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Horary Astrology

What Is Horary Astrology?

(A technical answer.)

Horary Astrology may be one of the 1st forms of Astrology practiced since a question asked came with a time that an astrologer could understand and utilize. I'm sure, what was practiced at the beginnings of the craft was very primitive, compared to what we practice now. In natal astrology, the birth time given to an astrologer may have had little meaning unless a chart was set around the time of birth and the recording of time was not measured as time is today.

The "New Dictionary of Astrology" by Sepharial, defines Horary Astrology as follows: "The system of Horary Astrology depends on the sympathy that exists between the minds of men and the stars, by reason of which people are led to think of and propound a question of serious import at a time when the aspects of the heavens bears a definite relation to the nature, origin, and determination of the matter involved. On this basis the whole of Horary Astrology had been builded."

Horary comes from the Latin word "Hora" which means hour. The word is pronounced hoe'rare-ree, not oe'rare-ree as some pronounce it; the "H" is not silent. Webster's Dictionary defines horary as follows: "ho'ra-ry, adj. (ML. horarius, fr. L. hora) 1. Of or pertaining to an hour; noting the hours. 2. Occurring once an hour; hourly. 3. Astrology: Of or pertaining to specific or fitting times, or their determination."

Horary Astrology is the part of astrology that answers any question. The only restrictions to answering any question are the astrologer’s willingness to answer it or the lack of his or her ability to answer the specific question. My moral compass prevents me from answering any question about the death of any specific person. If someone asked me why their automobile couldn't start, I couldn't answer that because I know nothing about the mechanics of an automobile, nor what parts of astrology have to do with the parts of an automobile.

A horary chart is set for the time when a question is posed. The chart is set from the date, time and the place where the question is posed. This rule applies and is accepted by all astrologers for natal astrology and just about all forms of astrology, except that some astrologers believe that the exception is with horary astrology. This Astrologer is aware that some astrologers believe that the question should be set from the astrologer’s location, but this is not correct. I know and understand that the astrologer, William Lilly believed that the location of the astrologer should be used to set the chart, but William Lilly was a 17th century astrologer; Lilly never receive a question by phone from the other side of the world or a thousand miles away. I could set a horary chart for my location and a location a thousand miles east or west and still get the same sign on the ascendant. The charts will differ but I may still have enough correct information to get a correct answer from the wrong location. Even if I gave an incorrect answer from the incorrect place, I may assume that I simply read the chart incorrectly.

Lilly lived in a time when he could never find out that setting the chart from the querent’s location was the correct way to set a horary chart. Lilly’s location was almost always the client’s location and even when it wasn’t, could it ever have been very far away? The distance between his location and his querent’s location could have almost never differed enough to make it obvious to him that the querent’s location was the correct way to set the horary chart. His rule had to be something he assumed to be correct.

Olivia Barclay was a well-known horary astrologer. My relationship with her had a very rocky beginning. Most of it had to do with the infamous British bluntness. Knowing she was British I completely excused what I thought was her rudeness at our first meeting. Olivia and I became good friends. Our relationship grew and improved more than I could have ever initially imagined. Once I told her that I believed Mrs. Jacobson was a better astrologer than Lilly. Her response was what you might expect if I had said Mrs. Jacobson was better than God. We were having dinner at some restaurant when we had another one of our vigorous discussions about William Lilly and setting the horary chart from the client’s location as opposed to the astrologer’s locations.

This time I seem to make sense to her and after many times of pleading with her to try setting the chart from the client’s location, she agreed. I accused her of agreeing just to get me to stop pleading but she promised, when she returned home to England, she would try for a time to prove or disprove it to her satisfaction. I accepted her word and we continued with our meal with more of a cordial conversation.

Sometime later, possibly a year or two, I sent her an invitation to a large party I was giving. I indicated that she could stay in my home and I would show her around areas of the East Coast that she hadn’t seen. I received a response from her that I have kept. In it she excused herself from my invitation and added: “You were right, the chart should be set from the querent’s location.”

This incorrect rule to set a horary chart from the astrologer’s location given by William Lilly and continued by Olivia Barclay, Lilly’s biggest devotee realized that Lilly was wrong about this particular rule. You might find this interesting that I don’t believe that the astrologer who sets his or her horary charts from his or her location is totally wrong. I do believe that they have learned to read the chart under a handicap.