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Electional Astrology using Classical/Traditional Methods

Carol A. Wiggers, 1996


John Partridge, author of "Micropanastron", 1679, {1} is our main reference at this time. Partridge wrote extensively about electional astrology and included 80 aphorisms (special rules) for elections. By following these Aphorisms, he states, you can set up your electional chart. Claudius Dariots, "A Brief and most Easy Introduction to the Astrological Judgment of the Stars", 1583, also contains information about elections.{2} Electional astrology can be one of the most fascinating forms of astrology, and when used correctly it is a formidable tool. It was mainly used down through history as a means of planning battles, including when to start the battle, who should command and where the battle should be fought. Today we are all fighting our own battles in everyday living and its time to bring this form of astrology back into our lives. I have discussed this subject extensively with both Sue Ward and J.Lee Lehman, and now is the time to bring back this time honored method of astrology and teach it to our students. More research will go into this matter but there is material at hand for all of us to study and use. If you are on the Internet you will find that over the next several months we will be posting interesting articles and charts on this subject and horary at this website. You are welcome to stop by and visit us often. For those of you not familiar with electional astrology, it is the astrology of electing or choosing the best time to go ahead with a project (buying, selling, marriage, divorce, conceiving a child, dealing with a court case) the possibilities are endless. I am not saying by any means that elections should be used in a frivolous manner; it should not, just as horary should not be used for unimportant questions. The main difference between horary and electional is that horary charts tell the client an answer to a question they have posed, (telling them the present conditions, what led up to that condition and what the outcome will be) , by reading the action of the aspects and the placement of the planets in the houses involved. Electional on the other hand is taking matters into your own hands and setting up a chart that will make things turn out in the best manner for you. In fact the best way of checking your electional chart is to read it as a horary after you have completed it, to see what the actions of the chart will be. You will see this done in ancient writings as the author explains the chart and what has been done. To clarify electional astrology, there are two types of elections, Universal and Particular. "Universal" elections do not use a particular nativity while the "Particular" elections do. Universal election for example, electing a time for building structures, planting crops, trimming shrubs, collecting inheritances and moving to a new location. Particular election examples are taking a physical, cosmetic surgery, regular surgery, marriage, going on a journey or purchasing property of any kind. Electional astrology (Universal) can still be very effective without using the nativity of an individual, either because they

do not have natal information, or they choose not to give you that information. In ancient times this was often the case and electional astrology thrived. A chart was set up for the present time and location, then from that point the chart was altered. This was done by changing the time (estimating the speed of the planets and shifting of the house cusps) until the most satisfactory chart was found within the specified time frame. Recalculations done, the new chart was drawn and studied to make sure it was advantageous to the client. The first step in electional astrology is to set up the chart making sure the angles are well fortified and the significators are well placed in their dignities. The Moon should be strong and fortunate. This is the common theme in all electional charts. Of course each election will emphasize different houses and planets. For example when doing an election for moving you want the Moon in a fixed sign (giving strength and stability), increasing in light and in good aspect with fortunate fixed stars in the fourth house or Ascendant, the ruler of the 2nd house should be strong and above the earth. One of the most popular electional charts among my clients in the U.S., is "when to send off their income tax return to the IRS". There is a specific time frame, January 1 thru April 15, unless the person wishes to file for an extension. Usually by the time people have prepared their tax return or had an accountant perform this service, it is March. The time frame is narrowed considerably to about 45 days. In this chart the Moon gets the most consideration, if possible it should be in conjunction or good aspect , with reception, to the planet that represents the government organization. This could be the ruler of the 10th house or the Sun, or that planet which is in aspect with the Moon in the Ascendant, 10th or 11th. If this is not possible let it be in the 3rd, 5th or 9th, but this is not as favorable. Make sure that the Moon is not in Gemini or Pisces where it tends to be weak. Another common one is "when to buy the house". These rules are pretty well set down so the chart can be set up in an orderly manner: 1. The Ascendant, its ruler and the planet that the Moon has just separated from represent the buyer. A fixed sign should be on the Ascendant. 2. The 7th represents the seller, its ruler and the first planet the Moon applies to represent him. The ruler of the 7th should apply to, or be in reception with, the ruler of the Ascendant. If there are malefic or weak planets in the 7th this can cause deceit and malice from the 7th house matters or people (laborers on the land, renters, etc.). 3. The 4th represents the land or house to be purchased, this includes the ruler of the 4th, planets in the 4th and the Moon itself. Make sure to strengthen the 4th house, its ruler and the planets in that house. Have Taurus, Leo or Aquarius on the cusp of the 4th house, with its ruler free of combustion and oriental. Venus or Jupiter should be

powerful in the Asc and 4th, while the luminaries should be sextile or trine the Ascendant and 4th, or with the Ascendant if possible. If the 4th ruler is in a water sign make sure it is not aspected by Saturn which will compound the problem of coldness and wetness for the house or property. Venus or Jupiter or dignified planets here will give fertile land. Planets of a fire nature should not be in the 4th house, or ruling that house, unless heavily aspected by Venus or Jupiter. 4. The 10th represents the price and the condition of the property, this is represented by the ruler of the 10th and the planets in it. Benefics and dignified planets here show excellent timber and fruitful trees. 5. If possible the Moon should be in Cancer or Taurus in a good house in good aspect to the ascendant degrees and in good aspect to the rulers of the 4th and 2nd houses. Make sure that the ruler of the 10th is not weak or afflicted with bad aspects. 6. Strengthen the Part of Fortune and its dispositor, the Moon and its dispositor. You want to make sure that they are not afflicted and have no aspects to Mars or Saturn, that they are not retrograde, in detriment or fall. Aspects of any of these with Mars can cause the loss of the property. 7. The rulers of the angles should not be retrograde and no retrograde planets should be in the angles or the 9th and 11th houses. Mars and Saturn or weak planets in angles cause trouble. As you can see from the above list, this gives you a very good foundation for setting up your election chart for buying land or a house. It takes a while to work through this list, and of course you can not have everything in one chart. The object is to find as many of the conditions possible for your chart to make things advantageous to you. It is critical in this form of astrology that you understand what each house represents in the chart. Again it is much the same as for horary, but a quick review couldnt hurt. 1st house; person making the electional chart, the one who is about to begin something, a plaintiff in a lawsuit. 2nd house; money and moveable possessions. 3rd house; brothers and sisters, cousins, neighbors, journeys that are short, letters, messages and communications. 4th house; real estate, house, the father, property, mines, fixed possessions, things connected with the earth and the final result of an undertaking. 5th house; children, love affairs (Dariot used the 5th while Lilly used the 7th house), holidays, pleasure, theaters and places of amusement, investment and speculation (when seen as gambling the 5th house is used).

6th house; health problems, servants, employees, pets and small animals, food and clothing, uncles and aunts on the fathers side, tenants. 7th house; the husband or wife of the person represented by the 1st house. Defendants in lawsuits, the opponent in contests, business partners, contracts, business speculations, public and open enemies. This represents the house one will move to (buying or renting). 8th house; death, wills, inheritances, money of the husband/wife or partner; help received by opponents. 9th house; religion, science, philosophy, the Church and the law, long journeys and voyages, publications and publishing. 10th house; honor, credit, fame, authority, business and occupation; status in life, mother, royalty and nobility, employers and superiors. 11th house; friends, acquaintances, hopes, desires and wishes. 12th house; exile, prison, mental hospitals, confinement, limitation, persecution, treachery, secret enemies, large animals, and uncles and aunts on the mothers side. The above list is by no means complete and has been taken from a number of books, which include "Christian Astrology" by William Lilly {3}, "Mikropanastron" by J. Partridge, "Judgement of the Stars" by Dariot, "Treatise on Elections" by Laurentius Boincontrius {4}, "Astrological Practice of Physick" by Joseph Blagrave (1671), and "Astrology Restored" by Ramsey(1653). Calculation of electional charts is trial and error until you find a chart that will fill most of the above requirements, giving you a possible time and date. This time and date might not be possible because if after working hours, for example, you would not be able to sign an agreement on the property. You must then go back to find another possible time and date. The computer programs available today, can really speed up the matter. {5}. This article will give you an idea of what electional astrology is about. It is an extensive subject and would take several instalments to cover the subject with justice. The books that I have listed will help you delve into this subject more thoroughly. Electional astrology correspondence courses are also available to those interested in studying this fascinating form of astrology{6}. Give this form of astrology a try the next time you have to decide to do something in your life, whether it be buying a house, having surgery or starting a lawsuit. There is no reason not to take advantage of the stars and place ourselves in the best possible position. You can even be generous and put your opponent in a favorable position also, just not as favorable as yours, and then you have a very nice win-win outcome! __________________________________________________________

{1} Mikropanastron, J. Partridge,1679, This book has been retyped, charts redrawn and laser printed (not a facsimile copy) for easier studying by JustUs & Associates Publishing, 1420 NW Gilman Blvd. Suite #2154, Issaquah, WA. 98027, USA. Partridge also included 100 Aphorisms by Gadbury, Herme, Ptolemy, Bethem, plus an additional 100 Aphorisms which Partridge collected and obtained from his own experiments. "Astrology Restored "by Ramesey has also been retyped and published by JustUs & Associates. Available from JustUs & Associates, Issaquah, WA {2}Dariot, Judgment of the Stars, 1583, retyped, charts redrawn and laser printed by JustUs & Associates Publishing, also includes information about Electional astrology. More books are being translated and will soon be published on this subject. Available from JustUs & Associates, Issaquah, WA {3} Christian Astrology by Wiliam Lilly - Retyped in large print, easy to read available from JustUs & Associates, published on July 4, 1985. Available from JustUs & Associates, Issaquah, WA {4}Treatise on Elections, L. Bonincontrius, available from Project Hindsight/Latin Tract/Volume IX-A, Golden Hind Press, P.O. Box 002, Berleley Springs, WV 25411, USA. {5} Astroclock (available with ASTROWIN) by Allen Edwall, available from JustUs & Associates, 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., Suite #2154, Issaquah, WA 98027, USA, allows you to do this quickly because the program is very small, fast and changes minute by minute on the screen, or you can change it manually. There is also a DOS program Elections by the same author also available. Available from JustUs & Associates. {6} Classical Studies in Electional Correspondence Course, by J.Lee Lehman and Carol A. Wiggers available NOW. Available from JustUs & Associates

CHRIS BRENNAN ON ELECTIONAL ASTROLOGY

1. Establish the Most Symbolically Important Beginning of the Election


This is the first and sometimes most crucial step in determining any electional chart. Horoscopic astrology is founded on the principle that the future of any object, entity or venture can be determined by examining a chart cast for the moment of its birth. As a result of this underlying premise, it is crucial to figure out what the most symbolically significant moment is for the beginning of your election, and then to focus your attention on finding a suitable chart for that moment.

For example, although Barack Obama was elected to be the next president of the United States on November 4th, 2008, technically he does not fully become the president until he is sworn into office during the inauguration ceremony at noon on January 20th, 2009 in Washington, DC. This is the symbolically significant moment in this particular election, and a chart cast for the moment of his inauguration will reflect the nature and future of his presidency. Use this as an example when you are trying to figure out what the most symbolically significant moment is for any election that you are working on. While figuring out precisely what this moment is can sometimes be difficult in certain contexts, there is almost always a predominant moment of importance in the process of starting any new venture, and the chart for that moment will have important implications for its future.

2. Find Periods When the Planets Are Dignified


The next step is to examine an ephemeris and identify certain periods in the future when one more more planets are somehow dignified. What you should be looking for primarily is planets that are either in their own sign, exaltation, or are in a mutual reception with another planet by sign. These planets will be stronger, and usually better able to affect their own significations in a way that will be beneficial or constructive with respect to your election.

