A Treatise on Planetary Hours


How to cast Judgement in Horary Questions

by the relationship between the Lord of the Hour and the Radical Ascendant

by Andrew J. Bevan, QHP, DMS Astrol. (c) 1994


About the Planetary Hours

The tradition of planetary hours stems from the ancient division of day and night, each into 12 equal portions of time. The planets then rule these portions, called hours, in a regular and unbroken order (SA, JU, MA, SU, VE, ME, MO). The cycle continues from one day to the next so that every seven days a major revolution is completed and the order of rulerships belonging to each day is fixed.

The 7 days of the week receive their name from the planet that rules the first hour of that day, i.e. the Sun rules the first hour of Sunday, the Moon the first hour of Monday, etc. This planet then becomes the Lord of the Day.

Note that the astrological day begins at Sunrise. If you were born at 03.00 a.m. prior to Sunrise Tuesday morning, the day would still be astrological Monday! According to the season, diurnal and nocturnal hours differ in length. The exception is at the vernal and autumn equinoxes when the hours of day and night are equally long.

Instant determination

According to the traditional method, planetary hours are calculated by the division of the interval of time between Sunrise and Sunset in the appropriate location. If your computer doesn't do this job for you, the calculations may be quite tedious. However, planetary hours may instantly, although to some degree only approximately, be determined by noting the Suns position by house. Planetary hours are counted from Sunrise. Each house contains two planetary hours. The houses can be bisected and the correct hour can be reached by counting clockwise from the ascendant towards the portion of the chart containing the Sun.

The traditional system of planetary hours reflects a division of time and a house system that is Placedian. If you determine your planetary hour by Regiomontanus houses, don't worry whether the planetary hour is out. Planetary hours can be space-based! This is because it doesn't reason to draw a chart with Regiomontanus houses (based upon a division of space) and then enter the lord of hour who is Placedian. The planetary hours should follow the house system!

Astrology, magic and metaphysics

From old, the planets - often termed angles, were said to hold office during those periods when they either were lord of the day or lord the planetary hour. At these times each planet would be efficient in the affairs belonging to his natural signification. On pages 271-273 of his "Key to the Whole Art of Astrology", Coley provides a list of operations that can and cannot be performed under the planetary hours. Ancient astrologers paid careful attention to such rules and elected a good and appropriate hour for assistance towards accomplishing a desired end.

There are 3 rules to remember;

1) The lord of the hour is the operator and guardian of all business performed within this hour.

2) This same planet cannot and does not perform outsides the hours under his administration.

3) He cannot perform something contrary to his ordinance.

To go to the baker when his shop is shut, or to go to the butcher for the same bread is equally void. For pregnancy you may select the Moon, but not Saturn who will deny or hinder such an affair. By paying attention to the planetary hours the astrologer simply made sure the requirements were delivered at the right time to the right address.

Radical or fit to be judged?

William Lilly was persistent upon the use of the planetary hours in his practice of astrology. On p121-122 of Christian Astrology he says that a horary chart is radical and fit to be judged when the lord of the hour and the lord of the Ascendant are of one triplicity or of the same nature. A chart may also be judged when the lord of the hour is dignified in the ascendant, like when he rules the ascendant, or the sign is of his triplicity.

The blending sought is some sort of resonance or attunement between the lord of the hour and the ascendant. If the attunement is found, then the issue may proceed because of the opening for the operations of the lord of the hour. If there is no such relationship, the moment must be described as hitting a dumb note on the celestial instrument. Nothing can be performed without the assistance of the lord of the hour. This condition was a general warning before making judgement. An unclear tone distorts both art and effect.

The chart is radical and fit to be judged when the lord of the hour has dignities in the ascendant either by rulership, triplicity or, I add, by exaltation, or when the ascendant is ruled by a planet with the same power as the lord of the hour. This means that for each of the planetary hours certain signs on the ascendant automatically make the chart fit for judgement;


MO - TA, CN, LI, SC, PI ( VI, CP by night )

ME - TA, GE, VI, CP, AQ ( LI by night )

VE - TA, CN, LI, SC, PI ( VI, CP by day )


JU - CN, GE, LI, SG, AQ, PI ( AR, LE by night )


Additionally, the chart is fit to be judged when the lord of the hour and the lord of the ascendant are in the same triplicity. Also, when the lord of the hour is in exact aspect to the ascendant or its ruler, then the lord of the hour can relate to the moment and the chart will be fit for judgement and performance. If the lord of the hour is of such importance for the judgement of the chart, as ancients insist, it should be able to pass judgement on this planet alone. However, the key lies in the relationship to the ascendant. While the answer to horary question may often take time to be worked out, the planetary hour often quickly provide to approval or denial you are looking for.







(c) 1994, Andrew J. Bevan QHP, DMS Astrol.


1) If the natural sign of the lord of the hour ascends, viz. hr MO & Asc CN, hr ME & Asc GE, etc... first pay attention to the design of the question which could be contradicted or disproved. Oddly enough, the question may have been asked back to front. Next, look for some positive affirmation. There is no peril or damage to the querent, but the chart could forward protection or loss, according to the nature of the lord of the hour. This is a fortunate interval elected for cure, healing, or inducing relief.

2) If the sign of exaltation ascends, i.e. hr JU & Asc CN, hr SA & Asc LI, etc... strength, success, protection and recovery is granted to the querent. It is opportune moment for competition and speculation, however, the lord of the hour should properly rule those affairs for success to be ensured.

