Tag Archives: Ascendant

Cancer Rising: The Cancer Soul

Cancer/Xochiquetzal, original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.

Cancer/Xochiquetzal, original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.

The sign of Cancer is associated with home, food, nourishment, family, nurturing, childbirth, motherhood, empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Symbolised by the Crab it is also associated with the ocean, and like a crab it is associated with being near the ocean, yet living on the land.

Esoterically there are deep mysteries associated with the “quiet” sign of Cancer. Cancer is the smallest of the constellations, but that shouldn’t lead us to underestimate her power. Cancer is the cardinal water sign, and all cardinal signs are here to take the lead in some way: to pioneer, introduce enlightened ideas and new ways of being into a specific area. In the case of Cancer, that area is emotions. All water signs are about mastery of emotions, so as the cardinal water sign, Cancer is here to take the lead in terms of our personal emotional development and to lead us into a new era in the evolution of human consciousness through emotional intelligence.

Cancer: The Light Within The Form
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

As we have seen in the previous articles in this series, our Rising sign (Ascendant) indicates awakening: how we awaken into our spiritual reality, how we awaken or are born into the world, and indeed how we awaken each day into the world. With Cancer Rising, you are really here to learn how to nourish yourself and others with your soul-light. The whole journey of the soul through the twelve zodiac signs is a story of light, building up the volume of light in our light-body, or soul, while simultaneously increasing the amount of light that can be held and processed in our physical bodies. When the soul is in Cancer there is the potential for you to become aware of your soul-light.

I build a lighted house and therein dwell.
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

Our Rising sign indicates how we awaken into our world, into new situations, and stages of consciousness. According to the Tibetan in The Labours of Hercules: An Astrological Interpretation,” Cancer is the last of the four signs of preparation (read more about the stages of the soul’s journey in a previous post) and, as a cardinal sign, leads us into the next phase of our soul’s development. If you have Cancer Rising, you are about to leave the womb in a spiritual sense, and be born into the next phase of your soul’s development. It marks a rite of passage, where we are maturing into our Soul’s awakening.

Not only does our Rising Sign indicate awakening, but also the sign of Cancer is about birth and awakening. In Cancer, we experience the first glimmer of our soul’s presence. We begin to realize that we have a soul and are so much more than just a physical body. We awaken to a greater aspect of our being. If you have Cancer Rising, you are here to find your soul-light and, like a lighthouse keeper, keep your light lit, no matter what is going on in the world around you, even if it sometimes feels like trying to keep a candle alight in a howling gale!

The zodiac uses animal symbols to convey an impression of energetic qualities. The energy of Cancer is crab-like in many ways – for example, walking sideways! Cancerians tend to approach new situations side-on, as they feel their way forward. Rising Cancer tends to approach new people, places, and situations with caution, possibly a little trepidation, and maybe come at it sideways until they can establish a feeling of safety.

Have you ever watched crabs near the ocean? They have the ability to quickly bury themselves in the sand and hunker down to wait until the most dangerous tides have passed. We can use this symbology to understand the soul’s journey in Cancer. It is about where you place your attention. Because Cancer has the ability to attune to mass consciousness, it is too easy for Cancer to be swept away on the current tide of mass consciousness, fear, and emotional overreacting. This is where the Cancer soul needs to learn how to hunker down and ride out the tide. You do this by keeping your attention on your own light, not the tsunami of mass human emotion that is (apparently) heading your way. When you do this, you learn how to keep your soul-flame alight, and by so doing. you realize that the real key to changing the world lies in changing yourself.

Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight, in every other jewel.
~ Stephen Mitchell

As the sign of mass consciousness, Cancer has built-in radar, which you can send out to sense the mood and feelings of the collective. Your innate sense of connectedness with all of humanity is the source from which your deep empathy and ultimately compassion arises. This ability to feel what others are feeling is the key to understanding both the highest spiritual purpose of Cancer and the ego-based challenges at personality level.

Part of the journey for a Cancerian soul is to cultivate intuition. It isn’t easy, when you can tap into mass consciousness, to hear your own voice over and above the many. It also explains why the sign of Cancer is associated with fear and caution. If you have Cancer Rising, it is likely that you experience fear on waking each morning! This is because when you first awaken and your mind is quiet, this is the time that you are most tuned-in to the consciousness of the masses, and it is a simple fact that there is a lot of fear rippling through humanity at the moment. You are aware of it. You feel it. All cardinal signs are courageous signs of leadership. This may not be how you initially think of the sign of Cancer, but imagine the courage that is needed to stay focused on compassion in the face of a tide of human suffering and fear. On a very practical level, for someone with Cancer Rising, your first act of courage is to get out of bed in the morning in the face of all fear and to stay focused on your light throughout your day.

