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Introducing Horary

Horary, once the mainstay of every working astrologer's practice, offers direct insight into the issues
that are really pertinent in people's minds. Used effectively, is one of the most useful techniques for
offering guidance in times of crisis. Its method involves the erection of an astrological chart drawn
specifically to examine a matter of human concern. The nature of that concern can take many forms,
including queries about relationships, financial investments, career issues, family matters, conflicts
and lawsuits, even lost objects or missing people.

The horary chart is drawn for the moment that the question is clarified in the mind, crystallized in
structure, and submitted for astrological scrutiny. Through the symbolism of the heavens the
astrologer aims to gain a deeper spiritual knowledge of earthly matters, and seeks to understand the
wider significance of the situations that trouble us. Although some of its applications can appear to be
very mundane and entirely practical, it is not true that horary can be used to answer each and every
question that flitters through the mind. Tradition warns us that for our charts to be relevant and
reliable, a sincere approach and a matter worthy of deep reflection is required.

Any definition of horary has to accept that it is a method of divination, heavily reliant upon symbolic
appreciation. The philosophy that lies at the heart of horary is the one that drives the whole spectrum
of astrological techniques - firstly, that significant moments are never randomly selected, but act as
part of a finely tuned enfoldment that reveals its offspring to consciousness at an exact moment of
cosmic sympathy. The same applies regardless of whether the birth is that of a child, a nation, an
institution or a realization. Secondly, that despite the apparent diversity and separateness of the
incidents that happen to us and the emotions we experience, our universe is connected. We are all
part of each other's lives and every individual occurrence is part of a bigger picture that carries wider
significance than our isolated view of it can comprehend. Accepting that we live in a meaningful
universe with an implicit sense of purpose allows us to acknowledge that there is a divine essence
seeking to guide us towards an understanding of that bigger picture, with shadows of meaning
reflected within us and around us. Our inner drives and outer experiences are all part of a higher
manifestation of meaning and therefore subject to symbolic analysis.

However, whereas modern natal astrology generally gives free reign to the creative interpretation of
astrology's symbolic language, viewing planetary movements primarily as insights to our internal
drives; in horary such an approach would be far too lax and open to a wide array of possible
manifestations. It would make a confident assessment of what is actually taking place in the outer life
impossible. To develop a workable and useful method of analysing horary charts, astrological
symbolism must be reduced down to its most mundane application, given the context of the question.
At a high level, the inherent nature of Saturn may be all about the process of structuring,
compressing, limitation and solidification; but horary needs to know about its lowest mundane level-
that it may be symbolizing the wall that marks the boundary of the garden

It doesn't take much thought on the matter to realize that there are multitudes of possibilities as to
what Saturn could be representing at the bottom end of its manifestations: a toxic herb, an old bone,
a white haired man, a leather jacket, a crumbling ruin, a financial loss, an iceberg, a restraining order
- the list is endless and fairly useless in practical terms unless it can be constrained in scope by
knowledge of how its symbolism is altered and defined by additional astrological conditions. This, of
course, requires detailed study of rigorous and sharply defined symbolism. Modern textbooks that
focus upon the essential principles of astrological symbolism cannot possibly fit the bill, which is one
reason why horary has remained so reliant upon the traditional methods outlined in the historical texts
that delve into such practical rulerships with great detail. The classic text is William Lilly's 17th century
compendium Christian Astrology, a three-volume epic running to 832 pages of highly detailed

With such a breadth and depth of information, it is possible to spend a lifetime studying horary and
still feel that there is much left to discover. But expertise in horary isn't just about learning the
techniques and dogmas; it's also about developing confidence, acquiring sound judgement, applying
perception, and perfecting the skills of analytical thinking, synthesized interpretation and sensitive
communication. Even a splattering of 'technique' takes a horary practitioner a long way when the
importance of the latter is fully recognised.

It is a common mistake to believe that because the symbolic interpretation of astrological factors are
often very mundane in horary charts, there is less spiritual significance or opportunities to express
free will. Horary is a study of predictive astrology but that in itself does not necessitate a fatalistic
viewpoint. Of course, this very much depends upon the issue under examination, some questions are
much more straightforward than others; but usually the attempt to gain insight into the 'bigger
picture' is a process that opens options up rather than closes them down. This is a fact that most
certainly needs more recognition because there is an area within horary practice that fully embraces
the need to look beyond the outer ramifications and explore hidden factors that reveal their
importance by their significance in the chart, (even though the client may be consciously unaware of
their relevance). This is often the case where the client is seeking to gain understanding of a traumatic
event as well as knowledge of what is happening and what is likely to happen in the future. Horary has
much more flexibility and subtlety than most astrologers imagine. Its usefulness is restricted only by
the limitations we enforce upon it.

Identifying Significators

One of the noticeable differences between horary and natal work is that the planets are not so much
regarded as symbols of internal drives and emotions, as literal representatives of the events and
characters in the client's life. Venus, for example, may be saying less about the principle of desire
than the actual object of desire. Its placement can offer important physical descriptions and
behavioural characteristics of another person represented by that planet.

