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The Hyleg, Alcoccoden and the Length of Life in Ancient Astrology

Frequently Asked Questions

About Astrallis

What is Astrallis?
is the best application you may get to work with Primary Directions, astrology's most precise and reliable predictive tool.

Is there a Mac or Linux version of Astrallis?
At this time, only Windows platforms are supported. Visit astrallis.com to see any nnouncement about new versions.

I have a single License. On how many different computers can I use it?
The License file is associated with the Serial Number and the Serial Number is different for each user+computer.

How much free space do I need to run Astrallis?
Under normal conditions 200MB of free disk space are needed to install and run Astrallis.

Why I cannot install Astrallis?
If your antivirus or firewall is restraining the installer from going online, configure your antivirus or firewall giving Astrallis authorization to go online and download the latest version. Please report any false positive. Astrallis does not contain any virus or malware and does not collect any information from your computer either.

Can I distribute Astrallis Reports?
Yes, you can share all documents and reports as standard Windows XPS files. You should be aware that 'pdf' reports are not portable, meaning they will not show the right fonts on a computer where Astrallis is not installed. Embedding fonts into a 'pdf' file increases the size of the file by many times. In order to send high-quality, portable reports to third parties, just print the resulting 'pdf' file to the "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" printer, which is installed by default with Windows Vista and newer versions of Windows. XPS files can be viewed or printed easily with the XPS Viewer, also installed by default.

About Primary Directions

What are Primary Directions?
A Primary Direction is a measure of how many degrees the Earth has to rotate until a planet (or point in the sky) reaches a certain position. They are important in astrology because they represent the number of years when events will happen and have been a major predictive technique for more than 2000 years. In practical terms, Directions are the time frame when significant events are expected to happen through an individual's lifetime.

What is a promissor?
It is the starting point or planet in the sky from where a Primary Direction is measured until it reaches its destination point.

What is a significator?
It is the destination point or planet where the promissor is to be directed. Traditionally, the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, and Pars Fortuna. Nowadays all planets may be considered significators.

How many different types or techniques to calculate Primary Directions are there?
Mathematically speaking, only two. The first technique is attributed to Ptolemy and the second one to Regiomontanus. The only difference between them is the way they solve the same problem: Ptolemy proposed the 'equal times' hypotesis while Regiomontanus applied his knowledge of spherical trigonometry. Astrallis uses both techniques.

What is a rectification?
A Rectification is the process of calculating a birth time and matching a known event with a primary direction. It works because primary directions are a function of the birth time. Beware of other rectification techniques that use transits because transits are usually not a function of the birth time.

Why Astrallis does not calculate topocentric, Meridian, Alcabitius or other house systems primary directions?
No house system was intended to be a way to calculate primary directions. Placidus started the controversy when he invented a house system based on the ptolemaic semi-arc system, trying to refute the Regiomontanian system that was in vogue at that time. The 'House' term is meaningful when it refers to divisions of the zodiac, as well as divisions of the diurnal and nocturnal semi-arcs. This has led to the misunderstanding of primary directions as being a function of the house system. History, mathematics, and results demonstrate they are not.

Why are rectifications necessary if the birth time is already known?
Most birth times are just approximate. The world's most reputed astrology's database, Louis Rodden's Astro-Databank, has about 10,000 birth times classified as AA (Accurate accurate), which means "Data as recorded by the family or state. This includes BC (birth certificate), and BR (birth record)". Unfortunatelly, 50% of those records say the native was born at the beginning of the hour (i.e. 2:00) or half the hour (2:30 or similar), something statistically impossible; that raises a lot of questions about how birth times are recorded by family, doctors, and state officials. At the same time, birth is a process that doesn't happen instantly. The child is alive through the whole process, inside and outside the uterus. Light, sound, sensations and, for people who believe in astrology, planetary influences are targeting the new born during several minutes. Different directions may match rectifications with different birth times, several minutes apart. When the match is consistent with the subject, and doesn't deviate more than a few minutes, the rectification is reliable.

What are Secondary Directions?
They are symbolic charts representing future moments in life, based upon the principle of one day per year. A chart casted for 20 days and twelve hours after the birth time would represent the subject at 20 years and 6 month of age. Secondary Directions were used by Placidus as an auxiliary method to confirm the validity of a primary direction, and not as an independent predicting tool. Citing one example, for Philip III, King of Spain, born April 14, 1578, 14h. 47m. P.M., who died 42 years, 11 months and 7 days of age, he wrote: "For the secondary directions, I add 42 days for so many years, 22 hours for 11 months, and 28' for 7 days; therefore, the secondary directions are made on the 27th of May, 1578, with 13h 15', P.M.".

