The way that I interpret astrology is from a naturalist’s point-of-view. My viewpoints are rooted in natural laws that are clear and observable. As with gardening, when you combine the correct elements together, you get a fertile environment in which the life can develop and grow. If these elements are out of balance for that particular life form, the experience of growing will be challenging or full of obstacles.
In my experience, there are cycles associated with pretty much everything. From a human perspective, some cycles are eons long, while others come and go in a blink of an eye.
When it comes to people, there are many different types of cycles like; life cycle, marriage cycle, schooling cycle, work cycle, friendship cycle, etc.
Every cycle has well defined characteristics that define where you are in that cycle. For instance, take a friendship cycle. One day, you might be introduced to someone and you start to talk. In the first parts of the relationship, you figure out who that person is in relation to yourself. There’s basic identity discovery. Fairly quickly, people figure out the interactive economy in the relationship, particularly if the relationship is work related. It’s not long before you figure out how the other person moves, how they approach situations and their style of communication. In time, you figure out how they treat things in their environment and how they live. As you continue, you’ll learn how they treat others and how they play. Eventually you’ll get deep enough to see how they value their work as well as your work. As the relationship matures, you’ll start to witness aspects that are deeper with regards to their intellectual, social, spiritual and philosophical approaches to life. This generally first unfolds with how they approach longer term agreements, or how they treat people they don’t know. In time, you’ll see how secure they are with what they do and how they do it. As the relationship matures, there will be deeper intellectual understandings with regards to how they approach education, religion and legal matters. Eventually, you get to start seeing the greater purpose of the person and what type of authority they carry. Eventually you’ll start to see how they accomplish things or how things come their way in relations to the energy that they put out and, of course, the philosophies that they live by. And then, eventually, as with all things, there is reflection on the relationship and a digestion with regards to what it meant by it as it concludes or changes.
The energies associated with the cycles may happen at the speed of the Moon, such as a fling that you figure out and conclude in a month. Or, it could be a relationship that is full of lessons that never seem to end which unfolds at the snail’s pace of Saturn lasting 30 years or more.
Every cycle has different levels of engagement and there are always cycles within cycles! Everything deals in fractals. There are smaller or larger copies of the cycles that all fit into the grand design.
So, what does this all boil down to for me?
The wheel represents a cycle
Based on its birth time, we can watch something development over time and calculate the influences that will be present throughout the cycle.
Cycles have well defined stages
Symbolically, carve the wheel up into four stages and relate it to a natal chart. The first few houses represent the birth, identification and development of the objects raw form. The next three houses represent interactions in the environment, self-expression and how life is approached. This builds the foundation. The next three houses relate directly to how the object interacts in its environment where we see if it’s balanced or not, and we get to see the fruits of the interactions. The last three houses show the long-term impact, what is spawned from the object and its spiritual karma.
All things cycle in their own time
A friendship is not defined by a single pass through the wheel. The friendship may have a birthdate which defines the moment of contact, but it may have another date when you started working together. It may have another if one person moves. There may be another if there is a legal agreement. The intention that exists between objects changes and gets refined in time. Each cycle helps with that refinement.
Cycles can be interpreted and observed
When you know what you’re watching, the better you’ll be able to interpret what it’s doing. The more you learn how something behaves, the better you’ll be able to guess what it will do as the influential energies come its way.
Cycles are an attribute of consciousness*
*It would appear that the astrological cycles are a fundamental attribute of consciousness. It’s as if it is part of the innate programing that helps define the subliminal influences for anything that comes into existence. It could be likened to the principle of the Golden Rule, or the principle of Cause and Effect or Asking and Receiving. These cycles may simply be a rule of consciousness.
Notice that I put the asterisks on that last section. This is just a guess on my part. I don’t want to have to intellectually defend it. I just wanted to through it out as one of my musings for I like to figure obscure things out (or at least, pretend to try!).
Breaking Down a Cycle
To be clear here, I don’t really want to invent anything new with regards to what people have come to understand about the meanings of the houses, but rather apply another way of interpreting what the history of astrology has taught us over the centuries.
To do this, I’m going to interpret the wheel as a 360-degree circle that starts at the rising sign degree.
The Ascendant & First House
This is the instant of creation. Whatever it is, this moment would be thought of as the point at which it is manifested in the physical.
When something first comes into existence, does it know what it is? Does it have the concept of self? Does it have a “voice in its head?” Does it instinctively know how to survive?
With less complex life forms, I would say they probably aren’t concerned with who or what they are. They just are.
