signs

Elements + Qualities = Signs

The signs are styles of expression. Everyone has all 12 signs in their chart, because your natal chart has 12 houses and each of the signs rules one of the houses in your chart.

The 12 zodiac signs are derived from the elements and qualities in Astrology. The four elements are fire, earth, air and water. All the signs of an element have some core energy in common:

Fire – action, energy, vitality
Earth – resources, sensuality, reliability
Air – ideas, communication, people oriented
Water – emotion, intuition, passion

There are three qualities in Astrology and all signs of the same quality also have some energy in common:

Cardinal – initiating, drive, ambition
Fixed – focused, tenacious, definite
Mutable – versatile, restless, seeks change

When you combine these two you get twelve combinations:

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Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are all fire signs. They all have that fire energy in common. They differ though, because they each have a different quality. Aries is the most assertive of the three fire signs and has a sense of urgency and immediacy to it. Leo is more ambitions and driven. Sagittarius is the gypsy, seeking experiences.

Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo are the earth signs. Capricorn energy seeks accomplishment. Taurus desires comfort and doesn’t like waste. Virgo seeks to make things real and tangible.

Libra, Aquarius and Gemini are air. Libra energy leads people with ideas. Aquarius energy dives deeply into ideas to discover new ones. Gemini energy seeks to know something about everything.

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are water. Cancer energy controls through nurturing. Scorpio energy is consuming passion. Pisces energy blends with everything to create empathy.

People often have one element and quality that dominate their chart. So even if you have the Sun in Aries, if you have a lot of earth and mutable energy in your chart, your chart would have a Virgo feel to it, since Virgo is earth and mutable.

Even without seeing your chart, try to guess what element and quality you relate most to and then look at the sign that makes and see if you can feel that energy in you. It may not be your sun sign.

Now take a look at your chart and note how many pieces are in each element and quality. The sign that you come up with is called your signature and it is yet another layer to consider when you look at your chart.

planets

Saturn & Fathers Day

In honor of Fathers Day, here are a few words on Saturn in your natal chart.

Saturn rules time and space, it’s the energy that allows us to know we are human. Saturn shows your ability to function in human form, and is associated with limitations, burdens, safety, security, cynicism, sorrow, and discipline. Saturn rules every form of organization and management, and shows what you believe is enduring.

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In Karmic Astrology, Saturn is referred to as “the price you paid for the ticket,” as it shows what you agreed to do in this lifetime in exchange for the opportunity to incarnate and grow spiritually. Saturn also defines your beliefs about men, and shows your father in this life time.

Everyone has Saturn in their chart, and the energy can be powerful and beautiful. Saturn energy shows your capacity for loyalty, commitment, how willing you are to hang in there and be there for someone. Saturn can help bring form to what you imagine, and give you the security you need to trust and believe in yourself.

Look at the sign for you Saturn to see your preferred style for this energy. Look at the house to see the area of life where you tend to most fluently express this energy. Look at aspects to Saturn to see connections with other energies.

My father passed away a few years ago, the Sunday before Fathers Day. I think of him often, and I’m grateful for the lessons he taught me, and the way he believed in me. He encouraged me to go out into the world, to live fully, to question, to learn, and to be whatever I wanted to be.

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Happy Fathers Day to all the dads, and to all men that keep others safe.

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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aspects

How do you pronounce quincunx?

Quincunx is such a funny word to me. In Astrology, it’s an aspect formed when pieces are at a 150 degree angle with one another. I use an orb of 3 degrees, so that’s an angle of 147-153 degrees. Inconjunct is also used for this and means the same thing. I consistently use quincunx though, partly because it just sounds odd and also because (for me) the unusualness of the word conveys some of the unusualness of the aspect itself. 

In karmic astrology, a quincunx is referred to as the karmic neutralizer. Experiences in other life times have caused the person to learn to shut down parts of themselves. The pieces tend to neutralize each other, so that when one of them is receiving focus, the other tends to shut down. 

Let’s look at moon quincunx mars. The moon is emotions, nurturance, food, family and mars is physicality, sexuality, ambitions, drive. People with this aspect are likely to struggle with balancing getting emotional needs met and pursuing ambitions. It can be hard to develop a sexual relationship that is nurturing and emotionally rewarding. They often eat in ways that are not healthy for their bodies. When one of these energies is getting their attention, the other energy is shut down and it’s hard to integrate the two. 

