For a definition of Horary, see Horary Astrology.
A horary chart is a chart cast for the exact moment a question is asked. In horary, many traditional rules and techniques are used, most of them referenced from the book Christian Astrology by William Lilly, considered an expert in horary astrology. Following is a description of the traditional method of horary, but in practice many modern horary astrologers do use the outer planets, and some use non-ptolemic aspects as well.
- Traditional rulers are used, see Rulership for details.
- The aspects used to determine judgement in horary include the ptolemic aspects, parallels, contraparallels, antiscions and contra-antiscions. The ptolemic aspects are the conjunction, the opposition, the square, the trine and the sextile.
- Only aspects to the luminaries and the five original planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are traditionally considered in judgement (however some horary astrologers find it useful to consider the Moon's aspects to outer planets as well, it depends on the astrologer).
- Traditional orbs are used, and are considered to be the radius of a circular aura of influence around the planet. Moiety is half the length of the orb, and represents the point at which the planet begins to exert a noticeable influence in aspect to other planets. A planet is said to be applying or separating from an aspect if its moiety is touching the moiety of another planet. William Lilly used the following list of orbs and moieties (those who include the outer planets often use an orb of 5°):
- Sun - 17° orb, 8°30' moiety
- Moon - 12°30' orb, 6°15' moiety
- Mercury - 7° orb, 3°30' moiety
- Venus - 8° orb, 4° moiety
- Mars - 7°30' orb, 3°45' moiety
- Jupiter - 12° orb, 6° moiety
- Saturn - 10° orb, 5° moiety
A faster planet applies to another in aspect if the angular degree between the two planets is decreasing and is less than or equal to the sum of their moieties. The following table describes the this sum of moietes for each combination of planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are included for those who use them).
The question should be phrased such that it can be clearly answered yes or no. If additional information is desired these can be included as extra questions that the astrologer will attempt to answer. It is very important to time the point at which the question is asked correctly. The timing is considered to be when the astrologer is asked the question of the horary (when they cast the chart). If a delay is necessary between receiving the question and casting the chart, the time the astrologer first heard and understood the question should be used.
If a question is deemed radical and fit to be judged, it is then necessary to determine the what planets represent the various players in the issue (called significators).
- The querent represents the person asking the question. The significator of the querent is the ruler of the ascendant. If necessary, the Moon can be considered as a co-significator. Only traditional rulers are used, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not used as significators.
- The quesited represents the question. The significator of the quesited is the ruler of the sign on the cusp of the house representing the question. Again, only traditional rulers are used. The houses have the same meaning as natal astrology, however only as they relate to mundane issues. In addition some astrologers consider the 12th, 8th and 6th houses unfortunate. Determining what house to use can be a little tricky, especially if the querent is asking a question about someone else. If the question is about a third person, the astrologer will have to "turn the chart" to determine the significator of the third person and the quesited as it relates to the third person.
The querent, and how they are represented
Elements to consider in the judgement of an horary chart: