A Drawn-out Discussion...

Almost everyone is curious about Astrology and many are interested in their Sun Sign. Most people know some of the basic qualities and characteristics associated with their sign. What is not clear however, is why in many respects we are so different from the descriptions we read in the books online or from the grocery store. All we see are the daily predictions online or the monthly forecasts in some magazines which rarely, if ever, seem to be of any value. After all, these Sun Sign descriptions are so general as to be practically useless.

So, what is it that makes Astrology relevant to each of us as individuals? And what can Astrology do for us beyond providing a few moments of diversionary entertainment? Astrology is a living process that leads to a transformation of self-understanding. It reveals our unique niche in the world by comparing and contrasting us with others. It shows us where we are the same as others and where we are different. Astrology shows us what we all have in common and how we express that common denominator differently. Its purpose is to help people increase their self-awareness. It helps us to become familiar with the inner struggles that exhaust our personal energy and dominate our relationships with others. We can also discover the personal strengths and talents that help us to meet the challenges we encounter in life. We all know ourselves to a degree, but that knowledge is very subjective. Astrology offers an objective perspective that can help to promote personal growth.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci
    You can better understand yourself and so lead a more productive life.
    You realize that you do not fully understand yourself - your moods and feelings, your motivations, actions and behavior sometimes take on a life of their own. Astrology provides an objective perspective that can shed light on your motivations, revealing and suggesting behavior that will prove to be more positive, constructive and productive for your personal growth.

  2. You'll be able to look beyond the everday concerns of daily life - empowering yourself by gaining a broader perspective... Sometimes you get so caught up in the details of everyday life that it's hard to see where you've been and where you're going. Step back, catch your breath, relax and use your astrological chart to see your life from a wider vista and gain a deeper understanding.

  3. The only person you can change is yourself - use the chart to change your attitude... Sometimes you're so busy trying to change others that you forget that the only person you can effectively change is yourself. Once you do that the people around you find they are relating to a different person, and so change themselves, perhaps in a way similar to your original desire to change them!

  4. Find your purpose in life and discover how to take responsibility for your life... Astrology can reveal why you are here, what your assets and talents are, and how best to use them. In so doing you learn to take responsibility for your actions, your behavior and your life.

  5. Find out how you are the same as other people and how you are different from other people... You breathe the same air as everyone else on this planet and share the same basic human motivations as everyone else, and yet you are still an individual. Use your chart to find the common ground you share with others as well as to discover just what it is that makes you unique.

  6. Discover your affinities for and attractions to other people, careers, activities, motivations... reveal your talents... Some things you like, some things you don't. Why? Analyze your attractions and discover your dislikes. Since Astrology is the algebra of life you can use your chart to determine attractions to and talents for things you might not ordinarily consider!

  7. Enlarge your vision of yourself - use the chart as a mirror of yourself to see things you normally cannot see... Ever use two mirrors to look at the back of your head? Everyone else sees it every day, but you don't! Likewise, there are things in your nature and your personality that everyone else sees everyday, but because they're too polite to point them out to you you're not aware of them. Your chart is a mirror, take a look!
Most of us are rarely exposed to the true scope of Astrology. To begin with, a horoscope (or birthchart) is calculated not only from your birthdate, but also from your birthplace and your exact birthtime. Many people share the same birthdate and even the same birthplace, but the combination of the three makes your horoscope truly individualized and unique. The birthchart is a map of planetary positions drawn for the exact time of your birth, with a perspective drawn from the exact location of your birth. The positions of the planets are charted against a background (the Zodiac) which is based on human experience, perspective, and observation. The birthchart contains a wealth of information, with the following being the most important:
  • The planets (including the Sun and Moon) symbolize motivations as well as basic categories of experiences.
  • The signs (Aries through Pisces) symbolize the quality of experience, or how the experience is expressed and/or felt by the individual.
  • The twelve houses (calculated from the birthtime and birthplace) symbolize the areas of life that are affected by experiences (planets) and where those experiences are expressed/felt (signs).
  • The aspects reveal the interaction between planets, telling how well planets (basic life experiences) function in relation to one another.

Now we will briefly examine the three most important points in the birthchart (known as the Trinity) - the Sun, the Moon and the Ascendant, or rising sign.

The Sun sign is the one we are all familiar with and is the easiest to determine because it is based on our birthdate. This is as far as most popular Astrology goes. What the newspapers and magazines cannot tell you however, is what the Sun stands for in a horoscope. The Sun is our true individuality and our true identity. It is the foundation for our personality and is the engine that drives our self-expression. It is our basic self, which is why there is sometimes a kernel of truth in the Sun Sign columns. Yet, there is much more to the story. After all, the Sun is only one factor in the birthchart, and is more often than not modified by the other parts of the birthchart. Sometimes the Sun Sign, although fundamentally important, is overwhelmed and obscured by the other points in the horoscope - which is why some people feel no kinship whatever to the descriptions of their Sun Signs.

The Moon's position is also based on our birthdate (as are all the planetary positions), but because it changes signs every 2.5 days the time of birth is important also. The Moon reflects our emotional needs, moods and feelings and our automatic responses to situations. The Moon's sign describes the type of behavior that we are most familiar with and therefore most comfortable in expressing. While the Sun sign represents our true identity, the Moon sign (which generally is different from the Sun sign) reflects our true feelings.

Sun Ascending
The Ascendant, or rising sign
, is the sign of the Zodiac rising on the eastern horizon at the exact time of our birth. It takes only two hours for one Zodiac sign to rise above the horizon, which is why exact birthtimes are so necessary for an accurate birthchart interpretation. Why is the Ascendant so important and what makes the Eastern horizon the point of reference? Why not use the Western horizon, or the points of the Zodiac directly above or below? While these are sensitive points in the chart, it is the Eastern horizon that symbolizes new beginnings, much as the dawning Sun rising in the east signals a new day. For an individual then, the Ascendant sign (which often is different from both the Sun and Moon signs) symbolizes how that individual meets new situations and how they reach out to the world around them. The rising sign describes the face we show others. This face, in some cases, serves to hide our real selves, to protect our vulnerabilities, or to lead others to think we are something other than what we really are.

Taken together, then, the trinity of Sun, Moon and Ascendant signs represent the framework of our personality. How well each sign interacts with the others indicates our inner harmonies and conflicts. The Trinity provides the scaffolding upon which our personality is built and by which our self-image is determined. In turn, our personality and self-image determine the quality of our personal relationships with those around us. The astrological birthchart then, is the starting point in the journey of self-discovery that can lead to a more conscious awareness of our physical, as well as spiritual identities.