All About Astrology

When someone asks me if I "believe" in astrology, my response is inspired by the late Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, who, when asked if he "believed" in God responded, "No, I do not believe in God, I know God." Jung's distinction between belief and knowing intrigued me. 

Yes, I pondered, there is a distinction between that which we believe to be true and that which we know to be true. I concluded for myself that belief requires trust, a feeling, imagination, hope, faith, and a deep conviction and commitment to the subject, person, or experience that one "believes in." Although it may be subjective, I further concluded that knowledge is learned information that is tangible, provable for the most part, and supported by hands on experience. Knowledge fosters the thinking realm of the individual. 

One person may believe in fairies without ever having had a real encounter with them. Another individual may have had a life altering sighting of fairies, and, therefore, has a unique knowledge of fairies that the person without the experience may never have. It is a very different reality for the individual who dreams of seeing a fairy verses the individual who has actually seen one. 

I do not believe in astrology. I do not dream of it or imagine it to be real. As a practicing professional astrologer for twenty years and a committed student for thirty, I have established a respectable knowledge of the subject, and I am sufficiently satisfied with my own knowledge and experience with astrology. I know astrology. I have studied it and I can attest that it benefits those who choose to use it as a tool in life.

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist famous for formulating the law of universal gravitation, was highly regarded in his time, much like Albert Einstein later was. Newton is credited with many achievements, such as the invention of calculus. As a young man studying mathematics, Newton also studied astrology. An often repeated tale is that the astronomer Halley kidded Newton about his interest in astrology. Newton, it is said, defended himself by asserting, "I have studied the subject, Mr. Halley, and you have not." Newton never recanted his belief in astrology, nor did he feel the new science he was creating invalidated astrology in any way.

Judge John H. Freschi

I am impressed with the late Judge John H. Freschi, who, in 1914, dismissed the charge of fortune telling leveled against Evangeline Adams, who, when arrested, insisted on standing trial. She went to court armed with reference books and proceeded to systematically explain the principles of astrology. She concluded her defense by reading a chart of an individual unknown to her. The anonymous chart was that of the judge's son. Impressed with the accuracy of her reading, Judge Freschi remarked that "the defendant raises astrology to the dignity of an exact science." He dismissed all charges against her. Through hands-on experience with astrology, Judge Freschi was able to acquire his own knowledge rather than an imagined, or, trusting explanation. 

Oddly enough, I found this story of Evangeline Adams in 1982, ten years after I began to study astrology. My maiden, or, birth name is Freschi. My father's name is John Freschi. I contacted my family on the Freschi side to see if Judge John Freschi was a descendant of the family tree. Not only did I discover that Judge Freschi was a great uncle of mine, I was also able to acquire a magazine containing his writings from the early 1900s. Growing up as an Italian Catholic, metaphysics was not a popular choice of profession! Upon reading the story of Evangeline Adams and Judge John Freschi, I imagined that perhaps I have past life links that have perpetuated my interest and commitment to the study of metaphysics and astrology. Ironically, I am offered an inquiry into the distinction between belief and knowledge. I certainly do not know if my interest in metaphysics is passed on to me through this lineage, or story, however, it does inspire my imagination, and, I believe it is possible.


After many years of study and "hands on" experience with various branches of astrological study I am no longer intimidated by answering the major question people ask of each other upon meeting: "So, what do you do?" I am confident and honored to tell them I am a professional astrologer and author. I feel so blessed to able to do the work that I love in the world. Why not be proud of it? Those of you, like myself, who have embarked upon mystical and alternative subjects in the early 1970s know how far our current society has come in understanding and embracing alternative tools such as astrology. I thank all committed students and teachers who have, and continue to unravel the mysteries of our inner and outer spaces. Those who have dared to venture off the beaten path have helped us all grow and prosper in an individualistic manner. With a healthy spiritual life intact, we are able to serve the world with greater intention and integrity.

Science and Mysticism

Magic happens when imagination and rational knowledge unite. The balance that is achieved when the intuitive mind and the logical mind are united is magical and brilliant. It is the stuff of invention, genius, and exploration. Therefore, I whole-heartedly embrace the evidence of astrology as scientific and factual as well as highly mystical and profoundly intuitive. 

All over the world, astrologers continue to explore and navigate the skies, the human soul, and the natural world as a way to understand the mystery and the power of life. The heaven is infinite, as is our mind. The sky, with its myriad shifting planets and its luminous moon beckons us to dream of unknown worlds. Astrologers and astronomers alike seek to gain new and valid insights into the infinite umbrella of stars that surround our planet.

My Wish for You:

"In your own world, and whatever way possible, dare to be an explorer of life. Most importantly, stand tall and share your knowledge with others. Be willing to say you don't know. Be willing to say you do know. And be extra willing to dream. If you build it, they will come." ~ From the motion picture, Field of Dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

[Note: There is no significance to the order of these questions. Many others could be included, and if readers and viewers of this website pose important new questions not in this list we may expand it to a larger number.]

