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3 Tips to Reduce Interpretation Overwhelm

3 Tips to Reduce Interpretation Overwhelm

Author: Alison Price  Published: March 2024

Interpretation Overwhelm

When you’re just starting to learn how to read a chart, it can feel like there’s a lot to take in. Whether you’re a hobbyist, an amateur, or a student astrologer, it’s helpful to start by focusing on the essentials.

You don’t have to tackle everything at once; instead, you can gradually explore the finer details of chart reading over time.

The key is to prioritize understanding the main elements of the chart first.

Many people wonder where to begin with chart reading because there’s so much to explore. It’s true, there are countless details, some obvious and some more subtle, waiting to be discovered.

However, you don’t need to try to absorb everything all at once, especially with your next chart.

To help ease the overwhelm of starting out as an astrologer, here are three strategies you can use when approaching a chart for the first time.

Interpretation Overwhelm: Visible Planets

Planets to Display

One approach to reduce overwhelm is to focus solely on the visible planets.

Traditionally, there are seven visible planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

To start, I recommend displaying only these planets on the chart.


Planets to Cut Out

You won’t include Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, or factors like Chiron, Eris, and other asteroids.

Also, you won’t show into the lunar nodes or other specific points for now.

These topics are best saved for later exploration.

Interpretation Overwhelm: Ptolemaic Aspects

Big Five Aspects

To further simplify your interpretation process, focus only on the five Ptolemaic aspects.

These include the conjunction, opposition, trine, square, and sextile.

These are the essential aspects you should concentrate on initially.

Aspects To Ignore

You should disregard the minor aspects, including the semi-sextile, quincunx, semi-square, and sesquiquadrate.

Also, ignore any aspects beyond the basic five, such as quintiles, septiles, noviles, and deciles.

While these lesser-used aspects have their significance, you don’t need to focus on them when you’re just starting out.

Interpretation Overwhelm: Tighten Orbs

Cut Orbs

Next, I recommend halving the orbs.

By doing so, you’ll focus only on the aspects that are tighter in orb, making them more significant in the chart reading.

This adjustment helps streamline your interpretation process.

Conjunctions, Oppositions, Trines and Squares

Reduce the orb for the conjunction from its original 8° to 4°, allowing only conjunctions with a 4° orb or less to appear in the chart.

Similarly, adjust the orbs for oppositions, trines and squares to also have a 4° orb.

This ensures that only tighter aspects are considered in the chart analysis.


When halving the orbs, decrease the orb for the sextile from 4° to 2°.

With fewer aspects to interpret, you’ll focus on the ones that matter most initially.

Keep in mind that tighter orbs indicate greater significance for the aspect.

Example Chart: Andy Warhol

Let’s have a look at an example chart with these three ways of reducing overwhelm applied.


Chart Data

We’ll take the chart for Andy Warhol who was born at 6:30 AM on August the 6th, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Visible Planets Only

In a typical full birth chart, which is what I usually use, there are 12 planets and four points displayed.

However, this chart also includes 55 aspects in the aspectarian, which a professional astrologer would interpret, but you don’t need to dig into all of them at the beginning.

By simplifying the display to include only the visible planets, the chart becomes much easier to read.

You’ll immediately notice that it’s simpler to interpret, with only seven aspects in the aspectarian for you to understand.



When we narrow down the aspects to the five Ptolemaic ones, the chart becomes significantly easier to interpret.

Now, there are only 6 aspects to decipher, comprising 3 squares and 3 trines.


Cut Orbs

By halving the orbs, we further reduce the number of aspects to deal with. Now, there are only 3 aspects remaining.

However, it’s important to note that the Fire Grand Trine is the only aspect pattern left in this chart, underscoring the supreme significance of this major aspect pattern and the 3 trines that comprise it for this specific chart reading.


Take Away

Interpretation Overwhelm

By implementing all three steps to reduce the amount of data for interpretation, the information is significantly pared down.

In Andy Warhol’s chart, we’re left with only 3 aspects.

However, it’s not necessary to take all three steps every time you want to reduce the quantity of information to interpret. You can opt for just one of the steps mentioned above.

