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Traditional Rulerships of the Planets
saturn Saturn
jupiter Jupiter
mars Mars
the sun Sun
venus Venus
mercury Mercury
the moon Moon

This work is intended to act as a supplement to Lilly's original text.
The section of the manuscript to which these notes refer is reproduced for study on the CA downloads page.

The external links below lead to suppliers of William Lilly's Christian Astrology,
retyped & annotated by Deborah Houlding


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Of the SUN, his general and particular Significations

Adapted from William Lilly's 17th century text Christian Astrology, pp.65-68

Adapted and annotated by Deborah Houlding
References in the footnotes include explanatory remarks
and modern translations of Lilly's terms

Anciently called Sol, [1] Titan, [2] Ilios, [3] Phoebus, [4] Apollo, [5] Pean, [6] Osyris, [7] Diespiter. [8]

Rulership by signLeo (by day and night)
Sign of detrimentAquarius
Exaltation (sign & degree)Aries - 19
Fall (sign & degree)Libra - 19
Triplicity rulershipFire triplicity by day
Associated terms The Sun and Moon have no rulership by term
Rulership by face (or decanate)
Ariesdegrees 11 - 20
Geminidegrees 21 - 30
Virgodegrees 1 - 10
Scorpiodegrees 11 - 20
Capricorndegrees 21 - 30

Masculine, diurnal, hot and dry, choleric; a fortune if well dignified.

People Signified:
Kings, princes, emperors, dukes, marquesses, earls, barons, lieutenants, deputy-lieutenants of counties, magistrates, gentlemen in general, courtiers, desirers of honour and preferment, justices of peace, majors, high-sheriffs, high-constables, great huntsmen, stewards of noblemen's houses, the principal magistrate of any city, town, castle or country village - yea, though a petty constable, where no better or greater officer is. Goldsmiths, braziers, [9] pewterers, coppersmiths, minters of money.

Anatomy and Illnesses:
Pimples in the face, palpitations or trembling, or any diseases of the brain or heart, timpanies,[10] infirmities of the eyes, cramps, sudden swoonings, diseases of the mouth and stinking breaths, catarrhs, rotten fevers; principally in man he governs the heart, the brain and right eye, and vital spirit, in women the left eye.

Colours and savours:
Yellow, the colour of gold, scarlet or clear red, some say purple.
In savours, he likes well a mixture of sour and sweet together, or the aromatical flavour, being a little bitter and stiptical, [11] but withal confortative [12] and a little sharp.

Herbs, Plants and Trees:
The plants subject to the Sun smell pleasantly, are of good flavour, their flowers are yellow or reddish, are in growth of majestical form, they love open and sunny places, their principal virtue is to strengthen the heart and comfort the vitals, to clear the eyesight, resist poison, or to dissolve any witchery, or malignant planetary influences; and they are: saffron, [13] the laurel, [14] the pomecitron, [15] the vine, [16] enula campana, [17] Saint John's wort, [18] amber, [19] musk, [20] ginger, [21] herbgrace, [22] balm, [23] marigold, [24] rosemary, [25] rosa solis, [26] cinnamon, [27] celandine, [28] eyebright, [29] peony, [30] barley, [31] cinquefoil, [32] spikenard, [33] lignum aloes, [34] arsenic. [35]
Trees include the Ash, palm, laurel tree, the myrrh tree, frankincense, the cane tree or plant, the cedar, heletrepion, [36] the orange and lemon tree.

Houses, courts of princes, palaces, theatres, all magnificent structures being clear and decent, halls, dining rooms.

Minerals & Stones:
Amongst the elements the Sun has domination over fire and clear shining flames; over metals, he rules gold. Stones include the hyacinth,[36a] chrysolite, [36b] adamant, [36c] carbuncle, [36d] the etites stone found in eagle's nests, [37] the pantaure, [38] if such a stone be the ruby.

Attributed orb:
15 degrees

Michael [39]

Day of the Week:
Sunday, and the first and eighth hour of that day [40]

Physical descriptions offered:
Usually the Sun represents a man of a good, large and strong corporature; a yellow, saffron complexion, a round, large forehead: goggle-eyes or large, sharp and piercing; a body strong and well composed, not so beautiful as lovely; full of heat, their hair yellowish, and therefore quickly bald, much hair on their beard, and usually a high ruddy complexion, and their bodies fleshy; in conditions they are very bountiful, honest, sincere, well-minded, of great and large heart, high-minded, of healthful constitution, very humane; yet sufficiently spirited, not loquacious. [41]
For the Sun, we can only say he is oriental in the figure, or in the oriental quarter of the figure, or occidental, etc., all other planets are either oriental when they rise or appear before him in the morning. Occidental, when they are seen above the earth after he is set.

Manners when well dignified:
When well dignified very faithful, keeping their promises with all punctuality, a kind of itching desire to rule and sway where he comes: prudent, and of incomparable judgement; of great majesty and stateliness, industrious to acquire honour and a large patrimony, yet as willingly departing therewith again; the solar man usually speaks with gravity, but not many words, and those with great confidence and command of his own affection; full of thought, secret, trusty, speaks deliberately, and notwithstanding his great heart, yet is he affable, tractable [42] and very humane to all people, one loving sumptuousness and magnificence, and whatever is honourable; no sordid thoughts can enter his heart.

