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Astrology Books by Jean-Baptiste Morin

Jean-Baptiste Morin (or Morinus), a native of Villefranche, France, lived from 1583 to 1656, which makes him a generation senior to England's William Lilly. Morin was a physician with training in astronomy. He began to study astrology in the 1620's & quickly acquired a reputation in the French court. He held the post of Royal Professor of Mathematics from 1630 until his death. In his capacity as court astrologer to Louis XIII, he was present at the birth of Louis XIV (the Sun King) in 1638.

His great work, Astrologia Gallica occupied him for some 30 years. It is without doubt one of the greatest astrological treatises ever written, but, as it was written in Latin, and at a time when sentiment on the continent had turned sharply against astrology (the so-called "Age of Reason"), he was unable to get it published in his lifetime. Queen Marie Louise of Poland, a grateful client, first published it in 1661. The work has yet to be completely translated into any modern language.

With the traditional revival of the last dozen years, much attention has been turned to Morin & his great work. I am confident we will see more of Morin's Astrologia Gallica translated & published over the next decade.

January, 2006: Philip, in Stockholm, has found a site (Czech, I think), with beautiful scans of nearly the entire original, in Latin. Go here: J.B. Morin's web page. It's where I found this excellent portrait.

Indicates a book on our Top Ten list. If you would like to find more books like it, click on the star.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA BOOKS 13, 14, 15 & 19 - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by James H. Holden, $24.95
Book 13: The Proper Natures & Strengths of the Individual Planets & the Fixed Stars

Translator's preface

Section 1: The elemental, etheric & celestial nature of the planets:
1. That Ptolemy, Cardin & the other old astrologers made many errors in handing down the elemental nature of the planets
2. In which the elemental strengths of the individual planets are determined from the experiences of astrologers with respect to the terrestrial globe
3. In how many ways a superior planet by its own nature with respect to us is increased or decreased
4. The ethereal nature of the planets in general
5. The celestial nature of the planets in general
6. What the planets do with their individual natures

Section 2: The various divisions of the planets:
1. Masculine & feminine planets
2. Diurnal & nocturnal planets
3. Benefic & malefic planets

Section 3: The proper celestial nature of the individual planets, and also about the fixed stars:
1. How difficult it is to define the proper influences of the individual planets
2. By what theory the influences of the planets, with respect to men, can be investigated & defined
3. The strength of the planets by analogy
Table of the universal rulerships of the planets
4. The influences of the Jovial planets
5. The proper influence of the fixed stars

1. Table of the bright fixed stars for 1 January 1600
2. Table of the bright fixed stars for 1 January 2000

Index of persons

Book 14: The Primum Caelum & its division into twelve parts:

Translator's preface

Section 1: The prime physical cause & the 12 divisions:
1. The first & most universal, the Primum Caelum
2. The Primum Caelum consists of diverse virtue
3. The primary & actual divisions by nature
5. The proper elemental natures of the individual signs are investigated & proved
6. The 12 divisions or the signs cannot be established in any other Caelum than the Primum Caelum, and what is a 12th part
7. What kind of error concerning the elemental natures of the signs was introduced by Ptolemy & Cardin
8. What objections were made by Pico Mirandola & Alexander de Angelis to the division of the zodiac into 12 signs
9. How outstanding are those things that follow from the causes of the division of the Caelum assigned above

Section 2: The general divisions of the signs for the whole earth:
1. The fire, air, water & earth signs
2. The choleric, sanguinary, phlegmatic & melancholy signs
3. The masculine & feminine signs
4. The diurnal & nocturnal signs
5. The northern & southern signs
6. The mobile, fixed & common signs
7. The commanding & obeying signs
8. The antiscion signs
9. The signs that aspect each other & those that do not
10. The conjunct & inconjunct signs
11. Some other divisions of the signs that should plainly be rejected
12. The constellations of the firmament

Index of persons

Book 15: The essential dignities of the planets:

Translator's preface

1. Whether the signs of the zodiac are of the same nature & virtue throughout the whole earth
2. At the beginning of the world the zodiac was divided by the sun into parts comformable to the individual planets by their elemental & also their influential nature
3. In which the influential natures of the signs are disclosed & the domiciles of the planets established
4. The exiles of the planets
5. The exaltations & falls of the planets
6. The triplicities of the planets, or the trigons & trigon rulers according to the opinions of the ancients
7. The trigons & trigon rulers according to our opinion
8. To what regions of the world the trigons pertain & consequently which regions of the world the trigon rulers principally rule
9. Some things that should be particularly noted about these trigons & their rulers
10. The faces or personalities or the Almugea of the planets
11. The thrones, seats, or chariots of the planets
12. The joys of the planets
\ 13. The terms, novenas, decans, dodecatemories, etc., of the planets in the individual signs; then the light & smoky degrees, the pits, the vacant degrees & the monomoiriae
14. The friendships & enmities of the planets among themselves

Index of persons

Book 19: The elements of astrology, or the principles of judgments

Translator's preface


Index of persons

Comment: This one volume contains the complete texts of Books 13, 14, 15 & 19 of Astrologia Gallica, in which Morin explains the strength of the planets, the division of the sky into celestial houses, the essential dignities of the planets, and the principles of judgment. These are the fundamentals of horoscopic astrology.

In his notes, Holden has the following about each of the individual books:

Book 13:

As a writer, Morin resembles a college professor teaching a course in astrology. He talks extensively about each topic that he introduces, explaining the background & the justifications of the rules he introduces. From time to time he even raises objections to the rules & refutes them. And he cites rules that some of his predecessors have stated & discusses them. Thus, the reader not only learns what Morin believed to be true, but he is also introduced to some alternative theories that were current in the 17th century
In his introduction to Book 14, Holden faults Morin's need to justify astrology according to the science of his day, as wall as to Catholic dogma, as being dated. Since Morin, science has made great strides, and the Church is no longer relevant, or so says Holden. I would point out that as astrology predates both science & the Church, it is presumably superior to both of them. Morin's arguments show how astrology may be made to fit any particular mold (such as the ideology of the day) & is therefore a useful exercise in clear-thinking.

Book 15. Holden writes:

In this Book, Morin explains the various classifications & subdivisions of the signs & gives his opinion as to why some of them should be changed or rejected altogether. He gives what seems to him to be logical reasons for these features of the zodiac. And as usual he quotes Holy Scripture from time to time. We should be aware that he was also primarily motivated by two things in astrology: (1) a dislike of anything that did not have a definite relationship to astronomy; and (2) a distrust of anything that seemed to him to have been originated by Arabian astrologers.

Unfortunately, Morin's knowledge of the history of the World & the history of astrology, while consistent with what his 17th century contemporaries believed, was inferior to our knowledge today. Therefore, some of his "proofs" are no longer valid. And some of the subdivisions of the zodiac that he discusses have fallen out of use & are hardly even known to modern astrologers. Still, his observations & comments are interesting, displaying as always his determination to put every facet of astrology on a logical basis. And unlike the majority of astrologers, he does not simply enunciate a rule, but he also gives an explanation of why he believes it to be valid.

Book 19. Holden writes:

Book 19 is one of the shortest books of the Astrologia Gallica, but it is an important book because it gives explicit definitions of astrological terms & many valuable rules for interpreting charts. It begins with Definitions, then passes to Axioms & a Caution, and finally to 78 Theorems. Their main purpose seems to be to provide logical explanations of terms & their use in various configurations. Morin emphasises that in interpreting a particular position or configuration in a chart both the characteristics of the influence & the characteristics of the native or the subject acted upon must be carefully considered in order to understand the action in a particular case. And he illustrates this by one of his favorite sayings, The Sun hardens clay & melts wax, thus showing that the same celestial influence may have quite a different effect upon different subjects.

A most welcome addition to the series.

AFA, 304 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA BOOK 16 - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by James Herschel Holden, $21.95


Translator's preface

Book Sixteen:


1. The difference between a ray & an aspect & the various options on that as to their effect on sublunar things.

2. In which the doctrine of Jofrancus Offusius, the German, on the rays of the stars is set forth and what it is asserted should be judged about it.

3. What is an aspect among astrologers, and what does its formal reason consist of in general.

4. How many astrological aspect there are and what are the quantities of each one; then, which ones are simple & which ones are mixed.

5. Whether the aspects of the planets should be established for the mean places of those planets or for the true places as seen by the eye, or for the true places at the center of the Earth.

6. In which great circles the real aspects of the planets should first be conceived according to Ptolemy and Cardan, and a refutation of their opinions.

7. Giovani Bianchini's and Cyprian Leowitz's opinions on that same matter, and a refutation of their opinions.

8. John Regiomontanus's opinion on this matter, and a refutation of it.

9. In what great circle the aspects of the planets must be conceived to be according to truth of the matter.

Translator's comment

10. The benefic & malefic nature of aspects & what the cause of both of them is. And then, which aspects are benefic & which malefic.

11. Whether the astrological aspects differ in kind among themselves.

12. The cause of the astrological aspects.

13. The orb of virtue of the stars, and the semi-diameter of that orb for the planets and the fixed stars. A new & true doctrine for the recognition of the aspects.

14. The partile & platic aspects of the planets, then the dexter & the sinister aspects.

15. The antiscions of the planets.

16. How the usual way of speaking about aspects and antiscions must be successively reshaped, or at least understood.

17. Whether one planet aspecting another, or located in its antiscion, transits to its own nature & virtue and that of the sign it occupies.

18. What objections have been made by Pico Mirandola, Alexander de Angelis and the rest against the aspects of the planets. And first, those by Pico.

19. Those objections made by Alexander de Angelis.

20. Those objections that are made by Plotinus and Marsilio Ficino.

21. The mutual aspects of the planets & the fixed stars.

Section 2: The applications & separations of the planets. And also the translation and abscission of their virtue, etc.

1. What an application and a separation are, and to which planets they are properly appropriate.

2. The modes and the effects of the simple applications and separations of the planets among themselves.

3. The modes and effects of the combined applications and separations of the planets among themselves.

4. The doryphory of the planets or their attendance.

Section 3: Planets combust by the Sun.

1. Why a planet is combust by the Sun.

2. Every planet is always somewhere: in the Heart of the Sun, Combust or Under the Sun beams, or rather, the aspects of the planets with respect to the Earth are often burnt up.

3. Whether combust planets are of no virtue for acting on these inferior things, as the ancients thought.

4. [There is no Chapter 4.]

5. Reasons against the opinions of the ancients.

6. Experiences against the opinions of the ancients.

7. In which Lucio Bellantio's reasons for the opinion of the ancients are discarded.

Index of persons

Comment: Read the contents, and then follow along.

Rays are what planets emit, one way or another. Aspects are the interaction of the rays of the various planets. Orbs, to Morin, have to do with how far below the horizon the setting sun must be before the planet in question becomes visible in the evening sky. For Venus, this is 13 degrees, which is a greater orb than the 12 degrees he gives to the Moon. Morin tangles antiscions with declination, an interesting idea. The Doryphory are planets that "attend" the Sun or Moon at sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset, are outside the bounds of combustion, but have not yet reached the MC. The effect of a doryphory depends on agreement of sect & sex with the luminary in question. And more on application, separation, combusion & other obscure - but important - topics, than you will find anywhere else.

Much of the book is taken up with careful analysis & refutation of the opinions of leading astrologers of Morin's day. Most of them are unknown to us, but Morin's discussion will repay close study. Which is true of this book as a whole. Morin's astrology differs in many ways from what we now know. Aspects are one of the major building blocks of astrology, then and now. Morin's treatise on the subject is one of the cornerstones of his entire work.

AFA, 150 pages.



Translator's Preface

Book Seventeen


Section 1: The Cabala of the Astrological Houses & Its Natural Foundation that We have Revealed:

1. The whole natural effect from the whole caleum & its parts depend upon the position within & the direction of its parts.
2. The general division of the natural effects with respect to the whole Caleum.
3. The special division of the whole Caleum into twelve astrological houses with respect to the man being born.
4. The fundamentals of that division.
5. The explanation of that division & its marvelous & greatly reasonable application to all those things that occur during the life of that man.
6. Things that must be particularly noted about the signfication of the houses.
7. Questions raised by Pico Mirandola, Alexander de Angelis, Marsilio Ficino in his Plotinus, and by other haters of astrology, in opposition to the astrological houses wiht refuting answers.

8. Whether if man had not sinned, the superior division of the Caleum & the things signified by the individual houses would have had a place & force in the nature of things with respect to man.

Section 2: The Erection of Celestial Figures for Astrology:

1. Six of the astrological houses are above the earth & six below.
2. In which the equal method of dividing the Caleum into the astrological houses is subjected to a particular examination & rejected.
3. Some other erroneous methods of dividing the Caleum by the ecliptic or by the use of the degrees of the ecliptic that occupies the horizon.
4. In which the Campanus system for the division of the Caleum into astrological houses is particularly examined by reason & by experience, and is compared to the Rational System, and which of these is declared legitimate.
5. In which the Rational System of dividing is set forth as the more accurate method, and a notable difficulty about that system is resolved. Along with a new division of the houses by that same rational system.

Section 3: In which the Essence or the Formal Reason for the Astrological Houses is stated:

1. The essence of an astrological house consists of the relation of its site to a birth that takes place beyond the axis of the pole.
2. Whether the division of the houses is made for the center of the Earth, or whether it is made for the place of birth, and whaat is the material cause of these.
3. How many astrological houses there are, and how each of them should be defined.
4. In which the differences & the harmony of each astrological house, namely the primary & the secondary houses is more fully explained.
5. Containing two necessary problems relating to the figure of the Caleum that has been erected.
Problem 1. To find by what perpendicular arc any planet is distant from any circle of position of that house.
Problem 2. Having been given the longitude and latitude of a planet posited in the twelfth house, along with its arc of direction to the degree of the ecliptic ascending to find that degree or its oblique ascension.
6. Some divisions of the houses or the celestial figure.

