Lilly’s directions by sign in horary

Lilly gives the following list of directions of zodiacal signs in horary astrology (CA, p.204):

FIRE  SIGNS               WATER  SIGNS        AIR SIGNS            EARTH SIGNS

Aries: East                      Cancer: North         Libra: West                Capricorn: South
Leo: E by N                      Scorpio: N by E         Aquarius: W by N       Taurus: S by E
Sagittarius: E by S          Pisces: N by W          Gemini: W by S           Virgo: S by W

Note that the first row consists of the cardinal signs of each element; the second row, of the fixed signs of each element; and the third row of the mutable signs of each element. It is not immediately obvious why this assignment of directions is made, nor, as far as I know, does Lilly explain the logic of this table. In this post I’d like to take a stab at trying to provide the rationale.

If we consider the horoscope of the “natural zodiac” for sunrise on the first full day of spring we would find the cardinal sign Aries in the East on the Ascendant, the cardinal sign Libra in the West on the Descendant, the cardinal sign Capricorn in the South on the MC, and the cardinal sign Cancer in the North of the chart on the IC.

The sun rises in the East; and Aries, as the sign of the start of new life in springtime in the northern hemisphere, has a symbolic affinity with sunrise. The sun sets in the West; and Libra, as the sign of the start of autumn and the decline of life in the northern hemisphere above the tropic of Cancer, has a symbolic affinity with sunset. Aries and Libra are the cardinal signs whose starting points in the tropic zodiac are the Equinoxes, the days on which there are an equal number of hours of night and daylight. At the Equinox the sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West; hence, the association of Aries and Libra with East and West.

Cancer and Capricorn are the cardinal signs whose starting points are the Soltices of the sun which indicate the start of summer and winter, respectively, in the northern hemisphere.

Modern Western astrology has its origins in Mesopotamia, a historical region in West Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system with a latitude of about 35 degrees north of the Equator. The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn both lie to the south of Mesopotamia, with the Tropic of Cancer situated north of the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn located south of the Equator.

The Tropic of Cancer lies at about 23.4 degrees north of the Equator but lies about 12 degrees to the south of Mesopotamia. The sun appears to stand still (sol-stice) at 0 degrees Cancer at the start of summer in the northern hemisphere (or at the start of winter in the southern hemisphere). Because the tropic of Cancer lies north of the Equator, the sign Cancer is associated with the direction North.

The Tropic of Capricorn lies at about 23.4 degrees south of the Equator and is far south of Mesopotamia. The sun appears to stand still (sol-stice) at 0 degrees Capricorn at the start of winter in the northern hemisphere (or at the start of summer in the southern hemisphere). Because the tropic of Capricorn lies south of the Equator, the sign Capricorn is associated with the direction South.

In addition, the MC lies above the horizon in the southern part of the horoscope because our astrology originated in Mesopotamia where the astrologers looked south toward the Equator when they studied the sky.  The sun rose to its peak in the sky at noon due south of the stargazer’s observatories.  If our astrology has originated south of the Equator, astrologers would have been looking to the north and the MC would have been north of the horizon rather than south of the horizon as is the convention in our charts.

In summary, in the northern hemisphere:

  • fire signs (symbolic of spring) like Aries represent an easterly direction
  • earth signs (symbolic of winter) like Capricorn represent a southerly direction
  • air signs (symbolic of autumn) like Libra represent a westerly direction
  • and water signs (symbolic of summer) like Cancer represent a northerly direction.

Thus far the first row of Lilly’s table (the cardinal signs of each element) makes sense.  But how do we explain the two subsequent rows: row 2 of the fixed signs of each element, and row 3 of the mutable signs of each element? The following diagram illustrates the underlying logic, which is based on the primary motion of the sky caused by the daily rotation of the Earth. By primary motion the entire chart is rotating clockwise as time progresses.

