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This version of Geronymo Cortès' Lunario combines matters astronomical with subject matter regarded as astrological today.
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Created: English Translation by F. W. O'Connell (1914)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Foclóir na Nua-Ghaeilge, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (Text capture)
The world consists of all things, viz.: the heavens, the stars, and the elements; and further, every other created thing. The Greeks call it Cosmos, and the Latinists Mundus, i.e., ornateness or comeliness even as it is. The world was created in the autumn, as the principal authors say, in the month of September; and their reason for that statement is that it was the custom of the Hebrews, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, and all the nations of the East, to reckon the year in the olden time from September. And they give another reason in proof of this: to wit, that the forbidden fruits which our first parents Adam and Eve ate, and by which they sinned, were ripe; and that it was only a short space of time from their creation until then; and because the month of September is the time of ripening of all fruits, they deduce from this that it was in the autumn that the world was created. But, although one might think these reasons good, there is another reason against them, proving that it was not in the autumn that it was created, but in March, in spring; for naturally the growth of everything precedes its ripening, and the month of March is the natural time for the growth and generation of everything: and consequently it was not in the autumn that the world was created but in March on the eleventh day thereof, at the time when the sun enters the first degree of the celestial sign which is called Aries. In addition to this there is another strong reason proving that it is at this time that the world was created: for it was the will of Christ to suffer death in spring, and that on Friday, the third day of April, at the age of less than thirty-three years: and further, it was His will to be put upon the cross at the sixth hour, because
p.5that is the hour and the time and the day that our first parents broke the commandment of God; accordingly it is not in the autumn it was created but in the spring.
The world is divided into two, to wit, the celestial region and the elemental region: of these we shall treat with God's help.
Time is the duration of the march of the equinox that is to say of the period when day and night are of equal length; and that comes twice in the year, viz., on the eleventh day of March and the eleventh day of September or thereabouts. Or time is (as Aristotle says, 4 Physic.) the measure of the movement which the First Movement, i.e., primum mobile, makes; from which springs the measure of the age of the world and of the age of man, and every other part of time, great or small; and further the change of every thing that is under the power of time. The beginning of time was, according to the Apostle John, Apoc. 10, when the world was created; and since then, according to the Hebrews, until the present year are 5,654 (years). Time is divided into three periods, corresponding to the three laws which God gave to the world in succession, viz., the period of the natural law which obtained from Adam until Moses, to whom God gave the written law, and the number of its years was 2,453. The second period, which was from the giving of the written law (which Moses wrote) to the law of grace which Christ gave and till His death, 1,540. The third period from the giving of the law of grace until the present year, 1694, and further it will be until the coming of Christ at the end of the world. [The primum mobile is the tenth heaven, as I say after this.] Further time is divided particularly into ages, years, months, weeks,
p.7days, hours, and quarters: and although it is possible ta divide it into parts lesser or greater than these, nevertheless this is sufficient for good understanding.
All time past and to come is divided into six ages according to the Divine Scriptures. The first age from Adam to the Deluge, according to Genesis, Cap. 5 1,656 years: the second age from the Deluge to Abraham, in it the number of years was 505: the third age from Abraham to the Law of Moses 292: the fourth age from the law of Moses to the commencement of the temple of Solomon, the son of David the king 480: the fifth age from the commencement of the temple to the destruction of the same temple 440: the sixth age from the destruction of the temple to the birth of Christ 587. From that it is understood that the time that passed from the beginning of the world until the birth of Christ is 3,960 years.
The life of man is divided, according to Galenus, into five ages, viz., the growing age, the childish age, the youthful age, the manly age, and the old or senile age. And the cause of this variation of ages is the change of properties which happens in men at each period of life, for when one of the properties parts from a man another property comes in him which is not the same as the first property, and that in a certain time. The first age which is called the childish age, of which the property is to be warm and moist, remains in a man from his birth until the age of 14 years. The second age which is called the growing age, of which the property is to be warm and dry, lasts from the age of fourteen years to twenty-five years. The third age which is called the youthful age and of which the property
p.9is to be moderate, especially at its beginning, lasts from 25 to 40. The fourth age which is called the manly or stedfast age, and of which the property is to be cold and dry moderately, lasts from 40 to 55. The fifth age which is called the senile age and of which the property is to be cold and dry excessively, lasts from 55 to the end of his life.
The year is a space of time or the measure of twelve solar months: that is to say, the time that the sun takes travelling round the twelve celestial signs until it comes to the same point from which it started at the beginning of the year. It was the emperor Julius Caesar who ordered the year which is now in use of 365 days and 6 hours nearly; nevertheless that number is not correct as it stands, because we see plainly the time and the equinox changing towards us more quickly. King Alphonsus of Spain, in the collection which he made of the books of the astrologers and philosophers, upon closely examining and scrutinising the length of the year, found out that there were 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 40 seconds in the year. And according to the opinion of this king (which is accepted by all astrologers) it is not possible to intercalate a whole day into the four years, because it lacks 42 minutes and 56 seconds. But our Holy Mother the Church, that she might not have to deal with the minute reckoning of moments, makes use of the year which Julius Caesar ordered, viz., 365 days with six hours; and accordingly she intercalates every four years a day though not complete. And that is the reason why our Holy Father Gregory the Thirteenth ordered the time to be changed in the year 1582, on the fifth day of October, taking ten days from the same month, and changing the
p.11Dominical Letter which then was, i.e., G, and ordering that C should be the Dominical Letter until the end of the year; and further he ordered likewise that a day should be taken from the time at the end of every three hundred years.
Month is named from the Latin word metior, metiri, i.e., to mete or to measure; for it is a part of the twelve months of the year. There are three kinds of months, to wit, a solar month, a lunar month, and a 'usual' (i.e., calendar) month. A 'usual' month is the month of which use is made in the calendar, and it is so called because the Church makes use of it. A solar month is the name given to the space of time which the sun spends in travelling through one sign of the twelve celestial signs. A lunar month is of three kinds, viz., 'travelling month,' 'showing month,'and 'following month.' A 'travelling' month is the space of time that the moon spends in travelling through the twelve celestial signs, and that is 27 days and 8 hours. An 'apparent' month, or otherwise a 'healing' month, is the space of time from the time of seeing the new moon after coming till the time of seeing her again after coming the second time. A ' following month, that is the space of time which the moon spends from parting from the sun till meeting with it again; and that is 29 days and a half. There are twelve months in the year, and these are their names, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
A week is the space of seven days of time, and is so called from the Latin septemane, i.e., seven mornings or seven lights, because the sun rises seven times in the
p.13week; and these are the names of the days which make a week, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and they derive their names from the seven planets. It was a custom with the pagans to call Sunday Dies Solis, Monday Dies Lunae, Tuesday Dies Martis, &c.; because they found out by astronomical reasoning that the sun is the planet of the hour when it rises on Sunday, and that the moon is the planet of the hour in which the sun rises on Monday, and so on with the other days; but the Church, avoiding that custom of the pagans, gave other names to the days in the time of Pope Silvester; namely, 'the Lord's Day' to Sunday or 'the first time,' 'the second time' to Monday, 'the third time' to Tuesday, namely, Feria Secunda, Feria Tertia, and in the same order with the other days, with the exception of Saturday, to which they gave as a name Sabathum; i.e., rest or rejoicing, because it was in it that God rested after creating the world, and likewise the body of Christ in the tomb.
The word 'day' means 'light' or 'brightness,' because when the sun comes in sight it is day; and it is of two kinds, i.e., the natural day and the working or artificial day. 'Working' day, according to Aristotle, is the name given to the space of time which is from the rising of the sun to its setting. It is so called because it is in that space (of time) that working folk do their work. A natural day is the space of twenty-four hours, which begins from the rising of the sun until its rising again; and this is the method of reckoning employed by the Chaldeans, Persians, and Babylonians; but the Hebrews are accustomed to reckon the day from sunset to sunset again. Howbeit, our Mother
p.15the Church, scrutinising these things more deeply, commences this day from midnight to midnight again; because it is then that her Spouse was born, i.e., Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. But the astrologers commence this day from midday to midday following.
An hour is one of the twenty-four parts which are in the natural day; or, after another method of reckoning, the twelfth part of the working day of which Christ spake to the apostles, saying: Nonne duodecim horae sunt diei? John makes mention of these working hours when he said: Erat quasi hora sexta quando crucifixus est Jesus; that is to say that it was about midday when Christ was crucified, understanding the sixth hour as twelve (of the clock); and therefore the Hebrews call the sixth hour in the morning the first hour, and the ninth hour the third, and midday the sixth hour, and the third hour after midday the ninth hour; as may be gathered from Matthew C. 27, where he says that there was darkness over all the earth from the sixth hour till the ninth hour, that is, from midday until the third hour after it. This is the way the Church says the Canonical Hours.
A quarter is one of the four parts which are in the hour; that is equal to fifteen minutes, and those four together make 60 minutes, and that makes a full hour.
The year is divided into four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter; and in each part of those there are three months according to the astronomers. The spring begins on the 21st day of March, and ends on the 22nd of June; and the property of that season is to be warm and moist, and in that season the red humour predominates, or is most powerful then: and if the spring is very wet the herbs will have a great growth but they will be of little substance, and the fruits will be rotten before the time of their harvesting comes. If the spring is very warm, the trees will shed their flowers and foliage early, and their fruit will be full of maggots, and the roses will be earlier than is proper, and accordingly without perfume. If the spring be cold and dry, that denotes great frost at the end of it which will destroy the fruits and do much damage to the vine. If. it is very dry, the wheat will be very scarce and the fruits scarcer, but they will be very good. If the spring be cold, the fruits will be late, good, and profitable. The summer begins on the 22nd day of June, and ends on the 23rd day of September; and its property is to be cold and dry, and it is then that the choleric humour is strongest. And if the summer be wet, the fruits will be rotten and the wheat will be scarce, the barley less, and the diseases numerous. If it be very dry, the fruits will be good and wholesome; but the diseases will be very acute. If it be cold, the fruits will be late, and the year very laborious. The autumij begins on the 23rd day of September, and ends on the 21st day of December; and its property is to be cold and dry, and it is then that the bilious humour is strongest. And if it be very wet at the end of it, the wheat will be
p.19very scarce, and there will be less of the barley in the following year; but if it is very dry, it denotes detriment to all kinds of food, and many diseases in the second season of the following year. If the autumn be very cold, then its fruits will be ill-savoured and odourless. If it be moderately cold and dry, the year will be healthy and good. The winter begins on the 22nd of December, and ends on the 20th of March. The property of this season is to be cold and wet, and it is then that the phlegmatic humour predominates and is strongest. If the winter be cold and wet, it will be harmful to the plants and to the health. If it is windy, it will be injurious to the fruits and to the seeds. Finally, if the properties of these four seasons are changeable that is, if the spring be summerlike, or the summer springlike, or if some of them have the properties of others contrary to their own proper qualities, that is a certain sign of injury to foods, and of famine, and further of many sicknesses.
There are two equinoxes and two solstices in the year, i.e., two times in the year when night and day are of equal length; and two other times in the same year, the one of which is the longest day in the year, and the other the shortest day in the year. The first equinox occurs when the sun begins to enter the sign Aries, and it does that each year on the 21st day of March; and it is then that night and day are of equal length. The second equinox occurs when the sun enters the sign Libra, and it does that each
p.21year on the 23rd day of September; and then day and night are of equal length again. The solstices occur likewise twice in the year, viz., the first solstice on the 22nd day of December, when the sun begins to enter the sign Capricornus; and it is here that the shortest day in the year occurs, and its length in Spain is nine hours and a quarter of an hour, and in that night are 14 hours and three quarters of an hour. The second solstice occurs when the sun enters the sign Cancer, and that is on the 22nd day of June; and it is then that the longest day in the year occurs (I mean in Spain), viz., 14 hours and three quarters, as is evident in the following Table:
The table or figure on this page has been omitted.
