The Homo Signorum, or Man of Signs, is a curious figure which appears in medieval astrological manuscripts. Known as the Melothesic Man or Moon’s Man in astrological medicine, it shows the Signs of the Zodiac on the specific parts of the body over which tradition has given them rulership. In practice, the Melothesia was consulted in order to know which part of the body to avoid “touching with iron” or applying medicine thereunto when the Moon was in that specific Sign. Such figures were depicted in Almanacks intended for astrological, agricultural, and meteorological prognostications. One such Almanack, printed for Daniel Brown in 1628, translates the original Latin of Manilius’ poem about the Melothesia into Hexameters, the verses indicating the proper placement of the Signs on the human frame:
Head and face Aries, necke and throate Taurus upholdeth,
To Gemini th’ armes, to Cancer brest stomach and lunges:
As Leo rules the backe and heart, so Virgo delighteth
In guts and belly: reignes and loynes Libra retaineth.
Scorpio the secrets and bladder challengeth: of thighes
Only Sagitarius the governour is: Capricornus
The knees as subjects doth guid, but Aquarius holdeth
The legs: and Pisces maintaine the feet to be their right.
Microcosmus Melothesia demonstrates the Hermetic ‘As Above, So Below’ motif wherein the Microcosm has correspondence with the Macrocosm. The emblem further reflects this with the Serpent biting its Tail, bringing to mind the Ouroboros in the Codex Marcianus, which is accompanied by the Greek phrase “En To Pan”, or “All in All”. Finally, we see here the graphic manifestation of the sentiment behind the saying ‘from head to toe’, wherein we arrive at the whole matter of a subject by travelling across the length of the Melothesia‘s form.