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Ep. 28 Transcript: Mitigating Factors in Traditional Astrology

Episode 73 Transcript: The Life of Demetra George

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 42, titled:

Mitigating Factors in Traditional Astrology

With Chris Brennan and guest Michael Ofek

Episode originally released on March 9, 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 Gulsen Altay and Andrea Johnson

Transcription released August 14, 2019

Copyright © 2019 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. You can find the show at theastrologypodcast.com, and you can also listen to it by subscribing through a podcast app such as Podcast Addict for Android phones or through iTunes if you have an iPhone. Today is Thursday, March 5, 2015. It’s approximately 11:37 AM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 28th episode of the show. 

In this episode, I’ll be talking with astrologer Michael Ofek about mitigating factors in traditional astrology. Michael is generally regarded as the leading expert in traditional astrology in Israel. You can find out more information about his work on his website at ofek-sky.com

So Michael, welcome to the show. 

MICHAEL OFEK: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

CB: Yeah, I’ve known you for quite a few years now, since at least 2007-2008, and we met at the UAC conference in 2008, right?

MO: That’s right.

CB: All right. So I’ve had a few podcasts–I think you’ve listened to them over the course of the past year–where I’ve talked to a couple of different modern astrologers about the concept of benefic and malefic, and often that comes up as a point which is disputed or attacked from the perspective of modern astrology as being too black and white. So one of my discussions was with Eric Meyers back in June of 2014 about that topic, and then more recently I had another discussion with Mark Jones where we explored the differences between how modern and traditional astrologers deal with and conceptualize challenging chart placements. 

So I thought it would be a good thing to do for this show to actually have two people who specialize in traditional astrology such as ourselves actually discuss how not everything in traditional astrology is just black and white like it seems, but in fact, there’s many shades of gray and many nuances, and these are usually brought out most clearly by taking into account mitigating factors that come into play when reading charts.

So I think the starting point and the focal point of our discussion will be the concept of benefic and malefic. Oftentimes, when modern astrologers hear of that or first learn that distinction that there’s the benefic planets–which are Venus and Jupiter–and the malefic planets–which are Mars and Saturn–one of the biggest misconceptions that they walk away with is that all traditional astrologers think that that’s just a pure black and white distinction, and that there’s not any other factors taken into account, that they always assume that the benefics are good and the malefics are bad. But maybe you can start us off by explaining or framing it. How do you define benefic and malefic? What is a good definition of benefic and malefic to use to start this discussion?

MO: Yes, Chris. Well, this is an issue that I’ve been contemplating a lot. A major point of criticism for traditional astrologers is that the ancients’ thinking is very polarized. It sees the world like a binary code of good and evil, and it’s very old and base thinking. And this has been a controversial point which was raised many times in discussions with astrologers here in Israel.

CB: This is a debate. Maybe that would be a good starting point actually. What is the state of the astrological community in Israel? Would you say there’s a lot of traditional astrologers or a lot of modern astrology? What are the discussions like when it comes to topics like this?

MO: Yeah. Well, it is 90% modern astrologers, evolutionary astrologers. And just now, maybe some of it because of me hopefully, they’re starting to sprout new seeds of traditional thinking and concepts are starting to be raised for debate. I think the most basic criticism that we as traditional astrologers get is that there’s something very deterministic and very dichotomizing.

CB: Sure.

MO: I don’t know if you say that word like that in English, but as you said, there’s something very black and white. How can you call something, this is a good placement, this is a bad placement? Much of it is the product of New Age thinking, which some of it is pretty valid. And I also believe in many of all those concepts, but I think there’s something much more fundamental and basic and simple in this distinction. I think a couple of very important distinctions should be made on the outset just to understand what you mean by malefic/benefic and not just to be repelled by this very strong, polarized definition of life.

CB: Sure. Yeah, and that’s important. And part of the process of traditional astrology is going back and looking at the technical terms and actually coming to a deeper understanding of what the terms were originally meant to convey rather than what our first impression is upon hearing those terms. 

MO: Yes, yes. Something that I like in traditional astrology is that the ancients tried to simplify concepts. But simplifying them doesn’t mean making them simple, it makes them more graspable and immediate. It’s like summarizing them in basic fundamental words…

CB: Sure.

MO: …and not just elaborating. There’s something very powerful in describing something in less words and more to the point.

CB: Sure. It makes it more clear and more graspable what the basic underlying principle is rather than all of the multitude of different possible outcomes. It’s almost like going back closer to the archetype of what the principle is rather than just the manifold different manifestations of what that archetype represents in the world itself.

MO: Yeah, and it’s also more practical because when you try to generate a delineation–if you have very strong keywords–then you can tie together many elements in a shorter sentence, you might say, while trying to delineate combinations. So this is something that the ancients really did very well. Maybe some of it is just to save ink and paper…

CB: Right.

MO: …but it’s still very economical and very to the point. I think the first distinction which is important is, first of all, to understand that we refer to benefic and malefic, or good and bad, not in the absolute sense. At least in my point of view, these are not value judgments. They are not ethical or moral. I think this is something that describes a very fundamental and immediate experience of life, average life. There are things that make us pain and things that make us pleasure, things that attract us and things that repulse us.

CB: Sure.

MO: We all experience this in a very, very basic sense before we rationalize it as having evolutionary potential. The first thing is just if we feel good or feel bad, or have to suffer something or have a good supportive experience. So I think a very important distinction is to be made between the experience and circumstances of good and bad and their developmental and evolutionary potential, something that may come as a consequence but is not in the thing itself. When you experience pain, you experience pain.

CB: Sure. It doesn’t negate the evolutionary potential of it or the thing that you can learn from it. The universal purpose of having that experience doesn’t negate the fact that you experienced it as a subjectively negative event or a subjectively positive event for that matter.

MO: Yes. I think there is a need for this concept in the most simplest sense because it helps us make distinctions when we try to describe basic human experience. And we want to describe conditions and experiences of pleasure, of support and well-being, and experiences of conditions of pain and difficulty, and we need to do it, in a sense, objectively because if we project our need for elementing the chart to work good then we are a bit blind.

CB: Yeah, definitely. One of the access points for this for me was going back and looking and seeing that this issue which modern astrologers wrestle with and contemporary astrologers wrestle with was kind of dealt with by the Stoics in the philosophy of Stoicism where–like some modern New Age thinking–they also believed that everything had a reason, or everything had a purpose, so that even subjectively negative events had some greater meaning or greater purpose or evolutionary value, in some sense, as did positive things. But for them, they realized that they couldn’t completely reject–basically in their philosophy, there is nothing ultimately that happens to a person in their life that should be viewed as universally or immutably positive or negative because everything worked out for a purpose or for a reason due to the providential nature of the cosmos. 

