“To the modern mind horary makes no sense at all, even less than the Tarot or I-Ching, where the questioner does at least have contact with the cards or the coins: the stars are immutable and are not to be shuffled to match the state of the querent’s unconscious”.
John Frawley, a prominent English traditional astrologer
What is horary Astrology
Horary Astrology is the lowest step in the astrological hierarchy. It is used to answer a specific question from an existing situation. Hence, this branch is also known as questions. Otherwise, horary means “of the hour” in Latin.
While in electional Astrology one looks for an auspicious moment for the realization of a desired outcome, taking into considerations the natal chart of the individual, in horary one takes the moment the practitioner understands the question and judges the future development of the situation according to the nature of that moment.
The certain risks inherent in horary Astrology due to not using the natal chart of the person asking the question
From the above it becomes obvious how delicate of a form horary Astrology is. It is why some practitioners using modern natal Astrology mostly consider horary more or less to be unreliable and closer to psi-techniques of divination. Even though such claims do not have much ground as the same astronomical rules and textbooks are used to erect the chart, which is read in a similar way compared with the natal one, they contain an ounce of reason. What I mean is this type of Astrology does not use the natal chart, i.e. the horary chart is not rooted. In other words, it exists by itself alone.
In order to prevent the horary chart from not corresponding with reality, ancient astrologers introduced certain rules which serve to show whether the question is sincerely asked, that is, whether the person asking the question (called the querent in horary) wants to test or trick the horary astrologer. If the horary chart does indeed describe the querent’s situation, namely what stirred him to ask the question, what his present condition is (the ancients wanted the chart to describe the querent’s physical appearance, which is easily seen), it is called radical or rooted. In other words, it is valid.
Prerequisites for asking a horary question
I won’t mention these rules, which are called Considerations before judgement (these rules must always be subjected to the context of the chart), and instead will quote the first 2 Considerations of the very famous 13th century Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti1:
“The First, is to observe what it is that moves a person to propose or ask a question of an Astrologer; where we must take notice of three motions: the First, of the mind, when a man is stirred up in his thoughts and hath an intent to enquire; a Second, of the superior and celestial bodies; so that they at that time imprint on the thing enquired after, what shall become of it; the Third, of the free will which disposes him to the very act of enquiring; for although the mind be moved to enquire, ’tis not enough unless the superior bodies sympathize therewith; nor is such motion of the stars enough, unless by the election of his will the person does actually enquire”.
“The Second Consideration is (what we hinted at before) the method or manner everyone ought to observe that enquires of an Astrologer; which is, that when he intends to take an artist’s judgment of things past, present, or to come, he should, first, with a devout spirit, pray unto the Lord, from whom proceeds the success of every lawful enterprise, that he would grant him the knowledge of those things of the truth of which he would be resolved; and then let him apply himself to the astrologer with a serious intent of being satisfied in some certain and particular doubt, and this not on trifling occasions, or light sudden emotions, much less on matters base or unlawful, as many ignorant people used to do; but in matters of honest importance, and such as have possessed and disturbed his mind for the space of a day and night or longer; unless in sudden accidents which admit not of delay.”
Such was the seriousness with which the ancients treated the asking of the question. What this means is that when someone wants to ask a question the person must have put some real efforts into solving it, be they mental or physical. One cannot just when having forgotten where they placed their car keys, talisman or some other daily used thing, or a pet, for example, call and ask to have their missing thing discovered through horary.
Yes, there is this thing with hitting the right astrological moment, but unless you have experience in this or in other similar techniques, it will prove fruitless.
So how does Astrology, and horary in particular, work?
How horary Astrology works
Modern people, be they laymen, scientists or occultists, ensnared in the cause and effect “law”, or karma if esoterically put, claim that planets exert influence on our planet. I mean in the sense that they cause what happens (obviously even children know of the change of seasons and the effects of the lunar gravitational pull on the tides, which exert influence on a purely physical level). And since astronomers have measured the electromagnetic influence of the planets and stars and it turned out to be negligibly small, according to their own understanding of how reality functions, Astrology is hogwash. And they are right. Quoting Frawley2 again:
“That astrology and the modern world-view are incompatible is commonly taken as disproof of astrology; yet it can equally well, and rather more possibly, be seen as disproof of the modern world-view. By the criteria of the modern world – and it must be stressed, by these criteria alone – astrology is indeed nonsensical”.
Even though many astrologers, invariably proponents Medieval Astrology, which is based on the esoteric laws according to which reality functions, have said it, I will say it as well: Planets and stars exert no influence whatsoever on living organisms; they are simply the Major Cosmic Language which transmits the Masterplan of Creation.
There is no such thing as cause and effect, everything is happening at once. Look at the article “What is electional Astrology” which talks about the wheels within wheels within wheels. On the upper levels there is no time but is non-linearity. This is the concept of the holographic Universe3 and of a lot of notable scientists (David Bohm, Karl Pribram etc) which are open minded and do not ignore the obvious. All of this was comprehended by those who know and is reflected in the idea of the creation of this planet and its role, and is so inherent in the philosophy of Medieval Astrology. It is is a mixture of Hermeticism, Neoplatonism and the Kabbalah, but I will write of the latter some other time.
Therefore when Saturn, who is the principle of contraction, obstacles, limitations, power, death etc etc, moves, all things ruled by it move as well. Planets do not symbolise things they rule, they ARE things they rule. Medieval Astrology teaches that EVERYTHING that exists in the Universe is comprised of the Essence of the 7 planets. The difficulty comes from the fact that literally all that exists is a mixture of the individual essences of at least 2 or more planets.
