Horary Astrology Re-Examined

Barbara Dunn


This is a detailed and highly informative book, demonstrating clearly and unambiguously that traditional methods are applicable to all astrology. Barbara Dunn examines the methods by which astrologers of the past evaluated planetary strengths in order to make a judgement on a Question, Nativity, Election or any other type of chart. These evaluations provide a platform for judgement today, in just the same way as they did over a thousand years ago. An excellent source book and useful for any serious student of astrology.

An eBook version is available through the usual online sellers: iBooks, Nook, Googlebooks and Amazon

Weight 910 g
  • ISBN 13: 9781902405353

Prior to my astrological life, I was an undergraduate and postgraduate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in receipt of a scholarship from the Social Science Research Council.  I subsequently undertook independent research into classical, Arabic and mediaeval astrological knowledge/practice, whilst pursuing a career as a freelance astrological consultant/columnist for UK and European publications. I graduated with Diplomas from the Faculty of Astrological Studies (D F Astrol S), and the Qualifying Horary Practitioner (QHP).  In 2001 I inherited the QHP from Olivia Barclay and continue to enjoy teaching and mentoring students worldwide. In 2007 I was assisted by a grant from the Urania Trust for writing Horary Astrology Re-Examined: The Possibility or Impossibility of the Matter Propounded, published in 2009 by Wessex Astrologer.  A further grant was awarded in 2014 for studying an MA in History at Exeter University, where I graduated with distinction in 2016. I am currently a PhD student in receipt of a doctoral studentship from the Wellcome Trust, supervised by Professor Jonathan Barry and Dr Peter Elmer. My thesis is entitled: ‘Astrology is higher and nobler than medicine and every physician should be an astrologer’:  The Astrological Figure and the ‘Prognostical part of Physick’ c. 1580-1700.

Horary Astrology Re-Examined is a detailed and well documented study.

Barbara Dunn is a student of Olivia Barclay (1919 – 2001) and has inherited her course. In this impressive work Barbara Dun continues the tradition. To quote from her Introduction: “This book examines the methods by which astrologers through the centuries evaluated planetary strengths and weaknesses and how these evaluations provide a platform for judgement today just as they did in the past.”

One very impressive feature of this detailed horary work on “The Possibility or Impossibility of the Matter Propounded” is the documented research on the views of astrologers in the past. For example in the chapter on receptions is included the views of Masha’allah, Abu Ma’shar, Al Biruni, Abraham Ibn Ezra, and also Dariot, Morin de Villefranche, Saunders, Lilly, Ramsey and Robert Hand. The views of each is explained in a simple and concise manner with examples. Elsewhere in this compendium she quotes extensively from traditional sources in a similar fashion. While she quotes from all the major traditional sources, she quotes heavily from Morin de Villefrnache.

Preceding Chapter 1 The Planets is a glossary, which she calls “Terms of Art”, which provides a very convenient quick reference guide. Barbara Dunn is clearly of the view that traditional methods can be applied to all forms of astrology such as interrogational (horary) astrology, birth chart analysis and electional astrology. Unlike some other authors she includes the principle of ‘sect’, which is rarely used by the modern astrologer, in her assessment of horary questions.

Barbara Dunn also uses the point scoring system assigning values to indications of strength and weakness which are totalled to provide a balanced assessment which supports or denies the question proposed by the querent.

The focus of this book is to provide an outline an astrological method which provides practical answers to real life questions. It is not a work of abstract philosophy but rather an instruction manual about real life situations and questions. Quoting again from her Introduction: “Traditional methods remain as fundamental and indispensable today as they were two thousand years ago. Accurate judgement based on these methods supplies clear evidence that the movement of heavenly bodies affects life on earth, that a synchronicity exists between them showing that life is one: as above, so it is below. As Barclay explains, even if your motivation is not prediction, it is the accurate prediction which supplies such evidence.”

Whatever one’s preference in astrology, it is works such as this which contribute to our understanding of the long tradition of astrology, and which in my opinion are essential to a well rounded astrological education.


Peter Burns – Federation of Australian Astrologers

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