Saturn with his scythe, riding in his chariot. Engraving by C. Lasinio after Raphael, 1516 (source: Welcome Library)


Classical significations
of SATURN



Valens | Firmicus | Abu Mashar

More on Saturn


VALENS
Saturn makes those born under him petty, malignant, care-worn, self-depreciating, solitary, deceitful, secretive in their trickery, strict, downcast, with a hypocritical air, squalid, black-clad, importunate, sad-looking, miserable, with a nautical bent, plying waterside trades. Saturn also causes humblings, sluggishness, unemployment, obstacles in business, interminable lawsuits, subversion of business, secrets, imprisonment, chains, griefs, accusations, tears, bereavement, capture, exposures of children. Saturn makes serfs and farmers because of its rule over the land, and it causes men to be renters of property, tax farmers, and violent in action. It puts into one’s hands great ranks and distinguished positions, supervisions, management of others’ property, and the fathership of others’ children. Of materials, it rules lead, wood, and stone. Of the limbs of the body, it rules the legs, the knees, the tendons, the lymph, the phlegm, the bladder, the kidneys, and the internal, hidden organs. Saturn is indicative of injuries arising from cold and moisture, such as dropsy, neuralgia, gout, cough, dysentery, hernia, spasms. It is indicative of these syndromes: possession, homosexuality, and depravity. Saturn makes bachelors and widows, bereavements, and childlessness. It causes violent deaths by water, strangulation, imprisonment, or dysentery. It also causes falling on the face. It is the star of Nemesis; it is of the day sect. It is like castor in color and astringent in taste.

Translation by Mark Riley, (informally published in 2010, based on a preliminary translation made in the 1990s) Anthologies, I.I

FIRMICUS
Saturn is by nature cold and dry (though sometimes by accident moist), and dark, harsh, heavy, foul-smelling, devouring, stubborn, of much thought and long memory; and he signifies cultivation of the land and waters; the abode, measurement and weight of things; and whatever pertains to rural matters. Likewise, whatever things are completed through manual skill, such as masonry, ditch-digging, carpentry, that kind of thing. Moreover, extreme poverty, and long, hard life, exile, risks of deceit, villainies, betrayals, solitude. But in deliberation, a very shrewd intellect, sure speech, long-lasting friendship, long foresight, and royal counsel. Also, violence, captivity, condemnation, persistence, treachery, anger; hatred of all that is good; fear, trouble, grief, repentance, funeral rites, mourning, and bereavement. He also signifies ancient inheritances, deformed and old people and the like, and also servants, slaves, mercenaries, eunuchs, low and notorious men, criminals, thieves, men of disreputable trades, and undertakers. He signifies also the magic arts; protracted considerations in a man; rare speech but deep intellect, and profound knowledge of things. And, also, of the parts of the body, the right ear, the spleen, and black bile.

Translation by Valerie Roebuck, (published in the Skyscript Newsletter, issue 5, 2022), based on the 1533 Aldine Latin translation.

ABU MASHAR
Therefore, the nature of Saturn is cold, dry, melancholic, dark, of heavy harshness. And perhaps he will be cold [and] moist, heavy, of stinking odor, and he is of much eating and true esteem. And he signifies works of moisture and the cultivation of land, and peasants, and village companions, and the settlement of lands, also buildings and waters and rivers, and the quantities or measures of things, and the divisions of the earth, also affluence and a multitude of assets, and masteries which are done by hand, greed and the greatest poverty and the poor. And he signifies travel by sea, and foreign travel [that is] far away and at great length, and bad. And cleverness, envy and wits and seductions, and boldness in dangers and impediment, and hesitation, and being singular, and a scarcity of association with men, and pride and magnanimity and bluffing and bragging and the subjection of men, also the managers of a kingdom and of every work which comes to be with force and with evil and injuries and a tendency to anger, even warriors and fettering and prison, also truth in words, and esteem, and prudence and understanding, and experience, and offense, and obstinacy, and a multitude of thoughts and a depth of counsel, and insistence, and stubbornness in [his] method. He does not easily get angry, and if he were angry he would not be able to rule his own mind. He wishes good to no one. And he signifies old men and weighty men and burdens and fear, griefs and sorrow and the complication of the mind. And fraud and affliction and difficulty and loss; also ancestors and what is left behind by the dead, mourning, and being orphaned, and old things. Even grandfathers and fathers and brothers, and senior people and slaves and mule drivers and men who are blamed, and robbers and those who dig up graves and who rob the garments of the dead. And fitters of leather and those who blame things. He signifies magicians and masters of discord, and low-class men and eunuchs. And he signifies a great length of thought and a scarcity of speaking and the knowledge of secrets, and one does not know what is in his mind, nor does a wise person make disclosures to him about every obscure matter. And he signifies austerity and the ascetics of religions.

Translation by Benjamin Dykes, (extracted from Introductions to Traditional Astrology: Abu Ma'shar & al-Qabisi (2010).
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