As astrologers we can look at each year in many ways. During any given year there are the natural planetary cycles.
We also note the retrogrades as a background ebb and flow similar to radio static from the Big Bang.
On top of this, we can consider more specific movements of the transiting planets and then drill down to a closer inspection of your particular chart, it’s unique placements and the personal effects that you experience.
Retrogradation of the Planets
Retrogradation is the optical illusion of a planet stopping and moving backward and after a while turning and going forwards again. We see this because of our moving viewpoint from planet Earth.
A planetary station is the exact time and position that a planet turns direction either from forwards to backward (stations retrograde SRx) or from backward to forwards (stations direct SD).
All planets except the Sun and the Moon have retrograde periods.
Note: Having a retrograde Sun is an old astrology joke so don’t get caught nodding sagely to that old chestnut.
During the whole year, there is always at least one planet retrograde. It really is a natural state for us to experience and not the dreaded time that many believe.
Embrace each planet’s retrograde period and make the most of the natural slow down that all planets experience during any given year. As above so below.
But, if you spend a little more time and pick up another book, take a class or attend a public meeting you can improve your basic understanding of astrology in leaps and bounds or dare I say astronomically.
It is at this point that something remarkable happens, the astrology bug gets you and you have to have more.
It can even become a dependance as you voraciously read every astrology book, article or tweet you can get your hands on to feed the need for satisfaction that comes through understanding.
Heed your inner voice
Obviously astrology is not for everyone. How could it be? We are all different individuals and at various stages of our personal evolution.
But, if it is calling you even as a faint whisper in the back of your mind, I urge you to heed your inner voice and consider developing that little spark into something wonderful.
One of the more obvious cycles is the seasonal changes you experience as the Sun moves through the zodiac when it enters a cardinal sign every three months.
This is the start of the four seasons.
The Zodiac Year
The year begins as the Sun enters the first sign of Aries and spring officially begins. Summer starts as the Sun enters Cancer around July 21st. Autumn is ushered in late September and winter draws in from December 21st at the Sun’s ingress to Capricorn.
Midsummer – Sun in Leo – What to expect
Here we are in the early degrees of Leo. It is just about mid-summer. But what can we expect?
That depends on whether you have a strong Leo presence in your chart from planets or your Ascendant or your Midheaven is placed in the sign.
Or, if you have a chart where there is no Leo influence at all and you have zero planets or angles in the sign of the Lion.
If you do have a natal Leo influence
As the Sun moves through its own sign it will connect with any planets or chart points in Leo.
This will stimulate that planet or point and you will become aware of creative potentials as suggested by the strength of the contact,
Having Leo planets already in your natal chart will be reinforced as the Sun comes through. Things can become over-the-top but to express your individuality is key this month.
If you do not have a natal Leo influence
When the Sun transits Leo, and if you have no Leo signature in your chart, it becomes an opportunity for you to experience your inner child and express yourself in ways in which you would not normally.
Yes, at times it can get dramatic and loud but it can also be a lot of fun.
Summer is always good to kick back, relax and when you can be the star in your own life production.
It is a great time for a vacation or at least relaxing at home lying barefoot in a hammock.
Enjoy the simple pleasures of sunbathing, sun-downers (drinks at sunset) and sunbeams playing in your windows. Be kind to yourself. Soak it up and make the most of the Sun in Leo.
You can’t keep up a punishing work pace all year. Even the tireless practitioners amongst you need a break from your grueling schedule of clients, preparations, and research. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You can’t be going at full tilt all year.
Going forward into Virgo
Face September with renewed enthusiasm and bring your relaxed and refreshed self to your business and clients.
(Note, All these comments are for the northern hemisphere. For southern hemisphere reverse the seasons, but maintain the dates).
The signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo. Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
Aries is the first sign and Pisces is the last sign.
The seven visible planets traditionally used in astrology are; the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
The three outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto cannot be seen without a telescope (although some young eyes claim they can see Uranus), but these three are not part of the traditional or classical planets of astrology.
Each sign has a planet that rules the sign known as the planetary ruler.
Aries is ruled by Mars.
Taurus is ruled by Venus.
Gemini is ruled by Mercury.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon.
Leo is ruled by the Sun.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury.
Libra is ruled by Venus.
Scorpio is ruled by Mars.
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn.
Aquarius is ruled by Saturn.
Pisces is ruled by Jupiter.
Above is simply a list with apparently no clear reason behind it. Students have to learn the rulerships.
But there is some method in the madness and these signs rulerships are based on the seasons.
On your astrology journey there are many avenues of knowledge to wander down. Once you have the first twelve months of study under your belt, where it is all about the signs, houses, planets and aspects, continuing to study astrology opens up like a fan into a whole new world.
I often relate learning astrology to the medical profession where, everyone is a doctor (who knows the basics and can save your life) but some of them continue into speciality fields such as dermatology, neurosurgery and anesthesiology.
The analogy here is that all astrologers can interpret your chart (and most are very competent) but some continue to learn new techniques and gain more knowledge even if it is simple small pieces that can be used to tweak their readings and become more detailed in their interpretations.
To my mind using the Gauquelin sectors fall into the “nice to have” skills of any astrologer.
Two Gauquelin Sectors
There are two Gauquelin sectors in every chart. They span a section of the zodiac which is different for every chart.
There is your Ascendant Gauquelin sector and your Midheaven Gauquelin sector.
Not every chart has planets in the Gauquelin Sectors, but if your chart does then those planets are important both in natal interpretation and forecasting work.
A French husband and wife team Michel and Francois Gauquelin originally set out to disprove astrology and ended up creating the most in-depth proof for astrology. Their most famous research is known as The Mars Effect.
Briefly, they checked hundreds of charts to see if a particular planet was prominent, or on the ascendant or Midheaven, of people who had the same job.
How to find your Gauquelin Sectors
The Gauquelin sectors cover ten degrees of the zodiac on both sides of your ascendant and your Midheaven for a total of twenty degrees each and forty degrees in all. Both sectors together cover one ninth of the 360 wheel.
Example 1: Say your Ascendant is at 15 Gemini then your ascendant Gauquelin sector spans from 5 to 25 Gemini.
