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The Answer - When You Need it
by Marilyn Neuner
There is a branch of Astrology that has been around for thousands of years — though most people, even a lot of astrologers, will admit they don't know much about it. Imagine a type of chart that can answer almost any question you might want to pose. This chart can paint a picture of your question, in which the planets "play" the parts of people, and their positions and aspects represent the dynamics going on among them. This is called a Horary Chart and this branch is called Horary Astrology.

Over most of time, people didn't possess their own personal birth-charts. The "common" person wouldn't know what time they were born; which is what astrologers use for an accurate nativity. Few people received the individual attention of an astrologer unless they were well born or ruling a country.

Very early on, a method was developed using astrology to answer a question that didn't require a birth time. Instead of consulting the chart for the time a person was born; the astrologer would look at a chart for the exact time and place the question was asked, in effect creating a "birth-chart" for the question itself. This is why Horary is known as a "time-driven" art. When you have a single, focused question welling up inside you to the point that it drives all other thoughts out of your mind, this becomes the ideal time to use Horary Astrology to ask this question.

There is an all-encompassing theory that runs through every type of divination. It is the sense that at the time a question is asked, the answer will become apparent; or that the answer is always "in" the question. The study of the changing nature of time is what astrology is all about. There is no better tool than astrology to capture and analyze a particular moment — and in this case it is the moment your question appears (is birthed) into the real world.

The question itself is one of the most important aspects of this art. Again, this question should be asked when it is overwhelming you. A basic tenet of Horary is that the chart will answer the question exactly as asked — so the Astrologer will usually write down your question as it comes out of your mouth, and then make a note of the exact time. This formalizes the process and makes it now possible to know what information the chart will give you. Yet, within the confines of this question, a surprising amount of information can be gleaned. Horary reflects life. A Horary chart can be as complex and convoluted as some life situations; or it can be simple and straightforward in giving a resounding "Yes" or "No." It all depends on the question, and the complexity that surrounds it.

You have probably been wondering what kind of questions we're talking about. Horary Astrology covers almost any kind of question as long as it is out there in the "real world." Questions specifying an action are some of the best. For example, an appropriate question would be, "What will happen if I _________?", here you can fill in any action like: marry, or start this business, or move to Phoenix, or buy this car or house, or whatever action is topmost in your mind at the moment. The chart will then show the consequences of this action; which could be very positive or very negative, or mixed, as real life can be.

One of the advantages of using Horary is that if the answering chart shows disastrous results, horrible problems and separating forces, you can always opt out of doing the action you asked the question about! If you DON'T do what you have inquired about doing — the chart becomes null and void and this possible disaster can be averted.

Other types of questions may also be asked. The breadth of Astrology covers all aspects of life, so Horary can answer questions about almost any concern. It has rules to handle questions about business and money, travel, your career, your friends and enemies, children, school, lawsuits, lost objects and people, etc. (the list goes on and on.). A situation question (What are his intentions concerning me? or How will it work out if I live with these roommates?) also works real well as a Horary question.

Horary Astrology has developed rather stringent and complicated rules in order to judge a question. It utilizes many ancient astrological techniques that reflect a complex and orderly system. Most people understand that this is the "yes" and "no" branch of astrology; yet it is not so well known that the answers can be modified with a lot more information about your question than just a simple yes or no.

Horary has the ability to paint a picture of the situation as it stands at the time the question is asked. It has been likened to a snapshot. But it's also a snapshot moving in time. As aspects reach completion and the planets move on to contact other heavenly bodies, the script of your question is written. The Moon, being the swiftest in the sky, is said to pick up and carry messages to the other planets, thus reflecting real actions as they unfold. Because these bodies are constantly moving, Horary Astrology is able to track this motion and use it to predict future events.

Horary is said to be able to "see" about three months into the future (and about the same back into the past). In a normal question it is said that events become nebulous beyond about three months, as there are always many factors at play in any situation and things can radically change course (just like real life). An alternative approach is that a questioner can put a time limit (like 6 months, or until the end of the year, etc.) into the question and the question will then reflect this time frame. Otherwise, if you receive a negative answer and you really want to do what you've asked about, what is needed is to go back and rethink your question and change some crucial factor (a new compromise with a future wife, a new split with a partner, or some other change). Then the question may be asked again. Otherwise it is prudent to wait at least three months before asking the same question over again. As with any divination, too many repeated questions (fishing for the answer we want) only confuses your answer into incomprehensibility.

Having done Horary for many years now, I have discovered that this art is completely driven by the questioner. The Horary Astrologer can in no way dictate the timing of a question, because this timing is the most crucial factor. Nor should a Horary Astrologer put words into your mouth when you are asking a question. They can delicately help you frame the question to get the best out of the art, but they must not change your meaning in any way. When you have a question that is driving you crazy, and you've identified this question as the lynchpin of your problems (i.e. the most important question, the question that all of your other decisions are depending on), THIS is the time this question should be asked.

Your answer can be a clean, simple "Yes" or "No," but beyond that Horary can give you the other crucial information necessary to understanding your position and potentialities. It can tell you the best way to act in a situation; and whether the object of your inquiry will come to you or whether you need to make the first move. Horary can describe other people that are important in the situation and whether they will help or hurt you. It can give you a short-term answer to your question, and also reveal how, in the end, the whole thing is going to turn out. It is an amazing tool, which can be very helpful in sorting out a situation that has become "stuck" and needs to get moving again.

In our modern world, which feels so far away at times from the simple cycles of the seasons and the natural rhythms of life, it is comforting to know that a system of divination arising from these times has been preserved for us, for our use today. Our Western traditions are rich with ancient wisdom that is ours for the using! Horary Astrology is, indeed, a wonderful gift.


Marilyn Neuner is a practicing Horary Astrologer with clients all over the United States and Canada. She has been practicing professionally for over 10 years and has a 25-year background in astrological studies. Marilyn is currently serving on the Steering Committee of AFAN (Association for Astrological Networking) and is starting up a new Horary SIG (Special Interest Group) for NCGR (the National Council for Geocosmic Research). She has conducted classes and seminars on Horary and other astrological subjects at CrossRoads Astrology Center, 1017 SW Morrison, Suite 512 in Portland OR, and in other cities around the country. Call her at (503) 771-6361 for her free newsletter and class schedule.