On the Sect Status of Malefics
© 2013, Jan 17 Curtis Manwaring
I haven't had time to read the whole thread entirely, but I didn't see any mention of the political ramifications of sect. Schmidt translated the term "hairesis" as "sect" meaning a division, a school of thought, or as a political party which is not too far a stretch.
Within the politial paradigm, sect is a statement about where the planets fit in with relation to each other and whether in some cases a given planet might "cross the isle" on certain topics (the exaltations) in order to get some of its own agenda passed through bargaining with other planets through their domicile/exaltation relation. Planets are said to be in the service of heimarmene (loosely translated as what ought to be). There is an implied ideal in this statement and one of balance.
If there is an ideal, then there is also "what is" which Schmidt more closely associates with the lots in the terrestrial realm as either measuring up or falling short (more commonly the latter).
Planets of the sect in favor tend to work toward the benefit of the native (and vice versa). If Mars was of the diurnal sect, that would be saying that excess is favorable for the native, if we take the initial premise that Mars is hot and dry and inimical to life and therefore diurnal. To me this makes no sense whatsoever. Mars of the nocturnal sect can work to the native's benefit, but when it is diurnal, the excess of heat and dryness (not to mention it's squares with the Sun making it inimical to the day) would seem to create much havoc... The malefics have been placed in the sect contrary to their nature so that they can work toward heimarmene and balance which is of the greater good (excess is not what ought to be, but instead a balance). Malefics often benefit the native at the expense of others (particularly if the chart is eminent). In order to balance this in the world, the benefics suffer for our restoration (this is why they joy in the 5th/11th).
I would be hesitant to pull on the thread of sect of Mars; one might unravel the whole tapestry which was marvelously woven by the founders without first understanding why the assignment and under what principles it follows; not everything is about affinity (Mars is hot therefore it is day like). The systematic nature of the Thema Mundi as a teaching tool shows that Hellenistic astrology is like a Rubics cube... One must understand the chart on multiple dimensions to dismantle and be able to put it back together in the proper order.
Valens gives one example where the square by sign of malefics if in their own domiciles can "turn into the opposite"; that is be beneficial for the native, but at the expense of others (as Schmidt would say), like Mars in Scorpio square Saturn in Aquarius. He does suggest though that because they are malefics, that in the end something bad comes of it.
See Book 1, pg 17 Riley translation (I suspect error in inserting a "not" here because of the general principle that planets in their own domiciles and exaltations are beneficial and help to turn around negative aspects):
21K;19P. The Combinations of the Stars.
...Saturn and Mars are hostile, productive of reversals and ruin. They bring family quarrels, disharmony, and hatred, along with treachery, plots, malevolence, and trials. However, if these stars are not in their own or in operative signs, and if they have benefics in aspect, they produce distinguished and noble nativities, although unsteady in their happiness and prone to unexpected dangers and treachery. From Riley, Bk 2, pg 31
Likewise if Mars is in Scorpio
, in opposition to the moon in Taurus, not only will there be no reversals of fortune, but in fact the stars will produce success and high rank.
Because they are malefics, they still do bad things. What I find interesting is that Valens says that it effects something bad "in the end". This seems to agree with the eminence as a form of "support" given to the native which we all lose (through the anareta to the Hyleg or simply through passing through the max time range without encountering malefic rays). It seems at the end we are the most vulnerable; it is when karma catches up with those who benefit at the expense of others.
Robert Schmidt had an interesting observation in regard to Valens eminence considerations: as he phrased it... malefics benefit the native at the expense of everyone else, whereas benefics indicate suffering that the native has taken on for the benefit of others. We can see that in the translation quotes above.