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"The issue of the right state of mind is one that touches on the issue of counseling, because it demands that

advice be given on how to deal with life." Modern astrology is often vague and confusing when considering how the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the nativity reflect upon emotional states such as personal happiness and the potential for contentment and satisfaction. In this article Benjamin Dykes PhD describes some of the ways by which medieval astrology addresses these issues, and shows how they are actually fundamental to any attempt to gain psychological insight from the birth chart. In demonstrating a technique currently taught by Robert Zoller, and in grounding the medieval approach through ancient philosophy, Ben reveals that, far from being outmoded and inappropriate, the sophistication, clarity, and applicability of the medieval methods and philosophy stand the test of time, and offer real advantages to modern astrologers working in any kind of advisory capacity to their clients. Happiness in the Ancient World Nowadays we speak of "happiness" in two central ways: as an emotion (being in a "happy" mood), and as a broad statement of how well or poorly someone is faring (she is "happy being a lawyer"). Ancient thought emphasized the latter. The ancient consensus was that happiness was objective, based on the different natural needs beings have: it was a matter of realizing potentials and achieving a kind of excellence, and demanded the right state of mind. Ancient people believed that happiness is objectively definable and judgeable, since different types of beings have different needs. If one's needs and potentials are fulfilled, then one will live well, flourish, and be "happy"; if not, not. This further means that a certain type of life is natural for a given type of being: drawing nourishment from the soil and receiving sunlight is the natural way of life for a plant. If a plant does this, and does it consistently well, then the plant is fulfilling its role as a plant and is "happy." If the plant is somehow impeded in these functions, then the plant's life is unnatural and it is "unhappy." The same goes for humans: as humans, we have certain needs which, if fulfilled, will allow us to live a life natural to us, and we will be happy. Unhappy people are prevented in some way from realizing their proper roles, functions, and skills in life. Philosophers disagreed on exactly what sorts of potentials needed to be realized. Some (especially Aristotelians) thought that conventional goods like money, status, and so on were key (but not the only) ingredients in a life of happiness: homeless and anonymous people are unlikely to be happy, whereas successful and wealthy people are more likely to be. Others like the Stoics said that one could be happy whether "on the throne or in chains" - we have to make choices about things like money and status, but poverty and riches themselves have no effect on the happiness of the wise person. This notion of happiness does not exclude personal, subjective feelings. The ancients emphasized that being happy (in this objective sense) is very pleasurable - flourishing feels great! But happiness is not identical to personal feelings. For example, suppose you are a lawyer for indigent clients: it is your calling, you are good at it. But some days

So having a feeling of pleasure is not the same as being happy. . Broadly speaking then. you can still affirm that you are living well . because it demands that advice be given on how to deal with life.think of someone being devastated by a trivial event. It is not enough simply to do the right thing or have the right conventional goods: to be happy we must also have the right attitude towards will probably be angry at the injustices of the world and will go home in a bad mood. One's own knowledge about the world. The issue of the right state of mind is one that touches on the issue of counseling. a client needs to know who and what he is . even though you are angry over some particular issue. and rational faculties? Does the native have conventional goods like money and health? What values does the client have. weak malefics. knowledge about ourselves and how we fit into the big picture. even though you have a negative emotion at the moment. This is pretty much the basis of the idea that in order to live better via an astrologer's advice. the Stoics and others. In the introductory philosophy courses I teach in college. I use techniques and advice from Aristotle. Someone who feels much distress at not having a second dessert cannot be as happy as someone who feels little or none. emotions. unafflicted and are doing what you are meant to do. Still. and life. the right values and state of mind. and of what sort? What sort of balance is there between the client's emotions and appetites. he or she can accept both good and bad? Now just as the ancients also emphasized that we have plenty of roles and positions in life. An ancient therapist would have asked: What is the client's social status? Does he or she have friends. which were ongoing). For one thing. these are the issues that were covered in ancient psychology (excluding discussions of perception and language. and a minimum of hardship and obstacles. medieval astrology shows there are several levels to a happiness analysis of the natal figure. and how to deal with them. along with certain conventional goods and behaviors.information gotten through the natal figure. the needs of happiness dovetail with having the right values and state of mind. are where the real work of happiness takes place. it is exciting and you can't imagine doing anything else. we can flourish as human beings in the most general way possible: with a maximum of ease and opportunity. values. so that when predictions come to pass. You are objectively happy. people. Here I will list the major traditional ones before moving to a more recent one. It seems to me that having strong benefics and luminaries. For the Stoics. and how do his or her beliefs trigger emotional reactions and affect his or her ability to cope with life? Conventional Happiness and the Natal Figure So happiness for the ancients required certain types of knowledge about the world. In this way. negative emotions like anger were pathological signs that your values were mixed up and corrupted . and feel subjective pleasure about it. and help students learn how to improve their lives even if they do not always improve their external circumstances. Prediction adds the need for another component: how can the client understand him/herself.

