In episode 205 astrologers Chris Brennan and Leisa Schaim present a lecture on the ancient method of identifying the overall ruler of a birth chart, called the Master of the Nativity.
While in modern times astrologers tend to refer to the ruler of the Ascendant as the ruler of the chart, in ancient Greco-Roman astrology the method for determining the ruler of the chart was much more complex.
There are references to the master of the nativity in many of the surviving astrological texts from the Hellenistic astrology tradition, although there are not many surviving discussions about how to calculate it.
The approach that we present in this lecture is derived from chapter 30 of Porphyry’s Introduction to the Tetrabiblos, which is itself derived from a lost work of definitions by Antiochus of Athens.
During the course of the lecture we talk about how to calculate the predominator (epikratētōr), the master of the nativity (oikodespotēs geneseōs), the co-master or joint master of the nativity (sunoikodespotēs), and the lord of the nativity (kurios).
We also discuss various questions such as the arguments for and against having one overall chart ruler, the use of the master of the nativity to identify the guardian spirit or daimōn by ancient astrologers and philosophers, and the use of this doctrine to identify more important placements in a chart.
This lecture was originally presented by Chris at the Northwest Astrological Conference in May of 2017, and then again at the United Astrology Conference in May of 2018. We decided to re-record the lecture for the podcast now in order to give a more careful and deliberate presentation of the material, a better recording, and in order to open up this research to a wider audience.
Thanks to all of the patrons who support the podcast on an ongoing basis and made this episode possible through our page on Patreon. If you enjoy the episode and want to help support the production of future episodes while getting access to additional bonus content, then please consider becoming a patron.
This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.
First I will outline the calculations for the different rulers of the nativity presented in this lecture, and then you will find the recordings available at the bottom of the page.
How to Calculate the Rulers of the Birth Chart According to Porphyry
Here are the rules for calculating the different rulers of the birth chart that we review in this podcast, based on chapter 30 of Porphyry’s Introduction.
The Rulers of the Nativity
There are four different rulers of the nativity that are important to pay attention to:
- Predominator (epikratētōr)
- Master of the Nativity (oikodespotēs)
- Co-Master or Joint Master of the Nativity (sunoikodespotēs)
- Lord of the Nativity (kurios)
In order to find the Master of the Nativity you must first find the Predominator, since the Predominator is the one who designates the Master. The Predominator is typically one of the luminaries, as long as they are well-placed. If they are not, then it defaults to the Ascendant.
Here are Porphyry’s considerations for determining if one of the luminaries can become Predominator:
- The luminary that belongs to the sect of the chart is preferred (Sun day day, Moon by night).
- The luminary that is more angular is preferred over one that is in a less angular house.
- The one that is more eastern in the chart (towards the rising sign) is preferred.
- g. if the Sun is in the 1st house in a day chart, Sun is the Predominator.
- Sun in the 9th with the Moon in the 1st, then Moon is Predominator.
- If both luminaries are in cadent houses, then the Ascendant becomes Predominator.
Master of the Nativity
According to Antiochus and Porphyry there are two variant traditions for calculating the Master:
- The Master of the Nativity is the domicile lord of the Predominator.
- The bound lord of the Predominator becomes the Co-Master of the Nativity.
- Others say that the bound lord of the degree of the Ascendant is the Master of the Nativity.
- The domicile lord of the rising sign is the Co-Master of the Nativity.
Lord of the Nativity
Two separate approaches are given for the determination of the Lord of the Nativity:
- The Lord is the domicile lord of the Midheaven, if this planet is angular. If it is not, then:
- The Lord is a planet in the Midheaven/10th house. If there is no planet in the Midheaven then:
- The Lord is a planet in the 11th house.
Planets capable of being the Lord of the Nativity in the second approach are:
- The domicile lord of the Ascendant. Or
- A planet in the rising sign, and (especially?) in the bounds of the Ascendant. Or
- The lord of the Moon. Or
- The lord of the Lot of Fortune. Or
- A planet that makes a heliacal rising, setting, or retrograde station within 7 days of the birth (if there are multiple then the one that is not under the beams is preferred).
- The bound lord of the prenatal lunation.
Porphyry makes an important statement after outlining the second approach to the effect that the Lord of the Nativity is the planet that generally is:
- Capable of rising out from under the beams of the Sun.
- Has more familiarity (“dignity”) in its location, through zodiacal rulership.
- Has the most “power” in relation to the “figure” of the nativity, which probably means being in one of the “advantageous” or “busy” places, which are houses that are more angular.
