Quality of the Soul - from Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy
The character, then, of the inquiry into bodily affections would be of this sort. Of the qualities of the soul, those which concern the reason and the mind are apprehended by means of the condition of Mercury observed on the particular occasion; and the qualities of the sensory and irrational part are discovered from the one of the luminaries which is the more corporeal, that is, the moon, and from the planets which. are configurated with her in her separations and applications. But since the variety of the impulses of the soul is great, it stands to reason that we would make such an inquiry in no simple or offhand manner, but by means of many complicated observations. For indeed the differences between the signs which contain Mercury and the moon, or the planets that dominate them, can contribute much to the character of the soul; so likewise do the aspects to the sun and the angles shown by the planets that are related to the class of qualities under consideration, and, furthermore, that peculiar natural quality of each one of the planets which relates to the movements of the soul. Of the signs of the zodiac in general, then, the solstitial signs produce souls fitted for deaIing with the people, fond of turbulence and political activity, glory-seeking, moreover, and attentive to the gods, noble, mobile, inquisitive, inventive, good at conjecture, and fitted for astrology and divination. The bicorporeal signs make souls complex, changeable, hard to apprehend, light, unstable, fickle, amorous, versatile, fond of music, lazy, easily acquisitive, prone to change their minds. The solid signs make them just, unaffected by flattery, persistent, firm, intelligent, patient, industriens, stern, selfcontrolled, tenacious of grudges, extortionate, contentious, ambitious, factious, grasping, hard, inflexible.
Of configurations, positions in the orient and at the horoscope, and in particular those which are in proper face, produce liberal, simple, self-willed, strong, noble, keen, open souls. Morning stations and culminations make them calculating, patient, of good memory, firm, intelligent, magnanimous, accomplishing what they desire, inflexible, robust, rough, not readily deceived, critical, practical, prone to inflict Punishment, gifted with understanding. Precessions and settings make them easily changed, unstable, weak, unable to bear labour, emotional, humble, cowardly, deceitful, bullying, dull, slowwitted, hard to arouse. Evening stations and position at mid-heaven beneath the earth, and furthermore, in the case of Mercury and Venus, by day evening settings and by night morning settings, produce souls noble and wise, but with mediocre memory, not painstaking nor fond of labour, but investigators of hidden things and seekers after the unknown, as for example magicians, adepts in the mysteries, meteorologists, makers of instruments and machines, conjurors, astrologers, philosophers, readers of omans, interpretere of dreams, and the like.
When, in addition, the governors of the soul, as we explained at the beginning, are in their own or familiar houses or sects, they make the characters of the soul open, unimpeded, spontaneous, and effective, especially when the same planets rule the two places at once, that is, when they are configurated to Mercury in any aspect whatever, and hold the separation or application of the moon ; if they are not so disposed, however, but are in places alien to them, it renders the properties of their own natures obscure, indistinct, imperfect, and ineffective with respect to the active quality of the soul. The powers, however, of the nature of the planets that dominate or overcome them are vigorous and injurious to the subjects. Thus men who, by reason of the familiarity of the maleficent planets, are unjust and evil, find their impulse to injure one another easy, unimpeded, secure, and honourable, if those planets are in power; but if they are overcome by planets of the opposite sect, the men are lethargic, ineffective, and easily punished. And those again that through the familiarity of the beneficent planets to the aforesaid boundaries are good and just, if these planets are not overcome, are themselves happy and bear a good repute for their kindness to others, and, injured by none, continue to benefit from their own justice; if, however, the good planets are dominated by opposites, simply because of their gentleness, kindness, and compassion, they suffer from contempt and reproach or even may easily be wronged by most people.
This, then, is the general method of inquiry as to character. We shall next briefly consider, in due order, the particular traits resulting from the very nature of the planets, in this kind of domination, until the theory of mixture has been treated in its most important aspects.
