Over the centuries, the English Parliament progressively limited the power of the English monarchy, which culminated in the English Civil Wars (1642-1651) mainly a conflict between  the Royalist Cavaliers of Charles I of England and the Parliamentarian Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell over an Irish insurrection. The first war was settled with Oliver Cromwell’s victory for Parliamentary forces at the 1645 Battle of Naseby[1] . After his defeat in 1645, Charles I surrendered to a Scottish force that eventually handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors’ demands for a constitutional monarchy and was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason in 1649. The monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. The monarchy was restored to Charles’s son, Charles II, in 1660.[2]

We know that Lilly was personally pro Parliamentarians’ and Cromwell, but it is also true that he was used to see clients from both sides. On April 11th , 1643, Wiliam Lilly received a client who had just received the information of Cambridge being taken by the Royalists. The querent wanted to know, if this rumor was true.

newsboy-selling-new-york-herald-by-james-caffertyIn this context of succeeding wars, when messages from the front line about victories or losses were flying from mouth to mouth, the ability to judge these “rumors” became fundamental. Were they reliable? Which was their source? In our times, we have new communication mediums which are indubitably quicker than those of England’s 17th century. But the problem has not changed that much. We may use Twitter, FB or Instagram, but can we trust in this news? Even if we forget about simple gossips, Wikileaks, and other scandals have taught us to stay alert what is us being told.

This is why Lilly’s question about rumors is still so actual.

Lilly’s analysis of this chart is quite confusing, as the used the same horoscope also to talk about another hypothetical -but not related- question regarding the numbers of brothers, which I will leave out for the purpose of major clarity. I will eventually analyze this in a separate post. But there is still another point which creates difficulties: While this horary is about the reliability of rumors, Lilly also makes a mundane (or political) question out of it, associating the parties involved with the angles.

Summarizing, we can see, that there are two possible approaches on this kind of questions about rumors:

  • Analysis of the 3rd house, which represents rumors.
  • The association of the (political) parties involved: who is who and what are they doing and who will win.

Lilly shows both possibilities, but in doing so, his analysis looses somewhat of its straightforwardness. This is why I will show both approaches separately.

Here is the chart:

  • Approach: 3rd house, rumors

First of all, we have to look at the chart and see its picture, without going too much into detail yet.

  • Two of its angles are vitiated by the presence of the malefics: Mars is nearly conjunct the MC and Saturn is conjunct the DC. Malefics on the angles always indicate a negative outcome of the question. Thus, if the question was “are the rumors true” then we have a first indication that they may not.
  • If the news were “true”, we would expect fixed signs on the angles, as “truth” is not subject to change. But in this chart, all angles fall into cardinal signs, indicating movement, change or some kind of an ongoing process. [3]
  • The Moon is the natural ruler of news. She is also in a mutable sign and peregrine, thus “the news doesn’t have any dignity”: it is not reliable.

The “rumors” are described by the 3rd house in Scorpio and its ruler Mars. The planet is elevated on the 10th house cusp, showing the importance or, possibly in this case some kind of public interest, but he is in his fall. Reliable news would be associated with a dignified planet, which is not the case here. Furthermore, Mars squares both the (AC) and the MC, describing a conflict. Mars is associated with speed or rushing. In this case, the planet could describe “news running too fast” or conclusions drawn too quickly.

Mars will next square Saturn, the malefic out of sect. This planet is associated with faults, errors and dysfunctions. He is in the 6th house of illness, suggesting that the news is “ill”, untrue.

The Moon is separating from Jupiter, ruler of the 6th suggesting good intentions, but a possible misinterpretation or exaggeration.[4] She is now applying Venus by square, showing some disappointment for the querent.

Lilly does not specify, whether his client was a Royalist or a Roundhead. But the fact that Venus is in her exaltation and the Moon squares Venus, bringing as earlier stated “disappointment”, I would think he might have been a Royalist. [5]

  • Approach: political parties involved

Lilly now associates the AC with the Parliament and the DC with the opposition party, the Royalists. He does not explain this association and readers might wonder why he does not associate the Royalists with the 10th house (king).[6] As this is a crucial issue in this chart analysis, I’d like to look at this question a little deeper.

Bonatti writes: Suppose he wanted to start a battle or to go with the army against somebody. And if he posed you a question concerning these matters or he posed it on behalf of of somebody who is very concerned about it and it was not the emperor or the king on behalf of whom he asked, give the 1st to him and its lord and give the 7th to his adversary.

Following this approach, we would need to know, who initiated the battle, which, I suppose, have been the Roundheads of Cromwell.

England is a constitutional Monarchy and the King is associated with the 10th house. The Monarchy is not absolute and the (executive) powers of the King are limited by the Parliament, which is divided into two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Basically, the House of Commons has the legislative and executive power, while the house of Lords has a controlling function and has to approve the proposals, propose amendments, and can exercise a suspensive veto .

So basically, the elected members of Parliament were the representatives of the “common people”, as the name says.

Another traditional source, and much older, is the 1st century astrologer Albumasar[7]. He associated the common people, the “rustics”, with the AC.[8]

This method of associating the common people with the AC is still largely used in mundane astrology, and also modern representatives of horary refer to it. [9]

We also have to consider, that the role of the Monarch (10th house) was never in discussion, but only the spectrum of his allowed powers or mansions. So Lilly would never have (at least publicly) questioned the figure of the king, who was “super partes”. This might be the reason why he did not use the 10th house for “the royalists” or else the 10th for the King and the 11th as his “assistants”.

The importance of the “common people” as members of the Parliament is the reason, why Lilly associates the Parliament with the AC. The opponents of the Parliaments, the Royalists, were represented by the 7th house and its ruler, in this example, by Mars. In this way, the King, is configured to both parties (1st house cusp, 7th house cusp) by square.

As the Royalist are represented by Mars, they are probably advancing or dominating the territory, but the planet is in his fall, there is no victory to claim. Mars is essentially weak.

Saturn on the 7th house cusp is showing a loss or an unsuccessful event.

But the success for the Roundheads (defending Cambridge) is shown by the applicative aspect of the Moon, which moves towards the exalted Venus. We can imagine the thrilled Parliamentarians defending Cambrige, when they understand that Cambridge had not been taken.



[3] Cardinal signs show some kind of disruptive changes rather than fluid or smooth adjustments, which are shown by mutable signs.

[4] Lilly says in the case of lost objects, that the seprative aspect of the Moon from Jupiter rather denies bad intentions and indicates forgetfulness.

[5] As we will see further on, this impression changes, if we use the other approach, which Lilly seems to have personally preferred, possibly because he was emotionally involved in this political question.

[6] William Lilly, Christian Astrology, p. 55

[7] Albumasar, 787 -886 ,was a Persian astrologer, astronomer, and Islamic philosopher. He worked at the Abbasid court in Baghdad.

[8] Albumasar Flores Astrologiae, Chiron Verlag 2012, p.39 or online at

[9] Olivia Barclay, Horary rediscovered, Withford Press, 1990, p. 241