Thursday 13 December 2012

Understanding the Void-of-Course Moon

by Jenni Stone

The Moon makes a complete circle through the twelve signs every 28.5 days and spends approximately 2.5 days in each sign.

Some Moon signs are felt more acutely than others: In the sign of Aries, for instance, the energy is physical and sometimes angry, a dynamic force that can be used to tackle tasks and start projects; the Moon in Taurus is a more laid-back and sensual urge to enjoy fine dining and good music. As the Moon arrives in the sign of Gemini, the telephone starts ringing and the messages begin to pour in. There are, of course, other influences at work in the solar system, but the Moon is always playing "background music" that keeps us connected to the Earth and the stars.

There is a time, however, when this connection is interrupted and we "float" between signs. This is the time we call the void-of-course Moon. It starts after the Moon has made its last major aspect (1) to the Sun or planets and is still within the sign, and the Moon is considered void of course until it enters the next sign.

The Moon goes void of course every two days or so, and this can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Sometimes, the Moon is void of course for two consecutive days; in August 2002, it lasted for almost three days when the Moon failed to make any aspects while in the sign of Cancer.
There is a distinctive quality to the energy during a void-of-course Moon: Stores and restaurants are unusually quiet, judgment is impaired, and many people have a hard time making decisions. Business meetings can take a strange turn, and people find it difficult to work together as a group.

Few astrology books mention this phenomenon, and there seems to be a lack of published information in this area. In an article about interpreting the void-of-course Moon in natal charts, Robert Hand quotes Julius Firmicus Maternus, a 4th-century Roman astrologer. "If however the Moon is so positioned that she is carried toward nothing, nor is she joining herself to any star by a proper ray, and no benevolent star occupies the angles, it will make degraded paupers, and those who are destitute of all things that are necessary, and those for whom the things which are an aid to daily living are denied, and those who always require the support of strangers in order to sustain life." (2)
These grim consequences appear to have been combined with the horary interpretation of a chart with a void-of-course Moon, which says that "nothing will come of this." The conclusion is that action is unproductive during this time. Llewellyn’s astrological calendar says that people are "fuzzy – or vague – scattered even" and that "action initiated during this time is often wasted, irrelevant, or incorrect."

However, this is not always so. Over the past two years, I have conducted research (3) with a group of friends who know nothing of astrology beyond their Sun-sign column in the local newspaper and are therefore not interested in either confirming or denying our current pet astrological theories.
This is what we found, plus some suggested ways to plan ahead and use the void-of-course Moon in positive ways.

1. Routine goes well, but take care when starting new projects.
2. Organize and throw out the clutter: This is an opportunity to get rid of the piles of papers and junk that have been accumulating. Files may be reorganized, desks and closets cleaned out; it is easy during a void-of-course Moon to see what is needed and what should be discarded. With blockages cleared, the natural flow of harmony and balance is restored. When the Moon enters into the next sign, there is a noticeable "sweetness" to the space that is created.
3. Spiritual disciplines like yoga or meditation take on a new dimension. Problems can be put on hold, and a state of inner peace is possible at these times. A luxurious timelessness pervades the senses. Music can be felt more deeply, and nuances of emotions are distinct.
4. Edit and correct: Writers use this time to revise their work. New ways of expressing ideas can be found during this time.
5. Take stock of your surroundings: Shortages, mistakes, and missing items are more noticeable during the void.
6. Sleep: Lazy morning and afternoon naps are especially tranquil when the Moon is void of course, and the line between sleeping and waking is deliciously blurred. Lucid dreaming can be encouraged by instructing the mind to find answers through dreams.
7. Relax and "hang loose": Take time off to restore and replenish your internal batteries.
8. Look ahead and be prepared: This can be a most productive time for making "to do" lists and reviewing the status of projects. It is easy to see what needs to be brought up to date during the void-of-course Moon. Much can be accomplished, and a profound sense of clarity and satisfaction is often experienced.
9. Social events with friends can be giddy and intoxicatingly fun. Throw an impromptu party or a potluck dinner. Then add an element of surprise with games like charades or Scrabble where you make up the words and the rules. Do not serve food that takes too much preparation: Pick up some Kentucky Fried Chicken, and ask guests to bring cookies or a pint of their favorite ice cream for a taste test.
10. Travel: The void-of-course Moon can be a good time to take a trip, if someone else is doing the driving. A journey by air, train, boat, or bus can be relaxing, and the time will pass easily. This is because the trip is routine to the bus driver or pilot and airline attendants.
During the three-day void in August 2002, I traveled via Virgin Atlantic to England. The plane was only half full, and the trip was trouble-free. The only challenge was the car ride to the airport. My driver did not speak English, and I didn’t happen to speak his native language (Russian).
11. Try something you’ve never done before. It’s not sensible to try rock climbing for the first time or to make a demo tape to launch your singing career, but it can be liberating to try a new activity when the Moon is void of course. A pioneering attitude in artistic pursuits brings results that range from groundbreaking to bizarre; intellectual and philosophical brainstorming can yield innovative ideas.
12. The inner voice can be heard keenly now: Intuition is strong during this time. Inner reflection can be more profound, and inner conflicts can be resolved.

What not to do during this time.

1. Do not start important or life-changing projects during the void-of-course Moon: The outcome will not be what you want or expect. We all have undertakings that remain unfinished; this is just one of the causes. In Africa, I understand there is a tribe that buries women with all of their unfinished projects – and they would have to dig a mighty big hole for my grave.

2. Try to avoid meeting new people: A first date or job interview should not be scheduled during the void. People you first meet while the Moon is void of course will not be who they appear to be; you tend to see them through rose-colored glasses, and this kind of euphoria doesn’t last. Disappointment and frustration result when they (or you) don’t live up to the image.
I have personally tested this tenet many times. My own rule is this: If the other person suggests a time that is void for a first meeting, I will counter with a time of my choice, but if this person insists, then I will go ahead – while staying alert for setbacks and hindrances to a long-term relationship.
One man (a prospective boyfriend) insisted on meeting for lunch when the Moon was void of course. He told me of his foot and shoe fetish, and I assumed that would be the extent of his weirdness. But on the third date, I learned that he was a "recovering" alcoholic. This became obvious when he soaked up three double scotches and peed on the floor.
I have noticed that relationships started when the Moon is void of course usually end with telephones being slammed down.

3. Do not start a new job when the Moon is void of course. My friend Rebecca called to tell me that she had no choice but to start her civil service position on a day when the Moon was void of course all day.
"What will happen?" she questioned. "I can’t put it off, but I feel superstitious."
I told her that her job would either turn out to be something other than what she expected, or she would leave in an unforeseen way. She called a couple of months later to say that she’d be leaving her job before the year was out because, after three years of trying, she was finally pregnant!
For the sake of research, I asked: "Were you pregnant when you started the job?"
"No," she said.
(This is not suggested as a means of getting pregnant!)

4. Plans made during the void-of-course Moon do not turn out as expected: This can be used in a constructive way. Say, for example, that there is a luncheon you don’t want to attend, a relative you don’t want to meet, or an astrology reading you don’t want to give. By making plans during a void-of-course Moon, it is sometimes possible to steer clear of these events.
The only times this doesn’t seem to work are during Mercury or Venus retrograde. Plans made during Mercury retrograde usually have to be revised anyway, and since Venus retrograde is a test of ethics and integrity, the truth is likely to be exposed and the outcome will not be to your advantage.

