William Lilly: A lady, if marry the gentleman desired? (CA p. 385)

In my previous post we looked at Lilly’s concept of the void of course Moon.  To illustrate I cited one of Lilly’s charts from Christian Astrology and I thought it would be worthwhile to study that chart in more detail, especially since Lilly initially botched it.  Here is the horary info for the chart from Solar Fire:

A lady asks Lilly if she will marry the gentleman she desires. (Click on the image to see a larger clearer view.)

It is a Mercury day during a Saturn hour.  The Sun is the ruler of the Leo Ascendant and represents the querent (lady).  Saturn rules the 7th cusp (Aquarius) and represents the man she wants to marry.  The Moon (a co-ruler of the querent and signifier of her emotional state) in the 5th house of romantic love shows that she has the hots for him.  Sun (querent) is applying to sextile Saturn (the suitor), which looks promising.  Sun (the querent) will also conjoin Jupiter, ruler of her 5th house of romance and the suitor’s 8th and 9th houses (his wealth and kin).  She could gain financially and be well received by her in-laws if they marry.  The Sun/Jupiter conjunction will occur in her 11th house of hopes and wishes, so her wish may be granted.  Mercury, which rules and conjoins the 11th house cusp of wishes, applies to sextile the ASC and to trine the 7th cusp of her suiter.  This is another argument that she will get her man.

Lilly suggests (CA, p. 121) that we first look at the ‘considerations before judgment’ to determine whether the figure is ‘radical’ or capable or judgment.  He states that a chart is radical when “the Lord of the hour … and the Lord of the Ascendant or first House are of one Triplicity, or be one, or of the same nature.”  (CA, p. 121)

The Lord of the hour, Saturn (cold, dry, ruler of Air triplicity), and the ASC-ruler Sun (hot, dry, ruler of the Fire triplicity) have little in common, except for being dry.  They are not the same planet, of the same nature, or of the same triplicity.  Lilly conveniently does not mention this consideration before judgment in his discusson of the chart (CA pp 385-388), possibly because it suggests that this chart may not be capable of judgment or that he may make a mess of it.  The excess of dryness suggests emotional insensitivity.  On the other hand, the Sun in Cancer is ruled by the Moon through domicile, and Saturn in Taurus is ruled by the Moon through exaltation.  Perhaps Lilly thought the chart was fit to judge because the principal rulers (Sun and Saturn) were each received by the Moon through one of her major dignities.

In CA p. 122, Lilly writes that “it is not safe to judge when the Moon is in the later degrees of a sign, especially Gemini, Scorpio or Capricorn…”  Here the Moon is in the late degrees of Sagittarius.  Lilly’s 17th century tables had the Moon at 28 Sagittarius 09 in the chart he used.  The chart “fails” another consideration before judgment.  Lilly now has two warnings about proceeding to read this chart.  But perhaps Lilly sees that the Moon in late Sagittarius is received by Jupiter which is exalted in Cancer, rendering the late degree of the Moon of less concern in this chart.

In CA p. 122, Lilly also states that “you must also be wary when in any question propounded you find the cusp of the 7th house afflicted, or the lord of that house retrograde or impedited, and the matter at that time not concerning the 7th house but belonging to any other house, it’s an argument that the judgment of the astrologer will give small content…”  Here the question is about a 7th house matter.  Both malefics, Mars and Saturn, square the 7th house cusp, and the ruler of the 7th house (Saturn) conjoins Mars, which is debilitated in Taurus, the sign of its detriment.  The squares of Mars and Saturn to the 7th house cusp occur in signs of short ascension, so they may act more like a sextile.  Nonetheless, both planets are malefics and Mars is in detriment, so even a positive outcome will be accompanied by some discomfort; and the astrologer may have some difficulty interpreting the chart (interference by Mars in detriment).

Although Saturn is afflicted by a debilitated Mars, Saturn also receives a favorable sextile from Jupiter, so it’s a mixed bag.  Saturn here represents both Lilly as the horary artist and the quesited, the man whom she wants to marry.  The close sextile from Jupiter may have suggested to Lilly that he was able to judge the chart.  Generally, however, “the  lord of the 7th unfortunate, or in his fall, or terms of the Infortunes, the Artist shall scare give a solid judgment.”  (CA, p. 123)  Mars afflicting Saturn (ruler of the 7th or astrologer) should have warned Lilly about being too “Mars-like” (hostile, aggressive) with the querent.

Lilly tells the following story about the lady who asked the question.  For a long time the man had been pursuing her and she kept rejecting him.  He finally proposed marriage and she “gave him an absolute denial” after which “she became passionately affection of him” (Moon in 5th of the horary) and did sorely repent of her folly, and so churlish a carriage, wishing she might again have former opportunities” (CA, pp. 385-386).  Lilly sounds a bit judgmental and disdainful of the querent here, so maybe the 7th ruler (the astrologer as well as the male suitor) afflicted by Mars is rearing its ugly head in Lilly’s hostile attitude toward the querent.  The male suitor may also be angry about the querent’s rejection of him.

