I'm often asked this question. I’ve tried my hand at general natal readings off and on over the years, given that clients always seem to want them. But I’ve recently drawn a line under these for good. Here are some of the reasons why.
This idea that an astrologer can describe a person in detail solely from the birth chart is a myth of modern astrology. I know there are websites where you can supply your birth data, pay a modest fee, and receive some 30 pages of material that’s allegedly all about you. But folks, these reports are not written about you at all. They are a patchwork of creative writings about the symbols of astrology—which is not the same as being about you!
I’ve just removed several posts from the archive. They were analyses of event charts—set for occurrences such as an earthquake, plane crashes, etc. Just recently I have learned that analyzing such charts in isolation is invalid.
My friends who celebrate the Winter Solstice were confused about the date this year. Isn’t Solstice always on December 21? Well, no: the actual date varies from Dec 20 to Dec 23, depending upon the Gregorian calendar.
The Winter Solstice, technically speaking, is a moment in time, not an entire day. The moment of Solstice occurs when the Sun enters 0 degrees 0 minutes of Capricorn. Put in scientific terms, Solstice is when the Earth reaches its maximum axial tilt away from the Sun.
When I first began writing about astrology I was feeling the pull to continue my studies in traditional methods. I started out thinking I’d blog about natal charts but once I got started, the ideas quickly broadened to include write-ups of horary questions, explanation of astro-fundamentals, and brief essays on the philosophies behind traditional methods.
For the past few months I’ve been transferring my body of work from a former BlogSpot site to this website. It’s been a fun process, re-reading old posts and looking at how my knowledge of astrology has developed over the years. Below is my very first post, from Dec 12, 2009.
The modern approach to birth charts involves describing an individual’s personality based on what planets in signs, planets in houses, and planets in aspect are said to mean. This is known as the 'cookbook' method. Scores of books and computer programs have been written with the purpose of delineating all possible planet, sign, house, and aspect combinations. Thus the seeker of self-knowledge who orders a computerized natal report will receive some thirty-odd pages of material claiming to describe him in detail.
A few weekends ago we went to see “Avatar” at the cinema. Just before the movie, the house played a promotional piece for the National Guard. I found the video powerful and effective (all opinions of the US military aside). Immediately I thought of the planet Mars and what Mars energy truly is, at its best: right action. Right action means doing what is called for--what is right and best in any situation--regardless of the risks involved. This is what the archetypal warrior does. Here’s the text from the video:
At this moment, failure is not an option
At this moment, we serve the nation
At this moment, what will you do?
A client writes: “I am an Aquarius and I tend to check the daily and weekly columns in the paper. For some time they have not spoken to me at all. I realize that since each sign covers about thirty days, sometimes the reading is more geared to people whose birthdays are before or after mine. Any thoughts on this?”
This is a great question, and I am happy to address it.
Superhero movies are a favorite in my household. Thor is one of several that we've enjoyed in the past few years.
When Thor was first released, my daughter had just finished a main lesson in school on Norse mythology. The movie seemed quite true to the myths, so it was a nice complement to her studies. I enjoyed the film for many reasons, but especially because it gives such a great illustration of the essential problems with Mercury, aka Loki.
Worry not, my friends! Your sun-sign is not going to change—not now, and not ever. There’s no such thing as a 13th sign of the zodiac, contrary to what you may have read or heard.
Here’s why: the 12 signs of our tropical zodiac and the constellations of the same name are different things. Those who suggest there is a 13th sign are confusing the two.
So, what's the difference between the signs and the constellations?
I noticed something about yesterday’s New Moon chart that’s worth a little discussion, from the standpoint of essential dignity and reception. Maybe you noticed, too?
I'm looking at the chart set for my location (below). Libra rises, making Venus the Lord Ascendant.
A well-meaning friend recently sent me an astrological article on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. The article features an event chart for the time of the plane’s takeoff in Kuala Lumpur, and attempts to correlate testimonies within the chart to the plane’s mysterious fate.
As I was pondering today's New Moon chart a few days back I noticed that Mercury and Mars are in station. For those who may not know, this means they appear not to be moving and are about to change direction in the sky. That led me to gaze at the ephemeris a bit, something we astrologers tend to do, and then I noticed something definitely worth a mention!
A friend who sees my posts but knows little about astrology recently shared that he finds the charts themselves to be beautiful, though he doesn’t understand them. "Would it be useful if I were to write about the chart as an image and how to read it?" I asked. "Sure," he said.
So here it is: a basic orientation to the astrology chart and what’s in it, for my friend and others like him who might want to know.