by Richard Smykowsky

Consider this for a situation (as I did): you are doing your final assessments in the year 2000, and anticipate that by the New Year you will be a fully qualified astrologer. With this in mind you would like to set up a practice in February 2001, with the idea that not only will you do the normal astrological counselling, but some teaching as well.

Naturally you will be experimenting with charts for this period. What chart conditions will you be looking for to give your practice the best start possible?

This question explores the real world use of astrology, and is a very traditional task for astrologers to perform. It leads to a consideration of the branch of astrology called electional astrology. Here the expertise of the astrologer is directed at the choice of the best or most appropriate time for the commencement of a particular enterprise.

The purpose to electional astrology is to align your intentions concerning an event with an astrological configuration that makes that intention as easeful as possible in practice.

The idea behind....electional astrology is that the quality or nature of the time you....start a new venture will influence its future development and outcome.

Ideally, I would choose a favourable day for me to work on the election process.

In giving my business the best start possible, I will need to be aware of the following three astrological perspectives for the elected chart:

1. It should meaningfully reflect the nature and intention of my enterprise. The chart needs to contain the relevant and inherent astrological qualities required for a successful and productive outcome. A planet or planets should be chosen as significator(s) of the event, and houses important to the event should be positively emphasised.

2. It should have the best possible relationship to my own natal chart. The chart of the practice will be a transit chart to my own and there will be an ongoing synastry relationship, such that I need to choose an appropriate personal moment for the commencement of an astrological business in my own life.

3. The ongoing life and wellbeing of the venture will be signalled by supportive and opportune transits, and progressions to the elected chart in the future. These upcoming and inevitable dynamic conditions need to be checked at the outset.

All of the technical considerations need to be applied and limited to the timeframe given for the commencement of practice, that is February 2001.

Already certain constraints and potentials are implied by limiting the period of time during which the practice may be “birthed”.

First of all I will want to pay attention to the quality of the planets which will be most significant to my venture, establishing a successful and burgeoning astrological practice involved with counselling and teaching.

The planet which rules astrologers and astrology practice is Uranus.
The planet(s) which rules counsellors are Uranus and to a lesser extent Venus and Jupiter.
The planet(s) which rules teachers and teaching are Mercury, Jupiter and also Saturn.
The planet(s) which rule communication are Mercury and Jupiter.

It is essential to choose a day when these planets are strong and well aspected.

Looking at February 2001:

Certain planetary conditions remain constant throughout the month. Such qualities as the sign/degree of the slow-moving outer planets and their mutual aspects. Fortunately, all planets are in forward motion other than Mercury.

It is notable that Mercury retrogrades during the course of the month and stations both retrograde and direct.

Mercury retrograde might be suitable for certain elected objectives or tasks such as historical research, regressive therapy, or processes involving re-work, re-think, re-write and re-trace.

However, given the general reputation of Mercury retrograde, for a good start and ongoing momentum for my astrological practice I would choose a date when Mercury, a key planet for teaching and communication, was going forward. Mercury stations turning retrograde on 4 Feb at 11:51 and stations turning direct 26 Feb 1:35. This requirement is only met before or on 4 Feb and from 26 Feb.

(The important decision at this point is whether the period of Mercury retrograde, which is amplified by the fact that no other planets are retrograde, is definitely unsuitable for my astrological practice. In this case, I will take that decision unless the other possible dates are unworkable.)

The traditional approach to the retrograde Mercury cycle, for instance not signing contracts or initiating new enterprises or making major purchases, still stands. In fact it is reinforced...Symbolically, there are opposing forces at work that operate somewhat like driving with the emergency brake on - the exciting energy of new beginnings combined with a sense of restraint creates inner tension. ......By not making major decisions, and resisting the impulse to wade in, Prometheus-like, seizing power and executing action, one contains one’s anxiety and builds a more appropriate method of operation. The frequent repercussions from Promethean impetuousness have given Mercury retrograde a bad name.

Let’s look at the features of these two time periods in relation to our requirements:

1-4 February:

Condition of Uranus

• Mars square Uranus; Saturn square Uranus (with Mars opposite Saturn and triggering the Saturn-Uranus square) • Sun conjunct Uranus applying

Condition of Mercury

• Mercury in Aquarius/Pisces • Mercury stationing for retrograde period At the time of Mercury’s station, an opportunity to curtail direct action arises....Mercury’s station often halts plan-making, and events seem to have a life of their own. • Mercury sesquisquare Node; Mercury square Jupiter (triggering Jupiter semisquare Node) • Mercury = Chiron/Neptune midpoint • Mercury essential dignity score = -4 • Mercury mutual reception with Jupiter

Condition of Jupiter

• Mercury square Jupiter • Jupiter semisquare Node • Venus sextile Jupiter • Jupiter = Chiron/Neptune midpoint • Jupiter conjunct fixed star Mirfak • Jupiter essential dignity score = +5


• Moon is waxing - 2nd quarter

Condition of other Factors

• Sun in Aquarius • Sun sextile Pluto • Sun semisquare Venus and Chiron • Sun essential dignity score = -10 Peregrine • Venus in Pisces/Aries • Venus square Chiron • Mars Scorpio • Mars opposite Saturn

Transits to my Natal Chart

• Sun trine my Ascendant • Sun square my Moon in 11 • Sun semisquare my Mars in 7 • Mercury semisquare my Node in 7 • Venus semisquare my Moon in 11 • Venus square my Mars in 7 • Venus square my Sun in 1 • Mars sesquisquare my Jupiter in 1 • Mars square my Pluto in 3 • Moon in 11th/12th Houses

