Articles written by fellow astrologers.

The Tarot Card The Chariot

This assignment was submitted by Sublunar Academy
Written by first year student John Worrall

The Chariot represents a union of opposites. Control is required over opposing emotions, wants, needs, people or circumstances to bring them together and to give them a single direction. Confidence is also needed, most especially motivation. To achieve a goal focus is required, where do you mean to go and what do you want to do?

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The steeds keep the wheels turning but your control gets them to the destination. Dark and light, they must draw in harmony. Woe betides anyone or anything that gets in the way, your aim is victory. To be victorious you must have unwavering confidence in your course, never question, never doubt, never lose focus or motivation.


The Chariot can indicate new motivation or inspiration which gets a stagnant situation moving again. It can also imply a trip.


The story of Phaeton describes the meaning of the Chariot very well. Phaeton was the son of Helios the Sun God, Phaeton persuaded his father to allow him to drive his Chariot (The Sun).  Phaeton was unable to control the Chariot and the earth was in danger of burning up, so Zeus sent a thunderbolt which hit the Chariot and killed Phaeton. Helios was so stricken with grief he refused to drive the Sun chariot for days leaving the Earth in darkness. On Phaetons Tomb his epitaph reads “Here Phaeton lies who drove the Sun Gods car. Greatly he Failed but Greatly he dared”.  Another phrase that sums up Phaeton’s story is, One who drives a Chariot at reckless or dangerous speed and, one that would or may set the world on fire.
The Chariot represents the sign of Cancer and the house that Cancer rules in my birth chart is the 3rd house, Gemini. Relationships with equals, whether brothers or sisters, neighbours and interactions with others. It also concerns travel and communication, Learning, studying and memory, Daily routines. Having a goal or destination is extremely important for me, without an objective, daily routines become mundane. Creating security for my family helps me to have the motivation and remain focussed on a particular goal until achieved, this is crucial.
With Cancer being in my 3rd house there is a serious possibility of getting caught up in mental chatter and distracted or lost in thought.  Home and family are paramount, which is a huge motivating factor to strive for success, which will bring financial stability and security.
The Mode is Cardinal Water.

Horary and Dream Interpretation

What is the meaning of my dream?
Article by; Laurie Naughtin

I dreamt that I was due to have a baby. As I no longer have a womb, this is not going to happen! In the dream I felt a bit shocked about this pregnancy, wondering how, at this stage of our lives, we would cope. But then I came to terms with the pregnancy and was quite excited, but still afraid to have this baby, as I knew it would change my whole routine.
This dream was on my mind from the time I woke till morning tea. I decided to ask a horary question. The wording was simply, “What is the meaning of this dream?’

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When asked to do a horary on the meaning of dreams we treat it as we would any other horary query, ascribing houses as we do in a question. Then we analyse and delineate the chart as we would normally do, looking at receptions between any of the people or subjects portrayed in the dream.
In real life, my daughter is moving her business to new premises which we have renovated and built up into a beautiful new salon. It’s all very exciting and scary, and I am happy for her. She has requested that I help on the front desk and practice my astrology in a little room there. I am going to do this but at the same time I am feeling uncomfortable about how I am going to manage, how it will impact on my practice and how I am going to cope with the new routine. As my husband and I have invested our savings to make this happen we are joint partners and need to help out whilst it gets on its feet. It is now a family business.
Many of you will already be able to analyse this dream without casting a chart. This chart was one of the charts that really talks, telling the whole story. I thought it would be a great chart to explain how to answer a question about a dream using the craft of horary.

The chart is for the 11 September 2009 at 11 28am JHB. Jupiter rising. Regiomontanus
L1 is a short way of writing Lord 1 or the ruler of the first house. The sign on the cusp of each house is ruled by a planet. That planet is the Lord of the house, the ruler of the sixth house is L6, of the ninth L9 etc.
If Capricorn is the sign of the first house then the ruler of Capricorn is Saturn and Saturn will then be L1.

Here is a step by step method of assessing this dream using Horary.

Look at the 9th house and its ruler. The Sun is the ruler and Venus is posited in the 9th house. L9 is posited in the 10th house, of profession. This dream is about my profession, Venus ruling the 11th is the rewards from the profession.
Looking at L9 the Sun posited in the 10th shows what the dream is about.
As it is a 9th house question I am curious as to what the part of fortune, also known as the part of hunger, is telling me. And the part of hunger is for the profession as is in the sign of L10 so it hungers for Mercury who signifies the business.
As Venus is posited in the 9th house, being a dream it is necessary for me to look at what Venus is telling me in the dream.
Venus posited in the 9th shows my concerns about the profit from the business, being in term for a new start is not too bad, so I am not to worry too much about that.
But as it is profit from the business I feel it is important to look at the people who will be necessary to make our profit grow. L7, Mercury, are the potential customers and L8, the Moon, is their money.
L7 is posited in the 10th house. Being retrograde it shows that the old clients will return to the new salon. They love Venus as they are in Libra and Venus rules the resources and profit from the business. (It is interesting that Venus is the natural ruler of beauty as well.)
L8 is the Moon, as I am not looking for any aspects in this question I can allocate the Moon to other people’s money as well as have it as my other significator, the significator of my feelings.
L8, the Moon, is in the sign of Gemini so loves Mercury, the ruler of L10, the business. They will be happy to spend money on beauty, but their money hates L1, me, so my idea of making money from beauty clients by promoting myself as an astrologer is not a very profitable idea.
L1, myself, is ruled by Jupiter, Rx and posited in the 3rd house – of my daily routine. The Rx shows that it is against my nature not to work form home, separating from Neptune showing a bit of disillusionment about all these changes. As my significator is in a fixed sign it does not really want the routine to change. L1 is peregrine, showing more uncertainty

Now to look at the pregnancy. Pregnancy is signified by L5, and in this question the birth of the new beauty salon. As I am going to work with my child and the dream is essentially a L5 dream, it is important that I look at the 5th house and its ruler, as well as everything it signifies. Mars rules L5 and my child. This child needs my support in helping her with her business, essentially our business, until she is able to run it on her own and pay back her loan. As L5 is angular my daughter has power to act but needs my emotional support as she is in the sign of the Moon, my emotions. But looking at the essential dignities of Mars, Mars is in his own triplicity as well as his detriment, so I am afraid that this child with her power over my needs is a sweet child with an unpleasant attitude right now.


My Moon is posited in the 6th house in Gemini. This is not only the house of illness but the house that shows all the nasty things that happen to us, our Achilles heel, as we say. So the Moon, my emotions or heart, being in the sign of L10, is being overpowered by this business to my detriment, as it is in the detriment of L1. Emotionally I am going to support her and the business but the dream is showing me that I fear it will harm me. My children are my Achilles heel as I sacrifice too much of myself for them. Perhaps this time I need to heed the message this dream is giving to me and take back my power by putting some structure into the business. L1, Jupiter, is in the sign of Saturn – the planet ruling structure – and Saturn is posited in the 10th house. Once this has been done I will be able to move back to my own place of business where I will be happier. When Jupiter changes sign he will be in Pisces his own sign where he will be much happier, but it is still a while to go before moving forward. I must hang in there till the time is right and the business has a structure that no longer needs my presence, then I can go back to where I am happiest.

The Nodal Axis of the Moon

The Power of the South Node: Transcendence of Duality
By Maurice Fernandez

The Nodes of the Moon are points of intersection between the cycles of the Moon and those of the Sun; the North Node is where the Moon crosses the north point of the ecliptic (the path of the Sun), likewise the South Node where the Moon crosses the south point of the ecliptic. Despite the fact that they represent points of intersection and not actual bodies, the influence of the Nodes is extremely potent and essential to chart analysis.

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This axis is strongly associated with Moon influences since it derives from the Moon orbit; however, it provides a deeper dimension to these themes. In the natal chart, the Moon describes our emotional processes and attachments—whatever we attach to defines us and becomes our field of existence. Through the Moon we create a personal environment in an impersonal universe. The Nodal Axis of the Moon not only describes our identity and attachments, but also our growth processes and evolution occurring on an identity level. The South Node captures the identity we bring with us into this world from past life experiences: how we personally perceive existence and go about it. In other words, the South Node tells of our general approach to life based on where we are coming from and what we have experienced. This can include great achievements or conversely traumatic experiences. The North Node describes themes that we need to learn about and incorporate into our existing identity so that we can resolve issues we are coming with, or else expand on existing foundations. Although there are many exceptions to the rule, generally speaking, the South Node shows what has been established and the foundation of our identity on a soul level, whereas the North Node shows our growth orientation.

