OUR chat does not intend to teach how to cast a horoscope. It is addressed to those who would like to have an idea of what is the astrology which has been handed down from the past, without having to deal with facets more or less technical, more or less correct, more or less altered, more or less "reframed", as a lot of publications and internet propose today. In the end, the Reader will decide independently whether astrology is a science, art or hoax. If this brief exposition helps stimulate the formation of an autonomous opinion on the subject—no matter whether positive or negative—we will have achieved our purpose.
The popular, as it were, bibliography is exterminated, and the one learned, edited by the 'streetlights' that occupy the university chairs, is not inferior in quantity: it is mainly tons of paper and ink swarmed and seethed with a flood of shoddies, whether their authors are followers of this art or not. However, it is a duty and a pleasure for us to point out that some of the symbolic concatenations here exposed (see paragraphs 8 and 10) have been set up in the excellent Astrology, The Divine Science—already mentioned by us—written by Marcia Moore e Mark Douglas.
To give a concise picture in short room is a difficult—to say the least—undertaking. Anyhow, we will try to offer an understandable synthesis especially to those who are not familiar with astrology. (Quotations serve the most ... curious people, who want to verify some of our assertions.)
What does astrology study?
At the base of astrology, for what we have been able to understand in more than forty years—although we devote too little time to it—there is the study of the constant correlations between the starry sky and the sublunary world.
What do we mean by constant correlation? What do we mean by constant correlation? Let us take a very simple example. An acquaintance of ours a few years ago adopted a dog, a cross, which growing, after a while, occasionally howled, apparently without reason and at irregular intervals. Once, however, the owner heard an ambulance siren after the dog's howling and remembered that perhaps he had already heard this combination before, without noticing though. Later, he had the confirmation that the dog was howling a few minutes before he could hear the ambulance. This is a simple correlation that can be defined as a constant match. Astrology scholars did and should do exactly this: observe the sky, observe the events on Earth, and find out the constant correlations.
1. The word astrology.
The term 'astrology' comes from Latin astrológĭa, which in turn is a loan from the Greek ἀστρολογία.
Many have claimed and claimed that 'astrology' and 'astronomy' were synonymous in the past, but they give an incorrect information.
The Etymologicum Gudianum, a late lexicon from the Byzantine periode, collecting ancient materials though, states ([De Stefani] p. 220): "'Astrology' differs from 'astronomy': astronomy is actually the taking down (the position of) the stars, while astrology is the science that shows the results (deducted) from their movements (<Ἀστρολογία ἀστρονομίας> διαφέρει· ἀστρονομία μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ἡ κατάληψις τῶν ἄστρων· ἀστρολογία δὲ ἡ τὰ ἐκ τῶν κινήσεων <τῶν ἀστέρων> ἀποτελέσματα δηλοῦσα ἐπιστήμη)." It is a rather speculative than practical definition, because among the Greek-writing astrologers of the early centuries the word corresponding to our 'astrology' is ἀποτελεσματικά or ἀποτελεσματικόν (apotelesmatiká or apotelesmatikón), which more or less means 'effects' 'consequences.'
In Latin, the first occurrence of astronómĭa is in Seneca ((1st century B.C., cf. ep. Luc. 95,10), which is used in conjunction with geométrĭa. Before him, you find only astrológĭa, which is referred to both calculations—(cf. Vitruvius arch. 1,1,10: "From astrology we find the east, west, south, and north, as well as the theory of the heavens, the equinox, solstice, and courses of the stars. If one has no knowledge of these matters, he will not be able to have any comprehension of the theory of sundials (ex astrologia autem cognoscitur oriens, occidens, meridies, septentrio, etiam caeli ratio, aequinoctium, solstitium, astrorum cursus; quorum notitiam si quis non habuerit, horologiorum rationem omnino scire non poterit)"—and the forecasting technique (Cicero and others).
In Greek literature, however, the opposite is true: ἀστρολογία recurs rarely, few times in Isocrates (V/IV B.C.) and once, together with ἀστρονομία, in Xenophon (V/IV B.C., cf. mem. 4,7,4). Plato never uses it. Afterwards ἀστρολογία reappears in Aristotle and Theophrastus; Aristotle uses it, yes, in the sense of ἀστρονομία, but it is an improper use justified by the almost zero interest of the philosopher for the matter. Normally, you find only ἀστρονομία (it is used several times by Plato and once even by Aristophanes, nub. 201). We cannot therefore speak of synonyms: at most we can say that in Greek the use of ἀστρονομία is very grossly corresponding to the one of astrológĭa in Latin.
2. How, where and when was astrology born?
Today, to this question some well-informed astronomical historian would answer what precisely and concisely Cicero already reported over two thousand years ago at the beginning of his de divinatione. Cicero, besides being an excellent lawyer, was a man of culture who loved culture; he gathered information and studied: for example, if it was not for his writings, on the post-Aristotelian philosophical currents we would know almost nothing. Well, what does Cicero tell us?
De divinatione 1,1,2: “At the beginning—to seek authority from the most distant sources—the Assyrians, on account of the vast plains inhabited by them, and because of the open and unobstructed view of the heavens presented to them on every side, took observations of the paths and movements of the stars, and, having made note of them, transmitted to posterity what significance they had for each person (Principio Assyrii, ut ab ultima auctoritate repetam, propter planitiam mgnitudinemque regionum, quas incolebant, cum caelum ex omni parte patens atque apertum intuerentur, traiectiones motusque stellarum observitaverunt, quibus notatis, quid cuique significaretur, memoriae prodiderunt)."
And he continues: "And in that same nation the Chaldeans... have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any man's lot will be and for what fate he was born (Qua in natione Chaldaei... diuturna observatione siderum scientiam putantur effecisse, ut praedici posset, quid cuique eventurum et quo quisque fato natus esset)."
Then: “The same art is believed to have been acquired also by the Egyptians through a remote past extending over almost countless ages (Eandem artem etiam Aegyptii longinquitate temporum innumerabilibus paene saeculis consecuti putantur)."
To sum up, the happy nature of the place promoted the constant observation of the starry sky so much that they not only calculated the positions and motions of celestial bodies but also pointed out constant correlations with what was happening on Earth. Then, the Chaldeans, having inherited all information, based a science on that. And the Egyptians were no less than them.
So, Cicero tells us both the "where", that is, the plain inhabited by the Assyrians, the so-called Fertile Crescent, the land in and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and the "how", that is, the continuous observation spurred by the particular nature of the place.
And the "when"? Here it is quite interesting.
In this writing, entitled de divinatione, in two books, Cicero reports a talk he had with his brother Quintus on the subject. In the first book, he lets Quintus, convinced supporter of divinatory practices in general, expose his own arguments. In the second, he disproves point by point with his overwhelming oratory everything he thinks to be monstra (absurdity), the fruit of deliratio incredibilis (incredible aberration).
In paragraph 36 of the first book, what does Cicero let his brother say, incidentally? Well, says Quintus, 'Do we want to condemn all these prophesiers? They are barbarians—someone would say—, i.e. they are untrustworthy people and liars. But shall we say the same on the Greeks?' And he lists a number of cases in support of his thesis. In his sarcastic and rhetorical call for condemnation, Quintus more precisely says: “Let us scorn the Babylonians, too, [...] let us, I say, convict of folly, falsehood, and shamelessness the men whose records, as they themselves assert, cover a period of four hundred and seventy thousand years (Condemnemus etiam Babylonem [...] aut stultitiae aut vanitatis aut impudentiae, qui quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis comprehensa continent)». – That both the Babylonians and Egyptians had acquired their knowledge in centuries of observation, Aristotle, too, was well informed about (three centuries before Cicero). In de caelo 2,12,292a, speaking of the Moon and Mars, he adds: “Similar accounts of other stars are given by the Egyptians and Babylonians, whose observations have been kept for very many years past, and from whom much of our evidence about particular stars is derived (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ περὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ἀστέρας λέγουσιν οἱ πάλαι τετηρηκότες ἐκ πλείστων ἐτῶν Αἰγύπτιοι καὶ Βαβυλώνιοι, παρ' ὧν πολλὰς πίστεις ἔχομεν περὶ ἑκάστου τῶν ἀστέρων)».
On such a figure, 470,000 years, astronomers, orientalists, and Latinists are silent! Well, such a number cannot surely be an invention, especially because Cicero adds ut ipsi dicunt, "as they themselves assert." (Diodorus of Sicily speaks of 473,000, and Pliny the Older of 720,000, cf. 7,79 [Mayhoff]).
We cannot help but mention Zecharias Sitchin, a heterodox scholar who died in 2010, ignored by the academic world, which is constitutionally arrogant and obtuse. Immigrated from the current Azerbaijan to Israel, he moved to the United States. He was very interested in languages written in cuneiform characters, such as Sumerian and Accadian, and of the cuneiform texts he gave interpretations rejected but not disputed into the merits.
So, what does Sitchin maintain? He argues that man, i.e. homo sapiens sapiens, would be a genetic engineering product by the Anunnaki, who would inhabit a planet, Nibiru, which would be part of the solar system, but following a such elliptical and elongated orbit to make it virtually elusive to the telescopes. Now—and this is the point—the Anunnaki would have come to Earth 120 revolutions before the Flood (remember that the Flood has been archaeologically proven: it is not a fancy of the Bible). Well, since Nibiru's revolution would be accomplished in 3,600 earthy years, multiplying 120 x 3600 = 432,000, we get a very close figure to that provided by Cicero. As Cicero intercalates the parenthetic clause "as they themselves assert (ut ipsi dicunt)," the interpretation of the texts given by Sitchin agrees with what the Assyrians said of their ancestors against what the nowadays professors assert, whose attitude is in part justified by an inadequate knowledge of languages written in cuneiform characters.