Whenever a cardinal sign of any element is rising in the East, the mutable sign of that element lies above the horizon in the 9th Whole Sign house in the southern part of the sky and is moving toward the West by primary motion. Recall that by primary motion the sun rises in the East and moves toward the southern part of the chart where it culminates at the Midheaven and then continues westward until it sets in the West at the Descendant.

In addition, whenever a cardinal sign of any element is rising in the East, the fixed sign of that element lies below the horizon in the 5th Whole Sign house in the northern part of the sky and is moving toward the East by primary motion.

The cardinal sign of the element determines the primary direction indicated by the sign. When a sign is mutable the primary direction of the cardinal sign of the triplicity is modified by being either to the south or to the west of the primary direction, whichever makes sense. When a sign is fixed the primary direction of the cardinal sign of the triplicity is modified by being either to the north or to the east of the primary direction, whichever makes sense.

Let’s take an example. Suppose you wanted to know which direction is indicated by Aquarius. Because Aquarius is an air sign, the primary direction is west. Because Aquarius if fixed, when Libra rises, Aquarius lies below the horizon (in the north) and is headed east by primary motion. Thus, the direction of Aquarius must be West (air triplicity) by North or by East.  West by East makes no sense because you can’t be both east and west of the meridian at the same time, so the only possibility is West by North.

You can derive the rest of the table by following the same logic (at least in the northern hemisphere).

Once while visiting a friend in Mexico I noticed the position of the sun at midday.  My friend, a Mexican astrologer, pointed out that in the USA we would assume that the midday sun was due south, but in Mexico City at midday during the summer the noontime sun (and thus the MC of a horoscopic chart) was due north.  This situation occurred because Mexico City lies between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, but the USA lies above the Tropic of Cancer.

Trying to figure out Lilly’s table from the point of view of the southern hemisphere (or from locations below the Tropic of Cancer) boggles my mind, and so I leave it to more knowledgeable readers to provide a solution. For those who, like me, are geographically challenged, this video may be of help:



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A milestone of sorts

tarot p and s 150000


The “horary” method of Evangeline Adams


When I was first learning astrology back in the 1950s, the only books available in my local library were those of Evangeline Adams.  I was impressed by the fact that she had predicted that the USA would enter into a war in 1942, several years before the USA got involved in World War II.  Adams died in 1932, ten years before the event.  Another interesting section of Adams’ text had to do with her own version of horary astrology, which is based on the interactions of the astrological houses of the moment with the natal planets.

As I understood her method, when a pressing personal question came up during a consultation Adams calculated the Ascendant and house cusps for the moment the querent asked the horary question and then placed the client’s natal planets in the horary wheel (rather than the current transits for the moment of the question).  If the client did not know the time of birth, she used the mean (midday) planetary placements for the day of birth.  Adams then interpreted the natal planets and aspects according to the houses they occupied in the horary chart for the moment of the question.  Adam’s horary technique takes very seriously the maxim that nothing can happen in the life of the native that is not promised in the birth chart.

Let’s apply Adam’s “new horary” method to a well-known chart of William Lilly.  In 1634 Lilly wanted to buy the houses of Mr. B and asked a horary question about whether he would be able to procure the necessary money in time to effect the purchase.  Here is Lilly’s natal chart with the 1634 horary chart alongside (see Christian Astrology, p. 219).

Lilly and Mr B

Lilly interpreted the 1634 chart to mean that he would be able to purchase the houses but at a considerable cost.  He noted that the friendly seller’s daughter was very helpful to him in bringing the matter to a conclusion.

Next is the “new horary” chart which Evangeline Adams would have constructed from Lilly’s natal chart.  Adams would use the Ascendant of the horary question (13 Libra 45) and rotate Lilly’s natal chart so that the birth planets kept their natal positions but the houses of the “horary” chart changed to match those of the horary question.  This is the chart Adams would have interpreted, had Lilly consulted with her about this matter.

Adams horary Mr B

To repeat, these are Lilly’s natal placements inserted into the chart cast for the moment of the question (without the current transits).

