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A Chapter on Man’s Acceptance of Crafts

Know, that the ability of children to learn various skills and crafts varies in accordance to their temperament which in turn is determined by their birth; a phenomenon we have explained in the ‘Epistle on the Influence of the Stars on Births’. However, we feel the need to discuss select aspects from it in this context.

Know, that some people are predisposed to learn a craft or many crafts with the utmost of ease. There are many people who are naturally gifted and can learn a craft by simply observing craftsmen carrying out their crafts to an extent that they attain proficiency in it. Others, however, are in need of intensive teaching and continuous encouragement, and even then they may not succeed in mastering a craft, since it does not conform to his disposition and what his birth has necessitated for him. Finally, there are those who are unable to learn any craft and are bereft of any inclination towards them. One reason for this is that a new born child will not be inclined towards any craft but according to the influence of stars.

If a new born is influenced by either Mars, Venus or Mercury then without doubt he will acquire a craft. The acquisition of any craft requires action, enthusiasm and skill. Mars denotes action, Venus enthusiasm and Mercury skill. However, all those who are influenced by either the Sun, Saturn, Jupiter or the Moon will not attain proficiency in a craft but will be inclined to deeds and actions innate to their star of influence. Those influenced by the Sun will not take up a craft because of their inherent self-importance and pride, like the sons of kings. Those influenced by Jupiter will not be inclined towards learning a craft for they forsake the world, and are pleased with what little material wealth they possess and since they have set their minds on seeking the hereafter, like prophets and all those who follow them. Those influenced by Saturn will not take up a craft or trade due to their lethargy and listless tendencies, and their acceptance of belittlement and disgrace to their selves in seeking their livelihood by begging and mendicancy. As for those influenced by the Moon, they will not do so due to their abasement, apathy and ignorance. The ancient Greeks were well aware of such influences and when the time came to select a craft for their young they would take these factors into consideration when making their decision.

Know, that the crafts of fathers and forefathers are more suitable for their descendants than those of strangers, especially when the birth of the child is also indicative of such inclination and they demonstrate the necessary skill and prowess for it. It was for this reason that Ardahir I mandated that people should only take up the crafts of their forefathers and not seek any alternate ones, believing this to be a divine injunction in the Book of Zardosht. Know, that this was done in order to safeguard the kingdom so that those who are unfit to rule do not aspire to do so. If the number of aspirers for the kingship increases so will disputes and clashes amongst them, which in turn will create great unrest and disorder, leading to worsening conditions and the annulment of all law and order. This will all ultimately yield destruction and ruin.