Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Primary Directions in Traditional Astrology

Primary directions are a time-tested prediction and timing technique used in traditional astrology. They are similar to secondary progressions, but use degrees of what is called right ascension instead of degrees of the Zodiac. Right ascension degrees are different from Zodiac degrees in that they take into account the different amounts of time that Zodiac signs take to rise above the horizon. The differences arise from the fact that the Earth's orbit is elliptical, while the Zodiac is a circle by convention. In secondary progressions, one day's activity in the ephemeris after the birth time is taken to correspond to one year in the native's life (the native is the person whose birth chart is being examined); in primary directions, the planets move by one degree, more or less (there are different methods), per year of the native's life. The interaction between the adjusted (or directed) positions and the natal positions can mark events in the native's life.

Here's my chart. The house cusps are not shown because I use whole sign houses, where the entire sign where the Ascendant falls is the first house, the next sign the second house, and so forth. The arrow pointing to the left is the Ascendant; the upward-pointing arrow is the Midheaven. How it works is that the planets move clockwise through the chart as they would during the course of the day; a quarter of the way through will cover the native's entire life.

The first event I'd like to point out happened in September 1989 and was marked by Pluto advancing upward to meet the Midheaven. At the time I was starting my senior year of college, but I had to leave due to finances. That event completely transformed my career as Microsoft was recruiting heavily on campus at the time and I could very well have ended up working there had I graduated. So you can see that the event worked similarly to a Pluto transit of the Midheaven.

The next event also involves the Midheaven, this time with Uranus as the directed planet. This was in late 1993. At the time, I was working at an investment bank in Boston, in a department that managed stocks for pension plans. I developed stomach problems due to the stress levels, and in February of the next year, one day decided I couldn't do that job any more and gave notice. So the event was similar to a Uranus-Midheaven transit.

The last event I'll cover involves Venus, which was directed to the Midheaven in the summer of 1998. The major event was a trip to Russia to meet my future wife. I came back engaged and got married a year latter. The subsequent divorce ten years later was marked by an aspect between the Midheaven and what's called the antiscion (a shadow spot) of Mars.

If you'd like to try working with primary directions, I recommend using the program Pymorinus. Book Three of William Lilly's Chrisitan Astrology gives instruction on how to use primary directions.

Disclaimer: the first rule of predictive astrology is that no event can happen unless it is indicated in the natal chart. The technique given here is used to determine when events will happen, not if they will happen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Free Astrology/Tarot E-book

It's time for a publicity stunt!

From now until the end of 2011, I will make the e-book version of my new book, Better Living with Astrology and Tarot, available absolutely free to anyone who requests it. To request it, send an email to all DOT are DOT wonders AT gmail DOT com.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Work in progress: Traditional Astrology for Beginners

I'm working on a new book. It's about traditional astrology, and differs from the other books on the subject by being targeted at beginners. All of the other books I've seen so far on the subject assume the reader is a practicing astrologer and familiar with all of the basic concepts.

My book will explore traditional techniques as used by William Lilly and the Arabic astrologers. I'll explain each technique from the ground up, starting with the basic concepts. Some of these techniques are no longer in use, but can provide unique insights into a chart.

I'll keep you posted about my progress.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Better Living with Astrology and Tarot

My new book, Better Living with Astrology and Tarot, is now available at The book explains astrology and Tarot starting with basic concepts, and shows you how to use both for planning personal development.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is Divination?

For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the universe was not the result of a random incident, but was instead designed. We will also assume that the design is holographic; that is, information about each item and event also exists at other times and places. We will assume further that events in the universe are not all the result of random chance, that at least some of them were planned by the designer to provide learning opportunities.

Divination, then, is the art of using tools that work with the interconnected nature of the universe to get information about events and any lessons those events may have been intended to teach. Two popular examples of divination tools are astrology and Tarot cards.

Divination is useful because by getting information about future events, we can decide to learn the lessons those events are intended to teach up front, therefore mitigating the effects of those events, or in some cases, rendering the events unnecessary.

As an example, let's say that John Doe goes to see an astrologer. The astrologer notices that the planets Saturn and Pluto will soon be in a stressful alignment to where the planet Venus was at John's birth. In astrology, the planet Saturn signifies restriction, selectivity and focus, and sometimes fear, while Pluto signifies transformation, and Venus signifies how we value things and people. The astrologer tells John that he should examine his attitudes about what he owns and the people in his life. He tells John this because the alignment mentioned above is known to cause financial stress and changes in relationships.

Now John had been in the habit of making unnecessary purchases using credit cards.  John has a choice at this point: he can take the astrologer's advice or ignore it. If he takes the astrologer's advice, he would probably think things over and conclude that it's more important to have nice people in his life than nice things. He could then decide to put away his credit cards and spend more time cultivating friendships. If he ignores the advice, he will end up in bankruptcy court around the time the alignment happens, and eventually reach the same conclusion, but he will have learned the hard way.

What's important to note about this example is that the astrologer didn't simply tell John what was going to happen. He told John something better: what to do about it. Most importantly, he gave John the opportunity to learn a needed lesson the easy way instead of the hard way. This is how astrology and other divination tools are meant to be used.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Twelve Houses

Learning about the houses in astrology can be overwhelming for beginners. I hope that what follows will provide a good foundation for further study.

