Locality Issues in Astrology

Maritha Pottenger


The house cusps of a horoscope are determined by time of birth and place (latitude and longitude). Often, people have moved from their birthplace. We never lose our natal chart; it is always symbolic of our basic character and tendencies. But we can get additional information from the location we now inhabit (or about localities we might consider).

One approach is to set up a natal chart as if we had been born in our current location. Greenwich Time is constant, so the planets do not change. However, we get new house cusps for our new locality. We can then place the planets within the boundaries of the new houses, and read that chart as indicative of our birth potential, expressed in that part of the Earth. If you calculate your local sidereal time (for house cusps) first for Greenwich, you will obtain your Greenwich Sidereal Time (GST). That does not change. To obtain your local sidereal time for anywhere in the world, simply make the longitude correction to that location. (See instructions in American Book of Tables or American Ephemeris 1931-1980.) One can, of course, do progressions, directions, etc. to that relocated horoscope.

Another approach is provided by Astrolocality maps (from Astro Computing Services) or Astrocartography (from Jim Lewis). Many astrologers feel that planets conjunct or in strong aspect to the angles of a horoscope show major themes in an individual’s life. The maps provided by Jim Lewis or A.C.S. graphically show in which areas of the world or the U.S. the various planets would be conjunct angles of your horoscope. The U.S. map from A.C.S. includes 200 large cities to help orient you and covers parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico. The maps offered illustrate trines and squares to the angles as well as conjunctions and oppositions. (Of course, you need use a computer service only once for your natal chart. That will not change. Laminating the printout will then help preserve it. You can also map progressions, directions, etc., if you so choose.)

These maps can be set in one of two coordinate systems. Those based on the ecliptic system (using zodiacal longitude) show planets aspecting the traditional angles of the horoscope: Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and IC. Those maps based on the equatorial system (using right ascension) show rise and set lines and upper and lower culmination. A rising line is close to, but not identical with, the Ascendant. (I do interpret them the same, however.)

Though we never outgrow the basic potentials of our birth chart, certain themes will be in more or less high focus in one locality or another. The astrolocality map or astrocartography helps determine what (if any) planet(s) are emphasized in your current location. They also enable users to scan for a theme they wish to focus on by finding where in the world that planet would be conjunct or in strong aspect to one of the four angles of the chart. One person, for example, might wish to experience Venus areas; another might seek Pluto areas, etc. One must always return to the themes of the natal chart. Putting Venus on an angle will mean a Venusian focus in your life, but that could be many things (art, money, indulgence, comfort, stubbornness, obesity, love, etc.). What is the placement by house and sign of your natal Venus? How is it aspected? How have you handled Venus issues in the past? If you are having problems dealing with Venusian themes in your life, putting Venus on an angle is likely to just intensify your awareness of your conflicts in that area.


Meanings depend upon our understanding of astrology’s symbolism. In a short space, it is impossible to give any complete delineation. Likewise, taking any factor out of the context of the entire chart can be misleading. A planet conjunct an angle has extra emphasis but one cannot ignore the rest of the chart. The whole picture is important. Every planet symbolizes key themes in our nature, and all of these human motivations and drives can be expressed POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY. Nothing has to be bad, and nothing is guaranteed to be good. We make the choices in how we live our lives.

The basic world view of The Mutable Dilemma is opposed to “good/bad” astrology. We do not believe that putting Jupiter on an angle will allow you to live happily ever after. (As Robert Heinlein said, “TANSTAAFL: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” We get what we have earned.) Nor does Saturn on an angle doom one to gloom, depression, limitation, etc. Two women we know personally moved to locations which put Saturn on their Ascendants. Both are now handling their lives just fine in those locations. They are productive and practical, achieving heights in their careers. Both were somewhat dependent women, who learned in their Saturn localities to work, be self-sufficient and take care of their own lives. One is now a highly successful astrologer with a great career and a very happy, fulfilling marriage. The other is into spiritual pursuits and also working successfully and living a satisfying life.

