Johannes Kepler and Horoscopes Reading

Kepler was a deeply religious man who had originally aspired to become a Lutheran minister.  Like Phillip Melanchthon, his astrology was part and parcel of his Christianity.  As the Imperial Mathematician, he not only interpreted horoscopes for the emperor and his court, he published regular almanacs and predictions and made himself available for questioning on astrological and meteorological matters by the people of Prague, about which he complained, “…those of the lower classes with straight-forward and active minds…I get such a working over that I might as well call them my teachers.”

Kepler’s biographer Caspar relates an incident which occurred as a series of sextile aspects were shaping up in the heavens:

“Kepler swore 15 days before, in front of doubters, that there would be wind and rain on that day.  In due course, on the day in question, came a fierce gale, driving black clouds, so that at noon it was as dark as half an hour before sunset.  Amazed, the people asked themselves what was happening.  Then the cry grew loud, ‘Kepler comes’.”

In the course of his work for the Imperial Court, as ‘district mathematician and calendar maker’ in Graz, and later as astrologer for the famous General Wallenstein, Kepler made some interesting and accurate predictions that have been preserved in his publications and biographies. For instance, in 1595, he predicted a peasant uprising, an invasion by the Turks, and an especially cold winter, all of which came to pass and bolstered his reputation.   His calendar for 1618 said that ‘if a true comet should appear in the heavens’ then the other calendar writers would have to ‘sharpen up their pens.’ Three comets in all appeared that year, including one with a spectacularly bright tail.

Kepler also published extensively on his passion for reforming astrology: something of a hot topic in his time.  His astrological works have only just recently been translated into English – again, some would say, they were deliberately suppressed.  It is surprising how, even today, many English-speaking astronomers and physicists will adamantly deny that Kepler had any genuine interest in astrology.

In 1601 Kepler published De Fundamentis Astrologiae Certioribus, or, On the More Certain Fundamentals of Astrology, in which he explains his opinions on how, and to what extent, astrology works. He published Tertium Intervens, or the Third Man in the Middle, in 1610.  In this classic of astrological reform, he presents himself between the two extremes of those who practice superstitious star-gazing and those who want to throw astrology out altogether.  In 1619 he published his masterpiece, Harmonices Mundi, which was also not translated into English.  Kepler poured twenty years of his life’s work into this grand synthesis of geometry, arithmetic, music, astrology and astronomy, which also contained his third law of planetary motion.

Astrology was not something that Kepler did merely to make money.  He cared deeply about it and he saw the world through his own unique Pythagorean, harmonic paradigm. He was, as he described himself to his mentor, Michael Maestlin, a ‘Lutheran astrologer’.  He was not, as later biographers have styled him, a radical rationalist out to make the world safe for science by ridding it of medieval superstition: and neither were his contemporaries. It was because of his passion for astrology, and not in spite of it, that he made the discoveries that brought him lasting fame as one of the greatest astronomers of all time. The quote below from his correspondence reveals just how personal Kepler’s astrology was.  In a letter to Johan Herwart from 1599, he discusses his own horoscope:

“In my case, Saturn and the sun work together in the sextile aspect (I prefer to speak of what I know best).  Therefore my body is dry and knotty, and not tall.  My soul is faint-hearted and hides itself in literary corners; it is distrustful and fearful; it seeks its way through harsh brambles and becomes entangled in them.  Its habits are similar.  To gnaw bones, to eat dry bread, to taste spiced and bitter things is a joy to me.  To walk over rugged paths, uphill and through thickets, is a holiday treat for me.  I know no other way of seasoning my life than science; I do not desire any other spice and I reject it if it is offered to me.  My fate is precisely similar to this attitude.”

Tycho Brahe was Astrologer. Oh Really

It has often been alleged that astrology and astrologers were put out of business by the discoveries of the Copernican revolution. Actually the fact is otherwise,  astrologers were enthusiastic promoters and educators, putting the powerful public forum of their annual almanacs into the full service of science.

The three most important astronomers of the yesteryears were all practicing astrologers. The historians of science, in celebrating the glories of science past, have been totaly dumb on this point which in itsel is a question mark.

Tycho Brahe, whose discovery of the “New Star” in 1572 caused a sensation because it shattered the Aristotelian theory of the immutability of the celestial spheres, was at the time of the discovery, working as astrologer to the Danish court.

While Tycho is lauded in science history for his painstakingly accurate observations, the fact that Tycho originally undertook these observations both to improve the accuracy of his horoscopy and to demonstrate the celestial harmonies underlying astrology, alchemy, and medicine, is conveniently overlooked.1 Some might say deliberately suppressed.

Tycho was not only a competent astrologer who made some very accurate forecasts for the Danish monarchy, he was equally interested in alchemy, particularly the medical alchemy of Paracelsus. While two of his early tracts, Against Astrologers, For Astrology, and another on new methods of house division, have since disappeared, other works have survived. For instance, in 1574, lecturing in Copenhagen, Tycho elaborated on his theories about the astrological correspondences between the heavenly bodies, terrestrial substances (metals and stones) and the organs of the body.2 Tycho not only wrote astrological interpretations of both his ‘New Star,’ (the supernova of 1572) and the comet of 1577, he did extensive work in astrological weather prediction. Some of his basic principles of astro-meteorology were published in 1573 in De Nova Stella, but his work in this direction continued throughout his life and he left behind copious notebooks and accounts thereof.

