Arabic lots – spiritual components of the natal chart (part two)

In the first part of this paper on Arabic lots, we have dealt primarily with their definition, role in the natal chart, and the concept behind these, perhaps even the most mystical, astrological factors. The topic of this section will be the four principal and most important Arabic lots in the natal chart according to Valens, namely Fortuna, Spirit, Eros, and Necessity.

First, let us consider the nature of the lots of Fortune and Spirit, as the two most important Arabic lots in the horoscope, which is evident from their calculation that includes both luminaries, the Sun and the Moon, and their relationship of “light and darkness” projected from the ascendant. If we know that luminaries and Asc are three of the four most important points in the horoscope (with MC), the importance of the said lots seems obvious.

Fortuna is the life quality of the soul, its earthly happiness and comfort, the gains and losses of life. Valens calls it an archetypal point (archetypal kleron). Both Valens and Dorotheus refer to Fortuna as a point to turn to if the triplicity rulers of the dominant luminary at the time of birth are poorly placed, emphasizing that if Fortuna and her ruler are well placed, despite the poor placement of triplicity rulers, the native will have joy and success in life, as the result of happy circumstances. As mentioned earlier, this lot is more concerned with matter and material acquisition, so it is one of the more important factors in assessing the financial and property opportunities of the native. As it is a lot of the Moon, it is more related to the lower psychic aspects, the material attachment of the soul to life. The Moon is the closest body to the sublunar sphere of bodily life and hence the Moon’s connection with the body and gluttony. Her virtue is hope that relates to the capacity of the soul to rise above the weight and scarcity of life. It is a reflection of the potential to survive even in the worst temptations of life with a preserved hope that more and better can be achieved. Gluttony is her sin. It refers to the “pollution” of the soul by earthly appetites and cravings. When Lot of Fortune is emphasized in the chart, it is indicative of great passions that are hard to satisfy, the desire for wealth, etc.

It is sometimes used as an alternative ascendant, so according to Valens, houses derived from Fortune are viewed similarly to those designated by the ascendant, although it can be said that they are more related to accidents that befall the native, his circumstances, and bodily issues. Valens particularly emphasizes the eighth sign from Fortune as a place that provides insights about the qualities of death. He finds these indications so important that they occupy a very important place in his chart examples of violent deaths. He also focuses on the eleventh sign from Lot of Fortune, which he calls the “place of acquisition”, highlighting the potential of that place to bring assets and goods when well placed, that is, when benefics are placed or configured with that sign. He also views the domicile ruler of this lot in a similar way to the ruler of the ascendant, so that the sign where this planet is placed would give important indications about the main topics in life.

The Spirit, Agathos daimon, pars futurorum or ta’alima as it is known in Hebrew, is the point of the divine spirit, the point of mystery and prophecy, often in itself a significator of the soul. It is related to the personal understanding and experience of God. Her virtue is Faith, and the very word says that it refers to the religious affinities of the incarnated soul. When emphasized in the chart it is indicative of the fairness and devotion of the soul. This is the lot of the right path to God and the lot of the highest spiritual aspirations. The spiritual aspect of the soul is faced towards the return to the timeless realms. The most important of the seven lots.

Her sin is pride, especially when poorly integrated. In Christianity, it is the original sin that preceded the fall of angels. This is, according to some authors, the most important of all lots because it is a symbol of a timeless spirit. We find it prominent in the charts of people with higher spiritual aspirations, most usually placed on Asc, MC, or in close aspect with the Sun or Moon, or their own dispositor or with the ruler of the ninth house. This lot, alongside its dispositor, is a symbol of the strength of the soul, its motivation, and its mobility. Being poorly positioned in XII, VIII, VI house or even in II house without aspect with any luminary or their dispositor, it indicates a weakness of faith, especially if Fortuna is more prominent and stronger, when it is regarded as a sign of an over-attachment of the soul to matter and time, but also it can signify atheism or the rebellious mind.

In medieval astrology, it had a similar significance, so Bonati states that this lot refers to God or relationship to God as well as secrets, and therefore it is associated with the natives’ concept of God or his highest spiritual concept, so its significance is enormous, especially in spiritual counseling because we want to know what is most valuable to the person in question. The approach to spirituality is thus also interpreted from the position of this lot in signs of different elements. So, when placed in air signs the native will value knowledge the most and will have a more intellectual approach to the matter, while the water signs will have more of a devotional approach, the fire will express it through their activities, philanthropy, and creativity, while the earth signs will be most focused on practical profits. The position of the ruler of the point will indicate the areas of life in which this urge will manifest most naturally. Also, this point can be used as an alternative ascendant, so from such horoscope, we could interpret the spiritual potential and concept of the native.

