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Consize Astrology lessons

(added november 15th 2006)

Part 1

(Click here for Part 2, here for Part 3, here for Dutch lesson.

Sample of an Horoscope, where we can see the Signs, the Planets and the Houses:

The sun here is in taurus on the cusp of the 7th house, the moon is in sagittarius and the 2nd house, venus is in gemini and the 8th house; the ascendant (and start of the 1st house) is in scorpio and the MC (midheaven and start of the 10th house) is in leo; the moon has the following aspects: triangle mercury, opposition venus, square uranus and pluto, etc. We shall talk about the various factors and placings in these lessons as they develop.

Part 1.

Contents: 1-Astrology general. 2-The calligraphy. 3-Root-meanings zzodiacal signs. 4-Root-meanings astrological planets. 5-The aspects. 6-The Rulers.


1. Astrology general.

In these lessons we shall talk mainly about horoscopes of human beings, how to understand their character and their stronger and weaker points and the instruments they have and how best to use them. To learn to see and then to explain people how best to attain their potential. One can call this the psychological branch of astrology. There are many other branches of astrology: predictive astrology, which one can see as an addition to all branches, such as medical astrology, financial astrology and mundane astrology. As we have to have a basis knowledge of psychology for judging a character, we obviously need knowledge respectively of medicine, of financial markets and human history for the other branches.

The most important factors, that we see in the horoscope picture are: the zodiacal Signs, the Planets, the Aspects, the Houses and the cusps and rulers of the houses.

Basically the horoscope analysis is combining, with imagination, the root-meanings of those factors. Parts of our analysis can lead to different conclusions in different fields, but in the end all factors have their part in the total analysis, the grand picture.
But: combining, analysing without judging, condemning!
Apart from imagination the interpretation of a horoscope asks for experience: while analysing one learns, with each following horoscope one will know a bit more. And by listening to the people when discussing their horoscope, one hears their stories, their experiences, fears, blockades, successes and can learn a lot. Discussing with someone his/her horoscope should never be a monolgue of the astrologer, but rather a dialogue between two human beings.

In a "birth" horoscope, which we call the radix or radix horoscope, we shall obtain a growing insight, a growing picture of what is expressed by the horoscope; what is the character, what are the possibilities and situation of the person in question. How are his/her fundamental reactions, what events come his/her way, how can he/she get a better grip on life.

Other forms of astrology work with the same principle of combining and analysing the horoscope factors, such as relation astrology, predictive astrology etc, but then 2 horoscopes may be taken together in the analysis, being compared, such as of 2 persons (relationship), of a person and a date (predictive); how do the 2 horoscopes interact; where do they support, where ask new questions, where show difficulties on the road. In part 3 of these lessons I hope to go deeper into this subject, but it is clear that one has to understand to analyse one horoscope before starting to combine several.

We will now write down the most essential of the various horoscope factors as mentioned above; on these essentials one can enlarge and add lateron, as may be necessary. It is possible to write one after the other the various root-meanings and root-meanings combinations and use that as a basis for the personal story as expressed by the horoscope or a "close-up" on part of that story.

De (zodiacal) Signs indicate the "how", the colour. For instance cautious, pragmatic, protecting, open to influences, distant etc.
The planets give us the "what". For example the energy, the harmony, the communicating etc.
The Aspects indicate "what with what", how a planet or ascendant/mc, the "what" acts towards another planet/ascendant/mc and towards that other "what", how these "whats" cooperate or maybe do not cooperate together.
The Houses indicate the "where", the area of life. For exmple the neighbourhood, foreign countries, mariage, health, society or finances etc.
The Cusps or starting points of the houses show by the sign they are in the "how" of the area indicated by the house.
The Rulers of the houses one can see as the representatives of the life area of their house and so indicate "how and where" that life area gets support and where it is directed at.

This may all sound rather complicated, but by and by things will fall into place.

