Manilius on Houses

Q&A and discussion on Houses including house models and domification systems.
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Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 10:45 pm

(Text from Book II of The Astronomicon by Marcus Manilius, c. 14 AD, translated into English 1697. Please note that no claim is made that these are astrologically accurate; the goal is simply to disclose what Manilius thought and taught on the matter.)

33. THE CELESTIAL HOUSES

Come now, prepare an attentive mind for learning the cardinal points ("hinges," i.e., angles): four in all, they have positions in the firmament permanently fixed and receive in succession the speeding signs. One looks out from the rising of the heavens as they are born into the world and has the first view of the Earth from the level horizon; the second faces it from the opposite edge of the sky, the point from which the starry sphere retires and hurtles headlong into Tartarus; a third marks the zenith of high heaven, where wearied Phoebus halts with panting steed and rests the day and determines the mid-point of shadows; the fourth occupies the nadir, and has the glory of forming the foundation of the sphere; in it the stars complete their descent and commence their return, and at equal distances it beholds their risings and settings.

These points are charged with exceptional powers, and the influence they exert on fate is the greatest known to our science, because the celestial circle is totally held in position by them as by eternal supports; did they hot receive the circle, sign after sign in succession, flying in its perpetual revolution, and clamp it with fetters at the two sides of lowest and highest extremities of its compass, heaven would fly apart and its fabric disintegrate and perish.

[Interpretations of the Angles]

Each cardinal (angle), however, enjoys a different influence; they vary according to their position, and they differ in rank.

MIDHEAVEN: First place goes to the cardinal which holds sway at the summit of the sky and divides heaven in two with imperceptible meridian; enthroned on high this post is occupied by Glory (truly a fit warden for heaven's supreme station), so that she may claim all that is pre-eminent, arrogate all distinction, and reign by awarding honors of every kind. Hence comes applause, splendor, and every form of popular favor; hence the power to dispense justice in the courts, to bring the world under the rule of law, to make alliances with foreign nations on one's own terms, and to win fame relative to one's station.

LOWER HEAVEN. The next point, though situate in the lowest position, bears the world poised on its eternal base; in outward aspect its influence is less, but is greater in utility. It controls the foundations of things and governs wealth; it examines to what extent desires are accomplished by the mining of metal and what gain can issue from a hidden source. [Worthwhile rendering from the poetic paraphrase: It rules Estates, it shows what Mines contain,/ What secret Treasures we may hope to gain."]

ASCENDANT: The third cardinal [angle], which on the same level as the Earth holds in position the shining dawn, where the stars first rise, where day returns and divides time into hours, is for this reason in the Greek world called the Horoscope, and it declines a foreign name, taking pleasure in its own. Within its domain lies the arbitrament of life and the formation of character; it will grant success to enterprises, open up the professions, and decide the early years that await men from their birth, the education they receive, and the station to which they are born, according as the planets approve and mingle their influences.

DESCENDANT. The last point, which puts stars to rest after traversing heaven and, occupying the occident, looks down upon the submerged half of the sky, is concerned with the consummation of affairs and the conclusion of toil, marriages and banquets and the closing years of life, leisure and social intercourse and worship of the gods.

[NOTE: This is a most important passage! It is often misunderstood (in the poetic paraphrase) as being an early indication that the Descendant corresponds to marriage, for the passage reads, "This governs Marriage, and on this depends/ Religion, Recreation, Death, and Friends." But, however appropriate that interpretation, I think that is not what the passage says: As examples of "conclusion of toil," it lists all sorts of recreations, such as weddings, banquets, other leisure activities, and festivals, and perhaps a general "reaping" from life. (This also resolves the strange Manilius attribution of "religion" - I think it is only speaking of the party atmosphere of festivals.) It doesn't even literally mention death, but this seems implied.]

[Interpretations of the Houses (Seats)]

In any geniture every sign is affected by the sky's division into temples [houses]; position governs the stars, and endows them with power to benefit or harm; each of the signs, as it revolves, receives the influences of heaven and to heaven imparts its own. The nature of the position prevails, exercises jurisdiction within it province, and subjects to its own character the signs as they pass by, which now are enriched with distinction of every kind and now bear the penalty of a barren abode.

The 12th House (Kakos Daimon, "Evil Spirit"). The temple that is immediately above the Horoscope and is the next-but-one to heaven's zenith is a temple of ill omen, hostile to future activity and all too fruitful of bane. [Continued under 6th House.]

