Signification and Philosophy of the Lots / Arabic Parts

© 1999 - 2002 Curtis Manwaring

Philosophy and Definition:

Greek lots (also known as arabic parts) are sensitive points in a birth chart based upon the positions of the planets at birth, and the ascendant (with a few exceptions). The theory is that the planets in the heavens signify the more general circumstances that exist in the world at any given moment in time. What makes these planetary relationships unique to the individual is the way the individual exists in them, in relation to their ascending degree and sign. In essence, the lots are a tool that help the cosmic soul see how a relationship formed in the heavens applys to an individual through the use of analogy. [1] For example, the cosmic soul says, for instance (lot of father), I know what the relationship of fatherhood is in the heavens; it is like the relationship between Saturn and the Sun. The distance between them is the implied relationship. So if the native is like the Sun, place the Sun on the ascendant and the distance between the Sun/Asc to where Saturn falls out in relation to the Sun is like the relationship the native has to his father. [2] Another way of stating this is: "As Saturn is to the Sun, so too is the father to the native". The same principle extends to the other lots.

To calculate them, follow this general equation:

where A is usually the zodiacal longitude of the ascendant (the degree of the rising sign), and B and C are the zodiacal longitudes of two of the planets depending upon which lot it is. For instance, if we want to find the daytime lot of fortune, then we find the zodiacal longitudes of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant as in this formula:

Suppose the ascendant is 1 degree 20 minutes Scorpio, the Moon is 9 degrees 24 minutes Gemini, and the Sun is 13 degrees 00 minutes Leo. First we measure their distances from 0 degrees Aries. The Moon in Gemini then would be 30 degrees of Aries + 30 degrees of Taurus + 9.24 degrees of Gemini = 69 degrees and 24 minutes. Do the same with the other 2 points. Then, the dirunal lot of fortune is:

If the final value is not between 0 and 360, then simply add or subrtact 360 until the value falls within range.

Fortune and Spirit as Yin and Yang:

Often, the greek lots vary their formula for day and night births by switching which planet becomes the dominant cast off point. For example, take the lot of fortune which is Asc + Moon - Sun by day and Asc + Sun - Moon by night: the interval between Sun and Moon is thought of as fortune if measured in one direction but as spirit if measured in the opposite direction, depending upon the sect of the chart. This is because the Sun is thought of as being like spirit and the Moon is thought of as being like fortune. But because sect is a physical principle, the stronger of the two lights by sect becomes the casting off point in the analogy.

The idea is that fortune casts off from the light more in sect to the light less in sect and applies that interval to the ascendant. Spirit casts off from the light less in sect to the light more in sect and applies that interval to the ascendant. What this implies is that the Moon (or fortune) needs to be in sect more than the Sun because sect is an Aristotlean physical principle. The Sun represents the spirit which is of the non-physical realm of nous.

Symbolically, the act of being born is like measuring from the Sun to the Moon; in other words, spirit impressing itself into material form. Therefore the lot of fortune represents ones physical body and the material which one is equipped with in the world such as money and possessions. But if going from the Moon to the Sun it is like matter being used for a purpose. This is called the lot of spirit and gives signs helpful in determining what one does with what one has, whether it be profession or hobby. Bringing this down to earth, these two lots are very similar to the roles that parents play, since the Sun represents the father and the Moon the mother (Genesis 37:9-10). Historically, you follow in your father's footsteps in career (Sun - spirit, action and reputation) but your mother takes care of your material needs (fortune - health and prosperity).

How the Lots are used:

To the Greeks, some of these lots became horoskopoi; that is, the first house for matters involving the issue of that lot [3]. This is similar to using derivative houses if you are familiar with the concept, but we are not sure if the Greeks intended this generally or for just certain lots that had enough potency to them. You must also keep in mind that the houses were counted according to whole signs. In other words if the lot of fortune is in Gemini, then the whole sign of Gemini plays the "role" of fortune. Therefore Cancer takes up the role of the 2nd house with respect to fortune, Leo the 3rd, etc, all the way through to the 12th house.

Lots used for ranking the nativity:

While the following four lots have their own separate uses and meanings, you should keep in mind that they were often used together to judge the rank (eminence) of the native in society. [4] This is not necessarily fame, though fame is probably more likely with very eminent charts. For example, there are people unknown within the CIA with high security clearances and great power. This is eminence. Fame involves the media and large popluations. Noel Tyl says that close contacts of personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) to the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) links the individual in a special way directly to the collective unconscious making them examples for all to follow, therefore famous. [5] I agree, but also add the fixed stars of the 1st magnitude as well as possible indicators of fame, especially Aldebaran, Regulus, Spica, Antares and Fomalhaut. Why Sirius is not also included with the above by most astrologers I do not know.