In Fig. 01 you can see a Sumerian tablet dated around 2300/2200 B.C., in which two signs / constellations are clearly recognizable, those of Lion and Cancer. It is not all: according to Sitchin's interpretation the Flood would have taken place in the age of Lion. So, to the 432,000 years mentioned we need to add 2160 for each age, that is, those of Lion, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, and Aries: 2160 x 5 = 10800, that added to 432,000 give 442,800, a number of years even closer to that indicated by Cicero's brother.
Why 2160? Because the γ point, that is, the spring equinox, in its slow retrograde motion, employs about 2160 to cross a sign.
Everybody knows that the so-called "fixed stars" are not really fixed, but move in the opposite order of signs by about 1° in 72 years. In Fig. 02 we see, perpendicularly to the arrow pointing to the direction of the North Pole, the celestial equator, which crosses the ecliptic in two points, the first of which is called 'gamma', because it is usually symbolized by the corresponding Greek letter, and γ is also the angle that measures the inclination of the ecliptic on the equator (about 23° 27').
This slow retrogradation is known as the "precession of the equinoxes". Therefore, the point γ crosses an entire sign backward, >i.e. 30°, in 2160 years.
Now, astronomers claim that the precession of the equinoxes was discovered by Hipparchus (II B.C.), who, comparing the fixed stars positions he had observed with those jotted down by Timocharis and Aristyllos 150 years before him, he would have discovered the precession. In other words, historians would make us believe that Hipparchus, noticing a slight difference of about one degree in the position of fixed stars, would have discovered the precession of the equinoxes, while the Sumerian astronomers who had been observing heaven for thousands of years would never realize anything. Such historians would be more honest and correct if they say that in their opinion the Sumerian astronomers were mental deficient people!
This is not the place to discuss Sitchin's deductions. Anyhow, the concordance of the information provided by Cicero with Sitchin's calculations is surprising.
Finally, answering the question "when"—and it is not the case to bicker about a thousand or one hundred thousand years more or less—, that is enough to make sure that the sky's observations began thousands of years before the vulgar era. Not only that, the more archaeological excavations are widening, the more the dates back away. Unfortunately, however, with regard to excavations, it must be added that they have recently come to a standstill due to the destruction by Isis.
3. What has come to us?
Of all that corpus of observations and recordings, what has come to us? Well, of all that mass of information gathered by the Sumerians, passed on to the Assyrians and eventually to the Chaldeans we have very little, practically nothing, especially because the orientalists are slow to publish the large number of astronomical and astrological tablets kept in the various museums. We have some astronomical charts, some alleged horoscope, an alleged manual, and little else; all of them are important documents, whose interpretation, however, varies to a degree directly proportional to the competence of the professor in turn.
The Chaldeans, on the other hand, seem to have been rather jealous of the acquired astrological knowledge. In spite of some late Greek-language testimonies, attributing to Zoroaster the compiling of astrological works, the religion reformed by him, Mazdaism, does not seem to be particularly interested in astrology, and the same can be said of classical Greece, even if Plato in his Phaedrus (252c) disguises as a myth elements of patent astrological nature.
The first astrological work we know appeared on the verge of the vulgar era: it is entitled Astronomica, a poem written in Latin verses by Manilius. It is based on an autonomous astrological tradition you could not easily place beside what we know from astrologers in Alexandria, and there are many problems yet to be solved. Of the second century A.D., however, we have the treatises of Ptolemy and extensive extracts of another astrologer, Vettius Valens. Both of them wrote in Greek, even if they lived and worked in Alexandria of Egypt, not in Greece.
Obviously, we have much simplified, because describing at least enough the various testimonies goes beyond the purpose of this talk.
Ptolemy is the author of the first systematic Western astronomical treatise, the μαθηματικὴ σύνταξις, mathematical composition, better known as Almagest, because it went aroung mainly in Arabic translations and until the Renaissance in the Latin versions of Arabic translations: al- is the Arabic article and megistī transcribes the Greek μεγίστη (meghísti) meaning 'greatest'.
Several astronomers, who presumably have never read the Almagest, continue to set the Copernican heliocentric theory against the Ptolemaic vision of our solar system: you can read all sorts of pieces of nonsense about!
Well, the heliocentric hypothesis was well known, indeed it was the only known alternative. The first testimony came to us in Greek through Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) who at the beginning of his Arenary (1,5 [Heiberg]) writes: "Aristarchus of Samos (310-230 [?] B.C.) [...] assumes that the fixed stars and the Sun are motionless, and the Earth revolves around the Sun describing a circle in which the latter occupies the center (Ἀρίσταρχος δὲ ὁ Σάμιος... ὑποτίθεται... τὰ μὲν ἀπλανέα τῶν ἄστρων καὶ τὸν ἅλιον μένειν ἀκίνητον, τὰν δὲ γᾶν περιφέρεσθαι περὶ τὸν ἅλιον κατὰ κύκλου περιφέρειαν)."
Archimedes could not be clearer than that. It is, however, necessary to point out that the hypothesis of a not standing still Earth in the centre of the Whole but wandering like any other star precedes Aristarchus of Samos, and, again, it is Aristotle who witnesses that (de caelo 2,13,293a): "The Italian philosophers known as Pythagoreans... say that at the centre is fire, and the Earth is one of the stars, creating night and day by its circular motion about the centre (οἱ περὶ τὴν Ἰταλίαν, καλούμενοι δὲ Πυθαγόρειοι...· ἐπὶ μὲν... τοῦ μέσου πῦρ εἶναί φασι, τὴν δὲ γῆν, ἓν τῶν ἄστρων οὖσαν, κύκλῳ φερομένην περὶ τὸ μέσον νύκτα τε καὶ ἡμέραν ποιεῖν)."
So, Copernicus discovered the hot air! Incidentally, we have to say that Galileo's merit is not in supporting Copernicus' thesis, that is, hot air, but in the invention of the spyglass. Galileo, in our opinion, devoted himself mainly to observation, for he was not a good astrologer (often, in need, he was used to turn to an acquaintance of his more versed in the art of interpretation).
Obviously Ptolemy knew the heliocentric hypothesis well, but that was not useful for calculations, because the necessary information was missing: the distances, the orbits of the individual star, etc. Hence, Ptolemy's only concern was to find precise geometric solutions of appearances, useful in practice. He never dreamed of giving an objective set-up of the celestial mechanics; he knew well that he could not do it, nor was he worried about it. To clarify this position here is an example.
In the fourth chapter of the third book of Almagest, he deals with "the apparent anomaly of the Sun." What does it consist of? In summary, in the fact that from the spring equinox to the summer solstice elapsed 94½ days, while from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox elapsed 92½. Then, geometrically, such anomaly could be resolved either though the epicyclic hypothesis or the eccentric one.
In order to give a less vague idea of what an epicycle is and what an eccentric, let us look at Fig. 03:
—at the top, we have a simple example of epicycle, where "D" is the eye of the observer; the minor circle represents the apparent orbit of a star revolving along the trajectory of the major circle;
—in the middle, we have a simple example of eccentric, where "E" is the eye of the observer; the major circle is the apparent trajectory that the star geometrically should go along but does not, because it moves on the smaller orbit by projecting its movement on the larger circle, where its motion will appear abnormal;
—below, we have a combination of epicycle and eccentric.
Back to the Sun's anomaly, Ptolemy comments: "However, it would seem more reasonable (εὐλογώτερον) to associate it with the eccentric hypothesis, since that is simpler and is performed by means of one motion instead of two." In other words, Ptolemy did not care what actually happened in heaven because he knew he did not possess the definite and necessary information, but only wanted to solve the problem geometrically in the simplest way (simple, so to speak, why, then, calculations are not so simple, especially without a computer!).
And the Ptolemaic geometrical solution of appearances served to sailors for over a millennium!
So, there never was any Ptolemaic celestial mechanics to counter with the heliocentric hypothesis, well known to Ptolemy.
In addition to the Almagest, which is the first part, Ptolemy also left us a second one, the ἀποτελεσματικά, the effects, the consequences, a treatise better known as Quadripartitum, because it is divided into four books. It is the first and only true Western astrological treatise that has come to us. In the past, some scholars tried to deny its paternity, arguing that a scientist like Ptolemy could not write an astrology manual, but today nobody is more likely to support such a nonsense. Ptolemy unfortunately does not cite his sources, only mentions—while dealing with boundaries—to an old manual, and elsewhere speaks of "the way of the ancients." In this treatise, the author collects all the material at his disposal and makes a systematic and clear exposition, trying to explain the natural reasons justifying the basic principles. Ptolemy, however, warns the reader: if the procedure is scientifically accurate, to calculate the positions of the stars, the interpretation of their effects is not the same and it is necessary to proceed κατὰ τὸν ἁρμόζοντα φιλοσοφίᾳ τρόπον, such is the expression he uses, which in the Greek of Alexandria of the second century meant "in an intelligent way."
A summary of the Quadripartitum is out of the scope of our talk.
5. Constellations and signs.
Now, how do you pass from constellations to signs?
