Rensberger’s Planetary Aspects – Conjunctions



Saturn conjunct Jupiter:

If Saturn is conjunct Jupiter in a nativity, the person born will own property and [farm]land and the King’s [?ast?] and will be new in those and honourable if there is no aspect to Mars.

Saturn conjunct Mars:

Indicates that the native will be gentle but slow in what he wants to accomplish and it will be hard for him. He will die earlier than his father and mother.

Saturn conjunct Sun:

Means loss of paternal inheritance and destruction of his goods. It will be worse if the birth took place during the night.

Saturn conjunct Venus:

The native will get married to an enchantress and will not have any male heirs. He will be concerned with people of his own standing and will marry a widow or a naughty old crone.

Saturn conjunct Mercury:

Shows that the native will not be able to speak well. He will be a traveller, poor, and not willing to interfere in matters.

Saturn conjunct Moon:

The native will inherit defects and a weak body from his parents. If it is a diurnal birth and there are aspects to the benefics he will be lucky; particularly so if the Moon is waxing.


Jupiter conjunct Mars:

Means that the native will rule. He will be rich and his name will be mentioned in many places. He will be lucky in war.

Jupiter conjunct Sun:

Means the native will be poor in commodities. If the birth takes place in the morning, it means luck and happiness of his father, and joy from his sons.

Jupiter conjunct Venus:

Means that the native will be brought up honourably and tenderly. He will be loved by great masters and nobles, and he will be lucky with them and his wife and children.

Jupiter conjunct Moon:

Indicates increase in rent money and interest; also wealth and luck of the native.


Mars conjunct Sun:

Can often show a quick death of the father, loss of paternal inheritance and interest. Also danger of loss through fire.

Mars conjunct Venus:

Indicates quarrel that ends up in court and damage because of a woman. Also adultery with wicked and terrible [partners]. If the native is female, she will be a wench.

Mars conjunct Mercury:

Makes a liar out of the native, but he will be cunning and eloquent. [He will be] polite and sweet in his manners. He will be a great procurator at court.

Mars conjunct Moon:

Means a humble life and [possibility] of mortal wounds, also a wounded mother. If the conjunction is in an angular house, the native will have disadvantages and will die a nasty death.


Sun conjunct Venus:

Shows a laudable person with a good reputation who loves people.

Sun conjunct Mercury:

Shows a god fearing, understanding and wise person who will be raised and put above others and the masters will do him good.

Sun conjunct Moon:

Particular judgment depends on house placement and boundaries of the conjunction. Generally speaking, it indicates that the native will meet and converse with mighty masters, but he will be short lived.


Venus conjunct Mercury:

Suggests that the native will gravitate towards games and pleasure. He will love ornaments and adornments of the body, singing, and all kinds of cleanliness. He will be a storyteller, but harm and suffering will come to him from women. If they [the planets] are together under the rays, the native will be cut open.

Venus conjunct Moon:

Indicate a pretty body but unsteadiness in marriage. He will love other women and his wife may be an adulteress.


Mercury conjunct Moon:

Shows that the native will be wise and will have a great name, but he will be unsteady in all things.

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Rensberger’s Planetary Aspects – Squares



 Saturn square Jupiter:

If there is a square aspect with Saturn above and to the right hand and Jupiter to the left hand, dangerous aspects of life will be signified. The amount of the paternal heritance will be diminished, all advice will be turned on its head, property will be lost, deeds will be reduced, and the senses will be dulled by vain perjuries of the mind. [They will also] plague their parents with all kinds of vileness.

But if Jupiter is above and to the right, and will aspect Saturn on the left, bad luck and the aforementioned misery and hardship will be diminished. And the parents will be elevated with the light of aristocracy, and the native will be receiving all kinds of basic necessities, according to his standing.

Saturn square Mars:

If Saturn is to the right of Mars, and Mars on the left of the square, the native’s plans will be prevented, and he will be unable to carry out duties. [There will be] all kinds of illnesses, and cold, and heat mixed into it, which will rattle the body, with shakes, that it will make one shudder. [He will] waste his paternal inheritance, and will cause the death of his brothers. But if Mars is on top, and will look at Saturn, who is to the left of the square, it indicates the sudden death of mother and father. But all deeds will be carried out with luck and [the native] will be hard working at all times. And once the problem of former nastiness has been overcome, he will not fail and be empty handed. He will not waste his paternal inheritance and not [sic] add to it through hard work. And his housemates will lie to him and shout.

Saturn square Sun:

If the Sun is to the left of Saturn, looked at with good rays, and Saturn will be highest, it will weaken the strength reported above. And it will bring loss of dignity, with cruel fall. It will cause the body to be misshapen, with constant spasms and hardening of the veins. And his parents will suffer from the same diseases and illnesses. And it means that the native’s father will die earlier than the mother, and that the native will be a burden to his parents. He will be hardened by harmful conversations and visitations, and nasty diseases with cold moisture, run together and congealed, will destroy all he did. Also the father’s inheritance.

But if the Sun is on top and will look at Saturn in the left square, it will bring strong hostility between the people in the house, and will make it impossible that the native’s intentions will come to a good end. And in early age, it will bring heavy damage, illness and weakness of the body, with many nasty diseases.