Start with the slower moving planets, and once you have found a period when at least one or two of them are dignified, then attempt to find a day close to that period when the Moon is also dignified. Since the Moon is the fastest of all of the planets, it usually is easier to start with the slower moving ones and then to fine tune the exact day based on her placement.

This step alone will help you to narrow down your time frame, as you will notice that it is not very often that there are one or more planets that are in their own sign, exaltation, or are in a mutual reception by domicile. You should have at least one planet that is dignified in this way in the chart, as this will help to ensure the strength of at least one area of the election, although the best elections have several dignified planets. At the very least, try to avoid periods in which several of the planets are depressed, for example by being in the sign of their fall or, to a lesser extent, detriment.

3. Avoid Periods In Which Your Dignified Planets Are Afflicted in Some Way
As a corollary with the second rule, try to avoid periods in which certain planets are afflicted or otherwise debilitated. While it may be nice to have Venus exalted in Pisces or Mercury in his own domicile in Gemini, if those planets are exactly opposite to Mars and Saturn then any benefits that they may receive by being dignified may be seriously hampered by the affliction that they receive from the malefics.

Additionally, it is also best to avoid other periods in which the planets are debilitated, such as for example when a planet is retrograde or under the beams of the Sun (within 15 degrees of conjunction). The retrogradation can retard the manifestation of the significations of the planet, while being under the beams will make them more obscure. If you simply cant avoid having certain planets that are retrograde or under the beams, then at least try to make it so that the retrograde planet is close to stationing direct, or the planet that is under the beams is close to making a heliacal rising.

4. Ensure that the Ruler of the Ascendant is Strongly Placed


Once you have gotten to the point of narrowing down a specific date it is important to start thinking about the precise time for the election, and in order to do this you really need to focus on picking an ascendant that that is ruled by a auspicious placed planet in the chart.

One of the single most important planets in any electional chart is the ruler of the ascendant. The ruler of the ascendant is the planet that will often times best characterize the nature of the election, as well as its overall success or failure. In natal astrology the ascendant itself is often characterized as pertaining to the physical body and appearance of the native, and in horary astrology the ruler of the ascendant always signifies the querent in the chart. Similarly, in electional astrology the ruler of the ascendant is the planet that is most closely associated with the election itself, as well as its general constitution and purpose. This is the planet that you should strive to find an excellent placement for in any electional chart. Set the ascendant in your electional chart so that its ruler is one of the planets that you selected earlier that is dignified and not afflicted. Whatever the strongest planet is in your electional chart, make sure that you make that planet the ruler of the ascendant.

5. Focus on Applying Aspects


An important conceptual rule in electional astrology that goes back to the earliest strata of the tradition is that applying aspects indicate the future, while separating aspects indicate the past. This was originally a large part of the reason why applying and separating aspects were noted and paid close attention to in horoscopic astrology, and it is the reason why this consideration is still noted by many modern chart calculation programs today. Conceptually it makes sense because applying aspects indicate that two planets are literally moving towards each other, while separating aspects indicate that they are literally moving away from each other, or at least they are relative to completing an exact aspect with one another. The practical implications of this consideration are that the separating aspects in any electional or inceptional chart will describe the circumstances that led up to the election, while the applying aspects will indicate subsequent developments relative to the election once it has begun. Ideally you want the important planets in your electional chart, such as the ruler of the ascendant, to be applying to exact aspects with the benefics, Jupiter and Venus. This will indicate the expansion and stabilization of your election in the future.

At the very least, try to avoid having the important planets in your electional chart applying to the malefics, as this will often lead to strife and failure with respect to your election in the future. Of course, its possible that you may very well wish to set up an election to fail at some point, in which case you would want your planets applying to the malefics, although I am outlining this list under the assumption that you are looking for tips on how to select an auspicious electional chart that will bode well for the future of a specific endeavor. If you must have some of your planets configured to the malefics in your electional chart, at least try to make it so that they are separating from exact aspects with them.

6. Carefully Consider the Applying Aspects of the Moon


This is a corollary of the previous consideration, although it bears emphasizing because of the important status of the Moon in electional astrology.

In electional astrology, as well as in horary for that matter, the Moon is only second in importance to the ruler of the ascendant in the chart. That is to say, the Moon is extremely important, so make sure that she is just as well-placed as the ruler of the ascendant, if not better. Because the Moon is the fastest moving of all of the bodies, she will alternate between applying and separating aspects more frequently than any of the other planets. Her applying aspects as especially important because of her special status in electional astrology though, so make sure that she is either applying to benefics or to neutral planets such as Mercury. Since the Moon moves so quickly she has a special orb of 13 degrees for applying and separating aspects, which is approximately her average daily motion. Try to make sure that she is applying to something positive within 13 degrees. Many electional texts urge you to avoid beginning new ventures when the Moon is void of course. In the Medieval tradition this was defined as a situation where the Moon is not applying to any planets before she makes an ingress into a new sign. In the Hellenistic tradition the definition of void of course was a bit different, with the Moon simply not applying to any planets within 30 degrees regardless of sign boundaries. The general notion seems to be that if the Moon isnt applying to any planets that there is literally nothing happening in the future of that endeavor, and thus the subject of the election comes to naught. So, generally speaking, I would recommend that you have the Moon applying to another planet in your election.

7. The Moon Indicates the First Part of the Matter, its Ruler the Second

This is an older rule for electional astrology that was prevalent in the early Hellenistic tradition, and although I havent seen it as often in the Medieval tradition, it is quite useful. The gist of the idea is that the placement and condition of the Moon will indicate the circumstances surrounding the first part of the endeavor that your election is based on, but the condition of the planet that rules the sign that the Moon is placed in will indicate the circumstances surrounding

the second part or outcome of the election. Or, in more simple terms, the placement of the Moon indicates the beginning of your endeavor, and the placement of the lord of the Moon indicates the outcome. In practical terms this means that even if the Moon is really well placed, if its lord is very poorly placed then the matter will go well in the beginning but then there will be problems later on. Conversely, if the Moon is really poorly placed but its domicile ruler is really well-placed, then there will be major problems in the beginning, but later on things will be more smooth and successful. Of course, if the Moon and its lord are both in terrible condition then the endeavor will suffer problems throughout, but if they are both auspiciously placed then the subject of the election will go well from beginning to end. The take home lesson here is to pay attention to the lord of the Moon, as well as the Moon itself. This is one of the reasons why it is good to have the Moon in her own sign, because then she is her own lord, and if she is well-placed then you dont have to worry about anything else. This is actually good advice when you are studying the condition of any planet, because even though this rule primarily relates to the Moon in electional astrology, the same rule applies to studying the condition of any planet in a chart.

8. Planets In or Ruling the House Associated With the Election Should Be Strong
Although this is not possible in every election, it is important to try to determine if there is a specific house in the chart which has a close association with the subject of the election. For example, if the person is electing a chart for the start of a jourey to a foreign country then this would be a 9th house matter. If it is a marriage election then it is a 7th house matter. And so on.

If you are able to identify a specific house that is associated with the election then try to make sure that the planet that rules that house is well-placed, as well as any planets in that house. So, for example, if we are electing a chart for a a foreign journey then we wouldnt want the ruler of the 9th to be in the sign of his depression, placed in the 12th house, retrograde, under the beams of the Sun, afflicted by the malefics, etc. Nor would we want to have an applying MarsSaturn conjunction taking place in the 9th house in the electional chart. Instead, it would be better to have the ruler of the house under consideration be angular, direct in motion, in his own sign or exaltation, free from the beams of the Sun, and applying to the benefics. Placing some benefic planets in the house under consideration wouldnt hurt either.

9. Pay Close Attention to Sect


The concept of sect is important in electional astrology because it is useful for quickly identifying which planets are going to be more problematic in a chart, and conversely which planets are going to be more helpful. Sect helps to demonstrate that the malefics are not always fully malevolent, nor are the benefics always fully benevolent. It largely depends on the sect status of a planet in a given chart.

Generally speaking, Saturn is not as malefic in a day chart, and Mars is not as malefic in a night chart. However, when Saturn is in a night chart, or Mars is in a day chart, these are the planets that you have to watch where you place in your electional chart, as they will be the source of some of the greatest difficulties and problems in the election. Also, Jupiter is the more of a benefic in a day chart, and Venus is the more of a benefic in a night chart. However, when they are contrary to this, they have their benefic significations restrained or downplayed somewhat. Always identify which of these two planets is acting as the more beneficent one, and then place that planet in a part of the chart that will help to support the the election.

For a more detailed explanation of this concept please see my previous post on the astrology of sect.

10. Put the Ruler of the Ascendant in the House Under Consideration
Under certain circumstances it is advisable to place the ruler of the ascendant in the house that is in accord with the topic of your election. This goes along with the second approach to electional astrology which I mentioned earlier in the article, since this would help to ensure that the electional chart actually reflects the subject of the election. So, for example, if I was setting up an election for a trip then I would place the ruler of the 1st in the 9th house. If I was building a home I would place it in the 4th house. If I was starting a new organization or social network of some sort then I would place it in the 11th. Sometimes this approach is more about making the chart look like what you would like to achieve as a result of your new venture. So, for example, you might place the ruler of the 1st in the 2nd if your goal was to make some money. It all depends on the context of the election.

Concluding Remarks and Further Reading


Well, thats it. If you keep these 10 tips in mind then you should have more than enough information in order to select an auspicious electional chart, or at least to avoid some of the major pitfalls. This isnt a fully comprehensive list, but it is definitely enough to get you started. For further reading on electional astrology I would recommend that you check out the 5th book of Dorotheus of Sidons work, which is the oldest extant text on electional astrology. Virtually all later Hellenistic and Medieval authors drew on Dorotheus work on elections in one way or another, so it comes highly recommended by about 2,000 years of astrologers.

Like many astrologers I try to keep an eye out for especially auspicious periods in the future to begin projects. This is what is generally known as electional astrology; the application of astrological principles to determine an auspicious moment to begin a venture or undertaking. Sometimes circumstance only allows you to make the best of the planetary alignments that you have available to you due to time constraints when you are about to begin something, but other times when the time constraints are a bit more relaxed you can find some really good periods astrologically. This period towards the end of May is one of those really good time frames that I have had my eye on for a couple of years now. There are a few very auspicious days this month for starting various types of ventures, but Saturday the 19th of May is one that stands out in particular. I had noticed this period a few years ago simply because so many of the planets are in their own signs, and when a planet is in its own sign it is usually a very positive indication for the significations that the planet is usually inclined to provide. In Hellenistic astrology the signs of the zodiac were very concretely conceptualized as the homes or dwelling places of the 7 visible planets. When a planet is in its own sign it is like a person who is living in their own home and thus is able to sleep in thier own bed, cook their own food, listen to the type of music that they like, and generally do the things that are the most conducive to their own nature and productivity. This month several of the visible planets are spending some time in thier own signs, and on Saturday we have a very nice set up for an electional chart that would be useful for several different types of ventures. Below is the electional chart for Saturday, May 19th set for approximately 3:10 pm in New York, NY.

Some general points about the chart:


This is a diurnal chart with the Sun in Taurus in the earth trigon. All three trigon lords of the sect light are angular, and pretty well dignified. The Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter are in thier own signs. With Libra rising the domicile lord of the 1st house is placed in the 10th house, in the same sign as its domicile lord, the Moon, which is applying to a conjunction with Venus within just a few degrees. Mercury is dignified in its own sign, Gemini, in the 9th house of science, travel, philosophy, astrology, etc. Mercury is applying to an opposition with Jupiter who is also dignified in his own sign and placed in the 3rd house, albeit retrograde. Mars is acting as the contrary to the sect malefic and its strength and position in the 7th house could indicate some problems from opposing parties, but as a trigon lord this may still turn out to be quite useful. Saturn in its anti-domicile in Leo, but it is acting a bit more constructively in this chart since it is diurnal, and Saturn shouldnt pose many problems.

