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Ep. 25 Transcript: Reception as a Mitigating Factor with Ryhan Butler

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 25, titled:

Reception as a Mitigating Factor in Astrology

With Chris Brennan and guest Ryhan Butler

Episode originally released on February 16, 2015

Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by A. Senese

Transcription released July 6th, 2019

Copyright © 2019 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

Chris Brennan: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and this is The Astrology Podcast. You can find this show at theastrologypodcast.com and you can also listen to us on iTunes. Today is Friday, February 13th, 2015. It is approximately 2:01 pm here in Denver, Colorado and this is the 25th episode of the show. In this episode I’ll be talking with astrologer Ryhan Butler about the concept of reception. Ryhan has recently lectured on this topic at the NCGR and ISAR conference and he has also published a series on reception on the website for the Association for Young Astrologers. He’s been writing, and I originally became friends with Ryhan, through his writing on the popular blog called starlightnightastrology.com and more recently he’s launched a comprehensive online resource for the theory, techniques, and practice of medieval astrology at medievalastrologyguide.com. So, Ryhan, welcome to the show.

Ryhan Butler: Hi Chris. Thanks for having me. Long time listener, first time caller.

CB: Thanks. We’ve known each other I think since 2008 or so, or even earlier than that. I’ve been, you know, reading your blog, and I think you’ve been reading mine and we’ve been sort of exchanged posts. This concept of reception actually is a great, I’m glad this worked out, because I know this is one of your favorite concepts and something you have been lecturing on. And then it just so happened – I guess I should set the stage for why we are doing this episode – so there was a discussion about reception on Nina Gryphon’s Facebook page, a week or two ago, after she posted an article on her blog, the Gryphon Astrology Blog, about reception and about the potential use of reception to identify mitigating factors when it comes to afflictions in the chart. And then there was this debate that arose about some of the finer details of reception. So I thought it would be good to do a show where we talk about and outline the concept of reception for those that aren’t familiar with it and talk about the specific use of it as a mitigating factor and this debate that has come up about when this mitigating factor is applicable and when it isn’t. So let’s start by defining our concept. So let’s define the concept of reception. How do you define reception?

RB: I’ve always really liked Robert Hand’s sort of summary of it. It’s brief and very easy to remember. Reception occurs any time a planet aspects any one of its lords – and that’s any one of the the five sort of traditional forms of rulership: the domicile, (the planet that rules the sign), the exaltation, triplicity lord, term, or face. And what’s really important in that definition that gets overlooked a lot in contemporary works is the need for an aspectual contact to be there, to sort of cement it. 

CB: Sure. So in modern definitions, when people talk about reception, they usually talk about mutual reception, which in the modern context, usually means two planets in each other’s domiciles, or in the signs that the other rules, and there’s no talk about whether they’re aspecting each other. But that was actually a crucial piece in the  original definition of reception, right?

RB: Right, right. And it’s actually kind of funny, because I feel like a lot of that, sort of, of that misunderstanding about reception, because I feel like a lot times, of people that are new to reception, the only reception they know about is mutual reception so they tend to think that is all that reception is. And I tend to blame William Lilly for that. Because in Christian Astrology, when he is talking about, his little, however he defines different terms, his example for reception is Sun in Aries trine Mars in Leo, a mutual reception by domicile. So I feel that stuck to a lot of people, like, ‘oh! that’s what it is!’ – but it’s really terrible because later on, in a lot of his examples, he uses the more, the correct, I guess, or more broad definition of it, effectively.

CB: Yeah, so let’s break it down. The simplest form, and I think, from my perspective, the primary form, and what I at least think was the original form of reception, because it’s the only one I can find in the Hellenistic text, so reception doesn’t really fully get defined until the medieval tradition but there’s sort of allusions to it conceptually I think in the Hellenistic traditional and I’ve been able to find at least one, explicit statement by Valens, who was an astrologer from the second century – this is the kind of the Hellenistic equivalent of reception I think,  and what he says, this is from Book Seven, Chapter Two of the Anthology, from Riley’s translation, “One star, in another star’s sign, (or domicile), and having some relationship with it, is productive and beneficial during the applicable time-lordship.” So, one planet being in the sign that another planet rules and then being aspected by the ruler of that sign, was somehow seen as favorable is seen as the takeaway from that. From what I’ve seen in the very broadest definitions, and basic definitions of reception, even in the medieval tradition, that would still be, a more or less accurate definition, except, from a strict standpoint, what reception is is one planet being in a sign ruled by another planet, if we are talking about reception by domicile, and then applying to an exact aspect, so that the next aspect it will make is with the ruler of that sign. So let’s give an example of that. Actually, right now as we’re recording this lecture, we have a great example of reception where Jupiter is in Leo and the moon in Sagittarius. The Moon is at 15 degrees of Sagittarius and its applying to an exact trine, the next aspect that the Moon will make, is an exact trine with Jupiter. And since the moon is in the Jupiter’s sign, which is Sagittarius, the sign that Jupiter rules or calls its home, that means Jupiter receives the moon into its domicile. Is that more or less a pretty good example of reception as far as you’re concerned? 

RB: (Laughter). That’s pretty perfect. Almost planned, one might say.

CB: You might say that. (Laughter). So yeah, so one of the things maybe we should talk about then is what the conceptual basis for – I think that’s the best way to understand it, and sometimes if you skip over and just think about it as a technical definition it can be harder to understand what it is really implying. So, the conceptual basis for reception, I would argue, is primarily rooted in the Hellenistic idea of the guest/host relationship, where each of the planets, and each of the signs of the zodiac, was conceptualized as ruling one, or sometimes two signs of the zodiac, but the conceptual basis of that was that planets literally, not literally, but figuratively, metaphorically, considered the sign of the zodiac that they ruled to be its home, or its dwelling place, or the place that it has some familiarity with and calls its domicile.  So the then extension of that, that when a planet is not in its own sign, and it’s away from home, its staying in the home of another planet. So, for example, the moon calls its home, Cancer, so that’s where it lives. But, today for example, it’s in Sagittarius, which is the home of Jupiter. And, the conceptual sort of extension of that, which is actually explicitly talked about by some authors like Firmicus, is that, when a planet is staying away from home, it needs to rely on the planet that rules the sign that it’s in for support, it needs to, as a guest in another planet’s domicile or home, it needs to rely on the owner of that home for support, in order to give it some support while its traveling.

RB: Mm, hmm. Yeah. I agree.

CB: I think that’s the conceptual basis originally of this concept of reception and it gets clearly defined as a technical concept in the medieval tradition, where in the strictest definition for reception to take place, the planet has to be in a sign that it doesn’t rule, and it has to aspecting or applying to an exact aspect with the ruler of that sign. From an interpretive standpoint, if that happens, generally, it was viewed as positive, right?

RB: Yes.

