Posing the Horary Question
Horary astrology, one of the oldest forms of astrology is used to answer a specific question, usually, but not always, involving a yes or no answer. Meaning, “of the hour”, Horary is founded on the premise that the answer to a question lies in the moment it is asked. The existence of a problem implies that the solution also exists and is held in the moment of inquiry. The Horary chart is calculated for the time the astrologer receives and understands the question. The matter must be of personal significance and meaning for the person asking the question, who is called the Querent. There must be a sincere and valid need for the answer.
A question of great importance shows unmistakable significance in the chart that is drawn up, whereas trivial or confusing questions will show that very kind of chart. The significance one is able to extract from a Horary chart depends upon the quality of consciousness of the person posing the question. There are often special ties between the Horary Chart and the chart of the Querent for truly pressing concerns. Any confusion in the mind of the Querent will also show in the chart.
Posing the question clearly is of utmost importance since it can’t be changed later. The lifespan of a question is about three months so there’s no use seeking a better answer every day by modifying the wording of a question. This only results in less and less meaningful charts. However, there is a form of astrology called Electional Astrology in which you can choose the best time to undertake anything from marriage to the opening day of a business. A book on selecting an appropriate time for these and other undertakings is called Timing of Events by Bruce Scofield. This and other recommended books can be found in the library. There are tips in my book, Lunar Nodes about selecting the best time for any undertaking to secure extra blessings. You might also be interested in my article called “Utilizing the Day & Hour Rulers,” which helps in electing the best time for any undertaking. You’ll find it listed in the Articles for Purchase menu, now available as a PDF download.
Horary charts should be reserved for special matters because they require that very rigid rules be applied and complete objectivity is required in order to arrive at a correct answer. Among the more difficult techniques to master, a book called Horary Astrology, Plain & Simple by Anthony Louis may be a big help in learning to interpret these charts.
With no allowance for subjectivity, the answer is there and the astrologer must go about finding it without personal attachment. In fact, this is one of the Strictures Against Judgment, among the first features to assess when reading the Horary chart.
Strictures Against Judgment
These are the traditional strictures against judgment, meaning that there is some element present that causes the chart to be invalid. Modern astrologers differ in their adherence to these strictures and may read the chart, considering the strictures as precautions only. I hold to them to arrive at the correct answer, but also observe the remaining chart features. The Strictures are:
Less than 3 degrees on the Ascendant: One indication of an invalid chart is having less than three degrees of a sign on the Ascendant. This deems the question premature. The matter has not developed sufficiently for such a question at this time.
Later than 27 degrees on the Ascendant: Having more than 27 degrees of a sign on the Ascendant position indicates that the matter has already come to conclusion, thus the question is no longer relevant.
The one exception to these first two strictures is when the degree rising also conjuncts a planet in the chart of the Querent; in that case the question is of some special concern and importance, especially when the planet is significantly tied to the matter in question.
Void of Course Moon: If the Moon is Void of Course, the chart is unreliable and nothing will function properly. Void of Course means that the Moon is so late into a sign that it will make no major aspect to another planet before leaving the sign its in. The Moon holds great importance in Horary charts. It rules function and so this absence of a future aspect suggests that nothing will come of the question. It may also denote lack of clear purpose in the mind of the Querent or vacillation on the matter. Find out what a Void of Course Moon is good for.
Saturn in the Seventh House: If Saturn is in the 7th house, it also renders the chart unreadable. In this case it’s the astrologer reading the chart whose judgment is impaired and who may be unable to arrive at the clear and correct answer.
Moon in the Via Combusta: The last stricture is if the Moon is in the Via Combusta; 15 degrees of Libra to 15 degrees of Scorpio. Traditionally, this portion of the zodiac contained several malevolent fixed stars that debilitated a planet.
Seginus, at 17 Libra was associated with loss through friends and companies; disgrace and ruin. Foramen, a redish star at 22 Libra, was associated with peril.
Because the precession of the equinoxes now places the traditional Via Combusta some ten degrees earlier, this stricture is often ignored. Here, however, the Moon is said to function similar to Moon conjunct Uranus, indicating abrupt changes that will alter the situation and/or bring an unfavorable outcome for the Querent.
The exception to this stricture is if the Moon is in the 23rd-24th degree of Libra. These degrees traditionally partake of the fortune from two beneficial fixed stars.
Spika, also known as Arista is a twinned star at 23 Libra, bringing unexpected advancement and honor beyond all hopes or capacity. Arcturus was said to bring riches, honor and high renown. A reference in the Library by Vivian Robson, called Fixed Stars & Constellations covers each of the fixed stars, their zodiac position and meaning.
Read Nodal Degrees & Fateful Events for information on a condition that takes matters out of the hands of the Querent.
The Querent is the person with the query of course. The Significator for the Querent is the planet ruling the 1st house of the chart. The subject of the inquiry is called the Quesited and this Significator is the planet ruling the house relevant to the inquiry. Each house rules different issues and this is why the question must be clearly stated and clear in the mind of the astrologer. Deciding on exactly which house is to be under scrutiny before proceeding to read the chart eliminates confusion.
