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ASTROLOGY


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ASTROLOGY


houses are divided into cardinal houses, also called angxdi, succeeding houses {succederdes , anaphora) and declining or cadent houses {cadentes, cataphora). The houses symbolize respectively: life, personal

Croperty, consanguinity, riches, children and jewels, ealth, marriage and course of life, manner of death and inheritance, intellect and disposition (also long journeys), position in life and dignities, friends and success, enemies and misfortune. In the horoscope all these symbolic meanings are considered in their relation to the newly born. A Latin hexameter thus sums up the meaning of the twelve houses: Vita, lucrum, fratres, genitor, nati, valetudo, Uxor, mors, sapiens, regnans, benefactaque, dsmon. The position of the planets and the sun and moon in the twelve houses at the moment of birth is decisive. The planets vary as to meaning. They are divided into day-stars (Saturn, Jupiter, and also the sun) and night^stars (the moon. Mars, and Venus); Mer- cury belongs both to day and night. The sun, Jupiter, and Mars are masculine; the moon and Venus are feminine. Mercury belonging again to both classes. Jupiter (Jortuna major) and Venus (JortJina minor) are good planets; Saturn (infortuna major) and Mars (injorluna minor) are malignant planets. The sun, moon, and Mercury have a mixed character. Each of the planets known to antiquity, including sun and moon, ruled a day of the week; hence the names still used to designate the various days. Judicial as- trology also took into consideration the position of the sun in the zodiac at the moment of birth; the signs of the zodiac also had a special astrological significance in respect to the weal and woe of the new- born, particularly his bodily health. In medical astrology every sign of the zodiac ruled some special part of the body, as for example: Aries, the Ram (T), the head and its diseases; Libra, the Balance {—), the intestines. Judicial astrology postulates the acceptance of the earth as the centre of the solar system. Natural astrology predicts the weather from the positions of the planets, especially the moon. Many of its theories are not to be rejected a priori, since the question of the moon's meteorological in- fluence still awaits a solution which must depend upon the progress of human knowledge as to ether waves and cognate matters.

History. — The history of astrology is an impor- tant part of the history of the de\'elopment of civi- lization; it goes back to the early days of the human race. The unchangeable, harmonious course of the heavenly bodies, the profound impression made on the soul of man by the power of such heavenly phe- nomena as eclipses, the feeling of dependence on the sun, the giver of daylight — all the.se probably sug- gested, in the early ages of the human race, the ques- tion whether the fate of man was not dependent on these majestic manifestations of Divine power. As- trology was, therefore, the foster-sister of astronomy, the science of the investigation of the heavens. From the start astrology was employed for the needs and benefit of daily life; the astrologers were astronomers only incidentally and in so far as astronomy assisted astrology in the functions which the latter had to perform in connexion with religious worship. Ac- cording to the belief of the early civilized races of the East, the stars were the source and at the same time the heralds of everything that happened, and the right to study the "godlike science" of astrology was a privilege of the priesthood. This was the case in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the oldest centres of civilization known to us in the East. The mo.st ancient dwellers on the Euphrates the Akkado- Sumerians were believers in judicial astrology, which was closely interwoven with their worship of the stars. The same is true of their successors, the Babylonians and .^s.syrians, who were the chief ex- ponents of astrology in antiquity. The Babylonians


and Assyrians developed astrology, especially ju- dicial, to the status of a science, and thus advanced in pure astronomical knowledge by a circuitous course through the labyrinth of astrological pre- dictions. The Assyro-Babylonian priests (Chaldeans) were the professional astrologers of classic antiquity. In its origin Chaldaic astrology also goes back to the worship of the stars; this is proved by the religious .symbolism of the most ancient cuneiform texts of the zodiac. The oldest astrological document ex- tant is the work called " Namar-Beli" (Illumination of Bel) composed for King Sargon I (end of the third millennium B. c.) and contained in the cuneiform li- brary of King Asurbanipal (668-626 B. c). It in- cludes astronomical observations and calculations of solar and lunar eclipses combined with astrological predictions, to which the interpretation of dreams already belonged. Even in the time of Chaldean, which should be called Assyrian, astrology, the five planets, together with the sun and moon, were di- vided according to their character and their position in the zodiac as well as according to their position in the twelve houses. As star of the sun, Saturn was the great planet and ruler of the heavens. The weather, as far back as this time, was predicted from the colour of the planets and from their rising and setting. Classical antiquity looked upon Berosus, priest of the temple of Bel at Babylon, as the oldest writer on astrology; and according to Vitruvius Berosus founded a school of astrology at Cos. Seneca says that a Greek translation, made by Berosus, of the " Namar-Beli " from the library of Asurbanipal was known to classical antiquity.

The Egyptians and Hindus were as zealous astrolo- gers as the nations on the Euphrates and Tigris. The dependence of the early Egyptian star (sun) wor- ship (the basis of the worship of Osiris) upon early Chaldaic influences belongs to the still unsettled ques- tion of the origin of early Egyptian civilization. But undoubtedly the priests of the Pharaohs were the docile pupils in astrology of the old Chaldean priests. The mysterious Taauth (Thoth), the Hermes Tri.s- megistus of antiquity, was regarded as the earliest teacher of astrology in Egypt. He is reputed to have laid the foundation of astrology in the " Hermetic Books"; the division of the zodiac into the twelve signs is also due to him. In classic antiquity many works on astrology or on occult sciences in general were ascribed to this mythical founder of Egyptian astrology. The astrological rule of reckoning named after him "Trutina Hermetis" made it possible to calculate the position of the stars at the time of con- ception from the diagram of the heavens at the time of birth. The Egyptians developed astrology to a condition from which it varies but little to-day. The hours of the day and night received special planets as their rulers, and high and low stood under the de- terminative influence of the stars which proclaimed through the priestly caste the coming fate of the land and its inhabitants. It is significant that in ancient Egypt astronomy, as well as astrology, was brought to an undoubtedly high state of cultivation. The astoundingly daring theories of the world found in the Egyptian texts, which permit us to infer that their authors were even acquainted with the helio- centric conception of the universe, are based entirely on astrologico-theosophic views. The astrology of the ancient inhabitants of India was similar, though hardly so completely developed; they also regarded the planets as the rulers of the different hours. Their division of the zodiac into twenty-eight houses of the moon is worthy of notice; this conception, like all the rest of the fundamental beliefs of Hindu a,s- trology, is to be found in the Rig-Veda. In India both astrology and the worship of the gods go back to the wor-ship of the stars. Even to-day, the Hindus, especially the Brahmins, are considered the best au-