How a Chart is Calculated
There are many stars and constellations in the sky, so why does astrology only focus on 12 constellations? The planets move in what is called an ecliptic. From our perspective on the earth the planets are travelling in a very small band of the sky overhead. This focused band of planetary movement is what gave emphasis to the 12 constellations of the zodiac.
The planets are closer to the earth than the constellations and so these 12 constellations become the backdrop for Archetypal energy that the planets are drawing from as they move overhead. We view the planets as a specific type of energy that seeks manifestation, modified by the Archetype of the constellation where they are placed at any given time. For example, Mars channels drive and initiative, Jupiter expansion, Saturn restriction and Uranus is always opening the door to innovation. While a scientific explanation such as magnetic fields might be at play, we must remember that like dreams, astrology is a study of Archetypes or how symbolic meaning can be used to understand experience.
At the time and place of your birth there was a constellation rising on the horizon called the Ascendant which describes your entry into the world. In early life before the personality portrayed by the sun sign is developed, and later when entering a new or unfamiliar situation you will behave more like your Ascendant sign. The Ascendant is the mask you wear when interacting with others. The Ascendant begins the 9 o’clock position of a 360 degree wheel with any planets near the 12 o’clock position taking prominence in your career path. Within this 360 degree arc surrounding you, planets and houses are calculated with 30 degree segments for each constellation. The 30 degree segments become the 12 houses that will describe everything from how you appear, what you value, how you express yourself to describing your routines, philosophy, goals and what you keep hidden. However, most astrologers use Placidus houses so while the constellation remains 30 degrees, a house can be shorter or longer. Aspects from planets to other planets and points in the chart are considered for the flowing or stressful reception of the planetary energy. The 3 o’clock position is the Descendant which describes other people in your life, especially the partner you are drawn to. The 6 o’clock position or Nadir, sets the stage for your sense of security and what feels like home to you. True north is the 12’oclock position called the Midheaven that drives your thrust toward career.