Question five: on quantity
The reason why there are twelve signs in heaven
and neither more nor less that twelve, is so that there could be four seasons
in the year, namely spring, summer, autumn and winter. And each season
has three months so that there is a tempering of complexions in things
below through the circle, through the square and through the triangle.
As four times three makes three squares, so the circle is composed of triangles
and squares, where four triangles exist in a circular way in four squares
and three squares in four triangles. But this could not be so if heaven
were naturally divided into a larger or smaller number of parts than twelve
signs. And heaven would neither have the nature of the square or of the
triangle, and its virtue would be deficient in the property, proportion
and nature of the square and of the triangle. And with this deficiency,
it could not be the cause of the circles, squares and triangles that exist
in things below.
Among other reasons
that can be given for the fact that there are naturally neither more nor
less than seven planets, we will give these three.
The first reason
is, that seven days make up a week, in which each planet has its day; and
the course of the year is completed through weeks, which could not happen
if there were eight or six planets.
The second reason
is, because in the number seven there are triangles in squares, and squares
in triangles, in circular fashion. As Saturn, Jupiter and Mars make up
one triangle through the natural participation of complexions, natures,
properties and conditions; and Jupiter, Mars and the Sun make another triangle,
and both these triangles are made up of four planets, as said above. And
there is another triangle made by Mars, the Sun and Venus, and yet another
triangle made by the Sun, Venus and Mercury; and both triangles exist in
circular fashion in a square, made of Mars, the Sun, Venus, and Mercury.
And there is another triangle, made by Venus, Mercury and the Moon, and
another one made by Mercury, the Moon and Saturn; and both exist in circular
fashion in one square made by Venus, Mercury, the Moon and Saturn. And
there is yet another triangle, made by the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter, and
this one exists in a circular fashion with the triangle made of Mercury,
the Moon and Saturn, in the square made of Mercury, the Moon, Saturn and
Therefore there are
seven triangles in four squares, and four squares in seven triangles, all
this in a circular way according to the operations, natures and influences
that they transmit to things below. And each planet is with a triangle
and a square, and this could not happen without a determined number of
neither more nor less than seven planets.
There is furthermore
another nature and mode that declares that there cannot be and must not
be any more or less than seven planets. And this mode is as follows: By
experience, we sense and we imagine that there are two complexions that
are called active, namely heat and cold. And there are two others that
are called passive as compared to the said two complexions which are greater;
and these are called passive qualities, namely moisture and dryness.
And for this reason,
there must be two planets that are similar and concordant through their
proper and appropriated qualities, and that multiply heat: these are Mars
and the Sun, which have the complexion of B. And there must be two other
planets concordant through their proper and appropriated qualities, such
as Venus and the Moon, which have the complexion of D. for multiplying
cold. And as Saturn is of a dry and cold complexion and there is no other
planet that has dryness as a proper quality. And the same with Jupiter,
as it has no peer of the complexion of A.
And thus the proper qualities of C. and of
A. are passive qualities, because they have no peer to help them in the
same way as there are two B.'s and two D.'s.
And if there were
eight planets, there would be a peer to constitute A.A. and a peer to constitute
C.C. And moisture and dryness would have as great an action in things below
as heat and cold have, and this cannot be so, as our experience tells us.
And if there were
only six planets, the said order would be destroyed in them. With this
destruction, nature would suffer passion on account of the vacuum that
it would have because of the destruction of the said order. And nature
cannot sustain any such vacuum.
It has been proved
that in heaven there must be twelve signs and that there must be seven
planets. Now we want to investigate why they have proper and appropriated