© 2010 by Joann Hampar
All Rights Reserved
This article has been adapted from the book, Electional Astrology: The Art of Timing, by Joann Hampar, Llewellyn Publications, 2005.
Electional astrology is the art of timing, and its purpose is to give you the advantage by selecting the most appropriate time to achieve a successful outcome. The date and time selected are intended to strengthen the planets and the houses associated with the subject of the election. The Moon carries the most weight in electional astrology. She should always be strong, free from difficult aspects, and favorably aligned with the planets ruling the election matter. Many of the rules used in Electional Astrology have their foundation in horary astrology, the counterpart to this work. Horary astrology is the art of answering a question by analysis of a chart drawn for the precise moment when the question is asked. But unlike horary, which answers after the fact, electional astrology approaches the matter beforehand and elects an appropriate time to achieve a desired outcome. Though the rules are the same, they are applied differently. The election chart itself is drawn for the place where the event will occur at a certain time in the future.
Electional astrology approaches matters beforehand and elects an appropriate time to achieve a desired outcome.
At its best, an election chart will make use of the most beneficial planetary alignments on any given day. An election to submit a manuscript for publication, for example, would feature a strong Mercury and Jupiter, the planets ruling writing and publishing. There are four points to consider when evaluating a planet’s strength: its position by sign, its position by house, its alignment with the other planets, and its momentum (retrograde or direct).
Which House Rules the Election?
The person initiating the action is always ruled by the 1st house, and the matter under consideration will fall into one of the twelve houses. To work with electional astrology, it is first necessary to identify which of the houses rules the main theme of the election. Although the planets are important, the house ruling the electional matter is the primary consideration. Once the matter has been placed into the appropriate house, we want to arrange the planets to enhance that house.
Selecting the appropriate house is a rather straightforward matter. The main topic of the election will determine which house applies. However, it becomes a bit more complicated when three or more houses are involved. In that case, we want easy applying aspects between the house rulers, to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.
In a marriage election, the focus is on strengthening the 7th house. In a business election, the focus is on the 10th house, and in an election to buy property, the 4th house is important. Multiple houses are considered in an election to purchase a home. In such an election, one would consider the 4th house as the primary house because it represents the home. However, the relationship between the 1st and 7th houses is equally important because they represent the buyer and seller. The 2nd and 8th houses show their finances. To reach an agreement, we need easy aspects between the rulers of the 1st and 7th houses. Moreover, if the home is to become the property of the buyer, we want to see easy aspects between the rulers of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th houses as well.
The following section will help you identify where to place the matter. It is always important to connect the rulers of the houses involved by way of positive applying aspects.
1st House: the person initiating the election; one’s appearance, physical body, physical health; one’s carriage, coordination, facial features; one’s character, disposition, demeanor, opinion; the impression one makes; one's mannerisms, personality, and temperament.
It is always important to strengthen the 1st-house ruler and to achieve a favorable applying aspect between that planet and the planet ruling the house of the election. If there is no contact between these planets, no action will occur. The Moon can always be used as a co-ruler of the 1st-house person, and her applying aspects bring the parties together. The 1st house is considered in every election and given special attention in matters pertaining to any personal or physical subject, such as cosmetic surgery, a physical regimen, improving one’s appearance, or self-promotion.
2nd House: one’s money, assets, earnings, and earning capacity; personal finances; material possessions such as jewelry or stocks; one’s spending habits, purchasing power, personal debts, personal resources, financial prospects, and financial affairs in general.
The 2nd house is considered in matters pertaining to buying and selling and whenever money changes hands. Since this is the house of your own personal resources, it is important to strengthen this house when making an investment or purchasing anything for gain, such as stocks, fine jewelry, antiques, or collectibles. Strengthen the 2nd house to increase your earning capacity, improve your credit rating, eliminate personal debt, or borrow money.
3rd House: one’s decisions, agreements, contracts, and words; tests and examinations; one’s early education and teachers; one’s way of communicating thoughts and ideas; siblings, neighbors, and one's everyday environment; the neighborhood and travel therein, such as short trips by car, bus, train, bicycle, and other means of transportation.
