Astrology is my other non-writing major interest, along with gardening. My theory is that everyone needs something irrational it their life, so astrology is my little area of nuttiness. Like many things nutty, it can be useful to generate ideas about aspects of your own or other people’s personality traits. It’s a great method for examining archetypes which can be a useful tool for creating characters.
I often work up an astrological profile for my characters using either Time Passages for Mac or Solar Gold for the iPad. Years ago I studied astrology so I have a working knowledge of chart analysis but I’m not a professional astrologer.
But I know enough to work out what my characters will be like astrologically. For example, if I need an alpha male with a core of protectiveness, I might decide to make my character a Capricorn Sun in the tenth house of career but with Moon in Cancer in the fourth house of domestic spaces. Coupled with Saturn in Cancer in the fourth house (but not conjunct with the Moon – let’s not go overboard with torturing the poor man or his heroine) I would have a man with strong sense of who he is in life and where he is going, but with a craving for a space to express true but repressed emotion. With Mars in Gemini and Venus in Sagittarius my hero could probably charm the socks off most people particularly since his Jupiter in Aries trines his Venus in Sagittarius.
Sounds like gobbledygook, right?
All the plants, houses, aspects and elements have particular meanings within astrology. So, for example, most people know what their star sign is, that is, what sign their sun was in when they are born. I am a Taurus. If you were born between 21 April and 20 May in any year, you are also a Taurus. That can help if you just want a broad idea of what your character could be about. Taurus people are patient and reliable, warmhearted and loving, persistent and determined, placid and security loving but on the not-so-plus side they can be jealous and possessive, resentful and inflexible, self-indulgent and greedy.
Me? Never! 🙂
But everyone knows someone who is supposed to be a particular sign but seems nothing like what a say, a typical Taurus is like. This is where aspects between planets, and where the plants are placed in houses becomes important. The zodiac is made up of twelve signs and twelve houses. You can find a description of the houses here and of the signs here You can also click on the links to get a run down of particular signs. The plants are in aspect to each other.
How they all interrelate is what makes up a unique chart. My friend S, who was born three weeks after me and is also a Taurus, couldn’t be more different to me. She is disciplined to the point of pleasure denial, quite spiritual, always eats healthy food (gasp!) and is rake thin (double gasp!). When I looked at her chart I saw her sun in Taurus is in the twelfth house of mysticism and seclusion, hidden things. She has a fine aesthetic sense and a love of beauty like most Taurus people, but when I think of a symbol for her, I think of a stained glass window. Spiritual, beautiful and hard to see in or out of.
Currently I’m writing a romantic suspense and my hero, Dylan Andrews, was born on 16 January 1976 at 12 noon. This gives him a Capricorn sun in the tenth house of career, Aries ascendant, Cancer moon in the fourth house, Mars in Gemini and Venus in Sagittarius which are opposite each other. He’s a complex character with lots of challenges in his chart. Thank god he has a Cancer moon or else he’d been unbearable!
The poor love has Pluto in Libra conjunct his descendent in the seventh house which squares his Moon in Cancer in the fourth house which is opposite his Mid-Heaven.
Love might destroy and transform him. That’s what we want in a romance don’t we?
Some useful blogs that I read regularly on astrology are:
Donna Cunningham’s Sky Writer
April Elliot Kent’s Big Sky Astrology
Jo Tracey Astrology (an Aussie gal)
Moonkissed by Jessica
Astrosparkles on Facebook is also good fun.
Both Donna and April have ebooks for sale that provide some good, basic introductions to astrology.
Do like astrology? Do you entertain the irrational in your life?