View Full Version : some beginner-to-astrology questions

28-08-2004, 04:26

I have some questions I'm wondering about, having just worked out my natal chart - they're probably very beginner-ish, but if anyone could shed light, it'd be much appreciated.

* I have a stellium, I think - mercury, sun, venus and jupiter all in scorpio & 2nd house, with uranus also in 2nd house but in sagittarius. I've only been able to find out what a stellium (or satellitium) *is*, not how to interpret it.

* Aspects - there are millions of these! How do I start to work out which are more significant than others?

* I'm a little confused with progressions and transits, could anyone explain the difference?

* Interpretation generally - do think its best to go by established definitions or more put-it-together-yourself, for instance how I use the tarot, isn't necessarily the accepted definition of a card more how I see it - can this be applied to signs, planets, element etc in astrology? Basically, is there room for intuition in astrology?

Ok thats it for now (because some other questions I thought I had I've realised were silly!). Astrology seems to get more complicated the more I look into it!

fv x

28-08-2004, 06:17
Hi funkyvixen,

Your questions are very good and ones that all of us have met when starting out in Astrology.

Working backwards:

It's worth starting with a standard book for interpretation, there's not quite the stimulus of looking at a picture as in Tarot. A good starter is Stephen Arroyo's Chart Interpretation Handbook, though there are many other good introductory texts.

To begin with simply keep your interpretation to a matter of a couple of sentences or so for each planet giving most attention to Sun and Moon and then Mercury and Venus, next Jupiter and Satrun and finally the three outer planets. The Ascendant should get a weighting similar to Sun and Moon. As you get the general idea of the planetary energies you can draw out more.

Also get the basic feeling for the signs in much the same way, with a brief interpretation of how they modify the planetary energies. keep it simple to begin with and flesh out as your knowledge and intuition develop.

Don't bother with transits and progressions, or other prediction methods till you feel at home with the planets, signs and aspects. The difference is that Transits occur in real time (they reflect current planetary movements) wheres progressions are more esoteric, the most common being secondaries based on the planetary positions in the days after you were born - and treating each day as equivalent to a year. So if you were born on 1st January 1980 the 20th January 1980 gives your progression for your 20th year.

On aspects keep to the major ones at first - conjunction (not strictly as aspect), Opposition, Square, Trine and Sextile. You can bring in the minor aspects later, though many good professionals may simply keep to the major aspcts and the quincunx (150 degrees). Use the minors to flesh out the interpretaion of the majors, once you are used to them. Indeed as you practice your intuition will begin to replace the book and you will take on your own colour to the planetary meanings.

Finally, stelliums should be treated as a major influence in an area of your life - in your case your second House, which relates to your material and physical resources. The interpretation depends on the planets involved, how far apart they are and the sign they are in. The Sun and Mercury are often in the same sign and as Venus doesn't stray that far from the Sun, it too is frequently in the same sign. All three together is not unusual, though not common. With Jupiter as well you do have a fair concentration of energy in that area - Your vitality, creativity, mind and communication, the way you relate to others and how you expand your horizons are all linked - possibly very closely if the planets are close together and all focused on your interelationship with the material world.

Also if you have any queries as you go, simply post your question. Unfortunately like tarot , there are a variety of approaches and these can be confusing to begin with but we'll be happy to help you in your new quest!

29-08-2004, 12:32
funkyvixen writes:

* Aspects - there are millions of these! How do I start to work out which are more significant than others?


In a heavily aspected chart, it might help to sort through the aspects and see which ones have the closest orbs. The closer to exact they are, the more their presence is felt. This is a good way to see what is truly operating most strongly in a person's life.

Good luck in your studies!


29-08-2004, 23:50
Aspects are everywhere -- they are like trees in a forest. When you look a lot of trees, what do you see. What stands out.

For aspects you might start by looking for 1) conjunctions of two or more planets, 2) oppositions between two planets, 3) squares or t-squares (two planets in opposition and both square to a third planet). These will get the primary challenges clear in your mind.

After identifying these most-important aspects you can choose any of several paths: 1) do any of these planets aspect or rule the Ascendant or MC, 2) Is the sun or moon involved in any aspect pattern, etc.

That is enough to start with. Chances are these aspects, when found, will paint a broad theme to help you focus on other stuff in the chart. Dave.

isthmus nekoi
30-08-2004, 10:22
Hi funkyvixen,

Welcome to astrology! As Minderwiz says, we're always happy to answer any queries. His post pretty much covers the basics, but just to add in my 2 cents:

- aspects. On top of focusing on the classic aspects and the ones w/the tightest orbs, try to look for aspects from the strongest planets (ie, chart ruler - ruling planet of the Ascendant sign).