As the sign of emotional intelligence, part of your work in this lifetime is learning how to navigate through emotional frequencies so you don’t keep your attention on the wavelength of fear, but are able to transcend it and hold a higher emotional tone within your own being. You understand the truth of our connectedness by experiencing for yourself that the changes you make within your own being have a definite ripple-effect in the consciousness of humanity, and that you have the power to reduce fear in the world by first and foremost working on it within yourself. This process of emotional evolution through the water signs begins in Cancer (cardinal water), is consolidated in Scorpio (fixed water) and culminates in Pisces (mutable water).

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.
~ HH XIV Dalai Lama

Through your own experience you begin to learn that compassion is not just an idea or a philosophy, but a real tangible energy that you can consciously flow through your own heart-center and, by doing so, you change the “flavour” in the ocean of human consciousness. The Dalai Lama has Cancer Rising and has spent a lifetime teaching, demonstrating, and transmitting compassion and unconditional love across all cultures and boundaries. This is the true nourishment that Cancer brings to the world: spiritual nourishment. When you transcend fear, you will come to know that the divine nectar of compassion, which flows through your heart, is what will truly nurture and nourish humanity on our journey of evolving consciousness.

If you have Cancer Rising, you are here to bring compassion and unconditional love into the world in ways that you possibly cannot imagine. You do this by overcoming fear and attachment, cultivating emotional intelligence, and fine-tuning your own intuition. Your spiritual home is the light that you always carry within, the whole world is your family, and you selflessly nourish others primarily through the emanation of your inner light.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Karen MacKenzie is working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art.

The Lunar North Node and Your Spiritual Journey

Following Ruth’s previous article on Living Soul Astrology, I asked her what would happen if the North Node was conjunct the Ascendant. Her reply was the gift of this wonderful article. I learned a lot from it and hope you do, too. ~Pat

Stars on the Move, NASA

Stars on the Move. Image courtesy NASA/ESA.

In a recent post, I explained how your Lunar North Node is like a prescription for changing your past-life conditioning. Your Ascendant is your Soul Vibration, while your North Node indicates a possible pathway that supports your Soul’s development by breaking the patterns of past-life conditioning (your South Node). Your North Node is not your Soul’s essence, but rather a spiritual path of choice.

Remember the Moon doesn’t actually possess any “nodes!” Meaning they aren’t actually physical things. They are points in space, on the ecliptic, where the Moon intersects the path of the Sun. This tells me two things: first, they can be regarded as “trailmarkers” pointing to a well-worn path, and second, they intersect the path of the Sun, meaning they want our attention. They are a “heads up” for our spiritual journey, because they are showing us where we have recurring patterns that limit us at the personality level.

So what happens when the North Node and Ascendant are in the same sign?

In this case, there is increased potential for the individual concerned to transcend the personality vibration of the sign and shift into alignment, spiritual awakening and fusion of the Soul and personality. For this to happen, the individual still has to choose the path that is presented to them, shift their attention inwards, and be open to developing their senses and perceptual capacity. Again, just like a prescription, in this case it might have a faster effect, but only if you take all the medicine!

Once you choose a spiritual path or practice, as indicated by your North Node, this maximizes the potential for you to not only hear your Soul’s calling, but to transcend the personality attachments of the sign and give full expression to the Soul vibration of the sign. The North node in this position indicates that of all the possible spiritual paths and teachers available, one that invites the individual to develop these qualities would be most effective. However, our focus must always be one of going within, if we are to make spiritual progress.

For example, let’s say the North Node and Ascendant are both in Gemini. The personality ruler of Gemini is Mercury, but the Soul ruler is Venus*. Both planets are said to have a lower and higher vibration. Well, to be more accurate, it’s the same energy but is perceived differently, depending upon the individual’s level of consciousness and perception. Depending upon your own degree of spiritual progress, you would be more influenced by the personality ruler or the Soul ruler of that sign.

