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10 Tips For Learning Astrology
October 19, 2007 – 3:23 am | 62 Comments

So you want to learn about astrology? Not the generalized Sun-sign stuff that you find in newspapers and magazines, but serious astrology. The advanced type where you can actually determine specific information about a person’s life through the observation of the planets and other celestial phenomena. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Home » astrological tips and guides, featured articles, featured video

Calculating the Lot or Part of Fortune

Posted by on October 8, 2007 at 12:55 am17 Comments

I made a video today on how to calculate the Lot of Fortune, sometimes known as the Part of Fortune, in a natal chart. In modern times the Lots are usually calculated using certain algebraic formulas where the longitudes of the planets are converted into 360 degree notation and then added and subtracted accordingly. For example, the calculation for the Lot of Fortune in a diurnal chart is usually presented as:

Lot = Ascendant + Moon – Sun.

This isn’t they way that the calculation was presented in the ancient traditions of astrology though, but rather in the Hellenistic and Medieval traditions the calculations for the Lots were presented as more of a part of fortunegeometrical formula where you are measuring the distance from one planet to another planet, and then measuring the same distance from the ascendant.

In the video I demonstrate how the Lots were calculated using this method. It is actually quite useful for determining the approximate positions of the Lots very quickly in a chart, or just for ‘eyeballing’ the position of the Lot of Fortune without having to resort to a computer program or a calculator or something.

One point that I meant to make in the video that didn’t come out very clearly is that the same method that I used to calculate the Lot of Fortune in the demonstration can be used to calculate any of the other Lots in the tradition. You just have to substitute the relevant planets in the calculation and make sure that after you count from one planet to another that you measure the same distance from the ascendant going in the same direction that you counted from planet A to planet B in. If you counted clockwise from planet A to planet B in the chart, then you must also count clockwise from the ascendant when you measure the same distance from that point. Conversely, if you counted counterclockwise from planet A to planet B in the chart, then you must also count counterclockwise from the ascendant when you measure the same distance from that point.

So, watch the video and then give the calculation a try with your own chart. You will find that it is actually pretty simple, and after you have done it a few times you will start to understand what the Lots are actually representing in the chart in the first place. The Lot of Fortune was the most important Lot in the Hellenistic and Medieval traditions, but there were dozens, if not hundreds of other important lots which combine different planetary combinations that are also quite useful.

For more information on the Lots please see my paper titled The Theoretical Rational Underlying the Seven Hermetic Lots.

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About Chris Brennan

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at www.ChrisBrennanAstrologer.com.




17 Comments »

  • naim malik says:

    hi chris,

    enjoyed your video, please post more when you get time.

    only one hitch. i’m not sold on on the diurnal/nocturnal thing for the POF. have researched deeply using both systems and at the moment favour ptolemy.

    if you could convince me otherwise using particular case studies, i would like to be corrected and set straight.

    tho’ its preferable to give a large sample of charts, for the sake of clarity and space i offer up in ptolemy’s defence the POF of Alex Haley, author of ‘Roots’…

    in house 4. strong directions of MC,jupiter and venus to the part at time of publication. transits equally strong.

    on the other hand, progressions/transits to the nocturnal POF look weak.

    anyway, keep up the good work,

    naim.

  • Thanks for you comments on my video Naim! I appreciate it.

    I’m writing a book right now in which I deal with this issue concerning the Lot of Fortune, and in it I have a number of case studies in which I demonstrate the case for flipping the calculation for the Lot of Fortune for day and night charts. I think that one of the only ways that this kind of case can be made properly is to test the lots within the context of some of the ancient time-lord techniques that they were originally used in. In my book I will outline some of these techniques, and I think that the case that I make will be quite compelling.

    From a historical perspective there was also one other view with respect to the Lot of Fortune calculation. The most widespread tradition that was derived from Dorotheus and Valens was to flip the calculation for day and night births, and virtually everyone used this calculation. Then there was Ptolemy who didn’t flip the calculation for day and night births, but he never really had any followers in doing that until the early English traditiontion (ie. Lilly).

    There was a third tradition though that isn’t very well known. Valens quotes a passage from Petosiris which seems to say that you use the diurnal calculation for the Lot of Fortune in a day chart, and then you use the nocturnal calculation in a night chart- but only if the Moon is above the horizon at that time. If the Moon is below the horizon at night then you use the diurnal calculation for Fortune. Since this passage was directly quoted from Petosiris, who was one of the principle authorities in the Hellenistic tradition, one would assume that it would have carried a lot of weight back then. But for some reason no one ever seemed to mention this variation elsewhere. I have only been able to find one example chart from the 1st century which may be employing this rule. Even Valens, who quotes this passage from Petosiris, seems to disregard it in the rest of his example charts in the Anthology.

    Anyways, I thought that you might find that interesting, or useful food for thought.

  • naim says:

    thanks for a thoughtful reply. i see the logic of using the oldest techniques to figure something as old as the lot of fortune. as i still got a lot to learn i naively thought applying modern methods would ‘crack’ it’s meaning. whoops…

    also its interesting to learn of the diverse opinion among the older sources regarding usage.

    being from a muslim background, the arab contribution has always interested me, but i get the sense they went on a bit of a ‘part’ overdose. kind of like they just found an i pod and kept pressing ‘shuffle’ over and over just for the fun of it…how do you view this?

    naim.

