Saturday, 13 November 2010

Astrology Alphabet

by Bernadette Brady

Every language has an alphabet and predictive astrology is no different. What the astrologer is trying to do in formulating a prediction is to take the language of the Cosmos and translate that information into the conscious world of the client.

The way in which we produce this information from the Cosmos is via the predictive system we use; i.e., transits, progressions, and so on. However, no matter what system you used, there is one common thread and that is the definition of the basic units or alphabet with which the language or data is written.

The alphabet of astrology is made up of the planets, aspects, houses, and signs. With these basic components the Cosmos can spin a million or so stories. In a natal chart, the stories are magical and mysterious, involving mythology and the history of a person’s race. In such a world, the language creates very complex messages, for people have their whole lives to “tinker” with the particular coded messages termed a natal chart.

However, in the world of predictive astrology, the information is only present for a short period of time and there is no time to explore the concept being presented. There is just time to hear the basic message and to act on it before the next signal comes in. So although the language may be undiscovered Shakespeare, the perception is of a simple dialogue.

Whatever the method of dynamic predictive astrology used, by its very definition it must be a temporary connection to the natal chart. The dynamic planet (progressed or transiting) makes itself felt by way of an aspect and thus connects to the chart; it then symbolically transmits information or energy and, finally, disconnects. It is not there forever, like a natal aspect. It is transient—a tourist traveling through an unknown country.

Thus, the dynamic planet comes onto the stage of clients’ lives like an invader or intruder, the pragmatist in the plot. The rest of the actors (natal planets) on stage have to deal with this energy, which is seen as raw, young, and not integrated into the system. For this reason the dynamic planets and aspects, unlike their natal cousins, do not have time to grow and mature in their expression, and consequently take on slightly different and considerably simpler meanings.

For example, say Jane has Saturn opposing the Sun in her natal chart. She has her whole life to work with it, grow it, develop it, mature it. The inferiority complex in youth that this aspect can indicate would most likely convert to an achievement drive in adulthood. Granted this achievement drive could be spurred on by a fear of failure fueled by feelings of inadequacy, but Jane has worked with this aspect and can thus get better results from it. This is an aspect which is part of her, which over the years, has gained rapport with other facets of herself. On the other hand, if having transiting Saturn opposing her natal Sun, restrictions and commitment suddenly come thundering into her life, with none of the subtleties of the above mentioned natal aspect. Before she has time to “turn the tables on it” and mature it, the transit is gone.

So in working with predictive astrology, the key issue is to recognize this simplicity. The language of astrology is rich and beautiful, but in predictive work its rich symbolism is put into simple packages. The symbols do not lose their beauty, they are simply less complex in their expression. This concept can be encapsulated by the KISS principle—Keep It Simple Sweetheart—which indeed is a golden rule of predictive astrology. So with simplicity as the Rosetta Stone of prediction, let’s look at the alphabet of our language.

Planets in Predictive Work

The following are some keywords, which are by no means absolute, for the luminaries and planets when they are involved in dynamic astrology.

  • Key Principle: life, vitality, the very being, self.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: about 10° per day.
  • Time to travel through a chart: 1 year.
  • Use in predictive work: receives transits and makes and receives progressions.
  • Figures: father, authority figures of any type, a famous person, a superior person.
The Sun is the foundation stone of the human being. In a natal chart, it represents the life journey and story which will be undertaken by the individual seeking awareness. Thus the Sun sign is important, for it reveals the myth or story that the individual follows through life. Transits and progressions to or from this luminary indicate events in the journey of life and a reassessment of personal identity. The person may experience this as life-threatening, or life-supporting. Either way, it is like turning the page in the story of life and getting on to the next “adventure”.

  • Key Principle: mother, feminine, nurturing, children, body or kinesthetic responses to world, i.e. emotions.
  • Rate of travel though the zodiac: about 12° per day.
  • Time to travel through a chart: 27-1/2 days.
  • Use in predictive work: receives transits and makes and receives progressions.
  • Figures: mother, children, loved ones that you nurture, people who need physical help.

Dynamic contacts to the Moon will color emotional processes. You experience changes in emotional responses, changes in eating habits, changes in body rhythms. Things that are dear to you, things that are part of your security system could change. The Moon, more than any other planet or luminary, takes on a very strong bias from the sign that it occupies and this should always be considered when dealing with this luminary.

