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It works by taking a look at the significant environmental influences operating in a particular place at a given time – as expressed through the horoscope in the symbolic relationships of the heavenly bodies. Astrology, the science of the stars, can give us insight into all manner of situations, from the personal to the political and from the most intimate to the most mundane.
Introduction to Astrology and Relationships Rob Tillett, astrologer and publisher of Astrology on the Web, takes a brief look at Astrology and Relationships. Understanding the astrological interaction of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant is the ideal way to discover and investigate the nature of relationships, and is also a very valuable way to explore the compatibility between two people. This article is part of a series that we have published on Astrology on the Web. The Sun Sign Your Sun Sign is where the Sun was placed in the Zodiac at the time of your birth. Sun signs have become the staple diet of popular astrology, because everyone knows their birthday and the Sun's position can be easily worked out. Here's how: we divide the year into twelve months of around thirty days each and the Sun takes about thirty days to travel through each of the twelve astrological signs. Easy, huh! The astrological info on our website looks at the deep, archetypal symbolism involved with each Sun sign, but each of us is a lot more than just our Sun sign. Everyone's personality is a unique combination of influences from the Sun, the Moon and all the planets of the Solar System at the time and place of our birth. Only a detailed astrological analysis, as offered from our skilled astrologers can give you the full details. However, your Sun sign remains the fundamental core of your character, so visit our Star Guide and you'll get plenty of fun and entertainment, plus useful information about you and your relationships from our free online interpretations of the signs and their relationships. The Ascendant Your Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the sign of the Zodiac which was rising over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. This changes approximately every two hours. Even twins born as little as five minutes apart could have different ascendants, which would make a real difference in their horoscopes and therefore their personalities. Your Ascendant represents your self-image and, to a considerable extent, how others see you. If you find, for instance, that the gentle, caring man you've met doesn't seem to fit the personality profile of the typical Aries... well, perhaps it's because he has a Pisces Ascendant. Or, if you find that only about half of what you read on this website applies to your submissive Leo lady, perhaps accommodating Libra crossed the horizon at the time of her birth.
The Moon Sign Your Moon Sign is the sign of the Zodiac occupied by the Moon when you were born. The Moon sign indicates your personality, reflecting the emotional development you underwent in your formative years. It can be thought of as an imprint or legacy from your early home environment and especially from the way your mother related to you when you were a child. As an adult, you experience the Moon sign as a bundle of deep-seated emotional needs that must be fulfilled. Under pressure, you may exhibit the emotional needs and characteristics of that sign more than the characteristics of your Sun sign. So if you are puzzled as to why that otherwise self-effacing Virgo you're dating sometimes lashes you with a stinging tongue, it could be because she has Moon in Scorpio. Or if you can't understand why your otherwise home-loving Cancerian man is always planning a jaunt overseas, perhaps his Moon is in Sagittarius. Finding out your would-be lover's Ascendant and Moon signs will give you much greater understanding of how to handle them than you could obtain by researching their Sun sign alone. To find your lover's Ascendant and Moon signs, you need to know the time of day and place of his or her birth. Then check out our Star Shop and birth chart services, for a deeper analysis of the way you relate together by the stars. Ultimately, there is no substitute for having a complete horoscope cast by a professional astrologer. If you are contemplating a serious relationship with someone, spare no effort to find out the exact location, date and time of their birth and rush the details to us for a complete explanation, interpretation and prognosis of your relationship. This could save you months of fruitless pursuit and years of frustration--not to mention helping you avoid the agony of a broken heart, countless hours of psychotherapy and the decimation of your bank account. Born on the Cusp... Which Sign Should I Read? Should the object of your desire happen to have been born on a day when the Sun changes signs, it's possible they were not born under the sign they have been mistakenly reading for years in the magazines. On March 20, for example, the Sun generally moves out of Pisces and into Aries. If the object of your desire was born on this day, send us the time of birth and we will make the calculation and tell you definitively into which sign their Sun falls. You can order an accurate horoscope from this website, with a compatibility reading for the two of you. Hardly any people are actually born at the very moment the Sun moves from one sign to the next. Unless you are one of these rare people born right "on the cusp", you will be pretty much one sign or the other, although a person born just before the Sun changes sign will share characteristics of both signs. Remember, the Sun sign reveals the true
nature of a person, the essence of his or her character. Getting it right once and for all could turn out to be a major factor in the progress of your love life.
