Is the Part of Fortune Misnamed?

Is the Part of Fortune Misnamed?

By: Corinna Hurst

partfortuneThe Part of Fortune is often in a very interesting exact degree aspect at significant points in people’s lives. This connection may seem obvious, but I am not convinced of its ‘fortunate’ nature.
— Corinna Hurst


The author of this article, Corinna Hurst, is working toward her diploma in the Kepler Certificate Program. She selected the Part of Fortune to examine more closely for an assignment in her course on Symmetry in Astrology with Bruce Scofield. This paper represents her journey testing whether or not the generally accepted meaning of the Part of Fortune applies in actual practice.

The Part of Fortune (also known as the point of harmony or joy) is probably the most well-known of what are called Arabic Points, Arabic Parts or Lots. These points are created by calculating the angular relationship between various planets, the Ascendant and the Midheaven. The Part of Fortune uses the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. The most common description for the Part of Fortune is that it is a lucky or prosperous point.


As I am slowly trying to sort out my understanding of Astrology and its historical and philosophical basis the echo I hear from my teachers is to pay attention to what I am doing and to note what I find. In the avalanche of text available and verbal information flying about in class, I have grasped at the concept that one way to reduce extra ‘noise’ when looking at any chart is to pay particular attention to tight orbs and exact degrees. I now find it is second nature to pay attention to planets or angles which are in an exact degree aspect (or within one degree).

The Part of Fortune is usually on by default in my displayed points. So it was purely by coincidence that I realized its significance. I would often discover the Part of Fortune in a very interesting and exact degree aspect at significant points in people’s lives. This may seem an obvious given since it is calculated based on the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. But I am not convinced of its ‘fortunate’ nature.

On page 182 of Kevin Burke’s book Astrology: Understanding the birth chart, he states,

Interpreting the Part of Fortune is pretty easy; it’s a point of increase and good fortune for the individual. This makes a certain amount of sense, of course, because the Part of Fortune synthesizes the three most important points in the natal chart; the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. When all three of these can work together, we’re naturally going to be pretty happy and successful in our endeavors.

Kira’s Astrology page ( is very informative and helpful with regard to the Arabic Points. However, her statement about the ease of interpretation leaves me wondering. She says, “Actually, the lots are so easy to include that even a beginning student can add them to a chart, even before mastering interplanetary aspects.” From my limited experience, I haven’t found the Part of Fortune easy to interpret; more often than not I’ve instead thought “hmmph… the Part of Fortune again?? That’s odd!”

I wonder if this subject is already ‘old hat’ with experts in the field? If so, the information is not easily discovered. In the interest of leaving no stone unturned, I will put forth my observations and state my suspicion that the interpretation of the Part of Fortune is more complex than many believe.

Is the Part of Fortune assumed to be a ‘fortunate point’ merely because the name suggests that it is so?

Recently I have worked through chapters one through three of Robert Zoller’s The Arabic Parts in Astrology (Chapter 1: How the Parts were Lost, Chapter 2: The Metaphysical Basis of the Parts and Chapter 3 :‘How to Use the Parts.’) For me, this book has provided the most amazing explanation of Why Astrology Works that I have read. It contains a comprehensive combination of philosophers’ works from the 14th and 15th centuries as well as writings from different religious doctrines (including Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam), pulled together to form an astounding numerical and metaphysical framework. I found so many ‘AHA’ moments, particularly in chapter two, that I feel the book addresses the very foundations of Astrology.

In reading this book, I realize I still have far to go to fully understand the Arabic Parts. But taking what I have learned so far, I would like to share some of my observations by showing example charts.

Observation 1

Perhaps the Part of Fortune, when triggered by transits, is an indicator of an event that will achieve some desired goal.

The first example comes from the chart of Gandhi Mohandas, considered the father of the Indian Independence Movement and the creator of the concept of satyagraha, a non-violent way of protesting against injustice.

GandhiEvent: The Great March for Human Rights Equality on Nov 6, 1913

(Click on the chart at right to enlarge)

In Gandhi’s relocated birth chart I noted the following:

Point Placement in Sign House
Part of Fortune
21 Virgo 09
21 Leo 38
21 Pisces 41

On the day of the Great March, I noted in the transits that:

Point Placement Note
South Node
21 Virgo 21
Almost exactly conjunct Gandhi’s relocated natal Part of Fortune
21 Pisces 54
Almost exactly conjunct Gandhi’s natal Uranus in the 9th house

In Gandhi’s Solar Arc Directed Chart for November 6th, 1913:
The Natal Part of Fortune is at 21 degrees Virgo 09 minutes which is square by 1 degree and 23 minutes the Solar Arc Directed Ascendant at 22 degrees Sagittarius 32 minutes.

