In the following web log entries, I will be re-visiting Astronomia Teutsch, the astrological primer of the German mathematician and astrologer Nicolaus Rensberger. His textbook was first printed in the vernacular in Augsburg, 1569. I posted my translation of Rensberger’s view on profections back in 2009 (Rensberger’s Profections); this time I will publish my translation of his natal aspect interpretations. For ease of access, I have split it into sections, which can be found by following the appropriate links:
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new article with the title Between Science and Superstition – The Astrology of Comets has been published as an addendum to the Tradition Journal, Issue 4.
The article explains in detail the transmission of astrological lore concerning comets and provides an insight into the importance of the chapter on comets in Nicolaus Rensberger’s Astronomia Teutsch, first published in 1568.
The supplementary article can be found here: Astrology of Comets
The interested reader may as well find both, the article and the complete translation of Rensberger’s chapter on comets in the latest issue of the Tradition Journal.
The Tradition Journal Issue 4 has just been released:
The Role of Dispositors of Planets in Signs
By Martien Hermes
Fit to be Judged: The Necessity of the 23 Considerations Before Judgement
By Christopher Magnus
Between Science and Superstition – The Astrology of Comets
By Peter Stockinger
For Posterity – Rensberger on Comets
Transcription by Peter Stockinger
Incarnation – Reincarnation
By Sue Ward
This issue is available in PDF and EPUB (ebook) format and inclues a complemetary copy of William Lilly’s autobiography transcribed and annotated by Sue Ward.
Copies may be purchased via the website: Tradition Journal
When William Lilly wrote his Christian Astrology in 1647, he included chapters on the seven planets and their significations in the introductory part. These chapters include, amongst a lot of other material, the correspondences between planets and precious stones. What is of interest here is the source material Lilly used for his book.
The bibliography appended to Christian Astrology gives us some information as to where his knowledge came from and in the following I want to shed more light on this subject.
One of Lilly’s main sources seems to be Cornelius Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia, written between 1509 and 1510 and printed for the first time in 1533. Lilly does not provide us with much detail about the edition he used, only that its format would be octavo and that it had been printed in Lugduni. There was indeed an edition printed in 1543 in Lyon, which might be the one Lilly had in his library. I used the first English translation from 1651 for my research, an edition published just a bit too late to be used by Lilly for his Christian Astrology.
Another book Lilly might have used as a source to establish the correspondences between planets and gemstones is Johannes Schöner’s Opera Mathematica, Nuremberg 1551, which is as well included in Lilly’s bibliography.
Although he claims that Schöner’s book would not be methodical, Lilly calls it a good one and it seems to have been hugely popular at the time. Nicolaus Rensberger, for example, copied the information about gemstones and planets for his Astronomia Teutsch straight out of Opera Mathematica.
The following tables show the possible sources of Lilly’s correspondences and I have included some explanatory footnotes.
|All black and ugly stones|
|Smarage (Emerald)||Smarage (Emerald)|
*Al Biruni says about the Bezoar Stone:
“The early authors have said that a well-known stone is so named, although they have omitted to mention its characteristics and features.
As a matter of fact, this stone should have been the costliest among
stones, for, whereas jewels are things of the body and adornment, and
are of no use in bodily ailments, the bezoar stone guards the body and
the soul and saves them from being harmed. We did not describe it
before all the other stones, thinking it more logical that it should be described along with stones belonging to its genus. Muhammad bin
Zakariya Razi says:
“The kind that I saw was soft like the Yemenite alum. It scattered
and broke into pieces. I am filled with amazement at its wonderful
Abu ‘Ali ibn Mandawayh says that it is pale with white and green
hues mixed with it. Hamzah and Nasr both say that it is primarily
associated with India and China. In the Kitab al-Nukhab it has been saidthat its mine is in the mountain of Zarand within the boundaries of Kirman.
