Electional Astrology

Alan Leo: A Personal Horary Example (1898)

Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman

Alan Leo a horary astrologer? Alan Leo is known today as one of the reformers who was directly responsible for inventing modern astrology. For one of the best renditions of his influence in this matter, I recommend Patrick Curry’s book, A Confusion of Prophets. Victorian and Edwardian Astrology (1992). Since modern astrology distanced itself from horary astrology, with attitudes ranging from considering it an arcane specialty all the way to branding it a dubious heresy, one would hardly expect that Alan Leo had practiced it. But he did. He also wrote about it, and regularly published horaries in The Astrologer’s Magazine, the publication that was later published under the name Modern Astrology. In his series of Astrological Manuals, Number 7 was entitled Horary Astrology. The following excerpt is from pages 43-47 of the 1st Edition, dated 1907.

An Example of Horary Astrology from the Author’s own Experience
Alan Leo

A Manufacturer whose name is well known both in London and in the provinces, was in the habit of making frequent applications to an astrologer for advice, especially with regard to his speculations and contracts.

On one occasion he wrote to the author for advice concerning a new food preparation that he intended to place upon the market by means of a syndicate. His letter regarding the article was received at the London office of Modern Astrology at 8.10. a.m., October 26th, 1898, for which time and place the accompanying figure was cast. (See next page.)
The Querent himself being born under the sign Scorpio tallied with the description of person indicated by the rising sign and the significator of the above map, and this was therefore an assurance that the map was “radical,” that is, a reliable figure upon which to pronounce judgment.
The letter, which requested secrecy regarding the name of the article (note Scorpio rising), contained the following questions:

1. Will it be wise to float a new company for the sale of a prepared food likely to meet with a large consumption?
2. Will the new venture be a profitable one, or will it incur much loss?

8:10 am October 26, 1898, London.

The judgment given in reply to that letter was to the following effect:
You will be very determined in your efforts to place your preparation upon the market, but the company will not be floated and I judge you will lose a considerable sum over the venture.

“The figure shows waste of money and I cannot advise your risking much money to prove the truth of this judgment.”

As predicted, a determined effort was made to form a company, but it was a failure, and some hundreds of pounds were lost over it.

The judgment given was primarily based upon the position of the ruling planet Mars, this being in its fall in Cancer and in square aspect to Jupiter , ruler of the fourth and second. The question was chiefly concerned with the financial outcome of the venture, and on finding that neither Jupiter nor Venus (general significators of finance) were favourably placed, close attention was given to the monetary aspect of the figure. The Moon was first separating from the inconjunct or quincunx aspect of Jupiter from the 11th to the 4th houses, denoting that friends were the chief supporters of the enterprise, though rather faint-hearted ones (semi-sextile), but, as the next application of the Moon was to the square of Neptune from the 4th to the 8th it was judged that the general public would not “catch on,” the 7th house denoting the public* and the 8th their money. This view was supported by the adverse position of Venus, ruler of the 7th, conjunct Saturn and sesquiquadrate Mars. The undue enthusiasm and the hopefulness of the proprietor was shown by the aspect of Mars to Jupiter and the elevation of the former in the 9th house (corresponding to the proverbially hopeful Sagittarius).

His subsequent disappointment and eventual loss is shown by the fall of Mars and the rising of the malefics Uranus and Saturn, the latter in conjunction with Venus, lady of the 7th.

But the pivot upon which the whole of the decision turned, was the square aspect of Mars to Jupiter.

It is interesting to add that the son of the querent was prime mover in the flotation, and that, while the querent himself was inclined to abandon the project after receiving the foregoing judgment, his son ridiculed the idea of taking serious notice of any such prediction. And when all the details of the undertaking were considered, it must be granted that he was apparently justified in his attitude. For the firm had a good reputation of over half a century’s standing; and moreover they had excellent facilities both for manufacturing at a small cost, and for efficient and speedy distribution of the finished article, having a large and well-established connection.

But in spite of all efforts, and notwithstanding their favourable circumstances, the undertaking proved a miserable failure. No less than three hundred pounds (sterling) was spent in the printing and the postage of the prospectus alone, to customers already upon the firm’s book’s; but very slight response was met with, and in fact outside of the projectors themselves no faith was displayed and no encouragement was received. So that the undertaking was ultimately abandoned, and the astrologer’s reputation established, since after this event no new undertaking was commenced without him; that is, untile the querent’s death, after which the management came into the hands of one who knew nothing of his predecessors private affairs.

Now the tactics of the querent himself were largely to blame for the failure, as shewn by the Moon, dispositor of Mars his significator, and in sesquiquadrate to Mercury. He not only wished to avoid the expense of having the venture underwritten, but showed far too much confidence in his son, who persisted in issuing the prospectus at the wrong time.

The Moon denoted the public commodity, and was weakly placed under the earth, and depressed below all the other planets. It was closely sesquiquadrate Mercury, and a long way oft the trine of Mars, which latter aspect did not become complete owing to its “abscission” by the square aspect of Neptune to which the Moon first applied.

My own private judgment, not expressed a the time, was that the food preparation was of little real value to the public. This view has since been confirmed, for it turns out that the querent’s son had undoubtedly deceived his father as to its preservative qualities. The name chosen and registered was “Bovo,” an obvious copy of the trade mark of a well-known and largely advertised article of consumption, and this circumstance, signified by Moon sesquiquadrate Mercury, was unfavourable to the success of the venture, over which so much money had been spent: for it lowered the firm’s reputation in the eyes of their customers, and made them doubtful of its success, moreover it also suggested legal troubles arising out of its close resemblance to the name of the preparation alluded to.

The whole of the above statements can be verified, for there are several witnesses to the truth of what has been written concerning this enterprise and the advice given based upon the foregoing horary figure. But for the death of the querent the particulars would not have been published. Nevertheless, as the figure is one that requires very careful judgment owing to the contractory aspects in the map, it was chosen for this very reason in preference to other less complicated ones tht might have been selected.


* It may be remarked here that, in the very widest sense of this word, the planet Neptune may be regarded as representative of the general public, i.e., the “man in the street,” the uninformed, plastic, emotional, easily-led protion of humanity that makes up the bulk of the population. The planet Uranus, on the other hand, in contradistinction thereto may stand fo rthe autocracy, the aristocrat, government and all disciplined administrative machinery in a collective sense (e.g., police, military)—–in a word, for organisation as opposed to non-organisation.

The recent opposition of Uranus and Neptune has illustrated this, in the breaking out everywhere of revolt, in the rising of employee against employer, and the general spread of the jack’s-as-good-as-his-master feeling that has been so widely prevalent.

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