The Natal Chart: A Beginner’s Guide

So, you’re new to astrology and not quite sure where to start? Never fear! We’ve got you covered. Here are some first steps you can take to get started on your journey.

Get Your Natal Chart

Most astrologers start out by learning how to interpret their own natal chart. Most people know what day they were born, but many don’t know the exact time of birth. You’ll need an accurate birth time and location to find out what your rising sign is. You can typically find this information on your birth certificate. If you don’t have your birth certificate handy, learn how to order a copy.

Here are some easy, fast and free ways to get your natal chart:

  1. Go to Click on Free Horoscopes > Natal Chart/Ascendent. You can create a free registered user profile or create a horoscope as a guest. After registering or continuing as a guest you will see a Birth Data Entry form. Fill out this form and submit it to see your generated natal chart.
  2. Go to Astrolabe: Free Birthchart and Astrology Report. Enter your birth data into the form and submit it to see your results. Scroll down to view a brief interpretation of your chart. Print the page to save your chart as a PDF file.

Interpreting Your Natal Chart

You’ve got your natal chart… great! But what does it mean? The primary actors in a natal chart can be broken down into Planets, Signs, and Houses. After you understand how these three components work together you’ll quickly move on to learning about other facets of chart interpretation.

These are some great beginner resources for learning about the basic components of an astrological chart:

Astrolabe: A Mini-Course in Astrology
First Steps in Astrology by Liz Greene
TMA Beginner Series


Op-Ed: A Reflection on Disability in Astrology

by Michael MacLafferty

DISABILITY IS A THEME that appears in astrology usually in reference to a hardship or mishap. For example, tuning in to one of my favorite podcasts, I was a bit taken aback by a guest saying that having a disabled child was one of “these very tragic experiences” that can happen within families.1 It’s not uncommon to portray disability as tragic, and to focus the narrative on the negative impacts on surrounding, non-disabled people. This is not a problem specific to astrology, but a reflection of views pervading the dominant culture. As a disabled person, I would like to see disability treated as an identity, intersecting with other types and levels of privilege. As a psychotherapist, I want to see disability destigmatized, to be recognized as a unique and valuable perspective in society, and for awareness to grow around the language that is used to describe it. As an astrologer, I want to see disability humanized and conceptualized as a multivalent archetype, not merely existing on a list of potential sour transits.

Disability is not a uniform or monolithic experience. Disability consists of an extremely diverse set of cultures. It includes differences of physicality, cognition, sensory processing, and psychological function; some are more readily apparent than others, and there are wide continuums within each. The connecting thread is that disability occurs when appropriate access is not provided by society (according to the social model of disability, in opposition to the historically predominant medical model, which views disability as an inherent problem within an individual body). I am physically disabled (diagnosed with cerebral palsy), and a wheelchair user, so my public access needs primarily revolve around wheelchair access and mobility. Here, I will be speaking very broadly about disability, only scratching the surface of this topic, and do not claim to speak for all disabled people. I am also white, cisgender, and heterosexual, which have also shaped my experience of disability, and conferred a certain amount of privilege, contributing to the opportunity to philosophize and critique the subject I am about to address.


Ableist Language

I think it is important to pay attention to the words we use as significations and interpretations, especially how they may belie histories of oppression, and/or reinforce ableist notions. Words like crazy, invalid, mad, infirm, insane, crippled, idiot, maniac, lunatic, and moron have been used by various state agencies in an attempt to exclude, isolate, institutionalize, and eradicate people with physical, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities in the us.2 Many of these words are used casually today as pejoratives and expletives. Astrologers need to be aware of the bias that they are speaking or writing from, and acknowledge the privilege that comes with referencing groups of people they do not identify with.

Throughout his work, twentieth-century astrologer Reinhold Ebertin uses many significations that are problematic in contemporary terms.3 Even though he wrote nearly eighty years ago, it is worth a modern critique because not only are many of the social ideas of his day still alive and well, but they have informed the way we understand planetary archetypes today.

The negative descriptors Ebertin very commonly used in relation to combinations of Neptune are sensitivity, weakness, and illness. I think this betrays a deeply ingrained belief about how the idea of strength is constructed and why it is so valued in society. The implication is that if one is overly sensitive then they are weak by nature, not capable of withstanding the demands of the world, eventually succumbing to some physical or psychic illness, thus impeding them from being a productive member of society. Here we see a sexist bias that values physical power and endurance (conflated with mental/emotional capacity), overlaying the capitalist ideal of deriving a person’s value from their ability to produce.

What is needed is a new appreciation for sensitivity. Many modern astrologers do cast the sensitivity of the Moon and Neptune in a positive light,4 highlighting enhanced access to intuition, creativity/inspiration, or psychic phenomena (and here there is a danger of objectifying or exotifying psychiatric disability). But what about people we deem “too sensitive”? This is a label often hurled at women (and people of color, and any other marginalized group that tries to speak to oppressive language) to excuse behavior that had a negative impact. If there is a strong dissonance, they might get labeled “crazy.” What about the young boy who often cries at disappointment? What about the person who gets migraines from certain types scents or lights, or who needs certain conditions to have a calm nervous system? These are the people who would get slapped with Ebertin’s label of “pathological sensitivity.”5 But what is pathology except a comparison to what we deem normal?
It also strikes me that Ebertin’s negative significations are commonly moralistic. Here are some related to combinations of Neptune: insane, mad ideas, unstable character, pathological tendencies, mental disturbance, weak constitution, mental or emotional illness, epilepsy;6 Venus/Mars/Saturn: abnormal sex, polygamy/adultery;7 Venus/Neptune: wrong ways of love, wrong or misdirected love sensations, sexual aberration, perversions.8 It has ever been the Western way to dominate and marginalize difference from an idealized “normal” by moralizing against it, and it is no coincidence to find supposed physical and mental defects juxtaposed with supposed character deficiency. It should be easy to see that the same reasons for applying a queer critical lens hold up for a disability-focused critique as well. The term “abnormal sex” could easily be applied to the pleasure of either group; disabled sex, inasmuch as it challenges heteronormative ideals, is perverse by definition!