In Gandhi’s Secondary Progressed Chart for November 6th, 1913:
The Part of Fortune is at 10 degrees Taurus trine the Midheaven at 10 degrees Virgo.

Observation 2

The Part of Fortune, which relies on the Ascendant, may not lie on the ecliptic like the sun and moon. As a calculated point, it isn’t a body at all. So I questioned if its declination was important. The following example indicates my assumption may be wrong and more research is needed.

The next example is from Bill Cosby, a much loved American Comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician, and activist. Bill Cosby was born in Philadelphia on July 12, 1937, at 00:30 am.

Bill CosbyThe event — son’s death — January 17, 1996
Ennis Cosby, Bill Cosby’s son was tragically shot to death while changing a flat tire on a freeway off-ramp in Bel Air, CA.

Click on the chart at left to enlarge.

In Bill Cosby’s Natal Chart:

Point Placement House
Part of Fortune
27 Aquarius 43
29 Aquarius 26
Natal Pluto
28 Cancer 03

Pluto is quincunx the Ceres/Part of Fortune Conjunction.

On the day of the murder of Ennis Cosby the Transits and Secondary Progressions to Bill Cosby’s Natal Chart show:

Point Placement Note
Progressed Pluto
29 Cancer 32
Square Natal Part of Fortune/Ceres conjunction.
Progressed Moon
29 Libra 57
Trine Natal Part of Fortune/Ceres conjunction. Square Natal and Progressed Pluto
Progressed Mercury
26 Virgo 39
Quincunx Natal Part of Fortune at 27 Aquarius 43
Transiting Ceres
28 Scorpio 11
Square Natal Part of Fortune/Ceres conjunction
Transiting Mercury
29 Capricorn 38
Trine the Natal Part of Fortune/Ceres conjunction.
Transiting Sun
26 Capricorn 50
Less than one-degree orb for a semi-sextile to Natal Part of Fortune

Using Celestial Longitude I found the following placements on the day of the tragedy.

hurst-cosby-SP smEarth Grand Trine

(Click on the chart at right to enlarge in new window)

Point Placement in Sign Note
Progressed Sun
15 Virgo 36
Progressed Part of Fortune
15 Taurus 51
Jupiter/Pallas Athene
15 Capricorn 43
Direct Midpoint for Sun/Part of Fortune
15 Capricorn 24
Direct Midpoint
15 Capricorn 31
Direct Midpoint

The many trines that include the Part of Fortune in the charts of this tragic event contribute to my questioning the fortunate nature of this point.

Looking at the declination of the Part of Fortune and the other planets also turned up some interesting connections.

Point Declination
Natal Part of Fortune
-07 degrees 23 minutes
Transiting Pluto
-7 deg 57 min
35 minutes parallel Natal Part of Fortune
Transiting Vesta
-7 deg 40 min
20 minutes parallel Natal Part of Fortune
Progressed Part of Fortune
+19 degrees 40 minutes
Transiting Mars
-19 deg 30 min
10 minutes contra-parallel the Progressed Part of Fortune
Transiting Moon
-18 deg 39 min
1 degree 1-minute contra-parallel Progressed Part of Fortune
Transiting Sun
-20 deg 47 min
1 degree 7 minutes contra-parallel Progressed Part of Fortune

Observation 3

The Part of Fortune may be connected to the desired goal, but it can also be prominent when the attempt to achieve a goal goes terribly wrong.

Adolf Hitler was a famous and much despised Austrian-born German politician and Nazi Leader from 1934 to 1945. He was at the center of Nazi Germany, World War II in Europe, and the Holocaust.

