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Q&A Episode: Arabic Parts, House Division, Mythology

Q&A Episode: Arabic Parts, House Division, Mythology

In episode 82 of the podcast Kelly Surtees and Leisa Schaim join the show in order to help answer some questions that were sent in by listeners of the podcast over the past couple of months on a variety of topics.

The questions covered topics such as the origins and rationale of the Arabic Parts, the reliability of astrology software programs, how to deal with the uncertainty surrounding which system of house division to use, issues surrounding the use of mythology as an interpretive tool in order to understand celestial bodies, constructive manifestations of planets placed in difficult houses, and more.

We had a couple of announcements at the top of the show, first about nominating The Astrology Podcast for an ISAR award, and then we did the drawing for the monthly giveaway for June, and handed out a pass to the upcoming ISAR conference in October, as well as a one year subscription to the Mountain Astrologer magazine.

You can find out more details about those announcements below, followed by the full description of questions answered during this episode, and then links to download or stream this episode of the podcast.

Nominate The Astrology Podcast for an ISAR Award

ISAR is giving out an award for the best audio-visual production at their upcoming conference in October, and there is an open call right now for nominations. The initial phase is that the top five productions that get the most nominations by the deadline on June 30 will then be voted on by the general ISAR membership later this year.

If you would like to nominate The Astrology Podcast then you should send an email to Glenn Perry at glenn@aaperry.com saying that you would like to nominate the podcast and giving them the link to it. Please CC Sam Reynolds on the email at: unlockastrology@gmail.com. If the podcast gets enough nominations in the next day then it could win an award, which would be kind of cool.

Giveaway Drawing for June

At the beginning of this episode we did the drawing and announced the winners of our monthly giveaway for patrons of the podcast.

This is one of the new benefits for patrons on the $5 and $10 tiers, as explained in this post about the giveaway on the podcast blog.

$5 Tier Prize: Subscription to The Mountain Astrologer Magazine

The prize for the $5 tier this month was a free one year subscription to The Mountain Astrologer magazine.

The Mountain Astrologer magazine, published every other month for nearly 30 years, is the publication that students of astrology — and professional astrologers — rely on to keep them connected to the astrological community. TMA, which also has a digital edition, covers all the bases with well-edited feature articles, a student section, detailed forecasts, and even astro-humor.

You can find TMA’s blog, subscription information, and 15 years of back issues at: www.MountainAstrologer.com

The winner of the subscription was listener Freeman Presson!

$10 Tier Prize: Pass to the ISAR Astrology Conference

The grand prize this month for the $10 tier was a pass to the upcoming astrology conference that is being hosted by the International Society for Astrological Research.

This is going to be the biggest conference event of the year, and it is being held in Costa Mesa, California, from October 1317, 2016. The focus of the conference is on astrological forecasting, and the tagline is “the power of forecasting meets the consequence of choice.” The conference will feature 60 speakers from around the world, speaking on six different tracks that cover timing techniques, financial markets, psychological shifts, spiritual phases, relationships, and Indian astrology. There are also going to be two presidential panels at the beginning and end of the conference, since it will take place right before the U.S. presidential election in November.

You can find out more information about the conference at www.ISARastrology.org.

The winner of the pass to the ISAR conference was listener Scotty Hudson!

Thanks to all of our sponsors that donated prizes for this month’s drawing! Be sure to check out their websites for more info about some of the prizes offered this month.

I’m in the process of getting together the prizes for next month right now, but the grand prize for the $10 tier next month has already been established, and it is going to be a free copy the popular astrology software program called Solar Fire. I’ll have more details on that soon. If you would like to be eligible to win a prize in next month’s drawing then all you have to do is sign up to become a patron of The Astrology Podcast.

Questions and Answers in This Episode

We received questions from about 14 separate people for this episode, although we were only able to get through the first seven or so, and it still took us two hours and fifteen minutes. Some people submitted multiple questions, and unfortunately due to time constraints we didn’t get to answer all of those either. Hopefully we will be able to carry over some of the questions and answer them the next time we do a Q&A episode.

In this episode we took questions from listeners Gastón García, Christina Unzicker, Marlene Stalker, Erna Ahlfors, Teodora Gales, Erica Jones, and Margarita Stoffberg. Thanks everyone for sending in your questions!

