View Full Version : Horary Astrology

24-11-2002, 08:00
As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, I hope to do some readings shortly using the techniques of Horary Astrology. However before I start, I think I need to explain a little about this branch of Astrology, so that you know what to expect.

Most of the readings that have taken place in this forum have been based on the natal chart of the person seeking a reading – the chart that was drawn up for their exact (as possible) time and place of birth. However when Astrology developed, few people knew the time or even in many cases the date of their birth. This applied to those rich enough to employ Astrologers, almost as much as anyone else. Therefore instead of calculating a natal chart when they were asked a question, Astrologer’s calculated a chart for the time and place that they understood the question that they were being asked. The underlying idea being that the forces, energies, pressures which led to the question being asked were mirrored in the movement of the heavens – the Law of Correspondences ‘As Above So Below’. The word Horary comes from the Latin for hour and the chart is a chart of the ‘hour’ the question was understood.

What sort of questions can be asked – anything at all, so long as it is of immediate and practical need, as far as the querent (questioner) is concerned. The question should relate to current actions or decisions that the querent is considering. Thus the question, ‘should I go to Paris for my holiday?. is of immediate and personal concern. What is the weight of that bag of sugar? is not a question that horary astrology can answer – there is no decision or action involved. If the weight of the bag of sugar has consequences for the querent then rephrased in a form such as ‘Should I buy a new bag of sugar or will that one last me through the week? provides a horary question.

Horary does not work with frivolous questions though, or questions which the querent knows the answer to but is testing the Astrologer (and I’m sure many Tarot readers out there have met such querents themselves). Luckily there are some tests which the astrologer can apply to spot ‘duff’ questions or questions which are asked either too early or too late. You may therefore find that I come back and say that at the moment I can’t answer your question or that you’ve left things a little late.

You can therefore ask about any decision or action you are considering. If I’m not sure of what your question means exactly I will post back and ask for clarification before I cast the chart – only when I’m sure I understand will I do the reading.

For example, I recently dealt with a question on this forum which asked if a person would ever again meet the man she had had a romance with and who now was not answering her calls and was in another country. I answered her question ‘Yes’ she would meet him again but I had to point out that I suspected that the question she really meant to ask was would the romance take off again - and that question I did not know the answer to because it was not the question she asked. She might well meet him again but not in any romantic situation. So its important that you ask the question that you really want answering – you don’t get a second chance (at least not till some time has passed).

The technique can be very simple or quite complex (but that’s my problem :) ) Basically once the chart is cast, I do some tests to see if it is a valid horoscope. Then I check that the Ascendant and first House is descriptive of the querent and his or her situation. If this is so then the ruling planet of the sign on the Ascendant becomes the significator of the querent.

The question subject matter or the quesited to use the ancient term is located into one of the other eleven houses depending on what the subject is. Each house rules an area of life and in horary there are detailed lists of things ruled by each house – some of the things ruled by the eighth were discussed in the recent study group thread. Thus if you ask the question ‘should I buy a new car?’ then the new car is a third house matter (local travel) and the ruler of the third house becomes the significator of the car.

The next step is to check to see whether there is or will be a favourable aspect between the two significators before one or the other leaves their current sign. Favourable aspects are trines, sextiles and usually conjunctions. If there is such an aspect coming up then the answer is ‘Yes!’. If the aspect will be a square, or opposition or some conjunctions (such as with Saturn) then the answer is ‘No!’ If no aspect will be made then nothing will come of the matter.

Similarly questions about romance will be placed in the fifth, ones relating to marriage and partnerships in the seventh, ones relating to career in the tenth and ones relating to property – especially movable property in the second.

Horary is supposed to be able to deal with question such as ‘Where did I leave my spectacles?’ or will the person who stole my purse be caught? - indeed these are some of the most popular questions overall.

Much of the underlying principles are quite ancient and even today classical Astrologers from the early centuries AD are quoted but most especially the Seventeenth Century Astrologer, William Lilly, is considered the father of horary Astrology and his book Christian Astrology Volume 1 is still used as the textbook in many horary Astrology courses. Its on my ‘have to buy’ reading list!

If you want to ask questions about how to ask questions or any other issue relating to horary Astrology ask away. I’ve only touched on the main themes here but as soon as people feel confident to ask a question then off we’ll go.

One last point - I'm a learner here so I don't guarantee to get the right answer - don't bet your life on me being right!