What might Adams have said to Lilly?

  • She would likley have started with the Libra Ascendant, ruled by Venus in Taurus.  Jupiter conjunct the Ascendant is quite favorable and probably means that Lilly will be successful in buying the houses.  It is notable that Jupiter is the Asc-ruler of Lilly’s natal chart.  Thus, the extremely close conjunction of Jupiter with the horary Ascendant could be a message from the universe to consider both Jupiter and Venus as signifiers of Lilly in this horary example.
  • The Asc-ruler Venus (Lilly, the querent) occupies the 8th house of the seller’s money and is about to conjoin the Sun, exalted ruler of the Aries 7th house seller, suggesting that Lilly is about to strike a deal and exchange money with the seller.
  • The Sun rules the 11th house of Lilly’s friend and the seller’s children (11th is 5th from the 7th).   The seller’s daughter was Lilly’s friend, and she helped him to finalize the deal with her father.
  • The 11th house also signifies Lilly’s hopes and wishes.  He badly wanted to buy the property of Mr. B.  In this horary, Asc-ruler Venus applies to conjoin the Sun (Lilly’s hopes), implying the Lilly’s wishes will be fulfilled.
  • The 7th ruler Mars (the seller) lies in the 11th (the seller’s daughter) and applies to square the Part of Fortune (Lilly’s material well-being), perhaps suggesting that a favorable outcome will be more costly than Lilly would like.
  • The Moon conjunct the 4th cusp shows Lilly’s emotional involvement in buying the houses, which he strongly desired.
  • With Capricorn on the 4th cusp, the houses are ruled by Saturn.  The Moon (a co-ruler of Lilly and of the question) is separating from a square to Jupiter (Lilly’s natal Asc-ruler) on the horary Ascendant and mutually applying next to a sextile to Saturn Rx in Scorpio in the 2nd of Lilly’s money, thus uniting Lilly with the houses but at considerable expense.  After sextiling Saturn, the Moon will immediately trine the Venus/Sun conjunction in the 8th, again suggesting that Lilly will be able to buy the houses.

It looks like Adams would have come to  much the same conclusion as Lilly regarding this horary question.


adams ad

The 1914 rates charged by Evangeline Adams for her services.



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Will the baby be a boy or a girl?

Lilly copied rules from the ancient texts on horary about how to determine the sex of an unborn child. On page 240 of Christian Astrology he gives an example.  Here is a close modern approximation to his hoary chart for guessing whether the child will be a boy or a girl:

Lilly sex of child

  • Note that masculine planets are Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Feminine planets are Moon and Venus.
  • Mercury takes on the nature of planets it connects with by aspect.  Also if Mercury rises before the sun, it is more masculine; but if after the sun, it is more feminine.
  • Odd numbered houses (1, 3, 5, etc.) are masculine.
  • Even numbered houses (2, 4, 6, etc.) are feminine.
  • Jupiter is a universal signifier of fertility, growth, expansion and abundance.

Lilly analyzes this chart as follows:

Feminine Indicators:

  1. Ascendant sign: Virgo, feminine.
  2. 5th house sign: Capricorn, feminine.
  3. Moon sign: Capricorn, feminine.
  4. Asc-ruler (the mother) conjoins what type of planet (the baby growing insider her)?: Mercury conjoins Venus, a feminine planet tipping Mercury toward a feminine nature.

Masculine Indicators:

  1. Sign of Asc-ruler: Mercury in Aries, masculine.
  2. 5th lord, nature of the planet: Saturn is masculine.
  3. Sign of 5th lord: Saturn in Aries, masculine.
  4. HOUSE of the Moon:  (in Lilly’s chart the moon is just inside the 5th house by the 5-degree rule), masculine
  5. HOUSE of the 5th ruler: Saturn in 9th (by 5-degree rule), masculine.
  6. Jupiter (planet of fertility and expansion),  gender of the Lord of Jupiter’s HOUSE: Mercury, masculine (see # 8 below).
  7. Jupiter, gender of the sign Jupiter occupies: Gemini, masculine.
  8. Asc-ruler’s next applying aspect: Mercury square Mars, a masculine planet in a masculine house (but a feminine sign), and Mercury rises before the Sun, giving it a more masculine nature.  (The logic seems to be that the querent’s next contact with with a masculine planet, so she will probably have a masculine baby.