The 6th House (Kake Tuche, "Evil Fortune"). ...nor that alone, but like unto it will prove the above which with confronting star shines below the occident and adjacent to it. And so that this temple should not outdo the former, each alike moves dejected from a cardinal point [angle] with the spectacle of ruin before its eyes. Each shall be a portal of toil; in one you are doomed to climb, in the other to fall.

Not more fortunate is the portion of heaven above the occident [8th House, Argos, "No energy"] or that opposite it below the orient [2nd House, Haidou Pyle, "Gates of Hell"]; suspended, the former face downward, the latter on its back, they either fear destruction at the hands of the neighboring cardinal [angle] or will fall if cheated of its support. With justice are they held to be the dread abodes of Typhon, whom savage Earth brought forth when she gave birth to war against heaven and sons as massive as their mother appeared. Even so, the thunderbolt hurled them back to the womb, the collapsing mountains recoiled upon them, and Typhoeus was sent to the grave of his warfare and his life alike. Even his mother quakes as he blazes beneath Etna's mount.

11th House (Agathos Daimon, "Good Spirit"). The temple immediately behind the summit of bright heaven, and (not to be outdone by its neighbor) of braver hope, surges ever higher, being ambitious for the prize and triumphant over the earlier temples; consummation attends the topmost abode, and no movement save for the worse can it make, nor is aught left for it to aspire to. There is thus small cause for wonder, if the station nearest the zenith, and more secure than it, is blessed with the lot of Happy Fortune. So most closely does our language approach the richness of Greek and render name for name. In this temple dwells Jupiter: let its ruler convince you that it is to be reverenced.

[NOTES: This passage confirms what many of these passages suggest, that the angles and their houses are treated as a single thing, The passage only makes since if "zenith" and "10th house" have the same meaning, otherwise it is false. "Happy (Good) Fortune" is actually the classical name of the 5th, not the 11th (which is "Good Spirit." Jupiter's Joy is in the 11th, and the house classically corresponds to Leo, which the Romans thought ruled by the god Jupiter.]

5th House (Agathe Tuche, "Good Fortune"). Like this temple [the 11th], but with an inverse likeness, is that which is thrust below the world and adjoins the nadir of the submerged heaven, and which shines in the opposite region: wearied after completion of active service it is again marked out for a further term of toil, as it waits to shoulder the yoke of the cardinal temple [4th House] and its role of power: and as yet does it feel the weight of the world, but already aspires to that honor. This seat the Greeks call Daemonie: a rendering of the name in Roman speech is wanting. Lay carefully in your mind the abode and the divinity and appellation of the puissant abode, so that hereafter the knowledge may be put to great use. Here largely abide the changes in our health and the warfare waged by the unseen weapons of disease, wherein are engaged the two powers of chance and godhead affecting the region of uncertainty on either side, now for better, now for worse.

9th House (Theos, "God."). The stars that follow midday, where the height of heaven first slopes downward and bows from the summit, these Phoebus nourishes with his splendor; and it is by Phoebus' influence that they decree what ill or hap our bodies take beneath his eyes. This region is called by the Greek word signifying God.

[NOTE, for contrast on health from the poetic rendering on 9th/3rd: "...gay strength and health Delight,/ Or sickness arms its venom'd Darts for fight." On just the 9th, "the Sun possesses: From his Rays we draw our state of Health, he gives our Bodies Law."]

3rd House (Thea, "Goddess."). Shining face to face with it is that part of heaven which rises first from the bottom-most regions and brings back the sy once more: it controls the fortunes and fate of brothers; and it acknowledges the Moon for its mistress, who beholds her brother's realms shining on her from the other side of heaven and who reflects human mortality in the dying edges of her face. Goddess is the name in human speech to be given to this region, whilst the Greeks call it by the same word in their language.

[NOTE: The poetic rendering focuses more clearly on health, like the 9th: "She rules our Bodies, but her Face derives/ Moist rotting Powers, and wastes the Health."]

10th House (Fortuna, "Fortune"). But in the citadel of the sky, where the rising curve attains its consummation, and the downward slope makes its beginning, and the summit towers midway between orient and occident and holds the universe poised in the balance, here does the Cytherean [Venus] claim her abode among the stars, placing in the very face of heaven, as it were, her beauteous features, wherewith she rules the affairs of men. To the abode is fittingly given the power to govern wedlock, the bridal chamber, and the marriage torch; and this charge suits Venus, the charge of plying her own weapons. Fortune shall be this temple's name; and mark it well, that I may take a short route in my lengthy song.

