Viewing The Contents of our Birth Charts as Potentials

“What I, as an advocate of humanistic and especially person-centered astrology demand of my birth chart is that it should tell me how I can best manage such an emergence, how I can truly become an individual able to actualize as fully as possible my birth potential.” – Dane Rudhyar

As a practicing counseling astrologer, one of the first questions that I allow into my mind when viewing a chart, especially for the first time, is:what’s the most constructive, or highest potential contained within these planetary placements and aspects? 

Of course, a direct and honest dialogue is needed with the client in order to discern the level at which they’re presently living out their chart. Once this is established, it’s time to talk elevation, progress, growth and development.

The astrologer Tracy Marks authored an excellent book called: “The Astrology of Self Discovery“. I’ve built on some of her ideas because I think it’s important that they’re recognized and carried forward by the astrological community as a viable and beneficial perspective on extracting the rich potential contained in our birth charts.

When examining our own birth charts, I think it’s very important to acknowledge our challenges. However, we must ultimately move our focus toward, and search for ways in which these areas of tension can be alleviated.

If we go to the doctor with a cold, it’s only a matter of time before we become weary of his/her explaining that we’ve touched too many doorknobs or shaken too many hands. Actually, we’ve probably become antsy and are just ready to get our prescription. We want to know the basics about the diagnosis, however, we’re looking for what works. A solution.

In order to recognize positive possibilities, we must study models that work. So, it would be extremely helpful if we direct our attention toward the constructive use of planetary placements and aspects.

“I have ceaselessly repeated during the past 40 years that there are no “bad” planets, signs, houses or aspects. Everything in the birth chart is as it should be. But, it is there to be used consciously and effectively. It is best used so that it may serve the purpose of self-actualization and of liberation from the compulsions of human nature and collective patterns of society and culture. I have repeated that astrology has value only in so far as it helps man to tread the conscious way.” (source: “My Stand on Astrology” by Dane Rudyhar)

The Mercury in Sagittarius individual may exaggerate in speech, glorifying grandiose ventures, but this placement can also yield a prophetic visionary with a broad understanding of the whole of life. Someone who needs to share his/her wisdom with the intent of uplifting and inspiring humanity.

Concerning planetary aspects, it would benefit us to pay attention to how the planets in question combine on as many different levels as possible. Because you have a sun-moon opposition doesn’t mean that the potential is not there for these entities to integrate and synthesize to produce a harmonious whole. Let’s not limit ourselves to one possibility of how a particular aspect is supposed to operate.

Let’s say you have a sun- pluto or moon-pluto square, which some astrologers will gasp at upon viewing the chart. In order to understand how these particular chart set-ups would work effectively and constructively, it would help us to investigate how they work in a trine, sextile and conjunction relationship. Along with the challenges, it’s imperative that we keep our eyes and minds on success.

From my perspective, the birth chart and all of it’s contents are similar to a road map. We all know the destination, but the route of certain individuals may appear to be more smoothly paved.

In our desire to reach our destinations, why put the majority of our efforts into dwelling on the bumpy, poorly paved back roads when there are examples right in front of us of  state of the art six lane highways? 

Why not concentrate on the possibilities of planetary and sign energies working FOR us?

We need not fear our squares, oppositions or “hard” aspects. Or, become paralyzed because of planets in their “fall” or detriment. Rather, we can respond and confront them through recognition of their strengthening and refining qualities. Putting effort towards our personal development, and in return producing dynamic results.

Let us remember that the potential is ever present in our birth charts to seize. We can emerge as victorious as Hercules did upon facing the Lernaean hydra.

Onward and upward.

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