An Introduction to Astrology - William Lilly - ebook

An Introduction to Astrology is a fascinating discussion of astrology, published during the middle of the 17th century.

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William Lilly

An Introduction to Astrology

© David De Angelis 2017 - All rights reserved



Life Of William Lilly

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3. Of The Aspects

Chapter 4. Of The Twelve Houses, Their Nature And Signification

Chapter 5. Of Saturn, And His Signification

Chapter 6. Of The Planet Jupiter, And His Signification

Chapter 7. Of The Planet Mars, And His Several Significations

Chapter 8. Of The Sun, His General And Particular Significations

Chapter 9. Of The Planet Venus, And Her Several Signification And Nature

Chapter 10. Of Mercury, And His Signification, Nature, And Property

Chapter 11. Of The Moon, Her Properties And Significations

Chapter 12

Chapter 13. Another Brief Description Of The Shapes And Forms Of The Planets

Chapter 14. The Colours Of The Planets And Signs

Chapter 15. The Nature, Place, Countries, General Description, And Diseases Signified By The Twelve Signs

Chapter 16. Teaching What Use May Be Made Of The Former Discourse Of The Twelve Signs

Chapter 17. Of The Essential Dignities Of The Planets

Chapter 18. Table Of The Essential Dignities Of The Planets

Chapter 19. Considerations Before Judgment

Chapter 20. What Significator, Querent, And Quesited, Are; And An Introduction To The Judgment Of A Question

Chapter 21. To Know Whether A Thing Demanded Will Be Brought To Perfection, Yea Or Nay

The Resolution of all Manner of Questions and Demands

Chapter 22. Questions Concerning The First House. If The Querent Be Likely To Live Long--Yea Or Not?

Chapter 23. If One Shall Find The Party At Home He Would Speak With?

Chapter 24. Of A Ship, And Her Safety Or Destruction

Chapter 25. Judgments Concerning The Second House

Chapter 26. Of The Third House, Viz. Of Brethren, Sisters, Kindred, News, Short Journeys, Etc

Chapter 27. Of The Fourth House, And Judgments Depending Thereon

Chapter 28. Of The Fifth House And Its Questions

Chapter 29. Of The Sixth House

Chapter 30. The Seventh House, And Its Questions

Chapter 31. Of The Eighth House, And Its Questions: These Are Death, Dowry, The Wife's Substance, &C

Chapter 32. Of The Ninth House And Its Questions. Long Journeys, Voyages, Arts, Science, Church Preferment, Law, &C

Chapter 33. The Tenth House And Its Questions.--Viz. Office, Dignity, Preferment, Government, Trade, Or Profession, &C

Chapter 34. Of The Eleventh House, And Its Questions, Viz. Of Friends, Hopes, Property Of The King, &C

Chapter 35. Of The Twelfth House, And Its Questions, Viz. Of Imprisonment, Great Cattle, Private Enemies, Banished Men, &C

Aphorisms, By Zadkiel


Explanation Of The Hieroglyphics

Description Of Persons According As The Significator May Be Found In Each Of The Twelve Signs

Effects Of The Aspects Between The Significators

Of The ✶ And △ Aspects Between The Significators

The Effects Of The ☐ Or ☍ Aspects Between The Significators

List Of Fixed Stars Which May Be Considered In Horary Questions; With Their Approximate Longitude, Jan. 1, 1835.

Explanation Of Terms Used In This Work


AFTER a lapse of 205 years since the first publication, in 1647, of Lilly's Introduction to Astrology, there would be no necessity for an apology for its re-appearance, were it not for the prevailing fashion of the day, which is to rail at and vituperate that science, and all who dare to say a word, not in its favour, but in favour of examining into its merits, with a view to ascertain what were the grounds on which our honest ancestors believed, and strictly followed, that which we conceive only fit for ridicule. As I have long outlived the days when I, like many others, thought myself at liberty to laugh at, and condemn, what I did not understand; the world will forgive me if I be bold enough to advise those who value truth, to spend a few days (and but a few days will be necessary) in examining the principles laid down in this work, and applying them to their own individual cases, before they join the herd of learned and unlearned in pledging their words to a false assertion, viz. that Astrology is an unfounded science. If any man will take the trouble to examine for himself, and should find that the prejudices of his education against the science of foreseeing the future, and many other matters which it teaches, are in reality well-founded, and that it has no claims to truth, then will he have the proud satisfaction of knowing, that his opinions on a matter of some consequence are based on experiment, and are the result of his own conviction, not of another person's assertion. On the other hand, if he find truth flash with lightning force upon his mind, and convince him that Astrology, notwithstanding prejudice and abuse, is founded in nature, and is indeed a noble science, given by a benevolent Creator to enlighten man in his wanderings, and enable him to shun the vice and folly which his passions throw in his path; then will he, if a spark of piety exist within his breast, offer thanks to that Creator for the blessing he has discovered. In either case, he must admit that I do him a service in putting forth this plain and simple means of discovering the truth.

