Compatibility Issues in Astrology

question mark

Whenever I work with a client, whatever I am told is confidential. But every now and then, I see a trend with the same kind of questions.

Several times in the last few weeks, people have asked questions similar to this: I’ve been married for 10 years, am I compatible with my husband or wife? Then they give me either both of their Sun signs, which is practically worthless information to go on, or some of them give me their Trinity, which is comprised of the positions of their Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. Either way, its a far cry from a whole astrology chart. Yet some of them really think that’s what they are getting with info like that!

But the really disturbing part is that if they already married somebody, shouldn’t they already have figured out if they are compatible? I would guess they dated or knew this person for a decent amount of time before they got married. And if so, even if they are going through a rough patch, I don’t like to see people using Astrology as a scapegoat for bad judgement. After all, no matter what your Natal Birth Chart says, we always have Free Will.

So, why would you ask an astrologer if you were compatible with your spouse? This is a huge life decision to make. And if it’s already been made, would you change it because I told you there were a few challenging aspects in your charts? Plus, I can’t even do that because they don’t want charts done, they want to believe they are giving me enough information to answer this question (not). If I said OMG, you are an Aquarius married to a Scorpio, that’s bad, would they get divorced? It’s just a dumb question. And even knowing the Sun signs, all their planets are in a zodiac sign, one of twelve houses with several serious meanings about areas of their lives, and at least 15 important planetary aspects in the Natal Birth chart.

So I really have trouble understanding where people who ask something this serious, and give me so little information, are coming from. What do you think?



Reader Question About 10th House Planets

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I have Uranus, Jupiter, and Moon in Scorpio in 10th house. May I know how will they affect my life? 

Answer: I wanted to discuss a question from a reader regarding an interpretation of certain planets in their 10th house. So often readers ask astrology questions and think all that matters is their Sun sign, or what another planet means in a zodiac sign. They don’t understand how serious the house positions are. Each of the 12 houses have so many meanings. Often I can’t even answer their vague questions, especially one where they tell me of a few planets in zodiac signs, but NEVER tell me what HOUSE these planets are in. Here is a situation where the person at least gave me the house the planets were in, even if the question was not directly about career or public recognition, two important 10th house matters.

Uranus is the planet of change and chaos, although in this case Jupiter brings a beneficial and more stabilizing effect. Since the Moon is also involved, the person’s sense of security and emotional attitudes will be important as well.

Planets in the 10th house normally indicate an unusual or unexpected profession, as it’s the career house, and Uranus rules Aquarius, the sign of the nonconformist. You may do well in math, humanitarian projects, science, or electronics. You are innovative and will think of new techniques. You are strong willed and want to make a difference in your profession. Your status is ruled by this house too, so changes to that can be sudden due to Uranus. Whatever you do will put you in the public eye and you will attract attention. You may have many different jobs in your life.

Jupiter in the 10th house also means prominence and high standing in professions. You are ethical and professional in your business dealings. You are honest and reliable. Jupiter is lucky, so you will be respected, and may even seek political office. Normally Jupiter here is considered favorable. Higher education, law, philosophy,  or travel may be important to you, or your profession will entail much travel. You will be respected and trusted.

Having a Moon in the 10th house, you want to achieve a position of prominence, especially in Scorpio. Whatever you do will be approached with intensity, honesty, thoughtfulness and thoroughness. You are strong willed and independent, and will work very hard for what you want. You may be in a position of high standing, or have a family who can pull some strings for you.

Your Mother is likely to be a big influence in your life, and women will further your career. Also, Moon in Scorpio is sensual, so you can use your charm to your advantage here! You will have a strong emotional attachment to your profession, or professions, as you will probably change what you do more than once.

I would love to tell you more, but this is a tiny amount of information, and this is the best I can do without a whole Natal Birth Chart.


Is Astrology Fortune Telling?

gypsy fortune tellerModern astrology isn’t really considered fortune telling in the old fashioned sense of the word. When a person gets a horoscope cast, it’s called a Natal Birth Chart. Once this is drawn out, it shows all the positions of the planets in the heavens at the exact time and place of one’s birth. This is a map which includes the whole sky, or 360 degrees.

I like to think of astrology as a personality profile. Just as no astrology sign is good or bad, no aspect in astrology is good or bad. They all have potentials. But you are in control, not the stars. Once you have the horoscope, you can find your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them. But you always have free will, no matter how bad something looks in your chart.

I believe this is why so many people write me and ask me to “tell their fortunes”, as if astrology was merely a predictive or passive thing. It’s not. I can do transits by putting today’s planets on your Natal Birth Chart to see what’s happening in your life. But YOU still have to decide what to do about it all. What you see in your astrology chart is not predestination. You can change it anytime you want. So I would love to see more people look at it that way, and stop expecting predictions. It doesn’t work that way, and astrologers aren’t the Oracle of Delphi.

If you want to see what’s likely to happen in the next year, a tarot reading is probably more your cup of tea. You are still in the driver’s seat, and have to make decisions about your life. But you will get a clear picture of what to expect! If life is particularly exciting, I would suggest having a tarot reading two or three times a year. But unless your questions are about completely different topics, more readings than that would be counterproductive.

