Friday, January 29, 2010

(72) Natal Interpretation Guidelines

When one is an experienced astrologer one can jump right into a chart and swim around, going, often by instinct to where one needs to focus. This is more difficult for a beginning student, who often feels more comfortable having a definite agenda to follow. And so I'm presenting you with the one that I follow, sometimes carefully, at other times loosely, depending on the situation.

The first thing to look at in a chart is whether or not there are oppositions. This is covered in blog 9.

Next tabulate which planets are in fire, earth, air, and water, and which are in cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs. Check to see which element and modality predominates. To have predominance there must be at least 4 planets in that element without having an equal number in another element. The same rule of 4 holds true for checking preponderance by modality (blog 49).

Next check to see if there is a sole dispositor to the chart (blog 51).

Check to see if all planets are in the upper half (houses 7 - 12), lower half (houses 1 - 6, on the east side of the chart (houses 10 - 3), or the west side (houses 4 - 9). Check also to see if there is a single planet in any one of these hemispheres. (blog 52).

Look at chart formation. (blogs 53 and 55).

Check to see if there are any squares in the chart (it is extremely rare to find a chart without them), and then find the square that is the closest-to-exact.

Check for major aspects between the four planetary departments: Sun/Moon (Vitality, blog 37), Venus/Mars (Efficiency, blog 44), Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation, blog 48), and Uranus/Neptune (Significance, blog 56).

Next, determine how many of these four departments are activated by aspect. If all, none, one, or three are activated, refer to blog 57. If two are activated, refer to blog 58.

Measure the distance from the Sun to the Moon, and then referring to the table in blog 59 determine which Lunar Mansion the Moon is in. Once you have done this you can then proceed to the corresponding Lunar Mansion interpretation (blogs 60 - 62 and 65 - 70).

Once you have completed all these steps its a matter of synthesizing the information into a coherent whole, which is the art of astrology. You will find that the more familiar you become with the information contained in these blogs and the more charts you do following this method, the easier and clearer it will become to see how all the various parts combine to make the whole. May the planets guide you in clear and right ways as you explore the zodiac!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

(70) Lunar Mansions 25 - 28

Lunar Mansion 25: (Ruler: Sagittarius/Libra/Jupiter): This person is a natural social reformer. He is looking for spiritual guidance, both for himself and for other people. At his best he is very in tune with what people need and can instill them with hope and faith. He wants to bring forth and foster the goodness in all people. He does not tend to limit himself to any one religion or philosophy, but is seeks pure truth, which is reflected to a greater or lesser extend in very many religions and philosophies.

At his worst he gets too focus on the ideas he's working with, and since he has not grounded them in physical reality, they can be quite unrealistic. He may affirm these unrealistic ideas in a very biased way, and be defensive when anyone points out their weaknesses. What is happening is that his ego is giving more importance to ideas than people, and if he pursues this he may attain wealth and social prestige but at the expense of sacrificing his love and sympathy for humanity.

At best he has a wonderful ability to to bring people together and to help them to know and do what is right. At worst he uses his power for personal advantage alone and spreads beliefs that ultimately divide humanity.

Lunar Mansion 26: (Ruler: Capricorn/Libra/Aries/Virgo): William Butler Yeats referred to this Lunar Mansion as “The Hunchback” phase. It is an apt label, though I often don't tell the person I'm reading for about it – I think it might have an unnecessarily negative impact on their self image. I sometimes refer to this Lunar Mansion as “The Catalyst.” or even “The Medusa.”

This individual is different and unusual, and rather than trying to hide this, he needs to accept it. In actually he is no more individualistic than anyone else, but his REALLY STICKS OUT, NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES OR HOW MUCH HE MAY TRY TO HIDE IT. HE IS SIMPLY STRIKINGLY UNIQUE. Just by being himself he can help others to get in touch with their own uniqueness, and can also reveal the strangeness and uniqueness of everything around him.

He is naturally eccentric and has the ability to perceive truth with great clarity. Everywhere he looks he sees the extraordinary within the seeming ordinary. This can scare and threaten other people. Rather than reacting negatively to this, he needs to learn how to take himself lightly and to realize that the unpleasant reactions often coming toward him from other people are simply manifestations of their own insecurities and ultimately have nothing to do with him.

If he takes to heart the negative energies other people direct at him he may grow to hate himself, as well as them for their unkindness. He desperately needs to let go of his touchiness, for if he doesn't he is likely to harbor and accumulate resentments, and even isolate himself from others as a means of coping with his pain.

He needs to realize that he is intense, and that his intensity is there to open others up. If he can mix joy and lightness with all aspects of his life, and can forgive others for being afraid of him, he can cushion himself from the psychic debris resulting from his startling and ultimately therapeutic impact on others.

Lunar Mansion 27: (Ruler: Aquarius/Libra): Just as Yeats referred to Lunar Mansion 26 as “The Hunchback,” he referred to this phase as “The Saint.” At his best this person focuses on humanity rather than on himself. When in tune with his spiritual essence he does not strive for anything, for he has nothing to strive for. He has the ability to help others because he can reflect back to them their own thoughts and feelings and by doing so help them to be more self-aware. He can have a healing and harmonizing impact on groups due to his selfless love of humanity in general.

Although he carries this energy of sainthood, it can't fully manifest until he reaches enlightenment. In the meantime he still has to contend with his ego.

If he allows his lesser self to get the upper hand he may become egotistical and pride himself on his way of thinking, his intelligence, or his spirituality. This may be accompanied by self-centeredness and an attitude of being more evolved than other people. Once he gets on this arrogant wavelength he can be very ambitious and then become angry if he doesn't advance as fast and as far as he thinks he's entitled to.

Knowing all along that this selfish, overcompensating self is not real, but only a manifestation of his pain and fear, he can grow to hate it. As soon as he realizes that his ego is exactly what is standing in the way of true fulfillment he will be able to let go of it and come back to his true self.

Lunar Mansion 28: (Ruler: Taurus/Virgo/Scorpio/Sagittarius/Uranus): This person is innate unambitious and without plans. He is at his best when living fully in the present and focusing all of his attention on the day at hand and how he can contribute to it. Ordinary physical activity can be a profound inspiration for him. He needs to feel the fullness of his connection to life and to do what he can to support and nourish it.

He sees everyone as equal because he focus on their spiritual aspect. The more he lets go of himself and is individual identity the more clearly he is attuned to his mission in life, which is to be a person who helps others to remain connected to spirit.

He can be very aware of what is wrong, what is inadequate, and what has been denied him in life. At his worst he reacts to this with anger, and can sometimes direct this anger toward people who he blames for having causing or contributing to the problems of the world. He may be oppressed by the traumas of past lives, and, if he doesn't remember them he may still suffer from their unreleased karma. In an attempt to cushion himself against these stressful energies he may seek out sensual indulgence, or try to increase his comfort and security in the world through the accumulation of money.

If he can deeply relax and accept life as it is, these old wounds will eventually clear, which will free him up to be the great light in the world which he has the potential of being.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

(69) Lunar Mansions 22-24

Lunar Mansion 22: (Ruler: Pluto): This person is restless and constantly searching deeper and deeper in an attempt to grasp the truth of reality. He goes so far that he wears himself out – but this is exactly what he needs to do. He has the ability to change society from within it, and so may be drawn to conservative institutions as vehicles through which he can further social growth. The limits and restrictions of conservatism are like a cocoon to him which, even though they restrict him for awhile will provide a structure from which he will eventually burst forth.

This person craves change and transformation, and if he follows his instincts these will come to him naturally. If he tries, though, to maintain control it will only generate pain and suffering. He needs to let go of his attachment to intellectual constructs and his own sense of his self-importance. Instead of these he will find his highest fulfillment when he focuses on giving to others.

The conflict here is between the urge to be an agent of transformation through being selflessly generous, and the dysfunctional inclination to wield power through overcompensating egotism. These are the positive and negative manifestations of the planet Pluto.

Lunar Mansion 23: (Ruler: Jupiter/Libra): This person is drawn to cultivating a particular skill so he can use it in the world. He naturally feels a responsibility to develop this specific talent and then to practice it. The work he performs often produces results he didn't expect – new ideas or new relationships that are valuable and which captivate others. His inspiration is at its purest when it is unselfconscious and simply emerges as he applies himself to his chosen work.

Through his efforts he can discover profound meaning in life. If, though, he allows his ego and its thirst for power and adulation to dominate, he will then TRY to create meaning, rather than just allowing it to reveal itself. If he does this the results will be dull, mechanical, trite, and ultimately lack the spark of creativity. The creative frustration generated by these ego-driven efforts will accumulate and weigh heavily on him, creating dark, pessimistic feelings that oppress him and which he will be unable to release until he lets go of his desire to manipulate and control.

At his worst he will try to compensate for his disattunement with his own creativity by becoming very ambitious and competitive, and even if this leads him to superficial success in the world, he will know that the results are only superficial and will never feel truly fulfilled by them.

The key to the spiritual fulfillment of this person is to concentrate on the efforts he puts forth and the joy of doing, rather than on end results. At his most creative, he will never exactly know where he is going or all the implications of what he's doing until the creative act is complete. If he tries to achieve a particular result, he is in fact limiting and stifling the manifestation of his genius, and cutting himself off from the surprises and wonders that his creativity can manifest.

