On the Things of Eclipses of Luminaries, And of Conjunctions of Planets, And of Revolutions of Years
Translated from Latin by Anton Grigoryev
Here begins the epistle of Masha'all ah on the things of eclipses of luminaries, and of conjunctions of planets, and also of revolutions of years, shortly stated. And there are twelve chapters in it. The first chapter is on the structure of circle and stars, and how they are operating in this world. The second chapter is on the variety of the imprint, i.e. on the operations of stars in the regions of earth. The third chapter is on the signs and their natures, hot and cold, and which of them are fixed or moveable, diurnal or nocturnal. The fourth chapter is on the revolution of years. The fifth chapter is on the eclipse of the Moon and its signification. The sixth chapter is on the alteration of times by the alteration of the planets in signs of ponderous planets. The seventh chapter is on the eclipse of the Sun and its signification. The eighth chapter is on the conjunction of the planets and its operation. The ninth chapter is on the conjunction of the superior planets. The tenth is on the greater conjunction. The eleventh is on the middle conjunction. The twelfth is on the lesser conjunction.
First chapter. On the structure of circle and stars, and how they are operating in this world.
Masha'allah said, that the most high God made the earth similar to sphere, and made around it the hight revolving circle, and placed the fixed and immovable earth in the center of the circle; declining not to right, nor to left; and placed four movable elements; and made them being moved by the movement of the seven planets. Indeed, Dragon's Head and signs and all stars are participating with the seven planets in their operations and natures. So the operation of the planets in this world is similar to lodestone and iron, because as ones by this stone extract iron from notable distance, so every creature and all that exists on the earth are being produced by the movement of the planets; and every luck or impediment for living creatures, and every preparation or destruction happens from the movements of the planets and their operations; of which thing the greatest signification is the difference of humans in their existence, and in fortunes and misfortunes. And we see, that some clever ones are being deprived of goods, some quite fools enjoy goods. Does it really have nothing significant cause, that fortune and misfortune happen without their choice and will? Who is allowed to be made happy or unhappy - all this is in God's will, the work of planets, and their fortune and misfortune.
Second chapter. On the variety of the imprint of the operations of stars in the regions of earth.
You will know, the planet's work is different according to
the differences of climates. Therefore, in the certain climates, certain planets
become fortunate, and certain ones become bad, in the another climate it is
differently; and therefore every rational one must understand the account of
climates. As the
Third chapter. On the natures of signs.
There are twelve signs; and there are thirty degrees in every sign; and there are sixty minutes in every degree; and also there are sixty seconds in every minute; and so on, up to the size of a point, that is ad infinitum. And these are their names: Aries, Taurus, etc. And their significations are over fire and air, water and earth. For three of them are fiery: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius; and three are eathy: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn; and three are airy: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius; and three are watery: Cancer, Scoprio and Pisces. Indeed, the fiery signs are hot, and the watery ones are cold, while the earthy ones are cold, and the airy ones are hot. And you will know, that all hot signs are masculine, and the cold ones are feminine; and all masculine ones are diurnal, and the feminine ones are nocturnal. And four of the signs are moveable, in which a season begins, the signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. And there are four fixed, in which a season is consolidated, the signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. And there are four bicorporal or common, in which two seasons are joined, and the signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Understand, these are the natures of the signs.
Fourth chapter. On the revolution of years.
When you wish to know what happens in the world, about rains and winds and so on, determine the Ascendant at the hour of ingress of the Sun in the first point of Aries, and determine seven planets at the same hour, and having erected the figure, consider which of them presides over it. If it will be fortune, it will make the season good; if it will be malevolent or impeded, the world will be corrupted. And you do similarly in the quarters of a year and in the months. And you will know, that when many planets are conjuncted in the watery signs in the revolution of the year, they will signify multitude of rains. And in the fiery signs they will signify superfluity of heat, and drynessses or barrennesses of the earth. And in the airy ones they will signify multitude of winds; and in the earthy ones they will signify frost and also snows. And similarly in the quarters of a year, when the planets are in the cold places, they will signify intensity of cold and reducing of heat. You will know, that when Mars and Saturn presides over it, and a fortune doesn't aspect them, they will signify multitude of wars and destruction in the world. Therefore when Mars is the lord of the summery quarter, and is in one of the houses of Mercury, it will signify multitude of rains and of plagues. And you will know, that strong dryness, and barrenness of the earth, and the year of scarcity don't happen, unless there is the conjunction of planets in fiery signs. Understand this, and examine according to what it said to you, and you will discover.
