How to Cast a Horoscope

The instructions given in this chapter are for beginners in the science. The author has been told frequently by those who have read extensively on the subject of Astrology that they find it difficult to follow any of the rules given in the various works on the subject, as they are generally too technical and complicated. For this reason these directions have been abbreviated; but they are sufficiently accurate to prove of value to the layman. Non-technical terms are employed wherever possible, and minute calculations, such as corrections from Standard to Local Mean Time, or from Local Mean Time to Sidereal Time, have been omitted.

A horoscope is a map or chart indicating the positions of the Sun, the Moon and seven planets in relation to the earth and to the zodiac for any given moment of time. While it is possible to calculate the horoscope with great precision for any instant of time, so few know exactly the moment of their birth, unfortunately, that for ordinary judgment the rules given herein will suffice.

In Diagram 1 the center represents the earth and the outer circle the space of the heavens which is divided into twelve equal sections called “houses.” The term “cusp” is used to indicate the line that divides one house from another. The first house begins with the horizontal line on the left side of the circle and the cusp of the first house is called the Ascendant, as the Sun, the Moon and the planets from this point on ascend, or arise, and are visible in our horizon. {303}

{Illustration occupying most of page 304: This is a simple circular chart for a horoscope, no planetary positions marked. The house cusps are noted in the form “Cusp of 1st”, &c. Two rings are about the chart, one containing the twelve signs on the outside and another with twelve segments having planetary and other symbols. The illustration is marked “MIDHEAVEN OR ZENITH” at top and “NADIR” at bottom. Below all: “DIAGRAM I”}

The sign of the zodiac rising at a person's birth, termed the Ascendant, signifies man's outward appearance and everything which has to do with the personality, and is therefore considered one of the most important factors in diagnosing the horoscope. In order to verify the calculations, after having placed the signs on each of the twelve divisions, it is recommended that the student refer {304} to the Table of Ascendants (Part III), which will show at a glance whether his figures are correct, for if the Ascendant has been calculated accurately, the signs on the cusps of the other houses will generally be found to be in their right places.

In order to erect a horoscope for any given time, it will be necessary to refer to Raphael's Ephemeris (for the year of birth desired), which contains the zodiacal positions of the Sun, Moon and planets.

“Sidereal Time of Birth.” – Turning to the required month and day in the Ephemeris, a column will be found on the left, headed “Sidereal Time.” If the birth be before noon, deduct from the Sidereal Time the difference between the time of birth and noon of the same day; if the birth happened after noon, then add to the Sidereal Time the time between noon and the time of birth. In the case of a morning birth, if the Sidereal Time will not permit the deduction, then add 24 hours to it, and make your subtraction; in like manner, if, when adding the time of birth to the Sidereal Time, the total exceeds 24 hours, then subtract this (24) from the result, which gives the correct Sidereal Time of birth. Again, it must be taken into account whether Daylight Saving Time was in operation at the time the person was born; if so, subtract one hour from the clock time, and then proceed as above.

“Cusps of the Houses.” – Having ascertained the correct Sidereal Time of birth, turn to the Table of Houses at the end of Raphael's Ephemeris, and in the column marked Sidereal Time, find this figure or the nearest thereto as {305} computed above. It will be noted in this table that the figures 10, 11, 12, Ascendant 2 and 3 occupy the top line. These represent the cusps of six of the houses, or from the Midheaven to the 4th. The remaining six houses occupy the other half of the circle, and we insert on their cusps the same degrees of the opposite signs, thus completing the twelve houses. (The signs and those opposite each one, are shown at the beginning of Part I.) The signs and degrees for the cusps of the 10th, 11th, 2nd, Ascendant and 3rd houses of the horoscope are on the same horizontal line with Sidereal Time.

As an example, we will proceed to erect a figure for the moment of the New Year, which is 0 A. M. January 1, 1928. If we turn to the Ephemeris for 1928, we find Sidereal Time to be 18 hours, 39 minutes and 37 seconds (or for practical purposes 18 hours, 49 minutes). Since the Ephemeris is calculated for Greenwich or London at noon of each day, and since 0 A. M., or the beginning of the New Year, is twelve hours previous to noon (from which all calculations are made as stated before) we subtract 12 hours from 18 hours and 40 minutes, giving the result of 6 hours and 40 minutes.

