Planetary Joys

The Planetary Joys

The planetary joys, a Hellenistic composition for the seven visible planets, suggest that the meaning of certain places naturally compliments the nature of the classical (visible) planets. When planets are in their Joys, their qualities freely align with the significance of their corresponding places.

A planet rejoices when located in a house that favors the liberal expression of its characteristics. While modern astrology defines houses relative to signs (i.e., the meaning of the second house echoes the sign of Taurus and its ruler, Venus), the Joys suggest that certain planets, independent of sign placement, rejoice in specific houses as a result of complimentary similitudes. While the signification of houses in Hellenistic astrology derives from considerations such as angularity, house position relative to angular triads, ascendant configurations, and the overall symbolism of the house in astronomical terms, planetary joys are also notable when defining houses. Distinctly, the only angular place occupied by a planet in its joy is that of Mercury, as the significations of the Midheaven, setting, and subterraneous places are descriptive relative to their astronomical locations. Likewise, void of planetary joys, the second and eighth are named the Gate of Hades and Idle places, respectively.

To reiterate, the traditional houses are named as follows:

  • First house: The Helm/ Horoskopos (Mercury’s joy).
  • Second house: Gate of Hades.
  • Third house: Goddess (The Moon’s joy).
  • Fourth house: Subterraneous.
  • Fifth house: Good Fortune (Venus’ joy).
  • Sixth house: Bad Fortune (Mars’ joy).
  • Seventh house: Setting.
  • Eighth house: Idle.
  • Ninth: God (The Sun’s joy).
  • Tenth house: Midheaven.
  • Eleventh house: Good Spirit (Jupiter’s joy).
  • Twelfth house: Bad Spirit (Saturn’s joy).

Origin of the Planetary Joys

References to the planetary joys are initially authenticated in the early decades of the first century CE, when contemporaries Thrasyllus and Manilius introduced texts on the houses and planetary joys. [1] In Thrasyllus’s Pinax, later cited by Valens, Porphyry and Hephaistio, there is allusion to earlier sources, such as the pseudepigrapha of Nechepso and Petosiris and Hermes Trismegistus. According to Thrasyllus, Hermes Trismegistus is the foremost source for the documentation of the planetary joys. Thrasyllus attributes the doctrine of the twelve houses to Hermes, who first used the names for the houses and their connection to the planetary joys. For example, Thrasyllus notes that Hermes ascribes one of the first house significations to ‘siblings’. While not in accordance with the later tradition attributing brothers and sisters to the third place, it does correlate with Mercury’s Joy in the Helm, since one of Mercury’s primordial significations is siblings.

Planetary Joys and the Elements

In his article,The Planetary Joys and the Origins of the Significations of the Houses and Triplicities,” Chris Brennan finds correlations between triplicities and house significations. In Hellenistic astrology, the planetary joys surround the four angular triads. In this arrangement, each angle correlates to an element. Of the fire triplicity (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) the Sun and Jupiter encase the Midheaven. To the left of the wheel, Saturn and Mercury, rulers of the air triplicity (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), surround the angular triad of the Ascendant. Mars, of the water triplicity (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces), is found to the right, near the seventh, or ‘setting’ place. Finally, alluding to the density of earth (the triplicity of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn), the nethermost angular triad of the subterraneous place is enshrouded by Luna and Venus. [1]

Planetary Joys

The seven classical planets in their Joys.

Aristotelian Physics, Stoicism, and the Four Elements

According to Aristotelian gravity, all bodies move toward their natural places. For the elements earth and water, that place is the center of the (geocentric) universe; the natural place of water is a concentric shell around the earth because earth is heavier; it sinks in water. However, if the zodiacal correspondences followed Aristotle’s framework, fire signs would oppose air, and water would oppose earth. Logical inconsistencies regarding Aristotle’s elemental hierarchy made it challenging to incorporate the elements with the planetary joys. Aristotle’s system places fire directly above earth, despite fire’s qualitative opposition to water. In other words, because fire is hot and dry, and water is cold and wet, the two elements should be placed in opposition.

The planetary joy’s elemental system appearing in Valens’ work adheres to the scheme conceptualized by Stoicism, the Hellenistic branch of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens, during the early third century BC. Of the four elements, the Stoics identify fire and air as active, and water and earth as passive. These divisions mirror the diurnal/ spirit and nocturnal/ corporeal associations of the Joys. The active elements, or at least the principles of hot and cold, combine to form breath, or pneuma, the sustaining cause of all existing bodies. Both Aristotle and the Stoics reject the existence of void space, excluding that it encapsulates the universe. In Stoicism, air is cold and opposes fire (being hot). Moisture is attributed to water, which is opposite to the dryness of earth. In contrast to the Aristotelian system, the Stoics’ conceptual model of the elements parallels the planetary joys.

