Jerome Cardan

Nativities. Trans. William Lilly, 1676


Jerome Cardan was the personal astrologer to Cardinal Richelieu. Cardan was a  physician, mathematician and astrologer who helped create modern algebra and invented the universal joint. His writing style has a charming conversational quality.

1. A Child is then said to be born when first it breathes in air at its mouth, when outside its mother’s womb.

2. Those that have the Luminaries unfortunate in Angles will be apt to commit suicide.

3. Those that have Saturn in Opposition to Jupiter, will never enjoy peace, and those that have the Dragon’s Tail with Jupiter, will seldom be rich.

4. Those that have Saturn and Mars in the same part of the Zodiac will be liable, in the course of their lives, to may misfortunes; and if they shall both be in Taurus, and posited in the fourth house, when the Ascendant, by direction comes to their rays, the Natives will have some severe falls, or be in danger by reason of some ruinous building falling on them.

5. Fixed Signs give learning; with the exception of Scorpio; Common Signs, manners and conversation, with the exception of Virgo, and Moveable Signs, riches, with the exception of Capricorn; whence it appears that those are bad Nativities that have all the Planets in Virgo, Scorpio or Capricorn.

6. If the Ascendant be one of those Signs called ‘Mute’, and Mercury in one that is not humane, with any fixed Star of the nature of Saturn, the Native will never speak well, but bring forth his words with difficulty.

7. He that hath the Moon in Taurus in the second separating from the Square or Opposition of Jupiter, and applying to the Trine of the Sun shall obtain very considerable riches.

8. When the Abscissor, cutter off of life, or killing Planet, is on the Ecliptic, and an Infortune in an Angle, the Native will die a violent death.

9. When an Infortune is posited on the cusp of the 7th house, the Native will be liable to great calamities, and if an Infortune be in aspect with the Sun or Moon afflicted in the same place, the Native, though a Prince, shall suffer a world of troubles.

10. Aries ascending, signifies the Natives to be handsome, and of a grave composed temper, but Scorpio on the horoscope, notes them to be great liars.

11. When the Moon is in Scorpio in Square of Saturn in Leo, or in Opposition to him when he is partially in Taurus the Native rarely has either wife or children. If Saturn be in Aquarius, he will be a mere woman-hater.

12. If the Dragon’s Tail be with Saturn in square of the Moon, and she Cadent, the Native will be consumptive, especially if from an Angle; but if besides it be in Square to the Lord of the Ascendant, he will be sickly and infirm all the days of his life, and if such Aspect happen in or from the 6th house, so much the worse.

13. When Jupiter is in the 6th house, Retrograde, and the Lord of the 2nd Peregrine, and no benevolent Fixed Star to help, the Native will be very poor and necessitous.

14. He tha5t has Mars in his Ascendant shall be exposed to many dangers, and commonly receives, at some time, a great scar or cut, on his face.

15. Mercury mixing his beams with Mars, is a great argument of a violent death.

16. If Jupiter and the Moon in any nativity shall be very weak and afflicted though other positions seem never so promising, yet the Native shall be exceedingly unhappy.

17. When Venus is with Saturn and beholds the Lord of the Ascendant, the Native is inclined to Sodomy, or at least shall love old hard favoured women, or poor dirty winches.

18. When Venus and Jupiter shall be in the Seventh, the Moon beholding them in her own dignities, and the Dragon’s Head joined with them or with Mercury, the Native shall get a great Estate by means of his wives.

19. The Moon full of Light in Conjunction with Mars, makes the Native to be counted a fool; but if she be void of Light and with Saturn, he is so indeed.

20. Venus in the heart of the Sun gives vast honours and dignities, the same may be hoped for, if a Planet with the Fixed Star called “(‘or Leonis”, behold the Moon.

21. The Moon in the Seventh house renders Natives subject to the Falling-sickness, and sometimes when she is in the Ascendant, but generally she makes them fools if she be afflicted.

22. Bastard and suppositious children have frequently the Ascendant in aspect with the Moon and not with the significator of the Father; and for the most part attended with indications of some great misfortunes, and either there is no agreement between the Lord of the fourth, the Lord of the second, and the Moon, or else Venus is joined with Mars or Mercury.

23. When Jupiter shall be in the tenth in Trine of Mars, and strong; and the Sun with the Dragon’s Head, and the Moon with Cor Leonis; such Native, though the son of the meanest peasant, shall be wonderfully exalted.

24. When any Planet shall be partly on the cusp of the seventh in his own house, the Native’s death will be of the nature of that Planet and Place.

25. The Infortunes in Angles denote a public death, or a sudden one; the Sun there, afflicted, it shall be by some weapon, or burning; the Moon, by hanging, or drowning, according to circumstances. 26. So! and Mars peregrine or the Dragon’s Tail in the 2~”, signifies the Native shall squander away his substance or estate foolishly.

