Trump withdraws from Syria

Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from Syria coincides with transiting Saturn opposing his natal Mercury. Saturn is the planet which represents pull-back, as well as associated meanings such as retreat, close-down, and denial.

In a general sense Saturn is associated with bad news, especially when it makes a connection with Mercury, and there’s been no lack of bad news for Trump over the past few weeks. 

The example of Trump’s withdrawal from Syria also demonstrates an important lesson for dealing with approaching transits, which is basically to be pro-active with the energy represented by the planet. 

Saturn transits generally are associated with depressive or not so good events. They are also associated with the consequences of past actions, sometimes called ‘karma’.  While these consequences are unavoidable there is still room to direct Saturn’s energy towards some goal or outcome. 

One of Trump’s stated election promises was to withdraw US personnel from the Middle East, and this is what he is attempting. Btw I am not making any political commentary here. I am just focusing on astrological correlations with what has been reported in the news to make a point about how to deal with transits. 

People often see themselves as the victim of transits, as though transits are something that just happens to them. However the energies of the planets can be directed, or pushed in a certain direction by conscious choice. Not to suggest that we have control over the planets, just that it is often possible to exercise free will, even if only in a limited manner.

New Moon or dark Moon?

Parrot sketchYou will read in some places and on web sites of many who are attempting to monetize their astrology, that today (Dec 7 2018) we have a new Moon. We don’t. There’s nothing new about it. It’s completely dark, no light showing at all. Like to parrot in the famous Monty Python sketch it’s dead. ‘Nothing to see there folks, move on.’ No light means no life.

The dark Moon is called a conjunction or syzygy and its proximity with the Sun makes it impossible to see. It’s combust. It’s only a day later that we witness the first sliver of the new Moon. In the Islamic calendar this first sliver represents the new Moon.

Unfortunately, many calendars and ephemerides need to be re-written to accommodate the astronomical reality of the dark Moon.

During the dark Moon she is with her beloved in the darkness and it’s only his glare that we can see. Only afterwards, one day later, do we see the first blossoming when she is pregnant with his love. The joy of her love grows until she is bursting with his light at the full Moon. Then she becomes increasingly desolate with disappointment as the light of his love fades until the cycle begins anew.

Nothing is more fundamental to astrology than the observation and the visibility of light. A dark Moon is a dark Moon and a new Moon is the first representation of new life and new beginnings.

Insight Lands on Mars

InSight lands on Mars Landing horoscope settings

The horoscope for the landing of InSight, shown on the left, is set for the coordinates the Vandenberg Aries Force Base, the place from which InSight was launched. Astrology, as it is presently practiced in the West is geocentric, and the launch location is the place of its last connection with the Earth. The coordinates for the landing location on Mars would make more sense, but these coordinates are not currently available. However it does not make sense to use the houses or the Part of Fortune which are referenced to the apparent path of the Sun around the earth, and they are not used here.


Notable features include the planet of flight, Mercury, just separating from a square to Mars, and the Venus-Uranus opposition in square to the nodal axis. The Venus-Uranus opposition points to unusual or surprising discoveries.

The Launch horoscope

The second horoscope is for the launch of InSight, which is an acronym for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. As there is only approximately 8-9 months between the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the landing on Mars there is little change in the positions of the outer planets; except that Jupiter has moved from Scorpio to Sagittarius. Mercury, the planet of flight, is on the ascendant.
It is interesting to compare these horoscopes with the horoscope of the launch and landing of the Curiosity Rover Mars probe, shown below.

Curiosity Rover

Mars Curiosity LaunchThe Curiosity Rover was launched on November 26 2011 as the Mars Scientific Laboratory at 10.02 EST from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The horoscope for this launch is shown on the left.

Notable features include the new Moon in Sagittarius with Mercury in Sagittarius turning retrograde. The Moon, which is always the significator of the action, applies to an exalted Saturn in the 9th house of far away places. Saturn rules the Ascendant and the Ascendant is conjunct the fixed star Vega which is associated with bringing knowledge down to earth.
Mars Curiosity Landing horoscope

In the horoscope for the Curiosity Landing horoscope the Sun aspects Mars.

