Horary Astrology: a tool for evaluating the realisation of an idea in the context of the natural world

Published in: Astrological Observer no. 6, March 1987

Italian version

In horary astrology, the choice of the significant moment for drafting the astrological chart is dictated by the presentation to the conscience of an idea that develops a project towards a future that is still uncertain and devoid of directions.

We consider individuals as focal points capable of modulating the perception – which comes to them through the senses – of a world external to themselves. Ordinary consciousness can provide concrete guidelines – based on what we perceive – for moving through the space of daily life and setting expectations based on projections of current circumstances. However, there are cases in which ordinary consciousness, limited by a psychological event horizon, cannot anticipate the results of a course of action. In these circumstances, the astrological model, the paradigm of a cosmic ordering on a cyclic basis, manage to synchronise in the eyes of the observers a reality that they often fail to interpret in its potential for future development.

Birth becomes a source of mythical reading in natal astrology, a projection of human intimacy, reflecting the heavenly order. The birth chart decodes the development potentials that the individual, as the bearer of a vision limited in space and time by their transitory nature, can make his own to adapt to the cosmic model of reference. Note that this model is unique; it applies to everyone, but what changes are the times and perspectives of observation offered by single individuals, symbols of a variety found again in the cosmic order. Therefore, any procedure attributable to natal methods states a process of gravitational contraction towards that single point of universal self-awareness, which is the human being. In other words, individuals are the expression of their birth chart.

In horary astrology, we approach a cosmic flow with unlimited expressive possibilities, this time following a process of expansion from a generalised perspective.

Imagine the decrease of a spiral that represents the progressive contraction of the universal creative principle embodied in the individual (yin); from there starts a new cycle that follows the inverse process of expansion (yang), representing the mind as a conceptual counterpart to the operation of human identification.

We experience the conventional nature of the mind as knowledge, that is, awareness of perception objects. Therefore, we can say that the idea is the vision of the personality’s possibilities that perceive things. Although the mind is devoid of substance, it is nonetheless affected by the objects and experiences it comes into contact with. The expanding spiral is nothing more than a mirror image of the contracting spiral: like the mind, it reflects the universe through human eyes.

Among the various supporters of horary astrology, Marc Edmund Jones is striking for the depth and analytical systematisation he supports in his thesis. Since the early years of the last century, he has undertaken an in-depth study of the implications of the art of horary astrology, based above all on a revision of William Lilly’s thought and aphorisms [1].

The trend of this hourly methodology is, in the first place, the preference given to an optional configuration of the question; in fact, it is presented in the generalised form: “What will be the result of…?”. It is not a question of prophetically determining the result of an action; what we emphasise is a generalised look at the action’s future direction if the act itself is taken. So the horary horoscope is valid when we transfer the emphasis from the ideal plane to that of potential. It is a momentary exit from the existential situation’s deadlock to evaluate one’s adherence to the event, re-entering it – or choosing to re-enter it – if there is a general agreement between the individual’s potential destiny and the event itself.

The moment when the idea and the client’s free conscience interact is significant. At this point, the client decides to ask the astrologer for guidance. The astrologer draws up an astrological chart for the moment the question is asked [2]: the vision leaves the field of probabilities to enter the realm of possibilities. Measuring the adherence between the idea and its potential for realisation is the essence of simplicity. If the planet lord of the House that rules the question and the planetary ruler of the opposite House form a positive Ptolemaic aspect (conjunction, sextile and trine), the answer is affirmative; if the aspect is negative (square and opposition), the answer invalidates the expectations. If a minor aspect is formed (semi-sextile or quincunx), a progressive regression to native interpretative methods takes place, including analysing the characteristics of the planets, aspects, etc.

Of course, it’s not always that simple; but the amount of interpretative and methodological nuances would go beyond the boundaries imposed on our work. However, the fundamental aspect of horary astrology is the correlation between planets of opposite houses. Here a geocentric planetary reality assigns a symbolic order to a possibility in space and time specified by the hourly domification. It is a relationship that presupposes an equatorial frame of reference as the basis of judgment rather than an ecliptic motion. It is a link between different orders of magnitude, in which the faster movement of the Earth’s rotation is due to the specificity of the relevant moment, whether or not it adheres to the solar system’s ordering model. Considering the House as opposed to the one that regulates the hourly issue as a basis of interaction is a symbolic vehicle capable of directly penetrating the potential of one’s line of action. The symbolism of opposition is, in fact, the one that best lends itself to representing the culmination of expectations and hopes.

Basically, the request for clarification is a confrontation with a possibility; it opens a recognition of the peak experience one is living. Thinking that horary astrology does not fulfil the outcomes that natal analysis suggests does not fully answer the truth. Horary astrology emphasises the mind’s imaginative side: the indefinite potentialities that constitute its absolute, transparent and universal nature. Its conventional aspect is the cognitive side at the basis of the astrology of personality. Psychologically, horary astrology is to natal astrology as the unconscious is to consciousness. It is a universal and pre-individual potential waiting to acquire order and meaning thanks to the link with our awareness.

[1] William Lilly (1602-1681) was a London astrologer famous for accurately predicting the Great Fire of London of 1666.

[2] We can postpone the writing of the horoscope until the astrologer decides to carry out the interpretation since the latter acts as delegated by the consultant, taking responsibility for their problems.


  • Marc Edmund Jones –Horary Astrology – Santa Fe 1993
  • William – Christian Astrology – London 1927