Stained Glass Windows

I'm feeling a bit scattered today, but I'm going to blog anyways, about one of my preferred analogies. But first, a tiny bit of planetary awareness...

Starting with Mercury and heading out towards Pluto, one finds the planets drift from very conscious to very unconscious. Mercury, for example, has more to do with the active voice of thoughts inside one's head than any other planet. Venus and Mars are also well involved mentally. Jupiter and Saturn are both midway influences that we usually only think about through self-analysis or in retrospect. Uranus and Neptune have far more subconscious and universal effects on our personalities, while Pluto tends to be the deep and uber-subconscious of the self.

I find the transition from conscious to subconscious intriguing, especially the way it runs parallel to the inner-to-outer order of planets. That is why I mention it. But there are more powerful internal forces in the Sun, the First House, and the Moon. Those three aspects represent an omnipresent sort of Triumvirate of The Self, like a supra-conscious ego which you are always aware of and engaged with, but so intimately that you need not consider it at all.

I think (Mercurially), therefore I am. But what, exactly, is "I"?

To explain how the Sun, the First House, and the Moon work together, it is helpful to know what they each represent in a natal chart.

Here's one way to describe them:

The Sun is our core energy, the source of our strength and talents, powering everything we do. It is like an engine...but like an engine it does not precisely do anything except empower (a car engine without the rest of the car is useless no matter how much energy it can create). The First House is our self-identity, the way we create a picture of ourselves, giving us a way to say "this is what I am." The Moon is a reflection of ourselves on an emotional scale. It is partially our active feelings, but it is also the result of having those feelings, the way they manifest through us as "bright personalities" or "cheery folk" or whatever else.

That is a rather shallow description of each. But, rather than describe them in dull terms of function, I usually prefer this visual analogy:

Imagine the soul or spirit or inner self (or whatever you want to call it) as a stained glass window. The Sun within a chart would be like the light shining through the window from beyond. Without that light, the entire thing would be pointless, but with that light the purpose of the stained glass window is fulfilled. Different Sun Signs, then, are essentially different sources of light.

There is also a picture there, the event or person or depiction that is being expressed and defined by the artist. It answers the question: "what is that a picture of?" This is like the First House (the Rising sign, or Ascendant), and ranges from abstract to specific images of ourselves, but which basically is a way for us be identified and self-represented.

And if that stained glass window has an image of a woman (for example)...was it done with rough glass in dark blues and reds and flecks of fiery orange? Or is that same woman shown in sterling whites and greens, beneath a halo of gold? Does it seem like her smile is one of dark temptation, or blissful satisfaction? Our Moon sign is like the very mood being expressed by that window, the intangible aura of emotion we give off and experience.

In my personal opinion, if you are looking at someone else's chart and not your own, it is easier to see this...their light, their depiction, their aura of emotion, the very essence of their "I".

People are often quite beautiful.


Blogger LisaPal said...

Beautiful indeed! Not just people, but your manner of explaining this.

12:18 AM  
Blogger VW said...

Hello, hope you are reading your old posts! You talk about the house and the Ascendant like they are one. And it makes more sense if you use the Ascendant (ie House) in your explanation. But while working on a friend's chart, each planet has a house. Is this the same idea? That is not what I perceive. Then again, I am having a simple problem with Jupiter in the 5th house. It states that if Jupiter is squared or opposed by the Sun, the Moon or Mars there may be severe financial losses due to gambling. Ok, How do I figure out if a planet is squared or opposed by another? That I have NOT found in my documentation yet. It might be there... I just don't see it. I figure it might be as simple as looking at the birth chart and seeing where the planets are lined up.. .but even then what is squared? Thanks again for all the assistance.

12:48 PM  
Blogger VW said...

[hangs head in shame]. Found it. I am so embarrassed. It was right in front of me all the time. Sleep... I need sleep before trying to do something so thought provoking. So far it hits my friend right on target. She laughed when I read some of it to her. She couldn't believe how accurate it was. Of course I am not even close to finished, but it has certainly opened my eyes some more to what this is really all about. Thanks again!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Actually, I get email notification so I don't have to wander back through my old posts to see if there's anything new :)

Okay, each chart has 12 houses. The "First House" is also known as the "Ascendant," and also called the "Rising Sign." The second through twelfth houses deal with various other perspectives.

Imagine lying down on your back at the time and place of your birth, with your head pointing north and your feet south. In a full circle around you are 12 pie sections of the sky, with you at the very center. The First House starts on the eastern horizon (turn your head to look left), and the rest of the Houses follow counter-clockwise from there, so the 2nd House is below the Eastern horizon, and the 3rd a bit beyond that, and the 4th starting behind you, and so on around.

Now, imagine that - at your birth - the planet Mercury was above you and a bit to the left. It would fall into one of those pie piece sky segments, probably the 10th House. Therefore, it would be said that YOUR Mercury was in YOUR Tenth House. Each of the other planets spread out across the solar system would fall into one of those segments. Therefore they all have Houses, though they change for each individual's chart.

As for the other question about squares...I guess you're saying you found the squares part in your documentation? If not, then think of it as an angle, like with geometry. With Jupiter in the 5th House...well, now that you have an idea of how that would look at birth, draw an imaginary line from Jupiter to you. If you drew another line from you to Mars and that angle was around 90 degrees or 270 degrees, then would be considered a square. "Around" varies from astrologer to astrologer, but most consider anything withing 0 to 5 degrees (of 90 or 270) a square.

There are other angles, called conjunct, trine, sextile, oppositional, quincunx, and so on. I was going to post about those later.

But all this is the main reason for the circular diagram chart used by astrologers. It is a way to easily visualize planetary arrangements at a given time and place. Of course, astro.com doesn't give you a circular chart, just the raw data list...

2:19 PM  

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