Is Sahl Ibn Bishr using Whole-Sign-Houses in his Horary Astrology

The Background for this Question is Prof. Dr. Viktor Stegemann in his Edition – Prag 1942 – On Page 23



Page 22

Page 23

Prof. Stegemann translates into German, using the term „Tierkreiszeichen“ = Tropical-Zodiacal-Sign“ for what in modern Horary Books like Dr. Lee Lehman or Sue Ward would be the Term“House.

Dr. Benjamin Dykes in his Translation

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uses the term „Domocile“.

Is the translation „Domocile“ on page 4 meaning „Sign“ as in the the 2nd Chapter on page 3. – Yes, I think, it does.

My conclusion:

Sahl Ibn Bishr is using Whole-Sign-Houses in his Horary Astrology

Titel:Dorotheos von Sidon und das sogenannte Introductorium des Sahl Ibn Bišr / Viktor Stegemann
Verfasser:Stegemann, Viktor *1902-1948* 
Sonst. Personen:Dorotheus <Sidonius> *ca. v1. Jh.-1. Jh.*  ; Sahl Ibn-Bišr *ca. 786-845* 
Körperschaft/en:Orientalisches Inst., Prag
Ort/Jahr:Prag, 1942
Umfang:88 S.
Schriftenreihe:Archiv orientální. Monografie Archívu orientálního = Monographien des Archiv Orientální ; 11
Schlagwörter:*Dorotheus <Sidonius> *ca. v1. Jh.-1. Jh.* *Dorotheus <Sidonius> *ca. v1. Jh.-1. Jh.* 
Klassifikation:Dewey Decimal Classification: 174.5Basisklassifikation: 39.01 (Geschichte der Astronomie) 

im GVK Plus*&IKT3=8183&ACT=SRCHA&IKT=1016&SRT=YOP&TRM=Dorotheos+von+Sidon+und+das+sogenannte+Introductorium+des+Sahl+&TRM3=

Steven Ellis Birchfield – Norway –

wrote to me this:

„Volker I don’t know if you have a copy of Ben’s translation of Sahl from the original Arabic (The Astrology of Sahl B Bishr Volume I – 2019). In Ben’s Introduction he discusses Sahl’s use of whole signs and divisions and how he distinguishes between them in delineation. I use whole signs and divisions similarly as I pointed out in our talk yesterday… the midheaven falling away from the 10th sign; i.e. it is in a quadrant angle but falls away from an angular sign. In other words there are distinctions made between divisions and whole signs. But the house is still the house by sign. Sahl clearly uses whole signs. I will give you an important snippet from Ben’s Introduction:

“…in two passages Sahl emphasizes the importance of the axial degrees or stakes being “upright” ( قائم ): this has to do with whether the degree of the Midheaven falls in the expected tenth sign. If it does then it is “upright,” and the quadrant and whole-sign angles coincide; if not, then the next best is the eleventh sign; the worst is the ninth. Here Sahl enters interpretive territory. If the Midheaven is in the tenth sign, then the native’s authority (the Midheaven) is more excellent; if in the eleventh, it is next best because that succeedent sign is at least advancing towards the tenth position; if in the ninth, his authority is little established because the sign is cadent. In other words, even though the Midheaven is by definition dynamically angular, it is affected by the cadency of its sign.” (p.33 in his Introduction to Sahl)

“My impression is that angularity by sign (such as by angular triad by sign) describes a kind of default assumption about that topic’s expected benefit and manifestation in practical life; the goodness of the place (i.e., its configuration with the Ascendant) shows the worth and benefit of the topic; and the dynamic angularity shows the actual outcome, as against expectation or reputation. So if a planet indicating assets is in an angular sign such as the tenth, we can assume it will
manifest assets and benefit the reputation (that is, people’s impressions and expectations) because the tenth, being an angular, good sign related to fame, indicates that. But if the planet is there and dynamically retreating (so that the degree of the Midheaven itself is later in the sign or even in the eleventh sign), the assets he does get will be squandered. In this way the difference between whole sign and dynamic angularity largely concerns the contrast between  expectations for an archetypally happy and practical life, and actual results: the quickness, presence, greatness, and disappearance of those expectations.” (p 34 in his Introduction to Sahl)

It is more than abundantly clear in the historical record that medieval Persian astrologers, including Abu Ma’shār, did use whole sign houses. But especially the earlier medieval Persians like Māshā’allāh and Sahl made clear distinctions between power and profitability to the native. This is what I also did in my delineation of your question when I noted that while the Moon was not in the MC but was in the 10th house, it was also succeedent rather than cadent and therefore could and would advance its indications.

Best regards
Steven Birchfield A.M.A.“

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dykes – The Astrology of Sahl b. Bishr