Electional astrology is perhaps the most neglected of the astrological branches in the modern day astrological community. You can most easily see this playing out by just going over the list of books that have been written about the subject in recent years. Before Johann Hampar’s (obviously not counting Benjamin Dyke’s recent release on the subject) more recent novel, the “newest” source of electional astrology was Bruce Scofield’s 1986 book, and then before that was Vivian Robson’s aptly named Electional Astrology from the 1930s. Before that, you have William Ramsay, who Robson essentially copies, and that text is from the 1650s. Compare that to the plethora of recent books on the other branches of astrology and you can see how it comes to no surprise that electional is the branch that most people have the least amount of exposure to.
Having said that, for anyone who is familiar with Robson’s book, it really has a difficult time selling itself as a practical and useful guide to the subject when many of the elections it covers come across as superfluous or downright silly. Case in point, he covers elections on getting a hair cut and wearing new clothes for the first time. I mean, how many times have you been concerned that your friends wouldn’t appreciate your blindingly bright yellow pants unless you picked just the right time (hint: nephew’s birthday party) for the grand unveiling? If anything, Robson’s and Ramsay’s usage of the art don’t come off as all that useful or important.
Now, there must be a good use for electional astrology in being able to pick opportune times to start important matters if there can be opportune times to start more superficial or mundane matters. This is really where electional astrology shines in being able to help people help themselves, in a sense. As long as you have the initiative to start something, electional astrology can help you get what you want out of that endeavor. This is a very powerful tool.
Now, following up on the glowing review about the basis of electional astrology, there are some things that worry me about how people seem to want to use it. Now, I don’t get to do electional astrological services very often, but when I do, the scenario usually plays out like this: A client will get a horary done about some sort of issue and the horary will come back negative. Then that client will want to elect a time to initiate that issue in hopes that the election will over-ride what the horary has forecast. Up until very recently I’ve had a permissive attitude about this, I felt that it was best for the client to feel proactive in their lives, and if this is a way to accomplish that, then by all means. Now, though, I’m rethinking this.
What this brings us to is the idea of astrological consistency. Can one branch override the predictions of another? If so, how? If not, what then is the purpose of electional astrology?
Can one branch overwrite the predictions of the others? This will probably end up being a personal view based on an astrologer’s own philosophical outlook on their practice. Realistically, this isn’t just a horary or electional issue, but sort of cascades down to all of the different astrological techniques. Back to the question, though. Personally, I think the answer is a “probably not”. That isn’t to say that there aren’t ways to alter one’s predicted future, but I don’t think that’s the goal of electional astrology.
I think in order to use electional astrology well, we have to remember that it is a separate branch that is only reminiscent of horary, but isn’t to be used with it. The situation that I described above with the horary first and then the electional to correct it almost always ends in failure, because that’s what the horary said was going to happen. The idea of trying to correct a bad horary with election makes sense, why else would you go through the trouble of trying to find a suitable election if the matter was going to go the way you wanted it anyway? Basically, don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.
This speaks a lot about accepting the responsiblity for our horary questions and respecting their outcomes, but that’s not really a topic I want to digress into at this time. Reflecting on some of the elections I’ve done for myself, the ones that have worked are ones that I’ve done without a horary. Basically, if it’s an event that I strongly want a particular outcome for and have the ability to initiate it, I’ll do an election for it. I recommend others do the same. If you have the ability to change it; electional. If not; horary.
I really feel that that is the difference between a good election and one that sort of flops on the side. In my experience, astrological consistency appears to be a real governing force of astrology, wherein everything will either line up to show similar events, or a more dominant or preceding form just swats a weaker or later form away to preserve its meaning.