Oner Doser – The Role of a Talented Astrologer


With this article I want to show you how a talented astrologer uses horary astrology practices in tandem with electional astrology principles.

William Lilly, an English astrologer who lived in the 17th century is one of the most popular and talented astrologers of Renaissance era. He is one of the leading astrologers who was an expert on Horary astrology and who wrote books including his practices and experiences. 

Horary astrology is an ancient branch of astrology that answers questions by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer. The astrologer may simply inform the querent if the answer of the question is “yes” or “no” or may advice on the best way to solve that question. Such questions are sometimes asked and answered by the astrologer. William Lilly gives some examples on this practice in his famous book Christian Astrology and approaches the question on how to solve it; he does not accept the answer which seems negative and through the freedom of choice he advices when to act in order to reach the desired result.

An example to this is Lilly’s question “Will I purchase Mr.B’s house? You see the chart which is casted by William Lilly for this question which he asked himself… 

Before we start to analyze the chart according to Lilly’s notes in his Christian Astrology book, let’s speak about some rules of Horary Astrology. 

First of all, we should find the main significators of the one who asks the question and the person or the thing who is asked about carefully and correctly to answer the question at hand. 

The one who asks the question is called “Querent”. The person or the thing which is asked about is called “Quesited”. 

Significators of the querent are ASC, the ruler(s) of ASC, the ruler of the intercepted sign in the 1st house if any, and the planets within the 1st house. 

If there is more than one significators within the 1st house, then the one which describes the querent better should be used. With a few exceptions, the ruler of the ASC is always the primary significator of the querent, so the house it is in within the horary chart should be taken into consideration. The house where the ruler of the 1st house is placed tells us the area that the querent focuses on. With the house placement of this planet, its dignities and debilities of this planet indicates the general conditions of the querent related with his/her question. 

The power of a planet is its capacity to perform the things it represents naturally or accidentally. A powerful planet is the one which has the ability to affect the results. The power of a planet is determined by its essential or accidental position in the chart. 

As you see in this chart, the person (the querent) is asking about the house he wants to buy, and as the ruler of the Ascendant, Venus is placed in the 7th house which is the house of bargains and negotiations. 7th house is the house of the other people and when the ruler of the 1st house placed in the 7th, it is likely that the person who is asking the question is dependent of the conditions of the other party. This is like a football team who is playing away!  

Secondly, we should pay special attention to the aspects of the ASC ruler in the chart as this planet represents the querent. 

If the planet which is the ruler of the ASC is strong by its house placement, not afflicted by the malefics, has domicile or exaltation rulership, then it provides the querent to reflect his authority and reach good results related the question of him/her easily. If it is not strong, afflicted, has no essential dignity but debility, then it cannot provide the querent to reflect his authority and reach good results related the question of him/her easily. 

As you see in the chart, Venus is in her detriment, afflicted by combustion of the Sun, but applying good aspects with Saturn and Jupiter. It is strong by its house placement, since the 7th house is one of the strong houses, but since it is in the opposite sign it rules, its conditions are dependent on the other party he is in contact or bargain or negotiation with. On the other hand, it is good to see Venus is received by the Sun which is a significator of sympathy between the seller and buyer. The Sun is the ruler of Aries by Exaltation and Venus is applying to conjunction to the Sun, so the Sun is receiving Venus by Exaltation. That means the seller may behave generous or ministrant to Lilly in their bargain.  

A planet which has a strong house positioning, away from the malefic planets’ conjunction or bad aspects, not retrograde nor combust, but without a major dignity, it has a power to realise its purposes, but with some difficulties. In this chart Venus is not afflicted by the malefics but afflicted by the Sun through combustion, she is not retrograde, applying trine to Jupiter which is a benefic.   

If the ruler of the querent is peregrine, its success depends on the ruler of the sign it is placed in. A planet in such condition is like a person who needs others. A peregrine planet has difficulty to realise anything without the help of its ruler. If the ruler of this planet makes a good aspect to it or at least not a negative aspect; the planet in ruler (dispositor) position is in good positioning and zodiac condition and not afflicted, then it supports the ruler planet and helps it. Of course, we need to look at the aspects of a peregrine planet; for instance, any support from benefic planets can increase its sanction power.