3) If the sign of the planets triplicity ascends, i.e. hr MA & As CN, etc... then affairs proceed according to a correct order. The person is not guilty of the crime he is accused. The monetary affairs of the querent are taken care of and protection granted his belongings.

4) If the lord of the hour shares the same powers as the ruler of the ascendent, ie. hr SU & Asc SC-MA, hr MO & Asc LI-VE, hr ME & Asc CP-SA, etc... then business will be performed according to the powers of the ruler of the hour. Viz. SA will promote real-estate and affairs of old age, otherwise bring illness, denial and delay, etc..

5) If the lord of the hour shares the same powers as the sign on the ascendant, i.e. hr MO & Asc SC, hr ME & Asc TA, hr JU & Asc AQ, etc... then bear in mind that which is naturally signified by the ruler of the ascendant.

6) If the lord of the hour closely aspects the ascendant, its ruler or the Moon, then the chart is fit to be judged, but consider the nature of the aspect, for this will reflect whatever lies on the path towards concluding the end result indicated by the chart. Viz. An opposition will indicate some inconvenience, mishap or humiliation, although the end result may be perfectly achieved.

7) If the lord of the hour is in the same triplicity as the lord of the ascendant, i.e. hr JU in AR & Asc VI with ME in LE, etc... then the chart is radical and fit to be judged, but the end result is achieved indirectly, through circumstance, some co-operation, alliance, or the assistance of friends.

8) A gathering of several of these conditions is a fortunate testimony. Viz. hr. SU & As SG; The Sun rules both the triplicity by day, shares the same powers as Sagittarius, may appear in the same triplicity as Jupiter, and also be aspecting the ascendant or it's ruler.

9) If the same planet rule both hour and day, then this is a fortitude according to the office of that planet. A relationship between the ruler of the day and the ascendant may offer an assisting hand.

10) Be aware how often Mercury may corrupt the Moon, as when hr ME & Asc CN, hr MO & Asc GE, hr MO & Asc VI, for this will truly bring about unwanted mischief and denies perfection.

11) On the same accord, the disagreement between the lord of the hour and the day ruler disrupts perfection, viz. hr MO & dy ME, hr MO & dy MA, hr ME & dy MO, hr ME & dy JU, etc. The combination of MO & MA often causes infection. SU & SA together is barren.

12) Nothing can be performed without the assistance of the lord of the hour. If there is no relation between the lord of the hour and the sign ascending or its lord, the chart shows something out of tune and not working properly. It is like striking a dumb note on the celestial instrument. The querent may not have had a serious intention of proposing the question. According to the ancient stricture, the astrologer is more liable to plunge himself into difficulties and should examine whether the querent has the correct reasons for asking the question. An irregularity is in existence and the rules are not being followed. There could be a disturbing circumstance and the matter leads to unhappiness or unacceptance.




1) A chart not radical

Of a man who wanted to know whether he would be involved with a certain woman.

Time 21.59 GMT, May 4. 1992, 58N58, 5E45.

The chart shows the significator of the woman, Mercury, close the exaltation degree of the Sun and angular in Aries on the cusp of the fourth house. The querent said how attractive (Suns exaltation degree) he found the young woman (Mercury), and that he had met her several times in her place of occupation (her 10th of the turned chart). She worked in the local post office.

Saturn, lord of the hour, had no relation to the ascendant or it's lord, so I judged that something of the question was out of tune, not properly grounded and might have an unhappy conclusion. Saturn, by nature, does not promote but rather hinders love affairs. I therefore told the querent that his affections were not likely to be reciprocated.

Mars, dispositor of the lord of the seventh, was about to enter his own sign, so something regarding the quesited was about to change or be revealed in the immediate future. The Moon applied to the lord of the hour, Saturn, by a trine through short ascension, revealing something along the nature of a square.

However, Venus, lady of the 5th applied by trine to Jupiter, who was lord of the first and significator of the querent. So I comforted the querent, adviced him to direct his attention elsewhere and that he soon may enjoy fortunate circumstances. The querent told me that the following day when he went to the post office, the woman in question was wearing a wedding ring. He had never seen her wear a wedding ring before and this concluded the end of his question.

2) A chart not radical

A woman wanted to know whether she was pregnant or not.

The question was proposed time 07.26 GMT, April 22. 1995, 59N56, 10E43.

It is the day of Saturn and the hour of the Sun. The lord of the hour has no dignities in the ascendant and has no relation to the lord of that sign, who is the Moon. This could be a warning that the querents hopes will not be met. Although the lord of the hour is in the 11th in reception with lord of the 5th, and the Moon seperates from the lord of the hour by a square through signs of short ascension. The woman desired to have a child.

The Moon, who was her significator, was in Aquarius in the 8th house. The 8th signifies sexual activity and matters that dwell in the twilight zone between life and death. Luna last passed over Uranus, who by modernists is allotted a co-rulership in Aquarius, and who indicated a change of pace or rhytmn. Certainly Uranus in this sign did not outrule the possibility of some change in the querents world or sense of existance.

The Moons previous aspect is her square to the Sun, who is intercepted in the 11th house. The aspect is cast through signs of short ascension and the Sun is lord of the hour and in reception with Venus, who is ruler of the 5th. I therefore judged that the lady was pregnant, but due to the question being proposed on the day of Saturn and in the hour of the Sun, the feutus had not fastened. The lady proved to be pregnant but the feutus did not fasten and in less than two weeks, when the Moon was directed to the square of the Nodes in Scorpio, she aborted.

Andrew J. Bevan, (c) 1996