Is Astrology Scientific?
The simple answer is yes—and no. Astrology, like medicine, is an art based on a science. The natural world is not as chaotic as it seems on the surface. Science has always sought to discover the underlying order that governs the appearance and behaviour of phenomena, from sub-atomic particles to the movement of galaxies. Science also seeks an understanding of human behaviour through biology, psychology and economics, for example. Scientists set out to find "natural laws" that govern phenomena, then look for ways that the knowledge of these interacting laws (repeatable patterns of phenomena) can be applied for our benefit. Observations, Measurement, Calculations Scientific observations, measurements and calculations are used in astrology to generate the framework for meaningful, symbolic patterns. These patterns, scientifically categorised, reveal much about the way our world is constructed; they enable us to analyse, explain and predict social, political, emotional and other important characteristics of life on earth. A vast database of analytical techniques and interpretative commentary has been accumulated over the centuries, through the dedicated observations and practical applications of astrological practitioners. Modern astrologers have also made impressive contributions, researching and categorising the effects of the more recently discovered planets such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the influence of mid-points, asteroids, galactic centre and so on. It's an ongoing process. The Art of Astrology The art of astrology lies at one level in the construction of accurate profiles of personality and relationship, through the skilled interpretation of symbolic patterns, and in mapping the general tendencies that present themselves over the course of our lives. Astrologers use scientific facts in the mapping of human consciousness and as keys to the understanding of experience. This is an interpretative process, which does not depend on accepting particular theories about how planets can affect us, or on whether they are a sort of synchronous clock ticking along with psychological and social factors on earth, or on some other causal process. The strength of astrology comes from the accumulated knowledge of centuries of research and observation, developed within a deeply intuitive understanding of the essential nature of the world, consciousness and the environment. Combined with accurate mathematical and scientific data, today's astrologers can use this established knowledge in the generation of valuable psychological, economic, or predictive profiles. All Things are Connected Astrology, however, is grounded in a profoundly holistic view. Astrologers believe that all things in our universe are intimately and deeply connected. The world, as we see and experience it, is a great deal more like a being than a thing. The world and its inhabitants are linked, like a body and its cells: the wellbeing of the one depends equally and mutually upon the wellbeing of the other. The spiritual side of astrology connects us consciously to the intentions of this world-being and how they apply to our lives as we live them. The art of astrology lies, at the most profound levels, in the meaningful interpretation of powerful symbols. Through making sense of a range of apparently chaotic and unrelated events, astrology in the right hands shows how these events relate directly to us and generate the daily experiences of our lives.
How does Astrology differ from Astronomy?
