Birth charts: the Wiring of our selves…

When I was a youngster, my older brother had a taste for science.  Looking back, I think maybe it was science in general that appealed, because he cycled through a whole lot of different fields of interest, each new season seeming to bring with it a new and specific passion: meteorology, astronomy (I fondly recall star-gazing through his telescope…), geology and gemology, chemistry (he had quite the lab going in our basement for a while!)…and then there was his electronics phase…

At one point, he got hold of a giant electronics kit that had a huge number of projects built right into it by its makers, just waiting for the young electronics enthusiast to access them.  The various enterprises included setting up different sound effects, playing bits of music, lighting a bulb placed at the far end of the box, that sort of thing…  I won’t swear to this, but I feel fairly certain that his particular kit was called “1,000-in-1 Electronics Kit” or something along similar lines, because it came replete with…yep, exactly: 1,000 different possible uses packed into its small frame.  It looked something like this (only bigger):

Cool enough, but...150 uses?  Beef up, kit!  Try 1,001!!
Cool enough, but…150 uses? Beef up, kit! Try 1,000!!

So why am I bringing this rather mundane trip down Nostalgia Lane to your attention here?  Well, as I’ve been studying Astrology so diligently these last several months now, it continues to occur to me that the birth charts that I’m poring over — each an incredibly individualized document detailing the human whom it belongs to just as exactly as does a fingerprint or a DNA sample — are like schematics drawn for the projects that my brother used to assemble using his electronics kit.  The various Planets in a birth chart are arranged just so — each result quite thoroughly unlike the arrangements of Planets in the birth charts of anyone else on Earth, ever — and they sit there throughout our lives like power grids, the very wiring of our psyches, our personae, our selves.  And like any good power grid, our birth chart wiring will conduct and play host to energy in unique and definite ways whenever energy is forthcoming, be it from internal sources that we provide, or from external sources, bathing us with crackling power, like lightning bolts…

Birth chart of Albert Einstein.  This is how the noted genius was wired...
Birth chart of Albert Einstein. This is how the noted genius was wired…

Check out that schematic right there: the birth chart of Albert Einstein.  The outer circle contains the 12 Signs of the Zodiac…the numbered “pie slices” into which the inner circle is divided represent the 12 Houses (remember The 5th Dimension singing about “When the Moon is in the Seventh House…?”  Einstein’s Moon was in his Sixth House, but you probably get the general idea…)…and the odd little symbols scattered about within those Houses signify the Planets (in Astrology, the Sun and the Moon are referred to as “Planets,” even though this would give any card-carrying astronomer a horrible case of outrage-based hives).  The colored lines running amok in the center of the circle stand for Aspects: these are relationships between Planets that come about based on their positions around the circle.  Certain intervals equal distinct types of relationships, some considered “easy” and some considered “challenging,” with all of them basically acting like circuits that conduct energy and connect the Planets involved.  If two Planets share such a connection, then when one receives a jolt of energy of some sort, the other will almost certainly receive a dose of that energy as well, via the circuit between the two Planets.

Here’s an example…  First, if you’ll look to the lower left of Einstein’s chart, you’ll see a cute little symbol that’s reminiscent of a satellite dish or some kind of radio antenna; this is the glyph that represents the Planet Uranus.  Uranus symbolizes our drive to be highly individual, unique, rebellious, revolutionary, and even genius, and Uranus often works in large isolated bursts of activity, like sudden spikes of activation.  Uranus is not slow or constant or steady…but when it works, it works.  We all have Uranus in our charts — we all have all of the Planets in our charts — but where we differ from Albert E. is the fact that in his chart, Uranus sits all by itself, rather alone and facing off against all of the other Planets which are arrayed around the far side of the circle.  This kind of set-up is called a “funnel” or “bucket” pattern, and many astrologers will offer the opinion that any Planet acting as that lone presence on one side of the chart — the tip of the funnel — will be the single most important factor in determining that person’s very self.  All activity by all Planets will of necessity be “funneled” through that Planet.  And it does seem pretty interesting that the man who we use to this day as a living shorthand for the concept of “genius” has the Planet of Genius, Uranus, flying solo in his chart as the tip of a funnel pattern!  But then, if Einstein’s Uranus sits alone, how does it interact with the other Planets…?

That’s where the Aspects come in.  If you cast your gaze from Uranus toward almost the exact opposite side of the circle, you’ll spot a symbol that looks like a stylized version of the number 4.  That’s the glyph for the Planet Jupiter.  A dark red line connects the two through the center of the chart — this line represents an Aspect called an opposition.  In the opposition relationship, the two Planets involved are 180 degrees apart, or very close to that.  Here, Einstein’s Uranus and Jupiter are off of that perfect 180 degree opposition by a couple of degrees, but most astrologers would still consider that close enough to translate to a pretty strong opposition.  This means that Einsteins’ Uranian bursts of genius might struggle a bit with the needs and urges represented by Jupiter, which needs and urges include our need to grow and expand.  So a possible manifestation here could be that at times, Einstein’s far-famed mind may have been trying to expand and grasp so many huge concepts, so much tremendous understanding, and trying to do it so fast…that the man had difficulty holding on to all these sweeping new realizations on the one hand, and to smaller, more mundane concerns, and even his sense of self, on the other.  He may have battled the peril of becoming lost in his own furious mental activity.  That’s just one possible interpretation, but hopefully it’s illustrative…

Imagine poor Einstein's human mind trying to grasp all of this, all at once...
Imagine poor Einstein’s human mind trying to grasp all of this, all at once…

Anyway, now imagine that Einstein has one of his bursts of genius-level thought, some great epiphany that might change our collective understanding of the Universe itself.  Envision that epiphany as a huge burst of energy lighting up that little antenna-shaped Uranus glyph at the lower left of Einstein’s chart.  Next…think about where that energy needs to go.  Part of it can zoom up the circuit to Jupiter just described, the red line representing that opposition relationship between those two Planets.  It won’t stop there, though: Jupiter has relationships — Aspects — of its own, with other Planets, and the energy will continue onward from Jupiter, lighting them up as it goes, too, maybe decreasing in effect as the charge gets spent on Planets along the pathway, but it will definitely persist for a while before being used up.

Also, Jupiter isn’t the only Planet to which Einstein’s Uranus is connected.  You’ll notice several other Aspect lines radiating outward from Uranus to other glyphs as well, and these, too, will be on the receiving end of some of that big charge of energy that cascades through the system whenever Einstein’s prodigious Uranus gets lit up.  After a while, determining the possible full outcomes of such a massive jolt of energy can be as painstaking an affair for an astrologer as sussing out a short can be for a seasoned electrician regarding an intricate tangle of wiring.

All of which is to say that each of us can be regarded as unique power grids, reacting so very individually to the flashes of lightning provided to us by ourselves and by the Universe throughout all the moments of our days.  Astrology, then, is like the study of this “circuitry” set up within us at the moments of our births, and better understanding of our own circuitry can help us to live better…to optimize our lives.  Each of us is like one of my brother’s old electronics kits…although we’re infinitely more complex.  Maybe we’re more like “1,000,000,000,000,000-in-1 Electronics Kits,” roaming the Earth…but I do think our psyches, as represented by our birth charts, are indeed each a sort of power grid, and studying them, and acting positively on what we then learn about our unique selves, can lead to greatly augmented wellness and joy…

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