A horoscope wheel showing the 12 astrological signs, their ruling planet and their corresponding astrological house.
The planets, luminaries and major asteroids with their corresponding symbols
"Astrology is a language. If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you." - Dane Rudhyar
We are probably all familiar with our Sun sign, which is the sign in the newspaper horoscope section and the sign we commonly refer to ourselves as. For example, if you were born June 9th, you would tell people Gemini is your sign. However, this statement is only partially correct. Every single person is a combination of many different signs in the zodiac. In addition to your Sun sign, the Moon and the eight planets were in a zodiac sign when you were born. Every planet governs a different area of your life and the sign that it was in will color your nature in that area. A description of all planets is in the section below under 'Planets and Luminaries.' Mercury governs your thought processes and communication style. If you have Mercury in Gemini, your thought processes will be logical, quick and influenced more by facts than intuition and your communication style will be talkative, light and abstract. If you feel you are somewhat atypical of your Sun sign, the fact that we all have the moon and eight other planets influencing us explains why. You may be a Sun sign Leo but have your Mercury, Mars and Saturn in Virgo, in that case the characteristics of Virgo would be prominent in you. In contrast if you are a Sun sign Leo and also have Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in Leo, your nature is more strongly marked by the characteristics of Leo. An important point to keep in mind when analyzing people is that the Sun is the life force of our universe and by far the brightest object in the solar system. Likewise, the Sun in astrology represents life essence, who we are at the core and is always the most important sign. Regardless of how many planets a person has in signs other than their Sun sign and how atypical they may seem, deep down the Sun sign characteristics are always there.
Taurusrepresents stability, security, stubbornness, tradition, love of material possessions and sense pleasures, sensuality, resistance to change, dependability, being conservative, practicality, affection, possessiveness, and passion.
Geminirepresents dual nature, intellect, curiosity, flexibility, changeability, versatility, diverse interests, restlessness, communication, quick wit, fast learning, logic, detachment, mental activeness and love of knowledge.
Cancerrepresents attachment to home and family, security, emotional expressiveness, nurturing, shyness, sentimentality, tradition, love of the past, sensitiveness, hospitality, peace loving, hoarding, subjectivity, excellent memory, and moodiness.
Virgorepresents service, helpfulness, and attention to detail, hard work, logical thinking, objectivity, humbleness, perfectionism, critical view, health consciousness, objective analysis, methodicalness, practicality, conscientiousness, productivity and intellect.
Librarepresents harmony, diplomacy, tact, sociability, indecision, fairness, peace loving, sophistication, need for partnership, charm, procrastination, gentleness, and excellent aesthetic sense.
Scorpio represents power, determination, investigation, mystery, depth, research activity, passion, possessiveness, resourcefulness, intensity, strategic thinking, penetrating, extremes, strength, love of truth, skepticism, being suspicious and survival instincts.
Sagittarius represents humour, truth, bluntness, joviality, enthusiasm, optimism, philosophies, outdoor activity, sports, independence, adventure, foreign travel, exploration, friendliness, idealism, freedom, love of knowledge and learning, and persuasiveness.
Capricorn represents order, hierarchy, authority, discipline, perseverance, ambition, good business sense, status oriented, conservative, realistic thinking, practicality, reserved, tradition, steadiness and efficiency.
Aquariusrepresents originality, uniqueness, eccentricity, revolution, friendship, group affiliations, humanitarian efforts, independence, detachment, rebelliousness, stubbornness, visionary, unconventionality and freedom.
Piscesrepresents compassion, understanding, intuition, sensitiveness, dreaminess, subjectivity, gentleness, sympathy, impressionable, indirect, helpful, open mindedness, imaginative, other-worldliness and creativity.
The 12 signs are divided into 4 groups based on their element: water, air, earth and fire. These signs share similar characteristics and ways of approaching the world. These signs are in a trine aspect (see section below on aspects) therefore they get along best with each other. If your planet makes a trine with another's person's planet you will have an easy time relating to them in those planets' domains. Fire signs have good compatibility with air signs and water signs have good compatibility with earth signs. The worst compatibility is fire--water and earth--air, these elements have a fundamentally different view of life.
Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. These signs are passionate, optimistic, inspirational, intense, honest, vibrant, enthusiastic, assertive, action-oriented, confident, and energetic. They make excellent leaders and are excellent at motivating people. Their tendency to act without thinking about their actions first and their proclivity towards having an explosive temper can get them into trouble.
Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. These signs are abstract, freedom loving, friendly, curious, imaginative, intellectual, detached, talkative, logical and objective. They are excellent communicators and thrive on exchange of ideas. They can appear cold because they don't like to get bogged down in heavy feelings, they would rather talk about feelings than experience them.
Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. These signs are practical, businesslike, stable, productive, dependable, sensible, hardworking, pragmatic, conservative and like material pleasures. They are excellent at following through on ideas with concrete action. Their negative tendencies are that they can become very materialistic, lack imagination and not take enough risks because they are afraid of change.
Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. These signs are sensitive, emotionally intense, intuitive, impressionable, subjective, sentimental, artistic and express themselves best nonverbally. They have very accurate hunches and can easily and accurately feel other people. Other people can be overwhelmed by their intensity of emotions and frustrated by their lack of logical reasoning.
The 12 astrological signs are divided into 3 groups based on quality. These quality groups are cardinal, fixed and mutable. Signs in the same group form a square aspect (see section below on aspects) which means that they can frustrate each other and have to exert considerable effort to get along. The exception to this rule is that you will generally get along with members of the opposite sex in the opposite sign to yours. For example, if you are a Leo woman, you would probably get along well with Aquarius men.
Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These signs are action oriented, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial. They like to initiate and lead projects. They can get bossy and not consider other people's opinions.
Fixed signs are Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. These signs are stubborn, persistent, resistant to change, determined and willful. They persist and exert all their energy until they accomplish their goal, one at a time. They are very slow to change their opinions and beliefs even if presented with compelling facts and evidence to the contrary.
Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. These signs are adaptable, changeable, restless, easily influenced by new ideas and versatile. They can make the best of any situation because they quickly change their thinking to accommodate new circumstances. They can take on too many projects at once and not spend sufficient time in mastering any one project.
Each sign of the zodiac (30 degrees for each sign) is further broken down into 3 decanates that contain 10 degrees each. These decanates of each sign are of the same element (fire, water, air and earth). The decanates can be applied to any planet in your chart so that you will have the main sign as the primary influence and the decanate sign as a secondary influence in that planet's domain. For example, if your Sun sign is Libra and you were born when the Sun was at 14°, your decanate would be Aquarius. This means you will have some of the same characteristics as Sun sign Aquarians in addition to your Sun sign Libra qualities. If you were born when a planet was at 0°-9°59'' degrees, which corresponds approximately to the first 10 days of a sign, you are a double dose of that sign, thus its characteristics are extra strong in you with regard to the planet's domain. For example, if you have Venus in Gemini in any decanate, generally you will prefer to have multiple lovers, you enjoy light hearted flirting and you prefer to avoid serious long term relationships because you value your freedom. If you were born with Venus 0°-9°59'' Gemini, those proclivities fit you very well. However if you have Venus in Gemini 10°-19° 59'' , the decanate is Libra so these proclivities are modified somewhat. Instead of having multiple lovers all the time, you may only have them some of the time, you may desire to spend more time with your partner, and you may desire a long term monogamous relationship more than people born in the other two decanates of Venus in Gemini.
The cusps of the signs vary somewhat each year and if you were born on a cusp, it would be wise to check an ephemeris or ask an astrologer to find out which sign you actually are. You can not be a mixture of two adjacent signs, you are either one or the other.
Generally the first 10 days correspond to 0°-9° 59'' degrees of a sign, the second 10 days to 10°-19° 59'' degrees of a sign and the third 10 days to 20°-29° 59'' degrees of a sign.
Aries: First 10 days of Aries- decanate is Aries Second 10 days of Aries- decanate is Leo Third 10 days of Aries- decanate is Sagittarius
Taurus: First 10 days of Taurus- decanate is Taurus Second 10 days of Taurus -decanate is Virgo Third 10 days of Taurus- decanate is Capricorn
Gemini: First 10 days of Gemini- decanate is Gemini Second 10 days of Gemini- decanate is Libra Third 10 days of Gemini- decanate is Aquarius
Cancer: First 10 days of Cancer- decanate is Cancer Second 10 days of Cancer- decanate is Scorpio Third 10 days of Cancer- decanate is Pisces
Leo: First 10 days of Leo- decanate is Leo Second 10 days of Leo- decanate is Sagittarius Third 10 days of Leo- decanate is Aries
Virgo: First 10 days of Virgo- decanate is Virgo Second 10 days of Virgo- decanate is Capricorn Third 10 days of Virgo- decanate is Taurus
Libra: First 10 days of Libra- decanate is Libra Second 10 days of Libra- decanate is Aquarius Third 10 days of Libra- decanate is Gemini
Scorpio: First 10 days of Scorpio- decanate is Scorpio Second 10 days of Scorpio- decanate is Pisces Third 10 days of Scorpio- decanate is Cancer
Sagittarius: First 10 days of Sagittarius- decanate is Sagittarius Second 10 days of Sagittarius- decanate is Aries Third 10 days of Sagittarius- decanate is Leo
Capricorn: First 10 days of Capricorn- decanate is Capricorn Second 10 days of Capricorn- decanate is Taurus Third 10 days of Capricorn- decanate is Virgo
Aquarius: First 10 days of Aquarius- decanate is Aquarius Second 10 days of Aquarius- decanate is Gemini Third 10 days of Aquarius- decanate is Libra
Pisces: First 10 days of Pisces- decanate is Pisces Second 10 days of Pisces -decanate is Cancer Third 10 days of Pisces- decanate is Scorpio
The chart signature is one sign's characteristics that repeats itself most often in your natal chart as determined by quality and element. It is a sign whose characteristics describe you very well, even if it you do not have any planets or luminaries in that sign. To calculate it, you must first obtain a list of all the planets and luminaries in signs at your time of birth (your natal chart). Beside each planet in a sign, you must list both that sign's quality and element. Then you add up the totals for both each element and each quality.
Each sign and their corresponding quality and element:
Aries= cardinal, fire Taurus= fixed, earth Gemini = mutable, air Cancer = cardinal, water Leo = fixed, fire Virgo = mutable, earth Libra = cardinal, air Scorpio = fixed, water Sagittarius = mutable, fire Capricorn = cardinal, earth Aquarius= fixed, air Pisces = mutable, water
An example of planets and luminaries with their corresponding quality and element in a fictional person's natal chart:
Sun in Gemini= mutable, air Moon in Sagittarius= mutable, fire Mercury in Cancer= cardinal, water Venus in Taurus= fixed, earth Mars in Leo = fixed, fire Jupiter in Aries = cardinal, fire Saturn in Sagittarius = mutable, fire Uranus in Capricorn= cardinal, earth Neptune in Libra = cardinal, air Pluto in Scorpio = fixed, water
Cardinal = 4 times Mutable = 3 times Fixed = 3 times Air = 2 times Fire = 4 times Water= 2 times Earth= 2 times
From this example, we observe that cardinal fire comes up most often. Aries is the sign that corresponds to this combination, therefore this chart signature is Aries. There is only one planet in Aries in this fictional natal chart. If you did not calculate this person's chart signature, you would not be able to tell that Aries characteristics had as much influence over this person as it truly does.