But they couldn’t reject entirely this idea of the subjective experience of events and the subjective way that people tend to categorize events, so they came up with this other category which is what they referred to as ‘events that are preferable’ versus ‘events that are unpreferable.’ And I think that’s a really good distinction perhaps for us to use. Perhaps that’s the way that this works astrologically in terms of even traditional astrologers still believing that there is some value to subjectively difficult events, but still there being this necessity to classify them and be able to identify them in the chart but perhaps just label them correctly. So preferable versus unpreferable might be a good way to categorize that.

MO: Yes, yes, that’s a good way, or just ease and difficulty, or things that are more challenging and things that come easily. This is such a basic and fundamental experience that it should be discerned in our practice and not feared, or think of it as something that is contrary to thinking evolutionary or developmental ideas. 

And this raises another point, at least in my mind, that modern astrologers, or even modern people, in a sense, don’t like the concept of bad and harmful because it comes from that same basic nature to avoid everything that takes away their comfort and well-being and happiness. What I’m trying to say is modern astrologers, or at least some of them are biased to the good, or love, light, happiness and are a bit in denial when it comes to evil things.

CB: Sure.

MO: And I think in their perspective, thinking in terms of good and bad is not spiritually mature because it’s relative thinking, and it’s really very earthly and polarized and not a description of life as something above polarity. And I don’t think that it comes from spiritual maturity. I think spiritual maturity is the acceptance of earthly evil and not just to accept everything that leaves you in your cozy and comfortable, safe zone. And I think this is also a pretty strong point because the denial of what is evil, in a sense, helps the evil grow stronger. Because if you are not ready to see it inside of you and outside of you, in a sense, you give it freedom to do what it wants. I’m talking generally now, not only about astrologers or astrology.

CB: Sure.

MO: I think avoiding those concepts is also not very spiritually mature. It could be really intellectualized and philosophized to being something very low in a spiritual context to divide things into good and evil. But in the basic experience of life, pain has a very important role to play, and you should see that role and see it as what it is in the simplest sense. And now, I’m not talking about the developmental consequences–of course it has developmental consequences. It’s like in the body when you feel pain, it alarms you that something is wrong. You need that pain in order to find your limits, to stay healthy, etc., so pain has an important role.

CB: Right. But we don’t then draw the conclusion that there is no pain because the pain serves some evolutionary purpose or some purpose in the body.

MO: Say that again.

CB: I was just saying that we don’t–that was a great analogy. The other side of that is that we don’t conclude that there is no pain just because the pain serves some purpose in terms of keeping the body or alerting the body that there’s something amiss…

MO: Yes.

CB: …which would kind of be the analogy of what we’re doing with modern astrology. If we say, well, even difficult things serve a purpose and they conclude from there, there are no difficult things, it’s not quite there. There’s some sort of missing step there in terms of the logic that’s missing 

MO: Yeah. Well, I think, in an extreme sense, if you avoid or try to deny the pain and the experience of bad things then you may also inflict harm. For example, if you have a bad habit which is harmful for your health but you ignore its existence, or the existence of its consequences, then it will harm you more and more. But if you see it and define it and call it by its name then you have a better choice in confronting it and ending it. 

So if you go to a doctor, and he looks at your tests and he doesn’t want to see the bad things, so he smudges them and says, “Oh, it’s okay,” and he releases you home and you think everything is okay, then you can have a tumor growing inside you without taking any precautions or any measures to stop it. That’s a bit of an extreme analogy but I think it’s an important one because astrologers need to have the tools to define those things in the chart. The way that they can communicate it in a consultation, that’s a different thing. You can empower someone and then just raise difficulties in ways that will help them deal with them. But still, technically, we should have that distinction and not throw it away because it may even inflict harm if we don’t, in a sense, if we stay blind from those realities. 

I see that momentum in trying to express astrology only in good terms, just looking at the good, and that always made me a bit nervous. And many clients that come to me, they want me to tell them also the bad things that they may deal with them. They want the truth. Although every astrologer has his own interpretation of the chart, still if you validate their experience of pain but also empower them with the resources that they have to deal with it, then it’s much more constructive and healing than just sugarcoating things, so that they would have a better experience and swallowing them and thinking good about things. I hope I made that clear.

CB: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. So the purpose of using things like benefic and malefic, in some instances, is to identify areas of potential difficulty in the person’s chart or in the person’s life. You can’t help a person to work through some of those things or to have that evolution or that growth in that area of their life if you’re not identifying where the problems are in the first place or the potential problems I guess is what you’re saying.

MO: Yes, yes. And also, I do agree with the point, one point that I remember from Eric Meyers’ and your debate that eventually reality is not good and bad, it’s just what it is. At least above the relative realm of the senses or the material, third-dimensional reality, I do believe that these distinctions don’t have a place there. I do think this is really a projection of the ego in some sense. But when we are here in this world, living in the body, we live in the ego and these experiences are part of our world. And at least most of us are not spiritually transcendent beings, so this categorization is important in identifying different experiences. And I think the true spiritual maturity is not to suppress those points because you cannot transcend what you cannot see.

CB: Sure.

MO: Another thing which I think is important is to talk a little bit about what the ancients’ definitions of good and bad were. This will relate very directly to astrology. The ancients made a couple of very simple and basic distinctions between good and bad. In the most neutral sense, good can be defined as essentially everything that supports or generates life, and anything which inhibits or harms life may be termed essentially bad. It has its role to play of course, and the dialogue of both powers is important to the cyclic process of life. 

In Greek physics, in, let’s say, the distinctions of the four primary qualities, heat and moist were considered life-generating qualities while dry and cold were considered, in a sense, anti-life or harming life in a way. Maybe not all the astrologers in the early Hellenistic period thought that way but at least Ptolemy makes these distinctions very clear in his texts. This is also his distinction between malefic and benefic. And this is the reason, for Ptolemy at least, that Saturn is the greatest malefic because he has both qualities which harm life, while Jupiter is the greatest benefic because he has both qualities which help generate life. That said, still an excess of any quality can be harmful–an excess of heat and moist can also be harmful.

