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Every configuration of planets in the horoscope expresses a certain theme or pattern. A dominant theme emerges when planet pairs appear in two or more configurations: for example Venus in Capricorn (the sign ruled by Saturn) aspecting Saturn in Taurus (a sign ruled by Venus.) Alternatively a horoscope may show a particular focus on an individual sign, house, or element in the chart. Perhaps three planets and the ascendant or Medium Coeli are in the same sign. Another chart may emphasize Jupiter, Sagittarius, and the Ninth House.

The word "theme" here does not refer to general topics which are common to all horoscopes, such as the theme of love (which is reflected by the planet Venus and the fifth, seventh and eighth houses); or that of profession (reflected in the Medium Coeli together with the second, sixth and tenth houses.) A theme in a natal chart, rather, indicates major motivating factors, foci, or connections in the individual's life.

Every horoscope contains a wealth of information on individual themes. They are as complex as human nature and it is vital to understand the main underlying themes in a chart before making any meaningful statements regarding an individual's personality. Being aware that a horoscope is a whole in which all the parts are related to each other enables an astrologer to penetrate to deeper levels of understanding than would be the case if the individual horoscope factors were simply added up.

The American astrologer Stephen Arroyo advised new astrologers: "When you have a deep understanding of one horoscope factor, it will lead you to the center from which everything emanates. In other words, just start by talking about something you understand, relate that to the person's personal experience and understanding, and then let it flow from there. As Albert Einstein remarked, 'if you penetrate to the core of anything, you will eventually encounter the deepest reality and truth.'"[1]

In an astrological consultation it makes great sense to concentrate on the chart's central themes. A client will learn more during the one or two hours of a consultation if an astrologer looks at two or three themes in depth or even one in great detail - whether in the natal chart itself or in the current trends (Prediction) - than if the client is confronted with a long list of apparently unconnected facts.


Notes and References

  1. Stephen Arroyo, 1978, Astrology, Karma and Transformation, CRS Publications, p.xi.