If you have a tie between elements and/or qualities, you would use the ascendant sign (see astrological 1st house) to break it. If you still do not break the tie, there is no chart signature.
Planets and Luminaries
Most planets commonly have one or two signs that they rule, one or two signs they are in detriment in, one sign they are exalted in and one sign they have a fall in. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the three planets that were last to be discovered, only have one planet they rule. Rulership conveys that the qualities of the sign and planet fall in natural harmony with each other and are quite similar to each other. The qualities of a planet are most naturally placed in the signs they rule so they have an easy time expressing themselves well. The Sun rules Leo, Sun sign Leo people usually love the spotlight, are dramatic and are good self-promoters. Exaltation conveys that the qualities of a planet find the highest expression in their exalted sign, their energies express themselves to their best potential. Venus is exalted in Pisces, here the love nature is idealistic, compassionate and unconditional. A planet's detriment is the sign opposite to their rulership. Detriment conveys that the planet has a hard time expressing itself in this sign, the expression is weak and the negative manifestations can easily occur if the person does not consciously work on improving them. The Moon is in detriment in Capricorn, here the emotional nature can be reserved, businesslike and apathetic. A planet is said to be in fall when it is in the sign opposite to its exaltation. A planet in fall feels uncomfortable expressing itself so its expression becomes weak and muddled. Mars is in fall in Cancer, here there is a tendency for passive aggressiveness and sulking privately rather than expressing anger or irritation in a direct, straightforward manner.
The Sun represents creativity, individuality, life force, essence, ego, will, pride and basic nature. The Sun is always center stage and is the most important luminary in your chart. The Sun rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is in detriment in Aquarius and in fall in Libra.
The Moon represents feelings, instinctual responses, habits, adaptability, comfort, security, protection, emotions, hunches, intuition and imagination. The Moon is the other important luminary in your chart and generally has more influence on you than the eight planets. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. The Moon is in detriment in Capricorn and fall in Scorpio.
Mercury represents thoughts, logic, idea exchange, reasoning, rationality, communications, writing, broadcasting, expression, curiosity, objective analysis, intellect and sense of humour. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and is also exalted in Virgo. Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius and Pisces and in fall in Pisces.
Venus represents love and romance, beauty, music, art, sensuality, material comforts, sense pleasures, money, and entertainment. Venus is the lesser benefic in astrology. Venus rules Taurus and Libra and is exalted in Pisces. Venus is in detriment in Scorpio and Aries and in fall in Virgo.
Mars represents ambition, action, drive, energy, desire, assertion, and aggression, expressions of anger, sexual attraction, impulsiveness, and enthusiasm. Mars is the lesser malefic in astrology because its energy on the negative side can cause accidents (including travel), burns, cuts, violence, antisocial and criminal behaviour (either being a perpetrator or being a victim). Mars rules Aries and Scorpio and is exalted in Capricorn. Mars is in detriment in Libra and Taurus and is in fall in Cancer.
Jupiter represents luck, optimism, goodwill, philosophies, religion, higher beliefs, higher education, law, morals and ethics, excess, expansion, and generosity. Jupiter is the greater benefic in astrology. Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter is in detriment in Gemini and Virgo and in fall in Capricorn.
Saturnrepresents restrictions, hard work, discipline, perseverance, laying firm groundwork, obstacles, responsibilities, authority figures and challenges. Saturn is the greater malefic in astrology because its energy on the negative side can cause excess restrictions, poverty, intense deprivation, paralyzing doubt and fear, major depression, long-lasting trials, and mental and/or physical illness. Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius and is exalted in Libra. Saturn is in detriment in Cancer and Leo and is in fall in Aries.
Plutorepresents transformation, death and rebirth, power, healing, occult, resourcefulness, stamina, domination, control, manipulation, subconscious mind, obsessions, determination and passion. Pluto rules Scorpio.
An astrological chart is split into 12 houses, each house governs a different area of life. Planets placed in the house or aspecting the cusp, the zodiac sign on the cusp and ruler of the house will have an impact on the matters governed by the house. The four angles of the chart: ascendant, IC, descendant and MC also have an increased importance in psychological and predictive astrology.
In psychological astrology, the house represents the setting or domain of life. In making an astrological sentence for interpretation, the planet is the ‘who’, the zodiac sign is the adjective describing the planet, the 'how' and the house is the 'where'. For example if you have Aries in Jupiter in your ninth house, one interpretation is Bold (Aries) philosophies (Jupiter) regarding foreign travel (ninth house). If you have the Sun in Gemini in the eleventh house, one interpretation is Talkative (Gemini) individual (Sun) with friends (eleventh house). Due to the numerous significations of each planet, sign and house there are many combinations that are used to make astrological sentences. In predictive astrology, when transiting planets make aspects to the cusp of a house, the ruler of the house or planets in a house, the matters of the house come into focus. The more planets you have natally in a house, the more significant are the matters of the house in your life. If you have four or more planets in a house, this is a stellium and indicates special talents, a creative intelligence and a strong interest in the house's matters. When you receive an outer planet transit to a stellium, dramatic and very important events inevitably occur. If you don't have any planets in a house natally, it does not mean the matters of the house are unimportant, it means that not as much attention will normally be placed on them until transits activate them.