Disability Signature

When I first became interested in exploring disability and astrology, I thought that a planetary signature might be found. After hearing Christopher Renstrom speak about the history of searching for “the gay signature,”9 I was sure disability communities shared the mark of Uranus with queer culture.10 What other bodies might be involved? Chiron? Saturn? When I looked to my own birthchart, I saw an exceptionally close Sun-Chiron conjunction, Uranus opposite Mercury/Venus/Chiron/Sun, Moon square Pluto, and a nearly unaspected Mars in Taurus. Undoubtedly the manifestation of disability in my life was an expression of these and other natal complexes. But there did not seem to be an obvious connection between my chart and those of other disabled folks that I could see. I was also inadvertently following a conventional line of thought about disability significations, which I will discuss below.

As I learned more about identity in the birthchart, I became more convinced that disability could not be divined from a chart any more than gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, or any other personal identifier, sometimes referred to as co-determining factors. Co-determining factors provide contextual elements for archetypal manifestation, and therefore are invaluable for making interpretations. Indeed, it is the extent to which we try to understand the factors outside our own experience that make us effective multicultural astrologers. The foundation of such an orientation is to not make assumptions or rush to conclusions about what a person’s life circumstances mean to them, and to keep from assigning our own.


Chiron—More Wounded than Healer?

Chiron has become one of the most important celestial bodies in astrology outside of the standard planets and luminaries, and the one most closely relating to disability. Mythologically he is a centaur, mentor of Achilles, and extremely skilled in hunting and medicine. He becomes poisoned accidentally, and cannot heal himself, despite his great skill as a healer. He sacrifices his immortality (and physical form) in exchange for Prometheus’ freedom, and is honored as a constellation in the sky. From a disability justice perspective, this myth is problematic, raising questions about the value of life with disability/illness, euthanasia, and life purpose being derived from serving/inspiring those not disabled.

Archetypally, Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer, which has associations with shamanic functions. Chiron symbolizes our deepest egoic wounds, where we often experience difficulty and shame. As we work through and attempt to heal our core issues, we gain wisdom and compassion that can then be of benefit to others.
Finding the cure in the cause is a psychospiritual principle I believe in. However, I find it interesting that we often cannot talk about the wound without immediately going to the “healing.” There is a compulsion to get past pain, challenges, and vulnerability, and assign a positive meaning—which can be a constructive and profound spiritual process. But I think we need to be very careful as counselors when we make meaning of other people’s suffering. Again, our preconceptions determine our interpretations, and if our bias causes us to speak about our client’s life in a way that they do not identify with, we run the risk not only of being offensive, but of aggravating and reinforcing a wound that likely has a societal element to it.


Health and Wholeness

Since astrologers are often in the position of facilitating personal healing and transformation, what is also called for is a revision of our concepts of health and wholeness. These are ideas that are commonly the goal of any kind of healing or transformative process; integrating what has been fragmented, uniting what has been separated. It would be a mistake to think of disability as antithetical to this process. As I have already mentioned, it is common to conflate physical, mental, and spiritual states of being. Using myself as an example, some might consider a cure for cerebral palsy necessary for me to be healthy and whole. As far as I am concerned, I am already whole; I think of myself as physically healthy as the next person. What I seek to heal from emotionally and spiritually are the side effects of living in an ableist world. In fact I could be considered healthier in some ways, since I am not zealously attempting to attain medical or mainstream physical ideals.

It is also important that we do not confuse healing with cure. As queer, disabled writer Eli Clare states, “Cure rides on the back of normal and natural. Insidious and pervasive, it impacts most of us. In response, we need neither a wholehearted acceptance nor an outright rejection of cure, but rather a broad-based grappling.”11 Anyone who has gone through any kind of recovery, healing, or transformation knows that you do not come out the other side the same as when you went in—a return to a previous or ideal state is not the goal. However, this idea is subversive coming from disabled people. Yet this is the very reason disability should not be eradicated: it holds a very important perspective for a world that is so concerned with materialism, productivity, and perfection.


Positivist Mentality

Another issue I wish to highlight is one that Chris Brennan has raised multiple times on The Astrology Podcast, which is, the danger of modern astrology to lean too far in the direction of free will and personal agency to determine the outcome of people’s lives. The idea that every difficult transit or natal aspect can be handled or manifested gracefully, implies that when it isn’t, the fault lies with the native. I point this out because on the one hand, able-bodied people love “inspirational” narratives of disability,12 in which one bootstraps themselves into overcoming their circumstances—thereby negating any unpleasantness that might haunt the audience, and treat it as a passing phase. I have had people helpfully suggest that if I just tried hard enough, I could walk better—or in other words, be more normal. The other side of this coin is the idea that misfortune is deserved, perhaps even due to “karma.” Nondisabled people always want to know, “what happened to you?” as if to ascertain the tragedy of it, and evaluate how well you are coping. Perhaps I will be seen as exceptional, making the most of my life despite disability, erasing the ways that disability has guided me where I am, as well as the great majority of my life that is quite normal and cliché.

To complicate things even further, there is a prevalent spiritual idea that those who are incarnated into more adverse circumstances are farther along in their soul’s development or taking an accelerated path. The harder the life, the greater the spiritual lesson. I admit this is a notion that eases the discomfort that comes from witnessing the struggles of life, bolstering a sense of structure and fairness in the cosmos. However, I have to say that I think it can also be a way to place disabled people in the exceptional category, seeing them as extraordinary—anything but ordinary, over which the able-bodied have dominion.
All this is to say that disability is not something to be overcome on an individual level (as if that were possible), and to think so ignores the countless ways in which those complex circumstances shape one’s character and outlook on life. It is also not the result of a divine punishment, nor is it necessarily a mundane foible. In Robert Hand’s seminal Planets in Transit, he described several transits of Uranus with the potential for physical accident and injury, if handled incorrectly.13

In cases where disability has an onset, it can be located in time. Incurring an acute injury or trauma, receiving a medical diagnosis, or self-identifying as neurodivergent are all examples of major events that would have to be reflected in one’s transits. But what you would look for as signifiers of those events (as well as natal elements) are completely determined by your beliefs about disability. If you believe disability commonly results from accidents or mismanaged energies, Hand’s Uranus signifier may first come to mind. If you see becoming disabled primarily as the end of a life of freedom, then Saturn may be what you see. If you are afraid or uncomfortable with the idea of disability, then perhaps Pluto would be the signifier for you.