Astronomy is the science of mapping the positions and movements of celestial bodies. It tries to discover what these bodies are made of, and where they came from, using sophisticated technical equipment. This scientific endeavour grew out of three traditional studies that had concerned themselves with practical uses for our observations of the stars — astrology, navigation and calendrics. Practical science seeks consistent explanations for events in the world and sorts any data gained in the process into a body of theoretical knowledge. The idea is that this knowledge may be used to explain and predict other events with some degree of reliability. Science is very much a way of looking at the world that defines what is true and what is false according to the current set of theories (or organised belief systems) popular with the scientific community at the time. Science is pragmatic. It does not believe in absolute truth. Modern science is grounded in a skeptical, materialistic way of looking at the world. Its success has grown from the reduction of natural processes to their most basic relations and in constructing "natural laws". These laws, used for technological development, for prediction and for making sense of the apparent chaos, are supposedly based on observation, but are fundamentally the consequence of a particular worldview and its dominant theories. Facts, or Meanings? Science as taught today is a relatively recent phenomenon, based on a set of ideas which has been effective in explaining the material world up to a point. It has rid us of many pre-scientific superstitions and misconceptions based on false information. But have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Our scientific paradigm (set of theories) has generally been unable to perceive meanings in the effects of simple natural relationships, including the effects of our relationship with cosmic influences, such as the planets, the Sun and the Moon. Yet it has not always been so. Thousands of years of detailed observation of the stars and careful correlation with events on the earth have shown all things in our world to be interconnected and that the connections may be mapped by observing the positions of the planets within the frame of the zodiac. Luminous with Meaning The zodiac ("circle of animals") is a symbolic pattern mapped onto the starry belt of the heavens, as seen from the earth. The essential character of astrology is one of formalising a deep intuitive understanding of nature and of human consciousness in terms of these symbolic expressions. The symbols used in astrology express and mediate the deepest and most subtle manifestations of the world in a language that is luminous with meaning and yet capable of practical application in terms of the events, emotions and relationships that model our lives, our aspirations, our societies and our environment. Astrology is a scientific way of looking at the world, but it is one which is not favoured by the broad mass of scientists at present, because it explains the world using a different paradigm from those which are routinely accepted within the orthodox scientific community. This may change, as scientific theories develop and as extravagant reactions to past excesses begin to gain a perspective. Astrology, the mother of all science, may soon return to her rightful place in the universities!
How does Astrology work?
Our bodies react to the world in ways which are still barely understood. We constantly interact with our environment on many levels, from the sub-atomic to the metaphysical. These physical, mental, emotional, even spiritual, levels of interaction vary in depth and intensity according to our character and training. Our world is really much more like a marvellous mind than a mere machine. Our bodies are like sensitive broadcasting and receiving stations. We respond to a broad spectrum of radiant frequencies, not all of which have yet been catalogued by science. Bear in mind it was not so long ago that the idea of radio, movies, x-rays and televison signals would have been consigned to ridicule at best — or, more ominously, to the stake with the witches. Some astrologers believe that planetary energies themselves generate events in our lives — and given recent advances in quantum mechanics, they may be right. Others believe, following Jung, the great psychologist, that planetary positions are synchronistically connected with our lives — meaning that environmental influences generating reactions in human beings may be tracked in the positions of the planets, although the two may not be causally related. Perhaps both are correct; in any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The detailed functionality of the mechanism is not a question of meaning, but of technical analysis. Organically Connected with the Cosmos
This writer believes we are organically connected with the cosmos: whatever happens to any part of the world affects us to some extent as individuals, even in ways which may be quite invisible to the casual observer. Moreover, history shows us that we react en masse much more noticeably to environmental factors which may be more or less insignificant at the individual level. As human beings and spiritual entities, it is more important to understand our place in the world than to worry too much about such technicalities. At the deepest level, all major events in our lives are governed by our karma, the product of what we have been in the (sometimes distant) past. Karmas are given to us in order to create the conditions necessary for us to awaken from the "sleep of ages" and to achive self-realisation. Since the universe reflects the energies of the cosmic mind, so too do our lives. Astrology is a timed map to the expression of these energies. Freewill and Destiny It should be said that astrology is not generally a way of foretelling inevitable fate. Paracelsus, one of the world's greatest astrologers, remarked, quoting the ancients: "The stars incline; they do not compel" (Astra inclinant non necessistant). He meant that while planetary influences create the groundwork and basis for action in any set of circumstances, there is still the element of free will in us all. We have become masters of our own destiny to the degree to which we are no longer subject to the mechanical influences of the conditioned world. We can use the techniques and insights of astrology to make sense of our connection with each other, with the universe at large, and with our own inner selves. Astrologers, like all good scientists, must use their knowledge in combination with a developed intuition. A personal horoscope (birth-chart) does not so much reveal a clear fate as a set of probabilities, often operating on many levels simultaneously. There is much discussion among astrologers as to just how much free will we really do have, but that is a moot point. The astrologer must clarify these probabilities and place them in perspective. My view is that the stars have a deep influence on us, but since the world is more like a being than a thing, we too can influence them. For more on this concept of the Nexus of Probability, please click here. In astrology, as in medicine, the science is intimately bound up with the art.