Some 'genius' ridiculed astrology, since, because of precession of the equinoxes, constellations no longer correspond to signs. But the constellations never coincided with the signs because of their very different extensions: that of Virgin is 52° (Leo 50°, Scorpio and Pisces 48°, Sagittarius and Aquarius 46°, Taurus 43°, Capricorn 33°, Gemini 31°, Aries 28°), while that of Libra and Cancer is 22°. On the contrary, the signs are strictly 30° each. The Reader might legitimately ask: and how is it possible? Astrology scholars seem to want to evade this obstacle...
(Incidentally, we will say that the rigorous division of the ecliptic in sectors of 30° each [= signs], and the further subdivision in sectors of 10° each [= decanates] were statistically proven. We shall not quote the source. Who wants to know it, should write us.)
Well, you must always be aware that our point of view is that of those who are looking from Earth. We live within a protective enclosure represented by the complex structure of the atmosphere. Those who live on Earth are, whether they like it or not, hierarchically subjected to the regular alternation of day and night, representing the fastest cycle. In turn, the day-night cycle is submitted to the lunar month, i.e. from a new moon to the next one, which lasts nearly 29 days. And the lunar month is subdued to the solar cycle, that is, from a spring equinox to the next one. All three of these cycles are divided into four parts:
—the day in: sunrise, noon (the highest point reached by the Sun with respect to the horizon plane), sunset and midnight;
—the lunar month in: new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter;
—the solar year in: spring equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox and winter solstice.
And it follows that:
—during the day, due to the rotation of Earth, the horizon of the place where you are, will go through the whole zodiac;
—during the lunar month the Moon will cross the entire zodiac;
—in one year the Sun will pass, along the ecliptic, through the whole zodiac.
The longest cycle—always from the point of view of those on Earth, of course—is the great year of almost 26,000 earthy years, during which the gamma point (see above) goes backwards the whole zodiac.
This fantastic mechanism cannot absorb anything that is not regular, because the mechanism itself would be shattered or blocked like a clock, in which we would insert gears with different cogs, that is, non-combining or of different sizes.
As the Sun rising opens a new day, the new moon begins a new month, and with the spring equinox begins a new solar year, when the gamma point enters every 26,000 ca. in Aries, a new "great year" is going to begin. Why in Aries? Because there begins the copulation between the apparent Sun's orbit and the Earth's equator till its completion at 0° of Aries: just there it happens that the starlight with all its symbols is somewhat sifted again and distributed (by the atmosphere) in accordance with the above-mentioned mechanism. In this symbolic adaptation, the constellations are uniformed and harmonized with the regular earthly rhythms, turning into signs. We have not to forget that we call the world cosmos, from κόσμος, which in Greek means order, good order and ornament, the opposite being chaos.
This is our explanation according to nature, speaking like Ptolemy. You will not find anything similar in any manual, simply because you will not find any explanation.
Certainly, the division of the Zodiac in 360° is as ancient as the signs are. Ancient is also the subdivision of the day and night in 12 hours (+ 12 hours), which the Greeks borrowed from the Babylonians: Herodotus (V B.C.) says that in the second book, paragraph 109, of his Histories. .
At this point one could also talk about influence. Let us immediately clarify that the astrologer does not care about such a problem, because a scholar of astrology deals only with constant correlations, not with their cause. It is a philosophical question, which had already been debated in antiquity: are the stars acting or indicating? The corresponding Greek words are ποιεῖν 'to do' ' to act' and σημαίνειν 'to pick out' 'to mean'.
For those who place the Bible at the base of their religion, however, the problem should not exist. In the book of Job, after Eliu's summing up, the Lord asks rhetorically Job (38,33): "Do you know the laws of the heavens? Are you the one who determines (שׂום, swm, 'to place' 'to command') their dominion (מִשׁטָר, mishtar, 'rule' 'sway' 'dominion') over the Earth (LXX: ἐπίστασαι δὲ τροπὰς οὐρανοῦ [the revolutions, the sky cycles] / ἢ τὰ ὑπ'οὐρανὸν ὁμοθυμαδὸν (in agreement) γινόμενα;)?». Hence, for those who are Catholic... when things are down in black and white one's mind is at rest... In this passage, science and the Holy Scriptures disagree...
7. Why does the tropic zodiac begin from Aries?
Answer: because, when the world was created, it was spring.
The ancient stargazers realized that each god, that is planet, showed, or pointed out, his skills in a different way depending on whether he was in a sign or another. So, to every star was assigned a domicile, we will talk about below, and an exaltation, that is the time of the year when the wandering star seems to be excited and rejoice, as when you are beginning something new and your excitement is such to be contagious: enthusiasm makes you forget not to be at home. The Sun, for example, is exalted at the beginning of spring, in Aries. Obviously, the opposite condition occurs in the opposite sign: Sun in Libra is in his fall, i.e. humiliated. In fact, with the spring equinox the Sun begins to be exalted because, rising above the equator, he is going to shine on the Northern Hemisphere; his declination becomes positive and the days are lengthening. Instead, with the autumn equinox he feels demoralized, he has to go under the equator, his declination becomes negative and the days shorter.
On the other hand, a fourth-century astrologer, Paul of Alexandria, handed down a γένεσις τοῦ κόσμου (ghénesis tu kósmu), 'horoscope of the world,' according to which the world would be created while all planets were in their domicile. But the conditions of the text, however, make it suspect that it is a corrupt chart, since the Sun's domicile is assigned to Aries, which instead is his exaltation. In other words, according to the genesis of Paul of Alexandria, the world would have been created—in spite of the mentioned error—in summertime.
Nevertheless, let us consider what the book of Job reports, chap. 38, and verse 7. The Lord asks Job: "On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone, 7while the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" What does it mean? It means that when God created this world, that is, "he laid its cornerstone," the morning stars were rejoicing, that is, in their own exaltation.
That the world was created in spring not in summer is witnessed by a source that has nothing to do with biblical literature, that is, Virgil (15.XI.70-19 B.C.), who in his Georgics (2,336÷342), praising the spring, says: "I would be inclined to believe that at the beginning of the nascent world the days were not different, nor they had a different temperature; the whole globe enjoyed the spring and the winds Euri forbore their wintry blasts, when the first cattle drank the light and the earthborn race of men reared its head from the fields not yet broken up and the wild beasts were put in the woods and the stars in the sky (Non alios prima crescentis origine mundi / inluxisse dies aliumve habuisse tenorem / crediderim; ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat / orbis, et hibernis parcebant flatibus Euri, / cum primae lucem pecudes hausere virumque / terrea progenies duris caput extulit arvis / immissaeque ferae silvis et sidera caelo)». So, if it was spring, the Sun had to be in Aries, the place where the Sun is exalted, or rejoicing.
Two such disparate, but in agreement, testimonies seriously compromise the reliability of thema mundi handed down by Paul of Alexandria. (However, there is a problem: if it is true that our world was created when the wandering stars were in their exaltation, Mercury's position becomes embarrassing, because his exaltation, in Virgo, is incompatible with that of the Sun in Aries. Old and modern astrologers are silent about. The problem is resolved by appealing to the 'antiscia' but requires a technical explanation unsuitable here.)
8. Signs and seasons.
And now we will see how the signs symbols go off and branch off from the primary ones in relation to the seasons which, as everyone knows, are four: the Sun travels 90°, that is, three signs per season.
ARIES (Fig. 04)
In Fig. 04 you see: —at the top, the glyph; —in the middle, two of the most frequent depictions; and —below, the constellation as it is positioned with respect to the ecliptic. About the word 'zodiac', its literal meaning would be 'pertaining to small animals.' The Sumerians called it 'shining herd.'
With Aries begins the spring: the plants are budding. The glyph suggests the image of a sprout rising from the ground. Aries evokes the itch to begin: what potentially, i.e. in the seed, already was, blows up and turns into reality. The symbol also refers to the horns of a rampant ram, which makes his way by dint of butts.
It is no accident that the ancient weapon to break through the doors of enemy's fortifications was called 'battering ram' and it is no accident, too, that the foetus comes into the world with his head. Anatomically the Aries means the head in the sense of skull. From this sign begins the homo zodiacalis.
Impulsiveness often impels Arians to fling themselves 'headlong' in situations without taking account of the consequences of their behaviour.
The glyph also suggests an image of a fork in the road, which gives him the possibility of turning on either side, and, being the first of the signs, the Arian believes to have the freedom to choose the path to the left or right, and he never gives up his decision-making powers, and cares a lot about his independence.
Again, the symbol can remember the line of the nose and eyebrows in the human face. Very often the native of Aries, who, being the sign opposed to Libra (see below), generally has a pleasing appearance, has marked—or anyhow attracting attention—eyebrows.
Who was born at the beginning of spring (Aries) shares with who was born early in the summer (Cancer), autumn (Libra) and winter (Capricorn) a certain propensity to quick decisions, brusque reactions, sometimes violent, since these signs, with which a season starts, are called turning signs (τροπικοί, tropikí) because they change direction quickly.
Instead, fixed signs, as the following one is, represent the height of a season.
TAURUS (Fig. 05), the height of spring.
The zodiacal dynamics, similarly to all that is subjected to the time, wants every sign to be conditioned by the preceding one and sets itself against it. Thus, Taurus curbs the vitality of Aries, and the glyph indicates that it is conveyed into the shape of a wheel holds back and contains.
