Violent Deaths and Assassinations
© 1997 Dave Stricker
In my previous post I presented what Valens has to say about indicators of violent death in the natal chart. Now I would like to go through some examples in a manner similar to what he did. Please note that what Valens mentions in his examples is not exactly what he says when describing the method. He may not go through every item on the list. Some of the factors stand out so strongly or there are so many of them that he may not bother to describe them all.
All of my postings about Greek astrology will be using whole sign house system and tropical zodiac unless otherwise indicated.
I find it interesting that Curt and I both started with the same example. I started it before I saw your post, Curt (my server is screwed up again), so I am just going to leave it. It takes too long to make the little chart to erase it! :-)
Following Valens' list of indicators first:
- The prenatal lunation* is a New Moon at 29 Taurus in the eighth house. The lady* of Taurus is Venus in Gemini. Venus in Gemini in aversion* to the sign of the prenatal lunation is one indicator of a violent death.
- Mercury is not opposed to the Whole Moon*.
- The position of the Moon on the fortieth day after birth* is in Pisces and Saturn, Mars and Mercury are not in Pisces. In none of the 11 examples that Valens presents does he mention this position of the Moon on the fortieth day. I have not checked his examples to find out if these planets are ever in that sign.
- There are no malefics in the 6th or 7th house from the Ascendant.
- With the Libra Ascendant, Taurus is the eighth sign from it. Venus is the domicile ruler of both and is in Gemini in the 9th, in aversion to Taurus. Valens describes this as a case where Venus, ruler of Libra is destroyed by itself as ruler of Taurus. He writes that it can indicate suicide by poision, those who die by starving themselves, by intercourse, by choking, being being maimed or those who are undone by female personages.
- The Lot of Fortune is in Aquarius in the 5th. Mars squares the Lot of Fortune. The deadly place is the eighth sign from Fortune which is Virgo on the 12th. Saturn is the ruler of the Lot of Fortune and it is in the tenth house in Cancer (its sign of detriment) and it is in aversion to Aquarius. The ruler of the deadly place, Virgo, is Mercury in the 8th in Taurus. Mercury is conjunct the Mars, Saturn is hurling rays* at it from Cancer and Mercury is in aversion to Gemini, one of the signs it rules. Valens describes Aquarius destroyed by Virgo as having to do with death as a result of a wasting away of the insides, jaundice, by eating iron (is that like eating lead as in bullets?), dysentery and betrayal of a woman.
Using the method that Valens' seems to use in his examples:
- The Lot of Fortune is in Cancer in the third house. Pluto is with it but Valens' "telescope" wasn't good enough to see that.
- The ruler of the Lot of Fortune is the Moon, in Capricorn (its detriment) in opposition to the Lot.
- The deadly place (8th from Fortune) is Aquarius on the tenth. The ruler is Saturn in Scorpio in the seventh, conjunct the Sun and Mars and the prenatal lunation. Saturn has no essential dignity* and it is under the beams of the Sun*. Valens' description of Cancer destroyed by Aquarius does not seem appropriate in this example.
- The prenatal lunation is in the 7th house in Scorpio, conjunct Saturn and Mars. Mars is the ruler. Mars is highly dignified (it is in its domicile, triplicity, bound and face) but this is a day chart and Mars is a nocturnal planet, so it is out of sect.
- Mars and Saturn are both in the 7th house, in opposition to the Ascendant which represents the body.
- The Lot of Fortune is in Gemini. Mars is with the Lot of Fortune. It is opposed Saturn in Sagittarius in the ninth.
- Mercury is the domicile ruler of the Lot of Fortune. It is in Aquarius with the Lot of Spirit*. Mars hurls its rays* at Mercury. Saturn is the ruler of Mercury and it is the ruler of the deadly place.
- The deadly place is Capricorn. The Sun, the MC and the prenatal new moon are in Capricorn. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and it is in Sagittarius in aversion to Capricorn. Mars is opposed to Saturn. One of Valens' descriptions of Gemini destroyed by Capricorn is "those who are undone by the assaults of hostile enemies".