I Was Born On A Cusp!

banging head on brick wall

This is the biggest misconception in astrology. Repeat after me: NO PERSON IS BORN ON THE CUSP OF TWO ZODIAC SIGNS. NO PERSON IS BORN ON THE CUSP OF TWO ASTROLOGY SIGNS. Yes, it’s true. Your Sun can only be in one zodiac sign. There is no such thing as “being born on a cusp.” Cusps do exist, but they are imaginary lines which divide the 12 houses of astrology, having nothing at all to do with Sun signs.

So why do people believe this? Please enlighten me. I have books on astrology that are at least 50+ years old, and none of them have a section on “Sun signs on a cusp.” I have much older books, from the 1800’s, collector’s items really, and none of them mention this either. So if you did read this false information in a book, please write and tell me which one. I suspect you heard it from a “helpful” friend who knows nothing about astrology, yet believes they are experts in it. Or you have a need to feel more unique.

Part of this has to do with the fact that zodiac signs on the calendar DO NOT change on the 21st of one month and again on the 21st of the next. It really depends on what year it is. I know Cancers who were born on July 23rd, and Pisceans who were born on February 18th. You must know the year in order to determine what date the Sun actually changed signs.

I believe I know the reason why some people think they see dual traits in themselves. All of your planets are in a zodiac sign on your day of birth. Mercury is the closest to the Sun, and Venus is next to Mercury. Let’s say you are a Cancer Sun sign person. Mercury (ruler of how you think) can be in Cancer. But it’s also likely that it’s in Gemini, or even Leo. The same goes for Venus (ruler of social life, the kind of person who attracts you). So it can also be possible that both Mercury and Venus are in Gemini. So here we would have a Cancer person, who exhibits some Gemini traits.

There are many astrology sites available in our time, although some of them are not accurate. But many of them are adequate enough to have tables where you can easily look up what sign your Sun is really in. So I don’t understand why I get this same question about “My Sun Sign Is On A Cusp” about 20 times a week. Stop it. This is not possible. Be a little more intellectually curious if you are that interested in astrology and actually try looking up some information. There is a plethora of good, reliable sites. And if you really want to have a good understanding of yourself, you really need to have a whole Natal Astrology chart drawn up. But you can find quick info too, on the sites.

Astrology Musings of the Week 11/10/18

Each week people ask me questions about astrology. Some of them are from a group writer’s site where I contribute. Some are from friends, or new people I meet. Some of them are written so poorly I can’t even understand what I am being asked. But I carry on, because I believe astrology CAN answer questions and guide others, and I want to help them.

Recently I was consulted by a woman who was a Capricorn Sun, in what sounded like a very good relationship with a Gemini man. Her mind was boggled because she couldn’t understand HOW she could possibly get along with him. Here comes the part where I sigh and try not to feel defeated. She said, “Do the other planets really matter THAT much?

Oh, child, why do you persist in believing fallacies about astrology? Why, why, why? Have I taught nothing in my 40 years of teaching? Have I written hundreds of instructional articles about astrology in vain?

Let’s try this again. All the planets in the sky are in a zodiac sign at the time of your birth. EVERY SINGLE ONE, including the Moon and Ascendant. Then they are all in one of twelve houses. Each house has at least 3 or 4 serious meanings. Among them are how you appear to others, what you need to feel secure, how you feel about family, what kind of lover do you want, what kind of spending habits do you have? Do you want a job or to go far in a serious career? How meaningful are your friends to you? What are your secret sorrows? And I have to take the meaning of the planets in the signs, and combine the meaning of what house it is in to get an answer that makes sense.

But wait, there’s more! The planets are all different distances apart. These are called the aspects. And everyone has at least 15 strong ones. These make a serious difference and tell me so much about a person. When I interpret a chart, it takes me 10-12 hours. So I don’t really like questions based on only a Sun sign position, because it’s so little information, and what I answer is so incomplete, it could even be wrong.

During WWII, Sun sign horoscope readings were part of newspapers and magazines to give the public a lift, a bit of “news” that wasn’t so grim. That was a long time ago, and people should know better with the plethora of astrology websites and books available. If you still want to read horoscopes like that, learn your ascendant (you need to know your time of birth within two hours) and there are many tables online you can consult to find it. Then when you read a substandard horoscope like that, take your Ascending sign and Sun Sign, combine the two, and you may get something a tad more accurate.

But please, STOP thinking astrology is all about your Sun sign. It’s only a teeny tiny part of a whole horoscope, and an astrologer can’t give you a meaningful, good, answer just knowing that little about you, or your significant other. OK? If I continue to get questions like this from people who don’t know better, I will still try to answer. But why ask when it’s been made clear you aren’t getting a good answer?

Take care until next time,


astrology wheel with houses

Tarot Tips and Ethics

Blog picture Tarot, crystal ball

Some people have trouble shuffling a Tarot Deck, because of the odd sizes of the cards. It takes some practice. The deck is usually a little slippery when it’s new, so that helps. It can be done in any way which is comfortable for the person. You can put them on the table or floor, and mix them around like you do when you play “Go Fish” if you want. I find that it’s easiest to hold them very loosely, longways, and just keep shuffling until you feel they are ready. Then split the deck into 3 piles. Put the 3 piles back into one pile, in any order that you or the person wants, and you’re ready to go.