The questions roughly covered the following topics:

  • The best way for beginners to learn astrology.
  • The reliability of astrology software programs.
  • Whether to use out of sign aspects.
  • Whether Arabic parts were used in Hellenistic astrology.
  • How to deal with Arabic parts that involve house cusps when using whole sign houses.
  • Whether or not one should reverse the calculation for the Part of Fortune.
  • If Arabic Parts can be used together with timing techniques, like profections and transits.
  • How to interpret benefics and malefics when ruling the 1st and 7th houses.
  • How to deal with the confusion over different conflicting forms of house division.
  • Issues surrounding the use of mythology as an interpretive tool in astrology.
  • Constructive manifestations of planets that are placed in difficult houses such as the 6th, 8th, and 12th.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 82 transcript

Listen to This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

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  • Thanks Chris for taking the time to address my questions regarding the malefic houses, thank you Lisa. That makes a lot of sense – obviously being an Astrologer with all the benefics in the 12H (as well as some detrimented planets) has firstly given me great difficulties but also the obvious gift of being able to work with people’s suffering.

    It seems like these placements tend to be worked out in the career / calling area – the 12H often being asscoiated with success.

    WRT to Mercury – yes – I see the Mercury is square Mars; is the orb not too large to square Saturn?

    Thanks so much! Really love the show and am learning so much 🙂

  • Congrats on another great episode! I would describe myself as an intermediate astrologer that has yet to really dive into house sign house division or the signification of the Arabic Lots. This episode was particularly inspiring to me. It clarified a lot of things, as well as inspired me to ask questions and research these particular topics more. Thank you.

    I personally have a chart that would change very little from Placidus to Whole Sign Houses, but my best friends (with a 27 Aquarius rising and intercepted 5th and 11th houses) changes drastically. It’ll be fun to mine these for data. Thanks again.

  • Thank you Kelly, Leisa, and Chris for answering my question regarding the use of various house systems! I appreciate what you said about applying all the rules to see what works best. I find that to be very true indeed. Thank you all very much! Oh, one more thing: what I’ve discovered is the use of the progressed Moon’s ingress in each house as a means of testing these systems. Personally I find that quite revealing. Saturn transits as well, or any planet that has prominence in one’s natal chart.

  • I am glad you addressed the remark you made in an early podcast issue about the need to revisit the “mythological connection” to the planets as I felt that you were throwing the baby out with the bathwater! It’s not really a case of either/or but of both/and–something Jung knew a thing or two about. While the mythological narratives of the figures the planets are named for many not be workable 100% of the time, they are certainly powerful. Richard Tarnas has a lot of merit in introducing the Prometheus theme for Uranus but anyone who has ever experienced a harsh Uranus transit knows how it feels to be “castrated” in some sense–something that speaks to the nature of the mythological Uranus. Kieron le Grice may have jumped the gun on Eris (as Chris says, there is not enough empirical evidence yet to connect Eris to specific events) but it is undeniable that the theme of a revolt from those not invited to the table is very prominent today (from Brexit leavers to Trump and Sanders supporters and many others in between.) This is, of course, the nature of the Eris story as seen in Homer’s The Illiad. I love that a new generation of astrologers is looking a new ways (based on the old) to approach the narrative (this is encoded in myth as well–in the killing of father) but it is important not to banish the older generation’s approach entirely. I will be very interested in hearing what Richard Tarnas has to say about all of this. I am grateful you will be interviewing him as his work is monumental. Thanks for this episode.

  • Thanks, Chris, for answering my questions about how Arabic Parts were used in Hellenistic Astrology. Like many of your wonderful podcasts, this one calls for a replay so one can better absorb all of the material covered. Thanks, too, to Leisa and Kelly who do add a lot by being wise and informative co-hosts.

  • A correction to my letter read by Chris needs to be made. In part, it said, ” A book by Lind states that only Equal House cusps work with Arabic Parts…” and it should have given the author’s full name as Lind Weber. In his book Arabian Parts Decoded, after commenting on Arabic Parts possibly being used with Porphyry cusps, he says, “…an understanding of the Parts as Ascendant-based pleads for equal house” which I interpreted as his meaning they won’t work as well with other house systems hence my question about those Arabic Parts whose formula includes the degree of house cusps.