In the above chart the Lot of Fortune is in Scorpio, but the time can be adjusted to be a bit later in the afternoon so that it falls in Sagittarius, thus making its domicile lord a dignified Jupiter. This would actually be highly recommended, although just make sure that you keep the ascendant in Libra and the Moon applying to Venus.

I think that that covers most of the main points of the election, although Im sure that there are a few more I could have missed.

The Method
When a client wants to begin something that has particular importance to them and they have some flexibility as to when to begin this new venture he or she can employ my services to find an electional chart that would be auspicious for what they are trying to start or accomplish. I will then examine the different configurations of the planets during the general time frame that I have to work within and then choose a specific date and time for the client to begin this new venture by choosing the chart that is more suitable for what they are trying to achieve. A large part of the process is simply determining an astrologically auspicious day and a time that seems to reflect the same theme as what the client wants to start or do. This involves ensuring that the relevant significators in the chart are in strong positions, and also that the future transits, progressions and time-lords indicate that the project or venture will be able to grow and develop without too many hindrances or obstacles. Although it is not a requirement, it is sometimes important to examine the birth chart of the client(s) who wants to start the venture in order to ensure that the electional chart that is chosen works well with their own natal configurations and predispositions. This is more or less important depending on what kind of election is being done. For example, it would be very important to pay attention to the natal charts of the two people involved if I am electing a chart for a marriage, but it would be less important to look at a natal chart if a corporate client is opening up a new coffee shop, or something along those lines. In all instances it is important that you be very specific about what you would like to achieve or focus on with this new venture so that the electional chart that is chosen can be directed towards that specific area. Although an electional chart cannot override the basic potential or inherent patterns in a person's natal chart, it can be used to maximize certain strengths and to take advantage of periods of time that are more auspicious for certain endeavours. 1. Familiarize yourself with astrology basics. To use electional astrology, you will need to be familiar with the rules of basic horoscope casting and astrology correspondences. Learn what the planets, houses, signs and aspects mean. Read about eclipses, lunar phases, critical degrees, the Part of Fortune and the fixed stars.
2. Step 2

Choose an event to plan and decide what its signifiactors are. Pick an event and find its correspondences in astrology. For example, if you looking for a good wedding date, look to Venus, the seventh house and Libra. You will also want to pick two planets that are in good aspect to each other to signify the bride and groom in the chart.
3. Step 3

Refer to an ephemeris to find a date that has the astrological placements you need. Get a good ephemeries online or buy a book. An ephemeries is like a calendar, only it shows you the locations of the planets in the signs, and other information. Refer to the ephemeris for the work that follows.
4. Step 4

Fortify the important planets in the electional chart. Fortifying or strengthening means you put the planets in their strong signs - the signs of exalation or dignity. For instance, the Sun is exalted in Aries and dignified in Leo; it is weak in Libra and Aquarius. Other ways to strengthen a planet is to put it in good aspect with other planets relevant to the electional event, or placing it in an angular house (first, fourth, seventh or tenth house).
5. Step 5

Choose an appropriate lunar phase. Pick a time when the Moon is waxing (approaching a Full Moon) when you want something to grow and be fruitful. Choose a time when the Moon is waning (toward a New Moon) when you want closure to something.
6. Step 6

Choose a time when the Moon is about to make favorable or harmonious aspects (trine, sextile, some conjunctions) to other planets. Find a time when the Moon makes no negative aspects at all until it changes zodiac signs. If this isn't possible, choose a time when most of its aspects are positive. The very last aspect prior to the Moon moving to another sign must be harmonious too.
7. Step 7

Avoid placing Saturn and other malefic planets in the event's house.

Do not put Saturn in the house rulinig the electional event. In general, this won't do any good. Try putting benefics like Jupiter, the Sun and Venus there instead.
8. Step 8

Refer to the rules of horary astrology and natal astrology when judging the chart's strength. Review the time-tested rules of these other branches to help judge your electional chart. Electional astrology is based in the same rules as horary astrology (divinaiton by the stars) and natal astrology (birth charts).
9. Step 9

Use the electional chart's date, time and place to initiate the electional event. Be sure to initiate the event at the right moment. The right moment is when the event is out of your hands. For example, when mailing a job application, it's when you drop the mail in the outbox. For moving into a new house, it's when you open the door and move your belongings in for the first time.
10. Step 10

Review the results of the electional chart. After the event has occurred, go back and examine the results. If you cast your electional chart and implemented it correctly, the outcome should be favorable. Practice this often. The more often you do it, the more proficient you will become Lets look at some of the basic steps for reading an electional chart for an operation. Suppose a client has come to asking when is the best time for surgery to remove her uterus. 1. The first thing is to identify the rulership of the area of the body being operated on. We establish this through Bills Rulerships book or general knowledge -- the uterus is a reproductive organ and is therefore ruled by Scorpio and the planet Mars. The rest of the interpretation follows these general guidelines. 2. The 8th house signifies surgery (Jacobson: The 7th rules the doctor or physician: the surgeon who usually cuts away a part that then dies is ruled by the death-8th.).. 3. The 1st house signifies the patient. 4. Mercury represents the instruments the surgeon will use.

5. The recovery process is signified by the 6th house. Examine the rulers of these houses and the planets that inhabit them to see what kind of aspects and information are revealed, positive or negative. For example, if Taurus rules the 6th house, the ruler of that house is Venus. Look to see where Venus is in the chart and how it is aspected in order to find out how the recovery process will go. Electional astrology requires us to set aside neutral New Age interpretations of planets and aspects and to label certain planets and aspects as the ancients did: benefic planets are good; malefic planets are bad. The malefic planets are Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Any planet in any aspect to these planets is considered afflicted. This is bad. The benefic planets are Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. These planets can aspect each other positively with conjunctions but negatively with squares and oppositions, in which case they are considered afflicted. The Moon is of critical importance in electional astrology. We look primarily to see what sign the Moon is in and what aspects it makes before leaving the sign. The best signs for the Moon are Taurus and Cancer. The worst sign for the Moon is Scorpio. For a good ending to surgery, the Moon should not be Voidof-Course (nothing will come of it) and it should make a good aspect before leaving its sign. Jacobson introduced a Part of Surgery, similar to the Arabic Parts (such as the Part of Fortune with which most of us are familiar). The Part of Surgery is derived by adding the cusp of the first house to Saturn and then subtracting Mars. Look to see if the resulting point in the chart is positive and well aspected. There are some definite no-nos in electional interpretation: 1. the Sun and Moon cannot be in the sign ruling the part of the body to be operated on (in this case Scorpio) 2. the Ruler of the 1st, the patient, cannot be in bad aspect to the Ruler of the 8th, the surgeon, or the surgeon cannot help the patient and nothing will come of the operation

3. the Moon cannot be in the same sign as Mars or applying to a quincunx with Mars 4. the Ascendant, its ruler, a planet in the 1st or 8th houses, the Sun, Moon or Mars cannot be in conjunct with one of the evil fixed stars. If youre not sure what the evil fixed stars are, these are the greatest offenders: Hamal, the Death Wound, at 6 Taurus; Caput Algol or Medusas Head at 24 Taurus; Aldebaran (violence) at 8 Gemini; Serpentis, the Cursed Degree, at 9 Scorpio; Antares, evil presages and danger of fatality, at 8 Sagittarius: and Scheat, death by drowning (including pneumonia) at 29 Pisces. For more information see Fixed Stars. Expect to see some affliction on the angles of the chart. After all, if Saturn, Neptune, Uranus or Pluto were not hovering at an angle, there would be no indication of serious surgery pending. However, more than one of these planets indicates a need to pick another time. There are some further distinctions to this kind of electional medical chart interpretation, but these are the basics. After you have the chart analyzed, you might do a few more for around the same time period and see if you can get better results. There is no such thing as the perfect time for an event. Some astrologers are not willing to do electional astrology readings for fear of taking on the responsibility. It is wise to prepare a potential client for the fact that 85% or more of the success of the operation relies on the intelligence and skill of the doctor and the odds given. The rest of the process can be enhanced by timing and that is what a good electional chart can do. What Ive found with my clients is that their intuition is good and in most cases is already directing them to an appropriate date and time for success. In medical astrology, barring true emergency room procedures, much of the choice of timing is in the hands of doctors, whose schedules cant be rearranged. Many people must wait up to 6 months for an operation. The good part of this is that it does allow time for fine tuning if a client consults you early in the process.
One of the greatest uses for electional astrology is travel. At the moment you begin a trip by walking out your door, you've essentially birthed a new life, at least for the duration of that trip. Experience has shown that the

astrological conditions affecting this moment of time, your departure, reveal much about how your trip will unfold. If you leave under stressful astrological conditions, your trip will be stressful. If you leave at a time when the planets are aligned favorably, you'll have a good time. In my previous StarIQ articles, I talked about the void-ofcourse Moon and Mercury retrograde. These are very important things to keep in mind when going about choosing a time to travel. But there is much more than those two factors to reckon with in the world of electional astrology, the branch of astrology that deals with choosing the best time to commence an event. This article will attempt to lead you deeper into the subject using travel as an example. Let's say you've always wanted to travel to Europe. You've got very little time off from work, and you really want to have a memorable, safe experience. Electional astrology might be worth checking out. If you know the basics of an astrological chart (the signs, houses and planets), here's a way to "try this at home." (Please remember that astrology is a complex subject and that no single technique is a 100 percent guarantee that things will go perfectly.)

Whats Your Travel Planet?


First you've got to know what your key travel planet is. Get a copy of your natal chart and take a look at your Ninth House of travel. What's the sign that's on the cusp (where the house begins) of your Ninth House? Once you determine that, you'll know what planet you need to track. For this exercise, we'll stick with the traditional rulerships. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, Venus rules Taurus and Libra, Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces, Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius and the Sun and Moon rule Leo and Cancer, respectively. If you have Taurus on the Ninth House cusp, then Venus, ruler of Taurus, is your travel planet.

Tracking Your Travel Planet


Your next step is to track Venus, or whatever planet is the ruler of your Ninth House. You'll need to have an ephemeris, or listing of planets, and you'll need to know the aspects, or angles. Squares and oppositions between your travel planet and other planets indicate that energy may be blocked, while sextiles and trines symbolize flowing energy. Conjuntions can vary in effect depending on the nature of the two planets involved. Mars and Saturn don't mix easilythose two are like having one foot on the

accelerator and the other on the brakes. But the Sun and Venus or Mercury and Jupiter are good conjunctions for travel. I strongly recommend learning how to use an aspectarian. These often come with an ephemeris and are useful because they show the planetary aspects for each day. Learn to be comfortable with an ephemeris and aspectarian. They are really no worse than a train schedule! Watch for when your Ninth House ruler (your travel planet) changes signs, and when it moves into conjunctions, oppositions, squares, trines and sextiles with the other planets. As you follow your travel planet through the signs of the zodiac, notice when it makes an opposition to Saturn, or if your travel planet is Saturn, note when it is opposed by the Sun, Mercury, Venus or Mars. These are extremely signficant indications for your travel plans! Think of it this wayyour travel planet is the "god" of travel for your chart. When your travel planet is in harmony with other planets, your travel experiences will generally be harmonious. When your travel planet is "out of phase" with other planets, travel will likewise be inharmonious. So the lesson here is to avoid, if possible, traveling when the ruler of your Ninth House is making an unfavorable aspect to another planet. This is especially true when the aspect is a square and the other planet is Mars or Saturn, and don't expect Uranus, Neptune or Pluto to be much friendlier.