This is "the age of enquiry;" and yet prejudice continues to press down her leaden foot upon the neck of examination in this matter. I can only attribute the pitiable fact to the circumstance of there being no recent publications on those parts of Astrology which are the most easily acquired. The art of Nativities requires many years of patient experimenting before it can be well understood, and practised with certainty and satisfaction. The art ofAtmospherical Astrology, and also that of Mundane Astrology, alike demand much time to penetrate their arcana, and a good education to follow their practice. Hence we may account for their comparatively confined study: few have either the abilities or the opportunity to wrestle with their difficulties.

But Horary Astrology, the chief subject in this work. may be speedily learned by any person of even moderate abilities; and may, as far as regards its elementary difficulties, be mastered in a few days' study. It may be well understood, and reduced to constant practice in less than a quarter of a year, and no one will find himself at a loss for occasions to test its reality or its utility; for his own avocations, and the affairs of hisfriends, will offer these almost daily. If a proposition of any nature be made to any individual, about the result of which he is anxious, and therefore uncertain whether to accede to it or not, let him but note the hour and minute when it was first made, and erect a figure of the heavens, as herein taught, and his doubts will be instantly resolved. He may thus, in five minutes, learn infallibly whether the affair will succeed or not; and, consequently, whether it is prudent to adopt the offer made or not. If he examine the sign on the 1st house of the figure, the planet therein, or the planet ruling the sign, will exactly describe the party making the offer, both in person and character; and this may at once convince the inquirer for truth of the reality of the principles of the science.

Moreover, the descending sign, &c. will describe his own person and character; a farther proof of the truth of the science, if he require it. Here, then, is a ready test of the truth of Astrology. Will its adversaries dare to make its application? It would, methinks, be better than relaxing the broad muscles, which ever denote ignorance and surprise, the feelings which, combined are the undoubted source of laughter; the only argument of the idiot, the ready resource of the ignorant. In editing this work, my chief object has been to render it useful to the student in Astrology and so, by forwarding the science, to promote the general interests of humanity.

With this view I have re-written those parts of the work which modern discoveries in Astronomy and Astrology have rendered obsolete. Tables for calculating Nativities and a Grammar of Astrology are adjoined, and every ingredient of the science given which the student is likely to require.

As regards the deviations I have made from the rules of the author, they are few, and founded on much experience. I have omitted his chapters on nativities, as in that part of the science he was less perfect than in any other; the reason being that he relied on essential dignities, which are, by my experience, of little, if any, avail. The rules for calculating arcs of direction will be found in the Grammar.

In conclusion, I have no desire to offend any class of men by putting forth this work: I do not know whether I should not respect even prejudice, for the sake of peace, were it not that I cannot conscientiously consent to abandon truth in the effort. I am callous to the puny efforts of critics who may desire to pour on me the waters of vituperation or ridicule, having already passed through a flood. After many years' experience, I have found the laws of Astrology unfailing; and as I can discover no prohibition of its practice in the Word of God, I am prepared to defend it against all the foolish attacks of those who falsely declare that it upholds fatality, or is opposed to the providence or the revelation of the Deity. And I am contented, with God's blessing, to give up the ghost in the firm persuasion, that, in Maintaining what I believe is the truth in this respect, I shall meet, hereafter, through the goodness of God and the merits of my Saviour, with a merciful judgment.

I am, reader, your devoted friend and well-wisher in all science which may honour trod and benefit mankind.


Life Of William Lilly

IN offering an abstract of the most valuable of this clever astrologer's works to the notice of the public, I consider myself called upon to make some mention of his personal history. And it fortunately happens that this is not made up of imaginary ideas, founded on a few known facts, and a multiplicity of suppositions; for what we know of this man of extraordinary talent rests on the best evidence. He undertook, in his sixty-sixth year, to write a history of his own life to his "worthy friend," Elias Ashmole, Esq., afterwards Sir Elias Ashmole, the founder of the celebrated museum which bears his name. Mr. Ashmole made marginal notes therein, which testify his high opinion of our Author; and, fortunately for the cause of Astrology, this gentleman verified the correctness of the Figures of Heaven, which are given in the subsequent pages; for we find the following note at the foot of page 131:--"I devised the forms and fashions of the several schemes, E. A." This note was made after these observations of Lilly. "The desire I had to benefit posterity and my country, at last overcame all difficulties; so that what I could not do in one year, I perfected early the next year, 1647; and then in that year, viz. 1647, I finished the third book of nativities; during the composing whereof, for seven whole weeks, I was shut up of the plague, burying in that time two maid servants thereof; yet, towards November that year, the Introduction, called by the name of Christian Astrology, was made publick."

The fact of this work having been chiefly composed under such awful circumstances, with a dreadful death immediately before his eyes, with the pestilence ravaging his own house-hold, might, with unprejudiced men, have been taken as a proof that the writer was sincere in what he wrote; and really believed in the truth of that which he taught to others as truth under the solemn appeal to Almighty God, which is so beautifully worded in his introductory epistle. Modern critics, however, can see no force in this argument, but unhesitatingly condemn William Lilly "as an accomplished impostor, and a knavish fortune-teller."1 Such, reader, is the force of prejudice. It will not allow men to examine before they condemn; for if it did, then would the literary world speedily acknowledge the reality of those doctrines which our Author has so ably set forth in the following pages.

