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A Treatise on Astrology, Liber 536 by Aleister Crowley, 1917

The Technical Elements of Astrology

Matter as we know it, consists always of three dimensions, no more, and no less; length, breadth and thickness. Anything which has not these qualities is subjective.

The subject of pure mathematics deals with subjective conception.

It is based upon a series of arbitrary conventions.

Mathematics is a device for simplifying our thoughts with regard to the numerical relation of objects.

A point has position, hut neither parts nor magnitude.

A line, length without breadth.

A circle is a continuous line, such that there is a point from which all straight lines drawn to it are of equal length.

The solar system is not a circle, because for one thing, it is real, objective, three-dimensional, while a circle is imaginary, subjective and two-dimensional , but it somewhat resembles a circle in its general mathematical properties, although the path of Neptune which bounds it is by no means circular, but we speak of it loosely as a circle for convenience.

The Zodiac, too, is not by any means a circle, for the stars which comprise its constellations lie at very varied distances from the Sun; but we speak of it as a “circle for convenience.

Mathematicians have divided the circle into four quadrants for convenience.

Mathematicians have divided the circle into three hundred and sixty degrees, arbitrarily for convenience, although there is some connection between this division and the length of the year which was at the time of the division not accurately known.

There are also, the following arbitrary and conventional divisions.

First, there is the division into twelve signs of thirty degrees each, these signs corresponding roughly with the principal constellations.

Each sign is divided into three parts called decanates, each containing ten degrees.

Each sign is divided into six parts called quinaries, each containing five degrees.

The degrees themselves are divided into sixty equal parts called minutes, and each minute is divided into sixty parts called seconds. —

When a planet is observed to be in that part of the heavens where is any particular constellation, it is said to be in that constellation, although of course the planet is very near, and the constellation very far away.

However, the rays of the constellation and those of the planet are parallel and their influences are in consequence combined. Thus, if we say that Mars is in Aries, we mean that a person standing upon the earth and looking at the sky would perceive the planet Mars apparently situated among those stars which form the constellation known as Aries; and as the influence of Aries is sympathetic with that of the better side of the nature of Mars, we should call Mars strong.