As was mentioned in another part of this lesson, astrology works in layers. One layer is the signs, another is the houses, and another is the planets. These layers combine to form the
sign/planet/house meaning called the "astro-sentence". This would be all a person needed to know if these "astro-sentences" acted by themselves: know the 10 "astro-sentence" meanings in your
chart and you would completely know how your energies work in your life. But people are more complex than this, and so are their charts. In addition to the "astro-sentences" having their own
meanings, the sign/planet/house meanings described in the "astro-sentences" interact with each other.
In order to understand how these interactions of energies occur, we need to start thinking of the distance between sign/planet/house combinations. All significant distances between sign/planet/house combinations occur as either 0 degrees or some form of 30 degrees apart from each other. These "significant distances" are called "aspects". To understand how aspects work, see the picture below.
As indicated above, sign/planet/house energies combine with each other when they are 0 degrees apart, work easily with each other when they are 60 degrees apart (30 + 30), need to be
combined with each other when they are 90 degrees apart (30 + 30 + 30), work very easily with each other when they are 120 degrees apart (30 + 30 + 30 + 30), need to be adjusted by each other in
how they interact when they are 150 degrees apart (30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30), and are over-excited with each other when they are 180 degrees apart (30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 30). In the drawing
above the pictures for these aspects are placed on top of the lines. Each picture is different from each other: one looks like a triangle, one like a square, one like a star, etc.
If the chart used was created from the Astrodienst site or if there are no squares, triangles, stars, etc. drawn on top of the lines connecting the sign/planet/house energies in the chart, there is an additional step to do before interpreting the energies between sign/planet/house energies.
The three pictures that are "combined with", "need to be combined with", or "over-excited" are challenging aspects (frequently these are colored red in astrological charts), indicating there are challenges in using these combinations of energy. The two pictures that are "goes easily with" and "goes very easily with" are easy aspects (frequently these are colored blue or green in astrological charts), indicating it is easy to use these combinations of energy. The picture that is "adjusted by" can be either challenging or easy.
To read this chart, first use the "astro-sentence" to describe each energy. One energy is expansion (sign) home (planet) focused on being (house). The other energy is spiritual (sign)
duty (planet) focused on home (house). Now add in the aspect phrase between the two energies. The person who has this chart has expansion of the home focused on being (astro-sentence) which needs
to be combined with (aspect phrase) spiritual duty focused on the home (astro-sentence).
There are many ways these energies could actually appear in a person's life: perhaps the person wants to have a nicer home for themselves but also wants to make sure that the new home fits in with their religious lifestyle, maybe this person is happiest personally building homes and insists that the people who use the homes they build have a certain spiritual lifestyle, or another possibility is that this person uses their own home-made ways of believing (since the sign focuses on identity learning) and comes over to other people's homes to emotionally (since the house focuses on emotional action) force these ideas on them.
As a final example, look at the chart above. To read this chart, first use the "astro-sentence" to describe each energy. One energy is being (sign) friends (planet) focused on thinking
(house). The other energy is self-expression (sign) physical/relationships (planet) focused on relationships (house). Now add in the aspect phrase between the two energies. The person who has
this chart is personally (i.e., "being") friendly and focused on thinking (astro-sentence) and this energy goes very easily with (aspect phrase) self-expressive physical issues/relationships
focused on relationships (astro-sentence).
There are many ways these energies could actually appear in a person's life: perhaps the person thinks of themselves as a great friend and very easily forms relationships with others as a way to express themselves, maybe this person is talks (expressive thinking) about themselves to everyone (they believe everyone is their friend) and this impresses (positive reception of their self-expression) others who then want to form a relationship with the person, or another possibility is that this person uses their friends to find out facts (since the house focuses on social learning) which they use to introduce themselves to other people (self-expression combined with relationships) to form relationships.
The explanation of the basics of astrological chart interpretation is now complete. On the left is a Astro-worksheet to help with keeping track of all your chart information. The "Final Thoughts" section has suggestions for how best to use astrological interpretation skills, shows how to better understand how the "astro-sentence" works in the person's life using "extended keywords", shows how the person's career is indicated by strong indications in one "keyword", provides a link to a grouplist on Yahoo Groups which gives you an opportunity to find basic chart interpretation information, and has an e-mail address to send in comments about the astrological interpretation website.
Click on "Final Thoughts" on the left to further develop your astrological understanding, on "Step 5" to return to the previous step, or on "Home" to restart the lesson.