Firdaria: An Introduction to the Life Periods of a Persian Time-Lord Technique
The purpose of this article is to introduce Firdaria, a timing technique of Persian origin. Although this time-lord technique is not of Hellenistic origin, it does make use of sect, a well-documented concept that, alongside traditional astrology, grows in popularity. Essentially, Firdaria are the nativity’s life periods, divided into uneven years by chronocrators. However, while Hellenistic techniques such as annual profections and zodiacal releasing do not emphasize the ascending and descending nodes, the Firdaria accentuate the nodal axis for specific periods (5 years in total). When activated, both planets and the nodes are considered to be equally important time-lords, comparable in fortitude to a progressed Sun and further activated by transits.
This article will introduce the reader to the Firdaria, define said concept, and explain its conditions. Of pertinence, it is important to note that this summary focuses more on the nodal variation of Firdaria as opposed to placing the nodal axis after the seven stars for both sects.
Life Periods of the Firdaria
The Firdaria are the periods of life governed by chronocrators or time-lords. Elucidated in Abu-Ma’shar’s On Solar Revolutions, Firdaria, a time-lord technique of Persian origin, unfurls the nativity into irregular chapters. Each of the Firdaria periods are divided into variable years with a punctuated time-lord: either one of the seven stars or one of the nodal points. Not unlike other traditional timing techniques, the quality of each firdar or life period is dependent upon the condition of the nativity’s activated chronocrator.
Firdaria, Sect, and Chaldean Order
The life periods of Firdaria are arranged according to the structure of sect and Chaldean order. As the celestial initiator, the sect luminary unravels the first firdar, and completes a seventh of its corresponding years in solitary rulership. After the sect light’s first isolated period, the luminary is accompanied by a fellow star or sub-ruler. Excluding the periods governed by the nodal axis (where no planetary sub-rulers intervene), after completing a seventh of their independently governed firdar periods, all planets are accompanied by sub-rulers.
Chaldean Order: based on planetary speed, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter,and Saturn. The visual inclusion of the heptagram simply traces the planetary days, beginning with Monday (Moon), traced below to Mars (Tuesday), followed by Wednesday (Mercury, and so on, concluded (in this order) with Saturday (Saturn). This is not to be confused with descending Chaldean order, which places the stars in order from slowest (Saturn) to swiftest (Moon). Additionally, heptazone sequence begins with the Sun, followed by Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. When the heptagram for heptazone sequence is traced, the traditional planetary days begin with Sunday and end with Saturday. While heptazone sequence is not part of Firdaria, it is interesting to compare both orders.
The Years of the Alfidar
Some of Firdaria’s first documented descriptions are recorded in Abu-Ma’shar’s The Thousands, Great Introduction, and On Solar Revolutions. Of these three texts, On Solar Revolutions describes Firdaria in its clearest cohesion. Here, Abu-Ma’shar explains the numerical value assigned to the seven stars and the ascending/ descending nodes as follows:
“Each of the seven stars, and the Ascending and Descending Nodes, has certain determinate times, and each star administers to the native in accordance with its proper firdar. The firdar of the Sun, then, is 10 years; of Aphrodite, 8; of Hermes, 13; of the Moon, 9; of Kronos, 11; of Zeus, 12; of Ares, 7; of the Ascending Node, 3; of the Descending Node, 2 – altogether, they are 75.
In the case of diurnal nativity, then, the Sun takes the governorship of the first firdar, then Aphrodite, then Hermes, then the Moon, then Kronos, in accordance with the order of their zones. In the case of nocturnal nativities, the Moon takes the first firdar, then Kronos, then Zeus, then Ares, in accordance with the prior order.”
In accordance with sect and Chaldean order, Ma’shar assigns the planets and nodal axis specific numerical periods. Beginning with the Sun in day charts, there are 10 solar years, 8 for Venus, 13 for Mercury, 9 for the Moon, 11 for Saturn, 12 for Jupiter, and 7 for Mars. The same numerical correspondence applies to night charts, with its start initiated by the lunar sect light. For both sects, the ascending and descending nodes are given 3 and 2 years, respectively.
For nocturnal nativities, there is a nodal variation which places the ascending and descending nodes after Mars and before the Sun, coinciding with the early 40s (39-44). In part, this variation is proposed by Zoller, taking into account the circular arrangement of planetary sequence. Regarding diurnal nativities, the nodal axis directly proceeds planetary (Chaldean) order: nodal variation does not apply to diurnal nativities.
As previously discussed, after a principle star’s firdar period completes a seventh of its solitary rulership, sub-rulers accompany each planet (aside from the nodal axis, which has no sub-rulers). Ma-shar’s description of the sub-periods follows as such:
“Except that when one of the stars is governor, it itself manages a seventh of its proper years; then the remaining stars participate with it in a signification for good or bad things in accordance with a seventh of its own firdar. And the beginning will be from the star that has the firdar, while the star lying next under it will participate first, then the star following that one. — the reason for the participation of the remaining stars with the one star is that the years of the firdar of each star has been extracted from those that have a relation to the twelve zoidia; but in a peculiar manner, the Ascending and Descending Nodes, since they do not further participate with any star, assume the management only after the completion of the years of the seven stars and after the native has completed seventy years, because they do not have domiciles.”
