Frequency Distributions

Continuing on from my last statistics post…

I’m examining the natal and progressed charts of 9 individuals within a social group, looking for patterns. Already, I’ve noticed interesting clusters around a few certain points of the zodiac, but today I looked at it a little differently: simply, as frequency distributions.

If we examining the archetype distribution at face value, it looks like this chart.

Frequency Distribution by Family (Unweighted) (1)

The purple line shows total values, and it seems that Cancer and Leo are the most dominant. Great, right? This group exhibits a lot of Cancer and Leo energy, right?

Maybe. But maybe not.

In this group, 4 of 9 people have birthdays around Gemini/Cancer season. Because Mercury and Venus are never more than 45 degrees from the Sun, we can expect a higher concentration of data points around the Gemini/Cancer/Leo quadrant of the zodiac (especially since we are also looking at midpoints between these seasonal planets).

In short, all data points are not of equal importance. A midpoint between two conjunct planets is pretty redundant, it doesn’t tell us anything more than what we could discern from examining the conjunction alone. And an aspect to a luminary or chart ruler carries more significance than, say, an aspect to a progressed planet.

To account for these differences, I created a weighted scoring system. Luminaries and angles were worth the most, while midpoints and loose aspects were only worth a little. Doing so showed me patterns were developing in Leo and Aquarius, and Taurus and Scorpio as well. I then tallied up scores by element and modality to better understand the impact.

The result was far more insightful:

Weighted Scores by Element and Modality (2)

As you can see in the chart above, there was an especially high concentration of Fixed signs, with Fixed Earth (Taurus) scoring the highest. While the first chart showed a prevalence of Cancer and Leo, this chart shows that Leo is indeed quite prevalent, but Cancer is not; in fact, Cancer (Cardinal Water) scored the lowest of them all.

This tell us that although this group shares a lot of Cancer placements, most of them are simply attributed to having lots of birthdays in the late Spring.

If you look at the first chart again, notice there’s an additional bump around Scorpio. Because Taurus and Scorpio are directly opposite each other, aspects made to one sign are also reflected in the other (mostly).

If we were to combine the natal and progressed charts of all 9 individuals, a la synastry, I believe we would see a Fixed Grand Cross. Though I am not measuring group behavior or dynamics, the Fixed Grand Cross tells us that this group is steady and reliable, maybe stubborn, and strong as hell. The each bring something different to the table, but put together, there’s very strong Fixed energy.

They’re not a group of doers (Cardinal), and they’re not wishy-washy either (Mutable). Rather, they’re stabilizers (Fixed).

No Answers, Just Work

One of the most challenging things about introducing someone to astrology is managing their expectations. They think astrology has answers, that it can point to a specific transit and say, “Ah! That’s why you’re experiencing XYZ; here’s what you can do about it…” But it’s not like that.

No transit exists in a vacuum.

We can look at our charts, identify transits, and read a variety of interpretations on them; but we can’t find ready-made interpretations that account for all the other transits we’re experiencing at the same time. Each chart is unique, and it’s impossible to fully comprehend the chart of anyone beyond ourselves, though we may try. With astrology, only the individual can harvest all the wisdom it has to offer, because only they know what they’re experiencing; the tough part is that they must be willing to put in the work to find it.

Each archetype of the zodiac has three levels of maturity, or evolutions. How we use the energy of those archetypes is up to us through the use of free will. Our job when studying our charts is to examine these archetypes from all sides, and consider how we might be utilizing them, intentionally or not.

Then come the added layers of planets and houses, a flux of information that can quickly make you dizzy — astrology is a lot of work. Go slow. Take your time. Meditate.

Astrology requires an honest assessment of ourselves that is both challenging and uncomfortable, and it doesn’t give us clear-cut answers. Approach each transit with an open mind, and keep an eye out for opportunities to grow. That is, essentially, the ultimate wisdom of astrology anyway:

“All things shall come to pass — now grow, grow, grow.”

The Work We’re Called To Do

We must do the work we are called to do.

This has been a nagging thought in my head for weeks now. I think I read it from Chani Nicholas recently, though I’m not sure.

I’ve been having career troubles for the last few years, building ambition but lacking direction. I stumbled into a couple corporate office gigs that were wholly unsatisfying, but for a first-generation college grad like myself, they were almost entirely lucky breaks and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to continue with them.

At the beginning of 2018, I took three months away from work to care for an ill loved one. Most of that time was spent at home on the couch, just waiting for the body to heal itself, so I filled a lot of that time by studying astrology. I’d already been studying intensely for over a year, and I’d always been interested in the practice, but could never understand how horoscopes could vary so widely in their messaging when they’re all working from the same source material. I wanted to learn for myself how they were doing it.

After a few weeks, I found myself continually coming back to astrology. I couldn’t look away. It was fascinating and made far too much sense to ignore. In a way, this was especially frustrating because I was trying to keep myself from quitting my day job — even though I was on leave, I was already miserable and at the end of my rope — and it was all too tempting to spend all my time researching and thinking.

I eventually realized that I’d found the thing that makes me tick. I’m equally grateful and exasperated.

My life is filled with a wide variety of interests, hobbies, and experiences — I’m often happy to help but lack enough of an ego to be much of a self-starter. I used to think I’d be happy doing just about anything, but I know better than that now. After almost 30 fucking years, I finally found my Thing, and turns out it’s talking about feelings and helping people understand themselves through astrology.

