Today we’re going to be talking about one of the lesser known Lots, the Lot of Cultivation (of the earth)! This is a Lot that has to deal with a person’s ability to grow and tend plants. This isn’t a stark sentencing on whether you have a black or a green thumb however. It's more complicated than that.
The Lot of Cultivation can show you particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with plants; strengths which can be leaned in to and weaknesses which can be remedied. For example, some people are better at growing flowers than fruit, some people are better with potted plants than plants outdoors or vice versa, some people are horrible with succulents. Etc.
This blog is going to be a short synopsis of some of the findings made by Amaya Rourke and I during the course of my Lot of Cultivation research. I interviewed volunteers on zoom and Amaya contributed her expertise with plants and fixed stars. We presented our findings in a two hour workshop which provides much more detail on chart delineation and ways to work with your chart. You can find more information about purchasing the recording at the end of this post.
If you've read some of my other blog posts about Lots, you'll know that the formula we use is important. These are not random combinations of planets we're using to come up with these points. There's a symbolic purpose.
The Lot of Cultivation is calculated by taking the distance from Venus to Saturn, then projecting that distance out from the Ascendant. This formula is the same for both day and night charts. So, what do Venus and Saturn have to do with agriculture and gardening?
We could get really deep into the significations but suffice it to say that Venus is symbolic of a seed and Saturn is symbolic of the earth. Venus - procreation, generation. Saturn - agriculture, the land.
The mathematical version of this formula is Ascendant + Saturn - Venus, by both day and night. The math version is really only useful for calculators since it confuses most people as to what we're actually doing.
I'm not doing math with this and I don't expect you to either! I'm going to run through a couple ways/places you can calculate this Lot in your chart.
This is my first choice as the formulas are already in the program, plus it's free.
Follow the link then go to extended chart selection. You can find this by hitting the horoscopes button on the main page then finding "extended chart selection."
Once you're here, you'll want to open the "chart drawing style" dropdown box and select "Hellenistic." Once that's selected then you'll generate the chart.
Once you click to show the chart you'll see a button that says PDF - additional tables at the top. On a mobile device it just says "PDF" until you click it.
Click on PDF Additional Tables to open a PDF with the information we're looking for.
You can find your Lot of Cultivation under "Greek Lots" where it says "Marriage of women (Paul)." I know, that obviously does not say the Lot of Cultivation, however, it's the exact same formula lol. (sidenote, I have my own Lot of Marriage formula that isn't gendered which I'll post a blog on eventually).
I don't personally like this option as much because you have to put in all the information manually on Astro-Seek. I won't include screenshots because it's pretty straightforward. Just use the mathematical formula I provided and input your birth data!
Once you have your Lot of Cultivation calculated then you can start thinking about what it means!
I'm going to get to some practical examples to really demonstrate how this works, but first, let's go over some basic rules for interpretation.
The sign that the Lot is in can tell us things using some traditional medical/gardening astrology associations in terms of fertility. When I originally presented this research as a workshop, Amaya Rourke went over these explanations for the class.
Water signs - these are considered the most fertile and conducive to life. Cancer and Pisces probably make sense to most people but Scorpio as a sign is actually considered to be quite fertile as well.
Earth signs - these are considered to be the next most fertile. Taurus would the most fertile, then Capricorn, then Virgo. We'll talk about it some later but Virgo is good for some things and less great for others.
Air signs - these are considered to be somewhat barren. That might sound harsh but just know it's not LITERAL, also it's more complicated than just this. Libra may be better with flowers, while Gemini may be better with vines, climbing plants, or air plants.
Fire signs - These are considered to be the most barren of the signs in terms of growth and cultivation. The sun burns things so Leo is the most barren, followed by Aries, then lastly we have Sagittarius, the domicile of Jupiter, as being the least barren of the fire signs.
If you were to garden using these principles then you may do things like pull weeds while the moon is waning in Leo or Aries to prevent unwanted growth. Aries could also be good for things like taking cuttings. Context matters so if your Lot of Cultivation is in Leo that doesn't mean your garden will be barren.
The Ruler of the Lot
This is another important consideration when looking at any Lot. The planet that rules the sign that the Lot is in is the ruler of that Lot. This works much the same as it would if you were looking at a particular house and were looking at the ruler for that.