  • 4 feminine
  • 8 masculine

Because the predominance of indicators is masculine, Lilly expects a boy (which turned out to be the case.

Lilly also estimated the time of the birth to be about 14 weeks, based on his ephemeris.  By modern calculations, the baby (Saturn, ruler of the 5th) lies at 24 Aries 24.  The mother (Asc-ruler Mercury) lies at 11 Aries 31).  The two planets are 12 deg. 53 min apart.  If each degree is a week, then the birth should take place in about 13 weeks.

Judging from the Moon (mother’s co-ruler), Moon at 8 Cap 52 wills square Saturn in 15 deg. 32 min, which suggests about 15.5 weeks.  The average given by the aspects of the moon and of Mercury to Saturn is a figure of 14 deg. 12 min, or about 14 weeks.

In fact, the baby was born 13.6 weeks after the question was asked.  (Lilly says the baby was born July 11th OS, but he gives planetary placements for July 10th OS for the birth of the baby.  Either he looked at the wrong day in the ephemeris, or he mistakenly wrote July 11th when he meant to write July 10th.)  In any case, on the day the baby was born, Mars had just crossed the Ascendant of the horary chart, the transiting Sun had just squared the horary Sun, transiting Mercury (the horary querent) was in almost exact opposition to the horary Moon, and transiting Jupiter (expansion, good fortune) was about to sextile horary 5th house ruler Saturn (the baby) later in the day on July 11th OS.

This is Lilly’s original text from page 241 of Christian Astrology (1647):

Lilly 241


Next is a similar chart from this year.  The querent wanted to know if she would give birth to a boy or a girl.

Boy or girl

Let’s follow Lilly’s example, step by step:

Lilly’s first set of Indicators:

  1. Ascendant: Taurus, feminine.
  2. 5th house sign: Libra, masculine.
  3. Moon Sign: Aries, masculine.
  4. Asc-ruler conjoins (within orb) what type of planet?  Venus conjoins Mercury (neutral) and with the Sun, a masculine planet. Mercury is somewhat feminine because it rises after the Sun, but is is very masculine in this chart because of its close proximity to the Sun. Also, the conjunction with Mercury is just outside of the traditional orb of 7 degrees.

Lilly’s second set of Indicators:

  1. Sign of Asc-ruler: Venus in Pisces, feminine.
  2. 5th lord, nature of planet: Venus is feminine.
  3. Sign of 5th lord: Venus in Pisces, feminine.
  4. HOUSE of the Moon: Moon is in the 11th house, masculine.
  5. HOUSE of the 5th ruler: Venus in 10th house, feminine.
  6. Jupiter (planet of fertility),  gender of the Lord of Jupiter’s HOUSE:  Jupiter lies in the 7th house (5-degree rule) with a Scorpio cusp: Mars, masculine.
  7. Jupiter, gender of the sign Jupiter occupies: Jupiter in the sign Scorpio, a feminine sign.
  8. Asc-ruler’s next applying aspect: Venus square Mars, a masculine planet.  The logic is that the querent’s next contact in this chart is with a very masculine planet (Mars) in a masculine house (7) and a masculine sign (Sagittarius).


  • 6 masculine
  • 6 feminine

If I understood the method correctly, Lilly would say there is a 50/50 chance this woman may have a baby of either sex.  In fact, she had a boy.  Perhaps a male child is shown by Venus (the querent) conjunct the Sun (masculine), Venus closely applying to Mars (masculine), and the Moon’s next aspect being a sextile to the Sun (masculine). Studying the dynamics of the chart may provide the answer when a simply M/F list results in a tie.

