The Horary Examples of Ebinezor Sibly (1790, 1817)
Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman
I have hade several clients who have premised their horaries on similar questions: deciding upon a financial instrument based on either one’s life expectancy, or one’s immediate prospect of getting sick. Notice here with the question of length of life, Sibly proceeded because he didn’t have the nativity: otherwise, we would have preferred natal methods. I have to admit to a bit of ambivalence about the appropriate method in this case. Because the Querent was a military man, there was a significant chance that what could actually end his life would be as a result of warfare. Since my general opinion of the calculation of the length of life is that what is actually being calculated is vitality, it is perfectly likely that those who die in battle are quite vital: they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Accordingly, I wouldn’t quickly dismiss the horary option even if I had the nativity.
Also, notice in this example how Sibly arrives that the time interval by adding both the ecliptic longitude and the ecliptic latitude difference between the two significators.
Reference: Sibly, Ebinezer. 1817. A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology; or the Art of fortelling future Events and Contingencies by the Aspects, Positions and Influences of the Heavenly Bodies. The Proprietor, at #17, Ave-Maria Lane, St. Pauls: London. (12th, or Posthumous Edition).
QUESTION 1. On the LENGTH OF LIFE
A gentleman of eminence and fortune in his majesty’s navy, having an inclination to lay out a sum of money on life-annuities, applied to me with a very pressing solicitation to inform him whether his life would be long or short, that he might thereby determine whether such a purpose would be to his advantage. Not being able to procure his nativity, I took down the time of day when the question was proposed, and having rectified it by a correct regulator, I immediately projected the following scheme.
My first business was to examine the figure, to find whether it were radical, and fit to be ajudged; which I found to be the case, because the lord of the ascendant and the lord of the hour are of one nature and triplicity; and the significator of the querent exactly described this person, which is of a middle stature, sanguine complexion, and of an astute understanding, denoted by Mercury’s position in the sign Aries, the house of Mars. The Moon being in opposition to the Sun, shows him to have a mark or scar near the left eye; which was also true. And therefore, as I found all circumstances to concur in proving the question to be well and seriously grounded, and free from all imposition, I gave him my judgment upon the figure as follows.
The princely sign Leo, the querent’s significator, occupies the ascendant; and the Sun, the lord thereof, and giver of life, is posited near his meridian altitude in the medium coeli, and in the sign Aries, his house of exaltation, strong, powerful, and in full dignity, free from the evil rays of the lord of the sixth, eighth, fourth or second, houses which neither impedite the Sun nor the ascendant with any evil aspect. But the Moon, lady of the twelfth, is in opposition to the Sun, making at the same time a quartile mundane aspect with the ascendant, and a sextile aspect with Saturn in the zodiac; from which positions I inferred the following particulars.
The affliction of the lord of the ascendant, by opposition of the Moon in Libra, the house of Venus, and Venus dispositor of the Moon in her own house, and in the feminine sign of Taurus, going to a semisextile with the Sun, denotes he will receive some considerable injury from a female connection, now existing under the specious pretence of friendship and fond attachment; and this is declared by the Moon being lady of the twelfth, the house of private enemies, which disposes of the part of fortune, and thereby indicates that he will lose some part of his fortune by her means.
The Moon’s mundane quartile aspect to the ascendant, in an airy sign, declares he will be attacked with a severe fit of the wind-cholic, or some dangerous complaint in the bowels and reins; but it will not prove fatal to him, because the Sun, the lord of his ascendant, is more strong and powerful, and in greater dignities, than the afflicting planets; and therefore, according to natural efficient causes, they will prevail over subordinate effects.
From a consideration of those parts of the figure which relate to the circumstances of his past life, I informed him that he had improved his fortune, been successful in some important voyage, because the Dragon’s Head is situated in his ninth house; but that he has lately suffered greatly by a violent hurricane, that threatened destruction or shipwreck; which is denoted by the opposition of Saturn to the Part of Fortune, and the Moon having lately separated from an opposition with Mercury, lord of the third house, where the Dragon’s Tail is posited. This circumstance I had the pleasure of hearing him acknowledge to be true; and that the storm arose only eight days before the ship came into port.
He requested me to ascertain the time when the above illness would happen. I accordingly took the number of degrees between the Sun and Moon, by subtracting the less sum from the greater; and found the distance to be eleven degrees fifty-nine minutes. I then sought the Moon’s latitude, and found it one degree thirty-three minutes south; which, added to the above, make thirteen degrees thirty-two minutes; and, as the significators are in moveable signs, I computed the time by weeks and days, and predicted that this illness would befall him about the 20th of July following; and that, after he should be restored to health again, he would go on, without sustaining any other serious indisposition, until the sixty-ninth year of his age; about which time I conceive the functions of life will be naturally extinguished by a complication of infirmities.
I have lately had the pleasure of conversing with the gentleman on the subject of this question. He informed me, that toward the middle of July 1783, he was attacked by a kind of bilious complaint in his stomach, which brought on violent fits of cholic. That, towards the latter end of the same month, he found an obstruction in his bowels, and his physician declared it next to a miracle that his life was saved. He now appears to be in perfect health, and has sunk a considerable sum of money on life-annuities, which he declares was done in consequence of the verity he found in these predictions.
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