Why Transits are Different for Everyone

By Alison Price

Image by Maria Carrasco

Forecasting interpretations can get complex. Reading transits quickly become confusing and it may seem like they’re out of focus.

You may start following Jupiter as it transits through your chart and Jupiter will offer growth opportunities as it passes by.

But what happens when it makes an aspect with another planet?

If Jupiter is square Saturn does it play out the same way for us all?

We all have our own charts and this is what makes the difference.

Take Jupiter square Saturn. These two planets bring the concepts of expansion and contraction together.

Whether you will experience expansion or contraction in your life depends on your chart. It matters whether Jupiter or Saturn is stronger in you natal chart.

Is either of them your chart ruler or do you have Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius or Pisces as your rising sign?

If one planet in a aspect rule your chart they’ll be stronger for you in general and will express themselves in your life in a clear way.

Cycles appear at all times. When you are on an up swing with one planet you may be on a down cycle with another.

The ability to see the difference between a transit from one planet which may or may not be overshadowed by another is the skill of reading transits.

Jupiter square Saturn is different for everyone. Don’t make the mistake of thinking one size fits all but understand what each planet’s energies are about.

Read each transit by itself and follow along with the cycle so you will have a better understanding of how to forecast.

Measuring planetary strength

Apart from the actual aspect involved to understand the strength of the two planets in a combination is the first step.

As the slower moving planets form and release aspects with each other it is good to know which one of the pair is a more important planet for you.

Pluto is important for you if:

  • You have Scorpio rising
  • The Sun is in Scorpio
  • More than three planets are in Scorpio
  • Pluto in the first or eighth house
  • Pluto is your final dispositor

Neptune is important for you if:

  • You have Pisces rising,
  • Neptune in the first or twelfth house
  • The Sun is in Pisces
  • More than three planets are in Pisces
  • Neptune is your final dispositor

Uranus is important for you if:

  • You have Aquarius rising
  • Uranus in the first or eleventh house
  • The Sun is in Aquarius
  • You have more than three planets in Aquarius
  • Uranus is your final dispositor

Saturn is an important planet for you if.

  • You have a Capricorn or Aquarius ascendant
  • The Sun is in Capricorn or Aquarius
  • You have three or more planets in Capricorn or Aquarius
  • Saturn is your final dispositor
  • Saturn is in your first, tenth or eleventh house.

Jupiter is an important planet for you if:

  • You have Sagittarius or Pisces rising
  • Your Sun is in Sagittarius or Pisces
  • You have three or more planets in Sagittarius or Pisces
  • Jupiter is your final dispositor
  • Jupiter is in the first, ninth or twelfth house

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Astrology Students Pass Exams and Launch their Lives

Photo by Michael Quinn


To all the students who wrote and passed the CAAE exams this spring. Give yourselves a big pat on the back. Well done!

All the students whom I tutored coached and mentored during 2013/14 and who wrote recognized astrology exams earlier in the year have passed with flying colours.

Thank you

A huge thank you to all the students who came through my classes this year and whom I had the pleasure to meet and touch your lives in some way. I wish you well as you continue your journey into astrology.

Astrology is my passion and I hope it can be yours too.

by Alison Price

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Schedule your Meet-and-Greet with Alison.

Want more information about your chart?

Receive a PDF copy of your natal chart suitable for use in astrology exploration or, you can get your personalized one hour reading from me.

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Astrology Student Visits from Hong Kong

Astrology student visits Alison from Hong Kong.

You are living in a perfect time to learn astrology in the comfort of your own home.

You can learn astrology with me via Skype.

People just like you want to know some more about astrology and can now do so with a Skype astrology class with me.

If you are in Asia, Europe and Africa then you are in good company. Many people just want a simple class to get them on track. You can learn a little astrology or you can learn a lot.

And for those who want to take astrology into their career and make a vocation out of it I have classes for you too.

My special visitor

This past week I was fortunate enough to have one of my students visit me from Hong Kong.

We had been together for Skype classes last year and she was making the trip to Victoria, Seattle and Vancouver. She travelled with a friend and enjoyed the glorious summer weather here in Vancouver.

I was lucky enough to meet with her at the Vancouver Art Gallery cafe and enjoy a cup of jasmine tea. It was great to chat with her in person and discuss the many ways that astrology has changed her life.

She plans to continue her studies with me and maybe take in a couple of conference next year.


Your Comfort Zone

CamelI am going to guess that as one of my readers you probably check out your horoscope now and then. You may even consult with a couple of astrologers each year. You may dabble in astrology. You might sometimes think about taking it further to learn a bit more.

The majority of people dabble in astrology.

To take the next step and sign up for a class can seem too much. Because if you begin you may have to go on even if it takes you outside your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone

A comfort zone exists in life when you can function and run your life on auto pilot. Your days are predictable and most activities are a repeat of what has gone before. There is nothing new and certain habits have formed.

