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Study Notes: Valens Anthology

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
I restarted Valens too.

..... This sign is calm, Its first 3 are worthless and destructive; from 3 to 7 it is well-watered; good weather from 7 to 15. The southern parts are wellwatered. The last degrees are a combination of traits."

I am not sure what any of these means, or how it is useful in interpretation.
But, ok, I'll just move on.
Valens wrote at a watershed in the way that the signs, and especially the trigons (triplicities) were viewed. Up to Valens and indeed for some time afterwards, the Trigons were linked to the cosmic winds (analagous to the winds on Earth}. In Schmidt's nautical metaphor, the blew the ship on which we sail the seas of life, either for good or ill. Life is a voyage, a metaphor which still survives. Thus the Trigon, Aries/Leo/Sagittarius was associated with the East Wind.

Valens is generally credited with introducing an explicit link betwee the Trigons and the four elements. But the geographica/meterological analogies survived for a long time in parallel. You'll find remnants in Lilly.

I wouldn't try to incorporate them into interpretations in a modern context. Metaphors and analogies only work if they are widely recognised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon
Descriptions for (people born under) every term of every sign follows (whoa).

e.g: "The first 6 of Gemini belong to Mercury: temperate, with fine weather,
intelligent, versatile, skilled, active, poetic, prolific. The next 6 belong to
Jupiter: competitive, temperate, with fine weather, prolific, luxuriant,
beneficent. The third term, 5, belongs to Venus: blossoming, artistic,
addicted to plays and mimes, poetic, a contest winner, popular, cheerful,
prolific. The fourth term, 7 belong to Mars: much-burdened, with no
brothers, having few children, a wanderer, with a good income, destructive,
bloody, inquisitive. The last 6 belong to Saturn: temperate, a procurator,
having possessions, intellectual, with a wide knowledge, distinguished, noted
for intelligence, an arranger of great matters, most famous."

I assume Valens means that people with their ascendants in these terms show these characteristics.
That's correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon
I have to say I've never seen such 'term descripitons' before, but I'm not sure what to do with this information. Memorizing would take too long. Make short notes? Hopefully future chapters/book will teach how to *use* this information.
If you're going to use it, remember that the planet ruling the Terms (or Bounds or Confines) modifies the overall interpretation of the Sign. Though I suspect that there's an older underlying interpretation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
Valens speaking about the combination of Saturn and Mars (Book 1, Chapter 21)

"However, if these stars are not in their own or in
operative signs, and if they have benefics in aspect, they produce
distinguished and noble nativities, "
Operative signs can be seen in two ways. Firstly that they occupy the operative places, that's everything but the Second, Sixth, Eighth and Twelfth places (houses in modern speak). Saturn and Mars are malefic, so having them in a place that does not aspect the Ascendant keeps them out of the way of doing harm (or at least reduces it). The sixth place is the Joy of Mars, the Twelfth is the Joy of Saturn. If they are well aspected by benefics, then so much the better.

The second way is Signs (Places) activated by a Time Lord. Thus if Mercury is Lord of a year (Month, week, etc) then Gemini and Virgo are active and the Places they take are activated, as are any planets placed in them. In such an active or operative place, transits from Mars or Saturn or aspects into or out of the sign by those two will take effect (which they would not do if the place was not activated).
Top   #11
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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This is very enlightening


I was wondering what all the wind talk was about.
The 'operative places' clarification is greatly appreciated too . Thank You.
Top   #12
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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Once past the term descriptions


There are long sections full of calculations. Unfortunately these use strange names and terminology, none of which I could follow

e.g:

"Hadrian year 4, Mechir 13 (in the Alexandrian calendar), the
first hour of the night. The full years of the Augustan era are 148, the leap
years are 36, and from Thoth 1 to Mechir 13 are 163 days. The total is 347. I
divide by 7 for a result of 49, remainder 4. Starting from the Sun’s day, the
count (4) comes to Mercury’s day. The first hour of that day belongs to
Mercury"

So I skipped all of this.

Sections 21 and 22 detail the effects of dual and triple combinations of the planets (I take this to mean these effects potentially manifest when two planets are present in the same sign/house.

