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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 433 Transcript: The Lot of Fortune and Spirit in Astrology

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 433, titled:

The Lot of Fortune and Spirit in Astrology

With Chris Brennan and guest Kira Ryberg

Episode originally released on January 25, 2024


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 Andrea Johnson

Transcription released February 15th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Joining me today is Kira Ryberg, and we’re gonna be talking about the mathematical points in astrology known as lots or Arabic Parts, such as the Part of Fortune, the Part of Spirit, and other parts or lots like that. Hey, Kira, thanks for joining me.

KIRA RYBERG: Thanks for having me on. I’m really excited to be here.

CB: Yeah, this is your first time on the podcast. But you have been an astrologer, and I think, listener for a while now, right?

KR: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So it’s an honor to be here. I’ve been listening to this for years and years now.

CB: Awesome. All right, so we’ve got a big topic ahead of us. This is more of a technical topic, but it’s one that you’ve come to really focus on and specialize in. We’ve been talking about doing this episode for several months now, and it seems like a lot of astrologers are talking about lots recently. So it seems like our timing is sort of working out pretty well because it’s a topic that’s on everyone’s minds.

KR: Yeah, it definitely feels like it has a bit of buzz right now. So I think it’s the perfect time to start talking about some of this stuff and hopefully giving people a lot more information about how to delineate lots in their chart and why they’re so important.

CB: For sure. So we’re gonna talk today a little bit about the history, a little bit about the philosophy, a little bit about the calculations, and we’re also gonna look at some example charts. So why don’t we jump into it? I wanted to do just a quick overview at the beginning of our topic, and then we’ll get more into the details right after that. So the first quick overview thing is that lots are mathematical points in a chart that mark the signs of the zodiac with different topics. So there’s different lots that you can calculate, and depending on where they fall in a chart, they will mark that entire zodiacal sign with those topics. Just in the same way as with the houses—when a house coincides with a sign, it will mark that sign with the topics of that house—I think, is the basic premise, right?

KR: Yeah, exactly. So it’s gonna kind of bring in those significations that the lot has to do with, and it’s really gonna make them intertwine with the house significations and the sign as well.

CB: For sure. So the lots originated—it’s important to know—as an almost alternative method of assigning significations to the houses, where you had the standard method of calculating the degree of the ascendant and seeing what sign of the zodiac it falls in, and then that sign becomes the 1st house in the chart, and the sign after that becomes the 2nd house, and the sign after that becomes the 3rd house, and each of those houses has specific meaning. But then the purpose of the lots is that you could calculate a lot, and depending on what sign it falls in, it may add additional topics to that house. For example, the Lot of Fortune was said to sometimes signify financial resources or general circumstances surrounding possessions and wealth. And so, if that lot falls in, let’s say, the 4th house in a person’s chart, then it’s going to double-up or import additional significations. Besides just the 4th house relating to parents and the home and living situation, it’s going to import some additional sense of chance or money or financial wealth into that house.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: So that’s really important to understand, that they’re an alternative method of assigning signification to the houses. The oldest and most widespread lot is the Lot of Fortune, which is also known as the Part of Fortune. With this lot, it’s actually really simple. You just calculate the lot by measuring the distance from the Sun to the Moon in the chart, and then you measure the same distance from the ascendant—and that’s in a day chart—and whatever sign it falls in, that sign will take on the quality of the Lot of Fortune.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. And then if you have a night chart, that calculation is gonna reverse. So sect has a really big influence on the lots and where they’re gonna fall in the chart.

CB: Right. And we’ll get more into calculation. I’ll show some diagrams here soon. But because the lots rely on the ascendant, they’re very highly sensitive and highly personal points in the chart that move around the chart relatively rapidly, especially compared to other points or other planets; like the Sun or the Moon or Mercury or what have you, they sort of all zoom around the chart at different rates.

KR: Yeah. And because they are so personal, they really give you an entirely different lens or view on the chart that you just wouldn’t be able to access if you weren’t taking into consideration the lots and their signification. So that personalization is really key to understanding the importance of the lots and how they’re gonna impact the concrete reality that you’re interfacing with as a human being.

CB: Exactly. So early on, there may have only been a few lots. The Lot of Fortune seems to have been the first one, and then eventually they developed the Lot of Spirit—which goes together with the Lot of Fortune—and then eventually developed other lots until eventually, by the Medieval tradition, there were hundreds of lots that were being used in different parts of the tradition. There’s this funny quote from al-Biruni around the, I don’t know, 11th or 12th century where he says wryly, “The number of lots proliferate daily.” It’s sort of this funny quote where he’s just like these things are all over the place, and the astrologers are going kind of crazy with them. But originally, early in the tradition, it was just like a handful of basic lots.

KR: Yeah, I think Valens says that the Lot of Fortune is the ‘archetypal’ lot, and then we get Spirit that kind of comes after that. And then after a couple of centuries pass by we have a Lot of Lentils and a Lot of Beans and a lot for all of these agricultural things. And so, yeah, they really took it to the fullest extent that it could possibly be taken.

CB: For sure. Don’t knock the Lot of Lentils. Like you never know when you’re gonna—

KR: You never know when you’re gonna grow some lentils and need that lot, you know.

CB: Yeah. Or have a ‘lentil’ crisis is the worst-case scenario.

KR: Definitely.

CB: Yeah, we’ll get into that later. That’ll be a whole part of this talk. So the original use of lots has recently been rediscovered through translations of ancient texts—both Greek texts, Latin texts, Arabic texts, and a number of other texts—where these points used to be used much more frequently and in a much more advanced way, whereas a lot of that knowledge was lost after the 17th century. So this is something that’s becoming recently revived and rediscovered in a more advanced and sort of complex sense.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: So as a result of that, they’ve once again, in recent decades, become a major technique for timing and prediction in astrology. A lot of what we’re gonna get into today with the technical stuff is that they’re actually very useful, and surprisingly useful for both natal interpretation, as well as for timing, the eventuation of when specific events will take place in a person’s life.

KR: Yeah, there’s a lot of different ways you can use them. Whether it’s transits or zodiacal releasing or profections from lots, there’s a lot of different ways that you can implement them and really use them for timing and prediction. It’s amazing to see them work in practice.

CB: For sure. All right, so that’s actually all I’ve got up for the quick overview. That’s the quick introduction to lots. Are there any other quick things we should say at the very start of this, or are we good to expand on things a little bit more now?

KR: I think we can start expanding. We’ve got a lot to get through. No pun intended.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Oh, there will be lots of puns in this episode. That should be in the quick intro as well that it sort of goes with the territory anytime somebody talks about this.

KR: Absolutely.

CB: All right, so should we talk about philosophy/history stuff? Or should we really get into the calculation first, so that people can picture what we’re talking about?

KR: I think we can give some of the historical and philosophical background first, then maybe jump into the calculations once we start thinking about example charts and stuff like that that we’re gonna show.

CB: Right. I mean, I’m less concerned about the calculation, but more just I didn’t show any images or anything at the beginning, so I don’t know if it’s clearly conveyed what we’re talking about. So let me just very quickly do a little excursion on that—because I think it’s important—and then we’ll start getting into what these things are about.

KR: Sounds good.

CB: Okay. So the starting point with that that’s really important—and this is something that I discovered and have been a big proponent of—in modern times, oftentimes the lots are presented as if they are these algebraic formulas, where in order to calculate it precisely you add the position of the Moon to the position of the Sun and then you subtract the position from the ascendant or whatever that is. Usually when new students of astrology or astrologers in general see that on paper, some of them—especially if they’re not very mathematically-inclined—kind of zone out, and it just seems like a very abstract thing that’s not very accessible in terms of understanding what the purpose or motivation of that calculation is, I feel, right?

KR: Yeah, definitely. And luckily we live in the modern-day age where you can calculate these things on Astro-Seek or astro.com, otherwise it’s kind of hard to understand why these are important if we don’t understand the underlying foundations of the calculations.

CB: Yeah, well, and that’s actually a really good point Since the 1990s, since personal computers started becoming available, software programmers for astrology software would integrate the calculations into their software, and so then it would just be this point that you didn’t even have to know the mathematics behind in order to calculate. But I think despite that making it easier to calculate them, it then removed you even further from understanding where these points were coming from and what the rationale was, because then they were even further abstracted to just these random points in a chart that have names and like that’s otherwise all you know about them. But one of the things that’s important is if you go back and you actually read the texts, the way that they describe the calculation for lots is actually, one, surprisingly straightforward, and two, it immediately provides some insight into how the lots work and what their underlying rationale or philosophical motivation actually is. Let me see if I—you have a calculation from Paulus for Fortune, don’t you?

KR: Here we go. For Paulus, on calculating lots: “First is the Lot of Fortune which, for those born by day, it will be necessary to count from the solar degree to the lunar degree, and one must cast out the collected number from the degree-number of the ascendant, giving 30 degrees to each sign.” There you go. “And where the collected number leaves off, say that at that place is the Lot of Fortune. For those at night, the reverse, that is from the lunar degree to the solar. And likewise one must cast out the remainder from the degree of the ascendant.”

CB: Yeah, so this is really important because it’s not an abstract algebraic, at least in the way that we conceptualize the formula; this is presenting the lot calculation for the Lot of Fortune in a more geometric sense. And this was one of my first big breakthroughs in 2007—a couple of years into my studies of Hellenistic astrology—where I realized there was a discrepancy between how a lot of the contemporary, even traditional astrologers were talking about lots and their calculation and presenting them versus how it’s actually described in the text. Paulus says very specifically, in a day chart, count from the degree of the Sun to the degree of the Moon and then measure the same distance from the ascendant, so that’s the basic premise of what we’re supposed to do here when it comes to these formulas. So let me give an example of that. I’m gonna share my screen for those watching the video version. Here’s a little chart from my iPad, and this is a blank wheel that has Cancer rising. Let’s imagine that our ascendant is here at 15° of Cancer; so 15° of Cancer is the ascendant. And let’s assume that the Sun is here at 15° of Taurus, so right in the middle of that sign. And then let’s assume that the Moon is right in the middle of Leo at, let’s say, 15° of Leo. That’s a very beautifully-drawn Moon.

KR: It’s gorgeous.

CB: Thank you, thank you. I’ve practiced that a long time, 20 years now. All right, so if we follow what Paulus said, remember he says ‘if you have a day chart’. So we know this is a day chart because the Sun is up in the top-half of the chart. It’s above the horizon, so we know it’s a day chart. Lost my Moon. So he says if you have a day chart then start from the degree of the Sun and then measure the distance to the degree of the Moon. When we do that, and we count the number of degrees from the Sun to the Moon—because the Sun is at 15 Taurus and the Moon is at 15 Leo—that means there’s 90° between the two of them, so we write down our 90°. And then what Paulus says to do next—after you’ve measured that distance, which is 90°—is he says then measure out the same number of degrees from the ascendant. So then you start at the ascendant and you measure out 90° from the degree of the ascendant, and eventually that’s gonna bring you to 15° of Libra in this chart, and that’s where the Lot of Fortune will be in this chart.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So that’s it. That’s how you calculate lots, basically.

KR: Exactly. And for those that can’t tell from Chris’ beautiful drawing, that’s normally a circle with an ‘X’ in-between for the glyph of the Lot of Fortune. That’s a little unclear.

CB: Yeah, that’s a pretty mangled drawing. It’s harder to draw on an iPad than it seems that it should be.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So that’s really important. That’s how you calculate lots. That’s how you calculate every lot, because a lot pretty much always—like 95-98% of the time—is just counting from one planet to another planet and then measuring the same distance from the degree of the ascendant.

KR: Yep.

CB: So I do this and I always belabor this point because I think each person should. What I originally did is I had a dry erase board—‘cause this was like 2007—and I put out some blank charts, and then I just started using that to draw out lot calculations in different charts in order to get a sense for how it worked. And I think each person should do this with a piece of paper or whatever you’re most comfortable drawing with and do it in your chart, because as soon as you do, you’ll see how the lots move and how they work. You’ll have such a better access point for understanding what these things are all about that you’ll be surprised that you didn’t try this sooner, basically.

KR: Yeah, it takes it from being this abstract concept and makes it really personal, and you can understand how all of the key points in a chart—the luminaries and your ascendant—are so critical to calculating both the Lot of Fortune, the Lot of Spirit, and then all the other Hermetic, lots which are based on those two primary lots.

CB: Right, exactly. So there are some little tricks here. It’s kind of tricky because in the Hellenistic texts, there’s two ways to calculate lots. The way that the text described things is that you’re always supposed to count in zodiacal order, which is counterclockwise. So it’s like whatever your Point A is you’re always supposed to start there. For example, if the calculation starts at the Sun, you’re supposed to start there and then count to Point B, whatever your second planet is in zodiacal order, or in the order of the signs. And then you’re always supposed to start at the ascendant, and you’re supposed to count also in zodiacal order from the ascendant. So it’s like you’re always moving in the same direction, and there may be even something about that in terms of the conceptualization of projecting the lot downward from the degree of the ascendant. Because as soon as you project it downwards, it’s going under the Earth—into the sphere of the Earth and physical incarnation, which is the bottom-half of the chart—whereas the top-half of the chart is the sky; it was seen as more connected with the spirit or with the soul, whereas the bottom-half of the chart is more connected with the body and matter.

KR: That’s a great point.

CB: So my point with this is just that in the texts, you’re always supposed to count that way. Sometimes that’ll make it so that you’re counting the long way, all the way around the chart. For example, if the Sun was still in Taurus and the Moon was instead in Aquarius, then if you’re calculating the Lot of Fortune, you would still start from the Sun and you would have to count all the way around the chart to the Moon in Aquarius, which would be 10 signs. And then you would have to start from the ascendant and count all the way around the chart 10 signs until eventually you come to Aries—in this case, which is the 10th sign from our ascendant or rising sign, which is Cancer—and then that’s where the Lot of Fortune is in the chart. So that’s the way the texts describe the calculations and that’s one way to calculate things. There’s another easier way, though, that I prefer—which works the same mathematically but it’s more simple to calculate visually.

What you do is you start with your Point A—whatever your first planet is—but then you measure the shortest distance to Point B. In this case, we’re still starting from the Sun to calculate the Lot of Fortune at 15° of Taurus, but since the Moon is in Aquarius, the shortest distance to the Moon is to go in reverse zodiacal order, which is clockwise. So we’ll measure the distance to the Moon, and we’ll find that it’s 90° Then what you do when you measure the shortest distance is you still measure that out from the degree of the ascendant, but then when you measure out from the degree of the ascendant, you go in the same direction as you had to go when calculating the shortest distance between Planet A and Planet B. In this instance, because we had to go clockwise from the Sun to the Moon to get to the shortest distance, we also do that from the ascendant here going upwards 90°, and that brings us to Aries. So we end up at the same point, we still end up at 15° of Aries, but you see we’ve just gotten there a little bit differently.

KR: Yeah, a little bit quicker in that respect.

CB: Yeah, it’s quicker, and it’s easier to visualize. So it’s easy to glance at a chart and know how to calculate this pretty simply this way, right?

KR: Yeah, definitely. I think you teach it this way in your course as well, which made it really quick for me when I was taking that a couple years back.

CB: Yeah, this is how I teach it just because it’s so much more easily accessible in terms of that. And then one of the things that you see is that one of the shortest ways of knowing where the Lot of Fortune is in the chart—once you realize that it’s just a matter of measuring distances—is that whatever aspect there is between the Sun and the Moon in your chart, the Lot of Fortune will always have the same aspect with the ascendant. For example, if your Sun and Moon are square—which they are here, since they’re 90° apart from 15° of Taurus to 15° of Aquarius—that means the Lot of Fortune itself will also be a square to the ascendant, which is 90°. So one of the key access points for understanding the Lot of Fortune is that it just replicates the aspect that exists in the birth chart between the Sun and the Moon, and it replicates that aspect with the degree of the ascendant.

KR: Yep, exactly.

CB: Are there any other short things related to that that are worth mentioning?

KR: No, I think that’s pretty comprehensive.

CB: Okay. Yeah, so if your Sun and Moon are trine, the Lot of Fortune will be trine the ascendant. If Sun and Moon are opposite, Fortune will be opposite the ascendant, and so on and so forth. So that’s our initial access point for understanding the calculation and what we’re talking about in this episode. I just wanted to make that clear because one of the most important things if you’re first learning this topic is to sit down with a piece of paper and do that yourself and then your understanding and your foundation will immediately be light-years ahead of many other astrologers that have never done that before and don’t truly understand how to calculate lots.

KR: Yeah, definitely. The one thing that did come to mind is if like you have a New Moon in your chart, for example, then the Lot of Fortune is probably always gonna fall in the 1st house—unless you have a really late ascendant degree—and if you’re born on a Full Moon, then it’s gonna fall in the 7th house as well. So kind of just bringing in that nature of the conjunction and the opposition as well and where Fortune is gonna fall respect to that.

CB: Exactly. And if you have a quarter Moon—like a first quarter or third quarter Moon, which is when the Sun and Moon are square—then the Lot of Fortune is always gonna fall in the 10th whole sign house or the 4th whole sign house.

KR: Exactly, yeah.

CB: All right, cool. So that’s the concept of lots from a technical or calculation standpoint. Shall we back up now and talk a little bit about the premise and the philosophical and historical stuff?

KR: Yeah, sounds good.

CB: All right, so in order to understand this, there’s a few different points that are important in terms of the history and philosophy. One of them is, what is a lot? And the original concept underlying that is tied in with a few different things, right?

KR: Yeah, a couple of different things, like cleromancy and oracles and the nature of a lottery or divination and casting lots—especially back in ancient times—as a method of determining the will of the gods and what your allotment is. And we can see how that even translates over into some of the common language that we use today when we talk about, “Oh, that’s my lot in life,” for example.

CB: Right. So the original Greek term for lot is kleros. It’s derived from—or the concept underlying it is, first, the notion of casting dice or casting something that gives you a random outcome in order to decide the outcome of something. So just like we still cast lots today, or how we have a lottery where people pick something—you pick like a number, for example—then there’s like balls that bounce around and then one of them falls out and that determines the winner of it, basically, through the process of chance or fortune or randomness; which for us is not seen as meaningful in any way because chance is always 50/50, so it’s seen as random. But in the ancient world—although they did have that random component or some conceptualization of that—because of some of the background religious and spiritual worldviews, lots were used and were viewed as not random, but instead were viewed as something you could use in order to determine an outcome for something through divine guidance, under the principle that everything happens for a reason and that nothing happens in the universe without some sort of underlying motivation or being pushed in a direction by some sort of divine agency. So sometimes lots—instead of just being used to determine things randomly—were used to determine an outcome, as a method of divination in trying to figure out what the gods are indicating about the future.

KR: Yeah, exactly. I think it was very common to do when people were apportioning shares of something out—like an inheritance or something—and it would be a situation where they would cast lots on that, and then they would determine those shares and say it was the ‘god’s will’ that declared it to be so. That’s how they were able to get to the notion that this is what’s meant to be.

CB: Yeah, it was definitely used in that way to apportion things; there was an element with land. And we still have some of that in our language of dividing up land, where you have a lot of land, which means an apportionment of something; like taking a portion of something or dividing something up into portions. That actually becomes a really interesting conceptual motivation for the concept of lots as well because ‘lot’ language is actually all over Hellenistic astrology. And when they talk about how the planets came to be assigned to the signs of the zodiac and different things like that, they’ll often use language saying that ‘Venus was allotted to the sign of Libra’ as a result of this rationale. So they’ll talk about how the planets came to own or have their different plots of land in the signs of the zodiac based on the allotment that was apportioned to that planet.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: So definitely one motivation is using it in that sense of one’s due or one’s apportionment in life, also, which then became tied in with concepts of fate and what you receive as your due or what you receive as a result of your fate. But then there was this other component of using lots in the purpose of divination, both to tell the future or in order to have the gods decide something that was important. There’s this famous passage even in the Bible. I think Judas has betrayed Jesus and now they need to get a new apostle, and they have a choice between two options. So there’s this passage in the Bible where the 11 apostles pray and they ask God for divine guidance, and then they cast lots and the lot falls to one guy rather than the other. They take that as a divinely-inspired choice about what direction they should go, and so they choose that person as a result of the lot falling to him. So that’s a really important, core, conceptual motivation as well, the notion that even though things sometimes seem random there’s some sort of guiding force of fate underlying things that will push events in one direction or another.

