Dame Detrimentia, C.E.: Ptolemy’s Polar Safari

Dear Dame Detrimentia,
The other day two chaps dressed in black were at my door. They said they
were promissors with a primary direction for me. I was quite rude and
told them to come back when they can speak English. Dame Detrimentia,
what was that all about? I am sure they will be back. What do I tell them?
Dear Raphael,
How exciting!! But fret not dear Raphael. Although you may have feared that those black clad promissors were the bailiffs with a subpoena for you, I suspect that they were in fact Messrs. Simmonite & Sepharial, travel agents for ‘Ptolemy’s Primary Polar Safaris’, delivering as promised in their brochure: a free vacation courtesy of the Primum Mobile! Was one of them dressed in zodiac and one in mundo? And did they keep babbling excitedly about transporting you trigonometrically under the Pole? In which case put away your reservations and put on your declinations! You must depart directly because that attractive little table of semi-arc houses you compiled for fun and entered for the Mundane Monthly magazine competition two centuries ago has won you the trip of a lifetime; but you only have 90 degrees of RA in which to cram it all in.

You will need to pack in your suitcase a table of houses for your birth latitude, and this season’s scientific calculator which has replaced those old fashioned proportional logarithms as worn by Ptolemy and Placidus when last at the Pole, (although there is some doubt that either of them actually went under the Pole themselves or whether they just skirted around it!) You will also need to include the constant speed of the MC along with the distance moved by the Sun in right ascension on your last birthday. Pack these along with your radical sidereal time of birth so that you can calculate the directed angles; these can be useful to hang onto whilst climbing underneath the Pole as both the right ascension and the oblique ascension are slippery if wet. However, if the oblique ascension is at all icy then it is safer to take the Polar elevation which is easily located at the latitude of the birthplace.

Above all ignore the advice urged by your computer software to take everything in your birthchart on the trip with you, because apart from the above list the only other items you will need are the Placidean mundane house positions of your natal planets, plus their AD medications if they have a bad latitude, along with the radical mundane positions of your five Hylegical Points. Keep them well sharpened because each planet or chart angle is directed along its own diurnal arc, starting from its natal mundane position. This will take place during the first 6 hours of your trip when the earth revolves Eastwards in her anti-clockwise rotation around her own axis causing the sky to be swept Westwards in a clockwise direction. The highlights of a Primary Directed Safari are when the relative positions of your promising directed planets in their diurnal arcs are in angular relationship with the natal hylegical significators and aspects are formed between them. It is only then, when the arc between them is measured and unfolded in time, that you will experience all the drama, exhilaration, delight, thrills and spills as promised in your trip of a lifetime.

So hurry up and get ready Raphael, because each degree of RA equals a year in your life. Time travels faster when you are having fun and so a delay of just four minutes on your MC could cause Messrs. Simmonite & Sepharial to postpone the start of your adventure until next year! So grab that primary direction whilst you can.

Bon voyage!

Yours in oblique condescension,
Dame Detrementia Counselor Egregious
(Caroline Allen)

6 thoughts on “Dame Detrimentia, C.E.: Ptolemy’s Polar Safari

  1. Oh my dear Dame – sides aching with laughter, I only ask: Who can miss the Astrologer’s Apprentice (Vols. I through XXII) when such delightful reading is right here on the home computer?

    Blessings upon you and your sparkling wit!

  2. My dear M’beff

    Thank you for your kind words! 🙂

    Are you by any chance related to that poor Scottish King Macbeth who came to a sticky end after ignoring my three sisters advice?

    Shaking a hyleg
    Detrimentia (Dame, C.E.)

  3. No relation to the desperate King M’B, I fear . . . but his fair lady and I share an affinity. I am forever telling the neighbor’s dog when he rummages through my trash “Out, out, damn Spot!”

    Thanks for asking 🙂


  4. ROFL M’beff! No McDuffer you!

    Would Spot be looking for his tongue? As in:

    “Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog.”



  5. Gotcha at last, Menti!

    We were searching high and low through all of Midgarth to find you, sister, but now we know where you hang out!

    It’s the stargazers again, isn’t it?

    Oh will you ever change? Who knows?

    Urd, Skuld, Verdandi
    (purveyors of fine threads)

  6. Eeeek!

    I am discovered and caught on the Web of Wyrd!

    Yes, I must change immediately!

    Yours in turn,

    (frantically weaving a very becoming new outfit 🙂

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