Astrology: the Sacred Art
Astrology: the Sacred Art
right action acknowledging the sacred in each moment
Astrology is a sacred art – and it is a sacred science. In this challenging article, Neil Giles argues that its disciplined study reveals the right path by revealing the turnings of the wheel of life. To act as the Heavens reveal is to take right action, acknowledging the sacred in each moment. Now, read on... The priest, the soldier and the prostitute are thought to be the members of the three oldest professions in the world. However popular this myth may be, it is incorrect. There is a fourth 'oldest' profession, one that may in fact be older than the ancient institutions of church, army and brothel. This fourth profession is that of the astrologer. Believe it or not, believe in it or not, astrology has been around since the beginning of the 'civilized' world and probably originated long before human beings began to live together in cities (the meaning of the word 'civilization'). Astrology has served, in one way or another, the other three antiquarians of church, army and brothel. The astrologer has been a priest in some cultures. Great soldiers in history have consulted the astrologer. Great generals of the ilk of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar sought the guidance of the stars. As far as prostitution is concerned, the astrologer has no doubt consorted with prostitutes for one reason or another and has also prostituted the venerable art of this elder science by filling Sunday Papers and Women's magazines with entertaining daily forecasts. In fact, there is a traditional astrological discipline for daily forecasting,
though this is by nature general in that it must cover the activities of one twelfth of the population for each forecast. However, it is also important to note that not all astrologers practise it well. Also, it should be noted that actual astrologers do not always write the forecasts in magazines and newspapers, so what is written is thus not astrology, no matter what the papers call it. You have to read the label before you know the worth of the goods. Astrology in History It's important to remember that despite modern-day skepticism, astrology has a long and venerable history. The greatest thinkers and philosophers of Greece and Rome were astrologers. In the Elizabethan and Stuart eras in British history, every trained physician was an astrologer. The greatest herbalist in the history of medicine, Nicholas Culpeper, was a gifted astrologer. Galileo Galilei was astronomer and astrologer. Sir Isaac Newton was both astrologer and alchemist while busily at work inventing calculus and discovering the laws of gravity. Napier, inventor of logarithms, was an astrologer. Even in the body of the Catholic Church which has both decried and condemned the art of astrology in more recent times, two great theologians, Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas saw the practice of astrology as consistent with a belief in God. Nonetheless, the Church still condemns the ancient art and many modern Christians believe it to be the devil's work. Science has taken a hand in the proceedings as well. The 'age of reason' relegated astrology to the realms of superstition and even now many scientists take obsessive and irrational delight in pouring scorn upon its practice in order to disprove it. Regardless of these assaults, astrology is resurgent in the current era. For anyone who reads, watches TV or surfs the net, there are readings, predictions and services of all kinds. Every island of information in the seemingly endless stream of 'dot.coms' across the worldwide web has the daily blast for each sign of the Zodiac. Despite the fact that many people claim not to believe in it, astrology is more than ever a subject widely written upon and widely read. Where Did It Begin?
