Category Archives: Profession

Quickies | Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey was born on June 21, 1985 at 2:46 am in New York City, with Venus rising in Taurus, the Moon in Leo, and the Sun in Gemini (chart is A rated for accuracy). In this quick look at her chart relative to traditional career indications and personality I will not be providing a biography or deep analysis of her life. You can find a bio on Wikipedia.

Lana Del Rey’s natal chart is picture below with the twelfth-part positions around the outside of the wheel.


Lana Del Rey - Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts
Lana Del Rey – Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts


One of the more striking features of her chart, Venus is conjunct the Ascendant in Taurus within a degree.  You may recall from a past article series on the career significators (see here for the method from the first post in that series) that Mercury, Venus, and Mars are the most significant planets for career.  In this case, only Venus is in one of the places noted in that technique, while Mercury and Mars are both in the 3rd place, Cancer, the house of the Moon.  Venus is the most prominent planet in the chart, being in the 1st house and strongly advancing.  Venus also is the domicile and triplicity ruler of the 1st house, so there is a strong identification with matters that she symbolizes (the arts, aesthetics). Therefore, Venus is very strikingly the most significant planet for career matters, signifying an artistic pursuit.

Mercury is in phasis (i.e. Mercury departed from the beams of the Sun within 7 days of her birth), so Mercury is also very prominent. Additionally, Mercury rules the bound of the Ascendant (the Asc is at 13TAU which I realize is a bit unclear from the chart), Mercury is a triplicity ruler of the 10th house, Mercury is in its own bound, and Mercury is in the house of the sect light (the Moon). Mecury is also the domicile ruler of the Sun. All of this indicates that Mercury is prominent, and there is a strong identification with Mercury as well.

Mercury is in a tight aspect (under 3 degrees) with Venus, so these two planets have a strong relationship with each other in the chart and in relation to career. Mercury-Venus combinations with Venus dominant can signify musical careers (Venus is more prominent and is behind Mercury in the aspect so is more dominant in the relationship).

The Promise of Jupiter

Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon are all in stakes of the chart, so can also be significant in relation to the career. Jupiter is particularly significant as it is in the 10th place, which is the one most pertinent to career-matters and it closely dominate Venus with its tight right-hand square, and rules Venus by bound.

In relation to Venus and the career, Jupiter promises a fortunate event to be timed to when it culminates at the MC by primary directions (click here for a summary of how to use primary directions).

Jupiter culminated at the MC by primary directions in 2007.

lana del ray - primary direction of jupiter

It was in 2007 that Lana Del Rey signed her first record contract.


The ruler of the 1st and Mercury are typically the most important planets to examine in relation to the personality. Someone who is famous may use a “stage persona” that is more linked with planets pertaining to the career and the lights (the Sun and Moon signifying things put more prominently on display). In Lana Del Rey’s case, Venus and Mercury are the most important career indicator planets, and the most significant planets in relation to personality, so there is a lot of overlap between herself and her stage persona. While she has described her persona as a sort of “gangster Nancy Sinatra”, which certainly implies plenty of theatrics, she has also discussed how autobiographical her music has been.

There is a notable dark side to most of her music, especially in the lyrics. Her Mercury is with Mars in the 3rd house, Cancer. Mercury with Mars puts that “gangster” edge of violence and crassness to her lyrics, set amidst the lunar Cancerian backdrop of subjectivity and old school dreamy sentimentality.  Additionally, her Venus is opposite Saturn, signifying the strong association of her image with coldness, control, darkness, sorrow, and even depravity.  Saturn is in the 7th, the place of partnership and marriage, so we see that weight expressed in terms of the burden of relationships, through both Saturn’s place (the 7th) and Saturn’s opposition to Venus.

Feel free to explore her chart further in the comments section.

Cover image attribution: By Jaguar MENA (Jaguar F-TYPE) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Biopic Shorts | David Lynch

Industrial Symphony No. 1 is a very ethereal musical play created by David Lynch with music by Angelo Badalamenti and singing by Julee Cruise, which was performed in 1989, after Wild At Heart and foreshadowing, musically and thematically, the Twin Peaks series. I missed it on its release to VHS in 1990 but it’s also been released in the Lime Green Box Set and a lower quality version floats around on YouTube, as seen below.


The Moon through a Loud Speaker

The irrational is pervasive in Lynch’s work.  Watching his films is akin to a swim through the sphere of Yesod on the kabbalistic tree of life.  It is of little wonder to find the Moon as the loudest and most influential planet in his life: the sect light (Lynch was born at night), above the horizon, and in a feminine sign (i.e. in haym); strongly advancing to culmination on the MC (conjunct MC within 2 degrees); in the place of the Good Daimon or Spirit (the 11th house; pertaining to mental, spiritual, and social benefit); in the place of Love (i.e. place occupied by the Lot of Love, one of the 4 principal lots, and actually within 2.5 degrees of the lot); with her twelfth-part in the most important place, the 1st House; with some testimony in the Ascendant (participating triplicity and regard by sextile) and regarding and ruling the lord of the Ascendant (Mars in Cancer); also conjunct the twelfth-part of Fortune. Some of these indications make the Moon more prominent in a general way in the life as a whole, as if her volume has been turned up and she influences all affairs, while other indications pertain more to identity and personal influence.

Lunar themes of vivid depths of subjective experience, the emotive instinctuality and irrationality of the natural world, and the affection of the familiar and habitual (i.e. sentimentality) are also very apparent in his life and work.  I am thinking particularly of his repeat use of familiar actors, the non-linearity of his work, the thematic grappling with the gap between the role we create for ourselves and the role we actually play, the complex and paradoxical subconscious evocations of rural life and the wilderness, and the influence of dreams, visions, coincidences, and spiritual experiences on our life events and states of mind.

His birth data is rated AA for accuracy and his chart is shown below with twelfth-parts and then with lots.

David Lynch Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts
David Lynch Natal Chart with 4 Principal Lots

The Moon is in Virgo, a mutable sign, thus the Moon tends to express through transitory combination and interaction, as if between players, rather than having her primary mode of action through powerful changes (cardinal) or stable developments (fixed).  Virgo is an earth sign, evoking the land, tradition, and the body.  Virgo’s ruler, Mercury, is the messenger, and is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, herself a traveler, while Mercury delivers and communicates, adding a lot of movement, interaction, communication, and consultation to the prominent relationship between the Moon and Mercury.  Mercury is in phasis and is most directly influenced by Venus and the Sun, with which he is assembled in the third house, Capricorn; Venus pertaining to love and art; the Sun to influence and publicity.  This is especially so with Venus, as she is most closely assembled with Mercury and rules his bound (as well as being a triplicity lord of Capricorn).  The combination of Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in a place of connection and conveyance is evocative of many important professional aspects of Lynch’s life, from artistic direction of important projects to bold use of music. While the 3rd house is most directly benefic, being occupied by the sect benefic and dominated (right-side square) by Jupiter, Mercury’s applying opposition to both malefics, and rulership by the out of sect Saturn, in the House of God, lend an aura of foreboding ethereal terror over matters of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and the 3rd House.

