Reading a birth chart: a geniture according traditional astrology

The following text was written in the last summer and concludes the yearly meetings between Giancarlo Ufficiale, a founding member of Cieloeterra, who coordinated the group, Paola Fornai, a CIDA certified member, and the gentle author of this blog. The method is the one taught in Almugea School, inspired to the methods of traditional astrology, as made known by CieloeTerra, the Italian Association for Traditional Astrology. ((General references can be found in the websites of Almugea,  of Apotelesma,  and  obviously CieloeTerra .))
The article has been firstly published in Linguaggio Astrale no. 187, Autumn 2010, under the original name of GINO STRADA, PEACE AND LOVE: una genitura secondo l’astrologia classica (by  Giancarlo Ufficiale, Paola Fornai, Margherita Fiorello)

Gino Strada ((See the English page of Wikipedia)) needs no introduction: he is the founder – with his wife Teresa Sarti, who died last year – of the association Emergency, which works in war zones providing completely free of charge assistance to the wounded, including civilians, and promotes in general a culture of peace and solidarity. ((Article 5 of the English version of the Statute of Emergency found at http://www.emergency.it/statute.html/1}))

I-THE BIRTH CHART

Introductory Notes

Our brief analysis is based on the birth chart ((Source Grazia Bordoni, http://www.armonics2zero.it/index.php/tag/gino/)) rectified at 11:57 p.m., according two key events in the native life: the foundation of Emergency and the death of his wife, that will be discussed in more detail in the second part of the article. This is a very small rectfication, just 2′  from the original data provided by our source, which however were enough to justify the mentioned events.

For more information about the birth chart rectification method we followed here it is possible to read in both CIDA journals Linguaggio astrale and Sestile several articles written by the traditional astrologers (all coming from CieloeTerra) Patrizia Zivec, Mario Costantino,  and Giancarlo Ufficiale.

Let us turn to the chart.

There arises Sagittarius and Jupiter, the ruler of the sign, is retrograde in the first house, while Venus is setting at the Descendant and Moon culminates at MC. This is a night birth chart – the Sun is in fact below the horizon – and Venus and the Moon, nocturnal planets in a  nocturnal chart, occupy the angles , so they are in accord to their faction; Jupiter, which is is a day planet, it is contrary to the sect and therefore cannot always work for the good of the native or, at most, shows its qualities in a distemperate way. All the planets are visible except Mercury, which however is often found in this condition; Venus is an evening star, Mars and Saturn are occidental, Jupiter is in retrograde phase. At the angles we find too Antares (nature Mars-Jupiter) and Betelgeuse (nature Mars-Mercury) and Algorab of the southern constellation of Corvus, nature Mars and Saturn,  culminates. (( Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, I, 9 Of the power of fixed stars read in the Italian translation by Giuseppe Bezza, in Commento al primo Libro del Tetrabiblos, ed.Nuovi Orizzonti, 1990. ))

Antares rising
Antares rising

Algorab at culmination
Algorab at culmination
Betelgeuse at Western horizon
Betelgeuse at Western horizon
Gino Strada, April, 21 1948, h:11.57 pm, Sesto San Giovanni, Italy

We believe that it is always very useful to determine which planet has dominion over the geniture, determining  between the five planets of the tradition  the one having the role of almuten of the chart. In order to be  considered so, a planet should not only have a rulership by dignity and aspect on the 5 hylegiacal places: the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Part of Fortune (or Tyche) and prenatal syzygy (here we have chosen the New Moon, because it is the moon phase  preceding Gino Strada birth), but it should have some dignity in itself, and therefore it should not be weakened by heliacal phase and/or house. Generally astrologers  have preferred the method of  planetary scores, and during the past centuries the masters of art have indulged in this exercise  giving free course to their imagination. Here has been used the system elaborated by Giuseppe Bezza and Marco Fumagalli for the  online astrology course of Cieloeterra  and the variant taught in Almugea school,  which directly derives from Girolamo Vitali, a student of Placido Titi and author of an important astrological Lexicon.  (( See the lemma dominus geniturae in Girolamo Vitali, Lexicon mathematicum astronomicum geometricum …: adiecta breui nouorum Theorematum expensione, verborumque exoticorum dilucidatione vt non injuria … (ex officina Ludovic. Billaine, 1668).  ))

