View Full Version : study group introduction

isthmus nekoi
24-10-2002, 07:42
Welcome to Aeclectic's study group for astrology beginners. In the following year we hope to cover the 12 signs, their ruling planets and associated houses. We will study each sign as the sun transits through it, which gives us approximatly a month/sign.

<edit> Group structure has changed to application threads/sign (and the associated planet(s) and house). Focus has shifted to natal chart interpretation. You are invited to post your natal chart on www.astro.com in our account. For more information on how to access this group's account, pls contact lunalafey. </edit>

The group will be structured by the following areas:
1) basic description
2) application (how to 'read' the planet/sign/house)
3) historical context
4) links to other systems (mythology, tarot, psychology, alchemy, agriculture etc)

These are just flexible guidelines, so if there are any suggestions, please post to the relevant thread.

Special thanks to Minderwiz for his support, and thanks to all who expressed their interest!


Suggested sites:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?threadid=8270 [Minderwiz's great post connecting the natural year to astrology. I highly recommend reading this thread.]
http://www.stariq.com [up to date articles, searchable archive]
http://www.astro.com [calculates astrological charts w/lots of options. I check out my transits here]
http://www.bobmarksastrologer.com [a helpful beginner's site although tends to be essentialist at times]

Suggested books:
Introducing Astrology (forgot the author; it's one of a whole serious of Introducing... Freud, Marx, Quantum Physics etc)

chart interpretation beginner~
Stephen Arroyo /Chart Interpretation Handbook
Frances Sakoian and Louis S. Acker/The Astrologer's Handbook

Alan Oken/Rulers of the Horoscope
Kevin Burk/ Astrology - Understanding The Birth Chart

For those curious to know how the grp started, please refer to this thread: http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?threadid=8121

24-10-2002, 08:44
That means I missed the study group on my sign? :(
Good suggestion though, I'm looking forward to see how it'll go. :D


24-10-2002, 08:52
:* :* :*

Big kisses to you, isthmus, for starting an Astrology Study Group EXACTLY when I was wondering to myself, "Hmmm, now where can I go to learn more about Astrology?"

What kind of discussions are you looking for in the individual Sign threads? If I have a beginner-type question regarding that Sign should I just post it as a new thread?

I shall read all the Astrology Study Group threads with great pleasure! Thanks again!



isthmus nekoi
24-10-2002, 08:55
We just missed Libra!! But think of it this way; by the time we get to your sign, we'll have learned so much about astrology that the discussions will probably be really packed!

24-10-2002, 09:11
Isthmus, as Minderwiz told me when I asked the same question.....HE'S A MALE (and a happily married one too).


isthmus nekoi
24-10-2002, 10:50
Pls pardon me Minderwiz for refering to you as his/her. I know you've written about your wife, but I didn't want to make any assumptions!

Melvis> I missed your last post so I didn't mean to ignore ya! All questions would probably be best kept to the one thread just so we don't have all these little Scorpio threads scattered about the forum. Having said that, I think it would be better if we could wait for Minderwiz to post his introductory write-up before we ask any newbie questions.

Of course, Minderwiz if there's something you'd like me to cover b/c you don't have time, I can try to look it up myself.

As for discussion, anything goes ^_^ Other than getting a handle on newbie concerns, I've also mentioned psychology, alchemy, mythology, agriculture and of course, tarot.
Hopefully this knowledge will give us a solid and very *broad* basis to understanding astrology. To draw an analogy, it would be like getting to know each tarot card in *great* detail so that you can read spreads with familiarity and flexibility, to make connections w/i and w/o tarot with confidence and a multi leveled precision. Thankfully there's only 10 planets, 12 signs and 12 houses to study vs 78 individual cards! :P

AG> Thank you so much for encouraging the ambitious Capricorn in me ^_~

24-10-2002, 23:46

Thanks for leaping in for me, I'm definitely male my wife is definitely female and we're definitely happy (well most of the time).

