I was answering a question about Firdar, and because of the problems in space, I thought that it would better to transform my answer into an proper post.
The Firdar is a method of “time lords”. What it does is to cut your life into little “slices” of time, each of these slices are ruled by a different planet, and so this planet, in his rulership, will colour this period of time with his own matters, problems and idiosyncrasies.
There are two different sets of Firdar – the natal one and the mundane (for countries, religions, etc). They are not even remotely similar, so one shouldn´t try to mix things up.
I have seem some strange remarks about Firdar being an “misinterpretation” from Hellenistic concepts. With all do respect to the greeks, some things, like whole signs houses, are now fashionable, and people are using as the next big thing, without concern of the proper context. Firdar appear in the writings of the arabic era, and were probably created in the persian astrology. The greeks had their own methods to establish time-lords, like aphesis from fortuna.
How to calculate the firdaria
There is a good explanation in the Firdaria Calculator. What is important to notice is that there are two sub-sets of firdaria: one for day charts and another for night charts. Just that. There is not a great deal of differentiation here. I was born during the day, and so my firdaria sequence will be the same as everybody who was also born during the day.
The planets share the rulership of the time according to the Chaldean order. For days charts we start with the sun, then venus, mercury, etc. After all the planets have had their rulership, then we have the north node, and the south node, and if the person is still alive (75 years old), the cycle starts again. Night charts start with the moon, then Saturn, jupiter, etc. There is also a sub-ruler to the period. During a period of rulership, let´s say of Jupiter, all the seven planets will be sub-rulers, starting with the ruler, in this case Jupiter, then the planets again in the chaldean order: Jupiter-jupiter, jupiter-mars, jupiter-sun, etc.
Warning: there is a problem with the nocturnal firdaria. In the day firdaria there is no problems, all authors says the same. Abu Mashar and the arabic astrologers said that the nodes comes after all the planets, ending the firdaria. Bonatti says that the nodes should be put after mars, in the nocturnal firdaria. I favor the firdaria from Abu Mashar, because I consider that what happened was probably a problem of translation. If you want to use my recommendation, it is listed in Janus as “Al Biruni”. Firdaria calculator uses the Bonatti firdaria, so I don´t recommend its use for night charts.
You can see in this article of Robert Hand that the majority of authors give preference to the nodes in the ending of the sequence.
How to use Firdaria
First familiarize yourself with the firdaria, to avoid committing simple errors. One example would be saying “my boyfriend is in the firdaria of mars, that´s why he got fired”. Everybody with the same age of your boyfriend (and born in the same day/night period) is also in the firdaria of mars and they are not all getting fired.
That is the main point against using the general signification of the planets, e.g., the firdaria of venus for marriage, etc. Don´t use it this way ! Remember that prediction always has to be done after careful delineation of the chart ! What is (are) the ruler of marriage ? What is the state of relationships ? How many times will the native marry? Only after that you can even begin to think in using the firdar to see if a marriage is promised.
Careful examination of the planet which rule the firdar, in the natal chart, should be done. The astrologer should see both the essencial and accidental states of the planet in the chart. Is he dignified or exiled ? Is he on a malefic house ? Is he suffering afflictions from malefics ? Also don´t forget to see sect, quadrants, if he is oriental or occidental to the sun, combustion, etc. The houses and arabic parts ruled by this planet will come into focus in this period.
Real life and firdaria
Let´s say for example that your client have an Aries ascendant. Now you have an descendant in libra, with her ruler venus. Now we see that the native will begin his venus firdar. Venus rules marriage both by essencial and accidental signification (she rules the 7th house). Wow, the native will marry !
Hmmm, not exactly. See that the venus period, for a day birth, is from his 10 to 18 birthday! In the occidental world, people from middle classes will not marry untill they are approaching their 30s. So, this probably will not bring a marriage ! Maybe it will bring lots of boyfriends/girlfriends ? Again, remember that everybody who was born with an ascendant in aries will not have the same life ! You have to see the promises in the nativity. In the particular case of social life, I think that temperament is a much better indicator of luck to attract sex than the state of the 7th house.
The same way goes in reverse. Let´s imagine a culture where every girl marries when they turn 13 years old. Well, it doesn´t matter their natal chart, they will marry at 13, with or without a natal promise (unless of course that there is other factors that will leave our native to be an old maiden). For a more practical example, you shouldn´t look in your natal chart for indications of “going to university” – because most people of average class will just go on with their schedule program of studies, according to their class and social status.
So, in some countries you go to school at 17, and in another at 19, but this is, again, more of a cultural and social effect. In the case of marriage, our society prohibits a marriage at 11, but demands an education at 19. None of this is determined by the natal chart, only by our own culture.
So, if the ruler of your 10th house is given time rulership, and you 7, it can make you a famous children, but most probably will not result in nothing, because you are too young to use the opportunity. So, the firdaria will probably focus on things with your mother.
Let´s say that your ruler of the times is awful condition, like in the chart of a fellow astrologer – mercury in pisces and in the 12th house, close to antiscia to mars (in libra!), and disposed by a Jupiter in the 8th house ! Oh, this person will have an awful mercury period !
Well, that I know it, no he didn´t. He had the usual things in life, problems, good things, college, relationships, break-ups, etc. If you see, the ruler have a extended period of time in its hands. You can´t expect that the life of our friend would be awful for the entire period of 13 years !!!!
Sub-rulers are more useful to predict based in either their natural or accidental significations. So, the firdar of the moon can bring the beginning or the ending of a phase of your life (moon is the general significator of beginnings and endings). Or it can bring a marriage for a man (it is the natural significator of “wife” in a man´s chart) or pregnancy for a woman.
Significations are much stronger if the planet has accidental signification too, or if ruler and sub ruler share the same signification. If your client is a married woman who wants children, and in the next year she will enter into the firdar of the Jupiter, sub-firdar of moon, and she has cancer on the 5th house, it is a good bet that in the next year a pregnancy may come. Both moon and jupiter are planets naturally fertile, and with powers over the 5th.
Ruler and sub-rulers
How to combine both ? Well, there are several possibilities, but I will give my suggestions to beginners:
Steven Birchfield suggests that you can think of the ruler as a “president” which creates the agenda, and the sub-ruler as an administrator, which will put that in practical use. Let´s see Clinton´s, Bush´s and Obama´s administration. Very different presidents, but if the same person is administrating an office, like FEMA, well, we expect that he will interpret the president´s directions in his own way. The same with planets.
If the firdar is ruled by a strong Jupiter in the 9th, one of the themes that arise may be religion. But if the sub-ruler is mars, he will probably bring conflicts and break up from religion and values. Mars administrates the matter that he receives from Jupiter in his own way.
Always see if the two planets share some signification, e.g, if Jupiter rules the 12th, and mars rules the 6th, they both have some saying about diseases, enemies and troubles. If they are in bad state,they will bring unfortune.
In the case of my fellow astrologer, with mercury in the 12th, his life went by ok, untill he entered the sub-firdar of mars, in detriment in libra, in the 6th house, retrograde, and in antiscia with mercury. Two months after that, he broke a leg, and is still recovering from a series of operations and infections.
Notice also if the planets have special configurations in the chart, specially aspects. Two planets that are in opposition are less likely to run things smoothly when they are sharing a firdar.
Most of things that I learned from Firdar are from discussions with Steven Birchfield… rest assure that the good points of this article are from his, and any mistake is mine
The firdar is an important technique, but I think it should be used with care. Don´t forget that none of the ancient´s techniques were meant to be used as “stand alone”… they were meant to be used in combination: firdaria, profections, primary directions and solar revolutions.