In order to locate the ruler of the birth chart we will search the planet with more rights on the aphetical places – called rex – and the planet with the most essential and accidental dignity which is called miles following Vitali. We will not enter into details on the procedure elaborated by Cieloeterra or Almugea variant: anyway the traditional astrologers will easily recognize them under the more known names  of almuten  of the chart and of the lord of geniture.

in Gino Strada birth chart we will choose Venus as rex (the almuten) and Jupiter as miles (the Lord of Geniture), where the  miles is the most suitable and effective star to carry out the directives, if we can say like that, of the rex.  Moreover here Venus too has some dignity,  being  perfectly capable of being understood by Jupiter, despite the lack of application ( there are more than 11 ° to their opposition, which go beyond their vis luminis, (or moiety) for which 9 degrees are generally accepted).

So Rethorius judges about an angular Jupiter in its own sign, as in this case:

When this star has the rulership of the geniture and it’s angular in its own domiciles or in elevation or in the signs of a fellow of sect, makes those who are great and honored, appreciated, the venerable, the honest, good, those whose heart is pure, ruling the affairs of the city and the people, who have the approbation of the others, of kings and of the great, talking with virtue and piety, who dearly love their family, friends, benefactors, pleased with their children and wives. And nevertheless provided that the star is not located in the Western angle, where it does not supply an happy progeny. (….) When located at the horoscope produces the candid, fleshy, with a fine beard, honest in their ways, serious and dignified in appearance, of great stature, broad forehead, joyful and happy, with hairs in their nostrils, bald in the forehead, which is great, and they are of good advice. (( Rhetorius, Of the nature and virtues of the planets. Translated by Giuseppe Bezza in Arcana Mundi, Antologia del pensiero astrologico antico, BUR 2000, pp.72-86.
English version:cura J.H. Holden, Rhetorius the Egyptian (American Federation of Astr, 2009).  ))

Temperament

The prevalence in the human body of a pair of the four fundamental qualities, hot, cold, dry and wet, is known in the ancient system of medicine, from Hippocrates onwards as “temperament.” The astrologer tries to determine it from the observation of the Ascendant, the Moon – which signify of the body, each for their part – and the planets to which they are configured, and the fixed stars that rise to the Ascendant. (( Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, III, 12 Of bodily form and temperament private trans.G. Bezza.))

In this nativity:

– Moon in Libra, warm and moist sign, waxing in phase, two days from being full, therefore bestower of heat and moisture;

– the Ascendant ruler, Jupiter is very hot due to its retrograde phase and moist for its intrinsic nature and for being in the first house;

– Venus in Gemini, another Air sign, therefore hot and moist too;

incline the native towards a sanguine temperament, which

makes the people of beautiful appearance, well made, of well-proportioned body and members …Its size is quite large (…). (….) We have said in the book of Humana fisionomia that the right and proportionate temperament cannot be nothing but the inclination to good morals or justice, so from the moist and hot temperament, which is the best of all, no other inclination could come than to justice, the most noble virtue of all, which embraces all the virtues: so it will make the just men, lovers of justice, and those making honest and good things. ((Giovan Battista Della Porta, Della Celeste Filosofia, Padova, 1616.))

Confronted with our character, who is not without a certain combative mood, we record that two Martian stars are rising and setting. Says of the Antares rising at the Ascendant the Anonymous astrologer of the year 379:

Therefore, if one of these stars rises at the horoscope or culminates at birth, those who have such a configuration, distinguished generals who submit regions and cities and peoples, those who rule, who are inclined to action, the untamable, direct in their words, having the taste of the fight, leading to completion their intentions, effective, manly, victorious, scourging their enemies, opulent and perhaps rich, great souled and ambitious, and generally do not die of good death. ((Anonymous 379, CCAG V, translated by Giuseppe Bezza in http://www.cieloeterra.it/eng/eng.testi.379/eng.379.html))

Gino Strada - A foreground portrait

Actually, considering both what Anonymous 379 writes about Antares and the sign rising at the Ascendant – Sagittarius – which is moderately warm and very dry (because it is an Autumn sign), the sanguine temperament is not pure, since the dryness if we can say like that, “dries” the moist quality. So we say that the temperament of Gino Strada is mostly sanguine, showing traces of choler ( hot-dry quality).