William Lilly was born of an honest yeoman family, in the town of "Diseworth, seven miles south of the town of Derby, on the first day of May, 1602." At eleven years old he was sent to Ashby de la Zouch, to be instructed by one Mr. John Brindley. Here he says he learned the following authors, viz., Sententiæ Pueriles, Cato, Corderius, Æsop's Fables, Tully's Offices, Ovid de Tristibus; lastly, Virgil, then Horace; as also Camden's Greek Grammar, Theognis, and Homer's Iliads; and entered Udall's Hebrew Grammar. In the eighteenth year of his age his master "was enforced from keeping school, being persecuted by the Bishop's officers;" and our Author was "enforced toleave school." He then kept school himself for "one quarter of a year." On Monday, April 3rd, 1620, he left Diseworth and came to London, where he was compelled to accept the humble situation of a footboy, his father being then "in Leicester gaol for debt," and, of course, incapable of doing much for his son. He had only seven shillings and sixpence left when he arrived at London, having "footed it all along" with the carrier. In 1624 his mistress died, having given him "five pounds in old gold." After which he lived "most comfortably," his master having a great affection for him. In 1626 his master married again, having first settled on our Author twenty pounds a year, which he enjoyed all through life. In October, 1627, he was made free of the Salters' Company. And on the "eighth day of September, 1627," married his master's widow, this same lady; and they "lived very lovingly" until her death, October, 1633.

In the year 1632 he began to study Astrology, being instructed in the rudiments by one Evans, a Welshman, of indifferent abilities. Lilly tells us that he applied himself to these interesting studies "many times, twelve, or fifteen, or eighteen hours, day and night;" adding, "I was curious to discover whether there was any verity in the art or not." By this his first wife he acquired a fortune of "very near to one thousand pounds." In the year 1634 he purchased the moiety of thirteen houses in the Strand, for which he gave £530. The figure of the heavens, erected on this occasion, will be found in the following pages. November the 18th, 1634, he married again, and had £500 portion with that wife. "She was of the nature of Mars," and he lived not very lovingly with her, as seems by his observations at her death. He appears to have now practised horary astrology with success, and to have instructed numerous individuals in the art; among others he taught John Humphreys, in the year 1640, for which service he received forty pounds. He also wrote, in the year 1639, a Treatise on the Eclipse of the Sun, May 22d, 1639; and appears, about that period, to have turned his attention much to Mundane Astrology. He says,2 "I did carefully, in 1642 and 1643, take notice of every grand action which happened betwixt king and parliament; and did first then incline to believe, that, as all sublunary affairs did depend upon superior causes, so there was a possibility of discovering them by the configurations of the superior bodies; in which way making some essays in those two years, I found encouragement to proceed further, which I did: I perused the writings of the ancients, but therein they were silent, or gave no satisfaction; at last, I framed unto myself that method which then and since I follow, which I hope, in time, may be more perfected by a more penetrating person than myself."

He appears to have dabbled a little in magic also, but he soon "grew weary of such employment," and burned his books. Lilly's better sense led him to perceive which of these studies was worthy of an honest and intelligent man's pursuit, and which not.

About April, 1644, he first published Merlinus Anglicus Junior. This work contained some of his most remarkable predictions, and was continued for many years. It attracted much attention, and was the means of adding greatly to the fame of our Author as an Astrologer. In that year he printed the White King's Prophecy, "of which were sold, inthree days, eighteen hundred:" and some other works of like nature, the Prophetical Merlin, &c.

In 1645 he was twice had before a Committee of the Parliament, for some observations in his Starry Messenger; but he escaped, partly by means of his numerous friends, and partly by his own ingenuity.

In 1647, when he published the present work, he was introduced to General Fairfax, who paid him and his art some compliments. In this year he was consulted by King Charles I., as to a safe place to conceal his royal person; but the King, unfortunately for himself, neglected Lilly's advice, and was accordingly ruined. Again, in 1648, the King consulted Lilly; but though he promised to take the Astrologer's advice, and come up to London with the Commissioners, he did not, however, keep his word, and again lost a good opportunity of escaping from his evil destiny.

"In this year," says Lilly, "for very great considerations, the council of state gave me in money fifty pounds, and a pension of one hundred pounds per annum, which for two years I received, but no more." In January 1649 he was present at the trial of King Charles, "who spoke," says he, "excellently well."

In 1651 he published Monarchy or No Monarchy, which contained several hieroglyphics; among others those of the great plague and fire of London, which the reader will find a copy of in this work.

These celebrated predictions were made by means of the motions of the fixed stars, as is evident by the words of Lilly; who says, "the asterisms and signs and constellations give greatest light thereunto." The Bull's North Horn, a star which, Ptolemy says, is "like Mars," was, in the year 1666, when the fire occurred, in♊17° 54', which is the exact ascendant of London. It was, no doubt, by this means Lilly judged the city would suffer by fire; for in his Almanac for 1666 he states, that the 19th degree of♊is London's horoscope. Our Author was not very nice in his calculations; and it may be observed, that though it may be called the 19th degree, being within 6 minutes of it, yet, in reality,♊17° 54' is the true ascendant of London. It was that which ascended at the moment of driving the first pile of the new London Bridge.

