Grande_complication_42500In this post I will discuss the fourth question of William Lilly’s first example chart.

Here you can find the previous questions 1 , 2 and 3.

In this consultation, Lilly’s client wants to get several information about his life, but this last question deals with what is going to happen and when it will happen.

This leads us to a very tricky question not only in astrology. Predictions have been nearly abolished in modern, psychological orientated astrology. Many people (astrologers among them) regard predictions as „rubbish“, while  in the past correct predictions have been the core business of judicious astrologers. They  did not only  elaborate predictions for high ranking personalities, but also weather forecasts and its consequences for the harvest, the destiny of kings, the economy and social stability of entire countries. The astrologer’s clients knew well that they could either get positives as also pretty negative information according to their charts. The acceptance of these news (and their consequences) was different from what it is today.

Thus, for Lilly, it is just a self evident part of his consulting work to inform his clients regarding future events,  giving them in this way the possibility to get prepared in time.

Here is the chart:

Lilly first considers the past events in order to familiarize with the situation his client is actually in and to check the reliability of the chart. He does not ask his client for what has happened, but rather tells him what he sees and then waits for confirmation. Only after doing so, he analyzes the upcoming events, which are supposed to be linked within the context of prior events.

  1. Past events

Lilly uses the separative aspects of the AC ruler Sun and the Moon, as symbolically descriptive of past events.

Since the AC ruler always describes the querent, its past aspects tell about what happened to the querent lately. It is important here to notice, that Lilly considers the ephemerides and only uses the real time transits (and thus not the symbolical matching), in order to see  which aspects  the Sun has accomplished lately. The Sun’s last three aspects (in the chart at 4° Aries) have been:

  • Conjunction with Mars at 8° Pisces, on February 26th, 1633[1]
  • Square to Saturn at 9° Pisces on February 27th, 1633
  • Sextile with Jupiter at 21° Pisces, on March 11th,1633

Lilly now considers what or who is described by Mars in this horoscope. He rules the 4th house (Scorpio), which makes Lilly suggest, that the issue is about a house or a property. Since Mars in the horary is in the 8th house, that property has to do with the money of some other people.

He then seeks for a confirmation in the chart and checks the movement of the Moon. The Moon is going to apply to an opposition with Mars in the 8th house, describing a conflict between his own money and that of other people. This is the confirmation he was looking for.

The Sun’s next aspect is a square to Saturn, indicating problems and tensions. Saturn rules the 7th house, the wife of the querent. Both have had a fight. Since the lot of fortune is in Capricorn and therefore ruled by Saturn, Lilly is confident that the wife always wants the last word in the financial decisions of the couple.

Furthermore, Saturn is

  • in a fire sign, she has a choleric temperament.
  • the outermost and thus most influential planet, which attributes her power.
  • And the planets’ position in a fixed sign makes the woman press her points.

This is why Lilly describes her as a true virago,[2] which his clients confirms.

Therefore, the problem here i that the wife won’t listen to anything Lilly’s client might say, wanting her fortune for herself, which her husband, apparently less wealth than her, does not accept.[3]

The Sun’s last aspect is a sextile to Jupiter. In traditional astrology, this planet is regarded as the major benefic and thus describes people or events accordingly. Lilly sees in that planet a person, who soothes the differences of the couple.

Why does Lilly consider Jupiter to be a mediator?

  • The last aspect Jupiter has received, is from the Sun (querent)
  • The Sun next trines Saturn (wife)[4]

Symbolically, the Sun is surrounded by advisers. The Sun accepts (conjunction) Jupiter’s advise and proposes it (trine) to Saturn.


The next aspect, Jupiter receives is from the Moon, the co-significator of the quisited, suggesting a positive outcome. This configuration suggests, that the advice given is well accepted by both parties. Nevertheless, he notices that Mercury is going to square Saturn. As always, Lilly first looks at the general signification of Mercury:

  • Mercury rules the second house, which describes the financial resources of the querent. Mercury is in his detriment and in the 8th, describing him as poor or dependant from wife’s money. Lilly also considers that he just do not want to finance his wife’s estates.

But Mercury might also describe a particular person:

  • He rules the 11th house, which is the 5th from the 7th: A child from a previous matrimony is part or reason of the quarrel.[5]

As Lilly’s clients does confirm what he has said so far, Lilly now starts looking for the upcoming events.


  1. Future events

First, Lilly examines the AC ruler Sun, which describes the querent. He is exalted, already separated from Mars and does not need to fear difficult aspects (he only trines Saturn). Since the Sun is located in the 9th house the whole world is the playground of Lilly’s client.

