What Is My Natal Chart And Why The Heck Should I Get My Chart Read?

I was on the phone a while ago with someone who is probably one of the least woo-woo people I know.  He doesn’t even like mainstream church.  He is, however, very tolerant of ME, probably because he’s my brother.  He was telling me something about being emotional about something (a movie? can’t remember) and I said, “Well, you *DO* have your Sun in Pisces AND your Moon in Cancer so that would make you EXTRA empathetic and sensitive.”

He laughed at me and said, “Yeah.  OK” and I said, “You should let me read your chart.” and he said something like, “Why would a…well, a normal person like me… want you to do that?” I am sure said something really obnoxious about his being “normal”, but after we got off the phone I thought about his question and thought I could take it seriously and answer it here.

This is my personal outlook regarding astrology – other people use it in other ways that makes sense to them – but what follows comes from my best understanding of astrology as an art and science that I have been studying for the majority of my adult life (and continue to study, there’s no finish line here!).

First, I gotta talk about energy.  I know that sounds woo-woo and New Age, “good vibes, man” but anybody who passed high school science knows that everything is made up of energy – atoms vibrating at different rates of speed so that some things are hard and solid (rocks, wood, my sister Amy’s early brownie attempts) and other things are soft and pliable (water, air, marshmallow Fluff) and everything in between. These are just some of the very many energies of life itself.  This life energy can be affected by other life energies – heating water creates steam, freezing water creates ice, adding Kool-aid to water makes it cherrylicious, you know what I mean.  Thoughts are energy.  Reiki harnesses universal life energy to trigger our own personal healing energy when we receive it.   And we humans are made up of all kinds of life energy, and express these energies very differently from each other.

Some people are more serious minded, some are lighthearted sparklefaires, some are low-key feisty with placid surfaces. Every person has their own thing going on. I believe our natal chart can help map our personal energies and explain personality traits as well as show us our tendencies and challenges and gifts.  I also believe it can even point to our soul’s mission here on Earth. Astrology is a tool to help us understand ourselves a little better and maybe guide us toward some clarity of purpose.

The chart system I use (Tropical) is geocentric – meaning is based upon us looking out into the stars from the Earth.  If you can imagine a large wheel cut into 12 slices superimposed over the skies, and then picture each planet falling into a certain geometric position in this circle at different points of time, our chart is like a picture of the exact position of each luminary and planet at the date/time of our birth from the perspective of where we are born. We know the planets are always in motion in their orbit around the Sun, everything is always in motion.

The position of these planets in the wheel determine what sign they are in. Each “slice” is a represented by a one of the 12 zodiac signs.  Each zodiac sign is an archetype of different kinds of energies.  Each planet moves through each of the signs as they orbit our Sun.  The planet is considered “in” the sign depending on where in the orbit the planet happens to be.  The premise is that when we are born we are imprinted with the energies of the planets in the signs in that moment, and that particular energetic “map” affects our personalities.* Our chart is like a snapshot of that moment.

Our chart shows us what signs and what houses** the planets and luminaries were in when we were born. Each luminary and planet has its particular kind of energy, and each of the 12 signs of the zodiac has their own particular kind of energy.  I usually describe the combination of these energies like lenses one on top of the other, like an exam at the eye doctor’s office.  We perceive something one way until another lens is placed over it and then it changes that vision a little bit. That is why a person with their Jupiter in Leo is going to have a much different set of energies than a person with Jupiter in Pisces.  The Jupiter energy is one of expansion, good luck,  and where things go easy for us — to have that energy through Leo would make us extroverted, generous, quick to laugh, charismatic with a flair for the dramatic and maybe a little excessive sometimes.  That Jupiter energy expressed through Pisces would make us highly sensitive deep feelers, dreamy, intuitive, romantic and caring and could also make us prone to escapism and indecisiveness.

With millions of possible combinations, our natal charts are as individual as we are, I like to call it a Cosmic Fingerprint.

A lot of people come to me for a reading for entertainment – it’s fun to hear what someone else has to say about ourselves.  Many people come just to see what I have to say, if it helps them understand themselves a little better or if it validates something they know deep inside. Some people come because they feel lost and need a little direction, or they’re having a hard time making a decision about something, or they feel they’re at a crossroads. A reading can be enlightening and it can be healing.

