CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

4. 0f the Quality of Action,

The lord of action is apprehended by two methods, from the sun and from the culminating sign. For it will be needful to look both for the planet that has made its morning appearance closest to the sun, and that which is at mid-heaven, particularly when it occupies the application of the moon; and if the same star occupies both the aforesaid positions, this alone must be employed, and similarly if none occupies one of these places, we must use only the one which occupies the other of the places. And if one planet has made the nearest morning appearance and another is associated with the mid-heaven, and with the moon, we must employ them both, giving preference to the one which by reason of its strength has the greater number of claims to domination according to the scheme which we have already set forth. But if not one is found which either has made an appearance or is at mid-heaven, we must take the lord of the latter region, with reference however to the occasional pursuits of the subject, for persons with such genitures are for the most part inactive.
Thus, then, we shall determine the planet that governs action. The quality of the action, however, is to be discerned from the character of the three planets, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and from that of the signs through which they happen to be passing. For if Mercury governs action, to speak generally, he makes his subjects scribes, men of business, calculators, teachers, merchants, bankers, soothsayers, astrologers, sacrificers, and in general those who perform their functions by means of documents, interpretation, and giving and taking. And if Saturn testifies to him, they will be managers of the property of others, interpreters of dreams, or frequenters of temples for the purpose of prophecies and inspiration. If is Jupiter that witnesses, they will be lawmakers, orators, sophists, who enjoy familiarity with great persons.
If Venus rules action, she makes her subjects persons whose activities lie among the perfumes of flowers or of unguents, in wine, colours, dyes, spices, or adornments, as, for example, sellers of unguents, weavers of chaplets, innkeepers, wine-merchants, druggists, weavers, dealers in spices, painters, dyers, sellers of clothing. And if Saturn testifies to her, she makes them dealers in goods used for pleasure or adornment, sorcerers, poisoners, panders, and those who make their living from similar occupations. If Jupiter testifies, they will be athletes, wearers of the wreath, persons deemed worthy of honours, and men who derive advancement from women.
Mars, in aspect with the sun, makes his subjects those who use fire in their crafts, such as cooks, moulders, cauterizers, smiths, workers in mines; if he is not with the sun, those who work with iron, such as shipbuilders, carpenters, farmers, quarrymen, stone-dressers, jewellers, splitters of wood, and their subordinate workers. If Saturn testifies to him, he produces seamen, drawers of water, tunnelers, painters, gamekeepers, cooks, embalmers. If Jupiter testifies, he produces soldiers, servants, publicans, innkeepers, ferrymen, assistants at sacrifice.
Again, when two planets are found to rule action, if Mercury and Venus take the rulership, they bring about action expressed by the arts of the Muses, musical instruments, melodies, or poems, and rhythm, particularly when they have exchanged places. For they produce workers in the theatre, actors, dealers in slaves, makers of musical instruments, members of the chorus, makers of strings, painters, dancers, weavers, and wax-moulders. And again, if Saturn testifies to them, he produces those in the aforesaid callings, as well as dealers in feminine finery. If Jupiter testifies, he produces lawyers, supervisors of counting houses, public officers, teachers of children, leaders of the populace.
If Mercury and Mars together assume the lordship of action, they produce sculptors, armourers, makers of sacred monuments, modellers, wrestlers, physicians, surgeons, accusers, adulterers, evil-doers, forgers. If Saturn testifies to them, they produce murderers, sneak-thieves, burglars, pirates, cattle thieves, villains. If Jupiter testifies, they produce men-at-arms, duellists, energetic, clever persons, busybodies, who meddle in others affairs and thereby gain their living.
But if Venus and Mars together dominate action, they produce dyers, perfumers, workers in tin, lead, gold, and silver, farmers, dancers inarmour, druggists, physicians who employ drugs in their treatments. If Saturn testifies to them, they produce attendants of sacred animals, those who bury men, mourners, pipers at funerals, fanatics, who resort to wherever there are mysteries, laments, and bloody rites. But if Jupiter testifies, frequenters of temples, interpreters of omens, bearers of the sacred instruments, supervisors of women, interpreters of marriages and matches, making their living by such occupations, and at the same time devoted to pleasure, and reckless.
Likewise the specific natures of the signs in which are the rulers of action contribute to the variety of the action. For anthropomorphic signs are of same assistance to all scientific pursuits or those useful to man; the quadrupedal assist in those that concern mines, commerce, building, and carpentry; the solstitial and equinoctial, those that are interpretative, involve barter, or concern measuring, agriculture, and religion; the terrestrial and aquatic, activities in or with liquids, or those that are botanical, or concern shipbuilding, and furthermore burial, or pickling, or salting.
In a special way, again, if the moon holds the place of action, and is moving away from conjunction, together with Mercury, in Taurus, Capricornus, and Cancer, she produces soothsayers, makers of sacrifices, and adept s in lekanomancy ; in Sagittarius and Pisces necromancers and those who can arouse daemons; in Virgo and Scorpio magicians, astrologers, prophets, those who have second sight ; in Libra, Aries, and Leo persons inspired by the gods, interpreters of dreams, and exorcists.
So, then, the particular species of action will have to be conjectured by such means, through combinations; its amplitude must be discovered from the power of the dominating planets. For when they are rising or angular the actions which they cause are independent, but if they are setting or declining from the angles, subordinate; when beneficent planets overcome them, great, glorious, profitable, unerring, and gracious; but if maleficent planets overcome them, mean, inglorious, profitless, and fallible. With Saturn in opposition, they bring cold and mixtures of colours ; with Mars, temerity and notoriety;' with both together, utter ruin of action. In general the period of increase or diminution, again, is calculated by means of the position, from time to time, of the planets responsible for the effect relative to the eastern and western angles.



Ptolemys Tetrabiblos

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