Lunar Mansion 24: (Ruler: Venus/Libra/Pisces/Virgo): This person is tuned into and appreciative of the past. He wants to retrieve from it what is best and most valuable and bring it back to life. Through doing this he has the power to change the world – most especially by providing society with a basis or foundation for future growth.

He wants to find a way of living that is meaningful and ideally rooted in some tradition and which he can use to structure his life. Whatever this way of living is, it needs to embrace all of life, rather than just being a part of it.

As he becomes more and more adept at living his code, he eventually can become a fine teacher of it, imparting this wisdom of the past, expressed in a new way through him, to his students. He is not one to focus on concepts or abstract ideas, but teaches best through examples, hands-on activities, and his own behavior.

The energy of this phase is about bringing order and meaning to society.

When not in tune with his true self he can become self-righteous and demanding, as well as destructively critical of what other people are trying to do. This can then drive people away from him and cause him to eventually become isolated and misanthropic.

At best he is an upholder of what is most worthwhile in society, a fine teacher, an example setter, and a leader. At worst he allows his egotism and feelings of superiority to negate what he could give to the world, and to isolate him.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

(68) Lunar Mansions 19 - 21

Lunar Mansion 19: (Ruler: Leo): This person sees at least a part of himself in all situations and tends to express that part with great force and drama. Through doing this he sheds light on everything and everyone – as Leo always wants to do. This can help others to see themselves more clearly.

This person has a tremendous amount of personal power, which he can use for good or ill. His constant goal should be to use this power to raise the vibration of all around him so that he incurs good karma.

This person needs to always be seeking truth, which is right there inside him waiting to be discovered. When he abandons his interest in truth and instead seeks only to dominate and control others he becomes disattuned to himself. When he allows himself to be a mirror that reflects spiritual light to others he is doing what he came here to do. He has the ability to intensify situations to the point of transmuting them, and by doing so revealing the cosmic aspects of every experience. If he can be real, it will induce others to be even more real. If he loses himself to power and turns phony, he merely proliferates negativity.

Lunar Mansion 20: (Ruler: The Moon): This person has a creative vision which he needs to express in the outside world, and if he does not do so, the resultant frustration can be poisonous. It is right and natural for him to immerse himself in his creative activities with great intensity and power of feeling.

He can experience problems though, if success comes to him too readily, or if the opposite happens and he finds success difficult to achieve. He needs to realize that whether or not he achieves success does not ultimately depend on what goes on in the outer world, but is actually a projection of his own inner needs. When he experiences success, he needs to own his power, abilities and worth, and when failure comes he needs to see that it serves a higher purpose, and that its source is himself.

At worst, he projects his inner conflicts out onto the world and fails to realize that their source is inside him. In dissociating from his problems in this manner he may then blame the world for not recognizing him or valuing him as much he feels he should be. The one thing he needs most to avoid is identifying himself as a victim. If he does this he may then try to seek revenge, which will just perpetuate the cycle of bad karma. The fact is, he is never a victim of anything other than his own inner discord which he himself has the power to heal.

When in a state of discord his painful emotions may distort the facts of outer experience, which can blur the distinction between inner and outer realities.

Getting in touch with the inner conflicts going on inside him and then learning how to resolve them will free him to express his creativity in its highest and purest form.

Lunar Mansion 21: (Ruler: The Sun): This person naturally projects structure and order onto the world, just as the Sun is the ordering principle of our solar system. He is a revealer of the meaning of life, just as the light of the Sun dispels all shadows. When true to himself he exudes confidence and certainty and sees everything around him as fitting into the order he is creating, and though he works with tremendous complexities his ultimate results are unifying and simplifying. His contributions to society tend to be what the world is in need of right now at the moment. Although he is aware of the past and the future he doesn't let them distract him from what he knows he needs to do in the present.

He wants to BE someone important but the fact is, he already is – if he will just allow himself to live it. If he doesn't realize his own inate importance, though, he may try to achieve a personal uniqueness through attempting to rebel against society and its standards. At worst this can cause him to come across as phoney, superficial, and insincere. What is really going on here is that he is trying to hide his light under a bushel – which is completely against the Sun's natural inclination.

He is at his best when he focuses on his own ideas and concepts and allows his power to shine without trying to MAKE it shine. He can dominate problems through his wonderful simplicity that can shine on and illuminate everything.

(67) Lunar Mansions 16 - 18

Lunar Mansion 16: (Ruler: Mars): This person needs to put their ideas to work in the world. It is very important that this person connect with other people in a deep way. This is probably going to mean that he won't be connecting with many people – the number of them is not what matters, its the strength and depth of the connections that count.

When this person is at h8is best he is overflowing with the joy of being himself, and sharing with others is a natural result of this. When true to himself he never holds back on giving, and willingly accepts the challenge of communicating to others his deepest thoughts and feelings.

As he does as described above, he will inevitably encounter people who are not as high-energy as himself, people who are dull, disinterested, depressed, or who just can't get into where he's at. It is very important that he does not let these people's gray attitudes cause him to feel worthless or insecure. If he doesn't get the attention he wants, he might react by withholding his love, insights, and abilities.

In reacting to the negativity of other people he might adopt an egotistical attitude, or go to the other extreme and think that he has nothing to offer. This frustration can lead him into physical indulgence – the destructive activity of Mars, which rules this Lunar Mansion. He needs to assert himself from his vibrant and exhuberant core, and not get into the viscious cycle of reacting negatively to the negativity of others. His Mars core wants to share its passion, no matter how repressed or out of touch others may be with themselves, and no matter how much they may resent his aliveness.

Lunar Mansion `17: (Ruler: Gemini): This person may want to change the world (Gemini is the most helpful of the signs), but needs to realize that this desire is just a projection of his need to change himself. When attuned to his spirit he is continually letting go of the past – clearing away the accumulated stress of his personal history so that he is free to live vividly and completely in the present. (The great mystic Vicki Wall pointed out how Gemini is the energy of what she calls “clearing the time line,” that is, healing past karma, which is the same as what Eckhart Tolle calls “healing the pain body”).

This person is learning in this lifetime to adapt to constant change. Of course one of the most difficult types of change to cope with is a letdown, and so it is very important how he deals with disillusionment – and the greater the disillusionment is the more he can learn from it. If he fails to overcome his disillusionment, though, fear of loss or conflict can get the better of him, causing him to mask his insecurity by trying to fix the world, or by becoming obsessive about something – food, drugs, sex, exercise, a particular philosophical system, etc.

He needs to realize that he has become disillusioned because of the expectations he has held, and so the more he can let go of these and meet life as it is, without feeling a need for it to conform to his picture of it the more fulfilled he will be. Through deep soul searching he can eventually understand what the disillusionment is there for – what it is trying to teach him. As his learns this more and more fully he eventually overcomes his fear of risk and loss, and understands how they contribute to his personal growth.

When true to self he is honest and open, and his frankness touches others deeply, helping them to be more self aware and connected to the world around them. This is the epiphany of Gemini – pure communication which is a potent healer.

Lunar Mansion 18: (Ruler: Cancer): Love is the ultimate nurturing energy, as well as the purest of all emotions. Cancer is the sign of nurturing, and its ruling planet, the Moon, is the planet of the emotions, all of which are healed by love.

Lunar Mansion 18 is at its best when it is working to uplift society in some real, tangible way, through the energy of love. It is not enough for this person to just have an idea or a concept – their ideas need to be demonstrated by their actions.

Love conquers fear, and unconditional love means accepting whatever one receives, even if it feels as if it is not enough. If this person fears being cut off from other people, or fears being vulnerable in relationships he may become defensive (a negative Cancerian trait) and then try to avoid people or find ways of manipulating them into giving him reassurance. He may also try to heal his fears and frustrations by getting into self-indulgence of some sort – which is a manifestation of Cancer's attempt to nurture itself through destructive excesses.

When out of tune with self this person may abandon people and retreat into his Cancerian shell. Or he may have superficial relationships because they feel safe to him, and because he's trying to prove to himself that he doesn't need anyone.

He needs to accept the world as it is, and keep loving people no matter how dysfunctional they are, or how unable to meet his needs. Staying on this wavelength of love is his greatest power is what will bring him ultimate self-fulfillment.

(66) Lunar Mansions 13 - 15

Lunar Mansion 13: (Ruler: Aries): This person has a passion for expressing himself, and with no motive other than the joy of doing so. This person loves his powerful feelings, and loves giving voice to them. At his best he manifests his potential with no thought of reward for it. Without arrogance and egotism, the person senses his own beauty and has a strong impulse to share it with others. Through projecting this beautiful harmony out into the world he can heal others of their emotional problems.

If, though, he refuses to expand out into the world he will be denying his true energy, which has the immediate and outward impulsiveness of Aries. This passionate energy will then get stuck inside him and go bad, making him tend toward morbid veins of thought as he takes ideas apart, in an attempt to analyze each sensation. This isolating himself from the world is just what he needs to avoid. It's very positive for him to be always seeking connections with the outside world as a field for his own expansion.

If he blocks his own self expression the frustration of doing so could cause him to become totally involved in sensation, possibly taking the form of indulgence in sensual stimulation. He might even manipulate others as a means of feeding his appetites which are addictive and never-satisfied.

This person does not tend to get good feedback from his environment, and so to compensate for this he has to be very truthful with himself. He needs to focus on the ongoing challenge of defining his problems to himself.

