Johnston, Bill – Rulers of the Nativity

In modern astrology, the ruler of the ascendant is often considered to be the ruling planet of the chart. Medieval astrology also identified a single planet as the chart’s ruler using a more complex formula. In the original Hellenistic formulation of horoscopic astrology, there are two principle rulers of the chart, one of which included a co-ruler; a chart could have a single ruler only accidentally, in the case where the same planet ended up filling both rulership positions. This situation can lead to a particularly powerful nativity, so knowing how to identify it can be very important. To lay the groundwork for this discussion, the various different modes of rulership in Hellenistic astrology will be explained, along with the “planets having a relation to the nativity”, a group of planets central to a chart that have special governorship roles, distinct from the rulership over various areas of a native’s life that all planets exercise as rulers of their respective houses. A nautical metaphor that likens the life to a ship on a voyage to a given destination with the planets serving the roles of the various officers and crew members will be presented that illustrates the functional relationship between these central planets.