So through undertaking typical Gemini activities of writing, speaking, and communicating, the spiritually (inwardly) inclined individual could gradually experience a spiritual opening. There is the potential to experience a shift in their perception from the purely rational mind, with its lower Mercurial qualities of merely “passing along information,” to a place where they integrate their higher, intuitive mind and the higher purpose of Mercury: opening themselves more fully to intuition and creating a bridge to higher mind**. As a result they will develop an ability to perceive, receive and convey the higher Venusian vibrations of transpersonal, unconditional, Love and right relations.

Our spiritual journey is one of exploring our inner world, opening our heart and mind to higher possibilities and recognizing Divinity, within ourselves. The very word “esoteric” derives from the Greek root “eso,” which means “within” (as compared with exoteric Astrology, derived from the Greek root “exo,” which means “inclined outwards”).

Soul Astrology and Esoteric Astrology are the Astrology of our inner world, our spiritual journey. Given that our personality is a mask we wear to interact with the outside world, when we begin to move deeply inwards on our Soul Journey, it stands to reason that our Natal Chart takes on a deeper significance.

[quote cite=”Lama Thubten Yeshe”]I hope that you understand what the word “spiritual” really means. It means to search for, to investigate, the true nature of the mind. There’s nothing spiritual outside. My rosary isn’t spiritual; my robes aren’t spiritual. Spiritual means the mind, and spiritual people are those who seek its nature.[/quote]

In Esoteric Astrology,* it is said that, in terms of our spiritual development, each of us is either on the “Mutable Cross,” the “Fixed Cross” or the “Cardinal Cross.” The Mutable Cross means we are wholly personality-driven, with no experience of our Soul. The Fixed Cross means we are awakening, and although we are still largely personality-driven, we’re beginning to awaken and have some Soul Awareness. Those on the Cardinal Cross are fully awakened, in the fact that they have completed the process of Soul Integration; the fusion of Soul and personality is complete, and they are Soul-Centred Beings.

Few people on the planet are on the Cardinal Cross, and those that are, are highly enlightened spiritual teachers. However, many of us are beginning the journey from the Mutable Cross to the Fixed Cross as we go deeper into our spiritual journey and seek to experience for ourselves the truth of our Soul.

There is no way for an Astrologer to tell just by looking at a chart whether a Soul is on the Mutable, Fixed or Cardinal Cross. This can only be deduced by learning about the character of the person and through the use of intuition. For example we might deduce that someone like the Dalai Lama would be on the Cardinal Cross, because of his highly developed spiritual realizations, but in reality only he would know.

The purpose of our spiritual journey is to progress from the externally-focused Mutable Cross, with its emphasis solely on personality, to the internally-focused Cardinal Cross, in which we have full fusion of personality and Soul. It is a very gradual, inner journey, and the lunar North Node is acting as a pointer to steer us away from repeating habits that could keep us attached to personality and stuck on the Mutable Cross for longer than we need to be.

It is time to wake up and evolve. It is a challenge, and there are no guarantees. We can still get it wrong if we undertake North Node activity in a very externally-focused and personality driven way, with our attention “inclined outwards!” Your North Node is pointing the way to avoid repeating past habits, and this will be most effective if you also shift your focus and “incline inwards.” To benefit fully, you need to keep turning your attention inwards and familiarise yourself with your inner world.


* Esoteric Astrology (1951) by Alice Bailey. Lucis Press, London. The work of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channeled through Alice Bailey.

**  In Esoteric Astrology, Mercury is said to play an important part in the development of the inner “antahkarana” or Rainbow Bridge, which (once fully developed) will connect us to our own higher consciousness or Higher Self.


Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Follow Ruth:

Living Soul Astrology, Part II: Your Personality Signs

In this fascinating article, Ruth explains how your Sun, Moon and Rising signs fit together and how the lunar North Node supports your Soul’s development. ~Pat

Stars on the Move, NASA

Stars on the Move. Image courtesy NASA/ESA.

In Part One, we looked at your Soul Sign and what that could tell you in terms of the current stage of your Soul’s Development. However, your Soul’s development is not something you usually have conscious awareness of in your everyday experience.

Your everyday experience is shaped, received and perceived through the filters of your personality. The simplest definition of “ego-personality” is when your mind is thinking about itself. It is how we experience ourselves and who we believe ourselves to be: our tendencies, pre-dispositions, habits, gifts, talents, urges, reactions, beliefs and opinions. It is our overall feeling of “there’s a ME in here” (usually swiftly followed up by an ongoing story of what that ME is all about!).

It is the sum of all our learned behaviour, from this and past lives, our self-image and our self-concept. It is both the mask we show to the world and the window through which we see and experience the world. All of this might feel very real to us now, yet it has all been picked up along the way and added to our underlying true nature.

