Astrological_birth_chart_for_William_Lilly_Wellcome_L0040342Lilly uses  the first example chart  on p. 135 of his book „Christian Astrology“, in order to answer six questions of his client:

All these questions require an in-depth analysis of the first house and its ruler, which in a horary always describe the querent and his/her general shape and health. In this post I will analyze the first question and show which was Lilly’s take on it. In my following posts I will successively study the other questions.

Lilly was used to describe his client physically, before starting with the questions. He was a true fan of this method and used it as a tool in order to see if the question and the querent coincided. I will not go into this here, as I have already published another article on this argument (see here the post in German). So let’s get started immediately with the question if the current will have a long life.

Here is the chart:

Lilly first examines the quality of the 1st house ruler. His answer is thus to be intended as a qualitative or general one. Lilly does not give a precise indication of life expectance, as his client did not explicitly ask about how many years he was going to live. [1]

The AC is in Leo, thus the client and his health are described by the AC ruler Sun.

The Sun is in 4° Aries, at only 2° distance from  the 9th house cusp, which positions the Sun technically already in the 9th house. [2]

  • The Sun in in the upper half of the chart.

The upper half of a horoscope is associated with light and life, while the part beneath the horizon line is linked to darkness and death. This is why the lower part is associated with diminishing life light.

  • The Sun is in its exaltation.

This position describes the querent as healthy, in full possession of his power. In traditional astrology, the exaltation is considered to be the best position of a planet after the proper domicile.

  • The Sun is quick.

A quick planetary movement is associated with strength and persistence.

  • The Sun is in the terms of Jupiter.

Lilly mentions this because he considers Jupiter as the major benefic, rather than the 8th house ruler.

  • The Sun makes no aspect to Saturn, the 6th house ruler.

Lilly checks here, whether an illness is possibly to be expected soon. But the lack of an aspect between AC ruler and Saturn describes this option as unlikely.

  • The Sun does not make any aspect with Jupiter, the ruler of the 8th house (death).

Checking the relationship between the AC ruler and the 8th house ruler, Lilly excludes the possibility of a sudden and unexpected death. This point is very important: Any aspect between the AC ruler and the 8th house would represent a negative factor, which is not the case in this example.

Next, Lilly analyzes the Moon, which in a horary always describes the further development in relation to  the question.

  • The Moon separates from a trine to Venus (the minor benefic) and is at 21° Virgo.
  • She approaches an opposition with Mars (8th house) at 28° Pisces. This opposition would be very negative for the querent, as every aspect to a planet within the 8th house is related to the house content.
  • Before that aspect becomes exact, the Moon trines Jupiter at 24° Taurus. This passage is the key point in Lilly’s analysis: He does not regard Jupiter as the 8th house ruler (since there is no relationship with the 1st house ruler!) but rather considers his nature as classical benefic, who assists the querent. The fact, that the Jupiter aspect occurs before the Mars aspect is considered as some kind of protective shield. In astrology, this is called prevention. Jupiter is also, together with Venus, the other benefic and the most elevated planet. His position in the 10th and the nature of the planet make a positive outcome of the question most likely. It would be quite different, if Mars or Saturn were in such a prominent position.

Lilly finally considers Mars and Saturn, the two classical malefics and compares their influence with that of the benefics.

  • Saturn is retrograde, which debilitates his influence. He is in an angular house, but already far from the cusp, which weakens him further. Sun and Saturn will trine soon, while the Sun is in Saturn’s triplicity. Thus, there might be problems, but they should not be too difficult. Mars is in the 8th house and still combust. The Sun has just separated from Mars, putting this event in the past.

Lilly concludes his chart analysis, saying that his client had still many years to live. When Lilly wrote his book, 11 years after this consultation took place, his client, a soldier in the English Civil War, was still alive. This must have been indeed a true miracle, at those times.


[1] He asks if he will live long and not “how long will I live”.

[2] In traditional astrology an orb of 5° is given to every house cusp.





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