The exceptions to the above rule occur when planets form aspects, and particularly angular aspects (the conjunction, square, or opposition) to the Nodal Axis. For example, if a person is born with a planet squaring the Nodes or a planet conjunct the North Node, this means that the North Node themes have already been experienced; therefore, they are not new to one’s identity and growth orientation. A person with planets forming these aspects does not necessarily move from the South Node to the North Node, but instead feels both extremes with the equal intensity.

The growth process does not stop at the North Node; once integrating North Node themes, one must “go back” to the South Node and establish a balance between the themes represented by each of the polarities. In other words in order to master the Nodal Axis one must harmoniously express both South and North Nodes, forming one unit from both extremes.

Numerous important books on the Nodal Axis have been written in past decades by Western astrologers, addressing increasing interest in understanding spiritual development and karma in astrology. The Nodes of the Moon are an axis that is relatively simple to analyze, and yet this axis provides tremendously deep and fundamental information about a person’s development on both mundane and spiritual levels.

It seems, however, that when the Nodes are studied a common misconception about them keeps reappearing. This misconception is specific to the understanding and use of the South Node, which is often perceived as something one must evolve away from, or even worse, a debilitating influence. Personal research shows that what happens in reality may be different: the South Node is a highly important factor that stimulates new development and growth just as much as the North Node does.

The North and South Nodes are exactly opposed to one another and thus create an axis that unites two opposite signs. For example, using the South Node in Cancer and the North Node in Capricorn. From an Evolutionary Astrology perspective, signs that are polarized are understood to naturally complement one another. In the above case, Cancer and Capricorn are not merely two forces that contradict each other but instead two forces that can work as a unit—if used consciously. The premise of Evolutionary Astrology is that a person’s conscious effort can transform the potentially negative expression of a configuration into a positive one. Astrological configurations and influences are in and of themselves neutral. We are the ones to decide whether to use the energy positively or destructively. With any chart pattern, we have the freewill to make the best or the worst of existing influences—nothing is inherently “good” or “bad,” “benefic” or “malefic.”

Returning to the current example, we know the sign of Cancer generally represents emotional processes, protectiveness, and nurturing, as well as family and childhood development. Capricorn represents maturity, strength, ambition, and the capacity to lead or serve as a role model. Cancer is intimate and personal, whereas Capricorn is collective and impersonal. Initially these polarities can be experienced as conflicting; however, when consciously integrated, a person can embrace both of these extremes and thus live in a more balanced way. For example, one can both address personal needs (Cancer) without shying away from responsibility (Capricorn) and have a rich personal life (Cancer) while being willing to compromise personal wants when greater needs are calling (Capricorn). Lacking internal integration between the Nodal extremes in Cancer and Capricorn, the person may constantly live in conflict between the inner child (Cancer) and the adult (Capricorn), possibly resulting in inconsistent behavior and emotional repression. When this is the case, the person is caught in duality, swinging from one polarity to the other, and is bound to experience inner fragmentation.

While the Nodes represent duality, they also offer the potential to transcend duality and live the path of the “Middle Way” where extremes converge into oneness. In the above example, one must realize that both Cancer and Capricorn influences are necessary and equally important.

In existing literature, one often reads that a person moves away from the themes represented by the South Node and progresses toward the themes of the North Node. The South Node is perceived as something one must leave behind in order to evolve; it is often considered obsolete or an energy that holds one back. For example, if a person has a South Node in Cancer, he or she would be expected to leave an emotional approach (Cancer) and move toward a more rigorous and self-contained orientation (Capricorn). The South Node themes are indeed more familiar because they do capture the energy of the person’s past. From an evolutionary perspective the past includes early childhood circumstances as well as past life themes brought into this life—as mentioned earlier in this article, the South Node does capture (along with other factors in the chart) where one is coming from. Conversely, the North Node represents new themes that one learns to incorporate in the course of the current life, and thus embodies an evolutionary imperative representing one’s growth orientation. However, it does not stop there! Once the person incorporates North Node themes, a need to recapture South Node themes is in order…one must not simply let go of or dismiss South Node themes but instead balance them with North Node ones. Duality is transcended only then; staying only in the North Node can result in fragmentation just as staying only in the South Node can. These two forces are incomplete without one another and therefore must be equally embraced. As one moves into the growth potential of the North Node, North Node themes must also be integrated into the established content of the South Node. Only then can a truly healthy expression and mastery of the Nodes manifest and fragmentation be avoided.

Let’s illustrate these dynamics using the famous entertainer Madonna’s chart as an example (August 16, 1958 at 7:05 am, Bay City, MI).

We observe that she has a South Node in Aries and a North Node in Libra. In a simplified way, we can conclude that Madonna is coming from early life and past life themes (South Node in Aries) where she had to assert herself and compete with her environment in order to survive and progress in life. In her current existence, the early death of her mother pressured her to become considerably more self-reliant and self-motivated. Moreover, as illustrated in this South Node, she defied her father’s authority and his religious imprint, striving instead to reinvent herself and challenge what her family wanted her to be. A South Node in Aries is obviously describing a self-driven, assertive, defensive, and independent approach and personality.

The North Node in Libra describes an evolutionary objective to consider others and form productive partnerships so that Madonna’s development expands beyond the scope of her personal vision. Libra encourages stepping out of one’s instinctive expression to develop a more reflective and open-minded approach so that new elements can be included into one’s life. It teaches one to include others and go beyond competition to form meaningful bonds.

Madonna learned to move toward her North Node by adopting new ideas and orientations that were outside her original identity. Through her marriage with Guy Ritchie, she moved to England and opened up to his cultural background. Moreover she became involved with Kabala studies where once again she moved beyond her initial Catholic upbringing to include something new. After a phenomenal self-made career, she increased her focus on stabilizing her relationship with her then husband Guy Ritchie.

We undeniably recognize that the North Node in Libra is an important lesson for her. The question remains, as she grows more into the Libra themes, must she surrender the vigorous, defying, self-motivated, and overall expressive qualities of the South Node? Must Madonna become a tamed, “good wife” as her Libra North Node may describe? Not quite…Madonna without her Aries South Node is only half of herself. A complete cycle of evolution would need the synthesis of both her South and North Nodes for a wholesome and complete expression.

Using another example, let us explore a transit of the Nodal Axis with a particular focus on the transit of the South Node: consider that Barack Obama (August 4, 1961 at 7:24 pm, Honolulu, HI) was elected as the US president on November 4, 2008 as the transiting South Node was on his Sun in Leo. The South Node empowered his Sun and projected him into a position of leadership and prominence. Clearly, there is nothing debilitated in winning one of the most challenging races in the world.

The chart can describe where one is at in terms of integrating the Nodal polarities. As long as a planet isn’t squaring the axis or conjunct the North Node, the classic pattern applies whereby one begins the evolutionary journey from the South Node and eventually acknowledges and learns about the North Node. Once the North Node is mastered, one then learns to reincorporate the South Node, balancing both extremes. When a square to the axis is in place, it means the individual has already experienced the North Node and is familiar with both polarities. The tendency, however, is to flip flop from one to the other until a balance between the North and South Nodes is achieved. Confusion and inconsistent behavior may result as one goes back and forth, as if having to choose between the South and the North Node. The planet that forms the square is a force that stimulates the flip flopping, and thus what it represents, by house and sign, becomes a crisis factor. Notwithstanding, the squaring planet is also the factor that can bring back the balance. Analyzing this planet by house and sign provides clues as to how the South and North Nodes can work together harmoniously.

For example, if a person is born with the South Node in Cancer and the North Node in Capricorn squaring Venus in Libra, it first means that both Cancer and Capricorn themes are already part of one’s identity. However, relationship issues (Venus in Libra) may become a source of crisis whereby one will begin to flip flop between the South and the North Node. For example, the person may attract partners who are infantile (Cancer) and assume the caretaker or mature role in them (Capricorn), thus creating imbalanced relationships. As a result, an unhealthy dependence may result from excessive neediness and lack of boundaries (Cancer), imposing a significant burden (Capricorn). If the person is conscious enough and recognizes the problem, he or she may use relationships (Venus in Libra) to resolve this dynamic and balance the energy of the Nodes. In actual reality, this can manifest in learning to establish healthier boundaries (Capricorn) when needs are addressed (Cancer), yet, without denying the needs. Moreover, one may learn to also recognize personal unresolved childhood issues (Cancer) and use the relationship to receive support in addressing these emotional issues (Cancer). Thus one learns to receive as much as give in relationships—expressing strength (Capricorn) and vulnerability (Cancer) in them (Venus in Libra) depending on the circumstances. In this example, we can see how the squaring planet is at first part of the problem but with time becomes part of the solution.

