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p. 114



IN connection with the foregoing discussion on the properties of the mind, the circumstances relating to eminent mental disorders, such as madness, epilepsy; 1 and others of the like formidable nature, duly claim attention.

Now, with reference to these, it is always essential to consider the planet Mercury and the Moon, and to observe in what mode they may be disposed towards each other, and towards the angles, and also to-wards the malefics: for, if the Moon and Mercury be unconnected with each other, or with the oriental horizon, and provided such planets as may be adversely and noxiously configurated should be in elevation above them, or overrule them, or be in opposition to them, the mental properties will then consequently become impregnated with various disorders: the characters of which may be clearly known by the qualities of the stars thus controlling the places. 2

It is true that there are many disorders of a moderate nature, capable of being distinguished by what has been already stated, in the preceding chapter, regarding the mental qualities: for it is by the increase and growth of certain of those qualities, that an injurious excess is produced; and every irregularity of the moral habit, whether by deficiency or superabundance, may be fitly termed a moral disorder. But, at the same time, there are other disorders of so vast and manifold a disproportion, that they quite, as it were, overpower the natural course of the intellect and passions of the mind. And of these greater disorders it is now proposed to treat.

For example, epilepsy generally attaches to all persons born when Mercury and the Moon may be unconnected either with each other, or with the oriental horizon, while Saturn and Mars may be in angles and superintend the scheme; that is to say, provided Saturn be so posited by day, and Mars by night: otherwise, when the converse may happen in these schemes, viz. when Saturn may have dominion by night, but Mars by day (especially if in Cancer, Virgo or Pisces), the persons born will become insane. And they will become demoniac, and afflicted with moisture, of the brain, if the Moon, being in face to the Sun, should be governed by Saturn when operating her conjunction, but by Mars when effecting her opposition; and particularly when it may happen in Sagittarius and in Pisces.

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If the malefics, only, should have ruled the scheme, in the manner described, the said disorders of the mind will become irremediable, although at the same time not eminent, but doubtful, and not openly displayed but, should the benefics, Jupiter and Venus, be conciliated, and be posited in eastern parts and in angles, while the malefics may be in western parts, the disorders, although highly conspicuous, will then be susceptible to cure. For instance, under Jupiter's influence, they will be healed by means of medical or surgical aid, and by diet and medicine; under Venus, by the guidance of oracles and by divine interposition.

Should the benefics, however, be occidental, and the malefics be found in eastern parts and in angles, the disorders will then become not only incurable, but most conspicuous: the epileptic persons will then be subjected to constant fits, and to danger of death; the insane will become outrageous and unmanageable, breaking away from their families, raving and wandering in nakedness: the demoniacs and those afflicted with moisture of the brain will become furious, uttering mysterious sayings, and wounding themselves.

The several places of position in the scheme also afford co-operation: for instance, those of the Sun and Mars contribute to insanity; those of Jupiter and Mercury, to epilepsy; those of Venus, to the fury of enthusiasm; and those of Saturn and the Moon, to demoniac affections and moisture of the brain.

It is by such configurations, as those just described, that any morbid deviation, occurring in the active or reasoning faculties of the mind, is produced; but a deviation of the passive, or merely sensitive faculties, is discernible chiefly in the excess and deficiency (as the case may be) of the masculine and feminine genders; that is to say, in the superabundance, or deficiency, of the power of either gender, to produce a conformation agreeable to its own proper nature: and a knowledge of this latter deviation is to be acquired by means of the following rules.

When the Sun, instead of Mercury, may be with the Moon, and if Mars, together with Venus, be then in familiarity with them, in that case, provided the luminaries only be found in masculine signs, men will excel in their nature, or, in other words, will possess in full plenitude the properties becoming their sex; while the properties of women, who are thus constituted more masculinely and more actively, will deviate from the usual limits of nature. But, if both Mars and Venus, or if only one of them, be likewise masculinely situated, men will be freely and promptly inclined to natural intercourse and connexion; and women will be, in like manner, licentious and intemperate in intercourse beyond nature. Their desires will be practised in privacy, and not openly, should only Venus be situated masculinely; but shamelessly and publicly, if Mars also masculinely placed, together with Venus.

But, if the luminaries only be in feminine signs, women will then

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possess their natural functions in greater plenitude, and men will deviate from the limits of nature towards effeminacy and wantonness. And, if Venus be femininely posited, women will be lustful and licentious, and men wanton and soft; seeking connexion contrary to nature; yet in privacy and not openly: but, if Mars be posited femininely, they will then put their desires in practice shamelessly and publicly.

The oriental and diurnal positions of Mars and Venus also contribute to more masculine and more reputable qualities; and their occidental and vespertine 1 positions to qualities more feminine, and more sordid.

Lastly, if Saturn be in familiarity with them, he will likewise co-operate, by tending to produce greater impurity and obscenity, and greater evil altogether; but Jupiter, if in familiarity, tends to greater decency and modesty, and altogether to better conduct; and Mercury to greater mobility, diversity, activity, and notoriety of the passions.




114:1 Epilepsy is defined to be "a conclusive motion of the whole body, or some parts of its parts, accompanied with a loss of sense." The knowledge of this latter effect probably induced the author to rank it among diseases of the mind.

114:2 Of Mercury, the Moon, and the ascendant.

116:1 Εσπερινοι; perhaps, more properly, nocturnal; the word being used in contrast to ημερινοι, diurnal.

Next: Chapter I. Proem