Introduction to hellenistic astrology

The Godfather was a very unappreciated movie when we were making it. They [the film studio] were very unhappy with it. I was always on the verge of getting fired. So it was an extremely nightmarish experience. I had two little kids, and the third one was born during that The movie was a great success after its release, receiving numerous awards as well as widespread critical and public acclaim, and firmly establishing Coppola as one of the leading directors in Hollywood.

Filming for the movie Apocalypse Now began in March , shortly before Coppola turned 37 years old and moved into an Aquarius profection year. In his chart, Aquarius is ruled by a poorly placed Saturn, which is a malefic planet, contrary to the sect in a night chart, in the sign of its fall or depression, being overcome via a superior square from Mars, in aversion to both of the benefics, and under the beams of the Sun. Shortly after filming began, he was forced to replace one of the lead actors.

Then, a few months later, a typhoon swept through the area of the Philippines where filming was taking place, destroying some parts of the set and forcing production to close down for several weeks. This brings us to an important point regarding Annual Profections: When a planet becomes the lord of the year, it becomes activated both in its natal placement and in its transits. What this means is that when a planet is activated as a time-lord, it is not just that the natal potential of that placement is being drawn out, but also that the transits both to and from that planet will be more significant during that time period.

For example, if Jupiter is activated as the lord of the year in a given chart, then any transiting aspects made to natal Jupiter in that year will be more important than usual, and also any aspects that transiting Jupiter himself makes will also be more important as well. This concept, which is missing from modern transit theory, is crucial because it allows us to pinpoint which transits will be most significant and will actually coincide with specific events in a given year. This is why astrologers often have the experience of seeing what they think is an important transit coming up in the near future, but then having it go by without anything noteworthy happening.

The reason is that, in order for a transit to result in a specific event, the planet involved must be activated as a time-lord. To illustrate this concept, we will use the chart of filmmaker George Lucas, who is famous for movies such as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. See Diagram 5 Earlier in his life, before he got into filmmaking, Lucas wanted to become a professional race-car driver, and he spent a lot of time in high school driving cars and taking part in races.

However, when he turned 18, he went into a Scorpio profection year, activating Mars as the lord of the year. In this way, one of the most important transits of the year was highlighted because the transiting planet involved was Mars. Interestingly, on the same day, transiting Venus was in the process of forming a conjunction with his natal Mars, providing part of the necessary mitigation that helped to ensure that he would survive the wreck. After this event, Lucas lost interest in racing cars and went to college, where he eventually became interested in filmmaking. The ability to integrate this with transits in order to identify the most significant ones in a given year provides a useful example of how Hellenistic astrology can sometimes enhance techniques and theories that are still in use today.

Although beyond the scope of this article, there are more advanced approaches to Annual Profections that involve starting from different points in the chart, as well as different rules for determining which planets become activated in a given year. A Lot is a mathematical point in a chart that carries a specific set of significations or topics.

For example, the Lot of Fortune was often associated with the body of the native, while the Lot of Spirit was associated with the mind. There are also other Lots that signify things like children, parents, success, strife, and other such topics. Lots are usually derived by measuring the distance between two planets in a chart and then measuring out the same distance from the degree of the Ascendant. For example, in a day chart the Lot of Fortune is calculated by measuring the shortest distance from the degree of the Sun to the degree of the Moon, then measuring the same distance from the degree of the Ascendant, moving in the same direction as the measurement from the Sun to the Moon.

To find the Lot of Fortune in a day chart, we measure the shortest distance from the Sun to the Moon, and then the same distance from the Ascendant. We then take this 97 degrees and measure out the same distance from the degree of the Ascendant, going in the same direction as we did when we measured the shortest distance from the Sun to the Moon, which in this instance is clockwise. Most Lots follow this general formula of measuring the distance between two points in the chart and then measuring the same distance from the degree of the Ascendant.


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The nature of the Lot itself is usually derived from two factors: 1 the nature of the two planets involved in the calculation, and 2 the order in which the two planets are measured, insomuch as you are counting the number of degrees from planet A to planet B, or from planet B to planet A.

For most Lots, it actually makes a difference which planet you start from and whether you are counting from A to B, or B to A. Here are the formulas used to calculate those two Lots:. Day chart: Measure the distance from the Sun to the Moon, and then measure the same distance from the Ascendant. Night chart: Measure the distance from the Moon to the Sun, and then measure the same distance from the Ascendant. The rationale underlying the calculation is that, in both instances, you start from the luminary that is of the sect in favor during that part of the day, and then you measure the distance to the luminary contrary to the sect in favor during that part of the day.

