Lee Lehman's Decumbiture Report



for Hans Christian Andersen




Compliments of:-


Christine Bennett


PO Box 420

Spit Junction 2088



Tel: 1300 880 448




Astrological Summary


Chart Point Positions: Hans Christian Andersen







The Moon





The Sun


































read into 10th House













Chart Point Aspects







The Moon





The Moon





The Sun





The Sun





The Sun





The Sun





The Sun





























































The Purpose of this Report


The purpose of this report is to present text relevent to interpreting the Decumbiture chart. What is a decumbiture? It may be one of several events - the time a person feels so sick that they retire to their bed (the traditional meaning), or it may be the time of a sudden onset of a disease condition, such as a seizure. It may be the time of admission to a hospital. Each of these would be interpreted in the same way - as a starting point to the delineation of what the disease condition may be, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual, how readily it may be cured, and the general length of the disease. Please note that this report should never be taken as a substitute for an examination and diagnosis by a qualified health care practitioner.


The difficulty that Astrologers have faced when confronted with medical questions is that the astrological literature consists mostly of extensive lists of very specific aphorisms (e.g., " questions relating to sick people, or Decumbitures, Whether the Lord of the Seventh, and Seventh House itself, be free from Impediments? for if they be, the sick may safely trust himself to the care of the Physicians, for medicines will do very well. But if the Seventh House and its Lord shall be Afflicted, Ptolemy saith 'The Physician must be changed, for neither the physic nor care will do any good,' for the 7th signifies the medicine, as 'Zael' saith. Or at least the disease grows chronic and lasting. The like is to be expected if the same positions happen at the beginning of any cure." [Bonatti]).


The challege of this material is that none of the works are very much systematized, much less critically discussed. It is left to the individual Astrologer to "collect" all the relevant aphorisms that apply to a particular Decumbiture, despite the fact that these ideas are scattered over a number of references, in a number of languages, with no indexing available!


This program attempts to rectify this difficulty by automatically collecting all the aphorisms that apply, and by presenting this information in a systematic fashion. Only then can we really study this material, and make our way through it critically. To date, we have no idea how systematically any of these ideas were applied, because the historical examples that we have only present a short list of aphorisms per chart. Did they ignore the rest, or never even attempt them? Did every physician attempt to memorize literally hundreds of considerations? We just don't know.


Types of Medical Charts and Delineations


There are several types of medical charts. The Decumbiture, mentioned above, is the basic type. However, it was common to deal with disease through the use of Horary Astrology. In this case, either the Patient, or a Party related to the Patient, would consult the physician, and this would be treated as a variant of the question: What is the cause of my illness, and will I recover? This computer program also applies to this type of question, but only if the Patient is represented by the 1st House.


When is the Patient given by the 1st House in Horary? There are several ways.


·         The Patient asks the question. In Horary, the person asking the question, or Querent, is always given by the 1st House.

·         The Patient is unable to ask the question, and so designates another party to ask on her or his behalf. Traditionally, this was a servant or relative. Notice that this method requires that permission be granted to the asking party.



If  the question is asked by another, it works better if the party asking is not likely to figure in the horary otherwise. The reason for this is simple - the 1st house always shows the Querent, and this meaning can only be ignored if the Querent's interests are not vitally affected by the outcome of this horary. Thus, it is unlikely that a son or daughter could ask this question concerning a parent, and be so objective that the son or daughter's response to the disease or threat of death could be ignored. In this case, the emotional response of the child to the parent could mask the reading of the First House for the vitality of the parent. It could instead show the state of the Querent! As Saunders explained,


"It's very necessary in this manner of Judgment, that you always have respect unto the Question; for if the Question come direct, that the Party sick did send, or was acquainted with the coming of the Messenger, or Urine, then ought you always to have respect to the Ascendant, the Lord thereof, to the Moon, to the 8th House, and Lord thereof..." (page 41)


Saunders also gives a special case for a parent asking about a child.


"And also, whereas you may desire to know where the Ascendant shall be taken, when the Father or Mother do make the Question for their Son or Daughter, without consent of the Sick,


"This you shall observe after our Experience in such a case -


"The 4th House shall be the Ascendant for the Querent, and for the Urine.


"The 1st House and Lord thereof, shall be the Ascendant for the Son or Daughter sick." (pages 42-43)


Actually, Saunders addresses this issue in gory detail, pages 72-80, of which we have only summarized here the most significant cases. Once it has been determined that the 1st House really does apply to the Patient, we can proceed with our delineation.


However, before we do, a word about "acute" and "chronic." Diseases were either viewed as being delineated using the Moon or the Sun as timer, depending on whether the disease was acute or chronic. Acute disease run their course in less than 30-90 days; chronic ones, longer. Much of what gets said concerning the Moon can be used for the Sun if the disease has turned chronic.


And, of course, a word about the urine and our 20th Century sensibilities... It was standard procedure when a Patient was too sick to go to a physician for the Patient to send a sample of a bodily fluid. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that urine was the most likely candidate. When the physician received the sample, he would cast a chart for the moment of receipt, hence the professional term "urine caster," for the casting of a chart. The urine was also examined for color, turbidity, and taste. This was the genesis of the modern urine sample that is often requested for a medical examination.


Understanding the system of disease presented here requires an understanding of the system of Humoral Medicine that developed out of Hippocrates' system. Many of the descriptions refer to the qualities - hot, cold, wet and dry - by degrees. These degrees work in the same way that burn degrees work. A 1st degree burn, or a humor hot in the first degree, is much more minor than a 2nd degree burn, or a condition hot in the second degree. The highest degree of quality is the 4th, which is a near fatal condition: either an extreme burning fever for hot in the 4th degree, or a metabolism so shut down as to be at death's door for cold in the 4th degree.


Thus, when degrees are given for the qualities, we can see immediately how serious the condition is. It is worth reminding ourselves that the more serious the description, the more likely it is that significant medical intervention will be necessary to get the condition under control.


This, then, relates to the utility of the delineation of Death in the Decumbiture. It is important for us to mentally insert the modifier "without aggressive medical intervention" into each warning of Death. Consider that, in Saunder's day, pneumonia, measles, scarlett fever, chicken pox, not to mention gangrene, were almost always death sentences. Any serious condition for which you were given a full dose of antibiotics could have been fatal in earlier centuries.


This does not mean that fatality is no longer possible: of course it is. In the cases where fatality is a strong possibility, there's a high probability that the illness will represent a major crisis in one's life, if it doesn't in turn result in death. We may also return to a comment I made in the beginning: that part of the delineation of a disease condition is to classify it as physical, mental or spiritual. This is not my opinion: it is a firmly grounded concept in the philosophy of our tradition. A disease that is spiritual in origin may not be "dangerous" to the body, but it can still kill. It is also not going to be susceptible to the methodology of conventional medicine, because the cure of the Body only tangentially affects the Spirit.


The curious conclusion is that this traditional medical diagnosis may ultimately provide a bridge between the more biochemically, bioenergetically, or spiritually based approaches to Medicine, by suggesting an appropriate treatment protocol.


How to Use this Report


Because this report draws on such a variety of sources and methods, it is difficult to conceive of taking this report as a literal description of the disease. The lists of conditions covered by the Significators is often overwhelming. On a first screen, the best plan is probably to specifically watch for the organ part(s) and/or symptoms known to be included in the condition in the delineation. If the description of the disease specifically lists the condition as known, then the condition is more serious.


This may seem like a strange way to proceed. But consider surgery. At approximately the same time, in the same hospital complex, a laser catarract procedure, an open heart surgery, a  nose job, an EKG, and a cancer surgery could be starting, not to mention the fact that a child could be delivered. Suppose that the chart for this time highlights eye conditions. Does this mean that the heart surgery isn't needed? Not at all! But it suggests that the eye operation, although arguably the simplest and least dangerous of the procedures listed is likely to be the one with the greatest consequences.


So does that mean that the eye patient dies on the table? Probably not. However, there may be consequences: vision is not improved, or it turns out that there was another condition present with the catarract that now is allowed to manifest.


Another factor to consider: in virtually all cases, there are astrological conditions that would merit the statement, "danger of death," just as there are likely to be conditions that would be listed as "recovery." This is probably a good way of reminding us of the myriad possibilities present in each moment. If the "danger of death" warnings exceed the "recovery" ones, then the condition is probably grave enough to require considerable attention.


