home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
The Life & Work of Vettius Valens
by Deborah Houlding
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

@ professional astrologers (but also amateur ones as well)

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Nativities & General Astrology
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 153
Location: United States

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:57 am    Post subject: @ professional astrologers (but also amateur ones as well) Reply with quote

do you all ever draw blanks when looking at somebody's chart? I enjoy reading my friends' charts, and am usually reasonably correct, but sometimes I have no idea what to even say. I suppose what I'm saying is that some charts just pop out at you and scream their meaning, but others are a lot harder to properly interpret. For the pro/experienced astrologers out there, are there any general guidelines you follow when doing chart delineation?

From what I've seen so far, the best thing that I've noticed is simply experience, as well as knowing what certain placements/aspects mean in the real world. (as opposed to just the cookbook versions)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet 1,000 zennies that this question was sparked by our previous discussion on the siblings thread. Very Happy

As an amateur student of astrology, I used to have an open mind-- I mean draw blanks in many charts. These days, a large number of charts are comprehensible. As I see it, my problem was that I did not read enough about the topics I wanted to interpret. The solution was to re-read the ancient texts I base myself on. It is a peculiar thing; despite having read everything in it, when one revisits a book, he inevitably finds new ideas from the text. Some books have high re-play value.

For me, it was not only about finding new ideas and those that I missed, but it is also about forming principles, and principles of principles. Basically, building a chain of generalisations leading to the highest level of generalisations. For example, Maternus (Bram translation) said that the quartile aspect is a menacing influence and that its evil is of the same level as the opposition. However, that is a misleading statement. If one examines all of his planetary delineations with regards to the quartile, one finds that it often hinges upon which planet dominates the relationship, that is, which planet is casting the dexter/right aspect. If the planet who dominates the relationship is benefic, the influence is benefic, and vice versa. This is a principle that needs to derived from examining the whole section on the aforementioned aspect; reading the delineations in isolation leads to minimal understanding.

My first read-through often consists of simply reading the text sequentially, which is why I need to revisit the books again and again after the first time in order to refine my understanding, but often I get impatient and simply want to start reading charts as soon as possible. Ignorance is not bliss, especially when you start shoo-- I mean drawing blanks.

I still have difficulties reading charts with regards to topics that I have not explored with sufficient depth, needless to say. That is why I consider myself merely a student at this juncture.

Okay, please forgive my delirium. Chronic black bile must have taken its toll on me.
Interested in Hellenistic astrology? Visit my blog.

The appearance changes, but the essence remains.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Sternbach

Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 593
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting query. I approach every chart individually, I have no set procedure. However, I start out by looking at the overall picture - quadrants emphasis, aspect figures, the Sun, the Moon, the ASC... Which of the four elements are prevalent? Which qualities? I look at all the planetary placements in their signs and houses as well as at their aspects. What is "ruled" by what? After a while, the chart starts telling me a story in correlation with what I know about the entity consciously plus what my intuition is telling me. It's like I'm meditating looking at a mandala, in some ways. Depending on what level of depth I wish to reach, or in pursuit of particular topics, I may consider Lots as well as fixed stars forming conjunctions with the planets and Angles.

What this kind of approach boils down to is to acquaint yourself with all the astrological symbols to a degree that they start "talking" to you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 294
Location: Portugal

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi "Astronovice",

I am not a professional astrologer, but I think that if you are looking for some practical suggestions on how to interpret a nativity chart, I must say that a structured approach is essential.

For instance, in my case I usually start an interpretation with a sequence of steps in the lines of:

  1. The analysis of the "Temperament". It allows me to see if I'm dealing with someone more "enthusiastic" (choleric), more "emotional" (phlegmatic), etc.
  2. Then I give a glimpse on the person's:
    - "Almutem" (best scored planet, which characterizes a person at a lowest level)
    - "Behavior" (Planets in the 1st, or aspecting Moon or Mercury, which may affect the person's expression (if in the 1st), his emotions (relation with moon) or mind (relation with Mercury).
    - "Mentality" (How is Mercury and the Moon -- person's mind and his emotional side. Is he more "rational", more "emotional"?)