Sensitive degree area

A striking connection between the launch of the Curiosity rover and the landing of the InSight probe is that the Sun in both cases is 3-4 degrees Sagittarius. This point coincides with the Midheaven for the Wright Brothers first powered flight horoscope which was 5 degrees Sagittarius; and also coincides with the degree of Mars in the horoscope for the first manned mission to the Moon:  3 degrees Sagittarius (source: The Book of World Horoscopes by Nicholas Campion).


The Greens public brawl

Once again the Australian Greens are in the news for all the wrong reasons in a public brawl, after NSW member Justin Field says fellow Greens MP Jenny Leong’s parliamentary speech was an ‘opportunistic’ attempt to force upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham out of the party.

The horoscope for the Australian Greens shows Saturn just separating from a square to the Moon, an aspect which is generally seen as being very negative. Saturn is also trining the Sun in this horoscope. The Sun is the natural representative of leaders, who in this case is the federal leader, Richard Di Natale. In the Guardian newspaper article (see link above) Richard Di Natale is said to have backed the call for Buckingham’s resignation.

Mars will oppose the Sun in late November and we can expect Richard Di Natale to be in fighting mode at that time.

In late December 2018 Saturn will cross the ascendant of the Australian Greens horoscope. This crossing of the ascendant is likely to coincide with a difficult time for the Greens, of unloading old baggage, and redefinition of their public persona. Saturn transits to the ascendant occur approximately every 29 years.

The transiting Sun also crosses the ascendant at the end of December 2018 bringing public attention to the Greens.
One interesting feature of this horoscope is Venus and Jupiter bracketing the Midheaven, the point in the horoscope which represents public image.

Both planets are in Virgo where each is disadvantaged. Jupiter, the planet of the big perspective gets very distracted by small details when in Mercury’s domain and can lose its way. Venus, the planet of pleasure and romantic togetherness, does not operate well in the sign of pure logic and reason. While these planets are often referred to as ‘the two benefics’, they are much less benefical in the Mercury’s sign; with the result that the greens public image can appear tarnished.

Confusions about the eighth house

In recent discussions about relationships and sex on social media the eighth house has often been mentioned, and some people are surprised to hear that it is the fifth house, the house of pleasure and procreation, which rules sex.  Because there are a considerable number of astrologers whose education has not given them the benefit of exposure to texts containing basic principles of astrology, discussion of the eighth house can be tricky. We are now seeing the second or third generation of astrologers who have learnt from teachers immersed in the Theosophist and new age blends of astrology, without access to primary sources. The confusion concerning the eighth house is connected both with

  • The adoption of Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler and
  • The adoption of the ’12 letter Alphabet’ system, by some astrologers.

The adoption of Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler means that Mars is displaced as Scorpio’s ruler. No reason is offered for this displacement other than it’s not fair that Pluto doesn’t have a place in the rulership scheme. It follows the previous examples of awarding the newly discovered planets Uranus and Neptune rulership over Aquarius and Pisces.

In discussions about the subject the displacement of Mars gets glossed over and the ‘it works for me’ justification  is offered. In my experience supporters of this new system show no understanding of the ancient system of planetary rulerships. It’s a case of people not knowing what they don’t know; making friendly and informed discussion difficult. People often take offense if it’s suggested that they need to study more.

In the 12 letter Alphabet, invented by Zipporah Dobyns, the meaning of the houses planets and signs are merged. For example the eighth house, Scorpio, and Pluto are seen to have a similar theme, referred to as an archetype. Pluto’s association with transformation and regeneration and Scorpio’s association with sex are both transferred to the eighth house.

Archetype: defines an archetype as:
The original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.” The problem is that houses signs and planets are not things of the same kind and in fact are very different to each other. In astrological cosmology the zodiac signs belong to the first sphere, the signs belong to the celestial sphere and the planets belong to the mundane (earthly) sphere. Their properties are not interchangeable and are not of the same kind.

The little death: The eighth house is the house of death. While it’s true that some astrologers have associated the eighth house with sex because sexual orgasm is sometimes called ‘the little death’, the purpose of sex is to procreate, to bring life into the world, not death.