Each planet symbolizes a human motivational drive, certain basic needs. When we put the planet in high focus (as on an angle) we are simply putting that drive in high focus in our life there. The goal is to express that side of our nature, in moderation, at appropriate times and places, in harmony with the other sides of our nature (and horoscope).

There are several potential pitfalls. One is simply to overdo the energy we are dealing with. When we focus too strongly on one part of our life and nature, we end up neglecting other parts of who we are. This can lead to problems in self-esteem, work, relationships, and even illness. When we deny a side of our own being too long, the blocked energy tends to hit the physical body. [An example is someone who is feeling inhibited, frustrated and angry—stopping themselves from doing what they want to do (blocked Mars) or forcing themselves to do things they don’t want to do (blocked Mars). The anger may come out as minor cuts, burns, accidents. We do not want to cook dinner; we burn ourselves on the stove. We despise yard work; we cut ourselves with the clippers. Because we are not channeling the energy (anger, need for assertion...) outwards, it may end up as unconscious self-attacks.]

Another danger is DISPLACEMENT or expressing a drive in an inappropriate time and place. We are dealing with that part of our nature—but not in an arena where it is fulfilling. People who are feeling angry, for instance, can choose where and when and how to deal with that anger. Choosing to hit someone else may express the energy—but in a manner which is not satisfying, or is counter productive to our long range goals. We can also write a letter (whether or not we mail it), vent our emotions by “letting off steam” with someone else, pound pillows or a tennis racket, run around the block, yell and scream, confront the person or situation which angers us, swim a few laps, and so on. We CHOOSE whether to express our emotions or not, and where and how much we will allow out.

A third issue is PROJECTION which will be covered in detail with the discussion of the Descendant.


The Ascendant or rising line is a key to one’s own identity, basic self-expression, personal action and will. This includes our physical bodies and health, as one is most able to do and act as one wishes with a healthy body. Planets closely conjunct the rising line or Ascendant are built-in, automatic behavior patterns for us. We tend to express the themes of that planet without conscious thought. It is as if we say, “I am...” (filled in by the themes appropriate for the planet involved). We deal personally with the issues symbolized by that planet.

MARS conjunct the Ascendant says: “I am free, independent, active, assertive, spontaneous, courageous and do my own thing.” (Depending on the rest of the chart, one’s own thing might be to think or talk or feel...) If you want to be more in touch with your own energy, vitality, confidence, self-expression, and chutzpah, then moving to a location with Mars conjunct the Ascendant might be helpful. (If one is inclined to repress Martian energy—getting ill instead of asserting one’s self, then putting Mars on the Ascendant just means you’ll have that issue in high focus in that locality.) For people already pushy, brash, overconfident, impulsive, argumentative or physically aggressive, then Mars conjunct the Ascendant would indicate the likelihood of even more excess in that area.

We can see that an athlete might do extra well in locations with Mars in high focus. Similarly, for any risk-taking, independent, courageous activity. But the opposite danger is taking that energy too far—into foolhardiness, impulsivity and outright danger. People who block their Martian energy can have the physical problems mentioned above. Or, they may attract others who overdo for them: self-centered, independent, even violent people. (Meeting the energy through other people is much more likely on the other three angles, as will be discussed.)

The key is to be in touch with who we are and able to express ourselves without stepping on or being stepped on by others.

VENUS rising says, “I am beautiful, sensual, artistic, oriented towards comfort and material security, stable, solid, hedonistic and into money. I want pleasure from things (possessions) and pleasure from people (love).” People can manifest one, several or all of these sides of their Venus nature in that geographic area. Depending on how it is done, whether or not it is excessive, that will be received well or poorly in our lives and by other people. We may create great art or simply over-eat, depending on what we do with our need for pleasure. We may be loving and loved, or try to get by on being beautiful and easy-going. We may enjoy our possessions and pleasures, or be materialistic and self-indulgent. We may be calm and serene or stolid, boring and stuck in the mud.

With Venus rising in your locality, look to your handling of pleasure from things and people. Is it positive, healthy and in balance with other parts of your life?