These steps can be considered a kind of an introduction to the person, but sometimes I skip them and go straight to the analysis of some house cusps such as the Ascendant, or the 10th. However, the Temperament, Almutem, etc., allows me, for instance, to better select my vocabulary. For instance, a more rational person can understand things at a technical level, while I refrain from doing so with people who are clearly on the emotional side.

But the most significant aspect to me is the analysis of the areas of life which are the most important to a person. For instance, I usually start with the analysis of the 1st house, and depending on the subject, I do the analysis of other house cusps.

For an area of a person's life, signified by a generic house cusp, my approach is something like:

  1. See which sign is on the cusp, and its:
    - Element (e.g. a Fire sign shows more dynamism, while an Earth sign may show some practicality and stability)
    - Mode (e.g, Cardinal may show something more "instable" vs Fixed which may show that something more "stable", where that "something" comes from the Element)
    This shows the base motivations regarding the subject of the house.
  2. Which planets are in the house? They may bring other life areas to the subject of the house cusp being analyzed (by being rulers of other house cusps) or some "color" to the subject of the house. Take, for instance, a Mars in the 1st as bringing an "assertive" coloring to a person's identity; or if Mars is debilitated, it may signify that the person likes to brag.
  3. Where is the ruler of the house cusp, and how dignified it is? This represents how a person is expressing the subject of the house cusp being analyzed. The sign where the ruler is provides the tone, while the essential and accidental dignities says how easy or how hard the person will be able to express that subject.
  4. Here, I also see which planets are aspecting the ruler. These aspecting planets are other aspects of the person's life which may be in harmony (good aspects) or hinder (bad aspects) with the subject of the house cusp.
  5. Finally, for some cases, I do specific delineations if the subject of the house cusp is important to a person's decision. For instance, I check the Pars Fortuna for financial resources, etc.

See the following chart for an example of what I do for the Ascendant. I will not share the details but it is a chart of someone I did an interpretation recently.

- House 1 -

  1. Asc in Capricorn:
    - Element Earth -> Pragmatism, Practicality, Realism, A reserved person;
    - Cardinal Sign -> Impulse for action, and a certain internal agitation.
  2. No planets in the Asc.
  3. Asc. Ruler is Saturn in Aries in it its Fall (although in Triplicity).
    - House 3: Brothers, Sisters, studies, traveling, etc.
    - Aries: Fire (Enthusiasm) + Cardinal (Dynamism), ruled by Mars which may bring some assertiveness
  4. Mercury is opposing Saturn very closely. Mercury rules the 5th, 6th and the 8th houses.

With this information, you can already grasp some of the meanings! So we are talking about a person which is somewhat reserved and agitated at a really personal level (from Asc. in Capricorn), and somewhat austere in her manners (Saturn). That person expresses herself through subjects related to her close family or things such as small travels or school studies (House 3), but her expression is not easy (Saturn debilitated). On a more "public" level, the person is somewhat enthusiastic, and this is how her friends consider her to be (Saturn in Aries), and she never shows her melancholic side (by the way, her temperament is also melancholic, which exacerbates this). There can be some difficulties (opposition to Mercury) handling issues related to romance or children (Mercury rules the 5th house), health issues (also the 6th) or things related to losses (and Mercury co-rules the 8th).

In reality, she is really an enthusiastic person, but her husband gets to see her melancholic side. When she was young she had a trouble with shyness (debilitated Saturn and too much "melancholy" in her Temperament and Asc.), but had lots of help from her older brother (3rd house). Later, her father did not allowed her to proceed with her studies, and it was then that she decided to leave her father's house to attend high school (more 3rd house [studies] as means of expression). She is now a nurse, and got over the shyness long time ago. Curiously, she has no kids, and that issue is one thing that she is still having difficulties in solving (opposition to Mercury as ruler of 5th).

