9. Of the Colours of Eclipses, Comets, and the Like.

For the prediction of general conditions we must also observe the colours at the time of the eclipses, either those of the luminaries themselves, or those of the formations that occur near them, such as rods, halos, and the like. For if they appear black or livid they signify the effects whieh were mentioned in connection with Saturn's nature; if white, those of Jupiter; if reddish, those of Mars; if yellow, those of Venus; and if variegated, those of Mercury. If the characteristic colour appears to cover the whole body of the luminary or the whole region surrounding it, the predicted event will affect most of the parts of the countries; but if it is in any one part, it will affect only, that part against which the phenomenon is inclined.
We most observe, further, for the prediction of general conditions, the comets which appear either at the time of the eclipse or at any time whatever ; for instance, the so-called "beams," "trumpets," "jars" and the like, for these naturally produce the effects peculiar to Mars and to Mercury - wars, hot weather, disturbed conditions, and the accompaniments of these; and they show, through the parts of the zodiac in which their heads appear and through the directions in which the shapes of their tails point, the regions upon which the misfortunes impend. Through the formations, as it were, of their heads they indicate the kind of the event and the class upon which the misfortune will take effect; through the time which they last, the duration of the events; and through their position relative to the sun likewise their beginning; for in general their appearance in the orient betokens rapidly approaching events and in the occident those that approach more slowly.

Ptomely's Tetrabiblos

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