Today, if we want to know if a certain person is at home, we just call her or send a whatsup. 400 years ago, things were quite more complicated. But even though, the technique presented by Lilly in this example chart, is still interesting today, just because it’s so simple to check and verify. Personally, I use this technique pretty often, when I am sitting on my PC and need to call somebody. It saves me time.

Back to Lilly. One day, a woman came to him and wanted to know if her son was at home or at his master’s. At Lilly’s times, elder children were sent to learn with a master and thus either lived with him or else at his workplace.

The woman was far away from home at the moment she asks the question and unable to pass quickly nearby to check it out. This is why she asked Lilly about her son, together with a number of other questions, which I will look at in future posts.

Here is the chart (from p. 153):[1]

Lilly’s client is described by the AC in Libra and the AC ruler in Gemini. The question is about her son, so we need to look at the 5th house in Pisces and its ruler Jupiter. He is in the 1st  house, which represents the woman asking the question, which is why Lilly supposes the son to be “at the querent’s”.

Thus, while the mother is at Lilly’s, the son is in her house. But shall he still be there when she will arrive (which may take days or weeks)?

This is why Lilly looks at the Moon, who always represents the co-significator of the quesited (in this case the whereabouts of the son). The Moon also shows what will happen next: She is applying Saturn by sextile.[2] Since the Moon is right from Saturn in the chart and the quicker planet which makes the aspect, Lilly refers to this as dexter aspect.[3] Saturn rules the 4th house, the home of the querent. This means the quesited (Moon= son) moves towards the mother’s home.

The chart gives thus indication that

  • The son is already at his mother’s home (ruler 5th in the 1st), while she is still sitting in the consultation room
  • The son will still be at his mother’s when she will come home (Moon sextile Saturn)

This said, the question is answered.

But Lilly wants to make sure, that his readers do really understand, how to proceed in this kind of questions. This is why he explains, which aspects he would have expected, if the son would have been at his master’s. I resumed his information in the following table.

son is at his mother' house, if Son is at his master's house, if
• Ruler 5th (son) is in the 1st (mother)• Ruler 5th (son) is in 10th (master)
• Moon applies to ruler 4th (home)
or ruler 1st (mother)
• Moon is in an angular house fixed position, no movement)
• Separative from Jupiter (son) an
• applicative to the Sun (ruler 10th, master)

Now we have only to do the timing, when mom and son will meet.

The distance between the two significators Venus (mom) and Jupiter (son) is 4°47‘. The woman consults Lilly on July 19th (Julian Calendar).[4]

If we round these degrees slightly up, both should meet after 5 days on July 24th. But Lilly consults the ephemerides and sees, that the real-time aspect happens to be on July 25th. Our modern computer programs do calculate planetary positions more exactly than Lilly was able to do in his times, which is why we cannot reproduce exactly his chart in order to check the timing.

Furthermore, he calculated with the Julian Calendar, which differs from the today used Gregorian Calendar by 11 days. This is why I decided, not to use his horoscope (drawn in Photoshop or similar), but to apply his techniques simply to the modern calculated horoscope.

For Lilly, it was July 19th, when the woman came to him, on the Gregorian Calendar it was July 30th.

In his ephemerides, the Venus/Jupiter conjunction perfects on July 25th, which is 6 days after the question, at „two hours after noon“, which is around 2 p.m. Lilly specifies, that both met around 3 pm, which makes his prediction, based on the data he was in possession of, quite exact. [5]

Modern software calculates August 4th at 11. 39 a.m. as the exact conjunction, which is exactly 5 days after the woman had been at Lilly’s. I think the reason for the hour difference between his and modern chart calculation might lay in a different calculation of the noon.


[1] For simplicity reasons Lilly’s chart has been drawn in the Gregorian Calendar, which is why the data do not coincide, but the planetary positions (nearly) do.

[2] This is a very important point: The Saturn aspect (home) becomes exact before the following Sun aspect (master). This is why the son is at home and not at the master’s.

[3] Dexter is Latin and means “right”.

[4] This corresponds to July 30th, 1668 of the Gregorian Calendar.

[5] In general,the Moon is also used for timing. In this case it does not work, since the Moon is already an a nearly exact square to Jupiter, which I consider to be an indication that the meeting will happen very soon.





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