MERCURY rising says: “I am talkative, versatile, curious, flexible, restless, interested in the people and things near at hand, wanting to learn and communicate.” This can operate from the level of the neighborhood gossip to the television reporter. People who are already Jacks and Jills of all trades may become even more scattered in a Mercury area. People who are having trouble communicating or thinking objectively may find a Mercury focus helpful.

Mercury symbolizes our capacity for the light touch—for laughing at life and not taking it too much to heart. A locality focusing on Mercury might be an asset to heavy earth-water (mud) types who are inclined to take themselves and life too seriously. But too much of this theme can come across as superficial, flirtatious with no commitment, lacking deeper feelings, too casual, etc. An excess of the butterfly approach may be full of nervous energy, subject to tics, twitches, etc.

Are you able to say what is important; speak easily most of the time; relate comfortably with the people around you; share with brothers, sisters and other relatives; be detached and objective when appropriate and not get too bogged down by life?

MOON rising says: “I am a nurturer.” or “I need to be nurtured.” This can be a warm, empathic, supportive, caring capacity. But the person might also just expect others to be the unconditional mother figure to him or her. Home and family may become important means of identifying the self. The nature of the Moon is not always easy to combine with the nature of the Ascendant. Some people will swing between freedom and doing one’s own thing (alone!) versus needs for close, emotional attachments to others.

Stomach difficulties relate to our handling of our emotional dependency and nurturance needs. We can be doing too much or too little of either one. Our Moon side needs warmth and emotional sharing, but in balance with our desire for independence and personal self-expression (the Ascendant side). When a location puts the Moon rising, pay attention to your personal handling of warmth, closeness, dependency and nurturance.

SUN rising says: “I am the Star (or should be).” These people need to shine; they need love, admiration, attention, limelight in some form. They may be highly creative. Fields like teaching and selling (where they are center stage and persuade others) can appeal as well as entertainment. Gambling and speculation may also appeal—any activity where we pour out into the world (whether with money, emotions, creativity) and hope for a response (pay-off). Or, people may satisfy their needs for response through loving and being loved in very intense relationships. Obviously, an excess could be a problem with egotism, self-centeredness, unwillingness to share the attention.

An area which puts your Sun in high focus will provide opportunities for you to deal with your issues around being a Star. Are you comfortable shining? Can you share the stage with others? Part of being human is having pride in one’s self. Low self-esteem can complicate many other problems, with people afraid to try, feeling they do not deserve any better, into believing they cannot do it. An excessive need for love and attention results in severe vulnerability, needing people to always respond. But a healthy ego is necessary for optimal functioning in life. Be proud of yourself for who you are. You deserve it!

CERES rising says “I am an Earth Mother (even if male).” They tend to work hard, be responsible, be supportive, and do whatever needs to be done. They are often identified with work (“I am what I do.”) and can feel guilty when not working. Generally, however, they work for the sake of the people involved, a sense of service, dedication. If you think it sounds great, just remember not everyone wants to be mothered (and not all the time) plus someone who is playing Earth Mother constantly tends to feel neglected and hurt when others do not help carry the load.

The issue in such a location is being productive and efficient in a caring matrix without doing ALL the work.

VESTA rising says: “I will single-mindedly focus on whatever is necessary to get the job done right!” This is one of the workaholic potentials. This placement is often associated with tremendous success. These people are willing to pay their dues for making it. The danger is that the “tunnel vision” of doing all that is necessary for the job may interfere with other parts of the life. Relationships may suffer. There may be feelings of alienation, separation or self-criticism and harsh judgments if the nitpickiness is channeled against self or others rather than into successful accomplishments. Likewise, people who feel they are NOT working successfully as they should, may feel guilty and unconsciously develop illness to either avoid a job they hate or avoid the guilt they feel for not being more productive. If Vesta rises in your current area, use your efficiency carefully and in balance with the rest of life!

JUNO rising says: “I am identified with being married or having a committed relationship.” Such people tend to find themselves through their partnerships with others. Commitments may be more important while living there.

