Outline of the main procedures in use in classical astrology according to the temporal principle: “first causes” and “consequent causes”
From the foundations and principles of ancient astrology a variety of astrological techniques have been developed, from its origins, and over time, but at present the substantial “trace” has been lost. They are coming to us only for the personal contribution of the few scholars who carry out research on the reasons that inspired astrology, on what are its applications and limits. It is the study of works that are not readily available or that require a wise work of translation – mainly from Latin, ancient Greek, Arabic – and a philological work before understanding the unity of conception.
The theory and practice of the ancient astrological method is directly related to a rich body of doctrine which is detectable in the works of the leading exponents of classical astrology. Some of these are Berossus, Timaeus, Teucer of Babylon, Serapion of Antioch, Dorotheus Sidonius, Nigidius Figulus, Manilius, Ptolemy, Antigonus of Nicaea, Vettius Valens, Censorinus, Porphyry, Firmicus, Paulus of Alexandria, Hephaestion of Thebes, Heliodorus, Julian of Laodicea , Rhetorius, Stephanus of Byzantium, Theophilus of Edessa, Mash a’all^ah, Zahel, Albohali al-Kind^i, Albumasar, Acmete, Alchabitius, Abenragel, Ali ibn Ridwan, Al Biruni, Ibn Ezra, M. Scotus, G. Bonati, Alfonso X, Cecco d’Ascoli, Andalò Negro, Peter of Abano, Eleutherios, John of Saxony, P. Ciruelo, Gaurico L., G. Cardano, F. Giuntini, G Diedo, V. Nabod , P. Titi, G. Vitali.
Unlike what occurs for the time of birth, the moment of conception cannot be known experimentally so it was conceived in the doctrine, in the Ptolemaic era, a mathematical method that allowed to trace back in time to arrive at a “theoretical moment” of conception.
In the Ptolemaic conception the observations about conception are based on the theoretical assumption that, within a life cycle, birth is a “natural moment” marked by the motions of Sun, Moon and stars. The human life cycle begins with the conception which is followed by the birth and death. As regards the time of birth, it occurs during the period of a particular lunation that provides a mark which can be defined as a general nature constitution. This time that elapses from the new moon or the previous full moon (syzygy) to the time of birth, creates a “general environment” within which the individual births take place, each one with completely different characters coming from a common “matrix”. The interpretation of the conception figure and syzygy figure – new moon or full moon before the birth – is essential to judgments affecting life and health.
The moment of birth, as the conception, is the revealing and decisive moment for the observation of the basic features. More completely than the moment of conception, it provides indications of the main events occurring to man, body and spirit.
The basic steps of life are three: conception, birth and death. These three moments are mathematically determined and each of these moments is directly connected to the previous one. Astrology is about what is corporeal, what is subject to fate, therefore we can certainly make observations on these three moments and how much depends directly on these three moments. The observations concerning the psychic and spiritual qualities (“the soul” of a person) are more complex and for these observations additional factors come into play, which are not always actually perceivable and that, in an imprecise way, express the area of our free will.
Compared to the positions of the planets, the Sun and the Moon, at the time of birth, the next movement of all these elements predestines the significant phases of modifications, alterations and changes of the lives of human beings. The calculation of this movement is the first fundamental “mark” of the events and it is the basis of the prediction of events that the classically trained astrologer makes.
The primary direction motion is the art of moving the whole sphere of the positions of the time of birth, according to the diurnal motion. This means to rotate the whole sphere from east to west.
The ratio is 1 degree = 1 year, calculated in degrees from the equator: Ptolemy says that a conversion of the Sun equals one year. In astronomical terms, the day is defined as the interval between two successive culminations of the Sun, but when the Sun comes to the next culmination it has moved about 1 degree against the motion of “primum mobile” (the celestial sphere). This degree of displacement of the Sun corresponds to approximately 4 minutes (precisely 3 minutes and 56 seconds). This is the acceleration that we notice in the ephemeris of the motion of the heavens in comparison with the motion of the Sun. Four minutes after a year equal one day, and then it is said that one day equals one year. Here it means that the Sun continuing to set the day, after a year, moves by an amount equal to one day compared to the firmament. The equation 1 year = 1 day is based on this ratio, in which the condition is set according to the conversions of the Sun in Right ascension therefore this day which equals to one year is measured in equatorial longitude.
Thus, to convert the arcs of direction in time, we see that one day equals one year; two hours equal 1 month. The directions at Midheaven are accomplished with the Right ascensions (RA); the directions at significators placed between the horizon and the meridian are accomplished with the Oblique ascensions of the hour circle (OAHC) and the oblique descensions of the hour circle (ODHC).
Perfections or profections
Coming to completion, to perfection is a process which, through the movement of the diurnal sphere of the day of birth – The twelve Houses of the natal chart – characterizes a cycle that regurlarly every 12 years comes up the positions of the houses and planets within the houses. It aims to better understand the domains of the planets in the annual solar revolution and therefore the type and quality of the main events of the year.
The movement of perfection is nothing more than the displacement of all the points of the birth chart according to their temporal hours that turn a full circle clockwise in 12 years. The degree of the ascendant after one year is the cusp of the twelfth house, after two years is the cusp of the eleventh house and so on.
The annual solar revolution
It is a well-known technique also in the field of modern astrology, and it consists in the examination of the figure obtained for the return of the Sun, year after year, to the same degree, minute, second, of the time of birth – the personal birthday. This figure includes the information of the main events that will characterize the next twelve months.
The monthly revolutions
The revolution of the Sun (tropical year) is divided into thirteen parts, each one lasting 28 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. The graphs, drawn up according to these time intervals, are the 13 revolutions per month in which the domains of the annual perfections come up again in their regular succession. They contain indications on the moments in which the events shown in the revolution take place.
It is the observation of the movement of the planets, the Sun and the Moon (indicated in the ephemeris), in the portions of the sky that we call signs of zodiac, and, in “the last resort”, they confirm or contradict the indications of the planets in primary direction, in perfections and in solar revolutions. They constitute, in the hierarchical and temporal sense, the “last and consequent causes”.