Our Soul is our underlying true nature, our Divine “pure” essence (in the sense that it cannot be tainted by anything we have collected). To understand this, let’s use water as an example. It is, by nature, wet. We can add things to it: it can be cold water, hot water, coloured water, salty water, etc. However, nothing we add to it will ever change its essential wetness.

Similarly, our Soul is, by nature, goodness and love. Everything else we believe ourselves to be (our ego-personality) has been added to it and, although we experience it as ourselves, it is not our true Self. Our Soul vibration is our purest nature, and this is indicated by our Ascendant.

[headline h=”5″]The Personality Signs: Your Sun and Your Moon[/headline]

In Soul Astrology this collection of habits and reactions is symbolised by your Sun and Moon signs. They represent your habitual (learned) ways of thinking and acting. The Sun is that aspect of our personality which we are aware of, conscious of; it is in the light. The Moon is that which we are unaware of. It is in the dark, our shadow personality.

Our Moon Sign is at least of equal importance to our Sun Sign, if not more so. Because it is our shadow, it is more difficult for us to see, and therefore has a quality of sneaking up on us and sabotaging our efforts. When we have reacted to somebody unconsciously and then later regretted it, we have probably been overwhelmed by an emotional reaction that is in alignment with the qualities of our Moon Sign.

The learned behaviour of our Sun and Moon signs is so powerful that we identify with it. We feel as though it is “who we are.” Our spiritual path involves dis-identifying from these personality traits and reactions by changing our behaviour patterns and by recognizing that while we might have those tendencies and abilities, we are so much more than that. In the case of our Sun Sign, while it is never easy to challenge habits – especially ones reinforced by strong ego-identification – it is made somewhat easier by the fact that these qualities are “out in the open.” It makes it easy to see what we are working with.

The Moon Sign indicates our innate emotional state and who we become in relating with others. It is often others who recognise our Moon-Sign traits, before we do, because it is when others push our buttons that we get to see our shadow-nature. It is revealed to us in our reactions to them. We then have the opportunity to heal these patterns, which is why relationships are such good “Soul-training” grounds!

[headline h=”5″]The Moon’s Nodes[/headline]

I read an excellent article recently on the Moon’s nodes – however the author kept referring to me as a Virgo Soul, because I have a Virgo North Node. I am a Cancer Ascendant, so the reality is, I am a Cancer Soul, but with a Virgo option. Being more Virgo-like and developing Virgoan qualities will support my development as a Cancer Soul.

Your North Node is like a prescription for changing your past-life conditioning. Your Ascendant is your Soul Vibration, while your North Node indicates a possible pathway that supports your Soul’s development by breaking the patterns of past-life conditioning (your South Node). Your North Node is not your Soul’s essence, but rather a spiritual path of choice.

In describing and defining yourself I invite you to consider using your Ascendant first, so it sounds something like this: “I’m a Cancer Soul with a Gemini/Leo personality” (Cancer Ascendant, Gemini Sun, Leo Moon.) This description sums up our individual spiritual path: the challenge to release identification with our personality traits, and lead with our Soul qualities.

Living Soul Astrology means using our horoscope as a living tool to support our spiritual journey. By thoroughly understanding all the energies at play in our natal chart, understanding what stage of development our Soul is at, and the challenges that our personality signs create, our Astrological profile becomes a valuable tool that supports our process of integrating personality and Soul.

Once we are fully conscious of our Sun and Moon sign behaviours, and are no longer identified with them, our Soul begins to use the qualities of those signs, in the expression of its purpose in this lifetime.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Follow Ruth:

Living Soul Astrology, Part I: Your Soul Sign

In today’s post, Ruth Hadikin takes us deeper into the exploration of Soul Astrology by explaining the concept of the “Soul Sign.” ~Pat

Stars on the Move, NASA

Stars on the Move. Image courtesy NASA/ESA.

The purpose of any spiritual path or practice is to support us in integrating our Soul and personality by developing Soul-awareness, recognition and identification.

Soul Astrology supports us in this process and our spiritual path by helping us to discern which of our personal qualities, traits, and tendencies are expressions of our Soul-light, and which is learned behaviour (personality-based).