As I understand it, Lilly’s method consists of the following. Determine the number of masculine and feminine indicators from the following list.  The predominant one is the sex of the baby.

  1. Sign ascending: M or F?
  2. Sign on the 5th house cusp: M or F?
  3. Moon sign: M or F?
  4. Planets conjunct Asc-ruler (if no conjunction, use the sex of the Asc-ruler)?  M or F
  5. Sign where Asc-ruler resides: M or F?
  6. Sex of the planet ruling the 5th: M or F?
  7. Sign that 5th ruler occupies: M or F?
  8. Sex of House that Moon occupies (use 5-degree rule): M or F?
  9. Sex of House which 5th ruler occupies (use 5-degree rule): M or F?
  10. Sex of the planet that disposes Jupiter (fertility): M or F?
  11. Sex of the sign where Jupiter (fertility) resides: M or F?
  12. Sex of planet to which Asc-ruler next applies: M or F?



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A young woman goes missing

This past weekend I attended a horary workshop in which we discussed the case of 25-year-old Alicia Ross who went missing some time after midnight on Tuesday 16 August 2005 in Toronto, Canada.  In the workshop we focused on a question asked by a friend of the family.  Here I would like to look at the chart for the time she was last seen alive. The Toronto City News describes the incident as follows:

Alicia Ross, a 25-year-old Markham woman, returns home from a date with her boyfriend, Sean Hine. He claims to have dropped her off and watched as she went inside her Bronte Road home. Her mother comes to her basement bedroom to borrow a purse and briefly chats with her daughter. Then, for the first time in months, Sharon Fortis goes to bed early. It is a move she will come to forever regret. ‘I never go to bed early,’ she recalls later. ‘It was just that one night.’  Something happens between that moment just after midnight and the time the sun comes up. Alicia is gone, somehow lured out of the house again. She disappears without her keys, her purse or even her shoes. Her car remains in the driveway.

Because of the strange circumstances of her disappearance, the police suspected foul play.

Lilly says to cast the event chart for the moment the missing person is last seen alive and to use the 1st House to signify the missing person. Because an exact time was not specified in the news report, I selected 00:01 AM on Wednesday 17 August 2005 as the “moment just after midnight” to cast the chart and, following Lilly, used Regiomontanus Houses and the mean lunar node.

It is a Mars day during a Venus hour.

Taurus rises, making Venus the primary significator of the missing person.  The Moon is a general signifier of fugitives and missing persons. Venus is dignified in Libra, but the Moon is in detriment in Capricorn.

Within the past hour transiting Venus has left Virgo and entered Libra, suggesting some type of change of state or circumstances for the person signified by the 1st House. In addition, the Moon at 17 Capricorn lies “at the bendings,” that is, in square to the Moon’s nodes. The Moon lies at the southernmost point of its orbit and has just turned northward, again indicating a change of state and often some type of crisis point.  More ominous is the conjunction of the South Lunar Node with Jupiter, ruler of the 8th house of death.

The most angular planet in this disappearance chart is Saturn in its detriment in Leo almost exactly on the IC or 4th House cusp. The 4th House symbolizes how matters will end, and in this case a debilitated Saturn on the IC suggests that the situation will end badly.

In missing persons cases I always look at Emerson’s Death Point: Mars + Saturn – MC. In this chart Emerson’s Point of Death lies at 10 Scorpio 35, almost exactly opposite the 12th house Mars.  This configuration is disturbing because Mars signifies anger and aggression, and in this chart Mars rules the 7th house of perpetrators of crimes and it occupies the 12th house of secret enemies.  Mars here is peregrine (without dignity) and in his detriment (Taurus) and thus likely to act badly.  As a person, Mars generally signifies a man between the ages of young adult and middle age.   If a man were involved in Alicia’s disappearance, he would likely have problems with outbursts of anger and aggression (Mars in Taurus in the 12th).

