Lesson 1 Introduction

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What is Astrology?

Astrology is the science that explores the action of celestial bodies upon animate and inanimate objects, and their reactions to such influences. Astrology has its place among the earliest records of human learning. It is the parent of astronomy; for many years they were one science. Now, astronomy is a science of distances, magnitudes, masses, motions, speeds, locations, and so on, based upon observations made with instruments like the telescope. Astronomy may therefore be termed an "objective" science, while astrology must be termed a "subjective" science. Thus, the charting of the horoscope is really an astronomical process; the judgment or delineation of the horoscope is an astrological process. Astrology also deals with angles between the planets and their observed effect upon humanity. The signs are a way of dividing the heavens; so are the houses, but they are based upon the place of birth. The sign may be considered the field of action; the house is the place where the action occurs, and the planet is the motivating power or force.

Astrology teaches us that there is harmony and symmetry in the universe and that everyone is part of the whole. Thus, you should try to understand astrology as a philosophy which helps to explain life, and not as a predictive art or science. The purpose of astrology is not to blame the planets for what happens to us, but, on the contrary, to learn about ourselves by planetary indication. When we see ourselves clearly we can discover within ourselves new qualities, and thus our lives can become more fulfilled, purposeful and productive.

Originally, astrology was divided into four parts:

Natural or physical: the action of the planets on the tides, weather, atmosphere and seasons.

Mundane or judicial: the astrology of nations, their economic and political cycles.

Natal or genethliacal: the astrology of individuals and the study of their birth charts.

Horary: the study of some particular question that occurs at some moment in time and place.

In this book we will be concerned with natal astrology.

There are two kinds of astrology practiced in the west. One is called tropical astrology; the other, sidereal. Tropical astrology gives the position of a planet by sign. Sidereal astrology gives the position by constellation. To understand the difference between the two, we must understand the difference between the signs and the constellations. Both have the same names, which can cause considerable confusion to beginners. Approximately 4,000 years ago, when on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, the Sun was in the constellation of Aries, there was no difference. The signs and the constellations coincided. Now, because of precession, the slow wobble of the Earth about its axis, the Sun enters the vernal equinox in the sign of Aries but in the constellation of Pisces.

The signS are divisions of space along a circle called the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the path through the heavens that all of the planets appear to follow. There are 360 degrees in a circle, and there are twelve signs, each occupying a segment of exact-

What is a Horoscope? 3

ly thirty degrees. 30 x 12 = 360. Aries is the name given to the first thirty-degree sector of space that begins with the vernal equinox.

Thus signs are calculated from what astrologers call the Aries ingress, or the point at which the Sun reaches 0° Aries. This point is now located in the constellation Pisces. We mention this here, right at the beginning, because you will meet people who are familiar with astronomy or sidereal astrology who may attempt to undermine your confidence by insisting that if you think your Sun is, for example, in Aries, you were really born with your Sun in the constellation of Pisces. You are both right, so there is no need to argue about it. Sidereal and tropical astrology are based upon different principles, and both are valid. In this book, we will be teaching you tropical astrology.

What is a Horoscope?

The word horoscope means "hour pointer." It is a map or diagram of the heavens erected to determine the potentials and characteristics of a person born at a specific time and place upon the planet Earth. This diagram is also called a natal chart, a radical chart or a nativity. In order to construct an accurate horoscope, it is essential to have the exact birthtime and the exact latitude and longitude of the birthplace. It is wise to remember, right from the beginning, not to erect a horoscope unless the data can be verified from official records. Your mother's testimony that you were born at a certain time is probably inaccurate. It may lead to hours of wasted time and effort, and finally to doubting the validity of astrology, because the horoscope and the person won't seem to match.

To erect a birth chart is relatively easy for anyone who can add, subtract, and multiply. However, the reading or delineation of a chart calls for judgment and the ability to deduce what is likely to happen under certain astrological conditions. The intricacies of astrology take considerable learning, time, practice and, most of all, serious reflection and application.