- The prenatal lunation is a new moon in Capricorn in the tenth. Saturn, the ruler is in Sagittarius in aversion to Capricorn and is falling amiss* in the ninth house.
- There are no malefics in the 6th or 7th according to classical astrology. I can't help but notice that Neptune is in the 6th.
- The eighth house from the Ascendant Aries is Scorpio. In this case Mars is the destroyer of itself. It is opposed to Saturn and squared to Venus and Moon. One of Valens' description for this is "those who bring death onto themselves".
- The lot of Fortune is in Aries in the tenth house. Jupiter and Saturn are both in Aries.
- Mars is the domicile ruler of Fortune. It is in Aquarius in the eighth house. It hurls rays (a square) at Mercury and Venus.
- The deadly place is Scorpio. Venus and Mercury is in Scorpio. Mars is the domicile ruler of the deadly place and it squares it. Mars is the ruler of the Lot of Fortune and the deadly place so Mars destroys itself. Valens' describes Aries destroyed by Scorpio as "those who conspire with evil men, those who bring death upon themselves."
- The prenatal lunation is a solar eclipse in Libra. The Sun is also in Libra and Saturn and Jupiter are opposed to it. The domicile ruler of the prenatal lunation is Venus and it is in the deadly place. Venus is in aversion to Libra.
- There are no malefics in the 6th or 7th house.
- The Cancer ascendant is destroyed by Aquarius which is 8 houses away. The ruler of the Ascendant, the Moon, is in the 7th house in Capricorn. Its ruler is Saturn which is also the ruler of the 8th house from the Ascendant. Saturn hurls rays (square) at the Moon. One of Valens' description of Cancer destroyed by Aquarius is "those undone by pain in stomach or spleen".
Aversion: So far in Valens' work, it appears he means any sign that is adjacent to or 5 signs away. He does not seem to use anitiscia, contra-antiscia or like-engirding to prevent aversion as the other Greek astrologers did. Taurus would be in aversion to Aries, Gemini, Sagittarius and Libra according to Valens.
Essential dignities: these are the domicile ruler, exaltation ruler, triplicity rulers, term or bound ruler, face ruler, detriment and fall. A planet that is not in any of the first five is said to be lacking any dignity. The Medieval astrologers called this peregrine.
Falling amiss: This occurs when a planet or a lot falls into houses 2,3,6,8,9 or 12. This is a negative condition for the planet, indicating that it is not active or prospering in this place. Falling amiss is used extensively by Valens.
Fortieth day after birth: Valens discusses the sign of the Moon on 40th day of briefly in Book I, p. 37-38. Basically what he is doing is looking at the sign that the Moon is in on the 40th day after birth. Then he is looking to see if there are aspects to this place by benefics or malefics. He also mentions the position of the Moon on the third and seventh day after birth.
Hurling rays: This is a term to describe a specific kind of aspect. Hurling rays occurs when a planet aspects a planet that is behind it in the order of the signs. Moon in Pisces hurls rays at Saturn in Sagittarius. Mars in Gemini hurls rays at Mercury in Aquarius. A planet having rays hurled at it is not considered to be a positive configuration, especially if the hurling planet is a malefic.
Lady: When the Moon or Venus is the domicile ruler, they are often referred to as the lady instead of the lord.
Lot of Spirit: This Lot is calculated opposite the way the Lot of Fortune is calculated. For a day birth, the Lot of Spirit is: Asc + Sun - Moon. For a night birth, Asc + Moon - Sun. This lot has to do with noetic activities. It relates to a person's actions, reputation, what a person does.
Prenatal Lunation: This is the last new or full moon that occurred prior to birth. This position is very important and is used for many different methods. For example, it is the starting point to find the beginning planet in a time lord method called the Division by one fourth of the lesser years of the planets (also called the Quarters method) found at the very beginning of Valens Bk IV.
Under the beams: This a condition when a planet is within 17 degrees of the Sun. It is considered to be a debility. When a planet is emerging from the Sun's beams, i.e., 17 degrees moving away from the Sun, it is considered to be highly dignified.
Whole Moon: This is the Full Moon. It is often used together when talking about the New Or Whole Moon before birth. This prenatal lunation is the last new or full moon that occurred before a person was born.