Knowing your routine is easy.

Your personal comfort zone may already be stretched by life’s commitments like your work expectations, children demands, partner’s needs, friends activities and even your keep fit regime.

The final straw

If you add one more thing it may become too much and you understand this. It is like the straw that broke the camel’s back. One straw will not break a camel’s back but if there are already ten thousand straws as the poor beast’s burden then the final straw does in fact bring enough pressure to ruin it all.

You don’t want to be in that situation. The way to avoid burnout is to look at the daily activities and responsibilities you currently have and reassess them.

Your sixth house

How you spend your day is indicated by the sixth house in your chart. It is the natural house of the sign of Virgo which is ruled by Mercury. This house shows your daily activities, rituals and habits. It also suggests where you serve others, your general health, wellbeing and work.

Any planets in your sixth house will indicate the type of approach you have to managing your day. The sign on the cusp of the house and it’s ruler will suggest how you utilize these energies. All transits and progressions through your sixth house or aspecting tenants will hint at behavioral changes which can be developed in line with the nature of planets making the contact, transit or progression.

Saturn is the time-keeper of the zodiac

In astrology time is under the dominion of the planet Saturn. He is the time-keeper of the zodiac and the condition of your natal Saturn by sign, house and aspect will indicate how well you can manage your time and if you will bother to make time for what you want to achieve (here we are talking about reading, taking a course etc.).

If you want to make time for new endeavors there are two ways to find more time.

  • Add hours to your day
  • Cut out things

Add hours to your day

If you want to keep all the activities you are currently doing in your day and find more time the best way is to get up half an hour earlier.

Cut out things

You may be frittering away time through little things like watching too much TV. Here the best way is to turn the box on one hour later in the evening and use that precious hour for other fun things like astrology.

The irony here is that when you do find something which you start to be passionate about you will find the time usually in the ways outlined above. If you want to learn new things you make the time and readjust your life to suit.

When the time is right 

When you are ready to learn some astrology you can contact me at alison@starzology.com and we will explore your astrology learning needs.

You will know when the time is right.

I will be here.

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You Can Learn A Little Astrology

Or you can learn a lot

You may simply be interested in astrology, or you may have a few questions and want to know more.

Perhaps you think, “What is it all about?” and even, “Maybe I can do this too.”

Yes, yes, yes!

The good news is yes, you can learn astrology, anyone can. You can learn a little or you can learn a lot. It depends on how far you want to go down the rabbit hole.

People are exploring astrology every day.

You don’t have to learn it all or know everything about the subject to appreciate that astrology can, and will, enrich your life.

Even beginners who read their first astrology book gain valuable knowledge about themselves and those near and dear.

Many people are what I like to call dabblers in astrology. They know their own and those of their immediate family and loved ones Sun signs. For some that is all they want to know.

This could be you.

You may have already had a professional astrological consultation or reading and you are aware of other practitioners in your area whom you are planning to visit soon.

The tipping point

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.


How the Signs Got their Ruling Planets

There are Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

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.

Sign Rulership

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.

Sign rulerships are closely related to essential dignities.

Where it began

Where astrology evolved in the northern hemisphere (southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the middle east) the warmest months of the year are July and August.

They were seen as the best time and the start of Leo (zero degrees Leo) as the pivotal day.

  • They gave the rulership of Leo to the Sun and the ruler of Cancer to the Moon. The Sun and the Moon are the two dominant bodies in the sky.
  • Adjacent to Cancer and Leo are the two signs allocated to Mercury (the next planet from the Sun). Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury.
  • Next up is Venus and she rules Taurus and Libra both adjacent to Mercury’s signs but one sign further out.
  • Mars gets rulership of the two signs of Aries and Scorpio. Mars is the next planet out from the Sun.
  • Next are Jupiter’s two signs of Pisces and Sagittarius both next to Mars’ signs.
  • Saturn has Aquarius and Capricorn both signs farthest from zero Leo and Saturn is the planet at the limit of our visible planets.

Sign Rulership diagram

I hope the above diagram explains from where rulerships originally came. Does it make a difference to your readings? Well, probably not but the richness of the history can be interesting in itself.



Your Gauquelin Sectors

GauquelinOn 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.

People in Astrology Michel Gauquelin (1928 – 1991)

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 how others see you through the urges of the planet
  • Can be a rising planet
  • Prominent 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.

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Comments below brought forward from Linked Group Professional astrologers.

Lin Ewing • Thanks. This was fun and informative.

David Perkins

David Perkins • Nice article, Alison…! Also really liked the in depth biography on Gauquelin, good work…! Just so you know, a library friend in Berlin managed to track down and is sending me one of the last few known remaining books by Krafft, which Gauquelin once said was THE book that go him started going in the statistical application of astrology:

Krafft, K.E. (1939). Traité d’astro-biologie. Paris: Legrand V. Porchet.

