Monday, March 30, 2015

12th House Planets conjunct Ascendant and 9th House Planets conjunct Midheaven

I wanted to write an article on this because it has been on my mind recently. What is the effect of having a 12th House planet conjunct your Ascendant? Or a 9th House planet conjunct your Midheaven? Do they become 1st House or 10th House planets, shifted to the next house?

Well, my answer on this subject, after some lengthy consideration, would be a “no.” I used to be more inclined to agree but that kind of thinking just feels too simplistic to me now.

A planet is in the house that it’s in and I think we do ourselves a disservice to “round up” in this way. This eliminates the nuanced differences between those who have the aforementioned planets and those who have a 1st House planet conjunct the Ascendant or a 10th House planet conjunct the Midheaven. They’re going to express themselves very differently.

If there’s a planet in the 12th House and conjunct the Ascendant, it’s going to be a hidden agenda of yours, in the way in which you greet the world. You express this energy like an undercover agent, as it motivates you but is not all out in the open like a 1st House planet on the Ascendant would be. Yet, it still has a way of being noticeable and tangible, at the same time. It’s just more of a feeling around you than a transparent persona. I think this is especially the case if the planet is 4 degrees or less away from the Ascendant. So, people see it and don’t see it, at the same time.

This differs greatly from a 1st House planet conjunct the Ascendant. It is very direct and straightforward in its expression. It wants to be seen and make an impact. But, 12th House planets don’t want to be seen, even if they’re on the Ascendant. They are egoless and don't need the me-oriented recognition that 1st House planets do. Astrologers tend to encourage people to let their 12th House planets out into the clear light of day. It's not surprising since we live in such an extrovert society that doesn't always value inner mysteries and the idea that not everything has to be shared and obvious.

I take a different approach. I believe that there's nothing wrong with being very private about planets in the 12th, as long as you're consciously aware of them and accepting of them, saving their expression for certain outlets that have nothing to do with you. These planets are much bigger than our sense of our self. And once you start trying to appropriate 12th House placements for your ego-recognition, such as making it an obvious part of your persona via the Ascendant, if the planet's rising, you're in trouble.

Therefore, a 12th House rising planet allows you to approach your environment and new situations in the style of this planet but while not exposing the planet directly to others. With a 12th House Mars rising, for example, many people will get this subtle, unexplainable feeling that you’re aggressive, even if you present yourself in passive, sweet-as-pie ways. 12th House planets conjunct the Ascendant, therefore, are communicated subliminally. They’re transmitted but not openly acknowledged.

Now, what about a planet in the 9th House conjunct the Midheaven? The 9th House is a very adventurous, expansive house. Therefore, with planets on this side of the Midheaven, you will approach your career as an endless journey. Your ambition is going to be very different than the ambition of someone with a 10th House planet conjunct the Midheaven, which is expressed as ambition for ambition’s sake. Instead, you are on a mission to really grow as a person and experience a lot of great things, which you will do via the planet on the Midheaven.

Planets conjunct the Midheaven in the 10th are very worldly and professional. They express themselves with a concern for reputation and image. Meanwhile, planets conjunct the Midheaven from the 9th aren’t as concerned with their status, however. Planets in the 9th House can be rather careless and unaware of decorum. Therefore, you can express this planet to the world in a very unaffected, unpretentious way. You don’t stop to think about the impact it’s going to have on your public standing and, within reason, you really shouldn’t stop to think about it.

So, I think that 9th House culminating planets are much more about the journey than the destination. You probably aren’t calculating in your career pursuits or all that obsessed with traditional success. For instance, a 9th House Pluto culminating person doesn’t really want to gain worldly power but be empowered, on a spiritual level, by their professional journey. You have huge dreams and aspirations yet not in a way that allows your career to consume you. These are not workaholic planets. You are more so driven by the inner fulfillment your career can bring.