[NOTE: The Venus attribution is strange and atypical, and Fortuna doesn't appear anywhere else in classic literature as a name for the 10th house. I think what happened here is that Manilius disagreed with the standard attribution of the 5th house as Venus' Joy - he treated the 5th rather badly, rather than as the "Good Fortune" normally considered - and, without explanation, reassigned Venus' Joy with the 10th. No other collateral attributions or correspondences support this idea.]

4th House (Daemonium, "Demon, Spirit" ?). ...at the opposite pole the universe subsides, occupying the foundations, and from the depths of midnight gloom gazes up at the back of the Earth, in that region Saturn exercises the powers that are his own: cast down himself in ages past from empire in the skies and the throne of heaven, he wields as a father power over the fortunes of gathers and the plight of the old. Daemonium is the name the Greeks have given it, denoting influences fitting the name.

1st House (Stilbon, "Glistener"). Turn now your gaze upon heaven as it climbs up fro the first cardinal point [angle], where the rising signs commence afresh their wonted courses, and a pale Sun swims upward from the icy waves and begins by slow degrees to blaze with golden flame as it attempts the rugged path where the Ram heads the procession of the skies. This temple, Mercury, son of Maia, men say is yours, marked for its bright aspect with a designation which writers also give you for name. The one wardship is commissioned with two charges; for in it nature has placed all fortunes of children and has made dependent on it the prayers of parents.

7th House. There remains one region, that in the setting heaven. It speeds the falling sky beneath the Earth and buries the stars. Now it looks forth on the back of the departing Sun, yet it once beheld his face; so wonder not if it is called the portal of somber Pluto and keeps control over the end of life and death's firm-bolted door. Here dies even the very light of day, which the ground beneath steals away from the world and locks up captive in the dungeon of night. This temple also claims for itself the guardianship of good faith and constancy of heart. Such is the power that dwells in the above which summons to itself and buries the Sun, thus surrendering that which it has received, and brings the day to its close.

This is the system by which you must mark the powers of the temples: through them revolves the entire procession of the zodiac, which draws from them their laws and lends to them its own; the planets, too, according as nature allows, traverse them in fixed order and modify the various influences of the temples whenever they occupy realms not their own and sojourn in an alien camp. Of these matters I shall treat at the place in my song appointed for the planets; it is enough for now to have recorded the temples of heaven and their names, the innate influences of each place, and the deities that dwell therein.
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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun May 07, 2017 10:46 pm

(I shall now paraphrase the above, to make it more accessible. In case of doubt, you can always refer to the original above.)

First, observe the Angles, which are regarded as the "fixed points" against which the whole moves. They each are graced with different powers. Of particular note (because it accords so fiercely with the best research results known to astrology) is the statement that, "These points are charged with exceptional powers, and the influence they exert on fate is the greatest known to our science." This is echoed quite exactly by Firmicus' statement about the angles, that, "We must always observe them carefully so that we may set forth the most correct revelation of the whole pattern of destiny."

Interpretations of the Angles

THE MIDHEAVEN stands in the "first place" as "heaven's supreme station." Its attribute is Glory, along with all that is pre-eminent, distinction, every variety of honors, applause, splendor, popular favor; and these lead to political power and roles in what seem government's highest offices, and sufficient rank to bestow these as rewards.

THE LOWER HEAVEN (or FOUNDATION) governs Wealth and "the foundation of things," rules estates, shows one's prospects from mining, and other "gain that can issue from a hidden source." This angle seems weaker "in outward aspect than MC, but is even more useful.

THE ASCENDANT (or HOROSCOPE) governs Life and the formation of character. Grants success to enterprises, opens professions, shows the formative years including education and (apparently) all preparation for life. Called "The Helm" by Greek astrologers, it steers "the various virtues of the stars." (I like that title: It implies "what we lead with.")

THE DESCENDANT shows consummation of affairs - how things end, and how our various affairs culminate (their results). It shows leisure, the rewards at the end of the day, including marriage and social relationships; recreation; religious festivities; and death.

These are characterized as points, as we're used to thinking of the angles. Next come the spaces between them: First quadrants, then the 12 houses.

Interpretations of the Houses (Seats)
(NOTE: It may be that these are conceived as being centered on the cusps. This is not indubitably clear, though it is inferred in several places. In any case, the angular houses are treated as if they were the angles, more or less, i.e., the houses above and below the 1st are treated as being immediately above and below the Ascendant. This perspective, at least, makes some of the passages easier to identify. - Sign analogies below are added in discussion of the Libra-rising house model.)