24-11-2002, 09:08
I have not ventured into this part of astrology because I'm still working with getting familiar with the basics. I never took the time to know what Horary was, let me see if I have this right;
take a natal chart, take the positions of planets and such currently and look at the house(natal) that holds the 'subject/topic' in question...compare the two to determine an answer.
OR is it just where the planets are currently and their infuence on humans and other energies?

24-11-2002, 09:25

The natal chart is not use at all (unless the Astrologer needs more information) the chart is cast for the 'Here and Now' as far as the Astrologer is concerned.

So if you ask me 'Should I go to San Francisco on business next weekend or go fishing instead?' by posting the question on this forum then I cast the chart for the moment I understand the question - and it might be several hours later when I read the post - and for the place that I am in. So even if you happen to be in California, I will cast the chart for Standish, England because that' where I am when I read your question.

The planetary positions are what they were at that moment of understanding. So even if I can't do the reading or enter the data in my Astrology prog then and there, I will have to make a note of the time and enter that time (and date if it gets to the next day or later) in the prog when I get the chance.

In a real sense the chart relates more to me - the reader - than you the querent because its timing depends on my moment of understanding.

The defence of this seemingly bizarre process is that the Astrologer is the equivalent of the professional that you call in. For example if you get worried by your sore throat you will go and see the doctor. Only at the moment of consultation and diagnosis does the doctor begin the treatment of your sore throat. Even if you have been suffering for several days, the real treatment only begins when you consult. The same would be true for consulting a lawyer, or a plumber. Its the moment of consultation and understanding that starts the process off.

The first House in my horary chart should describe you and your question - just as the doctor's examination of your throat should describe your condition.

Hope that helps but come back at me if I've waffled too much

24-11-2002, 09:50
I have a WAY better understanding of it now.
so it was more like the 'or' I posted. and the astrologer is the 'tool' the go-between. This facinates me. So the Horary chart for that moment would be like a tarot draw...the card reader equals the astrologer.
I have often wondered about how the Moon and Sun books put out yearly determined when the'BEST' times are for doing something like a lawsuit or a property purchase. Are they using Horary?

24-11-2002, 10:13
The analogy of the Tarot reader is spot on - the roles are virtually the same, except that the Tarot reader interprets the cards and the Astrologer interprets the chart.

The best times to do things falls under the heading of electional astrology which is very similar to horary. Its called electional because you choose or elect to do something. The aim here is to pick a time when the planets are so arranged that the outcome is likely to be successful. This usually involves trying to get beneficial planets like Sun, Jupiter, Venus and the Moon in good positions - for example near the ascendant or ruler of the House of the matter you want to undertake or at the midheaven and with no particularly bad aspects to other planets.

As the hours of the day are themselves ruled by planets, choosing to act during the time when the Sun or Jupiter is the Hour Lord is much better than choosing to act when Mars or Saturn in ruler - see my post on Planetary Hour Lords. You might therefore also take that into consideration as well as the general planetary conditions you are after.

Quite clearly there are limits to this process. You will never get a chart when everything points to success - and indeed some challenges are necessary to successful action. Moreover you might have to act by say tomorrow, even though the chart suggests next Thursday would be better.

25-11-2002, 19:31
As I said, this facinates me. Could you work me through a reading you do on a question I ask? Meaning tell me the planetary positions you charted. I can look at it, think it through and then see how you read it.
It pertains to a land deal I mentioned in another post. Would asking "is this meant to be?" proper phrasing?

25-11-2002, 23:37
Yes I can work through the chart and its reasoning. I think a better phraeology is something like will the land deal be completed within the next three months (or other suitable time period)

Can you give me some basic details on the deal and your present concerns- simply so that I can double check that the question above would be what you really want to ask.

If you don't want to make the details public send them to me in a PM - only basic - really what it is and why you are concerned about it.

Major Tom
26-11-2002, 00:09
Fascinating. :)

Are you still accepting requests?

If so my question is: Will my business activities be enough to meet my financial need or do I need to go out and get a job that pays a regular salary?

Thanking you in advance.

26-11-2002, 02:28
Major Tom,

Can I take it that your real question is 'Will my business activities be enough to meet my financial need?' as the 'or' bit is a direct consequence of a negative answer to the first part of the question, rather than a genuine alternative course of action.

This is the meaning I understand the question to have and I've made a not of the time at which I understood that meaning.

Can you confirm this meaning or If you meant something different please post an alternative version.

Major Tom
26-11-2002, 03:00
Minderwiz - You've got it.

Thanks. :)

26-11-2002, 06:42
OK so I'll start with your question and Lunalafey's when it is ready.

I'm aiming to do maybe two or three in a week, depending on work load. so I'll try and do these within the next week.

26-11-2002, 08:58
Originally posted by Minderwiz

Can you give me some basic details on the deal and your present concerns- simply so that I can double check that the question above would be what you really want to ask.

Starting with details & concerns. Mostly I worry about the financial aspect of it. Can I pull it off. So I guess I'm wondering if I can 'afford' it, is it a sound arrangement? Still a bit unsure of proper question structure. I'm not to concerned about when it will happen. I'm anxious but not in a hurry.

26-11-2002, 21:41

OK - so we could go down a couple of routes for the question - along the lines of will you be able to accumulate the necessary financial resources, or you take out a loan. Or you could look at the return that you get - is it worth investing in (you might afford it but it could turn out to be a pig in a poke).

Although the technique can cope with multiple questions, I'm not so sure I can (as yet!) so try to get it down to one question. Then I'll do my best.

27-11-2002, 13:26
The attraction to this deal is that I will not have to take out a loan. I purchase from the owner directly; no banks, no realtors. The concern is the developement of it. It is a raw piece of land and I would be investing my time as well. Going back to the "Is this meant to be?" thought, could the question be; Is this piece of land the homestead I have been working towards?

01-12-2002, 01:08
I have posted Major Tom's reading and will next get to work on yours Lunalafey.

I also would like to say a little about the considerations or strictures before judgement as these affect whether a reading is possible and I might get back to someone and have to say, sorry I can't read this chart because it's not valid (or radical to use the technical jargon).

There are four classical considerations of strictures:

Firstly there needs to be more than 3 degrees and less than 27 degrees of a sign on the Ascendant. If it is less than 3 degrees then it is likely that it is to early to get an answer, if there is more than 27 degrees then it is probably too late to provide a meaningful answer.

Secondly Saturn must not be in the Seventh House, this is the House of the Astrologer reading the chart and Saturn here implies difficulties, delays and errors in the reading.

Thirdly the Moon should not be void of course. This means that it should make at least one more major Aspect before it leaves its current sign. Most Astrologers take this as meaning that the aspect must be perfected but there is evidence that the father of Horary, William Lilly, simply took it to mean that the Moon should apply to an aspect (be within orb).

Fourthly the Moon should not be in the Via Combusta. This is the area between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio. There is much debate about the origin of this term - it literally means burning path - and why the Moon should not be there.

As I'm new to this area of Astrology I'm keeping my readings in line with these strictures until I feel confident enough to risk bending the rules.

01-12-2002, 21:08

Can I take it your question boils down to 'Should I buy this piece of land?' I have the background to the situation so can use that in judging the 'fitness' of the chart

If this question is OK, then I'll go ahead with the reading

02-12-2002, 16:46
simple is sometimes best...thanks minderwiz

03-12-2002, 09:59
Hi Minderwitz.
These Horary readings really fascinate me. But I don't quite get this. I'm thick. :D For instance, how long is the scope of time you are talking about here? Can you, for example, see in relation to a love affair that it will end in the next week, month, year...?

And if you would be so kind, I have a question. :) How will my current love affair turn out? (Is that a valid question?) I think I read that you didn't need the natal chart?


04-12-2002, 00:41

The duration of a horary reading is not particularly clear. All the horary astrologers that I've read accept that the reading is of limited duration because things change. What 'limited' means though is not easily answered, especially if time is not an element in the question. There are some circumstances in which the length of time that the reading will hold is reasonably clear.

If you ask the question will I get a promotion at work in the next six months and the answer is no, then I would take the reading as being valid only for the next six months (or any other time period chosen by the querent).

Some questions ask for a time period as an answer - how long will it take me to get my promotion at work? - would be an example. Again there are horary techniques for trying to estimate the time (they are probably no more precise than trying to fix a time period in a tarot reading). so if the reading suggests that you will get a promotion in the next six months, I would take it as valid only for that period.

On your last point I think you need to be more precise as to what you mean by 'turn out'. The outcome could be one of several things, such as marriage, engagement, living together, separating, remaining much as you are now or anywhere in between.

Ask yourself what you hope will come of the relationship - and ask about that - for example Will we still be together in six months, or Will the relationship result in marriage (or whatever).

04-12-2002, 02:21
Minderwitz. Thank you for clearing things up, I think I got it straight now. :)

OK, my question... Will my current love affair result in a serious relationship in the next few months?

