CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

10. Of the Division of Times.

As we have treated systematically under its several heads the outline of each kind of inquiry only so far as to explain the general doctrine, which was our original intention, it would remain to add in the same manner any observations that should be made about the division of times, in such manner as to agree with nature and to be consistent with the specific doctrines which have already been set forth. So then, as, among all genethlialogical inquiries whatsoever, a more general destiny takes precedence of all particular considerations, namely, that of country of birth, to which the major details of a geniture are naturally subordinate, such as the topics of the form of the body, the character of the soul and the variations of manners and customs, it is also necessary that he who makes his inquiry naturally should always hold first to the primary and more authoritative cause, lest, misled by the similarity of genitures, he should unwittingly call, let us say, the Ethiopian white or straight-haired, and the German or Gaul black skinned and woolly-haired, or the latter gentle in character, fond of discussion, or fond of contemplation, and the Greeks savage of soul and untutored of mind; or, again, on the subject of marriage, lest he mistake the appropriate customs and manners by assigning, for example, marriage with a sister to one who is Italian by race, instead of to the Egyptian as he should, and a marriage with his mother to this latter, though it suits the Persian. Thus in general it is needful first to apprehend universal conditions of destiny, and then to attach to them the particular conditions which relate to degree. In the same fashion likewise, dealing with the division of time, one most take as a basis in each single prediction the differences and special proprieties of the temporal ages, and see to it that we do not, in the ordinary, simple treatment of matters incident to the inquiry, carelessly assign to a babe action or marriage, or anything that belongs to adults, or to an extremely old man the begetting of children or anything else that fits younger men; but once and for all let us harmonize those details which are contemplated in temporal terms with that which is suitable and possible for persons in the various age-classes. For in the matter of the age divisions of mankind in general there is one and the same approach, which for likeness and comparison depends upon the order of the seven planets; it begins with the first age of man and with the first sphere from us, that is, the moon's, and ends with the last of the ages and the outermost of the planetary spheres, which is called that of Saturn. And in truth the accidental qualities of each of the ages are those which are naturally proper to the planet compared with it, and these it will be needful to observe, in order that by this means we may investigate the general questions of the temporal divisions, while we determine particular differences from the special qualities which are discovered in the nativities.
For up to about the fourth year, following the number which belongs to the quadrennium, the moon takes over the age of infancy and produces the suppleness and lack of fixity in its body, its quick growth and the moist nature, as a rule, of its food, the changeability of its condition, and the imperfection and inarticulate state of its soul, suitably to her own active qualities.
In the following period of ten years, Mercury, to whom falls the second place and the second age, that of childhood, for the period which is half of the space of twenty years, begins to articulate and fashion the intelligent and logical part of the soul, to implant certain seeds and rudiments of learning, and to bring to light individual peculiarities of character and faculties, awaking the soul at this stage by instruction, tutelage, and the first gymnastic exercises.
Venus, taking in charge the third age, that of youth, for the next eight years, corresponding in number to her own period, begins, as is natural, to inspire, at their maturity, an activity of the seminal passages and to implant an impulse toward the embrace of love. At this time particularly a kind of frenzy enters the soul, incontinence, desire for any chance sexual gratification, burning passion, guile, and the blindness of the impetuous lover.
The lord of the middle sphere, the sun, takes over the fourth age, which is the middle one in order, young manhood, for the period of nineteen years, wherein he implants in the soul at length the mastery and direction of its actions, desire for substance, glory, and position, and a change from playful, ingenuous error to seriousness, decorum, and ambition.
After the sun, Mars, fifth in order, assumes command of manhood for the space of fifteen years, equal to his own period. He introduces severity and misery into life, and implants cares and troubles in the soul and in the body, giving it, as it were, same sense and notion of passing its prime and urging it, before it approaches its end, by labour to accomplish something among its undertakings that is worthy of note.
Sixth, Jupiter, taking as his lot the elderly age, again for the space of his own period, twelve years, brings about the renunciation of manual labour, toil, turmoil, and dangerous activity, and in their place brings decorum, foresight, retirement, together with all-embracing deliberation, admonition, and consolation; now especially he brings men to set store by honour, praise, and independence, accompanied by modesty and dignity.
Finally to Saturn falls as his lot old age, the latest period, which lasts for the rest of life. Now the movements both of body and of soul are cooled and impeded in their impulses, enjoyments, desires, and speed; for the natural decline supervenes upon life, which has become worn down with age, dispirited, weak, easily offended, and hard to please in all situations, in keeping with the sluggishness of his movements.