5. Items bought during a void Moon do not fulfill their intended purpose. For more than 20 years, since first learning this rule, I’ve avoided purchasing high-ticket items during this time. However, on one occasion when I needed a watch, I knew that the Moon was void of course, but I decided to make the purchase anyway. It was a $10 watch and, I told myself, what the hell if it fell apart after a couple of months? That cheap watch, however, kept perfect time for seven years! The band was replaced three times. Only when I dropped the watch and the glass cracked did I decide to throw it – still ticking – in the garbage.

The void is a perfect time to go to the dollar store. Sometimes, the bargain-basement item proves indispensable, and the inexpensive gift intended for someone else is something you’ll want to keep and treasure forever.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowing ahead of time is empowerment. In a perfect world, we would all embrace the natural rhythm of the Moon and stars – and we’d instinctively know the right moment for action – but in the real world, business meetings are scheduled in advance, and jobs have to be completed by a deadline.
However, friends who were involved in my research over the past two years reported success by starting projects when the energy is there to move forward easily and by using the void-of-course Moon productively – to organize, plan, or just relax.

Some friends found considerable business and financial success, while still taking time off to spend with family and friends. Others felt spiritually satisfied, and all seemed to achieve better balance by living in harmony with the energy of the cosmos.

"Knowing ahead helps people to focus," said my friend David, "not on business, but on the business of life. Being successful takes talent, tenacity, and drive, but good timing can make a significant impact and broadens the net. Busy people … hard-driving and successful people want to see things through to the end, and they think that this is the most productive way to get the job done. But knowing ahead and taking time off during the ‘void’ helps me to take a step back and then to finish the project at a time of my own choosing."

References and Notes
1. The major aspects are the conjunction, trine, square, opposition, and sextile.
2. Robert Hand, "Ancient Astrology and the Void-of-Course Moon," in The Mountain Astrologer, Oct./Nov. 1997, p. 42.
3. These two years of research helped me put together a Web site with a calendar that clearly shows, by using a gray shaded area, when the Moon is void of course. Check out the free forecasts at:
© 2003 Jenni Stone — all rights reserved
Jenni Stone has studied, researched, and written about astrology for more than 20 years. She has a Web site ( that shows void-of-course Moon times and Power Days, with advice about how to use these, and other astrological events, in positive ways. Readers can contact the author via e-mail; any comments, success stories, research results, or suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Basics of Classical Astrology

When a chart is cast, it is classified diurnal (day), or nocturnal (night), depending on whether the Sun is posited within houses 1-7, above the horizon, or houses 7-12, below the horizon.
If a chart is diurnal, then heavy consideration is placed on the position of the Sun, and the triplicity rulers of the sign position. In general, an individual with a diurnal chart, is more extroverted, less shy or hesitant, and more outgoing.
If a chart is nocturnal, then heavy consideration is placed on the position of the Moon, and the triplicity rulers of the sign position. In general, an individual with a nocturnal chart, is more introverted, shy and less outgoing.
  • Day Rulers – Sun – Jupiter – Saturn
  • Night Rulers – Jupiter – Sun – Saturn
  • Day Rulers – Venus – Moon – Mars
  • Night Rulers – Moon – Venus – Mars
  • Day Rulers – Saturn – Mercury – Jupiter
  • Night Rulers – Mercury – Saturn – Jupiter
  • Day Ruler – Venus – Mars – Moon
  • Night Ruler – Mars – Venus – Moon
In a diurnal chart, where the Sun is posited above the horizon, you will consider the placement of the Sun and it’s relevant triplicity rulerships to gain a detailed overview of the natal chart at hand.
For example, today’s chart finds a 12th House Sagittarius Sun. The 12th House is a Cadent house, which is deemed not overly positive for determined achievement and public success. Looking towards the triplicity list, we see that the Day Rulers for Sagittarius are the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is also posited in a Cadent house (not overly strong), which is the Gemini ruled 6th House, and is retrograde, and also considered in detriment. We will discuss detriment placements later on. Saturn in this chart, is posited in the 11th House, a Succedent house, and is ruled by Scorpio, a Succeedent sign. To analyse this for an individual, you could assess that the client would experience a restlessness regards daily direction, and perhaps even struggle with authority figures. There would be an elusiveness regards long-term aspirations and moments of lacking confidence in one’s talents and abilities. You could advise this individual to take small steps regards their long term goals and aspirations, and to encourage them to take the time necessary to explore a possibility fully, as they could be prone to quitting before they even begin. On the upswing, themes such as health and law would be appealing to this individual and would bode well as career possibilities.
To locate the planetary ruler of the chart, you are looking at a lot of mathematical equation. Thankfully, we live within the technological age that makes these equations easy for us, andskyscript has an exceptional listing of the necessary tables for your studies.
Essential Dignity
Each planet or luminary has a special place in the astrological chart that it calls home. This sacred space is ascertained by determining the sign and degree position of the planet or luminary. In general, a planet or luminary that is deemed to be in ‘essential dignity’ is considered to be most beneficial to the individual.
Here is a link to the essential diginity table
Accidental Dignity
Another important consideration regards Dignity, is accidental dignity, when the strength of a planet or luminary is ascertained by its position to the angles,  to other planets, or if it is within its sign of exaltation. In general, a planet or luminary considered to be in ‘accidental dignity’, does have beneficial effects, but it can also be a powerhouse of unpredictability, depending on any negative possibilties that may be experienced by the planet or luminary.
For example, today’s chart finds Mars in accidental dignity. Mars is posited in the 1st House and is ruled by Capricorn, the sign of his exaltation. The basis of this positioning is positive, however, Mars is also experiencing a square to the MC (career or public standing challenges) and a quincunx to Jupiter (authority issues). Possibilties of this placement could be experienced as either positive experiences with others, or within the career realm, or as some level of confrontation or disappointing revelation regards future goals.
Each planet is given a time of being in Exaltation, and a time of being in Fall. When in Exaltation, the planet or luminary is deemed to be positive, powerful in beneficial ways, and free to express its energy potential in a natural way. This position of exaltation is deemed by sign rulership and degree placement. However, a planet is considered in exaltation during its entire journey through a sign, with the specific degree position being a particular point of power and strength.
Here is a link to the table of dignities
Below is a list of the degrees of exaltation
  • 19 degrees Aries – Sun
  • 3 degrees Taurus – Moon
  • 15 degrees Virgo – Mercury
  • 27 degrees Pisces – Venus
  • 28 degrees Capricorn – Mars
  • 5 degrees Cancer – Jupiter
  • 21 degrees Libra – Saturn
As a planet or luminary will experience its moment to shine brightly and with purity, it will also experience a time where its light shines dimly, or beneath a dappled shadow. The opposite sign of the planet or luminary being deemed in exaltation, is considered as being in Fall, and an individual with planet or luminary in Fall, will find it tougher to achieve the positive intention of that celestial body.
Below is a list of the planets and luminaries, and their position of Fall
  • Sun in Libra
  • Moon in Scorpio
  • Mercury in Pisces
  • Venus in Virgo
  • Mars in Cancer
  • Jupiter in Capricorn
  • Saturn in Aries
When a planet or luminary is posited in the sign opposite its natural ruler, it is considered to be in detriment. This means that the energy of that planet does not run as freely or as smoothly as it does when in its natural sign position. An individual or situation will need to work harder to achieve the goal of that energy when a celestial body is in detriment, but it is not not essentially a negative. Many notable individuals experience an energy in detriment. For example, Richard Branson experiences Mars in detriment, and Bill Gates experiences both Venus and Mars in detriment, yet both men are considered to be a few of the most successful men of the 21st century.
Below is a list of the home of the planets and luminaries, and where they are considered to be in detriment.
  • Sun
  • - home = Leo – in detriment = Aquarius
  • Moon
  • - Home = Cancer – in detriment = Capricorn
  • Mercury
  • - Home = Gemini  and Virgo – in detriment = Sagittarius and Pisces
  • Venus
  • - Home = Taurus and Libra – in detriment = Scorpio and Aries
  • Mars
  • - Home = Aries and Scorpio – in detriment = Libra and Taurus
  • Jupiter
  • - Home = Sagittarius and Pisces – in detriment = Gemini and Virgo
  • Saturn
  • - Home – Capricorn and Aquarius – in detriment = Cancer and Leo
A planet or luminary is considered to be in ‘mutual reception’, when they are within each other’s signs. For example:- Mercury in Cancer would be considered in mutual to reception to the Moon, if the Moon was also posited in Capricorn. This is generally a positive union, where the effects are both influences are intensified and powerful. There are however times where this mutual reception is considered to be weakened, or less helpful in effect.  This would be when one, or both of the planets or luminaries are considered to be in detriment, or in fall, if the planets or luminaries are not in aspect to each others, or if they are being impacted by an opposition.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to explore Classical Astrology on a deeper level, please take the time to visit these exceptional websites:-
Deborah Houlding’s Skyscript
Renaissance Astrology – William Lilly

