THE discrimination of the peculiar properties and character of the effect about to be produced, and of its good or evil nature, occupies the fourth and last division of this part of the subject.
These properties must be gathered from the power of the stars which control the ruling places, and from the contemperament created by their relative admixture with each other and with the places which they control. For, although the Sun and Moon are the acknowledged sources of all the efficacy and dominion of the stars, and of their strength or weakness, and in a certain manner regulate and command them, still, it is by the theory of the contemperament, produced by the stars in dominion, that the effect is indicated.
In order to understand the indications thus made, it is necessary to begin by attending to the following detail of the effective property of each planet--previously observing, however, that, when any circumstance is said, for the sake of brevity, to come to pass by the general influence of the five planets, their temperament, and the power and assistance they may derive from natures similar to their own, the actual continuance of their own proper constitution, or the casual combination of any analogous influence, arising from fixed stars or places in the zodiac, are all, at the same time, to be kept in view. Consequently, whenever any general remark is herein made relative to the five planets, it will likewise be necessary to bear in mind both their temperament and quality; as fully, indeed, as if the stars themselves had not been named, but only their effective quality and nature. And, it is further to be remembered, that, in every case of compound temperament, not only the combination of the planets with each other requires to be considered, but also that of such fixed stars and zodiacal places as share in the natures of the planets, by being respectively connected with them according to the familiarities already described.
Hence, when Saturn may be sole governor, he will produce disasters concomitant with cold. And, in as far as the event may apply to the human race in particular, it will induce among men lingering diseases, consumptions, declines, rheumatisms, disorders from watery humours, and attacks of the quartan ague; as well as exile, poverty, and a general mass of evils, griefs, and alarms: deaths also will be frequent, but chiefly among persons advanced in age. That part of the brute creation which
is most serviceable to man will likewise suffer, and be destroyed by disease; and men who make use of the animals thus diseased will be infected by them, and perish with them. The atmosphere will become dreadfully chilly and frosty, unwholesome, turbid and gloomy, presenting only clouds and pestilence. Copious and destructive storms of snow and hail will descend, generating and fostering insects and reptiles noxious to mankind. In rivers, and at sea, tempests will be frequent and general, causing disastrous voyages and many shipwrecks; and even fish will be destroyed. The waters of the sea will retire for a time, and again return and produce inundations; rivers will overflow their banks, and cause stagnant pools; and the fruits of the earth, especially such as are necessary to sustain life, will be lost and cut off by blight, locusts, floods, rains, hail, or some similar agency; and the loss will be so extensive as to threaten even famine.
Jupiter, if he should be lord alone, will thoroughly improve and benefit all things. Among mankind, in particular, this planet promotes honour, happiness, content, and peace, by augmenting all the necessaries and comforts of life, and all mental and bodily advantages. It induces also favours, benefits, and gifts emanating from royalty, and adds greater lustre to kings themselves, increasing their dignity and magnanimity: all men, in short, will share in the prosperity created by its influence. With regard to the operation of the event on brutes, those which are domestic and adapted to man's service will be multiplied and will thrive; while others, which are useless and hostile to man, will be destroyed. The constitution of the atmosphere will be healthy and temperate, filled with gentle breezes and moisture, and favourable to fruits. Navigation will be safe and successful; rivers will rise to their just proportion; fruit and grain, and all other productions of the earth conducive to the welfare and happiness of mankind, will be presented in abundance.
Mars, when governing alone, generally causes such mischief and destruction as are concomitant with dryness. And, among mankind, foreign wars will be excited, accompanied with intestine divisions, captivity, slaughter, insurrections of the people, and wrath of princes against their subjects; together with sudden and untimely death, the consequence of these disturbances. Feverish disorders, tertian agues, and hæmorrhages will take place, and will be rapidly followed by painful death, carrying off chiefly youthful persons: and conflagration, murder, impiety, every infraction of the law, adultery, rape, robbery, and all kinds of violence will be practised. The atmosphere will be parched by hot, pestilential, and blasting winds, accompanied by drought, lightnings, and fires emitted from the sky. At sea, ships will be suddenly wrecked by the turbulence of the wind and strokes of lightning. Rivers will fail, springs will be dried up, and there will be a scarcity of water proper for food and sustenance. All the creatures and productions of the earth adapted to the use of man, whether beasts,
grain, or fruits, will be damaged or destroyed by excessive heat, by storms of thunder and lightning, or by violent winds; and whatever has been deposited in store will be destroyed or injured by fire, or by heat.