It is very important to make sure the cards are well shuffled between readings. If you do two readings in a row, and a few of the same cards come up, you know the deck wasn’t shuffled enough, so mix it up again. I often have to hand the deck back for more shuffling. It just goes with the territory. Sometimes I shuffle them for awhile to get them mixed better, and hand them back to the person to finish up and get their vibrations back in them.

How should you store your cards? It keeps them safer if you put them in a wooden or other type of box. Many people like to wrap them in a piece of silk. This helps to protect them, and to create a sacred place for them. You need to clear your deck every now and then. You can put the deck in a sunny window, put some crystals on them, or quickly review each card if you want (that helps in the beginning, when you are just learning). You may make up your own clearing system.

Try not to let too many people handle your deck, or keep one just for your own important readings. You don’t want to have to keep clearing it all the time, or get too many vibrations from others in them. As you go on, you will find you will get more than one deck anyway. Some readings only use Major Arcana or other combinations of cards, so I like to keep one split up with just the Majors.

Garbage Readings

There really is such a thing. If you or your querent (person asking the question) gets a bunch of cards that makes absolutely no sense at all, it’s a garbage reading. Maybe the person had something else on their mind, or had a different question in the back of their mind. Just in case, check to see if maybe the spread does answer another question going on in the person’s life. Otherwise, ask them to concentrate, and shuffle again.

Tarot Ethics

If you are going to be reading for people, you have to take some time to decide what your ethics or standards will be as you read for others. Everyone will have their own guidelines. Here are a few of mine:

  1. I don’t usually read for anyone under 16, unless they grew up in a household where they heard a lot about Tarot, Astrology or other Metaphysical subjects. I always ask if the person has had a Tarot reading before.
  2. It’s important that the querent understand that they always have FREE WILL. If they get a reading about the future and they don’t like what they see, they have the power to do something about it. They may be able to avoid certain problems, since they are being forewarned.
  3. Never predict death. We know the card can mean any transition that has been thrust upon us. If your querent has a loved one in a hospice, or hospital, and knows for sure the loved one has very limited time on the Earth plane, take your cue from them if they seem like they want to talk about it
  4.  Young people always want somebody to love them, and sometimes have somebody really interested in them , but the other person has no intention of settling down yet. These are my least favorite readings. Try to steer the person away from whomever they are trying to make their whole life about, and discuss possible career options, talents you can see that can be developed, future travel, etc. Help your querent to see there are other options in  life besides making it all about another person.
  5. Anything the person tells you or you tell them should be confidential. Never gossip about a reading you gave anybody.
  6. I sometimes read at friend’s parties, but when people are drinking, you need to be careful. I usually find if it’s a couple and one of them wants a reading, the other one always seems to think he/she is cheating or thinking of leaving him/her. They will try to say nasty things about the Tarot and disparage it, say it’s all BS; yet want to listen in. You don’t have to read for anyone. Or you can read for one of them, but not allow the other one in the room. Better yet, tell them to work it out for themselves. You don’t want to get in the middle.
  7. You shouldn’t give out health info unless it’s very general, you aren’t a Doctor. The Star or the Ace of Cups are good health cards, and a safe prediction. The Ten of Swords or Nine of Wands, Four of Swords or Two of Pentacles can show people who should rest, or they may get sick. That’s OK too. Once I had a man who was thinking of getting a 2nd knee replacement, and he kept getting The Hanged Man. Normally I wouldn’t have answered, but this card pictures a man with his knee bent, and I decided a 2nd surgery wouldn’t change anything.
  8. I have one woman who is trying to change her citizenship from one corrupt government to another, and she keeps contacting me on my blog. I finally had to tell her that I’m not an Immigrations Lawyer, or equipped to answer such a question.
  9. You always want to tell the truth, yet you don’t want to scare anyone or sugarcoat it too much either. It helps here if it’s someone you know, but if you don’t, balance is the key.
  10. Some people will sit with a stone face the whole time, and make you feel like everything you say is wrong. Then when you are done, they will tell you how amazing you are. You never know.
  11. Basically you are being a conduit between Spirit and this person. You want to send them away feeling more uplifted than they were before their reading. You also want to make them feel empowered, so be sure to point out some strengths you see in the reading. I’m sure as you go along, you will develop your own code; I just wanted to give you some ideas.
  12. You are all very intuitive, and even when you know all the card meanings, may see a reading and immediately know exactly what it means. Go with your gut, just like anything in life, sometimes you have to throw the book away!
By Jean Bakula Posted in Tarot

What Astrology Can’t Tell You

Astrology Thepsychiclinecom

Since I’ve been an Astrologer for almost 40 years now, I thought I had heard everything. But when you cast a horoscope and interpret it for a client, it’s amazing what they think this can accomplish.

Now a horoscope can tell a person many things about their lives, among them their strengths and weaknesses, when they may make the most of them, or fall prey to their worst flaws. It can predict good times in your life, career options, divorces, family relationships, and artistic potentials. But even I do not expect miracles. Lately I’ve had people ask me to predict every tiny course change their lives would take.

A very important piece of information is this: you always have free will in your life. No matter what the situation is, you choose how you react to it. If your life seems to be falling apart, if you are destitute, if you are in danger, if you are depressed, you can seek help from a professional. And if things are that bad, the professional you seek should not be an Astrologer. It should be a Doctor, a Therapist, or even the Police. An Astrologer is not licensed to give medical advice, cannot protect you from harmful people, and is not your Psychotherapist.

