Forget the Ancients and Their "Naked Eye" Nonsense: Here's Uranus and Neptune in Glorious, 21-st Century Technicolor. (Originally posted on 9/20/2011)
Came across these interesting photos showing the gas giants Uranus and Neptune from both amateur and seriously high-powered, pro telescopes. Read the commentary (excerpts below) to see how to view these two for yourself.

"Neptune is so distant that most amateur astronomers have only ever seen it as a small dot in binoculars – if they have ever seen it at all. Through telescopes it usually appears as a bluish but fairly bland disk which is our view of sunlight refected from the clouds that permanently shroud it."

"Uranus is, in theory, just bright enough to be spotted with the unaided eye when high up in a perfectly dark, moonless sky. It is much more readily seen with binoculars but you will need to know just where to look at to distinguish it from nearby stars.

Neptune, the furthest planet from the Sun, is considerably fainter but is again visible with binoculars or a small telescope."

"Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is easy to spot with binoculars and may be glimpsed with the unaided eye on a clear dark night if you get away from streetlights. A telescope will show it as a tiny blue-green disk in visible light. The planet’s atmosphere is made up mainly of hydrogen, helium plus methane which provides the bluish colour."

Hubble Telescope Image of Uranus from 1998. (Photo:NASA/ESA)

No, Horary is Not Required to Answer Specific Questions. (Originally posted on 9/6/2011)
One major myth traditional horary astrologers like to perpetuate is the idea that horary can answer specific questions, but natal charts can't. The reality is that a skilled natal pro, such as the NCGR/ISAR folks, can actually provide more accurate and more detailed answers than the horary practitioners can. (Oh, the utter blasphemy!) This is one reason why natal astrology is far more popular than horary, as well it should be. Horary is kind of like a quaint astrological relic (like an abacus) that is still functional, but in the modern era, there are faster, easier ways to calculate an accurate answer using natal methods.

I've seen a few NCGR Sun sign natal astrologers do jaw-droppingly, stunningly accurate work with specific questions that the horary people could only fumble at. And I've always thought Uranian astrology is the easiest form of astrology to learn, and particularly to use horary with. (Yes, you can read a horary "chart" without the chart, using just midpoint trees alone.) Take a look atthis case study on Uranian astrologer Arelene Kramer's site, where she times a "When will I move?" question out of a natal chart by using Solar Arcs. 

So there's more than one way to crack open a chart (or dial or midpoint tree) to answer specific questions than just using horary, no matter how loudly the traditional branches protest. Look at the work of some of the UAC pros and see for yourself. 

Don't Bother to Operate on a Dead Horary Chart. (Originally posted on 9/6/2011)
Think of your first view of a horary chart as if you are an emergency room doctor. You assess the condition of the patient and either operate immediately if the situation can be saved, or you pull the sheet over the chart if it's D.O.A. and tell the querent, "I'm sorry."

This is another huge advantage of modern horary's outside-in approach to chart interpretation, because you are not wasting a lot of time dissecting a chart, applying rules and looking for unnecessary details that won't save or change the situation, or even worse, tells the querent what they already know. With modern horary, you don't operate on the chart/patient to discover that it's dead--you can tell by checking its pulse and vital signs without a wasted trip to the O.R. (why operate on a dead patient?)

Always remember that the first question to ask in looking at a horary chart is this: "Is the chart on the querent's side/in their favor?" Then "Why or why not?" Then dive for details, but not a minute sooner.

Some people claim they want/need an "in-depth" interpretation, but the reality is that it's easier to keep a long story short. And in this case, short work can be made of both of these job interview charts.

Job Interview Event Chart 1

In Job Interview Event Chart 1, There ASC is early, and Mars, ruler of the MC, is in detriment. The Sun/Querent is intercepted, and there are no connections between Mars, Sun and the MC. The Moon is Ptolemaically VOC, while the Moon's last true aspects are a conjunction to Makemake (not shown; in late degrees of Virgo) and an opposition to Ceres, showing there's nothing for the querent here; it's not a good position for her, the boss is an unrealistic problem person (Neptune disposits Ceres) and there's not much common ground. Venus refranates before the Moon can aspect it, so no help there as Mars' dispositor.
Job Interview Event Chart 2

As for the second job interview chart (both charts are for two different opportunities), not much different. No connections with the querent's Sun and Moon to Venus/MC ruler. Venus also disposits to the combust Mercury-Sun conjunction. Venus in early degrees shows the employers are very early in the hiring process. Interestingly, Venus and Jupiter are in the same degree, with Jupiter at home in the 9th, so the employers are emphatic about wanting legal connections (as mentioned by the querent) by a potential hire.

The Moon conjunct retrograde Saturn guarantees a roadblock, and the Sun/Querent is close to the South Node in both charts, which is never a good thing.

So what was the outcome?

