Sabian Astrology™ Q&A Corner


Dr. Marc Edmund Jones
(Oct. 1, 1888 - March 5, 1980)

The purpose of this column is to provide answers to questions we receive regarding the Sabian system of astrology that was developed by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones and set forth in his many books. Our first Guest Astrologer was the late Delle Fowler Frech, a long-standing member of the Sabian Assembly and practicing Sabian astrologer. New questions will be selected from those we receive and will be answered by other Sabian astrologers. Please feel free to email us with your questions — general questions, please. We cannot answer personal questions about your own or others' charts.


Most horary astrologers warn against placing a question in the first house, if at all possible. Can you tell me if you have ever placed a question in the first house?


The only instance that I've had in my experience that seemed to be appropriate to the first house was an issue of cosmetic surgery. The question was not a matter of the skill of the surgeon or the treatment involved so it couldn't be placed in ten or six. The question was purely would she be pleased with her new identity and it seemed something that could only be identified by a first house focus. Incidentally, the chart confirmed the result as positive and she was, in fact, very pleased with her new look.


When can a horary chart be read that has Moon void of course or via combust, early or late degrees on the ascendant or Saturn in the 7th house? Can you turn to a remove in these cases in some instances?


Moon void of course, via combust and/or early degrees on the ascendant or late degrees, or Saturn in the 7th house are all considerations before judgment in horary work. These are the factors that determine whether or not the chart may be read with reliability. When they are there they mean something, as in the matter is really not going anywhere, the energy is too low, or there is not enough vitality to take it on through to completion when the Moon is void. That's what it means and that tells you a lot, but you stop there. You should never read a chart beyond that point when any of these factors are present. There are no exceptions to this.

Early degrees on the ascendant tell you the matter is premature. It is too soon to judge the matter and that's that. You cannot go any further. There are no exceptions. This is true as well with Moon via combust. This tells you that things are all up in the air. Further changes will manifest. The advisement here is to sit back and wait for things to settle down. You cannot go any further. There are no exceptions.

Late degrees indicate the matter has long been thought about and the energy has thinned out. It will be harder to expedite the situation because of this. It isn't advisable to continue. Again, there are no exceptions.

Saturn in the 7th indicates that the astrologer's judgment is impaired or impeded in some way. If you can determine in what way it is impeded you could read the chart but this is very difficult and rarely possible to do. Use great care in this situation. Sometimes the Sabian symbol that Saturn emphasizes will describe something helpful but it is risky at best to read this chart.

The removes are not relevant to the considerations before judgment. These are refinements of the yes and no technique and only used when there is no direct answer between the ruler of the question and its opposite.

These factors are all explained in greater detail in Dr. Jones book, Horary Astrology published by Aurora Press.


How can you tell, as an astrologer, when you are ready to turn pro?


It's interesting to review the perspective Dr. Jones took on this. He encouraged students to use what they learned immediately and practice with all those interested. In this context, as an astrologer, you could do astrology for others within the framework of your expertise at any time. For example, if you are capable of delineating a natal chart, then you could do that and only that, and price your work accordingly.

The Sabian viewpoint is that a professional astrologer should have a good grasp of horary techniques. Not all professional astrologers are expert in this field. Dr. Jones was adamant that the specific could not be achieved without the horary skill and I have found this to be very factual indeed.


When working with horary astrology I understand it is important to be able to check the fine graining of the chart. [This means to be able to check how accurate the chart is before you venture to answer the question.] Is the chart going to provide me with a viable answer to the query? I have trouble checking the grain of my horary charts whether they are for myself or another. The last, past aspect of the Moon is considered a key to doing this. I find this frequently in years and so lost in time so far as any record is concerned. Without this I am rather at a loss. Is there any other way of checking the strength of the chart?


Yes, this is frequently the case and the past aspect isn't always a dramatic event which would stay in memory. It is advisable for the astrologer to maintain a journal so that this problem is gradually eliminated. Of course, this cannot be demanded of others so the need for an alternative method is still there.

Over the years I have found the expectation that the chart and its ascendent will describe the questioner or the question a great help. Particularly the ruler of the ascendent. Dr. Jones was quite firm in his statement that the ruler of the ascendent was more helpful, in this context, than the ascendent itself. Using this I have found The Sabian Symbols in Astrology by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones a great help. The degree reading that the ruler of the ascendent dramatizes is frequently a clear picture of either the querent or the question and this gives excellent evidence of the strength of the chart.

An example of this technique taken from a recent horary of my own is a question concerning which mover to use to vacate the house that I am going to be selling. The ruler was found on Aquarius One, An Old Adobe Mission. This is an excellent, however romanticized, description of the house as it is stucco and Spanish architecture with an archway.

Remember sometimes the symbol will be describing the question and sometimes the questioner. Either way it is a strong indicator of a sharp chart when it is appropriate in its description.


Can you help me better utilize the DYNAMIC APTITUDE in a chart? I understand it's a part of the vocational analysis but I find it difficult to apply it to a specific chart.


Yes, this technique is categorized as part of the vocational work but over the years I have found this procedure to be even more valuable for another purpose. Dr. Jones speaks of this tightest square or opposition (whichever is the "closest to exact" in the specific chart) as the "native's most characteristic approach to the immediate social or economic group in which he wishes to labor or express himself at any given moment of reality." This most "characteristic approach" has over the years become, in my experience, the greatest challenge of the life. And it is a wonderful short-cut for the astrologer who can interpret aspects, as it enables you to grasp the true significance of the chart extremely rapidly.

When it is a square there is a very practical demand in the life described by this aspect and the planetary departments involved. The applying and separating planets give a remarkably clear indication of what is a very consistent pressure in the life. Thus, it is emphasized on the vocational side of the life, but it is as well an underlying push from without, in just about every aspect of living.

When it is an opposition it is more subjective and of the individual and his/her awareness of what is involved. There is a constant internal demand that may be triggered from without but it has its greatest dynamic on the inner level of response. Otherwise it is delineated the same way as the square.

The houses involved can be of real relevance, perhaps only second to the planetary activity that is involved. The applying planet describes the effort necessary to actualize the separating planet's activity and get it off the ground in the life.

For instance, if the tightest aspect is the square of Sun to Uranus, from the second house to the fifth, there is a demand for an effort with real purpose involved and the will and determination (the sun) to achieve and maintain the necessary resources. This can stimulate and propel forward the uniqueness (Uranus) of this individual in the realm of creative self-expression. This could be with children, sports, dramatics or with any creative endeavor that the rest of the chart supports via the temperament type, mode of self integration, vocational planet, etc. The applying planet's effort is first and then the separating planet's activity can be encouraged and achieved.

If the example was the same Sun in the second house, but opposition Uranus in the ninth, then the initial effort would be the same but the final unique contribution would be found more in the realm of abstract thought, science or perhaps publishing. But, once again, the initial effort would be to establish the necessary resources.

The combination of Sun and Uranus requires discipline to keep the special capacities of the Uranus in a constructive mode rather than allowing it to drift off in merely unusual ideas that aren't brought to fruition. So, again, the effort initially is with the Sun or the applying planet. Here finances may be a challenge and, in the effort to achieve and maintain them, the discipline that will become the mainstay of the creative abilities held within the Uranus can be developed.

There is more to this procedure, of course. The signs involved add their function to the picture. The departmental dynamics used in the Mode of Self-Integration can also be valuable. The Sabian symbols create a three-dimensional effect and can be particularly insightful, but hopefully this will be enough to give you an idea of how to work with the dynamic aptitude in any chart.

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