It is important to note that if you are studying eminence in the birth chart, then the use of the 4 lots is far from an exhaustive study. They are a significant contributing factor, but you should start with studying the cosmic state of the light of the time and it's trigon lords and their angularity, etc... [6]

Lot of Fortune:

The greek word for "fortune" is "tuche", which means "happenstance"; that what generally befalls the native. It is not just money, but describes the way in which the individual physically reacts to the surrounding environment, the condition of the body, health and vitality. According to Paulus Alexandrinus:

"And fortune signifies everything that concerns the body, and what one does through the course of life. It becomes indicative of possessions, reputation and privilege." [7]

And Valens wrote:

"... the Lot itself will possess the power of the horoskopos, that of life; the 10th zoidion [sign] from this, the power of the midheaven, that of reputation; the 7th, the power of the descendant; the 4th, of the subterraneous zoidion, and the remaining places will possess the power of the 12 regions." [8]

We see here how this lot becomes the establisher of a new house system for the subject of the body and its relationship to the environment. This is also one of the 4 lots used in establishing the rank of the nativity, in which the 10th sign from the lot of fortune is most important. If the lords of spirit, basis or exaltation are found in the 10th from themselves or especially in the 10th from fortune, while these 4 lots are for the most part pivotal (in angles), it indicates great rank and eminence. It has been my experience, that most powerful individuals that you hear about have at least 2 of these lots in angles and at least 1 of the lords culminating with respect to fortune, or if they decline cosmically (with respect to the natal angles), they make up for it by culminating with respect to the other eminence lots. It is also an indication of high rank, when the lords of these 4 lots happen to exchange places. For example, the lord of basis in the same sign as spirit, the lord of spirit in the exaltation, etc. Valens says when the lord of one of these lots is also present in the same sign with it, that it indicates rank to some degree. [9] Valens seems to imply that the greater the number of indicators present, the greater the rank.

The 11th house, known as the place of acquisition, is also important. According to Valens:

"We have also found the 11th place [sign] from Fortune to be an acquisitive place, a bestower of belongings and goods, and especially when benefics are upon it or are testifying [in aspect]." [10]

In a sense, it represents what comes toward you as a result of your actions (spirit). This sounds very much like karma. If other lots like retribution, accusation (like in George W. Bush's chart) or nemesis happen to be here and malefics (Saturn, Mars or the Sun by conjunction) witness by Ptolemaic aspect, it may be an indication of a hard fall, imprisonment, disgrace, etc... This is especially likely if Venus or Jupiter happen to be in aversion to the acquisition. Also, according to Rob Hand, the 7th from fortune has something to do with illness and physical problems. [11] My guess is that this is because it is analogous to the sunset of the body.

Lot of Spirit:

While the lot of fortune is based in the physical, the lot of spirit is based primarily upon the spiritual. The lot of spirit is will directed into the world. It shows your intentions, and gives signs related to career. Illness can also be indicated by the lot of spirit but it is likely to be psychosomatically based. For instance, if Saturn is with spirit, depression can be a problem. According to Paulus:

"Spirit happens to be lord of soul, temper, mindfulness, and every power; and sometimes it also cooperates in the determination concerning what one does." [12]

With regard to the lot of spirit, look to see if it is in the 10th sign from the lot of fortune or in the sign of the lot of exaltation; especially if well dignified, this shows honor in ones profession and above average rank; if in the other angles then honor to some degree but if in declines (cadent) with most indications ill fortified, then judge dishonor or after a time of honor a time of humiliation and fall from grace occurs. [13] The post ascensions moderate the outcome. If any of the other lots fall with this one, it shows the quality of their reputation. For example, if the lot of courage, or its lord should be with spirit, then it is likely that the individual is especially brave. [14] If treachery or theft, or their lords fall with the lot of spirit, then the native may be prone to those types of actions, etc... If the lord of spirit is in aversion to the spirit, it is an indication that the native has difficulty getting things done, is weak and ineffective, and generally does not finish what they start.

Lot of Basis:

Since this lot is always measured in the shortest distance between fortune and spirit and the distance applied to the ascendant, it always falls below the horizon like a foundation. More research needs to be done here.

Lot of Exaltation:

This lot is based on the Sun and Moon and their exaltation degrees. It is used to indicate eminence. Valens says that if this lot does not indicate eminence (by falling mediocre or amiss with little connection to spirit or fortune) then it shows what the native is happy doing. [15] It is one of the 4 lots (fortune, spirit, basis and exaltation) used for finding the rank of the nativity.

