Wroskopos's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘horoscope’

What a comment sherlock

Posted by Wroskopos on April 20, 2010

I was searching for The introduction to the science of the judgments of the stars by Sahl Ibn Bishr, and found the Holden translation in the linked site (most of you are probably fairly acquainted with it).
Proceeding to read the comment, its author was wondering about the difference in the house system in use between ancient Greek horoscopes and medieval Europe ones.
I had a “what the hell…?” moment when I read this:

Why was this issue not tackled by the Greeks? Because they lacked numerical representation that would enable them to perform the necessary calculations. If all they had were “Roman numerals”, consider the problem of dividing MCCCXLVIII by XXIII (848 / 23 = 36.87) using such a crude symbol set.

To the author of that comment: That was priceless! You gave me so much material to laugh for years to come, that I simply can not thank you enough. I will try with this post, to pay a tribute to your “brilliance”. If only we had more of you, nobody would be depressed. I hope you read the rest of this post though I am afraid that it will frustrate the solitary brain cell you have (I will compensate by adding pictures, OK? ). For reasons of readability I will call you John in the following:

First of all John, Greeks used…Greek letters and notation (I know it strikes you as odd using their own language and numerals but they did). Roman ones were implemented relatively later (after the Romans established their empire) and Greek still dominated for some time as the ‘educated language’ so, it continued to be in use between scholars. You could have suggested there was use of hieroglyphs and it would have a basis, but Roman? Anyway…
So far, we have retrieved knowledge concerning the science of mathematics, with evidence that goes back to Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians and Greeks (in chronological order in relation to historical relics and sources). I will skip the Indians and Chinese that themselves also did well with mathematics – besides their also “crude” symbols – as they are not known to have exert significant influence to the Greek sciences.
Babylonians could solve quadratic and cubic equations, calculate exponents and even had a first form of Fourier analysis (roughly: one can break down certain complex functions into simpler known trigonometric functions). I think it is safe to conclude they could also multiply and divide.
And it is truly safe to conclude that, as proof that humanity knew multiplication and division dates as far back as the Sumerians who preceded the Babylonians. Sumerians could solve quadratic and cubic equations, too as they were able to find volumes and areas of basic geometric shapes. They used (mainly) cuneiform script and John, this is even “cruder” than what poor Greeks had to use.
Next we have the Egyptians, from whom little is left but there too we know they could do linear equations and fractions, composite and prime numbers, so I think it is yet again rather safe to assume they also could divide and multiply – fractions are in essence a division. They used hieroglyphic or hieratic symbols but surprisingly John, they managed coping with fractions and even astronomical measurements.

All those civilizations interacted, knowledge was exported and imported through the ages and the countries and I must tell you John, I think Babylonians seem a tad better than Egyptians (in mathematics) as they had more accurate results in their calculations. I am sure you can attribute it to Egyptians using an even harder (cruder) to depict numerical system but if I may say so, we have not found as many relics from Egyptians as we have from Babylonians so it is unwise to be harsh about their level of expertise.

Last in chronology (seemingly – judging by the very little that is saved) but not least in value, came the Greek. Like you wrote John, they had that “crude” system that should have hindered them. Yet, Greeks mastered the sciences and division is practically exactly what they did, though very little is saved or found as direct originals (here we should thank mostly the Arabs that copied and saved some of the vast knowledge of ancient Greeks).
I am sure you find this hard to believe so please, allow me to elaborate. Ancient Greeks traveled the – educated – world to study and they communicated ardently as well. It is rather simple to deduct that – at the very least – they had learned multiplication and division by other civilizations, all of them using different “crude symbol sets”. However:

Greek mathematics was much more sophisticated than the mathematics that had been developed by earlier cultures. All surviving records of pre-Greek mathematics show the use of inductive reasoning, that is, repeated observations used to establish rules of thumb. Greek mathematicians, by contrast, used deductive reasoning.

This level of mathematical analysis attained by Archimedes, Euclid and others is far in advance of anything recorded by the Babylonians or Egyptians.