There are certain astrologers who might place these planets in the 1st or 10th House, instead. But, I personally wouldn’t heed that line of thinking, especially if the orb is wider than 4 degrees. The planets always fall exactly where they’re supposed to fall. They’re in the exact house they belong in. So, if you have an angular planet on the so-called “dark side” (the 12th or 9th) of the Ascendant or Midheaven, then embrace that. It can allow you to express that angle in a way that’s even more interesting and complex than the traditional interpretations.

P.S. I would also make 8 to 9 degrees the maximum orb for any planets conjunct the Ascendant or the Midheaven.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Planets in the 7th House: Mars

My last article in my 7th House planets series was Venus. So, it seems appropriate for me to now tackle Venus’ feisty significant other, Mars. These two planets are like sugar and spice. If Venus is everything is nice, then Mars is, well, a bit of a handful. What does having Mars in the 7th House mean, then? Well, as I say in all of these 7th House planet articles, my personal theory on planets here is not exactly that they make the person co-dependent. It’s just that the person often can’t fully express that planet without receiving that same energy back from the other person, whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend, a relative, a co-worker, whoever else.

So, with Mars in the 7th House, that back and forth can become like a sparring match, for better or for worse. Planets in the 7th define our influence on people in one-on-one relationships. So, those with a 7th House Mars have a social influence that’s sort of like a punch on the arm. In fact, these people might frequently punch you on the arm. Mars is energizing, invigorating, passionate. It’s like a shot of adrenaline. Therefore, this is what these people are like in their relationships. They force you to go toe-to-toe with them, putting your money where your mouth is.

Now, this can go one of two ways. With some 7th House Mars folks, this might be perfectly harmless and good-natured. These people are energized by other people. When you’re around them, they want you to bring out their aggressive, competitive side. This is just the way they relate to people. So, that member of your family who suddenly lights up whenever the games get pulled out after Thanksgiving dinner or the guy at the college party who is the most enthusiastic about playing beer pong might have Mars in the 7th House. They want to be able to prove themselves against you but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to rip your throat out.

On the other hand, Mars can represent how we can get too aggressive. So, it’s not uncommon for those with Mars in the 7th to be too pushy, too competitive, or too hot-headed with other people. It’s very different from a 1st House Mars, who usually just attacks new situations or their environment, in a way that only concerns themselves. 7th House Mars, when unbalanced, can have a habit of attacking other people. But, the kicker is that they also might be very likely to blame it all on you. After all, you made them mad. You made them do it! Mars also symbolizes what pisses us off and when you have Mars in the house of relating, other people can just easily piss you off.

And this is where the 7th House becomes a funhouse of mirrors. Since planets in the 7th often demand other people to be that planet, the blame can get shifted to the other person. Nowhere is this more visible than with Mars, as the 7th House doesn’t typically like conflict. So, a person with this placement can believe that everyone’s pushing their buttons all the time. Yet, they might not also realize that their aggressive behavior is what’s pushing people’s buttons and those people’s responses end up pushing their buttons. Confusing? Of course. Mars isn’t typically comfortable in the 7th House, often times because it can’t assert itself as freely as in other houses. It’s not a hopeless placement, though. But, it’s often a placement that symbolizes lots of displacement.

With Mars in the 7th, you might depend on the aggressiveness of others in order to be aggressive yourself. Therefore, keeping company that is passive, inactive, and non-competitive can really stifle the expression of your dynamic spirit. You are encouraged by the expression of other people’s Mars, allowing your Mars to rise to the surface. Yet, you feel rather depressed around those who don’t measure up. This is a placement that might often judge other people for not being strong enough for them. But, while lacking someone who’s strong and dynamic themselves, you might not seem all that formidable, either. So, just who is the weak link in the relationship?

Basically, you have to tell a planet in this house that “you complete me”, instead of looking for someone else to complete that planet. Since we’re talking about Mars, you have to develop an independent sense of your own drive and aggressiveness. Much like Saturn in the 7th, those with Mars in this house can sometimes feel lost and unmotivated without a strong, goal-oriented person in their life. So, you have to know what you’re bringing to the table, first and foremost. You have your own goals, desires, and passions. Just follow them completely and trust that you’ll attract likeminded individuals your way.