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Chart Ruler in Houses

Once we have found the ruler of the ascendant's sign, then we locate where that planet is situated in the chart.

Chart Ruler Descriptions

If the chart ruler is located in the first house, the individual may be quite adept at initiating activities without needing to be persuaded.

For the chart ruler in the second house, the individual may define his/her self-worth through money and material possessions, or long-term security may motivate his/her activities.

For the chart ruler in the third house, the individual may be drawn to activities involving intellect, travel or communication.

For the chart ruler in the fourth house, the individual may strive to create a solid family base and home life.

For the chart ruler in the fifth house, the individual may find it easier to take risks, especially in relation to love, fun and romance.  Children may also be an important means of defining his/her activities.

For the chart ruler in the sixth house, the individual may tend to be service oriented to the point of being stressed if he/she is not working/helping others.

For the chart ruler in the seventh house, the individual may seek out activities that he/she and a partner can join in together.

For the chart ruler in the eighth house, the individual may actually be most comfortable in working with other's money or resources. Sexuality may also be a defining trait for this individual.

For the chart ruler in the ninth house, the individual may seek out activities involving religion, philosophy, culture or law in an effort to accepted.

For the chart ruler in the tenth house, the individual may work hard to build a reputable expression of his/her role in life.

For the chart ruler in the eleventh house, the individual may strive to associated with humanitarian causes or be involved in social activities that impact his/her life.

For the chart ruler in the twelfth house, the individual may tend to be a very private individual, preferring to build an inner strength while being drawn to activities that stay behind-the-scenes.

Where is that Solar Eclipse in my Chart?

The Solar Eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth line up in such a way that the Moon obscures the Sun from the Earth. This can only occur during a New Moon phase. The human response to the Solar Eclipse is both physical and psychological. It is not uncommon for the individual to develop an awareness of change shortly before, during and after an eclipse. Solar Eclipses focus the spotlight onto the Self. Perhaps because we live within a social realm, we tend to forget the importance of the "self" prior to the development of relationships. Quite often, people want to know, "How can I get him/her to like me?" The more valid question is, "Do I like who I am?" Solar Eclipses tend to get us to focus more on the "ME!" and do I like Me as I am today. A Solar Eclipse can also spur on the beginning of a new phase in one's life. The Solar Eclipse can help you to regroup and focus, for a while, on an area in your life that may need extra attention or change. While your attention is focused on a particular area of your life, the eclipse in relation to your natal chart is almost like a "self-help" tool that can help develop the strengths of your personality. The Solar Eclipse may inspire, motivate or pressure you, depending on the nature of your needs during the transit. The interpretations below are brief and may only cover a small portion of the possibilities. You should also consider the Lunar Eclipse that occurs in the sequence with the Solar Eclipse.

The Solar Eclipse OccurrenceSolar Eclipse Influences

In your
Natal First House:

The focus is on personal development. Self-recognition is essential to self-esteem and growth. Acknowledgement of a weakness is as important to development as the recognition of strengths. No person can exist without some form of weakness. Some people experience identity crises or ruminate on self-doubts as part of the growth process. The Eclipse's influence is one in which the individual realizes that personal potentials can be developed and expresses them more fully. Self-knowledge, self-confidence, and self-enrichment lead to an expansion of personal horizons for those who respond positively to Solar Eclipse energies. A negative reaction blocks growth potentials and gives rise to arrogance and self-gratification. People that are too satisfied with the "self" as they are, fail to recognize what they have become.

In your
Natal Second House:

The focus is on financial perspectives. The ego drives one to seek financial and material status. Excessive ego may prompt a person's attempt to increase income by expanding resources while another person may try to amass assets for savings or other security means. Acquiring large debts while purchasing material objects can satisfy the ego; or displays of financial generosity might give another person a sense of pride. The results of the Solar Eclipse period within the second house might range from proportional prosperity to economic ruin. However, security and growth is not merely financial activity; the focus deals with the development of material values and obligatory attitudes that promote inner growth as well as material and psychological security.

In your
Natal Third House:

The focus is on intellectual and communicative needs. Self-satisfaction is likely to be achieved through learning and teaching - not always in the areas of teaching in the professional sense, but teaching by outwardly articulating ideas and knowledge in conversation or in written form. Intellectual pursuit might take on various forms, and the effort is rewarded with a increased aware of the personal environment

In your
Natal Fourth House:

The focus is on the incentive to establish the type of home life feels comfortable and reflects security. Improvement are likely to be expressed by improving the tangible features of home or by improving family relationships (or both). A Solar Eclipse may be the impetus to move to another location. Parents, family dynamics, and lifestyle are important issues at this time. Change and adjustment is often necessary in order to satisfy the emotional needs of the individual.

In your
Natal Fifth House:

The focus is on the need to risk expressing oneself creatively and affectionately. The fifth house, ruled by the Sun, represents the soul and life essence; the areas in a person's life that brings them joy. The individual emphasizes activities and relationships that allow enjoyment and create happy feelings as a means to develop self-esteem. A parent often finds that during the eclipse period that bonding with children cultivates inner growth and ego satisfaction for the children and the parent. A balance of give and take is essential. Too much of one or the other tends to block potential growth.

In your
Natal Sixth House:

The focus is on personal health, employment environments and job relationships. A positive response to the Solar Eclipse typically results in better health and nutritional practices. The satisfaction that a person feels in a healthy work situation is also essential. Reducing work-related health hazards, whether physical or psychological, can positively affect one's overall productivity. Finding positive ways to improve cooperation between co-workers can also have a lasting impact on one's health.

