ASTROLOGY FOR BEGINNERS
(AND AN OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT ECLIPSE)
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Greetings dear reader. How are you feeling this week? As for myself I am ready for a week long vacation coming up at the end of the month. I have decided to turn it into a week long at home retreat. I will practice silence and turn off my phone and computer for a week. I am very much looking forward to it. Unplugging from the world seems to be a healthy choice for maintaining mental and physical health in a time when we are inundated with information from sun up to sun down on a daily basis.
A SOUL BLUEPRINT
What is a Soul Blueprint ? I think of a soul blueprint as all of the ingredients of your soul that make you uniquely who you are. These are imprints that are with you from birth, long before any other imprints leave their mark on you. We are all a conglomeration of every imprint impressed upon us since birth. These imprints come in the form of experiences, traumas, things we learn in school, things our parents, friends, mentors and family teach us. They are the societal norms and social mores that shape us, our ideas of right and wrong, our views and perspectives which have been shaped by our experience, environment and choices.
Our Soul Blueprint is unique to our self. The secondary imprints such as those just mentioned act as an interface with our original blueprint. One of my greatest inquiries in life, is who am I beyond all of these secondary imprints? Beyond the beliefs and the molding and shaping, beyond the crystalized thoughts and rigid beliefs? How can I truly interact with life as an unadulterated spirit who is not trying to protect herself from the scars and fears that have settled in long after the traumatic experiences have faded?
I think of Anubis weighing the heart at the time of death against the white ostrich feather of Ma’at. Will my heart be lighter than the feather? I do not think of death as a time of judgement, nor heaven as a place to go. I think that the amount of baggage we carry affects the weight of the soul and therefore affects the performance of our vehicle as we travel on this plane, the inner planes and the many planes of existence.
Our transgressions do not weigh us down due to an external force of judgement, but because of the weight we carry in our heart over them. Are we listening to ourselves, or an outside force? Are we using this life to evolve our soul? Are we learning to find neutrality in our heart space in a world of polarity and duality? Are we utilizing our potential? Are we forging a life that makes us lighter or weighs us down? For me personally, a transgression is anything that goes against the will of our heart, soul or higher self.
I am mentioning this because I think eventually we must learn to transform the interface of secondary impressions. We are here to discover the truth of who we are and to make our hearts as light as a feather. To know and understand what we came in with (our soul blueprint) is a valuable tool to learn about ourselves and bring greater clarity to how and why we respond to life the way we do. When we use the tools I am about to share, we have the advantage of knowing what gifts and challenges we came in with. We can then utilize those gifts and challenges to navigate our soul journey in a human body during our life here in Earth school - the University of Life.
TOOLS IN THE TOOL BOX
A carpenter can not build a house with a hammer alone. A carpenter needs, saws and levels, a measuring tape and many other tools to build a house. Our life is like a house that we are building and remodeling all the time. Like a carpenter, we are much better off if we have a toolbox full of tools. You can not cut with a hammer , or pound with a saw. Different tools serve different purposes.
Throughout the ages humanity has developed different tools to help us understand ourselves,evolve our soul, and construct our house of life. Some of these tools are ancient, while others are more new on the scene. When a carpenter sets out to build a house , he starts first with the blueprint. Without a blueprint, he has no knowledge of the architecture of the house he wishes to build.
Our Astrological Chart is Our Blueprint
At the time you are born, the stars are all placed in the sky in a particular arrangement. Your astrological chart is a snapshot of that arrangement. Your chart offers you information of your patterns, gifts, challenges, strengths and weaknesses. Each of the 12 houses that make up your chart has a different theme. The placement of signs and planets in those houses is the information of your architecture. An astrologer is someone who can decipher your chart and offer you myriad insights into how you are built and how to work with the material you came in with.
Much like nature , cycles, seasons and so forth, there are notable patterns in your chart. Your chart is not static. Of course the original snapshot stays the same, but planets move in and out of each of the houses in your chart. These transits create dynamics that can either challenge you and promote growth, or lend themselves toward highlighting opportunities present for you at the time. Many people do not give much credence to astrology and I feel that is usually because they do not understand it.
I have had my chart read many times, and although I am not equipped to read anyone else’s chart; I can definitely see how my own chart does indeed carry the material and themes I am working with in my life. I personally find it helpful to have what is called a transit reading done twice a year. It is useful for gaining insight about the opportunities and challenges headed my way; so I can better navigate the challenges gracefully and maximize the opportunities.
Having payed attention to astrology for decades, I can see how the placement of stars and planets has shaped: individuals, nations, countries and history. Even countries have their own natal charts including all the same material that an individual person’s chart contains. Getting to know and understand astrology has helped me to feel not at the affect of life, but rather a conscious participator in the direction of my life. It also helps me to not be so hard on myself, as I know that in some ways I am built as I am, and it is important to honor that.