Index of persons.

Comment: Section 1 explains why there are twelve houses, and, beyond that, why houses are necessary & viable. Morin was refuting nay-sayers of his day, there are also nay-sayers in the present day.

Section 2 analyzes the various methods of house division, as known in Morin's day. His Rational System is known to us as Regiomontanus, and it is, indeed, a fine system, still used by many horary astrologers. He also proposes his own system, known to us as the Morinus System, which neither he, nor anyone else, has ever used.

Section 3 tells us how houses are calculated, how they are to be viewed, in a larger sense. From the birth-place? From the center of the Earth?, etc.

This is not a book on how to use houses. Morin covers that in his other books (Book 21, for example). This book seeks to answer the question of why there are houses in the first place.

AFA, 125 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA Book 18: The Strength of the Planets - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by Pepita Sanchis Llacer & Anthony Louis LaBruzza, $17.95
Contents: Translator's preface & acknowledgments; Preface to book XVIII of Astrologia Gallica

Part 1: 1. What is the strength of the planets & how manifold is it?; 2. Regarding the intrinsic strength of the planets; 3. Regarding the extrinsic strength of the planets in general; 4. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their celestial state, which depends on the signs of the zodiac in which they are posited. First, how a planet acts in its own domicile, exaltation & triplicity; 5. How & to what extent the planets are fortified by their domicile, exaltation, or triplicity, or weakened by the signs opposite these; 6. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from the zodiacal signs in which they are posited with regard to the matter of the gender of the planets; 7. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their reception in the signs of the zodiac; 8. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their position with respect to the Sun & Moon; 9. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their motion; 10. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their elevation, that is, from the greater altitude of one planet above the rest; 11. The extrinsic strength of the planets by reason of their diurnal or nocturnal condition.

Part 2: 11. The extrinsic strength of the planets by reason of their mutual aspects; 13. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their position on the same Major Circle as another planet or prominent fixed star; 14. The intrinsic strength & quality of the houses of the horoscope. Also, the strength accruing to the planets through their placement in the houses; 15. What is the most powerful point in any house & what are the proper limits of influence fo the houses: A question of great import for astrology; 16. How one should measure the final five degrees before the cusp, or, in my view, the semi-diameter of the orb of influence of the planets. Also, that Cardan should be criticized in that regard; 17. How one should distribute the inherent strength of each space [house] among its parts [degrees], or how one should find the strength of any planet by house.

Appendices: A. The friends & enemies of the planets; B. Morin's Table of the Ratios of Primitive Qualities of the Planets; C. The planets listed in the order of the quantity of a primitive quality; D. Morin's conception of the meanings of the angles & the 12 houes of the horoscope. References.

Comment: Pepita Sanchis Llacer translated Morin's Latin into Spanish; Anthony Louis then translated this into English, with reference to the original Latin. Acknowledgments go to each other, as well as John Frawley, James H. Holden & Robert M. Corre. This is one of the better Latin translations I have seen, it is not quite so stiff & formal. Extensive footnotes illuminate the text. Numerous charts illuminate Morin's text, all have been reset with modern wheels & modern calculations. (I note that all of them are calculated with true nodes: Is this a mistake?)

See also Nina Gryphon's review.

An excellent addition to the study, one that has been eagerly awaited.

AFA, 132 pages.

PLANETARY STRENGTH: A Commentary on Morinus - Bob Makransky, $17.99



1. Celestial state
2. Terrestrial state
3. Aspectual state
4. Comparison of different canons of planetary strength
5. Other dignities

1. The local determination
2. Dr. Jones' methodology

Natal horoscope of Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche



This is a commentary on Morin's Book 18 (immediately above), on Planetary Strengths, which is why I placed it here. Computation of planetary strength enables you to rank planets in a chart by their overall strengths. Morin divides this into three sections: Celestial, which is to say, by sign; Terrestrial, which is by house; and Aspectual, which is by aspect. Regrettably, unlike the planetary strengths as given in Lilly, CC Zain, Doris Chase Doan, Ken Stone & Morin himself, Makransky gives no actual numbers. Note this well, as this distinguishes Makransky from all the others.

This book will advance your study of astrology by giving you new avenues for investigation. For that reason you should get it.

But I am personally unhappy with it. Makransky has overlaid a great deal of ideology. His, not Morin's.

Strong planets, Makransky says, are better than weak ones. Well, no. They're not. Strong planets are, in fact, different. Different signs provide different means of expression.

Strong planets give us free will, he says (pg. vii). In fact, all planets give free will, regardless of their strength.

Weak planets show helplessness & vulnerability (pg. viii), but not according to any chart I ever read.

A weak, afflicted natal planet will never bring fulfillment in your life even if it is nominally a benefic. (pg. viii) Regret that I have examples that show exactly the opposite.

Planets that are dignified are spirited. Planets that are debilitated are non-plussed (pg. 3), which the dictionary defines as confused or unperturbed, which is to say, passive. Well, again, no.

On the other hand, when all planets are peregrine [ie, not good or bad, not strong or weak - Dave], what is indicated is nonchalance: you are relaxed, slow-paced, but rather desultory in your interests, lacking in real gusto for life. But because you have few axes to grind, you manage to get along quite well with all sorts of people. (pg. 4)
- Which is an astonishing reading of a chart, if you stop to think about it. Popularity means you're mediocre. Moving along, Makransky tabulates the effects of five good planets vs: five bad planets, four good vs: four bad, three good vs: three bad. Here are the results of five baddies:
On the other hand, a preponderance of planets essentially debilitated (five or more in detriment and fall) indicates that you are self-conscious, nervous, and wary. Albeit sociable & outgoing, you are super-sensitive, easily hurt, and take things very much to heart. You shrink from reproach and placate or temporize whenever possible. You feel a strong need to be looked up to, and usually try to play the good fellow. You tend to be shy or awkward, but are genuinely unassuming and friendly. (pg. 6)
Sometimes when I quote material I only quote a fragment, enough to give you a flavor. This time I quoted the entire section. When we think about it, of ten bodies in a chart, having five of them messed up would seem to be quite rare. Such people, so one would imagine, would almost certainly never amount to anything & would thereby pass completely unnoticed. Do you not agree?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Hitler, born April 20, 1889, in Brannau, Austria. Correct his birth time to give him a Scorpio rising (6.54 pm LMT) - or don't correct it, it won't change Makransky's analysis. Here are Mr. Hitler's debilities:

  • Moon in Capricorn, its debility
  • Venus retrograde, the most serious of all its debilities - and,
  • conjunct debilitated Mars in Taurus
  • Jupiter in Capricorn, debilitated
  • Saturn in Leo, debilitated
That's five debilitated planets. Exactly what part of Makransky's fantasy delineation fits? Adolf Hitler was passive? Popular? Well, yes, he was that, provided you were German. If Adolf Hitler wasn't the single most powerful man of the 20th century, then he's tied with Chairman Mao. It was by sheer fantastic good fortune - and the bloody sacrifice of millions - that he came to a bad end.

In Chapter 1, on Celestial State, there are delineations, Good state & Bad, for each of the planets. These are essentially unlabeled delineations for the signs the planets rule, vs: the unlabeled signs of their debilities. Thus, Mercury in bad celestial state is adamant (pg. 9). Such as, I dunno, Mercury in Pisces. In a bad celestial state, such as Pisces, or so I presume, You have strong opinions and you take them & yourself very seriously . . . with something of a siege mentality. You often feel isolated, misjudged, in need of a little appreciation for your efforts. . . (pg. 9) Or maybe he's thinking of Sagittarius. Yes! That must be it.

In chapter 2, on house position/strength, we learn that angular planets (in houses 1, 4, 7, & 10) find social relationships stimulating, while planets in succedent houses (2, 5, 8, 11) find social relationships challenging, and planets in cadent houses (3, 6, 9, 12) find social relationships overwhelming (pg. 18). This is not only a crude view of houses, it's unacceptably misleading. The delineations, for angular and cadent placements only, ignores the affinity that Jupiter and Mercury have for cadent houses, as these planets rule the mutable signs, which relate directly to the cadent houses.

On pg. 30 we learn that planets conjunct the ascendant indicate casual relationships; conjunct the descendant, close relationships; conjunct the MC, group relationships; and conjunct the IC, solitude. We therefore have the explanation for the popularity of George W. Bush, recent president of the United States, who had Mercury conjunct the angle of casual relationships and Jupiter conjunct solitude (July 6, 1946, 7.26 am EDT, New Haven, CT). Dear George, with your empty 10th house, how did you become leader of us all?

In Chapter 3, Aspectual State, we learn the difference between well-aspected & well-afflicted chart natives is that the former live strategically, go with the flow, and as a result people tend to accept them on their own terms, whereas the latter stumble and bumble and struggle against the flow, and as a result the tend to be rejected by people. Well-aspected actions are detached whereas afflicted actions are malajusted (emphasis in original, pg. 42) So, presumably, badly aspected charts should be more likely to end up in jail? Which I imagine some of them do, but on the other hand, bad aspects are the fire that gets people going & makes them amount to something. Grand trines, as Carter and many others have noted, are notorious for producing indolence. I have a sister with a staggering grand trine/kite totalling eight planets (January 24, 1965). This chapter, while no better than the first two, is a bit murkier, since the definition of "well-aspected" and "well-afflicted" has never quite been settled.

Makransky's chart is on pg. 44: August 1, 1947, 1:09:50 pm EDT, Philadelphia. Here is part of how he describes himself:

For example, in my own chart Neptune is quite well-aspected, since it is the point planet of a wedge mediating an opposition between Moon & Sun-Saturn-Pluto, and indeed psychedelic drug and plant experiences have always been most beneficial to my spiritual growth and happiness. Moreover, I continually receive valuable guidance and information talking to spirits and trees. . . Contrariwise, I've noticed that people with an afflicted Neptune probably shouldn't mess around with drugs, and they tend to get involved with the wrong sorts of spirits; money tends to flow easily to people with a well-aspected Jupiter. (pg. 45-6)
(I'm wondering how Jupiter & money got tacked onto a sentence about Neptune and drugs.)

Makransky's abilities with drugs & spirits, good or bad, is not the issue. I could be small-minded and say, Avoid them both, they're BAD FOR YOU !!!, but that's not for me to say. What I can say is that drugs and spirits remove you from the physical world, they lift your feet off the ground & make you less able to deal with every day realities. That's their function. People take drugs to find new realities, or to escape an unhappy physical reality, it's all about the same. Since taking birth & having a physical life is about experiencing physical reality and everything that goes with it, good and bad, happy and sad, using drugs to remove oneself from it is to deny the reason for one's very existence. Which is what I said before, about not having your feet on the ground.

So, I regret to say, this is one mess of a book. And, sorry to say, the underlying problem is becoming clear. Margaret, at Wessex, doesn't know a good book from a bad one.

Wessex Astrologer, 138 pages.
Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book? Tell us!

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA, Book 21 (Morinus System of Horoscope Interpretation) - Jean-Baptiste Morin (aka Morinus), translated by Richard Baldwin, $19.95
Contents: Foreword, by the translator; Preface, by Morin

Section 1: 1. The formal or essential determination of the primum caelum; 2. The formal or essential determination of the planets & the fixed stars; 3. The description & refutation of an error frequently encountered in astrology; 4. The accidental determination of the primum caelum; 5. The accidental determination of the planets & fixed stars in general; 6. The celestial bodies as both universal & particular causes; 7. The celestial bodies as both signs & causes of effects in the sublunary world; 8. The extent of the entire caelum's concurrence in any sublunary effect.

Section 2: The accidental determinations of the planets & their effect on the sublunary world: 1. The accidental determination of the planets by location & rulership in the houses; 2. A single planet in a house; 3. More than one planet in a house; 4. The ruler of a house is located in some other house, whether the meanings of both houses are always combined; 5. How a planet ruling one house but located in another combines the meanings of each house; 6. Two planets as co-rulers of a single house, a single planet ruling more than one house; 7. The determinations of the planets by exaltation & triplicity; 8. The determinations of the planets by exile & fall; 9. The determinations of the planets by aspect, the general significance of the aspects; 10. The aspects of the planets & how they work for good or ill; 11. The aspects of the planets, their analysis & comparison; 12. The principle points to be observed in making an accurate evaluation of a planet & its aspects; 13. The accidental determinations of the planets & their relation to the positions of the planets or principle significators in some other horoscope; 14. The interaction of the natal horoscope with those of other individuals; 15. The intrinsic & extrinsic determinations of the essential meanings of a house; 16. The celestial bodies as causes in nature depicting God's action in the world.

Comment: Subtitled, The Active Determination of the Celestial Bodies & the Passive Determinations of the Sublunary World. The French equal to William Lilly wrote a great & fundamental astrological treatise, not in French, but in Latin. Book 21 examines the various theories of stellar influence & shows by logic the true & false. In the 2nd section, Morin gives us his rigorous & demanding methods of horoscope interpretation. Highly readable.

July 2008: A newly reset version, with improved typesetting, to match the other books in this series.

AFA, paper, 144 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA: Book 22: Directions - Jean-Baptiste Morin (aka Morinus), translated by James Herschel Holden, $22.95
Contents: Section 1: The Definition, Terms & Division of Direction: 1. What an astrological direction is & what its termini are & how many kinds; 2. The kinds of future events arising from celestial causes & what future events the astrologer should announce; 3. The significators of things that will take place for a man & their general definition & number; 4. The promittors of future things for a man, their definition & number; 5. The formal difference between a significator & a promittor; 6. Which significator ought to be directed for for which things; 7. How many kinds of directions there are, whether planets & cusps of houses ought to be directed against the succession of signs, which of the termini of a direction is said to be the significator & which the promittor & why; 8. Various methods of artificial directions used by astrologers, the false ones rejected; 9. The way of directing by ascensions given by Ptolemy but hitherto understood by few.

