Friday, October 9, 2020

The Secret to Understanding your Natal Chart in Astrology

 The Secret to Understanding your Natal Chart in Astrology

Astrology is hitting the mainstream and more folks are tuning in to its energies and rightfully so.

Astrology can help you discover deep insights about yourself and set you on your authentic life path. It can confirm that you are taking the right steps or if you are not, it can show you where in life you need to pivot. Astrology can help you plan your week and structure your goals for maximum person success. It can help you understand what truly makes you happy, what makes you tick, what makes you, you.

But you can't just look at your Sun Sign- although this is a fantastic place to start. If you really want to benefit from astrology, you need to look at your birth chart to see what's at play.

But once you do open that chart and see all those lines and symbols, it can feel so overwhelming. What does it all mean? Which parts matter and which parts are minor?

There is a secret to help you start sorting it all out.

Simplified Approach To Reading An Astrological Chart

This approach will simplify your chart to focus on what's most important. It is so much easier to read your natal chart like this. This helps you get familiar with the whole picture before you break it down into details.

First, you have to make sure you are looking at what really matters.

Many free chart generators include minor aspects, planets, points or asteroids that can clutter the chart and make it feel impossible to read. I recommend using because you can customize it. Follow these steps to simplify your astro-chart and do a quick whole-chart analysis.

Simplify Your Natal Chart in 4 Easy Steps

First, go to and Creatour Birth Chart by entering your birth details into the form. If you do not know your birth time, you can use noon.

Once your chart appears, go to the settings button. On a mobile this will be directly under the circle chart, on a desktop it will appear to the right of the chart. 

Under settings, scroll down to the Planets and Asteroids tab and open it. If you know your exact time of birth, then you will only uncheck Chiron and North Node. If you don't know your exact time of birth, then you will uncheck Chiron, North Node, Ascendant and MC.

Next, open the Aspects tab that is beneath it. Uncheck all the aspects listed after Sextile. To be clear, uncheck Quintile, Octile, Septile, Novile, Semi-sextile, Quincux, and Sesquiquadrate. This should leave you with only the five major aspects- Conjunction, Opposition, Square, Trine and Sextile can stay.

Finally, you will go to the Orbs tabs. Type a 6 into the boxes for Conjunction, Square and Opposition.

Hit the Apply Settings Button at the very bottom.

The chart should appear much clearer now. The aspects that remain are the most relevant ones. 

Now before you start trying to understand what each of those lines even means, do a quick and easy whole chart analysis.

Fast and Easy Whole-chart Analysis 

Looking at the whole chart before you dive into individual aspect analysis can give you incredible insights in a very short time.

Is the chart lopsided with planets clumped together or are they evenly spaced? Is the chart heavy with aspects or clean and direct? Are there any shapes formed by the lines of the aspects as they cross the circle? Triangles are very common, but there could also be a square, a seesaw, a basket, a kite and more.

The shapes and spacing of the planets tell us which planets or signs in the chart are most important. If a planet has a lot of lines, is part of a lot of shapes or even part of one big shape, it can indicate that this planet matters and its energies strongly affect you. For example, let's say your Sun is in Libra but it has very little action in the chart. Meanwhile, next door in Virgo, you have a clump of three planets with Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. Those Virgo planets are going to be a focal point of your life and a place where you put a lot of your energy. This also means that the typical Libra description might have less influence on you, and you may display strong Virgo qualities instead.

Once you look at your whole chart, the next thing you want to do is scroll down to see the special features of the chart, if there are any. Things listed here can be a great place to start diving into the meanings of your chart.

Next, you want to figure out what mode(s) and what element(s) are dominant in your chart. Sometimes this is mentioned in the special features, but you can figure this out by plugging your planets and their signs into this chart and adding up the columns. 

The mode let's you know how you handle change. Mutables are always changing, Cardinals are first to make the change, and Fixed folks don't like to change. A mostly mutable person might have trouble with changing to much and not being very grounded. A Cardinal person will take charge but can also be selfish. A Fixed person is steady, usually reliable or loyal, but they can be stubborn, too.

The element describes your overall temperament. There are four elements- Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Like fixed energy, Earth energy is stable, reliable, grounded. A person with a lot of Earth energy will like working and having security. They don't mind the toil as much and are often willing to roll up their sleeves. An Air person is more preoccupied with communicated and sharing ideas. This person may enjoy learning, skill-building and reading. The Fire person is usually full of action, the doers, movers and makers of the zodiac. This person is passionate, and often fueled by a creative drive. They want to make something of themselves and of the world! Water people are more sensitive and in tune with their emotions. These are most likely empathetic, caring people, that have a great listening ear and want to make a difference in the world. 