Seeing the Whole in the Fragment

As a society we need to change our concept of disability, and part of that process is changing how it fits into our cosmology. The tendency to associate disability with the malefic side of planets like Saturn and Pluto comes from the perspective of seeing disability as limitation and suffering. Except being disabled is not a perpetual state of suffering. Suffering can be involved though, especially as one confronts the expectations of society without the support to meet (or critique) them.

Each human experience contains all of the archetypes within it—this is the beauty of the holographic nature of existence. Like the Buddhist metaphor of Indra’s Net, any piece of reality has every other aspect reflected within it. This is why it is difficult to reduce any experience to one archetype. For example anyone could agree that war is under the purview of Mars. But isn’t Saturn present in the discipline of armies, Mercury in battle strategy, Jupiter waged in the name of a just or holy cause, Venus in acts of mercy and importance of appearance, etc.? Whatever broad archetype you begin with, the others come to light as you dig deeper and flesh out the actual phenomenon. Staying with a single archetype leads to pigeonholing and stereotypes.

Disability is no different. Yes, Saturn is embodied when I want to enter a building that only has stairs, but I invoke Jupiter when I speak to injustice and hope for a more equitable future. I encounter Pluto when I receive the projections of the shadow of society, as abnormal, pitiable, undesirable, or incapable. I channel Mars when I pursue my passions and face my challenges. I am Venusian when I exercise patience when I don’t get my way, extend compassion for others who have their own life struggles, or find peace in a lover’s touch that I do not take for granted. I mind-meld with Uranus when I encourage myself and others to redefine ideas of health and normalcy. All of these characteristics can be traced back to my birthchart, yet all of them have been shaped by living with a disability.

As I stated previously, I have an exact Sun-Chiron conjunction. Since Chiron is a disabled archetype, you could infer that combination has a lot to do with my identity as a disabled person. Also, since I see my “wounds” as more psychospiritual than physical, it has a lot to do with my identity as a therapist—which, in turn, is informed by my experience of being disabled. Uranus opposing my Mercury, Venus, and Sun/Chiron could be seen as a disruption of “normal” ways of relating and communicating. It is true that some people relate to disability in ways that can be jarring to me. Beyond that, Uranus in my chart is my feeling of not belonging to the mainstream, and my stolid rebelliousness. Pluto squaring my Moon relates to a deep and complicated relationship with my mother as my primary caregiver until adulthood, a deep sensitivity and tendency towards feeling shame (about being disabled and many other things), as well as the resulting opportunities for transformation which allow me to provide a strong container for my clients’ emotions and not shy away from their shadowy parts.

My Mars in Taurus is also an interesting placement to explore; it seems a particularly apt analog for physical disability, Taurus being so carnal and Mars being the way we move through life. In my experience, patience is required for physical tasks. I often have to find my own way of doing things that works for me, and they get easier the more I practice. Slow determination is often most effective. Mars is in its detriment in Taurus, a debility—in other words, disabled. It is in a place of reduced access, and thus less able to express itself with ease. In order to do the same amount of work as a planet with the privilege of better access (in its domicile, exaltation, or a neutral sign) it must put in more effort, and sometimes be creative at finding ways of being effective. Because of that, a planet in detriment can end up being very skillful and self-aware with some work put into it. If it receives aspects from other planets, there is an interaction, perhaps an interdependence at play, so that it can benefit from the privilege of others, making a more cohesive and unique whole. So if one stops at the surface interpretation of a planet in debility being ill-placed and disadvantaged, they miss out on the potential benefits. In this way, disability has actually been inscribed into traditional astrological principles, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it can be seen with nuance, or simply as ill fate.

I hope that with what I have related here—through the example of my own chart and lived experience, as well as my reflections on our community and how it handles disability in our social spheres and in our personal cosmologies—we can understand with more nuance how disability weaves in and out of the archetypes and aspects, and start to apply more awareness when addressing these topics, both with our clients and in our daily lives.


[Editor’s note: This article appears in the second volume of our journal, The Ascendant.]


1 The Astrology Podcast, episode 104, (April 17, 2017), produced by Chris Brennan.
2 “Disability History: Timeline,” The National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth, accessed March 22, 2018. For example: “1907: Eugenic Sterilization Law Spreads Like Wildfire: Indiana becomes the first state to enact a eugenic sterilization law—for ‘confirmed idiots, imbeciles and rapists’—in state institutions. The law spreads like wildfire and is enacted in 24 other states.”
3 Reinhold Ebertin, The Combination of Stellar Influences, trans. Dr. Alfred G. Roosedale and Linda Kratzsch (1940; Repr., Tempe, AZ: AFA, 2004).
4 Though “lunacy” is a word I still hear used by contemporary astrologers to describe the “crazy energy” of a full Moon, as if Luna would approve of the way we treat those assigned her epithet.
5 Ebertin, Combination of Stellar Influences, 64.
6 Ibid., 64–98.
7 Ibid., 176.
8 Ibid., 188.
9 Christopher Renstrom, “The Problem of the Gay Signature: Unearthing the Queer Archetype in Astrological History and Culture” (presentation, Queer Astrology Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 21–22, 2015).
10 Michael MacLafferty, “Similar in Our Difference: A Call for Inter-Community Solidarity,” Michael MacLafferty (blog), April 7, 2015.
11 Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2017), quoted in Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “Disability is Not a Deficit and Other Truths in an Ableist World: A Review of Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure,” Bitch Media, March 28, 2017.
12 Stella Young, “I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much,” TEDxSydney, April 2014.
13 Robert Hand, Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living, 2nd ed. (1976; Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2001), 376–95.


