Notes about Ptolemy on Carreer


1 -Ptolemy discuss “carreer” in chapter IV-04, of the “quality of action“. Other astrologers usually called it the significators of profession, or things like that

” The lord of action is apprehended by two methods, from the sun and from the culminating sign. For it will be needful to look both for the planet that has made its morning appearance closest to the sun, and that which is at mid-heaven, particularly when it occupies the application of the moon”

2 – The planet that signifies the carreer will be found by the Sun or the MC:

  • Look for the planet that is oriental to the sun (example: if the Sun is cancer, this planet wil be in cancer or gemini, but at least 15 degrees of distance, otherwise would be invisible).
  • Look for the planet that is on the MC
  • Look for the planet that suffer an application from the moon.

and if the same star occupies both the aforesaid positions, this alone must be employed, and similarly if none occupies one of these places, we must use only the one which occupies the other of the places. And if one planet has made the nearest morning appearance and another is associated with the mid-heaven, and with the moon, we must employ them both, giving preference to the one which by reason of its strength has the greater number of claims to domination according to the scheme which we have already set forth. But if not one is found which either has made an appearance or is at mid-heaven, we must take the lord of the latter region, with reference however to the occasional pursuits of the subject, for persons with such genitures are for the most part inactive.

3 – We will weight the sum of testimonies to reach a conclusion. We may have one planet in the MC, and another planet may be oriental to the Sun and being applied by the moon. We will use both, but we will choose the most important one by the one with more testimonies,

4 – In the case that no planet has this testimonies, we will use the ruler of the MC, but in this cases Ptolemy says that the people rarely has a true profession.

Thus, then, we shall determine the planet that governs action. The quality of the action, however, is to be discerned from the character of the three planets, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and from that of the signs through which they happen to be passing.

5 – With this procedure, we found the planet that governs action. But the quality of action is to be discerned only from the three planets that essencially describe profession: mars to the military, venus to entertaining and mercury to scribes, modified by the signs they are in. Does this mean that we have any planet can “govern action” but only these three show the quality of this action? For instance, Jupiter can govern action, but doesn´t show the carreer?

For if Mercury governs action, to speak generally, he makes his subjects scribes, men of business, calculators, teachers, merchants, bankers, sooth­sayers, astrologers, sacrificers, and in general those who perform their functions by means of documents, interpretation, and giving and taking. And if Saturn testifies to him, they will be managers of the property of others, interpreters of dreams, or frequenters of temples for the purpose of prophecies and inspiration. If is Jupiter that witnesses, they will be law-makers, orators, sophists, who enjoy familiarity with great persons.

6- Mercury is naturally scribes, teachers, business people, etc. Probably stock brokers, internet-related professions, software developers, accountants, etc. Astrologers are ruled by mercury, and not my uranus. As John Frawley said, we are people of knowledge, not eccentrics. With Saturn we have managers and (strange) interpreters of dreams. Usually a good combination of mercury-saturn, specially with a melancolic temperament, in my experience, gives a strong drive towards philosophy and deeper studies. Mercury with Jupiter gives lawyers (yugh) and people who have the gift of the word.

7- Ptolemy said that we should see the signs but he himself doesn´t give so much detail for each case. For instance, in the example of lawyers, we would expect it to be true if they were both in human signs. One time Steven Birchfield correctly delineated a sports man through a mercury, which were the professional significator, connected with Jupiter in signs of fire. Software programmers seems to have a connection to signs of earth.

If Venus rules action, she makes her subjects persons whose activities lie among the perfumes of flowers or of unguents, in wine, colours, dyes, spices, or adornments, as, for example, sellers of unguents, weavers of chaplets, innkeepers, wine-merchants, druggists, weavers, dealers in spices, painters, dyers, sellers of clothing. And if Saturn testifies to her, she makes them dealers in goods used for pleasure or adornment, sorcerers, poisoners, panders, and those who make their living from similar occupations. If Jupiter testifies, they will be athletes, wearers of the wreath, persons deemed worthy of honours, and men who derive advancement from women.

8 -Nothing strange here. If you have a venusian lord of action, then you will work with venusian things. Nowadays we would also include designers (interior designers, webdesigners, etc), DJs, Photoshop specialists, etc. Venus with saturn as sorcerers and poisoners seem to be a connection between the malefic properties of saturn, and the sedutor nature of venus, but I don´t know if being a poisoner pays well nowadays. I believe these people now work on the fashion industry. Venus with Jupiter as athletes? I really don´t know why. I always think in venus as lay down on the couch and eating grapes.

Mars, in aspect with the sun, makes his subjects those who use fire in their crafts, such as cooks, moulders, cauterizers, smiths, workers in mines; if he is not with the sun, those who work with iron, such as shipbuilders, carpenters, farmers, quarry­men, stone-dressers, jewellers, splitters of wood, and their subordinate workers. If Saturn testifies to him, he produces seamen, drawers of water, tunnelers, painters, gamekeepers, cooks, embalmers. If Jupiter testifies, he produces soldiers, servants, publicans, innkeepers, ferrymen, assistants at sacrifice.

