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The science has never been universal in its acceptance, though it is safe to say that, with its countless adherents in the East and the ever-increasing number of its advocates in the West, there is no faith which has a more universal application than the belief in the influence of the heavenly bodies over the destinies of human beings.It is not possible within the limits of a small handbook such as this to adequately consider the philosophic paradox which makes of Freewill in man a “necessity in play”; but it is obvious that the concept is not altogether unscientific, seeing that it is customary to speak of the “free path of vibration” in chemical atoms while at the same time it is known that these atoms have their restricted characteristics, modes of motion, &c., and are all subject to the general laws controlling the bodies of which they form integral parts.It claims for itself a place among the sciences for the sole reason that it is capable of mathematical demonstration, and deals only with the observed positions and motions of the heavenly bodies; and the man who holds to the principia of Newton, the solidarity of the solar system, the interaction of the planetary bodies and their consequent electrostatic effects upon the Earth, cannot, while subject to the air he breathes, deny the foundation principles of astrology.
But the orbits are elliptical, and the Sun holds a position in one of the foci of each ellipse.
It is recorded in the Historical Classic of China that at that time the astrologers Hi and Ho neglected their duties so that when, on the 10th of October, there was a great eclipse of the Sun at Peking between seven and nine o’clock in the morning, the people were wholly unprepared for it, and “ran about here and there in the utmost consternation.” For this offence Hi and Ho were deprived of their offices, their estates were confiscated and they were driven from the kingdom.
Among the Hindus we have the classical writers Garga, Parashara, and Mihira, together with their legions of commentators.
This is as much as can be expected in the limits of a small handbook.
The literature of the subject is considerable, and the present writer only takes credit to himself so far as his own wide experience and practice have enabled him to present the subject in a simple and brief manner.