two kinds of Solar Revolutions: to the natal Sun and to the progressed Sun. There are only technical instructions for a more precise calculation of the Solar Revolution.

Then he presents the interpretations for the transits of the planets through houses and for the aspects between planets. There are the normal delineations for every case, nothing very different from what you can find on other books.


Part IV. Primary Directions

This is also a part where the author presents different methods to calculate the primary directions, mundane parallels, rapt parallels, zodiacal directions etc.




Conclusion.  Alan Leo writes books like a Leo. Is this a surprise? Straight, clear, without useless philosophy. The book has some main characteristics: the most efficient predictive technique is considered secondary progressions, the influence of the transits over the natal chart is considered very small, the correlation (always present) between the aspects made by progressed planets and the natal ones is decisive. No progression will be powerful if the natal chart don’t sustain the aspect.


The book has, also, a big minus: it has only 2 practical examples! From a person with such a big experience I would expect much more! T
he author mention about another book, Modern Astrology, where he put more examples.


In the final I think this book should be read, it has good principles, good thinking, detailed interpretations. My evaluation is 8,1.  


The Fixed Stars & Constellations in Astrology


fixed_stars.JPGVivian Robson (1890-1942) was a librarian who become an astrologer and wrote The Fixed Stars & Constellations in Astrology in 1923.


In the Preface the author explains very well what the book represents: a systematized mass of information about fixed stars and constellations compiled from more than 200 books. It is "neither a critical nor an originative one", he wrote. So, he just gathered all the information and centralized them in the book. He has no opinions, no arguments. The characteristics of the stars come from bibliography, not from his experience.


Chapter 1. The Fixed Stars in Astronomy presents some astronomical notions like the precession of the equinoxes, the proper notion of stars, the classification of stars.


In Chapter 2. Influence of Constellations the author presents 108 constellations described by two types of information: history and astrological influence. Their names are:

Antinous , Antlia Pneumatica, Apus, Aquarius, Aquila, Ara, Argo, Aries, Auriga, Bootes, Caelum, Camelopardalis, Cancer, Canes Venatici, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Capricornus, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, Cepheus, Cerberus, Cetus, Chamaeleon, Circinus, Columba Noae, Coma Berenices, Corona Australis, Corona Borealis, Corvus, Crater, Crux, Custos Messium, Cygnus, Delphinus, Dorado, Draco, Equuleus, Equuleus Pictoris, Eridanus, Felis, Fornax Chemica, Frederici Honores, Gemini, Globus Aerostaticus, Grus, Hercules, Horologium Oscillatorium, Hydra, Hydrus, Indus, Lacerta, Leo, Leo Minor, Lepus, Libra, Lupus, Lynx, Lyra, Machina Electrica, Microscopium, Monoceros, Mons Maenalus, Mons Mensae, Musca Australis, Musca Borealis, Noctua, Norma et Regula, Nubecula Major, Nubecula Minor, Octans Hadleianus, Officina Typographica,  Ophiucus, Pavo, Pegasus, Perseus, Phoenix, Pisces, Pisces Australis, Piscis Volans, Psalterium Giorgianum, Pyxis Nautica, Quadrans Muralis, Reticulum Rhomdoidalis, Robur Carolinum, Sagitta, Sagittarius, Sceptrum Brandemburgicum, Scorpio, Sculptor, Scutum Sobiescianum, Serpens, Sextans Uraniae, Tarandus, Taurus, Taurus Poniatovii, Telescopium, Telescopium Herschelii, Triangulum, Triangulum Minor, Triangulum Australe, Tucana, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Via Lactea, Virgo, Vulpecula et Anser. Andromeda ,


Chapter 3. The Lunar Mansions has 3 kinds of Mansion: Arabic, Hindus and Chinese. Lunar Mansions are much older than constellations and represent the distance travelled by the Moon on one day.


In Chapter 4.The Fixed Stars in Natal Astrology the author gives us some advices for using fixed stars. We should give attention to the apparent size (magnitude), the celestial position (more close to the ecliptic means more power), the nature of the planet through she operates, the general nature of the horoscope. All these factors are very important.