Eventually, I turned to my recovering loved one, threw my hands up and said, “Y’know what? Fuck it. This is what my brain is wired to do. I’m gonna stop fighting it.”

We must do the work we are called to do.

I’ve never felt a calling before, but I do now. Best to just go with it.

 

 

Discussing The Signs & Archetypes

Perhaps one of my biggest obstacles so far in discussing astrology with skeptical friends is, undoubtedly, in explaining the signs of the zodiac.

Immediately, they cut me off mid-sentence with a confident smirk and something like, “So just because you’re born in a certain month, you’re gonna act a certain way?” They don’t intend to be condescending (and to their credit, they’ve been pretty open-minded and understanding with me), but they act like they’re pointing out the obvious, fatal flaw in astrology’s logic, and they’re incredulous as to how I couldn’t see it.

A lot of working with astrology involves careful consideration of the archetypes represented by the signs of the zodiac. It’s not enough to say “Leo is creative and playful,” or “Capricorn is hard-working,” you must understand why the sign is perceived that way — what is the underlying archetype, and in what ways can that archetype be expressed?

Capricorn, for example, is The Father, The President / Prime Minister. The archetype comes from the sign’s element-modality combination. Capricorn, as Cardinal Earth, is about initiating material action. Responsibility, self-reliance, duty. Handled well, that Capricorn energy can be focused, diligent, responsible, and pragmatic; but handled poorly, it can become rigid, fearful, unemotional, and repressed.

Knowing this is only helpful if you know how you tend to express that archetype’s energy, and figuring that out is, well, the whole point.

What bothers me about this is that discussions of the myriad ways in which these energies can be expressed requires a lot of talk about one sign individually — and to the casual listener, it sounds like we’re talking about Sun Sign Astrology, reducing a person down to one archetype. It’s a small misunderstanding, but it can cause major problems.

After studying the zodiac for a while, you start to learn what behaviors are emblematic for each sign, and you start to find yourself saying things like, “Ha — that’s such a Taurus mindset.” On the surface, to those whose only knowledge of astrology is Sun Sign, they think us fools for making such absurd generalities, when that’s not actually what’s happening.

We’re exploring all the ways Taurus can express itself, but it’s up to you to understand how you express that Taurus energy. No one is just one sign of the zodiac — everyone has all of them, they’re just in different parts of your life and expressed in different ways, some more strongly than others. Knowing what, if any, planets or placements you have in a sign will help you understand how that sign pertains to you.

This is rambling and not-super-well-thought-out, but it’s been bothering me for some time. I imagine I’ll keep coming back to this point in the future, hopefully with better, wiser wording. 🙂

Moon-Mars Tension

A: Moon in Libra square Mars in Cancer

D: Moon in Leo square Mars in Taurus

E: Moon in Taurus oppose Mars in Scorpio

Of the natal charts I’m currently studying for people in my personal life, I’ve come across this grumpy Moon-Mars relationship in a few of them. Person A has a Cardinal square, Person D has a Fixed square, and E has an opposition (Fixed). Coincidentally, these three women are also good friends with each other.

If the Moon is your emotions and Mars is your will, these aspects must signal a tension between what drives us to action and what we feel inside. This could manifest in a number of ways depending on the signs involved, but it’s an interesting placement in women regardless, because we are already socially conditioned to limit our assertiveness. This conditioning can create a tension for anyone, regardless of whether they know their astrological placements or not, but a chart can shed light on the specific underlying causes of that tension for them, personally.

The three people in question here all have one planet in a sign that doesn’t want to make waves (Libra, Taurus). Both signs are ruled by Venus, planet of all the finer things in life. Libra and Taurus both just want to enjoy living life — Taurus wants peace and quiet by themselves, and Libra wants harmony with a group of friends and loved ones. Libra will not upset the balance on her own, but as soon as it is, she will act to restore it. Taurus is a slow starter, focused more on stabilizing whatever energy came before it than creating something new.

While women are often conditioned to keep the peace, over time feminism has encouraged them to break that conditioning and speak. the fuck. up. As freeing as that should feel, there is also self-doubt, the fear that we are Too Much. This back-and-forth tension, between control and release, restraint and freedom, encapsulates the energy of the square.

For these three women, the square is felt for slightly different reasons (signs):

Person D has tension between self-expression (Leo) and peace/quiet (Taurus). Person A feels tension between social harmony (Libra) and emotional security (Cancer). Person E feels a tug-of-war between change (Scorpio) and stability (Taurus). The Moon placement holds greater weight — Leo, Libra, and Taurus, respectively — with Mars tugging at the Moon’s arm, begging to head a different direction.

This is the benefit of astrology. It has only illuminated more of what we already knew (that some individuals feel torn between taking action and letting things be), and added more color and nuance by examining the underlying reasons why.

Person E may not have been able to articulate on her own that she feels disharmony because she wants things to transform and simultaneously stay the same, but astrology provided the words to describe it. That is valuable enough in and of itself.

Astrology is not the only tool for this kind of self-exploration, but it is my favorite tool.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Hi, I don’t know what I’m doing here.

I’ve never run a blog before. I’ve never written consistently somewhere for people to discover and read, mostly because I don’t feel qualified enough to tell people what I think. I haven’t felt entitled to an opinion, I just defer to those who know better.

This is not good.

So in an attempt to correct this course, I’m starting this blog. I have no idea what I’m doing, but you’re welcome to follow along.