If the significator of the querent is afflicted by a malefic planet, the house where this malefic planet is placed in or houses that are ruled by it indicate the difficulties which prevent the native to realise his primary motivations. 

If the ruler of the querent is supported by a benefic planet, the house where this benefic planet is placed in or rules show where the supports and benefits are coming from. In this chart, Venus is about to apply Jupiter which is the greater benefic. Jupiter is placed in the 9th house and rules the 3rd and 6th houses. So, beneficial things will come from foreigners or educated man, neighbours or close friends, servants etc. 

Let’s come back to the combustion of Venus. If the significator of the querent is combust, it indicates that the querent is in great fear or overpowered by some great person which is symbolised by the Sun in general. When a planet is within 8.5 degrees of the Sun either way, then it is combust. A combust planet is in an invisible position. It has no power as a significator. When the benefics are combust or under the Sun’s beams they cannot realise their commitments because the Sun deactivates their virtues. They become invisible under this power and brightness. 

According to the ancient astrologers, being combust is the worst thing for a planet to be afflicted. On the other hand, there is an important difference between applying to the Sun and separating from the Sun. Applying to the Sun brings big problems, while separating from the Sun lessens these problems in time. A planet applying to the Sun is like a person who is getting ill while a planet separating from the Sun is like a person who is recovering from illness. A planet which got away from being combust but still under the Sun’s beams has got its power back little bit. As it gets away from the Sun, it starts gaining its power back, like a native who is recovering from an illness. Ancient astrologers resemble a planet under the Sun’s beams to a person in prison. 

Aspects are directed towards from the faster planet towards the slower planet. A planet first applies to an aspect, then form the aspect. After it is exact, it starts separating. Separating aspects indicate an effect which decreases. They are very important in horary astrology as they indicate the situations which occurred in the past. According to the ancients, a planet separating from an aspect is like a native who changes his mind about a particular subject. For example, the Moon is separating from Mars in this chart. So, the last thing the querent faced was struggle and anxiety about his finances and bargain with the seller because Mars ruler the second and the 7th houses. 

Separating aspects of the ruler of the ASC indicates what the querent did in the past and what happened to him; applying aspects of the ruler of the ASC indicates the possible situations that the querent may meet. In this chart, as the ruler of the ASC, Venus applying to conjunct the Sun, then will trine to Saturn and lastly will sextile to Jupiter.  

If the applying aspects, especially to malefics, are negative then the querent meets some difficulties and problems. If the applying aspects, especially to benefics or planets that are strongly placed, are positive, then the querent meets positive developments and his chance for success is high. In this chart, the conjunction of Venus with the Sun is an indicator of affliction for the querent. But the trine to Saturn and sextile to Jupiter are positive, especially applying to Jupiter is the most benefic. Plus, there is no frustration in these aspects since Venus will not be retrograde soon and these two planets she will make good aspects will not chance sign before these aspects are completed. 

In Horary astrology, applying and separating aspects of the Moon are very important. Because they help us understand the native’s life started and they will develop in the coming years. A planet contacted by the Moon seems to be dignified. Also, it is considered that the Moon also has good connection with the planet it separates from. Not only the Moon, but all of the planets are associated with the planet that they are in contact through applying aspect. A significator which is applying to an aspect is more important than the others due to its determinant effect. 

The Moon indicates the conditions that change rapidly, indecisiveness, instability and deflection. As the Moon is a celestial body which moves fast and as it is reflective, it translates the light of the planets to each other. In this sense, the Moon maintains the communication between the natives represented by the planets she aspects to, and the connection between the issues and subjects ruled by these planets. The placement (house and sign) of the Moon and the Moon’s aspects help us understand how things will improve.

In Horary astrology, generally the Moon is the co-significator of the querent and represents the desires and feelings of the querent at the moment of the question. The mind is where the Moon is. In some special cases, the Moon may be the significator of the quesited (person, object or animal).

The Moon represents the general course of events until it leaves the sign it is in. If the Moon, which is free from aspects before changing signs, is Void of Course. Void of Course phase of the Moon is quite important in Horary astrology. In Horary, a Void of Course Moon may indicate that the answer of the question is negative or the question invalid. Some astrologers state that the answer for the questions which are asked when the Moon is Void of Course is nothing positive or negative will happen. 

