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Masculine and feminine planets (1)

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01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

2nd century CE
Roman Empire
Helleno-Roman philosophers and scholars

Both in Mesopotamia and in Hellenistic astrology Mercury is both male and female, and the gender of Venus depends on whether (s)he appears as the morning-star (female) or the evening star (male).

Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 1.7:
Again, since there are two primary kinds of natures, male and female, and of the forces already mentioned that of the moist is especially feminine - for as a general thing this element is present to a greater degree in all females, and the others rather in males ­ with good reason the view has been handed down to us that the moon and Venus are feminine, because they share more largely in the moist, and that the sun, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars are masculine, and Mercury common to both genders, inasmuch as he produces the dry and the moist alike. They say too that the stars become masculine or feminine according to their aspects to the sun, for when they are morning stars and precede the sun they become masculine, and feminine when they are evening stars and follow the sun. Furthermore this happens also according to their positions with respect to the horizon; for when they are in positions from the orient to mid-heaven, or again from the occident to lower mid-heaven, they become masculine because they are eastern, but in the other two quadrants, as western stars, they become feminine.

Source (list of abbreviations) (source links will open in a new browser window)
Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 1.7


Reiner 1995, 6Reiner, Erica. “Astral Magic in Babylonia.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 85.4 (1995) 1-150. [JSTOR (requires subscription)]

Amar Annus

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