A Horary by Deborah Houlding with Whole Sign Houses

In my last post I mentioned that, as a result of going through Chris Brennan’s course on Hellenistic horary astrology, I’ve become interested in looking at horary charts with established outcomes from a Whole Sign perspective.  A google search revealed an interesting horary question posed to Deborah Houlding, one of the world’s leading horary astrologers today.  In her online horary tutorial, Deb mentions that a friend asked her, “Will my parents be OK this year?”  The year was 1990.  The question was understood by the astrologer on January 17, 1990 at 10:30 AM in Mansfield, UK.

The background to the question was as follows.  The querent was a woman in her 20s who worked for a travel company and spent the summer months abroad.  Her parents were in their late 60s and the mother had been treated for breast cancer during the previous year.  Her father was looking old and frail.  The querent was concerned about the health of both her parents and the issues of being away from the UK should they need her in the coming year.  Nonetheless, she signed a contract to accept the job and went abroad to work.  Her mother’s health deteriorated and the mother died of cancer on May 12, 1991.  This was 480 days (or 1 year and almost 4 months) after the horary question.  Deb’s analysis of the chart from a Regiomontanus perspective can be found at her website (the link above).

Here is the whole sign chart for Deb’s horary:

Deb Houlding's horary example. 17 Jan 1990, 10:30 AM, Mansfield, UK. Whole Sign Houses.

Deb Houlding’s example. 17 Jan 1990, 10:30 AM, Mansfield, UK. Whole Sign Houses. “Will my parents be OK this year?

It is a Mercury day during a Jupiter hour.  The Moon is slow in motion.

Deb followed Lilly’s approach and used Regiomontanus houses, which place Saturn, the Sun and Venus in the 11th house, and Pluto in the 7th house.  Whole Sign Houses place six planets in the 10th house (signifying the mother), which seems fitting because the querent was worried about her mother’s recent treatment for breast cancer.  Whole Sign Houses also move Pluto from the 7th Regio house to the 8th house of death, which again seems appropriate because the querent must have been worried about the possibility of her mother’s death from breast cancer.

Just eyeballing the chart from a distance we can see the stress on the 10th house and the preponderance of square aspects in the chart, suggesting a highly stressful situation.

The ASC signifies the querent.  Here the ASC is ruled by Mars and its almuten is the sun.  Mars in the 9th in Sagittarius and conjunct the Part of Fortune fits with the querent’s job opportunity for work abroad with a travel company.  The Hellenistic approach would add that because Mars is the out-of-sect malefic, he is highly malevolent in a day chart.  Thus, his enhanced capacity to cause hardship is focused in the querent’s 9th house of travel and foreign matters.  She can expect problems if she travels out of the UK.  The Hellenistic concept of sect indicates that Mars is the most harmful planet in the chart.  Because Mars rules the ASC and thus the querent, she may be in for a rough year.

The question is about the querent’s parents, so we must also look at what the 9th house (where Mars resides) means for the parents.  The 9th is the 6th (illness) of the 4th (the parents), suggesting that the maleficity of Mars is focused on the health of the parents.  The 9th is also the 12th of the 10th (the mother), suggesting that her mother might endure confinement or hospitalization during the year ahead (she specifically asked about “this year”).

The Moon shows where the querent’s emotions are focused in the question.  The Moon lies in the 7th house in Libra and is disposed by a retrograde Venus in Capricorn in the 10th.  Among other things, the 7th house signifies contracts, the place of relocation, and the end-of-matters or late life conditions for the 4th house parents.  The querent was emotionally concerned about all three of these matters when she asked the question.

Some horary astrologers pay attention to the mean Node of the Moon, which is considered to be a “fateful” degree because of its association with eclipses.  In this chart the mean South Node of the Moon is at 17 Leo 35 Rx.  Two planets lie in the same numerical degree:  Saturn at 17 Capricorn 32 and Pluto at 17 Scorpio 27.  Saturn occupies and rules the 10th house of the mother (and of career matters of the querent).  Pluto occupies the 8th house of death.  These two planets occupying a nodal degree, especially Saturn signifying the mother in a horary which asks about parents, set an ominous tone.

The Moon rules the 4th house cusp (the parents) and squares the planets in the 10th.  Jupiter (and Chiron) which occupy the 4th (parents) oppose the 10th house planets.  Perhaps the square of most concern is that of the Moon (ruling the 4th of parents) to the Sun (ruling the 5th, which is the 8th of death of the mother).  Moon square Sun perfects in 15 degrees 51 minutes (15.85 degrees).

The Moon is angular in the 7th house but slow in motion and peregrine, so each degree the Moon travels most likely represents one month in calendar time.  If we convert each degree of motion of the Moon to one month, the Moon/Sun square perfects 482 days after the question (15.85 degrees times an average of 30.437 days per month).  In reality, the mother died 480 days after the question, so the horary timing is almost exact (only 2 days off).  The perfected aspect suggested May 14th of 1991 whereas the mother’s passing actually occurred on May 12th.

Horary relies on two methods of timing.  One is the symbolic method just described.  The other is to look at transits to the chart.  Below is a list of all transit-to-transit and transit-to-horary aspects on 12 May 1991 when compared to the chart of the original horary question.  Note the activity of the key significators.

Transit to transit, and transit to horary chart, aspects on the date of the mother's passing.

Transit to transit, and transit to horary chart, aspects on the date of the mother’s passing.


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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7 Responses to A Horary by Deborah Houlding with Whole Sign Houses

  1. dennis says:

    Bonjour Anthony,
    Je souhaiterais comprendre pourquoi Mars est considéré du point de vue hellénistique comme très négatif ?? ( if the answer is not too complicated !).
    Je trouve aussi que l’état céleste de Mars , qui , au départ ne semble pas très mauvais , est quand même aggravé par son Antice à l’étoile fixe Antarès .
    Thanks for your answer .

    • dennis says:

      Sorry I made a mistake for Mars !

    • Dennis,

      Sorry, I am not able to respond in French. In Hellenistic astrology “sect” was important, that is, whether the sun was above or below the horizon. In day charts (sun above the horizon), Mars was considered especially malefic. In night charts (sun below the horizon), Saturn was considered especially malefic.

      I think it has to do with the “joys” of the planets. Saturn rejoices in the 12th house just above the horizon, and Mars rejoices in the 6th house just below the horizon. The reasons for the joys are probably based on Babylonian and Egyptian religion and mythology.


      • Filipe says:

        Tony, isn’t this because the actual sect of mars is nocturnal and that of saturn is diurnal? I mean, Saturn is a diurnal planet and mars a nocturnal planet. When the sect of the times and the sect of the malefic doesn’t match, the malefic is able to bring more harm, but, in the other hand, if the sects match, the malefice of that particular malefic is ameliorated. Am I wrong?

      • Hi Filipe,
        Thanks for your comment. Yes, from what I understand of Hellenistic texts, Saturn is diurnal and more comfortable above the horizon (daytime) whereas Mars is nocturnal and more comfortable below the horizon (nighttime). Metaphorically speaking, Saturn gets “irritable” when he is forced to spend time below the horizon, and Mars gets “irritable” when he has to spend time above the horizon.
        Take care,

  2. dennis says:

    thanks .

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