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 prompted by the presentation to the conscience of an idea developing a plan towards a future that is still uncertain and devoid of directions.

Think of the individual being a focal point capable of modulating the perception – which comes to him through the senses – of a world external to himself. Ordinary consciousness can provide concrete guidelines – based on what we perceive – to move in the space of everyday life and define expectations based on projections of current circumstances. However, there are cases in which ordinary consciousness, limited by a psychological event horizon, cannot predict a course of action. In such circumstances, the astrological model – an example of a cosmic ordering on a cyclic basis – manages to synchronise the chaotic reality of the sensible world in the eyes of the observer.

Birth becomes a mythical reading source in natal astrology, a projection of human intimacy, reflecting the cosmos’ order. The birth chart decodes the development potentials that the individual, as the bearer of a vision limited in space and time by his 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, an expression of the One in the plurality. Therefore, any procedure attributable to native methods states a process of gravitational contraction towards that single point of universal self-awareness, which is the human being. In other words, the individual is the expression of his birth chart.

We re-approach a cosmic flow with unlimited expressive possibilities that follow an inverse expansion process from a generalised perspective using an hourly methodology. Imagine the decrease of a spiral representing the progressive contraction of the universal creative principle incarnated in the individual (yin); from there starts a new loop that follows the inverse process of expansion (yang), representing the mind as an ideational 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 possibilities of the personality that senses things. Though the mind is devoid of substance, it is nevertheless influenced 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 our century, he has undertaken a detailed study of the implications of horary astrology’s art, based above all on a revision of the thought and aphorisms of William Lilly [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 instant in which the idea and the free conscience of the client interact is the significant moment. 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. The method for 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 is implemented, including analysing the characteristics of the planets, aspects, etc.

Of course, it’s not always so 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 assumes an equatorial reference system as a basis for judgment instead of an ecliptic motion. It’s a link between different orders of magnitude, where the most rapid movement of the earth’s rotation is due to the relevant moment’s specificity, whether or not it adheres to the solar system’s ordering model. Considering the House opposite to the one governing the hourly issue as a basis of interaction is a symbolic vehicle capable of penetrating directly – face to face – the potential of one’s line of action. The opposition symbolism is, in fact, the one that best lends itself to representing the culmination of expectations and hopes.

After all, 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 the 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, hourly astrology is to natal astrology as the unconscious is to consciousness.


  • Jones, Marc Edmund – Astrologia Oraria – Milan 1981
  • Lilly, William – Christian Astrology – London 1927


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