I’ll let you know what’s discovered when I read it. Also, if I may add a few things to assist your article, one being that all graphs presented in an article should be explained:

The diagram you are using to illustrate your article is the original plot graph of Gauqelin’s study on elite French athletes, with this one being the representation of all of their Mars positions (the more athletes that have Mars in a certain house position, the further the plot travels from the center). As we can see, and this is statistically verified, there is significantly MORE Mars positions in the 9th and 12th houses, and of interest too, MOST of these Mars positions occurred at 12 degrees before the ascendent AND the mid-heaven!

Now even though his statistics were tested for their VALIDITY and RELIABILITY, and held up, they were still rejected by the Belgian Committee PARA. Sad, sad, sad, we are often rejected when we are ahead of our time, aren’t we?

Also, what the Biography Article in your link to Gauqelin did not describe fully, is that when he finally got the French Committee for the Study of Paranormal Phenomena to replicate his study in 1982, they actually ALTERED the protocols of the study, choosing just over 1,000 athletes at random out of a control group of 10,000 (allowing for non-champions to be in the mix), when in fact the original intend of his study was to analyze the ELITE athletes of France…

What a shame, he should of come here to the states or to India where the astrological societies are a bit more fair.

Again, nice article, looking forward to reading more of your work…


Alison Price

Alison Price • Thanks Lin and David for your comments.

David I would be interested to hear more when you get the Krafft book in your hands. I find the Gauquelin sectors very interesting, but at the same time somewhat elusive.

The link to the bio in my post is actually a third party bio (time) and clearly, David, if you have more information I will link back to you in future. I appreciate your thoughtful response here.

BTW I am always seeking quality Guest Writers at the link herehttps://www.starzology.com/about/write-for-starzology-guest-blogger-guidelines-and-suggestions/ and I invite you both (or any one else in the astrological community) to comment.  Alison

Faye Cossar

Faye Cossar • http://www.astrologicalreviewletters.org/2013/07/michel-gauquelin.html In case you haven’t seen this site – two articles on here.

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Your Most Elevated Planet and How to Find It

by Alison Price

Only One Planet is the Most Elevated Planet

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.

Read more on essential dignity here.

The Nature of the Most Elevated Planet

As the MC is the most elevated point in your chart any planet is measured for most elevation 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 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.

Stephen King

In Stephen King’s chart below it is quite clear that Uranus is his most elevated planet.

Want more information about your chart?

Receive a PDF copy of your natal chart suitable for use in astrology exploration or, you can get your personalized one hour reading from me.


The Elements in the Garden – An Astrology Tale

This is the shortest story about how the four elements of fire, earth, air and water express themselves through astrology.

Each chart will have a predominant element which is the one containing the most planets. If you have a tie then count in the Ascendant and Midheaven.

It all began when Fire was out and about in the garden and, standing in a sunny spot, had an inspiration. “Let’s create a fabulous place and encourage all these birds which visit our garden to rest here,” said Fire.

“I will design and make a shelter for the birds,” said Earth who went off to purchase building materials at the hardware store to make a sturdy home for their winged friends.

“We will call it Chateau Cardinal!” decreed Air. “I will inform everyone that I have named it so,” as he dashed off to spread the word.

Water arrived carrying a bag of birdseed and a water dish. “I will care for these birds. I will provide food, clean water and nurture them,” said Water eyeing-up next-door’s cat.

And so it was, that each element brought their own strengths to the same issue to encourage the birds to live in their garden.

Astrology Bodes Well


by Alison Price

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

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.


How Your Natal Chart Attracts Clients

By Alison Price

Astrology students who think of starting their practice often ask me “Where do clients come from?”

This really is a query any independent business owner will pose. It is the whole point of doing what you do and selling your services, but to whom and where are they?

Where do you find your first client or indeed the second and third?

Maybe you need some advertising

There are several traditional ways to advertise and attract astrology clients such as:

  • An advert in your local newspaper.
  • Placing a promotional piece in new age trade magazines.
  • Putting up flyers in esoteric bookshops.
  • Mentioning your services at your local astrology group.
  • Word of mouth.

By far and away the best form of advertising for an astrologer is word of mouth. This is so for three reasons:

Personal reference is best, personal reference is best and personal reference is best.

Personal reference is best

The person who refers you is a past client and has been to see you already.

  • They have the inside track on exactly what goes on at a reading.
  • They refer you because they like you, what you have to say and your style.
  • They want their friend or family member to like you and your reading as well.
  • Clients who come to you via a personal reference are pre-sold on astrology.

The take home from this is that you have to look after your first client. They are the portal to new business. They can become repeat business easily. This is critical.

You need to treat every client as you do your first client to grow your business.

