In a recent discussion in a horary astrology group, the question arose about how William Lilly utilized the 4th house in relocation horaries. This prompted me to reread Lilly to try to figure out exactly what he meant. In the sections below I will quote Lilly’s text in italics and leave my own comments in regular font. Lilly discusses the issue on pages 212 – 214 of Christian Astrology. He writes:
CHAP. XXXV (William Lilly, CA 212-214)
If Good to remove from one house or place to another, or to stay or abide in any place or not?
See to the Lords of the Ascendant, the 4th house and 7th house, for if the Lord of the 4th be in the 7th, and be a good Planet, and the Lord of the 1st and 7th be good Planets, or strong in that part of Heaven where they are, or in the whole Figure, if they be Direct, and of swift motion, and in good aspect with good Planets, it is good then to abide still and not remove from the place where the Querent is; but if the Lord of the 7th be with a good Planet, and the Lord of the 4th with an evil one, it is then not good to stay, for if he does, he shall receive much damage there:
Summarizing Lilly thus far:
- Consider the planets that rule the Ascendant, 4th house and 7th house. Apparently Lilly views the Asc-ruler as signifying the querent and her current location, the 4th as the home base or residence of the querent (including the town she lives in), and the 7th as the intended destination or place to which the querent would relocate.
- In horary charts in which the lord of the 4th (querent’s home base, actual dwelling or town) happens to fall in the 7th house (where the querent would relocate), then presumably her removal takes her back home to where she started. If these key rulers (of 1st, 4th, 7th) are all in good condition, then it makes sense to remain and not to relocate.
- If the lord of the 7th (the removal) is in good condition but the lord of the 4th (the current home base) is in bad condition (with an evil planet), then it is better to remove because remaining exposes the querent to the afflicted 4th ruler’s condition.
That which I have observed in this manner of Judgment was this; That if the Lord of the Ascendant did lately separate from the Square or Opposition of the Lord of the 6th, 8th or 12th, and the Moon also did concur in judgment, viz. if she separate from any evil aspect of the Infortunes, they being Lords of either the 7th or 4th &c. and not Friends or Significators in the person of the Querent;
or if I found an Infortune in the Ascendant, Peregrine or Retrograde, or if a Peregrine or unfortunate Planet was in the 4th, or if the Lord of the 2nd was weak or ill posited, I advised the Querent to remove his habitation, and gave him reason why he should; for if I found the Lord of the 6th house in the Ascendant, or afflicting the Lord of the Ascendant, I judged he had his health very bad there, was sickly, or tormented with ill servants, by whose means he did not thrive in his Vocation.
In the above paragraph Lilly outlines some of his findings in answering horary questions with this technique:
- If the ruler of the Ascendant (the querent) has recently separated from a square or opposition to the rulers of the unfortunate 6th, 8th or 12th houses AND if the Moon has recently separated from an “evil aspect” to a malefic, which is lord of the 4th or 7th, etc., it is better to remove.
- If a malefic, peregrine or Rx, appears in the 1st house or in the 4th house, or if the lord of the 2nd is weak and badly placed in the chart, it is better to remove.
- If the 6th lord is in the 1st house or afflicts the lord of the 1st, there have been health problems or difficulties with servants or job matters (6th house issues).
If the Lord of the 12th afflicted the Lord of the Ascendant or the Moon, I said he had backbiting, evil or slanderous Neighbours, or people that lived not very far from him did scandalize him:
- If the lord of the 12th (secret enemies) afflicted the lord of the 1st, or the Moon, then malicious neighbors have been a problem.
If the Lord of the 2nd was unfortunate, or in Square or Opposition to the Lord of the Ascendant, or if Part of Fortune was in the 12th, 8th or 6th, I judged he went back in the world, and his Estate consumed.
- If the lord of the 2nd (income, possessions) is afflicted, or in square or opposition to the lord of the 1st; or if the Part of Fortune lies in the unfortunate 12th, 8th or 6th houses, the querent has suffered material or financial losses.