If Saturn alone is ruler of the soul and dominates Mercury and the moon, if he has a dignified position with reference to the universe and the angles, he makes his subjects lovers of the body, strongminded, deep thinkers, austere, of a single purpose, laborious, dictatorial, ready to punish, lovers of property, avaricious, violent, amassing treasure, and jealous; but if his position is the opposite and without dignity, he makes them sordid, petty, mean-spirited, indifferent, mean-minded, malignant, cowardly, diffident, evil-speakers, solitary, tearful, shameless, superstitious; fond of toil, unfeeling, devisers of plots against their friends, gloomy, taking no care of the body.
Saturn, allied with Jupiter in the way described, again in dignified positions, makes his subjects good, respectful to elders, sedate, noble-minded, helpful, critical, fond of possessions, magnanimous, generous, of good intentions, lovers of their friends, gentle, wise, patient, philosophical; but in the opposite positions, he makes them uncultured, mad, easily frightened, superstitious, frequenters of shrines, public confessors of ailments, suspicious, hating their own children, friendless, hiding within doors, without judgement, faithless, knavishly foolish, venomous, hypocritical, ineffective, unambitious, prone to change their minds, stern, hard to speak with or to approach, cautious, but nevertheless foolish and submissive to abuse.
Saturn, allied with Mars, in honourable positions makes his subjects neither good nor bad, industrious, outspoken, nuisances, cowardly braggarts, harsh in conduct, without pity, contemptuous, rough, contentious, rash, disorderly, deceitful, layers of ambushes, tenacious of anger, unmoved by pleading, courting the mob, tyrannical, grasping, haters of the citizenry, fond of strife, malignant, evil through and through, active, impatient, blustering, vulgar, boastful, injurious, unjust, not to be despised, haters of mankind, inflexible, unchangeable, busy-bodies, but at the same time adroit and practical, not to be overborne by rivals, and in general successful in achieving their ends. In the opposite positions he makes his subjects robbers, pirates, adulterators, submissive to disgraceful treatment, takers of base profits, godless, without affection, insulting, crafty, thieves, perjurers, murderers, eaters of forbidden foods, evildoers, homicides, poisoners, impious, robbers of temples and of tombs, and utterly depraved.
Allied with Venus in honourable positions Saturn makes his subjects haters of women, lovers of antiquity, solitary, unpleasant to meet, unambitious, hating the beautiful, envious, stern in social relations, not companionable, of fixed opinions, prophetic, given to the practice of religions rites, lovers of mysteries and initiations, performers of sacrificial rites, mystics, religions addicts, but dignified and reverent; modest, philosophical, faithful in marriage, self-controlled, calculating, cautious, quick to take offence, and easily led by jealousy to be suspicious of their wives. In positions of the opposite kind he makes them loose, lascivious, doers of base acts, undiscriminating and unclean in sexual relations, impure, deceivers of women and particularly their own kin, unsound, censorious, depraved, hating the beautiful, fallit-findere, evil-speakers, drunken, servile, adulterators, lawless in sexual relations, both active and passive, both natural and unnatural, and willing to seek them with those barred by age, station, or law, or with animals, impious, contemptuous of the gods, deriding mysteries and sacred rites, entirely faithless, slanderous, poisoners, rogues who will stop at nothing.
Saturn, in familiarity with Mercury, in honourable positions makes his subjects meddlers, inquisitive, inquirers into matters of law and custom, fond of the art of medicine, mystics, partakers in concealed and secret rites, miracle-workers, cheaters, living only for the day, facile, able to direct business, shrewd, bitter, accurate, sober, friendly, fond of practical affairs, capable of gaining their ends. In dishonourable positions he makes them frivolous talkers, malignant, with no pity in their souls, given to toil, hating their own kin, fond of torment, gloomy, night-prowlers, layers of ambushes, traitors, unsympathetic, thieves, magicians, poisoners, forgers, unscrupulous, unfortunate, and usually unsuccessful.