The last aspect made by Venus (the missing woman) was a square to Pluto Rx in Sagittarius in the 7th house of open enemies. This suggests some type of violent confrontation with the 7th house person, signified by the cusp-ruler Mars.

The Moon’s last aspect was a square to Jupiter, ruler of the 8th house of death.  The Moon here could be considered void of course because it makes not further aspects within an orb of 12 degrees to visible planets while in Capricorn.  However, the Moon’s next aspect in Capricorn will be to the minor planet Chiron, which often symbolizes being wounded.

Mercury in this chart is transferring the light from Saturn in Leo on the IC to Mars in Taurus in the 12th, thus re-activating the prior Mars square Saturn aspect.  This transfer of light is significant because Saturn conjoins the 4th cusp of endings and disposes the Moon in Capricorn by domicile and Venus in Libra by exaltation, the Moon and Venus being the two significators of the missing person.

The outcome was that on September 20, 2005, 31-year-old Daniel Sylvester, the neighbor of Alicia Ross, confessed to having killed her. Again according to the Toronto City News, Sylvester explained why he killed her:

The two met in a laneway straddling their homes and an argument broke out. When she called him “a loser” he lost his temper and attached her, hitting her head against the pavement. He would later recall how he disposed of her remains, even going back to move them to another location.”




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A Divinity Student Goes Missing

There was a notice on Facebook that a 20-year-old divinity student went missing in Knoxville, TN. He was last seen on Saturday, 3 February 2018, at 2 pm leaving his part-time job.

According to the Trussville Tribune:  “Smith was last seen leaving work at Weedman Lawn Care at 2 p.m. on Saturday and never returned to his dorm.  His car was found running at a construction site with his cell phone inside. Knoxville police are searching the area with the K9 unit.  His shoe, a beanie and his gold chain were found, according to family members. A cinder blocked had been placed on the gas pedal. Smith attends Crown College of the Bible in Knoxville and is a graduate of Mountain View Baptist School in Grayson Valley.”

His family grew concerned the next day when they learned that he had not returned to his college dorm on Saturday night. There was an Instagram photo of a lake at Admiral Farragut Park on his cell phone about the time he went missing on Saturday.

On Monday, 5 Feb 2018, at about 3 pm a body was found. The Trussville Tribune reported:  “According to authorities in Tennessee, a body has been found during the search for Blake Smith, a Knoxville college student and Trussville native. Blount County Sheriff James Berrong announced that a body was found in George’s Creek. That is a tributary that drains into Fort Loudoun Lake, about a quarter of a mile from the construction site where Smith’s vehicle was found.”

On Tuesday, 6 Feb 2018, the Knox News reported: “The body found in a creek in Louisville, Tennessee, was confirmed Tuesday to be Blake Smith, a Crown College student who went missing over the weekend.  An autopsy found Smith’s preliminary cause of death was ‘hypothermia/drowning, and his death appears to be accidental’, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.”  It is possible that the student had a car accident, hit his head, and in a state of confusion wandered into the lake and drowned.

Here is the chart for when he was last seen.

Lilly says that missing people are shown by the 1st house, here ruled by Mercury in Aquarius entering the 9th. The missing person is a divinity student, so the 9th house placement of his significator is descriptive.

Mercury is under the sunbeams and approaching combustion with the Sun, which is debilitated in Aquarius. In addition, the Sun is conjunct the Moon’s South Node. This configuration does not support a favorable outcome.  In Lilly’s system, the Sun is con-significator of the 4th house of conditions at the end of life and the grave. It is also striking that the Sun lies almost exactly on the midpoint of Mars/Uranus (sudden violent accident).

Furthermore, Pluto (Lord of the Underworld) on the cusp of the 8th of death is a troublesome placement.

Air signs suggest a westerly direction. Aquarius suggests outdoors – hilly, uneven places; quarries & mines; indoors – high places, the attic, roof, and upper part of all rooms.
Mercury is USB and will soon be combust, so he may be hard to find, especially with Mercury in the cadent 9th house. In addition, the 9th house placement could mean that he moved or was moved at a distance from where he went missing.