Possession thus becomes the characteristic aspect of Taurus. Since spring is also the season of mating, possession is manifested in the desire to achieve the sexual enjoyment, which Taurus is very sensitive to. One of the attributes assigned to the sign by Hellenistic astrology is sensual/lascivious, because at our latitudes it rises with the bottom.
If Aries's passion runs out quickly, Taurus's love is calm; the Taurean lingers over that, does not want to lose anything, but wants to enjoy every moment.
The Arian is impulsive in his decisions; the Taurean needs time to weigh up the pros and cons.
But possession has a second symbolism: that of the goods, of the money, and of the value those represent.
The Taurean feels great satisfaction to increase his wealth. In English, the stock exchange is known as 'bull market', taurine market. Many Taureans show some talent to make money increase by itself, i.e. in a natural way. They often become rich simply by making better use of what is already there.
Since Taurus's proportions are remarkable, massive, this can mean solidity and security for a Taurean's family. Such solidity is often characterized by obstinacy and is synthesized in the common saying to some country: "He is as hard as an ox." If tamed, however, Taurus becomes docile and persevering like an ox under the farmer's yoke or ... the marriage's one.
Anatomically, Taurus rules the throat and, consequently, the taste, which is another form of physical possession and pleasure, linked to food.
GEMINI (fig. 06).
With Gemini, spring is about to end and the transition to the next season is being prepared. An ancient analogy wants Gemini to derive their shape from the fact that, while the cow (Taurus) is generally uniparous, in Gemini's month the goats usually had twin births. Indeed, already Aristotle (hist. an. 573b) observed that ewe and she-goat "... mostly bear two offspring (τίκτουσι δὲ τὰ μὲν πλεῖστα δύο);" and in Theocritus (e.g. 3,34) διδυμάτοκος (didymátokos) 'giving birth to twins' is an attribute of the goat.
After the 'action' of Aries of rushing—so to say—into the life and Taurus's 'reaction' of hoarding as much as possible, Gemini 'interact': it is time to look around, be aware of what is up.
The symbol suggests a grid that recalls the nervous system physiologically, but figuratively hints at the need to distinguish, frame, classify, to know how to move and go on.
If we lengthen the glyph lines we will get a double cross symbol which is the symbol of the numbers, thus indicating the propensity of the people born under this sign to enumerate facts, list details and reduce them to a system. Everything that spring has already produced is quickly subjected to combinations and comparisons not to mix, but to classify items into logical categories.
Anatomically, the dualism of Gemini manifests itself in the arms, hands, and lungs, which, by alternately expanding and contracting, allow oxygen to pass through the membranes that separate the interior of an organism from the outside atmosphere. Duality is also reflected in the nervous system, which is subdivided into a central nervous system and autonomic (or vegetative) one: the former puts man in relation to the outside world, the latter to the bowels network inside the body.
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, are called bi-corporeal and mutable, because they preside over the passage from one season to another and adjust to it. A characteristic skill of these signs is the adaptability, that is, the ability to face up to situations that are changing quickly, without making a drama out of it.
When the Sun reaches its maximum declination, i.e. the summer solstice, spring ends and with
CANCER (Fig. 07) summer starts. What is declination? It is the distance of a point from the heavenly equator; it is indicated by the letter δ (Fig. 08) and can be north or south.
By the beginning of summer, the Sun comes down along the line of the ecliptic, and the day that had expanded, widened, that is, had inspired light, slowly deflates, breathes out. In a way the Sun goes the same way he had gone from the beginning of Aries until the end of Gemini, but backward, just as the crab proceeding laterally and backwards. The whole symbolic field of the sign is related to such a coming back.
Cancer puts a limit to the curiosity of Gemini: Sun must stop going up!
The circular and bipolar glyph suggests the breasts and stomach, both of which relate to nourishment and the support of the body.
The Cancerian—a bit like Taurean—can be quite acquisitive, but he is not a seizer. Cancer is mainly a fluid container, especially amniotic fluid, which symbolically is related to the sea.
In early summer the first fruits begin to be available: they serve she-Cancerian for her maternity. This is the active side; the passive one—as the inturning spirals suggest—is given by the nostalgia of the womb, the propensity to go back to the past. Among the students, very often those who succeed in 'history' at school, being really interested in this subject, are natives of this sign.
The two vortices of the pictograph also represent parents, male and female, complementing each other inside the home. The Cancerian shows a particular propensity for the domestic world and is intimately linked to his family environment. Almost always he opposes a defensive armour to all that comes from outside, and is extremely reserved; he does not like strange interference.
During this time many animals have finished preparing their "home" that will welcome the offspring. The crab even brings his shelter wherever he goes. Hence originates the relationship between Cancer and Home not only as direct family relationships, but also as a protected place, as a refuge, and it is the sign itself that means both the family home and the refuge of the creature that it carries in its lap.
LEO (Fig. 09), Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius are the signs of the height of a season, that is, when the season has become stable. Therefore, they are called fixed signs; actually their natives are unlikely to change quickly and unlikely to easily change their minds...
The heat and the hot sun are the most perceptible feature of the month.
The symbol is unitary and, like that of Cancer, has a double curve which, however, opens out instead of closing in. So, Cancer is self-repressive, introverted, while Leo self-expressive, extroverted.
This time of year brings abundant fruits of all kinds, which the Sun has matured. Leo is proud thereof; the merit is all his own, personal, "Who did all this? I!” Hence, the sign represents the attained awareness of being a single individual, of being "me." And there is no paranoia in this: in the opulence peculiar of this season, the Leo native is a generous man, loves to show his generosity with grandiose gestures. (If you want to make a Leonian happy with a present, give him it, but it must be a big one.)
All symbolism of the sign rotates around abundance.
The Leonian likes being admired, not flattered, in which case he reacts saying, "Do not take liberties with me. I am the king." Leo's regality may be displayed by the attitude in which he exerts his influence over the subjects he holds sway, never, however, to oppress, but always to show how generous he is.
The glyph can recall the mane and often the Leonians' “mane” attracts attention.
Leo is associated with the heart in the body, the nucleus in the cell, and the fulcrum of any system. If you do not duly appreciate a Leonian, he will feel heartbroken or will overemphasize his showing off.
VIRGO (Fig. 10).
At the end of the summertime Virgo intervenes in order to curb the generosity and the waste of Leo. It is the time of harvest: the grain must be reaped and separated from the chaff, in short, cleaned and purified, then stowed, stored, and preserved for the year to come. Virgo expresses all these symbols.
The main purpose of this sign is to submit everything to a scrupulous analysis with the aim of clarifying and purifying. Hence, the Virgoan attracts attention for his developed ability to distinguish details, for his fussiness, for his pedantry, which, as the reverse of the medal, may become detachment, fastidiousness and meanness, that is, the unwanted attributes of the proverbial spinster.
Everything that is being analysed is then preserved, in a perfect, sometimes-maniacal order. If you are in the house of a Virgoan, do not move any object, since you would irritate your host.
The native of this sign loves nature, but well ordered; the fields must be well cultivated. He also loves food, but first he has to "analyse" it, know its properties, where it comes from. Many hygienists belong to this sign.
The end of summer is also the most industrious period of the year. No one works as diligently as a Virgoan. His/her work can be repetitive and tedious, but he/she does it with care and sense of duty: he/she does not throw anything away; he/she keeps everything, because he/she knows that sooner or later it will be useful.
Some people think that the glyph represents the female genital organs, closed in the virginal state. In fact, the Virgoan is inclined to be discreet and even bashful.
In the body, the principle of analysis recalls the function of the pancreas, intestines, and digestive organs, which reduce food to its elementary components so that the body may select what it needs, and scraps what is unsuitable. These assimilation functions are essential to maintain the general well being of the organism, the welfare for which the Virgoan people are capable of adopting rigorous diet.
The series so to speak "visible", "brilliant" "individual" of the zodiac-from the spring equinox to the autumn one and where the days are longer than the nights-finishes with Virgo.
From the autumn equinox, the Sun changes the hemisphere, declination becomes negative (Fig. 08) and the nights win over the days. So the series of the "inner" "unseen" "social" zodiac begins. The individual and carefree aspect of the first six signs becomes social and reflective in the rest. The relationship with seasons is no longer direct, but mediated and to some extent complicated by the opposite sign.
So, with the autumn equinox we go on to LIBRA (Fig. 11).
We must first note that Libra and Scorpio in a different astrological tradition constituted only one constellation divided into two signs, the first of which, Libra, represented the scorpion claws. Both symbols are admissible, but we follow the tradition, very ancient indeed, which distinguishes Libra from Scorpio.
The autumn is beginning. Virgo did her duty: summer products have been collected, separated, cleaned up and stored.
Libra's task is to distribute them with impartiality. The scale pans are in balance if both bear an equal weight: the balance amid balances refers to harmony and beauty, as equity does to justice.
On the one hand, Libra-Justice also represents the laws of society, which conciliate the contending parties, and leads to the composition of disagreements on the basis of the principle of equality-balance of rights. Justice has to be administered according to well-coded and shared criteria; hence the sign also refers to written norms and laws, in short, codes.
On the other hand, the Libra-Harmony also refers to the laws of measure and proportions, which make this sign the one of aesthetic sense.
And since the zodiac begins with Aries, Libra is also the first sign facing an opposite one with which to settle scores. Which refers to balance in social relationships and bonds based on their own rules or written laws to be enforced not only within any human consortium, but in particular in marriage, in various forms of company and in all those associations that are governed by a statute.
