Awakening to Astrology

At the moment you were born all of the planets were in certain positions in the sky. 
The arrangement of these planets throughout the 12 zodiac signs gives us a two dimensional diagram we call the natal chart.
The natal or birth chart is a map of who you are.
This map reveals an amazing amount of information about you: your weaknesses, your strengths, areas where you will be supported, areas where you will be challenged and how to work with all of it.
Astrology gives us the tools to understand ourselves through the archetypal elements represented by the planets, their placement and their aspect or relationship to one another.
We, the people, animate these planetary archetypes through our words and deeds thereby giving these energies voice and action. Each of us also finds our individual and particular way of using these energies.
There are some planetary energies which are more “favored” by family, friends and society and then there are the planets that make other people feel uncomfortable or even marginalized.
What parts of yourself were not appreciated or acknowledged, but over time you have realized are vital aspects of who you are?
While many people utilize astrology as a divination tool, it is more about how the archetypes of the characters involved are likely to act and interact.
Richard Tarnas, in his book Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View states,

Because of this distinctive combination of dynamic archetypal multivalence and sensitivity to particular conditions and human participation, I gradually came to recognize that, contrary to its traditional reputation and deployment, such an astrology is not concretely predictive, but rather archetypically predictive.
Compared with, for example, the aims and the modus operandi of various forms of intuitive divination and clairvoyance, with which astrology in earlier eras was often systematically conjoined, the essential structure of this emerging astrological paradigm appeared to be focused not on the prediction of specific concrete outcomes but rather on the precise discernment of archetypal dynamics and their complex unfolding in time.
This understanding greatly clarified for me numerous long-standing issues surrounding astrology, such as the question of fate versus free will, the problem of identical planetary configurations coinciding with concretely different though archetypally parallel phenomena, and the fundamental inadequacy of statistical tests for detecting most astrological correlations.

Looking at life through the lens of archetypes helps to clarify dynamics and people in life.
Archetypes are those immutable characters which the Greeks saw as eternal truths which are in a sense deific in nature –hence many of the planets being named after gods.
Examples of an archetype are love, beauty, power, death/rebirth, strength, healing, limitation –we each have our own personal experience with each of these and there is the way that the collective experiences them as well.
A natal chart is akin to a snowflake. Each person’s natal or birth chart is a snap-shot of the solar system at the time of his/her birth.
The natal chart is a two dimensional representation of where each of the following celestial bodies reside in relationship to the earth at the time and place of your birth: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto as well as the Moon, Sun and often Chiron.
Each individual’s chart is, therefore a set of frequencies we bring to our personal and collective experience here on earth.
“The map” shown above will have all of these bodies appearing in various places within the 12 piece pie.
Knowing where the celestial bodies are placed in your chart can help you better understand what archetypes are at work so that they do not play or wreck havoc in your life.
You can work with the archetypes consciously or they can work you unconsciously. A person with Mercury in one sign is going to communicate and possibly even think differently than a person with Mercury in another sign.
Unfortunately, most societies decide on one means of education, often at the detriment to all of the other ways to learn. This gives most people a sense that their way of thinking or communicating is somehow wrong, or at the least not as valuable.
Knowing how your particular Mercury likes to be expressed can make a radical change in how you communicate.
Astrology has had a bad rap. It actually makes sense when you understand why it almost petered out to just a handful of astrologers in the nineteenth century.
“Modern” astrology has been significantly crippled by many things. One key issue is the incorrect translation of Ptolemy which, unfortunately, separated the houses from the sign thereby creating all sorts of problems—such as intersected houses and/or really skinny houses and really large houses.
The astrology I use is called the whole sign or whole house system.
This, according to scholarly research, is what was practiced in the ancient world. It is the type of astrology practiced by Ptolemy and those who came before him.
Each astrologer has a house system they favor. The most important part is what resonates with you.
Get readings from different astrologers using different house systems. See which ones resonate with you. Do your own research. There are some great free websites out there. I like using
It is important to realize that the daily horoscopes in the newspaper are only one aspect of astrology.
The horoscopes are actually cast for your ascendant, but has relevance for your Sun, Moon and Ascendant.
Discussing just one aspect in the horoscope is akin to only seeing a person’s skin or eye color: while it is important, it is not the totality of the person. 
The other players are also important to the play. Let’s look at the players or actors next.