Primary Directions · Astrological definition of Primary Directions · Astrology Encyclopedia  ·  October 4, 2023, 17:59 GMT
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Primary Directions

Primary Directions - Astrology Encyclopedia

Definition of Primary Directions Any method, for determining the changing influences of the altered relationship between the cuspal and the planets' places on successive days or years after birth, that is based upon the diurnal rotation of the Earth upon its axis, arc known as Primary Directions. The measure employed is the elapsed time during which one complete degree of Right Ascension (q.v.) passes across the meridian, or approximately 4 minutes of Sidereal Time. The calculations are too complicated and too laborious for the average astrological student. All Primary Arcs which can be formed between the sensitive points in a Nativity during an entire lifetime are formed during some 6 hours after birth, and are produced solely by the rotation of the Earth on its axis: the planets retaining their radical places and thus carried round the heavens to form aspects to the places of the significators. For its reliability the method is dependent upon the correctness of the birth time to within a fraction of a minute, since an error of 4 minutes in the birth time results in an error of a year in the timing of an event.



As actually described by the ancients, the planets, by motion of the Primum Mobile (q.v.) are gradually carried round the Earth past the cusps of the Houses, and are brought into sundry successive mundane aspects one with another. The calculation of these aspects and their times of formation is termed "directing"; the result is described as "the directions in force" for the calculated time. The number of degrees and minutes of Right Ascension passing over the meridian between the moment of birth and that when the aspect is complete, constitutes the Arc of Direction, each degree equivalent to one year of life.



There are various systems of Primary Directions, their one object to determine the times of events. Ptolemy's system of measurement employed arcs of direction based upon the apparent motion of the heavens about the Earth by virtue of the rotation of the Earth on its axis, in which the body of one planet is brought to the place of another in a proportion of its ascensional or descensional time as measured by its semi-arc. Thus a planet will progress to the Midheaven by degrees of Right Ascension, while one below the horizon will progress to the Ascendant by degrees of Oblique Ascension, which takes cognizance of the latitude of the place of birth. Since a planet must be directed under the Pole (elevation), due to its proportional distance from the meridian, one on the Midheaven has no Pole, while one on the Ascendant has the same Pole as the Ascendant, which is the latitude of the birthplace. All others between the Midheaven and Ascendant, whether above or below the horizon, have a Pole proportionate to their distance therefrom. Ptolemy confined his directions to aspects between the bodies and the places of the planets.



Placidus de Titus added mundane aspects. In his system one third of the semi-arc of a planet was equal to the space of one House. In both systems the motions of the planets are due to the motion of the Earth on its axis after birth. The radical positions of the planets, taken in connection with the planet to which direction is made, are held to determine the nature of the event. The Significators - Sun, Moon, Midheaven and Ascendant - were directed to the points where conjunctions or aspects would form to mundane and zodiacal positions.



Most Primary Directions can be worked to within 15' of arc, or 3 months' time, by means of Tables of Houses, provided one knows the Poles of the various planets: the degree of elevation in the Nativity in proportion to the latitude of the birthplace.



To direct the Ascendant to an aspect with a promittor first bring the longitude of the point of aspect to the horizon. This can bc done roughly from the Table of Houses for the latitude of birth. Observe that the passage of the Midheaven is uniform while that of the Ascendant is irregular.



Take the Ascendant degree, find the related Midheaven, then find the degree of the point of aspect and its related Midheaven; whence deduct the difference in time at the rate of 1 per year. That these calculations involve the use of so uncertain a factor as the exact moment of birth is a perpetual hindrance.



For that reason resort has been made to easier methods. The method most generally employed is that on which is based a system of so-called Secondary Progressions (q.v.) (v. Directions).

(Nicholas deVore - Encyclopedia of Astrology)

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