That's all you need to know to read your own BirthPrint!
Imagine your mind as a melody..
The PLANETS are the notes
The ASPECTS are their arrangements
The SIGNS are the instruments
With your first breath, your mind is imprinted with the celestial pattern above - your electromagnetic DNA.
A kind of alchemy, as yet unknown, determines this crystalizing moment. The planets compose the dynamics of the psyche, like atoms compose the body. The aspects are the supercharged conduits that connect and affect the planets' dynamics. And the signs lend the rich life elements of fire, earth, air & water.
The planets combine in endless, readable ways that form the unique choreography of every individual, much like DNA does. Linking planets through aspects is akin to linking letters to form words and both tell the story of your life.
"Astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity."
~ Dr. Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology
The best kept secret in the field of analytical psychology is the stunning fact that Carl Jung was a closet astrologer. It's true! Dr. Jung's theory of the conscious, unconscious and collective unconscious is entirely based on planetary dynamics. Below is a keyword overview of each planet's dynamics, each aspect's effects and each sign's elemental personality characteristics:
10 PLANETS, 6 ASPECTS & 12 SIGNS..
(the sun & moon are referred to as planets for convenience)
SUN: will ~ vitality ~ purpose ~ ego
MOON: intuition ~ instinct ~ feelings ~ reactions
MERCURY: intellect ~ reasoning ~ communication ~ discernment
VENUS: desire ~ magnetism ~ creative/procreative expression
MARS: drive ~ assertion ~ stamina ~ physical/sexual expression
JUPITER: aspiration ~ principle ~ optimism ~ faith
SATURN: ambition ~ purpose ~ caution ~ discipline
URANUS: deeper/higher intellect ~ ingenuity ~ genius ~ gestalt
NEPTUNE: deeper/higher intuition ~ inspiration ~ imagination ~ enlightenment
PLUTO: deeper/higher will ~ insight ~ transformation ~ regeneration
the conduits through which the planetary dynamics flow:
CONJUNCTION (0 degrees): integration; strengthening
SEXTILE (60 degrees): facilitation; fortifying
SQUARE (90 degrees): tension; challenging
TRINE (120 degrees): flow; harmonious
QUINCUNX (150 degrees): drive; compelling
OPPOSITION (180 degrees): imbalance; oppositional
ARIES: impulsive ~ headstrong ~ playful ~ independent
TAURUS: stubborn ~ sensual ~ loyal ~ hard-working
GEMINI: communicative ~ mercurial ~ adaptable ~ highstrung
CANCER: sensitive ~ moody ~ dramatic ~ nurturing
LEO: strong-willed ~ dramatic ~ creative ~ affectionate
VIRGO: analytical ~ practical ~ hard-working ~ highstrung
LIBRA: artistic ~ fair-minded ~ idealistic ~ attractive
SCORPIO: intense ~ private ~ willful ~ passionate
SAGITTARIUS: philosophical ~ optimistic ~ adventuresome ~ athletic
CAPRICORN: ambitious ~ hard-working ~ determined ~ competitive
AQUARIUS: inventive ~ rebellious ~ independent ~ philosophical
PISCES: imaginative ~ intuitive ~ sensitive ~ dramatic
"Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic? If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic - and this we know it is, for certain - then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature."
~ Nikola Tesla
Planetary motion is the all-knowing parent of the clock and calendar, too. Throughout your lifetime the planets above form connections [aspects] to the planets within as you take the lead in a lifelong dance with the music of the spheres.
Astrology reliably tells the qualities of time that few pay heed to. Planet dynamics are forever forces of which we are a part, forever free to go with or against the flow. The cycles of the conscious planets are frequent, brief and mundane while the cycles of the unconscious planets are infrequent, extended and profound. For example, everyone's heard of the 7 year cycle, yet few know it's the cycle of Saturn! While the planets within aspect each other, the planets above aspects the planets within, weaving a tapestry of electromagnetic experience and possibility from the mundane to the profound.
Life is a series of cycles within cycles, most of them repeating and they all tell celestial time. 'A time to reap and a time to sow'. And that reminds me, few know that the 3 Wisemen were actually astrologers who were following the conjunction of Venus to Jupiter. The bible is encoded with celestial truths stripped of their true meaning since the time of Constantin. (more on ancient tomes in a bit..}
PLANETARY ASPECTS IN ACTION
Every hospital in the world knows the effects of the full Moon as it opposes the Sun - the planetary aspects in action! Any two or more planets in opposition create a stressful dynamic, and when the Moon is one of those planets, emotions run high. There are 260 major planetary aspect combinations and none are innately 'bad' - everything is opportunity for growth and reward. And the opposition, square and quincunx present challenges that equal their rewards - which is helpful to keep in mind when the chips are down.
Everyone knows how it feels when your heart (Moon) opposes your head (Mercury). And those born with these two planets in opposition spend a lifetime trying to balance what they feel with what they think. On the other hand, a harmonious birth trine between the Moon and Mercury is what you might find in a poet or a songwriter, who put their emotions into words that flow and resonate. And when a trine forms from the Moon above to Mercury within it's generally easier to communicate your feelings.
And when an unconscious planet above forms a trine or sextile - or especially a conjunction - to your Mercury within, your mind is greatly empowered and facilitated. Conscious above to conscious within is fleeting and mundane, while unconscious above to conscious within is long-lasting and profound. Planet to planet within work the same way, but you're stuck with them for life.
And how do specific aspects come into play? Imagine your Sun and Mars are in conjunction.. Sun is your self identity and Mars is your qualities of assertiveness. A Sun/Mars conjunction blends the two into a strong force of will and magnetism. Yet if your Sun is square your Mars your self identity and your qualities of assertiveness are in conflict and there's a certain combativeness from the inner tension. A square is a frictional connection, though it can be directed more effectively when you recognize and consciously direct it. Sun/Mars people always have a certain drive, regardless of the aspect. And no aspect between your Sun and Mars means they don't play together at all. Any planet that aspects the Sun is significant and evident in the personality. And all aspects between planets bring opportunity we can choose to use for better or worse.
A kinder, gentler example of two planets in aspect is Venus/Neptune in conjunction.. Venus is ones' desire and Neptune is ones' highest ideals and the conjunction creates highly idealistic desires, Yet a Venus/Neptune opposition struggles to integrate their ideals with their desires and is likely disappointed a lot.
The signs are the third and final part of the analysis. If your psyche were a house, the planets would be the building materials, the aspects would be the architecture and the signs would be the color scheme. So using a Sun [ego/central self] conjunct Jupiter [expansive/optimistic] example, all Sun conjunct Jupiter people are generous and good natured. So a Sun/Jupiter Aries would take you to all the big sporting events, while a Sun/Jupiter Taurus would buy you dinner and trinkets and a Sun/Jupiter Gemini would get you a big screen TV and all your favorite DVDs. Sun/Jupiter people are compelled to spread the joy, one way or the other. Other aspects between the Sun & Jupiter have similar effects, though the conjunction blends the planetary dynamics into a greater whole, so it's by far the most powerful aspect.
And while everyone born on the same day share the same psychological dynamics, childhood experiences determine how they'll be expressed. Nature and nurture. And there are as many possibilities of expression as there are events that manifest. And no one knows your experiences as well as you do, so you are the best qualified to analyze the potentials displayed on your BirthPrint.
