Commencing my serious study of classical (Medieval) astrology to benefit not only my summer of Shakespeare (English Literature at Oxford) but also my newest novel (time travel from 21st to 16th century England), I thought I’d share what I’m learning. Never underestimate how differently folks in the 16th century saw the world.
In this regard, I give thanks to Bernadette Brady and her brilliant work at Astro Logos.
It all comes down to Aristotle.
His view of the world was that we are surrounded by 8 spheres – 7 of which are ruled by one each of the visible planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and the 8th (being the Sphere of the Fixed Stars) ruled by God. When a soul incarnates, he/she moves down through each of the spheres taking up the qualities of each until he/she gets to the Sphere of the Moon.
- Earth = cold and dry
- Water = cold and wet
- Air = warm and wet
- Fire = hot and dry
The ancients believed that souls could only incarnate on a new or full moon – and hence he/she was kept in a holding pattern in the Sphere of the Moon until the right moment – and in while there – had all the qualities absorbed by the previous spheres SCRAMBLED !
Not only was this scrambling considered the basis of all ‘disease’ (i.e. imbalance of the qualities) but sole purpose of the soul’s incarnation was to UNSCRAMBLE himself/herself through understanding of the planets (and their essential qualities) as shown in their natal charts so that he/she could return to God in the Sphere of the Fixed Stars.
Perhaps like me, you’ve wondered how in this regard some planets were considered malefic (Saturn and Mars) while others were considered benefics (Jupiter):
- Saturn = pure cold and dry = hence not conducive to human life
- Mars = pure hot and dry = equally not conducive to human life
- Jupiter = pure warm and moist = very conducive to human life
- Sun & Mercury = have no essential qualities of their own and depend solely on the other planets to which they are related.
- Venus = acquired just the right amount of warm from the Sun and just the right about moisture from the Moon – hence considered conducive to human life.
- Moon = pure cold and wet = hence not conducive to human life (and this is why we see so much about night ‘vapours’ being so dangerous to our health).
Wondering how to determine how you stack up? – stay tuned – more later !!
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