It seems Greeks did some good job with their “crude” symbols: they calculated (with the best accuracy than anybody else for centuries) the number π, conics and their sections, spherical geometry, Infinite Series, gave us the Euclidean geometry, and they also proved numerous mathematical concepts, from the Pythagorean theorem to the existence of Irrational Numbers and gave the precursors and foundations of most modern mathematics, including integrals and calculus, and Number Theory.

You do not have to take my word for it, luckily I can refer you to A manual of Greek mathematics by T.L.Heath, where you can see that apparently Greeks could divide and furthermore their system is alike what we still use today.
Using whole signs had nothing to do with their difficulty to do simple divisions like the one you mention. Division was practically every ancient Greek scientist’s middle name! And I believe one can hardly conceptualize any of the other 3 great civilizations having any problem with division that would hindered them into constructing new house systems.
A different reason seems far more likely to existed than incompetence in simple calculations. Many have already published opinions on the matter if you want to find out more John. The subject is still open to educated opinions and strokes of scientifically or historically founded inspiration.

Greeks were so at ease with mathematics, they liked to play with them (only mathematicians will laugh with this joke but, oh well…):

We know that Eudoxus studied the classical problem of the duplication of the cube. Eratosthenes, who wrote a history of the problem, says that Eudoxus solved the problem by means of curved lines.

I should have addressed your use of the word “crude” that I find ἀτάκτως ἐῤῥιμένη and a misnomer but I guess it is a matter of taste. Instead, I will quote something funny that will hopefully help you realize the house system in use by ancient and Hellenistic astrology was not forced due to divisional issues and therefore we should look elsewhere to find why they chose to use whole signs; as the ancient mathematicians were quite efficient with mathematics. According to wikipedia:

Fermat was not the first mathematician so moved to write in his own marginal notes to Diophantus; the Byzantine scholar John Chortasmenos (14th/15th C.) had written “Thy soul, Diophantus, be with Satan because of the difficulty of your theorems” next to the same problem.

and the same abstract according to another source (I have no idea why they use different names for the scholar):

Fermat was not the first mathematician so moved to write: in his own marginal notes (scholia – σχόλια) to Diophantus on the same problem (II.8), the Byzantine mathematician Maximus Planudes had written “Thy soul, Diophantus, be with Satan because of the difficulty of your other theorems, and of this one in particular”.


In Measurement of a Circle, Archimedes gives the value of the square root of 3 as lying between 265⁄153 (approximately 1.7320261) and 1351⁄780 (approximately 1.7320512).

Do you still believe the ancient Greeks used whole house system because they had troubles with dividing numbers?

PS. By the way John, I think you miscalculated your Roman numbers (MCCCXLVIII = 1348; not 848) and I have a feeling that you learned both your history and your maths in Oregon’s “kidipede” (definitely not a recommended site, therefore no link).

A few more References
Egyptian fractions
History of mathematics
Sieve of Eratosthenes (Greek)
Diofantus (Greek) and Fermat’s last theorem
Greek mathematicians
Greek Math
Fourier Series

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

Posted in ENGLISH, Fun & Mean, Science & Astrology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The kind of client you are makes the astrologer you should get

Posted by Wroskopos on April 4, 2010

When in search for astrological insight, people are in loss of where to look in order to find a “good astrologer”. Usually a friend or chance dictates the astrologer who will delineate the client’s chart. A recommendation, or an advertising in a magazine, or an article about astrology that attracted our attention will point us to an astrologer.
It is hard to find a good astrologer but how do we classify “good”? A good theoretical knowledge and years of successful field experience should do it, no? Well, not exactly.