All is not lost with a quincunx. When one shows up in a natal chart, think of it as a flashing red light. There are many life lessons connected to it, and understanding it will lead to huge growth. It’s almost like a call for help, trying to grab your attention. The signs and houses can be very insightful in helping you to understand both your karmic history getting you to this point (signs) and the current life focus (houses) that needs your attention. 

I don’t believe your natal chart determines the life you will live. It’s a painting of your karmic past and reveals the bags you packed when you came into this life. Those bags contain experiences and beliefs that show up as talents, challenges and lessons. If you have a quincunx, get honest with yourself about it and face what it’s telling you. Even if you do see that you are shutting down, denying or compartmentalizing parts of your life you can grow and change. 

However you have come to view your life, you can learn to see it differently. 

Copyright © 2017, Lisa Wagner

aspects

Let’s talk squares

There are several major aspects, or angles, that astrologers look at in a chart. One of them is called a square. A square is formed when the pieces are at a 90 degree angle with each other. I use a 7 degree orb for a square, so that means 90 degrees plus or minus 7. 

Squares are dynamic aspects and can provide insight into lessons, talents and challenges in our lives. Usually squares are described as a source of tension or conflict. This can be true, but they are so much more than that. Squares can not only help you understand inner conflicts and how you may be at odds with yourself, but they can also show some of the ways you are energized. They can provide insight into some of your strengths and talents. 

Squares are called the forced awareness, because each piece forces an awareness of the other. Depending on the pieces involved, as well as the rest of the chart, the square can be expressed in a variety of ways. The key is that the energies ignite each other. The more you can face and deal authentically with the other energy, the less conflict you will experience with it and the more the energies work together in a productive way.

Mars square Pluto is ambitious, competitive, and energetic. The physical energy and drive of Mars forces an awareness of the will and power of Pluto. This dynamic can show up in predatory behavior, people willing to do anything to get what they want. It can also show up in advocates, people that are willing to fight for others, especially those they believe have been victimized. 

Some energies function better than others in a square, and some combinations seem more workable. Looking at all the pieces, aspects, degrees and houses can give further insight. For example, someone that also has Moon trine Jupiter is likely to have a strong sense of ethics and desire for justice and be the advocate. The houses the planets are in can show the areas where the conflicts are more likely to play out. Someone with a lot of squares tends to believe that life is hard, and to be competitive in general. Someone without any squares may have trouble handling conflict. The chart must always be looked at as a whole to fully understand the significance of any single component.  

Aspects provide great insight into how the energies interact within you and show beliefs that have been built in past lives. While squares can show you some of your inner struggles, they can also draw your attention to great opportunities for growth. Nothing in your chart dooms you to be a certain way or have a certain kind of life. The natal chart shows what you bring into this life and it is up to you to enhance or transform what you bring with you.  

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” -Rumi

Copyright © 2017, Lisa Wagner

planets

When you wish upon a star

Jupiter is often called “the lucky star.” It shows where and how we shine, our willingness to grow and expand our lives. It’s our belief in abundance and shows our generosity. Part of our willingness to give is rooted in our belief about our own abundance and our faith in the limitless flow of the universe. 

Jupiter gives insight into what supports and hinders our confidence. It’s about exploration, travel and moving out of our routines and comfort zones. Looking at Jupiter In your natal chart can show areas where you are seeking growth in this life, the kind of environment that supports your growth, lessons and challenges that are a part of your personal evolution.

Aspects show you how energies interact. Jupiter tends to expand or amplify other energy. Looking at aspects to Jupiter can give insight into what tends to block and unleash your growth and self confidence. 

In my blog post on Saturn, I explained that all energies in the chart are neutral. Saturn is often described negatively, so I wrote about why I love it. Jupiter is often described only in really positive ways, but as with every piece in the chart, Jupiter is innately neutral. It can be expressed in really joyful and invigorating ways, and it can also expand excessively. Cancer is essentially uncontrollable cell growth. 

It’s easy to see though why people that get interested in Astrology swoon over Jupiter. It’s the expanding energy of the universe after the Big Bang! It can be a powerful force for good within us and show how we stay in our integrity and express our best selves. 

On the whole, it’s easy to see why Jupiter is seen as the lucky star.