We now turn to the Table of Houses and find the nearest Sidereal Time to be 6 hours, 39 minutes and 11 seconds, which gives us 9 degrees of Cancer on the cusp of the 10th house; 12 degrees of Leo on the eleventh house; 13 degrees of Virgo on the twelfth; 7 degrees, 47 minutes of Libra on the first or Ascendant; 4 of Scorpio on the cusp of the second; and 5 of Sagittarius on the third. We fill in the remaining six cusps with the same number of degrees, but with the opposite signs. Our cusps are now complete. {306}

“How to Place the Planets in the Houses.” – In order to insert the planets in their proper places in the map, we refer to January 1 in the 1928 Ephemeris. In the column headed “Long.” (abbreviation of longitude signifying the planet's positions in the zodiac), and under the planetary symbols, we find the planets' positions expressed in degrees and minutes, and seconds in the case of the Sun and Moon. The student realizes, of course, that each sign of the zodiac contains 30 degrees, each degree 60 minutes, and each minute 60 seconds. When the seconds exceed 30, one minute may be added, and if under thirty, they can be omitted.

“Birth Time Changed to Greenwich Time.” – The planets' places given in the Ephemeris are calculated for noon at Greenwich or London, as already stated, and therefore we must change New York time to Greenwich time. This is done by adding the difference in time between New York and Greenwich to the time of birth of the New Year (or with an individual their hour of birth). As the earth turns around on its axis once in twenty-four hours (the circumference containing 360 degrees), it is obvious that every degree must represent four minutes of time. As the longitude for New York is approximately 75 degrees west of Greenwich, and each degree of longitude is equal to four minutes of time, we consequently find that the difference in time between New York and Greenwich is five hours; we now add this five hours to 0 A. M. of January 1, 1928, which gives us 5 A. M. This, subtracted from noon, upon which all calculations in the Ephemeris are based, gives a 7-hour correction for the Sun, Moon and planets.

“The Sun's Position.” – The Sun moves approximately 1 {307) degree, or 60 minutes, in 24 hours, and, if we divide 24 hours by 60 minutes, we will find that the Sun moves 2 1/2 minutes per hour. Multiplying 2 1/2 by 7, gives 17 minutes and 30 seconds. As the corrected time was previous to noon (5 A. M.), this amount must be subtracted from the position of the Sun in the “Ephemeris” for January 1, 1928, which is 9 degrees, 50 minutes of Capricorn, making the Sun for January 1 at New York City, in 9 degrees, 32 minutes of Capricorn.

“The Moon's Position.” – The movement of the Moon is more erratic, varying from 12 to 15 degrees in 24 hours. One degree for each two hours, or 30 minutes per hour, is sufficiently accurate in correcting the Moon for the use of the beginner. We now multiply the 7 hours by 30 minutes, or one-half a degree, which will give 3 degrees, 30 minutes correction, which must be subtracted from the Moon's position at noon, 23 degrees, 19 minutes of Aries, leaving 19 degrees, 49 minutes of Aries for the Moon's position at New York City for January 1, 1928, at 0 A. M.

This is not quite exact, as the Moon on December 31, 1927, was in 9 degrees 10 minutes of Aries, and on January 1, 1928, it was in 23 degrees 19 minutes, or a difference of 14 degrees and 9 minutes for the twenty-four hours; in this case it would make a difference in the position of the Moon of 35 minutes, but, unless one were using secondary directions or arcs, it would have no material effect in determining the Moon's influence.

A remark made by the author's preceptor, Dr. J. Heber Smith, when teaching her how to erect a figure, made a deep impression. This was to the effect that the type of mind that “fussed” over the minutes and seconds in drawing up a chart never made a good astrological diagnostician, {308} such minds being too literal and their spiritual perception too limited. As an example, he stated that the charts drawn by Professor Lester (his contemporary, and whom he considered the wisest Astrologer of his period), “looked as if a hen had walked over the paper.” Dr. Smith's opinion has been born out by the author in her own experience with pupils. Raphael, under whose supervision the ephemerides upon which all Astrologers are dependent are prepared, in drawing his charts in his daily work, does not consider it necessary to put in anything but the degrees of the planets; which still further goes to prove that the more one knows of the truths of the science, the more one realizes that he is dealing with the Cosmos and that unless the Astrologer has background, years of experience and much worldly wisdom, he is in danger of depending too much on mathematics and too little on the things that count.

