Category Archives: Other

Horary Technique 3: Rejection

In our last segment we discussed reception, this week we’re going to focus on its opposite and how that relationship effects aspects.

We defined reception as occurring when a planet aspects any of its rulers, or phrased another way, as what happens when a planet is aspected by another planet in its dignities.  The opposite of this would be when a planet aspects another that is in its signs of debility.  Sahl refers to this situation as a “non-reception”, but I advocate the use of a stronger, more concise term; rejection.

Rejection also influences planetary aspectual relationships, but where reception is generally positive and permissive rejection is negative and denying.  Where reception harmonizes more difficult aspects, rejection antagonizes even helpful ones.  The idea behind rejection is that planets will insult or injure the planet whose debility they are in.  An example is if Venus is in Aquarius and aspects the Sun then she insults him with her presence in a sign that harms him.  The planet that is being insulted or injured will then reject the planet who is insulting it, this manifests as an obstacle towards or denial of an event.  Continuing with our example, the Sun is insulted by Venus in Aquarius and so forsake her and doesn’t want to help her.  This is pretty typical of real-life situations; don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Reception has general rules that make it more or less desirable in particular situations, mostly based on which planet is receiving who.  As discussed in the last article, we typically want other planets to receive the querent’s significator as it shows people or situations that want to assist the querent, whereas this reversed isn’t as helpful to our querent obtaining their goal.  Rejection, however, doesn’t have such nuance.  If either party rejects the other difficulty ensues.

Will the New Guy and I get along?

In this example, the querent wants to know if a new face at work will get along with them and the rest of the department.  This new guy has replaced an old manager who was not well liked by his employees, so hopes were high for this individual.  We can immediately see some problems with our new guy, but we mainly want to focus on the signs involved for this example.  First we’ll notice that the querent is signifed by Mars and the new guy gets Venus (as lady of the seventh) and Jupiter (who is in the Seventh house), interestingly, both of these planets are in signs that are antithetical to Mars.  Jupiter in Taurus is in the Fall of Mars, and Venus in Libra is in his Detriment.  This is a rejection where Venus and Jupiter insult Mars and this tells us that our querent will have difficulty getting along with their new manager.  This was indeed the case. Continue reading

An Astrologer’s Sick Day: Decumbiture

Several weeks ago I wasn’t feeling well, but I thought I could tough it out and go to work anyway to complete my shift.  Unfortunately one of my co-workers confronted me about my health (apparently I can’t act healthy) and then informed a manager who told me to go home.  To be honest, this was a relief, but on my way home I started thinking that this would be perfect for a decumbiture chart since I would literally know the minute I went to bed.  So, risking a “you know you’re an astrologer if…” joke, I took a note of it and passed out.

Doctors Treat a Patient

A decumbiture chart is a tool used in medical astrology that helped physicians diagnose and treat illnesses in their patients.  The word “decumbiture” is derived from the Latin “decumbo” which means ‘to lie or to fall down’.  This word defines the timing necessary for the chart, which is the moment the patient felt so overcome with their illness that they had to take to bed to rest.  Of course, this timing seems very arbitrary and is difficult to obtain from people who do not know beforehand to take note of it.  For this reason there have been other eligible times offered by talented medical astrologers from the past and present, but we’re just going to focus on this timing since I knew beforehand to take note of it.

Decumbiture for August 22nd

In this chart my body is ruled the First house and it’s represented by Mars in Cancer which is not doing very well in the Sign of its Fall and in the cadent Ninth house.  However, I also share this signification with the illness itself as the Sixth house is also ruled by this planet.  With this in mind the significations become more clear.  Not only does Mars show my own health and vitality at this point, but also the disease and its symptoms.  Lilly says the disease shown by Mars is violent fevers (which was true) and that the disease is very short (which was also true), so there’s some hope just in that description.  I was feverish, achey, and coughing up mucus, all of which sounds about right for a signification of Mars in Cancer.  What’s most interesting about this is that Mars’s placement in the Ninth house likely refers to why I was sick.  I had just returned home from the NCGR conference, and the Lord of the Sixth in the Ninth shows illness from travel.

The Moon next applies to Mars while carrying the light of her recent Trine to Jupiter.  This is very fortunate as not only does the Moon applying to the First house lord show a quick recovery, but translating the light from a well dignified Jupiter to it shows aid coming to the body and lessens the seriousness of the illness shown.  Had Saturn somehow connected with Mars this would of course worsen the condition or show it being more serious than it appears (especially since he’s in the Twelfth in this particular chart), but since the Trine is so far separating it’s negligible.  Mercury’s presence in connection with Mars could also have been dangerous for two reasons; Mercury tends to exacerbate Mars naturally and Mercury is the Lord of the Eighth which shows the death of the ill person.