In the body, Libra controls the endocrine system whose secretions regulate the balance of the whole organism. We have just found that it is the first sign that has its opposite, that is, Aries, which governs the head, blood, muscle system and brain motor centres that stimulate the body to act. The adrenal glands (Libra) are under the control of the hypophysis, which is located in the head (Aries) and secrete the adrenaline required in difficult situations to arouse a muscular Arian reaction.
Libra governs the semicircular canals that maintain equilibrium, and kidneys, which regulate the balance of liquid in the body. — The kidneys, in turn, in their threefold function of cleaning, regulating and eliminating the liquids, are related to Virgo, Libra and Scorpio in various ways. — The close connection between the opposite Aries and Libra is evidenced by the fact that Arian blood is filtered through the kidneys (Libra), while the Libran semicircular canals are in the head (Aries).
The opposed dynamics Aries-Libra also shows itself when you are suffering from kidney infections (Libra) that cause headaches (Aries), hypertension and stress. Stress, in turn, ruins kidneys and adrenal glands. When the glandular system (Libra) does not function properly, people become irritable, and reckless actions are performed, all Arian symptoms.
It happens that some Librans have problems with their hair or, speaking of women, it appears where they would never see it. Hair growth, sprouting from the body, is an Arian fact, yet it is regulated by the Libran endocrine glands. Hair (Aries) is also closely linked to the popular ideal of beauty (Libra). "She has got beautiful hair!" it is said. That is how Libra-Beauty appears on the head of Aries. If you did a statistical survey, you would find that the best customers of women's hairdressers are natives of Libra.
SCORPIO (Fig. 12).
The height of autumn.
According to the aforementioned tradition, according to which Scorpio's claws replaced Libra, the dangers of autumn—the most detrimental period of the year to health—would be represented by this poisonous arachnid that in Libra extends his claws as a sign of threat and in Scorpio raises his tail to complete his misdeed.
The vegetation is stripping and the rotting leaves will turn into fertilizer. Symbolism is therefore all in the process of elimination oriented to produce the fertilizing substance that will create new lives.
The symbol is unmistakably phallic: it is the erect penis ready to fertilize/manure. The glyph resembles that of the Virgin, but it is not closed but open: Scorpio does not have the reserve of Virgo, nor the delicacy of Libra, but penetrates deeply. This explains the natives' interest in the mysteries of sex, death and the afterlife.
The reproductive organs are close to those that are responsible for elimination. Rotting leaves symbolize excrement, but their transformation into fertilizer recalls seminal fluid. They are therefore two main symbols: corruption and regeneration, death and rebirth.
If Taurus represents the money amassed by an individual for his own pleasure, the opposite Scorpio represents circulating currency, so it is related to the finances of the companies set up in Libra. Which makes Scorpians excellent businessmen and efficient administrators of others' funds because they respects money as one of the most powerful tools of the social organization.
The sting recalls the ability to strike with determination, even at the risk of one's own life, if the balances arranged in Libra were endangered.
Scorpian people are not in themselves aggressive persons, but they are able to act with extreme determination, where necessary, and are rightly vindictive, even after years.
Scorpio's opposite is Taurus. Through the neck of Taurus, food enters the body, a food that is eliminated by the Scorpian organs that are responsible for: it is a polarity of all evidence, acquisition and elimination.
Taurus is associated with the thyroid in the neck, while Scorpio is associated with the sex glands and their organs. It is well known that thyroid plays a not irrelevant role during genitalia's development, that is, during puberty.
Even the sound-producing apparatus in the neck is intimately related to the sex glands. Removal or degeneration of the ovaries or testicles often lead to a raising of the male voice and a lowering of the female one, while puberty is announced by changes in the vocal cords. It is well known that songs of many birds often have to do with sexual expression.
Parotitis, i.e. mumps, a so-called infectious disease characterized by an inflammatory blowing up of the parotids, neck glands (Taurus), may sometimes also affect the sexual organs (Scorpio).
The link between the Scorpian organs and the Taurean neck is also proven by the tendency to decorate the neck (Taurus) with sexual symbols: ties for men and necklaces and earrings or pendants (= testicles) for women, all of them of Scorpian nature. As for the forced use of the tie in certain working environments and the widespread use of earrings by the guys, and other oddities altering the Taurean-Scorpian body parts, the zodiac offers not so flattering explanations, especially if we consider the square with the Leo-Aquarius axis, signifying the enjoyment of individual (Leo) and social (Aquarius) freedom.
With SAGITTARIUS (Fig. 13) autumn comes to an end.
Here is a note. One of the 'accusations' brought against astrology would be that the alleged thirteenth constellation of the zodiac, Ophiuchus (Fig. 14), is ignored. But, precession apart and without considering the stars that formerly belonged to Scorpio, Ophiuchus's constellation, now more or less between Scorpio and Sagittarius, is almost perpendicular to the ecliptic; in other words the Sun does not cross it but grazes it just a little; therefore, that constellation does not have the characteristics required to be part of the zodiac.
In the past, the Sagittarius symbolism was related to the hunting season. The field products had already been harvested, stored, distributed, and consumed, now it is the time to get some meat for the winter. Hunting requires moving with agility, so strong and tough legs are needed. The month of Sagittarius, however, is also the last time possible to migrate to more mild places to winter elsewhere.
The archer's arrow is aiming far away. Hence, in a figurative meaning, as Scorpian natives know how to deal with the hard facts of life, Sagittarians pursue an ideal, looking for something that goes beyond, that is, a knowledge that goes beyond the surrounding environment.
Defects of this sign can result from excessive exuberance. In the negative, exaggerated optimism, especially with regard to bass-speculative businesses, such as horse racing or gambling on the stock exchange, can disperse the resources so jealously guarded in the previous sign.
The Sagittarian can be a teacher or a preacher. As a teacher, he seeks to raise his students' eyes to higher truths; as a preacher he realizes that men need to be motivated.
In mythology, the sign is represented by the centaur Chiron, who is said to have been the master of Achilles, Asclepius and other more or less mythical characters. The centaur has immense power in his loins, but looks ahead. The flight of the arrow is not but the end result of a series of actions. The horse's body, the man's arm and the bow are all together engaged in releasing the arrow, which will fly "beyond."
The Sagittarius rules the thighs that constitute the primary means of human locomotion, and almost all Sagittarians love to walk, run or travel, but always with a precise destination in mind. They also love driving the car, the modern means to move.
In Gemini-Sagittarius dialectics, the former govern the arms, hands, shoulders, lungs and small nerves, while the latter governs the hips, thighs, last spine, sciatic nerve and liver. Gemini link the parts inside a system, Sagittarius moves the whole system. In fact, the arms and hands (Gemini) move a lot, but they do not go anywhere, while the Sagittarian hips and legs lead the body towards a goal.
The dualism of breathing, composed by inhalation and expiration, such as both the nervous systems, central and vegetative, are a Geminian prerogative, while the exercise of stretching, extending beyond themselves, is precisely a Sagittarius power. Then, getting exercise has a beneficial effect on Gemini breathing; and, in turn, a calm and deep breathing acts positively on Sagittarian reflection and helps researching and identifying one's own target.
The weave gripping these opposite signs can be realized by the fact that in the lower part of the body (Sagittarius), which is apparently bifurcated or double, most organs such as diaphragm, stomach, intestine, liver and pancreas are unitary, while the upper part, in the trunk (Gemini), which is unitary, the heart, lungs and the brain are double.
With CAPRICORN (Fig. 15) the winter starts. At 0° of Capricorn the Sun reaches its maximum southern declination (Fig. 08): it is the well-known winter solstice, it is Christmas. The day reached its maximum compression by the night; the true, i.e. unequal, hour lasts little more than 40 minutes of mean time. From this point on, the Sun begins going up: it is reborn. It is the celebration of the Sun God observed under various forms and with various names from all ancient and modern populations: it is no coincidence that the Catholic Church has grafted the feast of the birth of Christ on this day, ignoring the scriptural clues that exclude birth of the "historic" Christ at this time of the year. But this is all another story...
With this sign you enter the last season of the earthly experience: the winter, cold and bare. It was argued that the glyph recalls the rotula, the knee. Folding the knee might be a sign of failure, but not in Capricorn, where it means deference. Man in his fourth season accesses old age; he has accumulated much experience, so he demands respect and deference; he wants others to kneel down in front of him, but at the same time he himself feels the duty to do the same in front of a greater power/entity, the Sun God.
In the winter, the fields do not produce anything; farming comes to a standstill. The symbolic value of the goat that climbs up wherever he can in order to crop the leftover grass, illustrates the perseverance and resistance of Capricornian people in seeking what they want, even humbling themselves if necessary, according to their proceeding "step by step," which, as time goes by, turns out to be winning. But that goat goes where others do not dare or do not feel or are unable to go. Hence the achievement of important positions. Among the famous and successful figures, Capricorn is one of the most represented signs (Virgo is the tail ender).
The body is no longer elastic and tonic as it was in the summer, but skinny and bony. That is why Capricorn rules the knees, ligaments, articulations, bones, nails, teeth, the remaining bony parts of the body and skin, which is the body's boundary, as winter is the border of the year and, symbolically, the boundary of life. Well observed, the Capricornian natives, though young, suggest something bony in their appearance.
The opposite sign is Cancer, which governs the soft, internal parts of the body. The Cancerian female curves make the body rounded, while the Capricornian structure looks rather angular.
