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Mercury bends with his nature toward the one who is complected to him, in terms of the natures of the planets and signs, on account of the mixing of dryness and cold in him. And he signifies youth and younger brothers and an affection for male and female servants, and abundance from them. And he signifies divinity and the oracles of prophets, sense and reason, speech and conversations and stories and the committing of them to memory. Also wisdom, belief and the beauty of learning, sharpness of character. And intellect and literature and philosophy and a gift of knowledge, also arithmetic and geometry and the measure of higher and terrestrial things. Even the wisdom of the stars and prophecy and its declamation, and rebuking, and a good omen, and hospitality, and knowledge in matters, and wisdom and obscure books. And rhetoric and eloquence or the sweetness of speech and its quickness, or the explanation of opinions and study in [types of] wisdom. And striving for a position of first place, and passionate desire in them, and praise and a memory because of it, and a beacon in all things, and he signifies haircuts. And writers and books and offices and the assessing of land taxes, and colonies, and slander and lying and false testimony, and fictitious books and the speculation of hidden secrets. And he signifies a scarcity of joy and the destruction of assets. He even signifies assets and distributions and merchandise and business deals, and buying and selling, giving and taking and partnering, affliction, burglaries and contentions, deception, lies, resentment, cunning, denials, and depth of counsel, and no one knows what he bears in his mind, nor does he disclose it to anyone. And he signifies combatants and hostility, and losses in [his] reckonings, and a multitude of fears from them, slaves and assistants, and quickness in work, and crookedness of morals. And a multitude of color and charm, and gentleness of speech, and acquisition, and assistance, and willingness, and endurance, also an inclination to piety and mercy and calm, sobriety, and restraining the hands from [doing] evil. And the beauty of faith and obedience to God, the cause of truth, and the preservation of his brothers. Timid with diverse fears, beauty of voice, knowing melodies. And he signifies the precision of the hands in diverse masteries, and prudence in every matter which he takes on, having pleasure in every completed work. And he signifies bloodletters and those who work with razors and combs. And he signifies fountains of waters and rivers and wells and prisons and the dead, and mange in beasts.
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[From Gr. Intr. VII.9.1541-80]

Benjamin's Dykes' published work also contains introductions and footnoted annotations. For a pdf extract of material from various sections of his text see here.

About the author:
Benjamin N. Dykes PhD received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has eight years' experience as a college instructor, concentrating on the ancient and medieval philosophy that informs much ancient and medieval astrology, and many years' experience in ritual practice in the Western Mystery Tradition, including the Golden Dawn, Wicca, and Thelema.

Since earning his Diploma of Medieval Astrology studying with Robert Zoller, Ben has been active in translating and publishing works that focus upon medieval astrological techniques. His own text, Using Medieval Astrology is available through his website at In additional to Introductions to Astrology: Abu Ma'Shar & Al-Qabisi Ben has also recently translated three volumes on Persian Nativities, The Book of Astronomy by Guido Bonatti and The Works of Sahl and Masha'allah.

© The article made available on this page is copyrighted to Benjamin Dykes and is offered here for private, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought for reproduction. Published online May 2011.

Also by Ben Dykes:

Extracts from Persian Nativities Vols. I, II & III
MASHA’ALLAH: What is reception?
Translation of Guido Bonatti's treatise on 4th House Elections
Happiness in Medieval Astrology
An Interview with Benjamin Dykes