The foregoing, then, may be taken as a preliminary description of the characteristics of the ages of life, viewed generally and in accordance with the ordinary course of nature. But as for particulars, which are to be discovered from the peculiarities of the nativities, some of them again we shall base upon the general considerations already set forth, that is, upon the prorogations of greatest authority, all of them, however, and not one, as in the case of the space of life. We shall apply the prorogation from the horoscope to events relating to the body and to journeys abroad; that from the Lot of Fortune to matters of property; that from the moon to affections of the soul and to marriage; that from the sun to dignities and glory; that from the mid-heaven to the other details of the conduct of life, such as actions, friendships, and the begetting of children. For thus it will come about that one beneficent or maleficent star will not be the ruler of all of them on the same occasion, for usually many contradictory events take place at the same time. One may, for example, lose a relative and receive an inheritance, or at once be prostrated by illness and gain some dignity and promotion, or in the midst of misfortune become the father of children, or have other experiences of this sort which are apt to occur. For it is not usual that alike in goodness or badness of body, soul, property, dignity, and companions, one must by very necessity be either fortunate, or, again, unfortunate in all these particulars. This, to be sure, might perhaps happen upon occasions that are completely blessed or completely unhappy, when the occourses of all the beneficent planets, or of all the maleficent planets, converge upon all or the majority of the prorogations. Rarely would this take place, however, because human nature is imperfectly adapted to either one of the extremes, but is inclined toward the balance of good and evil arising from their alternation, We shall, then, make distinctions among the prorogatory places in the manner described, and as for the stars whose occourses take place in the prorogations, we must take into account not only the destructive ones, as in the case of the length of life, but absolutely all of them, and similarly not those alone that meet the prorogation only bodily, or by opposition, or in quartile, but also those that are in the trine and sextile aspects.
In the first place, we must give the rulership of the times in each prorogation to the star that is actually upon the prorogatory degree or in aspect to it, or, if this condition does not exist, to the one that most nearly precedes, until we come to another which is in aspect with the next following degree in the order of the signs; then to this as far as the next following, and so on; and the planets which govern the terms are to be given a part of the rulership. And again we must assign years to the degrees of the intervals: in the prorogation from the horoscope a number equal to the times of ascension in the latitude concerned; in the prorogation from mid- heaven, as many as the times of the culminations ; and in the prorogations from all the others, in proportion to or in accordance with the nearness of the risings, or settings, or culminations, to the angles, as we explained in the discussion of the length of life.
We shall discover the general chronocrators, then, in the manner described, and the annual chronocrators by setting out from each of the prorogatory places, in the order of the signs, the number of years from birth, one year to each sign, and taking the ruler of the last sign. We shall do the same thing for the months, setting out, again, the number of months from the month of birth, starting from the places that govern the year, twenty-eight days to a sign; and similarly for the days, we shall set out the number of the days from the day of birth, starting with the places which govern the months, two and a third days to a sign.
We must also pay attention to the ingresses which are made to the places of the times, for they play no small part in the prediction of the times of events; particularly to the ingresses of Saturn to the general places of the times, and to those of Jupiter to the places of the years; to those of the sun, Mars, Venus, and Mercury to those of the months, and to the transits of the moon to those of the days. The reason for this is that the general chronocrators have greater authority to realize the prediction, while the partial chronocrators assist or deter, in accordance with the familiarity or unfamiliarity of their natures, and the ingresses influence the degree of increase or diminution in the event. For in general the special quality and the length of time are signified by the prorogatory place and the lord of the general times together with the lord of the terms, because each one of the planets at the very time of the nativity is made familiar with the places which they happened at first to govern.
Whether the event will be good or bad is discovered from the natural and composite properties of the chronocrators, whether they are beneficent or maleficent, and from their original familiarity with or antipathy to the places which they possess. At what time the predicted event will be evidenced is shown by the aspects of the annual and monthly signs to the places which furnish the causes, and by the aspects of the signs into which the planets are making ingress and in which the phases of the sun and moon occur to the annual and monthly signs. For those whose relation to the affected places under consideration is harmonious from the beginning made in the nativity, and which in their ingresses are in favourable aspect to them, exert a good effect upon the species of the matter concerned, even as they cause evil if they oppose. And those which are inharmoniously related and of opposite sect cause evil if they are in opposition or in quartile to the transits, but not in the other aspects.
And if the same planets are lords of both the times and the ingresses, the nature of the predicted event is made excessive and unalloyed, whether it incline to the good or to the bad; all the more so if they govern the species of the cause not only because they are chronocrators, but also because they ruled it originally in the nativity. The subjects are unfortunate or fortunate in all respects at once, whenever either all or most of the prorogations are found in one and the same place, or if these are different, whenever all or most of the occourses occurring at the same times are similarly fortunate or unfortunate. The character of the investigation of the times, then, is of this fashion, by the style which agrees with the natural procedures.




Potlemy's Tetrabiblos

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