And we still have that notion when it comes to chance that’s kind of latent in our psyche where sometimes we talk about random or chance events, and sometimes that can be bad things, but other times it can be good things. Like a few weeks ago, I remember there was that airplane window that blew out in mid-flight. On social media at least—I didn’t look into this a lot—there were a lot of people talking about how there were supposed to be two people seated there in that row, next to the window that blew out in mid-flight; but then for some reason—through a random sequence of event—they ended up missing their flight. And so, they weren’t there, and therefore didn’t get sucked out of the window in the middle of an airplane flight just due to these sort of seemingly chance circumstances, but ones that ended up conspiring to somehow, in that instance, seemingly save their lives.

KR: Yeah, that story was such a great elucidation of that kind of concept, that sometimes bad things happen. And those people were probably really upset about missing their flight, but then sometimes fate is having its way and we don’t know what we’re maybe not engaging with when we do miss that flight or something like that happens.

CB: Yeah, exactly. It’s like all of us have events like that on greater or lower scales. You missed the bus one day, but then as a result of that you ran into somebody and you started a relationship and that turned into a major relationship or a friendship of some sort. Or other things where sometimes something that seems bad ends up having a good outcome later on, so that it was necessary to have the bad, chance-like event that then set you up for another success later. Or sometimes vice versa, a seemingly good event, but then it turns out that that chance-like event led to a negative outcome later that you couldn’t have perceived when the first event happened.

KR: Yeah, exactly. Fate works in mysterious ways. Sometimes it’s not until you’re many years down the line that you can look back and see the thread that kind of interwoven between those different events and how if you wouldn’t have done that one thing that one day, it wouldn’t have led you to do ‘x’, ‘y’, and ‘z’ the next. And that’s kind of how our entire lives are formed up when we get to the end of things.

CB: Right. For sure. So philosophically, in the ancient world, part of this was that the Stoic philosophers conceptualized fortune as a goddess and a force in nature that was ultimately subservient to fate. It’s like fate is this overriding concept—which is like the sequence of events—as well as the divine plan and purpose in everybody’s lives. But then below fate you have fortune, which is sometimes creating these seemingly random chance-like events and things like that that seem chaotic, but that in fact are still operating within this broader overarching plan or purpose of fate.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And then somewhere beneath that we get agency or free will. So there’s ways that all of these three things kind of combined together to create the circumstances that we engage with on an everyday basis, where we’re born into certain material circumstances that might feel more like fate or fortune and then we respond and we have our agency and we do what we can with those, but we’re still gonna be confined by the family that we’re born into, the circumstances we’re born into, and different things that relate to that.

CB: Yeah, that’s a really great point. Because what we’ll end up seeing is that the astrologers themselves, they tried to make room for both of those things: fortune (and the things that befall you that are outside of your control, like fortune and chance) and then this other concept that they ended up calling Spirit (which are acts of personal volition or free will when you’re actually making choices and decisions in your life) and what the interaction is or the intersection is between your luck or your fortune or chance-like events versus your free will and your actions and your choices.

KR: Yeah, exactly. I often say the Lot of Fortune is the hand you’re dealt and the Lot of Spirit shows you how you play your cards.

CB: That’s good. I like that. All right, so all that’s really important. One of the backdrops philosophically, also, of why this is important is there was this very famous philosophical dialogue by the Greek philosopher Plato who was writing probably two or three centuries before the concept of lots was developed, at least maybe a century or two. He wrote this famous dialogue—which is called the Republic—and within it, towards the end of it, there’s this famous myth that he tells called ‘The Myth of Er’; and in this, it has a really important or at least influential philosophical backdrop that involves the concept of lots, as well as the concepts of fate and the planets and chance and all these other concepts that get wound together in this sort of broad philosophical or spiritual narrative.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. It really kind of elucidates the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit when you’re thinking about those whilst reading ‘The Myth of Er’. Because they say you kind of have your lot, right, that’s given to you in a much more fortunate kind of circumstance, and then you choose your daimon, which is another word for ‘spirit’. So you have both components being really pronounced in that myth.

CB: Yeah, I wrote a little summary of ‘The Myth of Er’ just to give people an idea of it without reading the entire thing. So it says: “Er, who is a warrior, dies in battle, but then miraculously revives 12 days later. In the afterlife, he recounts his vision of the underworld consisting of two paths: one for the just and one for the unjust. Souls dwell in each realm for a thousand years before choosing their next life through reincarnation. Before choosing, the souls gather at the Loom of Fate where the Three Fates spin destinies, and the goddess Lachesis assigns lives based on merit from the previous life. Er see great heroes and tyrants choosing lives suited to their soul’s condition. Initially drawn to a powerful tyrant’s life, Er remembers Socrates’s teachings and chooses a simpler philosopher’s life. He then wakes up on a funeral pyre forever marked by his experience.” One of the things that’s important is basically in the myth all of the souls that are about to reincarnate are on the outskirts of the universe, and they are given lots, and they have to pick a lot, basically. So there’s this random chance-like thing that happens where they have to cast lots in order to determine who gets to choose first and have a greater choice of lives versus who has to choose last, basically.

KR: Yeah, exactly. They cast the lots out, and you kind of get a number—that you go in order—and then choose your life. But I think there’s a line in there that says there’s enough good lives for everyone to have something that’s meaningful. There’s quite a lot of choice, basically, but there’s still those constrictions being placed on what you’re able to choose if you were last or if you’re first, based on the casting of the lots.

CB: Exactly. ‘Cause once you choose your lot—which is the chance-like element—then you choose your life. And so, at least in the terms of the dialogue, it’s trying to make some room for both fate and free will in a sense, in that there’s this element that’s outside of your control, which is like chance; but then once you are dealt that lot then you choose what life you want to live. What’s interesting about this is then once a person casts their lot and then chooses a life, each soul is then assigned a guardian spirit, which is then assigned the person and then is supposed to follow them into incarnation in order to help ratify and help ensure that they follow the plan in terms of what life they chose. And so, they’re assigned what’s called a ‘guardian spirit’, or in Greek it’s called a daimon; and that daimon or that spirit accompanies the person throughout their life and pushes them in certain directions based on the choice that they made in terms of what life they were supposed to live.

KR: Yeah. And I think that there’s something in there, too, that says that it’s the person’s responsibility to either choose their life or choose their daimon—I can’t remember which—and that God will not be held responsible. They almost put the responsibility for what happens on the individual, which I always found really interesting in that respect. It’s almost like abdicating responsibility for the things that go wrong and placing that on the person themselves.

CB: Right. Let me read part of that, just because it’ll convey it more clearly.

KR: Sure.

CB: So this is from the Robin Waterfield translation of the Republic, which I really like. I really like all of Robin Waterfield’s translations, both for this, as well as he recently did a new translation of Marcus Aurelius that’s really good that also talks about the daimon that I’ll read in a little bit as well. So from this translation it says: “As soon as the souls arrived, they had to approach Lachesis. An intermediary arranged them in rows and then, once he’d taken [from] Lachesis’ lap lottery tokens and sample lives, stepped up [to] a high rostrum and said, “hear the words of Lady Lachesis, daughter of Necessity. You souls condemned to impermanence, the cycle of birth followed by death is beginning again for you. No deity ([no] daimon) will be assigned to you: you will pick your own (daimons) [or guardian spirit]. The order of gaining tokens decides the order of choosing lives [so the order of gaining lots decides the order of choosing lives] which will be irrevocably yours. Goodness makes its own rules: each of you will be good to the extent that you value it. Responsibility lies with the chooser, not with God.”

After this announcement, he threw the tokens into the crowd, and everybody…picked up the [lot] that fell beside him. Each soul’s position in the lottery was clear once he picked up his [lot]. Next, the intermediary placed on the grounds in front of them [a] sample of lives…When the souls had all finished choosing their lives, they approached Lachesis in the order [of] the lottery [that] had [been] assigned them. She gave each of them [their] personal [guardian spirit or] (daimon) [that] they’d selected, to accompany them throughout their lives, as their guardians and to fulfill the choices [that] they had made. Each deity first led its soul [each daimon first led its soul] to Clotho, [one of the Fates] to pass under her hand and under the revolving orbit of the spindle [of the planets], and so [as] to ratify the destiny the soul had chosen in the lottery. Then, once [the] connection had been made with her, the deity led the soul to Atropos [one of the other Fates] and her spinning, to make the web woven by Clotho fixed and unalterable.” And then eventually the souls then go and rush into incarnation and into birth and enter into their next lives.

So one of the reasons why this is important here is because we’ve got in this myth the notion of lots and being assigned your lot and choosing and that notion of chance, which is fortune, and it’s directly connected to the notion of fortune that we find in the Lot of Fortune later, once that was developed in Hellenistic astrology. But here we also first encounter another concept that comes up with the lots as well, which is the concept of the daimon or the spirit or guardian spirit, because if the Lot of Fortune was the first and most important lot that was developed, the second most important lot that was developed was called the Lot of Spirit or the Lot of Daimon. So this notion of daimon is actually very integral to and is tied in with the concept of lots as well.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And we kind of see it even mirroring what we see in the astrological sense of you get to choose your daimon, right? Spirit has a lot more to do with your agency, your free will, the things that come from your own volition whereas the Lot of Fortune is directly related to the things that you cannot control. You cannot control the order that you go to pick your life. There is some choice there, but you’re still constrained by circumstance. So we see that kind of mimicking and mirroring what we see with the Lot of Fortune and Lot of Spirit, which is why this myth is just so kind of beautiful for highlighting how that shows up in the astrological world.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Because it’s trying to find the intersection between fate and free will, essentially. Although one of the interesting implications and things that have been subsequently debated about this debate is Plato tries to then make room for fate and free will by saying that the choice of the life was made prior to incarnation. So one of the things that’s interesting there—if you follow that implication to its fullest extent—is the notion that the life itself, once incarnated, is predetermined. Which in some ways, from an astrological standpoint—to the extent that the birth chart that you cast from the moment of birth is supposed to indicate your future and indicates all these different things about the life right from the very start of it—implies almost in some sense that that’s true; that the life is somehow potentially predetermined in its broad outlines at the very least from the moment of birth. Plato makes room for free will by saying that there was some sort of choice that was made prior to birth about the life, and that’s how he sort of reconciles those two things.

KR: Yeah, and then promptly says, “and you forget everything when you incarnate.” So you’re not gonna remember any of this when you’re alive.

CB: Right. The souls—after they choose and after they’ve gone to the Fates to ratify and to lock in their decision—then travel for another few days, and then they eventually have to drink from the ‘River of Forgetfulness’. Some of the souls drink more and some of the souls drink less, but all of them as a result of that forget the choice that they made when they’re born.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: Yeah, so this is important ‘cause we’ve got here our basic notions of fortune then as partially an allotment—it’s like what you’ve been allotted and what you’ve received through the distribution—and then you have daimon or spirit, which in some sense is being associated with choice. And we’ll see in the astrological texts that spirit and the Lot of Spirit gets associated not just with choice and actions, but also with the intellect and with the soul of the native, and that’s really important as well and something to think about and expand on.

KR: Yeah, the Lot of Fortune has connections with the Moon, primarily, and then the Lot of Spirit has connections with the Sun; the Moon being more like your body and your material circumstances and then the Sun being that of the intellect and the mind and the spirit. So that kind of carries that notion over into the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit as well.

CB: Yeah. And I actually have a quote about that here, since we’re getting into that now. So this is from the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens when he’s talking about the meaning of the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit. This is from Robert Schmidt’s translation. He says: “Whence the Lot of Fortune and [the Lot] of Spirit will have much power over the imposing and turning back of actions. For, the one [the Lot of Fortune] shows matters concerning the body and handicrafts [or work with the hands], but [the Lot of] Spirit and its [ruler or] domicile master matters concerning the soul and the intellect, and actions through discourse and through giving and receiving.” So that’s a really important basic distinction there where the Lot of Fortune is being associated with the body and the Lot of Spirit is being associated with the mind or the intellect.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And that goes even further when we’re bringing in techniques like zodiacal releasing and when you can track certain time periods, and when you’re gonna have ebbs and flows with health when you look at a Lot of Fortune, and then ebbs and flows of intellect or being able to take actions. And I think at one point Valens even says that the Lot of Spirit, in zodiacal releasing from that point, can indicate periods of mental distress or mental clarity.

CB: Yeah. So the mental state of the native, which can sometimes be good or sometimes be bad.

KR: Exactly.

CB: Okay. So this is important, this concept of the daimon, because it’s directly tied in with daimon being the word that’s used for the Lot of Spirit. Understanding what that means is important conceptually because there’s different conceptualizations of what the daimon is and how it works or what it does, and you can already see that there’s different interpretations that you can take of what the daimon is even just from Plato and from how that’s being described in ‘The Myth of Er’. So different possible interpretations and different conclusions that people draw from that—some interpret the Lot of the Daimon as being an internal compass or a sort of intuition representing the innate tendencies and potential within each soul that influence their life choices. Others view it as an external guiding spirit, like a guardian angel or a spirit guide that helps navigate choices and opportunities throughout life. Additionally, a third conceptualization that’s related is that the daimon could also be seen as a symbolic representation of the fixed aspects of a chosen destiny and the unchangeable parameters within which the individual exercises free will.

This is really important because in the ancient texts outside of astrology sometimes you have this notion of the daimon as this external guardian spirit that’s somehow influencing you. And what’s interesting about that is there was a lot of broader discussions in philosophy and religion about the concept of daimons being these intermediary spirits that have the ability to go back and forth between the celestial realm and the realm of the gods and the realm of immortality versus the terrestrial world or the sublunary world of physical incarnation where we’re living here as mortals; these guardians, these daimons or these spirits are these intermediaries between those two worlds that sort of travel back and forth. So they get discussed sometimes as these external things that are capable of acting or of doing things in the external world in some texts, whereas there’s other texts where the daimon—and especially the person’s personal daimon that’s assigned to them—gets associated more with this internal process of being like the commanding center or the intellect of the native in some sense; so instead of something that’s purely external, it becomes something that’s more internalized and is more personal to them.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And I think in a lot of magical traditions you’re also able to propitiate your daimon to do your bidding, so to speak, or to make things happen in your reality. So you can have a relationship with your daimon if you’re viewing it as an external spirit outside of yourself rather than just that internal compass, but people have obviously very different beliefs on where they land on that.

CB: Yeah, and I think even within the astrological community in ancient astrology, there was a range of beliefs. We see on the one hand, the astrologer and philosopher Porphyry at one point has this dialogue with another philosopher named Iamblichus where Porphyry talks about the potential of calculating the master of the nativity or the overall ruler of the chart, and that some astrologers, he says, used that in order to identify the guardian spirit. And then the idea supposedly was that you could somehow then invoke or propitiate the guardian spirit and make a request for it to change your fate in some ways because the guardian spirit was also the thing that was supposed to be essentially here watching to make sure that you did follow your fate and that you were supposed to follow that path. And so, there was this debate between Porphyry and Iamblichus about whether that made any sense. Because if the guardian spirit is here, and it’s supposed to be the thing that’s making you follow your fate, then how are you supposed to be able to invoke it in order to change your fate? And is that really possible? That was a famous debate that they had over that topic.

KR: Yeah, and that’s where that intermediary concept of the daimon comes in, right? Like they might be able to go and negotiate with the Fates—or the Moirai, or Zeus, or whoever—to see if that fate was able to be changed and whether that does happen and then your circumstances and your material reality change. And that’s where that magical perspective comes in quite a bit with the notion that you can change your fate, you can change your circumstances by engaging in ritual or propitiating your daimon or things of that nature.

CB: Right. So that was definitely one major part of the tradition, both in philosophy and culture and in astrology—that even Porphyry and Iamblichus talked about—that some astrologers were engaged in. There was this other part, though, that I’ve seen that I think is more connected with the Stoic school which—especially earlier in the Hellenistic tradition—I think tended to influence the astrologers more strongly. We can see astrologers—especially Vettius Valens or Manilius or some of the others—being much more inclined towards Stoicism and inclined especially towards viewing astrology itself as the study of fate and viewing things as being predetermined to a much greater extent or to a large extent; of those people—like Valens, but also other Stoic-inclined contemporaries—one of the most prominent was Marcus Aurelius, who was an emperor in the middle of the 2nd century. He was the emperor of the Roman Empire, but he was also a Stoic philosopher who wrote a book that’s usually referred to as the Meditations. Marcus Aurelius very frequently talks about the daimon and refers to it, but he refers to it more as this piece or this shard of the World Soul, because they believed that the entire cosmos itself was alive and was a living sentient being that had a body that is the physical world that we can see, but then also had a soul which is infused throughout it and connects everything with intelligence and meaning and purpose. They believed that our individual soul and daimon was like a shard of that World Soul that was within us, even while we’re physically incarnated.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: I have a quote from that. This is from the new Robin Waterfield translation—which I love both for his translation, but also for the commentary—that I recommend everybody get, especially those that are interested in Hellenistic astrology, because I think Marcus’ philosophy is probably some of the closest to Valens that you’re gonna find, and it can help you to understand a lot of the philosophical and more Stoic philosophical sentiments that Valens expresses in his astrological texts. One of the quotes from Marcus Aurelius says: “The man who lives with the gods is the one whose soul is constantly on display to them as content with its lot and obedient to the will of the guardian spirit…the fragment of himself that Zeus [or God] has granted every person to act as his custodian and command center. And in each of us this is mind and reason.” So it’s interesting ‘cause he’s talking about the guardian spirit being assigned to us by lot, essentially, by the universe or God or the cosmos, but also saying that the guardian spirit in us is representing mind and reason and is our commanding center. It’s the thing that’s animating and moving our body in the same way that we have the conceptualization of our mind actualizing the choices that we make through our bodies, essentially.

KR: Yeah. And I think in Valens’ description of the Lot of Spirit, he defines it as something that stirs your soul into action. We would think about that as being the mind and the intellect and the reasoning capacity that we have to make decisions that enable us to go out into the world and do things, right? So I think we see that really strong parallel between Marcus Aurelius and Valens’ description of the Lot of Spirit coming through there.

CB: Exactly. And I think that’s really important because in Marcus—and then also in Valens as a result of that—I think there is a conceptualization of the guardian spirit or the daimon as being more of this internalized thing that’s sort of part of you, even if there’s a recognition of it being assigned or coming from elsewhere, but it’s much more personalized to you rather than just being this external, unknowable spirit or something like that. And I think that gets us much closer in most cases to the actual underlying conceptualization especially of the Lot of Spirit, which is consistently in the astrological tradition treated as having to do with the mind and the intellect and the choices or acts of personal volition of the native.

KR: Yeah, it’s a very personal point in the chart where it almost highlights an element of your personality, of your decision making, about how you approach life more generally speaking that sometimes you don’t find in other parts of the chart. Someone could maybe be incredibly Venusian and have a Libra ascendant and Venus ruling that in Taurus, and then all of a sudden their Lot of Spirit is in Aries and they have a very martial disposition to them and a way of going about making decisions and acting in the world that we maybe wouldn’t associate with someone who is so typically Venusian. And that’s why the lots can provide almost like this lens on the person and who they are internally as well. The Lot of Spirit specifically can highlight that I think in a really powerful and validating way for some people.

CB: For sure, definitely. Okay, I think we have explained that pretty well. And although we’re moving slowly—some people might want us to move faster—I think it’s actually building on itself quite well, because now I think we could actually introduce the calculation for the Lot of Spirit, but then also get to the underlying conceptual motivation for why the calculations are the way they are, which I discovered back in 2007, and this might be a good transition point to get into that.

KR: Yeah, sounds perfect.

[promo break]

CB: If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology then I’d recommend checking out my book titled, Hellenistic Astrology: The study of Fate and Fortune, where I go over the history philosophy and techniques of ancient astrology taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an ebook version available through Google Books.