Section 2: The Latitude of Significators & Promottors in Directions: 1. Whether it is right to use latitude as well as longitude in directions; 2. How the aspects may be corrected for directions both with longitude & with latitude; 3. A table of corrections for aspects is set forth & explained; 4. Whether the aspects of the planets ought to be considered in the Equator as well as in the ecliptic. And what should be judged by aspects that are distorted by the long or short ascension of the signs; 5. Whether directions to the antiscions of the planets & to the nodes of the moon are efficacious; 6. Whether directions of the fixed stars & the Part of Fortune are efficacious; 7. Judgment should not be rendered on a nativity without having considered the directions.

Section 3: The Motion or State of Rest of the Termini of a Direction, and the Measure of a Direction: 1. Whether a direction & its effect are made by any physical motion of one terminus to the other; 2. How by means of termini that are quiescent or fixed in the Caelum their effects may be produced on earth through their concourse in directions. And how their effects, which remain in force for so long, finally burst forth into action; 3. Opinions of old & modern astrologers on converting the measure of the arc of direction into time, and which of those seem truer to us; 4. Tables of Naibod & Magini are set forth for the conversion of time into arc of the equator & vice versa; 5. Whether the arcs of direction of all significators or promittors should have the same common measure, and what the logic of that measure is; 6. Whether the effects of directions are brought forth at the precise time when the arc of direction corresponds precisely to their own measure

Section 4: The Effects of Directions: 1. How difficult it is to predict the kind of effect signified by any direction; 2. How to know if a given direction is going to produce any effect, and what kind it is going to be; 3. By what means an astrologer can arrive at an understanding of the effect from the direction producing it; 4. From what sources the certitude & intensity of effectsmay be chosen through the directions of the signficators; 5. Some things universal as well as particular that must be noted in connection with directions; 6. The extraction of figures from the figure of the native for other persons related to him. Then, the directions of the significators of these persons & their effects; 7. Whether at the native's death there is a cessation of the celestial influx from his natal figure upon his parents, brothers, spouse, children and other persons belonging to him & surviving him

Section 5: In Which Objections Against the Doctrine of Directions are Considered & Disproved: 1. Pico Mirandola's objections to directions & the refutation of those objections; 2. Alessandro de Angelis's reasons against directions are proposed & refuted; 3. Sixtus ab Humminga's reasons against astrology, and especially against directions, are refuted; 4. In which the truth of the doctrine of directions is demonstrated in the chart of Sixtus ab Hemminga; 5. In which we propose & resolve objections of no small import.

Appendices: 1. Jerome Cardan on the latitude of aspects; 2. J.B. Morin on the mundane position of aspects; 3. The solar eclipse of 8 April 1652; 4. Some horoscopes mentioned in the text; 5. Regiomontanus primary direction formula.

Book 2:
Chapter 3: How many years passed between the creation of the world & the incarnation of Christ.
Book 8: Table of the universal rulerships of the planets.

Book 15: Chapter 6. The triplicities of the planets, according to the opinions of the old astrologers; 7. Trigons according to our opinion; 8. To which regions of the world the trigons pertain; 9. Some things about these trigons that should be especially noted; 10. The faces or persons or Almugea of the planets; 11. The thrones, seats or chariots of the planets; 12. The joys of the planets; 13. The terms, novenas, decans, duodecatemories of the planets in the signs of the zodiac. Light, smoky, pitted & empty degrees of the signs, their monomoiriai, etc.

Book 17, section 1: Chapter 3. The special division of the whole caelum into twelve astrological houses with respect to the person being born; 6. Things to be noted about the significations of the houses.

Book 18: Chapter 7. The extrinsic strength of the planets arising from their reception in the signs of the zodiac.

Book 20, section 3: Chapter 7. The action of the constellations & fixed stars, the dependence in action of some of these on the 12ths & the planets.

Book 23: Chapter 18. The universal laws of judgments on solar & lunar returns; 19. General things that must be looked at in revolutions, with a directory of judgment; 20. A caution that must be observed in judging revolutions.

Book 24: Chapter 12. Whether the planets act upon the native through their syzygies outside of the places of the geniture through which their transits are customarily made, and how & when; 13. Aphorisms of the principal laws of transits; 14. How, from what has been explained so far, future events can be predicted from the stars with regard to the type, the year, day & hour.

Index of persons.

Comment: 20 years separate the AFA's translation of Book 21 from Book 22. Here, Morin gives comprehensive rules for accurate forecasting. He also answers at length many still common objections to astrology in general & forecasting in particular.

290 pages. AFA, paper.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA, Book 23: Revolutions - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated from the Latin by James Herschel Holden, $20.00
Contents: Translator's preface; Preface; 1. What Astrologers consider to be a revolution, and how many kinds of them there are; 2. The mundane revolutions of the planets; 2. The genethliacal revolutions of the planets, their force & utility; 4. For what place should the figure of a revolution be erected; 5. How a genethliacal figure of the sun may be erected; 6. Whether the celestial bodies are again determined to the native, and by how much; 7. Whether the figure of a solar return can prevail against or over the figure of the geniture or anything not signified by the nativity - a doctrine set forth with reasons & 25 figures; 8. Whether the annual status of the native can be sufficiently known from the revolution of the sun alone if the revolutions of other planets are omitted; 9. How the figure of the revolution of the moon should be erected; 10. In which the force of the revolutions of the moon is shown through their effects in several genitures;

11. Whether the genethliacal revolutions of the sun & the moon should be distributed in quarters & whether their figures should be inspected for accidents signified by these revolutions; 12. Whether revolutions without the concurrence of directions can have any effect on the native; 13. In which the accompaniment of radical directions by revolutions of the sun is proved by many examples; 14. In what way revolutions act, and what must be noted both generally & in particular about the times of their actions; 15. Whether their own directions should be assigned to revolutions of the sun & moon & in what way & the measure of time; 16. In which the verity of revolutionary directions is proved by many examples in revolutions of the sun & moon; 17. The ruler of the revolution; 18. The universal laws of judgments on solar & lunar revolutions of nativities; 19. Compendiously embracing general things that must be looked at in revolutions, with a directory of judgment;20. A caution of no small importance that must be observed in judging revolutions.

Appendix: The equation of time. Index of persons; Bibliography.

Comment: Morin (1583 - 1656) was the greatest of all French astrologers. He was Royal Professor of Mathematics at the College de France from 1630 to his death, which means he was court astrologer to Louis XIII. Of his massive Astrologia Gallica (some 30 years work), Holden is slowly working towards a complete translation.

