Monday, May 19, 2014

Astrology and Intuition

The Role of Feelings, Inklings and Hunches in Conversations about Astrology Charts

Article © 2014 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Humans are blessed with two distinct brains with varied functions. Acting like I've got only half a brain—and practicing astrology that way—has always seemed like a no brainer to me—a bad idea.

Intuition was my partner in my astrology practice from Day 1. It’s important to remember that astrology is also a very left-brained pursuit with timing and grace notes as complex as any symphony. To make the best music requires playing with both precision—hitting of the notes exactly—made more beautiful by right-brained interpretation. The latter is nearly always emotionally evocative.

The Power of Feelings

Our emotions are where our quality of life lives. For me as an astrologer, feelings are also where the quality of my readings have always come from. A particular aspect pattern can be interpreted in any number of related but distinct ways. It’s only from “getting the feel” of how an individual “plays” his or her chart energies that the most meaningful dialogue can occur about the score. We literally say, “What’s the score?” when we want to know what something’s all about. Whether it’s a tricky transit we are confused about how to handle or a natal blessing we just can’t quite harness to our advantage, it often takes someone else’s “take” to get a new and more functional perspective.

The best astrologers are good listeners, especially to the feelings expressed by another. Music is played to be listened to.

Another—the astrologer—listens to the client’s life compared to the “sheet music” and gets a sense of how she makes her own kind of music or how he sings his own special song (an homage to the late, great Mama Cass Elliott and her classic, Make Your Own Kind of Music.)


Gertrude Stein said, “Style is everything.” One of the funniest examples I ever saw was at the Oscars one year. Rather than the typical, boring drone of the rules of the Academy that are required public reading, someone did a song and dance number to the “lyrics.” It was funny, memorable and true entertainment. It was Saturn tap-dancing. The incongruity alone was a riot.

How we help others step back and watch their own musical involves our personal style—ours and theirs. In a sense, I think there’s nothing more important in an astrology reading than a good style match between astrologer and client. That doesn’t mean a pair of clones talking astrobabble. It’s two people who can switch roles back and forth as wise one and listener. No one’s wiser than the client about his or her own life. And the role both people need to share is learner. Readings or just discussing another’s chart between people who speak the lingua Astro are dialogues among equals, like any other great conversation.

How Your Intuition Helps

I had a tarot reading by a close friend the day I started writing this article. Like any good reading, it confirmed my own inklings while adding a few surprises. It was the classic example of that conversation between equals, something Deanna and I have enjoyed together for years. It’s your own intuition that “knows” whether a reader is right-on about something he or she sees developing in your chart, cards or life.

Always bring your intuition to any consultation and trust it.

If your consultant or an Astro-savvy friend is veering off course from the many possible interpretations within the reasonable range of meanings of your current astrological symbols, don’t be afraid to rein him or her into your own zone of where it’s at for you now. Speak up when something doesn't fit or if a possible interpretation doesn't feel right to you. The analogy I use often is that a set of astrological symbols will get you into the ballpark of meaning but finding the specific seat happens in back-and-forth conversation. Part of finding your seat without a ticket stub to direct you is by eliminating which seats can't possibly be yours. This relies on you, the person who "owns" the chart to tell the other person when you get that feeling in your gut of resonance--or not.

Joining both the reader’s and recipient’s intuition and the power of that practice is why my favorite astrology reading has always been the Astro-Tarot. The combination of the left-brained chart (the score) and the right-brained tarot images (the interpretation) is uncanny. I’ve had the deepest of all readings using these tools in combo. One client said it was as if I were peering into her soul, but in the gentlest way … and it feels that way to me as both reader and recipient. If you’re very Plutonian or Scorpionic, you may want to read the Astro-Tarot article and experiment with this yourself. It even works solo. (I’m a compulsive solitaire Scrabble player, and I know you can learn a lot all by yourself, especially from a computer opponent programmed from a dictionary!)

How to See Intuition in a Chart

As a life-long intuitive who knows both the joys and pains of being a highly sensitive person, I’m all for bringing the best of sensitivity to the realm of astrological interpretation. It has often come up in consultations that the person requesting the reading can use help in developing his or her own sensitivities. I assume this is why these clients were drawn to me, as I’m a graduate of this particular course in the School of Life. Recognizing intuition in the astrology chart is fairly easy. Here are some of the places you’ll most often find it:

Naturally, a highly emphasized Moon or Neptune play a big part. (If these two are in aspect to each other, a psychic Geiger counter would be making a lot of loud noises. Don’t worry if it’s imaginary. This person can hear it!)  

Water signs are known for their intuitive abilities. Uranians have those flash insights and Aries has the best of that thing you learn about taking tests—go with your first hunch. Aries' speed and ability to capture the moment, even for just that second, enables him or her to “get” what’s happening. The trick is to try to be present and listening during the instant of Aries’ aha. I have a stellium-in-Aries friend with Venus in Pisces who is like an emotional tape recorder. She drinks in all the feelings and psychological content of everyone around her, and the replay is often very unhinging to those who don’t like the auditory version of a personal mirror. (Wouldn’t you know, Aries would be one of signs that can have issues with tact while at the same time, being the most capable of giving this kind of clear feedback.)