THE 12th HOUSE (Gk. kakos daimon, "bad spirit") is "an unhappy seat," destructive to all events, an ill omen, toilsome, hostile to future activity, and "all too fruitful of bane," bringing a "spectacle of ruin" and doom. (Corresponds to Virgo, though that doesn't seem relevant to the symbolism. Traditionally, the 12th is the Joy of Saturn.)
NB - Firmicus says from this can be "easily determined the nature of enemies and the character of slaves" and "defects and illnesses."

THE 6th HOUSE (Gk. kake tyche, "bad fortune") is described as substantially identical to the 12th, viz., destructive to undertakings, hostileto future activities, an ill omen, toilsome, and bringing a "spectacle of ruin." (Corresponds to Pisces, though that doesn't seem relevant to the symbolism. Traditionally, the 6th is the Joy of Mars.)
NB - Firmicus says it discloses "the cause of physical infirmities and sickness."

THE 2nd & 8th HOUSES (respectively in Gk., haidou pyle, "Gate of Hell," & argos, "without energy") are no more blessed than the 6th & 12th. They are called unhappy and portrayed as weak and fearful (with metaphors of destructive Typhon tossed freely about). (The "Gates of Hell" correspond to Scorpio. The house of weakness, idleness, and loss of energy corresponds to Taurus.)
NB - By the time of Firmicus, these had evolved into something a little more akin to modern usage, though within the above definition. The 8th includes "the kind of death," and he advises that "no planet rejoices in this house except the Moon" - fascinating, since this house corresponds to Taurus, which is Moon's exaltation! (He then gives long rules about Moon in this house.) To the 2nd he attributes "increase in personal hopes and in material possession" (even though he keeps "Gate of Hell" as its title).

THE 11th HOUSE (Gk. agathos daimon, "good spirit") expresses "braver hope," is ambitious and triumphant, rising above others and obtaining patronage. Manilius' calls it "Happy Fortune" (which is really the historical title of the 5th). Jupiter rules, and one should trust one's fate to him! (The Jupiter attribution may be from this house being the Joy of Jupiter, or from the god Jupiter ruling Leo, the natural sign correspondence.)

THE 5th HOUSE is not given the same positive spin by Manilius as by the Greeks (Gk. agathe tyche, "good fortune"). He says it shows the fallen, yet one prepared to push through pain to fight his way back up. He then seems to say that if one is not "pressed by the world," this relaxes a bit - one doesn't fall if one has not been trying to rise, it seems - and there is room for "haughty thoughts" that leave room for hope. He encourages us by saying that it is troublesome but that labor is met with its due results. (The Greek label he cites, demonie, does not mean a demon but simply "a spirit." The very negative cast is likely a consequence of this hosue corresponding to Aquarius which, at the time, was regarded as a sign of Saturn. Traditionally, the 5th is the Joy of Venus, and this corresponds to the Greek title mentioned above.)
NB - Firmicus is more classical, emphasizing the title Good Fortune, the Venus rulership, and that it has a powerful, positive aspect to the 1st. He adds the number and sex of children.

THE 9th HOUSE (Gk. theos, "god" (i.e., Apollo or Sun)[/i]) shows the polarity of health or illness, strength or failure, reflecting the waxing and waning strength of Sun. From this house, we read "what ill or hap our bodies take." (The solar attribution may be from this house being the Joy of Sun, or from Apollo, the Sun-God, ruling Gemini, the natural sign correspondence.)
NB - Firmicus adds "the social class of men," and connects it to "religion and foreign travel."

THE 3rd HOUSE (Gk. thea, "goddess" (i.e., Diana or Moon)[/i]) shows the polarity of health or illness, strength or failure, reflecting the waxing and waning strength of Moon; or, at least this is true in the poetic rendering. A more literal translation seems to only emphasize the idea of brothers. (The lunar attribution may be from this house being the Joy of Moon, or from Diana, the Moon, ruling Sagittarius, the natural sign correspondence.)
NB - Firmicus cites "everything that concerns brothers and friends," then mentions the title Dea and links this to travelers.

THE 10th HOUSE (Gk. mesouranema, "culmination") is ruled by Venus. He says it governs "wedlock, the bridal chamber, and the marriage torch." Compare this to earlier statements about Midheaven. (Venus' patronage is strange. This is neither the Joy of Venus, nor does the natural sign correspondence, Cancer, have a Venus dignity.)
NB - Passages in Manilius imply the MC is the first among the angles, and of the 10th house Firmicus says, "This place is the first in importance and has the greatest influence of all the angles." He bountifully relates it to, "life and vital spirit, all our actions, country, home, all our dealings with others, professional careers, and whatever our choice of career brings us. From this house we easily see the infirmities of the mind."