Let's start with the four angular houses. The first house can be described in one word: "Me." Similarly, the seventh house can be described in one word: "You." The fourth house: "Inside". The tenth house: "Outside". This is a gross oversimplification, but it's a good starting point.

The other eight houses provide support to the four listed above. For each angular house above, we want to count four houses counterclockwise from the angular house, and we want to count four houses clockwise from the angular house. I'll explain why later. The counterclockwise house describes what the angular house needs to operate, and the clockwise house describes what the result of the angular house's operation will be.

I'll use the seventh house as an example. The seventh house describes interaction with others. A prerequisite of interaction with others is communication, which is governed by the third house, the counterclockwise house from the seventh. Results of interaction with others include friendship and group activities, which are governed by the eleventh house, the clockwise house from the seventh.

Now, let's take the houses in order. The first house has a base meaning of "Me." Other first house topics include personality and the body.

The second house is the clockwise house of the tenth house ("Outside"), so it will describe results of what you do outside the home, which for most people is work. So the second house describes resources and possessions.

The third house is the counterclockwise house of the seventh house ("You"), so it will describe prerequisites for interaction with others. Thus, communication and moving around in the immediate environment.

The fourth house has a base meaning of "Inside"; specific topics are emotions (inside you) and the home.

The fifth house is the clockwise house of the first house ("Me"), and describes things that come out of you, for example, creative work and children.

The sixth house is the counterclockwise house of the tenth house ("Outside") and describes prerequisites for activities outside the home: daily work habits and health.

The seventh house has a base meaning of "You" and describes significant relationships, including enemies as well as life partners.

The eight house is the clockwise house of the fourth house. Results of activities inside can include sex and death. The traditional other meanings of shared resources derive from a composite of the seventh and second houses, which I'll discuss briefly later.

The ninth house is the counterclockwise house of the first house, and provides support for you in the form of philosophy, religion, and higher education.

The tenth house has a base meaning of "Outside". The main outside activity for most people is work and career, but the tenth house also describes reputation.

The eleventh house is the clockwise house of the seventh house ("You"), and describes the results of interactions with others: friendship and group activities.

The twelfth house is the counterclockwise house of the fourth house ("Inside") and describes prerequisites for harmony inside: fulfilling karma, and getting past limitations.

There are supplemental meanings given to the houses by combining the house relationships. For example, if you were to use the second house as a starting point, the eighth house is directly opposite and therefore has the same relation to it as the seventh house would have to the first. So a common meaning given to the eighth house is the resources (second house) of others (seventh house).

Finally, I'd like to thank Robert Corre for the idea of using the angular houses as a base.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Traditional Astrology: Planetary Rulerships

I've been studying Hellenistic and Medieval astrology for about a year, and I've found some of the discarded concepts to still be useful today. One of those concepts is the set of traditional planetary rulers. This is a little different from modern rulers in that the traditional rulers not only gave their nature to the sign they ruled, but were also responsible for the activities of the house(s) where that sign was present in the chart.

Let's say, for example, that we are looking at a chart with a Scorpio Ascendant. Using the Whole Sign house system, that would place Leo in the Tenth House. In this case the Sun, or the native's basic identity, would be responsible for career and reputation. My special advice (it actually applies to everyone) for the native would be that he needs to decide who he is, and have all of his actions reflect that chosen identity.

The other difference, and this partially follows from the first, is that I don't assign rulerships to the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. My belief and experience is that these planets have far-reaching effects as opposed to being restricted to one or two areas of life. They change whatever needs to be changed.

There's also a basic logic to the way the Zodiac signs were assigned to planets. Each of the Planets, except the Sun and Moon, were assigned two signs, one active (Fire or Air) and one passive (Water or Earth). There's a good reason for the exception: since the Sun represents identity, ego, and self-consciousness, there is no passive side; similarly, since the Moon represents the subconscious and emotions, among other things, there is no active side.

The Sun and Moon, the two luminaries, or brightest objects in the sky, are assigned Leo and Cancer, which correspond to two of the summer months, when there is a maximum amount of daylight. The other planets are assigned one sign on each side, in order of their distance from the Sun. Mercury is assigned Gemini and Virgo; Venus is assigned Taurus and Libra; Mars is assigned Aries and Scorpio; Jupiter gets Pisces and Sagittarius; finally Saturn is assigned Aquarius and Capricorn, the signs corresponding to two of the winter months where there is the minimum amount of daylight.

The exaltation signs have a similar logic, but to understand it requires the concept of day and night planets. The ancients say that the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are day planets; the Moon, Venus, and Mars are night planets; Mercury can be either depending on whether it rises before or after the Sun. The day planets have exaltation signs that are in a trine relationship to one of the home signs: Jupiter, for example, is exalted in Cancer, which is in a trine relationship to Pisces. The night planets have exaltation signs that are in a sextile relationship to one of their home signs: Mars, for example, is exalted in Capricorn, which is in a sextile relationship to Scorpio. Mercury is neither a day or night planet, so it is exalted in one of its home signs, namely Virgo.

Whether you use the traditional rulerships is of course up to you, but it may add some depth to your readings to at least consider the concepts above in addition to the modern rulerships.