CB: So, in the same way, basically, you want. Some of this goes back to the terminology that was used in terms of the actual terms. So we get the term reception from the Latin word that was used in the medieval astrological texts, receptio, which means the act of receiving, or to welcome, or to admit someone into your home or into your domicile as if there is a guest coming to your house, like someone’s visiting and you receive them sort of happily into your residence, so to speak. And this goes all the way back to the Arabic texts where they use the word, “Kabuul” (sp?), apparently, or “Kabilla” (sp?), which means to, yeah, I’m sure I’m butchering –

RB: I mean, just go, just give it a shot. Don’t look back and go. (Laughter)

CB: Which means to accept or to receive someone, to agree or to yield, to approve, to admit, or to accept. This further goes back, the Arabic is probably a translation of the original Greek term, Kubodaxe (sp?) – which means, reception or hospitality or acceptance or support.  And that idea of like hospitality is interesting because you can think of like modern conceptualizations of the hospitality industry and like people going to hotels and then sort of rating their experience, so to speak, of how hospitable was the environment while they were staying away from home in this place and how well were they treated at the time.  So, conceptually, our access point there is, especially by integrating the concept of the aspect, does the ruler of that sign aspect the planet that’s staying there as a guest in its domicile. Is your host being attentive to you while you are a guest in their house or is your host not paying attention to you and therefore not being supportive of you while you’re staying at their house. Ok, so, we gave one example of reception. Maybe a few other examples. Because these comes directly from the first text, as far as I know, that was dedicated to the concept of reception, which is by the 9th century astrologer, Mashalla. Is it early 9th? Or is it late 8th century, basically?

RB: 870, I think? Oh, no, 7, I was thinking of Abu Mashar. Yeah, 740.

CB: Ok, yeah, so the earliest text, it’s usually known as “On Reception”. A short booklet first translated by Robert Hand in the late ‘90’s/early 2000’s. Ben Dykes has done a more recent translation of it. Either of them are acceptable for our purposes. Two of the examples he gives at the beginning, he gives an example where he says, “If Saturn is at 20 Aries and Mars is at 15 Aries, then both planets are in the domicile of Mars, and Mars is applying to a conjunction within 5 degrees of Saturn. So in that instance, because they are both within the domicile or in the home of Mars, and Mars is applying to a conjunction to and aspecting Saturn, it means Mars receives Saturn in that instance. Elsewhere he gives another example where Saturn is at 20 degrees of Aries and Mars is at 10 degrees of Capricorn. So, in that instance, what you were referring to would be classified as a mutual reception, because Saturn in Aries is in Mars’ domicile and Mars in Capricorn is in Saturn’s domicile so they are exchanging signs, but they’re also applying towards an exact aspect. And that’s sort of a crucial piece of it, applying to an exact aspect is the stricter definition.

RB: Right. And Mashallah makes the point, that if there is anybody in the way, if there is anybody closer to Saturn than Mars is, then Mars is no longer being received by Saturn, I think the term, the word he uses is like somebody more, um, I lost the word. (Laughter)

CB: Sure. It can be interrupted. The aspect can be interrupted. 

RB: The aspect can be interrupted. There is somebody more deserving of Saturn’s attention.

CB: Ok. Yeah. So that’s the first thing people need to understand. That in the strict traditional or classical definition its one planet being in the sign of another and then an applying aspect, an applying classical aspect, which is a conjunction, sextile, square, trine, or opposition applying to those two planets, with no interruptions. Um, there may be broader definitions, in the sense that, I think when I was re-reading Abu Mashar a bit ago that he seems to have a loose definition, or like a weak version of reception, which is just one planet being in the domicile of another and then the’re being like a sign-based aspect between those two.

CB: Yeah, they’re definitely sort of categories of reception. You’ll have strong, or what’s later called, um, perfect receptions, you’ll have weak or imperfect receptions. And the strong receptions are those that are like, Mashaallah gives, Saturn, or Mars immediately applying to Saturn, that’s a strong reception. And then, weaker receptions or imperfect receptions are those that are just by triplicity, you know, just by one of triplicity term or face, um, or, so it could be totally possible, that the lack of an aspect, but being in the sign of another planet could be that weaker, could still fall within in that weaker – Ibn Eza comes up with his own term, maybe not comes up with his own term, sorry, don’t mean to say that, but uses the term “generosity” or like, “liberality”, to differentiate between those two receptions. 

CB: Ok. Of the degree based applying aspect vs. just a sign based relationship.

RB: Yes.

CB: So that brings up and takes us to another point which is it seemed to me in reading “On Reception” – like I think, conceptually, since I can only find one reference in the Hellenistic tradition in Valens, and this whole idea seems to have come from the idea the planets were conceptualized as calling certain signs of the zodiac their homes or dwelling places which is dignity by domicile that reception probably first related strictly to domicile, I would think, in the Hellenistic tradition when it was not very well defined, then in Mashallah he seems to primarily define reception as taking place with domicile or exaltation but then by the time of Saul, who was a student or contemporary of Mashallah, and then definitely in Abu Mashar, we take into account tripcility, term and face, or all five of the medieval or classical dignities.

RB:  Even in Mashallah you have like little hints or implications that might not be all because later, well not later, but earlier in the book he will talk about the Sun receiving planets and say that, “The Sun projects his light over star by the recognized aspects without a strong reception” – he uses that word strong reception, and earlier he will say, “But then the Sun destroys stars by combustion, when it does not receive them by having a strong reception, such as by domicile or exaltation”. That implies that the others are there, but they are not strong and not applicable in this sense. They don’t save a planet from this concept. 

CB: And what Saul says really explicitly in the Introduction is that, he makes the distinction, he says that, “Domicile and exaltation are the two primary dignities through which you can have reception but then he mentions triplicity, term, and face but says that’s a lesser form of reception and that you need two of them to be present at the same time to really help. So for my purposes, I personally just focus on reception by domicile. I know more medieval astrologers and other people like yourself also include exaltation and everything else, but for the most part, I mean I think it will be easy enough to talk about it by domicile and maybe exaltation for the purpose of this discussion.

RB: They are definitely easier to notice. (laughter)

CB: Yeah, they’re easier to notice and they’re clearly more powerful or more relevant.

RB: Yes, definitely.

CB: Um. Ok. So…yeah. So we’ll be talking about reception, especially by domicile which is pretty easy as the examples just demonstrated, um, to explain. So, one of the things, I mean, going back to that and the reason that some of those other dignities got integrated, what seems to be implied, underlying all of that, is not just that the guest/host relationship, but also Saul Ibn Bishir in the like late 8th, early 9th century, talks about reception as if the planets can see each other when they’re aspecting each other and when they have, when they are in each others domiciles or exaltations and that they see each other as family or that they become related in some way and therefore they welcome each other into their homes or into their domiciles vs. not recognizing each other as family, not recognizing any relationship or familiarity or similarity between the two planets and therefore somehow refusing or disapproving of each other and not having a very congenial relationship in the chart as a result of that. And that seems to be the other part of the conceptual basis underlying this concept in medieval astrology, two planets being conceptualized as people who have something in common and therefore get along vs. two planets that don’t have anything in common and therefore do not get along or actively disagree with each other in some way.

RB: I really like that, I didn’t note that was an analogy that Saul uses and I really like it. It reminds me of Olive Garden, “When you’re here your family. Come in and have a breadstick.” So it’s really interesting because I had always kind of conceptualized it strictly as host/guest. The host has like a responsibility over his dwelling place. Like it’s hard to get Saturn to do whatever you want but he has certain responsibilities towards his home in Aquarius and Capricorn and is more interested, not interested, but duty-bound in a way to help things happen that are happening there.