But I think another distinction between benefic planets and malefic planets is that malefic planets tend to extremes while benefic planets have a more harmonizing character. Although, in the texts, they make it clear that malefic planets can act well and be benefic even and vice versa, and many people don’t know that. There’s many quotes that say that if Saturn is positioned good in the chart then it acts really well and gives the native gain and power and authority and whatever. So the ancients were also not that black and white, and they did mention the malefics as acting in a benefic way in many, many references.

CB: Yeah. And that’s the basic observation I think that modern astrologers make as well which leads to this debate, which is obviously the benefics are not always benefic and the malefics are not always malefic. And what happens is that modern astrologers will often sort of sidestep this issue by saying that it’s because we have free will, but traditional astrologers will point out that there’s actually techniques or other things that you can look at, other measurements, which can actually help you to determine in a specific chart whether a benefic is acting fully positively or fully as a benefic, or if a malefic is acting fully negatively or somewhere in between.

But I think where you started with that fundamental point that the fundamental idea underlying this is just a contrariety of opposites, or contrasting polarities, that’s really one of the most fundamental things in astrology, And if you look at it from an observational standpoint, it probably largely derives from the physical or visible, observable appearance of those planets if you look at the night sky, where Venus and Jupiter are kind of these two shining stars that are like this very bright, white light, and then Mars is like this reddish star and Saturn has this darker, almost brownish kind of hue to it. And I think that was probably where the Mesopotamians and then later the Hellenistic astrologers originally got this distinction, primarily just drawing on that contrast of the observable appearance of those planets and then applying it to a fundamental polarity in life, which is the polarity between subjectively positive versus subjectively negative things and all of the things you can derive from that such as: life versus death, health versus illness, stability versus instability, and so on and so forth. And then you also talked about–sorry, go ahead. 

MO: Yeah, I thought that was a beautiful distinction. I’ve never thought about it in that way. The two benefics have a very strong magnitude of light in the sky, Venus more so when she’s a morning star or an evening star. And the analogy that life and light have together in contrast to the dim and dark and reddish–which is Saturn and Mars light which they emanate–that’s a really beautiful distinction.

CB: Yeah, and it’s very fundamental. If you were trying to construct this entire system, let’s say, if you erased everything that we know about western astrology–about aspects, about houses and charts and everything else–and you just went back to we don’t have any system and where do you build from there, the most fundamental thing is just that contrariety of opposites. And the most striking one right from the start is the simple observation that you have these two shining ‘light’ planets and you have these two dimmer ‘dark’ planets and that implies, or it gives some implication of a duality or a contrast of opposites. 

And so, then you start thinking, well, if movements of the planets in the sky correlate with events or circumstances on Earth then what are some contrasting opposites like that, that are set aside from each other or in contrast with each other on Earth? And then it leads to some of those contrasting polarities, and you can actually generate a lot of them like that. And that’s basically what they did in terms of then deriving meaning or significations for the planets as a sign to this polarity of ‘benefic’ and ‘malefic.’ 

And later astrologers, like you pointed out, like Ptolemy actually came up with specific definitions of this that had to do with the scientific theories of the time. So Ptolemy said that the benefics are benefic or they’re positive because they tend towards moderation, whereas both of the malefics tend towards extremes and that’s why they’re negative, which is an interesting additional definition or modification of the definition of benefic and malefic.

MO: Yes, I think this is a really important point because this is such a major building block. The most basic fundamental principle of astrology is that contrast between light and dark, between day and night, between feminine and masculine, between inhaling and exhaling, and etc., etc. Everything in the astrological language is built from this distinction. So yeah, I think this is a really, really good point. 

And as you said, it was reflected by those two contrasting powers in human experience which for one side it’s a constructive power of life and generating and the other is the tendency for corrosion and decay. And we see it everywhere. Every moment, those two forces, they flash from one another. Our selves die and regenerate, plants die and wither and then reach the soil for regrowth. This is the basic polarity of the cycle of life, so it’s in the basic cyclic building blocks of astrology.

CB: Sure. And once you get that, once you establish that those extremes or establish those polarities, at that point, you can then figure out what’s in the middle and what the shades of gray in between are. So that’s our starting point for the main focus of this discussion which is how did traditional astrologers figure out what the middle ground was between the two utmost extreme ends of the spectrum on the benefic and malefic scale. 

And I think the starting point for this is many of the concepts of mitigation in traditional astrology seem to have to do with concepts surrounding the notion of familiarity. And the basic principle in many of the mitigating concepts in traditional astrology is that the more a planet relates to its surroundings, the more that it can act in accordance with its own nature. And there’s something very important and very powerful about that as a concept that seems to be underlying I think a lot of the conditions as we’ll see as we start talking about some of them.

MO: Yes, yes. This concept is a major concept in understanding many of the levels of distinctions in essential dignity and in house placements. It’s the oikeiosis, the familiarity, as in coming from the word oikos which is ‘house.’ I think the word in English, ‘familiarity,’ is really a good translation as it relates to the family, like a planet being from the family, the similar kind of quality…

CB: Sure.

MO: …and there it finds its place. Its identity is supported so it can act better. So many, many levels of distinctions in the ancient astrological thinking is really based on that, if it’s like its surroundings, in a sense, let’s say, in the sex status, or in the gender of the sign, or in the basic qualities of the sign that it’s placed in. Of course, when it’s in its own sign, it’s supported by its own nature, therefore its identity is more secure, more reinforced. So I think this is really a major principle in seeing all the different parts fall together.

CB: Yeah. It was kind of interesting, I was listening to this radio show–it was just a news show–and I think it was about President Obama had a summit where they had many different people from around the world come in to talk about how to deal with domestic terrorism issues and how to integrate. The focus of the conference was how to integrate I guess Muslim communities into both the US and European cultures so as to fight against radicalization. 

Their premise was that somehow integration into the host community was the antidote itself to radicalization, that if you felt some sort of connection to the place or the country that you’re living in that you’re less likely to cause problems, or to potentially do harm to that place versus if you move to–and this is true for maybe anyone. I don’t want to just apply this to Muslims or to other specific religions. But if a person goes somewhere and feels like an outsider or feels alienated in some way, they’re less likely to work or operate in a way that’s helpful to the place that they’re staying. They might be more likely to turn against it or to cause problems in some way if they don’t have any sense of familiarity or any sense of integration or kinship with that place. 