Copyright © 2017, Lisa Wagner

nodes

Karmic Nodes

The lunar nodes, also called karmic nodes, are two specific points of the moon’s path as it revolves around the earth. They are designated as north and south and are always exactly opposite each other. Symbolically this is perfect, since one represents prior experiences and one is the goal of this life. Only by doing something that is the opposite of what you’ve been doing over and over again, will you generate new growth in this life.

The south node is a treasure trove of karmic experience. It shows experiences you’ve had and strong beliefs you have built thru those experiences. It can show both strengths and vulnerabilities, talents, successes, struggles, and triumphs. The south node can be something you rely on and fall back on in this life.

The north node is directly opposite the south and shows the goal of this life. It shows your primary purpose for being here. It’s not just a singular lesson, but a thread of purpose that weaves all thru your life and will show up through many other life lessons. The north node calls you to move beyond the comfort zone of experiences of the south node and take on new challenges in this life.

The houses the nodes are in will give insight into the primary areas of life experience in which the nodes are most expressive for you. The signs give insight into their styles of expression. Aspects to the nodes show how your energies tap into your karmic past and work to move you towards this life’s purpose. 

Transits are the current location of the planets. Looking at how transits aspect your nodes helps you to see how outside energies (outside of you) effect and support your goals, as well as bring up your past.

Copyright © 2017, Lisa Wagner

planets

Why I love Saturn

Saturn rules time and space. It’s how we define our human existence. In your natal chart, it shows how you relate to structure, security, routine, limitations, commitment, and what you agreed to do for the opportunity to live this life.

All the planets signify energy in the natal chart. Though they are all amazing in their own way, Saturn is sometimes seen very negatively. People focus on “limitations” and see Saturn as a very strict parent. It’s important to remember that none of the energies are inherently good or bad. Venus is loving energy, but can also be associated with extreme selfishness and vanity. Mars is passion and vitality, but can also be hostile and violent. All the energies are present in us and our lives. Understanding how we work best with them is how we experience the best versions of them.

Saturn is how we define ourselves in this body, in this place and time here on earth. Being in a body, having our immortal, limitless spirit in the confines of a body, let’s us experience this world. Limitations and structure can give us opportunities, as well as support. Looking at Saturn in your chart, it’s placement and aspects to it, gives insight into what area of life you are deriving security from in this life. It can show you where and how you are learning to set limits and what you have to contribute to the world.

While studying Astrology, I discovered that every planet has a beauty and brilliance. Every energy is magnificent and can flow through our lives in a way that elevates and improves our time here. Embracing and understanding each energy guides us to their most healthy and positive expressions.

Saturn creates the doors we can choose to open and walk through so that we may make real our most desired imaginings and discover love, joy, adventure, connection, transformation and peace.

That’s why I love Saturn.

Copyright © 2017, Lisa Wagner

planets

Planets Conjunct the Sun

In Karmic Astrology, the sun in your natal chart represents your ego, your personality in this life. It’s who you aspire to be this time. It is your sense of sanity and of being grounded in this life. When anything in your natal chart is conjunct your sun, then that energy is also bonded with your ego and sense of self. It is hard to separate your identity from that piece and anything connected to that piece is taken very personally.

The sign, house placement, degree and rest of the chart all impact how the conjunction is expressed, but here are a few general notes on these conjunctions.

If you have Moon conjunct the sun, then you identify with your emotions. You don’t separate who you are from how you feel. Your need to express your feelings is strong and you feel deeply.

With Mercury conjunct the sun, your beliefs and mind are bonded with your ego. You identify with your mind and intellect. You need to believe you are rational and when someone does not agree with what you believe, your sense of self can feel invalidated.

Venus conjunct the sun, you identify with your values and sense of beauty. You feel unstable when you are not living in accordance with your values and caring for your appearance is part of how you define yourself.

Mars conjunct the sun, you define yourself by action. Your ambitions and passions ground you. You are what you do, and being able to take action is a very important aspect of self-expression for you.

Saturn conjunct the sun, you identify with security. Saturn rules time and space, so you need to have limits, boundaries and routines. Your sense of loyalty is part of your identify.

Jupiter conjunct the sun, you identify with possibility, growth and hope. Travel and personal growth are part of your identify. You identify with your personal ethics and judgments.

Uranus conjunct the sun, you identify with the eccentric and a sense of individualism while still feeling connected to community and the cosmos. Parts of you will always be somewhat unpredictable, though they will always make sense to you.