The fifth house: Previous to the modern era the eighth house was not associated with sex. This modern confusion is perpetrated by a misunderstanding of the primary functions of the houses. Sex is a fifth house matter. Procreation, pleasure and its consequence: children, belong here. Death and bringing life into the world are opposite things and should not be confused.

Rape and abuse: It is ironic that Pluto’s mythical association with the abduction and rape of Persephone is rarely mentioned in conversations about the eighth house and sexual activity. Some say the eighth house is about intense sex and the fifth house is about light-hearted sex. But the idea that the eighth house has anything to do with sex has no foundation.

Transformation and intimacy: I have often heard it said that death is only one form of transformation and regeneration and somehow this justifies assigning transformation as a core meaning for the eighth house, which in turn validates Scorpio’s and Pluto’s association with the eighth house. It’s a circular argument that obscures the real meaning of the eighth house. Followers of the 12 Letter Alphabet system associate intimacy with the eighth house because of its new association with Pluto.

Core meaning: The tangled web of confusions associated with the interchange of Scorpio Pluto and the eighth house is mind boggling and really does take us a long way from the real meaning of the eighth house.
The core meanings of the eighth house have to do with death in the physical and real sense; fear and loss; the resources of those we engage with, partner’s money and inheritance.
The eighth house is not a particular pleasant place no matter how much we might like to romanticize it or give it a positive spin. The sign on the cusp of the eighth house and the planet which rules that sign are what is relevant in any type of astrological interpretation of the 8th house.

2018 AFL Grand Final

Shown on the left is the horoscope for the West Coast Eagles (WCE) AFL football team, who are playing Collingwood in the 2018 AFL grand final today. WCE’s name and colours were celebrated at it’s official launch in Perth Western Australia October 30 1986. I spoke to a reporter afterwards who verified the opening time when proceedings commenced as 6 pm.

West Coast Eagles horoscope

Note the powerful stellium of planets in Scorpio, and especially the Sun-Pluto conjunction, trined by Jupiter in Pisces. This suggests intensity, focus and power, and in it’s AFL brief history the WCE have been a very successful football team. These 4 planets are ruled and squared by Mars high in the chart in cold clinical and objective Aquarius. At their best the WCE are known for their precision and detailed preparation, evidenced in this horoscope by the Virgo Moon.

Collingwood horoscope

Below is the horoscope for Collingwood, details sourced from wikipedia. There is no recorded time for this horoscope, and therefore houses are not shown, or Part of Fortune, and the Moon is shown for it’s possible 24 hour range. It most likely position is in late Libra, if proceedings were conducted during the day, or in early Scorpio for a post 6 pm beginning.

Planet correspondences with previous premierships

It’s interesting that in 1994 and 2006, when the WCE previously won the premiership flag, Jupiter, the planet of success, was in Scorpio. Again it is in Scorpio now, although at a later degree, at the Mercury Venus midpoint. Jupiter passes through each sign once every 12 years. The WCE also won the premiership in 1992 when Jupiter was in late Virgo, which does not fit this neat pattern. However the Moon in the WCE horoscope is in late Virgo, so there is good correspondence.
Regarding Collingwood’s last premierships, in 1990 and 2010, Jupiter was in early Leo in 1990, trining natal Venus, and in late Pisces in 2010, applying to a conjunction with natal Jupiter. At this 2018 grand final Jupiter is making a trine to natal Jupiter, which is a positive indicator.

Eddie McGuire

It is a very complex task to analyse the various horoscopes for each club, including their respective leaders and leading players. I have only checked the horoscope for Eddie McGuire, President of the Collingwood Football Club. He was born October 29 1964, no known birth time. On this grand final day he has Mars square Mars, and Jupiter opposite Jupiter, and Moon squaring Saturn and Mars. None of these are positive indicators.


I don’t have the hours of time required for a thorough analysis, which is necessary to make an accurate prediction. A cursory look suggests advantages to both sides, with the balance favouring WCE.