2. De calligraphy.

The calligraphy, the symbols, the way the signs and planets are written is very symbolic indeed.

a. The signs:

Aries: The horns of the ram with the staff of willpower. Or a head with the famous ram eyebrows, starting from the nose. The one that walks ahead.
taurus: The head of the bull, symbolising the somewhat slow character, the care-taking nature, head low to protect cows and the meadow.
gemini: The arms and lungs, the Roman character for the number 2, 2 children. The principle of communication, being busy with various things at the same time.
cancer: The feeding breasts, the mother breast. The principle of looking after people or things.
Leo: The heart or the tail of the lion. Symbolizes the purpose of life, to be worthy.
Virgo (virgo): Grain that is being harvested, the mower. The principle of servitude and regulation.
Libra: A balance, the harmony of the setting sun. The principle of harmony and relationship.
Scorpio: The (male) sexual organs, the scorpion that defends and attacks with its poisonous tail. The principle to go to extremes.
Sagittarius: The arrow on its way to its objective. The principle of the larger issues.
Capricorn: An old form of the horn of the ibex; the bendy way to the top, the knees and joints. The principle of steadely going up the mountain.
Aquarius: Water; 2 snakes, the sign of knowledge, electrical currents. The principle of humanitair thinking.
Pisces: The 2 fishes that swim in opposite directions and still belong together, that go with the current. The principle of being part of the larger world and listening without protective borders.

b: The planets: Also sun and moon (often called "the lights") are for convenience's sake called "planets" in astrological language.
The planets are named after old Gods; from those names we can already glimpse a lot of their essential "character". See the planets as energies, as Gods that work in you, represent parts of you.
The Sun: the circle with the dot in the middle: the symbol for the eternal, the life-giving force.
The Moon: the halffull moon or 2 half circles: symbol of the female principle of receiving; the soul, the reflective, the variable.
Mercury: The antenna-disk of receiving and under it the lifegiving force, the earthy cross: symbol of the messenger of the Gods, the communicator.
Venus: the circle of the lifegiving force and under it the earthy cross: symbol of harmony and relating.
Mars: The earthy cross (changed here into an arrow) has precedence here/is above the lifegiving force: symbol of energy, agression, standing up for the "me".
Jupiter: the half-circle of the soul, to the left and above the earthy cross: symbol for the positive, for expansion.
Saturn: The same symbols as Jupiter, but here the earthy cross left and above the half-circle: symbol for tradition, rules, responsibility, form-giving.
Uranus: the receiving half-circle with the earthy cross and under it the lifegiving circle: symbol for the sudden, the new, the future.
Neptune: Discovered in 1846, the trident, or the antenna of the soul, and under it the cross and the lifegiving force: symbol for non-existant borders, the absorbing.
Pluto: discovered in 1930; the P, or the earthy cross with under it the half-circle: symbol of transformation, of going to the limit.
Other symbols:
the moon knodes: (halfcircle with 2 little circles at each end, always opposite each other. The Southknode: the old and known and the Northknode: the new and unknown.
Earth: (circle with a cross within): that what suits you.
Cheiron: (C), the painfull spot, the old wound.

3. Root-meanings of the Signs (a detailed description of each sign will follow later in these lessons). Please bear in mind, that we talk about broad meanings; for instance direct includes also lack of tact if it is exagerated; energetic also includes agressive if it is exagerated, etc.:

Aries: assertive, stand up for oneself, courageous, loyal, direct, initiating.
Taurus: owning and taking care of, responsible, somewhat lazy as satisfied with status quo.
Gemini: communicative, moving, doing more things at once.
Cancer: nurturing, protecting, (overly) sensitive, homely.
Leo: creative, kingly, vain, warm.
Virgo: critical and analytical, ordening.
Libra: harmonic, relating, considerate.
Schorpio: intens, investigative, transforming, protective of feelings.
Sagittarius: studying, needing freedom, travelling, philosophic.
Capricorn: ambitious, organising, pragmatic.
Aquarius: distant, futuristic, individualist, social.
Pisces: feeling, spiritual, imaginative, floating with the current.

