Kira's Astrology

Arabic Parts General Information

This is a short introduction along with several useful formulas and an example. It is neither a primer nor a scholarly treatise on the history. I have also written a longer article explaining the modern use of Arabic parts, sometimes referred to as lots, with several examples of how to integrate them with the methods commonly used by a majority of astrologers. Both articles are written in a non-technical, straightforward style to benefit a larger reading audience, including those early in their astrological studies. For an extensive description of the origins , logic and philosophy of the ancient astrologers, I refer you to Project Hindsight.
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Working with the Arabic parts, more properly called lots, requires adding a series of simple techniques to whatever methods an astrologer is using for chart delineation. The result is a more directly colorful and descriptive symbolic rendering, not requiring any technically challenging study. Actually, the lots are so easy to include that even a beginning student can add them to a chart, even before mastering interplanetary aspects. More advanced students and professional astrologers will, of course, be able to use a wider range of techniques based on the lots.

They are to be fully integrated into the chart; i.e., read in aspect to all the planets and asteroids you work with, and in aspect to one another, and using the same major and minor aspects that you customarily use for your current tools. I have been using about 15 lots in every natal chart for more than 20 years and I currently teach workshops explaining their importance, functionality, meaning, and application.

Several software programs containing Arabic parts are available. Halloran Software and Astrolabe both have programs; I understand there are others. Call your favorite astrological software company when you are ready to include the parts in your charts. Be aware that they may be referred to by either name, lots or Arabic parts.

Over the years a few written sources of information about the lots have come to my attention:
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Lewellyn's "A to Z Horoscope Maker" was the original source of many of the formulas I now use. The 1973 edition was a textbook used in my first class, and additional formulas were given by my teacher. Before you run out to purchase a copy of this textbook, which is probably still being updated and reprinted, please be aware that there were a grand total of two pages devoted to this subject, and some of the formulas were later found to be in error. They may have been corrected at this date; I do not know. I think my teacher's name was Jim, he had been a high school math teacher and taught in a metaphysical bookstore in Concord, CA (does anyone remember his name? If so, I would appreciate an e-mail message, especially if you know where he currently is located.)

A terrific book written by Robert Zoller in 1980 is "The Arabic Parts in Astrology: A lost Key to Prediction". Robert Zoller has worked extensively with the Arabic parts. This book is not for the early student, and it is not written in a modern style of English, but it is a goldmine of beautiful work. It is difficult reading, very interesting, with a great deal of insightful information. It was temporarily out of print; I understand it is recently updated. My copy is borrowed from a friend who collects old astrology books.

Last year Project Hindsight published a book called "Night & Day: Planetary Sect in Astrology", written by Robert Hand, which contains helpful and necessary information if you are going to try to calculate the parts manually, rather than use a program containing that option. How necessary is it? Well, some lots have different formulas depending on whether the Sun in the given chart is above or below the horizon.The part of fortune and the part of spirit will be the most immediately obvious example of changed placement. As I continue to refine my work with the lots, I have also decided that the sect-influenced formulas do indeed offer a more accurate placement of a particular lot.
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To incorporate the rules of sect into your chart delineation, while not essential to using all of the lots, will be extremely helpful to those astrologers who are comfortable with interpretation. Beginners can slowly integrate this information, as I assume it will be taught by an increasing number of astrological instructors. If you are not ready to add the rules of sect to your knowledge base, absolutely use formulas that take it into consideration. Follow closely the change of formulas for night or day birth. Also see my article Comments About Sect.

We are fortunate to have this information based on the translations done of the ancient texts. For several years I used identical formulas for day and night births. I won't go into all the problems this caused in prediction and how it limited my interpretations and understanding of the individual's natal charts, but this error caused me to ignore the part of fortune. It made no sense in my family's charts; we all had night births and therefore I was using the placement for the part of spirit and it has different meanings.

Patricia Foreman's book, "Computers & Astrology", has a substantial introduction to the Arabic parts with some interesting ideas about calculating them using solar or lunar ascendants.

