You are on page 1of 3

As any serious astrologer is well aware, there can be no perfect electional chart, one can only

strive to catch the best moment possible to achieve a certain goal (or more of them). Casting
an electional horocope for a city must be a daunting task and in this text I'll try to reconstruct the
astrological reasoning behind the electional chart of Constantinople.The background story can be
read here http://science-astrology.blogspot.com/2014/09/constantinoples-inaugurationhoroscope.html
By putting the chart luminary,the Sun in the beneficent 11th house (the good spirit) and its
natural house according to the Chaldean order of the planets, the astrologer wanted to ensure that
abundant life force was provided and the sign of Taurus would also give all the strength and
stability inherent in its fixed modality after all, the did endure for 1123 years! The sign of
Taurus is ruled by a benefic Venus, while the Sun's bounds are under the jurisdiction of another,
greater benefic, Jupiter. As the Sun is the natural significator of rulers, fame influence and power
as well, one can see how he strives (and suceeds!) in killing both birds with one stone.
The lesser light, i.e. the Moon as the lady of the ascendant is in the fixed sign of Leo in the 2nd
house, in mutual reception with the Sun so here we have another confirmation that astrologer's
aim was to ensure durability of the city, trying at the same time to strengthen the ties between the
common people, whose natural ruler is the Moon, and the kings, signified by the Sun. This is
further reinforced by the fact that Leo and Taurus are signs of equal daylight (also known as
antiscia signs) which underline and accentuate mutual sympathy between the planets posited in
them they consent in good effects and agree in power (Abu Ma'shar, Introduction to
Astrology). However, as it should be expected from a knowledgeable astrologer working for a
powerful king, one of his primary tasks was to ensure that the king remains unquestioned in his
authority - that's why the Sun is overcoming the Moon, i.e. it is in the 10th sign from it,
signifying dominance, highest authority and power. But there's still more to it, as the 9th and the
10th from the Moon's sign were described as mighty images (Serapio of Alexandria, but also
reminiscent of Firmicus Maternus's enencontameris, the 90th degree on the right of the Moon,
i.e. in its superior square) so is it a mere coincidence that Aries, the sign on the cusp of the 10th
(king/autohority) and Taurus, the place of the Sun, are these two images? I don't think so!
The Moon as the ascendant lord is less than a degree away from the royal Regulus, a first
magnitude fixed star of Mars/Jupiter nature, which aptly describes a future magnificent center of
an empire, the largest, most splendid city in the Medieval Europe. But there's more to it, of
course. In a diurnal chart, the best place for the Moon to be is under the earth, preferably in its
waxing phase, both of which are given in this chart. This ensures continuous growth and
development of the city, strengthened by the fact that the bound lords and benefic sect-mates of
both lights, Jupiter and Venus respectively, are conjunct in the ascending, fertile sign of Cancer
which Jupiter rules by exaltation and Venus by triplicity. But most important of all, the two
benefics in the 1st whole-sign house are in the 10th sign from the Lot of fortune in the angle of
the 4th in Libra with Venus as its lady, which is the most fortunate constellation that can occur in
any chart blessings of wealth, prominence and influence abound. The wise astrologer also

ensured that both benefics scrutinize the lot, i.e. aspect is within a three-degrees orb, which was
deemed the most powerful connection possible (even W. Lilly in the 17th century still terms it
'platick', mimicking Vettius Valens who states that it is equivalent to the same degree position of
the planets!) The Moon, as the natural ruler of POF (which was also known as the Moon's
ascendant) casts such an aspect to the lot as well, from the superior sextile which is the lot's 11th,
indicative of gain and acquisition the waxing Moon as the lord of the ascendant (populace) on
the royal fixed star in the 2nd house and in a mutual reception with the greater luminary which
rules the 2nd ensure a steady and ample influx of wealth. To give the reader some sense of the
enormous wealth sacked from Constantinople in 1204. during the 4th Crusade
Valens also had to think about the enemies of the state, of course, and his main task was to
weaken them as much as possible. He solves the issue by putting Saturn, lord of the 7th, in its
detriment in Leo and in the turned 8th house which, among other things, signifies death.
Moreover, he also ensures that the Sun as the lord of the 8th applies to him from the superior
square, bringing death and destruction to the adversaries. Saturn is in an unmitigated aversion to
its domicile Capricorn, and thus unable to successfully manage the affairs of the house it rules so
the enemies' ship lacks a reliable helmsmann. The greater malefic is also weakened by being
occidental of the Sun, in a feminine quadrant and under the earth in a diurnal chart.
As Capricorn is one of the signs which have an exalted ruler, Valens had to think about him too,
so he put Mars in the 12th in Gemini in the house opposite its joy or as Ibn Ezra would later call
it, the house of its sadness. Even though the aversion between Gemini and Capricorn is
mitigated because they are of the same ascension, Mars is still thoroughly incapacitated to act
because the 12th house is cadent and evil while his lord Mercury is also there there's no 'way
out' for him. Additionally, Mars is occidental of the Sun, in a masculine sign and quadrant,
contrary to sect and above the earth in a day chart, all of which are factos that make his condition
very unfavorable.
If one looks at the chart from the perspective of POF serving as an alternative ascendant one gets
a similar picture regarding enemies. Mars is lord of the 7th and it is in the cadent 9th, while
Venus culminates in the 10th, co-present with the sect-benefic, Jupiter which receives her.
What is most intriguing about this chart for me, however, is its ascendant in Cancer, the sign
which it occupies in Thema mundi as well. I cannot stop wondering if Valens was thinking in
terms of creating a city which would lie at the heart of a world-dominating empire? After
all,Constantinople did endure for 1123 years under its original name, which is fascinatingly close
to the greatest years of Venus (1150) and she is lady of the Sun, the chart luminary/hyleg and
hence the giver of years of life. Ironically, some 300 years later a new religion, signified by
Venus, entered the world stage in today's Saudi Arabia and the army which ultimately conquered
Constantinople carried its banners.

However, there's another version of electional chart for Constantinople and it can be found in
Luca Gaurico or Lucas Gauricus (Italy,14761558) Tractatus astrologicus. The main diference
between the two lies in the position of the ascendant and hence, of the all-important POF. In
Gauricos chart, the ascendant is in the 6th degree of Cancer tightly conjunct Jupiter and Venus
making the two considerably more prominent and powerful than is the case with the first chart
which has the ascendant in the 19th degree of Cancer. Gauricos version puts the POF in the 3rd
whole-sign (but the 4th mundane house) in the 24th degree of Virgo, which locates Venus and
Jupiter in the 11th from it, the house of acquisition and gain. But why would Valens decide to put
the benefics in the 11th from POF rather than in the 10th, which is a lot more auspicious since the
benefic angle of the 10th is always preferable to the succeedent 11th? Moreover, if POF lands in
Virgo, the contrary to sect malefic and its ruler in the 12th culminate from it, which is disastrous,
as Mars rules the 7th house of enemies by exaltation and Mercury is the lord of the 12th, known as
bad daimon. If the POF is in Libra, these two fall cadent from both ascendants!