which is found in Ptolemy ("Of the Fortune of Dignity. the native is cheerful. indicate struggle. and whichever wins will show by its nature and aspects what the special skill is. Usually in the ancient tradition (excluding the Stoics) this meant having strong rational faculties (manifesting as honesty. This was also the area in which signs of personal or family slavery were examined.4. Lilly emphasizes Mercury more than the Moon. In ancient and medieval astrology. or a philanthropist's from a small business owner's. as it measures the native's social class and influence in society. a planet that can list what the native does for a living. benefics. the 10th house. or one may overpower the other. is a general indicator of this idea. irrational). and sound judgment) that were in harmony with the emotions. If benefics and the luminaries aren't strong and in/ruling key houses (like the angles). IV. or Lilly's professional delineation in his book on nativities in Christian Astrology. calm. Abu 'Ali uses Mercury. the more mentally and emotionally unstable the native is.that he actually sings and dances for a living. This is reflected in the delineation of the Professional Significator. hardship. See for instance. although in the authorities listed above the two were considered in tandem. uses primarily the Sun as a general significator of fame. She works for a computer company as her day job. this delineation tends to be taken from Mercury (rational) and the Moon (emotions. the rank and responsibilities of private citizens differ from those of elected officials. which she pursues as part of a troupe. and the general outlook for life's obstacles through the condition and relation of the luminaries. cleverness. For instance. For instance. not the richness and quality of character. but rather the malefics are. These same Roman Stoics added that we have roles as people with our own special talents and skills. in bad aspect or no aspect. This delineation tends to look for Mercury. But note that this delineation is not really a personality indicator: it is supposed to show the native's mental balance and harmony. It seems to me that the traditional delineation of fame or dignity attempts to show this. along with some of the types of actions he or she will be known for. Venus is the professional significator. IV. The more they are afflicted. Ptolemy's "The Quality of Action. and honest. If they are in good condition and in good aspect. authorities differed slightly in their procedures.and so on. one native I know has Venus as her professional significator. Extremely weak benefics and luminaries. and obscurity. This delineation.3) onwards." Tet. Here. The Roman Stoics said that we also live as people with a certain social rank and set of responsibilities (our "offices"). In Michael Jackson's natal figure. Ptolemy uses Mercury and the Moon. Schoener Mercury and the Moon and their dispositors. and malefics." Tet. combined with powerful malefics. That role was generally reserved for a special planetary significator (see below). but for years she has had a consuming passion for Middle Eastern and Indian dance. then central areas of life are fraught with struggle and difficulty. smart. Reason and the emotions can be in a struggle. but can also show what the native is really good at. and Mars strong in one of the angles. . Another role we have is as rational beings. but the signs of fame and entertainment in his chart make it more likely -as is the case . Venus.

This explains why Venus is taken as the significator of Profession. but in our earthly ignorance and darkness we are often unaware of these attitudes' source. which he represented as a planet-derived procession of divinities across the heavens. immaterial soul distinct from a material world was a minority view. the author has given a detailed medieval-style delineation of Michael Jackson's nativity in the forum. a powerful planet in the natal figure whose spirit or angel acts as the native's special link to the Divine. ] Plato suggested in his dialogue Phaedrus that. beliefs and character. Significantly. this is a function that many modern astrologers now attribute to the sun sign. Most philosophers and doctors were largely materialist. Spiritual enlightenment can demand that we open our eyes to this particular planet and use it to access the Divine. The Almutem Figuris is a spiritual astrological delineation. and believed a person's chemical/bodily composition predisposed him or her both to certain diseases. The forum post remains active and discussion regarding the medieval approach to MJ's chart may be continued there. According to his myth. the Almutem Figuris was taken to affect the native's thoughts. Ancient medicine added a further idea. this association with a particular god manifests in life in terms of certain needs and attitudes. Plato's notion of an immortal. similar to but not the same as Lilly's the "Lord of the Geniture. For centuries after his death. This idea is reflected in the calculation and delineation of the Almutem Figuris. prior to earthly incarnation each individual's soul was in the service or following of one of the gods. ." But like Lilly (and Plato). which is available as the 3rd post down on this link.[ As part of a demonstration of technique.