In this chart, the Moon is very close to the cusp of the 12th house, has dignity only by triplicity, separating from Mars and applying to Saturn with a square aspect which indicates the difficulties relating the question which is asked about to buy the house or not. Saturn is the ruler of the house which Lilly is eager to buy since it rules the 4th. This makes the situation very difficult for the querent related to his question. The querent has to make more efforts to achieve what he intends to enterprise and it will not be so easy to get the result he wants to get! A Horary astrologer may give a negative answer relating this question. But of course, before we judge, we should see the main significators of the quesited.   

Now, let’s learn something about the significators of the quesited, the person or the thing which is asked about. First of all, what the question is about of should be considered. The planets that rule the related house, the rulers of the sign in the 7th and the planets within the 7th house are the significators of the quesited. If there are many significators within the 7th house, the one which describes the quesited best should be used as the significator. So, actually the Sun is the best significator we can use, because it is in the 7th house, the exaltation and Almuten ruler of the 7th as well. We can use Mars as significator for sure, but he is in another house and does not show the situation of the seller, instead it gives information about money conditions of Lilly which is not adequate at the moment. 

If it is more powerful than the sign ruler, the Almuten of the sign which intersects the house representing the quesited, or the issue, may be considered as the primary significator of the quesited. In this chart Saturn is the Almuten of the Ascendant. But it is not powerful than Venus since she is angular but Saturn is cadent, in the third house. 

The Part of Fortune indicates the issues that the querent is emotionally and instinctually attracted. These issues will be earthly affairs rather than spiritual ones as the Part of Fortune is associated with earthly chances, opportunities or desires. Based on the house it is placed in, Part of Fortune indicates in which life area the querent may gain benefit from, make profit and be lucky. This “good luck” is not only limited with financial benefits but it also covers all type of benefits and lucks. The key to interpret it is the house where the Part is placed. In this chart Part of Fortune is placed in Pisces which is one of the luckiest positioning according to William Lilly. When POF is placed in the signs of Taurus or Pieces, it is allowed 5 point which is the highest in score his table. On the emotional side, Lilly idealizes to buy this house which actually he is not very realistic. This is shown by the placement of POF in Pisces.  

Before judging a horary chart, the natural significator of the question should be determined. This significator should be naturally ruling the related person or the issue. Natural significators sometimes help in judgement more than the ruler of the related house. Additionally, natural significators also indicate if the question is radical or not. For instance, the Sun is the natural significators for male authority figures. In this chart Lilly is using the Sun for the owner of the house. By the way, Lilly was hopeful that he could buy the house since the Sun is also the ruler of the 11th house which is the house of hope and wishes!  

In any case, dignities and weaknesses of the planets should be considered. Well placed planets are advantageous in exerting developments in their nature. On the contrary, weakly placed planets are inadequate in bringing a conclusion as they are like a person that is in a place where he is not comfortable. In this chart the Sun, who is one of the significators of the house owner is placed very strong. First, because it is in the 7th house, the house of the seller in this question and secondly, because it is in its exaltation.  

If a significator is retrograde, then it is passive and it has difficulties in realising its commitments. This is an indicator of misfortune, damage, mismatch, disagreement and inconsistency. According to ancient astrologers, a retrograde planet indicates hostility and damage and is like a rebellious and defiant native. 

If the significator of the querent is retrograde, then the querent or the key person of that issue will back down. The person represented by the retrograde planet (especially Mercury) may get harmed or he may be returning an old situation, reuniting with someone or reviewing an issue. In this chart Mars, which is the ruler of the 7th house represents the seller and the ruler of the 2nd house which represents Lilly’s financial conditions is retrograde. This is a problem both for negotiation and finding out the money necessary for Lilly.  

Moving fast brings advantages to the planet; it is kind of power indicator. When the planets move fast, then they are quick in taking action and manifest their behaviours. So, faster planets indicate affairs which resolve quickly and the quick people. On the other hand, a slow planet indicates immobility, slow actions and sluggish people. In this chart Venus is fast since she is travelling 1 degree and 14 minutes, slightly over her daily average motion. This is good for Lilly, since Venus is representing him in this question.   

