Heptazone and Single-Degree Divisions
The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of heptazone as it directly relates to monomoiria, the single-degree division of the stars. Upon defining both terms, their interrelation will be discussed, in order to integrate both concepts. For the purposes of clarification, this article solely intends to discuss heptazone as it relates to monomoiria, and its pertinent, sequential planetary scheme.
Heptazone, Greek for planetary sequence, follows the standard, Alexandrian order of the stars via mean motion. Heptazone dates back to the first century B.C., and, according to Holden, is speculated to be a century older. The planetary sequence for heptazone is Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. This basic sequential scheme aligns with the order of the 36 decanates, the planetary days and their corresponding diurnal/ nocturnal hours, and the order of the stars’ single-degree division. Each of these correlations are discussed in the passages below.
Heptazone and the Thirty-Six Decanates
The order of the thirty-six decans, or sectors of the seven stars, are arranged in the same order suggested via heptazone. Therefore, following the heptazone sequence, 10° of each sign is attributed to its pertinent (sequential) star.
Beginning with Aries, Mars receives the first decan of the Ram, its corresponding (10) degrees, followed by the Sun, and finalized with Venus, the last decan of Aries. Following this order, Taurus is allotted Mercury (10), the Moon (20), and Saturn (30). Again, the three decans of Gemini correspond to Jupiter (10), Mars (20), and the Sun (30). Essentially, the entire structure of the decanates begins with Mars, as the planetary domicile of Aries, and follows heptazone sequence throughout the twelve zodiac signs. This order ends with Mars, the final decanate (and last 10 degrees) of Pisces. As an informational supplement, the table below intends to facilitate this explanation.
Just as the memorization of essential dignities is useful, recalling basic heptazone order affords immediate access to planetary arrangement. This is helpful when identifying specific planetary decans, including their significance in lunations, as well as the diurnal and nocturnal planetary hours. The relation between heptazone, planetary hours, calendar days, and monomoiria are explored below.
Heptazone, Planetary Hours, and Monomoiria
Coordinating with the planetary hours, heptazone also determines the sequence of single-degree division, more commonly known as monomoiria.
Before monomoiria is discussed, the sequence of planetary days and their respective hours appear to be intricately aligned with the concept of heptazone. Aligning with the sequence of the planetary hours, planetary order via mean motion (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon) likewise unfurls the calendar week’s planetary order (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn).
Following heptazone sequence, each planetary hour aligns with each sequential, single-degree division (monomoiria) for each sign. This applies to all signs relative to planetary ruler, their corresponding (planetary) day, and hour. Similar to the commencement of the decans (as the first 10 degrees of Aries are attributed to Mars), monomoiria assigns its first single degree to the respective star’s domicile (coinciding with Mars), immediately followed by standard heptazone sequence. In other words, if the sequence begins with Mars, as is the case with Aries and Scorpio (as noted below), it is followed by the Sun, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter.
The single degree division scheme, beginning with the diurnal and nocturnal domiciles of Mars via Aries and Scorpio, end with the nocturnal and diurnal domiciles of Saturn, via Capricorn and Aquarius, respectively. As represented below, horizontally, the seven stars have the following order: Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn. Vertically, following each planetary domicile, from 1-30°, the usual heptazone sequence applies (to each individual degree).
Heptazone, Monomoiria, Planetary Days and Hours
While the first degrees of each sign correlate with the commencement of each planetary day, at 24 degrees of each sign, the corresponding planet aligns with the final planetary hour of each night. To elaborate, for Sunday, regarding the 24th single degree of Leo, Mercury coincides with the final hour of the night. For Monday (Cancer), the final hour is designated to Jupiter, for Tuesday (Aries/ Scorpio) there is Venus, Wednesday (Gemini/ Virgo), there is Saturn, Thursday (Sagittarius/ Pisces) the Sun, Friday (Taurus/ Libra) the Moon, and for Saturday (Capricorn/ Aquarius) the final hour is that of Mars.
Saturn: The First Heptazone Star
Using Saturn as the first star in heptazone order, Saturn becomes the day’s lord and governs the entirety of said day. Immediately, Saturn is assigned the first hour, where it is simultaneously the ruler of the day and starting hour. In procession, the second hour is assigned to Jupiter, yet the day is still surveyed by Saturn. The standard heptazone sequence continues until the eighth hour, when Saturn is, once again, the day and hour-ruler. Furthermore, heptazone order repeats with Jupiter as the ruler of the ninth hour. Once the first hour of the nocturnal sect arrives, Saturn remains the day ruler as Mercury rules the first nocturnal hour. The second hour of the night is attributed to the Moon, and by the third hour, again, Saturn governs both the day and nocturnal hour. The nocturnal scheme proceeds accordingly, concluding with Mars, and commencing anew with the day of the Sun.
Heptazone and the Seven Star Zones
Using heptazone, each of the seven stars is assigned a zone in accordance with planetary temperature and attributes. Due to its paralyzing frigidity, Saturn is allotted the first and nethermost zone, described by Paulus as ‘being very cold and lying in the frost.’ In direct contrast, surveying the secondary zone, Jupiter is described as nourishing, temperate, and a bestower of life. Mars, the lesser malefic star, is assigned the tertiary zone on account of its ‘destructive’ and fiery essence. Ascribed to ether, its fiery yet life-sustaining counterpart, the Sun, is afforded the fourth and central zone. Curiously aligned with her planetary Joy, Venus surveys the affirming fifth zone, mirroring the associations of conception and offspring. Described as ‘common’, Mercury is granted the sixth zone on account of its moisture and quotidian semblance. Finally, narrowing in proximity to earth, the Moon is granted the final, seventh zone. Here, the Moon is described as phlegmatic and ‘most powerful’. Likewise, the pallid sphere is said to embrace the diversity of all stars, and considered inclusive towards planetary divisiveness (an attribute afforded to Mercury in the Joys). Because the Moon occupies the final zone, in the heptazone scheme, this star is considered the foundational core that sustains the upper zones.
The Seven Zones of the Stars
1. Saturn: Gelid – First Zone
2. Jupiter: Nourishing – Second Zone
3. Mars: Fiery-Destructive – Third Zone
4. Sun: Ether – Fourth Zone
5. Venus: Conception – Fifth Zone
6. Mercury: Moist/ Quotidian – Sixth Zone
7. Moon: Phlegmatic/ Inclusive – Seventh Zone
Heptazone and Monomoiria: Summary
Notes (and obligatory disclaimers): Described by Paulus in his Introduction, the zones of the stars remain a theoretical framework. As stated in the objective of this article, while earlier planetary schemes exist, the heptazone sequence is still worthy of exploration and research.
The convenience of combining heptazone with monomoiria resides in the seemless, sequential composition of planetary order via degree. Using the single-degree division of the stars, it is easy to reference a particular planetary decanate, day, diurnal, and nocturnal hour. Once a degree aligns with the day’s planetary ruler, this allocates a form of dignity, akin to the standard essential dignities of the stars.
Holden, James Herschel (trans.), Paul of Alexandria, Introduction to Astrology
Etching by K. Kalynovych.
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