In 1599, Tycho resettled in Prague, taking the post as Imperial Mathematician, (which meant ‘astrologer’) to the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, whom he provided with horoscopes and predictions. When he died two years later, the successor to his position as Emperor Rudolph’s astrologer was his assistant, Johannes Kepler.

History of Astrology by Raphael

So much has been written on the subject of History of Astrology.

Raphael has also written about some ancient Astrologers and their accurate predictions in this chapter so i thought to share with all o you this chapter from his book Manual of Astrology.

I havent made any major changes in it except some editing o grammatical mistakes.

THE celestial science termed Astrology, or the doctrine of the stars, may be properly defined the art of foreknowing and predicting future events, by the motions, positions, configurations, and influences of the planetary orbs, and various celestial phenomena; as eclipses, comets, and peculiar aspects of the most powerful stars : deduced from various experimental observations of the philosophical enquirer, through a series of ages, commencing with the earliest known records; whereon is founded a system that neither the revolutions of empires, the fall of the mightiest monarchies, nor the physical changes in the moral and intellectual world, have been able to annihilate: but which, like the fabled phoenix of old, has not infrequently arisen, splendid and beauteous, even from its own ashes. And while in former times it might be compared to a mighty Colossus that over strode all other sciences, commanding the submissive homage of kings and princes; or, like “the bright star of the morning”, heralding the path of learning, and enlightening the way to knowledge : In modern times, it has not infrequently, in its ethereal circuit, asserted its supremacy above other perishable arts; by some remarkable prediction (or curious coincidence, as the fashion of the day is pleased to term it) that could not have been founded on any natural conjecture, but which like ” a meteoric flash” has so enlightened the gloomy atmosphere of incredulity, that the thinking part of mankind, who are not content with judging these mysterious matters upon mere hearsay, have been half inclined to believe in the possibility of prescience by the ethereal orbs.
“Knowledge; by favour sent
Down from the empyrean, to forewarn
Us timely
For which, to the infinitely good, we owe
Immortal thanks”
The antiquity of the Astrological Science, and of Celestial Observations, may be fairly inferred from what was spoken by the all wise Creator of the universe; who is said in the sublime language of the sacred scriptures, to have “prepared the light*/’ to have formed the celestial orbs, and appointed them by the Almighty fiat, “to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years”. Whence it is probable that the human reason never existed, without some portion of this heavenly knowledge being diffused amongst mankind; because, independent of motives of curiosity, which may of themselves ex-* cited the wisest of the ancient philosophers, to contemplate the splendors of the celestial canopy – It is, easy to perceive that some parts of the science answer such essential purposes to mankind, that they could not be dispensed with. Instance, the rising and setting of the planetary orbs and the constellations; peculiar to the seasons – whereby the antediluvians, no doubt, were enabled to order their most important transactions; so as to cultivate the auspices of favourable periods; and apply the benevolent’ influences of the “Starry orbs” to the arts and customs of life.
Indeed, the pastoral way of living, the serene unclouded sky and the longevity, not only of the antediluvians, but of the patriarchs of the first ages, were extremely favourable to astronomical observations; and hence we may trace the causes of the symbolically terrestrial signs, which mankind have by common consent placed to occupy the heavens. But those were probably not” exalted to the skies” until mankind had made some progress in poetry; which also is of great antiquity, having been practiced in the very first ages of the world, whilst they “tended their flocks/’ Hence; also poetry and astrology should be combined together, as accompanying each other from the earliest ages; even in the antediluvian sera. This will not derogate from the dignity of these sciences, when it is remembered, that the ancient shepherds were not merely the vulgar, or illiterate of mankind, for in those times even princes did not think it beneath themselves to act as shepherds, and to “watch their flocks”, or attend to pastoral affairs; which can be proved from many instances of the sacred history, of Laban, Jacob, David, Job, &c: nay, we know that several ages afterwards, many of the chief magistrates of ancient Rome, had been husbandmen themselves.
Thus lucius Cin-cinnatus was found at the plough, when he was called to be dictator:: and Fabricius Curius and Camillus were no less skilled in the science of husbandry, than in the art of war. Indeed it appears that husbandmen were in such esteem among the Romans, that they highly resented the least affront offered to any of them, of which Scipio Nasica was an instance, for he being a candidate for the place of Edile, meeting. a plain countryman, took him by the hand, and jesting with him on ” the hardness of his hands” the Romans so resented it that he lost the Edileship.
In the unrivalled poems of Virgil, particularly the “Georgies”, the poet has enriched his work, in almost every page, with an astrological regard to the months, seasons, the ascending and descending signs and constellations, as though he had himself traced effects to their first cause; and by thus availing himself of the accumulated wisdom of past ages, respecting the extensive sciences on which he wrote, he produced the most beautiful poem on the subject of husbandry that the world has ever beheld. While so just, are the greater part of his observations, and so extensively useful, that the principal part of them is put in practice in many places of the world, even at this very day. Amongst other beautiful references to the magnificent machinery of the heavenly host, the following, Georg. I. 335. Beginning “Hoc metuens coeli menses et sidera serva, etc”. is very appropriate.
“In fear of this, observe the starry signs, Where Saturn’s houses and where Hermes joins. – The sovereign of the heav’ns has set on high, the moon, to mark the changes of the sky, when southern blasts should cease.*’
It is also reported by the poet Lucan (observes Dr. Johnson with “historical veracity”) that Caesar, the imperial “Lord of the world” “noted the revolutions of the stars, in the midst of preparations for battle”.