I love Astrology, and began casting horoscopes for friends and family as soon as I began the basics in a course my then boyfriend and I took together at night school when we were about 21. I am fortunate that he shared my love of metaphysical subjects. But even many years ago, we had friends who thought that because we cast horoscopes for them, this gave them the right to call us every week for an update.

Now, many years later, I am still practicing Astrology the old fashioned way, not with computerized charts (though sometimes I do use the program for that part, as I don’t have books to cover the whole world and it’s time changes, or latitudes and longitudes). It takes at least one hour to do the math to get the horoscope, and draw it up. I still like to make the chart larger than the computerized kind, as it draws too many lines between the planetary aspects, and I know them anyway. It can take anywhere from five to ten hours to do a basic interpretation of this horoscope. So when it’s completed, and then a friend wants a weekly update, that entails placing all the planets on the birth chart that has been done, but in the positions they are in that day. It’s a lot of work. I am not a computer, and this is very time consuming. I have a life and many other commitments.

I have been getting many requests for horoscopes, and have been deeply moved by the reactions I get from people who read my work since I’ve been a writer on  Now much of it can be found on, or

You have all been great, and if you did ask questions, I was happy to answer. I wrote most of the articles to teach people how to learn Astrology on their own, because I know how many rip off artists there are in the field. Many of you are quickly learning on your own with a few pointers from me, and I’m proud of that.

A few days ago, a young woman wrote to me to see if I could do a compatibility horoscope for her and another person, apparently a young man. I said yes. She continued to email me at least ten times, asking all kinds of questions. I answered as well as I could, outlining what I could tell her based on a horoscope. It seemed we were ready to proceed with the transaction. As soon as I told her the price and to place the money in my Pay pal account, all of a sudden she balked quite a bit. I then learned that:

  1. She asked me to do two horoscopes, hers, and one based on a guy she was crushing on! They never had a date or any interactions at all, just flirted at work. But she asked if they would be compatible in marriage and what their sex lives would be like!
  2. She was shocked that I expected to be paid for my work!

She tied up my time for about two hours worth of emails, for what was not even a relationship, but a young girl’s fantasy that some guy she was day dreaming about was going to change her life. Whatever happened to the Women’s Liberation Movement? Why are so many young women in the 21st century still thinking some Knight in Shining Armor is going to dash into their lives and make everything wonderful? I can’t even believe some of the stuff I’m reading in the emails I get.

Many of these women are in their mid-twenties. Why aren’t they working, or going to college, or both? Why don’t they understand that they may very possibly need to depend on themselves for support or to achieve their goals? I was married when I was 24, and bought my first house at 27. My boyfriend was a real person, we were together for five years, and we were married for 34 years. We worked, went to college, took care of each other when we were sick, and took care of and supported our parents when they got older. We faced the deaths of people we dearly loved. We have a son together. My love died 5 years ago. It’s called reality. I didn’t dream him up because I had no future goals for my life.

Did we cast horoscopes before we married? Of course we did. We did what are called Progressed charts, and suffice it to say the year and day we married, Venus, planet of love, was conjunct both our Suns. I won’t bother to explain that to a layperson, but it’s important in a love match. We even set up the wedding date with our class, because being the only couple in it, everyone wanted a happy ending for us, and they wanted to help. We married on a day the Moon was in Cancer, and family was always a big part of our life. Being a Taurus (him) and Cancer (me), and both the oldest siblings in our families, we were always the ones who took care of our parents, and spent much of our time helping family members in various ways I don’t need to discuss here.

But I am surprised and puzzled by many emails like I described here. I read Tarot too, but I don’t bring out the cards and do a reading to decide what to cook for dinner. I save these means for important decisions. I consult them. But I don’t always do what they say. Normally a Tarot reading or planetary positions will tell me if what I am planning will be good for me or not. But I use my intelligence and common sense as well. This is why one says “for entertainment purposes only,” in case someone takes the advice too far and turns around and blames the reader.

So I worry that while offering readings on my blog, are people going to throw logic out the window over an Astrology chart? I have seen many readings and interpretations of horoscopes I’ve done come true. And I hope I see many more good things. I just feel surprised that many seem to think getting a reading or horoscope is an easy out, so they don’t have to make an informed decision about something really important, like their life.

So I don’t mean to rant here, but I want to be clear to those who expect too much out of a horoscope. You are in the driver’s seat, it’s your life, you have to make the choices, and you have to take the responsibility for your actions. All a reader can do is work as a guide, to help you see latent talents or good planetary times to act on certain things. That’s the bottom line.

It’s not magic. And it’s not free. It takes hours of time and hard work. So if you are offered Tarot or Astrology services, demands on time need to be respected and there will be boundaries. This is true even for computer generated charts, because time is still involved, not to mention, paper, expensive ink, and even then the Astrologer will read a printout and make personal comments. A computer horoscope is about ¾ of Astrology jargon that won’t mean much to the lay person. The other ¼ of the information is what the purchaser wants, the good stuff about their own life.