The Humors


The classical medical model was given by Hippocrates a century before astrology had been incorporated into Greek thought.  This model incorporated four basic qualities: Hot, Cold, Wet, and Dry. These four qualities varied by season, gender, age, and person. The ideal of Hippocrates was to lead a balanced life. If the body is balanced, then disease is less likely to take hold. The method of creating balance was diet and regimen.


I have written extensively on the philosophical underpinnings of this model in my book, Classical Astrology for Modern Living. This introduction reviews some of the more pertinent points as they apply to lifestyle issues.


The entire ancient scheme was based on the four qualities: Hot, Cold, Wet and Dry. "Hot" and "Cold" were one pair - "Wet" and "Dry" the other. These qualities are understood somewhat differently within the context of disease than they are in a natal analysis.


"Whatsoever is Hot, as the Fire is his Simple and Elementary Quality, doth heat, open, digest, attenuate, ripen, subtilitate [i.e., to make more subtle: remember that Fire is of the Spirit], and make thin, and simple, and maketh soft.


"Whatsoever in his Simple and Elementary Quality and Nature is Moist, as the Air, doth moisten, putrifie and corrupt, make slippery, lighten, and conglutinate [i.e., to congeal].


"Whatsoever is Dry, as the Earth is in its Simple Quality and nature, drieth, maketh barren, attracteth and setleth, and is the worst in decreasing.


"Whatsoever is Cold in his Simple Nature and Quality, as the Water, doth make cold, thicken, and causeth indigestion, congealeth, destroyeth, maketh hard, knitteth together. It doth not pierce and open, but shutteth, incloseth and stoppeth, and nourisheth not, but astonisheth and extinguisheth the Radical Heat and Breath of Life." (Sa-069)


Each of the four qualities actually represents a cluster of concepts, and their opposites. For example, the qualities Hot and Cold do not represent extremes of a temperature continuum, as we would define them. They represent qualities of energy, where Hot represents high energy or physical heat, and Cold represents low energy or physical Cold. But these qualities are opposites in a critically different way from the way we normally envision them. Take temperature. From a purely chemical perspective, molecules in a hotter gas vibrate more rapidly on average than molecules in a colder gas. Mixing Hot and Cold gases will produce an intermediate result. In other words, in our thinking the "Cold" portion is completely canceled out by a portion of the "Hot" component. But this is not how it works - at least as far as the qualities, and not chemistry, is concerned! People are, in fact, more than capable of expressing opposite qualities without one canceling the other. In psychological testing there is often an index of consistency, which is actually a measure of to what extent an individual will give the same answer to the same question. If such an index is deemed necessary, it becomes clear exactly how capable we are of expressing "incompatible" ideas and emotions! Opposites do not cancel each other out!


Thus, people - or a disease condition - can have Hot and Cold qualities simultaneously. In fact, having "half and half" would be to manifest equal quantities of each, not to have a "zero-sum state" in which "Hot" cancels "Cold," perhaps producing lukewarm. It may be useful to envision Hot and Cold as being like two different colored marbles, red and blue. Having more blue marbles doesn't take away the red ones: it just means that, if you were to draw one marble out of a box at random, you would more likely draw a blue one, but you could draw a red one.


In addition to the simple (one element types), there are also combinatory disease conditions. Saunders gives them as follows.


"Whatsoever is Hot and Dry of Nature, is cholerick, generative, attractive, durative, and conservative, drying, heating, and attracting; doth harden, and cause watchfulness, because of heating and drying of the Brain and Head; they do also exhaust and draw, gather together and collect, they also cleanse and purge, provoke to siedge [i.e., siege: to a crisis point in the disease], and make sweet, they do cleanse and scour the Body replenished with cold and moist Humours.


"Whatsover is Hot and Moist, generates by reason of Heat, and corrupteth by reason of Moisture, and bringeth not to perfection.


"Whatsoever is Cold and Dry participateth of duration and destruction; for if the Dry exceed the Cold, then it will be duratuve [lasting], , but if the cold Quality in the same subject exceed the dry, then destructive, & est sicut Lignum arridum.


"Whatsoever is Cold and Moist, is indigestible material, corruptive, and always destructive, none generative, neque durat, neque fructum sert, sed obstupes, expulsive, refrigerated, humid, corruptible, mortificant; creates heaviness, dulness, and slowness in all things, provokes to sleep and drowsiness, Rots, consumes, separates and divides, is of the nature of the Moon and Venus, ingenders moist and watry Humours and Impostumes [swellings], and repells Humous by congelation and thickening, dispersing them in sundry places." (Sa-070)


Each type has what were called Natural or Unnatural characteristics. These, for example, illustrate the natural and unnatural characteristics of choler:


"Natural Choler [pronounced like "collar"] is hot and dry, temperate, and maintaineth the Attractive Virtue in all the Members of the Body, to the maintenance of Life and Health, and the right Natural Choler is reddish, cleer and pure.


"Unnatural Choler, if it abound in the Gall, it overfloweth the Liver, and causeth the yellow Jaundies, and there are caused many bitter belchings in the Stomach. If Unnatural Choler in the Liver commix it self with Blood in the Veins, and ascend to the Brain, it maketh the Party light-witted, and frantick, and drieth the Radical moisture and humidity of the Brain, preventing sleep and rest." (Sa-148)


The important point is how to tell whether the humor is natural or unnatural. Saunders explains this as follows:


"Choler is one of the four Natural Humours in the body of Man, and is ingendred in the Liver, and hath its residence in the Gall. And by nature Choler is maintained the Virtue Attractive in the members of Man, which is hot and dry, and is of the nature of Venus and Sun, if it be Natural. But if it be Unnatural and burnt, then it is of the nature of Mars, which is hot and dry, by Nature untemperate." (Sa-147)


The critical point to notice is that natural choler is lodged in the Venus-ruled parts of the body. Venus is cold and wet, so natural choler is lodged in those areas of opposite nature. Also, the Sun is hot and dry, but much less so than Mars, so that choler can naturally occur in temperance in organs of a like nature. The natural condition is the healthy type; the unnatural is the unhealthy type. Thus, when Mars-ruled organs become excessively hot and dry, they are likely to become focal points for disease.


Hippocratic medicine combines allopathy and homeopathy. The allopathic approach would mean that if you have become out of balance because your body is experiencing too much heat (that Mars transit to your Sun?), then you need to take a Cold herb, Cold food, Cold exercise, or literally experience Cold temperatures in order to cool yourself down. Homeopathy would give you a small amount of a slightly hot to kick your system back to balance.


Hippocrates believed that, in adults at any rate, the biggest problem that resulted in disease was either eating the wrong foods, the wrong mixture of food, or too much food in the absence of exercise. What bearing does this have on allopathy and homeopathy? Going back to basics, an allopathic approach to the cure of a disease is to give a substance or create a circumstance which is opposite in nature to the nature of the symptoms, or of the disease itself. Thus, for a poison, we give an antidote which is antagonistic in its effect on the poison itself. A homeopathic approach is to give a similar or identical substance in small quantity, essentially to "kick" the body back into balance. By definition, allopathic medicines have higher dosages than homeopathic.


If we then consider that Hippocrates is saying the biggest problem that puts people in danger of disease is food, then immediately we have a clue that food can only be an allopathic agent, because food is eaten in bulk. Spices or medicines can be either, because the concentration is so much lower relative to the concentration of foods, that it's possible to administer either an allopathic, or a homeopathic dosage.


Nicholas Culpeper addressed disease in a somewhat different Manner. Speaking of Saturn, he said,


"The great wisdom of a physician is to know whether Saturn cause the disease by ... Sympathy or Antipathy, and then take notice, that as the cause is, so is the cure., Sympathetical, or antipathetical: and withal do not forget, that sympathetical cures strengthen nature; Antipathetical cures, in one degree of another weaken it; ... Antipathetical Medicines are not be used, unless to such Patients whom Doctor Ignorance or Doctor Carelessness hath had so long in hand, that Sympathetical will not serve the turn.... If Saturn cause the disease by Sympathy, cure it by the Sympathetical herbs of Saturn. If he cause the disease by Antipathy, note whether it be by Antipathy to Sun or Moon.... Make use of the Sympathetical herbs of these Planets ... for cure." (Page 46)


What we begin to perceive is that the concepts allopathic and homeopathic may not be inclusive enough: Culpeper is clearly talking about the broader terms antipathetic and sympathetic. When Culpeper refers to antipathy, he is mainly referring to the dispositor of the signs in which the planet is in Detriment. So here, Saturn is in Detriment in Cancer and Leo; thus, the antipathetic causes are the Moon or the Sun.


