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The application of these principles to the facts of everyday life is solely a matter of prolonged research and tabulation upon an elaborate scale which has been going on for thousands of years in all parts of the world, so that all the reader has to do is to make his own horoscope and put the science to the test of true or false.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 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.Let it suffice that if we can trace an actual connectedness between the disposition of the heavenly bodies at the moment of a birth and the known life and character of the individual then born, and an exact correspondence between the course of events in that life with the changes occurring in the heavens subsequent to the moment of birth, we shall do well to accept the fact for what it is worth, and arrange our philosophic notions accordingly.The Greek mythology is nothing but a vast system of cosmographical astrology, and there is no other history in it than what you may read in the constellations of the heavens and the corresponding evolution of the human race. Hipparchus, Hippocrates, Thales, Galenius, and others subscribed an intelligent belief in its principles.To Claudius Ptolemy, however, we are indebted for the first concise and scientific statement of its principles and practice, so far as Europe is concerned.The subsequent discovery of the planets Uranus and Neptune by Herschel and Adams, widened the field of research and gave to later astrologers the clue to much that hitherto had been imperfectly understood.Not that these discoveries overturned the whole system of astrology, as some have imagined and foolishly stated, or that they negatived the conclusions drawn from the observed effects of the seven anciently known bodies of the solar system, but it became possible after a lapse of time to fill in the blank spaces and to account for certain events which had not been traced to the action of any of the already known planets.
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.
Among the Hindus we have the classical writers Garga, Parashara, and Mihira, together with their legions of commentators.
The Assyrian records are full of astrological allusions regarding the influence of planetary conjunctions and stellar positions.
When at aphelion the planets move slower, and when at perihelion they move quicker than at the mean distance.
Astronomers employ an imaginary circular orbit for the planets, in which they move at an uniform rate of velocity, which is called the mean motion.