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)
Cardinal:
Initiating
Leading
Assertive
AriesCapricornLibraCancer
Fixed:
Determined
Willful
Persuasive
LeoTaurusAquariusScorpio
Mutable:
Adaptable
Flexible
Imaginative
Sagittarius VirgoGeminiPisces

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 complementary 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.

Zodiac Signs – Keywords  

AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgo
Initiating
Headstrong
Bold
Brave
Impulsive
Assertive
Energetic

Indulgent 
Sweet
Earthy
Sensuous
Dependable
Peaceful 
Persistent 

Cerebral
Heady
Analytical
Performing
Curious
Spontaneous
Witty 
Sensitive
Comforting
Imaginative 
Concerned
Nurturing
Emotional
Secretive 

Commanding
Creative
Passionate
Courageous
Playful 
Heartfelt 
Generous 

Deliberate
Dedicated
Specific 
Thorough
Analytical
Discerning
Helpful 
LibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces
Harmonizing
Social
Refined
Tempered
Charming
Diplomatic
Artistic 
Deep
Soulful
Powerful
Intense
Mysterious 
Moody
Investigative 
Seeking
Expanding
Direct
Expressive
Intellectual 
Adventurous
Optimistic 
Introspective
Reserved
Driven
Resourceful
Disciplined 
Sincere
Principled 

Visionary
Structured
Innovative 
Eccentric 
Independent
Restless
Aloof
Whimsical
Compassionate
Unifying
Escapist
Sensitive
Impressionable
Idealistic 

Planets – Keywords

The planets in astrology are the characters and characteristics that populate existence. They represent different parts of life, identity, personality, and experiences.

Moon Sun Mercury Venus ♀︎Mars ♂︎Saturn
Mood
Feelings Emotions Sensations Nurturing  Illumination Subtly  Psychic Mystery
Identity Expression
Self
Spirit 
Ego
Personality Vitality Consciousness Purpose
Mind
Learning Speaking Listening  Writing Language Words Student Teacher
Attraction Likes/Dislikes Receptivity  Sweetness Aesthetics Beauty
The sublime Affection
Love
Social
Relating



Drive
Libido
Sex
Impulse Passion Desire Anger Resentment Vitality
Heat
Blood
Iron
Structured Disciplined Achieving Protective Teacher Boundaries Obstacles Restrictions Commitments
Jupiter  NeptuneUranus Pluto North Node South Node
Belief Authority  Big patterns Leadership Spirituality  Philosophy Expansion Celebration Joviality  Abundance Growth Wealth Luck Glamour Delusion Illusion
Artistry Photography Dreams Water Mystery Mysticism Spirituality Psychic Inspiration Longing
Unexpected Mind
Memory Eccentric Genius Trauma
Cell memory Lightning Sudden change Explosion Individuality 
Evolutionary Slow change Transforming Changing Shifting Implosion Shadow
Power
Control Compulsion Obsession
Soul patterns Healing  Pathwork Soul’s journey Revelations Life path Direction Spiritual wounds Shadows
A key
Soul patterns Thought loops Repeating  Dark night of the soul The past  Family ties Innate gifts Spiritual wounds Shadows Past lives

The Houses – Key Meanings

The houses in astrology are the areas of life where events play out. They represent the setting, location, and place both physical and non-physical.

1st House = Self2nd House = Immediate surroundings3rd House = Local surroundings4th House = Roots5th House = creative spaces6th House = Daily life
Self-Expression Style Appearance External Leading
Resources Values
Money Belongings Work
The body
Local community Learning environments Friends
Relatives

Home
Family Origins Inner-self, private self Roots Ancestry

Kids Performance Dating Creativity  Inner-child Pleasure Procreation

Routines Schedules Health  Wellness Colleagues Self-care Workplace
7th House = Partnerships8th House = Transitions9th House = Institutions10th House= The Public11th House = Community, Social media, global12th House = The Collective Unconscious
Mirroring Relationships Business Partners Contracts Long term partnership
Shared resources
Transformation Death Endings Differentiating  Secrets

Authorities  Social norms Travel Philosophy Spirituality Higher Ed Expansion
Government
University
Religious places
Legacy Public image Career Life’s work or interests  What you are known for
Political views
Group participation Hopes Dreams Wishes V
Friend
Altered states Meditation Deep mind Endings Merging Mental health Union

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 writing 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 the Whole Sign house system but every once in a while I use the 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