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Julius Firmicus Maternus - Ancient Astrology Questions

Hello All,

Thank you for accepting my registration, I'm greatly looking forward to delving into Esoteric Online's teachings.

Straight off the bat I have a couple of questions from the theory and practice of  Julius Firmicus Maternus if anyone has experience/can provide feedback on please. 

In his Ancient Astrology book:

Page 76 (of the original), Note 8 - "By night in this house he makes them waste their paternal inheritance, and he indicates an early death for the father." 

Could anyone please provide their interpretation on what it means to "waste their paternal inheritance" please?

And then again also on Page 159 (of the original), Note 16 - "The native will be involved in illicit activities through aggressive desire for women, but only until the rising oft he sign is accomplished"

Would also like to know anyone's interpretation on what it means to "accomplish the rising of the sign" please?

I figure this is metaphorically speaking, however I'm not sure of his interpretation of it and would greatly appreciate another's perspective.

Best Regards


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Hi, Joseph;  

I'm not an expert on Firmicus Maternus, but I have done some study of traditional/classical astrology.  I read the passage you're asking about, and it seems that FM is just going through some placements of Saturn, both by house placement and whether the birth is a day or night birth (I think this is what he is meaning).  In traditional astrology the planets function/behave/influence differently depending on the sign they are in, the house, how they are aspected and by what other planet, where the chart is a day or a night chart, etc.  Some planets like the night; others like the day, and they don't or can't fulfill their best qualities or highest callings when they are in places or conditions that are not comfortable for them.  

I take the phrase about wasting his paternal inheritance to mean just that, that the native fritters away anything he gets from the father, be it money, property, opportunity (from social position, etc.), and perhaps other less material meanings as well.  The fourth house is the house of the father and the family lineage in traditional astrology.  In traditional astrology Saturn is the planet of loss and death, or lesser expressions of that as in hard times.  That is why he is referred to as the Greater Malefic.  He is cold and dry.  When he's as his best he still represents structure and discipline, boundaries, etc.   So Saturn's qualities playing out in the house of the father in a person's chart might indicate the things outlined in that paragraph, or things similar to that.  Of course one must look at the rest of the chart, too, to see what else is going on, not only with Saturn, but with the other planets, what else might be interacting with that Saturn, perhaps mitigating some of the harshness of Saturn.  

As for the second citation, I'm really not sure what that refers to. I have some vague ideas, but I'm really not sure.  If no one else offers a good explanation on here, send me a private message and I'll try to hook you up with other traditional astrology resources/groups.

Hope that helped.  I wasn't sure how much of the basic concepts of traditional/classical astrology you are familiar with.  Statements like that really make more sense if one has some idea of the concepts used in ancient astrology already on board.

Hi Deb,

Thank you kindly for your comments. I agree with your take on Saturn's interaction on the father in the 4th house. I guess it can relate to anything 'inherited' from morals to material objects then.

As for the second, I have an idea of what it could be referring to, however I just want to make sure I'm not over reading/thinking it. If no one else chirps in i'll definitely PM you to see if you can put me onto to other resources and the like.

Thanks again!

All the best.



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