The Moon pertains to family and childhood, especially the mother, and the Virgoan Mercurial influence and prominence of the 3rd house fits with Lynch’s mother being an English tutor and his father and agricultural research scientist.  The prominence of the 3rd House, the Moon, mutability, and Mercury, all evoking travel and movement also fits with his experience of moving a half dozen times with his family as a child, and embarking on some formative trips as a young adult.  The land, tradition, the elderly, fear, and emotional or physical handicap are all very Saturnine themes evoked in his work, as in his chart, as supernaturally lurking in the shadows of, and contrasted with, human innocence.

Malefics in the Lunar House of God Tugging on Venus

When it comes to Lynch’s personality, the main indicators are the lord of the Ascendant (Mars), Mercury, and the Moon.  Mars is in sect and in a good place in the chart, but conjunct the out of sect malefic, Saturn, while strongly influenced by both benefics (benefics are in the stakes of Mars), and ruled by the very benefic Moon while in the bound of the benefic Jupiter.  The overall sense with Mars is of an ambitious nature and one which can be irritable and rebellious, but is heavily influenced by goodness (sect, good place, benefic influence), and yet touched by the dark, dreadful, or macabre (Saturn).  All in all, there is incredible complexity to the character because of all the planetary influences on the lord of the Ascendant.  Mars additionally occupies the 9th Place, the House of God, drawing Lynch to spiritual matters.

Spirituality itself is a complex and prominent matter in Lynch’s life.  On the one hand, their would seem to be much animosity toward religion given the strong association between spirituality and evil, signified by the presence of both malefics in the 9th, the retreat of Jupiter in the 12th house of the Evil Daimon or Evil Spirit, and the identification with rebellious Mars and intellectual Mercury.  However, there is an overwhelming prominence and personal investment in matters of spirituality, truth, belief, and dream in his life, symbolized by 5 of 7 planets occurring in the 9th and 3rd, including both Mars and Mercury, and with rulership of the 9th by the sect light, the Moon, despite their dark associations.  While Mercury is strong in some ways, it lacks the overwhelming pervasiveness of the more subjective and irrational lunar influence over the life.  Through twelfth-parts we also find the identification with the Moon and Venus, as their parts are in the Ascendant, and we find Jupiter, planet of faith and spirit, playing a more prominent role in career and administrative aspects of the life, being positioned in the 10th of actions and authority.

Fear-inducing (Saturn) and violent (Mars) spiritual entities (9th place) tended over by the irrational Moon, mistress of nature, night, and instinct, comes cropping up frequently in his work.  It is little wonder that the influence of the malefics figure prominently in his work, as they oppose and rule his Venus, the goddess of beauty, who rules over works of art.  Venus is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, in the nocturnal house of Saturn (Capricorn), in the bound of Mars, and with the Moon as the primary triplicity lord.  Her twelfth-part is in the 1st House, that of the self, in the nocturnal house of Mars (Scorpio), in the bound of Jupiter.  Venus is the primary planet pertaining to his aesthetic and it is fitting to find her dominated by subjective and spiritually-tinged maleficence (Mars and Saturn in the 9th, in the bound of Jupiter, ruled by the Moon) and irrationality (Venus in the Joy of the Moon, general pervasiveness of the Moon, Venus and Moon twelfth-parts co-present in the 1st of self and identity).  The 3rd house journey/transportation themes also occur frequently in Lynch’s work.  Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, and even The Straight Story are road movies, while main characters are often visiting outsiders.


In my opinion, a pivotal year in Lynch’s life was 1966, when he moved to Philadelphia to attend an art school which held more promise than the last one, got his future wife pregnant, created his first short film (Six Men Getting Sick), and became acquainted with the fear of crime-ridden urban living.

He would have been Age 20 at the time, thus the annual profection would have been to his 9th House, Cancer, occupied by the malefics, Mars and Saturn, with the Moon as lord of the year, all key influential planets in the life and especially in terms of relationship and artistic matters (Venus).  Lunar years are typically quite varied and eventful, as the Moon is prominent and moves quickly.  In this case, the Moon herself profected to the 7th of partnership, ruled by Venus.  It was as if in this year Lynch stepped into the house of the Moon, finding Mars and Saturn there creating fear and violence, but with the Moon lording over things and guiding them, in terms of pregnancy, bonds, and the artistic promises of the 3rd house.

At the time of the solar return the Moon was in the 3rd house, conjunct natal Mercury, putting a spot-light on the work of that house.  Mars and Venus of the return were both in the 4th of home and family, while Saturn was in the 5th of children just as Saturn’s natal twelfth-part is, signalling weight and apprehension in the house of children.

Lynch’s Jan. 20, 1966 Solar Return Transits

The importance of a year in terms of one’s professional objectives is primarily seen through zodiacal releasing of Spirit.  In October of 1965 the 1st Level of Spirit’s releasing made its first transition from its starting period in Gemini to its new period in Cancer where it would stay until 1990.  This started off with a 2nd Level period also in Cancer until October 1967.  Therefore, both of the two main levels of Spirit’s releasing were to the 9th House, Cancer, ruled by the Moon, occupied by both malefics, and additionally activated at the Age 20 profection.

The activations by planetary year were also interesting.  Age 20 is most prominently a Mercury year, while also a year in which Venus-Jupiter (8+12) relationships come into play, such as his Jupiter in sign and bound of Venus and dominating her, signifying artistic benefit and children (both planets confer children, and both are the main rulers of the House of Children, the 5th, Pisces).

There were many other pivotal years in his career but 1990 stands out as particularly important and prolific.  He won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks was hitting TV audiences, he released the Industrial Symphony No. 1, and his early paintings were in exhibition.  Interestingly, 1990 marked another profection to the 9th House, Cancer.  The Moon, lord of the year, was transiting through the 1st house of the Self at the time of the solar return, which was also a Venus return, as Venus was at 27 degrees Capricorn in the return, almost exactly conjunct her natal position at 26 Capricorn, strongly realizing Venus’s artistic birth promises.

David Lynch’s 1990 Solar Return Transits

When we look at the releasing of Spirit for 1990, we find that it marked the next major transition of the Level 1 releasing, from Cancer (the period which started in 1965) to Leo, the 10th house, ruled by the Sun.  Thus this next major transition in his professional life marked a new period, ruled by the Sun, which is with Venus in the 3rd, and emphasizing the 10th house of actions, honors, and authority.  It was as if Lynch had received his throne (the 10th and the Sun both pertaining to rulership/kings).


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Astrology of Profession or Calling | 6. O.J. Simpson

For readers new to the blog or this series, in this series of posts I test and refine an ancient Hellenistic astrological approach to delineating a person’s profession, occupation, or as I like to think of it, development of goal-oriented skills, from configurations in their birth chart.

Very similar techniques were discussed by Ptolemy (2nd Century CE), Paul of Alexandria (4th Century CE), Olympiadorus (6th Century CE), and Rhetorius (7th Century CE).  Therefore, these astrologers appear to have actually presented their own personal preferences for the application of the same basic technique, one that assigns particular importance to the indications given by Mars, Venus, or Mercury, or even some combination of them, as professional significators, planets in the “stakes” of the chart (the 10th, 1st, 7th, 4th houses), rulership of the 10th, and certain relationships with the Lights (i.e. Sun and Moon).

