The field of astrology is vast with so many possibilities. To study it in a manageable ratio, we need to take it segment by segment. Once we have two astrological segments under reasonable control, we can put them together to develop an understandable story. Once we’ve studied an additional segment, we use the same merging process to increase our information while still keeping it cohesive. We study segment by segment, adding to our previous storage until we have a whole, usable amount of information that we can draw from at any time. This reminds me of the way we learn something, step by step, adding as we go.
To individualize that body of astrological information, we start with the birth wheel for each birth. Then we draw from that pool of information at will and interweave the different segments that fit that wheel to read that person’s life story. Basically, we learn the basics of astrology so that we can tell the personal story for each individual celestial chart.
In other articles I have suggested that there are four cornerstones to astrology: planets, signs, houses and aspects. Furthermore, my conclusion is that the planets are the keystone of the four cornerstones. Each of these four segments should be studied in the early stages of astrology so that they can be combined as described to begin the reading process. In this article, we’ll look at two of the segments, planets and houses, in a particular combination technique called the derivative house system. This technique is useful for astrology students who have completed the beginner phase. In brief…
- Houses are the division of the 360 degree wheel into 12 compartments. Each compartment contains about 1/12th of a person’s life experience or problems, so each compartment is packed with problems. Because the entire house system is built with the Earth at the center of each wheel, houses are the sober experience for that wheel and person.
- Planets represent the different functions of human beings such as the ego and self-identity drive, the nesting tendency, family and emotional drive, the function of communication and learning, the drive to relate, just to name a few. Traditionally, there are ten bodies: our star, our satellite the moon, and our eight sister planets.
Derived house system To study a single planet in depth, we need to go beyond the generic meaning of that planet to see how it works in the sign it is in, the house it occupies, the house it rules and the aspects in which it is involved. All of that is valuable and is usually as far as each reading goes. The derivative technique can give you a different meaning simply by looking at the 12-fold process of one of the ten planets. How? You just start with a single planet’s position in the house it occupies and mentally recognize it as that planet’s first house expression. You then count consecutively counterclockwise around the wheel from that first house. Each planet and what that planet represents in the individual will receive a contribution from all 12 houses and their issues. You don’t lose the value of reading a wheel regularly, you just add an extra layer of meaning. An example can make this explanation easier to understand.
Let’s start with the Sun (ego drive) in Scorpio (sign) in the 5th house (occupation), ruling over the 3rd (dominion), and then list the aspects and their meanings separately. That walks you through the usual method of reading the sun. For another layer of meaning, put your finger on that sun (ego and self-identity) and recognize that its first house expression, regardless of which house the sun is in, is the way the world sees the sun, how that sun and its issues instantly respond to activations from your environment, personal self-projection from that sun and the coping skills of the sun. Where does the sun (ego, self-identity) begin? All of that actually takes place in the 5th house of this example, so you should also view this solar application as creativity, children of mind and body, speculation, and family values (2nd of 4th birth). The sun has more than its own identity, it also has a value system, communication, relationships and all the other common traditional house meanings and that is determined by this method.
- If the sun is in the 5th house, which is the point of personal projection (first house for that person’s sun), the value systems for the sun will be in the adjacent (next counterclockwise) 6th house. The sun’s value system as the 6th house relates to work, service, and/or health issues.
- Communication in front of the sun issues (self-identity, ego, etc.) is the 3rd house from the sun or the 7th house in this example. In this example, the sun’s communication mechanism will work through the partnership, network function of the card owner’s partnership house.
- Another… the house, the hearth, the roots (4th house issues) for the sun actually occurs in the 8th (next house counterclockwise) of shared values, shared finances, issues of life and death, etc.
To make it easier for you to learn and play with this technique, here are some brief statements about the basic meanings of planets and houses:
- The sun represents your own identity, ego, basic character and general vitality.
- The moon represents the emotions, memory, maternal and instinctive drives.
- Mercury represents communication, education and transportation issues.
- Venus represents relationship skills and drives, social and financial value issues.
- Mars represents our assertive, aggressive tendencies, courage or lack thereof.
- Jupiter represents our expansive, philosophical, reaching for more life drive.
- Saturn represents structure, duty, responsibility and organizational skills.
- Uranus represents rebellion, futuristic, unique, individualization issues.
- Neptune represents inspiration, aspiration, dreams, visions, delusions.
- Pluto represents strength, powerlessness, empowerment and destiny at work.
- The first house is self-projection, coping skills, immediate reaction to the environment, the way the world sees you.
- The 2nd house is social and financial values and resources, talents.
- The 3rd house is communication, education and transportation, siblings, cousins and neighbors.
- The 4th house is home, hearth, family, roots, internal security parent, conclusions.
- The 5th house is creations of mind and body, love, speculation, family values.
- The 6th house is your daily work, service to others and health.
- The 7th house is all partnerships, business and personal, networks and alliances.
- The 8th house is shared values and finances, insurance, taxes and death.
- The 9th house is belief systems, higher education, legality, multicultural activities.
- The 10th house is goals, achievements, status, reputation, career, success or lack thereof
- The 11th house is friends, groups, career achievements, wishes, hopes and dreams.
- The 12th house is hidden, recessive and self sabotaging, a blind spot,
Just pick a planet and read it through the 12 houses, starting with the house it occupies as number 1. You can do that for any of the 10 bodies. This is initially a study technique, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself incorporating it into your lectures quite easily.
Keystones of Astrology – Planets, Signs, Houses and Aspects