26-28 February:

Condition of Uranus

• Mercury conjunct Uranus applying • Mercury parallel Uranus • Uranus = Venus/Chiron midpoint direct • Uranus = Mars/Neptune midpoint

Condition of Mercury

• Mercury in Aquarius • Mercury turning direct and moving forward we can now fly headlong towards accomplishment with little introspection.....the mind now has full control and the powers of observation and action are heightening.....It is the perfect time to test the untried and to market the idea or product of the retrograde reflection....this forward thrust is the opportunity to allow full creative freedom, seizing all possible circumstances for growth and expansion - personally, professionally, and creatively. • Mercury sextile stationing Venus exact; Mercury sextile Pluto exact (triggering exact trine of stationing Venus trine Pluto); Mercury parallel Uranus; Mercury conjunct Uranus applying; Mercury conjunct Neptune separating; Mercury quincunx Node • Mercury = Venus/Pluto midpoint direct • Mercury = Uranus/Neptune midpoint direct • Mercury = Saturn/Neptune midpoint • Mercury essential dignity score = +3

Condition of Jupiter

• Mars opposite Jupiter separating (triggered by separating Sun square) • Sun square Jupiter separating • Venus semisquare Jupiter applying • Jupiter = Chiron/Neptune midpoint • Jupiter = Uranus/Pluto midpoint • Jupiter conjunct fixed star Mirfak • Jupiter essential dignity score = 0

Condition of the Moon

• Moon is waxing - 1st quarter

Condition of other Factors

• Sun in Pisces • Sun square Mars separating • Venus Aries • Venus slowing to station • Venus sextile Pluto • Venus square Node separating • Mars Sagittarius • Mars sextile Neptune applying

Transits to my Natal Chart

• Sun trine my Sun-Jupiter conjunction • Sun trine my Saturn • Sun sextile my Mars • Sun sesquisquare Uranus • Sun sesquisquare Neptune • Venus sextile my Ascendant • Venus square my Node • Mars trine my Venus • Mars sesquisquare Uranus • Mars semisquare Neptune • Mars opposite ascendant • Moon in 10th/11th Houses

From a thorough consideration of the above outlined analysis, I would choose the period at the end of February 2001.
Now we need to examine each of the following dates:
26, 27 and 28 February.
Moon is void of course from 14:32 on 27 Feb until 6:05 on the 28 Feb.
Upon examining the Moon’s aspects to Uranus, Mercury and Jupiter on these days, I would select 27 February when Moon in Aries sextiles both Mercury and Uranus (and is conjunct Venus). This also places the Moon in my 10th house, giving it prominence as an indicator of professional recognition and success. However, the time must be before the Moon goes void-of-course at 14:32, with its last aspect a positive sextile to Uranus. The last aspect of the Moon before it leaves Aries is a trine to Chiron.

Having chosen a range of time (8:00-14:30) on a particular day (27 February), an exact time must be selected.
The chart ruler (me), and the rulers of houses 11 (astrology), 3 and 9 (teaching and communicating) and 7 (counselling), need careful consideration.

The chart can have Aries, Taurus, or Gemini Rising. Gemini is most appropriate for a communication style venture, and I personally have Gemini rising.
The ascendant should not be in the early or late degrees of the sign.

The time is narrowed to between 12:10 and 14:00.
After experimenting with aspects of Ascendant and Midheaven, and midpoints to Ascendant and Midheaven, and Sabian symbols for Ascendant and Midheaven, and placement of planets in houses, a time of 12:35 on 27 February is my elected time for an astrological practice.

Chart ruler Mercury in Aquarius in the 9th, applying to a conjunction of Uranus in the 9th. Uranus rules the 9th house. Moon and Venus conjunct in the 11th house. Sun which rules the 3rd house is in the 9th house.
Ascendant trine Neptune and Ascendant = Jupiter/Pluto.

Midheaven trine Node and Midheaven = Moon/Mercury and Venus/Uranus.
I would make the above-outlined considerations to ensure the chart conditions necessary for a successful astrological practice.
Nevertheless, electing charts generally is a difficult task, requiring skill and experience.

In conclusion, there is no right or perfect chart, but at least a skilful attempt at giving the venture good potential fulfilment through the times ahead.

Software Tools: Solar Fire 4.19 - Esoteric Technologies

Ebertin, Reinhold: The Combination of Stellar Influences (Tempe, AFA, 1972)
Louis, Anthony: Horary Astrology (St.Paul, Llewellyn, 1991)
Louis, Anthony: “Ten Lessons on Horary and Electional Astrology” (http://hometown.aol.com/tonylouis/home/hless.htm) 1999
Lehman, Lee: “Tell Me When to do Something: Electional Astrology” (http://www.lelehman.com/pages/Election.html) 1996
Rudhyar, Dane: An Astrological Mandala (New York, Random House, 1973)
Scofield, Bruce: The Timing of Events: Electional Astrology (Orleans, Astrolabe, 1985)
Sullivan, Erin: Retrograde Planets (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1992)
Tompkins, Sue: Aspects in Astrology (Longmead, Element, 1994)

(1) Lehman, Lee: “Tell Me When to do Something: Electional Astrology” (http://www.lelehman.com/pages/Election.html) 1996
(2) Louis, Anthony: “Ten Lessons on Horary and Electional Astrology” (http://hometown.aol.com/tonylouis/home/hless.htm) 1999
(3) Sullivan, Erin: Retrograde Planets (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1992) p63-64
(4) Sullivan, Erin: Retrograde Planets (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1992) p60-61
(5) Sullivan, Erin: Retrograde Planets (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1992) p65

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