According to Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian”, our first father Adam, was instructed in Astrology by divine inspiration” Adam taught it to his posterity; for it appears that Seth was so excellent a proficient therein, “that foreseeing the flood, and the destruction of the world thereby, he engraved the fundamental principles of his art, in hieroglyphically emblems, for the benefit of after ages, on two pillars of brick and stone”. Josephus affirms, that “he saw himself that of stone to remain in Syria in his own time:” and in the 3rd chapter of his first book, he says, that ” man lived so long before the flood, to learn the arts and sciences, especially naming Astrology and Geometry”, and in the same work he states, that Abraham, “having learned the art in Chaldea, when he sojourned into Egypt, he taught the Egyptians the knowledge of Arithmetic and Astrology”.
The great sir Isaac Newton has the following remarks in regard to the origin of Astrology. “After the study of Astronomy was set on foot for the use of navigation, and the Egyptians, by the heliacal rising! And settings of the stars, had determined the length of the solar year, and by other observations had fixed the solstices, and fanned the fixed stars into asterisms, all which was done in the reigns of Amnion, Sesae, Ores, and Memnon, about a thousand years before Christ! Nicepsos, king of Sais, by the assistance of a priest of Egypt, invented Astrology; grounding it in the aspects of the planets and after the Ethiopians had invaded Egypt, those Egyptians who fled from him to Babylon, carried thither the study of Astronomy and Astrology. And so says Diodorus, “the Chaldeans in Babylon, being colonies of the Egyptians, became famous for Astrology, having learnt it from the priests of Egypt”
The eastern nations have ever been famous for their skill in these abstruse sciences, which in those countries have always served as a ruling principle for the public administration of the state. It is true that as Astrology is practised in those despotic countries, it is liable to very great abuse; and in too many instances has led the way to fanaticism and imposition. But these considerations should have no real weight with the character of the science in general, since the most meritorious of discoveries, the most pure theories of an abstract nature, are liable to the same objection; which in fact will always be the case, where the fallibility of human nature is concerned. According to the oriental records, the birth of Astrology is confounded with the epocha, of the creation of the world. We are informed by their historians, that the son of Misraim, Naorawousoh, was the first Egyptian prince, and the first, of the magicians who excelled in Astrology and (as they never fail to add) enchantment.
Retiring into Egypt with his family, consisting of eighty persons, he settled on the banks of the hill, built Essous, the most ancient of the Egyptian cities, and commenced the first dynasty of the Miseraimian princes, who were stated to be cabalists, diviners, and eminently skilful in the mystic arts. The most celebrated of these were Naerasch, who according to oriental mythology was the first who represented in figures and images, the twelve signs of the zodiac. Gharnak, who had the folly to publish these mysterious secrets, till then concealed by his family. Khasslim, author of the nilometer. Hersall, who devoted himself to the worship of idols. Sehlouk, who worshipped fire; Sourid, bisson, who erected the first pyramids, and who is also considered as the inventor of that wonderful mirror, which the ancient oriental poets have so much celebrated in their verses: and Firawnn, or Pharoah, the last prince of that dynasty, whose name was afterwards attributed to the most iniquitous kings of Egypt.
Terrified by the predictions and menaces of Noah, this prince endeavored to destroy that prophet, believing that he should prevent, by his death, the threatened deluge. It, however, destroyed him and his whole family. Efilimoun alone, Chief Astrologer of his time, had the good fortune to save himself from that general desolation. Admonished in a dream, to seek refuge in the ark of Noah, he flew to Babylon, where he acknowledged the divine mission of that prophet, embraced the dogma of the unity of God, and was admitted into the ark with all his family. Forming an alliance with Noah’s family, he became the ancestor of twenty-six kings of the second dynasty, and built the city of Memphis, Misraim, his descendant, was the depositary of all the magical and Astrological secrets of the first ages of the world. All his descendants are said also to have excelled in these sciences, and in others which the enemies of Astrology have endeavored to link with the science of the stars From that prince was descended the celebrated Elboud-Schir, who surpassed all his ancestors in the great art of Cabal; and Adine, his son, under whose reign the noted magicians Haroutu and Marouth filled the east with their reputation: they were considered ” as two demons escaped from hell”. Under this reign the celebrated magician Nedoure, established the worship of the great idol of the sun.
This person, to whom tradition attributes a thousand astonishing and incredible events, was the author of that inexhaustible vase, which is mentioned by all the oriental poets.
Of his successors, they who were most distinguished in these mysterious sciences were Schedad, whom the orientals consider as the first astronomer, and the father of the signs and celestial themes, or houses of heaven, which he formed from viewing the stars and constellations. Mennoawousch, the first who published these mysteries, and who is said to have circulated throughout Egypt several thousand copies of his work. He was said also to have been the inventor of warm baths; the institute* of the twelve religious feasts, in honor of the twelve signs of the zodiac; and is said, by his own single genius, to have discovered the secrets of the philosopher’s stone: whereby the Orientals affirm he acquired “an immense treasure”, by converting simple metals into gold and silver. Menawousch, who is said to have made an ox, the object of his adoration. When afflicted by a severe malady, he heard a voice announcing his death, except he should have recourse to the benign influence of that animal. Under his reign, Egypt was desolated by the Arabians, who took this opportunity of learning from the Egyptians the Theurgie sciences, by which they afterwards acquired such distinguished reputation.