People often have a strong sense of justice, desire for equality and fair play. They can be highly competitive. They are testing their strength through interactions with others. They are learning to balance self-will with the need for others. They may swing from demanding space to feeling lost without a partner. There is often a strong feeling for beauty, especially the visual sort—clothes, jewelry, design, decorating, photography, architecture, etc. with Juno emphasized.

PALLAS rising has similar themes to Juno rising. Juno is more identified with a traditional marriage; a legal tie or bond. Pallas is more likely to experiment in relationships, or participate in associations with more space, such as the counseling relationship; lawyer to client; astrologer to client, and so on. Pallas indicates more potential independence than Juno. But both these asteroids on the Ascendant show an individual who may say, “I want my relationships on MY terms or else.” The location calls for the native to balance the traditional opposition of Aries (first house) and Libra (Pallas and Juno): doing what one wants versus accommodating to another person. Some of both sides is necessary.

Where PLUTO is rising, people seek a sense of self-mastery and self-control. Such people tend to be very intense, but may block or hold feelings inside. They need to be cautious lest repressed emotions set them up for physical problems. Learning how to let go on all levels is often a challenge. The desire for control may be taken beyond self-control to attempts to control other people and the world—directly through power plays, or indirectly through emotional blackmail and other forms of manipulation. The particular focal areas often involve money and sex. The goal is to be able to give, receive and share pleasure with others. The negative form is to use others for our own selfish gratification, or withdraw completely from people as a protective mechanism. Some people choose the ascetic road as their way of mastering the appetites.

In these locations, people often feel driven to analyze themselves, figure out their deepest motivations. Transcendence and transformation are possible, if the Plutonian power is SHARED in relationships. We learn to control and master ourselves out of respect for the rights of others; we share the power. With Pluto more than any other planet, we deal with projection: learning to recognize parts of ourselves in all the people we relate to, and own both the “positive” and “negative” components of our nature, finding appropriate places to express both sides.

JUPITER rising says: “I am God (or I should be)!” There may be immense charm, vivaciousness, confidence, extraversion and a great sense of humor. There tends to be natural optimism, anticipation of the future and an idealistic desire to do or be the best. One extreme is the missionary type who believe s/he has the truth, the whole truth, and the only truth in town. Such people aggressively push their philosophy or religion or belief system on the world. Another extreme is the individual who feels s/he OUGHT to have all the answers, and feels inadequate because s/he doesn’t know it all. This is a perfectionistic placement. We may demand more than is reasonable from ourselves.

Expressiveness tends to be high, and often physical energy as well, with the double fire emphasis. Jupiter symbolizes our faith. Some people with this placement believe, “I can do anything!” Often, they do manage an amazing amount, but delusions of grandeur are also possible. It is important to have ENOUGH faith in ourselves and our own actions, but not TOO MUCH! The extremes Jupiter can symbolize show that you CAN have too much of a good thing! Jupiter on one’s local Ascendant may encourage any of these potentials, depending on the person’s whole character and level of self-awareness.

SATURN rising says, “I am responsible.” If expressed positively, people with this placement are extremely practical, productive, effective, real movers, shakers and doers in the world. They are often identified with their career. They may be instinctive fathers, carrying the load for others around them. There are two extremes. One is the OVERDRIVE type people who push the world, try to impose their will on the universe. Overdrive types consistently hit their heads against the stone wall of reality. They may fight against time, authority figures, physical limitations, or the consequences of past actions. They are brought face to face with the fact that one individual cannot run the universe. There are laws bigger than us (whether human or cosmic laws). The other extreme is the SELF-BLOCKER. These people stop before they even start. Such people feel the load is so heavy, the responsibilities so great, they could never manage, so they don’t even attempt it. They give up, convinced they would only fail, or fall short anyway.

Often the early experiences with the father or father figure have an impact on whether the child chooses the overdrive, self-blocking or middle route. Once grown, however, it is OUR responsibility (not Dad’s) to find that middle road: doing all that we can, within the realistic limits of what is possible in our physical existence. When we move to a locality emphasizing Saturn, we may re-work some issues with Dad, especially around power, responsibility and realism.

