Are More Than Your Sign
is an incredible tool for self-understanding, but like all tools,
it can be abused. One of the most common ways of abusing ourselves
with astrology is to imagine that the natal chart describes all
of the possibilities in our lives. So, if you're a Capricorn with
no planets in Aquarius, you don't expect to have the freedom and
inventiveness of Aquarius available to you. This identification
with the birth chart, to the exclusion of the rest of the universe,
is an unfortunate side effect of natal astrology.
natal chart can be used to open as well as to close, and there are,
I believe, times to set it aside. In doing that the purpose is not
to walk away from astrology, but to move toward its fullness, that
is all of the signs and planets. We are each all of the signs. The
birth chart describes a particular set of tendencies for the "owner"
of that chart but, this is not the whole story. For while we are
born as individual personalities with individual bodies, we are
each part of something much greater. In fact, it can even be argued
that this life is the dream, and that on dying we awaken to a larger
sense of reality.
it is true that we come from and return to something larger than
ourselves, it is probably best to take the natal chart with a grain
of salt. No matter how accurately it describes your personality
and defines the cycles of your life, it is far from the whole story
of what astrology has to offer. Astrology offers a key to a secret
language, a code to the universe, if you like. It shows us elements and modes, constructing a twelve phased zodiac. It gives us the
Sun, Moon and planets to use in our lives. But often, the natal
chart gets in the way. I would like to recommend two different exercises
to overcome this limitation.
the Natal Chart
first is to ditch your natal chart. That's right, just get rid of
it. Imagine that it doesn't exist. Aries are free to negotiate,
Librans to fight, Cancers to not care and Capricorns to feel deeply.
In place of your own chart you can follow the transits of the day.
When the Moon's in Gemini. You have the Moon in Gemini, when it
changes to Cancer you change yours to Cancer. In this way you are
free to explore astrology, to explore your universe without restriction
(or at least the restriction of your natal chart).
could also drop the transits and explore whatever energies and experiences
(astrologically based or not) that you like. Your natal chart will
always be waiting for you when you get back. When you return, your
vision of your possible self will have grown. Another benefit to
giving up your natal chart is that you may let go of a sense of
with the natal chart can hold you back from encountering other aspects
of yourself, of your soul and your spirit. Freed of identification
with one moment in time, you can expand and discover aspects of
yourself not bound by time or space. The psychological freedom can
be disorienting, we like landmarks. But it is also a step toward
second exercise is to try eliminating a single planet from your
chart. The reason you might do this is to deal with a limiting factor
or blockage in relation to the planet's energy. For example, if
your Mars is retrograde in Cancer and opposite Saturn you might
feel that accessing initiative and anger are difficult for you.
Eliminate Mars. Imagine that it doesn't exist in your chart. Then
search for initiative elsewhere in your chart. Where is initiative
in your Moon, your Sun, your Jupiter, even your Venus?
Planet Holds a Piece of Every Energy.
planet holds a piece of every energy, so even a Marsless person
has the capacity to get the ball rolling. But, by leaving Mars out
of the equation its perceived limits and challenges are out of the
picture. You can discover other layers of each of the planets in
this fashion. Take out the Moon and look for nurturance in the other
planets. Drop Neptune and seek inspiration and compassion elsewhere.
In this fashion you "stretch" your understanding of the planets,
and of yourself.
essential point is to play with astrology, to use it as a field
for exploration. In breaking its rules, you can discover other rules-other
levels of meaning that can enrich your life, as well as your knowledge
of astrology. The universe is vast, and the moment of birth, powerful
as it is, is not the only doorway to awareness through astrology.