Sacred Texts  Sky Lore  Index  Previous  Next 



IN addition to the foregoing brief observations, applicable to the various forms of death, further attention is demanded with respect to the division of time, which requires to be contemplated in its natural order and succession.

Now as, in all genethlialogical cases, a certain common and general arrangement, affecting the region or country and the race or generation, is pre-supposed to be in operation, to which arrangement particular inferences, relating to the form of the body, the properties of the mind, and national habits and variations, must each be subservient; and as, in these respects, certain causes more general and predominating are pre-supposed in existence before particular causes, due care must consequently be taken, in order to make an inference consistent with the course of nature, to observe always the original and predominating cause, and never to lose sight of it; lest some similarity in nativities (if any such should exist) might induce an assertion when the original predominating cause proceeding from the region itself has been overlooked, that the native of Æthiopia will be born of white complexion, and with long and straight hair; or, on the other hand, that the native of Germany or of Gaul will be black in complexion, and have curled

p. 138

hair; or, that the said nations are polished in manners, and cultivate learning, but that the people of Greece are barbarous and illiterate: and so, in short, of any other countries; without duly considering the national differences and variations in their several courses of life. So also, with regard to the division of time, it is in the same manner essential to consider the different qualities of the several ages of life, and to pre-determine the appropriate fitness of every age to such events as may be expected: in order to avoid the gross error which might arise from a merely vague consideration of the subject, by attributing to infancy some deed or circumstance of too complete a nature and belonging rather to manhood, or by ascribing to extreme old age the pro-creation of children, or some other action belonging to youth; and to adapt, on the contrary, to each separate age such circumstances as seem, by due observation of the periods, to be suitable and appropriate thereto.

The mode of consideration 1 applicable to human nature is universally one and the same; and it is analogous to the arrangement of the seven planetary orbs 2 It, therefore, duly commences with the first age of human life, and the first sphere next above the earth, that of the Moon; and it terminates with the final age of man, and the last of the planetary spheres, which is that of Saturn; and, in fact, it accordingly happens that the appropriate qualities of each sphere take effect in a corresponding age of life, each age being subjected to one particular sphere. These observations are necessary, because the general divisions of time must be considered by means of the spheres, as a primary arrangement; although minor distinctions are to be made by means of the existing peculiarities found in nativities.

Hence, the first age of infancy, which endures for four years, agreeing in number with the quadrennial period of the Moon, is consequently adapted to her; being in its nature moist and incompact, presenting rapidity of growth, being nourished by moist things, and possessing a highly variable habit. Its mental incompleteness is likewise in accordance with its familiar relation to the Moon, and her operative influence.

The age after this continues for ten years, and accommodates itself to the second sphere, that of Mercury. In this period, the intellectual and reasoning faculties of the mind begin to take their character, imbibing the seeds of learning, and developing, as it were, the elements and germs of the genius and abilities, and their peculiar quality. The mind is also roused to discipline and instruction, and to its first exercises.

Venus corresponds with the next and third age, which lasts throughout the following eight years, the number of her own period: from her, the movement of the seminal vessels originates, as well as an unrestrained impetuosity and precipitancy in amours.

p. 139

The fourth and adult age next succeeds, and is subject to the fourth sphere, that of the Sun: it endures for nineteen years, according to the Sun's number. Authority of action now commences in the mind, the career of life is entered upon, distinction and glory are desired, and puerile irregularities are relinquished for more orderly conduct, and the pursuit of honour.

Mars, next after the Sun, claims the fifth age, that of manhood, agreeing in duration with his own period, viz. fifteen years. He induces greater austerity of life, together with vexation, care, and trouble.

Jupiter occupies the sixth sphere, and influences the maturer age, during the twelve years corresponding to his own period. He operates the relinquishment of labour, of hazardous employment and tumult, and produces greater gravity, foresight, prudence, and sagacity, favouring the claim to honour, respect, and privilege.

Saturn, moving in the last sphere, regulates the final old age, as agreeing with its chilliness. He obstructs the mental movements, the appetites and enjoyments; rendering them imbecile and dull, in conformity with the dullness of his own motion.

The common properties attributable to the various times of life are subject, in a general manner, to this previous adaptation; but there are particular periods, arising from the respective peculiarities of nativities, which also require determination, and must be ascertained from the ruling prorogations; that is to say, from the whole of them, and not from any single one only, as in the case of the duration of life. For example, prorogation made from the ascendant is to be applied to events affecting the body, and to travelling, or change of residence; that from the part of Fortune, to incidents affecting the substance or wealth; that from the Moon, to actions of the mind, and to communion 1 and cohabitation; that from the Sun, to dignities and glory; and that from the mid-heaven, to other particular circumstances of life, such as employment, friendship, and the possession of children. So that thus, at one and the same time any single planet, whether benefic or malefic, will not possess the sole dominion; for many conflicting events frequently occur at the same period, and a person may, at one and the same time, lose a kinsman, yet inherit his substance; or be at once ill in health, yet prosperous and advantageously established in regard to fortune; or be struggling with adversity and in want, yet, notwithstanding, be also a father and beget children; or he may experience other similar contrarieties: because individuals are subject to occurrences which may affect either the body, the mind, the rank, or the condition of wealth, and which are not altogether fortunate or unfortunate at the same period. Something of the kind will, however, frequently happen in cases of perfect good fortune or distress, when meetings of all the benefics or malefics may concur in all or most of the prorogations. Still such cases

p. 140

are but rare, because human nature in general is not subjected to the extremity either of good or evil, but rather to their moderate alteration and counter-change.