The same steps could be made for other house cusps and I would say that the great majority of the information can be grasped in this way. To get more specific information, you would need to use specific delineations. For instance, for Career, there is a method described in Lilly's Christian Astrology which uses Mars, Mercury and Venus as possible significators, etc. But this type of information is mostly relevant in very specific cases.

(As a final note, not related at all to Michael's post above, I wouldn't rely much on "intuition" and things like that. "Intuition" is something highly overrated these days and some astrologers tend to abuse of it instead of using "knowledge" and "thinking". Simply put, when they simply don't know what they are talking about, they resort to "intuition", and that is really bad for astrology as a whole!)

I hope that this may be useful to you,
Joćo Ventura
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 153
Location: United States

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys for the helpful responses! there is a lot of useful information here Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 891

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find I need to actually look at a chart, not isolated information from one, and I need the full deck of cards, ie all the outer planets, and I can't read a chart without Chiron.

The more precise the birth data, the easier it is for me to read the chart, as the chart angles are important.

I need to learn to look carefully at the chart, and transits.

Usually the exact aspects will spell out everything I want to know, and I don't like to muddy the clarity with orbs that are too wide, or charts pockmarked with asteroids so that a glance doesn't tell you if you are looking at Venus or some irrelevant glyph that looks a bit like it.

I am not saying that asteroids don't have their place, but not in a natal chart. Fixed stars I find add a richness and depth, and are less easy to apply any old new age rubbish interpretation to, but I wouldn't want them cluttering up the natal chart.

So I like a nice big clear Placidus chart with as exact a birth time as possible. I like those charts like Astrodienst's that also have the information in a table underneath the chart. I look for the very tightly orbed 0, 90 and 180 degree aspects. I like all the outer planets present, and don't bother to read a chart without Chiron.

Sometimes I am lazy and just look up somebody's data in the ephemeris, but it is infinitely better to draw up a chart, so that those exact conjunctions etc really stand out, and an opposition lying exactly across the Ascendant/Descendant axis is immediately obvious.

I am open to other ways of seeing charts, and learnt a lot from a thread on this forum about the Quincunx or Inconjunct aspect. I learnt a lot from somebody who knew a lot about fixed stars. But I discard new age rubbish like wide orbs and asteroids, and keep trines in the back of my mind.

I have noticed in myself and even with good professional astrologers, that it is easy to make mistakes with chart calculation and reading. Everything needs to be crystal clear and the astrologer needs to work on looking and seeing. The forces that rule astrology seem to be innately prone to confusing our attempts to understand them, tripping us up into elementary mistakes such as mixing up one sign with another. I have seen some of the best astrologers do it.

Last edited by Fleur on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 891

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I glanced at your chart. It is nice and clear but personally I need the outer planets.

On first glance, the only thing that struck me is the Saturn Mercury opposition. Especially with a Scorpio Sun, these people can be sarcastic and insist that thought is kept within the realms of Saturn. They can be good at mathematics and computing, and anything that needs slow, plodding, stepways mental processes.

A wild guess, and I am probably wrong, this person is somehow involved in the Law, maybe a solicitor, barrister or similar. Making legal systems work for people.

Or they could be a humble computer programmer, maybe working in security systems.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 294
Location: Portugal

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fleur,

thanks for the compliment to the chart. It's from "Elements", my soon-to-be-released software, and outer planets can surely be added although I personally don't make much use of them.

Regarding the subject of her career, maybe it is because my previous post is too long, and people tend to read long posts diagonally, but I have made a reference to the fact that she is a nurse.

