Finding the Themes

The Art of Synthesis

by Hank Friedman

1. Building Blocks

There are many principles that illustrate how to achieve greater accuracy in reading (and comprehension of) astrology charts:

A. The Attributes. Just like an understanding of the properties of the chemical elements and molecules allows scientists to comprehend their biochemical actions in the human body, so a thorough understanding the building blocks of a chart enables one to delineate charts successfully.

Note: The larger the astrological vocabulary that one is fluent in, the more comprehension possible.

Chunks of vocabulary include:

Planets      Houses      Signs

Modes      Elements      Scope (i.e. the first, second, and third four signs)

Aspects (unilateral and mutual)      Combinations (Yogas in Jyotish)       Nakshatras (aka Lunar Mansions)

Strength (including Accidental & Essential Dignity in Western astrology and Ownership, Dig Bala, Vargottama, etc. in Vedic)

Functional Behavior (Temporal benefics and malefics: the rulership of positive and negative houses)

Extra Points (Parts/Lots, Asteroids, Comets/Chiron, Tranplutonians in Western; Upagrahas, Arudhas, Alternate Lagnas in Jyotish)


B. Commonalities.

In both Western and Vedic astrologies, the idea of "The Law of Three" is present. I.e. "if the same theme comes up in three places in the chart, it is likely to manifest".

But what is not as frequently understood is that the same approach can be applied to single placements (e.g. a planet in a sign and house).

Here's the procedure:

Examine each point in a chart, one at a time, to see if there are common themes among its own attributes.

I hope that the following examples help to illustrate the method used:

Simple examples:

Saturn in an Earth sign and an Earth house: concerns with security (especially financial), drive to earn and work hard, demanding occupation.

Uranus in a Fire sign in an angle: pioneering spirit, unconventional leader, impulsive actions.

Moon conjunct Neptune in a Water sign: very sensitive to the moods of others (sometimes without realizing it), instinctively accommodates others, can get lost in (and blinded by) their own feelings.

A more complex example:

As I said earlier, I try to find what themes are amplified by what each quality of the point's placement has in common with other facets of its placement.

If a person has Mars in Cancer conjunct Saturn in the Nakshatra of Ashlesha in the 8th house:

Mars "goes its own way", Ashlesha is different from most people, and Saturn isolates, all reinforcing an independent streak and a sense of personal alienation.

Mars is weak in Cancer, with its enemy (malefic Saturn), and is impeded by its 8th house presence, and so accomplishing tasks becomes very difficult. (Mars is the main initiator in a person's chart.)

The weakness of Mars contributes to its "crankiness" and misplaced anger, and when also placed in the house of confrontations (the 8th house) in the covert sign of Ashlesa, this may cause passive aggressive behavior or a temperamental nature.

Ashlesha in inward, Saturn is introverted, and the 8th house is "hidden", and so the person is private and at times very introspective.

The 8th house and Ashlesha want to "get to the bottom of things" and Saturn is focused, so the person is likely to be drawn to research, troubleshooting, and problem-solving.

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My Factors-in-Common Table

In order to make applying the above principles easier, I designed tables for both Western and Vedic astrologers to use in evaluating the themes in common for each planet in a person's chart.

You can download my blank form here.

You can fill in each blank table for one planet, and then look at how that planet's factors synergize each other.

In other words, what themes they mutually share and reinforce.