The ability to pick up a horary chart and gain direct, in-depth access to the details of a client's life is a
skill acquired through confident and thorough knowledge of astrological symbolism. Familiarity with
each element of the horary craft will allow the chart to paint its picture with greater fluidity and depth.
With experience it is possible to offer a very detailed description of the background and present state
of the situation, and to reliably assess from the future movements of the chart where the situation is

The first step towards this, and the most important part of horary judgement, is to correctly assign
the appropriate planets to the various characters and events in the question. Once identified, we term
these planets significators because they signify the specific individuals or incidents that are relevant
to the question. A horary judgement should always focus upon the condition and movement of the
main significators which are identified as follows:

Significators in Horary

 The person who asks the question is called the querent. The querent is always primarily
signified by the planet that rules the ascendant. The condition of the 1st house, any planets in
the 1st house and the Moon will also help to describe the querent and his or her

 The person or issue asked about is called the quesited. It is described by the house that
naturally governs that matter and it is signified by the planet that rules the cusp of that house.
Again, you will want to consider any other planets located in that house as offering further
descriptive information, but you only have one main significator for the quesited, and that is
the planetary ruler of the sign on the cusp.

 The Moon is a general significator for the whole situation. It may be helping to represent the
querent or describing surrounding circumstances, or it could be describing the movement of
events or deeply related issues that may not be immediately apparent from the question. It
always demands some attention.

As an example, consider the question "Is my husband going to leave me?". The querent is asking the
question and so will be signified by the planet that rules the ascendant. If Libra rises, her significator
will be Venus. You will need to examine the position and condition of Venus in gathering your
description, but you should also consider the details that are being added by planets in the first house,
or those that are in close contact with Venus.

In such a chart Aries will be descending and since the querent's question concerns her husband, who
falls under the rulership of the 7th house, Mars is taken as the significator for the quesited. Again the
position and condition of Mars will add the details, as will any additional planets in the 7th house.

It is in the movement of the two main significators that we find much of our answer, so whilst other
planets may be involved in adding descriptive details, these two planets act as a focus to which
attention must be given. In addition, we should look closely at the position of the Moon and integrate
that into the judgement. The Moon acts as a major, general significator, so its relationship with the
other planets and significators will greatly refine the assessment of their situation.

The special role of the Moon in horary, and the ways that it could help to describe the querent or her
situation, will be explored in further detail later. For now simply remember that the Moon is an
important general factor that should never be overlooked. You always need to question what the
position of the Moon is telling you. If the other significators make sense, but the position of the Moon
doesn't seem to fit what you know of the chart, you may need to question whether there are other
underlying factors that hold the key to the client's problem.

Traditional Sign Rulerships

Without a doubt, horary works best when traditional sign rulers are used. Familiarise yourself with the
traditional rulership scheme and get into the habit of using these planets when assigning significators
in your charts.

The traditional rulership scheme recognises only the seven visible planets as shown in the diagram
below. Note how the planets fan outwards in a symmetrical pattern from the Sun and Moon, with Mars
ruling Scorpio, Jupiter ruling Pisces and Saturn ruling Aquarius.

There are three primary reasons why the traditional rulerships are maintained in the predictive branch
of horary astrology and it is worth introducing the reasoning at this stage for the benefit of those who
may struggle to move away from mainstream influences.

Horary astrology is a study largely derived from symbolic and philosophical association. When the
traditional rulerships were created, the assignations were based upon a symbolic structure that is
complete within itself. Breaking any part of that symbolic structure destroys the fundamental strength
and reasoning of the whole. Tempting as it may be for some astrologers to feel that Pluto naturally
blends into the meaning of Scorpio; to deny the rulership of Mars over Scorpio also denies the very
reason it is given rulership over Aries. Apart from the luminaries (Sun and Moon), each planet's
rulership over its attributed signs derives from its relationship to the Sun and recognises dominion
over two signs - one diurnal (of the day) the other nocturnal (of the night). Diurnal energies relate to
masculinity, being active, direct and expressive, whilst nocturnal energies relate to femininity, being
responsive, indirect, and impressive.

The distinction of the diurnal and nocturnal influences and the way they temper the inherent nature of
the planet is enormously important and sadly largely overlooked by many modern texts, which don't
consider the originating philosophy and explain its reasoning. Diurnal and nocturnal definitions can
completely redefine planetary energies - consider for yourself how Mars in Aries, a diurnal sign,
expresses itself in a very active, direct and expressive manner, whilst Mars in Scorpio is more indirect
- an energy that is released slowly, deliberately and with cold control, quite opposed to the natural,
hot and dry energy we associate with Mars, but just as threatening nonetheless. The same applies to
the sign rulerships of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn; each relating to a diurnal sign where its
masculine energy is strengthened and its mannerisms are more overt, and also to a nocturnal sign,
where its feminine traits are emphasised and its characteristics are more implicit.

In addition to the above, a study of horary will encourage you to break apart the symbolic associations
that have merged together to formulate loose astrological insights, in order to rebuild clearer, stronger
definitions that derive directly from their appropriate source. For example, the whole 'Pluto = Scorpio
= 8th house' theme becomes a dangerous astrological diversion when each element merges into the
other and begins to mean the same thing. Pluto does not mean the same as Scorpio, nor does it
signify the same things that the 8th house represents. However, some astrologers use it that way and
therefore give Pluto a very negative slant even though the planet itself is pure energy which can be
good or bad; its influence must be assessed purely by its association with the factors in the relevant

It is true that at times similarities exist, but recognising only the similarities without understanding
first the clear distinctions leads to chaos and the inability to apply detailed precision in descriptive
judgments. In horary, your interpretative abilities will only be as good as your knowledge of
astrological technique allows. Therefore avoid any temptation to rely on 'gut feelings' or 'loose
associations' and be prepared to define and account for your significations - this doesn't just apply to
the modern rulerships, but is equally important in all the rulerships; Mars is not the same as Aries, nor
is it the same as the first house, and the same is true of all the other planet/sign/house associations.