So since my goal for writing about Astrology has been to take a role as teacher, so you can do it yourself, I want to clarify a few points for you. Sadly, everybody wants something for nothing, but that isn’t how life works. I want you to be careful that you aren’t fooled by websites that promise a complete horoscope for $25.00. They will give you just that ¼ of the information you wanted, and keep you coming back and paying more. Be careful.

I use so I can look up planetary positions, and for just that, the site is acceptable. I sat with a stack of horoscopes one day, and checked to see if the right data came out. It did, for the position of one planet on a certain day of the year. But then I put in all my birth data, as if I were ordering a complete horoscope. Most of it was wrong! So if I went through with it, I would have received about 10 pages of incorrect information that had all the wrong planets. My Rising sign and Moon sign were even wrong. So please don’t be fooled.

No site can work on a horoscope without your day, month, and year of birth. You must know the time of birth for at least a two hour window, or it’s impossible to know an Ascendant or Rising Sign. It’s necessary to know the city and state of your birth, or the city and country, and if the cities are small, the largest one closest your birthplace. Time corrections must be changed. Astrology uses Greenwich Mean Time in London, England, and depending on your location, your area may be using Daylight Savings Time or some other time system. All of these factors matter, and if you aren’t asked them, walk away from the transaction.

Well, I’m through with my ramblings, but I want to see you all avoid the pitfalls. I don’t mind answering a question that comes from any article I’ve written here, or on any other site, many of you know that. I feel that even though I’ve written so much here, people still are in danger of being misled. Hey, I’m a Sun sign Cancer, I want to take care of everyone, and don’t want to see anyone getting taken advantage of. I want you to be armed with the truth.

How to Become A Tarot Card Reader

Heroes Journey

The Tarot can be a very daunting and mysterious thing for those who do not understand what it is. The 78 cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck have some very scary pictures, symbolism from hundreds of years ago. And what does one learn from reading the Tarot anyway?

Most people learn with the Rider-Waite Deck because it is the most beloved deck. The millions of people who have read with it over the years, and the spreads they use, have given the cards their power. Once a person can understand Rider-Waite, they can go on to read most other decks with ease, as they will have enough background.

There are literally hundreds of decks on the market, for people with all kinds of interests. There is an Arthurian Deck with pictures and symbolism drawn from the myths of the Knights of the Round Table and the Priestesses of Avalon. There is a Russian Deck of St. Petersburg with those lovely onion domed buildings and ornate period dress. The Round Motherpeace deck was and remains popular as a deck made by women in the height of the Feminist movement of the 1970’s. Many Vampire decks have been popular in response to the Twilight series. The list is long, and one can view all the cards in any tarot deck by viewing them on this excellent site:

The Rider-Waite tarot begins with 21 cards called the Major Arcana, or Soul Cards. They begin with the Fool, young and inexperienced about life, just as we are born. Each card is a rite of passage that many will master, but some can be considered successful people in life and only have mastered 7 of the 21 important lessons. In the last twenty years or so, the Major Arcana cards have become known as “The Fool’s Journey.” These cards carry more weight in a reading.

The remaining 56 cards are called the Minor Arcana. They are split into four elements or suits, water has cups, air has swords, fire has wands, and earth has pentacles. Cards Ace-10 have different meanings depending on the scene, number of the card, and whether it is upright or reversed. Then there are the Court Cards, or People cards, which unnecessarily confuse people.

The Page is young and curious, having much to learn, and the sense of adventure to want to learn. This can be a child, but also an enthusiastic older person excited by a new interest. The Knight is on a mission to accomplish a task, and always rides a horse, so it means action will take place when he “rides” into a reading. The Queen is the most at home in her element, and comfortable in her role, wise and maternal. The King is the most powerful figure, a Fatherly one, or someone who has mastered many life lessons and has time to teach others.

So how should one approach a study of the Tarot? One card could be drawn each morning. The reader should study it well, then go about their day, but try to keep the card in mind. See if there is anything that happens which seems to have something to do with the scene or type of person in that card.

If you are more ambitious, perhaps you would like to keep a Tarot journal, chose your card, then write an entry about your day in it each evening. At first you may not see a correlation between your journal entry and the card. But now you have a written record, and when you become more experienced, you may go back and see more information, gaining great insight into the meaning of that card.

There are many kinds of symbols and colors in the cards, and they all have meaning. So make sure you give your study the serious and quiet attention it deserves.

A spreadsheet made on your computer would also be a great aid in keeping track of which cards have been drawn and how often. As I used to work in an Accounting firm, and am very organized, I liked this method. You could make a spreadsheet for each of the four suits of Minor Arcana Cards, Ace-Ten, and the four Court Cards of that suit.

Also, make one spreadsheet for the 21 Major Arcana cards. List the names of the cards vertically down the sheet. Make headings at the top for the days of the week, and keep a separate sheet for each month. Continue doing this for one year. Then you will have enough data to notice definite trends happening in your life, some cards will come up over and over again, almost screaming out for your attention!

Try to notice if certain cards keep appearing, as this will be the case, since you are learning something new. The Page of Pentacles will come up when you are learning something new, or the Ace of Wands appears when you have new energies in your life, and are growing as a person. I believe we grow whenever we learn something new, so don’t be surprised if you see both!

No matter which method you choose, try to tally them up and review them at the end of each month. Write a brief summary at the end so when you return to the journal or spreadsheet at the end of the year, you want to recall details of the happenings in your life. With a year’s worth of information, you will have a lot of material to work with, and will notice a definite pattern of some sort.

