Astrology for Amateurs

Astrology and numinatria are closely aligned systems, drawing on similar principles. The astrological chart for a particular date is based on the northern calendar, which divides the 365-day year into ten 36-day months, plus five intercalary days that mark the New Year.

the planetary sigils in northern astrology in the Rook and Rose trilogy
the planetary sigils in northern astrology

The Basics

A personal chart consists of three elements, called a trine. These are the Prime (birth month and time of day), which determines general personality traits, the Alter (birth day), which determines life path that might alter those traits, and the Trisect (year), which determines the impact the subject has on larger scale and the impact greater events have on the subject.

The months are associated with the numina, planetary objects, and sunwise (clockwise, direct) or earthwise (counterclockwise, retrograde) direction as follows:

  • Colbrilun — Illi (divided into two half-months, before and after the intercalary days) — Eshl (sun), sunwise — god: Esclus
  • Similun — Uniat — Celn (earth), earthwise — god: Celnis
  • Lepilun — Tuat — Corillis and Paumillis (moons), sunwise — god: Civrus and Pavlus
  • Canilun — Tricat — Thrunia (sun-moon-earth system), earthwise — god: Thrunium
  • Suilun — Quarat — Katumna (planet), sunwise — god: Katus
  • Equilun — Quinat — Katumna (planet), earthwise — god: Katumnus
  • Apilun — Sessat — Sacrieth (planet), sunwise — god: Sacrea
  • Pavnilun — Sebat — Sacrieth (planet), earthwise — god: Sacretha
  • Cyprilun — Noctat — Anaxn (planet), sunwise — god: Anzus
  • Fellun — Ninat — Anaxn (planet), earthwise — god: Anaxnus

The birth date is associated with a numen by breaking up the thirty six days of a month, which leaves the astrologer with a first (1-9), second (10-18), third (19-27), and fourth (28-36) iteration of each numen per month. The Alter is calculated by the day’s place in the iteration (1-9), influenced by the iteration (first, second, third, or fourth).

The time of day informs whether the subject has a sunwise or earthwise planetary affiliation. If they are born under a sunwise planet during the day, then they’re governed by the numen associated with that month (referred to as sunwise, direct). If they’re born under a sunwise planet during the night, then they’re governed by that numen, but with some impact from its earthwise face (referred to as sunwise, influenced). The same is true in reverse: if they’re born under an earthwise planet during the night, they’re governed by the numen associated with that planet (earthwise, direct), but if they’re born under an earthwise planet during the day, it takes on some aspects from the sunwise face (earthwise, influenced).

The Trisect is calculated by the last digit of the Seterin year. There is also some high-level interpretation about the impact of the century and the decade, forming a kind of generational ‘feel’. As the current year is 983 according to the Seterin calendar, it’s a century for endings, apotheosis, etc. If interpreted according to the Nadežran calendar, where the year is 210, it’s a century for duality, opposition, intuition, and dreams.

an astrological chart in the style of the Rook and Rose trilogy
Ren’s correct chart . . . meaning not the one Tanaquis drew!


Astrological charts are inactive numinata that can be powered with a focus (for luck, usually, but also sometimes to counter negative influences and so forth). They are drawn according to the following rules:

The base is an enclosing circle and golden spiral. The date’s Prime determines the placement of the focus and the direction of the spiral:

  • First quadrant, upper left — earthwise, direct (earthwise side, earthwise spiral)
  • Second quadrant, upper right — sunwise, direct (sunwise side, sunwise spiral)
  • Third quadrant, lower left — earthwise, influenced (earthwise side, sunwise spiral)
  • Fourth quadrant, lower right — sunwise, influenced (sunwise side, earthwise spiral)

The Prime itself is charted as the most central numen of the spiral, countered by either the same numen (for direct) or the corresponding numen (for influenced).

  • Sunwise, direct – Birth month numen on both sides
  • Sunwise, influenced – Birth month numen on sunwise side, influencing earthwise numen on the earthwise side
  • Earthwise, direct – Birth month numen on both sides
  • Earthwise, influenced – Birth month numen on earthwise side, influencing sunwise numen on the sunwise side

People with direct charts tend to be “Type A” — focused, driven, extreme, or unbalanced. People with influenced charts tend to be “Type B,” i.e. diversified, balanced, wishy-washy, or dilettantes.

The Alter is much more straightforward. The numen of the subject’s birth day (1-9, or Illi for the intercalary days) and the numen of their iteration (1-4, or Illi for the intercalary days) get charted as a single figure in the outer quad of their iteration (first iteration in the first quadrant, second in the second, and so forth).

The Trisect gets charted as an external figure encompassing the spiral (but within the closing circle). Due to the cyclical nature of the Lumen, there is no differentiation in the chart between century, decade, and year, but some Trisect chartings are more wrought, while others are more harmonic. As a result, there are ‘lucky’ and ‘unlucky’ years to be born based on the harmonics of the combined year, decade, and century.

Joining Charts

While most charting only looks at a single date, sometimes multiple charts are joined. This is used to determine a lucky day to do something for an individual, or to judge the suitability of a union between two people. In those cases, all of the above is charted in a vesica piscis. For determining an auspicious date for something like a wedding between two people, that that’s three dates charted in a Borromean ring. More charts can be brought in — four, five, etc. — but only folks like Tanaquis are doing that nonsense. That’s why she gets paid the big forri!