Basic Rules of Astrological Interpretation

by Ezequiel Gonzalez

In order to interpret a Natal Chart the first step is to organize all the information in a clear and rational way. In the past, the astrologer first had to Erect or cast the Natal chart. As usual he would need the native's date, time and place of birth. then he would determine the exact coordinates of the place of birth, and using an Ephemerides and Table of Houses he would calculate the positions of planets and houses in the ecliptic. Finally he would draw the Horoscope itself. This process would take about an hour or more.

Presently the casting of the Horoscope [natal chart] is done by computer in a matter of seconds. It is faster and more accurate. The interpretation, however should not be done by computers. It should be done by hand. A computer generated report is good for entertainment and as a quick introduction to Astrology. But only an Astrologer can interpret the chart in a comprehensive manner.

In order to interpret or read all the information contained in the chart it is easier to divide it in various lists of information. As explained previously, the Signs of the Zodiac could be seen as a reference scale to measure longitude along the ecliptic. The zero degrees reference point is the Spring Equinox on or about March 21st. Starting here the 360 degrees of the ecliptic are divided in twelve sectors of 30 degrees each. These sectors are the signs of the zodiac. The houses are twelve divisions of the daily cycle. For easy of representation the houses are projected into the ecliptic. There are various ways to do so: thus, there are various systems of house divisions. Each system establishes a different type of correspondence between the yearly cycle represented by the Signs and the daily cycle represented by the Houses. Thus, all systems of house divisions are valid if we keep in mind the type of correspondence each one is using.

At times, however, it would be easier to leave them apart; that is, to draw a yearly chart including signs and planets and then to draw a second daily cycle chart including planets and houses. (And even a third chart based on the monthly Earth-Moon cycle). Each chart would be independent of each other, and the correspondence between solar, lunar and earthly "houses" would be establish at the time of interpretation. These ideas, however are part of a "new" Astrology, still in the making. Meanwhile, the traditional way of chart erection and interpretation is to include signs, houses and planets in a single chart. Still, it would make it easier if you represent these positions in the form of a table. For example the Natal Chart of the US National Identity would look like this:

Astrological Element			Zodiacal 
-------------------------------	Position
Signs		House		Planet		(degrees)

Sagittarius.	.	.	.	.	.240.0000
			.	.	.	.249.3166
				Jupiter	.	.269.0166
Capricorn	.	.	.	.	.270.0000
		2	.	.	.	.282.1833
Aquarius.	.	.	.	.	.300.0000
		3.	.	.	.	.320.0000
Pisces.	.	.	.	.	.	.330.0000

		4	.	.	.	.356.2166
Aries	..	.	.	.	.	.000.0000
				Neptune.	.008.6666
				Sun	.	.025.6833
		5	.	.	..	.025.6833
Taurus	.	.	.	.	.	.030.0000
				Pluto	.	.042.3333
				Mercury.	.044.4166
		6	.	.	.	.049.1333
				Venus	.	.055.6500
Gemini	.	.	.	.	.060.0000
		7	.	.	.	.069.3166
				Uranus	.	.086.1833
Cancer	.	.	.	.	.	.090.0000
				Mars.	.	.097.9166
		8	.	.	.	.102.1833
Leo	.	.	.	.	.	.120.0000
		9	.	.	.	.140.0000
Virgo.	.	.	.	.	.	.150.0000
		10	.	.	.	.176.2166
Libra	.	.	.	.	.	.180.0000
		11	.	.	.	.205.6833
				Saturn	.	.207.1500
Scorpio	.	.	.	.	.210.0000
		12	.	.	.	.229.1333
Sagittarius	.	.	.	.	.240.0000
				Moon	.	.249.2000
		1	.	.	.	.249.3166
[Note: this is the chart of the moment when President Lincoln was assassinated. The National Identity of the United States was born during the Civil War. The assassination of President Lincoln was the focal point of that era. This moment can be use to cast the Horoscope of the National Identity of the United States. It work just great. The astro. data: April 14, 1865, 10:13 pm Washington D.C.]

Calculating Planetary Aspects

Using this Table Format Horoscope Chart we can readily see the relative position of Houses, Signs and planets. Furthermore, we can easily calculate the angular distance between two astrological elements, simply substract them. Remember that the chart is actually a circle, traditionally divided in 360 degrees.

For example, the distance between Saturn and Uranus is 207.15 - 86.1833 = 120.9667 degrees. As the trine is 120 degrees plus or minus 4 degrees, we c an see that these two planets are connected by a trine aspect. Please note that if the distance between two elements (planets, signs or houses) is more than 180 degrees you should substract that distance from 360 to get the shortest distance between the two planets. The distances between elements in the chart are measure in terms of longitudinal distance around a circle. A circle by convention is divided in 360 degrees. There is a clockwise and a counterclockwise angular distance. The sum of the two cannot be greater than 360 degrees. Thus if the clockwise distance is 240 degrees then the counterclockwise distance should be 360 - 240 = 120 degrees.

