Horary Astrology – Abduction & Murder, by Sue Ward

Horary Astrology: Abduction & Murder: The Horary Method Applied to 16 Cases, by Sue Ward, Prisma Indicoes, November 2022, ISBN 979-8355355098

In her latest publication, Sue Ward applies the horary method to 16 cases of abduction and murder. Although a slim volume of 80 pages, this little book is full of information which should be of interest to any practitioner of traditional astrology.

Before I continue with this review I would like to highlight two important points, which I include to avoid disappointment for some. Firstly, it has to be said that this is a book for the experienced astrological practitioner, rather than the beginner. Readers without thorough knowledge of the astrological basics will find it difficult to penetrate the condensed information and the sometimes technical language of this book. Ward makes this clear in the Precepts, where she states that the reader needs

“…some understanding of the traditional system and method” (p5).

Secondly, I would like to stress to the interested reader, that this isn’t a book for those who expect to find light entertainment, or are looking forward to shivers of mild peril, as found through a crime novel or TV series. The cases discussed in this book are tragic real life events of the worst kind, and are only:

“… here to offer an informal insight into the workings of the chart in extreme circumstances” (p3).

Throughout the book, Sue Ward treats the victims with the utmost respect. In her delineations she adopts a clinical, forensic style, which leaves no room for sensationalism.

The book comprises 16 cases of abduction and murder which are presented in chronological order. Each case is thoroughly introduced, and the charts, relevant for judgment, are delineated. Ward uses the astrology and method of William Lilly, as laid out in his magnum opus, Christian Astrology. What also needs to be stressed is that, although she adopts Lilly’s method, Ward mainly uses elections and inception charts. What may come as a surprise to some is the fact that she doesn’t make use of horary charts in this line of work, but draws on what she calls the “horary perspective”.

As always, angularity is a key factor in her delineations, as well as the extensive interpretation of the malefics Mars, and Saturn. There is much to learn from Ward’s judgment of these 16 cases, and having studied them all, the erudite reader will undoubtedly be able to see patterns emerging. This, in turn, may be of great value for the reader’s own judgment of future horary, or other charts. What particularly struck me as important and significant is her judgment of Jupiter, as well as her recognition of the importance of strong Venus/Mars aspects. I will not go into more detail here, leaving it to the individual reader to extract what is of value for them.

All being said, I think that this is an important book for more than one reason. First and foremost, it presents us with the judgments and delineations of a very experienced horary astrologer, collected over a period of 30 years. But there is another reason why I think that this book is of great value. Over the years, I have witnessed, and am still witnessing, a trend, if not a fashion, amongst astrologers of all levels of expertise and experience, to criticise the work of William Lilly. For some, his approach seems to be wrong or outdated. Others are calling for a modernisation of horary astrology in general. The value of Sue Ward’s book in this respect lies in the fact that she proves to everybody that William Lilly’s original and unchanged method can be successfully applied to event and inception charts, providing highly specific, detailed, and accurate information which would be very hard or even impossible to obtain otherwise.