I think Isthmus' idea was great and I hope the group works well. I will try and answer questions rather than sticking in great tracts of stuff - however I have Mercury in Scorpio and that means that I like to know exactly why everything as it is and scour the hidden depths to make sure I'm sure. This can lead to longish posts but I claim the Scorpio defence this time around.


isthmus nekoi
25-10-2002, 01:11
Melvis, well I guess that answers your q: post away w/your newbie questions! ^_^

*lol* Minderwiz, we like your longish posts! w/Mercury in 12th, Jupiter in 8th I tend to get very very chatty about 'forbidden' issues ie. astrology so expect some longish posts from me too!

and... have a Happy Birthday!!

isthmus nekoi
08-11-2002, 15:06
Hi all, I was wondering whether the interest in the astrology group has dropped b/c it's not going to be a chart interpretation group. While it is fun researching, I honestly don't have the time to pull off something of this magnitude by myself, even if Minderwiz has been gracious enough to answer all the newbie questions. I was going to get into tarot sometime next week when I've finished my final midterm and paper, but I was hoping that the group was going to generate more participation. If this isn't what you guys are interested participating in, or if you feel the level of discussion is too ambitious, please tell me!

09-11-2002, 05:40
I had thought of suggesting a chart reading section but I must admit that it would be quited demanding on readers, especially those of us who are in full time jobs and may have busy periods at work when they just can't deliver charts on time as well.

One way forward that I am seriously thinking of is offering some horary readings - say a maximum of two per week - these are similar to the sort of readings that are done in the tarot readings exchange, with a querent asking a question and the astrologer (me) having a go at answering it using horary techniques.

However at the moment I am in a very busy period at work - till around the middle of December or so. But if people are interested in the idea - I'll give it a go around Christmas and early January and see if it works out. Horary readings are usually quicker (if not easier) than natal readings so hopefully it will be less demanding in terms of time and also its an area that I am currently studying in my astrology course.

In terms of the wider stuff - lets give Sagittarius a go and see how we do but try in on a more basic level than Scorpio - its a lighter sign anyway.



09-11-2002, 07:00
i been holding back saying i only needed the tarot ....

but i been studying the astrological assocatiations of the tarot and decided there is something to it
true astrology

so here i am ,, give me soemthing to study,, tell me where to look,, and i will be here to contribute. :O)
while we are here,,

can you please post all threads that beginner newbie like me who has no knowledge of astrology but that the sun horoscope on the newspaper is not the true astrology ? so we do nto have to search out the threads, including any threads on
1. planets,
2. signs
3. moon rising,
4. chiron
5, charon
6. transits
and whatever else thread,

and can you do it in order (virgo here who likes ordery systems of whcih to study :O)

so all the thread you post can be like a newbie astrology 101 ?

i am going now to check out the stariq, and the bob site on astroloyg posted,

umm what is essentialists ?

09-11-2002, 07:10
. . . that this is where the group'll meet???

09-11-2002, 07:59
I think that people haven't been participating perhaps because they're not sure exactly what to say. Basically, we've (at least I) have been reading the posted information and enjoying it. I can just never really think of anything to add. Perhaps we can come up with some questions? Or maybe we could also add a section about Scorpio in each person's chart? That way we could help each other out in actually applying the info and understanding even more nuances of Scorpio or whatever sign we're working on.

And zander, the actual study group thread is the one titled something like "study group ~ scorpio." We're starting with Scorpio and going through the zodiac as the year passes.

:) Kes

isthmus nekoi
09-11-2002, 08:26
thanks for your responses everyone, I'm kinda busy right now but I'll be back mid-week after the weekend. Cheers!

09-11-2002, 11:28
Originally posted by Keslynn
Or maybe we could also add a section about Scorpio in each person's chart? That way we could help each other out in actually applying the info and understanding even more nuances of Scorpio or whatever sign we're working on.

i love this idea! learning how to actually apply this information would be really helpful and fun!

minderwiz, horary astrology sounds fascinating! i eagerly await your readings.

isthmus, the previous discussions about scorpio were fascinating, but were enough over my head, that i found it hard to participate. sorry.

10-11-2002, 06:04
I agree with Kes' post - questions are the best way of participating if you are new to Astrology. One of the big problems doing this over the internet rather than in a classroom is that without questions there is no way to see what effects 'informative' posts have. It's also difficult to decide what people really want to read about if there are no questions asking for certain topics to be covered.