THE 4th HOUSE (Gk. hypogeion, "under the earth") is "Saturn's seat," Tartarus where the god was exiled in continuing night. Rulership is over fathers, sons, and their wealth, respect for fathers, and "the plight of the old." It is "severe and thrifty." Compare this to earlier statements about the Lower Heaven. (This house is not the Joy of Saturn. It does, however, correspond to Capricorn, which embraces all of the above traits.)
NB - Firmicus summarizes this as "family property, substance, possessions, household goods, anything that pertains to hidden and recovered wealth."

THE 1st HOUSE (Gk. horoscopos, "hour view," & oiax, "helm") is the house of Mercury. It describes the fortunes of children and their parents' hopes for them. This seems a poetic reference to the broad unfolding of one's life. Compare this to earlier statements about Ascendant. (The 1st house is Mercury's Joy. Otherwise, the correspondence is to Libra.)
NB - Firmicus summarizes as, "the life and vital spirit of men," advising that "from this house the basic character of the entire nativity is determined." It is "the cornerstone and basis of the whole nativity."

THE 7th HOUSE (Gk. dysis, "setting") has Pluto as its patron because it refers to death and the end of life. It also claims "the guardianship and constancy of heart." These should all be compared to statements previously about Descendant. (This is the only patron that is neither a ruler to astrologers at the time or a Joy. It is fascinating, though, that the natural house correspondence is to Aries.)
NB -Firmicus attributes "the nature and number of marriages."
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The Quarters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:23 pm

I have removed the following from the first post but, since it's all typed, I'm pasting it here. I place no value on it.


[Interpretations of the Quarters (Spaces)]

These Points considered, Their Powers distinctly seen,
Observe the Spaces that arte plac't between;
The Points are little, but the Spaces large,
And every space has a proportion'd Charge.

First then the Space that rising from the East
Mounts upward, is by Infancy possest,
There Childhood plays; From thence the Western Space
Gay Youth demands, and fills the second place.
Next from the Western Point a Space descends
Thro' under Heaven, and in the Lowest ends;
There Manhood, having past the various Maze
Of Infancy and Youth, compleats its Race:
To finish this; The space that upward tends,
And creeping slowly o're the steep Ascends
To join the Round at East, is made the way
Of feeble Age and flitting Life's decay.

But more all Signs, whatever Form they bear,
The several Vertues of their Stations wear;
With good and hurtful Powers those points their Ray,
The Planets govern, and the Signs obey:
They turn the Round, and as they wheel their Course,
The Place now gives, and now takes off their Force;
For as the Planets thro' the Stations Err,
These Places their own Influence transfer;
And force them, whilst within their bounds, to take
Their ruling Vertues, and their own forsake,
Hence now they smile, and now severely frown
With Foreign Influence that Commands their own:
Here sovereign send, there showr malignant Rays,
And spread the fatal Venom of their Place.
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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:47 pm

Notice that the more we learn of the earliest Graeco-Roman (which likely were originally Graeco-Egyptian) house patterns, the more they resemble the Hindu. This is consistent with Fagan's premise that the Greeks, under command of Alexander, carried post-Egyptian Greek astrology into India.

The more I read the ancient (primarily Latin) authors, the more certain I am that the earliest form of the dodekatamoria was as whole-sign houses - exactly what we see surviving in Hindu astrology today. This BTW doesn't meant the method is correct, or even that houses viably exist, only a historic flow or transmission of what people thought at a particular point in time. This form seems implicit in several Manilius passages. I was just rereading Firmicus this morning, and it seems blatantly stated in most passages on houses that they were whole-sign (although a different conclusion is possible from a few passages - at least, the way we have them in translation)

The innate categories are also nearly identical. The Graceo-Roman house structures are almost entirely based on Ptolemaic aspects of the houses to the Ascendant / 1st house. These are:

(1) The four angular houses, that are conjunct, opposite, or square the 1st house, are the most powerful, and repeatedly singled out as deserving primary attention.

(2) The 5th and 9th, trine the 1st, are next most powerful and regarded as auspicious (called "Good Fortune" and "God").

(3) The 3rd and 11th. which are sextile the 1st, are considered comparably auspicious, though by some authors somewhat weaker than the 5th and 9th (especially the 34d; because the 11th is held in very high esteem). They are "Goddess" and "The Good Spirit."

(4) The 2nd, 12th, 6th, and 8th, which have no aspect to 1st house, are considered cut-off and therefore weak and evil. They are called, respectively "Gates of Hell," "The Bad Spirit," "Bad Fortune," and "Weakness [No Energy]."