Manners when badly placed:
Then the solar man is arrogant and proud, disdaining all men, cracking of his pedigree, he is purblind [43] in sight and judgement, restless, troublesome, domineering; a mere vapour, expensive, foolish, endued with no gravity in words, or soberness in actions, a spendthrift, wasting his patrimony, and hanging on other men's charity, yet thinks all men are bound to him, because a gentleman born.

Notes & References:

  1] Sol: Latin for sun.
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  2] Titan: One of the indigenous, pre-Hellenic gods of Greece, amongst whom was Hyperion, father of Helios. Late Greek poets confused Hyperion with Helios and use Titan as a name for him.
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  3] Or Helios: Greek for sun.
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  4] Phoebus: Greek Phoibos 'bright' or 'pure', is an epithet applied to Apollo.
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  5] Mace and nutmeg derive from the same tree. Apollo: Greek god, not the Sun but later associated with him by Greek philosophers.
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  6] Paean: Greek Paion or Paian, the original name for Apollo (the latter name being borrowed from the Hittites), perhaps meaning 'speaker' i.e., the god of prophecy.
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  7] Osiris: Egyptian god of the dead, not normally associated with the Sun.
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  8] Diespiter: An alternative form of Jupiter, not usually associated with the Sun.
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  9] Brass worker.
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  10] Timpanies: a symptom of abdominal illness where the stomach is distended with gas, or possibly an inflammation of the eardrum.
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  11] Astringent, sharp.
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  12] Strengthening (con-with, fort - strength).
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  13] Also listed under Jupiter. For details link to external link
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  14] For details link to external link
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  15] Citrus: Oranges or lemons.
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  16] Also listed under Jupiter, although Culpeper concurs with the Sun. For details, link to external link
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  17] Ella Campane; Culpeper says Mercury.
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  18] For details link to external link
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  19] Amber is a crystallized mixture of resins from the amber tree. For details, link to external link
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  20] For details, link to external link
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  21] For details, link to external link
  22] Rue. Also listed under Saturn, though Culpeper says Sun. For details, link to external link
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  23] Also listed under Venus. Culpeper says Jupiter, which Lilly gives to 'balsam', a type of balm.
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  24] For details, link to external link
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  25] For details, link to external link
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  26] Sundew. For details link to external link
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  27] For details, link to external link
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  28] For details, link to external link
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  29] For details, link to external link
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  30] Also listed under Jupiter. For details, link to external link
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  31] Culpeper says Saturn. For details link to external link
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  32] Five-leaf grass. Culpeper says Jupiter. For details link to external link
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  33] Culpeper says Venus. For details link to external link
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  34] The Latin term Lignum Aloes, is used in ancient writings to designate a substance that is distinct from the modern Aloes, namely the resinous wood of Aquilaria Agallocha, a large tree growing in the Malayan Peninsula. Its wood constituted a drug which was, until recent times, valued for use as incense.
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  35] The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the herb 'Arsenic' as an obsolete term for Arsesmart, or Smartweed / Waterpepper. This is also listed under Mars and Jupiter. The marked medicinal effects of Smartweed may have made it suitable to a range of solar, martian and jovial illnesses. For details link to external link
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  36] Heliotrope.
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  36a] A semi-precious stone also known as jacinth. It is a lustrous orange-yellow, orange-red, or yellow-brown type of zircon. Sometimes, topaz and garnets of this color are also referred to as hyacinth and a hyacinth opal is one that is yellow or orange.
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  36b] Chrysolite is a broad term. In Victorian times, it included chrysoberyls, which range from yellow to brown and include the 'cats eye' which features a bright, pupil-like slit that seems to move slightly as the stone is moved. Chrysolite can also refer to peridot, a yellow-green semi-precious stone, and in Lilly's day probably referred to most yellowish gems.
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  36c] Generally this refers to a lustrous diamond. The word 'adamant' means 'invincible' or 'inpenetrable', and was applied to extremely hard minerals. The Webster Dictionary, 1913 defines it as "a precious stone or gem excelling in brilliancy and beautiful play of prismatic colors, and remarkable for extreme hardness".
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  36d] Dark red garnet.
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  37] The following quote was found on the Natural Magick website external link
Eagle-stone - Etite, a variety of argillaceous oxyd of iron, occurring in masses varying from the size of a walnut to that of a man's head. Their form is spherical, oval or nearly reniform, or sometimes like a parallelopiped with rounded edges and angles. They have a rough surface, and are essentially composed of concentric layers. These nodules often embrace at the center a kernel or nucleus, sometimes movable, and always differing from the exterior in color, density and fracture. To these hollow nodules the ancients gave the name of eagle-stones, from an opinion that the eagle transported them to her nest to facilitate the laying of her eggs.
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  38] I have been unable to identify. A misplaced comma may be obscuring the meaning of this reference.
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  39] Michael: The angel 'who is like God'. For details link to Marshall Mint external link
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  40] The first and eighth astrological hours of the astrological day, which begins at sunrise, not midnight. external link
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  41] Loquacious: talkative.
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  42] Tractable: Docile, easy going
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  43] Purblind: Dim sighted, short sighted
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© Deborah Houlding

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