There are three primary astrological areas of interest: Psychology, relationships and the future. To analyze your psyche involves the planetary aspects within. To analyze relationships involves the planets within aspecting another's planets within. To analze your future involves the planets within aspecting the planets above. It's truly that simple. Here's a quick overview:
WITHIN THE PSYCHE
PLANETS: Essential psychological dynamics;
ASPECTS: Connect planet dynamics;
SIGNS: General elemental personality (fire, earth, air, water)
[the aspects between the planets of two or more people]
PLANETS: Essential psychological dynamics of each individual;
ASPECTS: Connect planet dynamics between individuals;
SIGNS: General elemental compatibility/incompatibility (fire, earth, air, water)
WHEN MAPPING TIME
[the aspects from the planets above to the planets within]
PLANETS: Essential dynamics of action/events/change;
ASPECTS: Track activity & change points of planet dynamics;
SIGNS: Elemental qualities of time period (fire, earth, air, water)
"A most unfailing experience... of the excitement of sublunary natures by the aspects of the planets has instructed and compelled my unwilling belief." ~ Johannes Kepler
Astrologers, Physicists & The Four Fabulous Forces
Astrologers and quantum physicists share one prevailing belief: All life is a dynamic ocean of energy. And while astrologers have been observing this all-embracing life force for thousands of years through the cycles of planetary motion, contemporary scientists have developed a Theory of Everything, composed of four fabulous forces: Gravity, Strong force, Weak Force & Electromagnetism.
First there's gravity, which gets most of the attention and keeps us so grounded we want to flee to the Moon. Gravity seems to rule, but it doesn't venture very far. Then there's the strong force and weak force, toiling obscurely inside each atom to hold the manifest world together. Though we don't even notice them, without them we would wander the cosmos with nowhere to Be.
But the real star of the Fab Four is E L E C T R O M A G N E T I S M, which is millions of times more forceful than gravity! Electromagnetism - let's call it 'John' for short - goes on and on across the universe, possessing and caressing us in an infinite, supercharged embrace.
An obvious example of electromagnetism at work is telecommunications, creating sound and imagery from seemingly thin air. Radio, television, your i-phone, even the words you're reading, all manifest through waves and frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. And each began as an idea in someone's brain, our own supremely perfected transmitter and receiver.
"I regard matter as derivative from consciousness" ~ Physicist Max Planck, originator of quantum theory
Incredibly, science inadvertently validated astrology over 100 years ago! In 1915 Physicist Niels Bohr proved the Hermetic wisdom 'As Above, So Below' when he demonstrated that the solar system and the atom are fractal twins! Like the atom, the solar system is the magnificent mechanism of all life energy, from the celestial to the cellular.
Dr. Bohr further observed that "everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real." He and Einstein were firmly in agreement on this point, and funny cigarettes were reportedly not involved.
Niels Bohr & Einstein in 1925..
The early 20th century was a "giddily exciting" time for science, thanks to thinkers like Dr. Bohr. And he infused his views with the wisdom of the ancients, searching for answers in the Rig Veda, the oldest sacred text known to man. It's impossible to do the Vedas justice in just a few words, except to say its wisdom is fundamental to understanding humanity and the cycles of our ancient past. Dr. Bohr applied the principles of quantum physics embedded in the Vedas and was able to interpret the Vedas' ancient language and symbology and define it in the language of contemporary science. As a result of his wanderings in these deep waters, he viewed reality as a kind of collective, holographic dream. In other words, it's all in your head.
row row row your boat...
And as repeatedly demonstrated by quantum physicists, possibility becomes reality through directed will. Energy observed is energy affected. All physical reality starts with consciousness, an idea, an intention. Will and intention create our world, or as the Book that followed the Rig Veda with a bit less directness puts it: 'First there was the Word.'
"The question of all questions for humanity, the problem which lies behind all others and is more interesting than any of them, is that of the determination of man's place in nature and his relation to the cosmos." ~ T.H. Huxley
Ancient Astrological Science: The Antikythera Mechanism
"If the ancient greek scientists could produce these gear systems 2000 years ago, the whole history of western technology [will] have to be re-written." - Mathematician T. Freeth on the Antikythera Mechanism
Ancient astrologers were way ahead of contemporary scientists, using sophisticated technology to observe and analyze energy via planetary cycles. Stunning proof of their scientific sophistication is the Antikythera Mechanism - the world's first known computer, estimated to be over 2000 years old. It was discovered in a shipwreck off the shore of Antikythera, Greece in 1900, but it took decades before its purpose was fully understood.
This highly complex mechanism is an exquisite, gear-driven technology that depicts & predicts the movements of the planets in our solar system with a precision that exceeds the capabilities of today's engineers. The Antikythera Mechanism proves beyond any doubt that ancient science was far more advanced than we ever thought we knew. And it begs the question: What else was once known but was lost or forgotten?
The Sumerian carving below [left] oddly resembles the Antikythera Mechanism, so it may even back 5000 years old or more. It would also explain how the Sumerians knew there were 8 planets, the Sun & Moon, as shown in the Sumerian carving below, middle & right.
"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble." ~ Albert Einstein
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
The essential science of energy and life has been expressed all over the world for many millennia in various, but fundamentally similar forms. Below left is a carving from Renaissance Italy of the Music of the Spheres. It resembles the chakra system below center and the judaic tree of life - the 'sephirot', below right. And all correspond to the spine and to planetary dynamics.
music of the spheres; chakra system; tree of life
DNA resembles the ancient Egyptian caduceus - two serpents around a staff. What did they know? And the caduceus symbolizes the central nervous system around the spinal column. And space contains nebulas that resemble DNA! The large is reflected in the small and everything is connected, apparently to Kevin Bacon...
dna strand; ancient Egyptian caduceus; dna nebula;
map section of the human genetic code
DNA scientists have been collecting data looking for patterns to help them predict human character and behavior. Astrology has thousands of years of observation under its belt, while genetics has only a few decades. But that doesn't stop geneticists from scoffing at astrology while speculating about things like the 'leadership gene'.
The biggest surprise in genetics may wind up being the relationship of DNA to planetary dynamics. In his best selling book The Synchronicity Key, David Wilcock quotes scientific studies that demonstrate that DNA is made up of shifting photons of light. Light & sound have both been shown to be potent dynamics.
A Quick Shot of Kirlian Photography
Building on the research of Bohr, Tesla and others, in 1939 Ukranian engineer Semyon Kirlian had a breakthrough! He was able to photograph the force field within and around everything, even inanimate objects, like these two pennies for your thoughts..
The Body Electric
In 1998 Robert O. Becker's book The Body Electric became a best seller and enlightened millions. Becker was a pioneer in the field of regeneration and its relationship to electrical currents in all living things. His work has been expanded into many areas, most notably the healing arts.
Astrologers Through the Ages
Long before the word 'astronomy' came into being, all celestial study was called astrology. And though its discovery is lost in time, its origins are eternal. Some of the smartest minds on the planet have applied astrological principles. Here are just a few..
Hippocrates & Johannes Kepler
Everyone knows of the 'father of medicine', Hippocrates, but very few know he used astrology as his professional guiding principle, and he didn't mince words.. "A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician." Though that ragged wisdom hasn't gotten much traction, it doesn't make it any less true. He also said "Do no harm", which hasn't gotten much more. Imagine a world where wisdom is actually applied to medicine - or anything, for that matter..
Even the weather is affected by planetary motion and position. In the 17th century Johannes Kepler saw the connection between the cosmos and climate, which led to further discoveries. He advised his fellow explorers to "Discover the force of the heavens: once recognized it can be put to use."
Below is his platonic solid model of the solar system - compare it to the far more technologically advanced Antikythera Mechanism from two millennium before...
Have we devolved? Could the theory of catastrophism be right? Were there far more advanced societies in ancient history? How far back? And what priceless knowledge was lost or hidden away after the Library at Alexandria burned? How much of what we've discovered was actually re-discovered? And throughout it all, no other science has remained for as long, or with as deep a commitment from practitioners, as astrology.
Pythagoras & The Music of the Spheres
Born in 570 BC, Pythagoras developed a concept he called 'Musica Universalis', commonly known as the 'Music of the Spheres', the theory that the planets have tonal sounds relating to their movements, which NASA has finally confirmed!
Plato ~ Philosopher & Astrologer
Over a hundred years later, Plato described astronomy and music as "twinned" studies of sensual recognition: "astronomy for the eyes, music for the ears, and both requiring knowledge of numerical proportion."