Post-Script, written 30 Sep 2018, the day after the 2018 AFL Grand Final

Just in case you missed it, the West Coast Eagles won their 4th premiership flag yesterday, the 4th in their 32 year history. This is a team with 4 planets in Scorpio, including a Sun-Pluto conjunction, responding consistently to Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio every 12 years. Jupiter has long been called the planet of success.
The exception to this Jupiter in Scorpio pattern was 1992 when Jupiter was in Virgo, conjunct natal Moon at 29 Virgo.
Some say astrology doesn’t work. I beg to differ.

Scott Morrison’s Swearing In horoscope

Scott Morrison Sworn-inScott Morrison’s Swearing In horoscope – source: ABC News.

This is the horoscope for when Scott Morrison was sworn in at the Governor General’s Lodge as the 30th prime Minister of Australia.

Jupiter in the ninth house of overseas interests and higher education of this horoscope, ruling the rising sign and the Midheaven, shows an important focus for Morrison as Prime Minister.

The midheaven axis aligns with the powerful fixed star Antares, which is associated with success. It is one of the 4 royal stars, called “the watcher of the east”. Robson (page 137) says that on the Midheaven it shows “Honor, preferment and good fortune.” It also has associations with military success and is regarded as a fearsome competitor.

Although the Moon in this horoscope is on the cusp of the twelfth house, suggesting backroom deals, its close sextile to the Midheaven shows matters brought to light. The Venus Pluto square suggests manipulation and control and power struggles with allies. The Sun Saturn Uranus grand trine shows emphasises the Capricorn conservatism as well as innovative initiatives.

I do not propose here to present an in-depth analysis, only to present the horoscope for those who are interested. Contributions from other astrologers offering interpretations of this and other relevant horoscopes are welcome.

Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison’s natal horoscope reveals that he is a Taurus Sun sign.

Birth chart details

As I don’t have an accurate time of birth no houses are shown, or a Part of Fortune, and the Moon’s possible positions are shown within a range of 13 degrees. At noon on his date of birth the Moon was at 0 degrees Sagittarius, and it is equally likely that it could be in Scorpio or Sagittarius.

And because I don’t have an accurate time of birth I have rounded out the degrees of the planets. The chart style is based on the Thema Mundi Cancer rising template chart to avoid any possible association with houses, which would be misleading.

Neither is his rising sign known.

Brief interpretation

The Sun in Taurus shows an earthy pragmatist, determination, and slowness to anger. The solar connections (aspects) with other planets  add much more colour to this description.

  • The Sun-Neptune opposition shows that this earthy realism is moderated by compassion, sensitivity, and idealism.
  • The Sun trine Pluto-Uranus adds intensity and a need to control, as well as a capacity to innovate and reform, and act with surprising alacrity (for a Taurus).
  • The Sun square Jupiter shows potential overreach and an expansionist attitude. However on this last point, the conservative Sun in Taurus is in a fixed and conservative sign, which moderates any tendency to go to extremes.

Two planets in Gemini, Mars and Mercury, add wit and communication skills. Saturn in Aries suggests challenges in managing leadership skills. Mars in Gemini shows the ability to debate and fight with words. Mercury in Gemini shows the ability to absorb information from a variety of sources and the ability to respond quickly to challenges.  Jupiter in Leo, being received by the Sun into its rulership, offers success and luck, with potential downside being overreach.

Altogether this is a fascinating horoscopefor the fortunes of Australia’s 30th Prime Minister.

In future posts I will compare Scott Morrison’s horoscope with horoscopes for Australia.

Total Lunar Eclipse Jul 27 2018

Lunar Eclipse The total lunar eclipse of July 27 2018 is shown here superimposed against the Sibly chart of the USA. I have chosen the US chart as international events have a strong US focus at the moment.

It cuts across the axis associated with US financial matters, resources belonging to the US and resources belonging to other countries. The lunar nodes of the eclipse chart also coincide with the lunar nodes of the US chart, impressing upon us the significance of these times.

Ed Tamplin has written about the importance of the nodes at these degrees, and their association with war and nuclear energy. Go to for further discussion.

This eclipse occurs on the same day, although shortly after, the Sun opposes Mars. Mars is always at it’s closest point to earth at the opposition, potentially increasing the chances of conflict.  The previous conjunction was exactly a year earlier at 4 Leo, and the next in the 25 month Sun-Mars cycle is at 10 Virgo on September 2, 2019.