The first people to tabulate the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets against the backdrop of the Heavens were astrologers. From this parent science grew the child we know as astronomy. Whether they like it or not, modern astronomers owe the origins of their craft to astrologers. The Sumerian people of five thousand years ago were the first practitioners of astrology known to accredited history, though it is clear many of the ancient peoples were keen and skilled heavenly observers – even if nowadays we don't understand how they made their observations, or how they used them. The intent and function of the ancient practice of astrology has always been to divine a relationship between humankind and the natural world. The ancient peoples first used the science of astrology to make forecasts – predictions about the future – but soon developed the sacred art into a tool that could be used to understand the individual nature with its tendencies and abilities, weaknesses and strengths. They did this by making a map of the human psyche based on the map of the Heavens. They also used astrology for decision-making and guidance, working with the understanding that there are natural cycles and patterns to the operations of the universe that can be read by reading the relationships between its various moving and living bodies. Just as there are beneficial times to plant, to sow, to harvest, to clear land, so there are beneficial times to plan, to review, to begin a new project and to marry. This does not mean that these events cannot take place without these auspices. Quite the contrary! We can do as we like, but there will be a cost. The farmer who plants out of season will harvest a poor crop. Astrology does not control our lives, but the heavenly movements symbolized in astrology help to shape us as they shape our circumstances. They do this in accord with the pattern of unfolding movements in the cosmos of which we are a part. Now, more than ever, we bear witness to the cost of trying to bend the seasons and the Earth herself to our will. How high must those costs become before we begin to seriously analyze our relationship with the time it takes to do something and the expectations created by the technology of the modern era? The Modern Revolution
We live in a world that was to be revolutionized by the introduction of chemical insecticides and fertilizers. Yet, while we have barely begun to come to terms with the damage inflicted on the Earth and the human constitution by the myopia of such thinking, we surge ahead like hyperactive children forever racing to the shop for more sugar-coated treats. Now, we're toying with cloned animals and human beings, and a diet of genetically-engineered food. Isn't it time forward planning came to mean a time period of something more than the duration of a television commercial break? And how safe is the high-speed technology of creation, destruction and dissemination in the hands of a culture that has had artificial light for little more than a century and has still arguably not come to terms with its impact on the human and animal community? How much are the current stresses on both individuals and societies in the modern era a function of the fact that artificial light has simply given us so much more time to fill. As a consequence, we race from one diversion to the next, sublimely ignorant of the possibility that darkness may have given more release to the human psyche than we realized. These are not in themselves criticisms of technology so much as they are part of a critique of a style human behaviour evident in the modern world, one that tends to forgo serious analysis of long term impact for the sake of immediate gratification, profit or apparent release from boredom. The Chemical Trade Once upon a time we searched for evidence that a new food or medicine did no harm before it was introduced. Now corporations demand absolute proof of the harm such things do (usually by people dying) before they will consider taking them off the market. It is now considered mandatory to take a drug to deal with pain rather than simply treat the condition that causes the pain, based on the belief that in the modern world we simply do not have time to stop for nurture and healing. We have pills and potions that can suppress the symptoms of almost any condition known to man, woman or beast, yet we still cannot allow ourselves the three things most important for the healing journey... rest, inner work and attention to the spirit. Are we going to keep buying the lie that suppressing symptoms is more important than treating the cause because it takes less time? Are we going to end by having our children believe that taking painkillers and having warm milk on packaged breakfast cereal are genuine life choices? 'Get over it', 'Put it behind you' and 'Soldier on' are catch phrases that scream from every advertising campaign, be it mainstream or 'new age'. However, it's instructive to remember that the phrase 'Soldier on' is one that sends troops to the front line to be shot, coined by a commander-in-chief who never set foot in the trenches. Why does everything always have to go faster? Why do we always have to put the bar higher? Why must profits always increase? How much of 'more', 'better' and 'higher' will ever be enough? If we keep seeking the unreachable pinnacle of the supreme achievement, will we ever know the sublime embrace of being in harmony with the web of life? Is a simple existence lived in tune with the cycles of nature somehow worth less than the life of a multibillionaire or an athlete who can run a hundred metres in less than nine seconds? Enough questions! When will we take time to consider the answers?