Choosing Your Departure Time


The goal of electional astrology is to find times when positive aspects hold sway and there are as few "red lights" as possible up there among the planets. Let's say you've decided to travel when the ruler of your Ninth House is moving toward a trine with Jupiter. You've decided to leave a a few days before the trine becomes exact (so you can experience it during your trip) and you have narrowed your departure date down to two or three days. Here's where the void-of-course Moon comes in. Leaving under a void-of-course Moon means being subjected to changes and adjustments, and living with whatever the outcome is. Unless you love to "wing it," don't pick a time to leave when the Moon is void-of-course. If possible, look at your aspectarian and pick a time when the Moon is making a favorable aspect with another planet. This will insure that you'll get to where you're going, and get back to where you left off. Even better yet, pick a time when the Moon is making a favorable aspect with, you

guessed it, the ruler of your Ninth House. If you catch my drift here, the object is to avoid negative astrological aspects and multiply the number of favorable ones.

Repeat Trips
What do you do when Mercury is retrograde? Well, it's true that Mercury retrograde favors repeating what has already been done. If you've been to Florida before, and you want to go there again, then Mercury retrograde is for you. This would be especially true if Mercury was the ruler of your Ninth House. Mercury retrograde is not a reason in itself to avoid travel, just make sure that your travel plans bring you to familiar places. It's a great time to visit an old friend and catch up on old times. It's a great time to take that train ride you used to take, or the same airline you flew on the last time you traveled. On the other hand, want to have a difficult trip or vacation? Pick a time when Mercury is retrograde, and the ruler of your Ninth House is making a square or opposition to Mars or Saturn, and then travel somewhere you've never been before via a means of transportation you have no experience with. It's your choice. With an ephemeris, aspectarian and a table of void-ofcourse Moon times, you could do much to improve your travel experiences. It's all about keeping track of what's going on up there and using it down here. It's like surfing or hang-glidingyou learn how to go with the flow, not impose your will on the world. Remember the Hermetic axiom "as above, so below?" This electional astrology technique is proof of that ancient notion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bruce Scofield, C.A. NCGR, is an astrologer with a private practice in western Massachusetts who works with clients by telephone. He is the author of fourteen books and over two hundred articles. His interests include psychological astrology, electional astrology, Mesoamerican astrology and the history of astrology.

Electional Astrology
There's an old branch of astrology called elections, or electional astrology. It's not about voting, but it is about making a choicechoosing to do something at a specific time. For centuries, people have used electional astrology to choose the time to lay foundations for buildings, to crown kings and queens and to launch ships. Today, people use electional astrology to select times for a marriage, open a business, medical procedures, travel and many other purposes. This branch of astrology is about using free will, along with the positions of the planets, to make an informed choice. Serious electional astrology is complicated. Astrologers who practice this branch of astrology utilize a variety of astrological techniques to arrive at the optimum time for their clients to commence one activity or another. An accurate birth chart, one with the exact time of birth, is a prerequisite. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Nearly anyone, even those who don't know their time of birth, can use a few simple astrological clues to help chart their course. These clues are to be found in the motions of the Moon and Mercury.

Planning with the Moon


Watch the Moon as it moves through its phases. You can do this in real life, or by looking at most any calendar. The Moon, when it is New (once a month when the Moon passes near the Sun), is invisible. A few days later you can see it as a thin crescent in the west just after sunset. This part of the month is favorable for beginning projects that you expect to mature very gradually. As the Moon moves away from the Sun and on to its Full Moon phase (as it "waxes"), conditions are still good for beginning projects, but the closer to the Full Moon, the sooner the projects will mature. This period close to Full Moon is also very good for projects that require, or are about, publicity.

Tips for Moon Planning


Keep two things in mind about this rule, however. Don't force something that needs a long time to mature by beginning it just before the Full Moon. Start it earlier in the cycle. Second, avoid starting things on the day of the First Quarter (halfway between New Moon and Full Moon), or even the day before.

The Full Moon


Do things that have already been started, things that are more or less ongoing, after the Full Moon. The period from Full Moon back to New Moon (the "waning" Moon) is the time for completing things or bringing projects to their culmination. It is a good time for harvesting, storing and finishing, and also for ending personal matters. Again, avoid doing things on the Third Quarter or the day before.

The Void Moon

Ever hear of the "void-of-course" Moon? This is when the Moon has completed its alignments in any given zodiac sign, and then moves on to the next sign without making any further connections. What happens in real life is exactly thatthese periods are not good at all for starting projects that have specific goals. It's a drifting kind of time, a time for processing life that is suitable for ongoing projects and inner, more personal matters. Void-of-course Moon tables are found in many almanacs and astrological ephemerides. Check them out.

Mercury Retrograde
Mercury retrograde has been known to strike fear into the minds of manyespecially people who have Gemini and Virgo prominent in their birth charts. These two signs are ruled by (that is, they are associated with) that tricky planet Mercury. Three times a year, Mercury appears to move backward against the zodiac, a motion created by the interaction of the Earth's orbit and that of Mercury's. These retrograde times often wreak havoc on our modern technological society, which is driven by communication devices. Communication devices are precisely Mercury's domain. Mercury retrograde watchers know not to take major, first-time initiatives during its retrograde period. If you buy a car during the retrograde, you could find yourself going back to the dealer a week later. If you install a new computer operating system under it, you could lose some files and have to start over. A good example is the Hubble telescope, which was launched while Mercury was retrograde. NASA is constantly fixing it. What to do when Mercury is retrograde? Attend to projects that require completion and closure, or things that have been done before. The theory behind electional astrology is that we do best when we follow natural cycles. We move faster, and also more accurately, when we move with the natural flow of energy around us. Step out of the rat race with electional astrology. It's like surfing, or setting sail. Using the natural movement of the wave, or the tide, we can hitch a ride and go much farther than we could on our own power. Try it out. For thousands of years, sailors, fishermen and farmers have believed that the movements of the Moon correlate with the life cycles of many living things on planet Earth. Today this belief is a fact; scientists have demonstrated that many marine organisms and mammals do indeed behave in accordance with lunar cycles. But what about humans? We know that a woman's menstrual cycle is, on average, the same as the monthly lunar cycle, and some researchers have pointed to a similar monthly cycle in men. Here's where astrology steps in. This ancient science has not only recognized a lunar influence on human emotion and behavior, it has developed a way of mapping it.

The Moon in the Signs


The monthy cycle of the Moon is one that should be of special interest to those learning astrology. This cycle is tracked, or mapped out, by the movement of the Moon through the

zodiac. In one month, the Moon travels through each of the twelve signs. As it passes through each sign, its impact on our lives varies. Most people experience a cycle of emotional highs and lows throughout the month that correlate with the movement of the Moon as it travels from sign to sign. Everyone is different. Some people may experience emotional highs when the Moon is in Leo, others may experience lows. These variations are explained by the arrangement of planets in our personal horoscopes. We can discover our normal cycle by keeping notes on how we feel each day for several months. Over the course of several lunar cycles, a pattern should emerge. Using printed tables called ephemerides, or computers, we can find the dates and times that the Moon enters each of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Moon passes through each sign in about two and a quarter days, on average. As the Moon passes through each sign, it reflects the properties of that sign. For example, when the Moon is in the sign Aries, people seem to be more impulsive and anxious to do something. This may be particularly true for people born under Aries. When in Taurus, the desire for comfort and security is strong. In Gemini, people are more curious and nervous. When the Moon is in Cancer, people seek out the past and tradition. Leo brings out a need for creativity and recognition. In Virgo, the Moon moves us to sweat the details and clean things up. When the Moon is in Libra, people are generally more social. Scorpio intensifies emotion while Sagittarius stimulates a desire to take risks. In Capricorn, people tend to be more practical. The Moon passing through Aquarius brings out friendliness and in Pisces, it stimulates a need to escape from normal conditions. Understanding the nature of the signs of the zodiac will allow for a deeper understanding of the Moon's passage through each sign. If you follow the news, you'll see that many front-page events follow the Moon's cycle. Of course, major events are also triggered by alignments of other planets as well, but the Moon's sign alone counts for something. Groups of people are strongly affected by the Moon and the sign it is currently passing through. I noticed this years ago when I used to play with a band four or five nights a week. When the Moon was in Cancer, people wanted to hear oldies. When it was in Gemini, they wanted happy, simple tunes, and in Capricorn or Scorpio, it was the blues that got people involved with the music.

The Phases of the Moon


Another way that astrology maps the lunar cycle has to do with the aspects the Moon makes with the other planets. Aspects are the angles and alignments that form as the Moon moves from sign to sign and changes its relationship to the other planets. The new Moon, Full Moon and the quarters are aspects between the Moon and the Sun. Since ancient times, the lunar aspects have been used to make weather predictions and to select times to do things. They are still found in some almanacs and on astrological calendars. The phases of

the Moon that appear on nearly every calendar are a relic from the days when almanacs and calendars were one and the same.

The New Moon


The New Moon, which occurs when the Sun and Moon pass near each other in the same part of the zodiac, marks the beginning of the Sun-Moon cycle of 29.5 days (the synodic cycle). This close passage between them, when they are 0 degrees apart, is called the conjunction. If the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, it's a solar eclipsea particularly highpowered New Moon. The sign that the New Moon happens to be in can describe the emotional energies of the public over the next week or two. For example, the recent New Moon in Aries. Occurred around the time that the stock market took a big dip. Aries is a sign of impulsive action and many traders were getting panicky. The New Moon in Taurus can bring out security needs and people will most likely make conservative choices then. Check out the sign that the New Moon falls into for insight into public trends.

The Quarters of the Moon


The quarters of the lunation cycle mark periods of tension. They occur when the Moon is halfway between New and Full, at an angle of 90 degrees (the square) to the Sun. Stress is often high during the day of the quarters, and even the day before and after. The First Quarter marks a time of pressure to do things, the Third Quarter pressure to understand things. Don't commence a major undertaking, like opening a business or getting married, when the Moon is at either of the quarters.

The Full Moon


At the Full Moon, the lunation cycle reaches its halfway point. The Sun and Moon are now at opposition, 180 degrees apart. Like the New Moon, the sign that the Moon is in when it is full can offer us valuable information on public trends. Very often important decisions or announcements are made at the Full Moon. Peace treaties may be signed and agreements between competitors reached. It can be a time of clarity and objectivity. But there's also a darker side to the full Moon. Sometimes emotions get out of hand and the Full Moon marks a time of riots and social disruption. In Part Two of this article, well look at more aspects of the Moon and at the Moon void-ofcourse. In Part One of this article, weve seen how the Moon moves through the signs, and how the New Moon, Full Moon and the quarters are aspects, or angles, between the Moon and the Sun. But what is the significance of the Moons aspects with planets other than the Sun? And what is a Moon void-of-course?

The Moons Aspects

There are five major aspects that the Moon makes with the other planets: the conjunction, the sextile, the square, the trine and the opposition. The sextile and trine are considered harmonious, the square and opposition stressful, and the conjunction can go either way, depending on the planets involved. You can find these aspects, and sometimes others, listed on astrological calendars or datebooks, often with exact times. When the Moon is making a square to Saturn or Mars, conditions may be a little tense. When it is making sextiles to these planets, conditions may be tense but constructive. When the Moon aspects Venus or Jupiter by trine or sextile, conditions may be positive, but if by square and opposition, things may be excessive or boring.