For instance, you might choose to retain all the planets in the chart but simply reduce the orbs.

Alternatively, you could keep all the planets but focus solely on Ptolemaic aspects.

Either approach will effectively decrease the amount of information you need to interpret.

Sign and House

For your chart reading you will still have to interpret every planet which is displayed by its sign and house. That’s where using the visible planets comes in.


As you begin to trim down both the aspect set and the orbs within it, you’ll notice a considerable decrease in the workload for each chart.

The beauty of this approach to reducing information overwhelm is that what remains are the crucial Ptolemaic aspects involving visible planets.

These aspects form the backbone of the chart reading process.

Creating Information Overwhelm

Let’s approach this from another angle.

Whenever you introduce additional elements to a chart, such as asteroids or fixed stars, you inevitably increase the interpretation load.

Each new component requires consideration by sign, house and aspect, adding more work to the process.

Moreover, if you decide to include quintile aspects, while intriguing, it further burdens your interpretation load since these aspects also need to be analyzed.

The key takeaway here is that the more you add to a chart, the more it contributes to your interpretation workload.

Conversely, simplifying what’s displayed within the chart brings clarity to what truly matters, focusing on the tight, Ptolemaic aspects between visible planets.


Let me know which of these 3 tips you will try to reduce your chart information load and improve your chart readings.


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Author Bio

Alison Price: Professional Astrologer

Alison helps you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart with a touch of humor. She offers Consultations for everyone and Coaching for Aspiring Astrologers.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

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Explore the polarity in a chart. This is the broadest sweep that you can give to a chart. It may have more active or more passive energy.

Chart Interpretation Example: Bella Boom

Chart Interpretation Example: Bella Boom

Author: Alison Price   –   Published: May 2024

Birth Data

Bella’s birth information is as follows: 10:35 PM, 10th March 1975, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.





The active polarity is strong with 6 planets.


The elemenst are in balance.


The Modes are in balance.


The Northern Hemisphere is strong with 6 planets.


The 2nd quadrant is strong with four planets which is two more than the next best quadrant.

Triple Division

The 2nd triple division is strong with four planets two more than the next best.


Chart Ruler


The chart ruler is Mercury.


The chart ruler is in Libra.


Mercury rules the chart, the northern hemisphere, the 1st quadrant, the 2nd triple division and the 1st and 5th houses.


The chart ruler is in the 5th house.



Mercury opposition Jupiter.

Mercury opposition Chiron.

Mercury opposition Eris.


Mercury trine Mars.

Mercury trine Ascendant.

Mercury trine the Midheaven.


The Sun


The Sun is in Libra. It is in fall and gets a score of (-4).


The Sun is in its natural 5th house. It has accidental dignity with a provisional score of (+1).


The Sun rules the Western hemisphere, the 2nd quadrant and the 3rd and 4th houses.



Sun conjoined Pluto.


Sun opposite Eris.

Sun square the Part of Fortune.


Sun trine Ascendant.

Sun sextile Neptune.

The Moon


The Moon is in Virgo.


The Moon is in the 4th house.


The Moon rules the 2nd house.

Lunar Phase

The lunar phase is Balsamic.



Moon square Mars.

Moon square Ascendant.

Moon square the Part of Fortune.


Moon trine South Node.

Moon sextile North Node.

Dispositor Tree

Mutual Reception Tree

Bella has two planets in mutual reception the Sun in Libra nd Venus in Leo.

Bella’s Special Focus

Bella has specifically asked for information on her midlife change of relationships and career.

We’ve had a look at the upcoming transits and the solar return chart.

And please note that in a full consultation I would explore the secondary progressions, eclipses and solar arc directions as well.

Upcoming Forecast

Chiron Return (3-Hit)

Her Chiron triple hit return begins around May 2025 on and off to April 2026.

Jupiter Crosses the Ascendant

Jupiter conjoins the Ascendant around August 21, 2023. Immediately after the conjunction to transiting Mars.

Jupiter rules the 7th house of serious partnerships.