Some combinations are missing (at least in my copy) e.g: Mars + Sun, Mars +Moon

For flavor

"Mars + Venus = at odds. Make men unsteady and weak of mind. Cause rivalry and murder, cause men to have many friends, but to be blameworthy, shameless, fickle, and equally prone to intercourse with men or women, to be maliciouus and plotters of murderers by poison. Cause men neither to be good or bad, to be slandered and reviled because of their friendships, to be spendthrift, be flitting from one occupation to the other, to be eager for many things, to be wronged by women and because of them to suffer, crises, upsets, debts,
"
and a three planet combination

"
Saturn, Venus, and the Moon bring vicissitudes and instability of life, especially with respect to wife, mother, and children. They impose bad manners,ingratitude, as well as jealousy and quarrels, divorces, censure, public
exposure, unnatural vices. But in business these men are not without resource, sharp, full of accomplishment, profiting from legacies. They do not however retain this wealth, since they are plotted against by many, and are themselves accomplices in crime and murder by poison, as well as seducers of women.
"
Again, not sure what to do with all this yet. I suppose the practical thing to do is to refer to these descriptions when encountering such combinations in natal horoscopes and see if these drastic possibilities actually manifest.

For now moving on. The next two sections have more incomprehensible calculations. Skipped. End of Book 1.

Book 2, on a quick skim seems to be more about analysis of nativities, with example horoscopes. Should be more tractable. We'll see.
Top   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
There are long sections full of calculations. Unfortunately these use strange names and terminology, none of which I could follow

e.g:

"Hadrian year 4, Mechir 13 (in the Alexandrian calendar), the
first hour of the night. The full years of the Augustan era are 148, the leap
years are 36, and from Thoth 1 to Mechir 13 are 163 days. The total is 347. I
divide by 7 for a result of 49, remainder 4. Starting from the Sun’s day, the
count (4) comes to Mercury’s day. The first hour of that day belongs to
Mercury"

So I skipped all of this.
Digression:

This is one of the areas where I really need more study but as I understand it the Calendar used takes the year number from the reign of the Emperor. So as Hadrian came to power in August 117 CE, his fourth year would begin in August 120 (though I'd like some corroborative proof from the time). The Egyptian year was divided into 12 months of 30 days, with 5 added intercalery days. Originally there was no correction for the 6 hours additional time for the Sun to complete it's revolution. The new year began with the helical rising of Sirius, the first month of the civil year being 1 Thoth. However the lack of allowance for the 6 hours meant that over time the Seasonal year and the civil year drifted apart. I took 1460 years for the rising of Sirius to return to 1 Thoth.

That ended under the Roman occupation when the Julian Calendar, known at the time as the Alexandrian Calendar was introduced, at least to the extent of having 366 days every 4 years This more or less stabilised the rising of Sirius on the first of Thoth. (more or less because the Julian Calendar was still not wholly accurate). That would have put the Helical rising of Sirius in early July about the time Valens was writing.

Mechir is the sixth month of the year and still survives in the Coptic Calendar as Meshir. So from 1 Thoth to Mechir 13 is 5 x 30 (for the months completed) plus the 13 days of Mechir = 163 days. That would put the date to some time in mid January 121 CE by my guess.

Unfortunately they didn't use 24 equal hours. The length of time between Sunrise and Sunset was divided into 12 equal hours of the day, and the length of time between Sunset and Sunrise was divided into 12 equal hours of the night. Consequently sometime in January, the hours of the night are longer than the hours of the day. So this person was born just after Sunset but not knowing the exact day of the month, I can't translate that into a time span.

This system still survived into Lilly's time, and of course is shown by planetary hours in his charts. As clocks became more universal there was a move towards the idea of a standard hour as 1 twenty-fourth of a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon

Sections 21 and 22 detail the effects of dual and triple combinations of the planets (I take this to mean these effects potentially manifest when two planets are present in the same sign/house.