Your chart attracts your clients

If we accept that you are your chart and the placements and connections in your nativity show who you are and the potentials you have to become in this lifetime, then it follows that you will attract the clients you need.

Say you enter a room with ten people lined up, immediately you are attracted to one or two, you are not attracted to one or two and the remaining six people well they could go either way.

This instinctive attract/repel comes from your chart.

I believe you are attracted to the other person’s natal chart energies and how they integrate or fit in with yours.

They say “You choose pick your friends and not your relatives” and the friends you do select suit you and your chart. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you add a piece each time you make a friend. They have to fit. With you and your chart.

Your clients want to fit with you and indeed they are happy when they do.

You are your chart

As you go through life you project your ascendant outwards followed by the rest of your chart in varying degrees. Naturally others respond to it. Synastry.

There is no point in looking towards other astrologers and trying to emulate their business success (at least not in a detailed way) as their chart is intrinsically different yours.

There are many books on business and that is a subject in itself. Here I am trying to show you how to use your very is talents as show by your unique birth chart which is the astrologers edge. I urge you to try it.


The 7 Deadly Sins of the Planets

Seven is one of those numbers that crops up all over the place

SevenWe have seven days of the week and seven visible planets.

Consider how your chart’s planetary urges align with the fabled seven deadly sins.

Please take a lighthearted view as we consider darker sides to each planet.

Greed = Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of excess and overindulgence. It shows where we go overboard in our lives.

The Jupiter placement in your chart indicates where you take more than you need or simply where you can be greedy.

Lust = Mars

Mars the ruler of Aries and Scorpio is a planet that wants what it sees and it wants it now. Simply seeing an attractive potential mate walking in the street is enough to set of your lust factor.

Your natal Mars will show who you lust after, if in an odd house, and what you lust after if it is in an even house.

Gluttony = the Moon

The Moon rules food and any contacts it has into your chart by aspect will suggest where you can be a glutton.

The conjunctions to the Moon are specially apparent for instance the Moon conjoined Neptune indicates overeating and drinking.

Conjoined Mars over exercising by simply not knowing when to stop.

Pride = the Sun

The Sun with its symbol of the Lion shows where you are proud. Often expressed by its house placement.

The Sun in your second house indicates you are proud of your stuff (collections, cars, bags etc.), in the fifth house you are proud of your kids and in the seventh house proud of your partner. Brag, brag, brag…

Sloth = Neptune

Neptune can clearly, no not clearly, eventually show where you are slothful. This planet lets you lose your things because you forget to care.

It suggests you have on odd socks as you can’t find a matching pair in the chaos of your laundry hamper and this can overflow into the rest of your life.

Envy = Pluto

Pluto can be difficult to see in action in your chart. As the ruler of Scorpio your Pluto position is likely to be concerned, nay consumed, by envy and covetousness.

It is where you want what other people have. Not because you need what they have but because you don’t want them to have it.

What’s that you say? “You don’t do that!”

Oh, ok I understand.

Wrath = Saturn?

Saturn does not immediately seem like the kind of planet associated with wrath.

But if you think about it we become wrathful of those we have authority over.

You can only incur someone’s wrath if you annoy them and they think they have the right to boss you about.

Saturn’s placement may be where wrath comes to you and not where you dish it out.

What about Mercury, Venus and Uranus? Hmmm…

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Uranus Half-Return

by Alison Price 

Planetary returns

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.

Uranus transits

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…

The upside

When forecasting you have to always consider the upside of every transit even tough ones from the outers.


How to Cast a Chart without a Birth Time

by Alison Price

No Birth time

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.

Planetary Stations

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.

Fibonacci Aspects

by Alison Price

Aspects of the Fibonacci Sequence

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.

Fibonacci aspects

  • Conjunction (1)
  • Opposition (2)
  • Trine (3)
  • Quintile (5)
  • Semi-square (8)
  • 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.

So what?

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.


Do You Need Astrological Certification?

by Alison Price

“Most people can fry an egg but they don’t call themselves chefs.”

Astrological Certification

Today I want to look at astrological certification and whether you need it or not.

Certification really means taking lessons and sitting a series of exams at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level of astrology. In this way you meet knowledge criteria.

No, you don’t

The short answer to this question is no, you don’t need certification. Anyone can set up shop and call themselves an astrologer. There are no regulations as there are with realtors or psychologists. To my mind, it is like being an artist. Whether you are doing fine art in oils of making wooden birdhouses it is still considered art.

Many famous astrologers are self-taught. They don’t get certified because they don’t have to. When you have spent twenty or thirty years learning your art you do know what you are doing. There is a point when experience kicks in and overcomes formal training.

Astrology is not widely considered a serious field it is generally used “For entertainment purposes only” and this sentence is recommended by legal consultants when opening an astrology business.

Yes, you do

The long answer is it depends on what you want to do with your astrology. There are two instances when I recommend taking the class and exam route.

