Dame Detrimentia, C.E.: the Cucumbiture Case

Dear Dame Detrimentia,
I don’t know why, but recently every chart I look at has sixteen houses.
One of my neighbours is a herbalist. She said that I should eat cucumbers
and it will go away. Is this so? Or should I see an oculist instead?
Lois de Tour


Dear Lois,
Your neighbour is quite right Lois: if you are seeing sixteen houses on a chart instead of the normal twelve, you are obviously in need of a cucumber! Cucumbiture time is not measured by the normal 12 house chart but has an additional 4 hot-houses specifically relating to growing cucumbers in order to ascertain the correct time to gather, cut and administer these handy little medicinal slices. As your neighbour is a qualified herbalist then hopefully she will have a fresh supply of cucumbers in order to set her cucumbiture charts. You need a lot of cucumbers for a cucumbiture, and an awful lot more if you wish to cast the Lot of cucumbers, (some Arabic Parts tend to shrivel when exposed to the Sun). The first thing you must do when in urgent need of a cucumber however, is to go to bed. This is imperative. The Latin root ‘cucumbo’ means ‘to lie, or fall down’ and it is not for nothing that Dr Culpeper was covered in bruises. He was renowned for falling down the stairs and his afternoon tea-parties of wafer-thin cucumber sandwiches are still talked about to this day.


Cucumbers should be sliced very precisely when casting the Lot of Cucumbers which varies depending upon who is doing the slicing.


According to Bonatti take: The Ascendant + Mercury – Saturn

According to Al Biruni take: The Ascendant + Mercury – Jupiter


The former gives wafer thin slices suitable for sandwiches and the latter gives a more robust slice suitable for placing upon the eyes. This latter Lot is most probably the best treatment for you Lois.


I definitely would not recommend consulting an Occultist at this precise moment. Transiting Mars currently in the 25th degree of Gemini is opposing the particularly nasty fixed star Aculeus in the sting of Scorpio. This horrible little star is of the nature of Mars and the Moon and causes blindness when agitated by an Occultation. It appears to be the only fixed star in the heavens that is as effective by opposition as it is by conjunction and so it would be best to stay away from any Occultists at this particular moment in time. Instead I would prescribe two thick slices of cucumber cut according to Al Biruni’s recipe and placed upon the eyes whilst lying in a darkened room. This dose should be administered three times daily for a period of 8 hours at a time – or until the supply of cucumbers dries up.


I hope this helps? If not, then may I recommend that you consult Dr. Hieronymous Nostuabuk who knows everything there is to know, and more, about cucumbers.


Laterally yours,

Dame Detrimentia C.E.

(Just off to buy up all the cucumber stock she can lay her hands on).


5 thoughts on “Dame Detrimentia, C.E.: the Cucumbiture Case

  1. Dear Doctor

    Could you kindly tell me if the egregious Dame is right and that there are indeed 16 houses, and not the usual 12, in a cucumbiture chart?

    How would they all fit in, and can Solar Fire Gold calculate them?


  2. Dear Lois

    Of course I am right: I may have a few debilities, but being wrong is not one of them!

    Indignantly yours,
    Dame Detrimentia C.E.

  3. Dear Lois,

    Dame Detrimentia is seldom wrong. And you had better apologize forthwith, preferably with a luxurious bouquet of flowers, for she may never deign to counsel you again!

    Yes cucumbiture charts do indeed have 16 houses and as she has already told you there is good reason for this. There is nothing more difficult then dividing something into twelve equal pieces. Sixteen is much easier. First you divide your cucumber into halves (2), then you divide each half into halves (4), then each quarter is divided in half (8), and then each eighth is divided in half (16). As you see it’s easy. No bother with trying to exactly third a quarter of a cucumber, particularly when you are trying to make thin slices. There are more exotic variations but they may only safely be applied by those with a stellium of at least 3 planets in Virgo, for 32 houses, and at least 5 planets in Virgo plus Virgo ascending for 64 houses.

    Goodness, Lois, where ever did you get such a notion. The only use Solar Fire has is to combust or calcine charts. For gold you must use Sal Fire. Put on your thinking cap Lois, how could anything hot and dry have anything to do with something as cold and moist as a cucumber?

    As for calculating charts I have never used anything other than my trusted astrolabe and when it is overcast my well worn edition of the Rudolphine Tables.

    I can see however that there is a sore need for enlightenment on cucumbiture and so if you will be patient I will have Thomas post an article for me sometime soon.

    until then, I remain
    your Servant,
    Dr. H. Nostuabuk

  4. Dear Doctor,

    Thank you very much. My herbalist confirms that there are indeed 16 houses in a cucumbiture chart, and I look forward to reading a proper article on this by Thomas shortly.


  5. My Dear Colleagues,

    Having been a musician in the past, may I suggest using a Mandolin for slicing those cucumbitures. . .
    As such the 16, 32 and yeay, the 64 house chart, is then easily accomplished.

    Thank you for a most enlightening series of posts, I eagerly look forward to the next!

    Sir Arthyr

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