CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

3. The Subdivision of the Science of Nativities.

After this preface, should any One simply for the sake of order attempt to subdivide the whole field of genethlialogieal science, he would find that, of all the natural and possible predictions, One division concerns solely events preceding the birth, such as the account of the parents; another deals with events both before and after the birth, such as the account of brothers and sisters; another, with events at the very time of the birth, a subject which is no longer so unitary and simple; and finally that which treats of post-natal matters, which is likewise more complex in its theoretical development. Among the subjects contemporary with the birth into which inquiry is made are those of sex, of twins or multiple births, of monsters, and of children that cannot be reared. To those dealing with post-natal events belong the account of the length of life, for this is not attached to the account of children that cannot be reared; second, that of the form of the body and that of bodily illnesses and injuries; next, that of the quality of the mind and illnesses of the mind; then that which concerns fortune, both in the matter of possessions and in that of dignities; and after this the account of the quality of action; then that of marriage and of the begetting of children, and that of associations, agreements, and friends; following comes the account of journeys, and finally that of the quality of death, which is potentially akin to the inquiry about the length of life, but in order is reasonably placed at the end of all these subjects. We shall sketch each of these subjects briefly, explaining, as we said before, together with the effective powers by themselves, the actual procedure of investigation ; as for the nonsense on which many waste their labour and of which not even a plausible account can be given, this we shall dismiss in favour of the primary natural causes. What, however, admits of prediction we shall investigate, not by means of Lots and numbers of which no reasonable]e explanation can be given, but merely through the science of the aspects of the stars to the places with which they have familiarity, in general terms, however, which are applicable to absolutely all cases, that we may avoid the repetition involved in the discussion of particular cases.
In the first place, we should examine that place of the zodiac which is pertinent to the specific heading of the geniture which is subject to query; for example, the mid-heaven, for the query about action, or the place of the sun for the question about the father; then we must observe those planets which have the relation of rulership to the place in question by the five ways aforesaid ; and if one planet is lord in all these ways, we must assign to him the rulership of that prediction; if two or three, we must assign it to those which have the more claims. After this, to determine the quality of the prediction, we must consider the natures of the ruling planets themselves and of the signs in which are the planets themse1ves, and the places familiar to them. For the magnitude of the event we must examine their power and observe whether they are active1y situated both in the cosmos itself and in the nativity, or the reverse; for they are most effective when, with respect to the cosmos, they are in their own or in familiar regions, and again when they are rising and are increasing in their numbers; and, with respect to the nativity, whenever they are passing through the angles or signs that rise after them, and especially the principal of these, by which I mean the signs ascendant and culminating. They are weakest, with respect to the universe, when they are in places belonging to others or those unrelated to them, and when they are occidental or retreating in their course; and, with respect to the nativity. when they are declining from the angles. For the time of the predicted event in general we must observe whether they are oriental or occidental to the sun and to the horoscope; for the quadrants which precede each of them and those which are diametrically opposite are oriental, and the others, which follow, are occidental. Also we must observe whether they are at the angles or in the succedent signs; for if they are oriental or at the angles they are more effective at the beginning; if they are occidental or in the succeeding signs they are slower to take action.



Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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