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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Decumbitures Used With Natal Charts

 
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spirlhelix



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 250
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:12 pm    Post subject: Decumbitures Used With Natal Charts Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure some physicians were using decumbiture charts alongside natal charts for comparison.

Is anyone aware of source materials that describe exactly what the doctor was looking for on the natal chart?

I'm hoping to post a decmbiture and natal chart together soon, and I wonder what we might find.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

--Pam
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 925
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a good answer, but the association of star positions with health conditions was anciently associated with Egyptian doctors, who were believed to have special insights and abilities. Imhotep (ca. 2650-2600 BCE) was a revered physician who attained demi-god status and who probably morphed into the ancient Greek god of healing, Asclepius. Most of the ancient Egyptian medical lore about star positions apparently related to their use of decans, which to them meant asterisms or stars that rose at predictable 10-day intervals. Our 10-degree decans ("faces" in horary essential dignities) were a simplification of the Egyptians' system; and their particular decans stars are still a matter of conjecture.

A lost book called the Salmeschiniaka apparently detailed the Egyptian system, and was known to several Hellenistic astrologers (Brennan, Hellenistic Astrology, 36-38.)

A good example of Hellenistic use of planetary positions to predict medical conditions is Firmicus Maternus, Matheseos Libri VIII. (I've got the Jean Rhys Bram translation.) FM lived fromf about 280-360 CE. He was apparently conversant with the Egyptian decans and medical system based on them. For example,

"If Mercury is in the house of health and illness (6th) and in aspect to malefic planets, he indicates affliction by bodily humours: if the Moon is badly located the natives will be spastics, madmen, or epileptics; death will come to them from water or bodily humors."
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Pam,

I can see the common ground between decumbiture and horary.

However, as your question is historical I would suggest you consider reposting on the traditional forum. This forum tends to be praxis orientated largely examining contemporary horary questions. Your more likely to get a response over on the Traditional forum I think.

regards,

Mark
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Tanit3333



Joined: 12 Jul 2017
Posts: 281

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure someone has a good answer but i would think it would have been uncommon, considering many average citizens in ancient times didn't have their birth time (this is one reason why horary was popular).
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 925
Location: Canada

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, they did their best.

The ability to place an ascendant was what started horoscopic astrology in ancient times. I believe that the oldest surviving horoscopes in the archaeological record were found in Egypt. The idea of astrological houses was probably Egyptian, and they had an elaborate system of telling time at night by observing the heavens. They also used sun dials, plumb lines, and simple gnomons. Their time-telling system was what we call planetary hours, where day and night are divided into two hemispheres of equal segments. In summer the day hours would be longer, and in winter the night hours would be longer.

Ptolemy mentioned water clocks, although he didn't find them accurate. Vettius Valens lists several methods for calculating the ascendant when the birth time wasn't known, although I don't know how accurate they were. Manilius implies that in a night birth, people looked at rising constellations.

Ptolemy scarcely used houses at all, and didn't even name most of them. He described a lot of planetary aspects and signs, rather than houses, to determine major life themes, whereas today we would be more inclined to attribute them to particular houses. So his astrology didn't rely so much on accurate birth times, anyway.

In ancient Rome, despite the historical misconception that astrology was reserved for the nobility, astrology was extremely popular with ordinary people, including astrologers who practiced at street fairs. So the lack of accurate time-keeping didn't seem to stop them.
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still think this post is more appropriate on the traditional forum. Many members who could answer this question are infrequent visitors to this forum. But as others seem to want to run on with the topic here lets go with it here.

I cant help feeling all this discussion of ancient astrology is taking us into a tangent from the basic question. While we may be able to track decumbiture back to ancient figures like Galen its generally acknowledged that the golden age of this practice was in the renaissance and early modern era. And we know that part of the explanation for the popularity of both horary and decumbiture charts was the lack of accurate birth times even in this later period.

Here is a series of 11 articles on decumbiture here on Skyscript by Dylan Warren-Davis:

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture1.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture2.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture3.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture4.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture5.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture6.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture7.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture8.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture9.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture10.html

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/decumbiture11.html

I have also included a link to Dr. Catherine Blackledge's excellent book ''The Man Who Saw The Future - A Biography of William Lilly The 17th-Century Astrologer who Changed the Course of the English Civil War''

http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_lilly_e.htm

There is a link to the first chapter of the book on the astro.com website and it shows Lilly analysing a decumbiture for the senior Parliamentary figure of John Pym. Lilly has to analyse if he will live or die and if so when? From this example, there is no suggestion of Lilly consulting any natal details.

Mark
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 925
Location: Canada

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, as moderator, can you move this thread?
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 4954
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
Mark, as moderator, can you move this thread?


Hi Waybread,

I was merely expressing a personal opinion. Paul is the moderator on this forum and such decisions are really up to him. However, I can ask him.

regards,

Mark
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