If we apply the more modern parlance of "antagonistic" to the quainter term "antipathetic," the situation becomes even clearer. Much of modern medicine is based on the principle of antagonism: if the patient has high blood pressure, give them something to bring it down; if the patient has low thyroxin, then give them thyroxin (or a chemical relative) to increase the amount in the system. Granted, this is being done within the context of a completely different theory of disease. However, the older theories explain one bane of modern medicine: the frequency of side effects. As Culpeper says, treating a condition antagonistically weakens the system. Therefore, we see side effects, which we can understand as being manifestations of this phenomenon.


If we are to understand how this whole system works within an astrological framework, then we need to reintegrate the Humours Theory within conventional astrological analysis. Here's how it works. In your Natal Report from Solar Writer/Classical, there is a computation of your temperament. This computation is based on a number of factors, but in a way completely different from the approach of conventional astrology. The conventional astrological analysis can be broken down into an equivalent method for computing one or more dominant planets.


First, it's necessary to determine which planets are predominant in the natal chart.


·         Any planet in an angular house should be considered important, especially if it is conjunct the angle.

·         The Ruler of the Ascendant, the Sun, and the Moon are all potential candidates if  any one also disposes a number of other planets, or conjoins a Royal or other significant Fixed Star.

·         In the absence of other indications, the most dignified planet may be considered.



Once we have decided upon the planet(s) to use, then we can translate them into qualities.


·         Saturn is Cold and Dry. 

·         Jupiter is Hot and Moist.

·         Mars is Hot and Dry.

·         The Sun is Hot and Dry, but not as much as Mars.

·         Venus is Hot and Moist.

·         Mercury adapts to its sign and conjunctions.

·         The Moon is Cold and Moist.



The signs of the planets modify the effect of the planets, as follows:


·         Fire Signs are Hot and Dry.

·         Water Signs are Cold and Wet.

·         Air Signs are Hot and Wet.

·         Earth Signs are Cold and Dry.



The reason that we mention this is because so much of the analysis of what is out of balance requires basic understanding of these qualities. If you examine the Decumbiture analysis, you may see that Hot and Wet qualities predominate in the disease description. If you are naturally Cold and Dry, then the nature of the disease is completely antagonistic to your natural balance, and may wreck more havoc than the reverse. Hot people tend to experience more fevers (and higher ones) than Cold people. On the other hand, there are limits. A fever above a certain degree will kill, just as reduced metabolism below a certain degree (the cold equivalent) will kill.


Different humors also react differently to disease in general regardless of the nature of the disease. Thus we see that when the Natal Complexion is Choleric, the disease is shorter. (Cu-061) When the Natal Complexion is Melancholic, the disease is longer. (Cu-061)


In the Notes section, we have correlated the so-called Faculties with the Qualities, which is another way of doing this analysis. The Faculties have to do with the body's reaction mechanisms to an excess of particular qualities.


This program analyses the Decumbiture Chart, which becomes a blueprint for how the disease process has developed. Thus, here we have already started from the position that a disease has occurred. What we have just seen is the theory behind the understanding of disease onset in the first place. The rest of this report focuses on describing that disease.


Interpretation of Planetary Placements


The Moon


As Culpeper says of the Moon, the stronger, the better, the weaker, the worse. (Cu-066) One of the specifically important considerations about the Moon is that she rules relapses. (C1-091) The Moon also gives most changes in the condition, unless the disease is chronic in nature. It is almost impossible to overrate the Moon in the delineation of Decumbitures. In compiling this survey of aphorisms, I found that approximately one quarter of the total concern the Moon. A large proportion of the aphorisms relating to either danger of death or likelihood of recovery come from the Moon.


The formula for determining the gravity of an illness is rather simple: if the Moon is in good condition, and either approaching benefic(s), or improving in dignity, then the disease is neither serious, nor will it last very long. If the Moon is in bad condition, but moving to benefics, or improving in condition, then the condition of the patient will improve. But if the Moon is either moving to malefics, or deteriorating in condition, then the condition gets worse. If the Moon starts out in a bad condition, and then deteriorates from there, the condition is especially grave, because then the patient has no resources to fight the disease.


"The Moon is cold and moist, flegmatick by nature, and yet more moist than cold, she having chief dominion over all Bodies inhabiting this Globe of mortality.... She is most temperate, not much disagreeing from Nature, because it is her own house...


"The Moon hath of the Body humane, the Brain, the Lights [lungs], the Marrow, the Neck, the taste, the swallowing, the Back-bone, the Stomach, the Menstrues [menstruation], and all the Excrements, the right Eye of a Woman, and the left Eye of a Man, the force and strength of growing, the left side of the Stomach, the Head, the Matrix [womb], the Vulva, and according to some, she hath the Belly and Mother in Women..." (Sa-197/8).


The Moon is in a Fixed Sign

Disease is prolonged. (Cu-005) Long illness. (Li-0253) Less medication is better. (C2-148)


...and The Moon is leaving a Square with Mars

"The grief diminisheth." (BL-073)


...and The Moon is leaving a Square with the Ruler of the 4th House

"The grief diminisheth." (BL-073)


...and The Moon is Square Mars

"Argueth long and lasting griefs or infirmities." (BL-073)


...and The Moon is Square the Ruler of the 4th House

"Argueth long and lasting griefs or infirmities." (BL-073)


The Moon is Waxing

...and The Moon is Square Mars

"... beware the beginning of a sicknesse when the Moon is thus unfortunated, and understand that Mars doth more mischiefe when he is in masculine Signes." (Li-286)


The Moon is Debilitated by Aspect with Malefic

...and The chart is Nocturnal

Danger of death. (Her-096)


The Moon is in range 6 Taurus to 10 Taurus

If the Moon is in Azimene Degrees in Acute Disease, it gives continued sickness, if not sudden death. (BL-074)


The Moon is Square Mars

Danger of death. (C1-087) Less dangerous than the conjunction, but still can create mischief. (Li-254)


The Moon is in Taurus

In the Four-footed signs, Medication provokes vomiting. (C2-148) In the ruminating signs, it's not good to give a purge, because the body tends toward vomiting. (Her-074) If this occurs on a Critical Day, it bodes well for Recovery. (Cu-067)


...and The Moon is Square Mars

"The disease proceedeth of too much ill blood, with continual Feavers, the whole body obstructed, inflammations of the neck, throat and hinder parts of the head, ache of the bones, inordinate watching, a desire to drink water, and cool things: blood-letting, and things that do cool, extenuate and mitigate, are convenient. If that the violence of Mars be not repelled by some of the fortunes, the sick will hardly live to the ninth day. But if the Moon be with either of the fortunes, expect recovery after the sixth day." (Cu-076)


The Moon is in the 4th House

...and The Moon is Square Mars

Danger of death. (Cu-070) Danger of death. (Sa-064)


The Sun


The Sun rules chronic diseases in the same way that the Moon rules acute ones. (Cu-007)


As the Ruler of a Disease, the Sun gives short diseases. (C1-091) It increases hot and dry diseases, being somewhat hot and dry itself. (C4-088)


The Sun is Trine Jupiter

Patient survives, if Jupiter is not killing planet. (Cu-031)


The Sun is Opposite Saturn

Disease long and tedious, if not mortal. (Cu-070) Disease is melancholic, and will last longer than anticipated. (Cu-056)


The Sun is Opposite Saturn

Little hope of escape. (C4-083)


...and The Sun is Trine Mars

"... either Death, or an extraordinary long Sickness succeeds." (Sa-064)


The Sun is Trine Mars

...and The Moon is Square Mars

"... the Sickness is short, and Deathly speedy." (Sa-064)


The Sun is in the 3rd House

...and The Moon is in the 4th House

Great danger of death. (Li-283) Danger of death. (Sa-059)


...and The Sun is Opposite Saturn

...and The Moon is Square Mars

"...give testimony to a tedious long sickness." (Li-258)


...and The Sun is Debilitated by Aspect with Malefic

...and The Moon is Debilitated by Aspect with Malefic

"... give testimony of a tedious long Sickness..." (Sa-064) Danger of death. (Cu-070)


The Moon's Nodes


This section contains aphorisms which apply only to a limited number of charts, and if none apply to this chart, it will be blank.


Interpretation of House Placements


Astrology gathers themes under twelve areas, known as houses. In a health reading, only a few of these houses are used. The 1st House shows the vitality of the Patient. The 6th House shows the nature of the disease. The 8th House shows death, if death is a likely scenario. 


