Basics of Astrology: Part Two


Our goal is to now explore the glyphs of the planets and commonly used ‘other factors’ that show up in charts on this blog site.  The symbols for the planets have existed and been used for thousands of years in some cases, others have changed over time, some are quite recent as those planets have only been discovered in recent times. Shown below is a chart with planets placed in various positions for teaching purposes.  This is not a ‘real chart’ for an actual place and time.


We have here an astrological chart showing planets and other chart factors placed in various positions. No actual degree positions are given, just an approximate location relative to the zodiac signs.  The are some lines which indicate specific relationships between planets.

  • The Sun is shown at the bottom of the chart located in the early degrees of the sign of Virgo (an ‘M’ with a curve added to one side).  The Sun represents our core character, vitality and sense of self or our ego.  Note the red line extending up to the Moon and Chiron symbols, placed opposite the Sun position.  This is an ‘opposition’ relationship (also said to be an ‘aspect.’).  Opposition aspects portray difficulty or differences in how two planets can work together.  Cooperation and sharing is indicated.
  • The Moon represents our emotional state, how we react, where and how we empathize and support others, our fear-or-flight mechanism.  The opposition aspect to the Sun indicates an emphasis on Male (Sun) and Female (Moon) relationships in life.
  • Mercury represents our mental abilities to perceive and organize information, how we communicate with others, travel, writing.
  • Venus is shown positioned in the sign of Cancer.  Venus represents love, harmony and the seeking of balance with others.  Venus shows how we dress and wish to appear to others.  Note the dashed line leading over to Pluto.   These two planets are located in four signs apart from each other, a third of the chart’s circle, or 120 degrees apart.  This is a ‘trine’ aspect which suggests an ease of working together.  Venus’s sense of balance and love, relative to Pluto (intensity, transformation) points to an extreme view of needing to balance or harmonize everything.
  • Mars is located late in the sign of Gemini, (two parallel lines, representing the ‘twins’).  Mars shows our force of personal expression, anger, presence, work.  Note the dotted line that forms a sharp turn and leads to Mercury.  This is a square aspect which signifies challenges, difficulties.  If Mars and Mercury have difficulties working together, we would expect fighting words, disagreements, and inability to come to an agreement.
  • Jupiter is located near Venus.  Jupiter is social sensitivity, an enlargement force that can turn anything into an opportunity.  Jupiter is good luck, fortune, gains.  Jupiter can also indicate excess and waste.
  • Saturn is located in Libra, the sign of balance and socialness.  Saturn is caution, reserve, strategic planning, slowness, denial.  In this chart Saturn is opposite the planet Uranus.
  • Chiron is not a planet, but is a small body orbiting between Saturn and Uranus.  It has been found to be astrologically relevant and signifies dealing with disabilities of any kind, and having to make adjustments for one’s own benefit.  Here, Chiron is paired with the Moon.  This persons emotional state needs a long-term effort to find balance in dealing with men or authority figures.
  • Uranus represents upsets, sudden insights, cognition, individuality, trends that seem to suddenly manifest.  This energy, in opposition to cautious Saturn, points to a likely series of events in which stability is threatened and has to be dealt with.  This fits with the emotional strain in the Sun-Moon relationship.
  • Neptune is late in Sagittarius, opposing Mars.  Neptune is dreamy, imagination, drama and a sense of social sensitivity.  How this wishy-washy factor fits with the opposition to aggressive Mars is question.  Can this person assert themselves?
  • Pluto is in Scorpio, the sign with an ‘M’ having a tail attached to it.  Pluto is intense, private, transformative, dangerous, seeks to hide its presence, manipulative.
  • The Moon’s North Node is a point in space where the Moon’s orbital plane intersects the Earth-Sun orbital plane.  It has astrological relevance to relationships, associates, how we seem to have conducted past lives and what we need to do in order to fulfill this current life’s purpose.  These views are not shared by all astrologers.
  • The Part of Fortune is another point in space.  The difference in arc-degrees between the Sun and Moon, when applied to the chart’s Ascendant, defines a point that has been associated with fortune, chance and change.  This has been an astrological factor for many hundreds of years, back into antiquity.  In this case, because the Moon is 180 degrees (half a circle) ahead of the Sun, the Part of Fortune is also 180 degrees ahead of the Ascendant, placing it at the Descendant angle.  We can view this as ‘others will provide opportunities and introduce change into this person’s life on a regular basis.’
  • The Ascendant point is our personality expression, the environment we live and operate within.  It is how we view things, how we act.
  • The Descendant is how we project ourselves to other, the people we identify with, or our enemies or adversaries.
  • The MC represents our goals, public image.  The MC is shown near the middle of the sign of Aquarius, the symbol with two parallel waves.  Planets located here, such as the Moon and Chiron in this case, affect how we are seen and choose to represent ourselves in public.  This person will like public acclaim but will appear to be always adjusting their position and image.
  • The IC angle represents our inner strength, resources, home base and issues that need to be protected.  The IC is always opposite the MC, and represents a point beneath our feet, our home or basis of comfort and connectedness.  With the Sun at this point, home life, stability and the cautious use of  resources will be evident.

This is a very abbreviated coverage of basic planetary meanings with a touch of aspect or relationship meanings.  For those with little or no knowledge of astrology, the depth of explanation here is more than enough to start one on the path of discovery.