In other cases, a planet may conjunct the North Node describing the fact that one is already conscious of North Node themes. In this case, the individual may actually be more focused on the North Node instead of the South Node. Unless one learns to mitigate such an approach, an imbalance can again be created whereby too much emphasis on the North Node causes a crisis. In this case, the South Node is where the resolution lies; the person needs to recapture the essence of the South Node and establish a balance. When planets are conjunct the South Node in one’s chart, more consciousness is invested on South Node themes, often delaying one’s integration of North Node themes. The person may experience the North Node, but not feel comfortable dwelling in whatever it represents. The stronger focus on the South Node is necessary, evolutionarily speaking: one may need to spend more time there in order to resolve something or in order to offer service to the world in the South Node area. Integration of the North Node may occur at different stages—each case to its own: A nodal return or reversed return can serve as a trigger to feel ready for “conquering” North Node themes.

The main principle to understand and incorporate is that regardless of where one is at when beginning the current incarnation, one must eventually balance the Nodal extremes. Until this is completed, internal polarization is bound to cause crisis and mismanagement in one’s life.

It may be worth using the Nodal Axis as an axis and adopting a more holistic approach that sees both Nodes as equally relevant. Our past described in the South Node cannot be dismissed—it is an integral part of our future as well.


Bio: Maurice Fernandez, author of the books Neptune, the 12th House and Pisces and Astrology and the Evolution of Consciousness—Volume One, is a leading Evolutionary Astrologer. Currently based in Hawaii, his educational programs and reading practice have forged a worldwide reputation of depth and excellence. Maurice has been practicing Kundalini Yoga for 15 years and now teaches it in addition to astrology, offering workshops that provide a complete body, mind, and spirit experience. To learn more about the meaning of the Nodes—in each house and sign and in aspect to all the planets—you can order a Nodal Axis course on DVD from Maurice. Visit the free learning forum on his website:



A Gift of the Gods only for the Brave!


What is Thor’s Hammer?

There is an aspect pattern formed from two planets each sesquisquare (135degrees) (sesquiquadrate) a third planet, with the base two planets square (90degrees) to each other. I use an 8degree orb for squares and a 4degree orb for sesquisquares. I have heard various names for this figure ranging from Quadriform to God’s Fist.

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God’s Fist conjures up a combative and fanatic image that might be quite appropriate in some cases but my personal preference is to call the figure Thor’s Hammer which, in understanding the myth, implies a special gift for survival. The story of Thor’s Hammer is one that fits the dynamics of the figure perfectly. This is a potent and powerful figure and one that is worthy of the astrologer’s attention whether it occurs in natal or mundane work.

(Sarah Ferguson – 9.03am – 15 October 1959 –London, England)



By way of illustration, the chart of Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) has such a figure, formed between Saturn in Capricorn square the Moon in Aries, each sesquisquare Uranus in Leo. Now who in their right mind would expect this woman to conform! No matter how she tried to ‘fit in’ with royal paradigms, the interior drive to upset the apple cart, to challenge the status quo, is insistent within her character.

To live a life without challenge, or being challenged, would be psychic death for someone like this. So within the walls of the palace we can imagine the exasperation and frustration that would lead her to ‘throw the hammer’, if only to see what effect it might have. That she is now surviving in the real world, making a place for herself autonomously, is in no small part due to her capacity to ‘catch the hammer’ on its return and not be defeated by the events that led to her being thrust out of the royal enclave.

As a general theme, Thor’s Hammer appears in the charts of individuals who exhibit a single-minded quality, an innate strength and the urge to survive. Activities in external life are a means to expressing an internal and unrelenting drive. The owners of the Hammer go the extra distance; they live life on the edge of the square and express the force in fields of endeavour and personal characteristics.

Even those who do not embrace particular activities are noteworthy for their typical self-confidence, capacity to stay the distance and readiness to grapple with life’s difficulties head on. This figure manifests in dedication to vocation, sometimes in political work, in sport, or activities that are challenging. There is a ‘stand out quality’ that makes the individual noticeable and, yes, there is a potential for fanaticism.

For some the Hammer is demonstrated as particular ‘giftedness’. For many it emerges in having ‘something to prove’. Resilience and staying power are marked in these people who rarely have ‘easy’ lives. A sense of personal power and the capacity to face challenges leads them to become either high achievers or frustrated fighters. Rebellion or non-conformist tendencies are often a feature particularly when the social planets are involved. Some fall from grace by taking things to the edge and putting themselves in either physical or social danger but regardless of the focus of the energies, the individuals are blessed with a gusto that cannot be squashed. When the going gets tough, they “pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again.”

The myth of Thor’s Hammer expresses the allegorical meaning better than any words I can conjure. Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is the son of Odin and Jord, and one of the most powerful gods. He is usually portrayed as a large, powerful man with a red beard and eyes of lightning. Despite his ferocious appearance, he is popular as the protector of both gods and humans against the forces of evil. There is an obvious correlation with the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter in his characterisation, and we could be pardoned in assuming that Thor’s Hammer will characterise a Jupiterian motif.

The Myth

One evening, while Thor was away hunting, Loki the trickster god entered Thor’s home and cut off all of Thor’s wife’s hair while she was sleeping. He ran off with her hair under his cloak but in his haste, he left behind a sandal. When Thor returned that night and saw what had happened, he lost his temper. Recognising the sandal, he sought out Loki and began to beat him. Loki pleaded for mercy, promising to visit the dark elves of the underworld and get new hair, lovelier even than the hair he had cut off. Loki sealed the deal by also promising to bring Thor a very special present.

Gold, and the crafting of gold was the art exclusive to dwarfs, who were dwellers in the underworld in a place called Svartalfaheim (Black Elves’ Country). Loki approached the skilful dwarfs and negotiated a fine head of golden hair in exchange for a life of servitude to the dwarfs. Whenever the dwarfs made something special, they would always make an extra item that was given to Odin, the supreme god. And so they also made a spear for Odin.

Loki knew he had to escape or be locked into servitude, and offered to deliver the spear to Odin. In his haste while carrying the gifts, he forgot about the promised present for Thor. As he travelled back up through the underground towards the light of day, Loki remembered but happened to pass the smithy of a couple of dwarf brothers named Brok and Eitri. Not being willing to risk his personal safety, Loki challenged them to make treasures equal to the three he had.

The two dwarfs liked nothing more than a challenge and began working. They soon created a live boar with bristles of gold, and then drew a golden ring and a golden hammer from the fire. The gold ring, they said, would give birth to eight new precious gold rings every ninth night. The boar would not only carry his rider over land and sea, but in the darkest night his golden bristles would shine so as to always afford light. And the hammer… well… this was a very special gift that the brothers assigned to Odin, as was the custom. Loki promised to deliver the hammer to Odin but gave it to Thor instead to appease him. He gave the beautiful hair, the ring and the boar to Thor’s wife, and delivered the spear to Odin without mention of the hammer.

The story goes that the hammer, named Mjolinir, never failed to achieve its purpose. It was equally as powerful as Odin’s spear, placing Thor in a position of equality with his father Odin. When thrown, the hammer always returned to Thor’s hand. Because of its potential destructive force, Thor was forced to wear an iron glove. Every time Thor throws the hammer, lightning flashes, it hits its target and returns to his protected hand.

Exploring the meaning of this, it seems that since the hammer was originally made for a superior god, those in possession of Thor’s Hammer should always ‘protect’ themselves against its power. They have been given a gift that is really meant for a higher entity and should use it with care! They should never forget that it came to them through the agency of the Trickster!

I believe Thor’s Hammer expresses a powerful thrust in the psyche that, without full understanding, can drive one beyond rational control and emerge as a dangerous tendency to go ‘to the edge’. It can develop a ‘mana’ personality that sees the individual pushing boundaries to the extent that they end up damaged in some way. Positively, it can develop into an exclusive talent that will not be repressed and often sets the individual on the path of the ‘role model’, or emerges as someone willing to give a great deal to humanity.

There is a price to pay when we play with the weapons of the gods. We have seen that only Loki, the trickster, manages to escape the fee.

The Astrology

In analysing the figure, the planets involved are the key to the manifestation. I do not use the angles of the chart in defining the pattern. All aspect patterns are dynamic, not directional, and rely on the energy generated by the archetypes of the planets’ energies. Each planet adds its energy to the figure since each planet has its own individual meaning.

I have been asked if the planet at the apex, or ‘pointy end’, is the main driver of the planets in square, or if the planets in square resonate back to the pointy end. Do not expect that the pointy end is necessarily going to be the point of discharge for the square. While the square is likely to manifest in some form of outer expression, it is being stimulated by and, in turn, stimulates the planet at the apex.

