Claudius Ptolemy

Of the Power of the Fixed Stars

091aAs it is next in order to recount the natures of the fixed stars with reference to their special powers, we shall set forth their observed characters in an exposition like that of the natures of the planets, and in the first place those of the ones that occupy the figures in the zodiac itself.

The stars in the head of Aries, then, have an effect like the power of Mars and Saturn, mingled; those in the mouth like Mercury’s power and moderately like Saturn’s; those in the hind foot like that of Mars, and those in the tail like that of Venus.

Of those in Taurus, the stars along the line where it is cut off have a temperature like that of Venus and in a measure like that of Saturn; those in the Pleiades, like those of the moon and Jupiter; of the stars in the head, the one of the Hyades that is bright and somewhat reddish, called the Torch, has a temperature like that of Mars; the others, like that of Saturn and moderately , like that of Mercury ; those in the tips of the horns, like that of Mars.

Of the stars in Gemini, those in the feet share the same quality as Mercury and, to a less degree, as Venus; the bright stars in the thighs, the same as Saturn; of the two bright stars in the heads, the one in the head in advance the same as Mercury; it is also called the star of Apollo; the one in the head that follows, the same as Mars; it is also called the star of Hercules.

Of the stars in Cancer, the two in the eyes produce the same effect as Mercury, and, to a less degree, as Mars; those in the claws, the same as Saturn and Mercury; the cloud-like cluster in the breast, called the Manger, the same as Mars and the moon; and the two on either side of it, which are called Asses, the same as Mars and the sun.

Of those in Leo, the two in the head act in the same way as Saturn and, to a less degree, as Mars; the three in the throat, the same as Saturn and, to a les s degree, as Mercury; the bright star upon the heart, called Regulus, the same as Mars and Jupiter; those in the hip and the bright star in the tail, the same as Saturn and Venus; and those in the thighs, the same as Venus and, to a less degree, Mercury.

Of the stars in Virgo, those in the head and the one upon the tip of the southern wing have an effect like that of Mercury and, in less degree, of Mars; the other bright stars of the wing and those on the girdles like that of Mercury and, in a measure, of Venus; the bright star in the northern wing, called Vindemiator, like those of Saturn and Mercury; the so-called Spica, like that of Venus and, in a less degree, that of Mars; those in the tips of the feet and the train like that of Mercury and, in a less degree, Mars.

Of those in the Claws of the Scorpion, the ones at their very extremities exercise the same influence as do Jupiter and Mercury; those in the middle parts the same as do Saturn and, to a less degree, Mars.

Of the stars in the body of Scorpio, the bright stars on the forehead act in the same way as does Mars and in some degree as does Saturn; the three in the body, the middle one of which is tawny and rather bright and is called Antares, the same as Mars and, in some degree, Jupiter; those in the joints, the same as Saturn and, in some degree, Venus; those in the sting, the same as Mereury and Mars; and the so-called cloud-like cluster, the same as Mars and the moon.

Of the stars in Sagittarius, those in the point of his arrow have an effect like that of Mars and the moon; those in the bow and the grip of his hand, like that of Jupiter and Mars; the cluster in his forehead, like that of the sun and Mars; those in the cloak and his back, like that of Jupiter and, to a less degree, of Mercury; those in his feet, like that of Jupiter and Saturn; the quadrangle upon the tail, like that of Venus and, to a less degree, of Saturn.

Of the stars in Capricorn, those in the horns act in the same way as Venus and, in same degree, as Mars; those in the mouth, as Saturn and, in same degree, as Venus; those in the feet and the belly, as Mars and Mercury; and those in the tail, as Saturn and Jupiter.

Of the stars in Aquarius, those in the shoulders exert an influence like that of Saturn and Mercury, together with those in the left arm and the cloak; those in the thighs, like that of Mercury in a greater degree and like that of Saturn in a lesser degree; those in the stream of water, like that of Saturn and, in same degree, like that of Jupiter.astrolabe

Of the stars in Pisces, those in the head of the southern Fish act in the same way as Mercury and somewhat as does Saturn; those in the body, as do Jupiter and Mercury; those in the tail and the southern cord, as do Saturn and, in some degree, Mercury; those in the body and backbone of the northern Fish, as do Jupiter and, in some degree, Venus; those in the northern part of the cord, as do Saturn and Jupiter; and the bright star on the bond, as do Mars and, in some degree, Mercury.

Of the stars in the configurations north of the zodiac, the bright stars in Ursa Minor have a similar quality to that of Saturn and, to a less degree, to that of Venus; those in Ursa Major, to that of Mars; and the cluster of the Coma Berenices beneath the Bear’s tail, to that of the moon and Venus; the bright stars in Draco, to that of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter; those of Cepheus, to that of Saturn and Jupiter: those in Bo?, to that of Mercury and Saturn; the bright, tawny star, to that of Jupiter and Mars, the star called Arcturus; the star in Corona Septentrionalis, to that of Venus and Mercury; those in Geniculator, to that of Mercury; those in Lyra, to that of Venus and Mercury; and likewise those in Cygnus.

The stars in Cassiopeia have the effect of Saturn and Venus; those in Perseus, of Jupiter and Saturn; the cluster in the hilt of the sword, of Mars and Mercury; the bright stars in Auriga, of Mars and Mercury; those in Ophiuchus, of Saturn and, to some degree, of Venus; those in his serpent, of Saturn and Mars; those in Sagitta, of Mars and, to some degree, of Venus; those in Aquila, of Mars and Jupiter; those in Delphinus, of Saturn and Mars; the bright stars in the Horse, of Mars and Mercury; those in Andromeda, of Venus; those in Triangulum, of Mercury.

Of the stars in the formations south of the zodiac the bright star in the mouth of Piscis Australis has an influence similar to that of Venus and Mercury; those in Cetus, similar to that of Saturn; of those in Orion, the stars on his shoulders similar to that of Mars and Mercury, and the other bright stars similar to that of Jupiter and Saturn; of the stars in Eridanus the last bright one has an influence like that of Jupiter and the others like that of Saturn; the star in Lepus, like that of Saturn and Mercury; of those in Canis, the others like that of Venus, and the bright star in the mouth, like that of Jupiter and, to a less degree, of Mars; the bright star Procyon, like that of Mercury. and, in a less degree, that of Mars; the bright stars in Hydra, like that of Saturn and Venus; those in Crater, like that of Venus and, in a less degree, of Mercury; those in Corvus, like that of Mars and Saturn; the bright stars of Argo, like that of Saturn and Jupiter; of those in Centaurus, the ones in the human body, like that of Venus and Mercury, and the bright stars in the equine body like that of Venus and Jupiter; the bright stars in Lupus, like that of Saturn and, in less degree,

A Mosaic of Cassiopeia - NASA

A Mosaic of Cassiopeia – NASA

of Mars; those in Ara, like that of Venus and, to a lesser degree, of Mercury; and the bright stars in Corona Austrais, like that of Saturn and Mercury.

Such, then, are the observations of the effects of the stars themselves as made by our predecessors.

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