A possible way to try to pinpoint her career could be to use the same "procedure" as I described previously for the Asc but to the 10th house. It could be something like this:

- House 10 -

  1. 10th cusp in Scorpio:
    - Element Water (Phlegmatic) -> Emotions, reservation, regarding safety, etc.
    - Fixed Sign -> Tendency to maintain, nurture and be coherent with the qualities of the element.
  2. No planets in the 10th.
  3. 10th Ruler is Mars in Virgo in Triplicity and in its Terms (+5 points)
    - House 8: Usually related with losses, death. It is a succedent house.
    - Virgo: Earth (Practicality) + Mutable (some adaptability).
  4. Mars (as 10th ruler) is conjunct a debilitated Jupiter, which represents generically moderation, although the debility removes most of its effectiveness. Jupiter also co-rules the 2nd house, and rules the 11th and 12th houses.

So, an interpretation from these facts could be something in the lines of: Her career is something that may need to be related to something emotional demanding, and to the maintenance of safety (Water+Fixed) and it can be also physically demanding (Mars as Scorpio's ruler). She expresses the previous tendencies on a career related to losses and deaths (Mars in the 8th), but does it in a very practical way (Virgo is from element Earth) and is quite adaptive to the different conditions (Virgo as mutable sign). This means that her work can bring her different demands, but she does it without much problems (Mars is dignified). Her work can also bring something humanitarian (Jupiter), some money (Jupiter as co-ruler of 2nd), some relation to something socially relevant (from Jupiter as ruler of the 11th) or something which is not usually very visible (from Jupiter as 12th ruler). Overall, her career will be something with not much visibility (the 8th house is succeddent).

So, if I didn't knew her, I could only point to generic things like "she works in health business", etc.. However, she is a nurse, specifically an assistant nurse on surgeries, so it all starts to make sense, specially the Mars rulership which is traditionally related with medical surgeon (something very physical, indeed, and which includes knifes, so "Martian".. Very Happy ).

My point is that, for beginners, a structured approach allows to focus better on the area of life which we are trying to make a delineation, instead of drifting to other planets or aspects which are not strongly related to the area of life in study. For instance, the Saturn-Mercury opposition hasn't much relation with the career specifically, because neither one rules the cusp of any house related to career. However, I wouldn't claim that it does not have any effect at all in her career expression, since people are not that much effective in separating their different life areas.

Joćo Ventura
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 26 Aug 2014
Posts: 103
Location: UK , Cardiff

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

by the way, if we add Pluto in chart (24 degree virgo) becomes clearer question of hers career ...(it may postpone a career or such career is her ​​mission in life)

Jupiter as ruler of 12 house and mars rulers of the 10 house with Pluto in eight house is easy to imagine a job in closed institutions such as hospitals and work with "damaged" people.

Mars ruler of a third house also ... this could be related or linked to the extremities, or the speech or some other meaning relating to mars or third house

therefore it is essential to have a complete chart because in this case, Pluto creates stellium in the Virgo and emphasizes the question of her career

and stellium is important because it can be treated as part of the basic structure

Therefore consideration of the basic structure of is first and foremost consideration in charts ... it is the unchanging part of the character of the person, and there can not be an error in interpretation characteristics of particular signs

second, very important if there is a planet on asc.
Furthermore the position of Saturn certainly interpreted
(In this case in the third house can create problems with communication or speech, or can be of awkwardness at an early age of this person)

after that consideration of aspects between planets ... it is very important ... in terms of excess or deficiency of certain aspects between planets ... of course in relation to the basic structure

for example,
Passive basic structure like this chart,
hard to bear tense aspects .. and vice versa, active basic structure hard to bear light aspects because there is no challenge ...

because if we see a map with a lot of tense challenging aspects, it will not be difficult if it is an active type of basic structure

therefore it is information that is obtained before commencing analysis of individual planets in signs and houses ...

Then aspects of heavy planets in other natal planets is very important, because in these areas of life are the biggest problems ... etc etc.

(basic structure is asc. signs, Sun signs, Mo signs, and stellium signs if is existing)

sorry for my english
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Nativities & General Astrology All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated