CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

12. Of Bodily Injuries and Diseases.

Since the subject which comes next is that which treats of the injuries and diseases of the body, we shall attach here in regular order the method of investigation devised for this form of query. It is as follows. In this case also, to gain a general comprehension, it is necessary to look to the two angles of the horizon, that is, the orient and the occident, and especially to the occident itself and the sign preceding it, which is disjunct from the oriental angle. We must also observe what aspect the maleficent planets bear to them. For if they, one or both of them, are stationed against the ascending degrees of the aforesaid places, either bodily on them or quartile or in opposition to them, we must conclude that the subjects born will suffer bodily injuries and disease, especially if either one or both of the luminaries as well chance to he angular in the manner described, or in opposition. For in that case not only if one of the maleficent planets is rising after the luminaries, but even if it is rising before them and is itself angular, it has power to produce one of the aforesaid injuries or diseases of such kind as the places of the horizon and of the signs may indicate, likewise what is indicated by the natures of the afflicting and the afflicted planets, and moreover by those that bear an aspect toward them. For the parts of the individual signs of the zodiac which surround the afflicted portion of the horizon will indicate the part of the body which the portent will concern, and whether the part indicated can suffer an injury or a disease or both, and the natures of the planets produce the kinds and causes of the events that are to occur. For, of the most important parts of the human body, Saturn is lord of the right ear, the spleen, the bladder, the phlegm, and the bones; Jupiter is lord of touch, the lungs, arteries, and semen; Mars of the left ear, kidneys, veins, and genitals; the sun of the sight, the brain, heart, sinews and all the right-band parts; Venus of smell, the liver, and the flesh; Mercury of speech and thought, the tongue, the bile, and the buttocks ; the moon of taste and drinking, the stomach, belly, womb, and all the left-band parts.
For the most part it is a general principle that injuries occur when the significant maleficent planets are oriental, and diseases, conversely, when they are setting. The reason for this is that these two things are distinguished thus - an injury affects the subject once for all and does not involve lasting pain, while disease bears upon the patient either continuously or in sudden attacks.
For the purpose of ascertaining particulars, certain configurations significant of injury or sickness have been specially observed, by means of the events which generally accompany such positions of the stars. For blindness in one eye is brought about when the moon by itself is upon the aforesaid angles, or is in conjunction, or is full, and when it is in another aspect that bears a relation to the sun, but applies to one of the star clusters in the zodiac, as for example to the cluster in Cancer, and to the Pleiades of Taurus, to the arrow point of Sagittarius, to the sting of Scorpio, to the parts of Leo around the Coma Berenices, or to the pitcher of Aquarius ; and whenever Mars or Saturn moves toward the moon, when it is angular and waning and they are rising, or again when they ascend before the sun, being themselves angular. But if they are in aspect with both luminaries at once, either in the same sign or in opposition, as we said, morning stars with respect to the sun ,and evening stars to the moon, they will affect both eyes; for Mars brings about blindness from a blow, a thrust, iron, or burning; when he has Mercury in aspect, in palaestras and gymnasiums or by felonious attack. Saturn causes it by suffusion, cold, glaucoma, and the like. Again if Venus is upon one of the aforesaid angles, particularly the occident, if she is joined with Saturn or is in aspect with him or has exchanged houses, and is inferior to Mars or has him in opposition, the men who are born are sterile, and the women are subject to miscarriages, premature births, or even to embryotomies, particularly in Cancer, Virgo, and Capricorn. And if the moon at rising applies to Mars, and if she also bears the same aspect to Mercury that Saturn does, while Mars again is elevated above her or is in opposition, the children born are eunuchs or hermaphrodites or have no ducts and vents. Since this is so, when the sun also is in aspect, if the luminaries and Venus are made masculine, the moon is waning, and the maleficent planets are approaching in the succeeding degrees, the males that are born will be deprived of their sexual organs or injured therein, particularly in Aries, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Aquarius, and the females will be childless and sterile. Sometimes those who have such genitures continue not without injury to the sight also; but those suffer impediment of speech, lisp, or