Life certainly has its grace and its challenges. Situations and experiences in our life are consistently requiring us to grow and evolve as spiritual beings. Powerful tools such as astrology can help us see exactly what these experiences are and what we can do to use these experiences as opportunities for our spiritual development.
In astrology our life experiences can be seen by the planets in the birth chart. Each planet has a unique type of experience associated with it. For example, some planets like Venus are considered benefics where the experiences related to them are about opportunity and enjoyment, while malefics such as Saturn are about challenge and necessity. Regardless of the planet involved each of these experiences give us an opportunity to evolve and grow into more well-rounded and healthy individuals.
The most important concept about each of the planets is that there is an over and under extreme associated with each of them: polarities. One side of the planet is trying to pull us into the upward direction, of over emphasizing that planet’s dimension of experience. While the other side of the planet is trying to pull us downward, of under emphasizing that planet’s experience. Either of these extremes are unhealthy and can lead to an unbalanced life style.
The key as you might imagine is balance. Cultivating the centered, healthy expression of each planet’s attributes.
To do this, we must understand what our birth chart says about our personal life experiences. This is done by looking at the personal planets in our chart. These are the Sun, Moon, and Chart Ruler. Along with the inner planets of Mercury through Saturn. If you are new to astrology and not yet familiar with how to identify these personal components in the chart.. you can watch this short video explaining it in detail.
Before we continue you will need a copy of your birth chart. If you don’t already have one, you can use this quick and simple-to-use online online chart calculator.
Sign and house strength of planets.
Now, as you know up to this point, each planet has a sign and house position associated with it. The sign placement shows the ‘qualities’ of these experiences that we are bringing into balance, and the house the ‘area of life’ we are balancing.
However, not all signs and houses are comfortable for each of the planets to be in. Some planets are stronger in some signs and houses, while weaker in others. For example, Mars’ assertive and achievement-oriented nature is at its best at the top of the chart in the 10th house, or in Capricorn. Conversely, he is not very comfortable at the bottom of the chart, or in Cancer.
How a planet is placed in the chart, both in sign and house placement, can show us the natural tendency of the planet to be balanced, or imbalanced. In other words, if a planet is placed in a sign and house it is strong and comfortable in then those qualities will be easier to balance than if the planet is placed in an uncomfortable sign or house. This is known as the sign and house ‘strength’ of a planet. You can use these PDF’s here and here to see the sign and house strength of the planets in your birth chart. Write down each personal planet’s sign and house strength. Starting with your most personal planets first.
Aspect strength of planets.
The next important thing to look for when analyzing the strength of a planet are its aspects. Like it’s sign and house placement, how a planet relates to other planets in the chart shows us whether the natural tendency of the planet is to be balanced or imbalanced.
Planets with sextiles and trines are considered easy to work with, while squares and oppositions more challenging to work with. Conjunctions are considered inherently neutral and are dependent more on the planets involved.
Like before, start with aspects to and from your personal planets, then work your way to the more outward planets. Write the number of easy and challenging aspects next to each planet.
Your strongest and weakest planets.
At this point in the exercise you should have a general idea about which planets in your chart are easier to balance than others. This is based on the strength of each of the planets in regards to their sign, house, and aspects.
Number your planets from strongest to weakest. Note that within each planet there are likely some attributes about it that are both easy and challenging.
Let’s look at your strongest planets first.. these represent your greatest personality strengths. They are great attributes to channel your time and energy into as they come natural to you and don’t typically require extra attention to cultivate in a healthy way. These are excellent qualities that can be easy to continue to sharpen and hone in on. Here is a list of what each of the planets represent to give you an idea of what these easier expressions of your personality are all about.
With your more challenging planets.. these are your greatest growth potential, and where you can evolve spiritually. Focus on balancing these aspects of your personality. The more integrated and balanced they are the more goodness you will see for yourself and those around you. Consider these the areas that can be worked on so that you have a more well-rounded and healthy life. Note that these are your greatest gifts to the world when integrated in healthy ways. You can use the same planet meanings list to see these growth potentials of your personality.