[end of promo break]

CB: All right, so let’s transition into talking about the meanings of Fortune and Spirit a little bit more and the rationale underlying the calculations. So here’s a quote from Dorian Greenbaum’s translation of Paulus Alexandrinus where he’s talking about the meaning of the Lot of Fortune and the meaning of the Lot of Spirit. So he says: “Fortune signifies all things about the body and action throughout life. It becomes indicative of acquisition, reputation and privilege.” Then he says: “[The Lot of] Spirit happens to be lord of soul, temper, sense and every capability [or] (faculty), and there are times when it cooperates in the reckoning about what one does.” Meaning one’s occupation or career.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So this is really important, and this is a basic distinction that comes up over and over again in the Hellenistic texts about the difference between Fortune and Spirit; that Fortune is things that have to do with the body, things that happen to do with the hands, that you do with the physical body, but also things like acquisition of material goods and material wealth, privilege, which is something that you sort of receive not as a result of choice but as a result of circumstance. Like you have a privilege in some area of your life. What’s an example of privilege? Like being born into wealth, for example, might be an example of privilege.

KR: Yeah, I’m thinking of ‘nepo’ babies. You’re born into quite a bit of privilege in those circumstances.

CB: Exactly. That’s funny. We’ll see some actual examples of that, of people that were born into a wealthy family with the Lot of Fortune in the 4th house.

KR: Yeah, exactly. I think in one of our examples we have Marie Antoinette. She has the ruler of her Lot of Fortune in the 4th house, and so you can see how she was born into a royal family as well. So there’s certain ways that the Lot of Fortune is also just gonna tell you a lot about what circumstances the native is born into through no capacity of their own, through things that were not their choice.

CB: Right, for sure. Or areas even later in life that they’ll be successful or they’ll have fortunate circumstances in. And that’s something that’s really important to think about because one of the good things about 20th century astrology and the rise of humanistic and psychological astrology is it put a lot of focus on free will and choice and not giving into an overly-fatalistic attitude of things, which I think was good. But one of the shortcomings of 20th century humanistic astrology is it doesn’t often know how to deal with and it doesn’t have a good grasp on dealing with things that are outside of a person’s control, of which there are many things in this world, in our experience of human life, that are outside of our control, that are circumstances and stuff that just happens that you don’t have control over and that is outside of the realm of your choice no matter how much you might want it to be otherwise, and that’s part of where Fortune is coming into play here.

KR: Yeah, and I think that can be really validating for some people, too. When there’s an element of fate, it doesn’t all rest on your shoulders. Not everything is a product of how much effort you’ve put into something. Like sometimes stuff just sucks. Sometimes bad things just happen and that’s not your fault, that’s just a product of fate and circumstance.

CB: Yeah, and I was much more adamant about this in the mid-2000s when stuff like The Secret and ‘Law of Attraction/manifestation’ stuff was much more en vogue, and there was almost this belief that you could manifest or you could do anything in your life; and if you don’t or if you had bad circumstances happened there was almost this implication that it was your fault for not willing something good to happen instead. While there’s some good things about that idea that are important so it’s not given into a sort of fatalism, there’s also some really bad things. Because it’s really both psychologically as well as metaphysically wrong to tell people that some of the worst circumstances in their lives are things that could have been different if only they had thought differently or thought better, and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. There truly are a lot of things that are outside of our control that have to do with our circumstances in chance or fortune.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like telling someone who has a chronic illness that they just didn’t wish hard enough to not be sick. It’s cruel, and it’s not real or true, either. And so, I think you can go too far on either end of the spectrum where you become too fatalistic, and then it’s like, “Well, I just won’t do anything. I won’t get off the couch, and I won’t try to make life happen.” And then there’s the other end where it’s like, “I have ultimate control over everything.” I think maybe the healthiest thing is to find a nice in-between of those, where certain things fall out of your control and that’s okay, and certain things you can make happen, and that’s where we greet life’s opportunities and try to make stuff happen to the degree that we can.

CB: Right, exactly. And that is where Fortune and Spirit. So Fortune, we’re talking about ‘body’ things that happen. Spirit, on the other hand, is the other end of the spectrum. When the astrologers talk about Spirit, they tend to be talking about the soul, the intellect in the sense of choice, action, or personal volition that the native has and the actual choices that they make and the things that they bring into their life as a result of actualizing their internal, intellectual mind; another perspective can be actualizations of the soul itself that are then coming about and being manifested in the world.

KR: Yeah, I often think of the Lot of a Spirit as almost like what you’re incarnated to do, what you feel compelled towards or drawn to on some greater scale, which is where that idea of maybe like a guiding daimon or spirit is really helpful. Because sometimes you just feel like you have to do something, like you were born to create or born to have a family or whatever it might be, and there’s that almost compulsion there; your inner compass, so to speak, is directed in that direction. And so, the Lot of Spirit is really gonna speak to that purpose, that underlying motivation for why you get up off the couch. You know what I mean?

CB: Yeah, for sure. What is the intersection between the circumstances that are outside of your control (which is Fortune) versus the circumstances that are actually within your control (which is Spirit), and the intersection between those two things? That’s something that is probably the most important thing—I guess if I was to think about it—that the lots (especially the Lot of Spirit and the Lot of Fortune) do, especially in their applications, not just in looking at their natal placement, but also through timing techniques like zodiacal releasing; it’s the ability to see the intersection between those two and to identify and sometimes be able to separate the things that have to do with chance and fortune and external circumstances versus the things that have to do with choice and personal volition and what the native is actively trying to bring about in their life through their own striving and through their own efforts.

KR: Yeah, I’m eternally wishing for a software to show both at the same time, so you can see the ways that they’re kind of playing together and how certain things might be happening from the Lot of Fortune; and then you get to see how you respond from the Lot of Spirit without having to click back and forth from a couple of different screens to the next.

CB: Right. Yeah, and one of the cool things about doing zodiacal releasing from the Lot of Spirit and then looking at the angles from the Lot of Fortune is that those are the times where you see the actual turning points in a person’s life, where what they’re trying to accomplish and what they’re trying to do often in terms of their career or their overall life direction suddenly falls into alignment with their external circumstances and the things that are available to them, so that they find themselves to be the right person who’s at the right place at the right time, and they’re able to then accomplish that thing. Which sometimes you’ll see show up in the charts of people who become president, for example. They’re the person that’s there at the right time, at the right place, but also is doing the right thing and making the choices at the right moment as opposed to the opposite scenario, which is like the wrong person that’s doing the wrong thing. Or even if they’re doing the right thing, they’re doing it at the wrong time, let’s say. They’re doing actions and maybe they have good internal qualities and potential, but maybe their circumstances just don’t allow for them to be successful at that time through things that are outside of their control.

KR: Yeah, and that’s where sometimes in life you have to give something a go a couple of different times. You might try to do something 10 years prior and the circumstances were just not making it happen for you, and then you try again. Which we kind of see with the loosing of the bond and the foreshadowing period a lot of the time where someone will plant the seed during the foreshadowing period, try to make something happen, and circumstance will come around and say ‘not right now’, and then it comes back around during the turning point or the loosing of the bond. And so, there’s ways that we can even look at that in the context of zodiacal releasing and see, when it’s gonna line up, when it’s gonna be that time for you. So, yeah, there’s a lot of ways that that can be delineated as well, which is just really helpful. ‘Cause sometimes it can feel really frustrating for people when they’re trying to make something happen and just running into roadblock after roadblock after roadblock, and that can get very discouraging. But when you’re able to see, “Oh, hey, just hang in there, a couple years down the line, it’ll be your time,” can be very validating and affirming.

CB: Yeah, exactly. And two things—one, we’re gonna refer to zodiacal releasing a few times, but I did a full episode on zodiacal releasing in a separate episode. So for more of an introduction to that, just search for my earlier episode on zodiacal releasing on the podcast or on my YouTube channel. But, two, talking about being in the right place at the right time—or the person making the choices at the right time versus not—that I think is the fundamental thing that the person or the astrologers who developed this technique of lots (especially the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit) was trying to address and was trying to answer. What they were trying to do is they were trying to develop a means to identify fortune and circumstances and chance and things that are outside of a person’s control, and they were trying to also identify choice and personal volition and intellect and the things that are within a person’s control. And so, imagine if you didn’t have a system for that in astrology yet but you wanted to develop one—because you realize that there’s these two major concepts of chance versus choice—and you said to yourself, “How could we develop a technique to see that in the chart?” Somebody around the 2nd century BCE or 1st century BCE had that philosophical problem in mind, and they developed this technique as a way to try to isolate those two domains of life in a birth chart; and I believe actually that they were successful—when they developed that technique or when they discovered this concept—in actually doing that.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. If you work with it enough it’s pretty incredible to see it come to life and to see how accurate it is in showing you when certain things are going to be happening to you outside of the realm of your control. Getting sick or getting in a car accident will often show up from the Lot of Fortune, and then the Lot of Spirit will show you when are you gonna get promoted or have something happen in your professional world because you went after an opportunity, so it’s pretty incredible as a technique.

CB: Yeah, and a technique for showing good fortune and bad fortune, but also showing this concept that we have in our normal everyday language—but putting it into astrology—which is how to identify areas where sometimes a person is very fortunate versus how do you identify areas where a person is very unfortunate. And those are sometimes good keywords for looking at some of these, especially the Lot of Fortune itself as areas of good fortune and areas of bad fortune, if we’re conceptualizing fortune especially as representing circumstances outside of a person’s control that sort of happened to them.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: All right, so that’s gonna bring us back to the calculations. I want to show you why Spirit and Fortune mean what they mean from a discovery I made back in 2007. Imagine, like we said, that you’re somebody in the 2nd century BCE, and you have the concept of the birth chart, you may have the concept of the ascendant, but you want to figure out a way to specify further acts of volition versus acts of chance or fortune. So they came up with these calculations, and we’ve already talked about how the calculation for the Lot of Fortune is—do you want to say the calculation real quick while I share the screen?

KR: The algebraic for—


CB: Well, let’s do the geometric one. So the geometric one—let me share my screen really quickly here, and I’ll actually draw it out. There we go.

KR: Oh, perfect.

CB: So the geometric calculation for the Lot of Fortune—as it’s described in Paulus and most of the other Hellenistic astrologers—is in a day chart, you start from the degree of the Sun and then you measure the distance to the degree of the Moon, and then you measure the same distance out from the ascendant. But then they say, interestingly, the calculation switches depending on if you have a day or a night chart. They say if you have a night chart, to calculate the Lot of Fortune, you actually want to reverse the calculation. You start with the degree of the Moon and then you measure the distance to the degree of the Sun, and then you measure that same distance from the degree of the ascendant, but both of these calculations are supposed to indicate the Lot of Fortune. So one of my questions, then, when I first started working on lots and really sat down to try to think about it and understand this ancient concept—and one of the things that’s funny is even though lots didn’t survive into the 20th century into modern astrology and for the most part part had been largely forgotten about until 1980 when Robert Zoller published his book on the Arabic parts that was largely based on his reading of the 13th century astrologer Guido Bonatti—prior to that time the Lot of Fortune was the only lot that kind of survived and was sometimes put into charts by modern astrologers in the 20th century because that was the one lot that was mentioned by Ptolemy and by William Lilly. So it was one of the few lots that actually survived, but nobody really knew why the calculation was what it was and why it was supposed to do what it was supposed to do; what little was known about what it was supposed to do in the 20th century was in of itself very little.

So when I sat down to work on this one of the questions was—and that you should ask yourself—why do both of these calculations (the day chart calculation and the night chart calculation) indicate the same thing or result in the same point? And especially the question I had was, what is the commonality between the two? This is what I realized. We already know that the difference has to do with sect and the difference between day and night and that that’s what changes between the two of them; so what you do—and what the commonality is between both of them—is you’re counting to the luminary that’s actually dark during that part of the day when it comes to the Lot of Fortune. So sect light is the starting point, the dark luminary is the ending point. In both instances—let’s start with the day chart calculation—in a day chart, the Sun is the shining luminary that is emanating light and is lighting up the outside and the day. You like the cosmic rays there? Looking good?

KR: That was great.

CB: Okay. So the Sun is the one that’s shining in a day chart, and we’re starting the calculation from that shining luminary—which is known as the ‘sect light’ in Hellenistic astrology—but we’re going away from that; we’re measuring the distance from that shining luminary, the Sun, and we’re going to the Moon. And during the day, the Moon is not the primary luminary; that’s actually the luminary that’s contrary to the sect in Hellenistic astrology. So in some ways, then, we’re going from the concept of light to the concept of darkness when it comes to the calculation of a Lot of Fortune. That’s really obvious in the day chart calculation because, even just by default, if we think of the Sun, we think of the day automatically, whereas if we think of the Moon, we think of the night and we think about the Moon coming out at night, right?

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: So that’s part of it, but then what’s interesting is the same thing involving sect holds up for the night chart calculation. So if we switch to the night chart, the calculation is to start from the Moon and then count the distance to the Sun. At night, the Moon is actually the shining luminary. So the Moon is the celestial body that’s emitting light at night because the Sun is below the horizon, and therefore it’s dark out. But the Moon—especially a Full Moon—is above the horizon, it’s illuminating and is lighting up things and allowing you to see; it’s the principle or the celestial body that’s actually providing the most light at night. In the Lot of Fortune calculation you’re starting with the Moon as the luminary—the provider of light—and you’re counting the distance to the Sun. But at night the Sun is dark. The Sun is underneath the horizon. It’s not providing light, and it’s sort of eclipsed or endarkened, you might say.

Okay, so what I realized that that meant actually is that the commonality in both calculations is you’re starting from the luminary that’s representing light at that part of the day and then you’re going to the luminary that’s representing darkness at that part of the day. So that means that the underlying principle of the Lot of Fortune is the concept of going from light to dark; so going from light to darkness. And what I eventually realized that this meant was that the Hellenistic astrologers and the inventor of the technique had a concept that light was associated with the soul and the intellect and darkness was associated with the body and physical incarnation, and that partially had to do with a lot of ancient philosophical and spiritual and religious theories about the soul being this luminous thing that sort of descends through the planetary spheres at birth and picks up qualities from each of the planets, but then eventually goes down into the material world which is associated with darkness. So darkness is associated with matter and the soul and the spirit is associated with light. But for the Lot of Fortune they were specifically associating it with the concept of darkness, and therefore with matter and physical incarnation.

KR: Yeah, that was a great explanation.

CB: Okay, does that make sense? Anything about that that doesn’t make sense?

KR: No, that made perfect sense to me. That was great.

CB: Okay, cool. So to run through it more quickly, the same principle also applies to the Lot of Spirit, but it’s the reverse. Let me share my screen. So the calculation for the Lot of Spirit according to the texts is in a day chart, you start from the Moon and then you measure the distance to the Sun; pretty much all the texts say that’s how you calculate Spirit. But then by night, you’re supposed to start with the Sun and measure the distance to the Moon. So then the question becomes, what is the commonality between them? It’s basically the reverse of the Lot of Fortune because in this instance you’re starting from the luminary that is eclipsed or is not providing light during that part of the day. For example, the Moon in a day chart is not the main luminary, and the Sun in a night chart is not the main luminary that’s providing light because the Sun is sleeping basically below the horizon.

So in both instances, you’re counting from the luminary that’s dark or eclipsed to the luminary that’s shining and providing light. For example, with the day chart calculation, you go from the Moon to the Sun, and the Sun is the shining luminary during that part of the day; so it’s mimicking a principle of going from darkness to light. Similarly, in the night chart calculation, you’re going from the Sun—which is sleeping—to the Moon, which is the sect light, which is providing light during that part of the day. So this sets up a principle where the Lot of Spirit calculation—the commonality between them that’s true in both the day and night calculation—is that you’re going from light—or sorry, the concept of darkness to the concept of light; it’s something that’s moving from darkness to light. So dark, light, and that is Spirit; that is the concept that is associated with Spirit. instances of both of these lots, the dominant principle is the one that you’re counting to that’s on the right. So in this instance, for the Lot of Spirit, the dominant principle is that you’re counting to the sect light, or in other words, the luminary that’s providing light. Therefore the underlying principle for the Lot of Spirit is the concept of light and the underlying principle for the concept of Fortune is darkness; and by extension darkness is associated with matter, the body, and physical incarnation, and Spirit is associated with the soul, the mind, and the intellect.

KR: Yeah, it’s making me think a lot about how when we’re younger, we don’t have those reasoning faculties. We gain intelligence, we gain agency the older that we grow as well. So through that journey of life, we almost move closer towards Spirit and the luminary that’s growing and increasing in light. Does that make sense?

CB: Sure, yeah. So this is really important because nobody had ever pointed this out before; it’s not even really clear in the ancient texts. It was something that I only figured out because I realized we needed to look at the calculations from a geometrical perspective, like I showed earlier. And once that sort of breakthrough had been made and I started writing them out like this, you could kind of then see what the dominant principle was in the calculation in each case. So that was a discovery I made in 2007, that then provides our access point for understanding the lots—and especially Fortune and Spirit—at a deeper level, but then also can help unlock even the calculation of other lots that were introduced at different points as well.

KR: Yeah, because all of the Hermetic lots are gonna use either Fortune or Spirit in their calculation. So that kind of basis of moving from darkness to lightness, or lightness to darkness is going to be key and central even when we’re looking at the Lot of Eros or the Lot of Necessity, and so on and so forth.

CB: Yeah, why don’t we mention that here. Just the calculations for the Hermetic lots and what those are. So later in the tradition, probably sometime around the 3rd century, they don’t show up in their fullest form until the 4th century in the work of Paulus Alexandrinus. There is this set of seven lots and each of them is associated with one of the seven traditional planets, including the luminaries. These have become known as the ‘Seven Hermetic Lots’ because they originated in a text that was attributed to Hermes Trismegistus that was probably composed somewhere around the 3rd century. Valens and the other 2nd century astrologers don’t seem to be aware of this full set of lots, whereas Paulus by the 4th century is already drawing on an earlier text; so we think then—because Paulus lived in the 4th century—that this text must have been written in like the 3rd or so.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So here’s the Seven Hermetic Lots. They are the Lot of Fortune (which is associated with the Moon), the Lot of Spirit (which is associated with the Sun), the Lot of Eros (which is associated with Venus) the Lot of Victory (which is associated with Jupiter), the Lot of Necessity (which is associated with Mercury), the Lot of Courage (which is associated with Mars) and the Lot of Nemesis (which is associated with Saturn). So these are the Seven Hermetic Lots. They have interesting calculations that are different than the original ones that we were familiar with; we see Fortune and Spirit here, and these are the normal standard calculations from them where you either measure the distance from the Moon to the Sun or from the Sun to the Moon and then the same distance from the ascendant brings you to the lot; but the Hermetic lot calculations for the other planets start with or end with a lot, and start with either the Lot of Spirit or the Lot of Fortune. The lot of Eros, for example, in a day chart, you’re supposed to measure the distance from the Lot of Spirit, the degree of Spirit, to the degree of Venus and then the same distance from the ascendant. In a night chart, you’re supposed to start with Venus and then measure the distance to the Lot of Spirit and then measure the same distance from the ascendant. So this starts introducing that while most lots are measured from one planet to another and then the same from the ascendant, there’s other ways of calculating lots where they can sometimes be measured from a lot to a planet or a planet to a lot or other things like that.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: Fundamentally, a lot can be just measuring from one point in a chart to another point in the chart and then measuring the same distance from the ascendant. So in this instance, we’re incorporating lots into the calculation. In other instances, sometimes they calculate the distance from one planet to a house in the chart; like the Lot of Death, for example, is associated with the 8th house, and you’re supposed to measure the distance to the 8th house from another point. Yeah, so there’s different ways you can do lot calculations, and you’ll see a lot of variations, although the fundamental principle is just counting from Point A to Point B and then from the ascendant.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: Okay, so the Hermetic lots are ones that you’ve specialized in especially, right?

KR: Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time with them in client practice, and I did a lecture and a guidebook, and I did a collaborative lecture with the astrologer Chloe Margherita on the Lot of Eros. I think that they just have a lot to say about a person’s life and their circumstances. Like I was saying before, they offer a different lens on the chart that you just don’t get if you’re not taking them into consideration, and so they can be really illuminating for a lot of different areas and topics of life when we want to get more specific. Because sometimes the Sun can mean so many different things, and then the Lot of Spirit is a little bit more of a condensed meaning of the Sun; and so it’s almost like a way to get a bit more specific about certain topics, which can be really helpful.