An accidental dignity occurs when a planet is physically located in the house that has an affinity with the zodiac sign it rules. This strengthens the planets positive expression and power in a person's life, allowing the higher potential of the planet to more easily manifest in that area of life.
The first house governs our physical body. Our general health and vitality are shown by the nature of aspects to the ascendant (the cusp of the first house), if they are easy we will likely enjoy good health. If they are challenging, we are more susceptible to diseases. The ascendant sign and specific planets that aspect the ascendant or are physically placed in the first house will influence our public persona, the first impressions we make on people. The sign on the ascendant, planets that aspect it and the planets in the first house also influence physical appearance and demeanour, our general public attitude. These angular planets also have an important influence on our nature and when they are transited will have a more marked effect than other planets. The first house has an affinity with Aries, therefore if Mars is placed in the first house it is in accidental dignity.
The second house governs personal resources, value and belief system and self-esteem. The second house gives us clues as to how we will earn our money. The second house has an affinity with Taurus, therefore if Venus is placed in the second house it is in accidental dignity.
The third house governs communications, logic, short trips, broadcasting, letters, siblings, relatives, science, math, languages, our immediate environment and elementary and high school. The third house has an affinity with Gemini, therefore if Mercury is placed in the third house it is in accidental dignity.
The fourth house governs home, real estate, family, childhood, genealogy, domestic affairs, nurturing, security, memories, psychological roots, subconscious mind and parents. The fourth house cusp (IC) is the lowest point on the natal chart, likewise it is the most private part of us. Planets that conjunct this point have a markedly strong effect on our psyche and subconscious mind and often show dominating themes in your original family. When planets in your fourth house are activated by transit they will have a more marked influence than other planets. The fourth house has an affinity with Cancer, therefore if the Moon is placed in the fourth house it is in accidental dignity.
The fifth house governs creativity, romance, pleasure, games, recreation and leisure, children, fun, speculation and gambling, self-expression, drama, theatre and hobbies. The fifth house has an affinity with Leo, therefore if the Sun is placed in the fifth house it is in accidental dignity.
The sixth house governs health, illness, attention to detail, mundane affairs, routines, jobs (as opposed to career in the 10th), work ethic, service, realistic thinking, reasoning, organization and responsibilities. The sixth house has an affinity with Virgo, therefore if Mercury is placed in the sixth house it is in accidental dignity.
The seventh house governs marriage, partnerships, and one on one relationships, open enemies and lawsuits. The cusp of the seventh house is the descendant. The sign on the descendant, ruler of the descendant, aspects of planets to the descendant and the planets physically placed in the 7th house reveal the types of partners, especially romantic partners that we are attracted to. The type of aspects (easy or hard), the descendant and descendant ruler receive as well as the planets in the 7th and the aspects those planets receive determine the extent of happiness or lack of it in personal relationships, especially romantic ones. As the planets in the 7th house are angular, when they are transited they will have a more marked influence than usual. The seventh house has an affinity with Libra, therefore if Venus is placed in the seventh house it is in accidental dignity.
The eighth house governs esotericism, transformation, shared resources, taxes, sex, death, rebirth, secrets, wills and legacies. The eighth house has an affinity with Scorpio, therefore if Mars or Pluto is placed in the eighth house it is in accidental dignity.
The ninth house governs religion, philosophy, higher belief system, long distance travel, foreign lands, higher education and general luck and good fortune. The ninth house has an affinity with Sagittarius, therefore if Jupiter is placed in the ninth house it is in accidental dignity.
The tenth house governs career, public reputation, status, achievement, ambition, fame and notoriety. The tenth house cusp (MC) is the highest point on the natal chart. It is also an angular point and planets conjunct or aspecting it influence the career we choose and/or our public reputation. The characteristics of these planets are very visible to other people, especially in a professional sense. The planets in the tenth house give clues as to what is important to us in our career and careers that are best suited to us. As the planets in this house are angular, they have a more marked influence when being transited. The tenth house has an affinity with Capricorn, therefore if Saturn is placed in the tenth house it is in accidental dignity.
The eleventh house governs wishes, hopes, dreams, desires, friendship, groups, clubs, humanitarian efforts, innovation, inventions, eccentricity, revolutionary thought and movement and discovery. The eleventh house has an affinity with Aquarius, therefore if Saturn or Uranus is placed in the eleventh house it is in accidental dignity.
The twelfth house governs spirituality, karma, isolation, hidden enemies, grief, loss, anxiety, collective unconscious and self-undoing. The twelfth house has an affinity with Pisces, therefore if Neptune or Jupiter is placed in the twelfth house it is in accidental dignity.
There are 360 degrees in the zodiac and 30 degrees in each sign. There are different dynamics between each sign depending on how far they are apart from each other, their distance determines how easily they will understand each other and share similar outlooks/ traits or lack thereof. An aspect is said to be exact when their distance from each other is some number of full signs apart (e.g. 120 degrees is 4 full signs). Otherwise an aspect is either applying (moving towards being exact) or separating (it already was exact in the past and is moving away from being exact). We use orbs to tell us how strong an aspect is, the tighter the orb, the stronger the aspect and the more visible its effects in a person's life. In general, larger orbs are permitted when a planet is aspecting the sun and moon and in working with the hard aspects. The easy aspects do not possess as much energy and therefore smaller orbs are used for them. The following are brief descriptions of the 5 most important (Ptolemaic) aspects. The term planet in this context also includes the luminaries.