Aspects are not about giving and receiving; they are an exchange between two different archetypal sources. The type of aspect will indicate how that exchange occurs. The whole figure is a circuitous conduit for the transmission of energies. Those energies are expressed in accordance with the meaning of the planets and aspects involved. The conduit has no start or finish within the pattern’s complex. Have you ever seen what happens to a tide when it meets a river? There is a point where the waters meet that is a combination of sea and river. Some interesting swirls and exchanges take place at that point. Aspects are like that; it is never useful to think of them moving one way only.

The issues that arise from this figure will derive from three planets, and also depend on stimulation by transits and progressions, or the prominence of one planet in the figure. The issue may seem, on the surface, to be connected only to one significant point.

(Christopher Reeve – 3.30am – 25 September 1952 – New York, NY)


 Of particular interest is the chart of Christopher Reeve. Most of us are aware that he was a famous actor, spokesperson for the Actor’s Union, and played polo at championship level. The life changing accident on his horse that claimed his mobility is a graphic illustration of the use of Thor’s Hammer, as the transits at the time led to him choosing to take risks with his personal safety. After his accident, Reeves became a forceful public figure advocating stem cell research for spinal injuries. Note in the chart that both Hammers involve Chiron. There is little doubt that Reeves pushed the boundaries of risk-taking to extreme levels. He was both a gifted horseman and a highly competitive polo player who paid a huge price, yet survived to become a social role model. This is the gift of the gods.

(The editor would like to acknowledge the creator of this article but regrets that she is unable to establish authorship. It came into her hands untitled.)


Compiled By Cynthia Thorburn D.M.S.Astrol
From “Astrological Insights into Personality” by Betty Lunsted




Such a man lacks an inner female image or ‘anima’ (Jung’s word for the female archetype). He functions entirely from the mind or ‘heroic spirit’ level and is essentially all male – all ideas and ideals. He thinks about everything he does and even thinks his feelings. He has trouble relating to women and communicating what he expects of them since he is unaware of his own projections. He rarely listens to what women say because he has difficulty accepting them as logical human beings. The woman has to work very hard to be understood. However, as a mental or idealistic type, he is capable of satisfying intellectual or even spiritual relationships. The unconscious anima (feeling values) is projected onto a physical woman who cannot live up to his fairy tale expectations. Possibly he wanders from woman to woman searching for the ultimate female ideal enshrined in his heart – usually a gossamer and lace image, or a sexual, glossy magazine-page, plastic doll. The worst example is the man who becomes physically abusive when the woman he loves does not match up to his anima.

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A well-balanced libido, since the ratio of masculine and feminine weighs in favour of his sex. He has an easier time working through personal problems because he does not experience the additional stress attached to an overpowering or under-developed ‘female image’ (anima). He feels comfortable in his culture, and about himself, and about what is expected of him as a man.

Such a man is less well grounded in his male role and beginning to go out of balance. The rationale is more one of uneasy resolution of the male principle, and any excessive masculinity or macho behaviour is not entirely natural, and assumed by way of compensation. ‘Anima’ grounding indicates that he instinctively understands female principles, gets on well with women and is comfortable in their company. The mother influence (irrational feeling needs) is more natural and intrinsic than the father’s (society’s rational demands). He is more intuitive, emotional and sensitive than men are “supposed” to be. This can make him uneasy about himself, for it is a difficult self-projection in our typically patriarchal or male-dominated western society, something unconsciously suffered by many, many men. If he does not recognize this feeling side, he could become overly demanding and irritable, or project his unwanted anima image onto a woman, usually his sexual partner, blaming her for all his ills and failures.

Such a man has a problem, for feminine signs endow emotionality and intuition, which are traditionally designated to women. Much as he might wish it, he is not the macho type because he feels too acutely. Appearances to the contrary, on an unconscious level he lacks confidence in his ‘manhood’ and is apprehensive about his social behaviour. A man’s anima is shaped and coded by his mother, his first role model of what a female is. Yet here is the real energy to feel and emote and grow creatively. If he is open and courageous enough he can have warm, emotional relationships with women because they relate so easily to him.   Yet, sadly, the man often compensates by adopting the role of a male chauvinist and acts tough. He feels constrained to camouflage and protect the sensitive, emotional self. In Western culture a man is not given permission to cry, feel deeply, or relate on an intense emotional level. Thus, this type of man could exhibit the Don Juan syndrome, proving to himself and society by his many sexual exploits that he is masculine. But sex is no guarantee of inner security, for he has to re-establish himself with every woman he engages, and so the drum beats on! He needs to think of himself as a person, not a ‘man-man’. Once he feels comfortable with his natural energy, emotional security is secured.



Such a woman is the truly feminine, female type, most powerful because her ‘mother image’ is super strong. Early on she becomes aware of her strength as a woman. She has few problems with the female factor, or other women. She lacks the masculine image in her psyche, so tends to project it unrealistically onto any man in sight, making it very difficult for them to live up to her ideal of what a man should be. Her images are probably idealistic ones of knights in shining armour, chivalry, and legendary codes. When the animus (male image) is projected, she expects her man to do all the things she should be doing for herself. Once she becomes aware that she expects men to live up to impossible standards, she easily balances energy because she is, after all, the powerful ‘Earth Mother’ and creates psychic strength from within herself.

A well balanced libido, since the ratio of feminine and masculine weighs in favour of her sex. She has an easier time working through personal problems because she does not experience the additional stress attached to an overpowering or under-developed male image. She feels comfortable about herself in her culture, and in what is expected of her as a woman.

Such a woman relates better to men than to women, with whom she is slightly uncomfortable. In a sense she is beginning to go out of balance because she is more ’animus’ controlled i.e. unconsciously driven by ‘male’ influences and convictions. She often appears too pushy or aggressive, and can project her personality in such a loud or insistent way that she is not well received. She unconsciously devalues her feminine Self, considers male archetypes to be superior and, at worst, resents or rejects the biological role in which she is cast. In her head she places more value on intellectual development and professional standing than on emotional rapport and close personal relationships. It is certainly not desirable to avoid developing your intellectual or animus side, but the instinctive feminine side must also be acknowledged and respected. As she learns to use herself in perspective, healthy energies from both levels of the psyche can be liberated and the less useful ones discarded.

This combination has the potential for being the super intellectual type. She thinks about everything she does and communicates emotions on a mental rather than a feeling level. She seeks mental companionship but also wants to be constantly reassured that she is a woman. Though physically attractive she does not believe it. Sub-consciously she is not sure of her femininity. Some of these women seek compensation by appearing too feminine or sexy, as well as tending to behave in a provocative manner. To get attention as a woman she may over-expose her body then get angry when someone notices! She could be sexually maltreated if she sets herself up for it. This makes for a troubled existence because men do not know how to handle women with this kind of energy. They look so female and desirable that men have trouble comprehending that they need companionship and talk comfort. They project not from a feeling, or physical, or intuitive, but from an intellectual level. The man sees a lovely lady but hears masculine conversation and ideas, and will not know what to do. Some solve the problem by having large families to prove they are real woman, but this ‘idea’ energy must also find release in a career. As they develop a personal identity of self worth and self love, they will change their appearance, project the right messages, and solve their problems.

William Lilly

William Lilly states in Christian Astrology that “…he that shall learn the nature of the planets and signs without exact judgment of the houses, is like an improvident man, that furnisheth himself with a variety of household stuffe, having no place wherein to bestow them..”

William Lilly, Christian Astrology, (Astrology Classics, 2004) p50
William Lilly, Astrologer, (1602–1681)


Primary motion and secondary motion

Before we can begin with the houses themselves we need to look at the order which they follow.  We know that by looking up at the sun in the sky and also by looking at our charts that the sun rises in the east – at the Ascendant, He then moves up to the Midheaven at noon and sets in the West – at the descendant – this is known as primum mobile – primary motion – it is the movement created by the earth turning on its own axis creating day and night.  This is done in a clockwise direction around the chart. The movement of the earth and planets around the Sun – through the signs of the zodiac (the celestial houses), is known as secondary motion and this goes in an anti-clockwise direction around the chart – the direction the houses move in.

