Jewish Zodiac

חק נתן ולא יעבור - החק אחד מהם או החק לא יפסק. והטעם: כי שבתאי יסוב גלגלו פעמים בתשע וחמשים שנה וכן לכל אחד חק עולם...

'He has made a decree which shall not pass' — The [continuity of] the decree shall not be interrupted, which is explained by the fact that Saturn will continue to move along its circle twice every fifty-nine years, and also [by the fact] that an eternal law [has been administered] to each one [of the planets]...

בַּר סִירָא אָמַר, אֱלוֹהַּ הֶעֱלָה סַמִּים מִן הָאָרֶץ, בָּהֶם הָרוֹפֵא מְרַפֵּא אֶת הַמַּכָּה, וּבָהֶם הָרוֹקֵחַ מְרַקֵּחַ אֶת הַמִּרְקַחַת. אָמַר רַבִּי סִימוֹן אֵין לְךָ כָּל עֵשֶׂב וְעֵשֶׂב, שֶׁאֵין לוֹ מַזָּל בָּרָקִיעַ שֶׁמַּכֶּה אוֹתוֹ, וְאוֹמֵר לוֹ גְּדַל, הֲדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב (איוב לח, לג): הֲיָדַעְתָּ חֻקּוֹת שָׁמָיִם אִם תָּשִׂים מִשְׁטָרוֹ בָאָרֶץ וגו', לָשׁוֹן שׁוֹטֵר (איוב לח, לא): הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ משְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ, רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בַּר פָּפָּא וְרַבִּי סִימוֹן אָמַר, כִּימָה מְעַדֶּנֶת אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת, וּכְסִיל מוֹשֵׁךְ בֵּין קֶשֶׁר לְקֶשֶׁר. הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (איוב לח, לב): הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִּשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם, רַבִּי תַּנְחוּם בַּר חִיָּא וְרַבִּי סִימוֹן אָמְרוּ, מַזָּל הוּא שֶׁהוּא מְמַזֵּר אֶת הַפֵּרוֹת.

Bar Sira said (Ben Sira 38:7-8), "God brings forth spices from the earth. With them the healer heals the ailments, and with them the perfumer perfumes the perfumes." Said Rabbi Simon, "There isn't a single herb or spice that doesn't have a constellation in the firmaments that smacks it and tells it to grow." And behold, this is written in Job 38:33: "Do you know the laws of Heaven? Can you place its authority (šiṭro) on Earth?" etc. The language is "šoṭer" (officer/regulator). "Can you tie binds on the Pleiades, or the cords of Orion loosen?" (Job 38:31) Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa and Rabbi Simon said, "The Pleiades binds the fruits, and Orion pulls from binding to binding." And behold, this is written (Job 38:32) "Can you bring out the Zodiac in its season, Ursa Major with her sons you can lead?" Rabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥiyya and Rabbi Simon said, "A constellation is 'Mazal' because it stretches [m'mazzer] out the fruits."

משנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כו' אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה אמר רב פפא הלכך בר ישראל דאית ליה דינא בהדי נכרי לישתמיט מיניה באב דריע מזליה ולימצי נפשיה באדר דבריא מזליה

§ The mishna teaches that from when the month of Av begins, one decreases acts of rejoicing. Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilat, said in the name of Rav: Just as when Av begins one decreases rejoicing, so too when the month of Adar begins, one increases rejoicing. Rav Pappa said: Therefore, in the case of a Jew who has litigation with a gentile, let him avoid him in the month of Av, when the Jews’ fortune is bad, and he should make himself available in Adar, when his fortune is good.