Solar Return Chart

Sun’s House

In a solar return chart, the Sun’s house is important and this year it is in the 11th house.

Sun’s Aspects


The Sun is opposition Chiron. This is the only solar aspect in this chart.


Notes From the Client

Here are the notes from Bella, and what she enjoys about our podcast.

Thank you Bella!

Favorite Episodes?

I love learning about aspects both from the natal chart and transit sides. It helps me read natal charts as well as prepare for upcoming weather.

Additional Comments

There is a bouyancy to the podcast that I find really refreshing.

I also appreciate your wisdom of years of experience, both astrologically and in life.

It brings a fullness that many other podcasts hosted by pre-midlife and pre-Saturn return lack.

Author Bio

Alison Price: Professional Astrologer

Alison helps you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart with a touch of humor. She offers Consultations for everyone and Coaching for Aspiring Astrologers.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

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Venus Conjoined Uranus

Venus Conjoined Uranus

This is a Guest Post from Arwynne O’Neill, research astrologer and the co-host of the Starzology Astrology podcast.

Venus Conjoined Uranus

Uranus transits to natal Venus

In his book Planets in Transit, Robert Hand describes the transit of Uranus conjunct Venus as potentially spectacular. He says you are likely to seek freedom and excitement through relationships at this time, especially sexual relationships. You may decide to break away from an old, steady partner to seek out a new and exciting affair.

Of course this can be very disruptive, but if you’re not in a steady relationship, this may be a time where you meet someone who sweeps you off your feet or vice versa. You could find yourself in an affair that’s different from anything you’ve experienced before. It may not last but it would certainly have a lasting effect even after the transit is over.

Venus also rules creativity so if you are an artist or involved in anything creative this can be an amazing transit and you can use it to integrate new techniques into your repertoire and make exciting breakthroughs in any creative pursuit.

Uranus conjunct Venus in the Birth Chart

Venus conjunct Uranus in the natal chart influences the personality by fusing the love and attraction nature with electricity, excitement, innovation, restlessness. This is probably not someone who will be content to settle down with their first love and never explore the other possibilities, and the same can be said of their financial outlook.

Depending on how well Venus is placed in their chart, they can be a fun and original partner who is always bringing excitement and playfulness into your life, or conversely, they may be the type who’s always on the lookout for the next exciting infatuation, next big investment or the next con. This can be good or bad, of course, depending on how it’s handled, and how well the people around them deal with change, and it also depends a great deal on the sign the two planets are in. This is definitely the “love at first sight” aspect. Sparks will fly.


Love and Finances 

These people tend to go with their gut feelings in matters love and finances, for better or worse. They’re adaptable and original but can also be fickle. The most important thing to them in a relationship is having the freedom to be themselves and to change and evolve. If you’re in a relationship with someone with this aspect, and not allowing them to change or evolve, don’t expect it to last.

Often, these people are attracted to others with the same aspect or similar and that can create an exciting partnership where shared adventures and mutual evolution are the keys to lasting happiness together.

In her book Aspects and Personality, Karen Hamaker-Zondag says, “Venus represents the need for harmony and warmth, teaming up with Uranus, the need for individuality, freedom and a life of our own can make us bold, eccentric or reformist. Being highly-strung and having an overpowering desire for personal freedom, we can experience difficulty forming firm friendships, which make us nervous, tense and insecure because we are also trying to stay unfettered.” But she says relationships can work as long as we don’t feel hemmed in by conventional rules, have scope for development and above all are living with a partner who is unconventionally stimulating.


Creative Brilliance

This aspect is highly correlated with creative brilliance, and they tend to have a finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, whatever field they choose to express their creativity in. Fashion, home decor, film and music are natural outlets for their specific brand of creative genius.

Since Venus has to do with money, these people can have great peaks and valleys in their financial life, experiencing the depths of ruin and the heights of economic windfalls and success through innovation and creativity.