  • If astrology is a brand new subject for you (that is if you have been studying for less than twelve months). If you are learning from scratch you have the potential, in formal classes, to learn all the things you need to know without having gaps in your knowledge which frequently occur when you are self-taught.
  • If you want to be considered an authority in the astrology field either by the general public or the astrological community.

In the end, I believe it is a personal choice.

Astrological certification bodies:

Federation of Australian Astrologers (FAA)

Canadian Association for Astrological Education (CAAE), of which I am a teacher. see my classes here.

Great Britain:
Faculty of Astrological Studies London, England.
London School of Astrology (LSA).
MA, Cultural Astronomy and Astrology – the University of Wales at Lampeter

International Society Astrological Research (ISAR)
National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR)
American Federation of Astrologers (AFA)

There are more but theses are the ones that come to mind.

Add 12 Hours and Reverse the Signs

by Alison Price

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…”

Astrology software

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.


Uranus Stations Direct

Uranus Stations Direct in Aries

Once a year Uranus ends its annual retrograde period and begins to travel forward. As it moves off the station it will begin to pick up speed in direct motion and continue to move through the sign or the Ram.

Uranus is the planet of the unusual, the unexpected and where we are geniuses or is that genii?

Uranus rules Aquarius and brings the focus on Inspiration and innovation both of which will improve from now on as this planet’s energies come back on full force.

If you have been wrestling with an invention or radical idea you will find that the path will become clearer now.

Trends in technology and the internet will develop again.


7 Days to a Better Chart Reading

by Alison Price

You can improve your astrological interpretations in one week. Simply follow this seven day plan to get your readings back on track.

By taking these few steps you will be ready to present the best consultation you can muster on Saturday.

That’s six sleeps!

First you will interpret the natal chart and then selected forecast work.

At the end you won’t have considered every single little detail, but you will have looked at the important components of the natal chart and forecast indicators.


Sunday: Book and Print your client’s charts


Book a client for next Saturday. It can be a family member, a friend or new person. But it must be a chart for someone you have not done before. Make it a one hour session.

Choose a consultation time when the transiting ascendant is in the same polarity as your Sun. If your Sun is in the passive polarity make the consultation time when a passive sign rising and the same for active signs.


Having their chart details, print out the natal chart, transits and progressions.

Cast and print the consultation chart (the chart of the time and place where the consultation will happen).

Use a bi-wheel with the natal chart in the centre and secondary progressions on the outside. By hand write in the current positions of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto outside the bi-wheel.

Don’t start the written interpretations yet.

Color in the major natal aspect patterns. T-Squares in red, grand trines in blue, yods in green and Thor’s Hammers in orange.

Highlight the chart ruler and any sign or house emphasis in yellow.

Monday: The Balances and Strengths

Today you start writing your notes.

As you write, list all the short form codes in the margins and explore the full interpretation meanings in the body of the page.

Find the balances in the chart.

  • Active and passive.
  • Elements and mode strength.
  • Strong signs and houses.
  • Major aspect patterns.

Know the strong parts of your client’s chart. These will be things they are aware of already and hearing them makes you look good and seem capable.

Pull out the other chart highlights

Tuesday: The Ascendant and Chart Ruler

Explore the Ascendant complex

  • Look at the sign on the ascendant.
  • Consider the aspects to the ascendant.
  • Note any planets rising or placed in the first house.

Explore the Ascendant ruler complex

That means the planet that rules the sign on the ascendant (use traditional rulers).

  • Look at the chart ruler’s sign.
  • Consider the chart ruler’s house.
  • Note the chart ruler’s aspects.

Write out your keywords and fully understand each and every detail.

If there is an aspect you are not sure of, for instance Mars conjunct the Ascendant, research it thoroughly by reading the aspect in your cook books and on-line. Get to know that particular aspect so you will always be able to interpret it when you see it again.

Wednesday: The Luminaries

Explore the Sun complex

  • Look at the Sun’s sign.
  • Consider the Sun’s house.
  • The aspects to the Sun.

Explore the Moon complex

  • Look at the Moon’s sign.
  • Consider Moon’s house.
  • The aspects to the Moon

Note the Lunar phase. Make sure you know what it means.

Consider the nodal axis by sign and house. Look out for planets squaring the nodal axis.

Thursday: The Forecast for Money and Career


  • Note the Midheaven sign.
  • MC aspects.
  • Planets in the tenth house.

Explore the 10th house ruler

  • The planet that rules the sign on the tenth house cusp.
  • Note it’s sign.
  • It’s house.
  • It’s aspects.


  • Transiting Planets in the 2nd (money).
  • Transiting Planets in the 6th (job).
  • Transiting Planets in the 10th (career).


  • Consider the 2nd house progressed ruler.
  • Look at the 6th house progressed ruler’s condition.
  • Explore the 10th house progressed ruler’s condition.