Using Chaldean order, Firdaria sub-periods include the accompanying stars joining each sequential chronocrator. Additionally, during the 3 and 2 years of the ascending and descending nodes (after the native has completed 75 years) respectively, there is no inclusion sub-periods. The quality of the nodal axis depends upon the condition of its dispositor and pertinent transits. Upon completion of the 75-year period, in diurnal nativities, the cycle newly commences with the Sun.
Day Charts (Sect Light is the Sun)
Sun: 10 years, Venus: 8 years, Mercury: 13 years, Moon: 9 years, Saturn: 11 years, Jupiter: 12 years, Mars: 7 years. After Mars, the Nodes are included so that the ascending Node takes 3 years, and, finally, the descending Node takes 2 years.
* After the full completion of the planetary rulership sequence, the ascending and descending nodes are included, for the periods of 3 and 2 years, respectively. In total, this concludes a 75 year period, where the solar period would then commence anew.
Night Charts (Sect Light is the Moon)
Moon: 9 years, Mercury: 13 years, Venus: 8 years, Sun: 10 years, Mars: 7 years, Jupiter: 12 years, Saturn: 11 years. After Saturn, the Nodes are included so that the ascending Node takes 3 years, and, finally, the descending Node takes 2 years.
* After the full completion of the planetary rulership sequence, the ascending and descending nodes are included, for the periods of 3 and 2 years, respectively. In total, this concludes a 75 year period, where the lunar period would then commence anew.
Night Charts and Nodal Variation
Following the order mentioned above, a variation for nocturnal charts is to place the ascending and descending nodes after Mars and before the Sun. As mentioned earlier, the nodal axis coincides with the early 40s, 39-44. It is interesting that ‘middle-age’ or the ‘mid-life crisis’ occurs during the start of the descending node. Because their is no corresponding domicile for the nodal axis, as Ma’shar explains, judging the quality of the nodal axis depends on the condition of the nativity’s dispositor.
It is said that Robert Zoller had difficulties with interpreting the correct order of the firdar for nocturnal charts. Bonatti subtlety suggests that the nodes should be placed after Mars, but, given that wording becomes obscure, it is difficult to ascertain. However, when compared with the guidelines presented in Ma-shar’s On Solar Revolutions, the nodal years are placed directly after the seven stars. Therefore, as a cautionary perspective, it is important to evaluate, discern the efficacy of techniques with variable applications, such as Firdaria, prior to its practical application.
Calculating Firdaria Periods
Calculating Firdaria periods is simplistic, and can be performed manually (although software programs and websites like firdaria.com provide automated calculations). Essentially, in compliance with sect and Chaldean order, Firdaria uses the seven stars and the nodal axis to unfurl the native’s life. Since the Sun rules day nativities, begin with the Sun for day charts. If the nativity is nocturnal, begin with the Moon.
The table below lists each period for both sects (beginning with the Sun and Moon, respectively). For the nocturnal nativity, I have included the nodal variation after Mars and before the Sun. As previously mentioned, the diurnal nativity remains unchanged, with the nodal axis at the end of the 75 years cycle. Upon completing a 75 year cycle, again, both sects begin with their respective luminaries. Note that the nodal variation for nocturnal charts is optional, and can be placed at the end of the 70 year cycle.
A Diurnal Chart with an Activated Sun Firdar
Along with the place, sign, aspects, and rulership, the natal condition of the Sun will be a primordial factor in determining the subjective quality of the solar life period. When in a solar Firdaria coupled with a Saturn sub-period, Saturn will saturate the solar experience, for better or worse, depending on its natal condition. If Saturn happens to be in optimal position, for example, including place (its 12th Joy), in its domicile/ exaltation, well aspected, and even agreeable term, the native can experience a successfully bountiful (Sun) period spent in diligent laboriousness (Saturn). In other words, the macro-experience of the solar Firdaria is colored by the condition of Saturn, the micro-delineator of the Firdaria. Once again, for nodal delineations, the qualitative condition of the period depends on the nodal dispositor.
Combining Firdaria and Annual Profections
Annual profections can often echo the themes experienced via Firdaria and its sub-periods. Judging the yearly experience of profections alongside the Firdaria can provide further insight into the quality of any given year, depending on the condition of both time-lords. Using the malefic-contrary-to sect for this example, a Saturn profection year in a nocturnal nativity being, simultaneously, the descending node’s dispositor, can indicate a period of subjectively challenging experiences. Depending on the places punctuated by Saturn, and given the malefic’s natal condition, these experiences can be more or less significant.
The Firdaria: Summary
The Firdaria are the periods of life governed by chronocrators or time-lords. Elucidated in Abu-Ma’shar’s On Solar Revolutions, each of the Firdaria periods are divided into variable years with a punctuated time-lord: either one of the seven stars or one of the nodal points. Not unlike other traditional timing techniques, the quality of each firdar or life period is dependent upon the condition of the nativity’s activated chronocrator.
Abū Ma-shar, On Solar Revolutions
Birchfield, Steven, 2005, astrologiamedieval.com
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