The Truth about the Triplicities by Valerio Simei

Ed. N.: Valerio Simei is born in Rome in october 1966. Translator from latin, he is preparing a book upon the history of Astrology in the ancient Rome.

The triplicities, like the terms, are essential dignities that have two principal systems accepted by astrologers. There is Ptolemy, and then Greeks like Dorotheus Sidonius and the Arabs. The difference between them is in the rulership of the four triplicities. The common doctrine is based on the four elements of signs and their rulerships on the constant orientation of winds when the Moon transits in every sign of the triplicities. The astronomer Geminus was the first to explain this theory reported to the Chaldean's wisdom (Isagoge I,9). So, this theory, it would seem, was born because of ancient observation of meteorological phenomena. All of the ancient astrologers agree with the opinion that the movements of planets in opposition to the diurnal motion upsets the elements, especially air. The first triplicity, the fire trigon, is considered to be the northern triplicity because when the Moon transits these three signs it raises the wind of the north, Borea. In the Southern triplicity, we find the earth trigon that moves the wind of the south, Notus. The Western triplicity is the air trigon, with the West wind, Zephir. The Eastern triplicity is the water trigon that brings the East wind Apeliote. This theory also respects the traditional relations of planets with the four cardinal points. Jupiter is to the north, Venus to the south, Saturn with the east and Mars with the west. Mercury is excluded because his nature is convertible. Another condition for the rulership of the triplicity is based on the conformity of the temperament of the planets of each trigon: 1. The hairesis of the planets, showing a dominion, a sphere of action divided into two sectors, day and night, also called hayz, eis to phos auton by the ancient Greeks. Conditio, in lumine suo, in sua similitudine, and again factio, secta, by the medieval astrologers, with similarity to the factions of coachmen in the circus of ancient Rome. It's a good proportion of the planet's temperament. 2. The sex of the planets. 3. The rulership of a fixed sign has priority over the other signs of each triplicity. In fact, Placidus affirms that "triplicitatem venatur a similitudine sexus, et conditionis, hairesis, et a dignitate domus, maxime in segnis fixis." Cecco D'Ascoli, in his own study of the triplicities, said "that every group of three signs that concords in their temperaments and complexions, gives the triplicity the name of its own element". Almeon in the book De Unitate Secreti ad licteram where he affirms, "Triplicities are four and keep the four simple humours and so the triplicities cause virtues to hide their nature, latitant per naturam". So we understand that these four triplicities are causes of the four elements, as Aries, Leo and Sagittarius bring fire. Aries rises in fire impressing it with hot and dry moderation, because it's the beginning of natural movement of spring life. Leo upsets the fire impressing it with hot and dry bringing up these elements to the temperaments, because it's the sign that causes a natural motion of impediment to all that is coming to the world. Sagittarius shakes the fire, stamping on it, hot and dry to all temperaments, because it's the sign that begins the natural motion that causes obstacles to the growth of seeds and grass. And so it's the same of all the other triplicities in their expressions. Triplicities preserve the elements by three movements, or rather by beginning, medium and end, and all the humours in our bodies. When Almenon says, "the triplicities cause virtues to hide their nature, latitant per naturam" we understand that these hidden shapes are a specific form in events for their nature is limited.

