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 Of Planets, Signs, Houses - the elements and other factors……………...

Before looking at the meanings of the Planets, Signs and Houses, we should take a look at what the astrological chart actually represents, so that we can see in context how these factors interrelate and fall into place in terms of whole chart synthesis.

It cannot be stressed enough to the new student of astrology that singling out a particular chart factor is not the way to interpret a chart - it is simply a part of the process of putting the chart together in preparation for analysis in order to take it all apart in the synthesis (interpretation). Sounds strange at this stage I know, but trust me, this is the way it works......

Whilst intuition plays a strong part in the astrological interpreting process, this 'intuition' that we speak of, is really the deduction that comes through an intimate knowledge of the subject of astrology. What takes the new student much time to pull together initally, at a glance, the experienced astrologer is able to make that 'intuitive' leap to deduction.

Only constant reading, discussion and practice at erecting many charts, and the experience of meeting many people who's birth data you obtain will take you to this level. Astrology is actually quite a long and serious study. One doesn't wake up one day and say -"I'm going to be an astrologer today".

Strong, and/or repeated themes in the chart are what we are looking for, and we find these in the connecting factors (aspects) of the astrological alphabet - the Planets (including the luminaries - Sun and Moon), Signs and Houses as read in context of their symbolism.

The astrological chart, wheel, or mandala, is a two dimensional map of the space surrounding us at the time of our birth, so we can view this in our mind's eye as representing us being at the centre or focus of the circle, with the planets moving around us. You are now using the first rule of modern astrology -- viewing the energies of the planets in relation to the individual whose map it is we are interpreting.

The wheel is divided into twelve sections called houses -- six houses in the sky above, six beneath the Earth below. Day and Night.

In the following example, the Equal House system of house division is used.

(Many systems of house division have been devised in the evolution of astrology, and Michael Munkasey's work in regard to house systems should be referred to.)

Annoted on the chart below, are the Ascendant/Descendant axis - the first to sixth house polarity; the Midheaven, sometimes known as the Medium Coeli/Immum Coeli (or Base of Heaven) axis - the tenth to the fourth house polarity; and the Vertex (an important point recently introduced to astrology - the Vertex and it's corresponding polarity - the Anti-Vertex in the East have become known as the third axis of the chart) - We will look at these actual chart points in closer detail a little later……………..

The astrological houses are numbered counterclockwise, starting with the 1st house and the direction east, on the left-hand point of the wheel. Planets and luminaries in the heavens are placed on the chart wheel in the houses that correspond to where they appear to be in the sky as viewed from that point on Earth in terms of Zodiacal Longitude.

Of the 12 houses, astrologers find the four most important are the ones directly above our heads (10th), the one under our feet (4th), the one on the left and to the east (1st), and the one on the right and to the west (7th). These four are called "angular housses", because they mark the 'corners' of the chart: north, south, east, and west, - the primary directions or angles. The cross thus formed is also referred to as the "Cross of Matter" symbolising man's descent from spirit to the material plane. A keyphrase that you should remember for the character of these houses is "to be" with keywords of powerful and initiatory. Each house as we shall see a little later is concerned with power and life.

The second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh house are termed succedent houses. To understand the character of these, try to remeber the keyphrase of "to use", and "resultant status". Each house is concerned with a state which we hope may remain stable.

The third, sixth, ninth and twelfth houses are termed cadent houses. The character here is best understood in the words "to understand or transform". Cadent houses are areas of dispersal, indicating activities more widely spread. The meanings of the Cadent houses are not as concise, and really, in today's society neither is the idea of strength. In times past as man was more concerned with material survival, the strength of cadent houses was not at all understood as no material value could be assignedplanets in cadent houses were hence considered 'weak'.

NOTE: It should be remembered that each house is as strong as every other in it's own right. However, planets placed on or close to the angles do appear to express more strongly in the character of the person. This is especially true of the Ascendant and the Midheaven, irrespective of which house either side the planet may be. This is so simply because the positions in the chart represent points of rising and culmination respectively.

Life of course continues after the birth moment, and astrologers watch the planets (as they continue on in the sky after a birth) move through the houses of the natal chart - charts may be erected for any time in your life to show the influences for that period. These are called Transit Charts, and are very important for planning the timing of projects or just providing insight about a period of time, ie. the future potentiality symbolised by the correlated movements for you.

Planetary movement through the chart is counterclockwise as they go from the upper hemisphere (houses 7-12), across the ascendant, (1st house cusp) into the lower hemisphere (houses 1-6), and on in their cyclic orbits.

NOTE: It is advisable early on in your studies of astrology, that you begin to think of the houses as operating in pairs or axes through the concept of polarity- and NOT as singular chart factors. In this way from the start, you begin to look at the chart more as a whole as you view house related angular relationships of the planets within the polarity operating in the chart' structure and symbolism.

In the chart wheel, the planets are entered in their zodiacal positions.

The zodiac ( A word from Greek, which means literally "circle of animals") is represented in a circle through all 360 degrees of the surrounding sky, and this circle is divided into equal sections of 30 degrees -- the familiar 12 signs. Planet positions are measured within signs by degrees, minutes, and seconds of circular arc. Each degree contains 60 minutes of arc and each minute of arc contains 60 seconds of arc. It is an interesting point to note that the Sumerians are credited with the sexegismal division by which we measure time.

As an example of planetary placement, I might tell you that my Moon (that is, where the Moon was at the time of my birth) is in the sign Libra (7th sign). More exactly it is in the 3rd degree of Libra.
It is actually at 2 degrees and 28 minutes of the sign Libra (from 0-1 degrees is termed the first degree, and from 29-30 degrees is termed the 30th degree in standard astrological nomenclature).

So, as already stated, the chart wheel is divided into 12 sections called houses. These houses are numbered (counterclockwise) from 1 through 12. The dividing lines between one house and the next -are called house cusps.
For example, the cusp of the 1st house is the horizontal line on the left-hand (east) side of the wheel.

Keep foremost in your mind when viewing a chart, that our planet Earth makes a complete turn on its axis once in every 24 hours. So, on average, one sign will rise every 2 hours, that is, 1 degree of a sign will rise approximately every 4 minutes in a clockwise direction through the chart. The chart wheel represents the space surrounding where we were born. It is as if we were standing outside with the sky above us (upper part of chart) and the Earth beneath our feet (lower hemisphere).

As the Earth turns on its axis, it brings each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac overhead (or to any part of the wheel for that matter) once every 24 hours -- a new degree of the zodiac every four minutes. If you are serious about studying astrology, I highly recommend that you go out on a clear night and observe and familiarise yourself with the night sky. A star chart applicable to your hemisphere (north or south) is available each month through Sky & Telescope magazine and can be downloaded or printed from their website - Alternatively a planisphere can be obtained through any good bookshop or your local observatory.

As you can see in the chart above, the symbols for the planets have been placed in the part of the sky (the house) in which they were at the time of birth, or the moment in time at which you wish to analyse. (In this case the Aries ingress, or entry of the Sun into the zodiacal Sign of Aries). If you were born in the daytime, then the symbol for the Sun will be somewhere in the upper half of the wheel. If you were born at noon, the sun would be almost right overhead or at the top of the chart at the M.C. If your were born toward sunset, it will be close to the Descendant in the West, while if you were born at midnight it would be at the bottom (4th house - I.C.) of the chart, and near dawn - close to the Ascendant in the East.

NOTE: This makes an excellent reference check to see if you have cast the chart correctly - where the Sun lies in the chart should be representative of these times.


The chart wheel or mandala of 12 houses can be seen as a circle with the houses proceeding in a counterclockwise direction. The houses relate "theaters of experience" in our lives or the particular "stage" used for the expression of the signs and planets (archetypes) placed in them.

Houses are numbered from the first house corresponding with Aries, and have certain qualities or modes of expression assigned to them accordingly. It should be noted by the student and experienced astrologer alike, that these qualities and modes of expression evolve as man himself evolves - as a frame of reference, the houses and meanings we assign to them today are not the same as when astrologers first assigned meaning to them. As my old teacher used to say - "All that is currently known is NOT all that will ever be known". Times change.................