The 3rd house is considered in all matters where a binding contract or agreement is signed or entered into by mail. The 3rd house also covers local travel, taking tests, new studies, and schooling. An election to make an important announcement, speech, or declaration should strengthen this house. Former President Ronald Reagan was known to use an electional astrologer to time his important speeches and press conferences.
4th House: one’s home, family, and domestic affairs; a parent; one’s property; land, buildings, real estate, hotels, motels, houses, farms, produce markets, leases, rental property; self-rehabilitation; one’s inherited tendencies, ancestry.
The 4th house is considered in elections to purchase a home, a building, property, land, or any real estate. It is also important when renting or leasing property.
The 4th house always illustrates the conclusion of any elected matter. It is, therefore, advantageous to place a benefic planet there whenever possible. The Moon, as the natural ruler of the 4th house, also reflects the outcome of the elected matter.Strengthen this house to buy or rent a home and to enhance the outcome of your elected matter.
5th House: children, offspring, love affairs, pregnancy; speculation, risk-taking, betting, gambling, games of chance, lotteries, raffles; one’s artistic and creative endeavors, hobbies, pastimes, enjoyments, and entertainment.
The 5th house is the primary consideration in an election for gambling or any speculative venture where risk is involved. This can include casino gambling, lotteries, stock options, the futures market, or the racetrack. An election to begin a new romance would focus on strengthening the 5th house, as would an election to begin a new productive activity. Anything one creates—whether a child, sculpture, or beautiful painting—comes under the auspices of this house. Electional matters involving the welfare of a child would focus on the 5th house.
6th House: one’s work, voluntary labor; small and domestic animals, pets; one's health care regimen, nutritional preferences, hygiene; healers, occupational therapists; disease, illness; laborers, domestic workers; one’s employees, tenants; one’s capacity for service.
The 6th house is considered in all matters pertaining to the acquisition or care of pets. It is also the focus of work-related activities, including the hiring of a contractor or other laborer to work for you. Your own voluntary service, such as military or municipal service, comes under the auspices of the 6th house. Your working conditions and interaction with co-workers are shown here. Together with the 1st house, the 6th house is the main consideration in health-related matters. It is advisable to reinforce this house when undergoing regular health care routines, such as physical examinations and tests, physical therapy, endurance training, or bodybuilding.
7th House: matrimony, marriage (both legal and common law), spouse; business partner, business partnerships, alliances; lawsuits, litigation, opponents, rivals, public enemies, strangers, divorce; dealings with the public, one’s social functions and social life.
The 7th house is considered when forming any important alliance, such as a marriage or business partnership. To reach an agreement with another individual or group of people, it is necessary to have easy aspects between the rulers of the 1st and 7th houses. The 7th house is also the focus of litigation and any interaction with a rival or an opponent. If the goal is to achieve a compromise, we would look for positive aspects between the 1st- and 7th-house rulers. If the intent is to triumph, such as is the case when filing a lawsuit, we would strengthen the 1st house and link it favorably to the 10th house of judgment.
8th House: alimony, taxes and tax collectors, bankruptcy, finances of one’s partner (both personal and business); monetary gains from the public, spouse, or business partnership; legacies, inheritances, wills; surgery, surgeons; recovery of a debt, reimbursement of a loss, life insurance, pensions, possessions gained through others.
The 8th house is considered when undergoing any surgery. It is necessary to connect it favorably to the ruler of the 1st house and also to the ruler of the 12th, if the surgery takes place in a hospital setting. The 8th house is also the focus to recover a debt, borrow money, or receive reimbursement through insurance, a tax refund, or other money owed. It is necessary to strengthen this house to file bankruptcy, settle an estate, or obtain public funds. When filing tax returns, strengthen this house and link it favorably with the Moon and the planet ruling the 1st house.
9th House: advanced education, college, universities, final examinations; legalizing and certifying documents, attorneys and courts of law; publishers and publishing; extended journeys and travel by air; formal ceremonies; advertising that is far-reaching; religion (both in practice and the study of philosophical concepts), the clergy, churches, temples, and all other places of worship.