The Planetary Joys and Elemental Hierarchy

The positioning of the planetary joys reflects an elemental hierarchy. Just as fire rises to the highest region, Jupiter and the Sun are clustered around the Midheaven. Echoing air‘s ascension towards fire, Saturn and Mercury (the air triplicity rulers) appear to ‘rise’ over the Ascendant. Mars, slightly elevated from the earth triplicity, corresponds to water and is located near the seventh or setting place. Below, Luna and Venus encircle the subterraneous place, alluding to earth, the densest element. Essentially, the planets are arranged in an elemental hierarchy as follows:

    The Sun and Jupiter, of the fire triplicity, join the Midheaven.
    Saturn and Mercury, of the air triplicity, join the Ascendant.
    Mars, of the water triplicity, joins the setting, or seventh place.
    The Moon and Venus, of the earth triplicity, join the subterraneous place.

An Overview of the Planetary Joys

A distinct hallmark of the planetary joys is their arrangement via sect. The diurnal planets rise above the horizon while the nocturnal planets set below it. Mirroring his ability to join either sect, Mercury rejoices in the first house, where the midpoint between both hemispheres (using whole-sign houses), unites the diurnal and nocturnal spheres of spirit and matter, respectively.

The concept of planetary joys calibrates the balance between sect luminaries, benefics, and malefics. The luminaries are opposite each other, as the Sun rises in the ninth place of ‘God’, while the Moon sets below, in the third place of ‘Goddess’. The Greater and Lesser Benefics, Jupiter and Venus, respectively, are also arranged in opposition. Jupiter is poised in the tenth placed of ‘Good’ Spirit, opposing Venus in the fifth place of ‘Good’ Fortune. Furthermore, the Greater and Lesser Malefics, Saturn and Mars, obtain the opposing places of ‘Bad’ Spirit and ‘Bad’ Fortune, respectively. Again, Mercury retains the first place or Helm, symbolically merging both hemispheres.

Planetary Joys

The seven classical planets in their Joys, relative to the elements.

Planetary Joys, Elements, and Angular Triad Correspondences

  • Mercury: The Helm (first place). Mercury corresponds to air and the angular triad of the Ascendant.
  • The Moon: Goddess (third place). Earth and the angular triad of the subterraneous place.
  • Venus: ‘Good’ Fortune (fifth place). Earth and the subterraneous place.
  • Mars: ‘Bad’ Fortune (sixth place). Mars singularly corresponds to water and the setting, or seventh place.
  • Sun: God (ninth place). Fire and the angular triad of the Midheaven.
  • Jupiter: ‘Good’ Spirit (eleventh place). Fire and the angular triad of the Midheaven.
  • Saturn: ‘Bad’ Spirit (twelfth place). Air and the angular triad of the Ascendant.

Planetary Joys: As Above, So Below

As the two hemispheres divide the planetary joys by sect, this bifurcation equally addresses the distinction between the spirit and body. Planets situated above the horizon pertain to matters relating to the soul, while planets below (the horizon) correlate to physical phenomena. When in their Joys, the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn affect the realm of spirit, while the Moon, Venus, and Mars influence the realm of matter (or the body). When in the Helm (via whole sign houses), Mercury has the ability to affect both hemispheres, symbolically inferring his ability to oscillate between both realms.

Of the fire triplicity, the Sun’s joy in the ninth place is traditionally associated with prophecy, divination, and truth as it relates to counsel, religious beliefs, and spiritual guidance. These matters are said to elevate the soul’s journey, alluding to the spirit realm. As the fire triplicity’s Greater Benefic rejoices in the eleventh place of benefactors and confidants, the spirit unites in friendship with a fellow soul. Of the air triplicity, the Greater Malefic’s joy enshrouds the place of confinement, suggestive of Saturn’s potential to afflict the spirit via anguish, enmities, and other mental phenomena.

Opposite the diurnal sect is its nocturnal counterpart: the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Associated with corporeal experiences, the night Joys concretize the spirit realm into matter. Opposite the ninth place of God is the Goddess Luna, the traditional indicator of correspondences, orations, and writers, rejoicing in the place which organically conducts said matters. Here, the abstract realm of spirit (ninth place), as it pertains to divination and religion, is reflected by the swifter luminary, solidifying the metaphysical insights of the ninth place via practical information, and human interaction.

The corporeal realm is auspicious and procreative in the fifth place of ‘Good’ Fortune, bestowing children (implying all forms of creation) and pleasure. These earthly, Venusian themes manifest through the physical vessel. Challenges indicated by Mars’ Joy in the sixth effect the body (contrasting the spirit’s affliction via Saturn’s Joy), manifesting as possible maladies and injuries.

The Planetary Joys: Summary

A planet is said to ‘rejoice’ when situated in a house that benefits the liberal expression of its characteristics. The planetary joys, a Hellenistic composition for the seven visible planets, suggests that the meaning of certain places naturally compliments the nature of the seven classical planets. Clearly, hermetic principles embody the arrangement of the planetary joys. When illustrating the rejoicing of planets above the macrocosmic hemisphere (spirit), a microcosmic counterpart (matter) is mirrored below.


1. Brennan, Chris, “The Planetary Joys and the Origins of the Significations of the Houses and Triplicities,” originally published in the International Society for Astrological Research Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, April 2013.

2. Valens, Vettius, Anthologies.

Etchings by K. Kalynovych.

