The Traditional Horary Course
Study Guide


You are embarking on a course of study which will eventually enable you to answer specific questions with the use of astrology, in other words you will be able to predict. It is an art of great antiquity. William Lilly, the great 17th century English astrologer, collated and refined the technique through experience and endless study and research. The book he published in 1647, Christian Astrology, is a complete treatise on the art of astrology and makes an impressive teaching manual. It is through this book that instruction first became available in English, rather than in Latin.

Lilly brought together all the texts, then extant, of the ancient and classical authors. He translated and tested the methods they advocated, and systematised this knowledge in a manner which is as valid today as it was 350 years ago. When his methods are followed in the way he suggests, the same results can be expected: concise, detailed horaries with accurate predictions. It was later, when astrology entered its decline following the Restoration, that basic tenets were altered or forgotten. Lilly goes to great lengths to provide the teachings of the ancients and always tells his reader when he is using a method of his own. Even here he admits to having obtained his method from his reading of the ancient authorities, …and if my Judgements doe vary from the common Rules of the Ancients, let the Candid Reader excuse me, sith he may still follow their Principles if he please; and he must know, that from my Conversation in their Writings I have attained the Method I follow. ( Page 142 Christian Astrology).

Christian Astrology represents the culmination of thousands of years of astrological observation, research and study. It is mainly from this source that The Traditional Horary Course has been constructed.

Our aim is to provide thorough instruction in horary techniques, firmly rooted in the traditional methods expounded by Lilly. Successful completion of the Course results in the award of the Diploma of Traditional Astrology. This is a qualification of high academic merit. Throughout the Course you will be encouraged to pursue an active career – in teaching, publishing, or working with clients – through accurate and precise chart work. The tools and techniques which we present are not just about horary, they are appropriate to all applications of astrology, from natal to mundane.

One of the greatest obstacles to taking a home study course is the high cost of tuition and books, which usually have to be paid for in advance. This puts the better quality courses out of the reach of large numbers of people. Considerable time and effort has been invested into reducing the number of books required for this course.

Traditional horary astrology is a most fascinating, if demanding, subject and is deserving of the attention of all astrologers.


  • The Course has been written with the sincere intention of passing on the accumulated knowledge of many years of study with a high standard of scholarship. It is not definitive however, and is subject to refinement and amendment. Acquiring understanding of traditional astrology is a neve- ending objective, but its rewards are high.

  • We will endeavour to maintain your first allocated tutor for each block of five lessons, but there will be times when this is not possible. If such an occasion arises, all steps will be taken to minimise the disruption to your studies. Your tutor will usually be changed at Lessons 6 and 11 to ensure that the Course teaching standard is maintained. In the more advanced lessons, individual pieces of work might be graded by more than one tutor.

  • If you cannot complete the course within the two year time limit, you should notify your tutor at the earliest opportunity.

  • The examination is taken in your home and is only required if you wish to obtain the Diploma of Traditional Astrology. There is a separate fee of £40.00 for the examination.

  • The purpose of continuous assessment (detailed below) is to enable both student and tutor to monitor progress. It will highlight persistent problems, or areas of confusion where more work is required. Each student is graded on their course work plus their examination. So there is no dependence upon the examination alone.

  • All work should be submitted by e-mail, diagrams and charts can be scanned and sent as graphic files (JPG, TIF, BMP, etc.), or faxed to your tutor. It is your responsibility to ensure that your tutor receives these files intact, so you are advised to keep secure copies of all of your work. AOL users should be aware that they are usually unable to receive file attachments unless they have been zipped. However, your tutor will usually make her report in plain text e-mails, should we have to return diagrams to you, we will do so as attached graphic files.

  • Your tutor will return your work ungraded if it is illegible, badly presented, or not up to the course standard. If you insist that it be graded, that grade will be recorded as usual on your continuous assessment record, with the appropriate grade reduced. We provide a detailed guide to the presentation of work to avoid this problem. Your tutor will try to answer all your questions, but allow time for the matter to be properly researched, if necessary. Your tutor is not an oracle. If your questions are answered in following lessons, your tutor may postpone answering until that time. Your tutor will not be able to spend time answering questions that are not relevant to the lesson in hand; that would merely detract from your work. Unless you have a problem that prevents you from completing your assignments, please include your questions with each lesson.

  • You will, no doubt, be practicing with lots of your own horaries. If you ask your tutor to judge them for you, remember that there are professional fees to be paid. It is better that you keep them for your own files for judgement later when you are more experienced, and you will need to produce your own horaries in later lessons.

