This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate what I consider one of the first rules of horary astrology:
“Each chart has its own story”.
Naturally there are rules and examples given by such notable astrologers as William Lilly. These are important and they should also be learned. But we should be more interested in how William Lilly judges a chart than in the rules he gives. What he says is secondary to “how” he uses the rules. Once rules are internalised they must be applied according to art and discretion.
Let us look at the next chart.
The question was, “What sex will my grandchild have?” Again semantics are important. You will note that in the previous chart the sex of the child is incidental, the chart shows it, but that was not the question asked. In this case we look first for the Significator of the grandchild. Here we come to a second rule:
“Let the chart lead you.”
In the first chart one glance at the 5th house was sufficient to answer the question.
The daughter was the focus of the question. So we looked to the 5th house. We saw that there was a planet in the 5th house. Which planet? The Lord of the 5th but also of the 9th (grandchild). Question answered. In the second question the child is the focus. If we let the chart lead us, then it is impossible to ignore Mercury on the MC. What is Mercury the ruler of? He is Lord of the 9th house which in this context is the grandchild (child of the child, 5th house from the 5th house). True, Virgo is a feminine sign, but Mercury is in a masculine sign and elevated on the Midheaven. We know that Mercury can be both feminine or masculine depending on position and influence from other planets. So here Mercury’s gender ambiguity is resolved. He is definitely masculine. This is sufficient testimony. But if we need more, we notice another planet on an angle. This is Jupiter, a masculine planet in a masculine sign prominently placed close to the Ascendant. Jupiter is Lord 1, but the querant doesn’t interest us, as he is not part of the question. This would be different if he had asked, “Will my grandchild love me?” The chart emphasises the angles, which are masculine and coloured by masculine planets. I might note here that this sort of question is not unlike asking whether news or information is true or a rumour. The only difference is that in the question of gender, the gender of the sign is important and in the question of true or false it is the quality of the sign (fixed is a testimony for truth, mutability for falsity). But don’t take this as a general rule; let the chart lead you. If the angles are given the spotlight, as in this chart, this means something. They might be the only testimony you need. Another chart might have feminine angles but the spotlight may be focused on strongly masculine elements that again shouldn’t be ignored.