Copyright © 2018 Saturn and the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

New Moon in Scorpio

Leonor Fini, The Parasol, 1947

New Moon in Scorpio: A Photochemical Exchange

The New Moon in Scorpio embodies the photochemical exchange of radiant energy. Via photochemical exchange, the consequential chemical and physical properties of molecules in response to light absorption differ greatly from their structural origin. As such, Luna and Jupiter have filtered their effulgence through the venomous canals of Scorpio, laboriously transmuting poison into panacea. Invisibly, in the same ecliptic longitude with the Sun, Luna surrenders her brilliance in service to Earth: the Moon’s reflective void determines Earth’s albedo, or the level of sunlight reflected by Earth. In turn, this offering enables the survey of climate: the cloudier the Earth, the brighter the ‘earthshine’. Here, the photochemical exchange of light is the New Moon’s final homage to Earth: guided by Jupiter, Luna soon vanishes from Scorpio’s interminably clenched claw.

Scorpio Decan II: The Sea-Crossing of Sun and Jupiter

At 15°11’ Scorpio, this lunation illuminates the second decan, governed by the Sun and Jupiter. In her depression or fall, Luna’s second decan in Scorpio heralds themes of conflict, vulnerability, and transitional surrender. As Agrippa’s imagery illustrates, “In the second face ascendeth a man naked, and a woman naked, and a man sitting on the earth, and before him two dogs biting one another…” While Agrippa proceeds to elaborate on deception, impudent operations, and strife amongst men, both figures remain exposed. While all three decans reiterate violence in Agrippa’s descriptions, the second face of Scorpio subtly alludes to vulnerability, since man and woman are unprotected by either garments or weaponry.

Ibn Ezra echoes Agrippa by depicting Scorpio’s second face as the ascension of ‘a naked man, and the middle of a horse, and the middle of an ox’, followed by ‘a woman who has left her house; she is naked and has nothing on and she is entering the sea.’ Again, both figures are unadorned by clothing, but in Ezra’s second description, it is suggested that, void of possessions, the female relinquishes her shelter, journeying into the sea. While sea-crossing affords a plethora of mythological diversities, in Eastern and Greek cultures, it is an intermediary between life and death. As an agent of destruction and renewal, it is equally a medium of communion between humans and gods. Essentially, the sea integrates the elements it separates, such as fertility and barrenness, or a deathly directionless odyssey in its immortal passage. It is possible, then, that Ezra’s female embarks upon a sea-crossing of bare surrender, between the visible and invisible worlds of humans, gods, and the departed.

Leonor Fini, Ophelia

Zuben Elgenubi: The Insufficient Price

During the Greek and Roman empires, the Claws of the Scorpion became known as the Scales, and this portion of the sky was viewed as a lamp symbolizing the Assyrian god of fire, Bir. [4] At 15°19′ Scorpio, fixed star Zuben Elgenubi, Libra’s brightest star, conjoins the Moon (and Sun) within an 8′ orb. According to Ptolemy, ‘of those stars in the Claws of the Scorpion… those in the middle parts the same as do Saturn and, to a less degree, Mars.’ [Ptolemy, p.51] Zuben Elgenubi traditionally corresponds to the nature of Saturn followed, to a lesser extent, by that of Mars. However, as the New Moon’s traditional dispositor, the Martial influence is likely applicable.

Early interpretations of Zuben Elgenubi are forthright in their subjectively negative descriptions. Robson, symbolically terming Elgenubi as ‘The Insufficient Price’, describes this star as ‘causing malevolence, violence, disease, lying, and dangers from poison.’ Ebertin punctuates Zuben Elgenubi’s negative connotations to nocturnal charts (this lunation occurs during a diurnal chart), alongside attributions to poor health. However, along with its northern counterpart, Zuben Eschamali, Ebertin interprets this combination as bestowing ‘immortality to one’s name.’ However, Brady notes Zuben Elgenubi as having higher ideals regarding social reform than its counterpart, citing Martin Luther King, John Lennon, and Abraham Lincoln as examples of reformers with the culminating star. Here, it is suggested that Zuben Elgenubi differs via motivational source. Essentially, it marks individuals involved in reform while simultaneously dismissing personal gain or power. [4]

Odilon Redon, The Red Sphinx, 1912

New Moon in Scorpio Aspects

The New Moon in Scorpio trines Neptune and sextiles Pluto. The Moon-Neptune trine is empathic, which, to an extent, ameliorates some of the challenging themes of this lunation. In harmony, Luna and Neptune are service-oriented, particularly to those deemed less fortunate. Equally, the imaginative realm is heightened, alluding to the forthcoming Mercury retrograde, which will challenge perceptual clarity. However, in the context of this lunation, this energy is favorable for artistic endeavors, the dream-state, and heightened sensitivity. Of course, Luna’s dialogue with Neptune can stir oscillating moods, often mirroring our environment, so it is recommended that our company is agreeable.