When one grows old, the Cancerian roundness is gathering on the belly, while the Capricornian bones tend to protrude.
Bony parts last over time, while nutrition, linked to Cancer, deteriorates quickly. Breast milk (Cancer), with its rich mineral content, grows strong bones, firm teeth and bright skin (Capricorn).
Drinking too much milk (Cancer) can cause skin problems (Capricorn).
On the other hand, if a child misses the Cancerian love of a mother, the so-called "deprivation dwarfism" may occur and a normal growth of the Capricornian structure is jeopardized.
Maternal love, which flows deeply, can turn on—and, in its absence, turn off—the most important centres of the brain. The glandular system (Libra), and especially the pituitary gland (Aries), have a profound effect upon growth (Cancer) and bone structure (Capricorn), thus involving the four Cardinal signs, i.e. the turning (both equinoxial and solsticial) signs (see above).
In general, it can be said that Cancer rules the front part of the body, while Capricorn rules the back one. The vertebrae contrast the force of gravity exerted on soft tissues. One of the primary functions of a strong and straight back is to keep the abdominal organs in place. Too often, instead of controlling the weight and strengthening the back with exercise, people try to squeeze their abdomen, attacking the problem on the wrong side.
AQUARIUS (Fig. 16).
We are in the depths of winter. Nature is silent. In comparison with the summer liveliness we are poles apart. Sagittarius' aims, reached with Capricornian obstinacy, seem to have completed the experience in the world of visible matter.
The glyph suggests the image of waves and the symbol, already in the Egyptian zodiac of Denderah, shows a man who pours, so it would seem, water. But Aquarius is an air sign, not a water one. So, that water is, so to say, aerial, resembling all those waves, magnetic fields, vibrations that float in the atmosphere and cross the matter.
In other words, Aquarius, unable to rely on the still and bare state of the season, finds a complementary way, new channels to infuse vitality into a seemingly dead season and revive it.
It should be noted that, in the symbol, water is poured from top to bottom. While Capricorn had been working to reach places unreachable by other signs, in a way Aquarius does the opposite: everybody has the right to enjoy the achievements of the previous signs.
The Aquarian native thinks that all people in the world should benefit from the miracles of technology, not just the few privileged ones who have achieved material success in the Capricornian period. He is a universalist, so indifferent to social distinctions and prejudices as are radio waves that do not concern the walls of buildings, whether they are hovels or magnificent castles. The negative aspect of Aquarius is that he may react excessively to the conservatism of the previous sign, becoming rebellious, eccentric or perverse, or if he has not developed a social conscience, he can roam without a goal, in the clouds.
Aquarius is associated with the ankles—which remind you of Mercury's winged footwear—, the circulatory system and the aura.
The dialectics with the opposite Leo appears quite obvious: as the heart circulates the blood oxygenating the cells to the most remote parts of the body, so Aquarius makes the universe vital, spreading its radiation to the extremities of the universe.
Radiations, however, have opposite effects.
It is curious to note that in western countries, where the use of Aquarian waves has increased and continues to increase out of all proportion, coronary breakdowns have equally increased and together with cancer constitute the two most common causes of death.
The word 'coronary' comes from the Latin corona, which, in addition to signifying 'flower wreath' 'diadem' 'hearers' circle,' also means (in Seneca) the solar or lunar aura. Coronary arteries are so called because, coming from the top of the heart, they resemble a crown, that one crowning Leo's heart.
Still, Aquarian radioactivity can have negative effects on the offspring, ruled by Leo, causing sterility or genetic defects.
Finally, since the Aquarian circulatory system, that is, Aquarius itself crowns the heart-Leo, it does not undergo any authority, and indeed with its waves it could compromise the whole organism/system.
PISCES (Fig. 17).
With Pisces the winter turns to the end. Both image and glyph depict a couple of fishes linked: in the glyph they are going toward divergent directions, in the image they are placed in opposite way. But the link prevents them from separating: they symbolize the final contradiction that every individual, whether he likes it or not, will have to experience before the transitus animae. Pisces feel that an important change is approaching: one would want to go back, the other would be inclined and ready to leap in the other or new world/year, both in literal and figurative sense. This is the contradictory aspect of Piscean people, who may, as the case may be, be confused, unreliable, visionary, in balance between the real and imaginary world. They have remained all winter underwater, now they have to jump out with a dart, concentrating all their strength, because there are no feet anymore. Some give up and then are defined, the well-known saying goes, "He is like a fish out of water;” others, instead, jump into an "other" world, that of art where their creativity and imagination are located.
The sign is related to the feet, which must rest on the ground, but Pisces natives hardly love that, they prefer dancing/flying: Rudolf Nureyev, born March 17, 1938, gave us the most emblematic example. In any case, in ordinary people, Piscean walking always has something special, sometimes heavy, clumsy, even in the slim ones.
The opposition with Virgo emphasizes two different ways of caring for their own health. The Virgoan insists on rigorous standards (criteria): he only eats healthy food, and avoids any contamination. The Piscean prefers to immunize the body against disease so that the dangers of unhealthy surroundings can be dealt with impudently. Virgo rules the filtering mechanisms that remove poisons and extraneous elements from the system, while Pisces rule the lymphatic fluid whose antibodies absorb and neutralize invading bacteria even at the cost of their tiny life.
Virgo represents the principle of separation. It rules the intestine and pancreas, which is one of the major regulators of glucose metabolism. The entire digestive system is Virgoan as it acts as a severe censor of what you eat by selecting the elements that can be used or discarded. Pisces rules the enzymes that, being excreted by the cells of some digestive glands, have the task of accelerating the transformation of ingested substances.
When the Virgoan dietary rules remain unheard of, the feet of Pisces are swollen and the gout crops up.
In industrialized countries, the hidden nature of Pisces is also symbolically reflected in the fact that feet are covered with socks/stockings and imprisoned in shoes.
9. Individual sky.
How can this celestial zodiac become the one of an individual? Well, it has to be cast on the individual's local sphere, adjusting it. Then, the signs will assume the name of houses. So, 1° Aries will become 1° of the First House. Cardinal points will no longer be represented by equinoxes and solstices, but, because of or thanks to diurnal motion, by rising, sunset, midday, and midnight, as seen from the birthplace at a given hour. The landmark is no longer the equator, but the local horizon (Fig. 18).
The theatre of the individual sky will then have three series of wings: the first one, in the background, the slowest, is given by the era the point γ (precession of the equinoxes) is crossing and which lasts, as we have said above, about 2160 years (currently we are at the end of the Pisces era, although for some already the era of Aquarius has begun); the second, made up by the tropical zodiac, and the third, the individual one given by the Houses.
The adaptation of the Signs to Houses depends on the chosen system of house division. The problem of house division has raised a lot of discussion and continues to contrast astrologers using different systems. The subject we cannot deal with here is vast and complex.
Having placed the mobile scenes on the stage of fate, only the actors are missing, and who are they? The wandering stars or planets, of course, together with both luminaries. They are the actors who play our individual life from birth to death and not only...
10. Wandering stars.
It should be noted briefly that planetary glyphs are all composed of three elements (Fig. 19), which are variedly combined and positioned: —the circle, signifying the spirit; —the cross, signifying according to some the soul, according to others the matter; and, conversely, —the lower half of the moon, meaning the matter or the soul. This is an interpretation, so to speak, esoteric, of probable alchemical origin.
Let us start with the luminaries. The SUN — The Source of living light.
The Sun represents the individualizing principle, the nucleus of any being, and the determinant of its identity. We could almost consider it as the prototype of the staminal cell: it includes every possible existence, and every animate unit is a miniature Sun or centre of the creative power. As we have seen above, the Sun is also the symbol of the divinity that revives every year.
The dot within the centre of the circle, that is, every single individual, reflects the entire round of heavens. After wandering far out on the edge of the sphere, it becomes incarnate, materializes, and eventually it is visible to the inward radiant light in the very centre of the whole.
In the body, the Sun represents the heart activity that makes the blood circulate and revitalize the entire community of cells wherever they are.
In a horoscope, the Sun indicates the native, and any authoritative male figure such as the father, spouse-husband or hierarchical superior. It also indicates the idea that a man has of his own virility, of being male within society.
[Before going on, a note in necessary. — Millennial experience has assigned to every planet a home, a domicile, i.e. a sign, corresponding to a certain time of the year, in which an individual star, and no other, expands all its potential in the most effective way. In chapter 17 of the first book, Ptolemy says, "Since of the twelve signs the boreal ones and closer than the others to our vertex (Zenith), being the most productive of heat and of warmth, are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and powerful bodies, that is, the luminaries, as home: Leo, which is masculine, to the Sun, and Cancer, feminine, to the Moon." It follows that the opposite sign to domicile is called exile, that is, that period of the year in which a wandering star does not feel at ease. It is a bit of a difference that we feel at home, where we do everything as and when we want, in comparison with when—for any circumstance—we are guests in a hotel or friend: we have to be careful, do not break anything, do not dirty, to respect the timetable imposed, in short, to avoid any possible embarrassment to ourselves and/or others. When a wandering star is in exile or fall, that does not mean it will not be acting any more, but its action will be different, embarrassed, unwilling, listless, and any "malefic" relationship=aspect with other actors in the drama will be more troubled.]
The MOON – The instinctual response.