I really love being asked questions and enjoy attempting to answer them - it helps me learn because I end up asking myself if I really know the answer and then go off and do some reading. Hopefully the answers also help those who asked the questions and may lead to follow ups from them or others - we all end up learning something about the subject.

I hope to get round to the horary stuff in a few weeks once work begins to ease off a bit - but I will do a couple of introductory posts over the next couple of weeks so that would be querents know what the process is and also know a little about horary astrology.

Best wishes

12-11-2002, 05:59
For me, astrology really became alive when I realised that it was so intuitive and nature based. So many people don't realise this. By observing the seasons, the elements, understanding the different myths. It's not a matter of "learning" but connecting old dots in a new way. I thought the study group posts showed a lot of intelligence and understanding, but perhaps need to be a little more grounded and experiential- focussing on how astrology incorporates the natural world into every day life?

13-11-2002, 04:20
Saw this today for the first time. Have not been at a computer much these days. I like seeing the effort and interest put forth by everyone.
My comments to help in a study group:
I agree that a chart reading section would be difficult, BUT when I started teaching myself astrology I started with my chart and then to friends charts. I got a better feeling for the dynamics of astrology. How could we work this in?
I like comparing other peoples planetary placements in relation to thier life experiences.
It's that appling astrology that helps me to learn. Perhaps those with the same planet/sign positions can compare notes for the rest to see.

isthmus nekoi
13-11-2002, 09:51
Minderwiz> Thanks for offering to do horary readings (ah... what are those?) Again, your help is always much appreciated.

OK, to address a change in direction for the study group, I agree that taking the level down a notch will make the group more accessible. I'm thinking we can still cover the basics, but cut out the relational stuff (ie. looking at other systems) unless that ties in w/personal experience.
What I'm hearing is that lots of ppl want *concrete* application but I'm not sure what form that will take. ie. In the post about the 8th house, I tried to come up w/some very concrete areas - is this the kind of information that is desired?
If so, maybe we can discuss how we think how Mars/Pluto, Scorpio and 8th have affected our lives, although this is a systematic approach that doesn't take into account the holistic perspective that is needed to do a full natal chart reading. To draw a parallel, this is like looking at a certain tarot card in a specific position w/o relating it to the rest of the spread.

HOLMES, we will cover planets, signs and houses in this group. Rising signs (is that what you mean by moon rising?), other planets/comets and transits won't be the focus, but I'm sure we can touch upon them. My concern now is, if we squeeze too much in, we'll lose focus.

Keslynn, thanks very much for your intro posts!!!

Butterfly, I totally agree about your comments on astrology. I see any given system as a satellite reflecting the center; each one w/its own perspective.

Finally, I hope I didn't come off as accusatory w/my earlier post as that was never my intention. However, I really did mean it when I said I couldn't tackle the information here alone! Again, the offer to look into Mars; the areas Mars controls, the nature of Mars energy etc. is out for grabs.


p.s. 'essentialist' is a pretty negative term these days re: theories. It basically describes a rigid interpretation, or theory, often subscribing to a naturalistic fallacy.

isthmus nekoi
19-11-2002, 14:15
There seems to be a greater interest here in learning how to interpret a chart than focusing solely on the actual 'building blocks' of chart. I'm wondering if y'all would like a restructuring of the group. Instead of exploring other systems, or getting very technical, perhaps we can break it down to 1) introductory meanings, keywords and such, and then 2) application esp in terms of a natal chart interpretation. This will be a 'lighter' approach although this lends to learning aspects as well. Maybe this can be dealt w/in a different thread. Perhaps later on in the group (much later I'm thinking), we can introduce other concepts like nodes, eclipses, transits etc.

Granted, this doesn't mean we have to throw the baby out w/the bath water. I learned a lot researching into the practical areas that the 8th house deals w/and I think similar posts for other houses would be easily translated into a natal chart interpretation.

My only concern is that doing this by sign/planet/house is limiting. For example, we might a thing or two about the 8th house now, and have a grip on Pluto, but what are we to do about interpreting Pluto in say, Libra in the 12th house since we won't cover that sign/house until later? What about Venus in Scorpio since we haven't studied Venus yet? Any suggestions on how to get around this?