Trine: This is a 120 degree or approximately 4 signs apart aspect. An orb of 7 degrees between planets and 9 degrees for sun and moon is permitted. The trine is considered easy in that there are natural gifts and talents between the two planets involved. The planets are well integrated in a person's psyche and do not require much effort to use in a positive manner. In predictive work, a trine brings harmonious conditions and lucky breaks but some effort must be made by a person to reap the full benefits.
Conjunction: This aspect occurs when two planets are in the same sign and no greater than 8 degrees apart between planets or 10 degrees for the sun and moon. The conjunction can be either easy or hard depending on the planets involved. As an exception to the rule for easy aspects, conjunctions have a lot of energy and that is why a larger orb is permitted. The conjunction is the blending of two planets energies into one combined energy. If the planets characteristics work well together the conjunction can be harmonious and beneficial. However, if the planets clash the conjunction is hard and detrimental. In predictive work, conjunctions can produce either positive or challenging circumstances depending on the planets involved.
Sextile: This is a 60 degree or approximately 2 signs apart aspect. An orb of 7 degrees between planets and 9 degrees for sun and moon is permitted. It is considered easy because there are natural gifts and talents between the two planets involved. They are well integrated in a person's psyche but they do require more effort than a trine to make use of in a positive manner. In predictive work, similar to trines, sextiles bring harmonious conditions and lucky breaks but a greater degree of effort must be made by a person to reap the full benefits.
Opposition: This is a 180 degree or approximately 6 signs apart aspect. An orb of 8 degrees between planets or 10 degrees for the sun and moon is permitted. It is considered hard because the characteristics of the signs are on opposite polarities. There is an inherent dualness to it and the planets involved will have a more challenging time integrating their energies effectively psychologically. In predictive work the opposition can signify a problem, confrontation or challenge, this will usually arise from an external person or situation rather than being caused by the person themself.
Square: This is a 90 degree or approximately 3 signs apart aspect. An orb of 8 degrees between planets or 10 degrees for the sun and moon is permitted. It is considered hard because the characteristics of the signs clash, they have a harder time understanding each other. This aspect produces tension, stress and drive between the two planets involved to integrate their energies effectively psychologically. In predictive work a square between planets can signify a problem, major frustration or sometimes even crisis. In contrast to the opposition, the obstacles created by a square will have their origins in the person themself rather than arising from any external source.
Unaspected Planets: A planet is said to be unaspected if it does not make any of the five aforementioned major aspects. An unaspected planet becomes very important in a person's psyche and they can go to extremes in the domain of the planet psychologically. For example, if you have Venus unaspected, you might go through periods of being reclusive versus periods of being very social, extravagant versus spartan and being very interested in romance versus not caring at all about partnership. The house where the planet is located also plays a role. If your unaspected Venus is in the 10th, there are times when you devote your whole life to advancing in your career or enhancing your public image and other times when you totally ignore these matters. Predictively, the planet behaves very vigorously and becomes dominant when it is being transited or is active in progressions/ returns, it is as if it is overcompensating for not having any natal aspects.
Minor Hard Aspects: The inconjunct (more commonly referred to as quincunx), semisquare, sesquiquadrate and semisextile are all minor hard aspects. An orb of 3 degrees between planets and luminaries is usually used. Psychologically, this means it is more difficult to integrate the two planet's qualities in a person's psyche. However, their effects are not as visible to other people and the person who has this aspect will not feel it as sharply as they would with a square, opposition or conjunction. In prediction, these aspects will signify challenging circumstances and trends but to a lesser degree than a square, opposition or conjunction. Moreover, if you do not have a natal aspect between the two planets involved, a transiting minor hard aspect does not have the power to indicate major problems.
Quintiles (72 degrees) and Biquintiles (144 degrees) are minor easy aspects. An orb of 2 degrees between planets or luminaries is permitted. Technically, these aspects are called minor in astrology but personally I have observed them having considerably more power than the other minor aspects. These aspects between planets or luminaries signify creativity, imagination and the potential to make a truly novel contribution in those planets' or luminaries' domains. These aspects have great artistic talents with any planet or luminary involved but are especially gifted when either Venus, Neptune or both of them are included in the quintile or biquintile. This is because Venus and Neptune are the planets most associated with the arts (visual or dramatic) and music (composing, singing, playing an instrument, dancing).
Modification of Aspects
Every single person will have many major and minor natal aspects. All of these aspects signify unique personality traits, proclivities, strengths and weaknesses. Thus, some aspects will weaken or strengthen other aspects or placements (planets/luminaries in different signs and houses) based on their similarity or difference to them. This means that a person will not necessarily have all the characteristics of any one aspect or placement, the chart must be analyzed holistically to make accurate assessments. For example let us consider the character trait of generosity. People who have Jupiter in any tight aspect to the Sun usually are quite generous. We will compare the natal aspects of two fictional people who have Jupiter conjunct the Sun within a 3 degree orb. Natally, Anna has her Moon in Capricorn, Venus square Saturn within a 2 degree orb and Jupiter conjunct Sun within a 3 degree orb. Natally, Brian has his Moon in Sagittarius, Jupiter sextile Venus within a 1 degree orb and Jupiter conjunct Sun within a 3 degree orb. Venus influences our attitude towards spending money on ourselves, other people and on entertainment/leisure. Aspects to Venus from other planets and the type of aspect (hard or easy) will impact our behaviour in this area. In addition, Jupiter, Sagittarius, Saturn and Capricorn relate to a person's generosity or lack thereof. Capricorn and its ruling planet Saturn represent frugality, conserving money, and thrift on the positive side and stinginess and miserly hoarding on the negative side. Sagittarius and its ruling planet Jupiter represent freehanded giving and munificence on the positive side and wastefulness and extravagance on the negative side. An astrologer seeing these aspects of both people can reasonably conclude that all else being equal, Brian is significantly more generous than Anna (although Anna would still be somewhat generous due to her Jupiter-Sun conjunction).