The appearance of a Comet, determined the intrepid and ferocious Timor, in the midst of his quarrels with Bayezed L to decide for war. He was at first impelled by terror, to prepare the means of avoiding a rupture with the Ottomans, when he consulted Abdullah Lissan, at that time the most skilful Astrologer of the east, and desired his opinion respecting the tendency of the comet. The Astrologer declared that this phenomenon having appeared to the west of his dominions, and of the constellation Aries, could only have an evil influence in regard to his enemies, and that it presaged the utmost disasters to the Ottoman empire. Relying on this prediction, Timor determined immediately upon war, refused every kind of accommodation, and entered at the head of a powerful army the dominions of the empire. The consequences of this war between the two heroes of the east, are well known; as also the disasters which befell the Ottoman monarchy, after the fatal battle of Angora.
The death of Mourad II. Justified a strange prediction. This sultan was hunting in the vicinity of Adrinople; at the close of day, as he entered the city, a Dervish placed himself on the bridge over which Mourad was obliged to pass; as soon as he perceived him, he fixed his eyes upon the sultan, and as he approached, exclaimed in an inspired tone, ” You have no time, august monarch, to spare, to impede the progress of that abyss, which is the effect of our sins and prevarications against the divine law; you are just approaching the limit of your reign, and the last moment of your life ! The angel of death is already at your door; open your arms, and receive with entire resignation, this messenger from heaven”. These words made a strong impression upon the monarch and his retinue; he immediately expressed his profession of the faith, and performed several acts of contrition. Convinced that this prediction was the decrees of heaven, from hearing that this Dervish was the disciple of a profound Astrologer, he prepared for death, made his will, settled the succession to the throne, and died on the third day; notwithstanding (says the annals,) all the aid of medicine, and every exertion of his ministers, officers, and courtiers, to prevent the catastrophe.
The most favourable prognostics accompanied the accession of Mohammed 11. The Astrologers foretold that his reign should become illustrious by the glories of conquest: he depended also on the circumstance of his proclamation, which happened on a Thursday, the 5th day of the week; and on his being the seventh sultan of his family. The following words of the Cour’ann were quoted: “God hath blessed the fifth and the seventh”. These predictions had a powerful effect on the projects of this monarch, who became the conqueror of Constantinople, the destroyer of the Greek empire; and one of the most illustrious princes of his family for genius, talents, and taste for learning.
Selim I. previous to his turning his arms against Egypt, consulted a celebrated Astrologer, who resided at Damas, and living like a hermit, had the reputation almost of a saint. He assured the sultan that victory should attend his steps, • and that the kingdom of Egypt should be subject to his power. In the transports of his joy, Selim loaded him with kindness and honor; he would not however depart from him, till he had learned the fate and duration of his reign. The sage refused for some time to comply with his request, but at length obliged to yield to his earnest solicitation, he informed him ” his reign would conclude before the expiration of nine years; but that from its glorious events, he would hold a distinguished rank in the history of nations/’ At these words, Selim observed a melancholy silence, which was only interrupted by deep sighs and accents of grief. After a gloomy pause, he desired to know the horoscope of Prince Suleyman, his son. “He shall be happy”, replied the hermit. “He shall reign near half a century, and be equally distinguished by his splendid actions and warlike virtues”. The above observation determined the sultan to march against his enemies, and the event having corresponded with the prediction, he from that moment became a prey to fatal. melancholy, and died in the ninth year of his reign.
As the hermit had foretold, his son, Suleyman I. ascended the throne, attended by a thousand presages respecting the future splendor of his reign, and the prosperity of his empire. These favourable predictions were chiefly founded on the good fortune which the Arabians attribute to whole numbers, since this sultan was born in the 900th year of the Hegira, and was the tenth monarch of his family. Prompted by these circumstances, Suleyman undertook those enterprises which rendered his reign so illustrious. He extended the limits of his empire on our continent in three directions, and his reign was indeed the most prosperous period of the monarchy.
In the reign of Selim II. (1572) there appeared a Comet, which had the brightness and magnitude of Venus. This excited his apprehensions, which were augmented by the predictions of his Astrologers, who declared that this phenomenon announced the calamities which’ excessive rain would inflict upon the empire. Forty days afterwards, says the historian -” they imagined themselves threatened with an universal deluge : incessant rains overflowed his dominions in Europe and Asia; laid waste three of his chief cities; swept away on all sides, men, cattle, houses, and rendered impassable, during several weeks, the bridges and public roads ! This prediction, which is well authenticated by historians, affords a striking instance of the singular skill possessed by the Arabian Astrologers, and how astonishingly correct those rules, must have been on which their presages were founded.
The death of Mohammed. III. was likewise extremely singular and remarkable. On entering the seraglio, he met one day a Dervish, who exclaimed in the following terms: “O august monarch! Do not slumber over your situation. I announce to you a melancholy event, which will happen in fifty-six days from the present time. The sultan was agitated by this address. He soon after sickened, and really died on the fifty-sixth day.
Some months previous to the death of Mourad IV. An Eclipse of the Sun, alarming this monarch, he wished to consult a mysterious volume, which Selim I the conqueror of Egypt, had brought from that kingdom, with many other curiosities, which are still carefully preserved in the seraglio. It is believed that this volume, written in cyphers and magic characters, mentions the name and destiny of every sultan, and of every sovereign, who will reign over Egypt to the end of the world. After long and studied diligence, he fancied that he had discovered his own name, and his approaching death. In the anguish of grief he shut the volume, and denounced a thousand anathemas against whoever should hereafter presume to open it. His agitation was still further increased, on hearing that a Sheikh from Mecca, who was considered at Constantinople as a most skilful Astrologer, had privately predicted that the month of Schewal, in which the sultan was born, would produce in that year (1640) something unpropitious, and that alms should be speedily delivered to avert the impending evil.