Lilly has a ranking system for finding a planet that will signify "manners. authorities differ as to how to find this significator: Ptolemy and Schoener use the rulers of Mercury and the Moon (along with other considerations). deeds. Just as in real life.and by extension. By adding up whether these qualities are hot. and qualities of excitement and outlook. certain personality dispositions and skills. the native's body and personality were colored by Saturn's characteristics. that (b) follows a disciplined procedure and little guesswork. successfully attends to his or her special skills. we would be looking at someone who has few obstacles. If we were to paint a picture of the ideal happy person in antiquity. whether he or she is faring well or poorly. and has good health. and all of them factor into whether the native is objectively happy. Like with the Mercury-Moon differences above. with a high and dynamic energy level (choleric temperament). fulfills his or her proper social functions and responsibilities. This is pretty much the dominant view in medicine today: if you are healthy. wet. giving both the spiritual function of the Almutem Figuris and the earthly personality to the same zodiacal sign. temperament. its ruler or almuten. your outlook. and Lilly do not. the first house is not the "persona" or a face we show to the social world . medieval astrology was not crude or lacking in subtlety when it came to happiness and psychology! Personal Happiness and the "Prime Motivation" A more recent technique dealing with happiness issues.that is more like the 10th house (reputation. and outlook that is more serious or even gloomy. which adds an energy level that is more subdued. Second. The Ascendant and the first house show the body and bodily health . these are features of the native's mind and psychology. Abu 'Ali the Lord of the Ascendant. the medieval natal figure shows how a single personality can embrace many different needs and characteristics: you could be an obscure and low-income person (low dignity/status). For the medieval astrologer. but with an imbalance of reason and emotions (afflicted Mercury-Moon).personality traits. the native is melancholic. or dry. planets in and aspecting the Ascendant. but based on medieval . the astrologer figures out where the temperament of the native is weighted: if cold and dry. modern astrology has exchanged this planetary significator for the sun sign. cold. Delineating the native's temperament uses the primitive qualities of the rising sign. Schoener. and (c) prepares the astrologer to offer advice in areas that are impeded and might be obstacles to happiness. clever mind that seeks explanations (Mercury as planetary significator). a vague sense of guilt and shame about life (Saturn as Almutem Figuris) and a witty. In medieval astrology we see this in two areas. skilled in laboratory sciences (Mars as profession). First. has a balanced and clever mind with a benevolent emotional life. Clearly. showing what you are by how you act). By matching astrological techniques to these levels we get a (a) complex and sophisticated delineation of the character and life of the native. and personality all improve. Again. Aside from social standing. astrologers looked for a special planetary significator that conferred certain physical and character traits: if Saturn. whereas Ptolemy." But note that Abu 'Ali allows either luminary to be the significator. energy. Add to this the cultivation of a special link to the Divine through a particular cult.