In 20th century, psychology became the absolute hype. The absolute fashion, the “it” thing to give us the most essential answers about the only thing we ended up caring for: ourselves. Being sad was renamed to being depressed and from a natural experience it was deemed a psychological disorder. Being rationally worried was renamed to having anxiety and stress.
The predominance of psychology spread its influence in many science and arts, affecting the Art of Prediction as well. Like what happened with psychiatry, astrology didn’t escape exaggerations and the focus on personal sentiments overcame a balance between events related astrology and inner reflections in a chart. What we ended up mostly having nowadays, is the most egomaniac and emotion-centered astrology in ages. Is that bad? Not really, a product is the result of a need. Many customers crave exactly that aspect of astrology, it would be perhaps short-sighted to dismiss that.

The average modern customer of an astrologer wants to hear about one’s psychological traits and the psychological impact of an incident rather than know what the incident will be. Is rare to find a customer who asks about hard cold facts like it used to happen in the far past. Is therefore, not a surprise or a coincidence at all, that we often see astrologers having some psychology studies and degrees, or astrologers presenting themselves as “life coaches”.
Once upon a time, astrology was factual. Back then it also was a science.

Is there anything wrong about this? Wrong and right are philosophical concepts, far too complex to be analyzed here. The fact astrology took a psychological turn, can be an addition to sociological theses as an aspect of 20th century industrially progressed societies but, it doesn’t necessarily render modern astrology a “bad” thing.
It would be an oversight not realizing things happen for a reason and the emotion-centered astrology is the product of the needs humans had in the last century. Many clients needed to know how a transit or natal position would affect their inner world, their sentiments and feelings. In their search for answers in “why I feel like this?”, “why am I feeling that bad/such a loser/so depressed/so unhappy/ so angry/so without HOPE?”, psychological astrology was one of the most common *tools* we could use to get the desired answers in the search of ourselves.

How is all this connected to what kind of astrologer one should find?

There are two main kinds of good and valuable astrologers you can find, the scholar and the phychologist. Their ethics and approaches differ:

1. The traditional scholar. She is very mercurian (a dignified mercury), she studies and then studies more and likes FACTS, proofs and is direct. She is cold comparing to the following category of astrologers and prefers truth than elaborate lies. Even if that truth makes you feel bad, is still the truth and is unethical to hide it.

2. The psychologist. She is tender and seems caring and considerate and will go in depths analyzing every petty or important FEELING you may experience. Facts are too mundane for her, if a fact is detrimental it is unethical to disclose it to the client. You will get a lot of compassion and understanding and probably accurate insights of your feelings that could be of help to your pshychologist.

To give a gross example of delineation from each type, let’s accept a possible future incident “client’s beloved dog dies in a hideous car accident”. Let’s assume that both our astrologers are very good and see the incident in the chart.
The 1st type will say something like “your dog will die next month and it will be a violent death but you will overcome it”.
The 2nd type will say something like “next month you will experience intense emotions, even shock but you will overcome it”.
It doesn’t matter which prediction is the better one – we can not dismiss either as objectively bad; only subjectively. One judges that by one’s personal preconceptions. For me, who are into traditional, factual, event, “objective” astrology, to tell me how I will feel without telling me why I will experience those feelings, is blurring the picture and hiding ; it is unethical. My feelings will not create that particular event, it is the event that will determine my feelings. In short, give me the CAUSE, not the psychology please.
For someone else, the vivid cold event prediction of the 1st type, can be a most unwelcome interpretation of no use except creating unwanted and detrimenting panic.


Ideally an astrologer should mix discretion with Art and is hard to find a clear demonstration of the aforementioned 2 types; it is usually a mix. In every astrologer though, you will notice a certain disposition in the kind of readings they prefer doing and how they address them. In the modern times, you will find far more astrologers of the second kind, their mix being 30% facts- 70% emotion analysis. Kindness and understanding with all the truth and all the facts is an ideal conception – it is too tough to find the golden middle ground. Some areas are too hot to go into, death being one of those areas yet, some clients want to learn how and when they die while most hate even the mention of death.
No matter how typically good the astrologer is, what matters in the end, is how the client feels about their readings. What the client expects and wants is what sets the kind of astrologer they should get. They should find the astrologer that complies to what deep inside you are after. The judge of a reading is the client. Let’s see how two imaginary clients approach the readings.

