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The luminaries and planets are known to astronomers under the following names and symbols:— The Sun ☉, Moon ☽, Neptune ♆, Uranus ♅, Saturn ♄, Jupiter ♃, Mars ♂, Venus ♀, and Mercury ☿.
Neptune revolves around the Sun in its distant orbit once in about 165 years.
Were the orbits of the planets circular and the Sun holding the centre of the circle, their motions would be constant, that is to say, always in the same direction and at the same rate.
But the orbits are elliptical, and the Sun holds a position in one of the foci of each ellipse.
The science has never been universal in its acceptance, though it is safe to say that, with its countless adherents in the East and the ever-increasing number of its advocates in the West, there is no faith which has a more universal application than the belief in the influence of the heavenly bodies over the destinies of human beings.
It is not possible within the limits of a small handbook such as this to adequately consider the philosophic paradox which makes of Freewill in man a “necessity in play”; but it is obvious that the concept is not altogether unscientific, seeing that it is customary to speak of the “free path of vibration” in chemical atoms while at the same time it is known that these atoms have their restricted characteristics, modes of motion, &c., and are all subject to the general laws controlling the bodies of which they form integral parts.
Uranus completes its orbital revolution in 84 years, Jupiter in 12 years, Mars in about 15 months, Venus in 11 months, and Mercury in 18 weeks.
Mercury and Venus will then appear to revolve around the Sun while the Sun revolves around the Earth, sometimes being between the Earth and the Sun, which is called an Inferior conjunction, sometimes on the further side of the Sun away from the Earth, as at their Superior conjunction; and again, at other times to the right or left of the Sun, in East or West elongation.The present writer is in a position to know that the study of astrology at the present day is no less sincere than widely spread, but few care to let their studies be known, for, as Prof. Max M�ller recently said, “So great is the ignorance which confounds a science requiring the highest education, with that of the ordinary gipsy fortune-teller.” That to which the great Kepler was compelled “by his unfailing experience of the course of events in harmony with the changes taking place in the heavens,” to subscribe “an unwilling belief,” the science which was practised and advocated by Tycho Brahe under all assaults of fortune and adverse opinion, the art that arrested the attention of the young Newton and set him pondering upon the problems of force and matter, which fascinated the minds of such men as Francis Bacon, Archbishop Usher, Haley, Sir George Witchell, Flamstead, and a host of others, is to-day the favourite theme of thousands of intelligent minds and bids fair to become a subject of popular inquiry.It is believed that the present work will be of considerable assistance to those who seriously contemplate an initial study of the science of horoscopy, and although it by no means exhausts what is known on the subject, yet it will be found accurate and reliable as far as it goes, and will enable any one of ordinary intelligence to test the claims of Astrology for himself.It is recorded in the Historical Classic of China that at that time the astrologers Hi and Ho neglected their duties so that when, on the 10th of October, there was a great eclipse of the Sun at Peking between seven and nine o’clock in the morning, the people were wholly unprepared for it, and “ran about here and there in the utmost consternation.” For this offence Hi and Ho were deprived of their offices, their estates were confiscated and they were driven from the kingdom.Among the Hindus we have the classical writers Garga, Parashara, and Mihira, together with their legions of commentators.
Consequently the planets are at times further from the Sun than at others, and they are then said to be in their aphelion, the opposite point of the orbit where they are nearest to the Sun being called the perihelion.