The Moon can also represent missing persons. Here the Moon lies in Virgo in the 5th. Earth signs suggest a southerly direction. Virgo can indicate indoors – studies, closets, storage areas, drawers, barns, dairy houses; and outdoors – places where corn or crops are processed & stored.

Moon applying to square Saturn is not a favorable aspect.  Saturn, ruler of the 8th of death, receives the Moon only in his term or bound, which is a weak reception. The Moon receives Saturn in the sign of the Moon’s detriment.  With only reception by term, the applying square of the Moon (missing person) to Saturn (Lord of death) is an ominous indication. In addition, in Hellenistic astrology Saturn is associated with very cold conditions and with death by drowning.  In this chart Saturn lies exactly at the midpoint of Mars/Mercury.

The family says there was an Instagram photo of a lake at Admiral Farragut Park on his cell phone about the time he went missing. Perhaps they should look in a rocky area in the southwest region of the park.  Aquarius is a symbol of the Water Bearer, so a location near where water meets land is a distinct possibility. Manilius regarded the signs of Saturn, Capricorn and Aquarius, to be “amphibious” signs “in which watery and earthy elements are mixed in even compact.”

This chart is strongly reminiscent of a horary discussed by Simmonite in the mid-1800s.  A woman went missing and the querent wanted to know whether his missing mother would be found dead or alive.  The horary was cast in Sheffield, UK, on 11 February 1850 at 6:56 PM.  The woman was found drowned in a lake.  Apparently she was “insane” and had either accidentally (in a state of confusion) or intentionally drowned.  Here is the chart.

It is a Moon day during a Mercury hour.

In this horary chart, the mother’s ruler is Mercury because Gemini is on the 10th cusp, which Lilly assigned to mothers.

Mercury is under the sunbeams, as it was in the missing student chart.  Mercury applies to combustion with the Sun in Aquarius in the mother’s turned 9th (the radical 6th). As in the previous chart, the Sun is conjunct the Moon’s South Node. The Moon (a signifier of missing persons) is combust the Sun.  Interestingly, Neptune lies in Pisces in both charts.

It is quite striking that two similar charts, cast 168 years apart, regarding the same type of question result in almost identical outcomes.

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Lilly and the Beheading of King Charles I

A January 30th post on Facebook read “Happy Regicide Day,” making reference to the beheading of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland for treason on January 30 (OS), 1649. Since then 10 days have been added to the calendar, so by today’s convention the Regicide Day would be February 9th.

Wade Caves noted that William Lilly had asked a horary question about whether the king would be beheaded, which he answered in the affirmative.  Here is Lilly’s horary chart, which was cast 11 days prior to the king’s execution.

charles beheaded

Lilly writes the date as 19 Jan 1648 (OS).  The convention was to start the new year around the spring equinox, so by today’s calendar the date would be 19 Jan (OS) 1649 or 29 Jan (NS) 1649.  Here is Lilly’s chart in modern format:

Lilly charles beheaded

It is a Venus day during a Moon hour. Venus rules the radical 5th, which is the 8th of death of the 10th house king. The Moon rules the Ascendant of the horary chart.

Lilly takes the Pisces 10th house to represent King Charles I, whose significator is Jupiter. The king’s adversaries are shown by the opposite Virgo 4th house, ruled by Mercury. The judges in the king’s trial are shown by the Capricorn 7th house (10th from the 10th of the king) and are signified by Saturn.

Jupiter (King Charles) is Rx and peregrine in the 4th house of the king’s enemies, so he is powerless and at the mercy of his opponents.

