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Astrological Chart of the Week
Christopher Warnock, Esq.
Astrological Chart of the Week
For the Week of August 27-September 2, 2001

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Week of August 20-26, 2001:
15th Lunar Mansion for Friendship
from the Picatrix
Electional Astrology
Magical Elections
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Introduction to Talismans
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Introduction to
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Information on King Alphonso
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Information & Pictures from
a facsimile of the Lapidary

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King Alphonso the Wise
An Astrological Election of Onyx from the Lapidary of King Alphonso the Wise

It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.

As You Like It
Act IV, Scene I
William Shakespeare

This week's election comes from the Lapidary of King Alphonso X of Castile and Leon, known as Alphonso the Wise. In the Middle Ages Spain became a major center of cultural diffusion, predominately from the advanced Islamic civilization to the West. Alphonso the Wise (1221-1284) played an important role in this transmission of knowledge employing teams of Islamic, Jewish and Christian scholars to translate many works on such diverse subjects as law, science, history and literature.
A Page from the Alphonsine Tables
We are already familiar with one translation produced by scholars of Alphonso's court, the Picatrix. Another important work for medieval astrologers were the ephemerides known as the Alphonsine Tables.
This week we will delve into the Lapidary, a collection of astrological and gemological lore. An English translation, entitled The Lapidary of King Alfonso X the Learned, edited and translated by Ingrid Bahler and Katherine Gatto is available from the University Press of the South. Here is more information and some pictures from a facsimile version of the Lapidary.
The Lapidary is attributed to a certain Abolays, a learned Moor. It sets out to provide a mineral or stone for every degree of the Zodiac, though there are numerous lacunae. It then relates the mineral or stone to a star or set of stars in a constellation. The useability of the Lapidary is considerably reduced by the number of stones that could not be translated from Arabic.
This week's election is from the third degree of Virgo and causes melancholy. At first I was somewhat mystified by why one would want to cause melancholy, except maliciously, when I realized that it would be useful to have a strong depressant talisman for when one was in a manic state. More traditionally a strong cold and dry (earthy) talisman remedies an overabundance of air (hot and wet). Nevertheless, I would advise caution in either producing or using this talisman.
Variegated Onyx
The Lapidary says,
The stone which belongs to the third degree of the sign of Virgo is called mixed aliaza (variegated onyx). It has this name because it is always made up of two colors, one brown, the other, red. By nature it is cold and dry and its virtues are the same as the other onyx we spoke about...
The Lapidary of King Alfonso X the Learned (Bahler & Gatto) page 110. Earlier the Lapidary states that onyx causes the person who wears it to be disliked by others and makes them pick quarrels with him. Goblets and bowls made from onyx will cause the person who drinks from them to have many worries and illnesses caused by melancholy.
Chart produced by Solar Fire 5
This connection between Mercury the ruler of Virgo and melancholy is a traditional one. Marsilio Ficino notes that Mercury is cold and dry, just like the melancholic nature. Three Books on Life Bk. I, Chapter IV (Kaske & Clarke) page 113. William Lilly says that, "Virgo it's an earthly, cold, melancholly ...Signe" Christian Astrology page 95.
The Lapidary says that the star Kappa Bootes has power over variegated onyx. The 2000 A.D. position of this star is in the 29th degree of Virgo. The Lapidary also says that the stone receives its virtue and works best when this star is in the midheaven.
Finally, in general the Lapidary instructs us to make sure that the planet that rules the sign and the planet that rules the decan where the star is located are strong.

The time chosen for the election is August 31, 2001 at 2:27 pm EDT in Washington, D.C. 38 N 55, 77 W 03. At this time the 29th degree of Virgo at at the Midheaven. Interestingly enough, Mercury itself is at the 29th degree and dignified by sign, exaltation and face (or decan). Thus our chosen star, Kappa Bootes, is in the proper position and the ruler of the sign and decan/face is quite strong.
Here is further information on Astrological Talismans and Astrological Magic. If you wish to delve even deeper into this fascinating area I offer an Astrological Magic Web Course.


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Copyright 2001 Christopher Warnock, All Rights Reserved.