- intuition. It takes experience to get a feel for astrology. It's not as fluid as tarot however. Saturn will never be nicey nice about his affairs for example. That's for Venus. The meanings in astrology are far more fixed than tarot.

Also, as Dave says - you need to find a focus. Themes in a chart. It's crucial I think, to understand what motivates a person - what their desires and fears are, when interpreting a chart.

31-08-2004, 01:16
Thankyou very much for all that :) some things are clearer now!

After I've had a while to work on my birth chart, is there anyone more experienced who'd be willing to give it a quick look over and tell me what they think, so I can compare with what I came up with?

Some things are scarily accurate, only based on the beginner's book I'm using. I've worked out my partner's and mum's charts as well as my own, and am now working on translating all the funny symbols and signs into english!

fv x

31-08-2004, 01:57

If you post your natal details, I'll give it the once over when you are ready for a second opinion - and no doubt some others may have comments as well.

We are more than pleased to help someone with their interpretations and help you gain an overview. We can also help answer to any more questions that you have thought of, comment on what you have found and give some help in exploring some of the significant features of your chart.

Good luck with your interpretation !!

PS your natal details are important - it helps if we can feed the stuff into our computers and check calculations etc.

10-09-2004, 07:58

I appreciate your willingness to post your questions and I have enjoyed reading the responses. Like you, I am new to astrology and am struggling with synthesis... putting it all to gether into a coherent story. Often I feel like a child learning to read... painfully sounding out the letter of each word! I seem to lack overall comprehension as each part of the chart seems to remain stubbornly isolated...when I so want to make it make sense!

Have you (or anyone else who may be reading this!) come across any sort of resouce which shows a 3-D view of the planets and their movement relative to the zodiac? Perhaps I could gain a greater understanding if I could only see the planets move in relation to the signs. For now the natal chart looks so still and I know there is a story to tell, I just can't seem to lift it off the page.

I'll keep on keepin' on!

Thanks for you honesty!


11-09-2004, 01:38
Originally posted by Nimbus

Have you (or anyone else who may be reading this!) come across any sort of resouce which shows a 3-D view of the planets and their movement relative to the zodiac? Perhaps I could gain a greater understanding if I could only see the planets move in relation to the signs. For now the natal chart looks so still and I know there is a story to tell, I just can't seem to lift it off the page.

Most astrology programs have this built in somewhere; Astrolog, the freeware program, lets you do this by selecting these options in the "Extra" choice on the menu:

Constellations On
Bonus mode (this shows planets)
Show Globe

Astrology using the planets is only slightly 3D - whereas stars are indeed all around a 3D celestial sphere, the planets are restricted to a small band called the ecliptic. In fact, that's the reason that it's possible to represent planets on a 2D chart! Some planets are slightly above or below the ecliptic, but not by much.

I've got a "Getting Started" article at http://www.bristolastrology.net/chrismitchell/getting_started.html and there's a link to my astrology primer there. That explains the basics of how the planets and the zodiac signs relate.

12-09-2004, 02:41
Thanks, Fluffmeister, for the reference and direction to your site!
I have bookmarked it under "Favourites" and will spend some time going through the primer.

I like your suggestion to simply "just do it"! Practical experience may be just the ticket to show me what I know and to highlight areas where I need to learn more.

I have plenty of people who will give freely of their time for me to practice... so now I will try!

Thanks again!

11-10-2004, 10:08
What are conjunctions and what do they indicate? How are they different from other aspects? I ask because my Jupiter is conjunct my moon and i'd like to know what that means.

11-10-2004, 11:00
This is as complete and detailed an explanation as comes to my mind at this point.

When two or more planets (astrological bodies) are within a few degrees of each other, as measured along the zodiac plane, they are said to be in "conjunction." These bodies may simultaneiously be in aspect to other planets as well.

** "a few degrees": The closer the degree of separation (one or two degrees versus six or eight degrees for example) the more significant is the power of the conjunction.

** "along the zodiac plane": The zodiac plane is comprised of twelve segments or signs, each of which has thirty degrees. This is a circular-linear measurement. Astrological bodies can be above or below this plane at various times due to the fact that individual orbits are inclined (not in the same plane) to the Sun-Earth orbital plane. This can mean that two bodies are exactly conjunct as measured on the zodiac plane but one can be several degrees below or above the other when observing their declination or inclination view from the earth. Most astrologers do not take this into consideration -- beginner astrologers should not consider this until their studies and understanding progresses.