It was just interesting when I heard this radio show that that was the approach, and I thought that it very much tied into this concept astrologically because it seems like the traditional astrologers even back in the Hellenistic tradition had some sort of similar conceptualization. If a planet has some familiarity with certain parts of the chart or with the chart as a whole in some way, it’s more likely to work in favor of the person in terms of their life and their subjective life experiences. If the planet is somehow feeling alienated or does not have any sense of comfort or familiarity with its surroundings, it’s more likely to cause problems or to turn against the person and lead to events or experiences that we would categorize as subjectively negative. So that might be an interesting starting point in terms of some of our discussions about what specifically would indicate that the planet has some sort of familiarity with the chart or with its chart placement versus what would be the opposite, what would indicate alienation or not feeling at home, so to speak.

MO: Yes, I think that really cuts to the heart of many of those concepts. And I think that analogy of reinforcing identity, or in a sense, forgetting one’s identity can be a good analogy for that. Because if you take the concept of the essential form, when the essential form is reinforced then it has essential strength. It’s more stable, it’s more unified with the substance that it uses. It’s like the analogy of someone that wants to do something and also has the resources to do it, in contrast to someone that has an impulse but doesn’t have the resources, or that the resources it has are contrary to its nature, which can be, for example, a planet contrary to its sign, in the sign opposite to its own sign, or in fall or depression contrary to its exaltation sign. In a sense, it doesn’t have the resources, or it doesn’t have any point of reference to those resources in order to make something useful out of them. 

I also like the analogy–which is very helpful in practice–which really has to do with identity. I do think that a planet, let’s say, in fall or detriment is, in a sense, in a state of forgetfulness in terms of its own identity. Its identity is not reinforced so Mars can forget that he’s Mars. It’s like someone that is reincarnated you might say a man in a woman’s body. He forgets his essential power and, in a sense, he may harm the person because it has a kind of antagonizing relationship with what the sign represents. So it might rebel against it, not always consciously. It would have a hard time working with it by its own volition and doing it in a good way and those things make it less stable more fluctuational. 

I think even in one ancient text–I don’t remember who it was–I think it was Serapio that says that a planet turns bad or turns onto itself, in a sense, hurts itself. Maybe I’m paraphrasing–I don’t remember the exact quote–but that I think is an underlying concept in any planet placement. And I think this is a good analogy to further enlarge the perspective and look at mitigating conditions that may help that planet act better while still in a foreign place or working with foreign substances in a sense.

CB: Sure. Okay. Well, yeah, let’s do that. One of the most fundamental concepts in traditional astrology, in Hellenistic astrology in particular, is the concept of sect as a mitigating factor. Yeah, I’m glad to have you on the show because I talked about in a recent episode of course the discussions that you and I have had privately, where both of us seem to be independently coming to the conclusion that sometimes you can have a chart that reacts like a day chart even if the Sun is a few degrees below the Ascendant/Descendant axis. But otherwise, generally speaking, the basic idea underlying sect is that you determine if it’s a day chart if the Sun is anywhere above the horizon and it’s a night chart if the Sun is anywhere below the horizon. So day chart if the Sun is above, night chart if it’s below. 

And what this does in terms of the benefic and malefic distinction is that Saturn and Jupiter are the two planets that are associated with the day and Mars and Venus are the two planets that are associated with the night. And generally speaking, if those planets, those two sets of planets are in a chart that matches their preferred status then they’re going to tend to be more constructive in the manifestation of their significations, whether they’re benefic significations coming out more positively or malefic significations that are coming out in a more constructive or moderate way. Whereas, conversely, when a planet is in a chart that is contrary to its preferred sect status, it will tend to manifest its significations in a much less constructive way typically so that, for example, the malefics become more malefic or more destructive in some instances and the benefics have their productive or positive significations toned down or restrained significantly in some instances. Is that how you use sect, more or less?

MO: Yes, more or less. I think there’s also other distinctions which I play with conceptually. I don’t think this only has to do with malefic/benefic status, but I think this is a major distinction and a major element in trying to see if there’s something that is mitigating the power of the planet. Surely it can contribute to making a planet more stable or less stable. I have many examples in practice for that. This is an important category but it doesn’t stand alone.

CB: Sure.

MO: I think that it should be looked at as something that can put the weight on one side or the other side, but in general, there are more important ones that can push a planet to act in more a benefic sense or a more malefic sense. This is of course one of them but I don’t think it’s the most important one.

CB: Okay. And I think I’ve come across this before where I tend to put more emphasis on sect than some other astrologers I meet, and that’s something that we’re still working out to a certain extent. But I guess at least just for this one concept–and then we’ll get to some of the others in just a minute–the basic premise for those that aren’t familiar with it is just that Jupiter and Saturn will tend to operate better in a day chart whereas they’ll tend to not operate as well in a night chart, and conversely, Mars and Venus will tend to operate better in a night chart but not operate as well in a day chart. This will just be one consideration of many in terms of where the planets are operating in terms of the spectrum of, let’s say, how positively or negatively, or how constructively or destructively they might operate in any given chart.

MO: Yes, yes, for sure. And if it piles up with other distinctions that take it to one side or the other then this distinction can really be the mouse that goes into the elevator.

CB: Sure. It can really ‘tip the scales’ I guess is the saying.

MO: Yes, yes.

CB: So sect is one factor. In terms of other mitigating factors, let’s just start going through them. One of the primary ones related to our discussion at the beginning about familiarity is a planet will tend to act much more in accordance with its own nature–and as a side effect of that more positively or in a more constructive fashion typically–if the planet is in its own domicile which is the sign that it rules, or in the sign of its exaltation as two basic considerations. Would you agree with that?

MO: Yes, yes, but I think one distinction should be made that it is not always good for the person in the sense that it’s really based on the nature of the planet. The planet will act in its own nature better and will express itself more archetypally pure, but it’s not always good. I would define it more as current and stable in expressing things. Stable is also a bit of an exaggeration because some planets in their nature are not stable, so when they are working more pure, they can also show unstable things. But for sure, this is one of the most important factors in elevating a planet’s activity, and you might say, helping it produce a strong signal and a stable signal in an analogy of radio frequencies. For sure, yeah, this is one of the best conditions for a planet to work good in the simplest sense.

CB: Sure. And it’s definitely true that a planet in its own domicile will be stronger and sometimes will not necessarily always manifest most positively, especially if, for example, it’s a malefic that’s contrary to the sect, like Saturn in a night chart or Mars in a day chart. But otherwise, generally speaking, I do feel like I notice pretty consistently that if you do have a difficult malefic in the chart that’s not very well-placed according to sect or house placement or what have you, that if it is in its own domicile or exaltation then some of the negative significations that we would otherwise expect from that placement will tend to be a bit more muted so that it seems like it does act in a more constructive way than one might expect,  so in that sense, it is like a mitigating factor.