Michael MacLafferty is an astrologer and a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist* based in Oakland, CA. He has written about the intersections of psychology, disability, and esoterica on his blog and has contributed to Psyched Magazine. He has an increasing interest in working on Plutonic themes with clients, including childhood trauma and feelings of shame. You can find out more about his work and writing at

*(IMF# 83155, supervised by Rawna Romero, MFC# 41466, at Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center.)

UAC 2018 AYA Roomshare

UPDATE: the UAC 2018 roomshare is now full!

Conferences can be expensive, but we want to make it easier on you. The Association for Young Astrologers is pleased to announce our roomshare opportunity for UAC 2018!

The United Astrology Conference takes place in Downtown Chicago, May 24-29, 2018. AYA is offering young astrologers a shared suite at only $40 per night in the conference hotel.

Here’s what you need to know about the roomshare:

  1. It’s only $40 per night in the beautiful conference hotel
  2. You must have an active AYA membership (sign up or renew here) to qualify for the roomshare
  3. You must make a $40 deposit (refundable until May 15, 2018) to reserve your space
  4. BYO bedding (there’s a couch and a king sized bed in the suite, but they won’t sleep everyone. Sleepover!)

To apply for the roomshare, make sure you have an active AYA membership, then fill out the form here.

Staying in a roomshare suite is a great way to alleviate financial strain, but it’s more than that. Friendships formed and bonds made at an astrology conference are priceless, and sharing space with your fellows is an unique experience unlike anything else. We look forward this this year’s roomshare group and the special memories we make together!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

Jupiter in Leo – Spiritual Courage, Pt. 2 of 2

Jupiter in Leo – symbol of spirituality or spiritual courage?

Part Two

by Marko Obranović

India and its gurus

When we think about the most spiritual places in the world, the majority of people will put India at the top of their list. This magnificently colorful country is recognized a fertile land for export of all types of religious teachers and gurus. The relationship between the cultures of India and the Western world started in the 19th century, but the real breakthrough came in second half of the 20th century. Yoga, Jyotish, Ayurveda…they’re everywhere now, but somebody had to bring them to us.

An interesting group of gurus from India, whose teachings are famous and popular in West, have the natal position of Jupiter in Leo. Spirituality gained at home or by roots (Cancer) expanded through individual efforts further in the world (Leo and Jupiter).

The Indian professor of philosophy, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, known as Osho is first of these examples. During his life he raised controversy by his outspoken criticism of politicians and institutionalized religion (Saturn in Capricorn). In his last phase of life, and his last Jupiter cycle, he moved to Oregon in the U.S., where he founded an utopian ashram but eventually was forced to go back to India where he died. Despite all this, his legacy in the world is even stronger now than when he was alive (14, 15).

Founder of Sidha Yoga, Swami Muktananda, had Jupiter in Leo with Saturn in Aries. He was spreading his teachings through the U.S. during the 1970’s. At the beginning of his fifth Jupiter cycle in 1956, Bhagawan Nityananda acknowledged the culmination of Muktananda’s spiritual journey, and gave him a small piece of land at Ganeshpuri near Bombay, on which Muktananda developed an ashram (18).

The first non-European winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, poet and polymath Rabindrantah Tagore, was born with Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Virgo (28). Tagore’s influence on binding the  cultures of India and the West is immeasurable. His beginning Jupiter cycles mostly are connected with publishing some of the most famous works – in 1884, “The Songs of Bhanushingho Thakur”; in 1895 finished most of his short stories in “Galpaguchchha,” while the last one marked the end of his long travels with final visits to Iran (1932) and Sri Lanka (1933) (19, 20).

Natal chart of modern India:

Modern India celebrates its independence day on August 15th, 1947. The day has a strong stellium with four planets in Leo. The Sun is a part of this stellium, and the natal Sun emanates its energy or individual purpose through space expanded by Jupiter until the borders set by Saturn. What I was trying to point out here is significant relation with energy of the particular Sun of one county or culture (in this case, India,) and the spreading of that energy through its “children” by the power of guru-Jupiter traveling in the world.


There are two interesting examples of rulers who are not remembered as much as an individual rebels against inherited religion but as a rulers who helped new or emerging religions in their establishment and emancipation.

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor

Born on 28th July 1552 in Vienna, with Jupiter and Sun close together in Leo and retrograde Saturn in Pisces. His birthchart has a Rodden Rating of DD, but most of the sources consider it correct, especially when we combine his rulership with his Jupiter cycle. He was crowned at the start of his third Jupiter cycle as the Holy Roman Emperor on October 12th, 1576 and was forced to leave the throne in 1612, at the start of sixth cycle, soon after which he died. Despite his traditional religious upbringing for that time, he distanced himself from the church and showed high tolerance towards Protestantism and Judaism. Jupiter in Leo was pushing the institutional borders of Saturn in Pisces. One of the main representatives of his legacy is the document, “Letter of Majesty” from 1609, in which he gave religious tolerance to both Protestant and Catholic citizens living on the estates of Bohemia. The document was the main spark for one of the most destructive religious conflicts in European history – Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). In May 1618, at the very beginning of the war, Jupiter just entered Pisces and crossed over Rudolf’s natal Saturn (22, 23).

Constantine the Great

The last example of Jupiter in Leo comes from a very uncertain source, but its attractiveness is way too enticing to be avoided as a final curiosity. Constantine the Great (February 27th, 272? – May 22nd , 337), was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Historians state his birthday was around 272. For the sake of argument, we can suppose they were correct. Jupiter was retrograde, as well as Saturn in Virgo. Constantine was brought up mostly by his Christian mother, Helena Constantine, and was the first emperor to stop Christian persecutions and to legalize Christianity along with all the other cults in the Roman Empire. During his rule, Christianity became the main religion in the Roman Empire (24, 25).

