Monday, December 30, 2013

Modern Horary Astrology 2014 -- A Prelude

This blog will be on hiatus the first half of 2014 as I rush to complete my next astrology book (title and subject secret for now!) and get it into print by the end of the year.

In the meantime, for a prelude to 2014, head over to and check out the good, the bad, and the ugly in relation to the cardinal grand cross, and the 1/1/14 New Moon at Pluto, right in the thick of it.

Big hint with Mars retrograde in detriment for most of the first half of the year:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Medical Horary Astrology -- Go See a Doctor, Not an Astrologer

Medical astrology is an ancient medical system that associates various parts of the body and diseases as under the influence of the Sun, Moon, and planets, along with the twelve astrological signs. For example (from Wikipedia):
  • Aries - head, face, brain, eyes
  • Taurus - throat, neck, thyroid gland, vocal tract
  • Gemini - arms, lungs, shoulders, hands, nervous system, brain
  • Cancer - chest, breasts, stomach, alimentary canal
  • Leo - heart, chest, spine, spinal column, upper back
  • Virgo - digestive system, intestines, spleen, nervous system
  • Libra - kidneys, skin, lumbar region, buttocks
  • Scorpio - reproductive system, sexual organs, bowels, excretory system
  • Sagittarius - hips, thighs, liver, sciatic nerve
  • Capricorn - knees, joints, skeletal system
  • Aquarius - ankles, calves, circulatory system
  • Pisces - feet, toes, lymphatic system, adipose tissue
 The planets are also associated with certain portions and functions within the body: 
The anatomical-astrological human:
  • Sun - heart, spine, and general vitality
  • Moon - stomach, digestive system, female organs, lymphatic system
  • Mercury - brain, central nervous system, thyroid gland, five senses, hands
  • Venus - throat, kidneys, thymus gland, sense of touch, ovaries
  • Mars - muscles, head, adrenal glands, senses of smell and taste
  • Jupiter - liver, thighs, feet, growth, pituitary gland
  • Saturn - skin, hair, teeth, bones, the body's defenses, spleen
  • Uranus - parathyroid gland, neural activity, aura
  • Neptune - pineal gland, psychic healing
  • Pluto - pancreas, metabolism, elimination
After examining an individual's natal chart, a medical astrologer may give advice to the client about the areas of the body in which they are most likely to experience trouble. (1)
Medical astrology has its own set of rules and understandings separate from horarythe two shouldn't even be considered distant cousins--since the inroads into interpreting the chart, and the houses and aspects, for example, take on very different meanings than "regular" horary. But the medical questions are absoutely horary-like, and run the gamut of:

"What's causing me to feel X symptoms?"
"Are X symptoms because I have Y disease?"
"Do I have X cancer or something else wrong?"
"Should I see another doctor about X symptom?"
"Will the tumor be malignant or benign?"
"Will the tumor be successfully removed?"

The questions are legitimate, but astrology NEVER EVER supersedes medical science. Medical astrology has its roots in traditional astrology, which means it's based on an incomplete system. Just as ancient astrologers did not know Uranus and Neptune existed (let alone Pluto, regardless of its classification), their medical knowledge was incomplete and inaccurate by modern standards. (E.g., modern medicine does not recognize humors, a staple of ancient medicine). Medical astrology flourished in an era when people believed prayer to a merciless god, or a pocket full of posies, could cure bubonic plague, when in reality, a few good housecats would have been a far better preventative measure, not to mention the curative antiobiotics to wipe out the plague hadn't been discovered yet. So pre-modern medicine, astrology provided a frame of guesswork with little practical value. To be fair, modern medicine is only roughly 200 years old, but medical astrology's obsolescence is underscored today, as doctors have access to all sorts of diagnostics and technology that the physicians and astrologers of eras past could only dream of (Defibrillators, anyone?).

