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Astrology Classics

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MATHESEOS LIBRI VIII - Ancient Astrology Theory & Practice - Firmicus Maternus, translated by Jean Rhys Bram, $29.95
Book 1: Opening letter, arguments, difficulties, refutations, conclusions. Book 2: Introduction, signs, domiciles, exaltations, falls, decans, degrees, diurnal/nocturnal sects, matutine & vespertine, rising times, signs & winds, dodecatemoria, life cycles, houses, angles, aspects, human body, length of life, chronocrators, antiscia, etc. Book 3: Planets in houses, Mercury/planet conjunctions, moon in houses, moon with Part of Fortune. Book 4: Moon applying to planets, moon void of course, moon translating light from planets, Parts of Fortune & Spirit, Lord of the geniture, climacteric years, vocational indicator, full & void degrees in decans, masculine & feminine degrees, angular lunar conjunctions, etc. Book 5: Angles by sign, ascendant by terms & conjoined planets, Saturn & Jupiter by sign, Mercury & Moon by terms or decans, advice on interpretation. Book 6: Bright stars, planets in trine, square, opposition & conjunction, lunar configurations before birth, , unfortunate nativities, sexual proclivities, planets as chronocrators, etc. Book 7: Astrologer's oath, exposed infants, twins, monstrous births, infirmities, parental death, orphans, number of marriages, homosexuality, murder of spouse, infertility & celibacy, royal genitures, violent death, criminal nativities, eunuchs, hermaphrodites & perverts, occupations, etc. Book 8: Astrologer's creed, Enenecontameris (90th degree), beholding & hearing signs, degrees in zodiacal constellations, extra-zodiacal constellations, the Myrogenesis (degrees of the zodiac), bright stars, advice on interpretation, conclusion. Appendices: Translator's notes, Index of occupations, List of ancient astrologers, Bibliography, Glossary, Index.

Comment: Julius Firmicus Maternus, a native of Sicily, was a Roman lawyer of the senatorial class. He lived from c.280 to c.360. He was also a student of Greek astrology, which forms the basis of this book. James Holden writes, The Mathesis is the lengthiest astrological treatise that has come down to us from the classical period. It consists of 8 books, of which the first forms an introductory essay on astrology and the rest set forth the fundamentals of Greek astrology. Several sections contain material that is found nowhere else.

One of the classic books, studied by astrologers for more than a thousand years. This is also one of the best-translated books we have seen. The English is modern, clear & direct.

A reader raised a question about the list of full & empty degrees, given on pgs. 148-150. To clarify: For each sign, there are six locus. For Aries, the first locus has three degrees & they are empty. The second locus has five degrees, and they are full. The third has 9 degrees, empty, the fourth has four degrees, full, the fifth has five degrees, empty, and the sixth & last has four degrees, and is full. Checking the other signs, Cancer has 31 degrees, and a seventh locus (of 1 degree), which appears to be a mistake. As the total of empty Cancer degrees totals 12 (one more than it should have), we may presumably delete the last Cancer locus. Total of full & empty degrees in Libra also totals 31, which is the number of degrees the text says it should have (a zodiac of 361 degrees, presumably). (I would like to hear a solution for that.)

Click here for an extract (PDF).

Astrology Classics, 338 pages.

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THE PROGRESSED HOROSCOPE: Alan Leo's book on forecasting: Progressions, returns, transits & primary directions - Alan Leo, $29.95
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Horoscope of the author

Part 1: The Progressed Horoscope:
1. Heredity, environment, character
2. Character is destiny
3. Why directions sometimes fail
4. Fate & freewill
5. The author's system
6. The progression of the horoscope
7. How to calculate the progressed horoscope
8. How to calculate directions
9. The progressed horoscopes of Queen Mary & Mrs. Annie Besant
10. Considerations to be borne in mind when reading directions
11. Subdivisions of signs

Part 2: The Effects of Directions:
12. The progressed ascendant
13. Solar aspects
14. Mutual aspects
15. Lunar position & aspects
16. Directions to the midheaven & ascendant
Concluding note to Part 2

Part 3: Solar Revolutions & Transits:
17. Solar revolutions or birthday maps
18. Transits over Sun, Moon & planets
19. Transits through houses