The longitude of the Bull's North Horn, 1st January, 1834 ♊20° 15'

Longitude of London's ascendant ♊ 17 54

Difference 2 21

This difference of 2° 21' is equal to 8460 seconds of longitude, which, divided by 50⅓" (the rate at which the fixed stars proceed yearly), gives 168.

From the year 1834

Take away 168


it gives the year when that evil star was crossing the ascending sign of London. And as it is of the fiery nature of Mars, we need not be surprised that it produced such terrific results. The celebrated Nostradamus had predicted the same event in that year, about 111 years previously, as follows:

"Le sang du juste à Londres fera fauteBruslez par feu, de vingt et trois, les six."

The blood of the just, which has peen spilt in London, requires it to be burned with fire in sixty-six. He states that he made this prediction by "Astronomical Affections."

In 1651 Lilly was again had before the Parliament, on ac-count of his predictions, and was thirteen days in the custody of the Serjeant-at-Arms. But the prediction which gave offence, viz. that the "Parliament stood upon a tottering foundation, and that the commonalty and soldiery would join together against them," was amply fulfilled by the members being turned out of doors by Oliver Cromwell.

In February, 1654, his second wife died; and in October following he married a third, signified, in his nativity, "by Jupiter in Libra; and," says he, "she is so totally in her conditions. to my great comfort."

In 1655 he was indicted at Hicks's Hall by a half-witted young woman. The cause of the indictment was, that he had given judgment upon stolen goods, and received two shillings and sixpence; contrary to an act made in King James's time.

"I owned," says he, "the taking of half-a-crown for my judgment of the theft, but said, that I gave no other judgment but that the goods would not be recovered, being that was all which was required of me. I spoke for myself, and introduced my own Introduction into court, saying, that I had some years before emitted that book for the benefit of this and other nations; that it was allowed by authority, and had found good acceptance in both Universities; that the study of Astrology was lawful, and not contradicted by any scripture.; that I neither had, or ever did, use any charms, sorceries, or enchantments, related in the bill of indictment,' &c. The jury, who went not from the bar, brought in, No true Bill."

"In 1666 happened," says our Author, "that miraculous conflagration in the city of London, whereby, in four days, the most part thereof was consumed by fire." He then gives an account of his being brought before the House of Commons by the following summons:

MONDAY, 22nd OCTOBER, 1666.

"At the Committee appointed to enquire after the causes of the late fires:--


"That Mr. Lilly do attend this Committee on Friday next, being the 25th of October, 1666, at two of the clock in the afternoon, in the Speaker's chamber, to answer such questions as shall be then and there asked him.


In remarking on the circumstance, he says, "I conceive there was never more civility used unto any than unto myself; and you know there was no small number of parliament men appeared, when they heard I was to be there."

"Sir Robert Brooke spoke to this purpose:--

"'Mr. Lilly, this Committee thought fit to summon you to appear before them this day, to know, if you can say anything as to the cause of the late fire, or whether there might be any design therein. You are called the rather hither, because, in a book of your's long since printed, you hinted some such thing by one of your hieroglyphics.' Unto which I replied,

"May it please your honours,

"After the beheading of the late King, considering that in the three subsequent years the parliament acted nothing which concerned the settlement of the nation's peace, and seeing the generality of the people dissatisfied, the citizens of London discontented, the soldiery prone to mutiny, I was desirous, according to the best knowledge God had given me, to make enquiry by the art I studied, what might, from that time, happen unto the parliament and nation in general. At last, having satisfied myself as well as I could, and perfected my judgment therein, I thought it most convenient to signify my intentions and conceptions thereof in forms, shapes, types, hieroglyphicks, &c., without any commentary, that so my judgment might be concealed from the vulgar, and made manifest only unto the wise; I herein imitating the examples of many wise philosophers who had done the like. Having found, Sir, that the city of London should be sadly afflicted with a great plague, and not long after with an exhorbitant fire, I framed these two hieroglyphicks, as represented in the book, which, in effect, have proved very true."

"Did you foresee the year?" said one. l did not," said I, or was desirous; of that I made no scrutiny." "I proceeded:--'Now, Sir, whether there was any design of burning the city, or any employed to that purpose, I must deal ingenuously with you; that, since the fire, I have taken much pains in the search thereof, but cannot, or could not, give myself any the least satisfaction therein. I conclude that it was the finger of God only; but what instruments he used thereunto I am ignorant.'

"The Committee seemed well pleased with what I spoke, and dismissed me with great civility."

After this, nothing very remarkable happened to our Author. He left London, having acquired an independence, and settled at Hersham, in the year of the great plague, 1665. He then applied himself diligently to the study of physic, and on the 11th October, 1670,he received a licence to practise as a physician. He continued to practise with much success, no doubt by applying his astrological science thereto; and he gave his advice and, prescriptions freely, without money. His skill and his charity gained him extraordinary credit and estimation.

He continued generally in good health till August, 1674; but his health and his eyesight remained very weak afterwards. He still continued to write his monthly observations and astrological judgments, though latterly by aid of an amanuensis (Mr. Henry Colley, who succeeded him as an astrologer), even until the year 1682.