URANUS rising says: “I am a unique individual, needing constant change and intellectual stimulation. Such people can be chronic rebels—always ready to break the rules, simply to shock others, or to prove that the rules CAN be broken. Personal freedom is often very important when living here. One’s identity is tied to being different and unattached. The mind tends to be emphasized, and may be quite inventive and original. There is often an interest in new technology. The desire is to go beyond the limits, but rebels can go backwards as well as forwards! If the rest of the chart is conservative, the individual may want a revolution for the “good old days” not some future, utopian ideal. The association of Uranus with accidents often has to do with people overdoing their risk-taking side, their need to prove “There are no limits.” Or, people may feel frustrated and hemmed in, and the anger breaks out into some kind of accident.

This personal sense of freedom, uniqueness, openness, tolerance, and the ability to relate to anyone and everyone in the world can be very valuable when utilized in a fulfilling time and place.

NEPTUNE rising says, “I am (or should be) a saint. This can indicate a highly idealistic, spiritual, artistic or healing potential in that locale. Such people may be creating beauty (often in an active form such as dancing, gymnastics, skating, etc.). They may be helpers, healers, saviors of the world. They may take everyone else’s trials and tribulations on, feel them deeply, and try to rescue everyone. The savior who attempts too much, of course, quickly becomes a victim. Or, the individual who feel s/he is not being as perfect, loving, giving, sweet, harmonious, beautiful, self-sacrificing as s/he could be, may run away from facing that—into some form of escapism: drugs, alcohol, fantasy, etc. Victims define themselves as unable to pursue or realize their beautiful dream. So, they run away from their own inadequacy and the ugliness of the world.

There is often extreme sensitivity in a location focusing on Neptune, which can be used positively or negatively. Empathy tends to be high, but too much empathy can result in the healer feeling as much pain as the client. The goal is to merge with the universe, to become a part of something higher, better, more beautiful, without losing the self in that ecstatic process.


The Descendant symbolizes those parts of our own nature which we tend to meet first through other people. This is the angle of PROJECTION. In projection, we unconsciously attract other people who manifest those parts of our own personality with which we are not yet totally comfortable. For example, a woman who is not at ease with her ability to be independent, go her own way, do her own thing, may attract men who are VERY independent, constantly do what THEY want to do, may even be selfish, self-centered and—in extremes—violent. These men are expressing the energy, self-will, assertion and activity (in an EXAGGERATED form) that the woman denies within herself. The more she denies her capacity for those qualities, the more extreme forms she will unconsciously attract from the outside world. The universe keeps on blowing things up, magnifying them, until we notice!

The idea with projection is not to do what the other person is doing. They are usually OVERdoing it. But we need to look at the energy they are expressing (in an overblown fashion) and learn from it, finding ways to incorporate that (in a MODERATE form) in our own lives and personalities. If the woman has been playing doormat, it will not help her to placate and give in more and more. The more she gives in, the more he will take. The sweeter she is, the more self-centered he will be. Nor will it help her to become aggressive or violent herself. That’s an extreme form, and the situation is likely to just escalate. If, instead, she reclaims some of her own power and self-assertion, she has the potential to meet more of her own needs (either within that relationship or a new one—if this partner is unwilling to change).

Projection is always a two-way street. If she is learning about freedom or assertion (or other possibilities) from him, he is learning something (perhaps about closeness or empathy or other possibilities) from her. If it is a freedom versus closeness conflict, as she develops her freedom side, there is room for him to develop his closeness side. And vice versa. As he becomes more dependent, she has the potential of discovering more of her needs for individuality. Zip Dobyns calls this the “clutch/run game.” If one person has been doing all the clutching and the other all the running, they are both used to the game. If the clutcher starts running, the runner will often begin to clutch, to maintain the game. Similarly, if the runner starts clutching, the clutcher may then begin to run. Of course, in moderate cases, we simply call this dealing with our needs to be an individual and still share our lives with others. Either person can move towards the middle, help balance the relationship.