Astrology, Psychology & Politics:
Ben Franklin, Theo Roosevelt, Carl Jung & Ronald Reagan
Many great men in recent centuries have used astrology both personally and professionally, giving them a solid leg up on narrower minds. You may have heard the story of President Reagan's astrologer saving his life with good timing; while President Roosevelt kept his birth chart in the Oval Office and famously said "I always keep my weather eye on the opposition of my seventh house Moon to my first house Mars." Try to imagine him doing that - it's pretty funny.
Founder of analytical psychology Dr. Carl Jung was also a closet astrologer. Most people still don't know that he secretly based his theory of consciousness on planetary principles. He knew that a birth chart is the true and immutable blueprint of the psyche, offering immediate and profound psychological insights that traditional psychologists take years to arrive at, if ever.
Benjamin Franklin used astrology to choose the best date to sign the Declaration of Independence. It's true! Poor Richard's Almanack, written and published by Ben Franklin under his pen name, Richard Saunders, was a steady and reliable source of astro info that defined his outlook. He wrote: "Oh the wonderful knowledge to be found in the stars. Even the smallest things are written there.. if you had but skill to read."
Psychologist Michel Gauquelin & Theoretical Physicist Percy Seymour
Two of the best known contemporary cosmic researchers are Michel Gauquelin and Percy Seymour. With different expectations their scientific discoveries brought them to the same conclusion, astrology works. The late, great Dr. Gauquelin was already convinced of astrology's value and set out to prove it. In the 1970s he collected a vast amount of birth data from a wide array of professions and observed many repeatable, definitive patterns. Among them was what famously came to be called the Mars effect, the prominence of Mars in the charts of athletes. None can dispute his spectacular findings, though many have tried.
In the early 90s, Dr. Seymour was driven by an unhappy awareness of his and other scientists' unscientific prejudice towards astrology, so he set out to disprove it scientifically. Stunned by his own discoveries, here's how he briefly explains his cosmic hypothesis: "I propose that the behavior of the fetus at the time of birth is linked to cycles within the geomagnetic field, which in turn are influenced by the solar cycle and positions of the planets. Resonance is the phenomenon by which the fetus is phase-locked to specific cycles." It's no wonder he's been called the 'magus of magnetism'.
Gauquelin and Seymour risked scorn and ridicule from their peers and the world in search of proof for the benefit of science and humanity. Read their exciting discoveries for yourself. Their many publications can be found at Amazon.
Astronomer Carl Sagan
Even Carl Sagan has weighed in with surprising support, stating: "That we can now think of no mechanism for astrology is relevant but unconvincing. No mechanism was known, for example, for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener. Nevertheless, we see that Wegener was right, and those who objected on the grounds of unavailable mechanism were wrong." And though there is not yet a known mechanism for astrology, powerful evidence and centuries of observation seems like science to me.
Sounds like science to me.
THE PLANETS IN MORE DETAIL
CONSCIOUS ~ UNCONSCIOUS ~ COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
The three levels of the psyche, as defined by Carl Jung, are conscious, unconscious [sometimes called the subconscious] and collective unconscious. The 10 planets represent these three levels of consciousness.
The five planets closest to the Sun represent the conscious mind, where we dwell at all times but sleep.
While Jupiter and Saturn represent the unconscious, the recorder of all events and stimuli, assessing and addressing and storing the data for future retrieval.
The collective unconscious is represented by Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the furthest three planets from the Sun. The collective unconscious is our 'Deeper Self' who knows All and is the foundation of our highest Reality The collective unconscious is the road less traveled, the path to enlightenment and the key to true happiness, if we learn to listen within.
Aspects are conduits from your conscious mind to your unconscious and collective unconscious and all your strengths and challenges. The following are the conscious, unconscious and collective unconscious in more depth, then on to the planets' individual functions..
(sun moon mercury venus mars)
The conscious mind is thought and actions, desires and dreams, hopes and fears and every interaction we make. It's our direct experience of life and the surface story of everything. It's where we spend our waking time, all the time. The conscious mind leads to direct and powerful connections to the unconscious by way of the planetary aspects. There's tremendous potential for creative growth through conscious connections to the unconscious & collective unconscious. But without conscious self awareness the unconscious impulses can lead to dramatically wrong choices, creating unwanted drama, which is often and wrongly blamed on outside circumstances. Though it may often seem like they're beyond our control, we attract those circumstances as a result of our subconscious state of mind, which leads to our actions, which leads to the consequences. Even illness can often be traced back to state of mind from which all choices are made. Sometimes it's quick and sometimes it takes awhile, but sooner or later we always attract what we expect and what we take action - or inaction - towards. Procrastination can be as damaging to dreams as any reckless or unconscious action. And as the saying goes, 'change your mind and change your life' - easier said than done, for sure, but if that's what's required, it's well worth the effort. The key is to be consciously aware of your unconscious impulses, programmed like a computer in childhood. The best books I've ever read about the power of mind over matter are by Wallace Wattles. The Secret to Getting Rich is online, and don't let the title fool you - it's about far more than getting rich.
The mind is like the ocean and the surface is the conscious mind, gleaming in the sunlight, waves cresting and receding, gripping the shores in the moon's rhythmic motion. Beneath the surface lies the unfathomable depth of all there is. It offers bits of its bounty when we seek it, yet remains a mysterious treasury of truth of eons past. We set sail on the surface and hope for the best, enjoying the ride when we can, and prepared (or not) for the storms ahead. It's not so bad, after all, but what might we discover in the deep if only we dare?
The unconscious mind perceives everything in our world we're not consciously aware of - which is almost everything. It's our basic instinct and it remembers everything we've ever seen, felt, thought and done. It's the subtext and it colors our conscious responses. Everything we've experienced in life is filtered through and stored in the unconscious. It defines self through sense memory, but it doesn't judge, it only records - we do the judging through conscious connections. Psychotherapy methods attempt to overwrite or erase what's useless and damaging in the unconscious, especially from childhood. Early sensory memory is its base programming and it's strengthened by repetition. The event itself can be different, but when it makes you feel the same as one or more previous events, it reinforces your emotional/reactive/responsive programming, which expands or contracts, according to the data. So, to re-program you have to know what you're dealing with, first and foremost - to make it conscious. Knowing the source of faulty programming can be enough to begin to change it. And your planetary dynamics are the window into your programming and the surest way to gain insight.
The unconscious never sleeps, never. Even in our dreams, the unconscious is at work, sorting out our conscious experiences and showing us signposts along the way, if only we pay attention. And when it has to do the work of the conscious mind, it very rarely does it well. That's how accidents happen. Think about it - whenever you have an accident, large or small, it's always because you're careless or distracted or in the wrong place at the wrong time, if even for a second - if it happens to be the wrong second. A time to reap, a time to sow, a time to severely stub your toe? Not necessarily! The unconscious is programmed to some extent with data from painful early experiences, which creates an irrational fear response to a falsely perceived threat, often leading to unwanted results. Timing is the other part of the picture. For instance, though many accidents are caused by others' actions, the choice to be in that place at that time is still your own. Still, it's the conscious mind that calls the shots, though always by way of your unconscious programming (and collective unconscious impulses). The unconscious is memory, not intellect - it relies on the conscious mind to take reasoned actions. So if you want the best results, be fully conscious of your deeper motivations and the rest will follow.
(uranus neptune pluto)
The collective unconscious mind is Purpose with a capital P. It's unfazed by the issues of daily life that the conscious and unconscious are busy tending to. Its Purpose is to be Creative, leading to Change, Growth and Wisdom. The collective unconscious knows all and is known by all - it's the 'still voice within', though many of us choose to ignore it. Yet even ignored it works its magic in our lives. When we're consciously aware of our collective unconscious impulses, we can make amazing use of them, but when we're not, they kick our butt until we are - sometimes collectively - whatever it takes to deepen and expand. Like the unconscious, the collective unconscious relies on the conscious mind to make reasoned choices and take calculated actions to make the most of our profoundest impulses, through time and opportunities. If life is a picture show we write as we go, we surely intend to play our parts well when we begin. But it's easy to get sidetracked and forget our chosen purpose - many of us do. So the collective unconscious serves to remind us and help us get back on the creative track, and creativity equals growth.