In the beginning of 1681 he was seized with a flux, which he recovered from, but then became totally blind. The 30th of May of that year he was seized with a dead palsy; and, after some days of severe suffering, he died about three o'clock on the morning of the 9th of June, 1681, "without any shew of trouble or pangs."

He was buried in the chancel of Walton Church, his friend, Sir Elias Ashmole, assisting at the laying him in his grave, which was "on the left side of the communion table."

A black marble stone was afterwards placed thereon by Ins friend, with the following inscription:

Ne Oblivione Conteretur UrnaGULIELMI LILLIIASTROLOGI PERITISSIMIQUI FATIS CESSITQuinto Idus Junii Anno Christo JulianoMDCLXXXIHoc Illi posuit amoris MonumentumELIAS ASHMOLEARMIGER.


"An Epistle to the Student in Astrology.

"My Friend, whoever thou art, that with so much ease shalt receive the benefit of my hard studies, and doest intend to proceed in this heavenly knowledge of the starres; In the first place, consider and admire thy Creator, be thankful) unto him, and be humble, and let no naturall knowledge, how profound or transcendant soever it be, elate thy mind to neglect that Divine Providence, by whose al-seeing order and appointment all things heavenly and earthly have their constant motion: the more thy knowledge is enlarged, the more doe thou magnify the power and wisdome of Almighty God: strive to preserve thyself in his favour; for the more holy thou art, and more neer to God, the purer judgment thou shalt give.

"Beware of pride and self-conceit: remember how that long agoe no irrationall creature thirst offend man the Macrocosme, but did faithfully serve and obey him; so long as hewas master of his own reason and passions, or until he subjected his will to the unreasonable part. But, alas! when iniquity abounded, and man gave the reins to his own affection, and deserted reason, then every beast, creature, and outward harmfull thing, became rebellious to his command. Stand fast (oh, man) to thy God: then consider thy own nobleness; how all created things, both present and to come, were for thy sake created; nay, for thy sake God became man: thou art that creature, who, being conversant with Christ, livest and reignest above the heavens, and sits above all power and authority. How many pre-eminences, privileges, advantages, hath God bestowed on thee: thou rangest above the heavens by contemplation, conceivest the motion and magnitude of the stars: thou talkest with angels, yea, with God himself: thou hast all creatures within thy dominion, and keepest the devils in subjection. Doe not, then, for shame deface thy nature, or make thyself unworthy of such gifts, or deprive thyself of that great power, glory, and blessednesse, God hath allotted thee, by casting from thee his favour ' for possession of a few imperfect pleasures.

"Having considered thy God, and what thyself art, during thy being God's servant, now receive instruction how in thy practice I would have thee carry thyself. As thou daily conversest with the heavens, so instruct and form thy mind according to the image of Divinity: learn all the ornaments of virtue, be sufficiently instructed therein: be humane, curtius, familiar to all, easie of accesse: afflict not the miserable with terrour of a harsh judgment; direct such to call on God to divert his judgments impending over them: be civil, sober, covet not an estate; give freely to the poor, both money and judgment: let no worldly wealth procure an erronious judgment from thee, or such as may dishonour the art. Be sparing in delivering judgment against the common-wealth thou livest in; avoyd law and controversie: in thy study be totus in illus, that thou mayest be singulus in arte. Be not extravagant, or desirous to learn every science; be not aliquid in omnibus; be faithfull, tenacious, betray no ones secrets. Instruct all men to live well: be a good example thyselfe; love thy own native country; be not dismaid if ill spoken of, conscientia mille testes. God suffers no sin unpunished, no lye unrevenged. Pray for the nobility, honour the gentry and yeomanry of England; stand firme to the commands of this parliament; have a reverent opinion of our worthy lawyers, for without their learned paines, and the mutual assistance of some true spirited gentlemen, we might yet be made slaves, but we will not; we now see light as well as many of the clergy. Pray, if it stand with God's will, that monarchy in this kingdom may continue, his Majesty and posterity reigne; forget not the Scottish nation, their mutual assistance in our necessity, their honourable departure. God preserve the illustrious Fairfax, and his whole armye, and let the famous city of London be ever blessed, and all her worthy citizens.3


Chapter 1

THERE are in the heavens several bodies which appear to shed their light directly on this Earth; and also some others which, having no light of themselves, serve to reflect that of the Sun, and thereby become visible to our organs of sight. The former are termed Fixed Stars, because they appear to retain the same situation, or to be fixed in the same place; but the latter, being observed to wander, are termed Planets. The number and distance of the former are so extensive, that I shall take no further notice of them here, than to observe, that they are not much used in that portion of Astrology which is denominated Horary, and that those persons who desire to make use of them in nativities, will find their right ascensions and declinations given with great accuracy in the Nautical Almanack for each year. In the Appendix to this work, I shall give rules, to ascertain their latitude and longitude by, trigonometry, for the benefit of such persons as may be curious to make experiments as to their influence; though I do not, in general, pay much attention to them when judging a nativity.

Of the Planets.