doing surprising and bold things. friends. he is happy. Planets in the 1st house and aspecting the Ascendant add further information. et cetera)." and because it uses the rising sign and Ascendant (as to many above) it cuts across some of the traditional areas of delineation. action (10th). and so on . not achieving or acting. he will be anxious and unhappy. and be unhappy. being hemmed in. According to the conventional understanding of happiness. So a native's prime motivation is some prime and ultimate need or interest that moves him or her in life on earth. which is where the domicile ruler (or the strongest ruler) of the Ascendant comes in. and so on to be happy. is called "prime motivation. What this means is that the native's happiness will be realized if he can feel secure and safe. Abu 'Ali says that Mars in the 9th indicates a lover of horses. In other words. wars and wine. a balanced mind. It is a good way to make some accurate statements about the native's pursuit of what I call "personal happiness. So what is the motivation? Scorpio is a watery. Moreover. restricted. and the strength and location of the rulers testifies as to whether and how the native can achieve this prime motivation. the domicile ruler is the primary ruler responsible for realizing the affairs of a house. and through Martial action at that: taking others on. who passes it on in his medieval astrology courses. isolated. everyone needs money. The house location of its domicile ruler (and/or the strongest ruler) is the area of life in which the native seeks to realize it.principles.e. he is motivated to seek interaction with others. The phrase "prime motivation" undoubtedly comes from the Aristotelian notion of a celestial "prime mover. For example. Please note: even though at some level everyone needs to feel "safe". The nature and condition of the planets and aspects. he will feel rootless. the prime motivation is shown by the rising sign. he might seek his sense of security by joining the army or otherwise pursuing worldly travel and glory. achievement. and not everyone's unhappiness manifests as a feeling of insecurity." It was taught by Zoltan Mason and is now taught by his student Robert Zoller. What primarily moves the native in life is a Scorpionic need. the native will be personally happy.if things don't feel safe and secured. and the affairs of a house will tend to gravitate towards the house that ruler is in. Put briefly. Unhappiness is caused by. This would mean that the native seeks to realize his need for emotional security and so on (Ascendant) through reputation. so if Mars were in the 9th. protected. God) who has first and ultimate responsibility for all change and movement in the universe. attending to his reputation and achievements. When he is unknown. not everyone has it as an overriding need. anxious. If the need is fulfilled. he needs to be free and active and all of the other basic things Gemini indicates. So the nature and location of the ruler says what will realize .. when the native is active. he is emotionally secure. If the native has Gemini rising." (i. In medieval astrology. But individuals also have needs and interests that are more or less particular to them: these features help shape our individual personalities and say who and what we are. then he feels like the world is right. Add in all the other connotations of Scorpio: the native needs emotional security by a kind of acquisition of knowledge and energy (fixed sign. and manifests as. people can achieve their prime motivation through different means. insecure. let a native have Scorpio rising. Let the same native with Scorpio rising have its domicile ruler (Mars) in the 10th house. feminine sign: the native needs (feminine) emotional (watery) security (feminine).

If he were in a great condition. This includes spiritual matters. if he gets married. If he came to the medieval astrologer. but ones that would still give him a sense that the world is right despite any anger and volatility. no matter if he has money. But he will not succeed. a term ruler. then we would be looking at exciting. productive courses of action and experience (represented by multiple rulers) that could help the client thrive objectively and so be happy. but that it (a) has a multi-faceted analysis of them. of which the triplicity rulers are the more influential. But if that path is afflicted. the astrologer can suggest alternatives. This array of techniques shows that happiness and psychology not only matter in medieval astrology. The native needs to feel emotionally secure in life in order to be personally happy. a balanced mind." One strength of the medieval methods is that multiple levels of rulership offer multiple avenues for realization: other rulers of the sign can show where the native should put effort. "The native makes enemies. and a decan ruler.the native's personal happiness. and the native's interest in happiness will lead him to pursue those very things. and (c) has a built-in advice-giving function in the form of multiple rulers. I imagine he'd say. He is unstable. "I'm unhappy and miserable. in Taurus. If she were in the 4th. Such emphases demand different approaches in counseling. But note that if a ruler is weak or afflicted. I'm angry at people all the time. which I have only been able to mention briefly. but generally speaking in relationships that are Martial. Now. perhaps home improvement would be something to pursue. The medieval astrologer is able to suggest alternative. but it has three triplicity rulers (using Dorotheus's system). and the other conventional forms of happiness. The astrologer can suggest the native cultivate Piscean and Venereal forms of having fun. Ancient Hellenistic philosophies especially have well-formed and . it will have trouble performing its job. Mars is strong by being in the 7th. Let this same native have Mars in the 7th. the marriage will probably be bad. Medieval astrology is sometimes accused of being indifferent to happiness and psychology. Already this delineation gives us 144 different types of prime motivation (12 signs of motivation and 12 houses of realization). The real difference between medieval/traditional and modern astrology on the issue of happiness lies in the fact that medieval astrology combines these delineation techniques with an emphasis on prediction and some form of fate. If we were to look at his 7th house to see what kinds of relationships he has. because his need for security is leading him into interpersonal relations through Mars in the 7th." What this means for the native's happiness is that he will probably keep trying to get into romantic relationships as well as adversarial situations. we would say. The native seeks his happiness through relationships. But by being in detriment and afflicted by a square from a strong Saturn. Scorpio has no exalted ruler. My relationships fail. If Venus (a triplicity ruler of Scorpio) is exalted in the 5th house in Pisces. squared by Saturn in the 10th. She can perform her job as a ruler of the Ascendant. that (b) speaks to the individuality of the client. What kind of relationships? Probably marriage. Mars will perform badly and violently. confrontational relationships. then she is relatively strong (the 5th is a succeedent house) and is well-dignified (exalted in Pisces). It is true that the native will gravitate towards the house of the domicile ruler (7th). dynamic. The prime motivation or personal happiness technique is therefore a quick and easy way to personalize and individualize happiness needs.

