Introduction to Natal Astrology – 2:
Sepharial on physical form, mind, career, finances
– Written and compiled by Philip Graves – 14 Jan 2004
– Reformatted for WordPress, June 8th, 2016
The remainder of this article thematically details time-honoured considerations of matters to be read from the natal figure, drawing substantially from the records of the 19th century anthologist of astrological wisdom Sepharial.
The physical form
The ascendant sign is the chief indicator of physical appearance. But the physical signification of the Lord of the ascendant and the sign it occupies, together with the significations of any planets conjunct or closely aspecting the Ascendant and their signs, and of the domicile ruler of any sign intercepted in the first house, will be of some significance, as will the sign placements of the Sun and Venus.
Venus conjunct or in close aspect to the ascendant or its Lord enhances appearance, giving elegance. Mars conjunct the ascendant or descendant increases size, and renders the complexion ruddier. Conjunct the ascendant, it produces red hair and often a mole or scar on the face. In any close aspect to the ascendant, it promotes red hair and grey eyes. Jupiter conjunct the ascendant is favorable to vitality and adds to physical size. Saturn conjunct the ascendant renders the complexion peculiarly pale or dark, sometimes melancholic; and the hair black. Uranus conjunct or in close aspect to the ascendant makes the body slim and increases the length of the limbs. Neptune conjunct the ascendant leads to fluid loss around the face, causing premature wrinkling. Pluto alters body form in line with the tendency of the ascendant sign: Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces increase height; Cancer, Virgo and Capricorn shorten height, and Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius thicken body form.
Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius as Ascendant signs increase height; Taurus, Cancer, Capricorn and Pisces reduce it. An Earth sign on the Ascendant combined with at least two or three planets conjunct the ascendant tends to reduce height substantially, particularly if one of the planets is Saturn.
A conjunction or opposition between Venus and Jupiter is associated with deep blue eyes. Eloquence is associated with an Air sign on the second house cusp, and particularly with Mercury or Venus in the second house unafflicted. Other physical and all medical influences will be covered in depth by a later article on medical astrology.
The mental qualities are affected mostly by the ascendant, Moon and Mercury signs, and their constitutions (cardinal, fixed, mutable) and elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water); but also whichever signs, constitutions and elements contain most planets direct the personal nature in accordance with their influence. (See Zodiac Signs 2.)
Aspects to the Moon and Mercury, and the sign placements of the planets aspecting them, are also significant, and especially so where these planets are in the 1st or 10th houses. In aspect to Moon and Mercury, the different planets act as significators of mental qualities as follows, but bearing in mind that the more praiseworthy traits listed will be more probably manifest when the aspects are harmonious, while the more negative ones will display themselves when the aspects are inharmonious; and the essential dignity or debility of the planet in aspect to the Moon or Mercury also renders its influence upon the mind more or less harmonious.
Sun confers ambition for honours; love of approval and display; nobility and uprightness (usually); opposition to covert and underhanded deeds and actions; pride; thirst for renown; and self-confidence. Venus confers an amiability; amorousness; appreciation by others on account of kindness; artistic ability; beauty; elegant, refined tastes; inclination to drama, music, poetry and society, and to fondling and kissing; love of children, pets, ease, luxury, refinement, adornments, jewellery and scents; and tenderness. Mars confers ardent passions; contentiousness; courage; desire for conquest; extravagance; forcefulness in seeking gain; a free, proud, military, ungovernable spirit; impetuosity; lack of foresight; rashness; and warm feelings. Jupiter confers confidence; conscientiousness; contempt for for mean and underhanded actions; a frank, free, generous, open mind; humanity; joviality; a strong, lenient and moderate sense of justice; noble character; and truthfulness. Saturn confers an anxious disposition; caution over acting; a desire for seclusion; doubts concerning others; fears relating to the body; a melancholic, thoughtful mind; and a secretive, taciturn, timorous nature. Uranus confers argumentativeness; determination; eccentricities; a headstrong nature; inclination to Utopian ideas and unpopular projects; inventiveness; love of romance; obstinacy; originality; rêveries; strange insights, studies and visions; and waywardness. Neptune confers a chaotic, dreamy, indolent, neurotic, self-indulgent, unreliable nature; an imitative faculty able to emulate characteristics that do not belong to the self; an inclination to neglect duties and responsibilities; mediumistic powers; ready absorption of the views of others; and strange tasties and fancies. Pluto, especially if in the third or ninth houses, confers added mental strength, with literary, prophetic, psychic and visualisation ability, if in harmonious aspect to the Moon or Mercury; if in inharmonious aspect to either, it confers mental instability arising from excessive metaphysical speculation; fear of the future and the unknown.