Mary says: I got a reading from an astrologer of the 2nd type, I left the counseling with contempt. I didn’t need a self-appointed shrink, I would have gone to a real shrink if I wanted that. I wanted facts, I wanted to know about what happens in the future and all I got was generalizing about how I feel and the emotional paterns in my chart. Who cares about that – jee are there are people who are so dumb they can’t understand themselves? And what makes her think I am one of those? How insulting. What a waste of my time and money!

John says: I went to the 1st type and she was cruel and annoying. She even told me which of my parens dies first! I didn’t want that! It scared me, I just wanted to know why I feel so terrible since last year, why I am so sensitive and depressed and how to overcome this. Who cares if I buy a car next year – I want to know my true self. I will never go back, she tried to sound compassionate but she didn’t really care how I felt, was more eager to show off her expertise than to care for her customer!

If Mary and John switch astrologers, they will both get the counseling they want. They both will be happy with their astrologer. Before you reject astrology, try to get a reading from an astrologer that suits your needs and personality better.
If at the end, you do not find someone to satisfy you, then it may be time perhaps, to start learning astrology and find your own answers, the way you want them.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Where is he?

Posted by Wroskopos on March 5, 2010

A simple and clear question of locating a person’s current whereabouts. We do not care about the querent, or feelings or future actions. This means we will directly address the quesited’s significator, its dispositor and the moon. There is no need to check irrelevant factors. Glory in simplicity.


The querent gets the first house in Sagittarius and its ruler Jupiter fits our querent having a Sagittarius ascendant herself.
The quesited is assigned the 7th house. His ruler is Mercury, which again fits as he is a young man.

Where is our significator (Mercury)? In the 5th house of fun and creativity. What kind of entertainment does Taurus stand for? As the earthy domicile of Venus is connected with beauty, grace and pleasure in a more tangible way, food and throat. Banquets and music and dancing and paintings.
So, he is somewhere having fun. A dancing or music hall – a public banquet is less likely but not out of the question. Could be a country picnic.
POF (Part of Fortune) – the most important Lot for lost items/people, is also in taurus and 5th house.
Alright so, he is having fun, that is a good indication.

Mind you this is querent’s 5th house; not the turned 5th house. The chart speaks in terms our querent will understand, it is her chart and made the question for herself, the location will be judged by how she sees it.
Turning the houses, Mercury is in his own 11th house of friends and large social groups.He could be socializing on the internet for example (if we go after a rather modern approach). We need more indications to pin the exact location and make sure picking the 5th house was the right choice.

Let’s fine-tune this by using Venus as she disposits by rule, term and face our Mercury. She has just stepped back in retrograde motion into Pisces, her exaltation. A very wet sign and Venus is a cold and moist planet.

What is Moon doing? She is conjunct 12th house cusp, in detriment in Scorpio. Gets worst, Moon is right on the “accursed degree” on Serpentis. Is this bad? Moon also shows the querent’s sentiments or mind if you prefer the term. Being on the cusp of the 12th in this case, shows the querent fears something really bad has happened but, not a bad outcome on its own.
Moon tells us something more: She too is cold and moist and Scorpio – like Pisces – is also a wet sign and both signs often stand for stagnant waters.

Now we are getting somewhere. Mercury is disposited by a cold and moist planet, moon is also cold and moist, both are in wet signs.

Adding the information of the sign Mercury is, the person we inquired for a location, is in a recreation area that is wet and very cold, possibly stagnant waters, having fun. Is rather unlikely he is in a wet banquet or in a wet and cold art exhibition (not much fun there). A cold and wet opera house is an also unlikely option. A wet-shirt beach competition with barbeque would be a viable option if we had not get the many “cold” indications.
Mixing “discretion with art” directs us to chose the obvious that connects all indications: what is cold and wet and stagnant waters with dancing and/or music and fun?

Mind that all along, all we were after was a location and its attributes. We didn’t ask for action so we had no need to take aspects in consideration.