In past posts, I have outlined my own particular approach to applying this technique and have applied it to many charts, such as those of techies, musicians, and most recently a defunct chart challenge concerning the charts of a musician, athlete, and priest.  Please refer to the two posts linked in the last sentence for quick summaries of how the technique is applied in practice.  Not all ancient astrologers of the Hellenistic and Persian period used this technique, as many preferred basic delineation and/or special combinations of factors for delineating profession (Rhetorius seemed to use all three), but as a specific technique for finding the planets most relevant to the goal-oriented skills development, this technique is unrivaled in its efficacy.

So far, most of the posts have focused upon artists (Venus) and intellectuals (Mercury) with little attention paid to athletes and laborers (Mars).  I’ve also mentioned in the past how Mars can be a little trickier than the others, because in a chart of high social standing Mars may indicate a more aggressive managerial role or competitive political role rather than athletics or labor.  So far, we’ve only seen one example of Mars as significator, and that was very briefly when looking at the chart of football star Dick Butkus in the previous post.  Here I’d like to look at another person who went on to become a star athlete, in order to show the efficacy of the technique in correctly singling out Mars as significator.

O. J. Simpson

O. J. Simpson is now a convicted felon who will be serving decades in prison, best known for the controversial legal trial over the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown, which was preceded by a lengthy flight from police, ended with his acquittal, and was followed by his trying to publish a book detailing how he supposedly would’ve killed her if he had done it.  Years later we see his arrest on multiple additional felonies.  You can read a brief bio on Wikipedia, and you can see his chart data, rated AA for accuracy, on AstroDatabank.  His chart (with twelfth-parts) is pictured below.

Simpson's Natal Chart (outer wheel positions are those of the twelfth-parts)
Simpson’s Natal Chart (outer wheel positions are those of the twelfth-parts)

While this series is not about delineating character, it is instructive to note the positions of the planets most relevant for character, including the ruler of the 1st, the sect light, Mercury, planets in the 1st, and the Moon.  We find the sect light as ruler of the Ascendant and it is in a dark/bad place, the 12th of betrayal and enmity, while its ruler, the other light, the Moon, is also in a dark place, the 8th of death.  The twelfth-parts of both lights are in the 6th, a dark place, in Capricorn, ruled by the malefic, Saturn.  Mercury is out of sect and in a dark place, the 12th, while under the beams (concealment).  The Ascendant and the Moon are both in the bounds of Mars.  Saturn is in the 1st, as is the twelfth-part of Mars, the out of sect malefic.  Overall, it is very clear that the malefics and dark places predominate over matters of character, thus it wouldn’t be unusual to expect much in the way of hidden motives, malicious intent, and personal undoing.  Additionally, with the sect benefic, Jupiter, as the generally strongest planet in the chart, actually right on the IC (conjunct within 3 degrees), a great deal of good fortune, luck, and a larger than life atmosphere permeate the life as pervasive themes as well.

Technique Applied


First, while no planet is strongly advancing toward the MC within 15 degrees, the advancement of Mars to the MC is quite strong, at less than 18 degrees.  Saturn and Jupiter are in stakes of the chart (the 1st and 4th respectively), but out of Mars, Venus, and Mercury, only Mars is in an appropriate place, the 11th, Gemini.  Also of relevance is that the twelfth-part of Mars is in the 1st, and Mars overcomes in a sextile application (within 3 degrees) the planet Saturn which occupies the 1st.  Mars is the only planet of the three action planets in the chart with some form of rulership at both the Ascendant and the MC, having bound at the Ascendant and participating triplicity at the MC and 10th.  Jupiter also has some rulership in both places.  The Sun and Venus, which rule the 1st and 10th respectively are both in the 12th, which is generally the most inappropriate place for a professional significator.  Venus is in phasis in the chart, very strongly in fact, as she is almost exactly 15 degrees from the Sun.

Mars is judged to be the most significant planet for profession, but Venus is deemed to have some importance on account of ruling the 10th and being in phasis.  The Moon very closely aspects Mercury also, so there is a sense in which the Sun, Venus, and Mercury together signify entertainment work of a Venus-Mercury nature generally (vocal, acting), such as the later announcing and acting work.  Overall Mars is by far the most significant planet, being advancing toward the MC, in an appropriate place (with twelfth-part in a pivotal place), with some rulership of the Ascendant and MC. Jupiter is of very great importance to the profession, as it is in a stake, with rulership at the 1st and 10th, but it is not one the three action planets, so we view it more as a modifier.

General Strength:

Jupiter is by far the planet with the greatest general strength in the chart.  Jupiter is not just strongly advancing but actually conjunct the angle of the IC.  Jupiter also regards both lights by trine, being overcome by scrutinizing (i..e within 3 degrees) applying trine by the sect light.  Jupiter stations direct about 6 days after birth.  Jupiter’s ruler is the next strongest planet in the chart.

I consider Mars the next strongest planet in the chart in a general way, and the strongest of the three action planets.  This is primarily on account of Mars advancing quite strongly to the MC, and being dominated by the Moon, while most of the other planets in the chart are retreating or not advancing very strongly.  Venus is of near equal strength with Mars or stronger but in different ways, as Venus is in phasis, and is advancing, while she is co-present with one light and regards the other.


Mars is the planet in O.J. Simpson’s chart with the greatest relevance for profession, and is also a planet with a broad generally pervasive influence over the life (i.e. you would expect significations of Mars to show up in many guises in many different areas of the life, quite often).  In the most simplistic terms, Mars would show a career path pertaining to brawn, as opposed to the brains of Mercury or aesthetics/pleasures of Venus.  It is interesting that Mars is in the bound of Jupiter and with the twelfth-part of Jupiter, as Jupiter can particularly have significance for athletics.

We noted that Venus and Jupiter are of secondary importance.  Jupiter modifies Mars in some ways.  Looking at Venus and Jupiter together is also interesting, as Ptolemy identified the Venus-Jupiter combination of significators as signifying champions and athletes (Venus as entertainment, Jupiter as winning and glory).

Once again we find this technique to be a breath of fresh air in comparison to most other vocational technique of western astrology, leading us down the right path to look at the proper planets, and even telling us something of the possible nuances and variety of skills.  Not only is Mars singled out for O.J. but we get a sense of the importance that Venus (entertainment) could play, how that seems connected with the brawn of Mars, and how they all relate to this larger than life Jupiterian influence upon everything

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 5. Skyscript Occupation Mystery Charts

There was a mystery chart challenge posted in Skyscript’s astrology forum by Tom Callanan a couple months ago.  Tom posted three charts without names or birth data and asked readers to see if they could figure out which was a musician.  Later, before revealing the answer, he also noted that one of the charts is of a Roman Catholic Cardinal and another is of an American football player too.

At that time, in early March, through private correspondences, my friend, Kate Petty, and I both accurately matched all three charts to the proper occupations.  She also did so publicly and I think I may have done so on her Facebook wall additionally.  However, the purpose of this post is not to brag about being able to often match charts with occupations, but to delight in the fact that the ancient techniques for delineating occupation which I’ve discussed in this series were the ones that we used, i.e. our methods were objective and replicable, not intuitive.