Sources for text are shown as an abbreviation after each paragraph. Note that the text is derived from these various classical sources, and does not represent exact quotations, unless enclosed in quotations. The full source listing is given in the References section. In this case, the report follows the source texts to the greatest extent possible, since its purpose is to provide a comprehensive listing of ideas which apply to a decumbiture, not to filter and edit those ideas.


The most common system of house rulerships gives the house attributions as follows:


·         The Patient and her/his vitality is given by the 1st House.

·         The End-of-the Matter is given by the 4th House.

·         The Illness and its cause is given by the 6th House.

·         The Physician is given by the 7th House.

·         Death, or the possibility of it, is given by the 8th House.

·         The Physic, or treatment method, is given by the 10th House.

·         Hospitalization, or bewitchment, is given by the 12th House.



However, there wasn't total consensus on these attributions. Ganivettus, cited by Saunders (pages 35-36) gives this alternate list:


·         The Patient and her/his vitality is given by the 1st House.

·         The Illness and its cause is given by the 6th House.

·         The Physician is given by the 10th House.

·         Death, or the possibility of it, is given by the 8th House.

·         The Physic, or treatment method, is given by the 4th House.



The following sections describe the affairs of each of the houses in relation to the decumbiture chart. However, note that there are no aphorisms for the 2nd, 3rd and 11th houses.


Affairs of the 1st House: Health and Vitality


What is vitality? It was seen as a force, with different persons having greater or lesser degrees of it. A strong vitality was necessary - but not sufficient - in order to have a long life. When we deal with vitality in the context of illness delineation, we are really asking the question, Is the vitality stronger than the disease, or than the threat of death? If your life force is stronger than the disease force which is oppressing you, you live. If not, you may die.


There are also diseases specifically related to the 1st House: headaches, eye disease, brain fevers or tumors, epilepsy, nervous weakness, bone marrow diseases, jaw disease, tooth disease, nervous system disease, sense organ disease (sight, smell, taste, etc.), nose problems, face problems, ear problems, and baldness.


Ruler of the 1st is Retrograde

Very ill. Relapse is possible. (Cu-064) Patient may be cured, but will suffer a relapse after a short time which may present grave danger or "desparate infirmity." (Li-251)


Jupiter is the Ruler of the 1st House

The problem is in the Body, because that is what Jupiter affects. (Li-264)


...and Jupiter is in a Cadent House

...and Jupiter is Trine the Ruler of the 8th House

...and The Moon is Square Mars

Danger of death. (Sa-041)


...and Jupiter is more dignifed than Mars

...and Jupiter is more dignifed than Saturn

Patient recovers. (BL-073)


...and Dispositor of Jupiter is in 12th

Disease resulted from patient's own doing. (Cu-027)


Ruler of the 1st is approaching a Trine with the Ruler of the 6th House

Disease has not peaked. (Sa-044) Likely to be problems or complications in the course of the illness. (Cu-063)


Ruler of the 1st is Trine the Ruler of the 8th

Death is likely cure. (Cu-064) "One fears for the sick." (Her-071) Danger of death. (Cu-068)


Ruler of the 1st is Conjunct the Ruler of the 12th

Danger of death. (Li-256) "It's a very ill sign of seldome succeeds well with the sick Person then." (Sa-061)


Ruler of the 1st is approaching a Trine with the Ruler of the 8th House

Likely to be problems or complications in the course of the illness. (Cu-063)


Mars is approaching a Trine with the Ruler of the 1st House

"...retards the cure, prolongs the infirmity." (Li-251)


Mars is Trine the Ruler of the 1st House

...and Mars is in the 8th House

Danger of death. (Cu-069)


...and Jupiter is Conjunct the Ruler of the 1st House

"A strong contest between nature and the disease." (Cu-069)


Jupiter is Conjunct the Ruler of the 1st House

...and Jupiter is Retrograde

Promises cure, but with a "threatning of length of the disease." (Cu-066)


Saturn is approaching a Sextile with the Ruler of the 1st House

"...retards the cure, prolongs the infirmity." (Li-251)


Saturn is Sextile The Ascendant

...and Saturn is not Aspect The Moon

"... the griefe lyes in the Spirits, not in the Body." (Li-284)


...and Dispositor of The Sun is Mars

...and Mars is Debilitated by Aspect with Malefic

"... the party is grieved in Minde, but not sick in his Body." (Li-265)


Mars is not Aspect the 1st House Cusp

...and Mars is Square The Moon

The problem is in the body, not the spirit. (Li-284)


...and Jupiter is in a Cadent House

...and Jupiter is Trine the 8th House Cusp

...and The Moon is Square Mars

Danger of death. (Sa-041)


Affairs of the 4th House: Stomach, Lungs, and the End-of-the-Matter


The 4th House rules diseases of the stomach and lungs, including pleurisy, pneumonia, coughs, tumors, swellings, etc.


Affairs of the 5th House: The Liver and the Humour of the Disease


In a modern context, we seldom associate the 5th House with anything health-related, but Saunders assigned it to the rulership of the Liver. The Liver was understood as the seat of whatever humoural imbalance occurs.


The 5th House also rules false pregnancy and diseases of the reproductive system.


Almuten of the 5th is The Moon

...and The Moon is in an Earth Sign

"[T]he Expulsive Virtue [is] weakened through too much cold and drowth of Melancholy and Flegm, infecting the Blood, and stopping the Liver, and it is called Acetosa Phlegma, and Vitrea Phlegma, by reason if the analogy it beareth in colour and taste to Glass and Vinegar as being a little saltish, but soure and sharp like Allum-water, and it is wonderful cold, tough and dry, making oppilations [obstructions] and indigestion in the Liver, and little lust to meat, and the Party is heavy, dull, earthy, and melancholy. If this Vitra Phlegma ascend to the Stomach, the Stomach will be cold, hard, heavy, and soure, inclining to vomit, and yet cannot vomit, but hath much pricking, reaching, tearing and growing in the Stomach, for such it is good to vomit. If this Vitrea Phlegma affect the Lungs, it causeth shortness of Winde, Ptisick [tuberculosis], and extreme Coughs. If it ascend, and affect the Brain, it causeth heaviness, yet little sleep, but pricklings and cold, and aches in the Head..." (Sa-090)


...and The Moon is in the 4th House

The stomach is the primary location.


...and The Moon is in Taurus

"[I]t is cold, dry, sharp, stiff and soure..." (Sa-091)


Almuten of the 5th is in Rulership, Exaltation or Triplicity

"[H]e signifieth the abounding and overmuch of this Humour and virtue..." (Sa-094) In other words, the strength of the ruling planet means that the condition results from an excess or surfeit, rather than a deficiency.


Affairs of the 6th House: Illness, and the Nature of Disease


In medical charts, the 6th House is used to describe the nature of the disease. Nature of disease described by sign, ruler, planets in, especially if in aspect to luminary or Ascendant. (Cu-039) The 6th House also specifically relates to sciatica, and other diseases of the same area of the body.


Ruler of the 1st is Dignified and not Combust

...and Ruler of the 6th House is Mercury

...and Mercury is Debilitated by Peregrine

Disease is either decreasing, or will be routed. (Cu-062) The patient is stronger than the disease, and the disease will tend to be cured without much effort on the part of the physician. (Li-248)


Ruler of the 6th House is Mercury

You are subject to the following general health issues: inflammations, especially of mucous membranes, sciatica, stammering, lisping, hoarseness, coughs, snuffling in the nose, imperfection in the tongue, and all diseases of the brain: vertigo, apoplexy, and madness, also diseases of the lungs, such as asthma, tuberculosis, and other diseases that belong to the brain, tongue and memory.


