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Natal Astrology A place to discuss yours and others' birth charts (after you post your own birth chart interpretation). Includes psychological and relocation astrology, houses, aspects, and planetary dignity and debility.

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Unread 07-31-2009, 06:44 PM
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Beginning to Study Astrology

With the myriad of choices the Internet presents to those who wish to begin studying astrology, things can get confusing. People who have barely even looked at a chart are suddenly zooming off to investigate hypothetical planets, thousands of asteroids, and arcane techniques.

How do we keep those interested in astrology from developing AADD (Astrology Attention Deficit Disorder)?

Simple - encourage new students to stick to the basics until they have a complete grasp of astrology’s core. Unless the student has a firm grasp of basic concepts, there is nothing to build upon.

Astrology, if it is nothing else, is a language. And what is a language? It is expression of the mind. Taking this into consideration, how does an infant (or anyone else really) learn a language? Do they immediately start constructing complex sentences out of thin air? No – they learn a few key words an build upon them. Verbs like “eat,’ “go” and “make.” Nouns like “mama,” daddy,” and “tree.” Simple thoughts can then be expressed, like “Mama go tree” – then those can be modified and strung together into more complex expressions.

This is how I teach my astrology students. Lean the basics first, because when it starts to get more complex, you have the basic tools to make sense of things.

When I get a new beginning student or class of students, I always ask them for their definitions of astrology. Usually, the answer is “Oh, it’s the signs and stuff.” Or, “Well, I’m a Cancer so it’s very emotional thing for me.”

I then tell them that I use two definitions of astrology. One is four words: “As above, so below.” The other is slightly more words, but basically the same meaning: “The study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in correlation with the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs.”

Then, I point out to them that there is no mention of “signs” in either of the definitions. I tell them, “It’s going to be quite a while before we talk about the nature of the signs – they are just modifiers of the most important things in astrology – the Sun, Moon and Planets. These are the language of astrology’s verbs. Then we are going to look at the Houses, which are astrology’s nouns. This will take us the better part of 11 or 12 meetings – before we really study Signs and what they are.”

The first seven meetings cover, in order Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, The Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon. There is homework after each meeting. Each student is asked to come up with ten verbs for the body we are studying that meeting. It’s more difficult than it sounds at first, they usually figure out. We go over the verbs at the next meeting before we start in on the next planet in the sequence. After the first seven sessions, I do one session on Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

The next sessions concern the Houses as nouns – divided into Angular, Succedent and Cadent.

Then, finally, there are sessions on the signs – the adverbs. First taking them on as Elements, then as Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable, then looking at where the Planets fit into each sign (or not) dignity wise. This usually takes three classes overall, depending on how well the students are integrating things. Aspects (Ptolemaic at this point only) as adjectives are then discussed for one class – as the stage has been set for their energies by the previous discussions.

Then, and only then, do we really begin to explore chart synthesis, after learning how to do basic chart calculations. Any other techniques are not for basic classes.

The total of beginning class sessions should take around 16 meetings. You’ll notice that fully half of those sessions concern ONLY the Sun, Moon, and Planets.

Why? Because they are the most important thing in astrology.

You can’t do any sort of astrology without them.
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