Compare this to the primary categories of Hindu astrology:

(1) The four angular houses are the most powerful, and repeatedly singled out as deserving primary attention.

(2) The 5th and 9th are next most powerful and regarded as the most auspicious. In particular, connections between the good fortune of these trikona houses nd the power of the angular or kendra houses, forms the basis of most "kingly" combinations (raja yogas).

(3) The 12th, 6th, and 8th are considered the most evil and destructive houses. (Why is the 2nd missing? My guess is that Indian astrology eventually adopted the 2nd = wealth association and dropped this house from the unfortunate category.)

(4) The 3rd and 11th, joined with the 10th and 6th, are said to have the power to redeem negative planets and turn them positive. (Only the 6th is a mystery in this list, compared to the Greek; but, as the Joy of Mars, one would expect at least Mars to be thought positive there.)

A couple of other curios about the Indian model, especially comparison to the Libra = 1st model that Fagan argued was the first zodiacal model for the houses: The 2nd and 7th are the two "death" houses, and these correspond to Scorpio and Aries, the two houses of Mars. Additionally, the "remedial" houses listed in #4 immediately above are the only four (in the Libra-rising model) that are connected to Jupiter, being equivalent to Sagittarius (3rd), Pisces (6th), Cancer (10th), Leo (11th) - remember, Graeco-Roman astrologers considered that Zeus or Jupiter was patron of Leo. I find it interesting that Firmicus, in discussing the 6th house, gives a Hindu-sounding aphorism connected to this redemption, that a planet suffering from placement in the 6th can sometimes be saved from misfortune if it "is in favorable aspect to another planet in the 10th house."

It's... interesting.
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THoughts on 2nd House

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:22 pm

Of all of these, we see many of the earliest traditions are reflected into modern astrologers' views, and many others are not. However, even those that are not consistent with modern usage are internally consistent with the models presented... except one.

That exception is the 2nd house, which (compared to the rest) rapidly changed to go in a different direction, and to usurp the attributes originally concentrated in other houses.

Based on the theories of the earliest astrologers who wrote of houses, here is what we would expect of the 2nd house: It is called the Gate of Hell (or Gate of the Hidden Place), is variously stated to be week and destructive, even fearful. Adding the layer of the earliest sign-house correspondences, it would correspond to Scorpio, which increases all the above views.

Based on all of this, Fagan treated it especially as a place that was "eadly" to a planet because the planet was weak and inexpressive (i.e., primarily treating it as a background effect). He also claimed that, in Egyptian astrology, the 2nd pertained to all sorts of things one would associate with the above ideas, such as the agony of death, wars, woundings, violence, imprisonment, upheaval, revolt, and rebellion.

AnNd yet, even by the time of Firmicus, this was starting to change. He retained the "Gate of Hell" title but related it to wealth. Similarly, the astrologers of India appear to have dislodged the 2nd from the other three "evil" houses fairly early and, again, I think this is because of relating it to wealth.

Where did this idea come from? If houses are valid, of course, it's always possible that it's a genuine characteristic of the zone, but I'm skeptical of it. (I've developed the same ideas of possessions as "proxy-selves" or "near selves" in my larger thesis on the subject, and I'm still skeptical of it.)

I suspect the actual path of the attribution is when astrologers began overlaying the roles of the 8-fold house system with the 12-fold system. The titles of the octotopos given by astrologers from Manetho to Firmicus at least, are Life, Wealth, Brethren, Parents, Children, Health, Mate, and Death. These are similar enough to the first 8 houses of the 12-fold scheme to allow for conflation. I suspect someone picked up the "Wealth" idea and pasted it onto the dodekatopos.

Ad you can see from the above, wealth (and its sources and the things affecting it) was origially attributed to the 4th house, which makes such great symbolic sense that modern astrologers don't dismiss it easily.

From the original; attributions (if valid, or if houses are valid at all), we would expect something quite different. We might expect something quite dark and violent, or something ruined and harmed, or something merely weak, but not something that is at the top of everybody's Favorite Things list. We certainly might expect a figuratively similar theme from "Gates of Hell" such as, say, exploring subconsciousness or some such thing, i.e., outward expression can change as collective orientation, values, and culture change over the centuries.

In my historic examination of people with Sun in 2nd House, it seemed to be that there were discernible commonalities, most typically in terms of a keen sense of ownership; possessiveness; people who are self identified with their resources. For Moon in 2nd, I found people strongly reliant on their personal resources, shrewd, tenacious, enjoying life... these latter traits may actually start to sound more like the Mars-driven "hellishness," or the whole thing might be my being persuaded by traditional expectations. (I have no problem seeing that what ancients regarded as ruthless, aggressive, and hellish might today simply have migrated to highly successful business sense; but on this I speculate.)

