The Professional Astrologers group on Facebook has had a fascinating discussion about whether or not you can identify evil in an astrological chart. The premises of evolutionary astrology bring up a similar question for me. I don't think a chart can tell you that someone is evil or has a propensity for evil, nor do I believe that you can use a chart to measure "the growth of a Soul from life to life." I do believe that the chart can show you challenges, road-blocks, and where we need to be careful not to express the "shadow" or unskilled side of the planetary archetype.
Here’s a chart example to demonstrate many of the major themes of the Hellenistic tradition of astrology. In this essay I refrain from outright interpretation and simply discuss how one would see a chart according to the Hellenistic tradition. I choose a person well known to many Americans as both or either a politician and an entertainer.
Rush Limbaugh, according to some (Democrats), was the de facto leader of the Republican Party, yet he has never held elected or appointed office. He is an influential talk-radio host and self-proclaimed spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been a national figure for the past twenty years. He has helped steer many a political cause, his depictions of liberal politicians can be devastating, and he is not particularly beloved by women. Yet even some liberals find him an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Let’s take our time with what we have here. First of all we’re seeing his astrological chart using whole sign houses, the original house (or “place” topos) system. In the next image of his chart, to make the contrast more clear, I have deleted the Midheaven degree, which in the ancient tradition was mostly used for predictive purposes. I have included the Ascendant that always falls somewhere in the first house or place.
The concept of Sect comes to us from Hellenistic times. It is a concept that fell out of use for many years, but is being rediscovered as more and more astrologers are re-examining ancient techniques. Sect can help you determine the the qualities of a planet, whether for good or ill, and its effect in the chart.
Depending on whether it is a daytime or nighttime chart, sect tells you which of the classical planets (Sun and Moon, and the planets Mercury through Saturn) have the upper hand. It also provides clues as to which planets will be more helpful or more problematic in the chart.
The Planets and Their Positions in the Solar Return
What is the ascendant of the solar return?Where does its ruler lie in the solar return and in the natal?Is it on an angle?If so, then there is more action concerning the year and its activities.When you look at the solar return chart is it primarily angular, succedent, or cadent?What aspects are formed between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets?More challenging aspects, might suggest more challenge, and, actually more that gets done regarding that ruler.If they are supportive aspects, then things flow between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets.