Hello world!

Part 1 of 3 of

By Doctor Gonzalo Pena Tamez
To my friend Sanna
with thanks to Alhena who translated it into Spanish

For many years before I heard of the alchochoden, I had been predicting
death from the (rectified) chart for my clients without utilizing any
specific formula or technique other than the modern astrological lore, and
my acquired experience from having studied the transits and progressions at
the time of death in many charts, often with students in class while
teaching my courses on predictive astrology.

My approach consisted simply in reviewing first all relevant factors in
the (rectified) natal chart: the Ascendant, its ruler and its almuten;
planets in House One; Cusp 6 and other House 6 significators (almuten,
ruler and co-rulers) and House 8 and its significators. Then check the worst
aspects of the malefics among themselves and to the above significators.
Check as well the tightest orbed bad aspect and the tightest orbed good
aspect. Always writing down all the data, to then rearrange these factors in
order of importance after due pondering.

The tightest orbed bad aspect tells you a lot about what the person will
die of, even when neither of the planets involved may relate to House 8 of
death nor to the Ascendant. Similarly, the tightest orbed good aspect tells
you of what the person cannot die of…. although, of course, these are but
important factors to consider and have to be hierarchically integrated with
the rest of the chart, to come to a judgment.

Check the signs of the malefics and their aspects to their dispositors,
which always yield clear indication of what bodily part, organ or system is
bound to be the cause of death: like if you see Saturn in Leo and square the
Sun, you know death might come from heart failure, or spinal problems….
Other factors might further restrict the possibilities and clarify whether
it might not be only a close-to-death experience that will nonetheless be
overcome and then death might come from something entirely different at a
different time.

In this same example of Saturn in Leo square Sun, the 45th year will be
critical since the Progressed (secondary) Sun will then per force be
octagonal to both natal Sun and Saturn, bringing forth the full potential of
the natal square; so it becomes mandatory checking out the slow transits for
this period when a strong natal anaretic aspect is bound to be in the
forefront. Often, knowing about this episode’s timing may make a difference
in terms of whether the client will die there or may overcome the crisis
and stay on for the ride until the next station….

The modern astrologer discovers early in his/her career that the three
Outer Planets yield very rich information about what the person is going to
die of, and when. I know we’ve all wondered how the ancients managed without
this mighty tool for forecasting that the outer planets afford. As we study
the charts of people who died and review transits and progressions and
directions at the time they died, we learn many basic things about the
hierarchy of relevant factors: we always find the anaretic variables in 8
harmonic aspect with the aphetic variables. When the outer planets afflict a
natal apheta, the years when the same outer planet involved afflicts by
transit said natal affliction, will invariably tag with difficult life
crisis when the native’s grip on life appears seriously compromised. If the
Eclipses, Ingresses and Lunations stress the slow transit while it’s in orb,
the danger of death is stronger. And if while all this is on, a different
progressed anareta afflicts another apheta, we become more sure the native
will die there. Checking out the Solar Return chart for that year might
bring the additional confirmation needed to stand a firm conclusion.

Apheta means “life giver” and anareta means “death giver”, for practical
purposes. It’s important to realize that every sensitive point of the chart
has some aphetic and some anaretic magnitude, and to predict death from the
birth chart the practitioner must discern these aphetic and anaretic
magnitudes always exercising good sense to differentiate them

Initially, in my studies, I knew these terms, apheta and anareta, came from
Greek astrology and had read their meanings in astrology books; but there
was no consensus and details were seldom given so as to how the astrologers
of the earliest cultures applied their formulas for figuring out death from
the chart. I knew they had formulas for calculating death, but my
conviction told me that it was better to re-discover those formulas myself
by seeing a lot of cases, rather than waiting for modern astrology to
rediscover something like it. After all that’s the good thing about
astrology: you really don’t need any teacher other than the ephemeris and
time: any open minded observer who knows well the state of heavens, will
observe the correlations with the way things are around him and, in
principle, can discern the rules of the game all on his own.