I am confused about how a birth chart appears. Where is the Rising Sign and isn't this called the Eastern Horizon?

As opposed to a map of a country (where East is on the right and West is on the left), East in a birth chart is on the left while West is on the right. Therefore, your Rising Sign is located at the left-side of the wheel at the middle point of the arc on that side of the circle of the zodiac.

What does it mean when the Moon is void?

Approximately every 2 to 2 days as the Moon moves through any sign in the zodiac it reaches a point in its journey where it has made major alignments (conjunctions, sextiles, squares and oppositions) to all of the main celestial bodies. There will then be a time-period lasting a few minutes, several hours and, every so often, even more than 24 hours when the Moon won't make any more of these "major alignments." It is then considered void-of-course until it enters the next sign of the zodiac. 

The meaning of the void-of-course Moon is also controversial. Some people believe that nothing significant happens particularly on the material plane and that key activities and plans begun during a void-of-course Moon will not work out as hoped for and expected. 

Around the world, astrologers have differing methods of calculating void-of-course Moon cycles. There is confusion over whether to incorporate using, say, Chiron, and the 4 main asteroids when calculating void-of-course Moon starting times. 

For some professionals in astrology, it is wise to finish old business during a void lunar cycle, but leave new and bold enterprises until such time as the Moon shifts into the next sign of the zodiac. 

The philosophy and practice regarding the void-of-course Moon is still very much up in the air and the jury is still out about how significant and important it is. As you learn more about astrology, be eager to study a wide variety of viewpoints when it comes to this topic. 

Should I really be concerned about the placement of the 4 main asteroids in my birthchart?

Ever since the first 4 asteroids Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta were made available to professional astrologers in 1972 via the publication of an Ephemeris (courtesy of Eleanor Bach of New York, one of the foremost pioneers in asteroid research), thousands of practitioners and researchers in our field have utilized their archetypal meanings, qualities and themes with great insight and wisdom. 

To many professional astrologers of the last 4 decades, these asteroids are as essential to a birth chart as the Sun, Moon, 8 planets, and the Nodes of the Moon. Because almost all the anciently-known planets were named after Gods rather than Goddesses, astrology as practiced for the past 2000 years was strongly "male-dominated." Without having these 4 "Asteroid Goddesses" in today's birth maps, our current knowledge and understanding of chart dynamics would remain imbalanced and off-kilter. 

Realize, too, that there are many thousands of other asteroids in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter where a planet might have exploded eons ago or never congealed in the first place. The first four asteroids were discovered between 1801 and 1807, and, when they were discovered, the astronomers who sighted them believed them to be actual planets. It was only several decades later that they were named "asteroids" to distinguish them from full-sized planetary bodies. 

I have read and heard about planets being discovered beyond Pluto? Are they important in my birth chart?

With the invention of more powerful telescopes utilizing radio, x-ray and other, non-visible light techniques we are now able to uncover formerly unknown secrets about the extreme, outer regions of our solar system. 

Pluto is around 3 billion miles away, but now we are finding other planetary bodies such as Sedna and Eris way beyond Pluto. However, the further away a planet is located from the Earth, the much slower it moves through the zodiac. Therefore, planets like Sedna and Eris can remain in a sign of the zodiac for many decades. 

Despite the slowness of their motion, if a planet like Sedna or Eris (or other celestial bodies that have been discovered far-out in space) happens to be located on your Rising Degree or in a very close union with your Sun, Moon or key planetary body at your birth, then it is wise to read and study more about the meaning of one of these very distant planets in the outer regions of our solar system. 

Many of our consultants are aware of the power of planets like Sedna and Eris. Thus, if this topic is of interest to you, make sure you ask about their placements at the time of your birth when you are having a session. 

What does it mean when a celestial body is stationary? Does this have major significance?

From the Earth's vantage point, all the celestial bodies (except the Sun and Moon) will periodically appear to slow down their direct motion in the zodiac, come to a halt, and then begin a retrograde cycle. The norm for celestial bodies is to have motion, and also to have a mean rate of daily motion. Therefore, it is fairly rare to be born when any celestial body is stationary, and, relative to the ongoing transits or movements of celestial bodies in the sky at any time, it is also rare for solar systemic bodies to be motionless. 

It is far more common for celestial bodies to be moving forward or backward not to have zero amount of motion. Thus, if you are born with a stationary celestial body or if and when celestial bodies become motionless in the sky, those time-periods are saturated with the archetypal power and energy of the celestial body at the center of attention. 

A stationary celestial body like any other sky object utilized in birth charts can function on low, middle or high levels and/or fluctuate among them. For some professional astrologers who work a lot with ephemerides (showing the day-to-day movement of all the planetary bodies in the solar system) seeing that a client is born with one or more stationary celestial bodies can be very significant in the interpretation of the chart in question as well as the future transit and progression cycles. 

Can you offer a brief description about Intercepted Signs as well as House Systems?

There are many ways to divide the 360-degree space of the circle or wheel of a birth chart. While most American astrologers divide the chart into 12 houses, this is not always the common practice in some European countries and other places around the world. 

