For the last several years I’ve been on a crusade to hone my horary astrology skills. Back in the ’70s I was an associate of well-known horary astrologer Alphee Lavoie in Connecticut for a short time, but went away from horary when I left the area. I came back to it when I connected with the astrological topic area on Aeclectic Tarot in 2011, helping forum mates find lost items. I achieved a success rate of around 70%, convincing me that horary is well worth putting time and effort into.
At the time, the only book I had on horary was William Lilly’s magnum opus, Christian Astrology. I had actually owned it since the late ’80s, but its facsimile format and archaic font made it virtually unreadable. Being exposed to traditional astrology discussions on AT brought me back to Lilly with renewed dedication, but I still wanted a more approachable text with which to learn. In the late ’80s I bought Anne Ungar and Lillian Huber’s The Horary Reference Book Volume 1, but it was just what it promised, more a dictionary than a workbook and not a thorough study in technique. It seems that a Volume 2 never appeared. To be honest, I find Rex Bills’ The Rulership Book a more valuable reference work for horary.
I eventually discovered John Frawley’s masterwork, The Horary Textbook, which – because it is largely rooted in Lilly – opened the door to a much broader appreciation of traditional interpretive methods. My success with it even prompted me to send Frawely a congratulatory e-mail on the excellence of his approach. But I was still hungry for alternative viewpoints and an expanded palette of analytical tools.
I read Barbara Watters’ Horary Astrology and the Judgment of Events, but it went down without leaving much of a lingering impression. I also acquired Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson’s Simplified Horary Astrology from a friend, but it’s another facsimile edition photocopied from typed pages with a faded 1950s typewriter font that is brutal on the eyes; so I haven’t been able to penetrate it. I understand that British astrologer Olivia Barclay was a champion of horary astrology, but I haven’t gone looking for her book yet. Noel Tyl touched on it briefly in one of the series of beginner’s books I own, but I haven’t checked to see if he wrote a full volume and he has since moved on into more psychological territory.
Right now I’m eying Horary Astrology Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis. He is another compatriot from my early days in Connecticut and one of my favorite writers on tarot, so I have high hopes for this one. Another volume of interest is Derek Appleby’s Horary Astrology, the Art of Astrological Divination. I see that Appleby has a previous book on horary titled Horary Astrology, An Introduction to the Astrology of Time. I suspect the former, published in 2005, may be an updated reissue of the latter, first published in 1985, so I will have to research carefully before I buy the earlier one. Appleby died in 1995 at the age of 58.
This brings me to the subject of horary astrology software. I’ve been using John Halloran’s AstrolDeluxe Report Writer as my main chart-generation program for decades, but it doesn’t have a traditional module suitable for horary work. I asked John about it, but he said he’s more interested in moving astrology forward than backward, so I kept looking. I do have the free Morinus traditional astrology program but the interface is quite dated. Most of the best programs like Solar Fire and Kepler are far too pricey to justify buying them for this single purpose. I finally settled on Janus, which appears to have everything I need and a more reasonable price-tag. When I finally buy it, I’ll post a review here.