The 9th house is considered when taking a final examination and, in particular, one that will result in licensing or certification. It is also the focus to launch a large-scale advertising campaign or to broadcast across the airwaves. In any legal undertaking, the 9th house represents the attorney, and it is necessary to have easy aspects between its ruler and the 1st-house ruler, if the attorney is to succeed for the client. Air travel also comes under the auspices of the 9th house, and a benefic planet here in trine to the Ascendant provides a protective influence.
10th House: one’s career, profession, vocation, honors and reputation, fame or notoriety; one’s business and business affairs; persons in authority including superiors, employers, and judges; officials, important and famous people; the dominant parent; one’s public image, one’s goals and standing in the community.
The 10th house is the primary focus when a business is launched or if one wishes to embark on a public campaign, such as running for political office. A strong 10th house is necessary to achieve a favorable ruling, judgment, or some type of honor, recognition, or promotion. When beginning a new career, reinforce the 10th house. It is the house of success in all matters; therefore, depending on the objective of the election, the 10th house and/or its ruler should be well aligned with every other planet involved in the matter.
11th House: acquaintances and friends; one’s aspirations, hopes, ideals; finances and income from one’s business or profession; civic groups, organizations and club memberships, companions and casual relationships, counselors, fraternities.
The 11th house is the house of business income and should be considered, together with the 10th house, when launching any business or professional endeavor. Ideally, we would like to enhance business income by placing a benefic planet in the 11th house, or by placing the 11th-house ruler in the 10th house conjunct a benefic planet. Strengthen this house when seeking membership in a club, group, society, or institute. The 11th house is considered when forming any alliance involving a group of people or friends.
12th House: seclusion, charity and charitable institutions, monasteries; confinement of any kind including hospitalization, imprisonment, or institutionalization; confidential matters and activities, hidden things or places; psychic ability and one’s capacity to connect with the universal; solitary endeavors such as meditation and spiritual practices.
The 12th house comes under consideration in an election involving a hospital stay or entrance into a rehabilitation facility or nursing home. If one is undergoing surgery, the rulers of the 1st, 8th, and 12th houses should be in positive alignment. For all solitary endeavors, such as writing or spiritual practices, we would enhance this house. If you want to keep something under wraps, away from prying eyes, or unnoticed, select a time that places the planet ruling the matter in the 12th house. This can be quite helpful when mailing your tax returns.
Improving House Strength
There are various ways to strengthen the house ruling the subject of your election. Experience is the best teacher, and the more you work with electional astrology, the better the results. For example, if you were asked to select a favorable date to launch a new business, your focus would be on a strong 10th house. You might choose a time of day when most of the planets are in the tenth house or close to the Midheaven. If you were unable to achieve that, you might strengthen the planet ruling the Midheaven and place it in favorable alignment with the Ascendant ruler or the Moon.
Ideally, at least one of the benefic planets should be in a positive aspect with the Moon, or the planet ruling the 10th house, or a planet in the 10th house. It has been my experience that the natural rulers of the matter of the election carry more weight. For example, Venus is the primary consideration in a marriage election, no matter what planet rules the election chart's 7th house. The planets of business and success are Saturn, Jupiter, and the Sun. It is important that they be in good aspect to each other and to the Moon, direct in motion, and strong by sign and/or house. In a business election, place Jupiter in the 10th house in good alignment with Saturn and the Sun, or place the planet ruling the business theme in the Midheaven. In an election to open a bookstore, place Mercury in the 10th house.
Try to give priority to the planet ruling the matter, and if feasible, place it in the house ruling the matter. That planet should be as strong as possible and always in a favorable aspect with the Moon. There are more than a few ways to accomplish what you want. However, the planet ruling the matter of your election should be direct in motion, if possible in the house ruling the matter, and in good aspect to the luminaries and the other planets ruling the matter. The sign the planet occupies is of secondary importance. Since you will seldom be able to achieve an ideal situation, give priority to the Moon. She should always be in a positive applying aspect with the planet ruling the matter of the election, because she is always a co-ruler of the person initiating action. The Moon’s applying aspects connect the person with the matter under consideration.
The Moon in Electional Astrology
The Moon is very important in electional work, as she is responsible for setting events in motion and is always a co-ruler of the election. Her position by sign and relationship with the other planets determines the ease or difficulty with which your elected endeavor will proceed. A primary consideration is her void-of-course condition. When the Moon is void, nothing of consequence comes of your election, because there is not enough momentum to get it going.
