The Way of the Stars (Issue 17)

Merry Meet, my friends…

This was my last issue on The Daily Spell before my long writing hiatus.  It was published there on September 4th, and it seems I never managed to upload it here.

Here it is… ;-)

The Way of the Stars

An Introduction to Astrology

By Pablo Dotro(*) – The Mage of the Many Shadows.

“In the Stars, Destiny is written,
and to Her we call upon to read it.

In your name I write these words,
my Lady Urania, in praise and love.”

Merry Meet my dear friends! First of all, I want to thank all your kind comments and feedback. I’m sorry I got a little swamped by life and I am still a little behind answering. This week I will tell you about how to spot “important areas” in the zodiac wheel. The sign for this week is Capricorn the hard Working… and the answer to last week’s homework is at the end of the article. Have fun :-).

The signs in “real life”.

Quite a few times in this column I said that a person’s life cannot be described by just one sign. The whole chart needs to be considered. On the other hand, I kept describing the signs in a kind of personal way, giving to them human-like characteristics and traits.

Each sign write-up describes a symbol, an archetype that is a part of our human nature. As such, they illustrate an “ideal”. No one is able to embody these characteristics completely. The personification of the signs helps us in our quest to relate to them. However, I am sure that some of you have found these descriptions to “fit” quite nicely with people you know. This is a natural phenomenon, and is in part responsible for the popularity of “sun sign” astrology.

In some charts, and by extension in some people, the characteristics of a sign are very strongly emphasized. These charts are often quite striking visually, as they tend to sport “clusters” of planets in a sign, or close angular relationships between planets in complementary signs. This subject is, of course, quite deep, and astrologers spend a great time of their training in discovering how and why these configurations show in each person’s life.

But for a quick start, let me give you a few pointers:

  • While the sign of the Sun is important, it may not be the most visible or relevant part of the chart.
  • The most visible part of the personality is often a composite of the Sun, Moon, Ascendant and planets/sign near the Horizon and Midheaven.
  • Speaking of planets… charts that have clustered planets in one sign often show strong qualities of that sign. This is more marked when the planets include the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and/or the ruler of the Ascendant’s sign.

For example, we meet someone, and we instantly feel that he/she is “very Virgo”, but when we look at the chart, we see that its Sun is in another sign… maybe it has a Virgo Moon, Virgo in the Ascendant or Midheaven, a lot of planets in Virgo or some combination. This situation is quite common.

Of course, one of the most powerful combinations is when all these factors are found together. For example, take a look at my chart(1). If you focus on the upper side of the wheel, I have a few planets grouped in Scorpio: Mercury, Mars, the Sun, and a little farther apart Uranus. Scorpio also hosts the Midheaven, and the moon’s North Node. Uranus is the ruler of my Ascendant’s sign (more on this on a later column ;-) ), and Mars is one of the rulers of Scorpio. All these factors contribute to make my chart “very Scorpio”. I am very easily identified “at first sight” as a Scorpio by people with an astrological background.

But for all that, I have a lot of traits and characteristics that “do not fit” the archetypal Scorpio. I am, for example, quite open, not overly possessive or jealous (probably from my Aquarius ascendant), very analytical (probably from Moon in Virgo) and sometimes I show a very distinct “old fashion”-ness (which I trace to Saturn in Leo and almost unaspected Venus in Capricorn).

To those of you who are reading this column as your first contact with astrology, the previous paragraph probably sounded like incomprehensible astro-babble… don’t worry ;-) the meaning will unravel itself in due time. The core idea is that with our partial knowledge we have in at hand a very useful tool, even if we are still far away from an integrated view of the chart as a whole.

In any chart, places with many planets, the spots where the Sun and Moon reside, the Ascendant and Midheaven signs are usually essential keys to understand the dynamics of life. More often than not, the very first factor that catches our eye (both in the chart and in our interaction with the person) is coincident, and the others appear slowly over time, just as we “see” them later on the chart on a deeper analysis. It is actually quite cool :-)

Today’s sign: Capricorn

Capricorn is located at the height of the Natural Zodiac(2). In our journey through life, we have, thus far, defined our identity, our relationship with our close environment and with those around us. We have experienced childhood (Aries to Gemini), our teen years (Cancer to Virgo) and our young adulthood (Libra to Sagittarius). We have had our crises (Scorpio), and discovered how deep and varied life can be. We have also found our “place in the world” and maybe set ourselves in a path to social recognition (Sagittarius). We emerge from the third quarter of the zodiac full of life and energy, optimism and pride.

And then we face Capricorn: steady Earth just in time to put some limits into our inner Sagittarian fire. Capricorn understands how we reached our current position, and is completely dedicated to turning it into something tangible. Like all Earth signs, Capricorn is practical, but this practicality is directed to ensuring that our efforts are of social significance.

Like the mountain goat that symbolizes this sign, we have to climb the ladder, with hard work, in baby steps towards a better social position. Capricorn is the sign that drives us to find a respectable life, a job and a good position. It gives us endurance, dedication and focus.

On the other hand, Capricorn rarely has time for fun or family. It is not moved by the idealistic cloud castles that Sagittarius loved. Anything that shifts his focus away from work and growth has no meaning for him. So Capricorn also is a sign of limits, and can be quite serious. He will submit each idea to a test… and will determine if it is useful/productive. Anything that cannot pass this test will be discarded mercilessly.

The Cardinal Earth sign is the sign that allows us to relate to structures (both physical and social), to power relationships and to social norms.

While Sagittarius was concerned with the spirit of things, with the creative and idealistic origin of new structures, Capricorn focuses on the application of structured plans. This leads to the interesting duality of Sagittarius representing the spirit of the law, the process of creative legislation… and Capricorn representing the letter of the law and the process of adapting it to practical, enforceable rules.

Saturn is at home in Capricorn. The God of Time rules this sign, and brings to it an awareness of how time affects things… rooting the desire to create things that last long. Saturn can be cold at times, but it is also wise, and so is Capricorn… but it is a wisdom that is not taught… it is expected to be learned by experience and by following his example.

It is not an easy sign, and may seem quite aloof and detached sometimes, but is extremely loyal to those perceived as friends, and can be quite generous in his own way. It has a very long memory, like all Earth signs.

Next week I will tell you more about how our own society is highly related to Saturn/Capricorn… stay tuned ;-).

Homework answers:

Last week I left for you three sets of birth data for you to work out and find the position of Sun, Moon and Ascendant. Here are the correct answers:

  1. Karen Carpenter(3): Sun at 11 Pisces 33′, Moon at 18 Leo 26′ and Ascendant at 0 Cancer 34′.
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio(4): Sun at 18 Scorpio 40′, Moon at 15 Libra 44′ and Ascendant at 3 Libra 07′.
  3. Ringo Starr(5): Sun at 14 Cancer 41′, Moon at 4 Leo 03′ and Ascendant at 25 Pisces 02′.

Feel free to contact me if your results were different.

Coming up next week:

Well, since we are close to ending our tour through the signs, next week I will talk to you about one of the often misunderstood “turning points” in the zodiac: the change from “conventional” values in Capricorn to the “new” world of Aquarius and Pisces. Remember you can read this one and all past columns in my blog(6).







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