At this level, you can be quite a force to be reckoned with in your relationships. 7th House Mars people hold a sway over others that is rather dominating, even in a positive sense. You can dominate them with your motivating, exciting energy. Things get going when you’re around. In fact, you might not be very fond of just sitting around and doing nothing with other people. You may not have a problem at all being by yourself and doing nothing. However, when you’re with someone else, you want to be where the action is. Relationships are seen as opportunities to tackle challenges and just do things, though the nature and intensity of these activities will depend on the Mars sign.

You can run a marathon, so to speak, much better with someone by your side. Still, you don’t want to be the one doing all the legwork. The 7th House is all about balance, after all; a tit for tat kind of exchange. So, you want someone who can sweat and labor just as much as you do. In fact, Mars in the 7th House is usually going to test the other person and see how they can stand up to them. If they can’t push back effectively, you’re not interested. But, if they give as good as they get, then you’re in. For this reason, you enjoy some healthy arguing in your relationships. Maybe not to a dysfunctional degree. But, you don’t see a need to relate to people in such a super-smooth way. Unlike Venus in the 7th, always being nice and getting along doesn’t exactly satisfy you.

Another interesting thing is that Mars also rules the sexual drive and desires. Now, how is this going to affect your personal relationships? Well, when it comes to romance, in particular, if there’s no regular sex, there’s just no deal for you. You’re horniest when in a relationship, ironically, and when a physical disconnect kicks in, you’re not going to be a happy camper. But, even outside of romance, there’s still a certain sexual charge in many of your relations. While I believe 7th House Venus people merely like to flirt with and sexually tease many of their friends and associates, you’re more likely to just go all the way. Now, that’s not to say that you’re sleeping with everyone that moves. But, if you’re horny and the other person’s reasonably attractive and up for it, you probably won’t hesitate (and yes, of course, that goes for both men and women with this placement).

The logic behind it all is that you’re so eager to act on your sexual desires (Mars) with another person (7th House). That sounds like an obvious statement. Sure, most people are. Yet, your sexual side doesn’t feel complete while enduring a dry spell. Prolonged periods of not getting laid can be downright painful for a lot of 7th House Mars people, making you worry if you still even have a pulse. So, when the opportunity arises in a relationship, you’re very likely to just jump on it, pun intended, unless some strong Virgo or Scorpio influences are emphasizing discernment or self-control in your nature. Still, Mars is our masculine side; the side of us that just wants to “get it.” So, Mars in this house consistently needs a roll in the sack with someone or it feels out of whack.

For this reason, romance relationships might not start off very sweetly or sentimentally for people with this placement. A romance might usually begin with that morning-after breakfast, which is often fine by them. A hot collision of mutual passion is the best way to begin a love affair for a 7th House Mars person. But, it needs to stay passionate. This is why these people tend to end up with forceful, assertive, dynamic partners. The relationship needs to stay exciting and challenging, as well as remain a little heated, as well. Why? Because of the awesome make-up sex, of course.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jupiter in Cancer People: Emotional Generosity

Jupiter in Cancer is considered to be a really wonderful position for the planet Jupiter, which represents the ways in which we can grow and the belief system we can create for ourselves in this lifetime. Jupiter’s an outer planet and I believe that the outer planets more so determine our path and our attunement to the greater good and forces bigger than ourselves. The inner planets have more to do with personality, even though they are usually influenced by aspects from the outer planets. So, with Jupiter, the path we can go down is one of abundance and knowledge.

So, what happens when Jupiter in Cancer? The knowledge takes place on a deeply intuitive level. One of the reasons why this position might be considered beneficial is because of the good fortune that comes from following one’s intuition. When we’re being intuitive, we “just know” things. So, people with a Cancer Jupiter tend to experience a much more gut-felt knowledge; an inherent wisdom, if you will. And they grow as people once they learn to completely trust their instincts, believing that the answers they’re searching for are already deep down inside of them.