Another practical reason to maintain the traditional sign rulerships in horary is the fact that we are
generally dealing with person-oriented astrology and placing great significance upon the sign rulers to
symbolise individuals or personal events. The outer planets, whilst not dismissing their general
relevance or denying them a valid role in judgement, are accepted as tending to represent social or
political influences. Where they make a contact to the significators they can add fine descriptive
information, but their slow movement fails to convey personal influence in the way that the quicker
moving visible planets are able to through techniques such as translation or collection of light. These
techniques will be detailed later, but essentially, the separation of a significator from the contact of
one planet and its movement towards another will reveal who or what the querent last dealt with prior
to the question being asked, and who they will be dealing with next. The outer planets are incapable
of demonstrating this flow of movement, and therefore cannot reveal a fine degree of detail in events
or in the actions of the querent. Whatever arguments can be made for using them in natal work, there
is a clear disadvantage to using them in horary techniques.

Finally, but by no means least, is the evidence that in horary the traditional rulerships work. If some
astrologers want to make a case that modern rulerships work as effectively, that's fine, but I've never
seen it demonstrated and so can't guarantee it. I can guarantee that the traditional rulerships work,
both on a purely educational level - because we have a significant heritage of past astrologers who
have demonstrated their use in practice - and I can also validate it personally because my own charts,
and a myriad of charts submitted by students and colleagues have proved the case beyond question.
There is no role for the outer planets as sign rulers in horary, they don't act as rulers, co-rulers or
secondary influences over the signs of the zodiac.
Exercise: Assigning Significators

1. Which planet signifies the querent?

2. If the question was about a holiday overseas, which planet would signify the trip?

3. If the question was about the querent's career, which planet would represent the quesited?

4. If the question concerned the death of the querent, which planet would represent the

5. What aspect exists between the two main significators in the scenario given in qu.4?
Miscellaneous Terms

Angular, Succeedent, Cadent

Most students are aware that houses are defined as angular (1st, 4th, 7th & 10th), succeedent
(2nd, 5th, 8th, & 11th) and cadent (3rd, 6th, 9th & 12th), as shown in the diagram below.

The houses are not all equal in strength and power. If a planet is located in an angular house, it is
much more forceful in its effects than it would be in a cadent house. On page 48 of Christian Astrology
Lilly writes:

The angles are most powerful, the succeedents are next in virtue, the cadents poor, and of little
efficacy: the succeedent houses follow the angles, the cadents come next [after] the succeedents. In
force and virtue they stand so in order:

1 10 7 4 11 5 9 3 2 8 6 12

The meaning whereof is this, that two planets equally dignified, the one in the Ascendant, the other in
the tenth house, you shall judge the planet in the Ascendant somewhat of more power to effect what
he is significator of, than he that is in the tenth: do so in the rest as they stand in order, remembering
that planets in angles do more forcibly show their effects.

The astrological angles - ascendant, midheaven (MC), descendant and lower midheaven (IC) - are the
most potent and influential areas in any chart. Any planet that is in conjunction with an angle will have
a marked influence that resonates throughout the chart and greatly colours its overall meaning.

Because of their primary importance the angles are often referred to as the 'cardinal points' and they
relate directly to the cardinal directions east, south, west and north. The word 'cardinal' comes from
the Latin cardo meaning 'hinge', indicating something of primary importance. Ancient astrologers
viewed the cardinal points as the great axis that held the earth in position; thus Manilius, writing in
the first century BC, asserts: These points are charged with exceptional powers, and the influence
they exert on fate is the greatest known to our science, because the celestial circle is totally held in
position by them as by eternal supports.

Angular houses (sometimes called cardinal houses) are those that begin with the angles. When a
planet is placed in an angular house, it is performing more powerfully. Whatever it represents will
show its force in a swift and dynamic fashion. The succeedent houses are so named because the
planets within them succeed by the diurnal movement of the heavens to the cardinal position. These
planets experience a position of mediocre strength.

The word 'cadent' means 'fallen' and is the root of the word cadaver meaning corpse. A planet in a
cadent house has been carried by the diurnal movement away from the cardinal position, symbolising
something that has moved from a position of power into a condition of weakness, or a fall from grace.
The angular houses represent our own 'seats of power', places of familiarity and control. The further
the distance between a planet and the angles the less potency it possesses and the more alienation it
experiences in its environment. Originally, all of the cadent houses had some representation over
foreign places and situations. The lack of familiarity was not just a denial of strength, it was also
indicative of fear and danger.

Angular planets are powerful, so the people or matters that they signify are strong and attract a lot of
attention. If representing a person, such a planet would indicate someone with the power to 'get
things done'. If it is signifying a disease, the disease has the power to do damage, which is why in
illness charts it is better to find the ruler of the 6th house cadent. In commercial charts, the 10th
house indicates the price of the transaction, so if the 10th house ruler is angular, the price will be high
and attract a lot of interest, if cadent the price will be low.

The table below highlights some of the principles of angularity in horary judgments. Remember that
these are general principles that only form part of the overall judgement.

The Use of Angularity of Significators in Interpretation

Angular Succeedent Cadent

In determining strength in Powerful Medium Weak

any situation

In discovering lost objects Indoors or very A further distance, A long way off
or missing persons close to the but not too far
querent away

Likelihood of discover Strong Medium Little hope of recovery

In timing of events (from Swift (days) Not so soon Slow (months)

application of significators) (weeks)

In matters of price Good price Fair price Poor price

In matters of health/illness Strong vitality, Reasonable, chance Suggests a lack of

and death (for querent's denies possibility either way vitality and argues in
significator) of death favour of illness or death
Miscellaneous Terms


Some students become confused by Lilly’s use of the terms ‘public’ and ‘private’, as in the 7th and
12th houses where he attributes public enemies to the 7th house and private enemies to the 12th.
Lilly wasn’t using these words in the way that we commonly use them today, but uses the term public
to mean ‘known’ and private to mean ‘secret’, ‘hidden’ or 'not able to be seen'.

