A few weeks ago I received a review copy of a recently published book on horary by Slovenian astrologer Ema Kurent. I don’t know Ema personally but I am familiar with her work through an online astrology group which we both participate in. Ema learned horary in the early 1990s under the tutelage of Olivia Barclay, from whom she received her QHP (Qualified Horary Practicioner) credential. As a result, her approach is solidly based in the work of 17th century horary astrologer William Lilly.
The first thing that impressed me about the book was its size. It is a large volume, measuring 11 x 8.5 x 1 inches, containing 460 pages, and weighing just under 3 pounds. The cover is beautifully designed, and the inner pages are thoughtfully formatted so that they are easy to read and to refer back to.
The first 152 pages of the text are devoted to the theory and basic principles of horary astrology. Ema provides a clear and readily understandable explanation of traditional horary methods, as practiced by Lilly and other Renaissance and medieval astrologers. She does not simply regurgitate the teachings of these older authorities. Instead, she critiques these traditional methods and presents her own modifications, based on her decades of experience as a horary practioner. For example, unlike Lilly who used his own location and the time that he understood the querent’s concern, Ema’s own practice and research have convinced her that “the true time of a horary question is the time when the question is ‘born’ in the mind of the querent” (p.24) and she casts the chart for the location where the querent first thought of the question.
She also adds some novel material, such as her use of eclipses, declination, lunar nodes, locational astrology and the seldom used essential dignity of monomoiria (the 360 individual degrees of the zodiac in Hellenistic astrology, each of which was associated with a particular planet). As a result, Ema gives her readers much to ponder, re-consider and experiment with in their own charts.
The meat of the book (and, to my mind, its most valuable portion) is the Practice section which extends from page 153 through to page 458. Here Ema delineates in detail 124 case examples from her files, dating back to the 1990s. Examples of just about any type of horary question you can imagine will be found here. Each question is accompanied by clear explanations and a full-page astrological chart with tables of the essential horary information needed for delineation. My recommendation is that readers consider each horary question and delineate each chart for themselves before reading what the author has to say about the chart. In doing so they will be able to test their own learning and ability to answer a horary question against the technique of a horary expert. Using the case examples as a workbook in this way, though time consuming, will certainly enrich the reader’s skills as a horary practitioner.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book to astrologers, both beginners and those experienced in the horary art, who wish to learn, review, test or re-examine their knowledge of the theory and practice of horary astrology. In writing this volume, Ema Kurent has made available a valuable teaching tool, which will be lasting contribution to the literature on this branch of astrology. Every serious student of horary will want to have a copy in their astrology library.
All original material in this blog is copyright Anthony Louis 2019.