This will teach you the meanings of certain cards, because by now several of them will have been drawn by you at least 5-10 times in the course of the year. When you consult your tarot reference books, you will read about those, and with the help of the books and the information you kept, you will have definite opinions and ideas about the meanings of specific cards. If you see a meaning based on your actions, and the book does not agree, go with your gut, and forget the books! Tarot is an intuitive art.

I actually kept journals for five years, and was amazed at how many changes my life had gone through during that time period. So you aren’t only learning to become a Tarot reader, now you have a journal of what was happening in your life for as long as you decide to keep these journals. You may surprise yourself when you go back to read them, as time passes quickly.

So will Tarot cards predict your future? I believe that our subconscious mind “picks” the cards we need to see at a particular juncture in our lives. Also, we see what it is necessary for us to see when we are drawn to a certain card’s image. I have been a reader for eighteen years now, and have learned a lot.

I have read for complete strangers in Metaphysical shops, and been told my readings were “amazing.” There is no better feeling than knowing your reading has helped your querent in some way. Good readers must draw up a set of ethics before they are ready to read for a fee. You must decide what you will and will not do or say. It is also possible to meditate on a certain card to try to soak up some of the energies you need. So I believe a Tarot reading is a useful tool to help us understand ourselves and motivations better.

There are always naysayers, but usually they are the people who are most afraid of their lives and situations, so they try to knock what they do not understand. Not everyone wants to dig deeper to understand why they are having the same problems over and over, or why they attract negative relationships. One must do some difficult inner work to uncover these things.

But the rewards are many, if we can make positive changes in our behaviors, and sometimes realize we wrote about dreams we have, but did not try to do enough to make them come true. That’s the real tragedy, because we have the power to make our dreams real, if only we plan seriously and pay attention to the path we are on. It can be so easy to be misled onto the wrong path, and being a Tarot card reader can be a great aid in helping you to avoid that.

I hope you think about trying this new interest, to become a tarot card reader is very rewarding, and there are many lovely decks, so there is a perfect one for everyone. Start with the Rider-Waite, and then go on to see if there are other decks that you relate to better. Most readers have several decks. Metaphysical (I despise the words New Age, this is all ancient wisdom we are rediscovering) shops usually have open decks hanging freely so the customer can take a good look at the 78 cards in them and decide if they are interested or if the deck “speaks” to them in some way. Go for it! You’ll be the life of the party, and also notice that becoming a tarot reader will bring out the more introspective side of your personality.

By Jean Bakula Posted in Tarot

How To Be Your Own Astrologer


“The study of life’s reactions to planetary vibrations” is how Astrology is defined by Llewellyn George in his book, A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator. This means we all move to the beat of our own personalized, planetary vibrations. Astrology is a subject which interests many people, though they have misconceptions and misunderstandings about what it really is.

The first is that the sign the Sun is in at the time of birth is all that matters. All of the other planets and the Earth’s Moon were also in a specific Astrological sign at your time of birth, and that data is necessary in order to cast a horoscope for anyone. Then each of the planets were in one of twelve houses, all which mean something–appearance, money, neighbors, home life, love, work, marriage and war, sex and death, education, career, friends and wishes, and secret sorrows. I always thought it was strange that House 7 rules both Marriage and War, and that House 8 rules Sex and Death, but it definitely opens the door for some interesting dialogue!

Your Moon sign defines the emotional facets that make you tick. It gives insight into what you care about most deeply, or what you need in order to feel secure and valued. The Ascendant is a vital key to understanding a person, and to find it you must know the person’s birth time within a two hour window. This is the way a person acts when we first meet them, or the façade that they hide behind. We all have one, but we do not all know what it is. It is harder to find times of birth for people of older generations, but can be accomplished with persistence. Our ascendant tells us what physical traits, gestures, or the kind of personality someone seems to have when we first meet them, or how they will be perceived by others who do not know them well. Everyone “hides” behind their ascendant, as it’s a great coping mechanism. So your Sun Sign, Moon Sign and Ascendant make up what is called “the Trinity” in Astrology.

Another common error is when we hear people say, “I was born on the cusp of two signs.” This is impossible. An Ephemeris is a book which must be consulted in this case, as it lists the positions and signs where all the planets are/were on any day for a period of usually about 50 years. Generally, Sun signs do begin around the 21st day of one month and continue to the 21st day of the next month. But this is not always a hard and fast rule. A person’s Sun sign is always in one sign, never a mix of two. Cusps do exist, but they are the 30 degrees of division between the 12 houses of the zodiac. They have nothing to do with your Astrological birth Sun sign.

