How many times have you asked yourself, “Gee, if I were only born a half hour earlier, I could have a 12th house Sun and my life would be so much better.” Or “If I were born 3 hours minutes later, that Moon square Mars would be a separating aspect rather than applying.”

Well, we can’t change our natal charts, no matter how much we might sometimes like to, but astrology can help give up a measure of control over how future events will play out by using electional astrology techniques.

Electional astrology deals with choosing the correct time to begin new ventures, for example: when to start a new business, get married, sell property or make other major life changes.

Electional astrology can also be very complex and time consuming and take years to master.

What I’d like to present here are some methods to begin using electional astrology.

Electional astrology shares many methods with horary astrology. It is an objective technique, with many rules and strictures. There are some basic rules to follow when starting electional astrology.

One of the first things the astrologer has to consider is non-astrological practicality when trying to find the correct “birth” moment for the venture.

For instance, not many would be willing to set a wedding date and time for 03:34 a.m. Wednesday or start a business at 6.a.m. Sunday morning.

When I get a call from a client interested electional services, I have a list of questions I ask.

The first is usually the time frame I have to work with.

This can range from several weeks or months, or in extreme cases, a few hours.

The electional astrologer has to use the time frame given and find the best chart they can for starting that venture.

Sometimes, this can be rather difficult.

For instance, if a client needs to start a communications business within a one-week time frame, and Mercury is retrograde during that time period, It’s going to be a real struggle to find a good chart.

Another issue is having the best information you can on the nature of the venture.

For instance, if it were a communications venture that was concerned with art. Venus would play a larger role, or if with politics, Jupiter would. Then the astrologer can focus on the other other planet and just make sure Mercury was in not too terrible a state.

I also make sure I have the clients natal data to ensure that the electional chart is a good fit with the native.

Alright, lets go ahead with some basic rules.

1. Make sure the chart and its ruler desribe the venture.

You probably wouldn’t want to have Mars as chart ruler if you were setting up the signing for a peace treaty. Or conversely, Venus ruling a military attack chart.

2. Make sure that the chart ruler is high in both essential and accidental dignity.

You wouldn’t want to have Jupiter retrograde in Gemini, its detriment, in the 12th house, combust or under the Sun’s beams and conjunct the fixed star Algol in a chart for a politician announcing his or her candadacy.

3. Make sure the ascendant is radical, I.E. not less than three degrees of a sign or more than 27 degrees.

The early ascendant would show the venture was starting too soon, and the late ascendant that it was starting too late.

4. Make sure the Moon is not void of course. (unless you are planning either the venture fail or have no effect on the status quo.)

5. Ensure that the Moon’s last aspect before it leaves its current sign is a fortunate one.

You wouldn’t want the Moon’s last aspect to be a square to Mars, for example.

6. Make sure there are no unfortunate aspects by solar arc direction close to the time of inception.

7. Keep the Malefics out of the angles. (Unless they are chart rulers)

While challenging aspects can create drive and focus, its best not to have something too terrible come up in the early stages of the venture, when things are just getting started.

Now I realize all those rules cannot be met all the time.

No chart is perfect.

There have to be some trade offs.

But there are ways to mitigate some of those things.

One of my favorite ways is to use the Part of Fortune to “run interference” in the chart.

For instance, if the Moon is void of course or making an unfortunate aspect before it leave the sign it’s in, tweak the time of the chart to make the Moon’s last aspect a fortunate one to the POF.

I use that a lot to solve the last aspect/VOC problem if that is holding up choosing a time for the chart.

Joan Quigley used that method to time Reagan’s announcement of Justice Kennedy after both the Bork and Ginsberg nominations went awry.

Ok, here’s an example.

The newspaper I was working for until recently launched a redesign in February. February 17, to be precise.

On my own, I did an electional chart for the new paper.

Now, the date was already set, as was the approximate time, around noon.

The paper was to be “set in stone,” I.E. sent to the camera room for shooting and could not be changed after that unless there was a catostrophy in the press room and pages needed to be resent and reshot.

I came up with an exact time to make sure that things worked out right and notifies the editor of it and she aggreed that between her and the publisher, they would use my time as the official “birth” of the redesigned paper.

I had done many long hours of work on the redesign and was therefore interested in its successs.

The Chart had Gemini rising, with its ruler, Mercury exhalted in 12 Aquarius 48 between a Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 6 AQ and Venus at 18 Aquarius.

The Moon (public) was in Cancer, its ruler, in the late 1st house separating from a square to Mars Rx at 5 Libra 3 and Saturn 5 Aires 18 it was also past the quincunx to Jupiter/Uranus

The difficulty was the the position of the Sun, at 29 Aquarius 07.

The sun made no aspects and it was in its detriment, so it needed some bolstering.

I used the “Part of Fortune Swindle.”

I placed the POF at 29 Libra 23, so the Sun would apply to it.

As the hectic morning of Feb. 17 went on, I kept a close eye on the clock.

I was responsible for “cutting” the last page. That is the last step before it goes to the camera room.

The page needed my “OK” and initials before it went to the camera room. It was 11:50 when the page was ready to go, but I delayed it 4 minutes while I “fixed” something that didn’t need to be fixed.

I placed my OK and initials on the page at precisely 11:54.

The redesign was, and continues to be a great success.

Unfortunately, Pluto in the chart was square my own Moon/Pluto conjunction, so I’m not longer working there.