Part 4: Primary Directions:
Example horoscope: Mrs. Annie Besant
Preliminary note to primary directions
Speculum for Mrs. Besant's horoscope
20. Trigonometrical formulae & tables
21. The speculum
22. Mundane directions to angles
23. Solar & lunar mundane directions
24. Mundane parallels & rapt parallels
25. Zodiacal directions to angles
26. Zodiacal directions between Sun, Moon & planets, without latitude
27. Zodiacal directions between Sun, Moon & planets, with latitude
28. On equating arcs of direction. Measures of time

1. The progressed horoscope in detail
2. The relation between primary & secondary directions: a suggestion
3. How to calculate the actual day on which a given aspect falls due
4. A simple way of calculating primary directions to angles
5. The unity of all systems of directing


Comment: First published in 1905, this is a comprehensive book on progressions, with solar returns, transits & primaries thrown in for good measure. As was typical of many of his day, Leo writes to exhort us to our better natures. He does not merely describe what may happen to us, rather, in many of the delineations, he encourages us to do better under trying circumstances.

Progressed delineations include parallels, conjunctions, semi-sextiles, semi-squares, sextiles, squares, trines, sesquiquadrates, inconjuncts & oppositions. Leo derived these obscure aspects from a decade of intense chart reading. He includes progressed Sun & Moon to natal planets, as well as progressed Mercury, Venus & Mars to natal planets, which include Neptune. For aspects of the progressed Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune, Leo observes these move so slowly they cannot form aspects that were not already within orbs at birth. Leo also delineates the ascendant, as it changes signs (and triplicities in the signs), the directed ascendant & midheaven aspecting natal planets, and the progressed Moon through the houses, as well as through the signs.

For non-British readers, Queen Mary was the consort of King George V. She lived from 1867 to 1953. Annie Besant (1847-1933) was, at the time Leo wrote this book, the leading Theosophist. She went on to become an early leader for Indian independence, for which she is still remembered in India.

I have long thought this to be the best of Leo's major books. Of them, Charles Carter once said, They were not well put together but one could find a very great deal of information in them if one knew where to look. So, look carefully!

Click for an excerpt.

Astrology Classics, 353 pages.

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CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGY: Books 1 & 2 - William Lilly, $39.95

Contents: Book 1: An Introduction to Astrology
Book 2: The Resolution of All Manner of Questions

Appendices: 1. New charts in old garb; 2. Glossary; 3. Bibliography. Index; Lilly's chart, by John Gadbury. (For detailed contents, go here).

Comment: This is the most famous, the most celebrated astrology book in the English language. It has been prized by students ever since its first publication in 1647. The Horary Astrology in these pages is demanding and precise, combining science and art. Properly used, it will give answer to any well-defined question. William Lilly, famous throughout England for his almanacs & forecasts (he predicted Londonís Great Fire of 1666), lived during the English Civil War & was a minor historical figure in it. Into his studio came the rich and poor, the noble and ignoble, with problems great and small.

This new edition restores Lilly's original page layouts, with marginalia. Modern spelling throughout, this edition includes Lilly's bibliography, his original index & a new glossary. Also includes his original woodblock charts, and their modern versions. This is Lilly's great work as he himself knew it. Click here for a PDF of Chapter 22 (first chapter of Book 2).

Astrology Classics, 552 pages.

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CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGY, BOOK 3: An Easie and Plaine Method Teaching How to judge upon Nativities - William Lilly, $32.95

Synopsis: The long-awaited finale to Lilly's great book. Here is the finest of 17th century English natal astrology, which remains to this day the very apex of western astrology. Newly reset, page by page, table by table, to match Lilly's originals. Spelling and verbs modernized. Glossary of obscure terms, including Latin words and phrases. Calculations in modern format. All 24 solar returns and all 12 profection charts in standard wheel format. Fixed star positions updated to 1 January 2005. Modern symbols for aspects (including minor aspects) used throughout. Primaries untangled, as much as possible.

Contents, Comment.

A PDF extract on the fortune of the native.

Astrology Classics, 388 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.

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TETRABIBLOS - Claudius Ptolemy, translated by J.M. Ashmand, $19.95
The famous 1822 translation by J.M. Ashmand. The cornerstone of western astrology, Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos is the source of many of the concepts that still guide astrology.