Celebrities with Venus conjunct Uranus

Elizabeth Taylor (in Aries)
Rose McGowan (in Libra)
Warren Beatty (in Taurus)
Christina Aguilera (in Scorpio)
Miley Cyrus (in Capricorn)
Johnny Cash (in Aries)
Tim Burton (in Leo)
Jordan “the Wolf of Wall Street” Belfort (in Leo)

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Author Bio

Arwynne O’Neill: Research Astrologer

Arwynne O’Neill works as a research astrologer in Vancouver, with a focus on delving into historical cycles and how they relate to societal transformations as influenced by the energies of the outer planets.

Contact Arwynne

Website MsPink

Ms Pink Art shop

Instagram @mspinkdotcom


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Explore the polarity in a chart. This is the broadest sweep that you can give to a chart. It may have more active or more passive energy.

Fixed Stars

Fixed Stars

Author: Alison Price   –   Published: May 2024

Fixed Stars

Michael Barwick

Last month I had a fabulous conversation with my longtime friend and astrologer Michael Barwick.

If you are looking for a different type of astrology reading than the norm, then consider investing in a Star Profile reading with Michael.

In his Toronto astrology practice, he specializes in providing Star Profile consultations which explore your chart through the lens of Fixed Stars.

I’m happy to share Michael’s intriguing insights into Fixed Stars in this podcast episode


More of Fixed Stars

Once you’ve listened to the podcast episode I thought I’d share some further work I’ve been doing on Fixed Stars in general and in my astrology journal.

Over time I’ll separate out each Fixed Star to its own post/page.

I’m getting deeper with one special fixed star which is in Taurus, Aldebaran.

I’ll give you some idea of the types of meaning this star may have if it is closely conjoins your angles or visible planets.

Fixed Stars Definition

In astrology, “Fixed Stars” are the stars that appear in the night sky. While they’re called “Fixed,” these stars are in motion, just like everything else in the universe.

However, their movement is so slow that they seem to stay in relatively the same position over long periods of time.

These stars have been observed and studied for centuries because of their dynamic influence in interpretations and predictions.

Even though Fixed Stars not truly “fixed”, their slow movement makes them a stable reference point in the night sky.

The 4 Seasons and Quadrants

The zodiac is split into four equal parts based on the positions of the equinoxes and solstices, which are key astronomical events.

Each of these four segments, or quadrants, is associated with a principal star.

These significant stars are collectively referred to as the Four Royal Stars of Persia.

They hold special importance because they mark the transition points between the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

The Four Royal Stars of Persia

Cardinal Points

Back in the day, the Four Royal Stars of Persia were positioned at the four cardinal points.  This was significant as they aligned the equinoxes and solstices.

Each of these stars held special importance and was revered for its unique qualities and symbolic meanings, but their positions have shifted over time.

This slow movement means that while the Four Royal Stars of Persia have moved from their original cardinal positions, their change in location is relatively minor.

Aldebaran (Alpha Taurus)

Associated with the Eye of the Bull, once aligned with zero degrees Gemini or Taurus.

Regulus (Alpha Leo)

Known as the Heart of the Lion.

Antares (Alpha Scorpio)

This star is the Heart of the Scorpion.

Fomalhaut (Alpha Pisces)

Placed at the Mouth of the Fish.

These important stars continue to hold significance as their influence extends beyond their original positions.


Fixed Star Aldebaran

Current Position

Aldebaran is in Taurus. It is the star in the Eye of the Bull.


The sign of Taurus is known for its steadfast nature, practicality and appreciation for the finer things in life.

Taurus embodies the qualities of practicality, determination and sensuality.

With Aldebaran in Taurus, there’s an added layer of grace to the Bull’s grounding energy role.

This placement encourages us to cultivate patience, appreciate life’s pleasures and remain steadfast in our pursuits.

In general, Aldebaran represents a beacon of light and wisdom.


Lying close to the ecliptic Aldebaran is visible from latitudes from 74° North to 74° South.


In mythology, Aldebaran is often referred to as the “Watcher of the East.”

It symbolizes vigilance, protection and guidance.

The Greatest Star

Aldebaran is considered one of the brightest and most magnificent stars in the night sky

It holds a revered status of great significance.