Example 2: Say your Midheaven is at 2 Aries then you Midheaven Gauquelin sector is between 22 Pisces and 12 Aries.
Planets in your Gauquelin sectors are usually in the first, twelfth, ninth and tenth houses.
Planets in a conjunction aspect (orb 8) to your Ascendant and Midheaven are automatically in your Gauquelin sectors.
Interpretation for your Ascendant Gauquelin sector
Shows howothers see you through the urges of the planet
Can be a rising planet
High profile planet
Strong planet (may be the strongest in the chart)
Interpretation for you Midheaven Gauquelin sector
Indicates how the world sees you through the urges of the planet
This planet may be the most elevated planet
Can be conjunct the Midheaven
When applying to the Midheaven it is stronger
Suggests a career in line with the nature of the planet
If there is more than one planet in these sensitive areas of your chart they have to be interpreted in a blended way as they will all influence you from their position in the Gauquelin sectors of your chart.
In your chart there will be one planet that is the most elevated planet.
The most elevated planet is the one near the top of the chart and it is the planet that was highest in the sky at the time of your birth.
Not all most elevated planets are made equal and in some charts they will be stronger than in others. If you have a well placed most elevated planet you can use it towards supporting your career, reputation and public image.
How to FInd Your Most Elevated Planet
The most elevated planet is the planet closest to the Midheaven (MC) in degrees of longitude on either side of the MC. The MC is the intersection between the prime vertical and the plane of the ecliptic.
The most elevated planet is frequently in the ninth or tenth houses or close to the Midheaven, but can be in any house in the chart.
The Dispositor of the MC and Most Elevated Planet
If the MC is in a sign which is disposed by the most elevated planet (by essential dignity) it gains weight.
Rulership and exaltation of your MC add to the power of your most elevated planet and detriment and fall reduce the effect of your most elevated planet.
If your MC is in Libra, and if your most elevated planet is Venus, it will add power to the most elevated planet because Venus rules Libra.
If your MC is in Libra, and if your most elevated planet is Saturn, it will add weight to the most elevated planet due to the fact that Saturn is exalted in Libra.
If your MC is in Libra, and if your most elevated planet is Mars, it will reduce the power of Mars as the most elevated planet as Mars is in detriment in Libra.
If your MC is in Libra, and if your most elevated planet is the Sun, it will reduce the potency of the most elevated planet because the Sun is in it’s fall in Libra.
As the MC is the most elevated point in your chart any planet is measured for mostelevation in relation to your MC. Therefore any connection between the MC and the most elevated planet by aspect reinforces the potential of the most elevated planet in your chart.
The Midheaven shows for what the world knows you and any planet connected to the Midheaven (as in a conjunction, sextile or square) will influence this.
What this means is, if your most elevated planet has an aspect to the MC then it gains weight or power in your chart.
Most Elevated and in Aspect to Your Midheaven
If your most elevated planet is in aspect to your Midheaven it supports the meaning of the planet and if it is not in aspect to your Midheaven it has a neutral influence.
Most elevated and conjunct your Midheaven
This is the power position for the most elevated planet as it could not be more elevated than the Midheaven. Any planet conjoined your Midheaven will be a huge focus in your life. Almost as if it is lighting the way for you like a torch. When the most elevated planet is conjoined the MC think star over
Any planet conjoined your Midheaven will be a huge focus in your life.
Almost as if it is lighting the way for you like a torch. When the most elevated planet is conjoined the MC think star over stable in Bethlehem.
Most elevated and sextile your Midheaven
A planet sextile the Midheaven and which is most elevated will work together with the meaning of the Midheaven and support the nature of the Midheaven. Planets is this position usually indicate latent talents which can be utilized by the Midheaven for your career and public image.
Most elevated and square your Midheaven
When your most elevated planet is square your Midheaven it is in an aspect of tension. However, this is an aspect where progress is strived for, in the nature of the most elevated planet.
This will not always be easy in fact it can be difficult at times but squares will always be on the front burner of your chart.
Weaker Below the Horizon
Depending on the latitude of your birth place, sometimes the most elevated planet can actually fall below the horizon, that is under the ascendant/descendant axis or in the northern hemisphere of the chart.
Although the planet will still be most elevated it loses much of its potency when it is below the horizon and can usually be dismissed as a strong influence on the MC.
Generally a most elevated planet works well for you if it is high in the chart, aspects the MC and disposes the Midheaven by rulership.
Not all most elevated planets will benefit the person whose chart it is, but, if you do have a well placed most elevated planet it makes sense to work it to your advantage as best you can for career, reputation and public image.
In Stephen King’s chart below it is quite clear that Uranus is his most elevated planet.
There are a few weeks when the Sun and the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, pass through and transit the twelfth house of your chart.
This is a time of the year to slow down, rest and take a pause from life. It is a period of about one month when:
your energy and drive becomes less prominent (the Sun),
your reading, thinking and conversation turns inward (Mercury) and
personal relationships, your social life and romance become less active (Venus).
In a way it is like having a dimmer switch on your life which reduces the glare and allows your eyes to adjust to the darker world where you can see what is lingering in the shadows that you have been ignoring up until now.
You will once again be back in the spotlight when the Sun crosses your ascendant and announces your personal New Year.
For you to be able to step onto the stage of life with vibrancy and confidence (which comes from the Sun) you are required to rest up, recuperate and chill as the planets move through the twelfth house of your natal chart.
Every year is different
Each one of you will have a different “quiet month” depending on which other planets are passing through your twelfth house at the same time.
It also changes tempo depending on whether the Sun leads the charge through your twelfth house or Mercury or Venus gets there first.
Not all business methods work for all businesses. Not all astrology business’ work the same for everyone either. What gels with for one practitioner will not necessarily pan out for another. Why? Because the two astrologers have different natal charts to each other.
To find satisfying work you have to be aligned with the energy potentials shown in your own chart. One way of tapping into this is by looking at your outer planet signature.
You have a number which represents the prominence of the outer planet in your chart.
