Tetrabiblos Book i - CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY



Definition: [Source Texts of Astrology]

[Tetrabiblos] [Book i] [Book ii] [Book iii] [Book iv]


01 Introduction
02 That Knowledge by Astronomical Means is Attainable, and How Far
03 That it is also Beneficial
04 Of the Power of the Planets
05 Of Beneficent and Maleficent Planets
06 Of Masculine and Feminine Planets
07 Of Diurnal and Nocturnal Planets
08 Of the Power of the Aspects to the Sun
09 Of the Power of the Fixed Stars
10 Of the Effect of the Seasons and of the Four Angles
11 Of Solstitial, Equinoctial, Solid, and Bicorporeal Signs
12 Of Masculine and Feminine Signs
13 Of the Aspects of the Signs
14 Of Commanding and Obeying Signs
15 Of Signs which Behold each other and Signs of Equal Power
16 Of Disjunct Signs
17 Of the Houses of the Several Planets
18 Of the Triangles
19 Of Exaltations
20 Of the Disposition of Terms
21 According to the Chaldeans
22 Of Places and Degrees
23 Of Faces, Chariots, and the Like
24 Of Applications and Separations and the Other Powers

1. Introduction.

OF the means of prediction through astronomy, O Syrus, two are the most important and valid. One, which is first both in order and in effectiveness, is that whereby we apprehend the aspects of the movements of sun, moon, and stars in relation to each other and to the earth, as they occur from time to time; the second is that in which by means of the natural character of these aspects themselves we investigate the changes which they bring about in that which they surround. The first of these, which has its own science, desirable in itself even though it does not attain the result given by its combination with the second, has been expounded to you as best we could in its own treatise by the method of demonstration. We shall now give an account of the second and less self-sufficient method in a properly philosophical way, so that one whose aim is the truth might never compare its perceptions with the sureness of the first, unvarying science, for he ascribes to it the weakness and unpredictability of material qualities found in individual things, nor yet refrain from such investigation as is within the bounds of possibility, when it is so evident that most events of a general nature draw their causes from the enveloping heavens. But since everything that is hard to attain is easily assailed by the generality of men, and in the case of the two before-mentioned disciplines the allegations against the first could be made only by the blind, while there are specious grounds for those levelled at the second-for its difficulty in parts has made them think it completely incomprehensible, or the difficulty of escaping what is known has disparaged even its object as useless -we shall try to examine briefly the measure of both the possibility and the usefulness of such prognostication before offering detailed instruction on the subject. First as to its possibility.

2. That Knowledge by Astronomical Means is Attainable, and How Far.

A very few considerations would make it apparent to all that a certain power emanating from the eternal ethereal substance is dispersed through and permeates the whole region about the earth, which throughout is subject to change, since, of the primary sublunar elements, fire and air are encompassed and changed by the motions in the ether, and in turn encompass and change all else, earth and water and the plants and animals therein. For the sun, together with the ambient, is always in same way affecting everything on the earth, not only by the changes that accompany the seasons of the year to bring about the generation of animals, the productiveness of plants, the flowing of waters, and the changes of bodies, but also by its daily revolutions furnishing heat, moisture, dryness, and cold in regular order and in correspondence with its positions relative to the zenith. The moon, too, as the heavenly body nearest the earth, bestows her effluence most abundantly upon mundane things, for most of them, animate or inanimate, are sympathetic to her and change in company with her; the rivers increase and diminish their streams with her light, the seas turn their own tides with her rising and setting, and plants and animals in whole or in same part wax and wane with her. Moreover, the passages of the fixed stars and the planets through the sky often signify hot, windy, and snowy conditions of the air, and mundane things are affected accordingly. Then, too, their aspects to one another, by the meeting and mingling of their dispensations, bring about many complicated changes. For though the sun's power prevails in the general ordering of quality, the other heavenly bodies aid or oppose it in particular details, the moon more obviously and continuously, as for example when it is new, at quarter, or full, and the stars at greater intervals and more obscurely, as in their appearances, occultations, and approaches. If these matters be so regarded, all would judge it to follow that not only must things already compounded be affected in same way by the motion of these heavenly bodies, but likewise the germination and fruition of the seed must be moulded and conformed to the quality proper to the heavens at the time. The more observant farmers and herdsmen, indeed, conjecture, from the winds prevailing at the time of impregnation and of the sowing of the seed, the quality of what will result; and in general we see that the more important consequences signified by the more obvious configurations of sun, moon, and stars are usually known beforehand, even by those who inquire, not by scientific means, but only by observation. Those which are consequent upon greater forces and simpler natural orders, such as the annual variations of the seasons and the winds, are comprehended by very ignorant men, nay even by some dumb animals; for the sun is in general responsible for these phenomena. Things that are not of so general a nature, however, are comprehended by those who have by necessity become used to making observations, as, for instance, sailors know the special signs of storms and winds that arise periodically by reason of the aspects of the moon and fixed stars to the sun. Yet because they cannot in their ignorance accurately know the times and places of these phenomena, nor the periodic movements of the planets, which contribute importantly to the effect, it happens that they often err. If, then, a man knows accurately the movements of all the stars, the sun, and the moon, so that neither the place nor the time of any of their configurations escapes his notice, and if he has distinguished in general their natures as the result of previous continued study, even though he may discern, not their essential, but only their potentially effective qualities, such as the sun's heating and the moon's moistening, and so on with the rest; and if he is capable of determining in view of all these data, both scientifically and by successful conjecture, the distinctive mark of quality resulting from the combination of all the factors, what is to prevent him from being able to tell on each given occasion the characteristics of the air from the relations of the phenomena at the time, for instance, that it will be warmer or wetter? Why can he not, too, with respect to an individual man, perceive the general quality of his temperament from the ambient at the time of his birth, as for instance that he is such and such in body and such and such in soul, and predict occasional events, by use of the fact that such and such an ambient is attuned to such and such a temperament and is favourable to prosperity, while another is not so attuned and conduces to injury? Enough, however; for the possibility of such knowledge can be understood from these and similar arguments.

