|cosmological reference points
|An astrological chart
is created by converting a date, time and location into a plottable
format known as sidereal time.
Sidereal time is
defined as the hour angle of the vernal
equinox. When the meridian of the vernal equinox
is directly overhead, local sidereal time is
00:00. Greenwich Sidereal time is the hour angle of the vernal equinox
at the at
Greenwich, England (the prime meridian); local values differ according
to longitude. Eastward 15° in longitude, sidereal time is larger by
one hour. Unlike computing
local solar time, differences are counted to the accuracy of
measurement, not just in whole hours.
Sidereal time is used at astronomical observatories because it makes it
very easy to work out which astronomical objects will be
observable at a given time. Objects are located in the sky using right
relative to the celestial equator (equivalent to longitude and latitude
Birth Chart: What it shows
time of your birth and the location, are converted to sidereal time and
the date used to look up the positions of the planets
(ascension/declination) on your birth date at the sidereal time for
your birth & location. An Ephemeris with this information can be
obtained at good book stores and with patience, and a good head for
maths, it is quite straightforward to plot your own chart. What is
plotted are the positions, relative to you, of the bodies in our solar
system, including Chiron, the 'planetoid' and also the notional
locations of the North & South 'nodes' of the Moon. The Ascendant
is the 'rising' sign on the ecliptic horizon (see below) and the
(median coeli) is determined as is it's opposite point, the imum
These are the main points of reference used when drawing a birth chart.
associated with various gods, represent motivation.
Zodiac: How the Sky is Charted
Zodiac originated as a practical device for measuring time. Your chart
is a mapping of space and time, and you need to think in three
dimensions instead of a normal map's two. What is being charted is an
imaginary sphere, surrounding the Earth on which the stars appear to
lie. The earth eas, of course, conceived as being central to things and
the Sun appeared to move around it. The path the Sun appeared to take
is known as the ecliptic. Projecting the Earth's equator onto the
celestial sphere beyond gives a celestial equator - this intersects the
ecliptic twice: at the Vernal Equinox and again at the Autumnal
Equinox. The points at which the ecliptic is furthest from the equator
are the solstice points. These points mark out the year, the Vernal
Equinox starts the year (Aries), the first day of spring; then through
the summer solstice (Cancer) to the Autumn Equinox (Libra), on through
the winter solstice (Capricorn) and then the year begins anew. The
notional journey that the sun makes is divided into 12 parts, each of
30 degrees. The equator is divided into 24 parts (of 15 degrees) known
as 'hours' - beginning with The Ascendant sign at dawn, each sign
through this point in every 24 hours. The signs applied to the 12
divisions of the ecliptic are for convenience - an easy way to name a
section of sky, against which the planets of our system move, by using
the main constellation within it.This is the zodiac. The signs indicate how the motivation
(planets, above) will be applied.
The 'fixed' stars of the
constellations that give the zodiac it's sign names are used in the
oldest known form of astrology - and fixed star atsology is still
available today from a few astrologers, including Heart Shaped World.
area surrounding the earth is also divided into sections, known as
Houses. There are several different methods for determining these,
including an equal house system and several proportional systems based
on different timings and calculations - all of them use 12 divisions,
each 'ruled' by one of the zodiac signs according to the notional
starting point. These houses are each ascribed a sphere of human
life. The Houses (described
individually below) show in which sphere of life the motivation
(planets) and direction (signs) will be applied. Whilst
each House has a ruling sign and planet, these are not necessarily
located in that House at your time of birth but are more likely to be
influencing factors elsewhere.
||ruling sign and sphere of
well-being & motivation
This sign includes the Ascendant, or rising sign. The personality &
temperament, physical characteristics - all things outwards. A planet
within 10 degs of the Ascendant will have a powerful influence on these
|physical energy, initiative
Ares, a greek god lucky in war but not so in love. Originally an
agricultural god (as so many were, hence the associations with a system
deriving from an agricultural calendar). Mars is concerned with the
masculine nature - strongly sexual, aggressive, decisive, hasty,
positive, energetic. Rules Aries and has influence over Scorpio. Men
are from Mars....
