Arabian Parts

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Calculating Persian astrologer Mashallah.[1]

Arabian Parts, or Arabic Parts (from the Latin word pars) fall under the heading of sensitive points as they are not actual heavenly bodies, yet their position can be calculated within a horoscope. The Arabian parts actually pre-dated the emergence of astrology in Islamic societies. Hellenistic astrologers called them lots, and some ancient astrologers used them extensively.

Arabian parts are used in horary astrology today, with some use in natal, medical, and predictive mundane astrology.


Astrologers over the centuries have used hundreds of Arabian parts, involving different sorts of calculations. Essentially they are arithmetically derived points located on the ecliptic. Most Arabian parts in use today are calculated by taking the longitudinal distance between two planets or house cusps believed to have some influence over a matter of interest, and projecting it from the ascendant or midheaven. Astrologers disagree on whether day- and night-charts should involve different calculations. In a day chart, however, the Part of Fortune is calculated by taking the distance in degrees (according to the order of the signs) from the sun to the moon, and then adding that distance to the degrees of the ascendant. In a night chart, one starts with the moon and determines the number of degrees from the moon to the sun, then adds that number to the degrees of the ascendant.


To calculate the Arabian parts (more details can be found under the individual headings), the degree of a sign must be converted into an absolute degree from 0 degrees Aries. This means that an ascendant at 9 degrees Leo equates to 129 degrees, the sun at 4 degrees Taurus to 34 degrees and the moon at 6 degrees Aquarius to 306 degrees. For a daylight birth the part of fortune is calculated by adding the position of the moon to the ascendant and subtracting the position of the sun. In the above example, that would result in a total of 401 degrees. Because there are only 360 degrees in the zodiac, 360 is then subtracted from this sum, which gives a final result of 41 degrees, which is equivalent to 11 degrees Taurus.

The Seven Hermetic Lots.[2]

See also

Most known Arabian parts:



  • Olivia Barclay, 1990, Horary Astrology Rediscovered, Whitford Press.
  • Robert Zoller, 1989, The Arabic Parts in Astrology: A Lost Key to Prediction, Inner Traditions International, Rochester Vermont, 1980, 1989.) ISBN 0-89281-250-8.
  • William Lilly. Christian Astrology. (London, 1647) (in Ascella Publications edition, London, 1999) ISBN 1-898503-99-0.
  • Abu Ma'shar. The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology. [Edited and Translated by Charles Burnett] (ARHAT Publications, 1994) ISBN 0-9662266-3-1.
  • Paulus Alexandrinus. Introductory Matters. Translated by Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum from the Greek in: Late Classical Astrology: Paulus Alexandrinus and Olympiodorus, with the Scholia from Later Commentators. (Arhat - Archive for the Retrieval of Historical Astrological Texts, Reston, VA, 2001.)[4]
  • Dorotheus of Sidon. Carmen Astrologicum. (Translated by David Pingree 1976; Astrology Classics edition, Bel Air Maryland, 2005) ISBN 1-933303-14-X. Book I online Book II online Book III online
Fortuna's wheel.[5]

Notes and References

  1. Portrayal of Mashallah as a medieval magus by Albrecht Dürer (1504).
  2. In: Paul of Alexandria (4th century); illustration from Chris Brennan.
  3. Originally published in the Tradition Journal, issue no. 2, spring 2009, pgs. 16-27.
  4. Paulus is also available in a translation for Project Hindsight by Robert Schmidt (without the Commentary by Olympiodorus.), The Golden Hind Press, Berkeley Springs, WV, 1996.
  5. Unknown Dutch artist, around 1465.