Horary Astrology of Illness: When Recover? Part 2

January 21, 2015 by  

Horary astrology of illness: excising the stone of folly by Pieter Huys.

Excising the Stone of Folly by Pieter Huys. Only the most cutting edge treatment for your cold here at Gryphon Astrology.

The horary astrology of illness is complex and requires a fairly subtle level of interpretation. Part 1 of this post summarized essential traditional horary techniques for determining the duration of an illness. Now I will share my own horary question on illness that prompted this line of research in the first place, and apply the techniques to see what information we can extract. I am somewhat embarrassed to share such a trivial horary (though it has been a gnarly cold), but hope it will be useful to readers who want to try their hand at applying the theory while lacking a convenient disease.

The horary chart is below:

Horary: When get better from cold?

When will I recover from this cold?


Expect a change in 3.5 days, so Tuesday, January 20, though not necessarily an improvement [NG: True; the cold symptoms are waning as of 1/20, now just fatigue and chills. Delightful.]. A more favorable turn of events may occur on Thursday, January 22. The cold is likely an exacerbation of an existing chronic state of a choleric/sanguine nature, and may in fact be the return of old symptoms brought about by my naturopathic remedy.

Showing Our Horary Work

In my experience, using horary astrology for illness related questions poses a special challenge, because a really good analysis of any chart requires both horary skill and subject matter understanding. I am not a health practitioner (the public should count itself lucky), and therefore lack some of the traditional vocabulary of disease and treatment. That said, we should celebrate what we can do, and determining the course of the disease is well within our powers.

First, the sources tell us to analyze three key factors; the Ascendant and its ruler (these represent the querent), the Moon, and the sixth house and its ruler, which describe the disease.

The Ascendant is fixed, one indication of a long-lasting disease. Jupiter in Leo is in its triplicity and retrograde, and conjoins the ascending degree. Recall Lilly’s comment on pages 251-2 of Christian Astrology: the involvement of a retrograde benefic suggests a slow recovery with the possibility of a relapse. I suggest this is especially true when the benefic is in a fixed sign. My suspicion, based on previous episodes, is that this illness is a flare-up of a long-standing sanguine/choleric imbalance, as indicated by Jupiter. A retrograde benefic can also be the temporary return of old symptoms as part of a long healing process.

Venus on the seventh house cusp applies to oppose Jupiter in about 3.5 degrees, and he receives her into his triplicity and term. She rules the tenth house of remedies/treatment, suggesting a possible benefit from medicine, but with difficulty and slowness (opposition between two benefics from fixed signs). Venus brings old Jovial symptoms about through the remedy.

The Sun rules the Ascendant and is in the sixth house, at 26.5 degrees of Capricorn. A planet placed in its decan/face suggests that the situation is not great, but hardly desperate. It is written that a planet in its own face is like a man on his own threshold; not really honored in his house, but not homeless. The Sun in Capricorn is a fair picture of a cold; an ordinarily hot and dry planet finds itself in the incompatible, cold/dry sign ruled by the Sun’s enemy, Saturn. The Sun is in the last few degrees of its sign; it will shortly move into the hot and moist sign of Aquarius where the Sun is in its detriment. Lilly says that the imminent change of sign indicates that the disease will improve or alter in so many degrees as remain in the sign. Here, 3.5 degrees could be most likely days or weeks. I chose days, since a cold is typically measured in days or weeks, and the Sun is in a fast-moving cardinal sign (CA 267-8).

Let’s now apply our astrological microscope to the disease itself, indicated by the sixth house and its ruler. A cardinal sign on the sixth house cusp indicates a fast-moving disease (CA 248) that is cold and dry (earth sign). Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which typically produces lingering illnesses, though this is somewhat modified by Saturn’s oriental position, very swift motion (over 5’ a day right now), and mutable sign. So, it’s a nasty cold, but not as lingering as it could be.

The Sun applies to sextile Saturn, and is received by Saturn into his domicile. The reception will continue as the Sun moves into Aquarius, since Aquarius is also ruled by Saturn. Reception is especially helpful when a significator aspects a malefic, because it makes the malefic abate its malice. The Sun, in aspecting Saturn, will escape Saturn’s malign influence because it is being received into Saturn’s domicile like an honored guest into a mafioso’s lair. There might be a crisis in the disease when the aspect is exact, on Thursday, January 22.

The Moon is in a mutable sign, suggesting a medium duration to the illness; it won’t be over very quickly, but neither will it stick around for eternity. The Moon’s last aspect was a square to Mars, suggesting I caught the illness while traveling. In traditional thought, Mars is one of the planets of travel. Mars rules the ninth house and is placed in the seventh house of “over there.” The Moon applies to sextile Mercury and Venus, followed by a trine to Jupiter. This indicates recourse to a remedy (sextile to Venus) and benefit from it (Moon’s received trine to Jupiter). On Saturday, I took some homeopathic Phosphorus, and have had a dramatic increase in energy ever since.

