Firdaria - Periods of Life
Firdariã is a time lord technique from the Persian astrological tradition and astrologer Al-Andarzaghar (7th century CE – Book of Aristotle), however seems to be the source of this technique, Abu Ma'shar (9th Century CE - Kitāb taḥāwil sinī al‐mawālīd - On the Revolutions Of The Years Of The Nativities) popularised Firdariã because of the wide reach and influence of his works on the future astrological traditions.
In the 11th century, Tunisian Astrologer, Abu 'l- Hasan Ali b. Abi 'l-Rijal (better known as Al-Rijal), a court astrologer in the Zirid dynasty wrote a comprehensive treatise on astrology called "Kitab al-Bari' fi Ahkam al-Nujum" (Complete Book On The Judgement Of The Stars) and he also dealt with Firdariã comprehensively. His work was further translated into Latin by the late medieval European astrologers.
Chapter 3 of this book comprises translation from Abi 'l-Rijal’s work on the Judgements of the Fardãrs of the Stars (A 11-page section in the Latin manuscript) from Latin along with additional commentary and footnotes by the author (Aswin Subramanyan). In this book you will find a modified version of calculating the distribution (participation) periods of the planets where the Nodes of the Moon (Rahu & Ketu) are included as participating planets. The author has also changed the way the participating periods are calculated where the proportions of the Fardãrs are applied in the participating periods as opposed to every planet ruling the same number of years. This book can be read by anyone who is familiar with the fundamental principles of planets, signs, houses and aspects.
Information on the chapters in the book
1. Firdariã - Periods of Life
In the first chapter, the author has introduced the technique and its fundamental concepts after a brief overview of the historical backdrop of the beginning of the medieval astrological tradition connecting Al-Andarzaghar. In this chapter, the author explains why he modified the participation or the distribution of the Fardãrs and also expands on the usage of the Nodes as participators.
2. Sect & Reception
Sect and Reception are really fundamental to chart reading from a traditional astrological perspective. Sect is the determinant of the Fardãr sequence and it is very essential to understand the concept of Sect. Hence, the author talks about the basics of both sect and reception to establish a proper foundation before getting into the workings of Firdãriã.
3. Judgements of the Fardãrs
The chapter on Fardãrs of the stars (Planets) is translated from the Latin version of the medieval Arab astrological treatise called Kitab al-Bari' fi Ahkam al-Nujum compiled by the Tunisian astrologer Abū l-Ḥasan 'Alī ibn Abī l-Rijāl. Besides the translation, the chapter also consists of additional commentary inclusive of comparative analysis of the existing texts on Firdãriã.
4. Working with Firdãriã
This chapter is the beginning of the practical framework of the usage of Firdãriã and for this, the author has made use of so many example charts to explain the working of the technique.
5. Bounds and 12th parts of Fardãrs
Bounds and 12th parts are not widely used as far as Firdariã is concerned but in this chapter, the author takes an extra step to analyse the conditions of the planets with respect to their bound and 12th part placements which adds an extra layer to the predictive apparatus.
6. Annual Profections, Revolutions and Firdãriã.
In the last chapter, the author introduces Annual Profections and Solar Revolutions and showcases the usage of these techniques along with Firdãriã.
Reviews of the Book
In this concise text, an ancient and powerful astrological technique for dividing the life into periods of time is given new life. The Persian Firdãriã is a technique that has become increasingly underrated and even ignored in the modern revival of ancient techniques because of its simplicity and apparent lack of diversity. Yet Aswin proves that this is not the case as he employs and expands the technique using it with bounds, 12th parts and solar revolutions. He even takes a bold further step, echoing the great astrologers of the past, by altering the technique to include sub-periods of time ruled by the nodes. Yet perhaps the author’s greatest contribution in this book is to unapologetically bridge the gap between astrological traditions by freely incorporating many traditional methods and perspectives of classical Jyotish, the tradition the author was trained in from a young age and even traces a long family lineage. Today there are more schools of astrology than one can count on their fingertips, yet in ancient times astrologers were not concerned with labels and thus freely borrowed techniques and perspectives from various cultures and fellow astrologers without concern for corrupting their school of thought, for they did not care about such ideological purity but instead prioritized techniques and methodologies that would sharpen their reading capabilities like a fine blade. Increasingly, the astrological community is moving toward a synthesis of techniques and traditions and away from the dead letter adherence to texts and schools of approach. This book constitutes a much-needed step toward such a synthesis, and for that alone it is an extremely valuable contribution to the field.