In Chapter 5. The Influences of Fixed Stars, Nebule and Clusters are presented 111 fixed stars and their influence in the most important points of the chart. The stars analyzed are:

Achernar, Acrux, Acubens, Aculeus, Acumen, Adhafera, Agena, Albireo, Alcyone, Aldebaran, Algenir, Algenubi, Algol, Algorab, Al Hecka, Alchena, Al Jabhah, Almach, Alnilam, Alphard, Alphecca, Alpheratz, Al Pherg, Altair, Antares, Arcturus, Armus, Ascella, Aselli, Baten Kaitos, Bellatrix, Betelgeuze, Bos, Bungula, Canopus, Capella, Caphir, Capulus, Castor, Castra, Cingula Orionis, Copula, Dabih, Deneb, Deneb Adige, Deneb Algedi, Denebola, Difda, Dirah, Dorsum, El Nath, Ensies, Facies, Fomalhaut, Foramen, Giedi, Graffias, Hamal, Han, Isidis, Khambalia, Labrum, Lesath, Manubrium, Markab, Markeb, Menkalinan, Menkar, Mintaka, Mirach, Nashira, Pelagus, Phact, Pleiades, Polaris, Polis, Pollux, Praesaepe, Prima Hyadum, Princeps, Procyon, Propus, Rasalhague, Rastaban, Regulus, Rigel, Sabik, Sadalmelik, Sadalsuud, Scale North, Scale South, Scheat, Seginus, Sharatan, Sinistra, Sirius, Skat, Spica, Spiculum, Tejat, Terebellum, Unukalhai, Vertex, Vindemiatrix, Wasat, Wega, Yed Prior, Zaniah, Zavijava, Zosma.




Conclusion. It represents a classic astrology book, a reference point for fixed stars in astrology. It is the book which summarize in the best manner what was written about fixed stars in astrology until 1923. My objection to the material presented in the book is that the interpretations for stars are too somber, talking too much about violence, death, accidents, poverty and illness. Maybe the influences of stars are not so evil and the future researches will prove it. My evaluation is 8.     


The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology


The Abbreviation of the Introduction to AstrologyThis booklet is a translation made by Charles Burnett in 1994 to an Arabic astrology text written by Abu Ma’shar around 850 C.E. It has historical and technical annotations which cover nearly half of the book, but who will really help you to comprehend an old text which is often unclear, briefly wrote and hard to understand like almost every astrology book from that period or before. Very interesting, the annotations show the Greek influences on this book by indicating the possible sources (astrology books from the Hellenistic period) of different statements.  


In the Introduction you can find out that Abu Ma’shar (787 – 886 C.E.) was a leading astrologer of the Islamic world, born in Balkh (a city on the territory of Afghanistan). His main book about astrology is "Great Introduction to Astrology" (850 C.E.), "The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology" being only a short compendium to the first one. Other interesting historical data can be found there.


In Chapter 1 are presented the astrological signs and their characteristics. The author indicates the planets with dignities (ruler, exaltation, decan) in each sign, the nature of signs, the humor and the taste for each sign and other features like: short or long ascension, cut in its limbs, upright, defective in figure (about sky constellations), colors, libidinous, fecundity and sterility, voice, corresponding parts of the body, regions and countries governs by signs. In the final part are presented the quadrants, triplicities and planetary joys. 


In Chapter 2 you can read about the conditions of the planets in themselves, the size of their bodies and their conditions from the Sun. The practical results of those "conditions" are not presented, the explanations are very short, so this chapter won’t help too much. Probably, in the "big book" "Great Introduction to Astrology" is the detailed version of this chapter.


In Chapter 3 are described the 25 conditions of the planets: domain (Hayyiz), advance, retreat, conjunction, aspect, application, separation, void of course, wild, translation, collection, reflecting the light, prohibition, pushing nature, pushing power, pushing two natures, pushing counsel, returning, refranation, resistance, evasion, cutting the light, favor, recompense and reception. These planetary conditions appear in many old astrological texts, sometimes more or less than 25, sometimes under different names. For example, "pushing power" is "conferring of influence" and "advance" is directness" in "The beginning of Wisdom" of Avraham Ibn-Ezra.  


Chapter 4 contains several words about the good fortune of the planets, their power, their weakness, the corruption of the Moon and dodecatemoria.


In Chapter 5 are presented the planets, their nature and characteristics. Maybe some statements will seem strange for those who are not used with the traditional astrology. For example, did you know that the Moon governs fugitives, messengers or Mercury governs divinity, revelation to prophets and astrology?


In Chapter 6 you can find out how to compute a number of 53 astrological lots, but the interpretations are missing. Anyway, until now, I am not convinced that these lots really work.


In Chapter 7, the last chapter of the book, the author writes about the years of the planets (Firdaria), the Egyptian terms, the dark, bright and shadow degrees, the masculine and feminine degrees, pits and protuberances. Dark degrees are bad, bright are good, masculine degrees are good in a masculine theme, feminine degrees are good in a feminine theme, pits stop the good or bad influence of the planets, protuberances bring happiness – these are some old and strange astrological techniques, not in use anymore, cloaked in mystery.      