If the Sun is the luminary of the day, the Moon is the one of the night, which means that if the Sun is the daytime-conscious side of personality, the Moon is the nocturnal-unconscious one. The Sun indicates where the man is going and what he is trying to become; the Moon indicates where it was and what it is trying to overcome. The Sun is the destiny that an individual is going through; the Moon is the fate he is obliged to accept because he is bound by his instinctive reactions. Indeed, the lunar realm is a conglomerate of instincts, memories and desires.
As archetype of all vessels, the Moon preserves, nourishes and sustains the solar seed of life.
The two horns of the Moon suggest a binary time division. On Earth, the gravitational attraction of the Moon produces two tides a day; the moonlight alternates between a waxing and waning phases; and in man the feelings, governed by the Moon, flow and ebb like the waves of the sea, resulting in pleasurable and painful sensations from time to time.
In the body, the Moon is associated with lymph, glandular secretions, gastric juices, and all fluids that complete its basic structure.
Within a horoscope, the moon indicates the ability to perceive, dream activity, childhood, woman, mother, breast, home, family, memory, sleep; also reveals how the intimate feelings of a person agree with his external behaviour and with the objective facts that invest him. The Sun-Moon relationship is a particularly significant indicator of the extent to which an individual is in harmony with his environment.
The Moon is domiciled, as said, in Cancer, exiled in Capricorn, exalted in Taurus and humiliated in Scorpio.
MERCURY — The envoy.
According to mythology Mercury, newly born, had got free from swaddling clothes and fled and stolen fifty heifers of Apollo's herds. The latter, having found out the thief, wanted to punish him, but bewitched by Mercury's way of playing the lyre, forgave him the theft in exchange for the instrument. Jupiter made him a herald of the gods.
Mercury is the emissary for the Sun and precedes it and follows it alternately. (Mercury and the Sun are never more than twenty-eight degrees apart.) The task of this messenger is to weave the rays of light that cross the space.
Mercury mediates between the pairs of opposites. If the Sun is the cosmic father and the Moon is the cosmic mother, then Mercury is their son, neither positive nor negative, but prepubescent, that is, neuter.
On the analogy of its 'dancing' around the Sun, Mercury symbolizes the rhythmic speed. In the natal theme it refers to intellectual perception, adolescence, the consultant as a son or brother, and sociability. If in a horoscope Mercury's operations are limited, then all other potentialities, no matter how impressive, may remain unexploited.
In the body, Mercury activates the nervous system, whose impulses animate every tissue and cell, which act as intermediary between objective and subjective experiences. It also indicates the attitude of listening to rhythmic things like music: injured Mercury can mean that the native is annoyed by background music, or the sense of hearing can be compromised by illness or accident.
Mercury is sometimes associated with malicious, childlike and amoral behaviour. Yet, without this nimble offspring, the Sun and the Moon would remain isolated from each other.
[NOTE. - With the exception of the luminaries, that have one only domicile, the five wandering stars have two homes, one solar-diurnal, the other lunar-nocturnal. So, Mercury is domiciled both in Virgo (unrelated to Leo) and in Gemini (unrelated to Cancer); hence, there are two exiles: Pisces and Sagittarius. Mercury's exaltation, questioned by some astrologers, is in Virgo and its fall in Pisces.]
VENUS — The goddess of beauty and love.
Aphrodite-Venus, according to a beautiful mythical image, would be born from the fizzy sea of the island of Cyprus.
Venus represents above all the cosmic attraction principle, more precisely the harmonious attraction, both harmonizing and harmonized. His desire for harmony can sublimate sexual urge into socially useful behaviours that promote cultural enterprises and ensure mutual cooperation. Venus sounds the mating call, which draws the opposite sexes together, but, insisting at the same time upon adornments and proprieties which hold male and female apart, the instinct to procreation can be channelled into artistic creation.
In the body, Venus activates the venous circulation, the afferent nerves, along which all inwardly directed impulses. It is related to the taking in and absorption of food, the most intimate sensations, and affections, as well as to the feeling of gratification resulting from their assimilation.
In a horoscope it indicates affectivity, beauty, health, and art.
Its diurnal domicile is Libra (in sextile to Leo), the nocturnal one in Taurus (in sextile to Cancer); the exiles are Aries and Scorpio; the exaltation is in Pisces, the fall in Virgo.
MARS – The God of War.
The symbol has clear sexual allusions, as does that for Scorpio, which is one of Mars' domiciles. The upward arrow represents the instinct of aggression, the irrepressible desire to penetrate through tough barriers and to fight for getting the desired objects. In the Greek pantheon, Mars was known as Ares, the god of war.
If the Sun and the Moon are the father and mother of creation, Mars and Venus are the heavenly lovers, magnetically attracted to one another. Pay attention! We said lovers, not a married couple, because Venus was married to Hephaestus (corresponding to Vulcanus of the Romans). Their position in a horoscope indicates how much and whether their relationship is harmonious or not, with all the resulting consequences. In a chart, Mars reports everything about aggressiveness, phallus, muscle, and accidents.
The domiciles of Mars are, as already mentioned, Scorpio and Aries; Taurus and Libra are its exiles; the exaltation is in Capricorn, the fall in Cancer. The meaning of the fall is obvious: a mother too oppressive/apprehensive (Cancer) suffocates the virility and the success (Mars is exalted in Capricorn) of her male child, castrating him psychologically.
JUPITER – The sage.
Jupiter is the planet of wisdom and expansion, and is related to the Moon and Venus, because the development of the human mind keeps pace with the gradual developing of the feelings and sensitivity, that is, sanity.
According to a tradition, Jupiter would be born in Crete, where his mother Rea would hide him to take him away from his father (Cronos) who wanted to devour him. The goat Amaltea would give him milk; the same goat, after having broken a horn against a tree, saw that it was picked up and crowned with flowers by the nymphs. So, Jupiter promised that all that they desired would have come from that horn: this is the horn of abundance, i.e. cornu copiae.
The Moon represents the masses and Venus the society; Jupiter represents the collective order that regulates the behaviour of aggregates of individuals.
Together, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter represent the later stages of evolution of consciousness through the establishment of family, social, and civil relationships. Jupiter gives abundance for which the Moon provides raw materials and Venus the artistic inspiration.
Jupiter is a very large planet: from here are two symbolic lines, that of optimism and the power of vision. It therefore conveys the gift of prophecy and is steeped with an optimistic faith in the abundance of nature. A well-placed Jupiter is often an index of personal prestige and prosperity.
In a horoscope it indicates growth, fortune, optimism, gift of the gab, money.
Its domiciles are Sagittarius (trine to the Sun) and Pisces (trine to the Moon); the exiles are Gemini and Virgo; the exaltation is in Cancer, the fall in Capricorn.
SATURN – The punisher.
According to the myth, Cronos, Greek name of Saturn, which had been predicted to be overthrown by one of his sons, swallowed all of them except Jupiter, who—as we have seen above— had been hidden by his mother Rea. Later, Jupiter defeated his father and forced him to regurgitate the bolted down children. Hence the sense of compulsion and deprivation meant by Saturn.
As a planet of restraint, Saturn delimits not only space, but also time. Pointing to what is over, Saturn stands for seniority, old age, and end of life.
Anatomically, Saturn watches over the skin which confines, and the skeleton, which defines the structure of the body. Saturn's power can be impersonally compressive or personally oppressive depending on circumstances.
Saturn can denote a hard time or hard work. It demands that every individual receives exactly what he deserves, regardless of whether he thinks he is worthy or not. Saturn, in a sense, puts the character under the fate's lathe: a frustrating rubbing, which, however, depending on how it is tolerated, obstructed or accepted, can be rewarded with lasting realizations or mowed down by continual frustrations.
In a horoscope it indicates the logic (a good relationship Mercury-Saturn provides superior intelligence), renunciation or deprivation, authority or power, old age, a non-young male figure.
Saturn's domiciles are Capricorn and Aquarius; the exiles are Cancer and the Leo; the exaltation is in Libra, the fall in Aries.
Figure 20 lists newly discovered planets and, next to the symbols assigned to them, the date of discovery is indicated as well as the name of the discoverer.
The discovery of Uranus coincides with the so-called "Industrial Revolution" begun in England. Two simple data: if in the eighteenth century England imported about 2 million pounds per year of cotton, it imported 5.2 million in 1781, almost triple, and, with exponential growth, in 1789 imported 32, 5 million.
Still, in 1781, James Watt (1736-1819), a self-taught mechanic, perfected the steam engine, introducing substantial changes to the condenser application and more, creating a double-acting machine with very low operating costs. We owe to him the introduction of the power unit bearing his name: Watt.
Hence, Uranus was related to technique, to the strength and power of mechanics, to all the resulting symbolism: e.g. rapidity, immediacy, opportunism, incidents, violence, immoderations of all kind, and the contradictions that immoderations involve.
The planet is connected with the period that socialism was born. The unbridled industrialization in progress, implying the unscrupulous exploitation of manpower and the accumulation of huge capitals in the hands of a few industry captains, forced to reflect on what was happening, whether capital should be individual or common, on the property right, on the distribution of welfare, etc. This is not the place to talk about socialism. A date for all: in 1848 Marx and Engels published their famous Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei.
So Neptune is related to the motions of the soul stirred up by the contradictory aspects of social life: from illusion to disappointment, from social involvement to mysticism, from compassion to confusion, from holiness to satanism, from utopian dream to drug consumption.