The elemental region consists of every created thing which is from the heaven, or from the sphere of the moon, down to the central point of the earth; and each one of these things is created of four simple bodies which are called elements: and their names are earth, water, air, and fire. They are called simple bodies because they are not made of other bodies, and every other body is made of them. The earth (since it is a heavy body) is naturally in the centre of the universe, and its property is to be cold and dry; and its circumference, according to the best opinion, is 6,480 leagues. It is possible, accordingly, to travel round it in a year and nine months and thirteen days, by walking ten leagues each day. It has a diameter that is across from side to side or from border to border of 2061 leagues and a little over half a league. Thence it is concluded and proved that the distance from us, or from the border of this earth on which we are, to the central point of the same earth where hell is, is 1030 leagues and three quarters of a league. The second ?element, viz., water, is above the earth; and its property is to be cold and moist; and according to the philosophers its size is ten times that of the earth, but that is not through its quantity but through its rarity. The third element, viz., air, is above the water, and its quality is to be warm and moist, and its size is ten times that of the water, i.e., through its rarity. The fourth element, viz., fire, is above the air; and its quality is to be hot and dry, and it is ten [times greater than air in rarity.]
The table or figure on this page has been omitted.
According to this table may be ascertained the properties of the four elements, and the properties of the airts and of the four winds, the four seasons of the years, the four humours, the four ages of man; and further, the nature and properties of the twelve celestial signs.
The wind, according to the philosophers, is an exhalation; that is a vapour which rises like a breath which is warm and dry, and that is produced in the bosom and heart of the earth; and after being drawn thence by the virtue and power of the sun it moves by the strength of the sun's rays with the force which we see. The efficient
p.31cause of the wind is the sun, as we have said, because it operates by its heat and draws those vapours towards it; and when they have been raised they mount up on high until they scatter and disperse before the cold which is in the middle region of the air, and according as they are scattered they blow over the compass of the earth; and they are given names according to the land or regions through which they move, and each several wind receives a property of its own and acts according to it. It was a practice with the philosophers in the olden time to make use of twelve winds only; and these comprise the four which are called Cardinal or Principal winds, and eight others, which are called Side or Collateral winds because there are two of them on each side of each cardinal wind. The first cardinal wind is the south wind, which is called in Latin Notus vel Auster. This causes widespread clouds, lightning, and much rain, and many diseases: and, since it is warm and moist, it produces corruption and putrefaction. The collateral of this wind, towards the West, is the wind which is called Libanotus; and it likewise causes rain and diseases like the principal wind.
The other collateral wind, to the Eastward, causes health and cloudy weather. The second cardinal wind is the North-wind (contrary to the South cardinal wind) which is called Septentrio; and that is cold and dry, and it is a marvel if rain comes with it, but it is very healthy. It causes dry cold which damages the fruits, and it has two other collateral winds, viz., one to the Westward which is called Caurus. That one is cold and dry, and it causes great commotion, winds and snow: and the other wind, to the Eastward, which is called Aquilo vel Caecias
p.33is cold and dry without rain. The third cardinal wind is the East wind, which is called Eurus vel Subsolanus; it is cold and moist, and generates clouds, and there is usually rain with it, in Valencia at any rate. It helps the herbs and flowers and the health. This wind has also two collateral winds: one to the Southward which is called Eurus and the other wind to the Northward called Gregal, and they are both favourable like the principal wind. The other cardinal wind is the West wind, and its quality is to be warm and dry. When this wind blows it sets back the cold and also the snow, but it causes diseases and at times thunder and rain. Its collateral winds are one to the Northward which is called Corus, and the other wind to the Southward which is called Africus; and they are after the property of the principal wind, i.e., the West wind which is called Zephirus.
In cellars and places where wine is kept, in order that it may last, it is better that the door should be to the North so that it may receive the wind and light from that quarter, according to Pliny, Lib. 14: and let not vinegar, or wine which has been soured through corruption, be allowed to be in the same place with the other wine. Likewise with barns, it is better that their doors and windows should be towards the same quarter, because the grain keeps longer and is more wholesome in that way than if they were in another side. In the same way with the fruits, because it is the nature of that quarter to be cold and dry, and accordingly specially suited to preserve them; and further, with all kinds of grain. And the time to
p.35harvest the fruits, in order that they may last the longer, is when the moon is waning; and shortly after midday, when the heat of the sun is most powerful. The sleeping apartments, in order that they shall be healthy and free from worms, are better to be with their doors and windows to the East where the sun rises; likewise a place where books and clothes are stored, that they may be free from moths. Finally, oil requires light towards it from the South, and to be in the winter in a warm place, and in the summer in a cold place, and at both seasons to be in cellars.
Hitherto we have treated of the elemental region as triefly as possible: now it is proper to treat of the celestial region, which is called by Aristotle, Lib. 1. De Caelo, C. 8, quinta essentia, with the same brevity; because there is a distinction between itself and the other four elements. The celestial region (or as it is otherwise called the region of the spheres) is divided into eleven heavens, according to the opinion most approved by all astronomers. The first sphere, or the first heaven according to the natural order, and the eleventh from us as the divines say, is the abode of God, the angels, and the holy souls; and this heaven is not subject to movement like the other heavens. After this is the tenth sphere, or the tenth heaven according to us, and the second heaven according to natural order, which is called primum mobile, i.e., first movement (as King Alphonsus discovered) and by its motion all the heavens from it down are moved about the earth in the space of twenty-four hours. After this is the ninth heaven which Ptolemy discovered, which is called Crystallinum, where were (as learned folk say) the waters of which the book of Genesis makes mention, and Bede says C. 1, De natura rerum, C. 4, that they were so kept for the purpose of drowning the world, as was done at the time of the deluge. After this is the eighth sphere, which is called the starry sphere, in which all the stars are fixed. Moreover, the stars which are called planets are in the other lower heavens from that down. They are called planets, or wandering stars, because they are not [always] at the same distance one from the other as the other stars are. Of these we shall treat in their own place, and of each planet in turn.
The north star is a star in the eighth sphere and near the point over which all the heavens move. This star is in the north, and one may recognize it by turning one's face to the east and looking towards the left shoulder; the north star is the brightest one he will see then. It is by it further that pilots and mariners steer; by it and by two other stars which are close to each other and are at the point of the head of the Bocina, or the mouth of the horn (i.e., the stars which are so called), and by the brightest star of those (which is called Horologialis) the time of the night may be known every time in the year.
The table or diagram on this page has been omitted.
Having thus recognized the north star, one should face it so that one's left shoulder is towards the west and one's right shoulder towards the east exactly. Being so placed, one should imagine a cross in the air opposite one such that its centre or middle point is the north star: and one of the four points of the cross to one's head, and another point of the cross (the one opposite to that) towards one's feet, and the other two points which make the centre line of the cross one of them to the West in the direction of the left shoulder, and the other to the East in the direction of the right shoulder. After this, one should imagine likewise a circular ring around the cross, as is seen in the following page, and one should observe that the star horologialis (which one sees drawn in the diagram) moves round the north star in the space of twenty-four hours; so that it traverses each quarter of the cross successively in six hours: and since each quarter is divided into six parts: each part of these means an hour, as it is in the diagram. Having understood what we have said, one should bear in mind the season of the year in which one is, or the season in which one desires to find out the time of night, because the star horologialis being a moveable star is at the upper point of the cross on the first day of the month of May at midnight, and on the first day of August at midnight it is at the point of the cross which is towards the West and the left shoulder; likewise it happens that it is midnight on the first day of November when the same star is at the lower point of the cross, and on the first day of February it is midnight when that star comes to be at the other point of the cross which is towards the East and the right shoulder. Further be it observed that these points of midnight vary by one hour at the end of fifteen days: for example, on the first day of May this star horologialis is at
p.43the upper point of the cross at midnight (as we have said), and fifteen days afterwards it is an hour in advance at midnight, i.e., at the second point of the first quarter of the cross towards the West and the left shoulder, and in another fifteen days the star makes an advance of another hour, being at the third point of the same quarter, and so in succession throughout the year. Having noted carefully these four points of the cross where the star horologialis is at midnight, one should observe on the first of May the distance the same star is from the point in which it makes midnight, and that towards the right shoulder, and if that makes three points it is evident that it is nine o'clock, since it wants three points of the six points which are in the quarter of the cross toward midnight, and if the same star moves three more points in advance from the upper end of the cross westwards towards the left shoulder, it is certain that it will be three o'clock in the morning and after midnight. By this means it is possible to find out every hour of the night every time in the year with certainty and without a point of error.
Just as a rule is given by which every hour of the night may be known without a time-piece, a rule is also given by which the time of day, may be known by means of the hand: thus every man can have his own time-keeper with him constantly. I say then, that he who wishes to know the time of day must turn his back exactly to the sun. and in order that he may do so with certainty let him
p.45place a small upright stick standing in a perfectly level ground and let him take the shadow of it between his feet, and being thus stationed let him put a straw of the length of his index finger standing in the line of life (so called) which goes round the thumb, and let him stretch his left hand straight out from him in a line with his left foot, and it must not be any higher or any lower than his shoulder, and let him arrange the left side of his palm in such a way that the thumb does not make a shadow in it, and it is certain that the shadow of that straw will be somewhere on the index finger at every period of the year. Let us suppose now that the sun rises at five o'clock; then the shadow of the straw will be at the tip of the index finger: and if it is on the tip of the middle finger it will then be six o'clock; and if it is on the tip of the next finger it will be seven o'clock, and if it is on the tip of the little finger it will be eight o'clock, and if it is on the line nearest the tip of the little finger it will be nine o'clock, and if it is on the middle line or joint it will be ten o'clock, and if it is on the joint at the bottom of the same little finger it will be eleven o'clock, and if the shadow enters the (palm of the) hand opposite the straw it will be twelve. Now in order that one may find out the hours after mid-day, be it noted that the shadow returns over the same joints and places which it traversed in the morning; accordingly when the shadow has returned to the third joint at the bottom of the little finger it is then one o'clock p.m., and on the middle joint it is two, and at the third joint it is three, and at the tip of the little finger it is four, and at the tip of the fourth finger it is five, and at the tip of the middle finger it is six, and at the tip of the index finger it is seven o'clock. In addition to this, be it noted that if the sun rises at six o'clock in the morning it is on the joints nearest the tips of
p.47the same fingers that the reckoning is made, descending on the little finger to the line of twelve in accordance with the example aforementioned, and returning on the same joints after midday. If the sun rises at seven o'clock in the morning, the same reckoning is made on the middle joints of the same fingers, always commencing with the index finger: and as experience makes everything easy, it is unnecessary to add more, except that the sun rises in the months of May, June, July, and August at five or near it; at six in March, April, September, and October; and in Xovember, December, January, and February at seven or near it. But be it understood that this book is according to the reckoning of the Pope; nevertheless it may be used in every land that is not under his jurisdiction.
With the crescent moon of this month husbandmen should prune early-flowering trees such as almond-trees, plum-trees and the like. The bitter pips of oranges and lemons, and (the kernels) of bullaces and walnuts should be sown at this time in warm ground. From full moon till new again is the best time for cutting every kind of timber so that it may be more durable; but the best trees for that purpose are the trees that have lost their foliage. It is well here to put manure on the land and to dress it with it, and to sow garlic and onions. Pliny says, Lib. 18, that the time to cut anything so that it may keep a long time, and also for castrating and grubbing, is after the full
p.49of each moon. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, fruits will be plentiful, woods will yield a bad return, there will be abundance of water, unwholesome winds, disturbances among peoples, and deaths of men and cattle in the land in which it is heard, according to the statements of the learned author and distinguished astronomer Leopold of Austria. And the first thunder is the first thunder that occurs after New Year's Day or on that very day itself.
From the new moon of this month until it is full, it is well to sow hemp and flax, mustard and melons, that they may be early. From the full of this moon until the new moon, it is well to cut the rods for baskets and such like (but Palladius says that it is better to cut them about this time of the moon in the month of January). The vines may be pruned. Disease of the feet is dangerous at this time. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it signifies the death of powerful people, diseases of the head, pain in the ears, great frost and little fruit, according to Leopold.