When you intimately understand your own dynamics, you can do amazing things with them, enabling powerful collective unconscious forces to express themselves consciously and creatively. It's a scary thought that we have far more control over our lives than we're led to believe, but it's also profoundly empowering, once you adapt to the idea. If there is a Supreme Power, it may be one of benign neglect, as we make our own way by our thoughts and actions, guided by the matrix of planetary motion. If it's not all about free will, what's the point? That's not to say we don't get assistance when we seek it - there's great truth in the statement 'ask and ye shall receive', but that, too, is a choice. So with all that in mind, the surest way to effectively dip in deep and not be sucked under is to know your psychic territory. Look at your BirthPrint™ for connections from conscious to unconscious and collective unconscious planets - these are your strengths, so make them work for you by always letting your conscious mind lead the way.
Now let's delve one by one into the deep mists of planetary emanations...
will ~ vitality ~ purpose ~ ego ~ self image ~ impulse ~ consciousness ~ individuality ~ determination
The Sun symbolizes the core of your character, the centerpoint of consciousness. "As above, so below". It's the source of self-identity and it casts its light over the entire personality. Your Sun sign is your center of operation. And though the other planets have dominant roles when their positions demand it, the Sun ultimately calls all the shots. It's the Captain Kirk of your enterprise, and the relationships it forms with the planetary crew determine the basic storyline and the direction of your journey. Planets aspecting the Sun, especially the conjunction, are prominently expressed in the personality. For instance, Sun aspecting expansive Jupiter is cheerful and optimistic; Sun aspecting self-controlled Saturn is serious and determined; Sun aspecting magnetic Venus is attractive and charming; Sun aspecting transformative Pluto is intense and perceptive. Each aspect to the Sun gives a layer of complexity, and the Sun's sign gives color to their expression. Aspects to the Sun are very important and prominent in the personality, as is the sign the Sun occupies at birth.
intuition ~ instinct ~ feelings ~ reactions ~ emotional expression ~ personality ~ attachment ~ bodily function ~ habits ~ nurturing ~ memory
The Moon is the seat of the emotions, the planet by which you intuit your surroundings. Like the Moon in the sky, the Moon in your psyche responds to the Sun's movements, and lends texture and feeling. Without the Moon to move us, life would lack the changing tides of emotion, and emotion leads to all that's good, when we let it. In the end (before the next beginning), all that's left of life is emotional experience, and the Moon supplies the subtext. Even when all memory is gone, emotion remains. The Moon sign determines how you relate to others instinctively, and the aspects to the Moon indicate what strengths and challenges you may have in your relationships and how and what you seek for emotional fulfillment. For instance, Moon aspecting abundant Jupiter is emotionally expansive; Moon aspecting repressed Saturn is emotionally reserved; Moon aspecting magnetic Venus is warm and inviting; Moon aspecting transformative Pluto is emotionally intense; and all those planets aspecting the Moon would naturally make for a lot of high emotion and inner tension. The more aspects a planet has to other planets, the more complex and prominent in the psyche it becomes. And of course the Moon's sign colors its expression.
intellect ~ reasoning ~ verbal expression ~ discernment ~ perception ~ analysis ~ communication
Mercury is the planet of intellect and communication and your approach to organizing your thoughts and your life. It indicates how you process information and your manner of communication. Mercury is key to understanding your thinking processes. Lack of understanding can lead to chronic mistakes in judgment. To again use a Trekkian analogy, Mercury is your trusty Spock. It's how you mentally filter your experience. You believe what your mind tells you, so it's best to have a handle on the quality of the information processor of your psyche, so you know when to trust your own perceptions and when to seek second opinions. A strong mind is often indicated by conjunction aspects from Mercury to subconscious and unconscious planets. For instance, Saturn conjunct Mercury is reserved and disciplined; Jupiter conjunct Mercury is expressive and upbeat; Uranus conjunct Mercury is ingenius and disruptive; Pluto conjunct Mercury is intense and probing. Mercury is never more than one sign from the Sun, and when the Sun and Mercury are in the same sign, which they often are, it indicates a certain singlemindedness from the combined focus of the ego and the intellect.
desire ~ magnetism ~ creative/procreative expression ~ attraction ~ charm ~ beauty pleasure ~ affection ~ romance ~ magnet
Venus is the planet of receptivity, magnetism and romance, and your longing for an ideal, in yourself and others. Venus delights in beautiful sights, sounds and smells, and beauty being a subjective thing, the placement of Venus indicates who and what you're drawn to. Desire is the keyword that best describes Venus - it drives you to attract, like a magnet, what brings you joy and to share it with others, because Venus seeks union with an ideal. Venus and Mars together are the dynamics behind procreation - the impulse that leads to love and babies. Magnet and steel. Venus also indicates the ways you choose to be creative. Creativity is a healthy, reliable way to express your Venus - without it you're more vulnerable to quick fixes - whatever promises some pleasure and serenity in the short term. So even when your love life is far from ideal, being passionately creative will satisfy your longings with no negative side effects (like extra pounds & morning regrets). Lovers may come and go, but creative self expression is yours forever and vital to keep the fruits of your Venus sweet.
drive ~ assertion ~ stamina ~ physical/sexual expression ~ force ~ power ~ competition ~ initiative ~ courage ~ steel
Mars makes love and war and whatever else involves willful assertion of energy. You draw from Mars whenever you take physical action, both calculated and spontaneous. Bodily motion is Mars in action. Mars supplies you with your quality of movement - it's the motor of our purpose and ambition. Aspects to Mars indicate how the action flows. For instance, Saturn aspecting Mars indicates resistance to taking action; Jupiter aspecting Mars indicates high energy and endurance; Neptune aspecting Mars indicates a graceful quality to movement; Pluto aspecting Mars indicates intense focus and will when taking action. The sign Mars is in doesn't change these basic inclinations, it only colors their expression.
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
principle ~ aspiration ~ optimism ~ faith ~ confidence ~ benevolence ~ growth ~ wisdom ~ benevolence ~ expansion
Sounds of Jupiter!
Jupiter is the planet of expansion, expanding whatever area of the psyche it touches by aspect. Jupiter expands the ego when it aspects the Sun; expands the emotions when it aspects the Moon; expands the mind when it aspects Mercury; expands the capacity to give when it aspects Venus; and expands physical stamina when it aspects Mars. Jupiter is the planet of joy and optimism and you're put directly in touch with its magic through aspects to your conscious planets. Every planet Jupiter aspects has a joyous opportunity to expand, which benefits others as well as the self and should be utilized as often as possible. The challenging aspects - the square, quincunx & opposition - can lead to carelessness or overindulgence through overenthusiasm, but recognition of this potential gives you the power to consciously control the dynamic. Jupiter expands whenever and wherever its bright light shines.
purpose ~ ambition ~ discipline ~ restriction ~ temperance ~ insecurity ~ effort ~ endurance ~ persistence ~ stability ~ consolidation ~ responsibility ~ contraction
Sounds of Saturn!
Where Jupiter is benevolence, Saturn is tough love. Saturn is the planet of limitations, restricting whatever area of the psyche it touches by aspect. Saturn is the Great Doubter and whatever planets it aspects are areas where there will be a sense of lacking that inspires a drive to overcome it, a surrendering to feelings of inadequacy, or a vacillating between both - the choice is always yours. Saturn's purpose is to build strength and fortitude, which often happens through adversity. And the adversity often takes place within, through self-doubt. If you're inclined to reflect on reincarnation, Saturn would be the unfinished business you bring into each life. Early in life Saturn is activated by all manner of people perceived as 'authorities', from whom you develop your first ideas about your own inadequacies, right or wrong. So the key to freedom from Saturnian self-doubt is simply to view every obstacle as an opportunity, because that's what it is. It's not the universe dumping on you, it's the simple law of attraction. You attract what you expect and what you require, and you have free will to change both to your benefit. I doubt if self doubt disappears completely, but self confidence does grow when it's properly fed and watered, until it takes up most of your head space. But that's no secret if you've read The Secret. Saturn is the central component of life's purpose, the driving force of cause and effect. Consequences are its stock in trade. Work is its mode of operation, as nothing worthwhile comes easy. Saturn has a dark reputation, but only because you can't hide from it or ignore its demands. It demands responsible action, or else. Without it, there would be no justice and no rewards to the worthy. With Saturn, you always reap what you sow, even if you don't remember when or what you planted. It presents 'obstacles' your past actions (or inactions) helped erect, which you have the choice of patiently dismantling until you're free, or covering with defeatist graffiti as a monument to your failure. The choice is always yours, and Saturn wouldn't have it any other way.
THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND
ingenuity ~ deeper/higher intellect ~ genius/eccentricity ~ abstract reasoning ~ innovation ~ freedom ~ revolution ~ ~ rebellion ~ reform ~ independence ~ originality ~ gestalt
Sounds of Uranus!
Uranus aspects are your hook-up to the Big Picture screen, enabling you to see beyond appearances, to the logical core of things. When Uranus aspects conscious planets it brings its dynamics directly into your conscious life. Uranus jolts you with sudden understanding, and Uranian insights are by nature ahead of their time, which is great when they're welcomed by open minds, but are seen as a threat to the status quo. Uranian types get great satisfaction from disrupting the status quo, which invariably inspires the appreciation of other Uranian types and the fear and contempt of more Saturnian types. Uranus is naturally disruptive, so always expect the unexpected in the areas it touches. Uranian aspects to conscious planets create a nearly irresistible impulse to be contrary. So if you have a prominent Uranus you'll probably let it run a little wild, unless you've got some dominant Saturnian impulses to subdue it. Uranus' purpose is to disrupt crystallized perceptions in order to spur growth, ready or not, which usually involves others as well as oneself. And once you learn to go with the flow it's a helluva ride. Uranus is the planet of the inventor for good reason - inventors think in new ways, which is what Uranus is all about.
inspiration ~ deeper/higher intuition ~ imagination/escapism ~ spirituality ~ illusion ~ psychic impulse ~ creativity ~ idealism ~ transcendance
Sounds of Neptune - really!
Neptune is the planet of soaring imagination and inspired emotion. It guides the artists of the world, who bring its gifts through their inspired expression. Neptune is almost always prominent in musicians' BirthPrints™, for instance. Music is the universal language of Neptune. When you hear a song that moves you, that's Neptune. Whenever you're inspired from the heart to the head by any art form, you experience the magic of Neptune, whether you're the creator or the listener/observer. Neptune opens your spiritual channels, whether you think in spiritual terms or not. It's all about inspiration. The downside of Neptune is the potential for escapism, which is born of unfullfilled longing. Many people use mind-altering means to seek a better connection to their Neptune dynamic, which is perfectly natural in moderation and has been practiced since man began. Many artists are inspired this way, but others can get lost, preferring to live their lives in their minds and forsaking all else, which soon creates havoc through neglect of the creative and practical aspects of life. As with all the planets, Neptune has a high expression and a low expression and everything in-between. The highest expression of Neptune is inspired creativity, the lowest expression is self-destructive escapism. And as with all the planets, you always have the final say. Think of the planets as actors and you're their director. The more prominent the actors are, the more tempting it is to let them run the show, but that can throw off the rest of the cast and cause the whole production to suffer. So bring out the best in your actors by all means, but always remember who's in charge - YOU.
insight ~ transformation ~ deeper/higher will ~ regenerative/degenerative ~ power ~ rebirth ~ deeper purpose
Pluto is the Phoenix in all of us, the will to rise from the ashes. Pluto is always intense and purposeful - its purpose being complete transformation. Pluto is never easy, but it's always effective. When Pluto aspects a conscious planet there's tremendous magnetism and strength of will. Pluto always gets noticed, and a little goes a long way, so the key to mastering Pluto is temperance. It's a great emotional force to be reckoned with, and when unleashed it can overwhelm others, so self-control is key. Those with a conscious Pluto (meaning pluto aspects one or more of their conscious planets) freely access their intense Pluto energy and generally aren't phased by other intense Pluto types, but those with an unconscious Pluto can feel threatened when a Pluto type lets loose. Where does all this intensity come from? Pluto, when it aspects conscious planets, brings upheavals early in life that trigger a profound sense of powerlessness that creates a deep need to transform into a master of your own soul and surroundings. It drives you forward, often compulsively, often with dramatic results. Pluto is a dynamic of tremendous creative and destructive power. And as always, the choice is yours.
ASPECT KEYWORD PAGE
There are 6 primary aspects:
CONJUNCTION (0 degrees): integration; strengthening (yellow)
SEXTILE (60 degrees): facilitation; fortifying (blue)
SQUARE (90 degrees): tension; challenging (red)
TRINE (120 degrees): flow; harmonious (green)
QUINCUNX (150 degrees): drive; readjustment (purple)
OPPOSITION (180 degrees): imbalance; oppositional (orange)
Aspects tie the planets together into a cohesive psychological structure. Every planetary aspect creates a psychological dynamic that must be expressed one way or another, from the highest to the lowest form, and the choice is always yours. Free will is always in play within any given set of circumstances, and the circumstances themselves are a result of past choices made with free will, whether or not you remember them. Let's examine the aspects in more detail..
The strongest aspect is the conjunction (0 degrees), which merges and strengthens the dynamics involved. Each of the planets involved becomes a greater force and focus. It can't be stressed enough that the conjunction is a profoundly powerful aspect.
The SEXTILE (60 degrees) is facilitative and brings confidence and ease of expression. It's both energizing and harmonizing and always a welcome addition.
The SQUARE (90 degrees) stirs a tension that pushes us forward with challenges throughout our lives. Almost everyone has at least one square between planets.
The TRINE (120 degrees) is the most relaxing and harmonious aspect. It gives a flowing ease of expression between planets.
The QUINCUNX (150 degrees) is a rare, complex aspect. It brings challenges throughout life, and is felt keenly within as a deep and restless drive.
The OPPOSITION (180 degrees), like the square, pushes us forward, often through confrontations, both within and without. It indicates an imbalance and a tendency to vascillate, swinging one way and then the other. The challenge is to try to find the balance within, which isn't easy, but it builds strength and insight over a lifetime.
Each aspect has a range of effect, called an 'orb'. For example, an exact square between planets is 90 degrees.. with an orb of 9 degrees, the square will occur between planets from 81 to 99 degrees of distance. The conjunction, square, trine & opposition all have a 9 degree orb, while the sextile has a 6 degree orb and the quincunx has a 2 degree orb. The orbs have been determined through thousands of years of celestial observation. There's still some disagreement among astrologers, though its generally minor. So it's wise to err on the side of caution and make exceptions when it seems appropriate - and there are always exceptions.
The most empowering aspects are those between conscious and unconscious planets, like Sun conjunct Pluto, Moon square Neptune and Venus opposite Uranus. These aspects bring the stuff of the unconscious into conscious awareness, with powerful results. When the unconscious dynamics are consciously applied they're creative and empowering and often far-reaching. The aspects make this possible, whether they exist at birth or form in time from the planets above to the planets within. Those with conscious to unconscious aspects at birth consciously live and breath the unconscious and have tremendous and continuous opportunity for growth in whatever areas are indicated by the planets involved.
The not-so good news is that unconscious power can be as destructive as it is creative. Those who remain unconscious of its force within their own psyche may let it run roughshod through reckless and other wrong actions. To stop this cycle of destructive behavior they must become more aware of their power, learn to use it to their advantage and allow it to creatively flourish. Astrology is enormously helpful in doing this - it is the only accurate map of the psyche, the one true guide to self awareness. Their loved ones will thank them!