Lunar Mansion 14: (Rules: Taurus): This person can come across low key and yet emanate a potent power. Often the person is not aware of the impact he is making on others. At his best he is himself always and in every aspect of his involvement with the world. Effortlessly and without self-consciousness he places his personal stamp on everything he does, and this can leave a deep impression on the world. This manifests the energy of Taurus – the sign that has the greatest amount of ch aracter and unique personality.

Many people can become enamored of this person and do things for him, even taking on his responsibilities. Unimpressed by this the person of this Lunar Mansion continues to follow his own star and act on its dictates. Because he is so true to himself others try to emulate him by being more in touch with their own deeper desires. Whatever this person does will tend to have a universal appeal, so that even if it is intimate and personal it will reflect cosmic truths.

If, though, this person gets into trying to improve the world because he feels that this is what expected of him, he can then feel as if extreme demands are being placed on him and therefore cannot accomplish anything without tremendous effort. When he tries to help others he can be too enthusiastic and go too far, thereby rendering the help ineffective. Or maybe he just gives up trying to help because doing so seems as if its beyond his powers. Then he may retreat and make excuses for himself as he tries to get people to have sympathy for his problems.

At his worst he feels he cannot trust himself and that he's afraid of many people. He could get back in harmony with himself if he would realize that he is actually separate from what goes on around him and therefore doesn't have to feel tied down by it, overwhelmed by it, or beholden to it. He does the most for people by being himself and staying in tune with his emotional core. Doing this will then expand outwardly from him, creating harmony.

Taurus' verb is “I have,” and so this Lunar Mansion it is not what the person does, or how hard he strives, but the natural and untimately undefinable resource he IS in all his naturally beautiful essence without trying to be anything else.

Lunar Mansion 15: (Ruler: Saturn): At the very beginning of phase 15 is the moment of the full Moon when it has achieved maximum distance from the Sun – has reached the LIMIT of its distance (LIMIT=Saturn). The challenge of this phase is to unify inner and outer experience – to find a point of balance between what IS, outwardly, and his vision of WHAT COULD BE. This person has the ability to experience live as a whole, as a complete flow. He sees the difference between what IS and what he WANTS and is always working to reconcile these two different realities. There can, at its highest, be a wonderful balance here.

At worst, if he loses his inner focus, he becomes too attuned to the outer world, and it then seems to be nothing but a mass of fragments that don't fit together. If he fails to see and accept his limitations he then fragments himself into pettiness and lots of little meaningless activities that accumulate into nothing but a mountain of frustrations which make him feel cut off from the flow of life. If he allows himself to sink beneath the surface of things into deeper experiences, he will recapture meaning and then be reconnected with his spiritual self.

Friday, January 15, 2010

(65) Lunar Mansions 10 - 12

Lunar Mansion 10: (Ruler: Uranus): This person has unique abilities and a desire to throw off all restraint. At his best he helps society to overcome old, outworn attitudes and methods, and replaces them with meaningful and innovative alternatives. It is best for him, though, to not focus on society or the outer world, but to get in touch with what he finds beautiful and meaningful inwardly and then allow that to flow forth from him. He needs to beware of becoming involved in passing social movements or anything that is currently popular. He needs to always give precedence to his own creative impulses, and although he is tuned in to social currents, he must work to be clear about what are his own true feelings and what are simply outer stimuli.

Outwardly he can come across with a lot of restraint – Yeats refers to this phase as “the Great Stone Face.” When he is not in harmony with himself he may agitate everyone around him by projecting his frustrations onto them.

It is to be remembered that this “Great Stone Face,” is merely a mask, and that inwardly this person is very complex and has a lot of ambition. His primary need is to be able to stay in tune with his emotions and find a meaningful outlet for them. He also needs to realize that there is no authority outside himself.

Lunar Mansion 11: (Ruler: Neptune): This person is seeking a new expression of truth. He assimilates but then needs to reject tradition, for he is looking to express ideas in a new way. If he can get in touch with his intensity of feeling he will find truth there, and can then externalize it through creative activity. He needs to align himself with his own creative vision, and let go of anything that stands in the way of his self expression, be it a relationship with another person, an organization, a religious institution, or whatever.

If he lacks confidence in himself he will pass into disharmony, and might align himself with the social norm – because doing so is easier and more comfortable, and ultimately feels safer to him. If he avoids expressing his creativity he might find a niche for himself somewhere – a role to play that is accepted – a role that might be traditional or progressive – but only a role nevertheless. If he succumbs to this avoidance of his burning, passionate creativity he will generate great inner stress – though he may deny it by trying to tell himself he is actually happy. The creative fires, though, will not die down but, being confined, will generate much frustration.

His emotions are cosmic and ecstatic and he and needs to let them pour forth freely from himself. Even if doing this means being in disharmony with society or having to suffer some personal loss, in the long run the greater fulfillment he will find will make up for this.

Lunar Mansion 12: (Ruler: Pisces): This person can express themselves with great lucidity and uniqueness. At best he speaks with authority because he is speaking from the depths of his heart, and through this speaking me makes things simple that over rides all confusion, obscurity and complexity. It is not that life is inherently simple, it is that his powerful focus on his own spirit comes forth with this beautiful simplicity.

If he taps in, too much, to people observing him, then he can feel as if he is playing a role, and start blending this purity of expression with the desire to be accepted. He then observes with people seem to want him to do or be, and then tries to do it, thereby getting thrown off from the direct expression of his essence.

The big negative hook for him here is the desire for praise, which can lure him into being untrue to himself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

(62) Lunar Mansions 7 - 9

Lunar Mansion 7 (Ruler: Sagittarius): This person, when being himself, is a highly unique individual – one who stands out as being different. Of course in this world when a person is unique he can receive many and varied responses to being so, many of them negative due to others feeling threatened.

If this person fears negative reactions he may try to be something other to himself, may try to invent a standardized personality for himself, and then attempt to hide behind that personality. He does this because he experiences his real self as too big, and hence as something he can’t control. Where did this unique self come from? It is not something he consciously conceived of, so if he doesn’t have the trust to inhabit it, he feels compelled to life in something smaller and lesser – a safe little mask. Anonimity may feel safe to him for awhile, but will never fulfill him.

He has a real need for adventure, and can turn many things which others would never think of as adventures into something exciting. He must not shy away from intense experiences, for they are what impels his evolution forward.

Lunar Mansion 8 (Ruler: Capricorn): This person experiences a powerful pull between courage and fear. He seeks validation from the outside world, but is also afraid that if he gets it he will fall into the trap of bowing to the world’s requirements and thereby lose his individuality. He needs to be continually aware of the conflict between his urge to adapt to the world and his urge to be free and original. As he works with these, knowing that sometimes he has to adapt just for the sake of practicality and energy conservation, but that ultimately he cannot forsake being who he really is, he fill find dynamic balance.

He has to confront conflict, for if he tries to insulate himself from it by involving himself in activities that don’t mean that much to him, or which are superficial and in which he can lose himself he will find that conflict will find him eventually no matter where he hides.

Sometimes he uses detachment and making light of conflict as a means of trying to avoid failure, which is his ultimate fear.

He needs to deeply assess what failure really is. If he does so he will see that all failure is a learning experience – something that he may assimilate, something that many nourish him and which he can then arise out of with a much greater possibility of success. If falling is what is needed, then he needs to give in to and accept falling. Through dealing with conflict he becomes aware of his great inner resources, which can help him to overcome anything and everything.

He needs to give in and allow life to be intense, and by doing so learn, finally, that this is the source of his power.

Lunar Mansion 9 (Ruler: Aquarius): This person is very aware of all of his passing moods, which tend to be very intense. He needs to just let them come and go, like weather, and not let them throw him out of balance.

At his best he is an emotional mirror for others – allowing others to see their own feelings more clearly. He can be very adept at giving feedback to others which can greatly heighten their self-awareness. As he does this he also becomes more self aware.

At worst, though, too much intensity coming from too many directions pulls him how one way and now another, and this can create a state of chronic confusion. This results in pain, and his reponse to the pain is most likely to be anger. He needs to find and focus on that place within his emotional being that lies underneath all the outer emotional turmoil, a place of steadiness, certainty, and knowing. This is his center, and if he loses contact with it, as soon as he realizes the loss he needs to immediately retrieve it.

It is his destiny to be a clairifier of emotions, both his own and the emotions of other people. His way of doing this is to allow himself to feel all the intensity of feelings, but to not hold on to them or allow them to pull him off center.

(61) Lunar Mansions 4 - 6

Lunar Mansion 4 (Ruler: Scorpio): This person can see into other people – not by analyzing them, or by drawing intellectual conclusions from observing the details of their behavior, but by directly seeing into them. He’s full of a practical wisdom that’s just there inside him and that wants to come out in a direct way. It’s very important that he avoids separating himself from his instincts. He knows what he knows and needs to stick to that rather than trying to embrace conventional ideas that are outside himself. His way of expressing what he knows is unique and original, and he need not feel that just because it isn’t rooted in convention or tradition it is less.

This person can find it hard to trust him/herself – since his insights are just his opinions which he can’t intellectually validate. If he gets too far into this distrustful attitude then self-deprecation results, and he ends up denying and repressing his talent.

He is at his best when dealing with one situation at a time, because that way experience can be more hands on and direct for him, and have to do less with remote considerations or generalities. Because of this he needs to beware of taking on too much. Its like a man who owns and runs a wonderful restaurant, but who could easily fail if he tried to franchise it, because the franchises would lack his personal touch.

