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Astrologer Moses Siregar III

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Interpreting The Dharma Point/
Part of Fortune
Copyright 1998-Today
Moses Siregar III

I have a somewhat unique view on the Part of Fortune. When I use it, I only use the day-formula calculations, even for night births, and I call it the Dharma Point. So technically, that's not the "Part of Fortune" at all. Project Hindsight has rediscovered ancient Hellenistic (Greek) uses of the part/lot of fortune, for which they make sure to differentiate between the night and day formula, according to day or night births. The Hellenistic/Project Hindsight usage of this point is therefore a completely different one, from how I use this point. As such, I suspect that our different approaches would complement, despite the apparent differences in usage. Again, for clarity's sake, the "Dharma Point" and the Part of Fortune are calculated in two different ways, which means that they are two different things, even though they are the same point half of the time (during daytime births).

Dane Rudhyar, in
The Lunation Cycle, discussed the Part of Fortune, and moved this discussion in the right direction (Robert Schmidt and Robert Hand have done the most with this Part, see below). Rudhyar's primary explanation for the Part of Fortune is that it points an individual to where s/he can best use and develop his/her personality to find happiness. The Dharma Point is determined by an equation performed with data supplied by the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. The Dharma Point is located the same distance from the Ascendant, as the Moon is from the Sun (moving, as usual, in a counter-clockwise motion). For example, if the Moon has separated exactly ninety degrees from the Sun since the New Moon, then the Dharma Point will be exactly ninety degrees from the Ascendant, in either the third or fourth house (see my note on always using the day-formula, below). If the Moon is two degrees behind the Sun, just before the New Moon, then the Dharma Point will be two degrees behind the Ascendant, in the twelfth house. Since the Dharma Point is determined through the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, it would seem a natural conclusion that it is related primarily to development of personality. But I don't entirely agree with this. Rudhyar intimates that the Part of Fortune shows what we are psychologically dependent on for happiness. My feeling is that it is by aligning our life with our Dharma Point that we become happier because we are fulfilling our innate purpose. To me, the Dharma Point is not an aspect of personal psychology as much as it is an aspect of one's right personal destiny.

The Hindu concept of Dharma is that we each have a natural, rightful place or duty to fulfill in the social order. Your Dharma may be to be the president, and mine may be to wash your clothes, etc. etc. This "Dharma Point" indicates one's Dharma, and that Dharma can be anything. It might be your dharma to spend your life playing. It might be your dharma to spend your life largely alone. It might be your dharma to teach first grade, or to teach religion. Whatever it is, our Dharma point points us in the direction of the best role for us to play, as if we are one cell in the larger body of humanity. Each cell has one duty that is its own. To align with and live that purpose is to be fortunate and happy. To miss your dharma is to live in confusion and frustration. The Dharma Point is intimately related to the lunation cycle, and this explains why it shows how we can organically fit into our most natural place as a human being--the lunation cycle is the most obvious astronomical event surrounding our birth, other than the time of year we are born. The lunar phase of our birth shows our most natural place and purpose along a complete evolutionary cycle. Thus, the lunar phase shows our natural organic relationship to life, and when we apply this relationship from our Ascendant, which is an indicator of our biological self, we fit our self into its natural role as a human being

The Dharma Point takes our lunar phase a step further, and assigns a sign, house, and dispositor (and perhaps one or more conjoining planets) to our natural place as a human being. Because there is a sign involved, we are pointed to a quality of personality that is important to our natural role (as well as a quality that is inherent to some extent), but the house placement also adds a department of life in which to live the personality tone, or sign. Conjoining planets also give key information about our dharmic duty. This pointer seems to be of utmost importance to personal happiness, because without fulfilling it there is a clear knowing that we are not fulfilling our potential, and feeling completely out of sync with life. To align with our Dharma Point is to discover an obvious and intuitive sense of rightness about what we are doing. Unlike the Moon's Nodes, however, we can align with and fulfill our Dharma Point in a relatively short amount of time as long as we focus ourselves in that direction. The Moon's Nodes, by contrast, come built-in with a large amount of resistance, and to move in the direction pointed out by our North Node always takes a large degree of time and effort. With the Dharma Point, consciousness and action can open up its doors relatively quickly. I recommend looking at the Dharma Point holistically, combining its sign and house placements with any conjoining planets (and the sign of its dispositing planet, see the note from the forum below) into one understanding.