CB: Right. That totally makes sense. And yeah. And all of this is just going back to this same collection of concepts sort of tied in that whole guest/host relationship and that notion of affinity and those just seem to be core concepts that sort of echo throughout the traditional astrology for about 2000 years which is the idea of um, you  know, planets having an affinity – I mean, this is kind of a complicated subject because modern astrologers conceptualize sign rulership entirely in terms of affinity and many traditional astrologers, especially starting in the early 1990’s, have tried to push back against that and say that, you know, dignity was not just a matter of affinity but it had to do with strength or something like that – but there really are concepts of affinity and of affinity tying together planets and tying planets to sectors of the zodiac and things like that in some sense.

RB: Its not, I would say, the core of the scheme, but it is there as a shadow in some places.

CB: Yeah, it’s not the only factor, such as other factors, such as symmetry, the symmetry of the domicile assignments, of the exaltations we have other rationales, which have to do with the interactions between the planet and its host, or diurnal planets being in trines to one of their domiciles or nocturnal planets being in sextile to one of their domiciles and so on a so forth. Another concept that you said that was tied into this concept was the concept of pushing management in medieval astrology. How would you explain that?

RB: Pushing management is really important. To understand why, uh, why Masshalah makes the statement about, like it has to be then next applying aspect, or else there is someone else who is sort of more worthy or more deserving of the reception. And so for pushing management – pushing management happens sort of in the background behind every applying aspect. Now we have our lovely Jupiter Moon trine – um, as long as that trine is applying, the moon is sort of pushing onto Jupiter, and what she is pushing is her significations, and for what right now she wants to get done. This is easier to conceptualize in like horary or electional astrology, where like the moon’s next aspect is like tends to be very critical in what’s going to happen but so the moon right now is applying to Jupiter and trying to push what she wants do to Jupiter its up to Jupiter to kind of what to do with what she is giving him. So, if we’re talking about this within a reception context, um, the moon is in Jupiter’s house, and she has this project she wants to complete real bad, but she can’t do it by herself, or she won’t do it by herself, so she gives it to Jupiter, and we have to see, then you go and you click off this box of criteria, to decide, what Jupiter will eventually do with it, like what kind of aspect is it, because hard aspects are more difficult to reconcile than, like the trines and sextiles. So, these are your engagements, your aspects are. So right now, the moon is applying this trine, which is a sort of pleasant engagement, Jupiter is a naturally benefic planet, so he’s probably more likely to agree to do it anyway, and Jupiter receives the moon – so all these really positive things about their relationship makes it more likely for Jupiter to take up and perfect the matter of whatever it is the moon wants to get done.

CB: Ok, so pushing management is the lighter or faster moving planet pushing its significations towards the slower moving planet?

RB: Right, who then decides what to do with it.

CB: Ok. Got it. And then, so that’s another part of the conceptual basis here, especially when we are talking about one planet applying to another.

RB: Mm, hmm. I also think it’s a good thing like, differentiation – you mentioned how this was tied back in the Hellenistic era to dispositorship, like one planet being in another’s sign, or “counteraction”, I think is the Hellenistic technical term, correct?

CB: Yeah, that was a hugely important conceptual thing in Hellenistic astrology.

RB: So, for counteraction, very briefly, the idea is that planets are influenced by the strength of the lord of their sign, so you know, having a strong ruler makes you more able, is that the right word, more able?

CB: Yeah, more or less.

RB: Or having a more debilitated ruler, like, impedes you. Firmicus Maternus makes the analogy  that we share in our host’s poverty, or wealth. You know, if you are over at somebody’s house, and they have all this nice stuff, you obviously get to share in it and you use that to help you out to do what you need to do. But if they don’t have very much you don’t have as many resources at your disposal. So that’s kind of always happening with dispositorship. But pushing management and the aspect that is necessary for most reception, or the strict sense of reception, sort of makes it, sort of takes it off of the planet residing in the house and gives it more to the host. Like, its now the host’s job to take care of it and to perform. And like, in a dispositorship, or counteraction relationship, its more like the host supporting? So I think that’s a pretty important distinction between those two concepts.

CB: Say that again just to summarize?

RB: Sure. So like when you have a dispositorship or reception without an aspect, we’ll call it, then it’s more like the lighter planet will save just for ok, let’s take it back, we’ll use our Jupiter Moon example. If these two planets were not about to apply to each other, if there was somebody else in the way, then Jupiter would still influence the moon because she’s in his house.

CB: Ok. Because Jupiter is the ruler or dispositor of the Moon.

RB: Right. As so Jupiter’s condition would have an effect on what resources were available to the Moon with the understanding that the Moon still have to kind of figure out what to do with her significations. But with this applying aspect, the Moon just kind of passes it over to Jupiter, and is like here you take care of this.

CB: Ok, so it completely hands over sort of the outcome of this situation or its own significations over to Jupiter.

RB: Right. 

CB: Ok. So that’s the pushing and the management. The faster moving planet literally handing it over to the other planet. Ok, yeah, and I think that’s a good point and that will come up in terms of our debate with the concept of counteraction, because of, the idea of a planet when its not in its own domicile, relies entirely on its domicile, well not entirely, but relies very heavily on its domicile lord for being able to get done what it needs to get done. And if the domicile lord is well placed in the chart then the planet that is staying in that domicile will do well, but if the domicile lord of a planet that’s staying away from its home is poorly placed, then that planet will have a hard time getting its job done in the chart, and the parts of the chart that it has control over will suffer as a result of that.

RB: Mm, hmm.

CB: Ok, so let’s talk about how this works in practice. Um. One of the things, well there’s a few different ways it works in practice. One of the most useful, I think, one of the things I think we will talk about the most, is that it strengthens relationships between planets, which, so, there are different types of aspects, and the different aspects between planets denote relationships between planets, whereas a lack of aspect, or where planets are not aspecting each other, usually denotes a lack of aspect. But reception is another way you can either have relationship between two planets where one might not have existed before, or more commonly, because aspect is usually part of the basic definition of reception, it actually strengthens the relationship between the two.

RB: Improves. It improves.

CB: Yeah, it improves. Which brings us to our next point. It can act as a mitigating factor for difficult types of relationships. So that sometimes those relationships can go more smoothly or there can be more constructive or positive outcomes to what would otherwise be difficult relationships between planets. Is that how you see it as well? Or would you define it –

RB: Yeah. It’s definitely a relationship softener in a lot of cases in that like, er, applications by opposition are typically, inherently adversarial or confrontational in some way, and reception sort of smooths that out. Bonatti, in Book 6, he goes over like this, sort of the ways in which reception assists specific aspects, um, –

CB: Yeah, there’s a great table for that on Debra Houlding’s web site that I’ll link to in the post.

RB: Right. Yeah, that’s really helpful. As basically, sort of the short version is, an aspect with reception is like the next harmonious aspect without reception. So if you have an application by square, but there’s a reception there, it’s actually more like a sextile, because there’s like that reception that gives it a sense of friendship, or commonality, I guess, that strengthens that relationship a little bit better. But it’s actually a little strange, because you have this table by Bonatti, where he says that, you know, there are different grades of reception according to the aspects, but then he and Masshalah are also both really big proponents of reception, in that it never fails. It’s always this super-booster than never fails. But having this little table makes it sound like, especially, reception by opposition, maybe sometimes fails? So it’s kind of this weird, conceptual disconnect.

