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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





2 articles for "Primum Mobile"

Primum Mobile [Astro*Index]

[L. the first moveable thing] Ptolemaic Astrology.

A term used in the Ptolemaic system, which was accepted from antiquity to the time of Copernicus, to refer to the tenth sphere of the universe. According to this system, the Earth was a solid and motionless sphere at the center of the universe around which nine concentric sphere moved east to west propelled by the tenth sphere, the primum mobile, which, in the words of C.H. Grandgent, "constituted the frontier of the material world." The first sphere contained the Earth and its atmosphere; the second, the Moon; the third, Mercury; and on outward – Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, until the ninth sphere, which contained the constellations (fixed stars), and finally the primum mobile. Beyond the primum mobile lay the Empyrean, the highest heaven. Sometimes it is said that the Ptolemaic universe contains only nine spheres, when the Moon's instead of the Earth's is counted as the first.

[Reference from Lilly, page 625 in CA, toward the bottom of the page in a discussion of vocational indicators: "If none of these considerations will hold, take him of the three Planets who according to the first mover anteceds the sun, and give unto him dominion of the Profession."]

See also: ♦ Ptolemaic Astrology ♦ Fixed Stars
Primum Mobile [DeVore]

The first mover, the outermost, or tenth sphere of the ancients, which in its daily motion carried all of the fixed stars. It is purely a Ptolemaic concept, exploded in theory by the Copernican concept of a solar system revolving about the Sun instead of the Earth. From the standpoint of Astrology, which deals with the effect of those apparent motions around the Earth by virtue of the Earth's own motion, the concept is as valid today as it was in Ptolemy's time.

See also: ♦ Ptolemaic Astrology ♦ Fixed Stars


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine