Alan Leo’s 1898 horary: “a proposed new company”

Recently I read a horary chart analysis done by the famous astrologer Alan Leo in 1898.  Astrologer Lee Lehman, on her site, reproduced Alan Leo’s text (now in the public domain) which he published in 1907 in No. 7, Horary Astrology, of his series of Astrological Manuals, pp. 43-47.  Leo cast the chart for 8:10 a.m. on October 26, 1898 for the related questions:

“Will it be wise to float a new company for the sale of a prepared food likely to meet with a large consumption?  Will the new venture be a profitable one, or will it incur much loss?”  (Leo, 1907)

This question was asked in a letter received and read by Alan Leo at 8:10 a.m. on 26 October 1898 at his office in London.  The querent was a well-known manufacturer who wanted to market a new food preparation at the urging of his son.  Seeing the horary ASC in Scorpio, the Sun-sign of the querent, Alan Leo judged the chart to be “radical” or fit to judge.  In addition, the querent asked for secrecy about the matter (a Scorpio trait).  Alan Leo gave the following response:

“You will be very determined in your efforts to place your preparation upon the market, but the company will not be floated and I judge you will lose a considerable sum over the venture. The figure shows waste of money and I cannot advise your risking much money to prove the truth of this judgment.”

Despite Leo’s advice, the querent made a determined effort to form a company, which failed and also cost the querent hundreds of pounds (a lot of money in those days).  Here is Leo’s horary chart:

Alan Leo 1898 horary about a proposed new company (Placidus house, 8:10 AM, 26 October 1898, London, UK)

Leo’s 1898 horary with modern planets. Leo used Placidus houses and was unaware that Pluto existed. Venus (income) opposing Pluto (modern ASC ruler) is probably relevant to the outcome.

Leo’s main arguments went as follows:

  • Mars rules the ASC (the querent) and Mars is debilitated, being in fall in Cancer.
  • Mars squares Jupiter (separating), and Jupiter rules the querent’s 2nd house of income and 4th house of endings.  [Usually in horary we look at applying rather than separating aspects for future events.  Alan Leo is not following traditional ideas and, in fact, writes that “the pivot upon which the whole of the decision turned was the square aspect of Mars to Jupiter.”]
  • Jupiter and Venus are general significators of finance and neither one is favorably placed in the figure.
  • Leo used Placidus houses.  The Moon in the 4th is separating from a quincunx to Jupiter in the 11th, hence his “faint-hearted” friends were encouraging the enterprise.
  • The Moon is closely applying to square Neptune in the 8th (the public’s money), so the general public will not be disposed to buy the product.  Alan Leo used modern as well as traditional planets in his horaries.
  • Venus rules the 7th (the public), conjoins malefic Saturn, and is sequiquadrate Mars (the querent), so the public will not be well disposed toward the querent.  [If Alan Leo used Regiomontanus houses (as Lilly did), Venus would occupy the 2nd of income and Saturn would conjoin the cusp of the 2nd – both negative indicators regarding income.  In addition, Leo does not mention that Venus rules the 12th house of undoing and occupies the 2nd of income.]
  • [Alan Leo also does not mention that Venus rules the 11th, the income from the 10th house enterprise being proposed.  Pluto hadn’t been discovered yet, so Alan Leo would not have seen the applying opposition from Venus (income) to Pluto (modern ruler of the Scorpio querent) at the cusp of the 8th house (the public’s money).]
  • [Although Leo does not mention it, some horary astrologers regard the degree of the Moon’s Nodes as a “fateful degree” because it is where eclipses occur.  Here Venus at 12 Sagittarius lies in the same numerical degree as the Moon’s Nodes, so there is something “fateful” about his attempt to garner income in this manner.]
  • The malefics Saturn and Uranus are rising in the 1st house (bad things are coming to the querent, represented by the ASC).
  • [Although Alan Leo does not mention it, the antiscion of Mars (the querent) lies opposite Uranus in the 1st, suggesting upsets or disruptions related to the public perception of his product.]
  • [Morinus, who disdained horary, often used aspects to house cusps.  In the Regiomontanus chart, Mars (the querent and his son) squares the 12th house cusp (deception, undoing).  Regarding the food that was to be manufactured, Alan Leo tells us that “the querent’s son had undoubtedly deceived his father as to its preservative qualities” and also that the father “showed far too much confidence in his son, who persisted in issuing the prospectus at the wrong time” (typical 12th house undoing).]

Here is the chart William Lilly would have used if he had received the same question:

Alan Leo’s 1898 horary, square chart, Regiomontanus houses, traditional planets, and here are the associated dignities:

Dignity Table of 1898 horary (Regiomontanus houses)

I do not agree with Alan Leo that the separating Mars square Jupiter aspect is the key to the chart.  My own take upon first looking at the chart went as follows:

The enterprise is a 10th house matter, ruled by Mercury (Virgo on the 10th cusp).  Mercury lies in the 12th (undoing, deception), is peregrine (without essential dignity), and is combust the Sun.  Being so debilitated, Mercury as ruler of the new enterprise suggests that it will not be successful.  Mercury’s 12th house position suggests that the querent is self-deluded or being deceived about its prospects.  Mercury is also ruler of the 8th (the public’s money) and indicates a lack of willingness of the public to spend on the new product.

The income from the new venture is shown by Venus (ruler of the 11th = 2nd of the 10th and occupant of the 2nd (the querent’s income, which is also shown by Jupiter as ruler of the 2nd cusp).  The querent is ruled by a peregrine and debilitated Mars in fall in Cancer (food).  He is powerless and inadequate to produce a new foodstuff.   Venus makes to aspect to Mars, and Mars separates from a square to Jupiter – neither of these factors indicates a good future income for the querent.

Venus (income from the venture and the querent’s income) conjoins Saturn as the cusp of the 2nd house, suggesting a loss of income.  Jupiter, which rules the 2nd of income, has only 1 point of essential dignity and lies under the sun’s beams.

In this chart the Sun, which is exalted in Aries, is the almuten of the 5th house cusp and of the Part of Fortune in the 5th. The peregrine Sun’s placement in the 12th does not bode well for the 5th house gamble he is taking or the fortune he is seeking.

Thus, I think we can arrive at the same conclusion as Alan Leo without changing the traditional view that separating aspects refer to past events (unless the aspect is re-enlivened by a translation or collection of light, which does not occur in this chart.)

A final note:  Though Leo doesn’t tell us, I assume the events described in his text took a year or so to develop.  I cast the first solar return of the horary question, which occurred a year later on 26 October 1899 at 14:08:27 UT.  The solar return Midheaven at 8 Sagittarius 28 conjoins Saturn in the original horary chart, the return Ascendant at 10 Aquarius 54 squares Saturn in the horary chart, and return Uranus at 6 Sagittarius 13 conjoins the SR Midheaven – all indicators of the predicted disruptive negative outcome.

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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4 Responses to Alan Leo’s 1898 horary: “a proposed new company”

  1. Pam says:

    Oh, good! We’re back to fun stuff! I sort of tested myself on this chart. Since you are my esteemed teacher, I *got* the 10th house and 8th house connections. On my own, though, I noticed that Neptune is near the cusp of the 8th and retrograde, indicating an unworthy belief, and Mars is trine the Moon in the 9th house, indicating too much faith in the child. The PF is in the 5th house – the idea for the enterprise is the child’s. The natural ruler of the 5th house is the Sun, but there it is in the dreaded 12th house. I hope family relations didn’t suffer too terribly much over the family business . . .

  2. Pam,

    Thanks for your comments. I see in many modern texts that modern astrologers regard the Sun as the “natural ruler of the 5th house.” I don’t think this is true. Lilly called the Sun a “con-significator” of the 5th, meaning that the 5th house and the Sun have in common being fifth in the usual order of the listings houses and Chaldean planets respectively. The Sun is the 5th planet. The 5th house is fifth in the order of houses. To say that the Sun (or Leo) has some “natural rulership” over the 5th house is misleading; there is an analogy or a numerical correspondence between the Sun and the 5th, but not a relation of rulership. The 5th house is “ruled” by the ruling planet of the sign on its cusp (and sometimes in the literature by its almuten and by the planet exalted at the cusp). In this chart the Sun happens to be exalted in Aries and also to be the almuten of the 5th house cusp and of the Part of Fortune in the 5th. The peregrine Sun’s placement in the 12th does not bode well for the gamble he is taking or the fortune he is seeking. Sorry to be so picky, but this is one of those phrases astrologers use that drives me a little crazy.


  3. Tony,
    thank you for highlighting this horary gem, coming from an astrologer who as well stated that:
    “horary astrology, as practised today, is the vilest rubbish imaginable, and no worthy of the name. Indeed, it is not astrology at all, but simply divination … IT IS THE CURSE OF SCIENCE, AND THE RUIN OF THE ASTROLOGER” (in: Curry, Prophets, p165).
    What is as well remarkable but not surprising is the fact that the misconception of what has often been labeled the Alphabetical Zodiac (H1=Aries=Mars; H2=Taurus=Venus, etc.) has been mentioned here, appropriately as a comment to an article, dealing with one of the early protagonists responsible for the creation of this nonsensical simplification.

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