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Key to the Tree of Life, Planets, Signs and Houses  

Reading You
r Own Horoscope,
A Beginners' Guide

An Example Horoscope, the Author  

The Tree of Life : the Archetypal Horoscope and Blueprint for the Gods 
A Presentation to the Astrological Lodge, London  November 2005

Ruling Planets : How ? Why ? and What About Pluto, Mars and Earth ?
Presentation to the Astrological Lodge, London  November 2006

Astrology : an Introduction

How It Works

The ancient science of astrology has been rediscovered only relatively recently, particularly in the last fifty years.  From a legacy of confusing and obscure texts it has been redefined as a clear and scientific discipline.  In some ways, modern astrology is still in its infancy.

Yet astrology has always depended on precise observations of the positions of the planets in the sky.  This was the motivation behind the ancients’ advanced devotion to astronomy.  Even the precise time and place of a birth is crucial because it determines, not so much the position of the planets within the Signs, but the relative position of the planets in the sky from any position on Earth.

Whether the Sun is just coming up in the morning or just going down, or in his midnight or noon position is just as important as the Sign he is in.  In fact it is often a more evident factor in a person’s character.  This is what determines the ‘Houses’ of a horoscope.  This applies to all the other planets’ positions in the heavens, from the place of birth.

Although it is the moment of birth which most affects us, the planets and Signs affect us at every passing moment.  The precise mechanism by which this works has not yet been recognised because it is beyond any physical force. It is metaphysical or ‘spiritual.’  But then the precise mechanism for gravity has also not been recognised yet because it is too subtle.  A flow of gravitons has been proposed but all efforts to discover such particles have failed and frankly, physicists are confounded by the elusive subtlety of this force.  But no one doubts this forces does exist.

Astrologers likewise do not doubt the energies of the heavens in determining character from the natal horoscope, the birth chart, and often the effect of current positions when something particularly significant affecting an individual’s chart is mirrored by events in their life. When we see enough of this kind of evidence (though it may be as subtle as psychology) we tend to accept this empirical, practical proof.

This does not mean astrologers can recognise all the astrological forces at play in any horoscope. Any more than any reputable psychologist would pretend to recognise all the psychological forces at play in any individual psyche. It is the outstanding patterns which are visible but this can be illuminating and useful. We can understand why we are as we are, what our strengths and weaknesses are and perhaps how we can deal with recurrent problems by recognising the patterns, the forces, involved.

Astrology often shows how the uncoordinated, competing energies involved in our greatest weaknesses, can be turned into our greatest triumphs.


The question of Fate is a massive obstacle for many people and it is inescapably linked with astrology. To cope with this objection it is fashionable to fudge the issue and say fate rules some of the events in life but not everything. This is like saying gravity affects only heavy things. If astrology affects anything, it necessarily affects everything. If fate rules some things, it rules everything.

But people have lived with the idea of fate ruling their lives for most of human history and it has not stopped a furious degree of enterprise and competition. If we are rather more enterprising and competitive without it, that’s not necessarily an unalloyed success.

India's Hindus have a whole philosophy of fate, called ‘karma,’ which says everything we do, or that happens to us, is a result of our previous actions.  Rather logically they say it’s ‘cause and effect, so eventually we all get our just deserts.  Do good and good things happen to you.  Kick the cat and you’ll get a kicking for being such a miserable old so-and-so.  Really just teaching us a lesson.  Like mother always told us !  In the west we seem to go a bit farther : the Book of Revelations tells us everything is ‘written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.’   Predestination or predetermination.

This suggests we may not know what we are going to do but Fate has it all worked out.  Since we are as we are, we will do such and such in this situation. Fate can foresee it, even if we are completely free to do whatever we want.  So Fate knows us better than we know ourselves.  Someone’s always telling us they knew just what we would do in that situation, so perhaps this is not such a strange idea.

This view of fate means there is no real contradiction between fate and freewill. We will always be bound to some extent by our character and circumstances but essentially there is no question that our freewill is compromised in any way. Otherwise fate would be an obvious fallacy because we know we choose every action ourselves.

Fate just relies on some kind of supercomputer which can work it all out in advance. Modern physics is already suggesting everything is electro magnetically connected in a way which could possibly function as such a supercomputer. When we move beyond physics to the subtler connections of metaphysics, the realm of astrology, we find these connections are even clearer and much subtler. They deal not just with the physical geography, the physical facts, of any situation but with the realms beyond physics : how we are feeling, thinking, our inner impulses and even our hearts.

But there is a world of difference between believing in fate and being fatalistic. All our ancient faiths proclaimed fate to be one of the central pillars, one of the spiritual facts of our reality and it is really a matter of personal psychology whether one interprets this in a fatalistic way. Anyone, at any time and for any reason, may start thinking fatalistically but if one wants to believe it makes no difference staying in bed or going to work, the best answer is to try it ! It may fulfil one’s predestined karma and certainly the results are quite predictable but they will probably notice the difference quite quickly.

The article Reading Your Own Horoscope gives more details on how the positions of the planets determine a horoscope.

More material will appear on this page shortly.

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