When we begin to look at our natal chart from a spiritual perspective, it is important to remember that we are talking about energy. If you could see your natal chart in 3D (or better still multi-dimensionally), you would see a glorious rainbow-coloured mandala – indicating all the dynamic energies that combine to make up your energetic field. If you could see that visually, you would be able to detect a core vibration, a pure essence, almost like a fabric into which all the other energies are woven. This “fabric” would be your Soul Sign. A beautiful sight to behold!

[headline h=”5″]Your Soul Sign[/headline]

Your Ascendant (Rising Sign) is the essence of your Soul, because it comes in first. It is because your Soul is already resonating at that vibration that it can incarnate at that time and place. Your Ascendant creates a window of opportunity for your Soul to incarnate at that precise moment, in that precise location, because it is the same frequency. So for example, it is because you are a Cancer Soul that you incarnate when Cancer is rising on the horizon. It is your “wavelength,” and so you are able to “beam in” on this frequency!

It is important to be clear that it is not because Cancer is on the Ascendant that this makes you a Cancer Soul. You are a Cancer Soul already. Your Ascendant heralds the “dawn of your life” and, as such, is therefore the most important sign in Soul Astrology and can be considered your Soul Sign.

One of my mentors, Soul Astrologer Errol Weiner, explains in his book Transpersonal Astrology how your Soul stays in the same sign for seven incarnations, and it is possible, by measuring the degree of the Ascendant, to estimate how many lifetimes your Soul has been in this sign. So, in our example, if you have 14º Cancer on the Ascendant, you may have been a Cancer Soul for three or four lifetimes.

So have you always been a Cancer Soul? No. Your Soul is growing, changing, and passing through stages of development, just like your physical body does. When you were an infant, you went through the developmental stages of eating solid food, teething, sitting, standing, walking, and talking. Similarly, according to The Tibetan in Esoteric Astrology by Alice Bailey (AB), your Soul also passes through developmental stages.

[headline h=”5″]The Stages of Soul Development[/headline]

For the purpose of understanding Soul development, we can think of the twelve zodiac signs in three categories. The first four signs are the signs of “preparation.” This is where your “infant” Soul is growing, developing qualities, and taking shape. The next four signs are the signs of “crisis” or “challenge” where your “teenager” Soul has to begin functioning and applying these qualities. The latter four signs are the signs of service, where your mature Soul recognises its purpose, is skilled, and knows what to do in order to serve for the highest good of humanity.

The Signs of Preparation: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer
In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan (AB) explains how your Soul begins in Aries as a “point of light in the mind of God.” In Taurus, this point becomes a beam of light, and in Gemini, the beam splits into multiple beams of light. In Cancer, the light becomes the diffuse light in form.

The Signs of Crisis or Challenge: Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio
If you have one of these signs on the Ascendant, you will recognise that struggle and/or challenge, have been major themes throughout your life.

In Leo comes the first “battle.” Your personality has to “fight” to individuate and separate from the mass consciousness of Cancer. The light form has to individuate and become a “Self.” In Virgo, this Self turns to Service by flowing love and light into physical matter.

In Libra, there is an apparent “resting phase” where your Soul exercises ethical choice to harmonise opposite polarities. It is a time of synthesis. (Similarly, in childbirth there is also sometimes a brief resting phase after contractions and before pushing begins). This is important, because there is a kind of birth in Scorpio. As the final sign of “crisis,” Scorpio enters the battlefield, where the lower desires of your personality battle the higher calling of your Soul. Crucifixion of your personality and integration with your Soul happens in Scorpio.

The Signs of Service: Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces
In Sagittarius, the true goal is recognised, and there is the potential for true liberation of your mind. Capricorn is the sign of the disciple – the goal is known and your Soul at this point begins the inner journey, walking the spiritual path that leads to the ultimate goal.

According to Esoteric Astrology, in Aquarius your Soul becomes the “World Server,” and in Pisces, the “World Saviour.” These latter signs are the most mysterious and esoteric of all, because humanity has not yet reached an evolved stage of consciousness whereby we can fully understand the true spiritual meaning of these signs and their Divine energies.

At the level of Soul vibration, it is probably best to think of the twelve zodiac signs as twelve Divine Intelligences, or Beings that are working with us, at each stage of our Soul’s development. It takes us around 84 lifetimes to complete a “Soul cycle” through all twelve signs. What happens once our Soul completes a full cycle? No one knows for sure, but my guess is that we start all over again, only from a higher position on the spiral, and so we evolve.

