THE sign of Aries has a general tendency, arising from the presence of the Equinox, to promote thunder and hail. Certain of its parts, however, operate in a greater or less degree, according to the nature of the stars
which compose the sign: for instance, the front parts excite rain and wind; the middle are temperate; and those behind are heating and pestilential. The northern parts, also, are heating and pernicious, but the southern cooling and frosty.
The sign of Taurus, in its general character, partakes of both temperaments, 1 but is nevertheless chiefly warm. Its front parts, and especially those near the Pleiades, produce earthquakes, clouds and winds: the middle parts are moistening and cooling; those behind, and near the Hyades, are fiery, and cause meteors and lightnings. The northern parts are temperate; the southern turbulent and variable.
Gemini, in its general tendency, is temperate; but its leading parts produce mischief by moisture; its middle parts are entirely temperate; its latter parts mixed and turbulent. The northern parts promote earthquakes and wind; and the southern are dry and heating.
Cancer is, in the whole, serene and warm, but its anterior part near the Præsepe are oppressively hot and suffocating; the middle parts are temperate, and the latter parts excite wind. And both its northern and southern parts are equally fiery and scorching.
Leo has a general tendency operative of stifling heat. The anterior parts are oppressively and pestilentially hot; yet the middle parts are temperate; and those behind are injurious by means of moisture. The northern parts produce variation and heat, and the southern moisture.
Virgo, in its general tendency, excites moisture and thunder. The front parts, however, are chiefly warm and noxious; the middle temperate; and the latter parts watery. The northern parts promote wind; the southern are temperate.
Libra has a general tendency to produce change and variation. Its front and middle parts are temperate; its hinder parts watery. The northern parts cause variable winds, and the southern are moistening and pestilential.
Scorpio, in its general character, is fiery and productive of thunder. The front parts cause snow; the middle are temperate; the latter parts excite earthquakes. Its northern parts are heating; its southern, moistening.
Sagittarius, generally, is effective of wind. The front parts are moistening; the middle temperate; and the hinder parts fiery. The northern parts promote wind, and the southern variation and moisture.
Capricorn's general tendency is to operate moisture. But its anterior parts are pernicious by means of heat, its middle parts are temperate, and its latter parts promote rain. Both its northern and southern parts are injurious by means of moisture.
Aquarius, in its general character, is cold and watery. The front parts are moistening; the middle temperate; and the latter parts productive of wind. The northern parts are heating; the southern cause snow.
Pisces, in its general character, is cold and effective of wind. The front parts are temperate; the middle moistening; the hinder parts highly heating. The northern parts excite wind, and the southern are watery.
64:1 That is to say, at the new and full Moon taking place during the Sun's progress through each sign.
64:2 The passage marked thus " " is not in the Greek, but is found in two Latin translations.
64:3 According to Wing, in his "Instructions to the Ephemerides," printed in 1652, the signs, as mentioned in this chapter by Ptolemy, are to be considered p. 65 in their quality as constellations, and not as spaces of the heavens. This opinion, however, seems to me to be erroneous; for Ptolemy has already devoted a chapter in the 1st Book to the detail of the influences of the several stars in the respective constellations of the zodiac; and he moreover speaks, in the present chapter, of the operation of Aries, as owing to the presence of the Equinox. This he could not have done, had he spoken of the signs as constellations instead of spaces.
65:1 The temperaments here alluded to are, probably, heat and cold.