“Is the Part of Fortune calculated differently for A.M. versus P.M. births? I can’t seem to get a handle on that…”
“What would be the meaning if someone’s Part of Fortune was exactly on your Ascendant?”
Margaret and Caroline,
The Part of Fortune, also known as Fortuna, is a mathematically calculated point. It is one of many Arabic “Parts” (or Greek “Lots”) that are calculated by comparing the arc distance between three points in the chart. The Part of Fortune is a point that synthesizes the Sun, Moon and Ascendant, and therefore, we can assume that it’s pretty important. Of course, very little information exists in modern astrological literature on what it actually represents. We’re going to get to that shortly, but first we need to understand exactly how it’s calculated.
The Part of Fortune is calculated differently depending on whether the chart is Diurnal (day chart, i.e., the Sun above the horizon in houses 12–7) or Nocturnal (night chart, i.e., the Sun below the horizon in houses 1–6).
Diurnal Chart: Ascendant + Moon – Sun
Nocturnal Chart: Ascendant + Sun – Moon
So what the heck does this mean? Well, it helps if you work backwards in the formulas. Taking the Diurnal Chart formula, it means that the distance between the Sun and the Moon (in degrees) is the same as the distance between the Ascendant and the Part of Fortune. The degrees are always measured through the signs (counter-clockwise around the chart).
Interpreting the Part of Fortune is pretty easy: it’s a point of increase and good fortune for the individual. This makes a certain amount of sense, of course, because the Part of Fortune synthesizes the three most important points in the natal chart: the Sun, the Moon and the Ascendant. When all three of these can work together, we’re naturally going to be pretty happy and successful in our endeavors.
Looking at the Sign and House location of the Part of Fortune will show how we’re motivated to be successful, and the types of activities that will tend to bring us good fortune (Sign), and where we’re likely to find these activities in our lives (House). As with any other point in the chart, we can go one level deeper and look at the ruler of the Part of Fortune, its dignity or debility, position in the chart, and overall relationship to the rest of the chart, to learn how and where we’re likely to pursue and encounter success.
Since I’ve brought it up, I’ll also mention that the Part of Spirit is similar to the Part of Fortune except that it represents how we will experience our spiritual connections and our spirituality. It’s an interesting point to consider from time to time, but frankly, most people are more concerned with the more tangible elements of their lives, and the Part of Fortune is significantly more important in traditional astrology than the Part of Spirit.
The Part of Fortune in synastry is something that’s always worth considering, although I would never consider that it could make or break a relationship. Because the Part of Fortune is not a physical body, the aspects only work one way: that is, the Part of Fortune receives the aspect, but does not make it. If a person’s Sun trines your Part of Fortune, then that individual is going to be someone who is likely to be of great help to you in increasing your fortune, wealth, and happiness. You, on the other hand, will not necessarily help them in the same way. As the Ascendant is also an angle and therefore only receives aspects, it’s not really possible to have an “aspect” between the Part of Fortune and the Ascendant. I would say, however, that if one person’s Part of Fortune is conjunct another person’s Ascendant that this would certainly represent some common ground between them—the one person’s approach to the world is one that can help the other person achieve their goals.