In Part II we will look at the personality signs, why they form an important part of your spiritual journey, and what it means to be living Soul Astrology, as part of your spiritual practice.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer
Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Follow Ruth:

Ask Real Astrologers: Why Am I Feeling So Weird Around People?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Michelle in Southampton, UK:

I’ve been feeling really confused lately about being around other people. Normally I know who I am and that naturally directs how I should act and I get along with people well enough if they are compatible with me. Lately it seems as if I am confused about “who to be” around others, as if I don’t really know which part of myself to share with them … or something. I have had difficulties with a Libra that I was briefly dating and people I am obliged to be around every day, with whom there is no hostility but frequent awkwardness. What is going on???

Well, Michelle, I don’t suppose transiting Neptune exactly on your Ascendant at 25 degrees Aquarius would have a thing to do with it.

Neptune has been straddling your Ascendant since the beginning of the year, and that alone would explain the weirdness you feel. And your description of not having a good idea who you are anymore? Those words could have been lifted right out of the astrology textbook. Confusion, fog, being in a daze … that’s Neptune for you.

The Ascendant is the face you wear when you’re out in the world. It makes sense that how you come across to others and how you sense others’ perception of you would be very confused with the planet of fog, illusion, delusion, and confusion on your Ascendant.

Neptune went retrograde in late May and just turned direct last week. He stationed – stopped while shifting phases – dead on your Ascendant, and he’ll be there pretty much for the rest of the month.

Since Neptune is on your Ascendant, that means he’s opposite your Descendant, which marks the beginning of the sector of your chart that rules close personal relationships. So it also makes sense that your closest relationships are thrown into confusion. Dating while Neptune is on your Ascendant can be a tricky business, indeed. You are very susceptible to seeing with rose-colored glasses at this time, and you may fooled into thinking you’ve found The One, when later you’ll look back and wonder what on earth you were thinking.

To complicate things further, Neptune isn’t alone on your Ascendant right now, but he’s in conjunction with Chiron. That likely accounts for the awkwardness you describe.

Once Neptune crosses over solidly into your first house, some of the weirdness will die down. However, this is the beginning of a period of several years in which you will go through changes in your personality that may totally alter your idea of who you are. It is very possible that you won’t know yourself as well as you used to, because you will be very different than the You you used to know.

The standard advice I give while Neptune is in your first house is to check in periodically for a reality check with a friend or family member you trust. Listen to them, and take their advice seriously, even if your first reaction is to dismiss it out of hand.

I hope that helps!

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: What’s In Store for Taurus Sun?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Jezi in Princeton, N.J.:

Taurus is my Sun sign, and I have Venus in Gemini, so I’m trying to understand what both Venus and Mercury entering Taurus this week means for me and I confess to getting a bit confused trying to sort it out!

This is a great question, Jezi, as it allows me to explain a bit about Sun sign astrology and why it can be useful in some applications but limited in others.

When you say you’re a Taurus, that means the Sun was moving through the sign of Taurus when you were born. This occurs roughly from April 20 to May 20, but the exact dates can change from one year to the next. For those who are born near the date change, or “cusp,” it’s important to get an accurate birth chart, which you can do online (more info below) or with a professional astrologer.

The horoscopes you read in the newspaper and online are written with Sun signs in mind. This technique of forecasting is called Sun sign astrology. There are a few astrologers who do it well, and more and more astrologers are adding the caveat that you also should read for your Rising sign, or Ascendant. In many ways, the Ascendant provides more information about you than your Sun sign, and it’s critically important in forecasting, as it determines the layout of your chart. To know your Rising sign, you have to have an accurate birth time. You also need to know the place of birth.

The birth time you gave me, Jezi, makes you a Rising Cancer. You may find that you get a more accurate horoscope online if you read for Cancer. At the end of this post, I’ll give you some URLs for my favorite Sun sign forecasts.

Back to your original question, when Venus and Mercury enter Taurus, you won’t necessarily notice any effects until they actually align with your Sun. In the case of Venus, you may experience a day or two of good feelings, affection, and creativity, and you may feel like having a party or celebrating with friends. Flowers and beautiful objects will appeal to you even more than usual. Mercury on your Sun generally brings lots of communications.

Because Venus and Mercury move quickly relative to the Earth, these effects will be fleeting. However, when we look at where Venus and Mercury are moving through your chart, we can predict some longer-term trends. This is especially important right now, since Mercury is about to go retrograde in Taurus. Where you have Taurus in your chart tells us what area of your life is likely to be disrupted by Mercury’s retrograde effects.