The following considerations might lead us to observe that criticism of the science on the score of impossibility has been specious but undeserved. In the first place, the mistakes of those who are not accurately instructed in its practice, and they are many, as One would expect in an important and many-sided art, have brought about the belief that even its true predictions depend upon chance, which is incorrect. For a thing like this is an impotence, not of the science, but of those who practice it. Secondly; most, for the sake of gain, claim credence for another art in the name of this, and deceive the vulgar, because they are reputed to foretell many things, even those that cannot naturally be known beforehand, while to the more thoughtful they have thereby given occasion to pass equally unfavourable judgment upon the natural subjects of prophecy. Nor is ibis deservedly done; it is the same with philosophy-we need not abolish it because there are evident rascals among those that pretend to it. Nevertheless it is clear that even though One approach astrology in the most inquiring and legitimate spirit possible, he may frequently err, not for any of the reasons state , but because of the very nature of the thing and his own weakness in comparison with the magnitude of his profession. For in general, besides the fact that every science that deals with the quality of its subject-matter is conjectural and not to be absolutely affirmed, particularly One which is composed of many unlike elements, it is furthermore true that the ancient configurations of the planets, upon the basis of which we attach to similar aspects of our own day the effects observed by the ancients in theirs, Can be more Or less similar to the modern aspects, and that, too, at long intervals, but not identical, since the exact return of all the heavenly bodies and the earth to the same positions, unless One holds vain opinions of his ability to comprehend and know the incomprehensible, either takes place not at all or at least not in the period of time that falls within the experience of man; so that for this reason predictions sometimes fail, because of the disparity of the examples on which they are based. As to the investigation of atmospheric phenomena, this would be the only difficulty, since no other cause besides the movement of the heavenly bodies is taken into consideration. But in an inquiry concerning nativities and individual temperaments in general, One can see that there are circumstances of no small importance and of no trifling character, which join to cause the special qualities of those who are born. For differences of seed exert a very great influence on the special traits of the genus, since, if the ambient and the horizon are the same, each seed prevails to express in general its own form, for example, man, horse, and so forth; and the places of birth bring about no small variation in what is produced. For if the seed is generically the same, human for example, and the condition of the ambient the same, those who are born differ much, both in body and soul, with the difference of countries. In addition to this, all the aforesaid conditions being equal, rearing and customs contribute to influence the particular way in which a life is lived. Unless each One of these things is examined together with the causes that are derived from the ambient, although this latter be conceded to exercise the greatest influence (for the ambient is One of the causes for these things being what they are, while they in turn have no influence upon it), they can cause much difficulty for those who believe that in such cases everything can be understood, even things not wholly within its jurisdiction, from the motion of the heavenly bodies alone.

Since this is the case, it would not be fitting to dismiss all prognostication of this character because it can sometimes be mistaken, for we do not discredit the art of the pilot for its many errors; but as when the claims are great, so also when they are divine, we should welcome what is possible and think it enough. Nor, further, should we gropingly and in human fashion demand everything of the art, but rather join in the appreciation of its beauty, even in instances wherein it could not provide the full answer; and as we do not find fault with the physicians, when they examine a person, for speaking both about the sickness itself and about the patient's idiosyncrasy, so too in this case we should not object to astrologers using as a basis for calculation nationality, country, and rearing, or any other already existing accidental qualities.

3. That it is also Beneficial.

In somewhat summary fashion it has been shown how prognostication by astronomical means is possible, and that it can go no further than what happens in the ambient and the consequences to man from such causes-that is, it concerns the original endowments of faculties and activities of soul and body, their occasional diseases, their endurance for a long or a short time, and, besides, all external circumstances that have a directive and natural connection with the original gifts of nature, such as property and marriage in the case of the body and honour and dignities in that of the soul, and finally what befalls them from time to time. The remaining part of our project would be to inquire briefly as to its usefulness, first distinguishing how and with what end in view we shall take the meaning of the word usefulness. For if we look to the goods of the soul, what could be more conducive to well-being, pleasure, and in general satisfaction than this kind of forecast, by which we gain full view of things human and divine? And if we look to bodily goods, such knowledge, better than anything else, would perceive what is fitting and expedient for the capabilities of each temperament. But if it does not aid in the acquisition of riches, fame, and the like, we shall be able to say the same of all philosophy, for it does not provide any of these things as far as its own powers are concerned. We should not, however, for that reason be justified in condemning either philosophy or this art, disregarding its greater advantages.

To a general examination it would appear that those who find fault with the uselessness of prognostication have no regard for the most important matters, but only for this-that foreknowledge of events that will happen in any case is superfluous; this, too, quite unreservedly and without due discrimination. For, in the first place. we should consider that even with events that will necessarily take place their unexpectedness is very apt to cause excessive panic and delirious joy. while foreknowledge accustoms and calms the soul by experience of distant events as though they were present, and prepares it to greet with calms and steadiness whatever comes. A second reason is that we should not believe that separate events attend mankind as the result of the heavenly cause as if they had been originally ordained for each person by some irrevocable divine command and destined - to take place by necessity without the possibility of any other cause whatever interfering. Rather is it true that the movement of the heavenly bodies, to be sure. is eternally performed in accordance with divine. unchangeable destiny, while the change of earthly things is subject to a natural and mutable rate, and in drawing its first causes from above it is governed by chance and natural sequence. Moreover, some things happen to mankind through more general circumstances and not as the result of an individual's own natural propensities-for example, when men perish in multitudes by conflagration or pestilence or cataclysms, through monstrous and inescapable changes in the ambient, for the lesser cause always yields to the greater and stronger; other occurrences, however, accord with the individual's own natural temperament through miner and fortuitous antipathies of the ambient. For if these distinctions are thus made, it is dear that both in general and in particular whatever events depend upon a first cause, which is irresistible and more powerful than anything that opposes it, must by all means take place; on the contrary, of events that are not of this character, those which are provided with resistant forces are easily averted, while those that are not follow the primary natural causes, to be sure, but this is due to ignorance and not to the necessity of almighty power. One might observe this same thing happening in all events whatsoever that have natural causes. For even of stones, plants, and animals, and also of wounds, mishaps, and sicknesses, some are of such a nature as to act of necessity, others only if no opposing thing interferes. One should therefore believe that physical philosophers predict what is to befall men with foreknowledge of this character and do not approach their task under false impressions; for certain things, because their effective causes are numerous and powerful, are inevitable, but others for the opposite reason may be averted. Similarly those physicians who can recognize ailments know beforehand those which are always fatal and those which admit of aid. In the case of events that may be modified we must give heed to the astrologer, when, for example, he says that to such and such a temperament, with such and such a character of the ambient, if the fundamental proportions increase or decrease, such and such an affection will result. Similarly we must believe the physician, when he says that this sore will spread or cause putrefaction, and the miner, for instance, that the lodestone attracts iron: just as each of these, if left to itself through ignorance of the opposing forces, will inevitably develop as its original nature compels, but neither will the sore cause spreading or putrefaction if it receives preventive treatment, nor will the lodestone attract the iron if it is rubbed with garlic; and these very deterrent measures also have their resisting power naturally and by fate; so also in the other cases, if future happenings to men are not known, or if they are known and the remedies are not applied, they will by all means follow the course of primary nature; but if they are recognized ahead of time and remedies are provided, again quite in accord with nature and fate, they either do not occur at all or are rendered less severe. And in general, since such power is the same whether applied to things regarded universally or particularly, One would wonder why all believe in the efficacy of prediction in universal matters, and in its usefulness for guarding one's interests (for most people admit that they have foreknowledge of the seasons, of the significance of the constellations, and of the phases of the moon, and take great forethought for safeguarding themselves, always contriving cooling agents against summer and the means of warmth against winter, and in general preparing their own natures with moderation as a goal; furthermore, to ensure the safety of the seasons and of their sailings they watch the significance of the fixed stars, and, for the beginning of breeding and sowing, the aspects of the moon's light at its full, and no one ever condemns such practices either as impossible or useless); but, on the other hand, as regards particular matters and those depending upon the mixture of the other qualities-such as predictions of more or less, of cold or of heat, and of the individual temperament-some people believe neither that foreknowledge is still possible nor that precautions can be taken in most instances. And yet, since it is obvious that, if we happen to have cooled ourselves against heat in general, we shall suffer less from it, similar measures can prove effective against particular forces which increase this particular temperament to a disproportionate amount of heat. For the cause of this error is the difficulty and unfamiliarity of particular prognostication, a reason which in most other situations as well brings about disbelief. And since for the most part the resisting faculty is not coupled with the prognostic, because so perfect a disposition is rare, and since the force of nature takes its course without hindrance when the primary natures are concerned, an opinion has been produced that absolutely all future events are inevitable and inescapable.

