In episode 192 astrologers Chris Brennan and Leisa Schaim present a detailed introduction to the ancient zodiacal releasing timing technique, which divides your life into chapters and paragraphs, and helps to identify your life story.
In ancient Hellenistic astrology there were several different time-lord techniques that were used to determine when the potential of placements in the birth chart would be awakened, although many of them were lost in the transmission of astrology over the past 2000 years.
Zodiacal releasing is a time-lord technique that has been recovered over the past two decades through translations of the Greek text of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens.
In this episode Chris and Leisa present a 4-hour workshop on the technique, in order to provide the audience with a broad overview and introduction to zodiacal releasing.
There is a long set of show notes below, which outline some of the main points we made during the course of the episode.
This episode is available in both audio and video versions, and you will find links to both at the bottom of this page, just after the show notes.
Zodiacal Releasing Podcast Outline
Here is our outline with the major points we touched on in this episode:
- A collection of lost timing systems known as “time-lord” techniques.
- Recovered in the past 30 years due to revival of ancient astrology.
- Many of them were lost in the transmission of astrology over 2000 years.
- Recovered through translations.
- They time the activation of latent potentials in the birth chart.
- Not all chart placements are activated at all times.
- Some lie dormant until awakened through these timing techniques.
- Similar to dasa systems in Indian astrology
- Most powerful one found so far is called zodiacal releasing.
- From 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens.
- Divides the life into chapters and paragraphs.
- Used to study different topics like career, health, or relationships.
- Can time career peaks and transitions.
- Periods that are experienced as more subjectively positive or negative.
- Our goal here today is to provide a broad introduction and overview to the topic.
- One of the most complex techniques, but also one of the most interesting and profound.
- Usually taught at the end of Chris’ Hellenistic astrology course.
- The full lecture on this is 18 hours long.
- Main goal is to introduce the technique to novices here
- Some additional personal anecdotes that may be useful to advanced users.
Calculating Zodiacal Releasing Periods
- First must calculate the Lot of Fortune, Spirit, and Eros.
- These are the starting points for the ZR technique.
- Three easy ways:
- Arabic Part or Lot Calculator on Astro-Seek.com
- Thanks to Petr Soural from Astroseek
- Astro.com → extended chart selection → style: Astrodienst w/ Arabic Points
- Astrodienst does not use the correct Eros calculation here.
- Update (3/11/19): Astrodienst has a new zodiacal releasing calculator, which now calculates Eros correctly.
- To find it, go to Astro.com → free horoscopes → extended chart selection → chart drawing style: Hellenistic.
- Click “PDF Additional tables” on this page to export the ZR periods.
- Solar Fire: Google: Installing Hellenistic Astrology Page Design in Solar Fire
- Arabic Part or Lot Calculator on Astro-Seek.com
- Identify the sign that each lot is placed in.
- Start from the lot that matches the topic you want to study.
- The quality of the lot provides the context of the resulting periods.
- Spirit: career, overall life direction, actions
- Fortune: health, accidents, the body, that which befalls you.
- Eros: relationships, marriage, love.
- Each sign of the zodiac is attributed a certain number of years:
- Zodiacal Releasing Periods Handout
- The sign the lot falls in is activated for the number of years associated with that sign.
- Once those years are up, the next sign in zodiacal order is activated.
- It is called zodiacal releasing because you release the significator from its fixed position
- Zodiacal “aphesis”
- It keeps moving forward in zodiacal order as long as the native is alive.
- Moves at a variable rate, not fixed or constant. Symbolic.
- For the purpose of calculation 360 day years and 30 day months are used.
- There are also subperiods to study shorter durations.
- Signs attributed months instead of years on level 2.
- Each subperiod is 1/12 of the general period.
- Four subperiods.
- Level 3: “weeks” of 2.5 days (1/12 of Level 2)
- Level 4: “days” of 5 hours (1/12 of Level 3)
- For the purpose of this we will focus mainly on level 1 and level 2
- General periods and first subperiods
- The technique though becomes even more impressive seeing it on lower levels.
- If Spirit and Fortune are in the same sign, move Spirit forward one sign.