So what? Well now you can see the difference in how each of the outer planets operate. Your strong outer planet will work for you over and above the two weaker outer planets in the following manner.
if the outer planet is not strong in the natal chart because say, the Moon dominates the chart, then the outer planetary energy will continue to operate the background of your life.
The ideas is to engage your Mercury and get your conscious brain on side to bring the potentials of your prominent outer planet to bear on attracting the type of clients you want (and need) as shown by your natal chart.
We can’t all offer the same thing but if you work with the astrology rather than against it you will be more satisfied in your craft.
A Pluto signature: Your clients magnetically appear
If you have a strong Pluto you can attract clients who:
Find you by your cryptic messages in adverts
May hover in the shadows
May be afraid to approach you
May be lurkers before becoming clients
Come out of the woodwork and find you
How to promote your astrology business with a strong Pluto:
Offer in-depth psychological readings
Offer sexual problem explorations
Promote the mystery of your craft
Offer private readings
Allow your clients anonymity
Offer deep insights
Explore past-life regressions
Offer bereavement astrology
A Neptune signature: Your clients intuitively appear
If you have a strong Neptune outer planet energy you can attract clients who:
Appreciate your arty adverts
Pray for help
Arrive by osmosis
Find astrology hypnotic
Believe in astrology
Are spiritually minded
How to promote your astrology business with a strong Neptune:
Say you understand
Use your intuition
Offer a sympathetic ear
Say that you relate to them
Mention your belief in their problems
Intimate that you are a psychic or a medium (if you are)
Use a crystal ball as a prop
Say you can help clients find their vision
A Uranus signature: Clients suddenly appear
If you have a strong Uranus outer planet signature in your birth chart you can attract clients who:
Like astrology itself
Want to learn astrology
Are modern and up-to-date
Contact you at a group meeting
Use social networking
Like to be unusual
Think they can change the world
Are young up and coming professionals
How to promote your astrology business if you have a strong Uranus outer planet signature:
Promote astrology for the 21st century
Be new age
Use a computer and techie props
Stress astrology is for young people
Promote astrology for the masses
Break down borders
Support Astrologers without borders
Promote your astrology group
Many roads lead to Rome. These techniques can help you find the clients you can and want to help and work with.
There are many people scattered through the history of Astrology. Some are more famous than others and often they are astronomers or mathematicians. As astrologers we often come across people who have shaped the history of our craft.
Clearly you don’t need to know everything about them but sometimes it gives us pause to ponder and adds a richness to our understanding as modern astrologers.
As someone who like patterns and numbers (see Fibonacci Aspects) I wanted to mention another guy here who had something to say about the initial placement of the planets.
Although this theory has been disproven recently it is still worth trying to understand his original hypothesis.
Johann Elert Bode (1747 – 1826)
Bode was a German astronomer and mathematician who worked on many astronomical observations including being known for Bode’s Law of planetary placements.
Bode’s law states that the next planet is found at twice the distance from the Sun as the previous one. So mathematically that means:
Mercury = 1, Venus = 2, Earth = 4, Mars = 8, the asteroids = 16 and Jupiter = 32.
Where XX Is the missing planet. The spot where planet XX is found is in the place where the asteroid belt orbits today.
The asteroids comprise of Ceres, Vesta, Pallas etc. and a million other smaller objects all orbiting in the same area of the solar system between Mars and Jupiter.
There is one belief that the asteroids were once the missing planet in Bode’s Law and were broken up (or did not ever form) from a planet. It is food for thought of what might have been.
The outer planets are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. They can work on a subconscious level and determine who we attract.
It is useful to know which of the outer planets is prominent for consciously seeking out the very customers we are naturally attracting.
It is a matter of engaging your Mercury to work your dominant outer planet by bringing it into your day-to-day thoughts. The outer planet energies are expressed in their own specific way.
How to determine which outer planet dominates your chart
Chart signatures are usually assessed by looking at all the planets in the chart. This time we will only look at the outers to get a insights into how you work on a more subconscious level. You want to find out what is happening when you are not looking and paying attention.
Your prominent outer planet will function almost as the background noise or default mode of your personal attraction. You can discover which outer planet is strong in your natal chart by measuring which of them is more energized and engaged in your natal chart by using the handy dandy table which I created for you below.
Answer the following questions and add up your score at the end.
Usually either Uranus, Neptune or Pluto will step forward when you do a quick arithmetic calculation for each planet as in the table above.
Example chart Bill Gates
If you run Bill Gates’ chart through these questions this is the result it returned:
Uranus = 10, Neptune = 25 and Pluto = 5.
Clearly Neptune is far and away the highest energized of the three outer planets in Bill Gates’ chart.
At this point the word charity springs to mind.
We will look at interpretations for these outer planets in next week’s post.
Most of you are probably wondering what the heck this limerick is all about.
Let me explain.
A Yod is an astrological major aspect pattern sometimes found in birth charts. It comprises of one sextile aspect (blue line) and two quincunx aspects (green lines).
An aspect is an imaginary line drawn between two planets in a horoscope. People who have a yod in their charts are known as Yod Bearers as it indicates there are burdens that need to be carried through life.
The image is that of an isosceles triangle where the short side is 60 degrees and the two equal longer sides are 150 degrees.
The shape is somewhat reminiscent of an arrow or finger pointing thus the nickname of The Finger Of God. It is also referred to as the Finger of Fate.
In chart interpretation the area of life that the yod is pointing at is highlighted and becomes an important focus for that person.
A Yod is an astrological planetary configuration also know as a major aspect pattern which is formed when three planets line-up in a particular way.
A Yod is an aspect pattern composed of one sextile and two quincunxes. It looks like an isosceles triangle with one short side and two equal length longer sides.
A yod looks like a triangle. But it is different to a grand trine, T-square or a Thor’s Hammer because of the aspects it contains.
A sextile is an aspect 60° wide or two signs. The orb for a sextile is 4° degrees. It is an aspect of ease and it suggests your latent talents.
A quincunx is an aspect 150° wide or five signs. The orb for a quincunx is 2°. It is an aspect requiring constant adjustment and causes mild irritation.
How to interpret a Yod
The broad stroke with interpreting yods is to look at the one planet being quincunxed (the green lines) by the other two.
