The Horary Textbook – A Partial Review

The Horary Textbook - John Frawley

I'd like to take the opportunity of the recent publishing of John Frawley's "The Horary Textbook Revised Edition" to offer some thoughts  on some points raised which are of interest to me personally.

John Frawley states: “There is never, ever in either horary or Natal astrology a direct connection between Fortuna and material fortune.”

I’d like to emphasize and clarify the word “DIRECT” in my understanding of what I believe JF is saying. And I want to suggest caution when using the words “Never, ever or always”.

By “direct connection” I understand “automatic” as in: “Fortuna MEANS material fortune”, no matter what. So, in that sense no, no automatic or direct association there. Fortuna does not “mean” money or wealth automatically.

However there CAN be a connection to material fortune. Not automatic, in the sense just mentioned, but a connection dictated by the context. As there can be a connection by context with a number of other subject matters dictated by aspects with other planets, house placement or conjunction with fixed stars, both in horary and natal.

Let’s go a step further into investigating the place of Fortuna in the overall scheme of a horary chart.

What are most horary questions about?

Money, jobs, relationships, lost cats and health, give or take.

Most questions can be answered by looking at the seven inner planets, one or two Arabic parts, maybe a star and no more. Those elements expose the more apparent layers of reality which can easily be observed and therefore verified. Namely, we are, or can be, naturally conscious of the objects and events that those planets, stars, and Arabic parts represent.

So when JF says: “I cannot remember ever judging a horary where Fortuna showed anything of importance.”, that is fair enough, as that statement reflects his personal experience. But also, in general, it points at the fact that indeed, most questions do not require looking “under the chart’s hood” for any extra information. Will I get the job? Will I get laid? Yes or no; end of story; no need of Fortuna, or any other Arabic Part for that matter.

However, once we begin to deal with psychological and spiritual themes and medical charts Fortuna comes into being in a different form. It can expose a layer deeper than the obviously conscious, as can several other Arabic parts. Fortuna however has the ability to expose the essence of the inquiry or of the true interest of the querent. Fortuna often shows a deeper part of the psyche than the part that is articulated in words and expressed in intelligible thought in the form of a question.

Furthermore, Fortuna can help the astrologer uncover the meaning of “mystery planets” in a chart, by being placed on a relevant house cusp or conjunct a planet.

On page 277 JF advises us to ignore the point about the same planet ruling both the 1st and 12th house.

JF may be right or he may be wrong about that in relation to bewitchment, I cannot tell. In the last five years I have judged a total of two charts about bewitchment, fact which makes me NOT an expert on the subject. One of those charts had the same planet ruling house 1 and 12, the other did not, so my experience on this point is very limited. I am aware of many points where JF is right where Lilly was wrong, but here if Lilly was right or JF is right I cannot tell; JF does not explain his reasoning or tell us how much experience he has with the subject in question.

I come from a culture where voodoo or Macumba (or “works”), as we call it in Brazil, is rather commonplace, plus I have had direct contact and some experience with such “works” myself. I can tell they do exist, it is not some scholar’s or skeptic’s guess or imagination. Yet, I do not feel qualified to say that I know all the variations on such theme and therefore cannot assert 100% what astrological configurations are or are not valid.

The point is: as an astrologer, it is important to have a reasonable understanding of the phenomena being inquired, that is: to know the context and the subject matter in a certain depth. Only then, I believe, one has a chance to have a shot at inferring astrological rules without reading books.

Logic, however, tells me that, since bewitchment comes with the action of one person against another we would want to see two planets interacting to give such testimony. Therefore, in theory, I am more inclined to side with JF on this one.

Then JF goes on to say: “With no other type of question is there any significance in finding the same planet ruling both relevant houses.”

I believe JF is referring to two totally *unrelated* houses, such as “me” and “the job”, “me” and the money”, “me” and “her/him”, “me” and the “illness”, etc.

From experience, I can say that, in fact, there are types of charts where the same planets ruling two houses is extremely meaningful and without which perspective you will not read the chart accurately or completely. Point in question: house 1 and house 12. Not house 12 as bewitchment, but as self-undoing, of various obvious and not-so-obvious kinds.

Let’s follow Culpeper’s advice and think about it: L1 and L12 being the same planet. That is: “You are your own enemy”.

What could be more logical, and coherent as a testimony for self-harm than that? That is in the very nature of house 12; a clear testimony of self-undoing. No need for a second planet; the problem is “me”. This testimony occurs in many charts (not only psychological or medical) to reveal a factor of self-harm present in the situation where the querent is not aware of or to confirm what the querent already has a hunch about. I have a couple of dozen charts demonstrating this, with accurate context confirmation.


An aspect of self-undoing or self-harm that most people disregard is the fact that self-harm is not limited to physical addictions such as substance abuse or excesses in general. In psychological charts, many negative emotions show up as L12, and very often (I’d say 50% of the time) L1 and L12 are the same planet. Emotions such as worry, envy, anger, arrogance, spite, jealousy, and many others which are based on fear. Again, think about it: what do those emotions primarily do? They are harmful, first and foremost to oneself, and then, when expressed either physically or energetically/mentally, to others as well; but it always starts with a good deal of self-inflicted suffering.


There’s another chart type where the same planet ruling two houses is important: in psychological charts involving interaction with other people L1 and L2 (lord two) can be meaningfully ruled by the same planet, therefore emphasizing the self-image aspect which is active in the situation and shows the essence of the central emotion at play such as shame, losing face, vanity, desire to be accepted or understood, or simply showing courteousness or kindness in behavior, etc. House 2 is the image of ourselves we show to the world. It is the most outward layer of our personality. House 2 is not necessarily self-esteem, although self-esteem is definitely, for many people, associated with their self-image rather than with their self (L1) thus the image can be easily confused with the feeling. This is most pronounced in people who have a chief feature of arrogance or self-deprecation and who, by their nature, are very self-conscious. I will address this in more detail in a separate article.

The Moon’s last aspect…

On page 220 there is a medical chart where the significator of the illness is not found by the standard method of taking the planet’s dispositor. In that chart, the body is signified by Mercury in Gemini. The cause of the illness is given by Mars because of a recent opposition between them.

It happens that the Moon is separating from Mars. John then comments that “there is no reason to look at the last Moon aspect.”

In this particular chart, fine, there is no reason, because Mars is so obvious and in negative reception towards Mercury. However, in a certain percentage of medical charts where the cause of illness is NOT found by the standard dispositor method, the Moon’s last aspect will show the cause of the illness. There ARE situations where we DO look at the Moon’s last aspect TO DISCOVER the illness cause. In addition to that, more than 50% of all medical charts, in my experience, the Moon’s last aspect will confirm the significator of the illness by separating from the body’s dispositor planet or any other significantly placed planet showing the illness cause.

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