For example, two people with the Lot of Cultivation in an earth sign will have different results if one of them is ruled by a planet in a water sign and one is ruled by a planet in a fire sign. Again, these are pretty basic concepts and are more nuanced in practice but this gives you a good place to start thinking.
Aspects are important when it comes to Lots but they work a little differently than usual. When working with Lots, you have to understand that these are calculated points, they don't represent something that literally exists. When we talk about aspects with planets, they're generally centered around the concept of rays. Planet X is sending rays to Planet Y, etc.
The issue here is that Lots, being calculated points, are unable to send rays. This means that Lots are able to receive aspects but they cannot make aspects.
Things to consider would be degree based and whole sign aspects to the Lot itself as well as aspects to the ruler of the Lot.
The Lot of Cultivation and Fixed Stars
Amaya and I came across a pretty cool realization while doing this research. We found that having the Lot of Cultivation at the degree of a particular fixed star indicated a relationship with a particular plant. The coolest part about this is that there are no traditional connections made between this star and this particular plant, this is a totally new discovery!
Amaya is the expert on fixed stars (& plants), not I, but I'll do my best to explain why this is so important, especially in relation to astrological magic.
Fixed stars are categorized by their magnitude, essentially how bright they are. There's a list of fifteen fixed stars known as the Behenian fixed stars, which are of a particular magnitude. This list of the biggest and brightest stars also includes magical correspondences for gemstones and plants. For example, the fixed star Algol is associated with the plant black hellebore.
This list is all well and good but I definitely don't need to tell you there are more than fifteen stars floating around. What about those?
Amaya explained that Christopher Warnock was able to come up with his own associations for the fixed star Fomalhaut which didn't quite make the list. He did this through various rituals and meditation (from what I understand). So, it's possible to come up with your own associations.
The real exciting part is that, through using the Lot of Cultivation, we found a correspondence between the fixed star Procyon and the plant Yarrow. This is a pattern that came up repeatedly in charts as we'll see later and makes sense given the significations of both Procyon and Yarrow.
Amaya explained in the Lot of Cultivation workshop we presented that Yarrow is a witching plant and has various uses in protection and magic. She also explained that Procyon is known as a "witching star" and has many similar properties. Now, astrological magicians can use yarrow in workings with Procyon.
This has incredible potential for identifying correspondences for other non-Behenian fixed stars. I was able to uncover the pattern simply by interviewing people about their Lot of Cultivation and asking about plants they felt a special connection to.
I would love to hear from people with a strong connection to a particular plant if they have the Lot of Cultivation with a particular fixed star. If we find more people with the same set up then we might be able to identify more patterns.
Now let's get into some examples so you know what to look for!
Examples: The Yarrow Mystery
These are examples from the workshop I presented on the Lot of Cultivation with Amaya Rourke. I'm going to keep it brief and only share the relevant parts of the charts, not the charts themselves. I'm also skipping a bunch of details. If you want the full version you can purchase the recording of the workshop (more info on that at the end).
I still wanted to share my findings however because Lots are cool as fuck and more people should know about them!
Data is from volunteers whom I interviewed on zoom for this research.
The Yarrow mystery began when I had two volunteers with a special connection to yarrow and a particular pattern in their chart.
Amy-Marie: Lot of Cultivation (LoC) at 28° Cancer - moon in Aries. Connection to yarrow.
Anthony: LoC at 27° Cancer - moon in Aries. Connection to yarrow.
So, this is weird, right? This is a pretty notable pattern. What became even weirder was that when I looked into yarrow as an herb, Culpeper associates it with Venus for its healing properties. There wasn't anything going on with Venus in the charts so I had to dig deeper.
I talked to Amaya and a couple herbalists and found out that yarrow is also known as herba militaris the military herb, again for its healing properties. At this point I was thinking it had to do with their Aries moons, being Mars ruled, and them both having dignified Mars placements. Then I saw some other examples.
Anonymous: LoC 0° Cancer - moon in Aries. No connection to yarrow.
Whitney: LoC 25° Cancer - moon in Libra. Connection to yarrow.
These two examples shot a hole in my Mars ruled moon theory. What was the common denominator between the charts? The ones with a connection to yarrow each had their LoC at a late degree of Cancer.
Amaya then pointed out that Procyon is projected on to the ecliptic at 25° Cancer. I'm not going to go too much in to what Procyon means or all the lore about yarrow. That's, again, something you can check out in the workshop recording. You can still see how we came to our conclusion and the implications that it has though.
