Looking for the Lord of the Geniture

There are well behaved charts that have at least one well positioned dignified planet. A planet that is the best candidate for Lord or Lady of the Geniture (LoG). It becomes more difficult when there are no dignified planets in a chart. What then? How does one choose the best planet out of an array of peregrine, detrimented and ‘fallen’ planets? If you look at the dignities list provided by many authorities, such as Wm. Lilly or Joh. Schöner, you will find that a planet in fall is considered less debilitated than either being peregrine or in detriment. Does this mean that an accidentally dignified planet in fall is a better candidate than one that is peregrine? Then again other authorities consider a peregrine planet to be in better condition than one in fall. Now there’s a quandary!

So what is one to do? Joh. Schöner presents a method that in the search for the LoG takes into account dignity but doesn’t require a planet to be in one of its own dignities. And this is the method I would recommend to give orientation if there are no strongly placed dignified planets. I say orientation, as it is a help in getting one’s considerations organized and can give just that bit of extra insight. The example chart below will demonstrate this!

Joh. Schöner considers the dignities of the following hylegical positions:

  • Ascendant
  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Part of Fortune
  • Syzygy (Full or New Moon previous to birth)

The planet or planets with the most dignities in these positions are the best candidate for the position of LoG. The reasoning is quite simple. A planet that has dignities there is also one of considerable influence. But the search doesn’t end with a mere tabulation of points. There is a second step required and that is a closer consideration of the condition of the planet. Does it make favourable aspects to these points? Is it angular? Does it conjunct the pre-birth eclipse or planets, hopefully beneficial and well placed, in the pre-natal eclipse chart? The planet that best fulfils this is your LoG.

Here is a table that can be used to tabulate the results:

Dignity Tabulation

Let us look at a chart of a well known author. It has a detrimented Moon and the rest of the planets are peregrine. First the chart:

The Syzygy for this birth was at 15 Cancer. If we tabulate the dignities we have Saturn with 17 points closely followed by Mercury with 16 points. Then comes the Moon with 11 points, Venus with 10, Jupiter with 9 and Mars with 7 and the Sun with 0.

How strong are the first two candidates? Saturn is angular, ok. But he is also retrograde, not so good. The pre-natal eclipse was at 17 Gemini, exactly in opposition to Saturn. This makes Saturn a notable influence but the opposition is not so nice. Saturn is also square natal Mars and its eclipse position was at 20 Sagittarius, an exact square to the natal Mars position. His influence is certainly strong, but is he the best choice for LoG?

What about Mercury? He is Lord 1 and 10, but cadent. In the pre-natal eclipse chart Mars was at 25 Leo, the position of Mercury in the radix. So we have another planet ‘charged’ by the eclipse. The only problem is that Mercury as Lord of the Ascendant is in the house of self-undoing. He is also in mutual detriment with Saturn. Again we have an influential planet but in bad condition. Are there any other candidates?

There is indeed another angular planet. That is Mars. We have seen his connection to Mercury in the eclipse chart. He is also in Mercury’s domicile and exaltation and in Saturn’s term. Too bad he is square Saturn! But a separating square. We may have to return to him.

What about planets in succedant houses? That is Moon, Venus and Sun. So let’s look at them. The next planet is the Moon. She is in detriment. She is trine the ascendant, sextile Jupiter and in opposition to Venus. Then there is Venus. Other than the oppostion to the Moon nothing notable. And the Sun? Also nothing notable. That leaves us with cadent Jupiter.

Now that we have gone through all of the planets our only real candidates are Saturn and Mars. Of the two I think Saturn is indeed the best choice. My reasoning is this. Mars is Lord 8 and the pre-natal eclipse conjunction to natal Mercury in the 12th does not bode well. Saturn on the other hand at least has the advantage of having the most hylegical dignities.

In the next article I will reveal the name of the person to whom this chart belongs. Which planet would you have chosen?

9 thoughts on “Looking for the Lord of the Geniture

  1. Dear Thomas

    Thank you for this! It is a subject dear to my heart 🙂

    However, one question before we all start totting up our dignity ‘points’ please.

    I noticed some time ago that when using this method to determine my ‘Victor’ or Lady of the Geniture, that Johannes Schoener used a rather different Table of Essential Dignities to other sources, even though he attributes it to Ptolemy. Although his table is characteristic of 16th Century German Astrology it would appear that the triplicity rulers are not the same as those normally given nowadays.

    For instance, Mars and Saturn exchange triplicity rulership in Schoener’s Table of Dignities and the Moon rules the day sect of Earth rather than the night, thus:

    Schoeners Table: Day: Night: Participating Rulers:

    Fire: Sun, Jupiter, Mars
    Earth: Moon, Venus, Saturn
    Air: Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter
    Water: Venus, Mars, Moon

    Usual Table: Day; Night: Participating Rulers:

    Fire: Sun, Jupiter, Saturn
    Earth: Venus, Moon, Mars
    Air: Saturn, Venus, Jupiter
    Water: Venus, Mars, Moon

    And also, according to my translation of “On The Judgments of Nativities” (translated by Robert Hand, ARHAT), Schoener includes all three triplicity rulers when he tots up his dignities! This alters the outcome considerably in my chart at least.