Some combinations are missing (at least in my copy) e.g: Mars + Sun, Mars +Moon
There are bits of the Anthology that are missing. Whilst it's the most complete ancient work we have, it's not available in it's entirety.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon
For flavor

"Mars + Venus = at odds. Make men unsteady and weak of mind. Cause rivalry and murder, cause men to have many friends, but to be blameworthy, shameless, fickle, and equally prone to intercourse with men or women, to be maliciouus and plotters of murderers by poison. Cause men neither to be good or bad, to be slandered and reviled because of their friendships, to be spendthrift, be flitting from one occupation to the other, to be eager for many things, to be wronged by women and because of them to suffer, crises, upsets, debts,
"
and a three planet combination

"
Saturn, Venus, and the Moon bring vicissitudes and instability of life, especially with respect to wife, mother, and children. They impose bad manners,ingratitude, as well as jealousy and quarrels, divorces, censure, public
exposure, unnatural vices. But in business these men are not without resource, sharp, full of accomplishment, profiting from legacies. They do not however retain this wealth, since they are plotted against by many, and are themselves accomplices in crime and murder by poison, as well as seducers of women.
"
Again, not sure what to do with all this yet. I suppose the practical thing to do is to refer to these descriptions when encountering such combinations in natal horoscopes and see if these drastic possibilities actually manifest.

For now moving on. The next two sections have more incomprehensible calculations. Skipped. End of Book 1.

Book 2, on a quick skim seems to be more about analysis of nativities, with example horoscopes. Should be more tractable. We'll see.
Hellenistic examples tend to be of the form that you've quoted, giving very specific cases, rather than general principles. It's one area where being specific can not be all that helpful. I still find difficulty with it and for the moment tend either to skip it or attempt to extract a general meaning.

Book 2 begins to outline the basics of reading a chart, which introduces the Ascendant and the Places (now referred to as the houses). Note that Valens does not line up with a modern view of the meaning of the houses. Astrology was still in its infancy when Valens wrote, and his work took him over ten years to complete, so you'll find differences between the start and end of it (at one point Valens clearly and explicitly recommends the Equal House System, beginning with the Ascendant. in his later books.

Book 2 also contains the first real consideration of Time Lords and the first length of life calculation. You will find Valens discusses different versions of both through the rest of his work.
Top   #14
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What does Valens mean by 'predominating house' and 'helper' ?


Book 2 Section 2. Emphasis mine

"An examination of the distinguishing characteristics of the previously
mentioned triangles, along with the lofty or mediocre fortune of each
person’s nativity, will be indicative.

For day nativities, it will be necessary to
examine the Sun:
1. In which triangle it lies;
2. Its ***predominant house ruler and its helper***, [1] viz.
3. Whether it [2] is at, following, or preceding an angle, rising or setting, and
whether ***it*** is in its own signs;
4. Which benefic or malefic it has in aspect."

Questions
[1] What is 'predominant house ruler' and 'helper' in line 2.

SOLVED: The next paragraph has (emphasis mine)

"For night nativities it will be necessary to
inspect the Moon in a similar fashion and to determine how the predominant
***house ruler of the triangle and its assistant *** are configured, as was stated
above."

So the ruler is the Triplicity Ruler and the 'assistant' is the third (non day non night) triplicity ruler.

[2] what does this 'it' in line 3 refer to ? The sect Lord or Triplicity Lord?

SOLVED: "If the Sun is found in Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn (for day births), it will be
necessary to investigate first how Venus is configured, second the Moon, and
third Mars, and to see what stars they have in aspect. In the same way."

the 'it" is the Triplicity Lord.. all 3 are examined with respect to angularity etc.

I'm leaving these questions up in case they'll be of help to other people working through the books.

Let's make this concrete

I'm looking at a day birth chart with Sun in Capricorn, and since the Earth triplicity lords are Venus (day) , Moon (night) and Mars ('helper') what is being said is

since day birth start with the Sect Leader, the Sun. Find which sign it is in.

(Line1) Here since the Sun is in Capricorn he is in the Earthy triplicity, (and since Earth triplicity)then (line 2) examine (the state of) Venus (day Earth triplicity ruler) and Mars (day earth triplicity 'helper'). Actually we examine all *three* triplicity lords


Then (line 3) examine it's (i.e each triplicity Lord's) angularity, rising or setting, and in its own signs (by triplicity? or domicile? any Earth or Water sign if the former, Taurus or Libra if the latter) and (line 4) what benefics or maleficts it aspects.