  • Tuition for each lesson is estimated at a maximum of two hours' duration. Should your work regularly demand more time than this, you will be notified and a charge made for extra tuition time should the situation continue. On the rare occasion that this becomes an issue, it is often indicative of some difficulty with study which might well be improved by extra tuition.

  • Finally, the tutors of the course understand the difficulties of learning anew. They have had to battle against frustrations, time limitations and so on, in order to achieve their current level of scholarship. Each persisted out of love for astrology and for the rich dividends it pays to the honest, sincere student. Astrology returns, at least, the equal of each student’s investment.

Continuous Assessment

At the end of each lesson you will submit a set of assignments to be graded by your tutor and awarded credits, the maximum number available is listed below. These are totalled at the end of the course and added to your examination credit. If the result is above the minimum requirement you will be awarded the Diploma once your two predictions have been accepted and verified. Your tutor will comment on your work and advise you about areas requiring more attention. Taking that advice will avoid your having to rely too heavily on your examination grade.

Each lesson has a maximum value of 16 points, these are awarded for comprehension, presentation, and the assignments themselves. There is also an allocation for commendations which are points awarded at your tutor's discretion. Further details are provided below. The final examination is similarly graded and has a maximum value of 60 credits.

The Diploma of Traditional Astrology is awarded to students attaining 75% of the total available credits, that is, a minimum of 225 credits.


Here your work is assessed for overall understanding of the principles introduced in each lesson and its associated reading material. This, naturally, will vary considerably from lesson to lesson and depends on individual aptitude. This grade measures how effective your studies have been, how well you have used the various texts and applied what you have learned to date.


These are graded according to the content of your responses to the assignments at the end of each lesson.


This grading will not always apply and is simply to allow the tutor to give extra grades where she feels the standard of work deserves it. It will usually be awarded for improvement and progress, and can be given even where other grades are not particularly high. Your tutor will tell you when you have been credited in this way.


The examination is informal and  taken in your own home, just as with the end of lesson assignments. Each question or project will be clearly marked with the maximum number of credits available.

Finally, in view of the fact that varying degrees of cheating have been encountered by other home study courses, a few words on this subject are necessary. It is difficult to imagine why anyone should want to achieve a qualification of this sort by any means available to them, however, the quality of such an achievement is dubious. The most important characteristics of the horary practitioner are honesty and integrity, and knowing the value of a hard-earned education.

Heaven is reached by no brief effort and does not favour short cuts.
(Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, 1st Century AD)

Presentation Guidelines


All work must be clearly and tidily presented. There is a great deal that can be done to enhance the appearance of e-mail, but please keep text in black and a minimum size of 10 point, with a maximum of 12 point in a plain font. If we find your work difficult to read, we will return it for reformatting.

Chart forms are provided and must be used, whether your calculations are computer generated or not. This is because all data must be on one sheet, and our forms are designed to be easy to read to facilitate grading. You can scan these into your PC and save them in a variety of graphic file formats. While JPG files are not good for printing, they are small in size and take little time to send over the internet.

Please use the European style of drawing the wheel, (as illustrated in the example chart and judgement below) fixed cusp charts, or other styles, will only be accepted at your tutor’s discretion.

Source References

When using source references insert them immediately after the relevant passage (this would not necessarily be correct when submitting work for publication). Never use other people’s work without giving them credit. You will be expected to support your arguments with source references, your tutor can advise you on this. The grades you receive will reflect how well you have supported your work with references, particularly into Christian Astrology.

The largest proportion of your work should always be based on the course material and required or suggested reading. Other references are only relevant if they are from a reliable source. If you are intending to use a source other than the course texts, it is advisable to check with your tutor first.


Various worksheets and chart forms have been supplied to you in the appendices of both courses, and you can print these out for use. Even where you are not specifically asked to complete the planetary and Part of Fortune score sheets, you may find it helpful to do so anyway.

Example chart and judgement

The example chart and judgement which follow are for your guidance only. The wheel is mainly computer generated, but still gives the general idea, and shows the sign glyphs following the circle, it is quite in order to draw them in an upright position (from the reader’s point of view). The new planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) have been omitted from the wheel, and we prefer that you do not use them for your course work. This is explained in the course material, and its reason should become apparent to you as you progress.

Query: Is Terry Waite being held captive? Is he alive and well? When will news of him be received?

Date: 27th January 1987
GMT: 10.17 am
Lat: 51° 32'N
Long: 00° 45'E
Day: Mars
Hour: Mercury

Regiomontanus House System


The querent is represented by the ascendant and its ruler and she is here shown by Mars in Aries, this sign describing a short, slim person with strong limbs. She has the long neck and dark eyebrows which Lilly says that Aries describes (CA page 93).