This is known as the focal planet and is a sensitive spot in the zodiac which will be reflected in your chart by the house placement.
Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia in Canada. The city is situated on Vancouver Island on the west coast and is named after Queen Victoria.
I have a particular interest in the Victoria Landscape Zodiac as it is very close to my home. This is an example of local astrology at it’s best.
A landscape zodiac is found when you lay the planisphere (a star map of the northern skies) over a street map of a place (in this case the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada) or other land area and find correlations between the astrology sign meanings and the topographical geography of the earth.
These correlations can be in the forms of street names, parks, buildings, cemeteries, hills, streams, marshes or ponds.
Polaris Star as the Center Point
In the Victoria Landscape Zodiac, the north pole star Polaris is centered on the city at the aptly named Pointer Place.
The wheel is then adjusted until some form of connections is determined. Once the rotation angle has been decided the zodiac is set to that degree on the city map. In this way, the city of Victoria is segmented into the twelve signs.
Once the rotation angle has been decided the zodiac is set to that degree on the city map. In this way, the city of Victoria is segmented into the twelve signs.
The constellation shapes created by the stars do not line up with the tropical zodiac because of the precession of the equinoxes. This is well known phenomena of which astrologers are aware.
The shapes of the sign symbols, when laid on a map, are known as effigies. These sign animal shapes (except Libra which is the scales) are then drawn onto the city map. See image.
The astrological tropical zodiac is placed on the outside which is similar to a natal chart.
At this point, your natal chart can be overlaid on the city map and your personal natal planets will be in the same position of longitude and in a particular position in Victoria.
People in the history of the discovery of Landscape Zodiacs are Katharine Emma Maltwood, Mary Dowds and most recently Donald Allen who is the latest dynamic researcher working on the Victoria Landscape Zodiac.
Donald Allen has explicit permission to use the information and maps drawn by Mary Dowds to continue his exploration of the Victoria Landscape Zodiac.
He has successfully discovered the Victoria Cancer and Pisces effigy on the map which adds to his knowledge base.
Southern Hemisphere Landscape Zodiacs
Research into landscape zodiacs in the Southern Hemisphere using the southern skies planisphere and the southern cross will have to be pursued. Come on South Africa!
Your Chart Overlay
If you would like to see your natal chart overlaid on the Victoria Landscape Zodiac please contact Donald Allen with your details and for a modest research donation ($19.99 by PayPal) he will provide you with a full-color image of your chart married to the beautiful city of Victoria. He looks forward to hearing from you.
About Donald Allen’s ongoing research
Donald is actively researching the Victoria Landscape Zodiac and he would love to hear from you.
All of the planets orbit the Sun. The length of time each one takes to make its journey is dependent on its distance from the centre of the solar system. The further out a planet is the longer the orbit.
Our Earth takes one year to come back to the same place on the zodiac. The infamous Saturn return occurs at the age of twenty-nine. Past Saturn is Uranus the ruler of Aquarius.
Uranus requires eighty-four earth years to make one complete Uranian year. It happens for us as octogenarians and is known as the Uranus return. A Uranus half return occurs when transiting Uranus gets half way round the Sun and a transiting Uranus opposition natal Uranus aspect is formed.
Unless an outer planet (Uranus, Neptune or Pluto) are connected to your Sun, Moon Ascendant or prominent in other ways they can languish quietly tucked up in a house of your chart and you don’t know they are there. Then one day a transiting planetary configuration occurs and you are (in the case of Uranus) awakened.
To experience a Uranus transit it is a bit like jarring your funny bone when you are suddenly made aware of its presence by the jangle down your arm and it is not funny at all!
The Uranus half return is humorously known as the “Harley Davidson aspect” because it occurs at time in life when guys throw up their lives, buy a hog and drive out towards a new and exciting future.
Key themes for this period are break-ups, break-downs and break-outs. Life in general can be difficult when Uranus opposes its natal place. By the early forties Uranus has travelled half way around your chart and now takes the stance of looking back at its birth position and the you ask yourself “Is that all I’ve done?” and “What happened to the younger me?”
Separation can occur now and it is often regarding your growing dissatisfaction with life. There is a feeling that “It’s now of never” and “I have to do this while I’m still young.” In this way some people may throw up things and not look back. They will revolutionize certain areas of their lives which are suggested by the natal placement of Uranus.
Here is a story of this aspect at work:
A woman looks out from her porch and gazes on her garden. There is a large tree offering shade and her children play there. She and her husband sometimes sip lemonade sitting in the seat under the cool of the branches.
Life is good.
Then one day a storm breaks and the tree is suddenly struck by lightening. The dead fractured tree has to be broken up and removed from the property and along with it the protection and comfort it had provided for all those years.
Now the woman looks from her porch and is faced with a different landscape. New vistas have opened up. She can see down the valley and just make out the distant hills.
She asks herself “What is that twinkling in the distance? Why it is the old waterfall flowing down to the river below.”
The beauty spot had been there all along but she had forgotten about it. Perhaps she should take a walk there tomorrow and have a look…
When forecasting you have to always consider the upside of every transit even tough ones from the outers.
If your client does not know their birth time (and they are not interested in rectification) how do you cast their chart and find some information that you can use?
Here are some simple steps to overcome this issue.
The Noon Chart
It is best to erect your client’s chart for noon on their birthday. Then you can only be twelve hours out.
Clearly this is not an ideal situation but better than twenty-four hours off the birth placements.
Experience will tell you that many people’s birth information is suspect at the best of times and you have to constantly be on the lookout for incorrect data and the chart results when face-to-face with your client.
The Moon in a Noon Chart
The Moon travels about twelve to fifteen degrees each day. With this movement halfway through the day (at noon) it will be six to seven and a half degrees out either way and may or may not be of use.
However you could ascertain the lunar sign because if the Moon is between seven and a half degrees and twenty-two and a half degrees of a sign at noon, then you know for sure it is in that sign in the birth chart.
Because the Moon would still be in the sign for a birth first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Natal Noon Chart
With a “noon chart” the planets in the signs and planetary aspects are correct (except the Moon) but there are no angles or houses.