PS: Interesting that Valens begins his analysis with Sect Leader and its triplicity lords rather than the usual (these days) Domicile Lord of the Ascendant.

PPS: Thanks, Minderwiz for the clarifications above. Appreciated, as always.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RohanMenon
PS: Interesting that Valens begins his analysis with Sect Leader and its triplicity lords rather than the usual (these days) Domicile Lord of the Ascendant.
Actually he started by determining whether the chart is Diurnal or Nocturnal and from that whether the Sun or the Moon is the Predominator. Although this might seem an obvious simple step, later on you will realise that it's not quite as clear as it might seem - for example times when both Sun and Moon are below the horizon. It's clear whether it's a Diurnal or Nocturnal chart, but is the Moon still the Predominator? Other times are just before Sunrise or just before/after Sunset. and the Moon not risen or about to set as well. You will probably see various combinations, where it's not clear which is the Predominator. Porphyry and others provide a set of rules to decide.

Once you have the Predominator, you need to know which triplicity it's in (and indeed which Bounds or Confines it's in). The Trigons were given more importance than in the later tradition and certainly more importance than they are today, where the only thing they're used for is element analysis. The Trigons are the winds, which blow our ship through life, either towards our goals or away from them. Again later on you will find the Lords used to say something about the quality of our lives.

On your last question about whether they are in their own sign by Domicile or by Trigon, I think Valens is more concerned with their placement by Trigon. Although Venus rules Libra by Domicile, Venus is a nocturnal planet and has no Trigon rulership in the Gemini/Libra/Aquarius Trigon. If Venus is placed in Libra, she's in an alien or foreign Trigon.

That is difficult to grasp as we are so used to identifying Venus with Libra but here I think two different approaches to assessing the planets are meeting and not yet sitting comfortably together. Unlike the Medieval system, the Trigons are not subordinate to the Domiciles, there's no scoring as in Lilly. Domicile rulership is by Valens time the most used, but it's not yet explicitly rated as the top of the pyramid of essential dignity.
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PS


Venus is the Trigon Ruler for a Day chart, so Venus in an 'Earth Sign is best. Failing that Venus in a Water Sign is good (Venus is also the Triplicity ruler for Water during the Day and is Exaltation ruler of Pisces). The Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces Trigon is a friendly Trigon to the Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn Trigon (both are nocturnal in nature).

Venus is a nocturnal planet, she has no Trigon rulership in either Aries/Leo/Sagittarius or Gemini/Libra/Aquarius - all the Trigon rulers in those Trigons are Diurnal, except for Mercury which can be either (Depending on orientality).
Top   #17
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Very interesting Minderwiz


Thank You. I think I understand the Trigon/Triplicity method of calculating eminence now.

I'll probably have a prominent person's (say Trump's or Obama's) birth chart by my side as I go through Valens, and test everything I learn against a few charts, so by the time I complete the book,I'd have tested all the techniques against some charts.
Top   #18
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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Ok so review from the last day

To analyze a chart.
1. Find Sect Leader
2. Which sign is Sect Leader in?
3. Who are the (in order) triplicity lords for that sign?
4. Analyze (in order): day/night triplicity lord for day/night birth respectively, (first in the Triplicity Lord sequence, so Sun for a Fire sign) , the assistant lord (3d in triplicity lord sequence, so Saturn for a fire sign),

using

5.
(a) angularity - angular, succedent, cadent (remember, Whole Sign Houses!),
(b) rising or setting (how to interpret this?),
(c) aspects to benefics or malefics

Now, how to use these to predict

Rule 1: Examine the Sect Lord and his primary triplicity lord in terms of angularity. If angular, predict an illustrious nativity. If succedent, predict a nativity of moderate fortune. If cadent, predict an unfortunate nativity. (will add aspects later, because Valens mentions them but doesn't use them in this first 'rule of judgment'. They are folded in a few paragraphs down the line, and I'll revisit these initial 'judgments' when I get there.)

so my horoscope, Valens style[1]. Since we are using Whole Sign Houses, it is sufficient to list the Ascendant, MC, and *signs* of planets.

