Astrology and Horoscopes

The Alphabet of Astrology

Learning astrology can be overwhelming and the last thing you want to do is read “cookbooks”.

A “cookbooks.” is a book that goes through every planet in every house, every sign on every cusp, so on and so forth. Don’t waste your time. It will take years for you to memorize all of this.

Cookbooks offer many combinations of a limited number of ingredients. Languages offer many more potentials for combining a limited number of basic ingredients (symbols) to create an unlimited number of products with varying degrees of complexity (words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.) The products provide a way to conceive of and to describe life. When an object has been given a name, we can discuss it when it is not present and available to let us point to it. So language lets us share information with our own species and, to a limited extent, with other species of life.

Astrology offers us a language to conceive of and to describe life. It has an alphabet which is equivalent to the letters of an alphabet offering a model of life composed of twelve basic desires or drives. Letters can be capitalized or written lower case, or turned into monograms with curls, but an “A” is recognized as carrying the same basic meaning as an “a.”

In astrology, we have planets, signs of the zodiac, houses of the horoscope, and other variations such as the nodes of all the planets and the dwads in all the signs which symbolize the same twelve basic life desires. This does not mean that the planets and signs and houses are themselves the “same,” but they symbolize the same psychological principles.

The planets are the most important, like a verb in a sentence. Everything else is metaphorically like adverbs which qualify verbs. We can think of astrology’s model of life as a series of stages of growth from initial self-absorption to final oneness with the Whole.

The best way to learn astrology is by thinking of it as a language. Every language has an alphabet and once you learn the alphabet you can master the language. Oh and yes, you also have to learn the grammer.

As far as the grammer goes, think of it like this:

  • Planets represent psychological drives
  • Signs show how these drives are expressed
  • Houses show which areas of life are highlighted
  • Aspects show how the planets cooperate or interfere with each other.

When everything is blended together into an astrological sentence, you can then begin to read the “story” described in an astrological chart.

Now that you understand that, let’s introduce you to the letters of the alphabet! The Twelve Letter Alphabet (a logical system for astrological interpretation) was developed by the moden astrologer Zipporah Pottenger Dobyns (1921-2003).

The Letters Of The Astrological Alphabet
  • Letter 1 – (Aries, Mars, 1st House) – “The Self, Personal Interests, Independence, Energy and Confidence”
  • Letter 2 – (Taurus, Venus, 2nd House) – “Self-Sufficiency, Personal Values, Physical Security, Possessions, Comfort, Relaxation, Inner Peace.”
  • Letter 3 – (Gemini, Mercury, 3rd House) – Mental Stimulation, Communication, Local Travel, Siblings, and Variety”
  • Letter 4 – (Cancer, Moon, 4th House) – Emotional Security, the Past, Mom, Family, Home, Sanctuary, an Inner sense of belonging. Caring For Others”
  • Letter 5 – (Leo, Sun, 5th House) – “Creativity, Projecting Personal Power, Inner Authority, Romance, Kids, Your father. Fun, Being Special”
  • Letter 6 – (Virgo, Chiron, 6th House) – “Self improvement, Health, Rituals, Self-Purification, Work/Service, Focus.
  • Letter 7 – (Libra, Venus, 7th House) – “Balance & Harmonious Relationships with others, Art, Luxury, Balanced Perspectives”
  • Letter 8 – (Scorpio, Pluto, 8th House) – “Self-Mastery, Rebirth, Transformation, Intimacy, the Occult, Sharing (especially finances).”
  • Letter 9 – (Sagittarius, Jupiter, 9th House) – “The Search for Meaning, Joy, Higher Education, Foreign Travel, Religion, Truth, and Abundance”
  • Letter 10 – (Capricorn, Saturn, 10th House) – “One’s Contribution to Society, Social Roles, Career, Responsibility to Others, Fame and Social Values”
  • Letter 11 – (Aquarius, Uranus, 11th House) – “Global Awareness, Individuality, Groups of People, Social Progress, Technology, Breaking the Rules”
  • Letter 12 – (Pisces, Neptune, 12th House) – “The Search for Unity and Divinity, Transcending Ego, Emotions, Surrender, Spirit, Compassion, Spiritual Healing.”

