The Role of Divination in Your Natal Chart
an introduction to the 3rd Triplicity Lord of the 9th House
One of my jobs as a 7th house diviner with a holy daimon of the spirit of Venus and Jupiter1 is to help others see their own magic. To make them want to look deeper and see the richness of their own life.
But I don’t see myself as the sole source of this knowledge. On the contrary; I believe each person has the ability to access their own slice of the divine, though it may not look how we think it will.
For those of us who were not encouraged to use our intuition when we were young (or actively discouraged away from it) or didn’t see clear visions of the future or ghosts the way a New Age indigo child book dictated, we may have grown up thinking the gift of divination was not bestowed upon us.
But according to astrology, all of us have a Third Triplicity Lord of the 9th house, the planet that represents “wisdom and dreams, the knowledge of the stars (astrology) and their truth, and auguries (omens)”.2 And just as we each have unique charts, we each have unique styles of divination.
I believe that studying your Third Triplicity Lord of the 9th through your chart’s elemental makeup and corresponding planet, you can better discern what divination looks like to you and ground your practice in the material world, whether that be earth, air, fire, water or some mix.
Divination in History
One of the reasons there has been such a strong interest in Hellenistic and Medieval texts in the past few decades is because of the precision and accuracy of the techniques that come from these traditions. But, for the average contemporary human, these texts can also be quite dry. Their delineations of planets can be more black and white or harsh than the way more modern or psychological astrology operates.
But what studying these texts alone sacrifices is the context in which they were created. As Demetra George points out, “the astrologers themselves wrote that astrology was a mystery tradition, and they lived in the world where the larger cultures all around them believed in the presence of divine energies”. She calls this underlying mysticism the “unarticulated consensus” behind the meanings of the traditional astrological system.
The ultimate goal of divination, according to Iamblichus, a 3rd c. Syrian philosopher, is “the raising of [the individual’s] soul to divinity, to attain union with the god”. Divination was not solely a way of predicting the future, as it’s often understood today, but a way to unite our will with the will of the divine. This ability was paramount to anyone practicing or studying astrology.
Ali Olomi, a contemporary scholar of Medieval Islamicate astrology, relates divination with the ability to see the hidden or al ghayb, such as “knowledge of hidden matters including the thoughts of others, private motivations, and of course the future”.
Olomi also quotes a passage from Ibn Khaldun that links the soul to both the upper realms— the realm of the angels— and lower realms— the material and the body. I bring this up now to bring in the point that divination is not solely mental but embodied. Unlocking your own form of definition also means sinking into the physical world.
Divination and the 9th House
Typically, an astrologer would look to the 9th house of a chart to discern information about divination. Its traditional name is “The House of the God”. Here you see all manner of consciousness-expanding activities: Travel, religion, fate, attainment of knowledge from the stars and divination; philosophy, interpretation of dreams. If I were to sum up these varied significations, I would say they all have to do with the expansion of our experiences or view of the world. With travel and pilgrimage, we have a geographical expansion; with philosophy and higher learning, a mental one; astrology and omens, a spiritual expansion.
It’s worth noting that omens and the interpretation of dreams were both considered legitimate, knowledge-expanding activities throughout the Hellenistic and Medieval periods. Nowadays, most form of divination has been relegated to pseudoscience or the confirmation bias rather than a valid form of epistemology.
I believe part of this erasure of divinatory knowledge is also related to the contemporary forgetting that the Sun, the planet that rejoices in the 9th, is also closely associated with wisdom and prophecy. Whereas we recognize Mercurial intelligence— that of data, connecting ideas, and spirited debate— and Jupiterian intelligence— that of established law and structural thinking— the wisdom of the Sun hits quickly and totally. You can’t back up Solar wisdom with facts or sources like you can other forms. If you want to learn more, I have a whole thread here:
Thusly, when speaking of the wisdom of the 9th, we are also speaking of faith, of de-centering the mind, and of being open to being a vessel for the divine, as Iamblichus established. You must also have confidence in the wisdom that comes to you through mysterious channels. That information is vital and worth heeding.