** "conjunction": Each astrological body is said to have certain energies or expressive/active inclinations. The conjunction of two bodies brings these energies or expressive inclinations together and increases the urgency for expression. Just what this means in terms of symbology and primary types of expression is both simple and complex. Simple: The basic meanings of the two bodies will merge and be expressed. Complex: There are a set of possible/probable symbologies and expressions for each planet. Some will be expressed more, some less, some not at all --- this depends upon other astrological, family, experience of the individual, genetics, etc. influences. It takes experience and knowlege by the astrologer to properly assess these.

** "aspecting": Other planets may have some angular relationship to the conjuncing planets. This may modify the assessment by the astrologer and the way in which the chart owner expresses the conjunction's energy.

Now, for an example or two.

MARS conjunct VENUS. This is sometimes said to be the "bedroom eyes" conjunction. This may also be said to be "poise" or "sensuality" -- it brings male/female, active/passive, taking/giving, disrupting/balancing energies into a blending pattern.

JUPITER conjunct SATURN. The "businessman" conjunction. A blend of optimism/pessimism, expanding/conserving, happy/somber, gain/loss symbology can be simply applied to these two bodies.

MARS conjunct JUPITER. Here we have blended two active energies -- I call this the "greedy grabber" conjunction. Someone may tend to pursue everything (Mars-Jupiter keywords, among many others).

Feel free to ask any questions. Dave.

14-10-2004, 03:03
Thank you for the clarification. I was wondering, how do astrological sites like astro.com pick out the transits they hilight? For example, today for mine they said the following:
Moon Square Moon, exact at 10:44
Moon Opposition Venus, exact at 16:24
Moon Conjunction Pluto, exact at 20:27
Moon in the 12th House, exact at 13:25
Moon Sextile Med.Coeli, exact at 12:05
Moon Sextile Neptune, exact at 22:11
New Moon, Solar eclipse (p), 2106, exact at 19:48

I mean, what am I supposed to get from all these moon transits and aspects?

14-10-2004, 03:24
That is an easy-enough question to answer. The Moon moves about 12 to 13 degrees per day, implying that it will be about 6 degrees from whatever astrological body/point that it is listed as aspecting. Six degrees is an acceptable initial orb-of-influence for fast moving bodies while 1 degree may be appropriate for slow movers such as Pluto or Neptune.

Let's look at the example you just posted using simple words for the astrological bodies and aspect involved.

Moon Square Moon, exact at 10:44
Moon = needs, responses. Square = challenges, effort.
Today you may need to bite your tongue or count to ten before reacting to demands of others or to situations that make you uncomfortable.

Moon Opposition Venus, exact at 16:24
Venus = attraction, balance, harmony. Opposition = projection or give and take.
You may find a new lady friend, or be complimented by someone who is insincere or wants something of you. Focus instead on evaluating the value of what catches your eye.

Moon Sextile Neptune, exact at 22:11
Neptune = social instincts, ideal views, dreams for yourself. Sextile = communication, reaching out.
Your presence or past reputation may attract others of a similar mind to share something with you. You may be asked to join in a venture involving many others.

Those are some examples of what you can do with such a listing. Dave.

29-10-2004, 07:08
Thank you for your last reply- that was most helpful. Now for more questions- my natal 2nd house is ruled by Saggitarius and Neptune is in that house as well. Neptune has just gone direct a couple of days ago. As the 2nd house rules possessions and earned income, does that mean that I will finally have better luck concerning my career or earned income?

29-10-2004, 10:18
Think of "houses" as zones of environmental focus. The second house provides a focus on personal values; values of creature comfort, clothes and things that enhance appearance and a sense of personal pride, jewelry and resources such as cash on hand, etc.

The tone of this second house has to be kept away from what other houses can mean. For example, the 4th house is values that are family or business related (the IC & MC axis). The 8th house is shared values and resources (the 2nd house of the partner or 7th house). The 5th house can be emotional values and objects of desire or creation that you treasure. What I am saying here is that many of the houses can be attributed with some form of "value".

The second house, following the Ascendant sign/house, obviously builds upon the personality and its experiences in daily life. The first house is sort of the astrological "Fool" in that it is where we step forward into the fray and start the process of becoming something. The second house then, in this context, represents the initial values and resources that we gain by being ourselves.

I hope this helps. Dave.
PS: When we learn astrology we reach a point where we think in multiple levels. We think of the 2nd house, we think at the same time of what is in that house, we also think about what aspects are made from bodies in that house to other bodies, etc. It's not that its "complex" -- it's just a different way of thinking in which you train yourself to see connections to what you are focusing on.