In the times of William Shakespeare, the ‘stars’ were always a force with which men must reckon. There’s no doubt that in those days, the world was viewed as ‘fated’ – and whether this was a reflection of the ancient cosmos where the gods pulled all the strings or an inherent recognition of what Carl Jung would later posit about the covert operations of the unconscious, we will never know.
But we do know that the idea of ‘fate’ as shown in the ‘stars was woven oft through his work:
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky
Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
(All’s Well that Ends Well, 1.1.209), Helena
Having just finished reading Shakespeare’s play Richard III, I wondered how Richard was ‘fated’ to stack up?
Ptolemy identified six levels of fame/success:
- Kings & Princes
Both luminaries in masculine signs and at least one of them to be found in an angle. This alone is pretty good. However – as well, they (both) be attended by a doryphory (including rays) composed of all five planets – then this is REAL GOOD. In addition this rank is helped if the planets in the doryphories are also in the angles or configured with the MC.
The Sun only masculine with the Moon feminine and only one of them in an angle. If both, however, have good doryphories as described above, then the person will reach chieftain level, with the power to judge life and death. NOTE – a good doryphory has benefics in good shape or on angles (or ruling them).
- Governor or Commander
If the natal chart has the luminaries as for a Chieftain but the doryphories do not involve the angles, these people will not be invested with sovereignty, but will reach eminence.
- Civil Leader
If neither of the luminaries be in the angles, but both have good doryphories which are in the angles or ruling the angles, they will have a leadership role in their community. Councillor, President of a club, Mayor of a small town and so on.
If however, neither luminary is in an angle (Sun still masculine and Moon feminine), and the attending planets are not involved with the angles by placement or rulership, then the person will lead a humble life.
- Lowest Level
If neither luminary be found in a masculine sign, nor in an angle, nor attended by any benefics they will live lives of “quiet desperation” and obscurity.
- Sun in Libra (in fall) in a masculine sign succedent in the 11th house – OK – but could be better – the 7th house Moon in Taurus is in a feminine sign but it is angular and exalted) so overall this is pretty OK.
- This might get him to Chieftain level if the doryphories of one or both of the luminaries is strong.
- The doryphory is an interesting technique focusing on the ‘retinue’ of helpers either of the two lights or luminaries (i.e. sun or moon) have in their ‘train’. The more planets in the retinue, the more helpers and if additionally those helpers were themselves strong the more help they could give. Imagine yourself a feudal lord trying to raise an army to fight a foe – the more rich/strong neighbours (i.e. able to raise their own armies) you have supporting your cause, the more likely you were to succeed.
- Note that when considering if a planet throws a ‘ray’ into the doryphory, benefics (Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and the Sun) can only do so by sextile or trine and the malefics (Saturn and Mars) can only do so by opposition or square.
- Richard III’s solar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his sun at 17 Libra) is as follows: Because the sun’s retinue PROCEEDS him, we look to other planets in either Libra (18 -30 degrees) or Scorpio:
- Saturn in Libra (exalted) and succedent
- Mercury in Scorpio
- Venus in Scorpio (in detriment) yet angular
- Jupiter in Aquarius (retrograde) throws a ray into Libra by trine
- Richard III’s lunar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his moon at 28 Taurus is as follows: Because the moon’s retinue FOLLOWS her, we look to planets either in Taurus (29-30 degrees Taurus) or Aries:
- Mars in Aries – strong by rulership but not angular
- Jupiter casts a ray into Aries by sextile
- A solar doryphory of four planets isn’t bad – but none of these four are in rulership by sign or term – and although Saturn is exalted, Venus is in detriment (alternative) – but she rules the DSC angle (Taurus). Mercury is reasonable shape and also rules the MC angle. Likewise Jupiter is in reasonable shape in Aquarius and rules the IC angle – so overall pretty good
- A lunar doryphory of only 2 planets is not so good – But that Mars is so powerful (albeit also retrograde) that it alone could win the day – not to mention that it is the chart ruler because Scorpio is rising. This means Mars rules this angle. Mars is further empowered by being in reception with the Sun (the Sun is exalted in Aries so that Sun in Libra- charming and strategic – gives all it has to Mars. Being retrograde does not impede its power but will effect the outcome in the sense that this power is never really under control.
- Overall, this gets Richard III to chieftain level – but not to King – and that shouldn’t be surprising because although he was crowned king, it was only because he killed off or pushed aside all others entitled to wear the crown. He held the throne for only two years before being toppled himself by Henry Tudor (who’d been smart enough to remain in France whilst Richard was bumping folks off), whose claim to the throne was much stronger.
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