Lilly’s first prediction is: his client will live well and travel a lot (the 9th house indicates foreign countries, but is also in a cardinal sign, showing movement). [6]

Lilly then looks at the Moon. She is in the 2nd house (money) and approaches a trine with Jupiter in the 10th house. This house is linked to career and profession, but generally also to a (social) position in one’s life. Jupiter generally describes teachers, scholars or particularly influential persons. He rules the 5th house (children) and the 8th house (wife’s money). Thus the soldier wants to do something with the money of his wife for his son, in order to assure him adequate instruction. [.[7]

Lilly’s second prediction is: His client will find an agreement with his wife for granting his son a fee-based instruction.

He then notices, that the Moon is peregrine in the 2nd house and Mercury, its dispositor, is in its detriment applying  Mars. He concludes, that his client had recently been in economic trouble.

Since the distance between Moon and Mars is 6°, Lilly assumes that his client needed money six months ago. The next Moon aspect is Jupiter. Lilly already acquainted his client that the next three years will be quiet. Find the post here. Now he wants to know what will happen after this three year’s episode of peace and notices the Mars opposition; and now, alarm bells are ringing.

Mars is in the 8th house and rules the 4th: the risk of loss refers to the querent’s life and estates. As the Moon (opposition) is in the 2nd house, also his financial resources are at risk to be lost.

Lilly’s third prediction is: His client will fear for his life and properties.

For Lilly’s client, this prediction must have been hard to listen to.

Please note that Lilly did NOT tell his client, that he was going to die, but only  that his life would be in danger at that time.

There could be many reasons for this and probably do not really surprise  Lilly’s client, since he was a soldier in the English Civil War. Lilly just gives his client the possibility to get prepared.

The astrologer then goes on explaing his client when these events were to be expected.

He considers 2 aspects:

  • The Moon/Jupiter sextile, at 3° distance

The next three years will be without problems.

  • The Moon/Mars opposition at 7°21 distance.

Since the planets are in mutable signs, which indicate some speed, transforming 7° into years appears as a too long time period to Lilly. This would mean, that the problems begin after 7 years, which does not match with the shorter Moon Jupiter distance (3°), which indicates only three happy years.

This is a very interesting point. The client will be carefree for three years, but the peak of his problems will occur in 7 years. This would suggest, that the happiness becomes less immediately after these 3 years and problems do slowly come up.

Indeed, Lilly states that [8]

Since the question is a general one, I could have given also 1° for every year.

Personally, I would think, that the negative phase will start when the 8th house is activated, which is shortly before the Mars aspect occurs, seven years after the question was asked.[9]

If Lilly gives one year to every degree, the distance from the 9th house cusp up to Mars (counting clockwise) is 1°21’ and must be translated with the same time key[10], thus roughly 1,5 year, another period of relative peace. It follows, that the negative events will start after approximately 5, 5 years (3+ 1,5), reach their peak after 7,5 years (Moon-Mars opposition) and then slowly disappear (Mars-orb).

Lilly does not report details on the destiny of the soldier, he just mentions that

he did overcome all manner of difficulties for many years (..) and had an honorable employment on his Majesty part, but at the Moon is in opposition to Mars, (…) by sentence of the Parliament, deprived of too much happiness as to end his days in England (…)..

This is the last post of Lilly’s first example chart. In my next post I will discuss his second example in which he tries to understand, if two persons will meet each other soon.


[1] William Lilly used the Julian Calendar, while we use tody the Gregorian Calendar. The difference between both is 13 days. In Lilly’s England , the Greogrian Calendar was introduced only in 1752. The horoscope shown has been calculated with the Gregorian Calendar

[2] Virago= a loud, violent, and ill-tempered woman; scold; shrewd Source:

[3] At Lilly’s time, it was common use to marry for economic reasons. Often the wife was given a property in order to assure her an income in case of premature death of her husband, or else the man was interested in the patrimony of the woman.

[4] Saturn is retrograde, thus also moving towards the slower planet.

[5] I suppose that this person collects money or taxes for he woman, as today an administrator would do.

[6] If the 9th house was in a fixed sign, he might rather have lived in a foreign country, or just studied it, as fixed signs indicate “no movement”.

[7] If the son was an adult, he would have referred to a promotion or important job position.

[8] Actually he proposes a technique in which he considers only the half of the 7°21’, which brings him closer to the Moon Jupiter Conjunction. Personally, I do not find this method consistent and he does not insist really on it.

[9] This technique is called annual profection and calculates when the AC symbilically reaches the 8th house cusp, moving it counterclockwise though the signs, one year per sign. 7 years after the question was asked, the profected AC is in Pisces or the 8th house. The counterclockwise profection (would thus indicate a rough time frame, while the clockwise calculation on the 9th house cusp and the Mars distance (1°21’)  gives an exact timing.

[10] See my previous post in order to check Lilly’s time key.




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