- Has the most power in relation to its configuration with the other stars in the chart.
For a translation of the Porphyry passages that these calculations are discussed in see:
- Porphyry the Philosopher, Introduction to the Tetrabiblos, chapter 30, trans. James Holden, American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, AZ, 2010.
Here are some timestamps for topics covered at different points in the episode:
00:03:37 Starting point is the Master of Nativity
00:03:48 One Planet to Rule Them All
00:07:22 A Fragment from Petosiris on the Master
00:14:57 Surviving Treatment of Porphyry
00:23:08 Chronology of works on the Master of the Nativity
00:28:52 Porphyry on the Rulers of the Nativity
00:34:32 Calculations of rulers according to Porphyry
00:34:42 How to find the Predominator
00:36:18 Similar to the medieval concept of the Almuten
00:38:24 How to find the Predominator
00:39:18 Identifying the sect of the chart
00:41:15 Angular luminary is preferred over less angular one
00:43:05 The luminary that is more eastern is preferred
00:43:48 Explaining East vs. West in a chart
00:48:34 Use of Equal and Quadrant Houses
01:01:38 Quadrant House based East/West question
01:04:00 Quadrant houses divide the chart into east and west
01:04:30 Meridian vs. whole sign 10th house
01:05:09 Three different midheavens
01:09:13 Finding the sect
01:15:52 Jupiter rising & reaches highest Elevation
01:22:00 Examples from Porphyry
01:22:16 Diagram of Porphyry example
01:22:26 Sun in 1st house, day chart
01:24:27 Moon in 1st house, Night chart
01:25:04 Moon in 1st or 2nd, Sun in 9th, Day chart
01:27:14 Sun in 2nd, Moon in 9th, Night chart
01:30:49 Night Chart, Moon in 9th, Sun in 2nd
01:30:56 Night Chart, Sun/Moon below horizon
01:32:14 Night Chart, Sun angular, Moon in cadent house
01:33:19 Day Chart, Moon & Sun in cadent 9th
01:34:07 Summarizing predomination argument
01:34:58 Can there be a tie?
01:35:19 Night Chart, Sun 4th, Moon in 4th or 5th house
01:36:21 If equal, will degree of angularity matter?
01:39:11 The master of the nativity
01:39:57 First method of Determining the Master
01:40:50 The Master is the domicile lord of the Predominator
01:41:27 Sign/planet rulerships
01:52:17 T. S. Eliot
01:55:34 Salvador Dali
01:57:04 Linda Goodman
01:50:28 Ancient Character Interpretation
02:04:21 Iamblichus on the Guardian Spirit
02:06:02 Rhetorius on Venus as Master of the Nativity
02:08:05 Identifying the Guardian Spirit in Porphyry
02:21:56 Co-Master or the Joint Master of the Nativity
02:22:22 Co-Master / Joint Master
02:22:59 Bound lord of the Predominator becomes Co-Master
02:23:30 Terms / Bounds / Confines
02:23:42 Bounds according to the Egyptians
02:28:32 Table of Planetary Rulerships
02:29:13 Use in the Length of Life Technique
02:33:00 Years associated with each of the Planets
02:35:02 Quote from Firmicus on the Master of the Nativity
02:38:00 T. S. Eliot
02:44:26 Second Method of Determining the Master
02:49:17 Franklin D. Roosevelt
02:52:08 Judy Blume
02:52:12 Linda Goodman
02:55:03 Summarizing the Role of the Master of the Nativity
02:55:51 Bonus Material – The Lord of the Nativity
02:59:00 First Approach to Determining the Lord
03:02:45 Second Approach to Determining the Lord
03:05:20 Second Approach to Determining the Lord
03:06:37 Difficult and Complex doctrine
03:07:47 Valens on the Master of the Nativity
03:13:50 Final Remarks
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Tagged asalchocodenalmutenAlmuten FigurisAntiochus of Athensdaimonguardian spirithouse rulersJames Holdenlength of lifeMaster of the NativityPorphyryRobert Schmidtruler of the Ascendantrulershipssect
What is the ruler of the Nativity astrology? ›
The Lord of the Nativity (Greek Kurios) mentioned by the earliest Hellenistic astrologers, was a planet imbued with mystical significance and associated with the personal daimon in later spiritualizing philosophical and magical doctrines.How do you find your chart ruler? ›
Finding your chart ruler is easy! Your chart ruler is planet that rules the sign on the ascendant. Once you know your rising sign the first step should be looking at the zodiac sign and the 12 astrological houses your ascendant occupies. This will help direct you to which planet in your birth chart is your chart ruler.What does the chart ruler mean? ›
"Your chart ruler is the planet that rules your ascendant or rising sign." (You can use a birth chart generator to figure out this placement if you don't know what that is already.) "Your rising sign represents your body and your interaction with the outside world," says Lang.How do I find my 7th house ruler? ›