In terms of predictive techniques, the Dharma Point is invaluable in Solar Return charts, and the Progressed Dharma Point is also extremely valuable (in two ways - one uses the progressed Sun and progressed Moon and locates the Dharma Point in the Progressed Chart, the other uses the natal Sun and the progressed Moon and locates the Dharma Point in the natal chart). Significant transits to the Dharma Point are also very significant for its dharmic matters.

To understand someone's Dharma Point, put the sign energy into its house location and get a feeling for this person's most appropriate, 'right,' and natural place as a human being (also include conjoining planets), and be open to various possibilities within these parameters. When the person really fulfills these things they are blessed with joy and happiness and success. That is the Universe's way of saying, "You're going in the right direction."

So, understanding the Dharma Point in this way can allow us to point ourselves and others towards their 'life purpose.' It clarifies who we were born to be. If you would like to understand yours, or anyone else's, you can enter section one of the tutorial and reflect by reviewing the nature of the sign and house of one's Dharma Point (translate the house into the sign naturally affiliated with it; see the diagram of rulerships if you need help with this)

Important Note: My approach to the Dharma Point/Part of Fortune is only appropriate with the 'day formula,' even for night births. Be careful if you look at someone's chart according to this "Dharma Point" approach that the day-formula is always used. It is important to do this so that the Dharma Point's location is consistent with the lunar phase one is born under. If you must use the night-formula for night births, then I would not recommend this "Dharma" approach. Perhaps the more ancient method that Robert Hand and Robert Schmidt speak of, and which Project Hindsight utilizes, is then appropriate. Click here to read Hand/Schmidt and Project Hindsight findings on the Lot of Fortune. This art

I'll offer an example of someone i know with the Dharma Point in Virgo in the eleventh house. This person's natural role as a member of humanity is to do Virgoan things or bring Virgoan energy into the eleventh house. This person was involved with an environmental (Virgo) organization (11th House) in high school, and was happy and successful in this role. After college, this person lived in a spiritual community (11th House) and contributed services (Virgo), such as office work, house-cleaning, cooking, and dish-washing, and this was also a positive experience. This person has always been drawn towards alternative (Virgo, which is ruled by Chiron) educations (11th Houses, i.e. groups of people), and has been through hypnotherapy and massage schools (Virgoan healing skills with schools, being organizations). Now this person is studying (Virgo) astrology (11th House and Virgo), working with others (11th House) in a massage (Virgo-healing services) business, and working with flower (Virgo-plants) essences (11th House-advanced paradigms), but mainly doing massage work.

In this example, what is the core understanding of Virgo in the 11th House? Both Virgo and 11 are alternative, as Virgo is ruled by Chiron (yes, to me it really is) and the 11th house is the house of Aquarius. This person could also, of course be very technology oriented; s/he could be a computer person. This person could be very involved with alternative communal living. This person could be an astrologer, or any other kind of healer. This person could be an editor or writer. Do you see how this works? If this individual had a planet conjunct the Dharma Point, then that planet would also have to be taken into consideration.

The dispositor of this person's Dharma Point, using Chiron for Virgo's ruler, is Chiron in Aries, at the very end of the 6th house, conjunct the Descendent. This adds an Aries quality to the Dharma Point, which to me is shown by this person's emphasis on bodywork (Aries shows up A LOT amongst charts of bodyworkers--it's very physical work, and healing [Pluto-Aries connection]). Also, perhaps independence in relationships seems emphasized, which this person has almost always been, or close friendships of a Chironic nature, like those with mavericks, healers, counselors, underdogs, astrologers, and musicians, which this person often has. This person's Chiron is conjunction Jupiter, but square Saturn, so in general there is a mixture of great luck/ease along with some strong difficulty/delay in fulfilling this dharma.

One last point, a tease: after becoming established in our Dharma Point, we must then also grow beyond it into different dimensions, or else we become complacent and stuck in our roles. The other directions to head off into after the Dharma Point are also contained in the chart, but not in places that we traditionally look. I have studied and discovered my own formulations of these other directions, which i call the astrological "Higher Chakras," and i offer these understandings in my classes and private sessions, and I hope to incorporate these Higher Chakras into a book that i am working on.