4. Root-meanings of the "astrological" planets:

First of all, it is important to know, that the planets go through the 12 signs of the zodiac at different speeds.
The sun: Stands above all Gods; symbolises consciousness, potential development, power, vitality, selfexpression, fatherfigure, evolution of the self. Takes one year to pass through the zodiac.
The moon: The mother God; symbolises nurturing, changing emotions, reactions and mirroring, unconscious behavior, motherfigure, safety, past, one's inner child, children. Takes 28 days to pass through the zodiac.
mercurius: The messager God; symbolises thinking, communication, transport, neighbourhood, youth. Takes about one year to pass through the zodiac.
venus: The Goddess of love; symbolises relating, harmony, attraction, art and beauty, possessions. Takes about one year to pass through the zodiac.
mars: The War God; symbolises energy, activity, working for the self, courage. Takes 20 months to pass through the zodiac.
jupiter: The chief of the Gods; symbolises expansion, the puer, abundance, chances, other places, growth, the higher thinking. Takes 12 years to pass through the zodiac.
saturn: The Father God (the chief of the Gods before Jupiter); symbolises form, pragmatism, limitation, discipline, time, old age. Takes about 29 years to pass through the zodiac.
uranus: The God of the Skies; symbolises the new, the unexpected, the breaking down, intuition. Takes 84 years to pass through the zodiac.
neptune: The God of the Seas; symbolises fusing together, phantasy, the ideal image, confusion, creativety. Takes 164 years to pass through the zodiac.
pluto: The God of the Underworld; symbolises the Phoenix, rising from the death, elimination, transformation, controll, perspective. Takes about 249 years to pass through the zodiac.

When working with these Gods, these images, with phantasy and imagination, the picture becomes clearer and clearer about the true meaning and different ways of expression of these "archetypen".

Take Mars, the War God, as an example. It is clear, that this 100% soldier is full of energy, will rush forward into things without thinking out all possibilities and responsibilities, leading the way to new adventures; also is full of agression and sexual energy and is not an example of tact, of harmony, of listening. The warrior that commands, that will not be commanded. Following his own desires and at the same time extreemly loyal to those he has taken upon himself to defend. The lover (but not the husband!) of Venus. Think about what happens, when he is in his element, the battlefield, where he is not inhibited or checked. But what happens, when he is at home and has to do the dishes or change the baby's diapers? Mars is at best outside, moving around, with lots of fresh air, oxygen, and lots of things happening. Imagine him at a meeting, where everyone has his say; this man of action may well lose his patience. Indoors he may suffocate. One can think of other Gods with different characters, different habits, feel their character.
Each planet can be in a sign, surroundings, circumstances, where he feels at home, or in a sign, surroundings, circumstances where he feels frustrated and limited. What about Venus on the battlefield, at home or designing clothes? Can you imagine the responsible, pragmatic, risk-avoiding Saturn rushing forward without thinking out the consequences of his acts?

In these lessons I will give examples to show how to use the imagination, how to combine things, factors. However, don't forget that in the end all factors of the horoscope have to be combined to arrive at a total picture. Nevertheless, looking at just a few combinations each time will also give insight in parts of the character, in sub-personalities. One may have Mars in the 4th house and be the boss and full of energy and agression at home and also have Venus in the 10th house and so at the same time being full of tact and harmony on the workfloor.

A Sun in the sign pisces standing next (being in conjunction) to the planet Jupiter will be another Sun than a Sun in pisces but standing next (being in conjunction) to Saturn; Jupiter making that the Sun one that likes to expand and Saturn making the Sun a Sun that feels limited, full of responsibility. When that Sun/Saturn is in the 7th house, marriage is very important but also feels like a heavy responsibility, that should not be broken, once entered into; in the 5th house that Sun/Saturn may feel limited in selfexpression, in creativety, see children as a heavy responsibility.

If these explanations go too fast, just take your time to imagine, to use your phantasy, your intuition, just take your time! One may say, that the sole fact of being interested in astrology is proof that you won't lack the necessery imagination.

Examples of combining root-meanings of planets and the signs they are in:
Sun in Pisces: The God of consciousness, potential fullfilment, father image will have to act full of understanding of others, spiritually, floating along with the current. This sun, therefore will not be inclined to be at the center of the stage, to be ambitious, self-glorifying, to make money as a businessman. Rather he/she may feel happy working as councellor, being an artist, working spiritually. In those fields this sun can well succeed, depending on other horoscope factors.
Moon in Aries: The God of nurturing and being nurtured, of changing emotions and reactions, reflections, unconscious behaviour, has to go to the battlefield, to fight for himself, assertive, with courage. This Moon will have to accomplish things that are not in his nature, but which it wants to do nevertheless. This Moon may become a soldier but obviously this moon can also become a very agressive nurse, even become a manager of a hospital or home for the handicapped.
Mercurius in Gemini: The God of communication in the field of communication is like a fish in its own water.