  • Key Principle: methods of information-collecting, processing, and distributing.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: up to 2°30’ per day.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 1 year.
  • Use in predictive work: receives transits and makes and receives progressions.
  • Figures: young people, or people who deal with information or stationery.
Dynamic contacts to Mercury herald events concerning paperwork, study, writing, talking, short journeys, and a great deal of movement. New ways of gaining information may be encountered by a spectrum of methods from finding a new bookshop to having prophetic visions.

  • Key Principle: relating, relationships, resources.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: up to 1°15’ per day.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 1 year.
  • Use in predictive work: receives transits and makes and receives progressions.
  • Figures: young women, artists, lovers, or money-handlers.
Dynamic contacts to Venus will emphasize your relationship to the world or to an individual. You could find yourself changing your attitude to a group of friends or falling in or out of love. Your sense of worth is questioned, the value of things, such as friendships or relationships, is examined. You become aware of resources—emotional, spiritual or financial—and this is a time when these resources can be stretched.

  • Key Principle: focused action, directed motivation, drive.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: up to 0°40’ per day.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 2-1/2 years.
  • Use in predictive work: mostly for receiving transits, and progressions. Only used for making transits indicating acute days, or days of great activity. It also has some value as it transits through the houses, showing where the current motivation is at the moment. Also used for making or receiving progressions.
  • Figures: young, rough, strong, motivated, sexual, angry or coarse males or females.
When a chart is receiving a Mars contact it will indicate that anger, motivation, or drive is being activated. The reason is enthused with an idea or feeling. This idea may plunge the reason into physical activities, to experience strong sexual motivation, encounter angry people, or even cause the person to be part of an accident.

  • Key Principle: expansion of the world view, growth, movement.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: about 30° a year.
  • Time to travel through a chart: 12 years.
  • Use in predictive work: mainly for its ability to make transits and receive progressions.
  • Figures: grandfather, teacher, guru, traveler, adventurer.
When Jupiter is being emphasized by dynamic astrology, there are going to be changes to your worldview. What you are learning, what you are mastering, what you believe in are all areas that can be affected. Jupiter is the energy of expansiveness, whether you like it or not. It takes joy in the big picture and will influence life by the desire to expand the individual’s world. The outward effect of this can be to bring study (mental expansion) or travel (physical expansion of the worldview) into your life. If it is impossible for the world to expand due to the life circumstance, then Jupiter will simply change the life circumstance so that an expansion can occur. This may not be a joyful event.

In addition, it would seem that people with a strong natal Jupiter (or who have a large dollop of Sagittarius in the chart) find that transits from or progressions to Jupiter are too excessive, leading to obsessive, manic types of overreactions which generally leave them exhausted at the end of the period.

  • Key Principle: structure, responsibility, commitment, authority, building; to take shape and form; consolidation of one’s position in life.
  • Rate of movement through the zodiac: about 12° per year.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 29 years.
  • Use in predictive work: in both giving and receiving transits as well as receiving progressions.
  • Figures: any person or group who can wield authority over you. Individuals who intimate. Individuals or groups for which you are responsible
Saturn is the planet of material form. Its issues are about being here now, being a physical human being in a physical body coping with our physical needs and dealing with the consequences of previous physical actions. It would seem at times that Saturn is the nemesis of the human race. For, if there is going to be productive or useful growth (Jupiter) there must be a time of pause, and consolidation—a time of restraint, a time of testing. Since all life as we know it is subject to this pulse of expansion, contraction, then the indicator of the times of contraction—Saturn—becomes a very important planet in the astrologer’s toolbox.

Thus whether it is giving or receiving, in predictive work, it is always strongly felt. When Saturn is making a contact to the personal planets, it suggests periods of having to accept the consequences of one’s actions. In its interaction with the outer planets, Saturn produces landmarks in the map of a person’s life, showing the times and ways that the individual will struggle against the weight of the physical world and its needs in the search for awareness.

When people are young (pre-Saturn return), Saturn contacts are usually experienced as limiting and restricting, even possibly intimidating. The Saturnian figures, symbolically father, the law, teacher, or boss, come to the surface during the contact to enable the person to be exposed to restrictions in order to learn lessons of responsibility and containment. These same contacts may yield welcome increases in responsibility (job promotion) or stability in the life for a mature individual.