The Moon changes signs approximately every two-and-a-half days and is void of course when she ceases to form any major applying aspect to another planet before moving into the next sign. This can occur for a few minutes, a few hours, or longer, depending upon the positions of the other planets. We work with the major Ptolemaic aspects: the conjunction, sextile, trine, square, and opposition. We also consider two minor aspects: the parallel and contraparallel. However, once the last major aspect is formed, the Moon is void-of-course until she moves into the next sign.
As a general rule, a void-of-course Moon does not favor activities that require mental alertness or concentration. Therefore, try not to schedule anything of importance when the Moon is void. The Moon’s lack of contact with the other planets seems to support intuition and perception over intellectual functions. Ordinarily, actions taken during a void-of-course Moon do not turn out as expected. Decisions may never be acted upon, or a project may fail to get off the ground.
Once you have determined that the Moon is not void of course, you should know two things about the time at which you want to do something: (1) the Moon’s next applying aspect, and (2) the final aspect she makes before changing signs. These two factors describe what to expect initially and what is likely to be the final outcome. Because the Moon moves so quickly, she may make several aspects during the course of the day. The Moon’s first applying aspect, at the time you begin something, describes how your action gets off the ground or the circumstances you may encounter. The Moon’s last aspect before she changes signs describes the end result or eventual outcome of your action. Further, the nature of the planet being aspected by the Moon will tell you something about what you can expect.
An elected date and time should have the Moon making a positive final aspect, and the planets ruling the matter of your election should be strong and unafflicted. When the Moon makes a final positive aspect to a retrograde planet, the matter may still succeed, but you may have to repeat something or make changes. There is the possibility that you will drop the matter altogether. When the Moon’s final aspect is a refranation, something is dropped or someone decides not to follow through and the project is abandoned. A refranation occurs when the Moon is applying to a planet that moves out of the sign it is in before the Moon has a chance to complete the aspect. This will most often occur when a planet is in the last degree of a sign. The Moon cannot make contact before the planet moves into the next sign, so the person or circumstance symbolized by the planet is essentially deserted.
If you don’t have time to prepare an election chart, you can still work with the Moon’s daily motion. Look for a positive applying aspect to begin your project. Then look ahead to the Moon’s last aspect, which will tell you the eventual outcome. It doesn’t matter how long it takes the Moon to complete all of her aspects. If you begin your activity on Monday at 11:00 a.m., and the Moon is applying to sextile Venus, look ahead to the Moon’s last aspect before she changes signs. If the Moon’s last aspect is the next day at 2:00 p.m., that is still your frame of reference to verify the outcome. Only applying aspects need be considered, and the aspect must be in effect at the time you begin your activity. If you schedule an appointment for 11:00 a.m., the first applying aspect is the next one to occur after that time. Tracking the Moon’s daily activity will enable you to determine the best time to take action. Even on short notice, you can always use the Moon’s motion to maximize success.
There is no contradiction between the desires of any individual and the ability of the universe to fulfill them. Electional astrology enables us to take advantage of those rare moments in time when everything is in perfect alignment to support the outcome we want. A very good practice is to keep an accurate record of significant events. If you begin to examine charts for these events, you will always see the correlation in the astrological symbolism. The practice of election is the same process, only it is a preview of the event. On those rare occasions when you are able to achieve a near-perfect election, it is like getting into alignment with the power of the universe and flowing with it — a most exhilarating experience!
Electional Astrology: The Art of Timing (Llewellyn, 2005). Joann also writes a yearly almanac: Electional Astrology Planning Guide available as an e-book or iPhone application. You can reach Joann through her Web site, Astrological Insights, where you can read her complete bio.
Note from Joyce – Thank you, Joann, for sharing this introduction to electional astrology with The Radical Virgo readers. Not only does it provide an excellent entrée into the subject matter; it’s a detailed review of the meaning of the 12 houses in astrology. I can’t live without your annual Electional Astrology Guide. It’s my pleasure to share this important tool with those readers who don’t already use electional astrology in their lives. For those who do, I hope it reinforces how it can make a difference and encourages more frequent elections.
Don’t forget the gift with purchase of Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer through April 30!