In addition, you may see names like Placidus, Koch, Porphyry, Campanus, Regiomontanus, Equal, Solar and so on concerning the house division utilized in creating your chart wheel. These names are referring to a variety of mathematical models by which the 12 houses or spaces of a chart are created. 

The entire topic is rather complex and astrological researchers of the past spent much time investigating advanced mathematics to find their most favorite house divisions. 

Depending on a person's birth latitude and longitude, and the time of day of the birth, it may occur that a zodiacal sign is wedged inside of a house so that its energy-field is not on the cusp or beginning point of any of the 12 houses. Such a zodiacal sign is said to be intercepted. 

While some professional astrologers go to great lengths to interpret the importance of an intercepted sign, other practitioners may ignore it or give it minor significance. 

One way to eliminate intercepted signs is to choose an Equal House type chart where the Rising Degree in the East at the moment of birth becomes the beginning of the first house, and then each house thereafter contains exactly 30 degrees of zodiacal space. 

If your chart has been created in a format other than the Equal House system, it can be a fascinating experience to then view your chart using the Equal House technique as a second way to understand where all the celestial bodies are showing up in the complete circle of the zodiac.

What is the difference between the Tropical Zodiac and the Sidereal Zodiac?

Most professional astrologers in the Western Hemisphere use the Tropical Zodiac in which the first sign of Aries begins exactly at the Spring Equinox, and the following 11 signs in 30-degree increments proceed thereafter. 

However, the Sidereal Zodiac which has been used particularly in India for centuries is based on the Constellations (of star groups). In addition, there are different views concerning exactly how the Constellations are currently intersecting with the so-called "Signs" of the Tropical Zodiac. 

If we go back around 2000 or so years ago, the Sidereal and Tropical Zodiacs more or less coincided. They don't anymore. Therefore, for example, someone now having the Sun in the middle of Pisces in the Tropical Zodiacal Sign of Pisces will have the stars of the Constellation of Aquarius energizing that solar placement.

Note: In the Fagan/Bradley method of calculating a chart in the Sidereal Zodiac, every Tropical Sign placement is approximately 24 degrees earlier in the Sidereal Zodiac. Thus, someone having the Sun at 19 degrees of Pisces via the Tropical Zodiac will have the Sun at 25 degrees of Aquarius in the Sidereal Zodiac. However, the interpretation of the meaning of Sidereal Aquarius may be very similar to Tropical Pisces. 

Looked at from a different vantage point, the so-called "heart star" (Antares) of the Constellation of Scorpio is located around 10 degrees of Sagittarius in the Tropical Zodiac of signs. However, the red-giant star Antares while now energizing Sagittarian-type qualities, dynamism and philosophy is still very much at the center or core of the meaning of the Constellation called Scorpio. 

Like other topics in this set of 20 Questions the Void-of-Course Moon, House Systems, Stationary Planets, etc there is much difference of opinion around the world in the field of astrology about the meaning of both zodiacs. Nonetheless, an astrologer working rigorously with either system should be able to do a fine, clear and accurate reading for an individual.

What is the Ruling Planet at birth? How is it found?

In traditional astrology, once the Rising Sign is calculated then the Ruling Planet is known. For example, it has been said for centuries that the Sun rules Leo and the Moon rules Cancer. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn the other, key five celestial bodies utilized before the discovery of the outer three planets were always said to rule over two signs each. 

Mercury ruled Gemini and Virgo; Venus ruled Taurus and Libra; Mars ruled Aries and Scorpio; Jupiter ruled Sagittarius and Pisces; and Saturn ruled Capricorn and Aquarius. 

When Uranus was discovered, most astrologers agreed that it should rule over Aquarius. When Neptune was discovered, most astrologers agreed that it should rule over Pisces. When Pluto was discovered, most astrologers agreed that it should rule over Scorpio. 

However, many professionals in our field don't necessarily make Neptune the ruling planet for someone born with Pisces Rising or make Pluto the ruling planet for someone born with Scorpio Rising. The reason is that those planets take 165 years (for Neptune) and 248 years (for Pluto) to make a full orbit of the zodiac. Therefore, in a year's time, Jupiter might go through one whole sign of the zodiac while Neptune might only move 2 or 3 degrees of a sign. In a year's time, Mars might go through half of the signs of the zodiac while Pluto might only move 1 or 2 degrees of a sign. 

The bottom line is in some cases there is what is called a "Co-Rulership." Thus, for many professional astrologers, someone born with Scorpio Rising would have Mars and Pluto as co-rulers, and someone born with Pisces Rising would have Jupiter and Neptune as co-rulers. 

In general, the Ruling Planet whatever it is has extra potency (for good or ill) because it is said to be in charge of the entire chart and its dynamics. Therefore, if a Ruling Planet is placed prominently in a birth chart and has auspicious alignments to other celestial bodies, etc., this may bode well for the positive evolution of the person born with that sky pattern. On the other hand, if a Ruling Planet is placed poorly in a birth chart and has challenging alignments to other celestial bodies, etc., that may represent a fair share of blockages, frustrations and obstacles to progress as part of that person's life-lessons this time around. 