Wherever the querent is aware that they have an enemy, the enemy will be described by the 7th
house. The same applies to thieves, attackers and murderers, even when the identity of that person is
not known. The type of enemy depicted by the 12th house is someone whose activities are hidden. It
is a secret enemy that the querent is not aware of. An example of how this might apply in practice
could be an afflicted 11th house ruler positioned in the 12th house or conjunct the 12th house ruler,
depicting a ‘friend’ who is acting against the querent in secret. Or, if the 7th house ruler is placed in
the 12th, it will show the enemy is in hiding.

As you will see in the next lesson, the 12th house has a lot to do with secrets and with facts or events
that have not yet surfaced to public awareness. Generally it is a very negative house, but we must
always be very careful to apply the general meanings of the houses to the specific context of the chart
in question and, as you will see later, to judge the true quality of the meaning from the dignities and
relationships of the planetary rulers. We are only able to do that when we understand the underlying
principles involved, rather than simply memorising the list of rulerships and significations.

An example quoted in the text you will be referred to next is a horary where a querent who had had
difficulty conceiving asked about the possibility of becoming pregnant. She was shown to be already
pregnant but unaware of it by the presence of the Moon in the 5th house (pregnancy) separating from
a trine to Venus, ruler of the 5th house, positioned in the 12th (hidden matters). The chart for that
horary is reproduced below. Later, you will be able to see from your own studies how a collection of
strong, positive indications of pregnancy were present in the chart, allowing me to judge the meaning
of the 12th house in a more positive vein because of the specific circumstances of this chart.
The main factors for a successful outcome in this chart are that the Moon is the significator of the
querent and makes a very positive trine aspect to Venus, significator of the quesited. The aspect is
separating however, suggesting a past influence rather than a future occurrence. Pregnancy is
reinforced by the main significators in water signs (which are known as 'fertile' signs) and application
of the Moon and Venus to Jupiter, also located in the 5th house. All of these planets are naturally
conducive to pregnancy including Jupiter which is a significator for successful outcomes generally.

Normally, the presence of the 5th house ruler in the 12th would give cause for concern about the
strength of the child, because the 12th house is cadent and denotes weakness and limitations.
However, all the other considerations suggest that there is no prevalent danger so my judgement was
that a recent conception was in such early stages that it was not yet known to the querent.

The querent immediately took a pregnancy test which showed a negative result, but took another a
couple of days later and was confirmed pregnant. This came as a big surprise to the querent who had
been trying, without success, to conceive for several years - she later gave birth to a healthy baby

Miscellaneous Terms


According to Lilly’s list, the colours associated with each house are as follows:

1st House 2nd House 3rd House 4th 5th House 6th
House House
White, pale, Green Red and yellow, or croceal Red Black and white, Black
grey or saffron colour honey colour

7th House 8th House 9th House 10th 11th House 12th
House House
Dark Black Green and Green and white Red and Saffron or yellow Green
black white

You will see that four of the houses are associated with the colour green, whilst none are associated
with blue or purple. In general, traditional authors disagree widely on the use of associated colours
and I’ve personally never come across a traditional list that makes perfect sense or appears very
useable in practice.

Another problem was that traditional cultures simply did not have the broad range of colours that we
can create with modern technology, nor did they have the terminology for colour that we have today.
Hence, where Lilly lists ‘red and white’ for the 10th house, he probably means red mixed with white,
i.e., pink. Similarly, ‘red and yellow’ listed for the 3rd house means orange, and ‘black and white’
listed for the 5th probably means silver; ‘honey colour’ could mean gold. The limited terminology also
explains why the 6th house is associated with black, but the 7th house is associated with ‘dark black’
– black is used to represent darkness and white is used to represent lightness, so the black attributed
to the 6th house is suggesting any colour that is dark, whilst the dark black of the 7th would be the
true black we visualize by the term today.
Miscellaneous Terms


Lilly mentions that each of the planets ‘joys’ or ‘rejoices’ in one of the houses and that each house is
co-signified by one of the signs and planets.

Planetary joys will be covered in the next lesson but a quick definition is that they describe the houses
most suited to the basic nature of each planet, so a planet in its house of joy is strengthened and its
influence is emphasised.

The use of planets and signs as co-significators for houses is not used in horary judgements; here Lilly
is describing a correspondence that has relevance only for medical rulerships. The scheme is based
upon the Chaldean order of the planets – Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon – in which
Saturn is recognised as the first planet because it is the outermost visible planet. The rest of the
planets follow suit according to their proximity to the Earth. This Chaldean order forms the basis of
many planetary schemes as you will find as you work through the course. For now, it is important to
realise that where, for example, Lilly mentions Mercury as a co-significator of the 6th house, he does
so because of the arrangement in this scheme, and not because it is the ruling planet of Virgo.

The rest of this lesson is in the form of an assignment that refers you to passages from The Houses:
Temples of the Sky. This text features detailed information on house rulerships and explains some of
the underlying philosophy from which house meanings have evolved. Take the assignment below and
then return to this page to test your understanding of what has been covered in so far.
Planetary Joys

The 'planetary joys' are the houses that each planet most enjoys to be in.