Naturally no one is static, and so using the transits to work with patterns which no longer serve and forge a new way of moving, can be very helpful. If nothing else it will help ferry you through the current tide with more awareness of your surroundings. Think of it as a navigational tool.
SIDEREAL VS. TROPICAL ASTROLOGY
I do not purport to be a teacher of any sort. I am a person who is very curious about life and all of the things which comprise our human existence. In some ways I am like a bee who collects pollen from many flowers in order to make the honey of life. I never pretend to be an expert at something I am not. I do not attempt to teach anything beyond the level of my own understanding. I am someone who likes to reach outward from the realm of possibility to those who are curious, but may still be on the fence about something, or who are just beginning to explore that there just may be something beyond the reality that has been painted for us.
I am not an expert astrologer. I only know that astrology has been and continues to be an useful tool to understand myself and the world and cosmos of which I am a part. If I were to attempt to explain the difference ( between Tropical and Sidereal Astrology), it would envelop the entire remainder of the article, so I have provided an explanation here.
Briefly, Sidereal Astrology is more aligned with astronomy, meaning it reflects an accurate snapshot of where the stars and planets were truly, actually and literally placed in the sky when you were born. This is not the case with Tropical Astrology.
There is also a 13 Sign Astrology. If you are curious what your Sun sign is within this system, you can take a look here.
To obtain a free astrological chart, you can go here. You can create a free account, input your birth data and voila - you will be given a chart. It will be saved to your account and can also be printed out. This is a Tropical astrology website. They also provide “Locational Charts “ (a.ka. astrocartography) which will tell you which places in the world are more suitable or less suitable to live based on your natal chart.
To obtain a free astrological chart using Sidereal astrology (real sky astrology ) click here. Another interesting option is to see the Tropical and Sidereal charts side by side. For that option click here.
How the Heck Do I Read My Chart?
Great question! If you have never attempted to read your chart, it may just look like a circle with a bunch of symbols in it. This free guide is easy to understand and makes it as simple as 1,2,3. Studying your chart can be a passing fancy or a lifelong discovery, it all depends on where you want to take it. I personally find value in having my chart read, but I also like to explore my chart on my own as well. If you are ready to take a peek, so you can see just how easy they make it, you can click here. You will want to have a copy of your chart either printed, downloaded or open in a tab, so that you can view it while using the instructions.
Planets in the Houses
“If the signs of the zodiac show “how” planets express themselves, the houses of the natal chart reveal “where” these energies play out.”
Each of the twelve houses of a chart rules certain areas of life, types of people and relationships, environments, ideas, and life circumstances.
“Your experience of a particular planet or body in your natal chart is modified not only by its sign placement and its aspects, but also by its house placement.”
The following are interpretations of the planets in the houses of the natal chart.
Thoughts of an Astrologer
While writing this yesterday, I decided to call my dear friend Mari Red Moon. She and I have been friends for twenty years. I met her in Santa Fe when I was working at a local tea house. She was the resident Tarot reader there, and that is how our friendship began. Mari is now seventy six years young and has been studying and practicing Tarot and Sidereal Astrology since she was nineteen, I bet not many people know someone who can say that.
Mari and I have a very special heart connection. She is like a sister, friend , mentor and mother to me. She is the same age my mother would be had she not passed away so early on. I am the same age as her daughter who transitioned four years ago.
Mari was studying astrology long before computers. She was drawing charts by hand. There was no internet. All she had were books and mentors. She mentions finding books for fifty cents by anonymous astrologers in no need of credit for their work. They merely wished to share information, some of which was considered a forbidden and closed off avenue during that time.
In her thirties she spent six months in an ashram in India in the Punjab region. It was a walled community with libraries, temples and living quarters. She spent much time at the libraries there studying Vedic and Sidereal astrology. Due to the fact that she was not allowed to check any books out, she would spend long hours pouring over astrology books at the library.
She is a strict and classic sidereal astrologer. She does not participate in the ongoing arguments between Tropical and Sidereal astrology. She says that there is no argument. She simply says that when you try to project a man made idea ( Tropical Astrology zero point) onto a cosmic living energy, it does not stick. She says that Tropical astrologers seem to have a consensus that a collective agreement somehow overrides the truth. She shared that Vedic astrology is the root of the sidereal astronomical zero point ( a.k.a the sidereal vernal point). For a further explanation you may refer to the link in the second paragraph of the Sidereal vs. Tropical Astrology section as seen above.
