One of the most charming aspects of astrology, in my opinion, is that virtually all birth charts, calendars, and books on the subject are strewn with tiny, mysterious-looking symbols. Until you know those symbols by heart, their presence can be distracting and confusing. That's why I usually spell out the names of the signs, planets, and aspects. With actual birth charts, however, words are insufficient. I present those horoscopes just the way a professional astrologer would — covered with symbols.
Memorizing those symbols is incredibly useful. But you don't have to do it. Instead, you can turn to the Cheat Sheet at the beginning of this book, where you can find a neat list of every symbol you need to know. The Cheat Sheet enables you to translate the symbols back into English. That way, when you're looking at a birth chart and you see something like this:
you'll know that it means that the Moon Q)) is in Gemini (H) at 26 degrees 23 minutes.
In this book, whenever I refer to a planetary position such as the one in the preceding example, I describe it as 26°23' Gemini. I usually don't spell out the words degree (°) and minute ('). I assume that you know them. On birth charts, I go further and omit those two tiny symbols. Instead, the charts in this book announce planetary positions by using boldface type for the degrees and regular type for the minutes, as follows: 26 23.
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