Pls tell me what you guys think (if you're still there!)

19-11-2002, 14:32
we're still here isthmus ;)

back in my days at uni, many subjects were aproached by first taking a survey course. we would spend the first year or semester, on an overview of the subject. then after we had a grasp on how the big picture worked, we could take more detailed in depth courses on the individual parts.

is something like this what you had in mind?

19-11-2002, 18:57
i just got my chart "updated," so, i'm "ready to go!"


isthmus nekoi
20-11-2002, 10:30
Yes, that's exactly it, zorya... great analogy. I had no idea that we would have to cover the *basic* basics :P In other words, I was shooting for a 2nd year course, only to find no one had taken 1st year!

To address the earlier problem; I'm thinking that if everybody read up on basic qualities for every planet, sign, house (this info is everywhere on the internet, I suggest looking at this page: http://www.bobmarksastrologer.com/ or any beginners book, it would help a lot. I'm not talking about major research here, just general associations you get at the most basic level.

21-11-2002, 05:56
I have been quietly reading the posts and enjoying them. With everyone's knowledge at different levels it's hard to make presentations that everyone can grasp straight away.

Can I make a suggestion? Something that I would find useful is this practical exercise. We are shortly coming up to Saggitarius. Is there a chart on any of the various internet sites of a Saggitarian that we coud all get hold of? Then perhaps Minderwiz and Isthmus could lead us though a simple explanation of what the chart actually might mean. Many of the issues you have been discussing up to now could be thus illustrated in a really practical and useful way.

You could explain the basics of a natal chart, and we could even perhaps get a chart that has progressions and transits on it so that we could learn about these and how they assist in understanding what is going on with the querent (do we use the same descriptors?). And we could ask questions along the way.

Do others see this as a potentially good way of learning? We could do a historical Saggitarian. It might be fun to this and I'm sure there are charts available for such figures that we could use for an exercise like this. If we were to do it this way, we would need to start a separate thread. It wouldn't stop other discussions happening.

Just an idea.


PS I just found Edith Piaf's chart on WWW. astro.com. She was a Saggitarian with Scorpio rising and her Moon in Gemini - a fascinating person to study perhaps.

isthmus nekoi
21-11-2002, 10:11
All suggestions are welcome! Studying natal charts of famous figures sounds like a great idea, it'll give us a good opportunity to apply our knowledge.

It seems everyone is hot to trot to interpret charts. Like I said before, this is fine except it's going to be very very difficult to do this w/the current structure of studying each sign w/its associated houses/planets for the duration of the sign. Already I'm running into problems interpreting for others in the Scorpio application thread b/c I'm unfamiliar w/some planets and signs that won't be covered until later.

I know that interpreting a chart is loads of fun and I think we can do it too, but the way we've set up the study group (sign/month) makes this difficult. If we want to start chart interpretation right away, we're going to have to learn the basics of each sign, planet and house before we even begin w/aspects, transits, progressions and suchlike.

To draw an analogy (not tarot this time! You guys must be sick of my tarot analogies ^_^).... in life drawing the first thing everyone wants to do is draw the perfectly rendered figure. But that's *never* the first thing you get taught! You have to learn so many things first; gesture, contour etc and then later anatomy, form etc. The early exercises are boring, yes, and they're certainly not something you'd be proud of. But only when you're at a certain level w/basics skills can you hope to render the human figure realistically and produce something you want to hang on your wall.
There's nothing stopping us from trying read charts along the way, but I think we'll need to hold this in check w/learning the basics. Everyone loves to offer their charts and give interpretations, but as I've said before; I don't have the time to do the more boring grunt work (looking up keywords etc) alone.

I'm not trying to discourage reading natal charts here, it's just if everyone wants to be doing this together, I think going through the basics *before* chart reading will be the most effective approach. Of course, if the majority disagrees, I'm quite open to doing the study group a different way, provided that there is support that the different way will work. *Please* don't be afraid to disagree w/me here. I'm just offering up my opinion, and it's certainly not intrinsically the "correct" way of seeing things.


