Understanding the Anomalies and Contradictions in the Horoscope
If you are new to astrology, when reading your horoscope or birth chart report, you may find that certain planetary positions or aspects contradict others, and wonder what it all means?
If I can start by saying that the planetary positions at the exact time and date of your birth are symbolic and show your potential personality, character traits, talents as well as stresses and challenges. Heredity, conditioning, environmental and cultural factors modify this picture; however, the horoscope does provide you with a view of your basic personality profile. It shows your perceptions and physical reality; your assumption about what is real and what is possible.
By way of a brief example, each planet symbolises one part of us:-
- The Moon represents the unconscious side of our personality, our habits and instincts. It also shows our feeling nature and our emotions.
- The Sun represents our identity, ego and basic essence. It also appears to rule the head in contrast to the Moon ruling the heart.
- Mercury is the planet that relates to how we think and communicate, and how we learn.
- Venus, the goddess of love, shows how we relate to others, our romantic inclinations and also indicates our values and our aesthetic tastes.
- Mars, the warrior planet indicates how we handle energy, action, activity and everything we do physically.
- Jupiter is the largest planet and signifies our philosophical leanings, and our lucky breaks.
- Saturn is the hard taskmaster and makes us work for what we want to achieve. It represents authority, rules and boundaries. We learn our major lessons in life from Saturn.
- Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, because they move so slowly, are generational planets and define groups and sub-groups. These planets have more significance when placed in a house in your chart.
- The Ascendant although not a planet but a calculated point, its zodiac sign shows our orientation, it is the lens through which we view the world, and the world views us. It represents the mask or façade we put on when in unfamiliar territory or in the company of people we don't know. We remove our mask when we comfortable to expose our real self to others.
When you read your horoscope report, you will be presented with a meaning of each of the planets occupying a particular sign of the zodiac. In effect, the planet represents the “what” and the sign represents the “how”, and the house position represents the “where”. Moon in Aries for instance; the Moon is our emotional barometer, and when placed in the sign of Aries (fire sign), the person will be assertive, impatient, restless and a trail blazer. If we use the “fight or flight” notion, the Aries person will probably stand up for themselves. However, if we put the Moon in Cancer (water sign), we have a person more concerned with nurturing activities and would withdraw from potential conflict, protecting themselves and those they love. Another example is Mercury; defining the way we think and communicate. If it is in Taurus (earth sign), the person will be pragmatic, methodical and down to earth and possibly resistant to change. Put that same Mercury in Pisces (water) and the person will be inclined to be far more visionary and imaginative, perhaps finding it difficult to make up their mind or make decisions and tend to be very flexible, going with the flow.
Now, to the next step in understanding how all the pieces fit together. If we take a planet and put it in a sign we should get a picture of the person. However, the problem is that when we read these interpretations, we may feel that we are not like the description at all. Actually, there is another piece in the jigsaw called aspects. In the horoscope, all the planets are placed into a 360 degree circle, and depending on the sign they are placed in, they may form an aspect with another planet, either positive or challenging. Aspects occur when two planets are side by side or 60, 90, 120, 135, 150 or 180 degrees apart. Some of these aspect contacts are beneficial and some are not and create stress. The interesting part is that the beneficial aspects rarely create change or growth, as we often take the talents they suggest for granted. It is actually the stressful aspects that create the impetus for change, and these are the ones to pay attention to and the ones that make the “champion”.
As an example, a person with the Sun in Capricorn should be ambitious, formal, authoritative, practical, reliable, sensitive and possibly introverted; however they may not display these traits. The reason being that their Sun in Capricorn (earth sign) is being challenged (stressful aspect) by the planet Mars in Leo (fire sign). This would suggest that they are far more extroverted and would be inclined to throw caution to the wind and revel in taking centre stage, and could even display an air of arrogance. Here is the quandary. What is called for is the blending of the positive of both energies, with the Capricorn (Sun sign) characteristics taking precedence and the Leo energy adding more of an outgoing, extroverted mode of behaviour, whilst still maintaining the responsible and reliable approach to life. Our aim is to aspire to reach the perfection of the sign that any planet is placed in. The challenging or stressful aspects may explain why you don't identify with the meaning of some of your planets.
There are many planets; ten in fact, including the Sun and Moon, and each planet rules a certain part of ourselves, and can be in different signs. When you read that your Sun in Aries is assertive, and your Moon in Pisces is submissive, and your Mercury in Scorpio is secretive and can be manipulative, it does get quite complicated. The message here is that all of these contradictory components can be channelled to operate cooperatively, when you understand what is going on. Also, the way all the planets work together is modified by our early childhood experiences and how we were parented, whether we had siblings, where we fitted into the family hierarchical level, our cultural background etc. etc. Our lesson is to learn what the planets in your chart represent, and how to channel the good bits and refine and re-direct the energy of the not-so good bits.
Your natal birth chart applies to your whole life, therefore some characteristics may not have be activated yet, or were more apparent during your youth so don’t assume that what you read in your report needs to match you the way you are today.
We all learn lessons in life via our experiences and hopefully growth is the outcome. When you have learnt each new lesson you are ready for the next. We all evolve and grow at a different rate, some quick to learn from life’s experiences; however some people may need a few more unfortunate encounters or circumstances to finally understand. Some of us are almost pre-programmed to avoid change at any cost; whilst others will embrace change and look forward to stirring things up every now and then.
By reviewing our own personal horoscope, we are able to see how everything works or doesn’t work together harmoniously. This becomes our challenge to understand ourselves better and to learn how to balance all the pieces of our personality to gain wholeness.
And finally, there is the “Free Will” factor we may have fame or prominence written in our chart, but there is nothing but ourselves to stop us from becoming infamous or notorious instead! Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein’s astrological horoscopes did not convey the heinous crimes they committed.
We are in control however, to seek the guidance written in the “STARS” will give us a head start in being able to control our own destiny by using the talents and minimising the stresses that are suggested in our horoscope.
Written by: Monika Barbour