And know that each sign has a lord, and ascends within two hours, and many things can be asked in them. And if the lord of the Ascendant had been the significator of all things, [then] all things asked under the same sign would be all good or bad according to the signification of the lord of the Ascendant – but it is not so. Likewise, the Moon is being joined to some planet throughout the whole day, and throughout the greatest part of the day, but the significations of matters are diverse in that same day: because certain ones of them are effected, but certain ones not. Wherefore, it is necessary for us always to seek the significator. Masha’allah, On the Interpretation of Cognition
In this text, I’d like to present al-Kindi’s method of establishing victors for the querent and the matter inquired about which haven’t found their way into mainstream horary practice as we know it primarily from William Lilly’s masterpiece Christian Astrology.
The victor of a particular topic becomes the planet which has the most powers (almuten) in the house of the matter, its Lot, lord of the hour and the natural significator. For instance, in the case of a question about marriage, this would involve the sign of the cusp of the 7th house, Venus as the natural significator, the Lot of marriage, and the lord of the hour. It’s important to note that his weighted system prefers the bound lord, giving him three points and the primary triplicity lord two points (authors like Ibn Ezra and al-Qabisi do the reverse). This method of establishing victor by dignities tries to identify a planet with most authority over certain topic; it’s not a question of quality/goodness and strength!
Another method of identifying the victor of a particular topic is to choose the best candidate from among the following – the Sun, the Moon, the ruler of the ascendant, the ruler of POF and the ruler of the preceding syzygy. Each candidate is treated individually and its essential/accidental dignities are weighted carefully in order to find the most suitable one.
Victor for the querent, on the other hand, is found by taking the planet with most dignities in the positions of the Sun, the Moon, Ascendant, POF, the preceding syzygy – again, it’s not the question of quality/strength of the significator in any given chart, but of authority only (as we all know, a king/ruler can also be a corrupted, weak individual). Once the victors are established, we assess their overall condition and look to see if there’s an application between the two, preferably with reception.
Generally, al-Kindi’s approach to delineating horary questions entails the following requirements: the relevant house/its Lot should be aspected by the sect light, its domicile lord and the natural significator of the matter. This ensures that the relevant topic is given permission to “go ahead” from the highest authority (the sect light), it’s managed in a stable, consistent manner (domicile lord ) and the kind/quality of the event is in harmony with the basic principles of the matter (natural significator).
An interesting example of how (well) these methods may work in practice is here http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7608&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30 (the chart and my comments on it are about half way down/ the end of the page)