These are♅Herschel,♄Saturn,♃Jupiter,♂Mars.☉Sol, the Sun,4 ♀Venus,☿Mercury, and☽Luna, Moon. These characters have been always in use, and may, (with the exception of♅) be traced to the remotest antiquity, and their origin found among the hieroglyphics of Egypt. But as the object of this work is practical utility, no more need be said on the subject.

The Signs of the Zodiac.

They are twelve, each containing 30 degrees, thus making 360 degrees, into which every great circle is divided. The first six are,

Northern Signs.


Southern Signs.


The first sign,♈, commences the zodiac, its beginning being that spot in the heavens where the Sun is when crossing the equator in spring; and the latter sign,♓, finishes the circle of the zodiac, the latter end of it being that spot in the heavens where the Sun is when he has gone his round, and is again about to enter♈.

By referring to the annexed diagram, the student will perceive, that when the Sun enters♈(about the 21st of March) he proceeds northward, and increases in declination until he reaches the tropic of♋Cancer (about the 21st of June), when he speedily begins to return to the south; and when he reaches♎, he again crosses the equator (about the 23d of September), where, having no declination, he causes equal day and night all over the world. He then declines away to the south; shortening our days in the northern hemisphere, until he reaches the southern tropic♑, Capricorn; at length he returns towards the equator, and crosses it by entering the sign♈(about the 21st of March), where again he has no declination, and gives equal days and nights.

Diagram of the Sun's Motion in the Zodiac

EXPLANATION.--The space between the two outer circles may be considered as the line of the Sun's motion; and than the sign opposite the name of each month will shew where the Sun is about the 21st of each month. The globe in the centre may be taken for the Earth, the northern parts of which receive the greater portion of the Sun's light in summer, and the southern parts in winter.

These signs are divided into,

Northern Signs ♈,♉,♊,♋,♌,♍

Southern Signs ♎,♏,♐,♑,♒,♓

Tropical Signs ♋, and♑

Equinoctial Signs ♈, and♎

Double-bodied Signs ♊,♍,♐,♓

They are again divided into

Moveable ♈,♋,♎,♑

Common ♊,♍,♐,♓

Fixed ♉,♌, vi,♒

Also into

Fiery ♈,♌,♐.

Earthy ♉,♍,♑.

Airy ♊,♎,♒.

Watery ♋,♏,♓.

The student must become well acquainted with the above particulars; but especially so with the northern and southern signs, the former being opposite to the latter. By attending to this, he will readily come to understand the figure of the heavens, and the relative situations of the planets.

N.B. The moveable, common, and fixed signs are always in square aspect to each other, three signs apart; and the fiery, earthy, airy, and watery signs are always in trine aspect to each other, four signs apart.


The Moon's north node is known by the character☊, termed the Dragon's Head; and her south node by this☋, termed the Dragon's Tail. The former of these in horary questions denotes good, and is considered of the character of♃. and increases the good qualities of a benefic, with which it may be found; and diminishes the evil of a malefic planet. The latter is of the nature of♄, and does the reverse. In nativities these characters have no avail, and are not to be considered, except with regard to the Moon, who is found to produce good or evil when she reaches them by direction. 5


This is that spot in the heavens which is equally distant from the degree ascending that the Moon is from the Sun. It is found by the following rule:--

To find the (⊕) Part of Fortune in a Nativity.

Add 90° to the right ascension of the meridian, and it will give the oblique ascension of the ascendant. From the oblique ascension of the ascendant subtract the oblique ascension of the Sun (having first added 360° to the former, if necessary); to the remainder add the right ascension of the Moon: the sum will be the right ascension of⊕.

The⊕is always under the horizon before the full Moon, and above the horizon after the full Moon. Having found its right ascension, take it from that of the meridian above or below the earth, according as it may be situated; or, take that of the meridian from it, and the sum or difference will shew the distance of⊕from the cusp of the 10th or 4th house.

Example:-- A. R. of midheaven 221 ° 5 '

Add thereto 90 0

Oblique asc. of the ascendant 311 5

Subtract oblique asc. of⊕ 17 34

293 31

Add right ascension of the☽ 345 34

639 5

Take away 360 0

It leaves right ascension of⊕ 279 5

Then, as the birth took place after full Moon, and the⊕will be above the Earth, find the difference of right ascension between it and the meridian above the Earth.

Thus: Right ascension of⊕ 279 ° 5 '

Right ascension of the midheaven 221 5

Distance of⊕from the 10th house 58 0

If the⊕be in the same hemisphere as the☽; that is, if both be above or below the Earth, it will have the semi-arc of the☽; but if otherwise, it will have the opposite semi-arc; which may be found by taking the☽'s from 180°. In this nativity (which is that of the Duke of Wellington) the semi-arc of the Moon is 90° 57', which taken from 180° leaves the semi-arc of⊕89° 3', two-thirds of which are 59° 22'; and it appears that⊕is just 1° 22' outside the cusp of the 12th house.6

The⊕has no influence on the health or life of the native; but it influences the pecuniary affairs very powerfully, and also, in some degree, the profession or employment.7

To find the Place of ⊕ an the Figure of a Horary Question.