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Compass Directions
Compass directions in the chart are easy to work out once you realize that the chart is upside down and back to front.  Once that has sunk in – it’s easy!  The Ascendant is where the Sun comes up and is therefore the East and where it sets on the 7th cusp is the West angle.  When the Sun is at the MC or the Tenth cusp that is the South Angle and the IC is the North.  The angles come with a succedent house that supports it, the house just after it in other words, and a cadent house falling from it, the house just before it, these three houses therefore form a little package with the house on either side of the angle ‘belonging’ to that angle as it were.  This explanation helps then to understand that if the Ascendant is East for example and the two houses on either side of it belong to it, then the house before it, house 12 must then be East South East and the house after it, the second, is East North East.  With the North Angle, house Four is North so the house before it is North North East and the house thereafter is North North West and so on through the other two angles.
Finding Lost Objects @ Home
Finding lost objects in a chart is the stuff that most of our worst nightmares are made of and knowing exactly which room in the house to look in first is a very useful tool to have.  Remember that each house follows a natural and logical sequence.

The First House

If the first house is me and my immediate surroundings, then it follows that an object in the first house signifies the entrance hall and my room in the house.
The Second House
The second will be the room next door to the entrance hall, since the second is also the house of my movable possessions it is also my wardrobe, where I keep my possessions, the second also houses the throat leading us to the kitchen.
The Third House
The third being the house of communications and my daily rounds it would be the hallways and corridors that I use to get from room to room – keep in mind that it is also the house of siblings, so my sister’s or brother’s rooms.
The Fourth House
The fourth being right at the bottom of the chart naturally points to cellars and basements, the family room and granny flat since this is also the house of the father and family in general.
The Fifth House
The fifth being the house of children is the nursery and the house of fun and entertainment so look in the games room, the play room, the home theater!
The Sixth House
The sixth is the house of servants and so servants quarters, the tool room and remembering animals smaller than a goat, the dog kennel and any other place where your small animals are kept.
The Seventh House
The room belonging to the ‘other’ in the house, your lover or spouse is the seventh house, if you live with both, then the lost object is possibly the least of your problems!
The Eighth House
The eighth being opposite the second which held the kitchen where things went into your body then logically this is where things leave the body again, the toilet.
The Ninth House
The ninth being the place of learning is the study and perhaps also the prayer room or shrine in the house, the place in the house where you undertake your own spiritual journey.
The Tenth House
The tenth, at the top of the house is the attic and also the most formal room in the house.
The Eleventh House
The eleventh, the house of friends is the guest room.
The Twelfth House
The twelfth is where all the things you do not want to look at are found, the room where all the ‘junk’ is kept, also where animals bigger than a goat are housed, since carriages are rarely in use so not very many of us have a stable, it would also be the place where our modern steed, the car, is kept – the garage.

The significator is on an angle it is nearby or where it is meant to be, in a cadent house it is very far from where it is supposed to be and in a succedent house somewhere between those two poles.

House Cusps

In the tradition we use Regiomontanus house cusps with horary charts.  Regiomontanus was the pseudonym of Johan Müller, a mathematician born in 1436 and died in 1476 – he entered university at 11, and had 2 degrees by the time he was 16.  Although this way of house division is generally ascribed to him, it is unlikely that he invented the system but rather just adapted an earlier Arabic form and formulated the tables for this system.  Since these tables were then readily available and the Regiomontanus house system is based on a fixed point which could be engraved onto an astrolabe, this system because of its ease of use, became very popular.

The strength of the Houses

It is important to remember that the strength of the houses depends largely on their relationship to the ascendant – the most powerful aspects are the oppositions and squares, houses 7, 10 and 4
Next are the trines – 5 and 9
Followed by the sextiles – 3 and 11
The planets in houses that cannot ‘see’ the ascendant find the most difficulty in acting – houses 2, 8, 6 and 12
Also important was whether the house was above or below the horizon, the houses above the horizon held preference over those below – this is how we get Lilly’s order of houses.
1 -10 -7 -4 -11 -5 -9 -3- 2- 8 -6 -12

Now that we have covered the basic ‘housekeeping’ as it were, let us get on with the houses themselves

The First House

In the Liber de causis or “The Book of Causes” it is stated that “Soul is on the horizon of being, because it is attached to eternity from below and yet is above time. Soul is the bridge between time and eternity, between Intelligence and Nature.    The Ascendant is the point of incarnation, becoming physical and so it follows that in a horary chart the first is the house of the client at hand.

Ruled by Saturn the god of doors, of boundaries, it is fitting that he should rule the house where we enter into the physical world.  Mercury joys in this house since he rules reason which resides in the head which is also found in this house.

The Second House

In the explanation of the strength of the houses it was stated that the second house was also seen as unfortunate because of its position, the 2nd/8th axis was known as The Portal of Hades but the 2nd ‘rises up’ from the underworld and so is not quite as unfortunate as the eighth.  It should be remembered that according to Matthew 19:24 “…I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The Eye of the Needle was a Gate into Jerusalem – the new Kingdom of heaven

The second house is a Succedent  house and shows the resources of the first, all the immovable and inanimate things that I can possess.  My money, my second in command, my aide or lawyer in a court case all fall into this house.

It also is the house of food and the throat and of my self-esteem – interesting how issues with a low self-esteem can lead to eating disorders. It is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of wealth and so suits this house.

As is becoming clear by now we are following the logical sequence of the planets when looking at the ruler ship of the houses and not the sequence of the signs.

The Third House

Dea or Goddess was the ancient name for the third house. It is the Joy of the Moon where she is best able to reflect the light of the Sun who joys in the ninth. The third is the lower part of the 3rd/9th axis known as the Axis of Truth.  It is ruled by Mars, natural ruler of brothers, therefore also known as The House of Brothers. The third is also the house of my neighbour, gossip, cousins, daily routine and short/routine journeys, letters and e-mails sent. Representing the body, the shoulders, arms and fingers are found here.
The Fourth House

Immum Coeli, the lower heaven in opposition to the Medium Coeli – the top of the heavens.  The fourth house is ruled by the Sun as it should be as this is the house of the father, the parents in general. At the bottom of the chart it rules immovable property, houses, gardens and hidden treasure, mines, and according to John Frawley, in a court case it is the end of the matter.  The chest and the breasts are found in the fourth.
The Fifth House
Ruled by Venus, it is the house of pleasure, sex and children, the natural product of sex. The fifth house also the resources of the fourth, as well as entertainment, and where Venus finds its joy, our creative children belong here too, fun and ambassadors.  The Dove being a Venusian bird and also the symbol of the Holy Spirit gives us an indication as to why this is also the house of the Holy Spirit.  Progressing through the sequence of the body, the stomach, liver, heart, back; back of shoulders and sides of body belong here.
The Sixth House
The house of Sickness and the house of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, not of your doing, the sixth is not a happy place. The place of servants and those who do a service to you including the plumber and the electrician It is the house of animals smaller than a goat.
The second of the Cadent houses it is ruled by Mercury, the natural ruler of servants.  Mars, the lesser malefic has its joy here; this is only natural since he is the ruler of surgery.  The lower part of the belly and smaller intestine, liver and kidneys are here.
The Seventh House

And so we come to the West Angle, the House of Marriage where most of us horary astrologers seem to spend our time.  It is ruled by the Moon, She is the partner of the Sun and it is only right that She be in house which reflects where He rises in the East.
In opposition to the Ascendant it is the house of open enemies, sweethearts and husbands, partners in your endeavors, the doctor who is treating you and the astrologer who is giving you a reading and anybody else, it is where you find the thief, and the other team in sport questions.  In the body it rules from the navel to the top of the legs, including the buttocks, lower intestines, bladder, womb, and reproductive organs.
The Eighth House
The Eighth, the house of death ruled by Saturn as we once again come full circle and he who rules our entrance into this world should also rule our exit out of it. It was known as the house of the Beginning of death since this house falls onto the descendant – opposite to the ascendant – life – it is also the house of the resources of others, my partner’s money and my bookie’s money.  Lilly says it is where you find ‘Fear and Anguish of Mind’, the significator in this house does indeed show us a glimpse of the querent or quesited’s state of mind.  It holds the genitals, bladder, and organs of excretion in general.

The Ninth House

Deus, the House of God.  The ninth is the house of Jupiter. Jupiter is seen as the bridge between the human to the Divine, and the Sun, who is the visible symbol of the Divine, joys in this house.  It is the house of long journeys and special trips, the place of religion and the religious, the learned and the wise, prophetic dreams and our knowledge. The buttocks, hips and thighs are found here.