Vettius Valens
Vettius Valens

Valens has a different calculation method for the lots of Eros and Necessity then the one presented when seven hermetic lots were discussed

According to Valens, the lot of Eros is calculated by projecting the distance from the lot of Fortune to the lot of Spirit from the ascendant, reversed for night births. Valens says that Eros signifies desire (epithumia).

„The Lot of Love transmitting or receiving in operative signs, with benefics in conjunction or aspect, brings about moral desires and makes men lovers of the good: some turn to education and physical or artistic training; they are softened by their delight in their hopes and they do not consider their forethought/goal a matter of difficulty. Others are enchanted by love and intimacy with men and women, and they consider to be good.“ (Valens: Anthologies, Book IV, pg. 90)

From the above quote, we can see that Valens relates this lot to moral qualities and intellectual aspirations, but also sensuality, so in some nativities, Eros seems to be focused on the mind, while in others on the more physical level. From this point of view, we can conclude (in the context of other VE factors of the horoscope) how happy a person is in love, how much he is loved, how capable he is to love, how moral he is, and in what manner does he pursue good and spiritual issues. Like all lots it should be placed in a good house, a sign ruled by benefic, activated by close aspects from rulers, benefits, or luminaries. This lot is also called the philosopher’s lot by some interpreters. Hephaestion adds that Dorotheus describes how this lot is used by some astrologers in discussing the issue of friendship (philias), so he includes it in connection with this topic in his Apotelesmatics.

The Lot of Necessity is calculated oppositely. So, in day births it is found by determining the distance from the Lot of Spirit to the Lot of Fortune, then counting that distance from the Ascendant; for night births, the reverse method is used. Concerning the considerations in Part One, it is evident that the calculation method also has an underlying symbolic and philosophic background in the discussion of the ruling luminary, especially if we regard the lot of  Spirit as the lot of the Sun and Fortune as the lot of the Moon. With the Lot of Eros, we were also able to observe the movement from the luminary outside the sect – the Moon, towards the ruling one, the Sun.

Valens states that this lot indicates enemies (echthron). She seems to describe the nature and circumstances that accompany conflict and competition so that when the malefics are associated with it, it will bring failures and attacks, while when associated with the benefics it speaks of victory and that the native will overcome all temptations. So, Valens writes:

„The Lot of Necessity transmitting or receiving in operative signs, with benefics in conjunction or aspect, brings family ties, associations with the great, and the downfall or deaths of enemies. If malefics are in conjunction, it brings lawsuits, judgments, and expenses. As a result, men fail in their goals and live miserably. If the configuration is afflicted, men are condemned or ruined.“

It should be also noted that there are also special prognostic techniques that are based on these lots, which indicate the most important periods in life about the issues to which they relate. One is Aphesis, or zodiacal releasing technique, which can be calculated from the lot of Fortune for health and body issues, from the lot of Spirit for the most important periods in terms of career and reputation in the world, but also the lot of Love (Eros) has proven effective for matters of love and marriage. Also, Benjamin Dykes concludes that the transits of Saturn through the lots of Fortune and Spirit represent the most sensitive periods of life. A similar conclusion can be drawn for the other two lots that were described here.

So there we have it, an overview of the most important Arabic lots, which provides a somewhat more esoteric insight into the natal chart and the potentials of the incarnated soul in worldly life. Through them we can gain insight into the spiritual nature of the native, which is further expressed through the most important ethical principles that are complementary to the temperamental personality structure discussed earlier, thus somehow completing that weave of the Universe manifested through the unique physis of the native that is painted with symbolic astrological language through the natal chart.


  • Chris Brennan – Hellenistic Astrology: The study of Fate and Fortune
  • Chris Brennan –  The Theoretical Rationale Underlying the Seven Hermetic Lots
  • Robert Zoller – Arabic parts in Medieval Astrology (a lesson from DMA course)
  • Nataša Karalić Koprivica – traditional astrology blog link

Arabic lots – spiritual components of the natal chart (part one)