Looking at people with Sun in 2nd House produces a mixed bag. One name, alone, throws doubt about too much materialism, and that's Karl Marx with a New Moon in the 2nd House in Aries - that's a lot of focus on whatever ideas the 2nd house might touch, which might include wealth. And the New Moon is closely trine Jupiter and moderately sextile Saturn. That's a lot of separate symbols focussing on materialism and economic elitism!


There is a lot of power in the list I compiled, which includes several recent British monarchs and several U.S. Presidents: King George V, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, John Adams, James Monroe, James Garfield. (There is a lot of personal wealth in those six names.) Add other political leaders including Paul Ryan, who has built his career much around tax models (but he's a Capricorn, which has to count for a lot; still, Uranus 20' from trine a 2nd house Sun is begging to be interpreted as "tax reform"). Add Fidel Castro, Earl Warren, and several other power players and independently wealth people. That's at least one segment of the group of famous people I have who have Sun in 2nd.

There are a couple of things I don't see in this list. I don't see people for whom "Gates of Hell" is an obvious metaphor for diving into the depths as in (say) exploration of the subconscious. Nor (other than Thomas Eagleton and Billie Holliday) do I see anyone who was obviously shredded and dragged through hell. There aren't many monsters, either, the chief candidate being Eva Braun. There were about as many personal tragedies as in a normal cross-section, I think, including a drug addict here, a couple of cancer victims there, a couple of bad alcoholics, but nothing that defines the group. There are wealthy people, and those of modest means (and many that I know personally that are closer to poverty than to wealth, but mostly people for whom this isn't a gigantic issue one way or the other).

I take back what I said about monsters. Besides Braun, there are a few others in the list I'd overlooked. Monstrous murderer Dennis Nilsen, Heaven's Gate head Marshall Applewhite, probable radical and killer Thomas Mooney, and murder suspect Amanda Knox (one of the most gruesome, if in fact she did it) are on the list. They might give one expression to "Gates of Hell."

So... I'm not sure. I just thought this one house of the 12 deserved to be singled out for its internal contradictions that are unique of the dozen, and I'm mostly brain-streaming these remarks.
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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by SteveS » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:37 am

Jim wrote pertaining to an ancient writer (Marcus Manillus) to Houses:
THE 2nd & 8th HOUSES (respectively in Gk., haidou pyle, "Gate of Hell,"…
Relative to my life/natal chart this “Gate to Hell” strongly resonates as the truth with my life (age, now 70). I have Mars & Uranus in 8th House, with a direct midpoint (0,16) of Ma/Ur=Vx (‘fated incidents’). Since tradition holds ‘Death’ as a keyword for the 8th House, there probably is higher probability I could die through a sudden ‘fated’ accident. Mars-Uranus symbolism is Ebertin’s par-excellent combo for accidents. I have had 2 high grade psychics tell me when I die—‘I will not know what hit me.’

Also, FWIW, from Alphee Lavoie, “Essentials of Intermediate Astrology” he writes about modern day 8th House symbolism:
Death, taxes, surgery, wills, bank loans, other people’s money, business partners, or dealings with other people’s money through debts you owe, money coming from others like social security, inheritance, bankruptcy.
Believe me, I have gone through the “Gates of Hell” pertaining to ALL the above words by Lavoie. If it had not been my Natal Mars in the 8th House partile 120 my rising Jupiter, I would have lost all of my Mars life Wars pertaining to 8th House meanings. The Mars Wars in my 8th House life have been fought with much legal energy.

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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:16 am

FWIW, "Gates of Hell" is the ancient name of the 2nd House, not the 8th. Nonetheless, your post is an interesting line of discussion, so thanks :) .
SteveS wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:37 am
I have Mars & Uranus in 8th House, with a direct midpoint (0,16) of Ma/Ur=Vx (‘fated incidents’).

Something I thought might interest you: If, as I suspect, contacts with Vertex only exist in mundo like horizon and meridian, then (like them also, from what I've seen continually in mundane charts) midpoints to it only exist mundanely as well. When planets are close enough, a midpoint would emerge in azimuth. You have Mars at azimuth 259°02' (10°58' before due west) and Uranus at azimuth 278°30' (8°30' after due west), so their midpoint is 271°14', or 1°14' from Vertex.