Within a month, the querent had been informed by both employers that she was not selected for either position.

Horary: The Astrology of "What have you done for me lately?" (Originally posted on 8/13/2011)
People tend to only remember the last thing you did, whether in astrology or in the real world. Dan Rather spent 44 years at CBS, with 24 of those on the nightly news, but what most people remember about him is the controversy over an alleged document forgery regarding President Bush's National Guard service that forced Rather out the door not long afterward.

So much for his investigative work on 60 Minutes and his 7 Peabody Awards. Poof--Up in smoke! Unfortunately.

Reporter Helen Thomas spent a mind-boggling 50 years covering the White House, dogging BS-slinging Presidents with her questions, and saying publicly what other reporters dared not utter. But she'll be remembered the most for making controversial statements about Israel and Palestine that forced her resignation from her post.

So much for all her awards and honorary degrees, not to mention her spine, which political reporters today clearly lack.

As mentioned in the book, clients won't remember all the specific details of a horary interpretation as it recedes into memory, but the one thing they will never, ever forget is whether the prediction came true or not.  So don't panic over details and trivial minutiae--get the most important part of horary interpretation correct.

Bill Herbst: As Relevant As Ever. (Originally posted on 8/13/2011)
Bill Herbst is absolutely one of the best go-to guys for astrological insight about the world situation. He stopped sending out his e-newsletter last year due to health reasons and because he pretty much had said everything imaginable on the subject. To wit:

"So far, I've resisted all requests to begin public writing again. In part, that refusal is based on my previous statement that I've already written most everything I had to say in the 80-or-so Commentaries in the Uranus-Pluto series (which are all still archived on the Essays page), and that until we move out of this long phase of collective denial and/or I have something new to offer, I prefer to remain silent and guard my privacy. The other reason is that I've been enjoying my vacation immensely." 

Thankfully, lo and behold, miracle of miracles, he is back to writing sporadically and posting PDFs of updates on his website. Don't miss a single word:

Earth's Very Own Trojan Asteroid: 2010 TK7. (Originally posted on 8/13/2011)
It was recently discovered that Earth shares its orbit with an as-yet-unnamed asteroid (and there's likely more than one) currently catalogued as 2010 TK7:

Since it's kind of hard to imagine "tadpole loops" instead of ellipses, this video shows 2010 TK7 and its orbit with the Earth and Sun very clearly:

Since it's the second closest body to the Earth, 2010 TK7 can hardly be deemed irrelevant, and it will be fascinating to soon recover it in old charts, both natal and horary, and integrate it in future charts. With all the new discoveries, what a great time to be an astrologer!

And MAJOR kudos to for integrating Minor Planet Center data into their free charts, allowing recovery for objects such as 2010 TK7 to be possible (once it receives its permanent registration number.)  Maybe someday the expensive proprietary astrology software will show such forward thinking and put that capability into their products. If it can be done easily for freeware, there's no reason it can't be done in the paid arena, too.

Pluto Will Have the Last Laugh. (Originally posted on 8/13/2011)
Interesting comment from Roderick Kidston in his article, "A New Look at the Asteroids" in the June/July 2011 issue of The Mountain Astrologer:

"If something wasn't a fully-fledged planet, somehow it didn't work astrologically--that seems to have been the assumption made by astrologers. How or why this was decided, I really don't know. If a minor planet doesn't work, then I'm not sure how a major one does, either: How does some notion of superior status improve (or activate) the "working" of a planet? The debate over Pluto's status in astronomy should be putting paid to this hazy thinking amongst astrologers. We all know Pluto works, regardless of his size or astronomical status."

So instead of the astrological elite (I'm talking to you, credentialed professionals, who are supposed to be advancing the body of astrological knowledge) giggling over Pluto's reclassification, it's time to start seriously looking at the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) more closely, and research and recover these objects to divulge their meanings and integrate their use in future charts. It's time to start looking forward into the future, instead of remaining preoccupied with "museum astrology" (ancient astrological concepts) and what the Babylonians thought or did.

Especially since more dwarf planet KBOs are being discovered every day:

The Astrology of Change, or Comfort & Consolation? (Originally posted on 7/12/2011)
Clients pay you to give them information, but what is the ultimate outcome of the information you give them? Are they using the information to change their lives, or just to soothe their pain, to try to find the meaning behind the relationship that just ended, the job they didn't get, etc.?

Awareness of the sometimes cold, hard facts and  disappointments that a horary chart can reveal doesn't often lead to a change of behavior (or circumstances) in the person's life. Many problems are simply beyond the scope of astrology. A placatory, "soothsaying" stance may make an astrologer popular ("Oh the compassion and wisdom!"), but it isn't going to net results in the person's life. 

