Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Moon in the Signs

By far the most important use for astrology in the middle ages was its application to medical matters. Astrological texts of these subjects abound. Usually very simple and straightforward, my latest offering is a good example of this. It was written in English around 1464 and the manuscript has suffered some wear and tear which you will see from the number of illegible words (shown as [...]). Although fairly repetitive, there are a number of interesting points, like Scorpio as a serpent and Capricorn as a goat in a 'whelk's horn', and the differentiation between the Moon in the beginning and end of a sign.

You'll find the modernized version at the end and I hope you find something of interest here - it took a while to transcribe!

Wellcome MS 41 ff. 15r – 16r



Aries ys the signe of a Ram, whiche rayneth in the hed of enny man and woman and therefore whan the mone ys in that signe be ware of achynge in the hed, or in the face or of opinnynge of eny vayne that longyth to the hed. Also yt ys full parlious in the begynninge of Aries to take ony hedache it ys token of longe endurynge or depe It is not so parlious in the ende as in the begynnyge. ffor it ys a move able signe. Oryental hote and drye fiery Colerike of Complexion Than take no medicyne for the hede ne receyve non for the hed inwards for of nature they shul caste them ayen. And so yt faryth of all tho that kowen hyr cud As aries Taurus Capricornus and the laste parte of Sagittarius.

Taurus is a signe of the bole whiche raynethe in the necke and in the throte of enny man and woman whan the mone ys in that signe be ware of venturynge than yt ys parlious to take sikenes in the necke and in the throte. And more parlious in the ende than in the begynnynge this ys a stedfast signe in the southe parte colde and drye erthely and femynyne in kynde that ys malyncoly of complexion than yt ys tyme to sowe sedys yf that be suche tyme of the yere.

Geminyniis is a signe of the twynnes the signe rayneth in the armes and handes of enny man and woman. This signe ys occidental that ys of the weste parte and of sangueyne complexion. Hote and moyste after the kynde of eyre. Whan the mone ys in that signe than be ware of cuttynge in the shuldres armes or hands or opinnynge of any Vaynes in tho places. And who that taketh ony sikenes in tho placyes yt ys hard to askape thys ys more parlious in the ende than in the bygynnynge.

Cancer ys the signe of a crab. whiche raynethe in the brest of enny man and woman. Whan the mone is in that signe be ware of cuttynge in the breste and in the sides of the stomake. and of […] as the mylte hert lyver and the galle. Who so taketh sikenes while the mone ys in that signe yt ys mervelle but he die for yt ys right parlious in the bygynnynge and in the ende. yt ys a signe of the Northe partie colde and moiste after the kynde of water and yt ys the house of the mone And therefore make in that partie no mancions.

Leo ys the signe of a lyon whiche raynethe in the back of eny man and woman in the sides and sinewes […] and gristels be ware whan the mone ys in that signe of venturynge for yt ys then right parlious and more of perel in the ende than the begynnynge yt ys a stedfaste signe Oriental hote and drie Colerike firy and masculyne yt ys not good whan the mone ys in that signe to take medicyns for the herte the lyver ne stomake ne non of the entrayles.

Virgo ys the signe of a mayde Whiche raynethe in the Wombe myddreff and guttes and others While in the stomake lyver and gal with the mylte but mooste principally yt raynethe in the places be nethe the myddreff be ware than of cuttynge in the bely or in the prive menbres inward also it ys not so parlious in the ende but rather a token of helthe this signe is dowble Bodied. meridionall that ys of the southe partie colde and drie malyncoly of complexion like to the erthe femynyne of kynde.

Libra ys the signe of the balannce Whiche rayneth in the navil and raynes and in the lowe parties of the Wombe. tho places ben ful parlious to ventuse? or to cutte when the mone rayneth in tho parties. Who so taketh sikenes or grete hurte be soden a venture or veyithe ony grete […] in the forsaid places yt ys full hard to recover but in the ende ys not so parlious this signe ys move able occidenttall of the West partie hoot and moiste after the kynde of eyre. Sanguyne of complexion and masculyne in kynde.

Scorpio ys the signe of a serpent whiche rayneth in the prive membres of onny man and woman in the fonnderment or the bladder and in the marix [matrix] be ware whan the mone reyneth in tho places from alle mysgovernaunce and hurts in tho places for said who that to ketch ony sikenes in the begynnynge […] yt […] ys a token that yt will longe endure [… …] fortell perell in the ende yt ys a stedfaste signe of the northe partie colde and moyste flewmatike of complexion and watry in kynde

Sagittarius ys the signe of an archer. Whiche rayneth in the thies and luddocks of eny man and woman whan the mone ys in that signe be ware of cuttynge in tho places. he that taketh sikenes or hurtes nygh tho places in the begynnynge whan that signe rayneth yt ys parlious but it ys not so parlious in the ende. This signe is dowble bodied hote and drie Colerike of complexion yt ys oryentall of the Est partie and masculine in kynde.

Capricornus ys the signe of a gote in a welkes horne Whiche rayneth in the knees of eny man and woman be ware while the mone ys there for cuttynge or hurtynge of veynes for drede of sikenes this signe ys of perel in the ende more than in the begynnynge also yt ys unmoveable meridionall that ys of the southe partie colde and drie like to the Erthe and femynyne of kynde and malyncoly of complexion.

