After learning all of the dos and don’ts of horary, many students can still feel unsure of themselves in delivering judgments. This is partly because no one can really teach you how to read a chart, all they can do is tell you what things to look at and look out for, but ultimately the reading and understanding part is a personal skill that is developed over time and continued exposure. This isn’t helped by the fact that each chart is unique and has its own story to tell, some stories being more important or expressed more clearly than others.
So after identifying significators and looking for perfection, you can arrive at a judgment for the querent about if what they are asking about will or won’t happen, but is the chart being read? There are a lot of other planets in a chart other than the significators, and they can often tell us other things about the situation, things going on with the querent that maybe isn’t directly related to their query.
The above chart is a chart for the success and intentions of a relationship, but there’s something a bit weird in it. Both significators of the querent (Venus and the Moon) are totally averse to the quesited (Mars) but are both applying aspects to Saturn in the Second with rejection. What is this? When asked about possible financial difficulties in the future, the querent admitted to knowing that they would be laid off from their current job a few months down the road. Clearly astrology is trying to tell our querent that they have much bigger things to deal with.
Something that should not be downplayed is horary’s ability to give advice. This is really the most important part of a horary judgment. Certainly querents are looking to have their questions answered, but what they are really looking for and what they really need is advice and strategies on how to handle their situation, especially if the horary chart is not looking conducive to their interests. It’s one thing to leave someone with a negative answer, but it’s a completely different animal to leave someone with a negative answer and advice on how to be successful by exploring other options.
We see this most apparently in the works of William Lilly, mostly because he bothered to include examples. What makes Lilly’s work unique is that when things are starting to look bad for the querent’s situation, he will often try to find another way out for them to get what they want or at least some part of it. A good example of it involves the judgment on pages 385-388.
In this example, Lilly sees little hope in the querent being able to marry this man who she originally turned down, partly because the Moon moves to Oppose the Sun, and the sextile between the Sun and Saturn lacks reception to pull it through. However, Lilly does see something interesting in that Jupiter is moving to closely sextile Saturn (in Lilly’s calculated chart, Jupiter is in lesser degrees than Saturn, the computer calculation shows the corrected version, though) while the Sun is also moving to conjoin Jupiter. Lilly suspects Jupiter is representing a mutual acquaintance of the querent and quesited and advises the young lady to contact him and have him talk her up to the man she wants to marry.
The story then goes that she did just that and after much was said and done, the two married. It’s not likely the quesited would have given the querent a second chance if not for this friend she appealed for help to, and Lilly was able to bring about something positive with a keen eye and some useful advice.
Like Lilly, it’s important to scrutinize the chart for more positive outlets while being aware of what message the cosmos is trying to send our querent that they may not be aware of or willing to divert the adequate amount of attention towards. This is done in much the same way; questioning suspicious malefics, and exploring fortuitously placed benefics or positive aspects. Horary should not merely reflect a fate that’s going to fall on someone’s head, but encapsulate a conversation with the divine to help people achieve.