The Moon-Pluto sextile readily dismisses triviality in favor all-encompassing, experiential depth. This intensity extends to relationships, an interest in investigating all forms of inaccessible subject matter (inclusive to subterranean energies in the psyche), and the impetus to adjust unfavorable conditions within the intimate setting. The general caution with this aspect is the tendency towards unproductive or unyielding obsessiveness in the pursuit of singular knowledge or a compulsory idea.

Odilon Redon, Red Thorns

Venus Retrograde trines the Moon’s dispositor, Mars, ushering equilibrium between assertiveness and equality. Harmoniously integrating the ying and yang, or the emerald and scarlet tinctures of Mars and Venus, confidence is punctuated without the interjection of abrasiveness. While this aspect begins to stimulate the long-term, fiery quest for liberation that heralds Jupiter’s ingress into Sagittarius, Venus-Mars oversees a balance between individuality and cooperative efforts. Because of the crystalline properties of this fixed Scorpio decan, established relationships (of ample varieties) are potentially solidified, while favorable, newly formed partnerships are likely void of exploitation. Furthermore, note Mars’ ingress into Pisces on November 15th, followed by Venus’ direct station at 25º14′ Libra on November 16th. Fifteen hours later, Mercury stations retrograde at 13º29′ Sagittarius. Needless to mention, this month ushers illimitable activity.

Saturn’s Backdrop

Because the Moon’s dispositor, Mars, is currently in Saturn’s domain (prior to its Jupitarian ingress in Pisces), the Time Keeper imparts lessons through detached discipline. Instead, Saturn rewards laborious diligence, maturation, stoicism, and the stability of our life’s structures. The subtle, Saturnian sway of this lunation can be used to re-structure areas of life that no longer concretize purpose and potential, a task best embarked in unison with the fulfillment of honorable work.

Water and Fire: The Corpuscles of Unity andDispersal

The New Moon in Scorpio is followed by Jupiter’s ingress into his Sagittarian domicile the following day, on November 8th. The elements, too, are flaring from water to fire, a challenging transmutation between polarizing elements. This inherent volatility requires a stable structure, since the movement from water to fire requires the conversion from cold unification (moist) to hot separation (dry). Where water is cool becoming moist, simultaneously fixed and fluid, it serves the basic human necessity for emotive depth. In contrast, the nature of fire is to rise and disperse, answering the primal call for individuality, spiritedness, and instinctive knowledge. Therefore, as the planetary ingresses shift from Scorpio to Sagittarius, there is a surge for individualized exploration and creative expression.

Image taken from Friedländer, Plato, vol. 1, An Introduction.

In Timaeus, Plato uses the geometrical shape of each element to explain its appearance and behavior. The fiery corpuscle is a regular tetrahedron, or four-sided geometrical solid. In this diagram, the central fire-particle contains 6 scalene triangles composing each equilateral face of the tetrahedron. On the left is a basic isotope with 2 scalene triangles per face, and, on the right, a more complex isotope with 8 scalene triangles per face.Therefore, the sharpness of the four triangles that compose fire reflects the element’s divisive and protruding nature. Beyond any other form, its splicing ability heats and pulverizes into multiples.

New Moon in Scorpio

Before the dispersal of the fiery Archer, the New Moon in Scorpio offers a mediating intermission between destruction and renewal. Like Ezra’s sea-crossing figure, this excursion explores the raw surrender between visible and invisible worlds. Coupled with the selfless potential of Zuben Elgenubi and Luna’s depth-riddled aspects, the New Moon embodies the photochemical exchange of radiant light energy. On the day of Jupiter (November 8th), the Scorpion releases a newly forged Jove into the Archer’s arms.


The New Moon at 15°11’ Scorpio occurs on the day of Mercury, November 7th, 2018, at 11:02:03 PM ET.


1. Agrippa, Henry, Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

2. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos.

3. Ezra, Ibn, The Beginning of Wisdom.

4. Brady, Bernadette, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars.

5. Robson, Vivian, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology.

6. Plato, Timaeus.

7. Cohen, Marc,

Oil paintings are by Leonor Fini and Odilon Redon.

Copyright © 2018 Saturn and the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

Jupiter In Sagittarius

Wolfegger Hausbuch, Die Kinder Jupiter

Jupiter Ingresses into Sagittarius

Jubilant Jove: the Greater Benefic’s Composition

Babylonian astronomers were the first documenters of Jupiter. As the fifth planet from the Sun, Jupiter is the fourth brightest celestial sphere in our solar system. Jupiter’s mean diameter is 138,346.5 km, 11 times that of the Earth. Jupiter’s orbital phase is 11.8618 years, creating a 5:2 ratio to that of Saturn. Of all celestial bodies in our solar system, Jupiter has the speediest rotation, at 9 hours, 55 minutes, and 30 seconds. Jupiter’s swift rotation is the product of its intricately colossal magnetosphere (composed of hydrogen and helium), enveloping Jupiter’s 79 moons. This amplifying energy alludes to the atmospheric, genial warmth that astrologically corresponds to Jupiter. Expansively, Jupiter radiates more energy than it receives from the Sun.