In Harmony with Time Astrology is a tool through which we can learn to live and work in harmony with both the environment and with time itself. It is a tool by which cycles of time can be perceived in a way essentially different from knowing the date because we read the newspaper, or because it's only two hundred and three more shopping days till Christmas. Astrology is both an intuitive art and a sacred science that can illuminate something of our nature and purpose as beings. Astrology will not make decisions for us. We are the ones who must think and act. But astrology can inform our choices and guide our hands by showing us what is possible and when it is possible. The essential point to remember is that astrology is a sacred art. Thus it can give us a sense of taking right action in a situation, moving in accordance with the patterns of a greater power or presence. The Wheel Turns If the Heavens reveal that Neptune, the mystic planet, squares the Moon in your birth chart, you may gain greatly through attention to spiritual and creative matters. But, there will be frustrations or delay, especially with emotional and domestic matters. You will need to take things slowly, being cautious with major decisions, perhaps reflecting on the past and discerning lessons from the patterns there. You may be confused, tired or experience ill-health. Above all, you will not be able to forge ahead regardless of the consequences. No amount of positive thinking will alter this advice yet, if you follow it, you can gain in understanding. You can treat it positively but you cannot alter its influence. The challenge of Neptune is like moving through a fog. If you run, you'll fall or lose your way. But, if you feel the path ahead, opening yourself to sense or perceive things in a different way, you'll discover new parameters in your world and a new kind of journey. But, in doing so, you may have to give up goals or beliefs that were previously important to you as part of the journey of change. So too, if Saturn moves into opposition with Venus in your birth chart, you'll need to re-evaluate where you are with money and relationships. You will encounter obstacles. You will be restrained from having what you want and may experience a separation or perhaps disaffection in primary relationships. You will have to take the views or actions of others into account. You will have to deal with the consequences of the past and past action. It doesn't matter how high you set your sights or how much you push yourself, you will still have to deal with such issues, negotiating in a careful and patient manner until the path ahead is clear. These two are examples of challenging aspects. There are of course positive aspects that free us to enjoy, aspire and strike while the iron is hot. If Jupiter conjoins Venus or the Sun, you will forge ahead with joyful opportunity. If Uranus harmonizes with Mercury, your mind will be charged with excitement and new ideas. The point is that our best course is to act in accordance with the influences, not pretend they don't exist. Thus, astrology in the end is a paradigm that requires belief in order to gain its greatest rewards.
A basic acquaintance with astrology can prove to any open-minded person that it works, even if we don't quite understand why. A deeper acquaintance will teach us that we are entering a paradigm of faith, not in astrology as such, but in a connection with the Source of all-embracing consciousness from which we come and to which we all must inevitably return. On this journey, sometimes there will be suffering and sometimes joy. To believe that the unabated happiness of having what we want is the right of all is a childish notion. However, to know the joys of embracing each turning of the wheel, regardless of what it brings, is the way to the enlightenment of the mind and the illumination of the spirit. The Sacred Science Astrology is a sacred science. Its disciplined study reveals the right path by revealing the turnings of the wheel of life. To act as the Heavens reveal is to take right action, acknowledging the sacred in each moment. Some come to the art of astrology knowing these truths. Others come, fearful that somehow their lives will be taken over. However, if we put aside such fears, then astrology is one means, one of many, by which the greater truths are revealed. If we live in accord with their behest, we can experience a liberation of spirit through the knowledge that we fulfill our part in the patterns of the sacred dance. One of astrology's greatest lessons is that some of the best things are worth waiting for. The best peaches come from a tree in the height of summer. No amount of impatience will change that. Another of astrology's greatest lessons is to teach us that the gravest consequences of any human endeavour will only make themselves clear in time. How long is a unit of time in this regard? We may not know now, but the future will certainly tell us. With the sacred art of astrology, we can read such a future before it occurs and make another choice.