Now, let’s learn something about the timing! The aspects between the planets and/or conjunctions and aspects with the house cusps should be considered for predicting the time when the matter asked about will occur. To determine the time, the indicators listed below should be considered:

  • The aspect between the significator of the querent and the significator of the quesited
  • The aspect between the Moon and the significators
  • The distance between a significator and the nearest house cusp
  • The number of degrees that is needed for the Moon to change signs (especially when the Moon is at the last degrees of a sign)

There are two scales regarding timing; one of them is symbolic and the other is ephemeral timing. Both methods are seen in all ancient texts. 

In this chart, Lilly is using both methods as we will see a bit later when we learn about his story about this question.  

A planet may be in the last degrees of a sign. This means the things represented by this planet are about to reach culmination, things will be completed and a new phase is coming up. It is also important that the planet which will enter another sign will be dignified and become stronger, or conversely lose its strength and weaken. If a planet is strong in a horary chart, it has a power over the issues it represents. In this chart, there is no planet who is in the last degrees of a sign it is placed. But Lilly is waiting for Venus’ changing the sign from Aries to Taurus, which is his significator in this chart. And also, he is waiting for the Sun to leave Aries which he exalted as the significator of the seller, to enter Taurus which he is peregrine but also under the disposition of Venus which is Lilly’s significator. By this way, he is trying to empower his significator both as dignity and disposition and take the advantage before he starts bargaining with the owner of the house. 

In questions about buying lands or houses, the Ascendant and the ruler of the ASC represent the querent, the 7th house and its ruler represents the respondent (buyer or seller). The Moon, the 4th house and its ruler represent the house or the land that will be bought or sold. The 10th house and its ruler represent the price of the house or the land. In this chart the buyer is Lilly, Venus is his significator; the seller is Mr B, the Sun as being natural significator and placed in the 7th and Mars as the ruler of the 7th house. The house itself signified by Saturn as the ruler of the 4th and the price of the house is signified by the Moon as the ruler of the 10th.  

If there is an approaching compatible aspect or conjunction between the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the 7th house, then the buyer and the seller reaches an agreement. If there is not an approaching aspect between these two, but, if the Moon is translating the light between these two significators (by a conjunction or a compatible aspect with the one and applying to conjunction or a compatible aspect with the other), the same thing is valid.  If the approaching aspect between the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the 7th house is an incompatible one, then the buyer and the seller cannot reach an agreement. 

If there is not an approaching aspect between the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the 7th house, but if the Moon is translating the light between these two significators to an incompatible aspect (by a conjunction or an incompatible aspect with the one and applying to conjunction or an incompatible aspect with the other), then the buyer and the seller cannot reach an agreement. In this chart, there is no applying aspect between the ruler of the 1st and the 7th and the Moon does not translate the light between them. But Venus as the ruler of the 1st is about to conjunct the Sun as one of the significators of the seller and as the exaltation ruler and the Almuten of the 7th house. 

The ruler of the ASC in the 7th house, represents that the querent is bargaining or he is bound to the conditions of the other party. That means the other party has advantage. The ruler of the 7th house in the 1st house represents that the conditions of the other party is bound to the querent; so the querent, represented by the 1st house, has the advantage. In this chart, the advantage is of the seller, but Lilly is waiting for the best time to get into action, he is waiting for Venus to enter Taurus which she rules, and waiting for the Sun to enter Taurus which is ruled by Venus, the significator of him. 

If there is a conjunction or a compatible aspect between the ruler of the ASC and the ruler of the 4th house, or a compatible aspect between the Moon and the ruler of the 4th house, then the querent buys or sells the house that he asks the question about. Venus, as the ruler of the 1st is applying trine to Saturn which is the ruler of the 4th as the quesited, the house which Lilly wants to buy. This is a good sign for Lilly that he could buy the house!   

Now, let’s return to Lilly’s question. 

We understand that Lilly wants to purchase this house for a long time from his statements and realize that he is not objective in answering this chart. The answer for this question does not seem in the querent’s (Lilly himself) favor while it is in favor of the new buyer. 

Libra in the Ascendant of the chart was in the same place with Jupiter in Lilly’s natal chart. Lilly thought that this was a good sign as Jupiter is known as the great benefic. Actually, the Moon which is placed at the 14 Capricorn in Lilly’s chart falls very close to the cusp of the 4th house of the Horary chart as well. This is another sign according to my opinion. And the degree of Mercury is very close of its position in Lilly’s Natal chart too. We also see that he has Sun-Venus conjunction in his chart as in the Horary chart. These are important positions indicate that this house will have an important place in his life.  

