Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology by which an astrologer attempts to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer. There is disagreement amongst horary astrologers as to whether to use the location of the person who asks the question – the querent – or the location of the astrologer. Normally they are in the same place, but in modern times many astrologers work online and by telephone. These days the querent could be in Australia and send an email with the question to an astrologer in Europe. The horoscope would in this case be radically different. Many European practitioners take the location of the querent, but there are strong voices in traditional English schools who advocate using the location of the astrologer. The answer to the horary question might be a simple yes or no, but is generally more complex with insights into, for example, the motives of the questioner, the motives of others involved in the matter, and the options available to him.
Horary astrology has its own strict system. The position of and aspects to the moon are of prime importance. The person asking the question, or querent, is represented by the ruler of the sign the first house cusp falls on in the horoscope. Planetary aspects to the house cusps are considered more important than in other branches of astrology (although it is the planetary rulers of the houses in question that take precedent in analysis). Other key elements used in horary astrology include the lunar nodes, the planetary antiscia, and the Arabic parts. Typically, a horary chart is read by first assigning the thing asked about to a particular house in the chart. For instance, asking “Where is my lost dog?” would be represented by the sixth house, as it is the house that governs small animals (traditionally, smaller than a goat). The house cusp of the sixth house will be in a particular sign, for example Libra. Libra is ruled by Venus, so Venus is considered the significator of the lost dog. Venus’s state in the horoscope (its dignity, aspects, etc.) will give clues to the animal’s location.
First of all, establish when the moment was that you either asked the question or received the question from another person and where you were. This is the time and place you will be basing your calculations on. Calculate your chart. Now there are several basic considerations to assess before you can continue with judgement:
Is the Ascendant less than 3º or more than 27º? If the Ascendant is less tha 3º then it may be too early to reach an answer, if the Ascendant is more than 27º than it may be too late. Sometimes issues involving new beginnings may still work with an Ascendant less than 3º. This does not apply if the Ascendant of the querent is less than 3º or more than 27º.
Is the Moon in Via Combusta? The Via Combusta is 15º Libra to 15º Scorpio. A malefic and unpredictable influence.
Is the Moon Void of Course? The Moon is void of course when it will not complete any major aspects before leaving its current sign. Nothing works smoothly when a Moon is void of course. Lilly defines the Moon as being void of course when it will not be in orb of applying to a major aspect before leaving its current sign. Lilly also accepts that a void of course Moon can still perform in Cancer, Taurus, Sagittarius or Pisces.
Is the Moon in late degrees? A chart may be unsafe to judge if the Moon is in the last degrees of a sign, especially Gemini, Scorpio and Capricorn.
Is Saturn in the Seventh House? Your judgement as an astrologer may be compromised or restricted (unless you are the querent as well).
Is Saturn in the First House when the astrologer is the querent? Your judgement as an astrologer may be compromised or restricted.
Next you need to decide which planet(s) rule the querent and the question. The querent is always co-ruled by the Moon as well as by the ruler of the Ascendant, the Almuten(s) of the Ascendant and the rulers of any planets in the first house. You also need to decide which is the natural ruler for the issue and which houses are important in the matter. You may need to turn the chart, in other words if you are asking about the career of your partner then you will not be looking in the tenth house (your own career) but using the seventh house (your partner) as his or her first house and counting on ten houses from there. So 7th house plus 10 is counted around the chart to the 4th house. Matters involving the partner’s career are ruled by the 4th house.
Rulership of the Planets
Planets are considered Under the Sunbeams when they are in the same sign as the Sun and within 17º. It is weakened in this position. A planet is combust when it is in conjunction with the Sun (orb of 8º). It is weakened in this position. Planets are cazimi when they are within 0º17′ of the Sun . In this position, unlike combust, they are strengthened. The exception is the Moon which is malefic in this position, being a New Moon.
Sun – Self-expression, life force, authority, men, employers, power, officials, ego.
Moon – Emotions, intuition, cycles, home, women, the public, lost objects, short trips, changes, mother.
Mercury – Thoughts, speech, communication, business matters, transport, contracts, neighbours, young people, students, office workers.
Venus (The Lesser Benefic) – Love life, creativity, beauty, social life, gifts, money, marriage, young women, mother, wife, pleasures, luxury goods.
Mars (The Lesser Malefic) – Action, energy, accidents, willpower, sex, weapons, accidents, quarrels, injury, assertiveness.
Jupiter (The Greater Benefic) – Luck, expansion, opportunity, excess, gambling, higher education, long journeys, prophecy, foreigners, the wealthy, professionals.
Saturn (The Greater Malefic) – Duties, responsibilities, burdens, lessons, ambitions, old people, debts, delays, poveryt, obstacles, loss father, death, restrictions.
Pars Fortuna (Part of Fortune: not a planet but one of the numerous Arabic Parts) – Income, possessions, treasure, money.
Fixed Stars also can have an influence on the chart if a planet appears in conjunction (with an orb of 1º).
Caput Algol 26º10′ Taurus – Failure, difficulties, disaster, death.
Alcyone 00º00′ Gemini – Compassion and disappointment.
Aldebaran 9º35′ Gemini – Violence and victory.
Regulus 29º50′ Leo – Royalty, success and glory.
Vindematrix 9º56′ Libra – Misfortune and war, widowhood.
Spica 23º50′ Libra – Success and prosperity.
Arcturus 24º14′ Libra – Success and prosperity.
Antares 9º38′ Sagittarius – Conflict and violence.
Serpentis 19º Scorpio (always) – Disaster.
Vega 15º19′ Capricorn – Success in politics and finance.
Fomalhaut 3º52′ Pisces – Good or bad depending on its aspects.
Scheat 29º22′ Pisces – Failure and difficulties (especially at sea).
The Arabic Parts
The Arabic Parts (also called lots) are calculated by adding and subtracting the position of planets and other features on a chart. They were put to great use by the 8th and 9th century Arab astrologers who inherited the knowledge from Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek astrology. For example, the Pars Fortuna or Part of Fortune (by day) is Ascendant + Moon – Sun and the Part of Fortune (by night) is Ascendant + Sun – Moon. The very ancient astrologers believed the Ascendant and the Part of Fortune were the most important elements of the chart relating to the Sun rising and the Moon rising respectively.
Note: C means cusp of the stated (number) astrological house; R means ruling planet of that individual’s stated house; MC is the midheaven of the chart you are working with; SN is south node; NN is north node; PF is Part of Fortune.