The 10th house governs questions pertaining to career, so the ruler of the 10th is the Significator of the Quesited for these inquiries. Questions pertaining to marriage are a 7th house subject, so the planet ruling the 7th becomes the Significator. Real estate is governed by the 4th, children and romance by the 5th, property and possessions by the 2nd, employees by the 6th, lawsuits by the 7th, etc. (see more on The Houses)
Sometimes the Significator of the Querent is also the Significator for the Quesited. In such a case, the Moon becomes co-Significator of the Querent and the Quesited retains the original Significator. The Moon also becomes the Significator of the Querent if the original Significator is retrograde or not in aspect to the Significator of the Quesited.
Planets in the First House
Since the 1st house rules the Querent and the question, planets placed there are quite significant in determining the outcome. The Sun in the 1st house indicates a question of some significance and that a solution will come about quickly. The Moon in the 1st house shows indecisiveness on the part of the Querent.
Mercury in the 1st house indicates speed in regard to the matter and may be connected to a document. Venus or Jupiter in the 1st house is beneficial. They show an outcome likely to be that which the Querent desires, unless afflicted. Mars in the 1st house indicates immediate action.
Saturn represents delays in regard to the matter and additional responsibility. Uranus indicates surprising changes. Neptune shows that the Querent is not aware of all the facts. Pluto indicates a complication and the Querent is vulnerable; likely to exposure or to be thrown into a position of isolation in some way. For more on each of the planets, link to Planetary Keywords and see the info below about Other Planets.
Finding the Answer
There must be an aspect between the ruling planet of the Querent and the ruler of the Quesited. Since separating aspects generally show what has already taken place, it is the applying aspects to consider. The conjunction, parallel, sextile and trine indicate a favorable outcome, with the latter two showing that little effort is needed to bring about a conclusion favorable for the Querent.
Squares and oppositions indicate obstacles and therefore are less likely to produce the outcome hoped for by the Querent. Since the 4th house governs the end of matters, if the 4th house from the subject is studied, it will provide these answers. For example, if it is a career concern, the 1st house is fourth from the 10th house, ruling over the query. If the question surrounds a friend, an 11th house subject, the 2nd house shows the end of matters in regard to such a question.
Because the Moon is the most important figure in a Horary chart, the aspects it has formed or will form are all very important. The first aspect made by the Moon suggests what first to expect in regard to the question. The nature of the planet to which the aspect is made reveals details so that one might expect delay for example, if it is Saturn. A confrontation might be indicated by Mars; unexpected complications if Uranus and so on. This doesn’t, however, affect the final outcome. The last major aspect made by the Moon before leaving the sign it is in tells of the outcome. If this is to a retrograde planet, things will not go as planned regarding the subject of query. Note: As with any chart reading, there are usually several contributing features indicating a similar outcome.
The amount of time involved can be found by counting the number of degrees between Significators for an aspect to be exact. Time is measured in days, weeks, months, years or unknown according to the quality of the sign the Signifcator of the querent is in, and its house occupancy. In a cardinal sign and angular house, time is in days; in a cardinal sign and succedent house, time is in weeks; in a cardinal sign and cadent house, time is in months. If the Significator is in a fixed sign and angular house, time is in months; in a fixed sign and succedent house, time is in years; in a fixed sign and cadent house, time is unknown. If the Signifcator is in a mutable sign and angular house, time is in weeks; in a mutable sign and succedent house, time is in months; in a mutable sign and cadent house, time is in years.
Other Planets in a Horary Chart
In addition to the importance of the planets ruling the Significators, each of the planets in a Horary chart also bring further definition to the reading.
The Sun may be considered a co-ruler of the Querent if a man. The Sun also signifies the person of authority or from whom a favor is desired, a powerful relation or person whom is able to save the Querent from embarrassment. More about the Sun.
In addition to often being the co-ruler of the Querent and question, the Moon may also symbolize the mother or the woman involved in the issue. It is the co-ruler if the Querent if a woman.
Mercury represents the messenger of news and may symbolize merchants, secretaries or those who live by their wits.
Venus symbolizes the person in whom the Querent is interested. It also represents artists, designers and decorators, those who deal in finery, pleasure or amusement.
Mars symbolizes the strong and aggressive friend if under beneficial aspect or an enemy if afflicted. It also represents those who work as surgeons or with sharp instruments.
Jupiter symbolizes a wise friend, a person of integrity who can be of assistance. It also represents lawyers, judges and dignitaries.
Saturn symbolizes the person who may endanger the success of the Querent due to narrowness of outlook or ulterior motive if Saturn is afflicted. Otherwise it shows conservative or aged friends or relatives; those of prudent counsel.
Uranus symbolizes the friend of the Querent in an emergency, unexpected elements, inventors and astrologers. If in favorable aspect, it signifies a person bringing new and beneficial propositions. If in unfavorable aspect, it may show loss through risky speculation.
Neptune symbolizes persons of mysterious origin; prophets, spiritual counselors or those concerned with the investigation of metaphysical secrets. It also signifies those engaged in pursuits involving water or other liquids.
Pluto symbolizes the leader of an organization pursuing a boycott or strike to further a principle. It also signifies the instigator of a reform movement or mass reaction.
