Robert H. Schmidt’s first new intensive in YEARS!!! *

*It is good to see Robert back on tap again.  Comment from an old subscriber who bought all previous Schmidt lectures on tape.


The Hermetic Lots:

 The Hellenistic Gateway to the Soul

Recorded November 7th thru 10th  2008 in Cumberland, Maryland

Almost all modern computer programs display the Lot of Fortune (a.k.a. “Part” of Fortune) in a chart. But do you really know what it originally represented and what to do with it? Some of you may have been hearing about the Lot of Spirit, the companion lot to the Lot of Fortune. Wouldn’t you like to know how to interpret it in a chart? And did you know that these were but two of a system of seven primary lots, each associated with a different planet, originally set out in a lost book attributed to Hermes Trismegistos with the intriguing title “Paragon”?

These and many other related issues are addressed in Robert Schmidt’s new intensive. Here is a synopsis of the contents:

After positing a Platonic principle underlying Hellenistic astrology, that the quality of soul must in an original sense conform to the native’s choice of a life — the reverse of modern astrological thinking — Schmidt proceeds to put the Hermetic lots into their proper setting as a “window on the soul.” He explains how they play an essential role in the Hellenistic astrological study of the psychology of the native, differentiating the general soul type determined by the rising sign and its lord.

At the beginning of his presentation, Schmidt painstakingly resolves an apparent problem that he had noticed many years ago with the reversal of the calculation of these lots for night births. Properly calculated, they constitute a very special class of lots binding the planets and the two lights together in a beautiful symmetry.

Schmidt also dedicates a considerable amount of time to clarifying exactly what a lot is in general and the realm of human existence with which it is associated, for without that understanding it is impossible to know how to integrate the results of lot analysis with other factors in a natal chart.

With that background, Schmidt contrasts the roles of the two principal Hermetic lots, the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit, making a distinction between events that motivate our actions and events that are the consequences of our actions. Two other special lots, functions of the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit taken together, are introduced to help tie these two notions together. He then explains the rationale behind the division of the remaining five lots into two categories: fortune lots and spirit lots. He continues by discussing each of the seven Hermetic lots in detail.

Moving on to actual chart interpretation, Schmidt characterizes the role played by the lord of the lot, and emphasizes the importance of Fortune houses (houses reckoned from the Lot of Fortune rather than the Ascendant). In this context he makes great use of his newly-restored testimony concept for the purpose of distinguishing between rational responses to impulses that lead to action, those responses based on habit, and those impulses that exist in a “blind-spot” in our consciousness.

With this interpretive apparatus in place, Schmidt examines the Hermetic lots in charts volunteered by a few of the attendees. Although these readings were intended to be merely illustrative and not fully demonstrative of the principles laid out in the intensive, the results were certainly intriguing.

And as usual, along the way Schmidt drops in many bits of lore and gems of interpretation concerned with Hellenistic astrology in general.

The intensive also contains four surprise evening lectures. We will leave you in suspense about these. The last one in particular energized the audience.

Regular Price:   $259 + s&h

TARES Subscribers:   $199 + s&h


To order, contact


 Some testimonials from attendees:

Dear Hindsighters,

Thanks so much for this past weekend's intensive workshop on the Hermetic Lots! It was a great introduction to one of Hellenistic Astrology's more mysterious components. Now it is hard to see how one could get by in serious chart reading without understanding them. The presentation of the correct calculations based on meticulous readings of the critical editions of relevant passages (and how they can be mistaken) was very convincing, especially as it is now possible to see the underlying system as it was originally intended. And the surprising portrayal of these Lots as an anything-but-arbitrary way to approach understanding of "the workings of the soul" deserves a standing ovation! I'm very grateful for the work you've done to bring all this to fruition and look forward to attending more outstanding workshops in Cumberland.

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Hi Ellen,

Great to hear from you - I'm still missing not being there getting ready for the new day's set of lectures... I'm already using the Lots in readings to truly wonderful results! I have been wanting to write a few words about my experience at the recent Intensive and finally have some time and distance to do so reflectively. To this day, I find myself thinking back on the Intensive. There are two or three things that stand out for me that I can't decide if one is more important than the other except that the following item is the most important: the rigorous, almost athletic intellectual prowess that Bob brings to the process. While that sounds impressive, it's actually more importantly useful as it's actually the heart of why anyone would come to the Intensives. Since we are dealing with ancient manuscripts and dead languages, all is lost if there is not an accurate translation. Otherwise it all just becomes someone's fanciful opinion or megalomania. It has the possibility of devolving into what modern astrology is: shards of something based in some sound ideas but fractaled by a philosophy of this or that erudite ego. Whether that philosophy is Jungian, Rudhyarian or Greenian ... it still is somebody developing something out of themselves. While that can have excellent results [I use Liz Greene and Jeff Green's work all the time with consistent results for psychological rendering], it has the danger of being myopic and just not all that useful in the end because it doesn't derive itself from a larger picture. Bob adroitly addressed this very issue in the room-heating last lecture on the Thema Mundi. I have come to a similar conclusion with the various other systems I use for readings. There sure seems to be a revelation involved of some sort - it wasn't just 'thought up' by some smart people sitting around.

So, in short, I love that Bob is smart, really smart! It gives me some confidence that what is taught has some valid basis. Bob's history at St. John's is impressive to me and means a lot. Those who are more emotionally based will perhaps find other reasons to like his material. But at this stage of the Hellenistic game, we need our smartest and brightest intellectually on the front lines.

Please let Bob know that the Lots and whole sign system are working like a charm with my readings!! They are fantastic and right on every time. I've been checking them with previous clients and close friends whose story I already know well and the Lots fit perfectly with Paul of Alexandria's meanings. Thanks so much.

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