With more advanced life forms, my observations would indicate that the life form really doesn’t have any idea who it is or what it is at the birth moment. Instead, there is a period of learning that must transpire where the entity learns what it’s capable of and what it can do.
This first phase of being is a period of self-discovery. It is the period where whatever was born gets to figure out what it is and what it can do. It’s all about self and what that means. It’s the process of identifying with what you are and seeing that you are unique.
If what was created is a human, this first period the human learns the physical aspects of living, staying healthy and presenting himself. If it’s a new country, it’s the process of the inhabitants discovering their unique identity, what do they sound like or look like. What is their law and order. What is their system. If it were an organization, it might be about what they do, how they do it, what the organization structure is like and what makes them unique.
- Tips: Self-discovery, identity, inner order, uniqueness.
Transitioning into the Second House
After figuring out its identity, there is a period of time where the entity applies itself. It does something. It interacts with its environment and, most likely, it pays attention to what is successful and what is not. You could think of this time, as the time when the behavior is refined based on what the entity considers success and failure.
The entity may do a lot of rudimentary things and along that way, it will develop a sense for what is valuable to it and what is not. These actions help to build a foundation to what’s worth working for or spending your energy on.
When dealing with people, we’re going to see them applying their energy towards the things that they desire. At the root level, it shapes the ego and physical appearance. It helps develop the personally and what is values should become obvious. In a way, the developmental stage is still very raw and easy to interpret. If it were a country, we would see what the entire culture values and how they define self-worth from their efforts. We see the results from their action in the way (or what) they accumulate and how they share. If it were an organization, we would see what is profitable or successful behavior and what it gathers or produces. We would see the way it does things and the results of those actions.
- Tips: What is valuable to self, primitive desires, shapes ego, builds personality.
Transitioning into the Third House
In time, learning takes place and the energy spent working towards what is desirable is made more efficient. Most things learn how to do things better, get to the reward faster and show the desire to want to learn or get better.
In the previous house, it was all about figuring out what is desirable, in this house, it’s about refining the tools that you have in order to optimize how you get that reward. Thus, in this house, the entity learns to reference tools and resources in its environment. It’s about learning, studying, communicating, getting in contact with others. It is a developmental stage where skill is refined.
If you were a person, all forms of communication would be open to you. You’d read, listen, talk to, find a way to get in the presence of those that you can learn from. You’d ask questions of others, seek advice, reference technology – anything that helps you understand what you are doing better. If the entity is a country, the communication systems that we’re talking about are used by everyone or the goal is to make them accessible by everyone. Delivery systems are created, ways of transferring goods become important. If it were an organization, not only would the items that a country would use become important, but the interpersonal relationships of depending on others starts to manifest. Relationships are built.
- Tips: Refining actions and skills, selfish learning, communicating.
Passing from the Third to Fourth House
It’s at this point that the entity starts to notice others in its environment. There is a sense of relation to what is immediately around it. There is an awareness to the resources that are available and how those resources are managed or used.
The third and fourth house cusp defines a shift of consciousness from being centered around self to one where others are noticed. Think of this a puberty where all of a sudden, emotions are recognized and explored. Before this time, emotions just happened.
The influences during this phase can heighten an emotional awareness of the home environment and those in the home. It’s recognition of emotional attachments and how that feels. The person will really start to understand authority and what that means. As a country, it is the recognition of the natural resources that are available to it. It is a recognition of the management of those resources and who controls the resources. It is the learning the difference between what the people do and what the aristocrats do. Recognizing the first aspects of the class system. There is an understanding regarding what brings peace, order and stability. As an organization, it would be similar to a country, but with the differences having to do with acquiring resources or producing resources.
- Tips: Emotional attachments to family, recognizing authority, understanding resources, understanding peace and stability, class system.
Moving into the Fifth House
Once it’s understood regarding what is needed, now it’s a matter of getting it. This is where creativity starts to come into play. It’s not so much about strategy or cunning, but rather playful ways to stand out. It’s about being seen, remembered and recognized.
As a person, it’s about how you express yourself, being creative, being playful, finding what is pleasurable, allowing romance to happen, taking risks and being willing to gamble. As a country, this would express itself through entertainment such as the theatre, movies, tv, sports and concerts where trends are created. We start seeing mass movements into the next big investment or buying into the upcoming trends. There is the understanding of the separation of classes in the country and the desire to be part of the high society. The masses look towards changing their status through investments, stocks and other speculative avenues to riches. This house also touches on morals – what is someone willing to do in order to get what they want. Here there are challenges with regards to emotional security which overflows into the responsibility areas.