Saturn square Venus:

If Saturn is to the right of the square, and looking at Venus to the left, positioned with threatening and terrible rays, the paternal inheritance will be lost, and the heavy burden of poverty. And women or wives will suffer much sorrow and misery and they will not be graced with the pleasure of beauty. All the native’s hopes will be in vein.

But if Venus is on top, to the right of Saturn, wives will be honest and virtuous and will want to be lord and master in the husband’s house. They will always love their husband with honest disposition, but they will keep their love secret and concealed.

Saturn square Mercury:

If Saturn is on top, at the right hand of the square, it signifies a deadly affliction from the day of birth. [It] destroys the opinion of the wise councilors, and forces the native to subjugate to a foreign power or authority. He will suffer from the disadvantage of envy, and makes it difficult for some to speak, some will not be able to pronounce properly, some will have problems with their ears, making them hard of hearing or deaf. It may be that Mars will have an effect, diminished by the presence of benevolent planets.

But if Mercury is on top, and on the right side, and will look at Saturn, who is to the left, it will not show much good, but perhaps the nastiness of the square mentioned above will be diminished.

Saturn square Moon:

If Saturn is on top, to the right side of the square, and the Moon is below, to the left, it renders the native’s body [?lucklet?] with nasty moisture and breaks the movement of the mind with foul depression or frustration. And makes him unfit to do anything, and he will waste his maternal property or inheritance with quarrels in court against the mother.

But if the Moon is on top of the square, to the right, the mother will die a pitiful death and she will be haunted by danger and nasty diseases out of evil moistures, disruption of marriage, constant quarrel with the wife, and will take away the goodwill of friends and folk.


Jupiter square Mars:

If Jupiter is brighter than Mars, it shows that the native’s abilities will be acknowledged by the kings, [he will be] steadfast in his deeds and actions, and will make profit out of them. Nevertheless, it will be damaging for the sons and paternal inheritance.

But if Mars is to the right of the square and higher than Jupiter, it means that that the native will have a hard live full of work, the kings will not deal with him, and [there will be] much trouble at court.

Jupiter square Sun:

If the Sun is on top and to the right and will aspect Jupiter to the left of the square, it indicates the noble line of the father, but separation from the paternal inheritance. [He] will move away from his place of birth, the neighbours will hate him.

But if Jupiter is on top, and the Sun to the left side, [he], as well as his father, will be winners, and others will think he was miraculous.

Jupiter square Venus:

If Jupiter is on top and to the right of the square, and Venus will look at him from the left, indicates usefulness, or, concerning women, shows that he will be faithful, and pious, and honest, and righteous.

But if Jupiter is lower than Venus, and to the left hand of the square of Venus, so they say he will be a womanizer, who will be cheated on many times, because of the lure of women, he will look for and invent bodily pleasure. If he should start something, and things are about to change, or his circumstances chould change, he will always destroy the outcome.

Jupiter square Mercury:

If Mercury is to the right and higher than Jupiter, it shows the native’s wisdom, who will specialize in predictions, solving [of problems], and he will learn geometry, mathematics, and prediction of the heavens. [He] will be pious, and will undertake many things, will give to others, and [?milrigkeit?] of others.

But if Mercury should is higher, to the right of the square, he will have many labourers, he will be well off, and because of his good nature, he will receive some dignity.

Jupiter square Moon:

If Jupiter is to the right and on top in a nocturnal birth, the native will have a good name and reputation, and will be honest.

But if Mars is on top, it promises much luck, [makes one] commendable, and can make the native pleasant to dukes and kings. But this kind of luck will not last as there will be times of damage to the paternal heritage. Sometimes it can diminish the joy of dignity, attracts damage, and indicates that the native may be lazy.


Mars square Sun:

If the Sun is on top, it indicates much trouble, waste of property, bad luck and an evil face.

But if Mars is on top, it will be worse. But in a diurnal birth, they will be stronger, particularly if the aspect is in the Ascendant. If Mars is in the descendant, or in the 10th [house] receiving the light of the waxing Moon, he will be publicly judged or punished. Similar can be expected for nocturnal births.

Mars square Venus:

If Mars is in the 10th [house], it indicates hard work concerning women. If Mars is in a moveable sign, the native will be inconsistent in his business, [he] will marry a bad woman or a wench. In a female nativity, it shows that she will be a wench

But if Venus is in the 10th [house], she will be ashamed of her deeds, and will keep secret what she committed with bad consciousness, and will hide what she did in her unashamed desire.

Mars square Mercury:

If Mars is to the right and on top, such a configuration and placement of the planets will be cause of all evil and bad luck. It is detrimental to the native, and indicates nasty illnesses, puts him in the guardhouse or prison, makes him guilty of cruel allegations and accusations. All of this will be worth in a diurnal birth. In the nocturnal [birth] it will be diminished to some degree.

But if Mercury is higher, it indicates that it will make evil, nasty and cunning people, equipped with the most evil desire of the mind, dealer in and receiver of stolen goods. [It] sends the native to prison, and they are constantly on the outlook for a place and property where they can live their evil ways.