To find out more about any of the planets, link to Planetary Keywords Tutorial.
Other Horary Questions
Horary charts can also be drawn up for such pressing matters as finding a lost item or missing person since both direction and time span can be found in the chart. For stolen items, the chart can tell such details as to the thief, the direction taken and disposal of the item, as well as the potential recovery of the item. Such horary uses are beyond the scope of this article. The book Horary Astrology, Plain & Simple goes into depth on these uses of horary. See the reviews.
Reading the Horary Chart
The Horary chart below reflects a query regarding whether or not to apply for a new job opening in the Querent’s company. Complicating the question from the onset was the fact that she’d just gotten a promotion and had not yet begun her new responsibilities when a better paying position opened. The two positions were not in the same capacity and her question was whether or not to apply for the newest position.
As we can see, the chart reflects the situation quite efficiently. The first thing noted is the Void of Course Moon, indicating that she might be unclear of her purpose. It also suggests that nothing would function properly in the situation. With a Void of Course Moon, beneficial chart features cannot be relied upon and much of the good in these charts will never come to pass. As it turns out, the Moon is the ruler of the Querent because Uranus is retrograde. Notice also that with Uranus and Neptune near the Ascendant, there are unexpected complications and mysterious factors surrounding both Querent and question and the South Node punctuates these elements. Since the 1st house is fourth from the house in question (the 10th), these features also reveal much about the final outcome.
Now, going by the Strictures, the answer to the question is that nothing more will come of the query so take a look at this turn of events…
The next major aspect that the Moon makes is an opposition to the Sun, reflecting authorities in general; her employer and the person from whom she was seeking favor. The opposition itself suggests a separating trend. The Sun is in a cardinal sign and succedent house, indicating that time is in weeks. The number of degrees for the aspect to be exact is between 5 and 6 and just over five weeks later, she left her job and relocated due to a pressing family matter.
My books, Predicting Events with Astrology and Identifying Planetary Triggers, incorporates the use of some very simple Horary rules to help determine what lies in the immediate future for an individual.
Anthony Louis Reads My Horary
I recently “met” Anthony Louis, the author of Horary Astrology, Plain & Simple. He asked for the data for that old question chart of mine for his research and came up with some amazing findings that I was not aware of.
Here’s that Horary chart and Anthony’s impressions for my question “Can I be a successful writer?” which I excitedly posed early in my astrology years.
Using traditional methods and the Regiomontanus house system used by Lilly, the chart has 11 Cancer 42 rising. With natal Uranus conjoining the horary Ascendant, this is a significant chart and certainly relates to your career in astrology. You are shown by the Moon, and by Almuten Jupiter.
Note: Almutens were used by the Arabic astrologers and refer to the planet with the most essential dignity at a point along the zodiac. The idea was that a planet with the most dignity was the most free to act effectively on behalf of the Querent.
In your chart, Jupiter was Almuten of the degree rising, and being most dignified there was an excellent Significator for a question about publishing.
Both Moon & Jupiter occupy the 9th of publishing, a favorable indicator. Carol Wiggers calls this “emplacement” since your Significators are in the house of publishing. Jupiter applies to trine the Ascendant.
Moon has just completed a conjunction with Jupiter and goes on to conjoin Mercury. This may be considered a “translation of light” in which the Moon takes the light of Jupiter and carries it to Mercury. The point of this is that the meaning of the aspect(s) becomes a triple conjunction: Moon conjunct Mercury conjunct Jupiter all in the 9th of publishing, a very good omen.
In addition, all three planets in the 9th apply to conjoin the career MC. Jupiter will get there in 10 degrees, suggesting some significant success in 10 years (Jupiter is cadent and mutable) — so a major book contract in 1996? Moon and Mercury arriving there soon suggest publications of articles or less significant material.
Jupiter also squares the Part of Fortune in Gemini in the 12th, a good aspect for a writer of occult subjects. (Lilly would say that this square in signs of short ascension is similar to a sextile).
Your hopes & wishes are shown by the 11th ruled by Mars and Venus. Both Venus & Mars apply favorably to aspect Jupiter, ruler of the 10th of career. This confirms that you will achieve your wish to become a writer.
Saturn, ruling the 9th of publishing (Aquarius, traditional ruler), is retrograde near the 6th cusp, so the process will be slower than you would like and require a lot of effort.
Finally, the dispositor of the Gemini Part of Fortune in the 12th (work done in a quiet setting, like writing) is Mercury which exactly conjoins the MC, another very favorable sign.
I think Lilly would have used your chart as an example of “dwelling in houses plus translation of light by the Moon” (see pages 118 -119 of my horary book). In your chart, the Ascendant ruler and Almuten both occupied the 9th of publishing and the Moon translated the light from Jupiter to Mercury, reenergizing that earlier Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in the 9th, which is an excellent omen for writing a successful book.
Since Jupiter represented you, its conjunction with the MC symbolized a major career event related to publishing in 1996. Best wishes, Anthony.
Pretty impressive! 1996 is the year I did the major work on my first book and submitted a proposal. This was followed by the publishing contract – extremely accurate.