Horary Astrology: Do Invalid Questions Exist?

May 1, 2012 by  

Note: A reader asked me recently whether a horary question about someone I do not personally know (i.e. Madeleine McCann) is valid.  I am not sure where the concept of some questions being invalid came from, as it does not appear in traditional literature; I assume it arose at some point in the 20th century.  Below are some thoughts on this issue. 

Let’s unpack what you mean by “valid.”  Does an invalid question mean that the answer will sometimes or always be incorrect if people ask a certain type of question?  I’ll assume that is what you meant.
Now, let’s take the logic a little further; let’s assume that hundreds of horary astrologers not connected to the McCann situation have asked “Is Madeleine still alive?”  For the sake of argument, let’s posit she is still alive.  Do we really think that all those charts came up with “no” as an answer?   That seems unlikely, so we can assume that questions asked by querents unconnected with the matter will at least sometimes lead to correct answers.  But when?  Does that mean astrology worked at some of those times but not at other times?  That does not seem right.
Does astrology stop working when we ask certain types of questions?  If “as above so below” is true – and Hermes Trismegistus assures us that “true without falsehood, certain, most certain” – then the stars should always reflect reality here on earth without exception.   I have gotten accurate results to questions about situations in the news that interest me, so these questions are clearly valid at least some of the time.
This raises a second question: Even if there really are valid/invalid questions, how far removed from a situation do we have to be for a question to be valid, and who decides where the line is drawn?   Immediate family to the McCanns?  Neighbors who sometimes saw Madeleine?  Friends?  How about acquaintances of the family?  Family of friends of the McCanns?  Any line that we draw between valid and invalid questions must be arbitrary, and not supported by traditional literature to my knowledge.
Why is it insufficient that this is a topic that affects me emotionally?  Presumably, Madeleine’s parents, would be mainly motivated to ask out of their emotional involvement with their daughter.  Is their question invalid?  Or are we letting post-Enlightenment materialism creep in by assuming that there must be a physical connection between us to have a valid question?  It’s well proven scientifically that emotions affect our bodies, so whether little Madeleine lives or dies does, in fact, impact me more immediately than we think.  The only requirement is that we care at least a tiny bit about what happened to this little girl.
I have recently become very conscious of the fact – and this is not about you at all – is that in all areas of life, there are people who set themselves up as authorities who are eager to tell us what is and is not possible and we are very eager to take their word for it.  The Buddha said: “One is one’s own refuge, who else could be the refuge?”  Also, “be a light unto yourselves.”  We cannot take statements of possibility for granted, but rather, let us do the actual hard work to test assumptions.  What is our reward?  The truth, the only thing worth striving for.


4 Responses to “Horary Astrology: Do Invalid Questions Exist?”

  1. Tienka on May 2nd, 2012 4:55 am

    Hi Nina,
    Yes, let’s unpack what I mean by invalid: in this case, there is the chart of the last seen moment. This chart should show us, through the symbolism, life or death of a missing person. If, 5 years later, the case is back in the news again, than I do wonder if you can approach a question as “is she alive or death?” again as a last seen moment in the way you did. As I wrote in my first reaction, perhaps the delineation should have been more like looking for prove that this news is reliable or, using the symbolism of the chart, as your question ans that gives us the5th house for the girl. But English is not my native language, so perhaps I was not as clear as I should have been.
    Are you or anybody else in the position to ask such a question? Maybe you are, but I do not think that invalid questions are an invention of the 20th century: As Bonatti states in his Considerations number 3, we should be careful and think it over so that our heart and head is really full of it, before we ask a question. To me, horary is a divine art and, unless your heart and head is full of that specific question, and the urge to know an answer is completely taking over your life, so to speak, than maybe these kind of questions about a stranger, are valid. See p. 265 Book of Astronomy, translation Ben Dykes, ” …that about which he is going to ask, and about which he proposed to ask, and the retention for which he retains in his heart for a day and a night (or more)”

    To be clear, I am not saying that your question wasn’t sincere, Nina, nor that I am right: I only wanted to express my thoughts about this topic and, speaking of truth: isn’t that always in the eye of the beholder:):):)?

  2. Nina Gryphon on May 10th, 2012 5:43 am

    Dear Tienka,

    Perhaps you have not seen my article using the “last seen” chart, on this blog? That horoscope, too, indicates that MM is alive.
    I suppose you could ask “is the news true,” but that is not my question – I have found that asking about the thing I really care about without being circuitous works best. As far using the 5th house, that is not right, as she is not my child.

    I agree with your Bonatti citation, but again, you are implying that I did not think it over sufficiently for your standards. William Lilly has a number of horaries about various political events which may or may not have affected him directly, including “What manner of death with the Bishop of Canterbury die?” which is clearly about a person not personally known to Lilly at all. We have no records on how long it occupied Lilly’s mind, but he did get a correct answer from the chart.

    Is the truth in the eye of the beholder? I hope not – sometimes the answer to a question is “it depends,” but I do believe that objective reality exists, and I think either we can get useful answers from these types of charts or not. History shows that we can.

    Kind regards,

  3. Tienka on May 10th, 2012 3:17 pm

    Hi Nina,’
    Thank you for your reply. The 5th house, in my opinion, does not signify your child but children in general as well: according to Lilly, the radical chart always plays a significant role. So what is the symbolic meaning of the lord of the 8th in the 5th in this horary in your opinion? I am also wondering about the partile square between Pluto and Mercury: if lord of the ascendant signifies MM, than how would you delineate this aspect?

  4. Nina Gryphon on May 13th, 2012 6:16 am

    Dear Tienka,

    Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but I do not see anything in the traditional literature that indicates missing persons should be identified by houses other than the 1st, unless they are related to the querent. Thus, the premise of your question, is to my mind, incorrect. If you know of another source, please refer me to it – I do not claim to know everything. As you may have noticed from reading this blog, I don’t use the outer planets – only rarely, in close conjunctions (much like fixed stars). Modern astrology would see Mercury square Pluto as an indicator of death, which is what you are presumably driving toward. These are not methods that are supported by traditional literature, so I demur from opining on them.

    Kind regards,

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