Recently I have been experimenting with another dozen parts, besides the basic 15 or so that I am familiar with.

Formulas and Basic Meanings of Individual Lots

The following list contains the formulas and meanings of the parts I currently recommend. Just choose a few of the basic ones, and watch the transits of planets to them. They are interpreted not alone, but in aspect to planets, asteroids, and other parts. If you are a beginning astrology student, you can at least look at conjunctions. For those astrologers who are familiar with progressions, either secondary or solar arc, and solar returns, they work well used that way, too.
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The formulas I currently use do not always agree with all texts. Throughout history, several different formulas have been suggested for the same lot. For instance, there are five different formulas for the part of marriage. This is not the time to go into the history, which Project Hindsight addresses quite well. In order to decide which formula works for a given lot, I suggest you experiment with the various formulas until you understand the nuances or differences between them to decide which one to use in any given condition. For more information on this subject, check out Arabic Parts Formula Selection, which again focuses on examples and formulas rather than history, but I also explain some of the questionable formulas and my experience with them, and my reasoning for the current choices in formulas. It was not fun being the only astrologer I knew who used the lots. Few astrologers have extensive experience with the lots at this time, but at least I don't get the blank stares anymore.

There are at least two ways to calculate the lots manually. This is the first one that I learned and it is the one I use when I do not have the computer handy. The general formula for an Arabic part calculation is A + B - C = part, and this is most often asc + planet - planet = part. To calculate the part of marriage, which refers to very close relationships, and one's attitude toward those at any given time, the formula is as follows: asc + cusp of 7th house - Venus. Assuming an ascendant of 21 degrees and 12 minutes Leo, + a 7th cusp of 21 degrees, 12 minutes Aquarius, - 19 degrees and 58 minutes Sagittarius {Venus}, it would look like this:
7 22 26

Note that 24 minutes must be changed by one degree to 84 minutes in order to minus this 58 minutes. The one degree has come from the 42 degrees, which will then be 41 degrees. If the number representing the sign to be subtracted from the sum was more than the sum, then add 12 to the sum before subtracting the last planet. The part of marriage for this individual is 22 degrees and 26 minutes of Libra.

Formulas for most practical Arabic parts, and what they represent:

Note: C means cusp of the stated (number) astrological house; R means ruling planet of that individual's stated house; MC is the midheaven of the chart you are working with.

Basic Arabic Parts
Part Formula Meaning
Part of Astrology AS+ME-UR describes astrology's place in individual's life, modern formula
Part of Discord AS+JU-MA opinion strongly held; may reflect an area of challenge to beliefs or actions
Part of Father AS+SU-SA additional description of father's qualities; often his actual Sun sign
Part of Female Children AS+VE-MO self-explanatory
Part of Health AS+MA-SA an additional indicator of physical or mental health, neutral
Part of Friends AS+MO-UR self-explanatory, a modern formula
Part of Identity AS+SA-MO if you can say "I am this," you understand how to delineate this part
Part of Male Children AS+JU-MO self-explanatory
Part of Marriage AS+C7-VE very close relationships, including best friends; romances, some marriages, indicated in "willingness to relate"
Part of Mother AS+MO-VE additional description of mother's qualities; often her actual Sun sign
Part of Passion AS+MA-SU describes intensity of response to life and can sometimes be sexual
Part of Plays AS+VE-MA all types of gambling and risk-taking behavior; has been indicated in wins by Jupiter transits,often misnamed in other texts
Part of Profession AS+MO-SA additional information about career interests and activities
Part of Property AS+C2-R2 things you own, appliances, personal items, your home; almost anything you can buy, sell or make
Part of Sudden Advancement AS+PF(part of fortune)-SA self-explanatory
Part of Travel AS+C9-R9 journeys long or short, by land, air, or sea
Part of Vocation MC+MO-SU work you love to do; your calling or hobby

Kira Ivory, Astrological Consultant

Copyright © 1996-2004 Kira Ivory. All rights reserved.