Another Note, From the Astrology For The Soul Forum:

Dear Moses,

I just read your article about Part of Fortune/Dharma Point and I am glad to learn how to interpret this Point because the information about it is hard to find. So I should interpret it by Sign, by House and by conjunction with Planet. I want to ask you to advise me whether it is necessary to interpret it by the Ruler of the Sign. For example Dharma Point in Libra and Venus in Scorpio. Should I add Scorpio qualities as if it was a Planet.

Thank you in advance and Best regards.

My response:

I think you've made a very important point, Chavdar. I have been looking over charts according to your suggested idea, and finding it very, very useful to do so. I hadn't previously looked at the dispositor of the part of fortune/dharma point. It seems that the most important things to look at are: the sign/house combination and conjunctions to the p.f./d.p., plus the sign of its planetary ruler. To dig deeper, it seems sometimes useful to look at the entire picture of its dispositor, including the planet/sign/house combo, plus aspects. But as you have noted, adding just the sign seems to be very helpful in clarifying the individual's dharma. With your permission, i'd like to add this to my information on the dharma point, and i would be sure to credit you for your comments.

Answering some Questions From Maurice Fernandez's Message Board:

Wow! There are some amazing hearts and minds on this forum, and it is an incredible pleasure for me to discuss this with you all. This is hands down, the best and most critical feedback I have gotten on the Dharma Point, and I love it.

The first thing I want to restate is that the Dharma Point and the Part of Fortune are two different things, even though half of the time they end up being in the same place. The Part of Fortune is an essential part of Hellenistic Astrology, and it was, if I am not mistaken, their primary "secondary Ascendant." In Vedic astrology, the Moon's sign forms the primary secondary Ascendant, and in Western astrology, the Sun tends to fulfill the same role (i.e. in solar sign charts). So whenever someone says PoF or Part of Fortune, I feel it is only accurate to do so when you are referring to this point when it is calculated with a different day and night formula. So IMO, "Part of Fortune" and "Dharma Point" should never really be used interchangably or in a way that makes them sound synonymous, since this would be based on a factual misunderstanding of what the Part of Fortune has always been.

Okay, enough historical correctness :D


I understand your main concern and question, and I think you have really have found one of the biggest questions to ponder about the Dharma Point. You've really made me think more deeply about the interplay of dharma, as I refer to it, and evolution.

Perhaps the most important quote that was pulled from my article was about how the DP shows what you are meant to do, in the sense that one is a single cell in the larger body of humanity. Every cell has a job to do, or purpose, that is its own; this could be something as literal as being the President (see GWBush example below), or as subtle as putting an end to their own self-hatred (see GWBush example below). Regardless, every person has a role to play. In this sense, the DP certainly does refer to a kind of "purpose."

However this purpose is not necessarily a particularly evolutionary one. You asked:

Is it possible to follow your dharma and not evolve?

First of all, that is one helluva great question. My answer, IMHO, would be that, more-or-less, yes, it is at least relatively—but still not completely—possible. However, for some people I tend to think that it would not be possible; for some, their dharma may be inextricably connected with their evolutionary needs, however even these people might fulfill a lower vibrational potential of their dharma and still not evolve. For others, they may be able to do their DP without fulfilling their NNode. That’s a good distinction right there. In relative contrast with one another (in other words, this is not the perfect distinction), one does their Dharma Point, but one fulfills their NNode.

In the end, I think this question likely comes down to a matter of degree, rather than of yes-or-no. I doubt that there is anyone whose dharma has absolutely nothing to do with their evolution. I also doubt that there is not someone in the world whose evolutionary needs and dharma are identical (take DP conj NNode, for example :D). Also, I do tend to think that everyone who does his/her dharma will at least evolve at least a little bit by doing it; however, that still might not be evolving much. Finally, I also think there are higher and lower manifestations of one’s DP, and that depending on whether one takes a relatively high or low road with it, it could be possible to “do” one’s dharma without evolving a whole lot.

If this Dharma Point is a real thing, and I really do think it is, then I think it’s good to realize that while the DP and the NNode are separate points; they simply describe different facets of the same, single individual. I tend to think that their realities will intertwine in some way, and not be perfectly distinct from each other. Just as the Sun, Moon, and ASC cannot be perfectly divorced from one’s nodes, neither can the Dharma Point (which is, of course, essentially made up of the Sun, Moon, and ASC). Is it possible to do your Sun well and not evolve? Is it possible to do your ASC well and not evolve? Is it possible to do your Moon well and not evolve? I definitely would say no, no, and no, but that’s another discussion entirely. Similarly, I don’t think it’s possible to do your Dharma Point well and not evolve. But I also don’t believe in isolating “evolution” to just the NNode and Pluto, or anything like that; I believe the whole chart shows multiple avenues for evolution.

