IT now remains to treat of the kind and species of death. It is, however, first to be determined, by the rules already delivered regarding the duration of life, 2 whether death will ensue from an oriental or occidental position of the predominating influence. And, if death ensue from some oriental position, or meeting of rays, the place of such meeting must be observed, and by means of that place the kind of death is to be distinguished; if from the descension, or setting, of the significator, or prorogator, the place of descension 3 must be considered: because death is to be expected conformable in character to the influences, whatever they may be, which preside over the said places; or, if not any influences should directly preside, it will then be conformable to the influences, of whatever kind, which may be brought first in succession to the places in question: the configuration of the stars, the property of the aforesaid anæretic places, and the nature of the signs and of the terms, 4 are, also, all of them co-operative.
Thus, for example, if the dominion of death be vested in Saturn, he will produce death by means of lingering diseases; cough, rheumatism, flux, ague, disorder of the spleen, dropsy, colic, and complaints in the womb; and, in short, by all such diseases as proceed from the superabundance of cold.
Jupiter effects death by quinsey, inflammation of the lungs, apoplexy, spasm, pains in the head, morbid performance of the heart, and by all diseases arising from the superabundance of air, and from immoderate and impure respiration.
Mars causes death by constant fevers, semitertians, sudden and spontaneous wounds, diseases of the kidneys, expectoration of blood, and hæmorrhages of various kinds; by miscarriage, or abortion, and by childbirth, by erysipelas, and, in short, by such diseases as proceed from abundant and immediate heat.
Venus produces death by disorders of the stomach, and of the liver,
by scurvy and dysentry: also by consumption or wasting away, 1 and by fistula and poison, and by all diseases incident on the superabundance or poverty of moisture, and its corruption.
Lastly, Mercury causes death to proceed from fury, madness, melancholy, epilepsy, falling fits, coughs, and obstructions, and by such diseases as arise from superabundant or disproportionate dryness.
When the lords of death may fully possess their own peculiar and natural properties, and when neither of the malefics may be in elevation above them, death will ensue in the modes above detailed, and in the ordinary course of nature. But a violent and remarkable death will occur when both the malefics, either in conjunction, or in quartile or opposition to each other, may be lords of the anæretic places; or if both, or only one of the two, should attack either both the luminaries, or even only the Sun or the Moon. In such a case, the evil character of the death will proceed from the concurrence of the malefic influence, and its magnitude or remarkable nature from the additional testimony of the luminaries: its quality, also, will be known by means of the rest of the planets and stars in configuration, and by the signs which contain the malefic influence. 2
Hence, if it happen that Saturn be in fixed signs, and in quartile or opposition to the Sun, and contrary in condition, he will produce death by suffocation, occasioned either by multitudes of people, or by hanging or strangulation: so, likewise, should he be occidental, and the Moon be succedent to him, he will operate the same effects. If he be posited in places or signs of bestial form, the native will be destroyed by wild beasts: and, if Jupiter also offer testimony, being at the same time badly afflicted, the death will then occur in public, and by day; for example, by being exposed to combats with wild beasts. If Saturn be posited in opposition to either of the luminaries in the ascendant, 3 he
will cause death in prison: if he be configurated with Mercury, and especially if near the constellation of the Serpent in the sphere, and in terrestrial signs of the zodiac, be will produce death by venomous wounds or bites, and by reptiles and wild beasts. And, should Venus also attach herself to Saturn and Mercury thus combined, death will then ensue by poison or female treachery. If Saturn be in Virgo or Pisces, or watery signs, and configurated with the Moon, he will operate death by means of water, by drowning and suffocation; and, if found near Argo, by shipwreck. Should he be in tropical or quadrupedal signs, and the Sun be either in conjunction with him, or in opposition; or if, instead of the Sun, Mars should so present himself, death will be caused by the fall of houses or buildings; and, if posited in the mid-heaven, death will happen by falls from heights or precipices. These are the various effects of Saturn, when configurated as described.
Mars, if in signs of human form, and posited in quartile or in opposition to the Sun or Moon, and contrary in condition, will operate death by slaughter, either in civil or foreign war, or by suicide: if Venus add her testimony, death will be inflicted by women, or by assassins in the employment of women: and, should Mercury also be configurated with them, death will happen from robbers, thieves, or highwaymen. If Mars be in mutilated or imperfect signs, or near the Gorgon 1 of Perseus, he will produce death by decapitation, or by mutilation of limb. If found in Scorpio or Taurus, he will cause death by surgical amputation, burning or searing, or also by spasms or convulsions. Should he be found in the mid-heaven, either above or below the earth, death will be inflicted by crucifixion or impalement, and especially if he be in the vicinity of Cepheus or Andromeda. If descending, or in opposition to the ascendant, 2 he will produce death by fire: and, if in quadrupedal signs, by falls and fractures. Should Jupiter, however, bear testimony to Mars, and be at the same time afflicted, death will ensue from the wrath of princes and kings, and from judicial condemnation.
If it happen that the malefics be in concurrence with each other in the first instance, and afterwards in mutual opposition, in any of the aforesaid situations, the evil character of the death will be yet further augmented; but its species or quality, and its dominion, will depend upon that one which may be in occupation of the anæretic place. And, if both the malefics claim prerogative in the anæretic places, the bodies of persons who thus die will be cast abroad without interment, and will be devoured by beasts and birds: these circumstances will especially ensue, when the malefics may be found in signs similar in form to beasts and birds; and provided not any one of the benefics should offer testimony to the place below the earth, 3 nor to the anæretic places.
Lastly, death will occur in foreign lands, when it may happen that the planets controlling the anæretic places may be posited in cadent houses; especially if the Moon be present in the said places also, or if she be found in quartile or in opposition. 1
134:2 Vide the 14th Chapter of the 3rd Book; on the number of the modes of prorogation.
134:3 That is to say, the sign and degree on the occidental horizon.
134:4 See a subsequent note, p. 135, which gives an instance of the mode in which Placidus applied the power of the terms, in an anæretic direction.
135:1 Δια σηψεων. Perhaps more properly, putridity or rottenness. The Perugio Latin translation renders it by "cancer."
135:2 Placidus, in treating of the nativity of Lewis, Cardinal Zachia, uses these words: "This example also teaches us what the sentiments of Ptolemy were concerning a violent death; when, in a peremptory place, both the enemies meet together, it is to be understood, that in the nativity the violence is sometimes first preordained from the unfortunate position of the Apheta; at other times quite the contrary. But, because the direct direction happened to be in the terms of Mercury, the sickness was attended with a delirium and lethargy, so that you may perceive this to have been the true cause of the native's death." (Cooper's Translation, pp. 198, 199.)
135:3 Ειδε ανθωροσκοπησει προσοιν δηποτε των φωτων: which Allatius has translated, "if he should be in the ascendant opposed to either of the luminaries" (si in horoscopo alteri luminum opponatur); but the Latin copy of Basle, 1541, as well as that of Perugio, 1646, give the passage as now rendered. And it appears in a subsequent place, p. 201 (where the word ανθωροσκοπων occurs), that it can only be properly translated "in opposition to the ascendant."
136:1 Caput Medusæ.
136:2 . Vide note 3 in p. 135.
136:3 That is to say, the lower heaven, or imum-cœli. Whalley has translated it, "above the earth," instead of "below"; mistaking υπο for υπερ.