Book review: "The horary textbook" by John Frawley

The cat with the book

Note: If there are astrological terms that you do not understand consult my glossary.


Title: The Horary Textbook

Author: John Frawley

Publishing house: The Apprentice books

Publication year: 2014

Place: London


Mark: 9,5



- Technically very valid

- Well organized

- Clear and enjoyable reading



- I want more!


The book and its author

John Frawley is an astrologer famous all over the world, contacted by people of any nation that ask him mainly horary consultations, the astrological branch in which he is most specialized.
Let us see then if he is not only good at practising it, but also in explaining his method.


I must warn on the fact that I had not read the original text (published by the author himself with his publishing house “Apprentice books”), but an Italian edition so my review will be only on the text itself and not on the issue quality.


This is a second edition of a book published in 2005 and Frawley informs us that he deemed it necessary for a couple of reasons.
First his students (he keeps horary astrology courses, and also on natal astrology) gave him feedbacks that revealed the necessity of clarifying some parts. Besides he thought of having omitted some topics, that he should have given more space to others and also saw the necessity of correcting some passages that, with time and experience, he deemed wrong, often because he followed with excessive zeal the “authorities of the past”, William Lilly in particular, since even the best can make errors and it is always necessary to apply critical thinking.


A particular mention merits the fact that the author didn’t limit himself to correct the text simply by substituting the wrong statements with those that he now regarded as correct.
He left unaltered the original text, adding some corrective paragraphs marked by two symbols to make them clearly identifiable.

This choice was not only made to make clear the evolution he followed, to show the errors done and make clear the new approach and allowing a discussion on the matter, but also because the book, as didactic instrument of his courses, must easily allow the finding of a passage in any edition.


Already the fact that Frawley took on account these elements in making the new edition, and took these choices, shows clearly the care taken by the author toward his work so suggesting a high text quality; the author even printed the book leaving wide margins to leave space available to take notes, a nice attention toward the aspirant astrologer.


The text

The first chapter is an introduction to horary and its purpose is to give a clear and immediate image of the matter. In order to do this the author starts with a practical example of a horary question, showing how much this is a versatile and all in all easy to use.

Then follow some clarifications and suggestions on how to face horary astrology and the book itself, devised as the textbook of his courses, together with “Christian astrology” of William Lilly.


Since it has been written with the courses in mind one could doubt that the book alone could not be clear enough, but in fact the author strove to be the as clear as possible, to the point that in the book itself Frawley express the concern that, even who is using for his course, is avoiding the effort to read also “Christian astrology” (that is quite a ponderous book written in archaic English).


After a chapter on how to set up the work on horary charts, the real text begins with the description of the elements of the astrological elements used in horary astrology; so are explained basic elements like the houses, the planets, the signs, essential and accidental dignity, receptions, aspects, antiscias; the book faces also elements usually of limited use in horary like the fixed stars and the Arabian parts.


The authors then presents his event dating system for questions like: “when will the box arrive?” or “when will I find a job?” and another to give indication on the real understanding of the questions and of the querent.


After having given all the necessary instruments the book continues explaining how to face the questions made more often, subdivided according to the matters related to every astrological house, using a chapter for every house.


The book ends with some suggestions on the management of the astrologer/customer relationship and some appendixes, among them on the aspect’s individuation, very useful for beginners, and another on the understanding of the square charts, an astrological chart representation used in the past.


The judgement


The book is written in a lean, clear and flowing way, at times even with a style similar to an oral conversation, with examples thought to transmit in a way as clear as possible the concept that has to be learned.
The text is well organized, besides the topics are managed in a complete and very clear way, never taking something for granted.

In sum, how you will have understood, I really appreciate this book and sincerely recommend it.

- The Cat