It has been said that the signs and planets effectively have elemental complexions; now we want to investigate which sign and which planet is better and more powerful and of greater virtue through this or that complexion; and which sign and which planet has greater goodness and greater power and virtue than another. And we will discover these things in accordance with the conditions of the elemental complexions signified by A B C D and by combining these letters  we will find out which complexion overcomes another to see which planet overcomes what other planet in the house that they occupy.



We have said that A is warm and moist and B is warm and dry. And A is moist on account of air and warm on account of fire, and B is hot on account of fire, and dry on account of earth. And thus A has two qualities, one as its own and another as an appropriated quality, and the same applies to B. And as a proper quality is better and greater in power and in virtue than an appropriated one, so AB are worth more through their own qualities than through appropriated ones. And thus, substance rests in its own quality and lives on its appropriated quality as human nature rests in the radical moisture which produces the human species, and lives on the nourishing moisture by eating, drinking, sleeping, inhaling or breathing and other things like these.
When two herbs or seeds are mixed together, one of the complexion of A and the other of the complexion of B, B overcomes A because A receives its heat from B, and the heat of A has a greater appetite for being in the essence of the B herb, than in the essence of the A herb; and this is because heat in A is an appropriated quality but in B it is a proper quality. And thus, when Jupiter and Mars are in Leo, Mars overcomes Jupiter; and as Mars overcomes Jupiter through heat, so does it overcome it with dryness and also with its natural properties considered as masculine, nocturnal and bad. Moreover, Mars overcomes Jupiter with its natural property which is said to be of the nature of iron, and on Tuesdays and also with its rulership of Aries and Scorpio. And this is because the elemental complexions have more general principles of goodness, greatness, power and virtue than the masculine and nocturnal qualities do, given that the complexions of the elements are general sources issuing from the four elements which are general substances whereas the masculine and other qualities are specific sources, elicited by nativities from specific substances, as astronomers say.


C signifies the cold and dry complexion: earth is formally dry on its own and cold because of water. And thus, when two herbs, both equal in goodness, power and virtue, one  A, and the other  C enter into a medicine, A does not overcome C in this medicine, nor does C overcome A, because here they both equally oppose each other through their own and appropriated qualities. However, if the patient who takes this medicine is of the complexion of A, then C is overcome by A; if he is of the complexion of C, then A is overcome by C. Likewise with the planet - sign combinations, for instance if Saturn and Jupiter meet  in Gemini, Jupiter overcomes Saturn; but if they meet in the house of Taurus, then Jupiter is overcome and judgment must be made in accordance with the planet that overcomes the other.


D signifies the cold and moist complexion of water and if one medicine is made from two plants, where one is  A and the other is  D,  A overcomes D in this medicine. And this is because in this medicine air recovers the moisture given to water, while the D plant  loses this moisture. And supposing that a patient belonging to D takes this medicine,  A should not fail to overcome D in the patient. Because if D overcame A through the complexion of the patient and aggravated  the illness  caused by an overabundance of D, medicine would not be a science. A, therefore, overcomes D but not as strongly as it could if the patient were of the complexion of A. The same applies when two planets, one A and the other D, are conjunct in the house of Aquarius or of Pisces, given that Aquarius is A and Pisces D, the astrologer must consider that A overcomes D.


Fire is naturally hot on its own and dry on account of earth; and earth is naturally dry on its own and cold because of water. So when a physician makes one medicine from two herbs, one of which is B and the other is C, then C overcomes B because the dryness of B is naturally the proper quality of earth and C with the coldness it holds from water takes control of B from which it recuperates its dryness, while B cannot defend itself with its heat because its dryness has more of an appetite for the essence of the C herb than  for the essence of the B herb in this medicine.
And this part regarding the mutual overcoming of the elements is very useful to physicians following the process  we established in the Principles of Medicine; and whether the patient taking this medicine be of the C or  B complexion, C always overcomes B, just like A overcomes D in the previous chapter.
The same applies to planets of the B and C complexions, like Saturn and Mars meeting in a house of B or C, in every case C overcomes B. Naturally if a soldier belongs to the king of France and happens to be a mercenary hired by the king of England, when war breaks out between the two kings, this soldier will leave the king of England and side with the king of France because the constellation would give him a natural appetite to do so.


B and D are contrary  through both their own and appropriated qualities and  neither naturally overcomes the other, but they can overcome each other through some medium, namely the subject. For instance, if Mars and the Moon meet  in Pisces, D overcomes B; and if they meet  in Sagittarius, B overcomes D; but if they meet in Capricorn, B overcomes D because one point of moisture cannot defeat two points of dryness; and similarly D overcomes B, because one point of heat cannot defeat two points of cold. And thus astronomers cannot  read  this combination clearly as it is confused because every planet is overcome in some way. But if another planet belonging to A joins with them, then the D planet is defeated; and if another planet of the C complexion joins in without  the A planet being present, then the B planet is defeated.


C and D are concordant in cold and opposed in moisture and dryness and their concordance and contrariety are equal; nonetheless D overcomes and C is overcome with cold. And if a C planet and a D planet meet  in a sign of A, then D overcomes C through A because A and D are concordant in moisture whereas A and C are totally opposed. And the same applies if the planets meet  in a sign of C where the D planet  is overcome as we consider the judgment in  accordance with the mutual overcoming of the elements.

We have described the mutual overcoming of the planets and given a general method  for astronomers to judge the combinations and this part has been clearly explained and well proven. Astronomers and physicians really need to know this and  we intend to investigate the conjunctions of the signs and planets with this method.
But now let us proceed with this investigation  by applying the questions to the essences, properties and natures of the signs and planets. And first, we will investigate this with the question about definitions as we want to know what a sign is and what a planet is, and what their natural properties and conditions are.

Next: to the 10 general questions
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