The quesited, Waite, is a special envoy of the Church, the Church is a 9th house matter and envoys are of the 5th (CA pages 55 and 53). He is, therefore, signified by the 5th from the 9th: the radical 1st house with Aries on the cusp. His significator is Mars, the ruler of Aries and the Moon is his co-significator. The significator of the Church is Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius on the 9th, these are the senders of the message which Waite carried, the radical 3rd, ruled by Mercury, being the recipients of that message. The Moon shows the message itself (CA page 236).

In a question about captivity a planet in the 12th house is the principal significator and so finding Waite’s significator, Mars, there it supports the choice of significators and describes his location (CA page 463). This is the first argument that he is being held captive. Mars in the 12th also shows that he has undertaken a very long journey (CA page 406). As the ruler of his 4th house, the Moon, is square Waite’s significator, Mars, it shows that he is detained and cannot get free (CA page 406). Mars is not aspecting the ascendant and again shows that he cannot come home. The applying trine of Mars to Saturn , ruler of the 12th, describes his return, but after some delay since Mars is out of orb of the ascendant (CA page page 406). These arguments convinced me that he was being held captive.

As to the second part of the question, his significator is not afflicted except by being in the 12th and neither is his ascendant, representative of his body, he is therefore alive and well (CA page 417).

 Mercury, the recipients of the message, is in Waite’s 11th house of friends. Mercury, however, is disposited by Saturn, ruler of the 12th of imprisonment, and is in mixed reception with it. This describes his friends as his captors. The good aspects involving Mars shows that he went willingly.

For the time of receiving news of him I took the applying sextile of Mercury (news) to Saturn, ruler of the 10th of the world and publicity (CA page 407). Mercury is translating light from Mars, Waite, to the public, Saturn. In the ephemeris this aspect perfected in the morning of 28th January 1987. The newspapers carried the first news of his captivity, and it transpired that his Moslem guards had taken him to another Moslem faction.


The Mars Saturn applying trine certainly did describe his return, perfecting symbolically in 4°51', but who would have guessed that it would be 4 years 10½ months before he was released. On the day of his release, 18th November 1991, transiting Mars made a trine to the horary Jupiter.

Assignments and Examinations

The assignments at the end of each lesson include a guide to how much you should write. This is approximate and discretionary, you do not have to write as much or as little as is indicated. However, if the length of your answers differs very much from the guide, you might lose marks.

Think carefully about each question and how it is phrased before attempting to answer it. Remember that the first set of answers you submit to your tutor are those on which your grades are based. This advice applies as much to the examination and will provide good practice for it.

 Example wording of questions:

  • Define: requires an answer of one sentence or less, simply giving the meaning, as though from a dictionary.

  • Explain: here you must phrase your answer as if to someone who knows nothing about the matter. Usually a paragraph or two will suffice.

  • Discuss: you are being asked to put the case for two or more points of view. It can take from a few paragraphs to 2000 words depending on the theme and the level of study. You are not necessarily being asked for your opinion.

  • When asked to give your understanding of a particular subject, you are required to put into your own words what you think it is about.

  • Keep all your work concise and strictly relevant to the matter in hand. Your tutor is interested in your understanding of the subject matter, make sure that they can find it. The purpose of the example chart and judgement in this guide is to give you a clearer idea of what is required by way of presentation and content, but further material is offered within the course in this regard.

A very useful addition to your library is an old, out of print dictionary of the 1920’s or earlier which will give definitions of archaic words. This can be very helpful when dealing with old texts such as Christian Astrology. You will find that some words used by Lilly appear to be the same as those used now but their meanings are very different. For example, public enemies: we would assume this to mean enemies of the public or state or community. In fact, it means known enemies.

One very important point: keep a copy of your work. We cannot be responsible for losses or damage and will require a copy if any such occurs.

Reference List

 You are expected to compile a reference list of Christian Astrology, an A5 (approximately 8" x 5") looseleaf binder is adequate, although some students have successfully used computer databases for this project. The list is meant to function as a database or card index and should be made as full as possible.

Christian Astrology has a wealth of information which is buried within a mass of text and in no particular order. Past students of this text have found a list invaluable for information retrieval. It is vital that you are aware of all the evidence.