In your
Natal Seventh House:

The focus is on one to one human interaction at a personal level and a business level. A sense of incompleteness encourages individuals to seek an equivalent in order to enhance self-esteem. The meaningful alliances are generally expressed as marital or business partnerships. The Solar Eclipse in the seventh house strengthens relationships that are solid and satisfying while disbanding relationships that are unbalanced or unrewarding. Harmony and balance are important to emotional growth. Self-worth can be realized through one's ability to assist another person to meet his/her needs.

In your
Natal Eighth House:

The focus is on sharing material, physical, and/or inner spheres. Activation of the material assets that may be shared with the marriage partner or business associates. Activation of the physical sensory may arouse aggressive sexual urges. The psychological or inner response accentuates spiritual evolution and psychic development. The individual's motivation may depend upon his/her own level of growth attained to this stage of life.

In your
Natal Ninth House:

The focus is on the development of abstract or intangible thought. Questions of morality, ethics, religious practices, and philosophical issues are addressed in an attempt to develop a personal guide; a foundation and a sense of structure for living life. During Solar Eclipse's influence, higher education, cultural expansion, and travel experiences play a part in the individual's exploration for wisdom and truth.

In your
Natal Tenth House:

The focus is on career advancement and social reputation. A sense of pressure may be experienced for developing public recognition that induces the determination to advance one's goals. The individual may look for tangible evidence (pay increase, promotion, public publicity, etc.) that his/her efforts are being rewarded and as a display of success.

In your
Natal Eleventh House:

The focus is on society and the human race. Group interests and organizational involvement become more significant in one's life. It is typically through eleventh house relationships and experiences that charitable viewpoints develop. One's own sense of worth is advanced when selfless humanitarian acts become a common practice or accepted as a natural decree of the universe.

In your
Natal Twelfth House:

The focus is on psychological development and spiritual growth. Outward expressions of psychic and spiritual activity impact the inner person. One grows increasingly aware of the interdependency that must exist between the physical and spiritual natures. Psychological fears and repressed desires can manifest as can as untrustworthy and deceptive tendencies during the influence of the Solar Eclipse. The secretive side of one's nature becomes more apparent or active for better or for worse. In the case of the latter, positive growth depends upon taking appropriate corrective actions.

Monday 5 November 2012

What to Expect from Eclipses

Solar Eclipse, Lunar Eclipse November 2012What to Expect from Eclipses
  • Eclipses bring news of life’s big events: the birth of a baby, a marriage, a career breakthrough, a sudden divorce.
  • Eclipses bring on circumstances that in retrospect seem fated.
  • If you have a planet touched by the eclipse there’ll be an unexpected change of direction connected to the planet’s symbolism.
  • If an eclipse falls on your birthday, the following year will be exceptionally eventful.
  • Take any message at an eclipse seriously—there’s little chance you can have it reversed. Move on.
  • You might finally see the true character of someone close under the spotlight of an eclipse.
  • Something ends and something begins. At the time of the eclipse you’re on the bridge between past and future. You can’t go back.
  • Avoid ultimatums or threats.
  • Wait until the dust settles before making any big decisions-eclipses are emotional times.
  • Keep your schedule light around the days before and after the eclipse.
  • Don’t judge events as either good or bad—it could take weeks or months to understand their real meaning.
  • Eclipses often open doors you didn’t know were there.

“Three things cannot long be hidden: the Sun, the Moon and the Truth.” Buddha
Did you know that there is spiral DNA encoded in your life from birth in which portals/forks of destiny are embedded every 18.69 years of your life? If you live to be 93 you’ll experience 4 complete rounds of the zodiac with these “free from fate” points or 3 if you live past 75, as you climb the helix.
These portals are your natal lunar nodes bringing eclipses,known as the wild cards of the universe, blowing a huge blast of fresh air into whichever part of your life they fall. Eclipses happen when the Nodes of the Moon line up within 10 degrees of the Sun/Moon on the ecliptic creating Lunar eclipses (New Moon) or Solar Eclipses (Full Moon).
In your birth chart, this Nodal axis is of immense significancein your individual life. It’s as if life constantly returns you to this axis to remind you of your bigger purpose. It is an axis of tension and compulsion around which ideas of fate and destiny seem to hover. Your natal North Node degree and sign reveal your path in this life, acting like your own North Star keeping your compass aligned to your purpose. Check it out by sign, house and aspects.
Eclipses occur in pairs four weeks apart twice each year. Their wild maverick nature is revealed by the way they move clockwise around the zodiac signs instead of anti clockwise as all the planets, centaurs and asteroids do. Not all eclipses are equal and you feel the most impact when one conjuncts opposes or squares a planet or point in your chart.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

How can astrology empower and strengthen you?

by Kelley Rosano

Personal Astrology

What is your natal birth chart?

Your natal chart–personal astrology is a snapshot picture taken of the universe at the moment of birth. This powerful tool is your personal foundation for life. It is your soul blueprint and road map. It is where you will discover your calling, right livelihood or purpose and soul agreements.  The natal astrology reveals your greatest potential and possibilities in life.

How can astrology empower and strengthen you?

Astrology is used to analyze an individual’s unique psychology, behavior, talents, gifts, abilities, patterns, potentials and how you get in your own way.  Above all, your natal astrology shows your soul agreements (your contracts with family, friends and work.) For instance, what is your life purpose?  Who were born to become? What roles were you destined to play with other key people in your life?  Intuitive astrology is used to empower you to make wise choices based on his/her own integrity and core values, rather than what the family, the television, society, the institutions, or the church has told you to do or be, in order to achieve right living, right relationship, and lasting happiness which is our birthright!

We must know Self and love Self more than the need to please others or have their approval. We were born to live authentically, powerfully, and never to “settle.” Intuitive astrology is best utilized as a probative means to better understand our behaviors, intentions, motivations, relationship issues, and soul potentials.  Intuitive astrology assists people in gaining greater insight and connection with their Inner Being – true nature, uniqueness, best version of you and healthy relationship choices.

Astrology is used as a tool, to help you make right decisions, get validation, flush out your next step, and provide insight into your current life experiences.  KR purpose is for the client to feel empowered, to evolve to a place of greater Self-acceptance, love, compassion,  strength, to avoid needless heartache, frustration, worry, and stress.  Einstein believed the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. I don’t think there is anything more fascinating or exhilarating than understanding the mystery of Self. Who are you really? Does your outer life reflect who you are truly? Together we can awaken and inspire your heart’s most passionate dreams.

Can you imagine if your parents understood your natal astrology how different life could have been? Instead of trying to make us into something we are not or the striking image of their lives.  The enlightened parents knowing their children astrology could nourish and nurture each unique child to their true calling.  Empowering each special child to be true to Self, live their life authentically. By understanding the natal astrology parents could guide  their child to their right living, right work, and right relationships. We would see a world filled with happy people because they are aligned with “who” they really are because they know Self.

