Abu Ma’shar’s On the revolutions of the years of nativities (Dykes translation) is not an easy reading and especially the last chapters are complicated. He explains Solar Revolutions in depth and attributes great importance to monthly directed Solar Revolutions, moving the Solar AC by one sign converse direction of the AC. A Solar Ascendant that falls in a fixed sign OR in a common sign up to 15° is to be directed in the usual order of signs (direct), whereas converse direction is applied for mutable signs AND common signs IF the AC is later than 15°. Abu Ma’shar then analyses the monthly profections, for which he uses five monthly indicators that he calls “rooted”. These are (for the first month):[1]

1) Profected natal Ascendant

2) 9th part of sign of the year (that is the 9th part of the profected AC)

3) Profected natal Lot of Fortune

4) SR Ascendant

5) SR Lot of Fortune

 

He then also considers “not rooted indicators” which are

6) AC of the monthly revolution charts

7) Lot of Fortune in the monthly revolution chart

 

Abu Ma’shar’s technique therefore implies to look at least seven different indicators/charts in order to make predictions about one single month.

But there is more, and that is what my paper is all about.

He explains that there are four distinctions (or “divisions”, as he calls them) how to evaluate each planet in a Solar Revolution, and these are:[2]

1) Division: The planet is not in any of its signs neither in the root NOR in          the SR

2) Division: The planet is in its own sign only in the SR

3) Division: The planet is in its own sign only in the root

4) Division: The planet is in its own sign(s) both in the root and in the SR

Abu Ma’shar gives then a lengthy example of the first division, in which he seems to consider the chart as a kind of multidimensional globe. More precisely, he looks at each planet from at least six different angulations, which turn out to be derived houses. [3] 

The first way is that you look at the place of the planet in the root of the nativity relative to the ascendant of the root of the nativity (and the place of the ascendant of the root of the nativity related to it) and the place of its two houses from Ascendant of the root of the nativity (and the place of the ascendant of the nativity from the two houses and the place of the planet from its two houses) and the place of its two houses from it (and the place of the planet in the revolution of the year from its two houses and the place of its two houses from it) and the place of the planet in the revolution from Ascendant of the root (and the place of the ascendant of the  root from it).

Now let’s see what Abu Ma’shar exactly does. In his example, Sagittarius is rising, and Venus is in the 7th house. We need to write up all possible combinations of Venus in the ROOT in relation to her own position, her signs/houses and the AC.

And here Abu Ma’shar comes up with the derived houses, when he uses the signs Venus rules counting from her position, as for example the 5th from Venus, (which in his example corresponds to the 11th radical house) or counting from her sign, for example the 8th from Libra (which would be the 6th radical house). He uses these derived house significations as we would do with houses counting from the AC, so for example the 8th from Libra denotes distress. Since we are analysing Venus, this distress comes from women. He mixes radical house significations with derived house significations which adds many more details to Venus than just her 7th house position.

He would then do this for all the other planets in the radical chart and then do the same for the SR. But for the sake of clarity, I will use only one planet and only one chart. I will put Abu Ma’shar’s text a little in order and add some explication, without changing any of the content. My own explications are added in [parenthesis].

Here is Abu Ma’shar’s example chart.[4]

1) Venus’ position in relation to the AC and the AC’s position is relation to Venus

  • Venus is in the 7th house:
    • the native delights in women and they will correspond and flatter with him
    • the native is linked to women and may experience conflicts with them 
  • The AC is the 7th sign from Venus
    • [same as above]

2) The signs Venus rules counting from the ascendant and the position of the ascendant in relation to Venus’s position

  • Taurus is the 6th house from the AC:
    • mental irritations with female and male servants
    • some of his women will become ill
    • various things will be presented to him, including slaves for purchase
    • he suffers sometimes from an ailment in the belly [the 6th rules the belly]

  • Libra is the 11th house from the AC
    • He will be successful in something hoped for and assets
    • He sometimes suffers from an ailment in the upper part of the body [Libra is above the horizon=upper part]
  • The AC is the 3rd house from Libra
    • Some of his siblings [3rd house] will be antagonistic [derived 3rd (AC) is
      opposed by Venus] towards him because of some servants and slaves [Venus ruler of the 6th]
    • his siblings will be antagonistic to him because of a man form a bad type [6th house is associated with a low social class]
    • He corresponds with siblings [3rd] and has conflicts [Venus is still in opposition to the AC!) with them about assets [8th]
  • The AC is the 8th from Taurus
    • a man of a bad type will be antagonistic to him
    • He will be present at the funeral [8th] to one of those who are burdensome
      to him [8th from the 6th]
    • He is devoted to reports [AC 3rd from Libra] about ancestors an ancient matters

3) Venus position in relation to her own signs and her signs in relation to Venus

  • Venus is in the 2nd house from Taurus
    • He will acquire assets from women
    • Assets come to him through his own persistence [taking Taurus as the AC, its ruler Venus is in the second house]
    • He will hoard [2nd house] clothing and dishes [Venus]
    • He will get rid of his assets [ 2nd from Taurus] that are burdensome to him [Venus L6]
    • He will give clothing and dishes to the slaves [Venus L6]
    • He will be given slaves
  • Venus is in the 9th house from Libra
    • He will travel for his assets
  • Taurus is in the 12th from Venus
    • He will be irritated [12th] by women [Venus]
    • He will be distressed [Sag. 8th from Taurus] because of riding animals
      [12th house]
    • He will be distressed by some reports of enemies
    • He will think about the mistreatment [12th] of one of his children [Libra
      5th from Venus]
  • Libra is in the 5th from Venus
    • He will be irritated by messengers [5th]
    • He will be blessed with children [5th]

As we can see, the above refers only to the analysis of Venus in the natal chart and does not even consider any aspect to other planets, dignities, triplicities or sect, just to mention a few points to consider.

And here I add a short excursus. We also must consider that Venus has not only a relationship with her own signs/houses and the AC (and vice versa, as Abu Ma’shar shows), but also to all other houses, which could add further information, even though Abu Ma’shar does not explicitly delve into this:

The 7th is the 1st from the 7th

The 8th is the 2nd from the 7th

The 9th is the 3rd from the 7th

The 10th is the 4th from the 7th

The 11th is the 5th from the 7th

The 12th is the 6th from the 7th

The 1st is the 7th from the 7th

The 2nd is the 8th from the 7th

The 3rd is the 9th from the 7th

The 4th is the 10th from the 7th

The 5th is the 11th from the 7th

The 6th is the 12th from the 7th

Abu Mash’ then advises us to follow the same procedure also for the position of Venus in the Solar Revolution AND in all the other four rooted indicators/charts and the two not rooted indicators that I listed at the beginning. And then for every other planet in the charts we are looking at.

This procedure is certainly painstaking, but I suppose that he just wants us to become aware of all subtle correlations in the different layers (SR, annual profection 9th parts ecc). I also have the impression that this procedure will eventually conduct to a chain of significations which at the end will start to repeat and shed light on a few specific topics, that Abu Ma’shar then might have discussed with his clients, already certain about their importance over the myriad other possible significations. But this is obviously my personal assumption.

 

[1] Abu Ma’shar, On the revolution of the years of nativities, The Cazimi Press, 2019, p. 96

[2] Abu Ma’shar, p. 578

[3] Abu Ma’shar, p-579-9

[4] Abu Ma’shar, p. 597

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