Mourad IV. ordered these preventives to be profusely used; he even opened the public prisons, and set all at liberty except assassins; but a prey to his fate, he fell sick and died the 16th day of the month of Sehewal.
“The arcana of Astrology”, as a judicious writer observes, “constituted a main feature in the doctrines of the Persian magic”, to whom the following extract from the “Ancient Universal History”, is appropriate. ” In the reign of Darius Hystaspis, king of Persia, flourished a celebrated Astrologer, whose name was Gjamasp, surnamed Alhakim, or ” the wise/’ The most credible writers say that he was the brother of the king, and his confidant or chief minister. He is said, by the most credible historians, to have predicted the coming of the Messiah; and some treatises under his name are yet current in the east. Dr. Thomas Hyde, in speaking of this philosopher, cites a passage from a very ancient author, (having before told us that this author asserted there had been among the Persians ten doctors of such consummate wisdom, as the whole world could not boast the like. He then gives the author’s words.) Of these the sixth was Gjamasp, an Astrologer who was counsellor in Hystaspis. He is the author of a book intitled Judicia Gjmaspis, in which is contained his judgment on the Planetary Conjunctions: and therein he predicted that Jesus should appear; that Mohammed should be born; that the Magian religion should be abolished, etc.
Nor did any Astrologer ever come up to him. “But of all the provinces of Persia, Choras-san is the most famous for producing great men in that art; and in Chorassan, there is a little town called Genabed, and in that town a certain family, which for six or seven hundred years past, has produced the most famous Astrologers in Persia. And the king’s Astrologer is always either a native of that place, or one brought up there”.
By the foregoing historical researches into the records of the Oriental Nations, we have given their account of the origin and beginning of the Celestial Science; but the ancient Greek and Roman historians affirm, (particularly Diodorus Siculus) that Hercules first brought Astrology into Greece; and Plutarch reports, that Hesied. practised the art. But another ancient writer (Philostratus) states, that Palamedes, before the siege of Troy, was esteemed skilful in Astrology; and was the first that limited the course of the seasons, and the order of the months by the solar motion. Anaximander, and his scholar Anaximenes, were learned in the art of Geometry and Astrology, if we may believe the ancient historians; as the one is said to have discovered Geometrical Astronomy, the other the obliquity of the zodiac. Thales and Democritus also gained a singular name in the annals of ancient history, by their foreseeing, the one a dearth, the other a plentiful crop, of olives, whereby they not only enriched themselves, but are said to have confounded the despisers of their art.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have foretold the plague, which took place long before it happened; and relying on the verity of his foresight, it is stated by historians, that he sent his scholars abroad into different cities, to be prepared for the dreadful calamity. In consequence of this, it is said that “all Greece looked up to him as a God, and decreed to his name the sacrifices of Herrcules”. Anaxagoras is said to have been so addicted to Astrology and the contemplation of the heavenly bodies, that he “accounted not the earth, but the heavens to be his country” Affirming himself born for ho other purpose than to contemplate and behold the Sun, the Moon, and the rest of the celestial orbs. Thales is known also to have predicted that great Eclipse of the Sun, in the time of Astyages, which presaged those mutations in Asia that afterwards took place. Apollonius Tyaneus is said to have travelled over the greater part of Egypt, India, Persia, and Chaldea, growing to that admirable perfection in the celestial art, that for his oracular presages, he was by the persons of those times, “reputed almost as a God, in the shape of man”. He is said to have written four books of Astrology, which were lost in the confusion of those dark ages.
These, with numerous others of the ancient worthies, are on record as delighting in the astral art. The poet Virgil, who has been before quoted, and who was a great mathematician, which in the sense of those times, always included Astrology, and skill in the Chaldean mysteries, describes his hero Eneas, as being born under the favourable influence of Jupiter, Venus, and the Sun. Horace, Persius, and even Augustus himself, thought highly of Astrology. In latter times, we have on record the famous prediction relative to Pieus, earl of Mirandola, who from his antipathy to the art, was surnamed the Scourge of Astrology, who being foretold by three different Astrologers, that he should not live above the age of thirty-three years; flattering himself that the art and its predictions were false and groundless, as if he could (as Sir Christopher Heydon observes) ” wrangle away death, by writing against Astrology”. Lo, while he sought to prove the art vain, his own death, concurring exactly with the time foretold by the Astrologers, confirmed it to be true; and more actually confuted that which he had written against it, than if all the world besides had conspired to answer him.
This is perhaps the most striking instance on record as to the truth of the art.
In the writings of Nostradamus, the Gallic Astrologer, are to be found almost every important event, that for centuries past has taken place. A writer in the Gentleman’s Magazine (in December 1824) has pointed out to its readers the truth of two remarkable prophecies; one regarding the death of Henry II. of France, who was killed at a tournament, by an unlucky thrust in the eye, through the gilt bars of his royal helmet; which event was prophecied and printed full three years before it happened. The other, a more remarkable one still, of the French revolution, wherein Nostradamus predicts “that the Christian religion would be abolished in France, and many of the nobles and clergy put to death”. This prophecy was likewise in print so early as the year 1556, or near 242 years before the event, which was certainly an instance of singular skill in this great Astrologer.

