Note: As a courtesy to beginners, the following is presented as an orientation to astrology as an art, science and language.
Astrology is a science and fine art correlating celestial cycles and positions with terrestrial events and experiences. “As Above, So Below” – thus runs the ancient axiom attributed to the Egyptian sage Hermes. The solar system and universe are reflected in every human being. An astrological birthchart is a symbol, picture or mandala that can reveal any individual’s life purpose. It is calculated for the beginning moment of life – whether the first cry of a baby, the artist’s moment of creative inspiration, the inauguration of a president, the purchase agreement for a new car.
The key components of a birthchart are: 10 celestial bodies within the solar system; the Moon’s orbital axis (the Nodes); the horizon (rising and setting zodiacal signs); the meridian (signs above and below); the 12 zodiacal signs; the 12 astrological houses; 360 degrees of the zodiac (each with a revealing symbol or image); the planetary aspects or mathematical relation of the celestial bodies and the birth angles.
The 12 signs of the zodiac constitute an electro-magnetic field surrounding the Earth, 12 different types of substance or energy, a 12-fold division of your auric field of consciousness and being. Keep in mind the four different elemental qualities associated with the signs. Fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) emphasize independence, spontaneity, radiance, extroversion, dynamism. Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) focus on practicality, productivity, physical action and materializing the spirit. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) key in on mental expression, communication, intellect and intuition, the world of ideas. Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are introspective, strongly impressionable, sensitive, feeling-oriented, and imaginative.
The 10 celestial bodies represent various functions and principles within your personality, universe and psyche. Each one gains its meaning based on its location in the solar system. The Sun and Moon are the two “lights” – suggesting the conscious and subconscious, father and mother, male and female, soul and personality. Mercury links up with everyday communication, thought and mental interests. Venus has a rapport with personal love, creative artistry, the sense of value, the path inward to peace and unity. Mars complements Venus (as both are next-door neighbors of the Earth) and signifies the path of outer desire, personal drive, assertiveness and separation from others. Jupiter and Saturn, the largest planets, are a pair with Jupiterian expansion/optimism contrasting with Saturnian contraction/pessimism or realism. These two planetary giants connect with our social and community life, educational and career focus. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto represent the transcendent octaves, universal and collective forces, higher and transformative influences we are subject to and usually beyond our personality control. They were discovered in 1781, 1846 and 1930, respectively. Chiron (a small, comet-like body orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, and discovered in 1977) and the first four asteroids – Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta – (orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, where thousands of small celestial bodies are located) are relatively recent additions to astrological work by professional astrologers. However, they bring in a significant energy concerning healing wounds and pains (Chiron), and supporting the feminine side of life (four asteroid goddesses) that has often been rejected, repressed, distorted or ignored during the past 2000 years.
The 12 astrological houses are 12 different areas of life experience. Self-expression and self-relatedness (partnership) are the key issues of houses 1 and 7. The personal home/roots and the career/social achievements are the major themes of houses 4 and 10. Each house carries a specific meaning.
The above gives you the basics, but there is much more to understanding the full scope of astrology and the significance of your entire birthchart.
Mark Lerner Publisher Earth Aquarius News/Professional Astrologer