“Ever in administering Purges observe the three things, viz.
“1. The Time.
“2. The Age.
“3. And manner thereof.
“As concerning the Time, thou art to take heed the weather be not extream hot or cold; for so saith Hippocrates, part 4. Aphorism 5. Avoyd the dog days and frosty weather; therefore rainy and opened weather is good; and in his 46 Aphorisms of his 6 part, he proveth that the Spring and Autumn are more convenient for this purpose than Summer or Winter; yet he commendeth Winter more than Summer; for in summer the humours boyl through extremity of heat, and so fainteth the Spirits and annoyeth Nature much: he teacheth also, that in Summer we are to purge by the upper parts or by vomit; in Winter by the lower, or by purge, if necessary require that Physick must be given at these times.
“Secondly, as touching the Age, Physick by a prudent and wise physician ought not to be administered to infants nor decrepit old age, nor much to youth; for to the Child it is needless since it cannot duly work its effect, where there is neither strength nor matter to work on; and in age it worketh in a manner the same; but without doubt it must needs debilitate Nature in both; in youth a little at the Spring and Fall may be advantageous; but to take it often, it hindereth the natural heat and concoction, and so consequently the radical heat and moysture being hereby abated, the days of the party must needs be shortened.
“Lastly, Of the manner of administering Purges and other Medicines, some thou hast had already; but of administering of Purges thou shalt have beneath; wherefore here I shall onely give you this note or caution, and so proceed.
“That administer what you will when the Moon is in the first 15 degrees of Libra or Aquaries in the conjunction, square or the opposition of Saturn, Jupiter or Mars, or they in these configurations of one another, it hindreth the operation of the Physick.
“Ptolemy in his 56 Centiloqium saith, ‘ from the New Moon to the Full, the humidity and moisture of Bodies doth increase; but from the full to the New Moon, it decreaseth.’1 When the Moon is in her first quarter, viz. From her Conjunction with the Sun till the first Quartile, the humours of man’s body increase or flow from the inward parts of the body to the outward, in the rest retire or move from the External parts to the Internal; wherefore in the first quarter it is requisite that you know it is most fitting to apply then External evacuations, and afterwards Internal; yet I have ever held it safest to defer Internal potions till after its Opposition with the Sun, or as we vulgarly say, the Full Moon.
“Some of the Ancients have approved of Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio and Pisces to be placed on the Ascendant at the time of giving of Purges; others of Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces; and again, some of the latter degrees, or more plainly the last 15 degrees of Libra, and the first 15 degrees of Scorpio; also that the Moon should be in one of these places; so that the Learned in this most heavenly study have been of several opinions in this matter; there is none of them but had reasons for their rules, and any of them may be followed according as the case may stand with the Patient, and the humour be purged; wherefore as Ptolemy in his first aphorism of his Centiloquium saith, ‘ Life is short and Art long,’2 so most thou warily consider the state of thy Patient, and the reasons of the Ancients in their practice, which thou wilt soon know when thou art well versed in the nature of the Planets and Signs; wherefore I shall here desire thee to be thoroughly perfect in the second Treatise of this Volume before thou adventurest too far, and then thou needest not fear to go forwards.
“In my practice I have still followed these rules; To place the Ascendant in one of the watry signs, viz. Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces fortunate, as also the Lord thereof, and the Moon in one of the aforesaid signs also, and its dispositor; but especially I have desired if possible to place the Moon in the first 15 degrees of Scorpio, or the last 15 degrees of Libra beholding a Planet under the earth, and free from the aspects of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars; for that Saturn by his coldness doth thickene and make gross the humours, and closing up the pores doth hinder the effect of the Physick; Jupiter his aspects I have (so near as I could) still also avoyded, for that he being hot and moyst, and so consequently a helper or assister of Nature, the Physick working contrary, must needs be either hurt full or if no great efficacy; Mars, for that through his heat and dryness of nature he often times sharpeneth the humours to the extraction of blood if the Physick be strong, or when but moderately strong, if the Patient be weak.
“I have also ever shunned those times wherein the Moon doth any-wise behold a Planet above the earth, or a Planet that is retrograde, and those times I find her in Aries, Taurus, Capricorn or the last 15 degrees of Sagittary, for that they rather provoke the Patient to vomiting, although the nature of the Physick be a purge so ordained to work downwards; and this doth often for want of understanding rather increase the disease then diminish it, when Nature is thus weakned by this Combustion of the Physick and Nature, which is assisted by the influence of the superiors, the one working downwards, the other upwards, &c.
“And this my method I collected from the sayings of Hermes and Ptolemy; wherefore for thy better satisfaction I will here give thee their words, and first I will begin with Hermes, for that he is the more ancient, and was Ptolemy’s predecessor.