If his Significator, viz. if the Lord of the Ascendant was afflicted by the Lord of the 10th, I acquainted him, his Reputation was lost, his Trade decayed, or had no Trading;
- If the lord of the 1st house is afflicted by the lord of the 10th (career, public standing), there has been a problem with 10th house issues such as public reputation.
and if the Lord of the 4th was unfortunate, or the 4th house itself, I judged the house was unlucky, and few that had lived therein did thrive, or that the Repairs of the house had much weakened him, or the house stood not conveniently for his Trade].
- if the lord of the 4th or the hours itself are unfortunate, then there have been problems with the dwelling itself.
If the Lord of the 7th afflicted the Lord of the Ascendant or 2nd, his overthwart Neighbours had all the Trade, were better furnished with Commodities, &c.
- if the lord of the 7th afflicts the lord of the 1st, the neighbors next door or across the way were a lot better off.
Now in giving direction which way to steer his course, in hopes of better Trading, I observed what Planet in the Scheme was most fortunate and strongest, and had the most friendly aspect to either the Lord of the Ascendant or Lord of the 2nd, look what quarter of Heaven the Sign that Planet was in did signify, to that part did I ever advise the Querent to remove; and I remember not, that any ever repented their following my advice; many have afterwards returned to me thanks and rewards.
- to advise where the querent should relocate, consider the sign placement of the most fortunate and strongest planet in the chart, which also favorably aspects the 1st-ruler or 2nd-ruler.
And whereas I mention these words (perhaps the house was unlucky) some may cavil at the words, and say, God’s blessing is alike in all places, and it’s superstitious to judge, a house that is not a living thing, can be made unsuccessful or unfortunate, &c.: Let them enjoy their opinion still; there’s not a man in this world less superstitious than myself, yet what I have found by experience, I freely communicate, and do remain of this opinion;
That in what house any execrable facts are committed, the ministering of Angels of God feeling the villainy done in that house, and the dishonor done to God therein, do accurse that place or house; which continues so long, as there is not a full expiation made by some godly person, for the sins committed in that house; or until the time limited by the angry Angel be expired, the house shall remain a most unfortunate house for any to live in: And this which I write, and is inflicted upon houses which are insensible, I assuredly know is preformed to the full upon the great and smaller Families of this world, &c. How in a natural way to discharge these curses, Sunt Sigilla & Lamina quae nec Scripta Sunt,& ego novi.
But some for resolution of this Question, say, if the Moon separate at time of the Question from Jupiter or Venus, then stay; if she separate from an Infortune, remove; or a Fortune in the Ascendant bids you stay; an Infortune remove: This heedfully considered with the preceding Judgment, will instruct any indifferent Astrologer to resolve the preceding Question concerning removing from one place to another.
- Lilly adds that, according to some authors (but he may or may not be in agreement with them, and he sounds skeptical in the way he words his comment), if the Moon separates from Jupiter or Venus, it is better to remain; but if the Moon separates from a malefic (Mars or Saturn) it is preferable to remove. Here Lilly appears to be viewing the Moon as the future movements of the querent, so that if the Moon is moving away from benefics, the querent will be leaving something good behind. On the contrary, if the Moon is moving away from malefics, the querent would be removing herself from something bad.
- Also, if there is a benefic planet (Jupiter or Venus) in the 1st house, it is better to remain with the good; but if there is a malefic (Mar or Saturn) in the 1st, it is preferable to remove yourself from the bad.
Case Example: My thanks to Kevin Lopez for permission to use his example chart. The querent asked on Sunday June 7, 2020 at 16:40 in Dallas, Tx.
“Should I stay where I am or should I move (possibly long distance)?”
Kevin adds: “Other pertinent facts: the leasing company wants to increase rent. This person is living off of government assistance during the Covid-19 lockdown. The hour lord is Venus on a (Sun) day and we have Libra rising. This chart is radical.” Here is the chart, which I cast with Alcabitius houses as in the classic Arabic texts.
The hour lord is Venus, which rules the Ascendant (querent) and also the 8th cusp. In the chart Venus falls in Gemini in the quadrant 8th and Whole Sign 9th houses. The 8th has to do with the money of others and the 9th with long-distance travel, both of which are issues related to the question.
Venus (querent, Asc-ruler) is combust the Sun, probably signifying her current distress about the matter.
The 12th part of the Ascendant lies in 4 Leo in the 10th quadrant house but 11th Whole Sign house, so issues related to career , friends and benefactors are likely to be on her mind. The Sun, which rules Leo lies in Gemini in the 8th quadrant/9th Whole Sign house, reinforcing the significations of the hour lord Venus regarding money she may owe and distant places.