CB: Nice, okay. Yeah, and I have done a lot with the lots, or the Hermetic lots. I wrote a paper titled, I think, “The Theoretical Rationale Underlying the Seven Hermetic Lots” back in 2009 for a journal that Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro were doing—called The Tradition Journal—for several years, but you can Google it to find that paper. I also developed a technique where I’ve used a Lot of Eros using this calculation from Paulus and from the Hermetic texts a lot. And in 2005—in November of 2005 when I was first learning zodiacal releasing—we were doing study sessions at Project Hindsight to work out the technique. After one study session—where we were using Spirit and Fortune, which is how Valens teaches it, and we were applying it to example charts—I went back to my room at one point after one study session in November of 2005 and tried to see if you could do releasing from the Lot of Eros to study a person’s love life and relationships, and I was actually really surprised to find find out that you could and that it worked actually very well for timing things in a person’s love life by using the Lot of Eros and applying it within the context of this sort of exotic timing technique that comes from Vettius Valens.

KR: Yeah, it was revolutionary work. It kind of pushed me as well in my studies to see if we could do that from other lots, and I’ve had a lot of success with releasing from the Lot of Necessity to see things related to necessity and different things that are related to that. So there’s a lot more work to be done with the lots, but it’s an exciting field to be specializing in and really getting into, because there’s just so much you can do with them and so much you can glean from a chart when you’re, yeah, working with them.

CB: For sure. And that brings up that you can get the Hermetic lots—or for sure the three lots—calculated at a lot of websites at this point. I had encouraged a lot of different websites to integrate those, and I know you can get them calculated on astro.com. Also, Peter from Astro-Seek has a calculator. I mean, I guess I should say, first, you can use calculators, but please don’t bypass eyeballing it and doing the geometrical calculation on your chart first, so you understand how they work and how simple it is to calculate them; but once you do understand that there are calculators—and free ones—that you can use. There’s some really great resources, especially on astro-seek.com, where Peter, the creator of Astro-Seek, has one page set up where it will calculate very easily the Lot of Fortune, Spirit, and Eros using the calculations that we we use and prefer from Paulus in a pretty straightforward way, so it’s pretty cool.

KR: Yeah, I think he also has an option in the traditional calculator, if you have that switched on, to just display the Seven Hermetic Lots. So you can actually get all seven if you’re using the traditional calculator when you input your birth time.

CB: Nice. Okay, awesome. Good, that’s really cool. There is one thing to mention really quickly—but I don’t want to dwell on it—where there’s two different calculations for Eros and Necessity. Valens has earlier calculations in Dorotheus where for Eros, you measure the distance from Spirit to Fortune—actually it’s the reverse. I believe it’s from Fortune to Spirit for Eros and then the same from the ascendant; for the Lot of Necessity it’s from Spirit to Fortune and then the same from the ascendant. That seems to have been the earlier approach to calculating Eros and Necessity where it didn’t involve Venus or Mercury at all, but instead it was something that was being extrapolated even further from the two fundamental lots, which are Spirit and Fortune, and that has its own interesting rationale and usage and everything else. For Eros, though, I’ve really liked and have preferred the calculation from Paulus because it actually integrates the planet Venus directly into the calculation, as well as the Lot of Spirit as well.

KR: Yeah, I also prefer the Paulus calculations, and I think it’s a nice rationale of using all of the planets. Like each of these seven planets has their own lot, so that specification that we were talking about before becomes really clear when you’re using those calculations rather than using the Valens calculations for Eros and Necessity. But it can get confusing if you don’t know that there’s different formulas for those.

CB: Right, for sure. And one thing is that, generally speaking, in Paulus at least, the Lots of Nemesis and Courage are treated as pretty negative lots indicating challenging things—and Necessity as well—because they’re associating them with Fortune. Eros and Victory are associated with pretty positive things because they’re associated with the benefics and with the Lot of Spirit, whereas Courage and Nemesis are associated with malefics.

KR: Yeah, I’ve always thought that was really fascinating, just to highlight how the more challenging things that can happen to someone in their life are usually not a product of their own decisions, but are just kind of a product of fate and circumstance. In using Fortune in those calculations, you see the definitions of Necessity and Courage and Nemesis, and it’s like death and destruction and constraining circumstances and things that sound really difficult. And then you go to Eros and Victory, and it’s associations and friendships and desires and pleasures, and it has a much more benefic tone to it; and those are the things that we tend to have a bit more agency over or choose, so that kind of underlying rationale is really interesting to dig into as well.

CB: Yeah, for sure. I think Paulus Alexandrinus, from Greenbaum’s translation, says that: “The Lot of Eros signifies appetites and desires occurring by choice, and it becomes responsible for friendship and favor.” And then Rhetorius says: “The Lot of Venus [or the Lot of Love] signifies [‘cause Eros means ‘love’ in Greek] the desires and lusts and loves made in the same sense, and it is indicative of gratification.”

KR: Yeah, exactly. So the concept of gratification is something that fills you up, it’s something that makes you feel good at the end of the day, whereas you read the Nemesis stuff and it’s usually not the things that make you feel good: like exile and banishment and things related to those topics.

CB: Right. Yeah, that is not one of my favorite feelings—that common feeling of exile and banishment.

KR: Yeah, are you getting exiled and vanished frequently? Or is it a recurring theme in your life?

CB: Not so far. I mean, we’ll have to see after this episode comes out. All right, so I think that’s good. Now that we’ve gone over all the calculation and conceptual and philosophical stuff, maybe it’s time to get into some practice.

KR: Yeah, that sounds great.

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CB: All right, so we’re back, and I need to touch on two other little things I forgot to mention, one of them is the name for the Lot of Spirit, which in the texts it’s called the ‘Lot of Daimon’. As more people have become interested in the concept of daimon and research surrounding that some people have started calling it daimon, and I know that’s what Riley translates it as in Valens, for example. In his translation of Valens, he leaves the word untranslated as daimon, whereas earlier on in the Project Hindsight translations, Schmidt translated the word ‘cause he had this aversion to leaving words untranslated, and he translated it as the ‘Lot of Spirit’. Nowadays, I can see different astrologers going different directions where some are calling it the ‘Lot of Spirit’, others are calling it the ‘Lot of Daimon’, either way is correct. I call it the Lot of Spirit because I think that’s an accurate translation of what the Greek word daimon means. If you ask somebody what is a daimon, it’s like a spirit; it’s either a guardian spirit, or it’s like an intermediary spirit between the divine celestial realm and the terrestrial realm, or it’s the internal spirit within us that we associate with our mind and our intellect. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t leave it untranslated, and I prefer to actually just call it the Lot of Spirit ‘cause I think that actually gets to and explains what it is—a little bit clearer to me at least—than just calling it the Lot of Daimon, but I understand and sympathize either way.

KR: Yeah, I also use a Lot of Spirit, but both are correct and both make sense to me.

CB: Okay, so that was one thing; the other thing is the glyph for the Lot of Fortune. For the Lot of Fortune, we have a pretty standard glyph that’s been in use for quite a long time now, for over centuries, that’s sort of become the glyph for the Lot of Fortune. It’s this one on the left here, for those watching the video version. For the audio people, it’s basically just a circle with an ‘X’ through it, and that’s the symbol for the Lot of Fortune that’s relatively standard and has become relatively standard through the centuries. Usually there’s some interpretations of an ‘X’ or a cross representing the cross of matter as part of the rationale for that, and the circle is usually thought to represent spirit; so the ‘X’ in the middle is emphasizing the matter connotations more, if you wanted to go into that esoteric interpretation of the symbol’s direction. So when it comes to the Lot of Spirit, though, I wrote an article in 2014, I believe, titled “Proposing a Glyph for the Lot of Spirit,” where I explained and outlined my rationale for using this specific glyph, which is like a capitalized sans-serif version of the Greek letter phi; for those listening to the audio version, it’s basically just a circle with a vertical line drawn down the middle, that extends slightly outside of the circumference of the circle.

So it was something I thought about for a long time, and I went through a defense of different arguments and rationales for why I thought that should be; one of the reasons was I thought the symbol should be similar to the Lot of Fortune symbol while still being simple and still being distinguishable, being distinct from the Lot of Fortune symbol, as well as easy to draw by hand. The other thing, from a symbolic standpoint, is I thought it made sense because with the Lot of Spirit glyph like this, you have the circle which represents spirit and then you have a vertical line going from the top to the bottom, perhaps representing symbolically the descent of the soul through the planetary spheres into matter, as well as the ascent of the soul through the planetary spheres after death that goes back through the spheres and gives up the properties to each of the planets before ascending back into the celestial realm.

So that’s kind of my cute, little, symbolic interpretation of it. Originally, in the Project Hindsight texts, once I had gone through that and circled back and decided that was going to be the glyph I would use, I went back and looked and realized that the Project Hindsight people had already used different glyphs, and I was aware of that. They had used the phi symbol, a serif version, as a sort of stand-in, temporary symbol in the preliminary translations—as well as other Greek letters for other lots as stand-ins for different lots—but I decided this would be a good, permanent one to adopt. So that’s what I use and some programs have followed that and integrated that as well based on my suggestion. I completely forgot to explain that in my book. I just showed the Lot of Spirit at one point using that glyph, but I don’t really explain why or justify it, so I meant to put that on the record.

That being said, there’s other possible ways to depict the Lot of Spirit. I know there’s one that a number of people are using, following some Medieval texts, where the Lot of Spirit is represented by a circle with two squiggly lines coming out of the bottom of it. Used in some Medieval texts, that might represent symbolically the spirit or daimon itself as like a spirit entity with a tail, almost like a comet, and I know some people are following that. Dorian Greenbaum promoted that one based on her research of the daimon, as part of her PhD thesis. There’s other people that just do a circle with an ‘S’ in it for ‘Spirit’, which is simple as well. So there’s a lot of different options, but that’s my current one in terms of looking at the symbols.

KR: Yeah, that’s really cool. I wasn’t aware of the history of your decision behind making that glyph, so it was really nice to hear that. I think that’s a great rationale for using that.

CB: Yeah, and it’s all in that article if people want to read the full rationale. It’s titled “Proposing a Glyph for the Lot of Spirit,” on hellenisticastrology.com. All right, so all of that’s good. Let’s transition into talking about the interpretation of lots and how they’re used in chart delineations at this point and get into the good stuff. So one of the things you do when you calculate Spirit and Fortune—which we’ll focus on largely for the purpose of this—is see what house the lot falls in; that can be very important and can in and of itself indicate things from the very start. And one of the things that’s important about lots is that you calculate the lot and then whatever sign the lot falls in, it marks the entirety of that sign with the significations of that lot—from 0°-30° of the sign—no matter how early or how late the lot is in the sign; this is how they’re consistently used in the example charts in Vettius Valens and in other Hellenistic astrologers.

They’re essentially using them in the same way that the ascendant was used in whole sign houses, where no matter what degree the ascendant is located in the rising sign, whatever sign the ascendant is in marks that entire sign as the 1st house. They basically apply the same principle to lots, in that you calculate the lot, it marks a specific degree, but then it activates that entire sign or infuses that entire sign with its topics. And in this way this is both an extension of whole sign houses and ‘whole sign house’ logic in Hellenistic astrology, but it’s also one of the things that helps confirm that they were using whole sign houses in the Hellenistic texts, because they’re basically doing the exact same thing with lots that they were doing with the ascendant and other things like that.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. And then if you want to get more specific, you can also look at the bounds and the decans. I think in Greenbaum’s work, she said that there were some decanic influences marked on cuneiform tablets or something from like the 300s. So we do have historical precedence for also using and incorporating the delineations of the decans with the lots, which is a really cool thing and something I do a lot in my practice. But if you’re just starting out then just looking at the sign is a great way ‘cause it’s still gonna import all of its significations into that house and sign in a chart.

CB: Yeah, I mean, if you go through the example charts in Valens—especially in Book 2—he very consistently calculates (also in Dorotheus) what sign they’re located in, and then looking at the entirety of that sign as if it’s been marked with the qualities of another house. That’s actually part of the interpretation that’s really important, especially, let’s say, when looking at the Lot of Fortune; whatever house the Lot of Fortune falls in, it will import additional topics into that whole sign house that will then double-up on top of the normal topics associated with that house. For example, as we mentioned earlier, if the Lot of Fortune falls in the 4th whole sign house, the 4th house represents the home, the family, and the living situation, and those are basic significations and meanings of the 4th house in ancient astrology. But if the Lot of Fortune falls there that means the 4th house and that entire sign will also signify things having to do with matter, the body, physical incarnation, and chance, or luck or fortune and fortunate circumstances; so then it will signify that independently but also sometimes merge those significations. So in some instances, we’ll see some natives here in just a few minutes when we get into example charts, where if they have the Lot of Fortune in the 4th house, it literally indicated that the native was born into positive circumstances when it came to their parents and their family.

KR: Yeah, and it might be worth mentioning the concept of ‘fortune’ houses here as well ‘cause I think that’s something we might touch on, which is the notion that the Lot of Fortune almost acts as like a secondary ascendant and that the following and subsequent houses are also going to import those meanings and give additional significance. Like in that example of having the Lot of Fortune in the 4th house, then the 5th house is also gonna have 2nd house significations, and so on and so forth, as you move throughout the chart.

CB: Yeah, that was a really crucial thing that Valens mentions. He draws from some of the very earliest texts—from the texts of Nechepso and Petosiris—which is one of the foundational texts of Hellenistic astrology and one of the earliest texts that we know of that talked about the lots. So it may have been the one that introduced it—‘cause many of the later astrologers seem to go back to incite this mysterious text—and Valens actually quotes from it when talking about the Lot of Fortune. What Valens says is that you can calculate the Lot of Fortune, and then whatever sign it falls in the entirety of that sign becomes the 1st house, and it has the same significations of the 1st house just like if you were doing whole sign houses from the ascendant. But instead, what you do with a Lot of Fortune is you turn the chart, and you imagine that the Lot of Fortune is on the left side of the chart and coincides with the 1st house, and then the sign after the Lot of Fortune, downwards in zodiacal order, signifies the 2nd house and things associated with the 2nd house, like money and finances. The third sign from Fortune is the 3rd house, and so on and so forth, all the way around the signs of the zodiac.

And Valens even specifically emphasizes the ‘Fortune’ houses more than the houses from the ascendant in some instances, especially when he’s dealing with certain topics. For example, in his chapter on death and indications for death and the manner of a person’s death, he actually focuses more on the 8th house from Fortune than he does on looking at the 8th house from the ascendant. In another chapter, in a bunch of example charts, when he’s talking about the native’s financial success and resources, he focuses on the 11th house relative to the Lot of Fortune and he calls that the ‘place of acquisition’ because it has to do with the acquiring of goods and the circumstances surrounding the native’s acquisition of wealth. He actually focuses on that as a hugely important house—the 11th whole sign house from Fortune—as the access point for studying those things, and we’ll see some great example charts here in a minute of how that actually works. This is, again, important ‘cause it also reemphasizes that they’re doing whole sign houses relative to the Lot of Fortune, which then, again, mirrors that they’re doing whole sign houses as well from the sign of the ascendant or the rising sign. So there’s this sort of ‘whole sign’ logic that’s infused, not just in the ascendant houses, but also when it comes to the Lot of Fortune at the same time.

KR: Yeah, exactly. One of the things I thought was really interesting from some of Schmidt’s teachings is that he talks about the notion that we move closer and closer to the Lot of Fortune as we age and as our fate becomes a bit more defined. So you might find that as you get older that you relate more to your Lot of Fortune as that secondary ascendant point as well.

CB: Okay. Valens has some rules for sure about interpreting what side, and he especially seems to emphasize Fortune indicating the early part of life, but then the ruler indicating things that happen later on, at least in terms of just looking through his example charts and some of the things I was finding in rereading that text recently. One of the things I wanted to mention with ‘Fortune’ houses is I think there’s a modern misconception that may have been a mistake that was made in the early phases of Project Hindsight where they thought all of the lots were being used for derived houses, and that’s not actually the case. I haven’t found references to them using the Lot of Spirit and houses from Spirit necessarily; they only seem to derive houses from the Lot of Fortune. So that’s one kind of really important point that I meant to mention because I think there’s some misconceptions out there based on some statements a while ago about some of their early preliminary assumptions about the lots.

KR: Yeah, I haven’t looked too much into ‘Spirit’ houses and things like that. I know there’s a talk that’s going around. I think one of the ‘Robs’ did a talk on that a long time ago—


CB: Yeah, that’s why I’m stating that.

KR: Okay.

CB: There’s no textual evidence for that, and I think it was based on a mistaken assumption. If you read through Valens, he only ever does the houses from Fortune, basically.

KR: Yeah. And even when we’re thinking about zodiacal releasing, you’re still always considering the angles from Fortune even when you’re releasing from Spirit or Eros, so that kind of holds up with that rationale as well.

CB: Yeah, exactly. And that goes back to something in the Nechepso text and something that Ptolemy emphasizes as well that has to do with the Lot of Fortune acting as like a lunar ascendant, which has this whole sort of complicated rationale that I won’t go into here, ‘cause it’ll take us back to calculation and all this other stuff stuff that we’re moving away from at this point. But it’s interesting that in the Indian tradition—which partially, at least over the past 2,000 years, seems to have arisen as a result of a synthesis of Hellenistic astrology and indigenous Indian astrology—a lot of concepts (like the 12 houses and how the Hellenistic astrologers treated the significations of the houses) seem to show up in the earliest Sanskrit text of the Yavanajataka, if that’s one of the earliest dated texts on natal astrology in the Sanskrit or Indian tradition.

One of the things that’s interesting is the concept of lots doesn’t seem to have been transmitted or doesn’t seem to have been picked up by the Indian astrologers in the early Sanskrit texts, but one of the things that is interesting that they did pick up—that they almost seem to use in the place of ‘Fortune’ houses—is they use what’s called the Chandra lagna, or the ‘Moon ascendant’. So whatever sign the Moon is located in, the Indian astrologers will calculate whole sign houses from the Moon sign and read them from there. And I think somehow something happened where they had picked up the idea of ‘Fortune’ houses perhaps, but maybe because either they didn’t use the concept of lots or didn’t like it or it wasn’t transmitted or something thing, they ended up just applying the idea of ‘Fortune’ houses to the Moon or decided that the Moon, for whatever reason, was a more suitable starting point, perhaps due to the earlier indigenous Indian astrology having a much greater focus on the Moon through the nakshatras, which is the indigenous primary zodiacal system of India.

KR: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

CB: Yeah, just in terms of historical things and comparisons. All right, Lot of Fortune, ‘Fortune’ houses—all that’s important. Last thing, as a preliminary thing for studying lots—and I’ll pull up example charts in a minute—once you calculate a lot, you look at the house it’s in; and we talked about merging significations with whatever whole sign house it falls in from the ascendant. We talked about ‘Fortune’ houses. Also, when you’re looking at a lot, you look at the planets that are in the same sign as the lot as contributing something from their nature to that lot. In some basic ways this can be things like, do you have a benefic that’s in the same sign as the Lot of Fortune? If so, that’s gonna indicate more positive things for the body, the physical incarnation, and things pertaining to luck and to possessions; whereas if you have a malefic in the same sign as the Lot of Fortune, especially if it’s poorly-placed, that may indicate more challenging or unfortunate circumstances surrounding the significations of the Lot of Fortune or that lot. So that’s one basic thing—look for planets with the lot. The other thing is to look at the planet that rules the lot or is the domicile lord of the lot. For example, if the Lot of Fortune is in the sign of Gemini then you would look at the planet Mercury to see what Mercury is doing in the chart and what its condition is, and it’ll give you indications for how the lot will work out in the native’s life.

KR: Yeah, and then you’ll also want to take into consideration what house that lot is in and whether that house is considered to be one that’s a bit more conducive to the life and affirming, or if it’s a little bit more challenging—like the 6th of the 12th—and considered to be something that’s gonna create more difficult circumstances for the native.

