Placidus and the Part of Fortune

As many of us know, Placido Titi did use his own calculation of Part of Fortune, which he took from Adriano Negusanzio “nobleman from Fano, very expert both in the astrological doctrine according the true doctrine of Ptolemy, and in natural science and in the other secrets of nature… “

In his Canon de Parte Fortunae, Placido explains which is the true method and gives an example, showing the goodness of the method with the help of directions.

Placido quotes Negusanzio:

The Part of Fortune – if we want to be in agreement with Ptolemy, who shows (Quad. III,12)  that it has the same position in respect with Moon, as the Sun has in respect of the eastern horizon – should be defined along the parallel of the Moon. Truly, the part of Fortune is not in agreement with this condition when it’s along the ecliptic, as it is calculated by the vulgar astrologers but when it is along the Moon orbit as it is stated by the Excellent teacher of the true astrology, because it is determined by the daily and yearly conversions of the two lights.

Let see how vulgar astrologers 🙂 calculate the Part of Fortune:

PoF= ASC – Sun + Moon

Some astrologers follow Ptolemy and use this method both for day and night charts, while others reverse it for night charts.

He goes on explaining the method elaborated by Negusanzio.

We can calculate the place of the Part of fortune in many ways, but the easiest and shortest is the following one: in the day charts we should add  the true distance of the Sun from the East to the Right Ascension of the Moon; in the night charts we should subtract it. The result is the place and Right Ascension of the Part of the Moon, which has the same declination as the Moon, whatever she is, and the same number of degrees and the same position in respect of the equator.

RA (PoF) = OA (ASC) -OA (Sun) + RA (Moon)

Let’s check the method with the example given in the same pages by Placido.

This is the birthchart of Francesco from Padua, who drowned at the age of 3.

Francesco in Placido text
Francesco in Placido's text

This is the data given by  Placido.

Ascendant 23°18 Scorpio, Moon 11°58 Aquarius, Sun 14°49 Aries

The “vulgar” calculation is (with windows calculator help, if wrong please write to Bill Gates!) but it should be right because Placido mentions the same degree.

233°18- 14°49 + 311°58 = 170°27 –> 20°27 Virgo

But Placido does not like the result because in this chart Part of Fortune is Hyleg but he could not find any  deadly direction. So he tried Negusanzio calculation.

He says:

If we calculate the Part of Fortune in the usual way in this chart, it would fall at 20°27 Virgo but in this case it would not have the meaning of life ruler, and we could not see the violence of his death, and the deadly direction in the third year. If someone can see them I’m happy to hear them.

According Negusanzio’s clever discover, we can find the place of the Part of fortune like that: the oblique ascension of the Sun under this latitude is 7°45, which subtracted from the the oblique ascension of the Ascendant is the distance of the Sun from the horoscope equal to 242°50.

These degrees I will add to the right ascension of the Moon, and I will find 198°32,  the right ascension of the Part of Fortune, with the same declination of the Moon.

Let’s check with Morinus, free strological software:

The chart with Morinus software
Francesco’s chart with Morinus software

RA (PoF) = OA (ASC) -OA (Sun) + RA (Moon)

RA (PoF) = 250°35 ((in the birth chart Placido writes 250.37)) -7°45 + 315°42 ((from Solar Fire 315.45 – I adjusted a little to have the same result as Placido))= 242°50+ 315°42= 557°92= 558°32

RA (PoF) = 558°32 – 360=198° 32

So now we have right ascension and declination  (the same as the Moon) and we can convert them in zodiacal coordinates, which are 205 of absolute longitude, i.e. 25 Libra.

The free astrology software Morinus can calculate  it without stress:

different results of two methods

Placido, in order to persuade his readers about the new method gives a couple of deadly directions to the “mundane LoF”, which is the hyleg of the chart.

I should subtract MC right ascension from the PoF right ascension and I have a distance of 37°55, and being its temporal hours 11.09, the lot will be in the middle of the 11th house, in the place where both the opposition from Mars and the square from Saturn fall.  Let’s calculate these rays. if the Lot temporal hours  11.09 produce a distance from MC equal to 37°55, which distance Mars’ temporal hours 12.57 will produce? From  this, it derives a secondary distance from the lower culmination of 44°02. Since Mars has a primary distance from the culmination  equal to 48°40, the difference between these distances is the arc of direction of the PoF to the opposition with Mars, 4°38.

Let’s make these calculation for people like me, who has some  difficulties to understand so many numbers, I had to think a lot to solve this riddle.

