Electional Astrology

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Electional Astrology

Alfred John Pearce (1889): The Text-book of Astrology

Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman

One suspicion that I had in reviewing the first chapter that Pearce presented on electional: I strongly suspect that he was far more the theoretician of electional than the practitioner. One of the hardest things for students of electional is to be confronted with all the rules - which on the surface seem very cut and dried - and then to be confronted with the ephemeris. Upon actually attempting to apply the rules, the student (not to mention the practitioner) is confronted with the reality that it is practically impossible to adhere to more than a very few rules in one single chart. So what to do? Here are reams and reams of rules, but how to prioretize? When I see discussion such as Pearce's, which presents the multiplicity of cases, but no acknowledgement of the problems of applying them, I suspect that something is amiss in the application department.

Here, in reviewing Pearce's text for the first six houses, I have even more questions. First: The idea of repressed Victorian comes strongly to mind in reviewing Pearce's reticence to discuss anything related to the fifth house. Letters? Secondly, horse-racing in the 6th? The 12th house was universally taken for larger animals, so why 6th? Traditionally, the 6th house was "small" cattle.

This material is excerpted from pages 426-430 of Pearce's work:

Pearce, Alfred John. 1889. The Text-book of Astrology. London



Elections for Affairs Appertaining to the First Six Houses.

“A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal.” —–Solomon.

The First House or Mansion of the Heavens relates to health, and affairs generally. It is, therefore, most important to have the ascendant free from the presence of the infortunes at the commencement of any new work, business, or journey.

In the sailing of ships, the ascendant and the Moon should be free from affliction. If an evil planet be in the ascendant at the moment of a ship leaving port, it is likely to be fortunate; if Saturn be ascending, the ship will be very likely to run aground; If Mars be ascending, there will be danger of fire or of shipwreck. If Uranus and Mars be ascending, explosion may take place.

If the ship be a trading one, Jupiter or Venus should be either in the midheaven, ascendant, second or ninth house.

Elections Appertaining to the Second House.

The Second House of the Heavens relates to the receiving, lending, and borrowing of money; to buying and selling; and to removing from one place to another. The following are the precepts of the ancients—–

1.—–Buying for Profit.—–Fortify the Moon especially, also Mercury, and the lord of the second house; and, if possible, the lord of the ascendant; let the Moon be either in conjunction or benefic aspect with Mercury free from impediment. Particularly avoid buying when the Moon and Mercury are afflicted by Mars. If possible, let Mercury be in conjunction or benefic aspect with either Venus or Jupiter.

2.—–Selling to Advantage.—–Let the Moon be in either Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, or Pisces, free from affliction, and separating from conjunction or benefic aspect with Jupiter or Venus.

3.—–Removing from Place to Place.—–If you desire to gain pecuniarily, and the house to which you would remove be you own, let the Moon be in a fixed sign, and a fixed sign ascending; but if the house be hired, let the ascendant be a common sign and the Moon in a common sign. If possible have Jupiter or Venus in the tenth or first, or fourth angle.

In any case, fortify the Moon and the lords of the ascendant, second and fourth houses; and let Jupiter be in the second house, if possible. Either Taurus or Leo should be on the cusp of the fourth house, if it can be so arranged; never Scorpio.

Elections Relating to the Third House.

The third house relates to short journeys, i.e. to such as can be completed within twenty-four hours and within one’s native country.

The following is the ancient precept relating thereto—–

Short Journeys.—–Fortify the ascendant, the third house, and the Moon. Start not on thy journey at the moment at which an evil planet ascends or is on the cusp of the third house, and when the Moon is afflicted. If possible, begin the journey when Jupiter or Venus ascends or occupies the third house or ascendant.

Persons who are constantly traveling would, of course, find it impossible to follow this precept always. I recommend the following injunction as of far greater importance—–-Avoid setting out on a journey, if possible, at or very near the time when the Moon (near the new or full) is in transit over the place of a malefic planet in the nativity, and at the same time afflicted; especially if such transit happen near the birthday anniversary.

Elections Relating to the Fourth House.

The Fourth House relates to building houses, etc., buying or renting land or houses, planting trees and sowing seed. The ancients hand down the following rules:

1.—–Building Houses, etc.—Endeavour at the beginning of thy work to fortify the ascendant, the lord thereof, the Moon and her dispositor, and the planet to which she is joined either by conjunction or aspect; fortify also the fourth house and its lord, and the tenth house and its lord. Be sure that the significators be not under the earth, for that causeth slow progress, and it may never be brought to perfection. Fortify also Mercury and its dispositor. Let not any of the significators behold Mars. Let the Moon be increasing in light and motion and configurated with Jupiter, and have a special care that the Moon be not with Saturn or her south node; and that Saturn be not in the fourth house or ascendant, for this would delay the work, or cause vexation, trouble, or early decay. If Mars afflict the significators or be in the fourth house, or ascendant, there will be danger of fire.

Should the building be designed for divine worship let Jupiter be either in the ninth house or ascendant, and in either Sagittarius or Pisces. If Mars be in the ascendant or ninth house, there will be dissension, wrangling and discord, in addition to danger by fire; if Saturn, asceticism and strange practices are likely to ensue.

2.—–Buying Land or Houses.—–The ascendant, its lord, and the planet from which the Moon last separated, are significators of the buyer; the seventh house, its lord, and the planet to which the Moon applies, are the significators of the seller. The fourth house relates to the land or house, as the case may be.

The buyer should be careful, at the time of signing the covenant, to fortify the fourth house and its lord, the Moon and her dispositor, and the Sun if possible; and let none of these significators be in any aspect with Mars, for this might cause the land or house then purchased to be soon lost and to be of no continuance to posterity.

To make the bargain good, fortify also the ascendant, its lord, and the planet from which the Moon last separated. If possible, let the Moon be in either Cancer or Taurus, and in benefic aspect with the lord of the ascendant or planet ascending. Let the fourth house have either Taurus, Leo, or Aquarius, on its cusp. Let the fortunes have chief power in the angles, at any rate in the first and fourth. See that the lords of these angles be not retrograde; that no retrograde planet be in either of the angles, the ninth or eleventh houses.

3.—–Buying Land for Agricultural Purposes.—–In this case, fortify the ascendant and its lord, the Moon and her dispositor, the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn; and let Saturn have the sextile or trine aspect of Jupiter—–let Saturn be in Libra and Jupiter in Sagittarius, or vice versa, if possible—–and by all means let not Mars have any familiarity with either Saturn or Jupiter. Let the Moon be in her increase, and in sextile or trine with Saturn; her first quarter is best.

Let the Moon be in the tenth house in Taurus, and the ascendant free from affliction.

At the commencement of tilling or manuring the ground, let the Moon be increasing in light and harmoniously configurated with one of the fortunes and Saturn.

4.—–Planting or Grafting Trees.—–The Moon should be in either Taurus, Leo, Virgo, Aquarius or Pisces—–Taurus is the best—–and in sextile or trine aspect with Venus. Let Saturn be direct in motion, and either in the ascendant, 11th, 5th, or 2nd house, dignified. If this cannot be done, let Jupiter be in one of these houses and in benefic aspect with Saturn. If neither, then let the Moon be in one of them, or in the 10th free from impediment.

In all plantings and sowings, see that Mars be debilitated, and in no configuration with the Moon.

Let the dispositor of the Moon (wrote Alchaiat) behold her from a watery sign; and if the ascndant be not a fixed sign, let the Moon and the lord of the ascendant be oriental of the Sun and ascending, or at least one of them; for this causeth trees then planted or grafted to grow quickly and be fruitful; if they be ascending and not oriental, the trees shall soon grow but not so soon fructify.

If the ascendant cannot be a fixed sign, let it be a common one, and the significators in common signs.

If it be impossible to fulfil all these conditions, see that the Moon is either in Taurus or the latter half of Sagittarius free from affliction, and in benefic aspect with Jupiter in the ascendant, 10th, 11th, 5th, or 4th house.

5.—–Sowing Seed.—–The ascending sign should be movable, and its lord should be in a movable sign, and the Moon beholding it from a movable sign; if this cannot be done, common signs are next best fixed signs must be avoided.

Let the Moon be in either Cancer or Capricornus; if she be in Aries, let some planet behold her from a watery sign, Cancer for choice, lest the seed wither.

Let the Moon be separating from the Sun,* and increasing in light and motion—–except in the case of sowing peas.

Let the ascendant be free from the presence or affliction of the malefic planets.

Elections Appertaining to the Fifth House.

The Fifth House relates to the giving or receiving presents feasting, writing letters, and sending messengers.

1.—–Writing Letters or Books.—–Fortify the ascendant and the ninth, and let Mercury behold them either with a sextile or trine; and let Mercury be well dignified and no wise afflicted, and not retrograde. Let the Moon be in good aspect with Mercury, and both the Moon and ascendant free from affliction.

Elections Relating to the Sixth House.

The Sixth House relates to sickness, servants and cattle. The following rules may be interesting to medical men;—–

1.—–For Surgical Operations.—–For such operations that can be safely deferred to a fortunate moment, let the Moon be increasing in light and motion, and in sextile or trine aspect with Jupiter or Venus, and let not Mars be in any aspect with the Moon. The Chaldaeans held that the Moon is more afflicted by Mars during her increase, and by Saturn during her decrease.

Let the Moon be in a fixed sign—–but not in the sign ruling the member or part of the body to be operated on, and let not such sign ascend.

Fortify the sign ruling the part of the body to be operated on; and let the ruler of the ascending sign, or Venus or Jupiter be in the ascendant or midheaven, and free from the configurations of Mars.

Let the Moon be free from all manner of impediment.

2.—–Buying four-footed beasts.—–See that thou fortifiest that sign which doth represent the beast to be bought, or that which is nearest to its nature; the Moon, the lord of the ascendant, and that of the 6th house; and see that the Moon have the sextile or trine of the planet ruling the sign signifying the beast, or in reception therewith.

In buying oxen or horses, let the Moon be in either Taurus or the last 15º of Sagittarius. In buying sheep, let the Moon be in Aries; goats, Capricorn or Taurus; dogs Sagittarius or the last 15º of Leo.

In buying race-horses, let the Moon be in Sagittarius or the last fifteen degrees of Leo; and fortify the ascendant, the 6th house, and their lords; also let the Moon be free from the evil aspects of the infortunes and in sextile or trine with Jupiter or Venus.

To the last precept may be added: Ascertain the day on which the race-horse it is intended to purchase was foaled, and see that the Sun and Moon were free from the evil aspects of Saturn and Uranus, and were in good aspect with Mars. It will be best for Sun to be in Aries in trine with Mars in Leo; or Sun or Moon in trine with Mars in Capricorn; the Sun attended by Venus, or Moon in aspect with Venus or Jupiter or Sun; Mercury in sextile or trine with Mars and Moon—–for courage, stoutness, and speed are pretty certain to be possessed by horses foaled under such configurations. Some race-horses are notoriously unlucky, others are soft-hearted, and many turn out worthless for racing purposes, having neither speed nor stamina. Isonomy, one of the stoutest and speediest horses of the last century, was foaled on the 28th of April, 1875, when the Sun was in trine with Mars in Capricorn, Moon in sextile with Venus, and Mercury in opposition with Jupiter, Bend Or, a Derby winner, was foaled on the 13th of February, 1877, when the Sun and Moon were in sextile with both Mars and Jupiter in Sagittarius.

Ormonde, the winner of the Derby, in 1886, was foaled at 6h 30m p.m. of the 18th of March, 1883; Cancer 0º 32’ culminating, and Libra 0º 24’ ascending. The Moon was in trine (separating) with the Sun, the latter separating from quartile with Jupiter and sextile with Saturn. Mercury was in conjunction with Mars in Aries. Jupiter was in the ninth house.

Minoru bred by Colonel W. Hall Walker, M.P., won the Derby, on the 26th of May, 1909, for the late King Edward VII. This colt was foaled at 9h 15m p.m. of the 16th of March, 1906, Kildare. Leo 9º 52’ occupied the midheaven and Libra 29º 6’ the ascendant. Mars setting in Aries 29º 35’ in sextile with the Sun, the Moon in Sagittarius 17º 41’ in trine with Mercury in 13º 37’ of Aries; the Sun applying to sextile with Jupiter.

Prince Palatine, winner of the St. Leger, 1911, was also bred by Colonel W. Hall Walker. This colt was foaled on the 2nd of April, 1908, at 0h 25m a.m., Kildare. Sun in Aries 11º 53’, Moon also in the same sign 22º 53’ in parallel with the Sun. The ascending degree 11º; Sagittarius 2’ had the trinal ray of the Sun and the sextile of Mercury.

* See “Urania” for April, 1880, art. “The Failure of the Crops.”

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