Primary directions with (and without) Morinus software

I’ve just finished reading Martin Gansten’s book about primary directions, and I liked very much.

So I believe it’s the opportunity to give some examples  about primary directions using Morinus software,  especially because here in Italy we don’t use Kolev formulae- better said, we use them but put in another way.

Let’s take an example chart, Lucrezia Borgia ((source: Lois Rodden, but I used 1480 as used in the official celebrations kept in Ferrara  in 2002) .

Lucrezia Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia is well known because she was the daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, then Pope Alessandro VI.

She was very beautiful and gossips say that she was the mistress of her father and her brother Cesare, the famous Machiavelli’s Prince. Legend says she was a famous poisoner: she had a ring full of “cantarella”, a deadly powder which Marquis De Sade later  will use as aphrodisiac.

Let’s start with primary directions, with the method called “Placidean semiarc“.


For what I understand, in this case we don’t direct planets in the sky, but points on the ecliptic.  Zodiacal motion is anticlockwise but Morinus always moves planets clockwise, so when we arrange settings of the software  we should consider this fact.

The Ascendant directed

Let’s open Morinus, which we should set like that

In Apperance II:

Let’s take as example the Moon.

The arc is the difference between the oblique ascension of the Moon and the oblique ascension of the Ascendant.

We don’t need any calculation because Morinus already gives this arc under “horizon distance”, just in this case we cannot use Placido speculum because there planets are listed as they are, with their latitude.

So we should come back at OPTIONS/ PRIMARY DIRECTIONS and choose USER.

We can insert the longitude of Moon with latitude 0. Then let’s go to TABLES/USER SPECULUM and we will find the horizon distance is 4.22.33 ie 4.36

We get the same result in an easier way if we choose TABLES/PRIMARY DIRECTIONS

Ascendant directed to the Moon
Ascendant directed to the Moon

In the same way we can calculate when the Ascendant changes its terms.


The MC directed

In this case  the arc of direction is the difference between the right ascension of the point and the right ascension of MC, which is called Meridian Distance.

In this chart we can consider Jupiter case.

MC directed

Planet to planet

Let’see when Venus will arrive to Mercury.

As we already told many times the arc of direction is simply the distance between two points multiplied by the speed of the moving point – Space= speed * time as we know since school days 🙂

Kolev tends to do things more difficult, I guess.

The position of planets in the quadrant is given by the hourly distance (given by meridian distance/temporal hours), while their speed from temporal hours (given by semiarc/6).


Mercury 1.3052 16.4472
Venus 3.4029 14.6365

Venus and Mercury are in the same quadrant so they are distant 3.4029-1.3052=2.0977

As we told above, Mercury is the promissor here, because Morinus considers  clockwise movement both in zodiacal and “in mundo” directions, so being Mercury which is moving , we should consider Mercury speed-

arc of direction = 2.0977 * 16.4472= 34.501

As the software in fact calculates:

Venus to Mercury
Venus to Mercury

If we want to move a planet from hemisphere to another, we should use the diurnal temporal hour above the horizon, and the night temporal hour below the horizon. But we have the software, so we can easy have the right result without pain 🙂

Aspects to planets

In zodiacal directions, aspects are just points of the ecliptic so we just found the corresponding point.

If we want find the direction of Venus to the trine of Moon, for example we should just consider that the Moon is at 27 Leo so her trine is at 27 Aries.

Which is the distance between 27 Aries and 23 Pisces? Here as usually is the trine of the Moon which is moving to Venus, so promissor speed will be Moon trine speed.

Moon trine 1.1138 16.6247
Venus 3.4029 14.6365

Arc of direction = (3.4029-1.1138)* 16.6247= 2.2891*16.6247=38.055

Is this true? Yes 🙂

Venus to the trine to the Moon
Venus to the trine to the Moon


In mundo directions  work exactly like zodiacal directions: but this time we don’t move points of the ecliptic, but planets with their latitude.

In Morinus we can arrange these settings:

in mundo settings

Aspects “in mundo”

The only difference is in the direction of the aspects which are measured in hours.

Let’see Venus directed to the sextile of  Mercury in mundo.

As usually we should take into consideration hourly distances and temporal hours.

Mercury 1.2854 16.1964
Venus 3.4088 14.4711

Mercury’s sextile will be 4 hours from Mercury so its hourly distance is 1.2854+4=5.2854

From Venus to  Mercury sextile distance is 5.2854-3.4088=1.8766

Here Venus is the promissor, the moving planet, so we should take into consideration her speed, 14.4711

arc of direction = 1.8766*14.4711=27.156

Let’s check results in Morinus

Venus to Mercury sextile
Venus to the sextile of Mercury


When two planets have the same distance from the meridian whatever quadrant they are, this is called “mundane parallel.”

Obviously if they are in the same quadrant, they are not in parallel, they are in conjunction 🙂

Let’s see an example

mundane parallels

Again we need hourly distances and temporal hours

As usually we should take into consideration hourly distances and temporal hours.

Mercury 1.2854 16.1964
Jupiter 2.5473 18,8516

Mercury should arrive at the same distance as Jupiter from Meridian, ie we should move it of  2.5473-1.2854=1.2619

Being Mercury the promissor,  it will take 16.1964 * 1.2619= 20.438.


Till this moment we used Ptolemy’s key = 1 degree 1 year.

Among other choices like the most known Nabod, let’s give a quick look to Placido’s key.

Let’s select ” true solar equatorial key” from the menu OPTIONS/PRIMARY KEYS.

The same arc we got from the preceding example will correspond to another date:

placidos key
placido's key

Let’s consider the Right Ascension of the Sun at birth (from Morinus speculum), 36°55′ and let’s add the arc of direction:

35°55’21’ + 20°26’16”= 56°21’39”

Now let see how when the Sun will reach this RA,  which is 19th May h:2:35 pm

between 28th April and 19th May there are 20 days and 11h23m+14h35m= 21 days and 1h and 58 minutes, ie 21 years and 30 days, exactly 28th May 1501.

Written by Margherita Fiorello @ year 2009



Morinus can be downloaded at

Martin Gansten, Primary directions: astrology’s old master Technique (The Wessex Astrologer, 2009).

Marco Fumagalli, I moti del Cielo, (CieloeTerra, 2000)

Rumen Kolev. Primary Directions I and II

Giancarlo Ufficiale, Le direzioni – Scuola Cida Roma

Confessions of a freaky fortune-teller


7 thoughts on “Primary directions with (and without) Morinus software

  1. Great article I have Martin’s book on order through a friend but I also have Morinus Software. Is there a preferred method in the astrological circles you frequent in Italy?

  2. In CieloeTerra they use Placido under the pole (which is in the next things to do list in Morinus site) with Placido key. And for in mundo directions, they use the same key.


  3. Hi Margherita,
    I could not get that value.
    Temporal hours (given by semiarc/6).
    Mercury 97,1043 | dec = 97,1786

    97,1786 /6 = 16,1964

    and no 16.4472.
    I used Morinus.

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