Lilly then checks the chart to see whether the rulers of the ASC and DSC properly describe the querent and her prospective mate.  He is satisfied that the descriptions are adequate and perhaps for this reason he also regards the chart as radical.

Lilly confronts the hapless querent with his negative judgement: “I said the gentleman had no inclination or disposition unto her, finding the Moon separated from void of course and applying to an opposition of the Sun, lord of the ascendant, did argue there was small hopes of effecting her desire, because she herself, by her own perverseness, had done herself so grand a mischief.” (CA, p. 386)

After Lilly tells the lady his dismal findings (someone here is displaying a “churlish carriage”), she becomes visibly distraught.  He then realizes how hostile and insensitive he has been (debilitated Mars conjunct Saturn, ruler of the horary astrologer) and proceeds with more sensitivity as follows:

Hereupon, with much compassion, I began to consider what hopes we had in the Figure: I found Sun applying to a Sextile of Saturn; this argued the woman’s desire, and the strength of her affections toward the Quesited, because she is signified by the lighter Planet; but there was no Reception betwixt the Significators, therefore that application gave little hopes: but finding Reception betwixt Jupiter and the Moon, and betwixt Sun and Moon, she in his Triplicty , Sun in her House; observing also that the Moon did dispose of Saturn in her Exaltation, and of Jupiter in her House, and that Jupiter was very neer a Sextile Dexter of Saturn, still applying, and not separated; as also, that Jupiter was in his Exaltation, and a fortunate Planet ever assisting nature and the afflicted, and that he was able by his strength to qualify and take off the malice of  Saturn: besides, the nearnesse of Jupiter to the Sextile of Saturn, made me confident that the Quesited was intimately acquainted with a person of quality and worth, such as Jupiter represented, whom I exactly described, and the Lady very well knew: Unto him I directed to address her Complaints, and acquaint him fully with her unhappy folly: I positively affirmed, in the Gentleman described she should find all honour and secrecy , and I doubted not but, by God’s blessing, he would again revive the business (now dispaired of) and bring her to her hearts content: But finding that Saturn and Sun came to Sextile aspect the 27th of the same month, I advised to hasten all things before the aspect was over; and also gave direction, that the 19th of June near upon noon, the Gentleman should first move the Quesited in the business: and my reason was, because that day Saturn and Jupiter were in perfect Sextile aspect.”

“My counsel was followed, and the issue was thus: By the Gentlemans means and procurement the matter was brought on again, the Match effected, and all within twenty days following, to the content of the sorrowful (but as to me unthankful) Lady , &c. In Astrologie, the true reason of this performance is no more then, first, an application of the two Significators to a Sextile, viz the Lord of the 7th and 1st: Next, the application of the Moon to the Lord of the ascendant, though by Opposition, yet with Reception, was another small argument; but the main occasion, without which in this Figure it could not have been, the application of Jupiter to Sextile of Saturn Lord of the 7th, receiving his virtue which Saturn did render unto him, and again transferred to the Sun Lord of the ascendant, he, viz. Jupiter , meeting with no manner of prohibition, abscission or frustration until his perfect Conjunction with the Sun, which was the 29th of June, so that no difficulty did afterwards intervene, I did acquaint this Lady , that very lately before the erection of this Figure, her Sweet-heart had been offered a Match, and that the Gentlewoman propounded, was such a one as is signified by Venus, one not only of a good fortune, but excellently well descended: I had her follow my directions, with hope and expectation of a good end, and told her she should not fear his marrying of Venus: Which judgment I gave, by reason Mars was nearer Venus then Saturn, and so interposed his influence, or kept off Saturn. I judged Mars to be some Soldier, or Gentleman that had been in Arms: this I did the more to enlighten her fancy , which I found apprehensive enough. She well knew both the Gentlewoman and man, and confessed such matters were then inaction.”

It seems to me that Lilly goes through this elaborate and convoluted reasoning to save his behind, to use a modern euphemism.  He should have followed the rules he laid out early in his book.

The Sun rules the querent and Saturn rules the quesisted (the man she wants to marry).  The Sun is applying to sextile Saturn in 9 degrees.  The will have an opportunity to reunite with her suitor at that time.  Jupiter in her 11th house of hopes and wishes is in partile sextile with Saturn (her suitor).  When the Sun sextiles Saturn, it will immediately conjoin Jupiter — a very positive indicator, especially with Jupiter in Cancer where it is exalted.

The Moon’s last aspect was an opposition to Mercury, ruler of the 11th — her hopes have been dashed.  She (the Moon) is now separated from what she wished for (Mercury).  The Moon then went void of course, so there was little she could do about the situation during that period.  But now the Moon was applying to oppose the Sun, suggesting the emotional turmoil was was about to go through because of her own rejection of this suitor and because of Lilly’s initial insensitive Mars-like attitude toward her.

In summary, it seemed clear from the onset that she would get her man.  Lilly did not pay sufficient attention to the fact that his ruler was afflicted and so his ability to interpret the chart and satisfy the client was impaired (by a debilitated Mars).

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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