The disposition of the soul

As distinct factor from temperament, the qualities of soul depend on the Moon (which rules the sensible and irrational part), Mercury (the part of intellect and reason) and their dispositors. Here, Moon and Mercury are both in angular houses, configured in large opposition each other between the 4th and the 10th house, although the orb exceeds the allowed tolerance, usually around ten degrees.Yet being both in tropical (or cardinal, if you prefer) signs, this allow us to consider them, albeit mildly, configured. From this it seems us proper to judge a restless and unfriendly mind, in which prevails the emotional sphere, being the Moon more powerful than Mercury, either by the proximity to the angle, the better heliacal phase, and for being in a straight sign, unlike Mercury which is in curved sign. But it is a general opinion, intended to be changed in continuing the investigation. Which consists in identifying the rulers of the mind according  which planets dispose Moon and Mercury and their applications and separations:

The dispositors of the soul

We choose Saturn as ruler of the Moon, because it has in Libra its exaltation, and also receives from her the application, while for Mercury we prefer the rulership from Jupiter, which has the triplicity and is in aspect to it.

As we have seen Jupiter is also the “miles” of this nativity, the most dignified planet in the birth chart;  Saturn is rather close to the first station: and

Morning stations and culminations make the soul inclined to reflection, persevering, with an excellent memory, firm, intelligent, magnanimous, accomplishing what they desire, inflexible, strong and severe, not inclined to delusion, critical, hard-working, gifted with moderation, inclined to sciences. (( Claudius Ptolemaus, Tetrabiblos, III, 14 The quality of the soul.))

Venus, the rex, in predominant sextile to Saturn – from a preceding to a following sign- and being a benefic planet somehow moderates the damage that Saturn could bring, such as an excess of severity (because of the crystallizing function of this malefic) that could be detrimental to the projects.

Crucial is the action of the Sun in a predominant trine to Saturn which is the ruler of its domicile. The divine Ptolemy in the same chapter:

similarly the Sun aids when it is familiar to the planet which has the rulership over the temperament of the soul. When it is in a honorable position it turns its qualities in direction of justice, success, honor, dignity and reverence for the gods. ((See  preceding footnote.))

Beyond quotes – which nevertheless in the dissemination of the doctrine are essential to avoid being blamed for an unhealthy exuberance of imagination – and wanting to put a pinch of our spice remaining adherent to the principles the Art, we think indisputable the nobility of the intentions of the rex Venus, especially about the native sense of justice and generousness: ruler of the Moon in Libra, takes advantage of the predominant sextile of her ruler Mercury, in turn trine to the miles Jupiter, the ruler of the rational soul, signified by Mercury itself. It is Jupiter that in a way shares with Venus (and the Moon in Libra at the MC) the sense of justice, and since it disposes the temperament, it turns the excess coming from being against its hairesis and retrograde to the noble inclination of rescuing the victims of war, violence and abuses of all kinds, deriving from an inhumanly blind power. Mammoth undertakings like Emergency can be conceived, and carried into effect only by those who are moved by an overabundance of determination and at the same time its low propensity to self-preservation.

the profession

Gino Strada is a war surgeon, practicing his profession in the hospitals created by Emergency. It is possible to verify this in his chart, using the methods of traditional astrology, which gives the profession to Mercury, Venus, and Mars, the stars with a fast motion (see for example Paulus Alexandrinus), as actions should be fast and prompt. More specifically, the ruler of the activity will be chosen between these three planets: it will be the one in heliacal rising or the 10th house; not recurring these conditions, we will choose the one configured to the Sun or the one ruling MC.
In this case we choose Venus: 1) which rules MC in Libra; 2) rises after the Sun (it is an evening star), configured to the Moon, Mercury and Mars; 3) it is angular on the cusp of the 7th house. We should also mention from Ptolemy (in any Medieval or Renaissance text we will find the same notes):

if the stars Venus and Mars together assume the dominion of actions produce (…). makers of medicines, doctors employing drugs in their treatments.

Giuntini commenting Ptolemaic text adds that Venus configured to Mars, or received by it – in our chart she is applying to the sextile with Mars, and she is in Mars’ term and facie – makes eminent doctors. ((Francesco Giuntini, Speculum Astrologiae, Lyon, 1581))

II – FUTURE TIMES

After taking a stab  at the judgments about the temperament, psychological and professional inclinations, let’s try to analyze a little the events we have chosen in order to rectify the nativity. It really was a “take it or leave it” choice, because Gino Strada is very reserved and we did not find many details about his private life, and yet we found some astrological feedback about these events, which are the only ones for which we have a temporal date.

