Sunday, April 9

Natal Chart Synthesis

Native Astrology Chart Synthesis

* Factors Toning Each Planetary Principle :-

Each planet represents a specific dimension of experience. and that dimension of experience is toned or colored by a myriad of factors. In other words, how will each dimension of experience (shown by the planets) be toned or colored in your life? When you begin to examine all the factors toning each planet. so many things must be taken into account that, in fact, you have to use considerable psychic enemy to begin to feel them all at once. The analytical mind simply can't cope with such a variety and quantity of variables all at once. each of them having an effect in a slightly different degree.

The following factors all affect a particular planet and thus constitute the tones or colorations of a certain dimension of experience:

1) The planet’s Sign :- 

This is the fundamental energy wave and attunement of the planet in a particular chart, and it is symbolic of a dominant mode of expression of that planetary principle. Other factors modulate this basic attunement.

2) The planet's Subtone :-

This is the Sign position of the planet‘s dispositor, utilizing the ancient rulers only (8.3.. a person who has Moon in Virgo and Mercury in Sagittarius is a person who has a Virgo Moon with a Sagittarian Subtone).

3) The planet's close Aspects :- 

The major aspects, including all thirty-degree multiple angles, all noticeably color a planet‘s expression.

4) The planet's House position :-

For example. if a person's Venus is in the third house, it is similar to having a Mercury aspect to Venus. i.e.. a Mercurian tone is added to the basic Venus attunement.

One could go on adding various minor factors. but that would unnecessarily complicate what is already a very complex picture. Eventually. one would wind up having every planet influenced or "toned" by every other astrological factor! At a certain profound level of unity and wholeness, this is of course true. But for the practical purpose of chart synthesis in order to better understand specific qualities. energies. abilities. and problems of an individual, one must focus within certain limitations and guidelines. One needs to focus on the major reliable factors, especially those that repeat.

As an example. let’s consider a specific chart‘ and focus just on one planet. With the Moon in Sagittarius. there is a dominant Sagittarius tone to how this person reacts to all sorts of things and situations. The Moon principle is reaction-how do you react instinctively and spontaneously to anything? No matter what other factors are toning this person's Moon. them will always be some of that Sagittarius quality in the way he reacts to life's demands: bluntness. fiery defensiveness. broadmindedness. enthusiasm, tolerance. a need to link life's small events to larger issues. an urge to teach or to preach. and so on. Hence. the Sign position of the Moon is the dominant tone, but let us briefly consider the other factors that were just mentioned above.

The Subtone of the Moon: The Moon's subtone is Virgo since Jupiter. the ruling planet of Sagittarius. is in Virgo. So. this person is a particularly analytical Sagittarius Moon. Jupiter in Virgo is analyzing and trying to figure out why the lunar part of the self is so unwarrantedly optimistic. for Virgo can always find numerous problems! Virgo is square Sagittarius. after all. It does produce a very mental person when both of these signs are strongly energized. So. there is a Virgoan tone added to this person's Sagittarian Moon.

Aspects with the Moon : First and most importantly. the Pisces Sun is exactly square the Moon. The Pisces sensitivity is always “toning” or coloring the more forceful and relatively insensitive Sagittarian Moon, while simultaneously the Moon's enthusiastic, optimistic qualities are constantly coloring the expression of the usually cautious. introverted Pisces Sun. Mars in Aquarius, sextiling the Moon closely. adds another coloration of experimentation and adventuresomeness to the Sagittarian Moon. stimulating further the urge to travel and liking for change and excitement. This orientation is further amplified by the close Uranus aspect to the Moon, another indicator of this person feeling comfortable mainly when in the midst of variety. travel, learning. excitement. and change of all kinds. (Keep in mind that both Sun and Moon ave mutable signs, both of which therefore crave variety and are unusually flexible in adapting to changes.)

These various tones affecting the Moon are so far adding up to give a fairly clear and very strong single message. However, when one looks at the House position of the Moon. there appears a bit more complexity. The Moon is in the Second House, where it is usually quite comfortable. (The Moon is traditionally exalted in Taurus, the Sign associated with the second house.) However, when a person has this Second House tone of stability. reluctance to change, attachment to routine pleasures. end stubbornness added to a Moon that is otherwise just the opposite of those qualities. the astrological counselor has plenty of substantial issues and complex qualities to discuss with the client. (I should not leave this subject without acknowledging that this person has generally made his living through teaching. including through workshops and seminars that required travel. He has even taught long workshops in foreign countries, excellently symbolized by a Sagittarian Moon in the Second House!)