"Mercury denoteth Disease proceeding of mixt Humours, according to whom he configurated, Distraction of Sense, Madness, all Vertigo's, Lethargy, or Giddiness in the Head, Lightness, or any Disease of the Brain, Ptisick [advanced tuberculosis], Stammering, and imperfection of the Tongue, vain and fond Imaginations, all defects in the Memory, Hoarsness, dry Coughs, superabounding of Spittle, all snaffling and snuffling in the Head or Nose, the hand and foot Gout, Dumbness, Tongue-evil [i.e., damage], all evils in the Fancy and Intellectual parts, Suggestions of Evil-spirits, foolish and irrational Conceits, troubled Thoughts, stuffing of the Pipes and Organs of Voice, black Jaundies [hepatitis], Wind in the Bowels, lightness of Mind, Deliration, aridity of the Tongue, Swellings in the Legs, Hands and Fingers." (Sa-021)


"Mercury is naturally more Cold and Dry than Hot and Moist, but of a superfluous Humidity, and is Moveable, Quick in Melancholick causes, Thin, Melancholick and Subtil." (Sa-068)


"... the sick party hath his Brain disaffected, is disturbed with an unquiet Fancy or Minde, with a Frenzie, Falling-sicknessse, Cough, Ptisick, or the like." (Li-263)


Right side of body is afflicted. (Cu-060)


"Mercury is said to rule the Tongue and Memory, because of his Eloquence, and hath attributed to him the Speech and Deliberation, the Lungs, the Spleen and Milt, the Lights [lungs], the Stomach, the Bladder, the Matrix [womb], the right Ear, the Brain, the Nostrils, the instruments of the Senses, and the Virtue Receptive, the Animal Spirits, the Thighs, the Belly, the Flank and the Hands, the Throat-bole, the Navel, the Pecten, the Veins, the Nerves, the Thoughts and Diseases of the mind, the third sort of Madness, and the third kind of Falling-sickness [epilepsy], the Cough, the precipitation of the Matrix, and the perturbation of the mind, abundance of Spittle and Rheums, and divers[e] dry Diseases." (Sa-182)


...and Mercury is in Aries

In addition, you are specifically subject to the following health issues: head diseases, vertigo, and uterine disease. Mercury in Aries rules the genitals and legs. Disease is in a visible part of the body. (Cu-060)


...and Mercury is in range 0 Aries to 17 Aries

"Mercury ... is temperate in heat and cold, but dry in the first degree, causing Diseases of subtile, thin yellow Choler, and of thin, subtile and sharp Melancholy, equally commixed, causing Itches and froth, and Rheum in the Stomach." (Sa-182)


...and Mercury is Opposite Saturn

The patient is troubled by fantasies or madness. (AN1-199)


...and Mercury is in a Cadent House

The disease is neither very serious, nor will it last very long. (Li-250)


...and Mercury is in a Masculine Sign

...and Mercury is in the 3rd House

"... the Disease is in the superiour and fore-part of the body, as in the forehead, stomacke, &c." (Li-263)


...and Mercury is Debilitated by Peregrine

"a signe of a strong fit of sickness." (Li-251)


Venus is in Late Degrees

A sudden change in the disease, but whether for the good or the worse is dependent on other factors. (BL-073)


Ruler of the 6th House is in range 0 Aries to 9 Aries

"... the upper part of that Member is pained or grieved." (Li-264)


Jupiter is Trine the Ruler of the 6th House

Recovery soon. (Cu-063)


Ruler of the 6th House is Mercury

Disease is short-lived. (Co-183)


6th House Cusp is in a Mutable Sign

Disease is of average length, but reversals and relapses are likely. (Cu-061) A mediocre length: neither too long, nor too short. (Li-248)


...and Venus is in Late Degrees

Disease is of average length, but reversals and relapses are likely. (Cu-061) A mediocre length: neither too long, nor too short. (Li-248)


Affairs of the 7th House: The Physician and The Portals of Death


The 7th House specifically relates to diseases of the legs, Podagra [foot gout], feet, and toes. " questions relating to sick people, or Decumbitures, Whether the Lord of the Seventh, and Seventh House itself, be free from Impediments? for if they be, the sick may safely trust himself to the care of the Physicians, for medicines will do very well. But if the Seventh House and its Lord shall be Afflicted, Ptolemy saith 'The Physician must be changed, for neither the physic nor care will do any good,' for the 7th signifies the medicine, as 'Zael' saith. Or at least the disease grows chronic and lasting. The like is to be expected if the same positions happen at the beginning of any cure." (Bon-068)


Jupiter is Trine the Ruler of the 7th House

"... refuse not in any wise the help of the Physician, for he shall by Gods help Cure thee, to Gods Glory, and Credit." (Sa-034)


Saturn is Opposite the Ruler of the 7th House

"...change thy Physician, for he shall do no good, but be crafty in his Actions and Judgment, and to thee unfortunate." (Sa-034)


The South Node is in the 7th House

"[P]ain and weakness in the limbs, in some part between the huckle-bone [anklebone] and the top of the toes." (Sa-098)


Affairs of the 8th House: Death


The 8th House relates to diseases that involve swellings or edemas. It also relates to Death.


As for death, astrology has long recognized that you can be plagued by many illnesses, but not die from them, instead dying by some completely different means. This idea used to fall under the rubric of "morbidity" versus "mortality." One further point on mortality: one method of delineating the nature of death is by using the planet ruling the 8th House, sometimes called Anareta. Some sources gave other options for a different planet to be Anareta. There is even a Part of Anareta. Whichever definition is preferred, the extent of dignity of the Anareta is important. A poorly dignified Anareta results in a sudden death. The idea was clearly that to die "well" meant to have the time to accept the process, make your peace with God and your fellows, and then to die in witnessed, genteel conditions, fully shriven or forgiven. A sudden death did not allow for absolution or preparation, and was thus less ideal. However, these days, with hosts of lingering illnesses possible, many of us prefer the concept of "sudden!"


Ruler of the 8th is in the 3rd House

...and Ruler of the 3rd is approaching a Conjunct with the Ruler of the 1st House

"...Because a Planet so affected becomes the destroyer of Life, and kills as well if it be a Fortune as an Infortune, and that whether there be a reception or not." (Bon-092)


Ruler of the 8th is approaching a Trine with the Ruler of the 1st House

"...Because a Planet so affected becomes the destroyer of Life, and kills as well if it be a Fortune as an Infortune, and that whether there be a reception or not" (Bon-092) Danger of death. (Sa-039) Likely to be problems or complications in the course of the illness. (Cu-063)


...and The Moon is Debilitated by Aspect with Malefic

Danger of death. (Li-256)


Ruler of the 8th is Combust

"... the sick shall recover and not dye at that time." (Li-285)


Saturn is Opposite the Ruler of the 8th House

Danger of death. (Cu-070) Danger of death. (Sa-064)


Affairs of the 9th House: Cholic and Windiness.


This house is only used in medical astrology occasionally, to refer to specific conditions.


Saturn is in the 9th House

...and Saturn is Dignified and not Combust

The medicine helped. (Sa2-007)


Affairs of the 10th House: The Physic, also known as the Method of Treatment


The 10th House specifically relates to diseases of the kidneys, bowels, and back, also gonorrhea.


Affairs of the 12th House: Confinement, Hospitalization, and Bewitchment


The 12th House rules herpes, palsy, and diseases of the nerves and connective tissue.


Ruler of the 12th House is Jupiter

The problem is in the Body, because that is what Jupiter affects. (Li-264)


...and Jupiter is Conjunct the Ruler of the 1st House

Disease resulted from patient's own doing. (Cu-022)


General Notes


There are a number of considerations that apply to all decumbitures. Some of these are provided here.


One of the concepts mentioned in the various sections has been the four Virtues: digestion, attraction, retention, and explusion. The virtues can be understood as processes, all of which are necessary for the functioning of the body. It is theoretically possible (if highly improbable) that one could have a temperament lacking a quality, such as cold. One cannot lack a virtue. The shutting off of a virtue would result in death, and the magnification of one virtue at the expense of the rest results in sickness.


"Digestion hath its operation, and is maintained by Blood, making his operation in the Stomach by the Liver, for so long as the Liver keepeth his natural proportion, by heat and moisture of good blood, so long shall the Body be in Health. And if the Party shall distemper himself by his Diet or otherwise, whereby the Liver is oppressed with much Moisture, Drowth, Heat or Cold, then the meat in the stomach for want of Decoction, by too much cold, or overmuch heat, fouleth and corrupteth the Blood, and breedeth distempers and Diseases of the Body, proceeding unnaturally from the excess of Choler, Melancholy, Blood, or Flegm." (Sa-081) Remember that according to Hippocrates, diet was one of the most common causes of disease. Notice that the characterization of digestion highlights the qualities hot and wet, the qualities of both the air signs, and specifically of the planet Jupiter, which is given rulership of the liver. Not surprisingly, Jupiter was believed to ruler the Digestive Virtue.


"The second of the four Virtues aforesaid is Attraction, this operation is performed by natural Heat and Choler [natural means healthy while unnatural relates to a diseased conditon], which is ingendered by good digestion, of the Liver, and hath its principal residence in the Gall, and if this Humour becom[e] ad[j]ust or abound [i.e., out of balance], the Blood is infected thereby, and many distempers and informities are caused...." (Sa-081) Venus rules the Attractive Virtue.