All aspects to the Sun are the most pronounced in the personality, as the Sun is the center of being; then the Moon, your emotional center; followed by Mercury, the intellect and information processor; and finally Venus & Mars, representing your desires and your means of taking action. Those are the conscious planets, and it bears repeating that conscious planets that aspect subconscious and unconscious planets present some powerfully creative potentials, particularly the conjunction. So don't let your unconscious call the shots without your conscious direction, which happens more than you might realize, creating painful chaos and havoc as it seeks a resolution. You can grow easy or you can grow hard, it's all within your conscious control, you just have to know it. Learn to recognize the deeper dynamics when they rise to the surface so you can consciously direct them to your great benefit.
SYNASTRY: ASTRO CHEMISTRY
It's the coolest thing to really know the chemistry between people, which the aspects instantly reveal like an open book. Each of us is like a walking, talking solar system, interacting with other solar systems, with varying results. Concerning romance, the thing we're most concerned with, when we're concerned at all, the strongest sexual chemistry aspects are between Venus & Mars. The conjunction is always the strongest aspect, because it melds and expands the dynamics. The type of aspect determines the quality and intensity, though any aspect is better than none. No aspects between Venus & Mars means little sexual chemistry. We've all been attracted to someone we later lose complete interest in. That's because there was never any real chemistry in the first place - the fleeting feelings were likely triggered by the planets above, not by the planets within. It was timing, not chemistry. Real chemistry lasts, and the aspects tell it like it really is, no matter what you might tell yourself.
The next significant romance aspects are between the Sun & Moon, which signifies emotional chemistry, and as with all aspects, the conjunction is the strongest. Sun to Moon aspects are also good for friendships and parent/child relationships as well as romance. And Moon to Moon is an important gauge of whether your personal habits and emotional needs will be compatible. And Moon aspecting any of another's planets is always stimulating to the Moon person, which is sensitive to everything. For instance, when one person's Moon is conjunct another's Mars. The Martian aggression will likely lead to exciting sparks, but wounded feelings. Moon conjunct Jupiter would lift the emotions of the Moon person; Moon conjunct Saturn would cause the Moon person to feel oppressed. Moon conjunct Neptune might well mesmerize the Moon person, and so on. The other aspects are significant too, but to a lesser extent. The conjunction is by far the most potent aspect in relationships, while the square creates friction and the trine creates a wonderful level of comfort. Many sextiles make for a positive and productive relationship.
Next is communication. Mercury to Mercury aspects means a meeting of minds, an important component of most longterm relationships. A square from Mercury to Mercury might indicate a tendency towards arguments or more positively, passionate collaboration - it's all in how you use it. And connections from Mercury to unconscious planets will be very potent to the Mercury person.
All unconscious to conscious aspects can indicate a profound connection with life-changing consequences in relationships as well as an individual. And though the conjunction is by far the strongest connection, every aspect brings something to the relational table. The above examples are just a few of the many aspects that form between two or more people; some are pleasurable, some are challenging and all are opportunities for growth. We'll explore relational chemistry more later, by probing a popular power couple or two.
TRANSITS: THE TIME MATRIX
After psychology and relationship chemistry comes Time, where aspects flow from the planets above to the planets within, endlessly forming and waning in cycles of greater and lesser intensity and potential. Aspects formed from the planets' cycles above to planets within are called transits, and because they're completely predictable you can prepare for and take advantage of them. Transits essentially create the electromagnetic matrix of time as we experience it, in cycles. Telling planetary time is the most reliable way to lay your plans. It's well worth your while to know when important transits occur so you can make the most of them - like bringing an umbrella when the forecast says rain. There are easy transits and challenging transits, facilitative and frustrating - that's life.. 'you're riding high in April, shot down in May'.. It's all part and whole of your evolution, so what are you going to do about it? The choice is always yours.
The transits from the slower moving unconscious planets above (jupiter through pluto) to the planets within are times of transition and growth, occur cyclically from every 3 years (jupiter) to every 20 years (pluto) and last for anywhere from a month to 5 years. We've all heard of the '7 year itch', well that's a Saturn transit! Saturn transits occur in 7 year cycles, lasting from 3 months to a year, though most often they last about 6 months. Every Saturn transit is a time to reap what you've sown for the last 7 years and to re-evalute what's needed and what's not. And when we're aware of when they occur, it enables us to see events in their true light and make the best choices. This is true of all the planetary transits as they cycle through our lives.
Where the slow-moving planets above bring meaningful opportunities and change, the fast-moving planets above (sun through mars) form brief and superficial connections to the planets within - the stuff of newspaper astrology.
In addition, all aspects between the slow moving, unconscious planets above to those within last for an extended time and are shared by all the people born within that period, which explains the qualities unique to every generation. And it's interesting that the only unconscious planet aspect that's been in effect for two thirds of the 20th century and is now in aspect again in the 21st is Neptune sextile Pluto. It may be that it represents a transformation (pluto) of our collective spiritual perceptions (neptune), taking place over many years. Christianity, in particular, has gone through a profound crisis and transformation; while many new spiritual practices emerge to take its place; and the 'new age' has re-introduced the ancient concept of metaphysics to three new generations, with quantum physics now giving it scientific credibility! That's a huge, transformative step forward, though it's been met with suspicion and hostility by those who fear the change it so profoundly calls for. So change is slow, but we are moving forward.
Within this electromagnetic framework, free will reigns supreme.
The planets involved in these powerful patterns are highly significant in the life experience. Not everyone is born with one or more of these patterns, though everyone experiences them at various points in time, when the planets above form the patterns with the planets within. The planet patterns are as follows:
GRAND TRINE: three trines (120 degrees)
GRAND CROSS: two oppositions (180 degrees) and four squares (90 degrees)
T-SQUARE: an opposition (180 degrees) and two squares (90 degrees)
YOD: two quincunx (150 degrees) and one sextile (60 degrees)
A grand trine is a lifetime blessing in the areas indicated by the planets. It's common for those with a challenging life to also have a grand trine, which assists them so they're better able to bear the challenges. So a grand trine is always a welcome dynamic.
A 'grand cross' has the effect of bringing many challenges into the lifetime for the purpose of accelerated growth. Tension is a familiar dynamic in those with a grand cross. It is truly a 'cross to bear', and when you rise to the challenges it presents, the rewards are rich and full.
A T-Square' brings challenges into the life in large and small cycles. When a transiting planet moves into the place that turns the t-square into a temporary grand cross, sh_t happens. The Moon triggers this event once a month throughout life, creating brief but intense dynamics, so it's very helpful to calculate when that occurs. And the slower planets trigger the grand cross over the course of months or years, bringing more sustained dynamics, usually along with life changes. A T-Square can be very productive and is a profound opportunity for growth throughout life.
The yod is a rare pattern referred to as the 'Finger of Destiny', as it brings powerful, deep, transformative experiences throughout life. The yod is said to indicate an important past life experience playing a primary role in the present life.
THE MINOR ASPECTS
In addition to the 6 major aspects there are 6 minor aspects that are often not considered at all, but which can be quite significant and usually reinforce the major aspects. Minor aspects generally have an orb of only 1-2 degrees. The minor aspects are as follows..
semi-sextile (30 degrees): 1/2 a sextile; like the sextile, facilitative & energizing
decile (no symbol - 36 degrees): 1/2 a quintile; partly developed creative uniqueness
semi-square (45 degrees): 1/2 a square, like the square, tense and frictional
quintile (72 degrees): 1/5 a circle; creative uniqueness
sesquiquadrate (135 degrees): mild tension
bi-quintile (144 degrees): 2/5 a circle; harmonizing; creative
Click here for an interesting and cohesive explanation of the aspects in relation to the circle.
THE SIGNS IN MORE DETAIL
ARIES TAURUS GEMINI CANCER LEO VIRGO LIBRA SCORPIO SAGITTARIUS CAPRICORN AQUARIUS PISCES
The elements are fundamental and generally unmistakable. Observe the group dynamics at a party. The person in the center of everything is likely a fire sign or an air sign - either flaming or fanning the flames. And the ones clinging to the walls or engrossed in an intimate conversation are likely water, while the earth signs are circling the food table or helping to tidy up. That's a simplification, but the most profound truths are essentially simple. And astrology is all about essence.