So why should a non-woo-woo normal person get an astrological chart reading? I don’t think anybody “should”. I hate SHOULDS….but they could.  They could get some insight into their inner workings, they could uncover a buried dream, they could get some guidance towards aligning themselves with their soul’s purpose. A reading could tell them why they fall in love with ONE kind of person but are wildly attracted to a totally different kind of person, they can find out why it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of job or career they have.  A reading can point out where they seem to keep hitting a wall and what they must focus on to overcome this issue within themselves in order to live their best life.  Getting a reading BEFORE going into therapy could also point out exactly where someone should focus once they’re on the couch! A reading can show us our core issues, our core desires, and even stuff that might surprise us. A compatibility reading is when we look at two charts side by side and we can determine if the couple are totally made for each other or if it’s going to be require a bit of work to understand each other [usually those charts are between people who are passionately attracted to each other but fight a lot, and it’s ALWAYS about communication!] We can also look at where the planets are right now and how these energies directly affect us based upon where these planets are moving through our birth chart — that’s a lot more personal than checking our Sun sign’s horoscope in the paper.

Long story short? (too late) A reading can help you see who you are, where you want to go, and what you might need to do to get there.  Astrology is a tool humans have used for millennia.

After a chart reading you can relax and know, “Hey, I feel everybody else’s feelings because my Moon is in Cancer” or “My ambitious nature isn’t some freaky aberration, I’m loaded with Cardinal signs” or “I’ve always felt called to help people! Sun in the 6th house!”  But hey, don’t be one of those people who says, “I’m a huge ragemonster because my Mars is square my Pluto. Sorry not sorry!”  We don’t excuse our shadow behavior with astrological placements!***  I mean, our placements can explain it, but it’s then UP TO US to learn how to work with these shadow energies so we aren’t huge jerks to our brother and sister humans out there…remember, we’re all walking each other home 😀



*A word about Free Will.  We have it. It was a gift from our Creator. I always say, if there’s something in your chart that you don’t like, go ahead and CHANGE it.  I don’t think our chart says who we are is carved in stone, immutable. We are not meant to be unchangeable, our souls are here to grow and evolve, so I approach the chart more like a blueprint written in pencil than some kind of a mandate. What we do with the energies we’re born with is COMPLETELY up to us.  Plus there’s nature vs. nurture — culture and environment has so much to do with our personalities, too, and we can’t discount the differences in generation, gender, race, and ethnicity that influences our outlooks.  Astrology is a tool to help us navigate some of that stuff, but it’s not THE ANSWER or the ONLY thing. It’s merely one socket wrench in our Craftsman rolly-chest of life.

** Your House system is another wheel with 12 slices, each slice represents an area of human life, like home and family, career and public image, creative expression, money and stuff, etc.  Our personal house systems are based upon where the Sun was in the sky and the angle it was in relationship to the Earth at the time of day we were born.  That is why it’s very important to know the birth time as accurately as possible.  The Ascendant (or Rising Sign) is the ruler of our 1st house and is based upon that calculation.  Since the Sun goes through each sign every two hours – not knowing the exact time can throw off the whole chart and make the reading less accurate.

***I see A LOT of this nonsense on the internet.  You’re not a jerk because your Moon is in Gemini, you’re a jerk because you’re not doing anything TO NOT BE A JERK, take some personal responsibility, internet weenies!



Yo, Aquarius, It’s Your Birthday, We’re Gonna Party Like…It’s Your Birthday!

B is for BEARER of WATER, Water-bearer, Aquarius.  If you were born between January 20 and February 18 then I’m talking about you.

Aquarius is a “Fixed Air” sign, meaning that they have all the qualities of their fellow Air signs (Gemini & Libra) – witty, intellectual, artistic, voracious readers, communicators, and adventurers, but they are more pragmatic and level-headed due to their Fixed nature. Aquarius people are fun because they’re original, straight-forward, logical yet imaginative, unconventional, and exciting to be around because they are always up for a good time.

