Project Astro-Genius

A research project in astrology aiming to test and possibly improve current methods inherited from medieval practice, and to investigate new ones to ultimately provide astrologers with a handy predictive tool in diagnosis of high cognitive ability and genius. project.astrogenius@gmail.com

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Part of Reasoning and Eloquence

PART OF REASONING (Pars Rationis et Sensus)



The first and the second parts of the ascendant having been discussed, now we ought to discourse on the third part, which is the part of reason and sense or pars rationis et sensus. And since man is not able to be truly without reason and sense, the wise considered whence they were able to extract the pars rationis et sensus. And since they saw that Mercury was naturally the significator of both and also of imagination {cogitationes which may also be translated as “thought”} and speech and understanding, and that Mars was significator of heat and motion, they extracted the the part from these two and called it the pars rationis et sensus.

In fact, this part could also be called the part of imagination and speech. It is taken by day from Mercury to Mars and by night in the opposite direction, and it is projected from the ascendant. And they said that this part signifies sense and reason and science and imagination and understanding and speech.

But if this part is well disposed in any one’s nativity and it is with the lord of the ascendant or with the lord of the house in which it is posited, or if the lord of the ascendant {being} in his own dignity aspects the lord of the house and at the same time Mercury aspects both the part and the lord of the ascendant or the lord of the part, by trine or sextile aspect or even a square with reception, and if Mercury is fortunate and strong and not impeded, then the native will be rational, knowing, speaking, thinking and understanding; and if at the same time Mars should aspect the ascendant or its lord or the lord of the part, the native will be wise, as I said, and he will be of sharp mind, learning easily and retaining well and not forgetting those things which he has learned(1)

(1) : Bonatti on the Arabic Parts, translated by Robert E. Zoller, 3rd electronic ed., New Library Ltd., p.19 [original text in Latin is in Guido Bonatti's famous work Liber Astronomie]




Recently I have obtained the complete translation of Liber Astronomie by Dr.Benjamin Dykes (http://www.bendykes.com/) wherein he gives a slightly different version; see especially the boldface paragraph below (2):

Having spoken about the first and second Parts of the Ascendant, we must now speak about its third Part, which is called the Part of Reason and Sense.And since one can not truly be a human without reason and sense, the sages considered whence they could extract a Part of Reason and Sense. And since they saw that Mercury was naturally the significator of each (also of thoughts and speech and thinking), and Mars was the significator of heat and motion, they extracted from these two a Part which they called the Part of Reason and Sense (this can even be called the Part of Thought and Speech) - which is taken in the day from mercury to Mars, and in the night the reverse; and it is projected from the Ascendant.

And they said that this Part signifies sense and reason; and it even signifies knowledge and thought and thinking and speaking.

Which if this Part were well disposed in someone's nativity, and it or the Lord of the domicile in which it is, were with the Lord of the Ascendant, or the Lord of the Ascendant were to aspect [the Lord of the Part] in his own dignity, and Mercury were then to aspect the Part and the Lord of the Ascendant or the Lord of the Part by a trine or sextile aspect (or at least from a square with reception), and Mercury were made fortunate and strong, nor impeded, the native will be rational, knowledgeable, speaking, thinking and perceptive.

And if mars were then to aspect the Ascendant, or its Lord, or the Lord of the Part, the native will be wise, as I said, and he will have an acute mind, easily learning; and those things which he learned, he will retain well, nor will he be forgetful...

Dykes further provides the following in the footnote (p.1054) to explain "...were to aspect [the Lord of the Part] in his own dignity":

Abu Mashar (Great Introduction VIII.4.599) says: "And if this Part or its Lord were with the Lord of the Ascendant or in the sign in which the Lord of the Ascendant had testimony, and Mercury were to aspect them by a strong aspect..." Bonatti's statement suggests the Lord of the Part ought to be in the domicile of the Lord of the Ascendant's dignity. But Abu Ma'shar's statement suggests the Lord of the Part should be in a sign aspected by the Lord of the Ascendant.

(2) : The Book of Astronomy by Guido Bonatti, translated by Benjamin Dykes, 2007, Cazimi Press, Vol.II, p.1054

Knowing that Bonatti's source on arabic parts is Abu Ma'shar, a recent query about the original text has led me to the following information, which is quoted from a series of posts in the forum of http://www.skyscript.co.uk/ (many thanks to Osthanes [nick] from the skyscript forum):


"The Greater Introduction of Abū Ma‘šar was published by R. J. Lemay (Naples, 1995), but I suspect it is quite difficult to access. Nevertheless, the excerpt about the Part of Reasoning in an edition (Augustae Vindelicorum, 1489) of a Latin translation made by Hermann of Carinthia runs as follows (Liber VIII, Cap. IV de partibus signorum):

"Tercia [pars] sensus et rationis, quoniam Mercurius sunt ingenium, memoria, discretio, eloquentia, sapientia. Mars vero acumen, vigilantia, levitas: die quidem a Mercurio ad Martem, nocte e converso sumpta ab oriente incipit. Ducit igitur uterque mutatione ad sensum, discretionem, eloquentiam et sapientiam sique vel ipsa vel dominus eius cum orientis domino fuerit pariter cum aliquo loci testimonio. Mercurio forti respecta copiosae rationis summique ingenii promissum est, si Marte, multi acuminis et perspicacitatis."

Very roughly, it can be translated in this way:

"The third Part is of sense and reasoning, as Mercury is talent, memory, ability of discern, eloquence and wisdom, Mars is, however, sharpness of mind, rapt and quickness in thinking. [The Part itself is counted] in a diurnal nativity from Mercury to Mars, and, in a nocturnal one, conversely, and is to be counted from the Ascendant.

Therefore, by their movement, both of them point to sense, ability of discern, eloquence and wisdom if either the Part itself or its ruler resides together with the Lord of Ascendant, and in the same time, it [sc. the lord of the Ascendant] has somewhat dignity in their place. [Moreover], if it [sc. the Part] is aspected by a strong Mercury, it promises copious reasoning and prodigious talent, and [if by a strong] Mars, for a sharp and perspicacious mind.""

Apparently this source passage is more compact than Bonatti's. Therefore it is clear that the text on the Part of Reasoning in Bonatti's Liber Astronomie reflects his author's own understanding and interpretation of Abu Ma'shar. Bonatti seems to have deemed it necessary to do some useful additions in order to express the intent of the source author more clearly.

To make it even more clear (or at least more readable) for practical purposes such as easy reference and comparison, I have combined and re-arranged the conditions in the Part of Reasoning in a check-list format as follows:

To the extent the following conditions are satisfied by quality and quantity, a person is intelligent, highly or very intelligent IF:


A) the Pars Rationis is well-disposed, that is the PR:
A.1) is either strong by house position, and/or
A.2) receives aspect(s) from planet(s) [preferably from PR’s rulers], or
A.3) is at least posited in a sign aspected by the lord of the ascendant, and

B) the ruler of the ascendant;
B.1) aspects the Part (better if by reception), or
B.2) aspects the lord of the Part (better if by reception), or

B.3) is at least posited in a sign aspected by the lord of the Part; and

D) Mercury aspects either;
D.1) the Part, and/or
D.2) the lord of the Part, and/or
D.3) the lord of the ascendant, and

E) [to the extent that] Mercury is;
E.1) strong, and
E.2) fortunate, and
E.3) unimpeded, and

F) Mars aspects;
F.1) the ascendant, or
F.2) the lord of the ascendant, or
F.3) the lord of the Part, or
F.4) the Part.



...To be continued....

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