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10 Tips For Learning Astrology
October 19, 2007 – 3:23 am | 62 Comments

So you want to learn about astrology? Not the generalized Sun-sign stuff that you find in newspapers and magazines, but serious astrology. The advanced type where you can actually determine specific information about a person’s life through the observation of the planets and other celestial phenomena. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Home » history and philosophy of astrology

Controlling the Effects of Planetary Influences

Posted by on June 12, 2007 at 6:43 pm5 Comments

A while back a woman on the Horoscopic Astrology Group forum said:

My Leo Moon is driving me crazy. It’s always makin me lash out or take my emotions to extreems. My Moon Squaring Uranus and Sun Squaring Neptune just makes everything worse.

So my question is, how can we control the planetary influences in our natal charts or work with what we have, to make them more positive in our lives?

Here was my response:

I think that one of the most important things for astrologers to realize is that the planets don’t necessarily cause events to happen or people to behave in certain ways.  That is to say, if you have a transit of the Moon square Mars one day and you get into an argument with someone or you find yourself to be very irritable that day, it is not because the alignment of the planets literally caused that to happen, but it only reflected the circumstances surrounding you or within you that day. I think that this viewpoint that astrology works through the principle of synchronicity, instead of causality, is one of the great advancements of modern astrology. The rejection of the Ptolemaic model of ‘celestial influences’ and the return to an astrology that is much more about ‘signs’ and ‘significations’ instead of ’causes’.

If we were to take this position that the planets are only reflecting what is going on in your life then it would be more appropriate to say that there are certain things about your life, or your emotional expression in particular that you are trying to learn how to cope with. I tend to take the position that the purpose of astrology isn’t to learn how to change what is inherent in a person’s life or personality, but instead to come to terms our lives and the patterns that are built into them. In a sense the point of looking at your own natal chart is the ability to view your life and certain characteristics in a more objective sense so that you can pinpoint certain things about yourself in order to live with complete awareness of your strengths and weaknesses.

I don’t think that it is possible to overcome the fact that you have the Moon square Uranus and the Sun square Neptune in your chart, but I do think that it is possible to learn how to deal with those combinations in a more positive or constructive manner by simply being aware of them, and knowing when they are likely to be triggered at certain times.

I guess that my advice would just be to think about those aspects and placements in your chart and try to figure out what or who it was in the early part of your life that ingrained those patterns into it, and then to watch the transits to those points and observe and reflect on what you do and experience at those moments in time. After you have the experience of seeing a transit occur and having a similar experience a number of times you can get used to it and become more free of it inwardly so that it changes your reaction to it in the future. Most people do this simply through the process of trial and error during the course of growing older and becoming more mature, but astrologers have the ability to see the importance of these turning points as they happen and it can sometimes give you a greater sense of comfort or control over the process as it unfolds.

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About Chris Brennan

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • daimones says:

    I meant to compliment you on your synchronicity post when I read it but I think I recall remembering that I got distracted by something else, but never got around to it. (political snark–after having watched via c-span a whole slew of Bush appointees not remember a damn thing!)

    That said, it was really well done!

    Astrology at its best should teach “mindfulness” — true awareness confers choice, at least, in terms of one’s own responses and behavior.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Thank you! I agree with your point about mindfulness.

  • Roland says:

    Hey Chris,

    I just recently read that in 1951 at a lecture given in Switzerland, Jung stated that he thought that astrology probably did have a causal mechanism afterall, and that his previous theory of synchronicity would not apply to it. This came about because of research that had been conducted concerning Solar proton fluctuations affecting the geomagnetic field. I posted this on the H.A. forum and was surprised that you didn’t comment on it.

    However, I do agree that we can control our responses to the events that occur around us, and that by studying astrology we are shown weaknesses in our own characters that enable us to transcend the celestial “influences”.

  • Heaven says:

    I had not discovered your site til now…and im so impressed with your knowledge, skills, and easy way to relay your messages and points. This article goes right there along with some of the terms I am comming to in astrology as well…the stars do not MAKE the things happen but are in sync…and because we are in sync with the stars we are able to look ahead and see how we may react, or what may be instore for us and know our natal self well enough to possibly choose to deal with the situations in the most positive way possible. Excellent work Chris and Im very proud to have come across you through the HA forum and look forward to learning much more. Aside from the fact that I highly respect the way you deal with the members of the group…meaning you leave ego out of it and deal with each person respectably. Thank you for being you!

  • […] of accuracy which planets will be helping the native out and generally acting as positive ‘influences‘ in their life, and conversely which planets will be acting as particularly problematic or […]