Contents: Knowledge may be acquired by astronomy to a certain extent; That prescience is useful; The influences of the planetary orbs; Benefics and malefics; Masculine and feminine; The influence of the fixed stars; Signs holding each other and of equal power; Signs inconjunct; Houses; Triplicities; Exaltations; Disposition of the terms; Faces, chariots and other attributes of the planets; The familiarity of the regions of the Earth with the triplicities, the planets, and the fixed stars; Mode of particular prediction in eclipses; The genus, class, or kind liable to be affected; Colours in eclipses, comets, and similar phenomena; The particular natures of the signs by which the different constitutions of the atmosphere are produced; The signification of meteors; The degree ascending; Distribution of the doctrine of nativities; Parents and siblings; Twins; Defective births; The duration of life; The number of prorogators, and also the Part of Fortune; The form and temperament of the body; The quality and diseases of the mind; The fortune of wealth and rank; Employment; Marriage; Friends and enemies, Travel; The kind of death. Appendices: Extracts from the Amalgest; The complete Centiloquy; The zodiacal planisphere.

Comment: Ashmand's translation is superior to that by F.E. Robbins in one critical respect: Ashmand was an astrologer & well-understood what he translated, the result shows - on every page. Every important astrologer in the last 2 millennia has studied this book, every major astrologer of the last two centuries has poured over these very words. Join with them, join in the continuing astrological renewal of the last ten years.

Click here for an excerpt (pdf).

164 pages with footnotes throughout. Astrology Classics, paper. ISBN 1-53810-107-6

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ASTROLOGY & SEX - Vivian Robson, $19.95
Contents: Foreword; Introduction; The sex of the astrological factors; The sex of the native; The sex outlook of the signs; The houses & marriage; The seventh house; The influence of planets in the seventh house; Sexual abnormalities; Homosexuality; Sadism; Masochism & other abnormalities; Marriage; Irregular & illegal unions; Marriage or celibacy; Determining the date of marriage; The marriage partner; How to read details; How to compare horoscopes; The effect of aspects between horoscopes; Mundane comparison; Directional comparison; The Hindu method of comparison; Choosing the wedding day; The consummation of marriage; Classified rules & aphorisms. Appendix: For the beginner. Index.

Comment: From 1941. Even better than Sargent's How to Handle Your Human Relations, this is the finest book ever written on astrology & relationships. Robson goes far beyond the usual "his planets vs: her planets". Here is a treasury of practical advice, culled from many sources. In addition to the above, topics include: How to forecast when someone will marry (different rules for men & women), how your chart indicates your marriage partner, how to use derivative houses, house to house comparison, progressions & chart comparison, sexual abnormalities (which quotes a lengthy passage from Ptolemy), and 266 classified rules & aphorisms from various sources. That's a lot in 250 pages. Sometimes known as, Astrology Guide to Your Sex Life. Click here for a PDF extract.

Astrology Classics, paper. ISBN 1-53810-100-9

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ELECTIONAL ASTROLOGY - Vivian Robson, $19.95
Contents: Introduction; General Principles; The Moon in Electional Astrology; The Lunar Mansions & Aspects; Planetary Hours; Personal Elections; Domestic Elections; Commerce & Finance; Business & Occupation; Friendship & Favor; Medical Elections; Marriage & Children; Houses & Property; Journeys & Messages; Games & Sports; Wars, Fights & Lawsuits; Agriculture & Gardening; Animals; Prisoners & Criminals; Public Affairs; Glossary; Index.

Comment: Ever wished you had picked a better time to start that new project? Let Electional Astrology help. In this book are the classic rules for choosing the best times to start all manner of things, from the trivial (bathing, cutting hair), to the important (marriage, starting a business) and pretty much everything in-between: travel, joining the army, planting & sowing & much more. Includes a complete discussion of lunar mansions & planetary hours, timing factors often overlooked. This remains the best modern book ever written on elections. It has long been a classic.

Click here for a pdf extract.

Astrology Classics, paper. ISBN 1-53810-101-7

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Contents: 1. The fixed stars in astronomy; 2. The influence of the constellations; 3. The lunar mansions; 4. The fixed stars in natal astrology; 5. The influence of fixed stars, nebulae & clusters; 6. The fixed stars in mundane astrology; 7. Stars & constellations in medieval magic; 8. The fixed stars in astro-meteorology. Appendix: Mathematical formulae. Index

Comment: In Astrology, stars are known as "fixed" to distinguish them from planets, which were once known as wandering stars. This is mute testimony to the great antiquity of astrological star-study. This book is the distillation of practically everything published on fixed stars since the Middle Ages, the gist of some 200 books. Among the many authors cited are Ptolemy, Wilson, Simmonite, Pearce, Bullinger, Alvidas & R.H. Allen. The heart of the book is a comprehensive treatment of fixed stars in natal astrology, their value, their effect when combined with angles & planets. Convenient tables & a comprehensive index make this volume easy to use. This book includes some 110 named stars, as well as 48 ancient constellations & 60 modern ones. Arabic, Hindu & Chinese lunar mansions are discussed, as well as fixed stars in mundane astrology, stars & constellations in medieval magic & fixed stars in astrometeorology. The classic book on fixed stars. Of the few books available on fixed stars, this is by far the best. It's also the one some of the others cribbed from & to which everyone since refers. So get the original. Click for a PDF excerpt.