With the crescent moon of this month melons, cucumbers, and pumpkins should be sown, and hemp and flax in warm ground: and it is better to sow them now than in the month of February; and likewise the chickpeas and all bitter pips, and the young fig-trees in a moderately warm ground. With the full of this moon it
p.51is well to weed the gardens and the wheat, and to plough the fields so that the weeds may not grow, and to clean beneath the trees which bud late, viz., the mulberry-tree and the pomegranate, &c. The pruning of the vines should not be put off from this time, because just now they are beginning to bud. Evil humours are engendered in this month, and diseases of the head are dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes great winds, plenty of grain and grass, dissensions, terrors and death in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
From the crescent moon of this month until full moon it is well to plant all kitchen-gardens, though it is a good plan likewise to do so in any month from January to August. From the full of this moon until new moon again, it is well to irrigate the tilled fields which are dry and hot. This is a good month for ridding the bee-hives of spiders and grubs which are produced in them. This time is very wholesome for taking a purge, and diseases in the neck and throat are dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes that the year will be very fruitful; plenty of wine and wheat and cattle, especially of wheat in dry stony grounds; but it likewise denotes perils on the sea in the kingdoms in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
From new moon until full moon, it is well to clip the saffron (-beds), and to admit the he-goats to the goats. About this time all sorts of pot-herbs may be planted. From full
p.53moon until new moon is better than any other time for burning and baking bricks, and for all kinds of earthenware work, for this is the best time in the year for that purpose. At this time it is well to plough the fields which are sown in Autumn, and in cold ground. Calves, boars and male lambs may be castrated. Any disease in the shoulders and in the hands is more dangerous than at any other time, and especially a wound from iron. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, i.e., from the beginning of the year, it denotes abundance of water, injury to the birds, plenty of bread and all sorts of legumes in the kingdoms in which it is beard, according to Leopold.
From new moon until full moon it is well to prune the trees which have a sappy bark viz., orange-trees, fig-trees, and olive-trees, and other such trees; also to plant cabbage and all other pot-herbs so that they may be early. From full moon until new moon it is well to cut and thresh beans and every other sort of legume if they are dry. Palladius says that if the fig-trees are irrigated at this time they will ripen the earlier, and as a result they will be better and more tasty. The wool which is shorn from the sheep at this time is better than at any other time, because it is more sudoriferous. In this month diseases of the chest and stonirach and lungs are dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes plenty of bread and fish, loss of fruits, unrest among the peoples, and inundations of rivers in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
From the new of this moon until it is full, it is usual to plant curly cabbage, turnips, onions, carrots and mustard; and to cut the brambles from the ground so that they may not grow. From the full of this moon until new moon, it is profitable to reap the wheat, so that it may be good and last longer. Disease of the heart is injurious in this month. Further, purgings, blood-letting, swimming, bathing and mid-day sleep are injurious in this month. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes great trouble in the kingdoms, troublous commotion in the towns, scarcity of bread, but plentiful fruit, in the land in which it is heard, as Leopold says.
From the new of this moon until full moon, it is well to put the manure on the fields for the wheat, to dig the onions for storing; and, after rain, to sow the radishes, the turnips and the late cabbage. From the full of this moon until new moon, it is usual to dry grapes, prunes and figs, so that use may be made of them at some other time; and to sow the seed of cabbages and beans. In this month the company of women, midday sleep and the bath are very dangerous; and purging is not good, nor blood-letting, except in a case of urgent necessity. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes death to the fishes of the sea and to four-footed animals, quietude for the peoples, and many diseases in the kingdoms in which it is heard, according to Leopold of Austria.
From the new of this moon until full moon, it is well to sow the rye, the barley and the beans in a warm ground; for it is in cold ground that it is best to sow them before this. This is a very good time for sowing flax. From the full of this moon until new moon is the natural time for gathering the grapes and making wine. It is well to plough and dig the ground now, and to dress it with manure, in order to sow all kinds of garden herbs in it. Throughout this month the blood is in good condition for letting, and every disease in the kidneys and the hips is very dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes drought at the beginning of the year, and moisture at its end; abundance of bread, but dear; and much menace of death to the populace in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
From the beginning of this month until the end, in a late soil, it is proper to make oil and wine, and it is well to sow now all kinds of grain, such as wheat, rye, barley, and such like. Filberts, chestnuts, pomegranates and walnuts should be gathered, and the late fruit likewise: and cherry, pear and apple tress should be planted. All wounds are difficult to heal in this month, and disease of the private parts is dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes storms of wind and commotion of the airs, scarcity of bread and fruit and wine, death of cattle and fish in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
From the beginning of this month it is well to plough the fields, and the ground in which weeds are, so that they may not grow; and to cut the decayed wood from the trees, and dress them with manure. At the full of this moon, and at the full of the moon after it, it is well to salt meat, and to cut timber for work. This is a good month for blood letting, and for bathing, and for healing every kind of disease. And diseases in the legs are dangerous. If it is in this month that the first thunder is heard, it denotes damage to the sheep, abundance of wheat, joyousness in the people. The weather will come in well. It will not rain except a very profitable amount; nevertheless, the fruit will fall from the trees sooner than is right in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold.
Although there is little field work in this month, still it is possible to sow garden herbs for the spring, and the timber which is cut at this time is very durable, and the zealous and careful husbandman will not lack something to do, even at this time (as Palladius says), namely, to collect the manure in heaps, to make ropes and cords for the time to come, to clean the cellars, and to do every other work which belongs to the character of the season. There are many other things which might be said about each month which we have not said because we do not wish to be prolix. It is now that disease of the knees is dangerous. If it is now that the first thunder is heard, it denotes a good year, wholesomeness, and peace among the tribes in the land in which it is heard, according to Leopold of Austria.
Before we commence with the prognostication of the year, it is not amiss to explain a proverb which is frequently quoted by the learned, and even by Christian astrologers, because it bears upon this work: viz., Astra movent homines, sed Deus astra movet, that is, that the stars move and incline people to a change of nature, and that they do the same with all the created things of the world, living, sensible and insensible, shedding into them their proper qualities, good or bad. But further, the same proverb says that God moves the stars themselves, giving them by his great powers the natural virtue to influence men and every other thing according to its own proper nature; so that it is from them that the natural inclination of everything is; whence comes the old saying of Aristotle, which runs: Quod a natura inest, semper inest; that is, what is in a man naturally is separated from him with difficulty; and not only so, but it stays with him perpetually; for we prove that constantly in our own case and in the case of all others; but further it is certain that it is possible for the wise and discreet man to gain the victory over every inclination which comes naturally. Accordingly it has been wisely said: Sapiens dominabitur astris, that is, that the wise man is master of the stars, for he makes his proud nature mild and gentle, and he avoids the evil to which he is prone. Further, great almighty God, to whom we render all praise, has
p.63given to the individual the power of his free will, in such a way that not only the stars but also the demons, hell, and every other thing are not able to influence a man unless he be guilty himself in that regard, much less when he has the assistance of God's grace. Accordingly I say that the stars can influence man naturally, but that they cannot force him. Of this natural inclination I wish to treat in the natural prognostication of the planets, while submitting myself and lying wholly and completely beneath the correction and the guidance of our holy mother, the Roman Catholic Church.
The place of this planet is the seventh sphere, which is called the seventh heaven, and according to natural order it is called the first planet. Its property is to be cold and dry, melancholic, earthy, masculine and diurnal. It is naturally an enemy to human nature. It is the cause of much labour, famine, hardship, scarcity of the year's fruit, and detriment to food-stuffs: it causes likewise sorrow, sighings, destruction, poverty and death; trouble, unrest, weariness and despair. This planet usually inclines those over whom it rules to hatred, sadness, melancholy, torment, horror, loneliness and disinclination for company. This planet rules over the aged, the lonely, the miserly, the sad, the melancholic, the usurious, the penurious, the servile, the despondent, the incredulous, the inordinate, the gluttonous, the superstitious, and further over those who are prone to the black art, and who walk amongst the dead corpses making witchcraft and deviltry.
The day of this planet is Saturday: its hour is the first hour when the sun rises that day and the eighth hour after sunrise. And in case that the year shall begin on a Saturday, it will be dry and scarce of food; the spring will be very windy, the summer wet, the autumn dry and cool, the winter wearisome, windy, somewhat cold, and scarce of water. It denotes, further, shortage of wheat, wine, oil, and less honey. Flax will be scarce and dear; fruit will be plentiful, but fresh fish will not be so. It denotes likewise that there will be much mention of marriage, and that many of the old houses will fall. Fever will be powerful, and especially the tertian and the quartan, in many places in the world. Death is near old people in this year, for the weather is against them. It denotes death to the cattle (especially sheep), and the silk-worms.
Those who are born under the dominion of this planet are naturally cold and dry, large-faced and ugly. Their eyes are moderate in size and directed towards the ground, but they have one eye larger than the other. Nostrils fleshy, lips thick, brows close together, the colour of their face brown, their hair black, crisp, woolly and somewhat curly; some of their teeth longer than others, breast hairy, legs long and crooked. They are sinewy and dry-fleshed, their veins narrow though prominent. And if this planet be in the west, the people will be small, spare-fleshed, scant-bearded, and with long straight hair.
The property of those who are born under this planet is to be deeply thoughtful, timid and fond of husbandry. They are inconstant, sad, melancholic, deceitful, tricky (and, according to the philosophers, lecherous, owing to the excess of sperm which is generated in them). They are fond of solitude and hate rejoicing. They are angered by a trifling cause and difficult to part from their wrath; nevertheless, the wise man can guard himself against all these evil properties through the help of God and with the gift of free will.
They are inclined to letters and to learning, and especially to philosophy and the study of the understanding. Further, to holy secrets, of the free and unfree sciences, namely, husbandry, masonry, shoemaking and glovemaking. Others of them are inclined to inter corpses, and to every work that is made of earth. They are zealous in seeking mines of mercury, lead and tin, and the antique treasures of the earth. They make good friars, for they like solitude. This planet is ninety-five times greater than the earth (according to Alfraganus). Its metal is lead, its colour is the colour of ashes. It governs the earth and is distant from it 28,089,750 leagues, and has a body of 589,680 leagues.
The place of this planet is the sixth sphere. Its property is to be warm, moist, airy, sanguinary, masculine, and it is very favourable to human nature, because it is itself naturally moderate, and so it purifies the air; whence it comes, that the winds are wholesome, and the rain very profitable to the earth. It moderates the heat in summer and the cold in winter, lessens diseases, banishes plagues, and assists growing things. It makes folk to be peacefully disposed toward one another, and to be devout, especially those whose planet it is, that is, wise, honest, modest, generous, just, merciful, orderly, faithful, well-inclined, truthful, magnanimous, virtuous people; people who are right-lived, compassionate, generous, charitable; people who are fond of women, jolly, amiable; people who are well-shaped, handsome, wise; people who have the fear of God in their hearts and are vigilant and watchful for Him.
This planet's day is Thursday. Its hour is the first hour of sunrise on that day and the eighth hour after that. In the year which begins on this day, i.e., on Thursday, the Spring will be windy, the Summer moderate, the Autumn wet, and the Winter likewise moderate. Wheat and food will be plentiful. Small grain will be very plentiful and flax very scarce. Wine will be abundant, and oil and honey
p.71scarce, but pork and fresh fish will be plentiful. That year will be inclined to peace, but (as we have said) free will gives victory over its nature.
People who are born under the government of this planet are well-personed, shapely, white, inclined to be fair formed; their beards brown, curly and divided into two portions; their eyes red, weaksighted, black, handsome; faces broad and fleshy; teeth large and closely set; hair soft and thin, as a result of which they become bald on the top; veins long and prominent.
They are very peaceful, honest, guileless, without duplicity in mind. They are temperate as regards food and drink, virtuous, faithful, well-informed; they are not hostile or vengeful, nevertheless they are easily moved to wrath at a slight cause. They fulfil their promises faithfully. They transact their business with discretion. They give good and salutary advice. They understand everything easily, because they have clear intellects; they are prolific and healthy, and of good character.
They are inclined for the Church, to faith and devotion, because they, are peaceable, virtuous, honest: in
p.73addition, they are inclined to be judges and literary people, councillors and careful of the poor, and for every other occasion deserving of charity. Alfraganus says that this planet is 95 times greater than the earth. Its metal is tin. It governs the air. It is distant from the earth 17,208,200 leagues, and has a body of 615,600 leagues.
The place of this planet is the fifth sphere. Its property is to be dry, warm, choleric, fiery, masculine and nocturnal. It is hostile to human nature owing to ils own evil nature. It causes winds, disturbances, frost and great cold, hailstones and darkness, great heat in due season, immoderate winds, unwholesome and of evil properties. And it is so perverse and harmful by nature, and that in such a way that it moves and inclines the mind of creatures against each other, until they are angry and contentious, disputatious, erratic, blood-shedding, warring and hostile towards one another. It inclines them likewise to be thievish, predatory, incendiary, murderous, unjust, abusive and quick-tempered. This planet governs the warlike, the angry, treacherous, faithless and lying, the drunkards, gluttonous and shameless, highwaymen, quarrelsome and contentious persons, those who are fond of weapons, who are quick-tempered, madmen, plunderers and robbers; the evil-intentioned, deceitful and distressed; the tricky, backbiting and calumnious; the envious, grasping, covetous; the treacherous, bloody, irascible, boastful.