Carl Gustov Jung assigned primary mind (psychological) functions relating to four basic ways in which an individual can view or experiesnce the world and its never ending stream of circumstances, events and happenings.

These he called the functions of intuition, sensation, thinking and feeling. These functions can be correlated with the four elements of astrological notation part of our alphabet - Fire, Earth, Air and Water respectively.

First house: Angular, Cardinal, Fire (The Intuitive Function) The first house refers to the subjective discovery of being or of self as an individual. Impulse, start, action may be found here. It describes the way you come across, your appearance, persona, and identity. So, the First House is primarily about identity, describing your personality - how you see yourself and how others see you. It can also describe your physical appearance. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: the self, ego, anima, projected image, expression of inner motivation, physical appearance, soul purpose, initial approach to life, the aura. The house of the planet Mars and the natural domicile of the sign Aries.

Second house: Succedent, Fixed, Earth, (The Sensation Function) The second house relates to the acquisition and use of whatever is available to exteriorize ones self. This includes natural talents and the innate abilities found within the psyche. Possessions, money. How you receive, your values, hidden talents. The Second House is about your own resources. It describes what you value ranging from physical possessions and money, to personal self-esteem and talents. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: resources, both personal and financial, values and attitudes, possessions, self-esteem, acquisitions, prana. The house of the planet Venus and the natural domicile of the sign Taurus.

Third house: Cadent, Mutable, Air (The Thinking Function) The third house relates to the subjective self and the means (the senses) used for action in objective reality. The physical senses, investigations, inquiries, explorations. Your siblings and neighbors. Communications the logical mind, thinking, writing, letters, gossip, media, short journeys. The Third House is about communication. It also refers to early learning, siblings, immediate environment and short journeys. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: mental processes and communication, active search for knowledge, early learning, siblings, short journeys, telepathy and mental energy. The house of the planet Mercury and the natural domicile of the sign Gemini.

Fourth house: Angular, Cardinal, Water (The Feeling Function) The fourth house refers to those elements which establish the foundations of the personal self and support/nourish it. Home and property, the familial or domestic scene. Emotional foundations, the mother. The personal unconscious. The Fourth House is about home and family. It describes your roots, your heritage and your private life. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: home life, roots, family and relations, psychological foundations, biological inheritance, place of abode, the ashram, karma. The house of the Moon and the natural domicile of the sign Cancer.

Fifth house: Succedent, Fixed, Fire (The Intuitive Function) The fifth house relates to the process of externalizing the creative power of the personal self. Children, pride, self-discovery, self-expression, offspring, creations, teaching, acting, playing (fun), gambling or speculating and sports. The Fifth House is all about creativity. This can include artistic pursuits, hobbies, recreation, children and lovers. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Creative self-expression, love affairs, procreation and children, leisure, hobbies, games and sports, self-fulfillment, joy and bliss. The house of the Sun and the natural domicile of the sign Leo.

Sixth house: Cadent, Mutable, Earth (The Sensation Function) The sixth house refers to experiences which broaden the awareness of the self's personal responsibilities on a day to day or mundane basis. Work place and co-workers, conservation, purity, harvesting, service, repair, working for others, and analytical skills. Health and sickness. Detailed work, crafts. The Sixth House is about day to day life. It is about work, health, the service you give and your habits. It also relates to small animals. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: health, daily routine, working environment, skills, pets and animals, service. The house of the planet Mercury and the natural domicile of the sign Virgo.

Seventh house: Angular, Cardinal, Air (The Thinking Function) The seventh house refers to the quality of our approach to intimate relationships and to the world in general on a one to one basis. Your marriage, partners, union, any relationship involving a contract with an individual. Enemies, the "shadow". Spirit of cooperation. The Seventh House is about partnerships. This can be partnerships in business, marriage or a committed relationship. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: business partnerships, marriage, long-term associations, open enemies, the animus, the relationship between soul and personality. The house of the planet Venus and the natural domicile of the sign Libra.

Eighth house: Succedent, Fixed, Water, (The Feeling Function) The eighth house relates to our use of power in all its forms and those assets we hold jointly with others. Sex, shared resources, obligations, debts and assets, death and regeneration. Initiation, purification, purgatory. The deeper personal unconscious. The Eighth House is about the support you receive from other people. It is the house of regeneration, and covers death, sex, legal matters, and metaphysics. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Transformation and regeneration, resources of others, sexuality, death, transmutation, battles, the Path of discipleship. The house of the planet Pluto and the natural domicile of the sign Scorpio. (Anciently, prior to the discovery of the outer planets, Mars had dominion over this house and sign).

Ninth house: Cadent, Mutable, Fire (The Intuitive Function) The ninth house refers to an expansion of consciousness in relation to social and universal process. Codified thought, religion, philosophy. Enduring thoughts, ideas. Published works, Long journeys, dreams. The Ninth House is about higher learning. It covers academic subjects, law, religion, publishing, foreign culture, sport, overseas travel and philosophy. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Philosophy, religion, higher education, distant travel, cultural learning, publishing, the journey along the Path, the Ageless Wisdom, akashic records. The house of the planet Jupiter and the natural domicile of the sign Sagittarius.

Tenth house: Angular, Cardinal, Earth (The Sensation Function) The tenth house relates to fulfilling our personal selves through participation in affairs of the world. Career. Practical talents of social worth. Your larger or more public image. Where you see most clearly, clairvoyance. Practical vision, and supervisory skills. The father. The Tenth House is about your public life. It shows your standing in the community, career, social status and can reflect your attitude to parenting. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Honor, authority, career and profession, life direction, achievement, Masters and Hierarchy. The house of the planet Saturn and the natural domicile of the sign Capricorn.

Eleventh house: Succedent, Fixed, Air (The Thinking Function) The eleventh house refers to personal goals which connect to groups, clubs or organizations in society. Larger goals. Putting ideas to work. Impersonal drive to realize your ideals. Working with others in groups, organization. Your friends. Planning, humanitarian, community. The Eleventh House is about your friendships and relationship with groups of people. It is also about your hopes and dreams. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Friends and social acquaintances, groups and organisations and their activities, the New Group of World Servers. The house of the planet Uranus and the natural domicile of the sign Aquarius. (Anciently, prior to the discovery of the outer planets, Saturn presided over this house and sign).

Twelfth house: Cadent, Mutable, Water (The Feeling Function) The twelfth house relates to our connection to the universal or cosmic order and relates to the concept of personal karma relative to the greater collective consciousness. Limits, confinement, hidden faults, self-undoing. Prisons, public institutions, one's dues, karma, psychology, acceptance, sacrifice, forbearance. The collective unconscious. The Twelfth House is about endings. It is about your hidden strengths and weaknesses. It is also about institutions such as hospitals, jails, libraries and the armed services. Other exoteric and esoteric keywords include: Institutions, fears, hidden enemies, the collective unconscious, spirituality, unredeemed karma, selfless service to humanity. The house of the planet Neptune and the natural domicile of the sign Pisces (Anciently, prior to the discovery of the outer planets, Jupiter ruled this house and sign).


 The interplay and angular relationship of the planets with one another as they circle the Sun from viewpoint Earth is carefully studied by the astrologer. The predisposition and the inherent potential for these planets' (archetypes) expression is displayed as a map (the Natal chart).

As the planets continue to move after ones birth, a timetable (current transits to the chart and it's progressions/directions, called Transit and/or Progressed/Directed Charts) is activated and correlates the potentials of ones life as related by the "seed plan" offered by the plotting of these positions within the Natal Chart within specific astrological/psychological parameters. These celestial bodies are used by modern astrologers for natal interpretation as well as for future prognostication.

Each of these planets represents (in archetypal form) a part of our life and the overall chart description refers to what in Jungian psychology is termed as the "Self". Here are some of the concepts and key words associated with each planet:

The Lights (or Luminaries) & Ascendant

(The Foundations of the Psyche)

The Sun (masculine principle) and Moon (feminine principle) or the "Lights", are the two most primary astrological bodies in the chart and together with the Ascendant forms the third leg of the triad which are the primary foundations of our psychological makeup (the Ascendant is not a planet or light, it is the point at the eastern horizon of the chart) : The Sun (the ego, what we are), The Moon (the personal unconscious, our past conditioning), and the Ascendant (the "persona", how we filter or perceive our experiences and the self image we project to others).


