Horary is one of the most fascinating and unexplainable forms of astrology in which a chart is cast for the time that a person (referred to as the querent) asks a specific question, which the astrologer then answers by reading the chart. 

As with other types of astrology, no one knows why this works, but it does and has been in use for hundreds, probably even thousands, of years.  Early astrologer, William Lilly, wrote an entire treatise on the subject back in the 1600s entitled "The Resolution of all Manner of Questions and Demands."  Whenever I think of Horary Astrology I think of the scripture that states "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7 KJV).  Anything as complex as astrology would have to come from God so it makes sense that questions could be answered in this fashion.  If asked via prayer, the answer would be delivered via the same energy.  For those with insufficient faith to "hear" an answer, an astrologer trained in Horary Astrology could help tremendously.  The accuracy of guidance I've been able to provide clients through this method astounds even me.  Questions that are well-suited for Horary include such things as "When will I find a job?", "When will I sell my house?", "Is this a good time to buy this stock?", "Should I buy the car I test-drove today?", "Will my friend loan me the money I need?", "Where are my car keys?" and so forth.  There are few limitations, other than the fact that a Horary chart will never indicate the death of the querent.

The key to Horary is having a solid understanding of which House rules the question.  The Ascendant always represents the querent and the 7th House the astrologer; the 7th also rules anyone the querent refers to by name or otherwise fits in the 7th House of relationships.  The House that rules the question will be in keeping with the usual definitions.  For example, questions about possessions will be ruled by the 2nd; siblings the 3rd; home matters the 4th; children, romance and speculation the 5th; jobs the 6th; relationships the 7th; loans and other shared resources the 8th; legal issues, academia, cultural interactions, relocation, long distance travel the 9th; career, status or reputation the 10th; friends and organizations the 11th; dreams, hidden enemies, and self-undoing the 12th. 

Some astrologers use the place, date and time they understand the question whereas others (myself included) use the place, date and time that the querent asked the question.  This is a matter of personal preference on the part of the astrologer based on what they have found to work the best.  I use the time the querent asked the question because that is when I feel like issue was put to the Universe; I am simply the vehicle for interpreting.  However, other astrologers may feel that they're asking vicariously on the part of their client.  Either way, it works; apparently the Universe understands the intent and responds regardless.  Would you expect anything less?

In a nutshell, the astrologer identifies the planets that rule the Houses related to the question and determines if there's an aspect between them.  Applying aspects, or those that are in the process of forming, are the only ones that count and the concept of orbs is irrelevant.  The basic Ptolemaic aspects are the only ones used, i.e. the conjunction, sextile, square, trine, quincunx and opposition.  A favorable aspect (sextile or trine) indicates a "Yes" answer and a hard aspect (square or opposition) indicate "No."  Conjunctions bring things together and quincunxes indicate an adjustment or change of course is needed.  Implications of any aspects to other planets other than those directly related to the question are interpreted according to the planet, sign and house in which the planets reside.  Timing is a major challenge, but can often be determined.  Hours, days or weeks can be indicated depending on which Signs and Houses are involved with the count typically related to the number of degrees before the relevant aspect is exact.  Quite often the ruling planets are located in Houses that relate to the question in some way, but if they don't it doesn't necessarily mean that the chart is invalid.  

For example, in the chart to the right, as a possession the lost remote is represented by the ruler of the 2nd House, which is Mercury, a very apropos representative for an electronic device.  Mercury is in the 5th House of entertainment, children and games, which was also applicable since the remote was to a Wii.  For lost items, the Signs and Houses provide information regarding the location.  Capricorn can indicate dark places near the ground and the 5th House indicates a northwest direction.  The 5th House also implies a place where you play or are entertained or that a child will find the item or knows where it is. 

In this case, a child found the remote on the floor under the couch in the northwest part of the room three days later.  The applying quincunx to the Moon implied two days and the applying conjunction to the Sun, ruler of the Querent, implied four; Mercury is retrograde so it was moving backwards.  However, if you wanted to discount the effect of retrograde motion, Mercury is about three degrees from the 6th House cusp, implying in three days it would be "working" again plus in two degrees it would quincunx Mars, implying it would be back in the hands of the querent and "back in action."  The fact that Mercury was RX was also a strong indicator that the item would indeed be found. 

The Moon rules function so co-rules all questions and should always been considered in the answer and timing.  The Vertex, which relates to fate, and Part of Fortune, which relates to those things that make us happy, are also frequently relevant.  One of the advantages of a Horary chart is that you don't need the querent's birth information, though if it's available it is sometimes useful to compare the two; if the querent's ascendant or any of their natal birth planets conjunct the Horary chart planets, it can have a bearing on the answer, especially if the chart otherwise appears to be invalid due to containing a "stricture against judgment."  These are cardinal rules for Horary which indicate that the chart (and/or the question) is probably invalid. 

1.  If the rising or ascendant degree is 3 degrees or less, it frequently indicates that the answer has been asked prematurely, such as when the querent does not have all the necessary information.

2.  When a late degree between 27 - 29 is rising it indicates that the question or matter is already settled.

3.  When the Moon is Void of Course it usually indicates that nothing will come of the questions or something that there is nothing to worry about.

4.  If the Moon or the ascendant is in the Via Combusta, the area from 15 degrees Libra to 15 degrees Scorpio, ancient astrologers considered the chart invalid.

5.  If Saturn is in the 7th House, which represents the astrologer, this is another condition that indicates a stricture against judgment.  This can mean that the chart was not cast correctly or that the astrologer's judgment is faulty and thus the answer may be incorrect.

Horary charts typically go beyond a simple yes or no answer, providing rationale, alternative approaches to the problem, or further details that an experienced astrologer can identify to provide further guidance.  However, conjecture should be used with caution since if it's incorrect it clouds the answer's credibility.  I have found that when I see something else that seems important it doesn't hurt to mention it to the client and ask if it makes sense as it has often provided the extra information they needed or further validates the answer.  For example, I had a client ask if they should change jobs.  The chart indicated there was another choice that involved something that looked like a partnership.  I mentioned it and it was exactly what they needed to know since they had been considering that option.

As with any branch of astrology, experience is essential along with a strong background in the basic principles of rulership, planetary conditions such as dignity or debility, and the particulars of color and direction implied by the chart.  Three excellent books on Horary Astrology are "Horary Astrology and the Judgment of Events" by Barbara Watters, "The Only Way to Learn About Horary and Electional Astrology" by Marion March and Joan McEvers and "The Martial Art of Horary Astrology" by Lee Lehman.

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