In your case, Jezi, that’s the eleventh house, which rules friends, involvement with groups, humanitarian causes, and your hopes and wishes for the future. I’ve had some terrible misunderstandings with friends during periods when Mercury was retrograde in my eleventh house. Once or twice, the arguments were severe enough to end the friendship. You also may have an urge to examine your aspirations for the future and revise where necessary.

Venus transits to the eleventh house typically are very pleasant times when your friends assume more importance in your life. Getting together is tons of fun right now, especially if it involves good food and other indulgences, which Taurus is known for.

I hope that doesn’t confuse you more, Jezi! But there is really no way to simplify it. Astrology is a complex art and science, and attempts to make it simpler can strip it of its accuracy and power.

For a free copy of your birth chart, I highly recommend Astrodienst, the Swiss astrology site. Once you get more proficient in astrology, there are all kinds of ways you can manipulate charts for personal information. Still, be advised that this is never a substitute for a reading with a professional astrologer.

Sun sign astrology on the Web:
Soulgarden.tv. Daily horoscopes delivered in fabulous high-tech format by Christopher Witecki, an inspired and inspiring astrologer in Los Angeles.
AstrologyZone. Detailed monthly horoscopes by Susan Miller, one of the best-loved astrologers on the Web. She can be frighteningly accurate, provided that you read the best sign for you.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. Be sure to fill out all the fields, and please spell out the month of your birthday. If you don’t know your time of birth, indicate “time unknown.” You can also use the drop-down menu above under “About Us” to get to the question form. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Which Horoscope Is More Accurate?

This week’s question comes from Dee in New Zealand:

In my boyfriend’s chart, the recent eclipse in Cancer fell in his fifth house. When reading some horoscopes for that week, I noticed that for Virgo, the eclipse was apparently in the eleventh house, and it was Pisces whose fifth house would be activated.

Now I am a bit confused as to how the houses work and wondering whether it would be more accurate to attribute a Pisces horoscope for him. I realize the beginning of his fifth house is at the end of Gemini, but when you look at it, most of the fifth house is taken up by Cancer. So is Cancer in his fifth or is Gemini his fifth house “ruler?” Or both? And does that mean both Virgo and Pisces horoscopes would be accurate? I have really got myself confused over this one and hope you even understand my question!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Oh, yes, Dee, we understand your question! It made me chuckle, actually, because Neith and I have written a lot about why Sun sign horoscopes are of limited usefulness. Your boyfriend’s chart is a perfect example.

As you note, your friend is a Virgo. In astrology, we say that Virgo is his Sun sign, because the Sun was moving through the sign of Virgo at the time of his birth. However, we also have a Rising sign (or Ascendant), which is the sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment we were born. In your friend’s case, that was 28 degrees Aquarius.

The horoscopes you read in newspapers, magazines, and online are written by Sun sign, not Rising sign. So for your Virgo boyfriend, the astrologer puts 0 degrees Virgo on the Ascendant, 0 degrees Libra on the cusp of the second house, 0 degrees Scorpio on the cusp of the third house, and so forth. Sun sign astrologers have different techniques for writing horoscopes, but the most popular method is to look at transits to the solar houses. In my opinion, this is usually not very accurate, and it leaves astrology open to very valid criticism.

Even though your boyfriend is a Rising Aquarius, his first house is taken up mostly by Pisces, and that’s why his chart appears to be more like a Pisces, and he will get the most out of Sun sign horoscopes if he reads for Pisces. This won’t be 100-percent foolproof, but he may get pretty good results a lot of the time.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about Sun sign horoscopes in an article in my archive.

I hope this clears up some of your confusion, Dee, and thanks for the really great question!

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Dee, thankfully you do have a birth time for your Virgo, because that clarifies matters considerably. This is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about how astrology works.

Another way to double-check which house is activated by the eclipse is to review what the dominant themes in his life are right now. The fifth house traditionally is associated with Leo, so we’re talking children, creativity, romantic encounters, and the desire to enjoy life a little.

It is so easy to get lost in the forest of details with astrology that one is often further ahead to stay with the simplest explanation. My rule of thumb is always to check to see if a transiting planet forms an aspect of two degrees or less to natal planets, the Ascendant or the Midheaven. If there aren’t any aspects, then relax!

This has been a very busy eclipse season, and naturally the most dramatic events are those being reported on various astrological blogs. Do keep in mind there are millions of folks around the world whose lives were not disrupted at all.

Remember to have fun with your study of astrology, Dee! It has a lot to offer just about anyone.