CB: Exactly. So that becomes a really crucial thing—what is the condition of the ruler of the lot because it’s the equivalent of the ruler of a house. Just in the same way that when we’re studying different houses in a birth chart—like the 7th house for relationships and we look at the ruler of the 7th house and where it’s placed and what house it’s located in the birth chart—we’re applying the same process to each of the lots, because the lots themselves are being treated as houses. In fact, that’s a really important point, that in the Hellenistic texts, oftentimes, they’ll call them ‘lots’, but they’ll also refer to them as ‘places’ or ‘houses’ as well. And sometimes if you’re reading some translations that’s important to be aware of ‘cause it can get confusing when they start referring to the ‘House of Fortune’ or the ‘Place of Fortune’; sometimes that means they’re referring to the Lot of Fortune and the sign that it’s in.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: Okay. All right, so other conditions—what are some of the conditions? I know I have a list here that maybe it would be good to show for good and bad conditions for the ruler of a lot. So some of the things you can look for good conditions are, is the lot in a good house? If so, it will indicate positive things surrounding the topic of that lot. Is the lot in a bad house? Then that will indicate more challenging circumstances for that lot. For example, having the Lot of Fortune in the 10th house or the 11th house is viewed as very positive for the native’s fortune, whereas having the Lot of Fortune in the 12th house or the 6th house could be more challenging.

KR: Yeah, and just generally they tend to say that any lot in an angular house is gonna be a bit more positive, especially if it’s the 1st or the 10th.

CB: For sure. Other things, like I mentioned earlier, having benefics co-present or in the same sign as a lot is positive positive; having malefics co-present is challenging or negative. Having benefics configured to or aspecting the lot is positive, whereas having malefics configured especially by a hard aspect—like a square or an opposition—is negative or challenging. Having the malefics not aspecting the lot—being in aversion to it—can be positive; having benefics being in aversion to the lot can be negative if there’s no support from the benefics. Having the ruler or the lord of the lot being a benefic versus having the lord of the lot being a malefic is another consideration. Having the ruler of the lot being dignified by being in its own sign or exaltation or in a mutual reception is very positive, whereas having the lord debilitated in the sign of its fall or detriment can be very challenging.

Having the lord in a good house is good; having the lord in a bad house is bad. Having the lord aspect the lot is positive versus not aspecting the lot is negative, because then the lord cannot support the lot itself. Having the lord be configured to benefics especially by a superior trine or square or conjunction—is good; having the lord be configured to malefics especially by a superior square, opposition, or conjunction is normally bad, especially if the malefic is contrary to the sect. Having the lord be in aversion to malefics is usually good; having the lord being in aversion to benefics is usually bad. And then, finally, having the lord be visible and more than 15° away from the Sun is good, whereas having the lord of the lot being under the beams, or in other words, within 15° of the Sun is usually interpreted as bad. Those are pretty comprehensive. You have anything?

KR: Yeah, pretty comprehensive. I feel like that covers pretty much everything. You just want to take into consideration most of the things that you generally do when you’re looking at a planet. Is it in good shape? Does it have support? Does it have resources? It’s gonna be very similar when you’re looking and working with the lots. Maybe one thing to note is that lots don’t cast aspects, they only receive them as well.

CB: That’s a really great point, yeah. So you can always look to aspects that planets are making to the sign. We’re talking about especially whole sign aspects and the major aspects of sextile, square, trine, opposition, conjunction to the lot itself, because in Hellenistic astrology, the planets were able to aspect signs; and especially to the extent that certain signs represent certain topics, the planets then support or hinder those topics by aspecting them.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: All right, cool. Let’s take a look at some example charts, shall we?

KR: Yes, let’s do that.

CB: All right, starting point—let’s start out with some easier ones. I’m just looking through some of my examples. Do you have any positive examples? ‘Cause I have a lot of positive examples, and I also have some negative examples.

KR: I have some more challenging examples. But if we’re talking about maybe the Lot of Spirit, there’s some positive ones.

CB: I mean, let’s start with Fortune, just ‘cause that’s our archetypal lot.

KR: Yeah, that’s probably a better idea.

CB: Here’s a basic one I have that just shows the simple principle, ‘cause I usually like to start simple and then work from there. So this is the birth chart—I’ve used a bunch of times before—of an Italian man named Maurizio Gucci. He was the grandson of the founder of the Gucci fashion empire, and as a result of that he inherited—when his father died—this multi-multi-million dollar estate that made him extremely rich and extremely wealthy as a result of that parental inheritance, basically. And in his chart, he has Cancer rising, and he has the Lot of Fortune in Libra, which is the 4th sign from Cancer, and therefore it’s the 4th whole sign house. So he has the Lot of Fortune—which indicates material circumstances and things outside of your control—in the 4th house, and he inherited a bunch of money from his father.

KR: Yeah, that’s pretty good.

CB: Sometimes it’s pretty simple. Like sometimes it’s just like that. It’s just the lot—whatever sign it falls in—mixes its significations with that house and tells you, in this instance, that there’s something extremely fortunate about the 4th house for this person. If you were to make that as a statement or a prediction—let’s say you don’t know this person, they’ve come and they’re a client—and you see the Lot of Fortune is in the 4th house, that is one potential thing you could say, that there may be fortunate circumstances surrounding the home and the family and the parents and the living situation. In his instance at least that would be strikingly true, right?

KR: Yeah, I mean, you’re definitely gonna want to take into consideration that this is ruled by the benefic of sect, so Libra being ruled by Venus. And so, Venus is aspecting the lot, the lot is angular. There’s a lot of conditions that make that much more positive. If this was a night chart, and the 4th house was ruled by Saturn, we might be whistling a different tune in terms of how positive those circumstances are.

CB: Yeah, and that is the next step, that there’s conditions after that. But just to establish a basic fundamental starting point for people that are new to lots, pay attention to what house the lot falls in; that can immediately tell you a lot right from the start.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: So then we start layering things on top of that, because it’s not just the position of the lot, we also have to pay attention to planets that are in the sign of the lot as well. For him, he has the Sun and Neptune and Mercury there. So already, because he has a semi-stellium of three planets in his 4th whole sign house, we know that this is a great area of activity and perhaps importance for him, but we don’t necessarily know that it’s a fortunate area, where he’s just super lucky. It’s really the placement of the Lot of Fortune that starts to clue us in that there’s something almost potentially extraordinary there that sets him apart and is unique and different from other people. So that’s one of the clues and that’s one of the starting points for starting to understand really what Fortune indicates. Sometimes it can fall in a house and can tell you that there’s something extraordinary or there’s something unique or something, in some instances, that could be very lucky or fortunate in terms of circumstances by falling in that house.

KR: Yeah, it’s almost like where fated events are going to occur to you. So him not controlling the fact that he got that inheritance, that it came from the family, we see all those 4th house significations, and also just the meaning of Fortune and how pronounced that is in his chart coming to life here.

CB: Exactly. It’s like he didn’t do anything necessarily to inherit that, he was just in this family line. And like you had mentioned, there’s so much discussion lately about the ‘nepo’ baby thing; this guy is like the original ‘nepo’ baby in terms of that. I don’t actually even have a strong opinion about ‘nepo’ babies or the appropriateness of that or whatever because for me as an astrologer, it’s interesting as a classification. In different lives, there are some people who are extraordinarily or uniquely fortunate or unfortunate in some areas of their life, and we can see this both in the lives of individuals. But it’s one of the reasons why astrologers love studying the charts of celebrities and notable people because in their lives things go to extremes, basically. So they have extreme circumstances of fortunate things, or they have extreme circumstances of unfortunate things, and as astrologers one of our questions is, how can we see that in a chart? How can we predict that ahead of time? Or even in a reading, how can we articulate why that’s the case? This is where we circle back around to understanding what the motivation for these lots was originally. Somebody very early on in the tradition wanted to identify that and be able to talk about it and articulate exactly where that comes from, and part of where that comes from is here, with the Lot of Fortune.

KR: Yeah, it’s one of those things that they mention a lot to take into consideration: what that person’s baseline circumstances are and predict accordingly. And so, if you’re sitting with someone who is not very wealthy, who is a working person, you’re not gonna predict for them what you would predict for a king. One of the things that can tell you about those baseline circumstances—rather than the person who’s sitting in front of you—is the Lot of Fortune; and so it can be a really elucidating factor when you’re trying to just determine that. And Paulus quote saying that it speaks to privilege and circumstance, we really see that showing up in that example pretty profoundly. If you took into consideration all of the different ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ of that list that you made, he had quite a few of those positive ones; I think both benefics were aspecting, it was in a good house. So you start almost tallying up a plus-one of how positive is this; the more you have, the more fortunate or eminent that person is probably gonna be, or the circumstances that they’re born into are gonna be a bit more fortunate.

CB: For sure. And it actually reminds me of an episode I did a few years ago with Diana Rose Harper on “Astrology as Radical Self-Care,” and one of the things we talked about in that episode was privilege and identifying one’s own privilege and being aware of that when operating in the world; but also through the lens of the chart and through the lens of astrology sometimes being able to identify that. Those sometimes become things that are easier for you that you take for granted that other people don’t have and therefore don’t take for granted. But sometimes it can also create a sort of blind spot for a person because they’ve always been fortunate or lucky or had things come easily in a certain area of their life, they assume it’s the same for everyone, which is a very important thing to be aware of. Also, it’s a little annoying, frankly, in the context of astrological consultations because sometimes when you do a delineation pointing out the area in which a person is fortunate in their life—because they’ve always had that or because they tend to take it for granted—they don’t tend to realize that not everybody has the same good fortune in that same area of their life.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the things that you can point to, and people say, “Oh, yeah, that part of my life tends to go well,” but they might not realize just how well that does go for them when they aren’t aware of maybe some of the circumstances that could be impacting other people in that area of life. And that’s the beauty of astrology—it speaks to every circumstance on the far ends of the spectrum and everything in between.

CB: Exactly. So let’s articulate a few scenarios. Some people, like this person, for example, maybe you’re lucky when it comes to your parents. Let’s say you have both parents and you’ve had a good upbringing from your parents, and they supported you and were good role models or something like that, and let’s think about that as a circumstance and a sort of archetypal scenario versus let’s imagine the opposite. Let’s say you weren’t lucky. Let’s say you were unfortunate when it came to parents. Let’s say you lost one or both parents, or let’s say that you had a parent that was not there or absent or didn’t take care of you or didn’t provide for you or wasn’t supportive as you grew up in some way; in some way there’s a distinct sense of the opposite of fortune, of misfortune when it comes to that area. But going through other houses, let’s say you’re fortunate when it comes to relationships. Like there’s people where relationships come easily, or they just happen to meet the love of their life and they’ve had one major significant relationship and they’re happy with that and they live happily ever after. There’s other people that are fortunate in their career. There’s people that are fortunate when it comes to friends or children or money or pretty much all of the other 12 houses, even the 1st house. I remember Diana mentioned some people have ‘pretty privilege’—which I know is a double-edged sword—that can be an asset in life that is something as simple as that.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a known statistic that women who are more conventionally attractive end up earning more money, so you can see the ways that then impacts their material circumstances as well. And people who conform to those types of expectations of you have longer hair, you wear makeup, or you do this or you do that then you’re gonna make more money. There is an expectation to conform. And so, when you don’t, you’re also going to feel the effects of that, and that can be a really difficult thing to navigate; and so, yeah, taking into consideration all those forms of privilege. Or a person might be really lucky with health and never understand what it’s like to be in chronic pain and those circumstances—there’s just not even an ability to understand what that might be like if you’ve always been healthy.

CB: Yeah, I know people that anytime they get a cold, they’re a little sniffly for like a day or something and then it’s gone and they’re fine, whereas there’s other people, like myself, where you get a cold and I’m just like out for like a week. Yeah, that’s a good point. That can be a privilege itself, just having a strong constitution or a good immune system or something.

KR: Yeah, it’s hard to do pretty much anything when you don’t feel well or when you’re in constant pain; so that’s a huge area of privilege, just how strong and fortunate you are when it comes to your physical health as well.

CB: Yeah, and it’s just one of those things that is outside of your control, that is sometimes given to you; things outside of control in that it’s not a matter of choice. Even if sometimes choice can come into it, in terms of us taking advantage of our assets—let’s say, if we have a specific strength or we have a privilege—that sometimes we use to our advantage, that’s where the Spirit portion and the will portion comes into play. But the Fortune end of things is those circumstances that are outside of our control, that are given to us or are allotted to us because we’ve received that as our portion or as our lot in life from chance or from fate.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: This is good. I like this. All right, this is why we’re finding some good stuff here through the dialogue and through the conversation. That’s why I wanted to do this episode as more of a winding discussion where we’re going to different places because sometimes those are some of my favorite episodes. There’s the highly-regimented, prepared ones, but then there’s sometimes the looser ones, where through the conversation you find the thread. And I think that’s what we’re doing here and it’s working pretty well.

KR: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: All right, let’s go back to our very first example chart where you had brought up something, which is that it’s not enough just to look at the house of the lot, it’s not enough just to look at planets. The next most important thing that you’ve got to pay attention to is the ruler of the lot, where it’s placed in the chart, what house it’s in, and what its condition is. And this is where we see things really get unlocked when it comes to this chart of Mauricio Gucci with the Lot of Fortune in Libra in the 4th whole sign house. Because Fortune’s in Libra, we know that the ruler of that sign is the benefic planet Venus, so we look to see what Venus is doing in the chart. We find Venus in Leo in the 2nd house of finances. Additionally, we find that Venus is actually in extremely good condition in this chart. It’s a night chart, so we know that Venus is the benefic of the sect, which means it’s the most positive planet in the chart; now it’s ruling the Lot of Fortune and it’s placed in the 2nd house of finances, so it’s a benefic. It’s also in a mutual reception with the Sun, with Venus’ own ruler. Venus is in Leo, so it’s ruled by the Sun, which is in Libra, which is in the sign of the Lot of Fortune itself; so the Sun and Venus are exchanging signs, which sets up a kind of essential dignity for Venus, which is the next best thing. If a planet’s not in its domicile, if it’s not in its exaltation, then the next best thing is to be in a mutual reception with its domicile lord is my usual hierarchy of interpreting that. Here, we find that Venus is in a mutual reception, in addition to being the benefic of the sect. So it’s not only good based on sect and being a benefic, but it’s also good based on zodiacal dignity as well.

KR: Yeah, and via aspect it’s trining Jupiter within 3°, which is a condition of bonification, so that really boosts up Venus as well. Jupiter is in its own sign in Sagittarius, so that’s gonna create even more fortunate circumstances. And the lot itself is averse to both malefics, both Mars and Saturn, so it’s protected from any harm. So it’s just getting all of the good stuff and none of the bad, basically.

CB: Yeah, it is in aversion to Saturn, which is over in Virgo, so Saturn can’t see Venus through a major aspect. It does have a square with Mars, which is a little tricky in mid-Scorpio, which we’ll talk about in a little bit because there’s mixed fortune; but for the most part his fortune is extremely good, and we can see the connection between the 4th house, where the Lot of Fortune is, and the native receiving good fortune from parents. But then what is the source of that fortune? It’s in the house of the ruler, which is Venus, which is in the house of finances. He inherited a bunch of money from his parents, basically, or from his father, so this gives us a really good example. The final thing that this gives us an example of is, remember, the concept of ‘Fortune’ houses, because the Lot of Fortune is in Libra, in ‘Fortune’ houses, that becomes the 1st house. One of the things you do when you’re analyzing the Lot of Fortune and its ruler is to see what house relative to the Lot of Fortune the ruler is located in. So if we count signs from Libra, Libra’s the 1st house, Scorpio is 2nd, Sagittarius is 3rd, all the way around until we come to Venus in Leo. We see that Venus is actually in the 11th sign relative to the Lot of Fortune, or the 11th whole sign house from Fortune, which, remember, is called the ‘place of acquisition’. And Valens emphasizes over and over again that the ‘place of acquisition’, if it’s well-situated with benefics there, can indicate the native having major financial windfalls and being very successful from a financial and material standpoint.

KR: Yeah, it’s almost as if their situation in life becomes elevated and raised up as a result of that. Again, a very distinguished, eminent chart that we see just really benefiting the native.

CB: Right. So this is really interesting because it’s like you can see some of that just with the houses. Having the ruler of the 4th in the 2nd would indicate that there’s some connection between parents and finances, potentially. But it’s when you start layering on the fact that the Lot of Fortune is in the 4th house and that Venus is the ruler of the Lot of Fortune that you start seeing that there’s something extraordinary circumstance-wise that’s standing out here about the person’s life, and you start fleshing out the actual detail of this being a striking part of this person’s life.

KR: Yeah, and most people aren’t gonna have circumstances like this. Most people are gonna have conditions that are both positive and negative that give them almost a middling fortune, so to speak, rather than something that’s just incredibly lucrative and positive for them. Yeah, there’s different ways that this can play out, but this is certainly a great example of how when things are configured in this way, it’s gonna lead to the individual being incredibly fortunate and having quite a bit of privilege in their life.

CB: Yeah, and that actually brings up another point, though, which is that this one is a little bit mixed and provides a good example of that. Venus at 18° of Leo is squaring Mars at 15° of Scorpio—which is not the worst square because it’s a night chart—but it is a square with a malefic. Then Venus—even though the ancient astrologers didn’t use the other planets—is also conjunct Pluto, and so it’s tying into this Mars-Pluto square in the person’s chart. And what ended up happening is he inherited his father’s fortune, he was wildly wealthy, but he ended up divorcing his wife; and his wife got mad at him and hired a hitman who ended up murdering this guy as a result of that and partially due to the financial things surrounding it. So that’s one of the reasons why you have to pay attention to good indications, which can indicate good things; but sometimes if there’s also bad or negative or challenging indications, it can also indicate that there will be challenging things surrounding that at some point as well.

KR: Yeah, and I think that’s why it’s so important to look at the ruler of the lot, too. Because if you’re just looking at the lot itself, the lot itself is averse to both malefics, but Venus has that square, so you’re still gonna get those challenging situations. You’ve got to kind of take into consideration both pieces of the puzzle, so to speak.

CB: Yeah, so this is the guy. There was a movie that came out just a couple years ago called House of Gucci where Adam Driver played Maurizio Gucci, the owner of this birth chart, and then Lady Gaga played the wife that ended up hiring the hitman, basically.

KR: Yeah, yeah, that was an interesting movie. I think there was a lot of contention with Lady Gaga and the woman; she was not happy about the portrayal or something like that.

CB: Oh, really? Okay.

KR: Yeah.

CB: Well, it’s funny, ‘cause I’ve been using this birth chart for like 10 years as an example ‘cause it’s such a good example. I was super stoked when the movie came out, but I actually haven’t watched the full movie; I read the biography it was based on. Yeah, so that’s funny.

KR: Yeah.

CB: All right, so that is our first example that shows the ‘place of acquisition’. I have one other really good ‘place of acquisition’ example I want to show to just build on this point, and then I want to hear your first example. Who’s the current wealthiest person in the world?

KR: I don’t know. It’s between one of the billionaires, right? Bezos or Musk, or one of them these days.

CB: Yeah. Well, Musk has been the richest person in the world for the past few years due to Tesla and SpaceX and all the other various ventures that he has going on. Just a few months ago, in September, I think, a famous biographer, Walter Isaacson, wrote and published a biography of Musk that he’d been working on for a few years, and in the biography, it actually had a birth time for Musk. So all of a sudden we had a birth time, we could calculate a birth chart. It’s a rounded time, but it’s still approximately correct, giving him a 7:30 AM birth time; meaning he was born with mid-Cancer rising—so the ascendant is pretty stable—and he was probably born a little bit after sunrise.

So what’s interesting about Elon Musk that I noticed immediately—and one of the things I loved about this chart—is, first, when you look at this chart it has Cancer rising, the Sun and Mercury in Cancer in the 1st whole sign house, and the Moon in Virgo in the 3rd house, and Mars is in Aquarius in the 8th house. Jupiter’s in Scorpio in the 5th. Saturn and Venus are in Gemini in the 12th. Look at the 2nd house. The 2nd house is Leo, but he doesn’t have any planets in it; the only thing it has in it is the South Node. So one of the things when you first glance at this chart—just from a basic, standard astrological perspective—that’s striking about it—or is the most striking initial impression you might have when you think about Elon Musk and the fact that he’s the richest person in the world—is the chart doesn’t immediately stand out to you as ‘this is the richest person in the world’ because there’s not a lot going on in the 2nd house. Even the ruler of the 2nd house, which is the Sun, is up in Cancer in the 1st house, relatively decently-placed, but it’s still not otherwise standing out to you or jumping out to you that this is an amazingly fortunate chart for 2nd house matters of finances, right?