Special Degrees in a Chart
The cardinal, mutable and fixed signs each have critical degrees where if a planet or luminary is conjunct that degree in their sign, it will assume added power of expression in a beneficial way. There is no orb allowed in critical degrees, the planet must be exactly on that degree to have the strengthening effect.
Mutable signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces and Virgo): 4 and 17 degrees Cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn): 13 and 26 degrees Fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius): 9 and 21 degrees
Barbra Streisand has Venus at 17 degrees Pisces, she has the benefit of having Venus both at a critical degree and exalted so it is able to express itself to the very highest capacity. Venus represents entertainment and music. Barbra is a singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. The Piscean influence lends itself very well to composing, drama and filmmaking because of its imagination, sensitivity and creativity. She is one of the best-selling music artists of all time and has won at least one of every major award (Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy, Emmy, Peabody, Tony etc.)
Frank Sinatra has Mercury at 17 degrees Sagittarius, although Mercury is considered to be in its detriment (weak position) in Sagittarius, it is strengthened by being in a critical degree. Mercury represents the way we communicate our thoughts and feelings. In a 1963 interview with Playboy, Sinatra was asked how he would define his unique ability to communicate the mood of a song to an audience. He responded “I think it’s because I get an audience involved, personally involved in a song—because I’m involved myself. It’s not something I do deliberately: I can’t help myself….. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest. If you want to get an audience with you, there’s only one way. You have to reach out to them with total honesty and humility. This isn’t a grandstand play on my part; I’ve discovered—and you can see it in other entertainers—when they don’t reach out to the audience, nothing happens. You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad—if you’re indifferent, endsville. That goes for any kind of human contact: a politician on television, an actor in the movies, or a guy and a gal. That’s as true in life as it is in art”.
Hans Christian Andersen had Mercury at 13 degrees Aries. In addition to representing communication style, Mercury is representative of literature. Hans was a world famous author, especially remembered for his darkly colorful children’s fairy tales, which have been translated into over 125 languages. He has become a cultural icon, influencing films, plays television, monuments, music, theme parks, awards in his name and other literature. There is even the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in California that preserves his work for future generations.
Let us use Oprah Winfrey’s chart as an example because she has 5 planets in critical degrees. She has Venus conjunct the Sun at critical degree 8 Aquarius in the second house of personal values, belief systems and earned income. The Sun conjunct Venus is an aspect of material blessing, personal charm, magnetism and excellent aesthetic sense, these people know to how to enjoy the finer things in life and they tend to attract money easily. Oprah has the Moon at critical degree 4 Sagittarius in the 11th house of dreams, wishes, humanitarian efforts and charitable causes. The moon here shows that she has a deep seated emotional need to help underprivileged people fulfill their dreams. The Aquarian and 11th house influence gives her the prominent humanitarian streak, she believes and values very highly the importance of giving money to those less fortunate. Since 1997, The Oprah Winfrey Angel Network has helped millions of people fulfill their cherished dreams and desires. The network has given millions to college scholarships, built homes for people without one, built schools in third world countries, distributed children’s books in various parts of the world and participated in many other generous projects (3). She has won several humanitarian awards including but not limited to: The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, 2007, The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award/Honorary Academy Award, 2011 and the United Nations Association of the United States of America--Global Humanitarian Action Award in 2004 (1).
In terms of her career success, her tenth house contains Saturn at critical degree 9 Scorpio. Saturn is further strengthened as it is in accidental dignity because it rules Capricorn and the tenth is Capricorn’s house. When Saturn is in the tenth it gives the person the endurance and determination to work very long and hard to reach their ambition, they don’t expect anything handed to them. Saturn being in Scorpio also adds tenacity and willpower. Fitting for this placement, Oprah is quoted as saying "Nothing about my life is lucky. Nothing. A lot of grace, a lot of blessings, a lot of divine order, but I don't believe in luck. For me, luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. There is no luck without you being prepared to handle that moment of opportunity. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come." Neptune is at critical degree 26 Libra in the tenth house, this is a very artistic and sophisticated placement which gives her the charm, sophistication, social skills and charisma that makes people greatly admire her in the entertainment industry. Neptune also causes her compassion and desire to fight for the underdog be very visible to the public in her career.
Antiscia and Contrascia Degrees
The Antiscia degrees are shadow points of your natal planet degrees based on their equal distance from the 0 Capricorn---0 Cancer axis. They are important in predictive work because they often show up in solar/lunar returns to highlight the secret affairs of the planet, events that you do not see coming. If the Antiscia point of a planet becomes active by another progressed planet conjuncting or opposing it, there will be hidden affairs between the two planets involved. If you have natal planets that are the Antiscia of each other, they operate like a weaker version of the conjunction but they tend to be repressed until a transit provokes them. The Antiscia pairs are: Aries--Virgo Taurus---Leo Gemini---Cancer Libra-----Pisces Scorpio---Aquarius Sagittarius---Capricorn
To calculate Antiscia, you must start at either 0 degrees Cancer or 0 degrees Capricorn depending on which your natal planet is closest to and subtract the planet's number from 30 (number of degrees in a sign). For example, if you have Mars at 14 degrees Leo, then you would use the 0 Cancer point. Leo's Antiscia pair is Taurus. You now subtract 14 from 30, 30- 14= 16 so the Antiscia point of 14 Leo is 16 Taurus. If you have Jupiter at 7 degrees Scorpio, then you would use the 0 Capricorn point. Scorpio's Antiscia pair is Aquarius. You now subtract 7 from 30, 30- 7= 23 so the Antiscia point of 7 Scorpio is 23 Aquarius.