To go deeper, you can look at how to specifically balance each of the different signs, houses, and aspects associated with your personal planets. You can use these PDF’s here, here, and here to see how exactly this can be done. Remember that the strongest planets in your chart will have an easier expression of these qualities, areas, and aspects of life. While the weaker ones require more attention to bring into balance for your spiritual development.
By cultivating your strengths, and balancing your weaknesses, as seen in the birth chart.. you are able to gain a tremendous advantage in self-actualization and mastering this wild ride we call.. life.
We would all like to know what type of partner is best suited for us. This might be for a romantic partnership, business partnership, friendship, or the many different types of relationships we form with another.
Although we can form a healthy relationships with anyone. Each of us has a very unique set of personality traits, and knowing which traits compliment our own is an important step to cultivating lasting and rich partnerships.
Naturally, we already have an attraction to these traits. So it’s really as simple as listening to our inner guidance. However, consciously identifying what they are can help us see and understand more clearly what traits work best with us, and why.
In the last video on “how to read a birth chart” we talked about the importance of the Ascendant, Chart Ruler, and the 1st House. This is because this part of the chart has a strong association with the self, and shows our unique personality.
Directly opposite this part of the chart represents our relationships. The astrological components associated with it, show the attributes that bring balance into our lives. It specifically shows what compliments our unique personality. A partner who embodies the healthy expression of these attributes can be a rich and long-lasting one. It’s all seen through horoscope compatibility.
So let’s look at what your chart says about your horoscope compatibility.
We’ll first need your birth chart. If you don’t already have it you can use this quick and simple birth chart calculator. Keep in mind it shows the real size and location of the constellations in the sky, called sidereal astrology. If you are new to this form of astrology and would like to learn more, watch this short video explaining it in detail.
Once you have your chart, we want to look at that 7th house.
Let’s start with your Descendant, also known as your 7th house cusp.
We are looking for the sign it sits on. This is your Descendant sign. It shows the ‘characteristics’ that bring more balance into your life, and compliment you. In a partnership, it shows which characteristics (when implemented in their healthy expression by your partner) leads to a strong, balanced, and fruitful partnership. Click this link to see a PDF of what these characteristics are for you.
Next let’s look at your Descendant Ruler.
This is going to show us not only what characteristics you are compatible with, but what you share in ‘commonality’ with your best partnerships.
First we need to identify the ruler of your Descendant sign. Click this link to identify what planet rules the sign your Descendant is in. Note that you might have two, in this case mark both as they are equally important.
Once you know your Descendant Ruler, see where it’s placed in your chart.
The ‘house’ placement shows specifically the ‘areas’ of commonality that you and your strong partnerships share. Click this link to see the areas associated with your Descendant Ruler’s house placement.
Next, let’s look at the ‘sign’ placement of your Descendant Ruler. This shows the ‘characteristics’ you share in common with your strong partnerships. Use the sign PDF we used earlier to see what these characteristics are.
At this point in the exercise you’ve uncovered the Descendant, which shows the characteristics that ‘compliment’ your personality; along with the Descendant Ruler’s house and sign placement showing the ‘commonalities’ you share with your best partnerships.
Equally as important, is to look at the natural ruler of the 7th house, Venus.
Seeing which sign and house placement Venus is in shows further information about your relationships. Venus specifically shows what your values are, and what you are attracted to.
Locate the house and sign placement of Venus in your chart. Use the same PDF’s we used earlier to uncover what things you value and are attracted to in others.
If you want to take your horoscope compatibility analysis further, you can look at the aspects that form between these three components and the other planets in your chart. Aspects to these three can be important keys of development in your relationships.
Also check to see if you have any planets in your 7th house, as these will be important themes in your interactions with others, along with important life experiences for you to develop within them.
