If you are new to astrology, you learn pretty quickly that there are numerous ways to interpret your own natal chart. From which Zodiacal positions you use to which house system you employ to whether or not you include the three outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto or the many asteroids floating around in our part of the universe, each system and technique can lead you to a different perspective on your birth chart. I believe that any technique can reveal a meaningful part of the puzzle that is our lives, but at the same time, I do think that there is a problem with people wanting their charts to always resonate with them on a personal level.
I will be upfront in saying that I do subscribe to a more Hellenistic approach towards natal charts in that the astrologers of this period did not see the chart to be reflective of the subjective nature of the native, but the objective circumstances around the native and the types of situations they may find themselves in. One good example of this “traditional versus modern” difference in perspective is the 7th house. In more modern circles the 7th house is representative of what the native rejects and projects on to other people as the 1st house/Ascendant is the persona the native displays to the world. As such, the 7th house/Descendant is the “shadow self,” a self that is not acknowledged but sought out in other people. In more “traditional” takes the 7th house simply indicates the types of people the native may marry without this additional talk about Jungian psychology. Sometimes, words such as “desire” or “seek” are not used and instead an astrologer may just say that the 7th house shows the conditions of a person’s marriage or what their spouse is like detached from what the native personally thinks about these things.
Regardless of which school of astrology you adhere to, this one example clearly illustrates how a person may or may not “personally resonate” with specific facets of their charts depending on how each astrologer/school of thought frames a particular placement. At the same time however, I do think there are other underlying issues to why some people have this fluctuating issue with their natal charts.
1. Only Using Pop (Modern) Astrology as a Primary Reference
If you get your astrological information primarily from Twitter or Instagram, and sometimes even Facebook, YouTube, or Tumblr, you tend to get only surface level, one-dimensional interpretations of the planets, signs, planetary aspects, and house placements. This is often because the people running these accounts are posting things that will get them likes, views, and followers. Consequently, you will likely get memes and “debates” or “discussions” instead of anything meaningful or nuanced. Some of this is encouraged by the constraints of the platform the user is utilizing, however. Although many people do post long threads on Twitter or hour long lives on Instagram, the average person scrolling through their feed is not going to crack open a notebook and record what is being said or not said. In order to get “engagement” then, users who are smart will post things that are entertaining or do not require a lot of brain power to understand. As a result, you get many posts like “Virgos are hypochondriacs” or “The sign Venus is in shows your love language. Mine is in Sagittarius in the 3rd house and I love talking about astrology lol! What is your love language?”
Although the “debate” and “discussion” type posts may be informative on some empirical level, if you have a limited knowledge on astrology and perhaps just made your chart yesterday, how are stereotypes and jokes supposed to resonate with you? But the answer to this question leads me to my next point.
2. A Lack of (Nuanced) Astrological Knowledge
If your astrological knowledge begins and ends at these popular internet memes and stereotypes it’s hard to really grasp what your natal chart could potentially mean. But even when people have a deeper understanding of the signs at least, there is still a marked misunderstanding of everything else going on in a birth chart.
One thing I see a lot that people miss is how the natal chart is one thing. It is not the sum of its parts but at the same time you do have to comprehend these parts to be able to see it holistically. So it is not enough to simply know what the Sun or Moon means and what the sign they are in means and then put the two together. You also have to contend with the house these signs and planets are in and what that house means independently and within the context of your specific chart. For example, using my chart, an Aries Sun means something rather specific, but in the 12th house means something else entirely. For one, most planets, but especially the Sun, does not like being in this house. But why? You would have to have a grasp on what the 12th house signifies in order to answer this. What does it mean that the Sun is exalted in Aries but debilitated in the 12th house? Then if we get into rulers things get even more complicated. The ruler of my Sun is Mars. But my Mars is again debilitated because it is retrograde. By sign (Virgo) it is dignified by triplicity according to Dorotheus but peregrine according to Ptolemy. Additionally, it is in a fortunate house, the 5th. But Mars is also my most malefic planet since I have a day chart. So how does the condition of the ruler change the interpretation of my Sun placement? Also, let us not forget any aspects my Sun receives as well!
|Sect||Sect light||Out of sect malefic|
|Dignified by triplicity||Dignified by triplicity (Dorotheus)|
|The House That It Is In||12th |
(the “worst” house)
(a fortunate house)
|House(s) That The Planet Rules||4th||7th (Scorpio)|
|Bonification and Maltreatment||Neither||Bonified (x2)|
|Aspects||Copresent with Saturn||Trine Midheaven by degree|
|Square Neptune by degree||Trine Mercury retrograde by degree|
|Square Midheaven by sign||Copresent with the North Node; opposite the South Node|
|Loosely conjunct Venus out-of-sign||Trine Neptune, Venus, and Ascendant by sign|
|Trine Moon and Pluto retrograde by sign||Square Pluto retrograde by sign|
|Sextile Uranus and Juptier by sign|
Astrology is complicated. It is not a discipline you learn over night but is something you continuously work at. As a result, a lot of issues you may have with your chart may be solved if you have a better understanding of astrology as a whole.
3. Not Being the Most Objective Viewer of Self
Sometimes the fluctuating nature of personal resonance comes from not being able to view yourself in an objective manner. Now, we are often the most reliable narrators of our own experiences, yes. However, there may be qualities or aspects of ourselves that we may gloss over, ignore, or downplay because they don’t make us look or feel good. Therefore, when faced with these qualities in our charts, it is easy to do what we always do: gloss over, ignore, or downplay them.