The day of this planet is Tuesday; its hour is the first hour and the eighth hour. In the year which begins with this day, the spring will be wet, the summer hot, the autumn dry, and the winter cold, wet and dark, with much snow. There will be a fortune by the seaside owing to the great number of shipwrecks. It denotes damage to wheat and other grain, a moderate amount of oil and honey. All kinds of legumes will be plentiful, little wine, a moderate amount of fruit, and many of the small cattle will die owing to the abundance of blood, and the heat which governs them in that year. It denotes likewise many diseases and death to the female sex, and in addition it denotes sudden death, and that powerful nobles vitam cum morte commiitabunt. There will be strife and contention between tyrants.
Folk who are born under this planet have large faces, ugly, with small reddish spots in them; hair scant, red or fair; eyes inflamed, red and fleshy, and sight acute; nostrils large and broad; teeth clean, having spaces between them, incomplete; and they are small bearded, and with bent figures. If this planet is in the west it denotes narrow necks, and weak legs which take long strides in walking: feet high-arched; ankles small, and heads large.
They are irascible, ready at striking one, wanting in sense and in words. They seek contention and are enemies of quietude. They are fond of their own sort, of playing and of women. They are lying, deceitful, perfidious, without compassion, thievish; but the wise man gains the victory over the influence of the stars and his own nature.
These are inclined to arms and fire, and accordingly they are inclined to be smiths, artificers, armourers and mechanics of all kinds; they are fond of firearms, and of the manufacture of great and small guns, &c. This planet is, according to Alfraganus, one and a half times greater than the earth, and an eighth part more. It governs fire. Its metal is iron and copper, and it is distant from the earth 2,379,000 leagues, and has a body of 10,530 leagues.
The place of this planet is in the midst of the other planets, and in the fourth heaven or sphere, as lord and king over them, from which they all obtain their light. The property of this planet, which is called Sol, i.e., the sun, is to be warm and dry moderately, diurnal and masculine. From it it comes that the fruits are ripe, and every other thing fulfilled in its own time. It is because God has given it such power to advance things that Aristotle was moved
p.79to say: Sol et homo generant hominem, that is, that man and the sun generate man. Hali speaks of this planet, and says that it is the cause of the growth of everything, and that it is it that generates the growing things and the animals. It influences and moves people to be in a powerful, honourable, free position; and it governs another to be dignified and aiming at high rank. It governs kings and powerful people, people who are grave, magnanimous and of good counsel; and every man who is a counsellor to king or prince.
The day of this planet is Sunday, and its hour the first hour and the eighth. In the year which begins on this day, the spring will be moderate, the summer very warm, the autumn windy, and the winter sharp. Food will be plentiful and every sort of grain, and further, wine, oil, honey and fruits. The cattle, small and great, will be plentiful. This planet denotes contentions between nobles, and rumour about kings, and short life for the young, sed Deus super omnia.
Those who are born under the government of this planet are fair and fleshy; with round clear faces , mouth moderate, lips somewhat thick, brows narrow, teeth white and beautiful, nose straight and shapely: neck and bosom rounded; figure straight and shapely; they are very strong and powerful.
They are grave, honest, generous, of good counsel, anxious that another should honour them. They are princely in mind, well spoken, haughty, and having a great opinion of themselves.
These are inclined to be in an honourable position, and in high ranks governing other people: accordingly they are ready to be presidents, governors, captains, colonels, pilots and prelates; to be pastors over men and animals, but finally, they are inclined to every office and trade connected with silk, gold and silver. This planet is, as Alfraganus says, 166 times greater than the earth. It has dominion over fire. Its metal is gold. It is distant from the earth 1,213,333 leagues, and has a body of 1,075,680 leagues.
The place of this planet is the third sphere: its property is to be cold and moist moderately, watery, feminine, nocturnal and somewhat phlegmatic. It is favourable to human nature. This is the star which most illumines the night after the moon, and which is usually called the morning star. It is sometimes seen at sunrise, especially
p.83in the winter. It has dominion over women, children, and musicians, well spoken people, happy, fortunate, just, wise, cheerful, grateful, merciful people; and over those who like to be neatly got up and showily dressed.
The day of this planet is Friday: its hour is the first hour and the eighth. The year which begins on this day will not be lacking in water. The spring will be windy, the summer moist and gentle, the autumn dry and windy in some places and very wet in others, and the winter cold and very laborious. Food will be plentiful but dear. The vine will be good and fruitful, and oil and honey plentiful. It denotes disease of the eyes, and the death of many children by smallpox, and that many of the small cattle will die, and that there will be earthquakes in many places.
Those who are born under the government of this planet have fat, round, red faces; eyes black, sparkling and merry; brows black and joined; hair smooth and long, and, in some others of them, curled, and there is usually a mark on their faces; noses curved, mouth medium, upper lip smaller than the lower lip; neck handsome but narrow; persons small and spare; legs heavy; and if this planet is in the east it makes their bodies fat, fair and of handsome stature; if it is in the west they will be small-bodied and bald-headed.
These are inclined for idleness, and arts which are light, curious, showy, such as singing, and harping; accordingly, they are given to poetry, the organ, choirs, painting, the making of laces and gold thread, &c., and besides they are given to Comedy, i.e., a very public art.
These are of a warm, moist, phlegmatic nature; they are eloquent, prudent and fortunate, grateful, amiable, affectionate, just, sweet-spoken, fond of music, dancing and pastimes, idle games, fornication, self-adornment and dressing and making clothes; finally, they like to be treated well and joyously, and to have perfumed clothes, and it is seldom they give themselves to learning. This planet is, according to Alfraganus, 37 times smaller than the earth. Its metal is copper. It has dominion over the private parts of men and women. It is distant from the earth 325,656 leagues, and has a mass of its own of 175 leagues.
The place of this planet is the second sphere. Its property is to be masculine, diurnal and of a changeable nature; because it takes its property from the planet with which it conjoins, or to which it is nearest, in such a way
p.87that if it be near a good planet its property will be good, and if it be near a bad planet its property will be bad; for we see that daily, viz., people of that property, that they are good with the good, and bad with the bad. This planet governs the poets, writers, lawyers, painters, mathematicians, and those who discover new things, goldsmiths and silversmiths, and finally those who are eager for bargaining and buying.
The day of this planet is Wednesday: its hour is the first hour and the eighth. In the year which commences on this day, the spring will be wet and not very good, the summer very hot, the autumn moderate, and the winter sharp, but it will not be very cold. Wheat and every other grain will be moderate, the vintage will be good and the oil plentiful, but it denotes scarcity of every other sort of food, and famine in places. In the autumn it denotes the death of some prominent person, and that pregnant women will lose their children prematurely, and some of them will have still-born children at birth; the fiery fever will be common; and headache, and there will be much talk and mention of great novelties in this year.
Those who are born under this planet are of handsome person, medium, spare-fleshed; faces narrow, well-proportioned, long-jawed; noses long and pointed; eyes small and
p.89not very dark; eyebrows long and extended; beard thin And dark; lips thin; hair long and curled at the end; teeth irregular, and fingers long.
These are sharp-witted, earnest, wise; they discover new things easily; they transact their business punctually; they are fitted for every trade and art, and fond of travelling in foreign lands, &c.
They are inclined to be professors, writers, painters and sculptors; some of them to be mathematicians, arithmeticians, merchants and matchmakers, &c. This planet is (according to Alfraganus) much smaller than the moon, and the moon is much smaller than the earth, as we shall say in its own place. Its metal is quicksilver, and it is distant from the earth 125,185 leagues, and has a mass of 1,000 miles, which is equal to 200 Italian leagues.
The place of this planet is the first sphere which is nearest to us; its property is to be cold, moist, watery, nocturnal, feminine. It is said that it is the cause of all
p.91damp and moisture, and of the growth of growing things, from the superabundance of moisture of this planet which it sheds into those creatures. Many learned authors have been wearied by the close scrutiny of the property and nature of this planet; and it is only putting sand in a withe, or pouring out the ocean by drops; for its nature is so changeable, so wonderful, and so mysterious, that it is not possible to find out all about it; nevertheless, since it is a matter in hand, we shall endeavour to exhibit a little of it generally. In the first place it must be noted that there is a great distinction between the operation of this planet when waxing and when waning; accordingly, wise and knowing people keep sharp account of the crescent or new moon, and likewise of its full or waning, on account of many things connected with husbandry, and with bodily health; for Pliny says. Lib. 18, Cap. 32, that the time for reaping, cutting and pruning everything is the full of the moon, i.e., from full moon to new, so that they may keep better. Accordingly, the timber which is cut at the crescent moon rots in a short time, if it is a tree which loses its foliage. And the animals which are castrated at the crescent moon are in danger, and the cereals and fruits which are gathered at the crescent moon (according to Palladius) are not substantial or lasting or profitable, as they would be if they were gathered at the full of the moon. Another wonderful property of the moon is to be noted likewise, and that is, if one wishes the year to be one for males, let him allow the males to approach the females at the waxing of the moon; and if eggs are put under a hen or another bird at the crescent moon the cocks will be more numerous; and if he wishes the contrary let him do these things at the full moon. Another wonder touching the new moon, as the Italian Jacobus Palermo says, if anyone
p.93wishes to know accurately the point at which the moon comes into conjunction, let him take a silver cup and put sea brine in it, and ashes made from the olive tree, i.e., the tree from which oil is made, and let him keep a sharp lookout about the time of new moon, and at the point at which it comes the ashes will be moved on the brine so that there will be plainly a turbidity in the cup. The same author gives a reason for that, saying that this happens because of the very close government which the moon has over silver, sea water and the olive tree beyond every other thing. Accordingly they perceive and move at its coming, showing the nature which they have from this planet. This planet has dominion over sailors and mariners, the phlegmatic, lazy, weak-hearted and sluggards.
The day of the moon is Monday; its hour is the first hour and the eighth. In tke year which begins on this day there will be no lack of water; the spring will be cool, the summer moderate, the autumn very wet, and the winter mild. It denotes scarcity of wheat but plenty of other grain; a moderate amount of wine and oil. It denotes many diseases of cattle, so that the nations will wonder, and further, there will be diseases on people and schisms between the powerful. Women will suifer much in this year from their own disease, i.e., Suffocatio matricis. Neither honey nor silk will do well this year because many bees and silkworms will die.
These are very white and phlegmatic; face broad, round, blooming; eyes medium, squinting, sleepy, and one eye larger than the other. They usually have spots on their faces; their brows close together; noses stubby, and mouths small.
These are inconstant, virtuous, sleepy, subject to minor ailments, harmless. They are inclined to be mariners and travel by water; they are sluggish and unenterprising.
They are inclined to changeable things, because they themselves are so. They are apt to be fishermen, tavern-keepers, and to be selling food and drink and such like. This planet (according to Alfraganus) is 39 times smaller than the earth. Its metal is silver. It has dominion over the salt water of the sea, and over the olive tree. It is distant from the earth 9,847 leagues, and has a body of its own of 166 leagues.
In accordance with the signs and the physiognomy which the planets give to those who are born under their government it is possible for every man to know his own planet, and better if he looks at his own natural inclination; for if it be the nature of Mars which he shall perceive in himself, it is certain that that is his planet, and if it be the nature of Jupiter he shall feel in himself, that is his planet, and so on with the other planets.
Among all other things which the moon causes there is one of them very wonderful namely, the flow and ebb of the sea, which flows twice and ebbs twice in the space of 24 hours and a little more, by the motion of the moon, and by accurate computation each flow and each ebb lasts six hours and the fifth part of an hour. This flow and ebb takes place on the whole coast of the sea which is called Mare Oceanum, and in part of the sea (called) Mediterraneum, so that sometimes much land is exposed. Accordingly it is necessary for mariners to know these, and when they commence, so that they may come safe to land through the strait narrow ways. It is no less fitting that the physicians should know these secrets, for Pliny wrote and Petrus Aponiensis affirms that it is when the sea is ebbing that all men and animals die which die a natural death; certainly a secret which is worth noting. In order that it may be known perpetually at what hour of day or night the flow or ebb of the sea begins, let the age of the moon be noted and the day on which it is desired to find out the hour when the flow and ebb commences; let one look it up in the appended table in the first column to the left-hand side, and opposite it on the right-hand side is found the hour when the flow and ebb commences, noting that the letter M means morning or before midday, and the letter T evening or after midday, that the letters ME signify midday, and the letters NO night.
