Western Traditional Astrology can be divided into four major branches, each operating within a particular scale of experience. Depending on the function Astrology is asked to perform these branches can overlap and interact with one another. They are:
The word Horary comes from “Hora”, the Latin word for “Hour”. Horary Astrology is therefore, the branch that applies methods to interpret an astrological chart for the moment the question is understood by the Astrologer — “of the hour”. This is the branch that addresses any question, at any time, about any subject that one may wish to receive an answer for, be it about the past, present or future. See examples of Horary questions that are addressed by Traditional Horary Astrologers.
This is the branch whose methods are used to determine the optimal time for action — the best time to start a business, stop smoking, launch a project, travel, a wedding ceremony… any significant planned action. The techniques used can be similar to horary or can include the use of Natal (birth) charts as well.
Natal Astrology interprets astrological charts cast for the moment of birth of an individual person. From that interpretation the person’s temperament is revealed and an outline of the events in a person’s life, and their timing, is established. Knowing the person’s temperament (Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholic) reveals in what way that person will likely react to those events.
Mundane Astrology is concerned with the birth and lifespan of clans and ruling families, kingdoms and nations. In conjunction with Natal Astrology it outlines the roles of their rulers as well.
Some of these branches are subdivided and focus on specific areas of life such as Medical Astrology, Astrometeorology, etc.
Why Western and why Traditional?
Western, to differentiate it from Vedic Astrology , which was developed in India from Greek and Egyptian origins. The Western Tradition touches on Greek and Egyptian roots as well but came to the West through the Arabs.
Traditional, to indicate that it operates within a tradition of proven rules, methods and guidelines; and to differentiate it from modern Astrology which is more like “psychology using astrological ideas” and which bears only a partial resemblance to the complete Astrology practiced according to the tradition. There are several differences between modern and Traditional Astrology. Read this article for more on the differences and similarities between Traditional and modern Astrology.