Why Pluto was called Pluto? Because the real discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh, wanted to honour Percival Lowell, who through the calculations had discovered its existence, but despite systematically seeking it since 1905, died without being able to see it. His initials P. L. suggested the name of Pluto. Although this celestial body has been downgraded and is no longer considered by astronomers a planet, the astrologers do not care at all about.
Pluto is related to depth psychology and psychoanalysis. It is no coincidence that Lowell failed to "see" it, and it is no coincidence that astronomers no longer want to "see" it. Today, in fact, analysis as a therapeutic technique of psychopathologies is no longer practiced; the analysis was replaced by psychotherapy. The psychoanalyst, who had to get a great psychiatric and psychological preparation besides medical studies, has been replaced by the psychotherapist who, perhaps with a “short” university degree—as it is said in Italy today—should help ad individual to live with his problem!
The most important activity of the two pioneers of the unconscious, Freud and Jung, lies in practice between 1905 and 1930. The planet's symbolism is in regeneration and renewal, for which it is necessary to sink into the depths of one's own being before going back to light, and reborn (Pluto is the lord of the Underworld and the most hidden planet). Since regeneration is symbolically related to sex, Pluto is involved as a guarantor of the perpetuation of life.
Uranus transforms, Neptune transcends and Pluto definitively closes the past to take you on a new road. In a horoscope Pluto indicates the end of a condition that will no longer come back.
11. Can one be a martyr of astrology?
... In modern times, we mean. Well, the answer is yes. Karl Ernst Krafft, born May 10, 1900 in Basel, was a Swiss national socialist from conviction. He had studied statistics and economics, and had strong astrological interests. He is the founder of astrobiology; therefore, he was not even a traditionalist astrologer. Equipped with acute intelligence and specific competence, he made a large number of statistical searches.
Having noted from his calculations that between 7 and 10 November 1939 Hitler would have undergone a serious life threat, he communicated it to his superiors. However, after the attack on November 8, Krafft was arrested as an accomplice. Since Rudolf Heß, Hitler's right hand behind Göring, was a supporter of astrology, Krafft's situation remained uncertain. But after Heß, unbeknown to Hitler, flew to England, where he was interned, things got bad and, eventually, Krafft died during transport to the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945.
Here is how much can cost you a good prediction!
12. What can a true astrologer do?
Here is an example. Look at Fig. 21, where a page of Raphael's Ephemeris is reproduced.
What is an ephemeris? Before the astrological software spread, in order to erect a natal chart, an astrology student had to buy an ephemeris, which is a table indicating the positions of the heavenly bodies from day to day or at regular intervals throughout the year. These tables are practically identical to those used by those who steer a ship.
A one-year ephemeris is usually available towards the end of the previous year. In Italy, the Naval Hydrographic Institute publishes these tables. All positions are calculated according to the formulas developed by expert astronomers in heavenly mechanics. A slight gap with the real positions the stars will take is inevitable.
Heavenly mechanics is not a problem solved: from time to time, some astronomer proposes new formulas that should produce more precise results.
The oldest modern ephemerides, published from year to year, are the French ones: La Connaissance des temps, which are printed unceasingly since 1678.
Those of Raphael were and are the most widespread among astrologers. In order to make the booklet more interesting, there were often—and still are—articles of varying nature, always related to astrology, of course.
Here is a judgment on Benito Mussolini's natal chart:
"MUSSOLINI is reported to have been born at Milan upon the 29th July, 1883, at 1h. 54m. p.m. local time. Every now and again the world sees Dictators, Napoleons and Kaisers rise up amongst us, and there is a curious similarity in their stars. Observation has convinced me that these potentates have a strong familiarity between their own stars and the meridian of their country. The meridian of Italy at the present time is under the rule of the 20° of Gemini (♊) and the great fixed star “El Nath” of the nature of Mars (♂). A comparison of the two figures is ominous for the destinies of Italy, for Mussolini places Mars his ruler in a conjunction with Saturn and the Moon in this sign of Italy (♊). This configuration of the 'Duce's' nativity comes up with Saturn (♄), Moon (☾) and Mars (♂) in a square (☐) of Uranus (♅), so we may look for a resurrection of the mailed fist and blood and iron policies in the Mediterranean waters, and ultimately he will bring war, disaster, and downfall to his country.
"By contra motion he now has his M.C. near to the conjunction (☌) of Venus (♀) and Jupiter (♃), which will give him support, power, and remarkable success and popularity—that is for a time. Again the danger of assassination stalks beside him.
"Jupiter and Venus affect his eighth and ninth angles and he will gain prestige, success and affluence through his secret alliances with Greece and the Balkan nationals. He is likely to make some successful raid and at the expense of the Turks, all of which matters increase his popularity with his country.
"These successes are likely to lead him on to folly and his crowning piece of egotism will be to cross the Powers of England and of France, for his Saturn is joined (☌) of Britain's star Aldebaran, while his Mars (♂) square (☐) Uranus (♅) falls across the meridian of France. The conformity of the stars point to a dramatic change of the tide, a great counter revolution and an entire overthrow of this man and his regime.
"Uranus (♅) in Virgo (♍) with the Sun (☉) now nearing a conjunction (☌) renders him extremely liable to some very serious complications of his health, of the nature of ♏ which rules the bowels and acute complaints such as appendicitis, etc.
"He will meet a violent end."
So, it is said that Mussolini will take his country into war; he will have for some time success and will cross France and England; his regime will be overthrown; he will probably be assassinated and will surely die of violent death.
Well, we would say that this astrological synthesis of Raphael, apart from minor details, is very precise.
When did he publish it? Being part of the astronomical ephemeris of 1927, it was published towards the end of 1926, that is, several years before the Dictator's course was over!
This is what a true astrologer can do.
As for us, we will add only a small annotation: let us see the speculum of Predappio positions (Fig. 22b: the software used is Solfire).
This chart is emblematic.
For clarity we have placed a little black cube alongside the two data relating to the position of the Sun and Saturn. It is evident (Fig. 22a) that the life-giving star is the Sun. When this Sun will cross the conjunction Mars-Saturn, life will be supposedly cut off. Here is the calculation: 128 - 66 = 62 then 62 + 1883 (year of birth) = 1945 (year of death).
Anyhow, our Reader can be quiet, because it is almost never so easy...
One last consideration on forecasts seems necessary here.
In itself, any forecast granted for money or other reason-it does not matter-can be considered a crime whose gravity is directly proportional to psychological condition of the individual who requested a portent.
Experience teaches that in general the individual does not want to know his future, but only looks for comfort. But comfort, when it takes attention off and disengages, is only harmful: indeed, it is not very different from hallucinogenic substances, which 'comfort' and distract, precisely, from reality.
Studying astrology is one of the possible ways to get to knowing oneself. Who wants to know his future has to study. People, who do not like to study but want to know their future anyway, should consider their past, because future is the projection of the past.
 With Assyrii Cicero means those who are now called Sumerians.
 The generally accepted reading, ab ultimis auctoritatem, seems rather contorted.
 “... and those who, from the top of Caucasus [mountain in Afghanistan], observing the celestial signs with the aid of motions' tables, follow the courses of the stars: let us, I say, condemn them (... et eos qui e Caucaso caeli signa servantes numeris et motibus stellarum cursus persequuntur; condemnemus, inquam, hos)..."
 Ignoring what is produced extra moenia, that is, out of the power circle constituted by regulated university education, is a three-line whip with precise aims.
 The origin of the Sumerian language, for example, very different from Akkadian, which is a so-called 'Semitic' language, is completely unknown; in short, no one knows where it comes from. Moreover, it is an agglutinating language very complex, whose grammar has several obscure sides. Somehow it can be translated, since its lexicon is quite known. But knowing discreetly a lexicon of a language does not mean knowing its grammar and syntax.
 The ecliptic is the great circle along which the Sun seems to move within a year.
 Actually, the Latin versions depend on the first one, made in the sec. XII by Gherardo Cremonese, cf. Alfragano, Il 'Libro dell'aggregazione delle stelle', con intr. e note di Romeo Campani, Città di Castello (S. Lapi) 1910, p. 28 f.; Francis J. Carmody, Arabic astronomical and astrological sciences in Latin translation, Berkeley and Los Angeles (Univ. of California Press) 1956, p. 15.
 Glyphs, both of the signs and of the planets, are relatively recent and of probable alchemical origin. Greek astrological texts cite the signs with their name and planets with the formula ὁ τοῦ followed by the god's name: e.g., Mars is called ὁ τοῦ Ἄρεως, literally the (god) of Mars. So, Lisa Morpurgo's hypothesis that there would have been confusion between glyphs in the past, to justify her shift of Mercury's exaltation in Scorpio, is completely devoid of foundation and is just a result of ignorance.
 Cf. note 8. — Bouché-Leclercq, who in 1899 published his big volume L'astrologie grecque, argues (p. XIX), "The use of this sort of shorthand was the main cause of the alteration of the texts," a statement that can only be partially shared.
 Mussolini, like Italian people know, was not born in Milan, but in Predappio, in the province of Forlì. It is possible that Raphael had incorrect information, but in our opinion it is more likely that, for a quick judgment, he used the coordinates of Milan he already had ready-made tables for. We have to recall that the calculations are long and in the past they were made by hand... In any case, latitude and longitude seem to be almost compensated, because the two cards differ—for a quick judgment, of course—to a negligible extent (Fig. 22a & b).
© Franco Luigi Viero