5 Ways to Deal With Having a Chart That Sucks

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)

Larry, I have great news. Michael, I have terrible news.

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.

42 thoughts on “5 Ways to Deal With Having a Chart That Sucks”

  1. Yes! I discovered that Usain Bolt had his birthday within a couple days of my own and I was like yea b0i that’s how you deal with a Mars that’s totally out of bounds.

  2. I love your style, but I’m not convinced by essential dignities in a natal chart. Mine is full of dignified planets but my professional life is at a total dead end. The best chapter of my life is motherhood and I have a Scorpio moon… I’m born during the day with Jupiter in Sagittarius! Mars rules the XIth and I’m a very sociable person with lots of friends. So much for the benefic/malefic thing.

    1. I’d love to take more of a look at your chart. There are several factors that could explain your professional life, such as Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Spirit.

      1. I grew up ready to throw in the towel. My chart sucked then and still done. I wave the white flag of the universe teaching me through pain and suffering. And I’m a genuinely good person. Mostly an empty chart except 5th and 6th house full of planets. 5th has Pluto Saturn and Jupiter. 6th has Uranus, Neptune and Moon. Sun in 7th. I don’t know what it is but it’s like an unlucky cosmic joke.

  3. Elizabeth Hazel

    One more for the crappy chart club. Diurnal benefic Jupiter is in fall, blind in one eye and lame in one leg. He gets and gives NO love at all. Saturn is final dispositor & almuten.
    All limits, sharp edges and painful corners. Work hard for everything, then piss-poor material rewards – just more painful lessons. It doesn’t get any better/worse than that.
    Going sidereal/Vedic doesn’t help – a raja yoga that’s comatose.

  4. LOL, Patrick!! I have to admit that people with crappy charts,.. not just rulers, etc but brutal aspects lining up,.. are usually more amazing, strong, able to deal with problems,… ’cause they are used to it. 🙂 Has a good side, as I’m sure you’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t as well. 🙂 Loved your column!!

  5. very amusing, as it happens Patrick, I’m working on planets in detriment and fall and how they work, the kids of journeys they take people on, so I have a question for you. Do you really experience mars in libra as difficult, and in what way? what are its gifts? this is a position shared with Bill Gates and Maggie Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, any thoughts on that?

    1. With Mars in Libra people, including myself, I notice the tendency to subvert “classic” ideas of masculinity, courage and strength. I snicker at the insecurity of the beefed up jock. I roll my eyes at the idiocy of machoism and competition and shake my head at the futility of bellicose grandstanding and brinkmanship that only causes people to suffer. I just don’t think strength comes from mere displays of strength. I suppose to others I’d seem a coward, or a pansy, a wuss. I also recognize my own need to be more balanced, to embrace some of these brutish qualities because of my instinctive predisposition against them. Not easy, and not particularly inclined.

    1. You’re right, and that mutual reception has played out in weird ways. A “can’t have one without the other” type of situation. My Mars is in Libra in 3rd and my Venus in Scorpio is in 4th. When I had good relations with my parents, I didn’t get along with siblings at all. When my relations with my parents deteriorated when they split up, I got along a lot better with my siblings.

  6. I feel for you, Patrick, but I can’t quite reach you. Unless you have a fixed Grand Cross with no trines or sextiles as outlets, you have little to be unhappy about. I don’t want to knock you for having a positive attitude, as sometimes that’s all that saves us. Good for you. But really, you should clarify the astral twins analogy for those reading who aren’t astrologers. Make sure everyone understands that the other person must be born on the same day and same YEAR as they are. And time is everything! If the planets aspect the midheaven or ascendant in one chart, but not the other, there is no comparison. Those two people are going to be worlds apart. Having the same planets in different houses is like the difference between mansions and homeless shelters. Maybe you meant your article to be humorous, so I’m going to wish you the best and make my exit now. Namaste.

    1. Hi Lesia, you’re right, my chart isn’t quite as bad as that, just by essential dignity my chart is bad. As far as house placement and stressful aspects, I don’t have a terrible amount of those. Of course, someone is always worse off than you.

      I mentioned more than once that the birthdates had to match by year for time twins.

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Hi Lesia,

      I can relate to squares/oppositions and bad dignities.
      Of course there are charts who are far worse and they are still fine, really. There is still so much than planets or house placements. For example, antiscia, parallels, the sect rules, the triplicity rulers, the relationship the planets have with the angles and so on.
      The natal chart is a complex study and it requires a lot of considerations before deciding whether is functional or not. The only thing I can tell you is that no chart defines a shitty life from the beginning till death because there is no chart that can be that dysfunctional.

  7. This was a great article. In terms of aspects I have quite a bit squares, but some trines and sextiles though. I have quite a bit of quincunxes as well in my chart (used astrowin though fyi) I have four quincunxes that are 3° or less in my natal chart. I also have three quincunxes that are wider. At least it makes a really cool, nearly star shape in my chart :0)

    1. Sometimes trines can be bad! Having an easy relationship between two planets isn’t always beneficial if the planets are not working on your behalf!