Ruler of the 7th House in the Houses: Interpretations. Example: If Aries is on the seventh house, Mars is the seventh house ruler because Mars rules Aries. If Mars is in the 1st house, then the ruler of the seventh house is in the 1st house.What is Lord in birth chart? ›
The term Lord has several meanings in astrology, and is often used synonymously with the word ruler. Most commonly it indicates the planet that rules the sign on a house cusp.Which planet represents the ruler of the gods? ›
In classical Roman mythology, Jupiter is the ruler of the gods and their guardian and protector, and his symbol is the thunderbolt.How do I find my natal chart? ›
To find your birth chart, you'll need three things: the date, time, and location of your birth. (Yep, you'll need to text your mom or dig up your birth certificate.) Once you have that information, head to an online birth chart calculator, such as Cafe Astrology, and fill out the form.How many signs are in my chart? ›
What is an astrology birth chart? An astrological birth chart maps the planetary alignment at the exact moment you were born. There are 12 signs of the zodiac—Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces—and 12 houses in a chart (1st House, 2nd House and so on).What is the chart ruler in the third house? ›
The third house of a natal chart is traditionally ruled by the zodiac sign Gemini and its ruling planet Mercury. It is thought to be the house of intelligence and of all low-level information that somebody gets throughout his life.What signs are rulers? ›
- Aries is ruled by Mars.
- Taurus and Libra are co-ruled by Venus.
- Gemini and Virgo are co-ruled by Mercury.
- Cancer is ruled by the Moon.
- Leo is ruled by the Sun.
- Scorpio is ruled by Pluto in modern astrology and by Mars in traditional astrology.
- Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter.
Is your chart ruler your dominant planet? ›
Your chart ruler is based off your ascendant. Your dominant planet sums up you and your chart and shows what part of your psyche is the most prominent and powerful in your life. Your chart ruler leads your chart forward. It's associated with your self-expression and your sense of identity.What is my house ruler? ›
The house ruler is the planet ruling the zodiac sign located at the cusp of the respective house in a horoscope. If, for example, the cusp of the second house is in Aries, the material circumstances of life (2nd house) are characterized by willpower and zest for action (Aries).What does 7th house in birth chart mean? ›
Simply put, the Seventh House symbolizes your "cosmic plus one," and yes, that refers to romantic partners, as well as other important relationships in your life. Those with natal planets in the Seventh House tend to be very focused on relationships, gravitating towards partnership in all areas of life.What signs rule my houses? ›
- 1st house: Aries.
- 2nd house: Taurus.
- 3rd house: Gemini.
- 4th house: Cancer.
- 5th house: Leo.
- 6th house: Virgo.
- 7th house: Libra.
- 8th house: Scorpio.
Ascendant lord is at home in the first house. Native's focus throughout life is upon himself. The person is always concerned about how he's looking, how much attention he's getting, his overall health and the kind of progress he's making. It's a very good position for the ascendant lord.Which planet is lord of which house? ›
|House||Sign Domicile||Ruling planet (ancient)|
In astrology, the sun and moon are classical representations of the father and mother, respectively.Which planet is Lord of heaven? ›
Detailed Solution. The Correct Answer is Jupiter. Jupiter: Ancient peoples all over the world recognized Jupiter as one of the brightest wandering lights in their skies.Which planet is not named after god? ›
Earth is the only planet whose English name does not derive from Greek/Roman mythology. The name derives from Old English and Germanic.What god is represented by Jupiter? ›
Zeus is Jupiter's equivalent in Greek Mythology. The two share the same features and characteristics. Due to Jupiter's popularity, the Romans named the largest planet in the solar system after him.
How do I find my spouse on birth chart? ›
The birth chart's seventh house contains a wealth of information about the partner. Check to see whether any planets are present in the seventh. You can figure out the personality of your spouse by the planetary traits and the house it rules. The seventh Lord provides details about the spouse as well.How do I read my birth chart wealth? ›
The primary houses that are concerned with wealth are the 2nd, 9th, 10th and 11th houses. The 2nd house depicts accumulated wealth as ancestral wealth, savings and bank balance. The 10th house portrays wealth generated through employment and other sources. The 11th house reflects profit.Where is your soulmate in natal chart? ›
- Find and understand your natal chart placements. ...
