Ductoria: what is it?

Ductoria, dustoria, are transliterations of the arabic dusturiya which signifies a position of power. The ptolemaic, doryphory (spearbearer) refers to the same astrological configuration.

Ductoria refers to a planet rising before the Sun (oriental). It can also refer to a planet rising after the Moon (occidental). Some authorities say that this condition is given when the planet rises shortly before the Sun in the same or next sign or when it rises after the Moon in the same or next sign. If the planet is not in its domicile or exaltation it must be out of combustion.

If one thinks about it, this is a minor dignity at most and need only be taken into account if it somehow is dominant in the chart. The only possibility where it makes sense to say that this configuration shows a postion of power in reference to the Sun is if the planet is in its own domicile or exaltation — when considering what a strong debility combustion is. It makes sense here as in this situation the planet receives the Sun in its own sign and so this has something of the character of mutual reception.

I think that generally it is not necessary to clutter ones understanding with too much terminology. A good grounding in basic astrological symbology and a portion of common sense leads one to the same conclusion.

Maybe one added point might be helpful. One might ask why must the planet be oriental for the Sun and occidental for the Moon? Most readers are familiar with establishing theTemperament astrologically. Planets that are oriental to the Sun are able to express their nature more fully because they have something of the nature of a “morning” star. They are able to show their light more fully. A morning star is only visible if it rises before the Sun. The same applies to the Moon. Here the said planet is like an “evening” star. It rises after the Moon and so accompanies her at a decent distance, like a “spearbearer” or guard of honor.

So if cold and leaden Saturn were to act as a “morning star” his best chance to be noticed would be before sunrise and if he is not in Libra, Aquarius or Capricorn he had better make sure he isn’t combust. Saturn especially, is not at his best if his backside is burning! 😉

And while I am “expounding” I would also like to point out that it is all to easy to get caught up in terminology (please, no reproach intended as I am also not exempt from this!). When in doubt or in need of clarification or if the older texts seem too obtuse it is always helpful to consider the celestial phenomena itself. How does it look like in the sky? If we were to draw our charts in sand as the Astrologer in “An Analogy from Astrology”* in Attar’s “Parliament of the Birds” we would be more mindful that the chart is only a semblance, it helps us to focus our interpretative faculties, nothing more.

* (http://persian.packhum.org/persian/pf?file=02602030&ct=56)


6 thoughts on “Ductoria: what is it?

  1. Dear Thomas

    Thank you so much for this explanation :0) At last I can see where John Frawley sourced his interpretation of a planet that is combust in its own sign as acting as if in mutual reception with the Sun! I have had to defend his particular viewpoint many times in arguments with my friends, but your explanation here should still all doubts. 🙂

    I had never heard of the ductoria before, and have hitherto been perplexed as to the nature and necessity of the doryphory, but this now makes it all clear. Thank you.


  2. Hi Thomas,
    I too am new to the wonderful world of Ductoria. Although I am aware of the occidental and oriental positions of planets as Doryphory, Ductoria has an interestingly linguistic sound.

    Also, another eye opener is the planetary consideration of the Lunar occidental position. You mentioned the Moon’s rise and planets rising behind her.

    I was of the opinion that as the Moon approached the descending degree, the planets setting in the same Western quadrant was said to be in their Doryphory.
    Protecting her hindquarters as she entered the underworld.

    However, the idea that planets are considered occidental to the Moon within the quadrant by one or two signs after the lunar rising in the East, is new to me, thanks, this was something I enjoyed learning.

    Sir Arthyr

  3. Hello Sir Arthyr!

    Like you I find the linguistic sounds of the names Doryphory and Ductoria very interesting. Dr. Nostuabuk tells me that Dame Detrimentia is currently occupied with a case of Ductoria…

    with best wishes,

  4. Thomas,
    No doubt Dame Detrimentia will apply a vast array of poultices of Doryphory onto her Ductoria for a speedy and timely infusion of Ductotorial relief.

    Those pesky little critters may be helpful at times, but when out of Ptolemy’s sect, are they simply an entourage of pseudo attendants who are really lobbyists with concerns for their own domiciles?

    I’ll eagerly await Dame Detrimentia’s recovery and see what exegesis she will have uncovered for us in her own ‘write.’

    Punfully yours,
    Sir Arthyr

  5. Moon 12 degrees away from Sun, one day before New Moon,.. are planets Occidental to Moon still thus classified in this particular situation? Planets Oriental to Sun would definitely be so. But was wondering about a boderline combust example. Interesting!

    Thanks for this article.

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