Hamzah and Nasr have described fine kinds of the stones. These are
white, yellow, green, dusty and abrasive. Nasr has, however, selected
the dusty kind. He has prescribed a dose of twelve barley grains for the
poisonous kind. The author of the Kitab al-Nukhab says that one kind
of it is beet green and pale, while another kind is reddish-white. One
kind is thin and has something filled inside it. It is called the snot of
Satan and the Warlock’s thread.”
**John Maplet describes Crystals as Follows: “The Cristall is one of those stones that shyneth in everie part, and is in colour waerie. Isidore saith, that it is nothing else then a congeled Ise by continuance frosen whole yeares. It groweth in Asia and Cyperus, and especially upon the Alpes and highe Mountains of the North Pole. It engendreth not so much of the waters coldnesse, as of the earthinesse mixt withall. His propertie is to abide nothing in qualitie contrarie to it selfe: therefore it is delighted only with colde.”
*Bloodstone is these days a name for Jasper which is dotted with red spots of iron oxide, but it is as well a name for Hematite, which could be indicated in Schöner. Rensberger has altered it to Hematite in his Astronomia Teutsch.
**John Maplet describes the Loadstone as follows: “The Lodestone commeth from Indie, and is almost Iron colour like. It is founde most rife amongst the Trogloditas people, in the furthest part of Affrick, beyond Aethiopia, who are saide to dwell in Caves, and to eate Serpents flesh. It draweth Iron to it, even as one Lover cueteth and desireth an other. The common people therefore having sometime seene this so done by secret and unknowne working, have iudged and reputed ye Iron lively. There is another kind of Lodestone in Thessalie, that is of contrarie set and disposition, which will have non of Iron, nor will meddle with it. But for the other that is reckned principall and best, which in colour is blue. Saint Augustine saith, that if any man put under any vessel eyther golden or brasse, or holde under these any peece of Iron, and lay above the vessels or upon them this Lodestone, that even through the verie motion or moving of the stone underneath, the Iron shall move up and meete with it as nigh as the vessell wil suffer at the verie top.”
***Touchstone is a hard dark siliceous stone, such as basalt or jasper, that is used to test the quality of gold and silver from the colour of the streak they produce on it.
*John Maplet’s description of Carbuncle: “The Carbuncle is a stone very precious, so called for that (like to a fierie cole) it giveth light, but especially in the night season: it so warreth with the pupill or the eiesight, that it sheweth manifolde reflexions. It has as some say. xv. kindes: but those most precious that come nigh the Carbuncles nature: it is found in Libia.”
**Sometimes called Echites, Maplet says: “Echites is a stone both of Indie and Persia, which in the shore and Sea banckes of the Ocean, in the verie bosome of the Indian and Persian Sea, it is found: it is in colour Violet like: And there is a paire of them, Male & Female, and be most commonly found both togither in the Eagles nest, without the which the Eagle can not bring forth hir yong: and therfore kepeth them, as most necessarie in this behalfe alwaies in hir Nest. These stones bound to a womans bodie, being with childe, do hasten childe birth. And Iorach saith, that if any man have these or one of these, and put it under that mans meate or trencher that he suspecteth to be in fault of any thing: If that he be guiltie, he shall not be able through this to swallowe downe his meate: If not saith he, he may.”
|Sappire (sky coloured)|
* Maplet talks of a green Berill, colour of Venus, which seems apt.
**Chrysolite , also called Olivin or Peridot is of green colour, fitting for Venus.
***Lilly calls it a Margasite, it is ‘Margarit’ in Schoener and ‘Margaret’ in Maplet, who describes it as follows: “The Margaret of all Gemmes, those which be in their kindes white, is esteemed the chiefest: as Isidore consenteth, with others herein. Which kinde he will also have thus named, for that is founde growing in the meate of certain shell fishes, and those of the Sea, as in the Sea Snaile, and in the greatest Oyster, and such like as have their shell. It is engendred of a certain heavenly dewe, which in a certaine time of the yeare, both the Sea Snaile and the Cockle doe take and drik up. Of the which kinde of stone certaine are called Vnions, for that by one and one, they be founde, and never above one: there be some of these also seene sometimes yellow, but the other are the verie best.”
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.
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.