An Ephemeris is a necessary tool for any serious Astrologer. I am currently using The American Ephemeris for the 21st Century, by Rique Pottenger & Neil F. Michelsen. This one lists all the planetary information spanning the years from 2000-2050, at Midnight. Some of these books list the planet’s whereabouts from Midnight, some from Noon. As you learn more, you will begin to account for the various time differences from this, and ones related to different time zones in the world where the subject of the horoscope was born. Since we’ve only begun the 21st century, it’s most practical to buy an older ephemeris which covers the years 1950-2000, so you can cast horoscopes for yourself, family and friends. The New American Ephemeris for the 20th Century, is also written by Rique Pottenger & Neil F. Michelsen. My copy is an older one from the 1970’s, called The Complete Planetary Ephemeris for the 20th Century, but is the same book, by the same authors. You can find an Ephemeris for other time periods when you want information about your older ancestors, or famous people in history who interest you. The one I own is The Ephemeriden, a Swiss publication, from Z.S. Mason 789 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10021, and it spans the years 1890-1950. I have also found one which covers the years 1800-2000, called Webster’s Timeline History, by Icon Group Int’l. You definitely need an Ephemeris or more than one to begin any astrological study, so you may as well get the one that covers the largest time frame.

Another “must have” reference is Dalton’s Table of Houses, also known as Spherical Basis of Astrology by Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Richmond, VA. This provides the degrees of Astrology signs that begin on the Midheaven of your horoscope, and are placed on each subsequent cusp on your blank circle split into 12 houses, known as a sidereal. You should make these up in advance, so you have them handy when you are ready to cast a horoscope for anyone. Then you must have the birth date, time, city, state, or country of the person’s birth. Also necessary is Longitudes and Latitudes in the U.S. by Eugene Derney, or the same information from the country of birth. And for good measure, The Astrologer’s Handbook by Francis Sakoian and Louis S. Acker is a wealth of information for the beginner who needs to learn how to interpret the horoscope itself.

I realize this all sounds quite complicated, and to people who believe that Astrology is only where the sun is at birthtime, it is. I studied in formal classes from professionals for at least several years before I was ready to begin working with a following of my own. So you can see this is a serious science, and not some kind of simple nonsense that some try to lead others to believe. There are many complicated ways to cast a horoscope, but I offer the easiest here. It is made up from all the books listed. I have checked to be sure that all these books are available new or used from, or E-bay. Why spend a fortune to get started, when textbooks can be very expensive? Maybe you can find them at your community library, though normally their “New Age” sections are not well stocked, and the same is true for certain bookstores. I loathe the term anyway, as we are working with ancient wisdoms which are being rediscovered by enlightened ones.

The information which follows is the simplest way to cast your own horoscope, also called a Natal Chart. We will use birth information for a person born on July 4, 1955 in Paterson, NJ at 3:30 PM in the afternoon.

1). Look for July 4th, 1955 in the Ephemeris and use the Sidereal time listed next to the date.
2). Convert birth time to “military time” or 15:30. Subtract 1 hr. for Daylight Savings Time in
this case, thus using 14:30. There is no DST in the winter months.
3). The Longitude and Latitude for Paterson, NJ is Long 74W10 Lat 40N55. Our Longitude
Of 74 falls in the 5th meridian, if we consider Greenwich Mean Time, so we will multiply 5X
10 seconds, or add 50 seconds.
4). Another adjustment of 10 seconds X the birth time, or 150 seconds (rounded from
the adjusted 14:30), is necessary.
5). One more adjustment is needed for Local Mean Time, and it is 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

Now all 5 of these figures must be added together, and it will look like this:
Hours Minutes Seconds
18 44 56 Sidereal from Ephemeris on B-day
14 30 Adjusted Birth Time
50 10 X Meridians, from Longitudes
150 10X birth time rounded from 14:30
+ 3 20 Adj for Local Mean Time
32 Hours 77 Minutes 276 Seconds
-24 (one day) + 4 -240
8 81 36
9 Hours 21 Minutes 36 Seconds
So the figure with all the calculations is 9 Hours, 21 Minutes and 36 Seconds

Take out your Dalton’s Table of Houses. Look at the tops of the pages, and find the number
that is closest to the one from your calculations. In this case, it is 9 21 46, and next to it is the
Astrological sign and degree number which will be on the Midheaven of your chart. This one is 18 Degrees of Leo. I leave the seconds off, unless it is very close to being another sign, and necessitates this degree of exactness.

You may have seen blank sidereals, the forms Astrologers use to write their information on when they cast the Natal chart. It is a plain circle, split into 12 houses, one for each Astrology sign. So 18 Degrees of Leo will be on the cusp of the 10th house, known as the Midheaven. Go down to the 41st Latitude on the same page of your Dalton’s table, as it was the nearest Latitude to the birth place. Use the next Astrology signs and degrees from your Dalton’s Table, to be placed on the house cusps 11, 12, 1 (your Ascendant), 2, and 3. For the 4th house, or Nadir, and houses 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, simply place the opposite Astrology sign, until each house has its own sign. Now go back to your Ephemeris and the birthday, see what sign each planet was in that day, and place them in the correct houses. You did it! You just cast your own horoscope!

You have only one more calculation, that of the Moon. Take your standard birth time, again 14:30, as we have used as our example. Add 5 hours to this, making it 19:30. Take the 19:30 and divide it by 2, getting 9.5 degrees which will be rounded to 10 degrees. Again consulting the Ephemeris, for our example day, the Moon was in 27 degrees of Sagittarius earlier in my midnight ephemeris. There are only 30 degrees of each Astrological sign, so the Moon cannot be in 37 degrees of Sagittarius. Therefore, the Moon sign is in 7 degrees of Capricorn, the next sign.