Sometimes the author is asked how long it would be necessary to study Astrology in order to master the science, and she is always reminded at such times of a remark made by Regulus in 1889, to the effect that he had been studying Astrology thirty-five years and he realized that he had only scratched the surface of its vast possibilities.

“The Planets' Positions.” – For all practical purposes the other planets may be inserted in the map as found in the Ephemeris. Should it be desired to calculate the exact positions of the planets (including the Sun and Moon), the student will find on the last sheet of Raphael's Ephemeris, a table of Proportional Logarithms, with a rule and example at the end of the page; but as many students will find themselves puzzled by the proportional {309} logarithms, a more simple method is given below. In cases where a planet is close to the end or beginning of a sign it is more necessary to ascertain its exact position, and it should be accurately calculated. The planets are moving, not only at various rates, but because of the relative motion of the earth in the ecliptic at certain periods in any year they appear to be moving backwards. At such times, they are said to be retrograde; this is signified by the symbol R, {with a diagonal slash across the right foot} or the symbol which is used on all apothecary's prescriptions. When a planet turns direct, the letter D is inserted in the column. The Sun and Moon, of course, are never retrograde. “Placing the Planets in the Houses.” – Now that the Sun and Moon have been rectified, we will proceed to place them and the planets in their proper houses on the chart. To assist the beginner, let him think of the first house or Ascendant as being 9 o'clock on the face of a watch or clock, and remember that, in order that the planets may rise, the signs on the cusps of the houses must move backwards. This again comes from the fact that it is the earth that moves on its axis, causing the Sun to appear to rise, as in reality, the heavenly bodies remain practically stationary for the twenty-four hours. Therefore it is necessary to remember that the planets go with the clock, and the signs rise in the opposite direction.

Referring to Diagram 2, which shows the positions of the heavens or the twelve houses at the beginning of the New Year, and the degrees of the zodiac on the cusp of each house, we will proceed to place the planets in this diagram.

{Illustration on page 311: This is the same chart form as in Diagram I, but the words “Cusp of…” have been removed. Each house cusp point has a degree number, sometimes with the minutes as well, and a zodiacal sign symbol. Above are the words: “THE HOROSCOPE”. Below: “DIAGRAM II”.}

We found that the Moon, after being corrected, was in 19 degrees Aries 49 minutes, and as 7 Aries, 47 minutes is {310} on the cusp of the seventh house, we must place the Moon in the seventh house. We found that the Sun, after being corrected, was in 9 degrees Capricorn 32 minutes, and as 9 degrees Capricorn was on the cusp of the fourth house, we must place the Sun just over the line in the fourth house, because it is more than 9 degrees. As already stated for easy reckoning, we have not corrected the planets, and will therefore proceed to place them in their right positions. {311} Neptune, being in 28 decrees Leo, 56 minutes, will occupy the eleventh house, as 12 of Leo is on the cusp. Uranus, being in 29 degrees Pisces, 43 minutes, will be placed in the sixth house, as 13 degrees of Pisces is on the cusp of the sixth house. Jupiter being in 26 Pisces, 36 minutes, will also be placed in the sixth house, preceding Uranus. Saturn being in 13 degrees Sagittarius, 34 minutes, will be in the third house, as 5 degrees of Sagittarius {312} is on the cusp. Mars being in 17 degrees Sagittarius 11 minutes, will follow Saturn in the same house. Venus, being in 27 Scorpio 3 minutes, will be in the second house, as 4 degrees of Scorpio is on the cusp. Mercury, being in 5 degrees Capricorn 25, will also be placed in the third house, as 9 degrees of Capricorn is on the cusp of the fourth house; 5 degrees being less than 9 degrees, it must be placed in the preceding house. Diagram 3 illustrates the complete figure or horoscope for the year 1928, January 1, 0 A. M. {313}

{Illustration on page 312: This is the same as Diagram II, except it is called “DIAGRAM III” and the planetary positions are written in radially in the form: Symbol of planet – Degree – Zodiacal Sign – Minutes.}

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