Studying event charts and following your daily transits will allow you to
develop your own approach to the astrological anticipation or prediction of
events before they happen. I will not say that you will come to discover the
same things that the ancient astrologers knew, because there are many
possible approaches; but if you are dedicated you will find that eventually
you begin to acquire the ability to predict events with increasing accuracy
using astrology.

The ancients had their own ways, of which we are learning more every day as
the work on restoring the ancient astrological traditions advances. But
nonetheless we have other benefits now that they couldn’t count on, and no
one can doubt that our knowledge of the 3 outer planets does make a
significant difference.

Of course, there are many other techniques that have been developed
recently and that it is easy to confirm by observation that they are, most
definitely, worthy tools of the astrologer’s box for predicting the future,
including death. Of course, it is true that it might take you life times to
rediscover the rules of interpretation; ideally a teacher could save you
even aeons of research and application in this respect. In my daily
practice of astrological consultation though, I simply adopted the terms
apheta and anareta without the strictures dictated by the ancient
traditional definitions; which after all were confusing and resourced to
categories that had lost their clear meaning in modern astrology, like the
systems of rulerships as per triplicity, bound and phase, etc., necessary
for determining the Hyleg of the chart and the alchochoden.

To me it just seemed important from the beginning to develop a keen sense
of when a planetary placing or an aspect or any condition has aphetic
meaning and when it has anaretic meaning, and how much. Of course the same
planet may have a significant aphetic magnitude while simultaneously also a
significant anaretic magnitude in a chart. Furthermore, each planet has a
natural aphetic and anaretic magnitude independent of the role it plays in a
particular chart, which imposes a personal or particular aphetic or anaretic
magnitude modifying its natural magnitudes of these qualities. Thus, Saturn,
for example, which is a natural anareta, if in a particular chart is the
ruler of the Ascendant, it is going to become also a personal apheta.
Likewise, Jupiter, is a natural apheta, but if in a particular chart it
rules House 8 of death, it becomes a personal anareta..

In analyzing a natal chart I fell into the habit of writing a column of
“aphetic factors” and another one for the “anaretic factors” and then
proceed to ponder them to rearrange them in order of importance, prior to
interpreting and integrating them. Initially one learns basic facts like
that the planet that forms the worst natal aspect to the ruler of 8th has to
afflict the ruler of 8th again by transit and/or progression at the exact
time of death. Just playing with these two columns one can put together a
pretty objective scenario of what the person will die of, and roughly when:
very young, young, middle, old or very old. This with the usual
correlations that we all know plus the traditional aphorisms we all use:
Jupiter in detriment square ruler of 8th and/or Pluto, in the natal, is in
and by itself, a strong indicative that the person dies young……Just like
a nice trine from the ruler of 8th to Saturn or to Pluto is a strong
pointer to an easy death at a ripe old age. But of course never a single
aspect is base enough to erect a definitive judgment: rather, we always
compile all these factors and write them down and ponder them and express
the aspects with their proverbial keywords to let them speak themselves loud
and clear.

It is very basic to be open to let the chart do the talking without
forcing anything. Experience allows us to constantly improve our keywording
of the planetary placings and aspects so that they spell their significance
in ordinary language. With the years of practice, this telegraphic
key-wording of the relations of a chart becomes a powerful objective
description of the future (or the past) of our clients. It is very early in
this training that the student learns the proper detachment from pet
theories that distort impartial observation: if one sees oneself clinging
steadily to a point of view, it is healthy to play devil’s advocate too and
defend a contrary perspective. Saturn teaches us to use the scales at every
step on our way to establishing a firm judgment or to paint a specific
scenario of a future event based on the chart’s elements. Quite often even
the student can look at a chart 5 minutes or less and be sure what the
person will die of and under what progression or transit and then all
further measurements are only confirmatory of the first impression. Other
(rectified) charts reveal a more complicated series of possibilities and
more experience is required to give firm conviction of certainty. It’s
normal that a couple of factors say one thing and another couple of aspects
negate it while suggesting a different scenario. The ability to ponder them
differentially and integrate them only grows with practice.

