IV 1 

The second part of part four

Misconceptions about God and the human soul

Why this science is not simply and absolutely necessary

In this part we declare how astronomers erred against God and against the human soul. First, let us show how they erred against God.

God is simply and absolutely the prime cause of signs and planets as well as of every created being because everything is his effect and creation and everything is created and conserved by God, and therefore, on account of the power God has over his effect, He does whatever He pleases with it. And with his effect, He accomplishes the purpose for which He created it, and as the heavens and the whole firmament were created for man, God moves the constellations to fulfill their intended purpose, as they are meant for man. Therefore it is fitting for God to change the way that constellations operate in accordance with the requirements of their purpose, for instance Mars, according to B, should naturally overcome Jupiter in the house of Aries but God in his justice, power or grace, and according to what He wants to accomplish here below, moves the constellation to deal graciously or in justice with a given region or person. Namely, if by the natural influence of Aries, Jupiter and Mars there should be famine or disease in a given place, nonetheless God on account of the prayers and holiness of some person or persons, will give health, rain and an abundance of worldly goods. And therefore the science of astronomy is not an absolutely true one: as a hammer can be used to strike a nail sideways when the smith's hand moves it sideways, and thus strikes the nail in a direction contrary to that determined by the hammer's weight that would make it descend vertically, likewise when God moves a constellation, no necessary judgment can be drawn from it.

Man consists of a body and a soul and the heavenly bodies do not naturally participate with the human soul which is an incorporeal substance and this is why they have no power over it. And since the soul has power over the body that it is joined to, it voluntarily moves the body to perform successive acts in successive places so that signs and planets have no power over the habits developed by the soul. If Saturn and Taurus have natural power to move man to do evil and to do more evil by night than by day and to women than to men, the soul in its freedom can make the native do the opposite out of his virtuous habit; and we know by experience that someone with a natural appetite to eat, drink, sleep and urinate can freely choose not to eat, drink, sleep or urinate and so forth.

Geomancers say that geomancy is a necessary science because it is a branch of astronomy that they suppose to be a necessary science and it is practiced as are other forms of divination. But geomancy is not necessarily true because it is based on the free will of the soul that moves the hand to draw even and odd numbers in the ashes just like it can move a hammer to strike a nail from any direction it chooses. And you can find out by experience that if on and the same question is put to two geomancers at the same time, one geomancer draws a figure opposite to the figure drawn by the other one and each one draws a different judgment.

Astronomers say that when a man inquires into his fortune, he is compelled to put that question at that time by his natal planets and signs and thus they deny the free will with which men can speak and inquire about whatever they want. If a man coming from a far away land consults a geomancer and asks whether he knows what he intended to buy with the money in his purse, and if the merchant, upon setting out from his homeland had intended to buy wax or wheat with the money, the geomancer draws a figure that tells him that the merchant wanted to buy iron or silver. If geomancy were true, the merchant would change his purchasing plans to accord with whatever combination of planets and signs rules at the moment of his question; but the merchant has not changed his mind since leaving home, and has not changed it during years of travel, even though many combinations of planets and signs have come and gone.

Jupiter and Mercury in Gemini form a good combination and if some native of this combination happened to be in a state of mortal sin, if the science of astronomy were necessarily true, this good combination would compel him to do confess his sins and do penance for them and do good works in accordance with the good combination. But we have seen many men living in mortal sin for ten, twenty and even fifty years. And if a sinner were compelled to abandon sin by this combination, he would not do this out of free will nor would he be imprisoned in the prison of divine justice and the planets and signs would be stronger than God's justice, but no such combination can exist.

We have finished the fourth part of this science which allows men and princes to reprove the impostors who put on a show of astronomical knowledge with the intent of tricking them out of their money.

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