From Holden's introduction: [Morin] specialized in what is now called 'event-oriented' astrology, ie, the prediction of definite events at specific times in a person's life, rather than the vague psychological pronouncements & mystical maunderings that are characteristic of much of today's astrology. His main tools were Primary Directions, Solar Returns & Lunar Returns. He takes some note of transits, but he considers them to be subsidiary influences.

This is certain to be the best book on Solar & Lunar returns ever written, exceeding that of Volguine, who probably drew on it. Rather than redraw Morin's charts, Holden reproduces the originals, all of which are in a square format. The final three chapters, 18-20, have previously appeared in Holden's translation of Book 22 (above).

AFA, oversize, 140 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA BOOK 24: Progressions & Transits - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by James Herschel Holden, $16.95
Contents: Translator's preface;

Section 1: Progressions:
1. Why old astrologers introduced progressions
2. How many modes of progressions have been invented
3. The annual, monthly & daily progressions of old [astrologers] are mere figments of the imagination

Section 2: The transits & Syzygies of the Planets:
1. How should the doctrine of transits be made
2. What path previous astrologers followed in taking notice of the virtue of the stars
3. Whether the transits of all the planets through the individual places of the nativity should be observed
4. Whether in an individual house of the nativity any force exceeds [that of] the natal chart for future accidents of life
5. Whether all the transits through the places of the nativity are effective, or whether they alone and in some way motivate our own nature to the effects
6. Whether the transiting planets determine the places of their own transits, or whether they are determined by them, and in what way
7. Whether the transits of the planets through the places of the revolutions should be looked at
8. Whether for the production of all the effects happening to men, the transits agreeing with their directions & revolutions are necessary, and at what time
9. For a given direction presaging a significant event, which planet's transit is more necessary for the production of the effect, and through which place, so that the transit may be said to be concordant
10. In which by many examples and observations the virtue of transits and their actual efficacy are confirmed
11. [Determining] the exact time of events by a transit, and whether their latitude should be observed. The doctrine confirmed by celestial charts
12. Whether the planets act upon the native through their own syzygies outside of the places of the nativity through which their transits are customarily made, and how and when
13. The aphorisms or principle laws of transits
14. How from what has been explained so far, events of the future can be predicted by the stars with regard to the kind [of event], the year, the day, and the hour
15. Some principal rules of prudence to be [observed] by an astrologer in bringing forth a useful opinion from the stars

Appendices: The equation of time; Index of persons; Bibliography.

Comment: In his Preface, James Herschel Holden writes:

Morin's method of making predictions of events in the life of a particular individual is set forth in the main in four books of the Astrologia Gallica, namely Book 21 on Determinations, Book 22 on Primary Directions, Book 23 on Revolutions, and Book 24 on Progressions & Transits. To understand the method fully, it is necessary to read all four books, preferably in sequence....

We may perhaps illustrate Morin's explanation of how transits operate by offering an analogy. The nativity is like a gun of a certain type and caliber. The directions & revolutions are like shells of a particular type, and the transits are like the trigger of the gun.

For an event of a particular type to happen in the life of a native, it must first be indicated in his nativity. Next, it must be made possible by a concordant primary direction, which establishes the time within plus or minus a year when an event of that type can happen. But without a concordant solar revolution in one of those years, the event still cannot happen (or at least only in a very minor way). More strength is given to the manifestation of the event by primary directions of the annual revolution and by a concordant lunar revolution. But the final impetus is from a concordant transit. By analogy then, the general nature of the event is one that could result from a gun of a certain type and caliber, the possibility of the occurrence of the event is the loading of a particular type of shell into the gun, and the actual manifestation of the event is accomplished by pulling the trigger.

Thus, we may see why a certain type of direction or revolution or transit may occur many times in a particular chart without producing any noticeable effect. For an effect to occur, there must be a complete combination of concordant factors....

[Morin's] method itself is straightforward in theory but complicated in details. Admittedly, reading four books to learn how to predict one event seems both daunting and excessive. But the diligent Reader's patience will be rewarded. (pgs. vii, viii-ix, xii)

Holden notes he did not include charts mentioned both in this book, and in Book 23, where they were given originally. In Book 24 are several square charts, copied directly from Morin's original Latin edition. In all, this book is a wonderful addition to the astrological library.

AFA, 111 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA BOOK 25: The Universal Constitutions of the Caelum - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by James Herschel Holden, $24.95


Translator's preface

Part 1:
1. What is the doctrine of the universal constitutions of the Caelum
2. The universal mode of action of the celestial bodies
3. The subordination & dependency of universal constitutions
4. How the annual revolution of the world should be erected for any place on Earth, as well as the figures of the quarters of that year
5. The radical & synodic revolutions of the planets & their syzygies
6. How should the figures of the synods of the Sun & Moon be erected
7. The eclipses of the lights & what should be particularly observed about them
8. The grand conjunctions of Saturn, Mars and Jupiter
9. How the rulers of universal constitutions should generally be chosen
10. The application of what was just said, and the election of rulers in the figures shown above
11. Which places on Earth a universal constitution may be acting upon
12. The times of the events that will occur from the universal constitutions
13. The quantity of effects emanating from universal constitutions
14. The quality of the effects of universal constitutions in general
15. Some particular things that should be noted about the nature and actions of the planets in universal and particular constitutions

Part 2:
1. In which some important things are mentioned first about the kinds of effects emanating from universal constitutions, or are taught about the kinds of predictions
2. The difference between periodical and synodic revolutions of the planets as regards their efficiency
3. The kinds, or types of effects emanating from universal constitutions. And first, the effects of the mundane revolutions of the Sun
4. The special effects of the planets that are rulers of the year, resulting from thier nature
5. The special effects of the rulers of the year [that result]from their own celestial state. And first, by reason of the sign in which they are posited
6. The special effects of the planets that are rulers of the year by reason of their connection with other planets or fixed stars. Table of the mansions of the Moon.
7. The special effects of the planets that are rulers of the year, from their positions in relation to the Sun & Moon
8. The special effects of the planets that are rulers of the year from the mode of their motion
9. The special effects of the planets that are rulers of the year due to their terrestrial state, or their position with respect to the horizon
10. The effects of the quarters of the mundane revolution of the Sun
11. The effects of the synodic revolution of the Sun & Moon & its quarters
12. The synodic revolutions of the planets, both among themselves and with the Lights, their quarters, and their effects
13. The order of subordination of the universal constitutions of the Caelum and the mixture of their effects
14. The dependence of the particular constitutions of nativities on the universal constitutions already discussed; and how they act upon individual natives during their lifetime
15. The general and particular significations of coments
16. How the daily effects of the stars on these sublunar things should be predicted.

