Tuesday, January 25, 2011
But it's MY Question! Asked or Received Horary Charts
I wanted to do some additional followup regarding an earlier post about the proper location to be used for horary charts. Do we use the asked chart, the time, date and place of the querent when they first asked the question, or do we use the received chart, the time, date and place the astrologer receives and understands the question?
"...for let us suppose a Letter is sent or delivered to me, wherein I am desired to resolve some doubts; perhaps I receive the Letter into my hands at three o'clock in any day of the week, but in regard of some occassions, do not read it until four or five hours after; that very hour and minute of hour when I break it open, and perceive the intention of the Querent, is the time to which I ought to erect my Figure, and from thence to draw mine Astrological Judgment: This way and manner have I practiced, and found success answerable..."
William Lilly, Christian Astrology, page 166.
Lilly's practice, therefore, was to use the received chart. Some querents find this confusing. After all, "It is MY question, why don't you use MY location, time and date?" Some of the force behind this view comes from the Modern World View in particular the idea that "The basic unit of the Modern World View is taken to be the individual." The view that an idea might have a person, rather than a person having an idea seems odd to the modern.
But look at the Wrong Zodiac Meme an excellent example of an idea or concept going viral, seemingly a metaphoric, but actually a pretty accurate description of how the same idea "infected" millions.
So is it really MY question? Traditional astrology says not quite! The medieval Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti says,
1st Consideration. on those things which move a man to pose a question (and there are three motions). The first is the motion of the soul, when someone is moved by his intention to pose a question. The second is the motion of the superior bodies, namely when someone asks what they are impressing into the quesited thing, what will come of it. The third is the motion of the free will, which can itself be an action of the one asking. Because even thought the soul is moved to ask, it does not suffice unless the superior bodies lead him to pose the question; nor does the motion of the stars suffice, unless form the motion of the free will the act of asking is reached.
Guido Bonatti, Book of Astronomy, Tr. 5, 146 Considerations, trans Dykes (Cazimi Press, 2007) at 264.
In other words the querent is part of a larger patterning, that they are not under the complete control of (fatalism) nor are they entirely able to choose any option (complete free will) rather they play a role in a complex patterned interaction and flow.
I tell querents that I prefer to use the received time because it gives a more accurate and more objective view of the situation. The asked chart often seems subjective, affected in its accuracy by the emotional state, hopes and fears of the querent. Let me give a concrete, personal example.
I had had a contractor do some work on my house. Unlike all my other contractors this one was an acquaintance/friend. They had previously done a good job, came in under the estimate and so foolishly, I didn't get an written estimate for the latest work and just relied on an oral estimate. When they gave me the first bill, before any visible work was done on the house, the bill was already high. I made my displeasure known and the contractor claimed to be "2/3s done" When they gave me the final bill, however, it turned out that they were not 2/3s done and had billed me way, way, way higher. I was angry, send them a check and told them take it or leave it, having judged that the contractor didn't have the stomach for a fight. However, they surprised me by getting a lawyer and threatening a lawsuit!
Here is the chart of my question, "How will the contractor case turn out?" asked once I got the lawyer's letter. 2:25 pm CST December 11, 2010 Iowa City, IA USA. 11 Taurus rises and it is Mars hour. As Mars is the mixed ruler of earth signs, the chart is radical or rooted which means it has internal signs of accuracy.
As Taurus rises I am signified by Venus, who is dignified by triplicity, but in detriment, conjunct the 7th house cusp.
The Moon is peregrine in the 11th house.
The contractor as legal opponent is signified by Mars, ruler of the 7th house, exalted and conjunct the North Node.
The Moon sextiles Mars, significator of the legal opponent, then Mercury, then trines Venus, my significator. Mars is currently moving to sextile Venus, my significator, but will not perfect the aspect as Venus speeds up.
Wow, am I @#$% My significator Venus, while dignified by triplicity (+3) is in detriment (-5) overall -2. Worse, I am in the sign and conjunct the cusp of the house of my opponent, a sign of defeat. Christian Astrology page 373. His significator Mars, ruler of the 7th, is the natural ruler of warfare and litigation, very strong, and he is feeling very strong about his position since Mars is exalted. Comparing the strength of my significator Venus -2 to his significator Mars, +4 I also lose. Christian Astrology page 373.
Ok, now the Moon sextiles Mars, without reception so that indicates settlement, but with some battling it out first. Christian Astrology page 372. Mars, his significator, looks like it is applying to Venus, my significator, but Venus speeds up and gets away before the aspect perfects. This could indicate an attempt at settlement, likely by him, that doesn't pan out.
Look at my 2nd house ruled by Mercury, peregrine and retrograde, ouch, losses for me. His house of wealth, the 8th is ruled by Jupiter dignified by sign and the Sun dignified by triplicity is there along with his significator exalted and conjunct the North Node. Much better in terms of money for him than me.
So, I felt that I was in a terrible position, that the case would settle but that I would have to end up paying a lot because I was so weak and he was so strong. I was particularly bothered by the fact that my personal opinion of him was that he didn't want to fight, but here he was Mars exalted in the chart and he had hired a lawyer.
Ok, now the outcome is very interesting. Seeing this chart, I immediately changed course, and switched from being aggressive to trying to settle the case. I call the contractor on the phone and suggested we meet and work things out amicably. At first he agreed then his lawyer called and aggressively refused to meet in person and insisted on me making a settlement offer. I made an initial low ball offer and amazingly enough the contractor took it! The lawyer was somewhat embarrassed that the client just folded. I ended up settling the case for not much more than the initial oral estimate and saved a huge amount of money off the original bill.
So the chart was correct as far as showing settlement, but rather than showing the actual state of the parties, it showed my emotional attitude at the time of the question! I was really surprised and unhappy to get the lawyer's letter.
Now, we cannot entirely rule out that the chart simply was inaccurate, except that I have done plenty of received charts that were quite accurate. Also I have been noticing that legal charts that I do are leaning towards being more negative in the chart than in the actual outcome. All of these possibilities need to be considered. However, ultimately, this reminds me of what sometimes happens to me with tarot or I ching readings. Occasionally when I do these readings when I am upset about a situation, instead of forecasting the situation they come back saying, "yes you are upset!"
Certainly our traditional sources often manifested skepticism about the ability of an astrologer to be dispassionate enough to read their own chart. eg Guido Bonatti, Book of Astronomy, Tr. 6, Chapter 4, trans Dykes (Cazimi Press, 2007) at 264. It does appear that for the highest degree of accuracy that it is very useful to have another astrologer not only judge the question, but also take the received