Fifth chapter. On the eclipse of the Moon and its signification.
Masha'allah said: It is necessary to you to consider the eclipses of the year, both lunar and solar, and to know the Ascendants of the middles of the ecclipses, and that planet, which presides over that Ascendant and that figure. Which if is malevolent, will signify impediment and destruction; if it is benevolent, signifies good. And you will know, that the eclipse of the Moon, which is in a cold sign, signifies gravity of cold; and in watery sign - abundance of rains, if a season supports, i.e. if there is a winter, if there is a summer, signifies moderation of air. So you should realize and accept all the rest. You will know, that when fortunes aspect the Moon and receive her, the signification of it will be doubled, and will signify good and advantage.
Sixth chapter. On the alteration of times by the alteration of the planets.
Masha'allah said: When you want to foreknow the variability of seasons concerning different things of the corruptible world, you should know whether the signs of ponderous planets are hot or cold. Which if are hot, they will signify heat in summer and moderation of air in winter; and if the ponderous planets are in cold signs, they will signify frost in winter and moderation in summer. And similarly, when the conjunct planets are in watery signs, they signify the surplus rains and the corruption of air by these rains in winter, and the moderation of air and also multitude of dew in summer. This signification is approved, and you will not make a mistake. Also, the ponderous planets are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, and you should join the Sun to every of them. You will know, that only when the ponderous planets are in direct line of some regions, they will signify dryness and barrenness of earth; when they are departed from it, they signify the multitude of rains. I prefer to understand for neighbourhood, when they are in northern signs; and for remoteness, when they are in southern. Also you will know, that when all ponderous planets are oriental, they will signify dryness; and when they are occidental, they will signify multitude of rains in winter and moderation of air in summer. And similarly, in rising they signify good condition of air in winter and excessive dryness in summer.
Seventh chapter. On the eclipse of the Sun and its signification.
Masha'allah said: You will know, that the eclipse of the Sun could not signify any great event, unless after considerable degree of the eclipse itself, that is from a quarter of Sun's body and more. But the knowledge of what happens from the eclipse of the Sun is following: you should know the Ascendant of the middle of eclipse and the planets prevailing over the figure of eclipse. If they are malevolent, they will signify evil and detriment, and death of kings and rich men; and if they are benevolent, they will signify prosperity and good condition of things. And you know, that the eclipse of Sun, which is in Aries, will signify destruction of kings and rich men, and dryness or barrenness of earth, and famine as well; and so in the rest fiery signs. But in the watery signs, it will signify multitude of rains and detriment from them. You should understand also, that the benevolents, which aspect, will reduce the evil; malevolents, which aspect, will increase evil and reduce prosperity. Furthermore, you will know, that when the Sun or the Moon is anybody's hyleg or alcocoden and is obscured, it will signify to that, whose it is hyleg or alcocodent, great danger or serious sickness, unless benevolent aspects.
Eighth chapter. On the conjunction of the all planets and their effect.
Masha'allah said: The conjunction of planets signify events of this world and its things; and all this should be considered through the time of conjunction of superior and inferior planets. And benevolent planets signify prosperity and good effect, if they are prevailing over the figure of conjunction; if malevolent planets are prevailing, they will signify evil and bad effect. Besides, you will know, that when conjunction is in some sign, it will signify many damages according to the nature of that sign. That is if the conjunction is in watery signs, it will signify detriment from rains; and so in all the rest signs. But if the conjunctions is in feminine signs, it will signify plague and death of the living creatures of female sex; and the same is said about masculine signs. And you will know, that when conjunctions or eclipses of luminaries are in the fixed signs, they will signify duration of evil and its detriment; and if it is in moveable signs, it will signify shortness of evil and its detriment; if it is in common signs, it will signify average evil; and say the same about good.
Ninth chapter. On the conjunction of the superior planets.