Attitude to security, possessions & partners. Emotional &
financial security are closely linked as are money & love. Consider
the origins of private
|harmony, unison, love
... and women are
from Venus.The planet for lovers, concerned with personal relationships
and with the feminine nature - gentleness, tact, social graces, art,
fashion, negativity & indecision, dependence. This is so
sexist... but you have to forget gender when looking at Venus &
Mars. Associated with mighty Aphrodite, rules Taurus & Libra.
transport, early education
Communication, day to day travel, near relatives (other than parents),
the influence of school life
Hermes, not the accessories store. Messenger of Zeus. The
intellect, versatility, communications, also argumentative, critical,
tense and highly strung. Rules Gemini & Virgo.
The maternal influence especially. Emphasis on the
home also has a bearing on the
subject as a parent & home-maker.
|instinct, intuition, emotion, fluctuation
two sides to
feminity, beauty & cruelty, meet in the Moon. Circe, Selene,
Hecate... the Moon goddess has always been a strong cult and the tidal
tug of the Moon associates it with natural cycles. Cool, changeable.
pleasure, love affairs, risk-taking, father
The House of
Creativity: not simply through the arts but in all aspects of life -
interests, recreation and work. The parents relationship with children is included here also.
Whilst the 7th House shows emotional involvements, affairs begin here
in the 5th.
The Sun god has
ousted the Moon goddess. Masculine traits of controlling the chaos of
nature to bring forth culture are celebrated. Generosity of heart,
affection, magnanimity, creativity & joy, but also self-esteem and
the inclination to pomposity. Hot, reliable. Rules Leo.
exercise, routine, duty
Duty is a keyword
- 'servants' were once listed as a 6th house concern. Here it is our
'duty' to ourselves, in terms of how we manage our minds and bodies as
well as our sense of duty to the community we live in.
not the accessories store. Messenger of Zeus. The intellect,
versatility, communications, also argumentative, critical, tense and
highly strung. Rules Gemini & Virgo.
One to one
relationships, both emotional and business or creative, partners,
colleagues - even 'surrogate' partners, such as pets, consuming
interests, basket balls with names...
|harmony, unison, love
and women are from Venus.The planet for lovers, concerned with personal
relationships and with the feminine nature - gentleness, tact, social
graces, art, fashion, negativity & indecision, dependence.
so sexist... but you have to forget gender when looking at Venus &
Mars. Associated with mighty Aphrodite, rules Taurus & Libra.
Yes, it's a strange list. 'Death' refers to
interest in matters relating to the afterlife, but also refers to major
changes - rebirths, new beginnings. Sex - it is the house of the
life-force & sexual instincts are focused here. Traditionally,
also, the House of Crime, Research & Investigation.
|elimination, change, power
Pluto, the god, is
very much like Ares, another farming deity, this time promoted to
master of the Underworld. Concerned with human reproduction, buried
emotions - the subconscious, to overcoming obstacles. Also to slyness,
secretive behaviour, and with cruelty. Rules Scorpio (with help from
his buddy Mars).
travel, ideals, dreams, quests
Challenges & self improvement. Idealistic & philosophical
outlook. The law, publishing, language skills and long journeys.
|expansion - intellectual & physical
Concerned with learning, philosophy, languages, linked with optimism,
loyalty & justice, also with extravagance, elf-indulgence &
conceit. Rules Sagittarius and has an influence over Pisces.
Authority, and how we exercise it, social status, tradition, life
progress. How we cope with power and responsibility.
|stability, restriction, limitation, control
Another farmer-deity, gives us Christmas (Saturnalia). Perseverance
& tenacity, practicality & cautiousness, selfishness,
narrow-mindedness. Rules Capricorn, has significant influence
||friends, social life, conscience & objectives
The importance of the social circles & friendships, social
conscience & causes, objectives outside career interests
|change, disruption, shock (& awful puns)
You don't want to know the mythology (it involves
incest & genital mutilation so its probably the ruler of Channel 4
documentaries). Originality, versatility & independence, this
planet embodies human spirit in many ways, so also, sadly,
eccentricity, perversion, deviation, sexual excess and breakdowns.