The 12 signs and their elements & keywords are as follows:
ARIES: ACTIVE FIRE (assertive passionate)
impulsive ~ competitive ~ playful
TAURUS: FIXED EARTH (steady grounded)
nurturing ~ patient ~ sensual
GEMINI: MUTABLE AIR (changeable cerebral)
charming ~ witty ~ flirtatious
CANCER: ACTIVE WATER (assertive emotional)
sensitive ~ moody ~ intuitive
LEO: FIXED FIRE (steady passionate)
generous ~ creative ~ independent
VIRGO: MUTABLE EARTH (changeable grounded)
analytical ~ sensitive ~ particular
LIBRA: ACTIVE AIR (assertive cerebral)
gracious ~ appealing ~ fair-minded
SCORPIO: FIXED WATER (steady emotional)
intense ~ passionate ~ perceptive
SAGITTARIUS: MUTABLE FIRE (changeable passionate)
optimistic ~ generous ~ philosophical
CAPRICORN: ACTIVE EARTH (assertive grounded)
disciplined ~ ambitious ~ competitive
AQUARIUS: FIXED AIR (steady cerebral)
inventive ~ inventive ~ independent ~ open-minded
PISCES: MUTABLE WATER (changeable emotional)
imaginative ~ intuitive ~ sensitive
So as you can see, there's a perfect, neat logic to the zodiacal system.
And nothing compares to Linda Goodman's Sun Signs" in describing the signs of the zodiac, so I highly recommend you get a copy, because no one tells it better, not even close. And for immediate online sign gratification, I highly recommend the site Cafe Astrology, by astrologer Annie Heese, for a smorgasbord of solid and free astro info.
MORE ON THE SIGNS
Below is a brief overview of each of the astrological signs. Your 'Sun sign' is the sign the Sun occupies at the time of your birth. The following descriptions refer to your Sun sign, but may also be applied to your Moon and through Mercury, Venus & Mars to a lesser extent. The sign your Sun is in at birth is generally the most prominent in your personality, though there are always exceptions, as when another planet is conjunct your Sun, which will color your personality with the qualities of that planet.
It's said each sign is its opposite inside-out, and you can detect it in some of their descriptive qualities. Opposite signs are in complimentary elements, so Aries opposite Libra is fire opposite air, while Taurus opposite Scorpio is earth opposite water, and so on through all the signs. Fire and air build on each other (male energy/aggressive) and earth and water support each other (female energy/passive). Though they're opposite, their dynamics are supportive. No wonder they attract!
ARIES (fire): The first sign of the zodiac expects to be first in all things. Aries must lead, always. No matter how timid Aries may seem initially, you'll soon learn that they are anything but. And their enthusiasm about life is contagious. Aries is a shot of adrenalin to any social gathering. They project their martian spirit into whatever circumstances they find themselves in.
(opposite sign: LIBRA)
TAURUS (earth): Ruled by the Earth, the Taurus personality is like a warm embrace. Lovers of pleasure and beauty, these bulls always know where you can find a great meal. If you seek comfort and tranquility, look to a Taurus, for their steadfast and placid ways never fail to calm a restless mind and spirit.
(opposite sign: SCORPIO)
GEMINI (air): You can easily spot Geminis in a crowd - they're the ones talking to everyone about anything. Mercury, the winged messenger, is their ruling planet, so it's their purpose to interact, inform, inquire. Symbolized by the twins, you can't pin them down to any one thing, nor would you want to. They bring the light of learning to the human table.
(opposite sign: SAGITTARIUS)
CANCER (water): While Geminis are flitting about the room, Cancer is clinging to the wall. Cancer the crab would rather just stay home, thank you. Nothing is so desireable to Moon ruled Cancer than home and family. They live to nurture, with powerful emotions as changeable as the phases of the moon. And when they shine, their loony laughter can light up the world.
(opposite sign: CAPRICORN)
LEO (fire): Ruled by the Sun, Leos naturally assume the world revolves around them. Leos bring sunshine to whatever space they occupy. And they can't help it if they know how great they are. Whether roaring or purring these lions make their presence known, to the fear or delight of the others in the jungle. They always mean well and their will and purpose is legendary.
(opposite sign: AQUARIUS)
VIRGO (earth): A quiet sensuality and gentleness mark the Virgo personality, but beneath that serene exterior is a mind like a steel trap. Nothing goes unnoticed in their Spock-logical brains. They listen and nurture and tend to the needed things. And as far as these wheatbearers are concerned, heaven is in the details.
(opposite sign: PISCES)
LIBRA (air): Matching Virgo in their gentle ways, Libra needs peace and tranquility or they can easily lose their equilibrium. Ruled by Venus and the Scales, Libra seeks balance in all things, and often finds it difficult to decide one way or the other, because they so clearly see both sides.
(opposite sign: ARIES)
SCORPIO (water): Blessed (or cursed) with a piercing intensity, Pluto ruled Scorpio simply must unearth everything that's hidden. Nothing is as it seems and Scorpio will prove it! It's said the Scorpian is the most sexually focused of the zodiac, because sexuality offers endless depths to those who seek it, and a bounty of treasure and transformation for the effort.
(opposite sign: TAURUS)
SAGITTARIUS (fire): The adventurers of the zodiac, Jupiter ruled Sagittarius is compelled to learn, explore and expand. Their fiery spirit ignites their surroundings. Honest to a fault, their bluntness can get them into trouble, but they only mean well in their many observations. The archers of the zodiac, their arrows pierce to the heart of things, to expose and enlighten.
(opposite sign: GEMINI)
CAPRICORN (earth): Look for the hardest worker in the room and it's likely to be Capricorn the goat. Serious and determined, their purpose in life is to accomplish their goals. Saturn ruled, it's said over time they become younger in spirit, as their determination to reach the mountain top gives way to a willingness to stop and smell the flowers.
(opposite sign: CANCER)
AQUARIUS (air): Growth and change is the driving purpose of the bearers of the water of knowledge. Uranian spirits, they can't be held back or tied down. Their will is matched by the Lion and equally determined. Humanitarian to the core, they can't help but see the Big Picture and are driven to contribute to its expansion.
(opposite sign: LEO)
PISCES (water): Neptunian dreamers, these fish swim in the waters of inspiration and lead us all by their example. Water ruled, they absorb their surroundings and their empathy is often the source of great pain. They make the best actors because they naturally put themseves in others' places, and the best poets because they're so close to the source of all our dreams.
(opposite sign: VIRGO)
Next we'll take a look at each sign's 'planetary ruler'. Each planet shares certain qualities with each sign (or two), a kind of fractal connection. So the planets 'rule' the signs rather than the other way around, just one more indication of who the top dog in astrology is. The planetary rulers are not a 'must know' ingredient, but it is helpful and interesting to know what your ruling planet is. Whenever a planet travels through the sign it rules, it tends to strengthen the dynamics of that planet, so it's said.
Since there are 12 signs and only 10 planets, two planets do double-ruler duty. Before the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, five planets did so. What's interesting and mysterious is that with each new planetary discovery in our solar system, the qualities of that planet are reflected in the types of events occuring on Earth at the time of the discovery, an example of what Jung called 'synchronicity'. When Uranus was discovered, science and new technologies were making strong advances; Neptune was discovered in 1846, during the rise of new spiritual concepts; and Pluto was discovered in 1930 with the advent of the atomic age, bringing the absolute power of both creation and destruction into our world.
I think it's ironic that now, during the most plutonic time in history, the early 21st century, Pluto would be demoted to a planetoid. It should be known far and wide that the decision to demote was an unpopular one made by a small minority of astronomers and may do far more harm than good, particularly to the science of astrology. Some day Pluto's value may be ignored and forgotten if this rule stands, denying us understanding of a key dynamic of our evolution. (And it's sadly synchronistic that the atomic, plutonic waste we're leaving the future of mankind may also be forgotten, causing profoundly more harm. But it doesn't have to be - we still have a choice!)