Aldebaran Themes

Challenge of Integrity and Test of Honor

Aldebaran presents challenges related to integrity and honor.

It urges you to uphold your principles and be honest and authentic.

Energy and Short-lived Honor

This royal star gives you with dynamic energy and the potential for short-lived honor or recognition.

It encourages proactive action to seize opportunities.

Lack of Stability

Aldebaran may indicate periods of instability or change that challeng you to adapt, persevere and find inner balance when under external pressure.

Spring Equinox

Aldebaran’s association with the northern spring equinox symbolizes new beginnings, growth and the emergence of life’s vitality and potential.

Moral Dilemmas and Temptation to Compromise

Aldebaran’s influence presents you with moral dilemmas and temptations.

There is pressure that tests your resolve and commitment to your ethics.

This star urges thoughtful decision-making and resistance to compromise.


Extend Yourself

Considering Fixed Stars

In your astrology journal let’s set up a few pages…

  • At the top of four separate pages, write a heading for each of the four Royal Stars of Persia.
  • Dig around the web or books you may have and write five keywords for each star and write them on the relevant page.
  • Search some more and draw the shape of each of the four constellations.

Invest in Yourself

Exploring Fixed Stars




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Author Bio

Alison Price: Professional Astrologer

Alison helps you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart with a touch of humor. She offers Consultations for everyone and Coaching for Aspiring Astrologers.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

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Bundle Chart Shape

Bundle Chart Shape

Author: Alison Price   –   Published: July 2013   –   Revised: January 2024

Bundle Chart Shape

Bundle Definition

The bundle chart shape is formed when all the planets are found within a trine (120°).

The leading, or cutting, planet and the trailing planet at the end, can be in a trine aspect (or less), and all the other planets fall within that trine.

This creates a “bundle” of energy, with most of the planets occupying a couple of signs or span just a few houses.



The chart shape diagram itself can be used as a mandala for chart meditation work as well.

The planet positions, without knowing the actual planet, can provide information for the astute astrologer.

This is an opportunity not to be missed.


Bundle Leading Planet

In a bundle chart, the leading planet (in red) plays a significant role.

The leading planet is the one that’s furthest ahead (clockwise) of the others as they move around the zodiac.

It acts as a focal point or guiding force for the energy of the entire bundle.

Here’s what the leading planet in a bundle chart signifies:

Dominant Energy

The leading planet sets the tone for the chart’s energy.

Its qualities and characteristics are emphasized and often color how the individual approaches life.

Focus of Attention

This planet often represents where the person directs their attention, efforts, and interests.

It can indicate the area of life that is most important or central to them.

Strengths and Talents

The leading planet can point to the person’s strengths, talents and natural abilities.

It shows where they excel and where they can make the most impact.


On the flip side, the leading planet can also highlight challenges or areas of growth for the individual.

It might point to lessons they need to learn or obstacles they need to overcome and push through.

Personal Mission

On a subtle level, the leading planet often represents the individual’s personal mission or purpose in life.

It can indicate what drives them and what they are passionate about achieving.

Influence on Other Planets

The energy of the leading planet can influence how the other planets in the bundle express themselves.

It is like the leader of the pack.

It can either harmonize with them or create tension, depending on its relationship with the other planets.


Bundle Trailing Planet

In a bundle astrology chart, where the leading planet sets the tone and directs the energy of the bundle, the trailing planet (in yellow) provides a counterbalance and adds depth to the chart’s dynamics.

Here’s what the trailing planet suggests in a bundle chart:

Supportive Energy

The trailing planet acts as a supportive force, complementing the leading planet’s energy.

It offers a different perspective or approach that can help balance out the chart’s intensity.

Hidden Strengths

This planet often points to hidden strengths or talents that may not be immediately obvious but are valuable assets.

It can indicate areas where the individual has untapped potential.

Inner World

The trailing planet can represent the person’s inner world, subconscious, or emotional landscape.

It shows how they process emotions, intuition, and inner experiences.


The trailing planet can also highlight areas of challenge or growth for the individual.