But, I think, just as with prognostication, even if it be not entirely infallible, at least its possibilities have appeared worthy of the highest regard, so too in the case of defensive practice, even though it does not furnish a remedy for everything. its authority in some instances at least, however few or unimportant, should be welcomed and prized. and regarded as profitable in no ordinary sense.

Recognizing, apparently, that these things are so, those who have most advanced this faculty of the art, the Egyptians, have entirely united medicine with astronomical prediction. For they would never have devised certain means of averting or warding off or remedying the universal and particular conditions that come or are present by reason of the ambient, if they had had any idea that the future cannot be moved and changed. But as it is, they place the faculty of resisting by orderly natural means in second rank to the decrees of fate, and have yoked to the possibility of prognostication its useful and beneficial faculty, through what they call their iatromathematical systems [medical astrology], in order that by means of astronomy they may succeed in learning the qualities of the underlying temperatures, the events that will occur in the future because of the ambient, and their special causes, on the ground that without this knowledge any measures of aid ought for the most part to fail, because the same Ones are not fitted for all bodies or diseases; and, on the other band, by means of medicine, through their knowledge of what is properly sympathetic or antipathetic in each case, they proceed, as far as possible, to take precautionary measures against impending illness and to prescribe infallible treatment for existing disease.

Let this be, to this point, our summarily stated preliminary sketch. We shall now conduct our discussion after the manual of an introduction, beginning with the character of each of the heavenly bodies with respect to its active power, in agreement with the physical observations attached to them by the ancients, and in the first place the powers of the planets, sun, and moon.

4. Of the Power of the Planets.

The active power of the sun's essential nature is found to be heating and, to a certain degree, drying. This is made more easily perceptible in the case of the sun than any other heavenly body by its size and by the obviousness of its seasonal changes, for the closer it approaches to the zenith the more it affects us in this way. Most of the moon's power consists of humidifying, dearly because it is close to the earth and because of the moist exhalations there from. Its action therefore is precisely this, to soften and cause putrefaction in bodies for the most part, but it shares moderately also in heating power because of the light which it receives from the sun.

It is Saturn's quality chiefly to cool and, moderately, to dry, probably because he is furthest removed both from the sun's heat and the moist exhalations about the earth. Both in Saturn's case and in that of the other planets there are powers, too, which arise through the observation of their aspects to the sun and the moon, for some of them appear to modify conditions in the ambient in one way, some in another, by increase or by decrease.

The nature of Mars is chiefly to dry and to burn, in conformity with his fiery colour and by reason of his nearness to the sun, for the sun's sphere lies just below him.

Jupiter has a temperate active force because his movement takes place between the cooling influence of Saturn and the burning power of Mars. He both heats and humidifies; and because his heating power is the greater by reason of the underlying spheres, he produces fertilizing winds.

Venus has the same powers and tempered nature as Jupiter, but acts in the opposite way; for she warms moderately because of her nearness to the sun, but chiefly humidifies, like the moon, because of the amount of her own light and because she appropriates the exhalations from the moist atmosphere surrounding the earth.

Mercury in general is found at certain times alike to be drying and absorptive of moisture, because he never is far removed in longitude from the heat of the sun; and again humidifying, because he is next above the sphere of the moon, which is closest to the earth; and to change quickly from one to the other, inspired as it were by the speed of his motion in the neighbourhood of the sun itself.

5. Of Beneficent and Maleficent Planets.

Since the foregoing is the case, because two of the four humours are fertile and active, the hot and the moist (for all things are brought together and increased by them), and two are destructive and passive, the dry and the cold, through which all things, again, are separated and destroyed, the ancients accepted two of the planets, Jupiter and Venus, together with the moon, as beneficent because of their tempered nature and because they abound in the hot and the moist, and Saturn and Mars as producing effects of the opposite nature, one because of his excessive cold and the other for his excessive dryness; the sun and Mercury, however, they thought to have both powers, because they, have a common nature, and to join their influences with those of the other planets, with whichever of them they are associated.

6. Of Masculine and Feminine Planets.

Again, since there are two primary kinds of natures, male and female, and of the forces already mentioned that of the moist is especially feminine-for as a general thing this element is present to a greater degree in all females, and the others rather in males­with good reason the view has been handed down to us that the moon and Venus are feminine, because they share more largely in the moist, and that the sun, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars are masculine, and Mercury common to both genders, inasmuch as he produces the dry and the moist alike. They say too that the stars become masculine or feminine according to their aspects to the sun, for when they are morning stars and precede the sun they become masculine, and feminine when they are evening stars and follow the sun. Furthermore this happens also according to their positions with respect to the horizon; for when they are in positions from the orient to mid-heaven, or again from the Occident to lower mid-heaven, they become masculine because they are eastern, but in the other two quadrants, as western stars, they become feminine.

7. Of Diurnal and Nocturnal Planets.

Similarly, since of the two most obvious intervals of those which make up time, the day is more masculine because of its heat and active force, and night more feminine because of its moisture and its gift of rest, the tradition has consequently been handed down that the moon and Venus are nocturnal, the sun and Jupiter diurnal, and Mercury common as before, diurnal when it is a morning star and nocturnal as an evening star. They also assigned to each of the sects the two destructive stars, not however in this instance on the principle of similar natures, but of just the opposite; for when stars of the same kind are joined with those of the good temperament their beneficial influence - is increased, but if dissimilar stars are associated with the destructive Ones the greatest part of their injurious power is broken. Thus they assigned ,Saturn, which is cold, to the warmth of day, and Mars, which is dry, to the moisture of night, for in this way each of them - attains good proportion through admixture and becomes a proper member of its sect, which provides moderation.