Venus, alone in domination, generally produces the same effects as Jupiter, yet with greater suavity and more agreeably. Glory, honour, and joy will attend mankind; happy marriages will be contracted, and the fortunate pairs will be blest with numerous children. Every undertaking will proceed prosperously, wealth will increase, and the conduct of human life will be altogether pure, simple and pious; due reverence being paid to all holy and sacred institutions, and harmony subsisting between princes and their subjects. The weather also will be of a favourable temperature, cooled by moistening breezes; the air altogether pure and salubrious, frequently refreshed by fertilising showers. Voyages will be performed in safety, and be attended by success and profit. Rivers will be improved, and receive their adequate supply of waters; and all things valuable and useful to mankind, whether animal or vegetable, will abundantly thrive and multiply.
Mercury, if possessing dominion, is usually conjoined with one or other of the planets beforementioned, and is conformed and assimilated td their natures; yet as, in itself, it presents a certain addition to their power, this planet increases the respective impulses of them all. And, in regard to the operation of the event on mankind, it will promote industry and skill in business; but, at the same time, thievish propensities, robberies, and plots of treachery: if configurated with the malefics, it will produce calamities in navigation, and will also cause dry and parching diseases, quotidian fever, cough, consumption, and hæmorrhage. All parts of the ceremonies and services of religion, the affairs of the executive government, as well as manners, customs, and laws, are disposed and regulated by this planet, conformably to its admixture and familiarity with each of the others. And in consequence of the dryness of its nature, arising from its proximity to the Sun, and the rapidity of its motion, it will generate in the atmosphere turbulent, sharp and varied winds, together with thunders, meteors, and lightnings, accompanied by sudden chasms in the earth, and earthquakes: by these means it not unfrequently occasions the destruction of animals and plants assigned to the service of mankind. Besides the foregoing effects, it produces, when in vespertine position, a diminution of waters, and, when matutine, an augmentation.
Each of the planets, when fully exercising its own separate and distinct influence, will properly produce the peculiar effects above ascribed to it; but should it be combined with others, whether by configuration, by familiarity arising from the sign in which it may be posited, 1 or by
its position towards the Sun, the coming event will then happen agreeably to the admixture and compound temperament which arise from the whole communion actually subsisting among the influencing powers. It would, however, be a business of infinite labour and innumerable combinations, quite beyond the limits of this treatise, to set forth fully every contemperament and all configurations, in every mode in which they can possibly exist; and the knowledge of them must therefore be acquired by particular discrimination in every instance, under the guidance of the precepts of science. Yet the following additional remark must not be here omitted.
The nature of the familiarities, subsisting between the stars, lords of the coming event, and the countries or cities over which the event will extend, requires to be observed; for, should the stars be benefic, and their familiarity with the countries liable to sustain the effect be unimpeded by any opposing influence, they will then exercise the favour-able energies of their own nature in a greater degree. And, on the other hand, when any obstacle may intervene to obstruct their familiarity, or when they themselves may be overpowered by some opposing influence, the advantages of their operation will be diminished. Again, should the stars, lords of the coming event, not be benefic, but injurious, their effect will be less severe, provided they may either have familiarity with the countries on which the event will fall, or be restrained by some opposing influence. If, however, they should have no such familiarity, and not be subjected to restraint by any others, endowed with a nature contrary to their own and possessing a familiarity with the countries in question, the evils which they produce will then be more violent and intense. And all these general affections, of whatever kind, whether good or evil, will be principally felt by those persons in whose individual nativities there may be found the same disposition of the luminaries (which are the most essential significators), or the same angles, as those existing during the eclipse which operates the general affection. The same remark equally applies to other persons, in whose nativities the disposition of the luminaries and of the angles may be in opposition to that existing during the eclipse. With respect to these coincidences, the partile agreement, or opposition, of the ecliptical place of the luminaries to the place of either luminary in a nativity, produces an effect at least capable of being guarded against. 1
60:1 That is to say (technically speaking), by reception, or by being posited in a sign in which another planet has a certain dignity or prerogative.
61:1 In conformity to the rule laid down in Chap. VI of this Book, those individuals whose nativities may thus resemble the position of the heavens at the time of an eclipse, and who are here stated to be chiefly liable to the effects of the eclipse, will be more affected by it, if it should be visible to them.
To the precepts contained in this chapter, Placidus makes the following allusion in his remarks on the nativity of Cardinal Pancirole. "Any significator whatever, together with the other stars, whilst they are moved by a converse universal motion, change the aspect alternately, and consequently the mundane rays, as it likewise happens when they acquire parallels: the rays thus acquired p. 62 are of a long continuance, and denote a certain universal disposition of the things signified, either good or bad, according to the nature of the aspecting stars; as it happened to this Cardinal, who some years before his death was always sickly: and this observation is wonderful in the changes of the times and weather; for this principle Ptolemy adhered to in the Almagest, lib. VIII, cap. 4; and this doctrine he also mentions in the 2nd Book of Judgments, in the chapter on the Nature of Events."--(Cooper's Translation, p. 272.)