But these qualities don’t have to be negative to be reduced or deflected though. They can be positive traits that we feel “just don’t fit.” To use another personal example, in my tropical chart my Moon is in Leo but in my sidereal chart it is in Cancer. I have often seen Leo placements as described as attention-seeking and the ultimate extrovert, two traits I am definitely not. Additionally, Leo Moons are interpreted to be creative, something I have struggled with my whole life. Cancer Moons, however, are characterized as moody, on the shier side, and sensitive; qualities I believe I have. There is also no mention of creativity with this placement. Both Moons are in the 4th house when using the whole sign system. The problem with wanting to defer to my sidereal Moon over my tropical one is that I am not looking at the entire chart (nor the signs my Moon is in) with much nuance.
Leo placements can cause a person to want to be in the spotlight and praised, etc. But if Leo is over a more hidden or reserved house like the 4th, 8th, or 12th and/or has the ruler in these same houses, where the native seeks out attention is not in places where people can see. In this instance attention is sought out in the home and other private places away from prying eyes. Additionally, in both charts, I still have Mars in the 5th house (in my sidereal one it’s even in Leo!), indicating that even though I have frustrations with being expressing my creativity (which is actually caused by Mars being there), this does not mean I am not objectively creative. Looking over my life, I have been extremely creative. I even wanted to be an artist growing up for crying out loud! I painted and drew almost everyday until high school. Disregarding how I may subjectively feel at this given moment, having artistic impulses has always been a part of who I am. Whether this is ascribed to a Leo Moon or Leo Mars or even simply a 5th house Mars is besides the point because when reflecting on my life materially, all the evidence is there.
4. You’re Too Young
Another big but overlooked reason as to why you may have conflicted feelings over your natal chart is that you are far too young to see it play out. We spend a considerable part of our early life figuring out who we are, what we like, who we like, and what we want to do career-wise. So in some ways it’s a bit reckless to declare that a certain placement doesn’t fit if you’re not in a stage of your life where that placement would even be relevant.
A common area where this disconnect is seen is when it comes to money and career. The 2nd, 6th, and 10th houses and the Midheaven all show your career/job and how you tend to make money. Say your chart indicates that you may work alone or be an entrepreneur of some sort, but in your waking life you are constantly working in collaborations or groups, most likely because you are in school doing projects and constantly hanging out with your friends. At this point of your life you may personally feel as though working independently is not true to you. But down the line, perhaps after your first Saturn return, you find yourself in a field that is less group-oriented and more solitary driven. Or you find yourself promoted to a section of your company that is more self-directed and allows a wider range of autonomy. At 16, you may not be able to see that this is the direction your life will take because you haven’t lived it yet.
5. Your Chart Changes Over Time
Your natal chart is not stagnant. As you grow and mature, so does your natal chart through progressions, the most popular of which are called secondary progressions. In this technique, the day after a native’s birth equals one year. So the positions of the planets say, 50 days after you were born, will influence how your 50th year of life will be like.
With this in mind then, perhaps some wavering feelings you may have about your chart may be due to the fact that some of your placements have changed over time. Who you were at 16 believing you weren’t going to be an entrepreneur is not the same person at 34 running their own small business and this could be potentially reflected in your progressed chart. Maybe during your 30s Uranus was making an aspect to your Midheaven and suddenly you found yourself out of a job and you were forced to be independent financially. This could have been seen with the birth chart too, but perhaps your progressed Uranus was really drummed up circumstances and situations that were leading up to this great break.
A somewhat related technique to secondary progressions is annual profections. Annual profections, in brief, is a Hellenistic timing technique that argues that every year one house in the natal chart is “activated.” Astrologers then make this house the Ascendant and treat it sort of like a natal chart for that given year similar to secondary progressions. The 1st house is equivalent to when the native is 0, the 2nd house when they are 1, etc. until the 12th house when they are 11. The cycle continues for perpetuity. So with annual profections, different parts of the chart are highlighted every year and repeats every 12 years. Therefore, some parts of your chart may feel foreign or odd because it is not what is in focus at the moment.
Perhaps like Missy Elliott shown above, one year you are hyperfocused on getting your bag in check. Money as a concept just seems to dominate you this year. You may stay up wondering if you have enough to pay the bills or afford that thing you want from Amazon. But this is typically not like you, especially with no planets in the 2nd house, say. Regardless of what your natal chart may indicate about you overall, during a 2nd house profection, money and your livelihood becomes front and center. Sometimes transits (the current positions of the planets) and your progressed chart can all combine in interesting and unique ways that can exacerbate profections as well.
6. Wanting Astrology to Give You All the Answers
Astrology is a predictive medium. When a person is able to read a chart well, it can be magical. However, like other metaphysical fields/occult sciences, astrology will not manifest every little thing you are desiring or affirm everything that you want affirmation from. We get one chart each lifetime. It does change over time as was detailed above, but even so, the energy of your natal chart permeates throughout your life. There is no “fixing” or “tweaking” it. It is what it is, and that can be very hard to accept if you have a negative view of it that you do not want to shake. But the mind is a very powerful tool. If you choose to think about your chart positively, you may indeed be able to see the blessings and resources it provides for you. If you choose to think about your chart negatively, you may only see the blockages and hardships it indicates. The choice is yours. You have the ability to make life what you want out of it.