This is a traditional arrangement for the seven visible planets which associates the planets with the
houses most suited to their natural expression. Thus Venus 'rejoices' in the 5th house of love affairs
and procreation and its influence is strengthened by its location in a house that is fundamentally
suitable to its character. Generous, benefic Jupiter rejoices in the 11th house of 'good fortune,
benefactors and friends' and when placed there it can be considered particularly strong. Mercury
rejoices in the first house where it can have a marked effect upon the intellect and the ability to
express oneself with eloquence. The Moon, the traditional significator of messages, messengers and
writers, rejoices in the 3rd house which naturally governs those issues. The Sun, traditionally
associated with prophecy, divination and the exposure of truth, rejoices in the 9th house of counsel,
divination, guidance and religion. Malefic Saturn rejoices in the baleful 12th house, which supports its
theme of limitation; and Mars rejoices in the 6th house which is generally held to be unfortunate and
oppressive through its connotations of illness and burdensome tasks.

Planet Joy
Mercury 1st
Moon 3rd
Venus 5th
Mars 6th
Sun 9th
Jupiter 11th
Saturn 12th

The use of planetary joys is very ancient - it was a prominent consideration in classical astrology and
has remained a pertinent factor throughout traditional texts. There is good reason to believe that
some house meanings have developed as a result of the strong association between the planets and
their houses of joy. Manilius referred to a planet in its house of joy as being in its temple, illustrating
the very deep and profound relationship that exists between the house and its associated planet.
Turning the Chart
Once you've gained a good understanding of house rulerships, you can extend their use in judgement
by using a technique called 'turning the chart'. This allows a further level of detail that can be applied
specifically to a person or situation under scrutiny in the horary.

Imagine that you have been offered the opportunity to go into business with a partner. If you are
asking your own question on whether this is a wise thing to do, you would be the querent - described
by the 1st house and signified by the planet that rules the 1st house. Your potential partner would be
described by the 7th house and signified by the planet that rules the 7th house. The 2nd house of the
chart will describe your own financial situation, but the 8th house could be used as a 'turned' 2nd
house for your partner, to describe their financial situation. The 9th house will become their 'turned'
3rd house of communications; the 10th house their 'turned' 4th house of home and property, and so

Each of these houses remains relevant to you as the querent, but approaching the symbolism from
another perspective allows you to focus more detail upon how the partner relates to the situation you
are examining.

As another example, imagine that you are drawing a chart to discover whether your mother would be
suited to a new job. Since it is your own question you would be signified by the 1st house and its
planetary ruler, and your mother by the 10th house and its ruler. Career decisions generally are
shown by the Midheaven and 10th house, but the specific details of your mother's profession would be
found by counting the 10th house as the 1st house for your mother, and the 10th house on from that
as the house that indicates her professional concerns. This takes us to the radical 7th house- its
planetary ruler will act as the significator for the mother's turned house of career matters.
In charts that use this technique references to the radical house relate to the normal flow of houses,
which ties the 1st house to the ascendant. So the radical 10th house is the normal 10th house of the
horary, which commences from the Midheaven. 'Radical' in this context derives from the word radix,
meaning 'root'. References to the mother's turned 10th house relate to the 10th house on from the
house we normally assign to the mother. So in this case the mother's turned 10th house falls in the
radical 7th house.

Turned houses are sometimes referred to as derived houses.

Also, be sure to base the significations upon the relationship to the querent - the person asking the
question. As the astrologer, if you are drawing a chart to answer your own mother's question, your
mother becomes the querent, signified by the 1st house.

To make sure you understand this technique answer the questions below - the answers are given
further down this page.

1. Which house would describe the querent's husband's employer?

2. Which house would describe the querent's sister's dog?
3. Which house would describe the querent's father's illness?
4. Which house would describe the querent's daughter's friend?

To Turn or Not to Turn?

Many new students get a little over-enthusiastic about the process of chart-turning, spinning the chart
unnecessarily and failing to give due consideration to the often more direct and obvious symbolism
presented in the unturned chart. The unturned chart is called the 'radical figure', the radix - the root
from which all the symbolism emerges. Usually the tone set by the radical chart will influence all our
attempts to extend its descriptive value; so if we find a debilitated or afflicted malefic culminating on
the Midheaven, that is offering a very strong statement which will be relevant to the judgement
regardless of whether the 10th house is highlighted in the turned signification.
It has also been argued, that when a querent asks about someone else's problem, to some extent
they associate directly with them and share their focus on the problem. Thus, their concern allows us
a direct access to considering issues of that nature. For example, a wife asking about a husband's fear
of redundancy will lead us to examine the 7th house for description and signification of the husband. If
we turn the chart to look at his professional influences we will consider the 10th house from the 7th -
the radical 4th - to evaluate the prospects of his career. Yet the wife, in associating with the husband's
fear, may be very concerned about issues of status and the reflected shadow that his professional
demise would cast upon her. The radical 10th house will resonate to those concerns, firstly because it
is the principal house of professional matters in a general sense and also because, in this case, there
is a valid argument for referring directly to it. In most cases it is wise to consider the chart from both
angles - the information revealed from turning the chart should reinforce the overall tenor of the radix
chart and allow us to build up a descriptive profile from it.

