Schmidt's Legal Paradigm in Regard to Empty Houses
© 2013, Aug 21 Curtis Manwaring
It is important to look at the domicile or exaltation lord of each house whether planets are present or not as the domicile lord is generally responsible for the results that place produces. It is true that a lack of planets in a house will usually cause a lack of focus on the topics that house represents, but an important piece that has been forgotten here is that planets cast rays into each of the places and while often a house is empty, it is rarely the case that a house remains "unseen" (unaspected). In the Hellenistic literature, there are statements about planets making testimony to the domicile lord and planets witnessing certain things happening in certain places (houses). For instance if Mars is the domicile lord of the 10th (what Valens attributes to praxis/work), if the chart is diurnal, then before hand we see difficulty in career because Mars is a "lawyer" for the opposition. If Jupiter casts a trine ray into the 10th house, he sees good in career and if also in aspect to Mars, then will give testimony to Mars about what he sees. If for example Jupiter is square Mars, then there is heated debate/tension (their posture or "figure" is more rigid) between the two planets, but Jupiter often helps break the malice of Mars being ruler of the 10th and contrary to sect. If however Mars had been of the sect (nocturnal chart) then Jupiter is contrary to sect. Jupiter is still a benefic but the difference is that the good that Jupiter proposes ultimately has a flaw that causes the career to be off course or the path as not being right for the native. In this case, the road to hell is paved with good intentions by something that is generally seen as good.
The extent to which planets cast rays into a given topic (house) and whether they also see the domicile or exaltation lord allows you to judge which testimony and witnesses are the most relevant. It can even be the case that the lawyer usually assigned to a given planet defers to another lawyer more suited to handle the issue. This happens when the exaltation lord has firmer control over a given topic and when the domicile lord falls amiss or happens to be in a place where it cannot witness the place that it represents (the domicile lord should cast a ray into the place it represents indicating that it does not ignore that topic). For example, if Pisces rules the 10th and Jupiter is in Aquarius in the 9th, but Venus happens to be in Cancer or Pisces, Taurus, etc, then Venus would be the preferred lawyer to listen to.
It's too bad that these ideas are still not widely understood amongst many astrologers since this transmission came out about a decade ago. It is clear if you read Valens that this kind of metaphorical thinking was typical during that era. Due to sociological circumstances, these understandings passed out of transmission. It is NOT due to it not working as some have said erroneously. It takes a while to get a handle on what you're looking at, but such metaphors allow for one to listen in to the conversation happening in the cosmos. These ideas are based upon Robert Schmidt's translation of the Greek texts.