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Steps in the Scientific Reading of the Horoscope




The habit of superficiality is one of the gravest dangers into which the amateur astrologer is likely to fall. In his impatience to learn the secrets of the nativity, he is all too prone to try to interpret the aspects without sounding the tenor of the chart as a whole.

Due to our present limited understanding of the science, we must consider astrology as a science of probabilities. The Keyword System tells us that "any aspect, position, or configuration may represent any one of a number of possibilities; and the only way to get a reasonable line on which one of these will develop is first to ascertain the key to the chart as a whole."

Just as an error of a few hours makes but little difference in the configurations of the Sun, but makes a vast difference in those of the Moon, so by comparison does superficiality make but little difference in ordinary character delineation, but a vast difference in delineating the avenues through which the traits of character will manifest and determining where they will lead.

The probability of error is even greater when the would-be expert launches forth on the all too poorly charted sea of prognostic astrology without having found the key to the chart, for he will be lost in the maze of probabilities before he is nigh begun. To quote from The Keyword System:

"The key is usually found in some strong group of planets, or in the ruling planet. For instance, if a person has Pisces in the 12th house occupied by two or three strong planets, we know immediately that he is of the mystical type and therefore he will be interested in the mystical aspect of life. Then, since he is mystically inclined, if in the same chart there are planets in the 8th house, which rules legacies and also latent occult abilities and regeneration, we would judge that the native will be more interested in the latter than in legacies or money or property, and that legacies therefore will play a comparatively unimportant part in his life, even if he should receive any."

We are cautioned never to predict more by progression than what is indicated in the natal chart. So with a chart similar to the one referred to in the above quotation, a progressed configuration affecting the 8th house might fail to materialize any financial gain, much to the chagrin of the prognosticator. Yet it might be furthering the development of the mystical side of the nature in a manner wholly unobservable from the exterior. If at the same time another progressed configuration indicated severe sickness, then the 8th house configuration might signify regeneration of all the native's vehicles in preparation for Initiation.

Often a very trivial thing may be very significant in weighing the chart. As an example, we may read on page 165 of The Message of the Stars that when the Sun and Mars are unaspected in a chart the native will amount to little, no matter how good the figure may be in other respects. Afflictions to the Moon, Mars, Venus, or Uranus, which may tend to exaggerate the lower or animal nature in man, are not so severe in this respect if Saturn is placed in Scorpio where he tends to deny the things signified by this sign. The compatibility of the signs holding the aspecting planets may also alter the nature of the expression of the aspect, whether for good or ill.

No doubt there are many instances where expression or lack of expression due to certain seemingly trivial configurations or lack of them offers a key to the chart-if we had them listed. But our knowledge is very much limited at present, and the best we can do is to make use of such wisdom as we possess. In all cases we endeavor to learn whether the major tendencies are Venusian, Jupiterian, Mercurial, etc. To the degree that the amateur develops the art of synthesis, to that same degree will he be able to read the chart correctly.

The outline as given will be found beneficial in reading the chart in detail if the influence of the aspects is considered in connection with other indications. But that is not the primary object of giving it. The outline is merely for rapid mental calculation to determine if the tenor of the nativity is cardinal, fixed, or adaptable; whether fire, air, earth, or water; whether mental or emotional; whether esthetic or phlegmatic; whether he will learn by forethought or afterthought; and whether his lessons are to most emphasize the physical or spiritual development.

Many combinations of influences are possible: the ASC might be cardinal-fire; the Sun sign might be cardinal-air; the Moon sign fixed-watery; the life ruler in a cardinal-watery sign, but its nature fixed and earthy (Saturn), changeable and watery (Moon), or mercurial as in the case of Mercury.

The mentality might be a combination of the ASC, ruling planet, Moon, Mercury, and some sign holding several planets, together with other influences. When these various combinations are weighed and the general tendencies of the chart as a whole are learned, then one may proceed with the reading of it as indicated in The Message of the Stars.

The following outline is fairly complete as regards the points to be considered in learning the general tenor of the chart:

1. The ASC:

(a) To what cross does it belong (Cardinal,

Fixed, or Common)?

(b) To what triplicity does it belong (Fire, Air,

Water, or Earth)?

2. The Sun Sign:

(a) To what cross does it belong?

(b) To what triplicity does it belong?

3. The Moon Sign (not so important unless

Moon is strong):

(a) To what cross does it belong?

(b) To what triplicity does it belong?

4. The Signs on the Angles:

(a) To what cross do they belong?

5. The Life Ruler:

(a) To what cross does it belong?

(b) To what triplicity does it belong?

(c) The nature of this planet:

1st. practical or impractical;

2nd. emotional or mental;

3rd. dynamic or inactive;

4th. occult or mystical;

5th. esthetic or phlegmatic;

6th. optimistic or pessimistic;

7th. fiery or watery;

8th. neutral

6. The position of the planets:

(a) In which cross are the majority found?

(b) In which triplicity are the majority found?

(c) Are the majority angular or cadent (more

dynamic when angular)?

(d) scattered or grouped?

(e) majority above or below the earth?

(f) majority rising or setting?

(g) occidental or oriental?

