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Encyclopedia of Astrology (Nicholas deVore)

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Baal. (Lord). Among the Phoenicians the chief male divinity who appears to have symbolized the Sun, more particularly the Sun in Taurus. Baal was worshipped in agricultural festivals as the god of fertility of soil and increase of flocks. In successive periods of the history of the ancient Semitic races, the name was assigned to innumerable local deities. The Baal of Tyre was introduced among the Israelite settlers by Ahab. Hannibal was so named because he was supposed to be in favor with Baal.

Babel, Tower of. A temple dedicated to the study of the planets, which were supposed to divulge the secrets of life and guide human destiny.

Babylon. An ancient Semitic city in the Euphrates valley, which after 2250 B.C., as the capital of Babylonia, became a center of world commerce and of the arts and sciences, its life marked by luxury and magnificence. The city in which they built the Tower of Babel, its location coincides approximately with that of the modern city of Baghdad - now the center of a vast agricultural community. The Babylonians attached great importance to the motions of the planets, accurately fixed their orbits and worked out tables of the phases of the Moon, whereby eclipses could be correctly predicted. Their great astrological work, "The Illumination of Bel," was compiled within the period of 2100-1900 B.C.. From fragments of the tablets of another astrological work which has been preserved, it is found that their calendar began with March 21; and its twelve divisions, and their names, give evidence of astrological significance. Their story of the deluge closely parallels that of the Bible, and the location of their Mount Nisir (Mount of Refuge) is seemingly that of Mt. Ararat, where the ark stranded. Their Hanging Gardens were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. From what remains of their literature, it appears that with the rise of astrology there arose a wave of fatalism which, however, later gave way to a doctrine of self-determination - the belief that the stars impel but do not compel. Babylon is generally conceded to have been the cradle of astrology. It was overthrown in 539 A.D., by Xerxes, the Persian.

Babylonian. An astrologer: so-called because the Babylonians were famed for their knowledge of Astrology.

Barren Signs. Gemini, Leo and Virgo. The Moon in Sagittarius, and Aquarius is also said to signify a tendency toward barrenness. v. Signs: Barren and Fertile.

Beholding Signs. Those which have the same declination; i.e., at equal distances from the Tropics; as Aries and Virgo, Taurus and Leo, Gemini and Cancer, Libra and Pisces, Scorpio and Aquarius, Sagittarius and Capricorn. Because such pairs of Signs were either both Northern, or both Southern, they were by Ptolemy deemed to be "of equal power." This consideration, however, applied only when two such Signs were joined by a body in each, mutually configurated.

Bel. (Lord). The Babylonian form of Baal. He was a member of the supreme triad of deities: Anu, god of the heavens; Bel, god of the Earth; and Ea, god of the waters.

Belts of Jupiter. A varying number of dusky belt-like bands or zones encircling the planet Jupiter, parallel to its equator. It suggests the existence of an atmosphere, the clouds forced into a series of parallels through the rapidity of rotation, the dark body of the planet showing through relatively clear spaces between.

 Benefic Aspects. Planetary relations, or familiarities, which permit the unobstructed release of cosmic energy, hence conducive to harmony. (v. Aspects: Benefic, Malefic.) B. Influences. Those produced by benefic planets and aspects, either in the Nativity or by transits. B. Planets. The so-called benefics: Venus and Jupiter, by some the Sun. (v. Planets.)

Besieged. A benefic planet situated between two malefics, within orbs of each, is said to be besieged and therefore unfortunately placed. Some authorities restrict its application to a Significator when between and within orbs of two benefics. Older authorities, who applied the term to a planet situated between any two planets, considered a planet between Venus and Jupiter to be favorably besieged, but if between Mars and Saturn it was in an extremely unfavorable position.

Bestial signs. Those which have been symbolized by beasts, or animals: Aries, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, the last half of Sagittarius, Capricorn and Pisces. v. Signs.

Bicorporeal. Said of double-bodied Signs: Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces. As originally employed by Ptolemy, bicorporeal was the only term by which he characterized the signs that are now designated as Mutable, or Deductive. Thus it is apparent that he classified Virgo also as bicorporeal. v. Signs.

Bi-Quintile v. Aspect

Birth Moment What is generally accepted as the true moment of birth is the moment of the first inspiration of breath after ligation of the umbilical cord. At that moment the infant ceases to receive blood conditioned through the mother's receptivities, and in response to the law of adaptability must grow channels of receptivity to cosmic frequencies that accord with those present in the Earth's magnetic field, and through these receptivities it begins to condition its own blood. This moment must be reduced to Standard Time, adjusted to Greenwich world-time for calculating the planets' places, thence readjusted to Local Mean Time at the birth place to determine the Ascendant and the Midheaven degrees and the House-cusps.

Birth Stones v. Sign.

Bitter Signs. A term applied by older authorities to the Fire Signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, which were said to be hot, fiery and bitter. v. Signs.

Blend A term employed by Maurice Weymss to indicate a relationship between zodiacal degrees (1) when the ruler of one degree is in or in close aspect to the other degree; (2) when one degree is closely aspecting or in the same degree as the ruler of the other degrees; or (3) when the rulers of each degree are in close aspect to each other.

Brahmanaspati. Hindu name for the planet Jupiter. A deity in the Rig-Veda. Known in Vedic mythology as Brihaspati, signifying the power of prayer. His wife Tara was carried away by Soma (the Moon).

Broken Signs. v. Signs.

Brutish signs v. Signs

Buddha. (1) Gautama Siddhartha, founder of Buddhism in the 6th century B.C., was classed by his followers as the perfect example of a divine godly man. His religion taught tolerance, universal compassion, charity, love, self-sacrifice, poverty, and contentment with one's lot. His faith was never enforced by fire and sword. (2) Esoterically connected with the planet Mercury, as the enlightened and wise one who has attained perfect wisdom.

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