אֲמַר לְהוּ רַבִּי חֲנִינָא, פּוּקוּ אֱמַרוּ לֵיהּ לְבַר לֵיוַאי: לֹא מַזַּל יוֹם גּוֹרֵם אֶלָּא מַזַּל שָׁעָה גּוֹרֵם. הַאי מַאן דִּבְחַמָּה — יְהֵי גְּבַר זִיוְתָן, יְהֵי אָכֵיל מִדִּילֵיהּ וְשָׁתֵי מִדִּילֵיהּ, וְרָזוֹהִי גַּלְיִין, אִם גָּנֵיב — לָא מַצְלַח. הַאי מַאן דִּבְכוֹכָב נוֹגַהּ — יְהֵי גְּבַר עַתִּיר וְזַנַּאי יְהֵי. מַאי טַעְמָא? מִשּׁוּם דְּאִיתְיְלִיד בֵּיהּ נוּרָא. הַאי מַאן דִּבְכוֹכָב — יְהֵי גְּבַר נָהִיר וְחַכִּים, מִשּׁוּם דְּסָפְרָא דְחַמָּה הוּא. הַאי מַאן דְּבִלְבָנָה — יְהֵי גְּבַר סָבֵיל מַרְעִין, בָּנֵי וְסָתַר, סָתַר וּבָנֵי, אָכֵיל דְּלָא דִּילֵיהּ וְשָׁתֵי דְּלָא דִּילֵיהּ וְרָזוֹהִי כַּסְיִין אִם גָּנֵב — מַצְלַח. הַאי מַאן דִּבְשַׁבְּתַאי — יְהֵי גְּבַר מַחְשְׁבָתֵיהּ בָּטְלִין. וְאִית דְּאָמְרִי: כׇּל דִּמְחַשְּׁבִין עֲלֵיהּ בָּטְלִין. הַאי מַאן דִּבְצֶדֶק — יְהֵי גְּבַר צִדְקָן. אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן בַּר יִצְחָק: וְצַדְקָן בְּמִצְוֹת. הַאי מַאן דִּבְמַאְדִּים — יְהֵי גְּבַר אָשֵׁיד דְּמָא. אָמַר רַב אָשֵׁי: אִי אוּמָּנָא, אִי גַּנָּבָא, אִי טַבָּחָא, אִי מָהוֹלָא. אָמַר רַבָּה: אֲנָא בְּמַאְדִּים הֲוַאי. אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: מָר נָמֵי עָנֵישׁ וְקָטֵיל.

Rabbi Ḥanina said to his students who heard all this: Go and tell the son of Leiva’i, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi: It is not the constellation of the day of the week that determines a person’s nature; rather, it is the constellation of the hour that determines his nature.
One who was born under the influence of the sun will be a radiant person; he will eat from his own resources and drink from his own resources, and his secrets will be exposed. If he steals he will not succeed, because he will be like the sun that shines and is revealed to all.
One who was born under the influence of Venus will be a rich and promiscuous person. What is the reason for this? Because fire was born during the hour of Venus, he will be subject the fire of the evil inclination, which burns perpetually.
One who was born under the influence of Mercury will be an enlightened and expert man, because Mercury is the sun’s scribe, as it is closest to the sun.
One who was born under the influence of the moon will be a man who suffers pains, who builds and destroys, and destroys and builds. He will be a man who eats not from his own resources and drinks not from his own resources, and whose secrets are hidden. If he steals he will succeed, as he is like the moon that constantly changes form, whose light is not its own, and who is at times exposed and at times hidden.
One who was born under the influence of Saturn will be a man whose thoughts are for naught. And some say that everything that others think about him and plan to do to him is for naught.
One who was born under the influence of Jupiter [tzedek] will be a just person [tzadkan]. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And just in this context means just in the performance of mitzvot.
One who was born under the influence of Mars will be one who spills blood. Rav Ashi said: He will be either a blood letter, or a thief, or a slaughterer of animals, or a circumciser. Rabba said: I was born under the influence of Mars and I do not perform any of those activities. Abaye said: My Master also punishes and kills as a judge.

דְּקָאֵי צֶדֶק בְּמַעֲרָב — מְהַדַּרְנָא וּמוֹקֵימְנָא לֵיהּ בְּמִזְרָח. וְהַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב: ״מִי הֵעִיר מִמִּזְרָח צֶדֶק יִקְרָאֵהוּ לְרַגְלוֹ״.
Is it because Jupiter is situated in the west that you cannot have children? I will restore it and establish it in the east. And that is the meaning of that which is written with regard to Abraham: “Who has raised up one from the east, he will call justice [tzedek] to his steps [leraglo]. He gives nations before him, and makes him rule over kings; his sword makes them as the dust, his bow as the driven stubble” (Isaiah 41:2). God established Jupiter [tzedek] in the east on behalf of [leraglo] Abraham.
וּמִדִּשְׁמוּאֵל נָמֵי אֵין מַזָּל לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. דִּשְׁמוּאֵל וְאַבְלֵט הֲווֹ יָתְבִי, וַהֲווֹ קָאָזְלִי הָנָךְ אִינָשֵׁי לְאַגְמָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַבְלֵט לִשְׁמוּאֵל: הַאי גַּבְרָא אָזֵיל וְלָא אָתֵי, טָרֵיק לֵיהּ חִיוְיָא וּמָיֵית. אֲמַר לֵיהּ שְׁמוּאֵל: אִי בַּר יִשְׂרָאֵל הוּא, אָזֵיל וְאָתֵי. אַדְּיָתְבִי אֲזַל וַאֲתָא.
And from that which transpired to Shmuel, one can also conclude that there is no constellation for the Jewish people. The Gemara relates that Shmuel and the gentile sage Ablet were sitting, and they saw these people were going to the lake. Ablet said to Shmuel: This person will go and he will not return, because a snake will bite him and he will die. Shmuel said to him: If he is a Jew, he will go and come back. As they were sitting for a while, the person they discussed went away and then returned.