So for example, a few episodes ago, Leisa and I were talking about the Saturn return and how people with night charts oftentimes tend to have more difficult Saturn returns. But one of the exceptions that she pointed out in some example charts was if Saturn, for example, was in its own domicile or exaltation, there would be a difficult Saturn return but there would also be some very positive or constructive things coming out of it, much more so than if it was just a night chart Saturn with no essential dignity basically.

MO: I stand with you on that 100%.

CB: Okay. Cool.

MO: I have a client who had Saturn approaching to a square with her Moon. Most modern astrologers would consider that a really rough time in any sense, and she had a really great time. She started a business, and she was really motivated for work, and the most available reason for that is that Saturn is exalted in her chart…

CB: Okay.

MO: …and very well-placed on an angle. So when it transits, even in transits which seem very difficult, it can symbolize a very good period and productive.

CB: Okay. So the principle is that if the planet is strongly-placed or well-placed with significant mitigating factors in the natal chart then even in its transits, in some instances, it will be much more constructive than it might be otherwise.

MO: Yes, yes, for sure. 

CB: Okay. Yeah, definitely, I’ve seen that as well. So the first mitigating factor is a planet being in its own sign or exaltation. In my ranking–the next one down or the next best thing from my perspective–a planet in a mutual reception with its domicile lord would be ranked probably right below a planet being in its own domicile or exaltation, so one planet exchanging signs with another.

So for example, to use traditional rulers, let’s say, the Moon was in Pisces and Jupiter was in Cancer. So both planets are in the sign that each other rules and they’re configured by a trine. That would be the next best thing in terms of creating a positive, supporting environment since both planets almost exchanged domiciles in that sense. Would you agree with that as a significant mitigating factor?

MO: Yes, for sure. 

CB: Okay, so mutual reception. And then the next one down from that in terms of mitigating factors that I would list would be a planet if it’s not in a mutual reception then having reception with its domicile lord. I see that often come up as a significant mitigating factor in terms of chart placements, especially ones that would otherwise be difficult clearly becoming much more constructive. And this is something I talked about with Ryhan Butler in a previous episode in terms of a debate that’s going on right now about when reception with the domicile lord is positive versus, in some instances, it seems like some astrologers are reading some medieval texts that they’re interpreting to mean that there’s some instances in which it’s negative. 

Even after another person has weighed into that debate, I’m still pretty unconvinced by their argument. And I think the general medieval position that I found or I’ve always understood to be stated in several different texts by Sahl and Masha’allah and Ibn Ezra is that if a planet has reception with its domicile lord then any hard aspects that it has with the domicile lord are significantly improved or smoothed out in a very significant mitigating way. Have you used that as a mitigating factor yourself, or have you seen that as a mitigating factor?

MO: Yeah, yeah, for sure, and I also know that distinction that you alluded to.

CB: Okay, so you’re familiar with this as well. 

MO: Yeah.

CB: Where do you come down on that debate? Is that something you subscribe to as well in terms of seeing that distinction?

MO: Well, I would say something more general which is relevant for most of the point that you raised. It’s always a combination of more elements. So I wouldn’t judge it like that on face value if I see other circumstances supporting it as working well, because it depends on which house the planet rules, where is it positioned in the chart, and other factors that can tilt it to working not that constructively although there is a reception. I would say it’s hard to be conclusive on that point. 

Most of the time, at least in my experience, a reception is a mitigating factor that helps the planet work better in the sign that it occupies even if it’s a malefic in the sign of a benefic and vice versa. But the thing that can happen sometimes, let’s say, theoretically, that planet is positioned in a house which is not configured with the Ascendant, or let’s say, you pile onto that that this planet is also out of sect, then it could be a bit violent to the planet that is receiving it in a sense. It sometimes can, to use the ancient language, corrupt or harm some of the resources that the other planet is giving it even though the other planet is in a good position to receive it, or ideally receive it with exact aspect. So that kind of falls in an ambiguous place that really depends on other conditions in the chart.

CB: Sure. Yeah, I’m definitely willing to concede that there’s certain unique circumstances in which it could still be harmful or still be majorly problematic for the house and the ruler of the house that it’s connected to, which I think is the specific scenarios that are coming up in the medieval texts that were being debated about. When a planet is in malefic, and it’s contrary to the sect, and it’s in the 6th house, or it’s in the 8th house, and it has reception and a hard aspect with its domicile lord that means it’s profecting an aspect with the lord of the 8th or the 6th, a hard aspect which obviously isn’t necessarily going to be good, and from a certain perspective could indicate the fulfillment of illness or the fulfillment of death in the person’s life or what have you. 

MO: Yes. I’m sorry for disrupting you but I think this is a really, really important point. This is a bit of a contradictory statement, but sometimes what we refer to as good can be good for the evil to work out. Sometimes trines make it easier for malefics to do what they tend to do, or sometimes a planet in its own sign but in a bad house can show a volition from the person to do something harmful instead of just passively being harmed.

CB: Right.

MO: I’m kind of complexifying the issue, but I think it’s also important to make that distinction that things that are ideally supportive of mitigating in certain circumstances and certain placements can even make the harm easier to manifest.

CB: Sure. But otherwise, most of the time, as long as they’re not falling in those unique circumstances, they’re mitigating factors that are good for the native theoretically most of the time.

MO: Yes. And also another distinction can be made that it could be good for the native but bad for other people.

CB: Right. Yeah, that makes me think of Hitler’s chart  with Libra rising and Venus in its own domicile but in the 8th house, in the place of death, and applying to a conjunction with Mars in a day chart just as an example.

MO: Exactly. Yeah, so he has, in a sense, strength in a house that potentially can harm other people, also himself. And also he has Saturn in the highest condition in its own sect, a masculine sign, and in a really strong, powerful angle on the MC, and he inflicted a lot of harm on other people.

CB: Right.

MO: And Saturn is essentially debilitated in Leo. And now, they’re coming out with news that Hitler didn’t die, and he went somewhere in Switzerland and just lived a happy life for the rest of his life. I don’t know if that is true or not. But also, after his fall–which is kind of something you would expect from a debilitated Saturn on the MC, falling from power–he was very strong, and he gained so much support and harmed so many people that you might say that this malefic was more harmful for other people than himself.