You will need to use the subject headings listed below and any others you care to add:

  • Accidental dignity/debility

  • Antiscia

  • Arabian Parts

  • Ascending Signs

  • Ascensions - long and short

  • Aspects – applying and separating

  • Aspects – major and minor

  • Aspects – mutual application

  • Aspects – sinister and dexter

  • Buying and selling

  • Chart turning

  • Combustion/cazimi/under beams

  • Cusps – 5° rule

  • Dispositor

  • Disposition

  • Essential dignity/debility

  • Event charts

  • Fixed Stars

  • Fugitives

  • Houses – angular, succeedent, cadent

  • Houses – colours

  • Houses – locations

  • Houses – significators

  • Intercepted signs

  • Lunar nodes

  • Oriental/occidental

  • Peregrine planets

  • Perfection by aspect

  • Perfection by emplacement

  • Perfection by translation of light

  • Planetary hours

  • Planets – fortunate/unfortunate

  • Planets – joys

  • Planets – Retrograde/stationary

  • Planets – rulerships

  • Jupiter

  •  Mars

  • Mercury

  • Moon

  • Saturn

  • Sun

  • Venus

  • Prohibition

  • Receptions – mixed and mutual

  • Signs – classifications

  • Signs – colours

  • Signs – locations

  • Signs – physical descriptions

  • Timing

  • Void of Course

 These, of course, cannot cover every eventuality, you will therefore need to introduce your own headings as you proceed. As you read Christian Astrology note down page numbers under the relevant heading whenever you find the subject mentioned, or when there is something of note or different or unusual.

Personal Horaries

You will be asked to provide your own horaries as part of your assignments in later lessons. This is for no other reason than to allow you the opportunity to judge from a situation of knowledge. It can be very difficult at first to judge charts set for you. You will find it more comfortable and will also give you the benefit of hindsight.

Each chart must be drawn to the Course standard on the usual form. Present the judgements in exactly the same way as always, and provide at least three arguments for the outcome. Each chart must have an outcome, predictions are not required until you near the end of your studies when a separate set of instructions will be provided.

Keep the questions and the judgements simple and practical. Your tutor may return inappropriate horaries, such as Will I ever be happy? or any subject that is considered unlawful or offensive.


Begin reading the course texts immediately. Each will need to be read through at least once in addition to the sections you are asked to read throughout the course material, this excludes straightforward reference works such as that by Robson. If you find them difficult it is better to read little and often, don’t be disheartened if you need to read some sections several times.

The reading you are asked to do in the Course material (printed in boldface like this) is designed to help you to become familiar with the style of these books. Remember that the reading and texts as a whole are intended to assist you in your studies – it is better that you don’t make them your enemies. You  are expected to read Ptolemy and Lilly through at least once whilst also completing the course reading requirements. The benefits far outweigh the effort and you will be reaping the rewards almost immediately. Wherever possible read other ancient authors, your tutor will be pleased to offer advice on choices.

 Course Texts

  • Christian Astrology, William Lilly, published by Regulus in facsimile of 1647 edition. ISBN 0948472006 £45.00 (Secondhand copies only available, but keep checking Amazon, who often show used copies.)

  • Tetrabiblos, Claudius Ptolemy, translated by F. E. Robbins, published by Loeb. ISBN 0434994359 £11.50

  • Christian Astrology by William Lilly published by Justus & Associates. In three volumes, spiral bound and in large, modern print.
    Volume 1 (The Introduction)
    Volume 2 (Horary Section)
    Volume 3 (Nativities)
    Currently unavailable from USA. Try Spica Books.

  • The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, published by Weiser, ISBN 0-87728-611-6

Recommended but not required

  • Planetary Hours Made Easy published by Justus & Associates. Easy to read and use, very accurate. Get this if you can, it is much easier to use than the tables in Christian Astrology. $20.00  £POA  Currently unavailable.

  • Regiomontanus Tables of Houses published by Justus & Associates. If you require the full range of tables, this is the most accurate.  $18 } £12.99  Currently unavailable.

  • Judgment of the Stars by Claude Dariot (1583 edition). (Justus) This has been retyped to make it easier to read.

  • Astronomica by Marcus Manilius (c.10AD). The earliest complete work of astrology still available.

  • Matheseos Libri VIII - Ancient Astrology Theory and Practice by Firmicus Maternus (c.334AD).

  • Anima Astrologiae - The Astrologers Guide, Guido Bonatus (13th century) and Jerome Cardan (16th century), edited by William Lilly.

  • Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology, al Biruni (1029)

  • The Beginning of Wisdom, Abraham ibn Ezra £7.95

  • Carmen Astrologicum, Dorotheus of Sidon, published by Ascella

  • Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England, Patrick Curry PhD, published by Polity Press (ISBN 0-7456-0604-0). Scholarly research into the importance of astrology and the astrologer and the subsequent decline during the period 1642 to 1800.

These books are not really suitable for newcomers to astrology but are absolutely vital for the serious, more experienced student. None is necessary for the course.

We will be pleased to advise you about the suitability of any other books.

Also recommended is the series of newly translated or retranslated texts from Project Hindsight and ARHAT.



Amended 5th August 2003
2008 © Copyright, Sue Ward