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact us, or we don’t get your question. Be sure to fill out all the fields, and please spell out the month of your birthday. If you don’t know your time of birth, indicate “time unknown.” Thanks!

Ask Real Astrologers: Midheaven in Synastry

Readers often write to ask us questions about their individual charts or specific situations, so we figured it’s just natural to start a regular Q&A feature.

Since we have two different approaches to astrology, we thought it would be fun if we both answered the same question. As we like to say around here, two heads are better than one!

Our first question comes from Bridget in Milwaukee.

Hey, I’m just wondering what your general take is on one person’s Midheaven conjoining another person’s first house/Ascendant (not necessarily conjunct the Ascendant degree). I am not finding much out there about this synastry aspect and would love to hear your take on it!

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s answer:

This is a great question! There is definitely a public aspect to this partnership, because both the Ascendant and Midheaven are indications of how we project ourselves visibly into the world at large. In fact, this particular synastry aspect is one Pat and I have (my ASC and her MC), and we have gone into a very visible partnership via our website, Real Astrologers.com. That’s not to say it’s uncommon in personal relationships, just that there is a good possibility the relationship will have a public component.

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s answer:

I concur with Neith that this aspect in synastry tells us something about how the two partners will interact in public. The first and tenth houses are angular houses and therefore action-oriented. The Midheaven person likely will be the one who initiates the action, brings the Ascendant person into the activity, or raises the Ascendant person’s visibility. Now, I do think there’s a possibility that these two could be competitive, but that depends on the sign of the conjunction and also on what else is going on in your charts. In a romantic relationship, if your Sun-Moon and Venus-Mars signs are compatible, then you should be fine. If competition does arise, it can be mitigated by agreeing beforehand on the “rules,” respecting each other’s opinions, and knowing yourself well enough to know whether underlying emotions are clouding your judgment.

Send us your questions! We will pick one or two a week to answer in this column. If your situation is involved, please consider a full reading by Neith or Pat, which will give you far more information than we can provide in a short Q&A format. Remember, Real Astrologers reports and forecasts aren’t generated by a computer but always written from scratch, exclusively for you!

Got a question for Neith and Pat? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers.

Looking for a Sign of Love

Liza with a ZResearchers in the UK have just released the results of a study showing that facial features reveal whether someone you’re interested in just wants to have a good time or is looking for a long-term commitment.

“Lots of previous studies have shown that people can judge a lot about a person from their face, including things like health and even some personality traits like introversion,” says Dr. Ben Jones of the University of Aberdeen’s Face Research Lab. “But this really is the first study to show that people are also sensitive to subtle facial signals about the type of romantic relationships that others might enjoy.”

Well, Dr. Jones, a good astrologer could have told you that and a lot more! And we wouldn’t have drawn the same old gender-based conclusion that women look for a lasting relationship, while men just want a good roll in the hay (they actually pay people money for this?).

Your physical appearance is reflected in your birth chart, especially your Ascendant, also called your Rising sign, which can literally represent the face you present to the world. Does that mean that all Rising Leos look alike? Of course not. The interplay between your Sun, Moon, Rising sign, and planets near the Ascendant is complex and very individual. But there are detectable patterns.

I have a friend with a lot of Aries in her chart. Her profile almost resembles a sheep, with a straight, barely protruding nose. I met another Aries at a party once and immediately pegged him as a Ram. He had two spots on either side of his broad forehead where you could almost see the horns sprouting.

You can tell a Scorpio or Rising Scorpio by the eyes. They’re unusual in some way, whether by the size or color or by the intensity of their gaze. Pisces or Rising Pisces often has large eyes and “fish lips.” My all-time favorite example is Liza Minnelli (born March 12, 1946).

According to the University of Aberdeen study, men with more “masculine” looks are out for a good time, while those who are more feminine are more likely to want some type of commitment. They qualify that this applies to young people, implying that at some point, facial features are no longer a consideration. That certainly was true for Charlton Heston, the quintessential Hollywood manly man. As Neith explained in her recent post, his birth chart strongly indicated a preference for commitment.

A research project called Astrofaces is attempting to draw correlations between people’s Sun, Moon, and Rising signs and their facial features. Frankly, I put more stock in this research than in an academic study that attempts to quantify dating behavior and reinforces outdated notions that men want sex while women want love.

= tall, dark and gorgeousPat

Don’t know your Moon or Rising sign? Get Pat’s Bare Essentials Sun-Moon-Rising report!