Venus, being the ruler of the Ascendant, represents Lilly for this question and it is placed in the 7th house which represents the seller. This position shows that the querent (Lilly) should depend on the terms of the seller; it is difficult for the querent to control the situation or to direct them. On the other hand, Venus is combust representing that the querent and the buyer (Lilly) is not in a strong position and may have difficulties in reaching his aim. As the Sun, placed in Aries strongly, is also the exaltation ruler of the 7th house, it is the seller – the owner of the house – who is in good terms in this purchase. The nature and the strong position of the Sun and Venus which rules the 8th house of the chart placed in the 7th house shows that the seller demands a high price for the house and may get the price he demands. 

On the other hand, although Venus was combust and in detriment, as the Sun it conjunct was in a powerful position and also ruled the 11th house of the house which represents the hopes and wishes Lilly thought that he could reach the result he desired. Lilly also thought that he was the only buyer as Venus, the planet that represents Lilly, was very close to the cusp of the 7th house and there was no other planet there except the Sun. Lilly thought that he was lucky as there was no one who wanted to buy the same house. 

Venus, representing Lilly, was applying to Saturn to make a positive aspect. Lilly also thought it was a good sign because Saturn being the ruler of the 4th house was representing the house he wanted to purchase. He also thought that as Saturn, the significator of the house was in retrograde motion; the trine would be a stronger one. The Sun was also applying to make a trine with Saturn. As Saturn was the second ruler of ASC and as it also represented Lilly due to its aspect with ASC and as it was in trine with the Sun Lilly though that his relation with the seller would be fine.

On the other hand, the Moon which represents how the events would progress was separated from Mars which represents the seller being the ruler of the 7th house and about to carry its light to Saturn through a square. Lilly thought that this aspect showed him that there would be some delays in reaching the result; he would only reach the result after meeting with many other sellers. He interpreted Sun’s applying to sextile with Jupiter as a person in Jupiter nature who will help him in this matter. However, as Jupiter was in detriment in Gemini and in a cadent house, he thought that this person would not be really supportive. The Sun in the 7th house of the chart is the ruler of the 5th house of the 7th house. The daughter of the seller (the 5th house beginning with the 7th house) was Lilly’s friend so Lilly thought she would contribute this matter and help him buy the house. 

Lilly saw that Mars, the ruler of the 2nd house, was retrograde and interpreted it that he did not have enough money to buy this house. Jupiter, the ruler of the Pars Fortuna, is in Gemini and is in detriment. All those significators showed that his money was not sufficient to buy the house. 

The astrologer might give up seeing all these significators however Lilly did not do this. Through Ephemeris he calculated when Jupiter entered Cancer where it exalted and when Mars turned direct. He found out that his finances would be better 12 days after Mars turned direct. Indeed, one of his friends borrowed him 500pounds on that day. 

Lilly also waited for a Venus entering in Taurus and get stronger, because at the time of the question Venus, the ruler of the querent, was in a weak position in Aries. 

He thought Venus in Taurus would be a better time. He also waited the Sun, which represented the seller and was in Aries- a strong position- entered Taurus. He thought the seller would lose his strength through when the Sun was in Taurus, the sign ruled by Venus which represents the querent. 

He started negotiations after Venus entered Taurus and when the Moon was also in Taurus. Mars, which represented the financial situation of the querent, turned direct by that time. As a result, he bought the house and reached his desire.

Being a talented astrologer, Lilly does not act quickly under those challenging and negative conditions but instead acts when the conditions are in his favor and reaches the result that he desires. This horary sample is very important as it signifies the importance of making effort and planning to act on the right time. The result of course depends on the will of God however the native also made an effort to do the best he could. Although there were challenging elements in the horary chart, the astrologer depended on the potential but few positive factors; used his mind and talents and instead of giving up he made an effort to reach his aim. This horary chart is also a good example for Electional Astrology practice. We may reach the desired result through pushing the limits and displaying our individual potentials. This is the will of God as a result of our efforts and using our individual wills in a correct way. 


Oner Doser, AMA, ISAR Cap, Cert. OPA

OPA Satellite for Turkey, Member of APAI

Founder of AstroArt School of Astrology  


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