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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Nature of the Planets"

Nature of the Planets [Astro*Index]

Key concept in Ptolemaic astrology. (tetrabiblos I.4)

The essential natures of the Sun are heating and drying. Humidifying is the essential nature of the Moon. The planets were thought of as active agents in the vicissitudes of climate on the earth and by association in human character. Ptolemy provided abundant rationale for the nature of each planet, straightforward and practical. Jupiter, for instance, because it orbits between Mars and Saturn, takes on the qualities of both — the cooling of Saturn and the heating of Mars, resulting in a mellowing of each: "He both heats and humidifies; and because his heating power is the greater by reason of the underlying spheres he produces fertilizing winds." Ptolemy's discussion leads to the classification of benefics and malefics. Hot and moist natures relate to activity and fertility; dry and cold natures relate to destruction and separation. Mars and Saturn, indicative of the latter natures, are malefics, while Venus, Jupiter and the Moon, indicative of the former, are benefic.

See also:
♦ Benefic ♦ Malefic


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine