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9. Of the Quality of Death.

Since after all the others the inquiry concerning the quality of death remains, we shall first determine, through the means furnished by the discussion of the length of life, whether the destruction will be accomplished by the projection of a ray or by the descent of the significator to the occident. For if the destruction should come about through the projection of rays and occourse, it is fitting to observe the place of the occourse in order to determine the quality of the death, but if it occurs by the descent of the significator to the occident, we must observe the occident itself. For of whatever quality are the planets that are upon the aforesaid places, or, if they are not upon them, the first planets to approach them, such we must understand that the deaths will be, while at the same time the planets in aspect by their natures contribute to the complexity of the events, as do also the peculiar characters of the aforesaid destructive places themselves, both through the signs of the zodiac and through the nature of the terms.

Now then, if Saturn holds the lordship of death, he brings about the end through lang illness, phthisis, rheumatism, colliquations, chills and fever, and splenic, dropsical, enteric, or hysteric conditions, and such as arise through excesses of cold. Jupiter causes death through strangulation, pneumonia, apoplexy, spasms, headaches, and cardiac affections, and such conditions as are accompanied by irregularity or foulness of breath. Mars kills by means of fevers, continued or intermittent at intervals of one and a half days, sudden strokes, nephritic conditions and those that involve the spitting of blood, hæmorrhages, miscarriages, childbirth, erysipelas, and pestilences, and such diseases as induce death by fever and immoderate heat. Venus causes death by stomachic, hepatic, and intestinal conditions, and furthermore through cancers, fistulas, lichens, taking poisons, and such misfortunes as come about from excess or deficiency of moisture. Mercury portends death by madness, distraction, melancholy, the falling sickness, epilepsy, diseases accompanied by coughing and raising, and all such ailments as arise from the excess or deficiency of dryness.

Thus, then, those who depart from life in the way described die natural deaths, whenever the lords of death happen to be in their own or in kindred natural characters, and if no planet that is able to do injury and to make the end more remarkable overcomes them. They die, however, by violent and conspicuous means whenever both the evil planets dominate the destructive places, either in conjunction, or in quartile, or in opposition, or also if one of the two, or both, seize upon the sun, or the moon, or both the luminaries. The affliction of the death in this case arises from their junction, its magnitude from the testimony of the luminaries, and its quality, again, from the way in which the other planets regard them, and from the signs in which the evil planets are found.

For if Saturn is in quartile to the sun from a sign of the opposite sect, or is in opposition, in the solid signs he causes death by trampling in a mob, or by the noose, or by indurations, and similarly if he is setting and the moon is approaching him; in the signs that have the form of animals, he causes death by wild beasts, and if Jupiter, who is himself afflicted, bears witness to him, death in public places, or on days of celebration, in fighting with the beasts; but in the ascendant, in opposition to either of the luminaries, death in prison. If he is in aspect to Mercury, and particularly in the neighbourhood of the serpents in the sphere, or in the terrestrial signs, he makes men die from the bites of poisonous creatures, and if Venus is present with them, by poisoning and by feminine plots; but in Virgo and Pisces, or the watery signs, if the moon is in aspect, by drowning and suffocation in water; in the neighbourhood of Argo, as the victims of shipwreck ; in the tropical or four-footed signs, when Saturn is with the sun or is in opposition to him, or if he is with Mars instead of the sun, by being caught in the collapse of a house; and if they are in mid-heaven, above or below the earth, by a fall from a height.

If Mars is quartile or in opposition to the sun or the moon, from a sign of the other sect, in the signs of human form, he causes the subjects to be slaughtered in civil factions or by the enemy, or to commit suicide, and to die because of women or as murderers of women, whenever Venus testifies to them; and if Mercury also is in aspect to these, he causes death at the bands of pirates, robbers, or criminals; in the mutilated and imperfect signs, or in the Gorgon of Perseus, death by decapitation or mutilation; in Scorpio and Taurus, death through cautery, cutting, or amputation by physicians, or death in convulsions; at mid-heaven or the opposite point, by being set up on stakes, and particularly in Cepheus and Andromeda; at the occident or in opposition to the horoscope, by being burned alive; in the quadrupedal signs, death by the collapse of houses, by breaking, or by crushing; if Jupiter also bears witness to him and is afflicted at the same time, again the subjects perish conspicuously by condemnation and through the anger of generals or kings.

Ptolemy, ancient astrological art

If the maleficent planets are together and in this state are in opposition in same one of the aforesaid significant positions, they work together all the more for the affliction of the death. In this case the signification of the quality of the death lies with the one that chances to occupy the destructive place, or else the fatal occurrences are multiplied, or doubled, either in quality or in quantity, whenever both have same relation to the destructive places. Persons with such genitures are even left without burial, and are consumed by wild beasts or birds, whenever the maleficent planets chance to be in signs of such form, if none of the beneficent planets is witnessing to the lower mid-heaven or to the destructive places. Deaths occur in foreign lands if the planets that occupy the destructive places fall in the declining places, and particularly whenever the moon happens to be in, or quartile to, or in opposition to, the aforesaid regions.

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