264 pages. Astrology Classics, paper. ISBN 1-53810-103-3

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ASTROLOGICAL JUDGEMENT & PRACTICE OF PHYSICK, Deducted from the position of the heavens at the decumbiture of the sick person - by Richard Saunders, $29.95
Comment: Richard Saunders (1613 - 1692) was an astrologer/physician in 17th century England. This book, first published in 1677, was the result of thirty years practice. It is also one of the earliest astro-medical treatises in the English language. Using the terminology of his day, Saunders speaks of humors and winds, of conditions hot, cold or dry, of the cholerick and fiery, etc. This is a comprehensive and demanding text on medical astrology. Included are rules for decumbiture charts, illnesses produced by the traditional planets in the various signs of the zodiac, when to administer medicines based on planetary hours, and much more.

This is also a first hand account of life, death and medicine in the 16th and 17th centuries, with many surprising details. Of the Black Plague of 1593 (with transiting Saturn in sign of Cancer), Saunders writes, And you shall understand that this Plague was not infectious, because it came of a cold cause; and there was nothing that bred it so soon as the eating of fresh Herrings and Cucumbers and fruit, and such things as breed slimy Flegm and Water; and most commonly where it took a house, it went round amongst children and servants, that were all of one kind of feeding; and those two years was great plenty of fresh Herrings, and much fruit; and there dyed in the year 1593 eighteen hundred a week, and most of the Doctors of Physick did fly from London, and Dr. Foreman staid by it, and thanks God he saved many. (pg. 154).

Medieval doctors were full-service: Astrologer, doctor, pharmacist, nurse, all in one. This one book includes astrological diagnosis & prognosis, as well as symptoms, predictable times of crisis, when to administer medicines & more. Includes numerous herbal remedies, describes medieval medical techniques. If you ever wondered how to fully incorporate astrology & medicine (presuming that's legal where you are), this book tells how. Introductions by his contemporaries William Lilly, John Gadbury, Henry Coley and others.

In resetting the charts in this book (June, 2004), I accidentally discovered that Richard Saunders did not write it. The charts were for dates in 1616, 1617 and 1618, when Mr. Saunders would have been a small boy. Regardless of who wrote it, this remains one of the great astrology books. Click for a PDF excerpt.

Astrology Classics, 397 pages.

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PRIMARY DIRECTIONS: A Definitive Study - Sepharial, $17.95
1. Astronomical Definitions
2. Example Horoscope
3. Directions in Mundo
4. Directions in the Zodiac
5. Zodiacal and Mundane Parallels
6. Order of Directing
7. Effects of Directions
8. Planetary Indicators and the Measure of Time
9. Illustration
10. Ptolemy and Placidus
11. Directions Under Poles
12. The Part of Fortune
13. Lunar Parallax and Semi-Diameter
14. Lunar Equations
15. Cusp Distances
16. Suggested Method of True Directing
17. Conclusion

Appendix: Tables of Sines, Tangents, etc.
Tables of Right Ascension and Ascensional Difference
Tables of Proportional Logarithms

Comment: The definitive text on Primary Directions, written by a 20th century master.

Sepharial (1864-1929) was one of the leading astrologers in the early 20th century English astrological revival. Primaries were his favorite means of forecasting. Primaries, unlike simple transits or secondary directions, are not immediately obvious to the average student. So in this book, the author starts with the basic definitions. He then explains how to calculate directions in mundo, directions in the zodiac, as well as parallel directions. He suggests methods of organization and describes what effects primary directions may produce. In the process he gives an overview of the three main schools of forecasting: The Fatalists, the Casuists, and the Idealists, and gives the pros and cons of each.

Sepharial then discusses the two major individuals behind primaries. These are Claudius Ptolemy, who invented the semi-arc (primary) method in the second century AD, and the 17th century Italian monk, Placidus de Titis, who devised the complex house system that enabled primaries to be calculated easily and rapidly.

