When the sun is in the 11th house…

Samain                                                                        Stent Moon


According to Steven Forrest the first step in reading a birth chart is to focus on the location of the sun, the moon, and the ascendant. The sun represents many things, but in his scheme most of all, ego. The house in which it lies and the sign give an overall shape to the personality. The moon is all about feelings, about anima, he calls it the soul. It’s the mood of a life, the way into the depths. Again, the sign in which it lies and the house articulate the internal prods to deep feeling and the arena of life in which those feelings will be most intense.

The ascendant is the first house, counting from left to right, starting in the east, or the left of a chart. The wheel of the sky on a chart turns, according to astrological convention, clockwise, so the first house and its border line with the last, 12th house, tells you what zodiac sign was on the horizon at the time of your birth. The ascendant is the way you interact with the world, Forrest calls it a mask, and if he were a kabbalist, I might agree. I think the better word in his meaning is persona.

astology moonFolks learned in astrology will say, my sun is Aquarius in the 11th house, my moon in Sagittarius in the 8th house, and my ascendant is in Aries. Not, hi, I’m an Aquarian. What’s your sign? Those happen to be my particulars, btw. The complexity of astrology begins right here.

How does the identity building process (sun) get affected by the freedom demanding, rebellious nature of Aquarius? In what worldly realm will I have both the easiest and the hardest time developing my personality? The 11th house tells me. Which focuses on groups (think in my case politics, the church, the synagogue, the MIA, the Sierra Club, Woolly Mammoths), friends, visions and dreams.

Likewise, how will my soul development happen? Through the Sagittarian telos, quoting Forrest here, “To realize the ultimate meaning of life. To find one’s destiny in the cosmic scheme of things. To arrive at the Truth.” Where? The 8th house. Sexual and emotional intimacy. In depth interactions.

astro ariesFinally, what is the persona most congenial to me? Characteristics shaped by the ascendant sign in my chart, Aries. According to Forrest, the Aries archetypes are: warrior, pioneer, daredevil, the survivor. Aries, Forrest says, is the lifeforce, the will to exist. It rules the ascendant, the first house, which makes its impact on my chart even stronger.

An interpretation teases out the strengths and challenges of these archetypal influences, not predicting or asserting, but suggesting, evoking, probing. Just some thoughts. You might say, at least according to astrology, that I’m a natural born rebel, (especially with Mars in Aquarius, too), that I’ll tend to express my rebellious nature in the political and religious and work realms. My feeling life though, the deep core of my life, happens in intimate relationships, in situations where the depth of the interaction is most important. Like, say, family, the Woollys, mussar, art. My Aries inflected persona suggests I will push to assert my will. I will not be a wallflower, a passive participant in my life. So? Sound like me so far?

There are a lot of other things to consider. Aspects. Not clear on them yet. Quadrants of the natal chart. North and South Nodes of the Moon. Planets, their signs and houses. But according to Forrest, the triad of sun, moon, and ascendant are the dominant influences and affect everything. How I spent Sunday morning.

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