Going further, since your Sun and Moon in your chart represent your fundamental personality, you can also look at what characteristics are compatible with your Sun and Moon signs. You can use this PDF to see what signs your Sun and Moon are compatible with.
If you ever want to check the horoscope compatibility between you and someone specifically, the simplest way to see this is to overlay one chart over the other. This is known as synastry, and can easily reveal detailed information about how two individuals interact.
Another technique, the composite chart, combines the two charts together.
Both synastry and composite charts are available on most astrology software programs. I also offer them on my website in PDF format here, along with compatibility readings for those that would like a professional look at your individual, or relationship, charts.
Tying it all together.
Note that ‘like’ also attracts ‘like’, so generally, becoming more aware your own birth chart will further help reveal what types of individuals you are most compatible with. If you are new to birth chart analysis you can watch this quick video explaining the basic steps to uncovering more about your unique personality.
By studying the techniques outlined in this video, specifically looking at your Descendant, Descendant Ruler, and Venus you can get a very clear idea of what compliments you personally, and helps bring balance, support, and enjoyment to your partnerships in life.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to look at any birth chart (whether yours or someone else’s) and quickly see what the most important components of the personality and overall life experiences are?
First you will need a birth chart. Let’s use yours as an example.
If you don’t have it available, you can use my simple and easy-to-use birth chart calculator here.
Keep in mind this calculator uses the actual size and location of the constellations, called sidereal astrology. So you might notice some of your signs are different. For more information on sidereal, watch this quick video explaining it in detail.
The houses represent the sky at the time of your birth. More specifically the ecliptic, which is the path the planets move across in the sky. The houses form the skeletal structure of the chart and are always in the same location for everyone.
In a western chart, like the one we’re using today, the left most part of the chart represents the eastern horizon, also known as what’s rising, or the ascendant. This is the beginning of the chart and the houses start here. Beginning with the 1st house moving counterclockwise through the 12th.
(Note that there are different house systems used by astrologers. So the ascendant might be somewhere in the 1st house, or you might notice the houses aren’t divided up equally in other charts. The system we are using today and what my calculator uses is called the equal house system, which divides up the ecliptic into 12 equal segments starting from the ascendant. Feel free to use whichever system you prefer.)
Directly opposite the ascendant is the descendant, which as you might guess is the western horizon, or what’s setting. The top of the chart represents the highest part of the ecliptic in the sky, and the bottom what’s underneath the horizon, or the non-visible sky.
An easy way of thinking about this is since the houses represent the areas of the sky: in astrology the houses represent the areas of life.
Starting with the first house which represents all areas of our life having to do with the self such as self-image, motivations, our goals, our physical body, appearance, etc. The second having to do with our values, and so on. The houses represent what we might call “areas of life”.
The signs represent where along the ecliptic the zodiac signs were at the time of your birth. What sign was rising, which setting? This is where individual interpretations can begin now that we have two components of the chart to compare.
It can be said the signs show the characteristics of the sky at the time of your birth. So an easy way of remembering what they represent, is thinking of them as the characteristics of life. From the directness of Aries to the receptiveness of Pisces, the zodiac signs show the qualities that come through our life.
These transient bodies in the sky mirror our transient experiences here on Earth. As they always do, these experiences further shape our personality.
What house a planet is in shows us in which area these experiences of life occur; what sign, which characteristics these experiences are made up of. In terms of our personality, the houses show which areas of life are major areas for us; the signs, which characteristics are prominent in our personality. The easiest way is to think about planets are as the experiences of life which shape our personality.
Now let’s look at what your chart says about you.
In general birth chart analysis we want to start with the most foundational elements first. In other words, the most foundational elements of your personality and overall life experiences.
There are four main components of the chart that show this. Your Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and the Ascendant’s ruler also known as your Chart Ruler.
Essentially we are looking for the house and sign position of these four components (except for the Ascendant which only shows the sign, but we’ll get to this later).