Just in case you didn't have enough technicalities to think about :D
Since tradition holds ‘Death’ as a keyword for the 8th House, there probably is higher probability I could die through a sudden ‘fated’ accident.
Yes, that would be consistent with a traditional interpretation (modern traditions) of Mars and Uranus in the 8th house. But classically, the 7th house, and particularly the Descendant, relates to death; therefore, this would also be a reasonable interpretation of Aries on Descendant.
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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:26 am

I was thinking about this 2nd house symbolism over the weekend. The early Graeco-Roman articulation of houses had the four houses not aspecting as the "evil" ones, i.e., 2nd & 12th, 6th & 8th. Over two or three centuries, this discussion got diluted as the 2nd got increasingly related to wealth. To this day, Indian astrology labels the 6th, 8th, and 12th as the "bad" houses (and sometimes adds the 2nd, but less often: they like wealth, too :) ).

So... entirely theoretically... I was wondering what this "Gates of Hell" meaning might mean for 2nd house (if houses are valid and have the meanings it is thought they have). I looked at a list of people with 2nd house Sun and, indeed, there were a lot of power-and-property people on the list (and a lot of people where I don't know that to be true about them, also).

I concluded that "Gates of Hell" for the 2nd doesn't mean subconscious depths - there was nobody on the list whose life was themed in that direction (and I have a lot of such people in my chart collection) - quite the opposite. Instead, I think it is just a metaphor for how commerce and "doing business" has evolved. One might paraphrase it as "going off to war" as a metaphor for heading out into the world for one's daily competition.

Perhaps it is that my 2nd is the house where I have two malefics, but I've usually thought about the "go out and bring home the bacon" rituals of our society as "going to war" or hell.
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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by SteveS » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:41 am

Jim wrote:
FWIW, "Gates of Hell" is the ancient name of the 2nd House, not the 8th.
OK, thanks. Then all of my life ‘gates of hell’ have definitely been experienced through my Mars in 8th House symbolism. If we allow for 2nd house to do with money matters (the seat of most of the evil in modern world), then we again see an interesting polarity with 2nd-8th house. Most of my ‘gates of hell’ have been with money issues where I had to deal with injustice pertaining to money matters, and with my partile Mars-Jup 120, I have had to enlists the legal system (probably symbolized by Jup) to fight these unjust situations with money issues. I have also been involved in other situations besides money issues where I had to stand-up and fight for social justice for battered women/children which took the aid of a lawyer. In grade school, I had to stand-up (literally fight) for other kids being bullied. We all fight our Mars battles in various ways. :x

BTW, very interesting with your thoughts on mundo vertex.

Jim wrote:
Perhaps it is that my 2nd is the house where I have two malefics, but I've usually thought about the "go out and bring home the bacon" rituals of our society as "going to war" or hell.
Exactly!

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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by SteveS » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:27 am

“You can stand me-up to the “Gates of Hell” and I won’t back down.” Tom Petty (RIP), my main R&R Man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1tqsrDSOZQ

:)

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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Arena » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:42 am

And maybe Manilus is just saying nonsense on houses :D

Imo such statements are a bit over the top, even verging on silly. Even though some men back in the days call something "Gates of hell" that is just a metaphor and anything of horrible nature may not at all be attached to the meaning of that house unless there is also some kind of trigger, such as a particularly bad aspect or something like that.

True, the second house is often associated with money or property. There is nothing "hellish" about that and money in itself is not hellish or demonic. Money can be a source of great things, of doing good for people. It can also be the source of horrible things and be used to manipulate, opress and so on. But that is not the nature of money itself, it is the nature of some human beings, and I am not generalising for the whole human race, this is a question of some individuals handling money and power in a very bad way, while other individuals handle it very well and do great things with it.

PS. The 12th house in Vedic astrology is not at all associated with bad things only. They consider the 12th to sometimes symbolise foreign countries, such as relocation or association with foreign countries.

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Re: Manilius on Houses

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:52 am

Arena wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:42 am
And maybe Manilus is just saying nonsense on houses :D
Although it's not just him, it's basic to almost every Graeco-Roman writer in the classical period. (That doesn't make it correct information, it just establishes that this was basic to what astrologers of the first generation of house-users thought of it.)
PS. The 12th house in Vedic astrology is not at all associated with bad things only. They consider the 12th to sometimes symbolise foreign countries, such as relocation or association with foreign countries.
Of course it's not the sole association. I was speaking, though, of the fundamental definition. Hindu astrology groups the bhavas (houses) into four fundamental groups. One of these is called dusthana, a group of the unhappiest or least fortunate houses, consisting of the 6th, 8th, and 12th.
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