This is a placement that symbolizes emotional generosity, as Jupiter doesn’t know limitations. So, since Cancer is the sign of emotional responses, people with Jupiter in this sign can learn to give their feelings very freely. Self-protective barriers and defenses are destined to come down with Jupiter in Cancer individuals, to the point of them becoming very unguarded and emotionally open. I do think that we grow into our Jupiter, since it’s the planet of expansion. Therefore, people with this placement are learning the spiritual wisdom of freeing themselves from any emotional walls (usually those represented by their Moon sign, as Cancer is ruled by the Moon). They have to learn to believe in the warmth of others and that people out there will genuinely care for them.

For those with this position, the idea of over-protecting yourself from other people can become null and void, as they are building a belief system that we are all emotionally connected. Getting hurt is something that can be easily bounced back from with this placement. Empathy, compassion, and nurturing responses are emphasized here, as they will become guided through life by their basic humanity. Therefore, any fellow human being is seen as someone to be cared for to a Jupiter in Cancer person, whether or not they actually are familiar with them. This placement is about expanding the idea of family, not limiting themselves to their biological brethren or old friends. Families can be created anywhere and everywhere for Cancer Jupiter people. If they happen to come from a particularly dysfunctional family, this can be a very enlightening idea, allowing them to free themselves from their old, limiting background. But, if their family life was safe, warm, and healthy, then they find it enlightening to be able to create this atmosphere wherever they go.

Their nurturing attitude is what makes them lucky, as they can be so freely, amazingly supportive of other people that they gain that same sort of supportive response back from the world tenfold. Therefore, Jupiter in Cancer can find boundless comfort, welcomed and loved almost anywhere. The house where Jupiter is and its aspects will show just where and how the person can be caring. Becoming a parent is also something that can bring good fortune, as it provides these people with a constant opportunity to care for someone else. Being a mom or dad, of course, is a non-stop job. So, parenthood can be another way to experience abundance for Jupiter in Cancer people. It gives them the chance to just give and give emotionally to their children. Jupiter represents yearnings and aspirations that push us toward new experiences. So, with Jupiter in the sign of Cancer, a person usually has a huge yearning to be a parent, always hoping for the day to come.

The Moon sign is usually made bigger and more vivid with the Jupiter in Cancer placement in the birth chart, especially if Jupiter is also in aspect to the person’s Moon. Cancer Jupiter is about the expansion of emotion, after all, so it makes sense that the Moon is always going to be affected here. Therefore, you can count on the responses of this person’s Moon sign to be very obvious, maybe even in a larger-than-life sense. This is the potential drawback of this placement, as Jupiter represents excesses. So, there can be emotional excesses here, to the point of the person becoming totally irrational and over-the-top with their feelings. Their reactions might completely spin out of control or guide their choices a bit too much. It’s necessary, then, for Jupiter in Cancer to realize when it’ll pay off to take the risk of fully reacting and when a touch of logic wouldn’t hurt.

But, situations where they can completely react and express Cancer’s gift of imagination and emotional expression will pay off. That’s why you can find many highly talented actors, singers, writers and other artistic souls with Jupiter in Cancer, including the likes of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Denzel Washington, Frida Kahlo, Jennifer Lawrence, and James Dean, to only name a handful. These artists have all displayed an ability to express vivid emotion and to deeply connect with their audience by showing all of their vulnerabilities. There’s a total emotional accessibility in their work that stirs the souls of millions, showing Jupiter in Cancer’s potential for moving and affecting a limitless range of people.