What is a Progression?
Similar to Secondary Directions, Progressions are symbolic charts representing future moments in life based on the principle of one lunation per year. Citing Placidus: "so many embolismical lunations suceeding the nativity, must be computed, as there are years which have elapsed of the age of the native, by always placing the Moon in that appearance and distance from the Sun she is at in the nativity. For every month to the Moon's place, there must be added ... the twelve part of a lunation..." Progressions were used by Placidus as an auxiliary method to confirm the validity of a primary direction and not as an independent predicting tool, as he describes in numerous examples.

Who was Placidus?
Placidus was the most famous astrologer of the 17th century. He popularized the system of astrological houses now known as the "Placidian system." He advocated and promoted the semi-arc method of calculating primary directions and was a fervent follower of the teaches of Ptolemy.

Who was RegioMontanus?
Johannes Müller von Königsberg (1436 - 1476), best known as Regiomontanus, was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. He played a major role in reintroducing the science of spherical trigonometry to the Western world from the works of Jabir ibn Aflah, also known as Geber. He applied spherical trigonometry to calculate primary directions and invented the house system that bears his name.

Who was Ptolemy?
Claudius Ptolemy (AD 90 - AD 168) was an Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and scholar. He wrote the Tetrabiblos and is considered one of the greatest astrologers of all times. He combined the Greek theory of music from the Greek philosopher Pythagoras with his knowledge of astrology to produce a new theory of astrological aspects. He summarized all the knowledge from the Greeks, Egyptians and Chaldeans, becoming the definitive source for astronomers and astrologers for 1500 years.

Are Mundo Houses similar to Zodiacal Houses?
No. Mundo Houses are divisions of the declination circle of each planet. Consequently, each planet has its own set of Mundo Houses; they are found by dividing the planets' semi-arcs in three equal parts. The Zodiacal Houses are divisions of the ecliptic circle with no relationship whatsoever with the planets' positions.

How precise is a primary direction?
Primary directions do not necessarily indicate single events but rather a period of time when several discrete or continous events may be experienced.

Who invented primary directions?
'A solis ortu usque ad occasum' (Psalm 113:3) which means 'From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets' is a phrase that summarizes the symbolism behind primary directions: Life beginning with the rising Sun and death becoming inevitable with the sunset; an omnipresent idea shared by all ancient cosmologies. The myths surrounding the Eleusinian Mysteries, with Persephone being abducted by Hades and forced to live in the underworld while death and misery wandered through the world, communicated the same ideas. The 'rapt' (latin for abduction) parallels, when two planets are carried together towards the Descendant, represent a breaking point, a separation from the light, a turning into the darkness, and have the same meaning. Nobody invented Primary Directions. Somebody discovered Primary Directions by observing the cycles of life and death and their natural correlation with the rising and setting of the celestial bodies.

Why are there so many different keys?
Most astrologers understand that primary directions correspond to periods lasting several months, when discrete or continuous events may be experienced. Different keys produce different hit dates, but overall, they all apply to the same greater period corresponding to a direction. Sometimes Ptolemy's Key may result a better approach than Naibod's Key and vice versa. Therefore, we believe that different keys corroborate the very nature of the primary directions. Needless to say, secondary directions, transits, ingresses, solar returns, and progressions were expected to signal events, rather than the keys themselves.

Are converse directions as powerfull as direct ones?
According to modern astrology, both direct and converse directions have the same power and significance.

What is an Apheta?
From the Greek Aphetes, meaning 'releaser' or 'dispenser', it is the starter, giver or moderator of life. As such, it was identified with the Sun or the Moon, because of their inherent light and luminosity and because light is conceived as the source of all life. It was translated to Hyleg in Arabic. The symbolism of rising, culmination and setting should be of help to determine rise and fall, success and defeat, and restarting moments in life. The word 'prorogator' is used sometimes with the same meaning.

What is an Anareta?
From the Greek Anairetes, meaning 'destroyer' or 'murderer', it is the 'executioner' or 'killer'. Mars and Saturn (and sometimes Mercury) were considered the 'killers' or anaretas. The symbolism of setting, associated with the anareta, or primary directions towards the Descendant, should be of help to determine critical moments in life.