The problem with twists of fate is that you sometimes do not realize that they are happening at the time or maybe not until many years later. This chart is the one that catapulted me into the intriguing study and eventual practice of Horary astrology. It was the first Horary chart I ever cast and that was back on August 7, 1969. I certainly did not notice anything unusual at the time on that fateful day. Here is the story.
I was living in St. Louis. A newscast announced that a doctor wanted volunteers with a rare blood type to take part in research at a local hospital. I volunteered. I went to the blood lab every two weeks. Blood was taken, centrifuged and transfused back into a vein. Then the process was repeated. This meant that I was tethered to a needle and tube in my arm all afternoon. I grew bored because I was not even able to read because my one arm was held hostage and I couldn’t move it.
To break up the monotony I read the nurses’ horoscopes. The lab became a very popular place the days I was there. Doctors “happened” by with their birth data. I even did a chart for a doctor’s St. Bernard! However, one nurse refused to divulge her birth data. One day when she was tending to me, she asked if my astrology charts could tell if she were pregnant. “Not unless you give me your birth data,” I insisted. She refused, so I figured that was the end of it.
My first Horary--The Ups and Downs
Suddenly I was hit with an inspiration. I had been studying Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson’s book on Horary astrology, so it suddenly occurred to me to treat her question about pregnancy as a Horary question. I sneaked a peek at my watch and made a mental note of the time she asked me. I calculated the chart and pored over the rules. I telephoned the nurse a few days later and rendered this judgment, “You will think you are pregnant, the doctor will think you are pregnant, everybody will think you are pregnant, but you are not pregnant.” She called back in a few days to tell me that my astrology was totally wrong. SHE WAS PREGNANT.
I decided Horary astrology was not for me. The next time I went to the lab, she rushed up to me and said, “My rabbit got mixed up with another nurse’s tests. I told everyone I was pregnant. But I am not pregnant.” I thought, “This stuff is easy. I will rule the world.” (Experiences with astrology since then have disabused me of that notion.) Because of that little blood lab drama, I plunged into an obsessive study of Horary astrology.
I was reading from a chart cast for August 7, 1969 at 1:49 PM CST in St. Louis, MO. I studied the rules and one claimed that retrograde planets always lie. Neptune retrograde is in the First House. I wanted to know what Neptune was lying about. It rules the Fifth House of children, so I concluded it was lying about her being pregnant. That was about all I took into consideration back then.
However, there are other indicators. The Via Combust Way is a section of the zodiac between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio. The ascendant lies in that area at seven degrees Scorpio. This often shows the person is upset. It indicates unpredictable events over which the person can no longer control. The young woman did not want to be pregnant at that time.
Now for the technical analysis
Her significator, Pluto (ruler of the ascendant), is in the same degree as the Moon’s nodes and is actually conjunct the South node. Any planet in the nodal degrees (ignore the sign) indicates a casualty, fatality or catastrophe, however great or small. Pluto destroys any notion of pregnancy. The North node is in the Fifth House in 23 degrees Pisces, the degree of the fixed star, Markab, a degree of sorrow and tragedy. Whatever is in this chart, it cannot overcome these afflictions. Neptune in her First House confused the issue and it appeared that she was pregnant. But the retrograde planet lied.
Now, just for fun, let’s see how far we can stretch this. Was it foretold that because of this chart I would go on to practice professionally? The Seventh House rules the astrologer. Using the Seventh House as my First House, that makes the Fourth House my Tenth House. Fourteen degrees Aquarius is on the cusp. Aquarius rules astrology and my Sun sign is fifteen degrees Aquarius. Uranus, the ruler, is in one degree Libra. The first three degrees of any sign are the “too early for now” degrees. It was premature for me to practice professionally, but it is promised. Uranus conjoins Jupiter that rules traveling, teaching and publishing about astrology. I have traveled extensively teaching astrology, I have published books and articles, and I own my own publishing company.
The best is yet to come!
Traditional rules claim that you cannot read a chart with Saturn in the Seventh House. They say it makes the astrologer make mistakes. The chart I read back then was a hand-calculated chart that I originally cast. There were no computers back then plus, I was a comparative novice. Saturn was in the Seventh House. However, in 2002, I agreed to write a Horary astrology column online. I decided it would be fun to use this story for the initial contribution. The actual chart that went with the interpretation was part of the article. Naturally, I got a print out from the computer this time.
Then I realized that something was terribly wrong. The recalculated chart from the computer 1) took into account that it was DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME in August 1969 (oops), 2) Neptune was NOT retrograde in the chart, 3) Saturn is NOT in the Seventh House and 4) the ascendant is NOT in the Via Combust Way. Somehow, I got the right answer regardless from the wrong chart. Remember, Neptune was the key for me and, had it not been retrograde in the chart I saw, I would have come to just the opposite conclusion from what I did. It all came true and I did indeed go on to practice professionally.
Did the astrologer really make a mistake or was this a deliberate twist of Fate?