Food is also going to be a big deal for Cancer Jupiter. These are big-time foodies who really love to eat, rarely, if ever, skipping a meal. In fact, over-eating or compulsive comfort eating might be something to watch for, too. As a result, they also often really love to cook, as well. So, many can find great luck and success in the culinary fields. Whatever provides comfort and understanding to others should be pursued, even if it just means simply being there for someone else. This is where that emotional generosity comes in. Unlike the inner planet Cancer placements, there isn’t likely to be much guilt-tripping from a Cancer Jupiter person whenever they give you a shoulder to cry on and let you vent your feelings. They are just there to give. But, they shouldn’t go overboard with this and should remind themselves to take care of themselves first, as well as not waste time on those who are too needy or draining. However, their free-flowing sympathy is a wonderful gift.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mars in the 8th House

People with their Mars in the 8th House have huge reserves of passion and focus to channel toward their goals and endeavors. The desires of the Mars sign are intensified in this house, sometimes to an overwhelming degree. Gemini Mars in the 8th House, for example, would take their desire for communication and mental stimulation to impassioned extremes. However, the desire nature of an 8th House Mars individual can also become downright destructive, if taken too far. These people want what they want so ferociously, and sometimes so desperately, that they are willing to push themselves all the way to the edge to get it. And they might just end up plummeting off the cliff.

But, the intensity of confrontations, formidable challenges, and the facing of fears gets their blood-pumping. Mars is at home in the 8th House, giving these individuals a ferocity that shouldn’t be underestimated. What scares the hell out of most people is something that they simply find invigorating. Though 8th House Mars people don’t flinch or waver, this doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily as fearless as they might seem to be. In fact, they might be full of fear, which is why they are so driven to conquer their fears. This position can instill some unnecessary paranoia, especially in situations where they’re powerless or not in control. Mars in the 8th individuals can feel constantly thrown into fated situations that are out of their control. These dilemmas can sometimes be totally catastrophic, forcing them to look inward, be reborn, and strengthen their inner resources.

Yet, few people can survive like those with an 8th House Mars. If they learn to focus on developing their inner power, instead of obsessively trying to be in control of their environment, an incredible strength and courage can emerge. These are the kinds of people you want in an emergency situation. Many people with this placement know how to keep a cool lid on their intense passions when they need to, controlling themselves and focusing on the matter at hand. Other people with this Mars might be more expressive and reactive but it’s still rare for them to helplessly collapse when faced with trouble. Instead, they charge right ahead in the face of danger, confident in their ability to survive. It’s just important for them to remember that they’re not invincible.

Mars in the 8th House is very driven but is often better suited at directing their drive toward more intuitive or spiritual things. They have an incredible kind of radar, focusing and sharpening the observational powers of their Mars sign to cut right to the core of a situation. Virgo Mars in the 8th, therefore, isn’t going to let absolutely anything get by them. Their approach to taking action is to read the situation and intuitively feel their way through it. Gut responses and insights are their hidden weapon, which can sometimes make people feel a bit uneasy, as if they are concealing secrets from you or nonverbally sizing you up. Well, they are. But, 8th House Mars people feel energized by digging below the surface. When they are forced to take a very superficial, simple approach, it’s rather disheartening. They desire a case to solve and are exceptionally good at it. But, they have to also remember that a cigar can sometimes just be a cigar.

Because of their detective-like drive and determination, any sort of activity that involves unraveling mysteries and uncovering the truth is where they can achieve the most. You don’t want to bet against the typical 8th House Mars person’s penetrating insight. They can strongly assert themselves as researchers, psychologists, spiritualists, or artists, due to their uncanny understanding of human nature and unseen forces. But, it’s this same understanding that can turn many moments with them into a constant game of chess. They know how to predict your next move, as well as leave you in the dark as far as theirs. Mars in the 8th House isn’t quick to reveal their motives. The trickiest of these people are the ones who seem like such open books. They might be outspoken and even unfiltered. But, they are always aware of what to reveal and what to conceal. So, they might be playing the ultimate trick of seeming to give away everything when they are actually full of secrets.