The degree of the Zodiac which appeared on the eastern horizon at the moment for which a horoscope is to be cast. It is often loosely applied to the whole of the Rising Sign and to the entire First House as well as specifically to the exact degree on the horizon. With reference to a Birth Chart it signifies properly the east point of the same, placed at the left hence the Sign and the degree thereof are distinguished as the Rising Sign and the Rising Degree. A planet between the lower meridian and the eastern horizon is ascending by virtue of the Earth's rotation, but it does not arrive at the Ascendant until it reaches the last degree of the nocturnal semi-arc.

Old authorities within the literature speak of the Ascendant as the Horoscope, and of all planets in the eastern segment of the Figure as Ascendant planets since all are actually rising, but in the course of time this term has become obsolete. Only those planets that are within orbs of a conjunction with the Rising Degree, or that are in the First House, are said to be in the Ascendant. Some authorities deem that a planet in the last 12 degrees of the Twelfth House should be interpreted as a First House planet.

As a "sensitive point" on the birthchart, it symbolizes your acquaintances, your connections in the local environment and surroundings in short, "the place." The ascendant is what others see in you, the response you get, the sympathies you create; personal inclinations. It has been referred to as one's 'bent' in life.

The term ascendant is often used to mean the entire sign rising at the birth moment and is seen to represent the outward personality and mannerisms of the individual. The ascendant, combined with the position of the Sun and Moon at birth, are very important in suggesting the framework and general nature of the individual.

The "Persona" or mask we present to others, and with which we filter the experience of, the phenomenal world. It also relates to the physical body and its health. A most sensitive point in the chart, whatever contacts this point springs immediately to our awareness. When we observe a planet at the Ascendant. (Rising Sign) we see it magnified, seeming larger than normal, and in much the same way any planets or luminaries found here are very pronounced in their effect upon our psyche. The Ascendant reveals a general approach to life and our responses and is in fact a point of emphasized awareness. Along with the sun and moon the Ascendant shows our most basic attunements in life.

Sun -

Astronomical Considerations

To the Egyptians it was Ra, Amen, Aten, or Osiris, each with a different religious significance. The winged globe in Egyptian art is a familiar representation of the solar orb. Atenism, the first impersonal concept of the Deity, worshipped only "the power which came from the Sun," and forbade any emblem or idol that would tend to substitute a symbol for the thing itself. To The Persian it was Mithras; to the Hindu, Brahma; to the Chaldean, Bel; and to the Greek, Adonis and Apollo. In Free-masonry Sol-om-on, the name of the Sun in three languages, is an expression of light.

Actually the Sun has no visible motion, although we know it moves because nothing in the universe can hold its place by standing still. However, ancient astrology dealt with things as they appear rather than as they are; just as the wind which blows South was to the ancients the North wind because it came out of the North. Therefore, when astrology speaks of the Sun's motion we must not overlook the fact that what we actually mean is the Earth's motion which we measure by or describe in the terms of the apparent motion of the Sun. That the ancient masters knew this, can be seen in the order of the planetary hours: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus -- the placing of the Sun between Mars and Venus clearly showing that it represents the Earth in this sequence.

The Nodes at which the Earth intercepts the plane of the Sun's equator, lie at heliocentric longitudes 75° and 255°, which the Earth crosses in Junc and December. The Sun's North Pole is inclined toward the Earth by 7° in July, and away from the Earth by 7° in January. The plane of the Sun's orbit is not known, but since the Milky Way galaxy is a flat disc of stars it is probable that the Sun's orbit does not deviate to any great extent from the average of the stars within the galaxy -- similar to the orbits of the planets which lie within a narrow band that extends some 7° on either side of the Ecliptic.

We do know that the plane of our ecliptic is inclined to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy at a steep angle of approximately 50° hence the three-dimensional motion of the Earth with reference to the orbit of the Sun must involve a considerable degree of elevation and depression above and below the plane of the Sun's orbit; also that there must be a considerable declination of the Sun's pole with reference to its orbit, not unlike that of the Earth's pole to which we ascribe our seasonal variations. Because of this, the Nodes where the Earth intersects the Sun's equator are not the same as those at which the Earth intersects the plane of the Sun's orbit. It is not improbable that the latter nodes may pursue a precessional cycle not unlike that of the Moon's Nodes.

The Sun is a variable star, unlike any other star yet discovered. It revolves from East to West; i.e., looking down on its North pole, it moves counter-clockwise. Its period of rotation at the Equator is 24.65 d.; at the pole, 34 d. Its mean period as seen by the Earth is 25.38 d.; but its synodical period of rotation is 27.25 d.

The diameter of the Sun is 864,392 miles. Driving in an automobile at the rate of 500 miles a day, it would require 14 y, 10 m, 2 d, to circle the Sun.

Its weight in tons is 2,200 plus 24 ciphers, or 2.2 octillion tons. In bulk it could contain 1,300,000 Earths.

The Sun-Earth distance -- 92,897,416 miles -- is taken as a unit of measurement of inter-solar system space, and is known as one Astronomical Unit. Its light requires 498.59 seconds, or about 8 1/3 minutes, to reach the Earth. To travel the distance by an airplane at 300 miles per hour, would consume 35 years; to walk at 4 m.p.h., 6300 y.

Hugh Rice, astronomer of the Hayden Planetarium of New York, says, "The Sun is the source of almost all the power, heat and life on the Earth." Heat reaching the Earth amounts to 1.94 calories per minute, per square mile of the Earth's surface. One caloric is the amount of heat required to raise one gram of water by one degree of temperature.

In terms of power the Sun's radiation amounts to 1.51 h.p. per sq. yard of the Earth's surface, or 643,000 h.p. per sq. mile. Were it not for loss by curvature and reflection it would amount to 4,690,000 h.p. per sq. mile, or for the entire surface of the Earth, 127 Plus twelve ciphers, or 127 trillions of horsepower -- more than we could possibly use. Actually our absorption amounts to from 0.34 to 0.38 h.p. per sq. yard, or the equivalent of a 60-watt lamp in continuous operation. When it is recalled that the Earth as seen from the Sun is a point in the sky apparently less than half as large as Venus when it is our brilliant evening star, and that this is the tiny object which intercepts a total of 230 million-million horsepower of solar radiation, it becomes evident that the Sun radiates an incomprehensible amount of energy. Indeed, we find that it radiates nearly 2,200,000,000 times as much energy as that which lights and warms and gives life to our planet, and hundreds of millions of times as much energy as is intercepted by all the planets, satellites, and planetoids combined.

Most of the Sun has a temperature of a million degrees. Its energy travels at the rate of 186,271 miles per second. The Sun's heat would melt a block of ice the size of the Earth in 16.6 minutes; a block of iron of the same size, in Less than 3 hours. Its heat for a year is equal to the burning of tons of coal amounting to 400 Plus 21 ciphers.

The Sun's Spectrum of visible light extends from 7700 Angstrom units on the red end, to 3600 Angstrom units on the violet end. An Angstrom unit is one ten-millionth of a millimeter. A millimeter is 1/25th of an inch. A wave of red light measures one 32-thousandths of an inch; of violet, one 64-thousandths. Hence the visible Spectrum consists of one octave, although 40 octaves are known to Scicnce.

The ultra-violet band extends from 3600 to 1000 Angstrom units. However, the ozone in the Earth's atmosphere cuts out all rays shorter than 2900 A.U. Tanning is nature's way of protecting the body against an excess of ultra-violet radiation.

The light of the Sun is 465,000 times brighter than the Full Moon; 900,000,000 times brighter than Venus at its brightest. In the Zenith this has been computed at 103,000 meter-candles. A meter-candle is the light received from a candle at a distance of a meter.

According to the latest astronomical computations the Sun's proper motion in orbit is approx. 200 miles per second; its apparent motion towards a point in the constellation Hercules is 12 miles per second.

