Dr. Nostuabuk: On Moitie

The first to write authoritively about this idea was Philippe de Moitie*, an astrologer who lived during the reign of Henri IV. His only surviving manuscript, “Oublie les Orbes” (Forget Orbs) has been sadly ignored by mainstream astrology, even in his own time. As he sank into obscurity, by some ironic twist of fate, the concept of “orbs” which he had so contested became associated with his name. Later authors used the idea “moitie”, which interestingly enough also is French for half, to refer to the radius of an orb of influence of the planets. Curiously, moitie is equivalent to the modern orb (poor M. Moitie, forgotten again) which however has wandered from the planets to the aspects. Whatever. Both moitie and orbs can be safely ignored as it is more important to consider whether one planet beholds another. Vive M. Moitie! Oublie les Orbes!

Some young enthusiast in the 16th Century, tried to name the star X Oph in the constellation of Ophiuchus after him, but my second cousin Dr. Nostradamus talked him out of it. He wouldn’t hear of it. He said it wasn’t appropriate. But I still think that X Oph sounds like some 21st Century dandruff shampoo.

* Dear reader, Dr. Nostuabuk, sometimes has sources that noone has ever heard of. Try as hard as I could I wasn’t able to locate a copy of this rare manuscript, and as Dr. Nostuabuk lives quite retired and in an inaccessable part of the Pyrennes I haven’t had the opportunity to see the original. 😉 the editor


1 thought on “Dr. Nostuabuk: On Moitie

  1. There are those who assert that the argument advanced by M. Moitie makes a mockery of the efforts of medieval astrologers who worked so very hard to understand the philosophical and mathematical ideas underlying the concept of orb. These are often the same individuals who exempt themselves from the very criticisms which they disingenuously apply to others. Astrologers would do well to learn that the internal consistency of a symbolic paradigm may bear no intrinsic relation to whatever ontological truth it might contain.

    Be that as it may, M. Moitie is supported in his opinion by Mr. Lilly of Diseworth, who in 1677 wrote that a “partile aspect comes to pass within the difference of three degrees,” as well as by his illustrious predecessor, Antiochus of Athens, who in the second century AD wrote that “application in the proper sense” occurs within three degrees. (This is also portrayed through the degrees of the exalted planets, which were originally expressed as multiples of the number three.) To say that there were different usages in the matter of orb and application among the ancient and medieval astrologers would be to gild a rather doubtful lily. In defense of the memory of M. Moitie we say: HONI SOIT QUI MALY PENSE!

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