Lesson 5 Delineating a Chart


In lessons 1 to 4, you have learned the most basic principles of astrology: the signs of the zodiac, the planets, the houses, and how all are grouped together by similarities. If you understand these principles, and the keywords have become a part of your subconscious, you will have little trouble learning the other techniques and additional refinements that are a part of delineating (interpreting) a horoscope. Logic, common sense and a knowledge of human nature will aid you in interpreting a horoscope if you have grasped the significance of these basic principles.

The meanings of the signs, planets and houses are astrological words, and we are now going to learn to put them together to make simple astrological sentences. In learning any language there are certain rules for constructing sentences,

Using the Keywords in Delineation 47

and you must learn the rules for constructing astrological sentences as well.

Using the Keywords in Delineation

As explained in lesson 1, the flat wheel in astrology starts with Aries on the cusp of the first house, Taurus on the cusp of the second house, etc. Thus, the Sun in the first house will always reflect some qualities and traits of Aries, regardless of the sign in which the Sun is actually located. It is important that you keep this rule in mind.

To illustrate, let us take an example: the Sun in Cancer in the first house. A keyword for the Sun is the inner self. Some keywords for Cancer include devoted, maternal, domestic and sensitive. Keywords for the first house include identity, personality and self-expression. And, finally, keywords for Aries, the natural first house sign, include dynamic and active. These keywords can be put together to make an astrological sentence:

The devoted, maternal, inner self will be expressed in an

Cancer Sun first house active and dynamic way.


Here's another example: The Moon in Gemini in the fifth house. Important keywords for the Moon are emotions and instincts; some keywords for Gemini include versatile and literary; keywords for the fifth house include creativity and love you give; while keywords for Leo, natural sign of the fifth house, include creative and generous. Interpreted astrologically you can say:

Emotionally versatile, you give love generously.

Moon Gemini fifth house

Or: You are instinctive and creative in literary pursuits.

Moon fifth house Gemini

Now let's broaden the concept: Venus in Capricorn in the ninth house (whose natural sign is Sagittarius). Capricorn is responsible and cautious; Sagittarius is broad-minded and optimistic; Venus represents the affections and the moral character; and the ninth house represents philosophy and ospirations. Thus, we might deduce that this individual's aspirations and philosophical approach would be in a responsible manner, but the natural optimism of Sagittarius would broaden the usual cautious nature of Capricorn.

Once you understand why the house position of a planet modifies the nature of the sign in which the planet is placed, you will also understand why a planet operates differently depending on the type of house it is in. For example, a person with the Sun in Taurus (a fixed sign), placed in a cadent house will be more adaptable and less obstinate than a person whose Sun in Taurus falls in a succedent house. The cadent houses correspond to mutable signs and the succedent houses correspond to fixed signs. If that same Sun in Taurus were in an angular house (corresponding to cardinal signs), the individual might still be stubborn but would lose some of the patient and stable qualities and become more of an initiator.

You will remember from lesson 4 that we drew an analogy between the planets and the cast for a play. The cast does not change; the Sun, for example, is always the inner personality, the heart of the horoscope and the life-giver. The signs are the roles that this cast plays, and they do not change either; Taurus is always Taurus and retains the basic character of this sign. However, the houses are the various settings in which the cast portray their roles, and they can and do change a lot. They range from the outgoing / of the first house to the possessive mine of the second house to the people-oriented we of the seventh house, and so on through the wheel.

With all this in mind, let us now turn our attention to the delineation of a horoscope using the keywords we have learned so far.

Delineating a Sample Horoscope

Figure 7 is the natal horoscope for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was born on January 30, 1882 at 8:41 p.m. eastern standard time in Hyde Park, New York.

First, let us look at the general makeup of his chart. It is important to see the chart as a whole before we begin to take it apart. Note that Roosevelt has seven planets above and three planets below the horizon. (See the numbers in the circles in the center of the chart.) Thus, we may conclude that this man has many extroverted and objective qualities. He also has three planets east and seven planets west of the meridian.

Figure 7: The Natal Horoscope of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Born January 30,1882 at 8:45 p.m. local time (8:41 Eastern Standard Time) in Hyde Park, New York. Longitude 73° W 56', latitude 41° N 48'.