So, whereas planets conjunct the Ascendant symbolize parts of our own instinctive identity, where we tend to express them naturally, experience them personally; planets on the Descendant are often experienced within the context of close relationships. This includes marriage, living together, business partnerships, and any close, regular, systematic interactions. (A weekly bridge club or therapy appointment is a seventh house relationship.)

The goal is for both people in the relationship to be able to express positively the energy symbolized by the planet(s) involved. The danger is that one or the other party will OVERdo or UNDERdo the theme involved. In some cases, we may express too much of the nature of the planet ourselves (unconsciously exaggerating for close partners). In other cases, we may project, and attract partners who overdo the qualities associated with that planet. The middle road is for us to SHARE the energy, doing it equally.

Interpretations would follow the usual meanings again. In areas which put Mars on the Descendant, we are learning to share a Martian energy with partners. We may both be independent, assertive, need space, express ourselves and do our own thing in relationships. (This will rarely be a traditional “Do everything together.” couple!) We may take separate vacations, spend other time apart, have separate apartments, bedrooms, etc.) If in balance, it can be great. If one or the other partner is overdoing the energy symbolized by Mars, we can see self-centeredness, rashness, impulsivity, foolhardiness, violence, the “free soul” type who won’t commit to relationships, and so on.

The process is similar for each of the planets. We are facing that planetary theme in our close relationships. Think about the planet’s basic meaning. What would be likely if you expressed that nature to an extreme? What would it be like if your partner was overdoing that theme? How can you share that drive comfortably, both doing it in moderation?

A very abbreviated summary follows:

MARS is discussed above.

VENUS, if projected, one person will be too materialistic, stodgy, self-indulgent, excessively concerned with beauty (their own or others’), stubborn, expecting life always to be easy and harmonious.

If shared, both people in the relationship will be loving, comfortable, accepting, able to enjoy the material world and money as well as all the physical senses. They may be artistic.

MERCURY, if projected, one person will do most of the talking or most of the thinking. One is too detached, too scattered, too superficial, continually traveling or off on a tangent mentally.

If shared, both people enjoy communicating with one another. There is often a mental attraction (meeting of the minds) before any other. Both can laugh at life when appropriate and enjoy the people around them.

MOON, if projected, one person becomes baby looking for mother in the relationship; or mother looking for baby. What is intended to be an equalitarian relationship becomes a mother/child relationship.

If shared, both people can lean on and be supported by the other. Both can nurture, care for, be warm and loving toward the other. They take care of one another—each in his or her own areas of strength and talent.

SUN, if projected, one person is the perpetual Star (never gets off the stage, self-centered, egotistical—but often charming and magnetic) and the other plays Little Gray Mouse, applauding all the time.

If shared, the individuals are each others’ best fans. They admire, look up to one another. They spur each other on to higher, larger, greater efforts. The love bond is intense, passionate, exciting and dynamic.

CERES, if projected, one person plays Earth Mother, taking care of everything, doing all the work, support in the relationship.

If shared, both people have areas at which they work. Both are efficient, but also nurturing. Both take responsibility in caring for each other.

VESTA, if projected, one person may be the workaholic or critical one. That person may work for both. Either one or both may be judgmental, flaw-finding, nitpicking. The work may take one from the relationship.

If shared, both people are practical, realistic, productive, and work at the relationship, building a solid, realistic foundation that lasts.

JUNO or PALLAS, if projected, one person is always keeping score in terms of who is ahead in the relationship. Or, one person is very marriage-oriented. Or, one party is heavily into beauty, appearance, keeping things “looking good.”

If shared, the relationship is very equalitarian. Cooperation and competition are possible. Artistic talent or appreciation of beauty may be enjoyed together. Relationships are a source of pleasure.

PLUTO, if projected, one party may be manipulative, power hungry, using money or sex as weapons, inclined to over-control the self or others. Intense passions are likely and power struggles are possible.

If shared, both people learn through the mirror of the relationship. Each can see parts of him or herself in the other person, and transforms and transcends by actualizing more of his or her potential. The relationship is like a good therapeutic experience. Power is an issue, but is shared. Passions are intense and satisfying. Pleasures are shared.

