THE great and leading points, requiring to be attended to as a necessary means of introduction to the consideration of particular predictions, having been succinctly defined, the further parts of the subject, comprehending everything which may tend to facilitate prediction, and render it complete, shall now be duly proceeded in; and, at the same time, care shall be taken to confine the whole doctrine within the limits of natural reason.
The foreknowledge to be acquired by means of Astrology is to be regarded in two great and principal divisions. The first, which may be properly called General, or Universal, concerns entire nations, countries, or cities; and the second, denominated Particular, or Genethliacal, relates to men individually.
In considering these respective divisions, it seems proper to give priority to that which has the more general application and influence: because, in the first place, general events are produced by causes greater and more compulsatory than the causes of particular events; secondly, because natures of more extended potency must invariably control those which are more limited in action; and, thirdly, because particular events, or individual affections, are comprehended in those of general influence. 1 It is therefore especially necessary, in desiring to investigate particular events, to treat first of those which are general.
Again, general events are subdivided according to their operation upon entire countries, and upon certain cities or districts: one sub-division being regarded as affecting entire countries, and the other certain cities or districts only. They are also separately considered according to the causes by which they are produced; war, pestilence, famine, earthquakes, inundations, and other similar visitations being dependent on such greater and more important causes, as arise only after considerable periods; while slighter causes, arising more frequently, have reference only to the revolution of the seasons; their greater or less variation in cold and heat; the severity or mildness of the weather; the occasional abundance or scarcity of provisions; and other like occurrences.
Hence the consideration of those events which concern whole
countries, and are dependent on the greater causes (since it has a more extended scope than the other, which attaches only to certain cities, or districts, and is subject to slighter causes) takes precedence. And, for its due investigation, two essential points are to be attended to: the first is, the appropriate familiarity of the zodiacal signs and the fixed stars with the several regions which may be concerned.; and the second comprises the indications occasionally arising in those parts of the heavens where such familiarity is found: for instance, the eclipses of the Sun and Moon, and such transits as may be made by the planets, when matutine, and in their respective stations.
The nature of the sympathy between these things must, however, be explained first; and a brief description will therefore be given of the chief peculiarities observable in whole nations; in regard to their manners and customs, as well as to their bodily formation and temperament; considered agreeably to their familiarity with those stars and signs whence the natural cause of their peculiarities duly proceeds.
40:1 Vide Chap. iii, Book I, pp. 13-14.