A sample chart of the Landfall of Tropical Storm Barry in Tampa, Florida is shown. The signs and planets are highlighted with illustrations to assist the beginner. The symbols for the signs and planets are usually plotted by computer programs. So, it will be necessary to memorize the meanings of the symbols. Notice the horizontal line that runs through the middle of the chart labeled ASC. It means Ascendant and points to the sign rising above the horizon at the time associated with the chart. The chart begins at the location labeled Ascendant. The order of the signs in the chart run counterclockwise. In a Birth Chart, the Ascendant is the sign of the zodiac that was rising over the horizon at the exact time of birth. It reveals how others perceive the individual. Now, the Ascendant is not the real person, but how that person perceives and reacts in the world as well as how others see the person. At the Second Advent the glory of the Lord will be revealed from the East, the place of rising of the Sun (the Ascendant) (Isa 59:19), and the Lord will stay on the Earth in His glory.
Opposite the Ascendant is the Descendant Sign, the place of setting (Psa 50:1). The Descendant Sign is the sign that is setting, or going down, in the West.
Near the top of the chart, Midheaven is labeled as MC (Latin Medium Coeli). Midheaven corresponds to highest heaven or highest glory, like the Sun at noon. God's Throne and his glory is above the heavens (Psa 113:4, 5). This symbolizes being above Midheaven. God's glory is above the highest glory of Creation.
The opposite of Midheaven is called IC (Latin Imum Coeli, for "bottom of heaven" or "bottom of the world") (not printed on the chart). IC may refer to Sheol, the grave, or Hades, the opposite of Heaven (Job 10:21; 26:6; 38:17; Matt 16:18). IC corresponds to devouring or swallowing as symbols of death, going to the grave, or Sheol (Nu 16:34; Psa 21:9; 27:2; 52:4; Prov 1:12; Jer 15:3). Just as swallowing symbolizes the grave, words that come up from the throat can symbolize words from the grave (death) (Psa 5:9).
Paul's general description of four dimensions of a Christian's Spiritual understanding applies to a person standing on the Earth and looking into the heavens. This is the description of an astrology chart. Paul prays that the Christian:
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Ephesians 3:18)The phrase is left without an object in a discussion of the Love of Christ for rhetorical effect. The four dimensions could apply to the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolizes Christ our all and in all, as well as God's Love. It could refer to the Integrity Envelope or Edification Complex of the Soul. It could refer to the standard of the Spiritual Maturity or Spiritual Rapport of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13), but it also refers to an astrology chart, which reveals God's creation.
"Breadth and length" represent surface dimension of a plot on the Earth, where breadth could be the North-South dimension and length could be the East-West dimension. This is similar to a Mystic Rectangle. "Height" refers to Midheaven (MC), and "depth" refers to the bottom of the world (IC).
Other markings can be plotted on astrology charts such as lunar nodes and other heavenly bodies, such as asteroids. However, these extra complications are usually not very helpful, especially for beginners. So they will not be included in our discussion.
The secret of reading a chart is to find and understand the configurations in it. The legitimate question is how close to the angles of the geometric shapes have to be. For example, how close would the angles of the right triangle have to be to 45 and 90 degrees? The technical term for an angle in a configuration is called an Aspect and the allowed variation is called the orb. The allowed orb is a judgment call. An orb within 2 degrees is considered accurate and not subject to argument. However, orbs up to 5 degrees may be acceptable for configuration angles of 60 degrees or over; whereas, only a 3 degree variation might be allowed for configuration angles of 30 degrees. A configuration may still have influence even when it is not perfectly formed.
There is also an orb of influence associated with the beginning and end of signs. The signs of the zodiac do not cover exactly 30 degrees each. On the border between two signs, called the cusp, both signs have influence. The rule of thumb is that the orb of influence between signs begins about 2 degrees from the border. Within 1 degree is definitely on the cusp, which is an indeterminate location where it is really impossible to predict what the influence would be. The two adjacent sign may add, subtract, multiply, divide. Who knows? So care must be taken not to draw irrational conclusions when planets are on the cusp.
Planets within 2 or 3 degrees of each other are said to be in conjunction. However, the orb of influence could stretch out to 5 or 6 degrees. Planets in conjunction combine to produce a powerful influence.
The right bottom of the chart shows the beginning locations of each planet, beginning with the Sun and Moon. The Sun is located at 16 degrees 47 minutes into Taurus. Note, this assumes counterclockwise movement. Going counterclockwise around the chart, Taurus begins at 0 degrees and ends at 30 degrees. The Ascendant begins at 19 degrees 50 minutes into Gemini. And Midheaven is 8 degrees 36 minutes into Pisces.
Sometimes planets appear to be going backward in the sky. This is called retrograde motion, as designated by the R to the right of the planet's sign on the right side of the main chart. Although retrograde planets are not really going backward, they appear to do so because of the motion of the Earth. Nevertheless, retrograde motion can be a sign of the person going backward, which is called reversionism. In the chart of Tropical Storm Barry, the Almighty, Redeemer, and Last Adam planets are in retrograde.
The problems of reversionism associated with retrograde motion are not the last word. These problems can be overcome by the Grace of God. Overcoming reversionism is a common problem of most believers born into the devil's world. The exception would be someone like Solomon who received blessing because of the Spiritual Maturity of his father. When God gives a person such problems at birth, He also provides the Grace solution. Being aware of the specific planets that could pose problems of reversionism might help. Having a planet in retrograde is not a prediction of failure but an indication of a problem area that must be overcome.
The chart begins on the left at the Ascendant, the place
of rising. Moving around the chart clockwise, the place of setting
is on the right opposite the Ascendant. It is usually called the
Descendant. At the top of the chart is Midheaven, which is labeled
MC. MC is Latin for Medium Coeli, meaning the middle of the
skies. Midheaven at the moment of birth is the point where the Ecliptic
crosses the meridian of the location of birth. This is the point
that symbolizes maximum glory. This point corresponds to a person's
greatest glory. A planet in conjunction with Midheaven is often the
sign of fame, sensation, or notoriety. The opposite of Midheaven
is called IC (Latin Imum Coeli, for "bottom of heaven" or "bottom
of the world") (Isaiah 7:11). IC may refer to Hades, the opposite
of Heaven, or to Sheol, the grave.
The left (eastern) hemisphere of the chart is the spiritual side. This corresponds to the meaning of east and to the right side of a person. The right (western) hemisphere of the chart is the temporal side. Thus, the spiritual and temporal designations are not unique to astrology. They correspond to typical definitions of east and west or right and left. The word, spiritual, is general and may refer to the realm beyond the physical, which includes the Spirit of God, the Cosmic System, the soul, imagination, the arts, entertainment, dreams. The right (western) hemisphere, in contrast, covers authority, laws of establishment, work, physical relationships, social life, and even personal and impersonal love relationships.
The application of the definitions of the hemispheres helps to explain charts in which a majority of planets are grouped in one hemisphere. When 7 or more planets fall in one hemisphere, then the meaning of that hemisphere becomes significant. Although the influence of the hemisphere may be seen from 6 planets in the hemisphere, 7 or 8 planets in the hemisphere makes a much stronger case. There are also cases in which all the planets fall in a single quadrant (half a hemisphere). In these cases, the meaning is derived from combining the meanings of the two hemispheres in the quadrant. This is more complicated, but once the meanings of the hemispheres are firmly understood, it should be possible to grasp the meanings of the quadrants.
Released February 5, 2010 - Revised September 1, 2012