As an example, the clockwise distance between Saturn and Uranus is 120,9667 degrees. Thus its counterclockwise distance = 360 -120.9667 = 239.0333 degrees.

Outline for Chart Interpretation

Using this or any other method, the first step in interpreting a natal chart is to develop a good understanding of the physical reality the chart is representing. Then the next step is to follow a detailed step by step procedure or outlined to interpret the chart. The specific outline I used in the Interpretation of the National Identity Chart of the US was as follows:

Interpretation of Natal Chart

A.	Introduction 
	A concise description of what is Astrology and
	the basic for erecting and interpreting the chart.

B.	Overview
	Interpreting the general elements of the chart.
	1.	Sun sign
	2.	Moon sign
	3.	Asc sign
	4.	Sign signature
	5.	Planets  in angles and cuadrants
	6.	Planetary configurations and Jones Patterns
C.	Basic Character
	Detailed analysis of the Sun
	1.	Sun sign and house
	2.	Sun Aspects

D.	Emotional Set Up
	Detailed analyzes of the Moon
	1.	Moon sign and house
	2.	Moon aspects

E.	Public Image
	Detailed analyzes of the Ascendant
	1.	Sign on the Ascendant
	2.	Ascendant aspects

F.	Interaction with the Physical World
	1.	1st House
		a)	Sign on cusp as leading sign
			plus any other sign in the house
		b)	Planets located in the house
		c)	Sensitive spots that when filled by
			transitive planets will active major
			planetary configurations.
	2.	2nd through 12th House
		a) Repeat same procedure as for 1st house.

G.	Chart Synthesis
	Single out and highlight the main and focal	
	topics of the chart.

H.	Cycles of Development
	Describe any major repetitive cycle that may be 
	affecting the native in the future.
Of course, this is the outline for a comprehensive professional analysis. It would take several days of hard work. Not only does it covers almost every single detail in the chart, but it also integrates them into a comprehensive whole. +How much would something like this cost? Well, assuming it takes 10 to 20 hours, at an hourly rate of $10.00 an hour (quite cheap for a professional service) we are talking about 100 to 200 dollars. Of course a similar analysis hand written by a Psychologists would take several months of Psychological evaluations and a few hundred dollars just to type the final draft.

[But in todays market something like this is more than any Astrologer is willing or prepare to do. We need to make a living, too. We are forced to practice Astrology as a hobby or sell quick preliminary evaluations if we want to make some money doing it.]

Anyhow, if you want to analyze your own chart or want an astrologer to do a preliminary evaluation of your chart, a simplified version of this outline should be use. Going then, into specific details...

The Overview

The initial step in any chart interpretation is the Overview. Here you simply look over the chart for any relevant element that you may readily see as a dominant force within the chart. Sometimes the dominant element is the Sun Sign, some other time is the Moon, or even the Ascendant sign. However, if a Jones Pattern or any other Major configuration is present it will become the dominant force in the chart.

In the overview point out these relevant factors, but don't go into a detailed analysis right away. The idea in identifying them at the beginning is to get an astrological viewpoint that would determine how we interpret the chart. For example, if we identify the Moon sign as the dominant factor within the chart, then we would give much more weight to the emotional and subconscious aspects during the subsequent interpretation. On the other hand if we identify a Seesaw configuration as the dominant factor, (as we did in the US Chart) then the interpretation would deal primarily with how the different astrological elements fit into the polarization of forces that characterizes the Seesaw. Then we should help the native to realized that this polarization is an inner phenomenon, not an outher reality. Finally we should point out how the energy flow that takes place within the Seesaw can be use in harmony with God and Cosmos.

After the initial overview we should go into a detailed analysis of the Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Houses. Finally we e should include a Chart Synthesis or conclusion where we once more highlight the main factors of the chart, but this time in a summary fashion. The idea is that after all the detail we have gone through during the chart interpretation, the native would not be left lost in a jungle of unconnected small pieces of information, but will be able see what it is all about. After all is said and done the Chart Synthesis is the "Bottom Line" or the "conclusion of the whole matter", as Solomon would have said.

As an appendix, or more often as a second reading, we may include information on the future of the native as far as it can be astrologically determined. There are many "traditional" and not so traditional techniques of astrological forecasting. An honest psychic astrologer should be able to do a good job provided that he has true psychic sensitivity; no matter what technique he uses. But since we are not all psychics, we should use the techniques that are more rational and easy to use. Thus here I only recommend the technique of comparing the planetary positions at a given future moment (transits) with the positions at the moment of birth. I also recommend the technique of the Planetary cycles to determine the cyclical development of the individual. Using these techniques you will not get specific answers but you will develop a better understanding of what would be the inner status of the human entity at a given moment in time. Using this information a good astrologer or counselor should be able to give quite specific answers to most questions.