Figure 7: The Natal Horoscope of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Born January 30,1882 at 8:45 p.m. local time (8:41 Eastern Standard Time) in Hyde Park, New York. Longitude 73° W 56', latitude 41° N 48'.

mutable: tf f M A


The Aspectarian: This provides an overview of the horoscope. We list the planets, the Ascendant (A) and Midheaven (M) by quality, element and so forth. For example, next to the word "mutable" we list Mars, Uranus, the Midheaven and the Ascendant because these are all are found in mutable signs in this chart. At the bottom of the list the planets are categorized by house: the houses of life (L), the houses of substance (S), the houses of relationships (R) and the houses of endings (E). For further explanation, see page 50.

mutable: tf f M A


angular: o" J

dignity: J

exaltation: Ç

detriment: O ^


Thus, we may conclude that his life is bound up closely with the destiny of others.

If you look at the box below the wheel in figure 7, you will see that we have sorted the planets, the Ascendant and the Midheaven into the groupings we have learned. You will see that Roosevelt has one cardinal planet, seven fixed planets, and two mutable planets. With so many planets in fixed signs we can say that this man is very determined, set in his ways, stable and resolute. He has a penetrating mind and an excellent memory. Since we find both his Ascendant and Midheaven in mutable signs, we can add some adaptability and flexibility to his basic character (lesson 1).

He has no planets in fire signs, five planets plus his Ascendant in earth signs, four planets plus his Midheaven in air signs and one planet in a water sign. He is practical, dependable and earthy since planets in earth signs predominate. However, with four planets plus his Midheaven in the air element, we must add great intellectuality, the ability to comprehend abstract thinking, logic, broadmindedness, the ability to communicate well and the ability to detach himself when necessary. With only a single planet in the water element we might conclude that he has a lack of sensitivity or responsiveness; however, that planet is the Moon, which is not only dignified in Cancer but in the tenth house, which astrological-ly is called elevated since it is the highest point in a chart. Thus, the Moon will work with much strength.

The lack of planets in the fire element might worry us for a moment until we observe that Roosevelt has three planets in the personal houses (or houses of life), which correspond to the fire element (see lesson 4). He has three planets in the houses of substance, no planets in the houses of relationships, and four planets in the houses of endings. The houses of endings correspond to water, which gives him more sensitivity than is obvious when first glancing at his chart.

He has two planets in angular houses, five planets in succe-dent houses and three planets in cadent houses, again showing us his basic fixity of purpose and also financial ability (lesson 4). '

As we mentioned above, the Moon is at home or dignified in Cancer. It is in Cancer that the Moon works at its best. We also see that Mercury is exalted in Aquarius. Here Mercury can express itself harmoniously, magnifying its virtues. The Sun is in its detriment in Aquarius. This weakens the qualities of the Sun but by no means causes it to act negatively, especially since the Sun is at home in the fifth house, the natural house of Leo, ruled by the Sun.

With this quick overview of the chart, we already have a good understanding of some of Roosevelt's major character traits. Now, let us look more deeply. The first planet to look for is the Sun, since this is the main expression of the individual, the inner self and the inner personality. It is the heart of the chart. We find his Sun in Aquarius in the fifth house. We would describe him as independent, progressive, individualistic, intellectual, humane but rather cold and impersonal (no fire in the chart), rather fixed in his opinions, logical and communicative. If you look at the keywords for Aquarius in lesson 1, you will notice that we picked keywords selectively. Why didn't we use the keyword shy? With seven planets above the horizon (which often denotes an extrovert), we would automatically eliminate this word. You must apply this same reasoning and judgment in selecting all keywords for use in your delineation. Also, we did not pick the keywords eccentric or rebellious. With five of his planets in earth he would be much too practical to be eccentric or rebellious; he would probably use those energies in being progressive and humane.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus. Therefore we say that the Sun in Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, and in Roosevelt's case Uranus is in Virgo in his twelfth house (lesson 3). This ruler-ship will add practicality (earth) to mental Aquarius (air). Coming from the twelfth house, it will add hidden strength and will often work on a subconscious and intuitive level (lesson 4).