The specific event I examined was called the Beer Hall Putsch, an early event in Hitler’s political career. Below is a description of what happened:

Hitler wanted to seize a critical moment for successful popular agitation and support. On 8 November 1923, he and the SA stormed a public meeting of 3,000 people that had been organized by Kahr in Burgerbraulkeller, a large beer hall in Munich. Hitler interrupted Kahr’s speech and announced that the national revolution had begun, declaring the formation of a new government with Ludendorff…. Hitler’s forces initially succeeded …but by the next day the police dispersed them. Sixteen NSDAP members and four police officers were killed in the failed coup. Hitler fled and contemplated suicide. He was depressed but calm when arrested on 11 November 1923 for high treason. On April 1st, 1924 he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Landsberg Prison. … While at Landsberg, Hitler dictated most of the first volume of Mein Kampf (My Struggle; originally entitled Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice) to his deputy, Rudolf Hess.

hurst-hitler smI relocated Hitler’s Natal chart to Munich where Hitler was living and progressed the chart to the 8th of November 1923. I have wrapped the progressed chart around the Natal chart and included it below. The Solar Arc Directed Chart for the day of the Beer Hall Putsch is further wrapped around those.

Click on the chart at the right to enlarge in a new window.

For the purpose of this discussion, I will note only the prevalence of connections to the Part of Fortune.

Point Placement Notes
Natal Part of Fortune
02 Cancer 02
Progressed Part of Fortune
01 Libra 01
Almost exactly square the natal Part of Fortune

In the Solar Arc Directed chart for the day of the Beer Hall Pulsch:

Point Placement Notes
SA Part of Fortune
6 Leo 00
The “hot degree” in this chart
Progressed Jupiter
6 Capricorn 52
Quincunx to the SA Part of Fortune
Natal Moon
6 Capricorn 41
Conjunct Progressed Jupiter

Note: This Jupiter/Moon conjunction ignite the direct mid-point placement of Jupiter/Pluto and indirect mid-points for Mars/Neptune and Venus/Neptune.

Observation 4

When interpreting the Part of Fortune, the house and sign positions seem very relevant.

Michael Bloomberg, currently the Mayor of New York City has a net worth of $25 billion in 2012. He is the 10th-richest person in the United States. In this example, I chose to look at a Solar Return chart for someone who would have been greatly affected by the tragedy of Superstorm Sandy, which struck the East Coast (including New York) on the evening of October 29, 2012.

As Bloomberg was mayor when Sandy hit the city and his birth data is easy to find, he seemed to be a good choice. I did not previously know anything about Michael Bloomberg’s work as mayor of New York, but I did have respect for him with regard to his philanthropic work.

hurst-bloomberg smHere is his Solar Return for the year 2012 compared to his natal chart. Again I will focus on the Part of Fortune. Notice the emphasis on the connection of the Natal 11th and 8th houses to the Solar Return Part of Fortune and Ascendant. Bloomberg’s Part of Fortune in the Solar Return also sits auspiciously in a trine aspect (with just over a one-degree orb) with its ruling planet, the Moon, in the Natal Chart.

Click on the chart at right to enlarge in a new window.

Point Placement Notes
SR Part of Fortune
18 Aries 49
Square the SR Ascendant
SR Ascendant
17 Cancer 39
Square the SR Part of Fortune with a 10-minute orb.
Natal Mars
18 Taurus 07
In the 11th house, semi-sextile the SR Part of Fortune
Natal Ceres
18 Aquarius 34
In the 8th house, trine the SR Part of Fortune
Natal Moon
17 Aquarius 46
In the 8th house, conjunct Natal Ceres, trine the SR Part of Fortune
Natal Mercury
15 Aquarius 13 Retrograde
In the 8th house trine the Natal Part of Fortune (also 2 degrees from Natal Moon and 3 degrees from Natal Ceres)
Natal Part of Fortune
15 Cancer 24
Conjunct the SR Ascendant with a 2-degree orb

Observation 5

The Part of Fortune not only shows up in close aspect at critical events during life but also at the time of death.

hurst-moore smSir Patrick Moore was an English amateur astronomer who attained prominent status in that field as a writer, researcher, radio commentator, and television presenter. He passed away recently on December 9, 2012. The Chart below has the natal chart at the center. The middle wheel shows the secondary progression and the outer wheel the transits for the date of death.

Click on the chart at right to enlarge in a new window.

On the day of Sir Patrick’s death there is a Grand Cross formation including the Natal Part of Fortune, Secondary Progressed Mars, the Natal Moon and the Progressed Part of Fortune (all within 1 minute orbs).