And what is the Virtue Retentive? It "conserveth the Nutriment in the Body till it be digested, and it is maintained by Melancholy, naturally cold and dry, and hath its proper residence in the Milt or Spleen...." (Sa-082) It is ruled by Saturn.


The Expulsive Faculty is ruled by the Moon and the Water Signs. It is characterized by moisture, and it works with Blood. "The Expulsive Virtue ... is that which driveth out by siedge, the dregs of the meat after digestion, and separateth that which the Attractive Virtue hath drawn down into the Bowels or Bladder, or that evacuateth, or driveth out of the Veins any evil or unnatural Humours gathered in any part of the Body or Members." (Sa-193)


In a disease condition, if any of these four planets predominated as the ruler of the 5th House, then that Virtue was believed to be the one out of balance, either by being too strong or too weak. If the ruler of the 5th House is dignified, then that Virtue is believed to be too strong. If the Ruler of the 5th House is in Detriment, Fall, or Peregrine, then the Virtue was believed to be too weak.


"But in all your ministrations for any Disease, let the Lord of the 6th House be weak and infortunate, in his Fall or Detriment, in a Cadent house, or in opposition to the 6th House. But if the lord of the 6th be Retrograde, or a Retrograde Planet in the 6th, or in the Sign of the 6th House, it is a sign that the Sickness will return again. Or if it be a Sore or Wound, that it will relapse and break out again." (SA-094)


"Touch no part of the Body with an Instrument to take away any Blood, when the Moon is in the Sign governing that Member." (CPt-020) This is the surgical rendering of the general understanding that the Moon in sign ruling disease was considered to be a very bad sign. (Cu-006)


When the Moon is in the element ruling the part of the body afflicted, it's good for administering a vomitative. (AN1-224) When the Moon is in the element ruling the part of the body afflicted, and the Planet ruling that part of body is angular, it's not a favorable outcome for purging. (AN1-226)


If the illness is ruled by Jupiter or Venus, this is unfortunate, because the Benefic acts as a malefic. (Lou-083) If the illness is ruled by Mars or Saturn, this is fortunate, because the Malefic acts as Benefic. (Lou-083)


Planets are consider inimical  when houses or exaltations are opposite. (Cu-014) Or when qualities are opposite. (Cu-014) Or when planets are opposite or square other planets, they are accidentally inimical. (Cu-014)


"At the Erection of a Figure at the decumbiture, if it be contrary to that Radix, the Sick person will be in danger, especially if no good Planet assist" (CPt-044)


If the Season is Spring or Summer, the disease is shorter. (Cu-061) If the Season is Autumn or Winter, the Disease is longer. (Cu-061)


"A Disease or Sickness beginning when the Moon is in a Sign where an Infortune was at the Radix, or in squareuare or opposition thereunto, will prove very grievous, and if she were then in ill Aspect of an Infortune, it will be dangerous. But if at the first falling Sick, she be upon the Radical place of a Fortune, there will be no danger." (CPt-042)


Another consideration is whether the planets involved are slow or fast (swift) of course. There is a generic understanding of the meaning of slow versus swift, with swift planets giving a faster than average duration for the disease, and slow planets giving a slower than average course. We can see this idea clearly in the following list of specific considerations:


·         The Moon: If the Moon is swift, the cure is effected swiftly, if not immediately. (Li-0252) If the Moon is also in a sfot aspect to the Ruler of the Ascendant, the "Cure comes gallantly on" - and very quickly. (Cu-065) If the Moon is slow of course, and aspecting the Ascendant, the Moon "…retards the cure, prolongs the infirmity." (Li-0251), or alternately, the "Cure comes gallantly on" - but not very quickly. (Cu-065)

·         The Ruler of the 1st House: If swift, then the sickness moves quickly through its stages. (Cu-064) If it is slow of course, then the sickness is slow in departing. (Cu-064) If in addition, the Ruler of the 1st House is Saturn, then the sickness gets worse. (Cu-064)

·         If the Ruler of the 6th House is conjunct a Planet Slow of Course, the "Cure is slow to a hair." (Cu-065)

·         If the Ruler of the 6th House is Saturn and Saturn is slow in motion, the disease is extremely prolonged. (Li-248)

·         If either Mars or Saturn is in the 1st House and slow in motion, the disease may be in the head. (Li-244)



Planetary Hour


Planetary Hour Ruler (Venus) is Venus

"He that first visits his Patient [at this time] … shall have good words of the sick, be well esteemed and paid for his paines. Though he faile of the cure, yet shall he receive no prejudice thereby. I meane, in point of estimation." (Li-282)


Planetary Hour Ruler (Venus) is Conjunct the Ruler of the 10th House

...and Planetary Hour Ruler (Venus) is not the Ruler of the 6th House

...and Ruler of the 10th House is Venus

...and Venus is not the Ruler of the 6th House

"… the finger of God is on the Party, and the Distemper is supernatural." (Sa-043)




Mercury gives variable diseases. (C1-091)




Venus gives mediocre or feeble diseases. (C1-091) Venus is more helpful to younger patients than older ones. (Cu-006) Venus helps, if disease is of a hot nature. (Cu-042) If disease is Mars-ruled, Venus is better than Jupiter. (Cu-006)




Mars gives short, but acute diseases. (C1-091) Mars increases hot and dry diseases. (C4-088)


Mars is Oriental

A more dangerous position. (Sa-065)




Jupiter gives short diseases. (C1-091) Jupiter helps, if disease is of a cold nature. (Cu-042) If disease is Saturn-ruled, Jupiter is better than Venus. (Cu-006)


Jupiter is Trine The Sun

"Fear not the death of thy Patient." (Li-285)




Saturn gives long diseases. (C1-091) Saturn increases cold and dry diseases and increases long diseases. (C4-088)


Saturn is Occidental

"…if the Disease proceed from … a hot Cause, he recovers [but be long weak]." (Sa-065)


Saturn is Retrograde

...and Saturn is Opposite The Sun

Relapse. (Cu-006)


References Cited


What follows is a glossary of terms, based on classical sources. Where a clear ancient source for the definition exists, I have quoted it verbatim, according to the following sources:


AG = Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. 1651. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Translated by J.F. London: R.W. for Gregory Moule.


AR = Argolus, Andreas. 1652. De Diebus Criticis et Aegrorum Decubitu. Apud Paulum Frambottom Bibliopol.: Patiaii.


BL = Blagrave, Joseph. 1671. Astrological Practice of Physick. Obad. Blagrave: London. Available from Ballantrae.


BON = Bonatus, Guido. 1676. The Astrologer's Guide. Translated by Henry Coley. Facsimile printing of the 1886 edition in 1986 by Regulus Publishing Co., Ltd.: London.


C1 - C7. The Seven Segments of Cardan, as given in Meyssonnier. Numbers given are aphorism number.


CO = Coley, Henry. 1676. Clavis Astrologiae, or a Key to the whole Art of Astrology. New Filed and Polished in Three Parts. Thomas Sawbridge: London. Available from Ballantrae.


CPT = "Ptolemy's" Centiloqium in Partridge.


FI = Maternus, Firmicus. 334. Ancient Astrology Theory And Practice. Matheseos Libri VIII. Translated By Jean Rhys Bram. Noyes Press: Park Ridge NJ. 1975. Available Ballantrae.


GA = Gadbury, John. 1658. Genethlialogia, or The Doctrine of Nativities Together with The Doctrine of Horarie Questions. Printed by J[ohn] C[oniers] for William Larner. In production: Regulus Publishing Co., Ltd.: London.


iE = ibn Ezra, Abraham. 1148. The Beginning of Wisdom. An Astrological Treatise by Abraham ibn Ezra. Edited by Rachel Levy & Francisco Cantera: The Johns Hopkins Press: Baltimore, 1939.


H1 = Jones, W.H.S., Translator. 1939, 1984. Hippocrates I. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


H2 = Jones, W.H.S., Translator. 1923, 1981. Hippocrates II. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


H3 = Withington, E.T., Translator. 1928, 1984. Hippocrates III. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


H4 = Jones, W.H.S., Translator. 1931, 1992. Hippocrates IV. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


H5 = Potter, Paul, Translator. 1988. Hippocrates V. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


H6 = Potter, Paul, Translator. 1988. Hippocrates VI. Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.


HER = Hermes, cited in Meysonnier. Numbers given are aphorism number.


LI = Lilly, William. 1647. Christian Astrology. Reprinted in 1985 by Regulus: London. Also available: Just Us & Associates.