The Zodiac ("Circle of Animals") is the name given to the band of the ecliptic encircling the earth. It is like a belt in space, about 15 degrees wide, across which the planets move and form their geometrical relationships. The Zodiac forms the stellar backdrop for the apparent path of the Sun, called the plane of the ecliptic. Astrologers divide the circle of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each subdivided into 30 degrees, making 360 degrees in all. The twelve divisions are called the Signs of the Zodiac. These signs are related (but not exactly identical) to the constellations (star groups) of the same name.
The Signs of the Zodiac
• • • • • •
Aries, the Ram
(march/april) (april/may) (may/june)
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins Cancer, the Crab Leo, the Lion
• • • • • •
Libra, the Scales
(sept./oct.) (oct./nov.) (nov./dec.) (dec./jan.) (jan./feb.)
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Centaur Capricorn, the Sea-Goat
Aquarius, the Water-Bearer
Virgo, the Virgin
Pisces, the Fishes
Click here to View Planetary Glyphs (symbols) In the earliest days of civilisation, when people first began to pay attention to the lights in the sky, they soon noticed that most of these lights seemed to hold their relative positions in a quite steadfast way. These they called the "fixed stars". Others, including the sun and the moon, seemed to follow a livelier, more random pattern. These they called "planets", or wanderers. In astrology, the planets, sun, moon and other movable points (such as the moon's nodes) are still all described as "planets", the wanderers of the zodiac. Each planet symbolises particular sides of your character; for example, Mars stands for action and passion, Jupiter stands for fortune and higher thought and so on. Planets are located symbolically in the chart: the signs and houses filter their energies through the planets, much as a coloured lens filters the image thrown by a stage-light, or received by a camera. Planets and Aspects Geometrical relationships between planets are called aspects. These relationships affect and modify the energies of the planets concerned. Some aspects have been shown to generate problematic events in our lives, while others seem to smooth the path with relation to the areas governed by the planets, signs and houses concerned. Should a planet have difficult aspects, or be in an unsympathetic position in the zodiac, it is said to be afflicted. Its negative characteristics may be exhibited on occasions through unfortunate personality traits, or through difficult circumstances arising in your life. Should it have favourable aspects, however, its effects will be more beneficial. Difficult aspects, especially to the "malefic" (dangerous) planets, are often quite problematic and can even be catastrophic in their effects. They are, naturally enough, more conducive to personal development, for they tend to generate complex results requiring considerable interpretation and self-analysis, while favourable aspects more often produce simple effects which are easy to understand. In any case, the chart must be viewed as a whole, for positive and negative characteristics may cancel each other out, or appear in mitigated forms, according to circumstances depending upon other factors. Aspects usually described as difficult ("hard aspects") are
• • • • • •
opposition (180° apart on the chart circle) square (90°) semi-square (45°) sesqui-quadrate (135°) quincunx, or inconjunct (150°) and contra-parallel (opposition of declension, or latitude).
Favourable aspects are
• • • •
trine (120°) sextile (60°) semi-sextile (30°) and parallel (conjunction in latitude).
Conjunction (0°) may be favourable, difficult, or both, depending to a great degree upon the nature of the planets involved. Other aspects, based on the can be important in certain circumstances, as can the midpoints between planets, along with a number of other sensitive positions on the charts, but they are beyond the scope of the present discussion.
These are the shorthand glyphs (or symbols) representing the planets. Note that the planetary dignities for the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are accepted by many modern astrologers, but there is no traditional basis for their assignment. Traditional astrologers deny that the outer planets have any rulership, exaltation etc, as this destroys the symmetry of the table of dignities. [Click here to see Glyphs of the Signs.] Each glyph symbolises one or more particular functions of the planet represented.
Click to view a Table of Planetary Values, showing a calculus for the dignities and debilities of the planets in chart interpretation. For definition of terms, see our comprehensive Astrological Glossary.
