In the Stars with Kathryn Silverton


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The Natal Chart:  An Analogy to a Dramatic Play

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The Natal Chart: A Dramatic Play

An astrological chart (also called a natal chart, from the word nativity or natus, meaning "at birth") contains similar components to those found in a dramatic play.

A play has (1) actors on the stage, (2) the personality the actors take on, (3) a setting, and (4) a plot.

In a chart the planets in our solar system are analogous to the actors on the stage. Each planet represents a different human function. For example, the sun represents our life force -- our will to be. The moon represents our emotions, our daily habit patterns. Mercury, the messenger god, represents how we think, how we process information and how we communicate. Venus, the goddess of love, represents what we love, what makes us content or happy, what we value. Mars, the god of war, represents our capacity to assert ourselves, to compete, to be aggressive. Jupiter represents growth, expansion, travel, understanding and comprehension. Saturn represents lessons we have to learn in life, how we deal with authority figures, time, discipline and structure. Uranus represents change, improvisation, experimentation, seeing the world in a different light. Neptune represents our capacity to dream, to imagine, to sacrifice. Pluto represents regeneration, letting go of the old and letting in the new.

Each planet sits in a particular sign of the zodiac. Like the actor on the stage taking on a certain personality for that particular play, each planet takes on the personality of the sign it is in at the time a person is born.

A chart is plotted on a circle, which we call the wheel. The wheel is divided into 12 divisions that we call houses. A house is like one of 12 hourly divisions on a standard clock.

Each house represents a different environment of our lives, such as career, health, relationships, finances, family, children, etc. Planets sit in one of the 12 houses, providing the setting where the activities occur.

The last, but by no means least important, component of the chart is the one analogous to the plot of the play -- the aspects. Simply stated, aspects are angles. Astrologers look at the number of degrees separating each planet from one another. Having studied charts for thousands of years, astrologers have observed that this angular relationship of planets is critical. And there are certain angles that seem to have a greater impact than others. The so called major angles are those where planets are 0 -10, 90, 120, or 180 degrees apart. The minor aspects are those where planets are 30, 60 or 150 degrees apart. And there are even less potent aspects, such as 135, 72 and others.

The aspects act like the plot of the play. They tell us how the planets (actors) interact with one another. They tell us whether the various planets are operating on the same plane as one another or if they are working at cross purposes with one another.

Those are the components of an astrological chart. As you can see, a chart is much more than simply the sign in which the sun was sitting at the moment of birth.

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Kathryn L. Silverton
Lilburn, Georgia