CB: Right. Yeah, definitely. And that would be a whole interesting topic in and of itself, charts like that, or when you come to mass murderers or people like serial killers or what have you. When is the malefic energy being turned inward on the self, and when is it harming the person’s life either through their own actions or their own circumstances versus when is the person actively taking on the agency of the malefic and turning that outwards into the world at large and acting as the malefic and doing harm to other people is kind of an interesting discussion and potentially one that you can identify in some instances in the natal chart in and of itself. Yeah, that would be an interesting discussion to have sometime. Maybe we could do another show.

Okay, so reception with its domicile lord is a potentially mitigating factor. I would say another mitigating factor is having a well-placed domicile lord versus a poorly-placed one, which goes back to the basic Hellenistic consideration of counteraction. You can have a really well-placed planet in a specific sign and house, but if it’s ruled by a really poorly-placed planet then that poorly-placed planet will drag down the first one and corrupt it, even though it otherwise would normally be well-placed. But also the reverse is true that you can have a very poorly-placed planet–that’s, let’s say, not doing very well by sign or is in a bad house like the 6th or the 12th–but if it’s ruled by a very well-placed planet that’s angular and in it’s own domicile and of the sect in favor then that can really improve and counteract the negative significations associated with the first planet.

MO: Yes, I think this is also a major distinction that has many expressions in the tradition. One that comes to mind is also in electional astrology, the aphorism of Dorotheus about the Moon having to do with the activity and the ruler of the Moon showing the outcome of the activity, and if the ruler of the Moon is debilitated then the activity would start good but end badly. So I think this distinction is really crucial for many delineations, and it’s maybe the first thing you should look at in a chart if you see a planet in its fall or in detriment in some way to see if its lord is well-placed–that can sometimes even cancel out most of the evil. I think in the Vedic tradition, they say it cancels it out completely. This is not true in my own experience. 

But you can see–using the example I talked about before–that it will be very hard in the beginning, but as life progresses, it will be easier and easier and you’ll get more support, and conditions will help you even use that negative experience to your own advantage in a way. And there are many examples of that. Someone that had a really rough experience and wrote a book and became famous, or I don’t know, you can think about a lot of examples. But this is really I think one of the most major points in mitigation of a poorly-placed planet, the state of its lord. And saying that, if the lord is also poorly-placed then it’s really, really bad in a sense. I won’t say it’s the end of the world, but having a planet in its detriment or fall and the domicile lord in its detriment or fall is not a good combination in general. 

CB: Sure.

MO: But I wouldn’t rule it as something that may act positively in some respects, but it will be probably really tough for the person dealing with those issues. That’s probably the most extreme case of debility which you can pile up with other distinctions.

CB: Right.

MO: I would also allude to another basic distinction which has to do with triplicity lords. I think the triplicity lords were mainly used for the sect light or the Ascendant, but I think the triplicity lords should be used as a mitigating factor for any planet because even a weak planet or a weakened planet in a place that is, as we said, weak in its essential nature in a sense. But the triplicity lords well-placed near angles, let’s say, have a stabilizing power over him because there’s something very, very stabilizing and supporting about having well-placed triplicity lords.

CB: Sure.

MO: I think the more we continue to put more points, we’re just exemplifying the complexity of those issues and the clarity that you might gain from having more distinctions and more tools to look deeper into every element and not just say, “Oh, my planet is debilitated,” or such things and judge them as bad or good. There’s many, many distinctions that can help mitigate such positions, and I think every astrologer should examine all of them before he gives a judgment about how that planet works. 

CB: Yeah. And that was one of the things that I really objected to in the debate with Eric because he would list off a bunch of biographies and he’d say, well, this person and this person and this person had Mercury in a sign of its fall, and they became a famous poet or a writer or what have you. He was just viewing that one consideration in isolation rather than taking into account a more, I don’t know, complete or holistic view of the birth chart itself. And I don’t think you can do that for the reason that we’re talking about here, which is once you realize how many considerations are relevant or really go into actually determining planetary condition or mitigating factors, you realize that it’s not as simple as just saying this planet is in its fall or exaltation or what have you and that’s all.

MO: Yes, yes. And I think people listening to that, if they take one thing out of it, it’s that this is a really, really complex web of considerations before you can really judge a planet as being problematic or not. And many astrologers objecting to basic concepts in traditional astrology always raise up, “I know someone who has a debilitated planet and his life works very well.”

CB: Right.

MO: This is really, in a sense, being ignorant to the other factors that have to come into the equation in order to make that distinction.

CB: Right. Well, what was funny was one of the examples that Eric used at the time was Maya Angelou who was a famous American poet. And he’s like she has Mercury in Pisces but she became a famous poet, so everything worked out fine. But if you actually read her biography, she had this really traumatic event in her childhood where she was assaulted at the age of eight and then her family ended up killing the man who assaulted her, and she thought that she had killed him. She said something to the effect, “I thought that my voice had killed him, and I killed him because I said his name, so I decided that I would never speak again so that my voice couldn’t kill anyone,” and she became mute for almost five years. 

MO: Wow.

CB: Even that example of, yes, she became like a famous poet, and yes, obviously Mercury did end up working out well for her–which actually is indicated through some mitigations in her chart including Mercury applying to a conjunction with an exalted Venus within a degree in Pisces–if you just say, well, she eventually became famous as a writer, it doesn’t mean that she never experienced any significant problems or trauma associated with that placement. In fact, at least in that instance, she did. So it’s important to avoid making blanket biographical statements about people sometimes as well.

MO: Yes, and we can have a full episode just by giving examples of this… 

CB: Right.

MO: …very well-accomplished people having debilitated placements. Still in their experience of them and in their circumstances of life, these debilitated planets did have a strong mark, but in some sense, were also mitigated in many instances, and this mitigation comes in and tells the full story which is a refined kind of delineation. You can see in a chart if something is maybe expressed with pain and harm and obstructions in life, but you can see the availability of, how do you say, of healing that or using that as an advantage or growing from that into something unique. 

And this is part of what you might see if there are some of the conditions that we talked about, if there is, let’s say, a reception with its domicile lord etc., etc. So just taking the placement of the planet as good or bad at face value is really reducting the value of this distinction. And I think it’s not a good objection for modern astrologers because it just shows a lack of knowledge of all the nuances and shades of gray and the stories that are entwined with those concepts.

CB: Sure. Yeah, in the same way that sceptics of astrology, outsiders to the astrological community often make poor arguments against astrology in general because of a lack of familiarity with it, or because they don’t take the time to really educate themselves on the topic before critiquing it–most of the time not all the time–it’s important for modern astrologers, if they’re going to critique traditional astrology to familiarize themselves with it first before making blanket statements like that that, otherwise they’re just not very solid arguments to be making in the first place.