JUPITER, if projected, one person may play all-knowing guru to the other person’s wide-eyed student. One person tries to find God in the relationship. (“You be everything for me—charming, witty, rich, wonderful...”) Some people never get involved because no one meets their perfectionistic standards. Another person may try to play God, and attract people who need to be saved (addicts, alcoholics, down and out souls...)

If shared, people search for meaning together—-through education, travel, religion, philosophy, humor, etc. They share values, belief systems. They have faith in similar areas and are moving along the same path towards the final Vision.

SATURN, if projected, people see the power and authority as outside. They may avoid or delay relationships for fear of being hurt, put down, rejected. They may pick “father figures” who are literally older or just seem safe, responsible, dependable, etc. Usually father figures end up dominating and controlling. Others may play father in the relationship, picking weak partners. The relationship may be set in conflict with the career.

If shared, both people are responsible, hardworking, practical. Both are dedicated to working on the relationship, making it lasting. Both are dependable people, willing to do whatever needs to be done to improve the relationship, to strengthen the connection. They may work together in a career as well as an emotional involvement.

URANUS, if projected, one individual is very strange, unusual, erratic, undependable, rebellious or impersonal and detached, a free soul.

If shared, partners are best friends. They enjoy each others’ uniqueness and individualism. They are open and tolerant to differences. They may share an unusual relationship or interests or humanitarian causes, etc.

NEPTUNE, if projected, one person expects the other to be the beautiful dream, in full living color, for him or her. This can include fantasies of Prince or Princess Charming. It can include one playing Pygmalion to the other’s Galatea. Savior/victim associations are also possible.

If shared, they seek that ultimate experience of Oneness together—through art, healing activities, meditation, spiritual involvements, religion, and so on. They share the beauty and ecstasy in the universe.

Remember, the above is quite shortened. Whatever the planet(s) involved, that drive, those motivations, are experienced in your relationships with others. We may project onto a partner, or choose a partner who projects onto us. Then we get extremes, an overdevelopment of one side of life. When we can share the energy involved, we meet in the middle, both able to express, in a positive manner, the theme we are facing. Return always to the context of the natal chart. When you focus on a planet (by putting it on an angle) look at the natal aspects to that planet. Harmony aspects show easy flow (and potential excesses). Conflict aspects show inner ambivalences (and versatility once we resolve the conflict and integrate the various drives).


With the MC or Midheaven, we are dealing with the planetary themes through our career and relationships to physical reality and authority figures (including father or father figure). Again, we may express the nature symbolized by that planet well or poorly in the vocation that we pursue. [E.g., Venus conjunct the MC might choose an artistic career; one involved with people; make a career out of marriage; expect the work to always be pleasant and easy; work for pleasure; feel money determines status; enjoy power; let the work attitude (critical, flaw-finding) spill over into pleasure pursuits, etc.] We have the option as to how we express it.

We may experience these themes through authority figures, if we continue to project, rather than recognizing and utilizing the potential within us. (E.g., one person with Pluto conjunct the MC saw all authority figures, from father onward, as manipulative and power-hungry. We can attract the negative extreme, until we learn to manifest the positive side ourselves. Once such people learn to use their OWN power drive positively, through competitive sports, games, the business world, or fighting for causes—they no longer need to see the negative extreme in the outer world. And their relationships with authority figures improve. They can give, receive and share comfortably with power people.) Planets on the MC in a new location may indicate a new approach, a different focus in our relationship with Dad and other authorities.

We may experience what is indicated by the planets on the MC through our experience of physical reality. The MC is a key to what we can do, can’t do and have to do. It represents consequences of past actions, and the basic physical structure of the universe we have chosen to enter. So, for example, an individual with Neptune conjunct the MC may experience her world as full of healing and idealistic perspectives, or from behind rose-colored glasses. S/he may see the fundamental structure of the universe as disappointing, disillusioning, not perfect enough, or as beautiful, infinite, spiritual and loving.