have difficulty in enunciation who have Saturn and Mercury joined with the sun at the aforesaid angles, particularly if Mercury is also setting and both bear some aspect to the moon. When Mars is present with them he is generally apt to loosen the impediment to the tongue, after the moon meets him. Again, if the luminaries, together or in opposition, move toward the maleficent planets upon the angles, or if the maleficent planets move toward the luminaries, particularly when the moon is at the nodes or her bendings, or in the injurious signs such as Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, or Capricorn, there come about deformations of the body such as hunchback, crookedness, lameness, or paralysis, congenital if the maleficent planets are joined with the luminaries, but if they are at the mid-heaven points, elevated above the luminaries or in opposition one to the other, the deformations will result from serious dangers, such as falls from a height, the collapse of houses, or the attacks of robbers or animals. If Mars prevails, the danger is from fire, wounds, bilious attacks, or robberies; if it is Saturn, through collapse of buildings, shipwreck, or spasms.
For the most part injuries come about when the moon is near the solstitial or equinoctial signs, particularly at the spring equinox, injuries by white leprosy; at the summer solstice, by lichens; at the fall equinox, by leprosy; at the winter solstice, by moles and the like. Diseases are likely to result when at the positions already described the maleficent planets are in aspect, but in the opposite sense, that is, evening stars with respect to the sun and morning stars to the moon. For in general Saturn causes his subjects to have cold bellies, increases the phlegm, makes them rheumatic, meagre, weak, jaundiced, and prone to dysentery, coughing, raising, colic, and elephantiasis; the females he makes also subject to diseases of the womb. Mars causes men to spit blood, makes them melancholy, weakens their lungs, and causes the itch or scurvy; and furthermore he causes them to be constantly irritated by cutting or cautery of the secret parts because of fistulas, hæmorrhoids, or tumours, or also burning ulcers, or eating sores ; he is apt to afflict women furthermore with miscarriages, embryotomies, or corrosive diseases. Of themselves, they also bring about the properties of disease in agreement with the natures, which have been already discussed, of the planets in aspect, as they relate to the parts of the body.
Mercury assists them chiefly to prolong the evil effects, when he is allied with Saturn inclining toward cold and continually stirring into activity rheumatisms and gatherings of fluid, particularly about the chest, throat, and stomach. When he is allied with Mars he adds his force to produce greater dryness, as in cases of ulcerous sore eyes, eschars, abscesses, erysipelas, savage lichens or skin eruptions, blaek bile, insanity, the sacred disease, or the like.
Certain qualities of disease are determined by changes among the zodiacal signs which surround the aforesaid configurations on the two angles. For in particular Cancer, Capricorn, and Pisces, and in general the terrestrial and piscine signs, cause diseases involving eating sores, lichens, scales, scrofula, fistulas, elephantiasis, and the like. Sagittarius and Gemini are responsible for those that come about with falling fits or epileptic seizures. And when the planets are in the last degrees of the signs they cause diseases and injuries especially in the extremities, through lesions or rheumatism, from which elephantiasis and, in general, gout in the feet and hands result. Since this is the case, if no beneficent planet bears an aspect to the maleficent ones which furnish the cause, or to the luminaries on the centres, the injuries and diseases will be incurable and painful; so also, if they bear an aspect but the maleficent planets are in power and overcome them. But if the beneficent planets are themselves in the authoritative positions and overcome the maleficent planets that bear the responsibility for the evil, then the injuries are not disfiguring and do not entail reproach and the diseases are moderate and yield to treatment, and sometimes they may be easily cured, if the beneficent planets are rising. For Jupiter generally causes the injuries to be concealed by human aid through riches or honours, and the diseases to be mitigated; and in company with Mercury he brings this about by drugs and the aid of good physicians. And Venus contrives that through pronouncements of the gods and oracles the blemishes shall be, in a way, comely and attractive, and that the diseases shall be readily moderated by divine healing; if however Saturn is by, the healing will be accompanied by exhibition and confession of the disease, and such like, but if Mercury is joined with her it will be with the accrual of use and gain, through the injuries and diseases themselves, to those that have them.



Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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