Arabic Parts are points of power within a Western or Vedic horoscope that function as a specific significator. Unlike planets or grahas, Arabic Parts indicate the disposition of a single domain. They allow the astrologer to examine a particular facet of a client’s life in a way that would not be possible with planets alone. Arabic Parts are calculated from three points: the base (almost always the ascendant) and the positions of the two planets (primary and secondary) that are most closely associated with the matter at hand.
For example, we could define a Part of Passion, a point of power that indicates the disposition and role that passion plays in the life of the client. Most astrologers would agree that Mars (Mangala) is the planet most closely associated with passion, and that Venus (Sukra) also strongly associated. We would say that Mars is the primary planet, and Venus the secondary planet.
The first step of the computation is to find the distance, in degrees, from the primary planet to the secondary planet. The direction is important. It must be from primary to secondary, as the sun moves along the ecliptic. The second step is to add this distance to the base (ascendant).
Consider this example. We compute the Part of Passion where the Ascendant is 0° Gemini (Mithunya), Mars (Mangala) is at 15° Capricorn (Makara), and Venus (Sukra) is at 20° Virgo (Kanya). The distance from 15° Capricorn to 20° Virgo is 245°. We add 245° to 0° Gemini to get 5° Aquarius (Kumbha). The Part of Passion is 5° Aquarius/Kumbha.
We can make this computation easier by defining it algebraically as:
Arabic Part = Base + Secondary – Primary
Arabic Parts will differ depending on which astrological tradition is being observed. The Western and Vedic traditions recognize different planets. In addition, they apply slightly different interpretations to the planets (grahas), so the primary and secondary planets in one cultural tradition may not be as important in the other.
For example, we could define a Part of Art, a point of power that shows the role of artistic endeavors in the client’s life. Both the Western and Vedic astrological traditions would designate Venus (Sukra) as the primary planet. Modern Western astrologers would be more likely to declare Neptune as the secondary planet associated with art. Vedic astrologers, however, would be more likely to declare Buddha (Mercury) to be the secondary planet. Given these differences, each tradition would compute a different Part of Art. The judgment of the individual astrologer would also play a role in this matter.
Copyright (c) 2012 Franz Josef Stern
Source by Franz Josef Stern