In this book we will teach you the meanings of the signs, planets, houses and aspects. After you have acquired some knowledge of these basic elements of astrology and learned how to read a natal horoscope, then you will be ready to

Figure 1: The Alphabet of the Astrologer Here are the basic astrological glyphs (symbols). It is important that you become familiar with these symbols and memorize them.

The Planets

5 Moon 0 Mercury $ Venus O Sun cf Mars 1+ Jupiter h Saturn $ Uranus ^ Neptune ^ Pluto © Earth SI North Node I? South Node

The Signs

T Aries 8 Taurus XT Gemini fo Cancer

Leo rrp Virgo ~ Libra AT/ Scorpio ^ Sagittarius V3 Capricorn ^ Aquarius Pisces

The Elements 5

calculate one. Keep in mind that you are really learning a new kind of symbolic language, and only by rote and application will you become fluent in it.

The astrology you learn will enable you to view the events that occur in your life and in the lives of others more intelligently. This is because you will be able to see and understand what forces are operating, and you will learn to see how these forces correspond to what is happening. However, always remember that your free will and your attitude will determine how much or how little use you make of the talents and potentials you were born with. The choice is yours.

The Natural or Flat Wheel

On page 7 you will find what astrologers call a natural or flat wheel. In order to familiarize yourself with the construction of the natal horoscope, you will now learn where the twelve signs belong in the natural horoscope. You can either write in the book, or if you prefer, you can draw your own wheel.

Start by placing the symbol for Aries in its correct position on the eastern point of the chart. This point is the boundary line between the twelfth and first houses. This line is called the first house cusp, and it is given a very special name, the Ascendant or rising sign. Put the symbol for Aries near the point where the cusp meets the circle.

Next, move down counterclockwise to the cusp of the second house, the line dividing the first and second houses. At the point at which this cusp meets the circle, place the symbol for Taurus.

Again, move counterclockwise to the cusp of the third house and place the symbol for Gemini in its proper place.

Continue around the circle until you have inserted the symbol for each sign (as given in the chart on page 4) in its proper place in the chart. You should finish with the sign Pisces on the cusp of the twelfth house. You may check your work by comparing it with the completed chart in the Appendix (see page 282).

The Elements

We sort the twelve signs of the zodiac into groups with certain common characteristics. One way to do this is by tempera ment. This grouping is said to be by element or triplicity, and is as follows:

Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. These signs are fiery, ardent, enthusiastic, spontaneous, self-sufficient and romantic. Misused, they can be bossy and too forceful.

Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. These signs are practical, earthy, dependable, conservative and sensual. They love material comforts and have good recuperative powers. Misused, they can be dull and too materialistic.

Air signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. These signs can communicate well; they tend to be intellectual, and they are able to handle abstract reasoning. They are logical, broad-minded, objective, idealistic and unprejudiced. Misused, they can be cold and impractical.

Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. These signs are feeling, sustaining and receptive. They are emotional, intuitive, responsive, sensitive and deep. They tend to be susceptible to moods, and are easily influenced by the environment. Remember that water is found in three forms: liquid (water), frozen (ice) and gaseous (steam). Cancer is the liquid form; Scorpio is the frozen form, and Pisces is the gaseous form. Misused, these signs can be self-indulgent, self-pitying and wavering.

Using your flat wheel you will now place the proper elements with their correct signs. In order to do this you must first understand that the sign on the cusp of each house is the sign that has precedence in that house. Place the word "fire" in the three houses that are related to the fire signs. To do this, you will place the word "fire" in the first house (Aries), in the fifth house (Leo), and in the ninth house (Sagittarius). Continue to do this with the three other elements until each house contains the name of one element. For example, the sixth house should contain the word "earth", the eleventh house the word "air", etc. You may check your work against the completed chart in the Appendix (page 282).