Of course, our aim should be to develop intelligent software capable of
calculating the time of death from the rectified birth chart… But it seems
we don’t yet understand the rules ourselves, at least well enough to tell
the machine how to do it all by itself. But that’s where we are heading to.

But we can always be sure that the constrains imposed by the aspects we
are reviewing are going to manifest as fully as they may be allowed to by
the other relevant factors. We have to think in vectorial terms to resolve
all these tugs and tensions and integrate an scenario that accounts for all
the data we have been gathering to the best of our ability. Thus, if the
ruler of 8 has a bad aspect from Mars, we might not be sure whether it will
be this or that Martian scenario at death time; but it is for sure it will
be a Martian scenario, which sure implies high adrenaline in the blood,
which means that the person will die awake and under stressful conditions,
maybe while actively doing something. On the other hand if, for example,
Venus sextiles Cusp 8 of death, the person will be placid and serene, with
low adrenaline in the blood and high acetylcholine, we cannot discard death
while asleep… If besides Neptune is in 8th and sextiles the ruler of 12th
and trine the ruler of the Ascendant, then we’ll be more sure that death
will come while asleep. Jupiter in House 8 tends to warrant a “good death”,
painless and placid. Clearly if Cusp 8 is conjunct the Moon/Jupiter
midpoint, the story is very different than if the Sun/Mars mid-point is in
tight conjunction to Cusp 8. The first case warns you to the high likelihood
of death while the person is at least in bed, if not asleep. The second case
reveals that death strikes while the person is awake and physically active,
to mention one more example of how the puzzle is pieced together by finding
multiple constrains and pondering the respective weights of all relevant

Always pay attention to all midpoints conjunct Cusp 8. Ponder the
dignities and aspects for the almuten of House 8 ….if the ruler and the
almuten are different planets, try figure scenarios congruent with their
respective strengths. Always heed the clues given by the midpoint of the
ruler and the almuten of House 8. As you study a growing number of cases,
you learn many specific signatures, like for cancer, heart failure, diabetes
complications, neurological syndromes, metabolic or degenerative illnesses;
chronic ailments turning acute, etc. Both the older doctrine of the Arabic
Lots or Parts and the modern uranian teachings on midpoints and planetary
pictures provide dozens of specific planetary combinations associated with
specific pathologies. I have found them to work remarkably well. Points
like Ascendant plus Moon minus Jupiter, or Ascendant plus Moon minus Pluto,
for example, are always in first prominence in patients with cancer. Like I
have always found the point Ascendant plus Jupiter minus Neptune in the
foremost plane in all cases of severe diabetes… At the onset, a couple of
good books on medical astrology are a requirement. Sadly, there are not
very many good texts on Medical Astrology.

Stick leg one of your protractor (stainless steel compass) right on Cusp 8
on the native’s printed chart and check every planet transposing it to the
other ecliptic hemisphere pivoting on that cusp, to detect pairs of planets
with symmetry around the Cusps 2/8 axis. The compass makes it easy to
locate other planetary pictures involving House 8. If, for example,
flipping with the compass the almuten of House 8 over the Cusp of this
House brings it into conjunction to another planet, that can throw a great
deal of information about the time and cause of death. For practical
purposes, it carries the weight of a straight conjunction. Try this in
charts of people who have already died, to learn the relations that tend to
be ubiquitous. If you see for example the natal Jupiter/Pluto conjunct Cusp
8, or conjunct the almuten of 8, and natal Jupiter is ruler of 6th and in
detriment, you can advance that the person will die from lung or liver
problem, as Jupiter rules these organs and natal Jupiter is an apheta whose
mid-point with an anareta, Pluto, is conjunct Cusp 8 of death. But the
placings in the signs and the involvement of other planets could convert
this picture into a diabetes or a cancer. Although Jupiter also rules the
thighs, you would only consider femoral hemorrhage as the cause of death if,
besides the above, there were a natal Mars/Jupiter opposition, with either
one of these planets in House 1, for example.

