AP13 Approaching Interpretation II

The Guiding Spirit

Guiding Spirit - Astrology Project Intensive 13

… And as regards the most lordly kind of our soul, we must conceive of it in this wise: we declare that God has given to each of us, as his daemon, that kind of soul which is housed in the top of our body and which raises us …
Plato – Timeaus

The idea of a ‘guiding spirit’ or ‘daemon’, whether specifically within or without, harks back to ancient times and appears throughout history under various labels – such as genius, angel, character, higher self. The daemon principle is literally represented in astrology’s heritage in the traditional names of some houses, in the system of Hermetic lots, and in the Lord of the Geniture doctrine.

This Intensive will examine the profoundly fascinating idea of the Guiding Spirit as represented by a uniquely empowered planet in a birthchart (sometimes more than one), which is nominated as Lord of the Geniture. It is considered to provide clues to exclusive virtues that the native would do well to cultivate. By its nature, position, rulerships and receptions, it shows where one is likely to get the most out of the natal promise.

This is about identifying the celestial body which may take on the role of piloting a life by providing or guiding the fulfilment of authentic qualities. Its identification can be straightforward, yet it may become mysterious, or “nearly the most difficult of all”, as one ancient noted. This in itself may reflect how easy or hard it is for the native to get in touch with a life purpose.

… But the discovery of the lord, or lords, of the geniture, if there are more than one in a nativity, is nearly granted by astrologers themselves to be unattainable, and yet they say that on this the knowledge of the proper daemon depends …

Porphyry, Letter to Anebo – 1821 English trans.

Classically the Lord of the Geniture is the planet in the chart with the greatest overall dignity that has the power to act upon that strength. Accidental conditions must be taken into account also, such as the strength of the house it occupies, or aspects to benefic planets and other fortuitous signs.

A wide range of authors throughout astrological history have wrestled with the question of determining such a chart lord(s). These different authors will be seen to reflect changing opinions and misunderstandings which crept in over time, due to divergent transmission, language and culture. Nonetheless, certain principles remain constant, and can help to forge consistent guidelines.

The nature and purpose of this quest will be discussed, through reviewing a spectrum of philosophical and astrological information on locating the most suitable symbolism. The authors will be drawn from the Hellenistic period, through Medieval and Renaissance times, to Early Modern practitioners. Techniques will be applied and discussed in range of interesting example charts.

The Guiding Spirit in astrology is a stimulating seam of technical and meaningful enquiry. It illustrates the complexity of astrology, and offers the honing of craft and practice. Attention is drawn to the metaphysical dimensions associated with the Art, and to the bigger questions of fate and destiny. This subject serves to remind that astrology can never escape its connection to some form of universal mystery function.

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me…
…This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything…
Plato – Apology of Socrates

This intensive (AP13) was first presented on the Gold Coast(GCAS) in July 2010 and in revised form April 2013.

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