Aspects of Fortuna

By | July 26, 2009

Aspects of Fortuna

Her name is, perhaps, derived from Vortumna, “she who revolves the year”.

Additional aspects of Fortuna include (with our interpretations):

Fortuna Annonaria 
luck of the harvest, date of celebration is not clear

Fortuna Balnearis
fortune of the baths, originally for public bath houses, may be applied to public showers or private bathing rituals  

Fortuna Virilis
 the rite of passage from boy to man, celebrated on April 1st, ensuring a good, future father for a happy marriage

Fortuna Respiciens
fortune of the provider, can be female, date of celebration is not clear

Fortuna Victrix
brought victory

Fortuna Conservatrix
fortune of the Preserver, to protect those away from home

Fortuna Obsequens
fortune of indulgence, an epithet for Venus and also for vegan offerings of libations

We are told that Goddess Fortuna, although she is revered by mothers and herself a daughter of Jupiter, according to wikipedia she had no romantic relationships or children. Fortuna did have a retinue of other Goddesses who accompanied her. Fortuna is also linked with the  Egyptian Goddess Isis as Isis-Fortuna and also appears on amulets with  Bonus Eventus, for business profits and good harvests.

Goddess Fortuna is sometimes seen as a representation of human nature and a measure of the efforts of her followers. In the words of Roman historian Sallust: “Truly, when in the place of work, idleness, in place of the spirit of measure and equity, caprice and pride invade, fortune is changed just as with morality.” This idea is echoed in the middle ages as Lady Fortune appears in chapter 25 of Machiavelli’s The Prince. The author says Fortune only rules one half of men’s fate, the other half is directed by their own will. Fortuna empowered a young boy to serve as fortune-teller at her Temple of Fortuna Primigenia (luck in childbirth). The boy chose oak rods with possible futures written on them.

The wheel of Fortune first appears very late in her career, around 55 BCE. By the middle ages her wheel depicted an economic cycle which we still see today: the wheel characteristically has four shelves, or stages of life, with four human figures, usually labeled on the left regnabo (I shall reign), on the top regno (I reign) and is usually crowned, descending on the right regnavi (I have reigned) and the lowly figure on the bottom is marked sum sine regno (I have no kingdom). As the wheel turns we see the cycle of economic prosperity, a wonderful reminder in this economy that the wheel will turn, once again, to prosperity when the time is ripe.

The term “Pars Fortuna” refers to a mathematical point in the zodiac derived by the longitudinal positions of the sun, moon and ascendent and represents an especially beneficial point in the horoscope chart. The following calculations were supported by Al Biruna, an 11th century mathemetician, astronomer and scholar.

The formula for calculating the day time Part of Fortune (PF) is (using the 360 degree positions for each point):

 PF = Ascendant + Moon – Sun

The formula for the night-time Part of Fortune is PF = Ascendant + Sun – Moon

The Wheel of Fortune
by Edward Burne Jones
Wikipedia public domain

Graphics by Magickal Graphics
based on photograph by Mama Fortuna





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