The "problem" with contemporary medical astrology is that to be able to correctly translate the symbolism to reality, the astrologer has to have a solid background in anatomy and physiology. If that is lacking, the attempted diagnosis will be wild stabs in the dark, along the lines of, "Taurus is on the 6th house; therefore you have something wrong in the throat area." That's enormously vague and unhelpful. Worse than that, even, without the necessary A&P background, I've seen astrologers excuse this ineptness with haughty lectures to the querent about how it's unethical to diagnose health problems, etc. It isn't if the intent is to parallel or verify the actual medical diagnosis. In truth, there are serious liability issues, as it's illegal for a non-physician to diagnose and treat. That being said, it happens all the time. So if you don't know the difference between a larynx and a lymph node, don't interpret the chart. Instead, refer out to someone with more experience. How do you get more medical astrology experience? Look at case studies where the outcome is already known, to know what to look for and see how to do it.

So the best rule of thumb with medical astrology (if you have the sufficient A&P understanding) is to refuse to interpret any medical horary questions (or natal for that matter) until the querent has first seen a doctor. Usually, by the time the querent is resorting to horary questions, they are getting unsatisfactory results or treatment. Make sure they've had the appropriate labs and bloodwork, or x-rays. And remember that reality always supersedes astrology. Jupiter conjunct the ASC, or in the 6th, is no guarantee of any cure. So speculate medically all you want on a chart, but know that it's never a substitue for a real medical care.

NOTES: (1) See also:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

You Can't Put the Cart Before the Horse in Life or in Horary Astrology

If an acquaintance approached you and asked, "What kind of mansion will I buy after I win the lottery?", you'd tell the person to stop talking nonsense. After all, would a naked man worry about where to put his clothes if he decides to take a bath?

Of course not.

Unfortunately, there is a misconception about horary astrology thatalmost Santa Claus-likecertain configurations mean a "yes" answer, and can make things happen that don't have the foundation first that is needed to even be remotely possible. It's as if horary offers the promise of "someday." The truth is that astrology can only work and deliver a reliable answer within the framework of the reality of the situation, or the person's life. It can't make magic happen.

An example is the chart below. A woman who hasn't dated in years is now exploring the online scene, and failing abysmally. She asked the horary question, "When and where will I meet my future husband?"

Uranus is retrograde in the 7th, ruling the 5th, with Neptune retrograde in the 5th in Pisces. She's dreaming. There's no one there currently, or on the horizon even, who is going to be in a relationship with her. So wondering about marriage is premature to say the least. 

You can't hate your boss if you don't have a job. You can't get the job you want if you don't first apply for it. You can't get married if you aren't even in a relationship. You can't get alimony if you haven't filed for divorce yet. You can't publish a book if it hasn't even been written yet.

So you can't put the cart before the horse in astrology, because you can't do that in real life, which is all the chart is a reflection of.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Brief "Big Picture" Update on the Uranus-Pluto Square As T-Squared by Jupiter

With Jupiter now T-squaring the Uranus-Pluto square, a reminder of the BIG picture:
"The masses are in the grip of the religious leaders, of the political leaders. And these people don't want any change to happen because every change means a danger to the status quo, a danger to the establishment. Any change is going to bring other changes, and they will have to adjust to those changes. Who knows - are those adjustments going to be favorable to them, or unfavorable? Life for those leaders of the establishment is so comfortable and so luxurious it is better that everything remains the same."
"But now the situation is totally different. The establishment itself has brought the situation of an ultimate change - either life or death. And the choice is such that I don't think anybody is going to choose death." 
"If people choose life, they will have to choose life values. Then the old renunciation of religions will become out-of-date; saintliness will have to find new dimensions. Then poets and painters, singers and dancers will be the saints. Then meditators, the enlightened people, the more conscious and awakened people will be the sages."
"We are coming close to a tremendous transformation, and we are going to see it in our own lives - something so rare and unique which has never happened before, and will never happen again."
"You should feel fortunate, blessed, to see the great transformation of all the old values, of all the old ideals; to see the birth of new values, new ideals, new categories of honor and respectability."
-- Osho, from The Rebel, "Herald A New Dawn"

Don't worry, it will all make sense when Pluto is in Pisces.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Predicting Death With Horary Astrology

With Jupiter applying to oppose Pluto, it's a good time to explore using horary astrology to predict death.

