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Parent nodes: Astrology | Great Chain of Being

Sibling nodes: Emanation | Planes of existence | The Planets | Astrological Zodiac

Astrological Cosmology - the Celestial Spheres

The astrological spheres

The Ptolemaic Universe. From Aristotle Libri de caelo (1519). (Duke University Library). found on external link Shakespeare's Life and Times - The medieval universe

In the centre are shown the four elements, from the middle outwards: earth, water, air, fire. Around and above them are the seven planets (indiacted also by an astrological symbol). To the left of each is the corersponding musical note, and on the right is the time each planet takes to circle the earth (ann. = years).

Beyond the planets is the spheres of the fixed stars, showing the signs of the zodiac. Beyond that are further spehers, although there was little consensus here. In this diagram there is first the crystalline sphere (which is responsible for the precession of the equinoxes, and rotates once every 49,000 years), the primum mobile, or first mover (which rotated once every 24 hours) and the empyrean, or heavenly sphere. In other systems, the Prime Mover is the outermost sphere, beyond which is God. In still other systems, there are various angelological hierarchies beyond the sphere of the planets and fixed stars but below the Prime Mover.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 3 November 2009