Mars square Moon:

If Mars is to the right and on top, it indicates that the mother will become a widow, or that she will die of weakness, because of blood flow. And it will indicate a beggar and an evil death. If Mars is in the limits of Saturn, and the Moon in the limits of Mercury, or Mars, as long as his soul will remain in his body, he will give power to the evil spirits to rule over it [i.e. the soul].

But if the Moon is on top, it indicates ignoble, hard working or laboring, subservient people, who are not good at anything. [It also] shows that the mother will be of a scorned house, and amidst all misery and squalor, it shows arrogant wives.


Sun square Moon:

If she is angular, and the Sun in any square, it denotes dignity and honour, and power of office. If beneficial planets are looking at them, it will be even better. But if malefic planets are looking at them, it means a dangerous life, and danger of bad luck. Still, if the Moon is full and applying to Jupiter, or Jupiter will receive the conjunction of the waxing Moon, it indicates great joy of nobility, with envy.

But if the Moon is separating from Jupiter, the nastiness of the malefic planets will increase.


Venus square Mercury:

Although it rarely happens, it creates an artist of subtle mastery, and a glorious human being, or a magister of some great discipline or teaching, but a loose woman, or because of women.

Venus square Moon:

If the Moon will be in top position, and Venus will be to her left, it indicates a great increase in money, but damage from women, or humiliation.

But if Venus is on top, she will make the native very happy, graces one’s life with happiness, and, by the deeds of one’s wife, creates invulnerable love. [It] makes good sons, full of happiness and lovely words, and affection. But the mother will be a cheat. The native will come across honest and happy wives.


Mercury square Moon:

If Mercury will be on top, it shows wisdom, graceful speech, but at times danger of riots.

If aspected by malefic planets, and the Moon will be opposite Mars, or in square [aspect], it indicates that he will be accused of false deals, and he will be caught, or detained, or slung in ordinary prison and kept imprisoned.

But if the Moon is on top, then the native will be unsteady, also, that they will oppose the advice of their own mind.

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Rensberger’s Planetary Aspects – Trines



Saturn trine Jupiter:

If it is in a comfortable place at birth [in the chart, the native] will have with a lot of farmland, houses and churches. And if it [the trine aspect] is looking at the Moon, he will be praised and it means that he will be honoured by kings. And he will be lucky at war, particularly if one of them [Saturn or Jupiter] is in its own house and after birth, he will work in procurement and management, some will profit from inheritance, some will make much profit, which has come to them through other people’s effort and labour, and they will win. And all of this will be commanded with a strong belief.

But if they [Saturn and Jupiter] are standing this way [in a trine aspect] and are looking at Mercury, it shows that he [the native] will be in office and will be commanded by kings. But there will be great distress because of accidents of the sons.

But if they are looked at by Mars, what we said about luck will be diminished, and they will be hit by secret envy, or the good that has been decreed will be charged and cut down by Mars’ hostility.

Saturn trine Mars:

If it is in a comfortable place at birth [in the chart] and with a similar radiation of rays and in a place where one of them [Saturn or Mars] is exalted, or [is in its] boundaries [? Term rulership?] and if there is no lack of positive aspects to Jupiter and Mercury, there will be the greatest amount of profit which will increase greatly. They will also show the greatest warmth and dignity and will rule over others and will be mighty and manage departments in great places. They will witness constant change and see their brothers die.

Saturn trine Sun:

If it will be in a comfortable place at birth, as I have said, and in those [places] where they are dignified, it will give a superb life with constant dignity, and the greatest power of honour, and a good reputation. And he will be ennobled, particularly if they [Saturn and Sun] are in masculine signs and it is a day birth. But if the birth happens during the night, [he will] waste his paternal inheritance. But it s given that he will make it possible and win it back due to his own virtue.

Saturn trine Venus:

If it will be in one of their dignities, or move directly or retrograde in comfortable places at birth, it shows that the native will be mild, chaste, of good standing and reputation. They will be plagued with humiliation and envy by bad and lowly people. But they will make sure that they will take wives slowly.

Saturn trine Mercury:

If it is taking place in one of their dignities, and in comfortable places at birth, signifying a scholarly and wise [person] in what they do and don’t do, a pious man, educated, heeded, ingenious, meant to learn the liberal arts. He will be a common collector, or a fiscal authority, or a clerk, or adviser to a king, who will give great things to the native. All of this will be constant and everlasting if the star of Mercury is set at its best in the 12th house.

Saturn trine Moon:

If they are in comfortable places at birth, and in some dignity, and the Moon is fast or waxing, it happens that that the natives are beneficially looked at by the kings and mighty splendid lords at all times. They will receive kind deeds, crests and shields of the mightiest honour and power.

But if the Moon is waning, all these things will happen to a lesser degree. If the Moon is singularly in the 8th house in a nocturnal birth, luck will be increased. But in a diurnal birth, if Jupiter is in the 1st house, the same will occur.


 Jupiter trine Mars:

If they are in unrighteous places, and in places where they rejoice, they signify a bold [person], who will experience dangers, together with a patron who is clever and wise, keen to gain the honour and victory. He will be a fearless custodian of his lord and by doing so he will become rich and will receive the greatest honours. These royal honours will be offered and given to him often and in high number, and also power, license and freedom.

