Say we’re in a time warp if you like, but let’s continue with the theme of the last two postings, which dealt with the related Spanish words reloj and hora. Based on Latin hora ‘hour,’ Medieval Latin created the adjective horarius ‘hourly,’ which is the source of the rare English adjective horary ‘hourly.’ At least I thought the word rare before I did an Internet search and found many references to horary astrology. Here’s the beginning of the Wikipedia article on the subject:

“Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology by which an astrologer attempts to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer. There is disagreement amongst horary astrologers as to whether to use the location of the person who asks the question — the querent [compare Spanish querer]— or the location of the astrologer. Normally they are in the same place, but in modern times many astrologers work online and by telephone. These days the querent could be in Australia and send an email with the question to an astrologer in Europe. The horoscope would in this case be radically different. Many European practitioners take the location of the querent, but there are strong voices in traditional English schools who advocate using the location of the astrologer.”

Notice that the compound horoscopio/horoscope also contains the Greek word for hour: in a horoscope we “scope out,” i.e. look at, the positions of celestial bodies at the “hour,” i.e. time, of someone’s birth. If that practice and the English word horary are both arcane, horario, the Spanish cognate of horary, is not: horario is the normal Spanish word for ‘schedule.’

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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If you encounter an unfamiliar technical term in any of these postings, check the Glossary in the bar across the top of the page.
©2011–2016 Steven Schwartzman
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