There can be nothing more valuable to the dedicated astrologer than a firm grounding in foundational astronomy. In this course, you will learn how we measure motion and position in the heavens, build proficiency in chart calculation, and be invited to consider the philosophical implications made when dividing the sky using this technique vs that. Instructional elements of this course open a door to the past, affording glimpses into the lives, contributions, and methods of astronomy’s master disciples like Ptolemy (2nd c.), Al-Biruni (11th c.), Copernicus (16th c.), and Kepler (17th c.). By the end of this course, you will be able to calculate a chart by hand with nothing more than an ephemeris and a table of houses and participate in informed astronomical discussion.


For the 10-week delivery of the course, each week consists of a live presentation related to the study of astronomy. The weekend intensive features the heart of these presentations spread across two days, with supplementary recordings to watch before and after the course to complement the live deliveries. Some sessions feature math, but for the purposes of this course, it doesn’t get much more complicated than basic algebra (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Some of the sessions rely on spatial reasoning.

Students are given an opportunity to test their comprehension with session assignments. For those featuring calculation, students are given a recorded visual demonstration of Wade solving the same type of problem, and ample opportunity to practice. The average student should expect to spend 3 to 5 hours per week to adequately digest the course material.

Course content (subject to reasonable amendment):

  • The celestial sphere and primary coordinate systems used in astronomy and astrology
  • An introduction to Stellarium astronomical software
  • Fixed stars and how to find them in the night sky
  • A demonstration of cultural astronomy through the study of Ursa Major, led by Deborah Houlding
  • Mechanics of planetary motion
  • Measuring time using the Earth's rotation using the equator
  • Principles of house division
  • Manual chart calculation: casting a chart by hand
  • A survey on the history of astronomy in the West
  • Guest presentations on various themes

Details of the tutors and lecture times/dates are provided in the course Prospectus for each course (see table below for available start dates). The course also provides an active forum for group discussion and off-syllabus office hours which provide further opportunity to astronomical exploration. Our course has gained a great reputation for its excellent level of tutor interaction and student engagement, and no one will miss the opportunity to have their questions addressed in a timely manner by a dedicated tutor team.


The course material was written by Wade Caves, with contributions from STA founder Deborah Houlding and guest presentations which vary each delivery of the course.

Wade Caves, based in New York, USA, is an astrological consultant and educator specializing in horary, electional and classical astrological technique. Wade was certified with honors from the Mayo School of Astrology in London and the School of Traditional Astrology, and has expert knowledge of both traditional and modern psychological methods of chart delineation. Wade's passion is in understanding the historical and philosophical origins of astrological symbolism, whilst finding new and reliable ways to put this information to use in a consultation setting. He is the editor and annotator of the 300th anniversary edition of William Lilly's History of his Life and Times (Rubedo Press, 2015).

Wade received his certification as a horary practitioner from the STA in 2013, and now serves as a faculty member. He began tutoring for the STA in October 2015 and delivers the Practitioners Level Horary Course as an intensive attendance program and online.

Wade has a busy consultation practice, lectures widely and publishes frequently on horary through journal articles and online podcasts. Wade's personal website is at www.wadecaves.com. Wade can be contacted via email at wade@sta.co.

Deborah Houlding, founder of the STA School, is based in the UK and has worked as an astrological consultant since the late 1980s. Her articles on horary have been translated into many languages and have appeared in numerous international journals. She was the founder of Ascella Publications (specialised in the republication of traditional astrology texts), editor of The Traditional Astrologer magazine (1993 to 2000), and creator of the Skyscript astrology website. She has also worked as the Horary Editor for the Astrological Association of Great Britain's Journal, and the The Mountain Astrologer magazine, which presented her serialised 'Introduction to Horary Astrology' in 2013.

Deborah's book, The Houses: Temples of the Sky is regarded as an essential text for anyone seeking an informed knowledge of the development and practical use of astrological houses. It is available in Czech, English, German, Italian, Japanese and Turkish. Deborah is also the author, with Oner Doser, of Soru Astrolojisi: Horary Astrology (Astroloji Okulu, 2015).

Deborah established her own horary course in 1996, in a completely unique format, which demonstrates theoretical principles through their application to chart work. This approach was motivated by her observation that many astrologers who gain qualifications in horary courses, admit to knowing the theory, but lacking the confidence to apply the techniques in practice.

In 2010 Deborah was awarded the Charles Harvey Award by The Astrological Association of Great Britain in recognition of her 'exceptional service to astrology'. In 2012 she received the Jayavidya Cultural Association International Award for her cultural contributions to the field of astrology. In 2018 Deborah received the UAC Marion March Regulus Award for 'advancing the theory and understanding of astrology'.

Book a Course:

Format Zones Start Language Main Tutor Availability
10-week online Americas, Europe, Eastern Asia 9 July 2023 English Wade Caves View details
Weekend intensive Americas, Europe, Eastern Asia 21 October 2023 English Wade Caves View details

Click through the links of our available courses for details of cost and booking conditions. Places on our courses are restricted to ensure that the study groups are friendly and supportive, with everyone able to receive the personal attention they need.

Policies, Requirements and Recommendations

  • All course instruction and materials will be delivered in the English language.
  • To successfully pass this course, students must (1) maintain an average score of 70% or better across all submissions, and (2) pass the capstone assignment (drawing a chart up by hand) with a grade of 70% or better. Students will have access to discounted rates for private one-on-one tutoring throughout the course.
  • This course does require basic algebraic functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If you do not yet have mastery over these skills, please defer enrolling on this program until you have been properly trained.
  • If a student pays for the course and then changes their mind for any reason, a course withdrawal will be arranged, and a refund of any payments made within 15 days will be initiated. No refunds are allowed after this 15-day period, or after the delivery of formal course material has commenced. Places on STA courses are strictly limited, and once a course is full, we stop accepting enrolments. Deposits paid to secure and hold a course placement are non-refundable and non-transferable after the 15-day ‘cooling off’ period has expired.
  • Questions? Email Wade at wade @ sta.co.