Premature Enquiration: Early Ascendant Degrees in Horary Astrology

When you ask a horary question, it should ideally be asked about a specific, developing, urgent concern. It shouldn’t just be a question borne out of idle curiosity, it should be spurred by the emergence of some pressing matter or event that is imminent or unfolding. I wrote about how to ask good horary questions here and I even made a handy flowchart about it here. However, there are some among us who regardless of their circumstances, even if it doesn’t quite make sense to ask yet, just can’t hold that horary in.

They become hardened in their resolve to ask, stiffened with concern and engorged with desire to know the answer. In this excited and agitated state, there is no doubt that the moment of horary is near, oh yes. They are bobbing up and down, throbbing and pulsing with anticipation, reddening and straining to hold themselves back, tensed and ready to blow. They know they should slow down and wait until it actually makes sense to ask, but it just feels so right to keep going until suddenly- their horary comes, right into my inbox. Oops.

These premature enquirations can sometimes be determined by the horary chart itself. One of the main indications of a question being premature is an early Ascendant, standardized to 3 degrees. This is not to say that these horaries with early Ascendants can’t still be useful, but the early Ascendant would still indicate that many variables are still up in the air that could render the question moot, or that not a lot has already transpired with respect to the topic of the question. In this article I will present a few examples that serve as some fresh evidence that these concepts surrounding early Ascendant horaries totally hold up.

“Will I get into a romantic relationship soon?”

The client gave me permission to share this horary on the condition of anonymity. I read and understood this question at 11:21 am on September 20th 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. 0° Sagittarius was rising.

Horary should ideally be about a specific person or situation that is actively developing, so it can be inferred from the open-ended vagueness of this question that we are talking about a hypothetical person rather than a specific person. Thus the early Ascendant refers to the extremely premature state of this question, about a relationship with someone they hadn’t even met yet.


Talk about jumping the gun! However, this horary ended up being a bit of a surprise when I interpreted it as-is.

  • Sagittarius 1st – Jupiter in Sagittarius 1st represented the querent, the person asking
  • Gemini 7th – Mercury in Libra 11th represented the potential suitor

Mercury was applying to a sextile with Jupiter, but it was interrupted by a square from Saturn. This would reflect a situation where the prospect of a romantic partner appears to be headed towards coming into contact with the querent but is otherwise stalled or obstructed. This would be an initial indication of a “no”.  However, the Moon sneakily gets around this Mercury-Saturn square in its status as the co-ruler of the question. First, the Moon is placed in the 7th house of relationships, and its last aspect was a trine to Mercury (the potential suitor), and its next aspect is an opposition to Jupiter (the querent). It avoids making an aspect to Saturn because Gemini is in aversion to Capricorn. This would seem to indicate it could be a possibility.

I told the client that according to this chart, the next time Mercury and Jupiter would form an aspect should be when a new romantic prospect arrives in their life, because it’s when the ruler of the 1st and 7th would meet. That happened on September 24th 2019, just 4 days after the horary was asked. It seemed pretty risky to suggest this timing because it was so soon, but that’s actually exactly what ended up happening. The client contacted me to let me know that they had met someone on September 24th 2019(!), and they began dating not long after. Since Mercury rules the 7th of the horary, I had also suggested that there could be difficulties with this relationship in the ensuing Mercury retrograde from October 31st 2019-November 19th 2019. The relationship ended around mid-November 2019. 🙁

“Will I recover alive from COVID?”

The client gave me permission to share this horary on the condition of anonymity. I read and understood this question at 10:05 pm on January 26th 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. One can assume from this question that the person asking has COVID, and that their situation was dire enough that their survival is in doubt. I thought for a while about the ethics of how to respond or if I even should attempt to answer this question at all. I’m not enthusiastic about medical horaries in general, but I will look at them with the caveat that my interpretation is merely descriptive rather than prescriptive, and certainly not intended to contradict or supersede the advice of a medical professional.

Once I saw the early Ascendant of the horary though, I knew that there had to be something premature about the question, so I just decided to probe for some clarification and that was when the client told me that they did not actually have COVID-19 and were perfectly healthy. 

They were more accurately asking “If in the event I contract COVID-19, would I survive?”, to which the cosmos responded with “Slow your roll there buckaroo” with the Ascendant at 0 degrees of Libra.

When I interpreted the question as-is:

  • Libra 1st – Venus in Capricorn 4th represents the patient
  • Pisces 6th – Jupiter in Aquarius 5th represents the illness
  • Cancer 10th – Moon in Cancer 10th represents the cure

Venus is the angular benefic of the sect in favor, the most fortunate planet in the chart. Jupiter is in a harsh configuration with this series of Sun-Mars-Saturn-Uranus squares, but most crucially in aversion to Venus. This would reflect that the patient themselves is unconnected to illness, presumably healthy or at least not actively unwell. The cure is represented by the Moon in its own sign of Cancer, which also represents bodily matters more generally. It forms a trine to Neptune in the 6th, followed by an opposition to Venus in the 4th, the patient’s significator. The Moon’s application to Neptune in the 6th perhaps reflected their imagining of the hypothetical scenario of contracting COVID, but the application to Venus would seem to suggest that a treatment or preventative measure (such as the COVID-19 vaccines) would work effectively for them, which I probably could have safely suggested is a good idea without using astrology, but it’s reflected pretty clearly here. Months later, they’re still live and kicking.