Remember that we are always dealing with relations that are not functions,
in the mathematical sense of this word. That means that even when statistics
show that there is always a Mars/Saturn partiling affliction in 100 per cent
of the cases of death by fire arm, still you cannot conclude that if a
client has a natal Mars/Saturn square with peri-partile orb he is going to
die by gun. If either of these malefics were in detriment in House One and
conjunct the South Node of the Moon also in One, then the possibility begins
to appear like a high probability. If you then see Pluto in 8th square the
ruler of the Ascendant, then the conclusion of death by bullet wounds is
already imposing itself. If that same Pluto and the Ascendant share final
dispositor and this final dispositor squares that Mars in detriment in One,
then you just take it as confirmed that death will come by bullet. So you
just keep stirring it until it begins to thicken up and your conviction is

The arc of House One always maps the body projected on the ecliptic so that
the fontanel touches the Ascendant and the feet’s soles stretch to reach the
Cusp of House 2. If in this arc of House One there is a change of signs,
there will be an overlapping projection of the body’s anatomy so that the
feet are at the sign boundary too, in this other projection. The position of
the said Mars in detriment in House One on these scaled projections, will
point to the bodily parts that will be injured by the bullets. That assumes
a very finely rectified chart, of course, and anyway it will have to be
confirmed by the cosmic state of the planets ruling those bodily parts
involved. If there is a change of signs within the arc of House One and the
planets ruling those 2 signs are in tight square at birth, the part of the
body corresponding to the sign boundary on the first of the above 2 scaled
projections, is bound to be involved with the medical description of the
death causes, unless these 2 planets are in good aspect at the time of
death, in which case the crisis will come but it will be overcome.

Of course, a planet in Fall or Detriment in 8th always reveals how the
person dies; same when a planet is in House 1 in Fall or Detriment If the
ruler of 8th is in Fall or detriment, you are warned to check other
concurring factors to conclude that the person does not stay to live as much
as he could. If Uranus squares an otherwise well aspected ruler of 8th, you
can conclude that the person’s body might have gone on living longer had it
not been because of an accidental or violent event marking an untimely end.
Death in the operation room is also signed by uranian afflictions; if
Neptune is involved too it could have to do with the anaesthesia, or when
the person is in comma. If the person has a trine between the ruler of 6th
and the ruler of 8th and besides, say, a dignified Saturn sextiles the
Ascendant, but Uranus is in a tight “T” square involving Cusp 8 with the
malefics included, the picture is again that the person’s physical body
could have lived to a very ripe old age, but his life will nonetheless be
truncated because of an accident. Of course here then we’ll move on to check
when the slow planets will activate the “T” and warn our client about the
likelihood of accidents on the dates around the partiles of the activating

Of course, the chart shows when death will come from accidental reasons,
like when Uranus is the top anareta; but it also shows what the person would
have died of if the accident had been avoided. Same for suicide, when
Neptune is the top anareta… The chart can show for example that the
native will die of stomach cancer at 68, but that at 56 there is a high
danger of a suicidal crisis. The client can be advised to prepare to
overcome the suicidal crisis first, and be warned also to insure early
detection of the stomach cancer to see about avoiding that second high
anaretic episode seen in the natal chart and its dynamics.

Astrology is usually seen in practice as a House 12 correlate, so
if the ruler of 12th forms happy aspects to the identified death circuit, it
is likely that astrological advise may be a determinant factor in saving the
client’s life. Sometimes it is important to consider the House 12
significators also in the context of deciding to what extent the timing of
death might be explained as a conscious or unconscious suicide. It is a well
confirmed fact that accidents tend to happen when we are going through
otherwise difficult situations. Suicide is a House 12 correlate and there
are specific planetary pictures that lead us to consider suicide as the form
of death… If we see for example the midpoint of the planet ruling the
Ascendant and the planet ruling House 8 conjoined Cusp 12 in opposition to
Neptune, we begin to suspect suicide as cause of death. If besides this
planetary picture we see the ruler of 12 in 8, afflicted by an anaretic
planet in Pisces, we begin to confirm it.