Section 38 containing a table has been omitted.
And in order that this table may be easily understood by an example, let us ask what time the flow and ebb of the sea begins to-day viz., the 20th of March here in Ireland, and that is the 30th day [of March] (according to the Pope) of the present year viz., 1694 (and although this book treats according to the Pope's reckoning, nevertheless it may be used here as it is in Rome, because the day is the same, but it is not reckoned the same according to the month, outside the movable festivals). Accordingly I look at the age of the moon on the 30th of March in the calendar of the month, and that is 5: I look for this in the first column of this table to the left-hand side and I see opposite that the first flow begins on this day at seven o'clock in the morning, and its ebb at one and the fifth part of an hour after midday, and the second flow at seven and two-fifths of an hour after midday the same day, and its ebb at one and three-fifths of an hour after midnight following it in the morning of the day after. With this the table will be intelligible for the other days of the moon.
Section 39 containing a table has been omitted.
In order to ascertain by this following table the sign in which the moon will be each clay, one must look for the age of the moon, on the day on which it is desired to know that, in the table in the first column to the left-hand side, and opposite that number he will find the sign in which the moon will be that day, which corresponds to the month in which it will be, which is specified at the top of the table: and in order that this may be the better understood, let us inquire the sign in which the moon will be on the 22nd day of March in this year 1694, and I say that it is in the sign Gemini: for the new moon was on the 16th day, and from that to the 22nd are six days (without counting the day of new moon), and I look up the sixth day of the moon's age in the table, and I find the sign Gemini opposite, which corresponds to the month of March over it. And if it is desired to find out the sign in which the moon will be when new, it is certain that it will be in the same sign as the sun that day, and one will find that out in the calendar of the month, and note that further another table will be found of the signs which are good or bad for purging or bleeding.
In order that this may be certainly known, let attention be paid to three things: first, that on the day of the new moon, it and the sun will be in the same sign; secondly, that the sun remains in the same sign for a month and that
p.109the moon only remains for two days and a half or thereabouts, over or under; and thirdly, to know the day on which the sun enters each sign and that is found in the calendar of the months, and further in the treatise on the signs. Having paid attention to these things in this way, and to the day of the new moon, let the days be reckoned from the day of the new moon till the day in which it is desired to find out the sign in which it will be, and let that number be doubled and add one, and having divided this by five, the result will be the number of signs by which the moon will be advanced from the sign in which it was when new, and each unit of the remainder after dividing by five is equal to six grades or degrees in the next sign. And that this may be easy to understand, I inquire what sign the moon is in on the 22nd day of March, Anno Domini 1694, and I say that it is in the sign Gemini: for the moon was new on the 16th day of March, and from that to the 22nd are seven days (because here the day of new moon is reckoned), and double those seven days makes 14, and one with that makes 15, in which there are three fives: accordingly the moon is in Gemini i.e., the third sign from Aries in which it was when new, and in which the sun was also, and it is in order that the signs and the order in which they succeed each other may be known that I put them down here in that order i.e., Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces.
Let the age of the moon be multiplied by four, and the moon will be advanced one sign for each tenth of that
p.111number, and if there be a remainder over, each unit in it is equal to three grades in the next sign. Ex. gr., I inquire where the moon is on the 22nd day of March, as I did in the other rules, and I say that according to this rule it is in the twelfth degree of the sign Cancer; for the moon was in conjunction on the 16th day, and from that to the 22nd are six days (not counting the day of the moon's conjunction), and that multiplied by four makes 24, in which there are two tens and four over; accordingly the moon is twelve degrees in the sign Cancer, because that is the third sign from Aries exclusive, in which it was when new. Note that this rule is very important and reliable.
If the moon of the month of January enters the sign of Aquarius when waxing it denotes plenty of food in that year; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes poverty, sorrow and hardship, overflow of rivers, and great storms at sea.
If the moon of February enters the sign Pisces when waxing, it will cause things to be at a cheap price and easily obtained; and if it is waning when it enters it it denotes abundance of rain that year.
If the moon of March enters the sign of Aries when waxing, and it is to the north, it denotes insipidity and restlessness; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes a good fruitful year.
If the moon of April enters the sign Taurus when waxing, it denotes much good, contentment and joy; if it enters it waning, it denotes the opposite.
If the moon of May enters the sign Gemini when waxing, it denotes commotion, trouble and change in the regions whose sign that is; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes much rain.
If the moon of June enters Cancer when waxing, it denotes change, commotion and everything turned topsy turvey in the empire of Africa; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes much rain.
If the moon of July enters Leo when waxing, it denotes good and great profit to husbandmen; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes hardship, danger and diseases.
If the moon of August enters Virgo when waxing, it denotes whirlwinds, storms and earthquake; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes a good prosperous year as regards food.
If the moon of September enters Libra when waxing, it denotes plenty of all sorts of grain; but if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes storms and disturbances.
If the moon of October enters Scorpio when waxing, it denotes enmity and strife between lawyers, and envy; but if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes a prosperous and plentiful year in the regions whose sign it is.
If the moon of November enters Sagittarius when waxing, there will be no lack of water or oil that year; but if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes famine and likelihood of plague.
If the moon of December enters Capricorn when waxing, it denotes great storms at sea; and if it is waning when it enters it, it denotes contentment and joy for the husbandmen who labour the ground. But be it noted [with regard to] every thing signified here, that it is in the regions which these signs govern that it will happen more particularly than in other places; and if it be desired to find out which regions are under the government of each sign, that will be found in the place where we shall treat of the signs themselves.
Section 44 containing a table has been omitted.
In the following table there are five columns (apart from the first column to the left hand, which is not included, and in which is a record of the years in which the Dominical Letter changes irregularly): in the first column to the left hand side are the Dominical Letters of each year; in the second column are the years beginning with the year 1663, and this column will continue the same until the end of the world, repeating itself perpetually; in the third column are the days with which the years begin perpetually; in the fourth column are the planets of these days; and in the fifth column arc the things which each planet denotes as regards the food of that year. And in order that it may be the better understood, we shall set down here two examples of it, for the year set down for the beginning of the table, i.e., 1663, and for the year 1691, which is not mentioned in the table, but nevertheless corresponds to the year 1663, so that those two years will be the same; and again the two years 1664 and the year 1692 will be the same, and so on with the other years. But in order that we may come to a knowledge of the year 1663 (by which the whole table will be understood), whose Dominical Letter is G, (as is in the table to the left hand side opposite to that year), and beside it it is [set down] that Monday is the first day of it, and that the moon is the planet of that day, which denotes a moderate amount of food in the same year, as is [set down] opposite. And if it is desired to find out more about that year, one must look where we have treated of the moon before, and plenty will be found there. Here the captious may rise and say that it is not possible for this table to be perpetual, because the
p.121Dominical Letters change irregularly at the end of every hundred years, that is to say, that during each successive period of 400 years the Dominical Letter changes three times, which is tantamount to saying, once at the end of every century of the 3 centuries from [the last year of] which the one day required for the leap year is taken off (as Gregory the Thirteenth directed); and this was done to regulate the time, so that there might not be an error (according as the equinox hastens ahead, and especially in the spring) regarding the fixed festival of Easter; hut this is certain, and further that the Dominical Letters change at certain times; accordingly the table cannot be perpetual, because if the Dominical Letters change, the days on which the years begin will do likewise, and the year will not be as [the table] says, since (possibly) the virtues of the planets are not the same. Our reply to this is, that every change that can possibly come in the Dominical Letters is remedied and regulated in the margin of the table, by the three numbers of the years which are designated to the left hand side, and these are the first years in which the Dominical Letters will change, apart from the regular change which there is each year. And be it noted that it is in the same places in which these three numbers are that the Dominical Letters will change perpetually for the years to come, and that happens three times in every 400 years; and the first time the Dominical Letter will change will be in the year 1701, and the second time it will change will be in the year 1801, and the third time in the year 1901, and in that way until the end of the world; accordingly our table is perpetual, and will last as long as the Gregorian Calendar lasts for ever, and may it last with the will of God, Amen.
In the ninth sphere (which is called Chrystallinum) the astronomers postulate a circulum i.e., a round ring which they call zodiacum, of 360 degrees altogether, and of 12 degrees in width, and they divide this into 12 equal parts which are called the twelve signs of the Zodiac; and there are 30 degrees in each of these signs; and the names of those signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Piscis. These names were given to them because of the properties which they give to the creatures when the sun enters them. They are called another name, viz., the House of the Planets, because when a planet happens to be in its own sign (i.e., in its own house) it is more powerful and more vigorous than when it is in another siga; and the length of each sign is 273,870,047 leagues, and the breadth of each sign 22,818,258 leagues; and if it be desired to find out about the houses of the planets, we shall tell that briefly; for the sign which is called Leo is the house of the sun, Cancer the house of the moon, Capricornus and Aquarius the houses of Saturn, Pisces and Sagittarius the houses of Jupiter, Aries and Scorpio the houses of Mars, Libra and Taurus the houses of Venus, Gemini and Virgo the houses of Mercury. When the sun enters these signs it has a change of property according to the nature of each sign, as shall be shown in its own place; likewise there will be shown the property and the natural secret of these houses or these signs, and the things which they produce in sick or delicate people when the moon enters them.
The form or figure which astronomers give to this sign is the form of a man pouring water out of a vessel; nevertheless it is not because it is so in reality (for it is not so at all) but because of the abundance of water which falls. The property of this sign is [to be] warm and moist, and it is the cause of immoderate heat and moisture. It is very harmful, for it works corruption on the air and consequently damage to the plants and growing things. The sun enters this sign on the 21st day of January usually, i.e., on the 11th day of the same month here in Ireland (be it noted that this book is entirely after the method of the Pope, nevertheless profit may be derived here by taking account of the difference of ten days of time between [the reckonings] until the year 1700, and from that onward there is the difference of 11 days between them). This sign is airy, masculine, diurnal; it is a diurnal house and exaltation for Saturn, and nocturnal detriment to the sun. This sign governs the provinces of Aragon, Bohemia, Saxony, Ethiopia, Dalmatia, Arabia, Sogdiana, Azania, Piamonte, and India; the cities Constantia, Jerusalem, Urbino, Pavia, and Monserrat; in Spain the cities Zamora, Medina, Valencia, and Seville. The man who is born under the dominion of this sign will be of medium stature, wellspoken, secretive, stouthearted in going ahead with any project he may set before him; it signifies that he will receive a blow from iron and be in danger by water; he will be given to travel in foreign lands, and he will succeed better there than in his own country; it signifies that if he returns he will be fortunate and wealthy; but let him beware of getting angry, for it would
p.127be injurious for him. In certo quodam anno erit in dubio vitae suae, because it signifies for him a grievous illness before the thirtieth year; and if he recovers from it, it signifies according to his nature and complexion 58 years of life. If it is a woman which shall be born under it, it signifies that she will be industrious and regardful of herself; she will be in danger of death and in addition once again by water. She will not spend her goods easily, and she will find her life better about the middle of her age; nevertheless, before the 38th year it signifies for her two illnesses; the first illness at the end of the 34th year, and the other illness at the end of the 35th year; and if she recovers from them it signifies for her naturally 82 years of life..
The figure and form given to this sign is two fishes, so that (as it is the nature of the fish to be wet and in the water usually) similarly when the sun enters this sign the weather is wet and watery. This sign is feminine, nocturnal, watery and common to the winter and the spring. It is of a wet and watery nature, on which account it is the cause of cold and moisture immoderately, which does harm to the water of the rivers, the wells and the lakes, for it makes corruption in them. This sign is the house of the day and night for Jupiter, exaltation for Venus, fall and nocturnal detriment and sorrow to Mercury. This sign has government over the provinces of Persia, Hibernia, Normandia, Portugallia, Lydia, Sicilia, Pamphylia Garamantes, Mesamenes: over the cities Colonia Agrippina,
p.129Venecia, Ratisbona, and Alexandria; in Spain, over the cities Orense. Santiago and part of Seville. The man who is born under this sign is fond of foreign countries and travelling by water; he is of a great appetite, and on that account will be in danger of death unless his planet help him; he will be taciturn; it denotes a sickness for him at the end of his fifteenth year, and another sickness at the end of the thirtieth, and the third sickness at the end of his 38th year of life, and if he recovers from them it is natural for him to have 65 years of life. The woman who is born under it is religious, honest, bashful; but she will suffer from inflammation of the eyes and suffocatio matricis: it signifies that she will receive hurt from fire, and that she will be sick at the end of her 12th year, and once again at the end of her 20th and 21st years, and again at the end of her 30th; but it signifies 59 years of life.
