by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Pluto Part and the Scorpio Eclipse

Girl with Parrot from the Arabian Nights 1580 by Indischer Maler

This is going to be a very obtuse post. If you’re not into the math behind astrology (plus a few of its esoteric traditions), you probably won’t even know what the fern I’m talking about.

But I will attempt to explain, of course. (That's just the kind of girl I am, after all...)

For those of you who are sort of into the math, the thing I’m referencing – or at least that which began this line of thought is the concept of Arabic Parts.

For everybody who isn't into the math, maybe you're wondering what the pepperoni an Arabic Part is. Well, an Arabic Part is a form of triangulation using given points in your chart. And what's the benefit of that? Triangulation being how you find things in space (or in the case of astrology, time/space) Arabic Parts uses three separate points in your chart to synthesize where in (time)space you will encounter your Self in something of a fateful way which....IF you're paying attention, you can learn from.

Like, vastly.

Arabic Parts:
a whole nifty little study of its own.

(Sounds like a commercial, doesn't it?)

The symbol (glyph) for 'Fortuna' or Part of Fortune 
There is one Arabic Part in particular most people do seem to know...that would be the Part of Fortune – or “Fortuna” as it is sometimes known. The formula for Mizz Fortuna (or the POF, as those of us tired of writing it out so many times scrawl) is:

Sun – Moon + Ascendant = POF

In other words, the Part of Fortune is the number of degrees from your Sun to your Moon projected from your Ascendant.

And that Ascendant...? The Ascendant is ‘now.’ Quite literally the Ascendant of any given moment is the degree which is 'rising' at the point to the east of you on the horizon where by revolving, Planet Earth is turning into the flow of time.

(Think about how time zones work and this may be a little more obvious.)

It is because of this ‘now’ concept that the Ascendant (the point which was to your east when you were born)  becomes the signature of actions, personality and moment-to-moment other words, your personal now.

(And yes, the ruler of your Ascendant counts too.)

The Sun is consciousness and intellect, the Moon is memory and emotions. So Fortuna is essentially the difference or distance from your (Sun) conscious understanding (of who you are and other things) and what you are capable of (or capable of understanding) and thus embracing, being, doing or gleaning from....TO your (Moon) emotional standing, reaction to memory, desires, nature, value/values – all that.

That 'from Sun to Moon' distance, when projected from the ‘now’ (Ascendant) is the Part of Fortune – the triangulated focal ‘fine tuning’ point where your mind (Sun), humanity (Moon) ability to recognize the value of who and what you are being finds an important ‘gateway’ into the world, into life.

This is why our Fortuna is considered something we each need to ‘go through’ (be it physically, emotionally or any other which way) in order for you to achieve the fullness of our essence.

For the "let me live up to the trust placed in me as an astrological professional" record, there is one technicality here: the above is the Part of Fortune for people born during the daytime. There’s a whole pile of lore about how the formula should change to 'Moon – Sun + Ascendant = Part of Fortune' for people born at night.

And just to irritate you, in the abstract, the first is the Part of Fortune and the second is the Part of Spirit no matter when you're born.

Whether you were born during the day or during the night, both hold, both have meanings, etcetera, etcetera.

Still with me?

The kind of nifty thing about Arabic Parts is that they're akin to an astrological DIY project. The Arabs (bless their burnooses) (Or is that one burnoose and two burneese?) …were great mathematicians. They really did the heavy lifting when it came to the whole casting of horoscopes thing with all the included trigonometric calculations and such. And when it came to the Arabic Parts, their thinking became a sort of winner-take-call mathematical limbo party since Arabic Parts with any three points you want to correlate: two objects and where you want to project them from. In other words, if you’re into your sex life, instead of using the Ascendant, you might want to use the 8th house cusp as your 'project from' point...or the 12th house cusp if you were into the romance and seduction quotient.

Or maybe you're in a really funky 'who needs feelings?' mood because of the incoming eclipse. I'm with let's keep the Ascendant and use the distance from Moon to Venus to see what degree the (Venus) value of (Moon) feelings is. 

Or maybe you're really ticked off with your partner? Keep the Moon and Venus distance (Moon - Venus) and project it from the 7th house: the house of established (connective) relationships.

It’s a mix-and-match fest, to be sure…which reminds me of when I worked on ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ down in Austin, Texas. As you’d head into the building housing the art department, there was this big sign drawn in tastefully old-timey lettering and slightly drippy red paint. It read:


And on that movie, they meant it. It was occasionally pretty much a gore fest….and that’s before we got to the real and fake blood. But in the world of Arabic Parts, there always be Parts you ain't never done taken part of yet!

This is where the whole Arabic Part thing got me - with regards to the incoming eclipse, I mean. In chart casting around (all puns intended) for another way to see what the eclipse means (now that it's given me three totally separate and stupendous headaches), I came up with the Pluto Part for this Solar Eclipse:

Pluto – Solar Eclipse + Mars
= Plutonic Eclipse Point

So, for the math. (I'm into math, can you tell?) The eclipse will be a 11 Scorpio. On the day of the eclipse, Pluto will be a 9 Capricorn and Mars will be at 16 Virgo.

Translate all that into 360 (zodiacal degree) notation, do the math and voila! The “solution” of the eclipse becomes 14 Scorpio.

Why did I choose Pluto and Mars? That would be because the eclipse is in Scorpio and Pluto is the ‘outcome’ ruler of Scorpio while Mars is the action point, which sort of (on a rather theoretical and esoteric level) 'takes the place' of the Ascendant in this equation.

And solar eclipses are the very essence of metaphysical esoteric theory, don't you know.

So this Plutonic Eclipse Part should, though we like to think of ourselves as controlling our environment and getting what we want our of life (anyone laughing?) would be expected to reference more of our experience of being transformed BY life situations which end up getting us in touch with and transforming our Self, lest we dedicate our lives to being a cast-in-concrete, stuck whatever.

