When you’ve been studying astrology for any length of time you start to realize that there are so, so many symbols, so many ways of interpreting charts, so many points, aspects, angles, midpoints…
Do you try to use them all? I can’t, at least not all at once.
And yet… in astrology it often happens that exactly the one I need right at this moment is there, ready to jump out at me and say, Hi, Notice Me Please.
So very often it may be just exactly some new technique you have been studying or focusing on – and there it is, just in time to explain that one little part of the chart you need to notice right now.
I just happened to be reading a very good book on the lunar nodes recently – “When Worlds Collide”, by Kathy Allan. That book helped me really get a handle for the first time on the concept of The Bendings, which are the points exactly square the lunar nodes – where they are, how the two bendings differ, and how to interpret them. Briefly, planets at the Bendings can signify a crisis, turning point or decision point in the direction of one’s life. It’s a tension that has to do with life direction.
Now that I understood how important they were I wondered how I could ever have gotten any good readings without using them. Funny thing, that.
At the same time, floating around in the back of my mind and seemingly unrelated, I had noticed some particularly close aspects in my natal chart to Admetos, which is one of the Uranian Trans-Neptunian planets. Admetos has to do with extreme stillness, inwardness, focus, and also being blocked, at a standstill. Noticing the aspect in my natal chart was helping me get a handle on part of my experience where I keep finding myself getting blocked or stuck or at a standstill right when I feel like I should be in a period of expansion.
So this morning I drew up my diurnal chart – it’s a predictive technique where you take the current day, but draw the chart for your time and place of birth. It is useful for noticing themes for a day, week, month, kind of like a daily commentary on your natal chart.
Just for the heck of it, on a whim I went ahead and added in the Trans-Neptunian planets – and sure enough, there was Admetos, exactly at one of the Bendings of my natal nodes, with Saturn at the other Bending.
God, no wonder I’m feeling stuck! It affirmed and explained my experience just then.
But then I noticed something else about the whole moment of insight – I just happened to be thinking about the Bendings, and thinking about Admetos, and thinking about being stuck – and here my chart for the day was nice enough to combine all of the thoughts together in a single pattern – so of course that one part of the chart jumped out at me.
That’s what I was looking for!
Does this demonstrate that it is worth paying attention to transiting planets at the Bendings? Of course.
Does it again demonstrate that the Trans-Neptunian planets can have an eerie aptness of meaning? Yes, that too.
Was I sensing a need to figure out why I felt stuck, so the Gods led me to be reading just that particular book on the nodes and bendings right then, at the same time They just happened to bring Admetos to my attention? Maybe.
Even more important, it demonstrates another more general principle, which is that the Universe will use whatever we happen to be focusing on at a given moment in time, to convey the symbolic meaning or statement we need right then. We just need to be there and paying attention.
I’ve had that happen before, and I bet many other astrologers have also – say I just get a new insight into how the Lot of Fortune can be interpreted in a chart, and all of a sudden I run into a series of charts that have the Lot of Fortune as the key point of the interpretation.
Did I just happen to grab the right batch of charts this week? Or, did I find out that way of interpreting Fortune just in time?
Or – another eerie experience I have had repeatedly – a particular issue is bugging me in the back of my mind, and all of a sudden it seems that a fair number of the people I read for in a given time frame just happen to have that same theme jumping out of their charts at me. As I discuss it with them I realize it is indeed their lives, and not just me seeing something that wasn’t there for them.
I used to think that was a weak point or bias of me as astrologer, reading my own stuff into other people’s world.
I don’t think so anymore. It seems to be part of how that weird beastie called astrology works.
It is very much like another sort of experience many people have – you are shopping for a particular kind of car, say a Nissan wagon, and all of a sudden every other car on the road that you notice is a Nissan wagon. All of a sudden the highways are filled with Nissan wagons.
Where have they been all this time? Did every Nissan wagon owner in the city decide to take their car out for a drive in my neighborhood right then?
Or, your daughter is expecting her first child, your first grand-child – and all of a sudden every other person you pass while out walking is a young mother pushing their child in a stroller in front of them, with that special kind of smiling light that new mothers give off.
It’s like they all gave birth and then went for a walk at the same time, just for me.
What is going to jump out at me when I look at a chart? I never know beforehand.
Even though I have a series of steps I go through when I analyze a chart, it often feels like I have to start over every time, even with a chart I have seen many times before. Sometimes that happens even with my own birth chart – I look at it, and I have no idea of how to interpret what I’m seeing. So I look around, look for patterns, and it seems each time something else jumps out at me. I wonder, how could I have missed that before, when now it seems so obvious?
Each time I look at my chart it is focused on whatever I need to realize about myself and my life right at that moment in time. The chart meaning lives withing the context of my life right at that moment.
I look at my chart again a week later, and what seemed so obvious before is now as impenetrable as if I’d never seen it. So again I start over, looking for patterns, waiting to see what emerges this time.
I can’t interpret it just once and be done with it. The ‘meaning’ is always new and different.
Even with a client’s chart, where I have done a lot of pre-session prep work, I still try to take some of that beginner’s mind feeling into the reading, and look at the chart as if I’d never seen it before. I never know quite what is going to emerge in the session.
It feels like the chart, or that intelligent pattern which it attunes to, is alive and wishes to communicate with me. For the reading to really come alive, I need pay attention afresh, pay attention to what this living being is saying right now.
Circling back to the start of this post, I now have a couple of new interpretive points to add to my astrology collection of symbolism. I can work with the Bendings now, and I understand Admetos in a new way.
When will I need those particular pieces of astrology symbolism?
When they jump out at me.
In the next post, I will talk about the other side of the coin, which is when the symbolism just doesn’t want to speak.