I discussed the technique in the post Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique.  The basis of the technique is found in comments made by Ptolemy, Paulus Alexandrinus, Rhetorius, and other Hellenistic astrologers who commented on their work.  There is some variation within the technique and it is by no means the final word in delineating actions and occupation.  Every astrologer adapts the technique to their needs.  This technique provides the best foundation you’ll get for delineating profession, as you identify those planets that are most significant in terms of skills and themes developed within the context of one’s calling.  There are many other more specific indications that can then be used in the hopes of narrowing down profession a little more accurately.

In a chart challenge situation, the technique will never be 100% accurate, as it’s not the final word on occupation, my adaptation is not perfect, and profession is also delineated with special combinations, but still it shines in such differentiation tasks. Therefore, I’d like to go through and show how the technique itself performs on these three charts to lead to objectively obvious decisions which happen to be correct. Before reading on, please familiarize yourself with the chart challenge thread and my explanation of the technique.

Technique Recap

Below I reiterate what I stated about the technique in the first post, but perhaps the simplest explanation would go something like this: planets strongly “pertaining” to the 10th, MC, and Lights give strong significations regarding the culminations of personal striving and one’s calling, while those strongly “pertaining” to the 1st and the Ascendant give strong significations regarding the personality, innateness, and self-identification, and planets which are generally strong tend to show broad pervasive influences upon the life circumstances.

When it comes to “pertaining”, I’m speaking primarily of being in a place, ruling a place (i.e. having a type of dignity there), scrutinizing the point (i.e. aspecting it within 3 degrees), strongly advancing toward the angle (i.e. advancing within about 15 degrees), being in a “stake” of the place (1st, 10th, 7th, or 4th from it), and otherwise regarding the place or point.

These things are all types of “testimony” that a planet “pertains” to the place or point being investigated in a way that offers important signification.  Most of these form the basis for later almuten or “winner” techniques, which are sophomoric mechanized ways of evaluating the degree of testimony a planet has in such matters.  It is a better idea to use your experience as a guide and combine various factors that make a planet pertinent over a matter with what you know of the natural signification of the planet and its general strength. One of the problems with “winner” techniques is that there is a tendency to consider one planet as always the most significant, when there may be many significant planets which become relatively more prominent than each other at different times in the life through timing techniques.  In other words, we want to know the range and the relative pertinence of each planet, as well as which planets stand out and by how much.

Pertinence to actions:

  1. MC: Strongly advancing to MC.
  2. Places: Order of importance – 10th (place of actions), 1st, 7th, or 4th, (i.e. the “stakes” of the 10th), 2nd or 6th (i.e. triplicity of the 10th), 11th, 5th, 8th.
  3. Ruler­ship:Dignity in 10th or Ascendant (or to a lesser extent at the MC).  (Planets scrutinizing the Ascendant or MC, i.e. aspecting them within 3 degrees, should also be considered)
  4. Pha­sis and the Lights: In phasis, or a bound ruler of a Light (esp. of sect light).

General strength:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: Advancing planets are stronger than retreating ones, in the sense of being “louder” in the life, and this is a continuous variable.
  2. Lights: The Lights (Sun and Moon) naturally signify prominence and power, so a strong relationship between one of them and a planet make the planet more generally strong.
  3. Stations: Stationing direct within 7 days of birth makes a planet generally stronger or more prominent while stationing retrograde make it generally weaker.

As noted in the original post, I start with pertinence, and then use general strength pick out the more dominant planet or planets among the most pertinent ones.

Analysis of Charts

I will deal with the charts in a rather collective way.  I want to note the first impressions of the chart that anyone should get when using this method for such a purpose.  Rather than posting them here immediately, I want the reader first to view them on the thread here as one did in the chart challenge.

The first thing you want to look at is to see if planets are strongly advancing toward the MC, i.e. to the left of the MC degree within 15 degrees.  None of the charts have this.  Next, you want to look to see if any of them have planets in the 10th place, which is the 10th sign from the Ascendant, which in the first chart is Aries, the second is Taurus, and the third is Leo – all empty except for Moon in Leo in Chart 3.  Next look at planets in the other “stakes” of the chart, which are the 1st, 7th, and 4th, in about that order of priority.  Chart 1 has Venus (in Capricorn 7th).  Chart 2 has Mars (in Scorpio 4th). Chart 3 has the Sun (in Scorpio 1st) and Saturn (in Taurus 7th). We have planets with pertinence to action by place already, so we won’t keep looking at less pertinent places, except maybe for Chart 3 as we’d like to know which is most pertinent by place among Mercury, Venus, and Mars.  However, all three are in the 12th of that chart, so the relative pertinence of each will have to be assessed without consideration of place.

So far our best candidates and their indications by chart number are as follows:

  1. Venus – the arts – the musician
  2. Mars – physical or dominance-oriented – the football player
  3. Moon, Sun, Saturn – all leadership-oriented planets – the Cardinal

Let’s look at rulership for confirmation. For Chart 1, we find that Venus also has rulership by triplicity and bound of the Ascendant and by exaltation and triplicity of the MC, while Venus also most closely scrutinizes the MC (sextile of about 2°), so there is strong support for Venus.  For Chart 2, we find that Mars has triplicity in the 10th and rules the MC, while no planets scrutinize the MC or Asc, so there is a little bit of confirmation for Mars here.  For Chart 3, we find that the Sun is domicile and first triplicity lord of the 10th, and that the Sun and Saturn both closely scrutinize the MC, while the Moon has triplicity at the MC, so all three are confirmed as significant, but especially the Sun. So far, we stick with the conclusion that the planets identified in the list above are most pertinent to actions and occupation.

Brubeck's Natal Chart
Brubeck’s Natal Chart

Looking at Chart 1 we also find that Venus is the bound lord of the sect light, the Moon, as well as the bound lord of the Sun, with no planets in phasis.  Furthermore, Venus is strongly advancing.  Venus is the obvious choice, and we conclude that the first chart is of the musician, as Venus pertains to art and aesthetics (and sexuality/sensuality, etc.).  Saturn is also relevant because Saturn scrutinizes the MC is strongly advancing, and dominates Venus.

Butkus' Natal Chart
Butkus’ Natal Chart

Looking at Chart 2 we find that Mars does not rules the bound of either Light, but does rule the Moon, the sect light, by exaltation and triplicity.  There are no planets in phasis.  Mars is the most advancing planet in the chart, and there are no stations, etc. Mars is also domicile and first triplicity ruler of its place.  The obvious choice here is Mars, clearly indicating Chart 2 to be the football player.

Cardinal Krol's Natal Chart
Cardinal Krol’s Natal Chart

Looking at Chart 3 we find that Mercury rules the bound of the sect light and Mars that of the Moon, and only Mercury is in phasis.  Mercury also receives the next aspect of the Moon.  So out of Mercury, Venus, and Mars, we expect Mercury to be the most pertinent to occupation, tending more toward a thinking occupation.  Altogether we see strong relevance for leadership and administration also because of the importance of the Lights and Saturn in signifying for profession.  Without really strong signification for a cardinal specifically, we still rule this chart to be the best match for the Cardinal. Please note: I was not able to find Cardinal John Krol in the AstroDatabank so I cannot confirm the accuracy of the birth time used in the chart challenge.

