Monday, January 9, 2017

The Chart Victor Calculation

So I went and changed my mind. I was going to kick off the Zodiacal Work with Aries this week, but since next Monday I'll be posting the text of my Introduction to Enochian Magick talk, I decided that I would post Aries the week after that so I can post all of the zodiacal work in an unbroken 12-week series.

If you are disappointed that Aries isn't up today, though, you can go ahead and take a look at my Angels of the Zodiac presentation from last August. I use Aries as my example, so the Aries post is going to look a whole lot like what I have outlined there, including the sigil on the Kamea and the selection from Liber 963.

Instead, I decided to go ahead and post the Chart Victor calculation, because I have found that knowing your Chart Victor is important when performing any sort of zodiacal operation. In Arabic, the Chart Victor is called Al-Mubtazz which means "the victor" or "the winner." This gets corrupted into English as "almuten," which is what most commercial astrology programs that perform the calculation call it. In simplest terms, for every given chart there is generally one planet that is stronger than all the others. That planet is the Chart Victor.

I originally learned how to perform this calculation from Benjamin Dykes, who found it in among the works of Abraham ibn Ezra. Dykes' book, The Search of the Heart, goes into great detail regarding the application of the method and includes never-before-translated astrological material from the Twelfth Century. This article will cover the calculation and briefly discuss its basic application for zodiacal operations, but if you want to know more I highly recommended picking up a copy of the book for yourself.

The magical application of this method for zodiacal operations has to do with the dignities or debilities acquired by the Chart Victor when it is in the sign with which you are working. Ideally, you want to perform a zodiacal operation for a particular sign when the Chart Victor is the ruler of the sign, or exalted in it. Rulership is the most favorable dignity, followed by Exaltation. You should always avoid performing an operation for a particular sign when the Chart Victor is debilitated in the sign by Detriment or Fall.

The condition of the Chart Victor should be examined along with the application of simple electional timing. That is, you should not perform operations on a void-of-course Moon or when the Moon's final aspect is a square or opposition. If that doesn't make sense, go ahead and review the electional timing article before proceeding further into this one.


To calculate the Chart Victor, you will also need either an ephemeris or some sort of astrology software to generate the chart. I usually just use Astrolog, a freeware astrology program available for most platforms. The website is extremely dated, but the program has been around a long time and does everything you need it to do. You start with a calculation grid, which looks like this:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun

Degree of Moon

Degree of Ascendant

Degree of Lot of Fortune

Degree of Prenatal Lunation

Ruler of the Day

Ruler of the Hour

Houses
Superiors

Next, you cast the chart. I will be casting this one for today, Monday January 9th, 2017, here in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 7:00 AM. Running it in Astrolog, you get the chart show below. You can click to enlarge.


Make a note of the degree of the Lot of Fortune (Fort), which for this chart is 15 Leo. Then, go up to the menu, click Setting, and uncheck Include Minors. That gives you the chart shown below. Again, you can click to enlarge. Aside from the Part of Fortune, we are only concerned with the seven ancient planets shown on the grid and the Ascendant.


The Degree of the Sun is 19 Capricorn. The Degree of the Moon is 9 Gemini. The Degree of Ascendant ("1st House") is 5 Capricorn. We already made a note of the Degree of Lot of Fortune, which is 15 Leo. The Prenatal Lunation is the most difficult of these points to figure out. The Degree of Prenatal Lunation is the degree of the most recent Full or New Moon. Astrolog has a feature that lets you progress the chart backwards that I usually use to figure this out. For this chart, it was a New Moon, with a degree of 7 Capricorn. You don't need to worry about minutes, just degrees.

The planetary day is the day of the week, with the day beginning at sunrise, not midnight. Today is a Monday, but it's before sunrise, so the ruler of the day is the Sun, not the Moon. Magically, until the Sun rises, it is still Sunday.

To calculate the plneatry hour, divide the time between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the day, and the time between sunset and sunrise into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the night. Days begin at sunrise. The first hour of the day is attributed to the planet ruling the day, and the subsequent hours are assigned according to the Chaldean Order.