8. Of the Power of the Aspects to the Sun.

Now, mark you, likewise, according to their aspects to the sun, the moon and three of the planets experience increase and decrease in their own powers. For in its waxing from new moon to first quarter the moon is more productive of moisture ; in its passage from first quarter to full, of heat; from full to last quarter; of dryness, and from last quarter to occultation, of cold. The planets, in oriental aspects only, are more productive of moisture from rising to their first station, of heat from first station to evening rising, of dryness from evening rising to the second station, of cold from second station to setting; and it is clear that when they are associated with One another they produce very many variations of quality in our ambient, the proper force of each One for the most part persisting, but being changed in quantity by the force of the stars that share the configuration.

9. Of the Power of the Fixed Stars.

As it is next in order to recount the natures of the fixed stars with reference to their special powers, we shall set forth their observed characters in an exposition like that of the natures of the planets, and in the first place those of the ones that occupy the figures in the zodiac itself.

The stars in the head of Aries, then, have an effect like the power of Mars and Saturn, mingled; those in the mouth like Mercury's power and moderately like Saturn's; those in the hind foot like that of Mars, and those in the tail like that of Venus.

Of those in Taurus, the stars along the line where it is cut off have a temperature like that of Venus and in a measure like that of Saturn; those in the Pleiades, like those of the moon and Jupiter; of the stars in the head, the one of the Hyades that is bright and somewhat reddish, called the Torch, has a temperature like that of Mars; the others, like that of Saturn and moderately, like that of Mercury; those in the tips of the horns, like that of Mars.

Of the stars in Gemini, those in the feet share the same quality as Mercury and, to a less degree, as Venus; the bright stars in the thighs, the same as Saturn; of the two bright stars in the heads, the one in the head in advance the same as Mercury; it is also called the star of Apollo; the one in the head that follows, the same as Mars; it is also called the star of Hercules.

Of the stars in Cancer, the two in the eyes produce the same effect as Mercury, and, to a less degree, as Mars; those in the claws, the same as Saturn and Mercury; the cloud-like cluster in the breast, called the Manger, the same as Mars and the moon; and the two on either of it, which are called Asses, the same as Mars and the sun.

Of those in Leo, the two in the head act in the same way as Saturn and, to a less degree, as Mars; the three in the throat, the same as Saturn and, to a less degree, as Mercury; the bright star upon the heart, called Regulus, the same as Mars and Jupiter; those in the hip and the bright star in the tail, the same as Saturn and Venus; and those in the thighs, the same as Venus and, to a less degree, Mercury.

Of the stars in Virgo, those in the head and the one upon the tip of the southern wing have an effect like that of Mercury and, in less degree, of Mars; the other bright stars of the wing and those on the girdles like that of Mercury and, in a measure, of Venus; the bright star in the northern wing, called Vindemiator, like those of Saturn and Mercury; the so-called Spica, like that of Venus and, in a less degree, that of Mars; those in the tips of the feet and the train like that of Mercury and, in a less degree, Mars.

Of those in the Claws of the Scorpion, the ones at their very extremities exercise the same influence as do Jupiter and Mercury; those in the middle parts the same as do Saturn and, to a less degree, Mars.

Of the stars in the body of Scorpius, the bright stars on the forehead act in the same way as does Mars and in some degree as does Saturn; the three in the body, the middle one of which is tawny and rather bright and is called Antares, the same as Mars and, in some degree, Jupiter; those in the joints, the same as Saturn and, in some degree, Venus; those in the sting, the same as Mercury and Mars; and the so-called cloud-like cluster, the same as Mars and the moon.

Of the stars in Sagittarius, those in the point of his arrow have an effect like that of Mars and the moon; those in the bow and the grip of his hand, like that of Jupiter and Mars; the cluster in his forehead, like that of the sun and Mars; those in the cloak and his back, like that of Jupiter and, to a less degree, of Mercury; those in his feet, like that of Jupiter and Saturn; the quadrangle upon the tail, like that of Venus and, to a less degree, of Saturn.

Of the stars in Capricorn, those in the horns act in the same way as Venus and, in same degree, as Mars; those in the mouth, as Saturn and, in same degree, as Venus; those in the feet and the belly, as Mars and Mercury; and those in the tail, as Saturn and Jupiter.

Of the stars in Aquarius, those in the shoulders exert an influence like that of Saturn and Mercury, together with those in the left arm and the cloak; those in the thighs, like that of Mercury in a greater degree and like that of Saturn in a lesser degree; those in the stream of water, like that of Saturn and, in same degree, like that of Jupiter.

Of the stars in Pisces, those in the head of the southern Fish act in the same way as Mercury and somewhat as does Saturn; those in the body, as do Jupiter and Mercury; those in the tail and the southern cord, as do Saturn and, in some degree, Mercury; those in the body and backbone of the northern Fish, as do Jupiter and, in some degree, Venus; those in the northern part of the cord, as do Saturn and Jupiter; and the bright star on the bond, as do Mars and, in some degree, Mercury.

Of the stars in the configurations north of the zodiac, the bright stars in Ursa Minor have a similar quality to that of Saturn and, to a less degree, to that of Venus; those in Ursa Major, to that of Mars; and the cluster of the Coma Berenices beneath the Bear's tail, to that of the moon and Venus; the bright stars in Draco, to that of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter; those of Cepheus, to that of Saturn and Jupiter: those in Boötes, to that of Mercury and Saturn; the bright, tawny star, to that of Jupiter and Mars, the star called Arcturus; the star in Corona Septentrionalis, to that of Venus and Mercury; those in Geniculator, to that of Mercury; those in Lyra, to that of Venus and Mercury; and likewise those in Cygnus. The stars in Cassiopeia have the effect of Saturn and Venus; those in Perseus, of Jupiter and Saturn; the cluster in the hilt of the sword, of Mars and Mercury; the bright stars in Auriga, of Mars and Mercury; those in Ophiuchus, of Saturn and, to some degree, of Venus; those in his serpent, of Saturn and Mars; those in Sagitta, of Mars and, to some degree, of Venus; those in Aquila, of Mars and Jupiter; those in Delphinus, of Saturn and Mars; the bright stars in the Horse, of Mars and Mercury; those in Andromeda, of Venus; those in Triangulum, of Mercury.

