Horary is the branch of astrology which deals with answering questions. The astrologer can make predictions from these questions by judging a horoscope for the moment the question is asked. The horoscope is set up in exactly the same manner as any other form of astrology. One of the differences between horary and other branches is its reliance on a simple set of rules. These rules are important in the judgment of the horoscope. No other branch of astrology relies on rules to the same extent as horary. It is the rules that usually decide the outcome to questions.


Most questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. Applying major aspects, or their absence, between the ruler of the ascendant and the ruler of the sign on the cusp of the house asked about or, the Moon and the planet ruling the sign on the cusp of the house asked about, can decide the answer to the question. The art of horary is in knowing the rules by which these major aspects will give a positive or negative result, and how to apply them.


Receiving the Question


The Querent

The person asking the question is referred to as the querent.


The Quesited

The person or thing asked about is referred to as the quesited.


The Significators

The significators are the planets ruling the querent and the quesited.


Usually the outer planets are not used as main significators, only the traditional rulers. So, Mars ruling Scorpio, Saturn ruling Aquarius and Jupiter ruling Pisces.


Sometimes a third person will ask a question in which they have no direct role to play. For instance when someone asks about a friend who is about to have a baby. In such cases the querent would be ruled by the planet ruling the ascendant. The astrologer nevertheless should ignore their ruling planet and concentrate only on the significators for the friend and her expected baby.


How to Locate the Question?

Most astrologers 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.


Example 1: If the querent is in New York and the astrologer is in London, use the latitude and longitude of New York which is 40N45, 73W57.


Example 2: If the querent who is in Dublin telephones the astrologer in London, use the latitude and longitude of Dublin which is 53N20, 6W15.


Example 3: If the querent in Copenhagen writes a letter, sends a fax or uses the electronic mail on their computer, to the astrologer in London, use the latitude and longitude of Copenhagen which is 55N40, 12E35.


How to Time the Question?

The moment the question is asked either face to face or by telephone is the time to use for drawing the horoscope, whether it is fully understood or not. If the question is included in a letter, fax or on electronic mail, it should be timed for the moment the astrologer reads the question. If the question is not fully understood by the astrologer at that moment, it can be clarified later in discussion with the querent.


The instant the astrologer first asks their own question is the correct time to use for drawing the horoscope. If, because of their knowledge of the planetary movements or for any other reason such as waiting for the emotional impact to be strong enough after they have already thought of the question, the astrologer decides to postpone the moment and ask again at a later time, they will only succeed in deceiving themselves. There should be no reason whatsoever for delaying or postponing the time of their own question or that of their client's and they should not expect a successful outcome to the question.


Understanding the Question

Sometimes it may be necessary to seek further clarification from the querent as they may not always reveal the full meaning behind their question or express themselves clearly enough. There may be personal reasons for this, or it may be that they have difficulty in clarifying their question, or it may be that the astrologer simply does not understand. This point is very important as the astrologer is at the mercy of the querent in the sense that the question posed, which may appear to be simple enough, has deeper meanings for the querent. The astrologer will be unaware of these deeper meanings unless they interrogate the querent until they understand the question fully. It is best to be certain of the question before delineating the horoscope.


Asking the same question twice

It is pointless asking the same question twice as it will only produce an invalid horoscope on the second occasion. It is the horoscope that was drawn for the moment when the question was first asked that is the valid one. It is essential to keep a record of questions in order to avoid asking the same question or one very similar to it, twice, perhaps in a diary especially kept for horary.


House System

"In my experience the Regiomontanus house system has proven to be the most successful system in horary. This is due to the fact that in over 14 years of horary experience any mistakes that I have made have been attributed to other factors and not to this house system. Nevertheless, other house systems may be used if preferred. Each astrologer must test the accuracy of their own favourite house system for themselves".  

Maurice McCann .    


Using the houses in horary astrology:


The First House

Represents the person asking the question.


The Second House

This house deals with the querent's movable possessions and anything they own. It concerns their money and whether they will become rich or not.


The Third House

All forms of communication, whether by letter, by postal delivery, telephone or fax, or the Internet. It was believed to be the house that dealt with rumours and gossip. It has rulership over brothers and sisters and all siblings.