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Here are the tables for two of Bob Dylan's planets, plus his chart and explanations:

Vedic Factors In Common

for the Moon


Theme

Sign

House

Strength

Aspected by or with

Nakshatra

Yogas

Houses

Ruled

 

Element

Mode

Owner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire

Movable

Mars

Sixth

Weak

Saturn

Krittika

4th + 9th

9th

accidents

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

 

illness

 

 

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

 

anger

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

 

yes

 

 

passion

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

 



Vedic Factors In Common

for Venus


Theme

Sign

House

Strength

Aspected by or with

Nakshatra

Yogas

Houses

Ruled

 

Element

Mode

Owner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth

Fixed

Venus

Seventh

Strong

Sun, Jupiter

Rohini

5th + 7th

7th + 12th

creativity

yes

 

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

divorce

 

 

yes

yes

yes

 

yes

 

yes

self-employed

 

 

 

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

 



Western Astrological Factors in Common

for Moon


Theme

Sign

House

Dignity

Aspected by or with

Direct or

Rx

Houses

Ruled

 

Element

Mode

Owner

Scope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth

Fixed

Venus

Self

Sixth

Exalted

Saturn +

Direct

Eighth

Overworks

yes

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

yes

Isolation

yes

 

 

yes

yes

 

yes

 

yes

Addiction

 

 

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

 

yes

Colleagues

 

yes

yes

 

yes

yes

yes

 

 



In his Western chart, for example, we immediately notice the huge 6th house stellium, and then look to see if the themes of that house are also reinforced by any of the attributes of any of the points therein.

We quickly see the planets in Taurus, another Earth sign, and the influence of Saturn, if not in that house, then still conjuncting planets in the 6th, especially the Moon. These, plus the fixity of Taurus, confluently reinforce several themes:

1. Extremes of work. The above factors show that work is all or none for him. Taurus as both a fixed sign and an Earth sign doesn't know when to stop, and neither does the Moon, who gets absorbed in work. His relentless touring schedule is said to have really impacted his relationships.

2. Isolation: The predominance of planets in the first four signs (an island unto oneself), plus the tight conjunction of Moon and Saturn (especially in an introverted sign) show how isolated Bob has been many times in his life.

3. Addiction. Mr.Dylan's early addictions are common knowledge, and revealed by the 6th stellium, again the Saturn/Moon conjunction (control issues), and the predilections of the sign Taurus

4. The importance of colleagues. If the 6th house represents coworkers, and he has both Lights there (the Sun and the Moon) and many other planets, then his coworkers are going to play a major part in his life, The Band, his backup group, went on to make a name of their own.

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In his Vedic chart, we see a very strong Venus in an angle, as ruler of the 12th and 7th houses, indicating:

1. Divorce. A classical Vedic principle "Karako Bhavo Nashya" states that if the significator of a person is in the house that also signifies the person, there is a major problem. To have the planet that represents the spouse -- Venus -- both in the house of marriage and ruling it is a clear indication of the likelihood of relationship problems, and having the same point rule the 12th house of loss (and be astronomically combust) further reinforces this theme. His first divorce was reported as very bitter.

2. Creativity. When a planet is in its own sign and in an angle (Venus in the 7th house in Taurus), it becomes incredibly powerful and forms a Pancha Maha Purusha Yoga. This "super-Venus" is an excellent indicator of profound creativity, and the theme of creativity is reinforced both by it being in the Nakshatra of Rohini (a very creative Nakshatra) and by participating in a Raja Yoga by being with Jupiter (the lord of the 5th house of creativity).

He also has the dark Moon conjunct a weak Saturn in the 6th house:

3. Health issues. Since the Moon is the central planet for life force in Vedic astrology, to be born with the Moon both waning and very dark (close to new), in the 6th house of accidents, illness, and addiction with a debilitated Saturn, ensured that these themes were sure to be prominent in his life. In fact, he had a life-threatening motorcycle accident, major heroin addiction, and later a life-challenging disease called pericarditis.

4. Infidelities. As I explored in my article, "The Problems with Passion", specific astrological combinations can result in an exaggerated libido and the concomitant problems that result. The exaggeratedly weak condition of both the Moon and Saturn, and their conjunction in the 6th house, impelled Mr.Dylan towards unfaithfulness many times in his life. The fact that both planets are in the highly sexual Nakshatra of Krittika further reinforces this theme.

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May your astrological studies blossom beautifully!



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