If Jupiter alone has the domination of the soul, in honourable positions he makes his subjects magnanimous, generous, god-fearing, honourable, pleasureloving, kind, magnificent, liberal, just, highminded, dignified, minding their own business, compassionate, fond of discussion, beneficent, affectionate, with qualities of leadership. If he chances to be in the opposite kind of position, he makes their souls seem similar, to be sure, but with a difference in the direction of greater humility, less conspicuousness, and poorer judgement. For example, instead of magnanimity, he endows them with prodigality; instead of reverence for the gods, with superstition; instead of modesty, with cowardice; instead of dignity, with conceit; instead of kindness, with foolish simplicity; instead of the love of beauty, with love of pleasure; instead of high-mindedness, with stupidity; instead of liberality, with indifference, and the like.
Jupiter allied with Mars in honourable positions makes his subjects rough, pugnacious, military, managerial, restless, unruly, ardent, reckless, practical, outspoken, critical, effective, contentious, commanding, given to plotting, respectable, virile, fond of victory, but magnanimous, ambitious, passionate, judicious, successful. In the opposite position he makes then insolent, undiscriminating, savage, implacable, seditious, contentious, stubborn, slanderous, conceited, avaricious, rapacious, quickly changeable, light, readily changing their minds, unstable, headstrong, untrustworthy, of poor judgement, unfeeling, excitable, active, querulous, prodigal, gossipy, and in all ways uneven and easily excited.
Jupiter, allied with Venus, in honourahle positions makes his subjects pure, pleasure-loving, lovers of the beautiful, of children, of spectacles, and of the domain of the Muses, singels, fond of those who reared them, of good character, benefieent, compassionate, guileless, religious, prone to athletic training, fond of competition, wise, affectionate, charming in a dignified way, magnanimous, fair, charitable, fond of learning, of good judgement, moderate and decorous in matters of love, fond of their kinsfolk, pious, just, ambitious, seekers after glory, and in general gentlemanly. In the opposite positions he renders them luxurious, soft-livers, effeminate, fond of the dance, womanly in spirit, lavish in expenditure, evil in relations with women, erotic, lascivious, lecherous, slanderous, adulterous, lovers of ornament, rather saft, lazy, profligate, given to fault-finding, passionate, adorners of their persons, womanly minded, infatuated by religious rites, panderers, frequenters of the mysteries, trustworthy however and not rascally, but gracious, easy of approach, and cheerful, and inclined to liberality in misfortune.
Jupiter allied with Mercury in honourable positions makes his subjects learned, fond of discussion, geometricians, mathematicians, Facts, orators, gifted, sober, of good intellect, good in counsel, statesmen, benefactors, managers, good natured, generous, lovers of the mob, shrewd, successful, leaders, reverent, religious, skilful in business, affectionate, lovers of their own kin, well brought up, philosophical, dignified. In the opposite positions he makes them simple, garrulous, prone to make mistakes, contemptible, fanatical, religious enthusiasts, speakere of folly, inclined to bitterness, pretenders to wisdom, fools, boasters, students, magicians, somewhat deranged, but well informed, of good memory, teachers, and pure in their desires.
Mars alone, given the domination of the soul, in an honourable position makes his subjects noble, commanding, spirited, military, versatile, powerful, venturesome, rash, unruly, indifferent, stubborn, keen, headstrong, contemptuous, tyrannical, active, easily angered, with the qualities of leadership. In a position of the opposite kind he makes them savage, insolent, bloodthirsty, makers of disturbances, spendthrifts, loud-mouthed, quick-fisted, impetuous, drunken, rapacious, evil-doers, pitiless, unsettled, mad, haters of their own kin, impious.
Allied with Venus, in honourable positions, Mars makes his subjects pleasing, cheerful, friendly, softliving, happy, playful, artless, graceful, fond of dancing, erotic, artistic, imitative, pleasure-loving, able to secure -themselves property, masculine, and given to misconduct in matters of love, but still successful, circumspect, and sensible, difficult to convict and discreet, furthermore passionate for both young men and young women, spendthrifts, quicktempered, and jealous. In contrary positions he makes them leering, lascivious, profligate, indifferent, slanderers, adulterers, insolent, liars, deceivers, seducers of those both in their own families and in those of others, at the same time keen and insatiate of pleasure, corrupters of women and maidens, venturesome, ardent, unruly, treacherous, perjurers, easily influenced and of unsound mind, but sometimes likewise profligate, fond of adornment, bold, disposed to base practices, and shameless.