KR: Yeah, I mean, if anything, you’d probably predict the opposite because the South Node is there, which tends to be almost like a draining energy at times or a lessening impact. And so, if you were to just look at this and not look at the Lot of Fortune and the things that we’re gonna get into, yeah, you might predict something that’s completely off-base and say, “Oh, you probably struggle with finances or holding on to money,” which is true in some respects; he likes to spend, right? But he still has accumulated obviously a massive amount of wealth in his lifetime.

CB: Yeah, it’s like he’s become the richest person in the world, so where is that in the chart? Well, the answer, my friends, is the Lot of Fortune, which we find in the sign of Virgo in the 3rd whole sign house, which in of itself is actually kind of interesting in terms of his work with Tesla. He basically came in and took over a pre-existing company—Tesla was already there—which is interesting in terms of the 3rd house, but that’s not important right now for our purposes. What’s important is we look at the Lot of Fortune, it’s there in Virgo. And then if we calculate the houses from the Lot of Fortune—Virgo being the 1st house, Libra the 2nd, Scorpio the 3rd, all the way around until we find the 11th house and the ruler of the Lot of Fortune—we find Mercury, the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is in Cancer conjunct the degree of the ascendant, and it’s in the 11th whole sign house relative to the Lot of Fortune; so it’s in the ‘place of acquisition’.

Moreover, it’s not just in the ‘place of acquisition’, but it’s actually in a mutual reception with its ruler, which is the Moon, which rules Cancer, which is placed in Virgo, in the sign of the Lot of Fortune and conjunct the Lot of Fortune; and the Moon is actually at 8° of Virgo, and it’s applying pretty closely to a sextile with Mercury at 14° of Cancer. So what we see here is not only that the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is in the ‘place of acquisition’, but it’s actually very strongly-placed because of the mutual reception between the ‘place of acquisition’ and the sign of the Lot of Fortune itself. That right there is very similar to the chart we just looked at with Gucci; essentially that right there is where Elon Musk becoming the richest person in the world is coming from.

KR: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And if you want to take it one step further, you might think, “Well, Mercury doesn’t have a lot of dignity in Cancer,” but Mercury’s kind of in that sweet spot. It’s in the 1st house where it rejoices, it’s in its own term, and it’s in its own face. The Moon is also in the house where she rejoices, so they’re both in places where they’re very comfortable and very capable of producing their significations, and they’re both lifting each other up through that mutual reception. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to those minor dignities, but when you start looking at them in charts like this, you can see how they really stack up and how they really can create conditions that really benefit an individual.

CB: Sure. Also, I mean, Mercury at 14° of Cancer has a very nice trine with Jupiter, which is at 27° of Scorpio in a day chart, where Jupiter is the most positive planet. So it has that very nice configuration with a benefic and it’s in aversion to both of the malefics. Mercury doesn’t have a major aspect from Mars, which is good, ‘cause it’s a day chart, and it doesn’t have a major aspect from Saturn, which it’s also in aversion to.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So it fits a bunch of our conditions of what we were looking at earlier when we were going through our list of good and bad things, specifically for the Lot of Fortune. And it’s probably also relevant that some of Musk’s initial circumstances were that he had some money coming into life from family influences, which gave him some advantage in order to be able to eventually start some of these companies.

KR: Yeah, definitely a good thing to keep in mind.

CB: Yeah, so that’s an example I wanted to use because that’s an example of one other major piece of lots, and especially Fortune and Spirit that’s very important. Sometimes they can show you hidden things in the chart that you wouldn’t see otherwise or that you would miss if you weren’t calculating the lots, because they are essentially these hidden points in the chart. Lots are not visible bodies; they’re mathematical points in a chart. They’re not things that you can look up in the sky and see, which is additionally kind of interesting in terms of the notion of daimons and stuff like that, because daimons are these supposedly invisible spirits that are the intermediaries between the celestial and terrestrial realm. And if you think about lots, there’s major lots, and that means there’s these invisible points that are floating around the top- and bottom-half of the chart, all over your chart, at all times; in the same way that in the ancient world they had this conceptualization that there are these spirits—these good and bad spirits—that are floating around the world doing different things at different times as well.

KR: Yeah, definitely.

CB: Anyway, so that’s my first example—first two examples. What do you have? What’s one of your favorite examples?

KR: I really like Marie Antoinette or Frida Kahlo. I think both of them have really pronounced Lot of Fortune stuff going on; especially Frida Kahlo has some interesting stuff when we’re doing timing techniques as well, so maybe that’s a good one to look at.

CB: All right, let me pull up Frida’s chart. All right, so here’s Frida Kahlo’s chart and it has Leo rising for the audio listeners, and the Lot of Fortune is in Cancer in this chart, in the 12th house.

KR: Yeah. And so, we see just on that baseline circumstance there’s going to be things that impact her, that keep her in those 12th house places, which can be a bit more isolated, and one of the things that happened to Frida throughout her life was that she dealt with several different accidents. She got polio and she was bedridden for months. And so, her Lot of Fortune is opposing Mars in Capricorn, which is retrograde actually, so it’s applying to the lot. So we see a severe affliction to her Lot of Fortune and also to her Sun, to her sect light; so it’s almost like we get a double-signification of that really coming through strongly. And Uranus is also conjunct Mars, so it comes through in almost like these freak accidents. She did say that part of the reason that she began painting was because she was bedridden and she couldn’t do anything else, and the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is then in the 10th house, also in the ‘place of acquisition’. So we see how some of these material circumstances that were very negative and very harmful to her health-wise actually ended up being a catalyst for her to take action and become a professional artist; and the Moon is exalted in Taurus, so she was elevated as a result, even if it came about through really challenging circumstances. I think in both cases of her accident and when she got polio, if you were doing profections from the Lot of Fortune, she was in the 6th house year both times, which would have activated that Mars-Fortune opposition directly.

CB: Okay, so for the audio listeners, we have Leo rising, and the Sun is in Cancer along with Jupiter, Neptune, the North Node, and the Lot of Fortune. So she has a stacked 12th house already, just to begin with.

KR: Yeah.

CB: But then when we see the Lot of Fortune there in the 12th house, in terms of difficult houses that’s one of the more difficult placements. If we were just starting from our initial starting point of where the Lot of Fortune is located, it’s falling in the 12th house; which in ancient astrology the 12th was associated with chronic illnesses or ailments. As you said, due to injuries she struggled with chronic health issues for most of her life.

KR: Yeah, really unfortunate circumstances that affected both her mental and physical health, and we can see that really showing up through the Lot of Fortune being in the 12th house. And even with Jupiter there—who is exalted, who we might think is going to really protect this lot—we see that affliction from Mars and the opposition there being a little bit more pronounced in her experience of those topics.

CB: Sure. So the 12th is chronic health issues, chronic ailments. And then the 6th house—where we find Mars in Capricorn conjunct Uranus and the South Node—the 6th in ancient astrology was the ‘house of injury’. What ended up happening with Mars-Uranus opposing her Lot of Fortune in the 12th/6th house axis is that one day she was riding on a bus and there was this freak accident where. There was a crash that happened and then she was basically impaled, right?

KR: Yeah, yeah.

CB: And then as a result of that she survived, but she suffered with major health issues for the rest of her life and in pain and things like that, also being, as you said, bedridden for a very long stints as a result of this freak accident or this sudden event of misfortune.

KR: Yeah, so Uranus being that planet of unexpected shocks and things that can be very destabilizing and having that be next to Mars—which is the most difficult planet in this chart, which can often indicate things that are a bit more violent or challenging in nature, especially for a day chart opposing that Lot of Fortune—we see this manifesting as, like you said, a freak accident that then brings her into the 12th house space of isolation and solitude, and ancient texts would say ‘exile’ and things like that. When you are bedridden for months, it can certainly feel that way; like you’ve been kind of taken out from society and placed into a situation that is very difficult to deal with both mentally and physically. And then she began to paint as a result. Her Moon is ruling that Lot of Fortune, it’s in the ‘place of acquisition’ in the 10th house, so we see how that circumstance also led her to the career that she ended up having as well.

CB: Yeah, I think that’s really important. The 12th house is also the place associated with prisons, as well as hospitals for that matter, but the notion of being stuck somewhere and sort of being imprisoned; and she was stuck in bed for very large portions as a result of the illnesses and injury. But the Lot of Fortune being there—it’s not just the Mars-Uranus conjunction, which as astrologers we associate with sudden accidents—also Fortune being there is bringing in this element of chance and luck. What happens sometimes if Fortune is poorly-placed is it can be the opposite of luck; it can be tremendously unlucky in some specific area or having an event of misfortune befall a person through no fault of their own. It’s like she was just riding a bus, and all of a sudden this freak accident happens and then causes this major life-changing characteristic. It’s one of the things that she becomes the most known for, partially through that event happening and how it affected and then rippled through the rest of her life.

But then the good part of this is that even though the Lot of Fortune itself is poorly-placed, the ruler of the Lot of Fortune—since the Lot of Fortune is in Cancer—is the Moon, and the Moon is in the 10th house conjunct the degree of the midheaven in the sign of its exaltation. Exaltation in ancient astrology is always associated with things that are raised up to a high point or coming to the top of something and that’s why it’s called exaltation. And because it’s in the 10th house it relates to her career, and because it’s in Taurus it relates to Venus and the arts, and she ended up becoming a famous artist that is one of the most recognized artists around the world today. With that ruler of the Lot of Fortune in the 10th house—in the sign of exaltation, and also in the ‘place of acquisition’, the 11th house from Fortune—she eventually became successful in her art as well in terms of that helping to sustain her.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And even some of the things that she would paint or create were very dark, very ‘12th-house-y’ in nature and she was known for that. She didn’t shy away from depicting really challenging circumstances, especially things that did relate to her body, which is another thing that we see with a Lot of Fortune; one of her most famous paintings I think is about a miscarriage. She’s not shying away from those themes in her art, and I think that the Lot of Fortune there is also speaking to her reckoning with some of that—and then the exaltation of the Moon ruling that in the 10th House shows that we’re bringing that experience into almost the public sphere where a lot of people are going to recognize this and see this—but it is ultimately the thing that brings her into a place of elevation or exaltation.

CB: Right. It’s such an amazing combination of taking her pain and her hardships and transmuting that through her art and then becoming known for that through her artwork all around the world. That’s such an amazing manifestation of having a mixture of really difficult and really positive placements and how that can work out. One of the things that Valens—in the Anthology, when he’s delineating lots—emphasizes a lot is the position of the lot indicating the circumstances in the first part of the matter, especially early in life, but then the condition of the ruler indicating things later on, and I think to some extent the notion of her becoming a famous artist later in her life is part of what that’s indicating.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it is worth mentioning that I do believe she took her own life. So we see that self-undoing theme of the 12th house kind of coming alive there, too, so I’m not sure it—

CB: Did she?

KR: —totally worked. Yeah, I believe so.

CB: Okay. I thought she died due to the long complications of some of her health stuff later on, ‘cause she was bedridden at the end.

KR: Oh, I could be mistaken. I thought she took her own life, but I might be wrong on that.

CB: Okay. Yeah, I’m not sure. We’ll have to check that out.

KR: Yeah.

CB: So that’s a really stunning and striking example. Were there any other points about that that you had?

KR: No, I think that was kind of the main one of just looking at how certain things can be really challenging but they can also lead to circumstances that do end up being a bit more positive in nature as well. It’s a good ‘mixture’ example, I think.

CB: Nice. That’s a really good example and ties in with some of our previous things.

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CB: All right, so we’re back. I just Googled it, and I was actually surprised ‘cause the official cause on the death certificate was a pulmonary embolism, basically, but I didn’t realize that there’s been recent work done by biographers who, one, do suspect that it was a suicide, and another theory that it was an accidental overdose. So it looks like there’s a little bit of nebulousness or mystery surrounding how Frida died.

KR: Yeah. She has Neptune conjunct a Lot of Fortune, doesn’t she?

CB: That is a good point. Yeah, that’s true. So Fortune is at 9 Cancer and Neptune’s at 12.

KR: There you go. So some confusion surrounding matters related to health, and that makes a lot of sense.

CB: Sure, sure. Yeah, it was really funny, I just tried to ask one of the AIs. But the AIs—when you ask them—they’ve been suddenly programmed not to answer questions like that. So I asked, “How did Frida Kahlo die?” and it said, “I’m just a language model, so I can’t help you with that.” They actively dissuade you from trying to research certain topics, which is really interesting and a little unsettling.

KR: Year, a little scary.

CB: I mean, I guess I understand the opposite, which is maybe they’re not wanting it to be used for bad or morbid things. But it’s interesting that we’re entering into this age of the AIs—as they become the new search engines—and some of these companies having a lot of control about what information is permissible or not permissible. And as Pluto’s moving into Aquarius here in the next few days that’s something I’m very interested to see how that’s gonna go.

KR: Yeah, a little scary that they can withhold that information, if that becomes the primary source of where we go to access things. It’s a little frightening to consider the ramifications of that long term, but I guess we’ve got 20 years to see how that pans out.

CB: Yeah, exactly. Actually, speaking of that, I meant to give the data for this episode of when we recorded it ‘cause I didn’t at the beginning. So we recorded this episode on Thursday, January 8, 2024, and we started with late Pisces rising to catch an electional chart today.

KR: Yeah, January 18.

CB: Okay, January 18. What did I say?

KR: 8th, I think.

CB: Oh, no—thank you. Okay, yeah, January 18, 2024, late Pisces rising, here in Denver, Colorado, sometime after, what? 8:30 in the morning? 9:30 in the morning?

KR: Yeah, I think around 9:30 in the morning. Maybe a little bit after.

CB: Yeah, that was it. All right, cool. Let’s get back to our example charts. Let’s try to hammer out some more example charts so we can see and understand some different facets of the lots in our remaining time here. Okay, you had another example, right?

KR: Yeah, Marie Antoinette I think is a good one, or Princess Diana’s as well—either one of those.

CB: Yeah, let’s do Marie Antoinette since I know you mentioned that one first.

KR: Cancer rising.

CB: Oh, it’s Cancer and not—

KR: Not Gemini. Yeah, there’s certain programs—

CB: What time?

KR: I think with the corrected time it’s Cancer rising at astro.com; it’s an AA-rated chart with that one. But I think my Astro Gold software has it where it’s not corrected for the time difference or something like that.

CB: Oh, yeah, you’re right. I think that’s what it is.

KR: Yeah.

CB: Okay, so it’s 2 Cancer rising then. Does that sound right?

KR: Yeah, it should be early Cancer rising, like 7:30.

CB: Yeah.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: All right, so tell us about who this is—if our audience doesn’t know—and what the layout of the chart is for the audio people.

KR: Yeah, so Marie Antoinette was a royal figure around the time of the French Revolution. She’s famous for having her head chopped off and saying, “Let them eat cake;” those are maybe some things to spur your memory. She is a Cancer rising with Mars in Cancer in the 1st house conjunct the Lot of Fortune, which is also in the 1st house. She has Saturn in Capricorn in the 7th house, which is opposing the Lot of Fortune within one degree, and then that Lot of Fortune is ruled by the Moon in Libra in the 4th house, which is co-present with Jupiter. So I think when we look at her chart, we see some really mixed testimony here. We see both the Lot of Fortune and the ruler of Fortune in angular houses—which we know tends to be a sign of eminence or privilege or circumstance—and the ruler of the lot is also co-present with Jupiter, so there’s a benefic kind of quality here. And she was born into a royal family; she was married to King Louis when she was very young, around the age of 14, very close to her Saturn opposition; so Saturn would have actually been pretty close to her natal Lot of Fortune around that time. And then she ended up as a result of her marriage getting into a very difficult situation with the public, and people were calling for her banishment and her exile in her execution, and she was eventually executed and guillotined during the French Revolution.

CB: Okay. So, yeah, that’s really interesting and really important. The ruler of Fortune is in the 1st—or the ruler of Fortune is in the 4th with a benefic, and she was born into a life of privilege and had Fortune in the 1st house. But then as a result of getting married to the king of France at the time when the French Revolution just happened to take place, both her and her husband ended up being beheaded. I think it’s really interesting with fortune in the 1st that that Saturn in a night chart falls in the 7th house opposite to that, as well as in the seventh house relative to Fortune. It’s like her connection with the king was part of what happened to her.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And that Saturn is very strong, right? It’s in domicile in Capricorn, so it’s very resourced; and her husband was incredibly resourced, but he was ultimately the product of her downfall as well. She was blamed for a lot of the spending in France, and they said she had very extravagant taste and things like that, but it was really a result of him mismanaging money and funds. And so, she was ultimately the one, along with him, that got guillotined as a result of that. She also had some health things that were really difficult in her life, which makes a lot of sense with having Mars on one side of the Lot of Fortune and Saturn opposing the other. She had some really difficult childbirths, and one of her childbirths was also in public—like she had to give birth in front of a crowd of people—and apparently everybody rushing into the room almost killed her because it sucked all of the air out of the room. Which is really interesting to consider that Mars is the ruler of the 5th house of children as well, so we see the significations of difficult childbirths coming in public childbirths, as well with that being in the 1st house and Mars ruling the 5th and the 10th.

CB: That’s really cool. That’s really interesting, ruling the 5th and the 10th and being in the 1st.

KR: Yeah—maybe not cool.

CB: Whenever I say a chart’s really amazing or really cool, and I’m talking about a chart that’s really morbid, understand that I mean that’s interesting as an astrologer abstractly.

KR: Yeah, it’s a remarkable depiction of the astrology. It’s certainly not a good thing that happened to her.

CB: Yeah, for sure. It’s interesting what you said about her husband mismanaging funds and that being part of it as well because Saturn is not just in the 7th and ruling the 7th house of marriage, but also with Aquarius on the 8th house, it’s ruling the 8th house of shared resources and the partners finances as well. So it’s interesting how those topics are tied together there.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes when Fortune is in the 1st house, it can kind of feel like, “Oh, well, then the ‘Fortune’ houses don’t matter.” But oftentimes what it does is it adds almost this double-down effect where the houses become that much more important because we are9 importing additional significations in like we are with so many other charts. And so, you can see how ‘1st house’ things and the ‘Lot of Fortune’ things are really difficult for her, as are the ‘7th house’ things as well. And her and her husband didn’t even get along. She ended up living in her own house at Versailles completely apart from him, so they also didn’t have a good loving relationship; and Saturn being that malefic contrary to sect is really pronounced here.

CB: Yeah, well, it’s funny you mentioned Versailles. That’s such a funny image here of the ruler of the ascendant and the ruler of Fortune being in the 4th house with Jupiter and then ruled by Venus in a night chart, and just the most extravagant living situation you could possibly have.

KR: Yeah, just sheer opulence. That’s why I find her chart so interesting because we really see how she had certain circumstances, certain privileges that most people could never even begin to imagine, like she didn’t want for anything; but she did struggle with health, she did struggle with childbirth, she did struggle with her husband. And so, it kind of goes back to what we were talking about before where some people might not even realize how fortunate they are in certain areas of life. Like she probably couldn’t imagine being poor until the very, very end when she was in jail, but she probably also couldn’t imagine having a very loving husband either. So we see both of those elements of fortune and misfortune coming alive in her chart, and especially the ways that they interact with her Lot of Fortune in particular.

CB: Yeah, and the thing that’s actually the most difficult and is the killer, in a bad way, thing about the placement here when it comes to Fortune is that the Moon is ruling the Lot of Fortune, and it’s at 20° of Libra. So it’s relatively well-placed by sign, house, and configuration with Jupiter, with a benefic, but it’s at 20° of Libra and it’s applying within 3° to a square with Saturn in a night chart, and that is a condition of maltreatment; and that’s where you get health matters, as well as issues of misfortune ultimately and even potentially a difficult end of life with that placement, which I’ve seen in some other examples as well in some of the famous celebrity examples, where there’s been a really rough end of the life in terms of how it came about when the ruler of Fortune is being maltreated, especially by applying to a close degree-based aspect with the malefic contrary to the sect, which is Saturn in a night chart, or Mars, in a day chart.

