Iatromathematical Decumbitures

The Early Rules Concerning Medical Horary Questions

Unlike decumbitures (medical horary charts) which were chiefly promoted by the English astrologers of the 17th century like Nicholas Culpeper, Richard Saunders and William Lilly, Dorotheus’s iatromathematical charts concerning sickness are distinctive because of their specific mundane location of the sick and his physician in the chart, which could be constructed for the moment of the inception of the medical examination and establishment of diagnosis, the beginning of treatment, the moment when the sick meets the physician for the first time, the moment when the physician first heard the news concerning sickness, etc. Contrary to the English school of the 17th century, these first rules assigned physicians (which were often astrologers as well) to the 1st mundane house and the sick to the 10th house. This manner of locating is, most probably, the consequence of logical reasoning which assigns the active role to the physician and the fact that his medical knowledge and skills, in a certain way, hold sway over sick person’s destiny. The 10th house of the chart is assigned to the sick, because he is the subject of the question and the aim of the physician’s action (the direct relationship between the ascendant and the zenith). In the 7th house we search for the cause of the sickness and the imbalance in bodily humours because the western point is the natural position of Moon’s rulership according to the Chaldean planetary order. The further we go into astrology’s past, the more we encounter this symbolical connection between the luminary of the night and the body, i.e. vitality, because the Moon is the Earth’s nearest heavenly body and the first to separate her from the higher heavenly spheres of supralunar cosmos. For this same reason, the part of Fortune, the point bearing lunar symbolism, is by some ancient authors designated as a symbol of an incarnated soul and that is why the role of an alternative ascendant is often attributed to this point, whereas the part of Spirit, point bearing solar symbolism, denotes immaterial vertical connecting man with timeless, transcendental spheres. For this reason the part of Spirit, unlike the part of Fortune, doesn’t play a significant role in matters of health and vitality. The western horizon is brought into connection with the diseases also because it is a point on a horizon where the Sun sets and looses the strength (visibility) of its diurnal rulership, symbolizing thereby the loss of vitality and the end of life, whose beginning is found on the point of eastern horizon. The fourth, last mundane point, imum coeli or nadir (depending upon the mundane division system) signifies the final outcome of the matter, that is, either the recovery or the death of the sick. In accordance with these general guidelines, if the benefics are located in the 7th house of the chart, it is believed that the sick would recover quickly, without the prolonged and serious treatment. However, if that benefic is afflicted by a malefic located in the sign occupying the 1st house, it was a sign that the physician was causing damage to the patient who would recover if the physician didn’t tamper with the treatment.

If the Moon is separating from a benefic in the moment of the question or the beginning of the examination, it is a positive sign of recovery. The Separation from Mars signifies a high temperature, agony or surgical intervention which has to be undertaken, but also amputation and scars inflicted by the medical treatment. It is very bad if the Moon is separating from Mars in its waxing phase after the first crescent (the third day after the last conjunctional syzygy) until the full Moon, including this phase also. It is better if the Moon is waning while separating from Mars. The separation from Saturn designates protracted and chronic sickness so the matter should be additionally judged in the context of the meridian axis’s condition. Additional complicating factor is given if the waxing Moon is found in a fixed sign below the horizon. Equally, the Sun below the horizon is not a good omen.

Decumbiture chart should be compared with the natal chart of the sick person. If in that comparison the Moon lands in the sign containing one of the malefics in the natal chart, or the ruler of the 6th house, or the Moon of the horary chart gets into the 6th house of the natal chart, the prognosis won’t be good. The seriousness of the illness is also signified by the position of the horary Moon in the 12th house of the natal chart. If the Moon occupies signs ruled by benefics in the natal chart or is in aspect with them, it is believed that the sick person will recover. The sickness will be long and serious if the Moon aspects its natal position by a sinister square aspect or lands in a sign of a natal chart containing the first triplicity ruler of the lower meridian (nadir) especially if this ruler is debilitated or afflicted by its mundane position/position on a malefic fixed star or by aspects.

The course of the illness is checked when the Moon is 10 and 40 degrees distant from its initial position and at these points one should analyse its aspect with other factors of the chart, but equally also with the transiting planets of the moment. If at these points the Moon aspects the benefics, the sick person will recover, but if the contact is made with the malefics, it is a very bad omen indicating death.

Surgical interventions shouldn’t be undertaken when the Ascendant and Moon occupy the signs of Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn or Pisces, when the Moon is close to the Sun or in opposition with it, if the malefics aspect the sign occupying the 1st house or the Moon when the operation is due to begin. It is positive if the Moon is waning but is distant enough from the Sun (at least one sign), when the malefics follow the Moon zodiacally, and Venus/Jupiter aspect the ascendant or the Moon in the chart for the inception of surgery. The Moon and the ascendant of the surgery chart should not occupy the sign related to the body part which is due to undergo surgery.

It won’t be good if the Moon is waxing on the epicycle (Ptolemy’s geometrical model which tried to explain the variations in speed, directions and distance of the luminaries and planets based upon the movement of imaginary planetary circles within the bigger, referential circle called deferent) and is located in the sign of the iatromathematical chart containing the Sun or Mars. This is a certain indicator of death which will probably ensue when the Moon forms a square or opposition aspect with its initial position.

Author: Natasa Karalic Koprivica

"Without astrology man treads, as it were, in the dim twilight of ignorance."

(Luke Dennis Broughton, American astrologer)