Following the traditional procedure mentioned to make some name by Ptolemy in the last chapter of Tetrabiblos and Albumasar in his Treatise on solar revolutions – we have compared directions – in this case we have chosen Placido Titi directions under the pole of significator (with latitude) and in mundo directions – with the solar revolution (for the place of birth) and profections. This is a technique dating from the Hellenistic astrology which consists in advancing the significators of a birth chart from an sign to another in a continuous way, proportional to the time elapsed between a birthday and another. The system adopted in CieloeTerra consists in moving the significators according the motion of the primum mobile: the ascendant by oblique ascensions, the MC by the right ascensions, and the intermediate points by mixed ascensions (( Giuseppe Bezza, The profection. How it should be calculated, how it should be interpreted. in Linguaggio Astrale n.104 consulted in http://www.cieloeterra.it/eng/eng.articoli.profezione/profezione.html )).

Following this variant based for example on Ibn Ezra the Ascendant progresses according the diurnal motion from one house to another, rather than the ecliptic motion from one sign to another. In the first case the local sphere rotates following its natural motion of 30 equatorial degrees each year, the second of 30 ° ecliptic.

The Latin version of Ibn Ezra from The book of Revolutions (thanks to Dimitar Kozuharo)
The Latin version of Ibn Ezra from The book of Revolutions (courtesy Dimitar Kozuharov at http://www.astro-art.com/ who found it for me )

The foundation of Emergency

Doctor with a specialization in emergency surgery, Gino Strada started working with the Red Cross in war zones, with the ambition to organize something similar with his friends and his wife, without having the possibility to raise the necessary funds. His dream was to be realized in 1994: having cured in Kabul a wounded cameraman of the most important Italian evening newscast, on June 22 1994, one of the most famous anchormen of the moment, Maurizio Costanzo, invited him to one of his night shows, and there Strada spoke of anti-personnel mines: in one month were collected eight hundred million of the old lire (more than 400,000 euro) and Emergency was officially born.

The directions of the year are very significant:

Zodiacal directions, Placido under the Pole for 1994

Venus as seen in the previous paragraph is the ruler of the activity in this birth chart and she has just arrived in June 1994 by ecliptic direction to MC sextile.

Meanwhile the Sun, the significator for what of dignities and glory occupies Venus terms, which thus becomes the divisor. Perfect exchange between the two stars, as the Sun enters in Venus profected space. The benefic rules the first six months of the profected ascendant, which moves from 16 ° Libra to 15 ° Scorpio, and definitely she assumes the title of lady of the year, occupying in the solar revolution (inner wheel) from her domicile in Taurus, the lower meridian (IC) respecting her hairesis (the solar return too is in fact a nocturnal chart).

The directed Moon is exactly at the MC of the solar return. To conclude, profected Jupiter in June 1994 arrives at MC of the solar return.

This is mainly a year in which Venus is strongly activated, being in the condition of bestowing her gifts, and the activities of which is the significator take advantage of significant benefits, such enough to allow Gino Strada to achieve what until that moment was just a dream in the drawer. Sun, Moon and Jupiter support her in a proper way.

Birth chart, solar return and profections for 1994

The death of Teresa Sarti

The other event, conversely very painful, object of our investigation is the death of Teresa Sarti, Strada’s wife and her companion in this adventure since the beginning. She died September 1 2009, after a long illness.

Once again, the directions are accurate in reporting the sad event, with Mars arriving by mundane direction to the square of the Moon, the significator of wife in a male birth chart.

Mundane directions for 2009

If we repeat the procedure discussed above, whereas with the natal chart and solar revolution we consider the year profection we get the following figure:

Birth chart, solar return and profections for 2009

The first thing we notice is the ascendant of the revolution (inner wheel) falling exactly on the natal MC. All authors agree in judging a benefit when the revolution is in agreement with the nativity, but otherwise Morin writes:

when the ascendants of the radix and of the revolution are opposed, it’s evil and disturbing, and worse when the degrees themselves are opposites ….. And the same thing should be thought in the case of opposite signs culminating in the radix and in the revolution and also in the case of the other cusps. (( Jean Baptiste Morin, Astrologia Gallica, XXIII by J.W.Holden (American Federation of Astrology, 2000)))

Venus, ruler of the solar return Ascendant (inner wheel), is falling in the 6th house, and contrary to her sect, because in this case  the solar return is diurnal chart, the Sun in fact has not yet set. Saturn in the 12th is also opposed to the Moon in the 6th. The nocturnal Light repeats the meaning of the direction encounter with Mars joining by declination to the malefic in the solar return. And yet the partile conjunction of Venus and Mars.