No less extraordinary to those who are ignorant of the firm principles on which this art is founded, was the prediction of Guido Bonatus, an Italian Astrologer; who being at a city in Italy when it was closely besieged, he elected a proper time for the earl of Montserrat to make a sally, predicting that the earl would rout his enemies and obtain a complete victory, but not without receiving a slight wound in the knee; and that the earl might be more assured, Bonatus marched out with him, carrying every necessary to dress the wound ! The event corresponded accurately and fully with the prediction; for the enemy was vanquished totally, and the earl wounded, punctually as he foretold.

Valentine Naibod, a celebrated Astrologer of Padua, from the rules of Astrology, predicted his own death in the following singular manner. , Living at Padua, he spent his time in study, and having considered his own nativity, he found some directions approaching, that gave him ground to fear he should “be killed or wounded with a sword;” to prevent which, and to shun the fate he apprehended, he took in all sorts of provisions from abroad, to serve him for some months to come; shut and barred all his gates, doors, and windows: and resolved to continue there to avoid the mischief. In the mean time, it happened that some thieves went by, and seeing the house made so secure, supposed, no doubt, that there must be some great wealth therein; and in the night time, breaking into the house and meeting with the master thereof, they barbarously murdered him, as his horoscope foretold.

Michael Scot, a mathematician and Astrologer of the thirteenth century, was much esteemed by the emperor Frederic II. He predicted that the emperor should die at Florence; which prediction was answered by the event. He likewise foretold that himself should die with the fall of a stone; which happened accordingly; for being in a church at his devotions, a stone fell from the roof, which gave him a mortal wound. His singular predictions caused him to be accused by the vulgar for a magician, although his contemporaries report him as a man of learning, and a great divine.