Of course, House 12 rules hospitals, so you have to decide whether death
has some suicidal components or it will take place in a hospital, or both.
It could also be in jail. But, you know, every aspect tells a story and you
have to make sure that your listing of top aphetic and anaretic factors is
exhaustive, otherwise you may be leaving out of the picture some central
part of the story. We’ve already mentioned the role of Neptune and House 12
significators to decide whether the person dies asleep or awake. If planets
of nocturnal sect and feminine polarity predominate in the anaretic
configurations over planets of diurnal sect and masculine polarity, death
will come while asleep.

Remember that the slow (outer) planets aspect a given sensitive point of
the chart, at the most, only a few times in a life-time; so if these
planets afflict an aphetic significator in the natal chart , it is easy to
prepare a list of the years when the same aspect will recur; that way one
can pay attention to whether other converging factors will soften or harden
this at any rate most anaretic epoch. As an example, take the case of
natal Uranus in detriment in 8th, square the Ruler of the Ascendant in Fall
in Scorpio, which could spell death by accident, or on a surgical operation,
maybe result of an accident. If the almuten of 6th is dignified and not
involved by aspect with the said square, we can lean more towards the simple
accident hypothesis, without health problems causally involved. If Uranus
were in 12th afflicted by the ruler of 6th, the health related critical
surgical intervention is favored.

Anyway transiting Uranus will be “T”squaring the natal square every 21-22
years, so we study this recurrence’s epochs to see whether other factors
converge. If at the same time transiting Pluto is squaring the Ascendant
which natally sesquisquares, and the progressed Moon conjuncts the
progressed Sun on natal Cusp 8, for example, then we get alarmed and write
that date down in the list of most likely death dates, that later we’ll
double inspect, integrate and interpret. A good rule is to study carefully
any epoch when there is a convergence of more than one outer planet
recurring, in transit, to afflict the same natal planet they also afflict in
the natal, for these epochs are totally disruptive and painfully
transformative, and it is better to map well their temporal overlappings. If
any of the natal planets involved is an apheta, and the aspecting planets
carry high anaretic significance, the danger of death is very real and from
then on it will be only confirming that we have found the time of death of
the person we are studying. So you go to check the other tray of the scales,
but knowing the weight on the anareta tray is very heavy during that overlap
of converging reccurring afflictions from slow planets in transit to the
points they afflict in the natal. We could say that this procedure involving
the slow planets is the back bone of the modern method to predict death from
the chart

Clearly, before we check all this, we have already prepared a listing of
all the aspects that the almuten of 8 will form by secondary progression to
all the aphetic significators in the natal chart, so that if some other
indicator happens to coincide in time with either of these epochs, we’ll
consider it more seriously as a likely date of death. It’s easy to start up
with good exahustive listings of all future progressions and slow transits
affecting aphetic promittors from anaretic significators. When two or more
coincide within a narrow time range, we’ll move to investigate that period
in further detail, by checking the Return charts and the Lunations, SolarArc
Directions and even all the way to the faster transits if the situation
calls for it. Of course modern software makes all this easier: good
exhaustive listings chronologically sorted can be color-coded and inspected
fast, scrolling them on the computer screen, to detect long tunnels of
debilitating clustering squares embedding a deadly anaretic partile, etc.

It is a lot easier if the software allows the astrologer to combine all
these factors in one single chronological listing. If clusters of faster
good aspects embed the partile of a heavy anaretic conjunction, square or
aversion (quincunx), then either the anaretic partile comes debilitated and
the person may not die, or else the person will die under particularly happy
circumstances. We just have to look around some more to decide which case
applies. Much will depend on the age of the person in the context of our
initial assessments as to the general vitality of the chart and the
approximate life expectancy assigned on the natus’ general considerations.