CB: Sure, the way Holding summarizes it as, she says that an opposition between two planets in a horary chart between the two main significators – the context of that is a horary chart you are usually trying to determine a yes or no – will the desired thing inquired about come about – and if the two significators are applying through an opposition but its with reception, then she sort of summarizes it from Bonatti as saying it comes about only by demand and diligence and vehemence and great effort and persistence, presumably on the part of the parties involved. But then she says if there is an opposition between two significators in the horary chart without reception, then it comes only with the greatest labor and vehemence and demand and diligence and anguish and anxiety, it just keeps going on (laughter), likewise unhappiness as if after the desperation of friends and family and then scarcely and never quite perfected or if it is perfected then with delay and slowness in its effect and indeed expense.

RB: Yeah, so really bad. Basically.

CB: Yeah, like you’re really long shot if you have an opposition between significators without reception but if you have reception and it’s an opposition its still going to be difficult but and take extra striving in some sense but realistically its’ going to come about because the reception increases the relationship between those two planets and smooths the relationship as you said earlier.

RB: Yeah, definitely useful but I’m not sure that it’s quite worthy of being touted as never failing with that kind of effort needed to put into it, I guess?

CB: Well, maybe, yeah. The other is also the square, where she summarizes Bonatti as saying basically that the square of two significators are applying to each other with reception, then it comes about through striving and diligent pursuit of the querent, so he has to put a little bit of effort, but the thing can come about, but without reception then it only comes about by demand and diligence and vehemence and great effort and persistence. So there is sort of a gradation where an aspect between two planets shows the possibility of a connection and a relationship and the nature of the aspect describes how smoothly it goes, but the presence of reception can enhance and make things even smoother  than they would be otherwise because it adds an additional form of relationship besides just the aspectual form of relationship.

RB: Yes.

CB: Ok, so that’s a really important thing because that’s the primary thing reception is doing – I believe, is smoothing out those relationships, adding another means by which relationships can be strengthened, and then as a secondary, as we were just discussing, one of the things it can do is it can mitigate what are otherwise difficult placements in the chart,  or difficult aspectual relationships. So I think this brings us to our debate, the debate that come up last week which is that Nina Gryphon wrote a great article, where she pointed out this property that’s very important in traditional astrology, and that I’ve found very important, I think most traditional astrologers, once they start seeing this in charts, realize how important it is as well and it comes up all the time, which is that sometimes when you have a malefic planet, when you have Mars or Saturn afflicting another planet through a difficult aspect like a square or opposition or conjunction in a chart, that if there is reception between the malefic and the planet that is being afflicted, that this can act as a mitigating factor that can make the affliction much less severe or in some instances even almost quasi-constructive where it wouldn’t be otherwise. And what I didn’t realize was  – I had always been under the impression from my reading of Mashallah and my understanding of the Hellenistic tradition and then my application of it in chart examples that this worked out if there was reception with the malefic that’s afflicting the other planet regardless of if the malefic is being received or regardless if the malefic itself is receiving, that it can go either way and that will act as a mitigating factor. But, two, or three of you in that thread pointed out that was not your interpretation of it – that you saw this differently both from a textual standpoint and from a practical standpoint, that it only goes one way for it to be a mitigating factor. Could you explain that a little bit?

RB: Um. So where should I start.  But, uh, so where a lot of – at least my interpretation of this comes from – uhh, it’s talked much more clearly in questions talking about illness. Um, and the idea is that should for some reason the querent or individual is so ill that there’s like a fear that this may take their life, that applications to the lord of the 8th house signifying death are typically going to be your yes, this person’s probably going to die. But if the lord of the 8th house receives the 1st house or the moon, then they’ll live because the lord of the 8th house, like, sort of, it takes pity on them (laughter), but it sort of restrains its malice, is I think what I think Bonatti says about it, it restrains its malice towards the lord of the 1st house. But if you think about it in the context of the host/guest kind of thing, where the host kind of does or performs what their guest wants them to do, well if the lord of the 1st house is pushing its life force to the lord of the 8th house, who then decides what happens to it after that, having that reception or not is going to sort of swing it one way or another because clearly the lord of the 1st house wants to continue living and so if there’s that reception where the lord of the 8th receives that life, then it will spare it – it’s going to do what its guest wants it to do. But without that reception, it can be fatal. And, I guess we can go ahead and start with it this way – Mashallalh takes it in a bit more – he has an example, um, to where the Sun is lord of the 1st house and Jupiter is lord of the 8th house, there’s an application between the two which is not good, but this will happen with the Sun in Pisces, so there’s reception so this is good, but he says, however, if this were the other way around, this would be a weak reception, and the lord of the 8th won’t – the phrase is – will not wholly destroy, so it seems to be saying that if on the other hand, if the lord of the 1th house receives the lord of the 8th house, its a weak reception and a weak protection from death and the person’s not killed, but it messes him up!

CB: Mm, ok.

RB: So in that situation you could say that if death receives life then the person recovers, you could probably say recovers fully, or regains their vitality after their illness is healed, but the other way around if the lord of life receives the lord of death, then you could say, according to Mashallah, it won’t kill them, but the illness may last a long time, it may have, they may deal with it their entire life, it may have some other effect on their vitality going on into the future, there may be some sort of permanent side effects or something from that illness that was nearly fatal, but not fatal. And then by around the time of Bonatti, Bonatti very clearly says, in his horary chapter about this, that the lord of the 8th house, if death receives an application from the lord of the 1st house, then its fine, they’ll live. But if it’s reversed, then its fatal. And the idea seems to be that, following on the host/guest relationship, that or at least maybe Bonnati’s interpretation of that is that we’re still doing what our guest wants us to do, if we’re the host, we’re trying to be good hosts, because we have that responsibility towards them. But if life recieves death, death probably wants to kill them, and so the individual dies. Lilly, in his own section, regarding the same topic, will say, not quite as clearly as Bonatti, but his phrase is that, the lord of the 8th house receives the lord of the 1st house, but the lord of the 1st house does not receive him back, then he’ll live. The implication seems to be that mutual reception itself is still dangerous for the individual and if mutual reception is still dangerous then clearly reception of the lord of the 8th house is still dangerous for the individual.

CB: Ok. Yeah. And those are sort of the primary texts I think you guys picked up on in order to see this distinction or promote this distinction and let me backtrack a bit, because I wanted to mention the names. THere was another guy, an astrologer from Poland named Kuba Ruzowski (SP?) who pointed this out. Where Nina wrote the article where malefic planets if they are afflicting other planets but there is reception that there can be a mitigation. And I had just had a client like that, the previous night, where, they had like Gemini rising, and Mercury was the ruler of the Ascendant, so it’s one of the most important planets in the chart, especially in terms of the person’s life vitality and maybe, sort of direction or focus of life in general in terms of its house placement, it’s a night chart and Mercury – it was a night chart and Mercury was applying within 3 degrees to a square with Mars, yeah – so ok, Mercury was in Sagittarius and it was applying within 3 degrees to a square with Mars in a day chart in Virgo, and so Mars in that instance, in Virgo, would be a domicile of Mercury, and therefore with Mercury applying to a square with Mars within 3 degrees, would be reception, I mean no one would argue that it would be an example of reception – 

RB: Right

CB: I saw that as a mitigating factor because basically she did not have, and the way that she described her life, she did not have major issues with that Mars Mercury square in a day chart, because Mars in a day chart becomes more malefic. 