The Tenth House

We are now at the pinnacle of the chart, the Medium Coeli, Midheaven, the 10th, is the house of  Profession – not necessarily our job but the ‘manner’ in which we do our work, our status – and being opposite to the 4th, the house of the Mother.  The place of rulers and leaders, presidents and bosses and is ruled by Mars, the planet of action, it is the place of the judge in a court case and the Profit from both our knowledge and our journeys.  It rules the knees to the shins

The Eleventh House

By far the happiest house in the chart is the eleventh.  It is the House of Good Fortune and friends, the most fortunate of all the houses. It is ruled by the Sun and where Jupiter joys.  Being the resources of the tenth it is where you find the gifts from God, Pennies from heaven, of good undeserved abundance, where your dreams and secret wishes are.  A big lotto win – the gift of the King, anatomically it holds the legs, knees to the ankles.

The Twelfth House

So we come to the last of the houses and also the most unfortunate, the twelfth is the
House of Bad Fortune and Enemies, ruled by Venus where all the hedonism of the 5th turns to addiction and sin, and where Saturn, the author of mischief, according to Lilly, finds its joy . Also the place of big animals and the places where you find yourself incarcerated for the consequences of your sins, prison and rehab.  It is the place of secret enemies, spies, witches and witchcraft.

This quick tour of the houses shows us that there is a natural sequence from house to house; all has its place in time and space.  The chart, like the world it represents in miniature, seems chaotic and random at first glance but is revealed to all who take the time to look.


William Lilly, Christian Astrology, (Astrology Classics, 2004)
Dennis J Brand, The Book of Causes (Marquette University Press, 1984)
Olivia Barclay, Horary Astrology Rediscovered (Whitford Press, 1997)
Benson Bobrick, The Fated Sky (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
John Frawley, The Horary Textbook (Apprentice Books, 2005)
John Frawley, The Real Astrology Applied (Apprentice Books, 2002)
Deborah Houlding, The Houses:  Temples of the Sky (The Wessex Astrologer, 2006)
Rita De Abreu has completed her Traditional Horary and Natal Diplomas under the tuition of Jacqueline Brook, she firmly believes the adage “as above so below’ and is in awe at how astrology perfectly reflects this.  Rita can be reached by mail:


The prophetic year of 2012 is already under-way and so much is in store from an astrological point of view. A unique concentration of planetary alignments and cycles are sequencing in, and you guessed it, the weather remains stormy. Since 2010 particularly, planets rage hard and 2012 continues this trend!

In a very general way, I see that there are two important streams of influences for the year—these two streams are very different from one another, and yet, they intertwine and influence us with equal might and intensity, taking us to opposite extremes. It can be very confusing and disorienting to navigate these conflicting currents, so describing their specific qualities is in order.

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The first stream: Crossing new frontiers blindfolded

The first combination of influences describes a strong pull to free ourselves from anything in our lives that is not authentic. It calls for simplifying our lives and stripping layers, whether on a material or psychological level. Living more authentically and simplicity reconnects us with fundamental values often lost in our course of development—as we become better educated and more sophisticated, many of us lose touch with the real reasons and meanings in life—this cycle is about going back to the origins and freeing our spirit from superfluous entanglements. Accordingly, attitudes, associations, mind clutter, attic clutter or anything that prevents us from a more authentic life is subject to be dissolved—bare and disarmed, we can stop pretending and be our true selves. Letting go is easier said than done, but in the current social and political unstable climate, it may become survival necessity. I speak about regaining freedom of spirit, but in fact many of us will realize the value of simplicity from necessity. Beyond 2012, the coming years suggest the world will face food and water crises that will make each of us thankful for our daily meals—it is back to the basics. When I speak of freedom in this context, I imagine reconnecting to our original identity, the natural self.

Astrologically, this trend first gains momentum with the movement of the planet Neptune into the sign of Pisces on February 3rd. Another step in this direction is taken between the end of May and June 21st, when a series of eclipses (including a rare Venus occultation) accompany Jupiter moving into the sign of Gemini. Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Gemini will lock on one another—their combined influence blows all boundaries and inspire a tremendous need to open up to completely new horizons—it is a time when we grow actual wings and explore completely new potential and dimensions, whether this takes the form of an actual journey, or gaining new vision for our lives, or simply starting new ventures. Anything holding us back that is not in line with this expansive energy, whether it is the security of a job, fear, or obligations, is likely to generate tremendous frustration—the arising need to shed the skin, or even transcend our own physical body, is similar to the urge to free a wild animal from his or her cage. It is a time to dare freedom!

Exploring vast potentials takes us forward, but as mentioned earlier, it also reconnects us with our origins—the simpler and timeless meanings of life. We grow these wings when we realize how much we can really do and how much burden we have accrued by unnecessarily complicating our lives. Notwithstanding, as much as freedom is appealing, it is usually more challenging than we expect. When we hear the freedom bells of February and June, the inspiration for release may take the form of manic episodes that are not truly integrated—rushing forward onto open landscapes, we can find ourselves lost in the vastness. Are we really ready to relinquish old patterns without fully knowing what comes next? Obviously there is excitement in the prospect of freedom, and we may experience an emotional high; yet, if these new adventures are mere whims without true content, or if we are resisting the changes that must come with freedom, a crash can follow. It takes courage and trust to sail open seas with a sense of peace. Finding peace depends on accepting we are not in full control of what comes next—we know we need to sail, but have no clues about the final destination. The influence of Neptune in Pisces at its core overrides our control centers—it neutralizes our mind. When we are not in control and rely on the sea currents to navigate our way, our choices are to panic or to trust. Such trust is found only when we are authentic—then we know it feels right.  At its best, these influences will connect us with the elements—we will tune into the subtle message that the wind reverts back to us, and listen without prejudice.

The release of control can be a freeing experience on its own, but these cycles suggest humanity may at times have to learn the hard way—expectations or plans are subject to be deviated by circumstances—it is important to proceed in a gradual way and be ready to improvise.  Neptune in Pisces represents the wild natural elements, oceans, ice and sand deserts, crude resources, and water in general. On the other front, Jupiter in Gemini represents winds and the access to foreign dimensions. As a result, with the combination of both, we can expect natural events to further accelerate in intensity particularly when involving oceans, food crops, water, or oil. Catastrophes may take the form of new diseases affecting the immune system that spread quickly, perhaps through waterways. But on a more positive note, I suspect, there will be an enhancement of inter-species or inter-dimensional communication…humans crossing new outer-space frontiers and making completely new discoveries, or breakthrough in understanding animal and vegetal consciousness…who knows what or whom awaits us as we step into virginal dimensions…

The Second Stream: Force for a Battlefield

The second combination of influences describes more aggressive energy. We live in times of rampant insecurity and uncertainty. Systems once perceived reliable are now floundering, and many of us are transformed into social or political activists cheering solutions and pointing fingers in attempt to foster the change we feel is needed. Waves of protests have swept nations and continue to confront the status quo, while on the natural front, tsunamis and other disasters have devastated entire regions with consequences across the planet. We live in times of purging, where systems are deconstructed and leave a vacuum. We are edgy and agitated because we know things must change, and this second stream of planetary influence adds fuel to this fire. In fact, this year sees an increase of radical destruction combined with confrontational and defensive stances. This bursting energy needs an outlet—and at worst, there will be war. But if creative outlets are forged, amazing breakthroughs and social revolutions can win the day. But what remains certain in either case, no rest is in sight.

The planets Pluto and Uranus are progressing to form a square to one another in the political signs of Capricorn and Aries. These two bodies were last together in 1966, right along the time when social revolutions spurred across the globe as well. These energies bring tremendous progress and radical shift ultimately, but their path leaves nothing standing. They come together in June—right along the time when the first stream of influences is also in full force! Pluto and Uranus come together again in October 2012, breaking away and colliding back onto one another this way all the way through 2014. On another front, the planet Mars is making very “daring” moves as well—Mars is a planet that represents activism and defensive action. After being in a retrograde motion from January 23, to April 3rd, Mars turns direct and releases tremendous tension accumulated during the retrograde period. This release can generate both breakthroughs and violence when it takes place in the course of April. Later on, around July 19, Mars will join the above pair, Uranus and Pluto to form a triangle. Such meeting of forces will undoubtedly bring tremor and intensity—people may feel this influence by breaking away from engagement, leaving their job, relocating, changing plans, or being high on the defensive—in positive ways, new pathways will be created as a result of the converging of forces. Around August 16, Mars meets the planet Saturn—this combination is highly militaristic, and as if it wasn’t charged enough, the configurations lands in the most cardinal point in Israel and Netanyahu’s astrology chart! At large, most affected will be the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorns. The tension does not dissipate as Mars generates another climax on October 2nd, again releasing confrontational energy (right as Pluto and Uranus repeat their own dance). Days after that, in time for the US elections, the planet Saturn moves into the sign of Scorpio—a placement prompted to bring more political intensity and a climate of controversy. This ingress (October-November) will be a bitter pill for Iranian president Achmadinejad, for North Korean new leader Kim Jong-un, and for ailing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez… phew…

Keep going

We are braving powerful forces—this means we can go very far, but which direction is left to be seen. We have seen in the past year, as regimes were toppled, that there is a lot a single individual can do—no one should feel powerless. The first stream of influence brings tremendous inspiration, a call for freedom, courage to sail open seas—I’m very poetic about it because it is like a song from the stars. The second stream is a rage of titans: it inspires radical action in ways that brings destruction to one degree or another. Both streams of influence are about change, but in very different ways…the first is about letting go and moving forward blindfolded and trusting, the second calls for action and force, wearing an armor to forge a way through solid concrete (resistance).