What’s challenging about Aquarius is they are so cerebral and logical that it sometimes appears that they have no emotions at all.  This is not true, it’s just that they find emotions illogical and have a difficult time reconciling their feelings with their thoughts.  They’d rather just push all those messy feelings aside and analyze circumstances as they arise intellectually.  They can be very self-protective and guarded about their emotions and hate looking like they don’t know what they’re doing, so they’ll be the last people to ask for help, even if they really need it.  Aquarius can be quite stubborn and contrary sometimes, and their quick wit can take a decidedly sarcastic turn at times.  They can also be such “big picture” thinkers and visionaries that the details escape them, they can get overwhelmed and procrastinate since they can see their endgame but not quite know what steps they need to take to get there.

They are natural humanitarians and problem-solvers – much like Virgo, but where Virgo would push up their sleeves and work the line at the soup kitchen, Aquarius would bombard their friends with petitions and harangue their legislators.  They love a good fight for the betterment of all mankind.

The traditional birthstone for January is Garnet and for February is Amethyst.  Both of these are great crystals for Aquarius.  Crystals that enhance Aquarius energy are Iolite, Labradorite, Lithium Quartz, Celestite, and Fluorite.Top Row: Iolite, Garnet, Amethyst Second Row: Labradorite, Lithium Quartz, Celestite Bottom Row: Fluorite

Top Row: Iolite, Garnet, Amethyst
Second Row: Labradorite, Lithium Quartz, Celestite
Bottom Row: Fluorite

Yes, Aquarius needs grounding (like we all do) and the best grounding crystals are the ones I posted yesterday for Aries (and I’ll probably be suggesting these again and again):  Black Tourmaline, Hematite, Obsidian, Smoky Quartz and Tiger Eye.

Top Row: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Hematite. Bottom Row: Smoky Quartz, Tiger Eye

To balance Aquarius’ Air energy they could use Carnelian, Rhodochrosite and Sunstone for fire energy to help them ignite their passions and motivation.  Rose Quartz, Larimar, and Moonstone’s watery energy can help them integrate their emotional self with their intellectual self to make them more comfortable with their feelings and find the inherent wisdom in trusting their emotion and intuition and not just their brain.  They hate feeling vulnerable, but that’s what grounding stones are for – protection, both physical and emotional.

Carnelian, Rhodochrosite, Sunstone, Rose Quartz, Larimar, Moonstone

Where do you shop for crystals? I like to go to brick-and-mortar stores because I’m touchy-feely and want to hold crystals in my hands when I’m picking some out for myself or others.  There are a few places locally I like to go {Happy Rainbows in Sherman, CT,  Synchronicity in Brewster,NY , Twin Star Community Apothecary in New Milford,CT, Mother Earth Gallery in New Milford, CT, to name a few!} . However, if I’m shopping online, I find crystals on eBay, Etsy, and one of my favorite websites, Healing Crystals. They have daily sales and sometimes you can get a sweet deal.




Originally posted on my Old Blog.

Where In Your Body Do You Carry Your Stress?

Sometimes we are unable or unwilling to express our frustrations, anger, sadness or whatever.  Sometimes we get into the habit of sucking it up for the greater good and we think we’re doing the right thing, but maybe not honoring our truths.  Guess what — it backfires and shows up in the body.

Even non woo-woo health practitioners agree there is a mind-body connection.  What we push away consciously or unconsciously WILL show up in the body as dis-ease or pain.

As an astrologer, one of my favorite things is looking what sign Mars is in, or what is on the cusp of the 6th house.  These two placements can tell me where somebody is going to have possible physical issues or where stress will show up in their bodies. Of course, we also note the Sun sign, but that doesn’t seem to be the biggest indicator.   I mean, you might have your Sun sign in Pisces, but your Mars in Libra which means that while you might have to pay attention to your feet here and there, it’s really your hips that give you grief.

I’ll use myself as an example – I have Mars in Gemini (and I have Aquarius on the cusp of the 6th).  Gemini rules the nervous system, the shoulders, arms, and hands.  Aquarius rules the ankles and the circulatory system.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve banged up my hands or ankles because I was trying to do too much, too fast and needed to slow the hell down but I can’t because I’m full of Mercury ruled planets, so I’m a nut job.  I can also tell you that it feels that I wear my shoulders as earrings from stress – and that having generalized anxiety disorder really keeps my nervous system as wound-up tight as a ukulele (Hello, nervine herbal teas!!!!).

With Aquarius on the cusp of the 6th house, I tend to be pretty open to unconventional methods of healing: energy healing, Eastern medicine, Ayureveda, homeopathy, herbalism, shamanic practices, biofeedback; if it’s out there, I’m into it.  And if it works, I keep doing it.