Antiochus Tibertus was one of the most famous Astrologers of the fifteenth century; and although his death was very unhappy, yet-his singular predictions render his name immortal.
He was a native: of a town; in Romagna: a certain officer carried him to Paris; where he studied; and, where following the bent of his genius, he applied himself to the occult sciences, or rather to all the branches of that secret and curious art, called natural magic.
Considering-in his own mind that this science had been decried from its having, been mostly in the hands of. bold, ignorant, and profligate persons, he thought to restore it to its former credit and repute, by giving it all the advantages that could possibly be derived from physic, mathematics, natural philosophy, history, and the fine arts; of which he was a perfect master. The pains he took in this respect, were attended with rather more success than he anticipated: so much indeed, that before he quitted France, he had attained a very high reputation, and was considered as the cleverest Astrologer of the day.
Upon’ his return to his native country, where that sort of knowledge was in the highest repute, be found it necessary; for his own security, to ingratiate himself with Some of the petty tyrants, or little princes, that were possessed of the several cities and territories in Italy. Nor was it long before he gained the confidence of Pandolfo Malatesta, at that time sovereign of Remini, with whom he lived in the greatest ease and credit. His reputation was quickly raised to such a height, (as well by the curious books he published, as by the happy verification of many of his predictions) that his house was continually thronged, either with visitors, who were per-sons of distinction, or clients who came to him for advice; so that in a very short time, he amassed a competent fortune: and as he was esteemed, courted, and beloved by persons of the highest rank, he might, according to appearances, have promised himself a comfortable journey through life, and a peaceable passage out of it, in his old age. But fate, (to whose decrees Antiochus Tibertus was no stranger) had it seems willed otherwise.
In a word, he has established his fame to posterity by three incontestable predictions; one with respect to his most intimate friend; another in regard to himself; and the third, relating to the prince his patron. Each of them wholly im-probable at the time they were delivered; all of them inscrutable, by the rules of human policy or prudence; and yet all exactly accomplished.
This friend of his was Guido de Bogni, one of the greatest captains of his time, as well as one of the bravest and boldest men that ever lived. He was very earnest with Tibertus to reveal to him the secret of his destiny. After considerable reluctance, this great master of his art declared that Guide would certainly lose his life by the hands of one of his. best, friend*, upon an ill-grounded suspicion. Some time after this, Tibertus calculated his own nativity; and made no scruple of declaring that he was fated to lose his head upon the scaffold.
Pandolfo, his patron, would likewise have his horoscope calculated, which Tibertus would willingly have declined; but finding it impossible, he would net hazard the credit of his, art by telling a falsity; and therefore, although he was at that time the richest person in all Italy, Tibertus ventured to acquaint him, that after suffering great want, he would, die in the common hospital at Bologna.
Not long after this Guido de Bogni, was made commander-in-chief of the army of Pandolfo, the aforesaid prince, and patron of Tibertus upon which the count de Beulivoglio, who was father-in-law to that prince, wrote him a letter, in which he assured him.
“That he bad made a shepherd of a wolf”, and that Guido “was actively intriguing with the pops, and had promised to deliver up the city of Remind, whenever he desired it”. The tyrants of Italy were never men of much discernment, and therefore the prince Pandolfo as soon as he had this information, made a great entertainment, to which he invited all his favorites, and among the rest Guido, and Tibertus the Astrologer. At this supper Guido was stabbed, (exactly as the former predicted) and as it was suspected that Tiberius, from his great intimacy with him, might have some share in the conspiracy, – He was thrown into a dungeon, and loaded with irons.
It may easily be imagined that Tibertus passed his time very unpleasantly in this dismal situation, and therefore it will not be deemed surprising, when it is stated, that he endeavored to seize the first opportunity of escaping which offered. It seems the gaoler to whose care Tibertus was committed, bad a daughter of singularly mild and gentle manners, whom he at length persuaded to furnish him with the means of breaking out of his dungeon into the castle ditcb, from whence he might easily escape.
In the interim, Count Bentivoglio had discovered that the information he gave his relation was ill-founded; and of this he sent him an account, as soon as it was in his power; at which news Pandolfo was infinitely affected, and grieved at his late rash, and cruel measures.
It was however impossible to recall his unfortunate general Guido, from the grave; but he gave instant orders that Tibertus should be set at liberty. The persons who brought these orders, came just at the fall of night, and strange to say, precisely at the time that the Astrologer had forced his passage into the ditch, where, alter a slight search they found him.
When this was reported to the tyrant, his former Suspicions returned upon him with redoubled vigour; and recollecting at the same time, the prediction* of Tibertus, that he should be deprived of his patrimony before his death, he concluded that the first information could not be groundless: but that, without doubt, the Astrologer must be concerned in some such pernicious design. To free himself therefore from these apprehensions, he gave orders that the next’ morning Tibertus should be beheaded, before the prison gate: and thus the second prediction was verified, in a manner equally strange, and out of the reach of human foresight to penetrate unassisted by the rules of art. Let us now proceed to the third prediction, which really took place not long after.
It is to be observed that though the intelligence of the count proved false, with respect to the persons concerned, which very probably was the effects of his own suspicions, yet his information was right enough in the main; for a conspiracy was actually carrying on, to place the city of Remini into the hands of the pope: and it was accordingly seized by the Duc-de-Valentinois, not long after; but in the confusion which this occasioned, Pandolfo made his escape. He fled for some time from place to place, vigorously pursued by his enemies, and meeting (as is generally the case of tyrants) with very few friends; at length, having endeavored to sow dissension among his own children, he was abandoned by them, and every one else; in as much, that falling ill of a languishing disease at Bologna, where nobody cared to take him in, he was at last carried to the hospital, where he dragged out the remainder of his days in penury and pain, and at last died there, as the Astrologer had foretold.
