Copyright 1999

One of the most delightful forms of astrology that can be used on a day to day basis is Horary Astrology. Horary fell into some disrepute late last century because of its non-psychological base. With horary one asks a question and one gets the answer. It is absolute and there is little if any room for the concept of free will

There are a number of limitations to horary. 
A question may not be asked more than once in the same set of circumstances. 
The horary NEVER foretells the death of the querent (the person asking the question).

There are a number of strictures against judgement which render the 
chart invalid and unable to be read. Strictly speaking, they are not strictures but considerations before judgement. However, in your early days of horary, 
it is probably best not to read charts that contain them.


These strictures are:

1. Less than 3 degrees or greater than 27 degrees of a sign on the Ascendant. The former indicators that the matter is not yet ripe and the latter indicates that the matter is out of control of the querent. This is the one stricture that has an exception; that is if the querent has a natal planet within 10y of orb of the invalid Ascendant then this is a question of major importance and should be read from the point of view of the natal planet.

2. Saturn in the 7th House. As the 7th is the house of the astrologer (a person consulted) then this malefic here means that the astrologer does not properly understand the question or that the astrologer has made a mistake in the arithmetic of erecting the chart. Regardless Saturn in the 7th invalidates the chart. Naturally if an arithmetical error is found and Saturn moves out of the 7th the chart can be read. It is believed that Saturn in the 1st will have the same effect if the astrologer is the querent, as the 1st always rules the querent.

3. Moon in the Via Combusta. This is a band of the zodiac between 15Libra and 15Scorpio. This was considered in the past to be a most evil portion of the heavens. It is hard to understand why this should be the case today, as the malevolent fixed stars which were posited there in ancient times have moved, by precession, out of this area and have been replaced by the more benefic stars from Libra, Spica and Arcturus. Barbara Watters has said that for some years she tried to ignore the stricture but something unexpected would happen that was disadvantageous to the client and contradicted the reading. She states "Needless to say, I went back to observing the stricture".

4. Moon Void of Course. Within the horary chart the Moon rules function. If the Moon is not applying to any Ptolemaic aspect in the chart including parallels or counter-parallels it is said to be Void of Course.

Even as I write the Moon is at 7Pis52 and has moved away from opposition Mercury at 3Vir51 and square Jupiter at 5Sag40. The Moon is then moving towards opposition the MC (8Vir20) and then quincunx Mars, Venus, Sun and then conjunct Saturn. The Moon is therefore not Void of Course. There is some debate as to the validity of the quincunx as an aspect for determining whether the Moon is void or not, as the quincunx is not strictly speaking a traditional Ptolemaic aspect. I tend to use it in interpretation but not if it is the only aspect the Moon makes.

Traditionally when teaching horary the lecturer precasts a chart for a period during the class and then asks the students to ask a question. It is intriguing how similar the questions often are. However, one of the best techniques of learning horary astrology that I know of was put forward by Doris Doane at the 1977 New Zealand Conference. She suggested that we ‘throw up’ horaries to determine little things that happen throughout the day. Frequently these items need little interpretation, and are very obvious from the layout of the chart itself. The following chart is an example of the obvious. 

After a Careers Day at the TAFE College, my daughter came home and asked me to do an instant horary as to whether she should go to University or TAFE. The following chart was immediately cast and the result was plain to see.

  [ chart to be added ]

With Sun Venus Mercury in the 9th and Sagi rising the answer is quite apparent. The Moon is applying to a square with Mars the 5th House ruler (she is interested in art and related subjects) and the square is not the best aspect for this. The final aspect of the Moon was a sextile to Saturn and this indicated a lot of hard work to get where she wanted and was thus told. A lot more information could be drawn out of the chart, but immediate information was wanted and a quick chart gave that information.

Certainly the idea of quickly casting a chart is very simple with computers, but back then computers were only pipe dreams, and I knew of no astrologer in New Zealand with one - though there may have been. What we used to do - and it worked - was quickly find the Local Sidereal Time of the question, look to the round latitude only, take the planets out of the ephemeris for midnight, roughly correct the Moon, and BINGO! - a horary that could be read. This is not a recommended method, but for those who do the calculations manually, for those small matters, it can be quite effective. Here is an example of a ‘roughie’.

The following chart is a rough manual recalculation of a computer chart to demonstrate how the quick technique can be used by calculating the rough cusps to a rounded latitude and just placing the planets from the ephemeris. The question is Where are the missing documents?

The thing that appears to be immediately apparent with this horary is that the Moon seems to be Void of Course at 29x Virgo. However the parallel aspect is a Ptolemaic aspect and the Moon is applying to a parallel with Mars and that Saturn in the 7th is not a stricture as the astrologer is casting the chart for himself. Mercury rules documents and is hidden in the 12th. They are roughly in a North-Easterly room of the home which happens to be my office. The 3rd House rules offices and it has 2 Sag on the cusp which is conjunct my Sun and so was extremely important to me. Benefic Jupiter was there comjunct my Venus so they would be found. After searching high and low they were found about 10 minutes later where they had fallen behind the piano. Note that Venus is just 10 degrees away from Mercury the documents.

This is very rough horary but still is a useful way of getting into the topic. Use only the planets Sun through Saturn and Regiomontanus house cusps. If you do not have a Table of Houses for Regiomontanus (or a computer) use Placidus, it gives good results, but the best are from Regiomontanus. Should anyone have a further interest in Horary, I would be more than pleased to answer questions in these pages - or should you wish continue with this type of article and perhaps make it a series.

Just remember the strictures and do not get into wishful thinking. The chart will only answer the question asked, and if you don’t really want to know the answer DON’T ASK THE QUESTION!


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