The Seven Hermetic Lots:

Schmidt says that these lots are based upon the seven visible planets and are analogs of these planets within the mind of the cosmic soul for the individual. The first two of these have already been mentioned (the lots of Fortune/Moon and Spirit/Sun), the last five are listed below. For each of these lots, look to see if the lord of each falls in aversion or not. The quality seems to be absent in the native when the lord of these lots fall in aversion. Also the lots that fall in pivots (natally or pivots with regard to fortune) seem to be more important in the native's life and may represent qualities that are more obvious. Judging by the nature of some of these lots, aversion could be a good thing. However, if the lord of the lot is very strong then that quality is present in the individual, or the testimony that it represents will become manifest when the planet that is lord of the lot has the timelordship or when the ascension of the zoidion where the lot is present is completed (this will be explained when I deal with the time lords).

Schmidt says that he was bothered for a long time about the translation of the lot formulas in Paulus. He says that the problem was that the ascendant cancels out in the day calculation, but gets doubled in the night calculation, which seemed unsymmetrical. By comparing similar passages in Dorotheus he thinks he has come up with a solution. Since Schmidt frequently reworks these issues, I will show the original formula as reported in Paulus and then give Schmidt's recommended correction to the formula below each listing. The corrections are to be used both by day and night because the lot of Fortune and Spirit (which are present within the formula) reverse anyway according to sect.

Lot of Necessity:

This lot is based upon Mercury. According to Paulus:

Necessity signifies constraints, submissions, struggles, and wars, and makes enmities, hatreds, condemnations, all the other restrictive things befalling men as a result of their birth." [16]

Lot of Eros:

This lot is based upon Venus. According to Paulus:

"Eros signifies the appetites and the voluntative desires. It becomes a contributing cause of friendship and mutual favor." [17]

Lot of Courage:

This lot is based upon Mars and so far it seems to gives signs for the natives fortitude (or lack thereof). It is based upon fortune (the physical body) and actions (Mars). Where this lot is placed by house seems to show what we have to face and what we most fear. According to Paulus:

"Courage becomes a contributing cause of boldness, treachery, might, and every villainy." [18]

Lot of Victory:

This lot is based upon Jupiter. According to Paulus:

"Victory becomes a contributing cause of trust, good expectation, contest, and every association; but sometimes it contributes to penalties and rewards." [19]

Lot of Nemesis:

This lot is based upon Saturn. It seems to indicate what is most likely to bring the native down. Nixon had nemesis in Gemini near the midheaven. He was brought down by the news media and too much negative public exposure (midheaven). According to Paulus:

"Nemesis becomes a contributing cause of subterranean fates and of everything which is ice-cold, of demonstration, impotence, exile, destruction, grief, and quality of death." [20]

The sign where nemesis falls seems to indicate what leads to the natives undoing. If it is Aries: it is the sword, or impatience; Taurus: the love of money; Gemini: slander, the media, a duplicitous lifestyle; Cancer: insecurity or attachment, large crowds, getting lost; Leo: pride and arrogance, excessive visibility, water; Virgo: lack of faith, jumping to conclusions; Libra: plasticity, divorce, separation, the pen; Scorpio: murder, plots, jeolousy, scheming, lack of trust; Sagittarius: intemperance, intolerance, entrapment; Capricorn: carelessness, neglect; Aquarius: large gatherings, loneliness, political incorrectness; Pisces: indiscretion, being gullible.

Lots related to family:

Valens had a technique for judging the predeceasing of the parents using the next two lots. [21] In addition to looking at the Sun (father) and Venus (mother) by day or the Moon (mother) and Saturn (father) by night, he used the lots of the father and mother to judge who would die first. In modern times this might just seem like morbid curiosity, but in ancient times it appeared to be more of a necessity. It was far worse if the father died before the mother because in many ancient civilizations women could not own property. The technique was basically to see which of the two lots was stronger by dignity (lord of the lot essentially dignified or not), house placement (whether pivotal, post-ascensional, or declining), sect (if the lord was in sect or not), orientality or occidentality or under the beams.

Lot of the Father:

If Saturn is within 17 degrees of the Sun use this formula according to the Greek sources:

When Saturn is within 17 degrees of the Sun, Arabic sources used a different formula.

If the lord of the lot of the father is dignified and is pivotal (angular) the father is strong and fortunate and may be eminent. If in decline and debilitated, judge the opposite. Post-ascensional signs (succeedent) tend to moderate their fortune.

Lot of the Mother:

Do the same as with the lot of the father.