Jupiter trine Sun:

If they are in a trine, and are in positive places at birth, they indicate the greatest splendor of aristocracy, abundance of property, and [?] also grace and wealth of the earth. It graces [the native’s] life with high honours and gives the pleasure of sons and an increase in land.

Jupiter trine Venus:

If both of them are in good places, they indicate mellifluousness and beauty, good company and much love, and also hints at a faithful nature.

Jupiter trine Mercury:

When placed as described above, he indicates intelligent, heeded, understanding [people] who are glowing with the sharpest power of understanding. [They] will happily undertake business, positioned above the rest, [?billich?] of the highest dignities. And they will always be praised for what they have achieved, will please people, will be in common offices, or royal scribes. And they will rightly and cleverly understand the secrets of the heavenly stars.

Jupiter trine Moon:

If placed as we have said, they indicate great might and rulership. And if the Moon is waxing or full, it will make people cordial, graced by the knowledge of nobility, of good standing, with a good reputation, some of them will become leaders of soldiers, some [will rule] towns, some [will become] provincial governours. A few will become what will be decreed according to their standing at birth and a few of them who are genteel will be graced with laudable benevolence.


Mars trine Sun:

[If placed] in the way described, shows attributes of might and power. Particularly if it is a nocturnal birth and a trine to the right of the Sun, it promises the joy of praise and a high level of power. But if Jupiter is on the other side of the trine and with beneficial [?schliessung?] of the rays, if he is in the first angle and radix [Ascendant] of the birth[chart] and the Lunar ray will come to them from a beneficial place, it shows the mightiest responsibilities placed onto mighty warriors. [Also] a high number of dignities which will be greater if Mars, the Sun and Jupiter are in masculine signs.

Mars trine Venus:

[If] as I said, shows constant gain and heydays of a lucky marriage, and [signifies] those who are honest. But influenced by the spirit of pride, they will marry many times, which will be easily achieved. They will parade, bedecked with precious clothes and will possibly be openly dealing with prostitutes, or will be involved in illegal lechery.

Mars trine Mercury:

[If] as said before, describes humility and wisdom of the native. He may take on the office of rent collector, of collecting and computing and maintaining. [It] makes the very best advocates and handlers in court, who will be praised in these issues. It also indicates that they will find a lucky outcome in all dealings. [They will also] conduct their studying and writing in secrecy.

Mars trine Moon:

[If] as said before, [it] shows a clerk who will be wise in this regard. If it is a nocturnal birth, and the Moon is full, it doesn’t only indicate all joy and happiness, happy deeds with luck, but also what they desire, they will receive in an easy way. If Jupiter is aspecting them in a positive way, they will find achieve honours, riches and the honour of the world’s greatest dignity. But if the Moon is waxing, it will weaken the body with constant illness


Moon trine Sun:

If it will be in comfortable places, it indicates the joy of great luck. If the help of the rays of the other planets is present, the [native’s] life will be graced with glorious honour.

Moon trine Venus:

If he will be in a comfortable place, and in the parts of joy, and the malefics will not be hindering, and the Moon will be waxing, in a nocturnal birth, it shows the joy of highest might, the greatest deeds, a lucky marriage, and sons, adding brothers and sisters, who he will honestly love at all times. [It also] indicates a graceful body with beauty and charm.

Moon trine Mercury:

If he will be in a confortable place, [the native] recognizes all that is good, according to the nature of the signs. Many will be eloquent speakers, others great artists, some will make good musicians, some will paint and be artists, and some who will raise high the mastery of the liberal arts, will be praised by the public, which will bring them joy. Some will wear armour, others will be merchants. All of this is to be established according to the signs and planets.

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Rensberger’s Planetary Aspects – Oppositions



Saturn opposite Jupiter:
Shows much spoiling of traded goods, and bitter accidents of the sons. If Saturn is in the Ascendant, and Jupiter setting, then, after much hardship and damage during [the native’s] youth, luck and usefulness will follow until the end of life.

Saturn opposite Mars:
Always brings heavy damage and dangers, riots of the common people, and dangers of life, often a wound, and a nasty death, brings much sorrow, and makes [one] involved in evil unpleasantness, with constant problems, and involved in heavy work, enemies in the home. [It also] brings vehement uproars, and the fall of the native’s father, either with dangerous death, or embroiled in heavy sorrow. But if one of them will be in watery signs, it shows that the native will drown in a heavy storm, will suffer shipwreck, or the pestilence, liquid, and stiffened from evil moisture, causes much misery. But if one of them will be in a wild sign, it will bring mortal danger caused by four-legged and wild animals, or [the native] will die of poison. But if one of them will be in a sign of four-legged animals, not in a wild one, then the native will be killed through the fall of a heavy load. These things will be stronger and harder if there is no aspect to Jupiter. But if the Moon aspects them, in the angles and cardines, in a square aspect, they will even be harder. Then it will kill constantly and often, and [people will be] pushed into poverty and publicly punished. But if they are in the 5th [house], 11th, 9th, or 3rd, and are looking straight at each other, they will oppose all growth of luck, and bad luck will take over in the middle part of life. But if they are placed in discarded, despised places [?cadent houses?], they will do less damage, but they will cause pain and poverty. These things will be diminished, or even taken away, by lucky aspects to Jupiter or Venus.