So now you can feel confident that yes, you can be your own Astrologer! I have uncovered the usual myths and confusion that often surrounds this subject. Once you try the five step formula a few times, it will become second nature to you. You will learn the most by casting charts for those closest to you, and studying their traits. I hope you find Astrology as fun and fascinating as I do!

The Truth About Astrology


planets universe todaycom

It is disconcerting as an Astrologer to find that many people still think Astrology is only a matter of what sign your Sun was in on your Birthday. No wonder so many people think the study of the subject is nonsense. Astrology is so much more!

A true study of Astrology takes years of classes and workshops, hard work, and all of that costs money. Not to mention many books necessary for information. A good Astrologer has studied interpretation for years, through books, observation and study of the charts, and of the people described in those charts. Then people balk at the fact that an Astrologer has the “nerve” to charge $100.00-$200.00 to cast and interpret a horoscope!

Before Astrology charts were computerized, it took at least one hour to cast the horoscope itself, before any interpretation took place. It requires a book called a Dalton’s Table of Houses, a book of Time changes for the area of the world the person was born, the latitudes and longitudes of the birthplace, and an Ephemeris, the book which lists tables of planetary positions. There is a math formula which gives you what is called the Midheaven of the chart, and this is how you find the Ascendant, or Rising sign of the person. A person’s Sun sign, Moon sign, and Ascendant or Rising Sign are the Trinity in Astrology.

Today many computer sites will sell someone a computerized horoscope with an interpretation in the above price ranges. I just used one myself to do an experiment. I entered all my correct birth data, and got a completely wrong horoscope. So the programs have not improved much at all. Since the basic chart was wrong, so were all the pages of interpretation.

A horoscope is a picture of the sky at the exact time of your birth. If you are serious about wanting a horoscope, you need the date, time, and location of your birth to begin. This may be difficult, especially when working with older people. In other generations, the Mother was often drugged during childbirth, and hospital records did not always include the birth time. Before that, childbirth occurred at home, so there was even less information. The memories of relatives are not always accurate. Time changes like daylight savings time need to be taken into consideration. You must know the time of birth within a two hour window in order to find a person’s Ascendant for a Natal chart. If you cannot get this information, a Solar chart can be drawn up, but will be much more general.

Your Sun sign is the way you really are, and you will have some traits of that sign. Your Ascendant or Rising Sign is the way you appear to people who do not know you well. We all wear a mask or façade in everyday life. The Moon sign is the inner you, the emotional and deepest part of you, known only by you and those closest to you. This is the Astrological Trinity, and it is a crucial component in Astrology. All three of these positions can be in different Astrology signs, and often are. Knowing only these three pieces of information can tell you the basics about a person.

But there is much more to it, my friends. Every other planet was in a sign at the time of your birth. That’s right. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were all in different Astrology signs, all with different meanings. Each planet stands for certain things, Venus for love and social life, Mercury for how you think and process information, and so on.

An Astrological wheel is made up of twelve houses, each with many meanings. Each of those planets that are in a sign, are also in one of those 12 houses. So the interpreter is telling you what the celestial bodies mean in 12 Astrology signs with different meanings, and then taking that, and deciding what that planet and sign mean in a house. The most basic interpretation of the houses is this:

1. What you look like, physical body, obvious birthmarks or conditions, obvious personality
2. Attitudes about money and security, possessions
3. The way you communicate, relationships with siblings or people you see often
4. Your home life, family, end of life, property, relationship to Mother
5. Love, leisure activities, children, gambling, luck
6. Work (as opposed to a serious career), health, pets
7. Marriage or partnerships, relationships with others
8. Sex and death, money of the partner, inheritances
9. Higher learning, travel to foreign countries, philosophy, religion
10. Professional career, public persona, relationship with Father
11. Friendships, hopes and wishes
12. Secret sorrows, institutional stays

This all needs to be drawn out on a circle called a sidereal, split into 12 houses. Once you consult your Dalton’s table to establish which sign in on the Midheaven, or 10th house cusp, you will know the Ascendant. From the Midheaven, you can place the signs around the circle, and this will tell you which sign rules each of the twelve houses. Now that you know where the Astrology signs are on the houses, you can consult your Ephemeris, that book of tables of planets. Find the day of birth you are working with, and here is where you find which sign every planet was in on that day. You need to do a slight math calculation for the Moon sign. Add in the Moon’s nodes. You have completed a chart!

Once you have something to look at, you need to find the aspects. This is the distance that the planets are apart from each other. Planets very close to each other are called conjunctions, only a few degrees apart, intensifying the energies of those planets. Sextiles are 60 degrees apart, or are a fire and air combination, or an earth and water combination. They create situations that are fairly easy to deal with. Trines are 90 degrees apart, fire to fire, air to air, water to water, earth to earth. Trines are lucky and are parts of life that go easily for you. Squares are 90 degrees apart, and create challenges. Although they are difficult, very creative and positive outcomes can come from them. Oppositions are 180 degrees apart, or in signs opposite each other. They are challenging, but not very difficult. There are other aspects, but these are the major ones.

This is how a horoscope is created, and I didn’t even begin to interpret anything yet. Is it any wonder an Astrologer wants to pull their hair out when they hear uninformed people discussing how “silly” it is to pay attention to Astrology, since it’s only where your Sun was on your birthday? So the next time you hear someone acting dismissive about an Astrologer, at least you know what Astrology actually is. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!