The Lot or Part of Fortune


Part 5


In addition to the general lot of children, Vettius Valens gives two other lots that pertain to children, a lot of sons, i.e., male children, and a lot of daughters. These are as follows:

Lot of Sons: Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Me - Ju

Lot of Daughters: Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Ve - Ju


Vettius Valens makes the following statement about both these and the Lot of Children mentioned in the previous installment.
"When, then, they are afflicted by Kronos [Saturn] and Ares [Mars], they are the causes of childlessness or the destruction of children, but when they are assisted by Zeus [Jupiter], they are the causes of fruitfulness."

Now we come to a group of lots that pertain to marriage, or more precisely male-female relationships. It is not clear from the Greek material how these are to be differentiated, but we do have some assistance from the Arabic material. First here they are:

Parts of Marriage

Lot of Marriage, Men [Hermetic] Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Ve - Sa
Lot of Marriage, Women [Hermetic] Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Sa - Ve
Lot of Marriage, Men [Valens] Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Ve - Su
Lot of Marriage, Women [Valens] Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Ma - Mo
Lot of Marriage, General Day Lot = Asc. + Ve - Ju
Lot of Marriage, General Night Lot = Asc. + Ju - Ve


In Al-Biruni, an Arab era astrologer, the two lots attributed to Hermes are simply referred to as lots of marriage. But the other two lots, the one for men and the one for women, are given additional designations. The lot for the marriage of men using the Venus - Sun arc is called "Trickery and Deception of Men toward Women," and "Intercourse of Men." The lot for women that uses the Mars - Moon arc is called "Misconduct of Women," "Trickery and Deceit of Men by Women," "Intercourse of Women, " and "Unchastity of Women." Disregarding for a moment the obvious sexism in these designations, it is quite clear that the marital lots of Valens are not as specifically connected to marriage, but are more connected to sexual relationships in general. But the Hermetic lots, both of which contain Saturn, seem to have more of a connection specifically to legally sanctioned marriage. At this very early stage in my research this principle seems to be holding up, that the Hermetic lots relate to legal marriage, and the lots of Valens relate to male-female sexual relationships in general.

This leaves the general lot of marriage given by Valens that uses the arc from Jupiter to Venus and vice versa. It have little experience with this one thus far, but it too would seem to be connected to general relations between the sexes rather than specifically legal marriage. However, since Jupiter has a strong connection with the law, we cannot rule out this lot also as referring to legal marriage.

In addition to these lots, there are other special purpose lots that are mentioned in the Greek literature. We do not have a clear notion of what all of these may be for, but they are all interesting.

The first of these is the Lot of Basis. As the name suggests, it would seem to be something fundamental. It appears to be a way of combining the lots of Fortune and Spirit and making something that combines their signification. The formula is as follows:

Lot of Basis: Day or Night Lot = Asc. + PF - Sp or Lot = Asc. + Sp - PF

Here however it is not day or night that determines the order of the formula. Instead we use whichever is the shorter arc. IF PF - Sp is more than 180 degrees, we use Sp - PF, and vice versa. Its position is always below the horizon or exactly on the Ascendant or Descendant because the Sp to PF arc can never be more than 180 degrees. This may have something to do with its signification because it is always below the earth like a foundation. Also as with Fortuna and Spirit, New Moons and Full Moons have special significance with this lot. At the New Moon all three lots are conjunct the Ascendant, and at the Full Moon, they are all conjunct the Descendant.

Lot of Debt Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Sa - Me

This is a lot that does not look as if it would function as a first house indicator. The lore on this lot is not abundant, but the logic of lots would indicate that whatever house it would fall into could be a source of financial losses or debt.

Lot of Theft: Day Lot = Sa - Ma - Me; Night Lot = Sa - Me - Ma

Also a lot that does not function as a first house indicator. This is one of the few lots that does not contain the Ascendant as a component. As such it resembles the kinds of formulas that one finds in the modern Hamburg School of Alfred Witte.

Lot of Treachery: Day Lot = Asc. + Ma - Su; Night Lot = Asc. + Su - Ma

We have little data on this lot. It is from Vettius Valens.

Lot of Exaltation: Day Lot = Asc. + 19 Ar - Su; Night Lot = Asc. + 3 Ta - Mo

This lot is made out of the Sun and Moon and their exaltation degrees. This is one of the few instances in which the exaltation degrees (as opposed to their signs) are used. It is connected to the births of eminent and famous people.

Lot of Being in a Foreign Land: Day or Night Lot = Asc. + Ma - Sa

Lot of Accusation: Day Lot = Asc. + Ma - Sa; Night Lot = Asc. + Sa - Ma


These last two are almost the same. The Lot of Being in a Foreign Land does not switch at night, and the Lot of Accusation does. The structure of the Lot of Being in a Foreign Land clearly tells us that we are not talking about vacation travel here. It is more like a Lot of Exile. The Lot of Accusation indicates the house through which the native is "likely to experience failure, dangers, or downfalls." [Valens] In later astrology this lot became the Lot of Inseparable Illness, i.e., incurable illness, and also the Lot of Police, which accords well with the idea of the Lot of Accusation. I have little experience with the lot as an indicator of illness, but it does seem to indicate areas of life where someone may be accused of something, either falsely or truthfully.

Lot of the Destroyer: Day Lot = Asc. + Mo - Ru; Night Lot = Asc. + Ru - Mo

In the above formula 'Ru' stands for the ruler of the Ascendant. This is a point that relates to death. We have little systematic information of its use except that it seems to relate to the manner of death. I would urge astrologers not to be careless in the use of this lot.

This is the last in this series of articles. I do plan to do more of these articles in the near future, but my travel schedule for this spring is very intense. I will not be able to create any new series of articles until May at which point I will do so.

Robert Hand 3/20/96

Copyright 1996-2011 © by Robert Hand.

Our thanks to tees.reitsma@astronet.idn.nl (Tees Reitsma) for initiating contact with Mr. Hand and securing his permission to post this material to the Oracle-a list. And our thanks to Mr. Hand for giving us permission to post his material here.

Mr. Hand has been doing translations of ancient and medieval astrology texts now for almost three years with Project Hindsight and that effort has published over 2000 pages of translations and commentary. If anyone is interested in further information on Project Hindsight, they have a web page at Project Hindsight. Small warning: have your modem at maximum speed. The graphics take a long time to load.

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