Zodiacal Releasing is the crown jewel of the discoveries made through the revival of Hellenistic astrology, and in order to do it, you have to know where your Lots of Fortune and Spirit are. Some people have great results with Zodiacal Releasing while other times it can be frustratingly off the mark. In the interest of keeping it simple, I’ve stuck to the basic diurnal/nocturnal schema of calculating the Lots.
- Born during the day?
- Fortune, the Moon’s Lot, is the distance from the Sun to the Moon (light contrary to sect) projected from the Ascendant.
- Spirit, the Sun’s Lot, is the distance from the Moon to the Sun (sect light) projected from the Ascendant.
- Born at night?
- Fortune, the Moon’s Lot, is the distance from the Moon to the Sun (light contrary to sect) projected from the Ascendant.
- Spirit, the Sun’s Lot, is the distance from the Sun to the Moon (sect light) projected from the Ascendant.
It sounds hard but once you visualize it, it actually makes a lot more sense. Check it out:
If you can’t handle that, use this handy online calculator to quickly figure out where your default Lots of Fortune and Spirit are.
If only it could even stay just that simple! Recently I’ve begun to wonder about whether eclipses could impact the calculation of Lots since they are based on whether the Sun or Moon is the dominant light during the day or night. If the Sun is eclipsed, what happens to the Lot of the Sun, Spirit? If the Moon is eclipsed, what happens to the Lot of the Moon, Fortune?
This led me to reconsider texts I’d forgotten about or deliberately ignored in the pursuit of keeping things simple and straightforward. Hellenistic astrologers Vettius Valens and Serapio mention specific and general conditions that make the position of Fortune and Spirit switch, or where one Lot dominates over the other. What they ultimately boil down to is whether the Sun and Moon are able or in accord enough with their own natures to properly represent circumstance (Fortune) and will (Spirit). Here is what Valens says about a Lot predominating and taking on the significations of both Lots:
Note that if the Lot of Fortune or its ruler are badly situated, the Lot of Daimon will distribute both the bodily and the active qualities. Likewise Fortune will make the distribution of both qualities if the Lot of Daimon or its ruler is unfavorably situated, and the same is true of the controls and the houserulerships.
-Vettius Valens, Anthology, Book IV, pg. 72
Here is what Serapio says about when a Lot becomes the other…
Many times Spirit (Daimon) becomes Fortune: for when the Light of the Sect is found in bounds of [a star] out of Sect; or, according to the masculine and feminine – that is, when the Sun is in a feminine sign by day, or when the Moon in a masculine sign by night; or when the Light of the Sect is not Eastern in the Hemisphere of the Sect; or when both Lights happen to be in the hemisphere under the Earth, and the other stars are found in an uncongenial condition because of the Light in overseeing position, that is, in the anteceding signs, then Fortune is taken in the direction of the following signs.
-Serapio, Definitions, pg. 5
This is a lot to keep in mind! So I created this handy flowchart below to help you navigate your way around these conditions to discover whether Fortune or Spirit predominates, or whether Fortune and Spirit should switch places in your chart. Please don’t take this as the gospel truth, because we’re only 30 years into even understanding the techniques based on the Lots, so, y’know, proceed with caution and an open mind. You may need this handy reference for the Bounds for the flowchart. I incorporated Serapio’s conditions, Valens’ conditions and my own speculative conjectures about solar and lunar eclipses in the day and night time. Experiment with it, let me know if you have any good or bad results with Zodiacal Releasing with these considerations about your Lots of Fortune and Spirit!
Thanks to Chris Brennan for alerting me to Serapio’s statements about the Lots.