What are Transits?

Simply put, Transits are the ongoing movement of celestial bodies in the sky. Professional astrologers often put the transiting celestial bodies in a wheel around a client's natal chart to see how a current group of sky objects are influencing the person for whom they are doing a consultation. 

What are Progressions?

There are many types of Progressed systems of extending a birth chart into the future. You may see names like Secondary Progressions, Solar Arc Progressions, Tertiary Progressions, Minors, Primaries, and so on. 

The main system used particularly in Europe and America during the 1800s and first part of the 1900s is known as Secondary Progressions, in which each day after birth is equal to one year of life. 

Therefore, if the professional astrologer wants to know the Progressions for an individual who is 40 years old, you go 40 days after the birth day and locate all the solar, lunar and planetary placements. 

This sounds rather magical as to why such a system would work to help analyze an individual's unfolding psychic, emotional and spiritual life (the main reason to calculate progressions in the first place). However, the reason the 1 day = 1 year system works so well is that it is based on the concept that (1) the Earth spins on its axis in 24 hours, and that (2) the Earth is also simultaneously generating 1 degree of motion in the zodiac around the Sun (the axis of the solar system) with each passing 24 hours of time. 

Therefore, every time the Earth rotates on its own axis in 24 hours (a day), it is also simultaneously moving 1 degree of the zodiac in its larger revolution around the Sun. Thus, the Earth takes 365 of these 24-hour rotations (a year) to accomplish one complete orbit. 

Sometimes a professional astrologer will make and study a Tri-Wheel composed of a client's natal wheel, the progressed wheel, and the transit wheel, in order to examine three levels of astrological significance in one visual map. 

What are Sun-Moon Phases and are their meanings significant?

While there are four main phases most people are familiar with New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter these four principal ways of examining the waxing and waning of moonlight are often divided into another four sub-phases. There are other researchers who have made even greater sub-divisions of the entire cycle of 29.5 days from one New Moon to the next. 

As part of the study of any birth chart, it is very significant to be aware of an individual's Sun-Moon Phase. Not only does every phase have a very clear meaning, but every month or 13 times in a calendar year, the same phase the person was born under will happen again. 

Therefore, you could say that every year a person has the Celestial Signature of Sun and Moon they were born under reappear 13 times. Just as some professional astrologers compose 13 Lunar Returns for when the transiting Moon in the sky comes back to the natal Moon placement in order to evaluate the significance of such Moon returns you can also create 13 Solar-Lunar Phase Returns to examine their meaning and potency. 

Because the Sun and Moon are the two lights in astrology often carrying the most weight and importance by sign, aspect and positioning in the birth chart their phase relationship to one another is often a centerpiece in any chart delineation. 

Is it positive or negative to have no celestial bodies in a house?

If you accept the idea of reincarnation, then perhaps empty houses in this lifetime mean you don't need to focus as much attention on the affairs and themes of that house. Perhaps in other lives, you had birth charts where considerable focus was placed on those same houses which now are empty implying that you learned those lessons and don't have to repeat them in this life. 

In terms of significance, you should not worry if, for example, there are no celestial bodies in the seventh house (usually considered to rule over marriage) or no celestial bodies in the tenth house (usually considered to rule over career direction). Having no celestial bodies in these two houses doesn't mean (1) no marriage will occur and (2) no career will be successful. 

Instead, you examine the sign on the cusp or beginning of that house as well as whatever celestial body rules that sign. By working with those two factors (sign on a cusp and ruling planet of the sign) you can then learn a lot about potentials regarding primary partnerships, marriage or social life (seventh house themes) and potentials regarding career aims, professional goals, worldly achievements and reputation (tenth house themes). 

I am hesitant to study my chart and really get into astrology because I don't want to feel that fate rules my life? Can you explain whether charts are revealing fate and destiny, as well as the concepts of free will and karma? 

Carl Jung the eminent psychologist who made an in-depth study of astrology once said that what we don't fulfill as our destiny returns to us as our fate. 

Edgar Cayce America's most-famous "Sleeping Prophet" in the first half of the 20th Century spoke widely of the significance of astrology while in his thousands of trance readings. He said many times that no planet or celestial body in any chart was more important than a person's free will as a soul-spirit. He also said that "Mind" was ever the builder. 

You are born with a birth chart composed of Sun, Moon, 8 planets, the Nodes of the Moon, Chiron, 4 main asteroids, fixed-star placements and various mathematical alignments because you chose as a soul-spirit before this lifetime to enter into the physical realm at a precise moment of time in a specific place on Earth. This is at least one way to understand why your birth chart is so important because it is a kind of spiritual blueprint of what you are trying to develop this time around in the body-mind-spirit while incarnate as a human being on this planet. 

Every celestial body at birth can be utilized on a low, middle or high level. And the same goes for every aspect or mathematical alignment as well as every Whole Chart Pattern (Triangles; Crosses; T-Squares; etc). Therefore, you can say that through utilizing the wholeness of your chart universe and perhaps beyond the chart itself, there is a Higher You guiding the entire unfolding process throughout this lifetime. 

