Alfred John Pearce: Chapter III on Electional: The Text-book of Astrology (1889)

Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman

Pearce’s description of the last six houses does not present as many departures as his first six. The use of a time for the marriage as being when the wedding ring is put on seems a bit strange, but perhaps there have been some changes in custom. the use of the signs of Mercury and Jupiter for the Moon is kind of interesting in [business] partnerships. This does make some sense to me, because this would keep the Moon out of the more passionate signs, which would probably tend to keep the partnership less emotionally based.

I do have to admit to some doubt about electing a time to take possession of an inheritance, just as a practical matter! This is probably next to impossible to do unless there is only one heir, and, having been there myself, I can testify to doubt about the brain of the heir working electionally at what is likely to be the actual moment. One may observe that there isn’t the slightest hint of anything sexual in Pearce’s 8th house: this is not Vistorian prudery, but the simply fact that the 8th hadn’t yet been linked to sex. Sex, if was going to be mentioned, would have been mentioned in the 5th. It wasn’t.

This material is excerpted from pages 431-435 of Pearce’s work:

Pearce, Alfred John. 1889. The Text-book of Astrology. London



Elections relating to the last six houses.

“A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” —–Solomon.

The Seventh House relates to marriage, partnership, war, lawsuits, etc. The ancients hand down to posterity precepts concerning all these important affairs.

In electing a propitious moment for the putting on of the wedding ring, see that the Moon is increasing in light and motion, and free from affliction. Let not the moon be in conjunction with an infortune in the ascendant, for this would presignify strife and discord. Neither let the Moon be in conjunction with an infortune in the ascendant of the nativity of either bride or bridegroom.

If possible, celebrate the marriage before the Moon shall pass her first quarter.

Know that it is a favourable time for marriage when the ascendant is assisted by the presence or benevolent configurations of the fortunes; and unfavourable when the ascendant and the descendant are afflicted.

Be sure to place the Moon, the ascendant and its lord, at the time of making the partnership or agreement, in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces. If the affair is to be a public company, let the Moon be in Leo in conjunction or benefit aspect with Jupiter, and well configurated with the Sun.

Let the Moon be increasing in light and motion; let the ruler of the 10th house, or a fortune in the 10th house, be in good aspect with the Moon or ruler of the ascendant; and let the rulers of the ascendant and seventh house be in mutual benefic aspect.

3.—–Of Declaring War, Commencing Lawsuits, etc.––The ascendant is for the attacking party, and the 7th house for the adversary.

Let, therefore, the ascendant be fortunate, and let the ascending sign be one of those under the dominion of Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn; Scorpio is best, and Aries next best, for this purpose, because they are martial signs. Let the lord of the ascendant dispose of the lord of the 7th house, if possible, or otherwise, more essentially and accidentally dignified; and let the lord of the ascendant be in sextile or trine with Mars and with the ascending degree or that culminating. Have a care that the lord of the ascendant be not in the 7th, 4th, 8th, 6th, or 3rd house, and neither retrograde, debilitated, nor afflicted.

In lawsuits, have regard to the horoscopes, if procurable, of the disputants; and judge that he who hath Mars most essentially fortified in his nativity will overcome, especially if he was born at night.

Begin no quarrel, war, or controversy, neither invade the enemy’s country when the Moon is in Virgo nor Capricornus; but when the Moon is assisted by the fortunes and by Mars, and when Mars is in the eastern part of the heavens. If possible let Mars be between the 10th degree of Taurus and the 10th degree of Leo, or between the 10th degree of Scorpio and that of Aquarius. But if the enemy be to the west of thy country, begin the invasion when Mars is in the western part of the heavens, and between the 10th degree of Leo and that of Scorpio, or between the 10th degree of Aquarius and that of Taurus.

Begin no invasion when the Moon is combust, or within twelve hours after her conjunction with the Sun. If any war be begun in these combust hours, the beginner will be defeated, or much evil will befall his person and his soldiers and assistants, especially if he begin the war in one of the first four combust hours.

It is a remarkable fact that the battle of Isandhlwana was fought during an eclipse of the Sun, visible in Zululand—–viz., on the 22nd of January, 1879, at 1h 5m p.m. (Cape Mean Time). Now, the native accounts of that disastrous battle stated that the Zulus did not intend to deliver their onset until the night of the 22nd or dawn of the 23rd, because “the moon was unfavourable.” The Zulus, it is thus demonstrated, understood astrology, and valued its precepts, and therefore would not attack during the combust hours of the Moon. By dawn of the 23rd, more than twelve hours would have elapsed since the time of new Moon. Unfortunately for the British, Colonel Durnford’s Basutos discovered and fired on a Zulu regiment; and thus began the battle which ended so disastrously for our soldiers, the British force being annihilated. The map of the heavens for this eclipse is goven in “The Science of the Stars,” chap. v.

Elections Relating to the Eighth House.

The Eighth House of the heavens relates to the making of wills and to inheritance. One might think that no election would be required for making wills, but the ancients considered that there is a time for this purpose; that is to say, when a will is made by a person in health,, and not left to dying moments.