In this way, the calculation for the Lot of Fortune symbolically mimics a process of moving from light to darkness. Darkness then becomes the primary concept underlying the significations associated with the Lot of Fortune. Day chart: Measure the distance from the Moon to the Sun, and then measure the same distance from the Ascendant. Night chart: Measure the distance from the Sun to the Moon, and then measure the same distance from the Ascendant.

The rationale underlying the calculation of the Lot of Spirit is that, in both instances, you start from the luminary that is contrary to the sect during that particular part of the day, and then you measure the distance to the luminary that is of the sect in favor. In this way, the calculation for the Lot of Spirit symbolically mimics a process of moving from darkness to light. For this reason, the concept of light becomes the primary theme underlying the significations associated with the Lot of Spirit.

Most of the significations associated with the Lots are derived from the basic distinction of Fortune being associated with darkness and Spirit with light. For our purposes, the most important signification associated with each Lot as a result of this distinction is that the Lot of Spirit is associated with the mind and the intellect, while the Lot of Fortune is associated with the body and the physical incarnation. All of this becomes relevant within the context of the second timing technique, which utilizes these two Lots as its starting points.

Birchfield_An Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology

Moreover, once the chapters have been divided, Zodiacal Releasing can be used to identify some of the high and low points during the course of the story, as well as which chapters are the most important within the context of the book as a whole. For example, Aries is ruled by Mars, and the planetary period of Mars is 15 years. Therefore, within the context of Zodiacal Releasing, the number of years associated with the sign Aries is Taurus is ruled by Venus, which has a planetary period of 8 years, so the period associated with the sign Taurus is 8, and so on.

Cancer is 25 years, Leo is 19 years, Virgo and Gemini are 20 years, Libra and Taurus have 8 years, Scorpio and Aries have 15 years, Sagittarius and Pisces have 12 years, Capricorn has 27 years, and Aquarius has 30 years. These are the periods associated with each sign within the context of Zodiacal Releasing. See Diagram 7. These two Lots are the starting points for the technique, just as the Ascendant is used as the primary starting point for Annual Profections.

The Lot that you start from provides the context for the timing periods that are produced. One important exception to this is that, if the Lots of Spirit and Fortune fall in the same sign in a chart, then for the purposes of Zodiacal Releasing you move the Lot of Spirit forward one sign. This rule is outlined by Valens, and although it seems a bit strange, it works quite well in practice. Whatever sign the Lot you are studying falls in, that sign and its ruler become activated for the number of years associated with that sign.

Once the native has completed the number of years associated with the sign that the Lot is located in, the next sign in zodiacal order becomes activated. Once the native has completed the number of years associated with that sign, you then move to the following sign in zodiacal order, which becomes activated for the number of years associated with it, and so on.

In this way, the technique is similar to Annual Profections, in that it moves from sign to sign in zodiacal order; the difference is that Zodiacal Releasing moves through the signs at a variable rate depending on the planetary period associated with each sign. Here is an example using George W. See Diagram 8 To study time periods related to his career, we would start from the Lot of Spirit, which is in Taurus in his chart. Once these 8 years have elapsed, Taurus ceases to be the active sign, and the following sign, Gemini, becomes activated for the number of years associated with it.

After the 25 years of Cancer are completed, Leo becomes activated for 19 years. This process continues for as long as the native is alive, jumping from sign to sign in zodiacal order. What you end up with is a list of years in which certain signs are activated.

Zodiacal Releasing: A Hellenistic Time-Lord Technique

Some of these periods are quite long, so most people only make it through a few signs during the course of their life. Within each of these general periods, there are also sub-periods that are assigned a certain number of months, based on the same planetary periods. For example, Cancer becomes 25 months instead of 25 years, Leo becomes 19 months rather than 19 years, Virgo and Gemini become 20 months rather than 20 years, and so on. These sub-periods take place within the general periods, beginning with the sign that is activated on the yearly level. Once the month Cancer sub-period is finished, it moves to the next sign, Leo, for 19 months.

Then Virgo begins, lasting for 20 months, and so on. The sub-periods continue to move around the zodiac, activating each sign, until the general period is completed. To do this, you must first identify the benefic planet of the sect in favor and the malefic that is contrary to the sect. As noted in Part 1 of this series, these planets would be Jupiter and Mars in a day chart or Venus and Saturn in a night chart.

