Example of a Decumbiture Chart.
By: Susan Hysen 2004

A Decumbiture Chart is a Horary Astrology Chart that has been cast purely for the prognosis of a health related issue. It is calculated for the precise moment the patient takes to their bed - hence the term decumbiture, which is Latin for lying down.
The following is a fairly typical Decumbiture Chart, and represents a case that goes back a number of years now.
The reasons that this particular chart was selected were:

  1. This chart is relatively easy to interpret, and even those with a limited knowledge of astrology should be able to understand the basic ideas behind it.
  2. It goes back far enough in time so that the circumstances of the person involved have changed enough to ensure that their privacy is unlikely to be affected.
  3. It was one of the few "old archival" Decumbiture Charts in our possession for which we were able to locate the person in question in order to get the appropriate permission to publish it on the Web.

Background for the Decumbiture Chart 11th. of October 1984.
One of our clients, a dynamic lady in her late 30s, who was the supervisor of a regional country Government office, felt what she thought to be the first symptoms of influenza. She went to see her medical doctor the following day, who provided her with a prescription for antibiotics, which she commenced taking that day. The following day she started to suffer severe stomach cramps and developed a skin rash and was forced to leave work and return home. She called by her doctor on her way home, who advised her to stop taking the antibiotics and get some rest. Later that afternoon she felt so weak and feverish, that she had to lie down. Soon after taking to her bed, she rang this office from her bedroom phone and asked to have a Decumbiture Chart prepared in order to learn as to what the prognosis of her illness was likely to be. As she was the sole senior person in the particular regional Government office, she was concerned, that although a couple of days of her absence would not pose a big problem, a longer absence would necessitate the calling in of a temporary replacement. If this was likely to be necessary, she would have to organise this straight away. She was also concerned about the recent closure of a number of regional offices by the Government, and felt that the slightest excuse, including poor performance of her office due to her absence, or the need to send for a temporary replacement from the State capital, might provide the Government with their desired excuse for the closure of her office with the subsequent loss of her position and perhaps even the loss of her job and the jobs of the juniors in the office. As she had considerable financial commitments at the time, a demotion or loss of employment would have severely compromised her financial situation.

The Decumbiture Chart.
The following chart was calculated, originally by hand, using tables called Ephemeris tables that list the position of the planets for a given time. The picture below was generated by a modern Computer Astrology Program. Computers and programs that could provide these nice printouts - sadly - did not exist at the time the chart was originally cast.

Decumbiture chart

Issues to consider:

  1. Is the chart fit for interpretation?
  2. The state of the patient as indicated by the Chart.
  3. The patient's current situation as represented by the Chart.
  4. The prognosis - that is, the likely outcome as shown by the Chart.

1. Not all Charts can be Interpreted.
In Horary Astrology, there are strict rules that govern whether a chart can be interpreted. If a Chart fulfils all those rules or criteria required for interpretation, it is considered "fit" to be judged. Some of the more common rules are that a chart is not fit to be judged if:
1. The Ascendant is within 3 of the cusp of a zodiac sign,
2. The Moon is in the Via Combusta - more about this later,
3. The Moon is Void of Course, that means that it will not complete a major aspect before leaving the sign it is currently in,
4. Saturn is located in the 7th. House.

The above are the major rules. As the Chart fulfils all the criteria required in order to be "fit" for interpretation, and particularly as the Chart provides a good representation of both the patient and the question at hand, it is considered "Radical" (Latin for being at the "root" of the issue) and therefore suitable for interpretation.

2. The State of the Patient.
Firstly, the normally dynamic nature of the patient is clearly indicated by the Ascendant, which represents the patient, which has the energetic sign of Aries on the cusp. The ruling Planet of this sign is Mars, which also happens to be the Almuten of the Chart - the strongest and most powerful planet in the Chart. This powerful Mars is the indicator or "Significator" of the patient. The Moon represents the question of the patient, and the presence of the Moon in the Ascendant strongly points to the state of mind of the patient, which, due to the Moon's opposition to the Part of Fortune and its movement into opposition with Saturn, Venus and the Descending Node provides a gloomy outlook, which is focused on material concerns and on concerns about having to deal with a replacement manager, although a positive aspect between the Moon and Jupiter will tend to lift this somewhat. The Sixth House is the House of sickness and health; as Libra is on the cusp of this House, and Mercury rules Libra, Mercury is the Significator of the question. Mercury, the Sun, which represents the patient's vitality, and the Part of Fortune are all located between 15 Libra and 15 Scorpio, which is the Via Combusta. In a Decumbiture Chart this is usually associated with illness and fever.

3. The Patient's Current Situation.
The presence of the Part of Fortune indicates that her material circumstances may be affected by her illness. The Second House of finances contains the Ascending Node, that is, the likelihood of someone entering her life; this is strongly associated with material security, especially seeing that Taurus is on the cusp of this House. The ruling planet of this house and therefore of her finance, is Venus, which is in close proximity to Saturn. As Saturn is the master of time, there are likely to be further delays and problems in relation to her financial security. In addition, Mercury is in very close proximity, or combust to the Sun. As Mercury represents the question, this is considered to hinder a positive outcome of the question.

4. The Prognosis - the Likely Outcome.
Jupiter, the great benefactor is close to the Midheaven, which represents the aspirations of the patient. In addition, Jupiter is given "sharpness" and determination by being in close proximity to her powerful Signifcator, Mars. Thus there is a strong will, that is likely to win out in the end. Nevertheless, the aspect of Jupiter with Saturn does, with  the rest of the Chart, still warns of a slowness in the whole process.

The Actual Outcome.
With the above information - and some other lesser information not mentioned here - in hand, the patient decided, with much trepidation, to call in a stand-in supervisor from Head Office. As it turned out, the temporary replacement for her job was an excellent person that visited her on many occasions to ask her advice, to keep her updated and to generally cheer her up.
She did not lose her office, nor her position, although it took her nearly seven weeks before she was well enough to return to work. Her main financial loss came in the first two to three weeks as her husband had to bring in subcontractors to do his work because her illness made it necessary for him to take time off work to look after her.

Some Final Notes.
No doubt some tough survivors of the turbulent nineteeneighties will wonder why they did not suffer the same problems when they passed through the time period described above. The simple answer to that is, that virtually all influences tend to affect different people differently. Circumstances in people's life are accentuated by the cosmic "weather", rather than caused by it. If nothing is happening, nothing gets accentuated. The person with an interest in decumbiture is therefore no stranger than the person with the beginnings of an acute cough, who is reluctant to go out into the night because cold wind and driving rain has been forecast.
Finally, some of those trained in astrology will be able to see much more in the Chart than that given above. The main objective here has however been to "keep it simple" so that - hopefully - even non-astrologers will be able to see the remarkable parallels between cosmic patterns and a short period in a woman's life.

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Susan Hysen 2004.