RB: It was a day chart? You said previously it was a night chart.

CB: No, it was definitely a day chart. So this was a fully malefic Mars which is the part that concerned me the most.

RB: Right, right, right.

CB: Because usually if you have a fully malefic Mars and it is in a superior position, so earlier in zodiacal order, it’s in a hard aspect, in this case a square, and if the square is actually applying, so that its the next aspect the ruler of the ascendant makes, is completing that exact square with a superior, contrary to the sect-Mars, then we’re talking almost worst case type situation scenario here, where we’re talking major bodily injury, or even if we’re just talking about that configuration itself on its own, even the way that modern or traditional astrologers would define it with Mercury/Mars combinations and the person perhaps, mouthing off or getting themself into trouble, or what have you, but in fact she was able to use it in a much more constructive way, and the reason for that that I saw was because of the presence of reception, where Mercury, because it received Mars as a result of Mars being in Virgo in Mercury’s domicile, it created a better relationship or a better familiarity between those two planets and it softened the hardness of the square. But what Kouba pointed out, the astrologer from Poland, Nina, he pointed out in an article about the malefic receiving the other planet and that being a mitigating factor, but he said in point of fact, the reverse is not true, that its not a mitigating factor if other planets are receiving the malefics, and then you chimed in, and Wade Caves was the other one who also chimed in who really argued this point, because I had never heard of this before, and we had this brief back and forth about it, um, that, in you guys conceptualization, this conceptualization evidently, that a number of medieval astrologers have, or some contemporary medieval astrologers have, you conceptualize a planet being received by a malefic as positive and a mitigating factor, sorry, you conceptualize a malefic receiving another planet at positive and you conceptualize another planet receiving a malefic as negative, or at the very least, not a mitigating factor, right?

RB: Right. Yeah.

CB: Ok. And that is sort of the focal point, the reason really, I wanted to have this episode, because this is actually really an important conceptual, and especially practical, technical disagreement evidently in traditional astrology, that people are probably going to debate for a while, or at least that its important (inaudible/laughter) – it’s important to have this debate, um, because it has sort of very big implications for how you interpret charts in certain instances –

RB: Totally, yeah.

CB: One astrologer would see this as a very positive thing and one astrologer would interpret it as a very negative thing, just looking at the same exact placement. And it’s also interesting because, an interesting aspect of the traditional revival right now, which is this difference between, we’ve got three different levels at which we’ve got to debate this traditional astrologer. First and foremost, we have the textual level, where astrologers are going back to these ancient texts written in Greek, Arabic, and Latin, and they’re reading then and sometimes coming to different interpretations about what the texts say, largely partially because they’re written in ancient languages or sometimes in dead languages, and so we’re trying to translate those into modern times – in some times in the act of interpretation, um, you know, it’s not always clear, there is some interpretation involved, and therefore there is disagreement or debate over the same passages, um, so. On one hand we have like this textual debate where now we all go back and sort of, it’s funny, kind of like nerd out  –

RB: It is. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too. It’s funny, I was thinking earlier today, I was like, man, I can’t wait until this is over because I have like 10 books on my desk and I can’t wait to get my space back (laughter). I like geeked out all over my desk.

CB: What I do is sort of create a “book moat” around my desk (laughter) and chair so you have the 10 books, but you have to keep them open to the specific page and passage (laughter) – so we have that aspect of things, that traditional astrologers have to have these extensive, and often do, have these extensive arguments over interpretation and then we have to go back and look through all of the relevant texts and references over a specific concept in order to try to back up what we’re saying in terms of what we think was being done in the tradition, like 1000 or sometimes 2000 years ago, and then we have this separate argument that is sort of related, which is the conceptual argument, does one side make more sense conceptually, or, is there a way to conceptualizing it this way, or does this conceptualization lead to one interpretation or another, and so on and so forth, and then finally then there is this third debate, and I think this is interesting from a traditional standpoint is the very last thing, and sometimes but not always necessarily, the most important, which is, the practical implications or practical results that astrologers have in terms of their experience applying the techniques to charts and the argument of what works better from experience, basically.

RB: Umm, hmm.

CB: So we have this debate on techniques on issues like this that has to occur on three different levels, um, so our starting point is always the textual sort of portion of it, and that’s what you and I have been going over over the past few days or week or what have you, in looking back in the tradition and looking for quotes that support one part of this debate or another.

RB: Umm, hmm.

CB: And we’ve come up with a page or two (laughter) or two pages of various quotes with references to reception that seem to imply one thing or another.

RB: I would just like to give a quick shout out to Ben Dykes. Thank you so much for making reception an article in your indexes in almost all of your books, you really helped me out today.

CB: Ben’s books are of course are primary sources at this point because he has translated at least twenty books in the last decade in medieval astrology ranging from the 8th century through the 13th century, give or take, and those become our primary texts when we’re looking into the textual issue of, what do these astrologers say, and how should we interpret that, and then of course we’re partially relying of course to some extent on Ben, who himself has of course interpreted and translated the texts from their original languages, and in translating them has had some role in interpreting and maybe coloring some of our interpretations from the start, as well as Rob Hand, because that was the first, I think that was the first traditional text that I read or the first translation that I read, I picked up copy of Rob Hand’s “On Reception” – so that’s always has seriously informed my understanding of the concept of reception. I mean, you and Wade and Kuba would probably argue misinformed, he did specifically argue that he disagrees with Rob’s interpretation of reception as a mitigating factor regardless if the malefic is receiving or the other planet are receiving the malefics. So where should we start, orwhere should we go in terms of this debate. Are there any specific passages you would like to talk about, in terms of starting with the textual debate. I don’t know if we should read passages per se.

RB: No, I think that is a little silly, to like hold books up and yell at each other through them. (laughter), so let’s not do that.

CB: It’s like a weird, sort of, Biblical debate, where people are citing Bible passages verse and chapter, uh, so, I mean, one of the points we can just discuss is that when I read the introductory statements by Mashallah, when he first introduces the concept of reception, when I read Bonatti’s introductory statements in I think Book Six, when he is first getting into horary, as we were talking about earlier, in that diagram or table that Debra Houlding has, when he talks about that mitigating factor that reception can play in aspects in smoothing over aspects – in all of the introductory material that I read when I look at those authors, I don’t see them making any differentiation or distinction between saying that reception is good when the malefic is receiving but is not good when the malefic is being received, and I would suspect from a textual standpoint, if your argument was true, if there was a distinction between those two, for them to say that at some point during the introductory material, so that would be one of my arguments from a textual standpoint, about this, in support of my position.

RB: I think that’s a pretty fair one to make. A lot of times these are not spelled out as clearly and we have to off of like our interpretations of, there more practical stances for them. One thing I noticed as I was going through all of this, and one reason our pages is only two and not like 15, is there is this long string, or theme of like, I may have put a couple down – well first of all, one could almost argue that reception was created as a technique almost for malefic planets. Um. Because you have these statements by Mashallah that if the lord of the 8th house – we go back and talk about the lord of the 8th house a lot, because those are literally like the 3rd and 4th chapters of MA, those are the first real practical examples that he gives.

CB: Ok, yeah, so one the first horary examples he gives in “On Reception” is like how – 

RB: Literally, the first things MA talks about (laughter)

CB: Sure. It’s like a horary. The querent asks, “Will I die?” or something like that.