And also on the same day as the eclipse Mercury turns retrograde at 23 Leo. Mercury is famously associated with computer and communication breakdowns, although I have not seen any evidence measuring the frequencies of these events compared to other times.

In the US Sibly chart Mercury rules partners and open enemies. Turning turning retrograde in conjunction with this eclipse suggests revision and sudden reversals in direction regarding countries with whom the US engages.

Saturn, the planet of delays and frustrations, is opposing US Venus, which rules the tenth house of administration. These are difficult times to be running US government administration. As well as opposing forces, Saturn also rules the second house of finances, pointing to a lack of support for those running the administration.

Jupiter makes a trine to the Sun. The Sun in a mundane chart (chart for a country) is often associated with the king or ruler. In this case that would be Trump. In spite of all the troubles surrounding him it appears he has protection. ‘Teflon coated’ perhaps. Jupiter rules the first house of the country and its people, and while the media reports on their popular opposition, it appears that he has sufficient support, at least for the present.

The very close association of this eclipse with Mars, the planet associated with war and conflict, cannot be overlooked.

12 Letter Alphabet Exposed – Part A

In a recent Facebook discussion a number of people reacted to my assertion that the 12 letter alphabet of astrology has no validity and promotes confusion among astrologers.
This article is published in response to requests to explain this point of view.


My understanding is that Zipporah Dobyns first introduced this the term “The 12-letter alphabet” in the 1970’s. This system has also been called the “ABC system of astrology”.

In the 12 letter alphabet system the houses are said to correspond with the signs and their planetary rulers. For example, the 1st house (A) is linked to the sign Aries (B) and to the sign’s ruling planet Mars (C). Together the house sign and planet combination are often referred to as “an archetype”.

In the adjacent diagram is shown the general layout preferred by those who use the 12-letter alphabet.12 Letter Alphabet
The 12 houses in the centre are aligned with the 12 signs in the central wheel and with the planetary rulers on the outside. I have greyed out the traditional rulers of the signs to highlight the general preference of those who use this system to use the outer planets as rulers of Scorpio, Aquarius and Pisces.


The combination of house, sign, and planet is sometimes referred to as an archetype. For example it is said that the first archetype comprises the first house which is linked to Aries and its planetary ruler Mars. The second archetype links the second house to Taurus and its ruler Venus. This system of archetypes follows the circle of houses around the horoscope in an anti-clockwise manner. defines an archetype as

The original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.”
The problem is that houses signs and planets are not things of the same kind. I explain below.

Objections raised in the defence of the 12-letter alphabet

A. There are 12 houses and 12 signs.
This is too much of a coincidence.

B. There are groups of signs planets and houses which are similar and called ‘archetypes‘.

1) Aries: initiative. Mars: action. First House: how we strike out as an individual.
2) Taurus: stability and enjoyment. Venus: comforts. Second house: money matters and living.
3) Gemini: interaction. Mercury: communication. Third house: learning and exchange of ideas.
4) Cancer: Homely, contained. Moon: mother. Fourth House: home, family.
5) Leo: expressive. Sun: self identity. Fifth House: creative expression.
6) Virgo: detailed, skilled. Mercury: study. Sixth house: Work.
7) Libra: engaged, gracious. Venus: relationships. Seventh house: the other.
8) Scorpio: destructive, intimate. Pluto: intense. Eighth house: transformation, sex.

I will comment on each of these archetypes in Part B.
Here I will describe some important differences between the signs and the houses.

Differences between the signs and the houses

1. Different systems

  • The zodiac signs are a celestial system and exist only in the heavens.
  • The houses are a terrestrial system relating to components of our life on Earth.

The celestial and terrestrial worlds are fundamentally different and cannot be interchanged.

2. Different measurement

  • The signs of the celestial zodiac are traced out by the Sun into 12 equal divisions as it crosses the equator on its northward journey.
  • The houses measure terrestrial spaces above and below the horizon into 12 parts (places). These 12 parts are comprised of 4 quadrants each containing 3 houses.