Of the stars in the formations south of the zodiac the bright star in the mouth of Piscis Australis has an influence similar to that of Venus and Mercury; those in Cetus, similar to that of Saturn; of those in Orion, the stars on his shoulders similar to that of Mars and Mercury, and the other bright stars similar to that of Jupiter and Saturn; of the stars in Eridanus the last bright one has an influence like that of Jupiter and the others like that of Saturn; the star in Lepus, like that of Saturn and Mercury; of those in Canis, the others like that of Venus, and the bright star in the mouth, like that of Jupiter and, to a less degree, of Mars; the bright star Procyon, like that of Mercury. and, in a less degree, that of Mars; the bright stars in Hydra, like that of Saturn and Venus; those in Crater, like that of Venus and, in a less degree, of Mercury; those in Corvus, like that of Mars and Saturn; the bright stars of Argo, like that of Saturn and Jupiter; of those in Centaurus, the ones in the human body, like that of Venus and Mercury, and the bright stars in the equine body like that of Venus and Jupiter; the bright stars in Lupus, like that of Saturn and, in less degree, of Mars; those in Ara, like that of Venus and, to a lesser degree, of Mercury; and the bright stars in Corona Australis, like that of Saturn and Mercury.

Such, then, are the observations of the effects of the stars themselves as made by our predecessors.

10. Of the Effect of the Seasons and of the Four Angles.

Of the four seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, spring exceeds in moisture on account of its diffusion after the cold has passed and warmth is setting in; the summer, in heat, because of the nearness of the sun to the zenith; autumn more in dryness, because of the sucking up of the moisture during the hot season just past; and winter exceeds in cold, because the sun is farthest away from the zenith. For this reason, although there is no natural beginning of the zodiac, since it is a circle, they assume that the sign which begins with the vernal equinox, that of Aries, is the starting point of them all, making the excessive moisture of the spring the first part of the zodiac as though it were a living creature, and taking next in order the remaining seasons, because in all creatures the earliest ages, like the spring, have a larger share of moisture and are tender and still delicate. The second age, up to the prime of life, exceeds in heat, like summer; the third, which is now past the prime and on the verge of decline, has an excess of dryness, like autumn; and the last, which approaches dissolution, exceeds in its coldness, like winter.

Similarly, too, of the four regions and angles of the horizon, from which originate the winds from the cardinal points, the eastern one likewise excels in dryness because, when the sun is in that region, whatever has been moistened by the night then first begins to be dried; and the winds which blow from it, which we call in general Apeliotes, are without moisture and drying in effect. The region to the south is hottest because of the fiery heat of the sun's passages through mid-heaven and because these passages, on account of the inclination of our inhabited world, diverge more to the south; and the winds which blow thence and are called by the general name Notus are hot and rarefying. The region to the west is itself moist, because when the sun is therein the things dried out during the day then first begin to become moistened; likewise the winds which blow from this part, which we call by the general name Zephyrus, are fresh and moist. The region to the north is the coldest, because through our inhabited world's inclination it is too far removed from the causes of heat arising from the sun's culmination, as it is also when the sun is at its lower culmination; and the winds which blow thence, which are called by the general name Boreas, are cold and condensing in effect.

The knowledge of these facts is useful to enable One to form a complete judgement of temperatures in individual instances. For it is easily recognizable that, together with such conditions as these, of seasons, ages, or angles, there is a corresponding variation in the potency of the stars' faculties, and that in the conditions akin to them their quality is purer and their effectiveness stronger, those that are heating by nature, for instance, in heat, and those that are moistening in the moist, while under opposite conditions their power is adulterated and weaker. Thus the heating stars in the cold periods and the moistening stars in the dry periods are weaker, and similarly in the other cases, according to the quality produced by the mixture.

11. Of Solstitial, Equinoctial, Solid, and Bicorporeal Signs.

After the explanation of these matters the next subject to be added would be the natural characters of the zodiacal signs themselves, as they have been handed down by tradition. For although their more general temperaments are each analogous to the seasons that take place in them, certain peculiar qualities of theirs arise from their kinship to the sun, moon, and planets, as we shall relate in what follows, putting first the unmingled powers of the signs themselves alone, regarded both absolutely and relatively to one another.

The first distinctions, then, are of the so-called solstitial, equinoctial, solid, and bicorporeal signs. For there are two solstitial signs, the first interval of 30° from the summer solstice, the sign of Cancer, and the first from the winter solstice, Capricorn; and they have received their name from what takes place in them. For the sun turns when he is at the beginning of these signs and reverses his latitudinal progress, causing summer in Cancer and winter in Capricorn. Two signs are called equinoctial, the One which is first from the spring equinox, Aries, and the One which begins with the autumnal equinox, Libra; and they too again are named from what happens there, because when the sun is at the beginning of these signs he makes the nights exactly equal to the days.

Of the remaining eight signs four are called solid and four bicorporeal. The solid signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpius, and Aquarius, are those which follow the solstitial and equinoctial signs; and they are so called because when the sun is in them the moisture, heat, dryness, and cold of the seasons that begin in the preceding signs touch us more firmly, not that the weather is naturally any more intemperate at that time, but that we are by then inured to them and for that reason are more sensible of their power.

The bicorporeal signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, are those which follow the solid signs, and are so called because they are between the solid and the solstitial and equinoctial signs and share, as it were, at end and beginning, the natural properties of the two states of weather.

12. Of Masculine and Feminine Signs.

Again, in the same way they assigned six of the signs to the masculine and diurnal nature and an equal number to the feminine and nocturnal. An alternating order was assigned to them because day is always yoked to night and close to it, and female to male. Now as Aries is taken as the starting-point for the reasons we have mentioned, and as the male likewise rules and holds first place, since also the active is always superior to the passive in power, the signs of Aries and Libra were thought to be masculine and diurnal, an additional reason being that the equinoctial circle which is drawn through them completes the primary and most powerful movement of the whole universe. The signs in succession after them correspond, as we said, in alternating order.

Same, however, employ an order of masculine and feminine signs whereby the masculine begins with the sign that is rising, called the horoscope. For just as some begin the solstitial signs with the moon's sign because the moon changes direction more swiftly than the rest, so they begin the masculine signs with the horoscope because it is further to the east, some as before making use of the alternate order of signs, and others dividing by entire quadrants, and designating as matutinal and masculine signs those of the quadrant from the horoscope to mid-heaven and those of the opposite quadrant from the Occident to the lower mid-heaven, and as evening and feminine the other two quadrants. They have also attached other descriptions to the signs, derived from their shapes; I refer, for example, to "four-footed," "terrestrial,"" commanding,"" fecund," and similar appellations. These, since their reason and their significance are directly derived, we think it superfluous to enumerate, since the quality resulting from such conformations can be explained in connection with those predictions wherein it is obviously useful.

