Ask AstroJo: Traditionally Yours

Mooloolaba Beach at sunrise
Mooloolaba Beach at sunrise

I’ve been on a family holiday/roadtrip to the Sunshine Coast. Along the way I had some connectivity issues which, whilst convenient for me, meant that I haven’t posted on here for simply ages. Here’s one I prepared earlier…I’ll post more astro later today (& maybe some travel stuff as well) after I finish emptying suitcases into washing machines. Oh, and thanks to those readers who asked these particular questions! Keep ’em coming.

Sometimes you talk about Traditional Astrology. What do you mean by that?

Traditional astrology is the craft as practised hundreds, ok thousands, of years ago. It uses techniques as taught back then.

Traditionally people weren’t interested in things like relationship astrology, or what their Aries boss was like or whether you had control issues as a result of all the Pluto in your chart. Traditionally, Pluto didn’t exist- the Universe existed only to Saturns boundary. No asteroids, no Chiron, no Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Life spans were shorter and priorities were very different and seriously, if you were feeling unfulfilled at work, well, it was a 14th century case of buy some cement and harden the flip up.

Medical practitioners studied astrology, and for most of the population, astrology was useful really only for what we now now as “electional” ie pick a time, and “horary”, single question purposes.

The aspects were as expressed by Ptolemy (this dude who lived forever ago) and were simple: conjunction, square, opposition, sextile, trine.

Fixed stars and calculated points or “arabic parts” (such as the part of Fortune, the part of Misery, the part of Spirit, the part of Barley) were used widely.

These days most astrologers use a combination of modern and traditional techniques. By default, as soon as you start looking at personality profiles and psychological astrology, you are in modern territory. Some stick purely to the traditional, while others bring in every asteroid or moving part in the Universe and every possible aspect.

Ultimately, it is what suits you.

Personally, I like a mix of both- traditional, with some modern. I tend not to use asteroids (but that isn’t to say I won’t get into that in the future) mainly because I don’t like to complicate things and I really haven’t spent much time learning about them. Having said that, they illustrate a chart beautifully and absolutely have a place. I especially like to see the impact of Lilith and find Ceres fascinating when it comes to looking at eating disorders and weight issues- but that is just something I am playing around with at present.

I also follow other traditional “rules” such as I consider only same sign aspects. As an example, I have the Moon at 27 Pisces, and Saturn at 1 Aries. Many astrologers would consider that conjunct. I don’t. To me, there is no aspect at all. The possibility of my Moon to make as aspect with Saturn ceases at the border of Pisces. Same sign only. But, that is my opinion.

Do you use traditional and modern rulers when you are writing an article of in one of the FAA exams?

FAA is the Federation of Australian Astrologers.

It depends on the topic. When I did the electional and horary questions in the advanced paper I stuck only to the traditional planets and traditional rulers.  Traditional astrology questions = traditional rulers.

When it comes to more modern topics ie relationship astrology, personalities etc I use both- as I believe both have a role to play. I don’t think you can understand Pisces from a personality viewpoint without considering the nature of both rulers- and the same applies to Scorpio and Aquarius.

When I was doing the exams, I kept it consistent and also “worded in” that I was using both. Oh, and yes, I passed 🙂

How close to the cusp in your natal chart do you read for the planet being in the next sign? What about house cusps?

I don’t. At all. When it comes to planets they are either in a sign or they aren’t. The first degree and last degree seem to have a huge amount of whatever that signs energy is, so enjoy it.

Eg if you have your Moon at 29 Pisces 36’, it is a Pisces Moon and shouldn’t be “read” into Aries…assuming your birth time is correct, that is (as an aside, any time you have a Moon within 5 degrees of a sign (ie 0-5 or 25-29 degrees) make sure that the birth time you are using is reliable.

Now, to house cusps…this one is a tad trickier to answer.

If you read any of John Frawleys’ Real Astrology texts, if a planet is in the same sign as the house cusp and within 5 degrees of that house cusp, he “reads” the planet as being in that house. Eg say the cusp of the Midheaven (or 10th house) is 10 Taurus and Venus is at 7 Taurus, you would “read” that Venus as being in the 10th house.

Other astrologers may argue with me (and that is fine), but I only apply this logic when I am working with horary, electional or other traditional techniques. I do not apply this to natal charts. In a natal chart, that Venus at 7 degrees is a 9th house Venus- in my humble opinion.

This is what has worked for me. Again, though, be consistent and listen to what resonates with you.