This brings us to our first interpretive rule:. Note that the emphasis here is on the most positive and negative planets in the chart, since these two planets tend to denote some of the most unambiguously positive or negative periods during the course of the life. Although the activation of the signs configured to the benefic that is contrary to the sect will sometimes coincide with positive periods, these periods are generally not the most positive. Similarly, the activation of the signs configured to the malefic that is of the sect in favor will sometimes coincide with periods of difficulty, but these periods tend to be relatively mild compared to those of the malefic that is contrary to the sect.

See Diagram 9 His Lot of Spirit is in Virgo, so we begin from that sign in order to study his career periods. Table 3 shows us his general periods. Sheen began his professional career as an actor and started appearing in films in the mid s. This coincided with the beginning of his 8-year Libra period in Zodiacal Releasing from Spirit. The only planet in this sign is Venus, who happens to be the benefic of the sect in favor, since this is a night chart. No malefics are making a hard aspect to this sign, so we would expect this to be a very positive period for the native, as indeed it was.

He appeared in a number of films during this period, and by the time the 8-year Venus period was over, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In , Sheen moved into a new year Scorpio period. In his chart, Scorpio contains Mars, which is in its own sign, and the only other planet making a hard aspect to this sign is Mercury in Leo.

Mars is a malefic, but since this is a night chart, the negative significations of Mars are restrained, to the extent that it only presented a few surmountable difficulties during the course of this period. During this year period, Charlie Sheen reached what may have been the peak of his career, for reasons we will discuss later. The only benefic configured to Sagittarius by a hard aspect is Jupiter in Gemini, but Jupiter is contrary to the sect and thus not as beneficent as it could be.

Conversely, the only malefic that is configured to Sagittarius is Saturn, who is contrary to the sect and thus the most difficult planet in the chart. Just based on the presence of Saturn in Pisces, we know that the mutable periods will tend to be the most difficult for Sheen, because the activation of those signs will always activate Saturn. However, just a couple of years into this Sagittarius period, he began sabotaging himself due to substance abuse issues.

This eventually culminated in early when he was fired from the sitcom and replaced. At this point in his treatise, Valens specifically says that, within the context of Zodiacal Releasing, the angles from the Lot of Fortune are more powerful than the angles from the Ascendant. In the above example, Charlie Sheen has the Lot of Fortune in Aquarius, so his major peak period occurred when the releasing from the Lot of Spirit reached Scorpio for 15 years, which is the 10th sign from his Lot of Fortune. This period lasted from until , and according to the technique, this should have been the most active and important period for him within the context of his career.


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  4. Going back to our first example with George W. With his Lot of Fortune in Scorpio, he reached his peak period when the releasing from Spirit reached Leo, the 10th sign from Fortune, beginning in , shortly before he first ran for president. This jump is referred to as a loosing of the bond or breaking of the sequence because it literally breaks the order of signs activated in the sub-periods, starting the cycle over again at the halfway point.

    This occurs in any signs that have periods longer than 17 years, the approximate time it takes for the sub-periods to complete one cycle. House of Representatives in Eventually in , the sub-periods reached Sagittarius, the last sign before returning to where the cycle started in Capricorn. However, when the month Sagittarius period was completed, instead of starting the cycle over again at Capricorn, there was a jump to the opposite sign, Cancer.

    A good example of a loosing of the bond in Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Fortune is in the chart of Princess Diana. See Diagram 11 Diana has a day chart with Mars in Virgo, so we know that the mutable signs will be the most difficult for her when they become activated. With the Lot of Fortune in Leo, the first 19 years of her life were in that sign. See Table 5.

    After that year Leo period was completed in , the releasing moved to Virgo for 20 years and activated the natal Mars placement in this sign. Part 9 Overview. Part 9 Lecture: Bonification and Maltreatment. Four Conditions of Maltreatment. Enclosure and Intervention. Maltreatment by Engagement. Mitigating Factors in Traditional Astrology audio. Quiz for Part 9. Part Lots. Part 10 Overview. Part 10 Lecture: Lots. Video Tutorial on How to Calculate Lots. Video showing the speed of the Hermetic lots. Quiz for Part Part Triplicity Rulers of the Sect Light.

    Part 11 Overview. Triplicity Rulers Table. Ascensional Times Table. Valens on the Triplicity Rulers. Robert Hand - Planetary Periods. Part 12 Overview. Part 12 Lecture: Annual Profections. Annual Profections Wheel Diagram. Annual Profections Worksheet. Valens on Profections, Part 2: Excerpts from Anthology 4 and 5. Interpreting Transiting Eclipses in the Houses Workshop. List of Dates for Eclipses from Part 13 Overview. Part 13 Lecture: Zodiacal Releasing - Part 1. Part 13 Lecture: Zodiacal Releasing - Part 2. Valens on Zodiacal Releasing. Keywords for Zodiacal Releasing.

