Using Astrology

The articles in this section are focused on techniques for interpretation and how those techniques are applied. This includes approaches from different types of astrological practice. It also includes questions that astrologers find themselves confronted with when they select a particular technique.

The concept of Sect comes to us from Hellenistic times. It is a concept that fell out of use for many years, but is being rediscovered as more and more astrologers are re-examining ancient techniques. Sect can help you determine the qualities of a planet, whether for good or ill and its effect on the chart.

Depending on whether it is a daytime or nighttime chart, sect tells you which of the classical planets (Sun and Moon, and the planets Mercury through Saturn) have the upper hand. It also provides clues as to which planets will be more helpful or more problematic in the chart. 

As with any technique, there are nuances. But the basic process for using sect is simple. First, find the sect of the chart. This is easy - where's the Sun?  If it is above the horizon (the ascendant/descendant axis), it is a diurnal chart that emphasizes the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn. If the Sun is below the horizon, it is a nocturnal chart that emphasizes the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Mercury's sect is determined by whether it rises before (oriental) or after (occidental) the Sun.

Next, determine whether or not the planets are in their natural sect. For example, Saturn is a diurnal planet. If it is above the horizon in a diurnal chart, it is matched with its natural sect. This gives Saturn an even extra boost as it delights in its placement. Third, consider whether the planet is in a masculine (diurnal) or feminine (nocturnal) sign.

Planets that are in their natural sect by hemisphere and in a sign which matches their natural sect are in hayz. In Medieval astrology, this was considered a particularly beneficial and powerful condition. If a planet is out of sect by hemisphere, sign or both (a condition Robert Hand calls ex conditione), it will have difficulty expressing positively in the chart.

Andreas Lubitz and James Holmes

While you cannot say that certain chart patterns will always show up the same in every person's life, sometimes two people can show striking similarities. Such is the case with mass murderers Andreas Lubitz and James Holmes.

When I saw news of the tragic crash into the Swiss Alps of the Germanwings flight that killed 150 in March of 2015, I was saddened and later horrified because news reports said that the young co-pilot in charge, Andreas Lubitz, crashed the plane intentionally. As an astrologer, I quickly ran a chart for Lubitz’ reported birth date to better understand the tragic situation, and immediately had a strong sense of déjà vu – I had seen that same chart before.

With the modern emphasis on natal astrology, natural astrology is sometimes forgotten. This is the branch of astrology that is more concerned with nature than with humans. Its traditional subject matter has been tides, weather and climate, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, animal behaviors, agriculture, and plagues. This article gives a brief overview of natural astrology beginning with Ptolemy.

It is September 28, 2015 as I write this and we just had a rare, dramatic and beautiful lunar eclipse.

It was called both a Blood Moon and a Super Moon. This combination last occurred in 1982 and won’t occur again until 2033.

It was a Blood Moon because it was a total lunar eclipse, when the moon turns red. This is because as the Sun’s light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, the green to blue to violet light is scattered more than red – so the red color is what reaches the lunar surface. (Remember that a lunar eclipse happens at a full moon, so the earth is between the Sun and Moon.)

It was a Super Moon because the Moon was at its perigee (the closest its elliptical orbit gets to the earth). This makes the moon looks 8-14% larger in the sky as well as brighter. 

The view for early risers in February 2016

Several terms in contemporary use are huddled under the umbrella of aspects in mundo: mundane conjunctions, squares and oppositions, parans, paranatellontai, mundane aspects and aspects in the mundane sphere. They all refer to that category of aspects which takes the Earth's equator as the point of reference, hence the Latin word mundo from mundus, that is, "the world."

Accordingly, instead of celestial longitude, which is the argument for aspects in zodiaco, aspects in mundo are generally reckoned in right ascension expressed in time, or less often in degrees of arc without a zodiacal sign attached.

Mundane aspects have fallen out of general use because they are regarded as too much of a bother to calculate from scratch, and right ascension has been omitted from most astrological ephemerides for decades. The only astrological ephemeris in print that gives right ascension as a tabular entry is The American Sidereal Ephemeris--no doubt because siderealists consider aspects in mundo the strongest class of aspects.

The 20 day-signs in Mesoamerican astrology are similar in many ways to the Western zodiac. They map out distinct personality types and a sequence of evolutionary stages. There are a number of subtle, internal arrangements beyond the scope of this article that invite exploration by those interested in mathematical aesthetics.

Below are the names of the day-signs with a brief delineation for those born under them. The delineations are based partly on ancient sources and partly on anecdotal evidence.

Famous figures and important events offer astrologers an irresistible opportunity to find meaning in the chart. But it also raises important questions about our own biases and projections that we need to keep in mind. As Damiel Giamario notes below, millions have "Saturn complexes" but do not show such an extreme response as we suspect occurred with Andrea Lubitz, the pilot who crashed a commercial airplane into a mountain side in the French Alps.

We cannot escape projecting our own biases into a chart analysis. This is especially easy to do when we use public figures and proceed to analyze their chart. How often do our interpretations say more about us than about the person whose chart we are reading?


I am offering some preliminary considerations on the astrology of Andreas Lubitz, from the perspective of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm. We now know that Lubitz was born December 18, 1987 in Montabaur, Germany. Since we do not know his birth time yet, it will be interesting to test out these speculations as new information emerges.

-- by Joseph Crane.

An examination of the astrology of this Presidential campaign, using many difficult predictive techniques, is a complicated enterprise.  Here are some of the things I have surmised from my investigation.

Obama and Romney do not like each other or even respect each other; in fact they drive each other a bit crazy.  There’s also sufficient Mars intruding on the first debate that it may be a rhetorical Armageddon.  Expect an October surprise of some kind, one that will make Obama look bad, although his campaign will probably survive intact.  Romney may wilt sometime before the end of the campaign, a victim of physical stress or exhaustion.