but in a later edition of my Using Medieval Astrology I will give them a deeper treatment. Freedom. his course materials will be available for purchase and he will take on clients for individual consultations. especially given the prediction-laden nature of traditional astrology. But the astrologer has also got to ask: "By what right can I claim that horary and electional astrology is valid? For if the native's life is in the birth chart (or "root")." and the special nature of horary. In the near future. the notion of a root is much broader. must ask these metaphysical . Ben Dykes.D. Many astrological readers will recognize the word "radix. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. then one should already be able to tell-down to a rather fine degree of detail-how things will turn out. teaching students how to improve their lives by using principles of philosophical counseling. Electing a good time for action. This is a complex topic. or asking for practicable advice from the astrologer. and touches on the question of chart validity and personal freedom. and ancient ethical Here I will only summarize the main issues and my interpretation of them. USA.interesting views on these matters. He frequently incorporates ancient therapeutic techniques into his college courses. in addition to experience with Thelema and Wicca. Ben Dykes received his Ph. After many years studying modern astrology. Astrologers must eventually confront the issue of freedom. he began studying medieval astrology under Robert Zoller and is now an advocate of medieval delineation and predictive techniques. But for Bonatti (and undoubtedly other medievals). who lives in Minnesota. For more details of Benjamin's work and consultation services visit his website at at http://www. the astrologer who seeks to go beyond mere technique and understand why astrology is justified. would seem to be useless. has over 10 years' experience in the Golden Dawn system of the Western Mystery Tradition." which is the Latin word for "root" and is used by astrologers such as Lilly and Morin to denote the natal chart.[1] The main points concern the nature of freedom. where he concentrated on contemporary European philosophy (especially Hegel). which will be explored in a subsequent article at another time.bendykes." Therefore. the broader use of "roots.

For Bonatti. It describes the nature of the native when he is separated from the womb and becomes a discrete individual. Most of us live by habits. The best root is the natal figure. which move in regular and predictable ways. and stereotypic patterns. Roots. He is a source of action because he helps us choose. The next best root is a valid horary chart that promises the success for which we would normally examine the natal figure. Theologically and ethically. But God. because it presupposes the existing desires of the client. The solar revolutions of nativities require a nativity. Another solution is needed. Hence most of us live determined lives. But in order to understand this astrologically. and people who know us well can largely predict our behavior on a daily basis. But other charts are not roots. spontaneous wayssomewhat akin to God's miracles when He acts in the world.[2] An election is not an original basis or root for anything. Likewise. some solar revolutions need a root. I believe a mundane solar revolution is a root. so that in theory we can act in undetermined. and anyway most people really do not act freely. and need to be rooted in one that is. But our self-understanding and ability to exercise our free will is so low and pathetic that we generally cannot choose realistically as we might want to. and grants moral legitimacy to. The modern solution of overestimating our freedom and turning predictive techniques largely into mere potentials. has created humans in His image. because we live in the sublunar world of the elements. would be tantamount to introducing miracles into the world of the elements. however they are modified by and stirred up by the planets. an astrological chart is a "root" if it either (a) is timed so as to describe the nature of something new. we need another root. we must find a "root" for the election which connects the client's particular needs to the general features of the election. But if we do not have the natal figure (as can happen). In this case. Moreover. With this sort of view in the background. our lives are for the most part determined and shown in the birth chart. or (b) forms the basis for other charts. which already contains the chief indicators of success or failure in life. the natal figure is a root in both senses. but perhaps not for this traveler. According to this view. So for instance. just as a sale on airline tickets to Bermuda may be a "good time" to buy tickets in general. God's aid and assent acts as a source of. and it is also the basis for other charts (like solar revolutions). who has a wholly undetermined form of freedom. is insufficient. temperament. we must adapt the features of the root (the natal figure) so that the election's features act as stimulated outgrowths of the root's promise. So if we wanted to elect for wealth. we succumb to the easy path of sin. because the nature of the world is in some sense renewed when the Sun enters the first degree of Aries. Bonatti seems to adhere to a mainstream medieval Christian view of freedom. To do something radically different and not determined.questions about freedom. etc. He has given to us a portion or reflection of his total freedom. we need to understand what a root is. Therefore. our free actions. he acts as a kind of "root" for our action. one natural solution is to say that God sometimes helps us change our normal course and choose something different. For traditional predictive techniques work very well. an election by itself simply chooses a good time for something in the broadest sense: it may not be good for this client. but Bonatti also grants the possibility that solar revolutions can also track the . a really valid election needs a root. He grants legitimacy to them because He will help us to do good. For example.