This tradition is followed also by Manethon. And this is what Damascenus wanted to say. is it because of personal experience? Why doesn't he also exclude the Moon in detriment in Capricorn. the Moon in the night. Scorpio. Mars. Hermes Trismegistus doesn't consider any third ruler and Dorotheus changes the third ruler Mars with Saturn in the Earth triplicity. Mars. because Mars has his exaltation in Capricorn. the astral aspects that are against the universal action of the stars establish limitations and transform the elements proportions in mixed creations. what are the reasons for the unusual triplicities employed in Christian astrology. the same for the astrological aspects that modulate the proportion of elements. Mars for night. While Dorotheus and other Greek astrologers considered Venus for day. For the water triplicity Ptolemy caused a small revolt. Saturn by day and Mercury by night. that Lilly attributes in his table to Ptolemy? Lilly seems to have lost the second and third rulers of the water trigon. In the nocturne and feminine sector the nocturne and feminine planets rule. In fact the Italian astrologer uses the Greek system of trigons. In the same way the magic images for love or honours operate. Only Paulus Alexandrinus considers this trigon to be West orientation. 18). but with the participation of Venus and the Moon. only for an orientation of the trigon for lands and winds in Northwest direction. bringing these strong astrological qualities at the moment of printing. Rhetorius. which is ruled by Mars day and night. which rules the earth trigon by night? This time Lilly does not follow Bonatti's tables of triplicities. with Saturn. Ptolemy doesn't consider the third ruler of the triplicities as an essential dignity with the exception of the water trigon. The same is said of the third ruler for the "others". both day and night. Ptolemy considers Jupiter to be third participant ruler of the air triplicity because it's a masculine planet and diurnal like the first two lords of this triplicity. which is related to it through its house. sharing Moon and Venus as second and third ruler. Mars. With the same "Greek" system. with the priority given to the ruler of the fixed sign. He takes away the Moon and Venus maybe because these planets are in fall and exiled in Scorpio? Or. so it's less malefic in the moistness of the nightime. and the Moon participating in the night. the same Greeks and Arabs astrologers . but because of its own celestial virtues. Therefore. limited by the aspects of celestial bodies that gives the forms. the result will be clear and sensitive. that medicine doesn't act because it's hot or cold. By the way. He uses the third ruler of trigons only for the doctrine of winds and the divisions of lands." (Tetrabiblos I. He said. These subtle distinctions were important for the astrological division of countries. Ptolemy put Mars as lord of the trigon. the trigon of "Borrolibyan" wind. "the fourth triplicity is left to the last planet. Mars is masculine but traditionally a nocturne planet. with the exception of Mars. if the difference between Ptolemy and the others is because of the use of the third ruler of the triplicity and the water trigon. Anyhow. We can see that Ptolemy considers Mars as first ruler of this triplicity. Ptolemy hints at his third ruler of this triplicicity of fire. and Venus the day are co-rulers. but only sharing a role in the orientation of winds. these triplicities through the power of planets causes every hidden and fugitive nature…"(Commentary to the Alcabizzo) As we can see in this table. while Ptolemy Northeast. Ptolemy prefers Saturn as third ruler. 18). the diurnal and masculine planets rule the diurnal and masculine sectors. maybe to have only diurnal planets in the sect of the Sun. and Paulus Alexandrinus. but for this last one he don't use a regular system. We have seen that Ptolemy is very clear and I don't think that Lilly can have forgotten these important details.Anyway. Dorotheus instead substitutes the third ruler of the fire triplicity. lord of the feminine and fixed sign Scorpio. because his nature is extremely dry and hot. on account of the sect and because the signs are feminine. If we made a love image in the Venus hour. with Venus in Pisces or in Taurus. So these hidden forms in their own nature or in a specific figure. (Tetrabiblos I. In the same way. are a due proportion of mixed elements.

a man of good descent" but not so strong as the planet in their domal or exaltation dignities. CSPA Colli Aniene. Decem continens tractatus astronomiae. L'arte dell'Astrologia. with no blood relations with him. Bastogi. Ibn Ezra considers this planet like a man in the house of good neighbours. Antologia del pensiero astrologico antico. 1491 Bouché-Leclercq A. between their assistants and ministers". Milano. 1663 Boffito G. in Opera Omnia. 1988 Lilly W. 1905 Ermete Trismegisto. but I take note of every aspect or position that can amplify or reduce these meanings. in their writings hardly ever use the third lords of triplicities." Al Qabisi said that the planet in the triplicity "is like the man in his praise. Torino. Tolemeo. 1899 Cardanus I. Milano. Lezioni di Astrologia. For Hamad it is like a man between his friends and supporters. Commento al primo libro della Tetrabiblos di C. 1989 .. 1903 Boffito G.1990 Simei V. Firenze. administrators. Bibliography Al Bîrûnî. Cecco D'Ascoli considers the rulers of triplicities "when they are in a reciprocal good estate. the more they arrange the men to happiness... Meb Editori. Il De principiis astrologiae di Cecco D'Ascoli nuovamente scoperto e illustrato. I libri sublimi dell'iniziazione. not in his own house and not in the same estate of a special guest but yet in a comfortable position. In my horary experience a planet in his triplicity denotes a respectable person who has a sufficiency of everything. Lilly affirms that a planet in his own triplicity "shows a man that is modestly endowed with the properties and fortunes of this world. Nuovi Orizzonti. L'Astrologie grecque... Milano 1992 Bezza G. Bonatti G. 1990.. In horary astrology. Leo Olschki.. Mimesis. Augusta. Rizzoli. Cardano considers planets in their triplicities to be like men taking care of their mediocre properties and that the triplicities have major virtues in the divisions of the lands. Paris. De iudiciis Geniturarum. Mondadori. a quiet and comfortable existence. Arcana Mundi. Le previsioni astrologiche (Tetrabiblos).. 1997 Bezza G.. and followers. Personally I think that Ptolemy's system is the most rational.like Al Biruni. 1999 Tolomeo C. 2 vol. Loescher. 1995. Il commento di Cecco D'Ascoli all'Alcabizzo. Grammatica Astrologica. Bonatti reports that this dignity means a man between his helpers.. Lyon.