Astrology like any other subject one decides to study, because one loves and enjoys it, becomes second nature that continues to grow, until one no longer can control the urge, but to allow it to go its merry way. This has become my obsession, in that the more I learn, the more I have realized that I have not scratched the surface with so much available at our finger tips through the internet as paperbacks, hardbound, eBooks or PDF downloads. There are so many areas to be discovered and to be mastered that one begins to wonder where one should start? My choice was to begin with the very early writers of the art, and I am lucky to commence at a time when the translations of early writings into English are beginning to be more plentiful and easier to obtain. Some of the translations are still difficult for me to comprehend and to get a handle on the meaning, the transcripts hoped to convey.
How bless are we, who desire to acquire more information and knowledge, that by diligently studying what is available we will have a better grasp and understanding of where we came from and where we are going. As more traditional and classical astrology manuscripts have become available, a surge of interest has gained a momentum and continues to grow, and more is sure to come. Although I still consider myself a modern astrologer, my deep desire to study the classics has made me a hybrid that works well with what I have already learnt and mastered. Working with both systems and not giving preference to either is my goal. Since I was born in a culture very different from my parent’s, I am comfortable combining the two worlds, so that it would work for me, and represent who I really am. It comes naturally to me to see both sides and to reconcile the apparently opposites to work together as one unit.
With this in mind, the traditional system of sect is determined by the placement of the Sun in a chart to decide on the order of placement, the amount of energy, the amount of power, the qualitative performance of each planet, is implemented by dividing them into two categories. One consisting of the planets that work in sympathy and empathy with the daytime, which is termed as diurnal, which is led by the Sun followed by Jupiter and Saturn, while the Moon, Venus and Mars, comprise the nighttime or nocturnal team of planets. Mercury is considered neutral, depending on whether it appears on the horizon as a morning star, in which it allies itself with the diurnal sect, and likewise if it appears as an evening star in the chart, the nocturnal sect.
An important point to note is that planet’s sect whether it is considered malefic or benefic is a qualitative measurement of how well it will perform. It is said that a planet in its own sect, whether benefic or malefic will perform better, and in its opposite state, be in a weaker position to carry out its duties. Malefic planets appear to be more problematic and can be quite benign and at the same time even beneficial if not more constructive then the benefic planets in some circumstances. Lately my thoughts about a planet out of sect have changed, and have taken a twist I did not expect because of my own personal experience. I have always felt the axiom “As above, so below” to be true and is demonstrated all around us, every moment of the day.
All my life I have considered myself a day person, who performs everything better in the daytime. Late one evening I needed to think and work something out and was at a point of exhaustion when I finally thought I had the project finished. The next morning with a clearer mind and hoping to see and benefit from my hard work, I was disappointed with the outcome. Not only did I have to redo the project, but for some reason it seems that what I was trying work out, gave me the inspirations for other avenues in approaching any solution to any problem. I began to wonder if this would apply to a planet in the wrong sect, is it possible that not only does it operate in a weaker position, but would it operate in a more erratic and unexpected way then anticipated?
Whether it was a benefic or malefic, could it perform as it’s opposite and out perform it, depending on the situation and aspects? Studying and looking at my own natal chart applying the essential dignities and the bounds, I found this to be true. Mars in my day chart below the horizon and Venus on the midheaven seems to display attributes of Uranus, surprising me at every turn, but I find that my stellium in Gemini finds this quite agreeable. My conclusion on the matter, is when ever I see a chart with planets out of sect, I will proceed with caution, and not jump to the obvious conclusion and see if it might act in a more erratic manner than one might expect. The keyword is caution, as the assumption of what dos and don’ts a planet should follow and stick with may derail one’s delineation of a chart. My personal opinion is that one needs to use caution, wisdom and intuition to separate a great delineation from a good one when applying the technique of sect.