Most astrologers unneccessarily make a philosophical and ethical issue over the subject, but the reality is that such a mentality is patently absurd for four major reasons:
  1. Death is a natural part of life; as such it is eminently predictable and a perfectly valid question, just as birth or pregnancy questions are. No human being has ever escaped death, as such, death questions are valid to inquire and analyze astrologically.
  2. A horary chart (or any other astrology chart or horoscope) is nothing more than a current transit chart applied to a question. It possesses no inherent power to make anything happen or magical qualities. It's a snapshot of the sky at a specific point in time—nothing else.
  3. Planets don't care what humans think, or worry about astrological theory or social conventions. They do what they do (orbit the solar system) regardless.
  4. If astrology can't predict death, it can't predict anything else, either. The planetary orbits don't shut down or stop working because they "know" a person is asking a question about death. (See #3 above). The chart also won't "self-protect" by turning up "non-radical" or "not fit to be judged" charts, which don't actually exist. (There is no such thing as an "unradical" or "invalid" horary chart or question; those are nonsense by-products of an astrologer's own limitations, dogmas, or lack of interpretive skill.)
What you wouldn't do is interpret a chart for someone with serious issues, or a candidate for suicide. Those people you would refer out to a mental health specialist, because astrology has its limits. Astrology NEVER supersedes reality, and if someone is a threat to themselves, you'd do what any sane and reasonable non-astrological person would do in the same situation: you'd move heaven and earth to get them help via a mental health expert or medical attention.

You don't want to push someone teetering over the edge. The querent will hear what they want to hear, whether you actually said it or not, and you will end up responsible and with a heavy load of fallout for something that could easily have been avoided. One very famous astrologer had a client commit suicide not long after a session; it deeply affected him and he realized he needed a psychology background to better serve his clients. The incident, and his subsequent degree in psychology, helped to make him one of the best astrologers alive. It's unfortunate that because he couldn't read the mundane signs and symptoms of a candidate for suicide, it took a tragedy for him to attain his level of astrological excellence through psychology.

So caveats aside, let's take a look at the nuts and bolts of death charts. This first chart is a question posed a couple years ago by a young woman whose grandmother was in her death throes. It was obvious she wasn't going to last long based on the querent's description of the symptoms. The querent cast the chart for her location to see when (timing) and the circumstances surrounding her grandmother's imminent demise. This is perfectly normal, acceptable, and valid. There is no reason not to read the chart.

The querent is feeling weak and powerless with her ASC ruler (Neptune) retrograde in the 12th house and in mutual reception with Uranus, both at dead degrees of their signs.The Sun, which symbolically rules a person's life force, is at the end of Leo, its rulership. Planets in very late degrees are a hallmark of death charts. The Sun is also opposing Neptune (querent's ruler) and Chiron. There is no healing or cure—there's no coming back for her grandmother. This is the end.

The grandmother is represented by the 7th house, which is the derived fourth house from the querent's fourth house (mother's mother). Retrograde Mercury in rulership is her significator opposing the ASC and not aspecting other planets. She's debilitated and on her own, as hospitals in her country didn't accept elderly hospice patients.

There is a t-square with Pluto, Saturn, and the Uranus-Jupiter conjunction in cardinal signs in angular houses. The mutable angles show a change is afoot. Note that in death charts, the Moon is not very relevant for timing or otherwise. For timing, use progressions or transits (this methodology is explained in detail in my book, Open Source Modern Horary Astrology). Pluto as ruler of the querent's 8th house of death is in the grandmother's derived fourth house of endings. Mars is in detriment in the grandmother's derived first house, showing lack of energy and power. Its conjunction to Venus brings a merciful end.

