Understanding Hoary Astrology
Life is full of questions.
Should I buy this house?
Will I get the job?
Will my relationship work out?
Where is my missing dog?
Although it’s important to try our best to figure out the answers on our own, sometimes we need a little help – hell, in some cases it can even be a lifesaver.
This is where Hoary Astrology comes in.
What is Hoary Astrology?
Hoary astrology is a branch of traditional astrology that works as a system of divination. A person asks a pressing question and the astrologer casts a chart which gives the answer.
Going through all the rules in this post would be too exhaustive – I took a six month hoary practitioner course at the School of Traditional Astrology , and we definitely needed all that time to learn and practice the technical and intuitive skills you need to practice this branch of astrology.
However, here are a few basic rules you need to know:
The first house and its ruler (almost) always represents the person asking the question, who is called the querent
The thing asked about is called the questited. The house and ruler you look at for this information depends on the nature of the question. For example, if the person is asking about a ring they lost, you would look at the 2nd house, at the 5th house if the question was about their child, at the 7th house for a romantic partner, at the 10th house for questions about their career and so on.
An important part of the judgement is made by assessing the essential and accidental dignity and aspects of the planets important to the question (i.e. are they strong or weak by sign and house placement? Are the planets that represent the querent and questited aspecting each other, and if so, how (i.e. a harmonious or challenging aspect, separating or applying, etc.)?
The moon is always important in every reading because it asks as a co-significator. This is particularly true for questions about missing people or objects, as the moon is the natural significator for anything lost.
Again, these are really only the most basic things you need to take into account to make an accurate judgement, but they are a good place to start.
As technical as it sounds – and it is very technical – what I really love about hoary astrology is that it allows you to truly get to the heart of a matter and see a narrative unfold. In natal astrology, you are literally looking at a person’s entire life, past, present and future, and it’s easy to get lost in the details.
But in hoary, you are exploring a single question, which helps better narrow down where to look. You still can see the past and present circumstances, but what you’re seeking is the answer your client (desperately) needs to aid them in making the most informed decision possible about the matter at hand.
An example hoary chart: Will I get the job?
In this example hoary chart, a client asked me to cast a chart about a sudden, unexpected job offer they had received.
In 2020, they moved to a new state and had been working online at home. Since the move happened in the middle of the pandemic, they didn’t feel very connected to the city where they were now living and hadn’t gotten much of a chance to meet new people, either personally or professionally. They had recently gotten a job offer out of the blue to work at an expensive private college.
Although they enjoyed their current profession, they were sick of being cooped up at home and wondered if this potential job might be a good opportunity to network and become more involved in their community. The question they asked was:
Will they offer me the job and, if so, will it be a good fit for me?
When I cast the chart after receiving the question, one thing that immediately struck me were the number of planets directly on an angle.
Uranus, the planet that stands for unexpected events, is within five degrees of the midheaven in the 10th house, the house of career, which perfectly describes a sudden job, like this one was.
Mars conjunct Mercury in Scorpio is directly on the IC in the 4th house, which represents the home. Both planets are tightly square Saturn in Aquarius in the 6th house. What this represents is anger and an intense desire to move forward (Mars) blocked by limitations and restrictions (Saturn). Since Mars and Saturn are both equally strong in signs they traditionally rule, neither can gain the upper hand. Saturn is in the 6th house of disease, so I interpreted the energy as representing the extreme frustration and impatience around being trapped at home due to Covid-related lockdown measures.
Jupiter in Aquarius is also directly on the descendant in the 7th house, which stands for the questied, i.e. the people offering the job. Jupiter represents wealthy people and higher education, so the planet here fits an expensive, elite private university. However, there does seem to be a twist here which I’ll get to in a minute.
Since Leo is on the cusp of the 1st house, the querent is signified by the Sun, which is in Scorpio in the 4th house. This means we get another indicator of this person being at home, which is not a peaceful, carefree place these days as we’ve already seen with that Mars square Saturn!
Aquarius is on the cusp of the 7th house, which means the people offering the job are represented by Saturn. Since Saturn is in the 12th house from the perspective of the 7th and in general can signify stinginess and meagre funds (although perhaps less so in Aquarius), I wondered about the financial situation at this school and for this particular position. To me, this almost looks a bit like a poor aristocrat (Jupiter, sign for the wealthy, is also in Saturn’s sign!). Sure that Manor House might look impressive, but all their money goes into its upkeep.
This seemed to be further reinforced by the Moon, which recently conjuncted Saturn and will next make an aspect to the Sun. In hoary, this is called translating light, which means the moon acts as a messenger between Saturn (the people offering the job) and the Sun (my client). However, since the aspect to the Sun will be a square (i.e. an aspect of strife and conflict) and the moon is in the Sun’s sign of detriment, it doesn’t seem likely that the message will be very appealing.
After analyzing the chart, I told the client they may very well receive a job offer, but if they do, they might not be very happy with the conditions. Since the job itself is represented by Venus (=Taurus on the 10th house cusp), it’s clear by the chart that they were hoping the job might help ease their frustration and feelings of being trapped at home. This can be seen by the sexile (e.g. harmonious) aspect Mars made to Venus; however, since the aspect is separating and Venus does not aspect the Sun, it does not seem likely that this particular job is the answer.
Still, I liked the look of that Venus, which is strong in the 5th house, its “house of joy.” To me, it seemed like the heart of the matter here was less about the job itself – after all, the client already had work they found satisfying that paid well – it was more about the desire to move forward and make connections in their new town and get out of the house. Venus in the 5th house suggests fun, entertainment, creativity, art and music. She’s slow and not making any aspects except a (positive) trine to the MC (=career and social standing), so things may still not go at the speed the client desired, but networking in a more social, relaxing way seemed like a more constructive way to get their professional and personal bearings.
The client really related to what I had to say about the frustrations they were feeling around being trapped at home and living in a near constant state of lockdown. They also admitted that they had the feeling the position would probably not pay enough, but they still wanted to go to the interview and check it out.
When we touched base later, they told me the job paid even less than they assumed it would, which meant the job wasn’t a viable option. However, they took the Venus significations in the chart to heart and joined a professional association for networking and had already met a few interesting locals working in their field. Although nothing dramatic had changed, these new developments made them feel more hopeful and positive than before.
So beautiful how perfectly the chart described all of this!
If you’re interested in booking a hoary astrology consultation, check out my website. Since I just finished my training at STA in December, I’m offering readings for just 35€ – half the price I will charge once I gain more experience!