In horary astrology⊕is merely a symbol, and has much to do with all questions regarding property, loss or gain, &c. In this case it is found by a more simple rule, as follows:

Add together the longitude of the ascendant and longitude of the☽, from which subtract the longitude of the☉: the remainder will be the longitude of⊕.

Example:--Where was the⊕at 3h. 20m. P.M. 28th of December, 1644? 8

Signs deg. min.

The Ascendant was♋11° 33, or 3 11 33

The☽was in♉, 16° 49', or 1 16 49

4 28 22

For subtraction add 12 0 0

16 28 22

The⊕in♑, 17° 54, or 9 17 54

Place of in the figure or♏10° 28'. 72 10 8

Chapter 2

Fig. 1.

EXPLANATION.--In the above figure the ANGLES and the succeedent and cadent houses appear at one view. The 1st house embraces 24° of longitude in the zodiac, viz. from♎0° 0' to♎24°; the 2nd house contains 30°, viz. from♎24° to♏240; the 3d house contains 36°, viz. from♏24° to♑0° 0', being 6° of♏and the whole of♐; the 4th house contains 36°, viz. the whole of♑and 6° of♒; the 5th house contains 30°, viz. from♒6° to♓6°; and the 6th house contains 24°, viz. from♓6° to the end of that sign, or♈0° 0'.--N.B. The other six houses will be found to embrace exactly the same number of degrees of the opposite signs of the zodiac; the 7th being opposite to the 1st, the 8th to the 2d, &c. If the student look for♋0° 0' on the 10th house in the table of houses for London, he will find the longitude of the six eastern houses, as here noted; and, of course, the six opposite or western houses have the same degrees of the opposite signs on their cusps.


THIS is merely a map to represent the heavens at any particular moment, such as when a child is born, or a question asked, &c. In the first place, draw three circles, as in figure 1; and then draw lines to represent the horizon, and others, at right angles with them, to represent the meridian: thus will be shewn, the natural divisions formed by the rising and setting of the Sun, and by his passing the meridian at noon and midnight. Each of these quarters or quadrants is to be again divided into three equal parts, forming

The Twelve Houses.

These are marked from No. 1 to No. 12; and it will be observed, that the double lines 1 and 7, which represent the eastern and western horizons, and those marked 4 and 10, which represent the meridians below and above the Earth, are the cusps or commencement of the angles. Those lines numbered 2, 5, 8, and 1l, are the cusps of the succeedents, so called because they follow or succeed to the angles. These houses are next in power to the angles. Those lines marked 3, 6, 9, and 12, are the cusps or beginnings of the cadent houses; so called because they are cadent, that is, falling from the angles: these are the weakest of all the houses.

Thus the student will perceive, that if a planet, &c. be in one of the angles, it is powerful; if in a succeedent house, it is less powerful; and if in a cadent house, it is weak and in capable of effecting much either good or evil.

Rule to erect the Figure of the Heavens at any Time.

1. Learn in an ephemeris9 for the year what was the right ascension of☉at the noon previous to the required time, in hours, minutes, and seconds. To this right ascension add the number of hours and minutes which have elapsed since that noon:10 the sum will be the right ascension in time of the meridian above the Earth (the mid-heaven) at the required time.

2. Find the longitude answering to this right ascension, in the column marked 10th house in the Table of Houses, which longitude is to be marked over the line which denotes the mid-heaven or 10th house.

3. In a line with this will be found the longitude on the cusps of the 11th, 12th, 1st, 2d, and 3d houses; which copy out from the table, and enter over the lines which denote those respective houses.

4. Having thus completed the six eastern houses, find the signs and degrees exactly opposite to each of them, and enter it over the cusps of the opposite or western houses, in the following order:--

10th house opposite 4th house

11th do. 5th

12th opposite 6th house

1st or ascendant do. 7th

2d do. 8th

3d do. 9th

5. Having thus completed the figure, as far as regards the signs of the zodiac, it now remains to place in the planets as they may be situated. The most distant from the☉is♅, whose longitude is generally given in the ephemeris for each ten days, and if the time of the figure fall between it, it must be found by proportion. When his longitude is found, write it in the figure, thus,♅13° 19', just by the cusp of the house, which falls in the same sign. in which♅is found. If the cusp be farther on than the planet in the sign, place the planet outside the cusp; but if the planet be the farthest advanced in the sign, place it inside the cusp. After having entered♅, enter in the same way♄, then♃,♂,☉,♀and the☽. To find the exact longitude of these seven, which is usually given for the noon of each day, find the distance they travel in longitude between the two noons preceding and succeeding the time of erecting the figure; and then take the proportionalpart for the time after the previous noon, and add it to, (or if the planet be retrograde subtract it from), the planet's longitude for the previous noon.

6. Find the longitude of☊in the same manner, and enter it accordingly, and place☋in the sign and degree and minute exactly opposite thereto.

7. If it be a horary question, calculate the place of⊕, and enter it accordingly; when the figure of heaven will be complete. But if it be a nativity, you must calculate the⊕according to the rule given, first having prepared a Speculum, or Table of Data, as taught in Chap. 9 of the Grammar of Astrology.