It might indicate lessons they need to learn or obstacles they need to overcome, often related to its sign, house placement, and aspects.


While the leading planet focuses on a specific area or goal, the trailing planet helps to bring balance by considering other facets of life.

It encourages a more holistic approach and can prevent the individual from becoming too one-sided or narrow-focused.

Influence on Leading Planet

Just as the leading planet influences the other planets in the bundle, the trailing planet can also have a moderating influence on the leading planet.

It can either harmonize with the leading planet or introduce challenges that encourage growth and development.

Understanding the trailing planet in a bundle chart involves looking at its sign, house placement, aspects with other planets, and its overall condition in the chart.

If the leading planet and the trailing plant are trine, it give support to the whole chart and the meanings of both planets (leading and trailing) will blend better to suggest positive energy will flow.


Bundle Chart Shape Meaning

Here’s what the bundle chart shape means:

Focused Energy

The bundle shape suggests a person with extreme focus at the expense of variety.

They are often highly specialized in what they do.

The cutting planet is important as it leads, or cuts, the chart.

The empty two-thirds of the chart, and their meaning, may pose a difficulty for the individual.

The chart may have few manifesting squares and no oppositions.

People with a bundle chart often have a concentrated focus in their lives.

They might have a strong sense of purpose or direction.


With so many planets grouped closely together, there can be a sense of intensity or passion in the areas of life represented by those planets.


The bundle often indicates specialization in a particular area or skill.

These individuals might excel in one specific field or interest.


On the flip side, having all the planets in a small portion of the chart can mean less balance.

Areas of life not represented by the bundle might be neglected or require more attention.


People with a bundle chart shape may be quite self-reliant, as they’ve learned to work with the energies they have, rather than seeking balance from external influences.

Understanding the bundle shape can offer insight into how a person approaches life, their strengths, challenges, and areas of focus.

It’s just one piece of the complex puzzle that is an astrology chart, but it can tell us a lot about someone’s energy and personality.

Example Bundle Chart

May 2024

This bundle chart has been in effect for a couple of weeks during April and May 2024.

I have chosen this particular chart as an example.

When the Moon moves out of the bundle it is no longer a bundle chart and may form a fan.

Whilst the planets are in this tight within-a-trine bundle configuration other chart shapes cannot be formed like grand crosses, mystic rectangles, T-squares or kites.


Leading Planet

The leading planet of the bundle is Pluto retrograde in Aquarius.


Trailing Planet

The trailing planet is Jupiter in Taurus.

Before Jupiter passed Uranus at their conjunction, the bundle was tighter and Uranus was the trailing planet.

Extend Yourself

If You Have a Bundle Chart

Thinking about the current bundle chart shape and your natal chart:


  • Do you (or do people you know) have a bundle chart shape?
  • If so, what is the leading planet? And what is the trailing planet?


Extend Yourself Further

If You Don’t Have a Bundle Chart

In your astrology journal consider the shape of your chart.


  • Over which of your houses, quadrants and hemispheres does the current transiting bundle chart lie?
  • What is your chart shape?
  • In your chart shape, are there focus planets like a leading, trailing or handle planets? Which planets are they?

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From My Readers…

You Did Extend Yourself

Here are a couple of responses from those of you who have extended yourselves.

Thank you so much!




Hi Alison!

Enjoyed your take on the Bundle chart pattern. My answers are:

I’m a Leo rising so the current bundle pattern affects my 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th houses. Natally, I have a Locomotive pattern with Uranus in Gemini in the 10th house leading the pack and Mercury in Capricorn in the 6th house trailing. Uranus is conjunct Mars by 1 degree. Uranus rules my 7th house and Mercury my 2nd and 11th.

Keep up the good work!
Sagittarily yours,

Author Bio

Alison Price: Professional Astrologer

Alison helps you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart with a touch of humor. She offers Consultations for everyone and Coaching for Aspiring Astrologers.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

More Articles

If you enjoyed this post, you may like some more astrology related articles from our blog.




Explore the polarity in a chart. This is the broadest sweep that you can give to a chart. It may have more active or more passive energy.