1. The method of Offusius as revised by Morin
2. World War II charts
3. Aries ingresses for 1914
4. Table of Equation of Time
5. The mansions of the Moon for the year 2000

Index of persons

Comment: This is Morin's book on mundane astrology. To understand it, we're going to have to understand some vocabulary. Holden sums them up in his introduction (pg. xii):

Celestial state - A planet's position by sign & aspect
Terrestrial state - A planet's house position
Revolution - Ingress
Universal - Mundane
Universal constitution - Mundane chart
Synods - Conjunctions
Syzygies - Conjunctions, oppositions, squares, sometimes trines
Caelum - Sky, or heaven, and the arrangements of the planets therein
From the back cover:
Morin explains how to make mundane predictionsfor a particular place by using Aries ingresses & lunations (along with their quarters) as the main tools. He discusses the common use of solar & lunar eclipses for that purpose & concludes they are of only minor importance and do not have the long-lasting effects usually attributed to them. He also discusses the possibility of drawing some conclusions from the conjunctions of the outer planets [Jupiter & Saturn] and even from comets....

The present volume contains Morin's example charts of several ingresses and one eclipse as seen at Paris in 1646, with a detailed explanation of his method of interpreting them.

An added feature of this book is Jean Hieroz's statement of Offusius's rules for planetary strength and Hieroz's own account of his efforts to use Morin's methods to predict the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Of all 26 books that make up Astrologia Gallica, Book 25 was the third to be translated from Latin into French, by the French astrologers Henri Selva (Book 21, 1897) and his student, Jean Hieroz (Books 26, on Elections, in 1941; and 25, on Mundane, in 1946). This was decades before the first English translation of the first of Morin's work, Book 21, in 1974, and shows the high regard these early students had of this book. And, as Books 1-12 are not astrological, there is now only one book in the series remaining, Book 26. With luck, we should have it sometime next year.

AFA, 241 pages.

ASTROLOGIA GALLICA Book 26: Astrological Interrogations & Elections - Jean-Baptiste Morin, translated by James Herschel Holden, $17.95


Translator's preface

Section 1: Astrological interrogations
1. What the doctrine of interrogations involves & what the limits of its truth are
2. Whether the celestial bodies are causes per se of all man's actions & motivations
3. Whether the beginnings of all things are like the birth of man
4. The doctrine of the Arabs on interrogations depends upon many vain assumptions
5. The doctrine of the Arabs on interrogations is plainly false
6. The doctrine of the Arabs on questions is fraudulent
7. The doctrine of the Arabs on interrogations is diabolical
8. The falsity of the responses to interrogations from the ruler of the planetary hour
9. Containing Cardan's errors in his tract on interrogations
10. To how many general categories can all the questions put to an astrologer be reduced
11. In what general way should judgment be made on the questions pertaining to those six categories

Section 2: Astrological elections:
1. What the doctrine of astrological elections involves & what the limits of its truth are
2. Some things to be generally noted concerning elections
3. How great the utility of the doctrine of elections is
4. How vain the arguments of Alexander de Angelis against elections are
5. What Cardan thought about elections
6. General rules necessary for elections. And in what particular way an election should be made for any particular thing.
7. In which the use of elections is shown & proved by two notable examples

Appendix: The equation of time
Index of persons


This is the concluding and final book in Morin's great work. It will probably not be the last book to be published, as you will remember the current translations start with book 13. There are a dozen preliminary books yet to be translated & published. The 12 introductory books are of slight astrological value, but the momentum behind Morin may yet bring them to modern attention.

"Interrogations" is Morin's word for horary. As Holden remarks in his Preface, Morin was under the impression that the Arabs had invented horary, and, as Arabs were infidels, that made horary bogus. Morin takes nine chapters, forty-two pages of translated text, to denounce horary, and everything and everyone having anything to do with it. This is the genius of religious fundamentalism, that it can make otherwise intelligent men quite stupid.

The tenth & final chapter in the section on Interrogations sets forth the questions an astrologer might answer: If the querent asks about himself, the astrologer is to consult the natal chart. If the querent asks about contests with others (a duel, for example), the astrologer is to examine directions in the natal chart. If the querent asks if his brother will die, the astrologer is to look at that brother's natal chart. To know if the king will be victorious in battle, you must consult the king's natal chart. For wars and plagues and famines, you must study the chart for the year, i.e., for the spring equinox. For how a ship at sea may fare, you must study the chart set for the time of the ship's sailing. And that is Morin on horary. This is not too terribly much better than Charles Carter's opinion of the subject.

Morin is much cheerier about elections, even though, as the translator points out in a footnote, there isn't much difference between electional and horary astrologies. Morin says that elections must agree with the natal, that elections made without grounding in the natal have no value. This is the traditional view of things. The astrologer then looks to the conditions in the proper house to set his figure. In chapter 6 he has a list of 30 rules, which are well-worth study. In chapter seven Morin gives several worked-out examples for elections & what actually happened once the actions had begun. This is almost unique.

AFA, 116 pages.

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Contents: A 21 page monograph.

Comment: Aside from the massive Astrologia Gallica, this is Morinís most significant astrological work. In it, he proposes a novel solution for the existence of houses, their number, their sequence and their meaning. According to Morin, Houses arise because of the Prime Mobile that sweeps from East to West. They are then qualified by the four cardinal directions, North, South, East and West, which form the four angular houses. Each of these houses bears a natural relationship to those houses in trine to it:

Ascendant: Fifth house, ninth house
Mid-heaven: Second house, sixth house
Descendant: Third house, eleventh house
IC: Eighth house, twelfth house
In the process, Morin shows the pre-Copernican, geocentric view of the universe to be a coherent fusion of physics and metaphysics. While the heliocentric we know today may be a better description of physical reality, once we move away from the strictly physical, the geocentric view immediately returns, as Dane Rudhyar himself once pointed out.

This is an essential reference for all students of Morinís work.

November, 2008: I have reset the book, modernized Wharton's translation, and added a glossary, as well as a diagram of the pre-Copernican, geocentric universe. The diagram is essential to understanding Morin's point of view. However, the original version, without diagram, without glossary is available as a free download. To download & print your own pdf copy (for free), click here. To order the reset booklet, use the shopping cart below.

Astrology Classics, 21 pages.

CORNERSTONES OF ASTROLOGY: Morin de Villefranche vo1. 1, Synthesis - Fredrich "Sinbad" Schwickert & Adolf Weiss, $10.95


The primary characteristics
The essential nature of the planets, the signs, and the houses
Cosmic state & local determinations
The accidental determination of the planets, their position & rule in the houses
The accidental determination of the planets (2) (house dispositors)
The accidental determination of the planets (3) (aspects)
Practical applications

Appendix: Figures, Tables, Horoscopes

Comment: An extensive, detailed study of the Morinus system, based on a lengthy study of his 26 volume work. "Sinbad" Schwickert (1857-1930), of the Austrian navy, published, 1925-7, a 5 volume work, entitled, Bausteine der Astrologie (Building Blocks of Astrology). Cornerstones of Astrology is the English translation of volume 2 of that series. James Herschel Holden says of Morin's work,

...the main distinction that can be drawn between Morin's system & that of traditional Western astrology as it is generally practiced by modern astrologers is the distinction between using general significators [Venus rules Taurus] (the Ptolemaic method) & accidental significators [Mars rules the 5th house because Aries is on that cusp] (the Morin method). Morin's method is similar in some respects to the method commonly used in horary astrology & thus goes back to the Dorothean or mainstream of Greek astrology. It is thus much more specific than the traditional method that uses general significators." (from A History of Horoscopic Astrology, pg 175)
Sinbad's book is an excellent exposition of Morin's 26 volume treatise, though the translation is rather formal.

