Another Question, Another Answer

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.

5 thoughts on “Another Question, Another Answer

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Nice example… I also noticed that Mercury was received by Mars term and Jupiter’s face. With so many masculine indications the question begs, was the grandchild indeed, born a male?

    Thank you,

    Sir Arthyr

  2. Dear Thomas

    Well, that is a heck of a lot simpler than wading through all of the turned 5th and turned 5th from the 11th (the father’s baby) significations!

    Yes, I’ll buy that! :0)

    Just as additional information; Mercury was Rx and so I expected the baby to be late. In fact he came on his own by a natural birth, one day early.

    However, he didn’t want to ‘come out’ and being a big baby the Mother had to have surgical incisions and a vontouse cap placed on his head; it is a vacuum in that instead of forceps being used to drag the baby out, the baby is sucked out of the birth canal. Mercury Rx does indicate a reluctance to be born n’est ce pas?

    Thank you very much for this illustration. I shall use this method the next time I am asked a similar question.

    Best fishes

  3. Dear Caroline,

    Why yes! Mercury has just left the 9th house. Crossing over into the 10th could be, in this context, an image of being born, and being retrograde would show trying to move back into the previous condition of being in the womb. Reluctance is a good description!
    A wonderful chart.

    Best fishes, 🙂

  4. Good heavens yes! What great symbolism, especially as it appears the child is trying to get back into the 9th house (9 months of gestation etc.)

    Thanks Thomas :0)

    Best Fishy-Wishes
    CarO the Piscean

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