Point Placement Notes
Natal Part of Fortune
01 Capricorn 21
7th House
Natal Moon
00 Libra 37
5th House. Square Natal Part of Fortune
Progressed Part of Fortune
00 Aries 37
Square Natal Part of Fortune
Progressed Mars
01 Cancer 30
Opposite Natal Part of Fortune

Example: The last set of examples is for my Father. I rectified his chart as my final project in the W112 Rectification class with Carol Tebbs.

My father was born in 1945 in East Germany at the end of World War II. His father had barely survived a Russian POW camp when the entire family (including 10 children) escaped from East Germany and became refugees in West Germany. I only had his date of birth so the rectification required a lengthy twenty-four-hour search to establish a birth time. However, because he had many markedly traumatic events early in his life, I believe I found a credible birth time that I can justify. Once again, as I worked with the events of his life, I noticed the Part of Fortune stood out at critical times.

hurst-dad-1961 smAugust/Sept 1961 — 16 years old — Terrible fight.

Click on the chart at right to enlarge in a new window.

In September of 1961, it was harvest time and there was a terrible physical fistfight inside the house between my father’s oldest brother, who was working the family farm, and their father. My father remembers trying to pull his father off his older brother who was quite intoxicated. After this fight, his older brother, who had been the primary worker on the farm, left and never returned to help. From this point forward my father and another brother worked the farm. The event was very traumatic for my father and he remembers thinking “why would anyone want to be with a family like this?”

In Carol Tebbs’ classes, we often talked of the prevalence of major astrological points square the nodes of the moon at important events. It shows up here in my father’s secondary progressed chart for the date of this fight:

Point Placement Notes
Progressed Part of Fortune
10 Libra 36
6th house, square the Moon’s Nodes
Progressed North Node
10 Cancer 56
3rd house
Progressed South Node
10 Capricorn 56
9th house

hurst-dad-1986 smThe event — September 13, 1986 — Marital Divorce

The next Chart is my Dad’s Secondary Progressed Chart for when he and my mother divorced. The Secondary Progressed chart is wrapped around my dad’s relocated (from Germany to Canada) Natal Chart.  Again I just can’t help but note the position of the Part of Fortune.

Click on the chart at right to enlarge in a new window.

Point Placement Notes
Progressed Part of Fortune
7 Capricorn 15
10th House.
Progressed South Node
9 Capricorn 11
10th House. Conjunction with Progressed Part of Fortune (2 degrees 20 min orb)
Natal Saturn
7 Cancer 46
4th House. Opposite Progressed Part of Fortune
Natal Mars
8 Aries 8
12 House. Square Progressed Part of Fortune and Natal Saturn
Natal Vesta
8 Libra 48
6th House. Square Progressed Part of Fortune
Natal Pluto
8 Leo 01
5th House. Quincunx Progressed Part of Fortune
Natal Part of Fortune
18 Pisces 10
12th House
Progressed Jupiter
19 Virgo 48
6th House. Opposition to Natal Part of Fortune (1 degree 38-minute orb, separating)
Progressed Venus
16 Taurus 14
1st House. Sextile to Natal Part of Fortune (1 degree 56-minute orb, approaching)

hurst-dad-2002 smEvent — June 7 2002 — My Beloved Grandmother dies.

I used Solar Arc Directed technique to look at the day my Grandmother passed away in relation to my father’s natal chart (I am again using his relocated chart).

Click on the chart to enlarge in a new window.

Point Placement Notes
SA Part of Fortune
12 Taurus 47
1st House
Natal North Node
11 Cancer 47
4th House. Sextile SA Part of Fortune
Natal South Node
11 Capricorn 47
10th House. Trine SA Part of Fortune
Natal Uranus
11 Gemini 57
2nd House. Semi-sextile SA Part of Fortune (less than 1 degree orb)
SA Venus
12 Gemini 37
2nd House. Semi-sextile SA Part of Fortune
SA Jupiter
12 Scorpio 08
7th House. Opposite SA Part of Fortune


I want to emphasize that these examples have ‘popped’ out to me while I have been doing my assignments. The Part of Fortune seems to stands out at important times in people’s lives, but not in the way I originally thought it would. I originally thought it would be a point of ‘good fortune’ or as Burke says ‘increase’. I definitely think it is an important point. But with this sampling of charts, it seems to be a point indicating a major concern or focus in one’s life. So I cannot help but I wonder if the term ‘Part of Fortune’ is misleading.