Rebellion is also attributed to Uranus. Rules Aquarius (with help from
||Seclusion, escapism, secrets, institutions, faith
unconscious / subconscious, psychological roots, sacrifice / altruism.
The nature of issues which can lead to 8th House new beginnings when
addresed. Traditionally the House of Hospitals & Prisons.
sea god, also ruler of lakes and rivers, associated with horse racing.
Connected with the arts, especially poetry and dance. Idealism,
imagination and sensitivity but also carelessness, indecision and
deceit. Rules the most watery of water signs, Pisces (with help from
other astrological points of reference
comet, half asteroid, Chiron has been a recognised part of the
astronomical furniture of our system since 1977. Named for the last of
the Centaurs, the mythological associations of Chiron as healer,
teacher, seer and hunter - he could well be the 'patron god' for the
SAS, motto 'who dares wins'. The influence is one of bravery, daring,
assertiveness and healing through taking action. Astrologers are still
arguing but I'd add Chiron as a strong influence on Aquarius, and also
on Virgo and Libra.
that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the
time of birth (or of any astrological event being charted). The
ascendant signifies awakening consciousness, in the same way
that the Sun's appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of
a new day.
The ascendant has a strong bearing on
a person's physical appearance and marks the manner in which someone
presents themself to the world, and how they adapt to their environment
- which can mask a concealed inner nature. It can be equal to the Sun
Sign in influence.
|The North Node
Draconis caput, 'Dragon's Head' is where the northwards Moon crosses
the plane of the ecliptic. The nodes represent how we relate to others,
this north node is akin to Jupiter's expansive, more optimistic outlook.
||The South Node
||The Draconis cauda,
'Dragon's Tail' is where the southwards Moon crosses the plane of the
ecliptic. The nodes represent
how we relate to others, this south node is akin to Saturn's
restrictive, more pessimistic outlook.
meridian is an imaginary line drawn from pole to pole, thus the
meridian for your place of birth is such a north-south line running
through it. Where this meridian line meets the ecliptic is the
mid-heaven (medium coeli or MC). The MC tells us what the subject
identifies with - the characteristics of the sign on the MC will be
important to the subject.
point precisely opposite the MidHeaven (medium coeli). It symbolizes
various reference points listed above produce interpretations of
planets in houses, signs in houses, planets in signs, plus the other
reference points (nodes, MC, IC). The The relationship of the planets
and other points to each other adds a vast amount more - these
'aspects' are formed where a particular geometric relationship exists:
that relationship has to be 'in orb', which is to say aligned within a
certain number of degrees to each other. Aspects calculated are:
Conjunctions, which can be positive or negative; Trines,
Sextiles, both positive; and Oppositions, Squares, Semi-Squares,
Quincunx, Sesquare & Semi Sextile, all negative, the last two being
classed as 'weak'. Although 'negative', many of these latter aspects
can be strongly motivational.
considerations exist when looking at interpretations of character and
behaviour through astrology, and amongst these are the triplicities
(the elements) and quadruplicities (the qualities). The elements
(air/earth/fire/water) are covered in detail individually - see the
links at the top of the page. The qualities are listed below.
go-getters. Driver-types. Vexed by indecison.
by emotional instability.
||Adaptable. Flexible, malleable.
Changeable-types. Vexed when tied down.
quick character analysis can be determined by the predominant element
& quality (determined by the number of planets charted in those
signs). A quick 'compatability' check can be made in the same way - a
'fixed' Leo may struggle with an inherently unstable mutable sign -
who, in turn, will find the rigid, stuck fixed signs tricky. Cardinals
often get on best with other cardinals. It is, though, a
very broad picture, and firm decisions should not be made at such a
a further point
to consider in terms of compatability is the attraction of opposites factor. This
table shows the polar opposite signs.