Human beings are so complex that. if you begin to talk about “chart synthesis" or “chart interpretation,” where is the end of it? Each planet is so interwoven with other factors and often incorporates such a complex of various tones and colorations that the astrology student, especially the beginner. often becomes extremely confused and discouraged. That is why the chart must always be related to specific issues. problems. decisions, and questions that the person is involved in. One needs to focus on what is important for the person in order not to get lost in endless possibilities. If one tries to do a “complete reading" for a person, there is no end to it; it is really an absolute impossibility. How could any of us ever sum up such a complex, infinite. and ever-changing mystery as a human being?

* Understanding Themes In the Birth Chart :-

After considering the various dominant tones affecting the personal planets of a chart, one may notice one or several tones that seem especially dominant by being repeated over and over. Recognizing such pervasive tones is the first step toward recognizing themes in any chart. One effective method of further understanding themes in a chart is to combine the chief factors of the chart by using the “twelve letters of the astrological alphabet” in all their combinations and seeing which combinations (or “interchanges") repeat significantly.

The astrological alphabet is basically as follows:

Letter 1: Aries. Mars & lst House

Letter 2: Taurus. Venus & 2nd House 

Letter 3: Gemini. Mercury & 3rd House 

Letter 4: Cancer, Moon & 4th House 

Letter 5: Leo, Sun & 5th House

Letter 6: Virgo, Mercury & 6th House

Letter 7: Libra. Venus & 7th House

Letter 8: Scorpio. Pluto & 8th House 

Letter 9: Sagittarius. Jupiter & 9th House 

Letter 10: Capricorn. Saturn & 10th House 

Letter 11: Aquarius. Uranus & 11th House 

Letter 12: Pisces. Neptune & 12th House

For example. if one's chart not only has Mars in Scorpio [an interchange between astrological letters 1 and 8, thus coloring or toning the expression of the Mars energy with a Pluto quality) but also includes a close Mars-Pluto aspect (another interchange of letters 1 and 8), there is a double emphasis on the same combination of energies: and hence, the expression of Mars energy will be powerfully characterized by Plutonian qualities. If Mars is also in the 8th house or if Pluto is in the 1st house. this theme will be even more dominant.

Another example might help to explain this mode of synthetic analysis. especially for beginning and intermediate students of astrology. Suppose a person has Mercury in Capricorn; this person's attunement of the conscious mind will inevitably share some fundamental qualities with all others who have this Mercury placement. But suppose this particular person also has Saturn in close aspect to Mercury. This gives us two different emphases on the same theme: an interchange of astrological letters (or principles) 3 and 10 (or between 6 and 10 if the Virgoan dimension of Mercury seems strong for this person). With such a double emphasis on the same fundamental dynamic, we know that this individual will have a strong propensity toward handling exacting detail, toward a serious and practical mode of thinking, toward nervous tension, and toward working hard to develop certainty about their ideas. If this person has other factors in the birth-chart which also represent interchanges between these same principles (such as Mercury in the 10th house or Saturn in the 3rd or 6th house). there would be even greater dominance of this theme in the person's life: and the astrologer could therefore know with certainty that this would have to be one of the major things discussed during the consultation.

Another area of interpretation and chart synthesis which students of astrology find difficult is the entire question of configurations between many planets, involving a number of different aspects. Ultimately, only years of experience and practice will enable the student to overcome this seemingly insurmountable obstacle; for one must develop the ability to see configurations in a chart as a whole and to blend the meaning of all the planets involved in such complex combinations. However. many textbooks are so filled with abstract theory about various configurations (grand trine, T-square, grand cross. kite. etc.) that they make the whole process seem much more difficult than it really is. What is usually ignored is the fact that all those various factors and details simply symbolize facets of one whole, living person. And. in such configurations. there are two basic things to keep in mind which are much more important than the exact type of configuration involved:

A. Rather than focusing upon the type of configuration being considered (for example. a grand trine, yod. kite, etc.], one must primarily understand the meaning of the planets involved and their specific interchanges with other planets in that configuration. One is then able to blend these meanings in a way which accurately reflects how an individual actually experiences these energies. Any of the traditional configurations can be productive and creative, regardless of beliefs to the contrary. since they all represent particularly intensified interactions of the energies and principles symbolized by the planets involved. Secondarily. one should blend the energies of the signs involved in the configuration.