21-11-2002, 13:57
. . . may be of interest (the first is regarding "how to read natal charts; the second a "astrology course," soon to begin, by a friend of mine):




21-11-2002, 14:53
Hi Isthmus,

Your comments about needing to learn the basics are important.

With limited knowledge I've struggled with understanding my own chart. I have a book (Choice Centred Psychology) which does go though some demonstration charts.

You have inspired me to seek out a local astrology course and see what I can do there. This thread is very interesting though and I thank you and Minderwiz for the time and thought you put into explaining things.


22-11-2002, 02:34
Moongold - is that a Gail Fairfield book? I know she has also written some good 'Choice Centred' books for Tarot.

In terms of chart reading - I was actually thinking of something along the lines Moongold suggested but in another context. I do have some web space that I'm currently clearing and I had thought of posting charts there for people for whom I've done a reading. The idea could be modified to fit into a parallel strand to the Study group.

I think it would be best to do this for someone on the forum rather than simply a famous name - it adds a little 'local' interest. However I don't think it would work in the context of, say, a Sagittarian (or any other sign) because the Sun sign is a relatively small, though important part of the chart. It's actually possible to be almost Sagittarian in nature without any planets in Sagittarius at all!!!!!!!! IF you have a preponderance of Fire signs and Mutable signs (Sagittarius is the Mutable Fire sign). This is an unlikely situation but it could well be the case that someone who is Sun sign Aquarius actually is predominantly Sagittarian, if say they had Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon in Sagittarius and one or two other planets in Fire or Mutable signs.

Chart interpretation though is a rather long process so I think we could only get the ball rolling and then let people take it from there for any detailed reading - unless the subject is particularly interested in a reading related to one area of their life.

isthmus nekoi
22-11-2002, 08:34
OK, calling for a basic restructuring here. If anyone has other ideas pls post b/c I'm not confident this new structure will work out.

You can probably tell I've been wanting to junk the sign/month idea. I'd like to study signs/houses by element and quality and link this up to the planets

1) Elements
2) Qualities
3) Planet breakdown
4) moving onto chart interpretation...

Let's begin w/fire since Sag is one of them. When I have time, I'll make an intro post about Sag, Aries and Leo and their respective houses 1, 5 and 9. b/c I'm tackling 6 areas (3 signs, 3 houses), this will be much more brief than the Scorpio thread.
As for time, I have no idea how long it will take for ppl to absorb the info. Let's play it by ear.

isthmus nekoi
23-11-2002, 01:46
moongold> Yay for astrology courses! And you're very welcome :)

Alright, will try to get the fire post sometime next week. The sun is now in Sag, so if anyone wants to stick to the old way of doing things, pls speak out *now*!

isthmus nekoi
26-11-2002, 04:15
- Will have fire thread up by end of week.

- Thinking that we can continue the sign/duration of sun transit for the 'application' thread. Did ppl find this helpful? Despite the fact we haven't covered all the basics I'm thinking it would be nice to keep the sign themed thread as I found it informative. I could get one started since the sun is already in Sag.

- Book recommendation: The Astrologer's Handbook by Frances Sakoian and Louis S. Acker. Has a nice starting point for interpreting aspects.

29-11-2002, 16:12
IT'S working nicely. Here's my take on the study group. I see it forming along the lines of everyone gets to bounce around thier own charts, focusing on this sign the sun is in at the time. we each all get to learn personalities/workings of the planet; sign; house; combinations of each of us. We have a month to post and feedback, but the thread remain there for further questions on the sign. I think BASICS threads are a good idea, like a reference index in a book. Minderwiz has been a wonderful 'coach', would that be a good call? (hehe). I'm glad to see this study group!!!

isthmus nekoi
30-11-2002, 01:58
I like the basic threads as reference, although certainly we could discuss the basics as well. Yes, thanks to Minderwiz for answering all our questions!!

I'm pretty busy this weekend. I'm not sure when I'll have the next element thread up. I think b/c the next sign up is Capricorn, I'll cover earth. If someone wants it up sooner, or wants to do another element, by all means, post away!