7. Mercury rising before or after the Sun (Message of the Stars, p. 12)?

8. The Mentality:

Note the following as having an influence: ASC, Life Ruler, Moon, Mercury, Neptune, Gemini and Sagittarius, 3rd and 9th houses, aspects.

9. The Moon increasing or decreasing in light (see The Message of the Stars pp. 521-522)?

10. The Progression of the MC and the ASC to see which moves more rapidly, the former indicating spiritual opportunities and the latter material ones.

The writer feels that too little has been said of the significance of planets when above the horizon or below it, and when rising or setting, so offers the following explanation of their influence in the various segments of the chart:

1. Many planets in the eastern half of the chart (rising) indicate that opportunities will present themselves for advancement.

2. Many planets in the western half of the chart (setting) indicate fewer such opportunities.

3. Many planets above the earth (above 1st and 7th cusps) augur an enterprising nature capable of using its opportunities in the world's work. Employment is easier to obtain.

4. Many planets below the earth (below 1st and 7th cusps) give less ability to use the opportunities one may have, and less energy is devoted to these opportunities. Employment is not so easily obtained.

The above suggestions are very general in their significance and must be used advisedly. The following explanations are more specific and usable, yet they too are only general in their significance, and the factors mentioned must be weighed with other similar or dissimilar testimonies to arrive at a true interpretation of their real worth.

1. Planets between the 4th cusp and the ASC are more powerful when close to the ASC than when close to the 4th cusp. The fact that these planets are rising gives many opportunities, but since they are below the earth, the inexperience and impetuosity of youth will limit ability to make use of them, and they will not be recognized and grasped as readily as when above the earth.

2. Planets between the ASC and MC indicate that many opportunities will present themselves, and the native will quite likely be able to grasp them on the wing.

3. Planets between the MC and 7th cusp are setting and above the earth. Here fewer opportunities present themselves, but being above the earth the planets may induce the native to create his own opportunities. If he should do this, his enterprising nature will lead him to profit by them. The nearer the planets to the 9th house, the greater the necessity for creating one's own opportunities, though a well-placed Moon and a strong 7th house may present help through marriage or other partnerships.

4. From the 7th cusp to the 4th cusp is the remaining quarter segment. This is perhaps the least fortunate segment. Comparative lack of opportunities and less energy, less ability, less success may tend to rob the life of its material joys, especially in old age. Here one serves in a material way and with but poor remuneration. But it is also true that those who serve in the highest spiritual sense may with advantage do so through this segment of the map. And whatever of happiness one may get in a material way from the segment between the ASC and MC, it is little in comparison with the greater spiritual happiness experienced by the advanced Ego through the spiritual service he may render.

When the planets are scattered through the various houses, it tends to give greater adaptability than when they are concentrated. Many planets in one sign or in one house give great power-for good or evil.

The mentality is difficult to read when the hour of birth is not known. Mars rules the left cerebral hemisphere, which is the controlling factor in our mental activities today. Mercury rules the right cerebral hemisphere, which will dominate in the future. Mars, Venus, and Uranus rule man's emotional development, and the Moon, Mercury, and Neptune rule his intellectual development.

The Moon is a mental "planet" by virtue of its rulership of imagination and the instincts, but it is also highly emotional. Mars rules the brain negatively, and will so continue until Mercury has taken final possession, at which time Mercury will be positive and its influence will not be colored entirely by the planets in aspect to it. Then by the power of mind man may direct the blood to any organ or group of organs and increase their development at will. The mind will then have been lifted from the realm of sex where it is now centered through the negative rulership of Mars.

From the foregoing the writer is led to believe that Mars must be given consideration secondary to that of the Moon when analyzing the mentality. The idea is offered for the purpose of investigation and not as a proved fact.

The following conforms very closely to The Message of the Stars. The airy signs and Sagittarius and Virgo are the mental signs, Libra being more artistic than scientific. Virgo gives a good practical mind. Mercury and Gemini rule the reasoning mind, Jupiter and Sagittarius the ab- stract mind, and the Moon the instinctual mind.

Neptune has a strong influence on the mind, and rules the reflecting ether which is the medium through which thought makes an impression on the physical brain. (Is it any wonder that an afflicted Neptune frequently gives a chaotic mind, often in the face of other strong testimonies?)

The sign on the ASC gives a key to the mentality, the life ruler another, the signs on the other angles another. And the Sun, Moon, and Mercury must be considered by sign and aspect. Many planets in mental or airy signs incline to a good mentality.

Saturn configurated to Mercury or strongly afflicted in the 1st house tends to give melancholy. Mercury, the Moon, or Neptune (and perhaps Mars) afflicted in the 8th or 12th houses may also give melancholy. Suicide from the 8th and incarceration in prison or asylums from the 12th are not rare. When Mercury is combust or unaspected the native may be less able to give out knowledge, but it does not deny a good mentality. Watery and earthy signs tend toward mysticism, fiery and airy signs toward intellectuality. But Mars, Venus, or Uranus strong in watery or earthy signs may give a good intellect, colored and ruled by the intuition. Watery signs, however, are generally not conducive to intellect. The 3rd and 9th houses are intellectual houses, and planets therein are mentally very significant.


--Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, March/April, 1996








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