“Will X pay back the money I loaned?” 

The client gave me permission to share this horary on the condition of anonymity. I read and understood the question “Will X pay back the money I loaned?” on November 12th 2020, at 12:06 pm in Phoenix, Arizona. The Ascendant was at 0 Aquarius.

I knew there would something off about this question due to the early rising degree, but I couldn’t think of what that could logically be. I indicated to the client there was possibly something premature about this question, but that I would attempt to analyze it as-is in the interest of thoroughness.

The 2nd house is the house of one’s own finances, while the 8th is the house of loans and other’s resources. Since this is being asked by the lender rather than the borrower, the 2nd house would represent the loaned amount to the other party (the 7th) because the 2nd is the 8th relative to the 7th. So ultimately, we would be looking for a positive applying aspect between the Moon and/or rulers of the 1st and 2nd to make an argument that the lender would recover their money.

  • Aquarius 1st – Saturn in Capricorn 12th represents the lender
  • Pisces 2nd – Jupiter in Capricorn 12th represents the lender’s money, the borrower’s loan
  • Leo 7th – Sun in Scorpio 10th represents the borrower
  • Virgo 8th – Mercury in Scorpio 10th represents the borrower’s money

Jupiter and Saturn are copresent in Capricorn and they were heading toward a conjunction but it didn’t complete until December 21st 2020 in the next sign at 0 Aquarius, the degree of the horary’s Ascendant. A so-called “incomplete” conjunction. Because the conjunction between the significators was still applying toward an aspect, I said they would be paid back, but because they would change signs before doing so, I said they would be paid back under different premises than they’d expect.

As it turns out, after sending them my analysis, the client revealed they had not actually loaned the money yet to this potential borrower.

Why did they ask the horary about money they’d loaned, if they hadn’t actually loaned the money yet? Good question. They most likely meant to ask ‘IF I loaned the money, would I be repaid’, but that’s not what happened here. They had a premature enquiration, and I got it all over me. One other way we could have figured this out from the horary is the fact that the Sun was still applying a sextile to Jupiter, showing that the borrower had yet to come into possession of the loan. Mercury’s applying opposition to Uranus in the 4th probably also indicated that the borrower’s finances could be unstable.

There’s more to the story however! Several months had passed since this question, when suddenly this client reached out to me again. They had officially loaned the money and still wanted to know the answer to this question. I figured the circumstances had changed enough that this did constitute a genuine horary moment. I understood them asking this same question again on July 28th 2021, at 6:47 am in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Leo 1st – Sun in Leo 1st represents the lender
  • Virgo 2nd – Mercury in Leo 1st represents the lender’s money, the borrower’s loan
  • Aquarius 7th – Saturn Rx in Aquarius 7th represents the borrower
  • Pisces 8th – Jupiter Rx in Aquarius 7th represents the borrower’s money

Mercury is applying toward a direct conjunction with the Sun, showing that the lender would get their money back. Additionally, the Moon’s last aspect was a trine to Mercury, and the Moon’s next aspect would be a trine to the Sun. So the Moon performs a translation of light in this chart, connecting Mercury (ruler of 2nd, money) to the client (ruler of the 1st, the lender asking the question). So this is a very straightforward ‘yes’ answer for this horary question.

However, where this gets a little more interesting is that right after Mercury conjoined the Sun, Mercury and the Sun opposed Saturn in Aquarius, which signifies the borrower. Oppositions between significators tend to show regrets. My interpretation of this is that while the lender would get their money back, they may not want to lend again to this person.

The 8th would represent the borrower’s resources. Pisces is in the 8th, so Jupiter retrograde in Aquarius 7th would represent their resources. It had just barely exited out of Pisces before this horary chart was cast. Knowing that Jupiter would eventually make its way back to Pisces on December 28th 2021, I told the client that it would be after the end of the year that the borrower’s finances would be in a better position to repay the loan, and that until then, they would make payments but it would pain them to do so.

The client let me know that the borrower did start making payments in September. The borrower plans to pay the loan off soon though – not because the business is doing well (it’s still struggling), but because they will have enough equity from selling their house in early 2022, which coincides with when Jupiter will be back in Pisces, the 8th house of the horary. This is fascinating because it also calls back to the original horary and my interpretation that Jupiter and Saturn’s conjunction in the next sign would indicate repayment but not based on the original premises of repayment. Mercury’s opposition to Uranus in the 4th in the original horary also seemed to reflect the unanticipated financial opportunity the borrower would have through selling their house. So as you can see, even a premature horary isn’t always a totally blown load.

You, the whole time you were reading this:

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