Friday: The Forecast for Love and Romance

Explore the 5th house (where love begins)

  • Note the 5th house cusp.
  • Explore the 5th house ruler by sign, house and aspects.
  • List any natal 5th house planets.

Explore the 7th house (partners and spouse)

  • Look at the 7th house cusp.
  • Consider the 7th house ruler.
  • Note any natal 7th house planets.


  • Consider any transiting planets in the 5th.
  • Interpret any transiting planets in the 7th.


  • Check the progressed 5th house ruler’s condition.
  • Look at the progressed 7th house ruler’s condition.

Saturday: The Consultation

Prepare yourself to give. A consultation takes something from you as an astrologer. You need to be prepared to give your understanding, advice, energy, time and sympathy to your client.

Make sure the consultation room is cool and well ventilated.

Read 10 things to do before your client arrives.

One hour before, re-read your notes.

Five minutes before, breathe in… breathe out…



Solar Eclipses in Astrology

by Alison Price

Solar Eclipses are Cool

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 The Town 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.

Tropic of Capricorn
Myself and the kids standing on the Tropic of Capricorn.

New Moon

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: SunMoonEarth. 

For a lunar eclipse the sequence is: SunEarthMoon

Solar Eclipse

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.

Eclipse Seasons

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.

Solar 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.

North Node

This eclipse is at the north node which suggests the future. That is, your future can be supported based on intentions begun now.

Happy birthday

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.

Support Local Astrology


by Alison Price

A while back there was a bumper sticker that said “Think Global, Act Local.” It was in reference to pollution and what you can do about it.

The idea being that you have to think about the global implications of pollution but you can only really make changes in your local environment.

Perhaps not the best correlation, but the theory is the same.

As an astrologer or an astrology student you can think of how you would like Astrology to be viewed globally (taken seriously, taught in schools, accepted in mainstream or covered by medicare etc.) but you can really make a difference locally.

There are several international astrological associations dealing with research (NCGR, ISAR) public relations (AFAN), education (CAAE) and news (ANS) from the astrologer’s perspective, but that is a discussion for another day.

Supporting local astrology means: 

  • Getting involved with your neighborhood astrology group or chapter if you have one.
  • Creating a space to form a meeting in areas where there are no recognized astrology groups.
  • Reaching out to other astrology practitioners and making contact.
  • Getting to know those who can support your practice by their different skills and interests.
  • Gifting your time to speak or teach at an astro get-together.
  • Attending local astrology conferences and special events.
  • Serving on the board of groups (if there is one).
  • Supporting the year end celebrations or other milestones.
  • Participating.

All the above may sound like a lot of work or be of out of your comfort zone. You may feel inadequate or so new a beginner as to have nothing to offer. But that is not so.

We all benefit from cross pollination of ideas and techniques. Knowing others in the astrological community takes away the isolation that can plague many budding astrologers.

Finding you are not alone and having someone to talk to about your craft is a comfort.

What to offer to your local astrology group

If you live in a city the chances are there is an established astrology group having meetings, lectures, a newsletter and seemingly organized. So what can you offer them?

Get the their start chart. Every astrology group or organization has a “Birth chart” (or an election chart as it may be known) and they will probably have this chart posted on their website. If not the actual chart then at least the chart details with time, date and place.

Look at the group’s start chart and see where your natal Sun falls in their chart by house. For instance, if your Sun is in the group’s:

  • 1st house – Offer to redesign their logo or give them an image overhaul.
  • 2nd house – Offer to be treasurer and ensure they charge enough.
  • 3rd house – Offer to edit the e-newsletter and build community.
  • 4th house – Offer to be their historian or caterer.
  • 5th house – Offer to organize the annual parties and competitions.
  • 6th house – Offer to serve on the board or be secretary.
  • 7th house – Offer your skills as a public relations co-ordinator.
  • 8th house – Offer to research and unearth new life in both speakers and events.
  • 9th house – Offer to teach a class or expand their visions.
  • 10th house – Offer to help promote the organization and stand for president.
  • 11th house – Offer to co-ordinate with other astro groups nearby and fix the website.
  • 12th house – Offer to curate the library of books and recordings’s etc.

Give it a try.


Astrology Software

by Alison Price

I am often asked to recommend astrology software.

Students want to know which to buy, how much to spend, what is needed and where to get it. Or even if they need to purchase specific astrology programs at all when many sites will cast free charts.

For those who do want to know about buying astrology software here is how I do it.

All Hail Solar Fire

Straight off the bat let me say I use Solar Fire and have since 2002.

I always keep abreast with the software and upgrade as soon as new versions are released. I do this because even though two plus two is still four, or the Sun is in the same place in version 1.0 as it is in V9, other features are available in the later releases.

New discovered planets like Eris, Sedna and co. have their positions. This capability may not appeal to all but it does to me.