- Check which sign is in your Seventh House. ...
- Pay close attention to you and your partner's placements in Mars and Venus. ...
- Look at the North Node of your Moon sign.
We always start from the '0' line on the ruler and we line our objects up with this point. A common mistake when learning to measure objects with a ruler is to not line up the object with the zero correctly.What are the Big 3 in signs? ›
Your Big 3 in astrology refers to your Sun sign, your moon sign, and your rising sign. These three, found in your unique birth chart, say a lot about you. Have you ever met someone so vastly different than you, then discovered that you share a zodiac sign?What are the big 3 birth chart? ›
Your sun, moon and rising signs are the “big three” of a birth chart.How many signs are in the earth? ›
Earth grounds us, and the three earth signs — Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn — tend to be stable, grounded, and practical.Who is the ruler of the 4th house? ›
The traditional ruler of the fourth house is the zodiac sign Cancer, and therefore, it's ruling planet, the Moon.Who is the ruler of the 5th house? ›
The fifth house is ruled by the zodiac sign Leo and also has the Sun as the planetary ruler. This house is in charge of pleasure, love, and amusement; each and every one of those heavenly little minutes, objects and events that make one's world full of happiness.What is the significance of Third house? ›
The 3rd house in Vedic astrology relates to communication, journeys, brothers, sisters, creativity, mental intelligence, interests, habits, and inclinations. The third house is about creativity, it is also about your mind and it's formations.
What zodiac signs are Royal? ›
- King Charles. Zodiac sign: Scorpio. ...
- Prince William. Zodiac sign: Cancer. ...
- Prince Harry. Zodiac sign: Virgo. ...
- Kate Middleton. Zodiac sign: Capricorn. ...
- Meghan Markle. Zodiac sign: Leo. ...
- Prince George. ...
- Princess Charlotte. ...
- Prince Louis.
The ruling planets are the bosses of the zodiac. They call the shots and influence how each sign runs its company, and also how everyone else behaves under their influence.Which God should Sagittarius worship? ›
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter and hence, shares a direct connection with the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Lord Hanuman. Sagittarians are the thriver of wealth and accomplishments and hence, they must always pray to Lord Hanuman and keep fasts on either Tuesdays or Saturdays.How do you know if a planet is strong in your chart? ›
Any planet is considered strong when its longitude is between 05º to 25º in a particular sign and it is not in the state of weakness.What does it mean if your chart ruler is Neptune? ›
If Neptune is prominent in your chart—if there are many favorable aspects, for example—you could be naturally drawn toward the spiritual path and mysticism. Neptune also holds sway, if you have a heavy Pisces influence in your chart, like if you're Pisces Rising. That makes Neptune your chart's ruler.What does it mean if your chart ruler is Venus? ›
If you happen to be ruled by Venus, then lucky you, because that essentially means you're impossible to resist. In astrology, Venus is the planet of love, romance, friendship, beauty, art, money, and seduction. In your birth chart, Venus describes everything ranging from your personal style to your love language.What is the ruler of the 1st house? ›
Self and Body (Aries is the natural ruler)
The first house of the zodiac or the horoscope is the foundation of the personality. It represents the self, the mask, the way we are viewed in the world. The ruling planet reflects our basic drive and is as important if not more important than the Sun sign itself.
Each of the 12 houses of astrology are traditionally ruled by a sign, the first house being ruled by Aries, the second house being ruled by Taurus, the third house being ruled by Gemini and so on.Who is the 12th house ruler? ›
The twelfth house of the zodiac is ruled by the zodiac sign Pisces and its ruling planet Neptune. Before Neptune was found, Jupiter was viewed as the planet of Pisces, and since then it has been considered as the co-ruler of this mysterious house.Is your soulmate your 7th house? ›
Your 7th house ruler in astrology determines where you'll meet your soulmate. There are 12 houses in astrology, with each one influencing a specific area of your life. The seventh house in particular is the house of relationships.