And It's now believed by many that the newest discovered planet, or planetoid(?), called Chiron, is the true ruler of Virgo. Virgo is currently co-ruled by Mercury, sharing that honor with Gemini. This new view of Virgo is by no means a consensus, though I personally think it fits. Chiron is called 'the wounded healer', and Virgo is known to have healing abilities through an instinctive sense of balance and order and the impulse to bring it about where its lacking - which is just about everywhere these days. So it makes sense that Chiron would be discovered in this time, when its dynamics are so relevant. Virgo is symbolized by the wheat bearer. Though some refer to her as the virgin, I think that misses the point. Virgo is an earth sign, and earth signs immerse themselves in earthly, sensory experience. It's also said that the symbol for Virgo represents the reproductive organs. Following earth sign Taurus, which relates to the direct experience of earthly things, earth sign Virgo seeks to understand them, while earth sign Capricorn seeks to control or master them. And Virgos are highly discriminating, but they're also deeply sensuous, which the label of 'virgin' unjustly denies. Some of the most sensuous women are Virgos. The wheat bearer brings nutrients, for mind and body, to the human table. So Chiron, the 'wounded healer', is at home in Virgo, while Mercury, the 'winged messenger', is happily alight in Gemini.
This leaves one last planet to complete the 12/12 balance. So what about Earth, which has strangely been left out of the party? It seems obvious to me, and to a growing number of others, that Earth is the ruler of Taurus, which is currently co-ruled by Venus, along with Libra. For instance, the symbol for Taurus is the bull, so consider the enormous influence the bull (and cow!) has on our earthly lives (ice cream!), more than any other single animal. Its influence is enriching in balance, but disasterous in excess. And the positive qualities of Taurus resemble those of the Earth: sensuous, lush, protective, sheltering, nurturing, offering comfort and the symbolic horn of plenty to serve all our basic needs.
Another clue is Earth's mythological connection to the Pleiades, located in the Taurus constellation. The Pleaides is referenced by every ancient culture in the world and is even mentioned in the Old Testament! ... "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" And what of India's worship of the cow as sacred? India's 'Jyotisa', known here as 'vedic astrology', predates western astrology by thousands of years, so what do they know that we don't? As Shakespeare poetically put in the words of Hamlet, "There is more between Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy." It's also telling that the ancient symbol for the Earth is the inverted symbol for Venus. In mythology Earth is known as Venus' twin. Interestingly enough, the symbol for Earth has changed from a cross above a circle to a cross within a circle. It seems obvious to me that we've been steadfastly missing what's right in front of our eyes, which is also ironically one of Taurus' less appealing qualities, as is greed, another unfortunate human quality. Venus is also said to represent a paradise of earth-like qualities. So for all these reasons and more, it makes sense that Earth should be Taurus' natural ruler, leaving Libra alone to bask in Venus' beautiful rule.
I hope I've made the case that the signs and their planetary rulers could be considered balanced and complete. The beauty of astrology, as with all science, is there's always room to speculate, learn and grow.
With those points in mind, the 12 signs and their planetary rulers are as follows..
SUN rules LEO
MOON rules CANCER
MERCURY rules GEMINI
VENUS rules LIBRA
MARS rules ARIES
JUPITER rules SAGITTARIUS
SATURN rules CAPRICORN
URANUS rules AQUARIUS
NEPTUNE rules PISCES
PLUTO rules SCORPIO
CHIRON rules VIRGO
EARTH rules TAURUS
The signs are personality traits first, last and always, from the most basic to complex expression. The signs are color, while the aspects are shape and the planets are form. Here is a simple example of how the planets, aspects & signs work together:
Sun conjunct Jupiter..
Sun (will;purpose) conjunct (integration) Jupiter (expansion;optimism)
Sun conjunct Jupiter indicates an optimistic and expansive will, no matter what sign it's in. The sign simply colors the expression.
So Aries Sun conjunct Jupiter will get seasons tickets and take you to every sporting event;
While Virgo Sun conjunct Jupiter will generously try to organize your life;
And Taurus Sun conjunct Jupiter will spoil you with food and trinkets.
When the Sun and Jupiter aspect each other, especially a conjunction, it always indicates an generous and expansive nature. The signs simply indicate the manner of expression, the 'personality'. Other aspects may modify it, even contradict it, but it's still part of the personality. Many people are a mass of contradictions, after all.
Another example is Sun conjunct Neptune..
Sun (will;purpose) conjunct (integration) Neptune (inspiration;creativity)
Sun conjunct Neptune indicates a sensitive & inspired purpose.
The signs would color it accordingly..
Aries Sun conjunct Neptune would heighten the need to be creative as well as assertive, softening the aggressive Aries temperament.
Taurus Sun conjunct Neptune would enhance the creativity of the sensual Taurus - as a dancer or singer, for instance;
The examples I gave above are more evolved expressions. An example of a less evolved or dysfunctional Taurus Sun conjunct Neptune would be overindulgence in sensuous pleasures. Sun aspecting Neptune indicates the need to seek creative Nirvana, and those who don't recognize this need within themselves because of a lack of self understanding will still act on the impulse, but unconsciously and often with unhappy results. There are no guarantees, only tendencies and free will. And there are different levels of influence and intensity of each of the aspects, depending on the individual.
The 10 planets describe the entirety of the psyche - conscious, unconscious and collective unconscious. There is a high, low and everything-in-between expression of the planets, aspects & signs. How we use it depends on soul evolution, genetics and early environment - your new programming. So those born on the same day and year will have varying ways of expressing the same dynamics, some similar and some not. Potential is vast, how it's actualized is largely dependent on conditioning. That's it in an earthshell.
ABOUT THE HOUSES
If you know enough astrology to wonder why I haven't yet mentioned the houses, it's because house analysis is only relevant with an exact birth time, unknown by many. Fortunately, that in no way detracts from the rich information you gain from the PLANETS, ASPECTS & SIGNS alone. Still, let's briefly take a look at the houses for those who can use and benefit from the info..
The '12 houses' correspond to the signs of the zodiac. They're called 'houses' because each of the 10 planets 'reside' in one at any given time. Each house represents a specific area of human life: home, work, family, health, career, friends, travel, education, partnerships, etc., etc. Every life issue under the Sun is represented by one of the 12 houses. And each house that contains one or more of your planet(s) indicates a main area of interest.
The 12 houses, also called the 'wheel of life', is the stage on which you play. BUT you must know your exact time of birth to determine the house positions and your 'ascendant' (your 'rising sign') the sign on the 1st house cusp. This is called a 'natal chart'. Yet even just two minutes' error in your birth time can lead to a spectacularly wrong analysis.
Thankfully there is the 'solar chart', which does not rely on an exact birth time, and on which the 12 houses are a silent backdrop. The solar chart always puts the sun in the 1st house. All the BirthPrints in this book are solar charts. The birth time of most of the VIPs ahead aren't known, so their BirthPrints are calculated with a noon birth time. Since the Moon is the only planet that moves more than one degree a day, moving 12 degrees daily, a noon birthtime guarantees the Moon won't be more than six degrees away from its true location, and usually less.
Actually, Benjamin Franklin cast horoscopes without addressing the houses, and there are multiple clashing theories of house calculation, unlike the PLANETS, ASPECTS & SIGNS, which are universally consistent. Things to consider when addressing the natal vs. solar chart question.
A WORD ON THE ASTROLOGY BIBLE: THE EPHEMERIS..
The ephemeris contains the planetary positions through the centuries. All the planetary data you need to cast a horoscope is contained in an ephemeris. Though there was a time when casting a horoscope took hours of strenuous math calculation, these days there are websites that quickly calculate birth charts for you for free - this site is my favorite, Astrolabe Inc., out of my home state of Massachusetts. But it's good to have an ephemeris on hand too - no electricity required.