She explains, “Planets and their aspects are primary, signs are secondary. The planets are a force, the signs are not. The planets are the force and the influencers that activate the signs. “ She calls Astrology, “ The Magnificent Science of the Stars”. She also states that people can tend to use their sign as an excuse and a defense, which deprives them from any real understanding and insight.
Hybrid Solar Eclipse April 19th and 20th
( TIME ZONE DEPENDENT )
A hybrid eclipse is a type of solar eclipse that looks like an annular solar eclipse or a total solar eclipse, depending on the observer's location along the central eclipse path.(source) While on the phone with Mari, I asked her about the eclipse. On occasion I am moved to incorporate a self-created ritual or ceremony on full or new moons, equinoxes and solstices and sometimes during an eclipse.
There has been so much buzz about this one, that I have decided to perform a ritual and I wanted to ask her for some context, so I could know what intentions I would like to include in my ceremony. Only 3% of every 224 eclipses ( which happen in the course of a century) are hybrid eclipses, which makes them quite rare.
Eclipses happen in pairs. So we will have one eclipse on the new moon (April 2oth) and another eclipse on the full moon (May 5th). The new moon eclipse will bring the end of the old and the beginning of the new. We are moving from the unknown and undefined to the defined and clarified. I won’t bring all of the planets and signs into the picture because some of you may follow Tropical astrology and others Sidereal or Vedic. Others may be confused by astrological jargon altogether.
Mari shared that this eclipse has lots of fiery energy. She imagines a fiery consciousness pushing through density in the same fashion lava flows up and out of a volcano. She said it has a connection to the right use of will. She sees the pineal gland involved and a merging of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. She mentioned having open vision and a release of old traumas and beliefs.
She sees lots of new coming in. She also mentioned that with everything aligned as it is, this eclipse could highlight conflict and lend itself to storms and floods on the earth, but also in the psyche. She explained that planets set up in the current configuration could also mean too much fiery will with a locomotive effect backed by combustible energies. Hold onto your hats everybody!
So it looks like this is a good time to let go of what no longer serves, open our vision, part with the old, ring in the new, merge our polarity and use our will to push our consciousness through density. She did say that it is very important right now to honor our will and intention. She said to keep an eye on any possible internal explosions. It is o.k. if your volcano explodes and the lava flows, just don’t spew it on anyone - it’s your lava aftreall.
If you are really into astrology, eclipses, full moons and new moons, I highly recommend this video covering April 20th through May 5th (full moon). This man is skilled and insightful and he follows Sidereal astrology. You can find his video here.
Wrapping it Up
In summation, learning about your chart is a great way to learn things about yourself you may not have previously known. It helps you to see the cards you were dealt at birth and how best to play them for your ultimate growth and benefit. Living in the modern world means that literally every aspect of your chart, including transits and beyond is available for you to access online. While you can obtain invaluable information from a professional astrologer who can read your chart for you, you can also practice reading your own chart and gain deep insight by building your own personal relationship with it.
Astrology goes far beyond pop culture daily horoscopes. and is a valuable tool which has helped humanity navigate for thousands of years. It has played a role in guiding rulers, nations, countries and individuals. Pay attention to astrology for long enough and you will be able to see discernable patterns in themes that play out in decades, centuries, millenia and epochs as well as in your own life.
If you like listening to YouTube videos on astrology as it applies to you personally, but also how it plays out on the world stage, I highly recommend Molly McCord. She gives both monthly and weekly updates as well as covering topics directly related to personal charts and even national charts. You can find her channel here. Pam Gregory is another very insightful astrologer. You can find her channel here. Both of these astrologers practice Tropical astrology.
My favorite Sidereal astrologer on YouTube can be found here.
To make this guide more user friendly, I have taken the links which I have shared throughout the article and put them all in one place ( below). This way, should you ever want to explore your chart further you can come back for the links without having to reread the whole article. You may also feel free to copy and paste the links somewhere for safekeeping if you feel this will be an ongoing endeavor for you. Or you can just copy and paste the link to this post somewhere handy.
As always , if you know someone who would appreciate this article, I encourage you to share. Thank you dear reader for being here. I envision you making the most of these eclipses and the new moon and full moon upon us. May your chart become your guide and companion that helps ferry your boat as you navigate the waters, currents and tides of your life.
WORKING WITH YOUR OWN CHART
Free Tropical Chart: Click here.
Free Sidereal Chart (real sky astrology) : Click here.
Side by Side Tropical and Sidereal Chart:Click here.
A Simple Guide to Reading You Chart: Click here.
Interpretations of Planets in the Houses ( more important than signs, as the activate the signs ) : Click here.
Planetary Aspects: Click here.