I became a Mac believer a few years ago. If you are too then you know what I’m talking about, but I kept the windows computer for Solar Fire.

My PC died earlier this year taking away my Solar Fire. It is essential that I have full astrology calculation capabilities and I had to request the kind help of a former student to print off a couple of client charts in SF which I needed immediately for clients booked in for consultations during that week.

“Oh, but you can do it all by hand!” I hear you cry, “You don’t need a computer.”

Well, yes, I can calculate what I needed by hand but who has the time? Come on. Really?

Anyway, I was at a decision point and I figured I had three choices:

  • Buy a new Mac astrology program.
  • Buy a new Windows based computer to run Solar Fire.
  • Make a Windows partition on my Mac (needed to run Solar Fire).

I chose to buy another Windows computer and in fact, it is the smallest, cheapest nay lightest notebook I could find. I only run Solar Fire on it and it is not connected to the Internet yet. It is purely standalone and dedicated to Solar Fire. Luxury.

Astro Gold

During the interim period (when I had not a PC) I turned to my new favorite software app Astro Gold.

This is a powerful astrology app that runs on iPhone and iPad (and I believe other devices).

It is written by the Solar Fire people and is incredibly powerful. I recently used it at a Holistic Fair in my neighbourhood where I gave mini astro-readings in aid of autistic children.

The image on this page shows Astro Gold at the fair.

The joke in my home is that if the house caught fire and the family and pets escaped, what would I grab next? Well, it would be the iPad with Astro Gold. I can see myself casting the chart whilst sitting under a blanket watching the firemen do their thing.

It’s a personal choice

In the end, buying astrology software is a personal choice. I don’t have experience with other products so I can’t comment but this is how I do it.

Are you a fan of Solar Fire or Astro Gold? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Where to get astrology software:

Astrolabe – distributors of Solar Fire in North America.

Esoteric Technologies – developers of Solar Fire.

The Apple store.

Essential Dignities

Essential dignities refer to a planet in a sign and whether the planet is well placed in that sign or not.

The table below I created from information found in the (Arguably the greatest astrology book of all time) Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy. Any errors are my own.

Initially we are concerned with Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall.



When a planet is in it’s own sign it is in dignity. A planet functions well here as its urges are in line with the sign. A planet here can most easily express itself.

Example: Venus in Libra (Relating & partners)


When a planet is in the sign of its exaltation it functions well and is in line with the sign meaning. A planet in exaltation expresses intensity of energy.

Example: Saturn in Libra (Responsible & balanced).


When a planet is in the sign opposite its dignity it is in its detriment. This is not a good placement for the planet as its urges can be surpressed and thwarted.

Example: Mars in Libra (needs independence vs. needs of others). 


When a planet is in the sign opposite its exaltation it is said to be in its fall. This is a difficult placement, as the planet will struggle to reach its full potential here. A planet here is weak.

Example: Sun in Libra (Individual’s needs vs. partner’s needs).


A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity. This imparts a neutral energy.

Example: Moon in Libra (but not when the Moon is at 0-9 degrees Libra = face)


Note for the purists A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity by rulership, exaltation, term, face, detriment or fall.


The 5 Levels of Astrologer

by Alison Price

Once you start to take an interest in astrology it is just the start of your journey.

Your personal astrological development can take years.

You may remain at one level for decades (when life gets in the way) and then pick it up later on. The process of becoming an astrologer includes particular milestones.

I am not saying aspiring to master astrologer is everyone’s goal but the process of becoming is clear.

Each level is a step up from the one below.

Below I have shared my thoughts on the different criteria for each stage of the astrologer’s evolution. Consider where you are.

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The Five Levels of Astrologer

Hobbyist Astrologer

    • You read your horoscope every week
    • You know your own and your family member’s Sun signs
    • You can discuss astrology at a dinner party
    • You know enough to be dangerous (ha ha)

Student Astrologer(All of the above plus)

    • You have attended an astrology lecture
    • You subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer
    • You have taken at least one astrology lesson
    • You are considering attending a conference
    • You own Astro Gold

Amateur Astrologer – (All of the above plus)

    • You can read the glyphs in a chart
    • You know the signs, planets, houses and aspects
    • You own ten astrology books including a Table of Houses
    • You have at least one planet specific book
    • You have taken a formal astrology education course
    • You can interpret charts for family and friends
    • You can debate houses systems
    • You know at least four forecasting techniques
    • You are invited to speak locally

Professional Astrologer – (All of the above plus)

    • You can construct a chart from scratch (without a computer)
    • You can calculate forecasts from scratch (without a computer)
    • You have an extensive astrology library with duplicate editions
    • You subscribe to all the trade periodicals
    • You are a member of the international astrology associations
    • You accept payments for your work
    • Your income surpasses $12000USD per year from astrology
    • You are invited to speak internationally
    • You have appeared on TV or radio
    • You write a column/blog
    • You own your astrology website
    • You have published an astrology book

Master Astrologer – (All of the above plus)

    • You have been a professional (accepts payments) for at least ten years
    • You are considered a guru in the astrological community
    • You have written more than one book
    • Your income exceeds $60000 USD/year from astrology
    • Your name is known by the general public
    • You are the Keynote speaker
    • You are a recipient of astrology awards acknowledging your contribution
    • You may have forsaken daily consultations for focussed research
    • You are the Astrorati of the day




Where do you fit in?

