How can I help you?
One of the most important things I learned in my astrology training was to ensure the client’s lived experience is taken into account in a reading. Astrologer Mark Jones talks about beginning a reading by asking the question, “How can I help you?” as an important step to setting the stage for a reading. Astrology offers a lot in the way of understanding the self and one’s personality, but there is a spiritual dimension to explore in the chart if you go looking. This is why my readings tend to focus on Pluto and the North and South Nodes of the Moon in relation to the soul and the path of our embodied spirit. A reading can go into many different areas of life: timing, relationship themes, shadow-work, spirituality, and career in order to provide you with clarity and insights into how you can best process and move through the currents of your life.
My astrology journey
I found astrology as a young teen while growing up in a small town in upstate NY. I absorbed any and all astrology information I could get my hands on–and secretly as it wasn’t allowed in my upbringing. Fast-forward to 2014 when I attended astrology school for two years while living in Portland, OR. This program and ongoing training providing me with the tools I needed to start my own practice. From there I started to give readings professionally and eventually moved into writing astrology content, both of which I am still doing today along with running my astrology website, Mystica Astrology since 2015. I don’t post over on that website anymore as what I am interested in sharing online has broadened into this site, Emerald Visions. But head on over and check out the content if you are interested in diving deeper into astrology. Astrology is certainly one of my passions and one of the tools I use to structure my worldview, understand myself and others, and delve into the celestial energies and planetary powers above.
Astrology Basics: Zodiac Sign Modalities & Elements
One of the main ways I structure and understand astrology is the modalities. Modalities are groupings of signs broken down into three groups: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Each modality group is associated with particular traits and has a representative from each of the four element categories: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water.
|Fire: (Spirit/Passion)||Earth: (Body/Sensation)||Air: (Mind/Thinking)||Water :(Heart/Emotions)|
Zodiac signs in the same modality tend to have interesting dynamics with each other as they each are operating with similar traits but through very different means based on their element. This often draws signs of the same modality together into unique and meaningful relationships.
For example, take a Scorpio and an Aquarius. Scorpio is fixed water and Aquarius is fixed air. They both tend to approach life with the fixed modality traits of tenacity, focus, and precision; however, the way they go about their experiences will be different. Scorpio will tend to harness the power of their emotional (water) cunning to achieve their ends while Aquarius will use their decisive minds (air).
When it comes to relationship compatibility signs opposite each other are in the same modality while having complimentary elements: Earth-Water and Fire-Air. These signs tend to have an easier time finding common ground while zodiac signs in a different modality and element, such as Capricorn and Gemini, tend to have to make greater strides in order to understand each other.
Knowing how the different signs relate to each other can be a good lesson for learning about ourselves as we often have many dissimilar placements in our own charts. So learning to appreciate the variety of approaches, moods, and perspectives can be very useful in cultivating consideration and graciousness for ourselves and others.
There is much information that can be drawn from looking at the dominant or not so dominant elements and modalities found in our natal charts. Taking these tendencies into account is one of the main ways I determine how to approach chart synthesis.
How I prepare for a reading: My process of channeling the chart
Here is my approach to chart preparation for a reading. I start by calculating the chart then making a note of the placements listed below. I then clear my mind and let the spirits I work with commune with me while I stream of consciousness write about the chart. This along with the knowledge of my studies over the years allows for a flow and direction to emerge from the chart analysis. I trust that what needs to be brought to the surface will come forward and any important information gets covered. I then like to add in some lists of keywords, archetypes, and other correspondences that align with the birth chart for additional information that I can bring into the reading space.
- Rising sign’s ruling planet’s house and sign
- Modality and element of the Sun and Moon signs
- North and south node’s by house and sign
- North and south node’s ruling planets by house, sign, and aspects
- Pluto generation, house, and aspects
- Major aspect patterns
- And sometimes Chiron placement
This method ensures that each reading will touch upon the planets that are most prominent and important for the person. I typically use whole sign house system but every once in a while I use Porphyry house system if it feels right. I also use very wide orbs; sometimes using the traditional astrology method of whole sign aspects. The main way I approach a chart is through intuition supported by technique.
Astrology Book Recs
Finding Our Way Through the Dark: the Astrology Of the Dark Goddess Mysteries Demetra George – Acs Publications – 1995
Healing the Soul: Pluto, Uranus, and the Lunar Nodes Mark Jones – Raven Dreams Press – 2011
Asteroid Goddesses: the Mythology, Psychology and Astrology Of the Re-emerging Feminine Demetra George-Douglas Bloch – Ibis Press – 2003
Astrological Houses; The Spectrum of Individual Experience Dane Rudhyar – Doubleday and Co. – 1972
The Soul Speaks: the Therapeutic Potential Of Astrology Mark Jones – Raven Dreams Press – 2015
Astrology for the Soul Jan Spiller – Bantam Dell – 1997/2008
The Astrological Neptune and the Quest For Redemption Liz Greene – Samuel Weiser – 2000
Chiron and the Healing Journey: an Astrological and Psychological Perspective Melanie Reinhart – Starwalker Press – 2010
The knot of time: astrology and the female experience Lindsay River-Sally Gillespie – Harper & Row – 1989
The collected works of CG Jung
The Astrology Of Fate: Fate, Freedom and Your Horoscope Liz Greene – Thorsons – 1997
Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume 1 Jeff Green