This article is based on my own edited version of Christopher’ Cattan’s Geomancie. As before my comments are below.
How to know the part of fortune
After the question has been made and we have judged by the houses, figures, angles, companions, aspects, the way of point, etc, it is now useful to make a judgement based on the Part of Fortune.
The Part of Fortune calculated in the following way by adding up all the points of the 12 figures which you divide into twelve parts, and that which remained to give unto the figures of the houses. So if there are two points remaining the Part of Fortune is given to the second figure, if there are four leftover it is the fourth house, if there are six remaining to the sixth house, if there are eight remaining, the eighth house, if there are ten to the tenth house, if there are twelve to the twelfth house. For example, if the chart comprises 72 points, or 84 or 96 or 108 points, then the part of fortune shall go into the twelfth. But if the points of the figure made, being divided by twelve, there do remain but two, as if there remain 74 where there remains two, then the part of Fortune must be the second house.
If the figure and house are good you shall judge good, but if they are bad you shall say it is bad. But if the figure be good, and the house ill, or contrary, the house good and the figure ill, you shall judge the said Part of Fortune to be average.
Mark where the figure mark it with the figure of a sun and you shall judge all the questions by the example that follows.
An example and figure made for Lord of Tays to know the Part of Fortune
My friend, the Lord of Tays wanted to buy a house and asked me to make a figure to know if the house was good or bad. I made for him the above chart and noted that the first house and its companion, the fourth and seventh and angles (for the best part) were good figures. But I judged that the chart was indifferent because the aspects were bad and the opposition average. The way of point pointed to a bad figure and finally, the part of fortune was a bad figure in a bad house so I judged it as bad.
Because the 12th house contains all the questions and demands connected to horses and big animals and the part of the body connected to the feet, and the bad figure Amissio, I judged that there was something wrong with the foundations of the building and it was of no worth. This was found to be true in the town of Lyon.
Many do use another manner to find Part of Fortune, by taking the points of the twelve houses but adding the two Witnesses, and the Judge which they then divide by 12. Because I have found it to be rubbish and will speak no more about it.
In his approach, I am going to disagree with Cattan here – not because of his method of calculating the part of Fortune but his interpretation of its meaning. The part or Lot of Fortune was a hugely important part of Ancient astrology and second only to the ascendant. Its astrological calculation is meaningless here, but it was not possible to use this figure to have an evil fortune (as Cattan did).
The Part of Fortune told where someone’s success would come. The quality of life, material prosperity, and wealth; happiness; handcrafts and the course of good and bad fortune; the affection of men towards women. While it was possible for the Lot to be bad, it was not as likely to be black and white in the way that Cattan describes it. If there were bad planets in the house where the Part of Fortune was found it indicated that facing these issues would bring good luck.
The Lot of Fortune was considered to prophesy good fortune, livelihood and possessions, and commendation and praise. If the Lot is in the terms of a benefit and a good house and in aspect to a benefic, property acquisition is indicated. The only time a Lot was Bad was when it was conjunct or in square or opposition aspect to a malefic where it was seen as causing the squandering of possessions.
According to Ptolemy the Part of Fortune had a knock on effect on the planets which were lords of the house where was found. So, if the Part was found in the sixth house of Aquarius it would influence all Saturn figures. This is obviously important in Geomancy where there could be many Saturn based figures.
Cattan’s example could still be valid. The chart’s message is that Lord Thay would have good fortune if he checked the house’s foundations or for something that was hidden and not obvious.
In another example of relationship readings (which was otherwise positive), the Part of Fortune was Cauda Draconis, in Aquarius, in the sixth house. Cattan would say that this was extremely bad and the relationship would end. However, seen more positively, it could indicate that the relationship will be a success for the seventh house partner because it tackles some of their hidden unconscious issues (the sixth would be their 12th house) and the querent’s career. You are looking for a positive expression of the bad figure. If Rubeus were in the same house, it would indicate that the couple could work because the seventh house partner was driven by unconscious desires and passions and the first house person thrived off the physical nature of the relationship.
To bring Ptolemy into a reading, you would then look to see if Rubeus is anywhere else in the chart and read it more positively, although this idea requires some experimentation because it would be a significant innovation.