A person can use the energy of Jupiter in Leo in a variety of ways. Hopefully more and more people will become aware of it and start using it creatively and constructively, not just as a melodramatic show of when his or her ego was hurt. To take a step further from inherited cultural patterns, this takes a huge amount of inner bravery and  puts an individual in a position which risks ostracization by his Saturnian community. This is clearly a time when inner battles around the world are fought alongside organized religions and the need for individual rebellion against it is as strong as ever. To follow the trodden path of your ancestors and to make a spectacle out of it or to go one step into the  unknown, where you are not protected by your society? The choice is ours. Can we manifest a true Jupiter in Leo, which is in tune with the vibrations of the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto?


Pope Joh Paul II, May 18, 1920; 5:30 p.m. EET; Wadowice, Poland; A: Biography: George Weigel, “Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II,” Cliff St Books, 1999.

Thomas Henry Huxley, May 4, 1825; 09:30 a.m. LMT; Ealing, England; AA: Sy Scholfield provides two references: “Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley” by Leonardo Huxley (2006), p. 14: “Thomas Henry Huxley was born at Ealing on May 4, 1825, “about eight o’clock in the morning.” (So in the Autobiography, but 9.30 according to the Family Bible.)”

Voltaire, November 21, 1694 (greg.) 5:30 p.m. LMT; Paris, France; C: Penfield Collection quotes Matthews for “Gemini Asc.” Brittanica gives the same date “according to his birth certificate, though he kept the date secret and stated several times that it was February 20, 1694.”

Søren Kierkegaard, May 5, 1813, Copenhagen, Denmark; X: Paul Mahler Dam has a spec time of 1:00 p.m.

Victor Hugo, February 26, 1802; 10:30 p.m. LMT; Besançon, France; AA: Gauquelin Vol. 6/423 and Sy Scholfield downloaded a copy of the BC from Wikimedia Commons:

Sinéad O’Connor, December 8, 1966, 7:37 a.m. LMT; Dublin, Ireland; C: from’Connor and states her time birth as 7:37 Standard Time without giving its source

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), December 11, 1931, 5:13 p.m. IST; Kutchwada, India; A: Steinbrecher quotes correspondence with the Ashram, 5:13 pm, data from his mom’s memory. (Sam Gunderson taught a class in Oregon and has the same data from one of the disciples of the Rajneesh ashram.)

Sri Aurobindo, August 15, 1872, 5:00 a.m. LMT; Calcutta, India; B: Marion March quotes “Auroville: City of the Future” (Fisher Books)

Swami Muktananda, May 16, 1908, 5:11:38 a.m. IST; Dharmasthala, India; A: Steinbrecher quotes a copy of his chart sent by a Swami in the Ashram

Rabindrantah Tagore, May 7, 1861, 4:02 a.m. LMT; Calcutta, India; C: B.V. Ramon in AA 6/1948; same in Sabian Symbols No.887

Kotamraju Narayana Rao, October 12, 1931, 7:54 a.m. LMT; Machilipatnam, India; A: Filipe Ferreira quotes a letter from Rao to B.V. Raman given in Rao’s book “Planets and Children,” p.159, S. Kumar and Associates, Lucknow, India, 1993.

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, July 18, 1552 (Julian cal.) or July 28, 1552 (Greg.), 7:35 p.m. LMT; Vienna, Austria; DD: Leo’s Notable Nativity No.570 gives July 18, 1556 OS; original source not known. Most other sources say he was born in 1552 in Vienna.

Constantine the Great, February 27, 272 (Julian cal.) or March 9, 272 (Greg.); Niš, Serbia; XX: Birth dates vary but most modern historians use c. 272. From “The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine” by Noel Lenski (2012)

India, August 15, 1947, 12:01 a.m. LMT; New Delhi, India; AA


  • Alexander Ruperti, Cycles of Becoming: The Planetary Pattern of Growth, CRCS Publicationsns, 1978, pp. 114-132
  • See, “Pope Joh Paul II” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Saint John Paul II” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “Thomas Henry Huxley” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Thomas Henry Huxley” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “Voltaire” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Voltaire” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “Søren Kierkegaard” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • Søren Kierkegaard, “Second Period: Indirect Communication (1843-46)” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “Victor Hugo” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • Project Gutenberg, “Le droit et la loi” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “List of authors and works on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Sinéad O’Connor” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh” (accessed October 6, 2014).
  • See, “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Śrī Aurobindo” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Śrī Aurobindo” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Muktananda” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Rabindranath Tagore” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Rabindranath Tagore” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Kotamraju Narayana Rao” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • See, “Constantine the Great” (accessed October 8, 2014).
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Constantine the Great” (accessed October 8, 2014).

Jupiter in Leo – Spiritual Courage, Pt. 1 of 2

Jupiter in Leo – symbol of spirituality or spiritual courage?

by Marko Obranović

Jupiter is on its way through Leo on August 11th, 2015 and is reminding us of all the famous media start born under this configuration. It is a divine combination for someone wishing to be on a shining world stage. It can be found in natal charts of famous directors, actors and music performers. But this is, more or less, information known in the astrological community, general knowledge. The question is: are there any other traits that can be connected with fiery Leo and expanding Jupiter?

Astrologers have written extensively on the Jupiter Cycle and its approximate 12 years of traveling through the Zodiac. For each individual cycle begins from the position Jupiter occupied in the natal chart and from there it travels roughly 30° per year which marks 1/12 of its cycle. Step by step it expands, organizes and socializes the areas of personal charts which he transits (1). His influence is modified by Saturn, limiting, but also a constructive partner. Very often expectations from Jupiter’s transits are overstated or make us think something much bigger will happen than eventually does, but he brings hope that things will be better.

