Firdaria: A Medieval Time Lord System
I came across an interesting website today called firdaria.com which provides free calculations for the medieval-era time-lord system known as Firdaria (Firdariyyah). This system, like all time-lord systems, breaks up a person’s life into specific sections or chapters that are each ruled by one of the seven traditional planets. The nature of the planet and its condition in a person’s natal chart determines how well the period will go for the native when that planet becomes activated at various points in their life.
The 9th century Muslim astrologer Abu Ma’shar, who appears to be the principal source for Firdaria, outlines this time-lord system in his book known as On Solar Revolutions:
Each of the seven stars, and the Ascending and Descending Nodes, has certain determinate times, and each star administers to the native in accordance with its proper firdar. The firdar of the Sun, then, is 10 years; of Aphrodite, 8; of Hermes, 13; of the Moon, 9; of Kronos, 11; of Zeus, 12; of Ares, 7; of the Ascending Node, 3; of the Descending Node, 2 – altogether, they are 75. In the case of a diurnal nativity, then, the Sun takes the governorship of the first firdar, whether it should be present, then Aphrodite, then Hermes, then the Moon, then Kronos, in accordance with the order of their zones. In the case of nocturnal nativities, the Moon takes the first firdar, then Kronos, then Zeus, then Ares, in accordance with the prior order. (Abu Ma’shar, On Solar Revolutions, part 2, trans. Robert Schmidt, The Phaser Foundation, Cumberland, MD, 1999, pg. 42.)
So in this system you are starting with either the Sun or the Moon depending on if it is a day or night chart, and then you are assigning each of the planets a certain number of years. This is where Firdaria.com comes in handy because they will calculate the Firdar periods of each planet for you.
In the ancient traditions of astrology these time-lord systems were usually employed first in any delineation because they give the astrologer information about broad spans of time, and they let you know which planets will be activated during certain periods in the native’s life, for better or worse. Transits are then used as the very last line in predictive work in order to act as triggers, or as more precise timing indicators. This is somewhat different than the modern approach to prediction which usually employs transits as the initial and primary means of forecasting.
The Firdaria are basically the medieval western equivalent of the Indian “dasha” systems, or the Hellenistic “time-lord” systems. Although there are some similar time-lord techniques in the Hellenistic tradition, at this point there isn’t any evidence that the Firdaria system originated in the Hellenistic period. Most people seem to think that the system was developed by Persian astrologers at some point during the Medieval period. A Persian or Indian origin seems plausible to me since the nodes are assigned years in the timing scheme of this system, and for the majority of the Hellenistic tradition the nodes appear to have been somewhat neglected or downplayed. It was in the Indian tradition and then later the Persian tradition that the nodes were given great emphasis as particularly important bodies or points in the chart.
Firdaria.com will calculate your Firdar periods for you and even provide some general interpretations of certain periods. It looks like they just launched the site earlier this year and they plan to expand it in the future in order to include some additional techniques and systems, so we will have to keep an eye on them.