Lot of Siblings:

More research needs to be done here.

Lot of Children:

Valens gives two other lots that pertain to children, a lot of sons, and a lot of daughters: [22]

According to Valens:

"When, then, they are afflicted by Kronos [Saturn] and Ares [Mars], they are the causes of childlessness or the destruction of children, but when they are assisted by Zeus [Jupiter], they are the causes of fruitfulness." [23]

Lots of Marriage:

The lots from Paulus, have to do with whether the marriage is legal and whether it lasts. [24] The lots of Valens are not directly connected to marriage, but to sexual relationships. [25] The last two seem to show happiness in marriage. I will be adding to this section when the research becomes more clear.

Lots that say alot about the times of the classical Hellenistic period:

Lot of Debt:

Valens says that if Saturn is square or opposite to this lot that it makes the natives debt ridden. [26] If benefics also aspect, it is my guess that the load is lightened. More on this later.

Lot of Theft:

Dave Stricker has suggested that when this lot falls in the 11th sign from fortune it is an indication that the native makes a living through theft, or embezzlement. [27] More on this in the article: Yahoo! Hack Attack and the Greek Lot of Theft.

Lot of Treachery:

Dave Stricker has suggested that when this lot falls in the 11th sign from fortune it is an indication that the native makes a living through deceit. [28] He has compared the charts of Bill Gates and Michael Milken, where the lot of theft was active in Milkens case but the lot of treachery was in Bill Gates case. I will be adding to this section as time permits.

Lot of Being Away From Home:

As in being forced to take a hike. Like exile, as Naplolean was at Waterloo. I will have more on this later.

Lot of Accusation:

According to Valens this lot indicates the house [sign] through which the native is likely to experience failure, dangers, or downfalls. [29] This lot is also known as the lot of injury and sometimes the lot of being away from home.

Lot of the Destroyer:

This is a point that relates to death. More research needs to be done here.


1. From lecture notes taken at Robert Schmidt's workshop in Hellenistic astrology in Cumberland, July 2000. He says the analogy is necessary because events in the heavens do not immediately apply to an individual's life but are much larger than the individual, and that it would be hubris to think otherwise.
2. Ibid. Paraphrase of an actual quote of Schmidt in that lecture.
3. This is standard doctrine according to many sources for the lot of fortune. It is not as clear in the case of the other lots if they can also be horoskopai.
4. Vettius Valens, Hellenistic astrology, Anthology, Bk II aprox. 160 A.D. © 1994 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See Bk. 2, pt. 1, pg. 42.
5. Noel Tyl. Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology. © 1994, by Lewellyn Publications. See pg. 542.
6. This is Dave Stricker's argument based on his close reading of Valens. See his articles on the 2000 presidential election on this site in the x-file cabinet for more information on this.
7. Paulus Alexandrinus. Introduction to Astrology 378 A.D. © 1993 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See pg. 48.
8. Vettius Valens. Anthology, Bk II aprox. 160 A.D. © 1994 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See Bk. 2, pt. 1, pg. 29
9. Ibid. See pg. 43
10. Ibid. See pg. 31.
11. From notes at the 2nd PHASE Conclave in 1995 in Berkeley Springs, WV.
12. Paulus Alexandrinus. Introduction to Astrology 378 A.D. © 1993 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See pg. 48. Schmidt now calls Divinity, "Spirit". The original translation has "Divinity" in place of spirit.
13. Paraphrase of Valens. See bk. 2, pt. 1, pgs. 28 - 29.
14. Educated guess on my part after seeing a few charts.
15. Ibid. See note 13, pg. 30 instead.
16. Paulus Alexandrinus. Introduction to Astrology 378 A.D. © 1993 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See pg. 48.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. Called the Predeceasing of the Parents. See Valens bk. 2, pt. 1, pg. 62.
22. Vettius Valens. Anthology, Bk II aprox. 160 A.D. © 1994 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See Bk. 2, pt. 2, pg. 10.
23. Ibid.
24. Rob Hand's conjecture at the 3rd PHASE Conclave in 1996 in Ithaca, NY based on the planets involved.
25. Ibid.
26. Vettius Valens. Anthology, Bk II aprox. 160 A.D. © 1994 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See Bk. 2, pt. 1, pg. 46.
27. Dave Stricker brought this up at the 3rd PHASE Conclave in Ithaca, NY in 1996.
28. Ibid.
29. Vettius Valens. Anthology, Bk II aprox. 160 A.D. © 1994 Robert Schmidt, through Project Hindsight, Published by The Golden Hind Press. See Bk. 2, pt. 1, pg. 55.

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