He should enjoy being the childlike person that he is, and let go of the need to grow up. The desire to be an adult is just an outpicturing of his frustration with having difficulty fitting in to the world, which he can do beautifully if he can find in himself the courage to be himself.

Lunar Mansion 5 (Ruler: Jupiter): This person knows how to make anything better than it is. He needs to voice these insights to attract the attention of other people who can then help to improve the situation. In this way he can expand and harmonize any existing state of affairs, helping it to grow and evolve. When others take up and enact his suggestions he learns from this, and finds that he then has more suggestions to offer.

As long as he has adventures to engage in he can be fulfilled. If he separates himself from life though, and just thinks– without putting his thoughts out there for the world to experience, he will stagnate and end up caught in his own limiting mental world.

At best he brings new energy and new experiences to the world around him.

The bottom line here is that yes, things are not exactly as they should be, but he needs to just accept this and keep working with them, rather than withdrawing and isolating himself because things are not to his liking or not working out exactly as he wanted them to.

At worst he thinks he knows how things are – but he really doesn’t know, or at least doesn’t know as much as he’s inclined to think that he knows. And so he needs to keep returning to direct experience as a means of learning – to find out how things are, rather than assuming that he knows how things are.

In this phase basic assumptions are often invented and biases are adopted because the person is afraid of not knowing what is going on. He will, though, be able to know what’s going on as long as he keeps in tune with his instincts and is open and non-judgmental about that they are telling him.

Lunar Mansion 6 (ruler: Venus): This person has the ability to get people to cooperate with each other and to help them to communicate more clearly as well as understand each other better. Through communicating his perceptions about how things are, people around him are able to assimilate new experiences better and to understand the value of them. In this way he makes lucid and vivid sense out of what is going on, and this has a soothing effect on others. He is very adept at casual socializing that is healing and communicative rather than superficial. Through his easy connecting with others he can spread a lot of peace and harmony.

He can help others to find for themselves a meaningful place in the world.

At worst he may fear not being in control and so try to play the role of being an authority on whatever he is involved in. If this happens he then becomes intent on convincing people of his own ideas, and tries to get others to believe in them, because, if they do, then he feels like he can believe in them as well.

Even if he compels others to believe in him it will never make him happy, because he will still suffer from a feeling of not being in control. If he tries too hard he will fail. If he stays on the wavelength of gentleness, smoothness and appreciation of life, he will be living true to himself.

(60) Lunar Mansions 1 - 3

Lunar Mansion 1 (Ruler: Mercury): The cycle of Lunar Mansions can be symbolized by the life cycle of a human being, with the moment of the New Moon being the moment of the birth of a new cycle and the death of the former one. Lunar Mansion 1 is then the new-born baby, primitive, instinctive, and open to all the impressions around him/herself.

A false idea that is to be strictly avoided is that this in any way coincides with one’s level of evolution. THE ASTROLOGICAL BIRTH CHART DOES NOT SHOW A PERSON’S LEVEL OF EVOLUTION, FOR A DOG OR A BUG OR A PLANT CAN BE BORN AS THE SAME TIME AS A HUMAN. A soul might come into incarnation during the 1st Lunar Mansion and be a very evolved soul indeed, could already even be in a state of enlightenment. But even if he/she is, their core essence will carry the instinctual, impressionable energy characteristic of a baby.

The 1st Lunar Mansion’s inherent tendency is joyfulness. Unfortunately, this tendency receives very little support from society, which expects its members to grow up and be about the supposedly SERIOUS business of living.

More than anything else, the 1st Lunar Mansion needs the PROPER ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH TO DWELL. He/she is naturally receptive, that is, soaking up the world around them. This is why they need to avoid toxic and non-supportive environments. It is not in their nature to be aggressive. At their highest manifestation they are links between this world and the unseen world – impressionable to the vibrations of higher forces and so able to communicate those forces into this realm.

This phase needs to be very careful not to worry about success, because if they try to achieve it they will be buying into the agendas of the world, which will dis-empower them. And as they are so greatly impressionable they need to beware of environments that overstimulate them, or which are chaotic.

At their purest they are capable of projecting unconditional love, which becomes a kind of universal lubricant that assists and encourages members of all other phases to carrying on their work. They are capable of uniting with the experience of the moment so fully that by doing so they spontaneously bring healing energy to it.

Lunar Mansion 2 (Ruler: Virgo): This person has strong feelings, ideas and impulses which arise from their instinct and not out of the workings of their intellect. They need to let go of the need to justify themselves by having reasons for what they are doing, or intellectual arguments to explain their actions and ideas. It is only when they give up such attempts at justification that they can fully be who they really are and achieve fulfillment.

They are at their best when they keep ACTING, keep DOING things based on what their instinct is telling them to do. This is far more fulfilling that trying in vain to always be explaining WHY they’re doing what they're doing. They can’t explain their actions because they DON’T REALLY KNOW WHY THEY TO THINGS AND DON’T NEED TO KNOW. If they repress these impulses to act, those impulses can turn poisonous and manifest as anger, which won’t get them anywhere. If this person gets into a habit of lashing out at hindrances that he decides have deliberately been placed before him on purpose just to thwart him, he will be creating a neurotic loop that holds him in an ever-tightening and vicious circle. The way to overcome this is to see all difficulties as learning experiences, and to be open to whatever they are trying to teach him/her.

This person needs to be careful of too much inward introspection, which they may engage in because they are avoiding action because of an inability to intellectually justify themselves. This person would be better off doing moving meditation, like tai chi, or yoga, rather than keeping their body completely still. They tend to benefit greatly from physical activity and having challenging projects to engage in.

At their best, this person is very alive, and their aliveness can stimulate the life force of other people.

Lunar Mansion 3 (Ruler: Libra): This person needs to listen to what their instincts are telling them and to follow them. As long as they connect with the flow of the present moment, they can be very effective. Their greatest challenge is to track with the energy they are feeling and to follow wherever it is leading – even if they can’t explain it to others. They are wonderful when they are being spontaneous, and they need to let their spontaneous impulses flow forth freely from them into action.

If the person, out of fear, tries to manipulate what is going on around him rather than just flow with it, he will find himself divided from the moment, out of sync with himself, and so living in disharmony. Abstractions are just not his thing, and if he tries to use them as defenses or weapons he will find that this simply doesn’t work. One of the worst things he/she could possibly get into is trying to control things. You can’t control the wave, but if you harmonize your attention with it, you can be a great surfer.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

(59) Lunar Mansions: An Introduction

The knowledge of Lunar Mansions is one of the oldest techniques of classical Hindu Astrology. For centuries, though, it was unused in Western Astrology

Then the poet William Butler Yeats wrote a book called "A Vision," which is an analysis and interpretation of channeled information that came through his wife. At the time of his writing this book he thought of it as a way of describing personality types only, and was unaware that he had also written one of the most important astrology manuals of the 20th century. When I first read it over 30 years ago I started testing out Yeats' information on charts, and was astounded at the vividness and accuracy of the information. I thought seriously of writing a book for astrologers on how to use Yeats' book, but I was involved in too many other things and never got around to it. After several years a book called "Phases of the Moon" by Dorthy Wergin and Marilyn Busteed came out. They had had the same idea as me, and did a great job of translating Yeats into astrologese.

The history of Yeats writing "A vision" is told, at least partially in the introduction to that book, and is quite interesting and worth looking into, if you have the time and energy. You can order it through

There are 28 Lunar mansions. The first Lunar Mansion begins at the exact location of the Sun in a chart, and each successive Lunar Mansion occurs every 12 degree and 51 minute intervals. What we are interested in finding out is the Lunar Mansion in which the Moon falls in a chart.

To calculate which Lunar Mansion the Moon is in in, measure the exact distance from the Sun counterclockwise through the zodiac to the Moon then refer to the table below.

0 degrees 00 minutes – 12 degrees 51 minutes=phase 1
12 degrees 51 minutes – 25 degrees 42 minutes=phase 2
25 degrees 42 minutes – 38 degrees 33 minutes=phase 3
38 degrees 33 minutes – 51 degrees 26 minutes=phase 4
51 degrees 26 minutes – 64 degrees 17 minutes=phase 5
64 degrees 17 minutes – 77 degrees 08 minutes=phase 6
77 degrees 08 minutes – 90 degrees 00 minutes=phase 7
90 degrees 00 minutes – 102 degrees 51 minutes=phase 8
102 degrees 51 minutes – 115 degrees 42 minutes=phase 9
115 degrees 42 minutes – 128 degrees 33 minutes=phase 10
128 degrees 33 minutes – 141 degrees 26 minutes=phase 11
141 degrees 26 minutes – 154 degrees 17 minutes=phase 12
154 degrees 17 minutes – 167 degrees 08 minutes=phase 13
167 degrees 08 minutes – 180 degrees 00 minutes=phase 14
180 degrees 00 minutes – 192 degrees 51 minutes=phase 15
192 degrees 51 minutes – 205 degrees 42 minutes=phase 16
205 degrees 42 minutes – 218 degrees 33 minutes=phase 17
218 degrees 42 minutes – 231 degrees 26 minutes=phase 18
231 degrees 26 minutes – 244 degrees 17 minutes=phase 19
244 degrees 17 minutes – 257 degrees 08 minutes=phase 20
257 degrees 08 minutes – 270 degrees 00 minutes=phase 21
270 degrees 00 minutes – 282 degrees 51 minutes=phase 22
282 degrees 51 minutes – 295 degrees 42 minutes=phase 23
295 degrees 42 minutes – 308 degrees 33 minutes=phase 24
308 degrees 33 minutes – 321 degrees 26 minutes=phase 25
321 degrees 26 minutes – 334 degrees 17 minutes=phase 26
334 degrees 17 minutes – 347 degrees 08 minutes=phase 27
347 degrees 08 minutes – 360 degrees 00 minutes=phase 28

In the next few blogs I will be describing in order the significance of each of these Lunar Mansions.