The figure and form which is given to this sign is a ram. It is of the nature of fire, warm and dry; accordingly it causes heat and drought moderately. It is diurnal, mobile and masculine. It is the house of Mars, exaltation for Sol, fall for Saturn and detriment for Venus: the sun enters it on the 21st of March and then commences the first Equinox, in which the length of day and night are equal. It governs the provinces Anglia, Gallia, Alemania, and Polonia Minor; the cities Florencia, Napoles, Patavia, Favencia, Cracovia, Inmola, Pergamo; in Spain, Zaragoza, Tortosa and Valladolid.
The man who is born under the government of this sign is intellectual, wise, of magnanimous mind; nevertheless he is talkative, irascible, but easily appeased: it is characteristic of him to be talking to himself, not too rich nor too poor, faithful to his friends; he will have enough to subsist on mortuorum causa; it signifies that there will be a special mark on his body and that he will get a beating from a fourfooted beast, and another blow from iron; but finally he will be unfortunate, hardworked; he will be sick at the end of his 22nd year, and, if he gets over that, then forsan ducet uxorem and he will get according to his nature 75 years of life.
The woman who is born under it will be irascible and very lively and vivacious in her actions, pleasing according to other people's opinions; nevertheless it signifies, if she marries, that she will be a widow, and that she will suffer from a dangerous disease of the head or knee from the seventh year of her age until the twelfth, but that she will get of natural life 49 years. This sign signifies both for man and woman that they will come to be very poor, nevertheless they will achieve independence through their own good industry.
The figure or form given to this sign is a bull. Its property is earthy, cold and dry. It causes coldness and dryness, nevertheless moderately, whence it comes that sentient things are begotten and growing things grow when the sun enters it. This sign is nocturnal, feminine. It is the house of Venus and her joy, exaltation to Luna, and
p.133detriment and sorrow to Mars. It has dominion over the provinces Persia, Media, Suycia, Asia Minor, Hibernia, Egypt, Armenia, and Cyprus: over the cities Capua, Salerno, Bolonia, Sena, Verona, Aneona, Treveres, Parma, Mantua and Palermo; in Spain, over Gitona, Osca, Toro, Badajos, Astorga, and Jaen. The man who is born under the dominion of this sign will be bold, proud, haughty, and of highly vain heart; inclined to leave his country and travel in a foreign land, where he will succeed better, and if he marries he will get means with his wife; he will be fortunate, and in an important position: it signifies that he will receive an injury from dogs, and danger by water, and in addition, unless he take care, he will receive infortunia mulierum causa, and that he will be sick at the end of his 12th year and again at 30, and once again at 40, and if he recovers from these he will get naturally 64 years of life. It signifies that the woman who is born under it will be very busy, careful in worldly things, economic, partial to foreign lands; she will be fertile and have many sons, et plures indicat ei habere maritos; it signifies a fall from a height, and sickness at the end of her 16th year, and once again at 33. This sign promises naturally 66 years of life.
The form or figure given to this sign is two children embracing each other in a very friendly way, denoting the mildness of the weather when the sun enters it. This sign is of an airy, warm, wet nature; accordingly it is suitable for growing things. It is the house of Mercury, detriment
p.135and sorrow to Jupiter. It is masculine, diurnal, and is warm and dry in the spring usually; but it is dry then moderately. It has dominion over the provinces Hircania, Cyrenaica, Marmatica, part of Egypt, Armenia, Margiana; over the cities Trent, Cessena, Viterbo, Nuremberg, Bruges, Leon of France and Maguncia; in Spain, over Ciguenca, Morviedra, Cordova, and Talavera. The man who is born under this sign is goodhearted and generous; inclined for other lands and travelling in them; he will be wealthy and steadfast in the things which he promises, will be earnest, and in danger by water; it will be necessary for him to beware of mad dogs, and I enjoin him to be watchful of himself for it signifies that he will have many wounds, and that he will be sick four times before he comes to 30 years, and if he recovers from them that he will be more healthy, and that he will get 68 years of life. The woman who is born under it will be very faithful, and well thought of by other people, and will be inclined for marriage; she will receive sorrow and regret for wrong done to her, and she will not be free from ill health, and she will get 62 years of natural life.
The figure or form given to this sign is a certain fish which is called Cancer, and it is of a watery, cold, wet, feminine, nocturnal and mobile nature, because when the sun enters it the weather changes to damp and moderate cold, so that it is good for growth. It is the house of the day and the night to the Moon, exaltation to Jupiter, detriment to Saturn, and fall to Mars. It has dominion over the provinces Numedia, Holland, Norvegia, Zelanda,
p.137Bithonia, Burgundia, Scotia, Rhodes, Lydia, Ethiopia, Africa, Colgis, and Phrygia; over the cities Constantinople, Milan, Pisa, Lucca, Venice, Tunis, and Genova; in Spain, over Compostela, Lisbon, Granada, and Barcelona. The man who is born under it is of medium stature, merry and humble; it signifies that he will get trouble by law, and that he will be inclined toward that and to defend the case of another person, and that he will be very spendthrift; it signifies dangers by water, fire and iron; and that he will be bold and well esteemed; it signifies for him minor ailments, and that he will get 73 years of natural life. The woman who is born under it will be earnest, industrious, swift to wrath and to recover from it, grateful, amiable: children numerous and troubles about them; it denotes that she will get a fall from a height, and will find hidden things but of small value; she will be healthy and will get 70 years of natural life.
The figure which is given to this sign is a lion. It is of a warm and excessively dry nature, masculine, diurnal, fixed, because when the sun enters it the heat is complete and steadfast, and it causes the destruction and withering of the growing things. It is the house of the night and day to Sol, detriment and sorrow to Saturn. It has dominion over the [following] provinces, i.e., over some of Sicily, and some of Apulia, Bohemia, and the coasts of the Red Sea, Chaldea, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Propontis, the Alps and Macedonia; over the cities Rome, Ravenna, Cremona, Usma, Croton, Damascus and Prague; in Spain, over Murcia and Leon. The man who is born under it will be
p.139shapely, handsome, magnanimous, proud, eloquent; and if he gives himself to learning will be wise; it signifies that he will get high positions, and that he will travel in many countries; and if he marries he will get something to spend with his wife; it signifies that he will get a severe blow from iron, and danger from water, and he will be lucky at getting wealth and sometimes inveniet pecuniam ahsconditam; it signifies for him six illnesses during his life, but the most dangerous illness of them is at the end of his 40th year, and if he gets over it this sign promises him 71 years of natural life. The woman who is born under it will be handsome, ill-mannered, strong, haughty; it signifies that she will suffer from stomach trouble, and that she will be fond of honour, and will be rich, but will be merciful to the poor, and prone to menorrhagia and many other diseases, but to it especially, and she will get naturally 71 years of life.
The figure or form of this sign is a virgin, signifying the unfruitfulness of the earth at this time. It is of an earthy, cold, dry nature; it is feminine, nocturnal, melancholic, and common to summer and autumn. It is the house, joy and exaltation of Mercury; fall to Venus, and nocturnal detriment to Jupiter. It governs the provinces Greece, part of Phenicia and Babylonia, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Cicilia, Rhodes and Candia; the cities Pavia, Paris, Ferrara. Toulouse, Pasencia and Coimbra; in Spain, Lerida, Toledo, Avilla and Algecira. The man who is born under it is honourable, chaste and of honourable condition; it signifies that he will be earnest and careful about his
p.141business, and striving for high rank; in addition, it signifies that he will be modest, changeable, and after being rich that he will come to great poverty, from not being wise enough to govern himself; he will suffer from a few diseases until 30 years of age, and if he escapes from them his nature is to have 84 years of life. The woman who is born under it is modest, earnest, devout; it signifies that she will fall from a height, and that she will be delicate; she will be anxious to be clean and chaste, and she will come to have hardships; it signifies a dangerous illness from the 30th year to the 36th, and if she escapes from it she will get 77 years of natural life.
The figure given to this sign is a balance of two scales, signifying the equality of days and nights about that time; and when the sun enters it the second equinox takes place, in which the night and day are of equal length. This sign is of the nature of the air, i.e., warm and moist. It is the cause of heat and thick moisture; accordingly it causes the air to coagulate so that it is harmful to every beast, and it generates many diseases. It is the house of the day of Venus, fall to Sol, exaltation to Saturn, and detriment to Mars. It has dominion over the provinces Austria, Casperia, Bactriana Regio, Tuscia, and Syria; over the cities Valencia, Lodi, Parma, Gaeta, Viana and Augusta; in Spain, over Burgos, Almeria, and Salamanca. The man who is born under this sign is honourable, courageous, and important in his deeds, inclined for foreign lands, where he will succeed better than in his own country; it signifies that he will have something to spend, but that he will find
p.143poverty and hardship; it signifies a sickness for him at the end of his 18th year, and once again at 35, and the first sickness at the end of his 6th year, and if he escapes from them he will get 77 years of natural life. The woman who is born under it will be merry and familiar: it signifies that she will get a wound of the foot from fire, and that she will be inclined to travel in the world, and if she escapes from the fated sickness she will get 66 years of natural life.
The figure which is given to this sign is a poisonous beast which has a sting with which it does harm, as it does with its mouth, signifying that the sun, when it enters it, does the like, causing cold and storms, thunders and lightnings. It is of a nature wet, cold, feminine, nocturnal and fixed, because the autumn is then in its strength. It is the house of the night and joy to Mars, fall to Luna, detriment and sorrow to Venus. This sign has dominion over the provinces Scotia, and over the coasts of the sea, Syria, Mauretania, Getulia, Cappadocia, and Judea; over the cities Messina, Padua, Aquilea, Crema, and Buxia; in Spain, over Valencia, Xativa, Segovia, Tudela, Braga, Malaga, and Burgos. The man who is born under it will be of evil nature, deceitful, adulterous, violent, doubleminded and thievish; he will be grave, friendly, sweet spoken, though malicious. Sed sapiens dominabitur astris. It signifies that he will be prone to disease in his stomach and testicles, and that he will incur danger from stone and iron; he will be inclined for other lands and will be guileful and flattering in his words and in his
p.145actions without the knowledge of others; and he will not be very rich or very poor; he will suffer from petty ailments, but he will get naturally 61 years of life. The woman who is born under it will be friendly, but she will be strong and haughty, and it signifies that habeat cicatrices in maximum periculum vitae, and that she will frequently suffer from stomach trouble and will be delicate, but naturally she will get 72 years of life.
The figure of this sign is an archer shooting arrows, signifying how the sign acts when the sun enters it, throwing rains, hail, thunder and fiery balls. It is of the nature of fire, warm and dry, masculine, diurnal, and common to autumn and winter. It is the house of the day and joy to Jupiter, and daily detriment to Mercury. It has dominion over the provinces Hispania, Arabia Felix, Sclavonia, Dalmatia, Helvetia, and part of Liguria; over the cities, Malta, Avignon, Jerusalem, Asta, and Milan; in Spain over Jaen, Calahorra, and Medina Celi. The man who is born under the dominion of this sign is modest, honesty upright, fortunate; it signifies that he will be inclined to go on the sea, on which he will find a better fortune. It signifies that he will receive harm from a fourfooted animal, and sickness at the end of the seventh year of his age and again at 18, but if he escapes from them he will get 67 years of life. The woman who is born under it will be taciturn, fearful, shy and rich, and she will be called the mother of children; but the woman and the man likewise will be changeable, unsteady, nevertheless
p.147they will be merciful and conscientious. The woman will hiave a sickness at the end of her fourth year, once again at 22, and once again at the end of her 40th year, and if she escapes from them she will get 57 years of natural life.
The figure which is given to this sign is a goat which goes into high places, signifying that, when the sun enters it, it is rising towards us and the days getting longer. It is of an earthy nature, cold and dry, feminine, nocturnal and mobile; for the autumn passes and the winter begins. It is the house of the night for Saturn, exaltation for Mars, fall for Jupiter, and detriment for Luna. It has dominion over the provinces Macedonia, Bavaria, Portugal, Romandiola, Albania, Muscovy, Gedrocia, Thrace, Croatia, India, and part of Sclavonia; over the cities Verona, Forlivio, Savoy, Favencia, and Constantinople; in Spain over Tortosa, Soria, and Carmona. The man who is born under it will be wrathful, vain, lying. It signifies that he will be talking to himself; he will be melancholic, greathearted, inclined to war, et gaudebit bonis alienis, et habebit curam de animalibus quadripedibus. It signifies that he will find trouble causa mulierum, will be delicate, and will get 77 years of natural life. The woman who is born under it will be of an exceedingly perverse nature, and will be very extravagant; it signifies that a fourfooted animal will bite her, and danger of falling from a height; she will be sick, but lightly, and will get naturally 69 years of life.