27. When the Moon in Opposition to the Sun is joined with nebulous stars, the Native will have some defect in his sight; if the Moon in the 7th be afflicted by both the Infortunes, and if their rays are very strong he will be blind.

28. The compound rays of Jove, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, give the greatest grace and sweetness of speech, and therefore when Jupiter shall be in Virgo, and the Moon in Pisces, it is an opportune time for the birth of a Poet. Poets are always born, not made.

29. That person will scarce make a prosperous end, or persevere long in any eminent degree, who had not some of his Ancestors’ Genitures to sympathise with, and assist his own.

30. The 5th sign from the Ascendant signifies the Native’s children, because it is of the same nature as the Sign on the Ascendant, and if two signs shall be in the Ascendant, the children will be of humours and manners exceedingly different, the one from the other; for the same reason the 9th house, signifies grand-children.

31. The Moon with the Dragon’s Tail in a Nativity gives suspicion of the mother’s honesty, and hints that the child is none of the reputed father’s begetting; however it will prove ill-mannered, and for the most part unfortunate.

32.cardan Whoever has Jupiter in aspect with the Sun, will be proud and haughty, and yet shall have little cause for it, unless they happen to be in reception.

33. The Nativities of women in matters appertaining to life, are like those of men, but as to fortune, wholly unlike, and touching manners, after a middle kind, neither wholly agreeable, nor wholly contrary.

34. A woman that has Mars with the Moon is right; I’ll warrant her.

35. In complete Nativities the Moon returns to the sign ascending at conception, or its opposite, or to the body or aspect of some Planet with whom she was at the conception, or to her own sign, and generally the Ascendant at birth is the Moon’s place at conception, or its opposite, or the place of the Lord of the New Moon foregoing the conception, yet there are sober genitures too, when the Sun comes to the place of the Ascendant or its Lord, etc.

36. When Mars or the Moon shall be with the Dragon’s Head or Tail in the twelfth, and Sol and Jupiter in the fourth house, the Native will be hunch-backed.

37. When Mars is Lord of a Woman’s Ascendant, and Venus posited in it, or Venus is Lady of it, and Mars in it, or Mars Lord of the Ascendant in the Mid-heaven; it is more than probable she will Cuckold her husband.

38. The Lord of the Ascendant in the Combust Way, shows that the Native will be much entangled and pestered with business. 39. If Infortunes be in the tenth house peregrine, and not friendly to the Ascendant, the Native will be always full of suspicions and jealousies.

40. All Planets above the Earth, make a man illustrious and generally known far and near, and being all swift in motion, render him dextrous and nimble in the dispatch of affairs.

41. Those that have the Moon, Lady of the Ascendant under the Earth, with the ‘Tail of the Lion’ and the ‘Virgin’s Head’ the Sun in the sixth, and Saturn or Mars in their own dignities in the Angles of the 7th, will always be very infirm and weak.

42. Mercury in Pisces lays an impediment on the tongue, making a man absurd in his speech and uttering unawares what he does not conceive in his mind; so if that sign ascend.

43. Whoever is born on the day of the Vernal Equinox at noon, shall by that testimony alone, become great in the world.

44. Women that have their Ascendant, Moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury in double-bodied signs, have generally very evil qualities.

45. Jupiter very potent in a geniture always promises some extraordinary happiness, and if he be in the Mid-heaven near the cusp in Capricorn he gives a great deal of good fortune by means of violence and power under pretence of justice, but the same will have an unfortunate issue.

46. Famous are those persons in whose Nativities the Moon receives the light of many Planets, or is joined to some powerful Royal Fixed Star.

47. When So! and Jupiter rule in the 9th, and over the places of Mercury, the Moon, and Ascendant, and do behold each other, such a Native’s words will be regarded as oracles.

48. Jupiter and the Sun in the 2nd house, give a gallant, noble, free spirit; but Saturn and Mars, or Saturn with Mercury in the 7th, render men sordidly covetous.

49. When the Lord of the figure of a Nativity shall be Retrograde, and both ways Cadent; the Native will be a weak, poor-spirited, dejected fellow, bringing nothing to perfection.

50. An Artist may more easily and certainly judge of a man’s nativity, than of the weather, because he knows the time of birth, but not that of the gathering together of vapours.

51. So! in Leo alone raises a man, at least scarce ever suffers him to want or beg, and if the same sign ascends, it buoys up his spirit with hopes, and makes him master of more than ordinary reason.

52. If Cancer ascend, and the Moon be in Moveable or Common signs, especially remote from an Angle, the Native is credulous, light, and inconstant.