There is a sensitive way to discuss the situation with a querent. Here is a brief excerpt from the dialogue I had with her:
QUERENT: I am living alone with my 93 old grandmother, and in the last two weeks her condition has suddenly started to go worse and worse every day. She is eating very little or nothing, and is calling out to dead persons all the time. But, she is a very strong Aries and the amount of energy she has is incredible. When she is not sleeping, she starts yelling and screaming and cursing, and I just dont know what to expect. She is so weak that she can't stand on her feet but she yells so loud that can be heard throughout my whole building. What to do? I am all alone with her night and day, what to do to help her, and will this agony last long?
Grandmother`s condition is very bad; she doesn't know where she is. I am doing my best to make her last days on earth easier. It all affects me very much. I am depressed a bit, and lost in all that suffering of her soul. In the same time, her passing away will bring to me a completely new start, because so far I had to be all the time with her; I sometimes didn't go out of home for a few days in a row. I am afraid of that change too. I am not used to the freedom I will have. I am single, without kids, never married and I am so afraid of the future. I am also in a dilemma about practical things after it should I move to our capital city, or even go abroad, or not do anything but stay in the same apartment. It all sounds so complicated and frightening, that I can't describe it to you.
R.K. ALEXANDER: It's going to be a HUGE change in your life but the opportunity will be very freeing and expansive for you (Jupiter/Uranus) to finally move on with YOUR life and do the things you want instead of caring for others (Virgo) and feeling so confined (Merc/12th). The best and only thing you can do now w/your ruler retrograde in the 12th house is to finish your duty to your grandmother. After that is done, you can put one foot in front of the other and slowly emerge from your confined way of life (Merc in the 12th) out into the world and freely explore. Saturn in the derived first shows your fears about being alone in the world and breaking old habits, but it's exalted and opportunities will open up to you, especially next year when Jupiter and Uranus return to stay in Aries=new beginnings. I promise you that you'll know what to do when the time comes. So don't fear the future; just stay focused on finishing up what you have to do right now. Later, the way will become clear. You are still very young and have your whole life ahead of you yet. You have a lot to look forward to. This is just the end of one particular chapter.
Four days after the horary question was asked, the querent's grandmother died.

The fundamentals of death charts are the same for non-human deaths, provided you place the quesited in the proper house. This example is for a querent who wanted to know the timing of when her cat with Stage 4 kidney failure would die:

Cats (and other small animals) are ruled by the 6th house. Deriving the chart to put the 6th house on the ASC, Neptune is the cat's ruler. It is again at dead degrees along with it's mutually recepted dispositor, Uranus. It is also in the 12th house, the symbolic last house and with a stellium of planets at the end of the zodiac—ultimately symbolic of the end of life.

The derived eighth house has exalted Saturn retrograde in Libra, indicating a benevolent delay; the cat wasn't going to die immediately. Saturn is also mutually recepted with Venus, further showing the animal still has some endurance left. Appropriately, retrograde planets symbolize something in a damaged state, and Libra rules the kidneys. This is affirmed by Neptune, the cat's significator, in the derived12th house, since water regulation and dehydration would be ruled by Neptune, particularly the dehydration, since Neptune is only 6 degrees away from the Sun (parched).

The Uranus-Jupiter conjunction in the cat's first house showed he had major health swings as a result of the condition. One minute he was on death's doorstep and doing sub-q fluids twice a day, and the next minute he would pull through and rebound just fine—until the next incident. The sudden ups and downs took a huge emotional toll on its owners (Moon in detriment in Scorpio).

The fixed and mutable siginficators (Moon, Neptune, ASC) and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in the cat's first house showed death wasn't imminent, and that the ups and downs would continue unabated. Jupiter's partile square to Pluto would continue to exacerbate the swings.

The derived 4th house of endings has Gemini on the cusp, ruled by Mercury in detriment in Pisces and combust the Sun in the derived 12th and besieged between Chiron and the Sun. Mercury is also disposited by the Neptune-Uranus mutual reception at dead degrees. Again, there's no healing possible here—the situation is terminal and the prognosis negative, affirmed by the South Node in the derived 4th house at a critical degree and opposing Pluto.

