Were You Born Under a Lucky Star (1901) by A. Alpheus

Were you born under a lucky star? : a complete exposition of the science of astrology adapted from the four books of Ptolemy.
Were you born under a lucky star
Were you born under a lucky star?

Excerpt from the author's introduction:

So many eminent men, eminent both in science and literature, have been secretly interested in astrology of late years, that we may not unreasonably expect before long a public movement toward a scientific investigation of the observed facts in connection with it. And then we may hope that the ordinary man will not burst into peals of laughter at the very mention of the word "astrology" as he does today. There are several elements that militate against the serious study of astrology. The first and greatest is the almost utter lack in this day of anything approaching a scientific knowledge of mind and emotion. Astrology presumes to point out how mind and emotion are molded. But we must understand the mind before we can reasonably go on to an investigation of the causes which made it so. What do the scientists know of love, the most powerful of human emotions! How very small is our knowledge of the natural processes of human observation, and deduction! What little we do know, came down to us chiefly from the Greeks. Indeed, we may say that our knowledge of the intellectual processes and the commonest emotions of a human being are of the most elementary kind. And this confusion of knowledge has introduced into astrology vital mistakes. 

Personally, I have never seen a scintilla of evidence to suppose that the positions of the planets in any way determine human events except in determining the crystallization of human character at birth. But in attempting to account for events in life, no distinction has been made between those events which are the result of character and those which come from quite different causes. 

For instance, an astrologer foretells that a child should die of drowning in his sixth year. But it is not the event that he really can say anything about, only the disposition of the child to meddle with water at that age. The child will very likely fall into the water, as in a case I have in mind, but astrology had no possible means of knowing that someone would fish him out before he was drowned. A certain horoscope indicated the character of a lawyer, who at a certain period of his life would have an inclination toward female clients. 

If at that time he had such a distinguished client, it was by no means the stars that brought that client to him. His disposition naturally led him to associate himself with whatever eminent female criminal client might then have need of a lawyer. Again, many people have died violent deaths for which there seems no reason in the horoscope.

 It simply illustrates the fact, as I personally believe it to be, that there are two kinds of fate the one in a man's own character, the other in circumstances outside. With those outside circumstances, astrology has nothing to do, though indeed it often seems to have much because we do not understand, with our limited .psychology, the difference between the events which result from a man's own nature and those which come from wholly exterior circumstances. The second great obstacle in the path of a scientific investigation of astrology is the fact that it is almost entirely in the hands of those mystics who either call themselves "artists," or else apply to themselves the adjective "esoteric," whatever that may mean. It is of course impossible for the scientist to consider seriously that ethereal fluid which emanates from the stars and penetrates man's being, or to indulge in rhapsodies over the spiritual harmony of the universe. These terms and theories no doubt foreshadow and correspond with actual discoveries and facts, but they mean nothing to the scientists. In short, a scientific theory of astrology is necessary before the scientist will be tempted even to investigate the facts observed.

Contents of the book

Introduction—Human Crystallization. 5

I. Ptolemy and Modern Science. 19

II. The Necessary Knowledge of Astronomy 23

III. The Sun and the Zodiac .... 39

IV. The Moon and the Planets. 44

V. Houses and Angles.52

VI. Aspects. 62

VII. Prediction.70

VIII. Exemplification. 84

IX. The Uses and Difficulties of Astrology 99

X. Ptolemy’s Rules for Judging Fortunes 106

Appendix A.132

Appendix B.134

Appendix C.135

Appendix D.163

Appendix E.167

Tables. 179

Author: A. Alpheus
Publication Date: 1901

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