Let’s start with your Sun and Moon.
These two elements represent the most fundamental and essential, yin and yang, elements of the self. The Sun represents your outwardly focused, expressive, and masculine side. While the Moon your inwardly focused, reflective, feminine side. Together these planets make up the bulk of your inner and outer personality. Along with the types of continued experiences that influence them.
Identify the Sun and Moon in your chart. They are represented by these symbols here. Once you’ve identified both your Sun’s house and sign placement, and your Moon’s house and sign placement, use these PDF’s here and here to uncover what these fundamental elements of your inner and outer self are all about.
Remember that the house placements show the areas of life that are important to you and are major themes in your life. The sign shows the characteristics that come through your personality and life experiences. Your Sun representing your outward self, and Moon inward.
Now let’s look at your Ascendant and Chart Ruler.
These elements essentially represent how your life unfolds, and what shapes your personality over time. They are like your Sun and Moon, except more specifically the life path and life events which further shape your personality. You might think of this as who you are becoming, and strongly representing you and your life in the chart.
Your Ascendant represents the qualities that you are developing as a result of your life experiences. There is only a sign associated with it because it is always associated with the 1st house.
Your Chart Ruler, on the other hand, is essentially the planet that rules the sign your Ascendant is in. The house and sign position the Chart Ruler is placed in represents a more detailed look, at not only what characteristics you are developing, but the area of life as well.
First let’s identify your Ascendant sign. Look up the characteristics of this sign using the same PDF we used earlier. Remember these are the qualities that come through your overall life experiences and shape who you are becoming. These are very important qualities to develop in your life.
Now let’s identify your Chart Ruler.
First you must know what planet rules the sign your Ascendant is in. Use this PDF here to get a list of rulers for each of the zodiac signs. You might notice you have two, in this case mark both planets as they’ll be equally important.
Once you have identified your Chart Ruler locate its house and sign placement, just like you did for the Sun and Moon. Use the same PDF’s we used earlier to identify what these areas of life and characteristics are that shape your personality over time. Remember the Chart Ruler essentially represents you in the chart, and what is being developed.
Tying it all together.
At this point in your analysis you’ve uncovered the four most fundamental elements of the natal chart. Analyzing and understanding these four components alone will account for a huge understanding of who you are and your prominent life experiences. You can apply this same process to any person’s chart.
For those of you who want to take the analysis further, you’ll want to look at the major associations that form between these four components and other planets in the birth chart. These are called aspects. The aspects can either be found on in the inside of the chart, next to the chart, or both. Here is a PDF of what the different aspects mean, for your further analysis.
Next you can look at the inner planets of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Then the middle planets: Jupiter and Saturn. Followed by the outer planets of Uranus and Neptune. And the comets: Chiron and Pluto. Analyzing their house and sign placements.
Note that as you move further out to the more distant planets, the personality characteristics become that much deeper and less apparent. Much like an Onion, where the outer layer of our personality and experiences represent the four main components we covered in this video. Followed by the inner planets, middle, then outer at the center of the onion. (As a side note, pay particular attention to any planets in the 1st house as they will tend to come through strongly in the personality and experiences.) Here is a list of the major planets, it shows what elements of the self, and experience in life, they represent.
With continued practice, focusing primarily on the four major components of the birth chart outlined in this video.. you’ll be able to interpret a birth chart quickly and precisely, in a matter of minutes.
Do you know exactly what it is that makes you excited? What energizes you and sparks that inner fire to create and speak your true voice?
There is an important planet in astrology that represents our passions, interests, and the things that get us motivated in life. It represents what we can cultivate to be who we really are, and share our unique form of self-expression with the world.
In astrology it’s represented by the location of the Sun at the time of your birth, and it holds the key to understanding your passion and how to harness its tremendous power.
