If you look up the word "astrology" in the dictionary, it will probably say something like "the study of occult influences of stars on human affairs", and the word "occult" will probably be defined as "hidden from view, secret, mysterious, magical".
So, does this mean that Astrology is the study of the mysterious and magical influences of the stars on human affairs? The stars may well be a source of mystery and wonder to us, and although it may not yet be fully understood exactly how astrology works, we could hardly call it magical! Astrology is not really about the influence of the "stars" since most astrologers only take account of the planets in our own solar system, together with the Moon and one Star - our Sun - and astrologers always refer to these two heavenly bodies as "planets". At least the dictionary doesn't suggest that astrology has anything to do with fortune telling!
Astrology is, in fact, a wonderful tool to help us understand ourselves and others better. Using astrology, we can find out more about what makes us tick as an individual, where our innate strengths and weaknesses lie, what our potentials are and how we can best develop these and put them to use. Once we have discovered these treasures for ourselves, and have enriched our own lives, we may then wish to share some of our precious skills, talents and abilities with others and enrich the world around us.
Astrology has a history
Astrology has been known and used since the earliest days of civilisation, and up until about 400 years ago, it was an integral part of astronomy. Astronomers not only observed and recorded the patterns of the stars and planets but also looked for the relationship between these movements and the events in their life in earth. So the history of astrology and astronomy grew alongside and were considered to be twin sciences, astrology being the more philosophical, and astronomy more scientific.
How can Astrology be of use to me?
Astrology can be a valuable tool in helping you understand yourself better, and it can give you a clearer idea of your life path and potential. Most people are familiar with names of the twelve Sun Signs used in western astrology, and often know something about the characteristics associated with their own Sign. An Aries may be enthusiastic but impatient, a Taurus practical yet stubborn, a Libran artistic but indecisive and so on. You can read more about this further on, but remember - there is much more to astrology than Sun Signs!
What is a birth chart?
A birth chart is rather like a snapshot of the positions of the Sun and the planets in our solar system as they appeared at the time and date of your birth as seen from the place where you were born. So if you were born, for example, in Ramsgate, England, the "view" of the planets would differ from view that you would get of them from Rangoon in Burma.
A birth chart contains all the planets in our solar system, including the Sun, and each planet represents a different part of us. For example, there is that part of us that likes to talk and share ideas with others, perhaps gather information from the Internet just as you are now, and to read newspapers, books and magazines. This part of us is represented in the birth chart by the planet Mercury, which concerned with different forms of communication. All ten planets in the solar system represent and symbolise different parts of us when used and interpreted in an astrological way. Read more about this in the section on planets and how they symbolise our psychological drives.
How to Find an Astrologer?
If you want to find out more about yourself using astrology, and explore the subject in greater depth than reading a Sun Sign column can provide, you will need to consult a reputable qualified astrologer. You will be asked to provide your time, date and place of birth, and using these three important pieces of information, the astrologer will be able to set up a natal chart, or horoscope, for you. That chart will be unique to you - it will be yours and yours alone!
Most organisations offering a professional training in astrology will have their own list of qualified consultants and graduates.
The English Huber School of Astrological Counselling will provide you with a Consultants list of qualified Astrological Counsellors in the UK and overseas. Please send sae with your request to:
English Huber School, PO Box 118, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 8TG, UK.
Different uses of Astrology
Astrology has many different branches, in much the same way as there are different branches of scientific study, artistic expression, or medicine. Mundane astrology is concerned with the charts of nations and governments and looks at what they can tell us about world affairs. Medical astrology combines the use of the natal chart with healing remedies, both ancient and modern. Horary astrology is concerned with finding the answer to a specific
question, and the chart used will be the one set up for the time that the question is asked. Financial astrology traces the current movement of the planets alongside fluctuations in the stock market, and seeks to predictchanges in the market.
Traditionally, astrology was used in ancient times by Kings to help them rule and to guide them in their decision-making. Astrologers made predictions, based on the movements of the planets and their interpretation of what this might mean. Today, some people still ask astrologers to make predictions for them to help them live their lives, but this takes away the power of the individual person and gives it all to the astrologer if the question asked is "What does the future hold for me?" Using astrology in this way is perfectly valid, but it can be rather like sitting in the
passenger seat of your life, with the astrologer in the drivers' seat, at the wheel, telling you where to go!
