Types of Astrology

Arabic Parts - Their Role in Modern Horoscopes

Arabic Parts are an astrological cultural tradition that has been neglected by both modern Western and Vedic astrology. They are worth reconsidering as important adjuncts to the analysis of natal and forecast charts for these two traditions.

The best way to define an Arabic Part is to compare it with a planet (Western) or graha (Vedic). A planet or graha is a general significator. In contrast, an Arabic Part is a very specific significator.

Consider a planet/graha, such as Mercury or Buddha. In a natal or forecast horoscope, it represents the rational mind, intelligence, literacy, speaking, knowledge, communication, manual dexterity, commerce, business, short-range travel, trade, and neighbors. In this way, Mercury/Buddha functions as a general significator, presiding over a large, complex portfolio of associations. Moreover, in any particular horoscope, Mercury/Buddha is likely to rule over two houses. For example, Mercury/Buddha could rule over the 2nd and 5th houses. If this is the case, then Mercury also presides over the domains associated with those houses. 2nd house domains include money, income, movable assets, the ability to earn money, and resources. 5th house domains include pleasure, recreation, sex, children, gambling, art, and sports. So in this typical example, Mercury/Buddha presides over a bewildering number of domains. Any aspect to Mercury/Buddha will affect all of these domains. The many intertwined associations of each planet or graha make horoscope interpretation complex. And this is just one planet. Consider the difficulty in analyzing the disposition of nine or ten such planets.

In contrast, an Arabic Part is a specific significator. It represents only one specific domain within a horoscope. It is not burdened with multiple meanings. these points of power allow the astrologer to analyze a specific domain in isolation, without the complication of other associations. Thus, we have highly specific significators such as the Part of Fortune, Part of Money, Part of Romance, and so on.

To the casual observer, the most commonly used Arabic Parts appear to be arbitrarily defined. We use the Arabic Parts according to tradition, without consideration of their underlying principles. And it is this preconception that prevents most astrologers from using points of power in their work. But if astrologers (and their clients) were more aware of how easily Arabic Parts are defined, then they would be used more often.

An Arabic Part is computed from three components: - Base - Primary Planet (Graha) - Secondary Planet (Graha)

The base is almost always the cusp of a house, usually the Ascendant. The primary and secondary planets are the two planets most closely associated with the matter being defined. For example, the Part of Fortune is the most commonly used Arabic Part, and its primary and secondary planets are Sol/Surya and Luna/Chandra respectively. The Part of Fortune represents the subject's life and luck. Sol/Surya is the planet most closely associated with life and luck, while Luna/Chandra is associated secondarily.

Once the primary and secondary planets are defined, then a simple algebraic or geometric equation can be used to compute the Arabic Part. Using this method, the astrologer can create and examine specific significators as needed. She or he need not be restricted by outdated traditions.




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