THE first part of the consideration, requisite to form an estimate of the various constitutions liable to take effect in the atmosphere, applies to the general qualities pervading the several quarters of the year, and has therefore the most extended scope. In order to learn these qualities, it is necessary, in every quarter, to observe, as above directed, the new or full Moon which may happen before 1 the period of the Sun's transit through
either tropical or equinoctial point, whichever it may be; and to arrange the angles (as in the case of a nativity) according to the degree and hour at which the new or full Moon may be found to happen, in every latitude for which the consideration may be desired. Such planets and stars as may have dominion over the places where the said new or full Moon happens, and over the following angle, are then to be noted, in the same manner as that stated with regard to eclipses. And after these preliminary steps have been attended to, a general inference may be drawn as to the proper qualities of the whole quarter; and the intensity or relaxation of their operation is to be contemplated from the natures of the ruling planets and stars, distinguished by the faculties they possess, and by the mode in which they affect the atmosphere.
The second part of the consideration relates to each month, and requires a similar observation of the new or full Moon first taking place on the Sun's progress through each sign: and it must be remembered, that, if a new Moon should have happened at a period nearest to the Sun's transit over the past tropical or equinoctial point, the new Moon also in each succeeding sign, until the commencement of the next quarter, are to be observed; but, if a full Moon should have so happened, then similar observation is to be made of each subsequent full Moon. The angles, also, must be duly attended to, as well as the planets and stars ruling in both the places 1; and especially the nearest phases, applications, and separations of the planets, and their properties. The peculiar qualities of the two places, and the winds, liable to be excited by the planets themselves and by those parts of the signs in which they may be situated, are likewise to be considered; and also that particular wind, which is indicated by the direction of the Moon's ecliptical latitude. By the aid of these observations, and by weighing and comparing the existing vigour of each of the several properties and qualities, the general constitution of the atmosphere during each month may be predicted.
The third part of this consideration appertains to significations applying more minutely, and points out their force or weakness. In
this case, the partile configurations of the Sun and Moon, at the intermediate quarters, as well as at the new or full Moon, are to be attentively regarded; since there is a certain variation in the constitution of the atmosphere, which usually commences about three days before, and sometimes, also, about three days after the Moon has equated her course to the Sun. The configurations effected between the Moon, at each quarterly equation, and the planets, whether by the trine, sextile, or other authorized distances, are also to be observed; because the peculiar property of the change in the constitutions of the atmosphere depends much upon such configurations, and may be accordingly perceived by considering the nature of the influence which the said configurated planets and the signs exercise over the atmosphere and the winds.
The particular quality of the weather, thus produced, will be more fully established on certain days; especially when the brighter and more efficacious fixed stars may be near the Sun, either matutine or vespertine; as, when so posited, they most frequently convert the constitution of the atmosphere to an agreement with their own natures: and, when the Luminaries may transit any one of the angles, a similar effect is also produced. At all such positions the particular constitutions of the atmosphere are subject to variation, and thus become alternately more intense or more relaxed in their respective qualities. In this manner, by certain positions of the Moon, the flux and reflux of the sea are caused: and, when the Luminaries may be in angles, a change of the wind is produced, according to the direction of the Moon's ecliptical latitude.
Finally, in all these considerations, it must be remembered that the more general and first constituted cause takes precedence, and that the particular cause comes subsequently and secondarily: and, that the operation is in the highest degree confirmed and strengthened, when the stars, which regulate the general effects, may be also configurated towards the production of the particular effects.
66:1 "Before." Although I have thus Englished the word, προ, I think it properly requires to be here rendered, by "at" or "near to," rather than "before." Firstly, because my author (in speaking of the commencement of each quarter of the year, in the 11th Chapter, p. 93), has expressly stated that "the spring is to be dated from the new or full Moon taking place when the Sun is nearest (εγγισα) to the first point of Aries; the summer from that, when he is nearest the first point of Cancer," &c., &c.; and (in p. 94) he states that certain general effects are brought about by the new or full Moon occurring at (κατα) the aforesaid points." Secondly, because, in a few lines further on, in speaking of the monthly consideration, p. 98, he again uses only εγγισα, in reference to the present passage, in which, however, he has used only προ. Thirdly, it is a proper inference that he meant to point out here the new or full Moon which may happen nearest to the tropical or equinoctial points, because he has previously and explicitly taught that the principal variation of all things depends upon those points. Lastly, Allatius has here rendered the word by no other than proximé, which is also the word given in the Perugio Latin of 1646.
On the other hand, Whalley, in his note on the present chapter, says, that "according to this Prince of Astrologers" (meaning Ptolemy), "we are to observe the new or full Moon preceding the ingress, only, for our judgment on the succeeding quarter, and not the lunation succeeding: and the reason I conceive to be, because the lunation, which immediately precedes the ingress, carries its influence to the very position of the ingress itself, but not so that p. 67 which follows the ingress." Wing, in his Introduction to the Ephemerides (London, 1652) also says, that "for the knowledge of the weather, it is requisite to observe the conjunction or opposition of the luminaries next preceding the Sun's ingress into the first point of Aries."
Now, if a new or full Moon happen immediately after the Sun's transit or ingress, the previous full or new Moon must have happened a fortnight before the said transit or ingress; and, after considering the other parts of Ptolemy's doctrine, I do not conceive, that he intended to teach, in this chapter, that a previous lunation, when at so great a distance before the important ingress, would have a greater influence over the ensuing quarter of the year, than a subsequent lunation taking place so closely after the said ingress.
67:1 "Both the places." These are the places of the new or full Moon, and of the following angle; as before mentioned with regard to the quarterly consideration.