LOU = Louis de Righes (sp?), as given in Meyssonnier. Numbers given are aphorism number.


MEY = Meyssonnier, L. 1657. Aphorismes d'Astrologie tiree de Ptolomee, Hermes, Cardan, Munfredus & plusiers autres. Michel Duhan: Lyon. Numbers given are aphorism number.


MO = Morin, Jean Baptiste (also known as Morinus). 1661. Astrologia Gallica Principiis et Rationibus propriis stabilita atque in XXVI Libros distributa, Nonsolum Astrologiae Judiciariae Studiosis, sed etiam Philosophis, Medicis, et Theologis monibus per necessaria... Hagae- Comitis.


PA = Partridge, John. 1679. Mikropanastron, or an Astrological Vade Mecum, briefly Teaching the whole Art of Astrology - viz., Questions, Nativities, with all its parts, and the whole Doctrine of Elections never so comprised nor compiled before, &c. William Bromwich: London. Pages 19-25


RA = Ramesey, William. 1653. Astrologia Restaurata; or Astrology Restored: being an Introduction to the General and Chief part of the Language of the Stars. Printed for Robert White: London. Available from Ballantrae: Brompton, Ontario, Canada ( and Just Us & Associates.


SA and SA2 = Saunders, Richard. 1677. The Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick, deduced from the Position of the Heavens at the Decumbiture of the Sick Person, &c. Thomas Sawbridge: London.


SL = Salmon, William. 1679. The Soul of Astrology. Horae Mathematicae seu Urania: the Soul of Astrology, containing that Art in all its parts, in Four Books, &c. London. Available from Ballantrae. The section used in the aspect interpretations was pages 65-83.


Glossary of Terms


Accidental Dignity: this is a mix of conditions, all of which relate to the strength of a planet being increased (or decreased, with accidental debility) because of the planet's placement, apart from its tropical zodiacal position. The kinds of factors which are included in the tables of accidental dignity include: house placement, whether oriental or occidental, in conjunction to fixed stars, aspects to benefics or malefics, closeness to the Sun, and speed.


Almuten/Almutem: There are five Essential Dignities for any degree of the zodiac: the rulership (+5), exaltation (+4), triplicity (+3), term (+2), and face (+1). If you take a particular house cusp, find the planet which rules each of the five essential dignities of the position, and assign the points to the planet. The planet with the highest point value is the Almuten. For example: for 8 Aries 15: Mars is the ruler (+5), the Sun rules the exaltation (+4), the triplicity (+3) and the face (+1) = +8, and Mercury the terms (+2): the Sun is Almuten. Arabic sources give the word as "Almutem," but by the 17th Century, the word was consistently being translated and used as "Almuten."


Antiscion: "Some of the learned in this Art do hold that the Antiscions of the Planets be equivalent unto a Sextile or a Trine-aspect, especially if they were beneficial Planets; and their Contrantiscions to be of the nature of Quadrate or Opposition. How to know the Antiscions is no more than this; first, know the Antiscions of the signs, which is no more but a sign being equally distant with another from Cancer and Capricorn the two Tropicks; as Gemini hath its Antiscion in Cancer, Taurus in Leo, Aries in Virgo, Pisces in Libra, Aquarius in Scorpio, and Capricorn in Sagittary; for when the Sun is in 1° of Gemini, he is as far from the Tropick point of Cancer as when he is in 29° of Cancer; and in the 5° of Taurus, as when the 25° of Leo, &c.... The Contrantiscion is known thus; look in what sign, degree and minute your Antiscion falls, and your contrantiscion will be in the same degree and minute as your opposite sign to your Antiscion. [RA]


Application, "is when two Planets approach each other, either by Body or Aspect; and this may be three several ways: First, when both Planets are direct, for Example, Jupiter in 11 deg. of Aries, and Mars in 9 degrees of Aries, both of them direct; here Mars apples to a conjunction of Jupiter.


"The second is when two Stars are Retrograde, and apply to each other by a Retrograde motion; thus Jupiter in 9 degrees of Aries. Retrograde, and Mars in 11 degrees of the same Sign Retrograde also, here Mars applies to the body of Jupiter by Retrograde motion.


"Thirdly, when one Planet is Retrograde in more degrees of a Sign, and another direct in fewer; as suppose Mars in 12 degrees of Aries Retrograde, and Venus in 10 degrees of Aries, here Mars applies to Venus and Venus applies to Mars, and this kind of application is of great force and efficacy in all manner of Astrological Resolutions; but this must be remembered also, that a Superior Planet cannot apply to an Inferior one, unless he be Retrograde. "[PA]


Beholding: This word has shifted somewhat over time, but it refers to two planets which are either in ptolemaic aspect (conjunction, opposition, trine, square or sextile) or antiscial, or contranticial relationship.


"The Bendings": the points square the Nodal axis. If a planet square the Nodes is zodiacally between the North Node and the South Node (i.e., start counting at the North Node), then it is at the Northern Bending; if between the South Node and the North Node, it is at the Southern Bending.


Besieging: "this I think need no Explanation, for every Souldier understands it; as suppose Saturn in 10 deg. Jupiter in 1 deg. and Mars in 13 deg. of Leo; here Jupiter is besieged by Saturn and Mars." [PA]


Cazimi: "is when a Planet is in the heart of the Sun; that is, not distant from him above 17 min. as Mars in 10 deg. 30 min. of Aries, the Sun in 10 deg. 15 min. of Aries; here Mars is in Cazimi." [PA]


Combustion: "A Planet is Combust when he is not distant from the Sun 8 deg. 30 min. either before or after him; for Example, Jupiter in 10 deg. of Aries, the Sun in 14 deg. and Mars in 18, here both Jupiter and Mars are Combust; and observe that a Planet going to Combustion is more afflicted than when departing from it." [PA]


Essential Dignity: Essential dignity was a system for assessing the strength of a planet by its placement in the zodiac alone. There were five essential dignities: by sign, exaltation, triplicity, term, and face. A planet with dignity can act or do as it wants, whereas a planet without dignity has difficulty getting from Point A to Point B except by a very circuitous route.


Face: One of the minor dignities, also called Chaldean decanates. The faces are 10° slices of the signs, marked by planetary rulers falling in the sequence known as the Chaldean order. The Face is given +1 point.


In a House; the 5° rule: Consider the movement of the planets diurnally. For example, the Sun "rises" by going from the 1st House to the 12th House. A planet on the 12th House side of the Ascendant may be said to be angular if it is within 5° of the Ascendant: this is the so-called 5° rule. Depending on the source, this may actually entail anywhere from 2° to 7-8°, depending on the source, and whether the House moved into is Angular, Succedent, or Cadent (largest for Angular; smallest for Cadent).


Joys: This word was used two ways, which can lead to some confusion. One use was as a synonym for "exaltation." The second was an indicator of which house would be the top choice for a given planet. The joys by house are: Mercury = 1st House, Moon = 3rd House, Venus = 5th House, Mars = 6th House, Sun = 9th House, Jupiter = 11th House, and Saturn = 12th House.


Occidental: "is when a Planet or Star sets after the Sun is down." [PA]


Oriental: "is when a Planet riseth before the Sun." [PA]


Partile: within the same degree number. Notice that this is not an orb size. The Moon at 6 Leo 01 is partile Mars at 6 Leo 59, while the Moon in the same place, and Mars at 5 Leo 59 is within a degree, but not partile. Any aspect may be called either partile, or plactic, for those that are not partile.


Peregrine: "a Planet is Peregrine when he is in a Sign and degree where he hath no Essential dignity, as Mars in 26 degrees of Gemini is Peregrine, because he hath no dignity there, &c." [PA]


Quality: the Greek system of components that underlaid their elemental and physical systems: the qualities are hot & cold (active), and wet & dry (Passive). Please refer to the table shown under "temperaments" to see how these qualities corresponded to the system of elements.


Reception "is when two Planets are in each other's dignities, as the Sun in Aries, and Mars in Leo, here is a Reception by House, it may be also by Exaltation, Triplicity, Term and Face." [PA]


Sect: whether diurnal or nocturnal. The primary sect of a chart is whether the chart itself is by day or night. A night chart has the Sun posited in the 1st through 6th Houses; a day chart has the Sun in the 12th through 7th Houses: right on the Ascendant-Descendant is anyone's guess! In addition, planets were considered to have intrinsic sect (Sun, Jupiter and Saturn: diurnal; Moon, Venus and Mars: nocturnal; Mercury: mixed); signs had intrinsic sect (Masculine = diurnal, Feminine = nocturnal), and planets had sect placement, according to whether they were diurnally or nocturnally placed in the chart in question.