We also need to note the house our Mars is in as well – my Mars is in the 9th house (naturally ruled by Sagittarius) so I need to watch my hamstrings, too!

Here’s a handy chart that breaks down what sign rules what body parts and systems:

astro body parts

Before the Catholic Church drove astrologers underground, astrology was a legitimate science in tandem with astronomy; doctors often consulted astrology to help with medical issues, there are many illustrated diagrams of the zodiac signs and their corresponding body parts in old medical books from Europe.

zodiac man

Getting a chart reading isn’t just about love and jobs and stuff – it could offer valuable insight into your personal health, as well!



I Am NOTHING Like The Description Of My Sun Sign – Astrology Is Bullsh*t!!!!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a variation of the title of today’s blog post.  I mean, seriously, there are really only 12 kinds of people?

productive sex I’m not an Astrology apologist.  If anybody asks me, I tell them the truth: I believe in everything and nothing at the exact same time.  I’m a total open-minded seeker of insight and knowledge and a snarky raging skeptic at the same time.  Total Gemini!!!! (haha, see what I did there?)  I believe in a Higher Power that I choose to call God, I believe that everything is energy and certain energies have a dominating frequency that can affect other energies, I believe that there is life on other planets, I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, I believe that the Jets will someday win a Superbowl again — nobody has to agree with me, and I respect everybody’s beliefs. Unless you’re a Scientologist, and in that case I say private message me, let me get you some help to get out of that crackpot cult.

I have been studying astrology for at least 30 years – and if you want to believe one of my genuinely psychic friends, multiple lifetimes — and the more charts I read the more “coincidences” I run into.  If you have Saturn in the 4th house, you have Daddy issues. If your Sun in 6th house, you’re a plant whisperer.  If you have Mars in Pisces, you have a very hard time expressing your anger and tend to turn it inwards or end up raging out for the endorphin rush.

Here’s the deal: I don’t know if anything is true. I have no absolute certainty about anything that can’t be proven by science, and this includes scientific THEORY – theories aren’t facts.  The only way one can have FAITH is if they have DOUBT.  If you know for sure about anything beyond the proven physical world, then good for you, I admire your conviction but I’ll be over here like:

I don't nowI believe that my body will die and my spirit lives on and I’ll see the ones I love again in the afterlife and heck, my soul might even come back down here in a different form and I’ll run into YOU again in a different form.  But I don’t know if that’s true and it don’t care that I don’t really know. I’ll find out if I was wrong when I’m dead, and if then, so what? My faith has kept me sober for almost 20 years and has brought great comfort and peace to me in the worst of times, and if I find out I was praying to nothing, it won’t matter, because IT WORKED ANYWAY.

I DIGRESS.  Back to Astrology.  People have been using Astrology since 2,000 BC on different sides of the planet before they even knew the other side of the planet even existed.  The Mayans, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and India and Persia all used it to search for meaning, determine their calendars, diagnose and prescribe for physical/mental illnesses, decide when to plant or reap, predict the weather, or predict when it was best to travel (how do you think the Wise Men knew when to look for and find the baby Jesus?) .  Astrologers were theorists, researchers, and social engineers, as well as counselors to both kings and commoners.

It was after Rome fell and the rise of Christianity that astrology began to be shoved underground only secretly show up on tarot cards and later to flourish again in the Renaissance.  The Age of Enlightenment was when Astronomy and Astrology were split into two different disciplines for the first time and anything remotely mystical was disdained and discarded.  Astrology became popular again in the 19th century during the rise of Spiritualism and then New Age.  It’s unfortunate that astrology is painted with the brush dipped in “WOO WOO” but it was good enough for Pythagoras, Issac Newton, Queen Elizabeth I, The Founding Fathers (that’s right! Washington, Jefferson AND Franklin all used astrology), Albert Einstein, J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Louis Pasteur, Carl Jung, Henry Miller, T. S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Thatcher,  and Ronald Reagan, then it’s good enough for me.

anti astrologyThank you, Willie Wonka, don’t mind if I do!!!!!

