Ambika Devi

The Fundamentals of Astrology

I remember reading my horoscope in Mad Magazine when I was in elementary school. My older brother had a subscription and I used to read his discarded issues when he was done with them. I had been interested in astrology from the moment I could read and was not that happy with the idea of my sign, Scorpio, being depicted as a creepy black overcoat wearing back stabber. I vowed in that moment to never be one.

By the time I was 12, I had a solid understanding of astrology and taught myself how to cast a chart. At 18, I began formal study of this cosmic art. I later became aware of the unique interconnection astrology has with my early passions of yoga and meditation. The three are the daughters of the Vedas and must be seen together rather than separate.

It was not until I had been taking classes at the Astrological Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona that I had ever heard all 12 signs defined with grace and love.

As I look back on the many prejudiced ideas that I have encountered from clients and friends regarding a disdain for a particular Zodiac sign, I chuckle recalling the words of my professor, the very wise Darrell Harris who said,

There is no need to disrespect or shun any particular sign of the zodiac. You have all 12 in your chart!”

I resolved in that moment to not be a, Zodiac Shamer

It is very easy to become caught up in the idea that we are only our Star Sign. This is the placement of our life-sustaining bright star, the Sun, in our birth chart. If you have ever been guided to read only your Sun Sign in daily horoscopes, it can be misleading and feel off. This is because the technique of writing horoscopes is to orient the Sun on the Ascendant. This is also known as the Rising Sign.

Maybe you have ventured a little deeper into your understanding of astrology to explore the sign that the Moon was in at the moment you were born. Given that our Earth’s moon moves through all 27 Nakshatras, the Lunar Mansions, each month, we can easily miscalculate its true location without accurate Date, Time—including hour and minutes, and Location, as latitude and longitude must be accurate when casting a chart.

Computers can only cross-compare three things at a time in an astrology program.

This is why their analysis of a chart is often very confusing and contradictory.

A skilled astrologer backs up from a chart and takes in the entire big picture. We weigh out all of the possibilities and cross-compare all of the angles of aspects to deduce information. A computer cannot do this.

Let’s imagine that we are traveling back through history, viewing our ancestors peering up at the night sky in an effort to answer the biggest questions we humans ask, which are:

1. Who am I?

2. Why am I here?

3. What is my purpose?

That last question is the one that is asked of me as an astrologer on repeat and it is my pleasure to help you understand your true purpose, by unraveling the mysteries of your natal chart for you.

This is precisely what astrologers have been doing throughout history and into the present. We interpret the information of the movement of planets in relationship to fixed stars and the changing seasons here on our Earth.

But as a beginner, where do you start?

An expert astrologer analyzes the location of planets and the degrees of the signs that they are in and their relationships to each other within a chart or in cross-comparison of charts. By measuring the geometric angles between planets, we calculate a grouping of aspects that are based on varying degrees.

The ancient astronomers were astrologers but, in these modern times the two former partners are now considered two different subjects. Astronomy is the study of the physical aspects of the universe, through science. Astrology is now seen a form of divination. Divination means to ‘divine’ or to seek answers using oracles and other means: Chiromancy which is known as Palmistry, Tasseography, the reading of tea leaves, Dowsing, reading Tarot cards and Oracle cards, and Runes and Ogham. Each of these styles has roots in and a relationship with Astrology.

Natal Astrology is the mapping of the birth moment for an individual. More precisely, it is the moment of the first breath. This type of astrology tells us volumes about the personality and potentials of an individual and it is the type of astrology that most people are familiar with.

My preference, is to introduce beginners to the key elements in an astrological signature which is the relationship between a planet, in a sign, in a particular house. To do this I would like to begin with the twelve zodiac signs. You might already have some knowledge about them. Before we dive into all of this, there are a few things I must teach you about.

Each zodiac sign has an affiliation with particular characteristics. We usually think in terms of our Sun Signs as who we are. But it is better to think of the Sun Sign as a descriptor of our egos. It is our Ascendant—which is our rising sign—that other people see in us first. Knowing this, sheds new light on your reading of a horoscope and expands your knowledge of how the world views you.

Elements and Modalities

Each of the 12 signs belong to a grouping of elements and a set of modalities.

The Four Elements are: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. They begin in a progression through the 12 houses starting with the first sign of Aries and repeat the pattern as we progress through all 12. Fire and Air signs are masculine and Water and Earth signs are feminine. We can think of these as active for masculine and receptive for feminine.

The Fire Signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are enthusiastic and have the ability to shine their light on any situation. When fire is strong in a chart, the individual is swift and commanding, able to ignite the spirits of others with magnificent force. Fire signs love to push limits and prefer to follow their passions.

The Earth Signs, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are stoic and stable but remember, they are just as sensual as they are are skilled. They love luscious textures and colors that really convey their true natures. Earth signs have a reputation for being sure-footed and steady.

The Air Signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are intellectual, quick, and love going a little over the top. Their power is knowledge and it is important for them to include feelings into their choices.

The Water Signs, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are full of emotions and sense everything through heart and spirit. Water can cause floods of emotions and instill very deep set core qualities. It is easy for water signs to go overboard and best for them to learn to depend on their power of intuition when making final decisions!

There are three signs within each element, that form a triangle relationship of 60º with each other called a Grand Trine, within the geometry of the 360º of the wheel of the zodiac. We can see this when we plot a chart.

The Three Modalities:

Cardinal, We can see this as the child or Maiden stage. Imagine a pot cooking on an open fire. Cardinal would then be the fire itself.

