Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Part of Fortune, Part II


The Meaning and Use of the Part of Fortune


In the previous article we established that it is best to follow Ptolemy’s lead on calculating the Part of Fortune and not reverse it in nighttime charts (to recap, the formula is PoF = Asc + Moon – Sun). This is because the reversed Part of Fortune is actually a whole new part with a different meaning, the Part of Spirit. While the Part of Fortune is concerned with physical riches and the physical state of one’s soul (remember that in traditional thought, the soul itself is a physical entity), the Part of Spirit is concerned with spiritual riches and one’s inclination to the spiritual life. Thus, we cannot confuse the two Parts, and must keep them separate.


The fact that the two most important Parts in a chart are mirror images of one another is extremely important from a spiritual perspective. I will cover the spiritual implications of the reversal and the relationship between the Part of Fortune and the Part of Spirit in a subsequent article. For the moment, I simply quote these words from Meister Eckhart: “The Soul has two eyes – one looking inwards and the other outwards. It is the inner eye of the soul that looks into essence and takes being directly from God.” The Part of Fortune, then, is the outward-looking eye, the rays of which go outward into the world (again, traditionally, the eyes emanated divine light toward objects, not vice versa as the scientists assure us today).


The Part of Fortune in the Chart

In the natal chart, the Part of Fortune will show us the physical nature of the soul. Think of it as a bodily faculty, like sight or hearing. Look at its house position and the state of its dispositor, which is probably even more important than the state of the Part itself. We can identify very spiritual individuals from the Part of Fortune and its dispositor. Typically, the dispositor will itself rule several important planets in the chart. This means that the soul governs the other physical and mental faculties of the native, which is ideal, and correspondingly rare.

Bonatti says that the Part of Fortune “signifies the life, the body, and also its soul, its strength, fortune, substance, and profit, that is: wealth and poverty, gold and silver, heaviness or lightness of things bought in the marketplace, praise and good reputation, and honours and recognition, good and evil, present and future, hidden and manifest; and it has signification over everything.” That last bit being particularly unhelpful, the very comprehensiveness of Bonatti’s list is interesting. In it, he basically combines the roles of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, the three of which on some basic level, do have “signification over everything.”

Regardless of the discussion about the Part’s role in describing the soul, it will always describe the material fortunes of the native. Bonatti ultimately says that the Part signifies “good fortune,” or presumably its lack in the native’s life. Ultimately, the signification of the Part is external, and the spirituality that it describes is that which shines through the native’s exterior. In traditional philosophy, and in an ideal world, there is no disconnect between the external and the internal – one’s appearance mirrors one’s essence. The Part of Fortune reflects that reality, that the inner reality is always tied in with the outer.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew said...

Excellent, excellent article.

Bonatti writes: "The significations of the pars fortunae appear more during the day . . . the pars futurorum appear more at night." This means that if I reverse the formula for birth (since I was born in the night), the pars fortunae in my chart is in Pisces (my day-formula pars futurorum) and the pars futurorum in my chart is in Leo (my day-formula pars fortunae). But this is a distinction without a difference, because Bonatti also states that "the significations of the pars futurorum appear more at night." This means that I would place more emphasis on the "significations" of the part of spirit in my night chart which, in my case, is in Leo: the part of fortune using the day formula. Bonatti advised: reverse the formula, yes, but also reverse the significations. In other words, it makes no difference whether you reverse the formula or not, because in either case, the emphasis will remain on where the Moon would be in a day chart. The Moon does not turn into the Sun simply because one is born at night: the Moon remains the Moon and the part associated with it (pars lunae) acts as a container for lunar influences.

Some astrologers understand this as "use the day formula - but, the part of fortune will be emphasised in a day birth, whereas the part of spirit will be emphasised in a night birth."

Note that the Hellenistic astrologers used lots differently than the Arabs. For one thing, they did not generally consider aspects to lots: they are studied by sign/house and ruler. Some astrologers do not consider aspects to a part unless that part is conjoined to a planet which also makes an aspect to another planet or an angle.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Gryphon said...

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your praise. Thank you also for quoting that line of Bonatti's and pointing out that you can have your cake (reverse the formula to your heart's content) and eat it too (get the same signification regardless). It is an excellent observation and I know that readers will take note.

Best,
Nina

3:36 PM  

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