RB: There are two back to back. So that’s why we keep going back to that. Is that he makes this point that if the implication is to a benefic planet that’s fine assuming that benefic planet is not lord of the 8th house, regardless if there is reception. But if its a malefic then there has to be reception. Bonatti sort of follows this up in a more general statement where he says something like benefic planets automatically strive to perfect things but malefic planets strive to destroy them unless there is reception.  So you could almost argue reception was developed for the malefic planets to make them nicer to people. Which really, thank you.

CB: Sure. Yeah. Nina’s article really sparked this in me because that is definitely the most useful thing about reception is like, in traditional astrology, we do have in the Hellenistic tradition, um, I just finished this lecture last August and it sort of capped off this year of revising my Hellenistic course, um, to include a bunch of new material so I could start offering certificates of completion for it, and I put together this very long, between 5 and 10 hour lecture, on the conditions of bonification and maltreatment, which were essentially the original conditions of affliction, that affliction wasn’t this loosely defined thing but were these 7 specific placements or types of configurations where if your planet was in this, it was either extremely afflicted or the opposite and bonafide, or extremely well placed. And one of the things that I had to emphasize when going through and collecting something like 70 example charts for that lecture is that often times, in the worst case scenarios of affliction, if the two planets, if the malefic that was afflicting, if there was reception between the malefic and the planet being afflicted, then the scenario would be significantly toned down and would be significantly better than it might be otherwise.So I don’t need to go into the specific conditions of bonification and maltreatment here –

RB: Sure.

CB: But if a planet was being opposed or square by a malefic planet, we would generally regard that as a difficult thing, and generally in the example charts you can see how people would have serious problems in the part of their life indicated by the afflicted planet. However, if there was reception between the afflicted planet and the malefic, then often times while they would have some challenges in that area of their life, they would still be able to overcome them, or you would still see them sometimes using that in a constructive or almost beneficial fashion – so if it’s not something you are paying attention to you, you’ll overlook this huge thing and this is actually something, I’m getting ready for my next podcast with another astrologer which is mitigating factors in general in traditional astrology and the huge role that they play in adding a lot of subtleties and nuances and shades of grey, whereas modern astrologers often conceptualize traditional astrology as all black and white and that’s it – but we make distinctions like benefic and malefic and that’s it, but in fact there are all these mitigating factors and other sort of shades of grey and additional nuances that make things quite complicated. So, yeah, I think you’re right there. Basically the primary use of reception is as a mitigating factor for malefics. But one of the conceptual distinctions here and one of the things we keep jumping back and forth between (laughter) is the issue where there is a difference between the role of reception in guaranteeing the perfection of a matter in a horary chart, guarenteening, basically helping you to answer if the question in the horary chart is yes or no, vs. acting as a mitigating factor in a natal chart in order to like sooth or assuage some affliction between a malefic planet and another planet in a natal chart. And I feel like there is kind of a distinction between those and so it might be important for us to,  its hard because it’s hard not to go back and forth when we have examples in mind but those might be two classes here and that might be part of the stumbling block for this debate is, I think you and Wade and Kuba are often talking about this in the context of horary charts and especially textually those are the primary sources in the tradition that seem to support this idea that there is a distinction, whereas oftentimes I think I am talking more about the context of a natal chart acting as a mitigating factor, although theoretically, if you guys were correct there wouldn’t be a huge difference because you still wouldn’t expect it to work as a mitigating factor even in a natal chart. 

RB: Mm, hmm.

CB: So, yeah. But otherwise, that might be an important distinction to make, how it works in horary vs. how it works in a natal chart.

RB: Sure, and there may be, you know, there may possibly be because like you mentioned, I would say that certain things like pushing management and whatnot are, applicable to the matter, no matter what chart we’re looking at, um, but maybe reception functions slightly differently in natal charts. I can’t say that is something I have ever considered. Um. But you know, before you mentioned you would like to see something specific discussion in the introductory chapters about reception, like receiving malefics being bad, you’re right, there doesn’t ever seem to be things that are being pointed out, and  I went on that little sideway about sort of what I think reception was developed for, I said that so I could say that a lot of times in the sort of more practical chapters or whatnot, you’ll have specific instances where it is very one-way, um, in regards to how things ought to be received, specifically with the moon, a lot of times it will have like general statements like blah-blah-blah this will happen unless the moon is received. Um, and like a good example is one from Dorotheus that I have shared with you about pregnancy to where he says if the moon applies to a cadent planet it can cause a miscarriage unless the moon is received. So then it like, again, its reception by a potentially harmful planet and then Mashallah says something sort of very similar generally about the Sun and combusting planets that its, it only protects them if the Sun receives them but even sorf of going much further back to talk about the language that Mashallah uses in regards to his sort of mitigation between receiving that malefic 8th house lord, I don’t like it, because he uses that term, like that weak reception – its a weak reception not a strong reception, really sort of to me at least the only time that’s used to mean that, like because I think I mentioned earlier that usually weak reception is sort of that imperfect reception triplicity or like by term, not as strengthening or not as bonding.

CB: Right.

RB: So it just comes off as like this really strange term and I can like imagine Bonatti as he’s like reading this, he’s like “What? That doesn’t make any sense!” And then like, who knows. But.

CB: One of the things you pointed out. One of the things you and Wade disagreed over is that you thought Mashallah, in this passage, that the interpretation of that was something more like my interpretation, which is that reception acts as a mitigating factor regardless of if the malefic is receiving or the malefic is being received, but then you pointed out that Bonatti clearly didn’t agree with that, in his treatment of almost the same topic, he’s clearly switched it up, so that if the malefic planet is receiving then its positive, if the malefic planet is being received then its negative. 

RB: Mm, hmm.

CB: Is that correct?

RB: Uh, yeah. I’d say so. And then it’s something that is just sort of repeated several times especially with the moon’s application to things, like they’re often difficult unless the moon is received.

CB: Ok. And then Lilly follows Bonatti so closely that Lilly repeats this or follows Bonatti on this as well. Is that what you had said before?

RB: More or less. It’s not as clear. He kind of talks about it more in regards of mutual reception. Or that’s why it seems his quote is more like, “If the lord of the 8th receives the lord of the 1st and the lord of the first does not receive him” – 

CB: Ok.

RB: So you see what I mean? It’s not exactly the same thing but it’s like, eh.

CB: Ok. Um. And then, so, we’re talking about the textual argument here in terms of citing the sources from the early medieval tradition and the late medieval tradition and the Renaissance, or like Elizabethan tradition with Lilly, but then there’s also the separate issue of – I’m still not really clear on, which is, I wasn’t aware of this until this debate came up last week, that there were different astrologers who came up with a different interpretation and suddenly it was like you and Wade Caves and that Kuba were all on the same page about it, which I assumed meant that this is something that’s been discussed in some contemporary sources and people have come back and read Lilly and Bonatti and have come to this conclusion that reception is only positive if it goes one way but I’m still trying to track down those sources and figure out-

RB: I don’t think there are any, really, I mean, I haven’t been like formally instructed by anybody. And the reason why you haven’t heard about this before is clearly because you didn’t attend either of my lectures, I’m just saying. You owe me. (laughter).

CB: We were at the same time – 

RB: (laughter) I’m just saying. You owe me a lecture, I don’t want to hear any of your excuses. (laughter)

CB: Alright, I’ll get the recording. Or maybe I can have you come out and you can give the lecture. But then if I bring you out to Denber give the lecture you just going to disagree with me.