Saturn opposite Sun:
If not positively aspected by Jupiter, it will put a heavy burden, trouble and a life of hard work onto the native or the native’s father. It shows daily fear, brings some nasty diseases, and a nasty death, and a wasted estate. These things will be more likely if in a nocturnal birth and in feminine signs.

Saturn opposite Venus:
Indicates that the native will be a fornicator, and will not take a wife, and if he does so, it will be a naughty one or a wench, or one without honour, and will be accused of touting.

Saturn opposite Mercury:
Indicates speech impediments. But if one of them will be in a mute sign, it shows that the native will be dumb. If the Moon is conjunct Mercury, it will increase this, but not so if Mars is aspecting [them]. But it also means wisdom, that the mother will die in the first age, and will estrange the native’s brothers. Or it shows that they will be separated due to traveling far distances.

Saturn opposite Moon:
Loses the maternal goods, indicates labour and pain of the mother, also sorrow (be it that it diminishes luck), and brings some blemish to the mother’s body, brings a life full of worries, and a miserable one. But if one of them will be in a four-footed sign, it indicates damage in animals, in human [signs], damage in humans, in watery [signs] it will bring moist illnesses, makes one go travelling. These oppositions will be detrimental to one’s eyesight.


Jupiter opposite Mars:
Means an imbalanced life, waste of the paternal inheritance, hatred of friends, great disruption through danger that results from friendly [?] deeds.

Jupiter opposite Sun:
Scattering of paternal homestead, weakens honour and dignity, forces him to be subservient to people of a lower rank then his own. All of this will be increased in a nocturnal birth.

Jupiter opposite Venus:
Blows [apart] all order of life and advancements, also shows that friends will not have his advantage in mind; and the ones he did good things to will be ungrateful towards the native; some will also have their luck increased, and some dignities of the paternal inheritance and estate. It Jupiter is in the limits of Venus, his [the native’s] rulership will be lucky. But because of female affection, they [?] will be unstable.
Jupiter opposite Mercury:
Indicates eloquent people, and terrible riots of the people, quarrels and discord of the common man, and suggests misfortune of a mighty lord. [It] separates brothers by cruel death, or through some grudge, or makes that they argue with each other in murderous hatred, and fight.

Jupiter opposite Moon:
If the moon is waxing, it means genteel joy and dignity, or graces with delightful nobleness, and makes some who cannot readjust to foreign authorities. But id the Moon is waning, none of the aforementioned pleasures will be achieved, and it means perdition through bad luck. And in nocturnal births it will be increased.


Mars opposite Sun:
In a diurnal birth, [he] knocks the father to the ground with a horrible death, bad for the eyes, or throws the native from a high place. All deeds are beset with great difficulties. In the nocturnal birth, it weakens the body, and indicates perpetual poverty, also waste of the paternal inheritance.

Mars opposite Venus:
In a diurnal birth, it shows many vices and failures, and shows nasty illnesses, afflicting sons and wives. If he is in the tropical signs, it indicates what we have said about the square of them [Mars and Venus], if there is not any good aspect to Jupiter, particularly if he is in Cancer or Capricorn.

Mars opposite Mercury:
Indicates the worst of bad luck, falsifier, men with a bad conscience, who meet with bad people, assault [others] with bad deeds, public accusations before court. They renege what has been given to them, and if they are completely rotten, they will not return what they borrowed. Therefore they will be judged in court, and for these reasons will be pushed into misery. Towns and countries will expel them, or they will be on the run. And this especially, if Mercury is in the domicile of Saturn, without Jupiter.

Mars opposite Moon:
Is bad for the eyes, and brings great dangers, gives high infant mortality, and no weddings. Even if the presence of other planets suggested a good time, this still hits [one] with horrible death. Those born under [this aspect] will be openly damned or judged, particularly if the Moon is waxing.

Sun opposite Moon:
It shows that the native’s life, good and full of dignity, will end in many ways. [It] brings poverty to rich [ones], and [makes] pale faces; it also weakens the empty body through lameness.


Venus opposite Moon:
Suggests an unlucky wedding, prohibits conception of sons, and knocks them to the ground with a pitiful death. The native will suffer injustice and violence from his wife.


Mercury opposite Moon:
Lends wild violence to the people, which cannot be controlled, and it awakens the turmoil of the common man against the nobles. This also happens to their souls, with constant mourning, hesitation, and trembling.

At last, I remind that one has to look to which moveable or fixed star the Part of Fortune is conjunct, and how it is aspected by the seven planets. Because this does much and is very useful in the judgment of nativities.

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Rensberger’s Profections

Nicolaus Rensberger dedicates the whole of Book four of his Astronomia Teutsch to directions and profections. Unlike William Lilly he does not seem to use monthly or diurnal profections, but concentrates on annual profections alone.

His definition of profections is as follows: “You should give each sign a year, according to the order of the twelve heavenly signs and twelve heavenly houses. This means that the planet which is rising in the sign it is in, will take twelve years to move through all the twelve heavenly signs and houses until he will return back to where he started from.”

Like William Lilly, Nicolaus Rensberger uses the five hylegical points, Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun, Moon and Part of Fortune as significators.

