By Kenneth D. Miller, MA
You learn astrology. You learn that there are signs, planets, and houses. You learn that the time of birth is important. Perhaps you learn that the very word “Horoscope” comes from a Greek word meaning “hour-marker.” The exact moment of your birth marks the degree of the zodiac rising in the east. This allows you to draw up a birth chart, or a horoscope.
If astrology was only about Sun signs, the time of birth wouldn’t matter. Everyone born in the same 30ish day time period has the same Sun sign. Everyone born in a two and half day period has the same Moon sign. Imagine that, everyone born in the two and a half day window of your birth moon’s sign will have the exact same chart, with regard to sign placement. Every planet will be in the same sign. The only thing that differentiates your astrological destiny from another born in this time window is the rising sign, the Ascendant. The Ascendant marks off the house locations, giving all the planets' houses to occupy and houses to own.
And yet we are often taught that the Ascendant is merely “how you appear to others.” Maybe you appear that way because it’s actually describing the way you are in the world. In psychological tests and astrological tests for that matter, people have time and time again proven themselves to be terrible judges of their own character. But the Ascendant can show us how we are in the world. And it can show how the world is for us.
Many of us are taught the lie that there are twelve signs of the zodiac as if there are twelve different things, separate pieces of sky. This introduces a fundamental flaw in our reasoning towards chart interpretation, for in fact there is only ONE Zodiac. Why do you think we say “The 12 signs OF THE zodiac” There is one zodiac that contains twelve parts. This is why ancient authors like Vettius Valens include in his description of Aries that they do well as “civil servants” and excel as “hired laborers.” “WHAT?” I hear you saying “That doesn’t describe an Aries!” But it does IF you think of Aries as a rising sign. If Aries is rising, what sign is on the 10th? Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. So Saturn-type careers are indicated (all things being equal) for an Aries rising person.
All kinds of delineations begin to fall into place once you train your mind to see the rising sign and subsequent signs as an integrated WHOLE.
If you want to get a grip on synthesizing the chart as a whole, as well as explore a plethora of relatively easy predictive techniques based on the Ascendant, then I encourage you to come out to our meeting this month on October 13th beginning at 7:30 pm at the Joyce Beers Community Center. See you there!