Conclusion. It is a booklet that presents briefly many techniques that belong to traditional astrology. It is more like an index of these astrological notions. I don’t think it has a great value because, when you read something like this, you need interpretations, explanations. The author did that in his book "The Greater Introduction", so we don’t have to blame him. In conclusion, I don’t recommend the book. My evaluation is 7.   


Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark


predictive astrologyBernadette Brady is an Australian astrologer who lives in Bristol, UK. She wrote Star and Planet Combinations (2008), Astrology – a Place of Chaos (2006), Predictive Astrology (1999), Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars (1998) and received  the Charles Harvey Award (2006).


Predictive Astrology – The Eagle and the Lark (1999), probably her most appreciated book, is a revised and updated version of the textbook The Eagle and the Lark (1992). She was distinguished with the Spica Astrology Award for the best astrological book in 1999.


Instead of preface we have the story of the Eagle and the Lark. Through this fable, Bernadette warns us that only with intuition (the lark) we can’t reach a high level in astrology, we also need the eagle (science, logic, techniques) which this book represents. Another idea emphasized by  the author, essential in predictive astrology, is the relation between fate and free will. For example, if you want to predict an event for a person and believe in free will, then you realize that you might be wrong! Because she can choose how to act, therefore is not perfectly predictable.  So, this is a very sensitive point in astrology.


Chapter 1. The Alphabet     

Here are presented specific keywords and characteristics (adjusted for predictive work) for the planets, planetary pairs, angles, planetary cycles, aspects, houses and transits. Is not much, but I think there are some useful guidelines for understanding the main idea. Especially, I like the explanations for aspects (conjunction, opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, trine, sextile, semi-sextile, quincunx).


Chapter 2. Working with Transits

In the first part of the chapter, the author presents an original method which should be useful for interpreting the meaning of transits. The planets and their natal houses symbolize the cause, the current transited house symbolize the main arena of action and the houses ruled by the planets symbolize the consequences. I think this scheme is valuable and brings to attention another important rule for transits: when a transit occurs, always look at the relation of the planets in the natal chart (aspect, sign and houses). For example, if you have a trine in natal chart a square in transit won’t be powerful, but if you have an opposition or square he will be strongly felt, making you remember what he symbolize. Because, even the natal aspect has a constant effect in the day to day life, the peaks of his manifestation are when he is reinforced by transits or progressions.


Back to the book, we can see how this grid imagined by Bernadette Brady is applying in specific situations when signs are intercepted or when appear multiple transits. After that, you can read a case study on Joan of Arc chart. I found this example quite interesting!


The chapter ends with a part named Feedback of Failure, where the author identifies four possible reasons for failure in predictive astrology: incorrect birth time, wrong house system, incorrect rulerships, wrong techniques. For the first case, if the birth time has an error of maximum 60 minutes the author advise us to use transit of slower moving planets over the Cross of Matter (ASC-DC and MC-IC axis) to rectify the chart and presents a practical example using the chart of Thomas Edison. For the second cause, wrong house system, the author propose some strange ideas, from my perspective. She writes:


"some people are Placidus people, while some people are Koch people, and so on."


advising us to use a different house system for every person if this is necessary. I think this is wrong! We must find a house system that works in general and not to change the house system for every person, trying to find which system is good for you, which one for me and so on.


The other causes for predictive astrology failure don’t get to much attention from the author.    

Essential Dignities

essential dignitiesThis is the second book wrote by Lee Lehman and presents in a very detailed manner the astrological dignities. It was published in 1989 by Whitford Press.

In Chapter 1 – Two Unsung Revolutions in Astrology the author explains how the Copernican Revolution changed the way astrologers understand dignities. At page 18 one can find a table with traditional and modern essential dignities.

Chapter 2 – Using Traditional Rulerships

Here you’ll find many practical examples of charts analyzed using traditional dignities. There are presented five countries (Confederate States of America, Italy, Iran, Switzerland, USSR), five corporations (General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Pepsi), five individuals (Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, Doyle Arthur, Niccolo Machiavelli, Mark Twain) and one horary chart.

Of course, it is always nice to see how the theory applies in practice, but I was expecting from these examples to emphasize the different results which appears when analyzing the charts with traditional and modern dignities. Unfortunately, this is not happening, the charts are analyzed using only traditional dignities.

In Chapter 3 – The Origin of Rulerships: A Botanical Interlude you can find out which planer or sign rules every planet. You’ll see that onion is ruled by Mars, beans by Venus, holly by Saturn etc. Also, there is a table with the medicinal uses of Jupiter– ruled plants. I didn’t test these, but it may be helpful.

