about animodar, isaritmia, gates of passage and birth rectification

THERE frequently arises some uncertainty as to the precise time of birth, and some apprehensions lest it should not be accurately noted. In most cases, the actual minute of the hour, at which the birth happens, can only be ascertained by making a scientific observation, at the time, with an horoscopical astrolabe; for all other instruments, employed in ascertaining the hour, are almost fallacious, although used by many persons with much care and attention. …

It seems highly necessary to present some method by which the actually ascending degree of the zodiac may be easily ascertained, in a natural and consistent manner.

(The complete text of this chapter can be found here)

This is the beginning of the third chapter of the third book of Tetrabiblos, which gives indications for a method well known, which is  called  Animodar, from the Persian word “namudar“, i.e. significator, index.
With these lines under their eyes different astrologers have read in MiddleAges and Renaissance  the same text in very different ways.

Most of us know quite well the standard method – so maybe we can inquire a little  in the version given by Giuseppe Bezza.

For what I know there is no other English version of this method, so I think it could be useful to traditional astrologers. Anyway, for what I understand of Italian -which it is  my mother tongue, but sometimes I heard some strange strangers to tell they know more than me – this is a modern method, hardly taught in any Renaissance faculty 😦

This variant of the Animodar is called “ isaritmia ”, or opening of gates of passage, because this method is grounded on the fact births are not possible in every moment of the day but just when a door between heaven and earth is opened:  and this  moment is when there is some agreement between the syzygy preceding the birth and the nativity, between local sphere and celestial sphere, i.e. houses and zodiacal signs: this is the natural and consistent manner Ptolemy talks about.

I can’t give any English translation of the word “ isaritmia ” but I guess  it comes from the Greek words:  ISOS, i.e. same and  RYTHMOS, motion, proportion , because the ruler of the preceding syzygy should have a proportion with the rising or culminating angle in the geniture.

The example is taken from the article written by  Bezza and Fumagalli – gossips say Marco Fumagalli is the expert with numbers 🙂  Henry Paul, l’autista di Diana , and  published in Linguaggio Astrale, the journal of Italian Astrological Association CIDA.

In every case Henry Paul was  Lady Diana’s chauffeur, who died with her and with Dody Al Fayed in the famous car accident in Paris.

Let’s start from Henry Paul nativity.
We shall choose Placidus houses because we need 2 hours houses in order to use this method.

1) We shall start checking the syzygy preceding his birth:

We shall consider the Light above the horizon, in this case the Sun, at 01.44 Cancer, and the planet having more dignities on this degree.

Lights cannot be used as significators, so our choice is between Venus, Mars and Jupiter.

  • Venus is combust and retrograde, so it cannot be a proper ruler;
  • Jupiter and Mars are both against their hairesis in the Full Moon chart but Jupiter is occidental while Mars is oriental, so Mars is in better condition;
  • Mars rules both the Ascendant and the MC (by exaltation) of the birth chart and it is in his hairesis there, being a night planet in a night chart.

So the ruler of the syzygy preceding the birth is Mars.

2) We shall look for some isaritmie, right proportions for Mars in respect to MC or ASC.

In fact now we are in search of proportion of Mars (ruler of syzygy) with the rising or culminating angle in the geniture.

Let’s check isaritmie for MC.

MC is at 7.00 Capricorn, Right Ascension is 277. 64.

The whole sign of Capricorn is culminating in 32.18. In fact RA of 0° Aquarius is  302.18 while RA of 0° Capricorn is  270.00, so 302.18-270.00=32.18.

The part of Capricorn already culminated is 277.64- 270.00= 7.64.

Now we should calculate the proportion between houses and signs, considering that every house is 2 hours in Placidus system.

32.18 : 2 = 7.64 : x

x = 7.64*2/32.18= 0.47

So we shall look for an hourly distance of Mars from a cusp of 0.47.

In this case we would have an isaritmia and Mars would open a door from heaven to earth.

Mars in the nativity chart is in the 12th house. Its hourly distance from Meridian is 5.30, i.e.  5.30- 4.00=1.30 from the 12th house and 2.00-1.30=0.70  from the horoscope. There is no isaritmia – no same proportion for the given time, 1:00 a.m.

So let’s rectify a little the birth time.

Let’s try 1:24 a.m.

Now Capricorn is culminating with 12°33, RA 283.65.

As before we shall take into consideration the part of the sign already culminated, i.e. 283.65-270.00=13.65

32.18 : 2 = 13.65 : x

x = 13.65 * 2 /32.18= 0.85

Mars in this example  is at 4.85 from Meridian, i.e 4.85-4.00= 0.85 from the 12th house.  In this case we have the same proportion because Mars is far from the 12th cusp exactly the same quantity as the culminating sign.

So at 1:24 am in Lorient, Mars is opening a door in the heaven: the natural and consistent manner mentioned by Ptolemy, elaborated by the traditional Italian astrologer Giuseppe Bezza.

In the same way we can consider isaritmie with the Ascendant, considering the OA instead of RA.

In fact there is no just a possibility,  many doors can be opened by the same planet in a few minutes in respect to the MC or the Asc,  so the choice between several birth times shall be always accompanied with rectification by accidents, which is the most sure and true method.


written by Margherita Fiorello


15 thoughts on “about animodar, isaritmia, gates of passage and birth rectification

  1. Hi, Margherita,

    it’s an excellent and informative post. For me the wording of Ptolemy was always very obscure, so you cast much light on it.
    However, let me correct you on one point: the word ‘isarithmia’ doesn’t come from ‘rythmos’ but from ‘arithmos’ which means ‘number’, therefore the meaning of ‘is-arithmia’ is something like ‘equality in numbers’.