(58) The Life Approach (2)

The following interpretations cover the instances where two out of the four planetary departments are activated by major aspect, with the other two not having a major aspect between their two planets. You will find one of these six possibilities present in about 40% of the charts that you do.

11. Sun/Moon (Vitality) and Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) both activated by major aspect: The individual with this combination tends to take a personal approach to the circumstances of life. That means, essentially, that no matter what he involved him/herself in, the tendency is to take whatever happens personally.

We hear people say so often, “You shouldn’t take that personally!” in an attempt to try to help the person they are speaking to. Actually taking things personally can be a positive thing. It can signify a teacher who gets to know his/her students individually, and who will try to work with each and every circumstance of life that comes up as a unique scenario that requires unique responses. In other words, “personal” here may translate as “personable."

Queen Elizabeth II has this situation in her chart, and her great popularity over the years is because she seems like a real person to the people – she approaches her job personably.

On the darker side, Hermann Goering also had this setup in his chart – another very personable leader, who, in fact, as Marc Jones says, “encouraged millions of the German people to think of him affectionately as “The Man.”

12. Venus/Mars (Efficiency) and Uranus/Neptune (Significance) both activated by major aspect: This person takes an impersonal approach to circumstances. They might, sometimes, seem cold, distant, or aloof, but this mindset might aid them in focusing on what they are doing, and help to insulate them against negative criticism, censure, or any kind of chaos or static that might disrupt someone else, who, if involved in the same circumstances did not have this setup in their chart.

13. Sun/Moon (Vitality) activated with Venus/Mars (Efficiency): This person tends to focus on their function in life, and to do so objectively. This can mean that self-fulfillment for them will require at least some amount of self-discipline. This person tends to play a definite role in life. They figure out what this role requires, and then try to fulfill those requirements.

14. Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) activated with Uranus/Neptune (Significance): These people, like #13 above are also playing a role in life, but with this combination the functioning is subjective, that is, rather than focusing on what is needed from them by the outside world they look within to see what it is they have to give to the world, and then their role and functioning is based on this. These people need to allow their role in life to come forth from themselves.

Both numbers 13 and 14 are like actors playing roles on the stage of life, with number 13 playing their role more methodically and consciously, and number 14 merging with the character they have conceived and playing more by instinct. Both of these types can be uncompromising and self-obsessed. Remember, though, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

15. Sun/Moon (Vitality) activated with Uranus/Neptune (Significance): This person focus on ACTIVITY – on what they are DOING, and does so in a conjunctive way, meaning they are not apt to let anything get in their way as the proceed with their agendas, and refuse to allow their actions to be thwarted by trivialities. They are willing to try anything and everything to see if it will suit their purposes, and are always trying to connect what they are doing with what others are doing and to what is going on around them.

This person is intent on working with the structures they find already in place in the world around them. They are trying to be a part of things.

16. Jupiter/Saturn (Motivation) activated with Venus/Mars (Efficiency): This person also focuses on ACTIVITY, but unlike #15 does so in a disjunctive way. They want to sample many different things because they are trying to get a feel for all the various energies around them so they can assess how they might be used. They tend to take different sorts of energies from many different areas of life and then to put those energies together in their own individual way. They love to experiment, and the ultimate purpose of their experiments is self-discovery.

This person, rather than working with the structures they find already in place in the world arund them are intent on creating their own customized structures for themselves.

Friday, January 8, 2010

(57) The Life Approach (1)

The Life Approach is my term for how the four Planetary Departments, (the Sun/Moon Department of Vitality, the Venus/Mars department of Efficiency, the Jupiter/Saturn Department of Motivation, and the Uranus /Neptune Department of Significance) interrelate with each other. There are sixteen different possibilities in this, and here they are, together with their interpretations:

1. In a very few charts you will find that there is no major aspect between any of these four pairs of planets. This is a rare occurrence because first of all, more than half of all charts will have a Sun/Moon major aspect simply because we are giving the Sun such a large orb (17 degrees). Then, even if we have no Sun/Moon opposition, there also has to be in the chart to oppositions between the other three pairs of planets.

When you find this situation in a chart, you know that the person you are reading for is a wide open individual – capable of being influenced by anything and everything. At worst this can mean its difficult for the person to consistently and/or steadily apply him/herself to anything, because all the time there will be new energies coming into their field, which the person has difficult ignoring. If the individual can, through an act of will, create enough order in his/her life to keep chaos somewhat at bay, they are then more likely to find happiness and fulfillment.

On the positive side, when a person has none of the four Planetary Departments activated the openness this creates can help the person to be very innovative, and to engage in adventures that many other people would have had to pass up, because they were busy being consistent about whatever structures they had created in their life.

2. At the opposite extreme you may occasionally find a situation where a person has all four pairs of planetary departments activated by major aspect. This person will feel pulled in many different directions and have a desire to get involved in a lot of different things. Their dilemma is really very similar to having none of the planetary departments activated, but in their case rather than the OPENNESS that was created by no aspects now becomes a FULNESS, most likely an OVERFULLNESS – a feeling of a kind of glut, together with a difficulty of choosing where they are going to focus. This person needs to edit out certain involvements so that they will have time and energy enough to cultivate other involvements.

In instance #1 spoken about above we symbolically have a person who plants a garden but then can’t weed it because they find the weeds as interesting as whatever else they’ve planted. In this instance – the one we’re talking about – #2 – the person is planting a garden that has way to many things in it – there’s no room for weeds, but there’s also no room for anything to grow properly, because THERE’S MORE VARIETIES OF LIFE FORMS THAN THERE IS SOIL. This person needs to do some deep soul searching to determine what it is they really want to do, and then, difficult as it seems, they need to JUST SAY NO to involvements that they know are not as important to them as the ones they’ve chosen. The problem with doing this is that even if they do what I have suggested, then later they may be very tempted to change their mind or re-decide their priorities, and if they do this too much, they’re back to the same challenge.

3. More often you’ll have a situation where only one of the planetary departments is activated, and this will clearly show where the person’s focus is. If the one planetary department activated by major aspect is the Department of Vitality (Sun/Moon), the individual is very into the basics in life, very grounded, may even have a kind of earthy or primitive quality, and will tend to have a lot of energy. This person is good at establishing themself in life in a practical way. They would hardly ever get lost in the clouds.

4. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Efficiency (Venus/Mars) the person has a tremendous capacity to get things done. This is the situation in my chart. People are always telling me I’m very accomplishment oriented. Yes, I see that, but it just seems like a natural thing – when I want something, or want to get something done, I just make a b-line for it, and that is that! The down side of this is that I don’t really have much of a long range sense of what I’m doing – its just the task at hand that I’m getting done.

5. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Motivation (Jupiter/Saturn) the person is extremely good at keeping before him/herself WHY he or she is doing what their doing. They tend to stand up unequivocally for what they believe. Their actions tend not to be random, but for a reason and purpose. The individuals with this setup in their chart are very good at not getting involved in meaningless activity, or in anything that doesn’t suit their purpose. They automatically save their energy for their goals and purposes, for what they feel is right and good to do.

6. If the single planetary department with a major aspect is the Department of Sginificance (Uranus/Neptune). These people focus on the welfare of their fellow human beings and the welfare of the world at large, and tend to commit every action as a means toward the general betterment of everything.

7. There can also be the situation where three of the planetary departments are activated by major aspect, with the fourth department unactivated. When this is the case, it is the unactivated department that becomes the focus of the life. And so if there is a major aspect between Venus and Mars (the Department of Efficiency), as well as Jupiter and Saturn (the department of Motivation), and also Uranus and Neptune (the Department of Significance), but NO ASPECT BETWEEN SUN AND MOON (the Department of Vitality), then we can see that the person needs to be like #3 above, and if they can bring these qualities into their life they will have found the missing piece that will lead them to success and fulfillment.

8. The same procedure that we used to interpret the missing Sun/Moon aspect in #7 we can use to interpret the situation when all planetary departments are being activated except for the Department of Efficiency (Venus/Mars),

9. As well as when the Department of Motivation has no major aspect (with the other three having major aspects), and

10. The Department of Significance having the same situation

And those are the first 10 potential interrelationships of the four Planetary Departments. In the next blog I’ll cover the last six possibilities – which are more complicated. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

(56) Uranus/Neptune Aspects: The Department of Significance

The Uranus/Neptune pair of planets is referred to by Marc Jones as the Department of Significance. This pair has to do with the individual’s relationship to society and to their fellow human beings as a whole. Uranus signifies a person’s most unique and individualized traits, as well as where he or she in life needs freedom, needs to be independent so that his or her special gifts can be nurtured. Neptune on the other hand has to do with the connections between all of us, and our obligations to help and uplift each other. It is interesting that Uranus was discovered in 1781 – very near the time of the American and French Revolutions – a time when people were gaining more personal independence. Neptune was discovered in 1846, about the same time as the first spreading of Marxist ideals.

