Translation of light in Horary Astrology  ·  January 17, 2019, 13:53 GMT
Right now: Moon at 7°24' Gemini, Sun at 27°09' Capricorn

Translation of light
in Horary Astrology

Theory and Practice

The translation of light is another way to bring a positive answer to the question, other than an applying aspect between the significators. A third planet, separates from one of the significators and applies to the other significator, such translating the light and nature of the first planet to the other. If the aspects involved are good, then the matter will be solved quickly and without difficulty. But if the aspects are bad then it'll take some time and effort. If the first planet receives the translating planet in any of its essential dignities, that ensures an easier flow of events.

Here's what the ancients wrote about the translation of light:

Excerpt from William Lilly - Christian Astrology I, p.111
translation of light

Translation of light and nature is, when a light Planet seperates from a more weighty one, and presently joyns to another more heavy; and its in this manner, Let Saturn be in 20. degr. of Aries: Mars in 15 of Aries, and Mercury in 16 of Aries; here Mercury being a swift Planet seperates from Mars, and translates the vertue of Mars unto Saturn. Its done also as well by any Aspect as by Conjunction. And the meaning hereof in judgment, is no more then thus; That if the matter or thing were promised by Saturn, then such a man as is signified by Mercury shall procure all the assistance a Mars man can doe unto Saturn, whereby the businesse may be the better effected; in Marriages, Lawsuits, and indeed in all vulgar questions Translation, is of great use, and ought well to be considered.

Excerpt from William Lilly - Christian Astrology I, p.125

Things are brought to perfection by Translation of Light and Nature, in this manner.
When the Significators both of Querent and Quesited are seperated from Conjunction or Sextile or Trine aspect of each other, and some one Planet or other doth seperate himself from one of the Significators, of whom he is received either by House, Triplicity, or Term, and then this Planet doth apply to the other Significator by Conjunction or aspect, before he meeteth, with the Conjunction or aspect of any other Planet, he then translates the force, influence and virtue of the first Significaotr to the other, and then this intervening Planet (or such a man or woman as is signifies by that Planet) shall bring the matter in hand to perfection.
Consider what house the Planet interposing or translating the nature and light of the two Planets is Lord of , and describe him or her, and say to the party, that such a party shall doe good in the business of, &c. viz, if Lord of the second, a good Purse affects the matter; if Lord of the third, a Kinsman or Neighbor; and so of all the rest of the Houses: of which more shall be said in the following Judgments.

Excerpt from Guido Bonatus - Anima Astrologiae

Whether if what appears by the sign likely to be effected, be signified by the planets by corporal conjunction, or aspect or translation of Light? If either of the two, first the thing will be effected by the Querent, and the party enquired of, without any third person intermeddling; but if by the last it shall be done by ambassadors, friends, or some person interposing himself; and it shall be brought to pass by a person or thing signified by that House whose Lords translate the lights as aforesaid. Thus if it be the Lord of the second, it will be done by expenses, or a piece of money; and if by the third, by some brother or the like; if by the fourth, by the Father, &c., according to the respective signification of each House.

Excerpt from John Gadbury - The doctrine of horary questions...

But if the Significator shall not be joyned together, neither by Body or Aspect, yet if there be a Translation of light between them, either by the the Moon, or another planet, it shews a possibility of the thing, although with much difficulty and trouble.
If any good translation of light happen between the significators, or if they apply to a Corporal, the Querent will agree with the Seller, without much difficulty or trouble.
But if the application or translation of light be by Quartile or Opposition, the Buyer and Seller will at last agree; but it will be with much labor and expense of time, and after many probabilities of a breaking off.

Excerpt from John Partridge - Mikropanastron, p. 19-25

The Translation of Light and Nature is no more but this, the separating of one Star from the Body or Aspect of another, and carrying his Light and Nature to a third; as for Example, Saturn in 10 degrees of Aries, and Jupiter in 5 degrees of Aries, and the Moon in 8 degrees of Leo, here the Moon separates from a trine of Jupiter, and translates the Light and Nature of Jupiter , by a trine to Saturn.

Astrological charts featuring a Translation of light

Which kind of translation of light is correct?

This is an interesting horary chart and question. I was reading Anthony Louis' book "Horary Astrology: Plain and Simple" and was a little bit confused by the two versions of translation of light presented there: the traditional standpoint and the one adopted by some modern astrologers who do do not require reception by essential dignities and allow the faster planet to aspect both significators in turn, rather than separating from one and applying to the other. I asked then (really focused and wanting to know the answer), "which of these two approaches to the translation of light is correct, the traditional one or the modern one?"

Chart data: May 1, 2005, 12:30 pm EED, 25e10, 46n58

translation of light

Amazingly, this unsual horary question is actually answered clearly by the horary chart, by an example of correct translation of light:

The quesited house is the 9th, as I considered the 9th house to represent the astrology (it is a divine science). In the horary chart the Moon is translating the 1st house ruler (the Sun) to the 9th house ruler (Neptune) or a 9th house planet (Mercury). But, without reception. The Moon (translating planet) is not received by the first planet (the Sun) in any of its terms.

This would support the traditional standpoint: a quicker planet translates the light from one significator to another, but the reception is not required.

Also, we notice that the Sun separates from Uranus (modern) and applies to Saturn (tradition).

Even more, the horary chart Ascendant (13Leo27) is smack on my natal Saturn (12Leo43), representing the tradition.

So, the answer is quite clear and leaves no doubt about the correct technique: the traditional one.

In addition to the standard horary interpretation, there is this technique which proves sometimes to be quite amazing - in horary charts, the Sabian Symbol of the antiscion of any relevant house cusp is very descriptive of what happens in that house.

In this chart, the Sabian Symbol for the antiscion of the Ascendant is (Taurus 17): A symbolical battle between "swords", the disciples of might and "torches", the disciples of enlightenment. What could describe better the two different points of view on the same mater: the traditional one and the modern one...?

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Special horary astrology cases
  • Afflicted 7th house
  • Alcyone
  • Algol
  • Antiscia
  • Almuten
  • Arabic Parts
  • Beseiged
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  • Critical degrees
  • Degrees of particular significance
  • Early Ascendant (<3° rising)
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  • Late Ascendant (>27° rising)
  • Mutual reception
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  • Regulus
  • Retrogradation
  • Spica
  • Saturn Rx in the 1st or 7th
  • Serpentis
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  • Translation of light
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  • Void of course