The IC, or fourth house cusp, is a key to our home environment, our nurturing context, where we seek emotional closeness with others—caring and being cared for. If we project, we may experience factors placed here through our mother or a mother figure or anyone on whom we are dependent. (E.g., someone with Uranus on the IC says, “My mother is erratic, undependable, always off doing astrology or into humanitarian causes.” The more that person denies their own needs to be different, unique, free [not tied down to the home], and into the wider world including social causes, the more they will notice and criticize those qualities within their mother. It is as if the mother or nurturer and native have set up a clutch/run game. The more the native clutches, the more the nurturer runs away. If the nurturer began to clutch, the native might well discover some needs for space and freedom. If the native begins to be more independent, the nurturer will often miss what closeness they had, and begin to clutch more. Again, “clutch/run” does not have to be negative. The extremes are generally more uncomfortable than a middle position.) And, we can face nurturing/dependency issues with anyone who depends on us or upon whom we depend.

Planets conjunct the IC are themes we deal with in our home environment. This could be in terms of the home itself in a literal sense. (For example, with water planets there, we may feel drawn to live near water.) But certainly we deal with those psychological issues in our nurturing environment—both how we are nurtured by others, and how we care for others. Our experiences of emotional closeness (or lack of it) can be symbolized by these placements. If we want lots of freedom and independence in our home environment, we look for Mars, Jupiter or Uranus, our three freedom planets. (We can also get fights, extravagance and unpredictability, depending on how we handle each.) If we want deep, emotional, intense experiences, we can try Pluto, Moon or Neptune, our three water planets. We must just remember that everything has a positive and a negative side. The Moon can be very warm, supportive, caretaking and close. It can also be smothering, clinging, overly dependent and childishly needy. Ideally, we are expressing the themes symbolized by ALL the planets (and asteroids)—in moderation and in harmony with each other.

The IC is symbolic of our roots—both literally (family tree, heredity) and psychologically in terms of our emotional security needs. What, if anything, do we look to for a sense of safety and basic trust? For instance, people with Venus on the IC in a locality may feel safe and secure when they can eat, or make money, or drink, or enjoy beauty, or be comfortable or indulge any of the physical senses. If this leads them to create artistically, we might judge it as positive. But if they eat to feel safe and secure, the only likely result is a large problem with their weight. (Pun intended.) Again, it is what we do with our potentials that matters!

For most people, their experiences of emotional security were strongly influenced by the early home environment, their mothering (nurturing) experience. But once we have grown, we can change those feelings. And planets on the IC (or MC) in a new location may indicate reworking some old issues with parents. We don’t always rework them with parents directly, but re-examine and reinterpret our early experiences.

If we are dissatisfied with how we were cared for, we can create new contexts for nurturing and being nurtured by others. If we keep on blaming mother (or the planets or anyone else), we are invested in not changing. We “have to” stay miserable, to “prove” what an awful mother (father, husband, wife...) s/he was! If we change, we will be admitting they did not do irreparable damage after all. To be happier, we have to be willing to give up being “right” about the misdeeds of various people or influences in our past. It means being willing to consider that everything we most love (and hate!) within other people is a potential within us. It means finding positive ways to utilize the energy that our close others often exaggerate in order for us to see it. Trading blaming others for the power to change our lives and be happier seems a more than even exchange to me!


Planets conjunct the angles of our horoscope can indicate major themes in our lives. The nature symbolized by each planet can be repressed and held in, whereby we eventually have physical symptoms. It may be projected, and we meet it in exaggerated form through other people. We may displace: do a good and healthy part of life in an inappropriate time and place.

The goal of life is to be able to express each part of who we are, (each part of our horoscope) in moderation, in fulfilling ways and times, in harmony with our other sides. We are all complex people with many sides to our nature. Discovering ways and means to balance our various inner contradictions and ambivalences is a part of being human, a part of the dance of life.

Each time we face an issue (as by having a planet on an angle), we have another opportunity to become more of what we can be. I wish you all exciting, growth-filled years full of self-expression, pleasure, communication, nurturance, love and self-esteem, productivity, equality, shared insight, a satisfying belief system, realism and responsibility, uniqueness and the ecstatic connection to something Higher.

Copyright © 1983 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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