On Finding the Kurios and Oikodespotes of the Nativity
© 2008, May 7 Curtis Manwaring
There are a couple of things I'd like to add here... If a planet is in the same boundaries as the ascending degree, then the domicile lord is not considered. Bob Schmidt says that this is because there can be only one first officer. What does one do when there is more than 1 planet in the bounds of the ascending degree? Don't know, but I'd assume the one closest to the ascendant is the one that has his hands on the helm (the ascendant was called the helm - "oiax" in Greek).
Also if there is a planet that has authority over many of these places (say Venus is domicile lord of fortune and the ascendant, then that officer is said to have more experience and is more fit to take on the captains chair. According to Rhetorius this is one of the most difficult judgments to make, but one is supposed to find that planet that is "more in a rising condition" and "the one that lies prior". Schmidt says that the 7 planets compete for the position of Kurios, so if during the role call, any planet is found to be walking backwards (retrograde) it is very likely rejected as a fit officer. He also says that there is a composite concept from the PNA where the planet needs to be able to "get up" which means that it should ideally be direct and visible (not under the Sun's beams) in order to be considered a candidate.
The point of determining the Kurios is to see what planet is responsible for carrying out the orders of the oikodespotes. If these 2 planets are of the same sect (political party as Schmidt would say) and are in agreement and especially if they are the same planet, then that ship has the potential to go far in life. But if they are at odds, then there is mutiny and chaos.
This determination though is meant to come later. First you find the destination of the boat (political officer) aka "oikodespotes" which is the domicile lord of the one that "summons the wind" (for the boat so that it has the power to reach its destination). 
It doesn't need to be above the horizon, just far enough away from the Sun to be visible. I seem to recall that Ptolemy thought only planets above the horizon could have any effect, but I don't remember the passage. Astrologers don't go by this though. Ptolemy wasn't an astrologer, but a philosopher who constructed a theory of how the world worked.
Robert Schmidt says that the PNA table at the level of fitness of a planet is built upon a composite concept of "permission and control" because of the word "kentron" which in the Greek lexicon indicates a pivot upon which something revolves around such as a hinge. He says that a door hinge does 2 things: it permits motion, but at the same time controls it. So he believes that the fitness of a planet depends upon whether it has permission to do something and whether its action is controlled.
At the planetary level, a planet is permitted action when it is visible, but it is in control when it is direct in motion. When retrograde a planet tends to stumble and not have control. So for optimal fitness a planet should be both direct and visible.
At the terrestrial level (the houses) a planet is fit if it is angular or succeedent. Again the greek word for angle is "kentron" so this angle is again a hinge that both permits action and controls it. The succeedent signs are called "epi-kentron" or "epinaphora" and are like the epicycle upon a deferent in medieval astrology that initially deflect the action away from the native but bring it back under control through the diurnal motion to the angle. But the cadent places are called "apoklima" which in the hinge motion deflect away and hinder. Schmidt says that this is one of the reasons why it is good to have a malefic in a cadent sign, because the actions of the malefic are deflected away from the native.
Schmidt says that at the zodiacal level there is again fitness that is an analog of "permission and control". When a planet is in one of it's own places, it has it's own resources and obviously has no need to ask permission, so it can use it's own resources to effect what it wants to. As an analog of the succeedent signs, at the zodiacal level, there is the concept of "being in the place of a sect mate", which is an intermediate level of fitness where the planet does not have its own resources available but has permission to use the significations of the sect mate, but a planet in an alien place "peregrine" can only affect the things of the domicile, it can't use them to effect it's own agenda because it doesn't have permission. Now the control factor he says is through the terms (Schmidt calls them bounds, confines, limits) of the sign, because he says that the resources of the sign belong to the domicile, but how they are used have to do with the terms/bounds under which planet it is in. So optimally, a planet should be in its own domicile or exaltation, but be in the terms of a planet friendly to its cause so that it is controlled in a favorable way.
1. Schmidt says that the sect light "summons the wind" and the trigon lords of the sect light (aka "sail masters") "manage the wind".