Saturn Rules: Capricorn & Aquarius Exalted: Libra Detriment: Cancer Fall: Aries Exalted Degree: 21 Libra
Mercury Rules: Gemini & Virgo Exalted: Virgo Detriment: Sagittarius & Pisces Fall: Pisces Exalted Degree: 15 Virgo
Jupiter Rules: Sagittarius & Pisces Exalted: Cancer Detriment: Gemini & Virgo Fall: Capricorn Exalted Degree: 15 Cancer
Moon Rules: Cancer Exalted: Taurus Detriment: Capricorn Fall: Scorpio Exalted Degree: 3 Taurus
Mars Rules: Aries & Scorpio Exalted: Capricorn Detriment: Libra & Taurus Fall: Cancer Exalted Degree: 28 Capricorn
Uranus Rules: Aquarius with Saturn Exalted: No traditional Exaltation Detriment: No traditional detriment Fall: No traditional Fall Exalted Degree: No traditional degree
Sun Rules: Leo Exalted: Aries Detriment: Aquarius Fall: Libra Exalted Degree: 19 Aries
Neptune Rules: Pisces with Jupiter Exalted: No traditional Exaltation Detriment: No traditional detriment Fall: No traditional Fall Exalted Degree: No traditional degree
the planets and aspects
Each planet symbolises certain sides of your character; for example, Mars stands for action and passion, Jupiter stands for fortune and higher thought and so on. Planets are located symbolically in the chart: the signs and houses filter their energies through the planets, much as a coloured lens filters the image thrown by a stage-light, or received by a camera. Planets which are particularly expressive of certain signs are said to rule these signs; a planet whose energies are most powerfully channelled through a certain sign is said to be exalted in that sign. Planets can have a positive (day) or a negative (night) rulership, but only one exaltation. The symbolism is so carefully designed that a planet placed in the opposite sign to its exaltation is found to be weak in the expression of its natural powers and is said to be in fall; planets in the opposite signs to their rulership are also weakly placed and are said to be in detriment. For more on planetary values, click here. The planet which is most strongly placed in your birth-chart is called your Ruling Planet. This is usually the ruler of the ascendant, but could be the ruler of the sign in which the Sun (sun-ruler) or Moon (moon-ruler) is placed, depending on its strength by sign, aspect and elevation. Other powerfully placed planets must also be taken into consideration, for example Mars in Capricorn conjunct the Mid-Heaven, strongly aspected, would be a candidate for rulership, especially should the other rulers mentioned be weak. Geometrical relationships between planets are called aspects; these affect the energies of the planets concerned. Should a planet have difficult aspects, or be in an unsympathetic position in the zodiac, it is said to be afflicted; its negative characteristics may be exhibited on occasions in your character. Should it have favourable aspects, its effects may be more beneficial. Difficult aspects, being more conducive to personal development, often generate complex results that require considerable interpretation and selfanalysis, whereas favourable aspects more often produce simple effects which are easy to understand. In any case, the chart must be viewed as a whole, for the positive and negative characteristics may cancel out, or appear in mitigated forms, according to circumstances depending upon other factors. Aspects designated as difficult are opposition (180°) square (90°) semi-square (45°) sesqui-quadrate (135°) quincunx or inconjunct (150°) contra-parallel (opposition by declination) Favourable aspects are trine (120°) sextile (60°) semi-sextile (30°) parallel (conjunction by declination) whereas conjunction (0°) may be favourable, difficult, or both, depending to a great degree upon the nature of the planets involved. There are several other minor aspects, but these are not generally used by astrologers in the analysis of nativities, or birthcharts. People often worry because they have been told that there are "negative" planets or "adverse" aspects in their charts. In reality, there are no negative planets or adverse aspects, for all things come to us for our ultimate benefit, generated by the karmic system, which is a purifiying and energising process that builds our soul and develops our growth in consciousness. This interlocking system brings our consciousness and our bodies together with events and relationships that when rightly interpreted, bring love, wisdom and understanding.