Sunday, 24 January 2010

The importance of the natal chart

Imagine being a Leo with a Sagittarius ascendant and Jupiter also in Leo. Let's say you are interested in astrology and at the end of 2006 you decide to read various predictions about the following year. You will read the predictions for your sun sign which, naturally, will be great, as Jupiter, the great benefic, will trine your Sun. Suppose you have some basic knowledge of astrology and know that you have to read the prediction for your ascendant sign as well, to get a more accurate picture of the year ahead. Things are even better there. Jupiter will enter Sagittarius, the sign it rules, your ascendant sign, and all in all a great year is promised with lots of opportunities for expansion, happiness etc. However, it turns out that this is the year you are going to die.
I'm not trying to launch an attack on sun sign predictions. A lot of astrologers are doing a wonderful job at it, with predictions that go beyond generalities like "this is a good time for love" or "beware of accidents". However, they should also stress that if you want to get a more or less reliable prediction, you must ask for a natal chart reading and share personal information with the astrologer.
This is the chart I'm talking about. It's the chart of James Alenson who got stabbed at school when he was 15 years old.

Jupiter in this chart is the chart ruler of course, which makes it perhaps the most important planet and it is located in the 8th house. You can make an argument that this is a 9th house Jupiter, because not only does it trine the ascendant, but it's 5 degrees away from the 9th house cusp, so it becomes much less dangerous. It doesn't really matter. You also notice that James has an 8th house Sun, so his mission in life is an 8th house matter. Again, nothing to worry extremely about, as lots of people share this placement and the Sun is strong by sign. You also notice however, that the Moon's last aspect, and still in orb, was an opposition to Jupiter, the Moon being the 8th house ruler and in the 3rd house, the house of school.
James Alenson was killed on the 19th of January, 2007. At the time, his progressed Sun was exactly conjunct his natal Jupiter (himself) and transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius was exactly on his Ascendant. The Saturn/Neptune opposition was also transiting natal Jupiter. This is too much Jupiter and even more so, considering we are talking about the chart ruler. His solar return chart for that year had a Leo ascendant, loosely conjunct natal Jupiter, with the Sun in the 12th house conjunct Saturn and square Jupiter, the SR 8th house ruler. His lunar return for the month of his death had a Cancer ascendant with the Moon in the 8th house, opposite Saturn, the Moon being the natal 8th house ruler and Saturn the LR 8th house ruler. Not a very good month and not a very good year, which of course we wouldn't have known had we relied exclusively on transits.
It's easy to be wise in retrospect, which means that it's very difficult to make an accurate prediction even when you have all the information at your disposal. So, whenever you come across sun sign predictions (mine included), you must keep in mind that they are only basic guidelines which can go horribly wrong, if your natal chart says otherwise.


  1. I prefer the equal system of house division and I concider Jupiter being in the 9th house.
    Despite that the Sun/Chiron conjunction is clearly placed in his 8th natal house and it is strongly afflicted by Saturn in the first degrees of Aquarius. Considering the nature of his death I'd take this configuration as the the most important factor indicating the tragic event.

    Of course every astrologer knows that in transitional astrology a conjuction between the progressed Sun and natal Jupiter is considered to be one of the most beneficial for the individual. But in this particular case we have one of the exceptions to the rule. Natal Jupiter hits (square) the Mars/Saturn midpoint (axis of death according to Ebertin).SO,by using solar arc directions (and/or secondary progresions) the pr. Sun activates the natal planetary picture Jupiter = Mars/Saturn = Uranus/MC-IC. This is a very powerful configuration as well.

    It's easy to be wise in reprospect as you say. I doubt that any astrologer would have predicted something like that, even if he'd noticed every detail in this unlucky childs' birth chart. A lot of astrologers consider astrology to be a child's game but in reality astrology is perhaps more difficult than nuclear physics...

    No need to say that I absolutelly agree with your opinion about the sun-sign astrology predictions...

  2. To tell you the truth, I don't trust midpoints. Or rather, I don't like this tendency to explain everything with a midpoint, it seems like the easy way out. If we take into account all five aspects (conjunction, opposition, square, semisquare and sesquiquadrate) then it's very common to find planets in every individual chart aspecting the Mars/Saturn midpoint or any other midpoint for that matter. In this case, natal Jupiter also squares the Venus/Saturn midpoint and it is also 1 degree away from the Sun/Venus midpoint. Why do we choose the Mars/Saturn one? What I want to say is that with midpoints everything is explained in a very simplistic manner and very easily, which keeps you from looking elsewhere for the answer, because they are all over the place.

    Why does the Sun/Chiron conjunction opposite Saturn spell death? It is very strong, yes, but it can be found in all the charts of the people born around the same time. I'm sure a lot of them have it in the 8th house as well, not to mention that in James's case the Sun is separating from both of them. I would have paid more attention to it if the Sun and Saturn had been rulers of the 1st and the 8th house. It does strengthen the death option, I agree, but I'm not satisfied with just that, I want something more.

    I, too, am more inclined to assign Jupiter to the 9th house. I use the Placidus system, but with the whole sign system in mind, so, again, this would be a 9th house Jupiter. The important thing here is not whether Jupiter is in the 8th or not, but that it is the ruler of the Ascendant, making it his most personal planet.

    Thank you for your input.

  3. Now I notice that I don't explain why I mention the Moon's placement in the 3rd house. James was killed while he was at school,allegedly by a classmate.

  4. I love your delineation. It is clear and concise.
    Glad to see someone who doesn't fear to judge charts on death.

  5. Thank you Wroskopos, I appreciate it. Yes, I treat death like every other aspect of chart interpretation. Of course, death is inevitable and I'm not interested in cases where death comes from natural causes at an advanced age, but when death seems to be an important part of your life story, like in this case, then, yes, I'm extremely interested.