Astrological Considerations:

The sun contains many elements of the "Ego" and is also our central identity. It represents our creative core, the light of consciousness. The father, the essential motivating force, creative source, the teacher or figure of authority. Also represents anyone older or more experienced than ourselves. The Sun represents our identity. It tells us how we define ourselves; how we need to express ourselves; how we need to shine in our lives; how we feel alive. It is the centre of our self-expression. The Sun can also tell us about our father. That which we are at our center. The sun and mars hold many elements of the "animus", the unconscious masculine principal in women. A gestalt expression of the sun and mars (and the natal aspects they make to other planets in the chart) as the "animus" is encountered commonly by women as a personified masculine character in dreams. The sun holds a special place in the myths of all ancient cultures and is commonly seen at the apex of all deities, man often worshiped its actual physical presence. In Greek mythology he is known as Helios and Apollo the god of the sun. He is the brother of Artemus (Diana) the moon goddess and holds sway over prophecy and music. The tarot "Sun".

Moon -

Astronomical Considerations:

A satellite of the Earth, which to different civilizations has also been known as Luna, Soma, Isis; the "mother of the Earth." It has given us the name for the first day of the week-Monday; also lunacy, lunatic, moonstruck.

The Moon, reflecting the light of the Sun, emits a degree of heat which can be registered by concentrating the rays on the bulb of a thermometer. It may have some slight vegetation, but because of the apparent absence of atmosphere or clouds it lacks sufficient water to support vegetation such as is on the Earth.

The period of the Moon's axial rotation is the same as its period of revolution, hence the same side of the Moon is always turned toward the Earth. That its orbit was formerly smaller and its velocity correspondingly greater is proved by comparing records of ancient eclipses to tables based on observation of its present motion.

The Moon's mean distance from the Earth is 238,840 miles, or 60 times the Earth's radius. It travels a trifle faster than its diameter per hour. Nor is it entirely the nearest body to the Earth, for in part of its orbit the minor planet Hermes (disc. in 1937) approaches to a distance of only 200,000 Miles. Traveling by airplane at 200 m.p.h. one would traverse the Earth-Moon distance in 5o days; but it would take a rocket ship speed of 7 m.p.s. to get beyond the Earth's gravitational field-at which rate we could arrive in 2 days.

Lifetimes have been devoted to the study of its incredibly complex motions. Among its various perturbations are the Equation of the Center, the retrogression of the Nodes, Evection, the anomalistic period, Lunar Variation, Annual Equation, and Secular Acceleration.

Galilee, in 1610, was the first selenographer to study the Moon through a telescope. In 1647 Hevelius published a chart of the Moon's surface that was not improved upon for a century. Its phases are familiar: The crescent of the new moon, and the reverse crescent of the fourth quarter of its circuit; the gibbous phase of the second and third quarters, when more than half of the moon is light; and the Earth-shine, when the Earth reflects a dim light upon the surface of the Moon during a few days before and after the Lunation.

Because of its faster motion near perigee we are able to see 7°45' around the Eastern and Western edges. This is termed its Libration in Longitude. Because of the inclination of the plane of the Moon's orbit to that of the Earth, we are able at times to see 6°41' beyond each of the poles. This is termed Libration in Latitude. There is also a Diurnal Libration of 1° on the Eastern limb of the Moon when rising, and on the Western when setting. The net combined result is that 41% of the Moon's surface is visible all the time, with another 18% that is visible part of the time, leaving 41%. that has never been seen from the Earth.

Meton discovered the recession of the Moon's node in 432 B.C. and reformed the calendar in accordance therewith. He determined that there were 235 synodic periods in 19 years, varying by i day according to the number of leap years contained in the period.

The node recesses 360° in 6793.5 days or 18 2/3 years, or roughly 1½ years to a sign. The Draconitic period of the Moon's motion, that from node to node, is 27.2122 days. The moon rises 50 minutes later each night.

Harvest Moon

At this season of the year the Moon's path more nearly parallels that of the Earth, hence it remains near to the horizon for several days, at the same hour. Similarly with the Hunter's Moon, which is the nearest Full Moon to September 23rd. This effect is further intensified when the descending node is at 0º Aries. For example, with the Ascending node at 0º Aries : 23º 27', Plus 5º 9', equals 28º 36'. With the Descending node at 0º Aries : 23º 27, minus 5º 9', equals 18º 18º'. The Full Moon rides low in Summer but high in Winter, thus making Winter the season of least sunlight but of most moonlight.

Moonlight contains streaks of bright rays, apparently from some special mineral that fails to absorb light, or which may have some such property as radioactivity -- to conjecture on a point regarding which scientists fail to agree. The rays consist largely of shades of yellow and gray, and from certain areas a shade of green. The Earth's surface has a reflective power six times greater than that of the Moon.

The Lunar spectrum is much the same as that of the Sun, except that the light is yellower, and more diffused because of the rough- ness of the Moon's surface. At the quarter, the Moon's light has a brilliance of one-millionth that of the Sun; at the Full, 1/465 thousandths. However, the Moon absorbs 93% of the light it could reflect.

The Moon's aspects by Right Ascension differ some minutes from those by Geocentric Longitude. Tropical period minus Precession from 0º Aries : 6.9 seconds per period. The color white is often associated with the Moon to symbolize purity. That it is chemically white is due to the absence of all color. Prismatically it is the presence of all colors of the spectrum, or the three primary colors in the proportions of three parts of yellow, five of red, and eight of blue.

Astrological Considerations:

Our unconscious instincts, emotional foundations, our surroundings, the environment out of which we came. Mother, our past and childhood, our feelings and conditioned responses or habitual patterns of behaviour. Our formative years, and background. The Moon tells us about our emotional nature and basic needs. It is also the key to how we experience intimacy in relationships. The Moon tells us about our mother, as she is our first intimate relationship. How did we experience her nurturing? And what type of nurturing do we now expect? That out of which we emerged. The moon and Venus hold many elements of the "anima", the unconscious feminine principal in men. A gestalt expression of the moon and Venus (and the natal aspects they make to other planets in the chart) as the "anima" is encountered commonly by men as a personified feminine character in dreams. In Greek mythology this most profound female goddess is related to Diana who holds sway over the fertility of all things in the earth and agriculture. The tarot "High Priestess".

The Personal Planets

These planets (archetypes) operate within the personal sphere of activity and are largely accessible to consciousness.

Mercury -

Astronomical Considerations:

A small planet, with pale bluish light; the planet closest to the Sun. Never more than 28 degrees from the Sun, it is rarely visible to the naked eye. The Roman god Mercury and the Greek god Hercules, the winged messenger of the Gods, were endowed with the qualities that are associated with the influence of the planet Mercury. To the Chaldeans it was Nebo, the planet of warning; also associated with Buddha, the wise.

Ancient astrologers considered the existence of a planet nearer to the Sun than Mercury, to which they gave the name Vulcan. It has not as yet been discovered by astronomers.

From a stationary point about 28º in advance of the Sun, it retrogrades to an inferior conjunction with the Sun -- after which it becomes a "morning star," visible on the Eastern horizon shortly before Sunrise. From a stationary point about 20º behind the Sun, it advances by direct motion to a superior conjunction with the Sun -- after which it becomes an "evening star," visible on the Western horizon shortly after Sunset.

As with the Moon, and all satellites with reference to the planet around which they revolve, Mercury always turns the same face toward the Sun, except for a libration of 23º 7' in both directions: making a 47º zone of temperate conditions, and 132º zones of perpetual heat and cold.

As seen from the Earth, Mercury presents phases, similar to those of the Moon, because of which its visible size varies from 36' to 104' -- its crescent or new moon phase occurs at its inferior conjunction; its full moon phase at its superior conjunction. Its minor elongation, about 18º, occurs 22 days before and after its inferior conjunction; its major elongation, about 28º, 36 days before and after its superior conjunction. At its maximum its visible size is 3¬ times its diameter. Two of Jupiter's moons are larger than the planet Mercury.

To locate Mercury in the evening sky, find in the ephemeris the dates of its major elongation before or after a superior conjunction, and for 10 and 5 days before and after. Transfer into hours its R.A. and declination on these five dates, and plot its course on a star map, making note its nearness to known bright stars. Tilt this map toward the celestial North pole, and assume a horizon about 23º below the Mercury position. If weather conditions permit it can be seen with the aid of a field glass -- sometimes even with the naked eye. Mercury made a transit across the face of the Sun on May 11, 1937.

