Astrology 101 – A Quick Reference

Astrology 101 – The Beginner’s Guide

The Chart

The natal chart as a whole is a map of the personality. It is infinitely nuanced and complex but can be conceptualized as the following basic parts:

PLANETS ~ THE ACTOR

• Drive, motivation, the “self-state” or archetypal energy

SIGNS ~ THE ROLE

• Character, the quality, flavor, or costume the Planet takes on

HOUSES ~ THE STAGE

• Circumstance, the area of experience in which the Planet acts

ASPECTS ~ THE SCRIPT

• Interaction, conversation per geometric angles among the Planets

Thus, PLANETS (personality self-states) act as SIGNS (archetypal mannerisms) in HOUSES (areas of human life experience) and make ASPECTS (communicate/relate) to each other.

The Planets

Each planet functions as an aspect of the self. They represent states within us that interact based on their geometric relationships to each other in the chart. They each vie for attention from your consciousness, and some are “louder” than others at times due to transits and progressions in a given time frame. Also, some planets are more comfortable in certain signs than others based on their essential natures.

SUN

• Conscious Waking Self – Ego – Will – Identity – Sense of Purpose – Core Being – Confidence – Creative Force – Constitution – Source of Vitality – Basic Self-Expression – Illumination

MOON

• Inner Emotional Self – Feminine Principle – Sense of Security and Comfort – Capacity to Nurture – Habits – Domestic Orientation – Reactivity and Response – Our Needs

MERCURY

• Cognitive Self – Logic – Reason – Thought – Communication – Intelligence – Learning Capabilities – Writing – Conscious Mind – Commerce – Travel – Electronics

VENUS

• Relationship Self – Cohesion – Attraction – Love – Affection – Values – Pleasure – Enjoyment – Aesthetics – Art – Culture – Harmony – Cooperation – Sharing – Money

MARS

• Assertive Self – Direct Action – Drive – Aggression – Creative Initiative – Desire – Activity – Force – Impulse – Competition – Animal Nature – Anger – Courage – Physical Energy – Survival

JUPITER

• Growth-Oriented Self – Expansion – Faith – Morality – Optimism – Higher Mind – Laws and Religion/Belief Systems – Fortune – Excess – Inflation – “Bigger, Better, More.”

SATURN

• Task-Oriented Self – Boundary – Order – Form – Structure – Discipline – Responsibility – Lesson Crystallization – Contraction – Delay – Limitation – Pruning – Fear – Denial – Insecurity


URANUS

• The Individuated Self – Liberation – Freedom – Originality – Independence – Innovation – Rebel – Awakening – Discovery – Sudden Change – Electric – Unconventional

NEPTUNE

• The Undifferentiated Self – Fantasy – Imagination – Transcendence – Ideal – Spiritual – Attunement with the Whole – Unification – Escapist – Deception – Illusion – Martyrdom

PLUTO

• Unconscious Self – Transformation/Transmutation – Regeneration – Elimination – Purging – The Underworld – Taboo – Obsession – Compulsion – Power – Annihilation

CHIRON (Asteroid)

• Wounded-Healer Self – Holistic Understanding – Teacher – Maverick – Bridge between Known and Unknown – Greatest Pain and Greatest Potential for Healing



The Zodiac Signs

Each sign is a stop on the metaphorical road of personality development. It is a cyclical, not linear, road – so we ‘travel’ through all the signs many times in our lives regardless of what our zodiac signs are, or what signs in which we have the most planets. They are the archetypal costumes the planets wear as they move through the zodiac. The order in which these planets don these costumes is significant – it represents a path of development

ARIES ~ I AM

• The emergence of life; pioneering, quick, assertive (Cardinal Fire)

TAURUS ~ I HAVE

• The materialization of life; sensual, stable, practical (Fixed Earth)

GEMINI ~ I THINK

• Initial mental exchange; communicative, curious, versatile (Mutable Air)

CANCER ~ I FEEL

• Creation of emotional life; sensitive, domestic, maternal (Cardinal Water)



LEO ~ I WILL

• Creative expression; playful, dramatic, generous (Fixed Fire)

VIRGO ~ I ANALYZE

• Self-improvement; detailed, efficient, helpful (Mutable Earth)

LIBRA ~ I BALANCE

• relationship focus; tactful, aesthetic, agreeable (Cardinal Air)

SCORPIO ~ I DESIRE

• Deep merging w/ others; intense, penetrating, resourceful (Fixed Water)

SAGITTARIUS ~ I UNDERSTAND

• The philosopher; broadminded, adventurous, optimistic (Mutable Fire)



CAPRICORN ~ I USE

• Accomplishment; structured, responsible, ambitious (Cardinal Earth)

AQUARIUS ~ I KNOW

• Individual in the context of the collective; detached, eccentric, progressive (Fixed Air)

PISCES ~ I BELIEVE

• Soul-yearning; imaginative, compassionate, mystic (Mutable Water)


The Houses

Each house represents an area of human experience in which these planets in signs act out the life story. Notice that houses 1 and 7, 2 and 8, 3 and 9, 4 and 10, 5 and 11, and 6 and 12 reflect and balance each other in some way.