This means of the possible 100% information shown in a normal chart you only have 60%. The point is that the 60% you do have is still 100% correct.
There is less quantity of information available, but it is still quality information when you interpret a “noon chart”.
Planets on Sign Cusps
You do need to watch out for other planets near the cusps of signs and weigh the possibilities of them being in the next sign or the previous sign for retrogrades.
If a planet is stationary on the birthday you can bet it is in that position dead-on in the natal chart.
Forecasting with a Noon Chart
Forecasting with transits and solar returns (by planetary sign position not houses) can be used as well as secondary progressions and solar arc directions the latter two with care.
There are many ways to rectify a birth chart but that is a discussion for another day.
If you have planets in Virgo you can get things done.
Virgo is a modest sign. Often people with many Virgo placements brush off their accomplishments as old hat when others comment on their abilities by replying simply “Oh, but everyone can do that.”
Well no, not everyone can do the things those with a strong Virgo chart can.
A strong Virgo signature is a chart where there are three or more planets or the ascendant in the sign of the virgin with Mercury direct.
The imagery for Virgo is a maiden holding a sheaf of wheat.
Now I propose she did not just get the bundle of cereal handed to her off camera. I imagine she donned her wellies and was down in the field and harvested the grain herself.
Miss Virgo then paused for the photo opportunity (our imagery of the constellation) she turns, walks over to the millstone and thrashes the wheat from the chaff.
She gathers up the germs of goodness and enters her kitchen to bake bread. When the loaves are prepared she calmly places them on a clean gingham cloth in a wicker basket. Then serves her nutritious sustenance to the workers in her village.
Simple food, not flashy but full of goodness.
The ruling planet for Virgo is Mercury and there are clues in the affinity Mercury has with the hands, handiwork, and craftwork.
Women with Virgo planets are often knitting, baking and crafting things. These seem to be skills which are slowing disappearing as not all girls are taught these subjects anymore.
Men with Virgo placements are definitely handy to have about the place. Mr. Virgo is a guy who can wire a plug, chop onions and bath the dog.
Maybe not at the same time.
Perhaps the true skill of Virgo is that they look like they don’t know how to do things but in actual fact they do. They don’t yell from the rooftops about what they have done but go about their business attending to what needs doing on a daily basis.
Richard Branson’s Virgin International’s tag line is “More experienced than our name suggests” which about sums it up.
“More experienced than our name suggests”
If you are lucky enough to have Miss or Mr. Virgo living in your home you maybe taking them for granted…
Do you have a strong Virgo signature? Do you have planets in Virgo? Can you get things done? I really don’t expect any comments as the Virgo’s themselves don’t think they are that important.
To remind you the Fibonacci sequence is a pattern in numbers where the previous two are added together to result in the next number in the sequence.
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…
One plus two equals three, two plus three equals five, three plus five equals eight and so on.
It can be drawn as a widening spiral. This shape is found in nature in plants and animals and can be clearly seen in the nautilus shell chambers and in the head of a sunflower.
The numbers build on the past sequence to create the future patterns.
It seems to me that this reflects a natal chart as it begins to progress and develop by building on what has gone before. The progressed chart unfolds over time from a base point in time i.e. the natal chart.
Situations that occur in life must have been in the natal promise to start with.
Baker’s dozen (13)
Missing Ptolemaic aspects
In this sequence of numbers we see that the square (4) and the sextile (6) do not appear. Nor will the semi-sextile (12) aspect.
Well, astrology is a system of patterns and symbols.
We happily take chart divisions from one to twelve and for the simple reason that every number is represented.
We are also ok to extract the hard aspects in the eighth harmonic (1, 2, 4, 8) and call them manifesting aspects.
Surely if the Fibonacci sequence occurs in nature and so is part of the Earth experience should we not consider this group of aspects in a particular way?
Perhaps because the quintile aspect is found in the Fibonacci list that is our first clue. Quintiles are closely associated with your creativity and genius.
13th Harmonic a Baker’s Dozen
What about the thirteenth harmonic?
Keywords transformation and values. This is not an aspect that is widely used in general astrology but can it be somehow associated with the meanings of the others in our sequence, maybe following the quintile theme?
I’m not sure, but using the Fibonacci aspects in a particular way as a group is a theory that has been buzzing in my thoughts for a while now. I wanted to put these ideas out there for consideration.
Astrologers can and do make misteaks I mean mistakes.
As with all things practice does make perfect. An astrologer that has been practicing for more than two years should not make many errors
Hopefully there will be less and less but when learning astrology it’s amazing what errors can creep in.
I’m gonna share with you a classic mistake that I was guilty of way back in the early days of my career.
Understand the Instruction
I was living in the southern hemisphere when I began to learn astrology. In a country where astrology books were few and far between.
I had Parker’s the Compleat Astrologer. I began casting charts by hand with log tables, ephemerides and a Table of Houses.
All was well until I came to the instruction “add 12 hours and reverse the signs.”
I duly added 12 hours. That was simple. At this point you get the Ascendant, Midheaven and the house cusps from the Table of Houses.
…and reverse the signs…
This is where I made the mistakes. I flipped the zodiac so when Aries rose it was followed by Pisces then Aquarius etc.
You get the picture. I did reverse the signs by making them go backwards which is what reverse means. But clearly it should have said “…and take the opposite sign…”
Only those of you who began learning astrology before the eighties will appreciate how hard it was (or how easy it was) to make errors when doing manual calculations to draw astrology charts from scratch.
Just because you have the computer programs now don’t think you won’t make errors. The software is only as good as the person at the keyboard.
During the Great Conjunction of 1991/93. Uranus conjoined Neptune for the first time in 170 years this time in Capricorn.
The astrology group I was a member of at that time in Cape Town had a particular meeting to celebrate the conjunction where we got into huddles depending on which house this conjunction occurred in our charts.
For me this was the 6th house and I joined with the other astrologers in the clutch who had the Uranus Neptune conjunction in their 6th houses as well.
This is not the most exciting house in a chart because it is about health, daily rituals, service and work.