The distance between a point, in this case the PoF, and the meridian is the meridian distance, so in this case we have:

198°32 – 160°37= 37°55

the ratio between meridian distance and temporal hours of a planet is  called hourly distance.

37°55 / 11h 09’= 37,916/11.15= 3. 40

Considering that in Placido’s house system every house is 2 house, the lot is in 11 th house, between 2 and 4 hours from MC.

Then Placido considers the direction to Mars opposition.

Arc of direction = (hourly distance of B – hourly distance of A) * temporal hours B

in this case

Arc of direction = (hourly distance of Mars –  hourly distance of PoF) * temporal hours of Mars

then I can multiply

Arc of direction = hourly distance of Mars * temporal hours of Mars  – hourly distance of PoF *temporal hours of Mars

but we know that hourly distance  of a point * its temporal hours is meridian distance, i.e. the distance from meridian.

so let’s put in the formula the  numbers Placido gave us:

arc of direction =  48°40- 3.40*12h57

arc of direction = 48.666 – 3.40*12.95= 48.666 – 44.03

arc of direction= 48°40- 44°02= 4°38.

In the same way Placido calculates the arc of direction for Saturn

Going on, the semi diurnal arc of the Lot is 66°54, which is its temporal hours multiplied by 6. If I subtract from this semi arc the distance from the culmination, I get the distance from the horoscope, 28°59 degrees.

Now if its temporal hours 11.59 give us a distance of 28°59, which distance Saturn’s temporal hours,  18.57, will produce? Since Saturn secondary distance from Mc is 49°16, from which I subtract the primary distance which is 46°28, we have the arc of direction of the PoF to the square of Saturn, equal to 2°48.

He calculates the direction in the same way we saw in the first case. Let’s see his comment to the astrological side.

We see that the PoF was near the beginning of the Scorpio , Saturn was in the 8th house and the Moon in Aquarius. Both the Moon and the Part of fortune are parallel of declination with Saturn  (( The Moon and the Part of Fortune have the same declination. According Morinus it’s -21.35, Saturn has a declination of 22.02. )) and the Lot was applying to malevolent rays of malefics and this signifies possibility of drowning according Ptolemy doctrine, chapter about death.

So we should be not surprised if this unlucky child died in the waters, and his health was frail, but rather how he could survive; maybe because of in mundo parallel from Jupiter, which arrives to the PoF. But Jupiter, so ill disposed and alone against the malefics, could not help.

At the 8 pm of the 20th March when the child drowned, Mars was shining in the middle of the 5th house, in opposition of  the PoF and Saturn in the middle of the second one, in square.

And we write like that because there is not other place for the Part of Fortune let alone the one we have calculated.

This method is in agreement with Reason and Experience.

So my dear Reader, save  this important secret of  astrology, which is not followed by the vulgar 🙂 followers of this Art  and send your gratitude to the great expert Adriano Negusanzio. This is the end of this work  to the praise of  God the Almighty.

I want just to stress here that Placido gives all the credit of his research to Negusanzio. It’s not always like that: Cardano for example, stole the method of equations from Tartaglia. Everybody has his/her style in life.


The  free software Morinus can be downloaded here.

Placido text has been published by Giuseppe Bezza in Claudio Tolomeo, Commento al Primo Libro della Tetrabiblos di Claudio Tolemeo: con una nuova traduzione e le interpretazioni dei maggiori commentatori (cura Giuseppe Bezza), 2° ed. (Milano: Nuovi Orizzonti, 1992).

Marco Fumagalli has explained Placido’s method from an astronomical point of view and in English here.

Written by Margherita Fiorello @ year 2009


5 thoughts on “Placidus and the Part of Fortune

  1. Every time I read something from Placidus I remember why I really hate him!

    The visual of your blog is very pretty, but there seems to be a “focus” issue. The words just get blurred for a moment or two before you can read them. Is that normal?

  2. @ yuzuru:
    I believe it’s not normal, but it’s not like that on my pc. Still I have learned that this does not mean it’s just your problem: once I saw Paypal page in English while the rest of the world saw it in Italian. So I have no idea.

    About Placido I understand your point and I share the same idea: it seems to me he just wanted to do very difficult what it is easy. Anyway I don’t want to say this aloud, because they will delete me from CieloeTerra 🙂

    So please – if you read from Milan forgive me!

  3. Margherita-Could you please tell me how to get the terms around outside of the chart with Morinus software?- Harold

  4. Margherita-Thank You-This program has really opened a new door and your site has also shed much light therein-Harold

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