Most of us have a mix of these qualities, and you may find that you have two dominant modes or three elements that share planets equally. In this case, it may be helpful to take note of what is lacking from your chart.  Let's use the same example of Sun in Libra, and three planets in Virgo. With all that earthy, Virgo action, this person could search out friends or a partner that has dominant Water energy. This will help fill the elemental hole this person feels and give them a sense of balance or completeness in their life. 

With your simplified chart and your whole chart analysis complete, you now have an overall feel of what type of personality you have and what areas of your chart- and your life- might be most important to you. Now you are ready to start digging into the more complex part of astrology- aspects. 

Get A Personal Reading

Still feeling overwhelmed? Or maybe you are too impatient to wait? Consider hiring an astrologer for a personal reading. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Plants That Are Ruled By Venus: Roselle

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is also called Florida cranberry or Jamaica sorrel. Indeed, it is prized in Jamaica as a tasty, festive drink that is traditionally brewed around Christmas. But it is popular in many countries- for an upscale jam in Australia, as a fresh summer treat in northern Europe, as a sour green in African curries, as a Mexican agua fresca and so much more. Many parts of the plant, including the seeds, leaves, fruits, and roots, are used either medicinally or in foods.

Medicinally, it is most often used as a diuretic, to reduce hypertension, to treat scurvy, to ease cough, to treat anemia and to balance liver disorders, but there are many more ways it has been used as plant medicine.

As food, the leaves can be used as a cooked green, or added sparingly to salads for a fresh zing. It is a popular accompaniment to fish dishes in various parts of Asia. The seeds are high in protein and can be roasted, used as a coffee substitute or fed to chickens. But the calyx is the part of the plant that everyone is after. This fleshy, bright red cup-like structure contains the plant's seeds. The color and tart taste of the calyces makes them a good replacement for cranberries or rhubarb and useful in pies, sauces, cordials, punches, jams and even wine. I made a Sweet Roselle Syrup with just, sugar, water and fresh calyces. Roselle is high in pectin, so no additional ingredients were necessary (other than time and patience) to achieve a nice, thick consistency. I layered a chocolate cake with this syrup and it was a family hit! I think it would also be interesting on pancakes or as a tangy component in a wing sauce.
The calyces can also be used to make a delicious drink, a tea that is high in Vitamin C, and renowned in countries world wide. I'm not surprised its named after the Rose even though it produces a modest hibiscus flower, because the Rose is the most well-known flower in the world. Roselle is similarly popular, but on a lesser scale. This plant is an annual that can't handle temps below 40F. It grows in the tropics, suited best to zones 9-10, and produces fruit after about 4 months, usually in and around October. Use tender leaves and shoots for cooking throughout the growing season. Harvest calyces when they are plump and shiny. Often the tips of the calyx will scrunch together in what I've dubbed "the kissy face" when they are ripe. Be sure to separate them from the seeds before using them in recipes. The calyces can be stored frozen or dried or processed into the many delicious treats mentioned above. Astrologically, I would classify it as Venusian- ruled by Venus. The nickname, Roselle, that connects Hibiscus sabdariffa to Venus' flower, the Rose, gives us our first clue. The plant bears fruit in October- Libra season- which is also ruled by Venus. The "kissy face" the fruit makes when its ripe, is also very Venusian to me. However, its medicinal properties, are where we can see such a relationship. Hibiscus sabdariffa is often used as a diuretic, which helps the kidneys (ruled by Venus and Libra) release more urine. It has an emollient effect that can remoisten dry skin, or soothe a cough in the throat (ruled by Taurus and Venus). It also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, which all aphrodisiacs are ruled by Venus. It also used in cases of diabetes, which is a Venusian disease. Roselle also restores the blood in anemic patients, and thins the blood in cases of hypertension. The blood is ruled by Mars and Aries, the complementary opposites of Venus and Libra. Fevers, also ruled by Mars, are often treated with Roselle, too.

Most plants/planets have this complementary opposition of uses and characteristics. There are also Mars-ruled plants that treat Venus-affiliated issues. Nettles for example, is a Mars-ruled plant that puts out its blood-nourishing leaves in early spring, during Aries season. But it puts out its seeds during Libra season, and these seeds can be used to treat kidney conditions.

If you are interested in learning more about plants and planets from this perspective, check out this lemon grass article I wrote or check out my FREE class about growing medicinal plants in your own backyard or home.

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