RB: That’s fine.

CB: That’s embarrassing.

RB: That’s true. (laughter)

CB: Wade – When I asked Wade about this, who is now, I think a teacher or assistant teacher or something –

RB: Tutor –

CB: Tutor, of Debra Houlding’s school of traditional astrology, I seem to say that he was influenced by her school of astrology so I am assuming this is a doctrine that Debra Houlding herself follows and Wade seemed to imply that which means that in her private materials she must discuss this, um, so, I remember in the past, remember with the void of course moon thing that I discussed on the podcast in the past, you were the one who pointed out to me that there was this whole contemporary differentiation starting with I think Sue Ward who pointed out-

RB: Yeah, she pointed out very clearly, “hey this isn’t quite right”.

CB: Right. With the void of course moon, just to remind people that its like the 3rd interpretation of the void of course moon, which is the moon not applying to, within orb, within 12 or 13 degrees to any aspect with another planet regardless of sign boundary,  and that’s many people who follow William Lilly-

RB: Oh! But you’ve seen how Mashallah does it. Isn’t that very similar?

CB: Um. When I asked Ben about it, because I went back to the Latin and Arabic texts and their basic definition of void of course and void of course moon and its actually really ambiguous, and I thought it was more ambiguous than Ben did, Ben looked at the Arabic and was like, no, he doesn’t, evidently, or at least at the time when we went over this, didn’t agree that it had to do with being within orb, that it really did have to do with the sign boundary at that point, because they were specifically mentioning the sign boundary at that point as part of the definition and there would be no reason for them to mention it-

RB: Sure.

CB: if that wasn’t a component, so that was his argument. So it’s like, my point with that there are often times contemporary astrologers who are recovering traditional astrology today and sometimes during the course of that one of them will make an observation about something like the void of course moon thing which of differs from the interpretation that existed previously. LIke everyone for the past century has assumed void of course moon is when the moon doesn’t make any more aspects before it leaves the sign that it’s currently in. And then someone comes up with a different interpretation and then a number of people who are paying attention to their work start following that and they say yeah that definition actually makes sense and everyone is on the same page who is familiar with that but then people who aren’t following that discussion aren’t privy to that and so are still using the older definition or previous definition and so I think that clearly happened with the void of course thing and I feel like that’s something that happened here with the reception difference as well because you have other astrologers like Ben Dykes and Rob Hand who don’t seem to be aware of this or at least in their explicit statements, Hand makes an explicit statement in his translation of “On Reception” that it’s just a mitigating factor for malefics either way and, through the rest of the text, Mashallah demonstrates that. So, I think this is an issue where we’ve got differing interpretations occuring in some contemporary circles, and because you’re paying attention to and talking to, I’m not saying that you’re picking it up directly from Houlding or somebody else in this instance, necessarily, but you talk with Wade, for example, and you guys have exchanged notes and seem to be on the same page with and also, uh, yeah, there has to be some sort of exchange there going on there, because otherwise it seems, even though you could make an argument for it in the text, it doesn’t jump out at me, it’s not a totally evident thing in the text, when you pick up “On Reception” and read it, he doesn’t say, as I said in the introductory material, and therefore-

RB: Well, to be fair he also doesn’t, we talked about earlier, how the definition of how reception started, and how Mashallah mostly talks about it in regards to domicile and exaltation so…

CB: Right.

RB: So. Maybe not everything gets covered here.

CB: Yeah. I’m sure. 

RB: (laughter)

CB: So I guess, what should be the takeaway from. I don’t think it got clearly defined. Just so you can clearly define the position that you and Wade and Kuba are taking, or took in that thread, what is the position as a general rule?

RB: Well, the general rule seems to be based on, like readings from what Bonatti says and other authors and what other authors say how reception is supposed to be handled in regards to the rest of the planets is that receiving malefic planets tends not seem to be a mitigating factor for them, like you know Bonatti says, very clearly that, the lord of the 1st receives the lord of the 8th house kills him, there is no mitigation there. Um, and then you have, I shared the Dorotheus quote, the moon applying to a cadent planet causing miscarriages unless the moon is received so like clearly that is mitigating factor. Dorotheus also is pretty specific about it, saying only the moon, like if the moon is received, not like if there is a reception between them, um, so it would seem that, based on my understanding of that reception is a mitigating factor only helps one way.

CB: So it’s only helpful if the other planets are in the domicile of the malefic and then applying to an aspect with the malefic-

RB: Right-

CB: then it’s a mitigating factor because the malefic is receiving them but-

RB: And has to take care of them.

CB: And has to take care of them. And see that’s – part of the conceptual issue goes back to the counteraction thing because in the Hellenistic tradition with counteraction thing, if you’re ruled by a poorly placed malefic, that’s actually viewed as negative.

RB: Right.

CB: That’s one of the issues from  a conceptual standpoint, especially in the context of the earlier tradition I have an objection to this because it would, I’m not sure if it makes as much sense to say that’s a hugely good thing, if you are ruled by a malefic but it’s a bad thing if it’s the reverse, if the malefic is under the control of somebody else, or is relying on somebody else.

RB: Well, before I took us into distinguishing between dispositorship slash counteraction and reception and, um, well before I made the distinction about dispositorships and counteractions vs reception that the application was really important because the difference is, with dispositorship and counteraction, the focus is still pretty much on the planet in the house, the guest planet let’s say, to do whatever is supposed to be done. But with reception and pushing management and the applying aspect that comes with that, the focus shifts more to the host, like you do this, and so if you sort of approach reception as a mitigation factor with the dispositorship idea, then yeah, it makes total sense to say it should happen either way because they’re supporting each other in a sense, um, but with the application and this sort of handover of responsibility, it now becomes the malefic’s job or this host’s job to take care of this, and if that malefic planet isn’t in some way benevolently accepting this then it’s just not going to do it, like Bonatti said, “wreck it” – and that’s a quote, by the way.

CB: Ok. That makes sense. I guess I can understand how you make that distinction, especially if you bring up the concept of pushing management through the applying aspect. Yeah, but you would view it as, I guess I can understand that argument when it comes to the malefic ruling and having familiarity between them acting as a mitigation but why if the planet is ruling the malefic, why does that become negative, as a general rule?

RB: Because the host has to do whatever the guest wants to do. Whatever the guest is trying to accomplish, the host takes responsibility for it, and a lot of times, if we are talking about malefic planets, they often want to do bad things, like kill people if they are the lord of the 8th house, and so the host is obligated to try to bring that about if they are able to. 

CB: See, I think it’s the reverse- that its the the guest is the one in the weaker position, and the guest is the one that has to rely on the host and I think that’s part of why I disagree conceptually, because the malefic, if it’s in the domicile of another planet it has to rely on that planet, it’s not necessarily like the malefic has free reign to do whatever it wants and that’s why therefore if there is a connection between them and a familiarity between them as a result of the reception then the malefic might be more prone to acting in a constructive fashion rather than a negative fashion.