Upon return he contacted our querent, confirmed he was ice skating in an open, public ice ring and added it also was raining lightly hindering the nearby band.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Moon Void of Course (VOC) in Horary

Posted by Wroskopos on February 19, 2010

Moon is the most important body in Horary. She is the co-indicator of any question. As Moon moves only forward in its respective phenomenal movement, we can think of it as linear time-frame: past aspects give as insight on past events; future aspects predict future events. No aspects mean no events, which promptly brings us to the concept of a moon being void of course and its meanings.

What is a VOC Moon?

“Void of Course. Said of a planet which forms no complete aspect before leaving the Sign in which it is posited at birth. When the Moon is so placed it denies fruition to much of the good otherwise promised in the Figure. In Horary Astrology a planet so placed is said to indicate a person devoid of objective or purpose, hence one who abandons himself to aimless endeavor.” N.DeVore

“This is most usually in the Moon; in judgments doe you carefully observe whether she be void of course yea or no, you shall seldom see business go handsomely forward when she is so.” W.Lilly

Any planet can be void of course but, it is especially noticeable with Moon and in addition she is the most important body in Horary so, it makes perfect sense that many authors paid extra attention to this condition. When moon perfects no major (Ptolemaic) aspects with another body until she leaves the sign she is in, we call it a Void of Course Moon (VOC). We do not take into account aspects to parts or fixed stars or house cusps; only towards the sun and the planets.

A word of caution here, moieties of orbs do not count when Moon is at the end of a sign!
There is one exception I found where we can allow moieties: when the Moon and body in moiety are in strong mutual reception.

In general, Moon can be Void of Course in any part of a sign; in its beginning, its middle or its ending and each position holds a different meaning.
In the beginning and middle of signs, we allow moieties of aspects. In simple words, look at your aspect grid; is Moon currently applying a Ptolemaic aspect to another body within moiety of orbs (aspect tolerance)? If yes, she is not VOC. If you see no aspect in the grid but you can see that later on Moon will make at least one aspect – she is just not making one right now – she is *temporarily* VOC. (Remember: this does not apply when our Moon is in the end of a sign; here you ignore moieties and you are after perfection of the aspect).

Sometimes Moon is VOC through the majority of a sign. For example if planets are all gathered in the first 5 degrees, moon will be void of course from 5 01’ to 29 59’. In such occasions, she is considered “feral”; a wild, ferocious and unfavorable Moon (unless your Horary is for a lost animal, where would make sense to have Moon in a feral condition and would not be an ill omen on itself).

This is one of the most important considerations before judgment; don’t ignore it, as it actually holds an answer of its own. Can you judge a chart with VOC Moon? Yes you can! It is a consideration; not a stricture against judgment.

Performance of VOC according to authors

Alan Leo believed it “denotes in general no success in the question” but he was rather short about it.
For William Lilly, moon “may” perform even if VOC if she lies inside Taurus Cancer, Sagittarius and Pisces. “All matters go hardly on (except the principal significators be very strong) when the moon is void of course; yet somewhat she performs if void of course and be in either Taurus Cancer, Sagittarius or Pisces”.
(Why those four signs? Because they are where Moon or Jupiter (the greater benefic) are strong by being domicile or exalted).
I agree with Frawley that by “things go hardly on”, Lilly meant with hardships, with trouble and not that things will not proceed at all but, only if she is in a sign she can perform and the main significators are strong.
Lilly put in his own words what Guido Bonatus meant with “Behold the moon if she be void of course, for then it signifies an impediment to the thing in question, it will not come to a good end, nor be accomplished; but the querent shall be forced to desist with shame and loss” and “(moon VOC) signifies that the thing enquired after shall scarce ever come to a good end and not without much labor, sorrow and trouble; unless ruler of ascendant or quesited be in a very good condition, then it may be hindered but not wholly frustrated”.
Abraham Ibn Ezra was more straightforward, “if the Moon is moving by itself, it indicates any futile thing, and it signifies that any thing which the asker requests cannot possibly occur”.

What if VOC Moon is one of our main significators?