    Zodiacal Releasing Worksheet. Calculating Zodiacal Releasing Periods Manually. Core Principles of Zodiacal Releasing. Zodiacal Releasing Periods. Zodiacal Releasing Blank Wheel. Zodiacal Releasing Chart Reading Demonstration. Common Issues in Applying Zodiacal Releasing. Final Test. Final Test for the Hellenistic Astrology Course. Question and Answer Session Recordings. Bonus Content: The Master of the Nativity. The Master of the Nativity Lecture. Master of the Nativity Presentation Slides.

    Master of the Nativity Handout. If you aim to study and understand the roots of western astrology than Chris Brennan's Hellenistic Astrology Course is what you are looking for. The content of this course is extensive yet well-structured. Detailed theory and practical examples go hand in hand when it comes to the various techniques of ancient astrology.

    This course is not only teaching methods but illuminates in great detail the premises behind them. The Hellenistic Astrology Course helps to build a strong foundation in understanding the mechanics of astrology and applying its techniques in practice. I went through the course with great enthusiasm and thank Chris for his well-organized and comprehensive teachings! Amazing source of information and techniques by Susan Aventi.

    This course is invaluable. So much information in one place. I especially love that new videos pop up! I am so pleased that I chose this course. I absolutely recommend it for serious students of traditional, event based astrology. Excellent Course! I learned SOOO much.

    An Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology ~ Psy Minds

    Learning Hellenistic Astrology has given me an excellent foundation to grow as a horoscopic astrologer. My delineations and predictions are much more accurate now. This course has given me the confidence I lacked in astrology. The only thing I wish it included was a little one-on-one time with Chris, but that, I know, is a big ask.

    Everything you ever wanted to know about Hellenistic Astrology, and more This course contains a thorough explanation of the history and all the technical basics of Hellenistic astrology, as well as subjects which are not basic at all. By the time I had completed the course, I was able to delineate a natal chart in an authentically Hellenistic fashion. Everything from trigon lords to profections to solar revolutions to zodiacal releasing is fully explained in the included video lectures and written materials. I highly recommend this course. Excellent in Every Way by Alec Senese. The author is clear, engaging, and most of all, knowledgeable.

    You will get your money's worth for this course if you put in the time! The Real Astrology by Maria Ntouni. A very thorough and organized course! Thank you Chris! More than you expect and then some! After studying modern astrology for twelve years I was skeptical of what Hellenistic could bring into my practice.

    But I loved Chris' podcast and he is so knowledgeable, so I took the plunge to learn from the best. All I can say is WOW! I loved the extensive length of each lesson, the additional resources, the way Chris breaks down each technique and concept through multiple repetitions of basic and advanced ideas. If you are a serious student of astrology, this online course is your next move.

    Hands down. Thank you Chris for all you continue to provide for the community. Dedication and Integrity by Raquelle Puchol. Life Changing! I purchased Chris's Hellenistic Astrology course in I slowly worked my way up toward the end of the course; I only had the Zodiacal Releasing section to go. When Chris launched the "new course" I took the opportunity to go back through it all from the beginning. I am now four hours into the zodiacal releasing section and have about fourteen hours to go to complete that section.

    After only four hours I can say that the zodiacal releasing section really brings things together and that it alone is easily worth the price of the course. I have also purchased Chris's Electional and Horary Astrology courses and look forward to getting into those soon!

    Hellenistic Astrology

    Chris Brennan has truly done an outstanding job of authoring these courses. Thanks, Chris! Highly recommended - a fascinating and immersive learning experience, with a generous and insightful teacher.

    Chris Brennan's course sets a very high standard for online study programs full stop. It is comprehensive, clear and the support is fantastic. I have a background in psychoanalysis and have been dabbling with astrology for a few years now. There is much that I still want to learn, but I know where to go and what to do. From my perspective this a no-brainer not only for someone interested in so-called Traditional Astrology, but for anyone serious about Horoscopic Astrology in general.

    May the stars be ever in your favor :. The Hellenistic Astrology Course: absolutely fabulous! I loved following the lessons and the way Chris explained everything. Although I am from the Netherlands and English is not my home language, I had no problems following Chris. His calm voice, together with the slides and the handouts made it a pleasure to listen to him. It was really fun to do the tests and receiving his corrections, just like having a private teacher.