There is SO MUCH MORE to your Natal Chart and your personality than just your Sun Sign.  Your Natal or Birth Chart is created based upon the position of the planets the heavens in relation to the time of day and place where you were born.  A Chart looks like a pizza with 12 slices, and those are the different Houses, and the planets are spread throughout the houses in the signs they fall under that day from the angle of your birthplace. This is how you, Eminem, Barbara Walters, and Gandhi can all be Libras yet have very different personalities.  I can’t get into the entire thing or this post will go on forever, but here is a very brief overview of the Planets and what they mean in relation to your personality. These fall under “Personal Planets” – the planets that directly affect the personality:

Ascendant or Rising Sign:  Your outer persona, the first impression you give, and your first instinctive reaction to situations.  Or as I like to say, your candy coating!

Sun Sign:  The way you think, believe, respond to life, and the filter through which you view the world – and it is influenced by the other personal planets.

Moon Sign: Your emotional side, how you express your emotions, what you need emotionally, your subconscious.

Mercury: How you communicate.

Venus:  Creativity, where you seek happiness, Romantic side of love.

Mars: “The Action Planet” Athletic ability, how you express anger/agression, the sexual side of l0ve.

Jupiter: “The Expansive Planet” This is what brings you luck, what comes easy to you, whatever sign or house Jupiter is in is magnified in your chart.

Saturn: “The Karma Planet” Saturn indicates the life lesson you are here to learn,  the “cross you bear”, any kind restrictions, limitations or an area where you will be forced to overcome a struggle.

The “Outer Planets” orbit around the sun much longer than the others and are considered “generational” planets that have more to do with how they interact with the other planets in your chart rather than influencing your personality directly.  For example, most people my age have Pluto in Virgo. Generation X has had to work harder for less payoff than the Boomers or seemingly the Millenials.  However, Pluto in Virgo won’t mess with someone with a Sun Sign in an Earth sign as it would with say, someone with a Mutable Sign as their Sun Sign: Pisces, Gemini, or Sagittarius: those are considered “hard” aspects and it causes inner conflict, especially since Pluto is a planet that represents personal power and subconscious desires.

Uranus:  Transformation, innovation, discovery, lightning-bolt insight – where you are quirky (planet) or areas of your life where things happen “out of the blue” (house).

Neptune:  Spirituality (or lack thereof), Dreams, Intuition, Fantasies, any addictive or escapist tendencies

Pluto: Secrets, your Shadow side, “The Underground” stuff you are drawn to, attitude towards death, any kind of psychic abilities or attractions to the occult, personal power.

You can have a Fire sign as your Sun Sign, but if the rest of your chart is all Water and Earth signs, or a ton of Fixed signs, you’re going to be LESS impulsive, LESS driven, less outgoing and more persevering than the average Fire sign.

Let’s take a look at David Bowie.  Does he LOOK like a Capricorn?

David Bowie's Chart

He’s got a funky Aquarius rising – innovative, quirky dresser (at least he was), unconventional.  Despite his wild rock star lifestyle, he was married to Angie for 10 years and now to Iman for the last 23 years — why get married at all, if you’re David Bowie? Because SECRETLY (12th house Sun, 12th house Mars) deep inside, despite the crazy sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, there’s a traditional man who wants a wife and family even if part of him struggles with intimacy.  (His 7th house is loaded, which is another story). LOOK AT ALL THOSE FIRE & AIR SIGNS —  3 planets in Leo (including Saturn, which explains his need for attention/total desire for privacy) Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Gemini, Venus in Sagittarius.  Without even delving deep into this, we can see that he’s not the “typical” Capricorn while having some definite Capricorn traits: the man did put himself up on the stock market.

He’s great blend of Cardinal, Mutable, and Fixed signs, he also has a relatively balanced amount of Air, Fire and Earth — but homeboy has barely ANY water signs.   The impression I get is that he’s not the most emotionally supportive guy around, but is “solution focused” — he wants to push up his shirtsleeves and get in there and fix stuff, but probably doesn’t have much patience to listen to someone vent their feelings.  He doesn’t dwell too much on his own, he’s too busy using them as fuel.  If I were to make him a piece of jewelry, it would be heavy on Water Energy stones.

There are all kinds of places to get free birth charts online.  A site I like a lot is called Cafe Astrology — they give you a free natal chart and report to go with it.  I don’t always trust algorithms to see the cool synchronicities and connections a competent astrologer can see, but it’s a start if you’re interested.


**previously published in 2015 over at my old blog