The prorogatory places must, therefore, be separately distinguished in the mode before pointed out; and the planets meeting the prorogations must again be all taken into consideration: not only those which may be anæretic (as in the case of the duration of life), nor those only which may be configurated bodily, 1 or in opposition or quartile, but also those in trine or sextile. And, first, the times in each prorogation will be governed by the planet occupying or configurated with the actual prorogatory degree itself: if, however, there be found no planet thus constituted, the nearest preceding planet will govern the times until another, which may be in aspect to the degree following in the order of the signs, shall take them; and this one, again, will do the same until the next in succession shall take them. 2 The like rule obtains with respect to any other planets received into dominion, and with respect to those in occupation of the terms.

Further, in prorogations of the ascendant, the degrees of distances will be equal in number to the ascensional times of the particular latitude; but, in prorogation, from the mid-heaven, to the times of culmination; and, in other prorogations, they will be in proportion to the ascensions, or descensions, or culminations, and will depend on their proximity to the angles; as has been already said in treating of the duration of life. 3

The arbiters of general times are to be determined by the foregoing method; but arbiters of annual periods as follows: viz. after the number of years which have elapsed since the birth has been ascertained, the amount is to be projected from each place of prorogation, in the succession of the signs, at the rate of one sign for a year, 4 and the lord

p. 141

of the last sign 1 is to be assumed as arbiter. And, with regard to periods reckoned by months, the same rule is to be observed: for in this case also, the number of the month, as counted from the month of the nativity, is to be projected from such places as possess the dominion of the year, in the proportion of twenty-eight days per sign. So, likewise, in the case of periods reckoned by days, the number of the day, counted from the day of birth, must be projected from the monthly places of dominion, allowing for each sign two days and a third. 2

It is, however, necessary to notice the ingresses made on places allotted to different periods; for they take effect in no small degree on the events of the period. Thus, the ingresses made by Saturn, on places of general periods, require special observation; those made by Jupiter, on places of annual periods; those made by the Sun, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, on monthly places; and the Moon's transit over daily places. It must also be remembered, that arbiters of general periods are chiefly paramount over the events; and that, to their influence, the arbiters of particular periods (each of whom acting by its own proper nature) present either co-operation or obstruction; and that the ingresses also operate on events, by increasing or diminishing their force and extent. 3

The general characteristic property, and the duration of the period, will be indicated by the place of prorogation, as also by the lord of the general times, and by the planet in possession of the terms; by means of the familiarity subsisting, from the actual birth, between each planet, and the places of which they may have respectively and originally taken dominion. The arbiters of time will also give indication whether the event will be good or evil, by means of their own naturally benefic or malefic property and temperament, and by their original familiarity or variance with the place of which they have become lords. But the period, at which the event will become more strongly evident, is shown

p. 142

by the relative positions of the annual and monthly signs towards the places wherein the causes exist, and also by the ingresses of the planets. 1

The mode in which the Sun and Moon may be disposed, in reference to the signs relating to annual and monthly periods, is also indicative. For example, should they, from the date of the nativity, be posited in concord with the operative places, and keep a position of concord at the ingresses, they will produce good; but, if adversely posited, evil. And also, if they be not in concord with the said places, and provided they be contrary in condition, and in opposition or in quartile, to the transits, they will cause evil: should they, however, not be in quartile, nor in opposition, but otherwise configurated, their influence then will not be equally malefic.

Should it happen that the same planets may be lords of the times, 2 as well as of the ingresses, the effect will be extreme and unalloyed, if of a favourable nature; and more particularly unmitigated, if evil. And should the said planets be not only lords of the times, but likewise hold dominion from the date of the nativity, and provided also that all the prorogations, or most of them, should tend to, or depend on, one and the same place, or, should the prorogations not be so constituted, yet notwithstanding, if the meetings occurring at the periods be found to be either all, or most of them, benefic or malefic, they will wholly produce, in all respects, good or evil fortune, respectively.

It is in this method, which preserves a natural order and succession, that times and seasons require to be contemplated.

p. 143

And now, in adverting to the scope allotted to this work in its commencement, all further adaptation of the forms of events liable to take effect at particular times will here be relinquished; because the operative influences which the stars exercise in all events, whether general or particular, may be arranged in proper order, if care be taken that the causes set forth by the Rules of Science, and the causes arising from any existing commixture, be duly combined and blended together.




