Electional Astrology

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Arabian astrologers at work during the foundation of a town[1]


A method in which the astrologer attempts to determine the best time – based on favourable Horoscope Factors – to begin a specific activity.

Because there are never perfect horoscopes for a given activity, the emphasis is on avoiding unfavourable chart placements. Electional astrology is similar to horary astrology, with which it overlaps, in its understanding of the horoscope as a dynamic entity, rather than a static moment in time. Like the latter, electional astrologers often work with the traditional astrological rulers, for example Mars as the ruler of Scorpio, rather than Pluto; Saturn of Aquarius and Jupiter of Pisces. Other methods of interpretation also have their origins in classical astrology. When electional astrology is undertaken as a type of horary astrology (i.e, based on the moment of a question,) rules of interpretation are as clear and precise as the predictions are concrete, although the natal chart and current transits of the individual concerned are also taken into account.

It is important to have as accurate a time as possible in order to ascertain the most favourable date, given how rapidly house cusps change in the course of a day. The best moment for a wedding, for example, could be the moment at which both partners sign the marriage certificate at the registry office or take the marriage vow during the wedding. However, it is not always possible to give the exact time for an event. An example would be emergency surgery, in which it might only be possible to avoid a few negative chart placements.

Electional astrology claims that an undertaking or event that begins under favourable horoscopic circumstances is more likely to have a positive outcome.


This technique was more widespread in the past when there was a greater belief in determinism.

The foundation of the city of Bagdad in the year 762, for example, is pretty well documented: the astrologers of Caliph al-Mansûr chose the date of July 31st, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in order to have Sagittarius rising.[2].

See also



  • Vivian Robson: Electional Astrology J.P. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1937. New edition: Astrology Classics 2005 ISBN 1933303069 ISBN 978-1933303062
  • Joann Hampar: Electional astrology - the art of timing Llewellyn 2005. ISBN 0-7387-0701-5 Review online (Houlding, 2005)
  • Thabit Ibn Qurra: De Imaginibus[3], translated and published by Christopher Warnock Review online (Houlding, 2005)

Notes and References

  1. A 15th century woodcut
  2. See James H. Holden, A History of Horoscopic Astrology. Tempe (USA) 1996, 2006 Chapter Arabian Astrology online (cura.free.fr)
  3. 14th century Latin reproduction of the original 9th century manuscript