“The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything. There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light, nothing once known that may not become unknown. Nothing is impossible.”Sophocles
Horary astrology, meaning “the astrology of the hour” was up until relatively recently, the most important tool in every astrologer’s toolbox. Requiring the detailed study of rigorous and sharply defined symbolism, its popularity gradually waned in favor of modern astrological thought which is based on essential principles and a psychological approach.
The modern horary technique that I use, remains reliant on the traditional methods that developed over the centuries and which were gathered together in William Lilly’s 17th Century work “Christian Astrology”. This three volume book of over eight hundred pages is drawn from sources as early as Ptolemy, Manillus and Dorotheus, writing two thousand years ago in the 1st Century. Influenced by history’s greatest Astrologers, men such as Masha’Allah, Bonatti, Culpepper, and Al Biruni, to name but a few, William Lilly distilled much of this knowledge into his work, and left Christian Astrology with its valuable case histories as a testament that remains valid and workable to this day.
It must be accepted however, that unlike much astrology that is currently in vogue, horary is first and foremost a method of divination. The moment that the client’s question is understood fully by the astrologer is taken as the source of the horary chart, which is read according to particular rules and parameters. From this we can interpret the state of the querentand also the conditions surrounding the question. The answer to the question may then be deduced from the prevailing conditions that exist within the chart. The horary technique may be used to answer an enormous variety of questions, ranging from relationships to house purchases, from health matters to lost items and from missing persons to pregnancy; but one factor underpins them all; it cannot be an idle question that has had no thought put into it, and which is asked on the whim of the moment.
The following example is from my own working files, cast in one of those frantic moments when one simply cannot find what one is looking for!!
THE CASE OF THE MISSING GLASSES
Back in June of 2020, I found myself frantically trying to find a pair of old glasses that I knew I had kept because the frames were still good. I was off to the opticians and was hoping to save a bit of money by having my new lenses put into the old frames. I had moved house since I had last seen this pair of glasses but was almost certain that I still had them so I cast a Horary chart to see if I could find them.
In the chart, I am represented by the ascendant, Virgo, and its ruler Mercury, whilst my missing possessions are signified by the 2nd house and its ruler.
Mercury, my significator, as well as the significator of the glasses as the ruler of the 2nd house is conjunct my natal Venus and the Sun is conjunct my natal ascendant, so I felt that there was enough signification in the chart for judgment.
Although I (Mercury) am retrograde and under the beams, soon to be combust, I know from the chart that I will definitely find the glasses as the Moon, which in horary co-represents the querent, lost objects and also specifically spectacles amongst other things, is angular in the 1st house and in an applying mutually received sextile to Mercury; the question now is when will I find them and where.
The location of the missing object can be described by the 4th house, which in this case is Scorpio, ruled by Mars in Pisces in the 8th house; definitely a water theme here, and more accurately, probably somewhere near a toilet or somewhere for waste water, given the Scorpio and 8th house imagery, and probably on the ground floor because Scorpio is a fixed sign.
The number of degrees between Mercury (the glasses) and the Sun, (which often denotes illumination or discovery and is also associated with eyes) is 7 degrees, so I might expect to find them in 7 units of time. Although the Sun and Mercury are in cardinal signs, which would generally denote speed, i.e. days or weeks, their position in or within 5 degrees of a cadent house and Mercury’s retrogradation does slow things down, so I did not expect to find them soon. .Apart from a few hasty searches in a trunk under the stairs, which is where I had imagined that they were, I didn’t give myself very much time to look for them. This situation is well described by the fact that the Moon in the chart is in conjunction with my natal 4th Uranus in Virgo- organized chaos which perfectly describes the scene!
Seven months later (remember the 7 units of time) I found the missing glasses in the trunk under the stairs, whilst clearing it out, the last corner of the house to be “redistributed” after the move. The sign of Scorpio on the 4th house was accurate as the trunk is located on the ground floor under the stairs, in a dark place and next to the door to the downstairs toilet. The Moon’s sign of Virgo was also quite descriptive as the trunk has been used since the move to store stationery and schooling supplies. I had been clearing out the trunk in which I wanted to store copies of my newly published book, and in the recovery chart, the Sun was conjunct my natal 9th house cusp (the 9th rules publishing) whilst the location was also described by both the 2nd ruler and 4th ruler being in Aquarius, which signifies stairs. The book is a collection of visions along with a tarot deck, which provides insight, so the theme of glasses, vision, sight and insight, have all been very well described by this little horary chart.
Joanna Grant is an astrologer of some 30 years and gained her Diploma at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in 2012. Weaving her knowledge of the stars together with intuitive tarot techniques, she crafts highly personalised guidance for clients who are often navigating difficult life transitions. Lately, she has been very excited to breathe new life into her astrological practice through her study of Horary, where the traditional techniques of the ancients have helped her to interpret her knowledge in a whole new way. Having recently completed the STA Advanced Level Horary Diploma, she feels that in an uncertain world, the integrity of this tradition is an essential tool in giving clients the guidance they seek.
You can read more about her here.