  8. mars in libra; venus in scorpio qualified for mutual reception … tho from detriments, I’ve heard it called mutucal deception … however

    1. Hi Sonja, yes there is that redeeming quality, and it’s come out in interesting ways. Mutual deception. Awesome.

  9. Racheal Tycoles

    I have had a difficult life since day 1. Lilith is in my 10th house. Saturn in the 6th. The North Node in the 4th and is in Libra/Aires Dragon Tail. Mars in Cancer in the 12th. I have the splash. It’s been very lonely and cruel at times.

  10. Saturn IC in the 4th, Pisces, is perhaps the worst of my aspects. Being a Capricorn doesn’t exactly make it any more manageable, just barely endurable. Obviously, Sat IC also comes with Saturn opposing MC, so my ruler is opposed to me succeeding at anything. Add to this Saturn squaring the Moon in late Scorpio, you get a T-square of doomed female relationships, career failure, depression, homelessness and more. It’s a very good setup for a fucked up personal life and the gimmicks above do not make it any better, in reality or in perception. Having said that, I must admit it’s good for some things. I can help depressed people and those who are weighed down by their woes. I can bring order to chaos. I can protect people in need of protection and do it quite fanatically, which the opposition tends to find somewhat disconcerting. I have a deep sense of history. I have a very good taste in music and I love ancient music. I only respect those who are worthy of respect, by the standards of Pisces. I’m very good at ducking and dodging. In the army, I was commended for my camo skills, after I made an entire camp disappear so well that the officers failed to find their own HQ. I’m really good at stalling the inevitable. I can live in cold, hard places, lacking modern conveniences. No, life is still not much fun, but I don’t expect it to be.

  11. Just so you know, the SEO trick of using folder names and an index.html doesn’t help search rankings anymore. Rumor is that Google doesn’t rank folder names any higher than file names unless there are several files there.

  12. Another way to enhance your chart is to creatively utilize people who have their Jupiter conjunct a difficult planet of yours. I stumbled on this by noticing that when I was sick several times I’d be recuperating while watching a film with Gerard DePardieu in it, you know, hot water bottle and blanket in lap, “Danton” on the screen. When I looked up his chart I noticed both his Sun and Jupiter are on my Chiron. Years later when I had cancer, and was in chemotherapy I watched every movie the rascal made, No miraculous healing implied but I deliberately cultivated that Sun/Jupiter in Capricorn to stimulate the healer side of my Chiron. Another thing you can do is cultivate Jupiter where you have your Saturn. An art form whose chart has Jupiter in Libra seems to propel me past my limitations of Saturn in Libra. That’s the principle. Maybe you can think of other ways to use it.

  13. Great article 😀 lol
    I have a similar chart, check out you’re badass mercury! His got some magic in him 🙂
    Love your Blog!

  14. Hi sweeties,

    You really made my day !
    I do have a crappy chart, Sun in Libra and Venus in detriment looking at Mars in detriment…my Moon is almost as bad as yours, except it’s not in fall. Just VOC and isolated in the 12th.

    I am really curious how dysfunctional your life/chart is, haha. And I think you know why I ask that. 🙂

    My Saggi ASC is laughing now, since he will be starring the next 12 months in the show that’s starting tomorrow. Ha.


  15. Hi
    First forgive my english
    Finally i find some one like me i thought my birth chart is cool i born in 1981 and when 80s start i read that their is a new kind if charts start to appear which is bowl chart i have all planets accumulated in my east hemisphere only half of my chart houses and the other half is empty
    Couple days a go i ask astrologist to read my chart guess what!!
    He said you sucks
    Nothing special about you
    You have nothing
    And i feel horrible first i laughed hard when he said it then i feel so denial then i cried so hard
    I realized now why my life was so fucked up
    It was all in my fucked up chart
    But I think with all this years of struggles with saturn and mars screwing our lives we developed a steel character i have my blue moments but i believe i am so strong because all the battles i’ve been through

  16. Hey Patrick, I’m a new reader!
    Having just very recently gotten a bit into traditional and hellenistic astrology, I found out the worst of the worst on my chart and it seems really bad, really.
    I’m a Leo Rising with a day chart, with Mars in Leo in the 1st house Square my Sun in Taurus in the 10th (7°)conjunct the MC, which Mars squares too (5°)…
    Dang, I really need to know that all will be fine, suddenly I’m not so sure.
    Venus is trine Mars I guess (6°), but she’s in detriment, in Aries in the 9th.
    Jupiter is in Sagittarius in the 5th, he is supposedly trine Mars but I’m afraid it’s too wide to be real, 8° orb. So, in theory it is a fire grand trine but I don’t know if it is indeed.
    That said, is obvious that no benefics aspect my Sun. The only other planet it aspects is my 12th Cancer Moon, which doesn’t seem so great either.

    Did Mars have to be in the worst place and square the most important things in my chart? Damn it.

    Knowing about the “true” nature of Mars explained so much about my life, but it also broke my heart.

