An astrological reading of the comet Lulin


Comets have fascinated people since antiquity, who considered them as a sign for future events.

They could be for the good if Venusian or Jupiterian comets – and here it’s easy to think to  Julius Caesar’s star, but more often they were malefic in nature, of Mars and Saturn nature.

Some say in fact that Electra seeing Troy on fire, tore her hair till they were taken in the sky.

But obviously the reference for comets was Aristotle, whose theory remained undisputed till the appearance of supernovae at the end of XVI century. Aristotle viewed in fact the Universe as made of the four elements, which were confined to the imperfect sublunar world. A fifth Element divided the sublunar space from the supralunar one, where the planets and the fixed stars moved around perfect spheres. When the exalations from the sublunar world were heated by the Sun, part of them evaporated and the rest, their airy part,  arrived at the border of the fiery sphere and ignited because of the friction of their motion. They were  turned into comets.  Even if still part of our imperfect world they had glimpsed the perfection of heavens.

So the new comet Lulin, which is going to be more and more brilliant in the sky in these days deserves some consideration from astrologers.

The comet was discovered on 11 July 2007 in China. We don’t know the exact  time, so we can cast the chart for the syzygy preceding the event.



As usually let’s start from the ruler of the chart.  The Light above the horizon is the Moon, which is in Capricorn, Saturn sign and Mars exaltation, in Mercury terms, which is separating from the opposition with the night  Light and it is combust to the Sun.

The following angle, the Ascendant, falls in Aquarius, Saturn sign and Mercury triplicity.

So both planets can say something about this comet: Mercury is combust, so I’m unsure it can have many rights in the chart, but all the comets come from Mars because they always take with them fire and from Mercury because of their swiftness.

In order to judge where the comet mostly will have its effects we consider the Ascendant. In fact Ptolemy says: “the place in the zodiac, where the eclipse happens, is to be noted; and it must be seen what countries are in familiarity with that place, according to the rules laid down regarding the quadrants and the triplicities; and in like manner it must be observed what cities are under the influence of the sign in which the eclipse happens; either by means of the ascendant, and the situations of the luminaries at the time of their foundation, or by means of the mid-heaven of their kings or governors, actually ruling at the time of the eclipse.

Moreover at the moment of the discovery the star was very near at the Ascendant :


So we will consider countries which are under the influence of Aquarius:  Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, Central Asian nations and  Romania and Poland, let’s say generally the Eastern countries.

And because this comet moves against the order of the signs it will produce many damages.  Moreover this chart is ruled by a malefic, against its hairesis being a day planet in a night chart and in detriment in Leo, but in an angle, so  it would act the worse it could.

We shall not forget to consider the comet color too because this is a very old tradition during at least since Nechepso-Petosiris.

From “Ptolemeus de stellis cum caudis” (already translated under my Library page):

Dominus Aschone has a Mercurian temperament and it is small and cerulean: its tail is very long and it means the death of the king and war in the places where it shines.”

And for the time of the effects, they would be very soon because the Comet was very near the Ascendant, but being Saturn its pesty ruler, they will last longtime.

10 thoughts on “An astrological reading of the comet Lulin

  1. Referring to Eastern country facts-Yesterday an American satellite and a Russian military satellite collided over Siberia, leaving it’s own trail of debris. And we have had 2 plane crashes in the northern US in the last 2 weeks….a theme of “technology in the air”?

  2. Hello Margherita,

    I only just noticed you had posted this. Comets are something I have been studying myself a lot of late.

    We clearly do not have an exact time for the discovery of this Comet. However, we do have a date. Surely we should be charting the comet’s position for then?

    More fundamentally, I hold to the traditional approach that gives significance to when a comet becomes naked eye visible.

    Looking at previous comets like Holmes and McNaught this seems a powerful technique.

    Comet Lu Lin is not visible yet and is unlikely to be so until around the 24th of February. Its expected to become naked visible in the constellation of Leo near the planet Saturn and the tropical sign of Virgo. Personally, I see this moment as the key to the meaning of the Comet not its discovery.

    This seems consistent with traditional authorities like Ptolemy.

    What do you think?



  3. It could be like that. A friend of mine told me the same. But the point for which country we should cast the chart? Nowadays we don’t have a Ticho Brahe to discovered stars in the sky…I have no idea.

    In every case we should consider the sygygy preceding that date, because we neead a chart with an Ascendant and houses: even Fritz Saxl, the art historian would tell that a chart without an Ascendant means nothing. Maybe we could see just which constellation the comet is. So Leo is Italy or France, true?

  4. Hello Margherita,

    On our skyscript discussion about this you have provided a lot of support for your position from Tycho Brahe, Lilly and other medieval sources.

    You also state this approach comes directly from Ptolemy. I am wondering where though in Teraboblos?

    In Terabiblos Book II Chapter 9. ‘Of the Colours of Eclipses, Comets, and the Like’ does mention Comets. However this only mentions techniques when the comet is ‘visible’. Where does Ptolemy explicitly suggest this lunation technique should be used with Comets?

