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Part One

Introducing HoraryIdentifying SignificatorsTraditional Sign RulershipsHouses in HoraryMiscellaneous TermsTurning the Chart
Planetary Joys
Turning the Chart
Example Horary
Test & Summary

Learning Horary Astrology - free online tutorials written by Deborah Houlding

Turning the Chart

Once you've gained a good understanding of house rulerships, you can extend their use in judgement by using a technique called 'turning the chart'. This allows a further level of detail that can be applied specifically to a person or situation under scrutiny in the horary.

Imagine that you have been offered the opportunity to go into business with a partner. If you are asking your own question on whether this is a wise thing to do, you would be the querent - described by the 1st house and signified by the planet that rules the 1st house. Your potential partner would be described by the 7th house and signified by the planet that rules the 7th house. The 2nd house of the chart will describe your own financial situation, but the 8th house could be used as a 'turned' 2nd house for your partner, to describe their financial situation. The 9th house will become their 'turned' 3rd house of communications; the 10th house their 'turned' 4th house of home and property, and so on.

Turned chart to examine partner's details

Each of these houses remains relevant to you as the querent, but approaching the symbolism from another perspective allows you to focus more detail upon how the partner relates to the situation you are examining.

As another example, imagine that you are drawing a chart to discover whether your mother would be suited to a new job. Since it is your own question you would be signified by the 1st house and its planetary ruler, and your mother by the 10th house and its ruler. Career decisions generally are shown by the Midheaven and 10th house, but the specific details of your mother's profession would be found by counting the 10th house as the 1st house for your mother, and the 10th house on from that as the house that indicates her professional concerns. This takes us to the radical 7th house - its planetary ruler will act as the significator for the mother's turned house of career matters.

Turned chart to examine mother's details

In charts that use this technique references to the radical house relate to the normal flow of houses, which ties the 1st house to the ascendant. So the radical 10th house is the normal 10th house of the horary, which commences from the Midheaven. 'Radical' in this context derives from the word radix, meaning 'root'. References to the mother's turned 10th house relate to the 10th house on from the house we normally assign to the mother. So in this case the mother's turned 10th house falls in the radical 7th house.

Turned houses are sometimes referred to as derived houses.

Also, be sure to base the significations upon the relationship to the querent - the person asking the question. As the astrologer, if you are drawing a chart to answer your own mother's question, your mother becomes the querent, signified by the 1st house.

To make sure you understand this technique answer the questions below - the answers are given further down this page.
  1. Which house would describe the querent's husband's employer?
  2. Which house would describe the querent's sister's dog?
  3. Which house would describe the querent's father's illness?
  4. Which house would describe the querent's daughter's friend?

    [ View answers ]

To Turn or Not to Turn?

Many new students get a little over-enthusiastic about the process of chart-turning, spinning the chart unnecessarily and failing to give due consideration to the often more direct and obvious symbolism presented in the unturned chart. The unturned chart is called the 'radical figure', the radix - the root from which all the symbolism emerges. Usually the tone set by the radical chart will influence all our attempts to extend its descriptive value; so if we find a debilitated or afflicted malefic culminating on the Midheaven, that is offering a very strong statement which will be relevant to the judgement regardless of whether the 10th house is highlighted in the turned signification.

It has also been argued, that when a querent asks about someone else's problem, to some extent they associate directly with them and share their focus on the problem. Thus, their concern allows us a direct access to considering issues of that nature. For example, a wife asking about a husband's fear of redundancy will lead us to examine the 7th house for description and signification of the husband. If we turn the chart to look at his professional influences we will consider the 10th house from the 7th - the radical 4th - to evaluate the prospects of his career. Yet the wife, in associating with the husband's fear, may be very concerned about issues of status and the reflected shadow that his professional demise would cast upon her. The radical 10th house will resonate to those concerns, firstly because it is the principal house of professional matters in a general sense and also because, in this case, there is a valid argument for referring directly to it. In most cases it is wise to consider the chart from both angles - the information revealed from turning the chart should reinforce the overall tenor of the radix chart and allow us to build up a descriptive profile from it.

If contradictory factors arise we may need to carefully consider whether the querent's desires, hopes, fears and understanding of the situation truly associate with those of the other person involved. Take the question "Is my daughter pregnant?"; this should immediately draw our focus to the 5th house because in a general sense the 5th house reflects upon all matters to do with daughters and pregnancies. But whilst the potential grandmother may be delighted at the prospect of a pregnancy, the daughter herself may be horrified - contradictory factors may be shown when considering the radical 5th and the turned 5th, (9th house - as 5th from 5th), as it specifically applies to the daughter's point of view. These contradictory factors often cause some initial confusion in judgement, which is ironed out when we combine the indications and accept that they each describe the way that events present themselves to the different people involved in the horary.

In every case there is good reason to relate turned signification back to the radical figure and attempt to merge the symbolism into a complete and meaningful picture. Situations that undeniably benefit from chart turning are those that present a clear need to differentiate between how one horary problem relates to various people. This lesson continues through the assignment (below), part of which includes an example horary that demonstrates the usefulness of turning the chart and judging it from various perspectives - whichever approach the chart is judged from it gives a lucid description of the events that were about to unfold.


Read chapters six and seven of The Houses: Temples of the Sky to complete the main body of the text. Familiarise yourself with the practical significations of the 3rd, 9th, 6th and 12th houses, as listed in chapter 8.

Also note that there is an index of house rulerships that may prove useful in your studies.

Continue to test on house rulerships to help solidify your knowledge of house rulerships.


Answers to questions:

  1. Which house would describe the querent's husband's employer?

    The radical 4th house, (10th from the 7th).

  2. Which house would describe the querent's sister's dog?

    The radical 8th house, (6th from the 3rd).

  3. Which house would describe the querent's father's illness?

    The radical 9th house, (6th from the 4th).

  4. Which house would describe the querent's daughter's friend?

    The radical 3rd house, (11th from the 5th).

    [ Return to questions ]

Horary Astrology