1st HOUSE ~ I or ME

• Presentation/persona, physical appearance, self-projection

2nd HOUSE ~ MINE

• Values, resources, attitudes toward possessions

3rd HOUSE ~ HERE

• Mental relationship to the immediate environment, neighbors, siblings, etc

4th HOUSE ~ PRIVATE

• Emotional and psychological foundations, home, inner self, family ties

5th HOUSE ~ LOVE GIVEN

• Creative self – children, the arts, romance, play

6th HOUSE ~ PHYSICAL HEALTH

• Self-improvement – health, daily routine, work environment

7th HOUSE ~ YOU

• Relationship to the other, one on one interactions, marriage

8th HOUSE ~ YOURS

• Transformation – death, psychology, metaphysics; shared resources/joint or other’s possessions

9th HOUSE ~ THERE

• Higher/collective mind, search for meaning, gurus, long journeys

10th HOUSE ~ PUBLIC

• Professional/social endeavors, authority figures, outer world status

11th HOUSE ~ LOVE RECEIVED

• Group endeavors, associations as a result of career, collective reform, friendships

12th HOUSE ~ EMOTIONAL HEALTH

• Transcendence, collective soul, things hidden, inner realities, seclusion

The Planetary Aspects

Each of these is a conversation being had between planets. They can be sweetly singing to each other, yelling at each other, or having a variety of other types of dialogue depending on the aspects made and how comfortable the planets are in their respective signs and houses.

CONJUNCTION ~ 0 to 10 degrees • Identifies or Merges planets with each other, Concentrated Energy

SEXTILE ~ 60 degrees • Facilitates Expression between planets, Opportunity

SQUARE ~ 90 degrees • Encourages Growth through Dynamic Tension, Challenge

TRINE ~ 120 degrees • Combines Harmoniously, Least Friction, Benefit w/o Effort

QUINCUNX ~ 150 degrees • Contradicts, Forces Adjustment, “On again, off again.”

OPPOSITION ~ 180 degrees • Opposes and Complements; Asks for Awareness, Balance, and Integration QUINTILE ~ 72 degrees / BI-QUINTILE ~ 144 degrees • Aesthetic, Metaphysical, Harmonious, Natural Beauty, Feminine in nature

SEPTILE ~ 51.42 degrees / BI-SEPTILE ~ 102.85 degrees / TRI-SEPTILE ~ 154.28 degrees • Inventive, original, alien, unusual, fated, unpredictable, “Eureka!” • In a natal chart, people with attachments on other reality planes

Extended Info on the Signs of the Zodiac

The Zodiac is based on four elements:

EARTH ELEMENT

• Practical, grounded, material, sensual, physical realm

AIR ELEMENT

• Mental, social, intellectual function, a communicative interaction

FIRE ELEMENT

• Animate identity, energetic, passionate, inspired, creative expression

WATER ELEMENT

• Emotion, compassion, sensitivity, interrelatedness, intuition

Each element exists in 3 forms or modes (4 elements x 3 modes = 12 signs of the zodiac):

CARDINAL • Initiation, dynamic action, generating, active

FIXED • Concentration, stabilization, consistency, focus

MUTABLE • Adaptable, versatile, learning, adjusting

Each sign of the zodiac consists of one of the elements in one of the modes – there is a Cardinal, a Fixed, and a Mutable expression of each element, and they can be compared to elemental functions we know of in daily life:

CARDINAL EARTH ~ Capricorn • Mountains ~ initiating and building form

FIXED EARTH ~ Taurus • A fertile field, stabilizing and securing the form

MUTABLE EARTH ~ Virgo • Quicksand, fault line ~ learning from and adjusting (to) form

CARDINAL AIR ~ Libra • Tornado ~ initiating mental/social interaction with others

FIXED AIR ~ Aquarius • Still air, even a vacuum ~ solidifying and broadening mental/social functioning

MUTABLE AIR ~ Gemini • Changing gusts ~ learning from flexible mental/soc interaction with others

CARDINAL FIRE ~ Aries • Volcano ~ pioneering identity and realization of the self

FIXED FIRE ~ Leo • Steady glowing embers ~ solidly expressing a secure self

MUTABLE FIRE ~ Sagittarius • Top of flickering flame ~ learning about and adapting to a wider range of self states

CARDINAL WATER ~ Cancer • Rapids or geyser ~ stimulating emotional and spiritual feelings

FIXED WATER ~ Scorpio • Still lake or ice ~ grounding emotional and spiritual connection

MUTABLE WATER ~ Pisces • Water vapor, fog ~ learning from and dissolving of emotional/spiritual belief

Developmental Progression of Growth through the signs:

Here I’ll expand a bit on the “path of development” discussed above in the SIGNS section. The signs flow from one to another by what we experience developmentally over and over again, on large or small scales, as humans:

ARIES ~ Cardinal Fire • You are a life force of energy which initiates itself as a separate self or entity

TAURUS ~ Fixed Earth • You are confined in a secure physical form and begin to interact with the substance

GEMINI ~ Mutable Air • You must acknowledge that others exist and learn to interact with them

CANCER ~ Cardinal Water • You have feelings and a spirit that must be expressed and cared for

LEO ~ Fixed Fire • You can solidly express a personal creative energy

VIRGO ~ Mutable Earth • You must adapt to and learn how to adjust material form (& physical self)

You have now developed the self enough in the first six signs to be able to function in the outside world:

LIBRA ~ Cardinal Air • You initiate an equal mental and social partnership with others

SCORPIO ~ Fixed Water • You get a more solid idea of feeling by merging with another

SAGITTARIUS ~ Mutable Fire • You are learning, understanding, and adapting a collective identity

CAPRICORN ~ Cardinal Earth • You are initiating, building and producing material form with others

AQUARIUS ~ Fixed Air • You are sustaining individual and collective mental/social interaction

PISCES ~ Mutable Water • You are adapting to and dissolution of feeling and spiritual belief

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