Astrological Considerations:

Relates to the faculty which enables one to make sense and use of the phenomenal world. Mercury's house and sign position qualify how one applies the mind and receives the sensational information found in his environment. It stands for the associative function of the logical mind and for the process of communication. It rules the connections between the senses and the information related to them. Communication, connections, thinking, the logical mind and the physical senses, speaking and writing. Mercury stands for the intellect, common sense, cold reason, commerce and business. Its qualities are fluidity and versatility. Its position and aspects tell us about our communication and learning habits and our modes of thinking. In Greek mythology he/she (portrayed as a hermaphrodite or dualistic in expression, ie. as a collector or knowledge and also responsible for its application or dispensation) is called Hermes and is the "Divine Messenger" of Zeus (Jupiter). The tarot "Magician"

Venus -

Astronomical Considerations:

A brilliant planet reflecting a silvery-white light, it is the most brilliant object that illuminates the evening sky. The Greeks associated it with Aphrodite. To the Romans, it was known as Lucifer, when the Morning Star: and Vesper, when the Evening Star. To the Chaldeans it was Ishtar, and compared to the Sumerian virgin mother, the "Lady of Heaven," and the goddess of fertility.

Like Mercury, Venus exhibits phases, from a large twin crescent at the Inferior Conjunction, when it is closest to the Earth, and some- times visible in daylight if you know where to look for it, to a small round orb at the Superior Conjunction, when it is on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth. After the Superior Conjunction it is an Evening Star, and thus is visible in the evening, sky after sun- down, setting later each evening until it reaches its maximum elongation of about 47º -- at which time it sets about 3 hours after the Sun.

Shortly thereafter it attains to its greatest brilliancy, then grows rapidly smaller as it again comes closer behind the Sun, until at its Inferior Conjunction it becomes invisible. Thereafter it reappears on the other side of the Sun and becomes again visible as the Morning Star. Its motion as a Morning Star, as measured from the Earth, is slower because of its greater distance from the Earth: 26 million miles at the Inferior Conjunction, as compared to 16o million miles at the Superior Conjunction.

Its rotation period has never been established because of the layer of clouds in which it is perpetually enveloped. Its period has been variously estimated at from 68 hours to 225 days. Its axis is inclined to its orbit plane at an angle of 5 degrees. Its low albedo, or reflecting power (.59), is due to this constant cloud covering. The periods when it is a Morning and Evening Star are of about 10 months' duration each.

Transits over the Sun are rare and occur only when the Sun is within 1º 45' of the node, with the Earth also at the node. Though infrequent, they come in pairs. The last such transits occurred in 1874 and 1882. It will not recur until June 8, 2004 and June 6, 2012. The duration of such a transit is about 8 hours.

Astrological Considerations:

Relates on one hand to our ability to form relationships within the personal and larger social context. On the other hand it represents our esthetic senses, what we value and are drawn to as well as what we drawn to us. It holds sway over ones money and possessions and generally how you identify with them. Venus relates to all forms of beauty, art and also to ones personal appeal both in the outward physical sense and through ones inner magnetic power. The way we give and receive love and affection, our attractions. Venus is the planet which reveals how we like to relate to our environment and other people. Are we attracted to strong, sensual and intense relationships? Or do we prefer freedom and independence? It also indicates what we value, and therefore is linked with money and resources. In Greek mythology she is Aphrodite the ultra feminine goddess of love and pleasure. The tarot "Empress".

Mars -

Astronomical Considerations:

The nearest planet to the Earth, and frequently visible, it may be recognized through the distinct reddish hue of its ray. Mars was known as Ares, the god of war; and as Nimrod, the god of the chase, whose mission it was apparently to dispel terror and fear. To the Greeks, it was Pyrois, the fire. The Romans celebrated the festival of Mars in March, before an altar in the Campus Martius. From it comes our word martial, war like -- as martial music. To the Chaldeans it was Nergal, called the "raging king" and the "furious one"; to the Babylonians, the god of war and pestilence, said to preside over the nether-world. For the Alchemists, it represented Iron.

Mars has two satelites: Deimos, 6 miles in diameter, distant from Mars by 6.9 radii; and Phoetus, with a revolutionary period of 7h 39M. Deimos has a sidereal period of 30h 18m. Phoetus makes 1330 eclipses a year.

Astrological Considerations:

Relates to our physical energy, it is expressed as force and the assertion of the personal will. Mars rules the pursuit of our desires and our expression of passion. It relates to all forms of energy directed outwardly in our various activities and the degree of physical energy one has available "to do". Mars may be regarded as the expression and pursuit of the egos desires in the phenomenal world. Assertion, physical energy, force, and aggression. Our desires expressed in action. Mars is the planet of assertion and drive. What drives us? Do we pursue our desires aggressively? Or do we sit back and lack drive? It tells us what motivates us and what desires drive us or move us most powerfully. In Greek mythology he is Ares the god of violent aggression, bloodlust and war. The tarot "Fool".

The Social Planets

(Great teachers of the physical plane about our opportunities and challenges in relation to collective social consciousness)


Astronomical Considerations:

The largest planet in the solar family: larger in fact than all other planets combined. Yet it is exceeded in brightness by Venus, because of her greater proximity to the Earth. To the Greeks, known as Zeus; also associated with Marduk, one of the gods of the Pantheon; known to the Hindus as Brahmanaspati.

Jupiter has 11 satellites. The first four were among the earliest discoveries of Galileo, and can be seen with the aid of a field glass. Statistics concerning the first five are as follows:
























100 est.









The dates of discovery are V, 1892; VI, 1904; VII, 1905; VIII, 1908; IX, 1914; X, 1938; XI, 1938. The orbits of the outer four are so far distant from the planet that their motion is affected by perturbations due to the Sun's attraction, to such an extent that they can hardly be said to have an orbit.

No. IX has an orbital inclination in excess of 90º, to that of Jupiter's orbit. No. VIII has an orbital eccentricity of 0.38, whereby its distance varies from 9 to 20 million miles.

Astrological Considerations:

The benefactor, success, expansion and opportunity. The pathfinder or lamp through the trials of time, luck. The guru or guide. In Greek mythology he is Zeus (he who gives enlightenment) the king of the gods and is trademarked by his prolific fertility. The tarot "Wheel of Fortune". If Saturn is our life's test, then Jupiter is the key, guide, and light that sees us through the darkness of time (or Saturn). It is the straight and narrow path by which we pass through Saturn's test. It is our "luck" or solution to time's test. In astrology, Jupiter is the "great benefic" as it shows us how to find our way through life and the tests of time (Saturn). Jupiter is our key to succession through time, to success. Jupiter is the key to Saturn's demands; therefore, Jupiter has to do with how we are to be successful in life in our particular battle against the forces of time (Saturn). Jupiter is the planet of expansion, abundance and wisdom. It highlights the areas in which we yearn to discover greater truths. Therefore it can also be linked to excess. We search for more and more insofar as we can learn greater truths. It is the seeker. In seeking we find. Jupiter often describes our vocation or the way we may go through life to find the greatest opportunities.


Astronomical Considerations:

The planet next smaller in magnitude to Jupiter, and next more remote from the Sun, is remarkable for its engirdling system of rings. It was the most remote planet known to the ancients. The surface of Saturn shows markings somewhat similar to those of Jupiter, but fainter. Spectroscopic observations have confirmed the theory that the rings are composed of a dense swarm of small solid bodies. of ten identified satellites of Saturn, the brightest is Titan. The ninth, Phobe, is fainter and more distant than any of the others. The tenth, Themis, lies between Titan and Hyperion. When the Alchemists and early Chemists used the name Saturn they referred to its association with the metal lead. Lead poisoning was once called the Saturnine colic.