Since the question was about the timing of the death specifically, avoid the impulse to use the Moon for timing in death charts as you would for most other horary or event matters. Use transits and progressions instead. Since Neptune was so prominent in the cat's situation, it was progressed to when it would partile conjunct Mars, (Neptune's next aspect by progression), with Mars also in the cat's derived 12th indicating a severance and ending being in the 12th and in Pisces at 0 degrees (beginning of the end, literally).

Almost one full year after the question, the cat was euthanized due to his condition: he had stopped eating (Pluto square Ceres) and weighed three pounds. Below is the chart for the time of death; note Neptune is at 0 Pis 09, and that Mars in the chart of the horary above was at 0 Pis 07.

Saturn, ruling the 6th house of the cat and his health, is at the dead degree of Libra, with the retrograde not indicating a delay this time, but the terminal debilitation. There was no more time left. Jupiter, ruler of the derived 4th house of endings, is opposing Saturn and trining Pluto. The cat's radix 6th ruler, the Sun, is opposing the Moon in the Sun's sign of Leo in the derived 12th house, which rules veterinarians, with the Moon in the house of the cusp it rules in the sign of the quesited's ASC—and life force. Finally, the Sun and Mercury are combust in the cat's derived 6th house, with Virgo intercepted in the first.

If you are asking a death horary for someone you are unrelated to or unaffiliated with, you can use the first house to represent the person you are inquiring about. This goes for historical or past deaths, as well as deaths yet to occur.

In this example, a young man was brutally murdered while walking home from work one dark evening in November 2011. Two years later, the case is still unsolved. Understand that this is dangerous territory for an astrologer to tread in in light of the recent examples of Sylvia Browne's abject failures in her psychic murder predictions, and the requisite public blowback.  So don't do something stupid like run horary or event charts for every unsolved murder on the books, and then phone up the local police department(s) and tell them you have cracked the case. This chart is presented more to ponder and practice what to look for, to hone your craft better, rather than to torment police detectives and the victim's family members. Even if psychics, etc. do get it right once in a very rare while.

This event chart of the murder is derived from police and news reports:

With historical death horary or event charts, the chart is unraveled differently from death inquiry charts, since with historical questions/events the outcome is already known (the subject of inquiry is dead). So the goal becomes to reverse engineer the events that led to the outcome. If horary is the art of "What happens next?", historical death horary is about "What happened previously?" Utilize the same factors as in death charts, but ask different questions, such as: What were the circumstances (e.g., tragic, pleasant, unexpected) at the time of death? Who (if anyone) was present or involved? And in a murder case, such as this one, you want to know who the killer was, did they act alone, did they know the victim, what was their motive, and when they will be caught.

In this chart, since we know the victim is dead, the basic question is "Whodunit?" The 7th house shows open enemies, and the 12th house hidden or secret ones. The murderer is ruled by the 7th house, and Jupiter, ruler of the 7th, is in the 12th. The killer was known to the victim, but not as an enemy. It is likely that the victim had prior contact with his killer from work (Jupiter in the derived 6th); the murder appears tied to the victim's work environment. The 7th also has Mercury in its detriment, showing lies and deception, and it is conjunct Venus. All disposit to Jupiter in the 12th, which indicates there is a woman who is involved (possibly a co-worker) who knows what happened and was possibly an accomplice, but is lying (Moon square Venus) or misleading in her account of her involvement. She's also probably protecting the killer, who is known and close to her (Venus mutually recepted with Jupiter). So there's a third party involved.

The case will either receive a very strong lead, or be solved entirely in 2014, when the Sun progresses into 0 degrees Sadge, the sign of truth (and legal matters and jury trials), and literally sheds light on the 7th house, as it will be in the same sign. The Sun is important in that it rules the 4th house of endings. The Moon will also sextile the Sun before going void-of-course, so the case will eventually close solved.

So keys to death interpretation in charts are:
  • Condition of the Sun, Pluto and Saturn
  • Late degrees, particularly of significators
  • Status of 4th, 8th and 12th houses
  • Retrogrades and Chiron hinting at the ailment, and whether it's terminal
  • Using progressions and transits for timing, not the Moon
As always, let the chart lead you, rather than trying to apply a fixed formula of rules.