The natal chart tells the astrologer where you have come from in childhood and past-lives; this is called patterns or momentum’s of behavior. Your natal chart reveals your psychology (how you think), your spirituality (who you authentically are) and your right livelihood (what service/gift you have come to render the planet). Your natal astrology expresses your talents, attainment, abilities, and gifts. Everything happening in your life today goes back to this original birth chart, as it is your personal unique story. It is most useful in finding right work, right relationship, right living location, and your passion.  What are you on fire for?  Your natal chart is the key to unlocking the mystery behind karmic attraction, painful life experiences in relationship, and family.  We are here to master our karma (astrology) by stepping into the light (knowledge and understanding) and taking right action, which is Self-empowerment and Self-mastery.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Composite houses and the 4 clusters

Composite Houses: The First Quadrant

It seems to me that the biggest trip-up in interpreting composite charts stems from not understanding the meaning of the composite houses, including the angles.  While they are, in fact, very similar to natal houses and angles, in interpretation they are somewhat different and have variations that need to be recognized.  For example, one of the biggest mistakes is to turn to the seventh house to see how healthy (and/or romantic) the partnership might be.  For some reason, we naturally incline to that house for all of our information about the give and take in a partnership–and it’s understandable, given the Libran bent of the seventh.  But think about it logically–if the Ascendant represents the “I” of the relationship, what does the seventh represent?  And if the seventh house in the natal can contain the Shadow of the psyche, our unconscious projections, where do you think the seventh house of a composite is taking us?

So, before going any further with composites, I think it’s a good idea for us to review composite houses and the areas of experience they represent in a composite chart.  It makes sense to know the general shape of a thing before adding in the details.

I’ll begin, of course,  with the Ascendant and the first quadrant of the chart.  We understand what the Ascendant represents in a natal chart.  It’s the degree on the horizon at the time of birth, the place where earth and sky meet.  All of the angles are symbolic of the vortex created when spirit whorls with matter.  The Ascendant is the conscious “I”, the vehicle we use to negotiate the world, our point of first reference.  It is marked by the time and place of birth–but how does this work in a composite chart?  How can two entities meet in the middle?

The composite Ascendant, including the composite first house, is the strongest point in the composite chart.  Anything that hits it affects us deeply, because it is the very identity of who we are as a couple and, in fact whether we are a couple.   Do we feel as if we belong together?  Are we a good fit?  Does this feel like a natural partnership?  Strong, unsullied aspects to the Ascendant, or strong positive planets in the first house, like the Sun, Moon, or Jupiter, are going to give us a sense of belonging together.  (Squares to these planets are telling us that we may have to work for it.)  I’ve seen couples with strong first house composites overcome many things that would tear other couples apart, because their sense of what the partnership is to them is so strong.  No question that they would stay together.  This is also true, in a larger sense, for the composite chart in general.  I’ve seen many cases where the inter-aspects between charts are terrible, the two should drive one another insane. But the composite chart is so strong and positive that the relationship thrives.  Sure, they annoy one another.  To them, it’s just part of who they are together.  The sense of ‘we,’ of ‘us’ is never tainted.

The Ascendant and first house of a composite can also be a dangerous place, because when threats come to the partnership in terms of outer planet transits or difficult progressions, the entire relationship can undergo a major crisis.  This is true of any of the composite angles, but particularly the Ascendant, on which the whole thing hangs.  Outer planet transits often are a wake up call saying, “We aren’t who we thought we were.”  These are most often the times when relationships need to change to survive.

The first house can also show us indicators of one-person ‘relationships,’ cases of fascination or obsession or just simple old unrequited love.  Usually, the person who is hooked by the relationship has a planet (or more) conjuncting the Ascendant of the composite chart very tightly.  If it’s the Sun, or Venus, that person values the relationship intensely, and it holds great meaning for their self-development, whether it lasts or not.  You will usually see conjunctions between the natal chart and the composite Moon, Venus or Saturn as well.  We can get into real difficulty when a person’s Venus/Neptune natal square falls on the angles of the composite, or Mars/Pluto.  The relationship will become a focal point for the person working out this natal dilemma, and will fuel the fires of deception, disillusionment, longing and ego-oriented desire.  The other ‘partner’ , the one who isn’t interested, will likely not have anything touching the composite in this intense way.

The second house in the composite, the Taurus house, has to do with our sense of resources and ownership.  A good second house will enhance our feelings of security and belonging when we are together.  If well-aspected, the material side of our lives will flow easily.  We most likely will agree on the way our money should be spent and how much we should pay for car insurance.  On a deeper level, the second house will reveal whether or not we perceive our relationship as a resource–whether we value and cherish it.  If we have an emphasis there, we may be able to do things together, to make things happen together, that we could never do alone.  Well-placed planets in the second house boost our resourcefulness together–but if there is too much of an emphasis on the second, we may incline to be materialistic and not see the forest for the trees if we begin to have spiritual and/or psychological differences that challenge the partnership.  Hard aspects to the second, or difficult planets there, may mean that we have to work for our stability and security.  Jupiter there might be lucky, but a challenged Jupiter might reveal that, together, we fuel the flames of overdoing things in all areas, and losses may be involved.  Our second house contains what we believe is ‘ours’–on all levels.   If Venus is there, for example, we may have a talent for togetherness and value our time together.  Good aspects will cause things to flow towards us–difficult ones will make us aware that we can’t take anything for granted where the partnership is concerned.

The third house in the composite chart is much more important than it’s given credit for.  It’s a bit difficult to get a handle on the third house because it represents so many things, but if you think in the largest, widest terms possible, they’re all related.  The third house is about connecting.  It’s like a baby naturally reaching out to connect with what is nearby, what it can grasp.  Take that further, and it’s about the mind reaching out to make connections, to understand its environment.  And it represents the environment itself, the mundane circumstances of our lives.  Which is why, in classic astrology, it represents our neighbors, our close relations, our brothers and sisters (who are just there, like the furniture, we have no choice about it).  The third house is everything around us, all those things we just accept.  In a much larger sense, and given the mental connotations of the third, it’s about how we get around, both physically and mentally–it’s about the way we think and act when we are at ‘home’ with our selves.  All those things we don’t have to think about because they’re just ‘there.’

The third house can describe a couple’s mindset about their environment–and how they move within it, as a couple.  It can also describe the things that concern them on a day to day basis–not in a philosophical sense, but the sense of where they put their awareness, where they spend their mental time.  It can also describe how they move about together–are they a stay-put type, hardly going out (Saturn) or do they rush around like the proverbial chicken with its head chopped off (Uranus).   Are they articulate and conversational (Mercury/Sun) or vague and unforthcoming (Mercury/Neptune).  If an outer planet is in the third, they may, as a couple, feel that their status quo is continually threatened.  Saturn there may cause them to be very serious about their calendar, always planning and organizing things well ahead of time.  The describes how we interact with life on a day to day basis–are we always challenging things (Mars) or happy taking it easy (Venus)?   A person who doesn’t like surprises and disruption will be very uncomfortable in a relationship where the composite third house is emphasized in a disruptive way (a Mars/Uranus conjunction, for example).  There may also be disruptions with siblings, neighbors and an unfortunate tendency for electrical appliances to break down or explode (not kidding here–I know a couple of couples with this type of aspect who have a hard time controlling their electrical flow.)

The third house is important in a composite because it describes the kind of things we need to think about in the partnership, and what occupies a great deal of our attention and time together.  This may be very different from our long term goals and plans and our very philosophy of life as a couple, which are shown in our composite ninth house.  But the third house, on the whole, is not a house that involves a lot of conscious awareness–we deal with what we need to deal with, and that’s that.  The fourth house is where we really start acting as a unit (or not) and are forced to define the partnership in terms of others.