Saturn was the ancient god of the seed sowing. His temple in Rome, founded in 497 B.C., was used as a state treasury. In 2I7 B.C. the worship of Saturn was conformed to that of its Greek counterpart, Cronus, son of Uranus, and god of Boundless Time and the Cycles. There was a myth that Saturn in Italy, as Cronus in Greece, had been king during an ancient golden age -- hence was the founder of Italian civilization. Also associated with the Greek god Phoenon, "the cruel one," and the Assyrian god Ninib, patron of Agriculture, and one of the gods of the Pantheon. From it we have the English word Saturnian or Saturnine. The Saturnine colic was lead poisoning. Its atmosphere contains a high percentage of methane and ammonium gases, with no oxygen. For some unexplained reason it changes color from year to year. There are 25,824 Saturn days in one Saturn year.

The Saturn rings consist of an outermost ring, about 11,000 miles in width; a middle ring, about 18,000 miles in width; and an inside ring, the gauze or crepe ring, about 11,000 miles in width. Between it and the surface of the planet is a gap of about 5,000 miles. Separating outer and middle rings is the Cassini division, a dark strip some 2,300 miles in width.

Because the planet's equator is inclined about 28º to the plane of the ecliptic, the Saturn ring as seen from the Earth passes through phases: from Saturn's equinoctial point, where the rings are visible only as a thin -- line, to Saturn's solstices, where they lie transverse to us in a wide expanse. The edgewise view occurs in longitudes 172º and 352º; the maximum elongation, in longitudes 82º and 262º. The edgewise view was had in 1921 and 1936; the full-faced view in 1929 and 1944. As this constitutes a 15-year cycle, it is possible that there are related variations and fluctuations in the resultant astrological influences, which further research will be able to reduce to usable distinctions.

Saturn's Moons (Discovered).

Distance Thousands

Period Days


Diam. Miles

1. Mimas (1789)





2. Enceladus (1789)





3. Tethys (1684)





4. Dione (1684)





5. Rhea (1672)





6. Titan (1655)





7. Hyperion (1848)





8. Iapetus (1671)





9. Phoebe (1898)





10. Themis (1905)





Astrological Considerations:

The giver of laws or rules. The prince of time and the material world. Laws, obstacles, authority, shows our greatest fears and weaknesses. In Greek mythology he is Kronos the father of Zeus. He is related to hold sway over time itself and has a close connection to the earth and matter. The tarot "World". Saturn, which in Jungian terms contains many elements of the "Shadow" (those things we cant accept about ourselves and society and "project" onto others) and shows many of our greatest fears of failure. It is where we are sure to gain insight into some of the major obstacles and challenges of life. Saturn is the prince of time and of the material world. We don't break nature's laws, they break us. The laws of Saturn show where we are bound to learn about these laws. The laws of Saturn are often seen as standing between us and an easy life. But Saturn also provides the walls that make homes possible and all structures generally. Gravity is an example -- the law that holds things in place. We come across the influence of Saturn every time we break nature's law. We are subjected and tested by these laws until such time as we learn to use them. Saturn represents responsibility, boundaries and structure; structure that provides a positive framework within which we can build, or structure that limits our development and forces us to reassess our liabilities and assets. Saturn shows us where we must be disciplined and where we are bound to learn something.

The Trans-Personal Planets

The remaining planets are the trans-personal planets. These relate to transformative, evolutionary forces (archetypes) both individually and collectively. They are often connected to profound abilties, and psychic sensitivity, as well as spiritual crisis.
They attune us to the deepest levels of consciousness (the collective unconscious).

Uranus -

Astronomical Considerations:

Its discovery by Sir William Herschel on March 13, 1781, added a new factor to the problems of Astrology, and incidentally widened the horizon of observation of planetary influence upon human life. Inserting the planet into the existing horoscopes, revealed that Uranus had been the previously inexplicable cause of violent dislocations, fractures, separations, mental disturbances and deaths. With its discovery there came a new interpretation to the old phrase "by visitation of God." Herschel called it Georgium Sidus, but England continues to use the name Herschel -- from which derives the symbol ( W ) although the rest of the world adopted the name Uranus by which Bode referred to it in 1783. Astrologers had long speculated upon its existence, referring to it as Ouranos. It is sometimes called "The cataclysmic planet."

The astronomers' symbol is one of the few cases in which astronomers and astrologers fail to employ the same symbols. As its Equator is inclined by 82º to the plane of its orbit, the regions of perpetual day and night reach to within 8º of the Equator. Its satellites are:



Sidereal Period





2d 12.489h





4d 3.460h





8d 16.941h





13d 11.118h



Astrological Considerations:

Represents the evolutionary need to define oneself as a unique individual in the broadest context. It is the urge to evolve beyond current cultural and personal boundaries and establish total freedom of expression and new original ways of being that reflect the essential evolutionary needs of the individual. Uranus represents as well an intuitive connection to Universal Mind and as a result shows the ability to receive inspiration and insight. It further relates to the ability for cooperative involvement in groups, clubs or organizations with which we have a common or shared vision that reaches beyond a personal agenda. Insight, invention, breakthrough, genius, the rebel or eccentric. Negatively expressed it manifests as anarchistic tendencies, dysfunctional or destructive eccentricity and an inability to form cooperative personal or social relationships. Positively expressed it shows an inspired intellectual attunement to higher levels of consciousness, genius which serves a common or collective goal. Uranus then, represents originality and unconventionality. This can be both the unusual and brilliant genius or the willful rebel without a cause. It tells us the areas in which we break with convention, become innovative and experiment with new and exciting ways. In Greek mythology he is Ouranos, the father of Zeus (Jupiter), who successfully led a rebellion to overthrow Ouranos and subsequently castrated his father, (leaving a whole new myth as to how Venus or Aphrodite was created/born) banished him and placed himself as head of the gods. The tarot "Tower".


Astronomical Considerations:

Until the discovery of Pluto in 1930, Neptune was supposed to be the outermost member of the solar system. It was discovered September 23, 1846 by Galle in Berlin, in the region suggested by Leverrier of Paris; but later was identified as the "star" observed in 1795 by Lalande of Paris. Agrippa dedicated a temple to Neptune in honor of the naval victory of Actium. To the Greeks, known as Poseidon. It is a greenish disc of the magnitude of 7.7, and is distant from Earth by 30 astrom. units. Its revolutionary period is 164y.

It has one known satellite, Triton, about the size of our Moon, and 220,000 miles distant from the planet. It has a magnitude of 13. Its period is 5d, 21h, its orbit inclined to the Neptune orbit by an angle of 40º; its motion retrograde, with a recession period of 58oy, or 140º direct. Inclination of Triton's orbit to Neptune's equator is 20º.

Neptune was in Virgo from 1435 to 1449; from 1600 to 1614; from 1761 to 1778; and most recently from 1921 to 1942. It was in Libra from 1450 to 1465; from 1615 to 1635; from 1779 to 1793; and 1943 to 1957.

Astrological Considerations:

Represents the evolutionary need to move beyond individual ego concerns and connect at an emotional (heart) level with universal or collective spiritual values. The dissolution of the personal ego is one of the processes of Neptune evolutionary intent which ultimately leads one to an emotional opening or empathy with all beings. Neptune relates to an emphasized imaginal ability (visualization) which often leads to inspired artistic ability and overall esthetic refinement. Self sacrifice or selfless action in service to the collective needs of society is one of the manifestations of this planet in a positive or integrated expression. Positively expressed it indicates pronounced spirituality, artistic inspiration, clairvoyance or heightened psychic sensitivity, compassion, self-sacrifice, dissolution of the ego, empathetic unity, emotional attunement to higher levels of consciousness. Negative manifestations of this planet take the form of delusions, extreme mental and emotional confusion, escapism and avoidance of responsibility, deception of self and others, forced confinement, irrational secretive behaviour psychosis in a variety of forms. Neptune then, is the planet of mysticism and "at-one-ness". It represents both the blissful "at-one-ment" of the spiritual and the confusion which comes from not knowing limits and boundaries. It blurs reality and fantasy and teaches us compassion and unity. In Greek mythology he is known as Poseidon the god of the sea. The tarot "Hanged Man".

Pluto -

Astronomical Considerations:

The outermost planet of the solar system so far identified, was discovered in 1930. It lies 800 million miles beyond Neptune. The nearest conjunction of Neptune and Pluto occurred in 1892.. A previous exact conjunction occurred in prehistoric times, and will not recur for several thousand years, when they will remain close together for 100 years. As 3 Neptune revolutions take 494Y. and 2 of Pluto 496y, an approximate conjunction occurs every 492.328 years.