At the birth of Louis XIV. The king of France, the gentlemen of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions, caused a splendid medal to be struck to commemorate the event. Around this medal was placed the twelve signs of the zodiac, forming the twelve houses of heaven. The planets were placed in the same degrees as they then occupied in the heavens. The following was given as the interpretation of the celestial theme. “The sun, who gives perfection to the other planets, is in the mid-heaven; Mars, lord of the ascendant, in reception with Jupiter, the protector of life; Saturn, the enemy of nature, is in his dignities, which makes him less malevolent. The moon is in conjunction with Venus; and Mercury, in his house of predilection to the sun, but out of combustion, giving a superiority of genius in the most difficult enterprises; which his being in square to Mars, is not able to abate”. Such was the interpretation of this monarch’s horoscope, which was figured in the midst of this medal, by a rising sun. The king was placed in the chariot of this glorious planet, of which Ovid has given us a description. This chariot was drawn by four horses, guided by victory.
The inscription, was in these words: “Ortus Solis Gallici”. “The rising of the Gallic Sun”, and the exergue thereof, contained this other inscription. ” Septembris Quinto Minutis 38 Ante Meridian, 1638″. This curious medal ex-, fatbits a remarkable instance of the high reputation in which Astrology was held .at the period of its formation. Neither were the predictions of the Astrologers, relative to the celebrity of the future “Grand Monarque” unfulfilled, as history is sufficient to prove.
In the reign of the, Stuarts, we have many striking accounts, of remarkable predictions and celebrated Astrologers; but the chief amongst, these (and indeed in the History of England) was the renowned Astrologer William Lilly; amongst a series of Astrological Hieroglyphics, relative to the fate of the English nation, and to last for several centuries; Published by him in 1651, were two immediately succeeding each other; the first of which represented several dead bodies in winding, sheets, a church-yard with sextons employed, and cart-loads of dead emptying into the graves. The second was a view of London Bridge, on both sides the water, and the city of London in flames. Nothing could have more unequivocally predicted, the Plague and dreadful fire, (which really succeeded each, other, as did these hieroglyphics) than the above forewarning! After the fire, and when Lilly had for some time retired from; business, and lived at Richmond, the House of Commons sent him an order to attend at their bar; when appearing, the speaker informed him, that ” as he had fifteen years before predicted the Plague and dreadful fire, the House wished to ask him, if he could give any intelligence concerning the causes or authors thereof?”. Lilly answered, “that the House might readily believe, that having predicted it, he had spared no pains to investigate the cause, but that all his endeavors had been ineffectual; from whence he was led to attribute the conflagration, to the immediate finger of God”. It is singular, that; what this profound Astrologer was unable to discover, every one else has failed in, even the usual lights which the revolution of ages generally throw on subject! Which, at the period of their transaction, may be enveloped in casual gloom, in this instance have totally failed to give any real information as to the actual perpetrators of the above calamity.
No less singular was this distinguished Astrologer’s presage respecting Charles I. In a volume of ” Lilly’s Astrology/’ purchased at the sale of the Duke of Marlborough’s library, there is the following curious note.”The immediate use which Charles I. made of one thousand pounds, which was sent to him at Hampton Court, was to consult Lilly the Astrologer”. I advised him”, says the sage, “to travel eastward, whereas he travelled westward, and all the world knows the consequence”.
The death of William, earl of Pembroke, was foretold by Lady Davy’s, to happen on his birth day in the year 1630 (which is mentioned in Rushworth’s collections). When evening came, the earl cheerfully took notice “how well he was”, saying “he would for Lady Davy’s sake, never trust a female prophetess again”. He was notwithstanding found dead in his bed next morning!
In still more recent times, we have the instance of a remarkable prediction relative to the late fallen emperor Napoleon, by a celebrated French Astrologer. Observing that in Napoleon’s horoscope “the planet Saturn was in the house of honor, he declared, without hesitation, that” at the moment when the meridian altitude of his power should be obtained: from that period he should meet with a decline, as rapid as his elevation and be finally deserted by his friends”. After the fall of Napoleon, this circumstance was noticed publicly in the French journals. And if Napoleon’s horoscope were correct, the above configuration of the “evil orb” was quite sufficient to authorise the aforesaid prediction, on the most rational grounds.
Numerous other instances are on record, which we could readily adduce in support of the astonishing verity of this art, in judicious hands, but let those suffice. The Sacred Scriptures abound with the most beautiful imagery, derived from the heavenly host; thus we are told by the inspired writers, that” they fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera” Again”, so let all thine enemies perish; But let them that love him, be as the sun, when he goes forth of his might;” and according to the most ancient and approved Astrology”, the person who shall have the sun for his signifactor well dignified, will be invincible in battle”. In another place, the sacred writer declares”, the sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night”, which plainly refers to the office of Hyleg, or what is termed by Astrologers, ” the Lord of life”, which is always chosen from ” the sun by day, and the moon by night” Also it is declared, that “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”, etc. which plainly relates to the doctrine of “Astrological Elections” or the choice of appropriate ” times and seasons”, for the most important purposes; wherein it is observed, that ” there are times so peculiarly propitious to the spirit of enterprise, that if a man were to go out to battle, although assisted by a comparatively small force, yet he shall obtain the victory; while there are other times, when with a mighty army, more completely equipped, instead of laurels, he shall acquire nothing but disappointment and disgrace”. The sacred writers also speak of the “sweet influences of the Pleiades”, and the “bands of Orion”. In short, Wherever we search, whether amongst sacred or profane historians, numerous instances are to be found, which set forth the astonishing presages of this formerly resplendent science; which even in the ruins that time and the revolutions of public opinion have brought upon it, is grand and magnificent, and like the starry host, from which its principles are derived, continues wherever its stupendous footsteps are traced, to soar above all other arts, even by the lofty and dignified nature of its pretensions; but when these pretensions are backed by truth, and demonstrated by the light of philosophic research, it may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that there exists not a science more truly sub-lime, or more generally interesting, than the celestial science of the stars.