    Anyway, I don’t like to be so negative! There’s good stuff in my chart too, besides Jupiter I got a Gemini Mercury in the 11th house (I have quite the splash chart, no two planets in the same sign), I just whish the bad stuff wasn’t so bad. This post did help me, really, thank you 🙂

    1. Patrick Watson

      Hi Bruna, that’s actually pretty neat for your Mars to be forming an aspect with its own ruler, the Sun, even if its a bit harsh for your Sun. Also remember that not every part of your chart is active all the time. Your Taurus and Leo profection years will be the ones where you overcome your battles, your Scorpio profection years will be the ones where fighting back doesn’t help your cause.

      1. Oh, neat? I like neat!
        But “neat” as in “it decreases its destructive forces”? Because that’d be neat indeed! If it’s not that, I still like that it’s neat anyway haha
        Thank you for this insight! Didn’t think of it that way
        Next year will be a Leo profection year for me, I’m kind of scared of what might come, but also kind of looking forward to it
        Oh, I forgot to mention I have the North Node in Scorpio! I just very recently learned that my NN falls on my 4th House instead of the 3rd (Placidus), and Mars being its ruler instead of Pluto, so I got a lot to learn about it still
        The SN co-presence with my Sun is another thing that really gets me down sometimes
        But I remembered another good thing, my part of Spirit is conjunct my Mercury in Gemini, I don’t know much about it but I guess it is a good thing 🙂

        Anyways, sorry for being so chatty (Gemini Mercury problems?)
        I’m really looking forward to your youtube project on all the ascendant + chart ruler combinations by the way, I think it is a wonderful idea! I hope to get a good Taurus flavored Leo Ascendant representation 😉

  17. Sun conjunct ALGOL, mars and Saturn in critical degree, 6 retrograde planets, true node direct, yod with multiple planets at the base and apex, and 13 quincunx aspects.

    I think I have everyone here beat. =)

  18. Hi Patrick,

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have been studying astrology on and off for 30 years now and recently got interested in delineating my chart with a classical approach. I had looked into that in earlier years, but it frighted the shit out of me so to say. Now I feel that by accepting the hardness of my chart I might be able to find something positive to focus on. Not only do I have not one planet in their dignity, most of my stuff is in the 12th and 6th house. And not only that, all my planets and points are clustered together by conjunction and parallel opposite each other. This means: Asc (Leo)with Mars (Cancer 12), Mercury (Cancer 12), South Node (cancer 12), Venus (Gemini 11) and Saturn (Gemini 11), on the other side the Descendant with Part of fortune (Capricorn 6), North Node (capricorn 6), Neptune (Sagittarius 5) and a degree further Jupiter (Capricorn 6). The moon is not inside this, but is seriously OOB in Sagittarius (5) (25.51).
    I have very few aspects between the planets, and mostly also out of sign.

    How would you look at strength and how would you find a way to find balance in such heavy polarity? I am just curious how you would look at this, keeping in mind that I am looking for the positive and strength in my chart.

  19. P.s. it will be no surprise that the antiscia of all Cancer and Gemini planets fall on each other, as do the Sagittarius and Capricorns…

  20. I also have a crappy chart. Night chart, born just before 10:30 p.m. Pluto 4th conjunct IC, biquintile Saturn, and Saturn closely conjunct SN in the 8th, Aquarius. Capricorn on the 8th house cusp. Moon conjunct Venus in Scorpio 6th trine Mars in Cancer 2nd. Neptune 5th and no biological children. My Jupiter in Pisces is close to the MC, but *also* conjunct Chiron and on the 9th side instead of the 10th (Placidus). Uranus 3rd tightly opposes my Jupiter/Chiron 9th. Transits to the MC/IC angle always hit me hard. I’ve had an unusual number of betrayals in life that started very early, and I probably spend too much time alone. Tommy Lee of Motley Crue is my closest Astro-twin, less than 24 hours difference between our births, and neither of us was born in the U.S. I guess one thing to be thankful for is that most of the action in my own chart happens in the more private parts of it so I don’t have to be a public spectacle. Marriage (my 2nd one) has also been a saving grace for me, no major planets in house 1 or 7. ?

    1. Oh, and Saturn/SN 8th Aquarius tightly squares my Part of Fortune in Taurus/11th AND more widely squares my Neptune 5th/Scorpio.

  21. Thank you for this article, would love a longer podcast about it.
    My chart is pretty bad
    Taurus rising (Venus in 8th house Sag, not so bad)
    Sun in Aquarius 10th house and then
    Saturn (Aquarius’s ruler), Mars, and Pluto in Scorpio 7th house
    Wonder where Jupiter is?
    It’s in Capricorn, in the 9th house with Mercury
    The moon is in Libra so that’s sort of okay.
    Basically just a very uncomfortable intense way to live hitting the Angular houses. Pinging between wanting to be hidden and wanting to do big things in the world while being worried I’ll destroy the world.

  22. Mostly commenting on this because my chart and the transits in Oct-Dec 2021 are coming up and they sound like a horror show for Taurus rising (also apparently early 2022).

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