Diurnal and Nocturnal Charts

When categorizing charts into day or night types, we are practicing the doctrine or theory of sect— translated from the Greek αἵρεσις (hairesis). This is a factioning of the chart as it is physically divided. While it had many related meanings, the Greek word was often used to refer to "factions," systems of philosophic principles, or schools of people who adhere to such principles. Christians would represent a specific hairesis; as would the Sadducees and Pharisees.

Therefore it is apt to note the political metaphor here. Different planets acquire differing levels of power over the specific chart at hand. In fact, the word used for the subdivisions of a chart was ὅριον, often translated as "territory."

Did You Know? This sort of astrological metaphor is not only found in Greek tradition. In the Popol Vuh (16th century), the Maya Hero Twins are transformed into the sun and moon. This transformation is suggested to be a metonym for acquiring dominance over the sky and thus, metaphorically, political predominance.

This major division takes place at the Ascendant. If the sun sign is above the line from Ascendant to Descendant, it is a diurnal chart; if the sun is below, it is a nocturnal chart.

This corresponds with whether you were born during the day or night, and also with the house of your sun. The sun of a diurnal chart will be in a house from 7 through 12. In a nocturnal chart, the sun will be in one of the houses from 1 to 6.

By practicing this technique, you understand one of the major concepts of ancient astrology. For the Greeks were not concerned with the zoidia as identities, as we are today, but for the positions of the planets and their aspect relationships with one another. Continue to the page I have marked, Understanding Sects.

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