CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

14. Of Diseases of the Soul.

Since the account of the principal diseases of the soul, in a sense, follows upon that of the soul's characteristics, it is in general needful to note and observe the positions of Mercury and the moon relative to each other, to the angles, and to the planets whose nature it is to do injury; for if, while they themselves are unrelated to each other, or to the eastern horizon, they are overcome, or surrounded, or held in opposition by unfamiliar stars in injurious aspect, they cause the incidence of various diseases which affect the soul's character. Their interpretation again is to be calculated from the previously described qualities of the planets which are familiar to the places in the sky.
Indeed, most of the more moderate diseases have, in a way, already been distinguished in what has been said about the character of the soul, and their increase can be discerned from the excess of injurious influences; for one might now with propriety call "diseases" those extremes of character which either fall short of or exceed the mean. Those affections, however, which are utterly disproportionate and as it were pathological, which relate to the whole nature, and which concern both the intelligent part of the soul and its passive part, are, in brief, to be discerned as follows.
In most cases those are epileptic in whose genitures the moon and Mercury are, as we said above, unrelated to each other or to the eastern horizon, while Saturn by day or Mars by night is angular and in the aspect previously described. They are violently insane when, again under the same conditions, Saturn by night and Mars by day rules the position, particularly in Cancer, Virgo, or Pisces. They are afflicted by demons and have water on the brain when the maleficent planets are in this position and control the moon in phase, Saturn when she is at conjunction, Mars when she is full, and particularly in Sagittarius and Pisces. When. the maleficent planets are by themselves and rule the configuration in the manner stated, the diseases of the rational part of the soul which we have mentioned as being caused by them are, to be sure, incurable, but latent and obscure. But if the beneficent planets Jupiter and Venus have some familiarity to them when they are themselves in the western parts and the beneficent planets are angular in the east, they make the diseases curable, but noticeable; if it be Jupiter, curable by medical treatments, a diet, or drugs; if Venus, by oracles and the aid of the gods. When the maleficent planets themselves are angular in the east and the beneficent planets are setting, the diseases which they cause are both incurable, the subject of talk, and conspicuous; in epilepsy they involve the victims in continuous attacks, notoriety, and deadly peril; in madness and seizures, they cause instability, alienation of friends, tearing off clothes, abusive language, and the like; in demonic seizures, or water on the brain, possession, confession, torments, and similar manifestations. In detail, of the places that possess the configuration, those of the sun and Mars aid in causing madness, those of Jupiter and Mercury, epilepsy; those of Venus, divine possession and public confession; and those of Saturn and the moon, gatherings of water and demonic seizures.
The morbid perversion of the active part of the soul in its general nature, therefore, is produced in some such forms as these and is produced by these configurations of the planets. The corresponding perversion of the passive portion, as in the former instance viewed in its extreme cases, is most apparent in excesses and deficiencies in matters of sex, male and female, as compared with what is natural, and in inquiry is apprehended in the same fashion as before, though the sun is taken, together with the moon, instead of Mercury, and the relation to them of Mars, together with Venus, is observed. For when these thus fall under observation, if the luminaries are unattended in masculine signs, males exceed in the natural, and females exceed in the unnatural quality, so as merely to increase the virility and activity of the soul. But if likewise Mars or Venus as well, either one or both of them, is made masculine, the males become addicted to natural sexual intercourse, and are adulterous, insatiate, and ready on every occasion for base and lawless acts of sexual passion, while the females are lustful for unnatural congresses, east inviting glances of the eye, and are what we call tribades; for they deal with females and perform the functions of males. If Venus alone is constituted in a masculine manner, they do these things secretly and not openly. But if Mars likewise is so constituted, without reserve, so that sometimes they even designate the women with whom they are on such terms as their lawful "wives."
But on the other hand, when the luminaries in the aforesaid configuration are unattended in feminine signs, the females exceed in the natural, and the males in unnatural practice, with the result that their souls become soft and effeminate. If Venus too is made feminine, the women become depraved, adulterous, and lustful, with the result that they may be dealt with in the natural manner on any occasion and by any one soever, and so that they refuse absolutely no sexual act, though it be base or unlawful. The men, on the contrary, become effeminate and unsound with respect to unnatural congresses and the functions of women, and are dealt with as pathics, though privately and secretly. But if Mars also is constituted in a feminine manner, their shamelessness is outright and frank and they perform the aforesaid acts of either kind, assuming the guise of common bawds who submit to general abuse and to every baseness until they are stamped with the reproach and insult that attend such usages. And the rising and morning positions of both Mars and Venus have a contributory effect, to make them more virile and notorious, while setting and evening positions increase femininity and sedateness. Similarly, if Saturn is present, his influence joins with each of the foregoing to produce more licentiousness, impurity, and disgrace, while Jupiter aids in the direction of greater decorum, restraint, and modesty, and Mercury tends to increase notoriety, instability of the emotions, versatility, and foresight.



Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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