astrology basics

Opening to Change

Since I rebooted this blog recently, I thought it was time for a fresh look.

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Learning Astrology helped me to appreciate and respect timing, to be willing to sense when it was time to make changes and to do it, as well as when to be bide my time and wait.

The more open we are to change and are willing to acknowledge when it’s time for change, the easier the change. The more we resist, the more it feels like changes are forced upon us. While progressions don’t predict our lives, they do show us some of the lessons and opportunities we are inviting into our lives.

Waiting has been the harder lesson. I have a super fast air moon, and the Astrologer I studied with told me the first time I met her that I have the patience of a flea. I have come to appreciate the benefits of waiting and when I sense the time is right not to act, I am more able to listen to it.

I’ll be writing more about progressions, speed of the moon, and lots of topics in future blogs. This feels like a good time though to note that while Astrology is a great tool for self-discovery, there isn’t anything you can’t learn another way. This is just one way.

I used to give talks locally on Astrology and one question I got asked almost every time was about doing readings. It went something like this, “how do you know you are telling people the truth?” My answer was always the same. The people receiving the readings know what is true for them, and if what I am telling them doesn’t resonate with them, then what I say doesn’t matter. Either it’s not true, or they aren’t willing to hear it. All I can do is to look for feedback if what I am offering is helpful. The few people that told me that the reading wasn’t helpful/accurate, contacted me later and admitted they weren’t willing to hear what I was telling them and wanted to come back.

Going forward with this blog, my intention is to teach you about Astrology. Hopefully it will be useful for you, and you will find a way to use it in a meaningful way.

Astrology has been incredibly helpful to me. I wish the same for you.

astrology basics

The Art of Astrology

When people discuss or study Astrology, they often talk about one piece and the sign of it. While this can give some useful information, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you really want to understand how that piece works in a chart, you can’t look at any one piece in isolation.

Have you ever looked at a painting by Monet or one of the other French Impressionists? Up close, it can look like a hot mess. It’s can be hard to see the water lily in the water, or figure out what is being reflected. When you take a step back, you see the wholeness of the painting and can notice details that are hard to see up close.

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Reading a chart is like this. You have to keep looking at the whole. If you focus too much on the sign, the house, the degree, the minutes, the element, the planet’s energy, an aspect … if you try to assign meaning to something really specific you lose the specific meaning in the chart. Two people can have their sun in Gemini, but at different degrees, in different houses, with different aspects and then there’s the fact that everything else in the chart is different. The Gemini sun with the Cancer moon is not the same as the Gemini sun with the Aries moon.

So how do you learn astrology? Learning astrology is like learning a foreign language. First you learn basic vocabulary and grammar. As your mastery of the language builds, you can appreciate humor and poetry in the language, speaking and absorbing it without first translating it in your head.

So it is with Astrology. Yes, you do need to learn what the signs mean, the houses, the planets, aspects, degrees, etc. Once you start to get these basics down you have to start integrating them. When people ask me very general questions, like “I’m a Leo, should I date a Scorpio” it’s hard for me to answer. It’s never as simple as that. I make a few general comments, that may or may not resonate with the person, because I’d have to look at both of their charts to tell them anything meaningful.

Whether or not you ever become an astrologer, studying astrology can be a fascinating hobby and over time give you great insight into yourself. The Astrologer I first studied with would tell me to keep digging into my chart, because it I had more knowledge about that person than anyone else.

Learning to see myself in the chart taught me so much about astrology. As I learned more astrology, I discovered more and more about myself.

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astrology basics

Astrology Terminology 101

Lets go over some basic Astrology terminology. Most of you probably already know that there are twelve signs, and you can review my previous entry to see how they are derived. In Karmic Astrology, the signs are styles of expression and provide insight into your karmic history.

The houses are areas of life experience and show focus for this lifetime. Karmic Astrology uses an equal house system, so once you know the ascendant, you can easily define the houses – each of them have exactly 30 degrees. If you were born with 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Pisces rising, then your first house begins there and each subsequent house is another 30 degrees. The second house would begin at 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Aries, the third at 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Taurus, etc.

The planets are energies and the aspects between them in a chart show show how they relate and integrate. An orb is how much that angle can vary and still be considered a viable aspect. Two pieces are conjunct if they are within 7 degrees of each other. They form a square when they are at a 90 degree angle, plus or minus 7 degrees. They form a trine when they are at a 120 degree angle, plus or minus 7 degrees, and they are in opposition when they are 180 degrees apart, plus or minus 7 degrees. The sextile and quincunx are 60 degree and 150 degree angles respectively, plus or minus 3 degrees. These two aspects have a tighter orb.

The midheaven is the soul energy and is the immutable core that is YOU lifetime after lifetime. It is the point that is directly overhead at your birth, and is the cusp of the tenth house in a placidus chart. In an equal house chart it is noted as a point in the chart and is usually in the ninth or tenth house, though it can fall outside of that for people born at extreme latitudes.

The lunar nodes are points where the moon crosses the ecliptic. The south node is a summation of all of your past lives and shows karmic patterns that particularly matter with respect to this life, and your north node shows the goal of this life. It is exactly opposite the south node, because new growth can only come from doing something completely different than what you have been doing over and over again.

The degrees and minutes more fully define everything. Sometimes people talk about being born “on the cusp.” All this means is that they were born on a day when the sun changed signs. It doesn’t mean that they are a hybrid of the two signs. Each piece in the chart is in one sign or another. Not only are the signs distinct and different, but having the sun at 0 degrees of one sign is very different than 29 degrees of the preceding sign. The numbers have meanings in and of themselves, and they help to paint a complete picture of the chart.

Do you have an Astrology topic of interest? You can write to me at Lisa@karmicastrology.com and let me know what topics you’d like to see covered in this blog.

Copyright © 2009, Lisa Wagner