Lilly notes that the moon is conjunct Regulus (at 24 Leo 57), a royal fixed star which can indicate prominence but also downfall.  Robson says of Regulus: “According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, but most later authors liken it to Mars only, while Alvidas states that it is similar to the Sun in good aspect to Uranus. It gives violence, destructiveness, military honor of short duration, with ultimate failure, imprisonment, violent death, success, high and lofty ideals and strength of spirit, and makes its natives magnanimous, grandly liberal, generous, ambitious, fond of power, desirous of command, high-spirited and independent.” [Robson, p.195.]

The Moon is also within orb or the king’s natal Ascendant (at 26 Leo 30 in Lilly’s birth chart for the king).  In his notes on the horary figure, Lilly writes that the Moon is void of course, after which it will eventually square Saturn and then oppose Venus and conjoin Mars. Being the ruler of the house opposite that of the judges, the Moon can signify their verdict in the trial.

These aspects of the Moon are not good news for the king because the Moon is close to his natal Ascendant and will square Saturn (the judges in his trial and ruler of the radical 8th of death), then oppose Venus (ruler of the turned 8th of death of the 10th house king) and conjoin Mars (ruler of cutting tools and executioners).  In addition, Mars rules Scorpio, which is intercepted in the radical 5th which is the 8th of death of the 10th house king.

Thus, Lilly judges of the king: “I certainly concluded, he would die and be put to death.”

Here is Lilly’s chart for the nativity of Charles I:

Charles I natal

Additional considerations:

The Lot of Nemesis

In Hellenistic astrology the Lot of Nemesis is associated with the greater malefic Saturn and is an indication of a hard fall, imprisonment, disgrace, exile, destruction, grief, and so on.  Valens says of this Lot: “Nemesis becomes a contributing cause of subterranean fates and of everything which is ice-cold, of demonstration, impotence, exile, destruction, grief, and quality of death.” (quoted from

In Lilly’s horary chart, the Lot of Nemeis falls at 12 Libra 40, in exact conjunction with Venus (at 12 Libra 42). Here Venus rules the turned 8th of death of the 10th house king.

Emerson’s Death Point:

In Lilly’s horary, Emerson’s Point of Death calculates to 5 Sag 47.  The closest aspects are the oppositions from Saturn and Pluto. Emerson’s Lot of Death does fall in the radical 5th, which is the turned 8th of death of the king, but there are no very close aspects.

Finally, here is the natal chart of Charles I (data from Peter Stockinger) with Lilly’s horary about his beheading superimposed:

charles and horary dual

It is striking that horary Pluto exactly opposes the king’s natal Saturn, and horary Saturn opposes the king’s natal Mercury.  In addition, with Pisces on the 8th cusp of death in the king’s natal chart, Jupiter rules his death.  In the horary Pisces has moved to the MC, which makes Jupiter the ruler of the king himself.

Comparing the horary chart to the beheading chart:

According to wikipedia: “At about 2:00 p.m., Charles put his head on the block after saying a prayer and signalled the executioner when he was ready by stretching out his hands; he was then beheaded with one clean stroke.”  We get the following beheading chart (Jan 30 OS, 1849), which is superimposed on Lilly’s horary question chart (Jan 19 OS, 1849), “If King Charles should be beheaded?”  [Charles was executed at Banqueting House at Whitehall, so I used the coordinates of Whitehall (51N30, 00E07).

beheaded cht

Notice how the angles for the chart of the execution on January 30th match those of Lilly’s horary question asked eleven days earlier.  In addition, Uranus, which is receiving a square from Mars, is now in the degree of the South Lunar Node in the radical 5th, which is the turned 8th of death of the king.  Mars square and 8th hosue Uranus is an apt symbol for a sudden violent death.

Finally, the fixed star Algol, often associated with beheading, lies at 21 Taurus 17 in January of 1649.  At the time of the king’s execution the transiting Sun was exactly square Algol from the radical 8th house of death of Lilly’s horary chart. Robson writes that Algol is “of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter. It causes misfortune, violence, decapitation, hanging, electrocution and mob violence, and gives a dogged and violent nature that causes death to the native or others. It is the most evil star in the heavens.” [Robson, p.124.]




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