The Moon conjunct the Ascendant or in aspect to Mercury confers constant change and roaming; elegant, graceful manners; fondness of travel; inconstancy and uncertainty in thought and action; love of romance; and a strong imagination. Mercury conjunct the Ascendant or in aspect to the Moon confers an active, alert, busy, cunning, nimble disposition; adaptability to varied forms of mental work; a desire for knowledge; an inclination to read, talk, write and travel; and a quick intellect. Where Mercury afflicts the Moon and is afflicted itself by a malefic, mental disorders are likely. Where the Moon, Mercury and the Ascendant are in no mutual aspect, nor mutual reception, the mental faculties are threatened, with insanity likely when, in such circumstances, Mercury is afflicted by a malefic planet, particularly if this malefic is conjunct one of the angles.
All planets in the 3rd and 9th houses have influence over the mind, regardless of whether or not they are in aspect to the Moon or Mercury.
Venus afflicting the Moon confers an outward inclination to keep up good appearances belied by slovenliness, untidiness, and an inclination to squander money on assorted fineries and frivolities.
Mars afflicting the Sun in Capricorn, in an angular house, confers fanaticism. Mars or Saturn afflicting Mercury disposes to mental or neurological infirmity. Mars or the Sun afflicting Mercury in Pisces, in an angular house, also confers fanaticism. Mars, Jupiter, Uranus or Neptune, afflicting Mercury or Venus in a Water sign, inclines to debauchery or drunkenness. Mars, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune afflicting either the Sun or Mercury in a mutable sign disposes to mental disorders. Mars afflicting Venus confers an ardent, passionate nature, wasteful of energies on the opposite sex. Mars afflicting Jupiter confers boastfulness; extravagance; and religious enthusiasm which can with supporting indicators manifest as zealous sectarianism. Mars afflicting Saturn or Uranus produces a stormy, passionate, sometimes violent temper. Mars afflicting Neptune confers slight mania or neurosis.
Saturn afflicting Venus confers liability to severe disappointments; great sensitivity; a sorrowful, tear-prone spirit; and secret vices. Saturn afflicting Jupiter renders the individual doubtful and hesitant; often harsh and unsympathetic, or grasping and penurious.
Uranus in any aspect to Venus causes strong attraction and romantic attachments to, and ready seduction by, the opposite sex. Neptune afflicting the Moon or Venus causes chaotic emotional and sexual relations.
In a female nativity, Mars conjunct or afflicting the Moon causes a free manner that defies conventional expectations of female behaviour. In a female nativity, either Saturn conjunct or afflicting the Moon, combined with Mars afflicting the Moon, or Saturn afflicting the Moon, combined with Mars afflicting Mercury, renders the individual liable to be led astray.
Planets in the Second house (since it governs money matters); planets in the Tenth house (since it governs business matters); and the condition of the Lord of the Second house are key indicators of fortunes. In a male nativity, the condition of the Moon is a chief financial significator; while in a female nativity, the condition of the Sun acts thus; but both luminaries should receive attention in this role in nativities for either sex.
Harmonious and inharmonious aspects to any of these significators bode well or ill (respectively) for the finances, with fortune or misfortune arising from sources indicated by the nature of the aspecting planet itself, the sign or house in which it is posited, and the houses over which it is Lord. The very best are considered to be those from the Sun to the Moon; and those from Venus to Jupiter, particularly when either is conjunct the Ascendant or elevated in the figure. Where afflictions between the Sun and Moon are present, own business enterprises are strongly contraindicated.