since the nativity seems to be determined. and horary together. In this 2nd Consideration.[3] Why have I emphasized a valid horary or event charts? The issue lies in the opening pages of Tr. Bonatti is clearly capitalizing on the fact that the Vulgate uses the same verb for seeking (quaero) as the astrologers do for questions and asking. use free will. it is unclear how the horary question (which involves advice and suggests free courses of action) can be related to a presumably determined nativity. Bonatti describes three things which may move or causally motivate a client to ask a horary question. The second statement is that God is He "from Whom every good beginning leads. as we have said before." Of course this is based on Matt. and ye shall find. Now. knock. After the sincere querent has prayed that God will show him the truth. Third. and it shall be given you. and it shall be opened unto you. In the 1st Consideration. Bonatti makes three very important statements that support my thesis about his view of God's role in our actions. But. It came as a surprise to find that the long-standing English version of Tr. roots. and God fit together." The third statement is Bonatti's astrological construal of Scripture. a key sentence offers Bonatti's startling. The first is a psychological motive. Bonatti says. the seasonal rejuvenation of the world) are roots. The second is the motion of the planets. In sum. The first statement is that the querent must pray sincerely. astro-theological construal of a verse from Scripture. which in this context means that God forms the beginning of a valid horary consultation." This confirms that God is the ultimate source for that which begins. then he should go to the astrologer. along with being motivated by their motions themselves. which seems to involve both an interest in what they will cause. 5. The third is the motive of the free will. "Ask. he explicitly links his earlier mention of God (now in the form of Christ) to the asking of a valid horary question. but it occasionally leaves material out. Just as an election presupposes the client and is not itself a root. just as is standardly the case in medieval theology ("who gave so you may seek").annual progress of an event predicted or confirmed by some valid event charts. This gives both active force to the free will behind the question (he "will add [to it]"). This must mean that simply going to the horary astrologer with a question is not enougheven if the question is sincere. First. where a key sentence helps to bind freedom. who gave so you may seek. throughout the Book of Astronomy Bonatti presents a coherent view of how astrology. Second. the will. Some events which naturally involve the birth of a new being (the native. quaestio) are nothing more than "someone seeking" and "the seeking" itself. and discover truth comes directly from God. God. 7:7." There are several important features of Bonatti's retelling of the verse. seek. Bonatti implies that our ability to ask questions. and moral justification (because it is a search for truth). will add [to it] so that you may find. 5 (The 146 Considerations) by Coley was incomplete. "armed with this truth. Bonatti does not demand anything particular about the first two motives. Bonatti says more about the third motive. Of this omitted material. A horary "querent" and "question" (querens. But in the 2nd Consideration. "And thus He who spoke. apparently based on desire. and the . Horary. and help explain his views on astrology and theology. that of the free will. so the horary by itself presupposes the native. Not only is Coley's version a loose translation (and sometimes only a paraphrase). All three kinds of motives must be involved in order to have a trustworthy horary.

since by hypothesis the native's life could be thought of as determined. because the querent is already in existence. Yet. . which contradicts the possibility of real choices and meaningful advice. But horary charts occupy an ambiguous territory. who has given us a weak version of His own miraculous free will. allows us in theory to be able to form plans that are contrary to type. Unfortunately. in the absence of nativities they can act as roots for elections and some other solar revolutions. Now. They are not naturally roots. we must be aided by God so as to be able to change the normal course of things. their very possibility seems in doubt. But God. Sincere prayer and a desire for truth is a precondition for receiving God's aid when asking a question of the astrologer.charts for them are called roots. our understanding or use of our own free will is so feeble that even if we are moved or motivated to get meaningful advice. Other charts are not self-standing because they depend on other rooted events and roots for their own meaning and power: elections and the solar revolutions of nativities are examples of these.