Modern Psychological Approach
Over the past 40 years or so, much research and development has taken place in the field of astrological psychology, most notably at the Astrological Psychology Institute in Zurich. This approach to birth chart interpretation does not use prediction. It goes beyond the usual "key words" found in many astrology books for the planets, signs, and houses.
Astrological psychology is concerned primarily with the self development of the individual, and focuses on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth. It addressessuch questions as "What can I do to reach self-realisation?" It is interested in the whole person, and looks at how that person can begin to integrate the different parts of their personality and overcome the inner conflicts and blocks which may stop them from realising their full potential. Astrological psychology seeks to put people in the driving seat of their lives, making their own choices about what they should do and how they would like to develop their lives.
These are also known as the Signs of the Zodiac. They begin with the Sign of Aries, and end with the Sign of Pisces.
Are you "on the cusp"?
People who are born on the last date of one Sign, are said to be "born on the cusp" or the changeover from one Sign to the next. To be really sure which Sign your Sun is in, you would need to consult an astrologer who would be able to tell you for certain if you were, for instance, a Leo or a Virgo. The astrologer would refer to a book called an ephemeris, which lists the positions of the planets for any given year. However, as a rough guide, you might have some characteristics of both Signs should you be born when the Sun was on the cusp and changing from one Sign to another....but remember, there is more to astrology than Sun Signs! Read about planets to find out more on this.
Aries The Ram - March 21 April 20
The symbol shows the ram's horns, or maybe you can see new plant life shooting up through the earth? The Sun moves into the Sign of Aries on the first day of Spring! Aries people can be enthusiastic, courageous,refreshingly direct, impatient, and make natural leaders.
Taurus The Bull - April 21 May 20
The symbol is rather like the bull's horns. Taurus traits are to be enduring, strong-willed, sometimes to the point of being stubborn, faithful, sincere and realistic. Taureans love nature, and enjoy their food , drink and the luxuries of life!
Gemini The Twins - May 21 June 20
The symbol is like the Roman numeral for two, or a connected pair, and represents the ability to have a dialogue - something you can only do with two - or more! - people. Those born under the Sign of Gemini tend to be inquisitive, quick to understand, communicative, chatty, and like to have many things on the go simultaneously.
Cancer The Crab - June 21 July 22
The symbol is like the shape of a crab with its protective claws curled around its body. Cancer people can be protective towards others, caring, often touchy and with a tendency to hold on to things which are important to them. They are good hosts and have the capacity to be excellent cooks.
Leo The Lion - July 23 August 22
The symbol represents the lion's mane. Leo's can be magnanimous and they tend to be generous, warm, sincere, joyful and proud. They are not known to shun the limelight, but they need to know that what they do, and who they are, is appreciated and acknowledged by those around them.
Virgo The Virgin - August 23 September 22
The symbol is reminiscent of the serpent's coil with its end twisted into the form of the female sexual parts. Virgo born people tend to be conscientious, hardworking, efficient, critical, helpful and practical. Virgo is the Sign of service - but Virgo's can be fussy and nit-picking too!
Libra The Scales - September 23 October 22
The symbol is of the balance, or scales. Libran traits are to be diplomatic, beauty-loving, unifying and sociable. Librans do not like atmospheres or situations that "jar". They have charm, and very fair-minded.
Scorpio The Scorpion - October 23 November 21
The symbol for Scorpio is reminiscent of the male sexual parts - or maybe the sting in the scorpion's tail. Scorpio traits include being strong-willed, single-minded and powerful, and there is a tendency to be secretive or shy, especially where feelings are concerned. Feelings are often deep and passionate.
Sagittarius The Archer - November 22 December 19
The symbol is easy to understand - an arrow flying to its mark! Sagittarians are cheerful, optimistic and fun-loving. They tend to want to broaden their outlook, and may at times be philosophical and search for meaning in life. They can also be reckless and hasty, and go "OTT" as the life and soul of the party!