30-11-2002, 02:19
I've started a Chart interpretation thread, to run along side the Study Group - I'll keep things brief simply so that the general ideas can be followed and the Study Group threads can fill in the details as we go.

Now people are trying out their ideas and looking at their charts it helps if there's a structure that newbies can call on. I'll do an overview of elements, qualities, Yin/Yang, hemisphere analysis, and aspect patterns, sign and house rulers, and how to decide on importance of the features you find in your chart.

I don't want to dampen the Sagittarian enthusiasm but with Capricorn coming up next, some Saturnine structures may help ensure that the engergies are well directed.

isthmus nekoi
12-12-2002, 05:38
It seems to me that the application threads are going well b/c ppl are researching on their own. That's great! Um... so I think I'll cut out the intro element/quality threads since the information can be easily found on the net anyways!

12-12-2002, 06:19
Things seem to be going really well.

Minderwiz, your general overview on how to read your chart has been extremely helpful. You're not finished yet are you?

Has Lunalefay spoken with you any further about seeing each other's charts or is that idea in abeyance? You were thinking of web space too, Minderwiz.

Minderwiz, I agree with L. that you've been a great coach, Isthmus, you've also been quick with great comment and encouragement.

Thanks again


isthmus nekoi
12-12-2002, 07:38
OK, just went through some PM relay w/lunalafey who has been kind enough to start an account on astro.com for us!

For those who are interested in seeing their natal chart, and having others look at them when we're doing our application posts, please post your name here in this thread so lunalafey can PM you with the user name and password for the account!!

In other not so pressing news, I found some more great websites.

a wonderful site where you can read up on the Greek/Roman gods, as well as citations and resources from relevant material ie. stuff by Homer, Ovid etc. The stuff on Pluto is quite extensive, and if you were wondering about the Demeter/Orpheus connection etc it's all there ^_^

for those who are interested in the link b/w astrology and alchemy

12-12-2002, 07:38

No I'm not finished with the Chart reading thread, I'll begin on planets etc, soon.

On the charts issue - I will go ahead with some web space but it will be around or after Christmas - I was thinking of using the next couple of weekends on it but we are off to Dover the weekend of 21/22 December to take part in a TV Programme called Most Haunted Live. So I'm not sure how much I will be able to get done by Christmas.

Spirits Gift
17-12-2002, 09:18
Hi Isthmus,

Did I miss the discussion on my sign?
I'm not online much,so I'm sure I did...Any way to retreive it?

Spirits Gift.

Spirits Gift
17-12-2002, 09:21

I forgot to mention that my sign is Cancer :-)

Spirits Gift.

isthmus nekoi
17-12-2002, 09:30
nope! We've only done Scorpio and Sagittarius and will be moving to Capricorn shortly. So it will be awhile before we do Cancer!

isthmus nekoi
23-01-2003, 08:56
I've been noticing a drop in ppl posting - if this group is moving too fast again, please speak out! I think we can all empathize when astrological language quickly becomes too dense or cumbersome. Don't be afraid to ask for translations into normal English :) Also, pls don't feel pressured to post long winded essays like me!! (Of course, if you're all busy, I hope you'll join us again later on ^_^)

08-05-2003, 00:33
How do I best jump in? Can I? Where do I start?

I know absolutely NOTHING about astrology - but I want to learn, seriously, not from the bestselling crap-litterature in the subject...

(I'm also in a Swedish group for astrology, just joined, but already I'm seeing them focus on verbose-but-shallow litterature that I want to keep as far away from as I possibly can... :rolleyes: )

Can I start here, or do I need a basic platform to get started...?

Jenny - confused but curious :)

isthmus nekoi
08-05-2003, 00:48
Hi Jenny, welcome to the group! Since the group has been on for 1/2 a year now, you will need some basic astrology knowledge under your belt to understand some of the posts. ie. be able to define aspects, know the correspondences b/w signs, planets and houses. However, the group is always open to beginner's questions :) There are also a lot of great resources out there that are definetely not superficial to get you started, some of which I believe are mentioned on this thread. If you have any more questions, just shoot!

10-05-2003, 07:46
Thank you! I'm expecting my first book for astrology study next week, am eagerly waiting for it to start my learning journey...! :)

Jenny :)