Karma is an Eastern concept that pretty much is defined as you will reap as you have sown or like Isaac Newton's Second Law of Motion for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Some of the placements of celestial bodies in your birth chart may be the result of "past actions" on your part as a soul-infused personality from another era, culture, prior incarnation on Earth. Even though Time as we understand it in the physical realm may be an illusion on higher levels of consciousness, the concept of past, present and future is still something we have to consider as valid in the material dimension of life. 

We may be drawing to ourselves partners, friends, family members, business associates and even opponents and adversaries because of the laws of Karma. If this is so, all we can do is act as fairly, respectfully and kindly as possible to dear ones as well as those who come to challenge our views, behavior and life-experience. Through honest communication and sensitive reflection, even sworn enemies can sometimes wind up sitting down at the negotiating table to hammer out an agreement. 

Are overall chart patterns containing Crosses, Triangles and unusual configurations important in the analysis of a birth chart? 

Yes, and there have been many pioneers in this field. One of the foremost was Dr. Marc Edmund Jones whose classic book from nearly 70 years ago (The Guide to Horoscope Interpretation) first explained the method of viewing the chart as a "whole" along with types he named Splash, Bundle, Bowl, Locomotive, Seesaw, and Splay. 

In addition to these fascinating overall configurations, certain charts reveal prominent displays of Crosses (in the Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable Signs), and Triangles (composed of the four elements fire, earth, air or water). 

For astrologers and clients learning how to view their birth charts, it is an excellent step up the ladder of interpretation to see celestial patterns as holistically as possible. You may then be able to move beyond the analysis of individual signs and alignments to perceive formerly unrecognized whole-chart symbols holding greater transformative power at the time of your birth. 

Are Solar Returns, Lunar Returns and Planet Returns important to study? If so, why?

Many professional astrologers make a thriving business out of analyzing a client's annual Solar Return. After all, it makes sense to do so for several reasons. 

The client is having a birthday and, in the field of astrology, a precise chart can be created for when the Sun exactly comes back to its birth placement. Such a Solar Return chart can give strong indications of what may unfold in the client's life from that birthday to the next 12 months later. 

However, no Solar Return session or chart whether used on its own or in comparison with the natal chart should replace the analysis of the constant movement of transits and progressions influencing the client and his or her chart dynamics. 

To over stress the Solar Return at the expense of the myriad of transits and progressions many of which are incredibly profound is an inappropriate use of higher astrology. But using the Solar Return as well as Lunar or Planetary Returns in addition to the ongoing transits and progressions is the best and most comprehensive approach of all. 

Could the Moon placement at my birth be more powerful than my Sun placement?

Yes. There are many ways in which the Moon sign is more significant than the Sun sign. 

From a simple way of looking at a birth chart, someone born with the Moon overhead (while the Sun is below ground) or with the Moon at the Rising Sign in the East (while the Sun is setting or in the Western sector of the chart) would probably have a Moon that is more potent and influential than the Sun. 

The Moon is also extremely significant for every human being because when we are first born, we cannot survive on our own. We are dependent on some kind of maternal, nurturing or protective source. Usually, that is the mother or, if the mother cannot function in that manner, another female relative or, if necessary, the father and so on. 

The Moon sign at birth speaks volumes of your earliest childhood memories, your connection to parents, and even the kind of element (fire, earth, air or water) and mode of expression (cardinal, fixed or mutable) that is most natural to you coming from previous incarnations. And the Moon has so much to do with our moods, feelings, internal rhythms and cycles, as well as the kind of personality we develop. 

On the other hand, the Sun which we have in common with all the other souls born within a 30-day time-period has much more to do with our character, core-power, heart-center and spiritual will. 

If the Moon is also making a large number of alignments in a person's chart whereas the Sun is more in the background and less connected to other celestial bodies, then the Moon's power will probably exceed that of the Sun. 

If the Moon is more strongly configured than the Sun in your birth chart, it is important to steer clear of the lower levels of lunar influence in which irrational fears, subliminal worries, quickly changing moods, and erratic biological cycles may overwhelm the heart-centered and soul-empowered energy-field represented by your Solar life-force. 

I don't know my birth time what do I do, and can a chart still be created for me?

In America, every state of the union has a "Bureau of Vital Statistics" with Birth & Death records. It is usually in the state capital or a major metropolitan area. Through Google or your state telephone system, you should be able to locate such a bureau and then find out how much it costs to receive a full copy (often considered a Long Form) of your birth certificate. 

You will probably need to provide your Mother's maiden name, Father's name, your full name at birth, the month-day-year of your birth, city and state of birth, and perhaps one or more other items. It may take several days or a week or longer to obtain the Long Form. In most cases, your birth time will be on there, but in certain states and cities depending on the year of birth and confusion regarding time zones and changes in daylight timing, etc the time might be absent. 