Hope is one of the strongholds of organized religions. Just endure something; sickness, poverty, lack of love or place to stay, and in the future a divine hand will touch you and grant your wishes. Jupiter compensates what Saturn has rigidly denied. You just have to believe, be part of our community and belong to us, to the organized religion whose borders and laws are strictly set by sacred ancestors with Saturn’s face. Inside this set community, Jupiter is a high priest, the one that preaches and promises salvation and organizes the faithful ones.

The beginning of current Zodiac is set at the first degree of Aries. This is an appropriate start when we look on evolution of humanity through an individualistic angle. Taking this into account, we can observe evolution of religious beliefs of an individual from that starting point. When Jupiter crosses the Vernal Equinox, it marks some sort of spark for religious development. From beginning of Aries until the end of Gemini, this process is strongly individualistic when it is transformed from strictly personal to a group or family level in Cancer. We can argue to some extent that relative freedom in developing a personal approach to religion exists in the first three signs of the Zodiac. This freedom is just relative, as the new cycle brings with it residues or karma from the previous one which ended in Pisces.

In Aries, a need for religious quest is awakened, Taurus focuses the need, in Gemini we learn about the religion and finally in Cancer it is set as some sort of foundation with which we go through life hoping for the best.

What happens in Leo?

Contrary to its opposite sign, Aquarius, Leo is not often regarded as a rebellious character. Maybe this is correct in the matters of social rebellion, but Leo confronts every time his ego is hurt. This rebellion is often evoked by selfish reasons which mostly bring personal gain or defeat but in certain cases they are indications of wider social changes starting from a single individual.

To the most of us religion inherited from family (Cancer) is something we take for granted. People continue the religious rituals in the same or similar way they ancestors did. But, Jupiter in Leo is the first step after the family and a time to take one step further. This step is sometimes a revolt and sometimes an effort to show the world that what we received in the private circumstances of home life deserves to be shown to a wider audience.

This article will present a number of examples of famous historical or contemporary personalities born with Jupiter in Leo whose influence manifested in their lives in three distinct fashions. Every group of examples has a few things in common which can be connected with basic symbolism of Jupiter and Leo; organized religion and/or individual rebellion against it, emancipation of a particular group inside organized religion and expansion of spirituality learned inside a family or some other wider community (Leo as a next step after Cancer). In most cases, actions were personally motivated and can, to some extent, be explained with Saturn’s natal chart impact, but the end results had far more social sway.

  1. Rebels against and critics of traditional religion

Before the rebellion there has to be something or someone to rebel against, there has to be an example which shows that Jupiter in Leo is strongly connected with traditional religion.

Probably the best example is the late Pope John Paul II born with culminate conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Leo. It is relatively easy to notice the strong influence of this configuration throughout his life. Based on his biography, at the beginning of his third Jupiter cycle, on February 29th 1944 he was hit by a Nazi army truck which caused him severe injuries. Survival and recovery marks some sort of inner conformation of his vocation as a priest. This cycle was in the last phase as Jupiter was passing through Cancer when he earned his PhD in Sacred Theology in 1954. Political struggles inside Poland prevented him from receiving that degree until 1957, at the start of his fourth Jupiter cycle. In June of 1967, at the start of his fifth cycle he was promoted to the Sacred College of Cardinals, an advisory college in the Vatican from which a new Pope is selected. At the start of his sixth cycle he was elected as Pope John Paul II (2, 3).

His life path was very much connected with the Jupiter cycle but he also tried to transcend exclusivity of one inherited religion with the help of universal Neptune. All this under strong influence of Saturn in Virgo with his apparent effort to develop servitude and humility.

But, who were the rebels?

Thomas Henry Huxley was a 19th century English biologist and grandfather of famous writer Aldous Huxley. History remembers him from various scientific work but the fact that stands out is his famous debate with Samuel Wilberforce in 1860 which was the key moment for acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Thomas was born with Jupiter in Leo conjunct his ASC and Saturn in Gemini in the 11th house. He called himself “Darwin’s bulldog” and through a battle for scientific appreciation of Darwin’s work, he purely reflected his natal chart. Outspoken Jupiter on an academic stage was pushing intellectual borders of knowledge set by Saturn in Gemini and the teachings of creationism. He is the one that coined the term “agnostic,” representing his religious beliefs, an individual statement which can be explained as “someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities”. Just as a final curiosity, a famous debate of his took place at the Oxford University Museum in Oxford, England, on June 30th of 1860, a few hours after Jupiter entered Leo and was crossing his ASC (4, 5).

Interesting fact:

In 1873, at the start of his fifth Jupiter cycle, the King of Sweden made Huxley a Knight of the Order of the Polar Star (4).

Famous French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire was born with Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Capricorn. His natal chart battle between these two planetary positions is clearly seen in his work through attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Ha was one of the key thinkers of The Enlightenment, battling superstition and supporting religious tolerance. This was a battle for an individual freedom from old dogmas and tradition, not a revolution, but it is interesting to note here that the flashpoint for the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille, happened on July 14th, 1789 during Jupiter in Leo.

With theatrical Jupiter in Leo, he used his satires to uncover true weaknesses of the organized state and religion (Saturn in Capricorn). The Age of Enlightenment was sparked in late 17th century by the ones like Descartes and Bacon (with Jupiter in Aries,) more thoroughly developed in works of Baruch Spinoza and John Locke (Jupiter in Taurus,) and some sort of literary statement, sum or peak of those ideas was presented in famous French “Encyclopédie” published between 1751 (Jupiter in Gemini from 29th June) and 1772. Voltaire was one of the main contributors in this enormous collection of 28 volumes written, for the first time in Western civilization from the point of individual or intellectual authority, not religious dogmas (6, 7).

Interesting fact:

Jean-François Lefebvre de la Barre (September 12, 1745 – July 1, 1766; during Jupiter in Leo) was a young French nobleman, famous for having been tortured and beheaded before his body was burnt on a pyre along with Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. La Barre is often said to have been executed for not saluting a Roman Catholic religious procession, but the elements of the case were far more complex (6).

