Day 3: Chart Features
Making a list of the charts features is an interpretation method used to decipher parts of the chart through adopting a habit of scanning it and looking for what’s prominent. Unlike zodiac trails where the focus is on following through the chart and noting different paths, when interpreting the features of a chart, different things are looked at on their own.
What we are looking for in the features is things that stand out apart from the ordinary most noticeable things one notices in their first impression of a chart. With charts features we want to get at the particular undercurrents of the chart and make a list of the things we find about each feature that are not so obvious.
One of the main features of the chart is its design. The cusp of each house for instance, can vary considerably in their spacing around the chart wheel. A house may be composed partly of two signs and there may be a string of houses close together while others maybe far apart. In interpretation terms this can be viewed as containing a broader perspective or less interest in an area of life with the same applying to the activities involved. With planets in a wide open or narrower house the type of expression can be defined further in terms of how they look in relation to the space of the house.
There are a lot of different house systems that will show the houses differently plus their size can also depend on the place of latitude, which can show up as having what is called intercepted houses where a sign may be hidden in a house and not on its cusp but between two signs, which adds extra meaning and interpretation to the house so these things must also be considered. You may like to use the Placidus house system which is one of the most widely used ones and Koch is also another popular one. Really it’s up to your personal preference so it’s best to go through each house system which you can find under the “options category” in the house system window on the extended chart section page of “my astro” in Astro.com and try them out.
The features of the MC, and ascendant/desc, and the IC can be vary in their different orientation. If you superimpose your natal chart onto a natural order chart, or better still in your chart cut out with the natural order wheel and houses numbers on the outside, align the sign of Aries and the 1st house at 00° with the cusp of your natal chart ascendant in line with that and then look to see what natural order house your natal MC corresponds with.
It’s not uncommon for it to appear in the ninth house of the natural order chart. Look for where the ruling planets (personality, soul, and spiritual) and sign of the natural order of the 9th house which is Sagittarius, in your natal chart to see how they are supportive of the house activities and expressions of connecting planets and rulers of the house where Sagittarius in this case found in your chart.
Other features include noting key elements that mix in the chart. For example what the stronger elements are and how they complement the expression of the area of life they come under and what their balance is like—and where and how they can be used to manifest practically and beneficially on each plane of consciousness. These are assisting interpretation points you might say which can add to understanding the features of a house, and a planet, and sign all of which show the charts design more clearly.
Other things to note about the features can include looking at the arrangement of the planets and where they are in the chart. Note also where and what the type of expression by a group of planets is also the odd mixture of planetary interaction. Also look for the pockets of meaning around the chart where the area of life is trying to tell you something. Angle layouts, and planets on their own, or ones close to a house cusp can all be indicative of prominent features in the chart. Some features may connect to the a zodiacal trail which can become active and to the forefront when triggered by a transit for example in which further investigation may prove useful and lead to utilizing the energies of the combination.
Other things to note when doing an interpretation is establishing an intuitive feel for the planets by assessing their aspects. Noting what links to them and where the energies are coming from and how many aspects there are to the planet or group of planets further add to providing a clearer understanding and message in the interpretation process.
Planets in a stellium group (3 or more planets) are another feature that occurs quite often in a charts design. Here the feature is about distinguishing the type of combination of energies first as a whole in that area and how each planets contribution in the mix operates together, and how the energies can be utilized and made the most of by their group linking and the type of events that feature in the areas of the other houses they link to by sign and planetary ruler and by aspect.
Other features to look out for are planet or planets when they are on the cusp of a house at 29° and 00°. These can be interpreted as symbolical for endings and new beginnings. At 29° it’s like the culmination of all the previous degrees in terms of the house’s experiences all reaching a final point and coming to a close—the old making way for the new so to speak. It’s a crossing point and a bit of a mixed process with both areas of life having an effect at the same time. It means the planet involved will be experiencing a pull of attraction to do with the new sign and house its entering into while still somewhat based in its current position. So events and the type of things which the planet represents can take on both the type of changes signified by the things and influences which come under the new house, and sign, and its natural ruler, and any other planets in the new area of life—along with events signifying endings and finalizing of things related to matters of the house it’s still in and making ready to depart from in terms of the things and experiences accumulated and integrated as a result of its being in the last degrees, even from 27.5 degrees in some cases the same applies.
At 00° the planet has reached a new point. It’s like the planet is on the threshold of starting a new life with its life before completely over as shown by the previous house and its crossing over into the next house where it’s only just reached 00°. This means at specific important times in the person’s life when certain planets and aspects concur in the natal and progressed they will experience things that are new for them in the manner as indicated by the events to do with the new area of life. It also means they should work to further design and construct a life in that area of new beginnings that suits them and makes it fulfilling in that area for them, especially at those significant times in their life. The sign and its ruling planet by aspect and house and other planets in the house will all show what things to do regarding making this happen and manifesting the type of things best suited for them to pursue.
Another feature on the cusp of the house is to note the particular cross that the planet is connected with for example, the quality of the cross and its four arms and how the other three connect with the planet on one arm, and what the aspects if any it has to the other planets which may be on the other arms of the cross. Those features can all indicate the flow of currents between the planets involved on the four arms as a whole and how the planets energies can receive a boost and become an extra source of creative power.
When a planets at 00° and entering a new house its where the chart is showing the person what to do and how to make it happen, and branch out, and invite and make best new opportunities in order for their benefits to take root and make their life flower.
Some features meanings you may find in your chart just seem to fit like a glove so natural and clear will they be for you. In that case it can be a sign that those energies you have already integrated into your life and are consciously aware of them and are utilizing them. Other things about the features however might surprise you, or cause you disbelief at what you discover—even so they are things worth integrating and bringing to the surface as they can be hidden treasures and resources worth cultivating and acquiring.