The Contrascia is the opposite of the Antiscia and is based on equal distance from the 0 Aries---0 Libra axis. The Contrascia is very similar to the Antiscia in that it highlights the secret affairs of a planet and hidden affairs when it shows up in solar/lunar returns, and/or is activated by transit or progression. However, the Contrascia operates like a weaker version of the opposition rather than the conjunction and it also tends to be repressed until provoked by transiting planets. Once you have calculated the Antiscia, there is no need to calculate the Contrascia. The Contrascia is simply the opposite degree to the Antiscia. For example if the natal planet is at 14 degrees Leo, its Antiscia is 16 Taurus and its Contrascia is 16 Scorpio.
Midpoints are sensitive degrees that are mathematically at the precise halfway point between two planets. They represent the blending of the two energies and have importance psychologically when a natal planet makes a major aspect to them and predictively when they are activated by transits or progressions. For example, a woman with her Venus/Pluto midpoint conjunct her ascendant will be very creative, artistic and charismatic, she can easily be a leading authority in her field. Physically, she is likely to be beautiful and sensual with a very intriguing mix of passion and reserve. She will have a proclivity towards having deep, transformative romantic relationships that will be characterized by obsessions, compulsions and extreme emotions both in intensity and range. Further, anytime an outer planet makes a tight aspect to this point, she could experience this type of affair when she is single. If she is married, her marriage will be characterized by a depth, intensity of emotion/ experience and a cycle of death and rebirth that most other couples will never experience, peak experiences are also shown by outer planet transits to her Ascendant. Midpoints are also important in synastry and composite charts in assessing relationship compatibility. For example, without a tight major aspect to the Sun-Moon midpoint from the other person's planets, the potential for a successful long lasting union is considerably lessened.
The midpoint of an astrological house is a point of extra energy for the matters of the house, when an outer planet transits it there is likely to be a significant event in that domain. To calculate midpoints for planets, you first need to find out how many degrees separates them. Let us calculate the midpoint for a person with the Sun at 17 degrees Scorpio and the Moon at 12 degrees Pisces. There is an exact trine from 17 Scorpio to 17 Pisces (120 degrees), however since the Moon is at 12 Pisces, we will subtract 5, 120-5=115. Now, we must divide 115 in half, 115 / 2= 57.5. We need to add 57.5 degrees to 17 Scorpio. From 17 Scorpio to 17 Capricorn there is an exact sextile (60 degrees) but we will subtract 2.5 from 17 Capricorn because we need to add 57.5 degrees, not 60. Thus, the midpoint for this Sun-Moon combination is 14.5 degrees Capricorn. This calculation remains the same for midpoints of the astrological houses but instead of using planet degrees you would use the house cusps. For example, if you want to calculate the midpoint for the 10th house, you would use the MC (10th house cusp) degree and the 11th house cusp degree.
Out of Bounds Planets
A planet is termed out of bounds when it moves to 23°27 or beyond in either the Northern or Southern declination. In this context, the Sun and Moon are referred to as planets. Out of bounds planets occur most frequently in the personal planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) because they go to higher declinations. A planet goes out of bounds most frequently in Gemini and Cancer in the North hemisphere and Sagittarius and Capricorn in the South hemisphere. When a planet is out of bounds it operates outside the normal confines and is very innovative, avant garde and daring with regards to the planet's domain. If you have the Moon out of bounds you are likely to have an intense need for freedom, unconventional interests and habits, and a profound need to live life on your own terms. The further the planet is away from 23°27, the more original or eccentric it becomes.
Having a planet out of bounds can be either good or bad depending on the person's level of consciousness. On the good side it can indicate the ability to have genius, groundbreaking ideas or talents that are truly unique and further advance humanity's collective level of consciousness. On the bad side it can indicate the craziness, bizarre thinking and insanity that drives a person towards mental illness, sociopathic/ psychopathic behaviour and criminal acts. For example, if a person has Venus out of bounds, on the positive side it can indicate an original immense talent for singing, playing an instrument, fashion design, art, aesthetic sense, and entertaining. On the negative side it can indicate the ability to use charm and persuasion for antisocial reasons, using very unethical or illegal means to acquire money and material possessions or sexually motivated crimes for example. The greater number of out of bounds planets a person has and the extent to which each planet is out of bounds (distance beyond 23°27), the more out of the box their thinking and the further they are ahead of their time.
Important Points in Your Natal Chart
Chiron is considered a minor planet and comet in astrology and is usually found between Saturn and Uranus. It represents wounding, fears developed in childhood, feelings of rejection, insecurity and inadequacy but when the lessons of Chiron are learned there is opportunity for inner healing, wisdom gained through pain, and eventually helping others who faced the same type of struggles. If Chiron is highlighted in your natal chart, you have tremendous potential ability for healing other people but only after you have conquered your own inner demons. When your natal Chiron is transited by Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto, there will be a lot of pain but if you handle the energy positively, there is remarkable potential for inner healing and spiritual growth. Often healers have important contacts to Chiron. For example, Deepak Chopra is a world renowned medical doctor, healer and prolific, best- selling author. His work centers around the mind body connection, achieving optimal health and developing yourself spiritually. He has helped people heal emotionally through his wise, insightful words and also physically through innovative alternative healing methods. Chopra has his Chiron conjunct the eighth house cusp exact (recall that cusps are a point of extra strength of a house), which is the house of transformation and healing, thus Chiron is able to give excellent results in the 8th house. It is helped significantly with the stellium of Sun, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars in the 8th as well, bestowing extraordinarily strong potential to heal and transform both oneself and others. Chiron makes a 1 degree conjunction to his Sun, a 1 degree semisextile to his moon and an exact sesquiquadrate to his North Node showing his personality and life purpose centers around healing and leading others on their journey towards personal and spiritual growth.