- Tips: Playfully standing out, interacting to get what is needed, expressing self, following what is pleasurable, risk.
Transitioning into the Sixth House
The playfulness tends to wear off as the results of your previous actions set in. This is the time when you have to pay for your previous actions or it could be thought of as the time when you harvest what you’ve sown. This is the ‘effect’ part of the ‘cause’ which can show up as abundance or lack. It can be likened to being healthy or sick, enjoying your work, or hating your work, being loved by your neighbors or hated by them.
For people, the sixth house can be thought of as the last fundamental house that has influences that help round out the personality of the individual. It brings the energy of influence that forces one to experience the results of their actions or puts them in a situation where they are involved with the results of someone else’s actions. Think about physical health, living through an adverse condition, having to help someone through their conditions, or helping someone that’s fighting to survive.
On an organizational or state level, we still reflect upon the results of the actions yet the root cause may be more difficult to detect or understand. Here, there the influential energies bring out public health concerns or widespread sickness. It’s a call to action which inspires people to join organizations that are intent on helping people. At the organizational level, it’s organizations like public health services, the national guard, civil servants and charities. The goal is to bring balance back to the system so it’s stable again. This includes situations where wealth becomes unequal between classes which plays out in trade unions, employee & employer relations and the rules and regulations by which the members of the country or organization need to follow.
The energies of influence that make up the first half of the cycle really build the foundation as to what that entity is, what it can do and how it deals with what it does. The maturity level is that of having experience and having a good sense of what’s right and wrong, or what works and what doesn’t work. The summation of these experiences now work to deepen the experiences that happen on the second half of the cycle.
- Tips: Results of your actions, health or sickness, abundance or lack.
Crossing the Descendant for the Seventh House
This next house brings in energies of influence that deepen the emotional attachments to others. It is the space where you prove that you are good or bad to your word. This is where you show that you are gentle or rough. This is a state in the cycle where the personality that you have chosen to develop gets put into play so everyone can see what you’ve become.
For a person, this is the house of close partnerships and interactions between significant people in your life. This is where people get to experience the subtle details of attraction and repulsion. It’s cooperation, independence, supporting and giving space. As this house is experienced, conflicts can arise which will need to be worked through. Misunderstandings will need to be worked out.
On a larger scale, this house is about partnerships in companies or agreements with foreign entities. Here, it plays out as either being hostel, or friendly. It’s honoring the political independence or meddling in it. It leads to stronger or weaker bonds between entities. This is a time when the opinion of what the entity is, is formed within others. Here the energy could be as extreme as war or the polar opposite – peace.
- Tips: Emotional attachment to others, expressing yourself to others, how others see you
Moving into the Eight House
Being on the second half of the cycle and following the house that brings in deeper emotional attachments, this house deals with adapting to this new way of being. In the first half of the cycle, we deal with energies that are more interpersonal. Here, the influences amplify situations where you are not in direct control of the originating energies, but you are still involved. In other words, you can’t change the other person. You’re being asked to adapt to things which you cannot control.
On a human level, we are put in situations where resources need to be shared. They are not solely owned by you. You’ll have to deal with other’s opinions and their powerful emotions that are ether uplifting or crushing. This is where deep intimacy and sexuality is explored as both taking and giving. Because the energies of influence amplify what is thought of as bonds between people, this is the house where people get to experience death and rebirth. It is a house that brings deep transformations that are either obvious or just downright mysterious.
On a larger scale, we’re dealing with energies that affect cultural values and how society, as a whole, expresses love or hate for something. Because the influences are related to bonding, birth and death rates may be highlighted. Mass deaths or the death of a beloved charismatic leader or artist may be experienced. Because the influences are to adapt to things that cannot be controlled, the entity may experience delays, obstructions, accidents, epidemics and natural disasters that all bring emotional responses.
- Tips: Emotional attachment, things you can’t control, death, birth, taking & giving.
Moving towards the Midheaven – the Ninth House
The energies of influence associated with the ninth house bring a heightened level of awareness with regards to what helps a group function. There is a sense of meaning as to why people need to be educated, why we need high technology, why we need to explore to find new techniques that can assist us in our journeys.
As the cycle moves through the ninth house, the experiences of the previous two houses help create a level of understanding that builds wisdom. The influential energies help refine how one looks at the world and builds the foundation for one’s philosophies. Opinions will be formed regarding religion, higher education, the need for worldly travel particularly with regards to how it builds character or how it expands your perception of the world.
