Understanding Electional Astrology

When it comes to astrology, most people still only think of natal astrology. This is not really all that surprising. Psychological natal astrology was the leading type of astrology for much of the 20th century.

However, these days traditional astrology in its many forms is becoming increasingly more popular. One of these forms is electional astrology.

What is electional astrology?

As you likely already know, your birth chart represents the position of the stars, sun and moon at the moment you were born, and says something about your personality, potential, past and future.

However, birth charts are not something exclusive to us humans. Anything that is born or created has a chart: that lady bug larvae that just hatched in your garden, the novel you just started writing, the carbarator in your car, you name it, its got a chart, i.e. the position of the planets, sun and moon at the time of its inception.

Electional astrology follows this premise. In this form of astrology, the astrologer looks for auspicious moments to start particular tasks. Although you could technically use electional astrology for anything you want, like say, the best time to throughly enjoy an ice cream sundae, most people seek out the aid of an astrologer to help them plan out major events, like weddings, business launches, planning major events, and so on.

The technical bits

In order for elections to work, several rules must be strictly followed:

Rule one: The ruler of the ascendant must be in good condition. This means in can’t be retrograde, in a difficult sign, combust (=within 8 degrees of the sun), in an unfortunate house or have any negative aspects with the malefisc (=Mars and Saturn). To promote good fortune and growth, it’s also important to have applying aspects from the benefic planets (=Venus and Jupiter).

The ascendant represents the person who is starting the action at the time of the election as well as the endeavor itself, which is why its ruler needs to be in good shape.

Example: If you were starting a writing project and you chose an electional chart with Virgo rising, Mercury would be your ascendant ruler. If the chart had Mercury in Gemini in the 10th house applying to a conjunction with Venus, this would be a great placement.

However, if Mercury were in the 7th house (=an angular house and therefore “good”) but in Pisces (=Mercury’s sign of detriment and fall) and retrograde, this would be a “bad” placement. This is an important distinction between this form of astrology as opposed to natal astrology.

In natal astrology, we have time to figure out our more challenging placements (I have Mercury in Pisces retrograde in the 7th, and although it’s given me grief at times, it also has its special kind of superpowers), but when it comes to electional astrology, we need to be more picky and judgy about things in order to ensure smooth sailing and success.

Rule two: The moon needs to be in good condition. The moon always acts as an intermediary between us and the planets, which means she needs to be in a condition where she can support the activity we wish to do. The rules for determining good placement are the same here as the ones listed above, except that the moon is never retrograde.

However, she should not be at her slowest or a new moon (=combust) or full moon (=culmination has been reached and there is nowhere else to go). The phase of the moon in general should also be taken into account.

Example: If we had that positive chart mentioned above (=Virgo rising, Mercury in Gemini applying to a conjunction with Venus) but the moon were in Aquarius in the sixth house applying to a conjunction with Saturn, this would kill the election, literally.

However, if the moon were in Gemini trine (=positive aspect) Saturn and moving towards Mercury or, better yet, in Taurus (=its sign of exaltation) and applying to a trine with Jupiter in Cancer (=also its sign of exaltation) in the 11th, then you’d be good to go.

Rule three: The general significator of the activity needs to be in good shape as well. For example, a general significator for any writing project would be Mercury, for a wedding or romantic relationship, it would be Venus, etc.

If these planets weren’t the ruler of the ascendant, you would still need to make sure they are well placed and free from challenging aspects from the malefics.

Does electional astrology promise success?

Does anything promise success?

Not really.

Electional astrology is no exception.

You could have the best election to start a business ever, but if the business you started was a shop that sold party hats for spiders then you still wouldn’t be successful because that’s not a very promising idea for a business (prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong). The same goes for a great wedding election if you’re marrying an absolute douchebag.

Elections are also not really one-size fits all, therefore it’s important to cross-check them with the person’s natal chart.

If you had a client who wanted an election for an action which should promote visibility in their career, it would make sense to say, choose out an election with the Sun in Leo on the Midheaven, for example. However, if Leo was on the cusp on this person’s 12th house and the sun was conjunct their natal Saturn in Leo, then this particular election would not work well for their intended goal.

What electional astrology can definitely do, however, is turn the odds in your favor and boost the chances for success with the desired outcome of your intention.

Isn’t this just playing with fate?

Well, yeah.

If you’ve got the tools to tweak your fate and reap the rewards, then why not do it, right?

That said, electional astrology can make you a little neurotic and obsessive about finding the “right time” for everything (yes, I have been guilty of this at times) when really most of the time you should just go about living your life and let the chips fall where they may. Therefore, choosing elections should really be reserved for the big stuff in life, not your average every day endeavors.

Sound interesting?

Then stick around and subscribe to this newsletter. I plan on starting a new podcast called Awesome Elections where I highlight some of the best moments of the month to start various tasks – so stay tuned!

Fun fact: Ronald Reagan regularly used this kind of astrology for timing events. Regardless of what you think of his politics (I for one am definitely not a fan), Ronnie was definitely very successful in what he set out to do. Thanks astrology…

Photo by Frédéric Barriol on Unsplash