I hope this is more on target. :)


04-12-2002, 05:18
Yes that is a good question.

I prepared the chart and unfortunately it did not satisfy the considerations before judgement.

Can you wait a week and then post the question again.

Sorry but sometimes it is not the right time to read a chart and answer the question.

05-12-2002, 05:23
I'll post it again.
Why was it that it sometimes doesn't work?

Thank you. :)


05-12-2002, 07:08
According Horary tradition there needs to be at least four considerations before judgment - if any of these are not met then the chart is regarded as not fit to be judged - that is any answer derived from it cannot be in any way relied on.

The four are:

Less than 3 or more than 27 degrees of a sign rising. - In effect this means that one fifth of all charts on average will not be valid (6 degrees out of 30). The argument is that some questions are asked to soon (or to late) to make a difference.

The Moon is Void of Course - that is, it will make no major aspect before it leaves its current sign. The Moon is the major planet in Horary and if it will not make any major aspect then the chances of an answer are much reduced.

The Moon is in the Via Combusta - the area from 15 degrees Libra to 15 degrees Scorpio. I understand that the reasons for this relate to the Sun's passage over the equator in this area of the Zodiac.

Saturn is in the seventh House - which is the House of the Astrologer reading the chart. Saturn in Horary is a malefic planet creating obstacles and difficulties. Therefore the Astrologer is likely to make a mistake in reading the chart.

I know that these are in many ways Arcane, but as a newcomer to Horary I am not yet ready to break the rules on these - though I am aware that experienced astrologers may do so. I want to learn the procedures and get them clear in my mind before I start bending rules

05-12-2002, 09:15
Thank you, again, for clearing that up.
I've never heard about this kind of reading before. How usual is it? Do you know if there are many astrologers that practice this? For how long has it been around?

Lots of new questions here. :)


05-12-2002, 21:46
Its been around virtually as long as Astrology. In the form I use, it is derived from the work of William Lilly, the Seventeenth Century English Astrologer. However he used techniques which he derived from the Arab Astrologers of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Doctor John Dee who functioned as an advsior to Elizabeth I also seems to have used similar techniques. Lilly also forecast the Great Fire of London so accurately that he was summoned to a Parliamentary Committee to explain how he knew so much about it.

Horary, along with other traditional branches of Astrology, such as Medical, and Electional flourished into the twentieth Century. However the developmen of psychological Astrology by Dane Rudhyar and followed up by Liz Greene led to something of a rejection of traditional methods. For Horary, Saturn is a malefic planet but in psychological natal astrology it receives a more constructive interpretation. Horary survived though and there are still many practicing Horary Astrologers. Recently there has been a revival of interest in traditional techniques - Rob Hand's Project Hindsight is a good example and has an excellent web site.

The work of Marc Edmund Jones, Sue Ward, Olivia Barclay, Carol Wiggers, John Frawley, Linda Reid, Lee Lehman and many more have turned Traditional Astrology into a thriving area. Tony Louis, who wrote Tarot Plain and Simple is a practicing Horary Astrologer (and psychiatrist), he also wrote Horary Astrology Plain and Simple - both books are published by Llewellyn.

I notice now that many of the earliest texts of Astrologers are being republished so you might find works by Dorotheus, Manilus, Fermicus, Al Biruni, and Avraham Ibn Ezza appearing on the bookshelves of specialist Astrology bookshops.

07-12-2002, 07:21
Wow, I had no idea. I would love to learn all this too, but I don't even have time for my tarot-cards. :( I'll have to catch up some other time.


11-12-2002, 03:17
OK, here we go again. :D

Will my relationship with Mr. X develop into a 'serious' one? (By serious I mean a relationship where we are officially together... not just lovers...) :)


11-12-2002, 06:32
Thanks aeonx

This time the chart is valid - so I'll be able to do a reading and will get back to you in the next few days.


11-12-2002, 06:59
Hey, Minderwiz, would you mind doing a chart about finding a lost object? Or were you wanting to specifically do only action-oriented questions?

:) Kes

12-12-2002, 07:42

I'd love to have a go at finding a lost object - So long as it's not urgent that you find it quickly LOL

Just post a question asking where the object is and I'll have a go.

Étoile Filante
12-12-2002, 13:05
To Menderwiz!

What is the difference between Horary and Electional Astrology?

12-12-2002, 15:11
Well, here's your guinea pig. This is for a friend actually so I hope that's okay. My friend lost her engagement ring and I'm sure she'd love to find it. so... Where is Jenny's engagement ring?


:) Kes