Søren Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher, is another famous example of the combination of Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Capricorn. Considered to be the first existentialist philosopher, he wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion. The foundation of his philosophical thinking was “living human individual” and its relationship to life. His open attack on the Danish Church started in the last years of his life and were provoked with a speech held for the deceased Bishop Jacob Peter Mynster (here is an example of Jupiter in Leo rebelling against authority of Saturn in Capricorn,) after which he strongly objected to the idealized presentation of the bishop’s religious actions and public image. Kierkegaard’s stressed individual relation to Christianity (Jupiter in Leo) contrary to organized bureaucratic church controlled by the state (Saturn in Capricorn). His vast writings on religion are fascinating examples of questions and thoughts on individual sincerity in relation with Christianity (8).

“…it should immediately be borne in mind that the issue is not about the truth of Christianity but about the individual’s relation to Christianity, consequently not about the indifferent individual’s systematic eagerness to arrange the truths of Christianity in paragraphs but rather about the concern of the infinitely interested individual with regard to his own relation to such a doctrine.” (9)

One of the most famous 19th century French novelists and poets, Victor Hugo, was born with Jupiter in Leo (culminate, on Regulus) in conjunction with Saturn in Virgo; both retrograde in opposition with Sun, Venus and Pluto in 4th. He was brought up by a strongly religious mother, but his religious views changed radically throughout his life. From strong identification with his family Catholic religion in his youth to election for parliament as a conservative during the end of his third Jupiter return in 1848 and breaking off with conservatives after a speech for the end of poverty and misery in 1849 at a beginning of his fourth Jupiter cycle. Soon after the beginning of his fourth Jupiter cycle Hugo was forced into political exile, where he continued his estrangement from traditional religion, frequenting Spiritism and settling in Rational Deism, similar to Voltaire. After the return from exile, at the beginning of his sixth Jupiter cycle in 1872, after being asked if he was a Catholic, his answer was “No, a Freethinker”. He insisted on burying his sons without religious symbol and demanded the same procedure for his funeral (10, 11).

Interesting fact:

His famous book, Les Miserables, was published during his exile in spring of 1862, at the beginning of his fifth Jupiter cycle. The book appeared in Index Librorum Prohibitorum – a list of publications deemed heretical, anti-clerical or lascivious, and therefore banned by the Catholic Church. He passed away on May 22nd 1885 with transiting Jupiter in Leo on 27° conjunct his natal Jupiter on 29° closing in on his final cycle (10, 12).

One of the more contemporary examples of natal Jupiter in Leo rebelling against religious institutions can be found in Sinead O’Connor and her Saturday Night Live performance in October of 1992, when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II as a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Her Saturn is in last degrees of Pisces (symbol of institutions) and part of a complex T-square involving Venus in Sagittarius and Pluto and Uranus in Virgo. Her Jupiter is retrograde and alone in the half of the Zodiac separated with a Saturn-Uranus conjunction opposing Pluto. She stood alone on that Leo’s stage on Saturday Night Live. Her actions had deeply personal motivation as she was physically abused as a child by her mother, who she left in 1979 at the beginning of her second Jupiter cycle. This cycle got its conclusion or reaping of the benefits in its last stage during transition of Jupiter from Cancer to Leo in 1990 when she reached global success with her hit song “Nothing Compares 2 U” (13).


Marko Obranović is a university food scientist with a lifelong passion for astrology. He combines these two subjects on his bilingual blog, Terra Astrology (, sometimes as individual topics or together as a “from the stars” view on contemporary health nutrition. For personal consultation or other discussion, he can be reached through email ( or Skype (mobranovic).

Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Religion

Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Religion

By: June Rose Trimbach

This article is about the relationship between Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Religion. Meaning can be derived from studying the symbolism of the planets. The planetary symbols are all created from the interplay of 3 base symbols:

1. the Spirit: symbolized by a circle; the Sun is pure spirit

2. the Soul: symbolized by a crescent; the Moon is pure soul.

3. the Cross of Matter: symbolized by a cross; the Elements, i.e. the building blocks of the manifest world are material.

These three planets, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, hold the same two symbolic components: the Cross of Matter and the Soul as represented by the Moon. They are the only planets that hold exclusively these two components, which link their meanings together. We will explore the inherent difference in Spirit and Soul in order to gain insight into why these planets are composed of Soul and not Spirit. These three planets show the relationship of the soul to the material world: the longing for meaning on planet Earth; through this symbolism we can see the connected meaning in the concept of Religion.

I find myself, as I study astrology, getting deeper and deeper into Christianity. I was raised atheist, so this discovery of religion is both puzzling and deeply exciting. As I contemplated certain planetary energies in my chart, I started to find myself crossing my heart naturally without conscious intent: a reaction, and a clue to myself that this study of Christianity had begun to sink in. So what is the act of crossing yourself anyway? It’s a reminder to be aligned with the Christ principles: forgiving love and service. The experience of crossing planetary energy that exists within the body is aligning oneself with Christian ideals, and that comes with its own set of things to ponder.

The Cross in Christianity is definitely related to the Cross of Matter as seen in the idiom “we all have our own cross to bare.” The phrase inspires a bit of a fatalistic feeling mixed with honor in dealing with your own problems. This is very Saturnine, and it is not surprising that Saturn is the first planet to arise when contemplating a religion. Saturn’s relationship to religion is in its authority and its requirement of upholding tradition. His symbol is the Cross of Matter put above the Crescent of the Soul. Tradition and authority either dominate Soul through the Greater Malefic Saturn, or the Soul bows down and holds up the tradition. The adherence to a higher principle is the duty bestowed on oneself with the gesture of a cross; the adherence to compassion, temperance, etc. This adherence is upheld through ritual and routine: going to church every Sunday, meditating every day, prayer. There is also often a boundary put up through these rituals that separates you from that which you do not wish to be; an example would be crossing yourself whenever you see a sinner. Through the adherence to higher principles, Saturn puts a boundary up that confines one within the beliefs of a certain religion through any ritual or holy gesture. And you can feel the weight of a religious tradition when you immerse yourself in it; that weight is also Saturn. It is Saturn who bears the full weight of the cross. He is the one who asks your devotion to him and not your own spiritual freedom.

