Friday, August 24, 2007

So long, Saturn!

It turns out that two of my co-workers have Cancer rising, as do I. This led to a discussion about how sucky the last couple of years have been--first with Saturn's limiting influence in our first houses and now with the financial restrictions it has placed upon our second houses. But all that's due to lighten up as Saturn moves out of Leo and into Virgo. Whew! Big sigh of relief...

Anyway, the conversation reminded me of how much I missed talking about astrology. I used to dabble in it a while back--doing natal chart readings and synastry comparisons for friends and acquaintances. Even skeptics were intrigued after listening to me talk about the different influences in their charts.

The main thing to keep in mind about astrology is that it's not just about "What's your sign, baby?" The sun sign--that is the astrological cycle occurring when you were born--is just one piece of the puzzle. So the correct answer to "what's your sign?" is "All of them." Each individual chart is comprised of all twelve signs, all twelve houses and all ten planets. Throw in some nodes, Chiron and some assorted asteroids and you've got yourself an astrological chart that's almost as unique as a fingerprint.

The other thing to keep in mind about astrology is that it's not about fate or predictions, it's about cycles and energy. Sure, having Jupiter transit your tenth house is a great time to make advances in your career, but if you never take advantage of it--meet with a headhunter, revamp your resume, get out to networking events--then you're not using the energy or the cycle to your advantage.

If you're interested in checking out what your natal chart looks like, all you need is your date, place and time of birth. The time is very important because it determines your ascendant and the rest of the house delineations. You can guess-timate it, but your best bet is birth records. Fortunately I was born in an army hospital and have it written up in military time. The best source for free natal charts is AstroDienst aka They have a whole menu of charts as well as a function where you can log in and get a personalized daily horoscope based on your natal vs. transiting planets. Star IQ also has a personalized horoscope function via e-mail, as well as loads of interesting info and articles.

To interpret what your chart means--your Sun in the fifth house, your moon in Pisces, etc.--I highly recommend Steven Forrest's The Inner Sky as a resource. The book lays out each sign, planet and house and gives wonderfully clear and insightful stories for each. I also love Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope by Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson. This book explores all the different myths associated with the signs and planets and really helped me gain a deeper understanding of the meanings behind the symbols. For a more psychological approach to chart reading, Stephen Arroyo's Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements has a very Jungian approach to interpreting charts. Not surprising, since Jung himself used astrology in his practice.

If reading your horoscope is enough for you, then at least check out the work of some of my favorite astrologers on-line. (Those Chinese fortune cookie type blurbs in your morning newspaper are what gives astrology a bad name!):

Jon Cainer writes horoscopes for the UK Daily Mail as well as posting daily, weekend, week ahead, monthly and year ahead predictions for each sign on his website. That's over 4,000 horoscope a year!

Rob Brezny's Free Will Astrology is posted weekly and features his trademark poetic, hippie optimism. Sample for Cancer:

According to the Haggadah, an ancient Jewish text, the first thing God made, before anything else, was the Torah. This book was "written with black fire on white fire." The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet became the raw materials out of which the Divine One forged heaven and earth. Now you, Cancerian, have a chance to get firsthand evidence of the power that language has to shape experience. In the coming days, I suggest that you formulate what you say with great precision. The words you use will have the power of the ancient magical incantation, abracadabra, which is derived from the Aramaic word meaning "I create as I speak."
Eric Francis is a prolific and passionate writer, journalist, activist, photographer and astrologer. He's also a Pisces. His Planet Waves is more than just horoscopes. It's a wealth of information on planetary influences, with special emphasis on his favorite planet--Earth.

Shakespeare got it right when he said: "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." But knowing and understanding your "stars" and the cycles can improve your odds at controlling your destiny. At least that's what this Capricorn sun with Cancer rising and a Gemini moon thinks!

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