Across your adventures in astrological navel gazing, you may have pored over the concepts of essential dignity and rationalized away your chart’s clear shortcomings until you could no longer ignore the inexorable truth: Your chart sucks. My mum was an astrology enthusiast who tried to elect my birth for maximum astrological advantage. Instead, I decided to come two weeks early during the one day in 1987 when both the Sun AND the Moon were in FALL. Sun in Libra and Moon in Scorpio. Their rulers? Yeah they’re in detriment, with Venus in Scorpio and Mars in Libra. I say this to establish my crappy chart cred, to justify why I can declare some expertise in this realm of misfortune. And really, do you want to hear these tips coming from a person with a chart full of dignified planets? Probably not, so I’m the best you got.
5. Focus on the Positive
Try using sect analysis. Were you born during the day? Check out Jupiter, he’s your dude. Were you born at night? Check out Venus, she’s your lady. Even if these planets suck in your chart for any number of reasons (hard aspects from Mars or Saturn, placement in the 12th, 6th or 8th house), by sect considerations, either Venus or Jupiter will be the benefic of the sect, or the primary good-doer in your chart.
Once you’ve identified whether Venus or Jupiter is your benefic of the sect, look at the house it is in and the houses it rules. Those will be areas of life that won’t be too bad, or will have some redeeming qualities, even if it is in fall or detriment. Look at the planets it makes whole sign aspects to (co-presence, sextile, square, trine, opposition, no quincunxes or semi-sextiles), and those are the houses and planets which your benefic is in a position to possibly impart its blessings toward. Note that these are aspects based on signs, not degrees. If it is in an adjacent aversion (semi-sextile, signs next to each other) or opposing aversion (quincunx) to any planet, check to see if those signs are connected by , because that can mitigate an aversion.
Do the same for your benefic contrary to the sect in favor (Venus during the day, Jupiter at night). It won’t be AS great as your benefic of the sect but damnit we’re focusing on the positive here. Even your malefic of the sect won’t be as bad as your malefic contrary to the sect in favor. In other words, if you were born during the day, Saturn’s not too bad. He’s screwing you over with a purpose and you’ll come out stronger or more disciplined. If you were born at night, Mars will destroy your stuff but it won’t be the end. So, what to do about your worst planet, the malefic contrary to the sect in favor?
4. Focus on the Negative to Limit and Define It
Maybe finding the most positive feature about your chart didn’t yield terrific results, so do the opposite of what you just did. Focus on the negative to define it and limit it. Find your malefic contrary to the sect in favor (that’s Mars during the day, Saturn at night). Look at the house it is in and the houses that planet rules. Those are the areas that show the sources of your greatest difficulties. Check out which signs and planets it makes whole sign aspects toward. Those are areas and topics which can be impacted by your worst planet. Make sure to tally if there are any planets which are in antiscia or contra-antiscia by sign to your worst planet. You’ve just written down the extent of your worst planet’s impact in your chart. It is a finite list. It can’t do any more than that. Now that you’ve assessed the damages, doesn’t everything else seem better by comparison? It can only be better from there on out.
3. Find your Astro-Twin(s)
Look up celebrities who were born on your birth date, read about them and their lives. One easy way to do this is type in a year on Wikipedia, say, 1987. It’ll bring you to a page all about events in that year. Scroll down to “births” and there should be a good list of people born on nearly every day of the year. Once you’ve found some people born close to your birth date, you may notice some interesting similarities. After all, they’ve had to put up with having a similarly crappy chart, and heck, they’re at least celebrities, so they had to have something in their chart that was enough to propel them to some level of prominence, even if it’s tabloidesque Jerry Springer type stuff.
You may have a friend who was born close to your birth date. Log in to Facebook and go to www.facebook.com/events/birthdays. This will bring up a calendar of when your friends have birthdays, maybe there was someone born in the same year. Then, you Facebook-stalk the shit out of that person to see how your lives are parallel and how they’ve dealt with the same transits. For example, there was a girl I knew who was born on the same day as my brother. They both had Mars returns, and he had surgery to remove his wisdom teeth, while I saw on Facebook that she had just had a breast reduction surgery.
One of my best friends in college was born less than 24 hours before me. In some ways we couldn’t be more different, he was a devoutly conservative Catholic and I was (am) a deist liberal astrologer. We had fascinating debates about pretty much everything, but we always learnt a lot from each other, and then we’d goof off and watch movies and listen to music and debate the meaning of those as well. In many ways, our charts sucked but I realized how he used religion and deep probing of theological issues as his way to navigate uncertainty. I saw it as a mirror reflection of how I abandoned religious labels and pursued a deep study of astrological issues as a way of making sense of uncertainty. He was born just before the new moon, I was born just after it. In all other areas of life, I could see the parallel of how he dealt with similar issues I was facing, and most of all, it comforted me to know that someone else was dealing with this shit too and was somehow making it work for them. Perhaps it could for you too.
2. Learn About Annual Profections
Obviously, natal astrology is hardly static. You have one natal chart, but who you are changes and develops. The one technique that helps me make sense of my crappy chart as I live it is annual profections. Count one sign per year from the sign of your Ascendant. Whatever sign you land on for your age is the annually profected sign. The topic of the house becomes a focus during the year, transits through that sign are highlighted and the ruler of that sign becomes significant by natal placement and transit. For example, if you were born with a Leo Ascendant, Leo and the 1st house would become the annually profected sign at ages 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, etc. Transits through Leo in that year would be important, and the position of your Sun and transits from the Sun would be at the forefront of that year.
The reason why you should start using this technique is because it shows you why each year of your life has its own flavor, and why some are great, some are okay, and some are terrible. It’s a reflection of the condition of the planets that rule each sign in your chart. You may even see patterns every 12 years, the same issues come up when the same sign/planets are highlighted. And the best part about annual profections is that if you’re in the middle of a crappy year ruled by a crappy planet in your chart, you only have to wait for your next birthday for the next sign to be profected with a different ruler. Granted, it could be just as crappy or worse, but the point is, the worst thing about good years is that they don’t last, and the best thing about bad years is that they don’t last.
1. Embrace Your Crappy Chart Damnit
If none of this is consoling, you could live in denial and switch to the sidereal zodiac and see if you like your sign placements better. You could also try to climb back out of the rabbit hole and forget about astrology. Or you could embrace all the things that you are, to become more in accordance with your nature. Regardless of what your chart says, what your GPA says, what your credit score says, you still have to deal with being you, warts and all, even if those warts are huge. Better to have huge warts than to never be a witness to the unmistakable beauty, mystery and miracle of this universe and being alive in it. Even people who have been through the worst of human experiences, rape, slavery, genocide, all have found reasons to continue. You can’t give your natal chart a makeover, you can’t touch it up on Photoshop, and you can’t genetically modify it, but you are your bad self with all that entails, so be it.