Reading a chart requires context. By looking at how the points in a chart represent elements and modalities, we can determine the elemental orientation, the quest of the chart by reducing it to the sign (and values) actually driving the person we're working with.
Its not important to understand the internal relations of the chart just yet, nor do we really need to pay attention to even the sun or moon to use this technique. Why? Because we're not very ambitious here! Our sole purpose behind the operations described on this page is to get to 1 of twelve zodiacal themes.
You will see me point out deeper considerations as I work through this 1st example. Some of these are important and come from a Jungian and alchemical perspective, but you safely ignore them as our real objective is to determine a note for someone's fundamental needs. We want that note before we begin to consider the particular unfoldment of a chart.
Step 1: Count how the elements and qualities show up.
Write the chart's material points into a 3x4 zodiac grid:
For someone born early on Jun'3 1948, that would look like this after you counted out the points for each row and column:
Note, we're not doing this to get into a discussion of relative strengths, or to determine anything but a simple overall indicator or what matters in this chart. If you are using an other system of weights, its probably intended for other purposes, do try it on a few charts and let me know.
Step 2: Evaluate the elemental distributions
There are more elements than modes, so we start here. In the chart above we found:
When we sort that by 'involvement' it looks like this:
Notice that Water has twice as many points as Earth.
Notice that Air has twice as many points as Water.
and, Notice that Fire and Air are very very close in count.
This chart so 'reveals' that it would probably want to follow a developmental pattern that involves a tremenduous amount (almost half the points) of fire driving air around (more fire than air), for a long time (75% of the points in fire+air)
What this technique reveals is that there are two more layers of development working in this individual.
first, the 'watery meaning'. always latent as a muse and inspiration, in this chart, it has a 6th of the points in the chart and will drive the direction of the individual. when coupled with fire and air, the 'latent' water means that we have someone who knows themselves to be passionate about the sensible, artistically perfect use of mind.. knows how to see it in others at least.
With 11/12th of the points in 'anything but earth', we lastly discover this person's real quest. "Desiring to make passionate sense in the concrete world". This is what the Fire+Air dominant combo's after, but it will not know this unless the person learns to allow themselves to actually have a concrete level of wealth and substance.
Water+Earth pursuits, such as anything Taurean or Scorpionic, probably have an intrinsic part in this person's life as those elements combined make up a quarter of the 'life-attention-points' in the chart. With 75% invested elsewhere in the person's make-up, you might not know about this other 25% until you pass the social layer.
Fire+Air pursuits of course invoke the signs of Leo and Aquarius. This abstract combo involving self-worth and 'academics' give you someone cabable of radiating authority; with the fixed cross involed, you get a more fundamental historical perspective.
Step 3: Evaluate the modalities
In our sample chart we counted:
The deeply held values are almost entirely diffused. They have given one point to each the cardinal and mutable realms, so as to allow the specialization.
This specialization into the world, the building of a personality and the refinement of a character, when they 'complete', and in line with the elemental discovery and development of the least frequent element in the chart, as the life completes itself through the conscious or unconscious self-development; This least frequent mode provides solace and integration for this person.
Step 4: Combine the results
I'd like to say 'synthesize an answer', but lets keep it simple!
Look back into the grid now and find the sign represented by the combination of our 'quested' items.
Looking for 'Earth' and 'Fixed', we find Taurus.
Here we happen to repeat 'Taurus' as an answer, just as we had gotten before when we looked only for signs made from earth+water. I'd say this gives us a clear 'idea' as to what our subject's ultimate intention is.
I'd say the older and more accomplished your client, the easier it is to actually see them having developed along this lines. Really, I think you need to look at this in practice to see the key ideas behind this method of getting a preliminary orientation work.
"The Big Insight(s)"
The Bottomline here is: You need to speak to the client's needs and in order to do that, well.. you have to have a means of knowing what those are ultimately going to be.
And puhlease... don't tell me its Luna's job to reflect what your needs are. That's not how it works! Luna speaks to the contents of the mind, its qualities, to how we reflect, and to how we are comfortable with our judgements. Luna works to maybe add energy to someone's who's leaking it because they are unaware of how their flows are 'supposed to work', but in order to do 'the great work', we need to advise clients from within this kind of fundamental context.
I've applied this 'lens' in most of my natal readings since about 1987 and find that it makes a lot of sense with progressions as well. In primary progressions you can see the needs of time, in minor's that of the moment.
Once you have played with this for a while, consider using larger numbers for the lights and planets as you see fit. For example, to emphasize the jupiter/saturn in an adult.. try:
try my 'authentic adult needs' scale: 4 sun, moon,mercury 3 venus, mars 5 jupiter, saturn 3 uranus, neptune, pluto.
De-emphasize at your own risk. If the chart is radically one thing or another.. you may get yourself into trouble when you assume that there are limits to how far a martian may develop, uh, mars. There's an infinity of stories out there and rather than going crazy trying to tune these weights to where you want more of them than such a simple system is able to deliver, keep it easy and confine yourself to integrating simple observable bits when working out the fundamentals of your judgement.
Consider looking at the astro-flow charting technique (samples, no walkthroughs yet) which I've developed to focus on the client's internal flows and their arithmetic of values, to trace the 'chain of command' if you will. When I've done the grid and looked at the flows, I'll come back to the grid and look at how the flows fit into the chart's needs. I use and think about this final qualitative view of the 'nature of the chart' before I dare to look at angles much. Once I've looked at angles, I do bring them back to the relation of elements and modes and consider them in relation to the layers of development.
In person the process may be cut-short because I'll find myself speaking to the energy of you-now, rather than layers offered by astrology, but then again, this is a technique. Try it sometime. Meanwhile check my article listings from time to time, I have a lot of researched material on my disk and some of that's starting to come out now.
Mar 8th 2006
There's a holy order to it all,
Call and lets look at what's going on!