Of course, if a parent is no longer living, you might inquire whether another relative of yours has a Baby Book or some kind of memorabilia referring back to your childhood where a time of birth might have been written down. 

If you can never obtain your birth time, but you do know what month-day-year you were born as well as the city and state or county, then the professional astrologer will usually create what is called a Solar Chart where the Sun is placed at the Rising Sign position in the East or at the left-side of the chart. 

In some astrology software programs, the astrologer can choose to use Noon as a time (so that the quickly-moving Moon placement is as accurate as possible), but then request the program to put the Sun on the Rising Sign. This is the best way to read a birth chart when no time is actually available. 

There are some highly-technical astrologers who feel they can do a "rectification" of your chart by receiving from you a large number of significant life-events and then doing a lot of rigorous analysis to come up with a supposed exact time of birth (that fits the experiences and circumstances of your life). However, there is no 100% guarantee that an astrologer who performs a rectification will be right, and it usually costs a lot of money to have this done. 

Since the ancient concept of the day is that it began at sunrise, using a Sun-Rising type chart for your birthplace is the most sensible route to take when no birth time is known. Note: If an approximate birth time is known, then it is useful for an astrologer to experiment in creating a couple of charts around the approximate time of birth to see which one "fits" you best. 

The bottom line is that any professional astrologer can still do a highly significant consultation for you even if your birth time is unknown or known only approximately. 

Am I living in a good place in the world? How do I use Relocation Astrology to change my life for the good?

Back around 1975, Jim Lewis a professional astrologer in San Francisco devised our modern form of Relocation Astrology. 

In the 3+ decades since he invented this system of moving anyone from one place to another, there have been all kinds of add-ons, refinements and developments. While some people can find love and happiness where their Venus is rising, and other people can find worldly success where their Jupiter is directly above, you really need to move the entire birth chart from the natal location to the new location analyzing the entire dynamic of Sun, Moon, 8 planets, Nodes of the Moon, Chiron, and 4 main asteroids, etc. 

Thus, in the estimation of many astrologers working with relocation techniques, there are no quick and easy solutions whereby you move to an auspicious new town or city (because the Sun, Moon, Venus or Jupiter are prominent) and then your life shifts from negative to positive. 

For example, every state of the union has a birth chart for the month-day-year it entered the United States. And these charts can be compared to both your natal chart and any relocation chart of yours while you are considering moving to that state. Even towns and cities have founding dates and/or incorporation dates meaning that they have birth charts, too. Thus, you could think that you have found the Promised Land because a city hundreds of miles from your present location allows your Venus to rise or your Jupiter to peak in power overhead, but if the state chart and/or the town/city chart is somewhat incompatible with your relocation map, who can say whether that Venus or Jupiter placement will really be so auspicious? 

Nevertheless, in the hands of an expert in Relocation Astrology, you are likely to determine if your current place is reasonably good or not across the board or in one specific area of your life (i.e. partnerships; money matters; establishing a home base; career success). Based on determining the qualities and strengths/weaknesses of your current place, the astrologer who has expertise in relocation techniques can help you enormously in selecting one or more locations that should fit your lifestyle and future better than where you are residing now. 

I am born on a cusp between two Sun-signs. Therefore, am I both signs? Can you please explain this apparent confusion?

In actuality, if you know your exact birth time as well as month-day-year, and city and state of birth then the odds of you being born on the cusp between two signs is almost impossible. Why is this so? 

The reason is that the Sun shifts from one zodiacal sign to the next zodiacal sign in only 1 minute of real time. Unless you were born at that 1 minute (out of 1440 minutes in a day) when the cusp-shift of the Sun-sign is occurring, then you are either one sign or the other. 

For example, let's take someone born on November 22, 1981. Most people born on November 22 of any year don't know 100% if they are a Sun-sign Scorpio (the sign just ending) or a Sun-sign Sagittarius (the sign just starting). Let's say the person was born in New York City at 4:30am which was Eastern Standard Time.

On November 22, 1981, the Sun made its precise shift from Scorpio to Sagittarius at 4:36am EST. Therefore, the above hypothetical individual would be a Sun-sign Scorpio because they were born 6 minutes prior to the exact solar passage into Sagittarius. 

If the same individual had been born at 4:40am EST, they would be a very early Sun-sign Sagittarius because they were born 4 minutes after the exact solar passage into Sagittarius. 

Only if that person were born right at 4:36am EST would they be born as a cusp Sun-sign caught between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Thus, being "born on the cusp" of a Sun-sign is still possible, but much more exceedingly rare than everyone thinks particularly those people who think they are born with both signs as their solar placement. 

Is Mercury Retrograde a negative cycle?

Except for the Sun and the Moon, all other celestial bodies in our solar system may appear to be in reverse from our vantage point on the Earth. Retrograde motion is a normal part of any celestial body's movement through the zodiac. The reason you may believe that Mercury Retrograde is negative is that a massive "thought-form" has been built up over the decades in the international community of students, researchers and professionals in the astrological field that this first planet from the Sun being in reverse tends to create snafus and problems regarding communications, travel plans and health-medical matters those themes especially associated with the archetypal meaning of Mercury. 