If contradictory factors arise we may need to carefully consider whether the querent's desires, hopes,
fears and understanding of the situation truly associate with those of the other person involved. Take
the question "Is my daughter pregnant?"; this should immediately draw our focus to the 5th house
because in a general sense the 5th house reflects upon all matters to do with daughters and
pregnancies. But whilst the potential grandmother may be delighted at the prospect of a pregnancy,
the daughter herself may be horrified - contradictory factors may be shown when considering the
radical 5th and the turned 5th, (9th house - as 5th from 5th), as it specifically applies to the
daughter's point of view. These contradictory factors often cause some initial confusion in judgement,
which is ironed out when we combine the indications and accept that they each describe the way that
events present themselves to the different people involved in the horary.

In every case there is good reason to relate turned signification back to the radical figure and attempt
to merge the symbolism into a complete and meaningful picture. Situations that undeniably benefit
from chart turning are those that present a clear need to differentiate between how one horary
problem relates to various people. This lesson continues through the assignment (below), part of
which includes an example horary that demonstrates the usefulness of turning the chart and judging it
from various perspectives - whichever approach the chart is judged from it gives a lucid description of
the events that were about to unfold.

Chart Turning... Example Judgement

This horary is presented in a format that allows you to experiment with it and assess your own
approach to judgement.

The problem and the horary chart are given below. Before moving onto the next page, try studying
the chart and considering the problem for yourself. Make a few notes. Can you see any answers in the
chart? What conclusions do you come to? It doesn't matter if you make mistakes because you will
learn from them. We haven't yet covered aspects, planetary meanings, or many other fields of horary
investigation in depth, but see if you can correctly assign the significators and then consider the
location of those planets - are they strong, free from affliction and making good aspects? What does
the house position tell you? Look carefully at the Moon and remember that separating aspects reflect
upon what has already happened whilst applying aspects reflect events that are coming into focus.
Where a planet is making an aspect, identify the meaning of that contact by considering the natural
signification of the planets, the houses that they rule, and whether they are expressing themselves
positively or negatively.

On the next page you will find a checkpoint of factors to consider. It will be interesting for you to see
whether your own approach took account of these points. The final page gives the judgement of the
chart and explains what happened.
The Horary Problem:

Will my parents be OK this year?

I was asked this question by a close friend. She was 28 at the time - her mother was 65 and her
father was 68. Although they had lived in the UK for all of the querent's life, the parents were quite
traditional in their views, the mother being Yugoslav, the father Polish. The querent is the only
daughter. She is a Libran sunsign (Sun at 10 degrees Libra); very pleasant, outgoing, friendly and
freedom loving. Although close to her parents, she found their traditional views on life quite
oppressive and for the past 8 years had come to enjoy an ideal balance between spending time with
her parents and exploring an independent lifestyle by working as a holiday rep for the travel company
Intasun. This entailed working abroad throughout the summer season and returning to the family
home to live with her parents through the winter.

The problem has its roots in the fact that whilst the querent had been working abroad the previous
year, unbeknown to her, her mother became very ill with breast cancer. She had an operation and the
tumour was believed to have been fully removed. The querent wasn't told about this until after she
returned to the UK, and was concerned that her parents didn't call her home during this worrying

At the time that she asked the question, the querent had been agonizing over whether it would be
wise to accept a contract of employment for another year's work abroad - the deadline for acceptance
was drawing near. From a personal perspective she very much wanted to go - she loved her work and
the independence it gave her - but she was worried that, although the mother was supposedly better,
the father was starting to look quite old and ill. If his condition got any worse, the querent didn't know
whether the mother would have the strength to look after him.

As the only daughter, the querent felt torn between pursuing her own professional interests and her
responsibilities to her parents. The dilemma hinged upon whether the parents' health would be
sufficient to see them through the upcoming season without her support. She understood that
sometime in the future it would be necessary for her to give up her international career so that she
could live at home and nurse her parents through old age. She was prepared for this but didn't want
to make that sacrifice before it was necessary.
Checklist for Judgement
Will my parents be OK this year?

Make sure you have answered or considered these points:

1. Which planet signifies the querent?

2. In which house is the querent's significator placed?

3. Which planet signifies the mother?

4. In the 'turned chart of the mother' you will need to renumber the houses so that the house
that signifies the mother becomes her 'turned 1st house'. Her 1st house describes her
physically and also reflects her health and vitality. Consider the planets that are located in the
mother's 1st house - do they suggest a return to health?

5. In this turned chart, which planet becomes the significator of the mother's illness?

6. In which of the mother's houses is her significator of illness located?

7. Which planet is the Moon separating from? Look at this planet and the aspect involved as
relevant in describing the background to the question.

8. Which house(s) does the Moon rule in the mother's turned chart?

9. Make a note of the aspects that the Moon will make until the end of its current sign. These are
important in describing upcoming factors that will affect the outcome.
10. Is there is an applying aspect between the Moon and the mother's significator? If so, is this a
positive or negative influence?

- Look at any other factors that are relevant to the mother's significator and her
state of health to form a judgement upon whether the mother will be strong enough
to deal with the upcoming year without the querent needing to fear for her health -

11. Which planet signifies the father? Do the aspects that his significator makes indicate a return
to vitality or a lack of health?

12. In the turned chart of the father, which planet is conjunct the cusp of his house of illness?

13. Which planet rules the cusp of the father's house of illness, therefore acting as the significator
of his illness?

14. In which of the father's houses is the significator of his illness placed?

- Look at any other factors that are relevant to the father's significator and his state
of health to form a judgement about whether he will be strong enough to deal with
the upcoming year without the querent needing to fear for his health -

15. Now clear you mind of the factors you have seen from turning the chart. Go back to the
horary and approach it from a fresh perspective, considering the radical houses and the
querent's dilemma. She wants to take a trip abroad - are there any factors concerning her 9th
house of overseas travel that might suggest it is to her benefit or disadvantage to do so?

