People continue to ask me how I synthesize all the myriad factors in a horoscope. The answer is: I use the astrological alphabet in two ways. The first way is to identify a basic focus (e.g., “let’s look at this person’s relationship potentials”). The alphabet tells me which factors are appropriate to examine for any focus. Lasting peer relationships involve Letters 7 and 8 of the astrological alphabet. Thus I will consider any planets conjuncting Venus, Juno, Pluto, and with less weight, Pallas. I will include any planets conjuncting rulers of the 7th and 8th houses, in the 7th and 8th houses or close to the Descendant, Vertex or West Point. The picture includes the signs and house placements of Venus, Juno, Pluto and Pallas as well as of the rulers of the 7th and 8th houses, and any planets in Libra and Scorpio. This process is explained fully in Complete Horoscope Interpretation.
The following is a (relatively) short outline of the process of synthesis which I designed for the classes I teach at Astro Computing.
Outline for Chart Analysis
OVERVIEW of the chart—see if any of the following “leap out at you” (are strongly emphasized by planets, aspects, houses and/or signs).
1. Planets(s) conjuncting an angle and in the Gauquelin sectors—9th and 12th houses.
2. Stellium by house and/or sign.
3. Element focus (e.g. Mars conjunct an angle, Jupiter conjunct Sun, all fire houses occupied, Aries and Sagittarius occupied—fire focus).
4. Element combination (e.g. all fire signs occupying earth houses, Jupiter conjunct Saturn, Mars aspecting Vesta and Venus, Sun aspecting Saturn, Jupiter, Sun and/or Mars in earth signs—fire-earth focus).
5. Quality focus (e.g. T-square with Sun-Pluto-Uranus, fixed houses occupied, fixed signs occupied—fixed focus).
6. Any letter of the astrological alphabet emphasized (e.g. Mercury conjunct an angle, two or more planets in the third house or in Gemini—letter three focus).
7. Any alphabet combination (e.g. Taurus stellium or Venus in the eleventh house, Aquarius stellium or Uranus in the second house, ruler of the eleventh in the second house or vice versa, Uranus aspecting Venus—2-11 focus).
8. Any other themes (e.g. freedom, closeness, artistic, idealistic, organizational skills, competence, mind/intellect, relationships, personal, transpersonal, any of the polarities—1-7, 2-8 etc.).
9. Repeated relationship of occupied signs to occupied houses (e.g. vast majority of planets occupy signs opposite, square, etc. to the houses which are occupied. For example, Aries in the fourth house, Taurus in the fifth house, etc. produces a natural square effect in the chart).
10. Tight, close aspect configuration(s) (e.g. grand trine, grand cross, T-square, yod).
Any of the above which dominate the chart will influence interpretations of the various life areas and will modify the delineations which follow. For example, Saturn on an angle and aspecting everything in the chart indicates that caution, conservatism and power needs will modify any risk-taking, future-oriented, etc. themes if they occur in certain life areas. If risk-taking appears as a theme for the career, the individual may opt for small risks in the context of overall safety. Or s/he may attract free-wheeling, “crazy” bosses or co-workers who live out the need for change, challenges and creativity. If this restless need is totally unconscious, the person could set themselves up to be fired until they recognize and positively channel the willingness to take chances.
Analysis of Various Life Areas (Identity, Work, Relationships, Mind, Children/Creativity, Beliefs/Values, Money/Sensuality/Sexuality, Health, Parents, Growth Areas/Karmic Lesson, Future Trends).
1. Scan factors which pertain to the particular life area involved, giving more weight to planets in and ruling (natural and actual) appropriate houses (e.g. Identity—lots of weight to planets in the first house, conjunctions to Mars and to the Ascendant ruler, and close conjunctions to the East Point or Antivertex. The rising sign is important and the house placement of Mars, Ascendant ruler, Antivertex and East Point, as well as the signs of these factors. Parallels which are similar to conjunctions can also be considered).
2. Having scanned the relevant factors for a particular life area, look for themes (as in categories 3-8 of OVERVIEW). A theme may be emphasized by simple repetitions (occurring again and again) or by a weighted judgment (appearing once through a very significant factor).
3. Scan the ASPECTS TO factors for a particular life area (other than conjunctions and parallels). These aspects indicate how easily the individual integrates this life area with other parts of the nature. Conflict aspects (squares, quincunxes, oppositions, octiles, trioctiles) indicate possible tension with other life areas (e.g. identity at odds with relationships; parents at odds with beliefs; etc.) Harmony aspects (trines, sextiles) indicate potential ease, agreement and support between various life areas.
Look particularly to see if there is a strong theme of harmony or conflict to another life area, or to a particular letter of the alphabet, element, quality, theme, etc.
Conflict and harmony point to INNER issues first, but can also symbolize ease or stress with people/events in the outer world. (For example, Mars/Saturn or Ascendant/Midheaven or other 1/10 clashes point to an inner push/pull between speed versus caution; freedom versus responsibility; identity/self-expression/impulses versus career/duties/obligations, etc. However, 1-10 conflict aspects can also point to clashes between self and authority figures beginning with Dad and going on through teachers, bosses, police, etc.)
4. Also scan the aspects BETWEEN factors pertaining to a given life area. Conflict aspects indicate inner tension, ambivalence and conflict. The individual may feel torn in regard to that life area, experiencing push/pull feelings. S/he is likely to have to work harder than average to handle that part of life. Harmony aspects indicate inner agreement, ease and support. The person may feel fairly comfortable in regard to that life area. They may find dealing with that area of life is a bit easier for them than for the average person since they are just “doing what comes naturally,” but they may also overdo the themes involved. Harmony can indicate excesses.
Keep in mind that the horoscope shows POTENTIALS and POSSIBILITIES. People always have choices. We must face certain issues, but we can choose different ways to manifest our basic drives and needs. If our current form of expressing is uncomfortable, we can select a different channel for the drive which is creating discomfort. If we are overdoing a given area, we can identify ways to diversify our energies in that area into a variety of outlets. If some of our inner needs are in conflict with each other, we can work to create times and places to take turns between them, or to be more moderate (balanced) in our expression. The power lies in people—not in planets.