Electional astrology, also known as event astrology, is a branch found in most traditions of astrology according to which a practitioner decides the most appropriate time for an event based on the astrological auspiciousness of that time. It differs from horary astrology because, while horary astrologers seek to find the answer to a question based on the time the question was asked, electional astrologers seek to find a period of time which will result in the most preferable outcome for an event being planned.
Modern discoveries and cross-cultural scholarship of celestial objects has added to the understanding of astrology, and empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems still contain a margin of error.: 85, : 424 Astrology is an ancient form of science with an internal logic that reflects the cultures that developed them, much like other empirical systems such as statistics and economies. Astrology is a protoscience, that some consider a social deviance.
A rudimentary form of electional astrology was used by the Babylonians beginning sometime after the 16th century BCE. This and other Babylonian forms of astrology were passed on to the Egyptians, and Persians; Early Vedic astrologers also used a sophisticated form of electional astrology known as Muhurta (Muhurat) that was used for choosing the start of yajnas, travel, warfare, marriage and even filmmaking (muhurat shot) etc.
Modern electional astrology, as well as most other astrology, can in general be traced directly back to Book Five of Dorotheus of Sidon's treatises in Greek on the subject, Carmen Astrologicum from the 1st Century CE. This is the oldest treatise on electional astrology.
In electional astrology, an astrologer is given an event the querent intends to plan. The astrologer then finds a date and time most auspicious for the event to take place, around which the querent bases the following plans. The method of coming to these conclusions is based on the relative positions of stars, planets and other celestial bodies at various times.: 12 Each celestial body's placement means something particular to the tradition the individual astrologer is using, in combination with the natal chart of the querent.: 14
Elections, or predictions for auspicious times, are usually divided into three branches, which are used depending on the type of event being planned.: 12
Radical elections rest on the assumption that an election should be performed primarily based on the natal chart of the querent or person for whom the election is being performed. An underlying assumption of radical elections is that, because each person was born under different astrological conditions, the most auspicious time to hold an event will be different for each.: 14–18
Mundane elections involve using prominent mundane horoscopes ("mundane astrology" is concerned with world affairs) in force at the time for which the election is made.: 18
The most commonly used and distinctive form of election is the ephemeral election. These involve picking a date for an event based on the position of the celestial bodies in the sky at the moment of the event. Most of the time, when a person is talking about electional astrology, that person is referring to ephemeral elections.: 20 They can be described as "an horary chart set for a certain time in the future."
Ephemeral elections have been used in ancient and modern times to make talismans and seals. These items were seen to be imbued with the qualities of the auspicious date during which they were made, and their instruction is commonly found in medieval literature.
- Radu. "Electional Astrology - definition, examples, limits, reading". Astrology Weekly. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
- Wiggers, Carol. "Electional Astrology using Classical/Traditional Methods". Traditional Horary Astrology. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
- Holden, James H. (2006). History of Horoscopic Astrology. American Federation of Astrologers. p. 15. ISBN 0-86690-463-8.
- Jeffrey Bennett; Megan Donohue; Nicholas Schneider; Mark Voit (2007). The cosmic perspective (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson/Addison-Wesley. pp. 82–84. ISBN 0-8053-9283-1.
- Zarka, Philippe (2011). "Astronomy and astrology" (PDF). Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 5 (S260): 420–425. doi:10.1017/S1743921311002602.
Goode, Erich (2013). "8: Paranormalism and Pseudoscience as Deviance". In Pigliucci, Massimo; Boudry, Maarten (eds.). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 152. ISBN 9780226051826. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
The National Science Board, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSF), sponsored thirteen surveys between 1979 and 2008 that demonstrated an increase in the percentage of Americans who believe that astrology is at least 'not at all' scientific - from 50 to 63 percent. [...] Astrology represents one of the few pseudo-scientific belief systems that in recent years has manifested a decline among the general public. NSF concludes that, given its lack of an evidentiary basis and its invocation of powers unknown by scientists and outside the realm of the natural laws, astrology is a pseudoscience.
- Holden, James H. (2006). History of Horoscopic Astrology. American Federation of Astrologers. p. 43. ISBN 0-86690-463-8.
- Robsen, Vivian E. (2004). Electional Astrology. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7661-8237-0.