Concerning the True System of Astrological Divination

The following document, part of a private collection of Golden Dawn papers, has been graciously provided to us by the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. The documents in the collection were at one point the property of Dr. Carnegie Dickson (Frater Fortes Fortuna Juvat), a member of the Stella Matutina.

“Concerning the True System of Astrological Divination,” according to other papers in the same collection, belonged to the curriculum for the G.D.’s Theoricus Adeptus Minor sub-grade. It is of interest not only as a look into the Order's astrological teachings — a subject concerning which almost nothing has been published — but also for the light it throws on the Order's concept of the Sphere of Sensation as a magical mirror of the cosmos.

It is taught in “The Secret Wisdom of the Microcosm which is Man” that every Microcosm of the Macrocosm hath its surrounding “Sphere of Sensation” according to its peculiar nature. In this Sphere of Sensation are mirrored the cognate forces of the Universe. {10}

In the case of each world, star, or planet, its Sphere of Sensation is a copy of the Universe - so that its Equator always represents its Zodiac - or Path of its own SUN - its Ecliptic and Equator will be coincident.

This does not vitiate its faculty of reflecting the Universe, as the latter then standeth in relation with it - so that while a star or planet may form some part of some particular constellation or stellar system, yet it will have its own astral sphere - its own particular Astral Universe.

Our Earth has its astral atmosphere - the reflection as well as the astral simulacrum of the whole Stellar Universe, but projected on a plane convex to the exterior Heavens, but concave to the Earth itself, the forces of which are excited by analogy with those in the outer Universe.

This is why, on a celestial globe, the constellations will appear to be turned in exactly the opposite direction to their actual position in the Heavens.

It is not alone true that it is the actual ray from another Planet (say Saturn) striking our Earth which produces a certain effect therein by direct action, but also that a ray striking the Earth’s atmosphere at once excites in a similar sense the Earth’s own astral Saturn therein - which latter then acts directly upon the material body of the Planet - but it is true also that the effect of this ray will be modified by the constellation within which its material body then is, as regarding the then position of our Earth - whence arises the doctrine of “Essential Dignities.”

It is, then, its own Astral Universe which is the direct agent upon every Microcosm - yet it receives its impulse from the Macrocosm.

A man stands in his own Sphere of Sensation whereof his head and his feet will be the North and South Poles. Horizontally surrounding the midst of his body will be his Zodiac or Belt, as the name implies - the central line of which will be the equivalent to the equator of his Sphere of Sensation. In this Sphere the Four Cardinal Points will be in the same plane and the circumstance of one of the astral Stars or Planets in his astral atmosphere being towards the South, will not at all mean that it is more elevated above his equator than at any other point - his equator and his ecliptic being coincident. The True Nativity of a Man is therefore a picture of his astral atmosphere.

How important a thing, then, it is to find out the exact point of the true East, seeing that a man regards a point in his Sphere of Sensation which was in the exact and true East at the moment of his birth and of his conception, so that during his life he is ever in contemplation of the forces therein symbolized. {11}

Now the revolution of our Earth upon its axis coupled with the position of the Sun, produces the varying effects of day and night. Man upon this Planet, is equally affected by these phenomena - therefore the position of the true Eastern Horizon as regards its distance from the extreme Southern point will vary according to the respective length of the day and of the night and not only according to this alone, but also to the time of day or night.

A system of exact correspondences exists between the Sphere of sensation or atmosphere of the planet and the sphere or atmosphere of the man incarnated thereon. Great, then, is the force of the Sun therein as regarding the relative length of the day and night.

All mankind may be divided into two great classes - “Children of the Day” and “Children of the Night” - these undergo many subdivisions.

The point of first importance in the erection of a figure, horary or natal, is to find the exact position of the Sun at noon at the particular place on the Earth’s surface when the event took place. This being done, the opposite point may be known - 4th. house - and from these the Ascendent and Descendent may be found.

Herein lies one of the errors of modern astrology. At its best, seeing that it calculates the direct impact of the rays of the other Celestial bodies upon the Earth’s physical surface, it can give, to a certain extent, a true answer concerning purely material questions, but, in anything beyond, it leaves out of calculation many important points, such as;-

A. The enormous difference produced by the Precession of the Equinoxes, between the Signs and the Zodiacal Constellations of the same name. Each time that the Equinoctial Points quit one constellation and enter another (for with the system of reckoning longitude from the meridian of Regulus, the Signs and Constellations be coincident) it representeth the change of a certain cycle, and of the force of this, also, modern astrology is ignorant.