Whatever the stage in life, a Saturn transit will have a common theme of work, hard work. Under a Saturn contact, a person is held to account, for better or for worse. The following is a guideline to the transits of Saturn:
  • Saturn-Sun: increase of responsibility or being “under the thumb”.
  • Saturn-Moon: loneliness, isolation, feeling unsupported; needing to consolidate resources.
  • Saturn-Mercury: serious decisions, burdensome paperwork, study.
  • Saturn-Venus: making or breaking commitments in relationships; restrictions upon financial affairs.
  • Saturn-Mars: arthritis, physical restraint, physical injury, being exhausted, hard labor.
  • Saturn-Jupiter: controlled expansion.
  • Saturn-Saturn: major life phase cycle.
  • Saturn-Uranus: frustration, slow progress in achieving new goals. Doing something which is ground breaking.
  • Saturn-Neptune: illness, tiredness, depletion of resources, despair, to be without hope. This is the major signifier of health problems in predictive astrology.
  • Saturn-Pluto: blocked energy leading to outbursts that could be violent; melancholy, darkness of feelings; being in a “black hole”.
  • Saturn-North Node: taking responsibility with a group; taking on a fated commitment which is part of the life journey.
  • Saturn-South Node: increase in responsibilities to do with family or “tribe”; fated, karmic bonds are changed in such a way that the person has to carry a greater load.
  • Saturn-Ascendant: taking on greater responsibilities; being seen as capable of handling authority; given authority.
  • Saturn-Descendant: reviewing and changing commitments in relationships, either business or personal. Being realistic about the nature of a relationship or business partnership.
  • Saturn-MC: greater responsibility in the career; being seen to stand on one’s own feet.
  • Saturn-IC: family commitments which tie a person to the home; possible problems with the father figure.
  • Saturn-Vertex/Anti-vertex: encountering authority figures, or encountering a long-awaited responsibility.

The Outer Planets

The three outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) tend to belong more to the collective rather than to the individual. Particularly with transits, they take on a generational flavor. For example, natal Neptune receiving a conjunction from transiting Pluto will be occurring to everybody born within a twelve-month period. Everyone may have the transit but few would be aware of it. Even a Mars transit squaring natal Pluto will be affecting your generation. Watch for the expression of the energy in the world of fashion, on the nightly news, or in the papers, but don’t look for it in an individual’s chart unless that individual is a world leader in fashion or politics, and so on.

However, when the outer planets form relationships to the inner natal planets, they all challenge, in some manner, the Saturn structure that exists in that area of the person’s life.

Saturn and Jupiter can be seen as a harbor mouth; inside the harbor, we can control the sea, break waters, piers, docks, and so on. However, beyond the harbor the ship is exposed to the uncontrollable open sea. Jupiter beckons us out of the harbor, Saturn tells us to be well-prepared for the journey, and Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the open sea—the collective. No matter how well prepared the vessel, events can and will occur.

  • Key Principle: fast unexpected change; a turnaround, an awakening. Freedom. The sudden storm at sea.
  • Rate of travel through the zodiac: about 4° per year.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 84 years.
  • Use in predictive work: generally used for its ability to make transits and receive progressions.
  • Figures: any person who is considered to be unconventional, independent, chaotic, eccentric, or rebellious. In addition the exciting person, the person who brings change. Intellectual and or non-committed.

Uranus is about change, unexpected, seemingly without pattern. The desire to break patterns of responsibility. Not necessarily to be free of the responsibility but rather just to be free. The wild card, electric, weird, fast, non-emotional, life-in-the-fast-lane. The energy of this planet is chaos. This may be welcomed, or may be feared. Spontaneous change by way of a general non-emotional reaction, because the individual does not have the luxury of time between events to brood or ponder. A ship in a storm does not have time to meditate on the problem.

When Saturn has our life firmly in its grasp via order, routine, habits, and life style, Uranus will come thundering into our world, to alter, change, or confront us with the vulnerability of our “nice safe secure systems”.

The energy of Uranus seems to radiate out of a person when it is strongly transiting a chart. Light bulbs can pop, electrical failures and computer hiccups seem to trail behind us like unwanted guests! The following are simple guidelines to the types of expressions of Uranus in transit.
  • Uranus-Sun: the sudden desire for freedom and re-classification of the self.
  • Uranus-Moon: release from personal emotions; events happening so fast that the person does not have time to emotionally react; freedom from emotions. Release from the conventional view of mother/child.
  • Uranus-Mercury: sudden ideas, changes in speech, encountering a foreign language, new books, and so on.
  • Uranus-Venus: changes to socializing patterns; falling in or out of love; changes in financial situation.
  • Uranus-Mars: haste, accidents, anger, sexual energy, passion.
  • Uranus-Jupiter: when we have transiting Uranus conjunct transiting Jupiter the community expresses explosive energy— brushfires and the like. On the personal level, this combination can be exciting but not too life-changing.
  • Uranus-Saturn: see Saturn.
  • Uranus-Uranus: "re-evaluation of life" cycle.
  • Uranus-Neptune: very little manifestation on the personal level; signifies inspiration, change for the better, a flash of enlightenment on the collective generational level. A hopeless case with no apparent solution can become resolved.
  • Uranus-Pluto: another generational transit that may have little effect on the individual.
  • Uranus-North Node: sudden encounters with groups or people that expand our world, bringing changes that redirect us on our life path.
  • Uranus-South Node: changing the “tribal” structure; an old issue can surface and be cleared.
  • Uranus-Ascendant: sudden changes to the person’s life; immense drive for change/freedom; change of name, changes to the physical body.
  • Uranus-Descendant: rapid change to relationship patterns: new type or style of relationship, sudden forming or breaking of a relationship; an awaking to one’s true needs in relationship.
  • Uranus-MC: sudden change of job or career, changes to social status, for better or for worse.
  • Uranus-IC: changes in the family or where the person is living; changes to the physical home.
  • Uranus-Vertex/Antivertex: encountering people who instigate change; this change can be welcomed or feared.
  • Key Principle: loss, confusion, the world dissolving, boundaries disappearing. Lost at sea.
  • Rate of movement through the zodiac: about 1° to 2° per year.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 165 years.
  • Use in predictive work: generally for its ability to make transits and receive progressions.
  • Figures: the grandmother, the wise old women. The victim or martyr. The visionary or spiritual.

    The first sign of a Neptune contact is a sense of loss, despair, hopelessness, or confusion. Many people instinctively use this as a time to travel, a time to live on the surface of cultures, to escape from their own world and drift through someone else’s. For others, there can be times of indecision instead of decisiveness, confusion and dreams instead of clarity and logic. This may or may not be a difficult experience.
    The dream world can become more vivid and intuition is highly tuned. This is a time when the boundaries of Saturn are once again challenged, not by the frontal attack of Uranus but rather by slow erosion. The structure crumbles—not because of weakness but because of a massive failure of the foundation.
    Methods of coping (Saturn) no longer work, people are Usually faced, in this time, with inactivity. They can take no action to solve their problem, they must wait for the problem to dissolve.
    The following are some guidelines to the transits of Neptune:
  • Neptune-Sun: confusion about one’s role in the world; desire to escape, travel, or recluse while one reconsiders—possibly on an unconscious level—the way in which one exists in the world.
  • Neptune-Moon: a visionary, drug-sensitive, spiritual time where the individual experiences the dissolving of emotional responses. Time out from the world to unconsciously reorganize one’s emotional reality.
  • Neptune-Mercury: awaking to the metaphysical. Art, poetry, spiritual ideas. Daydreaming. Inability to carry on with study, loss of paper work, disconnecting from the world of paper work, and so on. Being deceived.
  • Neptune-Venus: illusions in love relationships; romantic love which may be wonderful or may leave the individual to deal with cold realities after the contact has finished. Confusion in financial matters; being conned.
  • Neptune-Mars: loss of motivating energy; energy draining away; loss of libido. Normal focus energy becoming unfocused.
  • Neptune-Jupiter: idealism, seeking the guru that has the answer to everything.
  • Neptune-Saturn: see Saturn.
  • Neptune-Uranus: see Uranus.
  • Neptune-Neptune: questioning spiritual beliefs.
  • Neptune-Pluto: a large generational combination which should not be delineated on a personal level, as a few million other people will be having the same combination at the same time. Look for this transit’s expression via the media.
  • Neptune-North Node: finding one’s spiritual path, finding a group or “tribe” with a basis in the arts; healing; drug abuse; the metaphysical which propels one into a new life direction.
  • Neptune-South Node: loss in the “tribe” of an old wise woman; a restructuring within the tribe of the spiritual leader, or the visionary one in the family; meeting a person from the past with whom you feel a spiritual connection.
  • Neptune-Ascendant: dissolving the image that a person presents to the world; change of personality, as seen from outside. These changes can be catalyzed by despair, or through the escapism of travel.
  • Neptune-Descendant: dissolving relationships. Loss, being separated from one’s parents when young; new type of relationship needs surfacing in the individual.
  • Neptune-MC: letting go of a career drive; loss of social status, redirecting social status into a more Neptunian field. When young, it can also imply the loss of a parent or grandmother.
  • Neptune-IC: confusion about one’s role in the family. Moving from the home in a way that brings loss of family, relatives, or close friends, i.e., moving to another country, moving from the city to the country, or vice versa. Also, events concerning the grandmother’s role in the family.
  • Neptune-Vertex/Antivertex: encountering a spiritual, creative, healing, or victim-type of person who repels or attracts you.

  • Key Principle: transformation via the catalyst of deep emotional reactions. A storm in the harbor.
  • Rate of movement through the zodiac: about 10° per year.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 248 years.
  • Use in predictive work: for its ability to make transits to a chart and receive progressions.
  • Figures: mother-figures, loved ones, family members. People connected with death and dying.
Pluto contacts carry the flavor of instinctive emotions such as grief, lust, protection of loved ones, and so on. These contacts are the instruments the Cosmos uses for changing the redundant patterns that Saturn has set up in your life. Feeling is the essence of the contact. Change will come about via intense feelings that cannot be rationalized away or forgotten. Pluto contacts are big. They bring into the life the gut-gnawing emotions that we know only time will resolve. It is the storm in the harbor. That which was safe, home, or inner is violated, torn down, pulled apart. The harbor has to be rebuilt. 

At rare times the transit can also bring in unexpected success if the person is dealing with groups of people. However, there will still be emotionally churning events in the private life. The following are just simple guidelines for the effects of dynamic Pluto on a chart:
  • Pluto-Sun: a threat to the sense of self; life-challenging.
  • Pluto-Moon: emotional distress; issues with mother or mothering; issues with groups of women; stress on the emotional bonds that bind lovers/family together.
  • Pluto-Mercury: obsession with an idea; tunnel vision; putting all your energy into a project.
  • Pluto-Venus: intense, fated connections with an intimate relationship; forming a relationship which is “bigger then the two of you”. The sudden and emotionally-packed ending of a relationship. Matters involving large sums of money.
  • Pluto-Mars: anger and possibly violence; great physical exertion; large projects that take a great deal of energy.
  • Pluto-Jupiter: desire for greater power, a greater field of influence. This combination, however, is often not that conscious and would be considered secondary to other major contracts.
  • Pluto-Saturn: see Saturn.
  • Pluto-Uranus: see Uranus.
  • Pluto-Neptune: see Neptune.
  • Pluto-Pluto: reassess emotional involvements.
  • Pluto-North Node: Meeting a group with which you feel karmically connected.
  • Pluto-South Node: intense emotional changes to your family or tribe; meeting something or someone from your past that strongly affects you.
  • Pluto-Ascendant: change, by emotional events, to the personality of the person. The body, the name, the way in which you present yourself to the world can all be altered via a turbulent emotional period.
  • Pluto-Descendant: emotional restructuring of personal or business relationships; emotionally- charged court cases. When young, this transit can also be a change to the parent’s relationship.
  • Pluto-MC: the dramatic rearranging of career or social status. The sudden claim to fame, or the emotional shock of an unwanted redefinition.
  • Pluto-IC: Strong emotional events concerning home and family; issues with mother figure; changing of the tribe by birth or death; moving the home in such a way that there is no going back.
  • Pluto-Vertex/Antivertex: Encountering an individual or place with whom you feel a deep karmic bond.

North Node
  • Key Principle: groups, associations, that which the individual is trying to achieve in life.
  • Rate of movement through the zodiac: about 20° per year retrograde.
  • Time to travel through a chart: about 18 years.
  • Use in predictive work: in the receiving of transits and progressions.
  • Figures: The Dragon’s head or Caput Draconis is named after the concept of a giant celestial dragon who swallowed the Sun and the Moon during an eclipse.

    The nodal axis is entangled with events or people that seem fated. The North Node represents events placed in your future revealed by the passage of transits or progressions. The South Node represents events from your past—not just the past of this conscious life but also the past of your collective memories. The Hindus would say that the Nodes are the Dharma of life, the “truth” of life, the true meaning and pathway of life.

    So the North Node is perceived as new things, new groups of people, new friends that have an impact on the individual, the making of memories which will later be held as important. In addition, the individual can become conscious of a required change to the life path as this point receives a transit or progression.

    South Node

  • Key Principle: the past, family, inherited material.
  • Rate of movement through the zodiac: the same as the North Node.
  • Figures: The Dragon’s Tail or Cauda Draconis are other names for the South Node.
Since the North and South Nodes form an axis, progressions and transits to the South Node will also be occurring to the North Node. When a planet makes a conjunction to this point, better results are achieved if it is read as conjunction to the South Node rather than an opposition to the North Node.
Issues come from old family history, or things from the past. The past seems to swamp the present, old illness could flare up, friends one has not seen for twenty years suddenly appear. Lost or forgotten photos, paperwork, people, and illness can all come to the surface as this point receives a conjunction from a dynamic planet. Déjà vu experiences, meeting of strangers that you feel you have “known before,” can also take place.