Planets and Signs – How an Astrologer Prepares a Birth Chart
Astrology is a complex system of symbols, involving both science and art. The positions of the planets are based on real astronomy requiring mathematics, but the interpretation is a skill that has to be learned through study.
Some astrologers use intuition in their readings; however, every credible astrologer starts with the calculation of the chart, and he/she must learn the rules and concepts involved in astrology before giving a reading.
Modern astrologers have computers that can calculate the chart in seconds; the interpretation, however, remains an individuali art. Although computerized reports are accurate to an extent, human interpretation blends the symbols in a way a computer cannot, at least yet.
This article describes two out of the four astrological basic building blocks: Planets and signs. The other two building blocks of astrology are houses and aspects.
Planets Describe Aspects of Personality-Planets and Signs
The modern Western astrologers use mainly the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. In addition, two calculated points, the Ascendant and Midheaven are very important in interpretation.
Sun and moon are not planets, of course, but astrologers place them in this category for the sake of simplicity. Many astrologers use Pluto and say it’s important. Every astrological symbol has a large range of meanings, and it’s up to the individual astrologer to determine what of these to use. Usually a theme emerges in a chart, as varied symbols can be indicative of same or similar concepts.
Inner Planets Symbolize Very Personal Aspects of Personality-Planets and Signs
The planets closest to the sun, as well as the sun and the moon, are called “[wiki]Solar System [/wiki]” or “personal planets.” The sun represents the deepest inner core or center of an individual, while the moon symbolizes emotions, mothering, and everyday instinctual responses. When the sun and the moon are in a harmonious aspect, the personality is well rounded and stable.
[wiki]Mercury [/wiki] describes a person’s thinking processes, and the way he or she communicates. It’s the rational, reasoning mind. In astrology, [wiki]Venus[/wiki] and [wiki]Mars[/wiki] describe the ways in which a person approaches relationships and love, or how they assert themselves, respectively. Contacts of these two planets with a lover’s or spouse’s chart are important for chemistry – although the sun/moon contacts describe very basic understanding and compatibility.
Jupiter and Saturn Symbolize Hope and Restrictions Respectively-Planets and Signs
Apart from symbolizing the ‘higher’ mind, [wiki]Jupiter[/wiki] also says something about how a person goes about expanding his or her horizons, or how they approach religion. For example, Jupiter in Aquarius can be found in the chart of an individual who likes to get involved in humanitarian projects that benefit the whole world, while Jupiter in Taurus is associated with concerns with material security. Jupiter is also the planet of luck.
Saturn is the great teacher symbolizing restrictions, fears, delays, karma, and blocks. A planet in a difficult aspect with Saturn tends to be problematic for a person. For example, Saturn in a square to Mars can cause difficulties in how a person asserts himself.
The Outer Planets Work Differently from the Personal Planets
[wiki]Uranus[/wiki], Neptune, and [wiki]Pluto[/wiki] are the sk. outer planets, moving very slowly and describing generational trends. When they are in an aspect with one of the personal planets, though, their influence can be strong. Uranus can cause sudden, unexpected changes or brilliant insights. Neptune, when combined with a personal planet, can create a softening and spiritualized effect; it can also create confusion. When Pluto is in a difficult aspect with a personal planet, this can result in control and manipulation issues; it can also indicate profound healing and transformation.
The Ascendant describes how a person presents himself or herself to the outside world, while the Midheaven or “MC” usually represents how an individual wishes to be perceived, often describing career in today’s society.
Astrological Signs: How a Planet Operates
A sign describes how a planet functions. Most people are familiar with the signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, so they are not covered here in detail.
Different planets in the same sign have the same basic energy, but operate in another area of life. As an example, a sun in Libra person is apt to be concerned with balance and harmony, while Venus in Libra usually describes a person who’s ‘in love with love’. The classic sun in Virgo personality likes to organize and be punctual while Venus in Virgo usually describes someone who has a cautious, pragmatic attitude toward love.