That’s it. Each letter is represented by a planet, house and sign. Put the grammer & alphabet together and you will get it. If you want to tackle them all individually, then keep reading.

Obviously, everyone possesses all the elements and life is a complex mixture. Everything is always potentially present but the emphasis is constantly changing. Conflicts need not be a problem, but we do have to find a way to satisfy all of our basic drives. Any part of our nature which is totally denied will make trouble for us. Usually, compromise works best, but we can also alternate when we want to do more of some parts of life. And, just as conflicting desires need attention but can be handled successfully, the consequences of harmonious desires are not always pleasant. Harmony can lead to excesses which create problems. It is not always true that if some is good, more will be better.

The tragedy of astrology is that so much of it is presented as if it was inevitably “positive” or “negative.” Every astrological principle, every one of our basic drives/desires, can be manifested in “pleasant” or “painful” ways, in an infinite variety of details which depend on how we try to satisfy the desires. There are always “choices” but most of the time we are not conscious of them because habits are running the show. Remember, habits live in the subconscious side of the mind which is represented by water in astrology.

Repetition Shows Importance

Every chart includes all the twelve principles yet each chart is a unique combination. There are many forms of the astrological alphabet, many ways to “say the same thing.” Important features in the nature will be shown by repeated themes in the horoscope. Since the planets are the most intense form of the desire, the conjunction of two planets is the most intense form of the issue, but all combinations describe the same drives and all can be manifested in a variety of ways. Nothing in astrology is inevitably positive or negative. Every combination can be expressed in both pleasurable and painful ways. There are always choices. Even if our current habits have been producing painful results, the potential for change is present if we are willing to make the effort to replace the old habits with new ones. Astrology, or any other form of self-knowledge, helps us understand our desires. Then it is up to us if we want to change our habits.


The Planets:

  • THE SUN – Your essence: your Creative potential and Personal Identity.
  • THE MOON – Your emotional nature: your past, your feelings.
  • MERCURY – Your mind: Thinking, Analysing, Communicating.
  • VENUS – Your values & relationships. The urge to love, appreciate and relate
  • MARS – Your energy & aspirations. Motivation, Sexuality – the urge to act and motivate
  • JUPITER – Your growth as an individual. Expanding, Philosophising, Searching for Meaning – the urge for growth and meaning
  • SATURN – Your personal boundaries & limitations, The urge for structure and stability
  • CHIRON – Healing, Integrating, Wholemaking, Teaching, Mentoring – the urge to be healed, to heal, teach and mentor others
  • URANUS – Collective Mind, Illumination, Awakening – the humanitarian urge
  • NEPTUNE – Collective Feeling, Universal Love, Imagining – the spiritual urge and the need for unity
  • PLUTO – Transformation, Purpose, Regeneration – the urge for evolutionary growth
  • NORTH NODE – The Path of Future Growth
  • SOUTH NODE – The Past, Karma, Inherited Potential

The Houses:

  • 1st – Self Awareness, Self Discovery, Persona
  • 2nd – Personal Resources, Values, Skills
  • 3rd – Communication, Mental Activity, Learning
  • 4th – The Hearth, Feeling at home, Inner Security
  • 5th – Creative Extensions of the Self, Children
  • 6th – Self Improvement, Daily Life, Work, Health
  • 7th – Awareness of Others, Relationships
  • 8th – Depth Interactions, Sharing, Letting Go
  • 9th – Awareness of the Cosmos, Religion, Travel
  • 10th – Vocational Purpose, Taking Power, Career
  • 11th – Group Contribution, Collectives, Friends
  • 12th – Transcendence, Spiritual Path, Solitude