  • sara says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to ask u if u think that Justin Timberlake and Britney spears
    reuniting in the future? If yes when?
    Can u please make an analyse on Britney and Justin relationship. He has Sun
    in Aquarius and Moon in Sagittarius; she has Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in
    Aquarius. They are soul mates. December 2008 Jupiter will conjunct Britney
    and Justin’s shared Venus. Is there a chance for them to reconnect??????? He
    is currently dating Jessica Biel. Will they break-up soon?

    Thank u

  • Hi again Naim,

    It is true that the number of Lots were expanded greatly during the Arabic tradition. There is this famous quote from al-Biruni that is often referred to where he says that the number of Lots “multiply daily”, or something to that effect.

    So there was great interest in the concept in the Arabic tradition and they developed or augmented many lots that were not in the previous traditions, but on the other hand we can already see that by the later Hellenistic tradition there were quite a few lots in circulation as well. In the Olympiodorus commentary on Paulus’ Introduction they mention something like 100 Lots that were in use to some extent in the late Hellenistic tradition, in addition to the 7 ‘hermetic’ lots. So it seems like there was some sort of elaboration on the concept even then, and then it was simply carried on to its logical conclusion in the later traditions.

    The large number of Lots can make things quite confusing sometimes though if they are employed all at once. I prefer to stick with the main seven usually, although I am very interested in looking into some of the developments and advancements in astrology that were carried out in the Arabic tradition as well.

  • Hi Sara,

    Honestly I haven’t looked at Britney Spear’s chart for a while, so I don’t really know. I will see if I can get around to writing another article about her at some point in the future, and then maybe I can give you an answer.

  • james says:

    Thanks for this very useful information;

    You wrote: ” I prefer to stick with the main seven (lots) usually…”

    May you be so kind as to list them for me/us?

    james

  • james says:

    Mighty nice of you to take the time; I had previously seen these Lots in Rob Hand’s article on the Part of Fortune (Part 4), but was not sure if they were identical;

    Again thanks and hoping to read your book in the near future

    james

  • Sure

    The Lot of Fortune – Associated with the Moon
    • Diurnal: From the Sun to the Moon, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From the Moon to the Sun, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    The Lot of Spirit – Associated with the Sun
    • Diurnal: From the Moon to the Sun, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From the Sun to the Moon, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    Lot of Necessity – Associated with Mercury
    • Diurnal: From Mercury to the Lot of Fortune, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From the Lot of Fortune to Mercury, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    Lot of Eros – Venus
    • Diurnal: From the Lot of Spirit to Venus, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From Venus to the Lot of Spirit, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    Lot of Courage – Mars
    • Diurnal: From Mars to the Lot of Fortune, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From the Lot of Fortune to Mars, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    Lot of Victory – Jupiter
    • Diurnal: From the Lot of Spirit to Jupiter, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From Jupiter to the Lot of Spirit, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

    Lot of Nemesis – Saturn
    • Diurnal: From Saturn to the Lot of Fortune, and then the same distance from the ascendant.
    • Nocturnal: From the Lot of Fortune to Saturn, and then the same distance from the ascendant.

  • D. says:

    I liked the video, please do some more.
    So my lot of fortune switches from house 4 in pisces to – house 6 in aries, conjunct my aries mars. Gotta go google that.

    Thanks for the mini-class.

  • Thank you for producing such an clear description of how to calulate the lot of fortune.

    I do hope that you will produce more of them.

    Like right now I am having trouble setting up diurnal charts.

    I must have done a 1000′s of them decades ago, but something is now different. I know what the math formula is but the transiting sun is now located almost 180 degrees from where it used to be in my diurnal charts.

    In the past I could calulate a diurnal chart for my birthday and the transiting sun on my birthday would always be located in the 5th house, which is where it is placed in my natal birthchart. Now it is in the 11th house and I have Leo rising instead of my natal capricorn ascendant on the day of my birthday. Weird. Can you explain why?

    Good Luck in your future endevors of producing some more videos.

    Cheers!
    Colleen

  • [...] If you’d like to check out how the Part of Fortune is calculated, check out this video by Chris Brennan: [...]

  • [...] You may note that the degree of the MC and the IC can actually fall in other whole sign houses besides just the 10th and the 4th, because in the whole sign house system these points move around in a way that is similar to the vertex or the Lot of Fortune. [...]

  • [...] for the Lot of Fortune or Part of Fortune, which looks like a circle with an X through [...]

  • [...] for the Lot of Fortune or Part of Fortune, which looks like a circle with an X through [...]

  • Hillary says:

    Hi Chris,

    Wonderful article in this recent issue of The Mountain Astrologer!

    I have been looking for the astrological glyphs of the all of the Lots and I can’t find them on the internet–only the Lot of Fortune. I especially would like to Lot of Spirit.

    Could you kindly direct me to where I could find the glyphs of the other Arabic Lots?

    Thanks,
    Hillary

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Thanks Hillary! There is one set out there that isn’t widely used yet. It was designed for the Hellenistic software program Delphic Oracle. For the Hermetic lots it basically just has the glyphs for each of the planets in the middle, with a circle and a cross right behind them. Another program, I think Sirius, has the same thing, except just a circle around each of the seven planets.

    I’ve been wanting to work with someone for a while in order to design a specific set of glyphs. In particular I think that someone how the symbol for Spirit should reflect light, whereas the symbol for Fortune should reflect darkness. I’m not fully sure how to accomplish this, but I’m not sure if just using the Sun and Moon with circles around them is sufficient.

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