Composite Houses: The Second Quadrant

As we’ve said, the first quadrant of the composite chart is largely about our identity as a couple, our definition of our ‘couple-ness’, how we act,  what we own (both spiritually and materially) and how we communicate as a unit, including the way we react to our immediate environment, including our neighbors and cousins and siblings and anyone else who drops by.  All three first quadrant houses are largely instinctive.  The way we identify as a couple, our sense of what’s ours, and our way of connecting with others is mostly spontaneous.  Once we get into the second quadrant, we start talking about the things that we put into place, the things that we may plan for ourselves.  It isn’t that these houses stop being instinctive, but that they add another layer of awareness as the houses progress.  We can be aware of our contribution as a couple  in houses four, five and six the way we never were in the first three.

For those who really want to settle down, the fourth house in the composite is where its at.  I have seen terrible synastries overcome tremendous odds by having a packed fourth house.  For those people, building a life, a home, a base of operation was their modus operendi, and, with the intensity inherent in this cardinal house, nothing got in the way of that.  When a house is packed in a composite chart, the people involved pour their energy into that area of life.  It’s easier when the house represents something solid, like the fourth house with its emphasis on home and family and roots, because there is something for the composite energy to hang itself on.  It’s more difficult if something like the 12th house is emphasized; all that energy pouring into a house whose task is to dissolve and resolve, to tap a higher power.  Tricky, that one.  But the fourth, yes, home, family, roots, all those comforting things, the meatloaf and mashed potatoes of the zodiacal houses…

Well, no, not really.  At first, yes.  All of the water houses lure us in with promises of comfort and understanding.  When our composite has a packed fourth house we may buy a home and have kids right away, because we want to be a part of something, put our roots down in the world.  But the composite fourth house represents something bigger than roots and belonging.  It has to do with our conscious awareness of ourselves as a couple.

It’s different from the first house, because the first house is instinctive; the first house is about our initial way of being with one another, what happens when two become one.  We have no control over the energy we give off in the first house.  Any planets there define our togetherness to others, and are something others see right away, but we have little influence over them.  In the fourth house, we come to understand ourselves as a unit.  We are aware of ourselves as a couple and make conscious actions and contributions as a couple.  It’s an important house, because if we are not aware of working together, we may begin to work separately.  If we have outer planets on the composite IC, we may have difficulty establishing our roots–we may love one another intensely, we may try to build a life together, but may have to fight tsunamis and earthquakes, and storms before we can establish our emotional roots.  That’s another keyword for the composite house–emotions.  What we feel together might be tender or it might be stormy, but the composite fourth will show us the status of our deepest, most intimate points.  The eighth house will describe our sexual intimacy, and the 12th our sense of spiritual oneness, but the fourth is where the intimacy is, and the sign on its cusp will tell us a lot about whether or not we let other people in.  Scorpio or Pluto there can feel vulnerable, and hide our relationship from the outside world.  Gemini will incline us to open our doors.  If our sense of rootedness is secure, then the fourth house can show us our greatest strengths as a couple.  Couples with a packed fourth house know that they  feel stronger together than they ever did apart.  This is because the fourth house represents the seat of personal power–the thing that we know can never be taken away from us.  In a composite chart, it’s our bottom line as a couple, where we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, to face the world.

People tend to get all happy and smiley-faced around the fifth house.  Why shouldn’t they, in the domain of sunny Leo?  Think of all the fifth house represents–creativity, personal expression, children, chance-taking, play.  When we are fully grounded in the fourth house, the fifth house takes care of itself, which is one of the esoteric truths of astrology and has to do with the yin/yang function of the Moon and the Sun and their respective houses–the Moon comes before the Sun for a reason. (More of this another day.) Who wouldn’t want the fifth house emphasized?

Couples who have the fifth house emphasized in the composite often put a great deal of energy and effort into their children.  An outer planet there can indicate troubles conceiving, or the children become a disruption to the unity of the relationship.  Depending on the planets, there may be creative work to be done together.  I’ve seen the composite Sun appear in the composite fifth many, many times when two people come together to pour their energy into some creative project.  The two people naturally express themselves as a unit.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney not only had their composite Moon in the fifth, but the ruler of the composite fifth, Venus, was conjunct the composite Ascendant. 

However, emphasis on the composite fifth may mean that the relationship is more about play than it is about settling down.  We enjoy one another, but it may not be permanent.  Longevity would be illustrated elsewhere in the chart.  If there are squares between the fifth house and the eighth house, there may be issues around sexual fidelity and intimacy.  Conflicts between the fifth and second houses may indicate that our values are in conflict with our natural ways of expressing ourselves in the world (or we just overdo everything, especially when it comes to tapping our bank account).  We may encourage one another to take too many chances, or not take the relationship seriously enough, only to see it disintegrate through neglect or through assuming too much.

The sixth house, on the whole, is a highly misunderstood house, both in natal interpretation and in composite.  In basic astrology, it covers health, service, the mundane tasks of our daily routines, and pets (or anyone else dependent on us for livelihood, hence, servants).  That’s a lot of ground to cover, most of it a dogs dinner of rulership.  I’m going to be covering the sixth house in detail, soon, in another article, but there is a common link between all these things that comes out especially clearly in composite charts.

The sixth house is the crossroads of the chart; it’s a mutable house, a Virgo house.  As such, it’s about crisis–the crisis of becoming.  It’s where we consolidate the unit so that it’s strong enough to meet the outside world.  The sixth house is where we’re tested and refined.   It’s where we discover what we’re about. Couples with the sixth house emphasized can lead a life of tests and trials to the relationship that either serve to make it stronger or allow it to fall apart.  If there are afflictions and challenges to the sixth house, it often feels as if they come from ‘out of the blue’, and can feel very Job-like in their intensity.  The question becomes, how strong, how whole, are we as a unit?  Strength comes from working out our priorities as a couple and learning to live on an even keel.  If we fill our lives with mundane details and superficial trivia, and never have a direction or a purpose to our existence, how strong are we?  The sixth house rules health because health requires balance–body, mind and spirit working together.  When the unit is strong, it becomes a vessel for the higher energies of the 12th house, which will use it to bring good into the world, and have our partnership become a living illustration of the way the divine is housed in the ordinary details of life.  Sixth house crises are about becoming the vessel.  If we fail our tests, the higher energies break us, and we may fail our tests and fall apart.

Couples who have the sixth house prominent are often interested in health and well-being; they may also be devoted to expressing the higher energies.  If this is the case, the strength of their convictions will be tested.  In all cases, a composite chart with a prominent sixth house will ask a couple to find devotion in the day to day.  Their work in the world will have to encompass both their thoughts about their environment (3rd) and their visions and beliefs (9th).  In the sixth house, we need to open ourselves to a higher power in order to make sense of life.  The more we let the higher powers influence our decisions, the more successful we will be as carriers of those powers.  The sixth house is about transition–the transition from the meaningless to the meaningful, a place where the the smallest thing can be the most significant.   We find our compassion, because we understand that the smallest and the greatest things in life are one and the same.