13. Of the Aspects of the Signs.

Of the parts of the zodiac those first are familiar one to another which are in aspect. These are the ones which are in opposition, enclosing two right angles, six signs, and 180 degrees; those which are in trine, enclosing one and one-third right angles, four signs, and 120 degrees; those which are said to be in quartile, enclosing one right angle, three signs, and 90 degrees, and finally those that occupy the sextile position, enclosing two-thirds of a right angle, two signs, and 60 degrees.

We may learn from the following why only these intervals have been taken into consideration. The explanation of opposition is immediately obvious, because it causes the signs to meet on one straight line. But if we take the two fractions and the two superparticulars most important in music, and if the fractions one-half and one-third be applied to opposition, composed of two right angles, the half makes the quartile and the third the sextile and trine. Of the superparticulars, if the sesquialter and sesquitertian be applied to the quartile interval of one right angle, which lies between them, the sesquialter makes the ratio of the quartile to the sextile and the sesquitertian that of trine to quartile. Of these aspects trine and sextile are called harmonious because they are composed of signs of the same kind, either entirely of feminine or entirely of masculine signs; while quartile and opposition are disharmonious because they are composed of signs of opposite kinds.

14. Of Commanding and Obeying Signs.

Similarly the names " commanding" and" obeying " are applied to the divisions of the zodiac which are disposed at an equal distance from the same equinoctial sign, whichever it may be, because they ascend in equal period of time and are on equal parallels. Of these the ones in the summer hemisphere are called " commanding " and those in the winter hemisphere " obedient," because the sun makes the day longer than the night when he is in the summer hemisphere, and shorter in the winter.

15. Of Signs which Behold each other and Signs of Equal Power.

Again they say that the parts which are equally removed from the same tropical sign, whichever it may be, are of equal power, because when the sun comes into either of them the days are equal to the days, the nights to the nights, and the lengths of their own hours are the same. These also are said to "behold" One another both for the reasons stated and because each of the pair rises from the same part of the horizon and sets in the same part.

16. Of Disjunct Signs.

" Disjunct" and" alien" are the names applied to those divisions of the zodiac which have none whatever of the aforesaid familiarities with One another. These are the Ones which belong neither to the class of commanding or obeying, beholding or of equal power, and furthermore they are found to be entirely without share in the four aforesaid aspects, opposition, trine, quartile, and sextile, and are either One or five signs apart; for those which are One sign apart are as it were averted from One another and, though they are two, bound the angle of One, and those that are five signs apart divide the whole circle into unequal parts. while the other aspects make an equal division of the perimeter.

17. Of the Houses of the Several Planets.

The planets also have familiarity with the parts of the zodiac, through what are called their houses, triangles, exaltations, terms, and the like. The system of houses is of the following nature. Since of the twelve signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and of warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, that is, to the luminaries, as houses, Leo, which is masculine, to the sun and Cancer, feminine, to the moon. In keeping with this they assumed the semicircle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar, so that in each of the semicircles One sign might be assigned to each of the five planets as its own, One bearing aspect to the sun and the other to the moon, consistently with the spheres of their motion and the peculiarities of their natures. For to Saturn, in whose nature cold prevails, as opposed to heat, and which occupies the orbit highest and farthest from the luminaries, were assigned the signs opposite Cancer and Leo, namely Capricorn and Aquarius, with the additional reason that these signs are cold and wintry, and further that their diametrical aspect is not consistent with beneficence. To Jupiter, which is moderate and below Saturn's sphere, were assigned the two signs next to the foregoing, windy and fecund, Sagittarius and Pisces, in triangular aspect to the luminaries, which is a harmonious and beneficent configuration. Next, to Mars, which is dry in nature and occupies a sphere under that of Jupiter, there were assigned again the two signs, contiguous to the former, Scorpius and Aries, having a similar nature, and, agreeably to Mars' destructive and inharmonious quality, in quartile aspect to the luminaries. To Venus, which is temperate and beneath Mars, were given the next two signs, which are extremely fertile, Libra and Taurus. These preserve the harmony of the sextile aspect; another reason is that this planet at most is never more than two signs removed from the sun in either direction. Finally, there were given to Mercury, which never is farther removed from the sun than One sign in either direction and is beneath the others and closer in a way to both of the luminaries, the remaining signs, Gemini and Virgo, which are next to the houses of the luminaries.

18. Of the Triangles.

The familiarity by triangles is as follows. Inasmuch as the triangular and equilateral form is most harmonious with itself, the zodiac also is bounded by three circles, the equinoctial and the two tropics, and its twelve parts are divided into four equilateral triangles. The first of these, which passes through Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, is composed of three masculine signs and includes the houses of the sun, of Mars, and of Jupiter. This triangle was assigned to the sun and Jupiter, since Mars is not of the solar sect. The sun assumes first governance of it by day and Jupiter by night. Also, Aries is close to the equinoctial circle, Leo to the summer solstice and Sagittarius to the winter solstice. This triangle is pre-eminently northern because of Jupiter's share in its government, since Jupiter is fecund and windy, similarly to the winds from the north. However, because of the house of Mars it suffers an admixture of the south-west wind and is constituted Borro­libycon, because Mars causes such winds and also because of the sect of the moon and the feminine quality of the Occident.

The second triangle, which is the One drawn through Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, is composed of three feminine signs, and consequently was assigned to the moon and Venus; the moon governs it by night and Venus by day. Taurus lies toward the summer tropic, Virgo toward the equinox, and Capricorn toward the winter tropic. This triangle is made pre-eminently southern because of the dominance of Venus, since this star through the heat and moisture of its power produces similar winds; but as it receives an admixture of Apeliotes because the house of Saturn, Capricornus, is included within it, it is constituted Notapeliotes in contrast to the filet triangle, since Saturn produces winds of this kind and is related to the cast through sharing in the sect of the sun.

The third triangle is the One drawn through Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, composed of three masculine signs, and having no relation to Mars but rather to Saturn and Mercury because of their houses. It was assigned in turn to these, with Saturn governing during the day on account of his sect and Mercury by night. The sign of Gemini lies toward the summer tropic, Libra toward the equinox, and Aquarius toward the winter tropic. This triangle also is primarily of eastern constitution, because of Saturn, but by admixture north-eastern, because the sect of Jupiter has familiarity with Saturn, inasmuch as it is diurnal.

The fourth triangle, which is the one drawn through Cancer, Scorpius, and Pisces, was left to the only remaining planet, Mars, which is related to it through his house, Scorpius; and along with him, on account of the sect and the femininity of the signs, the moon by night and Venus by day are co-rulers. Cancer is near the summer circle, Scorpius lies close to the winter one, and Pisces to the equinox. This triangle is constituted pre-eminently western, because it is dominated by Mars and the moon; but by admixture it becomes south-western through the domination of Venus.