What fixed star is your Lot of Cultivation near? What's the lore surrounding that star and what plant do you feel really connected to? Is there overlap? Do other people with the LoC connected to that star also have a connection to that plant?
Another thing discussed more in the workshop is that all of these examples with the Lot of Cultivation in Cancer had a large focus on growing food or herbs.
Examples: Flowering (or not) Plants
This next set of examples centered around flowers and whether or not people grew flowers or did well with them.
James - LoC 3° Pisces. Jupiter in Pisces. Fomalhaut is projected onto the ecliptic at 3°53'
James was another cool example of fixed star/Lot crossover! Amaya talked about how Fomalhaut, one of the 4 royal stars, is associated with the mystic healer. It turned out that James cultivates elm, chestnut, and ash trees in his area since they've been devastated by disease over the years. A literal example of someone healing the land.
It's also interesting to note that James isn't really interested in growing flowers at all with his natal Venus in Virgo. Virgo is notably bad for flowers however it's pretty great for hardy and leafy plants.
Flora - LoC 21° Pisces. Jupiter in Sagittarius. Moon, Venus, and Mercury in Virgo.
Flora is someone with TONS of leafy and tropical plants but has never had as much luck with flowers. As a member of a rose society, Flora hoped to learn to grow roses like her grandmother.
The predominance of leafy and tropical plants can be seen through Jupiter in Sagittarius (tropical, hot and wet) and the Virgo stellium (leafy). What's really interesting about this example though is an anecdote involving fertilizer.
The goal was to use fertilizer to get bigger flowers. What happened? An excess of nitrogen caused extremely large leaves and not much flower action. This perfectly mirrors the chart in the way we have support for leafy and tropical plants but not so much for flowering ones. Now, this doesn't mean that Flora can't grow flowers, quite the contrary. The issue is simply that they aren't quite up to competitive standards. (Amaya pointed out how perfect this is that Jupiter is a gas giant ruling the LoC and the issue was nitrogen.)
Claire - LoC 22° Pisces. Jupiter in Virgo. Mercury and Mars in Pisces.
Claire is someone who grows mostly houseplants. We again see a focus on more leafy and tropical plants but we see some interesting innovations. As someone who also has the LoC in Pisces ruled by Jupiter in Virgo, watering can be a big issue. Too much water and too much care can be a bad thing (as I've experienced many times). Claire is unique in that she mentioned having a watering schedule for her plants as a way to regulate the watering woes that can come with this kind of placement.
Mercury is conjunct her Lot of Cultivation and she simply keeps a record. This is also something I've done and found quite beneficial myself. Something that's unique to Claire is also how she mists her plants throughout the day. We all find a few moments to putter around the house and in those, Claire likes to provide her plants some extra TLC. The real trick here is the balance. Too much love often leaves our plant friends sad and soggy. I love this example because it shows the ability to adapt to one's predispositions in a way that's conducive to both the individual and the plants they're caring for.
This is also the kind of thing I see in charts all the time, outside of just the Lot of Cultivation. People are experts of their own lives and have often already identified problems and found solutions to challenges that show up in their chart, whether they realize it or not.
Sue - LoC 23° Libra. Venus in Leo 4th house, conjunct Uranus. Lot of Father 10° Libra.
Sue is an excellent gardener herself but here I want to talk about her father. Sue's father kept a greenhouse that he would putter around in after work, caring for hundreds of orchids. He even bred a completely new kind!
We can see this reflected in the chart by the Lot of Father being copresent with the Lot of Cultivation; Sue's dad and cultivation of the earth are tied together under the rulership of Venus. Venus conjunct Uranus and we have a brand new kind of flower. That's extremely notable!
The full workshop includes more about Sue's own experience gardening with more insight given by both Amaya and I.
You should now be able to calculate the Lot of Cultivation in your own chart as well as have a few starting points for delineating it. Lots can be a bit finnicky and weird but they're also not super complicated to use. As any gardener would tell you, the best way to learn is to get your hands dirty!
Lot of Cultivation Workshop Recording
As of April 15th, 2022 I do not have a convenient way set up to sell recordings, but I do still have a way to do it! If you would like to purchase the full workshop for $40 then please use the contact tab on my website to send me an email.
And, as always, if you want to learn more about this technique directly and what it means in your chart, book a consultation with me! Consultations are limited by time, not technique, so feel free to add the Lot of Cultivation to your next appointment!