Uranus/Neptune conjunction: Note: because these planets move so slowly, their major aspects between each other will last for about 10 years. Uranus and Neptune were in conjunction from 1817 - 1827 and again from 1987 - 1998.

These people tend to get extremely immersed in whatever they are into and can even neglect personal needs in trying to fulfill ideals they think are going to help society at large. They see possibilities of social evolution with a fresh eye, unclouded by the doubts of the past, and so can give others new hope and desire to grow and evolve. They manifest a whole-hearted desire for social progress.

Uranus/Neptune sextile: This happened from 1850 - 1859 and again from 1962 - 1971. These people are very anxious to get people to work with each other, to share social responsibilities, and to have everyone use whatever talents they have for the purpose of social betterment.

They want to expand human connections for the purpose of world growth and the furthering of the security of everyone. There can be a tendency, though, with these people to think that whatever progress the world is making is enough, so long as there is at least some progress being made. They may adopt an unrealistically optimistic view of what is happening and thereby actually slow progress through avoiding the differences and conflicts between social groups.

Uranus/Neptune square: This happened from 1866 - 1875 and again from 1950 - 1959. These people really want to get big things done, or at least want to see grand and momentous things accomplished in the world by themselves and/or other people. They have big expectations when it comes to social evolution. They can be so into their own rights and privleges, though, that they become jealous of what others have.

They are often very hard-working, possibly excessively so, and expect others to be the same way. These people can be very adept at handling social conflicts, as long as they can keep their personal and selfish interests at bay. The square between Uranus and Neptune produces a crop of hard-core individualists.

Uranus/Neptune trine: This happened from 1879 - 1887 and again from 1934 - 1944. These people tend to be satisfied with their place in life, and want, primarily to enjoy whatever they can. They tend to feel that if things are going along in an OK direction that this is fine. They can lack a bigger, grander vision of the future. At worst they can become very elitist, and selfish as well, and from this vantage point just watch the world go by. They need to get out of these sorts of ruts and always be looking toward a fulfillment that goes beyond what they already have.

Uranus/Neptune opposition: This happened from 1902 - 1912. These people are aware (keyword for opposition) that things in the world need to change in a very fundamental and basic way. But they need to avoid rushing into difficulties in an attempt to remedy them without enough forethought, plan, or staying power (this is a manifestation of negative Neptune energy). On the other hand, they also need to avoid being destructively critical of people in power and of institutions (a manifestation of negative Uranus energy). There is a need with this aspect to integrate ones urge to help the world (Neptune) with one’s need to help oneself (Uranus).

Uranus/Neptune in no major aspect: This can signify a person who isn’t particularly interested in the flow of world events, human social evolution, and the stresses and strains of world history. At best, though, this freedom from these concerns can allow these individuals to pursue their spiritual evolution in their own free way and to make contributions to the world in many different ways, depending on the person. At worst it can signify a tendency to insulate themselves too much from the evolutionary currents of humanity as a whole.

(55) Chart Formations (2)

The fourth chart formation we’re going to look at is the BUNDLE. In this formation there is only one gap, but it has to be no less than 210 degrees to create the formation. Of course it can be more than 210 degrees, but anything less and the chart becomes classed as a different formation.

The BUNDLE chart is the opposite of the splash. This person is a natural specialist. Whatever they are involved with they like to go into in depth. Ray Merriman once said at a class of his I attended that the bundle type can make mountains out of molehills. It is definitely in their nature to put all their eggs in one basket.

Let us say, for example, that a woman brings me a chart of her son, and tells me that he is obsessed with collecting all types of seashells as well as books and information on them, and that she is worried about the intensity of his focus. If I were to look at his chart and see that it was a bundle formation I would tell her to allow him to obsess on sea shells to his heart’s content – for this is his natural way of being. Who knows – maybe he will one day become the world’s leading authority on sea shells.

Of course it could be that this same boy isn’t doing well in school because he’s not giving enough time to his studies, due to his sea-shell efforts. In this case I will tell her to explain to her son that if he gives enough time to learning those things that the world expects him to know, that this will free him, ultimately, to follow what he is most interested in. Compelling a child of this sort to be “balanced,” is something which disturbs me a great deal. Every person has their own balance, which is different from every other persons’. Balance for this individual might just be a life devoted to sea shells.

Do not think that a BUNDLE type always sticks with the same things – for they can shift interests, but whatever their interests are, we will always tend to find this depth plumbing going on. It is most likely, though, that if a bundle does shift focus it will be thought out beforehand – there will most likely be a build-up to it – it won’t be just a whim of the moment.

And yes, I hear a student asking, is the narrowness of focus connected to the tightness of the BUNDLE? Yes, it is – a gap of 210 degrees being the loosest bundle would tend to have a looser focus then a bundle contained within 90 degrees.

The BUNDLE person probably needs less encouragement from the outside world than the other chart formations do. The BUNDLE tends to go on its own steam, take care of itself, and be self-contained.

In these last four chart formations which I’m talking about in this particular essay, we also have the phenomenon of one of the planets in the formation taking precedence over the others. In the bundle, bowl, and locomotive formations this planet is known as the cutting planet, and the way to find it is to place your finger anywhere in the bundle and slowly rotate your finger CLOCKWISE until you come to the last planet before the gap.

The cutting planet is the most important one in the whole chart, and so when one has a bundle, bowl or locomotive formation it makes it easier for the astrologer to determine the chart’s focus. The cutting planet is said to be in "high focus," as is also the single isolated planet in the bucket formation. And so in these four chart types, BUNDLE, BUCKET, BOWL, and LOCOMOTIVE there is always a high-focus planet.

Marc Jones gave special keywords to the ten planets when they are in high focus. When the Sun is in high focus the word is "masterly," meaning the person attempts to be so thoroughly versed in whatever he or she is doing that he/she comes to master the subject or discipline he/she is involved in. the keyword for the Moon in high focus is "intense." The person with this indication wishes to live a lot that is not bland or humdrum but which is vivid and intense. Frederick Chopin had a high focus moon -- and he wrote nocturnes night pieces.

The keyword for Mercury in high focus is "inquisitive." The person is curious and will dig into and uncover information, going as deep as possible to uncover the truth and find out how things work. Louis Pasteur's chart has a high focus Mercury.

The keyword for Venus in high focus is "intimate," meaning that life is never approached in a cold or distant or impersonal way. Quite the contrary, the person thinks of every experience encountered as special, as having its own unique personality and needs, and as being something they want to get as close as possible to and interact with in a very personal INTIMATE way.

The keyword for Mars in high focus is "indomitable," meaning that the person will never let anything ultimately get the best of him/her. They refuse to be under anyone's finger. If defeated, they will simply put their mind to figuring out a way of being successful in the next skirmish. Abraham Lincoln had a high focus Mars.

The keyword for Jupiter in high focus is "paternalistic." I have a bucket with Jupiter as the handle planet, so Jupiter in my chart is in high focus. At first I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this word -- but it truly is me. I'm being paternalistic right now, in that I'm trying to protect and support the tradition of astrology so that I can hand it down like a FATHER (pater is Latin for father). Isadora Duncan had Jupiter in high focus. It might be strange on first thinking about it to envision such a feminine individual as a father. But she was extremely intent on fostering a revival of the dance of the ancients, and of passing down this tradition to her students.

The keyword for Saturn in high focus is "shrewd." This is a person who is extremely sensitive to the limitations of any situations, and of what is required in a practical sense to get done what one wants to do. Emily Dickenson has a high focus Saturn in her chart, and what makes her such a wonderful poet is her extreme sensitivity to the limitations of WORDS, and of what one must do with them to make them say what one wants them to say. Saturn, also, is the exact opposite of superficiality, and in her lightest verse there is always a sense of depth.

The keyword for Uranus in high focus is "experimentative." This person is very open and willing to try new things. Even after they have found a way of doing something that works they will not settle down to a routine way of being, but must always be exploring new territory be it out in the world or inside the self.

The keyword for Neptune in high focus is "authoritative." This comes from holding on strongly to the high ideal that Neptune always signifies. Eleanor Roosevelt had a high focus Neptune.

The keyword for Pluto in high focus is "Transcendent," for the transformative nature of Pluto is always looking to transcend problems -- to rise above the realm of limitation.

The BUCKET formation is actually a see-saw with the two groups of planets divided by having nine in the one group and just one in the other. The BUCKET is very zealous about whatever it is doing. It may feel like it has a mission in life, and the mission is usually shown by the one planet that stands alone. The bucket can have the intensity and narrowness of focus of the BUNDLE type, but unlike the bundle type it tends to approach whatever it is focused on from multiple angles. It may be into many different things, but somehow these things are collected together, unified through the singleton planet. This singleton planet becomes the most important one in the chart. It is often a singleton in hemisphere, which will, of course, then give that particular hemisphere strong emphasis and cause it to take precedence in the life over the other hemisphere.

The BOWL formation occurs when there is one gap, and that gap is between 150 degrees and 210 degrees. A gap smaller than 150 degrees causes the chart to be classes (at least in my system) as a BUNDLE chart, and a gap of more than 210 degrees causes the chart to be classes as a LOCOMOTIVE pattern. The bowl is looking to enter experience with the whole of the self, that is, they tend to be an “all-or-nothing” type of person. They need something they can immerse themselves in, something they can be completely devoted to. This chart type also has a cutting planet – found just as you did with the BUNDLE type.