By definition, Arabic lots represent astrological factors found by mathematical calculations that include three other factors in the horoscope such as planets or angles. The distance between the two factors is added to the third (usually the ascendant), thus obtaining the position of a certain Arabic lot. It is one of the most important astrological concepts, although the most mysterious. The lots are thought to be more closely related to the spiritual part of human existence, so they are ascribed deeper meanings in the interpretation of the natal chart topics. In Hellenistic astrology, they were primarily used to give additional meanings to signs and houses in the interpretation of certain topics in the chart, e.g. if the lot of marriage falls into the second house and Scorpio, that house and its ruler add some significations concerning marriage, although these places would not be observed in connection with the said subject in some ordinary procedure. Furthermore, in practical terms, lots could also be regarded as that third point that astrologers would interpret in the context of a particular natal chart topic, such as offspring, marriage, career, etc. The first step would be to analyze a suitable planet, such as Venus concerning marriage. Then the respective house and its ruler would be considered, in this case, that would be the seventh house, and finally, the third step would be to analyze the appropriate lot, in this example, the lot of marriage. This is also implicit in the “threefold rule”, that is, if something is indicated in one area of ​​life through only one of these three factors, then the outcome is possible, if two factors point to the same, then the outcome is probable, and if confirmed through all three, then the outcome is certain. By far the most famous is the lot of Fortune, also known as the lot of fate, but there are innumerable lots and it can be said that they flourished in medieval astrological practice. But the topic of this two-part study are seven hermetic lots, with special reference to the four lots that Hellenistic astrologer Vettius Valens pointed out as the most important, namely the aforementioned Fortuna, Spirit, Eros (Love), and Necessity, and these are dealt in detail in the part two.

Arabic lots originate from the Babylonian astrological concept of the relationship between the Sun and Moon through the arc of the longitudinal distance between them projected from the point of the horizon (Ascendant). Although some claim that their origins are Egyptian, it seems that, like everything in astrology, two basic astrological factors have been derived and conceived from this original order. In contrast to their commonly known name, Arabic lots have been developed methodologically for the most part in Hellenistic astrology. The Arabs added a large number of new ones to this method while retaining Greek heritage. Arabic lots serve for deeper natal analysis and to uncover the intrinsic meaning of the horoscope. The seven basic Arabic lots are the points of the soul, or those pillars of the soul, derived by analogy from the seven planets of the horoscope. These seven planets are related to Pythagoras’ numerical week and even earlier before him, with dualistic ancient Persian Mithraism, that is, Persian mysteries of the sevenfold initiation of worship, as well as the seven steps of the fall of the soul, which, on the way to the earthly embodiment, passes through 7 planetary spheres and to ascend through them back to one of the four celestial gates after death: Aldebaran – east, Regulus – north, Antares – west and Fomalhaut – south, which are therefore referred to as the royal stars and guardians of the heavenly gates. Plato’s interpretation of the fall (descent) of the soul seems to be inspired by the Persian mysteries. Plato speaks of the eighth sphere, the sphere of the stars, that is, the zodiac, which is considered to be the place where souls originate from and from which everyone, individually, on its journey to Earth, passes through seven planetary spheres in the Chaldean order from Saturn to the Moon. On this journey, the soul is enriched by each sphere, endowed (blessed) with the pure planetary essence of each planetary principle, which is more or less corrupted by earthly incarnation. After the death, the soul ascends in the reverse order of the journey (from the Moon to Saturn) to purify itself from earthly flaws through each sphere individually according to the type of flaw (about them later). The more it rises through the spheres and the cosmic purification, the soul becomes easier and purer to enter the eighth sphere of bliss perfected. Aristotle adopted this theory from his teacher. St. Thomas Aquinas, a worshiper of Aristotle, was familiar with this theory of the connection between soul and planet. There is speculation that this theory is closely related to the seven virtues and the seven deadly sins of Christian theology. The first three virtues: hope, faith, and mercy are known as theological virtues, while the other four (wisdom, steadfastness, temperance, and righteousness) are called natural virtues. These virtues are thus related to the planetary virtues and vices so that we have:


Planet Virtue Sin
Moon Hope Gluttony
Sun Faith Pride
Mercury Wisdom Envy
Venus Mercy Lust
Mars Courage Rage
Jupiter Temperance Greed
Saturn Justice Laziness


Virtues and sins are thus brought into correlation with the lots of the soul. This is especially notable if we observe that each planet has its “own” lot. Specifically, in Chapter 23 of his „Introduction to Astrology“, Paulus of Alexandria presented a method of calculating seven lots that are related to traditional planets, while citing the work known as “Panaretus”, whose authorship is associated with Hermes Trismegistos. These are called “hermetic lots”. In the picture below you can also see the method of calculating these points (all distances are projected from the ascendant):


