What is this? Do you believe that the stars influence our lives?

No, I don't. But I do think that the study of astrology provides an insight into the medieval worldview that is lacking in the modern perspective. Everything is tied up together - medicine, astrology, cooking - through the doctrine of the four humours and the four elements (earth, air, fire, water). The seven planets and the fixed stars determined everything from the best time to get married to the best time for bloodletting to what you should serve for dinner. I'm trying to get a feel for that worldview as part of my study of medieval sciences, and I'm sharing my studies online.

My researchs are based around a hypothetical scholar, Palmerin di Castello, studying at the University of Bologna in the 1480s. As far as possible or practical, every source I use would have been available to Palmerin, and methods used are the same as he would have used, along with every other scholar for centuries.

So what are those sources and methods?

For the astrological interpretation, Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos is a major source, along with Alcabitius' Introduction to Astrology. The Tetrabiblos is easily available online, and Alcabitius is from a 2004 translation. I've constructed an astrolabe, and am working on understanding Ptolemaic planetary theory well enough to create my own ephemeris. Planetary position data currently come from JPL's Horizons system. While I do use medieval methods to calculate the ascendant, houses, and so on, having drawnup my own Tables of Obliquities and Ascensions, for convenience I use a computer program I wrote to perform the lookups. I do assemble the horoscope diagram by hand, from the information returned by the computer, and all interpretations are the combined products of Ptolemy, Alcabitius, and my own brain, not computer-generated texts. Please see the Astrology section of this site for more information and a full bibliography.

Will you cast my horoscope? Or a friend or relation's?

Maybe. If I have time. This is a hobby, along with many other hobbies. Since it does take time for me to do this, I may ask for a small fee. Very small, if all you want is the same electronic information as appears here, but for a specific time and place, or somewhat larger if you want an authentic-appearing document as penned by a fifteenth-century astrologer. (And wouldn't that be a neat elevation present for someone in the SCA? Or Coronation? Or even to predict Crown Tourney?) If you tell me some details about the person or event, I'll try to work them in, while still remaining faithful to the medieval sources (there's lots of room for interpretation!).

Since this is a hobby, turnaround time might not be very prompt. I'll try to be honest when you contact me how long I think it will take.

I reserve the right to refuse to construct a horoscope to anyone who appears to be looking for serious life guidance. There are far more useful places for that.