1.—–Of Making Wills.—–“When thou makest thy will let not the Moon be in a movable sign nor in the ascendant, but let her be in a fixed sign, and a fixed sign rising, and if possible the lord of the ascendant in a fixed sign. If the Moon be in conjunction with Mars rising, at the time of making a will, there is danger of it being stolen, lost or destroyed.

Let the Moon be in benefic aspect with Saturn, if thou desirest that the will shall not be revoked.”

2.—–Of Inheritance.—–In entering upon possession of inheritance, fortify the eighth house; if possible, let one of the signs of Jupiter or Venus be on the cusp thereof, and make the second house and its lord strong and free from all manner of impediment, and in good aspect with the fortunes. Fortify also the Moon, and let her behold the degree on the cusp of the eighth house or planet therein; and let there be reception between the lords of the second and eighth houses. If possible, let the lord of the ascendant be in the second house, and the lord of the second in the eighth house.

Elections Relating to the Ninth House.

The Ninth House of the Heavens relates to embarking on foreign travel; to learning, science, art, etc.

1.—–Of Foreign Travel—–Fortify the 9th house at the time of setting forth, also the lord thereof, the Moon, and the ascendant. Let one or both of the fortunes be in the ninth house, if possible. Let not an infortune be in the eighth house at the moment of departure, nor in the second at the moment or embarking on the return journey.

As the descendant relates to the place to which the journey is to be made, fortify the seventh house at thy departure, and let no evil planet be in either this or the tenth house. In returning let no evil planet be in either the ascendant or fourth house.

If possible, let the Moon be increasing in light and motion at the time of beginning thy journey, also let her be free from impediment and receive some support from the fortunes. Let Mercury be free from combustion and affliction, and in a good house. Let not the Moon be in the place of Saturn, Mars or Uranus at birth.

If the Moon, or Saturn, or both, be in the ascendant or seventh house, or Saturn in the first and the Moon in the seventh house, there will be danger or loss attending the journey then begun.

2.—–Of Building and Launching Ships, and Voyages by Sea.—–In building ships for war or swift sailing, fortify the ascendant and its lord, the Moon and her dispositor; place the lord of the ascendant and Moon in either the first, eleventh, or ninth house; and let the sign ascending be fixed. If possible, let all the angles be fixed, and in any case be sure to have the Moon and lord of the ascendant swift in motion.

Let the planet from which the Moon last separated be strong and well disposed, also swift in motion. Place the Moon’s dispositor in a watery sign, free from impediment or affliction. Place one of the fortunes in either the first, tenth, or seventh house. Let the lord of the seventh house be weak and slow in motion.

In building merchant and passenger ships, in addition to following the foregoing instructions, see that Mercury be fortified and assisted by Venus or Jupiter, and in the tenth house. Fortify also the second house.

Let the Moon be in Taurus, Gemini, or the beginning of Cancer, Virgo, or Sagittarius, or one of the last degrees of Capricornus. It is good to have the Moon or the ascendant in Pisces.

Let the Sun be in trine aspect with Jupiter, and attended by Venus. Let not Mars be in any aspect with the Moon or ascending degree, for this is apt to cause casualties by fire. Let not the Moon be in Aquarius and in aspect with the Sun and Mars, for danger of shipwreck will ensue. Let not the Moon be afflicted by Mars from signs of human form, or pirates may probably sink the ship and kill the crew and passengers.

In launching ships, and in setting forth on a sea voyage, see that the Moon be strong essentially and accidentally, assisted by Venus or Jupiter, and free from affliction; as likewise the ascendant.

Elections Relating to the Tenth House.

The Tenth House relates to profession, trade, employment, etc. Ramesey says that he believes the ancients placed occupation under the dominion of the tenth house of the heavens, “because it is the highest dignity such can look for that are bound thereunto.”

“Wherefore in this matter thou art to distinguish the planet ruling the profession, trade, or mystery thou wouldst learn; then let the ascendant or tenth house be a sign wherein such planet hath dominion by house; as, for example, if thou desirest to be a merchant, place Gemini or Virgo in the ascendant or tenth house, or else Libra, Sagittarius, or Aquarius.

“Fortify the lord of the ascendant, that of the tenth house, the Moon, and Mercury.

The Western nations do not now-a-days consult astrologers before appointing a Prime Minister or a President; neither do European monarchs elect a fortunate hour for their coronation. The ancients, however, gave rules for these proceedings, and laid stress on the necessity for not making such appointments and ceremonies within fifteen days of an unfortunate new Moon. In the East the precepts of the ancients are still followed.

Elections Relating to the Twelfth House.

The Twelfth House relates to prisoners, captives, and horses. The ancients wrote precepts as to electing suitable moments for relating to prisoners need not be reproduced in this work, for no Government and no governor of a prison would pay any regard to them, among Western nations, at the present day. In regard to horses, rules have already been given in the seventh chapter, as to purchasing them. Trainers of race-horses would hardly be likely to await a favourable moment for sending a race-horse to a race meeting at which he was engaged to run. The following is the injunction handed down by Ramesey in this connection—–

“Let Sagittarius ascend, or contain the Moon, if possible, at the time of the race-horse setting forth on his journey to the race meeting; otherwise let the Moon or ascendant be in the first half of Libra.”

“Fortify the ascendant, its lord, the Moon and her dispositor and the planet with which either may be joined.”