Let us select some fitting words for the Sun's fifth house position. Because Leo is the natural sign of the fifth house, we will have to add some Leo overtones to this placement. We would add feelings of pride, dignity, self-assurance and a flair for the dramatic (lesson 2). Those with the Sun in the fifth house like fun, pleasures, romance, love affairs and children. In our keywords for the fifth house (lesson 4) we note that one of the words given is politics; that most certainly applies to FDR. But why not the keywords dramatic ability or theater? We would not use these words because there is not enough Leo, or drama, in the chart. For Leo, there is just the fifth house position of the Sun; we see that there is practicality instead of fire. This same reasoning would apply to the keyword f ine arts.

While you are taking the chart apart and examining it in detail, never lose sight of the overall picture, and try to keep everything in perspective as you exercise your judgment.

The next planet to consider is the Moon. We know that it represents emotions, instincts, moods, urges and desires (lesson 3). We've already pointed out that FDR's Moon is strong because it is dignified in Cancer. Some keywords that we can use are sympathetic, tenacious, patriotic, a good memory, rather selfish and somewhat touchy. With his Sun in progressive Aquarius he would not be too cautious; with his ability for detachment, he would not be overly sensitive, and with his urges and emotions placed high in his tenth house, he would not be maternal or domestic. (See lesson 2.)

When the Moon is in Cancer it is its own ruler, so we don't need to add other words at this time. However, because his Moon is in the tenth house, we must add nuances of Capricorn (the natural sign of the tenth house). We might use the keyword responsibilities since there is so much earth in his horoscope. It also makes him status seeking, and we could even say that the mind rules the heart (lesson 2).

Because the Moon represents desires and urges, fitting words for the Moon's tenth house position (lesson 4) would be desire for honor, reputation and fame. The ego is very developed. This position is excellent for government service. The tenth house also indicates how the world sees you; FDR would represent a fatherly or paternal image. The tenth house also represents one of the parents. With the Moon signifying the mother or wife in a man's chart, we can assume that the tenth house represented his mother and that he saw her as very mothering, protective and loving towards him, in other words the Cancer feeling.

Now, we turn our attention to the next most revealing factor, the Ascendant. The Ascendant describes the outer personality, how people see you and your physical appearance. FDR's Ascendant is Virgo. Therefore, people would see him as industrious, studious, methodical, factual and a bit critical

Quiz 53

(lesson 2). Virgo's ruler, Mercury, is in Aquarius, thus we realize that this Virgo Ascendant will be more humane and less petty, more scientific and less skeptical than the average person who has a Virgo Ascendant. People would trust a person who projects these qualities; they would feel that he is reliable. With Mercury positioned in the sixth house (the house of work and service), we could say that he has a natural ability and desire to work and serve others.

Mercury is a very important element for understanding human nature. Mercury represents the reasoning ability, the avenue of expression, the intellect and basic awareness (lesson 3). FDR's Mercury is exalted in the sign of Aquarius. It is in the sixth house, and the ruler of Aquarius, the planet Uranus, is in Virgo in the twelfth house. Thus his reasoning ability shows independence, progressiveness, logic, intellectuality and so on (lesson 2).

With Mercury's ruler Uranus in Virgo, we blend in the logical and practical approach. Since the sixth house is the natural house of Virgo (ruled by Mercury), Mercury is positioned well here (accidental dignity), and it takes on considerable Virgo coloring. The sixth house is the house of work, duty, health, habits and service (lesson 4). Thus we can see why much of FDR's thinking and avenue of expression went into work and serving his people. It also shows why his health became an important factor in his life. Mercury represents the nervous system, and he was afflicted by polio, which is basically a nervous disorder.


By now you should have gotten the idea of what delineating a horoscope is all about. To test this, try to delineate the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, using the same techniques we have just used above. When you have completed your delineation turn to the Appendix (page 285) to see how well you did.

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  • ermias
    How to make use of delineation chart for taurus?
    1 year ago
  • caterina
    How to make use of delieanation chart for taurus?
    1 year ago
  • Giuseppina
    What is delineation in astrology?
    6 months ago

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