Happening three times a year for about 3 weeks at a time, Mercury retrograde is a fairly frequent occurrence during the course of a calendar year. However, the planets from Saturn out to Pluto all spend around 5 of 7 months being retrograde (per 12-month cycle) and very few people raise a giant red flag in the astrology field when, say, Saturn is not moving forward for 5 months straight. 

Retrograde cycles are always golden opportunity time-periods to review, reflect and re-evaluate the key meanings of the celestial bodies doing backstrokes in the zodiac. Sure, it is wise to be careful when a celestial body is in reverse because its function is focused more in an inward manner than externally plus there are lessons to be learned, requiring thoughtfulness, study and patience. 

Nevertheless, there is no blanket "bad" quality to Mercury or any other celestial body having retrograde motion. In fact, when Mercury is in reverse, there will be three times during a calendar year when a so-called Sun-Mercury Inferior Conjunction will occur when the Earth, Mercury retrograde, and the Sun are lined-up in the solar system, and powerful, high-level cosmic "seed-ideas" are energized and directed toward human minds for inspirational purposes. In the name designation above, "Inferior Conjunction" does not mean "inferior" as in "bad," but that Mercury is between Earth and the Sun, and not in a superior position beyond the Sun and therefore further away from Earth. 

The bottom line is that retrograding celestial bodies are an intrinsic and natural part of the structure of our solar system. Whether you are born with one or more retrograde planets, or if you are attempting to understand their current reversal in the zodiac, every retrograde has something positive to offer if you step out of a fear-based view and look at what is going on in a logical manner. 

Benefits of Astrology

We are each made of recycled star dust, since the atoms that comprise our bodies were once inside of stars! Consequently, an astrological (or logic of the stars) reading speaks to the very essence of who we are. Ethereally and physically, we are profoundly impacted by the energetic pull of the stars and planets. As the oceans are swayed by the gravity of the Moon, our bodies are likewise moved by the gravitational pull of the celestial bodies.

There are numerous benefits to an astrology reading. The mapping of the stars offers humanity a glimpse into the deeper mysteries of life, into the soul's imprint on our biological selves. One's birth chart, in the hands of a highly-skilled astrologer, sheds its starry light on specific life challenges and gifts, current everyday circumstances, potent developmental cycles, significant past-life influences, plus issues pertaining to destiny, health, relationships and personal empowerment.

(Isha Lerner is a well-informed, professional expert. We hope you will enjoy a session with her.) 

The Moon 

In Tropical Astrology where the twelve signs of the zodiac begin at the first moment of spring in the Northern Hemisphere the Moon's influence has been considered of equal importance to that of the Sun for millennia. Part of the reason concerns the monthly dance in the heavens of the solar-lunar cycle of 29.53 days encompassing the four main phases (New Moon; First Quarter; Full Moon; Last Quarter) as well as other, more subtle divisions of the Sun-Moon relationship. 

From the Earth's point of view, we also have the synchronistic fact that while the Sun is approximately 400 times bigger than the Moon, the Moon is 400 times closer to us. This means that during a Total Eclipse of the Sun, the Moon's disk virtually covers the Sun's fiery face blocking out solar light for a few minutes and creating a path of totality that moves across our planet and invites astute observations by meticulous astronomers as well as stunned visitors often traveling great distances to witness a rare celestial event. 

While the Sun-Moon interaction is very significant, the Moon's actual revolution around the Earth takes a little less time (27.322 days). And because the Moon has always been associated with the tides of the oceans and the psychic pull on human emotions (particularly associated with women), this has created a resonance between the Moon and the mysterious rhythms and cycles that are a vital part of our physical, emotional and mental make-up as soul-infused individuals. 

When the first astronauts encircled the Moon in 1968 (only a few months before the first human landing on July 20, 1969), they sent back pictures of the dark side of the Moon never seen before by earthlings. The reason we don't see that dark side is due to the curious fact that while the Moon's revolution around the Earth takes 27.322 days, the Moon is also rotating on its axis in exactly the same time-span. Therefore, it only shows one face to us although from the Sun's perspective, the dark side will be completely lit up when we on Earth experience New Moon. 

In natal chart interpretation, the Moon, the Sun and the Rising Degree on the Eastern Horizon (the Ascendant) exist as a kind of supreme trinity affecting the destiny pattern of the individual born at a specific moment at a particular place on Earth. 

While millions of people believe they are simply their Sun-sign, the reality is that a complete horoscope (composed of Sun, Moon, 8 main planets, 4 key asteroids, Chiron, the Lunar Nodes or Orbit of the Moon, the Rising Degree, 12 houses surrounding the birth moment, 12 signs forming an electro-magnetic field or aura, and the mathematical interrelationships of all of these factors) is the key to one's higher purpose from the astrological perspective. 