The Moon Void-of-Course


As the Moon moves through any given sign, it makes aspects with the other planets. Eventually, there comes a point where it has made all possible aspects it can make with the planets in the configuration that theyre in at that time, but the Moon is still in the same sign. After some additional time, which can vary depending on where the other planets are located, the Moon enters the next sign of the zodiac. This period of time, after the last aspect but before its entrance into the next sign, is when the Moon is said to be void-ofcourse. Many astrological calendars and datebooks give the exact times of these periods, which occur every few days. As its name implies, the void-of-course Moon period marks a time of drift. It's a time when time itself seems to bend and turn, and not head straight to the next milepost. While the Moon moves through space, disconnected from the other planets, life on Earth likewise moves along with a weak sense of direction. And like Mercury retrograde, this period definitely works. Anyone planning to commence an important event, like opening a business or starting off on a trip, should make sure they know when the Moon is void-ofcourse. When the Moon is void-of-course don't expect to meet all your goals. Don't expect to settle disputes in meetings or make real progress with any new business. Don't do something really important for the first time, and don't try to force things along a preconceived path. But also, don't get paranoid about it. There are plenty of ways to use, and even enjoy, the qualities of the void-of-course Moon. It's a great time for getting on with unfinished business, for cleaning up that which is left over, and for simply letting things happen. Here is an example of what I mean. Suppose you're a director and you want to begin shooting a film, but the Moon is void-of-course. You can postpone your shoot and begin again later, after the Moon has entered the next sign and is moving toward a positive aspect with another planet. This would be the right thing to do if you intend to make your film follow the script and turn out the way you have envisioned it. But if your film is open-ended, or maybe a continuation of something that has already been started, the void-of-course Moon will do you no harm. Another possibility is that you go ahead and start filming and just let things happen. If the film begins to swerve away from

the original script, let it go. It's possible that it will go nowhere, but it's also possible it may go in directions never anticipated. On a recent beautiful spring day, the Moon was void-of-course. A friend and I decided to go for a hike so as to better enjoy the weather. We visited a forest we'd been to before, but after some walking, we chose to follow a side path that took us deep into an area we'd never explored. Although the trail eventually ended, we just kept going. A little work with a map and compass, and some bushwhacking alongside a stream, and we came out to a trail we were familiar with. Although we were never really lost, we just let the process of the hike take over and let go of any specific expectations about where we were going. The day was a great success. The lesson here is that the void-of-course Moon should not be your enemy. Let it be your guide. The Moon's movements affect all of us, as individuals and in groups. In fact, the larger the collection of people, the stronger the effect of the Moon. The next time you are at a large gathering, take note of what sign the Moon is in, what aspects it is making, and if it is voidof-course. If you know exactly when the Moon goes void-of-course, look for indications that it has made this change. Sometimes this shift is very clear, though most times it is quite subtle. If you're a good observer, however, you'll see people moving right along with the changes of the Moon, acting out the script of our nearest neighbor in space.
Medical Electional Astrology by Nancy R. Fenn

Related in interpretation but different in intent, horary and electional astrology are two forms of astrological chart analysis that are similar by analogy to the relationship between deductive and inductive reasoning. In horary astrology, a question is asked at a specific time and a chart is cast for that moment. Then the chart is interpreted according to the rules of horary interpretation to yield an answer. In electional astrology, someone wants to choose an auspicious or lucky time for an event in the future that can be planned, such as a marriage, signing real estate papers, or, in the case of Ronald Reagan, a presidential swearing-in ceremony. The astrologer begins by speculating with the client on a desirable time in the future and then casts a chart for that time and date. This chart is interpreted according to the guidelines for electional astrology in order to determine if this is the best possible date to insure success. In reviewing a tentative electional chart, the astrologer must decide whether or not the date and time are satisfactory. In truth, since it is not possible to get a perfect electional chart, s/he usually winds up casting half a dozen charts and trying to choose the one that makes the most sense. Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson is the High Priestess of Horary and Electional Astrologer. She has done the most recently to develop and refine the art of this kind of interpretation. Mrs. Jacobson lived from 1893 to 1990. Another expert in the field is William Lilly. He wrote in the 17th Century! Mrs. Jacobsons wonderful books are now back in print and available on several Internet sites. Many are available secondhand through amazon.com Mrs. Jacobsons book on horary is called Simplified Horary Astrology. Another essential tool for interpreting charts this way is Rex E. Bills The Rulership Book, also widely available on the Internet. The Rulership Book tells you what sign rules just about anything you can think of from Israel to the kitchen sink. This information is critical to horary and electional chart interpretation.

Lets look at some of the basic steps for reading an electional chart for an operation. Suppose a client has come to asking when is the best time for surgery to remove her uterus.

The first thing is to identify the rulership of the area of the body being operated on. We establish this through Bills Rulerships book or general knowledge -- the uterus is a reproductive organ and is therefore ruled by Scorpio and the planet Mars.

The rest of the interpretation follows these general guidelines.

The 8th house signifies surgery (Jacobson: The 7th rules the doctor or physician: the surgeon who usually cuts away a part that then dies is ruled by the death-8th.).. The 1st house signifies the patient. Mercury represents the instruments the surgeon will use. The recovery process is signified by the 6th house.

Examine the rulers of these houses and the planets that inhabit them to see what kind of aspects and information are revealed, positive or negative. For example, if Taurus rules the 6th house, the ruler of that house is Venus. Look to see where Venus is in the chart and how it is aspected in order to find out how the recovery process will go. Electional astrology requires us to set aside neutral New Age interpretations of planets and aspects and to label certain planets and aspects as the ancients did: benefic planets are good; malefic planets are bad. The malefic planets are Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Any planet in any aspect to these planets is considered afflicted. This is bad. The benefic planets are Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. These planets can aspect each other positively with conjunctions but negatively with squares and oppositions, in which case they are considered afflicted. The Moon is of critical importance in electional astrology. We look primarily to see what sign the Moon is in and what aspects it makes before leaving the sign. The best signs for the Moon are Taurus and Cancer. The worst sign for the Moon is Scorpio. For a good ending to surgery, the Moon should not be Void-of-Course (nothing will come of it) and it should make a good aspect before leaving its sign. Jacobson introduced a Part of Surgery, similar to the Arabic Parts (such as the Part of Fortune with which most of us are familiar). The Part of Surgery is derived by adding the cusp of the first house to Saturn and then subtracting Mars. Look to see if the resulting point in the chart is positive and well aspected. There are some definite NOs in electional interpretation:

the Sun and Moon cannot be in the sign ruling the part of the body to be operated on (in this case Scorpio) .the Ruler of the 1st, the Patient, cannot be in bad aspect to the Ruler of the 8th, the Surgeon, or the surgeon cannot help the patient and nothing will come of the operation

.the Moon cannot be in the same sign as Mars or applying to a quincunx with Mars the Ascendant, its ruler, a planet in the 1st or 8th houses, the Sun, Moon or Mars cannot be in conjunct with one of the evil fixed stars.

If youre not sure what the evil fixed stars are, these are the greatest offenders; Hamal, the Death Wound, at 6 Taurus; Caput Algol or Medusas Head at 24 Taurus; Aldebaran at 8 Gemini; Serpentis, the Cursed Degree, at 9 Scorpio; Antares, evil presages and danger of fatality, at 8 Sagittarius and Scheat, death by drowning (including pneumonia) at 29 Pisces. Expect to see some affliction on the angles of the chart. After all, if Saturn, Neptune, Uranus or Pluto were not hovering at an angle, there would be no indication of serious surgery pending. However, more than one of these planets indicates a need to pick another time. There are some further distinctions to this kind of electional medical chart interpretation, but these are the basics. After you have the chart analyzed, you might do a few more for around the same time period and see if you can get better results. There is no such thing as the perfect time for an event. Some astrologers are not willing to do electional astrology readings for fear of taking on the responsibility. It is wise to prepare a potential client for the fact that 85% or more of the success of the operation relies on the intelligence and skill of the doctor and the odds given. The rest of the process can be enhanced by timing and that is what a good electional chart can do. What Ive found with my clients is that their intuition is good and in most cases is already directing them to an appropriate date and time for success.

1. Make sure the chart and its ruler describe the venture. You probably wouldn't want to have Mars as chart ruler if you were setting up the signing for a peace treaty. Or conversely, Venus ruling a military attack chart. 2. Make sure that the chart ruler is high in both essential and accidental dignity. You wouldn't want to have Jupiter retrograde in Gemini, its detriment, in the 12th house, combust or under the Sun's beams and conjunct the fixed star Algol in a chart for a politician announcing his or her candidacy. 3. Make sure the ascendant is radical, I.E. not less than three degrees of a sign or more than 27 degrees. The early ascendant would show the venture was starting too soon, and the late ascendant that it was starting too late. 4. Make sure the Moon is not void of course. (unless you are planning either the venture fail or have no effect on the status quo.) 5. Ensure that the Moon's last aspect before it leaves its current sign is a fortunate one. You wouldn't want the Moon's last aspect to be a square to Mars, for example. 6. Make sure there are no unfortunate aspects by solar arc direction close to the time of inception. 7. Keep the Malefics out of the angles. (Unless they are chart rulers)

While challenging aspects can create drive and focus, its best not to have something too terrible come up in the early stages of the venture, when things are just getting started.

Now I realize all those rules cannot be met all the time. No chart is perfect. There have to be some trade-offs. But there are ways to mitigate some of those things.

One of my favorite ways is to use the Part of Fortune to "run interference" in the chart. For instance, if the Moon is void of course or making an unfortunate aspect before it leaves the sign it's in, tweak the time of the chart to make the Moon's last aspect a fortunate one to the POF. I use this method frequently to solve the last aspect/VOC problem if that is holding up choosing a time for the chart. Joan Quigley used that method to time Reagan's announcement of Justice Kennedy after both the Bork and Ginsberg nominations went awry. Ok, here's an example. The newspaper I was working for until recently launched a redesign in February 1997. February 17, to be precise. On my own, I did an electional chart for the new paper. Now, the date was already set, as was the approximate time, around noon. The paper was to be "set in stone," I.E. sent to the camera room for shooting and could not be changed after that unless there was a catastrophe in the press room and pages needed to be re-sent and re-shot. I came up with an exact time to make sure that things would work out right and notified the editor and she and the publisher agreed they would use my time as the official "birth" of the redesigned paper. I had done many long hours of work on the redesign and was therefore interested in its success. The chart had Gemini rising, with its ruler, Mercury at 12 Aquarius 48 between a Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 6 AQ and Venus at 18 Aquarius. The Moon (public) was in Cancer, its ruler, in the late 1st house separating from a square to Mars Rx at 5 Libra 3 and Saturn 5 Aires 18 it was also past the quincunx to Jupiter/Uranus. The difficulty was the position of the Sun, at 29 Aquarius 07. The Sun made no aspects and it was in its detriment, so it needed some bolstering. I used the "Part of Fortune Swindle." I placed the POF at 29 Libra 23, so the Sun would apply to it. As the hectic morning of Feb. 17 went on, I kept a close eye on the clock. I was responsible for "cutting" the last page. That is the last step before it goes to the camera room. The page needed my "OK" and initials before it went to the camera room. It was 11:50 when the page was ready to go, but I delayed it 4 minutes while I "fixed" something that didn't need to be fixed. I placed my OK and initials on the page at precisely 11:54. The redesign was, and continues to be a great success. Unfortunately, Pluto in the chart was square my own

Moon/Pluto conjunction, so I'm not longer working there. For those who wish to look at the chart the data is Feb 17, 1997 11.54 a.m. Monroe, WI 089w38 42n36. Electional astrology can be a fantastic tool. The best way to start using electional astrology is to start experimenting with techniques on your own. Mailing important letters, signing documents and scheduling interviews are all opportunities you can use to employ Electional astrology.