He gives a general overview, explaining the meaning of the five hylegical points.

Ascendant – It shows health and weakness of the body and fortune or misfortune of the native.

Moon – Like the ascendant it shows good or bad times.

Sun and Midheaven – As well as the Sun, the Midheaven shows in which year the native will gain power, great honours and dignity. It also shows skilfulness and master craftsmanship. 

Part of Fortune – It shows in which year the native will win or lose possessions or nourishment.

Next he describes in detail the significance of the profected Ascendant and Moon in any of the 12 houses. Compared to Lilly, CA p729f, it can be said that both astrologers seem to draw from the same or a very similar source, although Rensberger seems to have more details than Lilly.

In the following I give the last part of the description of the profected Ascendant or Moon in the 12th house: “If the profection of the Ascendant or the Moon will come to the 12th house, the natives will be attacked by hidden illnesses and some enemies will come forward. […] But you shall notice that, if the profection of the Ascendant or the Moon will come to the body of Saturn or Mars, or is in unlucky conjunction or opposition, these will introduce saturnine, melancholic illness. But after the nature of the signs, as if Saturn would be in Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, and said profection is coming there, they indicate a lot of bad luck and harm to the native. This is after the nature of the house they were fallen into; and a sharp illness which shows heat which changes into cold. And they generally give long illness in the air-signs, which are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. They are long fevers, daily fevers and poisoning from pestilence, scabious and itching. In cold and dry signs cold, melancholic and dry illness, four day fevers, as in Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. But in the watery signs, as Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, it will give cold, moist and phlegmatic illnesses like festering sores, dropsy, jaundice, itching, skin sores, etc. These illnesses come from Mars but they are sharper and hotter than fever from pestilence or pestilence. And there are all sorts of evil sores and red dysentery and abdominal flow and three daily fevers. What other sorts of illnesses may be introduced by the other signs see the first chapter of the other book where I have written about the nature of the signs and planets, where you will find it clearly. And so the profections I have been talking about, if they come to the planets in this manner, through their nasty aspects arguments and quarrels, after the nature of the planets and houses to which and wherein they fall.

Example: If the profections would fall in the third house and Mars or Saturn would be in it, they would create quarrel and war with brothers and would show bad luck in short journeys. This is how you should judge all the other houses.”

This is followed by a chapter on the Lord of the profection of the Ascendant, which is, of course, the Lord of the year.

Here is the quote from Rensberger’s book: “Lord of the year is the planet who rules over the profection of the Ascendant, which is over the sign wherein the profection of the sign is in. For example if the profection of the Ascendant is in Aries, whose  sign belongs to Mars, so Mars would be Lord of the year because he is ruler over the profection of the Ascendant because of his house.”

Now follows a chapter on the Planets being Lord of the year.

The next chapters deal with the profection of the Part of Fortune and the second house and the Midheaven and the Sun. Again this is very close to Lilly, CA p732f and p731f.

Unlike Lilly, Rensberger goes further into detail, dedicating a whole chapter to the Lord of the profected Part of Fortune and the profected second house and to the Lord of the profected Midheaven each. Again all the planets are looked at in detail.

For the significators and promittors, Rensberger uses a similar definition to Lilly. He says: “The planet that is directed is called significator because it points towards the things to come, and the planet the significator is moved towards is called promittor, indicating a promise or what is going to happen.”

The conjunctions, oppositions and square aspects between the profected Ascendant, profected Moon, Lord of the year, Lord of the profected Part of Fortune, Lord of the profected Midheaven and the other planets are taken into consideration, but Rensberger does not allow aspects between the (profected) Part of Fortune and other planets and vice versa.

Rensberger’s Electional Astrology

Nicolaus Rensberger published his Astronomia Teutsch in 1569. A second edition was published in the following year, which seems to tell us something about the success of this book. In Rensberger’s 800 page tome we can find amongst chapters concerned with natal- as well as mundane astrology a chapter on elections. It comprises 31 pages and I think that this could be an important discovery, as it reflects the problems of the late 16th century astrologers.

The following is a translation of the epistle from the beginning of the chapter on elections.

 “Treatise of the election of times when something would be done; the author’s epistle to the reader.

People tend to ask most of the watchers of stars and astrologers to give them advice, at which hour and which day they should carry out what they wish to do, so it should be to their advantage. And although the famous Ptolemy did not publish a book concerned with these questions and elections of beneficial times, if somebody would busily read his books, he would find if he reads the rules in his books, that he did not omit telling us about these astrological things. Especially in the Centroloquio [sic], if he published it, he wrote about the best moment to begin with something and other questions. Although he says in Quadripartite that it would be a bad and unsuccessful thing. Some say that he, Ptolemy, never published such a book. Nevertheless we want to give the short basics which are necessary for this purpose.”

This may sound as if Rensberger felt the need to explain or even justify, why he included this chapter in his book. And indeed, if we have a closer look at the situation in 16th century Germany, we might understand why.

At that time Germany and particularly Wittenberg with its university were a hotbed of protestant astrology. Philipp Melanchthon was professor at Wittenberg University and he attracted a series of scholars who were all deeply interested in astrology. We know of Caspar Peucer, Melanchthon’s son-in-law, who was also a publisher, his friend Johann Gartze (Garcaeus), Johannes Schöner, who was a friend of Melanchthon and Erasmus Reinhold, to name only a few.