Within the trinity of Moon, Sun and Rising Degree, the Moon is more indicative of the past while the Sun rules the present and the Rising Degree represents the future. In another manner of interpreting these three factors in every birth chart, the Moon connects strongly to one's personality while the Sun is the character, and the Rising Degree becomes the unique manner, window or self-oriented pathway in which the Moon, Sun and all the celestial bodies at birth assist the individual in contacting the outside world. 

The Moon is associated with memories, moods, rhythms, cycles, instincts, subliminal impulses, the water element, and in a broader sense with being nurtured, fed and the feeling of "being at home." From a more esoteric perspective if one accepts the idea of reincarnation the Moon appears to be a reservoir or repository of "past-life memories" as well as signifying a sign of the zodiac with which this soul is very familiar over many life-times. 

Since the Moon and its phases have much to do with the so-called astral plane of visions, altered-reality, and out-of-the-body experiences, the transiting lunar orb in the sky may periodically stimulate the dreaming mechanism within all human beings providing glimpses of lives in past cultures and civilizations or, once in a while, offering portents ahead of time of what is to happen in the future. 

Ancient and medieval astrology has always indicated that the Moon rules the fourth sign of Cancer (connected to family, home, mothering, bodies of water, the Crab and the Domestic Cat, psychic sensitivity, moods and deep-seated feelings) as well as the fourth house of a birth chart (home; roots; foundations; childhood memories; the past). 

An excellent technique for understanding the power of the Moon at someone's birth is to utilize the concept presented a couple of paragraphs earlier about "being at home" or "feeling at home." For example, someone born with a Moon in the fifth house will feel they are "at home" while being creative and engaged in playful, child-like and heart-felt interactions with partners, friends and associates. A person with a Moon in the tenth house will feel "at home" in the public eye and while engaged in professional work. Someone born with a third house Moon placement will be at home while reading, study and teaching. An individual coming into incarnation with an eleventh house Moon will be attracted to group projects, team work as well as developing a wide circle of friends in which they can express their feelings and moods. 

The sign the Moon is located in at birth is often a tell-tale indicator of Sun-sign activity in a previous life or during many lives in the past. For example, the Moon's presence in Leo in this lifetime strongly indicates past-life experience within royal families and/or that the individual was a Sun-sign Leo in a recent or important past-life that is now being rekindled for some kind of karmic purpose. Someone born with a Sagittarius Moon reveals a strong adventurous, exploratory and philosophical streak and/or that the individual was a Sun-sign Sagittarius in the past. 

Whether the Moon is visible (upper half of the chart) or invisible (lower half of the chart), whether the Moon is waxing and increasing in reflected sunlight or waning and decreasing in reflected sunlight, as well as all the aspects the Moon is making to other celestial bodies in the birth chart all of these factors and many others need to be understood when analyzing the natal horoscope as well as watching transits and progressions (the key cycles of moving celestial bodies after the birth moment). 

Since the Moon takes 27.322 days to make a complete orbit through the zodiac and there are 12 signs, the transiting Moon will take approximately 2.28 days or about 55 hours to go through one sign of the zodiac. Thus, the Moon spends about 2+ days going through each of your 12 houses coloring and influencing the affairs of that house in your life. In addition, the Moon will unite with every celestial body in your birth chart (for a few hours) in each 27+ day time-period impacting the themes, qualities and meanings of that celestial body. Therefore, 13 times in a calendar year, the Moon brings its energy, sustenance, and support to every one of your celestial bodies somewhat like a mother feeding a child. Thus, it definitely pays to become a Moon watcher learning the intimate secrets of the Moon's motions relative to the Earth, the Sun, the signs of the zodiac, and the 12 houses of your birth chart. 

Deeply associated with the Moon are its orbital nodes or intersecting points (North and South) with the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Just as the Moon connects strongly with the past, it is synchronistic that the Moon's Nodes travel in reverse making one retrograde cycle through the zodiac in approximately 18.6 years. 

The Nodes are a powerhouse in any birth chart having much to do with higher destiny and fate. The houses in which the nodes reside are given extra significance in a birth chart interpretation. Eclipses can only take place when the Sun and Moon are relatively near one or other of the two nodes. If a celestial body at birth is at one of the nodes, then that solar systemic body is being accentuated for good or ill from the soul's perspective. 

Keep in mind that the Moon's nodes constitute the actual orbit of the Moon while the Moon itself can be considered the concretized essence of that orbit. While much of the interpretation in any chart consultation focuses attention on the Sun, Moon and celestial bodies, the orbit of the Moon as well as the orbits of the 8 major planets in the solar system have their place in the dynamics of birth chart analysis. 

It is considered auspicious and empowering when during every 27+ day transiting cycle of the Moon through the entire zodiac the Moon enters the sign of an individual's North Node. It is then during an approximate 2+ day time-period that the person experiences their "high cycle of the month," a valuable time-span to make phone calls and appointments, initiate plans, be more organized and efficient, complete important tasks, act intuitively and feel more self-confident.

Working with the Moon's essential meaning, its powerful phases, rhythms and cycles can be one of the most fascinating reasons to study your birth chart and upcoming transits and progressions in greater depth.

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