How accurate is horary Astrology
Enough with the theory and philosophy. How reliable is horary really? Some ancient practitioners write that if the natal chart is available horary is not necessary.
I categorically disagree with this claim! The answer is that if the natal chart represents a big musical school containing all your life, then horary contains the drawer where your musical instrument when you were 10 years old is placed, the one that you are looking for precisely. Horary is like laser surgery. It is not necessary to prick and prod the whole body in order to solve the problem, but to focus the attention on the exact spot.
So horary Astrology is the most direct method, It is much less time-consuming than delineating the natal chart, and the price is respectively much lower. For life determining situations like profession, number of marriages, financial state, friends, i.e. for things that encompass the whole life of the native, it is the natal chart that has to be delineated.
What questions can one ask with horary
The most important things are the 2 Considerations quoted above. In other words, it must be really important for you to know the answer.
May the horary question concern not you but some other person, be they an acquaintance, a close one or someone you do not know? Yes, it may, as long as your motives are clear.
For example, the astute readers will notice that one of the published horaries in my “Example Charts”, where I present some cases of my practice, does not concern me, a person close to me or a client. It is about the horary “Will Anand be dethroned”. In it I correctly predicted that Topalov will not defeat Anand. In other words, that the Indian World Chess Champion will retain his crown in the final played in Sofia, Bulgaria in April-May 2010. This is true, but I did not write that I have actually met Topalov, though many years ago; that I admire his game and follow chess. So, even though he is not a close person to me, it was important for myself to know the outcome. It was mportant enough so that the superior bodies sympathize and guide me to the answer of my question. Now, if I had asked about arm wrestling or handball or as a whole about something that I am not even remotely interested in, then it would have been very expected not to get the sympathy of the celestials.
One can ask about the past and about the future. Often people ask about the present, especially in cases where the attitudes of the two people towards one another are crucial.
Whether it is true that the validity of a horary question is 1 year long
As for the duration of the questions, there exists no limitation in general. The thing is that in the vast majority of cases people ask questions whose answers they expect soon (a week to 2-3 months). For those who doubt that it is possible for the horary to be efficient for more than 1 year, take a look for example at William Lilly’s “Christian Astrology” and see how he uses horaries are instead of natal charts and analyses are the whole life, including finances, diseases and death.
I know of horary astrologers who accept various historical questions or such that concern extra-terrestrials and global matters in general. I would not do that, as there is no way that the querent is motivated enough for such answers, in order to receive the sympathy of the superior bodies. Horary is extremely practical and in almost all cases black and white. Put another way, there is no hesitation, no interpreting and beating about the bush – either the horary astrologer is right or is wrong, and this is known very soon. For getting answers to global questions there exist other ways, with horary, at least, not being one of them, and these ways are not strictly astrological but occult.
How to formulate the horary question
I left this part for last not by accident. It is to a large degree the most important one along with the importance of you knowing the answer to the question you ask and having put efforts to find it. Also, it is very important to provide as much information as possible and not just ask the question. This is because the horary astrologer needs this kind of information he/she can thus help you formulate your question better and in this way get the information that you are really interested in. This is especially valid nowadays when questions are asked on the internet in written form exclusively, and the probability of misunderstanding is not to be overlooked at all. For this reason and I recommend to my prospective clients that we have a chat or a phone conversation in which we will determine the essence of the question. Remember, the practitioner is entirely on your side and has an interest in helping you.
If you formulate your question the wrong way, the probability of getting a wrong answer is huge!
In other words, you must really get to the core of what it is that you want to know. And no cheating attempts!
To illustrate: a person calls and asks: “When will I get a job”. The astrologer casts the chart, reads it, sends the answer and it is wrong. After that it turns out that since the person connects work with money, he wanted to know when his financial condition will improve. The two questions have nothing in common! One is judged from the 10th House, the other from the 2nd.
Another example: a woman contacts a horary astrologer and asks: “Is my boyfriend cheating on me”? The same procedure again and a wrong answer. After that it turns out that she wanted to know whether the relationship she is in has a future. The two questions have nothing in common.
Some examples of horary questions
- Should I take the job? (Note that this question really differs from the one: “When will I find a job”?
- I hesitate between this and that job/university, school/place, which one is better for me?
- Will I get a promotion?
- Will I receive inheritance?
- Is he/she suitable for me?
- Will I pass my exam? (if the chart says yes, this does not mean that you should not make an effort to pass it)
- Should I buy this house/car/animal?
- I am suing/being sued/ is it worth starting a legal case against X?
- I was advised by X about this thing. Is it true, does X have the best intentions?
- Is this doctor or drug suitable for me?
- Am I sick? (*medical knowledge and medical Astrology skills are required for these two questions and those similar to them)
- Am I under a spell/ is someone influencing me energetically from a distance?
- I have lost an object/ my pet is missing/ a close person is missing, are they alive, will they come back?
- Should I hire this employee, is he/she reliable?
- Did someone steal my wallet, mobile phone, camera, etc? Will I get it back?
1 There are various sources for this text: William Lilly – The Astrologer’s Guide: Anima Astrologiae, Robert Zoller – The 146 Considerations of Guido Bonatti, Benjamin Dykes – The 146 Considerations of Guido Bonatti.
2 John Frawley in his incredible book „The Real Astrology”. I have taken some other quotations and ideas from it and have further developed them.
3 The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is a brilliant book. In short, it is written from the quantum physics point of view and examines various “unexplained phenomena”.
Written in March 2011
2 thoughts on “What is Horary Astrology”
Great article and useful thank you
I am glad you appreciate it, elyasalmohsin. Thank you for your feedback.