“Hermes then in his 74 aphorism of his Centiloquium saith,’ The Moon in ruminating Signs, joined to Retrograde Planets, it is not been good to Purge, the Physick will work upward to the Patients Injury.’3 The Moon in such signs as chew the Cud, (which you of heard already are Aries, Taurus, Capricorn, and the last part or 15 degrees of Sagittary) in Conjunction or Aspect with a retrograde Planet, it is not safe to administer purges, for they cause vomiting or some other mischief.
“And Ptolemy in his 21st of his Centiloquium saith, ‘ when the Moon is in Virgo or Pisces, and the Lord of the Ascendant, in Aspect to a Planet under the Earth, it much helps the working of Purging Physick; but if she were in Aspect to a Planet above the earth, the Agent will be subject to Vomit.’4 When the Moon is in Scorpio or Pisces, also the Lord of the Ascendant in configuration or Conjunction with a Planet under the earth, it is good to give or use purges. But if either of them be in configuration with a Planet above the earth, the Physick which is given shall be vomited up again.
“Again as touching Jupiter, as I have said, for that I know some will not condescend with me, Ptolemy in his 19 Centiloquium saith, ‘when the Moon is in conjunction with Jupiter, and purging Physick then taken, it becomes invalid and ineffectual.’ The strength and efficacy of a purge is taken away when the Moon is in Conjunction or configuration of Jupiter.
“Haly and Alkindi give directions that the Moon be in the last 15 degrees of Libra, or the first 15 degrees of Scorpio, and that its dispositor or the Lord of that house she is in, be strong or well dignified, Oriental and in an angle, and the Planet in configuration with him (if any there be) also be fortunate, Oriental and in an angle, and that the Lord of the Ascendant be also so posited; and the Moon and they free from the aspects of the Malevolents, especially the Moon, Lord of the Ascendant and the sign ascending, and Moon applying to Venus rather than Jupiter, for that she will further the Physick’s operation, and comfort the spirits of the Patient; but Jupiter will so fortifie Nature, that he will hinder the operation and effect of the potion; and let the Moon be received by the fortunes; and if its dispositor be weak, let him be received of the fortunes also by a Sextile or Trine.
“And if you would purge any particular member, or if the potion be prepared for such an use, observe still what has been already said, and place the Fortunes in that sign signifying the member of the body, and fortifie the sign as much as you can, and the Lord of the fourth House.
“But if your potion be prepared to cool, heat, moisten or dry, place the Moon and the Lord of the Ascendant in one of the signs signifying the temper you desire or aim at, viz. which is of the nature of the business you intend, and fortifie it; but signs chewing the Cud are to be avoyded, as you have heard, &c.
“If your purgation to expell or remove Melancholy, let the Moon be strong and in a Sextile or Trine of Jupiter; but remember to stick fast to what you have already heard in this Election and the subsequent rules; only let these applications of the Moon be particularly and chiefly followed and observed, etc.
“As if to purge choler, whenever apply by a benevolent aspect to Venus.
“To purge flegm, let her apply to the Sun. Note that these must be by Electuaries.5[an electuary is an oral medication where honey, syrup or jam is used to hide the taste of the powdered medication]
“Know thou that if the medicine be by potion for any of the these, Scorpio is preferred before any of the signs, and to be placed on the Ascendant, or the Moon to be therein when she so applies.
“If it is to be an Electuary, Cancer is to be chosen.
“If Pil[l]s, Pisces.
“Know further, if the Moon be in the Ascendant at the time you take the Physick, it causeth unusual swellings in the body.
“Let not the Moon and Lord of the Ascendant be in the fourth House, nor in the eighth, For it causeth destruction, observed the same in Phlebotomy.
“Still remember to fortifie your significators, and make them free from the configurations of the Malevolents.
“Let not the Lord of the eighth, or interficient or killing Planet be in an angle, nor in configuration with any of the significators. These things if thou diligently observest, thou shalt be an artificial workman, and shalt far exceed the chiefest Physician of thy time that is ignorant herein.
“If you would purge the spleen, let not Saturn be strong in the Heaven; and give your medicine in the hour of Jupiter, and let him be well dignified and placed or disposed.
“If the liver, let it not be in the hour of Jupiter, or when he is strong, but fortifie Saturn, and let it be in his hour.
“If the heart, let not the Sun be strong, neither apply your medicine in his hour; but if he be in the Ascendant, 10th or 7th House, you may safely administer Cordials; but purge not.
“When Mercury is strong, purge not the lungs.
“When Mars, purge not the gall.
“When Venus, purge not the members, or vessels of generation.
“When the Moon, purge not the brain.
“In preparing your medicines you may take any hour except the hours of Saturn and Mars.
“Note also that if any of the Infortunes were Lord of the Ascendant of the Patients Nativity, you may make use thereof; for though it may be hurtful to another, it will not be to him, as you have sufficiently heard at the beginning of this third Book.”
1 Ramesey gave this aphorism in Latin. I have inserted Partridge’s English translation.
2 Again, Ramesey paraphrase the Latin, which is actually a quote from Hippocrates.