B. Many descriptions are invalidated by being applied to wrong points of the Heavens and by the fact that the Planets’ dignities, etc., are not exactly noted.

Yet it is correct that the Solar influence of the Sun’s entry into the Vernal Equinoctial Point North of the Equator is equivalent to the nature of the Sun entering Aries, seeing that Aries represents the commencement of the Sign - but also this same effect will be produced by him at the South of the Equator in Australia, when he entereth what we call the Autumnal Equinox. (see revolution of Aces) {12}

Yet, this does not affirm that Aries and Libra be identical - that which is here said is true of the Sun only and for this reason, that he is the direct life-giver of our system and thus imposeth his own force with his light. This will not be true of the other Planets, seeing as they are not, to us, our fixed guiding point as the Sun is, but are rather in the same case as we as regards the Sun.

Another source of error is the ignorance of the God Forces beyond, and another is ignorance of the operation and nature of the atmosphere of a Planet and of the Sphere of Sensation of a man - both of which are elastic in nature and can be compressed or dilated.

Do not consider the Horizon as a fixed belt or limit.

This varies according to the time of year and the time of day or night. The Horizon represents the whole Solar arc of the Earth’s surface for that particular day for which the figure is erected. The Eastern and Western Horizons will be exactly equidistant from the Zenith, and will include between them the same arc of Solar Light as would be covered by the rays of the Sun supposing him to be in the Zenith at the time. This whole Solar arc of astral action of Solar light, is calculated according to the laws of a certain system of correspondence between the time of the day and the time in the year.

For the NOON of the year equals the Sun in Cancer 0 degrees.

MIDNIGHT of the year equals the Sun in Capricorn 0 degrees.

(Sign not Constellation)

These point to the exact half-distances between the Equinoctial Points as commonly called.

Besides the usual Planetary symbols, the points of the Rising and Setting Sun will be placed in the figure to mark the actual then limits between the Light and the Darkness - also, the place of the Earth will be shown.

The distance of the cusps of the Ascendent and Descendent will be calculated in this manner from the cusp of the 10th House, and this distance will constantly vary according to the hour of the day or night.

The rules of this are complicated in appearance but easy of comprehension and {13} their explication follows.

The formation thereof is symbolized in the Signs of the 5=6 as before shown.

The “Children of the Day” are those born when the Sun is south of the Horizon Line and the “Children of the Night” are born when the Sun is North of the Horizon Line. Children of the Day usually have more chance of a strong nativity when the diurnal arc or segment of the circle is longer than the Nocturnal and the contrary holds with the Children of the Night.

Now the foregoing mode of calculation of the cusps of the Houses is as the Paternal Force in the erection of a Nativity or Horary figure - as it is written “His Father was the Sun.”

The cusps of the first and seventh houses being thus fixed, it will follow that most generally these two points will not be exactly opposite each other in the scheme. These four points - Zenith, Nadir, Ascendent, Descendent - being obtained, the cusps of the remaining houses will be got by equal trisections of the quadrant.

Now, it is a body extraneous to the Earth, the Sun, which gives the results of the day and night upon the Earth - wherefore, this same also moderates the cusps in the atmosphere or Sphere of Sensation of man, who is upon Earth, by its Light.

But the spiritual light of a man is that which comes from his own Kether, and for this cause it is that the Signs of the 5=6 be given in the vertical, instead of in the horizontal plane. It cannot be correctly said that the Horizon may be marked by right angles drawn from the Zenith to the circumference of the Earth, seeing that the light of the Solar Rays can hardly be said to be limited by direct tangent rays from the Sun - and this is shown in the Moon during her first and last quarters where the Solar Light shining upon her does not end sharply against the darkness but appears to lose itself gradually therein.

NOTE by S.R.M.D. It is easy mathematically to prove that an arc included between the two tangent lines both proceeding from the same point without a circle can at its greatest never perfectly equal a semi-circle and will always be less.