So is horary astrology nothing more than a panacea, or can a real, concrete difference be made in the person's life when a chart reveals patterns and tendencies that aren't conducive to the querent's stated desire? The answer lies in how well the astrologer is in tune with whether the querent is seeking a horary practitioner for either comfort or change, and the ability of the astrologer to convey often uncomfortable truths to the querent.

Using the True Node in Modern Horary Astrology (Originally posted on 7/2/2011)
Modern horary favors the use of the True Node rather than the Mean Node. While there's a plethora of good technical information about the difference between the two (i.e., explaining the astronomy of the Nodes), the explanations tend toward subjective preferences rather than substantive reason for use of one over the other. So here's an objective way to think about the differences:

"Mean" is the mathematical term for "average." So that literally means "Average (of the) Node" when discussing the "Mean" Node. The "True" Node is where the Node actually is, or as close as can be mathematically approximated given the complicated astrophysics behind it. (For an explanation, click here and click on 2.2.2 True Node.)

The True Node is actually 100% accurate at least twice a month,  when the Moon crosses the ecliptic. The remainder of the time it's as close to exact as possible without being 100%. The Mean Node is NEVER accurate, since it is an AVERAGE calculation of Nodal motion. So your choices are this: Using a Node that is never, ever accurately positioned, but is instead an average of a position, or using a Node that is accurate at least twice a month, and as close to being accurate without actually being accurate the rest of the time. So it's a case of never the real thing vs. closest to the real thing as possible.

The difference between the True and Mean Nodes is only about 1.5 degrees, well within orb, regardless of which you choose to use.

Learning about asteroids the easy way (Originally posted on 6/22/2011)
Asteroids are the remains of the building blocks of planets, rendering them as symbolically important in both natal and horary charts as the planets themselves, since they are inherently connected as two different forms generated from the same source. They are not "debris," as some traditional horary astrologers ignorantly proclaim.

Asteroids are not difficult to learn if you can navigate your way through all the New Agey, speculative material out there and get to the hard-core, useful research. NCGR, the premier astrology research group in America, has a special-interest group (SIG) that specifically focuses on quality research material on asteroids.

Here are a few brief snippets from their web page: 

"The biggest breakthrough in astrology, since the Babylonians first went up on a ziggurat to observe the night sky, is the realization that the asteroids, like the planets, are significant. The planets and angles are not enough to describe the complexity of our lives and psyches...

As mentioned, the intended meaning -- for whom or what the discoverer named the asteroid -- is relevant to the interpretation... 

Much more could be said -- the exact aspects tell more of the story -- but from this brief analysis it can be seen that the addition of the exactly named asteroid just brings the interpretation into more exact focus." -- Nona Gwynn Press, from "All the Asteroids"

Full text of the article can be seen here:
You can view the NCGR Asteroid SIG webpage here: and their Facebook page (which is a little sparse) is here:

And if you look here:
you will find an asteroid contribution in their latest newsletter from Michael Munkasey, one of the best astrologers alive. 

So if you want to delve deeper into learning about and integrating asteroids both in horary and natal, NCGR's material is an excellent place to start.

Clarity, Not Confusion (Originally posted on 6/15/2011)
TNOs, midpoints, etc., aren't about "oh great, one more confusing thing to learn." They are about taking what you already know and applying it differently to attain information either faster and easier, or to see something that wouldn't be indicated by "planet only" methods.

In July 2011, the TNO section of the book will be excerpted here. If you already purchased Open Source Modern Horary Astrology, you do NOT need to purchase the excerpt--you can download it for free. Details forthcoming next week.

Meantime, treat yourself by following @newhorizons2015 or viewing for an astronomical preview of the future of astrology.

Form & Function (Originally posted on 5/27/2011)
Symbolism tells the story in a horary chart, not structure (technique). This is one of the reasons why all of the various horary methods work. 

The book gives you a solid foundation and understanding of the structure of horary interpretation, so you are free to concentrate on the symbolism. You already know how to do this from your experience with natal charts.

Freeing horary astrology from the Dark Ages...

With the ingress of Uranus into Aries, the democratization of horary astrology is long overdue. As astrology's most conservative and factionalized branch, horary astrology is in desperate need of a 21st-century makeover from its outdated, stagnant, frumpy, overweight, 17th-century superstitions, endless minutiae, tedious rules, and ancient dogmas that tangle up and bog down charts and practitioners alike.

Open Source Modern Horary Astrology: Tips, Techniques & Best Practices for a 21st-Century Approach updates, streamlines, and overhauls the traditional approach to horary as well as hybridizes it with tools and techniques from other branches of astrology (transits, sun signs, etc.) as well as current astronomical science for easier application and greater accuracy.  

The result of this 21st-century renovation and upgrade is a simple, accurate, and easy-to-understand approach without a gigantic (and unnecessary) learning curve, accessible to everyone already possessing a fundamental understanding of astrological basics.  If you can read a natal chart, you can read a horary chart quickly, easily--and accurately.