On a larger scale, we go straight to the organizations that support long distance travel, religion, universities, scientific institutions and all they have to offer. There is the connection to law and order has it unfolds and supports the concept of do onto others as you would want them to do onto you. Being diplomatic, going on foreign adventures, developing strategic relationships with others that have a common good all take center stage.
- Tips: Education, technology, power through organizing, diplomacy.
Crossing the Midheaven entering the Tenth House
Here, we bring in the idea of intent. The emotional and experiential processes that developed character in the previous three houses has now created an understanding or inner knowing that drives the desire that gives purpose to actions. It drives the desire to choose how you want to participate.
For a person, thought is put into what is done and why. It is refining one’s skills make making them visible to society. It is the inner act of defining your mission in life. It is standing in conviction with regards to your principles. It is authority figures and rising to the top to lead people based on what you have learned and share. There is nobility here and the desire to change the world.
On a larger scale, the energy is associated with those that run the collective. It is all the people in positions of authority. It is the royals, the presidents, the CEOs and their personalities. It is the governmental officials, the union leaders, the famous artists that have all gone out of their way to dedicate their lives to a cause or movement. It is about those that sit in positions of authority to judge, rule, or influence how the organization moves forward. It is the primaeval need to plant the seeds of the culture in the most fertile of soils.
- Tips: Mission, drive, passion, authority, dedication.
Moving into the Eleventh House
Here, the dreams and wishes worked for in the previous house find their emotional maturity. This is the realization that you’re living your dream. It is that balanced feeling of living what you’ve always wanted to do. This is the point of being recognized and honored by others. It is being respected and admired for having achieved your dreams.
As much as we always want to consider the energies in the ninth, tenth and eleventh houses as representing accomplishing your goals, meeting your expectation and living your dreams, life doesn’t always work out that way. The foundation laid out in the earlier houses set the stage for what happens here.
Thinking of the eleventh house as an organization, it can be seen as meeting goals, having established meaningful fruitful partnerships and found harmony with the law. At the civilization level, these energies influence groups that rule or groups that debate the best approaches forward. It’s about arguing for the correct laws or rules that have the best interests of those in the collective. It’s about working as a collective to reach the moon, or build a lasting monument. The dreams of the collective are realized.
- Tips: Dreams, wishes, honor, legacy.
Falling into the Twelfth House
The passion that drives the realization of dreams can drive some to do anything that they possible can to make that happen. Thus, when the cycle comes full circle, the influences are going to wind it down in one way or another.
In the successful case, the situation will feel restful. It is the spiritual understanding of the completion of the cycle. It is a time to reflect on what went well and what could be done differently. It is conscious reflection upon the journey and digesting what has transpired. It may be a time of letting go of what no longer serves you or letting go of the misguided dream. It is the unwind and reset.
Yet, this unwind is not always peaceful. One may be taken kicking and screaming to a forced conclusion. The influences may come across in ways that cause people to snap or change in desperate ways in order to try to force the acquisition of their desires. This brings in fractures states of being and criminal behavior. Secret plots, spying, breaking the rules all become options at this stage of the process. It is that feeling of wanting to cheat death.
On a larger scale, this energy brings in reformatories, asylums, institutions to help the broken, prisons, welfare, hospitals, financial loss, burdensome debt and the like. It supports black magic, the occult and secret societies. It rules those that have authority over these types of institutions and the natural laws that they try to bend to satisfy the unquenchable desires.
- Tips: Digestion, unwind, reset, fight, occult, unquenchable desires.
Back to the Ascendant
Yet, in some form, the cycle will complete and a new phase of it will be born. Whether it’s growing a year older, going through childhood or starting a new position at work, there are characteristics of the cycle that will be observable as the journey progresses.
Every cycle has its own beginning and end. There is an unknown number of returns that happen as the adventure grows and matures. How someone approaches their dream on one attempt may be slightly different the second time around. Things adjust, the influences change, entities grow, learn, share, die. It’s all part of the conscious experience.
As you might have been able to notice, I’m kind of a naturalist when it comes to interpreting the meanings of the different houses in a chart. The wisdom passed down from generation to generation roughly follows this type of approach or philosophy.
I am also a practical realist. When it comes to astrology, I have a strong feeling that you have to be well versed in what it is that you’re reading. At least enough to understand the cycles that it would go through for its natural progression.