Have you ever wished life came with a map? I can't tell you how many times I've contemplated my own life purpose. And who hasn't sought the advice of a trusted confidant when contemplating job offers, relationships, where to live, (fill in the blank with your own dilemma)?
Sometimes it seems like we're all a bunch of lost souls drifting through life, taking shots in the dark.
Which is why you should start taking astrology seriously.
I'm not saying flip to the horoscope page in the back of the newspaper and heed every bit of ambiguous absurdity it offers. Indeed, those crappy, computer-generated, sun sign horoscopes are the bane of every astrologer. What I am telling you to do is get a copy of your birth chart and learn how you as an individual connect to this Natural World. Just like seasonal and daily cycles, natural rhythms live within us and your birth chart helps you become aware of those rhythms. Astrology is associated with the esoteric teaching that "As Above, So Below; So WithIn, So WithOut" because what's happening in the cosmos and in the natural world, is reflected in our physical/emotional/spiritual bodies.
To put it simply, we all came into this life with a soul purpose, and astrology can help us realize that purpose. because our birth charts hold valuable information about our unique strengths, challenges and the re-ocurring patterns in our lives. Understanding this information leads to greater self awareness. And the more self-awareness you have, the more empowered you become. You just need to learn the celestial instructions that have been known since ancient times.
Your birth chart is essentially a snapshot of the sky at the moment you left your mother's womb and entered into this physical existence. The planets were all in certain zodiac signs, and the location where you were born determines the houses those planets and signs fall into. These placements all influence you and your life path.
At first glance, your birth chart will likely leave you in a daze, with symbols and geometric shapes floating in your head. It's important to know, what you're looking at holds layers of information about your soul, and deciphering it is like peeling an infinite onion. A thorough study of the birth chart is truly a jump down a rabbit hole, but it is possible to stay a simple course. Indeed, your birth chart can be used as a map that helps you navigate specific areas of life and provides insight on your strengths and weaknesses and how you can best maneuver through specific areas of life.
The first thing to know about your chart and astrology in general is that you are more than your sun sign, so forget about associating yourself solely with this ONE zodiac sign where this ONE planet is placed. There are another 9 planets involved in the making of you (yes, I'm including the sun and moon as planets and yes, I know they aren't planets. That's just how astrologers keep things simple in a very complex study). So while the Sun represents (simply put) your conscious self, ego and the core of who you are, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto also have a say in the makeup of your unique self and life. (Simply put) the Moon represents your subconscious, emotions and instincts; Mercury is your intelligence and communication style; Venus shows what you desire; and Mars shows your energy and outward strength. Saturn and Jupiter have a less personal effect on your individualism and relate more to your outer environment and the social issues affecting you. The remaining 3 planets - Uranus, Pluto, and Neptune - are known as the outer planets or transpersonal planets, and they move at a much slower pace than the others, causing their effects to be expressed externally on whole generations of people. These outer planets also hold a lot of information about your soul evolution and past lives - as do the Lunar Nodes (North Node and South Node). But that's another lesson too complex for this simple introduction.
In general, the planets represent the WHAT in the story of you and your life (your will, your emotions, your intelligence, your pleasure). They are the players, and the style of energy they'll possess comes from the zodiac sign the planet inhabits. The zodiac signs are HOW the planets will manifest in you. For better or for worse, the zodiac sign colors how your vitality (Sun), emotions (Moon), intelligence (Mercury), etc manifest. For example, Pisces has a style that's artistic, dreamy, and intuitive, while Aries has a brash, courageous, and willful style. Someone with their Moon (emotions, instincts) in Aries will instinctively react and emotionally feel things differently than someone with a Moon in Pisces.
The third key component to your birth chart is the Houses. These are numbered 1-12 and may coincide with the zodiac sign placements, but don't confuse the two as they depict different things. While the zodiac signs represent the style of energy that is expressed, the Houses show the areas of life representing the quintessential human experience. The Houses show WHERE you can expect a zodiac sign's style to express most dominantly.
Learning to understand these 3 components (planets, signs, houses) and weave together their meanings is the first step in reading your natal chart. A lot of core information can be deduced from weaving this web. However, a more complete picture comes when you learn about aspects - the dynamic relationship between planet placements that determines whether a planet's energy will manifest easily or with difficulty. Learning about the aspects lets you in on where life may flow harmoniously and where you may struggle and learn hard lessons in order to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually. After mastering the aspects, you can get into progressions and transits, and learn to prepare for planetary aspects.
But for now, start by downloading your free birth chart (try Astro.com). Also visit my page titled Archetypes for a brief overview of what each planet, sign, and house represents.
And stay tuned for more articles that will teach you how to read your own cosmic map and lead a more purposeful life.
Disclaimer: While it is my goal to help you learn to read your own chart (astrology should be taught in school!), I do offer various types of birth chart readings. Please see my Services page to find out more.