This is a remarkable horary from the 5th century. Emperor Zeno’s anonymous astrologer had learned from a handmaid, that some of her linen clothes (probably underwear) had presumably been stolen.

Anonymous does not use the AC ruler for the querent: indeed, we don’t know whether she asked him directly or if this is an event chart that Anonymous cast after he had learned that those linen were missing.

Anonymous takes Part of Fortune to signify the girl’s personal “Fortune”, in this case, her clothes. Since Fortune is in opposition to the AC and in the 7th house of “other people”, he confirms the theft: the maid’s suspicious was correct, somebody had indeed taken them.

The astrologer then choses Saturn as the significator of the thief for three reasons:

  • Fortune is in the bounds of Saturn (in other words, the girl’s Fortune is in the hands of Saturn)
  • Saturn is combust and thus the most afflicted planet in the chart
  • The Moon, natural significator of everything that is lost, is applying to an opposition to Saturn

Now he wants to know whether the thief is somebody living in the household. Both luminaries cast a (at least sign-based) aspect both to the AC (we are not told its exact degree) and to the AC ruler Venus: The Sun in co-present with Venus in the same sign, while the Moon opposes her. Venus also trines the AC. This “familiarity” makes the astrologer believe, that the thief was part of the household. William Lilly uses the same technique on p. 342.

Zeno’s court astrologer  goes on and describes the thief. Since Saturn is the natural ruler of age and he is also heliacally setting (end of a cycle), he is described as an “old” man. Saturn is in Virgo, the domicile of Mercury, which describes him as a learned or educated person. Zeno adds that he was “hindered in intercourse”, probably alluding to the androgyne nature of Mercury, who is also in the 12th house in relation to its own sign and thus in aversion. The translator of this text, Levente Lazlo (Horoi Project), points out, that Anonymous probably considered the theft to be an act of fetiscism, wich is, I suppose, also shown by the presence of Saturn in the 5th house (sex) in Virgo, a sign that is dry and cold while he is combust.

The linen clothes are described by the Moon, the natural ruler of everything lost. Anonymous  found the Moon in the bounds of Venus, so the clothes are confirmed to belong to a female. Since Venus (the dispositor or owner of the lost items) is in her fall, the girl  is described as a humble person or a servant. Venus has just come out of combustion and is now going to make her evening appearance, which describes the clothes as old, worn out or cheap.

Checking back on Christian Astrology, I have seen that Lilly uses a similar approach on p. 331 and 355. Where he says:

The significator of the thing stolen is the lord of the term the Moon is in. When you have found the significator of the thief, and understand the nature of his disposition by the significant planet and his aspects , know that the ascendant is signifier of the question, or Demandant, and if you see the lord of the ascendant draw towards the lord of the seventh, or to the lord of the hour, or be in the seventh, it signifies that the thief shall be taken anon after, or it gives hopes of discovery of the thing lost.

While Lilly marks the sentence as “vulgar and not of any credit” in a sidenote, he kind of repeats it on p. 355, saying:

To know it shall be recovered or not:  For resolution hereof, behold the lord of the term of the Moon, the which is significator of the substance stolen to be recovered. If the Lord of the term of the Moon, and the Lord of the house of the Moon be increasing both in motion and number, and free from infortunes, it shows it will be recovered whole and found, and nothing diminished thereof.

Now, coming back to Zeno’s anonymous astrologer, will the maid get her clothes back? Yes, because:

  • The Moon is going to square her dispositor, Jupiter, who receives her in his domicile
  • The Moon trines Fortune
  • The Moon trines Mars, the ruler of Fortune who receives the Moon in his nocturnal triplicity.


  • The Sun trines the AC by sign
  • The Sun sextiles Fortune by sign
  • The Sun is co-present with the AC ruler Venus
  • The Sun opposes the Moon
  • Venus in the sign in which she has triplicity rulership by day and the dispositor of the Moon (Jupiter) in his own domicile.

Fetishism in the 5th century. Astrology has seen it all…

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