Stepping forward wisely requires first that we accept the challenge and embody courage. Some of us will be more involved than others, but we are all part of this journey. A great deal of physical and psychic energy is needed to navigate these strong waters, and so we must proceed with care with the use of our resources. For example, it is important to try diffuse unnecessary drama or conflict. Acting selfishly and reactively will deplete us fast. The battles we choose and the pathways we create must serve collective betterment. Keeping a light spirit and humor in the midst of intensity is also good medicine; whether we attain new spiritual heights or face tenacious existential struggles, we must remember not take ourselves too seriously.

Walk on! We shall meet on these sacred paths…

I will discuss planetary influences occurring between October and December 2012 (particularly the interesting events for December 21st, 2012) in Part II—to be published late summer.

Visit these links for more insights on this year’s events:

About Maurice Fernandez:

The Moon and the Relational Nature of Growth

Two of the most striking observations in my work as a consulting astrologer came to me a few years ago.   First, I noticed that the signs of the zodiac parallel stages of early child development.  Second I noted that the progressed Moon, its sign and aspect pattern, reflects themes associated with early development. From birth to the first lunar return, and then around again, twice and up to three times in a life span, the Moon symbolizes themes of growth that repeat in each consecutive cycle.  With it, the same underlying developmental issues recur again.  Age and experience, and different transits and progression patterns contribute to either a more functional or more complex expression of the same themes. Repetition of the progressed Moon’s cycle can activate unresolved issues of the past that press to be resolved in the present.Read More

As a psychotherapist, I work with developmental psychology because it gives me an understanding of the origins of many of my patient’s problems.  As an astrologer, I see themes of development reflected in the charts of my astrology clients. By taking an interdisciplinary approach with astrology and developmental psychology, it is possible to see the interactions of these disciplines and the way cyclical development in astrology coincides with the more traditional linear view in traditional psychology.  What emerges in combining the two is a holistic pattern, where the same cycle of development (the zodiac) is organized in more mature forms on the longitudinal path of ageing.

In the framework of this hypothesis the signs are symbols for stages of development from birth to the first lunar return.  Aries is Emergence, Taurus is Security, Gemini is Language Development, Cancer is Attachment, Leo is Self-Esteem, Virgo is Cognitive Advancement, Libra is Relationships, Scorpio is Trust and Intimacy, Sagittarius is Expansion, Capricorn is Conformity, Aquarius is Community and Pisces is Surrender.  Behind the titles of these stages are the emotional, cognitive and neurobiological changes that are specific to each age.

The natal Moon describes the quality of the child’s relationship with the primary caregiver and the effects on a child of the earliest attachment and inter-subjective experiences. The Moon is a self-other configuration – meaning that both the individual (self) and the mother (other) are merged into one symbol. The Moon in any sign or aspect to other planets in the birth chart renders a specific picture of an individual’s internalized relationship with a mother (or primary caregiver) that continues to press for and recreate the original model of nurturing in other relationships throughout life.

In the past several years, the importance of primary relationships in a child’s development has taken on a new significance.  No longer can it be said that primary
relationships just affect a child’s growth.  Instead, they actually shape growth at the level of neural networks in the child’s brain structure.  This is especially true for emotional and cognitive development and the ability to regulate moods.
The Moon is a symbol for the relational nature of development.  It represents the way each person connects with the world based upon the earliest relational system of mother and child. In its progressed placements, the Moon represents the way development continues to be shaped by experience and relationships throughout life.
Because each sign has a correlation to a stage of human growth, the meanings of the signs of the progressed Moon are related to the stage of development that they govern.  In this framework, the interpretations of signs are virtually identical to those that we already know.  Yet there is something more – an expansion of meaning connected to early development, especially to relational development – that adds a new depth, context and relevance to human growth.
For example, in the abstract, the sign of Aries conveys independence, courage, initiative and leadership.  But, as a natal Moon sign, these characteristics would only be evident if there has been enough attunement and nurturing in the early years of life. For an individual born with a moon in Aries, with difficult aspects to outer planets, independence can be a pseudo –independence.  The Aries Moon can just as often express a profound experience of being alone or can reveal a lack of autonomy, an absence of a strong sense of self, and strong dependency needs, however concealed.   During a two and a half year journey through the sign of Aries, the secondary progressed Moon in Aries can pose a challenge to develop a sense of individuation in order to cope with surrounding circumstances.   Further encounters of this progressed Moon with natal and progressed planets and transits can reflect the ways this challenge is triggered and affected by the external world.

Taurus, in the abstract, is the sign of security and stability.  It is mother earth, the caregiver, and the strong one who provides for all.  But it can be the sign of heightened fear of insecurity.  The need for the natal Moon in Taurus is to be able to hold onto something concrete that promises and affords this sense of security, stability and status quo.  This placement is vitally connected to the second stage of development where it is the concrete object that provides a sense of security.   Depending upon the aspect patterns to other planets, a person with the Moon in Taurus might feel compelled to seek security at any expense, and express the need for safety and security through extremes of instant gratification or the need to hold on to a perceived sense of safety even in the absence of threat to that safety.  In its progressed placement, the Taurus Moon generally poses a quest for stability, a need to settle in and acquire security and to establish this in the concrete everyday world.

Gemini, the third stage of development, is a very complex natal Moon position,
because it represents two phases in one.  It represents preverbal communication in the first phase and it represents the acquisition of language in the second phase.  Relationships with primary caregivers determine a host of developmental capacities that emerge in both preverbal and verbal phases.  Therefore, the person with a natal Gemini Moon may be greatly influenced by one or both of these two phases of communication development.  The preverbal theme of the first phase of communication is intersubjective.  It is the I feel that you feel that I feel.  It is the empathic communication that is emotional and sensory.  Given ruptures in this area, an individual may question his ability to accurately sense what is going on, to accurately perceive his surroundings.   The second phase of communication development, is the acquisition of language.  Language objectifies what was felt and experienced in the previous phase of communication.  Difficult influences to this Moon in Gemini can result in feeling not heard, not being able to speak up, or not being understood.   The progressed Moon in Gemini generally brings an opportunity to experience some form of communication and learning that challenges the individual’s communication system with loved ones or friends, or it can bring about a corrective experience in this same area.

Each sign, in the context of this hypothesis, carries the signature of the earliest relationships in life.  Aspects with outer planets further suggest the quality of those relationships.  Aquarius, the future oriented, people oriented, and humanitarian sign can express qualities of openness, vision, and humanitarian interests.  But if there are difficult aspects with Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune, connections early in life may be limited, unstable, or absent. The natal Moon in this position can be an indicator of disconnection  – the experience of being cut off, not belonging. This can feel disturbing and dissociative to the individual who has difficulty connecting on a personal level. The progressed Moon in Aquarius, depending on other factors in the chart, will test the ability to balance involvements with groups and humanitarian interests, and with intimacy on a personal level.

These examples of the meanings of the signs of the Moon are general and should be considered as such.   They underscore what is really at stake in the area of growth that each sign symbolizes.  They depict extremes of what, most often, are more subtle influences of early childhood.  And, of course, the natal and progressed Moon cannot be interpreted as isolated from other planets.  They are part of a gestalt, a system that is inter-related with the rest of the chart.  In the birth chart, the relationship of the natal Moon to outer planets mirror the nature of the earliest relationships and predict, to some degree, the nature of attachment for a lifetime.  In the progressed chart, the progressed Moon is involved in whole network of inter-engagement with natal, and progressed placements and transits.

Every time the progressed Moon cycles around the chart and revisits the same natal positions, it awakens the same theme of maturation.  The story will be different, and so will the progressions and transits. But the theme of human growth will be similar.
For instance, in the following case example, a 74-year-old client was born on September 29th, 1934 at 2:00 PM PST with the Moon in Gemini, representing the need for verbal communication as the means of engagement with the world.  Here, again, the need for verbal communication as the preferred mode of relating means more than words alone.  The Gemini Moon implies that relational development is dependent upon having the empathic connection with another and with being heard, being understood, and thereby being connected to another person.