19. Of Exaltations.

The so-called exaltations of the planets have the following explanation. Since the sun, when he is in Aries, is making his transition to the northern and higher semicircle, and in Libra is passing into the southern and lower One, they have fittingly assigned Aries to him as his exaltation, since there the length of the day and the heating power of his nature begin to increase, and Libra as his depression for the opposite reasons.

Saturn again, in order to have a position opposite to the sun, as also in the matter of their houses, look, contrariwise, Libra as his exaltation and Aries as his depression. For where heat increases there cold diminishes, and where the former diminishes cold on the contrary increases. And since the moon, coming to conjunction in the exaltation of the sun, in Aries, shows her first phase and begins to increase her light and, as it were, her height, in the first sign of her own triangle, Taurus, this was called her exaltation, and the diametrically opposite sign, Scorpius, her depression.

Then Jupiter, which produces the fecund north winds, reaches farthest north in Cancer and brings his own power to fullness; they therefore made this sign his exaltation and Capricorn his depression.

Mars, which by nature is fiery and becomes all the more so in Capricorn because in it he is farthest south, naturally received Capricorn as his exaltation. in contrast to Jupiter, and Cancer as his depression.

Venus, however, as she is moist by nature and increases her own proper power all the more in Pisces, where the beginning of the moist spring is indicated. has her exaltation in Pisces and her depression in Virgo.

Mercury, on the contrary, since he is airier, by contrast naturally is exalted, as it were, in Virgo, in which the dry autumn is signified, and is depressed in Pisces.

20. Of the Disposition of Terms.

With regard to the terms two systems are most in circulation; the first is the Egyptian, which is chiefly based on the government of the houses, and the second the Chaldean, resting upon the government of the triplicities. Now the Egyptian system of the commonly accepted terms does not at all preserve the consistency either of order or of individual quantity. For in the first place, in the matter of order, they have sometimes assigned the first place to the lords of the houses and again to those of the triplicities, and sometimes also to the lords of the exaltations. For example, if it is true that they have followed the houses, why have they assigned precedence to Saturn, say, in Libra, and not to Venus, and why to Jupiter in Aries and not to Mars? And if they follow the triplicities, why have they given Mercury, and not Venus, first place in Capricorn? Or if it be exaltations, why give Mars, and not Jupiter, precedence in Cancer; and if they have regard for the planets that have the greatest number of these qualifications, why have they given first place in Aquarius to Mercury, who has only his triplicity there, and not to Saturn, for it is both the house and the triplicity of Saturn? Or why have they given Mercury first place in Capricorn at all, since he has no relation of government to the sign ? One would find the same kind of thing in the rest of the system.

Secondly, the number of the terms manifestly has no consistency; for the number derived for each planet from the addition of its terms in all the signs, in accordance with which they say the planets assign years of life, furnishes no suitable or acceptable argument. But even if we rely upon the number derived from this summation, in accordance with the downright claim of the Egyptians, the sum would be found the same, even though the amounts, sign by sign, be frequently changed in various ways. And as for the specious and sophistic assertion about them that same attempt to make, namely that the times assigned to each single planet by the schedule of ascensions in all the climes add up to this same sum, it is false. For, in the first place, they follow the common method, based upon evenly progressing increases in the ascensions, which is not even close to the truth. By this scheme they would have each of the signs Virgo and Libra, on the parallel which passes through lower Egypt, ascend in 38 1/3 times, and Leo and Scorpius each in 35, although it is shown by the tables that these latter ascend in more than 35 times and Virgo and Libra in less. Furthermore, those who have endeavoured to establish this theory even so do not seem to follow the usually accepted number of terms, and are compelled to make many false statements, and they have even made use of fractional parts of fractions in the effort to save their hypothesis, which, as we said, is itself not a true one.

However, the terms most generally accepted on the authority of ancient tradition are given in the following fashion :­

Terms according to the Egyptians.

Aries : Jupiter = 6; Venus = 6; Mercury = 8; Mars = 5; Saturn = 5;
Taurus : Venus = 8; Mercury = 6; Jupiter = 8; Saturn = 5; Mars = 3;
Gemini : Mercury = 6; Jupiter = 6; Venus =5; Mars = 7; Saturn = 6;
Cancer : Mars = 7; Venus = 6; Mercury = 6; Jupiter = 7; Saturn = 4;
Leo : Jupiter = 6; Venus = 5; Saturn = 7; Mercury = 6; Mars = 6;
Virgo : Mercury = 7; Venus = 10; Jupiter = 4; Mars = 7; Saturn = 2;
Libra : Saturn = 6; Mercury =8; Jupiter = 7; Venus = 7; Mars = 2;
Scorpius : Mars = 7; Venus = 4; Mercury = 8; Jupiter = 5; Saturn = 6;
Sagittarius : Jupiter = 12; Venus = 5; Mercury = 4; Saturn = 5; Mars = 4;
Capricornus : Mercury = 7; Jupiter = 7; Venus = 8; Saturn = 4; Mars = 4;
Aquarius : Mercury = 7; Venus = 6; Jupiter = 7; Mars = 5; Saturn = 5;
Pisces : Venus = 12; Jupiter = 4; Mercury = 3; Mars = 9; Saturn = 2;

21. According to the Chaldeans.

The Chaldean method involves a sequence, simple, to be sure, and more plausible, though not so self-sufficient with respect to the government of the triangles and the disposition of quantity, so that, nevertheless, one could easily understand them even without a diagram. For in the first triplicity, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, which has with them the same division by signs as with the Egyptians, the lord of the triplicity, Jupiter, is the first to receive terms, then the lord of the next triangle, Venus, next the lord of the triangle of Gemini, Saturn, and Mercury, and finally the lord of the remaining triplicity, Mars. In the second triplicity, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, which again has the same division by signs, Venus is first, then Saturn, and again Mercury, after these Mars, and finally Jupiter. This arrangement in general is observed also in the remaining two triplicities. Of the two lords of the same triplicity, however, Saturn and Mercury, by day Saturn takes the first place in the order of ownership, by night Mercury. The number assigned to each is also a simple matter. For in order that the number of terms of each planet may be less by One degree than the preceding, to correspond with the descending order in which first place is assigned, they always assign 8° to the first, 7° to the second, 6° to the third, 5° to the fourth, and 4° to the last; thus the 30° of a sign is made up. The sum of the number of degrees thus assigned to Saturn is 78 by day and 66 by night, to Jupiter 72, to Mars 69, to Venus 75, to Mercury 66 by day and 78 by night; the total is 360 degrees.