Mutable, is the second in the progression of modalities. We can imagine this as an Adult or Mother phase and in the idea of the pot cooking on the fire, mutable is the pot.

Fixed, is the elder or wisdom stage. It is the steam coming from the pot which is cooking.

I cannot resist sharing a side note with you. In my past I was a practitioner and teacher of Oriental Medicine. Through that lens I can see the modalities represented by the relationship of the Triple Warmer which houses our our drive, desire, creativity, and instinct tied together with the Pericardium which represents our protective energy, our immunity, and our ability to be resilient.

The Twelve signs of the Zodiac

The development of the twelve signs takes us on a journey from the numbers one through twelve. Signs one through nine represent self-development and evolution. As you read through the information on the twelve signs, I urge you to stay focused on the idea of the numbers rather than any information you have about the animal symbols you have come to know, that represent the Zodiac Signs. I am including the zodiac information for you, for reference and ease of retaining the information. But we could simply think of these 12 signs as the numbers one through 12.

1. Aries represents birth and new beginning, the reincarnation to a new cycle. It is a seed and the realization of “I Am” which begins karmic lessons for the present evolution of the soul.

2. Taurus is the bringing together of energy and stabilization. It is the initial sprouting. This is where the being forms the idea of “Here I am and now, I am in ownership.” Through two, we learn the proper use of resources and wealth.

3. Gemini is the phase of rooting and branching. Through learning and understanding of appropriateness and desires that are accrued through knowledge gained from parents, teachers and older siblings, the soul begins to grow.

4. Cancer is the place of contentment and deeper rooting. The heart and emotional capacity as well as a sense of home and security are established here. The individual begins to thrive through understanding and is given the opportunity to gain autonomy.

5. Leo takes the soul through lessons in choices and understanding of perceived opposites. This provides an experience of polarity. The individual is given the opportunity to shed and release what no longer serves the higher purpose of the greater. This is likened to the pruning of a garden plant or tree.

6. Virgo focuses on daily activity and the relationship to the world around us. The soul relates to the external realm and has the opportunity to pay off karmic debts. This effects the daily growth of the individual. Here buds and flowers begin to form.

7. Libra is a place of endings. As the soul realizes its limitations, it searches outside itself for fulfillment. Seven teaches us that nothing lasts forever and initiates a realization of non-attachment. The lessons of seven often occur in contact, communication, and sexuality with others as well as creativity. When a plant begins to flower, the inevitability of seeding and letting go, are imminent. The flower is now pollinated.

8. Scorpio is where the soul begins to see the highest relationship with the greater. This is where the idea of two becomes one, and the opportunity for psychological well-being presents itself. This happens when the soul chooses to work on self, rather than trying to change what is happening in the external world around them. Awakening can occur in the psychic realm and through occult studies. The plant now bears fruit.

9. Sagittarius is the place of completion in relationship to self-development and how well we feel in tune and resonant with our life-path. Through open-mindedness and higher education we are given the opportunity to see the bigger picture. Bearing seeds provides for the future of the greater good. This is a place of letting go as the fruit drops from the plant and reseeds.

Signs 10-12 are the higher harmonics of signs 1 through 3

From a numerological standpoint, we add 1 plus 0 which equals 1. 1 plus 1 equals 2, and 1 plus 2 equals 3. These final three, double digit numbers reduce back, to the first three single digit numbers. They represent an even greater stage of evolution and development as well as, the higher octave of the original numbers, to which they solve.

10. Capricorn is a result of the entire cycle. It is a higher vibration of one. Ten is the overall result of one’s life activity. We look to ten to tell us how well the individual deals with the evolution brought through the lessons of one through nine. Effort and sacrifice are shown here through the work that is done in the world. Ten teaches us about shedding ego and attachment in order to prepare for a higher state of evolution.

11. Aquarius is the joining of two individual paths, and these are symbolic of two versions of the being. Here the structure for growth transcends the need for individuality and the greater becomes more important. The being now realizes connection and joining for the greater good of all. This is the final stage before reaching twelve.

12. Pisces is the realm of liberation. Psychological well-being leads the soul on the path to enlightenment. Here the opportunity to remove perceived obstacles that cloud the ability to connect with the abstract flow of cosmic consciousness are presented. Twelve is the final emancipation and shows what potentially happens after death. When the being reaches the end of the lifetime and sees everything that has happened; the good, the bad, the successes, and the terrible experiences, they have had, they then have the opportunity to realize that these are part of the role they were meant to play. When they are able to let go of attachments, they are then ready to move forward with clean energy into a different state of being. How easy or challenging this is to be, has to do with all of the planets relationships within a chart to the twelfth house, and the sign of Pisces.

When most people speak of being born under a specific sign, they are referring to the location of the Sun with regards to the 360⁰ that encompass all 12 signs. An astrological chart has 360⁰ divided into 12 houses. Each house associated with one of these 12 signs. In a flat chart we begin with Aries on Ascendant and move around through the numbers one through 12.

Beginning to learn in this method of utilizing the numbers one through 12 rather than trying to think in terms of the names of the Zodiac Signs, you are going to instantly find a lot more clarity when looking at your own birth chart or beginning the study of astrology.

As a client, working with me, I give you tools and knowledge so that you can gain clear clear answers to your burning questions as a result of your first session with me. During it, we will address topics including: Health and wellness, location, timing, and all of your potentials. If you need to pivot or change where you are living or what you are doing, if you want to get into a relationship, sustain your relationship or need help and support in leaving a relationship, I am here to be your guide.

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