Mahsa'allah said: You will know, that the greatest and miraculous things happen from the conjunction of superior planets, and this happens because of the slowness of their motion. And when three planet are joined in one term or face, and the Sun aspects them, they will signify destruction of sects and kingdoms, and their alteration, and greatest events, according to the degree of their fortitude, and the prevailing over their signs. And this is the greatest conjunction, and it signify prophecy and destruction of certain climates, and greatest things; and especially, if some inferior planets will be helping to them. And you know, that the strongest of them will be the significator; which if is benevolent, it will signify prosperity, and if it is malevolent, it will signify evil and tribulation. Besides, you should undestand, that these planets, when the conjnction is in their exaltations, it will signify good, and auspicious season, and the multitude of military campaigns, and demonstration of miracles; but if the conjunction is in their falls, it will signify detriment, and dryness, and barrenness of earth, and famine, unless they are fortunate. And you will know, that when the joining is in a fiery sign, it will signify barrenness of earth, too; and in a watery sign, it will signify multitude of rains; in an airy one, they will signify strength of winds; and in earthy one, they will signify abundance of cold and of demage. And when the conjunction is in masculine signs, it will signify demage for the living creatures of male sex; and in a such way for the feminine signs.
Tenth chapter. On the greater conjunction.
Masha'allah said: We narrated already, that the principal things happen from greater conjunction, which is the conjunction of superior planets. But different conjunctions and great events are signified by these superior planets. For indeed, the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter is the greatest conjunction, and this signify events and divisions. But the knowledge of events happening from the conjunction is through the considering of Ascendant and planets at the hour of conjunction, and from which of them is dominating in the figure. Which if a benevolent, it will signify good and auspicious time; and if it is malevolent, it will signify detriment, and dryness, and also barrenness of the earth, and wars as well. Therefore you should know, that when Jupiter is stronger than Saturn, it will signify good in such conjunction. If Saturn prevails, it will signify detriment and also tribulation. And you should know, that their conjunction in fiery and airy signs signifies dryness, and barrenness of the earth, and also high prices; and in the earthy signs, it signifies destruction of seeds and famine; and in the watery signs, it signifies abundance of rains and also plagues; and it is if they are impeded. If they are fortunate, they will signify increasing of good in everything signified by them, and decrease of evil. Besides, you understand, that when the greater conjunction is in any of angles, and especially in the angle of Mid-heaven, it will signify apparition of king or prophet from the region of that sign. But if the sign itself is fortunate, and its lord is good, it will signify their triumph and dominion. If the sign and its lord are impeded, it will signify their perishing and ejection; and conjunction will be menacing for some years after the conjunction itself; and this is mentioned in another place.
Eleventh chapter. On the middle conjunction.
Masha'allah said: The middle conjunction is the conjunction of Mars and Saturn. And it signifies events of wars and military confrontations as well. And when you want to know these events, you should know the dominating one in the figure of their conjunction; which if is benevolent, it will signify good and auspicious condition. And if it is malevolent, it will signify evil and impediment. Besides, you understand, that their conjunction in humane signs signifies the multitude of sicknesses of people; and their conjunction in some of the angles of the year signifies confrontation of riches or kings, and multitude of wars; and this will endure until the planets will be joined another time. And their conjunction in fiery signs signifies dryness and barrenness of the earth; and in airy signs it signifies winds; in watery ones it signifies multitude of rains; and in earthy ones it signifies ice and snow and intensity of chill. Furthermore, you understand, that when benevolent planets aspect, they will reduce evil; and malevolent planets will augment evil. You should examine with the way I tell you, and you will discover, if God wills.
Twelfth chapter. On the lesser conjunction.
Masha'allah said: The lesser conjunction is the conjunction of Jupiter and Mars. And it signifies those events, which happen from rains and snows, corruption of air, and wars as well. But if a benevolent planet prevails in their conjunction, it will signify prosperity; and if a malevolent one prevails, it will signify evil. And you should know, that when Jupiter and Mars are joined in Ascendant of the year or in some angle, it will signify concussion and contradiction of kings, unless benevolent planets aspect. Besides, you should know, that as often as benevolent planet is joined with malevolent one, the nature of stronger of them will appear. And when a malevolent one is joined with another malevolent, the evil will be very abundant, unless the planet, that prevails in the conjunction, will turn out to be benevolent; you should understand it. This is the utmost that we discover in this book, and it is from the secrets of the science of stars.
The book of Masha'allah is complete, translated from Arabic into Latin by John of Seville in glorification of God and with His help.