These are indeed the correct matches, as was revealed in the thread on this page.  So while this isn’t as much of a flashy technique as many of them used in that thread, it is systematic, objective, and finds its origins in the earliest strains of traditional horoscopic astrology.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 4. Jimi Hendrix

Today is the birthday of Mr. John Allen Hendrix, aka Jimi Hendrix.  I’m a big fan, particularly of his final album, Electric Ladyland.  I’ll be doing the normal very brief profession analysis below, and I’ll also add a couple notes about character in the concluding synthesis.

Profession or Calling

Here, I apply a special technique for delineating profession, or perhaps more accurately, skills development, which originated in the Hellenistic period of astrology with developments, modifications, and interpretation by many various Hellenistic and Persian astrologers.  The reader is referred to the brief outline of the technique which can be found here, “Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique“, in order to better understand my delineation process and the general significance I assign to the various planets.

Jimi Hendrix

A brief biography for Jimi Hendrix can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of AA for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Jimi Hendrix's Natal Chart
Jimi Hendrix’s Natal Chart

Jimi Hendrix Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: Venus, the Sun, and Mercury are in the 1st, and Saturn is in the 7th.  The Moon and Jupiter are less relevant in the 8th.
  3. Rulership: Mercury rules the 10th and is in the 1st.  Venus rules the sign and bound of the MC, and is the 1st triplicity ruler of the 10th, and is in the 1st.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: No planets in phasis.  Mercury and Venus are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter is assembled with the Moon.  The Moon is separating from Jupiter and applying to Mercury.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mercury and Venus have the most relevance to actions, and are together so are particularly important in terms of combined signification. The Moon, the Sun, and Jupiter has some lesser relevance.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: There are no planets strongly advancing, however, Jupiter and the Moon are advancing with the greatest strength.  Mars is advancing to a lesser extent and the rest of the planets are retreating.
  2. Relationships to Lights: No planets in phasis.  Mercury and Venus are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter is assembled with the Moon. The Moon is separating from Jupiter and applying to Mercury.
  3. Stationing: No planetary stations.

“Strength” Conclusion: Jupiter is the strongest planet.  The Moon is also very strong.  Mercury and Venus are of about equal strength, being prominent in characterizing the individual and career due to position in the 1st and pertinence to the 10th and the Lights.

Synthesis of Occupation for Jimi Hendrix

As in Trent Reznor’s chart, we see that Mercury and Venus pertain most strongly to development along the lines of profession, and they are strongly tied together.  As mentioned in that post, this combines the intricacy, intellect, and wind/verbalization features of Mercury with the artistry of Venus.  It is common for music, a profession pertaining to artistry in sound waves (wind), but particularly with singing (air, verbalization), as well as composition/arrangement of songs (as well as production – basically the thought-oriented and engineering aspects of things).

In relation to Venus as significator of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And she signifies the mastery of all sounds, like music and the rest” (Dykes, 2010, p. 254).  In discussion of Venus with Mercury as significators of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And if Mercury is complected to her, it signifies the sound which is used in the composition of verses” (Dykes, 2010, p. 255).

Modern Day Apollo

Venus and Mercury are on either sides of the Sun, both conjunct the Sun within 3 degrees and under its beams.  When it comes to music, the Sun is most associated with stringed instruments, as the Sun god Apollo’s most prominent symbol is the lyre.  Here we find a symbolism of Mercury and Venus, intellect, verbalization, beauty, and artistry, joined with and outshone by the powerful dynamic Sun god and his lyre.  In discussion of Venus with the Sun as significators of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And if the Sun is complected to her, it signifies the sound of wood [Dykes footnote: “Ar.: ‘the lute.'”] by which one plays in the presence of kings and nobles” (Dykes, 2010, p. 255).

Jupiter and Character

Interestingly, this cluster of Venus, Mercury, and the publicizing Sun, in the 1st House of the self, are in the sign and bound of Jupiter, which is possibly the strongest planet in the chart overall in a general way.  Jupiter is also the planet most relevant to character as: 1. It rules the 1st (Lords of the 1st are commonly used for character as ruler of the 1st of self, for instance by Masha-allah and Abu’Ali al-Khayyat); 2. It’s the ruler and bound ruler of Mercury (Mercury and its Lords are used for character by Masha’allah, Abu’Ali al-Khayyat, among others, and Mercury signifies the rational mind to Ptolemy).  3. Jupiter is the ruler and bound ruler of the sect light, the Sun (the sect light has a prominent powerful influence in the life, particularly when in a personal place like the 1st, and is colored by rulers, including the bound ruler).  4. It’s assembled with, and the exaltation ruler, of the Moon (the Moon signifies the irrational mind and the body to Ptolemy).  5. It’s generally a strong and pervasive planet, being advancing more than any other planet and being conjunct the Moon, and in Jupiter’s own exaltation and bound (many approaches to character, including that of Abu Bakr, tend to put a stress on the impact of prominent planets on character).  We actually have an adjective in English to best describe the character of a Jupiterian person; “jovial”, which literally means, “of Jupiter”, and denotes one who is jolly and cheerful.  Jupiter tends to pertain strongly to spiritual faith and experiences that step out of the bounds of reason and law, such as expansive spiritual experience (including from psychedelic drugs), as well as synchronicity and luck that often defies logical explanation.

As to Jupiter as ruler of the chart, being the primary indicator of character, Julius Firmicus Maternus (4th Century CE) noted (Bram, 1972, p. 139):

9. JUPITER. Those who have Jupiter as ruler of the chart are always trustworthy, of high spirit, and are impelled toward great deeds.  They spend more than their resources or their inheritance allows.  Commanding in all their acts, noble, famous, honorable, lovers of luxury, cheerful, desiring to please in every way, large eaters, faithful friends, they are simple and friendly to all; successful and accustomed to do everything well.

10. Their body is of middle size but well-formed, handsome, and they are light-complexioned.  Of beautiful eyes and head, with long flowing hair; firm of step.  Their life will be glorious and filled with good fortune and they attain their desires.  Their activities turn out well, and they are protected by the influence of great men […] Their illnesses come from stomach trouble, from wine and from indigestion; death comes from high living, hemorrhoids, or sexual intercourse.


Ma’shar, A., & Al-Qabisi. (2010). Introductions to Traditional Astrology. (B. N. Dykes, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: The Cazimi Press.

Maternus, J. F. (1972). Mathesis: A fourth-century astrological treatise. (J. R. Bram, Trans.). NY, NY: New York University.

Credit for Featured Image:
Jimi Hendrix – One by MadeInKobaia, retrieved from MadeInKobaia’s DeviantArt page.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 3. Steve Jobs & Bill Gates

Technologists, businessmen, and scholars all share a strong emphasis upon Mercury, planet of intellect, reason, wind. speech, and symbol. We often see a lot of overlap between academic prowess, technological proficiency, and financial acumen (though not always).  For instance, the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were scholars of technology, turned business leaders.

Here, I apply a special technique for delineating profession, or perhaps more accurately, skills development, which originated in the Hellenistic period of astrology with developments, modifications, and interpretation by many various Hellenistic and Persian astrologers.  The reader is referred to the brief outline of the technique which can be found here, “Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique“, in order to better understand my delineation process and the general significance I assign to the various planets.