Day chart, Gemini Rising, ASC 24 Gemini, MC at 24 Pisces (10th), Sun,Mercury,Jupiter in Sagittarius (7th), Moon in Libra (5th), Mars in Pisces (10th), Venus in Capricorn (8th), Saturn in Taurus (12th).

Done. I have to say, much easier than listing the factors in a Placidus etc chart.

So first look at the Sun. In Sagittarius (Triplicity Lords are Sun(day), Jupiter (night), Saturn ('helper).

The Sun itself is Angular. In its own sign by triplicity. Since the Sun is the day triplicity ruler , this effect is doubled.

Now to examine the 'helper' triplicity Lord

Saturn is in the 12th (Taurus), so cadent. Not in its own sign (by triplicity)



So by the position of the Sun (Sect Lord and also primary Triplicity Lord) I should have an "illustrious nativity" and by the position of the tertiary ('helper') Triplicity Lord, I should have a "base and unfortunate nativity."

Valens says

"If the preceding house ruler is favorably situated and the succeeding one
unfavorably, the native will fulfill his promise well at first, but afterwards will be brought low, starting at the time of the rising of the sign in which the
succeeding house ruler is unfavorably situated. (We will clarify in more detail
the determination of the chronocrator at the appropriate time.)"

So Valens predicts that the early part of my life will be full of promise, but then will decline. To see when this switch of pattern happens in my life, I have to see when Taurus 'rises' in the Chronocator scheme.

Questions:

[A]How can a planet be classified into 'rising' or 'setting' in the Valens scheme, unless they are near the Eastern/Western horizons at moment for which the chart is made? Valens asks us to see if a planet is rising or setting. Most or all planets could be neither rising nor setting?

[B] In the rule above Valens examines the first and third triplicity lords. In the following paragraphs he seems to reccomend examining all 3

e.g: "If the Sun is found in Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn (for day births), it will be
necessary to investigate first how Venus is configured, second the Moon, and
third Mars, and to see what stars they have in aspect. In the same way."

How to reconcile this?

[1] I am using my horoscope, not because I think it is a great or illustrative one, but because I can confirm or deny any events predicted by this system.
Top   #19
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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And finally a general rule from Valens


"It is best if the stars of the day sect are found at angles in their own triangles or in operative places; the same is true for the stars of the night sect. If they are in other triangles or in the opposite sect, prosperity will be less and will subject to anxiety"

In other words, ideally, every planet should be angular, or in operative places (see two distinct definitions by Minderwiz above, For now, I'll go with operative place == any house other than 2 6 8 12).

"Their own triangles" in a sign where they are a ruler (ideally primary or helper) of the triplicity of that sign.

So Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Pisces ... etc. Interesting to note that both angular *and* ruling the sign triplicity is hard (Impossible?) to achieve for all seven planets.

Analyzing my horoscope (Gemini rising) by this rule I get
Sun in Sagittarius, angular, rules triplicity
Moon in Libra, succedent, does not rule its sign's triplicity.
Mercury in Sagittarius, angular, does not rule its sign's triplicity
Venus in Capricorn, cadent, rules its triplicity
Mars in Pisces, angular, rules its triplicity (secondary triplicity ruler)
Jupiter in Sagittarius, angular, rules its triplicity (secondary ruler)
Saturn in Taurus, cadent, does not rule its sign's triplicity

so by *this* measure, the Sun, Jupiter and Mars are the positive planets in my horoscope (both angular and triplicity lord), and Mercury, and Venus are intermediate. (one of angular or rules triplicity), Moon is a step lower (does not rule triplicity, only succedent) and Saturn is terribly placed (cadent, no triplicity rulership of sign) ,


So ranking planets from best to worst (using both triplicity, angularity, and operative places) we have

Sun, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Saturn.

Interesting way to get a quick overview of the horoscope, especially since we use the triplicity rulers, not the (more common these days) domicile rulers.
Top   #20

 





 


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