The divisions of the ecliptic and the spaces above and below the horizon cannot be mixed.

3. Cosmology

cosmology rgbIn the ancient cosmological system, the universe was comprised of two basic divisions:

1. The world of the divine glory and perfection, comprising the The Prime Mover and the Zodiac. The signs belong in this sphere of divine perfection.

2. The world of manifest material reality which is subject to birth decay and death. The houses, which reflect our lives on the earthly plane, belong to the material plane.

Equating the divine with the mundane shows confusion about the structure of our universe.

4. Different cycle

  • The signs describe a yearly cycle which is the apparent orbit of the Sun around the earth.
  • The houses describe the apparent daily cycle of the planets as the earth spins on its axis.

Zodiac Sign modes elements polarity5. Different make-up

  • The signs are constituted from the combination of the 3 modes: cardinal fixed and mutable; the 4 elements: fire earth air and water; and the 2 polarities: diurnal/active and nocturnal/passive. Each zodiac sign is a unique combination of these principles.
  • The houses are discreet areas of human experiences (physical, social, psychological, spiritual).

6. Different nature

  • The zodiac signs are latent descriptive qualities which are not tangible. Planets traversing signs are energized according to the quality of the sign, qualified by the planet’s unique capacity to express this quality. The houses relate to specific environments of human experience.
  • The zodiac signs energize the planets with specific qualities. The houses describe the area of life in which these energies manifest and their capacity to be expressed.

7. Opposite directions

  • The signs are ordered in an ANTI-CLOCKWISE direction. The rising sign, which is determined by the time of birth, is located on the ascendant and the other signs are extended in an anti-clockwise direction around the chart.
  • The houses extend from the horizon in a CLOCKWISE direction towards the MC, following the diurnal movement of the planets. This is the opposite direction to that of the signs. House numbering shows the order of planets as they rise across the Ascendant. Planets in the first house rise first across the horizon, planets in the second house rise second; and so on.

This last point often comes as a shock to astrologers who are accustomed to viewing the order of the houses from 1-12 in from the ascendant, down to the IC, then up to the Midheaven.

Signs Houses DirectionsThe numbering of the houses has to with the order in which planets rise above the signs as the earth spins on its axis, and has nothing to do with a natural order of the houses in an anti-clockwise direction.
The signs and the houses do not flow in the same direction.
It is a fundamental error to assume that the meaning of the 2nd house naturally flows from the meaning of the 1st house; or that the meaning of the 3rd house is a flow-on from the meaning of the 2nd house; and so on.
The numbering of the houses actually refers to a flow in the opposite direction: the rising of planets across the ascendant. It’s like the houses are standing in a queue: planets in the 1st house get to rise first; planets in the 2nd house get to rise next; and so on. Planets in the 2nd house rise (or succeed – which is why it is called a sucedent house) into the first, and are second in line to rise above the ascendant.
The movement of the planets is from the ascendant up to the Midheaven, and from there to the descendant and on to the IC.
The numbers given to the houses (1, 2, 3 and so on) refers to order of the movement of planets as they move across the ascendant towards the Midheaven through the course of the day,

Response to the 1st objection

“There are 12 houses and 12 signs. This is too much of a coincidence.”

Sun's pathThis objection is very superficial.
Above I have described above eight important differences between the signs and the houses, which together show that any attempt at interchanging the signs and houses does not make sense.
The numbering of the signs and the numbering of the houses refers to a flow in opposite directions. That there are 12 signs and 12 houses does not imply that they are the same or that they can be interchanged.
The adjacent diagram shows the path of the Sun as it moves through the houses. The Sun in the 3rd house moves into the 2nd house, and from the 2nd house moves (or succeeds) into the 1st house, and from there rises into the 12th house; and so on.
The same principle applies to the planets as they appear to move around the earth as it spins on its axis.
The meaning of the numbering of the houses relates to the order in which planets in the houses rise above the ascendant, with planets in the 1st house rising first, planets in the 2nd house rising next; and so on. House numbers are ordinal numbers; the relate to a sequence or series. They were not intended to show a natural flow or sequence in an anti-clockwise direction.