    So what did you do with your mystery chart? Did you include all three triplicity rulers? And should we use Schoener’s table, or the customary triplicity rulers according to Dorotheus?

    Mathematically challenged CarO :0)

    • looking at this fiqure in regard to dignity of anysort and why traditionally this chart does not smell of it in terms of traditional dignity

      the sun is in the powerful 11 and in the dwad of the 10th ( fame) jupiter loves the 11th and the sun receives a square from jupiter in the 3rd of writing. ( whole signs here) The part of spirit is angualr in pisces and saturn in the 10th from this place describes the natives actions and deeds and the cause of his writing

      being retrograde onlty debilitates if the world or your perceptionof the world is not going with your unusual, werid or not normal way.

      just a thought

      • Hello Michael,

        Thank you for your comment. It supports the main argument. There is only one tiny catch. The Sun at 28 Cancer is still in Cancer and if you are using whole houses he would be in trine to Jupiter in Scorpio. If you are using quadrant houses, as in the chart above, the Sun, even though 93 degrees from Jupiter does not form a square until he enters Leo.

        best regards,

  2. Dear Caroline,

    The question about which planet can be LoG is also important to me.

    You see, I have the quaint notion, that some charts don’t have a fairy God-mother and that yes, I don’t exclude the possibility that a detrimented or even a planet in fall can act as LoG, if there is no other available.

    This is something that is hotly debated by many traditional astrologers and I know that many would not agree with me.

    But then I belong to that sad group of individuals who do not have an essentially dignified planet (unless of course I set my birthtime back about a quarter of an hour to be on the safe side!). I know which planet is my LoG and he is peregrine. I can’t say it is comfortable, but then again is a LoG comfortable even when he is dignified?

    I think each individual chart has to be carefully weighed. Truly judged. As we have seen with the above chart it really isn’t easy. We have a retrograde and peregrine LoG! But believe me he is the right one. As you will see in the next post, the person in question even wrote about his LoG!

    I have often quoted “The Consolation of Philosophy” because it among other things addresses just this. To what extent is the human condition one of free will, and where do determination and Providence play a role? Perhaps a future article will have to address this question more closely.

    I used the set of tables that I always use, those of Wm. Lilly. I also used only the triplicity ruler of the time and not all three, which helps to narrow down the choice.


  3. Most insightful, Thomas. I thought you might enjoy these:

    “The lord of the geniture is, by those who believe in him, supposed to rule the disposition and propensities of the native; but there have been many disputes about what planet is entitled to such a distinction. Julius Firmicus says it is the lord of that sign into which the Moon enters next after birth, except it be one of the luminaries, which cannot be taken as universal significators. Others are of the opinion, that is should be that planet, (not being a luminary) that has most dignities in the places of the lights, the ascendant, the midheaven, and the part of fortune. It is not worth a dispute, for the essential dignities are all nonsense and absurdity.” (Complete Dictionary of Astrology, James Wilson)

    “Now the lord of the geniture, Julius Firmicus affirms, is either that planet who has the greater number of dignities at the time or else, on the basis of a sounder opinion, the one whose house the Moon will enter just after leaving the sign which she occupies when the man is born.” (De vita coelitus comparanda [On Obtaining Life from the Heavens], Marsilio Ficino)

    All nonsense and absurdity (!) aside, with this method one finds that the lord of the geniture in the author’s chart is … Saturn! Does this describe the disposition and propensities of our author?

  4. Hello Andrew!

    As will be unfolded in the followup article. Saturn is a good candidate. But, when we speak of propensities and disposition of our author then we would also have to include the other two close candidates, Mars and Mercury. This was not a happy man, although in the eyes of the world he was successful. He was even honoured with a Nobel Prize for Literature!

    The idea of the dispositor of the Moon’s next sign is worth pursuing, particularly in really difficult cases!

    best wishes,

  5. Dear Thomas

    Well, what a relief to find someone who doesn’t exclude the possibility that a detrimented or even a planet in fall can act as LoG, if there is no other available!

    There is no mention by the early authors that the LoG ‘must’ be essentially dignified, which is a concept that came in with the almuten of medieval astrologers; Firmicus for instance just states that “if he is impeded by malefic planets or deserted by benefic, then he languishes and his efficacy is weakened”. But he is still LoG nevertheless.

    I have totted up my ‘points’ as per Schoener and have arrived at a detrimented, retrograde and cadent Jupiter, who nevertheless does aspect my pre-natal eclipse by partile trine, and so I shall await your further revelations about your example chart to see how his retrograde and peregrine LoG makes out!

    Meanwhile I shall read my copy of ‘The Consolation of Philosophy’! Thank you for answering my question about the Tables 😉


  6. Hi,
    LoG – Great Topic!
    As has been spelled out by contributors here, there is a fine art of judgement in all this.
    I incline to give more weight to Mercury for two reasons:
    1. Term/Bound/Confine Lord of Pre Natal Lunation.
    2. Although in the cadent 12th sign, Mercury is no doubt angularly rising and direct.
    Therefore could we not have two planets in this role?
    I don’t favour Mars because he has holds no dignities in key “hylegical” places.

    Richard S.

  7. Hello Richard,
    There are indeed a few main contenders for the role! I suppose one can consider more than one planet although the whole purpose of the exercise is to find that planet that outshines the others. LoG is as you say a fine topic and worth pursuing.

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