MO: Yes.

CB: But yeah, part of what we’re doing here is trying to explain and educate people in terms of some of the considerations that we do take into account when we’re looking at things like planetary condition. 

One of the other ones, one of the last–not last ones but getting close to the last is just being well-placed by house. So being in one of the houses that aspects the Ascendant through a sign-based aspect versus being in one of the so-called bad houses, or the classical negative houses, which are the houses that do not aspect to the Ascendant by a whole sign aspect, especially the 6th, the 8th, and the 12th as just a basic consideration or basic distinction.

MO: Yes, and the major one.

CB: Yeah, a huge one. And then finally there’s this whole other class or category of mitigating conditions that has to do with being aspected by benefics or malefics, and that’s really actually huge in terms of acting as a mitigating factor. And one of the most interesting things about traditional astrology is the whole system that’s set up in terms of configurations with benefics and malefics, and the special role that they play in either confirming and in stabilizing the significations and affirming the significations of other planets versus the malefic’s special role to destabilize or sometimes negate the significations of other planets or to corrupt them, especially through aspects with those planets. 

So this is kind of tied into a really complex set of conditions, especially the Hellenistic considerations of bonification and maltreatment, which we don’t have to go into or don’t have time to fully go into here since there’s seven conditions of each. But one of them that I thought would be really important to talk about, since it’s the one that comes up the most often as a mitigating factor, is just the condition known as ‘overcoming,’ or the planet being in a superior position.

MO: Yes.

CB: So overcoming is basically when a planet is–and this is really complicated. Or it’s not really complicated, it’s actually very simple, but for some reason, people often have a hard time when they first hear it, visualizing it, so this is probably not something people get easily. But basically the concept is that a planet that’s earlier in the order of signs and is aspecting another planet that is later in the order of signs, especially through a square or a trine, is in a superior position, and it will dominate the relationship between those two planets. The planet that’s earlier dominates the relationship with the planet that’s later zodiacally. 

And if it’s a malefic planet, and it’s earlier in the order of signs, and it’s configured by a square then it’s typically going to be a mitigating factor with a negative bent to it. So it will corrupt or destabilize the significations of the planet that is later in the order of signs and is getting hit with that with square. Whereas if it’s a benefic that’s earlier in the order of signs, and it is casting a square or a trine to a planet that’s later in the order of signs then it’s going to be a positive, stabilizing, and affirming influence for the planet that is later, and can often act as a mitigating factor if that planet is poorly-placed then having a superior trine or square from a benefic and can be a hugely positive counterbalancing factor.

MO: Yes, yes. 

CB: Is that something you’ve generally seen as well?

MO: Yeah, I think mostly being in the 10th, overcoming the superior square is very strong and if you have a malefic there overcoming by a square. A benefic–it stands for something good in the house–so it really may turn things upside down and get in the way of the completion of things and really be destructive influence. But as we said before, other factors also contribute to making that judgment, but in itself, it’s one of the hardest conditions depending on other factors.

CB: Sure, just having a malefic in the 10th sign relative to another planet.

MO: Yeah.

CB: Okay. Yeah, so like I said, there’s a number of other conditions of bonification and maltreatment that we won’t go into here. But I think both you and I focus on or lecture on and teach in our respective courses such things like besiegement, which is also known as–I forgot the term suddenly. I’m blanking out on the term.

MO: Enclosed–enclosure.

CB: Enclosure. Okay, so besiegement or enclosure, when you have either two malefics or two benefics surrounding a third planet on either side, either bodily through a conjunction or by casting their aspects to either side of the planet. There’s other things like adherence which is an applying conjunction within 3°, and basically a bunch of other factors that we don’t have to go into.

MO: There’s one crucial point I think–or not crucial but important. In many of those conditions, at least in the way they are compiled in the texts, the malefic itself needs to be poorly-placed, so it’s already a piling up of conditions. It’s not enough that it is a malefic, it’s a malefic that is poorly-placed. So you might say it’s different shades of maltreatment because if you have an opposition from a malefic then that would probably have its hardships. But if it’s also a poorly-placed malefic–which can be in a harmful house, or in a fall or detriment–then it’s really a bad condition.

So in the texts themselves, while making those distinctions, many of them are conditioned from the start to a poorly-placed malefic. That just shows the way of thinking that the most extreme cases of maltreatment, you have to have the benefic itself without any familiarity, without any oikeiosis, with something that is destructive of its ability to maintain its form, in a sense, and therefore more malefic. So if you have that kind of malefic having an overcoming square to some planet, or opposition, or adherence, or whatever, or enclosure then it’s really problematic, at least theoretically. 

CB: Sure. And that’s a really good point and perhaps a good closing thing we can just discuss for a few minutes in order to wrap up this episode. The texts themselves, the traditional texts, when you’re reading them will often give you what the worst-case scenario is technically-speaking and then they’ll tell you what the worst-case outcome is. So sometimes when a modern person opens up one of these traditional texts and sits down to read it to learn the techniques at first, sometimes it can be a little bit off-putting because they’ll have a tendency to describe the extremes of things. 

And maybe there is some point that, to a certain extent–traditional astrologers, as we’re reviving some of these ancient techniques and starting to put them into practice again in a modern consulting setting in the 21st century–that there may be some necessity to tone down some of the delineations from the traditional texts since they’re often put in extremes. But as we’ve shown here, there’s actually so many additional nuances and things to take into account that it’s actually kind of rare that you’ll sometimes see just the worst-case possible scenario for a planet, that there will be no mitigations involved that don’t tone it down at all. In fact, sometimes the worst-case scenario is kind of a unique thing.

MO: Yes, this is typical for ancient texts. Also Vedic texts, they give you a really extreme case on both sides of the spectrum, and sometimes at the end, they tell you that most of the time it’s mixed, or it’s some of this and some of this. And we know that life is mixed, and we know that there could be something that comes out of the good, and good that comes out of the bad, and sometimes they come parallel to one another at the same time.

And also, I think what you said is true in the context of the culture. The culture of ancient times, people lived in much more extreme conditions, which in a way helped the expressions of the planet also to act more extreme. So something that could be really extreme 2,000 years ago, today can be very mitigated by the culture itself, or by technology, or by medicine. Today you cannot die from the flu. You can die of course, but if you have medical care then it’s probably only a bad week for you…

CB: Sure.