Sepharial next tackles directions under Poles, which were a favorite of R.C. Smith, the first of several men known as "Raphael". Then, the resolution of problems unique to Primaries: The proper method to calculate the Part of Fortune (Oblique Ascension/ Descension, rather than simple zodiacal longitudes), various unique challenges with primary directions and the moon, and the true way to calculate directions to house cusps, along with some novel shortcuts.

Expanded and revised, this book, originally entitled Directional Astrology, was the successor to the author's earlier Prognostic Astrology. It is also superior to the better known Primary Directions Made Easy.

Using this system, Sepharial made many notable forecasts, most famously that of the end of World War I and the abdication of the Kaiser. Interest in this fascinating system has increased since the mid-1990's. This is the finest book ever published on the subject, one that will repay study.

Click here for an excerpt (pdf).

Astrology Classics, 168 pages.

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Law of Values:
1. General principles
2. Planetary values
3. Effects of transits
4. Effects of aspects
5. Sensitive points
6. How to invest
7. How to average
8. Considerations

Silver Key:
Publisher's note
Preface to the second edition
The future method
Science of numbers
Some considerations
Names & numbers
Finding winners
Winning colours
The lunar key
How to set the figure
Elongation of motion
The test
The aspects
Gravity & evolution
A calculator
Something to come
A warning
On speculation
Tables of sidereal times
Tables of ascendants

The Arcana, or Stock & Share Key:
Publisher's note
Axiom one
Axiom two
Axiom three
Axiom four
The decanates
Nature of aspects
Sign rulers
Specific house indication
The chart of the heavens for London
Comment: Sepharial (1864-1929) had a life-long dislike of luck. He challenged himself to find what he called scientific rules that would eliminate chance. And, according to his own accounts, he succeed.

In Law of Values, he suggests buying stocks immediately after they have been clobbered by Saturn, with the price as low as it will get, and then selling the stock immediately after being hit by Jupiter, when the price is likely to be as high as it will ever go. And living off dividends between the two.

In The Silver Key, a book on horse-racing, Sepharial examines, and discards, conventional numerology, colours and symbols, in favor of a method based on the Moon, weights and tides. His results are impressive.

The Arcana, or Stock and Share Key, was one of a number of secret financial manuscripts which Sepharial sold by subscription only. In it, you will discover the secret to using the Meridian in day trading. Sepharial also gives instructions for using dispositors and decans. This is first time the Arcana has appeared in print.

Astrologers looking to improve their techniques, as well as investors looking to improve their portfolios, will find these books of interest. It's my suspicion the famous American investor, W.D. Gann, was in reality Sepharial's best student. Entirely reset, these three books were on his suggested reading list.

Click for an excerpt from Law of Values.

Astrology Classics, 139 pages.

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DICTIONARY OF ASTROLOGY - James Wilson Esq., $29.95

Comment: James Wilson wrote his Dictionary of Astrology in 1819. Based in large measure on a close study of the works of Ptolemy and Placidus (among many others), it is a quirky, highly personal view of the ancient science. It was acclaimed the finest of all astrological dictionaries. Wilson's goal was to force the student to think about some of the basic assumptions in astrology.

In the Preface, he writes:

If I had any motive more prominent than the rest (beyond promoting the cause of truth, which, I trust, will always be the principal) for publishing this work, it was a desire to injure those harpies who gather together scarce books of science, and hide them from the perusal of mankind, merely for the sake of gain, which, after all, can be but trifling: men like these are the enemies of knowledge, and ought to be severely punished in every civilized nation. This treatise will render most of their hoards comparatively useless, for I have been careful to insert the substance of all they contain relating to astrology, whether true or false, adding occasionally some remarks of my own to distinguish the latter as far as I am able, that every student may be enabled to found his own conviction on his own experience.
Rather than the short, arid articles typical of specialized dictionaries, Wilson offers extensive entries on (Primary) Directions, Faces, Figures, Forms of the Body, Horary Astrology, Marriage, Part of Fortune, Weather, the judgment of Revolutions, Progressions, Ingresses, Riches, Promittors, as well as many more.

A few years after this book, the author published his translation of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, one of only a handful of men to have done so.

The Dictionary of Astrology is a book of surprises. It will repay study.

Click here for an excerpt.

Astrology Classics, 442 pages.

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Astrology Classics, page 1

The Astrology Center of America

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