16. Does agreeing to the contract for the year ahead seem a wise choice? Take a look at the
querent's 10th house of professional matters. Does the condition of her 10th house, the
planets in her 10th house, the ruler of the 10th house and aspects made by the Moon or other
planets to the 10th house cusp look promising?

17. The Moon is the applying to the sextile of Mars - what do you think that might mean?
Chart Turning... Example Judgement

The Problem:

I was asked this question by a close friend. She was 28 at the time - her mother was 65 and her
father was 68. Although they had lived in the UK for all of the querent's life, the parents were quite
traditional in their views, the mother being Yugoslav, the father Polish.

The querent is the only daughter. She is a Libran sunsign (Sun at 10 degrees Libra); very pleasant,
outgoing, friendly and freedom loving. Although close to her parents the generation gap showed. She
found their traditional views on life quite oppressive and for the past 8 years had come to enjoy an
ideal balance between spending time with her parents and exploring an independent lifestyle by
working as a holiday rep for the travel company Intasun. This entailed working abroad throughout the
summer season and returning to the family home to live with her parents through the winter.

The problem has its roots in the fact that whilst the querent had been working abroad the previous
year, unbeknown to her, her mother became very ill with breast cancer. She had an operation and the
tumour was believed to have been fully removed. The querent wasn't told about this until after she
returned to the UK, and was concerned that her parents didn't call her home during this worrying

At the time that she asked the question, the querent had been agonizing over whether it would be
wise to accept a contract of employment for another year's work abroad - the deadline for acceptance
was drawing near. From a personal perspective she very much wanted to go - she loved her work and
the independence it gave her - but she was worried that, although the mother was supposedly better,
the father was starting to look quite old and ill. If his condition got any worse, the querent didn't know
whether the mother would have the strength to look after him.
As the only daughter, the querent felt torn between pursuing her own professional interests and her
responsibilities to her parents. The dilemma hinged upon whether the parents' health would be
sufficient to see them through the upcoming season without her support. She understood that
sometime in the future it would be necessary for her to give up her international career so that she
could live at home and nurse her parents through old age. She was prepared for this but didn't want
to make that sacrifice before it was necessary.

The Judgement:

The querent is signified by Mars, conjunct the Part of Fortune on the cusp of the 9th house. This
indicates her will and desire to travel and describes her as poised to commit herself to that course of
action. The querent would not normally be characterised as Martian in nature or appearance, but
through the signification of Mars she is seen as erring towards her own interests, possibly recklessly,
or at least with a clear intent that was ready to act. Mars is not a planet that hesitates unduly or
naturally holds itself back for the benefit of others.

Although the prospect of death had never been ventured, I was aware that the querent's mother had
recently endured a very serious illness. I was immediately struck by the fact that Jupiter, ruler of the
8th house of trauma and/or death, was retrograde on the cusp of the 4th house of parents, while 4th-
ruler, Moon, applied to the square of Neptune (weakening, dissolution, loss) then MC-ruler Saturn
(loss, disappointment, death). Since the health of both parents had been questioned, I separated out
the signification of the mother and father to see which parent, if any, was at risk.

The Mother:

The mother is signified by Saturn, a natural significator for old-age and weakness. Saturn is dignified
in its own sign but afflicted by being under the Sunbeams, describing a weakened state, as one might
expect for someone who has recently undergone a serious illness. The mother's 1st house signifies her
health and vitality; her 6th house signifies the potential for illness or disease.

The 6th-house ruler Mercury is located in the mother's 1st house, indicating that her physical well-
being is impeded by illness. Mercury is retrograde, demonstrating the return of a former illness or a
recurring condition that will not easily be alleviated. Its angularity gives it power to cause harm. It
turns direct at 9.48 degrees of Capricorn; its movement back to the conjunction of Saturn returning
the full effects of the illness to the mother. The Moon separates from the square of Mercury, and
translates its influence to Saturn, further strengthening the contact between them. Located on the
mother's 10th house, the Moon relates to the attempts to affect a cure, but the cure was ineffective,
as shown by the afflicted state of Venus, ruler of the mother's turned 10th house - Venus is retrograde
and closely approaching combustion, where it loses its power.

The presence of Neptune and Uranus in the mother's 1st house show further afflictions to the mother's
health. Neptune describes weakening and dissolution of the vital spirit; Uranus describes separation,
break-down, and upsets caused through shocking revelation. The Moon is close to the square of
Neptune, softening the mother's will and weakening her vital strength.

With significations of illness so apparent, the Moon' role as ruler of the 8th house offers concern
through its applying square to Saturn. It translates the influence of its recent tryst with Mercury to a
further confrontation with Saturn which, lying on the trine of Pluto, is beset by themes of heavy
trauma and morbidity. The Moon's governorship of the 8th house brings issues of death to a planet
that naturally signifies loss, which is itself tied to a planet that is ruthless and transformative. Set
against the testimonies of illness, this collection of chart factors calls for a supreme effort of will, but
the square of the Moon to Saturn shows that the mother's strength and vitality is ebbing and there is
little to give hope that she will have the necessary vigour to overcome such a critical period.

The Father:

The querent's main concern was that her father was starting to look very old, tired and fragile. His
health is signified by the 4th house and its ruler, the Moon, with any potential illness signified by his
turned 6th house and its ruler, Jupiter.