The Qualities

We can also divide the twelve signs of the zodiac into three groups of four signs each; the signs in each, group have certain qualities in common. Each group has a distinct mode of operating in life. The qualities or quadruplicities are:

The Natural or Flat Wheel 7

Figure 2: Natural or Flat Wheel This is the wheel of the twelve houses of the zodiac showing the directions (east, west, north, and south) and the meridian and horizon lines. As you proceed with lesson 1, you will put the information that we give you into the proper houses on the chart. You may want to draw your own chart. You can do this by drawing a circle and dividing it into twelve sections, numbering the houses as below, and writing in the words "Ascendant," and so on, as we have done here.


Figure 2: Natural or Flat Wheel This is the wheel of the twelve houses of the zodiac showing the directions (east, west, north, and south) and the meridian and horizon lines. As you proceed with lesson 1, you will put the information that we give you into the proper houses on the chart. You may want to draw your own chart. You can do this by drawing a circle and dividing it into twelve sections, numbering the houses as below, and writing in the words "Ascendant," and so on, as we have done here.


Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These signs are the four cardinal points of the compass: east, west, north and south. Aries is east; Libra is west; Cancer is north, and Capricorn is south. These signs are called cardinal because they govern the change of the seasons: Aries, spring; Cancer, summer; Libra, fall; and Capricorn, winter. Cardinal signs are initiatory, active, ardent, ambitious, enthusiastic and independent. Their minds are quick and insatiable. Used negatively, they can be hasty, inconsiderate and domineering; they may fail to finish what they start.

Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These signs are the middle month of each season. Whereas the cardinal signs bring the transition between seasons, the fixed signs are firmly set in the middle of each season. The fixed signs are determined, able to concentrate, stable, resolute, accumulative and dignified. Their minds are penetrating, and their memories are excellent. They achieve results slowly but surely. Used negatively, they can be stubborn, egotistical and too entrenched in their particular ways of looking at things.

Mutable signs (also called common signs): Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. These signs are the closing month of each season. This is the time to complete the work of this season while planning for the new season to come. The mutable signs are versatile, adaptable, changeable, subtle, sympathetic and intuitive. Their minds are ingenious and flexible. Used negatively, they can be deceptive, crafty, inconstant and undependable.

Returning again to your flat wheel you will now insert the proper quality for each of the twelve signs. To do this, start by placing the word "cardinal" in each house related to a cardinal sign: thus, you will write "cardinal" in the first house (Aries), in the fourth house (Cancer), in the seventh house (Libra), and in the tenth house (Capricorn). Continue placing the words "fixed" and "mutable" in the proper houses. Again, check the accuracy of your work against the completed flat wheel in the Appendix.


Each sign of the zodiac has a planetary ruler, a planet that is harmonious in temperament with the sign it rules. The sign rulerships are as follows:

The Houses 9



T Aries

0 Taurus

H Gemini

S Cancer

W Virgo

^ Libra

HI Scorpio

/ Sagittarius

^ Capricorn xx Aquarius

M Pisces cf Mars

9 Venus

$ Mercury

D Moon

O Sun

£ Mercury

9 Venus

* Pluto

H Jupiter h Saturn

^ Neptune

On the flat wheel insert the proper planetary symbol in the house that corresponds to the sign of that house. For example, insert the symbol for Mars in the first house (Aries); the symbol for Venus in the second house (Taurus), and so on until there is a planetary symbol in each of the twelve houses.

The houses can also be classified into three groups of four houses each; these correspond to the qualities of the signs previously discussed. Each house group shares characteristics in common, which we shall discuss in detail later in this book. The houses are grouped as follows:

The angular houses: first, fourth, seventh and tenth.

The succedent houses: second, fifth, eighth and eleventh.

The cadent houses: third, sixth, ninth and twelfth.

On your flat wheel, place the word "angular" in the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses; the word "succedent" in the second, fifth, eighth and eleventh houses and the word "cadent" in the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth houses.

In astrology, each house has a meaning, which will be fully explained in lesson 4. To help you understand the significance of each of the houses, at this point we will give you one keyword for each house to insert on the flat wheel. Note that opposite houses have opposite keywords.

First house: I or me (the person whose chart it is)

Seventh house: you (the other person)

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