Electional Astrology

The Horary Examples of Ebinezor Sibly (1790, 1817)

Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman

This category of horary, a ship at sea, is an extensive one historically, and I believe, it has great modern utility as well. When we understand that the issue of voyage is not limited to over water, then its possibilities expand. Also, I use this as the basis for questions concerning the quality of a used car, or the purchase of any vehicle, because so much of such horaries depends upon either the safety of the vehicle, or its reliability – both of which are addressed in this style of delineation.

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).

Ebinezor Sibly, pp 329-331


In the year 1781 a gentleman called upon me who had a considerable share in a privateer, which had been completely fitted out and sent to sea a long time before, and the proprietors could not obtain the least information of her. He therefore requested me, if in my power, to give him some probably account of what had befallen her. After convincing myself that the question was radical, and no trick or imposition intended, which is always necessary to be carefully enquired into by the rules already laid down for that purpose, I proceeded to give my judgment on the following figure, rectified to the precise time the question was propounded.

Here the ascendant and the Moon are significators of the ship; and Venus, because the sign Taurus, the house of Venus, is on the ascendant, is significatrix of the crew; and Mercury, with the Part of Fortune, denote her stores and all the other materials on-board her. The ship itself appears well found and substantial, but not a swift sailer, as is demonstrated by an earthy sign possessing the cusp of the ascendant, and the situation of the Dragon’s Head in five degrees of the same sign. The planet Mars is significator of the enemy.

Now the Moon, which represents the ship, being situated in the eighth house, the house of death and disappointment, and at the same time besieged by the two malefic planets Saturn and Mars, denotes her to be overpowered by the enemy. Mars, lord of the seventh, the house of open enemies, being posited with all his dignities therein; and in reception of Jupiter, lord of the enemy’s house of substance; and being also dispositor of the Moon, Mercury and Venus, which represent the ship and crew, obviously declares them to be in the hands of the enemy. The significators being posited in fiery signs, indicates an engagement to have taken place; but the superior strength of the malefic rays of the infortunes declares it to have been of short duration, and of very unequal force. The crew being represented by Venus, who is disposed of by Mars in the twelfth house, the house of imprisonment and affliction, plainly shows them to be imprisoned in the enemy’s country. And as Mercury is retrograde, and situated also in the twelfth house, with the Moon’s fortunate node, it is apparent that the ship and stores will never be restored to the owners, but will be appropriated to the use of the captors, or disposed of for their advantage. The Moon’s position in the eighth house declares the ship to have been taken at considerable distance from home; and Sagittarius possessing the cusp of the eighth, which is a south-west sign, and situated in the south-west part of the heavens, denotes the capture to have been made in a south-west part of the world.

The querent left me with strong hopes of finding this judgment erroneous; and appeared extremely adverse to believe there could be any truth to it, (perhaps because it operated so much against his own interest,) that I would not suffer him to leave the room until he promised upon his honour to let me know the result. Accordingly, in about six months afterwards, I received a short note from him, informing me that the owners had received advice from the captain of the privateer, that he had fallen in with a French frigate of twenty-two guns, which being vastly superior to him, he was obliged, after a short resistance, to strike his colours, and was carried prisoner, with the rest of the crew into France.

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