What will you do next to support your astrology journey?

New Moon and the Part of Fortune

by Alison Price

New Moon

When the Part of Fortune is on the ascendant it means it is New Moon.

Actually it is because it is New Moon the Part of Fortune will be on the ascendant.

A New Moon is potent because it is the seed moment in the Sun / Moon positions and the beginning point of the lunar cycle. All things are possible now as the month unfolds.

Part of Fortune

Normally the Part of Fortune indicates through which realm of activities you will benefit and this is shown by its house position.

If the Part of Fortune is on an angle it becomes prominent and when conjoined the ascendant it has top billing in the chart.

The only other better place for the Part of Fortune to be is conjunct the Sun and Moon and on the ascendant.

Part of Fortune on the ascendant

The Part of Fortune on the ascendant colors your whole chart. Admittedly it is not a planet but a point in space. However when placed on the sensitive ascendant the emphasis for the Part of Fortune increases. It gains prominence.

In the first house the Part of Fortune is well placed to benefit you throughout your life. You come across as simply fortunate and appear to have a good life even a desirable one.

You are likely to have personal looks that are deemed attractive in your era. You will be perceived as a classic beauty for women and considered handsome for men.

You are seen by others to be well off and to be from a good background. Others perceive you as fortunate and bestow grace and favors on you. It can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

All this is interpreted by the backdrop of the sign in which the Part of Fortune is placed. The planet that rules the sign in which the Part of Fortune is placed is known as the dispositor or the Lord of the Part of Fortune and is an important planet to consider for this analysis.

If the ascendant sign and the Part of Fortune sign are the same then that planet gains influence over the fortune being given over this lifetime.

Part of Fortune calculations

The position of the Moon in relation to the Sun determines the placement for the Part of Fortune.

Daytime chart formula is ASC – SU + MO = POF

Nighttime chart formula is ASC + SU – MO = POF

A daytime chart is one where the Sun is in the seventh to the twelfth houses. A nighttime chart finds the Sun is in the first to the sixth houses.



Aspects Applying and Separating

by Alison Price

Information Overload

Astrology is a subject that tends towards the, “I thought I knew what I was doing until I began to learn it” type comments.

Students have mountains of information to process and any method for remembering the little details helps.

Scientists believe the act of learning is improved when you approach a subject from many avenues. Techniques may include; to listen in class, to read a book, to take notes, to make a collage, to put it to music or to watch a movie.

All of these practices create new pathways in your brain which reinforce the original information storage.

Building many roads to Rome lets you recall information better when you try to retrieve or remember something, for example, during a client consultation.

Planetary Speed

A planet’s speed is determined by its distance from the Sun. The closer it is, the quicker it moves. The exception is the Moon which has the most daily movement.

The planets listed by speed are; the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Chiron (depends), Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

  • An applying aspect occurs when a faster planet moves towards a slower planet.
  • An aspect is separating when the swifter planet pulls away from the sluggish planet.
  • An exact aspect has zero orb.

Note any retrograde motion as this will change the status of the aspect.

The Solar Fire Aspectarian

On the Solar Fire aspectarian (the triangle of blocks with the aspects listed in it at the bottom of the chart sheet), there is an “A” or an “S” this tells you if an aspect is applying or separating.

Solid or dotted

Conveniently there is an option to show applying aspects with a solid line and separating aspects with a dotted line in the chart wheel.

In Thick and Thin

Set your program to display thicker aspect lines if the orb is tight and thinner if it is wide. You can select a different color for each type of aspect.

Here is a method to remember the difference between applying and separating aspects which you won’t forget in a hurry. Cast your mind if you will to the fun activity we all love.

Applying aspect keywords

  • A close encounter
  • Initial fumbling
  • Pending main event
  • Coming soon
  • Heat and friction
  • Anticipation
  • Pressure builds
  • Imminent arrival
  • Future expectation

Exact aspect keywords

  • Exquisite
  • Perfection
  • Partile
  • Together
  • Ultimate
  • Fleeting
  • Release

Separating aspect keywords

  • Time for a nap
  • Knowing
  • A memory
  • Glory days
  • History
  • Fading

The difference between applying and separating aspects is clear. Perhaps you can ponder this next time you have a slow Saturday night.