Steve Jobs

A brief biography for Steve Jobs can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of AA for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Natal Chart - Steve Jobs
Natal Chart – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: The Sun is the only planet in a “stake” being in the 7th.  Mercury is in the 6th.  Then we have Jupiter and Venus in the 11th and 5th respectively.  Less pertinent are the Moon and Mars in the 8th.
  3. Rulership: Mercury is ruler of both the 10th and the 1st, and is the 1st triplicity ruler of the 10th, and exalted ruler of the 1st.  Mars is bound ruler of both the Ascendant and MC, while the other planets have less relevance as they all have triplicity in either the 1st or 10th, but not both.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: Mercury is in phasis, coming out from the beams less than a week before birth.  Mercury is the planet receiving the next application of the Moon.  Mars is assembled with the Moon.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mercury has the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mars is next most significant.  The Sun is very significant.  The Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are significant to a lesser degree.

Note:  Venus has the closest aspect to the Ascendant, scrutinizing it (within 3 degrees), and by trine.  We’ll see in a future post, that if a planet is scrutinizing the Ascendant (there are 3 in this case – we take the one with square, then trine, then sextile in order of importance) then it will in fact impact skills development, and so our criteria in the technique will have to be modified.  I’ll illustrate this with the charts of Bjork and some other figures.  My own chart also seems to have Jupiter with little to no relevance to skill development, but Jupiter is the only planet in my chart that scrutinizes my Ascendant, and its by trine.  I’ll address this further in a future post in which we’ll modify the criteria to include scrutinization (i.e. aspect within 3 degrees) of the Ascendant by a planet.  Suffice it to say for now that Venus should probably be considered more important or at least as important as Mars in terms of relevance to profession in Steve Jobs’ chart (but still much less relevant than Mercury).

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: The Moon is just about strongly advancing, while Jupiter and Venus are also advancing pretty forcefully.  Mars is also advancing, while Mercury is just barely advancing.
  2. Relationships to Lights: Mercury is in phasis and is being applied to by the Moon.  Mars is assembled with the Moon.  Jupiter and Venus regard both Lights.
  3. Stationing: Mercury is very strong, as it is stationing direct within 24 hours of birth.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  Mercury is stationing direct, in phasis, and is advancing.  The Moon is also very strong, while Jupiter and Venus are to a lesser extent.

Synthesis of Occupation for Steve Jobs

Mercury both has the greatest testimony in matters of occupation and is the strongest planet of the chart in a general way.  Intellectual type of development is most relevant to the occupation, such as in business and technology.  An element of publicization (the Sun) is also extremely relevant to the profession, and there is additionally pretty relevant development in terms of aesthetics (Venus), competitiveness and public affairs (Mars), and particular natural human-ness or sense of subjective experience (the Moon – such as accommodation of natural human physical or emotional needs for comfort).  To keep things brief, I’ll only explore one of these planets, Mercury, and let the reader have fun with further delineation.

Mercury: Mercury is in an Air sign, pertaining to more human, social, and ephemeral phenomena, like ideas, trends, news, education, and technology.  Mercury is in a sign of Saturn and is dominated by Saturn (right-side square), while Saturn is the out of sect malefic, so there was many negative associations with Mercury in terms of struggle, death, loss, oppression, and so forth, and Mercury is in the 6th of slaves (more modern definition: employees) and health issues, both of which were critical sore areas in Jobs’ life.  Saturn pertains to solidity, industry, and management, while it is in the 3rd which pertains to communication and transportation.  Mercury’s natural significance in terms of communications is increased and there is an increased association with business management and working with solid resources such as hardware.

Bill Gates

A brief biography for Bill Gates can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of A for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Natal Chart - Bill Gates
Natal Chart – Bill Gates

Bill Gates Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: The Moon is strongly advancing towards the MC.
  2. Places: The Moon is in the 10th, while Mars and Mercury are in a “stake” (the 4th).  Jupiter is in the 2nd.  The Sun, Venus, and Saturn are less relevant, being in the 5th.
  3. Rulership: The ruler of the 10th is Mars, while the Moon rules the 1st.  Mars and Jupiter have dignity in both places, but Jupiter more so.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: Mercury is in phasis, coming out from the beams just under a week before birth.  Mars is the planet receiving the next application of the Moon.  Venus and Saturn are also in phasis and assembled with the Sun.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter have the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mars is the most significant, followed by Mercury.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: The Moon, Mars, and Mercury are strongly advancing.  All other planets in the chart are advancing to a lesser extent.
  2. Relationships to Lights: Mercury, Venus, and Saturn are in phasis.  The Moon applies to Mars.  Venus and Saturn are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter regards both lights, and is in the home of the Sun.
  3. Stationing: Mercury is stationing direct.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  Mercury is stationing direct, in phasis, and is very strongly advancing.  Mars and the Moon are very strong in the chart.

Synthesis of Occupation for Bill Gates

Mars has the greatest testimony in terms of occupation, while Mercury is stronger in the chart overall due to being in phasis, stationing direct, in a “stake” of the chart, and strongly advancing, all at the same.  Jupiter in the 2nd of wealth and possessions, as well as strong, is probably connected in some part to both Bill’s immense financial acumen and development of philanthropic pursuits as a vocation.  He is currently working full-time with his philanthropic organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The prominence of the Moon is very interesting, though Gates, like Jobs, worked primarily in adapting technology to natural human experience, more than more straight-forward technological innovation.  The strength of the Moon and Mercury, and the strong connection of the Moon with the 1st, give strong indications of his mental acuity (the Moon and Mercury were the two most important planets for mind or soul in Ptolemy’s astrology – the Moon also pertains strongly to the brain, memory, and intuition).

Mercury: As with Jobs, Mercury is in an Air sign, pertaining to more human, social, and ephemeral phenomena, like ideas, trends, news, education, and technology.  Mercury is in a sign of Venus and is assembled with Mars.  We might expect Mercury to pertain to design (Venus) and the military or domestic public affairs to some extent (Mars). In other words, we see a greater emphasis on involvement in meeting the demands of competitive business, military, and public affairs in this Mercury placement, and less on physical materials, than we do with the Mercury of Steve Jobs.

Mars: Gates was able to secure great success for his company through aggressive strategizing that went over into even unethical means of locking out competition, bringing on multiple controversial anti-trust suits.  His management style was also known to be particularly harsh and abrasive.   Mars is in Libra with Mercury, so many of the same associations with Mercury apply to Mars and they work together.  He participated in the congressional Page program at age 17, so his involvement in public affairs came early and has persisted in his life.  In whole, his career has been centrally about beating competition and coming out ahead in power struggles, to the point that he was even the wealthiest person in the world for 14 years, and has persisted as one of the most powerful.  This technique with the chart of Bill Gates shows similar results as those for many very high-climbing politicians and industry leaders, that for very socially mobile people, Mars does not show “brawn” so much as a development of competitiveness, strategy, and the desire to make a powerful impact in the lives of others.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 2. Trent Reznor

In the first post of this series, I explained an ancient technique for finding the significator of the profession in the astrological chart. In this and subsequent posts, I will apply the technique, so please first get acquainted with the technique by reading the initial article.

Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor is a musician, primarily involved with vocals and electronic composition.  Lately, he has been involved with big Hollywood soundtracks, including that for “The Social Network” and the soon-to-premier “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”.

A brief biography for Trent Reznor can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of A on Astro-Databank (though their biography of him has some factual inaccuracies).  His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Reznor's Natal Chart
Reznor’s Natal Chart

As an artist, we can expect Venus to play a major role in matters of profession.  Vocals, as well as composition, are areas of music particularly pertinent to Mercury due to Mercury’s associations to verbalizing and intellectualism, respectively.  His particular style is characteristically dark, with strong themes of pain, oppression, death, and control – things typical of the domain of Saturn.

I will be attempting a very consistent and coherent analysis of indications of profession and skill-development in Trent’s chart, so I urge the reader to refer to my post on the technique itself, to get a better idea of what is going on in the analysis.  To briefly recap, the technique involves finding planets with more pertinence or “testimony” regarding “actions”, which involves the MC, 10th place, and the Lights, and then also looking at general indications of planetary strength, and combining these.  The factors and basics are from Hellenistic and Persian astrology.  I am willing to answer any questions as to the origin of any particular aspect of my technique in terms of Hellenistic and Persian texts.

Reznor Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: No planets in the “stakes”.  In terms of the 2nd and 6th, Venus and Jupiter are most pertinent, as they’re in the 6th.  To a lesser extent Mercury and the Sun are relevant by this factor because they are in the succedent 5th.
  3. Rulership: The ruler of the 10th place is Venus, which is also a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant.  The only planet with a stronger relationship to both the 1st and 10th is Saturn.  Jupiter is the bound ruler of the Ascendant (and Mars is the bound ruler of the MC).  Mercury does not have rulership at the Ascendant but is the first triplicity lord of the 10th.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: No planets are in phasis, though Venus is nearly so, as she is moving out from the beams.  Mars is the bound ruler of the sect light.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Venus has the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mercury is next most significant.  Jupiter, the Sun, and Saturn may have lesser relevance.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: Mercury is conjunct an angle within 3*, so I consider it advancing in the strongest sense.  All of the planets aside from the Moon are advancing in the chart (and there are no planets in the “stakes” of the chart, which is also very important for strength, while covered in the first step).  All planets, other than the Moon, are advancing, but the Sun more strongly than the others (besides Mercury).
  2. Relationships to Lights: There are no planets in phasis (though Venus is nearly so and moving out from the beams).  The Moon is applying to Mercury and had separated from Saturn.  Mercury is assembled with the Sun.    Saturn and Mars are the only planets regarded by both Lights.
  3. Stationing: No stations.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  The Sun and Saturn also have some prominence in this manner.


Venus is the planet with the most testimony regarding this matter but Mercury is the strongest planet of the chart and has some testimony with regards to actions.  Therefore, we take both Mercury and Venus.  Venus is viewed more in terms of the types of actions the native would like to be involved in as a calling, and Mercury as the type of skill development that tends to dominate and get the most attention.  We expect a desire for artistic work with a strong intellectual component. That Venus is in a house of Mercury (Gemini) and Mercury in a house of Venus (Taurus) further stresses the mutuality of both, rather than them being totally separate skill sets.  In fact, Mercury is in the term of Venus also, and is even in the 5th House, pertaining to creativity, which is the Joy of Venus.  It is as if these planets keep evoking each other and looking for new ways to serve each other.

Venus: Further delineation of Venus finds that she is in the domicile of Mercury.  She is quite fortunate, as she is naturally fortunate (i.e. she’s a benefic), and she’s in sect, assembled with Jupiter while in Jupiter’s term, and regarded by the sect light, the Moon.  However, she is also in the 6th, dominated by Saturn and square to Mars.  The 6th is a bad place considered the place of slaves, accidents, and disease, so that, so there will be negative associations concerning that, as well as violence (Mars, but Venus actually dominates Mars, so she uses Mars more than the other way around and they are of the same sect), but more particularly Venus is colored by Saturn, lord of death, darkness, loss, and oppression.  Therefore, Venus is strongly tied to the sense of faith and spiritual power, shown by the conjunction with Jupiter, while the artistry is characterized by strong intellectual and/or verbal/vocal components and particularly with impact of Saturn (and to a much lesser extent, Mars) on the particular characterization of beauty. While the person likely identifies most strongly with Saturn, there is also a strong identification with Venus, particularly as the sense of higher purpose is concerned.

Mercury: Mercury is in the domicile, term, triplicity, and Joy of Venus.  Matters associated with a Mercury have a strong and pervasive effect on the life, while Mercury is both evocative of Venusian matters and is specifically determined most directly to matters of creative performance (5th place, Joy of Venus).  Mercury is overcome by Saturn by sextile and is assembled with the Sun, so there is both a sense of strong duty and discipline associated with Mercury and of publicity and achievement.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique

Introduction: Actions

Special techniques for the delineation of one’s calling appear early in the Hellenistic tradition.  The Greek word used is “praxis”, which is often translated as actions, though I’ve also seen it translated what one does (e.g. Greenbaum’s translation of Paulus), and the reckoning of the descriptions for varieties of praxis in Greek texts are what we’d call a profession or a calling.


My own strategy for the delineation of the basic nature of one’s profession or calling is best broken down into multiple steps.  I largely follow the special technique developed by Ptolemy, Paulus Alexandrinus, and Rhetorius in my approach to the matter, with a particular emphasis on Paulus and Rhetorius, who actually used the Houses/Places of the chart.  I am far more concerned with accurate use in practice than historical reproductions, so you will find some minor deviations from Paulus and Rhetorius in my technique, much as you see minor differences in the technique as used by Ptolemy, Paulus, Rhetorius, and later Persian authors (let alone later European medieval authors, such as Bonatti, who deviate even further).  As mentioned, I think Paulus and Rhetorius were the best of the Hellenistic astrologers when it came to this technique.

Lords of Actions

For now, I’ll just deal with the most basic aspect of delineating profession, which pertains to identifying the planet or planets that most pertain to the nature of one’s calling. I urge astrologers not to think in terms of there being one and only one true and pure, very specified, calling for each individual human being.  Rather, planets signifying actions will give indications as to where people develop themselves in trying to achieve something or be more.  The 10th place of the chart is the one that pertains most to this reckoning, being the place that dominates the 1st place (i.e. it is in a right-side square to the place representative of the person themselves, like an authoritative influence).  The 1st place will also be very relevant because it pertains to the physical self and affects self-identification.  In addition, the Lights (Sun and Moon), the planets most representative of power, are quite important.

My first step is to identify planets with relevance to actions, second step is to find the strongest planets in the chart, while the third step is to delineate the nature of the profession or calling based on the strongest indications from Mars, Venus, and Mercury from the other two steps.  This is just to assess the basic nature of the profession or calling, according to what I recently saw astrologer Tom Callanan refer to as “brawn” (Mars), “aesthetics” (Venus), or “brains” (Mercury).  These labels for the three main categories are about as succinctly descriptive as you can get.  However, even these descriptions are not without some problems, particularly as concerns Mars.  Mars shows up strongly in the charts of politicians and other leaders.

Actually, all 7 planets are relevant to this matter, and in the exposition of Rhetorius (Holden, 2009, p. 134-145) he does look at all of them and give indications for all of them, but also stresses the importance of Mars, Venus, and Mercury.  It is helpful to think of the reckoning more in terms of skill-development than in terms of finding the category of profession or calling.  For instance, Mercury will show a developmental stress along intellectual lines, whether it is in academic, business, or mystical study, there will be intense mental development.  Venus will show development along aesthetic lines as well as that pertaining to women, attraction, and sexuality, so there is likely to be some sort of artistic discipline, such as playing an instrument or creating art.

Mars does not just show more physical activities, pertaining to things like athleticism, building trades, mechanical work, or dangerous work, but also tends to show development of competitive skills, such as those involved in leadership.  There are other techniques pertaining to eminence or “social-mobility”, so the significations will often depend on that, as very few of the typical Mars professions apply to those of high social standing, which are more likely to channel that development of brawn into political maneuvering and competitive strategy (for instance, nearly all popes have Mars connected with profession). Along this vein, Rhetorius does make a statement connecting the signs of Mars with “weapons or fire or iron or iron-working or public affairs” (Holden, 2009, p. 135).  Similarly, in the commentary on Paulus by Olympiadorus, he associated Mars as professional indicator with the typical building and metal-working type of trades when less authoritative, while with positions of command, especially military ones, like generals and professional soldiers, when more authoritative (Greenbaum, 2001, p. 124). When very malefic, however, Mars can show those who engage in criminal acts for a living.

Jupiter will tend to show development of a quest for truth.  Law may be indicated, but if Jupiter is more prominent then in my experiences there is more development along religious and spiritual lines.  For instance, there may be great study of religious texts and practices, and spiritual matters like divination or astrology.  In either case, there is a sense of a commitment towards the ideal which is being worked upon.

Saturn is associated with land, farmers, sailors, the soil, natural resources, the dead, misery and poverty, as well as discipline, control, and management.  I am not just adding management in there from my own experience, but Rhetorius also associates Saturn in connection with the 10th and actions (when stronger and more benefic) with public service and management (c.f. Greenbaum, 2001).

In my opinion, both the Sun and Moon in relation to profession show prominence, due to the association of the Lights with power.  The Sun is associated with things being more public or publicized, while the Moon is associated with things being more idiosyncratic/original/self-taught, humane, subjective, and/or group-oriented (counseling is something I often see strongly connected to the Moon).

Steps to Reckoning Actions

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: A planet strongly advancing towards the MC (see Advancing/Retreating below) will likely give stronger indications even than a planet in one of the above places, and even if it is not in one of the above places.  This is because the MC itself is the point of culmination, and as such is the point of loftiness.
  2. Places: The planet should be in one of the following places (which include all but the 12th, 9th, or 3rd), in the following order of relative importance:  10th (place of actions), 1st, 7th, or 4th, (i.e. the “stakes” of the 10th), 2nd or 6th (i.e. the trigon/triplicity of the 10th), 11th, 5th, 8th (i.e. succedent places).
  3. Rulership:A planet will be more relevant to the profession if it has some dignity at the 10th place or the Ascendant, but especially the 10th.  If the planet does not have any dignity at either place, consider it much less important.   The domicile ruler of either, and/or a planet with some minor rulership in both places (especially if the term ruler of the Ascendant) is preferred.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: This is reiterated below with strength, but there is a special relevance to actions when a planet is in phasis (particularly, if moving out from the beams rather than in towards them), as well as if the planet is the ruler of the bound of the sect light (and to a lesser extent the other light).  Orientality/occidentality considerations, particularly relative to the Sun, also often show up in the literature, although I don’t stress them here, as I haven’t yet found them to be consistently strong indicators in this matter.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: Look at the Ascendant, Descendant, MC, and IC. If a planet is more than 1/3 of the distance from one to the next it is “advancing” and strengthened, while if not it is “retreating” and weakened.  The closer the planet gets in its approach to the angle (Asc, MC, Dsc, or IC), the stronger it is in a general way, as if the volume is being turned up on the planet.  By contrast, when a planet passes the angle it is as if the volume quickly turns down on the planet.  A planet that is approaching the angle within about 15 degrees is particularly strong, and should be considered “strongly advancing”.  If a planet is conjunct an angle within about 5 degrees (even if separating, I use about 10 degrees for considering a Light to be conjunct an angle) then that is also extremely strong.  Remember that the planets move clockwise in this regard, rising in the east and setting in the west (i.e. this movement is contrary to the movement through the zodiac, so for instance a planet ten degrees clockwise of the MC would be retreating and weakened, while one ten degrees counter-clockwise of the MC would be strongly advancing).  These points represent where a planet lines up with your specific location, as in your local horizon and meridian.  It is a great metaphor because it really is as if the planet advances towards your world then retreats away from it.
  2. Relationships to Lights: The following relationships to the Sun or Moon will make the planet more relevant to profession: the planet the Moon is separating from or applying to, a planet in phasis, and to a much lesser extent a planet regarded by a Light (more so by trine or sextile, and/or if from the sect light, and/or if closer to exact).   There are other relationships to the lights that are sometimes looked at but I think these are most important.  It is rare, but if a planet is cazimi the Sun it may be extremely strengthened.  By contrast, a planet within 8 degrees of the Sun at birth, which is not in phasis, is likely to be quite weakened.
  3. Stationing: Look 7 days before the birth and 7 days after to check for planetary stations.  This is very important.  A planet stationing direct within about 7 days of the birth will be extremely strengthened.  The closer the station is to the time of birth, the more powerful.  By contrast, a planet that is stationing retrograde is quite weakened, particularly if the station occurs closer to the birth.

Finally, of Mars, Venus, and Mercury combine their relative pertinence to profession from the first step with their relative overall strength or prominence from the second step, and you will find that one planet tends to draw development towards itself more than the others, while the others may or may not also show skill diversity in skill development or other desired callings if they are very pertinent to actions (such as in the actual 10th) or very strong with some pertinence to actions (such as a very strong ruler of the 10th or 1st).  As noted above, the other planets influence profession as well.  In any case, stress should be placed on Mars, Venus, and Mercury – significators of actions because they are swift moving and active.


While this type of special technique shows up very often in Hellenistic and Persian astrology, there were also a large number of special, career-specific indicators.  Maternus, Rhetorius, and many other authors give indications specific to many professions, that are aside from this method.  I find this technique more reliable then most of the more specific indicators given, but still this technique is just a start.

In a sense, what this special technique is attempting to do is to connect together significations of general planetary strength, with significations of strength in relation to actions and achievement (10th/Lights), as well as the self (1st). If you understand the importance of these three matters and how to look at them, then you get the heart of the technique and need not stick to it in a mechanical fashion.  I lay things out in such a fashion to set the rules which I’ll have to stick to with consistency, as I analyze charts in future posts of the series and compare the accuracy of the method with other popular methods often advocated by both traditional and modern astrologers.



Alexandrinus, P., & Olympiodorus. (2001). Late Classical Astrology: Paulus Alexandrinus and Olypiodorus. (D. G. Greenbaum, Trans.). Reston, VA: Arhat.
Rhetorius of Egypt, & Teucer of Babylon. (2009). Rhetorius the Egyptian. (J. H. Holden, Trans.). Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers.