Astrology is an endless study. It is broad; it is deep; it evolves as we evolve; it is ever changing. We continue to discover new objects…and the full arrangement of the solar system never repeats.
As an Intuitive Astrology, I allow the Universe to guide my study. I primarily study through contemplation and observation. In readings, I find myself reciting, conveying (channeling) interpretations I hadn’t thought before. By paying attention to this, I am learning constantly.
On top of all of that, I have found that I view charts in a number of ways. I don’t necessarily choose which perspective to use; instead, I allow the querent’s life situation to call forth the perspective.
The Psychological Perspective
One way to look at a Natal chart is to recognize that every planet represents an aspect of self. The sign and houses where that planet sits describe the personality of that aspect.
We all know that our sun sign is supposed to describe our general personality. That gives us 12 personality types, which is far from realistic. Next, we must consider the house placement of the sun. That gives us 12×12 or 144 unique combinations. Well that is a bit more realistic.
What I call Astrology 101 consists of looking at the sun, the moon, and the Ascendent. I also look at both the rising sign chart, and the sun sign chart. If we are just looking at this subset of the Natal chart, look at how many combinations we have:
Considering the above, we now have approximately 126 combinations or 2,985,984 unique combinations! Now we are getting somewhere! [Not all of these combinations are possible, but this is a good estimate for discussion.]
The sun is our general personality. The Moon is our more intimate personality and closely relates to our relationship with our mother and our relationship with security and safety. The Rising sign is what I think of as our outer personality: what we show strangers, the personality we tend to project when we are unfamiliar or uncomfortable, and how we might tend to react (defensively or offensively) when threatened.
Now start adding in the traditional planets on top of all of that. We have Saturn, which I often refer to as our inner parent (how we parent ourselves and how we parent others). We have Venus, which is how we express our feminine side and perhaps our relationship with art and/or money. We have Mars, our male side, how we tend to take action, how we deal with conflict, and perhaps how we express our passion. And then we have Mercury, which gives insight to the way we think, communicate, and our relationship with thoughts and ideas (for example: free flowing or rigid).
Did I not say that Astrology was broad?!?
Planets as People
Each planet represents an aspect of self. However, often, a planet can show up in our life as a person. For example, the planet(s) in our 7th house (and the signs placed there) can describe the kind of partners we will likely have, especially in the earlier part of adulthood. The 5th house can describe our children and beloved pets. The 10th house would be our dominant parent and how we view our boss and the 4th house the parent that nurtured us more. Note the same parent can be in both the 4th and the 10th, playing one role in one situation, and the other in another situation.
This part of Astrology does not, in my opinion, adhere to hard and fast rules. This is because the more we accept an aspect of self, the less we need it to show up externally.
Here is an example that I have been seeing a number of times recently. Let’s consider one who has Pluto in the 7th house.
To me, Pluto, as a person, is powerful and dominant. His or her personality fills the room…and all tend to take notice. There are, of course, positive and negative expressions of these traits too.
A person with Pluto in the 7th will tend to be attracted to people they perceive as powerful. The tricky thing is that after being with that person, they can struggle with feeling small, weak, or passive in comparison. And this is simply because one who has Pluto in the 7th is here to connect with their own personal power within the context of a partnership (at least in part). The less they feel connected to their personal power, the more they will be drawn to powerful people…and the more those relationships will inspire them to grow into their own power (albeit often in rough and challenging ways).
We all know that it can be hard to be autonomous and partnered at the same time. Relationships often contain moments of power-struggle. In every Natal chart, the first house and the 7th house oppose. The first is our relationship with ourself…and our identity. Each and every one of us has to balance the needs and wants of self…and the needs and wants of others (even if we aren’t partnered).
The 2nd house – 8th house opposition takes this further. The 2nd house is our values system and our possessions (money and objects). The 8th house, which gives insight to our more intimate relationships, also is about other peoples resources (money and possessions) and their values as it pertains to us. So again there is opposition, which often looks like challenge. Do we feel enriched by the resources of others, or do we feel impinged upon or burdened by them? How do we balance our value systems with those of our closest relationships?
The Tendency to Flow Energy
A more basic way that I look at charts is as describing one’s tendency to flow energy. Maybe because I am an electrical engineer, I often see a chart as a circuit.
Let’s consider a very simple electrical circuit which contains a power supply and a light bulb. The power supply sends electricity down the wire. The light bulb provides resistance to the flow of that electricity. Due to the nature of the light bulb, that resistance is expressed as light.
If we remove the light bulb from the circuit above, we will have a problem The power source, experiencing little resistance, will surge! Our homes are design with circuit breakers to prevent this from going on for very long, as it is very dangerous and costly.
In a natal chart, challenge aspects represent degrees of resistance. Harmonious aspects are much less resistant. When a chart has too many trines, for example, the energy flows between points so quickly, it is hard for a person to do anything about it. If the planets are ones that tend to work well together, then these aspects are considered auspicious, each enhancing the other. However, because of the lack of resistance, that person likely takes these gifts for granted. It doesn’t excite them to express in these ways. Basically, they don’t feel as if they are shining or achieving in those areas; it’s just too easy. People on the outside will recognize that person’s talent, but the person won’t likely feel fulfilled in those areas.
An example of this is how we, as adults, feel about tying our shoes or writing our name. It is such a basic skill to us, we don’t think about it much. We don’t feel any excitement about it.
But think about a child who has just learned to do either of these for first time. They get so excited about this ability mainly because it is new to them, and because they just recently overcame the struggle. Just days before, they couldn’t do it, but now they can!
Synastry is when we place one chart on top of the other. Here, we can see the tendency of flow between the two people. We see what roles one tends to take with the other. We see where they are most harmonious, and where they are likely to clash. It is a fascinating exercise to read and discuss Synastry with one or both of the partners.
I always say: “Astrology doesn’t make things happen”, but it does describe tendencies in the way we flow (express) energy. It can show what we are likely to do in given situations. We must always remember that this is only tendency. We can and do learn. We can teach ourselves. We can increase our awareness and choose more consciously. Our reactive impulse are what they are, but through awareness, we can begin to change the ones we don’t like so much.
Furthermore, we experience progressions of various kinds. Our Natal chart never changes, but our Progressed charts change continuously. We can’t help but evolve. It is built in. We can resist our own evolution, but we cannot stop it.
And then there are all of the transits that are forever happening to us as if from the outside. Here, the current configuration of the planets touches us in certain ways. They can poke and prod us; they can inspire and invigorate; and they do shine light on specific aspects of self.