Makes the situation or person idle. No actions or no fruitful actions. If she be peregrine and VOC, there is lack of will and purpose, scattered energies. If she is debilitated and VOC, denotes lack of happiness, erratic action, tiresome attempts to no avail and trouble. If Moon is essentially dignified but VOC, there is will but the circumstances are not favorable for action, or that the situation is already concluded and our quesited is happily idling now. You can judge which is the case by the last aspect of the Moon and its house position.

Meanings of VOC Moon

If your void of course Moon appears in the beginning of a sign, it means the situation is still at its beginning and things will delay starting their course of action.
If your void of course Moon is in the middle of a sign, the situation is currently under a halt, expect delay and idling before events start happening again.
If your Moon is void of course at the end of a sign, it offers you the answer to your question, which can be:
– Nothing happens (which can be a positive thing depending on the question)
– No significant changes
– Unfruitful actions, futile attempts
– Things will proceed slowly and with difficulty
– Efforts met with shame and loss
– Bad, tiresome, useless business
– Conclusion has already occurred


“In my chart moon is VOC until it changes sign but applies to another body within orbs. Will it perform?”
No, it will not. It has to perfect the aspect before changing sign. Simply being in moiety, even in conjunction, does not complete the action promised.

“My question is whether we divorce and Moon is VOC? What will happen?
Nothing. No action, no divorce. The situation remains stale for now.

“I have a job interview next week, did a chart and moon is VOC. Will I get the job?”
Not with that interview. They may reschedule, you may miss the appointment or, you may go and do the interview but they tell you to reschedule yet another interview.

“In my chart moon is VOC but my main significators are applying with a major aspect. Will it work?”
It depends. Check whether the Moon is in a sign she can perform and whether your significators are strongly dignified.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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Quincunx aspect in Horary

Posted by Wroskopos on February 14, 2010

What is a quincunx?

A quincunx is a 150 degrees angle (allowed orb of 2 degrees) and is one out of the two angles considered inconjunct (the other one is semisextile). It was not included in the 5 major Ptolemaic aspects but in later times, was disputed (and still is) that quincunx should be taken into account.


Inconjuncts were derived by signs once upon a time, the sign next or before to the one we care for, has no elemental affiliations and therefore no likeness or alikeness or even enmity. It wasn’t a match, it wasn’t an opponent, it wasn’t a friend; it was a strange foreigner, a misfit, an inconjunct. The sixth sign and eighth sign from the one we care for, are similarly inconjunct as they share no connection (either good or bad) through triplicities.

This strange lack of connection between the inconjuncts, made astrologers intuitively reach the idea that their influence is disruptive.
Further studies proved – to some degree – that quincunx seems to bring an upsetting incident or situation and therefore is considered a negative aspect. It is an aspect that demands changes and adjustments.
Quincunxes are particularly important in medical astrology and they often appear in surgery charts.

Possible meanings of quincunx in Horary charts

– A need for radical change and adjustment in order for the quesited to come true
– A definite “no” to the question
– An impossibility under the current circumstances that renders the quesited improbable
– Obstacles and/or obligations
– Discord
– Dramatic changes in life
– Dislocation, long distance travel, change of residence
– A health issue (in relevant charts)

“Will I succeed in college?” With a quincunx between yours and college’s significators, can mean that you may but you will have to radically change your lifestyle, or your attitude, or residence or move to an institution far away from home, or it can simply mean “no”. Dignities and receptions will give us more details and will guide us to correct interpretation.

As ominous as it seems, the 150 degrees aspect is pretty often kind enough to offer the querent a choice. “You can do *this* IF YOU change *something*. In better words is a “if you have the will and perseverance to go through a radical change you will accomplish your *something*”. You can chose to change what is needed or leave it as is. You are free to choose and you make your destiny. Aren’t quincunxes nice?
However, they usually avoid pointing out what that *something* might be…Which is really, really upsetting.

© 2010 All rights reserved – Με επιφύλαξη παντός νόμιμου δικαιώματος

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