The second helluva great question you asked was:

Is it possible to evolve and not follow your dharma?

Again, I really think that there are so very many ways to evolve. In that respect, I have to say, yes. However, if your question is, is it possible to do your NNode well and not follow your Dharma Point, I would say it depends on the person and the chart, and while I’m sure this can at least happen, I think—like Lisa said—this is probably very rare. In the vast majority of cases, I would say that when a person is doing their NNode well she is almost certainly doing her Dharma Point well. For one, the DP is relatively easy to do, unlike the North Node. In terms of the evolutionary scheme, the DP is probably one of the first things people come to do. That’s largely because the DP is very organic and biological. It fits your natural place in the social order into your (biological) ASC. It’s relatively easy and instinctual to do, if not almost automatic.

Someone that is not doing their DP is likely to be completely lost and unhappy, because she hasn’t yet found even the kind of thing that she is meant to do, being that she is one cell with some purpose in the larger body of humanity. Imagine being a white blood cell and not knowing that you are supposed to fight germs and infections. You’d be one sad, confused, and lost white blood cell.

Again, the Dharma Point is pretty low on the totem pole of evolutionary indicators. It’s more primary and basic. It’s more like a pre-requisite than an indicator of graduation. It really has a lot to do with your natural role to play as one human being that is a functioning part of a much larger humanity. So I wouldn’t see this Dharma Point as something that is competing with the NNode for indicating a primary kind of evolutionary growth. Again, it’s more like a prerequisite to the NNode in most cases, because the DP is much easier to do, and even much more essential to do. It’s tough to fulfill your evolutionary needs if you haven’t “found your way” yet. If this was Maslow’s hierarchy, the DP would be at the bottom, and the NNode would be at the top. They are still both important, though. It’s tough to compose a symphony if your stomach is growling. Likewise, it’s tough to fulfill your deepest evolutionary needs if you haven’t even found your most natural and instinctual way to be, and role to play, as a human being.

George W. Bush Example

On to George W. Bush (July 6, 1946, 7:26 am, New Haven, CT). I wrote in my previous post:

”Every cell has a job to do, or purpose, that is its own; this could be something as literal as being the President (see GWBush example below), or as subtle as putting an end to their own self-hatred (see GWBush example below).”

GWB has his DP in Scorpio in his 4th house, with its dispositor Pluto in Leo conjunct his ASC in Leo, along with Mercury in Leo. So where does George “fit in” as a single cell in the body of humanity. Well, most recently, as the pissed off “mother bear” who went after the animals trying to kill her cubs. That’s pretty Scorpio in the 4th house. His personality-dharma is right there. He’s a fierce protector.

However one’s dharma is not static throughout one’s life. Earlier in his life, it was wrestling with and gaining some power over the demons of his own family’s history that he had to contend with. He was addicted to alcohol (and some have said other substances as well) after he had his children, and Laura once gave him the ultimatum that he had to either quit drinking or she would kick him out. That’s pretty Scorpio in the 4th house. His dharma also has had to do with these kinds of Scorpio in the 4th themes.

Looking at the dispositor of his DP, his Presidential role is much more apparent. Pluto in Leo conjunct his Leo ASC along with Mercury in Leo. Enough said. Now with that Pluto-Mercury in Leo on his Leo ASC, we clearly have a potential “lower” manifestation of these planets which are connected by dispositorship with his Dharma Point. Like … potentially lying about WMD’s, for example.

Now I can understand why x said that he didn’t think that the Part of Fortune (which he was calculating with the day-formula only, meaning that he was using what I call the Dharma Point) shows Dharma. Take George Bush. When you first look at a Dharma Point of Scorpio in the 4th, you might be thinking about an intensely reclusive homebody, or a father who’s the family dictator (oh, the irony!). But when you start to probe a little deeper for a way that GWB is meant to be, and a role that GWB is meant to play, and when you also look at the dispositor of his DP, it starts to make a lot more sense as an indicator of his dharma.