The Part of Fortune and her Counterpart: the Horizon

From the discussion in the last article it is apparent that the Part of Fortune is a sensitive point that shows a proportional relation between the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. We have seen that the position of the Part of Fortune, whether above or below the horizon, is dependant on the cycle of lunation. This is evident, and so it is easy to speak of it as the Part of the Moon.

It is quite legitimate to ask whether a similar reasoning is applicable to a Part of the Sun. Is there such a thing?

The Ascendant marks the rising point of the Sun. But what about its setting point? Instead of reversing the formula for the complementary point it is also possible to use the Descendant.

The Part of Fortune marks the arc from Sun to Moon cast from the Ascendant, marking its position from one part of the horizon to the next. Now if we take the remaining arc to the Descendant and cast this from the Descendant we arrive at the complement. So we have a proportional division of one hemisphere reflected in the other. It becomes much clearer that these parts are reflections of one another. The Ascendant and the Descendant can then be looked at as our personal solstice axis. I said in the last article that, … the horizon replaces the Cancer/Capricorn solstice axis. Whereas the solstice axis represents generally the two gateways, one to mortality the other to immortality, the Part of Fortune and the Part of Spirit represent the individual focus, once the gateway of birth or mortality has been passed through. It seems therefore plausible to consider the complementary part, known as the Part of Spirit, as the pole that is directed toward spiritual well-being rather than physical well-being. And so as the Moon reflects the Sun we can then speak of the Part of the Spirit as the Part of the Sun. I think it is quite easy to understand why the Part of Fortune was the only Part to find general use. It is the most tangible!

There is a beautiful passage in Boethius’
“The Consolation of Philosophy”, that evokes this:

Who truth pursues, who from false ways
His heedful steps would keep,
By inward light must search within
In meditation deep;
All outward bent he must repress
His soul’s true treasure to possess.

Then all that error’s mists obscured
Shall shine more clear than light,
This fleshly frame’s oblivious weight
Hath quenched not reason quite;
The germs of truth still lie within,
Whence we by learning all may win.

Else how could ye the answer due
Untaught to questions give,
Were’t not that deep within the soul
Truth’s secret sparks do live?
If Plato’s teaching erreth not,
We learn but that we have forgot.

This can be found in the translation of H.R. James at Project Gutenberg
(Book III, Chapter 9, Reminiscence)

I want to thank Andrew Carter for his comment in the last article. Very stimulating. Instead of disputing whether to reverse the formula for the Part of Fortune it seems much more productive to examine what the consequences are when we do reverse it and more importantly what the formula itself represents. One can get so wrapped up with the arithmetic that one overlooks the underlying layer of meaning.

2 thoughts on “The Part of Fortune and her Counterpart: the Horizon

  1. Thomas said: . . I think it is quite easy to see why the Part of Fortune was the only part to find general use. It is the most tangible.

    Good Morning Thomas

    I have somewhere in my notes a piece by Roy Kirkland who says that Fortuna had originally formed just one of the Hellenistic ‘Lots of Rank’ alongside the Lot of Exaltation, the Lot of Basis and the Lot of Spirit.

    These four were used together in combination to determine the degree of power and happiness the native could expect in life, but that owing to the need to reconcile pagan ideology with monotheism, both the Lot of Exaltation (regarding one’s reputation and public eminence) and the Lot of Basis (self-esteem) had been incorporated into Fortuna, who alone had now to shoulder all that we envisage we need in order to experience a sense of ‘well being’.

    In this modern day and age, ‘well-being’ must of course necessitate the possession of tangible assets! And so it is left to Spiritus alone to express our intangible needs.


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