Yet the Horizon of a globe is represented as dividing it into two equal parts. What is the base of this calculation? It depends neither on the length of the Solar Arc nor on the arc included by tangents drawn from the center of the Sun to the Earth; and if they were drawn from the circumference of the Sun they would include more than a semi-circle of the Earth, seeing that the diameter of the Sun exceeds that of the Earth considerably. It thus appears as a purely imaginary line if we take the modern definition.

In the Sphere of Sensation of a Star or Planet the Equator and the Ecliptic are coincident as in the Universe and this appears to make the Sphere point to the Kether of the Planet while the Planet itself may not be doing so. In the sphere of the Earth, the whole Stellar Universe is reflected convex to the rest of the Heavens.

A ray of Saturn acting upon the Earth is modified by the constellation in which Saturn then is. This force strikes the Earth’s Sphere exciting the astral Saturn in the Sphere which acts directly on the material body of the Earth. The Sphere is the direct agent of every Microcosm and receives the impulse to act from the Macrocosm.

The equator of the Sphere of Sensation of a man surrounds the centre of his body, passing through the Four Tiphareth Points - equator or ecliptic being coincident. The true nativity of a man is the picture of his astral atmosphere. man faces the point in his sphere which was the true East at the moment of his birth. Distance between the ascendent and the M.C. varies according to the length of day and night and also time of day and night.

In erecting a figure, first find the exact position in the Zodiac of the Sun at noon at that place where the native was born. From this calculate the degree of longitude on the M.C. and then the cusp of the 4th. house, Ascendent and descendent.

Errors of Modern Astrology:

1. It is based on the direct impact of planetary rays on the Earth's physical surface.

2. The Precession of the Equinoxes is not considered.

3. Ignorance of the God-Forms beyond.

4. Ignorance of the operations and nature of the Atmosphere of Planets and {15} Man.

5. Considering the Horizon as a fixed belt.

The Horizon represents the limit of the whole Solar Arc on the Earth’s surface for that particular time of day for which a scheme of the heavens is desired.

The Horizon is calculated by a system of correspondences between the time in the day and the time in the year.

It is written in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes:-

(The ms. at this point gives a translation of the quote below into somewhat ungrammatical Hebrew, and written in Hebrew script and a simple alphabetic cipher, with the notation “Copied from S.A.’s ‘Chief Adept’s’ Copy of May, 1885. F.F.J.”)

“His Father was the SUN - his Mother the MOON

The Air carried him in her bosom.

His nurse was the Earth.”

Recall the analysis of the Key-word of the 5=6 Grade, I.N.R.I.


The Mother, producer of seeds and fruits on the Earth when the Sun is therein.


The Destructive Force which is brought into play to check or restrict the continuation of the action of the regenerative force.


The SUN in his decadence of force from the Autumnal and his increase of force from the Vernal Equinox.


The initials produce the synthetic word I A O

This gives a fresh triad of which again the beginning is VIRGO thus:- [Virgo] [Air] [Tau] Th P A R Th [Tiphareth]

As the Adeptus Minor vibrates these Names and makes the Signs, he affirms certain correspondences in his own atmosphere.

The Sign of OSIRIS SLAIN represents the Equinoctial Forces.

EQUINOX - Sign of Osiris Slain

Length of day and night equal



This is the force of Light at its greatest pitch - wherefore the space included between the hands is the semi-arc of the Sun at the Summer Solstice which she thus recalls as the affirmation of the Life Force of Osiris.


Day length greatest, Night length least



The space between the hands above the head will mark the diminished extent of the whole area of the Sun at the Winter Solstice. It represents the excess of darkness over light.

WINTER SOLSTICE - Typhon and Apophis

Length of night greatest, day least



Arcs of Light - midway between the Equinoxes and Solstice

Between the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes and the Sumer Solstice



Between the Autumnal and Vernal Equinoxes

Between the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes and the Sumer Solstice


The synthetical extent of the vibration between the utmost light of the Solstice and the Equinox. It thus affirms that the power of the governance of these forces may be found in the self when depending on the higher illumination. The new Name Ι Α Ω is formed from the initials of the others - I A O.


Uniting and synthetical

All variations of day and night

In these diagrams the Light is shown coming from above the figure affirming its descent from Kether - also that the Solar Course of the seasons depends from the movement of the forces symbolized in the Book “T” by the Four Aces at the North Pole of the Universe and their convoluted revolution.



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