Now of these terms those which are constituted by the Egyptian method are, as we said, more worthy of credence, both because in the form in which they have been collected by the Egyptian writers they have for their utility been deemed worthy of record, and because for the most part the degrees of these terms are consistent with the nativities which have been recorded by them as examples. As these very writers, however, nowhere explain their arrangement or their number, their failure to agree in an account of the system might well become an object of suspicion and a subject for criticism. Recently. however, we have come upon an ancient manuscript, much damaged, which contains a natural and consistent explanation of their order and number, and at the same time the degrees reported in the aforesaid nativities and the numbers given in the summations were found to agree with the tabulation of the ancients. The hook was very lengthy in expression and excessive in demonstration, and its damaged state made it hard to read, so that I could barely gain an idea of its general purport; that too, in spite of the help offered by the tabulations of the terms, better preserved because they were placed at the end of the book. At any rate the general scheme of assignment of the terms is as follows. For their arrangement within each sign, the exaltations, triplicities, and houses are taken into consideration. For, generally speaking, the star that has two rulerships of this sort in the same sign is placed first, even though it may be maleficent. But wherever this condition does not exist, the maleficent planets are always put last, and the lords of the exaltation first, the lords of the triplicity next, and then those of the house, following the order of the signs. And again in order, those that have two lordships each are preferred to the one which has but one in the same sign. Since terms are not allotted to the luminaries, however, Cancer and Leo, the houses of the sun and moon, are assigned to the maleficent planets because they were deprived of their share in the order, Cancer to Mars and Leo to Saturn; in these the order appropriate to them is preserved. As for the number of the terms, when no star is found with two prerogatives, either in the sign itself or in those which follow it within the quadrant, there are assigned to each of the beneficent planets, that is, to Jupiter and Venus, 7° ; to the maleficent, Saturn and Mars, 5° each; and to Mercury, which is common, 6°; so that the total is 30°. But since some always have two prerogatives for Venus alone becomes the ruler of the triplicity of Taurus, since the moon does not participate in the terms there is given to each one of those in such condition, whether it be in the same sign or in the following signs within the quadrant, one extra degree; these were marked with dots. But the degrees added for double prerogatives are taken away from the others, which have but one, and, generally speaking, from Saturn and Jupiter because of their slower motion. these terms is as follows :­

Terms according to Ptolemy.

Aries : Jupiter = 6; Venus = 8; Mercury = 7; Mars = 5; Saturn = 4;
Taurus : Venus = 8; Mercury = 7; Jupiter = 7; Saturn = 2; Mars = 6;
Gemini : Mercury = 7; Jupiter = 6; Venus = 7; Mars = 6; Saturn = 4;
Cancer : Mars = 6; Jupiter = 7; Mercury = 7; Venus = 7; Saturn = 3;
Leo : Jupiter = 6; Mercury = 7; Saturn = 6; Venus = 6; Mars = 5;
Virgo : Mercury = 7; Venus = 6; Jupiter = ; Saturn = 6; Mars = 6;
Libra : Saturn = 6; Venus = 5; Mercury = 5; Jupiter = 8; Mars = 6;
Scorpius : Mars = 6; Venus = 7 ; Jupiter = 8; Mercury = 6; Saturn = 3;
Sagittarius : Jupiter = 8; Venus = 6; Mercury = 5; Saturn = 6; Mars = 5;
Capricornus : Venus = 6; Mercury = 6; Jupiter = 7; Saturn = 6; Mars = 5;
Aquarius : Saturn = 6; Mercury = 6; Venus = 8; Jupiter = 5; Mars = 5;
Pisces : Venus = 8; Jupiter = 6; Mercury = 6; Mars = 5; Saturn = 5;

22. Of Places and Degrees.

Some have made even finer divisions of rulership than these, using the terms" places" and" degrees." Defining "place" as the twelfth part of a sign, or 2 1/2°, they assign the domination over them to the signs in order. Others follow other illogical orders; and again they assign each "degree" from the beginning to each of the planets of each sign in accordance with the Chaldean order of terms. These matters, as they have only plausible and not natural, but, rather, unfounded, arguments in their favour, we shall omit. The following, however, upon which it is worth while to dwell, we shall not pass by, namely, that it is reasonable to reckon the beginnings of the signs also from the equinoxes and solstices, partly because the writers make this quite clear, and particularly because from our previous demonstrations we observe that their natures, powers, and familiarities take their cause from the solstitial and equinoctial starting-places, and from no other source. For if other starting-places are assumed, we shall either be compelled no longer to use the natures of the signs for prognostications or, if we use them, to be in error, since the spaces of the zodiac which implant their powers in the planets would then pass over to others and become alienated.

23. Of Faces, Chariots, and the Like.

Such, then, are the natural affinities of the stars and the signs of the zodiac. The planets are said to be in their "proper face" when an individual planet keeps to the sun or moon the same aspect which its house has to their houses; as, for example, when Venus is in sextile to the luminaries, provided that she is Occidental to the sun and oriental to the moon, in accordance with the original arrangement of their houses. They are said to be in their own "chariots" and "thrones" and the like when they happen to have familiarity in two or more of the aforesaid ways with the places in which they are found; for then their power is most increased in effectiveness by the similarity and co-operation of the kindred property of the signs which contain them. They say they "rejoice" when, even though the containing signs have no familiarity with the stars themselves, nevertheless they have it with the stars of the same sect; in this case the sympathy arises less directly. They share, however, in the similarity in the same way; just as, on the contrary, when they are found in alien regions belonging to the opposite sect, a great part of their proper power is paralysed, because the temperament which arises from the dissimilarity of the signs produces a different and adulterated nature.

24. Of Applications and Separations and the Other Powers.

In general those which precede are said to "apply" to those which follow, and those that follow to "be separated" from those that precede, when the interval between them is not great. Such a relation is taken to exist whether it happens by bodily conjunction or through one of the traditional aspects; except that with respect to the bodily applications and separations of the heavenly bodies it is of use also to observe their latitudes, in order that only those passages may be accepted which are found to be on the same of the ecliptic. In the case of applications and separations by aspect, however, such a practice is superfluous, because all rays always fall and similarly converge from every direction upon the same point, that is, the centre of the earth.

From all this then, it is easy to see that the quality of each of the stars must be examined with reference both to its own natural character and that also of the signs that include it, or likewise from the character of its aspects to the sun and the angles, in the manner which we have explained. Their power must be determined, in the first place, from the fact that they are either oriental and adding to their proper motion - for then they are most powerful - or Occidental and diminishing in speed, for then their energy is weaker. Second, it is to be determined from their position relative to the horizon; for they are most powerful when they are in mid-heaven or approaching it, and second when they are exactly on the horizon or in the succedent place; their power is greater when they are in the orient, and less when they culminate beneath the earth or are in some other aspect to the orient; if they bear no aspect at all to the orient they are entirely powerless.

Translation placed on the internet by Keld Jensen


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