Vacation ideas for families for They also knew that celestial signs, and any unfavorable interpretations of them by court astrologers that might leak out, risked empowering enemies inside and/or outside their realm, because to those eager for change, comets could be important portents of hope. Even Aristotle and Seneca believed that cometary apparitions were harbingers of disaster. Because bright comets have orbits that may cut across the ecliptic at any angle and hence are frequently located well away from the zodiac, they often did not it neatly into the standard Babylonian and Greco-Roman system of astrological interpretation focused on the zodiac. A different interpretive approach was therefore called for in the case of comets. Pliny the Elder Natural History ? set out principles by which cometary apparitions could be interpreted; by taking note of the comet’s appearance, its placement within the sky, and the way in which its tail pointed, one could igure out the nature and geographical location of the doom of which the comet was warning It is thought important to take note of the direction in which [the comet shoots, the star from which it receives its inluence, what it looks like, and in what places [in the sky it shines. If it looks like a lute, it is an omen regarding the art of music; if it appears in the private parts of constellations, it is an omen for immoral behavior; it portends genius and erudition if it forms an equilateral triangle or a rectangular quadrilateral in relation to some of the ixed stars; and it portends poisonings if it appears in the head of either the northern or the southern Serpent. Ptolemy held a view similar to Pliny, stating that the shape, the zodiacal constellation in which the coma appeared, the direction of the tails, the timing and duration of the apparition, and the position of the comet relative to the Sun were important clues for determining the meaning and target audience of a comet. Vacation ideas for families 2016.