The Fourth House

Property, buildings, houses and homes and the land. It governs the father and family background.


The Fifth House

Creativity and the talents of the querent, children, lovers, casual affairs, sports and competition.


The Sixth House

Sickness and ill health, medicines, employees, people who render a service or do work for you. The police and army. It is believed to describe working condition and part time work.


The Seventh House

Marriage and committed relationships, business partnerships, contracts with another, open enemies, the other.


The Eighth House

Debts, other peoples' money, sex, death.


The Ninth House

Foreign travel and foreigners, visas and legal documents dealing with foreign countries. Higher education, studying at university or some other kind of college. Exams. Astrology. Religion and philosophy.


The Tenth House

Profession or career, one's public standing or reputation. The Judge in a court, Kings queens and monarchs. Success and winning a game of court battle.


The Eleventh House

Friends and acquaintances, large groups of people, associations.


The Twelfth House

All secret hidden matters, secret enemies, prisons, hospitals and institutions.


The Orbs of the Planets

In 1029 AD the Arab astrologer known as Al Biruni wrote "The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology" which was first published in English in 1934. It is believed to be the first time in written form that each planet was allocated a certain number of degrees for its orbs.


The Orbs of Planets according to Al Biruni:


    Sun         15°

    Moon       12°

    Mercury    7°

    Venus       7°

    Mars         8°

    Jupiter      9°

    Saturn      9°


Each planet had its own number of degrees of orb and when two planets were aspecting each other their degrees were added together then divided by two. This was later called the moiety of the orbs, from the French word for half, moitié.


Although most astrologers agreed more or less unknowingly with Al Biruni's orbs there were a number of others who either widened or narrowed the orbs according to their own opinion or experience. The famous English astrologer William Lilly gave the following list as his preferred set of orbs.


The Orbs of Planets according to William Lilly:


    Sun          17°

    Moon       12°30'

    Mercury    7°

    Venus       8°

    Mars         7°30'

    Jupiter      12°

    Saturn      10°


Since the exact orbs of the outer planets are still unknown with any degree of certainty, it would be reasonable to allow 5 degrees each for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto until proven otherwise.


Consideration before Judgment


A condition in a horary chart that cautions against reading the chart because it might not be radical or fit to judge. Traditional astrologers sometimes refused to read a chart if a consideration before judgment appeared. Modern astrologers sometimes call them "strictures" and regard them as warnings to proceed cautiously. Sometimes the considerations before judgment give relevant information about the question. A fundamental consideration is are that sincere questions produce valid charts. Some classical considerations before judgment are:

Less than 3 degrees rising: a premature question.

More than 27 degrees rising: a post-mature question.

Moon in Via Combusta: not safe to judge unless it conjoins Spica.

Moon in a late degree, especially in Gemini, Scorpio, or Capricorn: it may not be safe to judge.

Moon Void of Course. Lilly wrote: "All manner of matters go hardly on, unless the principal significators are very strong, when the Moon is void of course. Yet the Moon performs somewhat when void of course in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, or Pisces." The presence of the Moon in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, or Pisces somewhat mitigates the effect of being Void of Course.

Saturn retrograde in 1st house: Matters will generally not work out well.

Saturn in the 7th house: Astrologer's judgment may be impaired. Jonathan Clarks adds "unless the question is about a seventh house subject".

7th house ruler afflicted: Astrologer will have difficulty answering the question.

Moon Void of Course: Nothing will come of the matter. The Moon may function when Void of Course in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, or Pisces.

The Ascendant ruler is combust the Sun: The querent is quite worried, and the astrologer may be working with inadequate information. Lilly comments that a combust ruler of the Ascendant means that the question will not take nor will the querent be regulated by the chart.





When the two main significators each applies by aspect to a third planet, this third planet can act as a transmittor and collect their lights bringing them back into aspect again. Whether the planets apply by direct or retrograde motion to the transmitting planet is of no importance. Furthermore, the transmitting planet is able to collect more than one pair of significators provided they are within the moiety of orbs. Although the outer planets are not used as main significators they can act as collectors of light.



              S1 & B3 in applying aspect    


              S2 & B3 in applying aspect.