Simplifying astrology

The association of the 12 houses with the 12 signs was a deliberate attempt to simplify astrology. This attempt has been attributed to Alan Leo in early 20th century England who was fighting a battle to avoid incarceration and sought to promote the idea that astrology was merely psychological.
While working with 12 simple principles that interchanges houses signs and planets may reduce the astrology teacher’s workload, it hinders rather than helps an understanding of astrology.

The mistake of extending the anatomical model

While it is true that there is an anatomical correlation between the signs and houses, with Aries and the 1st house both associated with the head; Taurus and the 2nd house associated with the throat and so on, it is a mistake to extrapolate this correlation to a psychological or other type of flow. There is no natural flow in a psychological sense from the 1st house through to the 12th house. While it is true that attempts have been made identify a sequential flow, it doesn’t make sense.

This mistake is compounded when the association of Aries and the first house with the head is extended to Mars; or when the association of Taurus and the second house with the throat is extended to Venus; and so on.


The 12-letter alphabet system suggests a natural flow from the 1st house through to the 12th house. However it simply does not make sense that the 5th house of children should come before the 7th house of relationships, or that the 8th house of death should precede the 10th house of career. If astrology does not make sense it is nonsense.

House construction

The fabric of house structure is constructed from different threads of meaning which bind them together, none of which has to do with a natural flow of the houses in an anti-clockwise direction. These threads include:

  • The diurnal movement of the planets through the angles, beginning with the ascendant, then up to the Midheaven, down to the descendant and the IC..
  • Aspect relationships between the 1st house of life and the other eleven houses.
  • The joys of the planets.
  • The association of the Chaldean order of planets with the houses.

There is not the space here to describe how each of these threads contributes to the make-up of the houses.

Modern rulers

The addition of the modern rulers, Uranus Neptune and Pluto, to the 12-letter alphabet has further distorted the meanings of the 8th 11th and 12th houses.

The primary meaning of the eighth house has to do with the resources and movable possessions of the partner, death fear and loss, and inheritance. Connecting the eighth house with Scorpio introduces the idea of sex and intimacy to the meaning of this house, qualities which in the very long history of astrology it did not possess. It is the fifth house which has long been associated with sex.

The association of Scorpio with Pluto further compounds these misunderstandings and adds intensity, crisis, and transformation to the meaning of the eighth house.
The eleventh house is also an interesting case. The 12-letter alphabet system links the eleventh house with Aquarius and Uranus. Uranus is said by some to rule networking and as a result the eleventh house has become associated with groups. However Uranus is also associated with individualism, which is at odds with the eleventh house association with groups.

Using the modern planets as rulers of the Scorpio Aquarius and Pisces ignores some fundamental astrological principles, which are beyond the scope of this article to explore thoroughly.
Most astrologers I have met who use the modern rulers are unaware of the logic underpinning the ancient system of sign rulerships.

Consequently these same astrologers cannot explain what was so wrong with the original planetary rulers that they needed replacing. They don’t know what they don’t know. Did Mars stop being Mars? Is it true that the reason Mars rules Scorpio is no longer understood; forgotten? Perhaps it didn’t make sense that Mars would rule a water sign! Did Jupiter stop being Jupiter? These questions they seem unable to answer.

Go to Part B where I discuss the validity of the 8 ‘archetypes’ (combinations of sign-house-planet).

Some References

The Houses, Temples of the Sky, by Deborah Houlding. This is an excellent reference for understanding the houses.
On the Heavenly Spheres, A Treatise on Traditional Astrology by Helena Arelar and Luis Ribeiro. This comprehensive work is highly recommended for beginning and experienced astrologers.
Traditional Astrology for Today, An Introduction by Ben Dykes.
Scala Coeli, The Ladder of Heaven, A Collection of astrological Essays by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher.
The Horary Textbook and The Real Astrology by John Frawley.
Other works by these authors.
My writings are informed by these and other authors such as Robert Zoller, Robert Hand and Joseph Crane. I do not mean to suggest that astrological study should be restricted to these few, or that one should be preferred to the other, but I do recommend them as a starting point.