Astrological Foundation Principles

How to Build an Interpretation Technique

When first starting out in astrology it can be difficult to get the meaning of all the signs for example when a sign is shown on the cusp of another house other than its own natural house. When that is the case and nine times out of ten it is, it makes the interpretation easier and a lot more clearer and concise when the signs roots are used in relation to the house cusp it is on in the chart. A signs roots are its key foundation principles.

A sign acts more or less as a filter or lens for a planets expression and the house its on. It can give added meaning and greater awareness of the planet and a house. A sign basically describes how a planet(s) is expressed in relation to the things to do with the area of life its on the cusp of in the chart.

When learning to decipher a charts symbolism and translate it into an interpretation it helps to break it down into parts and then build it up by adding layers of formula interpretation one at a time. If you use this simple formula as a basis for building your interpretation you’ll see how quickly and easy it becomes to read an astrological chart symbolism.

An interpretation is made up of the following parts: Using the sign Scorpio as an example here we are looking at its roots or foundation principles if you prefer.

Just by knowing a signs roots we can find out a lot about the house its on the cusp of which means we can find out more about the things that come under its rulership and how to identify them operating in an area of our life. In the above example say if Scorpio was the sign on the sixth house of our natal chart, straight away we can see by noting its foundation principles and relating them to the affairs of our sixth, such as our daily service and routines, personal development, and health things for example, also we would look to our 8th house and the sign on its cusp and also its natural three planetary rulers wherever they are in the chart for further information—in addition using the above legend still for Scorpio’s roots we would look to houses where Pluto, and Mars, and Mercury are in the chart. We would know also that we can use our water element (ie passions, emotions, and intuition,) and fixed quality (ie focus and purpose) as driving powers to help accomplish sixth house goals and aims. Also if there happens to be any planets in the sixth we would look to our Astrological legend of foundation principles (see diagram below) for each ones natural ruling sign , and then in the chart the affairs of the house they are on to see what other influences can be utilised related to those planets.

An interpretation can be built up in layers as experience of interpretation grows. Really a planet, or sign, or house can be used to start an interpretation. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order as the three are virtually all linked and interchangeable as a sound interpretation technique will involve using all three. For an area of life if you want to find out more look to the sign on its cusp and apply its foundation principles. If its a planet you want to start with note the sign and house its in first and also its natural ruling sign for starting your interpretation building. For another more subtle layer of interpretation note where the natural ruling planet and sign of the house that the sign you are looking at are in the chart for extra dimension and influence regarding the type of things or events that link to the house affairs in question you are looking at.

For a more complete picture note where the sign is in the three charts (ie natal, and progressed, and solar return if you want to note a yearly trend) as well. Simply use its roots  and follow the method as explained in the above example for the house its on in each of the charts then take the keyword from the astrological foundation principles chart related to each house and use them as a starting point for determining more about the sign, or planet if its a planet you are seeking to interpret and the house they are on just so you can start off in building your interpretation.

For example if Scorpio was on the 1st house in your natal and the 5th in your progressed and the 7th in you solar return a simple shorthand note of the signs symbol and houses 1-5-7 along with the keywords for each, “Initiate and lead”, “Create”  and “Relate” and using the rest of its roots would tell at a glance the type of events and things to do with those areas you would be able to utilise and develop and come to understand more about.

When first learning astrology it really helps to draw an astrological mandala and commit to memory the astrological foundation principles as shown in the diagram of the astrological natural wheel below. As a result you’ll find you’ll able to read any astrology chart much easier especially if you’re just starting out and having trouble getting beyond just looking at the symbolism on a chart and seeing the signs and planets and houses but not really deriving any deeper meaning or interpretation coming from within you about them.

*Note: For a table of Planetary Interpretation Foundation Principles see H.M.A Astro post: Personal Development Astrology Themes


Interpretation involves a few extra things as well which all need to be taken into account. Things like the chart theme and main zodiacal trails are of importance, however some things you won’t find in the chart such as the circumstances of the individual, the environment they live in and of course we have free will to use ultimately.

As a rule a well done interpretation allows for the above and comes across such that it bridges those things. That’s the beauty of Astrology—the astrological chart is a mandala—it’s designed that way so that it can fit anyone regardless of race, culture, gender, age, lifestyle, and so on. The art of a good interpretation is therefore in the astrologers ability to put all the pieces together and interpret the system so that it makes sense and serves to support and verify things in the person’s life.