Afflictions to the Moon from a malefic elevated above it in the figure portends financial failure, which will be irrecoverable if Saturn is in the Tenth house. Any afflictions to financial significators may be relieved by conjunctions or harmonious aspects from Venus or Jupiter.
Mars in the Second house leads to liberal expenditure; if it is afflicting the Moon from here, losses from fire, theft or other strifes are indicated. Mars or Saturn in the Second or Tenth house is bad for the pecuniary fortunes, unless it throws a harmonious aspect to a benefic or a luminary. Mars, Saturn or Uranus in the Second house afflicting the Moon and unrelieved by an aspect from any benefic leads to life becoming an incessant struggle with adversity. Mars afflicting Jupiter shows loss from betting or speculation, especially where Jupiter is also afflicted by Saturn or Uranus.
Jupiter afflicting the Moon leads to improvidence, and to losses caused by over-generosity and indiscreet actions. Jupiter in the Eighth house shows financial gain from marriage and other partnerships.
Saturn in the Seventh house has an adverse impact on trade. Saturn afflicting the Moon brings financial failure. Saturn or Uranus in the Seventh house, and afflicting the Moon, portends ills from partnership and public affairs, which should be avoided. Saturn or Uranus in harmonious aspect to Jupiter brings gifts and legacies, especially if either is Lord of or posited in the Eighth House; inheritance, if either is Lord of or posited in the Fourth house; or gain by marriage or partnership, if either is Lord of the Seventh house or Jupiter is posited in it. Saturn or Uranus afflicting Jupiter indicates loss in legal disputes and through deception by trustees and those in charge of the individual’s financial affairs, from sources indicated by the house placement of the afflicting planet.
Uranus afflicting a significator of finances brings financial peril. Uranus in the Second house brings numerous sudden changes, with success and failure following close on each other’s heels. Uranus in the Seventh house and afflicted causes harassment from creditors and difficulties following marriage; but such problems will be surmounted if Uranus s relieved by a harmonious aspect to the Moon. Uranus in harmonious aspect to a luminary denotes gains through people and matters over which Uranus in general has dominion. Neptune in the Second house and afflicting the Moon leads to being the victim of a fraud or company bankruptcy.
Pluto in the Second house in harmonious aspect to the Moon, Venus or Jupiter produces financial gains through personal skill and ingenuity. In the Fifth house with such an aspect, gain from gambling and speculation is indicated; while in the Eighth house with such an aspect, gain through a legacy is shown. Pluto afflicted in any of the above houses brings bankruptcy, crippling losses, or profligacy.
A majority of planets in cadent houses limits progress in life.
Planets conjunct the angles and planets in aspect to the luminaries, considered together with their condition by placement and aspects, are the primary occupational significators. If there is at least one planet in conjunction with the Sun, the one forming the closest conjunction, and its condition, shows the measure of success in career. If there is a planet forming another aspect to the Sun of closer orb than the nearest conjunction, it too is very significant. Planets in the 10th house and planets in aspect to the Midheaven are also strongly influential.
See the Planets article for details of the general vocational inclinations of each planet as a significator; yet its sign placement must also be considered, and the field of work in which the significator will be involved will correspond to the house numerically equivalent to that sign: thus, for example, a significator in Aquarius finding employment in 11th house matters. Significators in Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces frequently indicate dual simultaneous occupations.
The strongest element in the nativity indicates broad areas of work in which the individual is suited to succeed. If Fire, work in areas involving fire or metals is common. If Earth, manual and agricultural labour are likely. If Air, intellectual and creative occupations are indicated. If Water, work that deals with or is powered by water is frequent.
Afflictions between the Sun and Moon reduce the personal power and bring disfavour from those in authority.
Saturn or Uranus in the seventh house bring opposition and loss in public matters; while Neptune or Pluto in the seventh indicate deceptive or intriguing business partners.
Neptune in the tenth house gives ability in aviation, motoring and oil, but brings career fluctuations and uncertainty, and a risk of being a victim of fraud. Pluto here confers trade and commercial ability, or if in a Fire sign, architectural, construction and demolition aptitude.
Self-employment prospects are favoured by either the Sun or the majority of planets above the horizon or rising, and poor otherwise.