Mars sits on the cusp of the father's 6th house. A natural malefic, its presence here draws our
attention to the possibility of attack through illness or disease. Jupiter on the father's 1st house cusp
confirms this, indicating that illness has invaded his body, whilst its retrograde action suggests the
illness is likely to linger or recur. The Moon's condition, as a statement upon the father's health and
vitality has already been noted. Its future aspects show weakening and presage a period of decline.
Saturn rules the father's 7th and 8th houses tying him to issues of loss involving his partner and
death. The theme is mirrored by the Moon's location in the father's 4th house, connected with endings
and a need to put matters to rest.

The indications show further concern for the father. However, the Moon is angular and its forthcoming
sextile to Mars offers a stronger argument that the father can find a will to resist disease. The Moon
and Jupiter are separating, so whilst the presence of the disease is strongly highlighted, there is less
cause for immediate concern than in the case of the mother where the significators are applying.
Combining the factors that relate to the health of the parents, there is certainly reason to suggest that
the querent's support would be needed at home, and her proposed work abroad would be ill-advised.

Prospects of the Career/Travel Opportunity:

Although Mars is straining at the 9th house cusp, the potential of this overseas career contract does
not look promising. Relating back to the radical chart, the 9th house ruler - Jupiter - is retrograde,
indicating a return. Jupiter opposes the Midheaven and lies within the opposition of Uranus, which
afflicts professional interests through its volatile presence in the 10th house. Troubles overseas are
also suggested in a general sense by the very presence of Mars on the 9th house cusp.

The querent needed to sign a contract, an issue that falls under the 3rd house of written agreements
and is signified by Mercury. Mercury is afflicted by the Moon's square and its retrograde movement
suggests that unseen matters come to light that prevent the contract being fulfilled. The Moon moves
to the square of Saturn which, as the ruler of the 10th house of professional interests, denies the
likelihood of this being a profitable and successful career move.


My conclusion was that this horary reveals real problems relating to the health of the parents,
particularly the mother, indicating that they would need the querent's support during the year ahead.
The afflictions concerning the career, contracts and overseas travel suggested that if the querent
pursued her plans to travel, she would probably be interrupted by a need to return home for the sake
of her parents.

The Outcome:

When I contacted the querent to discuss the chart she interrupted me and asked me not to tell her
anything that the chart revealed. She had subsequently spoken to another friend and had made her
decision to go. Within the few hours that elapsed between the question and my return call, she had
signed and posted the contract and booked and paid for her tickets. Her permission withdrawn, I did
not feel it appropriate to raise my concerns and simply told her that I hoped her parents would be well
looked after by the good neighbours I knew she had.

The querent's experience of working abroad was later described as 'horrendous and stress-filled'. She
requested a change of role and was given an alternative supervisory position in the South of England
but within a matter of months Intasun - one of the UK's leading holiday firms - dramatically collapsed.
(The indications for a lack of honesty, sudden disturbance and financial mismanagement on the part of
the querent's employer are evident in the 10th house significations.) She returned home to find her
mother in a very poor state of health and deteriorating rapidly. She died of Cancer on 12th May, 1991.
The father's health appeared to improve whilst he was nursing his wife, but after her death he
appeared to lose motivation and became very unwell. He was later diagnosed with lung cancer and
died on August 14th 1994. The querent, being at home, was able to nurse both her parents and care
for them throughout this difficult time.
Summary and Final Test

The example horary we have just considered was by no means 'fun' or trivial. Like all good horary
charts it offers clear and direct symbolism, reflecting its relevancy on many levels because the issue
underlying the question was a matter of deep concern. The question was not contrived but unfolded
itself to scrutiny at a moment when the querent felt compelled to admit her need for guidance. It is to
some extent a curiosity because my judgement had no impact. To my recollection, this is the only
chart I have cast where the querent later decided not to know what the chart has to say. I sometimes
wonder whether I was right or wrong in not persuading the querent to hear the details, and I still
don't know where I stand on that. Horary often involves us in ethical and moral minefields for which
we must consider all implications and follow our conscience. This will form the basis of a future
exploration but for now we'll leave that issue aside and draw the first part of this course to a close.

The course so far has introduced the approach and method of horary, mainly focussing upon the
identification of significators, the need to centre the judgement upon the significators, and a detailed
review of house meanings. It is hoped that you now have an adequate knowledge of house meanings
to reason your significations effectively. The final test, below, gives you an opportunity to assess your
knowledge of house signification and check that you are confident in what you have learned.

Which house would you use to signify issues relating to:

God Contracts

Employees Your mother-in-law

Sorrow & misery Benefactors

Bad luck Missing children

Tarot-card readers Telephone calls

Slavery The opposition

The Buyer of your property The cure or medicine for an illness

Diplomats & Ambassadors Rumours

Foreign countries The postal system

Water supply International trade

Newspapers Your feet

Your career Hospitals

Agents Commuting

Magistrates Flowers

Awards Your sister

The government Loss

Parties Hope

Illness The direction north

Your husbands Work & chores

Spies Buried wealth

The garden Marriage

Music Priests

Secrets Your house

Your public image Wills

Authority Asylums

Philosophy Ancestry

Sickness Your Father

The Church Newspapers

Drowning Destination in a journey

Dreams Money

Ambition Health

Games Mining

Your known enemy Foreign Travel

Friends Your car

War Prison

Neighbours Income

Lawyers Thieves

Pregnancy Your wardrobe

Judges The throat

Public Health Service Verbal disagreements

Your mother Your country

Gossip Release from Prison

Your team Self -undoing

Astrology Land

Your watch Your cat

Gambling The Prime Minister

Universities Theatres