Capricorn The Goat - December 20 January 19
The symbol represents the curled horn of the goat. Capricorn people tend to be reliable and dependable - they won't let you down. They are practical and cautious and plan things carefully before making any commitments. Good at organising, they have a strong sense of responsibility, and are ambitious.
Aquarius The Water Bearer - January 20 February 17
The symbol is of waves, not of water but of air! These air waves carry "vibes" of energy radiation. Aquarian born people tend to be independent in thought, with strong humanitarian ideals and an eye on the future of humanity and the world. For this reason, they may be drawn to reform movements, or to organisations which support environmental issues. They are liberal in outlook, and may be rebellious.
Pisces The Fishes - February 18 March 20
The symbol represents two fishes swimming in opposite directions. This gives a clue to one of the Piscean traits, which is to be pulled this way and that, depending upon their feelings. They tend towards sensitivity and compassion, and can be generous in the help and support they may offer to others in need. Pisceans are difficult to pin down, and have a fluid, mystical quality.
This was written by Irene Swarbrick, a newcomer to astrology and the Huber approach, whilst she was studying the subject at a local evening class run by Joyce Hopewell. Her words express her early impressions of this new subject:
Before I started my astrology class, I thought I was a true-to-type Sagittarian extrovert with an urge to travel, and loving new experiences so always trying to do something different, much to my family s amusement or irritation. The only thing which didn t quite add up was the emphasis on sport as one of my teachers said long, long ago «Really, Irene, with those long legs I don t Know why you can t run».
The sun and the Moon were delights in the sky, providing warmth and brightness by day and shining white mystery by night. Now I understand they give me personal power and take care of my emotional needs.
Venus is not only an armless statue or the goddess of Love, but gives me feminity and balance, while Mars that erstwhile God of war actually gives memasculine power and energy.
Quicksilver Mercury, the stuff of science and thermometers, helps me to learn from others, while Jupiter trains me to learn from experience.
If I thought of Saturn at all, it was to remember it had rings around it, or to use the derivative «saturnine» to describe some brooding dark hero. Lo and behold, this planet shows me how to be practical, know my limitations and search for a way to overcome them.
I can t say I ever thought of Uranus at all, but this one is really one after my own heart for it signifies change and should encourage my inventiveness.
Neptune recalled sea-green oceans, ever changing, moody and magnificent, or calm and peaceful, which tits in well with this new concept of being in tune with creation.
As for Pluto no, not the Disney dog, but the Greek God of the Underworld this is the planet which will make me conscious of my highest ambitions.
If I roll these strange revelations into a golden circle around me, my new awareness must make me stronger and willing to develop and extend my capabilities and potential.
A Horoscope Analysis, as practised by most Astrologers, implies an individual study of Aspects, Planets in Signs and House, House and Sign Rulerships, etc, usually each in isolation. This makes it very difficult to perceive which are the most relevant significators for the individual and which are of less importance. This could be compared, in some way, with trying to make up a puzzle in darkness.
It is as if the puzzle came in a box with no complete guiding picture on theoutside, and the only thing we could do was to put every piece on the table and try to find how each of them fits another, without seeing what we are
doing. The least we can say of this is that can be a difficult task. Now, imagine yourself doing the puzzle in a well-lit room with a clear diagram of what you want to achieve on the box.
Using Astrological Psychology techniques it is possible to see the Birthchart as the diagram on top of the puzzle box and thus be aware of the wholeness of a human being before starting with a detailed horoscope analysis. The nucleus of psychological energy in the center of the Chart is the Axis around which move the four levels influencing motivation and conditioned behaviour in the external world.
Going back to he previous analogy, if you look closely the diagram in the external side of the box, you will be better able to understand how the different pieces in the puzzle fit together. In spite of being brief, the descriptions are very important since they describe in simple tems the basic structure of the HUBER Method.
These are the four basic tools:
1. Aspect figures. all the aspects are multiples of 30 and show the Motivation
2. The 10 Planets and the North Node, the tools at our disposal
3. The 12 Signs of the Zodiac: our genetic inheritance, the archetypes.
4. The 12 Houses of fields of life experience: external conditioning, learned behaviour.