RB: Um, yeah. I think it really comes down to like this difference between like dispositorship and like the application kind of makes or breaks the responsibility involved because if I’m just handing over whatever I’m trying to do to somebody else then I can do whatever I want. It frees up my agenda so I can do whatever I want. Excuse me. So, like, I think that’s where the breakdown is. I don’t necessarily think either one of them is wrong. I can see them working fine either way – I think it depends on where you come from, where you try to focus on, where you approach it from, like it seems that your focus is on who is in who’s sign, I guess, who is supporting who, and I’m like focused on who is passing on what to who.

CB: Ok. That makes sense.

RB: I think that’s why conceptual schism is just there. 

CB: Ok. That is an excellent way of just framing it because then you can see how different conclusions could be come to. Yeah. Ok. Well I think, we’ve covered a lot in terms of explaining the basis of reception, the conceptual basis, what it is from a technical standpoint, and getting a little bit into this debate, I’m not sure if we fully made this debate clear – some people may have problems following it, but we did our best to break it down as much as possible. I think people should think about this follow this and look at charts, you basically have to do the three things, the three areas, the three categories that this debate has to take place on, textually, the interpretation of the texts and the tradition and what we think the ancient astrologers were doing, the second is conceptually, what makes more sense to us conceptually or what part of it from a theoretical or philosophical standpoint makes the most sense, and then finally the third part in applying it to charts, what seems to take dominance or seems to work better in practice, you know, does it seem to act as a mitigating factor regardless of if the malefic is receiving or being received or does it seem to be a major distinction where one of them seems to be really positive but one of them seems to not be positive or not seem to help in the way that the other one does. So people should really engage in this. I think this is a really important thing. I haven’t really seen any discussions about this and you guys have said you’re not aware of any contemporary discussions about this, so hopefully this can be more of a start to get a dialogue about this-

RB: You’re just trying to get people worked up (laughter) is all that’s happening.

CB: Right. (laughter), its like a ratings thing, what is that Buzzfeed or Fox News, or the Huffington Post of the astrology world. 

RB: That’s a good one.

CB: This is too technical debate like, 

RB: To get a soundbite of?

CB: Yeah. 

RB: How can we turn this into clickbait? That’s what we need to find out.

CB: Right. If I was trying to do that I would start a website that was, “10 Pictures of Medieval Astrologers in their Bathing Suits” or something like that.

RB: That sounds terrible. (laughter)

CB: That’s how you really draw in the traffic. You know. Ok.

RB: Everybody likes that? (laughter)

CB: Well, yeah. Alright. So. Back to wrapping up this show on a high note. I hope people will start thinking about this and start discussing it and hopefully there will be more discussions about it because of what a huge sort of interpretive difference it makes both in horary charts in answering a question as well as in natal charts and identifying parts of a chart that work out well or where they have difficulties, basically.

RB: I would appreciate more conversation about reception in general because it isn’t something that gets a lot of spotlight on, its this technique that runs pretty consistently throughout the tradition, Mashallah writes it down and then it keeps going to Lilly all the way through with seemingly very little changes. But even contemporarily, even with reception like I mentioned way back in the beginning, only gets thought of as mutual reception by domicile, so any awareness that can break that would be really great.

CB: Sure. Definitely. And I think you’re doing a huge role in bringing that back. I guess your lectures on that are probably available from the NCGR conference and ISAR conference, right? 

RB: I know they are from the ISAR conference and that one is probably better because I had more time to do it (laughter).

CB: So the 2014 ISAR conference and you can find that on their website and you’ve also written on the Association for Young Astrologer’s Website, you’ve written a two part series on reception, right?

RB: It’s going to be a three-part eventually, so look forward to that.

CB: So people can find that in the article section on youngastrologers.org 

RB: Yes. 

CB: Ok. The second part is titled “Planetary Reception: Guests and Hosts”

RB: The first part is about pushing, specifically, the background. The second part is reception, specifically.

CB: Ok, great. Yeah. People should look for that and hopefully we’ll have hopefully more discussion about this in the comments section of this post on theastrologypodcast.com and uh, maybe eventually on some forums or something like that

RB: (whisper) and from there it spreads…(laughter)

CB: Right. Well, yeah. I hope this isn’t like one of those, our discussion is not the final word on it and its transcribed and somebody translates it into other languages and they’re citing our discussion of like –

RB: And there’s no conclusion, like (laughter)

CB: Right.

RB: That’d be terrible. (laughter)

CB: I think the conclusion is right now, I still feel pretty strongly about my position about the idea that reception can be a mitigating factor either way, when malefics are involved and that there is this other group of you, Wade, and Kuba and probably other people that think that it only goes one way and it’s only a mitigating factor if the malefic is receiving the other planets and that it’s not a mitigating factor, and that it can actually can be a negative factor if the malefic is being received by the other planets.

RB: I don’t think just naming people is very fair, because it’s, I don’t know-

CB: I’m not trying to – I’m trying to give them credit, not single them out necessarily.

RB: Well, that’s good I guess.

CB: Er, what-

RB: They’re definitely, like, its coming from somewhere. There are definitely passages in Bonatti and Mashallah that kind of make it questionable, and even not just those two, that um, so its not, it’s not just something that like a small group of people have access to, I guess, to promote one way or another. Like, it’s definitely available there.

CB: Sure. Well I think there’s an interpretive thing because we disagree about the interpretation of a collection of ancient texts, and so on the one hand there’s both an interpretive disagreement where we’re disagreeing about the textual tradition in traditional astrology and then there is a separate thing from a conceptual and practical standpoint where we also disagree about, you know, what makes the most sense philosophically and what works better in practice. Um, so, that’s like a contemporary debate where its like each side would like to go back and project our preferred opinion back on the textual tradition and say, you know, clearly, they agree with me because of this passage vs. somebody else says clearly they agree with me due to this other passage – because we seem to disagree on those three levels what we have is a contemporary debate on this subject and I don’t think there’s anything wrong and I’m not trying to single them out – anybody out, necessarily, I was just trying to identify since I’ve not otherwise been able to find any specific articles or like books where this is discussed extensively, discuss like who some of the people are who, um, adopting certain positions, so that if people want to learn more about those positions, they can go to you or go to Wade or Kuba or what have you in order to get a better understanding of where you are coming from and where your argument is and then weigh it on their own terms and decide for themselves. So, yeah, I think we did that pretty well. Hopefully, I think, hopefully others that sort of take your position, feel like, or my position or what have you, have adequately of of them and maybe we haven’t because this is sort of condensed and there are other nuances and things we could have gotten into.

RB: Mm, hmm.

CB: But yeah, hopefully this a good start for opening up discussions about this topic. Um, yeah. Did you have any other points you would like to make or things you would like to say?

RB: Not particularly.

CB: Ok, great. Alright.

RB: (laughter)

CB: Thanks for coming onto the show for your first time. I think I’ve been trying to get you on here for a few years so we got a good topic to talk about.

RB: Yeah. It’s always, it’s nice to be here. Yes, it’s like, “I made it”.

CB: You finally made it. You’re doing lectures and writing articles and you’ve got the new medievalastrologyguide.com website which I’m very excited about and what I think is going to be a big deal, so yeah, people should definitely keep an eye out for you in the future and I hope I can have you on again in future shows.

RB: Definitely. That would be nice, too. (laughter)

RB: Alright. Great. Thanks everyone for listening to this episode. I’ll have another one – I’m trying to get on a sort of weekly show release schedule where I record a new episode and release one approximately every Sunday or every Monday so keep an eye out for the next episode in about a week. So that’s it, thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.