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Among the Hindus we have the classical writers Garga, Parashara, and Mihira, together with their legions of commentators.The Assyrian records are full of astrological allusions regarding the influence of planetary conjunctions and stellar positions.As far back as the year 2154, we find mention of the great importance attaching to the celestial phenomena in the minds of Chinese rulers.It is recorded in the Historical Classic of China that at that time the astrologers Hi and Ho neglected their duties so that when, on the 10th of October, there was a great eclipse of the Sun at Peking between seven and nine o’clock in the morning, the people were wholly unprepared for it, and “ran about here and there in the utmost consternation.” For this offence Hi and Ho were deprived of their offices, their estates were confiscated and they were driven from the kingdom.If you imagine these bodies to be revolving in a plane around the Sun and yourself to be standing within the Sun, the motions of these bodies will appear almost uniform and always in one direction.Were the orbits of the planets circular and the Sun holding the centre of the circle, their motions would be constant, that is to say, always in the same direction and at the same rate.The discovery of argon did not destroy our conclusions regarding the nature and characteristics of oxygen or hydrogen or nitrogen, nor give an entirely new meaning to the word “atmosphere.” If even so many as seven new planets should be discovered, there would yet not be a single paragraph of this book which would need revising.What is known regarding planetary action in human life is known with great certainty, and the effects of one planet can never be confounded with those of another.
Julius Firmicus confirmed Ptolemy and enlarged upon his observations.
It is not possible within the limits of a small handbook such as this to adequately consider the philosophic paradox which makes of Freewill in man a “necessity in play”; but it is obvious that the concept is not altogether unscientific, seeing that it is customary to speak of the “free path of vibration” in chemical atoms while at the same time it is known that these atoms have their restricted characteristics, modes of motion, &c., and are all subject to the general laws controlling the bodies of which they form integral parts.
Let it suffice that if we can trace an actual connectedness between the disposition of the heavenly bodies at the moment of a birth and the known life and character of the individual then born, and an exact correspondence between the course of events in that life with the changes occurring in the heavens subsequent to the moment of birth, we shall do well to accept the fact for what it is worth, and arrange our philosophic notions accordingly.
The Greek mythology is nothing but a vast system of cosmographical astrology, and there is no other history in it than what you may read in the constellations of the heavens and the corresponding evolution of the human race. Hipparchus, Hippocrates, Thales, Galenius, and others subscribed an intelligent belief in its principles.
To Claudius Ptolemy, however, we are indebted for the first concise and scientific statement of its principles and practice, so far as Europe is concerned.