When the individual in this example was 2 years old, his natal Moon had progressed to Cancer and it conjuncted Pluto in the 12th house.  The developmental theme of Cancer relates to the need for attachment and the quality of attachment in the earliest relationships of life.  When this man’s Moon progressed into Cancer, his father left the family and his mother started drinking.  The Moon conjunct Pluto in Cancer (along with aspects to the rest of the chart) tells the story of ruptured attachment and the difficulty for a child at age 2 to mend that break.  When the progressed Moon recycled around to Cancer again, 27 ½ years later, the attachment theme occurred again as his marriage ended in divorce.  27 1/3 years later when the progressed Moon traveled the same course, this man entered therapy to work on his attachment issues and the losses in his life that perpetuated them.  His life changed considerably because it was in this third cycle that he was able to have a corrective experience.

Interpreting an astrology chart at any time in a person’s life is an art of synthesis.  Other planetary cycles of growth, not just the Moon, repeat, and they too reflect significant effects on maturation.   But, by singling out the Moon as a symbol for growth and signs of the zodiac as stages of development, it becomes possible to see the plasticity of development; the way development is repeating and changing at the same time.  And this process is not happening without our participation.  Therefore, when we look at a chart, we recognize that maturation is dependent upon our interaction with the cosmos, not upon the rhythm of the universe and the planetary cycles alone.  And the Moon, as the symbol of relational growth, conveys that we can always co-create our lives with the cycles of the Moon and planets.

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Horoscope. York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
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Gisele Terry

Gisele Terry, C.A.P., is the president of ISAR, an astrologer and licensed psychotherapist in California.  As an astrological consultant, she works with an international clientele, has published articles in astrological journals, and has written columns for newspapers in Los Angeles. Gisele is the co-director of the Consulting Skills Training Program for ISAR and designer of the counseling skills courses for The Avalon School of Astrology in Gainesville, Florida and The Academy of Astro-Psychology in San Raphael, California.  In 2012 AFA published her first book “The Moon and the Relational Nature of Growth”.

Sun Sign Astrology – Is it just pie in the sky?

The Sun is the most visible Planet in the heavens. We can all see it and we can certainly feel it.

Sun Sign Astrologers eagerly follow its weekly path, as it transits its way through twelve Zodiac signs, writing columns of advice to help guide us in love, money, health and careers.

I personally do not know how they do it. Astrology has so many layers, to be able to unravel them and confidently write columns every week confounds me. This is a scientific craft and my brain just cannot let go of its mathematical discipline to try and understand the weekly Sun Sign Columns. I have tried to no avail, so have gone back to basics to see if this type of Astrology actually works.

The outermost sphere of the Cosmos is called the Zodiac. It is invisible and divided into twelve equal parts. They differ from each other by a process of creation being made up of the three modes; fixed, cardinal and mutable, falling on the four qualities; fire, earth, air and water, giving us twelve combinations. Each of these combinations will best describe each sign of the Zodiac.


As the Zodiac is a circle it can start anywhere so it starts with the Spring Equinox. The beginning of everything from the Divine starts from here, this is called zero degrees of Aries, everything is measured from here, when the Sun reaches this point every year the day and night are of equal length. Spring is the beginning of new growth and life.

Aries is cardinal fire, a picture that can describe a thousand words. In sacred language, names are important as they capture our essence or potential, our surname will describe our function (Carpenter, Smith or Baker).

So too were the names of the constellations inspired, as were their symbols. The names of the Zodiac signs are of great significance, when the planets travel through them they pick up the essence and potential of that sign.

The Sun being such a visible planet highlights the natures of the signs whenever he transits through them. The Sun is a hot and dry planet, when travelling through Aries he becomes hotter and drier so takes on the essential nature of Aries.

It is not surprising that when we are born our Sun signs are highlighted; this is the indication that the Sun is making this sign the most visible to all. Easy! Yes but we are not just our Sun signs, there are another six major planets, all in their own signs that belong to us together with the twelve Zodiac signs. We are complex beings and have come to earth with many tools.

I need to bring in yet another layer to consider and that is the houses. To quote William Lilly a well known and respected seventeenth century Astrologer, ‘the sphere that surrounds Earth is divided into four equal parts by the meridian and the horizon, and the four quadrants again each into three equal parts. This will give us a total of twelve equal parts.’

These twelve equal parts are fixed segments in the sphere or on the chart and are called houses. Whatever sign the Sun happens to be in when it rises will be the sign that is on the cusp of the first house at sunrise. If the Sun is in Cancer, where he remains for a month, for that period of time we will see the sign Cancer on the first house cusp at sunrise. The primary motion of the Sun is two hours in each house giving us a total of a twenty four hour day.

The eastern horizon is an important point to further understand our natures, whatever sign is on the eastern horizon when we are born is the sign that describes our personality and health. It is the manner with which we protect ourselves as well as present ourselves to society in general. This is called the rising sign or the Ascendant; it is us.

Like the signs, the houses too have their distinct natures, planets in angular houses have a lot of power to act, the next house is the succedent house, it is less powerful, the weakest being cadent houses where the planets literally feel as if they are falling away.

There are four quadrants describing the seasons, in the first eastern quadrant we get a hot and moist spring nature and so it goes on, describing four natures and three positions uniquely describing the twelve houses.

Planets are actors, the zodiac signs are the roles they have come to play and the houses are the stages from where they act.

When looking at movements and measurements of planets, we keep Earth stationary and follow the movements of the planets from this base. As the transiting Sun moves around Earth it will make aspects; aspects are occasions to act. When the Sun is on your Sun, a conjunction, you are highlighted, so on your birthday you are King. Next sign around is thirty degrees, where it disappears from sight then surprises you, things emerge, next is sixty degrees showing one an opportune moment. The ninety degree square is a time of crisis or hard work to needed to achieve the one hundred and twenty degrees aspect, showing time for growth, the one hundred and eighty degree opposition showing a time for balance.

The Sun spends a month in each sign every year highlighting the nature of the sign it is currently in. The Sun is a planet that describes our creative energy, as the Sun is the giver of all life it is our energy, our petrol.

Now I would like to look at the nature of a native with a Pisces Sun, simply put it is cold and moist with a mutable or ‘can take on any role’ mode. The transiting Sun is travelling through Aries which is hot and dry with a cardinal or ‘need to make an action’ mode. A cold and moist indecisive Pisces may have the inclination to liven up and make decisions when the transiting Sun is in Aries. But is that Pisces Sun able to liven up and make an action if it happens to be in a weak house with very little power to act?

Our Native with the Pisces Sun may feel a bit more energized when the transiting Sun is in an action driven fiery sign, but that is all that the transiting Sun is actually telling us. It is thirty degrees from the Pisces Sun so is also highlighting that it’s time to emerge from the Pisces depths of dreamland and actually begin a project.

Finally we need to consider the other six transiting planets and any aspects they may be making to each other in the sky. Is it generally a time for change, or time to be careful, are there any retrograde planets that can add to the advice given by the Sun Sign Astrologer. If it is time for change then the Sun Sign Astrologer can add this into the mix, our dreamy Pisces needs wake up, see the opportunities and think about making changes in their lives. It is time!

As Astrologers we need to know so much more about the native to be able to give any more advice than this. There is also the matter of houses and rising signs to consider so if you are reading the column of a respected magazine written by a respected Sun Sign Astrologer and need to get more benefit from what they are saying, best you find out more about your own Sun and where it is housed. I still cannot see how they manage to pull health and wealth out of the obvious information mentioned above, I suppose if you climb out of your shell and take the opportunity highlighted by the Sun then you have the choice of seeing the world, you open the door to allow energy in but without the full information within the birth chart this is not a given.

After writing this article I take my hat off to the ethical, and may I emphasise the description ethical Sun Sign Astrologers, it is with a huge amount of work and a deep knowledge of the craft together with a creative writing ability that can pull off a successful Monthly column.

Astrology is the study of time. Astrologers are here to highlight cycles in your life as well as to advise you of the perfect time to make changes in your career, love, health and wealth, the rest is up to you and you have free will to act or not…


Laurie Naughtin is the founder of Sublunar Academy of Astrology where correspondence, beginners and individual courses are taught. Laurie has International approval for her courses; students qualifying will be eligible for the International Traditional Astrologer’s directory. Laurie is qualified in Medical, Modern, Traditional and Horary astrology. Specializing in Time rectification and Newborn charts.  She runs workshops and presentations for media and public in general.

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