Bonnie Wells, a customer, writes,

I just wanted to thank you for the Jean-Baptiste Morin volumes and "Cornerstones of Astrology Morin de Villefranche" by Schwickert and Weiss. I decided to read the latter first, for an overview of the material, and was surprised and delighted to find that Schwickert and Weiss' explanation of the primitive qualities (their categorical term for hot, cold, humid, dry) and elements is the best I've encountered in 30-plus years of study, surpassing even Lehman's discussion in her excellent text on classical astrology.

Despite grammatical errors, typos and the formal translation style you mention in your on-line comments, Schwickert's and Weiss' understanding of the essence and deeper implications of the qualities is rich and rewarding.

As there has been some confusion, James Herschel Holden, in A History of Horoscopic Astrology 2nd edition 2006, writes, pg. 265, that this book was originally the second volume of five, collectively entitled, Bausteine der Astrologie, 1925-7. The entire series was translated into Spanish sometime after World War II, from which the second volume, this one, was translated into English, labeled, Volume 1, in 1972, by the Sangreal Foundation of Dallas, Texas.

This is such a good book, I would like to see the remaining five volumes translated. The German edition should turn up in used bookstores in Vienna, the Spanish version might be found in Buenos Aries. To my Argentine customers: Go find them!

Sangreal Foundation, hardcover, 342 pages.

PLANETARY POWERS: The Morin Method - Patti Tobin Brittain, $16.95


Preface to the second edition
Foreword to the first edition
Foreword to the second edition

Section 1:
Planetary powers
Theory of determinations
Cosmic state & local determinations
The houses
The signs
The planets
Essential dignities & debilities
Determining natural analogy
Aquired analogy
Analogy of planets with the houses
Principal significations & analogies of planets, according to Morin

Section 2:
The cosmic state of the planets in relationship with the houses
Benefic planets
Malefic planets
Peregrine planets
Determination through house position & rulership
Determing cause & effect
Determining combination by analogy
When planets are conjunct

Section 3:
Determination by actual location
Empty house judgment
Affairs signified by the houses
Determination of the effect of a planet in a house
Evaluation of the effect of a planet in a house
The house of life
The house of death
Important points to remember
Major points to consider when making a determination
The power of aspects

Section 4:
Example charts for study


Patti Tobin Brittain was the student of Gerhard Angel Houwing (1923-2009), who was, himself, a student of Morin's method. Of her teacher Houwing, Brittain wrote,
Confident & forceful, he had an immense force of mind & spirit. He demanded the concise, the specific, the concrete; he scorned the vague, the confused, the irresolute. He felt it was worse to be irresolute than to be wrong. "Be specific," he would snap in the form of a sharp command. "Leave the vague & confused to the philosophers," he would demand, constantly urging us to be accurate in our astrological judgments. What amazed us all was his accuracy & precision when interpreting a chart he knew nothing about, never hedging or back-tracking. This teacher, an incontestably superior astrologer, was a master of the teachings of Morin. (pg. ix)
This will remind you of a very similar statement by Robson. While Brittain implies that Houwing was German, fluent in many languages, I am informed by a former student, now in Philadelphia, that he was from Argentina, perhaps of Dutch ancestry. Houwing was introduced to Morin in the 1950's by a German-language book about Morin's techniques. Which seems to have been the original of Cornerstones. He eventually settled in Dallas, Texas, where he went by the name of Jerry. According to my Philadelphia source, Houwing had Cornerstones translated and then published by the Sangreal Foundation in 1972. He wrote the Preface, under the name of Jan Meursing. It seems we have found the seed of Morin in America. "Sangreal" is an old term for the Holy Grail. Which seems to be what many believe the Morin Method to be. It is certainly powerful.

Of Aalrik Meursing (aka Gerhard Angel Houwing, or so it seems), Holden had this to say, in Astrological Pioneers of America, of 1988:

An engineering graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who worked as a manufacturing executive in the steel & mechanical industries in many countries. He began to study astrology around 1940 and was a close friend and associate of the late Anthony P. Nelson Page and Wendel Povich, the developers of the Topocentric system of houses. He emigrated to the United States in 1963 and settled in Dallas, Texas.

Meursing studied the works of the leading 20th century French and German astrologers, and through these was led to the Morin de Villefranche method of interpretation. And, as a consequence of its very high rate of success in forecasting the actual events of life as distinguished from "psychological tendencies," it became his standard method of chart reading.

Using the methods of statistical analysis, he has conducted astrological research for more than 20 years on the effects of signs, houses, planets, and aspects, and their intricate combinaitions. (pg. 115)

The book is organized as a series of examples, or lessons. For each lesson, there is a simple wheel, with the usual twelve sections. The very first example has the Sun in the 10th. The text reads, "1. A planet can realize the object of its determination." Below the wheel itself are the words, "Success, fame, honors." Note carefully: The symbol for the Sun is not identified as such. The 10th house is not labeled as such. We are not given a list of traits. It is assumed that we know what the Sun is, it is assumed that we know the 11 o'clock to 12 o'clock section of the chart to be the 10th house, it is assumed that we know what the 10th house means. This book is for those who know the basics, but who do not know how to actually use them.

It is a revelation!

The second example. Again a wheel with 12 spokes. "2. A planet can prevent the object of its determination." In the chart, Saturn appears in the second house. Under the chart is the word, "Destitute".

The third: "3. A planet will not only produce benefits but turn away harm. Give protection." The chart shows Jupiter in the 12th. Underneath, "Victory over enemies".

There are a hundred such examples as this, all lean and spare, the chart pared to its basics. After a few more examples, a sign or two is added, and sometimes one or two additional planets. Interspersed are cogently written maxims.

So, much further along, we get: "Chart 3: Venus acts in the house to which it sends an aspect. The native forms a business partnership with a friend, and the partner benefits from the native's friends." The chart shows Venus in Gemini in 11, and Jupiter in Aquarius in 7. Underneath it are the words, "Native's partner benefits from friends." What the author means, but does not say, is that Venus, the natural ruler of the 7th, is in the 11th, of friends, in trine to Jupiter, which is in 7th.

The source for this remarkable book was James Herschel Holden, from his private library. Holden was himself a student of Houwing, as is acknowledged in the Preface to the Second Edition.

With the caveat that this is not a book for beginners, this is the finest teaching book I have ever seen. The examples are simple, clear, straightfoward, and build, one to another. It's the book I wish I could write. Master this book & you will master the Morin method, you will master astrology.

AFA, 110 pages, oversize.

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