Saturn is the ruler of the year, because the profected Ascendant moves in the given year moves from 3 ° to 27 ° of Capricorn, and therefore its opposition to the Moon becomes more harmful.

in the birth chart we have highlighted the profections of the MC and the Moon (which obviously overlap, as they are closely joined in the birth chart), because they signify of marriage and the bride: as well as natal Cauda (middle wheel), both malefics enter by directions in the profected space.

Placidus directions under the pole for 1 Sep 2009
Placidus directions under the pole for 1 Sep 2009, from Placidus software by Rumen Kolev

Mars that by direction is arrived at 12 ° Scorpio is partile  joint with the profected Moon, which starting from 4 Scorpio on September is arrived to 12 Scorpio. ((Marco Fumagalli, The profection encounters, Phos no. 19, also available here ))

Some final considerations

We understand that our text suffers from an excess of synthesis in the eyes of those readers willing but not accustomed to the technical language of so-called classical astrology. Italian readers could find a more technical language in the articles of  authors like Zivec and Costantino mentioned in the preface . Our intent is to keep alive the good old tradition of art, which in no case should be ignored or fall into the fetters of fashion, which in itself contains countless traps. Even in our brevity we desire to clear the field of pre-judgment that plagues the greater part of modern astrologers, especially those who use our art for purposes of psychological or “pseudo -psych astrology: namely the fact that classical (or traditional if you prefer)  astrology is not an appropriate way to judge the mental inclinations and/or character of the individual, but rather it would be a divination art  or, at most, concerns  general events  (economics, finance, history, various disasters, weather, crops, etc.).. This is pure nonsense, and we don’t know how much of good faith is in people who think this.  On the other hand it also deals with judgments of nativities concerning the mind and psyche of the native, as we did in the preceding line. But traditional astrology  makes this by using its own criteria for  investigation and its technical code, which does not derive from any psychological school. The findings of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in general are undoubtedly of help and judgment, but nonetheless traditional astrology maintains both its professional and doctrinal independence.

Translated by Margherita Fiorello, CIDA certified member, for heaven astrolabe blog @ year 2010. If you want to be notified the next time I write something, subscribe to my RSS feed.

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NOTES, REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY

All the calculations (profection included) have been done with the spreadsheet produced by Almugea school. I re-did them for graphic reasons with Solar Fire, Morinus, and Placidus.

biographies of the authors

Paola Fornai began as autodidact and amateur, then she went on to study astrology with Cida affiliated School Almugea in Rome from 2006. She is currently a Cida – the Italian Astrological Association – certified member and continues to attend lessons kept by Giancarlo Ufficiale and the astrological activities of Almugea and the local CIDA group.

Giancarlo Ufficiale is a professional astrologer, one of the founders of Cieloeterra and its former secretary. Asked about his biography – Kicca the cat who lives with him – refused to make statements about it, we suppose because she does not judge appropriate the amount of dry food she receives every day.

Margherita Fiorello is the author of this blog and she is a student of horary and ancient astrology. She is a Cida certified member and a member of the Association for the classical astrology CieloeTerra. She currently studies astrology with Giancarlo Ufficiale and makes 2,000 hundred things more.

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5 thoughts on “Reading a birth chart: a geniture according traditional astrology

  1. Hi Margherita,

    thanks for writing the article, it is really informative.

    Would you be able to tell me what program you are using to plot the fixed stars, and what orb are you using for them?

    Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the nice words. That’s one of my favorite articles too.

    According Prof. Bezza stars should be taken “in mundo” because they are far from the ecliptic much more than planets, comparing their hourly distance with planets and angles. In one of my posts I talked about Sphaera – a spreadsheet which calculates several astrological data, with a sheet dedicated to fixed stars.

    The images of the article are taken from the astronomical software “Starry nights”. I like very much because the user can include only the traditional constellations and can easily check which stars are rising or culminating.

  3. Alright thanks.

    I can see why Prof. Bezza says this as, after reading your article, I had a look at “Stellarium” a free program for looking to the sky and I saw that some of the stars are way off from the longitude given in astrological texts.

    I’ll have a look out for your other post.

    Cheers!

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