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Horary astrology
A brief critique

Koen Van de moortel

From his book Astro-Logics, Ghent, Belgium 2002, pages 100-102.
For details visit http://www,

Abstract -- Horary astrology seems ideal for testing because it produces concrete yes/no answers. But its rules are often ambiguous and subject to disagreement even though they are said to be based on years of experience. So why the disagreement? Its concrete answers should have produced agreement, not disagreement. Evidently something is wrong with the way astrologers draw conclusions from experience [a process explored in the articles on artifacts under Problem Areas]. Four references.

In the so-called horary astrology one studies the planet positions at the moment when a certain question was posed. Quite different rules are applied here, compared to those from personal, natal astrology. The person that asks the question is represented by the ascendant, and the question is represented by the cusp of the house related to the subject. of the question. The answer is then determined by looking at aspects between the ascendant ruler and the house ruler.

But when one looks closely, this branch of astrology is obviously wrestling with enormous logical problems.

A question like "Will my wife come bock?" is stiIl relatively easy. If the ascendant is in Leo at the moment of the question, one looks at aspects between the Sun (ruler of the ascendant) and Uranus (ruler of the 7th house of partnerships). If there is a "good" aspect between them, the answer is "yes", otherwise it is "no".

When can an aspect be called "good"? Of course that's a point of discussion. What is the orb to be used? Isn't it weird that an aspect with a deviation of 8:0l degrees from exactness suddenly doesn't count anymore and makes the answer turn into "no", while we would have a full "yes!" with a deviation of 7:59 degrees? Do only applying aspects count? Can aspects be blocked by an interfering third planet? [McCann 1997a]

It gets even more complicated with questions like: "Will my friend's daughter move?". No problem, one takes the fourth house (home) of the fifth (daughter) of the third (friend) as being the house of the question. Now the catch question: what if this daughter of my friend also happens to be the wife (house 7) of my boss (house 10)? Or, posing the question "Will John bring my book tomorrow?", does it matter if John is my friend or not? Whether it is a study book or a novel?

What if the ruler of the ascendant is the same as the ruler associated with the question? As when the latter is the Moon and the ascendant is Cancer. In that case take the degree of the ascendant!

This starts to look like some technical game with very low credibility. Some astrologers will claim that these are just borderline cases, but it is exactly in borderline cases that one can optimally discern the strength or weakness of a theory.

Further, everything will make or break depending on the choice of house system to be used. One can also opt for the classical sign rulers or one of the modern variants. We already saw above the vital importance of houses and rulers, to which the strings are so firmly attached.

One also needs a place to cast a horary chart for. And of course there is no unanimity in this matter either. Do we take the location of the one asking the question, or that of the astrologer? The horary astrologer Maurice McCann is very clear about this. He says:

"Always use the latitude and longitude of the person asking the question since the question was born in their mind at their location and not at that of the astrologer's. It is their question and only they fully understand it." [McCann 1997b]

However other astrologers have the same rock-solid conviction of the exact opposite, such as Alphee Lavoie [Lavoie 1995, p.12], and Erik van Slooten who says:

"I am strongly convinced that the place of residence of the astrologer is the one that counts. Especially as I receive a lot of questions by telephone from abroad and have been able to collect excellent confirming experiences" [van Slooten 1994, p.21].

Surprising, isn't it? Again, should one use the time when the question occurred (e.g. in the middle of the night), or the time when it was received by the astrologer (e.g. the next morning or even later)? Opinions from horary astrologers with years of experience are just as divided on this question as well.

You see, there comes no end to the problems, and if you ask me, it's much easier to toss a coin if you really want a "cosmic" answer!

Ironically, horary astrology is actually more suitable for testing than psychological astrology, since it produces neat and concrete "yes or no" answers. Now the above opinions are based on "years and years of experience", according to their authors. So how come they don't reach the same conclusions? Apparently something is wrong with the way most astrologers draw conclusions from experiences.

[A further and more detailed treatment of horary astrology appears in the 2013 book Astrology under Scrutiny, for details see bottom of home page]

Lavoie, Alphee (1995). Lose this book and find it with Horary. Astrological Institute of Research, Hartford CT, USA.
McCann, Maurice (1997a). The Void of Course Moon. Tara Astrological Publications, London, UK.
McCann, Maurice (1997b): Tara horary software program. Software available from Koen Van de moortel, Ghent, Belgium.
van Slooten, Erik (1994). Lehrbuch der Stundenastrologie. [Textbook of horary astrology.] Ebertin Verlag, Freiburg, Germany.

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