The cure of any decumbiture chart is shown by the Tenth house and its lord, and here we have the Sun at the very end of Leo in the Tenth.  I’m not necessarily sure how this signified cure played out in my own case as all I did was sleep for 4 hours and drank about 5 gallons of tea and honey.  Honey, though, is a Solar/Jovian food, so it could be showing that, but it’s likely that the illness was so negligible in scope that a cure wasn’t necessary anyway. Continue reading

Democratic National Convention Coverage

For the past couple of nights, a group of astrologers (myself included) have been working on covering the Democratic National Convention from an astrological perspective.  This project is led by Chris Brennan and Patrick Watson over at the Political Astrology Blog.  You can find the recaps of the Democratic National Convention here, and you can find the recaps of the Republican National Convention here as well.

Go and check out the project if you have any interest in mundane or political astrology.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

For astrology and divination in general, there is probably nothing more confusing than a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Oftentimes, this is a word used by skeptics to explain away predictions.  There are a few things that need to be considered in regard to these kinds of prophecies partly concerning their very nature and partly concerning their implications within the grand scheme of things.  Many of these examples will be examples from media (mostly because this is typically where it used), but there will be some real life examples as well.

First, let’s talk a bit about what a self-fulfilling prophecy is.  First, a couple of definitions:

“Whenever anyone tries to avert a prophecy, for good or ill, the end result of their actions is to bring the prophecy about.”

“A prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.”

While slightly different in implications and word choice, the overall idea here is that the very existence of a prophecy in the first place is what causes the prophecy to be fulfilled.  In other words, had our soothsayer in question kept their darn mouth shut, none of this would have ever happened!

This oftentimes will occur due to the prediction being somewhat vague.  Cynics tell us that these kinds of set-ups call for a vague prophecy.  If it’s too specific, the actions needed to avert it are clearer, thus making it very difficult to mess up and inadvertently cause it.

In media, this mostly ends up playing out in the negative mirroring a Taoist proverb that warns us “One meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it”.  Take the King from the Oedipus Rex who hears his son will be the death of him and has him exposed only for him to be rescued.  This leads to Oedipus never knowing he was adopted.  When Oedipus hears of this prophecy later in life, he leaves his adopted parents (who he believes are his biological parents), only to kill his real father in an argument and marry his mother after he defeats the Sphinx.  This essentially makes the king in this story the author of his own demise; in attempting to escape his fate, he sealed it.

That’s not to say that’s how it could have always have played out.  It doesn’t seem like this is supposed to be the fault of the soothsayer in particular, had the king perhaps not have chosen such an extreme solution to his problem, the prophecy may have been averted.  Though, you could argue that what makes the prophecy real is that the king was always fated to respond that way to his son’s future actions. Continue reading

Electional Astrology and Astrological Consistency

Electional astrology is perhaps the most neglected of the astrological branches in the modern day astrological community.  You can most easily see this playing out by just going over the list of books that have been written about the subject in recent years.  Before Johann Hampar’s (obviously not counting Benjamin Dyke’s recent release on the subject) more recent novel, the “newest” source of electional astrology was Bruce Scofield’s 1986 book, and then before that was Vivian Robson’s aptly named Electional Astrology from the 1930s.  Before that, you have William Ramsay, who Robson essentially copies, and that text is from the 1650s.  Compare that to the plethora of recent books on the other branches of astrology and you can see how it comes to no surprise that electional is the branch that most people have the least amount of exposure to.

Having said that, for anyone who is familiar with Robson’s book, it really has a difficult time selling itself as a practical and useful guide to the subject when many of the elections it covers come across as superfluous or downright silly.  Case in point, he covers elections on getting a hair cut and wearing new clothes for the first time.  I mean, how many times have you been concerned that your friends wouldn’t appreciate your blindingly bright yellow pants unless you picked just the right time (hint: nephew’s birthday party) for the grand unveiling?  If anything, Robson’s and Ramsay’s usage of the art don’t come off as all that useful or important.

Now, there must be a good use for electional astrology in being able to pick opportune times to start important matters if there can be opportune times to start more superficial or mundane matters.  This is really where electional astrology shines in being able to help people help themselves, in a sense.  As long as you have the initiative to start something, electional astrology can help you get what you want out of that endeavor.  This is a very powerful tool.

Now, following up on the glowing review about the basis of electional astrology, there are some things that worry me about how people seem to want to use it.  Now, I don’t get to do electional astrological services very often, but when I do, the scenario usually plays out like this:  A client will get a horary done about some sort of issue and the horary will come back negative.  Then that client will want to elect a time to initiate that issue in hopes that the election will over-ride what the horary has forecast.  Up until very recently I’ve had a permissive attitude about this, I felt that it was best for the client to feel proactive in their lives, and if this is a way to accomplish that, then by all means.  Now, though, I’m rethinking this.

What this brings us to is the idea of astrological consistency.  Can one branch override the predictions of another?  If so, how?  If not, what then is the purpose of electional astrology? Continue reading