Composite Houses: The Third Quadrant

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for, haven’t we?  What is  the role of a relational house in a relational chart?  Our eyes just naturally gravitate there, hoping to find a natural, naturally balanced two-ness in the seventh, or  some sexual redemption and delivery  in the eighth.  And then–what the heck is the ninth house doing there, right after all that melding and merging? 

The three together actually make more sense than we realize.  In this quadrant we have taken our perfected (as much as possible) selves and presented them to ‘other.’  It’s the old one-two-three- of relationships:  we come together in the seventh to see if we click, we merge in the eighth to test our boundaries and redefine ourselves through burning down and returning to ourselves anew, and then, in the ninth, we try to make sense of it all.

These houses describe a quadrant of the natal chart we all know well –but do they express the same things in a composite chart? 

Yes and no.  And it all has to do with the concept of ‘other.’  “Other” to a partnership is a different concept from ‘other’ to a single entity. 

The Seventh House:   The identity of a partnership, or how we define our partnership, belongs to the Ascendant (with the Sun almost tied for second place).   It gives the general tone of who we are when we’re together, alone.  So the seventh house of the composite chart takes us into some complicated territory.  Who acts as partner to the partnership?

On the one hand, the seventh house in a composite can  represent our awareness of who we are as a couple when we are relating to the outside world.  It is our team ‘face.’ When we are dealing with the day to day as a union, we may come from our seventh house.  That dynamic couple you meet at a party, who blow you over with their fiery Aries-style dynamic, may actually have peaceful Libra rising and not see themselves that way at all.  When we have a packed seventh house in a composite, we are very aware of who we are as a couple and what we represent to others.  There is usually a lot of charisma with couples who have a strong seventh house, because our energy isn’t wrapped up in ourselves, it naturally goes out to others, and they respond accordingly.  If we have something fair-faced, like Venus there, or glamourous like Neptune, or electric, like Uranus–others will feel it.  With a prominent Mercury in the seventh, we may be seen as intellectual, or at least, talkative. As with a natal chart, we may not be entirely certain of what we give off as a couple, and the seventh house of a composite is ripe for our composite projections–if we have Mars there, for example, we may be fairly aggressive in doing things our way, and yet it may feel to us that others are oppressive and difficult.

The seventh house can represent everyone out there who is close to us and with whom we have to deal on a day to day basis (outside of close relations and family, who are covered by other houses).   In a composite chart,  it’s whoever is ‘out there’ as opposed to ‘in here’  within the relationship.  But in old fashioned terms, the seventh house used to be called the ‘house of open enemies,’ people who confront you and challenge you.  The seventh house can show if a partnership is strong (Saturn there) or if you are subject to invasion from the outside, as when Neptune is on the Desc.  Neptune or Jupiter there can indicate a partnership prone to being broken by third parties.  As a couple, we may want to explore and have no boundaries as far as others are concerned.  We may be generous to the point of fault, or we may be closed and suspicious of others (Pluto in the 7th).   If the seventh house is packed, it may be that a great deal of our energy as a couple is involved with interaction of those we hold dear.  We may be one of those people who are always tied up with others, for better or worse.

It gets complicated when we realize that the seventh can also describe our ideas of ‘other people’s partnerships,’ making us ripe for projecting our partnership issues on to other couples, or it can indicate the shadow side of our own relationship–the thing that can bubble under the surface, undermining us, without us knowing.  This is the most important role for the composite seventh house to play.  Neptune or Pisces there?  Lack of boundaries, drugs and alcohol or a tendency for the partnership to drift and remain undefined may undo us.  Scorpio?  Jealousy, suspicion, possessiveness, power plays, all of the usual Plutonian suspects.  Gemini?  Too much connection (socializing) and not enough commitment (or too much talk and not enough action).  Like the shadow in a natal chart, it sometimes takes time to grasp what the problem really is, because the shadow is elusive and the light ever-changing.  If we have lots of planets on the Descendant or in the 7th, we may be the kind of couple that needs to go out and meet up with others all the time, and are unhappy alone in our homes.  This might be fine for if both people are  inclined that way, but it may be hell for a quiet Cancer or Virgo who just wants to stay home and cocoon with the partner.

The seventh house can also describe our style of give and take with the world.  Are we open and friendly as a couple (Sag) or are we very selective about who we let into our lives (Virgo).  Our Virgo shadow may cause us to be hypercritical of others, when we let ourselves off the hook quite easily (Composite Pisces rising).  The sign on the cusp of the seventh represents what we expect when we reach out.  If Mars is there, we may feel that other couples are sexually motivated, or argumentative, and we may feel aggressive and hostile to others without realizing it.  We may get into fights with the neighbors or the doorman and never understand why we are so besieged.  As with natal seventh houses, it’s easy to project planetary activity there,  far more difficult to own it as a couple, but own it we should because we’re only at the beginning of this quadrant’s journey.  If we are projecting an outer planet, rather than owning those tendencies, our relationship may blow up in our faces without us ever really knowing why.

The 8th House:  The eighth house is the most natural house to experience in a composite.  The entire house is about merged energies, whether they be sexual or financial.  On the surface, it’s about our style of sharing–how we use what we own as a unit.  The eighth house will, to some extent, give a sense of the sexual ‘style’ a couple has, and planets there will describe how we accomplish our merging.  The Sun there will describe a partnership that possibly revolves around sex and inner transformation.  (Or you could go the traditional route and speculate that, depending on other aspects,  it may be all about money, or possibly sex for money).  It can be a deep, intimate, psychologically-directed house, where our most intimate vulnerabilities are exposed, or it can be primarily about how we use our resources.  Note I say ‘use.’  The resources themselves will be shown by the 2nd house, but how we handle what we have belongs in the eighth.  This can get very interesting when we’re not dealing with polarities.  For example, a couple can have Venus in conservative Capricorn in the second, but have Gemini ruling an empty eighth house.  Their nest egg might be solid, but they may tend to spend it on a whim, or may be addicted to buying the latest phones and video games.  They might be the kind of people who value conservative spending but just can’t seem to do it themselves.  If  it were flipped, and Gemini was on the second and Venus in Cap in the eighth, this couple would carefully share their ideas and their connections with the outside world.  They would take care of their Gemini resources, whatever they might be.  This might be the couple who knows everyone on the block and makes sure that the older people across the street get dug out of the snow.  They also might be carefully generous with local charities.

If a couple has a packed eighth house, there is a need for intimacy and deep exchange within the partnership.  This might be okay for the half of the couple that is more Plutonian or depth-oriented.  If the other partner is more air/fire this may make the relationship difficult–we will feel as if we are struggling to breathe every moment, while the relationship keeps pulling us underwater.  This is true for any of the water houses (4, 8, 12) but is exaggerated in the 8th, which has a thrust to intimacy all its own.  Even for those of us comfortable with transformation, this kind of intensity may not seem right for us at this moment, or with this person.  This composite  house isn’t about the dissolve (that comes in the 12th) but is about our ability to burn to the core of our known selves and come back to ourselves renewed.  When this house is emphasized in a partnership, the fire may just be too hot.  Outer planets or Saturn here may indicate a problem with intimacy within the partnership if fears and defenses are allowed to take over.  The problem here would not be due just to one partner’s reluctance or resistance, but to both people feeling wary of losing emotional ground.  The answer here is to look back on the second house and see what we really gain (and can get hold of) when we are together—something that neither party can obtain alone. 