And since there is so much stored up inside of them, it can be very shocking to some when it all comes spilling out. The temper of a Mars in the 8th House person can be quite devastating. All of this darkness seems to bubble up and drives them to brutally aim for the jugular, in a way that seems intent on annihilating the other person. Because of this reason, people with this placement usually learn how to gain a kind of self-control over their temper that allows them to let go of their anger more easily. They hopefully learn to relax more and/or express their frustration or dissatisfaction right away, preventing the build up that leads to the immense explosion.

Still, this is a highly passionate placement, motivated by a smoldering fire within that cannot be put out. Sometimes, the passion and intensity of those with Mars in the 8th are just ever so visible, but not fully detected. Sometimes, these qualities burst out so strongly that they startle others. There is usually a lot of sex appeal that goes with having an 8th House Mars. These people simmer with raw sexuality and power, in a way that mesmerizes those around them and gains really intense responses from people. Sex is something they like to dive in wholeheartedly, stripping away everything (literally and figuratively) in order to really let loose. It might seem as if they are saving up a lot of their energy for their bedroom, using it as a visceral outlet for their passion. They desire someone who can meet them on their level. Basically, they like getting animalistic, so people who are restrained, hesitant, or detached in their sexual nature will be a turn-off for them.

This brings up the issue of desire, again, because it’s something that a Mars in the 8th House person needs to come to terms with. They must maintain their laser-focus drive without becoming too attached to their desires and that includes people. Having this placement can make you very obsessive over the object of your lust and/or affection, particularly if they reject you. To be blunt, there is a stalker streak within these people, which is when the dark side of not getting what they want overwhelms them. It’s just that they have such a tremendous desire to connect on a very deep level with someone else that it’s often excruciating when it’s not returned. But, this desire can be properly directed by focusing their attention on those that give them the attention they deserve.

With Mars in the 8th, being very sexual is something that also needs to be fully accepted, which can be tough to do in an often sex-negative culture. But, sex-positivity is one of the highest expressions of this placement. Though they’re often very subtle or very private about it, sex is a total preoccupation with them, to a point where it might become rather difficult to handle. But, Mars represents what we have to act on in order to feel invigorated. So, the intensity of their sexual desires needs to be constantly explored and expressed. It’s like this very primal being inside of them that insists on being fed. This is where the sexiness of many 8th House Mars people comes in because they give off these really powerful vibrations of always being ready to get it on. And they typically don’t disappoint in bed, either, with their highly intuitive sense of what to do and when. Understanding people as accurately and deeply as they do, being an amazing lover and pushing all of the right buttons seems to come very easily to them. 

The Chart Ruler: What Kind of Movie is Your Life?

Astrologers with a more holistic approach advise, and wisely, to not single out one placement in the chart too much. You’ve got to take in the whole picture. But, if there’s one placement that deserves some singling out, it’s the chart ruler. How well you express your chart ruler can make or break you.

What is the chart ruler? Well, if you don’t know, the chart ruler is the planet ruling your Rising sign. And since the Rising sign determines your entire chart, this planet rules the chart. So, if you have an Aries Rising, then Mars is your chart ruler because Mars rules the sign of Aries. I trust most of you reading this already know your chart’s ruling planet but let’s just go through them all:

Aries Rising – Mars is the chart ruler
Taurus Rising – Venus is the chart ruler
Gemini Rising – Mercury is the chart ruler
Cancer Rising – Moon is the chart ruler
Leo Rising – Sun is the chart ruler
Virgo Rising – Mercury is the chart ruler
Libra Rising – Venus is the chart ruler
Sagittarius Rising – Jupiter is the chart ruler
Capricorn Rising – Saturn is the chart ruler

These three signs have both a traditional and a modern ruling planet. So, you can consider both:
Scorpio Rising – Mars is the traditional chart ruler; Pluto is the modern chart ruler
Aquarius Rising – Saturn is the traditional chart ruler; Uranus is the modern chart ruler
Pisces Rising – Jupiter is the traditional chart ruler; Neptune is the modern chart ruler