Neptune conjunct the sun, you identify with your intuition, compassion, creativity and a need to escape. It’s important to find a way to balance these energies, otherwise you can empathize with others to the point of losing your sense of self.

Pluto conjunct the sun, you identify with your will. Control helps you to feel grounded and you have a great capacity for personal transformation. You experience a deeper sense of empowerment as you learn to align your will with that of the divine, something larger than yourself.

If you have anything conjunct the sun in your chart, read about that energy and then think about how you identify with it. Think about how that energy is part of your sense of sanity, how it makes you feel grounded. It can give you great insight into a choice of career or what you need to feel safe and secure. Also remember that most people do not have something conjunct their sun, and have an ability to separate the energy you identify so strongly with from their ego and personality.

If you find yourself in frequent conflict with someone, ask yourself if there isn’t something you are taking so very personally. Remind yourself that a person may disagree with your beliefs, sense of justice, need to take action for a cause etc., and in no way intend to come across as invalidating who you are or how you should define your sense of self.  

Copyright © 2016, Lisa Wagner

houses, planets

Is your Moon in the Seventh House?

How many of you remember the lyrics to Age of Aquarius?

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius …

In Karmic Astrology, the houses are areas of life experience and show focus for this life. The house of the moon, shows the area of life that (coming in) you want to invest in emotionally. It is the area where you feel most at home in this life, where you feel most able to get your emotional needs met. It’s where you came in wanting to nurture and be nurtured, shows lessons around family and mothering and gives insight to all things related to the feminine energy within you.

Moon in the first house has an emotional investment in self and the body. Most women with this placement will become pregnant at least once in this lifetime. Massage therapists and body workers often have moon in the first. There is a strong emotional connection to the body.

Moon in the second has an emotional investment in stuff. Feeling that you have resources, managing your resources (food, clothing, shelter, money, etc) is very important with this placement. There is often a connection to growing your own food and feeling connected to land as a resource.

Moon in the third has a connection to communication. It’s important to express yourself and to feel heard. Sibling relationships are often very important, in part because of the early lessons in communicating. You feel at home with books, information, the Internet, social media and exchange of ideas.

Moon in the fourth is about home and family. It’s about family history, homestead, parenting and being connected to a place. You have a strong need to nurture people in your home and feel nurtured by your home. There is a need to parent, either your own children or to have some kind of responsibility similar to parenting in your life.

Moon in the fifth is about creativity, fun, romance and kids. Having creative outlets is important for your emotional health. Performing, working with kids or doing work that brings fun and joy to people’s lives is often very satisfying.

Moon in the sixth is about music, health and healing. Nurturing yourself and others is important to your emotional well being. Feeling that you are fulfilling your karmic debts and having a job that is emotionally rewarding is important to you.

Moon in the seventh is about relationships. You always want to have a partner or best friend in your life. Working with people one on one is important to you. Feeling that things are equal and balanced helps you to feel emotionally nurtured and satisfied.

Moon in the eight is about intimacy. You need deep emotional connections. People trust you with their secrets and confide in you. They also trust you with resources and seek your counsel. The eighth house is about mystery, transformation, and being willing to go into dark places.

Moon in the ninth is about travel and higher learning. Exploring, discovering, personal growth and learning are emotionally fulfilling. Your are at home teaching and deriving knowledge out of information.

Moon in the tenth is about career and your place in the world. You need to feel some level of recognition for the work you do. It’s important to you to feel like you emotionally experience and understand your contribution to the world.

Moon in the eleventh is about friendships, organizations and group activities. You need to be active in causes and feel like you have a connection to groups of others. Being involved and having a sense of community nurtures you and helps you feel at home.

Moon in the twelfth is about escape and privacy. It includes organizations and places where people are removed from mainstream society. It is the dreamy, mystical, part of our lives as well as the closet we stick things we want out of view. Whether you’re at home in a comfy chair for some quiet time, or taking a walk out in nature, you feel emotionally renewed by being able to escape the world.

There are lots of online calculators for your natal chart. You need your time, date and location of birth. Once you have that, look and see where the moon is then google that house. Each house rules an area of life experience, and the house of the natal chart will give you some insight into what nurtures you and feeds you emotionally.

Copyright © 2016,  Lisa Wagner