    Ptolemy does mention using full or new moons in chapter 12. In terms ‘Of the Investigation of Weather in Detail’. Since Aristotle regarded Comets an atmospheric rather than an astronomical phenomena is the assumption that Ptolemy was adopting the same approach and seeing Comets as a factor of weather?

    In regards other approaches I also consider the sidereal approach based on Comet location by constellation laid out by Pliny the Elder perfectly valid too. After all Comets often come nowhere near to the ecliptic so squeezing their position into a tropical zodiac sign is a little artificial at times. This is clearly not an issue with Comet Lulin as its path is so close to the ecliptic.


  5. Hello Mark,
    First of all I should start my reply with the fact that the second book of Tetrabiblos – dedicated to mundane astrology- is central to Ptolemy philosophy. Many informations he gives there he considers granted in the rest of his work. Ptolemy writes in the very beginning of the second book, in the first chapter:

    The foreknowledge to be acquired by means of Astrology is to be regarded in two great and principal divisions. The first, which may be properly called General, or Universal, concerns entire nations, countries, or cities; and the second, denominated Particular, or Genethliacal, relates to men individually.
    In considering these respective divisions, it seems proper to give priority to that which has the more general application and influence: because, in the first place, general events are produced by causes greater and more compulsatory than the causes of particular events; secondly, because natures of more extended potency must invariably control those which are more limited in action; and, thirdly, because particular events, or individual affections, are comprehended in those of general influence. 1 It is therefore especially necessary, in desiring to investigate particular events, to treat first of those which are general.

    So according Ptolemy, (for what I was taught obviously- I have no pretence of ipse dixit) there are general causes from which several secondary causes depend, both in mundane and in nativity charts.

    Which are these general causes? Ptolemy prefers sizygies. In the same chapter he writes in fact:

    Hence the consideration of those events which concern whole countries, and are dependent on the greater causes (since it has a more extended scope than the other, which attaches only to certain cities, or districts, and is subject to slighter causes) takes precedence. And, for its due investigation, two essential points are to be attended to: the first is, the appropriate familiarity of the zodiacal signs and the fixed stars with the several regions which may be concerned.; and the second comprises the indications occasionally arising in those parts of the heavens where such familiarity is found: for instance, the eclipses of the Sun and Moon, (i.e the ecliptical sizygies, as Bezza translates) and such transits as may be made by the planets, when matutine, and in their respective stations.

    In fact in order to investigate about the quality of the year Ptolemy chose the preceeding sizygy to the Ingress (chapter 11)

    Told this, let’s arrive to the nearest syzygy to the Comet.
    It seems that everybody took the method from Haly and his comment to Tetrabiblos: Cardano mentions Haly example (the comet of 1066) with the chart I copied for Deborah Houlding forum.

    Brahe in his booklet about the Supernova does the same. He writes exactly exemplo Haly commentatoris Ptolemei qui idem in Cometa….

    It was the method known by everybody, even Campanella. As I already wrote, traditional astrology is founded on the facts that sources are in agreement – a name of an astrologer is the same of another one.

    Or we use the old methods for new phenomena. This is what Brahe did. The Danish astrologer saw a new star in the sky, a star which was destroying in a second Aristotle/Ptolemy view of the world and he read it exactly as Ptolemy could do. It’s fascinating, true?

    About the astrological reading, I believe astrologers considered everything. They considered the zodiacal sign, and the constellations and the latitude and the ruler of the chart. For example Brahe’s star had a latitude 62 so he will says the star will affect northen countries, but he considers the other factors too 🙂
    It’s very difficult to find a precise prediction in astrology of 1500-1600, the ones I read are very generical, or they are ex post. In my opinion, for the very few I read, the most astonishing was the one about Luther. It was very detailed.

  6. Hi folks, well you have lost me with all this but I would just like to say that I read that this commet is 250,000 miles long and is shedding water enough to fill an olympic swimming pool every 15 mins…..I would have expected more of this on mainstream tv to be honest…a friend of mine evaluated that water is usually emotions…so all this water spilling into our solar system surely we are going to feel emotional – is it normal for comments to be full of water? Any further info would be appreciated…for myself I think this is quite major astrological stuff and any further info would be good…personally also when it comes to astrology quite into Chiron – anyone know where Chiron figures in all this as regards angles to it or where Chiron is at the moment – wish I had hours to look it all up myself but I don’t – sorry not to be so technical thanks

  7. HI Margherita
    So good to read another astrologer attempting to ‘read’ what comet Lulin might mean for us. I also visited the website of the man who first discovered the planet, so thanks for the link, a great honour for you that he read your interpretation
    I also wrote about the comet,but from a vedic perspective, and you can read the article ”Comet Lulin Gives Green Light to Planet Earth” in the free online astrology magazine for astrologers at: The latest edition was only pulbished March 9th. Hopefully we’ll read one of your brilliant articles in the magazine at some stage soon!
    very best wishes
    marg—astro met group

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