Another thing we all learn early in our careers, is that once things have
come to happen, it is easy to see why they did, astrologically; but to
predict events before they happen, finer ability is needed. Yet you can be
sure that after studying transits and progressions at death time in one
hundred different charts, you are going to have a much finer sense for the
kind of things you should pay attention to. Check rectified charts of people
who died at a very old age, then charts of infant deaths testing your
theories once and again against factual reality. When studying these charts
always ask yourself the same question: How could I have predicted this death
(cause and time) before hand? You will find that there was an anaretic
progression marking the epoch of death, and that this waited for other
faster factors to align. Normally one or multiple afflictions from the 3
outer planets are also in the backdrop, as well as anaretic Solar-Arc
directions converging; and then come the Eclipse or the Lunation activating
the slower aspects; and finally the clearly anaretic faster transit
compounded by the Moon narrowing the time range to a most likely day.
Pinpointing the exact time, requires to bring in the transiting Cusps,
besides the Moon; and this is rarely done. Of course, the person’s diurnal
chart also keys in the top anaretic configuration on the day of death.

It is very easy to make a lot of truthful statements about someone’s
death, studying the natal chart; but to specify the precise moment of death
can be more difficult and time consuming. For this pragmatic reason, it is a
convenient compromise to gather as much data about the significators of
death in the natal chart, let them do the talking by skillful key-wording,
and then prepare a listing of the most strongly anaretic episodes ahead and
present them to the client, with well thought comments aimed at avoiding
what can be avoided by suitable precautions or behavioural changes.

Astro*Carto*Graphy allows us to decide when relocation can be the best way
to avoid death. Indeed, studying the synastry of the native’s natal chart
with the foundation chart of the town or city where the person lives, one
realizes that quite often it aggravates the anaretic afflictions in orb on
the progressed plane as well as the triggering transits. Which allows us to
have a glimpse as to in what measure death was avoidable by being elsewhere
at the time of death. Each case is different, but we know that our personal
natal chart is always in synastric relationship with key charts ruling the
country and the town where we live. To understand this relation, it’s
advisable to learn to predict the local weather using astrology. The
insights thus gained are easily transposed onto other planes of our
understanding of horoscope dynamics and prediction of future events from the
relevant charts in general.

Even when it seems clear to the astrologer that death will
strike under difficult or impossible to avoid conditions, like it is the
case for example with genetically ingrained cancer, bound to get activated
by environmental circumstances under clearly discernible aspects to
eventually bring death at the peak of the next anaretic wave; it is better
to always leave a little room for hope at the time of phrasing these
aspects to the client, while at the same time try programing in the active
Martian attitude of fighting fate and death always to the end and beyond.
Sweet surrendering to death might be lovely, but it is better to postpone
it forever. Never surrender to death until after you are back in the womb…
Even all animals know this!. It’s a wise advise, to insure ever better
rebirth conditions. For Mars rules all beginnings and his’ is the Equinox in
Aries where it all begins. We all must pass through that very Martian place
at some moment each time we commence a new existence as embodied conscious
identities subject to the cosmic rythms.

Esoteric astrology has always subscribed to the notion that the moment one
dies is directly tied with the moment one is born the next time. Tradition
holds that one’s birth chart is to keep not from birth to death, but from
birth to next birth time; which opens the possibility of using the birth
chart to see what we’re likely to experience between death and our next
rebirth, when a new heavens is alloted to us. At the same time it has always
been taught at the Mystery Schools, that at the moment of death our
higher identity faces a moment of truth where our own vibratory state
becomes determinant of our future fate. It is like when we are at the
airport and there are flights going to various points, near and far. Even
if the dice are tossed because we already have a ticket for a particular
flight, we stand on grounds where at least in principle, we can still either
cancel our ticket and get another one elsewhere, or all sorts of other
possibilities, including getting a job at the airport and staying there.

Our social fabric is not ready yet to accept the proper role of the
astrologer as someone who advises when it is the best moment to die in
order to maximize the conditions of rebirth in accordance with the client’s
will. It seems highly likely that the coming renaissance of astrology, with
both Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius first, and then in mutual reception,
with Uranus in Piscis and Neptune in Aquarius, will begin to see some
acceptance to this priestly role of the astrologer.


…continues in Part 2 of 3

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