5. The aspects:

These are angular distances between planets or planets and cusps, forcing those planets to work together or in opposition to each other, etc. They may work together positively or may not want to know each other or may fight, work in different directions.
The angular distances don't have to be exact, but have some leaway, which we call the orb.

When a planet does not make an aspect with any other planet, we call this being "unaspected"; this planet is like a God living separately from the others (in the gardenhouse) and occasionally joining the others, and then often acting independantly, unintergrated; he will be there one moment and not there the next. It's like someone who has been alone for a while and then, when in company, will want to play first fiddle.

The aspects are extreemly important and can be explained by an astrologer to his clients as well can be used by anyone as a kind of self-help, to get the various sides of his character, the various Gods, to better work together and support each other rather than let them (sometimes) work against each other, and so, with consciousness, learn to use one's potential as best as possible.

Of the various aspects one can in general terms say, that triangles (and sextiles) point to a harmonic contact but at the same time this also can show that there is little challenge to grow, to change things. The cooperation between 2 (or more) Gods can be too easy! A square and an opposition, to the contrary, mean collitions and fights and so, at the same time, give the necessity for change, for development, for concentrating on a better working-together. Squares are often called "difficult" aspects, but we can call them as well development aspects.

The main aspects and the leaway (orb) to both sides, within which they work, are:
conjunction: Two (or more) planets make an angular contact at 0 degrees: a going together, arm in arm, which may be more or less harmonic. Orb 6-8 degrees.
square: Planets make an angular contact of 90 degrees: They square, they collide, but at the same time the possibility of learning, by experience, to work together, to complete one another in the interest of the total personality. Orb 6-8 degrees.
triangle: The planeten make an angular contact of 120 degrees: they are in different signs but of the same element. They are in harmony, feel sympathy for one another. Orb 6-8 graden.
opposition: Two planets make an angular contact of 180 degrees: they experience difficulties in recognising one another, seldom are in the same room at the same time. One might say they live in different "worlds". With help from the Sun, acting with consciousness, they can come closer and cooperate. Practice makes for improvement. Orb 6-8 graden.
sextiel: Two planets make an angular contact of 60 degrees. An aspect somewhat similar to the triangle but less strong. The planets will support each other. Orb 4-6 graden.
inconjunct: Two planets make an angular contact of 150 degrees: they are like strangers that don't trust one another. I know little of your field of action, who are you? Orb 3-4 graden.
There are other aspects but they are called minor and not that important.

Examples for combining root-meanings of planets in aspect:
Mars in conjunction with Venus: The God of energy and war, standing up for oneself, has to walk hand in hand, do things together with the Goddess of harmony, of beauty and tact. One can imagine the difficulties for both and how this may give different impulses within the person concerned. If Mars gets his way, Venus is frustrated, if Venus gets her way, Mars will grumble. Compromises will have to be made between these Gods, these sub-personalities within oneself. They may want to go to a movie, want to go together and are choosing between Gone with the Wind and Rambo; Venus may then say: it has to be the romantic Gone with the Wind, but we shall make love together afterwards.
Mars in opposition with Saturn: The God of energy and war, standing up for oneself, is in opposition with the God of form, tradition, discipline, rules and common sence. The personality shifts back and forth between the two Gods, doing one moment the bidding of Mars, one moment the bidding of Saturn, both hampering the actions of the other without getting on one line. Mars, feeling the presence of Saturn at the other end, may give up on his energy or exagerate the energy; Saturn feeling Mars on the other side, will be over-cautious, over-disciplined. The values of both planets will not come out truly untill they try to understand the one on the other side. Not an easy combination; if one has this opposition in one's horoscope, one has to work on it.

6. Each planet is the ruler of a sign, as follows:

Sun is ruler of the sign Leo.
Moon is ruler of the sign Cancer.
Mercurius is ruler of the sign Gemini and Virgin.
Venus is ruler of the sign Taurus and Libra.
Mars is ruler of the sign Aries.
Jupiter is ruler of the sign Sagittarius.
Saturnus is ruler of the sign Caprocorn.
Uranus is ruler of the sign Aquarius.
Neptune is ruler of the sign Pisces.
Pluto is ruler of the sign Scorpio.

Click here voor top, here voor Lesson 2, hier voor Lesson 3.

© Hans van Rossum 2003.

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