Horary astrology is the art of answering questions using astrology.
While it can take time to master, the basic principles of horary are actually very simple. Here’s an example of how easy horary can be; anyone with a little knowledge of astrology should be able to follow along.
My car is a 2003 Toyota Camry, and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s seen better days. It has a tape deck. It has a hub cap missing. It has a baby seat in the back. It’s a single dad car par excellence.
Last week I needed to travel to Sydney. The Water Trio » were having a live event on 30 January, and it was a great opportunity to meet some fellow astrologers. Problem is, Sydney is a three hour drive from my home town. As the date approached, I became more and more concerned. Would the Dad Mobile be able to make the trip without breaking down?
Finally, on the night before the journey, I asked myself a horary question: “Will my car make it to Sydney and back?” Here’s the horary chart:
The first step in any horary analysis is to identify the house or houses that relate to the question. My fellow astrologers reading this might be forgiven for looking to the 3rd house of short journeys; but that will show the quality of the journey itself. Another viable option might be the 2nd house of personal possessions; but this is my car in motion, not sitting in my garage slowly leaking oil.
In most of the English horary texts from the 17th century, the 1st house was taken to signify “the ship you sail in” (see for example, Henry Coley, Clavis Astrologiae Elimata, p. 153; John Partridge, Mikropanastron, p. 62). John Frawley applies this approach to motor vehicles in the 21st century, and I think he’s right to do so (Frawley, Horary Textbook, p. 142-143). For the period of the journey, your fate is intimately connected with the fate of the vehicle, just as your body is contained within the body of the vehicle; in this state, things impacting the vehicle will impact upon you, both literally and figuratively.
So, for this journey the car is signified by the 1st house, which in this chart is Cancer. Now, the ruler of Cancer is the Moon (trust me), and that means the Moon signifies my car in the chart.
Where is the Moon? In Scorpio, which in this chart is the 5th house. The 5th is one of the so-called “good” houses in traditional astrology because it is configured to the rising sign by a trine aspect. So this house placement is promising. If I saw the Moon in one of the traditionally “bad” houses, like the 8th house of Death and Dread, it might give me pause.
To be clear, we aren’t getting anything even close to specific information here – it’s about as crude and ambiguous as “Good house = thumbs up, bad house = thumbs down.”
The Moon is at 26° Scorpio. If you look at the chart, no other planet is that late in the degrees of their respective signs. That means that what we have here is a void of course Moon.
The Moon is “void of course” if she does not form any new aspects before departing her current sign. In horary astrology, the symbolism of the void of course Moon is quite literal; the Moon is making no new aspects, so this indicates that “nothing is going to happen.”
Most of the time in horary, the Moon being void of course is a Bad Sign, but this is only because we tend to ask about things that we want to happen! For a common question like “Will I meet a woman this year?” we’re after an event (a great meeting story you can tell to your kids). But the void of course Moon suggests that “nothing happens,” so things will stay the same way they are now (sorry Colin, looks like it’s just you and the anime pillow for another 12 months).
But when we’re asking about things we don’t want to happen, the void of course Moon is exactly what we like to see! With the Moon making no applying aspects, the chart is indicating that the car will be fine – nothing will happen.
And, believe it or not, this is where the analysis ends. While most charts cannot be judged on a single factor alone, this one can. Usually in a horary chart we’d be examining at least three planets – the Lord of the Ascendant, the ruler of the relevant house, and the Moon. But for a 1st house question with Cancer rising, we only need look to the Moon to get our answer!
So what happened? Well, I’m pleased to say the car made it to Sydney and back with no issues.
Except for one thing. It was a 38° degree day (100°F), and on the way up, the A/C stopped working for about an hour.
Remember how I said the 3rd house signifies the quality of the journey itself? Well, the 3rd house in this chart is Virgo, and the ruler of Virgo is Mercury, so Mercury signifies the journey. And wouldn’t you know it, Mercury is applying to a very close conjunction with the Sun: under the beams, combust, and generally feeling the heat.
I love my car. But I really should get a new hub cap, it’s just embarrassing!