In the years around 1540, Philipp Melanchthon gave lectures about Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos at the Wittenberg University and Johann Reticus, a mathematician, taught astrology there. Much of the printed source material that underpinned this astrological knowledge was published by one Johannes Petreius, who himself was deeply interested in astrology.

The problem was that the protestant astrologers were not interested in electional astrology at all. They wanted to create a scientific astrology, oriented by natural philosophy. And, following Ptolemy, Melanchthon’s undisputed hero, whose work he translated straight from the Greek, they stated repeatedly that astrology could only show a person’s inclination but was unable to predict an actual decision. They claimed that man’s will had to be free. Therefore the divinatory part of astrology had to disappear.

In 1539 Johannes Schöner published his Opusculum Astrologicum. In it we can find another rare chapter on elections. Six years later, in 1545, he published his masterpiece De Judiciis Libri Tres, but without electional parts. It instantly became a bestseller and was soon hailed to be the best there was!

What I wanted to show here is that the protestant astrologers tried to abolish all traces of electional astrology from their books. This happened certainly for philosophical and religious reasons and we can trace the arguments about free will back as far as Pico della Mirandola. The unfortunate effect that was created was that from the end of the 16th century onwards electional astrology seems to have disappeared from the German literature. Rensberger on the other hand shows us that astrologers who could read Latin still had access to the works of Zahel, Abu Ma’shar and Bonatti, to name a few, and could so continue to answer the burning questions of the population that only electional astrology could answer.

Rensberger’s Hypothetical Library

In my first article about Rensberger’s Astronomia Teutsch I mentioned that, unlike William Lilly, Rensberger would not reveal a lot about the sources he had available to him when he was writing his book. But after closer inspection of his work I have found a number of astrologers mentioned whose works he obviously was familiar with. Based on this information I wanted to create a hypothetical library Rensberger could have owned. It is of great interest to me to find out how the tradition was preserved over the centuries, or, in other words, through which channels the astrological knowledge was flowing into the West. I set out to reconstruct Rensberger’s library, purely based on the hints he gives us in his book. I can not tell if he used any early editions or had some astrological treasures stacked up in his library. Nevertheless what I tried to do was to create a library of books available at Rensberger’s lifetime, up to the publishing date of his Astronomia Teutsch in 1569. If possible I tried to supply him with the latest editions published close to the place where his book was published, Augsburg. In his Christian Astrology William Lilly enables us to have a virtual look at his bookshelves. This is fortunate because both, he and Rensberger, were pioneers translating astrology into their own language. This means that both of them could read the same or similar source material in Latin. Therefore we can postulate that they were drawing on similar material which is helpful in some ways.

I will begin with Claudius Ptolemy, who is mentioned frequently. He wrote an important astrological work, Quadripartite, which was published many times. In our case I would suggest that Rensberger had the edition from1549, which was printed in Nürnberg, on his bookshelf. Lilly owned the 1551 edition, printed in Basel, Switzerland. Rensberger mentions as well the book Centiloqium. He notes that some people say Ptolemy was not the author of this work; nevertheless he uses it as a source. Wüstenfeld claims in his book Die Übersetzung Arabischer Werke in das Lateinische, (the translation of Arab works into Latin), Göttingen 1877, “Ptolmaei Centiloquion is the book Librorum suorum fructus ad Syrum […] with the original in Escurial, one with a Persian comment in the Bodleian Library and another one in Leiden. The Latin translation generally appears with a comment by Ali ben Rudhwan”.

Another name that can be found in Rensberger’s book is Hermes. In the chapter dealing with the correspondences between Planets and parts of the human body Ptolemy’s and Hermes’ views are compared. If he quotes from Hermetis Centum aphorismorum liber in Nicolaus Pruckner’s edition of Firmicus Maternus, Johannes Hervagius, Basel 1551, or from his De revolutionibus nativitatum in Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos edition by Heinrich Petri, Basel 1559 is not clear to me at the moment. Further research will hopefully clarify this.

Another astrologer mentioned by Rensberger is Proclus Diadochus. He quotes him in the chapter on Solar and Lunar eclipses.  William Lilly has it in his bibliography under: Proclus – In Quadripartitum Ptolomei, folio, Basiliae, 1559.
Holden talks about a Latin edition by Leo Allatius, Leiden, 1635, but I found an earlier one: Proclus Diadochus, Paraphrasis in quatuor Ptolemi libros de siderum effectionibus. Cum prfatione Philippi Melanchthonis, 1554. A copy of this was supposedly in Dr. John Dee’s library.

The next famous astrologer, mentioned by Rensberger in connection with eclipses, is Guido Bonatus. I picked two editions here which could have been on our astrologer’s shelf. The first one is Tractatus astronomie, edited by Johannes Angelus, Augsburg, published by Erhard Ratdolt, 1491, the second one by Jakob Kundig, Basel, 1550, which Lilly owned as well. Bonatus is mentioned again, together with Hali, in connection with the great conjunction. We know that Bonatti held Hali in high esteem, which explains why Rensberger mentioned them together. Hali, as he is referred to, was really called Ali Abū al-Hasan ibn Abī al-Rijāl or Haly Abenragel or Albohazen Haly; his work Preclarissimus liber completus in judiciis astrorum, or Libri de judiciis astrorum (Kitāb al-bāri’ fī akhām an-nujūm) was first published by Erhard Ratdolt de Augusta in 1485 but I would go with the Basel edition by Heinrich Petri from 1551. Unfortunately it would take until 1571 for the edition to appear, which Lilly claims to be the only non defective one, sadly too late for our purposes here.