The LOCOMOTIVE formation occurs when there is one gap that is between 90 and 210 degrees. (A gap less then 90 degrees is a SPLASH type). The LOCOMOTIVE type is, just as you might expect a driving and driven person. The have a lot of energy and at their most intense can be like a steam roller. They can be very motivated and will get to where they are desiring to go one way or the other, whether slowly and patiently, or through relentless pushing.

These are the seven types of chart formation that Marc Jones describes, but I want to add another one – one that is rarely found, though I do see it occasionally. It’s referred to as the CLOSE PAIRS type. This chart is formed when all of the planets (ideally) are in a conjunction with another planet – ideally forming “close pairs” of planets in the chart. A chart can still be considered a CLOSE PAIRS chart even if two planets are not involved in the conjunctions. It can also be a close pairs chart if, say, you have three planets in conjunction together in one or several places, rather than just two.

The CLOSE PAIRS individual has special gifts to offer the world, and what it takes to manifest these special gifts is a coordination of their energies directed toward a specific purpose. No one can tell them how to do this coordination – their nature is too original, too different, to be able to assimilate easily the advice of others. It is their instinct that brings about this coordination. When it happens they can be extremely successful, because they have found their own way to reach their goals, and they have marshaled their energies in the way that felt right to them – and turned out to be right.

I know a woman with a CLOSE PAIRS chart who, when she got out of college went to work for a store. The store owner said the business was failing and he couldn’t give her a salary or hourly income but only commissions on what she sold. She want ahead and took over the store, he let her run it the way she wanted to, and within a year her commissions were averaging $10,000 a month. She related to the product she was selling and found her own unique way of selling it, and by doing this was fantastically successful.

And so the snow in Kansas City is assisting me in the writing of this blog, as I’m being given so much time by having so many cancellations. Thank you, snow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

(53) Chart Formation (1)

Marc Edmund Jones describes 7 different chart formations in his book “The Essentials of Astrological Analysis.” The information given here follows his basic plan with modifications, especially when it comes to detailing exactly what the limits of a specific formation are. Jones was somewhat more vague on this than I am.

Chart formations are a good way of getting an overall idea of a chart before looking at any other specifics. Formation has to do with the general pattern of planets as a whole as they are situated in the wheel. Sometimes it is quite easy to take a glance at a chart and see immediately what the chart formation is. At other times when has to do some more exact measuring to determine what the formation is.

Chart formation is determined by the gaps that exist between planets, with a gap of 60 degrees or more being significant. Any space in a chart that is less than 60 degrees and contains no planets is not considered to be a gap. Of course it IS a gap – just not one big enough to be considered a MAJOR GAP. From here on in this essay when I say GAP I mean a space of AT LEAST 60 DEGREES of space in where there are no planets.

Also, in chart formation we are only considering the seven traditional planets plus Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We are NOT taking into consideration Chiron, any of the asteroids, the Moon’s nodes, Part of fortune, or any other point in the chart.

The first formation I shall speak of is called the SPLASH type. This is a type that is actually rarely found. The SPLASH formation occurs when there are no gaps whatsoever. If we follow this definition to the letter we will indeed encounter a SPLASH chart very infrequently. Here I do hedge a little and say that there might be one gap, but if there is, it should not be over 90 degrees. If it is, then the chart actually falls into a different type of formation, as we shall see later.

The SPLASH formation is into a lot of different things, and tends to live a variegated life. This person is the opposite of a specialist. I always symbolically think of this type as a movie director, for a movie director needs to think of actors, plot, lighting, costumes. Makeup, camera angle, etc. In other words, since movies are about life, anything and everything might be involved with the making of a movie. The SPLASH type scatters energies.

Before going any farther I would like to say that one of the most important points I want to make in my work as an astrologer is that to be a good astrologer one must cleanse one’s perceptions of taken-for-granted biases. For instance, we tend to think of scattering energies as a bad thing – and it is not – at least not in every context. A SPLASH type of person might make a very good administrator, because they could be into every aspect of, say the manufacturing, marketing, and sales of an item, together with personal relations, hiring workers, and maybe fixing the toilet when it get stopped up. In some contexts, scattered energies can be just what is needed. If a person with a SPLASH chart tries to focus or limit their energies and involvements too much, they will not be happy. Of course, for the sake of survival, they need to be encouraged to focus on something enough be gain enough skill and expertise to make money at it, but whenever possible, they need to be allow to spread themselves as broadly as the planets are spread in their chart.

Another great occupation for a SPLASH type might be a writer, for obviously a SPLASH type is a gatherer of experience, and as a writer would probably range very widely in this process of gathering things to write about.

The next formation is the SPLAY type. The SPLAY chart pattern is formed when there are THREE GAPS. What these gaps do is divide the chart into three different groups of planets.

One thing we can say about the splay chart is that they tend to have their own unique way of doing things, are will not feel happy or fulfilled until they place themselves in a situation where they are free to discover how they want to go about performing their work. The SPLAY type is also a natural artist who is trying, in whatever they do to engineer something unique and which has on it their personal stamp. This type tends to be more attuned to subjective experience – their inner life and their emotions, than to the outer world. Almost always the SPLAY type will be an INTERESTING person, due to their unique approach to life.

The next formation is known as the SEE-SAW type. This is actually the chart formation you will encounter the most frequently as you look at chart. It is formed when there are just two gaps in the chart, dividing the planets into two distinct groups. It does not matter what the size of these groups are – they could be divided evenly, five and five, or they might be divided two and eight. If they are divided with nine planets on one side and one on the other, then you do not have a SEE-SAW type – you have a bucket, which we will talk of later.

Also, you need to know that it doesn't matter whether or not these two groups of planets are across the chart from each other -- just so long as there are two gaps. One of these gaps could potentially be as much as 210 or more degrees, with the other gap being say only about 60. This is just a hypothetical example to show you that the SEE-SAW could be very skewed. The point of the formation is that it has these two groups, and NOT whether or not they're directly across the chart from each other.

The SEE-SAW type is a person who has two basic areas of interest in their life, and who is trying to balance these two areas with each other to produce harmony. The SEE-SAW individual can have a hard time making up their mind, for they tend to often be pulled in two different directions at once. If you want to know more about what these two areas of life have to do with, you can look at the houses occupied by the two different groups of planets. Sometimes these two different groups will be divided from each other by the horizon line (1st house/7th house axis) or by the Midheaven/Nadir line (10th house 4th house axis). If this is the case it actually makes the interpretation of the chart somewhat easier, for then the divisions within the person’s life are between purely self-oriented involvements on the one hand and more interactive, relational involvements on the other (in the case of the dividing line being the 1st house/7th house axis), or between their strictly private life and their life out in the world (in the case of the dividing line being the 10th house/4th house axis).

In the next blog I will tell you of the other 4 chart formations. For now I’m going to snuggle up with my kindle and read Gertrude Stein’s “Three Lives.” Soon I plan to do an interpretation of her chart for you. Stay warm, everyone. I hope the New Year will hold many wonderful surprises for all of you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

(52) Hemisphere Emphasis

It is always important, when interpreting a chart, to see if all the planets fall in the upper half of it, (from houses 7 through 12), in the lower half (houses 1 through 6), all in the eastern half (houses 10- through 3), or the western half (houses 4 through 9). When either of these four possibilities is the case, the chart is sharply pointed toward one area of experience.

Another important possibility that relates to these four is when 9 of the planets fall in one of these quadrants, with the 10th planet in the opposite quadrant – for instance when 9 of the planets are in the upper half of the chart with the 10th planet in the lower half. When this is the case, THE SINGLE PLANET (CALLED THE “SINGLETON IN HEMISPHERE) WILL SIGNIFY BY ITS PLACEMENT THE HEMISPHERE OF EMPHASIS. Many astrology students have a difficult time comprehending this, for they often tend to think that the hemisphere emphasis should be indicated by the one that has the most number of planets, i.e., where the 9 planets are. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Through dominating the hemisphere it is in, the SINGLETON IN HEMISPHERE gains great power, for both itself and the hemisphere in which it is found.

To be able to uses this indication as an interpretative tool, it is important to understand the meaning of the hemispheres.

The upper hemisphere (houses 7 through 12) signifies the world at large, outer experience, people as a whole, and outer life. The lower hemisphere (houses 1 through 6) signifies ones inner and private world – away from society at large. You might think of the upper hemisphere as being like the big city, and the lower hemisphere as living in the country.

The eastern hemisphere (houses 10 through 3) signifies purely personal concerns, apart from any consideration of how they relate to the outside world. The western hemisphere (houses 4 through 9) signifies everything outside the self – the “not-self.” This is the realm of negotiation and all the outer things that we have to come to terms with.

When all 10 planets are in the upper hemisphere (houses 7 through 12) the person tend to be very publicly and socially oriented. What is most important to them is how they relate to the world at large. Usually there career is very important to them, as well as the affairs of the world at large rather than just the affairs of their own country. They are very concerned with what other people as a whole – as a culture and a race – are doing. This is their most natural frame of reference, and where they tend to be at their best.

