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New millennium astrological chart
Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology in which an astrologer attempts to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer.
The answer to the horary question might be a simple yes or no, but is generally more complex with insights into, for example, the motives of the questioner, the motives of others involved in the matter, and the options available to them.
Horary astrology has its own strict system. The position of and aspects to the moon are of prime importance. The person asking the question, or querent, is represented by the ruler of the sign the first house cusp falls on in the horoscope. Planetary aspects to the house cusps are considered more important than in other branches of astrology (although it is the planetary rulers of the houses in question that take precedent in analysis). Other key elements used in horary astrology include the lunar nodes, the planetary antiscia, the fixed stars and the Arabic parts.
Typically, a horary chart is read by first assigning the thing asked about, the quesited, to a particular house in the chart. For instance, asking "Where is my lost dog?" would be represented by the sixth house, as it is the house that governs small animals (traditionally, smaller than a goat). The house cusp of the sixth house will be in a particular sign, for example Libra. Libra is ruled by Venus, so Venus is considered the significator of the lost dog. Venus's state in the horoscope (its dignity, aspects, etc.) will give clues to the animal's location.
Houses play a more crucial role in horary astrology than they do in other branches of astrology. Any house system preferred by the astrologer may be used, but commonly horary astrologers choose to divide the chart using the Regiomontanus house system.
Understanding the correct house for the context of the question is pivotal to the correct interpretation of a horary question. Everything can be assigned to a house and it is to that house, and its ruler, that the assignation of the quesited is derived. Whatever planet is ruling the sign on the cusp of the house is called the quesited. The context of the horary will often determine the house. For example, if the horary is about matters pertaining to career, the ruler of the 10th House, natural house for careers and jobs, will be the quesited.
A short, non-exhaustive, list of possible associations with houses follows:
In addition, houses may gain extra meaning by way of 'turning the chart'. If you know that the fourth house relates to the father, and that the third house relates to siblings, you can turn the chart to get the father's sibling by taking the third house (siblings) from the fourth house (father), in other words, by counting three house from the fourth. In this manner the sixth house (third from the fourth), in addition to its natural meaning, may also be used for any brothers and sisters of the father. In a horary question about, for example, your aunt or uncle, it would make sense to turn the chart and use the sixth house if it is your father's brother or sister, or, alternatively, to use the twelfth house (third from tenth) if it is your mother's brother or sister. Turned houses are called derived houses, as opposed to the normal radical houses.
Fundamental to horary astrology is the concept of planetary dignity and reception. Dignity comes in two forms, essential and accidental. Essential refers to the quality of a planet at a particular degree of the zodiac and its ability to express its true/good nature. For instance, a horoscope is drawn and Mars is in Scorpio. Using traditional rulerships, Mars here is in its own sign, so it is considered essentially strong; a well-behaved Mars. Mars in Taurus, on the other hand, is in its detriment, so is essentially weak. In a horary question where Mars is a significator, Mars's essential dignity will indicate something of the quality of the quesited. Accidental dignity refers to how the planet "finds itself". That is, if the planet is in a traditionally bad house (6th, 8th, or 12th) in the chart, if it is retrograde, aspected by a malefic planet (Saturn or Mars), combust, etc., then it is considered an accidental debility.
As an example, consider a valuable ring which happens to be lost. Its inherent condition is that it is valuable and so has lots of essential dignity. However, its current state is that it is lost and so has little accidental dignity. The significator for the ring in this horary might, for example, be Venus in Taurus (good essential dignity) but retrograde and combust (accidentally debilitated).
However, some horary astrologers consider a retrograde significator a good sign that the object will come back, or be found. This is particularly true if the significator of the querent and that of the quesited are making aspect to each other. For example, the trine would mean that it is found relatively easily, whereas the opposition may mean that it will be found, but the querent will almost wish it hadn't been. In the above case, the ring may be found, but in such bad shape that the querent would rather not have seen it in its terrible condition. If this question were about a missing person, the person will be found, but in very bad shape.
Reception refers to how each planet in a horary question chart "view" or "receive'" each other, either favourably, unfavourably, or somewhere in between. If Mars is in Taurus, and Venus is in Scorpio, then each of the planets is in the sign the other planet rules. (Venus is ruler of Taurus, Mars of Scorpio). This is called mutual reception by rulership, and although each planet is in its detriment, it nevertheless receives the other planet favourably. In some horary questions, a thorough understanding of receptions (and the above example skims the surface of this topic) is required to delineate the interplay of how the various significators view each other what sort of attitudes are taking place in the area of the question.