Early Ascendant in Horary Astrology  ·  February 24, 2024, 19:37 GMT
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Early Ascendant in Horary Astrology

Theory and Practice


When the Ascendant of a horary chart is in the first three degrees of a sign, this is called an early Ascendant and is considered traditionally as a consideration before judgement. This idea originated as far as in the 12th century in the book of the horary astrologer Guido Bonatus:

Beware of those cases in which the astrologer is subject to err and mistake

1. When the querent comes only to try him, or put a trick on him, as many do, saying, 'Let us go to such an Astrologer, and ask him such a thing, and see if he can tell us the truth or not.' Just as the Jews propounded questions to our Lord Jesus Christ, not so much to be resolved, as to tempt ad ensnare Him.

2. Wherein the Artist will be liable to err, is when the Querent does not ask out of a serious or settled intention, as some do when they meet an astrologer by chance or go to him on other business; on a sudden they think of something, and so ask, as it were, by-the-bye; wherein 'tis a thousand to one but mistakes happen.

But thou mayest be ready to say, 'How shall I know whether the querent come out of a solid intention, or only to try me?' To which I answer, that it seems a very abstruse and difficult point, perfectly to find out; but this I have often experienced and found true, viz., I observed the hour of the Question, and if the Ascendant then happened to be very near the end of one sign and the beginning of another, so that it seemed as between both; I said they did not ask seriously, or that they came to try me; and I have had many that have thereupon confessed what I said to be true, and began to think that I knew more than before they believed."

Let's comment and try to really understand this issue.

Arguably, the accuracy of charts at that time was low therefore in cases when the Ascendant was close to a sign cusp the astrologer couldn't be sure what was the correct rising sign.

Modern horary astrologers view this situation slightly different.

John Frawley discards the so-called considerations before judegment as a mean to check the radicality of a chart, on the basis of the Hermetic dictum "As above, as every now and again so below". He says that every chart can be judged. Astrology doesn't stop working.

Anthony Louis: "Generally an early ascendant means the matter is premature. It's too early to render a judgment. More information must come to light. A late ascendant means the matter has passed its prime. The question is "post-mature." Often the querent knows the answer and is just testing to see what you think."

Sue Ward: So, generally an early degree on the Ascendant shows that the question is premature. For example, a man asked if his wife was pregnant and the chart produced an early Ascendant. It showed that his question was premature, other factors led to the conclusion that his wife was not pregnant and that he should await the test results. It transpired that she was not pregnant.
Often an early Ascendant indicates the querent’s failure to put anything in motion. A question regarding winning a lottery would be premature if the querent had not yet bought a ticket. The same applies to a question of marriage when the querent has yet to form any kind of romantic relationship. In some cases there might not be an early Ascendant, and the chart will produce an answer such as that once the ticket is bought the querent will indeed win the lottery, but this is rare and might only arise in a question prefixed by "will I ever…?". A significant planet (a significator) or the Ascendant in early degrees could also be describing a new situation, or a recent change in circumstances.
Where an early Ascendant is in evidence, the astrologer might want to reassure the querent that they are worrying too soon, or that they do not have enough information. Much depends on what else the chart has to offer, but should the astrologer decide to proceed with early and late degrees rising, as is the case with most of the Considerations, the condition should be allowed to modify the judgement.

Lee Lehman: The fact of earliness or lateness of the Ascendant is actually part of the answer. The "too early" Ascendant implies that there are still unforseen events or people that may still impinge on the outcome: the resolution to the question, the result, is not yet fixed.
The usual reading that I give when an Ascendant is 1 or 2 degree is that the delineation only represents a trend, but one that can be changed easily by subsequent events. In the case of 0 degrees rising, while I may delineate a trend, there is simply too much Free Will in the system: the odds are not good enough to pick a winner. In fact the only thing you can safely say is that circumstances will change - and probably quite quickly.


I will share an example from my personal experience. Recently I received a horary question and the chart had early ASC rising. I went on to judge the chart but I told the querent that "First thing I noticed in the chart was the so called early Ascendant, an element possibly indicating in this case that the question was asked in a hurry or is undeveloped in some way. I hardly see how this could be possible since [...] "

After some talk, I found out that the person had already asked another horary astrologer the same question only a few days earlier, but she didn't receive the result yet at that time.

I answered: "So this is what the earlier ASC means in this case! Traditional sources tell that the early ASC indicates the chart not to be trusted as the querent has been "tampering with" the question, by asking other astrologers, and has "come to try" the astrologer. Not that I would believe that, I don't take those ideas for granted, but this is a matter I should know more about and we should address. I would like to know if the previous horary question was targeted at the same question, please offer more details on that.
Horary is said to work best for the first time a question is asked, the more questions are asked on the same subject, the more dilluted and less targeted the chart indications. [...]

This is how I view this: horary works by accumulation of some form of energy which is discharged during the asking the question process. The second time you asked, the early ASC indicates that the question charging process was incomplete, hence the secondary horary chart is of secondary importance, due to your asking the same question previously.

What I'm trying to say is that we should refer to the first chart for most accurate results."

Then she gave me the original chart data, which was quite clear. The second horary chart indicated quite the same event but without all helpful indications, that would help delineate the chart, BUT offered good insight on the secondary question that was also asked.

What I'm implying is that horary does work by some informational energy discharge at the moment of a question (so-called horary moment), any further inquiries resulting in horary charts void of clear interpretation elements for that specifically phrased question.

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Special horary astrology cases
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  • Alcyone
  • Algol
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  • Almuten
  • Arabic Parts
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  • Combust
  • Critical degrees
  • Degrees of particular significance
  • Early Ascendant (<3° rising)
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  • Late Ascendant (>27° rising)
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