Pluto was discovered by Percival Lowell, who delayed publication of the news until his birthday, March 13, 1930 -- the day on which Uranus had been discovered 140 years before.

The name Pluto, beginning with P.L., the initials of the discoverer was suggested by an eleven-year-old English girl after the Walt Disney character.

The size or volume of Pluto has not been ascertained, but its mass is less than that of the Earth. The extreme eccentricity of its orbit brings it at times nearer to the Sun than Neptune. There is no certainty that the orbits do not cross, in which event a collision is not impossible. Experience seems to increase the probability of the eventual discovery of other Trans-Neptune planets.

The years in which Pluto entered the various signs is shown in the following tabulation, from which its position in ay year can readily be approximated:


1575 /1824




1606 /1851




1638 /1882




1692 /1937




1710 /1958



Astrological Considerations:

Pluto represents the evolutionary need to purge the worn out, dysfunctional or counter productive ways of being and their necessary regeneration into new and empowered expressions of "Self". Pluto is focused, intense passion and power often compared to or likened to atomic energy (which its discovery corresponds to). It has been qualified by some as the power of the evolutionary intent of the soul since its process is related to the deepest levels of the psyche (soul) and operates in a transformational way initially leading to the overemphasis of dysfunctional elements of the psyche, eventually leading to confrontation in whatever area it is related to.
This area of focus is left fundamentally and irrevocably changed.
In turn this fundamental change in the way of being or experiencing that area allows for a reorientation of self in the areas concerned, and the birth of new functionally integrated forms of expression of the assimilation of that experience. The of tremendous force or power, largely expressed through the application of the will (will power) in a collectively productive way, beyond those agendas which serve only personal desires or gratification.

Negative manifestations of this planet (archetype) take the form of an obsession with sex, money and power, rage, violence, excessive manipulative tendencies, a pathological need for control at all costs, cruelty, drug abuse and addiction are other potentials associated with Pluto.

Positively expressed Pluto's manifestations are personal transformation, regeneration, collective and personal power, charisma, and profound psychic abilities. Pluto then, can be seen as the planet of transformation. Nothing stays the same where this planet is concerned. The principle task is to 'clear out the old to make way for the new'. This is done volcanically, by forcing anything submerged to the surface to be dispelled. Wherever Pluto sits in our charts we experience regeneration. In Greek mythology he is Hades the god of the underworld, and conversely of wealth and buried treasures. The tarot "Judgement" is associated with this planet.


Aspects are an important part of modern astrology. (See also the article On Delineation of the Individual Aspects)
As the planets move in their elongated orbits around the Sun, they form various angular relationships with one another, using the Earth as the center (Earth as the center because that is the place we occupy in relation to other bodies.) These are called aspects. The most popularly used aspects result from dividing the circle by numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, resulting in aspects such as the conjunction (0 degrees), opposition (180 degrees), trine (120 degrees), square (90 degrees), and so forth. When two planets form an aspect with one another, their energies and natures are said to combine and work in harmony or cause discord. For example, when two planets are exactly on opposite sides of the Sun (Earth), they are said to be in opposition. The exactness of the aspect determines the strength of the effect, and doubly so if there is also an aspect in declination. Additionally planets that form multiple aspects to create Special Constructions or Patterns ( T-square, Grand Trine, Grand Cross, Yod, Kite, etc.) often represent special abilities or talents and/or pronounced challenges to the native and have been related to Jung's concept of various "Complexes". The most popular aspects can be divided into three main categories:

The "Emphatic" aspect: Conjunction (0 degrees); The emphatic aspect, is one that emphasizes or aligns two planetary energies with one another. Two planets at the same point in the zodiac are said to be in conjunction. Their natures are fused or blended into one. This is the most powerful of all the aspects. Depending on the planets involved, this may have a stressful or easy and empowering expression.

The "Hard" aspects: Square (90 degrees); and Semi-Square (45 degrees). These represent challenge, obstacles, crisis and establishing substance. They may be difficult to handle but are often found in the charts of those who are driven to achieve and accomplish a great deal. Too many can block or obstruct the life flow, yet too few can cause life to be weak or thin. Opposition; (180 degrees) Two planets at opposite sides of the zodiac. The energies are in conflict with each other. They can pull together or apart, depending upon the nature of the planets involved. This aspect has the potential to blend the polarities they symbolize but usually through conflict, which can lead to a keen awareness of the opposing qualities. These are commonly experienced through our relationships and the world in general in projected form. Here, as with the conjunction, much depends on the planets involved and other planets which form aspects to this construction.

The "Soft" aspects: Trine (120 degrees) and Sextile (60 degrees) The soft aspects bring ease, natural abilities, harmony and opportunities to our lives. Too few of the soft aspects means that things don't come easily or naturally, while too many soft aspects make for a life that lacks drive and ambition or achievement, and may be lacking in substance. These aspects, when in contact with conjunctions and oppositions do much to relieve the stress there, providing an area or means of easy expression and achievement for the tension of the "hard" aspects. "Exact" aspects and aspect's "orbs", between planets, gradually form, become exact, and separate. When an aspect is exact, it has its greatest impact. Yet, the effect of most aspects can be felt for some time before and after the moment when it is exact. The range within which an aspect is in operation is called its "orb of influence," or simply its orb. An orb of one or two degrees of arc on either side of the exact aspect is considered a close or tight orb (greatly emphasizing the influence), while an orb of 10 degrees (for Sun, Moon, and Asc., 8 degrees or less for the other planets) is loose. Beyond that it is considered "out of orb" and of little relevance, at least in reference to the aspects formed to the other planets. Also worthy of consideration when looking at aspects are the planets involved. Aspects to the Sun and Moon (the lights) are most pronounced. If your natal chart has an accurate birth time, then aspects to the chart angles (ascendant and midheaven) are also important. The particular combination can make a difference too. Aspects between planets such as Saturn and Mars (traditional malefics) are obviously more potentially explosive and/or difficult than the same aspect between Venus and Jupiter (traditional benefics).



(Key phrases for the signs and their symbolic or archetypal connections in myth*)

Aries: The RAM - Masculine, Cardinal, Fire (The Intuitive Function); The pioneer, adventurer, highly intuitive. Courage, daring and boldness. The fountainhead or source, spring. Impulsive, energetic, self-starter, the beginning, the natural leader. The myth of "Jason", amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Taurus: The BULL - Feminine, Fixed, Earth (The Sensation Function); Steady, deliberate, determined response to life. Acquisition in and of the physical world. Sensual, artistic, practical, stubborn, receptive to beauty and the arts. The myth of King Minos and the Minotaur amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Gemini: The TWINS - Masculine, Mutable, Air (The Thinking Function); The endless search for information, mentally restless. Always in motion, communicating, inquiring, exploring. Nervous, versatile, inventive, curious, linking, talkative, and connecting. The myth of Zethus and Amphion amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Cancer: The CRAB - Feminine, Cardinal, Water (The Feeling Function); Protective, maternal, domestic, sensitive, sympathetic and emotional. The experience of feeling, caring for, and nurturing life. The house and home. The myth of Herakles and his battle with the Hydra, amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Leo: The LION - Masculine, Fixed, Fire (The Intuitive Function); Self-aware, creative and fun loving. Proud, regal, craves power, relegating, dominant. Intuitive, sexual, caring and determined. Creative self-expression, childlike, the role player or actor. The myth of Percival and his quest for the Holy Grail amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Virgo: The VIRGIN - Feminine, Mutable, Earth (The Sensation Function); Helpful, serving, practical concern. Conservation of life, health and its resources. Salvage, harvesting, repair, maintenance. The drive to establish order and provide definition. Attention to details, repair, craftsmanship. Practical, flexible, nervous, analytical, discriminating. The myth of Astraea amplifies this signs archetypal meaning. The tarot Hermit.