Chapter 4 – Modern “Rulerships”: Do They Work?

The author is trying to prove that modern rulerships aren’t working well and to find arguments. She points out that:

“when modern astrologers discuss the modern rulerships the criterion appears to be: Which body (planet, asteroid or comet) has qualities which most resembles the sign in question?”

So, modern rulerships are assigned counting if a planet qualities are similar with the sign qualities and not looking at the planet strength in a sign. See another quotation:

“We haven’t any evidence that the ancients thought that Pisces and Jupiter were synonymous. It was a question of the strength of Jupiter in Pisces, not the similarity of Jupiter and Pisces.”

Now, I think the idea is pretty clear. I must say that I totally agree with this point of view.

Then the charts of Marie Curie, Jeddu Krishnamurti, Adolf Hitler and Death of Dracula are analyzed. This time, Lee Lehman makes an analogy between the charts interpretations with modern and traditional rulerships. The results are pretty good and the lecture enjoyable.

Only one problem, from my point of view. It is analyzed the chart “Death of Dracula”, where Lee writes things like: “I have been fascinated by charts of people who are, so to speak, energy sucks”, “Scorpio Sun (life of the vampire)”, etc. Hei, I am from Romania and I tell you there is no vampire. Dracula is just a myth assigned to a Romanian prince, Vlad III of Wallachia. It is true that he was cruel and liked to kill people by impaling them on a sharp pole, but everything else is imagination.

Chapter 5 – The Meaning of Each of the Essential Dignities

 In this chapter you’ll find some general characteristics for the five essential dignities: ruler, exaltation, triplicity, term and face. At page 127 is a table with key words associated with these dignities. Starting from these key words Lee Lehman gives many descriptive explanations for dignities, but it just seems to much! There are the same things explained over and over again, it seemed pretty boring to me.

dignities table

In Chapter 6 – A Statistical Interlude the author is trying to determine the influence of terms (both Chaldean and Egyptian) making a few tests. She selected a number of charts from different categories (suicide, scientist, sport champions) and counted the terms for each planet.

In the final, we can see that the planet that rules the category (for example, Mars for sport champions) obtained more points that usually, on a normal pattern. Even the results apparently validates the importance of terms I won’t give to much credit to such a test. Why? Because I don’t see terms so important to determine a person belong to a category or another. For example, more points in the term of Saturn won’t drive you to suicide because can be many other (not even major) aspects that can change this influence.

Probably, I just don’t believe terms are so important an if Lee Lehman is making those test it is clear that she also has doubts.

Chapter 7 – Detriment, Falls and Peregrines means several pages where you can find short descriptions for every planet detriment and fall.

In Chapter 8 – Conclusions there are the final words.


Conclusion. If I would have to say quickly, at my first impression, some words about this book I think would be: “too much noise for nothing”. But, then, if you think for a moment you realize that you can’t say “for nothing” because dignities are a very important part in astrology and one could write a whole interesting book about this subject.

So, back to my reasoning, why this impression? Why “too much noise for nothing?”.  Maybe, because this book presents shortly the five dignities associated with some main characteristics, ideas repeated in different chapters, but the rest of the book is somewhat near the subject.

You can read about history, botany, statistics, all connected with dignities, but the book doesn’t seem to touch the essential points. It is a surface play. It doesn’t have those clear, rational statements that gives you a better understanding of the subject.

If  a medium astrologer reads this book I don’t think will have much to learn and to integrate in his astrological system. Maybe I am a little too harsh, but it is my purpose here to criticize and to present a clear point of view about the astrological books I read. My evaluation is 6.                   

Angles and Prediction


Angles and Prediction

Published in 2007 by Treehouse Mountain, this book represents a lifetime work and has an enormous amount of information, reflected in her size (550 pages). What you will find inside? It is simple! The interpretation of the aspects made by asteroids together and with planets.


How many asteroids are analyzed? No more, no less, than 68! And, the good part is that, when I tested those interpretations seemed to work! Not all, but that is not important. If just a half are working it is a wonderful job by Martha Lang-Wescott. I think this original and impressive work can be a start for us to study the asteroids influence. Martha Lang-Wescott chose an unexplored path and put some solid and valuable basis for our future research. The understanding of asteroids can make our astrological interpretations more precise and accurate. I think this kind of study can make astrology evolve, so I made a section on this site with asteroids, named Asteroids Testimony, where we can post our experience with this subject.



A Practical Guide to Traditional Astrology

joseph crane

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.