Astrology is the study of the movements of the objects in the heavens and their relationship to our lives

Our solar system has the sun at it’s center, with planets orbiting it. The earth orbits the sun like other planets while the moon orbits the earth.

This image shows the general motion of the planets and asteroids, although it’s not to scale. Mostly it’s empty space and it’s impossible to draw to scale. The paths of the planets aren’t as circular as this chart shows either-this creates a constantly shifting set of planets’ relationships with earth.

All of this movement looks different from here, and it’s easy to understand why people have been looking to the stars for millennia. The clip below shows the movement of the heavens from earth. It appears that the stars are moving, but it’s the earth doing the turning.

Astrology is math. It’s a study of the geometrical relationships of items in the heavens and their affects on earth. It’s also science. It’s based on thousands of years of written explorations between these relationships and their real world effects. And, it’s intuitive. When I’m interpreting a chart, there is a bit of a mathematical formula, but the solution to the formula is such a blending of personality traits that intuition is required to read the mix. So, something like:

(Math+Science+Intuition)/3+ (Research/Discernment)=Astrology

To make a proper birth chart, we need birth day, time and location. You can see, from the spinning of the planets, that time and location can drastically change the placements of the planets.

The sky is split into 12 slices, and we call these signs. Each sign has it’s own energy.

Each sign is a slice holding 30 degrees of the circle. When we label planets to put the on a chart, we use the sign and the degree. Sun 20°Scorpio  means that the placement is 2/3 of the way through the sign of Scorpio.

If you are just learning astrology, it’s possibly you’ve not heard any astrology terms except for these signs, but you will recognize them: Aries (analyzing), Taurus (possessing), Gemini (communicating), Cancer (feeling), Leo (creating), Virgo (analyzing), Libra (relating), Scorpio (transforming), Sagittarius (idealizing), Capricorn (achieving), Aquarius (networking) and Pisces (intuiting).

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houses500

The sky is also split into 12 houses, which move independently from the signs. Each house represents a certain area of our life. The signs that fill your houses determine the flavor of that part of your life.

Houses are determined by the time of birth, and determine the “angles” as well, which are the ascendant, descendant and midheaven.

Don’t worry if you have houses that are empty or houses that have many planets-it’s all OK. It just means that you will focus a lot of your energy in a certain area of your life, or it’s an area that doesn’t need much focus.

1st: Self   |   2nd: Possessions   |  3rd: Mind
4th: Family  |   5th: Creativity   |   6th: Daily affairs and Health
7th: Relationships   |   8th: Intimacy   |   9th: Learned Beliefs
10th: Career   |   11th: Groups   |   12th: Subconscious, Inner World

planets

In astrology, “planets” means all traditional planets as well as the sun and moon. Each of these has unique orbital relationships with earth. Your birth chart is a map of the planets at the moment of your birth. We mark their movement on the chart by marking the degree in the signs. Orbits aren’t round and they all take different lengths of time. Planet movements are written in Ephemerises, easily locatable on the web, but modern computer programs take the guess work out of this, so that we can concentrate on our interpretations.

Each sign has it’s own flavor,  each house covers a particular area of life,  and each planet has a different key word, so to speak. The sun’s keyword is “vital force”. In my chart, it’s in Virgo in the 6th house. This means that my vital force is analyzing, because it’s in Virgo, and concentrated in my day to day life and health, represented by the 6th house. My moon is in Aries in my first house, meaning my emotions are in the house of self, with an assertive energy. That’s certainly true-I do expend a lot of emotional energy asserting my own identity.

We also have North and South Nodes, which are based on the movement of the moon, and represent what we know and what we want to learn. Our South Node represents what we came to this life already knowing, and the North Node represents the direction our life should grow.

Asteroid_Belt

I’d imagine this picture made you think, “Wow-that’s a lot of asteroids!”

There are thousands of asteroids, clustered in 3 main places. They are named after all sorts of things, including nearly every ancient hero or god, discoveries and places. There are also a good many named after people. I don’t know how it’s so accurate, but name asteroids often have quite an impact.

Asteroids are my passion. There are so many, and more are discovered so often. I encourage you to explore like crazy.

I’d love to work with you to find pertinent asteroids in your life, and you can also explore yourself, by generating a chart here and requesting specific asteroids.

Because asteroids are smaller than planets, they don’t individually hold as much weight as the larger bodies. But, when they are involved in chart patterns or aspect important points, they can color a chart brilliantly.

Asteroids are discovered quite often. A good quality list is located here.

Aspects are angular connections between planets. Planets are charted on a circle, with 360 degrees-different angles determine the type of aspect.

Each aspect connects the energies of the points-some more harmoniously than others. Oppositions and squares are often stressful, but with some follow through, they can really create powerful personalities. Conjunctions, trines and sextiles are quite pleasant, and give the person much ease.

Aspects are where astrology gets juicy for me. I think they flavor our lives and incredible amount.

Aspects

Chart Patterns are geometric shapes that occur within the birth chart. Any polygon is important, plus a range of other shapes. My favorite is the Grand Trine, an equilateral triangle. Also important are Grand Crosses (a square), Yods (a pointing finger), T-Squares, Fans and a host of other shapes. These add either tension or ease to the energies of the involved planets.

There are so many things to consider when reading a birth chart, and this barely scratches the surface, except that it does provide an overview and starting point.

You may also make synastry or composite charts, and both tell us about relationships. Synastry charts compare the location of your planets to the location of another person’s planets. Aspects become very important in these charts. A composite chart is the average of 2 people’s charts. Instead of telling us how the people will get along, which a synastry chart does beautifully, it tells us the nature of the relationship.

The last thing I’ll mention here are transits-as the current planets make geometric relationships with their placements at your birth, you’ll feel them. Some are more popular-many people have heard of their “Saturn Return”, which is when Saturn returns to its placement at your birth, around the age of 30, and brings life changes with it.

I check my transits easily using my iPhone-Time Passages is a wonderful program-go ahead and pay the $30 if you’re looking for the transits-everything is free forever after that. But! Daily transits are free without buying the pro version, and it’s a great resource.