They began discussing their work and how busy they were but it did not resonate with all the group members. Someone said they had started gardening.
Well that was the catalyst for an animated discussion as we all had taken up gardening recently. Then we got onto herbs.
First herb garden
I was able to tell them about the new herb garden I had recently designed and had constructed down a narrow strip of land behind our house and how herbs had suddenly had more meaning for me.
That year I had been growing and cooking with fresh herbs and making interesting meals for my family which was something I had never done before. It was glorious.
Small plants are shown in your 6th house.
Second herb garden
We later moved to another house right on the Tropic of Capricorn (that is another story) and again the garden needed care.
My husband and his guys laid out a beautiful 10m x 10m square herb garden with appropriate circles and a birdbath in the middle.
At the time of construction, we made sure that money, yes hard cash, was buried below the concrete of the water feature. This was to provide for the garden. A nice touch.
I often wonder what those gardens look like today having had twenty-five and fifteen years to establish themselves.
A Solar Eclipse happens when the Moon moves in front of the Sun. The Moon blocks out the light and the heat from the Sun.
Usually the birds stop tweeting as well which is a strange thing about solar eclipses.
I first experienced the cooling effects of a solar eclipse when we lived in a town called Phalaborwa in the province of Limpopo in South Africa. This place name means TheTown of Two Summers as the temperature is hot in winter and hot in summer.
Phalaborwa is situated right on the Tropic of Capricorn and experiences relentless dry heat all the time. It is a mining town and copper is the reason the settlement is there at all.
In Phalaborwa, any tree is a good tree because it is a shade tree. In the three years we lived there is rained three times for ten minutes each time. Dry, dry, dry.
The Eclipse Starts
It was about 2pm and a hot afternoon. I was ready for the solar eclipse and had the special eclipse glasses for all the kids as we sat in the garden sipping lemonade. Looking up into the clear blue sky we watched the Moon slowly creep over the face of the Sun.
Looking up into the clear blue sky we watched the Moon slowly creep over the face of the Sun.
But, that’s when I noticed the drop in temperature and the chill of the eclipse. Bearing in mind that temperatures were normally 40C at midday, suddenly it became cool and dark. Not fully night as it was a partial solar eclipse, but still enough to reduce the light to dusky levels.
Not fully night as it was a partial solar eclipse, but still enough to reduce the light to dusky levels.
Cold and gloomy the kids ran inside and were excited and anxious at the same time.
Within five minutes the Moon had moved over the disk of the Sun and again the bright light and heat came flooding back to the afternoon. And almost as sudden it felt as it had never happened.
Such is the nature of a Solar eclipse.
If you get a chance to experience a solar eclipse, like the one happening this week, pay attention to all your senses and not just sight and you will have a richer experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Every month there is a New Moon which occurs in the same sign as the Sun. Each New Moon is usually in the following sign from the last one.
When the Sun is in Libra we have the Libra New Moon. When the Sun is in Scorpio it will be the Scorpio New Moon.
A New Moon is a time to sow seeds, begin things and start a new course of action. A New Moon will affect all the things shown by the area of life (house) in which it occurs in your natal chart. If you know where this is going to happen you can plan ahead.
Types of Eclipses
There are two types of eclipse, a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.
Either type of eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth line up exactly in the sky.
For a solar eclipse the sequence is: Sun – Moon – Earth.
For a lunar eclipse the sequence is: Sun – Earth – Moon
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves in front of the Sun and blocks out the light. If the Moon is close enough to the Earth that its umbra (main) shadow can reach Earth it will cast a shadow across the face of the Earth, this is known as the eclipse path.
The eclipse path is usually quite thin and can be up to 170km wide crossing the face of the Earth. This width varies with each individual eclipse.
Only places on Earth on the eclipse path and in the full shadow of the Moon will experience totality.
Annular Solar Eclipse
It depends on how close the Sun is to the node whether it is a partial, total, total annular or hybrid (a bit of both) eclipse.
When the orb between the Sun and the node is less than 9 degrees it is an annular eclipse.
If the Earth is also at perihelion the Moon can fully cover the Sun’s disk and it is a total solar eclipse.
If the Moon does not fully cover the Sun’s face then it is a partial eclipse.
The Eclipse Path
Solar eclipses can only be seen during the day when the Sun is above the horizon.
An eclipse is visible from all places marked in the dark red (in the image) and can be seen as a partial eclipse in the light red areas on Earth.
It you are on the eclipse path you will see the eclipse.
An eclipse will occur at different times depending where on Earth you are and you can catch a glimpse of one if you are near the eclipse path.
The Astrology of Eclipses
All eclipses are not created equal. Some are simply more dynamic and have a greater potential within themselves than others. Each one has to be judged on it’s own merits.
Astrologically eclipses are both general and personal. It depends on the eclipse chart (see above) and your own birth chart and if and how they connect. Therefore some eclipses have a deeper and more profound effect than others.
General Effects of an Eclipse
This eclipse will be in a sign and the ruler(s) of the sign will have influence over the eclipse.
If it is an eclipse at the Moon’s north node it indicates that we are focussing on future things and drawing in people, goods and experiences to ourselves.
If it is at the Moon south node it suggests that we are letting go of people, stuff and emotional baggage.
The Sun and Moon may be conjoined a planet which inclines towards discussing the issues brought about at the eclipse and the meaning of the planet.
Personal Effects of an Eclipse
Whichever house the eclipse occurs in your natal chart will be the area of life that will be affected. For example in your first house your looks, seventh house your romance, partner, relationship or in your tenth house your career and goal setting.
If it is your birthday on the eclipse day you will feel the most effect from the eclipse.
If your Ascendant is on the eclipse degree the effects of this eclipse will be impressive and there may be a huge change for your life, your personality and how other see you.
If you have any planets in your natal chart at the eclipse degree they will be stimulated by the eclipse.
How Long an Eclipse Lasts
The actual eclipse lasts about one hour but the effects of the eclipse are usually for around six months.
If a particular eclipse connects with your chart by any of the ways mentioned above it will have an effect on you for about six months and again this depends on how close the eclipse falls to your chart planets and points (Ascendant, MC, nodes, Vertex or Part of Fortune).