9-Mars with the Sun doubles the meaning of “fire”. You will be a cook, an arsonist or a fireman. Without the sun, carpenters and probably what we would call now engineers. People who work with iron. With Saturn we have professions connected with water? With jupiter we have soldiers (instead of hired killers, for example), inkeepers (probably because mars was the natural ruler of voyages), etc.

Again, when two planets are found to rule action, if Mercury and Venus take the rulership, they bring about action expressed by the arts of the Muses, musical instruments, melodies, or poems, and rhythm, particularly when they have exchanged places. For they produce workers in the theatre, actors, dealers in slaves, makers of musical instruments, members of the chorus, makers of strings, painters, dancers, weavers, and wax-moulders. And again, if Saturn testifies to them, he produces those in the aforesaid callings, as well as dealers in feminine finery. If Jupiter testifies, he produces lawyers, supervisors of counting houses, public officers, teachers of children, leaders of the populace.

10- Apparently you don´t have to work too hard to find the ruler of action at all, since he admits you can have two rulers! Mercury with venus we have music, actors, and artists.

If Mercury and Mars together assume the lordship of action, they produce sculptors, armourers, makers of sacred monuments, modellers, wrestlers, physicians, surgeons, accusers, adulterers, evil-doers, forgers. If Saturn testifies to them, they produce murderers, sneak-thieves, burglars, pirates, cattle­thieves, villains. If Jupiter testifies, they produce men-at-arms, duellists, energetic, clever persons, busybodies, who meddle in others affairs and thereby gain their living.

11 – Mercury with mars we have sculptors… the hability of mercury with the “cutting” part of mars. The same is valid for other “cutters” like surgeons. I am not aware if adulterer was considered a profession in the days of Ptolemy, but the better correspondence would probably be “participant in reality show”.

But if Venus and Mars together dominate action, they produce dyers, perfumers, workers in tin, lead, gold, and silver, farmers, dancers in armour, druggists, physicians who employ drugs in their treatments. If Saturn testifies to them, they produce attendants of sacred animals, those who bury men, mourners, pipers at funerals, fanatics, who resort to wherever there are mysteries, laments, and bloody rites. But if Jupiter testifies, frequenters of temples, interpreters of omens, bearers of the sacred instruments, supervisors of women, interpreters of marriages and matches, making their living by such occupations, and at the same time devoted to pleasure, and reckless.

12 – Ptolemy lost me here. Venus-mars with Jupiter is matchmaking, interesting.

Likewise the specific natures of the signs in which are the rulers of action contribute to the variety of the action. For anthropomorphic signs are of same assistance to all scientific pursuits or those useful to man; the quadrupedal assist in those that concern mines, commerce, building, and carpentry; the solstitial and equinoctial, those that are interpretative, involve barter, or concern measuring, agriculture, and religion; the terrestrial and aquatic, activities in or with liquids, or those that are botanical, or concern shipbuilding, and furthermore burial, or pickling, or salting.

13 – the same that I said before. Human signs for activities that involves wording, reasoning, writing, thinking… quadrupede signs are good for commerce probably because represent the substance that is being traded. For building I don´t have idea. Solsticial signs are cancer and capricorn, Equinoctial are aries and libra. Terrestrial and aquatic are references to the elements of the signs. Maybe with the acquaticous signs, we could include today chemists and pharmaceutics. I have the ruler of the MC in a sign of water and suffered for 4 years in a chemistry major, yugh.

In a special way, again, if the moon holds the place of action, and is moving away from conjunction, together with Mercury, in Taurus, Capricornus, and Cancer, she produces soothsayers, makers of sacrifices, and adepts in lekanomancy ; in Sagittarius and Pisces necromancers and those who can arouse daemons; in Virgo and Scorpio magicians, astrologers, prophets, those who have second sight ; in Libra, Aries, and Leo persons inspired by the gods, interpreters of dreams, and exorcists.

14 – In this paragraph we have all the RPG´s professions that you can choose in World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy! If you have the moon in the MC, watch out.

So, then, the particular species of action will have to be conjectured by such means, through combinations; its amplitude must be discovered from the power of the dominating planets. For when they are rising or angular the actions which they cause are independent, but if they are setting or declining from the angles, subordinate; when beneficent planets overcome them, great, glorious, profitable, unerring, and gracious; but if maleficent planets overcome them, mean, inglorious, profitless, and fallible. With Saturn in opposition, they bring cold and mixtures of colours ; with Mars, temerity and notoriety;’ with both together, utter ruin of action. In general the period of increase or diminution, again, is calculated by means of the position, from time to time, of the planets responsible for the effect relative to the eastern and western angles.

15 – Angular planets have much influence and power. They will show their influence clearly. See the state of the planet, if he is being afflicted by malefics, etc. Afflicted planets will give bad results. The good or bad results can be expected throught the (ascensional times of the planets? – primary directions?).

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