We look first to the first house and the planet the planet that rules
the first house. These represent the business. We also look to the the second house and its ruler, which represents the business' money and finance, the tenth house and its ruler, which represent the fame and reputation of the business and the seventh house and its ruler, which represent the customers and clients of the business.

We want to see these houses unafflicted by the presence of

malefic planets and fortunated by the presence of benefic planets. We want to the see the rulers of the appropriate houses, strong, dignified and in good Zodiacal state in good houses.

We also look to particular planets. In a business start-up we would


like to see Jupiter strong, as the natural significator of wealth, as well as Mercury, as the natural significator of business. Mercury is particularly important in Internet business as he is the natural significator of communications.

Finally, for the best results the astrologer needs to consult the birth
chart of the business owner or owners. This ensures that malefic planets in the birth chart are not chosen as significators in the election and assists the astrologer in choosing the appropriate time. CHAPTER II Of the signs, and their significations in Elections, and of the hinderances of the Moon, being a farther instruction to the judging of Elections.

Like as I have promised, I shall for the better instruction of the Students herein, be in
this Chapter somewhat more large in delivering the significations of the signs, and how they are to be chosen in electing any manner of work.

Know then, that movable signs, as are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, signifie
and denote mutation and alteration of things, and that they shall be of short continuance; wherefore in Planting, Sowing, Grassing, and in buying and selling, they are to be chosen; and if anyone fall sick in these signs, viz. when they are in the ascendent, or bearing rule otherways, the sick party shall either soon die or soon recover; and whoso flieth or taketh a journey at such a time, shall be soon taken or return; and the promise made or any other thing then began, shall soon come to an end, and be speedily performed; news or reports are at this time uncertain, and most commonly false.

Then look that you begin not any work you would have
continue at such a time, but in such affairs elect the fixed signs which are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquaries; for in all things these make a continuance and prolong time; wherefore in building it is good to elect these signs, also marriages, or any such thing as you would have continue; if voyages or journies be taken in them, they cannot be good, except there be many testimonies of the Fortunes; and if anyone be at such time taken prisoner, his inlargement shall be protracted; and this I can testifie upon my own knowledge; and who so shall incur the anger and displeasure of anyone, shall never be more in that parties favour.

The common signs such as are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittary, and Pisces, are to be
preferred in such businesses as you would have of no long continuance, nor yet soon at an end; for they are neither movable nor fixed, but common between both; wherefore that house founded, or what ever it be that is then began, shall not long continue; wherefore in such it is good to purifie gold and silver, or to put children to School or any other learning, and it advantageth in all such businesses as do admit of a medium or indifferency, &c. Begin Page 127 TOP

But to elect any business beforementioned, or any other in the like nature, put the
Moon in the ascendent in a convenient sign, viz. both agreeing to your business in nature and continuance, and make her apply to a fortune with reception in a sign also of the same nature if possible; if it be in the day, see that your signs be diurnal or the

day-houses of the Planets; and so on the contrary, if it be in the night time; for so much the better will your business succeed.

To insist longer hereon were but vain, wherefore let us


proceed, &c.

In this manner of work, viz. Electing a good and fitting time


for the acting or doing of any business you must have a special regard to the Moon, and that she be nowise impedited or afflicted; for as all the ancient Rabies in this Art do testifie, there are ten ways whereby the Moon may be impedited; wherefore since it is a thing so necessary, I shall here plainly insert them.

First then, the Moon may be impedited by being in


combustion of the Sun, and even when she is twelve degrees distant from his body, either before or after; or more plainly applying to or separating from him; but you must note she is not so much afflicted when she is separated, as when she is applying.

In the next place the Moon may be impedited when she is in the degree of her fall,
viz. in the third degree of Scorpio.

Thirdly, she may and is impedited when she is in Opposition of the Sun, Fourthly, when joyned with infortunes or in Quartile, or Opposition of them. Fifthly, the Moon is impedited when she is within twelve degrees of the head or tail
of the Dragon, which is the term or place of an Eclipse.

Sixthly, when she is in the latter degrees of a sign wherein there is an infortune. Seventhly, when she is cadent from angles or in via combusta the burnt way, which
is in the last 15.degrees of Libra, and the first 15 degrees of Scorpio; and this is the worst Impedition the Moon can have, especially in Marriages, and in all matters belonging to women, also in selling, buying, and in travelling or going a journey.

Eightly, the Moon is impedited when she is in detriment, viz. in Capricorn or in


Quartile, with her own house, or not beholding her house with Sextile or Trine.

Ninethly, when he is slow in motion, viz. when she moves in four and twenty hours
less then is her ,mean motion (understand the same in all the Planets) The mean motion of the Moon (according to the most learned in this art) is 13.deg.10.min.36.Sec.

Tenthly, and lastly, the Moon is impedited when she is void of course, which is when
she is in any sign, and beholds not any Planet till she enter another sign, &c.

Let therefore (in all manner of Elections for good) the Moon be strong and well
dignified, and in good aspect of the fortunes, and free from the Configurations of the Malevolents, and that she be not in the Ascendent; yet if she be beheld by the Fortunes, and be in the Ascendent, it is good to buy and sell; and make the Moon and the Lord of the Ascendent (in your affairs of electing) behold the Ascendent;

For when a Planet beholds not his own house, it is like a man
that is not able to benefit his house nor remove the evil Impending; but when a Planet beholdeth his own house, it is like a man that is strong in his habitation, that is able to protect and defend those that are under his power and tuition, and to repell and keep off those enemies that are without; and note further, that when the Lord of the Ascendent is unfortunate, you must place him so as that he behold the Ascendent with a Trine or Sextile;

And if the Moon be impedited, let her by no means be in an Angle, but place the
Fortunes therein, or the Moon, when she is beheld of the Fortunes out of an Angle: Let not Part of Fortune be cadent in the beginning of any work or question from the Aspect of the Moon, or her Conjunction; it mattereth not for the Dispositor of the Part of Fortune, neither mattereth it whether Part of Fortune be cadent from the ascendent; but put the Lord of the ascendent with Part of Fortune, because it is most profitable for gain; but let not the Moon be placed in the second, sixth, eighth or twelfth from Part of Fortune because it causeth ill success.

And in all beginnings of works whatsoever, let the ascendent and the Moon be in
signs of right ascensions as are Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittary, Begin Page 128 TOP because it denoteth good success and speedy dispatch in the business; but the signs of oblique ascention, are Capricorn, Aquaries, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and Gemini, cause a hindrance therein, and much tediousness; wherefore let not the ascendent or the Moon be in signs of oblique ascentions: And if the Moon be impedited, and your business is in such haste as that you must elect your business at such a time, let not her have any relation to the ascendent either by body or aspect, but let her be cadent from the

ascendent, and place a fortune in the ascendent, or in good aspect therewith, and fortifie the cusp of the ascendent, and its Lord and the Lord of the hour .

Thus have you as brief as can be the general way of judging of Elections: let us
therefore now descend to particulars; wherefore the Method we shall take or follow herein, shall be to proceed according to the several demands belonging to every house of Heaven, since there is no one thing or business incident in the affairs and life of man but it is signified by one or other of them: wherefore we will begin with the businesses appertaining to the first house; and then in order we shall proceed to the second and third, and so to the rest, &c.
Here are my rules for wedding electional charts.There are many methods for doing this work, and other astrologers may disagree with my "rules." All I can say is that this process has been refined through a survey of hundreds of charts over the past five years, and seems to work well. In addition, I am indebted to three sources: Marion March and Joan McEvers' Only Way to Learn About Horary and Electional Astrology; Choosing a Good Time for a Wedding, by Estelle Daniels, The Mountain Astrologer 3/94; and the teachings of my first astrology teacher, Diane Ronngren. Choosing the Date NO VENUS Rx! Good aspect Sun/Moon Moon must NOT be void of course. Moon MUST have good final aspect before going V.O.C. Avoid Sun approaching square or opposition to Saturn. NO MERCURY Rx! Venus should apply to good aspect, or be applied to by Moon or Mercury. Avoid hard aspects from Venus to malefics.Avoid moon in Aries, Scorpio, or Capricorn. Avoid Venus in Aries, Virgo, or Scorpio. Good aspect Venus/Mars Moon waxing (between New Moon and Full Moon) is best, but in my opinion, not as important as a good Moon/Sun aspect. Good applying Saturn aspect

Choosing the Time Ruler of 1st MUST NOT be in hard aspect to ruler of 7th house Keep malefics (Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) out of 7th Keep Uranus out of 7th and out of adverse aspect with ruler of 7th, Venus, or planet in 7th. Moon in 7th house or angular; or, Moon applying to beneficial planet in 7th (avoid Moon in 6/12). Keep malefics off angles if at all possible Ascendant: no fewer than 3, no more than 27 degrees rising Fixed Ascendant is desirable Moon good aspect to rulers of 4th and 10th Begin with Mercury & Venus A hypothetical couple-- let's call them Kate and Malcolm --comes to you to choose a date for their wedding. They want to get married in the spring of 2001, and they'll settle for a Friday evening or anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday. They are getting married at Kate's parents' house, so they won't have to contend with a church's scheduling issues.

It's the Northern Hemisphere--specifically, say, Los Angeles-- so spring involves late March through early June. Glancing at the Pocket Astrologer (an indispensible guide) you notice that Mercury, ruler of contracts, will be direct during this period until June 3, when it turns retrograde (appears to be moving backwards). This is not terrific symbolism for a marriage, which is after all a contract, as it suggests that in time one might come to have second thoughts about the whole thing and back out. One exception is a second marriage, when Mercury retrograde's symbolism of "re-doing" can actually be quite appropriate. Venus, ruler of marriage, will be retrograde from March 8 through April 19, 2001. One of the cardinal rules of wedding electionals is to avoid Venus retrograde if humanly possible. And ideally you would like to see Venus in a sign it works well in; say, Taurus, Libra, or Pisces. Likewise, you would avoid dates when Venus is in signs it doesn't work all that well in, such as Aries, Scorpio, or Virgo. Sadly, we do not have this luxury between April 21 through June 2, 2001. Venus in Aries is pretty much what we're working with. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that my own wedding took place when Venus was in Aries, and we're getting along famously almost eight years later. It's not the end of the world, and we can work to strengthen Venus in the final chart by placing it in a strong house of the chart. By avoiding Mercury and Venus retrograde, you've narrowed down the acceptable date range to Saturday, April 21 through Saturday, June 2, 2001. NOTE: In the years since I wrote this tutorial, I've adjusted my process to give MUCH more emphasis to a good approaching aspect between the Sun and Moon. I still avoid the Moon in Scorpio and Capricorn when at all possible, but I'll take a Moon in Aries in good aspect to the Sun over a Moon in Taurus square the Sun any day! (AEK, 2/07) The Moon In our previous step we managed to narrow the time frame for Kate and Malcolm's wedding date to Saturday, April 21 through Saturday, June 2, 2001. Next we'll try to choose a specific date based on the placement of the Moon on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays during that time period. Moon Placements April 21 - June 2, 2001 Friday
April 21

Saturday
April 21 Moon in Aries

Sunday
April 22 Moon in Aries Void of course 8:34 pm

April 27 Moon in Gemini Void of course 9:12 a.m. Moon enters Cancer 12:49 p.m.

April 28 Moon in Cancer Void of course 2:53 pm

April 29 Moon in Cancer Void of course Moon enters Leo 4:25 p.m.

