Reflection on the Second Consideration of Bonatti.

Painting: Jan Matejko, 1872

Consideration 2: How to Ask the Question

With the second consideration, Bonatti turns his attention to the querent and the proper way to ask one’s question. Bonatti recommends intense  and heartfelt prayer to our higher power, whatever that may be, that we know the truth of the matter we are inquiring about.

He then recommends creating an area of focus around the question and concentrating on it for at least a day and a night before going to the astrologer, and in doing this, we increase the likelihood of the words of Master Jesus coming to pass, as stated in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

This in fact is the process used in hermetic magic. In traditional kabbalah, there is a process known as kavanah, which literally means “intention” or “sincere feeling, direction of the heart”. We create an area of focus on a specific thing and concentrate on it, and through doing so we bring the things concentrated on into manifestation.

To give a benign example, one could strongly visualize a coin of one euro, or a GB pound, or an American quarter.  We visualize the coin strongly each day over a period of time, making kavanah with it, and voilà! One day we are walking in the street, and we happen on the coin while walking. The act of finding the coin seems completely natural and can be explained away as chance. But practitioners of magic would know that the coin appeared as a result of the Path of Creation, where an intense thought form that is concentrated on over a period of time gradually takes form on the physical plane.

Equally, Bonatti advises us to make, in effect, kavanah with our horary question, first praying to know the truth of the matter and doing this with intense emotion and feeling, because we have a strong NEED to know.

And only after doing this, do we go to the astrologer and pose the question.

Bonatti adds that of course there will be times where there is a sudden need to have an answer to the question. In this case the need is so strong and the emotions and feelings of the querent so high that the question, once posed, will be answered.

Bonatti then warns that there are many foolish people who will not make the necessary preparations for posing their question and phrase their query in such a way that it does not get at the truth of what the querent really wants to know. And then the querent blames the astrologer when the given answer is ambiguous. 

In short, Bonatti’s advice for us is that for a clear and precise answer to our question, it is best that the question comes from a sincere and deeply felt need to know.