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WHAT ARE THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF ASTROLOGY? (PART 2)
Last week was the first installment of our discussion of the basic building blocks of astrology where I shared some keywords for the planets and signs. Remember that planetary keywords are usually nouns while zodiac sign keywords are usually adjectives. We will now discuss houses, the 12 divisions of the pie which is the natal chart, each house governing various areas of life. We will also discuss the aspects or the angular relationships among two or more planets by longitude.
1st: Personality, character, personal image, appearance, the self
2nd: Personal finance, possessions, material values, the ability to make money
3rd: Communications, thoughts and ideas, short trips, mental attitude
4th: Early home life, heritage, the foundation of security
5th: Creative self-expressions, games, flirting, love affairs, children, business speculation
6th: Health and healing, personal habits and hygiene, service to others, cooperation with co-workers
7th: Marriage, partnerships, committed relationships
8th: Other people’s money, inheritances, lawsuits, investments, powerful associates, sex
9th: Religion, philosophy, long journeys, higher education, searching for the meaning of life
10th: Public image, occupations, reputation, status
11th: Goals in life, friends, group associations
12th: Hidden wisdom, meditation, psychological outlook, hypnotherapy
CONJUNCTION (0°) – prominence, intensity
TRINE (120°) – easy luck
SEXTILE (60°) – opportunity and luck through action
SQUARE (45°) – obstacles
OPPOSITION (180°) – contrast, awareness
SEMI-SEXTILE (30°) – cooperation
SEMI-SQUARE (45°) – friction
SESQUI-SQUARE (135°) – agitation
INCONJUNCT or QUINCUNX (150°) – growth
Now, remembering last week’s keywords for the planets and signs, and then learning today’s keywords for the houses and aspects, can we now attempt to make sense of the astrological sentence I submitted for decoding last week? “My Sun is in Aries in the 8th house opposing my Uranus in Libra in the 2nd house.” This can be found in my own chart. But what does this mean?
This could mean that this person’s inner essence (Sun) is energetic and fiery (Aries), expressed mostly in handling other people’s resources (8th house). In contrast (opposition, 180 degrees), her independence (Uranus) is graceful and social (Libra), and this may help her discover ways of earning money (2nd house). Really, there are a lot of possible interpretations and the only one that will make sense to an astrology student like you and me is if we corroborate what we read from the chart with our actual lives and personal traits. It’s not all in there in your chart or your client’s chart. If you’re reading your own chart, then it helps to be self-aware. If you are reading someone else’s, then put the actual client first by establishing rapport and building trust before you even discuss your findings.
Back in the year 2000, I drew natal charts by hand, imprecise though they were, aided by the planet tables which can be found at the back of the book, “Linda Goodman’s Relationship Signs” (NY:Bantam, 1998). The references I used to collect keywords are Noel Tyl’s “Communicating the Horoscope” (MN: Llewellyn, 1995) and William Hewitt’s “Astrology for Beginners” (MN: Llewellyn, 1991). Another book that I find helpful is “How to Read Your Astrological Chart: Aspects of the Cosmic Puzzle” by Donna Cunningham (ME: Samuel Weiser, 1999). These resources will help beginners get a fuller grasp of their own natal chart. No one can be the ultimate expert on a chart except the one that owns it because he/she is the one actually living it: the potentials, the pitfalls, the strengths, the challenges. Understanding your own natal chart gives you another tool toward understanding yourself.