And since this is The Radical Virgo blog, let’s not leave out the Virgo penchant for hypersensitivity. How many Virgos do you know that just can’t get to their goals for fighting overwhelm or their latest psychosomatic illness? I’m not saying the illness isn’t real, only that it is psychological in origin. The busy, empathic, serving Virgo mind records his or her sensations in the physical body.

Separating the wheat from the chaff only works well when the psyche offers the complementary information needed to augment the facts of any situation. Whether something is ultimately good or bad for you, the bottom line is about how you’ll feel in the end.

Anyone can develop his or her intuition to the maximum. Some of us are already wired with almost too much of it. Learning to use it as a pendulum in assessing hunches you or others have about your chart is vital to uncovering your truth of the moment. How wonderful that we have a built-in mechanism for steering us in the right direction, often with a little help from our friends. We just have to learn to trust it. For me, that has been a lifetime evolution. I do things based on intuition now that I would have thought insane in my foolish youth. Emphasis on foolish.

The Mountaintop View: Retired from Readings

Now that I’ve been retired from doing readings professionally for a year, I feel I can view my experience with them more objectively from the mountaintop of yesterday. The feeling aspect still stands out as a strong and necessary component of how I’d ever work with mine and others’ charts, even in conversation among astrologer peers.

Stronger is the sense that astrology as a tool is enhanced by other symbol systems, as well as other kinds of experiential astrology tools. I’ve already mentioned the power of the Astro-Tarot reading.

Other tools I’ve discussed in previous posts continue to prove worthy complements. Thanks to a local astrologer colleague, Linda Kaye, I learned the tip about using AstroDice as a final oracle in a reading. I’ve experienced the addition of a whole new piece of information that the reading did not elucidate. Quite fun and startling to leave on a really meaty end-note of an additional slice of the Astro-pie. It was almost like getting a 13th House, but in this particular case, the issues were about friendship and the 11th.

© AstroTheatre: Jupiter in Gemini

Recently, I bought the AstroTheatre Astrocards app for my new iPhone. (Only $0.99!). Not only is it a great way to visualize any planet and sign in your chart with its groovy dressed-up characters; there’s a random spin option to use it as an oracle. Anytime during the day that I feel a need for the universe to speak to me, I just pop open the AstroTheatre app and ask for guidance.

Example: I just asked, "Are there any wrap-up ideas I need to share before closing this article?" I drew Jupiter in Gemini and the keywords: fortune, mobile and mutable. The biggest blessing we can be, while exercising the privilege of helping another find meaning in his or her chart, is to be flexible, communicative—as much a big listener as a big talker. Fortune is in our flexibility, because like the stars themselves, the  energies and issues of human beings are always shifting, the speed depending on the planets involved. These constant evolutionary shifts invite us to welcome the next improved version of ourselves.

An attitude of shared learning is easily portable like the mobile phone in this image. It goes with us wherever we go. One of the things I love about astrology is that very few people in the astrological community consider themselves experts. Most of the rest of us, given the vastness of the sky and the unfathomable depth of astrological knowledge, see ourselves as life-long learners. With everything constantly changing, both Above and Below, that’s the only thing that makes sense to me. In fact, Jupiter in Gemini is a good image for the perpetual student of the sky. To get the higher education Jupiter symbolizes—in this case in astrology—we gather intell on many astrology-related facts and facets of life, tapping that Gemini mutable curiosity to "taste everything" along with the urge to share it and communicate about it with other star-gazers.

May your Astro-flexibility and your intuition ever expand.  I chose the opening photo for this article because of the key ingredient that keeps both those qualities flowing—the wonder of a child. Believe in what the sky tells you and trust that you know how to fly—how to navigate it.


Photo Credits: © Konstantin Yuganov -; ©AstroTheatre - Jupiter in Gemini

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Unknown said...

Yeah, Joyce! I love your wit and depth of feeling like a powerful musical movement which inspires, informs and deepens our connection with ourselves and spirit.

Thanks for referencing AstroTheatre AstroCards (available from the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad and Google play for Android). I am so glad it is one of the many tools in your repertoire!

Michael Bartlett

LB said...

Hi Joyce ~ I loved this post and also your approach! Even mentioned it in a comment I left today over at Learning Curve on the Ecliptic, in response to Twilight's post entitled, "Astrologers and Astrology Put to Test::

Thanks for understanding the value in mindful *listening*.:)

Hope all is well.

Joyce Mason said...

Dear LB,

I'm glad to know this post hit home for you! And thanks for validating that I'm on the right track about mindful listening. I have a feeling I'll be posting more on this general topic.

Thanks for asking how I'm doing! A few tricky transits, a lot of learning--and finally catching up with rest before climbing the next mountain.

Much love and joy to you and yours,