The Sun, which rules the 12th part of the Ascendant and thus has significations of the querent, is just separating from a close square with Mars in the horary, which may also have to do with removing herself from an influence symbolized by Mars. Interestingly, Venus, which rules the Ascendant and thus the querent, is also separating from a square with Mars, which Lilly would consider one of the sources of the problem
Regarding the 4th house signification, Lillys gives specific configurations of the 4th lord which support staying or leaving the current place of residence. It is important to note that Lilly does not give carte blanche to use the 4th lord any way we might like.
- The 1st lord Venus shows where she is at the time of the question. Venus at 11 Gemini in this chart is without any essential dignity and is thus considered peregrine and will depend on its dispositor Mercury, which has dignity only by Face or decan.
- The 4th lord Saturn signifies her current dwelling. Saturn at 1 Aquarius has dignity by domicile and triplicity.
- The 7th lord Mars represents where she would remove to, her destination. Mars at 17 Pisces in this chart is a triplicity lord of Water signs and thus has dignity by triplicity. The fact that the 7th ruler is more dignified than the 1st ruler favors relocation.
Lilly’s 2nd point above does not apply because the 4th lord is not in the 7th house.
His 3rd point has to do with the lords of the 7th and the 4th. Saturn rules the 4th and has dignity by domicile and triplicity. At the same time, Saturn is Retrograde which Lilly considered to be a significant debility. Thus, remaining in her 4th house residence has mixed indications. The dignity of Saturn is positive but its retrograde status indicates significant hindrances at the same time, so if she decides to stay it may work out okay in the long run but it will be difficult and frustrating at the same time.
Mars rules the 7th cusp (relocation) and occupies 17 Pisces in the 5th house, which is called the house of Good Fortune. Mars will square the Sun, ruler of the 11th in the 8th quadrant house. Mars will go on to sextile the Part of Fortune in the 7th and will eventually sextile Jupiter, the benefic of the diurnal sect. These positive aspects seem to favor relocating, though it will not be without some difficulty because Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn (its fall) and Venus, which disposes Fortuna, is combust the Sun and retrograde.
Regarding whether she should move or stay, I think it is important to consider the Part of Fortune, which lies in 22 Taurus in the 7th house. Asc-ruler Venus is where the querent is, Dsc-ruler Mars signifies the possible relocation. Venus Rx in the 8th combust the Sun is not in great shape. In addition 1st-ruler Venus is averse to both Jupiter and Fortuna, so is not benefically supported. On the other hand, Mars is sextile both Jupiter and the Part of Fortune, suggesting that a move would likely be beneficial.
Regarding Lilly’s final paragraph in which he discusses what some authors say about the Moon’s motion, the Moon in this chart is not separating from either Jupiter or Venus, so she is not leaving a benefic influence behind if she relocates. The Moon is approaching Mars (a malefic) but Mars rules the 7th cusp (relocation). The Moon is also approaching benefic Jupiter by mutual application, which implies that relocation is more favorable than remaining where she is. The fact that after reaching Jupiter the moon will quickly move on the conjoin Saturn suggests that relocation will not solve all her problems, that is, the grass will only be somewhat greener on the other side.
In addition, Moon and Venus are averse. Moon will next sexille Mars (relocation) from the exaltation of Mars and there is a mutual reception by triplicity (moon is a triplcity lord of Pisces, and Mars is a triplcity lord of Capricorn), which I think also favors the relocation.
It also seems noteworthy that Jupiter and Saturn are within orb of conjunction very close to the cusp of the 4th house in this chart. In mundane astrology, Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions, which occur about every 20 years, mark dramatic changes in society. If we apply the mundane significance of this conjunction to this horary chart, it may mean that she is undergoing a significant changes in her domestic situation which are linked to the political and cultural upheaval going on around her.
This is a complex chart with many pros and cons. To me it looks like the balance of factors favor relocation, but it won’t be a piece of cake (to mix grass and cake metaphors). I have just gone quickly through this chart, so there may be some errors in what I wrote or in my understanding of Lilly. Please leave any comments, further observations and corrections in the section below.