To know these, figures and such like are no longer necessary, but only to pay heed to three things, viz., first, a knowledge of the sign in which the sun will be on the day on which the person will be born; secondly, a knowledge of the hour in which the sun rises that day; thirdly, an accurate knowledge of the hour in which he was born. After knowing these three things, one must see how many hours have elapsed from the rising of the sun until the hour in which he was born exclusive, (that is to say, not to reckon the hour the sun rose). Then reckon a sign for every two of those hours, from the sign in which the sun will be that day to the sign of the hour in which he was born inclusive, and in this way the natural sign of every person will be found. And in case there should be an hour over [i.e., after dividing by two] to the hours from sunrise to the hour of his birth, let it be reckoned to the sign following; and in case it does not amount to a full hour, let no scruple be made of that, for the rule is not faulty on that account. It is easy to understand everything when it is illustrated by an example: accordingly I say that the person who was born on the 4th of August, at one o'clock p.m., his sign is Scorpio (I mean a person who was born in Valencia); because the sun rises there at 5 o'clock about that time, and from 5 till 1 p.m. is eight hours, which signifies four signs; and as it is in the sign Leo the sun was that day, I count four signs from it inclusive, and that is Scorpio. Another example of a person who was born in Italy the 10th day of October, at half-past eleven p.m., and according to the rule I say that Gemini is his sign; for about that time the sun here is in
p.151the sign Libra, (and it rises in Italy then at half-past five, and from half-past five till half past eleven p.m. is eighteen hours, which signifies nine signs, and the ninth sign from the sign Libra is the sign Gemini which we have said, and that is the proper sign of that person. And in case that curiosity should inquire of what use are those signs, or what nature do they give, our reply is that the signs are common and general to every man who is born in the month which they serve; and although they have great influence over the person born in that month, yet that is little compared with the nature given by the sign of the hour in which he was born, for it is by that that his property and his nature are best judged. Be it noted that if a person is born before the sun has risen, that belongs to the day before; for it is from sutirise that the Astrologers begin the day.
To complete this work it seemed good to me to treat of eclipses of the sun and moon briefly. Accordingly I say that an eclipse of the sun is when the moon comes between us and the sun, so that the light of the sun leaves us, and this happens at new moon. But be it noted that for an eclipse of the sun two things are required: first, the sun and the moon must be in the same sign; second, both of them must be in one of two points which are called caput et Cauda Draconis, i.e., the head and tail of the Dragon. Accordingly an eclipse of the sun does not take place every time it and the moon happen to be in the same sign, but in addition to that they must both be in one of these two points, and according to the nearness or distance of the eclipse of the sun from those two points is the eclipse great or small. What we call an eclipse of the moon is when the moon travels on the shadow of the earth, which rises high owing to the sun being at the other side underneath, and so its light parts from us, since it is not in sight of the sun, whence it gets its light; and this is called the real eclipse, because the sun and moon are at this time exactly opposite one another, and the centre of the earth directly between them, and so extinction comes on the moou because the light of the siin which gives it light, is separated from it as the earth is straight between them. And for an eclipse of the moon two things are necessary: first, the sun and the moon must be opposite each other; secondly, the sun must be in one of the aforesaid points, and the moon in the other point. And if you wish to find out what is the meaning of
p.155the head and tail of the Dragon, I say that the astronomers suppose a circulum, i.e., a circle or round ring in the sky of 12 degrees in width, which is called Zodiacum, as we have said on page 123, and on the midst of this moves the sun with its natural motion, and the path on which the sun travels is called Eclyptica. And be it noted that the moon does not pass out beyond this width of the Zodiacum at all according to its own natural motion; nevertheless it travels sometimes on part of that path of the sun which is called Eclyptica, and at other times on the other part of it. And when the moon goes from north to south it goes on the Eclyptica, or as it is better to say, it goes on the line on which the sun travels; and that point on which the moon travels from one side of the line to the other side of it at that time they call Cauda Draconis, or the tail of the Dragon, and when the moon turns back from the South to the North it goes on the same line, and that point they call Caput Draconis, or the head of the Dragon.
Illustration is given here of the method in which it is known what things these eclipses work and cause; so that it is not necessary for one to be an astronomer to find them out. Accordingly there is nothing to be done but to look what is the house or sign in which the sun is, if it is it that is to be eclipsed, or in which the moon will be, if it is it that is to be eclipsed, and he will know the things we have said: for if it is in the sign or house of Mars the sun will be, or the moon which is to be eclipsed, it is certain (according to Ptolemy Lib. 2, cap. 7), that it will work according to the nature of Mars, which is as we mentioned about it on page.
p.15773. And if it is in a sign which is the house of another planet that it is, it will work according to the nature of that planet, which is declarcd in their own treatises, and be it noted that the twelve signs are the houses of the planets as we have said.
The only difficulty here is to know accurately the hour of day or night in which the eclipse begins, and further, the length of the day from sunrise to sunset (which is called the working day), and in that way will be found the correct time when the effect of the eclipse begins, and the length of time it will last; and in order that this may be more intelligible, I suppose that the eclipse came on the sun at the end of two hours after it rose, and that the length of that day is twelve hours, i.e., from sunrise to sunset. I say, then, that the effect of this eclipse will begin at the end of two months after that, because, since two hours are the sixth part of that day, the sixth part of a year is two months. And in case that the length of the day is ten hours, the effect of the eclipse will begin at the end of two months and 12 days, for that is the fifth part of the year, as two hours is the fifth part of the working day. And in case that the length of the day is 14 hours, the eclipse will begin to have effect at the end of the seventh part of the year, i. e., at the end of a month and 21 days, for that (i.e., two hours) is the seventh part of that day; and so, according to that principle, every other hour will be understood, whether the day be short or long, bearing in mind further that it is in the same way that the eclipse of the moon is understood. And in order that you may understand how long the effect of the eclipses lasts, notice that
p.159for every hour the eclipse lasts on the sun itself, the effect of the eclipse of the sun lasts a year, and that the effect of an eclipse of the moon lasts a month for every hour the eclipse lasts on the moon itself.
That this may be shown, one must look in what sign the planet, be it sun or moon, will be which is to be eclipsed, and in the provinces over which that sign rules the eclipse will have effect. Information will be found of the sign in which the sun will be every day, and of the provinces and the cities over which each sign rules, in the place where we treated of the signs themselves; and information will be found of the sign in which the moon will be every day in the place where we treated of the moon itself, and of the other planets. And take heed that an eclipse of the sun usually takes place at the new moon, and that the time when an eclipse of the moon takes place is when itself is complete or full.
Comets (according to famous philosophers) are clearshining, hot, dry fumes (which are called exhalationes) which are drawn by the excessive heat of the sun to the upper regions of the air, and then from being so near to the other element fire, and the air moving them, they kindle, and according as they are dense or rare they last without dissipating. These signs, or these comets, signify according to the same authors, misfortunes, such as war, strifes, famine, injury, plagues and death of princes and powerful people. Be it noted that it is by the form and colour of the comets that the things may be known which they signify, and in the case of eclipses by their colours. Accordingly, if the comet or the eclipse be dark, and as one might think greenish, it will be of the nature of Saturn, and so it signifies death, plague, great cold, frost and snow, dark air, storm, whirlwinds, earthquake, flood and famine. If it be reddish in colour, it will be of the nature of Jupiter, and so signifies death of kings and of a powerful man. The form of this comet is to be great, round, and like a human face as it were. If its colour be red and flaming, and a long tail to it, it will be of the nature of Mars, and if it is in the east, and its tail up over its head, that signifies in the west great famine, war, earthquake, damage to water, and destruction of cities and kingdoms. If its colour be very pale, and it be terrible to see and close
p.163to the sun, it will be of the nature of the sun, and so signifies change of lordship, damage to fruits, death to kings and rich and powerful people. If it be golden in colour, it will be of the nature of Venus, and if its appearance be like the moon, and long-haired and leaving rays behind it, it signifies harm to powerful people, new beliefs, and especially in those places towards which it points its tail. If its colour be blue, or if it be of many colours, and of small body with a long tail, it will be of the nature of Mercury: accordingly it signifies the death of a great prince, schism, war, famine, much thunder, and lightning along with the thunder. If it be silver coloured, and that more shining than the colour of the other stars, it will be of the nature of Luna, i.e., of the nature of the moon, and so signifies plenty of food, and especially if Jupiter happens at that time to be in the sign Cancer or Pisces; and be it noted, if the comet be seen in the east, that it will produce its effect very shortly in the lands which are under the dominion of the sign with which it appears, and if it shall be seen in the west it will have its effect more slowly.
Because I think that there are many who would like to learn what is the cause of these canicular days, or what time they begin and end, we shall show briefly these three things. There are found, then, in the eighth sphere two constellations, i.e., two sets of stars, which are called Canis Minor and Canis Major, i.e., the lesser dog and the greater dog, and they are of the nature of Mars. But Canis Minor, in which are two stars according to Ptolemy, is of the nature of Mars and Mercury. Distinguished authors say
p.165that Canis Minor is the cause of these days namely, Pliny, Lib. 18, cap. 28, and King Alfonsus in tabulis astronomicis, and let us follow their opinion, for we see that it is nearest to reason and experience. This Canis Minor rises along with the sun on the horizon of Valencia (horizon means the amount of earth which is in the compass of the vision of every man) when that planet enters the first degree of the sign Leo, and it does that every year on the 24th July, and accordingly these canicular days begin in Valencia about that time, and they end on the second day of September. It is the common opinion of astronomers and physicians that these days last for 40 days, i.e., the time occupied by the sun from the time of rising with Canicula (i.e., the little dog) until it traverses the whole sign of Leo. This space of time is so harsh and hurtful that Hippocrates, in advising physicians, said that they should not give any treatment to sick folk about that time. Pliny says in his Natural History, Lib. 2, that wine changes at this time, and that dogs get rabid from the excessive heat and dryness caused by the sun together with the sign Leo (its natural proper house) and with Canicula, about this time; and accordingly I pray every man to watch himself well about this time, and to give enough water to the dogs, and to make them swim, in order that their natural heat may be subdued, for that is very hurtful, and may God save us from it all. Amen.
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The author Diaferes wrote that if it is in Aries the moon is on the day that Canicula begins (i.e., rises), there will be much water in the following year, little wheat, abundance of oil, but death of cattle. If it is in Taurus that the moon is on that day, the wheat will be scarce, there will be much rain, hail a laborious and wretched year. If it is in Gemini that it is, bread, wine and fruit will be plentiful, but diseases will be so (also). If it is in Cancer, wheat and water will be scarce. If it is in Leo, wheat, wine and oil will be plentiful, fruit dear,
p.169earthquakes, storms at sea and floods. If in Virgo, the year will be fruitful, the water plentiful, and pregnant women will bear dead children prematurely, and cattle will be cheap. If in Libra, oil will be scarce, wine plentiful, wheat and walnuts will fail, but the hazel-nuts and the chestnuts will be plentiful. If it is in Scorpio that it is, many of the bees and silkworms will die, there will be unwholesome air and little silk. If it be in Sagittarius, wheat, water and birds will be plentiful, but the cattle will not be so. If it be in Capricornus that the moon will be on the day that Canicula begins, i.e., rises, wheat, wine, oil and every other food and water will be plentiful. If it be in Aquarius that the moon will be, wheat and water will be scarce; but the worms which are called langosta, i.e., worms which do great damage to the corn, will not be so, and plagues are dangerous that year. If it be in the sign of Pisces that the moon will be on the day the canicular month begins, wheat, rain and disease will be plentiful, And likewise the wine, but the birds will not be so sed Deus super omnia.