Jupiter is a diurnal planet, of hot and moist nature, and of sanguine temperament. He is considered to be the Greater Benefic in traditional astrology, ascribed to ‘temperance, modesty, sobriety, and justice.’ [1] He is retrograde approximately 120 days. During his stay in Sagittarius, Jupiter will turn retrograde on April 10th, 2019 at 24°21′ Sagittarius and station direct on August 11th, 2019, at 14°30′ Sagittarius.

Jupiter In Sagittarius: The Archer’s Domicile

Jupiter Ingresses Into Sagittarius

A planet in its own domicile readily possesses the tools to initiate and consummate its quest. Neither exaggerated (exaltation) nor constricted (detriment, fall) in its energetic framework, a planet in its domicile functions as effortlessly as the qualities it embodies. On November 8th, 2018, at 7:39 AM ET, Jupiter, ingresses into his anticipated year-long Sagittarian domicile (until December 3rd, 2019) where his bow is fully drawn in sweeping flight. This ingress oversees the full expression of the eternal, fiery force of courage, the primal fire reflected in opportune angularity. This marks the initial trajectory of Jupiter in its domicile, with all of the necessary weaponry to swiftly liberate and expand its Jovian embodiment.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

Medieval Arrowheads

The Centaur’s Aiming Eye

Upon the astrological plane, Sagittarius is the mobile unit of the fiery trigon. He serves as the governing force of humanity, and that which oversees the necessity of justly law and order. In this expression, the bow, a metaphor for strength or force, flings its arrows in any opportune direction. This forward momentum of restless energy interminably seeks new modes of expression. Arising from the external plane’s chaos, this expressive reflectivity develops organization. As author of noble charity, the genuine son of Jupiter signifies higher moral character and humanitarian qualities. Upon the astrological sphere, Jupiter is deemed the Greater Benefic, possessing the highest form of human expression and rarest qualities of justice. The Centaur, too, is a symbol of secular knowledge, and its influence indicates external powers of merciful command as a result of its mental organizational skills. Representing the muscular foundation, Sagittarius is the emblem of stability, foundation, and physical power. Overseen by Jupiter, the Centaur’s locomotive star will aid in the yearly amplification of Jupiter’s worldly wisdom.

Jupiter Cazimi (in Sagittarius): Fiery Fortitude

2018 Jupiter Cazimi, 13’ orb at 4° Sagittarius.

While Jupiter Cazimi occurs yearly, Jupiter Cazimi in Sagittarius occurs once every twelve years. While a planet in its domicile is shielded from the solar rays, a planet simultaneously in domicile whilst Cazimi is doubly fortified. Such is the case with Jupiter in Sagittarius, on November 26th, 2018 (8:11 AM ET). Both the Sun and Jupiter are joined in a stellium with Mercury retrograde, which can impact the places overseen by the Messenger (in this example, the 7th and 10th houses, respectively), heralding potent initiations, provided that its transformative properties are respected. Having mentioned this, however, there are specific reasons why I will forgo this Jupiter Cazimi election, which will be discussed in a forthcoming article. For the purposes of this post, I am providing this information as it pertains to the ingress of Jupiter into Sagittarius.

The King’s Heart

When a planet is ‘in the heart’ of the King, or Cazimi, it is, simultaneously, shielded and strengthened in the commencement of a new solar cycle. The Medieval term Cazimi is the Latin transliteration of the Arabic term ‘kaṣmīmī’, implying ‘as if in the heart’. Essentially, this is the translation of the Greek term egkardios (meaning ‘in the heart’), originating in the works of Rhetorius of Egypt, circa 7th century CE. *There are disparities amongst Medieval sources regarding the exact proximity between the Sun and another planet in order to be deemed Cazimi, with earlier authors attributing a broader 1° value and later astrologers decreasing range to 16’. However, even the 16′ value presents discordance amongst later astrologers. William Lilly, for example, extends Cazimi to 17′. Considering all three variations, I choose to focus and work within the 16′ range. 


Lilly, William, Christian Astrology

Brennan, Chris, Hellenistic Astrology

Copyright Saturn and the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Venus Cazimi


Venus Cazimi

On October 26th, 2018, Venus will form an inferior solar conjunction, exact at 3°06′ Scorpio (at 1:05:03 PM ET). In other words, Venus retrograde will closely approach the Sun, transferring, via orbit, between the solar rays and Earth. Simultaneously, Venus will cross perigee, lying on the same side as the Earth in our solar system.

Once per synodic cycle of 584 days, the Sun-Venus conjunction heralds the terminal of Venus’ apparition in the evening sky. This transition ushers her renewal as heoia, or morning star, over the forthcoming weeks. However, celestially scorched amidst the Sun’s beams, Venus will remain invisible until she reaches 6° in distance from the Sun.

Sun-Venus conjunction, exact at 3°06’ Scorpio.