Aquarius ys the signe of hyldynge or shedynge of water Which rayneth in the shankes be nethe the knees and in the sparlyver it ys right parlious to be hurte in tho places or there to take ony sikenes while the mone rayneth in those places for drede of dethe this signe is stedfaste Occidental that ys of the weste partie hote and moiste like unto the eire and it ys sangueyne of complexion.

Pisces ys the signe of a fishe whiche rayneth in the fete of enny man and woman be ware when the mone rayneth there to lete eny man woman or childe blood in the fete or to take eny sikenes in that signe yt ys not of right grete perel thys signe ys dowble bodied of the Northe partie colde and moiste like unto water flewmatike of complexion and femynyne of kynde.

________________

Aries is the sign of a ram, which reigns in the head of any man and woman and therefore when the Moon is in that sign beware of aching in the head, or in the face, or of opening of any vein that belongs to the head. Also, it is full parlous in the beginning of Aries to take any headache, it is a token of long enduring or deep; it is not so parlous in the end as in the beginning, for it is a moveable sign. Oriental, hot and dry, fiery, choleric of complexion, then take no medicine for the head nor receive none for the head inwards for of nature they shall cast them again [perhaps, vomit them]. And so it fares of all those that chew her cud as Aries, Taurus, Capricorn, and the last part of Sagittarius.

Taurus is a sign of the bull, which reigns in the neck and the throat of any man and woman. When the Moon is in that sign beware of venturing [travelling] then it is parlous to take sickness in the neck and in the throat, and more parlous in the end than in the beginning. This is a steadfast sign in the south part, cold and dry, earthly, and feminine in kind that is melancholy of complexion. Then it is time to sow seeds if that be such time of the year.

Gemini is a sign of the twins; the sign reigns in the arms and hands of any man and woman. This sign is occidental that is of the west part and of sanguine complexion, hot and moist after the kind of air. When the Moon is in that sign then beware of cutting in the shoulders, arms, and hands, or opening of any veins in those places. And who that takes any sickness in those places it is hard to escape; this is more parlous in the end than in the beginning.

Cancer is the sign of a crab, which reigns in the breast of any man or woman. When the Moon is in that sign beware of cutting in the breast and in the sides of the stomach, and of […] as the mylte [spleen], heart, livers and the fall. Who so takes sickness while the Moon is in that sign it is a marvel that he does not die for it is right parlous in the beginning and in the end. It is a sign of the north part, cold and moist after the kind of water, and it is the house of the Moon, and therefore make in that part no mansions.

Leo is the sign of a lion, which reigns in the back of any man and woman, in the sides and sinews […] and gristles [cartilage]. Be ware when the Moon is in that sign of venturing for it is then right parlous and more peril in the end than the beginning. It is a steadfast sign, oriental, hot and dry, choleric, fiery and masculine. It is not good when the Moon is in that sign to take medicines for the heart, liver, nor stomach, nor none of the entrails.

Virgo is the sign of a maid, which reigns in the womb, midriff, and guts, and others while in the stomach, liver and gall with the spleen, but most principally it reigns in the place beneath the midriff. Beware then of cutting in the belly or in the privy members inward. Also it is not so parlous in the end but rather a token of health. This sign is double bodied, meridional, that is of the south part, cold and dry, melancholy of complexion like to the earth, feminine of kind.

Libra is the sign of the balance, which reigns in the naval and kidneys and in the low parts of the womb. Those place are full parlous to ventuse? [let blood] or to cut when the Moon reigns in those parts. Whoever takes sickness or great hurt by a sudden accident or conveys any great […] in the aforesaid places, it is full hard to recover but in the end is not so parlous. This sign is moveable, occidental of the west part, hot and moist after the kind of air, sanguine of complexion and masculine in kind.

Scorpio is the sign of the serpent, which reigns in the privy members of any man and woman in the fundament or the bladder and in the matrix.  Be ware when the Moon reigns in those places from all misgovernance and hurts in those places aforesaid. Who that catches any sickness in the beginning […] it […] is a token that it will long endure [… …] foretell peril in the end. It is a steadfast sign of the north part, cold and moist, phlegmatic of complexion and watery in kind.

Sagittarius is the sign of an archer, which reigns in the thighs and buttocks of any man and woman. When the Moon is in that sign beware of cutting in those places. He that takes sickness or hurts near thos places in the beginning when that sign reigns it is parlous, but it is not so parlous in the end. This sign is double bodied, hot and dry, choleric of complexion, it is oriental of the east part, and masculine in kind.

Capricorn is the sign of a goat in a whelk’s horn [the shell of a sea snail], which reigns in the knees of any man and woman. Beware while the Moon is there foe cutting or hurting of veins for dread of sickness. This sign is of peril in the end more than in the beginning, also it is unmoveable [probably an error], meridional that is of the south part, cold and dry like to the earth, and feminine of kind and melancholy of complexion.

Aquarius is the sign of holding or shedding of water, which reigns in the shanks [shins] beneath the knees and in the sparliver [calf]. It is right parlous to be hurt in those places or there to take any sickness while the Moon reigns in those places for dread of death. This sign is steadfast, occidental that is of the west part, hot and moist like unto air, and it is sanguine of complexion.

Pisces is the sign of a fish, which reigns in the feet of any man and woman. Beware when the Moon reigns there to let any many, woman, or child blood in the feet, or to take any sickness in that sign; it is not of right great peril. This sign is double bodied, of the north part, cold and moist like unto water, phlegmatic of complexion and feminine of kind.

__________

No comments:

Post a comment

Please note that comments may not be published, but thank you for taking the time to respond.