S1 and S2 are the significators, Bb3 is a third body.

In all formulae S1 is faster of two significators (at the moment of chart creating).


Example: The Moon at 251 applies by trine to Saturn at 604. Mercury at 219 applies by conjunction to Saturn. Saturn therefore collects both their lights and brings them back into trine once again.


Collection of light by parallel of declination


Example: Mercury at 24N15 applies by contraparallel to Jupiter at 15S12. Venus at 21N 08 applies by contraparallel to Jupiter. Jupiter therefore collects both their lights and brings them back into parallel again.


Collection of light by the antiscia


Example: Mercury at 133 and Venus at 540 both apply by conjunction to Saturn's antiscion point at 940. Saturn therefore collects both their lights. Mercury having separated from Venus' antiscion at 2420.





When the Moon or a planet moving faster of both significators, separates from one of them and applies to the other by aspect, it can act as a transmittor and reunite the two significators and bring perfection. The transmitting planet can translate more than one separating significator to more than one applying significator as long as they are within the moiety of orbs. Although the three outer planets are not used as main significators, they can be involved in translations of light.



              B3 & S1 in sep.aspect, B3 & S2 in appl.aspect


              B3 & S2 in sep.aspect, B3 & S1 in appl.aspect


The power of translations

The translation involving the three planets can prevent a fourth planet from aspecting any one of them, even if that 4th planet is a significator.


Also, any one of the three planets involved in the translation can be prevented from aspecting a fourth planet which may or may not be a significator.


Example: Venus ruler of the ascendant at 25° Sagittarius has separated from a trine to Mars ruler of the 7th house at 22° Leo but the Moon at 24° Libra separates from a sextile to Mars and applies by sextile to Venus reuniting both planets by trine.


Translations of light by parallel of declination


Example: The Moon at 13N49 separates by parallel from Saturn at 5N23 and applies by contraparallel to Jupiter at 15S12. The Moon translates the light of Saturn to Jupiter bringing them back into contraparallel once again.


Translations of light by antiscia


Example: The Moon at 1346 separates by square from Jupiter's antiscion at 913 and applies by sextile to the Sun's antiscion at 1449. therefore translates the light of Jupiter to the Sun by the antiscia. The Sun at 1511 having separated by trine from Jupiter's antiscion.





When two significators apply by aspect to each other but before perfecting the slower of the two, the planet doing the frustrating, aspects a third planet therefore frustrating the faster significator and leading to a "no" or negative answer to the question. Although the three outer planets are not used as main significators, they can be involved in frustration.



               S1 & S2 in applying aspect    


               S2 aspecting B3 before S1 & S2 aspect.


This is the first of two rules where inhibiting planets have the power to prevent aspects from perfecting between significators even though they are within the moiety of their orbs at the time of the question.


Example: Mercury ruler of the ascendant at 8° Sagittarius is applying by conjunction to Venus ruler of the 2nd house of the quesited at 12° Sagittarius, but before the aspect is completed, Venus trines Mars at 13° Leo. Mercury is therefore the frustrated planet.


Frustration by parallel of declination


Example: Mercury at 20N32 applies by parallel to Venus at 17N51 but before the perfection takes place Venus contraparallel Jupiter at 15S30. Jupiter therefore frustrates the Mercury parallel Venus.


Frustration by antiscia


Example: The Moon at 2445 applies by square to the Sun's antiscion at 628 but before the perfection takes place the Sun applies by square to Uranus' antiscion at 2400 therefore frustrates the Moon trine Sun's antiscion.





A "no" or negative answer will result when two significators are applying by aspect to each other but before perfecting, the first receives an aspect from a third faster planet such as Mercury or Venus.

Nevertheless, if any planet applies to one of the significators before they perfect their aspect, this will also function as a prohibition and will produce a negative answer to the question. This rule is the second example of an inhibiting planet in action.


Although the three outer planets are not used as main significators, they can be involved in prohibition. These kind of prohibitions can in no way effect aspects or other rules involving the Moon and main significators. Prohibition involving the outer planets does not necessarily mean a "no" or negative answer.