So what about 14 Scorpio?

14 Scorpio speaks to being ruled more by the heart than the head. This vibe helps with insight into the motivations and desires of others, but doesn't necessarily help you do anything with it or do anything other than sell yourself out for same. Despite the fact that indiscretion is a temptation in either the 'giving it out' or 'receiving' mode here, there is a deal of compassion, which like as not goes to wanting things to be good rather than having the (Scorpio) determination to make them good.

Considering this information, an Arabic Part structured to correlate the eclipse and Pluto, might well ask about the (Mars) choices we're made and if that's what's causing some of the problems we have whether we're being too strong or not strong enough.'s not external events which count here - it's why you were led to be in the place where those events took place. Even if its an illness, metaphysics teaches that there will be something you will learn through the experience of being sick or injured, and that's more of what we're looking at here.

Then there's the world of totem animals, which is particularly interesting when it comes to Scorpio, as Scorpio has three (count 'em) totem animals: the scorpion, the gray lizard and the high flying, sharp-eyed eagle. Considering the traits which go with this degree, this would seem not be the eagle or the scorpion, but rather the lizard which lives in survival mode like the scorpion does but unlike the scorpion is not "poisonously driven" by instinct alone.

Then there's the Sabian Symbol for 14 Scorpio: CHILDREN PLAYING AROUND FIVE MOUNTS OF SAND  with its keynote ‘Early steps in the development of a mind seeking to be attuned to the higher level of human evolution.’

Five is known as the number of mankind, perhaps giving us a clue about this 'transformation' being about how we treat mankind, how we regard mankind, our human values, what we decide we will commit to with regards to human kind...or (on a totally different level) what it means to follow or not follow the traditional course of human kind. (Cultural or family traditions, perhaps)

The would seem to be an attempt to 'build' or perhaps a need to 'smooth' out the sand in this image, with sand being the idea of something solid yet easily shifted - and maybe a bit irritating, too.

The reference to children could refer to something we do, have done or have run across simply through being 'an innocent.' Or it could be a reference to some quality or habit we picked up in the course of our childhood. Or perhaps it's someone we relate to playfully and without all the judgments and boundaries we meet up with in adult society. 

Since the equation we’re dealing with is an Arabic Part, it means that through this means we assist ourselves in arriving at the ‘solution’ to the intensely felt experiences which are part of this eclipse.

While thinking about these ideas broadly, understand that when we talk about Arabic Parts this is not about two parties. No, this is all you, all me, all each one of us...and fully to do with what we are doing to yourself, or about who you are being in your life, or how you are dealing with how you came to be where you are...

Or not.

If we were doing this exercise with your chart, it would be even more personalized (and yes, I invite you to try it out and let me know what you think about the solution).

About orbs...Arabic Parts are purely theoretical, as opposed to the Ascendant, which at least is a real point on a real horizon at any particular real point in time. But this is just math. So the orb should be small - one...maybe two degrees plus or minus at most.

Some use squares, oppositions and the rest of the aspects to Arabic Parts. I don't - but if you feel a yen, feel free to! 

My perspective means that anyone with a planet, dwarf planet, axis point or node at (we'll be generous) 12 to 16 Scorpio should take note here: this Arabic Part would seem to have your eclipse number! 

  • How the eclipse operates is described by the actual eclipse with the underlying meaning of the eclipse being a constant (having the outmoded stripped away so that we need to be/become more true to Self).

  • The degree of the eclipse tells us the psychological factors which will be focused on (11 Scorpio: the tendency to be overcome by greater forces because you're over-focused on nuances, personal suspicions regarding self or others and the experience of possessive/jealous affections so noted with Scorpio).

  • Objects, axis points ‘set off’ in our charts (planets, dwarf planets, cusps or nodes) describe the thematic avenue through which the energy will travel in your life...don't expect anyone else to have the same eclipse experience you do!
Try it! I’ll even start you off by saying that 11 Scorpio – the degree of the eclipse – translates to 221 in what is known as “360 notation” (zodiac degrees as numbered all the way around the cycle).

Let’s make it simpler yet…here are the degrees for zero of every sign:

Aries – 0
Taurus – 30
Gemini – 60
Cancer – 90
Leo – 120
Virgo – 150
Libra – 180
Scorpio - 210
Sagittarius – 240
Capricorn – 270
Aquarius – 300
Pisces - 330

For whatever placement you have in any given sign, just add it’s degree to the above. Example: a Saturn at 18 Libra would be 180 plus 18 which equals 198. Once you have anything in 360 notation you can add and subtract to your heart’s content, remembering that if you end up with a number over 360 you just subtract “one full circle” of 360 and you’re back in business.

Arabic Parts are funny things. I study them a lot, though I don’t tend to use them a lot…except for what we might call “special occasions.”

Of which this is one…so give it a try. You may learn a lot about what you need to ‘go through’ to learn what you actually need to learn about yourself over the 3-year span of this eclipse.


  1. So I was thinking, what if you have some planet directly aspecting your ascendant, like say ascendant at 1 aries, sun at 1 leo. Does that mean that whenever two planets are in a trine, their part will be conjuncting your sun?

    1. I'm not quite sure I'm understanding the question, but I'll give it a go... Arabic (or 'Arabian') Parts are a three-'part' equation. For instance, the Part of Fortune is found using this equation: Moon (plus) Ascendant (minus) Sun = Part of Fortune ... and the Part of Love is Ascendant (plus) Venus (minus) Sun. So two planets being in trine doesn't necessarily connect to the Sun's position, although the Sun's position (translated into 360 notation) figures into calculating the 'part' associated with the planet you're finding the part 'of' ... Does that answer the question?