There are specific timing strategies that astrologers use which can change this six-month rule of thumb but you would have to consult with myself or your astrologer to fully determine how each eclipse in the next year or so will affect you directly.
Every six months the Sun draws near one of the lunar nodes and we have eclipses. Sometimes only two and on occasion three. It depends on how close the Sun is to the nodes in degrees. The closer the orb the more likely eclipse.
Eclipses at the New Moon are always solar.
Solar eclipses impart a masculine or yang feel. This means it is an active eclipse where you can get started on your intentions right away.
This eclipse is at the north node which suggests the future. That is, your future can be supported based on intentions begun now.
If it is your birthday on a solar eclipse day you will feel that particular eclipse intensely. This is because it forms part of your Solar Return chart whose energies are in place for the next twelve months.
Eclipse conjunct a natal planet
Now and then an eclipse will be right on the degree of a natal planet, ascendant or MC in your chart. Obviously, this doesn’t happen often but when it does you need to pay attention.
An astrologer can quickly tell when this will happen for you.
Mars is the planet of beginnings, pioneering action, expended effort and it shows where you are happy to burn energy.
Mars rules the sign Aries the Ram, which it the first sign of the tropical zodiac, and is the traditional ruler of Scorpio the Scorpion.
As the first of the planets further from the Sun than the Earth, Mars takes about two years to make one complete pass through the zodiac. Because of this orbital period Mars can be used to kickstart events and courses of action in your life.
This two year period is known as a Mars return. When Mars returns to the natal position in your birth chart it will be your Mars return and you will have one every two years.
Having two years to do something may seem a long stretch but if you consider planning to complete a course at college or organizing a wedding it can offer a convenient time span.
The trick is to begin what you want to do when Mars transits the planet in your chart that rules the activity you want to start.
Mars conjunct your natal Venus or 7th house ruler can be pleasant for initiating wedding arrangements.
As Mars approaches Jupiter, or your 9th house ruler, it suggests you could be open to studying.
The red planet crossing your Midheaven indicates a period to take your career on another tack.
Close encounters of the third kind
If you are lucky (?) to receive a Martian three contact transit to a natal planet, it shows the time is ripe to expend the effort required to get that particular project started.
At the first direct transit you may initially be enamored by the idea and inspired. During the retrograde pass doubt can set in about the validity of the venture. Finally on the last contact your plans should be steaming along and well under way.
Ancient words but as true today as the day they were penned (or is that quilled?)
As an astrologer you really do need to know your own natal chart well. Why not get a blank piece of paper and try to draw you chart from memory. This shows how well you know the ins and outs of your chart.
Self-knowledge is the key to understanding others. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly, warts and all.
I may not know you personally but I can hazard a guess about you:
You are your own person.
You are accomplished.
You read books.
You have lived.
You have laughed.
Your journey has brought you here.
You can do your own thing.
You have life experience.
You search for more.
You choose your own path.
You owe it to yourself to be the type of astrologer that sits well with your planetary indicators. We cannot all be the same type of astrologer.
Some explore their astrology through face-to-face consultations, video forecasts, supporting the astrology community via groups, writing or being the spokesman for astrology in the public eye.
In your astrology life you may want to:
Forecast and predict.
Write a Sun Sign column.
Understand your family better.
Host a blog.
Research an obscure technique.
Be a niche guru.
Curate the astrological community.
Learn astrology for your own pleasure.
Write a book.
Get you name in lights.
Be on TV.
Live your life in tune with planetary cycles.
All of the above.
None of the above.
Chart indicators for an astrologer
Your natal chart gives clues as to the type of astrologer you are likely to be. Modern astrologers take Uranus, as the ruler of our craft and the traditional ruler is Mercury.
During transits to sensitive planets and chart points in your natal chart external changes may occur to alter your life path.
Experiencing progressions to sensitive planets and chart points is a time when internal changes are likely to develop to alter your karmic direction.
The above two points (transits and progressions to your natal chart) can suggest times in your life when astrology will begin to loom large. The more forecast triggers happening at once the more likely it will be.
As the modern ruler of astrology and astrologers Uranus indicates an astrologer if it is conjoined your ascendant, Sun, Midheaven or Mercury. Or if Uranus is oriental where it suggests your vocation.
There are many instances where Uranus aspects the oriental planet in well-known astrologer’s charts.
All natal aspects to your Uranus will modify the type of astrologer you are likely to become.
Uranus conjunctions are the strongest indicators.
When natal Uranus is stimulated by progressions from the Sun, Mercury, the ascendant or Midheaven an interest in astrology will probably develop.
Aquarius on the first house cusp shows a personal interest in astrology.
On the Midheaven the Water bearer indicates that a business can be made from astrology.
When your progressed or directed ascendant or Midheaven enters Aquarius the focus of your life will shift. This change alone will not confirm astrology, but it will if supported by other indicators.
The traditional ruler of astrology and astrologers is Mercury the planet of information gathering and dispersal and of scribing the events of the day.
When your natal Mercury receives aspects from transiting Uranus astrology becomes an interest.
As the philosopher and teacher, Jupiter often conjoins, squares or opposes the Sun or Uranus in astrologer’s natal charts.
It also frequently contacts Mercury, the ascendant or Midheaven.
When natal Jupiter is stimulated by transiting Uranus or progressed Mercury it may spark an interest and you will seek astrological knowledge.
Many factors contribute to an interest in astrology. If you take your passion for astrology a step further it makes sense to look at the career indicators for “An astrologer” in your chart. This can guide you towards fulfilling the potential shown by your natal placements.
If you live in tune with your natal chart you are more likely to be satisfied with your life and you can more readily be the type of astrologer your chart suggests, than one which you think you should be, by attempting to emulate those around you.
Do you have a strong Uranus or Mercury? What are your astrology indicators?
Those of us brave enough to step into the world of helping others carry a special burden.
As counseling astrologers we can sometimes be reticent to tell the story in the chart as it is, as opposed to how we would like it to be.
Life paths and motivations indicated in a chart may not sit well with us and we could easily think scenarios suggested in the nativity are unsuitable to mention to the client.