Saturn --> Jupiter --> Mars --> Sun --> Venus --> Mercury --> Moon

Following the hour of the Moon, the order starts over again with Saturn. While it seems complicated as first, once you do it a bunch, you'll find that it actually is pretty easy. At this point I can almost do it in my head. There are also a number of software programs that you can download to do the calculation for you, and even some websites that will tell you the hours.

Looking at ChronosXP, my planetary hours program, I can see that at 7:00 this morning we are in the hour of Mercury. So this lets you fill in the first column of the grid, like so:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
Ruler of the Day
Sun
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
Houses
Superiors

Now we can begin assigning points to the seven ancient planets. To get the Chart Victor, we go though this process a number of times, ascribing points to each planet based on the values that we just determined. First off, we assign 7 points to the Ruler of the Day and 6 points to the Ruler of the Hour. Then, for each of the listed positions, we assign 5 points to the ruling planet, and 4 to the exalted planet for that sign. This is determined by referencing this table:

SignRulershipExaltationDetrimentFall
AriesMarsSunVenusSaturn
TaurusVenusMoonMars--
GeminiMercury--Jupiter--
CancerMoonJupiterSaturnMars
LeoSun--Saturn--
VirgoMercuryMercuryJupiterVenus
LibraVenusSaturnMarsSun
ScorpioMars--Venus--
SagittariusJupiter--Mercury--
CapricornSaturnMarsMoonJupiter
AquariusSaturn--Sun--
PiscesJupiterVenusMercuryMercury

This is also the table that you use to determine the condition of the Chart Victor in the context of your operation. For example, if you are doing an Aries working, you would not want your Chart Victor to be Venus or Saturn because those two planets are debilitated by detriment and fall, respectively, in Aries.

So as an example, for the first line, Degree of Sun, you allocate 5 points to Saturn, the sign ruler, and 4 points to Mars, the exalted planet. You repeat for the other sets of degrees, yielding this:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
54
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
5
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
54
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
5
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
54
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses
Superiors

Next you look at the Triplicity Lords, which are derived from the sign's element and whether the Sun is above (day) or below (night) the horizon in the chart. Since our example is before sunrise, the chart is considered nocturnal. For each of the sets of degrees, you allocate three points to the planet that is the appropriate Triplicity Lord. This is derived from the following table:

TriplicityPrimary/DaySecondary/Night
FireSunJupiter
AirSaturnMercury
WaterVenusMars
EarthVenusMoon

This lets us fill in points for the Triplicity Lords, yielding the grid shown below. Remember that more than one number can be placed in a given square, and when the final calculation is made, those numbers are added together.

For example, Capricorn in the first line is an Earth sign, and this is a nocturnal chart, so for that line the 3 points are given to the Moon.

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
543
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
5, 3
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
543
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
35
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
543
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses
Superiors

Next are the Egyptian Bounds, which are derived based on the degree of each sign. For each line, 2 points are awarded to the Bound Lord, according to the following table.

Aries0 - Jupiter6 - Venus13 - Mercury21 - Mars25 - Saturn
Taurus0 - Venus8 - Mercury14 - Jupiter22 - Saturn27 - Mars
Gemini0 - Mercury6 - Jupiter12 - Venus17 - Mars24 - Saturn
Cancer0 - Mars7 - Venus13 - Mercury19 - Jupiter26 - Saturn
Leo0 - Jupiter6 - Venus11 - Saturn18- Mercury24 - Mars
Virgo0 - Mercury7 - Venus17 - Jupiter21- Mars28 - Saturn
Libra0 - Saturn6 - Mercury14 - Jupiter21 - Venus28 - Mars
Scorpio0 - Mars7 - Venus11 - Mercury19 - Jupiter24 - Saturn
Sagittarius0 - Jupiter12 - Venus17 - Mercury21 - Saturn26 - Mars
Capricorn0 - Mercury7 - Jupiter14 - Venus22 - Saturn26 - Mars
Aquarius0 - Mercury7 - Venus13 - Jupiter20 - Mars25 - Saturn
Pisces0 - Venus12 - Jupiter16 - Mercury19 - Mars28 - Saturn