Jupiter is your own spiritual freedom, and the underlying principle that Saturn enforces. Jupiter is the one who discovers the moral principle. He is the aspiring principle, the one who seeks God. In Jupiter the Soul is held up by the Cross of Matter, or the Soul is reaching beyond it; above, into new heights of enlightenment. When the Soul triumphs over the material in Jupiter, the Greater Benefic is born and with him hope. Jupiter finds meaning; finds the principle that will spawn a religion. He is really about emotional faith and the restorative moments in life; Jupiter has a strong relationship to water in his traditional rulership of Pisces and exaltation in Cancer. He can be zealous, but Jupiter would continue searching for meaning endlessly without Saturn; there is not tradition here. Both Jupiter and Saturn speak of God as something outside of yourself: as something you seek, and as something to which you adhere, respectively.

The symbol for Neptune shows the Soul impaled on the Cross of Matter. What does it mean for the Soul to be impaled on the Cross of Matter? It means that the Soul is in utter devotion and service to the manifest universe. However, Neptune speaks to our illusions, and this can be explained by the Eastern idea that the manifest universe is illusion. If illusion is the material world, and our souls are impaled by the material world, we have been permeated by matter; thus, our soul is permeated by illusion. In Neptune, we are completely susceptible to our material situation, and this is the Ultimate Illusion. Because many believe the manifest universe to be a representation of spiritual energy, there is a highly spiritual component to Neptune: sometimes the Soul gives in completely to Illusion and experiences its own karmic lessons fully; others times the Soul seeks liberation from the Cross of Matter and seeks Cosmic experience through ego-death. The connection to religion is in the idea of unyielding devotion to the illusion/manifestation of a religious ideal, along with the ecstasy of that immersion. Neptune is the image of Christ himself; his soul impaled on the Cross of Matter. Christ was physically impaled on a material cross, but the real idea is that he was in utter devotion to a religious ideal. He was actually able to alter the manifest universe in establishing a religious faction and healing people because of his devotion: the Soul’s integration into the illusion of religion enables the manifest world to match that illusion. We can manifest our own morality through Neptune. However, because we believe our situation to be right, Neptune is fanaticism and devotion; dying for the sake of a cause, self-sacrifice. Again, the connection to Pisces in the modern view is here.

Much of the symbolism of these planets is dependent on the Moon as the representation of pure Soul, so we should evaluate her character. In Horary, the Moon can be seen as the common people: the Moon is the common emotions of everyday life, human drama, the mediocrity of the ups and downs in life. But when you combine the Moon with the Cross of Matter, you get the meaning ascribed to everyday life through spiritual and religious experience. So the Moon also has a meaning-making quality; assigning meaning to personal experience through the emotions. This “meaning in personal experience” is experienced by Jupiter, made concrete through Saturn and is all-consuming in Neptune. When the Moon or Soul interacts with the Cross of Matter, they create extremes: the Greater Benefic and Greater Malefic; the Soul is even impaled in Neptune. These religious planets are often related to outer experiences: spirituality that is brought on by some new experience like Saturn in his teaching through blockages or mentors. It seems the Soul, when co-existing with the Cross of Matter, creates a meaning that is often bigger than oneself, which is different from our modern understanding of the Moon or Soul. It appears when Soul is alone, as in the Moon, she creates much personal significance, but when interacting with the material world, applies meaning to that material world with more cosmic significance. We can also see that the Moon is highly receptive and sensitive, and is about reactions; so she reacts to the material world by prescribing meaning to it.

The question remains, why is it that the when the Soul (Crescent) interacts with the Cross of Matter, religion is born, and when the Spirit (Circle) interacts with the Cross of Matter, as with Mars and Venus, the result is much more personal? Well, this boils down to the difference between Soul and Spirit. The Sun or Spirit is about the individual. The Spirit, no doubt, has a natural meaning-making capability as well, but the meaning is much more personal. When it combines with the Cross of Matter, they create the Lesser Benefic Venus and Lesser Malefic Mars, which means the reaction is less extreme than it was with the Soul. We can see that the Sun seeks to alter matter through Mars, and benefit from it through Venus. The Sun is much about the meaning inherent in personal gratification and taking action to achieve personal gratification; while the Soul reacts to make meaning, and has a greater affinity with collective experience.

What does this say about religion? Religion is a lunar, meaning-making function based around your reactions to the material world. Jupiter is when we are having a spiritual reaction, something has happened to us, we are changed and have renewed hope; we react to the world no longer with fear, because our hearts are free to believe what they wish to believe. Our reaction to Matter must be vigilant with Saturn; he is used to solidify reactionary states through cultivating ritualistic lunar reactions. Neptune, of course, is the full investment of the Soul in matter: the reaction is no longer a reaction; you are united in purpose with reality/illusion, so there is no separating matter and reaction. Simply stated, these three planets describe our functions in Religion as seeking new reactionary states (Jupiter), upholding reactionary states through disciplined ritual (Saturn), and immersion in a reactionary state (Neptune). So we can all think about our own lunar states, how we react to the Cross of Matter, and how religion might effect this. The function of religion is to provide stability and comfort to the Soul while it is residing in the material world, but also allow her to grow into new reactionary states of awareness, which can also be called emotional awareness. When this emotional awareness is applied to the manifest world, you experience Wisdom, for better or for worse. Taken to its extreme, an applied emotional state alters the manifest universe. The ultimate function of religion is to allow the Soul to reach and maintain heightened states of emotional awareness through the functions described by Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

June Trimbach is an astrology student and musician. She gives in-person and long distance readings. She is especially interested in esoteric and magical astrology. June also has an astrological radio show on Hollow Earth Radio on Tuesdays at 9am PST. You can reach her by e-mail at