Libra: The SCALES - Masculine, Cardinal, Air (The Thinking Function); Balance in relationship(s), Yoga (to join, or yoke). Diplomatic, compassionate, cultured, artistic ability and refinement, attentive and compensating. A need to form relations with others. The myth of Paris amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Scorpio: The SCORPION - Feminine, Fixed, Water (The Feeling Function); Intense, emotional, passionate, reforming and investigative. The phoenix, resurrection, purgative. Powerful in all forms, strong sexual nature. Rebirth, and purification. Reduction to essentials. The myth of Perseus amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Sagittarius: The ARCHER - Masculine, Mutable, Fire (The Intuitive Function); The seeker of truth, religious, philosophical. Enthusiastic, adventurous, generous, friendly, yet frank. The eternal wanderer and bachelor. The myth of Zeus & his relationship to Hera amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Capricorn: The GOAT - Feminine, Cardinal, Earth (The Sensation Function); Practical vision, unemotional, clear-seeing. Sober, orderly, self-control, ambitious, and productive. Dedicated with a serious approach to life. Responsible and goal oriented. The myth of Kronos and Amaltheia amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Aquarius: The WATER BEARER- Masculine, Fixed, Air (The Thinking Function); Strongly individualistic, rebellious and eccentric, inspired vision. Impersonal and intellectual, can work well with large groups or a team toward universal goals. Aspiring, unconventional, stubborn, humane. The myth of Prometheus amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

Pisces: The FISHES - Feminine, Mutable, Water (The Feeling Function); Empathetic and compassionate, unifying and intuitive. Accepting, kind understanding, emotional, willing to sacrifice personal agendas for the collective good, charitable Dissolution of the ego, highly receptive to the unconscious mind. The myth of Dionysos amplifies this signs archetypal meaning.

* Myths connect or amplify the signs meanings for us in their archetypal stories, Liz Greene has identified those that best amplify the signs "core themes" in her outstanding book "The Astrology of Fate". Joseph Campbell is another excellent source for myths and their archetypal themes. "The New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology" is also a good reference source. Links to web based mythological resources may be accessed at the links page


The 12 zodiac signs have different qualities, yet certain groups of signs share similar qualities. The two most popular methods for sign grouping are elements and modalities. Astrologers like to see which of the groups their natal planets fall in and add them up to produce counts, or totals. It can be quite fun, if not revealing, to tally up your Sun, Moon, and planets and check out your elemental and modality balance. In terms of Jungian psychology the Elements relate to the 4 psychological "types" (see below). The basic thing to keep in mind is that we are unconsciously drawn to what we lack. Our highest totals, which show what we can do, or what is most consciously accessible, are often not held dear. Most people are obsessed (unconsciously drawn to) by what they lack or what in Jungian terms is called the "Inferior Function". They tend to study their wants, imitate, and even fake them. They become or turn towards, what they want or lack. This is most evident in instances where there are no planets in a particular element. The psyche attempts to maintain a balance in all its manifestations and in this regard the pronounced compensatory nature of the psyche is evident in the compelling unconscious attraction to develop the function represented by the missing element.

ELEMENTS: A fundamental grouping of the signs is that of the four elements -- fire, earth, air, and water. These relate to Jungian psychology’s four basic personality types, (refer to the popular Meyers-Briggs personality profile), while the astrological division of Masculine and Feminine signs, relates to the psychological concepts of Extrovert and Introvert.

Fire Signs: Intuitive types; Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. People with lots of fire in their chart are very active and involved and "can do" all kinds of things. Those with little fire can't get started and may need someone to light a fire under them.

Earth Signs: Sensation types; Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. People with lots of earth are very practical. They can see how to do and use things. Those with little earth can't be objective, aren't grounded or practical.

Air Signs:Thinking types; Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. People with lots of air are analytical; they are able to resolve and draw conclusions. Those with little air have trouble with abstractions and ideas -- getting the "big picture."

Water Signs: Feeling types: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. People with lots of water are very feeling and emotionally sensitive. Those with little water can't get a feel for things; they run cool.


Another fundamental way of grouping the zodiac signs is by Mode; Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable.

Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. People with a heavy emphasis in cardinal signs are self-starters, doers. They initiate and get things moving. Individuals with few planets in cardinal signs may have trouble getting the ball rolling.

Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. People with a heavy emphasis in fixed signs hang onto and preserve life. They are at the center of things and are hard to budge. People with few planets in fixed signs may have trouble persevering and lack the ability to see projects through to their conclusion.

Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. People with a heavy emphasis in mutable signs are on the move and transformative. They communicate and assist things to change. With few planets in mutable signs the person may have trouble adapting or being flexible.


I include Chiron here as I like to believe that he is in our system to stay - to see more on Chiron go to the Asteroids article……

Everyone has a "wounded" area buried deep within their psyches, that manifests either consciously or unconsciously. Perceptions of events, circumstances, issues and people that we feel were more painful or unfair, things which were wrong that need healing. The sum total of these "things" are called The wound. Chiron, named after the wisest of the Centaurs, and known as the Wounded Healer, of mythology, is the indicator of this aspect of ourselves. Chiron then, is the Wounded Healer, he represents our emotional and physical wounds. It reveals a part of us that is hurt, small and vulnerable. We are encouraged to heal our wounds, and then look beyond personal realms, to see the suffering of others, and to become teachers and healers.

Chiron's message is the same for everyone, - that no matter what happens in life, it is nothing but a learning experience that should not be seen as a failure or drawback. Everything that happens has purpose, and the more that you can acknowledge this, the more attuned to the Universe and the people around you, you will be, and the more you will heal -physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually.


The North and South lunar nodes are the points in space where the moon crosses the ecliptic of the earth's orbit. They represent cultural, psychological and spiritual points of integration which connect to the cultural and collective values of society and our involvement within a greater whole (collective consciousness).

North Node: Indicates the theater of experience (by house) and the mode of expression (by sign) we have scripted for development in order to further our evolutionary process. The North Node points to a key lesson in our lives. It represents new experiences towards which we must aim during this life. We have already learnt the skills of its opposite point, the South Node, in past lives. In this lifetime we must grow and stretch ourselves through the North Node. The challenge with the Nodal Axis is to use the past skills of the South Node and learn the new skills of the North Node on our quest for wholeness. It shows the ways in which we may develop ourselves to best continue or balance out the areas of over identification indicated by the south node.

South Node: Indicates the theater of experience (by house) and the mode of expression (by sign) we have developed in the past and as such it is an area we easily gravitate toward. The South Node then, represents past life skills and achievements which stand us in good stead for this life. We need to use these skills in the present life to learn the lessons of the opposite point, the North Node. We must not continue to fall back on the past. The challenge with the Nodal Axis is to use the past skills of the South Node and learn the new skills of the North Node on our quest for wholeness. It shows an area in which we have certain natural abilities and also shows qualities which may have become habitual or overemphasized and as such, may lead to over identification and stagnation.


 NOTE: A special type of Chart - The Moon Nodal House Chart - can be erected as described by Bruno and Louise Huber in their book "Moon-Node Astrology" and is most useful in identifying aspects of the Shadow in our personalities.

This special chart can be used in karmic astrology to ascertain the karma we have carried from the past quite accurately.

In order for us to fully individuate, we need to realise and release our karmic past and own our shadow - a very hard thing for most of us to do - and indeed once the province only of initiates of the various temples. As man's consciousness has grown - so too has our awareness of these aspects.
I will attempt to summarise and explain the principles of the MNH Chart in a later article.


Astrologically always


Gregory J de Montfort

28th April, 2000, 3:02 PM Aus.E.S.T

Bibliography and suggested reading:

The Modern Text Book of Astrology: Margaret Hone
Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements: Stephen Arroyo
Planetary Symbolism in the Horoscope: Karen Hameker-Zondag
The Astrological Houses - The Spectrum of Individual Experience: Dane Rudhyar
Horoscope Symbols: Robert Hand
Encyclopedia of Astrology: Nicholas Devore
Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology: Jean-Louis Brau, Helen Weaver, Allan Edmunds with Robert Hand, Charles Harvey and Charles Jayne contributing.

All of these books are available at In Association with

The "exoteric and esoteric" keywords are from Solar Fire the astrology programme by Australian Software Producers -Esoteric Technologies -see
links page


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