For example, for our first line, the Degree of Sun is 19 Capricorn. Looking across the Capricorn line, we see that 19 falls between 14 and 22, making Venus the Bound Lord. Filling in 2 points each for the Bound Lords yields the following:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
5423
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
25, 3
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
5423
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
235
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
5243
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses
Superiors

Next are the Decan Lords, derived again from the degree of the sign. 0-9 is First Decan, 10-19 is Second Decan, and 20-29 is Third Decan. The Decan Lords each get 1 point, and are derived from the following table:

SignFirst DecanSecond DecanThird Decan
AriesMarsSunVenus
TaurusMercuryMoonSaturn
GeminiJupiterMarsSun
CancerVenusMercuryMoon
LeoSaturnJupiterMars
VirgoSunVenusMercury
LibraMoonSaturnJupiter
ScorpioMarsSunVenus
SagittariusMercuryMoonSaturn
CapricornJupiterMarsSun
AquariusVenusMercuryMoon
PiscesSaturnJupiterMars

For example, for the first line, 19 Capricorn is Second Decan. So Mars is the Bound Lord. Filling the rest in yields the following:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
54, 123
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
2, 15, 3
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
51423
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
23, 15
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
52, 143
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses
Superiors

Next, we need to allocate points to the planets based on house position. This requires a bit of explanation. In Medieval astrology, whole sign equal houses are used. That is, with the Ascendant in Capricorn, all of Capricorn counts as First House, all of Aquarius counts as Second House, all of Pisces counts as Third House, and so forth. At the time this system was developed, house systems such as Placidus were not used. Rather, the sign boundaries also counted as house boundaries.

Points are allocated to each planet according to its house in the chart as follows:

1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th12th
126397110451182

This yields the following when applied to the grid:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
54, 123
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
2, 15, 3
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
51423
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
23, 15
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
52, 143
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses211312321
Superiors

Now we're almost done. The last step is check the positions of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in the chart.

If one of those planets rises between 15 and 60 degrees ahead of the Sun, that planet is given 3 points. Looking at the chart, Saturn rises about 30 degrees ahead of the Sun, so it gets 3 points. If one of those planets rises between 60 and 90 degrees ahead of the Sun, that planet is given 2 points. Looking at the chart, Jupiter rises a little less than 90 degrees ahead of the Sun, so it gets 2 points. If one of those planets rises between 90 degrees ahead of the Sun and the first retrograde station, it is given 1 point. In this chart Mars rises after the Sun, so it does not receive any points.

Filling in the Superiors line with these values and adding all the columns up yields the following:

SaturnJupiterMarsSunVenusMercuryMoon
Degree of Sun
19 Capricorn
54, 123
Degree of Moon
9 Gemini
2, 15, 3
Degree of Ascendant
5 Capricorn
51423
Degree of Lot of Fortune
15 Leo
23, 15
Degree of Prenatal Lunation
7 Capricorn
52, 143
Ruler of the Day
Sun
7
Ruler of the Hour
Mercury
6
Houses211312321
Superiors32
Totals222416245217

So the Chart Victors are Jupiter and the Sun. This is actually fairly rare, that two planets will come out exactly the same. But if that is the case, either may be treated as the Victor. Not all commercial astrology programs implement the Superiors rule, so if you are using one of those programs to calculate an almuten, many of them would come up with the Sun.

The best astrological operations you could do with a Jupiter Chart Victor would be for Sagittarius, Pisces, and Cancer. The worst would be Gemini, Virgo, and Capricorn. With a Sun Chart Victor, the best operations would be Leo and Aries, and the worst would be Aquarius and Libra. Having two possible Victors gives you some flexibility, so with this chart the signs come out as shown here.

Perform these: Aries, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius, Pisces.
Find a better time, if possible: Taurus, Scorpio.
Don't perform these: Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn, Aquarius.


Now I know on reading through this the first time, you probably are thinking that this is way too complex to use for everyday magical operations. But actually sit down and try doing one. I can run through filling everything out and adding up the columns in about 15-20 minutes, and knowing how to do it has added a surprising amount of depth to my zodiacal operations. So if you just dive into it, rather than deciding that it's just too complicated, I can assure you that it gets easier to do faster than you expect.

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