According to Todd Henry in his book Louder Than Words, there are three things that you must cultivate in order to develop your authentic voice:
With identity, you must know who you are in order to develop your true voice. What is personally meaningful to you? What are your natural gifts and traits? Knowing your passions and aptitudes is the first step to developing your voice.
The next component is vision. You must know where you are going to direct your voice. What kind of effect do you wish to have on others? How will the world be changed by you? Knowing how you want to impact your community, and the world at large, is crucial to developing your voice.
The last component, Mastery, represents how we will get there. What is needed to sharpen and hone in on your unique form of self-expression? What are different ways for you to express yourself that will challenge you towards new growth and improvement? Continuously applying and working with your voice creates a solid structure for your future development.
Now let’s discover your unique voice.
What we’re looking for is the sign and house placement of the Sun in your birth chart. You likely already know your Sun sign which is all you need for this video. However, if you know your time of birth you’ll also be able to uncover your Sun’s house position which will give you a more detailed picture. To find your Sun’s house you can use this quick and simple-to-use sidereal birth chart calculator.
(Now if you are new to my videos you might notice your Sun sign is different in this calculator. This is because the type of astrology I use, called true sidereal astrology, uses the actual size and location of the constellations. For more information on this type of astrology watch this short video explaining sidereal in more detail.)
Once you have your chart pulled up, you are looking for this symbol which represents the Sun. Identify its sign position which can be found here, and its house position here.
Let’s start with your sign.
The sign placement shows the qualities of your true voice. In other words, the way in which you express yourself. It is through honoring and developing these qualities that your true voice shines. In terms of..
1. Identity – it is how you express yourself and your natural way of expression
2. Vision – how you impact those around you and the qualities that create your vision
3. Mastery – what traits you can continue to develop and hone in on
Now, let’s look at your Sun’s house placement for those of you with your time of birth.
The house placement shows specifically what your true voice is all about. In other words, what you are passionate about, energizes you, and you are naturally good at. It is particularly through cultivating these things that your authentic voice truly shines. In terms of..
1. Identity – it is what you’re excited about and your natural gifts and traits
2. Vision – what you have to share with the community and world at large
3. Mastery – what things you can continue to develop and hone in on
Click this link to see the areas associated with your Sun’s unique house placement.
By looking at your Sun’s sign and house position you can get a very good idea about what kindles that inner flame. Here is an exercise that can help with this:
My authentic voice is (write the sign phrase from the pdf). Then write..
This is expressed through my (then the house phrase if you know it).
For example if your Sun is in Cancer and the 9th House it would read:
My authentic voice is embracing my feelings and sentiments through caring for and nurturing others.
This is expressed through my abstract ideas and sharing them with the world.
Tying it all together.
To take the exercise one step further answer the following questions in your own words, feel free to reference the PDF’s as a guide. I recommend pausing the video and writing the answers to these questions down.
What are you excited about?
What are your natural gifts and abilities?
How do you naturally express yourself?
How do you impact those around you?
What do you have to share with others?
What is your vision for the future?
What traits can you hone in on?
What specific things can you continue to develop?
Through continued self-awareness, a cultivation of your vision, and dedication to mastering these natural talents and abilities.. you are on the road to harnessing the immense power that is.. your true authentic voice.
I’m often asked, “What is my sidereal sign?” So what is sidereal astrology exactly?
True sidereal astrology is the astrology that uses the real size and location of the constellations in the sky. In other words, the real location of the planets at the time of one’s birth. Not very many people are aware, but the most commonly used astrology in the western world (tropical astrology) is based on a different method. It uses a system that sets the constellations to the seasons of the Earth. It’s adjusted so that on every spring equinox the zodiac is set to zero degrees Aries. This creates a growing variation of roughly one degree every 72 years from the true location of the constellations. At the moment the two systems are a total of 24 degrees apart creating a larger separation as time goes on.
To see your true sidereal sign check below…
Sidereal Sun Signs By Date:
(Based on the midpoint between constellations.) (If you are within three days of another sign you are a blend of both.)