53. Venus in the house or exaltation of Mars is always a filthy lust.

54. The Moon is Aquarius or Pisces makes the Native to be disliked by Princes, Grandees and the upper ten.

55. When the Lord of the Mid-heaven separates by Retrogradation from the Lord of the Ascendant, the Prince, King, or Ruler, shall be averse to the Native, but if on the other side the Lord of the Ascendant being Retrograde forsakes the Lord of the tenth, then the Native shall hate his Prince, King or Governors; the like is to be understood of other houses according to their respective significations.

56. A Native of a City having the same sign and degree ascending with that City, shall in that place, by that alone grow great and eminent.

57. When the Lord of the second applies to the Lord of the Ascendant; especially if the Lord of the Ascendant be Jupiter; the Native shall, all his life time, be happy in acquiring riches even to admiration.

58. When the Lord of the Ascendant beholds the Sun with a friendly aspect of is Oriental next to the Sun, or joined with the Lord of the tenth, the Native will be much beloved by Kings and great people; for the cause of which favour consider the nature of the said Lord of the Ascendant and his place.

59. When several children have the same accidents and fortune, if it be in their childhood, it may be shown by the genitures of their parents; or if in their old age, we may conclude the Nativities of their Parents were so powerful that they assimilate their Nativities between themselves and suit them to the disposition of Children in the Paternal Figure.

60. Mars in moveable Signs makes people hasty and choleric, but nowhere more than in Cancer, nor less than in Virgo, but in the former he generally makes the tongue more foolish and impertinent.

61. Saturn in the 12th threatens the gout; in the 6th some lasting disease or tedious imprisonments.

62. If the Moon be between Mars and Sol or with them, the Native will almost exchange his cradle for a grave, being very short-lived.

63. If the Moon separates from an Infortune, the Native will suffer many diseases in nursing, and afflictions afterwards.

64. Whoever has Venus not well posited; within the rays of Mars, unfortunate, will assuredly suffer a world of mischief and troubles by means of love.

65. Watery Signs; but especially, and above all others, Scorpio, make traitors; and therefore if the Moon Lady of the Ascendant be in that viperous sign; the native will betray, or prove a traitor to his master; and if the same position happen in the radix of a city, its inhabitants will be rebellious against their Princes or Governours.

66. Mars is seldome joined with Mercury for good, for he makes people naughty and impudent, yet industrious in Art, whence it comes to pass that the best Artists are too often the worst men.

67. Mars unfortunate in the 9th, signifies liars and atheists. 68. He that has Mercury well posited but the Moon afflicted shall understand well, but deliberate ill, and therefore such, though they may advise others excellently, yet shall manage their own affairs foolishly.

69. When Venus shall be too powerful in a geniture, and in places (terms) of the Infortunes, inconveniences are to be feared from unlawful loves.

70. When the Moon and Mercury, and the Lord of the Ascendant shall be all in double-bodied Signs, the Native will be naturally addicted to old opinions and curious religious notions.

71. When Saturn and Mars behold each other, and the Luminaries be posted in the sixth, eighth, or twelfth houses, the Native shall labour under some incurable disease and load a life wholly miserable.

72. When the Moon is in the Mid-heaven in Capricorn, and Saturn, or Mars in the fourth, the Native will be infamous, and so much the worse if Mars be in Taurus, and the Moon in Scorpio, for then many troubles will attend him during his whole life.

73. When Venus is with Saturn and Mars, and in opposition to the place of the Moon, the Native shall be but a fool, yet think himself a Philosopher.

74. For the profession or Art of the Native we must consider the Planet which being Oriental first makes its egress from under the Sun beams, and if with this there be another in the Mid-heaven that beholds the Moon, take him for an Assistant, but if there be no such Planet coming from under the Sun beams take him that is in the Mid-heaven, and if there be none therein posited then the Lord of it, and the places of Mars, Venus, and Mercury, but when these happen to be many, the Native will practise several Arts; now the Art a Native practises is much affected by the series of revolutions, which if they agree with his Nativity, he will be delighted with it; otherwise he will do it against his will.

75. A prime cause of men leading single lives is the combustion of the Moon in their Nativities with Saturn, or eminently afflicted by him, so in women if a Planet be combust or the Sun in Taurus greatly afflicted.

76. Mars and Mercury evilly disposed, and in conjunction with the Moon, signifies Thieves and Robbers, but if Saturn behold them, or be in the seventh, they will suffer according to their deserts, and therefore whenever you see indications of grievous crimes, consider whether the Infortunes are strong or not, and oppress the Sun, Moon or Lord of the Ascendant; or if the Lord of Ascendant be combust, or an enemy to the Moon, for then undoubtedly the Native will suffer for his villainy.