    If you want to learn the basics of Hellenistic Astrology in an easy way and in your own tempo, register for the Hellenistic Astrology Course.

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    I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did and it is worth every dollar. The course, together with Chris' book ' Hellenistic Astrology, the study of fate and fortune' are an absolute must for everyone interested in the Western horoscopic astrology. Hellen Vos. Top of the Game by Lara Boshoff. It's great that I have access to these well-structured expert course materials, to learn from at my own pace, or as a reference when I need it. I would highly recommend this course. Course for open minds by Tania Daniels. I did the whole course in nearly 1 year. The content is well organized and fully referenced, wh'ich I appreciated particularly.

    The multitude of practical examples is amazing, even if many are used several times for different purposes. Chris' voice is clear and he speaks slowly but not too much either and thus not becoming boring , which makes the course easly audible also for non native speakers. I liked the audio format which permits also listening without looking all the time at the slides. A minus point is that when I did the course , it was impossible to follow it on the mobile phone, but I think, Chris is changing this. The last three lessons are far the best ones.

    The material is complex and working through the old textbooks required readings along with this course makes study and thus one's personel discoverings awesome. At some point, I proposed to create a study group, an idea immediatly taken up and realized by many of us. This is becoming a very interesting discussion forum, where we meet once a month online. Chris Brennan appreciated this idea and pushed it forward and now it is kind of part of the course, where students of all levels can discuss and give presentations. This openess to new ideas and projects is the best part of the Hellenistic Astrology course, which I truly recommend.

    Hellenistic Course by Babette Sindram. Great course, very well substantiated. Also easy to understand for foreigners whose English is not perfect like me. This course is a comprehensive survey of the history, philosophy and practice of Hellenistic astrology. Chris' elucidation of the material is clear and easy to follow. He has an ability to explain complex and nuanced concepts in a way that makes them accessible to students of all levels. Chris draws on the latest scholarship as well as an array of primary and secondary sources and numerous chart examples to bring to life this important part of the astrological tradition.

    Chris is supportive and personable; he makes himself available to answer any questions in a timely and thorough manner. Additionally, I have benefited from the amazingly supportive, global, community of students on the forum who have, on more than one occasion, helped me through the course material and provided additional observations and insights. I highly recommend this course to all those interested in deepening their knowledge and appreciation of astrology. A Gift from Heaven by Marion van der Graaf. This Course is really fabulous.

    It is extremely well structured. The explanation is crystal clear. There are tons of examples. The course is taught with inspiring enthusiasm, and it has a beautiful layout. The audio-visual method is very appealing. It has to be mentioned that Chris has a very very nice voice which makes the many hours of listening to the audio-material, a truly peaceful thing instead of a torture to the ears, which very unfortunately is so often the case. Starting as an introductory course, and very very useful as such, it has been developed now to a complete course, which is fantastic.

    To rate it 5 stars would' t do justice to this course. In fact it sits on lonely heights I am quite sure that this course, as well as the now accompanying and quite unique book on Hellenistic Astrology, will take their place in the history and practice of Hellenistic Astrology, and very deservedly so! Thank you Chris.

    Marion van der Graaf, the Netherlands. I can only say: It is a very inspiring course. He gives a very comprehensive overview of the basics of Hellenistic astrology. Together with the book, Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, it will give you access to the secrets of Hellenic astrology.

    Petr Radek. I came to this course with a million questions. As someone who had begun to learn modern astrology and passed the first level NCGR test, I keep asking myself about the origins and history of astrology. Where does the astrology we use today come from? Where do the signs come from? Why is Saturn malefic and Jupiter benefic? What is the oldest astrological text known? This course answered all of my questions. It opened my eyes to the origins, history and philosophy of the astrology during the Hellenistic era and the Roman empire. It enhanced my practice as a professional astrologer.

    It gave me a deeper appreciation for the historical arc of astrology since ancient times. The facebook group allowed me to connect with other astrologers interested in the revival of Hellenistic astrology from around the globe. I highly recommend it for all astrologers.

    Available courses

    Profoundly researched -historically and technically- analyzed, synthesized, brought into sense and order. Finally, revived after more than two thousand years; Hellenistic Astrology can be seriously, methodically studied and applied, by following Chris Brennan's "The Hellenistic Astrology Course" which, with its abundant didactic materials, takes you step by step, by the hand, into the wonderful, ominous world of Hellenistic Astrology. Buy Now.