Question three: "of what?"

This question asks what signs and planets consist of; in other words, what do the heavens and the stars consist of, as well as the influence and virtue that they transmit to bodies below.
The signs and likewise the sky with the fixed stars and the planets which are a part of the sky or fifth essence, all consist of celestial form and celestial matter that constitute a substance known as the fifth essence, which must consist of form and matter because it is a body occupying space with quantity so that Aries and Taurus cannot both be in the same place at the same time, nor can the Sun be in the same place as the Moon.
Moreover, heaven must have form because without its own form it could not inform its own action in bodies below. And it must have matter because without its own matter it could not have its own passive part with which it naturally causes the passive parts of things below. And this, in the natural course of things, is an impossibility because the influence of the celestial bodies on bodies below would bear the virtue and nature of celestial form without celestial matter and the passive parts of things below would have no appetite for the passive parts of things above, and nature would be emptied of its appetite through the privation of celestial matter, if it did not exist. This vacuum involves other impossibilities:  without passivity, lower matter would have no natural way to participate with the fifth essence, and bodies here below would have no way to participate in each other's activities and without passivity, one star could not act on another star and there could be no passivity in them if they were deprived of matter. And there are many other discrepancies: for instance Mercury cannot convert anything without having matter of its own, nor can the Moon cause appetites and instincts below to receive the influences it relays to them from above. Therefore celestial bodies have their own constituting coessential matter with which they exist as bodies.
It has therefore been proved that celestial bodies consist of their own celestial form and matter. Now we want to investigate what their form and matter consist of.
Supposing that celestial and stellar form and matter originated solely in themselves and in no other being or beings, many natural impossibilities would follow because if celestial form and matter did not consist of substantial goodness, heaven would  be formally good in a merely accidental and not in a substantial way. And the privation of substantial goodness would be bad for celestial substance as it would not be good in its own essence and nature, but only through its accidental goodness. And accident would be good in heaven through its own essence and nature without any substance which is more virtuous, powerful and noble than its accidents. Also, if Jupiter were not good through the substantial goodness which is one of the parts of its substance, the goodness that it transmits to things below would only cause accidental goodness and no substantial essences below; and lower substances would not be effected by substantial good but only by accidental good from above. Hence, instinct and appetite here below would relate more efficiently to celestial accidents than to celestial substance that is the ruler, master and mover of its accidents, and this is an impossibility.

Therefore the form and matter of heaven consist of the substantial goodness which is a part of heaven. And substantial celestial goodness gives rise to the accidental celestial goodness that it uses as a celestial instrument for optimizing substantially good things here below by transmitting to them its own substantially good virtue and influence with which it optimizes the substances in things below including their accidents.
     If heaven did not consist of substantial greatness, it would have no natural power to hold itself extended in a circle, nor could it have any extended magnitude. While the circle consists of greatness, heaven would be of some other essence different from corporeal greatness, which is an impossibility. Further, if heaven did not formally consist of substantial greatness, it would be accidentally greater through accidental greatness more than through substantial greatness, which is an impossibility given that substance is naturally a more effective entity than accident.
     If heaven did not consist of substantial duration, it would have more natural lasting power in its accidents than in substance and substantial duration would be sustained in the duration of its accidents. And this would imply disorder in nature  given that substance would be sustained in accident, and accident would not be sustained in substance.
     If heaven did not consist of substantial power as one of its parts, it would be more powerful through its accidental than through its substantial nature, and accident would be more powerful than substance.
     Further, if heaven did not consist of natural and substantial instinct as one of its essential and formal parts, all of its instinct would be accidental. And the same would apply if heaven did not consist of one substantial appetite, one substantial virtue and similarly for the other principles of the General Table, with the exception of contrariety because heaven cannot consist of contrariety, as it does not undergo any generation or corruption. Hence, heaven would be greater by accident than in substance and have more concordance, end, beginning, duration and fulfillment through its accidents than through its substance. And with this inner disorder it would cause disorderly effects, so that elemented things like fire, trees, man, etc.  would be nobler and more perfect by accident than in substance, which is an impossibility contrary to the experience of our senses, imagination and intellect with the lower substances and their accidents. It has therefore been proved that heaven consists of substantial goodness, greatness etc. And goodness communicates with form through action whenever heaven does good and with matter through passivity as goodness can be increased by greatness, and the same applies to the other essential, natural and substantial parts of heaven.
     The goodness of heaven as well as its greatness, duration and other formal parts is not generated, derived, made or created from any other goodness. Rather, God created it and made it to stand as one general principle for causing all the instances of goodness occurring below, namely, all instances of corporeal and natural goodness. And the reason why celestial goodness belongs exclusively to heaven is that there must be one corporeal goodness just as there must be one corporeal greatness, duration, power etc. If this were not so, we would have to regress to infinity, and say that the goodness of heaven belongs to some other greater goodness, and that this greater goodness from which the goodness of heaven is derived comes in turn from some other goodness, and so on ad infinitum. And thus God would not have determined any first principle general to all the species existing within it, nor would species naturally include any individuals and these things are impossible within the course of natural powers ordained by God.
     Therefore, the goodness of heaven belongs to itself and is not materially derived from anything else, but came into being as God created it. And the same applies to its greatness and other general constituent parts of celestial form and matter.
     Now let us investigate the consistency of the influences that are transmitted from the heavenly bodies to the things below them.
     As a stamp imprints the likenesses of its letters in wax, it influences the wax with likenesses that do not essentially belong to the stamp. This is because the stamp does not put any of its own essence into the wax, and the letters of the stamp essentially remain with the stamp. Likewise a sign or planet does not transmit anything, be it substantial or accidental, of its natural essence and  properties to bodies below, but only transmits influence as an imprint of its likeness. And celestial substance moves these influences from potentiality into act in the qualities of lower substances, like a stamp brings the likenesses of its letters from potentiality into act in wax. And the likenesses or influences transmitted from heavenly bodies to things below are likenesses of the celestial principles of goodness, greatness etc. that move the lower substances to bring their potential forms into act. Consider the Sun in summer as it arouses great heat in fire with its powerful sunshine and likewise the Moon whose waxing and waning moves the ebb and flow in fountains, streams an rivers and in monthly periods in women as well as in the appetites and instincts of substances born under its combinations. And so with the other heavenly bodies, for instance Saturn in any sign where it overcomes the other planets, makes its natives heavy in their movements.
     We have stated what the heavenly bodies consist of, and what the influences that they transmit to things below consist of. Now let us see the reasons why they exist.

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