77. When the Moon, is joined to Saturn in an Angle, the Native though a Grandee will be reduced to poverty.

78. Let him that has Mars in the 2nd house beware of concerning himself in merchandise.

79. He that hath a Nativity unfortunate for riches and honour, and yet the Moon in conjunction with an eminent propitious fixed star, shall unexpectedly become potent, and again fall to misery, but to judge of the greatness of the event consider the state of the Moon.

80. When Venus is in the 11th, Mercury in the 12th, the Sun in the horoscope, Jupiter in the 2nd, Saturn in the 6th, and the Moon in the 9th, so many and great accidents will happen to the Native that his life may justly be esteemed prodigious.

81. Saturn, Mars and the Dragon’s Head in the 4th, betoken sudden Death.

82. When the Moon in a nocturnal Geniture passes by her beams from Mars to Saturn, many inconveniences will happen to the Native, chiefly occassioned by women.

83. Those persons are like to prove very learned in whose nativities, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon, do exactly behold Mercury, provided that neither Saturn nor the Moon be posited in the Ascendant, and that there be no Planet in an Angle, for any Planet strong in an Angle is an impediment to wisdom.

84. When the Sun is peregrine in “Corde Coeli” shall be in square of the Moon in the 7t~l, the Native will come to be the chief of his family or faction, but shall die suddenly.

85. In all Nativities examine exactly all the Moon’s condition in relation to the three ways whereby she is exalted for ‘tis very necessary.

86. When Infortunes are in Angles, and Fortunes in Succeedent houses, or the Moon combust, and the Lord of her place strong and happy, or Jupiter Cadent, and his disposition well dignified:–the Native from a sad mean condition and great misery shall rise to a considerable grandeur and felicity, and so on the contrary.

87. When the Moon, Venus and Mars are altogether in conjunction, ‘tis time to bring Neros and such cursed monsters of mankind into the world: the Natives manners are prodigiously wicked.

88. Jupiter elevated and a little infortunated, destroys the Native’s children, but preserves his estate:; if he be descending and low and not unfortunate, he gives children but not an estate.

89. When Saturn does not threaten a violent death, yet if he be in, or lord of the Seventh or Eighth Houses, he signifies the Native shall die for grief of mind.

90. Infortunes peregrine in the Seventh House, having dominion in the Ascendant, denote the deaths of the Native’s wives or enemies.

91. It is next to impossible that they that have never a planet above the earth, nor in the Ascendant of their nativities, should either live long or accomplish any great matters in the world.

92. The number of a Native’s wives (where only one at once is lawful) is to be found out not only from the concourse of the Planets or Common signs, but with what you must consider that fit applications of the Moon to Planets at ripe years, and testimonies of the Death of Wives do also concur.

93. When Mars and Mercury afflict the Lord of the Seventh, being elevated above him, the Native will kill his wife or his enemy, even though it be with poison, especially if either of then have power in the Ascendant.

94. If [in a] woman’s nativity Mars shall be under the Sun-beames, she will be apt to play the Harlot with her Servants and mean fellows; but if Venus be true, then she will trade discreetly with Nobles and gallants of quality.

95. Infortunes afflicting the place of children, if they be but a little weak, the Native may have children; if much debilited, the children he has will die; if they be very weak, he will be wholly barren.

96. When the Lord of the Geniture is an Infortune and does not behold the place of children, or being a Fortune beholds them with an Aspect of hatred, the Native will never love his Children as he ought to do.

97. When Mercury is under the earth he has a greater efficacy in relation to giving Arts and Sciences, but in respect of eloquence he is best when he is above the earth.

98. When Mars is exactly on the cusp of the Mid-heaven, and has no domination in the Ascendant, if the Native live to any considerable age, ‘tis much to be feared that he will be killed.

99. When it happens that the Significators of persons of quality well posited in their own genitures, are such as were unfortunate in the Nativities of their Parents, it signifies that they shall spin out a laborious life as to riches and honour to a considerable age, and then by successive increases, shall attain to great Estates and Eminence, when ‘tis evident that the lives of no persons may be more unlike to each other, than theirs who were born at the same time.

100. Nativities which can never be good, are such as have both the Infortunes in the same place joined to one of the Luminaries, or when the Infortunes single are singly joined to the Luminaries, or when the Moon is under the Sunbeams with Saturn or Mars, or where all the Planets are in the 3~, 6thi, 8(11 or 12th houses: or when the Infortunes are in Angles, and the Luminaries and Fortunes cadent, or when the Luminaries only are cadent and all the other Planets Retrograde, or when both the Luminaries, and both the Fortunes are afflicted, or when only Mars is above the earth the other Planets not being mutually joined nor in Angles.

[editors note: I have left the text ‘as is’ except for correcting some obvious typographical and other minor errors. {[P. James Clark]

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