The North Node
The North Node by sign and house reveal what we are trying to learn in this lifetime. It is future oriented in that in past lives we have overdeveloped the South Node strengths and now in this life we are trying to develop the opposite North Node Strengths. The qualities of your North Node don't come naturally to you, you must consciously work to develop them. For example if your North Node is Aries you must work on being assertive and more risk taking. If you have a planet making a close major aspect to your North Node, it is beneficial for you to focus on capitalizing on the areas of domain of that planet. Although you must expend effort in the North Node planets domain, the rewards will be greater than usual. For example if Mercury is conjunct your North Node, you will likely find great success in broadcasting, journalism, writing or other communications but only if you pursue that goal with intensity.
The South Node
The South Node by sign and house reveal our natural strengths and abilities that we bring from past lives. We have already mastered the qualities of this sign and house so there is not as much to learn this time around. The danger of the South Node is that it is the past of least resistance. We can become comfortable and content with our previously gained skills and not expend effort towards developing the qualities of the North Node, those qualities we need to develop to make personal and spiritual growth in this life. For example, if your Venus conjuncts your South Node you may for example be an excellent artist, singer or fashion designer but in this life focusing on those talents is not the best way to make positive growth. I have also observed that a planet conjunct your South Node can bring you disappointment or difficulty in that planet's ruled areas. If you have Venus conjunct your South Node, you may face more than your fair share of heartbreak in love and/or divorces.
The nodes are always highly active in karmic relationships. If your planet conjuncts another person's South Node or their planet conjuncts your South Node, there might be an initial feeling of familiarity and affinity due to knowing each other in previous lives. However, with time you will likely find association to be stifling your growth and you may begin to see faults with that person in the area of the planet involved. If your planet conjuncts another person's North Node or vice versa, the association is future oriented. You will find that this person helps you grow or achieve recognition in the areas represented by the planet and you will begin to see strengths in them in areas represented by the planet.
The Vertex is a highly fated point in your chart and it is always found between your fifth and eighth houses. The symbol for the vertex on an astrological chart is Vx. You must have your precise birth time to calculate it because it changes every 4 minutes, as do all the house cusp degrees. There will be at least one time in your life, (sometimes twice) when the vertex is activated by important transits that it will bring an unexpected, life changing event. You will not be the same person after the vertex transit; your vision, beliefs, thoughts, values and ways of looking at the world will forever be changed. If you have a planet making a close hard aspect in your natal chart (conjunction, opposition or square) within a two degree orb of your vertex, the planet's qualities will always be very important in your life but after the vertex transit the planet's qualities take on a much more significant role in your true purpose for this life. For example, world famous rock singer Jon Bon Jovi has Neptune opposite his vertex 1 degree and it is also making a 2-3 degree square to the Nodes. Neptune represents creativity, fantasy, music, singing, glamour, rock and roll, escapism, alcohol and drugs, all of which played a significant role at some point in his life. With both the highly fated nodes and vertex conjoining Neptune, it is certain that his destiny and life purpose would fall within Neptune’s domains, he couldn’t help but be a musical artist.
Integrating the planet's traits and energies into your life purpose and vision is critical to making optimal spiritual and personal growth in this life and ignoring the energies will have a hugely detrimental effect. If the Nodes are also aspecting the vertex-planet, you have a very special and destined purpose in this life in connection with the planet's domain. You have the potential to contribute significantly to humanity in this regard and by making a good effort you will have tremendous success. The vertex is always highly active in karmic relationships. When you compare your natal chart with another person's natal chart and notice important vertex connections you can be assured that this person is fated to be in your life for a purpose, you could not help but meet them. The nature of the encounter can be either good or bad but it is always memorable. The length of their stay in your life can be less than one day or for a lifetime but you will never forget them. They will play an important part in shaping your outlook on some area of life or expanding your ideas on important topics.
On August 7th 1990 with the release of Jon's first solo album, Blaze of Glory, transiting Pluto was at 15 degrees 1 minute Scorpio making its last exact opposition over his vertex at 14 degrees 48 minutes Taurus. At the same time, Neptune at 12 degrees 21 minutes Capricorn was making a 2 degree sextile to the vertex. Pluto alone over the vertex would set the stage for an important event but with both outer planets transiting the vertex at the same time, it makes it even more significant and indicates a turning point, a step in a completely new direction. In an audio interview Jon clarifies that although he wrote all the songs he considers this album to be for a movie soundtrack and says the parameters would have been different if it were truly his first album. With that being said, he just came out of a very heavy touring schedule with more than 200 shows per year for his previous group album Slippery when Wet and he looked forward to this album with a new excitement that he had 2 studios going 12 hours a day and finished the 10 songs in a mere 7 weeks from starting. The transits to the vertex reinvigorated his vitality. His work paid off as Blaze of Glory debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, went triple platinum and won him a Grammy. In addition, this was the only time in his career that he was awarded a Golden Globe and nominated for an Academy Award. The more precise indicators for the specific day of release of the album were the several inner planet transits activating the vertex: these were Mars at 16 degrees Taurus making a 2 degree conjunction, Mercury at 11 degrees Virgo making a 2 degree trine, and Sun at 14 degrees Leo making an exact square.