As Venus retrograde approaches the heart of the king on 10/26/18, she will be enveloped within 16 arc minutes of the solar rays. This condition, known as Cazimi, is the Medieval astrological term that defines closely conjoined planets (within 16 arc minutes).*

Cazimi: In The King’s Heart

When a planet is ‘in the heart’ (enkardios) of the King, or Cazimi, it is, simultaneously, shielded and strengthened in the commencement of a new solar cycle. The Medieval term Cazimi is the Latin transliteration of the Arabic term ‘kaṣmīmī’, implying ‘as if in the heart’. Essentially, this is the translation of the Greek term egkardios (meaning ‘in the heart’), originating in the works of Rhetorius of Egypt, circa 7th century CE. *There are disparities amongst Medieval sources regarding the exact proximity between the Sun and another planet to qualify as Cazimi, with earlier authors (such as Rhetorius) attributing a broader 1° value and later astrologers decreasing range to 16’. However, even the 16′ value presents discordance amongst later astrologers. William Lilly, for example, extends Cazimi to 17′. For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing on the tighter value of 16 arc minutes. 

Venus Cazimi Election

Notice shift from 12th to 11th.

Ingressed in a sign said to indicate extremes, this Cazimi is unlike that of Mercury in Virgo, where the latter remained ‘protected’ due to domicile. Conversely, Venus retrograde in Scorpio is in her adversity/ ‘detriment’, and, as a result, ruled by Mars, the nocturnal malefic and traditional ruler of Scorpio. Therefore, for the purposes of this election, it is critical to make the best use of this brief Cazimi portal, if one chooses to work with this planet in isolation. As a general election, this is not unfavorable for friendships, organizations, and creativity (or even children). A somber yet responsible presence is framed by diurnal Saturn in the first (in his domicile) while Venus Cazimi is overseeing the 5th and 10th places, respectively. The Moon, as a prominent co-signifactor in traditional/ electional astrology, is exalted at 27°47′ Taurus in the subjectively positive 5th place with reception to Mercury. Although separating, the waning Moon’s nearly exact opposition to Jupiter (27° Taurus-Scorpio) and Mercury, can pose challenges. Contrary to the sect in favor, Mars is, of course, the most challenging energy, poised in the second place at 18°11′ Aquarius. There is slight mitigation as he is overcome by both benefics via sign-based square. Still, this is not a suitable election for finances. Comparing the initial ‘Venus Cazimi’ election (exact at 3°06′ Scorpio) to this latter option, waiting is essential, as is working within a limited portal, in order to actualize the potential of Venus Cazimi in an objectively positive (11th) place.

Under the Beams (Versus Cazimi)

Because of the numerous articles/ posts egregiously using terms such as Cazimi and Under the Beams in an interchangeable format, let us clarify the following: a planet under the Sun’s beams is not Cazimi/ in the heart of the Sun. While a planet is momentarily shielded by the Sun’s rays during Cazimi, it is debilitated under the Sun’s beams, once it has ventured past the 16′ range (or 1°, depending on preferred value).

To note Lilly, “a planet is said to be under the Sunbeams, until he is fully elongated or distant from his body 17 degr. either before or after him.” Here, Lilly is providing his definition of a planet degree range while it is under the beams of the Sun. Note that he extends his value for Cazimi to that of 17′ (as opposed to 16′).

In contrast, a planet is in Cazimi “when he is not removed from him 17 min. or is within 17 min. forward or backward, as the Sun in 15.30 Taurus, Mercury in 15.25 of Taurus: here Mercury is in Cazimi, and all Authors do hold a Planet in Cazimi to be fortified…” In Lilly’s example, Mercury is in Cazimi at 15°25 Taurus, 5′ in value from the Sun.

The purpose of clarifying these fundamental concepts is to deflect the potentially deleterious effects of incorrectly working with the current Venus retrograde in Scorpio. To reiterate, Venus is simultaneously retrograde, in detriment, and overseen by a nocturnal malefic (Mars). This is not an opportune time to undertake new ventures: not only is Venus in a state of introspection and purgation, but her Cazimi portal is too brief to produce tangible results. For the impatient, we notice this actualization come November.


Lilly, William, Christian Astrology

Houlding, Deborah, Skyscript

Brennan, Chris, Hellenistic Astrology

Copyright © Saturn and the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Sect in Astrology

Determining Sect in Astrology

Determining sect is both a simple yet potent Hellenistic technique for the purposes of chart delineation. By definition, the word ‘sect’ implies a separation, or bisection, that forms a grouping of astrological similitudes. Sect introduces the concept of astrological alliances (not unlike a ‘religious sect’) that establish unification within a specified division. Essentially, sect divides planets, signs, and hemispheres into two main polarities: diurnal and nocturnal. By doing so, a clearer understanding of planetary affiliation arises, an insight applicable to any given chart. Primarily, sect is a qualitative factor that modifies the benefic or malefic implications of planets in any given chart.

A simple approach to sect identification divides a chart between diurnal (or the quality of day), and nocturnal (or quality of night) polarities. This is easily done by locating the Sun’s relative position to the chart’s horizon. A chart is of diurnal sect as soon as the Sun rises above the exact degree of the Ascendant, since the Ascendant is indicative of the eastern horizon where the Sun rises each morning. [1] Once the Sun’s location is established relative to the horizon, a chart can be pronounced as either diurnal or nocturnal.