Allied with Mercury, in honourable positions Mars makes his subjects leaders of armies, skilful, vigorous, active, not to be despised, resourceful, inventive, sophistic, painstaking, rascally, talkative, pugnacious, tricky, unstable, systematic workers, practising evil arts, keen-witted, deceitful, hypocritical, insidious, of bad character, meddlers, inclined to rascality but nevertheless successful and capable of keeping contract and faith with persons like themselves, and in general injurious to their enemies and helpful to their friends. In opposite positions he makes them spendthrifts, avaricious, savage, venturesome, daring, prone to change their minds, excitable, easily aroused, liars, thieves, impious, perjurers, ready to take the offensive, seditious, kindlers of fires, creators of disturbances in the theatre, insolent, piratical, burglars, murderers, forgers, villains, wizards, magicians, sorcerers, homicides.
If Venus alone takes the domination of the soul, in an honourable position she makes her subjects pleasant, good, luxurious, eloquent, neat, cheerful, fond of dancing, eager for beauty, haters of evil, lovers of the arts, fond of spectacles, decorous, healthy, dreamers of pleasant dreams, affectionate, beneficent, compassionate, fastidious, easily conciliated, successful, and, in general, charming. In the opposite position she makes them careless, erotic, effeminate, womanish, timid, indifferent, depraved, censorious, insignificant, meriting reproach.
Joined with Mercury, in honorable positions Venus makes them artistic, philosophical, gifted with understanding, talented, poetic, lovers of the muses, lovers of beauty, of worthy character, seekers after enjoyment, luxurious, happy, fond of friends, pious, sagacious, resourceful, intellectual, intelligent, successful, quick to learn, self-taught, seekers after the best, imitators of beauty, eloquent and pleasing in speech, commanding affection, of well-ordered character, earnest, fond of athletics, upright, of good judgement, magnanimous; in affairs of love, restrained in their relations with women but more passionate for boys, and jealous. In the contrary position she makes them pugnacious, resourceful, evil-speakers, unstable, of bad intentions, deceivers, agitators, liars, slanderers, perjurers, thorough rascals, plotters, faithless, unreliable, adulterators, corrupters of women and children; furthermore, adorners of their persons, rather effeminate, malicious in censure and in gossip, garrulous, villains, sometimes feigning such acts with a view to corruption and sometimes performing them in earnest, lending themselves to base acts and performing them, and subjected to all sorts of base treatment.
Mercury, by himself taking the domination of the soul, in an honourable position makes those who are born under him wise, shrewd, thoughtful, learned, inventive, experienced, good calculators, inquirers into natur , speculative, gifted, emulous, beneficent, prudent, good at conjecture, mathematicians, partakers in mysteries, successful in attaining their ends. In the opposite position he makes them utter rascals, precipitate, forgetful, impetuous, lightminded, fickle, prone to change their minds, foolish rogues, witless, sinful, liars, undiscriminating, unstable, undependable, avaricious, unjust, and, in general, unsteady in judgement and inclined to evil deeds.
While the foregoing is true as stated, nevertheless the condition of the moon itself also makes a certain contribution. For when the moon happens to be at the bendings of its northern and southern limits, it helps; with respect to the character of the soul, in the direction of greater versatility, resourcefulness, and capacity for change; at the nodes, in the direction of greater keenness, activity, and excitability; again, at rising and in the increases of its illumination,. towards greater natural endowments, renown, firmness, and frankness; and in the waning of its illumination, or its occultations, towards greater sluggishness and dullness, less fixity of purpose, greater cautiousness, and less renown.
The sun also aids, when it is familiar with the planet that governs the temperament of the soul, in an honourable position modifying it in the direction of justice, success, honour, dignity, and reverence for the gods, but in the contrary and alien position making it humbler, more industrious, less conspicuous, more savage, more obstinate, harsher, with a harder life, and in general less successful.