May 4 Moon in Libra

May 5 Moon in Libra Void of course 11:03 pm

May 6 Moon in Libra Void of course Moon enters Scorpio 1:00 a.m.

May 11 Moon in Capricorn

May 12 Moon in Capricorn Void of course 9:17 a.m.

May 13 Moon in Capricorn VOC Moon enters Aquarius 1:20 a.m.

May 18 Moon in Pisces VOC Moon enters Aries 1:41 a.m.

May 19 Moon in Aries

May 20 Moon in Aries Void of course 7:48 a.m. Moon enters Taurus 10:29 a.m.

May 25 Moon in Cancer

May 26 Moon in Cancer Void of course 5:44 a.m. Moon enters Leo 10:12 p.m.

May 27 Moon in Leo

June 1 Moon in Libra

June 2 Moon in Libra Void of course 7:41 a.m. Moon enters Scorpio 7:56 a.m.

Astrologically, the Moon in strongest in Taurus and Cancer. It's less happy in Aries, Scorpio, and Capricorn. So right off the bat we'll eliminate dates when the moon is in Aries, Scorpio or Capricorn: April 21-22, May 11-12, May 18-19, and June 2. Next we need to eliminate times when the Moon is Void of Course. The symbolism of a Void of Course moon is that "the matter comes to nothing;" this might mean anything from unforseen circumstances preventing the wedding from taking place as planned, and if it does take place the couple may have a sense of being ineffectual and unable to formulate or reach mutual goals. So from the dates remaining we can eliminate: May 6 and May 26. Additionally, we'll keep an eye on other dates when the moon is void of course for part of the day and avoid those times. Of the dates remaining, we've got Moons in Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Libra, and Aquarius. Obviously we'd like to go with the moon in Taurus (Sunday, May 20, after 10:29 a.m.) or Cancer (Friday evening, April 27 through Saturday, April 28 at 2:53 p.m.; Friday evening, May 25). None of these days favor the traditional Saturday evening wedding that so many couple secretly long for. Now, let me say this about Saturday: it's named after Saturn. In many ways that's an appropriate symbolism for the institution of marriage. But it's a pretty heavy, difficult symbol, and can manifest in distinctly unpleasant ways such as feeling restricted or oppressed. I'm not saying no one should get married on Saturday. But Friday is ruled by Venus, and Sunday is ruled by the Sun; either of these days have a built-in vibe that's a lot more upbeat than Saturn's-day. But even though Kate and Malcolm have been model clients and given you carte blanche to choose a Friday or Sunday for them, you do, in this case, have a secret weapon you can hold in reserve. Saturday, May 5 boasts a moon in Libra and is not void of course until late that night. It's not the best of moons, but Libra does rule marriage, after all. So we'll add it to our green-light days
>> The Moon's Last Aspect

The Moon's Last Aspect In our previous step we managed to narrow the time frame for Kate and Malcolm's wedding date to five beneficial dates: Friday, April 27th after 12:49 p.m. Saturday, April 28th before 2:53 p.m. Saturday, May 5th before 11:03 p.m. Sunday, May 20th after 10:29 a.m. Friday, May 25th The next factor for you to consider is the aspects the Moon will make before it leaves its sign. Why is this important? Because a wedding chart will symbolically continue to unfold (as we follow progressions in a natal chart) as long as the marriage lasts...and often afterward! The

moon, as the fastest moving body in the wedding chart, symbolizes how things will progress on a day to day level in the marriage. If the moon will make a number of fractious aspects between the time of the wedding and the time the moon enters a new sign, what we end up with is a marriage full of day to day disruption that can be quite hard on the nerves, and subsequently undermine the relationship. Let's look at the moon's aspects for the dates we've elected as most beneficial for Kate and Malcolm's wedding: Moon Placements April 21 - June 2, 2001

Date
April 27 April 28

Moon's Sign
Moon enters Cancer 12:49 p.m. Moon in Cancer Void of course 2:53 pm Moon in Libra Void of course 11:03 pm Moon enters Taurus 10:29 a.m.

Moon's aspects before it leaves the sign


Moon square Venus (4/27, 5:20 p.m.) Moon sextile Sun Moon sextile Mercury

May 5

Moon trine Uranus Moon sextile Mars Moon square Neptune Moon square Uranus Sun conjunct Saturn Moon square Venus

May 20

May 25

Moon in Cancer

Looking at the Moon's aspects on May 20 and 25, I think it would be best to eliminate both dates, don't you? That leaves us with (drum roll, please): Friday, April 27 (after the Moon square Venus aspect at 5:20 p.m.) Saturday, April 28, before 2:53 p.m. Saturday, May 5, before 11:03 p.m.

Other Considerations In our previous step we managed to narrow the time frame for Kate and Malcolm's wedding date to three beneficial dates: Friday, April 27th after 5:20 p.m. Saturday, April 28th before 2:53 p.m. Saturday, May 5th before 11:03 p.m. These dates were chosen as most beneficial based on: Mercury and Venus direct The Moon strong by sign The Moon positive by aspect

Let's look at the moon's aspects for the dates we've elected as most beneficial for Kate and Malcolm's wedding:

Date
April 27 April 28 May 5

Additional Considerations
Sun approaching square with Neptune (exact 4/28 4:50 p.m.) Sun approaching square with Neptune (exact 4:50 p.m.) Mercury 29 degrees Taurus; enters Gemini at 9:53 p.m.

Um, I'm not crazy about that Sun/Neptune square, which might tend to undermine the couple's pride and confidence in themselves as a team; but I'm really not digging that late degree Mercury, in the last, stuck degree of Taurus on May 5, with the instability of being about to change signs (well which is it, stuck or unstable?---exactly my point), at which point it will approach a conjunction with Saturn. So it comes down to this: a lovely Friday evening wedding on April 27 or a late morning/early afternoon wedding on Saturday, April 28. Let's take a peek at the some sample wheels for these dates, and see what we think.

The Time In our previous step we managed to narrow the time frame for Kate and Malcolm's wedding date to two beneficial dates: Friday, April 27th after 5:20 p.m. Saturday, April 28th before 2:53 p.m. These dates were chosen as most beneficial based on: Mercury and Venus direct The Moon strong by sign The Moon positive by aspect No fatal additional considerations.

Having narrowed down the dates, it's time to consider the time of day. We know our Friday night wedding will need to take place after 5:20 in the evening. Common sense tells us a ceremony that takes place around 7:00 p.m. will give guests time to arrive and still wind up early enough for a decent reception. Since we run the chart for the moment the couple says "I Do", let's run the chart for 7:30 to allow time for the preamble to the vows:

Well, there are a few nice things about this chart. A fixed sign on the ascendant can be a good sign for longevity and tenaciousness in the marriage. The Sun is setting, exactly conjunct the seventh house cusp, bringing tremendous vitality and emphasis to the marriage. Venus is in the 5th house, which can be wonderfully affectionate and is a particularly strong placement if the couple hopes to have children. The Moon is past its square to Venus and applying to a nice trine with the Ascendant. But there are a few real problems. I don't care for Uranus in the 4th house of home and roots; unless both the prospective bride and groom have very strong 4th house/Uranus natal signatures -- such as Uranus in the natal 4th, Aquarius ruling the 4th, Moon in Aquarius, Moon square, conjunct, or opposed Uranus -- I would really hesitate to give them Uranus in the 4th house. Saturn in the 7th is a no-no, and it's already somewhat troublesome at 0 degrees of a sign. However, it would be easy to place Saturn in the 8th house by moving the time of the vows up slightly. And given so many couples have problems with money and communication, I'm dismayed by seeing both Mars/Pluto in the 2nd house and Neptune in the 3rd. If the couple is willing to consider an early time, and we're willing to overlook that applying Moon/Venus square (although I don't think we should), the 4:50 chart doesn't look too bad:

Libra rising is kind of nice for a wedding chart, and Venus, though technically in the 6th, is pretty darn close to that 7th house cusp. Plus you get the Moon on the Midheaven. Unfortunately, Mars is pretty close to the 4th house cusp, giving it a bit more oomph than I like to see in a wedding chart. And Saturn rules the 4th. Plus Moon and Venus are square each other, and the Moon applies to a square to the Ascendant. It's not the worst chart I've ever seen, but let's see if we can do better. Let's look at the Saturday chart. >>
>> The Time - Second Try

2001 April Elliott Kent All rights reserved The Time: Second Try In our previous step we considered the relative strengths of a Friday, April 27, 2001 evening wedding for Kate and Malcolm. In this step we'll look at charts for Saturday, April 28th, before 2:53 p.m. (when the Moon goes void of course). We know our Saturday wedding will need to take place before 2:53 in the afternoon. Common sense tells us a ceremony that takes place as close as possible to 2:53 p.m. will end late enough that, with a little creative stalling, a nice early evening reception can take place. Since we run the chart for the moment the couple says "I Do", let's run the chart for 2:45 p.m. to see how that might look:

I was feeling pretty good about this chart -- Sun in the cheery 9th house, Jupiter elevated, Venus in the 7th house -- until I got down to the bottom and saw (aaaarrrgggghhhh!) Pluto and Mars in the 4th house!! No can do; the 4th house is too important as the descriptor of all that is cozy and domestic in a marriage to put those particular landmines in there. Back to the drawing board.

Backing up to 12:39 pm, Pluto and Mars are both out of the 4th house. In fact, it's a pretty nice chart...except for Uranus, the Great Disruptor, in the house of marital accord. Let's try again. > >

In our previous step we considered two charts for a Saturday, April 28, 2001 wedding for Kate and Malcolm. So far no good. We know our Saturday wedding will need to take place before 2:53 in the afternoon, when the moon goes void of course. We tried charts for 2:45 pm and 12:39 pm, but each had what your computer during Mercury retrograde might call "a fatal error." The 2:45 pm chart had Pluto and Mars in the 4th house, and by the time they moved out of the 4th house, Uranus had moved into the 7th. Our next move is to get Uranus out of the 7th; to do that we have to move the chart back to 11:28 am. Here's the chart:

A golden rule of electional astrology is that the chart must have between 3 and 27 degrees of a sign on the Ascendant; this one has 28 Cancer rising. That could easily be tweaked, but we have another problem: Neptune is in the 7th house. With a wedding chart, we will not brook anything but lovely, happy planets in the 7th house. Let's get Neptune out of the 7th:

Backing up to 10:13 a.m., Neptune is out of the 7th house. The Moon is right on the Ascendant, which is kind of nice. Not a horrible chart. I'm not crazy about Saturn ruling the 7th house, especially Saturn at 0 degrees of a sign. But at least the Moon (ruler of the 1st) is not in poor aspect to Saturn (ruler of the 7th), which is another rule of a wedding electional, plus Saturn receives a nice sextile from Venus. In an ideal world, would be put Capricorn on the 7th house cusp? We would not, and I would be questioning this couple very, very closely about Saturn issues before bestowing this chart on them. So it's not the chart of my dreams, but (1) the Moon is very strong by sign, by placement, by aspect; (2) Venus is conjunct the Midheaven and sextile Saturn (for longevity); (3) all the big-time malefics are out of the angular houses; (4) 1st and 7th house rulers are not in bad aspect, and though Venus and Mars (ruler of male/female) are technically square, it's an out-of-sign separating square; (5) Sun and Moon (other symbols of male/female) are in a nice sextile to each other.