When all l0 planets are n the lower hemisphere (houses 1 through 6) the person tends to be private – primarily concerned with their own little world, meaning the close friends they have made, and their family, or near neighbors. There life has an intimate quality. I think that unfortunately many people tend to place a negative value judgement on this, thinking that somehow its better to be a social activist and involved with the world at large. The fact is, a person with all their planet below the horizon can do many good and wonderful deeds for humanity, but they will tend to do it at A GRASS ROOTS LEVEL. The person with all the planets in the lower half of their chart tends to greatly value their privacy, and if everything is going well in their personal and private world, they are happy.

When all 10 planets are in the eastern half of the chart (between houses 10 and 3) the person is primarily concerned with their own personal self, rather than with the lives, needs and demands of others. This sounds selfish, but isn’t necessarily so. Let’s say we have an architect who has this setup in their chart. They may need to deeply search their being to decide what types of houses they want to build. They may be acutely aware of their own needs, and if these needs are fulfilled, it can satisfy them to the extent that they might bring into the world marvelous buildings in which people are happy to be for many years, or even centuries. Is that selfish? Being self-oriented in the right way is not selfish, for what is truly good for you spiritually HAS TO BE GOOD FOR OTHER PEOPLE. Yes, a person with all their planets in the eastern half of the chart can be selfish in a negative way, but if this is so it is neurotic behavior – a kind of selfishness that never truly centers the self. A person self-centered in spirit radiates love. We may approach the spiritual through self, or through others.

Another important quality of the person who has all their planets in the eastern half of the chart is an uncompromising nature. Now if what they are being compromising about is something positive, then they often have the power to compel others to change, to compromise, to come to them, to go along with them, and this can be wonderful if they change they are effecting on other people through this is of a positive, life supporting sort.

If all the planets in a chart are in the western half of the chart (between houses 4 and 9), the person is oriented toward the needs of others. They are at their best when they are aware of how to most fully and completely relate to other people. They can be very aware of others’ needs, and can often achieve success through finding positive ways of fulfilling these needs. This setup in a chart says, “I can’t be happy unless you’re happy.” At worst it could be self-effacing and neglectful of the self.

Whenever there is a singleton in hemisphere, the nature of that planet will show the type of approach the person has to that hemisphere, and the house placement of that planet will show the type of circumstances through which this person approaches the whole of that hemisphere. To give an example of this, I have Jupiter as singleton in the western hemisphere. This means that all of my relating to the outside world is dominated by an enthusiasm – the desire to encourage, to relate whole-heartedly, to be generous. If this is to manifest negatively it can come out as going to far, trying too hard, doing too much in terms of trying to relate. And the fact that my Jupiter is in the 4th house means that my whole means of relating to this outside world is through an intimacy (4th house), through getting close, and through trying to help others to feel more secure. I enter easily into the private world of others – I love to do so. 4th house signifies ones private world.

Let’s give another example: say a person has Moon in 8th house as singleton in the upper hemisphere. This individual is socially oriented, and approaches this from a feeling standpoint, wanting probably to be nurturing to the world. There is an emotional need (Moon) to bring change into the world (8th house). In my mind I can hear a student asking, “but wouldn’t this always be true of moon in 8th house?” The answer is yes, but when the Moon in this position becomes a singleton in hemisphere IT IS MANIFESTING WITH FAR MORE INTENSITY, AND IS NOT CONFINING ITS INFLUENCE TO JUST THE 8TH HOUSE, BUT TO THE WHOLE UPPER HALF OF THE CHART, THE 7TH, 8TH, 9TH, 10TH, 11TH, AND 12TH HOUSES!! Its going to affect how they relate (7th house), their philosophy of life (9th house), their career (10th house), their choice of friends and the groups to which they belong (11th house) and their intuition (12th house).

I just heard another student say to me, “but if the 11th house is the house of friends, how come it falls in the public, upper half of the chart, and not in the private, or lower half.” The answer to this is that there are two types of friendships. Friendship as defined by the 11th house is more open-ended, that is, where the relationship is not exclusive, but is part of a network – you and your friends have other friends, many of them possibly mutual. Maybe the bunch of you are organized into a group or a club. The fourth house rules family BUT NOT JUST BLOOD RELATIONS. THE FOURTH HOUSE RULES ANYONE THAT COMES TO FEEL LIKE FAMILY TO YOU PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. So, for instance, I have a lot of friends in the 11th house sense, but only some of them are what I would consider family – in the 4th house sense.

This preponderance by hemisphere and singleton in hemisphere is highly important. Try to always keep it in mind when you find it in a chart, and adjust your interpretations accordingly.

(51) Sole Dispositor

A dispositor is the planet which rules the sign that any other planet is in. For instance, if Mercury is in Libra, the dispositor of Mercury is Venus, since Venus rules Libra. To figure dispositors, you need to know which planets rule which signs. Here is a list:

Aries is ruled by Mars
Taurus is ruled by Venus
Gemini is ruled by Mercury
Cancer is ruled by the Moon
Leo is ruled by the Sun
Virgo is ruled by Mercury
Libra is ruled by Venus
Scorpio is ruled by Mars
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn
Aquarius is ruled by Saturn
Pisces is ruled by Jupiter

The only planet which doesn’t have a dispositor is the one that is in its ruling sign. In this case we might say that it disposits itself, which is true, but not the term commonly used in astrology. Instead we simply say that the planet is in its ruling sign.

Any planet in its ruling sign is doubled in power by its placement – this is what the Greek astrologer Ptolemy said in his classic work “Tetrabiblos,” an ancient text on astrology. Think of the sole dispositor – which is always in its ruling sign – as magnifying the power of a planet even more.

At times we find the case where a planet, say Mercury, is in Libra, which is disposited by Venus, and Venus will be in Virgo, which is disposited by Mercury. In other words, Mercury and Venus in this instance disposit each other. When such a thing happens, the two planets are said to be in mutual reception, and when this condition exists, there is no sole dispositor of the chart. My chart has this, for I have Venus in Cancer and Moon in Libra.

At other times we might find three planets that disposit each other in turn, such as Jupiter in Capricorn, Saturn in Virgo, and Mercury in Sagittarius. In this case, Jupiter is disposited by Saturn which is disposited by Mercury which is disposited by Jupiter. There is no technical term for this setup – but we might simply call it a rulership loop. There are seven traditional planets, and we can have in a chart, conceivably a situation in which a full six of them might be included in one of these rulership loops with the seventh one left out. In this case, there is no sole dispositor because:

The sole dispositor of a chart is a planet in its ruling sign that all the rest of the planets in that chart can be traced back to, when we look at the rulers of the signs they are in.

In doing this, note that we ignore Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron, because even though some modern astrologers think of them as ruling particular signs, when considering whether or not a chart has a sole dispositor we are only concerned with the TRADITIONAL RULES OF THE SIGNS.

It is also not possible to have a sole dispositor if we have more than one planet in its ruling sign.


The sole dispositor of a chart represents a planet whose energy affects all others, and so an energy that, rather then tending to manifest in certain situations, tends to color through its energy all situations, endeavors and impulses of the person.

The SUN as sole dispositor (it will always be in Leo), signifies a person who approaches life in a purposeful manner, at worst in an egotistical and self-important manner. At best it’s a person who can always bring what is most important in a situation to light, and who proceed always with a self-confidence which instills trust and admiration in others without seeming arrogant or grandiose.

The Moon as sole dispositor (it will always be in Cancer) signifies a person who approaches life emotionally and subjectively. At worst there may be a constant wavering due to their actions being strongly influenced by feelings. This might make them undependable. At best they approach life intimately, always with a feeling of emotional kinship with whoever they come in contact with. They have about them an aura of always nurturing other people.

Mercury as sole dispositor (it will be in Gemini or Virgo) signifies a person who is curious about everything, and thinks about everything, or maybe thinks all the time, and always wants as many of the facts about a situation as can be obtained. When this sole dispositor is in Gemini there is an edge of cleverness and aliveness in everything they do. If the dispositor is in Virgo the person is thorough, perfectionistic, and attends to the details of everything he or she touches. They may also be constantly critical about everything.

Venus as sole dispositor (it will be in Taurus or Libra) signifies a person who is artful in everything he or she does, wanting to bring a sense of beauty and excellence to all endeavors. The person may be a natural peacemaker – especially when the sole dispositor is in Libra. At worst this individual could be selfish or greedy or lazy – the negative manifestations of Venus.

Mars as sole dispositor (it will always be in Aries or Scorpio) signifies a person who is aggressive in everything they do. They approach life with a lot of energy and autonomy, and have a great urge to both create and destroy – for instance they might enjoy clearing a field, or tearing down a house that is no longer needed. There is an edge of aggressiveness about everything they do.

Jupiter as sole dispositor (it will be in Sagittarius or Pisces) signifies a person who is enthusiastic, positively motivated, and tends to always have an optimistic attitude. They think in big terms, possibly too much so, to the extent that they might fail through taking on too much. They always have to beware of going too far, saying too much, etc.

Saturn as sole dispositor (it will be in Capricorn or Aquarius) signifies a person who is very serious, who may take a long time to do things or to develop. Also a person who can be very organized or structured. They may have difficulty having fun, and childhood might be a lot more uncomfortable for them than it is for most people. They might tend to seek out people who are older and wiser from them to learn from. They can be very persevering in what they do, and may tend to be happier with a simple life than one in which they have too many things to do.

The sole dispositor is an important consideration, and should always be taken into account when interpreting ALL OTHER AREAS OF THE CHART, for like a drop of colored ink placed in water, it colors everything.