B. Most of all. one should focus one's attention on any personal planet (or the Ascendant) involved in a configuration. for that factor symbolizes the most immediate mode of expression for the energies of the entire configuration; and it reveals a dimension of the individual's being which is usually at least partially conscious and therefore has a particularly direct impact on his or her everyday experience. An individual will be able to identify with the meaning of a personal planet, and thus will be more able to understand and perhaps to modify the expression of that energy.

Finally, I have been urged to include in this book a simple. systematic Outline of Chart Interpretation which lists a sequence of steps that beginners might follow in trying to understand any chart. Although “chart synthesis" will not develop just from following a sequence of guidelines, beginning students of astrology do need to start somewhere with an intelligent step by-step approach to interpretation. Therefore. 1 have adapted an Outline that I have used in many beginning astrology classes.

Following such a systematic approach does have its drawbacks; in reality. once a person has absorbed quite a lot of astrology. he or she will naturally tune into the major themes of that person‘s life and chart. replying to certain questions that a client may ask. and focusing on some chart factors while placing little emphasis on others. But that comes with experience. As I said above. people do need to start somewhere. and following this Outline will at least keep one oriented toward the major factors in a chart and keep one open to the wholistic nature of any chart and to the possibilities for chart synthesis.

The Outline includes a few chart factors and terms that are not explained in this book. but the reader can easily find the explanation for those terms in one of the astrological encyclopedias or major textbooks. It is outside the scope of this work to include all such traditional factors. An excellent explanation of virtually all astrological terminology is Nicholas Devore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology. an extremely intelligent and comprehensive work.

* Outline of Chart Interpretation :-

1. The Chart as a Whole :- 

A. Preponderance & Deficiencies Shown by Planets’ Positions

1. By Sign Placement  

a) Element (Fire. Earth. Air & Water Signs) 

b) Quadruplicity (Cardinal, Fixed & Mutable Signs)

2. By House Placement 

a) Angular, Succedent & Cadent 

b) Fire. Earth, Air & Water Houses

B. Note the overall pattern of the chart: use your intuition to see the chart as a diagram of energy patterns. Note immediately any clusters of planets (a "stellium"), which strongly emphasize particular signs and houses.

2. The Main Components of the Chart Structure :-

A. Using the Astrological Alphabet. note any major themes that emerge. Explore any tone that seems particularly dominant.

B. Dominant Aspect Patterns & Major Configurations (Grand Trine, T-Square. any Stellium. multiple aspects between a number of planets between two signs, etc.)

3. The “Lights" :-

A. Compatibility of Sun & Moon by element 

B. The Sun 

1. Sign 
2. House 
3. Closest Aspect(s) 

C. The Moon 

1. Sign 
2. House 
3. Closest Aspect(s)

4. The Angles :- (Birth time must be accurate to use these factors.)

A. Note especially any conjunctions to the ASC or Midheaven; these planets are invariably powerful and magnified in intensity.

B. The Ascendant

1. Sign and compatibility with Sun Sign by element
2. Closest Aspect(s)
3. Position by Sign & House of the Ruling Planet of the ASC. as well as its close aspects

C. The Midheaven

1. Sign 
2. Closest Aspect(s) 
3. Position by Sign & House of the Ruling Planet of the MC 

5. Traditional Techniques for Evaluation of Planets :-

A. Planets Weak or strong by sign placement (Planets in “Dignity." “Fall." “Exaltation,” or “Detriment").

B. Planets Weak or strong by house placement (e.g., a planet in its own house, with the same letter of the astrological alphabet. is always especially strong).

C. Note the Ruling Planet of the Sun Sign. its House, Sign & Aspects.

6. Pivotal Components of Chart Structure :-

A. look to the closest square or opposition involving a personal planet. indicative of a primary challenge in life where the person has to strive and potentially can achieve a new awareness.

B. Look to all conjunctions with personal planets, as well as other close aspects with the personal planets and their Signs and Houses.

C. Any planet in the lst House is very powerful: the closer to the ASC. the more powerful (including near the ASC on the 12th House side.)

D. The House Position of Saturn is always important.