Which house indicates marriage? ›
In a horoscope, the seventh house is the house of marriage. Astrologically speaking, all the above problems are orchestrated by malefic planets or their positions in our birth chart. Second, eighth and 12th house plays a very important role in our marriage.Which is the weak 7th house? ›
The 7th house is also known as Kalatra Bhava in Vedic Astrology and is ruled by the Libra sign. Planet Venus is the natural significator of this house as per the 7th house Vedic astrology. The 7th house is a weak house for Jupiter and Sun. But is the best house for Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus and Saturn.What houses Rule wealth? ›
The fifth and ninth houses are called the Laxmi sthana in Astrology. The ninth house is also called the house of fortunes because it gives information about our luck or fortune in life. Luck plays an important role in the accumulation of wealth and financial prosperity in life.Does everyone have every house in their chart? ›
But because there are 12 houses, and only seven (traditional) or ten (modern) planets, everyone has at least a couple of empty houses in their chart.What do empty houses mean? ›
“The empty House simply means that that part of your life is not as challenging as a House with one or more planets,” he explains. “The Houses with planets are the Houses that we have more lessons to learn or to focus on in this life.”What was the Star of Bethlehem astrology? ›
A new hypothesis from astrologer Dieter Koch is that the Star of Bethlehem was Venus, which became visible again as the morning star after a period in which it was invisible. Other astrologers postulated that Jupiter alone, as the planet of kings, could have been the Christmas Star.What is Christmas in astrology? ›
Astrological Points Related To Jesus' Birth
December 25 is the officially fixed birth date of Jesus Christ. It coincides with the return of the Sun at the winter solstice. This solstice marks the entry of the Sun into the Capricorn sign whose ruling planet is Saturn.
The Ninth House: The House of Spirituality - the 12 Houses of Astrology. The ninth house of a natal chart is ruled by the zodiac sign Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter.What is Saturn the ruler of? ›
Capricorn. Ruling Planet: Saturn. Saturn rules Capricorn, and Capricorns love rules. Saturn represents responsibility, hard work and determination. Some call it the taskmaster of the planets, keeping everyone in check and ensuring direct routes to the finish line.What was the star called when Jesus was born? ›
The story of the Star of Bethlehem appears only in the Book of Matthew. The gospel tells us that a bright star appeared in the eastern sky when Jesus was born, famously seen by a group of wise men.
What was the Christmas Star when Jesus was born? ›
Explanation 5: the Christmas star was a conjunction of Jupiter, Regulus and Venus. One other possibility includes a set of conjunctions of the planets Jupiter and Venus, and the bright star Regulus. In this case, the mythologies associated with the objects become important.Is the star of Bethlehem an actual star? ›
A: No. Not everything this December is about Star Wars. However, astronomers have investigated the star of Bethlehem as the birth of a star — a nova — that shines very bright and then fades over a few months. Same problem as a comet — not that rare.Is Christmas the birth of God? ›
Christmas, the holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, is celebrated by a majority of Christians on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar.What do you call someone born on Christmas Day? ›
The scrooged. The snowed under. Whatever you call Christmas babies – those born on Christmas Day or a few days before or after – just call them. People born around December 25 routinely get overlooked amid the holiday chaos.What is the star of December birth? ›
They are either Sagittarius or Capricorn. Those born through December 21 are Sagittarius, while those born after December 22 are Capricorns. Sagittarians are known to be extremely generous, idealistic, and downright hilarious. Capricorns, on the other hand, are responsible, disciplined, and masters of self-control.Which planet is responsible for negative thoughts? ›
There are multiple combinations of Moon with other planets that can cause mental illness/ depression. Moon with Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu can give depression. Debilitated Moon, Mercury and Jupiter can give depression. Moon sitting with Saturn (conjunction), makes a person's mind heavy.Which planet is powerful in astrology? ›
Jupiter (Brihaspati) represents power in general, being large in wisdom, size, and strength. This planet is also seen as the teacher or guru of the gods because Brihaspati is a brahmin.What does Jupiter mean spiritually? ›
Jupiter is a planet of blessings, optimism, success, and generosity, provided it is well placed in your horoscope. But a negative Jupiter can make a person overspending, lazy, loving luxury, disobedient and over-confident. Jupiter is the most evident or pratyaksha God in the horoscope.What does Saturn in chart mean? ›
The ringed gas giant is associated with time, regulations, and restrictions. On a good day, Saturn symbolizes hard work, professional achievements, and steadfast resilience. On a bad day, however, it can be harsh and unemotional, forcing us to learn through tough love and difficult challenges.What is Saturn spiritual meaning? ›
"Saturn is about maturity, responsibility, discipline, and stewardship," says Jennifer Freed, PhD, psychological astrologer and author of Use Your Planets Wisely. "Look at each sign and what it means to be mature using its archetypal energy."
What happens when you are ruled by Saturn? ›
Ruling Planet: Saturn
By understanding that life has restrictions and limitations, it aids them in being practical and realistic about everything in life. While that can give them a more orderly or cold nature, they are good at leading with their long-term vision rather than their hearts.