Rulers of the phases of the moon

In jyotish astrology, there are two important systems for electional astrology, based on the moon. The Nakshatras and the thitis

The nakshatras are the equivalent of the moon mansions in western astrology. They are equal in size and regular, starting at the 0º of the jyotish zodiac (despite of what many people argue, the lunar mansions and the nakshatras were never constellational, but zodiacal. Jyotish just uses their own zodiac, that happens to be sidereal).

The thithis are the division of the lunar month in 30th lunar days. Instead of using just 4 phases, they use 30th thitis. Each thithi has a different meaning for electional astrology.

Is there an equivalent of the thitis in western astrology? According to Volguine there is, he call them the “lunar houses”

But, unfortunately, Volguine is an awful reference. He only quotes his sources when they are not relevant. Every freaking useless study published in a modern astrological magazine (and not related to the topic at all, usually just some study about the effects of the moon), are properly quoted. But what one would consider his main material (moon mansions and lunar houses) is quoted as vaguely as possible as “the arabs”, “the chinese”, “the ancients”, or nothing at all. Looking closely at his book, apparently the main source of Volguine for this concept was a coumade e by that had “gave several arabic texts”. What arabic texts, what the fidelity of the source, etc, is impossible to know.

There is a quote in Bonatti that may or may not be considered to be a western thithi. After giving all 28 moon mansions, with their names (noting that Bonatti is very incoherent with the names of the mansions), he simply seems to give a whole new set of more 28 names and say that they are subordinate to the first set. Although Ben Dykes doesn’t comment much in this topic, I believe that this is because the second set is a set of 28th thitis.

But, when searching for evidence of this topic, I found in Valens an interesting commentary about the phases of the moon. Steven Birchfield hás already wrote agout it, in an article that you can download in the colun at your right, in the “Box” widget. Look for “Foundations issue nº1”.

In: “35K;36P. The Eleven Phases of the Moon and The Influence of Their Effects”, Valens says that “According to the physicists’ reasoning, there are seven phases of the moon, but we find eleven listed elsewhere”.  Birchfield in his article is more worried about the “eleven phases”, I am going to focus on the seven phases and their rulers.

From the new moon, Valens says that the following planets rules the period:

Mercury until the 4th day (4 days)
Mercury until the 8th day (4 days)
Venus until the 12th day (4 days)
Sun until the 14th day (2 days)
Mars until the 21th day (7 days)
Jupiter until the 25th day (4 days)
Saturn until the 30th day (5 days)

Well, I found that this was very interesting, because as I said, I was looking for an western version of the concept of thithis. Might this be a possible equivalent? When one astrologer have a month of 30 lunar days, and wants to divide it by 7 planets, the simpler way is to give 4 days to each planet and “round up” every now and then. As the planets are obvioulsy in the chaldeic order, and assuming the errors in transmission, I would say that the following scheme of rulership is the most obvious:

Moon until the 4th day (4 days)
Mercury until the 8th day (4 days)
Venus until the 12th day (4 days)
Sun until the 16th day (4 days)
Mars until the 21th day (5 days)
Jupiter until the 25th day (4 days)
Saturn until the 30th day (5 days)

Posted in astrology

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