Sect Light: The Sun, for a day chart; the Moon for a night chart.


Separation: "is when two Planets have been in Conjunction or Aspect and are going from it as Jupiter in 6 degrees of Aries and Mars in 7 degrees; here Mars separates himself from Jupiter; but yet he is not quite separated from him till they are distant from each other 8 degrees 30 minutes, which is the moiety of both their Orbs; what their Orbs and Aspects are." [PA]


Temperament: This was a system that Hippocrates used for relating a number of common conditions found in people. He described four temperaments, and each type was characterized by a similar psychology, metabolism, and pattern of illnesses. The four types are given in the following table, taken from Classical Astrology for Modern Living:


Libra, Aquarius, Gemini


Wet, becoming Hot


Aries, Leo, Sagittarius


Hot, becoming Dry


Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo


Dry, becoming Cold


Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces


Cold, becoming Wet


 Sanguine types are the jolly glad-handers; choleric type fly off the handle; melancholics are morose, and phlegmatic are lethargic.


Term: One of the five essential dignities. The Term ruler was said to be "of the body" of that planet, so if the Ascendant is in the Terms of Saturn, it would represent a person serious, older, in a saturnine profession, etc. - primarily physical or outward appearance. The Term was given +2 points, and is considered a minor dignity.


Triplicity: One of the five essential dignities. Triplicities run by element, so there is one set of rulers for the fire signs, another for earth, etc. Triplicity is worth +3 points on the scale of essential dignities. The trick is that there are three different systems. Two of them utilize a day, night, and mixed ruler; the third, which was in common use by English astrologers in the 17th Century, used only day and night. Among the most obvious differences between the two that will be seen in this work is Jupiter being the mixed Triplicity ruler of Air: thus, for a year with Jupiter In Aquarius, Jupiter will often be the most dignified planet, and will virtually always be a contender for use because of the dignity.


Under the Sun's Beams: "a Planet is said to be under the Sun's beams, till he is full 17 degrees distant from him." [PA]


Via combusta: zone from 15 Libra to 15 Scorpio. Considered a dangerous area of the sky.


Void of Course: "is when a Planet is separated from one, and doth not apply to any other while he is in that Sign, and it is most observable in the Moon." [PA]


Old and New Medical Terms


Agnail: Hangnail Ague: Malaria or malarial fever Alerative: Restores Normal Body Functions Alexipharmic: Poison Antidote Alopecia: Baldness Anodyne: Relieves Pain Apoplexy: Cerebral hemorrhage, Embolism, occ. Paralysis of other Apostems: Abscess Aposthumes: Abscess Ardent Fever: A form of remittent malaria Aromatic: Fragrant Herb Avoid: Void or excrete Axungia: Lard Biles: Boils Blain: Blister or Pustule Blood Poisoning: Septicemia Bloody Flux: Dysentary, or Bloody stools Cachexia: Severe Wasting Cacoethe: Ulcerous tumor Cantharides: Powdered Beetles (Spanish Fly) Carbuncles: Staphylococcal Inflammation Carminative: Medicine: Expells Flatulence Casting: Vomiting Catamenia: Menstrual Flow Cataplasm: Poulstice Catarrhs: Inflammation: Mucous Membranes Cathars: Purges Cathartic: Purgative Cephalic: Medicine: Clears Head Ceruse: Lead Carbonate Cholagogue: Medicine: Incr. Bile Flow Choler: Bile Choler, Red: Bile, Red Choler, Yellow: Bile, Yellow Cholic: Pain, Acute Abdomenal Claustered: Clotted Clenge: To clean Clysters: Enema Or Injection Consumption: Progressive tuberculosis Continual Fever: One with little variation in temperature on a daily basis Costiveness: Constipation Courses: Menstrual Flow Defluxion: Inflammation: Mucous Membranes Delay: To dilute Detersive: Medicine: Cleansing Diaphoretic: Sweating Induction Distemper: Ailment Distillation: Discharge, Trickling Diuretic: Urine, Increased Flow Draught: Medicine: Qty Taken in 1 Dose Dropsy: Edema Emerods: Hemorrhoids Emmenagogue: Drug that induces menstruation Entrails: Intestines Erysipelas: Streptococcus Excess of the Flowers: Menstrual Flow Excess Excoriation: Abrasion Excrement Retention: Constipation Expectorant: Promoting bronchial secretion and ejection Falling-Evil: Epilepsy Falling-Sickness: Epilepsy Febrifuge: Medicine: Reduces Fever Fistula: Abnormal Tube-Like Passage Fluor Albus: Vaginal White Discharge Flux: Excessive Flow Fuliac-Passion: Gut, Pains Fundament: Anus or buttocks Gall: Bile Gargarism: Gargle Gravel: Urine: Sand-Like Deposit Green sickness: Anemia Gripping Of The Guts: Cholic Gristle: Cartilege Gulesought: Jaundice Guts, Croaking: Flatulence Hamms: Buttocks Haw: Growth on or in the eye Humor: Bodily Fluid Hypochondrium: Upper Abdomen Hyposarca: Dropsy: Edema Iliaca Passion: Sciatica Impostumations: Swelling, Abscess Impostume: Absess which is purulent Jaundice: Hepatitis Kernels: Swelling, Hard. Can be specific reference to tonsils Kibes: Chilblains, especially ulcerated ones on the heels King's Evil: Scrofula Knop: Knob-shaped protruberance, or a wart or pimple Lask: Diarrhea Laxes: Bowel, Looseness; diarrhea Leucophlegmatia: Dropsy: Pale, Tumid, Flabby Leucorrhaea: Vaginal Discharge Lights: Lungs Lochia: Vaginal Discharge after Labor Matrix: Womb Matrix Passions: Matrix Passions Mediastinum: Septum Megrim: Migraine Melicrat: Mixture of milk and honey Mesenterion: Mesenteries Milt: Spleen Mithridate: Medicine which protects against Poison Morphew: Leprous or Scurvy Eruption Morphy: Schleroderma Mother: Womb or Uterus Obstruction Of Meseriacks: Obstruction, Abdomenal Olibanum: Frankincense Oppilations: Obstructions Opthalmia: Inflammation of the eye Oxymel: Mixture of Honey & Vinegar Palsy: Paralysis Passion: Pain or suffering Pecten: Anal Canal, Middle Pectoral: Medicine: Chest Peripneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs Phlegmon: Suppurative inflammation, especially of connective tissue Phthisis: Tuberculosis, Advanced Pin And Web: Eye Disease with Film Ploukes: Lumps or swellings Podagra: Gout, Foot Polypus: Polyps Posset: Cold Remedy, Milk Base Priapism: Lewdness Ptisick: Tuberculosis Ptisis: Tuberculosis Push: Pimple or Boil Putrid fever: Diptheria Pyles In The Ars: Hemorrhoids Quartan Ague: Malaria Quinzies: Tonsilitis Quotidian Fevers: Fevers, Recurring Reds: Menstrual Flow Reins: Kidneys, Loins Rhagades: Skin Fissures Rheum: Discharge, Watery Or Atarrhal Scalls: Skin disease with scaling or scabs, especially on the scalp Schirrhi: Tumors, Hard Scirrhus: Cancerous tumors Scouring: Purging Secudines: After-Birth Simple: Medicinal Herb Simpler: Herb Doctor Sloes: Milk sickness Squinacy: Throat disease; quinsy St. Anthony's Fire: Erysipelas Starting Of The Members: Involuntary Movements Stomachic: Substance that acts as a stomach tonic, promoting digestion Strangle: To poison Strangullion: A qunisy or throat glandual inflammation Strangury: Urination, Painful Styptic: Hemorrhage Checking Agent Sudoric: Induced Sweating Suffocation of the Matrix: Hysteria Surdity: Deafness Syncope: Loss of consciousness Synochus Putrida: Continuous Fever Tertian Fever: Malaria Tetters: Skin euptions, usually herpes, eczema, psoriasis, or ringworm Throat-Bole: Bolus Tonic: Remedial agent that increases body tone Troches: Lozenges Tussis: Coughing Tympanies: Distention of abdomenal wall from gas accumulation Venery: Sexual Intercourse Vermifuge: Substance that expels intestinal worms or parasites Wen: Cyst, Subcutaneous Whelks: Pimples Whites: Vaginal Discharge