Software Programs for Calculating Zodiacal Releasing
- Zodiacal releasing used to only be in Delphic Oracle.
- Thanks to Curtis Manwaring for making ZR research possible.
- He also developed the freeware “Aphesis” ZR program for Windows.
- ZR is now available in many major astrology programs.
- Solar Fire, etc.
- There are a number of free websites that calculate ZR now as well:
- The signs that are angular from the Lot of Fortune are more active and important
- Coincide with periods of heightened importance and activity when activated.
- What I call “peak periods”
- When you start from Spirit and it comes to angles from Fortune these are career peaks
- When you start from Eros and it comes to angles from Fortune relationship peaks
- Periods of heightened importance and activity are not necessarily positive.
- Just more active and more important.
- Peak periods tend to stand out in a person’s chronology.
- True especially in general periods, but also in subperiods.
- Peak periods do not happen in isolation
- The sign that comes before a peak period builds up to and prepares for the peak
- The sign after the peak period carries forward and brings to completion these themes
- This cluster of three signs is known as an angular triad.
- Term introduced by Schmidt to name something implicitly used in ancient astrology.
- You must look at periods as a sequence with a beginning, middle, and end.
Interpreting the Quality of a Period
- The quality of a period is primarily determined by:
- Planets in the activated sign
- Planets aspecting the activated sign by square or opposition
- The condition of the ruler of the sign.
- I tend to emphasize planets in or aspecting the sign more than the ruler.
- Other astrologers focus more on the ruler.
- Valens initially seems to favor the ruler, but in the examples focuses on the sign
- The benefics and malefics primarily dictate the subjective experience of the period.
- If it is experienced as more subjectively positive or negative.
- The starting Lot you release from provides the context.
- Important to use sect to determine the most positive and negative planets.
- Day chart: Jupiter most positive planet, Mars the most negative.
- Night chart: Venus the most positive planet, Saturn the most negative.
- The other benefic and malefic are more moderate in their inclinations.
- The signs angular to the most positive planet will be experienced as the most positive
- The signs angular to most negative planet experienced as most negative.
- Angular here means in the same sign, square, or opposed by sign.
- Sign-based aspects from the benefics and malefics.
- See where most positive and negative planets fall in the angular triads.
- Is the most positive planet angular from Fortune, or the most negative planet?
- Peak periods can be active, but not necessarily experienced as easy or positive.
- Are benefics activated in the build up period or the cool down phase?
- Malefics in the build up period or the cool down phase?
The Loosing of the Bond
- Occurs in some of the signs that are longer than 17 years.
- On the subperiod it completes the cycle through all 12 signs.
- Instead of starting the cycle over again, it jumps to the opposite sign.
- Resumes cycle from opposite sign.
- This is called the loosing of the bond or the breaking of the sequence.
- Always happens about 17 and a half years into general period, but on level 2.
- Loosing of the bond can also occurs on L3 and L4.
- Always marks a major transition
- In Spirit it is a major transition in the career and life direction
- In Eros a transition in relationships
- In Fortune sometimes a transition in body, health, or circumstances.
- It is one of the more reliable parts of the technique
- Often very dramatic or notable.
- Usually marked by an L or LB in most programs.
- There are a few different scenarios of what occurs.
- Foreshadowing period
- The loosing of the bond is the second time that sign is activated.
- The first time it is activated 8 years earlier often offers a preview of the LB
- Sometimes the person almost does something but doesn’t finish/follow through
- When the LB happens they follow through the second time around.
- Chris discovered this through working with clients.
- Lots of other stuff we can’t get into here.
- There are many other interpretive principles.
- Completion period
- Culmination period
- Activating the ruler of Spirit
- Activating the ruler of the general period
- Not necessary to go into all of that here.
- Most of it is dealt with in Chris’ full 18-hour lecture.
- We touch on philosophical issues the technique raises several times in the episode.
- Talk about some personal experiences with the technique.
- Realizations/thoughts from using it over time
- A bunch of other points made throughout the episode were omitted in this outline.
Learning More About Zodiacal Releasing
Once you are done with this podcast, if you want to learn more about zodiacal releasing, here are some other resources:
- Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune book
- 18-hour class on zodiacal releasing
- Hellenistic astrology course
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