KR: Yeah, and then just to make this one even worse, it’s actually being besieged by the malefics, because the last application would have been the square to Mars and the next one is the square to Saturn.

CB: Oh, nice.

KR: So she’s really getting it on both sides here.

CB: Good times.

KR: Yeah, maybe not for her. And then if we want to throw in another lot that we haven’t been able to talk about much, she also has the Lot of Nemesis, which is Saturn’s lot, on the descendant as well, or conjunct the descendant, within just a few degrees. So we can see those themes of banishment and exile and Saturnian feelings of loss and diminishment also happening in the house of marriage and partnership.

CB: Yeah, and I don’t have it in the chart, but in my Solar Fire chart page file—my custom one that I created; I created a section for the Hermetic lots, and you can find Nemesis, which is Saturn’s lot, is the last one mentioned or last one listed—and we see here that it’s at 4° of Capricorn in her chart. So it’s like right here, as you said, right on the descendant; so one of the most difficult lots, the lot associated with Saturn, is right on the descendant.

KR: Yeah, exactly. And those challenges just really coming about as a result of that relationship with her husband, which I’m noticing you have here that the Lot of Exaltation is also in the 7th house; and she was exalted as a result of that marriage, right? She became the queen of France and then ultimately that still led to extremely challenging circumstances and her eventual death.

CB: Right. That’s so important ‘cause it’s showing other scenarios where through this and through the use of lots you can see eminence, or you can see fortunate circumstances where either a person is very fortunate or is raised up in some instances to eminence—which especially is what the Lot of Exaltation does from Valens—but as well Fortune to some extent. But you can also see when the planet is afflicted or when there’s negative things going on that there can be a reversal or a downfall of some sort that’s particularly unfortunate.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: All right, well, that is a really good example. Thanks for sharing that.

KR: Yeah, of course. It’s one of my favorites, in a very morbid way.

CB: Right. I am not one to shy away from morbid examples, I don’t know if you’ve heard. I think you’ve been through my course. I think you’re aware of—

KR: Yeah, a little bit.

CB: —we go back and forth. I try to get all the extremes as well as all the shades of gray in between. But to defend both of our morbid examples, it’s by looking at the most extreme examples that you can identify the full spectrum. ‘Cause you need to know what’s on the opposite end of the spectrum on both sides of extreme cases of good fortune and you need to know what the extreme scenarios are in the extreme cases of misfortune; because once you’ve established the extremities of the spectrum then you can start to fill in the blanks in between, which is identifying all the shades of gray on the spectrum in between.

KR: Yeah, and most people are gonna have in-between, and we even see some of that in-between showing up in these extremes. But sometimes you need those ones that are really gonna show you a worst-case scenario or a best-case scenario, so you know kind of where those extremes land.

CB: Exactly. Sometimes getting conflicting indications can indicate both scenarios of extreme fortune and extreme misfortune at different points in life. In other instances, it can balance things out or moderate things, so that it moderates good fortune or it moderates bad fortune.

KR: Yeah, even thinking about that Marie Antoinette example and her a Lot of Fortune being ruled—or being in Cancer ruled by the Moon, which is known for those fluctuations, right? The Moon is constantly waxing and waning, and it has kind of an ability to both give and take away. And so, we see that really coming through in her opulent life and the extreme privilege that she had, and also the incredibly difficult circumstances that she ran into later on.

CB: For sure. Yeah, that’s a really great point. All right, really quickly, I meant to show this image ‘cause I thought it was a good image, and I might use it for the cover of this episode. I ordered some Astrodice—you can get these dice that put the symbols for the signs of the zodiac or the symbols for the planets or the symbols for the houses—and I got one of these cool little crystal zodiac wheels to put it on; and this is one of the images that I think is really useful when we’re talking about lots to think about. In some instances, you have the super-metaphysical version of ‘The Myth of Er’, and it’s like the souls are out there casting these lots, and they’re falling on a planet and then it falls in a sign and it falls in a house. That’s kind of what you’re getting with the birth chart and what you’re getting with the lots. And I think part of what the calculations for the lots are meant to mimic is this notion of casting dice, and then they fall somewhere that seems somewhat random, but it’s actually deliberate and sort of under the guidance of fate; it falls in a certain place. But once you’ve cast the lot, and you get the placement, then you get that outcome and the fate that comes with it.

KR: Yeah, I was laughing because I literally have my own Astrodice right here.

CB: Nice.

KR: They’re a great divination tool. So if you have a question, you ask the Astrodice, and you kind of engage in your own casting of the lots and, yeah, get your divine will and your answer and you interpret from there.

CB: Yeah, it’s also good as a teaching tool to just cast them and then test yourself once you get a placement—‘cause it’ll give you a planet in a sign, in a house—and then to try to generate a delineation and say, “Okay, what does that mean? What does it mean when Mars is in Leo in the 10th house?” or something like that, and to produce a delineation. It’s really good as a student to do that as not just a test, but as a nice strengthening tool. It’s like the astrologers’ version of lifting weights.

KR: Yeah, I love that. That’s a great learning tool for people. I love Astrodice, so I can’t recommend them enough, and for that specific use I think that’s a really great idea.

CB: For sure, yeah. All right, so back to our examples. Let me take a glance at what other examples I wanted to do. Oh, yeah, I had one really good one. Okay, I want to do this one because it was a good example of Fortune. So this is the, a recent one, of Queen Elizabeth II who was the queen of England, who died I guess it was two years ago now.

KR: Yeah, feels pretty recent still.

CB: Right. In 2022. So by the end of her life, she lived to be almost 100 years, and she became I think the longest-reigning monarch in history or close to it, if not the longest-reigning monarch. What’s interesting about her chart, though, is—looking at her chart for the audio listeners—she had Capricorn rising and the Lot of Fortune is in Libra in the 10th house of career; and it’s ruled by Venus, which is located in Pisces, where it’s in the sign of its exaltation in the 3rd house of extended relatives; it’s also in a night chart, so it’s the most positive planet in the chart ruling the Lot of Fortune in the 3rd house of relatives, of extended family. And the thing that’s interesting about Queen Elizabeth is that she wasn’t supposed to be really in the direct line of succession; it was her uncle who was king. But what ended up happening is through this weird chance set of circumstances, her uncle, the king, fell in love with a commoner or somebody that was not a royal and he wanted to marry her, but the only way to do that is he would have to renounce the kingship, so that’s what he ended up doing.

And as a result of renouncing the kingship, all of a sudden the line of succession switched to his brother, who was Queen Elizabeth’s father. He ruled for a period of time and then eventually he died not super long afterwards, and then Elizabeth became queen and then became the longest-reigning monarch in history; but it only happened as a result of this weird set of chance events involving her uncle, and aunts and uncles are actually signified by the 3rd house. So the Lot of Fortune is in the 10th showing, in this instance, ultimately, her career and destiny and rulership, but it’s coming from the Lot of Fortune in the sign of its exaltation—where Venus is raised up to the highest point—but it’s in the place of extended relatives and uncles, and she gained the queenship just as a result of that chance or fortune-like circumstance.

KR: That’s pretty incredible. Yeah, that’s amazing. I’m also noticing that her Lot of Spirit is in the 5th house in Taurus, also ruled by that exalted Venus. So she has both the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit being ruled by the most positive planet in her chart, which is exalted. I find it kind of interesting that as the monarch one of your primary duties or things to do is to produce an heir, and so we see that kind of notion of what she had to do was have a child as well to continue the monarchy.

CB: Right. And Charles actually has Taurus placements, and, yeah, Taurus is her 5th house. Interestingly, the Lot of Exaltation, which I forgot to mention, is also in Libra; it’s in the 10th house, so it’s further emphasizing that Venus placement. There’s just a lot of different stuff going on here. Interestingly, there was a Taurus eclipse when Charles had his coronation last year, which would have been in her 5th house, basically, when her child became king and succeeded her.

KR: Yeah, it’s so interesting how sometimes charts can still speak to what’s happening after the fact, even after someone has passed away.

CB: Yeah, exactly. I actually think I’ll have an example of that at some point. So that was one positive example. I have another one that’s a similar thing, where there’s this theme of the chance-like things that happen that shape our destiny. I think I’ll share it really quickly, unless you have one like that.

KR: No, go ahead.

CB: Okay, this is the birth chart of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. Are you familiar with his story?

KR: I’m not, no, but excited to hear it.

CB: All right, so first I’ll explain the chart itself. Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, he had Leo rising and the Lot of Fortune is in Gemini in the 11th whole sign house, and the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is Mercury, which is retrograde in the 10th house. Let’s see, other things—Mars is in Sagittarius and it’s retrograde and it’s opposing the sign of the Lot of Fortune, which is not good. Also, Mercury being the ruler of the Lot of Fortune and being retrograde is also under the beams of the Sun, because the Sun is at 15 Taurus and Mercury is at 22 Taurus; so Mercury has just retrograded under the beams of the Sun and has disappeared so that it’s no longer visible. One of the other things that’s interesting is relative to ‘Fortune’ houses, that means that the Lot of Fortune is in Gemini, which is a good house. But the ruler of the Lot of Fortune—even though it’s in the 10th house from the natal houses, from the ascendant—the ruler of the Lot of Fortune, Mercury and Taurus is in the 12th house relative to the Lot of Fortune itself. He doesn’t otherwise natally have a super-prominent 12th house, he just has Pluto there; but in the ‘Fortune’ houses, for some reason, it’s putting the ruler of the Lot of Fortune in the 12th house relative to Fortune. So basically what happened is that he was a boxer, but he was out one night with a friend or with a couple of friends and there was a murder that happened where three people were killed in the same city as him. And what ended up happening is he was falsely convicted of these murders and along with his friend he was sentenced to I think two lifetimes in prison, basically.

KR: Wow.

CB: So he was falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to prison with his friend. This is one of the places where, again, it’s showing us something that we might not see or we might have trouble seeing or might overlook otherwise, which is the 12th house is not majorly prominent in the chart in terms of having a lot of placements there and him spending almost his whole lifetime in prison; he was in prison for over two decades. There was a famous song that was written in the ‘60s by Bob Dylan about him that helped to publicize that he was wrongly convicted based on false testimony, as well as due to racism from the police. But also through his own efforts to get out, he eventually was successful and was exonerated after over two decades in prison. So what’s interesting is it’s Fortune here and it’s fortune-like circumstances where he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he didn’t do anything that caused that. But because of those circumstances outside of his control, he got swept up into something and he got thrown into prison, which is the ruler of the Lot of Fortune being in the 12th house relative to Fortune and also being retrograde and under the beams, so that’s part of what’s being shown here.

Additionally, because the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is in the 10th house, his case was publicized and came to the attention of a lot of people, for example, through that Bob Dylan song, as well as other people who were activists to try to help get him freed because it was clear that he was wrongfully convicted. So eventually he was freed. And it’s kind of interesting because he has Jupiter at 27° of Capricorn and it’s trining that Mercury in Taurus and eventually he was freed and he got out of prison. Also, his friend—who was wrongfully convicted at the same time—was also freed at the same time; and I think it’s interesting that the Lot of Fortune is in the 11th house. The other thing I’m trying to emphasize here is the Lot of Fortune and its ruler, and the houses that they’re located in are both relevant in the 11th house of friends and the 10th house of career and publicity and reputation, but also the ‘Fortune’ houses are relevant here as well, because Mercury’s in the 12th house from the Lot of Fortune. So we’re seeing an overlap and a doubling-up of significations that are relevant in his life as a result of the overlap of the normal houses and the ‘Fortune’ houses.

The final thing that’s relevant about his story and how it ends on kind of a good note is that in 1985, after nearly two decades in prison, a federal judge overturned his conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct and racism in the original trial. Him and his friend are finally released, and then Carter dedicated the rest of his life to advocating for the wrongly-convicted and raising awareness of racial Injustice in the justice system; he co-founded the Innocence Project, which is an organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongfully-imprisoned. And I think this is partially due to that trine from Jupiter and sometimes the ruler indicating things that happen later on; and I think it’s also partially relevant here that his Lot of Spirit is in Libra, and it’s ruled by Venus, which is up in the 9th house, which often has to do with the courts and the legal system and things like that.

KR: Yeah, that’s a great example. And just thinking about how that Fortune is really showing those constraining circumstances, but what he did with it when he had a bit of agency—and he was released from prison—was the Lot of Spirit and that being ruled by a benefic planet, which is also 11th from Fortune. So we see almost an elevation in that place of acquisition or accomplishment there with him being able to do really profound work with really difficult topics, which I think Venus in Aries is very good at doing, bringing care onto a battlefield, so to speak; and he was able to then spread that word and help a lot of people, hopefully. Yeah, that’s an incredible example.

CB: Yeah. And the last thing I wanted to mention is Valens mentions and uses the Lot of Exaltation, and he uses it sometimes as an eminence indicator if the ruler of the Lot of Exaltation is in the 10th house relative to the Lot of Fortune. So what’s interesting is the Lot of Exaltation in his chart is in Cancer in the 12th house natally, and then the ruler is the Moon, which is in Pisces, which is the 10th house relative to the Lot of Fortune, and he became known as a result of being falsely imprisoned basically and became eminent as a result of that, but then also after he got out became eminent, and his life’s work ended up becoming working to free other people that were wrongly imprisoned as well.

KR: Yeah, yeah, that’s incredible.

CB: Yeah, so that is one of those, because through these we’re seeing this theme of circumstances that are outside of a person’s control—of chance or fortune—that are shaping in very important ways their fate and their destiny with all these examples that we’ve seen so far. Sometimes Fortune can be something that’s positive and indicates positive acts of fortune that occur, but other times it can be acts of misfortune that befall the native as well at the same time.

KR: Yeah, yeah, like we’re seeing, and there’s so many different things you have to take into consideration when you are figuring out whether that person’s gonna be more on the fortunate side or more on the misfortune side. And so, I think a lot of times the Lot of Fortune gets conflated with this idea of luck; and it can be luck, but it can also be the opposite of luck as well.

CB: Exactly. Yeah, it entirely really depends on just how the planets are positioned in the chart and how Fortune and its ruler are positioned in the chart.

KR: Yeah, exactly. We keep seeing that time and time again, which is why it’s such a useful technique as we’ve demonstrated so far. Sometimes you just can’t see that in other ways. That last example was a really good one for that where you might look at a 10th house stellium and say, “Oh, this person’s gonna have a high-powered career, they’re gonna be really visible,” but not understanding the circumstances of their fate that led them to those situations, which were actually incredibly difficult circumstances, right? Some of the worst that a person can go through. You might not be considering that if you’re not looking at the Lot of Fortune.

CB: Right, exactly. Okay, so do you have—oh, yeah, I meant to mention the calculation for the Lot of Exaltation—it’s given in Valens, in Book 2—where he says: “Measure the distance in a day chart from the Sun to Aries [which is the sign in which the Sun is exalted] and then measure out the same distance from the ascendant; or for a night chart, measure the distance from the Moon to Taurus [which is the sign of the exaltation of the Moon], and then measure the same distance from the ascendant.” So if anyone wants to calculate that in your chart, that’s how you do it.

KR: Yep.

CB: All right, do you have other examples of major ones that you liked that stood out to you, that you wanted to make sure we got in?

KR: I think we covered almost all of them. We could maybe do Princess Diana, if you want. It’s a very similar situation where she has the ruler of Fortune 12th from Fortune, and we just kind of looked at an example like that. So if you want to show another one—otherwise, I think we’re good.

CB: Okay. Yeah, I have some depressing ones. I have Sharon Tate who had really bad Fortune circumstances in a way that’s similarly very striking but might be kind of depressing. I have an eminent one that shows some eminence techniques. And maybe that would be worth showing because it ties in some of the things—actually I have two like that. Let me do both of these really quickly.

KR: Okay.

CB: All right, so this is the chart of Emperor Hirohito who was the emperor of Japan during World War II. Valens uses the lots of especially Fortune, Spirit, and Exaltation partially as an eminence technique to determine people who are either very eminent or who are not eminent, and sometimes part of the thing that comes along with that is the notion of being raised up and being prominent in life, just like a luminary. The lights are prominent in the sky, and it’s hard not to notice them or hard not to have your attention sort of pulled towards a luminary, a striking luminary in the sky, like the Full Moon, let’s say, at night; but also to the extent that eminence reflects material fortunes or can, sometimes those who are more eminent are also those that are more materially fortunate. So one of the eminence indicators is to have the ruler of the Lot of Fortune in the 10th place from the Lot of Fortune itself. This is one example of that where we have an emperor who has Sagittarius rising and the Lot of Fortune is in Leo in the 9th whole sign house, and the ruler of the Lot of Fortune is the Sun, and the Sun is in Taurus. So the Sun in Taurus is actually in the 10th house relative to the Lot of Fortune, which is similar in some ways to having the ruler of the ascendant in the 10th house of the chart because it shows a major focus on career on rulership or being in a position of power and other 10th house things like that.

Another eminence indicator that Valens gives is when the ruler of the Lot of Spirit is in the 10th house relative to the lot of Fortune, which we also see in this chart in a pretty spectacular way, because he was born with the Lot of Spirit in Taurus, at 10° of Taurus, so its ruler is Venus; and Venus is actually located there in the sign of Taurus cazimi with the Sun, which is conjunct within a degree at 8° of Taurus. It’s also a night chart, so Venus is actually of the sect in favor; it’s the most positive planet in the chart. It’s in the 10th house from Fortune, which represents circumstances and power and reputation and prominence, but also the ruler of Spirit—that represents action and choice—is there in the 10th house from Fortune in a very powerful and positive position for him.

KR: Yeah, it might just be worth it explaining what cazimi is in case some of your listeners aren’t familiar with that term.

CB: A planet is cazimi—in this instance the planet Venus is cazimi—when it’s conjunct the Sun. Cazimi means ‘in the heart’—which derives from an Arabic term, which itself is a translation of a Greek term—which just means ‘in the heart of the Sun’. And when a planet is under the beams within 15° of the Sun, it was hidden and usually seen as something that’s more challenging or negative, but when a planet is exactly conjunct the Sun within a degree, it was seen as a position of power.

KR: Yeah, it’s an auspicious condition for sure, and in her own sign as well with this all being in Taurus; so kind of just adding to that cazimi effect as well.

CB: Yeah, also receiving a nice trine from Jupiter at 13° of Capricorn.

KR: Yes, exactly.

CB: All right, so that’s showing some of the stuff about eminence indicators and how lots can be used as eminence indicators for notable or even royal nativities. One of the things, though, that’s interesting is that the Lot of Fortune is in the 9th house—the ‘place of foreign places and foreign travel—with the planet Mars, and the ruler of the 9th house is in the 6th house natally, which is usually seen as the ‘place of injuries as well as enemies’; in ancient astrology, the 6th and 12th were associated with enemies. So I thought it was interesting in looking at this example that even though that’s positioned in the ‘Fortune’ house—a place of power and eminence in his chart—it’s interesting that the defining thing that Hirohito became known for in his life was the empire that he was under the control of, Japan, initiating a war with a foreign country, in this case with the United States and the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II and into a direct war in the Pacific with Japan.

Ultimately, Hirohito lost the war, Japan lost the war, and succumbed to his enemy, essentially, which is the 6th house placement. And then what ended up happening that’s additionally interesting is that the enemy of Hirohito—let’s say the 6th house and the connection with the 9th house, let’s say the enemy is a foreign place—forced Hirohito after World War II, after he lost the war, to renounce his divine status; because prior to this time in Japan, the emperor was seen as a god. But one of the conditions that the United States had once they won World War II is they forced the emperor to renounce his own divinity, but otherwise allowed him to stay somewhat in power. After the war, in some ways, there was a sort of subordination to foreign rulers, which is tying together concepts of the 6th and 9th house; because the 6th was in ancient astrology the ‘place of subordinates’ and the 9th house was the ‘place of foreigners, foreign lands, and foreign travel’. So there’s something extremely detailed going on here about some of the additional nuances of this, both indicating his eminence, but also indicating some of the challenges and the ultimate downfall in some sense, at least in terms of one of the most characteristic things that happened in his life that I often use his chart as an example for. His zodiacal releasing periods for when he had to renounce his own divinity are actually amazing, but it’s already kind of indicated here in some ways in the birth chart itself.

