Simple elections for buying and selling

Naturally, if you are trading on a somewhat regular basis, you may not have the good fortune to be able to wait a prolonged period of time for the perfect election to come along to buy or sell your wares. Perhaps you only have a brief window to negotiate a price for the local Afghan warlord’s opium crop before exfil. For just such instances, Ramesey provides some more basic electional rules for trade (some are designed to benefit the buyer and others the seller, so bear this in mind).

1. Fortify the Part of Fortune, place it in one of the houses of Jupiter, and let Jupiter or some other of the Fortunes behold it with a good aspect. This is good for the buyer, not for the seller.

2. If the Moon is in signs of short or oblique ascensions (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini in the Northern hemisphere), decreasing in light this is good for the buyer

3. If the Moon is in signs of right or long ascension (Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius in the Northern hemisphere), increasing in light, number or motion, and joined with the fortunes, this is good for the seller

4. The Moon exalted or in its triplicity separated from fortunes and beholding (but not joined to them by body) the infortunes is good for the seller

5. The Moon in the ascendant is good for buying or selling generally, but bad for journeys.

In all of the above elections, Ramesey urges us to ensure that the Moon and Mercury are free from the conjunction or aspect of Mars since “[Mars] … hinders buying and causes discord and wrangling”, and free from the Tail of the Dragon.  Bonnati expands on this and wants us to place Mars cadent from both the Moon and Mercury – “because Mars always is contrary to the buyer and seller, and always it introduces labor and contention” – and tells us that the Tail of the Dragon should not be with the Part of Fortune either.

Here’s another election for our purely hypothetical CIA spook who needs to negotiate a price for the local opium crop this weekend.


The time is 0706 for Sunday 27 August, Kabul time. The Part of Fortune is in Sagittarius and Venus, the Lesser Benefic, makes an applying trine to it, thus fulfilling the conditions for (1). However, we can see things are far from ideal since the Moon is in Fall and void of course, and, although Mercury is highly dignified by domicile, exaltation and term, it is only just escaping combustion and is making an applying conjucntion to Mars. We may advise the spook to wait for a more opportune time, but, if he cannot wait, to expect some degree of haggling or wrangling. The election is designed to benefit the buyer, however, so should the spook be able to close the deal, he should leave with the opium acquired at a decent price.