MO: …while 2,000 years ago, that would be a death sentence sometimes. So this is also a very good perspective when reading those texts. And people come to me after reading some of the texts and say, “Oh, I have that position in the chart. They say that I will be eaten by wild wolves,” and things that are really extreme. But this is just to give the students an ideal, worst-case scenario and an ideal, good-case scenario and letting you downscale it to an average life. And also, we should downscale it to our culture and our less extreme environment of life today which has many mitigating conditions in itself for extreme-case scenarios.

CB: Sure. Yeah, and even Ptolemy recommended that in the 2nd century. He explicitly says that you’re supposed to adapt the delineations and the predictions to the cultural circumstances of the person you’re talking to, as well as their socioeconomic background and so on and so forth because of the archetypal nature of astrology in some sense.

MO: Yes.

CB: But then at the same time, it’s like that’s true and definitely needs to be taken into account because it’s usually relevant to keep in mind 98% of the time in consultations. But then it’s like every once in a while, you will read 2% of these stories where there are still some very strange and sometimes terrible or sometimes surprising ways in which certain people’s lives work out in this very weird and unique way, and sometimes that does show up in the chart as extreme chart placements that are on one end of the spectrum in terms of good or bad. 

So sometimes, in those instances, it is still important to remember that if you see something that doesn’t have any mitigations at all whatsoever, and you do see something on an extreme end of the spectrum, that there are still people who will experience extremes of good and bad in life, and sometimes it’s important to be able to know how to deal with their chart and to identify what you’re looking at and how to talk about it accordingly.

MO: Yes, yes. And we should also acknowledge that there are still a lot of places in the world which still live in extreme circumstances and have more of a place for extreme expressions of those energies in other places, it’s also a consideration.

I just recalled something on some point you said before which I think is instructive about mitigating condition. It’s instructive in the way that the texts are composed because sometimes it will tell you something which is really like a rule–those houses are bad, and if you have a planet in this house he’s weak–but then somewhere in the texts they will have something to show that there are other rules that can neutralize the badness or change it, and if you don’t read those little rules then you might not know it.

So for example, being in a bad house, even a traditional astrologer sometimes might think, okay, the planet is in the cadent house, so he’s in the background. He’s weak, he doesn’t have the power as in an angle, so he works badly. There’s a passage in Paul when he said that a planet in a cadent house can still act and act very well if it aspects an angle, or a well-placed planet on an angle, or is received by a well-placed planet. 

So in the texts themselves, if you just read them very fast and without attention then you might see an ideal rule which says this is bad or this is good. But if you continue reading and read between the lines and see the examples, then you see that they sometimes put somewhere another rule that just changes it altogether and tells you, okay, also a cadent planet can work even on an angle if it has strong aspects to it. That has to do with being well-placed by house as a mitigating factor. But also, being in a cadent house or a bad house has many ways of changing the bad outcome, you might say, or working for the better and not being with less power to act because of its placement. Sorry for the digression, but I thought it was an instructive example.

CB: Yeah, that’s a good one, and that’s one I forgot to mention. It especially comes up in the Hellenistic texts that a planet in, for example, the 6th house was interpreted negatively unless it was aspecting within 3° the degree of the Midheaven…

MO: Yes.

CB: …and that would then be considered to be a counteracting or a mitigating factor that would indicate that the placement could still work out positively. And I use that one of my stock examples of a mitigating factor because I had a client who had the ruler of the Ascendant and the ruler of the 10th in the 6th house–and the 6th house is traditionally associated with illness–but it was exactly configured to the degree of the Midheaven which is that mitigating factor. And the person was actually a doctor and actually became the head of a hospital eventually and became a rather prominent doctor in her field. 

So you see that sort of thing happening all the time. And that sets up an interesting distinction of this will be a negative placement and will coincide with these types of negative events in a person’s life unless x, y, and z, or unless this happens, in which case, it will have a more constructive manifestation such as this, this and this. So yeah, I’m glad you brought that up actually. 

MO: Yes, and this is something to keep in mind when reading ancient texts. They don’t always give you those additional rules to know when to judge that way or the other way. You need to find them inside the texts, inside delineations, inside examples, inside passages that are disconnected from the definition or other passages, so this is also instructive on how to read those texts.

And I also think that many of those rules may be missing. We don’t have all of the Hellenistic corpus. We have some of it or maybe a great part of it, but there could be many, many nuances and rules that change the basic ideal definition, and we have a lot of examples of that in the tradition. You might have a statement that the Sun rules the day and the Moon rules the night, and then you have a statement that says it’s not always the case because sometimes it’s like this and sometimes it’s like that. And then they give you different rules to help in making this distinction. So if you only go with the ideal general statement then you might lose a lot of information and nuances if you don’t fine-tune it in different ways.

So this is just an example of how rich and full of distinctions the tradition is. And I think modern astrologers, they don’t have to accept everything in the traditional astrology, but at least look at the tools as tools. You can paraphrase them humanistically, psychologically, and integrate them to your practice, but it’s just more characters of the alphabet that you are missing. So if you don’t see them or you reject them because they come from an older culture and perspective then you might lose a lot of access points and be blind to many of the nuances that may help you make more distinctions. Even if your orientation is evolutionary or psychological, I don’t think there is any contradiction in that. 

CB: Sure. It’s just a matter of becoming more effective at reading charts and being able to say things about a person’s life, and then what you choose to do with that or how you choose to frame it is sort of up to you.

MO: Yes.

CB: Okay. Well, I think that’s a really good note to bring this discussion to a conclusion. Is there anything you wanted to mention in terms of how people can get ahold of you if they’d like to study with you or have a consultation? Are you teaching any classes anytime soon?

MO: Yeah, I will be doing some seminars soon in Israel, so it’s mostly for Israeli people. But I’m available through my site, through my telephone, through Facebook, any medium that you can get in touch with me. I can also do consultation by Skype. I hope also to do some lectures or workshops sometime in the US, but right now I don’t have any plans like that.

CB: Okay. Well, yeah, it was great finally having you on the show, and we’ll have to do it again sometime and maybe do something like that in terms of going over some specific chart examples and looking at mitigating factors in the lives of specific people–rather prominent people or not–and demonstrate some of these principles in practice.

MO: Yes, that would be excellent. Really I think this is such a complex issue, we could go on for another hour easily. Hopefully, we gave a good overview and we didn’t miss crucial details. Thank you very much for having me. 

CB: Sure. Yeah, I think we are able to cover a pretty good amount in one episode, so I’m pretty happy with how this came out. 

All right. Well, I guess that’s it for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thank you all for listening, and we’ll see you next time.