“They will tell you you can't sleep alone
In a strange place;
Then they'll tell you you can't sleep
With somebody else.
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep
In your own space--
Either way it's okay
You wake up with yourself.” – Billy Joel, It’s My Life
I recently joined an astrological discussion group, and one of the topics that came up the other day was relocation charts, and whether to use them in place of natal charts. I was—I confess—a tad shocked.
A natal (birth) chart is a chart for the moment you were born in the place where you were born. It is a map of your life, a snapshot of its circumstances, and it is indelibly YOU.
A relocation chart is drawn for that same moment in time, but set for some other place—one to which you might move, or have done so. The planetary positions are the same; but the houses change, which alters the part of your life in which they function. By noting the relationships to the birth chart, you can see how certain traits or circumstances might be emphasized differently in different places; but you were always and ever BORN wherever it was that you first drew breath.
IT is NOT your birth chart; and in my not-at-all-humble opinion should not be used in place of it.
Relocation charts are GREAT for figuring out in which parts of the globe you might prosper, and what parts of yourself you might cultivate consciously elsewhere, because places, too, have idiosyncratic charms and flaws; but they are in some sense a fairy tale, because you were not born there. And if you believe—as this astrologer does—that there was some rhyme or reason to the circumstances of your original entrance to the planet, then it makes sense to stick with the map you came in with. You may choose to change your locale, in order to grow: but your character goes with you.
And that’s what your birth chart describes. You.
The next few weeks (until the 19th of September, when Saturn returns to Sagittarius) might be hard to navigate for the oddest of reasons: compassion. Yes, the milk of human kindness has the distinct likelihood of curdling, if we are not careful.
Let me explain: we want to be kind, we want to be good, we want to help our fellow souls on the planet. But what exactly that means in execution is mightily unclear these days, as Jupiter in early Virgo—the sign of service—moves to oppose Neptune in misty Pisces. We get sentimental; we mean well. We see that others may not have seen what is in their best interests. And WE BLUNDER IN—always with the best intentions—TO HELP.
It is not likely—until Saturn shows up, with a kind of ascerbic clarity—that we will have the foggiest notion of what help actually IS. And we may actually HINDER—and not be thanked for our pains.
In fact—what actually may be best—is what used to be called a “watching brief”—i.e., waiting until it becomes clear how it is that we may actually be of service.
Sometimes the kindest thing is to leave well enough alone, lest we make a right muck of things, which—in the end—are not ours to mar.
Money. We all need it in order to survive; & most of us are pretty sure we don’t have enough. What can astrology say about THAT?
Money is certainly described by an individual’s chart. Access to money; attitudes ABOUT money; modes for making money. Since that’s the case, why aren’t we all—including this astrologer—fabulously wealthy?
Timing has a lot to do with it. Personal inclinations and predispositions further alter any straightforward game plan; and the lessons we have set up for ourselves in this lifetime may contradict our dreams of lucre (filthy or otherwise). So—if that’s the case—how can astrology help?
· By helping us to know ourselves – this is so important. If we want to get ahead, we have to face our demons. Period. The only way to evolve a strategy that enhances our strengths and minimizes our vulnerabilities is to know what they are; and a natal chart reveals them clearly.
· By helping us to understand the trends – the astrological climate in which we’re working. “What’s going on in the skies, and how does it affect my finances?” An astrologer can tell you.
· By helping us to work with timing – which sometimes means accepting that NOW is not the time for expansion or gambles. Benjamin Graham, in his landmark book on Wall Street, The Intelligent Investor, advises caution to the point of pessimism—and the stance that one is in the market for the long haul. Sometimes—in order to capitalize—one must think small. Conversely, SOMETIMES one should just go for it—seize the day, so to speak. Astrology can help us sort out which is which.
Money is a metaphor for our values, so how we use it is important. In the long run, we WILL muddle through. But if we want valuable insight into those elements of survival—it’s probably time to book a reading.
August’s astro-weather is good for business, bad for the heart. Mars & Saturn are traveling in trine all month, which is to say that we’ll have the discipline to get things done; trouble is, with Venus Retrograde for the entire month, we won’t want to do it. And that’s not wrong: we NEED to pay attention to relationships this month, beginning with the one to ourselves, so it’s a huge bonus that business matters will roll along nicely without us.
Except in the matter of cash flow. Here we may run into problems, because Venus will SQUARE the Saturn trine, and Venus & Mars in Leo will want to do things in a big way—without the funds to cover the cost. Fortunately, Jupiter moves into frugal Virgo on the 11th, which should stem the extravagant tide.
Uranus will be pitching creative ideas to susceptible Venus all month, too, and some of these are fabulous; however magical, they should be saved for execution at a more propitious (read practical) time. Mercury is moving faster than usual, which should streamline the evaluation process, but is opposed mid-month (11th-18th) by nebulous Neptune, leading to temporary wooly-minded-ness.
Back to Venus Retrograde: because creativity is flowing and career matters are well in hand, there is a HUGE temptation to distract oneself with frivolities, or delve into work issues; but this would be a mistake. August is a time to ponder one’s heart as deeply as possible, to ask the difficult questions about current or desired relationships, and to consider what we are willing to offer in order to receive what we need. NOT doing so could be expensive down the road.
It’s a tall order, and not especially fun. But necessary.
Ariel Harper Nave
“I believe that there is NOTHING sent us that we cannot handle if we know ourselves well enough and that’s why I do what I do.”