So, if you know your Rising sign, look at your chart ruler and then find its house placement and aspects in your birth chart. There, we’ve got the basics out of the way. Now, what does your chart ruler mean? This isn’t something that’s as delved into as it should be. In my view, the chart ruler defines the tone of your life. Nothing in astrology completely defines us, of course. But, a person’s life will generally be dominated by their chart ruler, as well as the house that planet is in and the aspects that it makes. If your life were a movie, basically, the chart ruler tells what kind of movie it’d be, for good or worse. But, it’s up to you to decide what kind of movie you want to be in.

Say you have Cancer Rising and your Moon is in the 7th House. Then, the movie of your life could be a moving and sentimental (Moon) romance (7th House), defined by the warm, fuzzy, comforting love you receive in your relationship. What if you’re a Sagittarius Rising with Jupiter in the 5th House? Well, that makes your life a wildly entertaining (5th House) kind of movie, full of constant adventures (Jupiter) around the corner.

People live out their chart rulers much more powerfully than they may realize. And that leads me to the other thing about your chart ruler. It could turn your potentially brilliant life story into a critically panned flop. In other words, it can make your life suck as much as it makes wonderful. With a 7th House Moon ruling the chart, that compulsive search for a comfortable relationship could make you live the existence of an unstable co-dependent. A 5th House Jupiter as the chart ruler can turn all of those colorful adventures you thrive on into an irresponsible journey toward ruins, through all of your reckless gambling and childish decisions. We don’t always do this on purpose, of course. Since the chart ruler also rules the Ascendant, which represents immediate behavior, this just becomes an automatic way of operating for us. But, that’s why we have to change the script here.

Aspects, of course, are going to make a difference, too. They will tell you the ways in which you can express your chart ruler, especially if it’s an outer planet. If your chart ruler is forming a square or opposition to any other planet, this is a trouble area in your life that’s going to need to be addressed. So, if Pluto is your chart ruler and it’s opposite your Venus, your life is characterized by an imbalance between Pluto’s urge for power and Venus’ yearning to harmoniously relate. That is, until you learn how to find a happy medium.

If the chart ruler is conjunct a planet, it’s sort of like a co-chart ruler. It becomes a pretty big deal in your life. If Saturn was your chart ruler but also conjunct Uranus and Neptune, being a nonconformist (Uranus) and being empathic (Neptune) dominate your life, as well, but not as much as Saturn. Planets conjunct the chart ruler are like the co-stars but the chart ruler gets top billing. Trines and sextiles represent natural talents that planet has. If the Sun rules the chart and is trine Mars and sextile the Moon, you can be a leader (Sun) in ways that are assertive (Mars) yet caring (Moon).

It’s all important to be aware of because, in the end, I think the chart’s ruling planet and its house and aspects have a lot to do with the life that we really want for ourselves. It’s just that we can be a little misguided in our search, ending up writing ourselves into an unsatisfying story. And you can use your chart ruler to throw out that old draft and start a much better one.

P.S. Whenever your chart’s ruling planet has its “return”, it’s an empowering time for you. A planetary return is when a planet comes back to the same exact sign and house placement in a person’s birth chart. Depending on the planet, it can happen once a year, once every few years, or a few times in a lifetime. If you’re a Cancer Rising, though, your ruler’s return is once a month!

Your chart ruler’s return is a time of rebirth, allowing you to make a shift in the way that you live and see the world. So, it’s the perfect time to change your script. That’s why I’m looking forward to my Saturn return, which is still a few years from now. Most people dread it and suffer through it. But, for Capricorn Rising people, it’s when things start really changing for the better for us.

If you have Scorpio, Aquarius, or Pisces Rising, though, you’re going to have to look forward to traditional chart ruler’s return instead. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto take several years (about a decade and a half for the latter two) to transit just one sign. So, there’s no possible way you can live to see your modern chart ruler’s return unless you live to be 150 years old!