CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

8. Of Monsters.

The subject of monsters is not foreign to the present inquiry; for, in the first place, in such cases the luminaries are ,found to be as far as possible removed from the horoscope or in no way related to it, and the angles are separated by the maleficent planets. Whenever, then, such a disposition is observed, for it frequently occurs in humble and unlucky nativities, even though they are not the genitures of monsters, One should at once look for the last preceding new or full moon, and the lord of this and of the luminaries of the birth. For if the places of the birth, of the moon, and of the horoscope, all or the majority of them, happen to be unrelated to the place of the preceding syzygy, it must be supposed that the child will be nondescript. Now if, under such conditions, the luminaries are found in four-footed or animal-shaped signs, and the two måleficent planets are centred, the child will not even belong to the human race, but if no beneficent planet witnesses to the luminaries, but the maleficent planets do so, it will be completely savage, an animal with wild and harmful nature; but if Jupiter or Venus witness, it will be one of the kinds regarded as sacred, as for example dogs, cats, and the like; if Mercury witnesses, one of those that are of use to man, such as birds, swine, oxen, goats, and the like. If the luminaries are found in signs of human form, but the other planets are disposed in the same way, what is born will be, indeed, of the human race or to be classed with humans, but monsters and nondescript in qualitative character, and their qualities in this case too are to be observed from the form of the signs in which the maleficent planets which separate the luminaries or the angles happen to be. Now if even in this case not one of the beneficent planets bears witness to any of the places mentioned, the offspring are entirely irrational and in the true sense of the word nondescript; but if Jupiter or Venus bears witness, the type of monster will be honoured and seemly, such as is usually the case with hermaphrodites or the so-called harpocratiacs, and the like. If Mercury should bear witness, along with the foregoing, this disposition produces prophets who also make money thereby; but when alone, Mercury makes them toothless and deaf and dumb, though otherwise clever and cunning.



Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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