Learning astrology's basics is ultra important, and like learninga new language. so in an attempt to simplify matters (where to start) is why I started this thread.
Notice when making or responding to a thread, to the right are smiles, under the picture list of 'smiles' there is [more] this brings a pop up box with the 10 planets and 12 star signs.
mars - these are called 'personal planets'
pluto -these are call 'outer planets'
Modern astrologers use all these, where as Traditional astrologers only use jupiter and saturn.
there is an ongoing debate over the use of these 'outers' here if you want to read up on this...
are outer planets generational or personal
What is an Ephmeris and How to Use.
An ephmeris is a book or online service that plots where the 10planets are for hundreds of years. You need to refer to an ephmeris if you want to use 'Transits' this is the first line in 'predicting' what's happening in your life.
here is my favourite online ephemeris which plots where the planets are for hundreds of years...
So, click on the year you want, and then month you want. so currently it's November 2012.
now the reason I prefer this ephemeris,is purely peronsal it uses the 'glyphs' and you can see at a glance
Now astro.com has an ephemeris http://www.astro.com/swisseph/ae/2000/ae_2011.pdf
Notice the red columns,(from khaldea attached) these are planets retrograding (going backwards)
These ephemeris' are giving you degrees that planets on in and dates they move and change. With easy computer generated charts, like from astro.com we don't have to do things manually. But when you SEE your chart it gives the planets and the degrees ie: 7' degrees,50" minutes. Now using maths, these planets/degrees/ make mathamatical aspects to your natal chart, and this is what we call 'Transits'
so if you look to far right column Pluto is currently 5'37" capricorn, next going from right to left is Neptune 28'08" and so on....
here another great resource
so then you need to learn what each planet means, below is from our *Education Forum*
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Planets show *WHAT*
Planets represent fundamental urges and principles. For example Planet Mars is the planet of Action, Mercury the planet of Communication and Saturn the Lord of Time and Karma, and so on. The configuration of the planets will show the interplay between the planets which may assist or inhibit their behaviour in our lives.
Sign shows *HOW*
The sun when placed in Aries, will behave much differently to when it is placed in Cancer. You need to understand the energy of both the Sign and the planet to determine How the planet will behave in your chart.
House shows *WHERE*
Houses show us an arena of life where the particular urge and style of expression will be experienced. The houses of the horoscope usually refer to a more material, or tangible experience for the individual.
This is a great link for resources,on our Education Forum, for what it means to have planets in signs, what the houses mean, and what it means to have planets in houses.
Remember planets are modified by signs (aries, taurus,gemini,cancer etc etc) where they express are houses and how they express are *aspects*
WHAT ARE *STICKYS*
have you noticed at the top of every forum there are 'stickys' please do not ignore these as unimportant. I wish they were renamed to something like *read me* these give valuable information appertaining to that forum.
Advices from past and present senior members, Moderators and Admin. they explain in layman's terms how to go about things, what resources are available, links for research and explanations on a whole range of astroligical matters.
You may also see abbreviations like OP (original poster) SA (solar arcs) SR (solar returns) T pluto = transiting pluto, SP (secondary progressions)
there are also multiple *stickys* in our Help forum, on 'how to'
Houses: angular houses 1/7 4/10 the energies of planets placed here are obvious cos it's your 'shop window' visible for everyone to see. Next the succeedent houses 2/8 & 5/11 the energies in these houses are not in shop window the are in the shop, but stood behind the counter, ready to come out when needed. Lastly, cadent houses 6/12 & 3/9 these houses/planets are not in shop window or stood behind the counter, they are in the back storeroom and only come out when 'triggered' or an emergency and much harder to recognise and access...
The houses are like the backdrop of a stage, the setting if you like, the planets are like actors and the aspects are how the planets behave in that settings/stage....