137:1 On this chapter Whalley makes the following annotations: "One direction, how malevolent soever, rarely kills; and, in most nativities, there is required a train of malevolent directions to concur to death: where several malevolent directions concur so together, without the aid of intervenings of the benevolents, they fail not to destroy life.

"In such trains of directions, the author here distinguisheth between the killing planet and the causer of the quality of death; for one planet doth not give both. The foremost of the malevolent train is the killing place, and shows the time of death; but the following directions, though benevolent, show the quality. If the train fall altogether, and none follow, for the quality observe those which precede, though at a distance and benevolent also; for, though the benevolent contribute to the preservation of life, yet they frequently specify the disease which is the cause of death. And with these, our author tells us, concur the configurating stars, the quality of the stars and signs, and the terms in which the lords happen. In violent deaths, the genethliacal positions of the lights are to be observed, and how the malefics affect them, and [how they] are also concerned by directions in the quality or death." See also Chap. XIV, Book II.

138:1 With respect to the periodical divisions of time.

138:2 It will, of course, be remembered, that the Sun, in the Ptolemaic astronomy, is counted as a planetary orb.

139:1 The Latin copy of Basle, 1541, says, "to marriages."

140:1 "Bodily," or in conjunction.

140:2 On this passage, Whalley remarks, "we are to observe in direction, that the star in exact ray with the prorogator shall be ruler until the prorogator meets another ray; that then the planet whose ray it is shall take the dominion, and so on. But if no planet aspect the hyleg (prorogator) exactly, that which casts its rays before the prorogator is to be taken for ruler of the time, till another planet's ray comes in by direction. And the lord of the term, in which the direction falls, must be considered as a co-partner in this dominion."

140:3 Vide Chap. XIV, Book 3.

140:4 The Greek is simply as εισ τα επομενα κατα ξωδιον; but the context proves that the entire meaning must be as now given, although the Latin translation of Perugio renders it "one year to each degree." Whalley explains that by annual periods "the author intends profections: for the taking of which, for every year from the birth, add one sign to the sign in which the aphetics are at birth, and the sign which ends at the year desired is the sign profectional for that year, and the lord of that sign is chronocrator (arbitor) for that year; so far as the degrees of that sign reach. For example, if a prorogator at birth p. 141 be in 15° of Gemini, to 15° of Cancer serves the first year; but the first six months are ruled by Mercury, and the last six by the Moon and Jupiter; and so on.

141:1 The Latin translation of Basle, 1541, says, "the lord of that sign in which the number shall terminate."

141:2 Whalley says here, "let a sign be added for each month to the sign of the year. So, in the example before proposed, the last 15° of Gemini, and the first 15° of Cancer, shall serve for the first month: the last 15° of Cancer and the first 15° of Leo, for the second month; and so on. And for days, from 15° of Gemini to 15° of Cancer, rules two days and eight hours after birth, &c."

Placidus is of opinion, "that Ptolemy, speaking of annual places, is to be understood of the places of secondary directions; and that when he speaks of the menstrual, he hints at the places of progressions." (Cooper's Translation, pp. 25 and 57.)

141:3 Placidus says, that "active ingresses, if they be similar, to the pre-ordained effects, cause them to influence; if dissimilar, they either diminish or retard; as Ptolemy has it in the last Chapter of Book IV." (Cooper's Translation, p. 27.)

142:1 Placidus observes, that "the primary directions of the significators to their promittors, and the lords of the terms, Ptolemy calls the General Arbiters of Times, because they pre-ordain the general times of their effects; which, as its motion is slow and its perseverance long, discovers its effects after a very long time; that is, after months and years. In order that we may know, in this extent of time, on what particular month and day the effects appear, Ptolemy proposes these motions for observation, wherein, when the majority of the causes agree together, then doubtless the effect is accomplished, or most clearly manifests itself." (Cooper's Translation, p. 109.) And he says afterwards, in speaking of secondary directions, progressions, ingresses, &c., "these subsequent motions of the causes demand our greatest attention." (Ibid., p. 110.) In the Appendix to the same book, at p. 438, the proper equation of time, of measurement of the arcs of direction, is also treated of, in reference to the 16th canon of Placidus, which is as follows:

"To equate the Arc of Direction. Add the arc of direction to the right ascension of the natal Sun; look for this sum in the table of right ascensions under the ecliptic, and take the degree and minute of longitude corresponding with that sum; then, in the best ephemeris, reckon in how many days and hours the Sun, from the day and hour of birth, has arrived at that degree and minute. The number of days indicate as many years; every two hours over, reckon a month." (Ibid., p. 55.)

142:2 Whether general or annual.

Next: No. I. Almagest; Book VIII, Chap. IV