The astrologer Rensberger quotes more than anyone else is the famous Albumasar. His opus De magnis conjunctionibus which was published by Erhard Ratdolt, 1489, in Augsburg is the latest edition I know of. William Lilly owned this edition and so must have Rensberger.

Next to be mentioned in the text is Alcabitius. His book Astronomie judiciarie principia tractans cum Ioannis Saxonii commentario was printed by Guillaume Huyon for Barthelemy Trot, 1523 in Lyon. Rensberger quotes him in a chapter about the conjunctions between Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. In the same chapter he mentions another famous astrologer, Valentinus Naibod, who was a contemporary astrologer. His work with the title Enarratio elementorum astrologiae was published by Arnold Birckmann, 1560 in Cologne. Lilly calls it Ennaratio in Alcabitum, which gives an indication why these two men are mentioned together in Astronomia Teutsch.

Further on another famous Arab astrologer, Masha’allah, is quoted in Astronomia Teutsch. I would guess that Rensberger owned a copy of Opera Messahallica (De significationibus planetarum in nativitate, Liber receptionis, De revolutionibus annorum mundi, Epistola in rebus eclipsis, De cogitatione). This edition was published by Joachim Heller in Nuremberg, 1549.

Lucam Gauricum is another contemporary astrologer mentioned by Rensberger. His work Tractatus astrologiae judiciariae de nativitatibus virorum & mulierum was published by Johannes Petreius in Nuremberg in 1540 and will probably have found its way on the bookshelf of our astrologer.

The last person to be found in Rensberger’s textbook is not so much an astrologer as a mathematician and astronomer. It is the famous Johannes Müller, also known as Regiomontanus or Iohannis de Monte Regio. His work Tabulae directionum profectionum quetam was published in Augsburg in 1490 and in Tübingen by Ulrich Morhart in 1559. His house tables became fast the new standard.

Rensberger’s Astronomia Teutsch

Only recently I came across a book written by the German mathematician and astrologer Nicolaus Rensberger. It has the slightly misleading title “Astronomia Teutsch”, or German Astronomy, and was printed in Augsburg in 1569.

We know that William Lilly published his Christian Astrology, an astrological textbook written in English, in 1647. 78 years before him Nicolaus Rensberger achieved something similar in Germany. He wrote the first astrological textbook in German. His book runs to about 800 pages and consists of four parts. Part 1 teaches the student the calculation of the positions of the Planets and the erecting of a birth chart. In part 2 he explains the meaning and effects of lunar and solar eclipses and revolutions. The third book teaches the interpretation of nativities and part 4 deals with directions and profections. Contrary to Lilly, Rensberger does not talk a lot about his sources. He mentions Ptolemy and makes some references to Arab astrologers, but does not go into too much detail. My intention in the future is to work my way through this rather voluminous book to find out which sources Rensberger used and how his material differs from that of  contemporary British astrologers.

On of the differences I discovered in Rensberger’s book is his approach towards the Part of Fortune. He distinguishes between the day birth PoF: Moon-Sun+ASC, and the night birth PoF: Sun-Moon+ASC.

If we compare this to Lilly, who is basing his calculation on Ptolemy, we find that he only uses the day birth PoF for all nativities. He states in CA, p144: “Ptolomy, day and night takes it as above directed, with whom all practitioners at this day consent.” Lilly writes as well about the Part of Fortune: “Ptolomy does not more consider a Planet than the Part of Fortune, thus caracterized(glyph of PoF); it has no aspect, but any Planets may cast their aspect to it.”  Further on he provides us with a table to calculate the strength of the Part of Fortune “in any figure”. We can see the positive or negative numerical values  Lilly gives the PoF in sign, house and aspect to calculate the strength or weakness of it.

On the contrary we find in Rensberger: “Ptolemy does not value the Part of Fortune less than the Planets. But it has no aspects and the Planets do not cast any aspects to it, because it is only a point in the sky where the radii of Sun and Moon are.” He continues to produce the same table we can find in Lilly’s Christian Astrology, page 145, but as he states that the Planets do not form any aspects with the Part of Fortune, he substitutes it with the Sun. We find for example: The Sun is strong and fortunate in the signs of Taurus or Pisces  5, in Libra, Sagittarius, Leo or Cancer 4. The Sun is weak and unfortunate in the signs of Scorpio -5, Sagittarius -5 and Virgo -5 and in Aries she never gets or loses. He continues with the aspects in the same way and gives Sun conjunct Jupiter a value of 5, Sun conjunct Saturn -5 and so forth. 

First I thought this to be an error, as I have already spotted some printing mistakes in his book. But  in this case it seems to be how it was intended by Rensberger as he states in another place that “one has to look at the Part of Fortune by itself”.