  2. About Ptolemy, I’ve the luck to know quite well Giancarlo Ufficiale, one of the founders of CieloeTerra, so I always take care of his teachings.

    And I have Osthanes for Greek 🙂


  3. Hello Margherita,
    I enjoyed reading this rectification method.
    While reading your rectification using syzygy preceding birth I was reminded of Edgar Cayce, a US ‘sleeping prophet’ who also said that astrological charts we use today should be adjusted to find the moment when the soul enters the body, and once we find this time when the soul enters the body the chart will be more accurate.Perhaps your method is one way of finding when the gates are open so the soul can enter…
    kind regards

  4. Well this is not exactly my method 🙂
    It’s Giuseppe Bezza’s one. And he teaches it in his traditional astrology course, from his reading of Ptolemy’s text about so-called “animodar.”

    To me this method of the gates sounds like in the famous lines Homers’ Odyssey, XIII book describing the door of men and the door of immortals.

    “And in the cave are long looms of stone, at which the nymphs weave webs of purple dye, a wonder to behold; and therein are also ever-flowing springs. Two doors there are to the cave, [110] one toward the North Wind, by which men go down, but that toward the South Wind is sacred, nor do men enter thereby; it is the way of the immortals”

    It was a well known tradition in famous authors like Proclus and Porphyry, in Neoplatonism in short.

  5. Margherita,

    your mention of the Homeric cave of nymphs is very inspirating in point of astrological sense. In turn, this passage is well-known by Porphyry who allegorizates it in treatise called On the Cave of Nymphs in the Odyssey. (There is a nice bilingual Greek-Italian edition, L’antro delle ninfe by Laura Simonini.)
    In this treatise, Porphyry describes the souls’ routes through the heavenly gates. In fact, this interpretation comes from a Middle Platonic philosopher, Numenius of Apamea, and his lesser-known mate, Cronius. Traces of his philosophy on celestial routes can be find not only in this Porphyrian treatise but in Macrobius’ commentary on Cicero’s Dream of Scipio and in Proclus’ commentary of Plato’s Timaeus.
    The most interesting fact is that the originator of this idea is not Numenius from the 2nd century CE; it directly comes from the followers of the Mysteries of Mithras, a private cult founded at the end of 1nd century CE. Of course, the idea of celestial gates and journey much antedates them; however, if we deliberate that the scholars’ best choice for the role of the founder of Mithraic Mysteries is Ti. Claudius Balbillus, the famous astrologer, and the astrological doctrines wholly permeate the Mysteries’ so-called “star-talk” (that is, a common idiom expressing facts about the universe and, parallelly, a device of presentation and interiorization), and that Antiochus of Athens may well have been a descendant of Balbillus, C. Iulius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, archon of Athens and consul suffectus in 109 CE.
    Therefore the connection of the idea of celestial gates to a special astrological technique which measures their opening and closing is quite promising. Ptolemy (BTW, Ti. Claudius Ptolemaeus) might have been aware of some Mithraic ideas, for he speaks about the inhabitants of some Asian countries as they revere “that of Kronos under the name of Mithras Hēlios” – a true piece of esoteric info.

  6. Hi Marghuerita

    nice work, as usually. I only did know the method given by Lilly, in CA about natal.
    This one shows paramount refinements. The quality of your articles is always impressive.
    Thnaks a lot for your deep investigations.


  7. @Pat
    Thanks to you for your kind words, my luck is having so many friends.
    I think I will write more as soon as possible.

    P.S. Some bird told me you are always right with horaries 🙂

  8. @Osthanes
    Well, I knew the reference to the Neoplatonists, but not the one to Mithra’s cult.
    And I did not know that scholars think Balbillus was the founder of Mithraic misteries, but he went to and through Roma and Alexandria, true? It makes sense to me.

    Here in Roma we have several Mithraeum, I saw one once, but this can be another post 🙂

  9. I realised that my Ciceronian sentence-monster remained senseless but that’s the world. 😦

    In fact, the origin of the Mithraic Mysteries points to Anatolia, to Kingdom of Commagene which had family ties with Thrasyllus and his son, Balbillus. That’s why he’s the most possible candidate. Also, it’s interesting that the earliest charts are connected to the same circle: the regal monument of Antiochus I of Commagene on Nemrut Dağ from 62 BCE and Balbillus’ example nativities from 72 and 43 BCE. (Balbillus himself was a great-grandson of Antiochus I via his mother, Princess Aka II of Commagene.) These folks had connections to everything you can imagine: Thrasyllus and Balbillus were born in Egypt, the father was an editor of the works of Plato and Democritus, the son was Prefect of Egypt and the director of the Library of Alexandria, and they enjoyed friendship of both Julio-Claudian and Flavian principes. So, whatever they really did, they influenced early times of astrology quite much.

  10. He looks like a Rosacroce 🙂

    Seriously, you are giving us so many precious information. It’s a great help, really.

  11. interessantissimo! la prima e unica volta che ho sentito parlare di isaritmia è stato ad una conferenza di pasquale de leo qui a firenze.
    nel caso in cui la sigizia sia una luna nuova e i due luminari siano congiunti sotto l’orizzonte come si procede? si valuta chi ha più potere sulla congiunzione?
    grazie 🙂

  12. Dear Marghuerita

    Excellent work. this is first time i read a clear description of this technique. As u talk about gate of heavens opening it might be interesting to all of u that in indian astrology also they have such a saying that only at specific times a human birth is possible. they also have some rectification tables based on this theory which i think i had with me but they only rectified with few minutes.

    You are doing great job. Thanks you once again.

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