arabic lots
Arabic Lots calculation table


The first thing that we can see here is that only the lots of Fortune and Spirit are calculated based on the distance between the luminaries (Sun and Moon), while in other cases, the lots are calculated from the distance between the corresponding planet and either the lot of Fortune or the lot of Spirit or vice versa. When it comes to this calculation, and in connection with the foregoing, we can observe certain important hermetic principles that are coming to light here. First, the ratio in these calculations seems to take into account the ruling luminary, or luminary of the sect. Thus we see that the calculation for the lot of Fortune always starts from the ruling luminary to the other, that is, in day births (where the Sun is the ruling luminary), this lot is calculated by measuring the distance from the Sun to the Moon, that is, the starting point is the Sun, whereas at night births it is the Moon, as the ruling luminary. Such a measurement seems to imply the idea of ​​moving from light to darkness since the calculation literally moves from a dominant luminary at certain times of day or night to the luminary that is somehow obscured at the time observed. This can be related to a deeper hermetic conceptualization that darkness is associated with matter and physical incarnation. In contrast, we see that the math for the lot of Spirit is opposite, that is, it always starts with the luminary that is opposite to the ruling sect, or to the luminary that is dominant at a given time – i.e. from the Moon to the Sun in day births. This also implies a hermetic relation of light with spirit and intellect.

Some other patterns can be observed concerning other lots. As it can be seen in the diagram above, lots associated with positive significations, such as the lot of Eros and the lot of Victory (Jupiter), are both calculated from the lot of the Spirit. The others, which have negative implications, are calculated from a lot of Fortune. It is obvious, then, that the lots of the benefic planets are related to the concept of spirit and light, and therefore to the lot of the Spirit, while the lots of malefic are linked to the concept of darkness and matter, and hence to the lot of Fortune. It seems possible that these assignments were made simply due to the apparent brightness of each of the planets involved, with Venus and Jupiter being the two brightest visible planets, and Mars and Saturn being the darker visible planets.

It is also interesting to note that some lots are calculated from the lot (Spirit or Fortune) to the planet, and some from the planet to the lot, both in the day or night nativities. The possible rationale behind this may again have something to do with the dominant luminary. Namely, the lot of Spirit is also called the lot of the Sun, and the lot of Fortune is considered as the lot of the Moon. As we can see, during the day, the lots of Venus and Jupiter are calculated from the lot of Spirit towards Venus and Jupiter, respectively, or vice versa at night. The concept behind this comes from the principle that the Sun is the one that emits light by day, so his lot assumes the same principle, while at night it behaves more closely to the nature of the Moon, that is, it receives light. In other words, this calculation is based on which of the two luminaries is more dominant in the calculation for lot of Spirit. Therefore, in day births the calculation moves from the lot of the Spirit towards the corresponding planet, imitating the principle of emitting light similar to the Sun, while in night births this calculation will go from the planet to the lot, which now plays the role of “recipient” since the Moon is a dominant luminary. This applies only to these two points since it’s only them that include the lot of the Spirit. However, the same principle seems to apply to the lots that include the Lot of Fortune. As in the daytime, the Moon is the dominant luminary in calculating the Lot of Fortune, and just like the lot of the Moon is opposite to the dominant luminary, the Sun, it acts as the recipient of the light, so the calculation starts from the planet towards Fortune. At night, when the Moon is the ruling luminary and the Sun is the dominant planet in the calculation of the Lot of Fortune, Fortuna is the one that “emits” light, so the calculation goes from it to the corresponding planet. We will return to these observations when we talk about the lots of Eros and Necessity mentioned by Valens, which are calculated differently than described here.

Since the lots calculation methods are given in the diagram above, in the rest of the text we will focus on the description of enumerated hermetic lots according to Paulus of Alexandria:

Paulus connects the lot of Fortune with the Moon and points out that it signifies the body, the things that native does to acquire possessions, reputation, and privileges.

As stated, the lot of the Spirit is connected with the Sun, hence it signifies the soul, intelligence, the exercise of all power (dunasteia), and is sometimes relevant in determining the career of the native or his profession (praxis).

The lot of Eros is associated with Venus and signifies desire and appetites as well as friendships and services.

The lot of Necessity associated with Mercury signifies restrictions, oppression, fighting, wars, hostilities, hatred, condemnation, and other limiting circumstances.

The lot of Courage is associated with Mars, thus denoting boldness, betrayal, strength (or raw power) and all evil deeds.

The lot of Victory is associated with Jupiter, thus signifying faith, good hope, competition, all kinds of benevolence, enterprise, and success.

The Lot of Nemesis is related to Saturn, so it refers to the ghosts of the underworld, things that are hidden, weakness, sadness, and the quality of death.


Izvori korišćeni u tekstu:

  • Chris Brennan – Hellenistic Astrology: The study of Fate and Fortune
  • Chris Brennan –  The Theoretical Rationale Underlying the Seven Hermetic Lots
  • Robert Zoller – Arabic parts in Medieval Astrology (a lesson from DMA course)
  • Nataša Karalić Koprivica – traditional astrology blog link