One more relevant point: William Lilly has a nice section in Christian Astrology on applying the principles of horary astrology to illness. Page 280 indicates the nature of the disease when shown by the Moon in Sagittarius conjunct, square, or opposite Mars:

“I daily find by experience, the sick party his Blood is overheated by some inordinate exercise, that he burns extremely, sometimes the malignancy of the pestilent Fever is such, he is twice or thrice let Blood [NG: Did not do that yet!]; they are besides many times offended with the Hand and Foot-gout [NG: Not yet], or Itches or breaking out [NG: Not that either], and sometimes with sore Throats [NG: Yes to that], and at other times sharp Rheums offend their Eyes.”

Lilly’s analysis sums it up; I had spent much time walking outside in cold and damp Portland (Mars in a cold/wet sign) last weekend and got a cold/sore throat. Not bad for a 400-year-old, William Lilly!

Update (Jan 29, 2015):

The Sun moving into Aquarius removed some of the most acute symptoms of the cold, but I still was tired and got intermittent chills/fevers. The sign change didn’t produce the biggest change. It wasn’t until the evening of January 22, as symbolized by the Sun sextile Saturn (Sun being received by Saturn, so creating a harmonious relationship with The Great Malefic) that I first felt normal. It’s been a big improvement ever since.


6 Responses to “Horary Astrology of Illness: When Recover? Part 2”

  1. Filipe on January 22nd, 2015 12:42 pm

    Waiting for the atualization on the January 22nd’s events. Nice articles, by the way. I’m studing to become a doctor and I am very interested in health/disease Horary questions.

  2. admin on January 22nd, 2015 1:23 pm

    Thanks, Filipe. I am anxiously awaiting today’s developments as well, and will append a follow-up note to the article in a few days. Best of luck in your studies. Are you planning to incorporate horary into your medical practice?

  3. Kuba on January 23rd, 2015 8:50 am

    Hi Nina and Filipe!

    I’m med student too. There is a big problem with medical astrology, because there are two completely different approaches in interpreting horary charts. First, that is the one that you showed us, based on traditional texts is almost identical to the interpretation of decumbitures chart. A completely different approach has J. Frawley (and his student, Oscar Hofman, author of Classical Medical Astrology – Healing with the Elements). They reject the role of the 6th house as a disease. Significator of disease is a ruler of a sign where the significator of querent is (the most common).

    In your horary chart there is no diffrence, because ruler of Asc is in the Saturn’s sign, so Saturn must be a significator of disease.

    When I cast a horary charts, I have a big problem which approach is more appropriate – which planet to choose as significator of disease.

  4. Filipe on January 23rd, 2015 5:27 pm

    I’m not sure yet how I could do that, since, at least in Brazil, where I live, there are laws that limit our practice as doctors to what has been scientifically tested and proven. But, in, let’s say, private practice, I intend, yes, to apply Astrology in some cases. My overall intention is to add evidence to the theories trhough my experience as both an astrologer and a doctor. I’m affraid I will not be able to use Horary as the ultimate approch to a patient, but I am willing to try to work for the greater acceptance of it in our world. As any astrologer, I wonder what would be of us without that neptunian longing for a better future for our Art? One in which there would be no social impediments for the research and development of our so-called “occult science”…I hold on to that belief and intend to fight for it with the means available to me. I may have gotten carried away a little bit in my answer, but i think I made my point. Might be that this question was always there, hovering over my head whenever I found myself studying sixth house issues. Perhaps this is the first time that I actually take some time to answer it. Thank you.

  5. admin on January 24th, 2015 9:49 am

    Hi Filipe,

    Thanks for your thoughtful answer. I agree that working to promote astrology is probably the most we can do, given the limitations of this modern world. It’s a very Jovial thing, to have a vision and want to inspire others. Perhaps you can write a book about your clinical experiences from an astrological perspective one day.

    I have had interesting results looking at just the time/date that a patient was seen that corresponds with the ultimate outcome of the illness or treatment. I suppose based on this, you could avoid seeing patients on eclipse dates, for instance 🙂

    Nina Gryphon

  6. admin on January 24th, 2015 10:16 am

    Hi Kuba,

    Welcome to the party! 🙂 Grab a beer and settle in.

    I know John Frawley and Oscar Hofman’s approach well, as I studied with John and read Oscar’s book. Their method seems to work fine, and I know John usually looks at any planet or planets afflicting the ruler of the Ascendant, or the dispositor of the Asc ruler. I don’t disagree with that approach, though over the years I have come to believe that the sixth house does show the disease in horaries about disease. But why not look at both? It may be that in some illness horary charts the sixth house is more indicative, in others the afflicting planets are stronger.

    You hit the nail on the head: which planet is the right significator of illness can be hard to find. I wonder if this is just a reflection of the situation – diseases often have multiple factors. E.g.: there is a natal tendency to too much phlegm, exacerbated by a sudden acute event indicated by an afflicted Mars. That is a lot to untangle for us as modern people who do not have training in traditional medicine.

    My big concern with illness horary today is that there has been a long break in traditional humoral medical practice. As a result, no one has a professional medical practice that is a continuation of centuries of tradition. There are people, like Oscar, doing good work on that front, but even they are painstakingly assembling the pieces of a tradition that was broken and buried by the Enlightenment. I am not convinced we can ever reassemble it entirely, as we lack recourse to a living medical tradition. There are parts of the Arabic-speaking world where Aristotelian humoral medicine survives, in the form of Unani-tibb, but I assume astrology is not part of that consultative process due to religious restrictions.

    Take care,

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