Interpreting any astrology chart requires an overall synthesis of all of the information present in the astrological chart, much of which may be confusing or conflicting. Chart interpretation, or chart synthesis, is the most difficult thing for novice astrologers to master.
There are various step by step synthesis methods. As an astrologer becomes more experienced, this tends to become second nature, and one’s eye is immediately drawn to the pertinent parts of an astrology chart. In the beginning, however, it helps to have a system.
Basic Astrology Chart Synthesis
This method is suitable for general chart analysis or personality analysis.
1. Consider the overall chart first, to get a view of the chart ‘flavour’. Look at the chart shaping, and the balance of hemispheres, elements and qualities. Check also for any major aspect patterns like a Grand Trine or T-square. Jot down your thoughts under a heading like ‘general chart flavour’.
2. Divide some paper into sections with headings like Emotions, Mental Abilities, Health, Family, Career, Spirituality, Leisure, Love, and any others you feel are pertinent.
3. Note the sign on the cusp of each house, and make a brief note of the ‘flavour’ of that house under the relevant section.
4. Now it’s time to fill in those sections with your deductions from the astrological chart. Work through the planets and angles in the following order, and note down your observations under the appropriate heading, together with some notation to remind you of what astrological factor has led you to that conclusion.
- Ascendant sign, followed by aspects to the Ascendant.
- The Ruling Planet (the planet which rules the Ascendant Sign) – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- The Sun – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- The Moon – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Mercury – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Venus – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Mars – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Jupiter – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Saturn – its sign and house position, and any aspects to it.
- Uranus – its sign, whether personalised or not, its house position and any aspects to it.
- Neptune – its sign, whether personalised or not, its house position and any aspects to it.
- Pluto – its sign, whether personalised or not, its house position, and any aspects to it.
- The Midheaven sign, house position (if using Equal House system), and any aspects to the Midheaven.
- The Moon’s nodes – signs, houses and aspects.
- Chiron and other bodies, if used – signs, house positions and aspects.
5. You should now have some fairly full headed sections, and a good overall view of the chart. That’s only half the story, though. Now for the tricky bit – synthesising all that information into a coherent whole. Start by creating a new section called ‘Conflicts’. Go back through all of your notes, and mark in the conflict section every time you find apparently contradictory deductions. Say you have some things indicating a generally shy nature, but others indicating sociability, for instance. Number each apparent contradiction.
6. For each contradiction, now try to work through the astrology to figure out which statements likely to be strongest. Things to consider: are any of the planets involved strengthened or weakened by aspects? Does it involve the ruling planet, or a strongly personalised planet? Are any of the planets involved in a major aspect pattern, in which case their primary energy could be being redirected? Is there any further astrological evidence in the chart which could back up either side of the contradiction? In the case of sociable vs shy, for instance, you may find evidence that the individual is perhaps forced to be sociable through their job, or is using a mask of sociability to cover up the shyness. Remember that not all contradictions can be resolved one way or the other; all humans have some contradictory sides to their personalities!
7. Having worked through any conflicting areas of the chart, you should now have a thorough understanding of who this person is, how they think, feel and act. You’re now ready to write a report, or make a tape, or whatever you were going to do, or to continue with working on chart transits, progressions and directions.