KR: Yeah, that’s great. And if we’re looking at ‘Fortune’ houses, too, then Saturn—the malefic contrary to sect which is retrograde—is actually in the 6th house from Fortune, so we see that ‘hidden enemy’ quality, and it also rules the seventh house from Fortune, which is sometimes the house of open enemies. So we can see both of those things kind of tying in with the ‘enemy’ houses and how that is seen from both lenses of the ‘Fortune’ houses and the standard houses from the ascendant as well.

CB: Yeah, I forgot to mention the Lot of Exaltation is also in Leo. So it’s in the sign of Fortune, and that means the ruler of Exaltation is the Sun, which is in the tenth from Fortune; which having the ruler of Exaltation in the tenth from Fortune is another eminence indicator that Valens mentions.

KR: Yeah, I think as well he’s got Lot of Courage in Capricorn conjunct Jupiter and Saturn; and the Lot of Courage has to do with proclamations and declarations of war, I believe. So you can also see that those things are gonna be afflicted by Saturn and the most challenging planet in that chart. And Jupiter—while it’s there to add a bit of support—is in fall and isn’t really capable of producing much positives there for him.

CB: Sure. Yeah, so it’s like part of the purpose of this example and one of the things that’s interesting that we’re getting to here with some of the lot doctrine is sometimes we have this picture of ancient astrology—let’s say in popular culture—that ancient astrologers could predict fortune and eminence, or that sometimes maybe you would go to an astrologer to find out if you’re gonna be famous someday. There’s a famous legend about one of the early Roman emperors going and getting his chart read, and the astrologer saying that he would become very eminent someday and him eventually becoming emperor; there’s a couple stories like that actually. But actually one of the concrete techniques that the ancient astrologers actually used to determine eminence was the lots and different combinations of the Lot of Fortune and Spirit and Exaltation, and maybe one other lot, the Lot of Bosses that we’re not going into here; but this is it, to the extent that one ever had this conceptualization of astrology. But this is one of the things that’s been missing from astrology for a long time, and it’s one of the reasons why in the 20th century there was this shift towards purely psychological astrology, which in some ways was deliberate as a result of humanism and a tendency to want to focus on humanistic astrology and the astrology of the mind and the psyche and the soul; but it was also inadvertent in the sense that astrology lost or had forgotten some of the techniques that allowed us to predict things like eminence through some of these specific techniques, which is the use of lots.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. And even bringing in the timing piece, you can also see when certain things are going to happen, when someone will be elevated to a position of eminence. Or in Frida Kahlo’s case—doing the profections from the Lot of Fortune—you see when those accidents are gonna occur. And so, it’s not only a powerful thing for delineation but also for prediction of when these things are going to happen, so it’s a very complex, rich technique. Yeah, I think it’s something that hopefully will be in a lot more astrologers toolkits after this talk.

CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, I have so many other chart examples I could get into—a lot of amazing chart examples—but I know because we’re almost at four hours here minus the breaks that we should start wrapping this up pretty soon. I think we’ve actually demonstrated quite a bit here even in the relatively few number of chart examples we’ve gone through, at least relative to me and my lectures, like the 18-hour zodiacal releasing workshop that I teach in my course that just has dozens and dozens of examples. So we did want to mention some other applications of lots, ‘cause we’ve primarily focused here on natal placements of lots—which was the primary usage in ancient astrology—but they could also be used in other ways and in a number of other applications. One of them that you’ve mentioned—and we’ve mentioned a few times already—is zodiacal releasing, for example, which is a complex time-lord technique where it divides the native’s life up into different chapters. You usually start from either the Lot of Spirit or the lot of Fortune, and you start from Spirit if you want to study career and the native’s actions and overall life direction, or you start from the Lot of Fortune if you want to study circumstances and health and things like that; and it can show very important turning points with respect to those topics, as well as sometimes the intersection between the two. And that’s a technique you’ve worked a lot with as well, right?

KR: Yeah, yeah. I think I took your course and got really inspired. It was one of the things that just grabbed me about astrology and hasn’t really let me go since. I’ve also got a lecture on zodiacal releasing on my site, and it’s something that I use a lot in client consultations, and it’s just really amazing to see how it can tell the story of someone’s life and when they’re going to—like I was saying before—encounter circumstances that are going to be more difficult or more positive, or periods of ease or greater difficulty. Which can just be such a validating thing for some people to hear sometimes that it’s not you, you’re not doing anything wrong, it’s just you’re in this malefic period that’s gonna last another couple months. I think being able to give people an end date to some of those challenging circumstances is one of the most valuable functions of astrology that I’ve found so far.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, and I’m glad you’re using it in consultations; zodiacal releasing was always one of the most rewarding things and techniques that I used in every consultation I did. So people should definitely get in contact with you if they wanted a zodiacal releasing consultation. I mean, the great thing about zodiacal releasing, also, is that to the extent that the lots can act as eminence indicators to indicate that a person will become eminent at some point in their life, with zodiacal releasing you can actually identify when a person will become eminent at different points in their life or the actual manifestation of the periods of eminence, or the manifestation of what I’ve called the ‘natal promise’ of the birth chart, where the different placements and different lots and the rulers indicate that certain circumstances or certain events are promised; like in the last chart, for example, the promise of eminence, but also the potential of downfall or reversal at some points as well. And through zodiacal releasing, you can actually see the broad spans of time when some of those events will finally manifest and that the promise will actually be delivered or will be completed.

KR: Yeah, it’s really good at showing you those ebbs and flows on both a micro and a macro level, which is one of the reasons it’s so great. It gets really into those shades of gray—because there’s multiple levels that you can look at—and through those multiple levels, you’re gonna see conflicting circumstances and positive circumstances. As we’ve seen, when you have a malefic aspecting a lot that’s gonna bring some challenges in, but there could be a lot of other significations—like being in an angular house—that makes it positive. Zodiacal releasing also highlights that through the multiple levels that it has there and where certain things might be a challenging day or a challenging chapter; that’s a very different feeling if it’s 10 years or four days.

CB: Right. And one of the things is zodiacal releasing is also the point at which certainly I, and everyone I’ve ever known—once you start applying the technique and seeing how well it works—start having a major philosophical crisis, ‘cause the technique is not just showing the activation of different periods of circumstances happening in your life that are outside of your control, but because you can also study Spirit, zodiacal releasing can tell you when the native takes certain actions or makes certain choices that change the course of their life, in some instances, that lead to the native discovering their life’s purpose or their life’s work. It’s one of the most interesting things, especially with looking at the ruler of the Lot of Spirit and the activation of the ruler of Spirit, which I’ve thought recently actually could have to do, again, with that concept of daimon, since we’re looking at the Lot of Daimon there. The fact that the daimon in Plato, for example, is supposed to be the guardian spirit that’s accompanying you to help follow through and make sure that you follow through on what your destiny or your fate is supposed to be, I think that’s why sometimes the activation of the ruler of Spirit can show that; because it’s showing, yeah, the manifestation of your destiny and when that will take place.

KR: Yeah, it’s almost like when your daimon comes knocking and makes it a little bit more clear to you—if you were going on a different path—and it’s like, “No, this is actually what you’re supposed to be doing.”

CB: That would be a great lecture title, “When the Daimon Comes Knocking.”

KR: I’ll file it away.

CB: Okay.

KR: I have a reading all about it at least, if anybody is interested. It’s called my ‘acorn’ consultation and that’s really what we look at. We look at purpose and the Lot of Spirit. It’s an entire hour just on the Lot of Spirit and its ruler, so that one’s really fun to dig into if you’re interested in a lot of this daimon stuff.

CB: Nice, great. Yeah, we actually focused on Fortune mainly, which is fine here; we didn’t get into Spirit as much as we could have. I guess I just skipped some of the example charts we could have but I think that’s okay, and it saves more for other things or other times. Okay, other applications of lots really quickly. One of the ones I know you’ve looked at is synastry between lots; and I know that’s actually one that’s mentioned in some of the Hellenistic texts. Even though, unfortunately, not a lot has survived of how ancient astrologers dealt with synastry, there are a few passages; I think Dorotheus at one point uses lots for synastry.

KR: Yeah, I think one of the examples that we didn’t get to was Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak both have the Lot of Eros in Gemini conjunct. And you can see how they were business partners; they were so crucial to each other’s successes. Yeah, that synastry component was really huge. One of the things that tipped me off to this industry was experiencing it in my own life, where the ruler of my Lot of Eros and the ruler of my husband’s Lot of Eros were actually conjunct the day we got married, which I had no idea at the time, and then I went and looked back and was like, “Wow, that’s pretty remarkable.” And so, I started looking into it a little bit more and it’s pretty cool to see that. Especially in partnerships, like professional partnerships, you’ll see those lot connections, because especially with the Lot of Fortune sometimes you are destined to meet a certain person. I think Flea and Anthony Kiedis from Red Hot Chili Peppers both have some cool connections with their lots, especially their Lot of Eros and their Lot of Victory and their Lot of Fortune; so really showing that friendship and association and the successes that Jupiter can bring through favor. And Paulus says Eros can be something related to friendship. All of that kind of comes in their long-standing friendship and has been a huge marker of their band’s success.

CB: I love that. That, and the Jobs and Wozniak example. It makes me think that it needs to be renamed the ‘Lot of Bromance’ sounds like what I’m hearing here.

KR: I think so. Yeah, I think that’s good. You coin that one.

CB: Okay. Yeah, that’s going down in the history books, Lot of Bromance—you heard it here first—instead of the Lot of Eros. Yeah, ‘cause the ancient astrologers did mention using it for friendship. And so, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak is a great example because they were just two young guys that started tinkering with computers and technology together and started a company in their garage, which became Apple, which is now one of the biggest companies in the world that really helped to launch the personal computer, as well as a bunch of other technologies, like smartphones, and currently—actually just in the past few days—a virtual reality device that might takeoff finally, we’ll see, under this Saturn-Neptune conjunction. But that’s a really great example there of showing either a friendship between two people, or in other instances a romantic connection between two people.

KR: Yeah, the power of bromance and romance.

CB: Right. Again, another great lecture title. Gotta write that down.

KR: Better be writing these down.

CB: Okay, somebody write these down and remind us ‘cause that’s really good. All right, synastry zodiacal releasing. Two other timing techniques—one of them you mentioned already briefly earlier is profections, that you can do profections from the lots. I know that you had mentioned that in the case of Frida Kahlo, right?

KR: Yeah, so profections for people who aren’t aware, you project and count one house from either the ascendant or the Lot of Fortune and that will activate that house during a given year of life and the themes become more relevant and more pronounced. And so, in Frida Kahlo’s case—I believe in both circumstances, when she got polio and when she had that freak accident—she was in a 6th house year when profecting from the Lot of Fortune itself; so kind of really bringing to life that Mars-Uranus conjunction in the 6th house opposing the Lot of Fortune and just how much that affected her material circumstances.

CB: Right. She was in a 7th house profection year if you profect from the ascendant; if you start from her rising sign in Leo with profections—for those not familiar—you just count one sign per year. So the first year of her life is Leo, the second year is Virgo, the third year is Libra, so on and so forth, until eventually it comes to Aquarius; so she was in a 7th house profection year from the basic method of profections from the ascendant. I’m mentioning this because otherwise the 7th house isn’t terribly prominent for her. However, if you do the profections from the Lot of Fortune, her Lot of Fortune is in Cancer, and if count seven signs from Cancer, you come to Capricorn; so that we can see that that natal, really difficult opposition between her Lot of Fortune and that Mars-Uranus conjunction was actually activated in that year through the annual profections technique.

KR: Yeah, exactly. So if you’re wondering if it’s gonna be a good health year for you or one that’s a little bit more challenging, you can profect from the Lot of Fortune. And if that is in a house ruled by a benefic planet, you might have a better year; if it’s in a house ruled by a malefic planet or containing a malefic then you might be running into some more challenges that year, so it’s just better to kind of keep an eye on those things.

CB: Yeah, as well as just seeing the activation or the manifestation of circumstances. Sometimes those can be good circumstances of good fortune and other times it can be bad circumstances of misfortune or difficult fortune.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: All right, and then one last timing technique in profections, involving Fortune, that was mentioned in Valens—that’s a very early technique—is transits. You can also use transits to the lots as well, right?

KR: Yeah, so you can track transits to the lots and that will tell you when certain things are gonna happen. Like for the Lot of Fortune, if you’re having a Mars transit to the Lot of Fortune in a day chart, then that could bring up some misfortune, especially pertaining to the house that Fortune is in in your natal chart. So if it was in the 2nd house, for example, then you might run into some difficult financial circumstances that affect your ability to support yourself and different things like that. Transits to the lots can be really illuminating. Especially ‘cause sometimes something will happen and as astrologers or astrology enthusiasts, we’re very quick to usually check the chart or check our transits and see how it kind of shows up; and sometimes you’re like, “I just don’t see it here,” and then if you bring in the Lot of Fortune—or the Lot of Spirit or any of the Hermetic lots—then we start seeing that really come to life. And so, there can be good examples of this, there can be more challenging circumstances of this. I know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, had the Sun conjunct her Lot of Spirit when she won the primary election on June 26, 2018, and the primary was really the key piece in her becoming the youngest congresswoman that we’ve ever seen in the United States. And so, that was really illuminating Spirit and what her soul was striving for and professional pursuits and all of those things—the Sun was almost illuminating that; and she does have a day chart, so the Sun has a little bit more of an ‘oomph’ in her chart.

CB: Amazing. Let me see—her chart is saved somewhere—just to visualize that. So here is her chart. And you were mentioning which placement, again?

KR: The Lot of Spirit. And she’s also got Jupiter exalted in Cancer there in the 8th house. Hers is a really interesting example of the Lot of Spirit; we probably don’t have time to get into it entirely. But a big reason that she got involved in politics was as a result of her father’s death and having to deal with his estate and realizing how corrupt that system was. She said that that was a primary motivating factor for her realizing the wealth disparities and how that was leveraged against people who were unfamiliar with the system, and that was a big compelling impulse, or you could say her daimon guiding her to her life’s work that followed.

CB: That’s amazing, and that’s really crucial because Spirit’s in Cancer with Jupiter. And then, as you said, it’s like something that happened surrounding death and mortality, as well as taxes and money issues, which are all 8th house topics, but then that propelled her or caused her to make a choice about where to go with her life direction and with her career from that point forward.

KR: Yeah, exactly.

CB: That’s amazing.

KR: That’s a good one.

CB: Good one. And you said it was the Sun that was conjunct her Spirit when she ran the primary?

KR: Yeah, I believe so.

CB: Okay, got it. All right, I think that’s good about transits. So we’ve covered all those timing techniques. And then zodiacal releasing, of course, I have the long lecture on, and you have workshops as well.

KR: Mm-hmm.

CB: All right, I think that’s good. Are there any other applications of lots I’m forgetting? I think that’s all of them, basically.

KR: That’s pretty much all of them. You can use them in solar return charts if that’s something you do, too. Taking into consideration where Fortune and especially Spirit fall in that chart can tell you a little bit about the things that are going to befall you that year and where you might find purpose or take action for Spirit. That’s just one last way that you can use those; they’re really endlessly useful.

CB: Awesome. All right, cool. Well, I think that brings us to the end of this, so we should have some concluding thoughts. I had a bunch of chart examples I didn’t go into here for the sake of letting you go to bed at some point tonight, since it’s like you’re in Europe, and you’re like eight hours ahead of me, and I’m in Denver where it’s a little bit earlier. So I’m gonna have a bunch of example charts and I’m gonna do a separate episode going through some more example charts, which I’m gonna release both for the Casual Astrology Podcast—which is available through my page on Patreon for The Astrology Podcast—as well as I’m gonna put it in my Hellenistic Astrology Course as a bonus for students in my section where I teach lots and have a long lecture going into some of this stuff in more detail; so people can find that there. What are your resources, again, for lots and for teachings?

KR: Yeah, so I have the course on zodiacal releasing, which is much, much shorter than yours; probably only like two hours or so. It’s not the 18-hour treatment that you give, but it does kind of cover the basics. And then I have a lecture on the Hermetic lots. So especially if you’re interested in learning more about Eros and Victory, Necessity, Courage, and Nemesis then I’ve got a lecture on that and a guide book; so if you prefer to read or if you prefer to watch video, I kind of have both options available. And then I did a collaboration recently with the astrologer Chloe Margherita on the Lot of Eros, and we did I think a two-and-a-half-hour video lecture on that; so we go into a lot of the different significations and the myriad ways that Eros can show up in a chart. So if you were intrigued by the romance and the bromance then maybe dig into that one.

CB: Nice, awesome. All right, what’s your website, again?

KR: Just my name. So KiraRyberg.com.

CB: Cool. I’ll put a link to that in the description below this video or on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com. My course site is at courses.theastrologyschool.com for the Hellenistic course and some of the other stuff I offer. All right, let’s bring this to a close. Do you have any final thoughts, final reflections? It’s been a very interesting, winding journey where we sort of, again, found this, with a lot of preparation, but also a lot of discovering things as we went through the conversation. I’m really happy with how this came out. I feel like this has been a great collaboration, and I feel like we’ve demonstrated and shown and sort of unlocked the importance and the power, as well as some of the rationale and the history of this technique. Even though there’s a lot we didn’t get into, I think it was a pretty good, pretty comprehensive overview.

KR: Yeah, I think it’s a great starting point, and hopefully a lot of people can just start playing with the lots after this. They’re, like we’ve shown, so integral to a life and to a chart, and they can give you so much information. And so, approaching them with curiosity and seeing where they lead you I think is key instead of just dismissing them ‘cause they’re not a visible body in the sky is gonna get you really far, and hopefully we’ve given you the tools to be able to do that.

CB: For sure. I think what we’ve discovered really unlocks this element of fate, of fortune, of chance, of luck, as well as ideas of misfortune; as well as other ideas of choice and volition and destiny, all of that. While we know that that’s sort of broadly tied in with astrology in a general sense, and we can see some of that in a chart already through different placements, I feel like we start getting to a much deeper level of being able to see that and articulate it, and also in some instances a much more subtle and nuanced level of interpretation in terms of how astrologers can use this to articulate some of the nuances of a person’s life and the twists and turns of their fate, as well as their choices.

KR: Yeah, it helps you get a lot more specific with those things, as hopefully we were able to demonstrate in the examples. And I think if you are a consulting astrologer, when you talk to someone about their lots, they usually light up and it can really show them a part of themselves that they just didn’t think showed up in their chart. So I think it’s a really useful tool for both personal reflection and for prediction and for consults as well, so just all around I’m obviously a big ‘lot’ fan. I can’t rave about them enough.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Me, too. Cool. Well, I’m looking forward to doing some follow-ups on this in the future, doing chart examples. Shoutout to Vettius Valens who a lot of my understanding and interpretation of lots comes from. Especially ‘cause that was a requirement of his teachings—to acknowledge your teacher—and him being my primary teacher when it comes to understanding and unlocking a lot of this and then seeing how his example charts. He gives—especially in Book 2—just dozens of example charts on how to interpret lots in the lives of real individuals back then, sometimes very eminent or very prominent individuals; I think there’s a chart of an emperor at one point. But when we start applying his techniques of lots to some contemporary examples, as we’ve seen, we see them similarly indicating people that became very eminent even in our own times, in addition to other subtle twists of fate and fortune that occurred in the lives of other individuals as well. So, yeah, shoutout to Valens. What a cool time to be alive as an astrologer where we can recover some of these ancient techniques and put them into practice in modern times.

KR: Yeah, absolutely. And in the tradition of Valens, shoutout to you, ‘cause you’re my primary teacher. So thanks for everything that you’ve taught me. It’s an honor to be able to carry it on a little bit.

CB: Awesome. Thank you. Yeah, well, I’m glad we got to do this collaboration. It feels good. And I’m excited at how you’re carrying on some of that work and exploring lots of new and interesting dimensions and directions with it, so I appreciate that. I’m glad we got to collaborate on what I think is gonna become a classic, classic episode.

KR: Thank you. Yeah, I hope so. And that means a lot. I really do appreciate that.

CB: Cool. All right, well, thanks a lot for joining me today.

KR: Of course. Thanks for having me on.

CB: All right, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.


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