Chapter 3. Of The Aspects

THE figure of the heavens being erected, it now remains to observe how the planets are situated as regards each other; or, in other words, how they are aspected. And, first,

Of Zodiacal Aspects.

These are as follow:--

Semi✶, a Semi-sextile, or 30 degrees.

Semi☐, a Semi-square, or 45 degrees.

✶, a Sextile, or 60 degrees.

A Quintile, or distance of 72 degrees.

☐, a Square, or quartile, 90 degrees.

△, a Trine, or distance of 120 degrees.

A Sesquiquadrate, or square and a half, 135 degrees.

A Biquintile, or double quintile, 144 degrees.

☍an Opposition, 180 degrees.

Good aspects are the semi-sextile, sextile, quintile, trine, and biquintile.

Evil aspects are the semi-square, square, sesquiquadrate, and opposition.--N.B. The conjunction, marked thus☌, is when two planets are in the same degree and minute of the zodiac: when it is exact, it is very powerful, and is called a partile ☌; but if within the planets' orbs, it is called a platicconjunction, and is less powerful. To know whether it should be considered at all, the orbs of the two planets should be added together, and one-half the sum taken; if the planets be beyond that distance, they are not even in platic☌. The same holds good with regard to other aspects.

The orbs of the cusps of the houses are 5°, so that if A planet be one-half its orb and 5° more distant from a house, it is not in aspect to that house; the same if the aspect of the planet fall beyond that distance from the cusp of any other house.

Orbs of the Planets.

♄, 9°;♃, 9°;♂, 7°;☉, 15,♀, 7°;☿7°;☽, 12°.--N.B.♅has had no orb of operation discovered; but I think it may safely be considered as 7° in all horary figures, &c.

Of Mundane Aspects.

These are formed by the houses in horary astrology, and by the semi-arcs of the planets in nativities. Thus, a semi✶is 1 house; a semi☐, 1½; a✶, 2 houses; a☐, 3 houses; a△, 4 houses; a sesqui△, 4½ houses; and an☍, 6 houses.

The⅓of a semi arc is a semi✶; the ½ of a semi-arc is a semi☐; the⅔of a semi-arc is a✶; the whole semi-arc is a☐; and 1-5th less than the semi-arc is a quintile; the whole semi-arc and⅓more is a△; the whole semi-arc and ½ more is a sesqui☐; the one-tenth part of a semi-arc added to a sesqui☐, is a biquintile.--N.B. The entire arc of a planet, or double the semi-arc, will not give the measure of its distance from the opposite point of its place; but if the two semi-arcs of a planet, both diurnal and nocturnal, be added together, they make 180°, an opposition aspect.

Of Parallels.

The Zodiacal Parallel is when two planets have the same amount of declination from the equator. It is the most powerful of all aspects, but is not generally used in horary astrology.

The Mundane Parallel is an equal distance from the meridian. It is used by some horary astrologers. When any of the above aspects are formed between the planets, they are found to have a mutual influence or action on each other; according to the nature of the aspect. For example: if the☉be 60 degrees (a✶) from♃in any figure, it denotes that the person signified by the Sun is under the benefit influence of the benevolent♃; and shews success according to the nature of the question. In nativities it causes good health and good fortune in life. But if☉be 90 degrees (a☐) from♄, it shews discredit, a failure of hopes, &c. in a question; and in a nativity it produces much sickness to the native, and also misfortunes to his father. This was verified in the nativity of Napoleon Bonaparte's son, who was born at 9h. 15m. A.M. 20th March, 1811, when☉was in 28° 53'° of♓, and♄was in 26° 28' of♐; just 92° 25 distant from each other. This very close☐aspect of☉and♄caused great trouble to the native, through his father's misfortunes; and,☉was the hyleg, produced a consumptive disease, and early death. It is remarkable, that his father's troubles began immediately after his birth; and it will always be found in the nativity of a child, that the fortune of its parents may be ascertained thereby until the birth of another child. If, for example, the child have evil planets in the fourth house, its father will be more or less-unfortunate until the birth of another child; when, if that other have♃and♀in the fourth house, the father's affairs will become more fortunate: so very beautifully do the nativities of parents and their children sympathise together.

Chapter 4. Of The Twelve Houses, Their Nature And Signification

As before we have said there are twelve signs, and also twelve houses of heaven; so now we are come to relate the nature of these twelve houses, the exact knowledge of which is so requisite, that he who learns the nature of the planets and signs without exact judgment of the houses, is like an improvident man, that furnishes himself with a variety of household stuff, having no place wherein to bestow them. There is nothing appertaining to the life of man in this world which, in one way or other, hath no relation to one of the twelve houses of heaven; and as the twelve signs are appropriate to the particular members of man's body, so also do the twelve houses represent, not only the several parts of man, but his actions, quality of life, and living. And the curiosity and judgment of our forefathers in astrology was such, that they have allotted to every house a particular signification; and so distinguished human accidents11 throughout the whole twelve houses. He that understands the questions appertaining to each of them, shall not want sufficient grounds whereon to judge or give a rational answer upon any contingent accident, and success thereof.

Of the FIRST House, and its Signification. 12