“[My client] not only knew that he could not get by with any dishonest act; he also knew that he would have to learn to translate the meaning of his natal twelfth house from the obvious lowest level of Karmic fulfillment (prison or self-inflicted illness) to a higher level. Such a translation of Karma is possible only to highly developed people.”


Evangeline Adams
Barbara H. Watters

Born Barbara Hunt at 12:50AM on October 17, 1907 in Chicago, attending the University of Chicago, living and working as an astrologer in wartime Washington, D.C., and marrying and relocating to the Northeast US seems to sum up the extent of the biographical data available for Barbara Watters.

Desire for privacy is a given in her birth chart, heavy with Neptune and Scorpio/Pluto emphasis. Her only available personal interview, with Mercury Hour magazine (a few 1986–1999 issues available in AAStL library) gives limited first-person insight: “I haven’t missed out on the ‘fun’ of the grand trine. I was born with two of them in my chart. I have only studied astrology for forty-three years….The ancient and classical astrologers considered [the grand trine] evil.” She neglects to mention her natal grand cross by cardinal signs, which links into her radical Sun and Neptune, important by its inclusion of her Sun and Part of Fortune

Watters’s audience-oriented Neptunian Moon, with its dispositors in her eleventh/twelfth house, no doubt impelled her toward the darker side of human nature. Neptune’s by-sign trine from her eighth-house Saturn reinforces this unflinching approach to the study of psychological dysfunction and its individual and group proponents, and this may have belied her optimistic Leo rising; her Sun’s opposition to the Part of Fortune, along with the mutual receptivity between her natal Mercury and Pluto promises writing success and reward.

Beginning the study of astrology in her early thirties seems to have marked a change in her Neptunian function from the ordinary empathy/sympathy mode to one that eventually matured as her gritty, realistic, and dramatic exploration of problems and difficult events in society-as-a-group-of-individuals. This she called “mundane” astrology; the attempts of individuals to interface with this psychic reality is by means of “electional” decisions; and this is based upon their exploration of limits as answered through “horary” questions about their own needs and interests.

The first phase of her literary career began in 1946 and continued through 1960 with magical/historical romances along the lines of Dion Fortune’s pot-boilers of a few decades earlier: “[His] forehead jutted straight above those eyes like a brow of carved granite, and the high-bridged nose with its thin nostrils gave just the hint of cruelty to the entire face that Lucy found needful to elicit her admiration; for being ruthless herself…” is coupled with “We are taught that the first principle of magic is this: it works in a circle.” (Both quotes from Sea Change: The Evolution of a Witch, Valhalla, 1946).

After marriage and a long twelve-year residency in Fall River, Massachusetts, Watters’ Neptunian mutation appears complete with The Astrologer Looks at Murder (Valhalla, 1969; available in the AAStL library), a limited statistical analysis of murderers and their deeds, famous now for its chapter on the Lizzie Borden case.

There followed two other books dealing with dramatic and often traumatic individual and societal planetary manifestations: What’s Wrong With Your Sun Sign? (Valhalla, 1970; available in the AAStL library), a “dialogue” book, in which the author discusses the negative side of each sign with two students, and Sex and the Outer Planets (Valhalla, 1971), a deep diagnostic sociological study from an astrological point of view.

The literary journey from fiction to unmitigated reality is completed in Horary Astrology and the Judgment of Events (Valhalla, 1973; available in the AAStL library), a veritable bible of technique which includes every factor important for horary analysis. It is the one indispensable modern work on this subject, with which she single-handedly revived the rules, application, and art of astrological horary timing in a simple and logical manner.

Watters died in 1984 at age 77, of coronary thrombosis, in Washington, D.C. as she was completing years of research on her astrological analysis of the Dow Jones Averages and having just received the Marc Edmund Jones Award (AFA, 1982).

Barbara Watters


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