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In order that this table may be clearly understood, it is necessary to find out the golden number of the year in which it is desired to find the new moon and full moon of every month, and let that be looked for in the table in the first column to the left-hand side, and opposite to that to the right hand, corresponding to the month in which it will be, will be found the new moon and full moon, i.e., the day and the hour in which it will appear and in which it will be full, bearing in mind that the letter M signifies Morning and the letter T Evening, and that Con. signifies new moon from the word conjunctio, so called because the sun and moon about that time are close together in the same sign. Let this be illustrated by an example, and I inquire when the hour of new moon will be in the month of May in this year 1694, and I say, according to the table, that it will be new on the 24th at 4 o'clock in the evening; for 4 is the golden number, and opposite that I find the 24th day and 4 hours of the month of May as is specified above it, &c., and I say that the moon before that was full on the 9th day and at 11 o'clock in the morning of the same month, and so on with the other months. And be it observed that this table serves for the whole world by substracting or adding the difference or distinction of midday of Valencia; accordingly, we shall set down that here for certain places and cities, so that the other countries may be the better compared with them, bearing in mind that, in the other table following, the letter B signifies subtraction and the letter C addition, and that this line ( ) signifies half a quarter of an hour.
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It is necessary to observe four things in order to let blood, viz., the time, the age, the custom or the habit and the complexion of the person. In addition to this, Avicenna says that, as regards bleeding, heed should be paid to two occasions, viz., a necessary occasion and an optional occasion, i.e., when the blood is drawn to keep the health, (and the best time for that is warm weather, namely, after sunrise), and to digest the food; nevertheless, even for this
p.187the advice of the doctors is good. The necessary occasion is when a sudden illness comes, and it relieves it to draw blood, as in the case of sharp fever, pleurisy, &c., which brook no delay. But speaking of the optional occasion, I say with Ptolemy in Centiloquio, Verba SO, that it is dangerous and ignorant to draw blood from a part over which the moon is ruling.
It is a common and customary rule with learned physicians not to give laxative medicine in the excessive heat of summer or in the great cold of winter, as Hippocrates says in quinto aphorismo, particula 4.: Sub cane et ante caneni molesta sunt pharmacia, et medicamentorum usxis difficilia. He also says in lib. de aere, aquis et locis, that it is not good in very changeable weather to give treatment such as cauteries, stretching arms, or any treatment at all, and further, not to do it in the time of the solstices and the equinoxes, and these times and this astrological judgment are so important that Hippocrates said in lib. epidemiae, Hujus modi medicus est qui astrologiam ignorat nemo, &c., i.e., that he is no physician who is ignorant of the science called astrology. The best time in the year, then, for a purge is the spring for people who are not in need of it. It is not good to take a purge, or further, to let blood, on the day of new moon, and likewise on the day before that and the day after it. It is not good, further, to take a purge when the moon is in a sign which is ruminant, namely, Aries, Taurus and Capricornus, because it does not keep it in the stomach without rejecting it; nevertheless, if it be thought good to (purge)
p.189by vomiting, that is the best time to take it. Every time the moon is in a watery sign it is good to take a purge, but if it be a drink it is better that the moon should be in the sign Scorpio: and if it be a bolus that the moon should be in Cancer; and if it be pills that the moon should be in Pisces. Accordingly, if heed be given to this order the purge will work well and healthily, and there will be good health after it without doubt; and be it noted that these are the watery signs. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
The table on this page has been omitted.
Since we have shown the dangerous time for letting blood, it is proper here to show the time in which it is good to let it, so that it shall be profitable and wholesome. In the case of choleric jieople it is wholesome for them to let blood when the moon is in watery signs, namely, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces especially in the last 15 degrees of them. For phlegmatic people it is good when the moon is in the warm or fiery signs (with the exception of Leo), namely, Aries and Sagittarius. For melancholic people it is good when the moon is in the airy signs (with the exception of Gemini), namely, Libra and Aquarius. For sanguinary people, every hour and every sign in which the moon shall be is good, if the rules of medicine and astronomy are kept which we have given already.
If a sick man wishes to know what the end of his sickness is, let him look how many days have passed since the dog days in the country in which he is until the day his sickness seized him (inclusive), and from that let him subtract the number 36 as many times as it can be subtracted, and let him look up the remainder in the following table, and the letter which is opposite that number will show the end of the sickness, noting that this letter (M) signifies death, and this letter (V) that he will live and [recover from the sickness], and that this letter (L) signifies a long and laborious sickness, and that the number which has not a letter opposite it signifies that it is not known whether he will live or die: and let the careful reader give heed to this rule.
The table on this page has been omitted.
The author Guido Aretino says to put the milk of a woman who has borne a son in the water of the sick person, and if they stick together it is a certain sign that he will recover from that sickness, but if the contrary happens it is a sign of death.
The author Bernardus Granullachs in sua Cronographia says to let a drop of the sick man's blood, shortly after drawing it, fall into a vessel in which there shall be very clean water, and if it sinks without spreading itself through the water it is a sign that he will recover, but if it spreads on the water and remains on the surface it is a sign of death.
It cannot be denied that the stars and other heavenly bodies work and cause great change in human and terrestrial bodies; and since the moon is the star and planet which does this most, from its being nearer to us and more changeable in itself than the other stars, for that reason Nicholas Florentinus says that, in order that the end of a natural sickness may be known, two things should be noted, i.e., an accurate knowledge of the day one took ill, or in which he felt himself dissatisfied about his sickness, and secondly, certain knowledge of the day of the first appearance of the moon in which he is: then let him consider the days that have passed from the new moon until the day he took sick, and let them be counted (inclusive), and let him look up that number in tbe following table, and opposite that number will be found out what will be the end of that sickness. But be it noted that, although the planets effect this change naturally in earthly bodies, God can prevent that, for He is almighty; and in order that this may be understood, I suppose that some one took ill on the sixth day of February, and that the new moon was on the 29th day of January: I count those days inclusive, i.e., putting three days of January with six days of February, and that makes nine days: I look up that number in the table, and I find opposite it a grievous but not mortal sickness. With this the whole table will be understood.
1. If one takes ill on the day of new moon, he will be in danger until the 14th, 21st and 28th day, but after that it signifies health.
2. Here, it signifies danger before the 14th day; after that he will be better.
3. Here, a short but not troublesome sickness.
4. Here, a very dangerous sickness until the twenty-first day, but if he recovers from that he will be well.
5. Here, a troublesome but not mortal sickness.
6. Here, it signifies that, unless he is well shortly, he will have a troublesome sickness, but on the fifth day of the moon he will be well.
7. Here, he will be well shortly.
8. Here, unless he be well in 12 or 14 days, he will be in danger.
9. Here, a grievous but not mortal sickness.
10. Here, danger before the 15th day.
11. Here, death or life shortly.
12. Here, unless he is well before the 15th day, he will die.
13. Here, a very troublesome sickness until the 18th day, and if he recovers from that, he will be well.
14. Here, he will be sick 15 days, but after that he will improve.
15. Here, unless he is well by four days, he will be in danger of death, or as another author says, he will go to the door of death.
16. Here, he will be sick until the 18th day, and if he recovers from that he will be well.
17. Here, if he goes beyond the 18th day, he will be well.
18. Here, unless he is well shortly, he will be a long time sick and in danger.
19. Here, he will be well shortly, if he gets good regimen.
20. Here, be will be in danger until the 6th or 7th day, and if he recovers from that, he will be well.
21. Here, unless he dies within 10 days, he will be well with the new moon.
22. Here, within 10 or 12 days he will be well.
23. Here, he will be well the next month at latest.
24. Here, unless he is well in 22 days, or by the new moon of the next month, he will be in danger.
25. Here, unless he dies within six days, he will be well, nevertheless with difficulty.
26. Here, a grievous dangerous sickness.
27. Here, he will fall from that sickness into another sickness.
28. Here, danger before the 21st day.
29. Here, he will gradually get better slowly.
30. Here, a troublesome sickness, but with good attendance he will be well shortly.
Every time things which are stolen, or lost, or go astray, cannot be discovered naturally by the virtues of the stars, and further, when a sickness is hurtful so that it is not known what its end may be, it is a good thing to put the matter before God and His saints; because God has given power to them to counteract natural working, and to
p.203show things which are lost or stolen, and such like; as has often been shown through the intercession of the famous saint, Antony of Padua, of the Order of S. Francis, to every good Christian who has prayed to Him earnestly and with good faith, with the Responsorium, and with this collect which the whole Church uses, viz. Si quaeris miracula, mors, error, calamitas, daemon lepra fugiunt, aegri surgunt sani, &c. Ora pro nobis B. Antonii. ut digni &c. Oremus: Ecclesiam tuam Deus B. Antonii &c. And I say the truth to the glory of God and in honour of the saint, that it has often happened to myself to find things which were lost, through the virtue of that devotion. And let every person who hears me believe, for in case that the things which are lost are not found immediately, nevertheless let him have firm hope that they will be found, if it be expedient for him. Accordingly let no one leave off saying it frequently. I said, if it be expedient for him; for although we know the things we ask, still we do not know if it is good for us to get them; but it is certain that God knows best the things which are expedient for us; accordingly, at times, the things which we ask, [and which appear to us to be good], God does not give to us, because they are bad for our souls; although we think that they are good for our bodies, for it is to that we mostly look. This is evident from what happened to a lady in the city of Valencia who suffered painfully a long time from a disease called cancer. She made a devotion of nine days to the blessed saint San Luis Beltran, of the Order of S. Dominic, that she might get her health from God. At the end of the nine days she was whole. After that she heard from a preacher that an important way to secure eternal glory was to be under labour, hardship and pains in this world for God's sake. Accordingly she began to make the same
p.205devotion to the same saint, praying him, if that would be an occasion to get glory, to send her the same disease again. She got her request, and in a short time she went to possess glory. But let us return to our conversation. It is not only that this Responsorium of S. Antony serves to get back things which are lost or stolen, but in addition, it helps to save a man from misery and poverty. It is, further, mighty against the Devil, saves one from wandering of way or mind, from death, leprosy and other diseases, from necessities and from many evils. Through this Responsorium victory is given over winds and storms by sea and land, and further, the limbs of people who are crippled from disease are loosed miraculously. Give heed to this wonder, which is unusual, viz., that the Church gives permission to every man to ask miracles of God through this Responsorium, as the first three words say, saying Si quaeris miracula. We have purposely treated of it so that anyone who shall lose or have things stolen from him, may not offer to trouble the astronomers to give them knowledge, or to erect a figure by their art to show that; because they are unprofitable; and, further, it is a cause of suspicions, contentions, evil reputation, as the astronomers admit themselves, and as experience proves for us, I myself also being a witness to that.
If the first thunder of the year happens when the moon is in the sign Aries, the herbs and grass will be plentiful. If it is in Taurus the moon is at the first thunder, the hills will be more fruitful than the lowlands, and the dry ground better than the wet ground, and the sheep and the wine will be plentiful. If it is in Gemini the moon is at that time, bread and water and hail and peas will be plentiful, but the birds will not be so. If it is in Cancer it is, there will be famine and commotion in the villages under the dominion of that sign, and worms will do damage to the corn and the fruit in the lowlands, and water will be plentiful. If it is in Leo, there will be strife between kings, living will be dear, and important personages will die that year. If it is in Virgo, enemies and spies will be plen- tiful, and many of the large cattle will die. If it is in Libra, the beginning of the year will be dry, and its end wet, and food will be dear. If it is in Scorpio, wine will be plentiful, many of the fish and sheep will die, and the women will lose children dead before their birth, and powerful and mighty winds will not be lacking that year. If it is in Sagittarius it is, water will be moderate and profitable, fruit scarce, divisions plentiful between the people of one house and one village. If it is in Capricorn the moon is, the people will be melancholy, and there will be plagues in the countries which are under the dominion of that sign. If it is in Aquarius it is, the water will be plentiful, there will be trouble and terror in the villages,
p.209and evil unhealthy winds. If it is in Pisces the moon is at the first thunder of the year, the weather will be very dry, and there will be great frost in its own time, wine will be plentiful, fruit scarce, and sicknesses harmless. Be it noted that it is in the countries which are under the dominion of the sign in which the moon is at the first thunder that these things will happen more especially.
That the husbandman may have full fruit as regards his labour, let him take care to sow the seed and the spores at the crescent of the moon, and when it is in the sign of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Libra and Capricorn, and he will see wonderful fruit by reason of that.
That it may be known from year to year which of the grains will be most plentiful and profitable [...] a certain author writes, as Samoranus says in his book [...] asking to sow three or four grains of each kind of grain, in a good and wet ground, a month before the dog days, and the grain which shows itself best on the first day of the dog days, that is the best to sow, and will be most plentiful the coming year; and the grain which shows itself worst and grows most withered on the same day, will have least fruit that year.