As Good as it Gets In our previous steps we narrowed dates for Kate and Malcolm's wedding to Friday, April 27, 2001 and Saturday, April 28, 2001, and narrowed those dates down to times on each date that would be astrologically acceptable. In the final analysis, I can offer Kate and Malcolm two different dates/times, one more enthusiastically than the other. The first is Friday afternoon, April 27, at 4:50 p.m. My reservations are:

The Moon's approaching square to Venus; Venus in Aries (impossible to avoid during this time period) I would like Saturn to have some kind of nice aspect applying to it. Ruler of 1st is Venus, square ruler of the 7th (Mars). I feel this is somewhat mitigated by Venus and Mars being in complimentary signs, the aspect being a separating one, and Venus being in Mars' sign and conjunct the 7th house cusp. Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm (or so) is a dashed inconvenient time for a wedding.

The other date and time is Saturday morning, April 28, at 10:13 a.m. Another crappy time--who wants to get married on a Saturday morning? And it's not as though it's the best the chart of all time, especially with Capricorn on the 7th house cusp.

At least in this chart the Moon/Venus square is a distant memory and we avoid the negative aspect between the rulers of the 1st and 7th houses (Moon and Saturn). Our Couple's Issues In our previous steps we narrowed dates for Kate and Malcolm's wedding to Friday, April 27, 2001 and Saturday, April 28, 2001, and narrowed those dates down to times on each date that would be astrologically acceptable. In the end we don't have perfect charts, or even wildly terrific charts. But they are acceptable charts. This is the point in the process of choosing a couple's wedding date that gets really interesting. When I take a Friday afternoon, 4:30 p.m. time and a Saturday morning, 10:00 a.m. time to this couple, do you think they will greet the news with a glad cry and immediately choose one? If my experience tells me anything, it's that despite their initial protestations that they will marry whenever I say it's astrological cool, they will not be happy with these dates and times. At which point they will smile, thank me for my time, and make a beeline to the printer's shop where they will order invitations for the exact date and time they intended to use all along and hoped I would endorse astrologically. Alternately, they may decide to scrap both these dates and send me back to the drawing board with an extended selection of dates from which to choose. If they should completely floor me by cheerfully selecting one of the dates and promptly commence wedding arrangements, we can make several safe assumptions:

1. A couple this cool, this flexible, this willing to go with the flow will be a raging success at marriage regardless of when they get married! 2. Children, real estate, in-laws, and/or women will play a very significant role in their marriage (in both charts the Moon and Venus are quite prominent by placement and/or house rulership). 3. While they may very often disagree about the best way to approach matters, they have essentially complementary value systems (Venus square Mars but in trine signs; Sun sextile Moon). 4. As a couple, they have strong intuition, compassion, and creativity (Venus sextile Neptune). They have the ability to build strong foundations and demonstrate their love on a practical level (Venus sextile Saturn)--this is more likely true if they are mature, say 30 years or older. 5. They will likely own multiple properties or multi-family properties (Friday chart: 4th house ruler is in Gemini), or move a lot (Saturday chart: 4th house ruler squares Uranus). Combined with the strong lunar emphasis in the charts, and the Sun in Taurus, they might do well buying homes to fix up and resell, or simply by investing in multiple income properties. With Jupiter opposed Pluto, there is the possibility of enormous income fluctuations in the course of their marriage (Jupiter = exaggerated benefit; Pluto = investment/other people's money). But they must also be cautious about spending more than they feel comfortable with (Moon square Venus). Those are just a few possible delineations for these charts. My point is that the charts that present themselves as best within the time frame chosen by the couple, speak volumes about who they are as a couple and where they're at in their development. In my experience the more difficult it is to come up with a decent chart for a couple, the less ready they probably are to tie the knot.

Starting a Business or Major Project


Although starting a business of any sort is something that few take lightly, the exact timing of the launch of a business is generally not as well thought-out. In this article, we explore some basic conditions in Astrology that favor viability and profitability of businesses--from sideline businesses to more ambitious undertakings. Timing isn't everything, but it certainly helps. One of the most basic factors to consider when timing the launch of a business (or a major project) is actually very easy to do, and doesn't require too much in terms of astrological knowledge or knowhow. This involves paying attention to lunar phases. At first thought, attuning ourselves to nature by observing the cycles of the Moon and applying these cycles to the world of business seems an odd mix. However, more and more people are turning to the intuitive arts for help. Probably, it has much to do with the knowledge that timing is important. Applying logic to business endeavors is an absolute must, but some times seem to be more "magical" than others. The first and most basic factor is to begin a business during the waxing period of the Moon--that is, when the Moon is increasing in light, from the New Moon to the Full Moon. This is not to say that a business begun when the Moon is waning is doomed to fail, by all means. However, those businesses begun when the Moon is increasing in light have a better chance of longevity, presuming all things are equal. The inception should not be too close to the New Moon, nor should it be too close to the First Quarter Moon or Full Moon. Ideally, its inception occurs when the Moon applies to a sextile to the Sun or a trine to the Sun. The applying sextile generally occurs about 5 days after the New Moon, and the applying trine generally occurs about 10 days after the New Moon.

The next factors to consider are the Moon's applying aspects and void periods. This is certainly more technical. Void-of-course Moon periods should be avoided. We have tables for these periods here. Applying trines and/or sextiles of the Moon to Jupiter, Saturn, and/or Venus are very helpful. Applying squares or oppositions to Mars and/or Saturn are ones to avoid. Projects and businesses launched with Moon sextile or trine Saturn are generally well-conceived, respectable, and stable, but not necessarily "pick me" types or flashy. If the Moon trines Mercury, the head and the heart of the business are in harmony. Remember that the Moon is in some ways the heart of the business, but the Moon also rules the publicity of the business or project--how well it is received and supported. Not quite as important, but something that can be factored in, is the sign position of the Moon. Ideally, it's in earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn) for longevity. Of the three, Taurus is more fruitful. Once we are certain the Moon is "fortified", we can look at the condition of the other planets. The planet that rules the type of business should be well-positioned. For illustration purposes, we'll take a look at January 2006 and apply some of these rules as an example. Let's presume the business we're starting is a metaphysical web site. With an internet business, especially an "alternative" one, we should look to Uranus. Because Uranus produces erratic results, we don't want it to be too strong, but we do want it to form easy aspects. Neptune, which rules many of the healing arts, should also be well-aspected. Again, this is an outer planet that shouldn't be too strong, as it also rules chaos and confusion. The best thing to begin with is one of the "givens" (a factor that you want for certain) that is also broad enough to rule out many dates. This will be the waxing phase of the Moon and any day of a New or First Quarter Moon. In January 2006, we can immediately rule out the following dates:

Days of the New Moon, First Quarter Moon, and all waning days (from Full Moon to New Moon): we've greyed out these days in the calendar below.

Next, we'll take a look at the first week of January: The Moon is void until 7:15 AM on the 1st. At that point it enters Aquarius, which is a good fit for the type of business. The last applying aspect the Moon makes before leaving the sign of Aquarius happens on Jan. 3rd at 6:45 AM, and it is a sextile to Mercury, indicating a favorable outcome. So far so good. However, we see that the Moon forms an opposition to Saturn late night on the 1st, and a square to Mars in the wee hours of the 2nd. The square to Jupiter is also somewhat unfavorable. If the launch is timed for after the Moon's conjunction to Neptune, but before its sextile to Pluto on the 2nd, we get two favorable aspects of the Moon before changing signs, and we benefit from the Sun's trine to Mars that is still in orb. This is good, but not fantastic, especially since Mercury will be in the last degree (a critical degree) of Sagittarius at this time. When the Moon is in Pisces, however, we have much more favorable conditions. If we were to time the launch for the afternoon of the 3rd, the Moon would apply to a conjunction with Uranus, a sextile to Mars, a trine to Jupiter, a sextile to the Sun, (a square to Pluto), and, finally, a sextile to Venus before changing signs to Aries on the 5th. The Sun would be sextile to Jupiter, which is an excellent aspect for any business. Mercury's semi-

square to Neptune is less than favorable, however. Nevertheless, this date is the best we can find so far. We want to avoid the Moon's applying square to the Sun altogether, so we are brought to the next chunk of time to consider, when the Moon is in Taurusone of the best Moon signs to begin a new business under. Because the Moon squares Saturn, conjuncts Mars, opposes Jupiter, and squares Neptune on the 8th, we will want to avoid starting anything before these times. If we look to after the square to Neptune, we can look to a time of around 8 pm on the 8th. The Moon will then apply to a trine to the Sun, which is excellent, and a trine to Venus as its last applying aspect before changing signs to Gemini. Mercury will be sextile Uranus, which is excellent for the type of business we are dealing with, but its quincunx to Saturn is less than desirable. Still, this is a good time. In Gemini, the Moon's last applying aspect before changing signs is an opposition to Pluto?no good. Let's skip to the Moon in Cancer. We can also rule this one out, because the last applying aspect of the Moon while in Cancer is an opposition to the Sun on the 14th?the Full Moon. We can safely rule the rest of this week out. The last 2 days of January that we didn't rule out above are not illustrated here, but suffice it to say that the first date is too close to the New Moon, and that the last applying aspect of the Moon is a square to Pluto. Again, not good. We are left with two potential dates and times--one when the Moon was in Pisces and the other when the Moon was in Taurus. An astrologer would go forward and experiment with charts for these periods of time, placing the planets as well as possible into houses and on angles that made the most sense. An important note: In reality, Venus is retrograde for the entire month of January 2006. As such, the whole month is best to be avoided for launching a major business! The above example is shown to demonstrate the overall technique of electing a date to start a business. We will take a closer look at February 2006, when Venus is direct.

We'll use the same technique with February 2006--grey out the days of the New Moon, First Quarter Moon, and all the days of the waning Moon (Full Moon to New Moon):

This time around, let's eliminate the days when Venus is still retrograde and stationing. This leaves us with the 6th through 11th--a rather small window! We've already ruled out the 5th because it's the day of the First Quarter Moon. We don't want the Moon square the Sun on the day of our business launch. As far as the 6th goes, we see an exact conjunction between the Sun and Neptune and an exact square between the Sun and Jupiter! We like Mercury sextile Pluto, but the Sun's challenging aspects won't work for us. The Moon's trine to the Sun is generally ideal, but it occurs when it's too close to the Sun's exact challenging aspects. Let's skip forward. On the 8th, Mercury is changing signs. When a planet is in its final degree of a sign, it's an anaretic degree. Again, we want to avoid this. The 9th looks a little more favorable. We don't much like the Moon's opposition to Venus at 8:40 PM, but its trine to Jupiter at 11:01 PM looks promising. If we were to time a launch in between these two times, preferably closer to 11:00 PM, we would have a chart with the Moon's applying aspects a trine to Jupiter and a sextile to Mars as the final aspect before the Moon changes signs the next day. The Moon would be in Cancer, the sign it

rules. Because our next options involve the Moon's conjunction to Saturn and then an opposition to Neptune and the Sun the following day, we will have to stop right here. We've determined the best day and time of the month, and it's slim pickings. When we look more closely at February 9th at about 10 PM, we can see some favorable aspects: Venus is applying to a sextile to Jupiter and these bodies are parallel as well. Venus and Jupiter are also parallel Neptune and Pluto. These are excellent conditions. However, the Sun is still conjunct Neptune and square Jupiter, although separating. The Sun is applying to a square to Mars. Here we have some especially fortuitous conditions, but it's a mixed bag. A mixed bag is not awful. For example, the Sun's square to Mars might be considered drive and ambition. We always need some hard aspects to add oomph to our undertaking. However, the Moon inconjunct Sun makes it challenging to elect a time when either of the lights is trine the Ascendant or Midheaven. This is because, for example, if we put the Sun in the fifth house in trine to the Ascendant (at about 10 PM), the Moon will square the Ascendant. March is a poor month for starting dates, due to Mercury's three week retrograde and both a lunar and solar eclipse.