Composite Houses: The Social Cluster, Houses 9, 10, 11

Cardinal houses initiate, fixed houses consolidate/use, and mutable houses disseminate.  In  this most intimate of quadrants, the seventh house gets things going between two people, the eighth house tests it, burns it down and refines it so that we know what we have together and separately–and then what?  The function of the 9th house is to find greater meaning.  Not piddly little Gemini knowing, but meaning, that which is found by discovering the deeper patterns in life.  And once that meaning is found, the other function of the 9th house is to disseminate that meaning, spread it around.  The 9th house rules shamans, preachers, publishing, the natural laws of metaphysics and the man-made rules of organized religion.  It rules our exploration, our visions and goals, our reaching out towards not only what is, but what may be.  And the reason this is so fundamental to this quadrant is that, without meaning, without purpose, a relationship flounders.  We forget that when we’re in the throes of the seventh and eighth houses, but in the ninth, we must face the truths we have found together and face outwards into the world again.

Have you ever had a deep, intense encounter with a new lover, and then gone out for a walk and found yourself feeling naked and exposed, even though you were behaving perfectly innocently together?  That’s the transition between the eighth and the ninth houses.  In the ninth house, we suddenly realize we are in the world again–that we are of that world. The world is looking at us, expecting something of us.  For couples with an emphasis on the 9th house, being active  in that world, becomes our whole world.  We take what we have discovered or know to be true (together) and bring it out for others to understand and share.

This dissemination of personal truth can take many forms.  It can be spiritual or religious, academic, visionary, political or literary.  F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald had their North Node on the very cusp of the eighth straddling into the ninth, and they embodied a couple whose intimate lives were their literature.  Perhaps most striking of all the examples I’ve seen, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline have a composite with Scorpio rising, and a tight Sun/Moon conjunction conjunct both Pluto and Mars in the 9th.  (For the role of the Ascendant and the chart ruler(s), flip over to my Sasstrology column.) We remember the ‘Camelot’ years even now, fifty years on, a campaign built on a dream and a vision of the future.  They embodied the United States as a Utopia of endless youth, beauty and wit.  Philosophers, literary figures, and what was then called the intelligentsia sat at their table on a regular basis.  The house of higher learning indeed.  Alas, the inherent violence of this placement played out, and then a nation looked to them to learn how to mourn and find meaning in tragedy.

If a ninth house couple doesn’t fall into the religious, philosophical, literary or intellectual pattern, there can be an emphasis on Sag things–adventure, having fun, sports, exploring.  They may do a lot of travelling or live abroad.  All this is in favour of a couple who do things together to gain a broader perspective of themselves, and to experiment with the way they define their place in the world.  They don’t want to be defined by narrow brush strokes.  Whether they take the high road or the low road doesn’t matter as much as how wide the road is.

Once we discover that definition, we must move from the ninth house to the 10th.  The 10th house emphasized in a composite charts brings along the urge to do your job in the world, to build something together to enhance the community or social structure.  Tenth house couples can be very traditional or be at the forefront of alternative change, but they will be serious about whatever they do.  These are sometimes couples who marry for status; the wealthy man and the trophy wife.  If there is an outer planet there, the relationship may break conventions; Saturn there might be very traditional, straight laced and disciplined.  Uranus on the MC of the composite is something else again. 

The MC defines how we fit in to our world.  The Uranus couple, above, will have to find some unique or alternative lifestyle outside the mainstream, or work at bringing Uranian concepts into their communities.  The 10th house couple  has a degree of luck in that the relationship is usually accepted by the outside world, no matter how unusual.  There may be a huge emphasis on either work or ‘good deeds,’ with their standing in the community highly important.  These couples can be caretakers, supervisors, or guardians for their neighborhoods.  Theirs may be the one house on the block that everyone gravitates towards, particularly in times of crisis.

All of this focus on the ‘outside’ can leave these couples vulnerable to crisis from the ‘inside.’  Unless the IC and its ruler is well aspectd, or there are powerful planets in the fourth to ground them, this couple can be all show and no substance.  Or they get along as long as the social expectations are fulfilled, but the minute they become intimate, or assert their individuality, the fragile walls they have built may come tumbling down.  Unless they make true and deep connections to their families, friends, and others around them, they may feel adrift as far as emotions are concerned, as if life has no substance.  In the charts of young couples, this 10th house emphasis can often be seen in arranged marriages and marriages that are based on tribal and cultural values, rather than personal choice.  When the tie is not recognized as genuine, it breaks, and the long road towards individuation opens up for both parties.

Some couples with a heavy 10th house influence, particularly when the Sun is found there, are meant to live a public life.  You see this often with couples who perform together, but there are many other ways this energy can manifest.

People become confused about the differences between the 10th house and the 11th, since both can be community oriented and influenced by service to others.  But think about the difference between Saturn and Uranus, and you start to understand the unique ways each house expresses itself.   Where the 10th house is based on social standards and accepted ways of being in the world, the 11th house is based on affinity and mutual expression.

Eleventh house emphasis in the composite chart is a friendly thing to have.  The couple is oriented towards doing things together, to expressing themselves through joining with others who have mutual values, beliefs and ideals.  Their scope goes way beyond home and family towards the greater outside world.  Their ‘home,’ their ‘family’ consists of the close group they gather around them.  The 11th house, more than any other, is where the ‘one’ stands for the ‘all.’  Planets falling in the 11th in the composite are naturally gravitating towards growth.  They enjoy the buzz of fulfillment through dedication to something outside themselves, something beyond the ego identity of the couple.  While the 5th house describes the kind of play they get into in private, the 11th house describes what kinds of activities they like to do with others.  If the 11th house is emphasized by the sexual planets there, it could mean that they are a very adventurous couple in terms of expressing their sexual selves. 

The 11th house is also the house of social activities and social culture, so an 11th house couple might find solidarity and meaning in pursuing theatre, art, film, music, dance–anything where human beings join together to express themselves.  (The 11th house doesn’t discriminate between high and low culture, either, and they may be just as passionate about baseball games and trivia contests.) 

In the 11th house, we begin taking the steps to joining with the all that happens in the 12th house and Pisces.  In the 11th, this consists of pursuing our visions of what human behaviour should be.  In the 11th, we conceive of a perfect world and try to wake others up to our visions.  It’s the house of the outcast and the rebel, the freethinker, the humanitarian.  The 11th house allows us to step aside and see the limitations of the 10th and try to get beyond them.  Couples with an 11th house emphasis can be crusaders who pursue an ideal.  (The 9th house represents a different type of idealism, the concept of higher thought and higher law.  It’s structured and deals with structured thought and form (structured religion and philosophical systems versus generalized spirituality, which is represented by the 11th house.)  Couples who are very oriented towards the 11th house may find their greatest joy comes from acting on other’s behalf, and belonging to a community that allows their ideals to be expressed.  For these couples, social awareness and individual expression become one. 

On the whole, the 11th house is a place of friendship and mutual enjoyment.  If we don’t become too rigid in our expression, and allow both partners the right to their individuality, it’s a comfortable place to find planets.  It’s only when there are serious squares to the 11th from the 2nd and 8th houses that the communal expression of the 11th house leads to problems with intimacy and ownership.