                S1 & S2 in applying aspect    


                B3 aspecting S1 before S1 & S2 aspect


                B3 aspecting S2 before S1 & S2 aspect


B3 is a faster planet but not the Moon.


Example: Venus at 7°Aries applies to Mars at 10°Aries, but Mercury at 6°Aries first conjunct Venus then Mars before Venus and Mars perfect their conjunction. This is the traditional method of prohibition.


Prohibition by parallel of declination


Example: Mercury at 19N17 applies by parallel to Venus at 24N19 but is prohibited by the Sun at 23N02 which perfects with Venus before Mercury perfects with Venus.


Prohibition by antiscia


Example: The Sun at 1511 applies by trine to Mars' antiscion point at 2132 but before perfecting Venus at 1019 will sextile the Sun's antiscion point at 1449 therefore prohibiting the Sun Mars perfection.





Perfection is denied when one significator applying by aspect to the other significator turns either stationary retrograde or direct before completing the aspect.


Although the three outer planets are not used as main significators, they can be involved in refranation. This does not necessarily mean a "no" or negative answer.


Example: Mercury the ascendant ruler at 29° Aries is applying by conjunction with Venus ruling the 2nd house of the quesited at 3° Taurus, but Mercury turns stationary retrograde at 1° Taurus therefore the aspect is never completed.


Refranation by parallel of declination


Example: Mars at 7N04 is applying by contraparallel to Jupiter at 16S24 but Mars will turn stationary retrograde when it reaches 7N22 therefore failing to perfect the contraparallel with Jupiter.


Refranation by antiscia


Example: Mercury at 1608 applies by opposition to the ascendant's antiscion degree at 1855. Mercury will turn stationary retrograde at 1613 and fail to complete the perfection.



The planet is within 17' from the Sun.

This position is also named azimi.



The position between 17' and 8.5° from the Sun.

Some astrologers consider a planet combusted only if it is located in the same sign with the Sun.



The position between 8°30' and 17° from the Sun.

Some astrologers consider a planet under the sunbeams only if it is located in the same sign with the Sun.



The planet has no essential dignity.



The planet is located between Mars and Saturn.

Some astrologers consider a planet besieged only if it is located in the same sign with Mars and Saturn.



The Moon does not make major aspects with real planets up to an exit from a sign.

In horary astrology a void of course Moon usually means nothing will come of the matter, or there is nothing the querent can do to affect the outcome.







Significators  = two bodies (Sun, Moon, Mercury...Pluto) considered to be significant in the horoscope (s1, s2).


Objects  = bodies + Asc, MC, Lunar Nodes, Part of Fortune.


Antiscium of longitude position: X = 180° - X


Contra-Antiscium:   X = 360° - X



Two objects are said to be in longitudinal aspect when the angle between them is equal to some specific value, within the average ("moiety") of their orbs.


The fastest object is written first (houses are considered "immobile" and hence written last).

The aspects used in this program are the classic major aspects:

     conjunction - 0°

     sextile - 60°

     square - 90°

     trine - 120°

     opposition - 180°


There are also declination aspects:

     parallel: planets have the same declination,

     contraparallel: planets have the opposite declination.


House systems


The "houses" are a division of the sky in 12 sectors, numbered anticlockwise, starting from the ascendant (rising sign). The starting point of each house is called its "cusp". The ascendant is the cusp of house 1, the descendant: cusp 7, the midheaven or Medium Coeli (MC) cusp 10, and cusp 4 is called Immum Coeli (IC).


You can choose between the systems named after Regiomontanus, Campanus, Koch, Placidus, and the Equal house system.


Beware that the choice of your house system will influence the choice of the significators and hence the answers to your questions! Regiomontanus is recommended by most astrologers.


Remark: the Koch and Placidus systems don't work in the polar circle. Choose the Equal MC, Morinus, or Meridian system.



In horary astrology, house cusps are considered like "fixed" points, so for example, if the Sun is 2 degrees before the ascendant at the moment of the horoscope, the time of perfection of this conjunction will be about 2 days instead of about 8 minutes ago (the actual moment of the sun rising).


Part of Fortune


The Part of Fortune is calculated as follows:


           =  Asc + 


For a nocturnal chart:


           =  Asc +