  • 1st – Awareness of Self; 7th – Awareness of Others
  • 2nd – Personal Resources; 8th – Shared Resources
  • 3rd – Immediate Environment; 9th – Expanded Horizons
  • 4th – Inner World (Home); 10th – Outer World (Vocation)
  • 5th – Personal Creativity; 11th – Group Creativity or Contribution
  • 6th – Daily Life; 12th – Spiritual Life


  • ASCENDANT – ASC – cusp (beginning) of 1st house – The degree of the zodiac rising on the Eastern horizon at the moment of our birth. The point of Self Awareness. “I am”.
  • THE NADIR – IC – cusp of 4th house – The degree of the zodiac directly below us at the moment of birth. The most private and deepest parts of ourselves. The Inner Self. “My Roots”.
  • THE DESCENDANT – DESC – cusp of the 7th house – The degree of the zodiac rising on the western horizon at the moment of birth. The point of Awareness of Others. “I Relate to An Other”.
  • THE MIDHEAVEN – MC – The cusp of the 10th house – The degree of the zodiac directly above us at the moment of birth. The most public and outer part of ourselves. “I Function in the World”.

ELEMENTS – Patterns of Energy – The Four Temperaments

  • Fire – The path to LOVE (Focussed on Identity) – Choleric
  • Earth – The path to SERVICE (Focussed on Materiality) – Melancholic
  • Air – The path to BROTHERHOOD (Focussed on Mental and Social Interactions) – Sanguine
  • Water – The path to PEACE (Focussed on Emotional & Feeling Realm) – Phlegmatic


  • Yang – outgoing, active, freedom oriented – Fire and Air signs
  • Yin – ingoing, reflective, security oriented – Earth and Water Signs

MODALITIES – Energy Movement

  • Cardinal – Initiating Action
  • Fixed – Manifestation of Purpose
  • Mutable – Adapting to Change

THE Sun-Moon-Ascendant TRIAD

  • THE SUN – Depicting the Yearly cycle of the seasons – our essence, core self, conscious purpose and sense of identity, creative potential. The Integrated Personality. The Present.
  • THE MOON – Depicting the Monthly cycle of the Moon’s Phases – the innermost core of our being, private feelings, subconscious habits. Karma. The Past.
  • THE ASCENDANT – Depicting the Daily cycle of the Earth’s rotation on its axis – our outer self, how others see us, our persona, the filter through which all the planets are expressed. The Soul’s Purpose. The Future.

* Aspects are the angular relationships between the planets.
* They describe pathways of energy.
* The meaning of a planet in the birth chart is determined by its position in a particular sign and house, and is further modified by its relationships to all the other planets (the aspects).
* The interpretation of a birth chart is the art of synthesising all of these individual factors into a whole.

  • The Conjunction – 0 degrees. A powerful concentration or marriage of the planetary energies. The potential for Strength through Unification and Subjectivity.
  • The Sextile – 60 degrees. An aspect of opportunity and productivity calling for the practical application of one’s understanding and experience. The potential for Realizing One’s Goals through Building New Talents, Skills and Techniques and Making New Connections.
  • The Square – 90 degrees. An aspect of confrontation, challenge, internal tension, construction, strength and motivation. The potential for Action, Productivity and Achievement through the Mobilization and Focus of Energy.
  • The Trine – 120 degrees. An aspect of harmony, co-operation, creativity, growth, vision, flow and ease. The potential for Creative Expression.
  • The Quincunx – 150 degrees. An aspect of contradiction and paradox. The need for adjustment between the real and the ideal. The potential for Transformation, Focus, Maturity and Clarification through Adjustment.
  • The Opposition – 180 degrees. An aspect of conflict between opposing energies, calling for awareness, cooperation and compromise. The potential for Integration and Objectivity through Balance.

Last updated on June 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm. Word Count: 2114