Sect Example I.

In ‘Sect Example I’, we clearly witness the Sun, at 19°25′ Libra, in the diurnal hemisphere, above the horizon, and therefore, affirm the diurnal quality, or sect, of this example chart. Locating the Sun’s placement is the first step in sect identification. In other words, we are not yet analyzing other planets or signs in the chart. Once we have established the sect of a chart, we can then identify the attributes of the remaining components.

Planets, Signs, and Hemispheres Relative to Sect

By default, the traditional planets are deemed diurnal if they are masculine, while the nocturnal planets are considered feminine, respectively. For practitioners of modern astrology, please note that, since this is a traditional, Hellenistic technique, outer or ‘transpersonal’ planets remain uninvolved. Therefore, the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are of the diurnal (or day-time) sect, while the Moon, Venus, and Mars belong to the nocturnal (or night-time) sect.

Malleable Mercury

What about Mercury? Well, the flexible, fleet-footed Messenger takes a neutral stance on the topic of sect. In other words, if poised in a diurnal chart, he naturally remains part of the day-time sect, while adhering to the nocturnal sect if placed in a night-time chart. Back to the ‘Sect Example I’ chart above, Mercury (at 4°18′ Scorpio) is of diurnal sect, strictly relative to the Sun’s location. Were the Sun poised below the horizon, Mercury would nonchalantly transform into a nocturnal planet.

Sect in Astrology

As for signs, those of masculine origin are considered diurnal, namely, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. In contrast, the feminine signs are nocturnal: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Regarding the hemispheres, the diurnal sect embraces the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th houses, where planets are visible above the horizon. In contrast, the nocturnal sect overshadows the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th houses, where the planets are ‘invisibly’ placed below the horizon.

Benefic of the Sect in Favor

Perhaps one of the most useful functions of sect is the clarity it bestows upon the behavior of both the benefics and malefics in any given chart. Astrology commonly describes Jupiter as the ‘Greater Benefic’, Venus as the ‘Lesser Benefic’, Saturn as the ‘Greater Malefic’, and Mars as the ‘Lesser Malefic’. However, via sect, while Jupiter functions as the ‘Greater Benefic’ in a diurnal chart, Venus assumes that same role in a nocturnal chart. While Jupiter retains the throne as the Greater Benefic in a diurnal chart, his affirming qualities are lessened within the context of a nocturnal chart. Instead, in a night-time chart, Venus becomes the benefic of the sect in favor, where her reconciliatory nature is heightened as ‘queen’ of the nocturnal sect. Of course, there are mitigating factors that potentially alter the significance of said planets, but overall, this principle remains solidified.

Malefic Contrary to the Sect in Favor

Contrasting benefic planets, the malefic contrary to the sect in favor will behave more potentially challenging, while the more constructive qualities of a malefic will surface as a result of its association with the sect in favor (ie., Saturn in the day and Mars in the night). In other words, in a diurnal chart, the malefic contrary to the sect in favor is Mars, while Saturn retains dominance as malefic contrary to the nocturnal sect. To reiterate, we generally witness the more constructive characteristics of Saturn in a day-time chart, while Mars is considerably more cooperative in a night-time chart.

Sect in Astrology

Astrological references on album’s cover art deserve a separate post.

Saturn’s Sect (Clarified by Blue Öyster Cult)

Having some difficulty understanding why Saturn behaves more constructively during the day as opposed to night? Well, Blue Öyster Cult‘s 1976 single, “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”, reverberates a solid understanding of Saturn’s natural disposition when paired with the Sun.* [2] Note its succinct insight:

Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain

See that? The Sun needn’t fear the Reaper: the solar rays are well aware of Saturn’s potentially constructive behavior in a diurnal chart. Firmicus Maternus affirms this in his interpretation of Saturn in the eighth house, nothing that “… if by day, [Saturn] allots an increase in income over a period of time.” [1] However, Saturn’s malefic nature is intensified as the Sun drops below the horizon. In a nocturnal chart, Saturn is said to be “contrary to the sect” in favor (para ten hairesin). In general, malefics become more challenging (as is their natural disposition, in contrast to benefics) when they are contrary to a sect, be it Saturn in a night chart or Mars in a day chart. Here, the subjectively negative significations of the malefics become aggravated, behaving in a more (comparatively) deleterious manner.

Sect in Astrology

Diurnal and Nocturnal Planets from ‘Positive’ to ‘Negative’

Identifying Planets in a Diurnal Chart

Sect in Astrology

Diurnal Chart I

Beginning with the Sun, we witness its placement in the diurnal hemisphere, above the eastern horizon of the Ascendant degree. Therefore, with this day-time chart, the Sun is of diurnal sect, and becomes the luminary in favor. As a result, Jupiter is the benefic of the sect in favor, and his affirming, subjectively positive qualities are naturally amplified in this chart. Additionally, Mercury becomes part of the day-time sect, as a direct result of the Sun’s placement. In this chart, the more constructive qualities of Saturn can surface, as the malefic contrary to the sect in favor is Mars. With this diurnal chart, since Mars is the benefic contrary to the sect in favor, he will be the more subjectively challenging component of the sect and chart, respectively. Note that, for the purposes of this article, we are merely isolating planetsand hemispheres relative to sect. Therefore, all other forms of chart delineation are excluded.

Identifying Planets in a Nocturnal Chart

Sect in Astrology

Nocturnal Chart I

As the Sun is poised below the horizon in the nocturnal hemisphere, the luminary of the sect in favor is the Moon. In this night-time chart, Venus is the benefic of the sect in favor, and her reconcilatory qualities are amplified in a more subjectively positive manner. Additionally, Mercury becomes part of the nocturnal sect, again, as a direct result of the Sun’s position (in the nocturnal hemisphere). In this chart, the more constructive characteristics of Mars can be activated, as it is Saturn that becomes the malefic contrary to the sect in favor. In other words, Saturn manifests as the more subjectively challenging planet in this nocturnal chart. Again, for the purposes of this article, we are merely isolating sect as a form of identifying the roles of planetary energies.

‘Rejoicing’ Conditions in Sect

Planets prefer to be in charts that complement their own sect. When this occurs, a planet is considered to be ‘of the sect’ and is referred to (in Hellenistic astrology) as ‘rejoicing’. There are two sect-related conditions that allow for the ‘rejoicing’ of planets. These conditions underline a planet’s position relative to the horizon and zodiacal sign placement. The latter has three different variations, as a result of disparate ideas regarding the signs in the Hellenistic tradition.

1. Rejoicing Via Planetary Position

For the first principle, diurnal planets ‘rejoice’ when placed above the horizon in a day chart or below the horizon in a night chart. Essentially, in day charts, the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn (being diurnal planets) prefer to appear above the Ascendant-Descendant. In contrast, their preference is below the horizon axis when located in nocturnal charts. In parallel, the nocturnal sect (the Moon, Venus, and Mars) prefers placement above the Ascendant-Descendant axis at night, or below it during the day. Additionally, recall that Mercury, remaining neutral to both sect and gender (most authors treat Mercury as neutral aside from Rhetorius), transforms in preference relative to the Sun. For the purposes of clarity, note that this condition (rejoicing via planetary position) remains the most important when identifying sect.

2. Rejoicing Via Zodiacal Sign

As stated above, the second sect-related ‘rejoicing’ condition includes three variants as a result of Hellenistic disagreements regarding zodiacal signs. They are as follows:

  • Masculine signs and feminine signs are attributed to the diurnal and nocturnal sect, respectively. As a result, diurnal and nocturnal planets rejoice in masculine and feminine signs, respectively. Essentially, planets rejoice when paired with signs of their same gender.
  • The Leo-Cancer axis is used to divide the zodiac into two hemispheres. As a result, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn are said to be diurnal signs. Additionally, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius are considered nocturnal.
  • Sign-sect is determined according to the sign’s domicile lord. For example, Aries becomes a nocturnal sign because it is ruled by Mars, as the latter belongs to the night-sect. Taurus would also be considered nocturnal since it is Venus-ruled, also of the night-time sect. According to this condition, Gemini would have to be considered neutral, as it is ruled by Mercury (the one planet that is neutral in sect). Furthermore, zodiacal sect division would resume with Cancer, being nocturnal as the result of Luna, followed by diurnal Leo, in relation to the (diurnal) Sun. Because Jupiter is a diurnal, masculine planet, and the traditional, domicile lord of Pisces, we would conclude sign-sect by assigning diurnal/ masculine properties to Pisces.

Rejoicing Conditions in Medieval Doctrines

In the Medieval tradition, the rejoicing conditions via sign were deemed as important as the primary consideration: planetary position relative to the horizon. In other words, all three considerations held equal importance. The term ‘hayz’ is applied when the nature of a planet agrees with its hemisphere placement or the chart quadrant and its sign. For example, hayz occurs when a masculine and diurnal planet is placed in the Sun’s hemisphere while in a masculine sign. Similarly, hayz applies to feminine, nocturnal planets placed in the hemisphere opposite to the Sun while placed in feminine signs, respectively. [2]

It is noted that the loss of clarity regarding the above disclosed variants resulted in the decline and ultimate dissolution of sect-related, ‘rejoicing’ conditions by the 20th century. Lastly, the astrological perspectives of the Hellenistic tradition still place importance on the first condition of rejoicing. From this viewpoint, importance is placed on the planetary position in relation to the horizon.

Sect in Astrology: Summary

Distinguishing between diurnal and nocturnal charts is a fundamental component of Hellenistic astrology. Dividing planets into diurnal and nocturnal polarities facilitates a lucid understanding of planetary function in any given chart. The qualitative distinction of sect, as it applies to planetary function, specifically clarifies the behavior of the malefics and benefics in chart delineation. Although the application of sect dissolved prior to the surge of modern astrology (partly as the result of discrepancies in the employment of ‘rejoicing’ conditions), its use has grown during the past two decades. [1]


1. Brennan, Chris, Hellenistic Astrology

2. Houlding, Deborah. Hayz, Skyscript, 2012.

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