Thoughts run through our minds and we wonder if people do in fact live like this. This colouration of issues and facts all stems from the internals of our own charts.
What we choose to come into this world with is suggested by our natal chart and the planets, houses, signs and aspects that make each one of us unique.
Consider correlating your natal chart, and so the one that you are living with, to a stained glass window made from a variety of colours, shapes and textures some little panes transparent, some not perhaps some even rose tinted.
Looking out we still see the world as others do (a tree is still a tree) but our view is filtered by the combinations of planetary complexes from our own charts. It is almost as if we are standing behind a magnificent kaleidoscope and the light is shining in.
Other people will see different shapes, patterns and emphases as they perceive the world via their own vantage point.
A while back I sent a preliminary astrological interpretation to my dearest friend. She is not my oldest friend in age, but I have known her for the longest time.
We were at school together. Over the years we had not kept in touch until one day last spring when, thanks to the miracle of the internet and social networking, we caught up with each other again.
There are many things in her life that she has experienced which I know nothing about and there are no doubt innumerable adventures she has taken and people she has met in the missing thirty-five years since we last spoke face to face.
In my initial interpretation of her nativity there were the usual standard clues of astrological information. You know the sort of thing, planets in signs, houses and aspects. Some features more prominent than others but generally a regular birth chart.
Her chart suggested she had a life spent going down roads of the type that had never opened up for me.
Not having first hand experience I was hesitant to delicately express the situations shown by her natal chart. Deciding to bite the bullet, and as calmly as possible, I began to broach the subjects showing her darker side.
There is much wrangling in astrological circles about who to charge and how much usually depending on your competence and experience. My recent policy is to provide complimentary astrological services for family and friends.
That really means doing free work for family and friends. Who are my friends? Well they are those people who I met before they knew I was an astrologer.
At this stage in my career I thought I had all my family and friend’s charts nailed down, but suddenly here was a new chart for an old friend and in a way it was very exciting indeed because I knew her.
She had expressed an interest in my craft on several occasions in our tentative emails so I thought it was time to take the plunge and send her one of my fabulous interpretations.
With her given time on the hour (which we know is not really correct) and a totally unexpected birth place (one always has to check these things) I constructed a birth chart for her.
My approach for her interpretation was to stick to the bones and use broad strokes by focussing on outlining quadrants, modes and elemental balances. I felt my report was solid astrology without excessive detail.
Some may even say I suffer from TMI (too much information). I clicked ‘send’ and off it went to her living on another continent.
That night I couldn’t sleep. What gave me the right to mention her problems, bring up her internal angst, expose issues with her demons, dragons, life situations and experiences not suitable for dinner party conversations?
I was mortified by what I had said in my report and wished to have it all undone in the blink of an eye.
The next morning her return email was flashing in my inbox. I was sweating. It was one thing to lose contact with someone for thirty-five years and another to lose that same person within six months of getting back in touch.
But there it was positive feedback showing the beauty of astrology.
“Wow, thank you so much this is more than I had hoped for. You are so correct I am amazed. I shall re-read it all again and then get back to you. Thank you” she gushed.
The chart never lies only we do. I had talked myself into a funk about her reaction and had forgotten that the nativity speaks for itself. We as students of astrology have to listen and bring the story to life for the client by taking the role of interpreter.
This has been a learning experience to me. Clients with tricky areas in their charts often know about them already and have taken them on board.
Although I found myself feeling uncomfortable about many things that my friend’s astrology was saying, to her it was all old news.
Looking at life through my strongly Virgo stained glass window this has been a lesson in being self-critical with a need to openly embrace the possibilities and potentials that others experience as a matter of course.
When a planet rises before the Sun it is known the oriental planet. Oriental means east and all the planets rise in the east over the ascendant.
In this series I considering two meanings for the oriental planet
As your natal vocational indicator
As your tribune, or herald, announcing your imminent arrival (the Sun).
Your vocation is what you would do all day, if you didn’t have to work.
Venus Oriental as a Vocational Indicator
If you have Venus oriental in your natal chart you have the potential to benefit financially from your vocation. You often desire to work on valuable projects or those which you perceive as having value. You are an asset in your company and others like you. Venus oriental people appear gracious and have attractive personalities. You may be a people pleaser which can be to the good or not depending on your industry.
Venus Oriental as ruler of Taurus has skills with:
There is fragrance forestalling the person with Venus oriental. The love of money colors their actions. There is the law of attraction in play here where attributes just come to them.
Other people like the Venus oriental person and may consider them to be one of the “beautiful people” of the world. Thus they may readily receive gifts of love, money and favors.
In a man’s chart Venus suggests his wife or romantic partner. In the oriental position it indicates that he wants a woman with style, beauty and assets (whatever that may mean to him). He will perhaps want a woman with social connections and one who can “open doors” for him
When Venus is oriental what they say before they see you:
“She is easy on the eye,” “Smells good,” “You’ll like her,” and “She’s a looker.”
The Sun rises in the east, cumulates overhead and sets in the west.
We are confident the Sun will do this each and every day and we know it is the rotation of the Earth on its axis, as it turns towards the east, that makes the Sun appear to rise.
Whichever planet rises ahead of the Sun is known as the oriental planet.
Find the oriental planet in your chart
To find the oriental planet in your chart first locate the Sun and then look clockwise to the next planet. This will be the oriental planet.
The oriental planet may be close to the Sun or over half a chart’s distance before the oriental planet is found.
The oriental planet is also known as the eastern, vespertine or scout planet. Because of its placement with regard to the Sun it can often be seen before dawn.
It is almost like a harbinger for the Sun which has much to say about it’s meaning.
Mercury and Venus are more frequently in the oriental position because they travel with the Sun through the zodiac.
Both the inner planets can be oriental at their inferior and superior conjunction to the Sun.
The Sun can never be the oriental planet.
What to do without a birth time
Without a birth time you determine the oriental planet by calculating the chart for noon.
Check if the Sun is within half a degree to a planet, then check if the noon oriental planet is within half a degree to another planet as both of these situations may change the oriental planet over the course of the day in question.